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Author Topic: 2010-2011 Hardwater Fishing Reports  (Read 4765 times)

CraigP83

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2010-2011 Hardwater Fishing Reports
« on: December 10, 2010, 12:39:27 PM »

Thought we should have a thread dedicated for all the ice fishing reports this winter. Feel free to share here, pictures are welcome also!

I finally got out myself this thursday 12/9. I got off work at 5 and it was already dark but the temps were around 26*F so I just had to get on the lakes. Called my buddy up and drove to a small lake about a 1/4 mile from his house neither of us had fished. We knew there was a deeper pocket straight out from the fishing pier so that is were we punched a couple holes. We found anywhere from 9-12 fow, marking fish in the deepest spots we could find. We ended up fishing for about 1.5hrs. I ended up catching one little crappie which was nice. Best thing about the night though was that all my gear worked since the last time I used it back in March. I also got to test out my new flasher and am very satisfied with its performance so far. I'd like to try to get out this weekend too but it sounds like we may have a blizzard heading our way with up to 12'' of snow and winds between 25-30mph. Sunday the temps drop out and will be going below 0*F. Enjoy the ice!

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CraigP83

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Re: 2010-2011 Hardwater Fishing Reports
« Reply #1 on: December 20, 2010, 09:07:32 AM »

All right guys, got back from fishing lake mille lacs on 12-18-10, Ice was 13'' thick where we were fishing probably another inch or two on the ice roads...at least I hope because I drove my F-150 out there   ~sweat

We got set up in 11 fow in a channel leading into deeper water located between two humps. This was a spot that had produced some quality perch in the past. Once we set up we marked fish on our flashers fairly consistantly however the bites seemed to come in waves. Here is a blurry cell phone pic of the inside of the shack.

We ended up getting lots of fish but you really had to weed through the small ones to find the keepers. We were using a minnow and bobber on a set line, and I was also jigging with a  Northland Buckshot spoon tipped with a minnow head.
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Ron Fogelson

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Re: 2010-2011 Hardwater Fishing Reports
« Reply #2 on: December 20, 2010, 09:28:05 AM »

Those look like some nice perch   ~c~

CraigP83

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Re: 2010-2011 Hardwater Fishing Reports
« Reply #3 on: December 23, 2010, 05:48:26 PM »

12-22-10 Upper Red Lake

This week I decided to use the last of my vacation days at work. I ended up getting Tuesday thru Sunday off. Tuesday was nice I just sat around watching TV, toward the evening though I started getting antsy and needed to do something so I started calling around seeing if I could book a 2 man sleeper ice house on Upper Red Lake (a lake I've never fished but have heard about many times). Turns out some of the resorts were not pulling houses out due to the large volume of snow we've been getting. I did end up finding one resort with houses available the very next day so I convinced my dad to split the cost and head up there with me  ;D
We hit the road around 6:30am and I seriously miscalculated the drive time. It was however a beautiful looking drive, Here is a picture of the MN northwoods landscape:

We ended up arriving around noon and got set up. Turns out all they had available were 4-man shacks but they gave us the 2-man rate which was nice, we enjoyed the extra room. Here is the outside and inside of the shack:


After 3+ hours of no bites and not seeing a single fish on our flashers we started getting a little worried that we may get skunked. Thank god we brought beer! I don't think they have this stuff outside of the midwest but its practically a staple in Minnesotans diet  ~beer~

Around dusk 4:45-5:15pm we got our first site of fish on the flashers and I smacked this healthy 18.5" walleye using a 1/16th oz buckshot (my favorite ice lure):

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CraigP83

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Re: 2010-2011 Hardwater Fishing Reports
« Reply #4 on: December 23, 2010, 05:53:11 PM »

Continued...

After the little 30min flurry of fish on the flasher calmed down it was back to the dead sea. We concluded that the fish must be just roaming a large flat or passing by on their way to the shallows to feed. Around 9:30pm after not getting anymore bites I pulled up my lines so that I can set up the rattle reels for the night. As I'm fooling with my line I hear splashing and look over to see my dad with another 18.5" walleye (I joke it was the same fish I released earlier, as all fish 17"-26" must be immediately released) Here is my dads fish which came on a forage minnow under a bobber:


After that we finally set up all our rattle reels and went to sleep. I was awoken around midnight by one of my reels rattling slightly, I think it was just the lively minnow I had put on hours before. At 5am 3 of the 4 rattle reels start making decent runs I hop out of bed and try to set the hook on the one closest to me....Swing and a Miss....Then I grab the second one and feel the resistance of a nice fish, Bring it in and its ANOTHER 18.5" walleye, as Im unhooking the fish my dad sets the hook on the final rattle reel and lands a 16" walleye, finally a keeper:


We woke up at 7am for good and jigged for 2 hours before heading back, during that time I played a fish on my flasher but couldnt get him to commit and my dad lands a 13-14" walleye. Leaving us with a grand total of 2 keepers. We joke that each fish we caught cost us about $50 and we should have just gone to the grocery store. All in all the fishing was slow but at least we didnt get skunked and I can cross Upper Red Lake off my ice fishing bucket list. Not bad for a spurt of the moment trip  ;D

PS: I should also mention that once we arrived in Kelliher, MN (the town we fished out of) everyone we encountered there was the oppitomy of Minnesota Nice. It was really refreshing and I would definately concider a return trip just because of there attitudes. Both the resort owners, bartenders, restaurant employees, and the outfitter of the rentable ice house treated us with a smile on their face and a friendly personality something that you don't see very much of in this day and age!
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Swede

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Re: 2010-2011 Hardwater Fishing Reports
« Reply #5 on: December 30, 2010, 11:01:32 AM »

We are living our ice fishing through you this year Craig  lo.  Great pics - and love seeing your posts/pics.  Ice seems so far away from FL - wish I had some closer by to go throw a buckshot down myself.  My brother in law just got his house set up on Mille Lacs - he's got a really nice house with more room than he probably needs.  He set up on the south end of the lake between Onamia and Isle.  Still waiting on my first report from him.  Keep the reports coming - look forward to reading about your next outing.  Will keep an eye out for Golden Light as well  ;) ~beer~
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Ron Fogelson

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Re: 2010-2011 Hardwater Fishing Reports
« Reply #6 on: December 30, 2010, 01:28:21 PM »

We are living our ice fishing through you this year Craig  lo.

I agree nice to ice fish and not get cold  lo

Thanks for all the great photos and reports Craig

CraigP83

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Re: 2010-2011 Hardwater Fishing Reports
« Reply #7 on: January 17, 2011, 03:08:10 PM »

Fishing has been real sloooooow for me lately. I got skunked on the St. Croix river 3 weeks ago. 2 weeks ago I didnt go fishing and missed out on a bunch of crappies that my buddy got into. Finally this last weekend I got out on Mille lacs, It was really slow with a cold front moving in. We ended up with 6 little perch and a little fingerling walleye. The next day we got about a dozen 9-10'' crappies for the frying pan on a lake north of Mille Lacs. Ill keep plugging away and get some pictures up if I can stumple across a nice outing worth reporting.  :'(

Keep an eye out here though, My Lake of the Woods trip is only 2 weeks away hopefully ill have good news to report after that!  :-*
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Ron Fogelson

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Re: 2010-2011 Hardwater Fishing Reports
« Reply #8 on: January 18, 2011, 04:10:23 AM »

Have fun on Lake of the Woods,,,, man I'm getting soooooooooo home sick this year.   :'(

CraigP83

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Re: 2010-2011 Hardwater Fishing Reports
« Reply #9 on: January 18, 2011, 10:07:46 AM »

Have fun on Lake of the Woods,,,, man I'm getting soooooooooo home sick this year.   :'(

Well I'll make you a deal. You can come back to MN and use my ice fishing gear and I'll head down south and use your open water gear until spring  :-*
I like ice fishing and all but I'm starting to get cabin fever.  ~rain Just trying to hold out until LOTW!

Here are a couple pics from the last few weeks. My buddy got this 12'' crappie on the river while I got skunked.


And these are the Crappies I got while fishing with my dad north of Mille Lacs, No monsters but decent eaters.

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Swede

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Re: 2010-2011 Hardwater Fishing Reports
« Reply #10 on: January 18, 2011, 12:31:05 PM »

Nice Job!!  Stock the freezer while you can. ~c~
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Ron Fogelson

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Re: 2010-2011 Hardwater Fishing Reports
« Reply #11 on: January 19, 2011, 12:01:11 PM »

Nice Job!!  Stock the freezer while you can. ~c~

Heck yes those crappie are good eats   :food

Swede

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Re: 2010-2011 Hardwater Fishing Reports
« Reply #12 on: January 25, 2011, 09:22:15 PM »

Used to hit this lake for some great winter crappie fishing.  Esquagamah.  Worth a look if you are in area.  Public access on south end of lake.

http://maps.google.com/maps?f=q&source=s_q&hl=en&geocode=&q=squagama&aq=&sll=46.432651,-93.634415&sspn=0.234727,0.700378&ie=UTF8&ll=46.739037,-93.693295&spn=0.029176,0.087547&t=h&z=14
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CraigP83

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Re: 2010-2011 Hardwater Fishing Reports
« Reply #13 on: January 26, 2011, 09:05:40 AM »

Looks like a fun lake to try. Pretty good drive from the cities though.  If I didn't have a full truck of gear for 4 guys this weekend I would stop by and drop a line. Thank for sharing.
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CraigP83

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Re: 2010-2011 Hardwater Fishing Reports
« Reply #14 on: February 02, 2011, 09:07:07 AM »

Lake of the Woods 1-29-11

Went up to Lake of the Woods with a few buddies. We hit the road on Friday 1-28-11 embarking on the 6 hour drive up north. The drive was slow and tedious with a one hour stretch of white out conditions. I had a feeling the fishing was going to be tough with a massive cold front rolling in but we had the cabin and day houses booked for almost 2 months so there is no way we were going to pass up on this trip because of adverse conditions. Here is what we were faced with.

The gates to the resorts lake roads open up at 7am but we must have been excited because we were awake at 5am. We got a nice breakfast in us and then hit the lake. We were completely set up and fishing by 7:30. I had my normal set up jigging a buckshot w/ minnow head in one hole and having a minnow on a chartruese hook under a bobber in the second hole. Im somewhat of an impatient fisherman and around 8:00a, we hadn't even marked a fish on our flasher so we were started to wonder if this is how the weekend was going to be. I looked over at the hole with the bobber around 8:15am and didnt see anything in it. Uh oh, here we go  ;D

First fish of the weekend goes about 17'', a nice healthy fish. My buddy Mike had never caught a walleye so when he got his first fish around 8:30am he wanted a picture regardless of the size. Here it is... After the release we realize that it's actually a sauger and so his walleye drought continues  ~roflmao

Shortly there after our buddy Paul smacks an 18'' Walleye that we let go because we were unsure what the slot limit was, turns out its 19.5'' or over that go back. We get a few fish here and there until around noon and then things slowed down. So we decided to check out the "Igloo Bar". The Igloo Bar is a full service bar out on the ice! best part about it is they have drilled holes in the bar that you can fish for $5/hr.   ~gf

I should have taken a picture of the inside but I didn't want to seem like to much of a tourist  ;PHO)
The afternoon bite wasnt nearly as good as the morning bite but we did get a couple more fish, all of them were a great size for a nice dinner.

Here is what we kept for the day, we probably caught around 25 fish but let lots of them go.
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CraigP83

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Re: 2010-2011 Hardwater Fishing Reports
« Reply #15 on: February 02, 2011, 09:21:11 AM »

Lake of the Woods 1-30-11

Sunday was even colder then the previous and I figured the fishing may even be slower. I set up the same way as I did Saturday and around 8:00am the bite started up again. I nailed 3 fish before anyone in the house even got a bite, so I tell everyone that its because I'm a better fisherman than everyone else.  ~bb

After about an hour Mike calls my bluff about me being the better fisherman and we switch holes. He tosses his gear down and before I can even get set up he catches 3 fish and I stop getting any bites. So we found out that for some reason the 2 holes in the SW corner of the shack were getting the most action. Mike also ends his walleye drought with a couple solid eaters.


Our buddy Paul wasn't getting much action until we hear his rattle reel start to move... Its just moving little by little so we figure its a smaller fish, He sets the hooks and realizes its a solid fish maybe a nice keeper. Then we see its head near the hole and realize he's got a PIG on! He lands the biggest fish of the weekend around 10am.

Well within the slot limit so we send her back down to swim another day, but we are all excited to see such a quality fish.
My buddy Adam caught this weird fish, I think its a little Tullibee or maybe someones Shiner minnow.

And finally this is what we ended up keeping between the four of us.

Definately set for a few walleye dinners. We had a great time and we are already talking about doing it again next year. Anybody that has not fished Lake of the Woods you should put it on your bucket list because it has to be one of the greatest fisheries in the world.
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Ron Fogelson

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Re: 2010-2011 Hardwater Fishing Reports
« Reply #16 on: February 02, 2011, 02:18:37 PM »

Sounds & looks like a great trip  ~c~ where did you guys stay?

CraigP83

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Re: 2010-2011 Hardwater Fishing Reports
« Reply #17 on: February 02, 2011, 02:33:12 PM »

Sounds & looks like a great trip  ~c~ where did you guys stay?

Zipple Bay Resort. We did a package deal were we stayed in one of their cabins for 3 nights and used their day house to fish out of for 2 days. I would definately do it again but I think I would do a Thursday-Saturday night instead of the Friday-Sunday night and I will probably get one of their "Deluxe" cabins next time instead of their standard one. I definately recommend it to anyone looking for a great ice fishing trip.
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Swede

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Re: 2010-2011 Hardwater Fishing Reports
« Reply #18 on: February 03, 2011, 11:24:45 AM »

Great report - what I wouldn't do for a good walleye dinner right now.  Sounded like a good mix of fish via rattle reel and jigging.  Did you throw up any tip ups outside anywhere or was all the fishing done inside?
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CraigP83

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Re: 2010-2011 Hardwater Fishing Reports
« Reply #19 on: February 08, 2011, 11:47:53 AM »

Great report - what I wouldn't do for a good walleye dinner right now.  Sounded like a good mix of fish via rattle reel and jigging.  Did you throw up any tip ups outside anywhere or was all the fishing done inside?

No, we didn't bring an auger with us. Might be a good idea to throw a big fat shiner under a tip-up next time I go up there. I think they grow some BIG pike in those waters  ~fff
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CraigP83

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Re: 2010-2011 Hardwater Fishing Reports
« Reply #20 on: February 14, 2011, 05:29:55 PM »

I haven't done any ice fishing in almost 2 weeks now but we got a couple really nice days with a high temp of 44*F on Sunday. During those nice days I had the opportunity to do some open water fishing on Pool 4 of the Mississippi River.

We motored up to the dam and were casting jigs and blade baits for anything that would bite.

It was really slow and we only managed one sauger, But it sure was nice to get out in a boat. In MN in February I can't say I get that chance very often.
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Swede

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Re: 2010-2011 Hardwater Fishing Reports
« Reply #21 on: February 14, 2011, 09:18:56 PM »

Spring is here .... spring is here!!  ~c~ ~c~ ~gf
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My wish, for you, is that this life becomes all that you want it to,
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CraigP83

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Re: 2010-2011 Hardwater Fishing Reports
« Reply #22 on: February 15, 2011, 10:01:31 AM »

Spring is here .... spring is here!!  ~c~ ~c~ ~gf

I hope so, but I think it may just be a mid winter tease.

Here is what I was using when I caught that sauger. I nosed hooked a minnow and just vertical jigged the bottom. Im thinking this technique may translate well to summertime bass holding on deeper weed edges. I could just nose hook a Berkely Power minnow instead of livebait if its tourny time.
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Ron Fogelson

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Re: 2010-2011 Hardwater Fishing Reports
« Reply #23 on: February 15, 2011, 12:38:58 PM »

I hope so, but I think it may just be a mid winter tease.

Here is what I was using when I caught that sauger. I nosed hooked a minnow and just vertical jigged the bottom. Im thinking this technique may translate well to summertime bass holding on deeper weed edges. I could just nose hook a Berkely Power minnow instead of livebait if its tourny time.


That's the same thing we do on Rainy river, tip a jig head with a chub and jig it up off the bottom in the spring time.
« Last Edit: February 15, 2011, 12:51:29 PM by Ron Fogelson »
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Swede

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Re: 2010-2011 Hardwater Fishing Reports
« Reply #24 on: February 16, 2011, 09:13:45 AM »

I hope so, but I think it may just be a mid winter tease.

Here is what I was using when I caught that sauger. I nosed hooked a minnow and just vertical jigged the bottom. Im thinking this technique may translate well to summertime bass holding on deeper weed edges. I could just nose hook a Berkely Power minnow instead of livebait if its tourny time.


Used the same technique this time of year on the river in Red Wing.  Caught good numbers of eater walleyes by anchoring in the current and slowly lifting and dropping jiheads tipped with minnows. 
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My wish, for you, is that this life becomes all that you want it to,
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