Minnesota Fishing Reports
I’m learning that watching the weather forecast and anticipating its impact on ice-out is lot like watching a Vikings game. At the moment, it looks like we’re in the game, but we won’t know if we’re actually winning until after the 2 minute warning.
Right now, surface snow cover is melting really fast, feeder creeks and rivers are open and some of the ice around boat ramps or user developed landings is breaking up. But on the lakes, there are persistent reports of ice thicknesses ranging from 20 to 30 inches and we continue to see folks driving light trucks, apparently safely, on ..." Read >> Fishing Report April 21, 2018
"Nothing feels better than the first calm, sunny day that comes after a major wind storm.
But walleyes, recovering from turbulent conditions and heavy feeding binges, can be tougher to catch under the Bluebird skies.
This week Jon Thelen reveals tips and tricks for Lindy Rigging that will help you capitalize on “post blow” conditions and put more walleyes in your boat." View Video >> Lindy Rigging For Post Blow Walleyes
South of Grand Rapids, we stopped at one small lake just as a couple of young fishermen were driving off of the ice. They’d been in town for a couple of days and reported drilling through 20 to 24 inches of ice in the area they’d been fishing. They reported that execpt for the top few inches, that were honeycombed, the ice was solid and dry.
They said driving their SUV was easy on Tuesday, but was getting a little dicey by the end of Wednesday. One of the men added that he doubted whether or not he’d try to drive on the same lake again today (Thursday) because the surface was beginning to get soft and slushy. Both of them appeared to be pleased that they made it off of the ice without incident.
Panfish were biting they said and the two anglers were sporting big smiles, appropriate for ..." Read >> Grand Rapids Ice Conditions Update April 19, 2018
Highlights along my route were few and far between; most of the lakes I saw were still locked up with ice and the accesses were in very good condition. There were some areas of open water; both sides of the bridge at Little Cutfoot were open. That open water did not extend to the pipes where the DNR nets will eventually intercept spawning walleyes, but it was still a hopeful sign that spring is coming.
By the time I arrived at the north landing on Round Lake, my concerns about low water were heightened. Despite most of the state being dumped on by recent snowfalls, the north central region remains dry. Water at this landing is easily 3 feet low and looks just like it ..." Read >> Fishing Report April 18, 2018
"Wow. Don’t you just love this weather? I’ve been ice fishing on a regular basis but Sunday’s cold, blowing wind kept me off the lake. All it took was an early morning walk with my dog, Lily, for me to rethink my plans. There was no way I was going out there, as I had been on the ice for several consecutive days and needed a well-deserved break.
I almost feel driven to go, now that I have 85 ice fishing trips in the books. Why stop now, when there’s still 30” of ice and plenty of snow to keep it cool. I might just hit 100 trips this season after all. My goodness. And to be honest with you, I’m really looking forward to some open water outings and had two of them planned but both fell through.
Both had to do with Lake Superior and I’m sure you’ve seen all the videos taken of that wild and crazy lake over the ..." ... Read >> Greg's Guidelines April 17, 2018
"The walleye/sauger season closed April 14th with a bang. Strong numbers of big walleyes caught on the Rainy River this past week.
Rainy River setting up very nicely for MN Fishing Opener May 12th as big fish should still be there. Some big fish also caught through the ice adjacent to Pine Island. Reports of large cracks opening on the lake. Safety first. Ice roads closed to vehicles and are travel at your own risk.
Big pike being caught in pre-spawn areas and shallow bays. Live suckers, big smelt, or hot dogs working. Minnows and other legal fish used for bait must be authorized through bait dealers. Auger extensions still needed.
Rainy River sturgeon fishing is hot right now. Many big fish being caught this past week. Finding deeper holes and laying a ..." Read >> Rainy River Report April 17, 2018
"Walleye anglers on the Winnebago System’s lakes and rivers could see the daily bag limit drop from five fish to three by 2020 as the Department of Natural Resources updates its management plan for Wisconsin’s largest walleye factory.
The Winnebago System includes the state’s largest inland lake, Winnebago, and the upriver lakes of Butte des Morts, Winneconne and Poygan; as well as large portions of the Fox and Wolf rivers. The system covers 166,000 acres, which is 17 percent of Wisconsin’s surface waters. It also sustains a recreational fishery that contributes at least $234 million annually to local economies while supporting over 4,300 jobs.
The DNR enacted the system’s current walleye plan in ..." Read Article >> Lower Winnebago Walleye Limit
"Control of the double-crested cormorant will return this spring when the bird returns from wintering along the Pacific, Atlantic or Gulf coasts, according to federal authorities. Almost all culling was suspended last year after a federal judge ruled in May 2016 that the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service had failed to adequately assess its impact. With that study complete, the service can again issue permits to kill cormorants to protect property, habitat, airports, fish hatcheries and other birds.
“We’re trying to balance maintaining a stable cormorant population with managing them in the place where they’re causing damage,” said Tom Cooper, a region chief for the ..." Read Full Article >> People can once again kill cormorants
"As I began drilling a hole, my auger blade encountered crisp, solid ice that was dryer than I expected. In fact, even as the blade came close to punching out the bottom of the hole, ice chips were still coming up fairly dry. I didn't like that because the solid, dry ice chips were a signal that we haven’t had enough water from surface melting to saturate the ice. Saturating the ice with melted surface water is one way to speed up the melting process. So the dry ice isn't good news for anxious fishermen who want to see the ice go away in time for the fishing opener in 5 weeks.
There was one glimmer of hope though, when I measured the thickness of the ice, my tape measure stopped at a little less than 24 inches. I know that's still fairly thick, but it’s a far cry from the 40 inches of ice that ..." Read >> Ice Conditions Grand Rapids April 14, 2018
I feel bad for everybody in south central Minnesota where yet another “storm of the century” is expected to arrive soon. It’s no fun being stuck inside while there are still so many fishing opportunities available. But the weekend weather forecast for us folks up north doesn’t look bad at all and I hope that some of you can take advantage of it.
Sunny skies and temperatures in the mid-to-high thirties will be ideal for folks who’d like to ice fish for panfish or even take one last swing at Lake of the Woods Walleyes this Saturday. In fact, I spent a good part of Thursday checking the availability of lodging, hoping that I could take the Hippie Chick on an adventure to catch her walleye through the ice.
The folks at Border Bait advised me that the ice road going out of Wheelers Point was ..." Read >> Fishing Update April 13, 2018
"We are officially closed for the season and our spring clean-up is under way.
As we sit here looking out over the ice, it looks lonely out there. Happy for a chance to rest and prepare for the open water season, we still can’t help but miss the hubbub we experienced these past few months.
Reminiscing about our Winter Season, our thoughts turned first and foremost to ones of gratitude. We are humbled and thankful for all of our blessings. All of the friendships and love from our fellow anglers is overwhelming.
We’ve loved hearing your fish tales, sharing in your fish-fry’s and watching you enjoy your time away from work. Thank you all for a great season, we are thankful for your patronage!
Our mantra this year has been “Quality over Quantity” as there were lots of nice fish this season. There’s a lot to look forward to this year and we can’t wait to see how the open water season unfolds.
Now that it’s time to plan your summer vacation, be sure to check our cabin availability page. Thanks again everybody, we’re looking forward to seeing you again soon!" - Bill & Erin Charlton, Trails End Resort
On Tuesday, I wrote; "Referencing Bemidji Area Fisheries Manager, Gary Barnard's comments about Upper Red Lake Walleye bag limits, I found it interesting that he used the phrase "A Lot of Walleyes" to describe the 4 fish bag limit.
I can honestly say that for me, a 4 fish bag limit is fine. I have more than ample opportunity to catch enough fish to eat and I can usually accomplish it within a reasonable amount of time. But that said I still do not view a bag limit of 4 fish as “A Lot of Fish.”
Even the current statewide bag limit of 6 fish doesn’t stretch very far for folks who travel long distances to fish, or for those who have to wait for long periods of time between fishing trips. I suspect that folks who provide most of the tourism dollars to Minnesota’s economy come to our state because of “the promise” that they can take some fish home to eat. That is if they can ..." Learn More >> Walleye Bag Limit Poll
"Ice fishing on the lake doing well. Reefs near Arnesen's and Long Point producing some nice keepers.
Some big walleyes being caught along Pine Island. Rattles working well on all spoons. Ice roads all different open to trucks some only atv/sleds, and some closed. Call ahead and work through a resort-outfitter who is monitoring their road.
Big pike being caught in pre-spawn areas. Live suckers, big smelt, or hot dogs have been producing best. Pike bait must be through authorized bait dealer to prevent VHS.
Walleye Season Closes Saturday April 14. Auger extensions still needed.
Rainy River spring fishing was difficult on weekend anglers as temperatures were overnight temps were in single digits. Birchdale and Frontier landings are still open to ..." Read >> Lake of the Woods Fishing Report April 10, 2018
"Our past week, originally set aside for a fishing trip to the gulf to catch Redfish was diverted to a working vacation right here at home.
Merging two households into one is never easy, but pairing down into an 823 square foot house makes the process extremely interesting. Somehow though, the week of sorting the sortable and transferring cartons from one place to another has ..." Read >> Sundin Update April 9, 2018
“Anglers really like the current opportunities to keep lots of walleye on Upper Red Lake,” said Gary Barnard, area fisheries supervisor in Bemidji for the Minnesota Department of Natural Resources. “These regulations serve a specific purpose now, but we want to be clear that eventually we may need to pull back.”
Red Lake’s walleye harvest is managed under a joint harvest plan, revised in 2015 by ..." Read >> Upper Red Lake Walleye Regulations For 2018
"Cool mornings and brisk breezes kept me at bay, off the ice and staying home. One could have easily gone fishing, as it certainly was a lot warmer than the dead of winter, but I’m pretty much in the “no shelter mode” now, traveling light and standing out in the elements. The truck is rigged for that style of fishing and there’s no going back now.
Holed up and watching television, I enjoyed a couple ice fishing shows featuring eel pout fishing. My, where have we gone?
One was Larry Smith Outdoors, who was doing the nighttime eelpout bite with good friends of mine. It’s always entertaining and fun to watch, when you know the people involved.
Larry’s first stop was ..." Read >> Greg's Guidelines April 4, 2018
Ice fishing on the lake heated up this week. Reefs to the west produced some nice fish as did areas adjacent to the south shore. Shallows overall producing nicely for the morning / evening bite. Fish deeper in the afternoon.
Rippin Raps hot this week along with plain hook and live minnow. Some ice roads open to trucks some only atv/sleds, and some closed. Call ahead and work through a resort / outfitter who is monitoring their road. Big pike being caught in pre-spawn areas and on top of reefs. Live suckers, big smelt, or hot dogs have been producing best. Pike bait must ..." Read >> Lake of the Woods Update April 4, 2018
The snow melted down on area lakes even faster than I was anticipating yesterday, improving the odds re-freezing the surface ice. From what I could see on my tour yesterday, anglers will see good travel conditions this week as an April bonus.
As I headed west from Grand Rapids, I didn’t see much activity on the lakes or at the bait shops. For a time, I was ready to declare the unofficial ending of the ice fishing season. But the further west I drove, the more action I saw and now I’m convinced that Friday and Saturday could be fairly busy days on the ice.
I am kicking myself now because I didn’t ..." Read >> Ice Fishing Report March 29, 2018
INTERNATIONAL FALLS, Minnesota U.S. Border Patrol Agents assigned to the International Falls Station detained seven people after observing them enter the United States illegally on snowmobiles on Rainy Lake.
On March 24, 2018, agents observed five snowmobiles travel south from Canada and illegally enter the United States on Rainy Lake near Dryweed Island. Agents responded to investigate and encountered seven individuals at a local lodge. Through questioning, it was determined that all of the individuals were citizens of the United States and that they had been fishing in Canada.
Three of the individuals claimed to have been working as fishing guides and the other four ..." Read >> News Release U.S. Border Patrol Detains 7 Crossing Rainy Lake Illegally
Remember the woman that I mentioned on Tuesday, the one that asked for a day off to go fishing on the Rainy River yesterday?
Well here's a post card that Hailey Slatten sent via email this morning; "My boss, Susan Sundin gave me your info for me to send you these pics from yesterday on Rainy River.
This one is 28.5 inches and it's my biggest walleye yet! Fishing was good both in the morning and again during late afternoon/evening. We caught a total of 41 walleye for the trip!
My snowmobile is not coming in as handy as I thought it would. The snow covered roads that we woke up to on Tuesday morning were bone dry by mid-afternoon. The runoff began filling roadside ditches, small creeks opened up and puddles forming at the landing of my target lake forced me back home.
Typically, that would be good news, because the meltdown would set the stage for a re-freeze and water saturated snow wouldn’t last long on the surface of area lakes either, but there’s another major cold front coming in tonight. I doubt that the remaining snow will melt fast enough today to ..." Read >> Ice Conditions Update March 28, 2018
On March 27, 2018 Tim Olson wrote; “Jeff, following the discussion about muskies and musky stocking, I see some folks referencing a supposed relationship between muskies and a decline in Northern Pike populations and/or spawning success. Are you aware of any direct relationship between the two? Also, I’m wondering about your take on the new pike regulation that will allow a 10 fish limit for northern Minnesota?
A) Tim, pike and muskies not only spawn at different times, but also spawn using very different habitats from each other. Pike begin staging near their spawning grounds before the ice melts and will be the first fish to ..." Read >> Muskies, Stocking and Ideal Habitat March 28, 2018
March 31st marks the day that all permanent ice fishing shelters must be removed from all Minnesota/Canada border waters. On Lake of the Woods, most shelters are gone already, the rest are being removed in a hurry as ice roads begin to close for the season.
While access to the lake by vehicle isn’t completely shut down, finding roads that remain open is a day by day proposition. I wouldn’t suggest driving up there unless you have already called your favorite operator and have assurances that access will be allowed.
Last night my wife told me about a story developing further upstream. One of her co-workers asked for the day off today, saying that the access on the river, (Birchdale, I think) is open and Rainy River walleyes are biting and that she needs to ..." Read >> Fishing Report March 27, 2018
After attending hearings about the controversial bill to ban Musky stocking, Vern Wagner, Anglers for Habitat wrote; “Just back from testifying against the proposed anti-muskie law authored by state Sen. Bill Ingebrigtsen, R-Alexandria, Ingebrigtsen and co-authored by Senate Majority Leader Paul Gazelka.
The Committee struck most of the Bill but kept in a moratorium on stocking new lakes in Ottertail County until a study can be conducted about the effect of the new 54 inch limit.
It doesn't make any sense because they only set aside $50K for the study and a real study by the U of M would cost 5 to 10 times that amount). Additionally, there are already so many studies out there that this one appears to ..." Read >> Controversial Muskie Legislation Stricken; Mostly
"Snow cover has finally settled and as of last weekend, there was plenty of ice for vehicle traffic on most lakes, with most of it measuring in the 24” range, but this is a time of the season when extra precautions need to be taken.
River mouths are extending their reaches so it’s always wise to keep a safe distance. Moving water can make things deteriorate in a hurry.
Out on the lake, you’ll notice areas starting to open near shore, due to springs or runoff created by warming temps. Also, many of the accesses are starting to ..." Read >> Greg's Guidelines March 27, 2018
I’m home from the Northwest Sportshow, back into my office and probably asking the same questions that some of you are. How much longer can I ice fish and where should I go to do it?
The answer about timing is that we have at least a couple weeks’ worth of ice on the lakes. Reports of 26 inches came from as far west as Devil’s Lake North Dakota this weekend. Closer to home, finding reports about ice thicknesses of 40 inches are common.
There’s plenty of ice for fishing, but for anglers, how to ..." Read >> Ice Conditions Report March 26, 2018
Like it was it yesterday, I can remember watching Al Lindner on TV showing his fishing fans his latest and greatest presentation for catching walleyes; The Lindy Rig.
In its 50th year, the Lindy Rig has produced more walleyes for more anglers than any other lure that’s ever come along.
Turning 50 is a big deal and as you’d expect, the folks at Lindy threw a birthday party for the Lindy Rig. Before appearing at the event, America's most popular walleye lure got a makeover and at 50, looks better than ever before.
Poduced right here in the USA, now includes all of the custom touches that avid walleye anglers want. Fluorocarbon line, assorted hook colors, customizable 10 foot leader lengths and super convenient packaging.
"Fishing reports all over the board this week. Some anglers filling the bucket, while others getting just enough for dinner. Lots of little fish to sort through with a lot of small fish in the system. Some trophy eyes showing up again this week. Electronics very helpful. Resorts are out in 24-33' and continue to make final pushes shallow.
Glow pink spoons with some gold working best. Many big pike being caught in shallower water. Live suckers the best, but hard to ..." Read >> Lake of the Woods Fishing Updates March 22, 2018
"Last week’s mild weather was definitely responsible for the lower snow-pack on the area lakes and the melt-down has continued throughout this week. The below freezing temperatures at night have hardened the remaining crust, which in many places is enough to hold a up snowmobile and a portable fish house quite easily.
The thing is, when you get out the shovel and dig down to the ice you may well run into three or four inches of slush and water under the crust. After you’ve drilled your holes you’re apt to ..." Read >> Frontier Sports Report March 22, 2018
"No roads on steamboat bay but I did see 2 roads out of ericksons landing. I'm not sure about the ice conditions but I got to believe there is still plenty (of ice) to drive. We are not open so anybody wanting to go to steamboat bay will have to use ericksons landing with 4 wheelers. Our access is closed until May 1, 2018" Lee & Laura Nupson, Oak Point Resort
"There are a few roads still accessable on the south end of Cass Lake, but they are pretty rough. It didn't stop our guests last weekend, going out the the south bay of Star Island, they took shovels and got stuck a few times.
The launches are holding up really good and the ice is still reported to be 30"+ the only issue is finding a way to the launch through some pretty rutted up roads, We are closing our road to the lauch, so if someone comes with a 4 wheeler or snowmobile they can still make it to the lake and launch - for awhile. Fishing was okay for some but slower than hoped for." - Wayne & Sue Marchant, Sah-Kah-Tay Beach Resort (218) 335-2424
"Hey Jeff, we just returned from Winnibigoshish on Sunday. The snow pack is still deep enough to make it rough going for anything other than a snowmobile or Helicopter. especially after the afternoon sun softens the crust up a tad. The Roads are in good shape if you are into that sort of thing. While perchin, I agree fully with the need for weeds. lots of small perchies in the sand at 12 ft. On Winni at this time of year mobility to find the dark weedy bottom is key. If the roads don't lead there....well good luck and tight lines to ya. Going back in 2 weeks(God Willing). WACK!"
"People are getting out on the lake better than they have been able to most of the winter.
Only had 2 trucks completely stuck this last week. Hard crust in the morning with soft slush in the afternoon. Not terrible roads but great weather to be out there fishing." - David, Northern Acres Resort
"I don't know if you need this information or not. But as you might expect, the Mississippi River channel here at Oak Haven is wide open, like normal. It was ice covered 4-6 weeks ago. (Obviously with the river flowing underneath the ice.) I don't have information about ice on the lakes." Mike Trachta, Oak Haven Resort, 218-335-2092
"Plenty of ice out there! 30 plus inches of solid ice!" Spirit of the North Resort
"Still lots of snow on Cutfoot, and plenty of slush holes. A few trucks are getting on the Seelye landing, but are pretty limited where they can go. The landing seems solid as of now. Snowmobiles or ATVs with tracks are the best way to go." Bryan Harris, Eagle Nest Lodge 218-246-8701
"The third river access is still open road is holding up as the temps have not gotten over 40 and it is still dropping down into the teens over night. Good ice road down to clay Banks. Traveling out is not great but still getting around on ATVs. Even had trucks out to the ridge. Nice evening bite for the crappies nice Jumbo's too. " - Dixon Lake Resort has shelter rentals, including sleepers. Reservations 218-659-4612
For me, whether or not we should be hoping for a late spring became the unexpected takeaway question after Tuesday's meeting about Lake Winnibigoshish in Grand Rapids.
Conducted by MN DNR Fisheries Supervisor Dave Weitzel and Large Lake Specialist Gerry Albert, most of the presentation revolved around Lake Winnie’s changing ecosystem and how they affect the fishery. Zebra Mussels, Faucet Snails, Starry Stonewort and clearing water got a lot of attention. So did protected walleye slot-limits, tribal netting and the ability of anglers to adapt to the changing water conditions.
I didn’t hear anything un-expected until Weitzel and Albert discussed a possible connection between walleye spawning success and ..." Read >> Should Walleye Lovers Be Hoping For A Cold April?
If you can’t catch walleyes during the day, fish ‘em at night”. These are the words of Captain Ron Hunter, legendary fishing guide and former owner of Judd’s resort on Lake Winnie.
He said this more as a jab at our fishing ability than as advice. Well, Captain Ron never has much problem catching them during the day, but admittedly it’s getting tougher and tougher.
Lake Winnibigoshish was known for years as a gentleman’s lake. Most days the fish bit from 8-4. You’d come in, clean your fish and be ready for happy hour by 5:00.
Over the last 7 years I’ve probably spent an average 75 days on the lake fishing and trying to pattern the walleyes and perch of Winnie. These days, the lake is changing and so are the habits of “Ole Marble Eyes”. Read Article >> Walleyes Get Hotter when the Sun Goes Down on Lake Winnibigoshish!
Unless someone sent you a reminder you that today marks the first day of spring, it could slip your attention. Winter has no intention of melting away early this year and from what I can observe, we’ll be talking about ice fishing well into April.
Its 20 degrees outside my door right now and temperatures barely crossed north of the freezing mark on Monday. In fact as of yesterday, ice conditions in the Itasca Area were actually improving rather than deteriorating. So for ice fishermen, squeezing in an extra trip or two this weekend should pose little problem.
So far we haven’t received a traditional full meltdown of snow on the surface of most lakes. But warm temperatures last week did encourage a combination of settling and evaporation that have greatly reduced the amount of snow cover on our lakes. Much of the water that was trapped below deep snow has ..." Read >> Ice Fishing Update March 20, 2018
"The Minnesota Department of Natural Resources Grand Rapids area fisheries office, will hold an open house to discuss historic and recent changes in Lake Winnibigoshish. The meeting will be tonight, Tuesday, March 20, from 7 p.m. to 10 p.m. at the Minnesota Interagency Fire Center, 402 SE 11th St., Grand Rapids. The meeting will begin with a short presentation of data and include time for questions. Fisheries biologists will ..." Read >> DNR To Discuss Lake Winnibigoshish
The 2018 Legislature could prove to be an apex predator of Minnesota muskies if a new bill introduced by a key committee chairman succeeds in depleting the big fish from numerous lakes.
The proposed anti-muskie law authored by state Sen. Bill Ingebrigtsen, R-Alexandria, Ingebrigtsen’s bill and co-authored by Senate Majority Leader Paul Gazelka, R-Nisswa, and has bipartisan support from Sen. Tom Bakk, D-Cook, calls for muskie-stocking prohibitions, liberal harvest of muskies and a new muskie study.
Ingebrigtsen’s proposed bill would stop the DNR from introducing muskies to waters not previously stocked with the fish. Any savings realized from the ban must be used for walleye stocking. The bill also seeks to force the DNR to drop its statewide, 54-inch minimum size limit for ..." Learn More >> MPLS Star & Tribune Minnesota Legislature Declares War on Muskies
"It’s the time of year when outdoorsmen are more-or-less dancing around weather/lake conditions and doing whatever Mother Nature allows. This means venturing out on various waters in search of panfish until the ice gets too soft, heading north to Lake of the Woods for better ice and good walleye fishing, heading south to fish the shores of Lake Superior, or just plain attending sport shows. Yes, it’s all happening now (you have no excuse to sit home).
A trip to Lake Vermilion two weeks ago had us (me, Kris Clusiau, & Blake Liend) looking for a ..." Read >> Greg's Guidelines March 19, 2018
Dry conditions have encouraged a slow melt this week and as snow cover compacts, travel conditions on the ice continue to improve. I’m still travelling by snowmobile because there’s no reason not to and will continue to do so. But I am seeing vehicle traffic increase on some of the smaller waters in and around Grand Rapids these days.
NOAA’s weather forecast calls for nighttime temperatures below freezing and daytime highs in the mid to high 30’s. If that forecast plays out, I envision an extended ice fishing season that will run well into ..." Read >> Ice Fishing Report March 18, 2018
"This will be the last day of public access for vehicles at our resort. Yesterday was warm and there was a lot of water on the surface of the ice. Overnight, some of the surface water re-froze and it's still trying.
We'll monitor conditions closely and we may possibly remain open for ATV travel, but that will depend on how the weather breaks today and early tomorrow." - Bill & Erin Charlton, Trails End Resort
I was surprised that the snow had not melted more than it has, but I guess it didn’t warm up as much as I expected while I was away from home. The only folks that I saw fishing anyplace on Thursday were travelling by snowmobile.
That said, the snow has settled somewhat and I did see places where user developed roads have popped up. Some of those single lane trails are better than others, so driving your truck onto the ice will require that you ..." Read >> Ice Conditions Report March 16, 2018
"Here are 15 proven fishing knots we think will make you extremely versatile in bass fishing. These knots will give you a lot of options for joining lines, creating loops on lures, snelling, or just getting stronger connections and quick solid knots when you’re in a hurry to get your lure back in the water.
We've illustrated how to tie each fishing knot, and made it easy to view on your phone out in the boat. So be sure to bookmark this link for later and share it with your fishing buddies." Learn More >> 15 Fishing Knots Every Angler Should Know
Flag Island Resort, its staff and owners were welcoming and warm in every possible way. It’s the kind of place that makes you want to plan your next trip even before your current one is even finished. Located in the Northwest Angle on Lake of the Woods, they have the market cornered on everything from fabulous walleye fishing to gorgeous sunsets and they provide outstanding service.
Our trip to Flag Island was a good one, the weather was great, the fish were cooperative and travel conditions were good. In fact, there haven’t been more than a few inches of new snow since our last visit a month ago.
For snowmobilers, the trails are well groomed and off road travel on the hard packed snow is easily managed. The ice roads are in excellent condition and the ice thickness is ..." Read >> Lake of the Woods, Northwest Angle Report March 15, 2018
"These next few days will be crucial days in determining how long we’ll be able to keep our access open. Warm sunny, days are causing the shoreline ice to soften, but as long as we continue receiving below freezing temperatures at night, we stand a chance of prolonging it.
Our landing could hold up for a few days or maybe even a week, we’re taking it day by day and will keep you posted.
On the lake, there are still 40 inches of ice, maybe more!
Crappies are on the move, heading into the ..." Read >> Bowstring Lake Ice Fishing Update March 15, 2018
As we roll through March fishing has heated up. Electronics helpful. Some fish are aggressive and others must be enticed. Most resorts are out in 24-33' and continue to push shallower. Glow spoons working. Smaller presentations working well tipped with a shiner or chub head/tail. Pike fishing on fire with many 35-43 inch fish iced. Auger extension needed if fishing on your own with 4+ feet of ice in most areas. Snowmobilers stay on marked trail, big ice chunks off of trail. Fish houses allowed to be left on lake LOW through March 31st, walleyes open through April 14, pike open all year.
Rainy River pushing out some bigger walleyes in the morning/evening with an occasional sturgeon. Morning, evening bite most effective. Lots of ice but spring river walleye anglers looking for that to change by end of month.
The NW Angle fishing continues to be good. Walleyes, saugers and pike doing very well. 17-19 feet will produce late in the day with 21-25 feet being most productive away from structure during mid day. Pink, white and gold have been most productive all around. Glow or UV have also had success during cloudy conditions if charged often. Crappies being caught in holes of 25 feet or deeper. Catch your crappies and move on. Snowmobile trails on and around the lake are marked and groomed.
As of last Sunday, I’ve still be using my old Bearcat to get around on the lakes but that almost came to a screeching halt, when I visited a small lake up north, looking for crappies. Motoring out from the public access, I ran into deep slush and was lucky to make it out of it.
Squeezing the throttle for all it was worth, I slowly spun my way to “higher ground.” Glancing behind the snowmobile, I found a real surprise. My fishing shelter, which wasn’t sporting a travel cover, was filled with slush and water. I couldn’t even see any of my gear.
First things first. I unhooked the shelter and plotted a path to ..." Read >> Greg's Guidelines March 13, 2018
Q) "On March 9, 2018 Ralph Zobjeck wrote; "After reading this (Will Winnie Walleyes Make A Comeback?) I have to ask. Why is this lake and her smaller connected lakes consistently harvested for their roe at Cut Foot if there seems to be an issue with the hatch? Shouldn't this practice be suspended for a couple of years if the problem is not enough smaller fish?
A) I understand that it does seem to be counter-intuitive, but the simple answer is that eggs deposited naturally by walleyes upstream of Little Cutfoot have a very poor survival rate. Over time, sedimentation has degraded the habitat where they ..." Read >> Does The Cutfoot Sioux Egg Harvest Hurt Winnie?
Tune in this weekend as Outdoor Bound TV travels to famous Lake Winnibigoshish in northern Minnesota for a little Northern Pike action with our friend Bill Heig of Bowen Lodge and long time friend & guide, Jeff Sundin.
On this trip we're not targeting the monster Pike, we're looking for eater fish on light tackle. Then Jeff shares with us his recipe for blackened pike at a backyard fish fry by the lake.
Watch the episode Sunday Morning at 11:00 AM on WDIO TV 13, Duluth, MN or click here for more >> Outdoor Bound Channel Options - Jeff Sundin 218-245-9858 or EMAIL
"With the recent colder temperatures, the snowpack has settled and firmed up a bit. Slush is still a major concern but at least the storm we were expected to get hit with went down to the south, leaving us with barely any new snow. On the other hand, we did get winds up to 40 mph so that kind of put a kibosh on fishing activity for a couple of days.
As for vehicle travel, it's a snowmobile only situation for the time being. There are some plowed roads out on the more popular lakes but that could end at any time. I haven't seen many anglers out on ..." Read >> Frontier Sports Fishing Report March 10, 2018
Q) Al Kirkpatrick wrote; “Wondering your thoughts on Big Winnie. Do you think Walleye populations will return to the days of old, or is this lake another disaster due to poor young of the year recruitment?
These slots just seem to mess up lakes with too many larger males that decimate forage. I'm all for saving spawning females, but things just don't seem to work out well with the existing slots. I think it's more than just the clear water situation occurring on Winnie. Given the poorer than normal productivity during recent seasons and the harvest being way down from the good old days, this lake should just be chuck full of walleye, but I ..." Read >> Q&A March 9, 2018 Come Back For Winnie Walleyes?
"Ice conditions have been improving. We skirted by with only a dusting from this last Snow Storm.
We are looking forward to finishing this Ice fishing season strong and so far So GOOD! Now,let's see if the fish will cooperate.
In my opinion, fish are are in transition and moving. But Bill works VERY hard to make sure people can get where they want to go and hopefully, the paths of our plow truck and hungry fish will soon cross.
Cabin reservations during the week get a discount. We have a few pizzas left for delivery on the ice, but once they are gone, they're gone for the rest of the season. We will keep everyone posted about supplies as we go along.
Unoccupied houses need to be off by March 19th up here. Anyone with houses parked on our Ice lot will need to come get your house by Appointment. So, please call. We want to make sure you are safe getting off the ice." - Bill & Erin Charlton, Trails End Resort
The rain and snow that had been expected to arrive on Monday failed to find its way into the Grand Rapids area. While areas to the south and west got dumped on, we wound up with little more than a dusting of snow. On the lakes, snow cover remains heavy because cooler temperatures have slowed the melting.
Lacking a full scale meltdown, slush problems will persist in many areas. At the most popular lakes, packing of the saturated snow has improved conditions wherever there has been heavy fishing traffic.
Off road travel by vehicle is ..." Read >> Ice Conditions Update March 7, 2018
New regulations for catching and keeping northern pike will be the most significant change anglers will see when they open up the 2018 Minnesota Fishing Regulations Booklet being distributed throughout the state.
“Anyone who wants to keep pike in Minnesota’s inland waters needs to take a close look at these regulations and be prepared to measure the pike they want to keep starting on the Saturday, May 12, fishing opener,” said Al Stevens, fisheries program consultant with the Minnesota Department of Natural Resources.
The new fishing regulations have three distinct zones to address the different characteristics of pike populations in Minnesota. While not designed to manage for trophy pike, the new regulations are meant to ..." Read >> New Northern Pike Fishing Regulations Coming For 2018
"Yay! It appears the heavy snowfall stayed south of us. That’s the last thing we need, when it comes to being able to get around on the lakes.
Over the weekend, I tried a couple seldom-fished waters up north and experienced very poor travel conditions. Using a snowmobile, I found deep snow and slushy areas where someone had previously fished. It was a mess and I made sure not to stop.
Walking about, testing open holes was a chore as well, with deep snow making ..." Read >> Greg's Guidelines March 6, 2018
You’ve probably already seen videos of big bass being caught in Florida this spawning season, a welcome relief for anglers still battling freezing winter weather.
What's cool is that the state's length means anglers often see all stages of the spawn waving through the geography. Obviously, Lake Okeechobee and other South Florida waters go first, but even within the same lake, it’s not rare to find bass coming and going.
Wes Porak, who spent 35 years as a fisheries biologist with the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission before retiring in 2017, once told me that this is ..." Learn More >> Florida Bass Fishing Bucket List
"Fish activity increasing as we roll into March. The fish have always been there but temperamental. Stable weather helpful. As always, some houses doing better than others and some days better than others.
Electronics continue to be very helpful. Most resorts are out in 24-33' and making a push shallower. Smaller presentations working well tipped with a shiner or chub head. Pike fishing continues to heat up. Auger extension needed if fishing on your own with 4+ feet of ice in ..." Read >> Lake of the Woods Ice Fishing Update March 6, 2018
For me, five of the past six days were spent on the ice fishing. Three of those days were very good and two of them were not good at all. As far as I can tell, the only reason for the two slow days was my inability to keep up with moving fish.
Having the right lures, the right baits and the best electronics are all critical for catching fish. Having reliable transportation to and from the fishing spot is pretty darn important too. But on balance, knowing where fish are located is still way more than half the battle. Obviously, if you don’t know where they are, there’s nothing you can do to entice them into biting.
Where they are right now is on the ..." Read >> Ice Fishing Report March 5, 2018
"Over the past couple of days, Bill has been cutting in a fresh road out onto the lake. We are pleased to announce that our roads are cleared and we are open for business." - Bill & Erin Charlton, Trails End Resort
"We've been pretty busy this week. Steam boat bay is full of snow and we are not allowing anyone to use our ramp until opener. We shut down March 1st and will not be plowing any roads. You can drive onto the lake from Ericksons landing if you have a good 4 wheeler or big 4 wheel drive. I'm not sure if it is slushing up underneath yet." Lee Nupson, Oak Point Resort
Reporting back with an update about last week's Q&A regarding pre-mature loss of battery voltage in his Ice Helix 7, Steve Sykes wrote; "Thanks for your help, it worked! Battery lasted all day long and I actually still had 70% battery life after a full day of ice fishing." Click >> Review Original Ice Helix 7 Q&A Here
On my way onto the lake yesterday I drove past a sign that said "No More Plowing After March 1st". I was on my snowmobile so the impact on me isn't great, but I did think about all of the permanent shelters and "wheel houses" that will soon need to be taken home. Many of them have already disappeared from the scene at this popular entry point after recent heavy snowfalls.
For the moment, there aren’t any anglers driving anywhere except on the large lakes where plowed roads remain available.
Yesterday I promised an update about travel conditions for the weekend, let’s get right to it, starting with this. There are quite a few responses, so be sure to follow the link below to see all of them.
Q) Blia Yang wrote; "Hi Jeff, I just want to ask if you can report on the ice thickness up there. I see reports of auger extension needed for those who want to tackle the late perch season on Leech or Winnie. Unlucky for me, I passed on an auger extension early this winter, now a lot of stores are sold out or out-of-stock."
A) I did shoot a message to Bill Powell at Fred’s Bait in Deer River and he says YES, most folks on Winnie are using extensions right now. The alternative, he says is to ..." Read >> Ice Fishing Updates March 1, 2018
"There's still uncertainty about side imaging technology and if it's worth it. We let the imaging do the talking and let you decide based on fishing style and budget.
The goals of this video are to 1) prove that side imaging technology produces highly detailed pictures far off to the sides of the boat, and 2) help you decide if this technology is right for your fishing situation. To accomplish this, we filmed on an ultra clear lake and drove a shallow rock flat covered with boulders and also containing sunken boats and tires. An in-boat camera was focused on the fish finder screen while a drone flew overhead (synched with in-boat camera). Jeff “Kolo” Kolodzinski simply drives the structure and ..." View Video To Learn More >> Is Side Imaging Fish Finder Technology Right for You?
That's right, help me sell this fabulous boat and you will receive a full weekend of free fishing with me. Even if the new home you find is your own, you can still get the free fishing trip.
I definitely love my 208 Lund Pro V GL, but it’s getting close to the start of a new season and it's time to make room in the shed for the next one.
Either you, or someone you know can cash in on big savings by picking up this luxurious fully rigged and ready fishing boat for $15,000 below the retail price.
If you’re reading this page, then you already know that I like to ... Learn More >> Lund 208 ProV GL Tiller For Sale
"Our ice fishing wall of fame is beginning to fill up with images of nice fish and reports from our guests share a common theme. Fishing action on Bowstring has been a little slower this winter when compared to the past couple of seasons. But the lake is making up for a slower pace by providing anglers with fish of quality size.
The Crappie population, prone to being cyclic, is in a re-building mode right now. Fish from the very strong 2010 year class that remain in the lake are now ranging between 12 and 13 inches. Fish in that size range are typically less abundant, but certainly are well worth a little extra effort.
Most crappie fishermen know that these fish ..." Read >> Bowstring Lake Ice Fishing Update January 19, 2018
Steve Penkoske Wrote;
Q) "Jeff, What kind of trailer do you prefer, a bunk or roller?
A) Steve, if I was assured that every landing I would ever use had water depths adequate for floating my fiberglass 208 ProV, I would absolutely prefer bunk trailers.
Bunks provide better support for my hull and given that I have enough water to float my boat, the bunk trailer is an absolute dream to load. Hands down, the bunks are a better way to go, when and if they suit your needs.
They do have one drawback and it’s a big problem for me because not all of the public access sites at the lakes I fish provide water that’s deep enough to provide adequate flotation.
That's why I still ..." Read >> Bunk Trailers vs Roller Trailers; Which Is Best?
Pete Mayer wrote; "I read your article on Thursday about controlling a tiller boat in big waves, it makes sense, but not all of us are lucky enough to have a boat like yours. So my questions are do you really need a tiller boat and what would you do in these situations if you didn’t have one?"
Answer) Pete, you’re right, I am extremely lucky to be able to ..." Read >> Boat Control Tiller vs Console October 20, 2017
What is barotrauma? Simply stated barotrauma is “injury caused to the body by changing air or water pressure.” In humans we know this as “The Bends”- a dangerous condition that divers experience when they come up too fast from deep water. Believe it or not, something similar happens in fish.
For example: When an angler angles walleye at the bottom of the lake, those walleye are experiencing a certain amount of pressure (air & water). When the angler yanks them up to the surface, that pressure is drastically reduced. This means that their gas filled cavities rapidly expand. This is particularly a problem for fish due to the presence of their ..." Read >> BAROTRAUMA AWARENESS
Okay lets cut to the chase. If you've ever asked a question about using side imaging, how it works or why it works; then you need to watch this video. This is the most comprehensive turorial about using side imaging technology that I've ever seen.
Wired2Fish teamed up with Jeff “Kolo” Kolodzinski of Humminbird to create this detailed video about understanding how and why this technology works. Kolo breaks down how to read and interpret what side imaging, down imaging, and two-dimensional (2D) sonar are showing you, and how they can improve your fishing. We filmed real-time drone and underwater video of ... " View >> Understanding Side Imaging Technologies
"I’m just like you, I wish that I could visit my favorite lake any time I want and catch oodles of big Bluegills. I’d like to bring a bunch of them home too, that way I could fix a big family fish fry for every special occasion.
The problem is that if I fish there too often or bring home too many fish, my favorite lake won’t remain favored very long.
It’s a fact of life and we’re going to have to come to grips with it; as a group, we are extremely effective predators and we’re getting better all the time. We have the equipment, the knowledge, the leisure time and the communication skills to harvest fish faster than our favorite lakes can produce them. We literally have the ability to ..." Read Article >> What Is The Value Of A Sunfish?
Fish ED New Video March 2, 2017 "How Zebra Mussels Affect Fish Location"
"Exotic Zebra Mussels have invaded countless lakes across the Midwest.
Kurt Anderson Asked; what do you mean by the term “Death Cloud”? I saw your fishing report dated February 27th and in it, you said; “I was surprised that the action stopped before sundown, but it did. By 6:00 PM the screen of my Humminbird was painting images of the “death cloud”. A) Kurt, I coined the phrase “Death Cloud” before I ever ... Read >> What's The Death Cloud?
For Sale: 2016 Lund 208 ProV GL Tiller, Mercury Verado 200 HP "Big Tiller"
2016 Lund 208 Pro V GL Tiller, 2016 Mercury Verado “Big Tiller”, 2016 Dual Axle Trailer.
Helping your fellow fishermen and women stay abreast of the ice conditions in your area is good for everybody and it's easier than you think! Fishing Reports Minnesota is the Facebook counterpart to this page and it's open to the public. So be like me, become a duly deputized "Cub Reporter" and post your own pics and comments. It's good for fishing! Click >> Fishing Reports Minnesota
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.
Jeff Sundin is a full time, professional fishing guide, outdoor writer and photographer. Book Jeff for guided fishing trips, for fishing seminars, fishing promotions and media events. Click here >> learn more about Jeff Sundin.
"The Early Bird Fishing Guide" Jeff Sundin - Fishing Blue Books, LLC 715 Byington Ave, LaPrairie, MN 55744 218-245-9858
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