Ice Fishing Report March 31, 2014 Jeff Sundin - Sportshow Wrapped, Winter Revived - The spring snowstorm that everyone's been talking about is inching it's way into the Itasca Area. In fact, the first few snowflakes are falling in my yard right now.
Travel conditions on the ice were steadily improving through the weekend. Warm weather helped rid the ice of most of its snow cover.
The incoming storm, is bound to make travel conditions worse. But it could be really short lived and there's no doubt that the extra cover will help speed the melting of surface ice. At this point, it won't matter what I tell you about recent travel conditions, it's all gonna change today anyhow. So let's see what the conditions look like by the end of the day and I'll get some fresh facts for you.
Lake of the Woods Late Winter Walleye Fishing - Gearing up for late winter Walleye fishing on Lake of the Woods is going to be a lot easier if you watch this video.
Jon Thelen took me on an adventure, treating me to an on the ice seminar about how to find 'em. I learned a lot and I know that you will too! Click here and then select show #1454 Midwest Outdoors Lake of the Woods Late Winter Walleyes .
(3/31) If you're hungry to try something different, keep in mind that this is the time of year to target Tulibees. The Tuibee (Northern Cisco) are agressive feeders that travel in small schools. They are delicous to eat and for me, they are a blast to catch too.
Deep water holes over a soft bottom provide plenty of food for tiny minnows and they in turn attract roaming schools of Tulibees. Fishing with small jigs like a Tungsten Toad tipped with a wax worm will produce fish.
Tulibees are curious fish and when they see something flashy in he water, they'll come in to investegate. Always drill 2 holes, 1 for fishing and one for flashing. Rig up a large flashy spoon and keep it positioned about halfway between the surface and the bottom. Jig the spoon using a long sweeping motion upward and then let it free all back down. One your sonar begins to reveal fish, leave the flashy spoon where is is and go back to fishing in your jigging hole. Pulling your bait a foot or two above the pack will almost certainly get you into some action.
(3/31) On Bowstring Lake, Erin at Geiger's Trails End Resort writes; "Persistent winter weather has finally caught up with us. The plowed roads and truck access at the resort is officially closed for the season.
Don't worry, we'll be back again next winter, but for now, it's time to forget about fishting the slush and start getting the resort spruced up for spring.
We still have space available for the open water season, so give us a call while you're planning your next trip." - Erin and Bill Charlton, Trails End Resort .
(3/31) On Lake of the Woods, Border View Lodge, Mike Kinsella wrote; "There is a morning and late evening bite going on just outside the gap in 15-18 feet of water where the fish seem to have gathered. Maybe they think the river is opening soon. However, the ice is still plenty thick and we don’t anticipate seeing open water anytime soon.
Today we are pulling the rest of our houses off the ice as all permanent houses have to be off by March 31st. We continue to see a large number of people heading out with portables due to the amount of ice still out there, making the lake accessible.
We are forecasted to get a large snow fall this evening 6-10 inches with the next couple days being in the mid 20’s. Towards next weekend the temperatures look to be in the mid 30’s" FISH ON!" 1-800-776-3474 Border View Lodge .
(3/31) Gus Sheker, Gus' Place Resort on Ball Club Lake; "I would be curious what the Old Timers say, the ones older than me.
If I were to place bets right now, I’d say we were going to have an opener just about like last year. We are way behind a normal melt down for Spring and I wouldn’t be surprised to see ice on the lake for this year’s Opener. I’m just sayin.
On Ball club lake we have well over 30 inches of ice and unless you have a auger extension you can’t get through. Fishermen are back to driving 4X4 trucks out off the ice road and the shoreline is holding very well. We have stopped plowing the lake roads for this winter and if you plan late season ice fishing you should call ahead for conditions update.
We’re still fishing Perch. Gus Sheker.
PS; We have refilled all our seasonal RV sites for the summer except one. If you or anyone you know are looking give us a call.
Some of the weeks for cabin rentals are now sold out, but we can still get you in a cabin during any of the summer months." - Gus Sheker Gus' Place Resort .
(3/31) From The Iron Range, Greg Clusiau; "The season is finally beginning to make a switch and believe me it’s for the better. Last weekend was the first time I could drive my truck on the ice all season, going wherever I wanted to. This counts mid-winter resort ice roads, as the snow was too deep to get off the beaten path.
I was pretty much sitting atop a snowmobile for nearly the whole ice season. If I didn’t, I was unable to get to the fishing holes of my choice. Now, however, it’s a breeze, although at the time of this writing (Sunday night) more ... " >> Read Greg's Full Report .
Ice Fishing Report March 30, 2014 Jeff Sundin - Live from the Northwest Sportshow - Meeting new friends and sharing fishing stories has been the theme this year at the Lindy Fishing Tackle booth.
For the past four days, we've been spending
our time letting folks know about some of the special projects that we've been working on for the past year.
Projects like Fish ED, the internet TV program that focuses on helping you catch more fish by showing you the facts about how we find 'em and what we do to catch 'em. If you've already seen the show, then You Already Know what a great tool it is for teaching folks more about fishing.
Guess what? Fish ED is coming to your TV screen too. That's right, the same fast moving, hard hitting
fishing show will be airing on Fox Sports North during the Fall of 2014.
Don't worry, the intenet series is staying too, so now you'll have even more chances to learn about the fish you love to catch and the lakes you love to visit. Right here in your own back yard, Lindy Country.
Stop in on Saturday and chat with Paul Fournier, Mike Christensen, Jeff Sundin and Jon Thelen. We will all be on hand at Booth #835 and while supplies last, we've got a free Thill Splash Brite Bobber for you, just for stopping by!
>> Gizmos and Gadgets I Found At The Show! (3/29)
St. Croix's LegendXtreme Saltwater Spinning Rod could be the perfect solution for fishermen like us who love using light action rods, but sometimes push them to the limit.
It happens to me all of the time; we’re fishing on a lake that’s full of shallow water Walleyes. Most of them are in the 1 to 3 pound range and they're on a shallow weed line. The situation calls for finessing them out with light jigs. Everything is going just fine until WHAM, a big Pike or Bass crashes the party. Most of the time, we get away with it, but every so often, snap ... There goes the tip on my favorite light jigging rod.
Enter The LegendXtreme Inshore Series XIS70MLF Spinning Rod. A 7 foot, medium light action rod that weighs 4.4 ounces.
Winner of the 2013 ICAST "Best Saltwater Rod" award, it's almost identical to its freshwater counterpart, but offers extra strength, plus corrosion proof trim on the reel seat and wind check. It’s perfect for guys like me who put a lot of hard miles on a fishing rod.
The rod is light and easy to manage so it could be used for a bunch of stuff. Shallow water jigging for Walleyes, deep water Lindy Rig fishing, Smallmouth Bass using soft plastics and my personal favorite, deep water suspended Crappies.
If you're heading for the show today, stop in at the St. Croix booth and ask about this one. Not headed for the show? Click here to learn more about >> St. Croix's LegendXtreme Saltwater Spinning Rod .
>> (3/29) The Quick Cleat is back! A product that I installed and loved having on my Pro V's in the mid 1990's, but missed when disappeared from the store shelves for a while. Now under new ownership, the product is back and you will be happy that it is.
The Quick Cleat allows fast, secure anchoring or mooring of your boat without tying knots. The self-rotating ratchet locks your rope in place fast so you can spend your time catching fish instead of worrying about your knots.
They come in a whole bunch of sizes ranging from the 6 inch for extra heavy ropes, all the way down to the small 2 inch for securing minnow buckets and small accessories.
And for guys like me who have a conventional boat cleat that happens to be located smack dab in the wrong spot on my boat, they have a simple but effective foam protector that snaps over the top of the cleat. Now I don't have to worry about the tip of my favorite fishing rod slipping under the cleat where it could potentially come into harm’s way.
Stop in at booth #833 at the show or check out this link to their website to learn more about the >> Quick Cleat .
>> (3/28) Keep Your Bait Alive and Legal! Legally transporting your leftover minnows is easy. Excel Manufacturing has developed a system that takes advantage of unused space on your boat trailer. The system enables anglers to keep a supply of fresh, aerated water on hand at all times. Using a Bait Tamer to contain the minnows, you just go ahead and drain your live well, switch the minnows into the fresh water, screw on the lid and you're all set. No worries about throwing away your precious Spottails when you're done fishing.
There's more to the system too. The setup provides anglers with a variety of interchangeable gizmos and gadgets. Coolers, storage containers, all kinds of cool stuff. Later today, I'll add some contact information to make it easier to find out more. But if you're visiting the show today, stop at the Lindy Booth and I'll show you how to find them.
>> (3/29) St. Croix's 9 Foot, 2 piece Musky Rod - Provides an answer for Musky Fishermen who want the extra power and control of a 9 foot rod, but don't have a spot to store it.
The ingenious design puts the 6 inch connecting ferrule in the butt section of the rod where it becomes an asset by adding extra strength and power.
And what about those 3 White fishing rods in the rack? Hmm... those could come in really handy for a guy like me and tomorrow morning, I'll tell you why.
Ice Fishing Report March 28, 2014 Jeff Sundin - Live from the Northwest Sportshow - After getting settled in my home base, The Lindy Fishing Tackle Booth #835, I had a little time to walk the show floor. For me, the theme of this year's sportshow is perfecting fishing systems for fishing.
Earth shattering new developments are few and far between, but product refinements that make fishing easier are all over the place at this year's show.
I spotted a new product that will be perfect for guys like me who have been working hard to keep live bait alive and healthy AND legal.
(3/28) TODAY! Fish ED's Jon Thelen teaches anglers how to catch bigger Walleyes - You've already learned that you're supposed to follow the bait to find the fish. Now there's a seminar that teaches you how to do it during every season.
The seminar "Bait connections for summertime walleyes" will unlock the secrets about bait movements and it's relation to feeding walleye's.
The seminars are free and all you have to do is join professional angler and television personality Jon Thelen at the Northwest Sportshow today, Friday March 28, 2014 at 1PM and again at 6 PM.
Oh and by the way, Jon has a free gift for everyone who attends the seminar! So be sure to visit the Minneapolis Convention Center for the Northwest Sportshow today. You don't want to miss this one!
Ice Fishing Report March 25, 2014 Jeff Sundin - Winter, The Gift That Keeps On Giving - The typical fishing report for the last week of March is supposed to be filled with hints about how we're almost at the end of the line for ice fishing. Instead, I spent the weekend watching fishermen drilling holes with auger extensions still attached. Yes, in most areas, the extensions are still required if you plan on punching a hole in the ice to fish through.
For me, the weekend fishing trip to Devils Lake was a busmans holiday and fishing was really secondary to the main mission. When I did get the chance to wet a line, the perch were cooperative though and I can tell you first hand, that the famous Perch fishery is still alive and well.
I landed several Perch in the 12 to 13 inch range, nice but not unusual for Devils Lake. My buddy Mike Christensen pulled a solid 14 inch fish out of his hole though and that was a mighty fine specimen. In fact, it was one of the better Perch that I've ever seen.
Travel conditions on Devils Lake are exceptionally good right now. There is vrtually no snow cover and with 3 feet or more of solid ice, everyone on the lake is travelling by truck to their favorite fishing holes.
It's not really fair for me to give a "Fishing Report" because all I did was follow my buddy Jason Feldner to the fishing spot. When he said drill a hole, I drilled a hole and when I dropped my 360 jig into the hole, the perch started biting. It doesn't get much simpler than that.
What I can tell you was that we were fishing in about 12 to 13 feet of water and
fairly near the shoreline. The area we fished was dotted with small groups of anglers spread out around most of the bay. In some places, there were larger groups of fishermen, but it was more common to spot smaller groups of 3 to 4 trucks.
I had some action on almost every bait that I dropped into the hole, but for me, a 1/8 ounce Gold Shiner color Rattlin' Flyer Spoon was the most productive. I jammed the hooks full of Wax Worms, as many as I could pack onto the lure. That way I could encourage the larger fish to get interested in the bait. I still caught my share of 9 inch fish, but I think that the larger profile does help attract more big ones.
Meanwhile, closer to home, fishing conditions might not be as nice, but there was still a lot of activity this weekend.
(3/25) On Cass Lake, Perch Fishermen Bill Anderson sent an email giving a fishing report from Cass Lake in the form of a testamonial for my pal Chad benson; "Hi Jeff, Was out on Cass in one of Chad Benson's rentals and had fair luck with Perch. Sorted through a bunch and kept 35 for a nice mess, and some GREAT eatin'. Would definitely go back ... Chad's a good guy, treated us right. Enjoy your site." Thanks! Bill Anderson, Baxter, MN.
There's still plenty of time to tag along with Chad on the ice for a day. Contact >> Chad Benson , Chads Rentals or call 218-556-0823 .
(3/25) Bemidji Lakes Area, Paul A. Nelson, Bemidji Area Lakes Guide Service says; "There will be ice fishing well into April again this spring in the Bemidji area. Most lakes still have more than 30 inches of ice, so plan on bringing an auger extension if you plan to go ice fishing.
Most lakes have good access, with anglers able to get to many areas with a four wheel drive vehicle. Anglers still need to watch out for deeper snow drifts and working as a pair with tow straps and shovels in case you get stuck.
Anglers will need to re-evaluate the condition of the accesses as the spring meltdown progresses, especially on the accesses with the heaviest traffic.
Anglers have been finding perch either holding on the moderate depth flats close to the breakline. Some lakes also have perch moving into shallower water, with the general progression towards the shallows on late ice.
Crappies have been active on the edges of the deep holes in moderate depths close to the breakline leading into shallower water. Anglers have been using small jigs tipped with plastics for crappies, with wax worms, eurolarvae and minnows also working when the bite is slow on plastics.
Sunfish will move into the shallows and be located on the deep edge of any remaining standing weeds. Sunfish like the areas with a steep break so they can retreat into deeper water if they feel threatened by predators.
The eelpout bite is winding down with most of the eelpout finishing spawning and moving back into their deep water haunts.
Tulibees and whitefish are also available to anglers in some areas, with anglers using small tungsten jigs tipped with wax worms or eurolarvae.
Anglers are also making the drive to the border lakes like Lake of the Woods to fish the extended seasons there for walleyes, sauger and northern pike." - Paul A. Nelson, Bemidji Area Lakes Guide Service, email@example.com - 218.759.2235 .
(3/25) From The Iron Range, Greg Clusiau; "This time, we landed a few very nice perch before I accidentally latched onto a true slab crappie pushing 14". I followed up with a few more and suggested Blake move over near me, as close as possible, as the fishing spot had a reputation for one angler catching a bunch of fish and another not catching a thing, even though fifty feet away.
Making the move, Blake began cashing in on the crappie action and every once in a while a true jumbo perch would “get in the way.” Now we were more concerned with the nice slabs and not worrying a bit about Mr. Jumbo. It’s funny how ... " >> Read Greg's Full Report .
(3/25) Even though much of walleye country is still under a sheet of ice, open water really is on the way. Ice-out walleye jigging on rivers is more than a little bit of fun and no matter where you are in the midwest, there's a fishing spot near you.
Wherever open season allows the pursuit of walleyes, early spring is prime time for tapping one of the year’s best bites. Thanks to the spawning migration, big numbers of fish gather in predictable places, offering savvy anglers a shot at banner catches.
For veteran fishing guide Jason Muche, the open-water period’s early days mean finding places where lake-run ’eyes focus on warm inflows.
“Walleyes get fired up by flowing water,” he explains. “They feel that current coming in and start staging. They’ll run up into the tributaries, stopping at or funneling through ... Read full article >> Fool Proof Tactics For Ice Out Walleyes .
(3/25) On Lake of the Woods, Border View Lodge, Mike Kinsella wrote; "This just in, fishing off of Pine Island in 17 feet of water is hot. We have moved our reef houses in and are putting them just south of the 9 footer. We still have plenty of ice to make it through the next week.
We have started pulling houses off as we move into our last week of ice fishing for the season. We have a limited number of houses in both of our locations.
The temperatures are still below zero in the mornings but the sun has been shining and that is a beautiful thing. This week’s forecast looks to be steady staying in the upper teens to mid 20’s. - FISH ON!" 1-800-776-3474 Border View Lodge .
(3/25) On Bowstring Lake, Erin at Geiger's Trails End Resort writes; "Howdy from Bowstring.
Bill has been working hard to keep our access open, hoping for a few more weekends of good fishing, but the reality is...the lake conditions are deteriorating for truck travel.
Snow machines are the way to go. We got 7 inches of snow, which made for a lot of slush...everywhere! This may be the last weekend of lake accessibility, from our resort, for the season. We do look forward to open water and hope to see some familiar faces throughout the rest of the year!" - Erin and Bill Charlton, Trails End Resort .
Ice Fishing Report March 21, 2014 Jeff Sundin - Snowstorm - The snow that missed us on Wednesday is here today. In fact, it's coming down steady right now.
That means that most of the news for today would end with a question mark. Fishing patterns haven't changed since yesterday, so until we see how much snow actually piles up, scrolling down the page will get you all of the information that I have at the moment.
I'll post an update as soon as the snow settles down and we know what to expect.
Ice Fishing Report March 20, 2014 Jeff Sundin - Snowstorm Misses Northern Minnesota and Half A Meltdown = Half A Smooth Ride - The snow storm that affected the state's mid-section did not extend far enough north to reach the Itasca area. On Wednesday, we saw about 25 snowflakes and a few dark clouds, that was the whole shebang.
Ice conditions are generally good, but travel can be slow. The recent meltdown got rid of most of the snow, but it didn't last long enough to melt the deepest drifts. The result was that it produced rough surface conditions. Large patches of bare ice, with other patches of hard crusted snow.
We were able to travel freely using ATV's and we spied several vehicles moving around the lake too. For pickup trucks, the only limitations are snow conditions at the accesses. At the moment, hard packed snow at some of the landings is good enough to support a truck. Don't count on them if it warms up again though, warming conditions would soften the crust and produce some problems.
Ice Thickness varies, ranging from 30 to 40 inches depending on the lake. The ice is solid and clear. Ice auger extensions are becoming less important, but I still have mine on the auger. On Thursday, we fished one area where it was useful, another where it wouldn't have mattered.
Fishing patterns continue to shift toward shallow water, but that's not the only game in town. On Wednesday, we found a few Perch and a handful of Crappies in water depths of 23 to 24 feet.
We did catch enough fish to satisfy us, but I don't want to make it sound too good either.
We rarely saw a "school of fish", it was more common to see scattered groups of 2 to 5 fish on the sonar and there were often considerable gaps between sightings.
The fish were sometimes high above the bottom, often suspended 5 feet or more above it. The bottom hugging fish that I did see, rarely struck the bait. In fact, I think the track record was nearly 100% of the fish that struck were at least 2 to 3 feet above the bottom. Lifting my jig above fish that appeared higher in the water column almost always produced a strike and I never knew what the next bite would be. Perch, Tulibee, Pike and Crappie all came from the same hole.
For me, a Glow/Red Tungsten Toad tipped with a tiny Red artificial tail produced good results. For my buddy Arne, a Glow/Pink Lindy Frostee tipped with wax worms or spikes did a good job too.
(3/20) On Leech Lake, Perch fishermen have more questions than answers right now. Typically, late March is the time for Perch to go on a feeding binge on the big lake. There are a couple of rumors floating around that this has already begun, but if it has, it's been kept under wraps.
Tight lipped are the ice fishermen on Leech, especially the ones
who fish Portage Bay. In my experience, finding out what's going on over there usually involves getting in the truck and driving over there. Unfortunately, I don't have time in my schedule to do that right now.
I was able to contact a couple of fishermen
who are closer, but both of them told me that the bite has remained slow at the portage Bay end of the lake.
The only accesses available are at the New Leech Lake Campround and North Star Campground. Neither of them provide plowed roads out on the lake, but their accesses are open, allowing you to at least get on the ice. Driving on the lake is doable, but for me, ATV's are still a more guaranteed way to move around.
AS information becomes available, you will be the first to know.
(3/20) On Cass Lake, Perch Fishermen Chad Benson says; "Ice conditions out on Cass right now are excellent. Most of the snow cover is gone and there is still 30-36 inches of ice. A person can drive about anywhere now.
The perch fishing has been good & should just get better from here on out. The best fishing I have found is still in the 7-10 ft range on tops of the flats. The best flats have a fair amount of weed growth on the bottom & mornings seem to produce some of the biggest perch lately. Some Pike & Musky have been camping out under the shacks lately also. The perch fishing gets pretty slow when they show up of course!" There's still plenty of time to tag along with Chad on the ice for a day. Contact >> Chad Benson , Chads Rentals or call 218-556-0823 .
Ice Fishing Report March 19, 2014 Jeff Sundin - Back On The Ice - Funny how a week in the office can make a guy feel like he hasn't been fishing for 20 years. At least that's how I felt on Monday afternoon when my buddy Arne Danielson and I finally made our way back out onto the lake.
Ice conditions are vastly improved for vehicle travel, most of the snow is gone and if you can get through an access and onto the lake, you can then travel freely in a truck.
For us, it seems easier to just take the 4 wheelers, the snowmobiles are on the back burner unless we get more snow.
The surface of the ice is kind of rough, so travelling by ATV is slow, but good.
Our past two afternoons have provided some mixed bag action. Mostly Perch with a handful of Sunfish and a few Crappies mixed in. Most of the ice fishermen that we've talked to have been catching some fish and reported similar results.
There must be a few lakes that are getting low on Oxygen because there are an increasing number of fishermen telling me that their action has shifted into shallow water. Six to 10 feet has been a common depth
and there are several reports about catching fish just below the surface of the ice.
There are exceptions though, area Crappie fishermen are still finding schools of fish
on the edges of steep, main lake breaks in water depths of 24 to 28 feet.
For me, the deep water is off of the agenda for the rest of the winter. Now that there are ample opportunities to catch and release fish in the shallows, it's a good time to leave the deep fish alone. They'll move into shallow water soon enough and then we can look forward to catching them without causing as much stress on their bodies.
The one disadvantage of late season ice fishing is that staying out for the "evening bite" requires an angler to be on the ice until past 8:00PM. Add some time for trailering and goofing around with equipment and the nextthing you know is that it's past bed time.
So today, we are on our way back out for an early morning and with luck, we'll find some Crappies in shallow water and still be home in time for chores.
(3/19) On Lake of the Woods, Border View Lodge, Mike Kinsella wrote; "The ice conditions are still good. We are measuring about 3 feet of ice so there is still plenty to last the next week or so for sure. Our bombers are going to the reefs daily. We did reach 46 degrees this last week which created some slush issues however we are back down to below freezing and still using are plowed roads to the South houses.
It has been great seeing the sun and feeling its warmth. Spring is coming. The river is still frozen over and we are wondering what kind of open water spring we will be having. It is best to play it day to day if you are making plans to come up.
This week’s forecast show temperatures staying a little steadier while still below the freezing mark." 1-800-776-3474 Border View Lodge .
(3/19) A Guide To Bass Fishing Reels, by Jason Sealock begins with; "Wading through the sea of fishing reels on the market, we realized there might be a need for a guide for bass fishing reels to understand the basic differences and what to look for in a good bass fishing reel.
A fishing reel gives you a great advantage in fishing for bass. Sure you can tie a string to the end of a long stick and catch fish with earthworms on a hook. But you’ll be extremely limited. The reel gives you the ability to hold many yards of line in a compact space but then be able to launch a lure a greater distance and make that lure come alive with retrieves and reeling.
The reel paired with a rod serves two purposes. First, it allows you to get a bait close to the bass without the angler having to get too close and spook the fish. Second, it lets you cover more water on a single cast of a bait. When you turn the handle, you retrieve the line and your bait is now able to entice fish the entire ...Read Full Article >> A Guide To Bass Fishing Reels .
Ice Fishing Report March 16, 2014 Jeff Sundin - "Boats First - Then Back On The Ice" - One more day at the Grand Rapids Boat Show. Today 10:00 AM to 3:00 PM
. IRA Civic Center, 1401 NW 3rd Ave, Grand Rapids, MN 55744 .
If you're somebody who could get used to sitting in the reserved seating section, then you should definitely swing by today. I will show you the most comfortable place to sit ever to be offered in a boat! Even Captain Roy has been drooling over this one!
I climbed into Lund's newest Pro V. You Know ... that gorgeous 208 GL Tiller. The all new fiberglass tiller boat definitely got my attention and while I was in it, people told me that I looked pretty good in there. Of course, I could always use another opinion.
Oh and by the way, that's not the only new offering on the show floor this season. There's one more day so do it, just drop whatever it is you're doing and stop over at the show to check it out.
For me, the next stop will be the Northwest Sportshow but first; According to my Alpha&Omega collector model time piece, there's still a little more time for ice fishing. So as soon as the show is over and before I even feel the screen door hitting me in the ... I'll be on my way back onto the ice. I plan to spend the next 10 days on the ice and with a little luck, we'll wind out the ice season in style. Don't worry, you will be the first to know!
(3/16) On Bowstring Lake, Erin at Geiger's Trails End Resort writes; "The word on Bowstring is that we are trying hard to keep roads open. It is a day-by-day decision. As of right now, we still have a road out and, Bill working hard, has fixed our landing for most Ice House and trailer travel.
At first, the cold snap had turned the fish off a little bit. They are re-grouping though and it seems to be picking up again.
We are hoping the cold will stay around a bit longer. This way, we will get one more weekend out of the ice fishing season.
Please call us if you have any questions. Don’t forget we have Pizza Delivery on the Ice $10 will get you a steaming hot pizza delivered to you on the ice." - Erin and Bill Charlton, Trails End Resort .
Ice Fishing Report March 15, 2014 Jeff Sundin - "Boats" - At the Grand Rapids Boat Show, I climbed into Lund's newest Pro V. You Know ... that gorgeous 208 GL Tiller. The all new fiberglass tiller boat definitely got my attention and while I was in it, people told me that I looked pretty good in there. Of course, I could always use another opinion.
Oh and by the way, that's not the only new offering on the show floor this season. Why don't you just drop whatever it is you're doing and stop over at the show to check it out? Today 10:00 AM to 7:00 PM
. IRA Civic Center, 1401 NW 3rd Ave, Grand Rapids, MN 55744
(3/15) A question from Greg Stuedemann; Hi Jeff, I spoke to you at the Mpls Ice Fishing show in Dec and forgot to ask you a very important question. I took your advice last year and bought several TFO rods. One Med Light & one Light action. I was wondering what reels you would reccomend. I have had good results with the Shimano Sedona series on my St. Croix rods but would like to get your expert input before buying new reels. My wife and I typically troll lindys and bottom bouncers.
Good, Good for you, I am sure that you'll like your new rods. I don't know if I have a really specific idea about the reels though.
I go through an awful lot of them every year because most people aren't really too careful with 'em. Mine get stomped on, dunked in the lake, used as winches and are generally just plain abused. I've tried going with high end reels and if I could be assured that they would always be treated properly, I'd be tempted to suggest a few of these. But in reality, the high end gear gets broken just as fast as anything else and I can manage nicely with middle of the road reels.
What I do is watch for good deals on mid priced reels, not by brand, just whatever happens to be on sale and looks like a good bargin. I try to pick a reel that has a smooth drag and a powerful bail spring. After that, if it's weight balances well with the rod I plan to use it with, I'll take any decent bargain when it comes along.
Recently, I have found reliable offerings in the $50 to $70 dollar range from Pfluger, Daiwa and Shakespeare. Last summer, I went heavy on Pflugers, a couple of years earlier, they were Daiwas. This winter I noticed some reels that have the St. Croix logo on them and I plan to see what that's all about.
Most years, it depends on what catches my attention at the Northwest Sportshow. I almost always stumble into something that I like down there and then I'll use the information to search for a bargain.
On a strictly personal note; I will say that I have a tendency to avoid Shimano's offerings because they use a nylon (or similar plastic material) for some of the internal gears. Under extereme wet conditions, there's a gear that can swell up from the moisture, making the reel feel bound up and sticky. Most folks would never notice it, but if you fish in the rain like we do, it is a problem that will eventually rear it's ugly head.
I'm not sure if that helped, but if you really want to pin me down, come and look me up at the Northwest Show and I'll take you on a tour of cool discoveries I find.
(3/15) A question about the Minnesota Walleye Stamp from the facebook page. Angie Forconi says; "Good morning friend! I could very easily do some research and find out myself, but what is the walleye stamp all about? Just wondering? I had not heard of it until your post.
A) The Walleye Stamp was an idea that originated during discussions between the DNR and members of the Walleye Advisory Committee.
Our original idea was to do something that would help improve Walleye fishing in Minnesota. Specifically, increasing Walleye stocking efforts by creating a dedicated fund that would provide opportunities above and beyond the states routine Walleye stocking activity.
Purchasing the Walleye Stamp is voluntary and all of the proceeds from stamp sales are earmarked for "Walleye stocking and stocking related activities" so that they can't be used for other expenditures.
In 2012, Walleye stamp validations reached 21,194 totaling $105,970.00 and at a cost of just over $1.00 to produce a catchable Walleye, that means that roughly 100,000 Walleyes exist thanks to stamp sales.
If you believe in catching Walleyes on a lake like Pokegama in Grand Rapids' which is totally dependent on stocking, then it's easy to see how supporting the stamp is a good idea. Sometimes though, anglers don't realize that their favorite lake is dependent on stocking. Like one of my most loved lakes, the one that's located just down the road from my house.
I LIKE CATCHING WALLEYES and I like getting them in a variety of lakes so for me, supporting the program is easy. But for folks who need more convincing, it's easy to find reports about how, where and why the money gets put to use.
Here are links to some helpful articles about >> Walleye Stocking In Minnesota (Chris Niskanen 2011) . Minnesota stocking reports can be found in the Lakefinder Section of the DNR website where a search engine provides county by county reports for every lake where stocking occurs.
If there's more that I can help with, feel free to ask, but once you dig into these two links, I think you'll know most everything that you need.
Ice Fishing Report March 14, 2014 Jeff Sundin - "Spring Is Springing" - On Thursday, I never had a chance to wet a line. But while gathering photos for a special project, I did get to visit a lot of lakes. The news? Changes are coming!
Melting snow is causing a lot of run off from low lying areas. Shorelines on lakes that have drainage from Alder and Cedar swamps are filling fast with coffee stained water. The dark, wet suface will be warming quickly and on these lakes, the ice won't last as long as most of us thought it might.
In our travels, we also spied a handful of small creeks that are now open and flowing too. On Cutfoot Sioux, the tiny Dry Creek that flows north into Dry Lake was running freely and it had caused a Grey streak right down the middle of the small lake. it won't take too long for that to open a hole in the center.
Even on lakes without this type of drainage, the snow is now saturated with water from the meltdown. In areas where there are holes drilled, there's some flooding and slush too. You know what that means, even though the ice is still thick, it will be deteriorating steadily. Even with colder temperatures moving back into the area, the cat is already out of the bag and the days of making new ice are behind us for the season.
Whether we have another late ice out this year depends on the weather, but barring another severe arctic blast, it looks to me like we have a more routine meltdown heading our way.
Travel on the ice is vastly improved too, If you can get out there. Most of the snow has compressed down to around 6 inches, maybe less. In fact, once we got to the ice, we had no trouble hoofing it. The trails along the shoreline are another matter though and unless you walk out on a snowmobile trail or path developed earlier this winter, deep snow will continue to hold you away from the lakes.
Crappie and Bluegill patterns have begun to change too. My friend Paul Fournier checked in yesterday with a report about his fishing. He told me that on two of the lakes that he fishes, active Crappies and Bluegills could no longer be found over deep water. Fishing shoreline breaks near weedy, feeding flats, his group discovered panfish in about 6 feet of water.
They experienceed fish moving very high in the water column too. Most of their action came from 1 to 3 feet blow the surface of the ice. That's improtant to remember because it's a fairly common pattern during the spring ice season. A good approach is to always fish two holes, using one hole to present your bait to the bottom feeders and the other for fish that ride higher, close to the ice surface.
On other area lakes, there are still lots of Crappies holding in deep water, but as these fish get their case of spring fever, watch for pre-spawn feeding movements to begin soon.
The Grand Rapids Boat Show begins today Friday and runs three days, ending Sun March 16, 2014.
Ray's Marine will be there with all of the new Lund Boats, Mercury Outboards and the latest marine electronics. I'll be there, pitching in all three days, so stop by for a chat or to ask some questions.
The show will be at the IRA Civic Center, 1401 NW 3rd Ave, Grand Rapids, MN 55744 (218) 326-2500. Show hours are Friday Noon to 8:00 PM, Saturday 10:00 AM to 7:00 PM and Sunday 10:00 AM to 4:00 PM.
Ice Fishing Report (3/13) Our fishing trip to Lake of the Woods produced mixed results over the past couple of days. The warm weekend weather helped draw larger crowds and mid-lake reefs that produced lots of Walleyes a week ago, had been fished intensely. The result was that a smaller number of less aggressive fish provided only sporadic action.
Moving away from the reefs toward deeper water produced better results. The structure was a subtle break from 31 to 32 feet of water over a soft, mud bottom. According to our humminbirds, this is where the lion's share of the fish still reside. My screen was showing fish constantly. Some were Walleyes, some Saugers and some were Tulibees.
Comparing notes with friend who were fishing the lake at the same time, shallow water areas toward the river mouth did not produce much action. So it looks like we're still looking forward to the famous "pre-spawn feeding push" that occurs before the fish move into the river to spawn.
That movement begin at any time and would be a great backup plan for Walleye fishermen if ice out on the Rainy River would happen to be late again this spring.
After last year, there's a lot of folks predicting a late ice out again this season. Maybe, ya' just never know about mother nature. She'll toss a curve ball just to see if we're awake or not. It's gonna be an interesting show to watch!
(3/13) On Bowstring Lake, Erin at Geiger's Trails End Resort writes; "I am saddened by the news that our Ice Fishing season is quickly coming to an end. Until further notice, due to the extremely beautiful days that we have had for the last two days, we must close traffic on our access to all fish houses and trailers. Our landing has heaved up and is very steep for houses to go on and off. We are still allowing truck travel and snow machine travel for those who would like to park up on shore." - Erin and Bill Charlton, Trails End Resort .
Ice Fishing Report March 12, 2014 Jeff Sundin - "Home Stretch!" - Don't look now, but winter is losing it's grip on Northern Minnesota. Oh I know, there's still a little bit of time for ice fishing. But if you want to do it, get out there now while the gettin' is good.
For me, the countdown to the last ice fishing days has begun, because my calendar is running out of empty spaces, here's what's going on;
The Grand Rapids Boat Show begins this Friday and I'll be there all three days, Fri-Sat-Sun March 14, 15 and 16, 2014.
After that, There's about a week of free time before the Northwest Sportshow and I'm going to use that to try and catch some of those gigantic Devils Lake Perch with my buddy Jason Feldner. And then ... Don't be surprised when you start seeing pictures from the Rainy River of open water and fishing boats.
(3/12) On Bowstring Lake, Bowstring Shores Resort, Darv Oelke says; "It warmed up and the perch bite is on. Guys here are in 14 to 18 feet and limits of perch the last few day. Most of those fish came over by cow and down by muskrat bay on crappie minnow and small jig. Crappies are still bite good in 18 to 24 feet. Access today is snowmobiles but I was out with a ATV and it work fine. Just watch where you are going. Most of the guys are still getting through without and extension. But if you have one put it on just in case." - Darv, Bowstring Shores Resort 218-832-3101.
(3/12) On Cutfoot Sioux, Reed Ylitalo says; "My wife and I got to go and poke around for some crappies. Hunting a new school for this weekend, we found a large school of all different size crappies.
We looked in the shallows but they were not there.... Looked deep in the basin they were not there..... Bingo they were on the break line holding up near a deep hole. Finding fish from 6 to 11 inches. Best baits we found were small slender spoons tipped with a minnow head and a small tungsten jig tipped with a full minnow both made by custom jigs and spins." - Reed Ylitalo, Wings and Walleyes Guide Service .
(3/12) Bemidji Lakes Area, Paul A. Nelson, Bemidji Area Lakes Guide Service says; "The spring melt down has begun in the Bemidji area. How the melt progresses will determine how much longer anglers are able to get on the lakes.
There is plenty of ice left on the lakes, with more than 30 inches of ice in many areas. Anglers will need an extension on their ice augers on most lakes to get thought the ice.
A slow melt on the lakes would be ideal for those that want to extend the ice fishing season. The water on top of the ice needs to re-freeze each night to maintain good ice conditions. It only takes a couple of nights with temperatures staying above freezing to ruin the ice around the shoreline of the lakes.
Vehicles accessing the lakes will splash in the water and wash off some of the road salt and ice onto the roads on the ice. The accesses with the most traffic are usually the first to degrade, especially those on the north and west sides of the lakes that get the most sun during the day.
The problem is slush on top of the ice as the heavy snow pack melts. Anglers need to watch the weather and the ice conditions as the bulk of the melting occurs in the next week to ten days. If the ice on the lakes can hold during the melt, the ice fishing season could extend into April again this spring.
Perch numbers are down on many of the larger lakes, with numbers of jumbo perch hard to find this spring. Poor age classes often occur at the same time on most of the larger lakes because of the weather conditions in the spring.
There are also anglers fishing for crappies, sunfish, eelpout and tulibees on many of the local lakes. Ask for the most current reports at the local bait stores when you pick up your bait." - Paul A. Nelson, Bemidji Area Lakes Guide Service, firstname.lastname@example.org - 218.759.2235 .
(3/2) On Lake of the Woods, Border View Lodge, Mike Kinsella wrote; "There have been mixed reports again this week. There is still a lot of snow cover on the lake. Action in the mud was slower this week although yesterday some did really well. Reef action has been more consistent but no great numbers to report.
It seems that the anglers working their electronics and actively fishing are having greater success again this past week. Smaller presentations may have an advantage. A plain hook with a minnow is one good option.
Warmer weather this week’s forecast shows it may get into the 40’s. The snow has been melting some as the sun definitely has more strength." 1-800-776-3474 Border View Lodge .
(3/12) Reporting from Lake Winnipeg, Greg Clusiau; "Well it’s been seven years now and it’s still as much fun as it was the first time. Lake Winnipeg, a wondrous walleye factory in it’s own right, ranks right up there as heavyweight champ in my book. The walleye are heavy. That’s for sure.
This year involved a few Lake Winnipeg virgins, if you will, who had no idea what to expect, only the stories we had excitedly told them. It’s one of those things that just has to be experienced. Words, or even video, just can’t tell it like it is.
One has to experience the snowmobile ride alone, from the South Beach Casino, to wherever we end up on the big water. This time it was ... " >> Read Greg's Full Report .
Ice Fishing Report March 9, 2014 Jeff Sundin - "Now That Was A Blast!" - This winter, uphill battles have been common. In fact, I'm so used to them that I'm afraid I'd be disappointed if there wasn't a struggle to work through.
My latest adventure, installing a new computer system has taken on more than a few detours. They say that I needed it to replace the perfectly good , but now outdated XP version that I had before. It's true, I did need a new one, I think? But it's taking a few days for this critter to get the idea that I'm going to win.
So if you notice that the reports a little intermittent, this week, don't be surprised. At the moment, I'm spending some time learning how to control these new gizmos and gadgets than I AM Writing.
Just think, when I have all of this power harnessed, I'll be able to come up with all sorts of creative ways to get you to waste a few minutes of your day! If YOU KNOW what I ... :)!!
Ice Fishing Report March 7, 2014 Jeff Sundin - "Now That Was A Blast!" - This winter, ice fishing has consumed most of my time for nearly 3 months. Just at the time when you would think that a touch of boredom could set in, WHAM! Here comes a whole new perspective on ice fishing, hand delivered.
As a reasonably experienced fisherman, I am sometimes asked to entertain outdoor writers when they visit the Grand Rapids area. That's what I was doing over the past few days, when a writers conference, organized by Visit Grand Rapids arrived in town.
Appearing to be a fairly routine fishing day, Tuesday began with me jamming 3 guys who I'd just met into the crowded seats of my old jalopy snow plowing truck. Heading for the lake, the conversation was typical, where we'd be going, what we'd be doing and stuff like that. Little did I know that the 3 men whose knees were squished up against the beat up seats were about to become lifetime friends, at least I hope so.
David Brown, an outdoor writer from Tampa Florida has covered every kind of fishing there is. He had been everywhere from grandpas farm pond to the Amazon River. Everywhere that is, except for ice fishing. That's right, this would be his first time on the ice, his first fish through the ice, his first look at everything ice fishing.
How could I go wrong? For him, everything we did, anything we talked about, even the most mundane detail was new information. For me, every time anything happened, it was like a special occasion. Because I was seeing from a newcomers point of view, it became a lot more interesting, a lot more fun!
Jeff Schluter, VP of The St. Croix Rod company, a co-sponsor of the event was one of my VIPs. He could not have been easier to work for if he tried. We didn't talk a lot about business, we just fished and when the chance came along, snapped a few pictures.
Watching the crew in action seemed to be more than enough reward for Jeff. It was like fishing with an old pal, no worries, no problems, we just enjoyed the gift of a really nice day on the lake.
Then there's Greg Wilczynski; I'm still trying to figure out how I could learn so much, so fast from one man. Greg was introduced to me as the developer/designer of Ice Fishing Rods for St. Croix. That job alone would have made any conversation more than interesting enough for me. But it didn't take too long to figure out that the depth of Greg's knowledge about ice fishing was gonna influence my thinking forever.
I'll bet that most of you are going to be as surprised as I was to learn that the United States of America has an Olympic style ice fishing team. Yes, we do and Greg is their coach. The ice fishing team competes all around the world and they do things a little bit differently than we do.
Maybe you'd like to try it sometime? No power augers allowed, oh and no electronics either and by the way, that cozy portable shelter? Leave that home too, you won't be needing it because you're not allowed to drag it onto the ice either.
Then there's the strategy; Who gets to fish in which sector and who has their flag near which hole and what happens if the Russian team dumps in some of their genetically engineered "poison bloodworms" to kill the hole? I KNOW ... it sounds like espionage but I am not kidding.
There's not enough space on this page to say everything that I learned from Greg
but I will tease you with one tidbit. After ice fishing for 45 years, maybe longer, I just learned how to control a spring bobber. I know you laughed at that but I'm not kidding. I didn't say that I learned how to use one, I said how to control one. How to find the right one, and tune it to make it work the way it is intended.
Later, I will share that and it wouldn't surprise me if you see Greg's name attached to some other brilliant tips and tricks too. But for now, why don't you just log on for an official tour at their website >> US Ice Fishing Team .
There's a lot more to say, but I need to save some space for the rest of the report, so tomorrow I'll tell a little bit more about or fishing trip on day 2 too.
All I can do is say that I'm lucky to live here, a place that provides fodder for interesting fish stories. Thank you also to the folks at Visit Grand Rapids for hosting the event and to the Grand Poobah, Tom Neustrom for pairing me with these 3 wonderful new friends.
(3/7) Friday 3-7-14 Roads On Bowstring Lake are open again, Erin at Geiger's Trails End Resort writes; "After a hard day of plowing, we have the roads open again, sort of.
If the wind doesn't blow too hard, we'll be okay, if it does, it may not matter because there's a full scale meltdown in store for us nxt week.
So you might as well come join us and enjoy the work that we've done to keep the system going. Drill a few holes, catch a few fish and enjoy these last few days on the good ice
" - Erin and Bill Charlton, Trails End Resort .
(3/7) Gus Sheker, Gus' Place Resort on Ball Club Lake; "Despite resisting spending money on snow removal equipment this late in the winter, the only way to reopen my lake road after the last 2 ground blizzards was buy a bigger snow plow.
Was it worth it? I am still working on it, but I have more than 50% of my old road reclaimed from the storm and should have most all of it by the weekend.
Other than the deep snow on the lake the conditions are pretty good. Thick ice and not much slush (yet).
For the anglers who have been going out on sleds the fishing has been very, very good for Perch. The bigger female fish are coming back up the hill into shallow water and my customers are reporting limits, although they are sorting through them for the bigger fish.
Crappie too, have been coming alive again, but the bite is off and on and not all day long. The mornings have been the best for crappie with whole minnows on swim-style jigs.
This coming week’s forecast is for a warm up and although that usually means more slush it also means more comfortable days out on the lake, the fish school and move shallow. I will update as conditions change." - Gus Sheker Gus' Place Resort .
(3/7) On Lake Winnibigoshish, Ryan Peterson dropped a quick note about the Kids Perch Jerk Fishing Derby. Location of the event is Denny's Resort on Lake Winnibigoshish. This event will be held on Saturday March 8th, 2014 at 9:00 AM. It's a fun event, the weather will be nice and there are lots of great prizes for the kids. Get more details from ... >> Ryan Peterson's Guiding .
(3/5) On Bowstring Lake, Bowstring Shores Resort, Darv Oelke says; "We do have access to the lake. Snowmobiles and ATV’s. Perch bite is getting better every day. In front of cowbay in 16 to 20 foot of water. Crappies still biting in 20 to 26 feet on the north end and perch point. Both on a crappie minnow or small Swedish pimple. Have not seen any vehicle traffic besides on plowed roads." - Darv, Bowstring Shores Resort 218-832-3101.
Ice Fishing Report March 4, 2014 Jeff Sundin - "Everybody's Working For The Weekend!" - Don't look now, but the weather forecast is trying to tell us something. Warmer lows and hotter highs are heading this way.
As luck would have it, we have a crew, half the size of the Admirals Fleet in town right now and we're heading out onto the ice for the next few days. Fishing reports will be flowing like crazy, just in time to help get you geared up for the weekend.
Writers, fishing pro's and manufacturers of well known fishing gear are all teaming up to catch some fish, take some pictures and swap stories.
Luckily, the weather is lending a helping arm too and it promises to be perfect conditions for the next few days. I Know that you'll be hearing a lot about the Visit Grand Rapids, sponsorred event as the weeks unfold.
(3/4) Leech Lake Perch Fishing is always on the radar screen during late winter. So far though, it's off to a slow start, at least on the east side of the lake. That according to a couple of my fishing buddies who were there yesterday.
Using a track equipped ATV, they covered a lot of territory, drilled tons of holes and came back with little to show for their efforts.
In Portage Bay, snowmobiles or track machines will get you anywhere you want to go.
But travel by vehicle in Portage Bay is currently out of the question.
Conditions on the west side are better. The plowed road at Pine Point is good, so are the roads in Walker Bay. Like the east side though, the spring Perch bonanza has not yet begun.
(3/4) Leech Lake Area Lakes, Gary Roerick Says; "It’s time for Sunfish, Crappies and Jumbo Perch. If you are willing to challenge the cold and wind, now is a great time to scout and harvest those shallow water perch, slab crappies, or those hefty bluegills. For this time of year, I like to use a small portable fish shelter that you can pull around by hand and this will allow you to be mobile so you can continue moving to different areas until you find that sweet spot.
While out chasing perch and panfish this past week, I continue to find the ice thickness in the 24” to 38” range. Walker Bay of Leech Lake is in the 30” to 38” category and some of the smaller area lakes are in the 24” to 28” range.
As promised last week, here are a few of the statistics from our 35th Annual International Eelpout Festival: The largest eelpout was 11.98 pounds. The individual tonnage award was 45 pounds. The team tonnage award was at 438.85 pounds. There was a total of 340 eelpout caught for a combined weight of 1,134.86 pounds. The total number of pout caught this year was down significantly from last year. Despite all of the wind and frigid temperatures that occurred this year, it appeared that most everyone had a grand time!
We are nearing the final days that you can have your ice fishing shelters on area lakes. The line that separates the State of Minnesota in our area is Highways 34 and 200. All shelters south of this line must be off the lake before midnight on March 3rd. Shelters north of this line must be removed by midnight March 17th. Please refer to the 2014 Minnesota Fishing Regulations booklet for complete details.
Another small change that the MN DNR did again this year is changed the date that you are required to purchase your new fishing license. If you plan to ice fish you are required to have a new angling license effective March 1st of this year.
Feel free to check out our website at http://roericks.webs.com to see some of the latest photos and/or give me a call at 218-760-8266 to discuss your late season perch and/or panfish party!
When panfishing, remember, be mobile, travel light, and you will have some great fishing stories and fresh fillets to share with your family and friends! From my perspective, the best panfishing each winter season occurs in late March and April of each year! - Here’s to future fresh fillets! Cheers!" - Gary Roerick Roerick Fish House Rentals .
(3/4) A email comment from the Fishing Reports Minnesota Page says; "Hey not sure if you guys heard yet but pelican lake is absolutely dead.
DNR missed the no limit by about a week. Last Sunday had the best crappie fishing of my life out there. Went out yesterday and dead fish were coming up through holes everywhere. Whatever was alive wasn't biting and moving very slow."
A) Not know exactly which Pelican lake we were talking about, I forwarded the question to MN DNR Fisheries and here's what I learned; "This (Pelican Lake) is a designated wildlife lake near the Montrose Minnesota Fish management area.
Management on this lake is somewhat controversial right now because it is scheduled to be drawn down and managed for ducks. This has historically been a very important duck lake in that area. Lake size has increased dramatically from when I worked down there, and is now over 3,000 acre (due to increased runoff from tiling farm practices) .
As the lake acreage increased you get very dramatic response from the fish population because the newly flooded landscape is extremely productive initially and then stabilizes at a lower production level. Similar to newly flooded southern reservoirs for bass. Fishing has been excellent on this lake the last few years, and thus the controversy on what it should be managed for.
So…. This lake is winterkilling on it’s own this winter (draw down is not happening yet) . DO levels were less than 1 ppm o Friday when DNR opened it up to unlimited fishing. People were still catching fish mid week, but I suspect it will continue to go downhill. My understanding is there are a variety of fish species now in the lake with a wide variety of tolerance for low Disolved Oxygen levels."
For further details, contact the DNR Area Supervisor at Montrose, Joe Stewig (763) 675-3301).
(3/4) An email from Dustin Bauman asks; "Jeff, I am going to be making a trip up to northern Minnesota this weekend and was hoping you could point me in the right direction. First will a ice auger extension be required. Last year we fished on little Cutfoot and did pretty well. Has that continued. We will be staying at Williams narrow is there any other place you would try. I appreciate any help you can provide. I read your reports daily and find them greatly beneficial. - Thanks A Lot
A) And Thank You Dustin - The easy answer first, we are all adding extensions to our augers right now. Some lakes have thicker ice than others, but for me, the power head is touching the surface almost everywhere I've gone. I would have yours available, if not already installed when you arrive.
The second answer depends on how you plan to travel on the ice. There are some excellent panfish bites going on, but most of them depend on snowmobiling or tracks.
Between now and Thursday, we'll be hearing a lot of stories about travel conditions and I would ask you to make a special point of reading the Thursday morning reports.
... And Did You Know that you can even post your own helpful hints to my fishing reports page on facebook? YES! You Can! You don't have to tell us your fishing secrets, just ask a question or go ahead and brag a little when you get a whopper! >>> Click Here >>> Fishing Reports Minnesota .
(3/3) Trapper Survives Life and Death Encounter With Moose!; "Glancing into the dark shadows, a large cow moose was spotted. The two made eye contact and as the stare down continued Newman noticed she had a calf with her and begin to back-track. About four steps into the retreat, Trigger noticed the animal as well and started barking. That’s all it took.
Ears laid back, it was “game on” and the moose was on top of Donny before he knew what happened. Knocked down, face first, into the deep snow, the assault begin.
Luckily Newman had a back-pack on, which was full of trapping bait. Almost a foot thick, packed with meat, it acted as a cushion, taking the brunt of six to seven deadly ... " >> Read Greg's Full Report .
(3/3) Minneapolis Star & Tribune Reports; Biologist Able to Remove Zebra Mussels - A New York biologist has invented a safe way to remove zebra mussels with minimal to no effect on other species in a fishery. Daniel P. Molloy, a 66-year-old emeritus biologist at the New York State Museum in Albany has developed environmentally safe control agents capable of removing unwanted organisms in our fisheries, namely invasive species including the dreaded zebra mussel. Learn More >> Biologist Removes Zebra Mussels .
(3/3) On Lake of the Woods, Border View Lodge, Mike Kinsella wrote; "Anglers with electronics are marking many fish, getting them to bite seems to be the issue. We are still seeing many Tulibee. There is no report of a hot jig or lure that has been better than others. It seems that one angler can get something to work well while others are better off using their own techniques and equipment rather than trying to duplicate others.
Most of the houses are around 30 to 31 feet of water. We are still fishing in multiple locations with mixed reports of both spots.
The forecast shows temps to get into the 20’s this week. It would be a nice break. " 1-800-776-3474 Border View Lodge .
Ice Fishing Report March 2, 2014 Jeff Sundin - "Whatd'yagottadotogetawarmup Around Here? " - Holy Frozen Fish Sticks! It's the second day of March and still -24 degrees right outside my window. Fear not, if you're thinking about doing some late winter ice fishing, you are in luck. There will be plenty of ice.
In fact, one of the more popular posts on the facebook page was about the availability of ice auger extenstions. For me, the extension hasn't been needed so far, but it's getting close. For ice fishermen who need to drill from inside a wheel house, I think and auger extension is going to be required for the next few weeks.
On Saturday, I spent my day on a marathon computer project. In fact I just now realized that I really didn't even snoop around for any fresh news. I did remember to do one thing though, I logged onto the internet and picked up my 2014 Minnesota Fishing License .
| Recently, I posted comments to the Fishing Reports Minnesota facebook page about renewing our fishing licenses and adding the Walleye Stamp. After reading some of the replies, I feel compelled to make an observation. "The Less One Knows, The More Firmly One Believes".
Anyway, YES, believe it or not, your 2013 license really did expire on Friday. And NO, buying the $5.00 Walleye stamp is not wasted money, not at all. In fact, I've been lucky enough to stumble into more than a few good Walleyes on lakes that are completely dependent on stocking. In fact, last summer on Pokegama, (one of those stocked lakes), it probably took your average Walleye fishermen an hour, maybe less to get $5.00 worth of fantastic fishing. Click the copy of my license and see for yourself, I AM ALL IN!
(3/2) A question from Troy Torma; "Hello Jeff. I am considering making a long weekend trip to the Deer River area on March 14-17.
I was wondering how much snow is currently on the lakes? How is travel for a four wheel drive suv? I'm guessing there are some roads on some of the bigger lakes, but I'm not sure how good the travel is. Also will we need an extension on our auger to get through the ice.
I would be traveling about 10 hours for the trip so any advice and information on the conditions would be a huge help. Thanks".
A) Troy, unless we have a really sudden melt followed by a hard freeze, I don't think that you'll be able to drive off road. At least not on the vast majority of the Itasca area lakes.
Snow cover varies from lake to lake, but drifts of 1 to 2 feet are common, especially on the south and east shorelines of larger lakes. The prevailing winds have been from the northwest and that has forced the snow toward the southeast.
The snow is packed fairly hard, making travel ideal for snowmobiles and track machines. But causing problems for rental operators attempting to maintain plowed roads.
Right now, I know for sure, that there are good road systems
on the west side of Lake Winnibigoshish along with west sides of Leech Lake, Cass Lake and Bowstring. Access to all four of those lakes will almost certainly remain good through the time of your visit.
Ice is getting thick and I will be needing to add an extension to my auger almost any day now. Again, ice conditions vary, but an auger extension is one of those tools that comes in handy, sooner or later. You might as well plan on needing it and if you don't, you'll still be glad that you were prepared.
During March, two weeks is a long time and conditions will likely change. But based on current weather and ice conditions, I'd say that you will almost certainly be able to find several good fishing lakes with driving access.
Scrolling through this, along with the Febraury fishing reports will lead you to some very good operators who can assist you in finding a great fishing spot. starting with the next several postings.
(3/2) On Bowstring Lake, Erin at Geiger's Trails End Resort; "Just passing a little note from the Northwest side of Bowstring.
The season is still in force, we are still Hot and Heavy with the Crappie bite. The Anglers coming off our lake are still reporting limits of fish. Let’s not forget that there are some giant sized Jumbo Perch out there, too. There is reports of some slush out there on the East side of the Lake, be careful around there. The wind is high, but we are keeping up with the new monster of a Machine we bought, our Snowdogg Plow. Thanks to Dan Martin Snowplow Sales out of Grand Rapids, MN for the great service!
Don't forget, Pizza, Pizza, Pizza! Selling like craz! $10 will get you pizza delivered right to your fish house!
We are still running our Ice Fisherman’s Special for cabin rentals through March, naybe longer if this weather keeps up.
It's never too early to reserve your spot for next year’s Ice House Care Package. The Summer season is right around the corner and there are a few Cabin weeks available. Call for details. Our Space is limited. So, First Come First Serve!
Guys, want to say thank-you to a special Lady in your life? Geiger’s Trails End Resort is hosting a Woman’s Retreat April 10-13. Call for details." - Erin and Bill Charlton, Trails End Resort .
(3/2) On Lake Winnibigoshish, Ryan Peterson told me yesterday that they are still battling slush on the southeast side of Winnie.
Conditions on the west side of the lake
are much better though and they've relocated some of their fishing shelters in that direction.
Ryan reported yesterday
that the Perch fishing has been good and that his rental customers are catching limits of Perch. According to the photos he sent, I'd say that the size of fish has been fairly good too. There are a lot of smaller fish, but for anglers who stick with it, sorting a limit of 10 inch or better fish is possible.
There are still a limited number of rentals available during March and you can get more information by contacting >> Ryan Peterson's Guiding .
(3/1) Gus Sheker, Gus' Place Resort on Ball Club Lake; "From The Land Of Endless Winter; The hits just keep coming, one storm and ground blizzard after another.
We are plowing hours of work into keeping a road on the lake. The road is open in the morning and closed in the afternoon by wind. The conditions have over whelmed the ability of the equipment I have.
I ordered a bigger snowplow and we will be heading out the first of next week with heavier stuff. I hope it works.
The good news is that the anglers who are getting out on snow mobiles or tracks are having good luck with Jumbo female Perch and guess what; The Crappies are biting!
The Perch bite is sustained throughout the day, but the Crappie are spotty. Use live whole Fat Head minnows for both. The perch are tight to the bottom and the crappie are suspended in 15 feet.
On our part of the lake we haven’t had any reports of slush and there are plenty of good fishing days ahead." - Gus Sheker Gus' Place Resort .
(3/1) On Cass Lake, Perch Fishermen anxious to fish in some fresh territory can team up with Chad Benson . After spending the winter with his Walleye fishing customers on Upper Red Lake, Chad has all of the house off the big pond and says; "I have migrated south from Upper Red with a few of my houses to the north end Of Cass Lake for some late ice perch fishing action. The ice conditions are very good with 30-36 inches of ice & no slush/water issues. It seems like the lakes that had the worst slush & flooding problems early in the season now have some of the best ice conditions now. Most of the snow was soaked up with the all the early ice flooding, so there actually isn’t that much snow left on the ice. Off road travel is still difficult with the hard drifted snow, but plowing roads has been no problem. There is no pressure ridge this year either, so I plan on cutting a road down to Cedar Island soon. There should be some good fishing down there since practically no one has fished it all winter & it is some of the best perch fishing every year during the open water season.
Right now the most consistent bite has been in the 7-10 ft range on the tops & edges of the bars. We have been catching pretty good numbers of 8-12 inch perch in our current location with a few walleyes & pike harassing the perch anglers as well. When the perch are active jigging spoons with a minnow head have been working well. Best colors seem to be Gold, Yellow, Orange, Chartreuse. When they are not as active slip bobber set ups & rattle reels have been working well. "
Editors Note: Cass Lake is a darn good Perch fishery and nobody knows it better than Chad does. If I was you, I'd try getting myself onto his schedule befroe he gets booked solid. Contact >> Chad Benson , Chads Rentals or call 218-556-0823 .
(3/1) On Pokegama Lake, and most other Grand Rapids area lakes travel is still possible. But the most efficient way to get to your fishing spots is with snowmobiles or UTV/ATVs with track systems. On the big lakes like Winnie or Bowstring go to the resorts and use their plowed roads. But check with them first as winds will close these roads quickly.
Perch fishing has been offering families and friends a good “action” bite and the perch are reaching the transition stage of moving from deep-water soft spots to shallow water structure in the 10-15’ depths. Look for ... >> Read full Grand Rapids Fishing Report .
THE CAT CAME BACK and She's Purring Like A Kitten! Do you remember my note about needing a snowmobile repair man who "Had The Knack"? Well Guess What? He was living right under my nose, about a mile away from my house, I'd seen his place a hundred times, I just never knew what it was.
Let me introduce you to Chad Schumacher. Chad is one of those guys, the quintessential jack of all trades. His business, Northland Salvage and Service provides Snowmobile and ATV repair. Chad is "Invasive Species Certified" and also provides dock-boat lift service along with a host of other services.
When I called Chad and asked if he could help, he was ready willing and able. I dropped my sled off, he looked it over and just a few days later, she's back home and running like a top.
Judging by the back log at service departments of Minnesota's snowmobile dealers everywhere, I'd be willing to bet that some of you need a guy with "The Knack" right now. If I'm right, then here's the guy you need; Chad Schumacher, Northland Salvage and Service. 218-256-9691 or Email.
Wherever open season allows the pursuit of walleyes, early spring is prime time for tapping one of the year’s best bites. Thanks to the spawning migration, big numbers of fish gather in predictable places, offering savvy anglers a shot at banner catches. Read Article Fool Proof Tactics for Ice Out Walleye .
The recent meltdown produced rough, but good, ice conditions. We were able to travel freely using ATV's and we spied several vehicles moving around the lake too. For pickup trucks, the only limitations are snow conditions at the accesses.
photo Chad Benson: Ice conditions on Cass lake are excellent, Perch fishing is good and Chad has alittle spare time. What are you waiting for? Contact Chad Benson
If you're somebody who could get used to sitting in the reserved seating section, then you should definitely swing by today. Even Captain Roy has been drooling over this one! >> Closer Look at Lund 208 ProV GL
Gearing up for late winter Walleye fishing on Lake of the Woods is going to be a lot easier if you watch this video. Jon Thelen took me on an adventure, treating me to an on the ice seminar about how to find 'em. I learned a lot and I know that you will too!
Click here and then select show #1454 Midwest Outdoors Lake of the Woods Late Winter Walleyes .
You are down to the last day to get in on your chance to win one of MinnKota's Talon Shallow Water Anchors. All you have to do is like them on facebook and you're entered >> Enter MinnKota Talon Giveaway . Ends Today March 16
Big Fish Honors... Brett McComas, Brainerd, a member of HSM Outdoors, took home top walleyes honors last weekend while fishing on Lake Winnipeg. Brett’s fish was “only” just shy of 29” but bottomed out an 11 pound electronic digital scale. How much further the scale would’ve went is anyone’s guess.
Photo courtesy Reed Ylitalo: We looked in the shallows but Crappies were not there. Looked deep in the basin they were not there either. Bingo, they were on the break line holding up near a deep hole. Finding fish from 6 to 11 inches.
David Brown had been everywhere from grandpas farm pond to the Amazon River. Everywhere that is, except for ice fishing. That's right, this would be his first time on the ice, his first fish through the ice, his first look at everything ice fishing. click and read about >> David Brown, Tight Line Communiations .
The fish were just cooperative enough on Wednesday's outing to provide fodder for the camera crew. Thanks especially to Dave, our leading producer, the pressure was off, even allowing me some spare time to open my own camera box and enjoy the beautiful day!
A picture is worth 1000 words right? So then all I'm gonna need is 1000 more pictures to tell the story. Greg Wilczynski, coach of the US Ice Fishing Team has more than a little information about ice fishing. Check Out >> US Ice Fishing Team
Getting "Plowed" took on a whol;e new meaning at Gus' Place Resort. The only way to reopen my lake road after the last 2 ground blizzards was buy a bigger snow plow, so here ya go! Gus' Place Resort is back on track for the late winter bite!
HEY! Mike! How the heck will you be able to Buzz back up here for fishing if you're laying around in the hospital? You Know It's only a couple of weeks until spring, so I hope a fast recovery awaits. Hurry up and get some rest!!
Photo courtesy Nik Dimich: Look for panfish on mid-sized lakes to be in and out of the weed lines with patches of soft bottom in them. On smaller and larger lakes, look for fish to be sliding into deeper water basins to feed on bugs and other forage that attract hungry fish." >> Read Full Report .
Photo courtesy Zach Dagel: Who took Mike Plackner on a trip to Bowstring Lake and found that the "Crappie Hole" is still producing.
Walleye fishermen, while you're picking up your new fishing license, please say YES to the MN Walleye Stamp.
Photo courtesy Gus' Place Resort:The good news is that the anglers who are getting out on snow mobiles or tracks are having good luck with Jumbo female Perch and guess what; The Crappies are biting!
Courtesy Chad Benson: On Cass Lake, Perch Fishermen anxious to fish in some fresh territory can team up with Chad Benson. He's moved all of his rentals off of Red Lake and on to Cass Lake where the Jumbo Perch will be active soon. >> Chad benson .
View an episode of Lund Boats Ultimate Fishing Eperience . In this installment, Al Linder takes you on a tour of small, Minnesota lakes
and teaches you how to pattern Bass.
We took Craig Brown's advice and stopped right where he told us too. That turned out to be good advice. Get lake access and winter lodging information by calling Craig at McArdle's Resort 218-665-2212 .
I used an 1/8 FooFlyer tipped with a whole minnow, a rather large profile for Perch fishing. But, this trick did help me pull out a higher percentage of the 10 inch size fish. >> learn more about Foo Flyer .
Photo (above) courtesy Zach Dagel
Grand Rapids Guide Service Lake Winnibigosh Perch haven't gotten too much attention this winter, so Dylan Tjernagel thought he'd help bring them to the forefront of conversation.
Dylan did it
by sending down a Lindy Ice Worm tipped with a Wax worm to bag this 14 incher.
Feeding on small Crawfish is a favorite passtime for Perch. This one, discovered by Dagel in the fish cleaning shack is likely evidence that Perch will remain in the area for a while.