Q) “Hi Jeff I recently purchased 3 Lindy Glow Spoons at L&M in Grand Rapids. I went with the 1/8 ounce size.
In all your testing, do you feel the ¼ ounce size would be better for walleyes? Also did you get a chance to run the 1/16 for crappies last year; any results?”
I used both ¼ ounce and 1/8 ounce sizes for walleyes last winter and had very similar results with each of them. But a good rule of thumb for selecting the best weight and size is to consider first the depth of water and average fish sizes in the lakes you like to fish. Your favorite fishing rod, reel and line combo is a consideration too.
If your fishing gear is rigged with heavy line and your rod has a stout action, then the larger sizes will “feel” better to you. If you are finesse oriented and use light action rods and or light line, then you’ll be happier with the smaller sizes.
Personally, I have a tendency to fish with larger size lures whenever I can. The larger profile of the ¼ ounce helps make the Glow Spoon extra attractive to larger fish and for me, catching a smaller number of large fish is more fun than catching big numbers of smaller ones. So I usually start big and scale down only if the fish are signaling me that they want something smaller.
Typically they don’t shy away from larger sizes unless there’s been some major weather development affecting their mood.
We were on Lake of the Woods just last week and it amazed us how even the smallest fish did not shy away from the Glow Spoons. Small walleyes and sauger were both eager to strike the baits, even the ¼ ounce size.
That said, I’ve fished with a lot of folks during the testing of these lures and have observed that most of them will reach for the mid-size, 1/8 spoons first. They have caught fish just as well I have, so you can be assured that your choice was a good one too.
The answer to your second question is yes, we did fish for crappies during the winter of 2017-2018. Crappies were more than willing to gobble the Glow Spoons too and I’m looking forward to getting after them again in the near future.
Using the 1/16 ounce was pretty much our standard, but there were times that we used the larger sizes to encourage strikes from larger fish instead of catching higher numbers of small fish.
I think you might be surprised by how many panfish will go after the 1/8 ounce size, but I’d also have a couple of the smaller 1/16 ounce on hand just in case you run into a finicky bite.
Good Luck Out There! - Jeff Sundin 218-245-9858 or EMAIL
"On the main basin... Ice fishing is in full swing and the bite continues to be very good. Big numbers of walleyes and saugers in 17 - 25' of water. Resorts have marked trails for ATV, UTV and snowmobiles while others are transporting guests with light ice rigs. No vehicle traffic yet.
Gold, glow colors, and blue hot colors. Use combo of jigging line and deadstick with a live minnow. Ice ranges from 9-14" where resorts are fishing. Big crack 8 miles off of Pine Island stretching to Long Point.
Please use resort marked trails, don't go off on your own and exercise safety precautions as ice thickness varies.
On the Rainy River... Stretches of the river and bay ice unsafe with current. Some walleye action in Four Mile Bay early and late in day. Reports of pike still coming from bays. Safety first, we suggest staying on resort marked trails for safety.
Up at the NW Angle... Ice road is open from Young's Bay to Flag Island, no further as of yet. Other areas still need more time / ice before vehicle traffic is allowed. Snowmobile trail marking from Wheeler's Point across lake to Angle planned for end of week, ice conditions dictating. As always, neck down and other areas with current are iffy.
Resorts are ice fishing and others starting this week. Reports are very good. Work through resorts and stay on staked resort ice trails. Safety first. - – Lake of the Woods Tourism, (800) 382-FISH
"Our houses are out and the fish are biting!
20 to 25 feet has been producing a great bite with good numbers being caught. There have been many slot fish caught this week, and many happy fishermen.
Blue and Orange have been working well the last couple days.
As of now, there are 11 inches of ice on the bay (on our road), and 13 inches on the lake (on our road). We do not recommend going away from the marked trail, it is still early ice and many locations are not safe to travel over.
We still have some spaces open, so now is the time to call and book your winter trip!" - 1-800-776-3474 Border View Lodge
Ice conditions are great on the Third River of Winnie. We have 14 inches straight out from the landing and 9 to 10 down to the east. They are parking on the ice at the end of the landing road. Driving rangers and side by sides out as well as smaller vehicles.
As far as Spearing goes the water is clearing up straight out from the landuing, but still cloudy near the clay banks area. Our guests are getting some nice big northern coming in hot and hitting both the decoys and sucker minnows alike.
Pan fish have really picked up over the weekend. You can also check the ice hot line at 1-218-659-4002. Thanks much Have a great day and Have fun fishing. For dark house rentals or cabins. - Dixon Lake Resort 1-218-659-4612.
We had spearing guests this weekend who rented houses on Third River from Dixon Lake Resort, so you probably know what those conditions are over there. A summer home neighbor was up fishing on Cutfoot Sioux, and said there was around 10" of ice pretty much everywhere they went.
We are still closed till December 26th, but I figured that we should let everyone know how far the ice is coming along. As of now we have 10 to 11 inches of ice. So far there is one ice heave that we know about and it's going from little stony point on south end up to raven point area. - Nodak Lodge 800-752-2758 or 218-665-2226
There is up to 12inches of ice in some spots, only using 4-wheelers and side by sides at this time. Fishing dropped Friday and Saturday however picked up yesterday again. Tom & Jessica, Becker's Resort 218-665-2268
That's why there are certain times when using subtle presenations can help us put more walleyes on the ice.
In this video, Jon Thelen shares some ideas about when using subtle lures is a good idea and how to use them to trigger strikes from finicky walleyes. View Video >> Subtle Baits Can Help Catch More Walleyes
"This year we got a good head start on ice making for the Edge of the Wilderness area lakes. Some of the shallow bays and smaller lakes have been frozen over for two to three weeks. Ice thicknesses, up to nine inches are being reported in these areas. Six to eight or nine are the norm for the bigger lakes around the shore but the areas over deeper water could still be a lot less.
Caution is advised out in the main basins as there are no snowmobile or wheeler tracks to be seen out there. Another couple of weeks with the weather patterns we have been seeing should make enough ice to allow anglers to get out. It will happen when it happens." — Paul Larson, Frontier Sports 218-832-3901
"We do have a few ice fishing houses out on the ice and have guys here fishing right now. They report 12 inches of ice pretty much all over the areas that they been travelling.
They caught a few walleyes over on the west side yesterday and Crappies have been okay. I have not seen anyone driving pickups yet; it’s all been 4 wheelers and snow mobiles.
I do have ice houses for rent and lake access available here." - Darv Oehlke, Bowstring Shores Resort. 218-832-3101
"I have guys staying here now and they are saying that we have 10-12 inches of ice. Fishing is slow they report, but until anglers cover a little more territory, it's hard to say whether it's the fishing, or the location." - Wayne & Sue Marchant, Sah-Kah-Tay Beach Resort (218) 335-2424
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"Here's an update on the Third River area on Lake Winnibigoshish near Dixon Lake Resort.
They are now parking on the ice at the end of the plowed access road. We have 12 inches of ice with about an inch of snow cover, along with some heavier drifts here and there.
Water clarity is better, but still murkier then we would like. You can see the bottom straight out with few clouds that move through now and then. At the banks you can see 3 to 4 feet down.
Spearing has been pretty good, picking up some nice perch and walleyes as well. We have plenty of rentals out so give Dixon Lake Resort a shout for Dark houses or cabins. Thanks much, Merry Christmas and Happy New Year and have fun Fishing!" - Dixon Lake Resort has shelter rentals, including sleepers. Reservations 218-659-4612
I didn’t sleep well Monday night because I was anxious to get in on the wave of super-hot walleye action that we’d been hearing about at the show. I was up early and chomping at the bit, to hit the ice on Tuesday morning. We were on the ice and ready to fish shortly after sunrise, at least that’s what the clock said. The sky was grey so it seemed darker than it should have been, there’s no way we weren’t out there early enough for the first run of fish to begin.
As of Tuesday, there were no pickup trucks moving around on the lake so we used our snowmobiles to follow Nate in his Snow Bear. The ride out was sort of rough on the sleds because there was only a couple inches of snow, with lots of patches of clear ice. There was a lot of broken ice too, so I wished that I had a 4 wheeler for this trip. But since I don’t, the snow machine was a semi-adequate substitute.
Nate had already been fishing the mud-flats in the area located between Zippel bay and Pine Island. That meant we didn’t do much exploration, we just followed him to his “Walleye Hole” and stopped where he’d been fishing previously. We spread out a little bit, drilled some holes and were set up in short order.
The first run of fish came quickly and they were the most aggressive fish that we encountered throughout the day. These were also the largest average size fish that we ran into. I had a run of bad luck, losing one large walleye when it snagged on the bottom of my ice hole and then losing a mid-30 inch pike when it cut of my Glow Spoon. Those two fish were the best ones I hooked and were way above the average for the rest of our trip.
For the rest of the day, Lake of the Woods did what it sometimes does; it provided good action that featured mostly small size fish. We weren’t out to get big numbers of fish for the freezer, but if we had been, we could have bagged enough “pail-stretchers” to provide a good fish dinner. I’d estimate that Nate and I caught 30 to 40 fish total, with about a dozen of them qualified to be ‘keepers”. Our fishing partner was a little further east of us and reported doing better; he had action throughout the day, followed by an afternoon run of fish too. He estimated catching 30 fish or more on his own.
We’d been hearing great reports from Upper Red Lake Too, so on Wednesday morning we drove down there to test it for ourselves.
Nate had a friend who’d done well fishing the southeast region of the lake, so we found him and set our shelters up in the area nearby. The water depth was about 10 feet and the only “structure” we fished was the broken ice. These patches of jagged ice, blown apart by strong winds during the early formation of ice were key areas for locating crappies during the famous Red Lake Crappie Boom of the mid-2000 era. These days, outfitters and rental operators still advise customers to locate themselves in and around the rough ice.
Like the LOW run on Tuesday, the first wave of fish came early. In fact my first walleye came in while it was still dark inside my portable shelter. The clown colored Glow Spoon I was using lit up its face when I laid it on the ice.
There was action throughout the day, but I couldn’t call it a “hot bite”. I’ll estimate that that the 3 of us caught 18-20 fish total. This time we were interested in bagging some fish for a fish fry and we did manage 10 legal size fish. There were 3 fish over the 17 inch mark and 7 fish under it. The fish we released were mainly “overs”, in fact I think we only caught a couple of fish that anybody would consider too small to keep.
The Lindy Glow Spoons are working just as well this winter as they did during our testing last year. In fact, it's the only lure I used on either lake this week. On Lake of the Woods, the 1/4 ounce clown color worked best for me, but I caught fish on the gold scale and red scale colors too. On Red Lake, the red scale color was my favorite, with the clown color coming in a close second. The beauty of these baits is that you don't have to learn anything new to be successful fishing them. Fish them the same way that you'd fish a Rattlin' Flyer Spoon or any other jigging spoon, use the same tricks that you've learned over the years and you will have plenty of action.
The ice is a little bit thicker on Red Lake than it is on Lake of the Woods, but both have vast areas of fishable territory. I’ve heard that there will be truck traffic allowed by some of the operators on Red Lake this weekend and I’ll confirm that as soon as I can. I do not anticipate that anyone will allow pickups onto Lake of the Woods this weekend, but will post an advisory if I hear differently.
The upshot of today’s report is that folks looking for a high number of lower quality fish should head for Lake of the Woods. If you’re thinking that quality over quantity is more your speed, then Red Lake should get the nod. Either way you’ll find plenty of traffic, there are lots of permanent shelters already on the ice and there will be lots of wheel houses hitting the ice today. - Jeff Sundin 218-245-9858 or EMAIL
"Walleye - Walleye fishing still remains hit or miss for many anglers. Anglers catching fish are doing so in 18-20 feet of water while actively fishing a jigging spoon on one line and a dead sticking the other. More often then not the walleyes have been hitting the dead sticks. Rainbows or shiners have been producing the best results. Gold, red glow or chartreuse glowing spoons seem to be attracting the most fish.
Pike - Pike fishing has heated up this last week. Some groups are reporting at least one pike over 40” each trip. The bigger the bait the better it seems, as large suckers and alewifes have been the best bait by far. Anglers have been setting out their tip-ups at the mouths of bays in 10 feet of water or less.
Panfish - Crappies and sunfish have been biting best early in the morning on waxies and crappie minnows. Anglers have been fishing inside the weed beds for sunfish and finding a few crappies mixed in. Most of the crappies being caught have been out over 20-30 feet of water. Again early in the morning seems to be best with the bite shutting completely down by noon." — Arrowhead Outdoors, 218-365-5358
Most everyone knows that providing a solid foundation for newcomers to the outdoor sports is the only pathway to a future in which our outdoor heritage is secure. Thanks to everybody who came to visit the ice show this weekend, it is your support that keeps the spirit of our sport alive.
Yesterday, I threw out a few teasers about interesting items that caught my attention at the show. When I opened my emails this morning, I found this question and it fits right into my plans, so let’s start right here.
Q) Steve Sykes wrote; “I was wondering what your thoughts are on the lithium battery powered ice augers? I have seen a lot of them in action and for first ice they seem like a really good idea, my thought is once there is a 20 to 30 inches of ice how will they hold up to a day’s fishing. Any thoughts would be appreciated.
A) Long story short Steve; it’s just a matter of time before electric augers are the only thing any of us will be using. There were 3 companies (that I know about) at the ice show which already has “heavy duty”, high output motors that pair up with conventional ice drills. If you wanted to, you could take the auger off of your gas power head and convert it over to electric right now.
I thought I was on to something when I spied Jiffy’s 40 volt electric. Their representative claimed that this was the most powerful motor in the industry. They had it paired up with one of their standard chipper style augers and standard mounting handles. It was a little on the heavy side, but the build was solid as a rock. If wanted the feel of a gas auger with the convenience of electric, I’d take a really close look at that one.
Not long after looking at the Jiffy, I stumbled into Richard JI from the RAZR company. Their electric motor also features a 40 volt battery, but pairs up with the curved blade, “Strikemaster style” auger. Their claim to fame is the heavy duty power head and gearbox construction. They use an aluminum gear housing intended to prevent premature burnout that occurs in competitors units which use plastic gearbox construction. The idea of using plastic gearboxes, JI says that the reason why the RAZR company dis-associated itself with Strikemaster several years ago.
So by now, I think I’ve seen the best and powerful electric augers on the market, but then Mark Thompson tipped me off about another one. The Trophy Strike auger features a 120 volt battery, it looks like it could drill through a cement block, and this could possibly really, really be the most powerful motor, but I still don’t know that for sure.
Ion, K-Drill, Eskimo, Nils, Clam ... everybody offers and electric auger option and all of them have a little different twist on what makes theirs the best.
Like I said, there’s definitely lithium in our future and sooner or later we will all be using electric augers. To me, it’s like buying a new computer or TV, the technology improves and the price comes down every season. The only decision to make is when you have arrived at your own jumping off point.
For me, my Nils auger is still the best gas auger I’ve come across and until something finally gives out, I will keep using it. After that, I’m convinced that technology will have advanced far enough to allow me several options and that my next purchase will be an electric.
There’s more Lithium in our futures and I teased you about that yesterday too. Before the show ended, I managed to sneak away and pick up a 12 volt Lithium drop-in replacement battery for my Humminbird Helix units.
The one I picked up was from Energized Outdoors and according owner Matt Lardinois, should just about double the run time for my Helix 7. That alone would thrill me, but another happy side benefit is the light weight. Lardinois says that the Lithium battery is 3 pounds lighter than the 12 V 9 AH lead acid batteries I have now. I’ll weigh them to confirm, but I can already tell that it is a lot lighter.
At $90, the Lithium battery and charger combo might seem expensive, but Lardinois claims that the new battery is good for 2000 cycles, a vast improvement over the 400 cycles I can get out of a conventional battery. Another claim is that Lithium battery won’t have a memory, and won’t discharge when I’m not using it. If all of the claims come true, I won’t be buying 3 or 4 batteries every winter and this battery will more than pay for itself in a very short time.
A new rod box made the trip home with me too and luckily, it will be getting its first field test tomorrow morning. That’s right, the snowmobile is loaded up, my portable ice shelter is strapped down and we’re getting ready to make some tracks on the ice. A review of the rod box, along with first hand fishing reports from the walleye hole will be forthcoming.
In the meantime, reports of good walleye fishing continue to flow in from both Lake of the Woods and Upper Red Lake. I see that the Lindy Facebook page has been lighting up with images from folks who are catching fish on both lakes with their new Lindy Glow Spoons. With a little luck, I’ll be sharing some of those images myself in the very near future! - Jeff Sundin 218-245-9858 or EMAIL
An electric ice auger that’s so powerful you’ll never need a gas auger again? Or how about a 12 volt battery that promises to deliver power enough to last 4 days in my Humminbird Helix 7? And what’s the deal with a rod storage box that can be bounced along on the ice without breaking my favorite fishing rods?
Those are just a few of the interesting tidbits I’ve spotted here at the ice show so far.
I know, you want me to tell you all about them and I will, as soon as I get back into the office. Of course, I will still be at the show all day long today, so if you were to stop by and see me here, well then I could spill the beans right away; you wouldn’t have to wait.
For several weeks now, we’ve been teasing you with bits and pieces about how we tested the Lindy Glow Spoons last winter. You’ve seen some video and photos already, but starting today, the real fun begins.
That’s right, the new season of Fish ED TV starts at 8:30 AM on Fox Sports North. In this first episode, you’ll see, among other things, a monster walleye caught on the Glow Spoon. This is definitely one of the more impressive highlights from the 2018 ice fishing season, so you won’t want to miss it.
After you watch Fish ED, you’ll have plenty of time to swing by the show and see us in the Lindy booth where the news here has been good. Not only have sales of the Lindy Glow Spoons been strong, but we're already getting photos from folks who are on the ice, catching fish with them this weekend.
During the day Saturday, show visitors put a serious dent in supplies, but we checked in with retailers yesterday and they still had enough to restock the shelves for another wave of sales today.
That means our offer is still good, buy 4 Lindy Glow Spoons from any retailer at the show, bring the spoons, along with your receipt to booth #331 and we’ll give you a free promo pack of Lindy ice fishing jigs and a free Lindy hat. - Jeff Sundin 218-245-9858 or EMAIL
There are no shortage of fishing videos, fishing articles and fishing news. Folks around the Midwest have plenty of chances to “get information”, but it’s a one way street, you have to glean whatever you can from the material whenever you see it.
Opportunities to exchange information don’t come along as often, but they do come along. The St. Paul Ice Show definitely provides one of the best opportunities for anglers to learn anything they could ever want to know about ice fishing.
Remember the time you were watching that ice fishing video and you saw something intriguing? Maybe it was the certain twitch of the rod tip, or the particular way a lure was presented, just for a moment, you wished that you could ask one quick question.
Well there’s a darn good chance that whoever produced that ice fishing video, article or commentary will be at this show. This is your chance to ask that question, along with a lot more. You’ll be on a two way street where information is exchanged, not just presented. I’ve been at a lot of “sport shows” and I can tell you that this one is high on my list of favorites. The people who work this show know what they're talking about and they're more than happy to share the info with you.
I might add that I’ll be working the show myself, so you can drill me with all the questions you want! These shows are a lot more fun when we have new and exciting information to share and this year we definitely do have new and exciting information for you. That’s why I hope you’ll mark your calendar and make some time to pay us a visit.
St. Paul Ice Show, Friday November 30, thru Sunday December 2, 2018. ST. PAUL RIVERCENTRE, 175 Kellogg Boulevard West, St. Paul, MN 55102 Click Here To Learn More >> St. Paul Ice Fishing Show
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