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Steve Foss

Laker fishing reports

102 posts in this topic

Let's put our laker fishing reports in here, eh?

I just put to bed another Burntside opener, and there were LOTS of people fishing on the ice. I fished three locations and counted at least 23 shelters as I was moving from place to place, most clustered around well known and typical laker haunts.

I guess I can separate my day into the good and the bad.

Bad: My power auger is waiting for a part before I can use it again. \:\(

Good: My old Mora is sharp as a razor and the ice was only a foot thick. grin.gif

Bad: There was slush in quite a few main-lake locations. \:\(

Good: It was shallow slush, no more than 4 inches, and easy to power through. grin.gif

Bad: I only saw two lakers all day from 7:30 to 3:30 and hopped around a bit to find them. \:\(

Good: I caught them both. grin.gif

Bad: I didn't bring them home for supper. \:\(

Good: Because I'm practicing C&R (it would be CPR if there was anyone around to hold the camera, but I was alone) on fish over three pounds, and these were 8 and 5 pounds, both without clipped fins, so likely native fish. grin.gifgrin.gifgrin.gif

Bad: When Santa gave me an Otter for Christmas, he brought a purple one, not a green one. I'm a Packers fan. \:\(

Good: The new Otter Cottage is performing FABULOUSLY! No more wrestling with sticky poles and having to lose all my warmth by flipping up the old Trap II to get out, and of course the Otter tub tows WAY easier than that old squarish Trap did. grin.gif

Both fish came on my most typical setup, a No. 11 glow/green jigging Rap with the front and rear hooks trimmed off and and a strip of cisco hooked on the treble. No action at all on the tip-up today, which I keep about 30 feet from me about half way down the water column baited with a big golden shiner.

The 8-pounder appeared like they do out of nowhere on the Vex and rose and smacked the lure before I even had time to think. Pulled out a LOT of 12-lb mono, but was well hooked and it was over pretty fast.

The 5-pounder took quite a bit of enticing, but after egging it on and frustrating it by playing keep-away for a few minutes I finally got it to lose its temper. grin.gif

I started the day at a main lake point (rocks, hard bottom) within sight of the northwest tip of Waters Island and didn't see a fish. Moved to a similar point not far away and didn't see a fish. Moved to a soft-bottom area in 40-50 FOW not far from the Dead River and by noon had the first fish, with the second coming an hour later. Tomorrow I'll be going to that last spot first.

So, how'd you all do?

I KNOW some of those out there were HSO/FMers. grin.gifgrin.gif

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I went up to Snowbank today and things were pretty slow up there. I fished with 2 other guys who have been fishing up there for a long time. Only 1 small laker around 3-4 lbs for our party of 3 and I didn't catch it. I had around 6-7 lakers chase my bait around, but I could only get one of them to bite and it wasn't hard enough to get a hook set. I got checked by the game warden and he said there were very few fish caught out there and this was around 3:00 pm. It was snowing all day up there and alot of water was coming up through the holes I drilled. Wanderer stopped by my house a little while ago with a nice laker around 8 lbs. I am sure he will post something when he gets home. Tomorrow I will be out on Burntside.

Justin

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JustinG,

How thick was the ice on Snowbank? I was thinking about heading up there next weekend and was curious if the road was plowed and ice good enough for a small Jeep, or should I plan on other transportation? Thanks for your fishing and ice reports.

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Zappy - Smitty has a road plowed. I talked to a guy I work with and he checked ice thickness in several areas on Snowbank. He was getting 12" consistently

I was on Burntside. I caught two. One was a little guy, about a pound, so I let him go. I caught that one jigging a Slender Spoon. The other fish I caught was 3 pounds. I caught that on a tip-up baited with a sucker. I saw a lot of lookers on the Vexilar. It lit up once like a Christmas tree which I am sure was a school of smelt passing through.

I was happy to see 12" of ice where I was fishing. The gives me some hope that if we get some of that good 30 below January weather the lake might put on some more good ice and the slush may freeze up solid enough to drive on. It was messy though. Where I had my tip-up there was probably 3" of water on top of the ice and where I had my Otter there was about 1" of water on the ice. I personally could have done without the additional snow but a least it was light and fluffy. I walked through a couple of hefty pockets of slush.

Steve, it must be something with augers this week. I drilled my first hole (a tip-up hole deep) and my throtle linkage fell off and into the hole when I got through mad.gif. If anyone would have been around when I drilled the next two they probably would have had a good laugh. I had to have the auger in a bit of a hug so I could hold it and work the throtle at the same time. \:D . Maybe I can convince the Mrs. that it is time for a new auger grin.gif

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Casey, glad to see you got some eaters. I'd rather have caught eaters today instead of throw-backs because I haven't had a laker to eat for a few months.

Sorry to hear about your auger. I'd say something like give it a hug for me, but you obviously already did. Now where is the guy with the camera when THAT'S going on? grin.gifgrin.gif

Justin, sorry you fell victim to "Slowbank." Maybe better luck tomorrow on the Big B. grin.gifgrin.gif

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Zappy,

There was no plowed road out from the public landing. I did not check the status of the road out from Smitty's. There was around 12" of ice where I drilled, however, water was pouring up through the holes we augered and there was some other slush out there. I don't know if it is safe to drive a jeep out there cross country or not. I don't think I would chance venturing too far off of Smitty's road with a vehicle.

Justin

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Well Steve

Bad Luck of the auger.

Good You got holes drilled

Bad You only got 2 ?

Good You got out.

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Gary did you get out?? We did very good today We had 20 in the first hour but we let allot go cry.gif . But we all left with all are fish. We will eat good for dinner on sunday. I think I will go out Tuesday as well I hope they are still there where we where. I hope it is still the same game. What a great day we had 8 inches of new snow well we where out and lots of good fish. Well good fishing to you all I love this time of year trout and more trout on my line what a new start Deb will have fresh trout for dinner so what a great deal for her. she loves fish so this will be a dinner for her so I hope you all had fish on your line. I hope you all keep them on your line :/.

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Skippers Kid,

I noticed you didn't post where you fished? I DON'T BLAME YOU!!

Unless there were 20 guys on the ice with you, you guys had a great day!

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Geez, Tom, not even gonna tell us what lake you were on? grin.gifgrin.gifgrin.gif

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Hey Tommy, good for you! And after the Fish Lake incident, I don't blame him for keeping a tight lip. BC

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were the trout all lakers?? or streamers?

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Gunflint lake-fished Saturday all day, 5 guys 5 lakers 1-4 lbs,lots of lookers but few aggressive takers. 10" ice w/ minimal slush. Good to get out and nice to have fresh trout for dinner. If anyone wants some extra snow come on up and take ours, I'm sick of shoveling-rather be fishing.

redhooks

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Hey Redhooks, how much snow did you get? The weather channel is saying that areas of Grand Marais got up to 24 inches. Surface Tension and crew are up on Gunflint and might be there until spring thaw eek.gif BC

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I am stuck in the middle of 13 work days in a row. Glad someone got out fishing. Good luck to all see you at the bash.

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We drove down last night and it looks like we got 1-2 feet in town, not sure about how much they got up the trail overnight though. I was hoping to go fishing today but ended up pushin a shovel instead. Oh well, trout season just opened and next weekend is going to be a 3 day marathon grudge match in the slush- yeeeehaaaaawww!

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Not a laker report, but a splaker report: A group of six went out for opener on a well known lake near Finland (kind of a opener tradition) although I wanted to head for the Gunflint, we actually did ok. In my shack which consisted of RodNGun and myself we probably landed about 20 splake and 5 bows. Nothing huge, but good action all day and a good dinner. Got fish in 5 to 25 ft of water, pink mini-mites with a waxie seemed to work the best. I've got the streamer itch out of my system, it'll be Lakers from here on out. Glad to hear that some of you guys had some luck, see you at the Bash!

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Any fish caught on Sunday? I guy I work with spent the weekend on Snowbank with his brother and two other guys and they got 10! Didn't sound like any monsters, but good action.

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I didn't get out on Sunday for all my planning. Got hung up with in-office inquiries and never got out. That's how it goes.

Good to see folks got some action on Snowbank. Ten fish over two days for four guys is a bit over one fish per angler per day, which is pretty good for that lake in recent years, according to the fishing reports I've gotten there.

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Well....

It'll probably be a few days before I can post any pics but I think I have it under control thanks to the "Steve Foss Tutorial" on the photo sharing forum. \:\)

Friday night we rolled in about 7:30 and got some shoveling done around the camper and the furnace fired. Met Justin at the Wabbit for a couple. Got to see what the "plink" was all about. Um, no thanks sick.gif, I sipped on a Bush Mills between taps instead. ;\)

Saturday we headed down our road to Bside at 5 am. Good thing we started that early since it took us 2 hours pushin, pullin, diggin, cussin, and counting to ten to get out of the neighborhood due to the nice thin layer of fresh powder on top of the glare ice hill at the corner. Couple that with a loaded, then unloaded trailer behind a two wheel drive pickup and you have jacknife city as the truck slides backward two feet for every foot gained. What a treat! crazy.gif

Finally we reach our start spot after losing some of Nick's load and a stop to repair my hitch after bouncing across those small but firm drifts out on the main part of the lake. Bashers: Tie your stuff down FIRMLY if you're looking for a drag from someone!

We fished two spots in the planned area till about Noon with no action. Packed up and headed South. Set up on a likely spot with smelt all over it in 50 fow. Finally bagged my 28 1/2" on my tip up at 2:30 while I was scoping out the map for the next move. That was it. No move but no more action either.

Sunday we got out and squatted on the spot. Nick popped his fish 20 minutes apart. About a 3 lber and a 28 incher while jigging. I got nuthin 'cept smelt. Later in the afternoon I had 1 chaser for my Slender Spoon and two flag trips on my tip up with smelt. One of em got the bait even after the run. Thought I would at least get a hook into it but it wasn't meant to be. \:\(

We kept what we caught as we weren't far along our evolution as laker takers and we REALLY like how they taste. We talked about releasing the bigger ones but that will happen next time now that we have a decent one under our belts. Sorry, you guys.

I measured 10 1/2 inches of ice/frozen slush with the makeup being about half of each under the 2-3 inches of powder snow. Snowmobiles rule out there now but wheeler travel is possible in some areas. Patiently awaiting the Bash.

Steve, Justin has the prize. I will try to get something else over the next two weeks. Would like to add: Nice troutus maximus to you! cool.gif

Wanderer, out.

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Nice report Wanderer, and nice going on the troutskies, they had to be fun to pull thru the ice \:\) BTW, my opening weekend trout are in my avatar.....unfortunatly it fell on the weekend of my annual URL trip with the father-in-law.

Looks like the temps the next 10 days should firm up any slush on the lake, hopefully making traveling easier.

Nice fish also STF, hope to stumble into a couple like that at the Bash!!

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Got a few Lakers out on B-side 12 pounder, 10 pounder and a little 2 pounder. Missed 5 flags. Ice was anywhere from 3 inches to 13 inches. I also found some open water my boots are still soaked. Ran into knee high slush coming out of Burntside lodge. All in All it was a good fishing weekend.

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great reports guys! keep em coming!

I'll be heading up the Gunflint bright and early in the AM to chase some lakers. Harvey Lee, ST, or anyone else that was up there for opener, how was sled travel with the slush conditions? I'll make sure to post a report when I get back.

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Got my two.

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 Originally Posted By: Catfishunter
Got my two.

Now, that's gotta be the shortest fishing report I've ever read. C'mon, catfishunter, GIVE! grin.gifgrin.gifgrin.gif

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