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johncolson

Ice Fishing

32 posts in this topic

Since I just purchased a home on Hunters Point in November, I plan on doing a lot of ice fishing on Mille Lacs this year. I have not ice fished for over 30 years and have no equipment or tackle.

I am going to the ice fishing show this weekend and was hoping for some advice on what to be looking for. Specifically:

What kind of lures should I get?

What kind of ice fishing rods and reels?

What kind of tip ups?

What kind of auger?

What kind of depth finder, flasher, etc?

What kind of underwater camera (to be used in summers also)?

Whats the best ice fishing cold weather clothing to get?

Whats the best portable 1,2,3,4 man ice house to get?

Is a 4 wheeler better than snowmobiles to pull ice fishing equipment on mille lacs or vice versa?

Whats the best portable heater to use?

Thanks for all your help,

John Olson

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John,

You are going to get a ton of info. at the ice fishing show.

First thing to consider is, as far as a house goes is how many people are going to be with you. If it's only yourself, you can go with the two man portables, like the Team Otter line, or the Clam's. They are a breeze to set up and take down by yourself, especially if you do alot of moving around. The Mr. Heaters work well.

As far as an auger goes, it's a personal choice. Jiffy's are excellent, so are some of the Strike Masters. I would get a 9" or 10". Works nice when your'e using tip ups outside and the holes start freezing during the day.

The old Arctic Tipups work well. Alot of items to check out at the show.

Shimano reels work nice for Eyes. Thorne Bros (contact Pat or Josh) has a ton of rods that work well!!!

Lures are endless. Start by purchasing the small glow jigs. Jigging raps.

Have fun and post what you ended up purchasing. grin.gifgrin.gif

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Where is the ice fishing show this weekend??? Secondly, hunter's point is a great area for early ice walleyes. We have done real well on some large fish in that area. Here are my suggestions for equipment to purchase:

Tip-ups- hands down, the beaver dam arctic fisherman is the best you can buy

Auger- I have had good luck with my strikemaster, it is also much lighter than the jiffy's

Poles- Thorne bros and st.croix rods are my favs

Reels- Any good quality spinning reels will do...shimano, quantum, pflueger, mitchell, etc.

Shanty- depends on if you are a solo fisherman or like to fish with friends. If more than one person, the quick flip over styles made by clam, otter, or frabill are nice. If by yourself, the quick flip solos are good and the speedshack two mans are nice also. In general, you can't go wrong with a clam, Frabill, or otter brand portable shanty.

Heaters- Mr. Heater is a good heater as are the cabelas brands

Jigs and lures- Jiggin raps, all kinds of spoons, buckshot rattlespoons, swedish pimples, airplane jigs, teardrop jigs, moon jigs, ratsos, zip lures, there are so many to list

Get yourself some good quality fluorocarbon line for leaders on your tip-ups also. I like to use 6 or 8 pound test for walleyes. Sometimes even four if fish are finicky. Line your tip-ups with braided dacron, 20-35 pound test is more than sufficient.

Line your panfish poles with 2 or 4 pound monofilament or flourocarbon. The perch are plump and can keep you occupied when the walleyes have lockjaw. Have fun and good luck!

GoggleEye wink.gif

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St. Paul River Centre.

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Rodmaker, always nice to see you posting. I am back in the game. The little guy is finally sleeping through the night. I want to second what has already been said for Mille lacs and anywhere in MN.

Auger- I have had good luck with my strikemaster as well, but I have to say the Jiffy cuts through better.

Poles- Thorne bros and st.croix rods are my favs. Well said.

Reels- I actually just outfitted my rods with some of the Guide Series reals which are made by pflueger. They are much cheaper money wise.

Shanty- Clam!

Heaters- Mr. Heater is a good heater as are the cabelas brands

Jigs and lures- Jiggin raps, all kinds of spoons, buckshot rattlespoons, swedish pimples, teardrop jigs, AS LONG AS THEY ARE GREEN OR ORANGE.

I like mono much better than fireline or florocarbon.

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Quote:

Jigs and lures- Jiggin raps, all kinds of spoons, buckshot rattlespoons, swedish pimples, teardrop jigs, AS LONG AS THEY ARE GREEN OR ORANGE.

I


Gold and GLOW have their days up there too.

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I'm just going to comment on the house and auger because you're getting plenty of other info and I feel these are the two most important parts of your set up. I guess locators are important too but any of the major brands do a fine job.

I've fished out of Frabil, Clam, Eskimo and Otter. I'd have to recommend the Otter hands down. They are more durable than any other brand. The only other house that compares to the Otter is the new Clam and that weighs a ton and half. The zippers on the Otter work great even if they're coated in ice and it's 20 below. The canvas is thicker than most and very warm. The poles are heavy duty and will not bend or sway when you get severe wind. Also the sled the house is attached to is better quality than all the others. If you can wreck the sled they'll give you a new one. There's not a better deal out there. I fish with a lot of other guys that have other brands and when it gets cold almost all of them are complaining about something. I fish way too much to put up with mediocre equipment.

If you’re going to pull it behind an ATV or snowmobile early in the year, I’d recommend getting the fish house cover and hitch as well.

As for the auger strikemasters have been great for me. They cut fast and they’re quite. If you do get a Jiffy at least everyone on the lake will know when you’re drilling a hole. Heck maybe even your neighbors will hear you in their living room shocked.gif man those things are loud!

You should have great fishing over that way. Living on Mille Lacs, wow, I'm sure I'm not the only one on here that's jealous. Good Luck this year!

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John,

Swing in anytime and I can give you a hands on demo of a lot of this stuff smile.gif

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You guys are incredible. Paul, I will take you up on your offer. Does everyone agree with Rodmaker that I should be looking for a 9" or 10" auger blade.

Sincerely, thanks to you all.

Once I get some experience I hope to be participating in the output of info on this board also.

John

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You beat me to it!!. I was going to send an e-mail and see how things are going.

It would be nice to get together and head up for a day/eve.

I have a Clam 6800 nice for two with alot of extra room. It would be nice to purchase one of the Team Otter or Clam two man portables with the sled.

I've had good luck with my StrikeMaster (it's 10 yrs old). If weight isn't an issue for some, I think I would purchase a Jiffy next time.

You can't go wrong with the Thorne Bros rods - for Eyes and Perch. Call me old fashioned, but I use mono on my reels.

On tip ups I use the old braided line (camo color) and then tie up a 3ft mono leader.

You are right on with the green/orange. I also like the black glow jigs, and the orange/black glow jigs as well.

If you still have my e-mail give a shout in the next day or so.

Take Care!!!!

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Quote:

Call me old fashioned, but I use mono on my reels.


Last year at the ice fishing show i asked one of the seminar guys about line...I think it was Tackle Terry Tuma but cant remember. He says mono for ice fishing and floro for summer fishing.

Sure would be nice to live up there on the lake. I'm heading up this weekend to try to find me a "fish"house instead. It will have to do...

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If your'e not going to be using tip ups outside, you may be able to get by with a 9". It's just nice to have a 10" hole, makes it a little easier to get the heads turned into the hole on the bigger Eyes.

It comes down to your preference.

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I use a 8.25 inch strikemaster and have never had any problems with getting big walleyes and pike to come through the hole, it's all about patience and working the fish with ease. If I had a choice though, ten inch would be my preference when I have a large specimen tugging on the other end of the line!! I just didn't have the money for a ten inch auger when I bought mine, plus the lightweight 8.25 is nice when I punch 200 holes a day looking for the eyes or perch. Some days, they just aren't there and I would hate to have a ten inch to carry around punching that many holes. It's all about your preferences and style of fishing. My 8.25 will be back on the ice this year again and I will be bringing some large fish through those holes with no problem! Good luck on your purchases!!

GoggleEye

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Oh ya, I forgot. I only use fluoro as my leader line. I always spool my reels with braided or mono. My tip-ups are always spooled with braided dacron (black or some other dark color so I can see it on the ice, makes for easier untangling when you lay it out on the ice and snow) and I use flourocarbon leaders with all my tip-ups, unless fishing big pike. Just a few suggestions. grin.gif

GoggleEye

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I bought my Strike master (laser mag)around 10 years ago. 3.0 or 3.5 hp. (can't remember It was a close out 10". I got it for $20 more than an 8" at Gander Mountain. Too good to pass up at the time.

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At least I know that I'm using the right line on the tip ups. Shoot me an e-mail sometime.

mpothen@intricon.com

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Last year I actually spent some time with an 8 a 10 and a 12 inch hole on various occasions...

Personally... I'm good with 8...

Problem being... A 10" auger is going to cost more...

Plus a small footed adult can step into a 10 inch hole on the ice... And the bigger the hole, it seems the more magnetic pull it has for sucking items you'd like to keep, down it.

12 inch sucks... Heavy giant thing that you have to lug around and work with all day... And it makes too big of a hole for some shanty floors. And I don't want a floor lip catching a fish as I bring it up, to bash it off...

AND some insulated Tip-up covers barely hold on a 12 inch hole.

Last year I pulled a 27.5, a 26, and a 25 inch Walleye up an 8 inch hole through 20 inches of ice, in a 2 hour period, on a poorly wound rattle reel, and didn't have any problems orienting or handling the fish.

If you want to make up for any concerns with fish handling... I'd reccomend getting an armored musky glove, and just thumb the wallleye like a bass.

It will save you 5 pounds of lugging weight and $100 in the checkbook, to go with an 8 over a 10.

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Like I mentioned earlier the 10" was only $20 more. You are right about the extra weight and the "magnet" for things to go down the hole with. Especially inside a house.

At the time I purchased the auger I didn't have a house, and most of my fishing was done with tip ups.

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I'm going out this weekend to purchase my first ATV/Snowmobile for ice fishing and like to hear peoples pros and cons for ATV vs. snowmobile?

I'm usually by myself, moving around pulling a Clam Pro.

Thanks

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I'd have to say, with or without snow I'd recommend a snowmobile with studs. Every year I hear of about a dozen ATV's going in on breakers. If you're pulling a clam or an Otter type fish house with a snowmobile you can cross open water if need be. I'd also recommend mounting an H20 or larger LCD graph with the lake map chip in it. That way you can stay on a safe trail even if the visibility becomes poor. When you fish a lake like Mille Lacs those cracks can open up at anytime and even if you had a safe trail an hour ago it could have 18” wide crack now. That’s why I’d never be on a wheeler on Mille Lacs unless I could follow someone.

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I can't help on this one. I would send an e-mail to Paul at Appeldoorns. He can tell or offer you opinions on which way would be best for you.

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I have been using an ATV pulling a medium otter for the past three years. It's worked out GREAT!! Everything I need in right there with me. However, there hasn't been much snow the past few years either. Last spring when we got all that slushy snow on the pond, it was hard to get around.

With that said, I think a snowmobile would be your best bet in order to get through any deep snow you may need to go through. I plan on getting the tracks for my ATV next year which should certainly help.

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i also prefer the 8". i have a 10"-3hp strikemaster and a 8"-2hp strikemaster. the 10" was my first...it was heavier but that was tollerable being i hadnt used a 8"-2hp. however, after losing a gps & other valuables, stepping in the holes, and missing a number of walleyes because they can wiggle and turn in a larger hole, i got the 8"...now its all i use. if i ever go for laketrout up in the boundary waters, i will use the 10", but thats the only instance i would use it.

i fish from a frabil 2 person, mostly by myself. everyone chooses their shelter for their needs. i wanted a somewhat lightweight one that is well built and strong for windy days. i can actually stand up in it and im 6'2". i drill two holes for jigging. one is for the fl-8 and the other for fishing from. i try to make them about an inch apart or closer, just far apart enough so the time fishing there does not connect the two holes. that iliminates the problem of fish tangling around the transducer. i drill another hole as far away from my jigging hole as i can get in the shelter for my dead stick. finally, i drill one hole just outside the house in line with both fishing holes, maybe 3 or 4 feet away from my jigging hole. thats the one i put my camera in. from there i have site of my jig and dead stick minnow. wow, the stories i could tell about that! its what really makes icefishing special.

i am tempted to go up saturday but im also thinking about other possibilities like osakis or a small lake down around new prague. crappies are a big attraction for me for icefishing. the problem with crappies and mille lacs is that it takes a good walk... unfortunately i really have to limit how far i can walk and have to wait until i can drive my truck on the ice.

its amazing how much difference a week makes...hope the shop gets the new kicker mounted & new wave gaurds before the snow this weekend. i'ld sure like to get it home before salt is on the roads... next fall i will be prepaired to get after those big piggies as long as i can get the boat on the lake.

regards,

minnesotatuff

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Quote:

I use a 8.25 inch strikemaster and have never had any problems with getting big walleyes and pike to come through the hole, it's all about patience and working the fish with ease. If I had a choice though, ten inch would be my preference when I have a large specimen tugging on the other end of the line!! I just didn't have the money for a ten inch auger when I bought mine, plus the lightweight 8.25 is nice when I punch 200 holes a day looking for the eyes or perch. Some days, they just aren't there and I would hate to have a ten inch to carry around punching that many holes. It's all about your preferences and style of fishing. My 8.25 will be back on the ice this year again and I will be bringing some large fish through those holes with no problem! Good luck on your purchases!!

GoggleEye


200 holes? shocked.gif that's insane. You must be built like a brick [word removed by admin}. I don't care how light that auger is.

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Good point about some of the ice houses. With some of them, you can't stand up all the way. My next auger will be a 9".

Good idea with the hole outside the house for the camera

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