So far the 2008 ice fishing season has been a lot better for my friends
than it has for me. Without a snowmobile, my mobility hasn't been the
greatest. Early snowfall kept ice from improving and slush has been a
problem for the four wheeler. On my last fishing trip we were able to get
around fairly well on the lake, but on our way out, getting back up the
hill required the winch.
The good news is that if you pick your lake carefully, there are getting
to be more options for folks like me who want to drive out in a truck. The
resorts on Big Winnie have gotten a good handle on the plowed roads now
and there is some traffic out there. Vehicles have begun to move around a
bit on Bowstring too, but there aren't any plowed roads there that I know
of. Your best bet is to take it slow and drive out during daylight when
you can see the snow drifts. Avoid the deeper ones and you'll be able to
My buddy Matt Mattson was on a Lake Trout trip this past Saturday. They
traveled by snowmobile and found a lot of slush and even a spot of "almost
open" water in the center of the lake. For the most part they got around
okay, but he recommends keeping a close watch on the ice thickness
whenever you move locations. Trout fishing action in our area has been
typical, you'll see some fish on the flasher and get a couple of strikes.
The average is to catch a fish, maybe two using simple jigging
presentations. I like the 3-1/2 inch white Berkley Power Tubes,
Northland's Airplane Jig or a 3/8 ounce feather jig tipped with a shiner.
Perch action has been fair on Winnie although the numbers are better than
the average size. If you just want to get a meal, you'll be able to do it,
but don't count on an all out bite, at least not yet. Some fish are being
caught in the 25 to 28 foot depth range out on the main lake and there's
been some action back in Tamarack Bay in 12 to 14 feet as well.
Crappie reports are getting better on the smaller lakes in the area and
that's probably what I'd recommend for someone looking for a little action
right now. Like the Perch, the average Crappie size is smaller than usual,
but the numbers have been good. Like last fall, there are enough Crappies
available so that even daytime fishing has been fairly good. The typical
deep-water holes are the best location for now.
I talked with a friend who operates a fish house rental on Red Lake and
this morning (Tuesday) the wind is blowing and snow drifts are a problem.
If you use one of the fish house rental services up there you'll be able
to get in and out on plowed roads, but don't count on doing much off road
driving. The Crappie bite on Red has been just about non-existent this
winter, but there are a few mixed in with the Walleye. Walleye fishing has
been okay, some days are better than others though and you could catch 30
today and 10 tomorrow depending on the luck of your timing.
If you want to add
your 2 cents worth
to drop us a line.