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Jason Boser

winnie report

16 posts in this topic

Winnie report

The humps on the north end of the lake have been putting out some walleyes. The top edges in 21-23 ft of water are where we have been doing our best. We have been using smaller jigging spoons and a minnow on one and plain hook or small jig on our other rod. The walleyes have been all different sizes some in the slot and a lot of 10 inchers but after a day of fishing you can still go home with a meal of nice 13-15 inch fish. The ice is ok 8-10 inches most places we were and some slush on the lake. Snowmobile and wheeler traffic is all we would use to get out to the lake.

Good luck fishing

Jason Boser

Mnfishingpros.com

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Thanks for the report Jason.

I was on Bowen's Flat on 12/24 with my son, looking for perch action. We got plenty of action fishing an inside turn in 12 fow. Our first perch was 11 inches, after that we didn't get many that were over 9 inches. Lots of action and lots of fun though. We used typical Winnie baits ---- a lot of glow/green and perch colors ---- and small jigging spoons with minnow heads or ice jigs with live minnows. I'd like to thank Fred's Bait in Deer River for giving us some really detailed and helpful advice before we headed out there.

We had a tipup out with a sucker and no action on that, although we had a pike attack our camera and come back 2 more times after it. He wouldn't take a jigging spoon or live fathead though confused.gif

I didn't measure the ice but I'd guess 10-11 inches. You won't find me driving a vehicle out there anytime soon. Most of the snow we drove through was 6", the drifts were deeper maybe as much as 12". And there was some slush in spots. With 2 of us on my 500 cc wheeler and pulling a Otter Lodge, the wheeler had to work in some spots.

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Here's another report ........ my son and I went back to Bowen's Flat on 12/26. Fished pretty much the same area as we did on 12/24. Two days ago we did a fair amount of hole hopping and moving around, today we set up shop in one spot and put out our LaDredge Weeds and stayed put. We had another good day, not quite as much action as two days ago but better average size fish today. The fish were definately more neutral today, lots of lookers and it took them a long time to hit. A deadsticked minnow hooked through the back on a blue/glow gem'n'eye was our best bait today. Jigging spoons didn't turn many fish, although we did land a 24" pike on a buckshot spoon.

There is definately more snow out there today, and a lot more falling after we left. I thought I was going to get my wheeler stuck once or twice today but I was able to power through. Looked like 1 small suv had driven out a ways. The way the snow is looking I think it's going to be sleds or plowed roads only pretty soon. Not sure if I'm going back this week but if I do I will definately have the chains on my atv.

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Update on ice conditions****We are finding 11" of clear ice out 3 miles in front of us. There is 6-7" of snow cover on top of that. There are areas where the snow is packed and drifted and can make mobility challenging. We have not had any vehicle traffic to date, only 4-wheelers and sleds. Slush has been minimal. We have our small day-use fish houses out on the ice and will be getting reports soon!!!

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I love this site. I have learned so much over the past year about how to go about fishing. I live down in St. Cloud, and have never ventured up to this area to fish before. In fact, I have just gotten into the whole ice fishing thing the past couple years. I'l have to admit,initially it was because of the constant prompting of my 8 year old son. I was more of a "boat" fishierman. But this ice thing is getting into my veins. I'm just not that good at it yet. I'd like to take my son to Winnie this weekend and try our hand at some perch fishing. This post already has ginen me some ideas. I also have a couple maps of the lake, and it looks like there are a number of areas that might be productive. Any other recommendations? Bait shops? Access areas? A place to spend the night Saturday? Easier methods for an 8 year old boy to catch perch? Thanks!

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whippingpost, i live just down the road from you in cold spring. we also have a cabin up north. we prefer to go out of highbanks resort because of its location from our cabin. not to mention my best fishing expirences have been out of highbanks,and rick & kim are good at putting you on fish. as to where to stay i will defer you to other more knowledgable poeple. good luck on yuor venture. ps. plan a trip in march up to winnie its easer getting around, the fish are more active and you should be able to drive a vehicle out.

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whippingpost

Your going to have one of the best experiences of your life fishing on Winnie. My wife and I discovered the lake 6 years ago and we make at least 3 winter trips and 1 summer trip just to keep the itch down.

We always use Highbanks to enter the lake. I like fishing on the north end. I always felt I had better luck up there.

I had never fished Perch until my first visit to Winnie and It's a blast.

As far as a younger person goes I would use a slip bobber and minnow. I like crappie minnows as you seem to get a bit more action. I would teach him how to use a jig and waxie or minnow head as soon as you think he's ready because you will get more fish on the ice with this method.

Good luck and have fun getting hooked on Winnie!

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Thanks for the info! One more question. What time of day seems to be a usual feeding time for perch on Winnie. I spend a bit of time on Mille Lacs in the warmer months fishing walleyes, and notice about sundown the perch move out of the shallows, and the walleyes move in. If we leave here in the morning, and are fishing by noon, is that early enough?

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i have found the best perch fishing first thing in the am. i try to be there as soon as it gets light out.

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I agree with Glenn57. Start early, be ready by sun up.

I find that they taper off around 11:00. Good time to have lunch and then go chase some eyes.

If you are fishing in March they seem to stay active longer probably because of the longer days?

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Quote:

Easier methods for an 8 year old boy to catch perch?


I'd suggest using a spring bobber on your rod, and either jig or deadstick with it.

My boy (4.5 years old) likes using live minnows. I have him fishing with a spring bobber instead of a slip bobber. Faster to get the bait down, don't have to worry about the bobber stop slipping, don't have to reset depth if you move locations, etc. Just drop it down to the bottom, raise it up 6-12 inches, jig and little, and set the hook when the spring bends down.

Experiment with horizontal jigs where you'd hook the minnow through the lips (ie. green/glow fatboy) or vertical jigs where you'd hook the minnow through the back or the tail (ie. gem'n'eye). It can make a real difference at times. Experiment with color too, especially if the action is slow, or the sunlight/cloud cover changes. Some guys like using plain hooks but I always use some type of jig so I don't need to add splitshot to the line.

Good rod holders are kind of a key for deadsticking and/or using spring bobbers. There are several styles which work, just find something which works with the way you fish. You want the rod tip over the hole and the rod held securely enough that a fish can't pull it away. Hope this helps, good luck.

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Great info. It's greatly appreciated. I'll report back on our success.

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I want to give a testimonial for Highbanks Resort. Rick and Kim are the nicest and most helpfull resort owners I have met. I look forward to my next visit. The MARTIN clan is Commin!!!!

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PerchJerker

Good info.

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Thanks PerchJerker for the excellent advice. Garrit and I stayed at Highbanks, and I would encourage anyone to stay at Rick and Kim's establishment. They are truly gracious hosts. Great location on the lake as well.

We only fished one day. Started out on one of the north humps in about 22 fow, and cuaght a nice perch within 3 minutes, (about 0730). I proceeded to drill some holes around the area, marked fish in most of them, so set up the portable. We couldn't get another fish to go. I swear, we tried every jig, in every combination of bait, but couldn't get another bite. I had a camera out, and the perch would swim around and check out our presentations, but they were tight lipped. Acouple times they'd take a little nip, but nothing more. As the day wore on, the fish seemed to move on too, so we picked up and went deeper. We found the fish again. I'll have to say I had a full minnow stolen twice from a frosty jig, but that was about it. Around 1500 we packed it up.

Obviously we were doing something wrong. Other people that day came back with good reports. We had a great trip. I can't say enough about Highbanks. Just wish I could have had a few more fish on the line for the boy. Maybe next time I'll just get a guide, and let someone who knows what they're doing help us out.

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i love fishing that lake although i doesnt seem like i make it up there as much as i would like. the high banks people are very nice. four years ago, my dad and i went out of there and caught perch, walleye, northerns, whitefish, eelpout (large ones), and a freaking sucker this time of year. it was a lot of fun except for the sucker that tangled every line we had around us. great lake, wish it was 1/2 hour closer.

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