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Ice Fishing Report - Archives Section - Hard Water Fish Reports January 2013

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Fishing Guide MN Fishing Report, January 31, 2013, Jeff Sundin - Temperatures are low, but expectations are high! And if I know whats good for me, there had better be a darn good story at the end of this trip! Whoa, that's putting it bluntly, but that's what I was told on Wednesday. But, there's no pressure.
A trip that was supposed to take me toward the land of open water, got turned upside down when the rug got pulled out from under my feet. Instead, the "visitor" has become the "visited" and just in a nick of time, a good old fashioned Alberta Clipper is gonna blow in sub-zero temps and give us a 20 MPH Northwest Wind.
Well, in the words of my friend Billy Rosner, "Guys pull this kind of stuff off every day and if anyone can do it, so can I." So without any further delay, I'm gonna go outside, get my gear loaded up and prepare to perform feats of Courageous Courage and Heroic Heroism!
The good news is that before the temperature drop, the fishing action was pretty darn good, especially for Panfish. So I have at least got some ideas about where the fish were, that's a great head start. And .... however it works out, YOU will be the first one to get the straight story, really soon!
Fishing Report (1/31) Marcell Area Lakes - The reports from last weekend were encouraging; Wrote Paul Larson, Frontier Sports. "Several fishermen I talked to had some success with Walleyes and Crappies. Monday was an entirely different story. Everyone I talked with had a tough time getting anything to bite. The fish were there but were very tentative about committing. Then the rain and snow hit Monday night. I was out Monday night when it started to rain and left the ice earlier than I wanted to. Fishing was very slow. The snow on the ice is creating slush on some of the area lakes. Hopefully the coming cold weather will freeze it up. On the positive side… Lake Trout have been hitting on Caribou with Swedish Pimples and Buckshot spoons tipped with minnow heads working best.
Frontier Sports has everything you need for a successful day on the ice, including live bait, tackle, fish houses, augers and electronics. All Cameras and Shappell fish houses are now on sale. We are an authorized LIVE TARGET dealer. Drop in or call to check out what’s new on the ice." - Paul Larson, Frontier Sports, Marcell, MN. 01/30/2013 (1-218-832-3901) .

Fishing Guide MN Fishing Report, January 30, 2013, Jeff Sundin - The Cat's Out of the Bag! After four days of surrying around, checking ice conditions, plowing roads and testing fishy looking places, the Visit Grand Rapids Writers Conference is wrapped up.
The Catch and Release, Fishing Event provided writers from all around the Midwest an opportunity to sample the Grand Rapids area's fishing, scenery and lodging accommodations. While they were on the scene, they also had a chance to check out some of the newest gizmos and gadgets supplied by the events co-sponsors; Humminbird, Aqua View and Frabil.
Writers, videographers, webmasters and guides all put their heads together to produce an array of articles and video aimed at promoting the Grand Rapids area and all that it has to offer. As a special treat, selected members participated in a photo session with the fishing industry's top photographer and soon to be, "Hall of Fame Inductee" Bill Linder.
We visited lakes all over the Grand Rapids area; Covering everything from Walleye fishing on Grand Rapids Marquee Lakes, to hoofing it into tiny waters, amongst tall timber for panfish. Working together, the outfit put together pieces that will show up all over the internet, on newsstands and in future advertising about the area and event sponsors.
You probably won't even know it when you see them, but sooner or later you will see them and it's all thanks to the efforts that went into making this event a successful one.
During the event, fishing in some places was easier than others, but there were some definite highlights. In spite of the events timing, late into the ice season, there were still some very nice Walleyes caught and released, including a couple of Giants caught on the first day.
Perch fishing wasn't bad, lots of "dinner size" fish were caught, but finding true trophies was a little tricky. There was enough action to keep the project moving along though and the lion's share of Perch were caught on jigging spoons, like the 1/8 ounce Rattln Flyer. Smaller micro size jigs were used by some of the guides too and tipping them with small soft plastic tails worked well.
Perch location depended on the lake; Key depths on the one that I fished last Monday were around 20 feet. Perch appeared to be roaming along the steeper breakline areas feeding on young of the year Perch. It's easier to pin down a shook of Perch when they're feeding on insects, but you don't always find that, especially when you're in a hurry. Feeding on minnows forced the Perch to be nomadic, which in turn forced us to drill lots of hole along the breakline, searching for small packs of active, but flighty fish.
Some of the crew found fish shallower on other lakes; Fish ranging in depths of 10 to 16 feet also located on main lake breaklines. One crew in particular, found that the fish were active, but spotty. Certain holes produced lots of action, while others produced very little. On my way to visit one group who reported great action, I came across another angler who was leaving because the action was too slow.
We did our best work after I set the depth highlight on our Humminbird at 20 feet and added a highlight range of + or - one foot. Once you make that adjustment, the Humminbird's GPS works in concert with the Lakemaster Chart to print a green highlight over all of the water that ranges from 19 to 21 feet. That allowed us to drive from spot to spot, stopping only a key places like points and inside corners that were in this depth range. Stop the truck, hop out and drill a couple of holes and check them with the sonar or the Aqua View to determine if we'd fish the spot or not. That is about as close to having a boat on the ice as you can get.
On Tuesday, Panfish became the focus of most fishing groups and it turned out to be a fantastic day on the water, especially for quality Bluegill fishing. We caught some Crappies and there were some good Perch caught by another group that became movie stars too.
I was working with a great guy that you should really get to know. Mike Pehanich, founder of Mike Pehanich's Small Waters Fishing . Mike really wanted to find a little lake, back in the woods where we could get a nice bit of panfish footage. Well if you've been following the reports this winter, then you know already that the request played right into my hand. I had the spot in mind and even if it was lying under almost a foot of new snow, we weren't gonna let that stop us.
The trip down the road and onto the lake isn't normally too big of a deal, but for us, this was one heck of a walk. Hoofing it through a quarter mile of new snow, dragging a sled full of gear is the perfect excuse to splurge on a little extra food. Too bad we couldn't just call in the results of our specialized stress tests and save us each a trip to the Doctors office. We did manage to get in their though, we did manage to find a couple of spots and we were rewarded with a nice run of good size Bluegills and even a couple of attention grabbing Crappies.
The panfish were located a little shallower than they have been earlier this winter, a range of 16 to 18 feet seemed the best. Once we located a couple of schools, we didn't fish a lot deeper though, so there may have been more, especially more Crappie in deeper water.
Fishing with an array of small jigs, we decided that the #4 Frostee Jig was probably catching fish as well as anything, but the tiny Pink/Yellow Bug was catching a fair share too. For us, tipping the baits with Wax Worms was simple and reliable, but meanwhile, there were other groups on other lakes catching nice 'Gills using a variety of soft plastics too. In fact, once we wrapped up our work and re-joined the core group, they were still catching fish and Mike wrapped his day with two more fish, after I gave him a 6 minute deadline!
So there ya' go for now; Someplace along the line, there will be all kinds of bits and pieces springing up out of this effort. You Know that I will let you know where and when to find 'em. But, in the meantime, you can get a ton of information about the Grand Rapids area by getting in touch with Megan Christianson at Visit Grand Rapids. Just click the link to >> Visit Grand Rapids .
Fishing Report (1/30) Deer River Resident and Super Good Guy, Brian Castellano had a little time off and went fishing too. In his own words; "After the last cold spell, I've had a chance to hit the ice a bit.
This past Sunday, I met my 2 steps sons on a lake up the Scenic Highway and we chased the crappies around. While most of the crappies were too small to keep, we did end up with 15 eaters. While the minnow, small jig, and bobber approach worked OK, a small Frostee spoon w/ a couple eurolarve on it produced better numbers.
Monday a buddy and I hit Canisteo Pit in search of lake trout. We found about 15" of ice out there and just a dusting of snow on the ice. We fished 2 spots and the lakers were MIA for the most part. We each had a couple "swings and misses" and a couple of "chasers" that wouldn't hit. I landed a 15" that went back.
This morning I hit a local lake for panfish and northerns. I started fishing right when the crappies were turning off, but the bluegills made up for that. Once again the Frostee spoon/eurolarve combo was the "go to". I tried my ol' reliable Marmooska jig/larve combo with minimal results. I ended up keeping 7 gills in the 8-9" range and let go a couple that were between 9-10". Also let go 20 or so small ones and 10 small crappies.
The tip ups were going today and put 3 gators on the ice. I ended up keeping a 29" and a 25" and let a snake go. I was using big live golden shiners for bait. The tipups were set in 17' of water, about 4' off the bottom.
We've all wondered about the "one that got away". Well the 29" gator was that fish when he snapped my 10lb test leader. I re-rigged and an hour later, his greed got the best of him and this time, I won the battle! Even got my 1st hook back! Boiled pike is on the menu tonight!" Brian Castellano, Deer River Resident and Super Good Guy

Fishing Guide MN Fishing Report, January 29, 2013, Jeff Sundin - Happy Birthday Mom!
The snow has been coming down steadily all night long and it looks like our day could be be a little bit of a head scratcher. There were a number of solid performances by members of our group on Monday, but the fish made us earn every single moment of glory.
For me, the whole day was a learning experience and there's so much new information packed into my head that it's gonna take me a couple of weeks to spit it all out. The only problem is that I've got another early start today, so I'm gonna have to leave you with a few quick teasers, before I jump into the truck and head out. Don't worry though, the stack of stuff is piling up and you'll see it all, really soon.
It's not very often that a guy gets to go out fishing and spend all day playing with a new gadget. But on Monday, I hit the daily double. I spent my whole day working with two of the most useful tools that I've seen in a long time.
The AquaVu Micro Plus, DVR is a complete underwater camera system that is the same size as a smart phone! You can literally keep it in your pocket where it's ready to spring into action at a moments notice. Just flip the lid open and it turns on, drop the camera into the water, hit the record button and your entire underwater view is recorded onto the 8 GB internal hard drive. Don't just tell your Facebook buddies about the fish you caught, show 'em the hook set!
Humminbird's new 597ci ICE HD Combo is an ice fisherman's dream come true. Everything you need, all in one place, all in one compact portable, but with a larger screen for super easy viewing.
We used the Lakemaster Chart with the 597 to put us on the spots with pinpoint accuracy. Then with a couple pushes of a button, switch the unit into sonar mode to start fishing. As soon as we dialed in the best fish catching deptrh, we highlighted the depth range on the screen and highlighted every inch of the lakes water that was in the "fish catching zone".
While I'm on the subject of nifty gadgets, wait until you see how Nick Dimich has tricked out his Ranger for ice fishing.
Link to Minnesota Ice Fishing Reports (1/29) On Bowstring Lake, Erin at Geiger's Trails End Resort; Said that the action has completely slowed down for Crappies. Maybe they just shifted location, bur for now, they're having trouble tracking them down.
The good news trhough is that perch have stepped into the mix to make life more exciting. Erin Said; "Now that it’s a bit warmer, the perch are hitting hard on anything that you present to them. Make sure to get on the humps while looking for them."
In anticipation of the 3-6 inches of snow we are supposed to be getting, they have been plowing roads out onto the lake from their landing. The accesses on the North and Northwest sides of the lake are beginning to become impassible due to ice ridges building up. Erin added; "Fortunately, Bill has been working hard at minimizing our heave so the lake is still accessible."
Don’t forget, if you are hungry out on the ice, just call Trails End, 218.832.3231 Giovanni’s Pizzas are flying out of the kitchen!
Erin and Bill Charlton, Trails End Resort .

Fishing Guide MN Fishing Report, January 28, 2013, Jeff Sundin - On Sunday, part of the warmer weather arrived and so did part of the fish. Anything but a "hot bite", still though, there was enough action to keep life interesting. In fact, I never found time to squeeze in my little side mission to get a picture at the Starr Bar and Grille, but I will next time.
We were doing a little pre-fishing for an upcoming event and not depending on catching a pail full of fish for the frying pan. In other words, whenever we found a good spot, we only caught enough fish to prove that the location was good enough to re-visit later.
The lions share of the fish we caught were Perch, some were better than others, but there were enough good size fish to convince me that the next couple of days should go fairly well. I don't think that there was much evidence of any giant schools of fish, just small packs that would roam in and out of the territory we'd staked out. A handful of small Pike, a couple of Rock Bass and a nice Smallmouth Bass rounded out the schedule.
There were Walleyes moving in and out of the area, they'd come lumbering onto the flasher screen, look at the bait and swim off. If we'd chosen to stay until twilight, you know, just before dark, then I think we'd have picked up a few Walleye too.
The Perch were definitely in a meat eating mood today, at least for us. Some friends of mine had been talking about tiny baits tipped with plastics that imitate Bloodworms. But when we used blade baits tipped with whole minnows, the perch were all over them. I caught several Perch that had small, young of the year Perch minnows in the throats and that might explain why the fish appeared in short spurts. When they're chasing minnows, they don't tend to stay in one place very long.
There's gonna be a lot of lines in the water today and Tuesday. With that, a lot of fishing news flowing too. Be sure to check in on Tuesday morning to see what kind of action we drum up today.
Fishing Report (1/27) On Lake Winnibigoshish, big baits are still proving to be best too. Reports of good fishing for Northern Pike have persisted for the past month. The action has slowed down, but anglers are still catching nice size fish and the ones who are, have big baits. Most of the Pike are being taken by anglers using tip-ups rigged with an 8 to 10 inch Sucker Minnow.
On the big lake, Perch action is good, but the size of fish has been running on the small side. If I was out there, trying to have a little fun, I'd rig a tipup for Pike and then leapfrog from hole to hole searching for better size Perch. I'd use a larger than average blade bait, tipped with a larger than average minnow. That strategy usually helps reduce the number of smaller fish and encourages the larger ones to strike.
Greg Clusiau Fishing Report (1/28) On The Iron Range, From Greg Clusiau; "By then we’d be fishing on the Horseshoe Chain in the St. Cloud area, some 190 miles away. Yes, it was yet another mini road-trip for Blake and I. We really need to be sponsored by a gas company!
We arrived right on schedule, meeting Chad Peterson and friends out on the lake. Right from the “get go” I realized I made one minor mistake and that was leaving my ice cleats at home. I thought I was all done with those things until late-ice in northern Minnesota.
However, there is practically zero snow cover on the lakes in that area and it was as glare as glare ice could get. That means it was slippery, for the vehicle, as well as myself. I was" ... >> Read Greg's Full Report .
Fishing Guide MN(1/28) Leech Lake Area Lakes, Gary Roerick Says; "Now is the time! The Leech Lake area has been blessed with great ice making weather, not much snow, lots of great fishing lakes, awesome access to most any place on most all of our area lakes, and most importantly, lots of fish that are just waiting to join you for a place at your dinner table!
The ice conditions don’t get much better than they are right now. I have measured lots of ice this past week and all ice measurements have been in the 16” to 21” range on Walker Bay of Leech Lake and 18” to 24” in other smaller area lakes that I frequent on a weekly basis.
The sunfish and crappie action is still going good with most customers catching lots of great slabs. Customers this past week report catching their limit of nice bluegills while spearing northern pike in some of my spear houses. I moved my crappie houses this past week to new locations and we continue to catch lots of nice crappies in the 8” to 12” category. The crappies are suspended anywhere from 4’ to 12’ off the bottom. It is very important to have some sort of electronics so that you can locate and harvest some great eating fish! We are finding that a small jigging spoon tipped with 2 or 3 waxworms on each of the treble hooks has been producing great results on the daytime finicky crappies. Good choices for jigging spoons are the Lindy Techni-Glo Frostee spoon, either red or moonlight colors. Another good choice that I have had great luck with is the Northland Moxie Minnow-Redtail. Of course, the twilight and night time is still the best for the ultimate crappie action. Two style of hooks that I like to use when fishing with crappie minnows are; Kahle brand horizontal hooks, either gold or red in color, or Neon Lites Wide Gap Jig that has the same hook design as Kahle and they have added the weight and glow colors….awesome harvesting hooks! Colors that I have are Glow Green/Chartreuse, Glow Red, and Glow Blue. So, NOW IS THE TIME! Let’s go fishing! Gary Roerick Roerick Fish House Rentals 218-224-2836 .
Link to Minnesota Ice Fishing Reports (1/28) On Lake of the Woods, Border View Lodge, Mike Kinsella wrote; "We are pushing out further into the big water, 11 to 13 miles north of Pine Island. Fishing has been up and down, bet ter some days than others. Gold has been working well this week in the sunny, colder weather. We’re still getting a mix of fish, with more saugers than walleyes. A good number of walleyes in the 24 to 26 inch range have been caught and released.
We plan to move a few houses north to the reefs. We’ll let you know how it goes up there next week. Highs wil l be in the 20s and 30s for the early part of the week, with colder temperatures to follow, as we head towards the weekend".
We have a few midweek openings left in February. It is not too late to book your ice fishing excursion! FISH ON! 1-800-776-3474 Border View Lodge .

Fishing Guide MN Fishing Report, January 27, 2013, Jeff Sundin - Window of opportunity? Well we'll see about that, so far the morning hasn't started out very smoothly. My computer decided that it needed a little rest, so it's been frozen up for a couple of hours. Naturally, this would be the morning that I have to hit the road early, so I'm gonna have to give you an update later today.
If you're heading out onto the ice today, be sure to keep a sharp eye on the snow and ice conditions. I was on a couple of lakes yesterday and the drifting snow is starting to build in key areas. The ramps are still fairly good, but I did have to drop the plow and open a couple of spots on Saturday.
Once I was out on the ice, I needed 4WD to get around, but travel wasn't too bad. Just be careful of the deeper drifts, especially in light of the fact that they could be hiding a frost ridge or patch of slush. With a little care, you should have a nice day to fish, especially if the predicted warm up arrives on schedule.
For today, My role as "Senior Research and Development Officer" continues! If you spot me out there, a simple Thumbs Up should do the trick!

Fishing Guide MN Fishing Report, January 26, 2013, Jeff Sundin - Big Bait, Big Fish? Well not always, but sometimes using bigger baits is the right answer and that seems to be the trend in the Deer River area right now.
My own experience with Sunfish this past week has proven that the typical, tiny size finesse baits are being snubbed in favor of much larger, flashy spoons tipped with lots of meat. The #4 size Frostee Spoons that I've been using, always have at least one Waxworm on every hook, sometimes more. I didn't say that the fish were coming in hand over fist just because I'm using a larger bait. I said; "The fish that I am catching, are showing a preference for larger baits". I've been working hard for each strike and I think that it's a good idea that you keep that tidbit of information handy.
I remember an episode last winter, when the Crappie fishing was a little tough. They could be caught, but only if you really worked at it. There was a highly experienced fisherman along with me on the trip and he kept insisting that the answer for catching finicky fish was to scale down the size of the bait. The smaller he went, the less action he got. No matter how many fish he saw me catching using a much larger bait, he couldn't break his mind set about the finesse baits. There would be plenty of days that he'd be proven correct, but sometimes you need to try something, even if it sounds wrong. Just keep in mind, those fish don't play fair and there's no such thing as a single, universally proven rule.
Fishing Report (1/26) In case you missed the first announcement. For those of you want more "meat and potatoes", just about fishing; I have an updated Fishing Reports Page on Facebook. The daily fishing reports are still gonna be located right here, where you're reading them now. But on the FB page, fans can add stories and pictures of their own. Not only that, if you see something interesting, please go ahead and share it with your friends.
For me, the new page will also be perfect for adding reports when I'm out in the field, without access to a computer or a reliable Wi-Fi connection. Plus, I can use it to post links to articles and video that help illustrate ideas that come up on the daily reports. Please do me a favor and help make that page grow, just use this link and click on the "Like" button when you get there . >> Facebook Fishing Reports Page.
Oh and by the way, I'll be keeping my personal FB Page too, because for me, it's not always just about the fishing! So if ya just wanna be my pal, stick with that page too!
Link to I-Pilot I-Link (1/26) “I think if more anglers got on the technology bus, they’d quickly realize they can maximize their time on the water and catch more fish,” says Mark Courts.
Pro fisherman Mark Courts is no stranger to technology. He’s one of the new breed of anglers comfortable with laptops, iPhones, iPads and the latest fishing electronics on the market. And he knows how to use technology to his advantage in the walleye and bass tournaments he fishes.
What Courts is talking about is the seamless integration of Humminbird sonar, LakeMaster digital GPS mapping and Minn Kota trolling motors. With the recently introduced i-Pilot Link, now your Humminbird sonar, LakeMaster maps and Minn Kota trolling motor can talk to each other, giving you the ability to create, store and revisit fish-producing spots and routes, all with little more than the touch of a button.
“I’m always looking for new ways to find and catch fish, so I naturally gravitated to ... click >> Read I-Pilot Article .
Gus' Place Resort Ball Club Lake (1/26) Gus Sheker, Gus' Place Resort on Ball Club Lake; "Conditions remain ideal on Ball Club Lake with 20+ inches of clear ice and light drifted snow cover. Fishermen are doing very well for Perch & Northerns in 15-20 feet along the shoreline drop-offs using live fatheads & crappie minnows. Not all Perch are keepers and you will have to sort them, but it is not uncommon to hook up 40 to 50 Perch in a day.
Anglers are also picking up Walleye and Whitefish, however this bite is not as consistent, since the schools of Whitefish are always on the move, typically a few Whitefish will be caught and you will have to wait for the next school.
The Walleye bite is also off and on, both early and late in the day, shiners are working here dropped from swimming style slow drop jigs. This is a great time for a little "Cold Footing" and take home a few fish.
Call us to get in on the action 1-888-246-8520 We have Cabins, Dark Houses, Day Houses and Sleepers." - Gus Sheker. Gus' Place Resort .

Fishing Guide MN Fishing Report, January 25, 2013, Jeff Sundin - The warmup is working its way toward Northern Minnesota and in Deer River, it's gonna arrive at just the perfect time! The last thing I want to do is get stuck inside this weekend and since I have big plans for fishing next week, a little warm air is just what the doctor ordered.
Speaking of just what the Doctor ordered; A couple of hours inside a cozy, warm fish house on Thursday, led me back into my kitchen with enough fillets to fix one of my favorite "Comfort Food" dinners, fried Bluegills and Potatoes. Of course, combining that with a little sip of something, makes it the sort of meal that helps warm the soul.
It was an odd afternoon in the fish house. It started off really good, the Bluegills wanted to cooperate, the really did. But I was doing everything I could to try and stop them. It was one of those Murphy's Law days, you know, nothing was going the way I wanted it to. Sometimes stuff like that happens. In addition to a bunch of tangled lines and lost lures, this episode included a trip down the hole, into 30 feet of water, for one of my new TFO Rods, along with a shiny, new Pfluger Reel. Hmm... that wasn't too handy, I'm not sure if a fish grabbed it, or if the shack was momentarily taken over by a demonic spirit, or maybe I just needed a little kick in the butt. Whichever way it happened, that rod and reel slipped down through that hole so fast ... it was creepy.
Luckily, I'm not the type to get upset by that sort of thing and as much as I wanted to try and get it back, I decided that my chances would be better if I waited until today. Then I could go back during full daylight and try to spot it with the Aqua View and something to try and snag it with.
Luckily again, after about another hour of fishing, the Sunfish were starting to stack up in the dinner pail. They weren't coming in real fast, but they were coming steadily. Three, Four, Five ... Ooh, I think I got a bite, hmm... this one feels a little too heavy, hold on, easy does it, nice and gentle ... YA! You guessed it, somewhere along the line, my little bitty, Lindy Bug caught hold of the rod and I was able to ease it back up into the shack! Who says that patience isn't rewarded? I believe that it is and at least this once, it was!
Okay, so fishing a little longer produced 3 or 4 more fish. It was just the right amount of fish, 9 nice size Sunfish in the pail was plenty for a couple of fish meals, but not enough to make me feel like the spot was being over harvested.
The depth was 30 feet and the area is near, but not on top of a shallower reef. The Sunfish appear to either be moving a little deeper or maybe the incoming warm front influenced them to be more active. That little bit of knowledge might come in handy for you, especially if you've been fishing shallower and the bite is tapering off. Looking into the deeper areas, places where you'd expect to find Crappies may be the answer you're looking for.
These fish were anything but shy about the food they wanted. The tiny baits were completely out produced by the much larger ones. Until I lost it down the hole, my best producer was the #4 Frostee Jigging Spoon , in the Red Color. After I lost it, I replaced it with the same size spoon, except this time Glow/Pink. That bait produced some fish too and I am convinced that the larger size bait, tipped with a couple of fresh Wax Worms is what made the difference, not so much the color.

Fishing Guide MN Fishing Report, January 24, 2013, Jeff Sundin - Wednesday was anything but a nice day for fishing. In fact it would have been a great time to pull under a warm blanket and hang out by the fire. The problem was timing and if I wanted to fish with my long time friend Carl Bergquist, then the choice was do it today or not at all.
Our original plan was to head for Red lake, but reports of a slow down in the fishing action, along with the prediction of a windy day in the deep freeze, made us re-think the game plan.
I'd been keeping tabs on some reports about the West side of Leech Lake. Fishing had been good, way above average for this time of year and there's a guy over there who has some nice rental shelters. I asked Carl how he liked the idea and he was all in. Just the idea made him remember an experience that he once had over there, he said; "It was the best Walleye fishing I ever had, fishing on those humps, we caught all kinds of 'em and I cross country skied off the lake with a back pack full of Walleyes". That's all I needed to hear!
I got in touch with Gary Roerick who runs an ice fishing operation just West of Walker. I already knew that he had a good setup because I referred some of my customers to him last winter and they came back smiling, with good reports. They had given Gary the thumbs up, for having good equipment, comfortable shelters and a good sense of where to place 'em, that was good enough for me. Gary was more than accommodating, he had a spot for us and we worked out a time meet.
At the landing, signs of a tough fishing day were easy to spot. The sky was crystal clear, the wind was blowing at about 20 MPH and the temperature, well who knows exactly, it was some number with a minus sign in front of it. Watching the snow whistle across the surface of the ice was kind of like a scene from on of those adventure movies. Except for us, survival wasn't going to be an issue; The Ice Fishing Shelter that Gary had already warmed up for us was perfect. Plenty of room, clean and the temperature inside was at least 70 degrees, maybe warmer. We had everything we needed except the fish.
Tick Tock, we waited ... 11:00, Noon, 2:00 ... 4:00, 6:00 ... Hmm... that's the breaks of the game. Except for a brief spurt of action that gave Carl a couple of "eaters" at about 6:00 PM, the fish never showed. The presentation, the bait, the depth, none of it mattered, there just wasn't anything to present the baits to.
We knew that they never showed because I had the Aqua View running the whole day and in the clear water, I could easily see all four of our baits on the screen. Total sightings for the day amounted to four fish, three of them were hooked, but one got away. If we'd seen more, we probably would have caught more. But the weather was just working against us. The fish never made their move, timing on this day, just wasn't good.
Don't think for a second that we were disappointed though; Anyone who's been around the block, knows that setting up shop for a whole day, in one spot is a take it or leave it proposition. Sometimes the fish come and sometimes they don't.
Thanks to Gary, we had everything we needed for a warm, comfortable day on the lake. There's no doubt that we'll call him again and next time we'll get our timing right and the fish can answer for leaving us "high and dry" this time. By the way, there are lots of places to fish in the Western Leech Lake area and Gary has shelters on a bunch of spots, on several lakes. Click to contact >> Gary Roerick to learn more about his rental shelters.
Link to Minnesota Ice Fishing Reports (1/25) On Lake of the Woods, Sportman's Lodges, Jacki LaValla said; " The catching is picking up! The past few days we have started to see in increase in the number of good eater size walleyes and saugers caught. More saugers have been in the 10”-14” range and real nice walleyes in the 16-18 inch range. Along with the walleyes and saugers our sleeper house division has reported a few eelpout mostly in the 24” -31”size and white fish in the 14 inch plus size have been reeled in. The best walleye and sauger bite has been found in varying depths between 26’-31’. Sunny days have been best. Jigs with gold on them or glow in the dark, and stop signs tipped with a minnow head have been working well. We have 27-32 inches of ice in the areas we travel and fish right now." - Sportman's Lodges, Lake of the Woods .
Fishing Report (1/24) On Lake Winnibigoshish; Kim from High Banks Resort checked in; "On Lake Winnie, despite the "deep freeze" temps, fish are hitting here! The bite has been HOT! Perch are going in 14-18' of water using heads of minnows and jigging! We received another 2" of snow last weekend! Travel off road is still feasible. Hard packed and snow and drifts in areas. Plowed roads back in place. Wheel houses welcome!!! A few openings yet for this upcoming weekend in cabins $30/person/night." 800-365-2560
Fishing Report (1/24) On Lake Winnibigoshish; For what it's worth. I happened to stop at Fred's Bait in Deer River on Tuesday to pick up bait for our trip. While I was there, a young man rolled in and was snapping up all of the big bait he could afford.
He said that his group, fishing on Lake Winnie was in the middle of a great day of Walleye and Pike fishing until they ran out of good size minnows. The group had been fishing primarily with tip ups and we never discussed the location. The important part of the story was the bait they were using. According to this young fellow; "The Bigger The Better" was their rule of thumb and the second they ran out of big minnows, the action stopped. They were so convinced that it was the lack of large minnows, that he dropped everything and hustled back to town to refresh the bait supply. Last time I saw him, at about 2:00 PM, he was on his way back to the lake to prove it.
Fishing Report (1/24) In the Marcell Area, Paul Larson at Frontier Sports says: "The cold weather this weekend saw few anglers going out. Those that did picked up a few crappies and a few Northerns. Most of the time they were fighting the weather instead of fighting fish. We did have a nice bass brought in Saturday night that weighed 5lbs.6oz. It was caught on a waxie. This weekend looks promising with warmer temps and light winds. You better get out there while the getting is good! Frontier Sports has everything you need for a successful day on the ice, including live bait, tackle, fish houses, augers and electronics. All Cameras and Shappell fish houses are now on sale. We are an authorized LIVE TARGET dealer. Drop in or call to find out what’s new on the ice." Frontier Sports, Marcell, MN 1-218-832-3901
Link to Minnesota Ice Fishing Reports (1/23) From Grand Rapids, Reed Ylitalo checked in: "I have been on pokegama lake the last week and a half Fishing walleyes. I have been fishing deep structure And having good results with keeper fish and also a big fish here and there the bite is lasting from about 4 o'clock till 730pm and then also a late night bite from 9 pm till 1 in the morning. Best way to catching these fish are a dead stick technique With a small plane hook and a small Rainbow chub or shiner minnow 6 to 8 inches off bottom!" Good luck and stay warm" - Reed Ylitalo .
Fishing Guide MN(1/23) Bemidji Lakes Area Fishing Guide, Matthew Breuer Says; "As we all know, winter is here. Temps have been bottoming out and everyone's patience has been tested. Things break, blood boils, but the fish keep right on with their daily lives. Some seem less apt to bite than others, but overall the fishing is still good.
Walleyes can still be had during prime-time in the morning, and again in the evening and into darkness. Daytime fish are a bonus on most lakes in the area right now. To maximize your chances at some good fishing, get out there an hour before sunset and stay until at least an hour after. Fish have been uber-deep during the day, with many fish hanging in 40+' of water. At twilight they move up as shallow as 5' of water to feed.
Two good perch bites going right now, 30+' of water and less than 13' of water. With the lack of snow on the lakes in the area, there's still plenty of o2 in shallow, and lots of forage is still hanging in the standing weeds and mats... Frostee Spoons packed with euros or tipped with minnow heads has worked well.
Panfish in the area are still going strong. I had guests out for crappies and bluegills this past week on 2 different lakes, and the action was fast and furious. Moving until we found the pods, and then setting up the Clam's to stay warm was the ticket. Fish were holding in 20-24' of water on both lakes, and were eating up euros." - Bemidji Lakes Area Fishing Guide, Matthew Breuer .
Link to Lund Boats (1/23) Lund Boats announces "Spring Catch". With the new year here, it can only mean one thing. More great savings from Lund Boats. That's right, from now until April 15th, fishermen can receive great deals on 2011, 2012 and 2013 models. With Spring Catch, the earlier you buy, the more you save. I know you've been on the fence about buying a new boat anyway, act fast and get an even a better deal on your new Lund. Learn More >> Lund Boats Spring Catch .
Link to Minnesota Ice Fishing Reports (1/23) Bemidji Lakes Area, Paul A. Nelson, Bemidji Area Lakes Guide Service says; "Anglers in the Bemidji area were hampered by bitter cold temperatures again this week, with most anglers losing some of their mobility as they struggle to stay warm.
Anglers fishing out of wheeled houses are better equipped to deal with the cold if they are willing to sit in one spot and wait for the fish to get active and bite.
Anglers fishing out of portable fish houses can stay more mobile, but they pay a price each time they move, even though some of the new thermal fish houses heat up quickly and hold the heat much better than some of the older models.
The ice conditions in the Bemidji area are excellent, with at least 16 to 18 inches of good ice and minimal snow cover on most lakes.
Walleye fishing typically slows down during the coldest part of the winter, with brief flurries in the mornings and evenings and a sporadic bite the rest of the time.
Night fishing for species like walleyes, crappies and eelpout should pick-up this weekend, with the January full moon on Sunday, January 17th.
Many anglers know they may have to down-size their presentations when the conditions get tough. Likewise, it may work better if anglers get more aggressive in their presentations and up-size their lures when fishing at night.
Fish need to be able to sense anglers’ baits at night in order to eat them. It doesn’t matter if the fish see the lure because it glows, hear it because it rattles, smell it because it is tipped with live bait or feel it because of the motion the lure. Anything anglers can do to get their presentations noticed by the fish at night is usually a good thing." - Paul A. Nelson, Bemidji Area Lakes Guide Service, panelson@paulbunyan.net 218.759.2235 .
Link to Minnesota Ice Fishing Reports (1/23) On Bowstring Lake, Bowstring Shores Resort, Darv Oelke says; "Crappies still bitting good in that 20 to 24 feet on wax worms. Perch in 16 to 18 feet on minnow. Walleyes have slowed but the fish being caught have been in17 to 22 feet on fathead minnow." - Darv, Bowstring Shores Resort .

Fishing Guide MN Fishing Report, January 23, 2013, Jeff Sundin - Guess what? I know now for sure that summer is on the way because I got my new boat ordered on Tuesday. Yup, a 2013 Lund Alaskan and except for taking a little bit of advice from the deputy director of artistic expression, it's gonna look an awful lot like my last nine of them. That's right, this will be my 10th Alaskan and I couldn't be more happy about that, for me, it's the perfect rig. Oh don't worry, Lund has plenty of models to choose from and they've got the perfect rig for you too! In fact, Lund's website offers a new "Build Your Boat" section. Yes, you can assemble your own rig from the ground up and see just what it will look like. Learn more >> Lund Build Your Own Boat .
On Tuesday, another day with temps in the negative numbers encouraged us to stay inside the fish house again. The results weren't much different than they were on Sunday, when I last visited. There were just enough Bluegills moving to keep us interested, but not enough to get into full scale "action mode". Just like Sunday, each fish had to be tricked into biting and they were fickle about which baits they'd eat.
This time, the fish had a sweet tooth for a Pink/Glow Frostee Spoon. I tipped each of the treble hooks with Wax Worms and jigged the spoon fairly agressively. I was expecting to attract them with the spoon and then catch them with something smaller. This time though, they were hungry enough to go ahead and strike the spoon instead of making me work a smaller bait to trigger them.
Our location was 30 feet of water over a soft bottom, but near a reef that tops off at about 20 feet. The reasoning behind choosing the spot was supposed to be that we'd have a good shot at multiple species moving along the outer edge of the reef. That strategy has working in the past, but not this season and not this spot. So, the next time it warms up, I sense a change of location coming for the fish house.

Fishing Guide MN Fishing Report, January 22, 2013, Jeff Sundin - If you weren't watching the weather, you'd never even know that it was -20 degrees. No, I'd swear that it's only like - 10 degrees! In fact, the gigantic Orange and Yellow sunset yesterday, reminded me of just how fast this ice fishing season is going to slip away. Two or three more cold snaps, and that's gonna be the end of it. Anyway, this arctic blast is a good excuse to burn up some firewood between now and then. It's not a bad excuse to get some more office work wrapped up too.
Before you get tempted to see the gloomy side of the weather news, let's put out some optimistic facts to hang your hat on;
In just 42 days, we'll be smack dab in the middle of the Giant Northern Pike action on Lake of the woods. Shortly after that, any chance of another "Sub Zero Occurrence" will be behind us for another season and we'll be rigging boats and getting set for open water fishing.
In only 68 days, we'll be heading North, going fishing for those gigantic Rainy River Walleyes on their springtime spawning run. That's only 2 months away and that's just for us guys that live up here in the Northland. Walleye anglers in the metro area can start fishing on the Mississippi River at Redwing even earlier than that! Some years, we used to get on that river and fish during February and March. When you get one of the late winter warm spells, that is a great time to get in the boat!
If you're old fashioned, I meant traditional, then 109 days, is all you have to wait for the Minnesota Walleye Season opener. The Governor and his entourage will sound the opening bell at Park Rapids, MN this year, signaling another 6 months of open water Walleye and Pike fishing.
What the heck am I doing sitting here? I better get crackin'! I don't know if I'll even have enough time to get the new boat and have rigged up by then.
Okay, back to winter for just a few minutes. I did manage a tour of the area on Monday afternoon and as you'd expect, traffic was extremely light. The anglers with permanent style fish shelters were doing a little fishing, but there weren't any portables on the lakes and finding a parking spot was not a problem.

Fishing Guide MN Fishing Report, January 21, 2013, Jeff Sundin - Life in the deep freeze isn't all that bad, as long as you find a comfortable place to sit. For me, that's not in front of the TV and except for when I'm serving you, it's not in front of the computer either! So stealing a day for myself to just get outside and relax sounded good.
Still, any time that the temperture begins with a minus sign, the idea of sitting outside, on the ice? I admit, that's not all that appealing either. That's why I decided instead, to sit inside of a nice warm, permanent fish house. It may not always be the most efficient way to locate fish, but sitting in a nice warm chair, wearing nothing than a pair of sweat pants, dry and quiet ... Ah... that's the life.
The fishing story was interesting in it's own way. Not because I caught a million fish, but because catching the few that I did, required constant action on my part. In spite of being warm and cozy, there was never a moment to relax and this time, fishing alone just meant that I was short a valuable pair of helping hands.
The fish, Bluegills have been roaming in open water, anywhere from 26 to 40 feet of water. We've tried to pin down "the exact spot", but so far, there doesn't seem to be one. That's not bad when the fish are active and moving around to feed. But, when a cold front or low pressure system bounces in, then it's like pulling teeth to pick up enough fish for a meal. That's what I ran into on Sunday.
Every so often, I could see a fish move onto the flasher screen, most of them wouldn't bite. But when you're stuck in one spot, seldom is still better than never, so I was optimistic that eventually I'd win a few of the battles. With plenty of time on my hands, or so I thought, I started experimenting with presentations. Little did I know, I'd wind up having to stay busier than a cat in a Tuna factory just to pick up a few fish.
I swerved into a succesful Blugill presentation when I took a break to see if there were some Perch or maybe a Walleye moving under the shelter. I rigged up a Rattln' Flyer Spoon, dropped it to the bottom and started the jigging, alot. After a short time, I began attracting fish into the area, they'd stop, look, almost bite and then swim away. So after a while, I figured that opening a second hole might help. That way I could fish with two baits at the same time. Maybe I could attract 'em with the Flyer and trigger them with something smaller.
Now I was getting somewhere! A little trial and error led me to the combination that I wanted. Call 'em in in with the Spoon and then trigger 'em to bite using a Wax Worm pinned on to a Fat Boy. That did the trick, now I saw the fish come onto the flasher screen, stopped jigging the spoon and lifted the Fat Boy about a foot above the fish and WHAM! A nice Bluegill smashed the bait and after a little struggle, I had my first Bluegill up and out of the hole... Along with the Rattln' Flyer and about 30 feet worth of two lines, tangled together in a big mess. Hmm... that's not too relaxing either, but I guess I can put up with it. I'll just get this mess untangled, drop the lines back in and Do The Same Darn Thing! The holes were just too close together and you know how Bluegills are, swimming in circles all the way up from 30 feet, this was just gonna keep happening over and over.
Okay, fast forward; I cured the tangling line problem by going back to fishing one hole instead of two. First, I'd drop the spoon, jig it until I saw a fish and then reel like crazy to get the spoon out of the water and quickly drop the Fat Boy back down. It was all about timing; As long as I got the smaller bait into the water and back in front of the fish before they lost interest, then I could tease a few of them onto the hook.
Like I said at the beginning; When it comes to winning battles, seldom is better than never and even though I didn't catch a million fish, I was kept busy enough to keep my mind off of that TV set all afternoon long. Did I miss anything? No, I didn't think so.
Jon Thelen Pradco (1/21) Catching Walleyes Consistently - Can be challenging at any time of the year. Cold fronts and weather changes affect fish in the winter, just like they do during summer. Anglers who ice fish for Walleye can still catch them by adjusting to changing conditions. On this weeks episode of Fish ED, Jon Thelen has some tricks for catching finicky Walleye through the ice. Click to view >> Catching Cold Front Walleyes .
On Lake Winnibigoshish; Probably the most encouraging reports came in from the South end of Lake Winnibigosh, where Northern Pike fishing continues to be above average for this time of the season. Water that had been cloudy, has finally cleared up and the improved visibility has encouraged better Pike action.
On Upper Red Lake; Walleye fishing on the big lake has been spotty at best. I talked with Jonny Petrowske on the North side and Chad Benson on the South. Neither of them had glowing reports, but neither of them said that fishing was dead. It's just slowed down, typical for late ice and it's likely that Walleye action will depend on where and when you find a school of fish. According to Chad Benson, his rental customers are averaging about ten fish per outing. That means getting into the shelter for the evening bite, spending the night and then fishing the morning bite before checking out.
Fishing Report (1/21) OH and you know what? I was surfing the internet last night and stumbled into some more videos. Now is the perfect time to share one that talks about the Benefits of Fishing the Fat Boy. Once you're there, you'll find some more videos, including how to Fish The Fat Boy along with others.
For today; Well, first a bit of paperwork, then a few chores and after that, let's see what happens when the sun comes up.
Link to Lakemaster (1/21) Hey Snowbirds! Just because you're not up here while the snow flies doesn't mean you can't go fishing while you're down South. Guess what? It just got a lot easier to find your way around on the Southeastern US Lakes.
LakeMaster® has released the SouthEast Edition, version 1 digital map chart for FRESHWATER lakes in Florida, Georgia, Alabama, Mississippi, Tennessee, and Kentucky.
All new 2013 LakeMaster- Humminbird® compatible SD map cards are loaded with high definition and enhanced contour data and now feature "Follow the Contour" in compatible i-Pilot® Link™ systems. Set your Minn-Kota® trolling motor to follow on or offset from any Lakemaster contour. Now you can focus more on fishing than ever before. Learn more here >> Lakemaster Southeast Version 1 .
Greg Clusiau Fishing Report (1/21) On The Iron Range, From Greg Clusiau; "Just last weekend, this little lure once again came to the rescue, when Blake and I broke trail and traveled “back-in-the-bush” to one of our crappie hotspots. The first trip of the ice season to this lake, we were thrilled that we were able to drive our truck out onto the ice. This made fishing a whole lot easier, as sometimes it takes a little searching to find them.
We drove right to the spot, an area that had them stacked up pretty good during one of our" ... >> Read Greg's Full Report .
Link to Minnesota Ice Fishing Reports (1/21) On Lake of the Woods, Border View Lodge, Mike Kinsella wrote; "The big blizzard we were expecting yesterday, never really materialized.  We had a couple inches of snow and some blow ing and drifting.  The front actually seemed to help fishing as most groups did well.  We are currently fishing in 32 to 34 feet of water, 9 to 11 miles north of Pine Island.  Glow red and glow blue continue to be the “hot” colors.  Varying presentations are best, as the fish are more aggressive at times, and less aggressive at others.  A few fish are being caught suspended, but the majority are hugging the bottom.
It looks like a cold week ahead with highs near zero and lows well below zero.  Bundle up and take precautions when he ading out."
We do have some midweek openings this week and next.  Give us a call and come on up! 1-800-776-3474 Border View Lodge .

Fishing Guide MN Fishing Report, January 20, 2013, Jeff Sundin - Good Morning! The blizzard has past, the sky is crystal clear, full of stars and the wind is calm. It's gonna get cold, but not anywhere near as cold as it's been before. Besides, I have a nice warm, heated fish house all set up and ready to go.
Add to that, the idea that I got trapped at this computer for way too long over the past couple of days. Add to that that it's It is Sunday January 20th, a perfect day to escape getting trapped anywhere near a TV Set and well .... I guess you know what I'm saying. Oh don't worry, I'll be back in the morning! :)!!
Fishing Report (1/19) In today's world, there's a lot of business pressure to be active on the "social media sites". Most of you know me well enough to realize that I've been active on Facebook. I post a couple of times every day, but mostly in terms of sharing pictures and smiles. For me, it's not always about the fishing!
But for those who do want more "meat and potatoes", just about fishing, check out my Fishing Reports Page . The majority of my reports are still gonna be located right here, where you're reading them now. But on the FB page, fans can add stories and pictures of their own. For me, the new page will also be perfect for adding reports when I'm out in the field and don't have access to my main computer or to a reliable Wi-Fi connection.
So there ya go, if you want to help make that page grow, just use this link and click on the "Like" button when you get there . >> Facebook Fishing Reports Page. Note: The fishing reports page is not the same as my personal fb page. If you want to be sure that you're in the right spot, be sure that it says "Fishing Reports Minnesota".
Fishing Report (1/19) Oh, by the way, you're always reading about how much I love the Frostee Jig. Well, guess what? Here's a little video that might help explain why. View Video >> Why I Fish The Frostee Jig .

Fishing Guide MN Fishing Report, January 19, 2013, Jeff Sundin - Well that was a short trip! I guess Lake of the Woods is just gonna have to live without me this weekend. Instead, I'll take a look into the Crystal Ball and see if there isn't another opportunity to make that trip in a few weeks.
In the meantime, Deer River area fishing traffic has been really light during the past few days. I think partly because of folks that got scared away by predictions of nasty weather. So far though, the weather has been gorgeous and except for a little bit of new snow, maybe a couple of inches fell on Friday, anglers could have gotten out and done all the fishing they wanted.
It was an odd coincidence that just after I answered a question about Tulibee fishing yesterday, I was treated to another "hot tip" about another Tulibee bite that's going on right now. This one on a smaller lake and not too terrible far from home. So instead of lingering arouind the office this morning, I think I'll break out of jail and head for the lake. That way, just in case the weather turns rotten later, I won't feel like I missed out on the day.
While I'm out and about, I'll poke around for some new news and work on that later on, when I'm back in my cage.
Gus' Place Resort Ball Club Lake (1/19) Gus Sheker, Gus' Place Resort on Ball Club Lake; "Last weeks warm up, melt down with rain and refreeze has left ice conditions near Ideal! 17-18 inches of good ice and a dusting of light snow makes for great travel out on the lake.
Last week we had a group of 9 guys staying with us for 4 nights who were both Spearing and Angling. They caught a very nice mixed bag of Walleye, Perch, Whitefish and Northerns all in 15 feet. There were several fish stories to tell the folks back home at the end of their stay, many big fish lost right at the hole, a Northern who wouldn't let go of the Perch that was hooked, fishing rods being pulled into the ice holes and so on.
The one story that we will all remember for awhile was when Eric noticed the float on the transducer of his Vexilar acting funny as it started to swirrel and rotate in the ice hole.
He leaned forward to get a better look down in the hole,....just at that moment a Muskrat sprang up onto the ice with all claws exposed! Everyone could hear him scream!.....As he said; "I screamed like a little girl!" The guys all teased him for the rest of the trip.
Fishing is excellent right now for Perch & Northerns. Good for Walleye early & late. Slow for Crappie & Bluegill.
Give us a call to get in on this early season action 1-888-246-8520 We have Cabins, Dark Houses, Day Houses and Sleepers.
" - Gus Sheker. Gus' Place Resort .
Link to Minnesota Ice Fishing Reports (1/19) Ryan Peterson checked in; "Walleye fishing has slowed over the last week or since the warm air left and the cold air returned, the people still catching a few have been fishing 15 to 18 fow on the breaklines or off the edges of the bars and humps, more slot fish being caught then keeper size fish. Pike fishing remains good at various depths, we are seeing many nice pike coming in to the cleaning house and returned to the lake. Perch have been biting but you have to short through the small ones and some houses and spots are doing a little better then others, nothing fast and furious but if you work at it you should get enough for a couple meals. Here's a great February special for any of my sleeper houses, book 2 nights get the 3rd free or 20% off any single or double night stay, call 763-286-4657 or email for dates available." Good luck and see you on the lake! Ryan Peterson's Guiding

Fishing Guide MN Fishing Report, January 18, 2013, Jeff Sundin - Stop the presses! For me, all roads leading to fishing have been blocked for the next several hours so that I can ramp up activities in the "Office of Artistic Expression". Being the chief cook and bottle washer has it's advantages, but sometimes the work doesn't get done unless the sleeves get rolled up. So, today, the director of Multi-Tasking TEMPOARILY takes the reigns as the picture manager. Don't worry, you'll know when the work is done!
After that, I'm headed to Lake of the Woods for a weekend of semi-serious Walleye fishing. I will try to get another update posted before we head out, but time is gonna get tight today.
Fishing Questions (1/18) Duane Dale, emailed with Q) "Do you have any techniques, rigs, and ideas for catching Cisco's and Whitefish? I live by hibbing and fish smaller lakes, many are bog stained with about a third of the lakes being fairly clear. I talk to the old timers and they swear the fish are in the lakes. I have never caught a cisco or whitefish and would like to produce one or more by actually fishing for them. I don't care to fish on the bigger lakes as it is harder to read the lakes, and most others fishing out there I have found are after walleye, crappie, and perch which are fun but my quest is to catch the cisco and whitefish. Where I came from they don't have these fish.
Any ideas about rigging, setups, jigs, bait ect. would be greatly appreciated. I also would be interested in an online or video resource to try to see what people are doing so I can continue to improve my basic fishing skills in all areas for all types of fish." - P.S. I like your (website), good info, great pictures, and no fluff or foolishness. Sincerly, Duane
A) Duane, Ciscos (Tulibee) are really widespread in our area and will be easier for you to find than Whitefish. There are a handful of Whitefish lakes on the Iron Range though, in fact there are a few of them right over here in my back yard. So the idea of catching a Whitefish isn't all that far fetched, but just to make getting started simpler, let's use the Tulibees to help you get the hang of this type of fishing. Once you begin to master it, start looking for some Whitefish Lakes.
The most important step in the process is to know for sure whether the lake you want to visit has a good supply of either fish. A call to the Minnesota DNR Fisheries Office in Grand Rapids will be your best resource in terms of confirming a fishable population of either species.
Once you know that the fish are present in your lake, you will be able to find them. Most of the "smaller" lakes that you want to target will only have one or two areas of deep water and that's where these fish will be located. Deep water breaklines, adjacent to shore are especially productive for me. But, they can also appear out in the wide open spaces, roaming and feeding on tiny minnows and insect larvae. The key to locating them is that they, especially Tulibees, will almost always be suspended, well above the bottom. At times, we've spotted and caught the fish just a few feet below the surface of the ice.
Whitefish could also be located closer to the bottom and at times, we've caught them while we were fishing for Walleyes or Lake Trout.
To catch them, use a two tier approach. Find yourself a large, super flashy spoon. It could be almost any kind of spoon as long as it's flashy enough to get the attention of a roaming pack of fish. This will be your attracting rig and by jigging the spoon wildly, you'll get some fish to come toward your hole to take a look.
Have another light action fishing rod rigged up with a small ice jig like Lindy's Frostee or maybe a Bug and tip the jig with a Wax Worm, Spike, Mousie or other small grub. This will be your rig for triggering the fish to strike.
As soon as suspended fish appear on your flasher, set the attracting rod aside and drop in the smaller bait. If you try this a few times, in the right spot, then you will certainly enjoy an exceptional, action packed fishing trip!
I dug up a few links to resources that will give you additional information. Click on any of these for more >> Hard Water Tulibee Video - Jeff Sundin A quick look through the January 2011 fishing archives showed several reports about Tulibees also. By the way, just in case you want to smoke a batch, here's a quick and easy recipe for Smoking Tulibee at home.

Fishing Guide MN Fishing Report, January 17, 2013, Jeff Sundin - Up and at it! The Early Bird gets the worm, or so they say. After the afternoon action started fizzling out, maybe switching to early morning would be better?
On Wednesday, I was hoping that maybe a hurry up offense would be just what the fish wanted to see. I got to the lake super early, while it was still dark outside. I was hoping to catch the panfish on a morning feeding run. I wish I could say that it was a brilliant strategy, but that wasn't the solution. They were there, but as easy as they were to spot on the flasher, getting on the ice before sunrise still didn't help get them to bite.
I knew that I'd have to move the permanent shelter to a new location, but I couldn't make up my mind about which way to move.
I was gonna need a little help, so I went up to shore and found the trusted right hand man; "The Executive Fish House Relocation Supervisor". I let him know what I was up to and after a short while, he hoofed it out to the house to lend a hand. This time, the two of us lingered around for an extra hour or so, while I hemmed and hawed about where it was gonna get put. Finally, I decided to stick with deep water, only this time, we'd go closer to an underwater hump, a little shallower and closer to solid structure.
After I made the move from 40 feet of water into 30 feet, the flasher showed signs of encouragement. I wish I could say that the fish started hitting like a ton of bricks, but they just weren't that aggressive. I tried a variety of baits; Smaller ones, larger ones. I fished 'em hard, soft, slow fast, but only an occasional fish would strike and most of those were too small to be of interest. There was an encouraging sign though, a good solid 9-1/2 inch Bluegill, just to show us that we had potential.
I think what we really need now is to find a good, solid insect hatch brewing on the soft bottom. During late winter, Blood Worms and other insect larvae will help concentrate fish in a smaller area. So even if the fish are finicky, we catch more of them, just because there are more crammed into the area.
With a little luck, we got closer to an area like that with this move. The only way to know, will be to fish the area for a few days to find out.
Fishing Report (1/17) In the Marcell Area, Paul Larson at Frontier Sports says: " With the hard pack on the ice, fishermen are concentrating on the smaller area lakes for panfish. Crappies and Bluegills are proving difficult but the perch are cooperating in 15 to 25 feet of water. The spear fishermen are reporting seeing more fish than earlier in the season. Walleyes are hit and miss with shiners and jigging spoons producing the best. Trout season started the 13th and some of the trout lakes in the area had folks going out to try their luck. I haven’t heard of any success but then we trout fishermen are a bit reluctant to give out much information on our favorite lakes. Frontier Sports has everything you need for a successful day on the ice, including live bait, tackle, fish houses, augers and electronics. All Cameras and Shappell fish houses are now on sale. Drop in or call to see what’s new on the ice." Frontier Sports, Marcell, MN 1-218-832-3901
Fishing Report (1/17) New Product Review: Okay, you've been putting up with my teasing about the new "Secret Weapon" for a couple of days now. But if you know me, then you know that I don't like to talk about fishing gear unless I've been using it myself and even if I have, I practice the old adage "If you can't say something nice, then don't say anything at all".
Well I'm gonna say something really nice about my ThermaCell Heated Insoles. My feet have never been more comfortable in cold weather, than they have during the past three days. They've got a system that keeps the heat high enough to keep your feet from getting cold, but without making them hot and sweaty.
The package actually arrived over a week ago, but with all of the warm weather we had, I was afraid that I'd never get the right conditions to really to test 'em properly. Finally, the arctic air showed up and gave me the perfect excuse to put them to the test, so I did.
Day One 1-14; Just to be sure that I was giving my new secret weapons a good test, I purposely picked out a pair of rubber shoes that never, ever, keep my feet warm. Not even when I'm driving the truck, plowing snow.
First I shoveled a little snow, then fed the Chickens and walked the dogs. Then I watered the horses, moved some hay and finally, jumped in the plow truck and plowed my neighbors driveway. After a couple of hours, my feet were still warm and comfortable. They did it! The new secret weapon worked!
Day Two 1-15; Using the test as an excuse to go for a good walk, I decided to head out the back door and hoof it to a spot where I caught some crappies about a month ago. On the little lake, walking conditions were perfect. All of the moisture had wicked up into the snow and it was frozen solid as a rock. It was just like walking on a frozen sidewalk, nice and cold!
I didn't bring a fishing shelter or anything to sit on. I just wanted to stand on the ice during the whole session. I was out there for about 3 hours, drilling holes and fishing my way from spot to spot.
My feet were nice an warm the whole time, never even a chill and by the time I got home, I was already convinced that these things were gonna be along on every trip from now on.
Day Three 1-16; One last test just to be sure that I wasn't dreaming. Only this time, I got even more serious. On my early morning ice fishing adventure, I put the ThermaCells inside my Muck Boots, but purposely left the power turned off.
I hoofed it from shore to my fishing hole and was out on the ice by about 7:30 AM. I left the power off and waited for a couple of hours until my feet started feeling cold. Once I had a good chill started, then I used the remote control to turn the heat on. Using the medium setting, It took a little while before I really noticed a difference, but after a half hour, maybe 45 minutes, I could feel my feet warming up. By about 10:30 AM, my feet were back to being comfortable and stayed that way until I left the ice at about 12:30.
The warm up might have gone faster if I'd switched the insoles to the high heat setting, but in three days of testing, I haven't even tried the high setting at all. The medium temperature setting has been plenty good enough to keep me comfortable, so I wanted to just stick with that for the time being.
Technically speaking, I'm not too sure what makes these things tick, but it's incredible that there's enough space inside the insoles to squeeze everything in there. When you first look at them, you'll swear that there's no way that they can even work. There's no battery pack, no wires, nothing to hook up at all. They just look like an ordinary pair of insoles that you'd slip into your shoes. In fact, I looked at them for a half hour and actually had to resort to reading the booklet just to figure out where to plug in the charger.
The power supply is built in and cleverly concealed behind a covered port, there's a tiny device located in the heel that houses the on/off switch, the input socket that allows you to plug in the battery charger and an LED indicator that shows when the insoles are fully charged. Somewhere in there, is also a remote control receiver that allows you to turn the heat on and off using a remote switch that's about the size of your car key.
To me, the whole system works like magic and from this day forward, I'll have a pair handy at all times. Of course the only time I'll be able to use them is when it's cold out. You know; Like for spring fishing, fall fishing, Duck hunting, Deer hunting, snow shoveling, Ice fishing ... you get the idea.
I know that you're gonna want more info, so all you need to do is click here to learn what makes 'em tick >> ThermaCell Heated Insoles .

Fishing Guide MN Fishing Report, January 16, 2013, Jeff Sundin - On Tuesday, I managed to get my paperwork caught up a little, well at least enough to get my taxes paid. Once that was done, I was ready to get myself into a little better mood. Needing an excuse to go for a good walk, I decided to head out the back door and hoof it back to a spot where I caught some crappies about a month ago.
On the little lake, walking conditions were perfect. All of the moisture had wicked up into the snow and has frozen solid as a rock. It was just like walking on a sidewalk, the sled pulled easily and there was just enough crusted snow on the surface for sure-footed walking toward my favorite spot.
In case you missed the report yesterday; One reason that I wanted to walk on the ice, was to give my new "Secret Weapon" a really good test. I have to say that I am amazed at how well it's working. I know, it's not fair to tease. But I promise, one more day in the field and if I'm still as happy as I am now, you'll be hearing every little detail.
I wish the fish had been equally cooperative, but they were partly elusive and partly un-cooperative. I was able to locate a few, small packs of fish. I even had a couple of bites, but I never actually got a fish out of the water and onto the ice. That's twice now, on two different lakes that the evening bite has failed me.
I remember a sudden shift in the momentum that occurred last winter. A time when the fishing became much more productive in the morning, than it was in the evening. So today, I'm gonna pull a fast one and get out there before the sun comes up. The timing is good, because it's going to be my last chance to try it before the weather turns frigid.
For Today; First I'm gonna test test a theory, then I'm gonna test a concept. After that, I'm gonna test a product and then I'll test my endurance. If all that goes okay, then later, I'll test a sip of the good stuff!
Link to Minnesota Ice Fishing Reports (1/16) On Bowstring Lake, Bowstring Shores Resort, Darv Oelke says; "Crappies and Perch are biting good in 24 to 28 feet. Wax worn or a crappie minnow working good. Walleyes are still biting in 16 to 21 feet on Shinners working the best. For some reason northerns have been slow."
Link to Minnesota Ice Fishing Reports (1/16) Bemidji Lakes Area, Paul A. Nelson, Bemidji Area Lakes Guide Service says; "Cold temperatures in the Bemidji area have slowed down both anglers and the fish. Anglers usually become less aggressive when the temperatures are bitterly cold and become more likely to sit in one spot and wait for the fish to come to them.
The good ice conditions and the lack of snow on the ice have allowed anglers to spread out on the lakes, with many locations having one or more wheeled fish houses on them.
Most of the stationary fish houses on the lakes are set-up for walleye fishing. It is very difficult to put a fish house on a spot that has consistent action all day long, so most anglers put their houses on spots that have a flurry of activity in the mornings and evenings, when fish are most likely to be active.
If anglers want to have better action during the day, it usually works better to use portable fish houses, so anglers can keep moving until they find an active bite.
Most lakes in the Bemidji area have more than one species of fish for anglers to pursue. Anglers fishing the larger lakes like Bemidji, Cass, Leech or Winnibigoshish can fish for walleyes in the mornings and evenings and then fish for perch during the day.
Anglers fishing Lake of the Woods can fish shallow for walleyes in the mornings and evenings and then move deeper to fish for sauger and the occasional suspended walleye during the day.
Anglers in the Bemidji area have good access to the lakes right now, so they are able to decide how they want to fish and what species of fish they want to pursue, with few limitations.
The good news is the Bemidji area has more lakes and more choices than almost any area in the country, so anglers of all skill levels can have some success, regardless of the conditions." - Paul A. Nelson, Bemidji Area Lakes Guide Service, panelson@paulbunyan.net 218.759.2235 .

Fishing Guide MN Fishing Report, January 15, 2013, Jeff Sundin - A New Secret Weapon! I was afraid that we were never going to get enough cold weather to test 'em out. But finally, a good old fashioned blast of cold, arctic air gave me the perfect excuse to try out my new heated insoles. Oh Man! Nothing feels better than keeping your feet warm on a cold day!
I didn't have a good excuse to head out onto the lake for a proper test yesterday morning. But I did have a great excuse for going out into the frozen tundra and do my yard chores. Just to be sure that I was giving my new secret weapons a good test, I purposely picked out a pair of rubber shoes that never, ever, keep my feet warm. Not even when I'm driving the truck, plowing snow.
Okay then, let's see; Batteries charged? check markInsoles properly fit? check mark Remote control turned on? check markAll systems were go and the test began.
First I shoveled a little snow, then fed the Chickens and walked the dogs. Then I watered the horses, moved some hay and finally, jumped in the plow truck and plowed my neighbors driveway. After a couple of hours, my feet were still warm and comfortable. They did it! The new secret weapon worked! at least they did on the first outing.
Right now, they're plugged into the charger, getting ready for a proper test out on the ice and as soon as I find out how they handle that, I'm gonna say a few more words about 'em.
After I wrapped up my chores, and cleared out another pile of paperwork, I hit the road for a couple of hours to check on some of the smaller panfish lakes in the area. I was amazed at how good the driving conditions are. Most of the lakes that I had to walk into a month ago, now have multiple sets of tire tracks. In fact, one small lake just a few miles from my house had three trucks on it when I got there. It was so tempting that I actually drove out to the spot and started to drill a couple of holes before I remembered my mission to do some exploring. In the end, I didn't fish there, instead I checked out some more territory and worked out a game plan for later in the week. The conditions were equally good at each stop, except for one spot where a creek flows between two lakes. Here, even the sub-zero temperatures aren't enough to freeze the water and as I found out the hard way, not even the places that looked frozen, were really frozen.

Fishing Guide MN Fishing Report, January 14, 2013, Jeff Sundin - Sub-Zero Temperatures Make Perfect Conditions For Ice Travel!
I wasn't too disappointed on Sunday morning when "Plan A" fell apart. Riding around Lake Winnibigoshish on snowmobiles, at a temperature of -4 degrees, was going to be a little bit chilly. When I offered my fishing partner a chance to re-schedule, it didn't take long to get a decision.
For me though, too much time in the office is the same thing as being in ... well you know, I like getting outside! So even if it was too cold, after a few hours at the computer, I was bound and determined to get out there and do something. Every winter, at some point, I have to at least try and do something the easy way and this was the perfect day for that.
Fishing Report (1/14) I was at Highbanks Resort on the East side of Winnie, where an inexpensive road pass allows anglers access to the lake using their plowed roads. Good decision! Their road was plowed clean down to the shiny surface of the ice. Travel conditions were excellent, almost all of the slush had already frozen. The rain saturated snow was shiny, almost as if it had merged with the ice. in fact I never had to put the truck in 4WD at all. Except for a few tiny spots of slush lying under the deeper snow drifts, the conditions were almost perfect. Once I was on the lake, I could go anywhere I wanted to. So I punched in the GPS coordinates for the "Tulibee hole" and headed out to see if they'd bite.
I arrived at the spot, a deep hole located just outside of the lake's main breakline into deep water. As soon as I got a few holes drilled in dropped the transducer into the water, it lit up like a Christmas Tree. I was really revved up when I saw the image, but too bad for me, these fish were all show and no go. They'd swim up to the bait, chase it around, steal the Wax Worm from the jig, everything except take a bite. Hmm... now what?
Well Winnie is a great Walleye lake and I'm already here anyway, it would be a shame not to at least try it, so I talked myself into it. My first pre-meditated Walleye fishing of the 2013 season.
I hemmed and hawed a bit before deciding where I wanted to try. In the end, a small hump, about a mile away had gotten my attention, so I left the main road and headed across open ice to check it out. Along the way, travel conditions remained excellent and I was able to follow a straight line, right to the spot.
I didn't have a lot of Walleye tackle with me, you could say that I didn't have any. The rod with the heaviest line I had rigged, only had 3 pound test. My only tackle bag was loaded with Bugs, Toads and other small panfish jigs. Luckily, I had seen an 1/8 ounce, Rattlin' Flyer laying on the kitchen counter and threw it in the bag. So this was going to be my bait and I was happy to have it.
I drilled one hole over the top edge of the hump in about 25 feet of water. There were a lot of really tiny Perch down there, flickering on the screen constantly. As the sun started getting low, an occasional slower moving target showed up on the screen and finally, one of them struck. It felt like a keeper size Walleye, but it got off. Then I caught another, this time a fish in the protected slot, then a keeper and then .... Some dirty rotten little Pike came along and snipped off my only Walleye jig! So there ya' go, now I'm sitting there bait-less, getting cold and I don't even have my secret weapon to help keep my toes warm.
At this point, I was just hanging around to get a picture anyway, but I tried a few little baits just in case one of those Walleyes was really dumb. Um, there wasn't any dumb ones, so I worked my way back over to Highbanks and off the lake.
Greg Clusiau Fishing Report (1/14) On The Iron Range, From Greg Clusiau; "Arriving at the public access, we could see day old tire tracks breaking through the first inch of soft, slushy ice. It looked scary but remember all of the rain we had last Friday? It froze up but not that solid. Not to worry. There was 14” of solid ice underneath all ..." >> Read Greg's Full Report .
Link To Fred's Bait (1/14) A quick note from Bill Powell at Fred's Bait in Deer River; "Conditions went from marginal to excellant this weekend Sat. when I was on the lake I watched trucks bore through 8 inces of slush and snow Sun we drove right on top making mobility a breeze. Just what the fish dr. orderd for those wanting to bounce around in search of Perch, Pike, and Walleye. We have been on the water a lot this winter in the last week Chet spent most of 5 days fishing trout on Lake of The Woods sending back reports of pretty good numbers of Trout and some nice Pike. Lynne Billy and I have been sticking closer to home having alot of fun with the Perch and Pike on Winnie. Hope to see you on the ice." Bill Powell, Fred's Bait Deer River .
Link to Minnesota Ice Fishing Reports (1/14) On Lake of the Woods, Border View Lodge, Mike Kinsella wrote; "We are in the deep freeze today! It is hard to believe a couple days ago it was 48 degrees. Although we had tho se weather changes the fishing remains good. We have had a couple sporadic days this past week, where some anglers have done really well and others not. The weather for the coming week looks to be changing as well, with some days having a 40 degree change. We are out past Pine Island about 9 miles in the 34 foot range, which we anticipate will help maintain a steady fishing pattern through pressure and temperature changes.
The warmer weather has created some slush spots out on the lake which creates a lot more work for the guides, who have been keeping us on fish all year. There have been many slot fish released this week, along with some trophy walleyes. Smaller presentations seem to be working best The glass glow jigs remain hot.- Border View Lodge .

Fishing Guide MN Fishing Report, January 13, 2013, Jeff Sundin - When The Going Get's Tough, The Tough Get ....? Some work done in the office!
This was the first year in a long while that we didn't even try to get out on the ice for the inland Trout opener. After the rain fell on Friday, we weren't in the mood to hoof it through the slush and beside that, I really wanted to go check out that hot Tulibee tip that I'd heard about on Winnibigoshish last Friday. Watching out the window, at the snow blowing across my road, driven by a 20 MPH wind ... that just didn't look like fun either. So with a few hours of peace and quiet to kill, I decided to get caught up on some website work instead.
That didn't help much either because I was doing some work for Beiers Greenhouse and all that did was to remind me of how close we are to spring. In fact, if I was counting, I'd know that it was only 118 days until the 2013 Minnesota Walleye fishing opener.
Back to the here and now; We have calmer winds predicted for today, so we're back on track to get on the lake and give the Tulibees a whirl. Bill has the snowmobiles all warmed up and we've got the Otters packed. So now, all I need to do is get out of here and go do it.
Preparing for the day, I was worried that we might have too much slush for the snowmobiles. I made some calls yesterday and according to reports, if we're careful, we shouldn't have too much trouble. There wasn't a lot of snow on the ice before the rain fell on Friday. It saturated most of the snow and with overnight temperatures dipping into the negative numbers last night, we should be expecting to see a re-freeze occurring quickly.
One heads up from a buddy on Lake Winnibigosh though, he said that our main concern should be to avoid the "old roads". Snow drifting along the bank of previously plowed roadways has insulated the water and slush problems will be longer lasting in these areas.
If you're driving on the lake(s), especially with a heavy "wheel house", stick with the accesses provided by the main rental operators and follow their advice about where the trouble spots are. They're already out there getting new roads cut and cleaning up the old ones, so delays will be minimal.
Oh and by the way; If you're dreaming about catching one of those monster Pike on Lake of the Woods, then one date to remember is March 1, 2013. Yes, I know, that's only 46 days from now. Just barely enough time to pack the bags and fill the gas tank. But that's when those fish are gonna start running and the promise of a 20 pound Pike makes it worth paying attention to the calendar. We made our trip up there about a week later than that last winter, and I think we got in on the tail end of the best action. We still caught some fish, but this year, I have my sights set to go up there a little earlier.

Fishing Guide MN Fishing Report, January 12, 2013, Jeff Sundin - Rainbow in January? An all day soaker moved into the Northland on Friday, making a big mess! Luckily the effects of all that water will be short lived; A re-freeze is already under way and within a few days, the ice is going to be good and solid again. If it had fallen as snow, we might have been facing two months of fighting the slush and deep snow as we tried to find the fish.
Areas of freezing rain, along with a lot of un-certanty about road conditions did slow traffic to a crawl and most of us sat this day out. For me, it was a day filled with moving things from wet places, to less wet places. Coaxing a reluctant tractor to pitch in and help with the chores took up most of the late afternoon.
Anglers that were on the ice, had to wade through ankle deep water to try and catch a fish and most were reporting slow action.
I suspect that it's going to make life more dificult for Trout fishermen who take to the ice for today's Inland Trout season opener. In fact, the idea of going for a long walk through the slush is going to prevent me from heading for Lucky Lake myself. I might not be out of business though, because there was one interesting report that came in during the day on Friday.
Gus' Place Resort Ball Club Lake (1/12) Gus Sheker, Gus' Place Resort on Ball Club Lake; "Ice thickness varies through out the lake from 13-17 inches, use caution if you plan to venture out with a heavy truck. There is very little snow on the ice with some areas that have blown clear. The thickest ice is on the south end and it also has the most snow on it, as it is now... all you need is 2 wheel drive.
Massive water releases from Lake Winnie are underway to supplement the drought conditions on the Mississippi river south of us and it has started to stain lakes on the water chain.
FISHING: I fished today with one of the Guides we work with here at the resort. It was one of those rare days when we caught more Walleye than Perch, although the bite was off and on with slow periods it was still a great day on the ice. The Walleye were in 19 feet and fell for glow jigs & live minnows.
" - Gus Sheker, Gus' Place Resort .
Fishing Report (1/12) On Lake Winnibigoshish, Tulibee action was good for at least one group of anglers fishing on Lake Winnibigoshish. The group was frustrated because they had Perch and Walleye in mind, not Tulibees. So they were moving away from the unwanted Tulibees to try for their target species. Now a guy like me, someone who loves Tulibees, might notice a light bulb glowing above his head. You know, that little voice that tells you to get out there and do something, before the opportunity disappears?
Link to Minnesota Ice Fishing Reports (1/12) On Bowstring Lake, Erin at Geiger's Trails End Resort; Echoed the report about slush on the ice. Erin said that have tons of slush on the big lake. The January Thaw has caused some rough travels and the Crappie fishing action has slowed down on Willard’s Bar.
Erin said: "We are looking forward to finding the Perch! Check back for more information over the weekend and don’t forget; If you're hungry out there on Bowstring, we have Pizza at Trails End. Call us, we will deliver! See you on the ice!" - Erin and Bill Charlton, Trails End Resort .

Fishing Guide MN Fishing Report, January 11, 2013, Jeff Sundin - That's one way to get a day off of school! It's still dark outside, so I can't see the full effect of our overnight rains. The temps are hovering just at the freezing mark, so we could be looking at clear roads or maybe a lot of ice. Either way, they shut down the busses and everyone in the Deer River School District gets a free day today.
Just like last winter, a full scale "January Thaw" moved into the area on Thursday. Anyone who worried about snow cover on their favorite lake, can kiss that worry good bye! First the warm temperatures melted the snow, then an all night rain has been flooding the ice. Once it gets light outside, I'll figure out if we're trapped inside, or if I can take a tour to see how travel conditions look for the weekend.
On Thursday, I think the fish knew this was coming because before all of this weather arrived, they were already acting like a six year old in front of a plate of Asparagus. Not too darn hungry.
There was still a bit of good news though, we did locate a nice school of fish, had just enough action to prove the point that they were there and then got the fish house into position. Panfish, apparently mostly Bluegills were stacked up in 40 feet of water. I don't really approve of fishing them that deep, but for a day or two, we're going to try to figure out if there are Crappies and Tulibees located out in the same area. We're going to follow a self imposed limit of 5 fish. That's enough for meal and will help us avoid damaging the population.
It could turn out that the fish don't really want to be located that deep, but were just there ahead of this giant low pressure system. In that case, we'd be able to move that fish house into a shallower territory.
Mid winter trends toward deeper water are common, so if you've lost track of fish that were biting earlier this winter, start working your way deeper. Luckily, most of the better panfish lakes don't have much water that's deeper than 30 feet, so there's a good chance that you'll find some spots where releasing fish is still a viable option. If you have to fish 'em really deep, do yourself a favor and limit you catch to what you really need. It's so easy to over-fish a spot and in the long run, all we do is ruin our own favorite fishing spots.
Link to Minnesota Ice Fishing Reports (1/11) From Brian Castellano in the Deer River Area; "Three of us have hit the ice during the past 2 days, but found tough fishing.
We fished locally for panfish on Wed. and while we caught some average gills, there were more small ones, and only a couple of small crappies.
However, this healthy 33" northern turned a light sucker minnow on a tip up, into an afternoon snack. I like to put out a tip up while panfishing because usually there's a decent northern hanging around.
Thursday we headed to Upper Red Lake. We got on the lake at Mort's Dock on the south side. Travel conditions were great and improved as the day went on, with the warm temps and sunshine exposing bare ice on many parts of the lake. We did cross 1 pressure ridge in our travels.
Even with the 15-25 mph winds, we stood out in the elements for the day and did alot of "running and gunning" fishing 6-8 spots. We graphed alot of fish but found very few biters. We ended up keeping 6 nice walleyes and 1 10" perch. We caught another half dozen or so small walleyes that we threw back. Even the perch were really finicky and we only caught a few of those too.
In talking to MN DNR, Conservation Officer, Keith Backer, who was on the ice checking fisherman, overall reports were pretty slow on Thursday.
I'm looking forward to changing gears and getting out on the ice to do some Trout fishing very soon.
Fishing Report (1/11) On Lake Winnibigoshish (Big Winnie), plowed roads are in place on all four sides of the lake. Ice conditions are good, thickness ranges from 12 to 18 inches depending on where you stop, but vehicles are travelling freely all over the lake. There's plenty of room for "wheel houses" and rental shelters are available too.
Walleye fishing on the big lake has been better on the shorline drop offs than it has out deep. Working the breakline in water depths of 12 to 18 feet has been producing the best results. The bars that have sallower tops like Center Bar, Horseshoe and the Bena Bar are producing fish too. Fish the shallower edges of these giant bars the same way you would fish the shoreline breaks.
Inside corners (pockets) on the breakline are usually good during winter, sometimes the tips of points that taper into deep water are good too. The tapering points are commonly used by fish as they move on and off the structure during low light periods.
Jigging baits tipped with minnow heads have been getting the most attention. If I was on my way out to Winnie today, I'd be sure that I had a good supply of Rattlin' Flyer Spoons, along with an assortment of blade baits and even a tip-up.
Jumbo Perch are beginning to get active on the West side of Winnibigosh. Shallower breaklines are holding fish, especially where weed growth still exists. The cover helps hold baitfish in the area and the Perch will linger longer than they do on a clear sand bottom. Perch on the lake's East side have been plentiful, but anglers are really sorting a lot of fish in order to get some "keepers".
According to a report from one group, the Northern Pike action has been above average on Winnie too. They're using tip-ups with plain hooks and larger Sucker minnows. An 8 or even 10 inch size minnow is not too large, especially when you want to attract some of the larger fish.
The best locations for tip-ups are out on sharp breaklines, near weed flats, rocks or a drop into deep water. The larger, mid-lake bars will become especially attractive for Pike as the Tulibees school up and become active. Fishing with tip-ups on the breakline from 18 to 24 feet, with the bait set at least a few feet above the bottom will do the job. Remember, don't be afraid of large baits. Giant Sucker Minnows tend to attract the trophy fish and even the 5 pounders will attack them.
Link to Minnesota Ice Fishing Reports (1/11) On Lake of the Woods, Sportman's Lodges, Jacki LaValla said; Anglers are catching quite a few 10-12 inch saugers and 18-24 inch walleyes along with some walleyes in the 14”-18” range. Fishing has been a little spotty. Dead sticking has worked best. Swedish pimples, plain hooks, gold jigs, and chubby darters tipped with a chub minnow has been working best. The guides are shuffling houses constantly to stay on the best action. The best bite has been in 26’-30’ of water right now. Vexilar/Fish Finder always seem to help anglers success. The afternoon bite has been favoring over the mornings, especially for the walleye bite. Check out some of the recent pictures of the big walleye catches on Sportsman's Lodges Facebook Page.

Fishing Guide MN Fishing Report, January 10, 2013, Jeff Sundin - Just in case you're the type that lets winter get the best of you. Here a few things that you might consider looking forward to. In just about 45 days, the late season ice fishing for Monster Pike on Lake of the Woods will be hitting full stride. What, you don't like the ice? Oh, okay then, in just about 80 days, The Rainy River is going to open up and for anglers who get their timing together, those giant Walleyes are gonna be stacked up and hungry. Seriously? Still too cold? Well okay then, in 121 days, the Minnesota Walleye Opener will be another great excuse to gather at the Star Bar and Grille for the first taste of open water Walleye fishing of the 2013 season. See what I mean? You don't even have time to get bogged down, not if you want to get some planning done!
On Wednesday, I had planned to take my daughter fishing. A plan that might have come together easily if she hadn't slept until Noon, then woke up to a brisk 20 MPH wind howling through the yard. I suppose that there's not much risk of her trying to take over the business before I wrap up my final 30 years.
There's always a silver lining though and ours will come today, the trip has been re-scheduled and expanded to include dinner at Grampy's where I will reveal the stolen Pheasant recipe. Just to be sure that I wouldn't goof it up, I made it for dinner last night and it turned out just right. I apologize for the little teaser and I promise that I'll share the recipe on the website, but first I want to spring it as a suprise for a few special people.
Another Silver lining came along when I was speaking with "Grampy" on the phone. Like everyone, he's been hearing a lot of chatter about fishing on Upper Red Lake and wondered if we might head up that way on Friday. I had to turn that trip down because I need to stay a little closer to home for a meeting. But it prompted me to do a little extra studying about what's going on closer to home. The news is good and from all reports, we can do all of the Walleye fishing we want, right here in our back yard.
OH! By the way, I just stumbled into a couple of videos that I helped Lindy put together. This one happens to be about how to fish one of my favorite baits, the Frostee Jig. So If you think you can withstand the after shock of watching the lowly Cub Reporter, getting on the job training, well then you can peek at one of the videos right now. Just click >> How To Fish The Frostee Jig .
Jon Thelen Pradco (1/10) Catching Biiger Bluegill - Just happens to be the subject of this week's "Fish Ed" video. Jon Thelen has been out on the ice, following the fish as they work their way into deeper water too. Knowing where they are means drilling fewer holes and catching more fish. Spoon rigging and jigging tips will also help you put more big bluegill in the bucket. Click to view >> Mid Winter Ice Fishing, Finding Bigger Bluegill .
Fishing Report (1/9) At Bowstring Lake's South access; There were plenty of tracks in the snow, vehicles had obviously been on the lake, but there wasn't much traffic at the time. I turned on my GPS, put the plow truck in 4WD and started heading for a spot where I've had good luck before. Driving conditions weren't too bad, there was a blanket of about 4-5 inches of snow and some drifts that may have been 7 to 10 inches. I did hit one small area of slush near the East shoreline, but further out in the lake, the ice was slush free.
I only had about an hour to fish, so I admit that this was about the laziest episode anyone could have. The spot I'd chosen to fish was over a deep hole, with a soft bottom. It's located just beyond the deepest breakline, where the depth changes from 22 to 26 feet. On my way out, there was evidence of heavy traffic on the lake, maybe last weekend. Numerous areas where anglers had drilled lots of holes convinced me that I had the right idea to head further out, beyond where the main crowd was concentrated. After I arrived and positioned the truck, I drilled one hole, dropped in the transducer and began marking fish on the flasher dial.
A handful of Crappies later, the event was over and I made my way back toward the landing. Only this time moving directly from mid-lake toward the landing. Traveling across the center of the lake was actually easier than sticking close to the shoreline. If there are any pressure ridges forming out there, they weren't in view from this perspective.
I only fished with one bait, but for what it's worth, the fish thought it was a good one. The #4 Frostee Jig tipped with a couple of Wax Worms and fished about 3 feet off the bottom. Oh and by the way, I just stumbled into a couple of videos that Lindy put together about how to fish the Frostee Jig. If you think you can withstand listening and watching my wind-blown face, then you can peek at one of the videos right now. Just click >> How To Fish The Frostee Jig .
Fishing Guide MN(1/9) Bemidji Lakes Area Fishing Guide, Matthew Breuer Says; "The 2013 kicked off where 2012 left off. Ice fishing is in full swing. The lakes in the Bemidji area are absolutely pristine as far as ice conditions go, and the fish are cooperating.
Spent a day out with my family to kick things off. Found the panfish to be very active and willing to bite. My son is now 5, and watching him work fish over solo is truly amazing. I was a proud papa watching him reel in a few fish.
Also had clients in the rental on Lake Bemidji on New Years Eve., New Years Day, and throughout the week and weekend. In 2013 one house has put out 29 walleyes, which is pretty good for Lake Bemidji right now. A lot of the fish are the smaller year classes, ranging from 8-14", but a lot of solid 15-19" fish mixed in. Perch continue to be active, especially during low-light periods. From 8-11am and again from 3-5pm. Pike seem scarce this year on a lot of bodies of water... The early appearance of the tulibees on Lake Bemidji has been a nice surprise, so I've been tinkering with them while they're hot. A large spoon for flash with an 8" drop down to a Lindy Bug with a plastic has been tricking them nicely. The ultimate 1-2 punch.
Many smaller lakes in the area are putting out great bluegills and crappies. Shallow water has been great, as the snow cover is minimal, and there's still a lot of oxygen. Some fish are hanging out deeper too, and are becoming more aggressive. Look for higher bands of fish on your Vex, suspending as high as 20' off bottom for active feeders. ON negative bites, Lindy Bugs and Toads with eurolarvae has been working. When the crappies are active, bigger baits like Frostee Spoons packed with maggots or even Lindy Darters have been the ticket.
Greg Clusiau Fishing Report (1/9) On The Iron Range, From Greg Clusiau; "Tossing it over with my regular weekend fishing partner, Blake Liend, we decided that we’d do it another time. It wasn‘t the 250 mile round trip that had us thinking otherwise. It was the fact that we both would have to purchase a new Ontario fishing license, around $100, and mainly, we were looking for an “all-day bite”. Rainy, in the past, had us catching the majority of our fish during ..." >> Read Greg's Full Report .

Fishing Guide MN Fishing Report, January 9, 2013, Jeff Sundin - Tuesday was a Grey, gloomy day in the Deer River area. Luckily though, it did turn out to be a really good day for catching up and even though I really wasn't where I wanted to be, at least I was working in the right direction, keeping my eye on the goal!
By mid afternoon, I did manage a couple of hours out on the trail and I'm not sure why, but I just sort of found myself heading for Bowstring Lake. It just seemed like a good idea to take a Buzz around that lake to see if anything was happening.

Fishing Guide MN Fishing Report, January 8, 2013, Jeff Sundin - Your Cub Reporter was back on the beat, stumbling into unexpected stories, even before arriving home! On Monday, a last minute decision to grab a quick burger on our way back from South Dakota produced a handful of fishing reports and a nice discovory.
Heading toward Park Rapids, the boys had a notion to pick up a bit of lunch. Chad made a quick call and discovered that "plan A" wasn't going to work. That's when I said; "We could drop by Chase on the Lake in Walker. None of us had visited the hotel since the original building was burned in a fire. This would be a chance check out the new remodel and maybe even get a peek at Walker Bay while we're there. The idea seemed good, so we kept moving East on Highway 34 until we pulled into Walker, MN.
Chase on the Lake has been completely remodeled and it was looking good! It didn't take long to get my attention with a sign that said; "Fish Cleaning Station". Then sitting along side a small fleet of snow machines, another sign said; "Snowmobile Rental" and then there was the plowed road and the fleet of rental sheltersstationed out on Walker Bay. Hmm..., it looks like these folks are serious about attracting ice fishermen over to Leech Lake. Heck, you could even show up without a stich of gear and make a phone call, pick up a fishing guide and head out onto the ice to try and bag some Walleyes.
Down stairs, the restaurant looks out over the lake, we could see the action from our table, where they fed us a great burgers. It turned out to be a real lucky stop, It looked so good to me, that I might just go back and check it out myself.
After lunch we high tailed it over to Reeds Sporting Goods. I was on a mission to pick up one more of those TFO Ice Rods that I mentioned last month. They've been working out really well for me, but you know, I just needed one more to round out the ensemble.
link to Wired2Fish (1/8) Wired2Fish - Say's that the results are in and they've published a list of their Top Ten Videos Of 2012 get yourself over to the site today and take a look at the >> Top Ten Videos Of 2012 .
Link to Minnesota Ice Fishing Reports (1/8) On Lake of the Woods, Border View Lodge, Mike Kinsella wrote; "The cold snap earlier in the week slowed the bite down some, but the fish seem to be coming out of their funk as the weathe r is warming and showing some consistency. There are times when aggressive jigging has worked better, and times where the “dead stick” does the best. Pink, glow red, and glow blue jigs seem to be the best with the blue working better on cloudy days. We have seen some very nice walleyes, but the mix is definitely heavier on sauger.
We are fishing in about 30 feet of water and are letting full size vehicles drive to our houses. The road is in excel lent shape.
February is already starting to fill in. Give us a call and book your trip while there is still space available". 1-800-776-3474 Border View Lodge .
Fishing Report (1/8) On Leech Lake, Walleye action has been best on shoreline breaks, especially on the points and inside turns. Best Depths have been 10 to 14 feet, using jigging baits. According to the folks at Reeds Sporting Goods in Walker, the best action has been during the evening, but there are also fish running the breaklines during early morning.
There is a lot of traffic in Walker Bay already, so clever ice fishermen should be looking for territory that hasn't been fished hard. Taking advantage of the good travel conditions while you can, take a loot at some of the points and inside turns out in Sucker Bay, where there is a plowed road going out from Pine Point and access to all of the major spots is good.
Fishing Report (1/8) Ice fishing on the big lakes is wide open now. Plowed roads and great ice conditions are the rule, on Lake Winnibigoishish, Leech Lake, Lake of the Woods, Cass Lake, Upper Red Lake and more. Walleye action has been good during the past week and anglers who can fish mid-week, have a couple of gorgeous days ahead of them. For a great trip out onto the ice this week, all you should need to do is double check the report and show up.
Anglers with wheel houses can visit virtually any one of their favorite big lakes. Until we get another snow, ice conditions are rated ideal for the short term, forseeable future.
Link to Minnesota Ice Fishing Reports (1/8) Ryan Peterson checked in; "Fishing on Big Lake Winnie has been good walleyes are biting good any where from 14 to 28 fow depending where on the lake you are fishing them, jigging spoons tipped with a minnow head have been working best. Perch bite has been ok better on sunny days, the best depths for perch have been 20 to 30 fow. The ice is right around 14 inches in most places even though its been cold its not making ice very fast". - Ryan Peterson's Guiding .
Link to Minnesota Ice Fishing Reports (1/8) On Bowstring Lake, Bowstring Shores Resort, A equick note from Darv Oelke says; "Nice Walleyes in 18 to 24 feet. Crappies are bitting good in 22 to 26 feet about 2 feet off the bottom. Also nice perch being caught in that 13 to 18 feet".
Fishing Guide MN(1/8) Bemidji Lakes Area, Paul A. Nelson, Bemidji Area Lakes Guide Service says; "The ice conditions in the Bemidji area continue to improve, with anglers driving on most of the local lakes. There are still a few spring fed lakes with less than a foot of ice, but most of the more popular lakes now have more than a foot of good ice.
Walleye fishing on most of the larger lakes continues to be good. Lake of the Woods, Upper Red Lake, Winnibigoshish and Leech Lake have all had good walleye bites recently.
The walleye bite typically slows down on the cold bluebird days and picks up again on the days with warmer temperatures or some cloud cover.
Most species like walleyes, crappies and sunfish will bite in flurries in the mornings and evenings and even after dark. The daily activity levels of the fish are largely determined by the weather conditions each day.
Lakes with stained water like Upper Red Lake and Lake of the Woods usually have a better day bite for walleyes than the deeper clear water lakes, which usually have better action under low light conditions.
Anglers fishing with sonar have a huge advantage over anglers fishing without sonar. Being able to watch fish come through on sonar allows anglers to adjust their presentations based on how the fish react to their presentations.
Crappies and sunfish will often suspend off of the bottom, so anglers fishing with sonar can see the level of the fish and put their baits at or above eyelevel of the fish. Anglers fishing below the level of the fish are much less likely to get a bite, because the panfish may not be able to see their bait.
The same is true when fishing walleyes in Lake of the Woods, which often suspend at the same level as the schools of emerald shiners during the day and then move into structure to feed under low light." Paul A. Nelson, Bemidji Area Lakes Guide Service .
Lund Boats New York Mills, Minn. – (Jan. 8, 2013) Anglers looking for a versatile boat with fishing prowess are going to love Lund’s New 1625 Fury XL. From the extensive bow storage to the 8-foot center rod locker to a spacious cock-pit for unrestricted fishability, this boat has something for every angler. It’s small enough to fit in most garages and easily towed to hard-to-reach waters. The 1625 Fury XL is the go-anywhere boat that does it all in a slightly smaller footprint. This feature-rich wallet-friendly boat is truly built to take any lake by storm.
The 1625 Fury XL has an overall length of ... Click to read article >> Lund 1625 Fury XL .

Fishing Guide MN Fishing Report, January 7, 2013, Jeff Sundin - Sunday was the close of the South Dakota Pheasant season. We've had our last walk here and by the time you read this, we'll be making our way back to the Northland. I'll be back to my duty station as your official "Cub Reporter" on Tuesday morning!

Fishing Guide MN Fishing Report, January 6, 2013, Jeff Sundin - Saturday, started out nice in the morning, but high winds made the hunting a little dramatic in the afternoon. Still, our group of seven hunters bagtged 14 roosters and my Yellow Dog even got one of her own. So it wound up being a good day was a good day in the Cattails.
I allowed a few extra minutes to catch the main updates, but I'm still unable to connect with my emails, so reports coming in from the ice fishermen are on hold until I can get home.
I still have an awesome report for you about the hunting trip too, but my plans are "Up In The Air" again for this morning, working on a special project, starting really early. so the report is gonna have to wait until later.
Fishing Report (1/4) Walleye anglers in North Central Minnesota have lots of options for the upcoming weekend. Upper Red Lake is still churning out a steady supply of Walleyes, Leech Lake reports are way above average, Winnibigoshish is providing steady Walleye action and so are some of the mid-size lakes like Bowstring, Round and Pokegama.
Panfish action on smaller lakes remains steady too, with Crappie edging out Sunfish as the main target now. Crappie locations appear to be a little easier to pin down right now, while Sunfish are more widely distributed. The Bluegills are being found in every depth from 6 feet on the weedlines, all the way out to 30 feet deep. Crappies are staying in typical winter territory, the 20 to 30 foot range is most common around the itasca area. There are a handful of shallower lakes where the range is between 15 and 20 feet. Likewise, some deeper lakes are producing Crappies as deep as 40 feet.
The good news about Crappies is that they're easy to spot on your electronics, so even if you're not drtilling a million holes, you still stand a good chance of locating a school of fish.
For some reason, Perch reports are a little scarce right now, but some anglers are finding them. Scattered schools of Perch are hitting Walleye baits as they roam in and out of Walleye territory. But so far, we're not hearing about a full scale Perch bite, partly because many anglers haven't started pursuing them yet, partly because they haven't really schooled up like they will in another few weeks.
Fishing Report (1/4) Walleye anglers in North Central Minnesota have lots of options for the upcoming weekend. Upper Red Lake is still churning out a steady supply of Walleyes, Leech Lake reports are way above average, Winnibigoshish is providing steady Walleye action and so are some of the mid-size lakes like Bowstring, Round and Pokegama.
Panfish action on smaller lakes remains steady too, with Crappie edging out Sunfish as the main target now. Crappie locations appear to be a little easier to pin down right now, while Sunfish are more widely distributed. The Bluegills are being found in every depth from 6 feet on the weedlines, all the way out to 30 feet deep. Crappies are staying in typical winter territory, the 20 to 30 foot range is most common around the itasca area. There are a handful of shallower lakes where the range is between 15 and 20 feet. Likewise, some deeper lakes are producing Crappies as deep as 40 feet.
The good news about Crappies is that they're easy to spot on your electronics, so even if you're not drtilling a million holes, you still stand a good chance of locating a school of fish.
For some reason, Perch reports are a little scarce right now, but some anglers are finding them. Scattered schools of Perch are hitting Walleye baits as they roam in and out of Walleye territory. But so far, we're not hearing about a full scale Perch bite, partly because many anglers haven't started pursuing them yet, partly because they haven't really schooled up like they will in another few weeks.

Fishing Guide MN Fishing Report, January 3, 2013, Jeff Sundin - Walleye anglers in North Central Minnesota have lots of options for the upcoming weekend. Upper Red Lake is still churning out a steady supply of Walleyes, Leech Lake reports are way above average, Winnibigoshish is providing steady Walleye action and so are some of the mid-size lakes like Bowstring, Round and Pokegama.
Panfish action on smaller lakes remains steady too, with Crappie edging out Sunfish as the main target now. Crappie locations appear to be a little easier to pin down right now, while Sunfish are more widely distributed. The Bluegills are being found in every depth from 6 feet on the weedlines, all the way out to 30 feet deep. Crappies are staying in typical winter territory, the 20 to 30 foot range is most common around the itasca area. There are a handful of shallower lakes where the range is between 15 and 20 feet. Likewise, some deeper lakes are producing Crappies as deep as 40 feet.
The good news about Crappies is that they're easy to spot on your electronics, so even if you're not drtilling a million holes, you still stand a good chance of locating a school of fish.
For some reason, Perch reports are a little scarce right now, but some anglers are finding them. Scattered schools of Perch are hitting Walleye baits as they roam in and out of Walleye territory. But so far, we're not hearing about a full scale Perch bite, partly because many anglers haven't started pursuing them yet, partly because they haven't really schooled up like they will in another few weeks.
Link to Minnesota Ice Fishing Reports (1/3) On Lake Winnibigoshish, High Banks Resort; Wheel houses are accessing Lake Winnie now. Kim says: "We have plowed roads 2 1/2 miles out on the ice to the first series of humps. Cold temps are continuing to improve ice conditions. Right now, there are 5 inches of snow cover and 12-14 inches of ice.
Come on up to Winnie to get in on the early season HOT Walleye action."
Highbanks is running a special this week. - January 3-9, 2013 any cabin!! $30/person/night! Viking/Packer game will be on! Drink specials throughout the Saturday evening! Call 800-365-2560 .
Link to Minnesota Ice Fishing Reports (1/3) On Lake of the Woods, Sportman's Lodges, Jacki LaValla had a quick report. They currently have good ice conditions on Lake of the Woods, ranging from 10-18 inches of ice in the areas that they've been fishing. According to Jacki, the Sportman's guests are having lots of action. "Several small saugers, nice size walleyes and a few trophies being caught. 27-30' water and anything that glows red is hot right now tipped with a minnow."
Fishing Report (1/3) On Leech Lake, There is vehicle traffic in limited areas of the main lake. Sucker Bay and the North end of Portage Bay have ice thicknesses of 12 to 14 inches. The Western side of Leech Lake, Walker Bay in particular is always slower to freeze and until now, the anglers on that side have still been using ATV's to travel on 5 to 8 inches of ice.
Walleye action on some of the humps and deep shoreline points in Walker Bay has been reliable. There was a report about some really good Jumbo Perch action on the West side too, but I haven't tracked down the source of that info. at least not yet.
Northern Pike and Walleye action on the main lake, shoreline breaks has been good too. Apparently, the Walleyes that snubbed a lot of anglers during the fall, seem to prefer winter this year. The Walleye action has been way above average for early winter and ice fishermen are enjoying short periods of fast action during sunrise and sunset. Some anglers are reporting the Best Walleye fishing that they've seen in a long time.
A triangle from Stony Point, to Pine Point, to First Duck Point would get you into a lot of good territory. Concentrating on the breaklines in water depths of 10 to 14 feet, drill a line of holes covering the upper and lower extremes and then work the area with jigging spoons. One group reported good results by setting tip-ups to watch while they explored.
Fishing Report (1/3) On Marcell Area Lakes, Paul Larson from Frontier Sports wrote; "Fishing should be good this weekend with 10 to 12 inches of ice reported throughout the area. The smaller area lakes are reporting some crappie action. The fish are suspended over 30 to 40 ft. of water. The bite has been slow with waxies producing well. Walleyes continue to be taken in 18 to 24 ft. with Lindy Rattl’n Fliers and Swedish Pimples tipped with minnow heads producing some nice catches. Frontier Sports has everything you need for a successful day on the ice, including live bait , tackle, fish houses, Augers and more. All Cameras and Shappell fish houses are now on sale. Drop in or call to see what’s new on the ice. Frontier Sports, Marcell, Paul Larson 1-218-832-3901
Link to Minnesota Ice Fishing Reports (1/3) On Bowstring Lake, Erin at Geiger's Trails End Resort checked in; "Fishing on Bowstring remains good, Erin said that the freeze has slowed the catch just a bit.  So ice fishermen are going to need to move around, locating fresh schools of fish.  According to the reports, the action is great out on the larger mid-lake bars. A fishing tip for the crappie fishermen is that they're on the bottom and very finicky!  Be patient, they will bite! 
Ice conditions are generally good and anglers are using vehicles on the 12-14 inches of good ice. There are still a few lingering slushy spots under the snow, so if you’re driving out, please be careful and keep your eyes open." - See you on the ice! Erin and Bill Charlton, Trails End Resort .
Fishing Report (1/3) I mentioned this a few days ago, but it's worth repeating. Let's say that you're on Bowstring Lake, fishing for Walleye or Crappies and you get the sudden craving for some warm food. Guess what? You can call Trails End, order a Pizza and they'll deliver it to you out on the ice! Ya' might as well add their number into your cell phone right now, just to be sure that it's handy when you need it! 218-832-3231.
Link to Minnesota Ice Fishing Reports (1/3) On Bowstring Lake, Bowstring Shores Resort, Darv Oelke says; "Walleyes have been good on perch point, using a fathead minnow. In 17 to 21 feet. Perch in about 15 to 18 feet. Crappies not real quick. The ones being caught are suppended in 18 to 24 feet. about 3 feet off the bottom. Darv - Bowstring Shores Resort
Gus' Place Resort Ball Club Lake (1/3) Gus Sheker, Gus' Place Resort on Ball Club Lake; "Ice fishing conditions and the fishing report has changed very little in the last week. The good news is the cold weather is making really good ice on our lake. The ice thickness varies at around 12-13 inches with 5 inches of packed snow on it.
My customers are doing great spearing Northerns this past week. Fish were eaten and limits were taken home. The water is gin clear and the people who want to spear Pike are having a great time. Perch fishermen are also have good luck and finding fish from 8-20 feet along the rim of the lake. Walleye are biting early and late in the day, the bite is not as sustained as the Perch & Pike. Most fishermen are using live baits. Fish higher off the bottom and you have a great chance of hooking up some nice Whitefish, they will pick up your bait on the drop". - Gus Sheker. Gus' Place Resort .
Jon Thelen Pradco (1/3) Lake of The Woods - Walleye and Sauger fishing is in a league all its own. This episode of Fish Ed, features Jon Thelen sharing proven tactics that will help you ice a bunch of Walleyes on your next trip to LOW. Click to view >> Ice Fishing Lake of the Woods Walleye .

Fishing Guide MN Fishing Report, January 2, 2013, Jeff Sundin - Happy New Year everyone! I opted not to fish on New Years Day so that I could spend some time with the Birthday Girl here at home instead. Twenty four hours spent with the critters, an all night bonfire and getting my rear end kicked at Rummy by the girls, kept my mind sort of occupied.
I wasn't alone, with all of the other festivities going on yesterdeay, there wasn't a lot of time for anyone to spread a lot of chatter about fishing. There were a few tidbits of fishing news that slipped out, but for this morning, I'm starting with a fairly clean slate. As everyone heads back out into the world and things quiet down around here, I'll be working on a full scale update to get you headed toward the weekend.
When I drove past Dave Donnelly's house on Tuesday, his portable ice shelter and vehicle were gone. I had a feeling that they were all out on a secret little lake somewhere. When I checked his Facebook page, I caught them red-handed with the evidence. I shared this picture of young Caiden, showing off a really great New Years Day, 13-1/2 inch Crappie. You know what they say, "a picture is worth ...... ".

Fishing Guide MN Fishing Report, New Years Day 2013, Jeff Sundin - Happy New Year everyone! While I'm at it, induldge a proud pappa for just a moment while I say Happy Birthday to one of the most beautiful, intelligent, loving, young women to be found anywhere in the world! Kathryn Rose Sundin turned 19 this morning and today, she's gonna get spoiled. So There!
We're in for another round of temperatures that take us into the deep freeze. This time, while the Mercury falls, traffic is going to pick up.
For ice fishermen that depend on travel by hoofing it, or using ATV's, ice conditions during most of this holiday season have been perfect for getting out early and often. Now that most of the larger lakes have a solid 12 to 14 inches of ice, it's time for the big boys to start moving out to their favorite mid-winter spots.
Full size rigs towing "Wheel Houses" are already out on Upper Red Lake and have been for a while. In fact, on Red Lake, traffic may be heavier than it's been for ten years, maybe more.
Now, the travel conditions are improving steadily and there's going to be a lot more emphasis on fishing the larger lakes. Anglers who use the big rigs are finding their way on to Lake of the Woods, Lake Winnibigoshish, Cass Lake, Bowstring and others. Plowed roads that lead to the Walleye and Perch fishing are already open and there will be more opening up later this week.
So in spite of my fondness for walking out onto all of the cute little panfish lakes, I guess I'll get the portables ready and try to do at least a little mingling out there with the big boys.
New Years Day seems to bring out the "couch potato" in a lot of guys, but before this day is over, there's gonna be some guys like me, who just can't sit still in fron of a TV set. Fishing report updates for tomorrow and Thursday will include road access information on the big lakes for everyone who wants to get the big rigs out on the ice next weekend.
Link To Fred's Bait (1/1) A quick note from Bill Powell at Fred's Bait in Deer River; "We ended our 2012 in style with 4 trips to Upper Red Lake and another on to Winnibigoishish. Walleye fishing on Red Lake was reliable and we enjoyed lots of good action, while most anglers were ... Read Full Report >> Fred's Bait Deer River .
Fishing Report (1/1) On Marcell Area Lakes, Paul Larson from Frontier Sports wrote; "Fishing conditions should be good this weekend with nearly 10 inches of ice reported on most lakes throughout the area. The slush is mostly frozen now, except for small patches occurring on the deeper lakes.
The Walleye bite was spotty in 18-24 ft of water. Crappies are being caught deep in 30- 40 ft of water near the bottom. From angler reports they appear to be feeding on nymphs and larvae. Waxies and plastics are working best. With another round of warmer temps and lighter winds expected, fishing should pick back up again.
Frontier Sports has everything you need for a successful day on the ice, including live bait , tackle, fish houses and more. All Cameras as well as Shappell fish houses are now on sale. Drop in on your way to the lake for some last munute fishing trip tips.
Question About Mercury OptiMax(1/1) Mercury OptiMax for Trolling? Jeff, I Have been reading your web site primarily due to my interest in purchasing a 20ft Alaskan tiller. I have a few questions.
1) I love speed trolling for pike, if I get either a 90HP Merc Optimax or a Yamaha 90FS 4 stroke, will I be able to do that effectively with the main motor on that boat?
2) Would you go with the 90HP optimax per your posts or should I listen to all my fishing buddies who claim the Yamaha’s Tiller’s ability to dial down RPMs for trolling and reliability is the way to go?
3) Do you need to remove your splash guides when trailering? Are they wave wackers or did you get them from Lund or something else?
A) Yes, I would highly recommend the OptiMax 90 HP. Many folks don't realize it, but using the OptiMax, you will also have the ability to dial down your RPM's in order to fine tune your trolling speed.
In order to accommodate the EPA requirements that went into effect in 2006, major advances in both 2-stroke and 4-stroke techonology led these engines into a new world of reliability. There is very little that goes wrong with any of today's engines and either way, you're going to wind up satisfied.
That said, I tend to run heavy loads in my Alaskan and for me, the extra torgue of the two stroke helps me and my passengers enjoy a better lift out of the hole. That's important because this gives me the ability to stay on plane at lower speeds. That's what keeps the Admiral and crew dry during windy conditions.
That two stroke provides another huge benefit to me; I trailer my boat every day, sometimes visiting two, even three lakes. Almost all of the prop damage (cupping) I've ever had, occurs at the boat ramps during loading on to the trailer. The extra torque of the OptiMax allows me to slip the boat up onto the trailer without breaking the trim and this has saved my countless prop repairs over the years.
Finally for me, the icing on my cake is that I get better fuel economy from the OptiMax than I did with my 4 strokes. Since I put a lot of hours on my engines, using the 4-stroke, I'd have to perform several oil changes every summer. In other words, buying 2-stroke oil versus the cost of an oil and filter change is virtually a push for me, advantage, two-stroke.
You're in the drivers seat! Just compare the price and the features to make the decision that best suits your personal needs. Either way, Mercury has wonderful 2 or 4 stroke engines that will give you all of the performance you're looking for. If you're in the area, a test ride is yours for the asking.
Finally, about the splash guards, there is no need to remove them when trailering. They are very rugged and one of the items on my rig that I worry about the least. I do use Wave Wackers and mine are absolutely essential to my style of fishing. I've been using nothing but the Wave Wackers since 1989 and have never broken one yet. That's a pretty darn good track record! And by the way, you can learn everything there is to know about Mercury Outboards just by clicking on the image >> link to Mercury Marine .
Fishing reports from December, 2012 have been archived. View December reports here . View All Archived Reports Here .

Sundin's Thought For The Day (!!) Smiles are always welcome! Smile I AM

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Lindy Fishing Tackle

Link to Lakemaster

Lund Boats Mercury Outboards