Fishing Guide MN Fishing Report April 29, 2014 Jeff Sundin - Ice Conditions Changing Hourly? - A full day of strong winds and rain took out a lot of ice on Monday. In fact, I was talking with a friend who was within view of Lake Winnibigoshish and he said that there were noticeable changes taking place throughout the day.
On Cutfoot Sioux, This morning at 6:45 AM, a glance at Williams Narrows Web Cam revealed open water through the narrows and out into Cutfoot Sioux. The low angle of the camera makes it tricky to guess how much of the lake is open, but in just a few hours, I'll be up there myself for a first hand look.
A series of Aerial photos sent in by Eric Hutchins shows ice conditions on a variety of lakes beginning in the Brainerd area and moving further North.
The photos show a range of varying conditions including quite a few lakes that are already ice free, to some lakes that still have 3/4 ice cover. In his set of photos, even the lakes with the most ice cover are breaking up. In fact, breaking up fast.

Fishing Guide MN Fishing Report April 28, 2014 Jeff Sundin - Open Water For The Walleye Opener? - It's funny how conversations go sometimes. Like the one I had with a friend on Sunday morning when I stopped at his store to pick up supplies for breakfast; "What are you up to, he asked?" I told him that I and Austin Jones, my future son in law had been out touring the area, checking the ice conditions.
He replied; "Oh yeah, are we going to have open water for the Walleye Opener?" I said YES!
I don't know, he said; "People are worried, everybody has been calling, all of the resorters are concerned and customers are starting ask about getting deposits back etc..."
Okay listen, go ahead and start taking bets. Seeing is believing and based on what I've seen, I believe that there will be plenty of open water for the Walleye fishing opener on May 10th.
Yes, we are behind schedule, but nowhere near as far behind as we were at this point last year. In fact, lakes in over half of the state are already open and some lucky fishermen have already been out there fishing and catching.
So don't worry about the words coming from those gloom and doom people, just follow my lead and make sure that you have your boat ready and your tackle box stuffed with jigs!
With the fishing season less than two weeks away, we're liable to wind up with a further advanced, but still really good shalow water situation like we did last spring. The difference is that this year, we already know what we learned last spring and that means we're going to zero in on the fish a lot faster this time.
image says Fishrapper and denotes field report Field Report (4/28) from Bowstring Lake; Ice along the North shore of Bowstring has also given way to to a fairly large band of open water.
At the "North Landing", the open water reaches out 100 feet or so and there are pockets of open water within the shabby looking ice sheet.
Judging by the dark color and mutliple cracks in what's left of the ice, it won't take too long to see arge chunks beginning to break off and get pushed onto the shoreline.
Greg Clusiau Fishing Report (4/28) From The Iron Range, Greg Clusiau; "Yes, Mother Nature is teasing us, once again, up here in the North Country and it’s not one bit funny.
I have friends, who live “down south”, already making Facebook posts and flashing photos of nice ice out crappies and bluegills. These anglers only live 200 miles away but it’s more than enough to make a huge difference in water temperature and fish activity and it’s absolutely killing me.
So, after looking at all of those beautiful, freshly caught, open water panfish, I packed the truck and headed ... " >> Read Greg's Full Report .
image says Fishrapper and denotes field report Field Report (4/28) from Bass Lake, North Bay; Remembering that my buddy Roger Will had a friendly wager that the ice would be out of the North bay of Bass Lake by today, I drove over for a look.
I was surprised that the ice cover was still holding on to most of the bay. I don't think that it would take more than a few days to get rid of the ice cover because it's far from being solid ice. But I'm afraid that Rog is not going to win this one, it would take a miracle for that end of the lake to be open by the end of today.

Bowen Lodge Lake Winnie Report

April 28, 2014 - On Lake Winnibigoshish and Cutfoot Sioux - Large stretches of shoreline are now ice free. Near the dam at the Mississippi River, water in the Dam Bay is now ice free. In fact, the open water extends beyond the bay, stretching into Tamarack Bay where the water is still covered by a sheet of Grey, pourus looking ice.
Following the road into our resort, you can see a band of open water that spans the shoreline along Bowen's Flats. here too, the ice ice is Grey and soft and the strong Northeast wind is pushing it away from the shoreline. Now that there is some slack along the shore, a wind blowing from the West would begin the spring breakup in a big way.
Moving away from the big lake on a trip over to the bridge at Little Cutfoot reveals that the DNR's Walleye Egg Harvest Operations is going to be ... >> Read
Lake Winnie Fishing Report

Fishing Guide MN Fishing Report April 22, 2014 Jeff Sundin - You can kiss your ICE Good Bye! - On Monday, another warm, breezy day allowed me all of the time that I needed to get the boat cleaned out, dialed in and washed up!
Our rivers are open, but not the Walleye fishing season. Our lakes are covered with ice, but not enough for ice fishing. The taxes are done, the bills are paid and the paperwork is caught up (well almost). Sounds to me like perfect excuse for a vacation!!
Next stop? Someplace in the "Mount Rushmore State" where the Walleyes are biting! Springtime fishing in South Dakota has been on my bucket list for a long while and this year, I've got a perfect excuse to make the trip.
Reports will be updated as frequently as possible, depending on my access to the internet. But don't worry, I'll have lots of stories saved up by the time we connect again .
Fishing Report Icon (4/22) Bemidji Lakes Area, Paul A. Nelson, Bemidji Area Lakes Guide Service says; "The ice fishing season is virtually done and anglers are waiting for open water. There may be a few lakes where anglers are still able to get on the ice, but chances are pretty good that anglers will be getting wet if they try to get on the lakes, at least near the shoreline.
Lakes in the Bemidji area are historically about 10 to 14 days later than Lake Minnetonka when it comes to ice-out. An unofficial drive by along the shore of Lake Minnetonka on Easter Sunday looked like the lake was pretty much ice-free.
This means lakes in the Bemidji area should be opening up early in May, which would leave almost two weeks for the walleyes to spawn and get ready to bite on the May !0 fishing opener.
Anglers have been busy getting their boats ready, with anglers changing spark plugs, putting in new lower unit grease, checking props for fishing line, charging batteries, adding fresh gas and oil and making whatever changes they have planned for the open water fishing season.
Anglers should also check their boat trailers, with the lights, the grease in the bearings, adding air to the tires and checking the condition of the winch strap, rollers and tires.
Anglers are also spending time switching tackle over from ice fishing to open water fishing, cleaning and organizing tackle boxes and putting fresh line on their fishing reels.
Once the lakes are open and anglers have their boats and tackle ready, it is a good idea to make a test run on the lakes, to be sure everything is in working order.
There are few disappointments that rival having the boat break down at the landing on the opener with dozens of other anglers impatiently waiting to put their boats in the water." - Paul A. Nelson, Bemidji Area Lakes Guide Service, - 218.759.2235 .

Fishing Guide MN Fishing Report April 21, 2014 Jeff Sundin - You can kiss your ICE Good Bye! Spreading good news isn't as easy as you think! In fact, I feel like I've made a career out of trying to get folks to see the sunny side of life. Still, there's always somebody doing just a little bit better job of spreading the tales of gloom and doom.
Like these folks who are still clinging to the idea that our ice in the Itasca area will go out as late as it did last year. I say; "Forget it, NO WAY!"
Don' take my word for it, just go outside and look for yourself. Yes, I know, it looks like there's stll a lot of ice on the lakes, but it is deteriortaing fast. In the words of a friend; "It loos good, but it's rotten! Shoreline edges, accesses, streams and rivers, they are all opening up."
With a full week of warm, sometimes rainy weather lying ahead, this ice is on it's way out and I say, good riddnce!
So if you're one of the lucky ones who reads this report, forget about the tales of gloom and doom, don't look at images of where the ice is. Instead, start looking at the images of where it isn't. Then follow my lead and get your boat ready to go! We only have a few weeks!
Fishing Report Icon (4/21) In The Ortonville Area, fishing reports from Big Stone Lake over the weekend were inspiring. That's right, the Walleye Fishing Season already opened on the South Dakota/Minnesota border lake over the weekend. Lucky anglers were already out there to enjoy the great weather and decent fishing.
According to a facebook report that I borrowed from Artie's Bait Shop; "Fishing on Big Stone was fairly good for Saturday's Walleye opener! We had several reports of 3-10 fish and one of 30-40 fish.
The average size of the fish was 15-19 inches. The water temp was 44 degrees by the end of the day and the walleyes were in 3-8 feet of water.
The primary area of the best reports was from Hartford Beach and north. Jig and a minnow was the preferred presentation. The males were milting, but not super aggressive and not running tight to shore yet. I expect the bite will only to get better as the males will become even more aggressive in the shallow water as the spawn progresses." - Artie's Bait Shop, (320) 839-2480 .

Fishing Guide MN Fishing Report April 20, 2014 Jeff Sundin - Happy Easter !!

Fishing Guide MN Ice Fishing Report April 19, 2014 Jeff Sundin - Easter Weekend Ice Fishing? - Well depending on where you are, it could definitely happen. But today, the rain and wind aren't going to help make it too much fun.
In fact, if you've ever wondered how guys like me get caught up their book keeping, this is your answer. Today will be a perfect day for staying in the office and pondering the perplexities of paperwork!
I'm still thinking about fishing though! With a little bit of free time on my hands and not much fishable (open) water in my own neighborhood, I have my eyes set on "The Mount Rushmore State". Gathering as much information as I could over the past few days, the consensus is that almost all of the lakes South of Watertown, SD are open.
There's a lot of chatter abut guys heading toward the Missouri River, but for me, something with a little less commotion might be better.
Beginning in just 3 weeks, fishing is going to be hectic enough around here. So for right now, I might just have to buck the system, stay out of the crowds and settle for a good old fashioned fishing trip.
In fact, what I'd really love to do is find a spot to catch some Northern Pike. After spending most of the winter finesse fishing for panfish, something that bites and fights harder might be just what the doctor ordered.
I don't suppose that you would happen to know about a spot like that. But if you did and you happened to bring it to my attention, well ... I'd owe you one!

Fishing Guide MN Ice Fishing Report April 18, 2014 Jeff Sundin - Easter Weekend Ice Fishing? - Well depending on where you are, it could definitely happen.
After dodging the most recent snowfall, many Itasca area lakes remain high and dry. Ice thickness on most main lake areas is still 24 to 30 inches and if the access is still good, travel on the ice will be too.
At risk of sounding like a broken record, It's hard to see how the ice will hold up too much longer. Rain tomorrow and daytime temps near 60 degrees for Easter will move us another step toward summer. I KNOW too slow for some, but nature works at it's own pace, somehow always finding the right time to land in the right place.
Fishing Report Icon (4/18) In The Deer River Area, Brian Castellano checked in with; - "My oldest daughter Savanna and I hit the ice today. It was a trip that has been way over due since she's been living in the Twin Cities the last few years. In fact, we couldn't even remember the last time we'd been fishing together.
We started out on the north end of Round Lake by Squaw Lake and found the access has deteriorated beyond use. So we headed over to the SE landing and found it in much better shape for walking out and ATV'ing out.
We walked out and met up with a couple of friends and put a dozen or so nice sized perch in the pail. We didn't get an early enough start, but that's how it goes sometimes.
We then made a group decision to find a crappie bite. We head to lake #2 and accessed through a private access. The crappies were really finicky and we only added 5 more to the pail and threw back a few smaller ones. The fish we did catch were still deep in the basin area, 30' of water. 2 of the guys tried shallower with no luck.

Fishing Guide MN Ice Fishing Report April 16, 2014 Jeff Sundin - April, The Month For Count-Downs, Cramming and ... OH YES, Quizzes. In fact if I'm not mistaken there's a big one coming up in just a few days!
Knowing that there are so few Ice Fishermen looking for places to go, I feel a little bit silly writing ice fishing reports. But the truth is that there are still some devoted ice fishermen out there. So at least for he rest of this week, I'll do my best to keep the ice reports going.
I could use a hand though; Just between you and me, it's not really that much fun driving around the countryside all alone, looking at the ice on partially frozen lakes; So if you're one of the devoted ones, still out there fishing on the ice, please lend me a hand and snap a few pictures. In fact, I wish that you would try to be more like Al Murphy and consider yourselves "Duly Deputized, Fishrapper Cub Reporters". *Compensation and benefits to be reviewed on a semi-periodic, pro-rated basis.
image denotes question from reader (4/16) Question from Tammy Otto on our Facebook Page; "Does anyone know if Traverse Lake by Wheaton is open?
A) On Tuesday afternoon, DNR Area Fisheries Manager, Norm Haukos at Ortonville who said; "Traverse is pretty much Ice free. You can navigate from one end to the other."
So Tammy if you'e planning on heading over there, please be sure to send some pics!
Fishing Report Icon By the way, YOU can drop by and Offer Your Two Cents Worth Too! Even post your own photos. >> fishing reports page on facebook. Click Here >> Fishing Reports Minnesota .
image denotes question from reader (4/16) Question from a reader who's heading toward Deer River and phoned in to ask about ice conditions on Lake Winnibigoshish.
A) According to reports, ice conditions on Winnibigoshish are still good, especially on the North end of the lake. There are some photos along with the most current information about Lake Winnie on Bowen Lodge's Website. Click here for >> Lake Winnibigoshish Ice Fishing Report .
Fishing Report Icon (4/16) On Leech Lake, Al Murphy Wrote; - "We managed to get on the ice at Sucker Bay all weekend. There was six in our group, and we took home our limit of perch. Fished Friday afternoon, all day Saturday and all day Sunday. The wind and cold was brutal on Sunday, but we still managed a limit of perch. We drove a pick-up out from a private launch. There was some slush on the ice, but not too bad. I am sure you could still get out most places with an atv this coming weekend. We caught a lot of fish on jigging raps with a minnow head or without anything at all. Buckshots, Swedish pimples and Geminis also. Bright green or chartruesse seemed to be the best color for me." - Tight lines!
Fishing Report Icon (4/16) In the Grand Rapids Area - Bluegill fishing remains good according Ice fishermen who reported in last night. I'm not sure if I have permission to say where and when specifically, but I can tell you that in my own travels, I've seen lots of ice fishermen spread around on 4 or 5 lakes, some large and some small.
Except for the areas lying near moving water, ice conditions continue to be good for ATV travel. On a couple of the smaller bays, hoofing it to your spot is also a good option.

Fishing Guide MN Ice Fishing Report April 15, 2014 Jeff Sundin - Happy Day! April 15th ... and You Know what that means . - Half way to the month that just MAY be more like summer than winter, for a change.
Except for the Ham that I drug home and stuck in the fridge for dinner on Sunday, there isn't too much to remind me that Easter weekend is coming up. Monday's high temperature never reached above freezing and the Northwest wind reminded more of November and the beginning of winter, than the end of it.
I know that I said I was hanging up my ice fishing gear for the season. But with a forecast of sunny, calm and 31 degrees, I might not have any choice. This might just be the day to fight back by drilling some holes and catchin' a few fish. After I pay my taxes of course!
The fishing opener is only 25 days away though and I don't want to get caught off guard. So I'm still keeping one eye focused on getting the boat ready too.
If you are thinking about heading for the ice, I'd stick with lager lakes where the snow cover had already melted and drained away. Be on the lookout for old ice holes that have expanded in size from the draining water, stay away from the cuurent areas and you should still be able to find plenty of fishable territory that will support ATV travel.
image of Lund Boats logo (4/15) Ultimate Fishing Experience; "The Ultimate Fishing Experience takes us for a float trip on the upper reaches of the Missiisspi River. On rivers, having the right tool for the right job is the key to success.
Hosts Ryan Dechaine and Jeremy Smith show how using a smaller boat and the right techniques for fishing small rivers, pays off big time in terms of catching tons of summertime fish on the river. Click to view >> This Week's Fishing Video > Fishing Small Rivers for Walleye and Smallmouth .
Fishing Guide MN (4/15) By the way, remember back in March when I was curious about how I'd look in Lund's new 208 Pro V Tiller? Well, the idea is getting "curiouser and curiouser" around here and I wouldn't be too surprised when ...
In fact, some of my favorite viewing on W2F these days has been videos about the >> Latest Technologies and Gear For Rigging New Boats .

Fishing Guide MN Ice Fishing Report April 14, 2014 Jeff Sundin - A Watered Down Ice Report? No Not Today! - Overnight low temperatures in the mid-teens stiffened things up in the Deer River area. Ice fishermen who haven't had enough, are likely to find areas of fishable water for the rest of the week.
Conditions are better on some lakes than others though, so use caution when you're planning your trip. There are certain lakes that should be avoided altogether. A good rule of thumb to follow right now is that smaller lakes, especially those located in low lying areas have the poorest ice conditions. Heavy runoff from last weeks mega-meltdown had a greater influence on the shoreline areas of these small lakes. Some of them became heavily flooded, the ice is now "punky" from becoming saturated with bog stained water.
Also in poor condition are the lakes that have small rivers or numerous feeder creeks running through them. The fast rising water in these tributaries has already opened up more than a few spots. The problem on these lakes now is that you never know for sure where the ice is good and where it isn't. That makes these lakes a little too much of a crap shoot for me.
image of Lund Boats logo (4/14) Ultimate Fishing Experience; "Check out our brand new TV series: The Ultimate Fishing Experience. Each week, follow experienced Lund guides and pros on their fishing adventures throughout the lakes and rivers of North America while educating viewers on items such as rigging, fishing techniques, electronics and more.
In this episode, boat control techniques that will help you put more fish in the boat this summer. Drifting for Waleye with Tony Roach, back trolling for deep weedline Crappies with Dave Csanda. Alex Kessler shows how to troll crankbaits for big Walleyes and James Lindner holds tight on deep weedline bass. Click to view >> This Week's Fishing Video >> Better Fishing Through Boat Control .

Bowen Lodge Lake Winnie Report

April 14, 2014 - On Lake Winnibigoshish - There is still plenty of ice and it looks like travel by ATV will remain good for the rest of this week.
As long as certain areas are avoided, Perch, Panfish and Tulibee fishermen who travel by ATV should be able to travel freely around most of the lake.
As our photos show, curent access is available along the shoreline at Bowen's Flats. In fact most areas that have been protected from traffic and current are still accesible.
Perch continue to be active on Winnie and knowing that the larger pre-spawn fish typically move toward the shallows in Tamarack Bay, anglers should still have great fishing as the Perch feed their way into full scale pre-spawn mode.
Sunfish and Crappies continue to >> Read Lake Winnie Fishing Report

Greg Clusiau Fishing Report (4/14) From The Iron Range, Greg Clusiau; "Three trips were made to two different lakes last weekend and success was had. The ice, however, is getting soft and pulling away from shore so it looks like I just may be done with walking on the hard water for this season. Here’s a brief summary of last weekend’s adventure.
*Early bird gets the fish - We were on the water before the sun came up both days. Wearing headlamps, we never had to use them, as it was just light enough to see where we were going, as we walked out to the ... " >> Read Greg's Full Report .
Fishing Report Icon (4/14) How To Select The Right Jigs - With the spring beakup forcing me to stay at home more, I've been going through my tackle boxes and checking supplies to see what I need to order for the summer.
You might recall reading last summer that I was really trying to do a lot more "Jig and Pig" fishing. It's a great way o catch larger fish and up here, the Big Pike really have a sweet tooth for 'em too. I had good luck using jigs last summer and ever since I started getting the hang of fishing with them, the tehnique has been sort of addicting to me.
I noticed yesterday that I am down to only 3 or 4 Bass Jigs left in my arsenal, but before I order more, I wanted to do some research about when and where to use the variety of shapes and sizes.
I did a little searching yesterday and came up with a good video about selecting Bass jigs andI figured that I might as well pass it along to you too. Check out >> Gary Klein Choosing The Right Jigs .

Fishing Guide MN Ice Fishing Report April 13, 2014 Jeff Sundin - Ice Fishing Bonus Round For Minnesota Anglers? - Maybe not everywhere, but there's no doubt that at least some of the Itasca area lakes are going to retain solid, fishable ice for the rest of the week.
Most of the surface snow has melted now and drainage on the surface of lakes has left them high and dry. So the quick start toward ice out is shifting back into low gear.
If the forecast turns out to be accurate, below freezing temperatures combined with cloudy conditions will do little to encourage any more melting for the next few days. So it looks like there's going to be another weekend of ice fishing in our futures.
The exception will be on lakes where the ice has already been melted by moving water. River inlets, narrow spots between islands, drainage culverts ... any place where you find moving water. The meltdown has occurred already and these areas are already limits.
Areas where water drains from flooded low ground on the the ice have created more trouble spots too. The meltdown on these lakes may be limited to certain shorelines, but has already occurred, leaving patches of open water and shutting down acesses.
Fishing Guide MN (4/13) Thank you to all of my friends at the Nashwauk Home and Sport Show! Who, by the way, were smiling on Saturday because attendance was up and everyone at the show was was in a great mood.
Thanks also to the Itasca County Sheriff's Department who stepped in to save the day, lining up some last minute supplies to help me do my seminars!
For me, that's a wrap on the seminar season. So now, I can take a few days to get caught up on paperwork and then plan some fun fishing. Someone said that there are Walleyes in South Dakota? Hmm.. no kiding huh? Maybe it's time to see for myself?
Fishing Report Icon (4/13) On The Rainy River; With only two days remaining in the spring Rainy River Walleye season, it probably doesn't make a huge difference what todays report is. But just in case you were thinking about heading up there tomorrow ...
Local reports suggest that the Little Fork River is rising fast and is likely to break open soon. Typically, the sudden influx of debris filled water will turn the Walleye action off on the Rainy River.
For the moment, the river water is still manageable and it's still fairly clear too. The ice has receded several miles West of Frontier landing which is now open for boats of all sizes.
Walleye action has slowed down and anglers are reporting mixed results. As current speed increases, fishermen should move closer to the shoreline and fish shallow, gravel stretches. Spawning Walleyes are seeking out these well aerated areas and for them, it's all about the bottom content. As they move into "spawning mode", Walleyes will show up in water depths ranging from several feet, to just a few inches.
Don't be afraid to pictch jigs tipped with large minnows or articial tails all the way up to the edge of shore. Working the jig back toward the boat while allowing it to fall down the breakline can provide some fantastic Walleye fishing. Especially when the deep water bite tapers off and the action appears to be over. That simply means that these fish are moving out of "pre-spawn" territory and in to get more serious about spawning.
Typically, you can tell that this has occured when the percentage of small, male fish caught goes way up in comparrison to the larger females.

Fishing Guide MN Ice Fishing Report April 11, 2014 Jeff Sundin - Last Call For Ice Fishing - Good news for anglers who have been sitting on the edge of their chair, hoping that ice conditions will allow one last weekend of fishing. Ice conditions remain favorable and providing that you can locate a good access point, ATV travel should be nearly ideal.
There are two safety concerns that should be in the forefront of any plans that you're making for the upcoming weekend.
1) Avoid current areas of any kind. River inlets, narrow spots between islands, drainage culverts ... any place where you suspect moving water. The meltdown has occurred so rapidly that these areas are opening up faster than usual. At the moment, it's possible to have main lake ice that's still 2 feet or thicker. The problem is that 200 yards away, there could be open water near an inlet or where there had been a lot of slush on the ice.
2) Keep your eyes peeled for areas where draining water is creating widened holes or cracks in the ice. Stepping into a 10 inch hole is bad enough, but stepping into an old ice hole that's enlarged even more from water drainage could be downright deadly! Again, the meltdown has occurred so rapidly that these areas are more numerous than usual.

Bowen Lodge Lake Winnie Report

April 11, 2014 - On Lake Winnibigoshish and Cutfoot Sioux - There is still plenty of ice for Perch, Panfish and Tulibee fishermen who travel by ATV.
As our photos show, curent areas and ice located at the access ramps now have open water nearby. But areas protected from traffic and current are still accesible, albeit not for too much longer.
Perch continue to be active, especially on the West side of Winnie and there are more large female fish moving toward the shallows as they feed their way into full scale pre-spawn mode.
Tulibee fishing has been excellent on Lake Winnie too. Deep water areas along the lake's main bar (Bena Bar) have been producing consistent number of fish. Best strategy for Tulibees is to set up near, but not on the steep breaks.
Sunfish & Crappie fishermen will find consistent action on ... >> Read Full Lake Winnie Fishing Report .

Fishing Report Icon (4/11) On The Rainy River; An update from the Frontier Landing on Thursday. Fishermen were fishing open water in front of Frontier landing and there is open water downstream (West) of the ramp. The ramp was not open for large rigs as of Thursday afternoon, but small boats can be launched.
Typical of the "First Wave" of Walleye fishermen who fish the river after ice out, reports of good fishing are plentiful. So far, I haven't seen any photos of giant size fish, but there have been several in the 24 to 26 inch range. Anglers who are more interested in "eaters" are having no trouble getting fish for a meal.
The Littlefork River has not broken free so far and reports late yesterday were that water levels have now stabilized following the initial surge caused by runoff from melting snow.
Fishing Report Icon (4/10) On The Rainy River; An update from late yesterday evening; Fishing boats were scattered along the river from Birchdale all the way downstream to within sight of the Frontier landing. The landing was not open yet, but the river water was making it's way toward the landing and there is speculation that it could be open some time today.
Fishing Report Icon (4/10) While we're on the subject of river fishing. Here are a couple of tips about using side imaging to locate big fish on the river.
Harness the Power of Side Imaging to Locate Trophy Pre-Spawn Walleyes - By Dr. Jason Halfen
In early spring, anglers across the Walleye Belt turn their attention to rivers in pursuit of migratory pre-spawn walleyes. Many anglers are drawn to “community holes” near river-spanning dams that interrupt the upstream movement of fish. However, many unpressured fish can be found miles from these obstructions, lingering in areas that provide feeding opportunities as well as shelter from strong spring currents.
How can an angler find these fish, and enjoy the opportunity to target them with limited competition from others? Advanced sonar technologies can reveal the presence of unpressured walleyes and baitfish, and thus provide anglers with ... Read Full Story >> Side Imaging to Locate Trophy Pre-Spawn Walleyes .
Fishing Report Icon (4/10) On The Rainy River; Ryan DeChaine shared a story about side imaging too. Sturgeon fishing on the river doesn't have to be hit and miss any more. Ryan and his fishing partners cruise the river using their side imaging to spot giant Sturgeon laying on the bottom. In Ryan's words; "They look like big logs laying near the bottom".
Once they spot a fish that piques their interest, they motor back upstream from the fish, anchor the boat and start fishing.
It's a really efficient system that allows anglers to catch a higher percentage of the fish that are located in a given stretch of water.

Fishing Guide MN Ice Fishing Report April 9, 2014 Jeff Sundin - Rainy River Open For Business - On Tuesday, road crews were working fast to get the Birchdale Ramp open in time to greet the first open water at Birchdale. Anglers in small boats were already fishing the river and by today, the Birchdale ramp will like be packed full of rigs.
The early word is that Walleyes were biting. Fishing reports from the river will be trickling in today and if past history repeats, they should be fairly good.
From the Royal Dutchman Resort, Alyse Walton wrote; "I talked to a group that was here this past weekend and they reported good fishing. They caught plenty of fish for a fish fry and they even invited us too. The fish was so good!
They fished half a day Thursday, all day on Friday and Saturday. They said Saturday was the best day with catching about 30 fish. No monsters, but I believe they said the biggest one was 25 inches.
Fishing Report Icon (4/7) Bemidji Lakes Area, Paul A. Nelson, Bemidji Area Lakes Guide Service says; "The late-ice fishing is definitely underway at this point in the Bemidji area. The spring meltdown is getting serious this week, with much warmer temperatures.
The fresh water running into the lakes will revitalize the shallows and allow the perch, crappies and sunfish to move shallow and do some serious feeding before the ice goes out on the lakes.
Perch are one of the first species to move shallow because they spawn almost immediately after ice-out. Huge schools of perch will roam the shallows to feed, looking for minnows, crayfish and anything else they can find to eat.
Perch like big flats because they offer more food options and more room to roam around while they search for food. Areas with rocks, standing weeds or chara covered bottom offer different opportunities to the perch and may concentrate the schools of perch on the flats.
Perch often start out on the edge of the flats close to deep water. When it gets closer to ice-out the perch will roam further and further from the deep edge of the flats as they search out the best feeding opportunities.
Sunfish also move to the weed flats on late-ice and will search out areas with standing weeds and also shallow mud. Sunfish will eat minnows, but their main food sources are usually insects, which hatch out of the mud.
Wild rice or lily pads are areas frequented by sunfish on late-ice because of the bottom types where the plants like to grow. Both sunfish and perch may go into extremely shallow water on late-ice, with anglers able to sight fish and see the fish moving through under their holes.
Crappies usually hold on the edges of structure and like deep reeds or areas with deep water close to shore. Crappies like to be able to retreat from the shallows quickly if they feel threatened by predators or if a cold front pushes them back out of the shallows." Email Paul Nelson - Bemidji Area Lakes Guide Service, - 218.759.2235 .
Greg Clusiau Fishing Report (4/7) From The Iron Range, Greg Clusiau; "Making a loop around the lake, we headed for one last stop before calling it a day. Following the gps coordinates, we ended up driving near a small group that was already there. Upon closer inspection, I realized it was my son-in-law and a bunch of his friends.
Walking over to say hello, I was shown a bucket full of nice crappies and big perch and was informed that they had bit very well and ... " >> Read Greg's Full Report .
Link to Minnesota Ice Fishing Reports (4/7) On Lake of the Woods, Border View Lodge, Mike Kinsella wrote; "The sun is shining and we are above freezing. Spring may have finally arrived! We have a lot of snow but looks to be melting quickly. The river is still frozen east of Birchdale. However with this forecast for this next week it may really help the river conditions. Keep an eye on river conditions if you are planning on coming up in April.
We are seeing a fair amount of portable houses headed out onto the lake. We do know people are catching fish but really have to work for them. Close to border just outside the gap has been decent with a morning and evening bite.
The next weeks temperatures are going to be in the mid 40’s and we may even see 50’s.- FISH ON!" 1-800-776-3474 Border View Lodge .
Fishing Report Icon (4/6) From Mike Kosmer, a facebook friend gave me an update; "Started out with the trucks Thursday and Friday but by the time we came off things started getting pretty soft. We were on wheelers yesterday (Saturday) with no problems getting around.
The fishing on Thursday was slow, with only 6 9-10 inch perch. Friday was a better day. It took us until mid day to find good size fish that would eat. Found a ton of spots that had fish stacked up but they all had lock jaw.
Seems like you have to be right on the edge of the humps to find fish that will eat. To shallow or to deep is where the lookers are hanging out. 18 feet seemed to be the magic zone. We ended up with 40 still in that 10 inch range.
Yesterday was good too. Finding the a horizontal presentation works best. Managed to get bigger fish mixed with crappies. The bite is still soft but the size is going up. Managed to get 50 perch 9-13 inches and a dozen 11-12 inch crappies.
We get a half day today and then we are heading home. I am sure the bite will only get better as this week goes on. There are some nice days in the forecast that should turn the lookers into eaters!".
Fishing Report Icon (4/6) On The Rainy River, "The spring thaw is hitting and the ice is melting fast. At this point, we already kow that a classic spring run is out of the question. But, with warm temperatures becoming more prevelant, there's no reason not to expect a short run of fishing on the Rainy.
According to local reports, the river is opening up at a rate of about 2 miles per day. At that pace, there will likely be open water at Birchdale by mid-week. Just for fun, I'll make a prediction that it's gonna be open by Wednesday.

Fishing Guide MN Ice Fishing Report April 8, 2014 Jeff Sundin - Ice Conditions Decline Rapidly - On Bowstring Lake, the snow and ice cover was melting so fast on Monday that we literally watched the ice conditions deteriorate while we were fishing.
Our ATV ride out to our fishing hole was wet, but manageable. Small areas of slushy melted snow, some small areas of flooded ice and mostly dry surface ice. But as we fished, there were puddles of water growing wider and deeper. As the sun moved higher in the sky, we watched the forming of a lake on top of a lake.
Our trip back to the landing was a lot different. There were large pools of water ranging in depth from a few inches to well over a foot. By now, my snow sled was serving double duty as a boat.
We spotted several areas where the deep surface water was draining into ice holes and small cracks in the ice. I snapped a very short, 30 second video so you can see what it's like to be on the ice during a full scale meltdown. Click this link to watch >> Bowstring Lake Meltdown .
The underlying ice was still generally good, but it is deteriorating fast. Some of the holes that I drilled went into solid, dry ice. But the auger slipped like a hot knife into butter at others where the wet, slushy ice was already itching to turn back into water. Ice thickness varied too, ranging between 24 and 30 inches.
Getting off of the lake was a little tricky. In fact I got myself stuck two or three times as my ATV got high-centered on a chunk of ice at the ramp. We eventually manged to get out of there, but by today, the accesses are going to be even more sloppy. It won't be long before the landings become inaccessible.
From here on out, travel on the ice is going to require paying lots of attention to the path ahead of you. Those drain holes are going to widen, so are the cracks and these could pose serious problems for anyone who gets caught bu surprise. If you're determined to stretch the ice season out for a few more days, then be careful and please, if you spot dangerous conditions, let us know so that we can give folks a heads up.
Crappie Fishing was okay, but we missed out on both ends of a classic "Bowstring Low-Light Crappie Bite". By the time we arrived, there were already some anglers leaving the lake with their limits of Crappies that they caught during the early morning. By the time we started fishing, most of the fish had become lookers, not biters.
We left the lake somewhere around 6:00 PM, so we also missed out on the evening run of Crappies that probably would have started at sundown.
Perch fishing was our strong suit and that's what occupied our time between 11:00 and 4:00. We were fishing a soft bottom flat in about 23 - 24 feet of water. The fish were roaming the area, feeding on Bloodworms, their mouths and stomachs were packed with these small red Midge Larvae.
All of the Perch that I caught fell victim to a Glow Color Tungsten Toad tipped with a small red artificial tail. The tail has a round body and a fine, needle point tail.
Arne was using different a style of artificial bait, a Frostee jigging Spoon, but he too was using a red artificial tail and also caught fish. I'm guessing that the red artificial reminded the fish of the larvae that they were feeding on.
Typical of Bowstring Lake, the aggressive fish ride higher in the water column and most of the fish we caught were suspended 3 to 5 feet above the bottom. Occasionally, my humminbird would reveal a fish that rose from the bottom to grab my bait. But for reasons known only to the fish, attempting to catch these bottom hugging fish by going toe to toe at the bottom seldom accomplishes anything. Keep your bait 3 to 5 feet above the bottom and you will definitely have better results on this lake.

Fishing Guide MN Ice Fishing Report April 7, 2014 Jeff Sundin - Moving Water = Moving Fish - The ice is still thick, 3 feet or more. But even that thick ice is beginning to show signs of weakness. The dry, hard chips that were flying off of the auger blades last week are being replaced by softer, wetter chunks.
Saturated by surface water from the melted snow, the ice will begin turning dark soon, making it easier for the sun to coax it into melting.
We were able to travel freely on the ice using ATV's, but it was plenty wet out there. There was still some truck traffic too, but the mix has shifted since Saturday when maybe 75% of the traffic was trucks. Now it was more like 50/50 and in another day or two, truck travel is going to become a lot more trouble than it's worth.
An overnight thunderstorm in the Deer River area will encourage even faster deterioration of the landings and all of the signs are pointing toward this being the last week of ice fishing, at least at the more popular spots. That's because traffic at the landings will soon make access to the ice a lot more dificult.
If you're a hard core ice fishermen, in the game until the last possible minute, then it's time to start thinking about lakes that haven't seen much traffic this winter. Places where the disappearing snow cover on the shoreline might allow access to a little fresh territory.
Sooner or later every season, it has to happen. Ice conditions finally change enough to force fish into switching from one pattern to another.
That's how it felt to me on Sunday as the screen of my Humminbird revealed the last few stragglers moving along the breakline at one of our "old reliable" ice fishing spots. Oh I know, they still pop in once in a while, but for the most part, it's just the tail end of the school dropping by to remind us about how it used to be.
We still caught some fish, we'll likely find some more today too, but the pattern is changing and the "hot bite" is mostly behind us.
That's okay, moving water, moving fish, moving another step toward the open water season. That doesn't sound all that bad to me.

Fishing Guide MN Ice Fishing Report April 6, 2014 Jeff Sundin - The long awaited meltdown arrived this weekend, the on ice travel conditions are now excellent. The on shore accesses? They are deteriorating quickly.
Driving to the lake yesterday afternoon was kind of sloppy. Access roads are muddy, rutted and getting worse with each vehicle that passes. In fact, by the time I saw the ramp at the lake, I was pretty happy to be there. I'm convinced that I'd rather be driving on the ice than on the slippery, mud roads.
On the lake, there were small groups of vehicles scattered all over the place, some were out deep, some closer to the shoreline, but nobody seemed to be having any trouble moving around at all.
The surface of the ice is wet, almost all of the snow cover has completely melted and in light of the fact that we never dipped below freezing last night, I think we could show up today without an auger and find plenty of old holes to fish.
Today and for the rest of the week, the forecasts call for temperatures approaching 50 degrees. So for me, it's officially time to put the snowmobile into storage for the summer.
For the next few days, driving on the lakes will still be fairly safe. That is assuming that you can get from the shoreline onto the ice. Today, we're gonna bring the 4 wheelers and go out that way, just to be safe.
By the way, be sure that you bring your cleats, you are absolutely gonna need them.

Fishing Guide MN Ice Fishing Report April 4, 2014 Jeff Sundin - Late Season Panfish and Perch Fishing Prospects Good For This Weekend - I thought that I had put my ice gear away for this year. But if I'm not careful, I might get dragged back into the ice fishing eason for a few more episodes.
Reports of reliable fishing around the Itasca Area keep getting my attention. The snowstorm that was supposed to deliver another heap on Thursday failed to show up, travel conditions on the ice remain good and the temperature is headed North of 40 degrees this weekend. Hmm.. that all adds up to a classic case of fishing fever to me.
Fishing Report Icon (4/4) UP North, Lake of the Woods remains covered in deep snow. As of Thusday, reports varried, ranging from 10 to 15 inches. On the Canadian side, there's even more. Anglers should be prepared to travel by snowmobile or track machines and calling ahead to your destination before driving up would be a really great idea.
Fishing Report Icon (4/4) On The Rainy River, "The weekend will be a quiet one. There's still no open water at Birchdale and probably won't be at least before Sunday. Ice conditions upstream from Birchdale are deteriorating and the warm weather is predicted to reach the International Falls region. So there's still a chance that a handful of anglers will have access to some open water. But for most of us, open water spring Walleyes on the Rainy River will not be on the agenda this year.
For some, the river will be an option, but maybe only for a short time. With the Walleye season ending in 10 days, it's hard to imagine having more than maybe 3 or 4 days of open water fishing time.
Fishing Report Icon (4/4) On Lake Winnibigoshish the Wednesday, Bill Powell headed out onto to the North end of Lake Winnibigoshish where the ice was what he called "hard as a rock". There was a lot of rain that fell before the snow arrived and apparently it was so wet that the snow melted in as it fell. Instead of a wet, sloppy mess, it added another layer of fresh, hard ice onto the surface.
Powell was traveling on the lake with an ATV and it was working fine, but he was concerned about the snow at the accesses. If you wanted to be sure that you can cross the first 50 yards of snow to get onto the ice, a snowmobile might be a better option.
Ice thickness is still a concern, if you're heading out this weekend, an auger extension will probably be needed. In most areas, drilling won't require it, but there are still some thick patches of ice and in one spot, Powell struggled to get a hole drilled even though he has an extension.
Link to Minnesota Ice Fishing Reports (4/4) Ryan Peterson checked in and told me that he is still on the ice and still available for guiding. He's not spending much time on Winnibigoshish though, since he pulled his rental shelters off of the lake, he's taken up fishing for Panfish and Perch on some of the areas smaller lakes.
Peterson says that shallow water, mixed bag fishing has been reliable, especially for Sunfish and Perch. Key depths have been 8 to 12 feet, near shoreline structure. There are still dates available and the ice is going to be around for a while. So if you've got the itch, get in touch with >> Ryan Peterson's Guiding .
Fishing Report Icon (4/4) At Frontier Sports in Marcell, Paul Larson says; "With good weather anticipated this weekend, fishing should be great and perhaps the catching will be too! The reports I’ve been getting lately indicate the Crappies are moving up into the 12 foot zone. Perch are biting well right now as well as the Bluegills. The Crappies have been turning off at sunset and the Bluegills take over for about an hour after that. Travel on the lakes is best done with a snowmobile. Deep snow near shore means you’ll have to pick your access point with care.
The new tackle for the 2014 season has arrived and most of the new lures are up. Many new and exciting items are in stock now. The bait shop is fully stocked and ready for the weekend. So when you’re in the area be sure to stop by and check out the all the new gear!
Frontier Sports features a complete and fully stocked Sporting Goods department and Bait Shop, Gas, Grocery, Deli and Gift Shop. Frontier Sports is an authorized LIVE TARGET and SAVAGE GEAR dealer." Frontier Sports is an authorized LIVE TARGET dealer. Frontier Sports 218-832-3901 .
Gus' Place Resort Ball Club Lake (4/4) Gus Sheker, Gus' Place Resort on Ball Club Lake; "Is it a sign? At the bird feeders, this past week we had Red Wing Blackbirds, Starlings, Juncos and Robins (although the Robin was not at the feeder) .
Maybe summer really will come this year. Spring conditions prevail on Ball Club Lake with ice in the mornings and slush in the afternoons. There is plenty of ice on the lake with well over 30 inches. The shoreline edge is wet in the afternoons and pickups are having trouble getting on. During the slushy days ATVs are most likely the best bet for lake travel.
Perch fishing remains very good during daylight hours with the larger fish moving both shallow (8ft) and deep (28ft.) You will have to sort through your catch, usually 20-25% will be 8 inches and over. Use whole live fat head minnows along the drop off.
Our lake access is now open to resort customers only for the rest of this ice fishing season." - Gus Sheker Gus' Place Resort .
image of Lund Boats logo (4/4) Ultimate Fishing Experience; "Check out our brand new TV series: The Ultimate Fishing Experience. Each week, follow experienced Lund guides and pros on their fishing adventures throughout the lakes and rivers of North America while educating viewers on items such as rigging, fishing techniques, electronics and more.
In this episode, boat control techniques that will help you put more fish in the boat this summer. Drifting for Waleye with Tony Roach, back trolling for deep weedline Crappies with Dave Csanda. Alex Kessler shows how to troll crankbaits for big Walleyes and James Lindner holds tight on deep weedline bass. Click to view >> This Week's Fishing Video >> Better Fishing Through Boat Control .

Fishing Guide MN Ice Fishing Report April 3, 2014 Jeff Sundin - ... because when you assume, you make an ... - How do you like that? After all of that snow fell, it would just be sort of natural to assume that the ice conditions would be wet and sloppy. But NO, not according to Bill Powell who had so many folks asking questions that he just had to go see for himself.
On Wednesday, he headed out onto to the North end of Lake Winnibigoshish where the ice was what he called "hard as a rock". There was a lot of rain that fell before the snow arrived and apparently it was so wet that the snow melted in as it fell. Instead of a wet, sloppy mess, it added another layer of fresh, hard ice onto the surface.
Powell was traveling on the lake with an ATV and it was working fine, but he was concerned about the snow at the accesses. If you wanted to be sure that you can cross the first 50 yards of snow to get onto the ice, a snowmobile might be a better option.
Ice thickness is still a concern, if you're heading out this weekend, an auger extension will probably be needed. In most areas, drilling won't require it, but there are still some thick patches of ice and in one spot, Powell struggled to get a hole drilled even though he has an extension.
Fishing Report Icon (4/3) On Lake of the Woods, The report from Sportman's Lodges; "While permanent houses have been removed, Lake of the Woods is still up and running for ice fishing! We are currently sitting on approximately 40+" of ice and, after this week's blizzard, plenty of snow. As for fishing conditions, you don't have to travel too far to find the fish. Guides and guests have been traveling 3-5 miles from the lodge to water depths between 18' and 26' where they have been reeling in a steady stream of eating sized fish.
Sportsman's Lodge remains open and is currently offering special spring prices! Lodge with us for as low as $40/person/night now through the end of spring! Soft water, guided spring trips will begin again in April. Spend the weekend with us and relax in the Sandbar with our daily drink specials. For more information call us at 866-533-8998." - Sportman's Lodges, Lake of the Woods Reservations: 800-862-8602
Fishing Report Icon (4/3) On Lake Winnibigoshish Pat Rooney from Denny's Resort says; "We are open and will stay open until there is no more safe ice. Wheelers and sleds are no problem now,but we do have some wet spots on the shoreline. There's a re-freeze trying to firm up the shore, so we might still be able to get out on the lake with trucks. For now though, sleds and wheelers are the way to go.
Perch going well off the Townsite up through the bird house area in 14 to 20 feet . Tulibee going well off of Big Musky in 35 feet." Pat Rooney, Denny's Resort
Fishing Report Icon (4/3) On Bowstring Lake, the ice conditions are even better than on Winnie. There are numbers of ice fishermen accessing the lake using pickup trucks and like Winnie, the surface conditions are good and solid.
Perch fishing remains good on mid lake bars and the Crappie fishing continues to hold up under the pressure too.

Fishing Guide MN Ice Fishing Report April 2, 2014 Jeff Sundin - Tuesday's snowstorm might have left the ice a little sloppy, but that's nothing but good news.
Rain soaked ice, now covered by an insulating blanket of snow has no choice but to deteriorate. Behind schedule for a typical spring? Yes, but don't be too surprised when conditions get caught up faster than you expect them too.
Fishing Report Icon (4/2) On The Rainy River, "The open water is still about 2, maybe 3 days away from Birchdale. Good news is that it's moving right now. So with extra runoff from the melting snow and water levels slowly rising, conditions will be improving fast.
image denotes fishing question (4/2) Marine Deep Cycle Batteries - An email rm Gary Gedart, Hayward, WI; "I follow your website, in particular your fishing report.
I am planning on heading up to Deer River this Friday and was wondering if you could provide me with some input on what type of travel I can expect out on the lakes (in particular Bowstring). Should I be looking at taking a 4 wheeler or a snowmobile? Of course I'd like to just load up an ATV as opposed to a sled but don't want to travel 3.5 hours with a wheeler and wish I had a sled. Thanks for whatever advice you can share with me! Have a great day!
A) Gary we did get some snow on Tuesday, but before that, we had about 6 hours of steady rain. Ice conditions are reall sloppy right now. There's a lot of slush under the new snow and it's going to take the fun out of snowmobiling.
With a warm sunny day on today's agenda, it's likely that ATV's will be a better bet by the weekend.
I've already been contacting a lot of folks around the area for an update and there will be a lot more information available on Thursday morning.
For right now, plan on using your ATV, but check again before you pack your trailer. We have another snowstorm sizing up the area for Friday, so lets see how that develops too.
Fishing Report Icon (4/2) On Cass Lake, Perch Fishermen Chad Benson says; "Things haven’t changed a whole lot on Cass Lake lately as far as ice conditions & fishing. With the past above freezing temperatures the snow cover has dropped once again & made cross country travel fairly easy. As I am writing this report it is still rain/freezing rain that is coming down with this most current weather system. We haven’t had any new snow accumulation so far. It sounds like all the snow stayed north of us towards Baudette.
The perch fishing is still pretty good, but not the really good late season bite, like we typically see this time of year. I’m guessing it has to happen in the next week or two? Right now it looks like I will be driving on Cass at least for a week or two more.
I got tired of fishing for perch & decided to target a different species this past week. Burbot/Eelpout spawn during the latter part of the ice fishing season & I decided to take a stab at finding some pre-spawn/spawning pout. I had a pretty good run Friday afternoon. I fished off of one of the points on a mid-lake hump & caught about 10 eelpout in a couple hours. I went back the next day to try again & caught one. Not sure where they went, but I’m looking for them. Most of fish were 3-7 pounds. I looked up a few recipes for poor man’s lobster and cooked them up. I think I’m going to fish for eelpout the rest of the ice season. They are really good!!" There's still plenty of time to tag along with Chad on the ice for a day. Contact >> Chad Benson , Chads Rentals or call 218-556-0823 .

Fishing Guide MN Ice Fishing Report April 1, 2014 Jeff Sundin - The snow finally showed up in the Itasca Area and if you ask me, the timing could't be better.
After an all day soaker on Monday, the nice thick blanket of snow will help seal the moisture on the ice and prevent a re-freeze from occuring. At this stage of the game, if we're not making ice, we're losing it. So even though we're a little bit behind, this is really a positive development.
By tomorrow, the weather promises a warm up so it will be a wet, sloppy day on the ice. But for anglers who still want to bag some Jumbo Perch or panfish, you still have time to get 'em while the gettin's good.

image of Lund Alaskan Boat rigged and ready for fishing
Rivers are open, but not the fishing season. Lakes are covered with ice, but not enough for fishing. The taxes are done, the bills are paid and the paperwork is caught up (almost). Sounds like perfect excuse to head for South Dakota.

image of Ray Welle with Walleye caught on Big Stone Lake
Photo Courtesy Greg Clusiau: Border Walleye Action was good for Walleye expert Ray Welle.
Welle recently enjoyed good fishing on the Minnesota/Dakotas border waters. >> Read Report .

image of ice melting on Deer Lake april 20 2014
Spreading good news isn't as easy as you think! But if you're one of the lucky ones who reads this report, forget about the reports of where the ice is and start lookingat the ones about here it isn't. Then follow my lead and get your boat ready to go! We only have a few weeks!

image of crappies savanna castellano
Photo courtesy Brian Castellano: My oldest daughter Savanna and I hit the ice today,catching up on a fishing trip that was long over due.

image of Perch on the ice at Leech Lake
Photo courtesy Al Murphy: Leech Lake Perch fishing was productive for his group last weekend. According to Murphy, ice conditions were good and anglers with time on their hands could probably fish this weekend too.

Hosts Ryan Dechaine and Jeremy Smith show how using a smaller boat and the right techniques for fishing small rivers, pays off big time in terms of catching tons of summer Smalmouth along with some bonus Walleyes on the river where having the right tool for the right job is the key to success.

image of ice conditions on Trout Lake near Grand Rapids
Avoid areas where drainage from low lying property has been melting ice along shorelines.

image of ice conditions at Oxhide Lake near Grand Rapids
Narrows connecting one lake to another have enough current to melt the ice too. If you look close, there's another open hole at the far end of the bay.

image of ice on Cutfoot Sioux at Bowen Lodge
Photo Courtesy Bowen Lodge: On the other hand, in protected bays and areas free from drainage, ice is still good and promises to remain for a while. Read >> Bowen Lodge Fishing Report .

image of TV driving off of Bowstring Lake
The spring meltdown continues. But in the Itasca Area of Northern Minnesota, ice fishermen will be able to squeak out one more weekend.

image of ice fishermen on Little Cutfoot Sioux
Photo Bowen Lodge: Curent areas and ice located at the access ramps now have open water nearby. But areas that are protected from traffic or current are still accesible, at least for this weekend. Click her for >> Lake Winnie and Cutfoot Sioux Ice Conditions .

image of poster for the 2014 Nashwauk Home and Sport Show
Bring your notebook and Join me tomorrow Saturday, April 12, 2014 at the Nashwauk Home, Sport and Travel Show. This year, 2 for 1 special! Learn how to fish new water like a pro! AND Gearing Up For Open Water Walleye!

link to Walleye Fishing Video
Be prepared for Walleye fishing on the river with a series of tips and techniques starting with this one >> Slipping The Current Breaks For Walleyes .

Image of the Birchdale Ramp on Rainy River
Photos courtesy Royal Dutchman Resort: Don't look now, BUT THE RAINY RIVER IS OPEN AT BIRCHDALE. Birchdale Ramp on the Rainy River was open for business on Tuesday afternoon.

Image of fishermen on the Rainy River
A handful of small boats were already fishing on the river and by today, there's going to be plenty of traffic on the river. See More >> Roayl Dutchman Resort .

image of Arne Danielson holding Jumb Perch on the ice
This Bowstring Lake Jumbo has been through a few battles before. She finally met her match though when she tried going toe-to-toe with the Ramrod of Fish Wrangling, Arne Danielson.

If this keeps up, there won't be any problem having ice out in time for the Walleye Fishing Opener. Here's a short video of the water draining into an ice hole on Monday at Bowstring Lake.

image of Bloodworms Midge Larvae on ice
Perch were roaming the area, feeding on Bloodworms, their mouths and stomachs were packed with these small red Midge Larvae. Insects can hold fish in an area for days, even weeks.

image of ATV on wet late season ice
We were able to travel freely on the ice using ATV's, but it was plenty wet out there. There was still some truck traffic too, but the mix has shifted since Saturday.

image of Greg Clusiau with big Bluegill
Late Ice Gill...Greg Clusiau posed just long enough for a quick photo before releasing this nice bluegill back in the hole. Read Greg's Full Fishing Report .

image of water standing on the ice
Snow cover is virtually gone. Slush and standing water are all that remains on the surface of most Itasca area lakes.

image of roadway heading onto Bowstring lake
On Saturday afternoon, roads were still passable. But with warm temperatures becoming the norm, shoreline accesses will deteriorate quickly this week.

image of St. Croix Bass Rods
St. Croix Rods introduces Randy Hamilton to help expand St. Croix's Bass and Inshore rods lineup. Learn More >> St. Croix introduces Randy Hamilton .

image of Eelpout on the ice
After a successful Eelpout fishing trip, Chad Benson looked up some recipes and cooked some up. Lots of anglers call it "Poor Man's Lobster" and like me, Chad decided that they are pretty darn good! By the way, did you know that the Burbot (Eelpout) is really a freshwater variety of Cod?

image of Blake Liend with nice TulibeePhoto courtesy Greg Clusiau: Blake Liend caught and released tulibee (cisco) like this one on last Sunday’s outing. They fight like the dickens and smell to high heaven! They are, however, good to eat, especially smoked. >> Read Report .

image of Mike Christensen and Jeff Sundin with Spongebob Square pants
For Mike Christensen and Jeff Sundin, wrapping up the Sportshow with a smile was easy! Sunny Side Up and :)!!

image of Paul Fournier holding Thill Bobbers Meeting new friends and sharing fishing stories has been the theme this year at the Lindy Fishing Tackle booth.
Stop in on Saturday and chat with Paul Fournier, Mike Christensen, Jeff Sundin and Jon Thelen. We will all be on hand at Booth #835 and while supplies last, we've got a free Thill Splash Brite Bobber for you, just for stopping by!

image of Mike Mattis showing St.Croix Fishing Rod
St. Croix's Mike Mattis shows off the LegendXtreme Inshore Series XIS70MLF Spinning Rod. For me, this light weight but powerful rod is going to get a lot of attention this summer. >> LegendXtreme Inshore Series XIS70MLF .

image of Quick Cleat
The Quick Cleat allows fast, secure anchoring or mooring your boat without tying knots. The self rotaing ratchet locks your rope in place frast so you can spend your time catching fish.

image of Quick Cleat foam cleat protector
Now I don't have to worry about the tip of my favorite fishing rod slipping under the cleat where it could potentially come into harm’s way. The foam protector snaps right over the cleat and solves all kinds of little boating problems.

image of excel products live bait system
Excel Manufacturing has developed a system that takes advantage of unused space on your boat trailer. The system enables anglers to keep a supply of fresh, airated water on hand at all times.

image of Jon Thelen with giant Walleye
You've already learned that you're supposed to follow the bait to find the fish. Now there's a seminar that teaches you how to do it during every season.
The seminar "Bait connections for summertime walleyes" will unlock the secrets about bait movements and it's relation to feeding walleye's.

St. Croix Musky Fishing Rod
The ingenious design of St. Croix's new 9 foot, 2 piece Musky Rod puts the 6 inch connecting ferrule in the butt section of the rod where it becomes an asset by adding extra strength and power.

St. Croix Fishing Rods Legend Extreme
What's the deal with those White fishing rods? Hmm... More on that soon!

image of Blake Liend holding Crappie on the ice
Photo Greg Clusiau: SLAB!..Blake Liend displays a 14” crappie that “got in the way” while perch fishing last weekend. >> Read Greg's Fishing Report .

image of Jumbo Perch on Devils Lake
Travel conditions on Devils Lake are exceptionally good right now. There is vrtually no snow cover and with 3 feet or more of solid ice, everyone on the lake is travelling by truck to their favorite fishing holes.

See More Fishing Articles, Fishing Reports and Fishing Videos click >> Fishing Archives Section .