Minnesota Fishing Reports
"Last night I was talking to a friend. “The minnows didn’t trap very well last night,” he said. “I think the cold front and the water temperatures dropping was the problem. I’m pretty sure that a couple days of sunshine will help get the minnows moving again.” Was his conclusion. So, sandy stretches of shoreline will begin filling up with spottail shiners and bait trappers will be up to their eyeballs in fresh supplies; just as soon as the weather warms enough to trigger spawning runs en masse. For that to happen, minnows in “Zebra Mussel infested waters” must start running prior to the arbitrary closing date set ..." Read >> The Shiner Run That Wasn't May 23, 2022
"My audience is the greatest! There were a couple of small, but important ommissions in my May 20, 2022 article >> Preserving My Prescious Shiners. Messages from 2 readers, each pointing out a seperate ommission came in yesterday and their comments will help make the article more valuable.
Q) First, Mark Hager wrote; " (I) Read your article on having two near identical coolers for minnows. How do you move them from one cooler to the other? Some kind of netting or metal basket inside?
A) Mark thank you for the note. Yes, there is a ..." Read >> Bait System Update May 23, 2022
The reason, in part is that the walleye action on Winnie has been reliable. But also, because the turbulent weather has dampened my enthusiasm for exploring some of the more weather sensitive lakes in the north central region. Recent fishing reports from Bowen Lodge and the Pines Resort are accurate, and up to date, so I don’t need to re-hash a full Winnie report, please just review those.
One thing you won’t see in the Bowens or Pines reports are any mention of the action on Winnie’s west side. None of the ‘east siders” wants to battle the whitecaps to get over there. But folks on the west side of Winnie are catching fish too, there are folks reporting good action in select areas all the way from the Mississippi River Mouth to ..." Read >> Sundin Report May 22, 2022
"After our first full week of fishing for the 2022 season, we can honestly say that it’s been a wild ride. Despite the later than average ice-out, we managed to have all the docks in, and the chores finished in time for our fishing opener guests. And luckily, we did, because for our guests, the fishing opener was fantastic.
“Post Spawn” accurately describes the timing for the walleye opener. Female fish, mostly spawned out, were already transitioning out of Cutfoot Sioux. Male fish, many of them still in “spawning mode” lingered in traditional breeding areas, hoping to catch the last wave action. By week’s end, 90% of the male fish we’re catching show no signs of milt, so they’re now focused on feeding rather than breeding.
Typical of most openers, folks did not need to travel far to get in on good walleye action. In fact, several of our friends caught walleye limits within view of our marina on Saturday. Also typical of most seasons, from Sunday on, the epicenter of walleye fishing action has been on ..." Read >> Lake Winnie Report May 21, 2022 Bowen Lodge
Paul Plinske emailed with this question. “Q) With all the talk of a limited supply of spot tail shiners this year, I was just wondering if you had any tips for keeping them alive once you leave the bait shop? They seem to sometimes die if you just look at them the wrong way.
A) Paul, you’re right Spottails can be tricky to keep alive, so can some of the other popular fishing minnows like Red Tails. Your question reminds me that it’s been a long time since I’ve written about keeping live bait alive, so I thank you for the lead into this fresh update.
In my experience, keeping minnows alive for extended periods of time involves addressing 3 main issues, the first 2, involve what the minnows need to survive: space, and environment. Space, to me, means having enough water so that my minnows are not over-crowded. Environment includes temperature, aeration, and ..." Read >> Minnesota AIS Legal System For Preserving My Prescious Shiners and Live Bait Cargo Sundin May 20, 2022
From the start of the walleye fishing season, through the end of the day on Tuesday, our guests have been finding and catching walleyes. The late ice out actually helped us out because typically, migration patterns would have pulled some walleyes away from our corner of the lake by now. But this spring, good numbers of fish are still lingering, not only in Tamarack Bay, but right here in the Dam Bay as well. Click the image at right to enlarge map and view the selected area.
Surface water temperatures on the main lake are still cold, 48 to 49 degrees is the typical range. But strong winds from the west-southwest have blown warmer surface water towards us, making the extreme east side of Lake Winnie the warm spot. On Tuesday, guests fishing in Tamarack Bay ..." Read >> Lake Winnie Fishing Report May 18, 2022
In the fishing guide profession, there are often a variety of reasons for selecting a location to fish. Sometimes, decisions are based on comfort as much as they are productivity. On Wednesday, I thought I could work both comfort and productivity into our fishing trip, but it didn’t pan out the way I’d hoped. There were several reasons why it didn’t, but I don’t believe any of them had to do with whether the fish were biting or not. I think the fish were active, but I just didn’t go to all of the places that I could have chosen to pursue them.
Yesterday’s weather pattern was an anomaly and because of that, I would be deciding to experiment with places that I would not have typically chosen to fish. I think nothing I say about our fishing trip yesterday will provide much quality guidance for folks heading this way to fish over the weekend. So, this morning I decided that instead of theorizing about yesterday’s fishing patterns, I’d catch up a little bit on reader comments and questions.
I’m working on those right now but can see that I’ll need more than a single morning to catch up. Watch for the Q&As on Friday morning. In the meantime, here are a couple of area reports to ponder. >> Ely Area - Lake of the Woods
I was excited to meet up with my friends John, Amanda, and Jaime Rezac. They’ve spent their lives on and around Bowstring Lake and I know they love it. How do I know? John’s reply to my text about whether they had any special requests for Monday’s trip; “Walleyes on Bowstring, the rest is up to you.” The Hippie Chick got a chuckle out of his reply, but after hearing glowing reports about Saturday’s fishing opener on Bowstring Lake, commented, “that should be an easy day.” I was optimistic too, but I don’t trust fish, so I was a bit more guarded about it.
An observation made before ever launching the boat was the high-water level. Folks who struggled to get their boats in and out of the lake last season, have nothing to worry about this spring. At the north landing, the water was level with the ..." Read >> Bowstring Lake Fishing Report May 17, 2022
Super strong winds gave anglers something to think about on Sunday. Take me for example, it made me think about things like yard cleanup, mowing the grass, washing the carpet, buying a new tackle box, and putting the finishing touches on rigging the new Alaskan. Not exactly the day I’d been planning, but a productive one, nonetheless.
Folks who did tough it out on north central Minnesota waters did enjoy some good fishing, they just had to work harder, for less. The lake names didn’t change much from the early report I posted yesterday morning, but there was some new news from folks fishing on Lake Mille Lacs. It sounded like folks who were quipped to handle the waves and located schools of fish on the lake’s calmer, west side, were rewarded with good walleye action.
Some of the smaller lakes in the Mille Lacs, Aitkin area started kicking out some ..." Read >> Fishing Update May 16, 2022
One week ago, (See Report May 7, 2022) the most pressing question folks asked was whether there would be open water for the fishing opener in northern Minnesota. By Saturday afternoon, that was replaced with; “Wow, where did you get all those walleyes?”
Not everybody got in a “Hot Bite” for walleyes, but there were a lot more smiling faces out there than some were expecting. In fact, I’d say that the buzz, despite comments about breezy conditions and minnow shortages was darn good.
The better walleye fishing reports came from lakes that opened late in the week. Lake Winnie, Cutfoot Sioux, Bowstring, Bemidji and ..." Read >> Minnesota Fishing Opener Report
"Late breaking updates about live bait supplies continue trickling in. You will see them appear below as they roll in throughout the day.
Firsthand, I’ve been in touch with Lucky Seven in Grand Rapids, MN and they did have fatheads, rainbows and crappie minnows, with luck, there will be some shiners on the truck later this afternoon. afternoon. While I was there, I heard a second hand report that Fred's Bait in Deer River got ahold of some shiners, but they were imposing 1/2 pint limits for customers purchasing them.
Another firsthand report, I stopped in at 1000 Lakes Sports this morning too, Grant Prokop reported that their minnow tanks were filled yesterday afternoon as well. Today, they have shiners, rainbows, fatheads, and ..." Read >> Live Bait Updates May 13, 2022
"Since you brought up the subject of bait shortages I thought I’d pose a related question that’s been on my mind for a while. Q) Have you ever with any success used preserved dead bait, specifically walleye sized minnows?
I asked because after a few of the Covid era shortages I started thinking about a way to use left over bait. I’ve had some success with an aerator to keep minnows alive but inevitably they tend to die off slowly or I forget to change the water in which case they die off quickly. I found some info online including one on the Wisconsin DNR website.
Ultimately I chose to experiment by brining them in a 50/50 salt borax mix for a day then after brushing off as much of the mix as I could, I placed them in a quart freezer bag with a thin coating of mineral oil. I did this early last winter and ..." Read >> Q&A Tips For Preserving and Freezing Minnows For Fishing May 12, 2022
"Terry just had the opportunity to install one of the new Garmin STRIKER Vivid 9sv graphs and has been raving about the clarity and functionality of that unit. So much so, he asked our friends at Garmin to do a giveaway for three of them. No matter the level of the angler or the boat they use, they will love this unit. He is willing to stake his reputation on that.
The picture quality is crisp and clear, the units include ClearVü and SideVü scanning and have enhanced color palettes and built-in GPS to mark your favorite hot spots. They also include WiFi connectivity and Active Captain capability to update and tweak settings. QuickDraw Contour software is also included to map your favorite lake. This is a 9-inch display.
This unit includes CHIRP for clearer and more precise target separation. This unit allows for up to two million acres of QuickDraw maps and the real beauty is it retails for just a bit over $600. There’s a lot of value in this package at a reasonable price. Three winners will receive one of these complete, fish-catching units. How can you beat that deal?" Learn More and Enter >> Garmin STRIKER Vivid 9sv Giveaway
Whatever you do for a living, there are probably days when the workload is so daunting that you just don’t know how you’ll make it through the day. Imagine that today is that day, you’re at the epicenter of your busy season. This morning, your email box is full and the phone is already ringing off the hook; you already feel like if it rings one more time, you’re gonna throw it in the toilet and pull the handle!
That my friends is the scene at most of Minnesota’s better bait and tackle stores right now. That’s one reason this page exists, to help save them a few phone calls so they can focus on getting ready for the large crowds that will be arriving in the next few days.
I just got off the phone with Lacy Ferris at Full Stringer Bait and Tackle in Longville. “The phone has been ringing all day long, every day.” Ferris says. Anglers are checking about the prospect of buying Spottail Shiners for the fishing opener this weekend. The news from Full Stringer Bait is better today than it is from most, Ferris; “We have a load of shiners ..." Read >> Live Bait Update May 11, 2022
Crappies, one of america's favorite fish are usually coopertive biters, but sometimes, they can be elusive. During spring, the spawning instinct drives fish into predictible patterns and knowing them can make the difference between being snubbed, or enjoying fantastic early season action.
Learn how to find and catch spring crappie during the midday doldrums, even when they're hiding in shallow water. Follow along as Jon Thelen reveals a key location, structure choice, and float fishing tactics during early season for high noon slabs." View Video and Learn More >> High Noon Duldrum Crappies May 2022
“Be careful what you wish for, you might just get it.” We’ve all heard that that phrase before and this spring, getting what we wanted, ice-out before Saturday’s walleye season opener might be one of those times when “wishes” didn’t work out the way we’d hoped.
For those of us who love to fish for walleyes, the term “Spottail Shiner” is synonymous with the term “Minnesota Fishing Opener”. Having shiners for the opener is so important to some folks, that they will storm out the door of their favorite bait retailer in anger whenever the proprietor is temporarily not able to provide them. Try not to get mad, but this spring, the tradeoff for the “just-in-time” ice-out will almost certainly be that most of us will have to hit the lakes without shiners in our boats on Saturday.
Ordinarily, I’d shrug it off and ..." Read >> Spottail Shiners For The Walleye Opener? May 10, 2022
Questions about whether Minnesota’s most popular opening weekend walleye fishing destinations will be ready for boat traffic next weekend are pretty much settled. Central and north central walleye factories like Mille Lacs, Winnibigoshish, Leech Lake, Upper Red Lake are either already open, or so close to being open that the point of monitoring them is now is moot, they will be open next Saturday.
Reader reports like this one from Bob Ekstrom, MN DNR have become common too. Ekstrom; “Hey, I drove around Lake Bemidji, Cass Lake and Pike Bay Sunday May 8 in the AM. There was some ice here and there, but all three lakes were, for all intents and purposes, open and any remaining ice should be gone by the end of the day today, I'd say. Big Wolf, Andrusia and a few others opened in the afternoon and evening yesterday, May 7 due to the big wind we had yesterday. Looking pretty good over this way for a great opener.”
Likewise, in my home territory, smaller lakes are opening fast too. Grand Rapids’ Pokegama Lake was wide open on Saturday according to reports. I and the Hippie Chick confirmed that on Sunday, we could ..." Read >> Bemidji, Blackduck, Upper Red Lake, Vermilion, Ely and More May 9, 2022
For me, every fishing opener has become Mother's Day anyway. I keep it reserved for family, which now includes more mothers than before. So, since we'll all be fishing together next weekend anyway, today is gonna be all about relaxtion. No fishing report, no ice-out observtions, no nothing.
Except for sharing the day with some of the mother's in my own family, the only other thing I'm gonna do today is wish all mothers everywhere a very
Typically, I don’t write reports on Saturday mornings. Most folks who read them are usually out in the field anyway, and like most folks, I need a few hours to rest occasionally too. But the timing of Mother Nature’s warmup this week puts Saturday morning smack dab in the middle of a hot news cycle. So, here is a brief report about observations I made yesterday and some educated guesses about where we’ll be a week from now.
First, an announcement about the Cutfoot Sioux Walleye Egg Take. MN DNR Fisheries announced yesterday that they will not set up gear or strip walleye eggs at Little Cutfoot this year. Although the ice will be out soon on Little Cutfoot, timing was getting cramped. It would have been several days before they could have gotten gear set up and the egg take likely would have conflicted with the fishing opener. That, combined with news that other DNR areas ..." Read >> Full Report May 7, 2022
Opinions vary about whether Winnie will be completely ice-free or not. But we’re calling our customers and letting them know that we will definitely be open next weekend for the Minnesota Walleye Fishing Opener. Chad says that the likelihood is that there will still be some ice piled on shore, and maybe even some floating chunks on the lake, but careful boaters will be able to find places to fish.
“The bay here at The Pines Resort is already wide open out to, and slightly beyond Plughat Point. Moving east toward Tamarack Point, shoreline areas are open, the adjacent ice is cracking, and the sunshine is disintegrating ice by the hour. During the first week or two of the fishing season, our guests rarely travel out of Tamarack Bay anyway, so it looks like we’ll be in good shape.”
On Friday (May 6, 2022) we took a tour of the east side of the main lake too and ..." Read >> Pines Resort Lake Winnie Report May 6, 2022
This year, more than ever, there is good reason for anticipation of a great walleye fishing season to be high. Early data from MN DNR 2021 Fisheries surveys continue to support the widely held belief that 2, back-to-back, “dynamo year classes” of walleyes from both the 2018 and 2019 spawning seasons now dominate the population of walleyes in Winnie.
That means the population of “catchable” size fish in our system will be better in 2022, than it has been for several years. We think even better than it was when the very strong, 2013-year class ..." Read >> Bowen Lodge Lake Winnie Fishing Outlook May 6, 2022
"It looks like we’ve got a full trap, so there will be plenty of fish. Depending on circumstances in other areas, we might even be done after today unless some of the other regions need extra help.” Thompson said.
In a typical season, “done after today” would have been an understatement. Usually, the quota for the Big Lake Creek operation is somewhere south of 150 quarts of fertilized walleye eggs. As you can see by the accompanying photo, there were more than enough fish to accomplish that goal in a single session.
This year though, the late ice-out has forced Grand Rapids fisheries staff to sit on the sideline, their operation will be at best delayed, or at worst ..." Read >> Bemdji Area Walleye Spawning May 6, 2022
"Following up on reader questions about ice conditions, particularly on Lake Winnie and Leech Lake will get the lion’s share of my attention over the next few days. What I know for sure this morning is that both of those lakes remain ice-covered, in fact so is almost every lake north of Leech Lake. The good news though is that the ice-line is creeping north.
On Tuesday, beginning with Hanging Kettle Lake (pictured), every lake from Aitkin on south was wide open, including Lake Mille Lacs.
The wind was blowing from the north, so there was still a band of sloppy, slushy chunks of broken ice along the south shoreline. That slush stopped a buddy of mine from launching his boat on the south shore but would not stop anybody from travelling freely across the main lake as long as they launched a boat further north. In fact, there were already 8 or 10 rigs parked at ..." Read >> Minnesota's "Ice Line" Creeps North May 4, 2022
"Amy Perrington, Cutfoot Sioux Resort posted some images of Little Cutfoot on Monday. They revealed a wide swath of open water through the channel in front of the resort, where the Grand Rapids Area Fisheries Staff will place the trap nets for the “Walleye Egg Take” operation.
The nets can’t be placed until after the ice is completely gone from the adjacent lake, Little Cutfoot Sioux. Ideally, there should be a gap of 3 or 4 days between ice-out and the placing of trap nets.
On Monday, reader questions about the walleye egg take prompted me to call Dave Weitzel, Grand Rapids Area Fisheries Manager, for an update about this spring’s timeline. “We need at least a few days for the lake to ..." Read >> Cutfoot Sioux Walleye Egg Take Update May 3, 2022
"On Sunday, an unexpected road trip gave I and the Hippie Chick an excuse to document ice conditions on some of the more popular walleye lakes south of Grand Rapids. After we shuttled a package over to Floodwood, we took the long way home, following Hwy. 73 south to Cromwell, then west to McGregor where we picked up northbound Hwy. 65 for the return trip home.
I reasoned that route would give us a chance to check on several lakes that are not just good walleye lakes but also offer high quality panfish opportunities too. I was hoping for some optimistic news because any of them could be good for the upcoming walleye opener, provided that ice-out has occurred by then. The news, we discovered, was even better than I’d hoped for!
We started our trip at ..." Read >> Growing List of Opening Day Walleye Destinations May 2, 2022
Pete Peterson wrote; "Good morning Jeff, I have been following the conversation about barotrauma and have not seen anything about revival techniques when faced with this problem. Many years ago at a not so secret crappie spot on the LOW there were literally hundreds of floaters. Then a couple of techniques were discovered that seemed to revive them and now the very few floaters end up as eagle food.
The two techniques I have seen include dropping the fish flat on the deck or any flat surface. If the fish quivers, they go back. Most seem to make it because they never pop up. If it doesn't respond, you have to keep it.
The second is more difficult because you have to ..." Learn More >> Effective Techniques For Releasing Fish Caught In Deep Water? May 1, 2022
"After a week on the beach at South Carolina, I and the Hippie Chick made our way back up north on Thursday. Overall, the scenery hadn’t changed much while we were away, but there were a couple of developments that we could see.
For us, the most notable change was the decline in snow cover. We didn’t see any standing snow in ditches, or anywhere within view of the highway until we were north of Moose Lake. From there north, we did see an increasing number of snow drifts and standing piles of snow in low-lying areas. But fields, ditches and open areas were pretty much snow-free all the way back to Grand Rapids.
The water level in all the rivers and streams was high, many were flooded into the woods adjacent to main river channels. The current flow was strong in all the streams and rivers we saw, but frankly, based on some of the social media accounts I’d seen throughout the week, I expected to see ..." Read >> Minnesota Walleye Fishing Opener, Far From Threatened! April 29, 2022
"It’s an odd sensation to be talking about folks fishing on open water in the southern half of Minnesota while at the same time, folks in north central Minnesota are drilling through 2 feet of ice, but that’s what’s happening.
On our drive to Minneapolis on Tuesday, I and the Hippie Chick began noticing open water someplace in the Pine City neighborhood. We don’t get to see a lot of lakes travelling along Hwy 35, but of the of the ones we did see, pickup trucks and boat trailers were parked at many of the landings.
Anywhere north of that, it was hard to tell that the arrival of spring was even close. There were still folks ice fishing on ..." Read >> Minnesota Fishing Report April 21, 2022
"To protect spawning fish, the Minnesota Department of Natural Resources has begun to close certain portions of some Minnesota waters. The closings are routine and based on local conditions.
Closings occur each year as ice-out begins and waters begin to warm. The DNR closes the spawning locations to fishing only where habitat is limited and fish are very concentrated in one location, such as a river or the bay of a lake where fish are congregated during spawning.
Areas closed to fishing are listed and updated on the DNR website, for details go to >> Seasonal Fishing Closures. Portions of waters closed to fishing also are posted at access sites and in other visible areas. Anglers may fish in areas that are not posted." SFC
"Well, it happened, my ice fishing season came to an end on Wednesday and for I and my buddy Steve Kusske (pictured), the end was a soggy one! The rain that was predicted to stop at mid-morning did not. The wet and humid conditions didn’t make finishing up my photography project any simpler, but luckily, we caught enough fish and had enough dry towels on hand to get the job done.
The soaking rain that began late on Tuesday and lasted throughout the night knocked the snow cover down to nothing. Despite the added water, ice conditions had not changed much over the past few days. My K-Drill had about 8 inches of free play left when it plunged through the ice and found water. I guess that works out to ice thickness of about 26 inches, give or take.
Ironically, I planned the last trip of the season for Wednesday because I ..." Read >> Soggy But Gratifying End To Ice Fishing April 14, 2022
"Last week I mentioned that I’d be attempting to make up for lost time in my photography schedule by ice fishing a lot. I have been out almost every day for the past week and have found ice conditions to be very good. The ice ranges in thickness from about 18 inches to 24 inches on some lakes.
I noticed on Monday, that it was beginning to get more saturated with water, but it’s a long way from becoming a problem. In fact, the only limitation for anglers in our region is access to the lakes. Areas that have received high vehicle traffic and landings located where ice melting has created significant runoff are the only problem spots.
Every place I’ve gone, the fishing has been good too, crappies, sunfish and perch have all cooperated for me, and reports from others who are still ice fishing in the region are equally good.
We’ve noticed that panfish in the smaller lakes ... Read >> Grand Rapids Area Fishing Update April 12, 2022
Travel conditions on the ice are good, we did receive a couple inches of wet snowfall during the wee hours yesterday, but that did not cause major trouble on the lakes. In fact it helped me, I was able to use my snowmobile because there was a fresh cushion at the boat ramp at the lake.
On the ice, the slush was only a couple of inches deep and under it, the ice was hard and solid, travel on the ice was easy. The trouble for snowmobilers will occur at the landings, sooner or later, the run-off will degrade ice at the edges. Maybe today, possibly tomorrow, getting snowmobiles on and off the lakes will be more trouble that its worth.
ATV owners on the other hand, will have it made this weekend. Even if there are some puddles at the shoreline, the ice at the edges of most lakes is still sound. Overnight lows below freezing are predicted for the next several days, so mornings should offer easy travel. Low 40 degrees and sunshine are called for during afternoons, so the edges will deteriorate late in the days.
As far as fishing is concerned, I’d describe the action as ..." Read >> Grand Rapids Area Ice Fishing Report April 7, 2022
Q) "On April 5, 2022, Barry Bliven wrote; "Jeff, I was surprised to read your assesment that fishing was slow on Bowstring for you this week. We were up there a couple of weeks ago and we thought the fishing was really pretty good. Maybe you're just losing your touch?"
A) Well Barry, you never know, maybe I am losing my touch. Or maybe the answer is simpler than that, it’s more likely that I just gave up searching before I found a school of active fish. Or maybe your fishing party was in the right place at the right time.
During the meltdown that occurred a couple weeks ago, the reports about the fish being on a “hot bite” at Bowstring were all over the place. One friend of mine used the word “aggressive” when he ..." Read >> Q&A Bowstring Ice Report April 6, 2022
"Surely, any angler whose spouse loves to tag along on ice fishing trips would have to consider themselves lucky, I know I do. But what if your spouse referred to a simple evening ice fishing trip as “magical”, how would you react to that? That’s what mine did and for me, that’s almost as much gratification as I can handle, I might even call that heavenly! Whether it was magical, or heavenly can be debated, but either way, it sure was fun.
The only bad thing about spending a few hours in heaven is that it makes you want to spend a few more hours there too. Now, the problem for me is trying to figure out a way to squeeze in another trip with the Hippie Chick before the ice melts.
As you can see in the photo, Mrs. Sundin caught some beautiful crappies, but the presentation was a departure from her typical one. For reasons known only to the fish, her favorite lures ..." Read >> Grand Rapids Ice Fishing Report April 5, 2022
The Rainy River is open and anglers are now fishing open water walleyes on the Rainy River! The Nelson Park access in Birchdale, MN opened up this weekend and the Frontier Boat Ramp opened April 4, 20222.
Next boat ramp to the west is Vidas, which is near Clementson followed by Timber Mill Park which is in Baudette and ..." Read >> Rainy River Report April 5, 2022
Traffic was brisk at the Birchdale landing at the Rainy River on Saturday. Volunteers worked hard throughout the day, chipping, sawing, and chiseling at the sheet of ice until anglers with larger boats could launch them safely.
Sometime shortly after dark, Kevin Hinrich wrote, “Thought I better let everyone know that the mighty ice chippers were successful and have cleared a path for all boats to walleye heaven!! May you now be Birchdale bound in ... Read >> Sundin Report April 3, 2022
On the Rainy River, the image of an opened boat ramp at Birchdale got a lot of attention on Friday. But Kevin Hinrichs of Royal Dutchman Resort cautioned against showing up with large, deep draft boats this weekend.
From the original "social media" post, Hinrichs said, "Not yet sure how launch-able (the Birchdale Ramp) is, I plan to go launch my boat right after The Duchess get her fishing license! Stay tuned!"
In an update, Hinrichs mentions that he did manage to get his boat on the river, but even though the launch ramp itself has been plowed up, there remains an ..." Read >> Rainy River Update April 2, 2022
I thought he was just going to pass me, but to my suprprise, he pulled me over. He approached my truck and asked for my license and insurance information. As I handed them over, a conversation began. “Nice truck, he said, is that one equipped with the 6.0 liter engine? Sure looks shiny, he added, did you just get it?” No, I said, in fact it’s actually an older model, but I have a friend who has a body shop in Grand Rapids and they just fixed it up for me and yes, it does have the 6.0 liter engine.”
Hoping to drill down to the reason for being puled over, I …." >> Good Bye To Winter, Hello to "Trooper Stickler
A one-fish limit will allow Mille Lacs anglers to harvest one walleye, 21 to 23 inches or one walleye longer than 28 inches from Saturday, May 14, 2022 through Monday, May 30, 2022.
(Catch and release fishing for walleye begins on May 31, 2022 and ends on June 30, 2022)
After a summer of catch-and-release fishing with an early July closure to reduce hooking mortality, the one-fish limit is expected to return on Thursday, September 1, 2022.
“We must continue to manage state harvest very carefully on Mille Lacs so we can provide as much angling opportunity as prudent while protecting the opportunities for the ..." Learn More >> Mille Lacs Lake: One-fish walleye limit set for spring, fall fishing 2022/2023
At the time I’m writing this, we’re only 18 hours away from the end of March. But we’re nowhere near the end of the ice fishing season, that could go on for another 18 days. Anglers chomping at the bit to catch a walleye on open water have 2 choices, 1) drive to border waters to the south or west or 2) wait for the Rainy River to open; don’t expect option 2 to occur this weekend.
We all know that conditions vary wildly from one year to the next, so using the terms “early” or “late” to describe when ice out occurs on the Rainy is subjective. The accompanying photo shows the Rainy River, not far east of Baudette still iced over as of yesterday, March 30, 2022. Unless there are a few local folks pushing rowboats across the ice, walleye fishing on the Rainy has not yet begun.
If they even exist, I can’t find any published average ice out dates specific to the Rainy River. But I do have a lot of archived reports from past seasons, and we can contrast the photo of today’s conditions at Baudette with the ones described in the report from last spring, specifically March 29, 2021, which were “On the Rainy River, five boat ramps are open on the Rainy River and there are 42 miles of open water for ..." Read >> North Central Minnesota Report March 31, 2022
"Ice fishing houses are now, for the most, completely removed from Lake of the Woods. From here on out, most ice fishing on the lake is accomplished using collapsible fish houses or for some anglers, out on the open ice.
Some of the rental operators and resorets still have ice roads open to snowmobiles, ATV's and side by sides. It is good to call ahead of time as this time of year, conditions can change quickly.
There are still some anglers targeting walleyes, with mixed reports across the lake. But now, most ice anglers are after pike. The recent cold spell seemed to slow pike activity for the time being as reports frlom over the weekend were about average. Pike will be on the ..." Read >> Lake of the Woods Ice Fishing Report March 29, 2022
It took long enough to get here, but the classic early spring meltdown and re-freeze ice fishing pattern arrived this weekend. Travel conditions for I and the Hippie Chick were literally as good as they get, there was no slush, no rough ice, no ice ridges, nothing to stop us from fishing anywhere we liked.
We were not the only lucky ones, driving home we saw other ice anglers, on other area lakes, all enjoying similar travel conditions. There were also reports of equally good ice conditions on Lake Winnie, Leech Lake, Pike Bay and Bowstring, just to name a few. That’s the good news.
The bad news may possibly come in the form of another snow storm this week. Theoretically, even if that does happen, there could still be time to ..." Read >> Ice Fishing Report March 28, 2022
"On the ice, a new layer of slush had already formed under about 6 inches of snow. My boots were filled with water within a few minutes, that made walking difficult, but not impossible. Snowmobiling would have been worse, I’d have been fighting slush the whole way out, and back in too. An ATV would have been perfect, but of course, I don’t have one of those.
Luckily for me, there were some fish under the first hole I opened, a combination of sunfish and crappies were holding in about 15 feet of water. I dropped in a red/chrome, 1/16 Rattl’n Quiver Spoon tipped with waxworms and as I watched it fall on my screen, I saw fish moving up to greet it. When the two red marks intersected, my rod tip went pop. Yup, the first drop produced a crappie, and subsequent drops produced a mix of both crappies and sunfish.
Combined with the warm air temperature, the active fish made it possible for me to ..." Read >> Grand Rapids Area Ice Fishing Update March 25, 2022
"For those of you who were hoping to read another fresh ice fishing report today, I’m sorry. Despite my best intentions to spend Monday on the ice again, Mother Nature had other ideas. When the wind started blowing trim off my house and I had to chase the trash can as it blew down the street, I lost enthusiasm for the idea.
Assuming that the roads are passable, I’m scheduled to drive to Minneapolis to get my mother signed up for hospice today. This morning, as of 5:00 AM, there’s a mixture of rain and wet snow falling in my yard and the forecast calls for a winter weather advisory for the next 24 hours. So, whether I make that trip is questionable now too, but either way, my day today will not be spent ice fishing.
My inbox on Monday contains messages from folks looking for information about Lake Winnie and whether conditions will favor some late season perch fishing next week. In terms of the ice itself, the answer is yes, it will still be thick enough to support ice fishing traffic. In fact, 24 to 30 inches of solid ice still covers most of the lake.
Access to the ice will be the question, most resorts and rental operators have ..." Read >> Lake Winnie Ice Access Report March 22, 2022
"Warm weather has melted a lot of the snow on the south end of Lake of the Woods, causing a slushy mess on most ice roads. With that being said, most resorts have removed their fish houses from the ice.
Some resorts are still allowing ATV-UTV and snowmobile travel with collapsible fish houses. Check with resorts and outfitters prior to accessing the ice.
Some anglers are still targeting walleyes. Mixed reports across the lake. Some really good, some a bit slow. Anglers are in varying depths from 17 to 32 feet of water. The one two approach of a jigging line combined with a deadstick is the way to go.
Pike activity is really picking up. Tip ups with a ..." Read >> Lake of the Woods Ice Fishing Report March 22, 2022
"In terms of ushering in the first day of spring, I don’t know how conditions could have been much more perfect. Sunshine, calm breezes, summerlike temperatures, and fish biting all over the place! That’s right, they were, and I didn’t have to reach far outside my inner circle of friends for proof. Perch were biting in perch Lakes, crappies were cruising in crappie lakes and sunfish were swimming in sunfish lakes. But for me, tullibee fishing made first position on the agenda.
Late last week, my friend Reed Ylitalo shared a hot tip for Tullibees with me. We fished together for them on Friday and as far as I’m concerned, fishing was good. Between, the 2 of us, we packed up a pail containing 25 or so and those fish are headed for his buddy’s smoker. He tells me they’ll be done this week and I’m looking forward to trying a few of those.
It’s not my place to share the location, but truthfully, finding lakes that have fishable populations of Northern Ciscoes (tullibee) isn’t that hard. Ten minutes spent on the ..." Read >> Grand Rapids MN Fishing Report March 21, 2022
"During the past 2 days, warm temperatures have melted off the upper layers of snow standing on lakes. But the warm temperatures have not yet reached the surface of the ice, which is now wet, but still hard and solid. The result is that anglers in north central Minnesota have a lot more options today than they did just a couple of weeks ago.
As the photo left shows, one young angler was enjoying the warm weather, fishing on the ice in shirt sleeves. That’s one reason I expected to see running water in some of the area’s smaller feeder creeks and rivers, but I didn’t. Even larger rivers like the Prairie and Mississippi River remain locked up and show little sign of breaking up soon.
On Pokegama, there were folks moving around on ..." >> North Central Minnesota Meltdown March 17, 2022
One rule of thumb that I use for getting ballpark estimates of seasonal transitions is to look at current conditions that exist further south in Minnesota. For every 100 miles, I’ll add 1 week to get a rough idea of what conditions will look like here, in north central Minnesota soon.
The photo left shows my nephew Chris Andresen's buddy Bill, standing on the ice somewhere in the Mankato area on Tuesday. The distance from Grand Rapids to Mankato is almost exactly 250 miles. So, if my “inner farmer” is correct, conditions you see in that image now, is what we’ll be seeing here in about ..." >> Ice Fishing Report March 16, 2022
"So, last night I was sitting with my wife, both of us decompressing from both a busy weekend and a hectic day on Monday. We’d been chatting for a while when she said, “this is the first time I didn’t see you write anything about the Northwest Sportshow. You always have reports from the show, what was going on down there?”
“Honey, I was trying to, I really was. I looked high, I looked low, I looked everywhere I know, but finding something new and exciting to talk about was a real chore,” I said. “From what I could see, most everyone is in the same boat (pun intended), holding on for dear life and hoping that rising prices, product shortages and travel restrictions will ease soon.
In terms of the fishing industry itself, there’s nobody to blame. How can anybody ..." Learn More >> Recovering the Recover-Able March 15, 2022
"Ice conditions, snowpack and cool March weather are all combining to lengthen the duration of good ice conditions on the south end of Lake of the Woods. Lake of the Woods enjoys an extended season with fish houses allowed on the ice overnight through March 31, 2022.
Pike activity is picking up. Using a tip up with a quick strike rig, live sucker or frozen bait has been the most successful in 10 to 20 feet of water. Set tip ups in varying depths until you figure out the best depth and duplicate it. Dead smelt and live suckers have been hot.
Have pike release tools (needle nose, jaw spreaders, camera) ready to roll so pike get back into the water quickly and safely. Pike limit is ..." Read >> Lake of the Woods Report March 15, 2022
"I had a few minutes to walk the show floor on Friday and found a few fishing related exhibits that piqued my interest. But for me, the coolest exhibit I found didn't have much to do with fishing. Instead, the highlight was chatting with Jonathan Wood from the Raptor Center Project.
It's one thing to get a nice closeup of a Bald Eagle from 100 feet away, but holding one in your hand is a whole new ballgame. Live birds of prey, some rescued and others born and raised in captivity are the stars of the show and if you want to, they'll even pose with you for a photo.
The Raptor Project's "learning sessions" are scheduled for 11:00 AM, 2:00, 4:00 and 6:00 PM on Saturday. On Sunday, you can catch one of the half hour sessions at 11:00 AM or 2:00 PM. There's a $10 charge for the private photo sessions, but to me, that's cheap. I don't know where else can you get your picture taken with a live Great Horned Owl, Bald Eagle or Crested Caracara? I have a feeling that there's a new social profile photo in my near future!
For more information about what's happening at the show, click here >> Northwest Sportshow March 10-11-12-13, 2022
"Over the past 2 weeks, email comments about the senate effort to reduce Minnesota's walleye possession limit have trickled in. Not many have offered new information, and, in my mind, none had been worth the trouble of re-opening the face-off about whether the new restrictions are needed. That is until a recent email from TR James piqued my interest.
I'm paraphrasing, but in it, James asked me whether I thought most folks truly understand the distinction between Minnesota's daily walleye bag limit and the walleye possession limit. James' point is an important one and it had been on my mind too. The email exchange made me curious about how Minnesota's current regulation stacks up against other states. That's what got me started studying the subject from that point of view.
After a couple days of researching the regulations from 14 Midwestern US States, I learned that Minnesota's current possession limit of 6 walleyes is already the most restrictive walleye possession limit in the Midwest. That's right, in most Midwestern states, anglers are allowed to have in their freezers more than a single day's limit. But not in Minnesota, here you are not allowed to ..." Learn More About >> Minnesota's Walleye Possession Regulations March 8, 2022
On March 7, 2022 Brandon Lulloff wrote with a fishing report from Winnibigoshish. "SLOW! Man was it some tough fishing this last weekend. We rolled out onto the lake at about 5am Friday morning and took highbanks plowed road out to the middle of the lake. We got on our snowmobiles and headed west to our favorite spots over off of mallard point and started searching.
Getting there wasn't as bad as I thought. Travel with the snowmobile was super easy. I'd even venture to guess that a truck just may be able to ..." Read >> Lake Winnibigoshish Fishing Report March 8, 2022
"The weather is holding up great and anglers should to be able to ice fish through March on the south end of Lake of the Woods. Here, we enjoy an extended season, with fish houses allowed on the ice overnight through March 31st. The walleye and sauger season remains open through April 14. 2022 and the pike season on LOW does not close. Lodging and fish houses are available.
It's a mixed bag on LOW as anglers are catching walleyes, saugers, jumbo perch, pike, eelpout, tullibee and even a few crappies. Electronics are a big help as they show suspended fish, how fish are reacting to your offerings and simply when there are fish below you.
If fish are in a neutral mood, downsize your presentation. A small jigging ..." Read >> Lake of the Woods Report March 8, 2022
"Earlier this week, while we were on Lake of the Woods, we caught some Tullibees while we were fishing for walleye, and I recalled how much fun I used to have not only catching them but cooking them too.
That reminded me that last week, I fielded an email question from Travis Verdegan about ice fishing for Northern Ciscoes, commonly known as “Tullibees”. At the time, I referred him to a couple of “how-to” videos that we produced about 10 years ago.
Viewing those videos myself, I realized that it wouldn’t hurt to provide a few extra details about fish locations, presentations, and a tip or two about how to ..." Catch and Prepare Tulibees March 4, 2022
An email message from Ken Seufert says; "(I) Read this article ("Voice Of Experience: The (walleye) Limit Is Just Fine") posted on your blog.
The retired DNR official spells out why the legislature and politics needs to stay out of fish management. The whole concept of the legislature managing the fish population is absurd. What happens when this legislature plan causes problems? Do you go back to the legislature to fine tune the regulation? How long will that take?
Keep the politics out of fish management. Leave it with the professionals. I guess the next thing will be to determine which fish are left leaning and which are right leaning and depending on your predilection manage to promote your favorite." Ken Seufert, a Missouri tourist who fishes two weeks per year in Minnesota.
"Anglers will find this and other changes in the updated fishing regulations booklet. Sunfish anglers need to closely check the 2022 Minnesota Fishing Regulations booklet and signs at water accesses for new sunfish limits in effect on 52 lakes and connected waters which started on March 1, 2022.
The new regulations lower limits on specific waters as part of a Minnesota Department of Natural Resources initiative to protect and improve sunfish sizes. These changes are in response to angler-driven concerns over the declining sizes of sunfish in Minnesota. “This is the final batch of new sunfish regulations that will be part of the Quality Sunfish Initiative. We’re pleased to ..." Read >> New sunfish regulations in effect on 52 lakes
An email comment from G.K, along with this shared link to the recent Star Tribune article about walleye possession limits says;
"With so much bad going on these days, (it) made me happy reading Dennis Anderson and Gary Barnard's essay (in the Star Tribune). Thank you GB, well done." Read Article and Learn More >> DNR Fisheries, Retired Manager Gary Barnard; "Current Walleye Limits Are Fine"
"Lake trout fishing has been up and down for angler this last week. One day trout are on the graph all day. Next day, same spot, it’s the dead sea. When trout are on the graphs, anglers are catching them with 1/2 to 3/4oz bucktails and tubes. Best colors have been red/white, blue and pink.
Interestingly, when anglers fishing humps and point are struggling, anglers fish deep water are marking lots of trout. Seems to be little rhyme or reason to when this happens, but it’s happening. If your not marking at you usual spots, try deeper.
Eelpout activity has slowed as we have passed the February full moon. Eelpout continue to be caught, but the bite has largely been at night or very early in the morning or late in the day. Heavy jigs and spoons loaded with minnow chunks have been the bait to have for eelpout.
Rainbow trout have been active on area stream trout lakes. Best times have been very early in the morning. Small flies, tipped with wax worms has been very effective on these trout. Anglers have been finding trout very close to downed trees." — Arrowhead Outdoors, 218-365-5358
"On Lake of the Woods this week, the secret is that we’ve gotta fish like we’re mad at the walleyes. If we let our baits sit idle, or try to fish using subtle, finesse style presentations, the fish will swim in, glance casually at our bait and then wander off without striking.
I’ll get back to that in a minute, but as you can see by the accompanying photo, travel conditions on the ice are worth mentioning first.
I can’t speak for all the resorts and rental operators, but Nick Panovich and the crew at Zippel Bay Resort have been working overtime this winter. Rough ice, drifted snow, and “slushy” ice heaves, like the one you see pictured, have dictated not only where they can open roads, but how well they can ..." Read >> Live Report From Lake of the Woods, "Fish Like You're Mad at 'Em!" March 2, 2022
Right from the beginning, I’ve loved the balance of utility and comfort that the Alaskan provides.
As far as I’m concerned, these boats are the fisherman’s equivalent of having a 4X4 pickup truck for the water. They have allowed me to go anywhere and do anything without sacrificing the comfort of my fishing customers.
Throughout the years, I’ve watched the folks at Lund steadily improve the Alaskan. Every year they ..." Learn More >> 2021 Lund Alaskan For Sale
"I’m going to step out on a limb and say that north central Minnesota’s drought is over. Snowfall from the most recent storm varies by location, but NOAA reports this morning that here in Grand Rapids, 8 inches added to the pile we already had. Last week I measured about 3 feet of standing snow in my yard and yesterday I noticed that my snowblower is struggling to send new snow over the top of my snowbanks.
Luckily, we’re only 25 days away from spring and soon, warm air temperatures will begin melting some of the snow. When the meltdown does occur, it wouldn’t surprise me if shoreline landings and boat ramps that were barely useable because of low water last fall, could easily be flooded with high water this spring.
Typically, late season ice anglers should ..." Read >> Grand Rapids Area Report February 23, 2022
That’s why it seems like this morning, before I go outside to blow more snow, would be a great time to share this lighthearted video. My honorary daughter, Joelle shared it after an ice fishing trip with friends last weekend.
If you have 30 seconds to spare, the video of Crystal Lillo, learning how to drill a hole with an ice auger will give you a chuckle. She’s a good sport and the light-hearted clip shows it! Watch Video >> Crystal's First Ice Auger Experience
"It's February and anglers are picking away at the walleye and sauger on the south end of Lake of the Woods. Usually by the day's end, there's enough for a good fish fry. Anglers are catching walleyes, lots of saugers, and setting the hook on big perch, pike, eelpout, tullibee and even a few crappies.
Electronics help, you can rent them from resorts, outfitters and local bait shops if you don't own them. Be aggressive with the jigging line. Lures like a Rippin Rap or jigging spoon with a rattle will attract fish and get some reaction bites.
Keep deadsticks active. Jig it periodically. Lift it higher in the water column if the fish ..." Read >> Lake of the Woods Fishing Report February 22, 2022
Following up on the recent article about the impact of barotrauma on freshwater panfish, Jim Atkinson wrote, “Hi Jeff, I have been following your conversation concerning barotrauma. The question I have is if you released crappies from deep water during the ice season and they died, would they float to the surface when the ice melts?
The reason I ask is I fish a small private lake during the ice season. I have released maybe thirty crappies caught from around twenty-five feet. In early Spring it would be easy to cruise the shoreline and see dead fish if they were there.
After researching more and reading your comments I have decided to ..." Read >> Barotruma and Dead Crappies During Winter February 21, 2022
"Born out of the discussion regarding the supposed "need" for more stringent, “socially based” walleye limit regulations, there are a couple of recurring side-themes that do, in my view, deserve more follow up.
One of them, an oft-used reference to the increasing amount of fishing pressure brought about by the introduction of tailer-able, sleeper type ice fishing shelters. Early in my fact gathering process, I can already see evidence that holding up the popularization of “wheelhouses” as a reason for initiating new regulations is likely short-sighted, so let's take a closer look.
Before you passively accept regulations aimed at lowering the number of walleyes you’re allowed to have in your larder, at least ..." Read >> Rationing Walleyes Because Of Wheelhouses - Necessary or Not? February 20, 2022
"Recently, I read some posts about barotrauma, something I had heard a little about before but never looked into anything. I searched around the web and found a few things, mostly in the comments to fishing reports. The MN DNR mentions this briefly but doesn't really make it seem like it's a problem. I also read the research report that you posted on your site.
I have a place in the Grand Rapids area, and the lake I mostly fish on has some 30-to-35-foot holes. These have become my go-to spots in the winter for crappies. I do not keep many fish and love to ..." Read >> Are Fish Safer If Caught Higher In Water Column? February 18, 2022
Regarding the Lake of the Woods (2-16-22) smelt story, I ran the question past Nate Altendorf. Altendorf owns a lake place in the Rocky point area, guides on Lake of the Woods and has lots of friends up there.
“I’m having a very hard time believing that one, I have never even heard of a smelt on Lake of the Woods”, Altendorf said. Still, he accepted my advisory about seeing them listed in the DNR fisheries reports and was open to the idea that they could be there.
Later, I found a reader comment via message to my office phone, and it offered some guidance. “If you happen to catch one of the small fish, or have one in possession, check to see if the critter ..." Read >> Lake of the Woods Smelt Update February 18, 2022
Remember the photo I shared yesterday, the one of a pile of small fish caught on Lake of the Woods? The angler who caught them identified the fish as smelt. I speculated that they might have been big emerald shiners, like the ones we saw on Lake Winnibigoshish a few years ago.
Well, I did some research about Lake of the Woods and according to the fisheries data and the lake does indeed have smelt in it. So, even though I’m not an expert at identifying either species, I’m leaning in the direction of believing that he was right. I shared the photo with a fisheries biologist, and ..." Read >> Sundin Report February 17, 2022
Getting back to the stack of reader comments regarding dropping Minnesota's walleye posession limit. Here are some more comments, used by permission.
"Your article from yesterday (2-16-22) was right on in my opinion. Choosing freedom and responsibility is the way to go. And it’s true that a little enforcement goes a long way. Lately we were out ice fishing and my wife caught a chunky 22 inch walleye, which she wanted to keep even though it was the wrong size for that lake. I talked her out of that by telling her that we had really enjoyed catching the fish and had a nice photo, and the only things we’ll miss is eating it. Or maybe a nice ticket from the local CO!
I’m thinking that the fishing is better now than it was when I was a boy back in the 60s, or maybe years of experience have honed my catching rates now. A couple years ago my wife and I ..." Read >> Walleye Rationing Reader Comments February 17, 2022
"B.B. King said it best, “The Thrill Is Gone” and I don’t recall ever saying this publicly before, but I agree, I’m ready for winter to be over!
Between, the snow, the cold, the wind and the slush, my ice fishing season is seriously suffering a creativity crunch. My favorite way to fish, using snowmobiles and portable shelters has been all but shut down by slushy conditions.
Driving on plowed roads is still an option in some places, but on lakes close to home, fish that live in “easy to reach” locations have been heavily pursued. Right now, the slow daytime fishing action reflects the pressure. If I had the extra cash, I’d buy Sno Bear and that would probably give me better access, but I ..." Read >> Grand Rapids Area Report 2-16-2022
On February 14, 2022 "Mike Mackley wrote; "Good morning Jeff, I just wanted to send you a quick note regarding your article today. Not that you need my support, but I couldn’t agree more with your comments regarding the walleye limit. It's very frustrating how the government flips between using science on certain things, and then drops the science when it suits some people's agenda. It's a very slipper sloop, and some crazy times we are living in.
I was thinking it would be great to ..." Read >> Walleye Rationing Commentary February 16, 2022
In my article yesterday (2-14-2022), I wrote, “I got the impression that for 2022, the debate (regarding reducing Minnesota’s walleye bag limit), the personalities and the positions are all essentially the same as they were in 2021. If anything has changed at all, it’s that folks on either side have hardened their positions even more since last year’s debate.” Arriving by email, reader comments suggested that my assessment wasn’t far off, there are strong opinions on both sides of the issue and I'll share as many as I'm allowed. But because this one is particularly complex, I want to tackle it first and seperately.
On 2-14-2022 Dan Wilm wrote, "Hey Jeff, Read your site today as well as Dennis Anderson's story in Sunday Strib. I have to totally disagree with what you and Dennis mention, which is that the choice to drop the walleye limit to 4 is not based on scientific evidence, rather a societal one.
"... I can find no logic in yours or Dennis's assertions. Too many people double and triple limiting a lake when fishing is good, too many wheelhouses where fish are caught, consumed, and limits brought home, too easy to get information on a hot bite and show up at said spot, too much technology = a recipe for disaster. So, it's better to react after a disaster has occurred? That’s the definition of insanity. We are surrounded by misuse of ..." Read >> The Big List of Dirty Deeds February 15, 2022
If by now, the term “socially based” regulation doesn’t scare you, then it probably never will. But for me, the hair standing up on the back of my neck points toward the whole problem with socially based anything. When one group of people gets to decide what “they believe” is good for another group of people, it never ends well.
It may seem like a fine idea when you’re on the winning side, but how many of us ever wind up always being on the winning side? Not many, I don't think, eventually the tables turn.
You’re an angler, what do you suppose would be the implications of a powerful and persuasive group of people deciding that fishing itself, in any form, is no longer “socially acceptable”? I know, you're thinking that's crazy talk, lunatic fringe stuff. But that’s just one point of view that I tried on for size in an internet search. I typed in the phrase "group seeks to ban fishing" and in .51 seconds, received almost 39 MILLION results; go ahead ..." Read >> Socially Based Walleye Regulations — Good Idea, or Slippery Slope?
"Another 2 to 3 inches of snow added to the pile overnight and strong northwest winds blowing it around will keep rental operators busy cleaning up their roads again today. So, at this point, getting out to your favorite ice fishing spot is even more complicated than it already was.
Personally, a nice, extended warm up would be welcome news because even my favorite mode of transportation, snowmobiling, has become inconvenient, if not treacherous.
It's not always easy to know when continued discussion about any subject is warranted vs when it's time to move on. Barotrauma, it turns out, is still "a deep subject" in certain circles and continuing the discussion does seem important.
The recent update (Beating Barotrauma Using Deep Water Walleye Release Technique? February 3, 2022) about a video showing how the MN DNR used a special release tool for returning fish caught in deep water generated more than a few comments.
One reader offered an opinion about the effectiveness of the specific tool highlighted in that MN DNR video. I don’t have permission to share his views, but the upshot was that in his opinion, there are alternative tools on the market that work better. This may or may not be true, I don’t know. But before I take a side about which tool is better than another, I think it’s important to first ..." Read >> Barotrauma: A Deep Subject February 10, 2022
"Lake trout fishing was slow to very slow for the majority of lake trout anglers this last week. Anglers struggled to even mark fish, let alone get fish to chase. Anglers able to catch fish reported that bites were very light and trout had to be worked more like a walleye in order to get them to bite. Small, but heavy spoons were the most effective baits last week.
Stream trout anglers reported good fishing this last week. Anglers targeting Splake, found them in shallow water, 10 feet or less. Small spoons and small jigs tipped with wax worms was the most effective baits this last week.
Anglers targeting rainbows found rainbows in ..." Read >> Ely MN Fishing Report February 9, 2022
"Another great week of ice fishing on the south end of Lake of the Woods. In many areas where ice fishing is taking place, ice is over 24 inches thick with 18 to 24 inches of snow. Ice conditions vary across the lake, resorts and outfitters will advise on weight limits for their ice roads and trails.
Walleyes and saugers are spread out this time of year and anglers are seeing various sizes. The lake has a big population of small walleyes and saugers coming through which is great for the future. It means some sorting of fish to find keepers. Most are catching fish for a fish fry. Some, if lucky and, or good, catching a slot fish or two or even a trophy walleye over 28 inches.
Most ice fishing is taking place in ..." Read >> Lake of the Woods Ice Fishing Report February 9, 2022
"The Mille Lacs Fisheries Advisory Committee will meet from 5-7 p.m. Tuesday, Feb. 15. The meeting is hybrid — via online videoconference as well as in-person in Brainerd. The agenda will cover fall netting results, upcoming open water regulations and an update on the Mille Lacs management plan. The DNR will also be welcoming new members onto the committee.
Members of the public may observe MLFAC meetings, but these meetings serve primarily as a way for the committee to ..." Read Full Article >> Mille Lacs Fisheries Advisory Committee Meeting Tuesday, February 15, 2022
"More great fishing this past week. Many Anglers send pictures of their catches which are awesome to see and share! Great memories are made when you are surrounded by friends and family.
Using electronics is still a great benefit. There are suspended fish coming along at different times of the day. Keeping these fish to actively chase your bait creates great anticipation and excitement to find out what is on the other end.
With so many options for lures it is almost impossible to say what has been working best. Stick with typical colors for Lake of the Woods, Gold, Glow colors, things with noise. When you are at the store trying to decide, use those guidelines and you basically cannot go wrong. At the end of the day multiple Anglers could prove a different hot lure of the day. The UV colors work well. Also, it is important to have a sonar style electronics.
The weather forecast is showing above zero temps after tonight for the rest of the week. We hope that will not bring more snow." — 1-800-776-3474 Border View Lodge
"The Minnesota Department of Natural Resources invites anglers and others interested in fisheries management in the Duluth area to comment on fisheries management plans for several waterbodies through March 15, 2022. Comments and suggestions from the public are important for planning and evaluating the success of activities laid out in management plans.
Fisheries information and management activities are being updated for the following lakes and streams in Carlton County. Carlton County waters: Hanging Horn Lake – updated plan focusing on management of naturally reproduced walleye and cisco and discontinuing unsuccessful trout stocking. Little Net River – initial management plan including proposal to ..." Read >> DNR seeks comments on Duluth area fisheries management plans
"Back in the mid 1980s, I worked alongside Marty and Scott Glorvigen in the same guide group. Later, I carted boxes of their new "Gemini Sport Towels" to sell from my retail booth at various sports shows.
Through the years, we've worked together often and today, I'm still associated with them through Wired2Fish.
The longer I've known them, the more influential they've become. But they've never lost sight of the roots and today, remain as humble and welcoming as they were on the first day I met them.
Congratulations on your well deserved induction into Minnesota's Fishing Hall of Fame! ..
Q) A follow up to the February 3, 2022, article about releasing walleyes caught in deep water, T. R. James wrote, “I was most interested in the last sentence of your Fishrapper post today, "Who knows, these things might catch on and become standard operating gear for some of the tournaments where deep water fishing is common." Can you speak more about that, i.e., if these tournaments are winter, summer, panfish, walleye, how deep, Minnesota based, etc. It came as surprise to hear this.” Thanks
A) Thank you for the follow up sir! The video posted on facebook showing deep-water release techniques being used by the Brainerd area fisheries staff could really apply to any lake, summer, or winter, anywhere anglers routinely catch fish in deep water. The exact depth varies somewhat, but technically, fish caught in water depths that ..." Read >> Deep Water Fishing Release Where and When?
... "I suspect that one reason for their acceptance of an accepted level of fish mortality is that there are situations in Minnesota where fishing in deep water is a way of life. Take Lake of the Woods for example, anglers on that lake routinely fish in depths over 30 feet. If they don’t, there will be times when catching fish becomes a lot more challenging. I can think of more examples, Ottertail, Walker Bay, Rainy Lake, Cass Lake and Pokegama are some that come to mind immediately, but there are more.
So, when a friend shared a link to the MN DNR video about using a device that allows releasing fish into deep water, I was torn.
On the one hand, I don’t wouldn’t want to encourage folks to purposely pursue fish in deep water. I try not to, and in most instances, I can find enough fish in shallower water to ..." Read Article >> Beating Barotrauma Using Deep Water Walleye Release Technique?
"The pursuit of both walleye and sauger is going strong on the south end of Lake of the Woods. As resorts and outfitters looking for concentrations of fish spread out, there are new fishing areas emerging periodically.
The anglers doing the best are using electronics and deliberately working every fish that comes into view. Most ice fishing is taking place in 27 to 33 feet of water.
The one-two punch of a jigging line combined with a live minnow on a deadstick is an effective combo. Noise and rattles in the stained water can be effective. When fishing gets tough, ..." Read >> Lake of the Woods Fishing Report February 2, 2022
I don’t enjoy fishing with live bait and I don’t enjoy trolling. So the idea of spider rigging with 8 minnows or idling around aimlessly for hours hope to pass through a group of fish on Kentucky Lake never really appealed to me. So I learned to cast to brush, laydowns, rocky points, dip brush with long rods, shoot docks with short rods and finally stalk them in open water with Livescope.
I've generally believed that the world of ice fishing was small enough so that most everybody, knew most everything about products on the market for hard water angling. But an email from Travis Verdegan proved that there's always something flying under the radar.
On 1-31-22 Verdegan wrote; "Hey Jeff, I mentioned I was surprised (that) no companies had gotten into reflective material on their insulated canvas. Upon further review, I found this smaller company has.
They even have a built it stove jack for vented wood, pellet, or gas heat, so no more condensation. (So, this might) also be a good option for a couple guys on a western hunting trip. I just bought my clam last year when inventory was tight for everyone, but knowing what I know now, I’d go with one of these if I was to buy new. Have a good one, Travis."
Thanks for the heads up Travis, I checked out their website and for anybody who'd like to check out their lineup of ice fishing shelters, here's a link. >> Nordic Legend ice Fishing Shelters February 2, 2022
Follow up on yesterday’s report about the legislative proposal to reduce Minnesota’s walleye bag limit is going to take a little while. That’s because somewhere in my piles of saved stocking reports, DNR meeting agendas and notebooks filled with jotted notes, are some facts. Facts, in this case, facts about average walleye angler catch rates in Minnesota. I know they’re out there though because I’ve seen them with my own eyes. I just can't put my fingers on them and I don’t want to start spewing information, relying only on my memory.
The reason I am searching high and low for facts about walleye catch rates, is because nobody else is doing it. Advocates for walleye bag limit reductions cite plenty of “social reasons” for making the change. But statistical information and biological facts are harder to come by than an autographed ..." Read >> Walleye Bag Limits "Following The Follow-Able February 18, 2021
It’s worth noting that which side of the issue anglers argued, depended on which medium their comments came from. Virtually 100% of the commentary from those in favor of reducing Minnesota's walleye limit came via the “social” media page where I posted links to the original article. Conversely, 100% of the anglers in opposition to the regulation change are those who took the extra time to write their comments and send them via email.
I’ll let you be the judge of what made that happen, but I think it’s interesting. I'll have to think about it for a while and I'll let you know if I develop any solid theories.
Of the social comments from folks in favor of limit reductions, the most credible, in my opinion, came from MN DNR Brainerd Area Fisheries Manager Marc Bacigalupi who ..." Read >> Minnesota Walleye Bag Limit Reductions February 17, 2021
Sifting through emails on Wednesday, I found a note from Vern Wagner, organizer of Anglers for Habitat, a conservation based angling group. The message carried a copy of the organization’s position on the proposal, S.F. 12, which would reduce walleye limits statewide from 6 to 4 fish.
The letter penned by AFH President Lance Ness is offered to MN Senator Carrie Ruud as “testimony” to be considered during hearings about the bill. In its conclusion, Ness writes, “While Anglers for Habitat neither supports nor opposes the legislation, we suggest a lively discussion.” Let’s backup a minute and break down what that discussion would be about.
Within the body of the testimony, AFH appears to be leaning in the direction of slow walking this legislation and asks for proof that the proposal is based on scientific ..." Learn More >> AFH Weighs In On Walleye Bag Limits February 11, 2021
In recent years, support for reducing Minnesota's walleye bag limit has grown among Minnesota anglers. In fact, results of an informal FishRapper poll conducted last year, indicated that anglers in favor of reducing Minnesota's walleye possession limit could be upward of 75%.
This year, supporters of a bag limit reduction could be in luck, because Minnesota Senate Bill SF 12 would do just that. If passed, the bill will mandate the MN DNR to reduce the statewide walleye possession from 6, down to 4 walleyes.
The bill's author, MN Senator Carrie Ruud spoke with me about the proposal. “In the past, discussions about reducing walleye limits have centered more around the social aspects of the issue rather than statistical ones.” Ruud said. Anglers who have a high conservation ethic would naturally ..." Read >> Minnesota Walleye Bag Limit Reduction January 8, 2021
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Fishing The Fall Turnover In Natural Lakes - Jeff Sundin
... "This probably means that for most fishermen, "The Turnover", I mean the absolute scientific event is probably not really what influences fish locations and feeding patterns during the cold water period.
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