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Jason Boser

fishing report

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Brrrrrr! Minnesota is known for their cold fronts and this last one was a beauty. With needed below zero temperatures, to firm up slushy areas on many of the lakes, it will make traveling on the ice better. Big Winnie has slowed up this past week with the colder weather, but things will start to pick again as the temperatures warm up. Many of the off-shore spots, humps. main bars, and rock piles, are places to key in on. As previously mention a couple weeks ago, this is the time of the year when perch, crappies and bluegills seek soft bottom areas adjacent to structure and feed on small critters that come off the bottom.Big Cutfoot is a prime area to check especially for crappies and bluegills. very small offerings like the Northland Forage minnow, with 2 or 3 euro larvae , can be your best bet. As the Winter continues make sure you think light. When fishing Big Winnie do similar things to find active fish. Right now the last 2 hours of the day are critical in finding walleyes that will bite. Some of the humps located just East of Raven's Point will give up nice perch and walleyes. As usual drill lots of holes and keep moving. Highbanks Resort on the Northeast side has been plowing roads and this is still the best way to access the big lake. When you come off the lake stop and see Rick or Kim at Highbanks and they will have just the right things to warm you up. Don't forget to start thinking about booking that guide trip for the upcoming season. Contact us at http://www.mnfishingpros.com and reserve a trip with the best guide group in Minnesota.

Tom Neustrom

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Thanks for the report Tom!

We had mixed results last weekend. For the first time I can think of we caught more Walleye than Perch. The bite improved on Sunday and it evened out a bit, but we ate more Walleye this year!

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Our fishing report from this past weekend is similar. We fished out of Dennys on the south end…their roads were good, but limited by the conditions. Getting off road was possible, but difficult. Lots of snow, and there were still areas of slush under the snow in places. We had one guy with a snowmobile try to get out to some of our favorite mid-lake humps, but he hit a slush area and was kicking up a big nasty rooster tail behind his sled…he made it back, but didn’t want to venture too far out after that.

We moved around a lot to try to find the fish, but were limited to areas near the road. No matter…we hit a lot of the drop offs and breaks in the Moxes/Long Bar areas. It was hard to find a consistent pattern. Some guys found some nice fish in around 30 feet of water, some guys came in with some nice fish from 20-22 feet. One thing that everyone seemed to find, though, was that wherever you were you had to sort through a lot of small fish to get your keepers.

We finally settled around 24-26 feet, and managed to sort through a lot of little ones and come up with a decent bucket of fish each day. Some of the guys in our group used tiny ice jigs with mousees, I started with my old standby vertical presentations (Rattle Spoons and Halis) with droppers, and we ultimately tried several different presentations to determine what worked best. As the earlier report mentioned, look for soft bottom. We found it, and by ‘bottom pounding’ the jigs…dropping the jig/lure to the bottom, pause, and then lift it slowly…that would trigger a few more bites. As far as color, some combination of blue/silver or blue/chrome seemed to do better. We were limited in that experiment, though, so I don’t want to say that definitively. Only one other thing stood out above all other presentations for us…Jigging Raps.

While the jigging raps didn’t necessarily out catch the other presentations, they did catch a better size structure. We ended up keeping maybe 1 out of every 6 or so fish that we caught on other presentations…the jigging raps had a keeper ratio of about 1 out of 3. Tip the bottom treble hook with a small bait…a minnow head or a waxworm…and work ‘em. Use the ‘bottom pound’ move with them, too. The larger fish would be the ones that would follow it up and hit.

Evenings and early mornings we went after walleye, and again, the resort had reports of walleye being caught anywhere from 24 down to 16 or 18 feet. We found ‘em in that 24-22 foot range, but there was a very small window to catch them right around sundown. We didn’t have any luck in the morning, but did pick up a few in the evenings.

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Great report Jarrod, Hope to make it up there soon. maybe the temps will warm up a bit . Thanks, ole

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Thanks for the reports guys...getting antsy as the ice here in MI has been spotty at best this year and our trip this year can't come soon enough (will be staying at Denny's from Feb 6th-11th).

How's the pike fishing been this year?

Jarrod-what size and color seemed to be the best on the jigging raps?

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I think it is a #3...about an inch and a half long was the one I was using for perch. The one I was using was chrome blue; that was the only color I had in that size, but that seemed to be the best color anyway. My friend was using a blue and silver Kastmaster that seemed to outperform his other choices.

I had the next size up jigging rap...#5 I think...about 2" long in the perch pattern that I used for walleye, but caught a few perch on that one, too.

We managed to pick up a couple of pike while perch fishing. Set out a tip up or two if you want to target them. Even if you don't want to target the pike, make sure the drag on your perch rods is set appropriately to deal with them...

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