Minnesota Fishing Reports
"Not long ago, I mentioned that I’d be opening a new page devoted to reports from Lake Mille Lacs. Progress on the project has been slow-and-steady but today, I feel like there’s enough information on it so that this is a reasonable time to open it up to the public.
To date, the collection of reports is not unique, if you have time, you can find it all yourself by scrolling through websites and “social” pages. To you, the benefit of using this page is saving time, we’ve already done the scrolling and trolling so you don’t have to; you can get all the reports in one place, at one time.
Now this is the part when I ask for your help. If you’ve enjoyed receiving these reports for free, then maybe you can return the favor. The Mille Lacs page is wide open for page sponsors, so if you have a special connection to a resort, rental operator or fishing guide, please mention to them that there are a limited number of sponsor spots available and that they are incredibly affordable!" Check Out New >> Lake Mille Lacs Ice Fishing Page January 14, 2022
"Last year at about this time, there was a certain amount of “hand ringing” going on about the big crowds of anglers on Lake Winnie. While there are still a healthy number of ice shelters out there now, the scene up there this year is much more subdued.
Causing the diminished population of anglers on the ice is likely a combination of factors including tougher travel conditions, angler’s availability of free time and reports of “slower fishing action” on the big lake.
Snow cover, while not exactly the major issue, is deeper than it was last year, and fewer anglers are able to travel off-road. In most areas of the lake, 10 to 12 inches of snow is the norm, there are large stretches of broken, rough ice too and that dampens enthusiasm for exploration; at least it dampens mine.
Fewer folks are off work this year, and the availability of ..." Read >> Lake Winnie Ice Fishing Update January 13, 2022
Brandon Flaata wrote; Q) "Hi Jeff, Next week I will be going to Canada for an ice fishing trip. I know this is out of your area of reports, but I have been scouring the internet trying to research how to target lake trout. I have fished them and found success in the summer, but this will be my first time trying to target them through the ice.
Articles I have found online talk about using a plethora of various lures and fish anywhere in the water column from 6ft to 60ft. I haven't found much on jigging techniques to cover this array of depths other than keep jigging motions consistent and predictable. For somebody who hasn't fished for lake trout, what I have been able to research online has certainly left me with more questions than answers on even simply "where do I start?"
In your opinion, is lake trout fishing really this vague? It feels like there are more precise techniques a person can ..." Read >> Q&A Is Lake Trout Fishing Really This Vague? January 12, 2022
"Ice fishing is going strong on the south side of Lake of the Woods. As the season progresses, much of the ice fishing is pushing to deeper depths, anglers are now fishing 25 to 30 feet of water.
Daytime air temperatures from -20 to +20 from one day to the next is causing some havoc with the bite, but overall, anglers are still catching fish. The scenario is common, folks are sorting through numerous small fish in order to catch their "keepers", walleye and sauger smaller than 19-1/2 inches.
Anglers are also catching and releasing some walleye in the protected slot, fish between 19-1/2 and 28 inches in length. And there are some lucky anglers who have ..." Read >> Lake of the Woods Ice Fishing Report January 12, 2022
"I used to fish for Lake Trout a lot more than I do these days. Not that I didn’t love it, I did, but since I became addicted to ice fishing for panfish, Laker’s sort of wound up on the back burner for me.
Lately though, not only readers, but some family members too, have been asking questions about how to get set up for ice fishing Lake Trout. Since it’s been a while for me, I decided that the best way to handle the questions by getting some tips from my friends who fish for Lake Trout a lot more than me. This way, I can do justice to their questions while I also use the project as a refresher course to help fill in gaps in my own knowledge.
I started by calling my friend Andy Arola (photo left), he’d just returned home from a successful ice fishing trip for Lakers. As it happens, he and his crew were ice fishing on ..." Read >> Ice Fishing Lake Trout Tips and Tricks January 11, 2022
If you were to visit a foreign country, knowing a little bit about the language would come in handy. When you think of it, knowing how to "Speak Walleye" could also come in real handy on your next trip to the walleye hole.
Using an expressive ice fishing lure like the Wally Talker can help because it allows you to "speak the walleye's language" in more ways than one. A finesse bait, combined with an agressive bait, combined with an attracting bait, combined with a triggering bit. You get the idea, it's a lure that allows you to "talk" the walleyes right onto your hook.
Ultimate Cut Aluminum Drive Gear gives it power, seven bearings and a Glide Oscillation System that allows spooling and unspooling to be slick as silicone spray, these reels add a versatile reel to an angler who wants quality but also power to pull the bigguns out of heavy cover.
Features include: Ultimate Cut Aluminum Drive gear, Performance Drag, 7 Total Bearings, Rotor Sealed, Instant Stop Anti-Reverse and GLIDE
We are going to give our Wired2Fish followers a chance to win one of these beauties in our latest giveaway." Learn More and Enter >> 13 Fishing Kalon C Spinning Reel Giveaway
During the weekend, Minnesota residents can go ice fishing for free if they are fishing with a child 15 years old or younger. Minnesotans 15 years old or younger don’t need fishing licenses any time of the year.
“Ice fishing is lots of fun for kids and adults alike. There’s nothing quite like making your way onto a frozen lake, drilling a hole through the ice and catching fish,” said Benji Kohn, volunteer mentor program coordinator with the Minnesota Department of Natural Resources. “If you’re interested in giving ice fishing a try, ..." Learn More >> Minnesotans fish free with kids January 15 thru 17, 2022
"On January 7, 2022 I got this text message from Austin Jones; "A buddy of mine had a great day today on a day trip up to Lake of the Woods." Nate E, along with un-named fishing partner(s) drove their pickup truck out from the Springsteel Resort.
Springsteel's plowed roads are in good shape and ice thicknesses on Friday ranged between 17 and 18 inches. They stopped their pickup truck and set up a fishing shelter on the mud-flats in about 28 feet of water.
Nate E. wrote, "(we) Started the day with 5 smaller toss backs and pulled our first keeper walleye at 8:12 AM. From then on, the action stayed steady, with fish biting until about 1:30 PM when we put our last 16 inch fish in the bucket! Caught roughly 40 to 50 fish today!
Fish were very active for the Lindy Rattl'N Flyer Spoons! Pink (scarlet ice) and Gold were our best colors, we tipped them with a shiner. Fish were more active for the jig rod but were still catch fish on the dead stick! It was cold -26 degree morning, but a beautiful calm day on LOW!"
Q) On 1-6-2022 Thomas Wood wrote; "Just a quick note to say thanks for your reports! SUPER helpful! Heading to Lake Of The Woods, out of Zipple Bay Resort this weekend for the first time ever! SO excited. I have never fished the big lake before! Got an tips? Thanks again, Thomas"
A) Good morning sir and thanks for the note. We have fished out of Zippel Bay many times and there are numerous articles and videos from up there. So, instead of re-writing the history of ic e fishing at Zippel Bay on Lake of the Woods, let me instead share links to some of the work we've already done up there.
I'll add more links to articles and videos as I find them, but on my first run-through, I already located these articles that should help you ..." Learn More >> Lake of the Woods Tips and Tricks January 7, 2022
Having a hard time finding those mid winter crappies? Location and lure choice play an important role in successfully targeting mid winter slabs.
Follow Jon Thelen as he keys in on prime locations and presentations when ice fishing for transition crappies! View Video and Learn More >> Crappie Location & Lure Secrets for Mid Winter Ice Fishing – Fish Ed
As the ice thickens, some resorts and outfitters are using bombardiers to transport customers to an from rental shelters. There are others providing plowed roads and are currently allowing one ton trucks on their network of roads. Check with ice road operators for specifics as ice conditions vary. Stay on marked ice roads, trails, etc.
Fishing reports for walleyes and saugers are good. Ice anglers are still catching numbers of walleyes and saugers, sorting through smaller fish to find keepers. Slot and trophy walleyes in the mix along with eelpout, jumbo perch, pike, tullibee, and sturgeon.
Anglers are finding good action in ..." Read >> Lake of the Woods Ice Fishing Report January 4, 2022
"The New Years Weekend was a big one on Lake Winnie. Access roads around the lake opened up for vehicle traffic and the lake began filling up with eager ice anglers. Here are some updates about Lake Winnie Ice Accesses and travel conditions along with a few fishing updates as of January 2, 2022.
The accompanying map with numbered descriptions identifies the access points around the lake and provides the most up do date information available at the time. Please note the dates for each of the individual access point and ..." Read >> Lake Winnie Ice Conditions and Fishing Updates January 2, 2022
We are bracing for a BUSY weekend at The Pines! Elsewhere around the lake, access via plowed roads is still a big question mark. But thanks to good ice conditions in Tamarack Bay, fluffy snow and good plow trucks, our roads are in great condition.
The ice is good, with 18 inches being the most common measurement. We are currently allowing all pickup trucks towing manageable size ice fishing shelters out of our ramp. For folks with larger wheelhouses, like big tandem axle models, the landing at Tamarack Lodge is also available and open. Anglers have been showing up steadily all day long, so expect to find robust traffic on the lake. But if history is any indication, fish should remain cooperative throughout the weekend.
Walleye anglers are doing their best work using ..." Read >> Lake Winnie Ice Fishing Update 12-31-2021
I didn’t know for sure what to expect when I left the house, I thought that maybe I’d see back roads clogged with snow and hard to drive on, but they didn’t look that bad.
I was surprised when I got to Splithand Lake on Wednesday that snowfall there, while fairly deep, was not deep enough to stop folks from traveling onto the lake. There was a short road plowed and as you can see, it allowed access via pickup truck to a small group of anglers with permanent shelters on the lake.
On some of the other lakes I checked, there were not any formally plowed roads, but there were some users developed trails. There were slushy spots on them and to me, it was cause for concern. But when I talked to friends, they told me that ice conditions were dry and that they ..." Read >> Grand Rapids Report December 30, 2021
"It's been a great week of Ice fishing on the south end of Lake of the Woods. As the ice thickens, some resorts, outfitters and rental operators are allowing 1/2 ton trucks to use their plowed roads. Ice conditions vary from one region to another, so check with indvidual ice road operators for specifics about their systems. Stay on marked ice roads, trails, etc.
Fishing reports for walleyes and saugers are excellent. Most anglers are still catching numbers of walleyes and saugers, sorting through numbers of fish to catch keepers for a fish fry or to take home. Slot and trophy walleyes in the mix along with eelpout, jumbo perch, pike, tullibee, sturgeon and even a crappie or two.
Good action in 24 to 28 feet of water. For those who are portable, some morning evening walleyes ..." Read >> Lake of the Woods Ice Fishing Report December 30, 2021
"Walleye anglers continue to catch quality walleyes on area lakes. Numbers of fish caught, each outing, swings wildly for many anglers. One day you can catch well over a dozen, then the very next day get totally skunked. Gotta love winter walleye fishing!
Best bite continues to be reported in 20 feet of water and during the evening hours. Jigging spoons, tipped with a minnow head and dead sticking a good lively shiner or rainbow, continue account for the majority of walleyes being caught.
Big northern pike continue to come up the hole, weather you are targeting them or not, anglers ...." Read >> Ely Area Fishing Report December 29, 2021
Red Lake is well known for its shallow water walleye bite during the early ice fishing season, but this famous bite also brings a bucket load of anglers and overwhelming fishing pressure.
Watch Jon Thelen reveal how he locates and targets active walleye in high traffic areas on Red Lake!
View Video and Learn More >> Early Ice Location and Spoon Tactics for Upper Red Lake Walleye
According to the weather history map on the NOAA website, Grand Rapids only received 6 inches of snow during the past 72 hours. But I can tell you that I scraped at least that amount off my roof yesterday morning alone and that was before another day-long snowfall started. Just now, I scraped another 6 inches off the top of my truck, to me, that's 12 inches, at least. However much the total depth was, it’s taken 4 tanks of snowblower gas to allow me to get it almost under control.
This morning, the snow has stopped, and the cold temperatures have set in. Right now, -12 degrees is the reading outside my office window and the forecast is for a daytime high of about 1 degree. The cold snap, predicted to continue at least through the weekend, offers me an opportunity to get out from behind the snowblower and back into the field. I’ll be able to get some firsthand reports today and provide updates about both fishing and accesses to area lakes on Thursday morning.
Historically, the week after Christmas would mark the official opening for many of the resorts who provide ice accesses, shelters and plowed roads. So, of course, one big question now will be whether the snow is deep enough to cause trouble with slush. Another big question is whether the ice was already thick enough for some of the rental operators to begin plowing roads to the most popular ice fishing spots and whether they have rental shelters available.
I don’t want to get too far ahead of myself, but beyond the impact on our ice fishing season, I wonder, does this mean that the drought in northern Minnesota is over? — Jeff Sundin 218-245-9858 or EMAIL
Whenever you look at photos of me fishing during the winter, it’s easy to see that I spend a lot more time chasing panfish than I do Lake Trout. So, when Santa whispered in my ear that Joelle, my honorary daughter, had been hinting about Lake Trout gear for Christmas, I had to do some homework.
After doing some reading, checking with my friends who do chase lakers during winter, I figured out what I thought would work. One stop at 1000 Lakes Sports in Grand Rapids and I had almost everything I needed. A pair of 36-inch medium-heavy ice rods, a couple of matching spinning reels and some “super-line” for handling the big one, if it should happen to swim into strike range.
At our Christmas gathering, both Joelle and her boyfriend Patrick seemed pleased with the selections. Now, all we’d have to do is ..." Read >> One Fishy Christmas Story December 27, 2021
"On 12-23-2021 Travis Verdegan wrote; "In regards to the writers question (about Lake Winnie ice conditions) today. Birches is accessible by ATVs with limited issues. Just have to scoot around the pile off ice at the landing.
Long wheel base UTVs could probably make it but with more difficulty. Truck traffic is probably out for the year, or like you said Monday, until somebody comes along that doesn’t like their truck too much.
The second ridge has a decent gap in it and its clear sailing after that. Not a lot of traffic yet. Ice is about 10” over a mile of shore. There’s about an inch or two of snow in most places and the ice underneath isn’t too slippery, not using my ice cleats.
Action is slow so far today. I got two perch to commit, one missed bite, and about a half dozen lookers. Oops a pike just swam across my screen got to go. Have a good one, Travis"
"On 12-22-2021 Justin Haus wrote, "Good Morning, I can't seem to get an answer in regards to traveling beyond the first shoreline break(s) on Winnie with an ATV. Any reports on ice thickness beyond that point? Thank you for your time.
A) If you haven't had an opportunity to read the article Monday 12-21-2021 Lake Winnie Accessess Report . In it, Jeff mentions that there were lots of ATV tracks heading out and away from all of the popular landings at the west side of Winnie. As of Monday, Pat Rooney, Denny's Resort on the south side of the lake was reporting about 8 inches of solid, clear ice away from the shoreline break and over the lake's deep water basin.
Conditions since then have been encouraging, in fact, it was really cold Tuesday night, featuring sub-zero temperatures. Overnight Wednesday, into the early morning hours today (Thursday) temps have been in the mid-teens. Ice could have easily gained another inch or two, maybe more, since Monday's updates. In an update this morning, we see that Pat Rooney reports ..." Read >> Q&A Lake Winnie Ice Thickness December 23, 2021
"After a wild week of weather including over 1.5 inches of rain, then snow, we have had excellent ice making weather. Majority of anglers are reporting 8 to 11 inches of good solid ice on area lakes, a few brave anglers have been seen driving small truck on some area lakes. Slush has not been a issue for anyone. Won’t be long now and trucks will be a common sight on area lakes again. Ice roads continue to be maintained to popular spots.
Walleye anglers have been getting out their permanent houses out to popular walleye haunts and reports are showing it. Many anglers have reported good to excellent walleye fishing so far, during the ..." Read >> Ely MN Ice Fishing Report December 23, 2021
They just won’t bite!! Every problem has a solution, especially when it comes to finding active fish and triggering a bite in a high traffic ice fishing location.
Watch Jon Thelen and learn locations and clutch deadstick and jigging combinations for pressured crappie and bluegill!
View Video and Learn More >> December 22, 2021 Confidence Ice Fishing Tactics for Pressured Panfish
I’m not sure why I only saw this notice posted at one landing on my tour last Monday. But it struck me as important to let you know about the creel survey that the MN DNR will be conducting on Winnie this winter.
Creel surveys might seem un-important, but I’ll argue that they are one of the most important ways of gathering pertinent information about the productivity of a lake. For all the studying, researching, and speculating about how “the fish are doing” in any given lake, creel surveys are the only method that allows the DNR to understand how well you, the end user “is doing on the lake.”
As anglers, we all want a chance to ..." Read >> MN DNR Creel Staff Surveying the Survey-Able
On Monday 12-20-2021 I traveled the roads around the west, south and east sides of both Lake Winnie and Cutfoot Sioux. I didn't do any fishing but focused instead on updates about Lake Winnie Ice Accesses and travel conditions as of 12-20-2021.
Except for one seriously troubled spot (read #5 below) all the access roads, public ramps and user developed trails looked really good. Surface conditions looked great too, I'd be surprised if there is more than inch or two of snow anywhere. As you can see in accompanying photos, most of the ice surface looks clear, cold, and solid.
Access roads were all well-traveled and ramps at every location showed signs of recent travel as well, anglers using ATVs and snowmobiles have ..." Read >> Grand Rapids Area Ice Updates December 20, 2021
"Ice fishing is going strong on the south end of Lake of the Woods. As the ice thickens, resorts and rental outfitters start increasing weight limits. Each area of the lake can have very different ice conditions, check ahead based on where you access the lake. Stay on marked ice roads, trails, etc.
Fishing reports for walleyes and saugers are excellent. Most anglers report catching numbers of fish and having to sort through many small fish to find keepers. Good for the future but make sure you have plenty of bait.
Nice numbers of fish in the protected, 19.5 to 28.0 inch slot are being caught, quickly photographed and released. A good population of trophy walleyes over 28.0 inches in the lake and they ..." Read >> Lake of the Woods Ice Fishing Report December 21, 2021
I’m usually not in any big hurry to get in on the first wave of ice fishing. I figure there’s plenty of time for fun whenever there’s enough ice to support snow machines and eventually, pickup trucks. The sensation of “anxiousness” started smoldering inside me this weekend though, the lakes, virtually all of them, are filling up with ice shelters, ATVs, and snowmobiles.
Don’t start warming up your truck yet, but the early word from Winnie is that there will be some access, limited to the east side, Tamarack Bay specifically, for anglers driving light trucks as early as later today. There will be a full update about that as soon as the reports are confirmed.
Ice conditions on the main lake are sketchier. There is enough ice for ATVs and there are some small fishing shelters popping up out there too. But ..." Read >> Grand Rapids Area Ice Updates December 20, 2021
"The winter season has been going really well. We have had houses on the lake since Wednesday the 8th. There has been a great number of fish being caught, many little ones, which at times provide constant action allowing the Angler to use only one line. Anglers have caught many large Walleye, Northern and Sturgeon already this year. Presentation has not been much of a factor. A lively minnow on a hook is mostly what is important.
The ice situation is looking great right now. We had some ups and downs to start the month off. There was a layer of ice across the lake on the 1st of December, then on the 2nd we ..." Read >> Lake oif the Woods Ice Fishing Update December 20, 2021
Snow cover, which wasn’t very deep to begin with, melted down and formed some slush on the surface. There are still some drifts, so travel conditions may be a little rough, but now that cold weather has returned, we’re anticipating solid ice with little, if any snow cover.
On the ice, we have already opened an ATV only, staked trail over 12 to 15 inches of good ice. We can’t make any promises yet, but we’re watching ice conditions closely and anticipate opening a ..." Read >> Lake Winnie Ice Fishing Update December 16, 2021
"After a warmer then average week, last week, ice conditions changed little in the Ely area. Ice thickness on many area lakes is between 5 to 8 inches. Good news is slush is not a issue on the vast majority of area lakes.
Truthfully we have gotten no reports of slush being a serious issue anywhere. Only lakes where it is a little bit of a issue is the smaller lakes in the area. Even then, 1 to 2 inches of slush isn’t much of a issue.
Pike fishing has been hot, hot, hot for both numbers and size of pike. Anglers continue to find active pike in 5 to 10 feet of water, in weedbeds and weedlines. River mouths and mouths of shallow bays are also ..." Read >> Ely MN Ice Fishing Report December 16, 2021
"Ice fishing has begun and fish houses are out on most areas at the south end of Lake of the Woods. But anglers take caution, the lake is big and ice conditions vary greatly, so be safe and work through a resort or outfitter. Stick to their marked ice roads, trails and fishing areas where they have already checked ice conditions.
Fishing reports are excellent overall. Early ice is a great time traditionally and this year is no different. Good numbers of walleyes and saugers with eelpout, pike, perch and tullibees mixed in.
Anglers are fishing from 8 to 27 feet of water depending upon the time of day and ..." Read >> Lake of the Woods Ice Fishing December 14, 2021
If you discount Upper Red Lake out as the outlier, then it would be fair to say that for most folks, this weekend was the “ice fishing opener”. This morning, there are a lot of ice anglers who are happy that they went too, the weather was nice, the fish were biting and traveling on the ice wasn’t bad either.
Just in my circle of friends alone, there were reports of good walleye fishing on Lake of the Woods, both walleyes and crappies hitting near the Grand Rapids region and my friend Dustin Monson, pictured left, reported catching a mixed bag of panfish and crappies in the Brainerd area.
Ice thicknesses ranging between 6 and 9 inches were reported, but the median 7 to 8 inches was most common. Some of the images that folks shared with me showed ..." Read >> Ice Fishing Season Opener December 13, 2021
"An angler caught a muskellunge weighing 55 pounds, 14 ounces, from Mille Lacs Lake that the Minnesota Department of Natural Resources has certified as a weight-based state record.
The previous record was a 54-pound muskie caught from Lake Winnibigoshish in 1957. Although news of the fish has spread quickly in the news and social media, a record is not official until the certification process is complete.
Nolan Sprengeler caught the muskie on Nov. 22, with friends Kevin Kray and Zack Skoglund. Their plan was to fish the afternoon until after moonrise, which was about 8 p.m. After some delay due to low water and frozen water at accesses, they eventually ..." Read Full Story >> NEW Minnesota Muskie Record Set On Lake Mille Lacs
Wednesday’s ice tour began here in Grand Rapids when Jeff Wilkening, appealing to my plea for someone to provide transportation, picked me up. He asked which I wanted to go and not having any better idea, I asked him to follow a familiar path from east to west.
At this time of the season, I never know what to expect, if I’ll see something interesting or not. But like I explained to Jeff, if you don’t go, you won’t know and someplace along the line, you always learn something. If what Jeff and I learned Wednesday is any indication, it was that news about ice fishing someplace other than Upper Red Lake will begin flowing soon. In fact, in some instances, you can expect to hear new fish stories from around the Itasca Region later today.
Our tour started with a drive by the east side of ..." Read >> Firsthand Reports: Itasca Region Ice Tour December 9, 2021
Attracting more fish and triggering more strikes is what every ice angler wants to accomplish!
Understanding walleye behavior and adapting to their moods is the difference between having a "decent day" on the water or having a fantastic one. Whether it's lure selection, fishing location or fine tuning your final presentation, knowing when to apply the best tactic is key to maximizing your time on the ice.
In this new epsiode of Fish ED, Jon Thelen shares with you how an aggressive Glow Spoon technique can help put more quality walleye topside this winter! View Video and Learn More >> Aggressive Spoon Techniques for Quality Ice Walleyes
Q) Peggy Aldridge wrote; "Jeff, my husband and I saw the original Quiver Spoon in one of your articles a few years ago. We gave them a try and loved them, so when I saw your article yesterday, I thought the new rattling version would be a nice stocking stuffer for Christmas.
We love to shop locally, but tackle shops in our region are not very handy and when I tried a couple of the big box stores, I could not find them in stock. Can you please save me some time and let me know a good store to order from?
A) Thanks for the note Peggy, I'm like you and if I can buy something here in Grand Rapids or a nearby town, I always will shop locally too. But sometimes it just isn't that simple. You might have missed it yesterday, but I actually already ..." Read >> Where To Buy Rattl'n Quiver Spoon?
Whether driving to work or heading out fishing on a sheet of ice, there is an inherent risk in many of our daily activities. And while you can never label ice as 100% safe, having some basic knowledge, gear, and commonsense makes it a safe and enjoyable activity.
Famed multi-species fishing guide, Tony Roach, discusses some essential clothing, equipment, and, most importantly, key ice thickness criteria related to different modes of transport (foot, AVT/UTV/snowmobile, truck).
"Ice has covered the south side of Lake of the Woods and in some areas, ice fishing has begun! Other parts of the lake need a bit more time but things are moving along nicely. It is always a good idea to work through your favorite resort or outfitter as ice thickness and conditions vary from one area to another.
When ice roads and trails do open up, it is normally snowmobiles, ATV's and side by sides with collapsible fish houses initially. As the ice thickens, each ice road operator will announce when weight limits increase.
Some resorts are getting fish houses out and fishing is beginning this week. This is happening in areas of good ice that has been checked and marked. The initial word is fishing is very good! Read More >> Lake of the Woods Ice Fishing Report December 8, 2021
First off, I want to say thank you to everybody who responded to my note about taking me on a tour to check ice conditions yesterday. I have to say that it’s really nice to KNOW that there are so many giving people among the readership of my little website. I never expected that I’d get more responses than I could handle, but I did, and do so we’re good to go, thank you all again!
Anyway, reports from around the area are shaping up to be better than I was expecting. The strong winds that arrived with the weekend snowstorm did blow a lot of the snow off the surfaces. So, Monday and Tuesday’s cold temperatures have had a chance to ..." Read >> Read Ice Fishing Update December 8, 2021
On my trip home Sunday, I observed 2 kinds of lakes. Ones that didn’t have any ice yet and ones that had some ice but were being rapidly covered with snow. Depending on where you go specifically, north central Minnesota received anywhere from about 5 to 12 inches of snow. In my yard, 10 inches was about the deepest spot.
On Monday, most everyone I know spent the day digging out from the storm, so nobody spent a lot of time assessing the lakes for ice conditions. Honestly, I don’t expect anyone to be too optimistic about ice conditions for the upcoming weekend, but most folks should be somewhat more relaxed and I’ll be able to narrow down some accurate information.
Ordinarily, I’d just ..." Read >> Ice Fishing Report December 7, 2021
Last week, it seemed certain that the ice season was going to be on track for an average start up. In fact, friends of mine have already been fishing on the ice in North Central Minnesota, some of them several times. But if events along my drive down to the Twin Cities mean anything, the ice fishing season for many could actually be getting further away, instead of closer.
As I was talking with Evan Nelson, Highbanks Resort, about how the wind was blowing open large swaths of open water on Lake Winnibigoshish, I arrived at Mille Lacs Lake to find it wide open.
Chris Andresen, Mankato MN posted; “Not many times a person can ..." Read >> Ice Fishing Updates December 3, 2021
"If you’ve had some random thoughts about walleyes, walleye stocking, walleye limits or how to improve the walleye fishing in Minnesota, then this is one chance to speak up. The Minnesota DNR Walleye Advisory Committee is scheduled to meet this Friday, December 3, 2021.
Among the agenda items for tomorrow’s meeting are the statewide walleye bag limit reduction from 6 fish down to 4 fish. Walleye stocking is on the list too, specifically, what to do about lakes that were not stocked last year because of hatchery closures. Legalizing 2 line fishing in certain areas on certain waters is open for discussion too.
It may not be widely publicized, but members of these workgroups ..." Read >> Walleye Workgroup Meeting Announced
After relaxing my way through the Thanksgiving holiday and then the opening weekend of Minnesota’s Muzzleloader Deer hunting season, I decided it was time to get out on the road and see what the ice looks like in the Grand Rapids region on Tuesday. So I left home early, camera in the front seat and muzzleloader in back, just in case I spotted an opportunity to hunt somewhere along the way.
I drove north along Hwy 38, then east toward Wabana, then back north toward Suomi and eventually wiggled my way over to both Bowstring and Winnie. Essentially, I saw everything I expected to see except for one thing; I did not see anybody ice fishing and that was a surprise.
I know that winter sort of crept up on us this year and that not everybody has been chomping at the bit to ice fish. But honestly, I saw more ice yesterday than I did on the same date last year, when there was already ..." Read >> Ice Conditiions Report December 1, 2021
"On the south end... Ice is forming across the lake, river and bays. We are moving in a good direction, but need some more time before ice fishing begins.
The first spear houses are out on back isolated bays looking for pike. Some resorts offer spearing packages on Zippel Bay and Bostic Bay. Work through a resort as ice conditions vary. One resort reports 5-7 inches on their marked trail but they went around an area with only 1 inch of ice caused by springs. Safety first.
Our resorts and outfitters are on the ice daily checking thickness, avoiding springs, cracks, shifting ice, unclear and weak ice, etc. When the time comes they open their ..." Read >> Lake of the Woods Ice Fishing Report December 1, 2021
Remember these words?
“It appears that we might be headed for the classic hustle home from the (St. Paul) ice show and put on the ice-cleats scenario. If that happens, it will be the closest thing to a “normal” relationship between the fishing season and calendar that we’ll have seen all year long.”
I wrote that on November 17 and now, a week later, it looks like the so-called “normal” opening of Minnesota’s ice fishing season is nearly upon us.
Splithand Lake, the one you see pictured here, was ice covered on Monday afternoon. Most deeper water lakes in the Grand Rapids area ..." Read >> Ice Report November 23, 2021
"By now, most anglers have put their boats away and are either hunting or looking ahead to the ice fishing season. But the few anglers who did get out this week, had good success on the open waters of the south end of Lake of the Woods.
Ice is starting to form but is not safe yet. As of the writing of this report, bays such as Four Mile Bay, Zippel Bay and Bostic Bay have varying thicknesses of ice. Ice guides are monitoring conditions daily and make the call when it is time.
The first houses out will be spear houses on ..." Read >> Lake of the Woods Ice Report November 23, 2021
"On the south end... The fish are there, the anglers this time of year, not so much. Some are deer hunting, some have put their boats away and are getting the ice fishing gear ready. For those who have not winterized their boats, there are plenty of walleyes and saugers to be had.
Those who hit the water this week were rewarded. Schools of walleyes and saugers are set up along the south shore and are active. Anchored up and jigging with a fathead or emerald shiner is the most common method of fishing.
Most anglers report good fishing in ..." Read >> Lake of the Woods Rainy River Report November 17, 2021
I wouldn’t have made this comment last week when the early deer season and our hunt for Mr. Big didn’t even require heavy jackets. But heading into the Thanksgiving holiday, I’m beginning to think that Mother Nature plans to “normalize” the timing of our early winter weather pattern. The snowfall that began last Friday and lasted through the weekend is still laying in my yard and I’m starting to see small ponds and shallow bays ice over in the Grand Rapids area.
Without a crystal ball, it’s tricky to guess what will happen after next week. But if the current forecast plays out, we shouldn’t see more than a few hours’ worth of daytime high temperatures above freezing. Overnight temperatures in the low to middle teens would be enough to freeze some of the shallow lakes if we were to receive calm weather to go along with them. Unfortunately, the forecast includes breezy weather, I think that will ..." Read >> On Track For Normal Ice Season Opener?
"The use of jerkbaits with forward-facing sonar has proven itself a powerful combination in finding and triggering bass that we’ve been missing. Pro bass angler Brandon Palaniuk demonstrates how to use forward-facing sonar (Humminbird MEGA Live Imaging) in conjunction with 360 Imaging to locate prime structure and see fish and his lure relative to it. Once he finds fish, Palaniuk explains how to “video game” the lure based on the real-time interaction of the bass or any species for that matter.
The ability to see fish and your lure simultaneously is re-writing the rules of lure selection. “Seasonal” baits such as the jerkbait are quickly becoming year-round favorites, especially in clear water — this stems from the efficiency gained by seeing fish, casting to them, then getting bass to engage and ultimately bite the lure. The key is getting the bait in the strike zone and then figuring out the right cadence to get them to bite. Jerkbaits are the ultimate tool for free-style fishing, and real-time interaction is invaluable for this.
As an early adopter of Humminbird’s 360 Imaging, Palaniuk often gets asked if he’d ..." View Video and Learn More >> How to “Video Game” Bass Using Jerkbaits and MEGA Live
The one downside to the Buck is the gaps around the handle that allow the accumulation of unwanted germs and possible bacteria to form. The up side is the blade is fairly stiff which I like because previous knives I’ve owned the tip would curl up on the opposite side of the filet leaving meat on the skin.
I respect your opinion and look forward to your response.
"A) Dave, Fillet knives are a super subjective topic, everybody seems to like theirs "a certain, special way". For me, one that is just about perfect is ..." Read >> Sundin: Fillet Knives That Make The Cut October 6, 2021
"Competitive anglers need the best tools. They look for the best and try to stretch their hard-earned money to get there. Most look at a value-to-cost ratio when selecting their gear. Finding quality at an attractive price is sometimes tricky. More and more companies see that type of product as a substantial competitive advantage to sustain buyers and enhance their expectations.
Savage Gear has a stellar line-up of rods in their portfolio that is ever-increasing, and for this giveaway, we are giving five lucky Wired2fish followers a chance to win a 7'3" MH Battletek casting rod. Made from 30-ton high modulus carbon blanks, these rods are lightweight but will also stand up to the most challenging demands of even the hardest hook setters.
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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