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JBMasterAngler

Late March Ice Conditions Bemidji/Cass/Winnie

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What is the ice like on these lakes the last week of march during a typical winter? Would going up there the last weekend of march be out of the question this year?

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Most likely you won't be driving out. But the fishing on winnie should be good. Late in march you can find large schools of perch in that 9-13 inch range. Lots of fun when you find them . Don't be afraid to talk to the resorts for the latest reports.

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Yeah, I'm fine with walking. I just don't want there to be any open water to cross along the shorelines...not willing to go that route.

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Late March depending on the the temps leading up to it is usally ok to get out on the lake with a atv or snowmobile. I have a few times drove out in a truck in the first week of April. It all depends on the weather and the melt down along the shoreline. Either way it's a long walk out so atv or snowmobile would be a great help. I'll agree with goggy eyes fishing can be at it's best for perch. If you find them make sure you have plenty of bait. Back in 2002. 3 of us ran out of a pint of large crappie minnows in about 4 hours time didn't keep a perch under 10 inches. It was the 2nd weekend in april. It was a blast.

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Would lot's of snow up there help or hurt the ice melt? And yeah, of course I'd prefer to drive...would get to cover lot's more area, but I'll be ok with walking too (don't have atv or snowmobile). Will just have to wait and see what happens I guess.

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I don't think it's the snow on the ice melting but more of the snow melting from around the shore line running down into the lake along it's edges helping it melt faster. Plus the sun getting at the ground along the shore line warming things up helps melt it faster along the shoreline as well. If you have to walk out the south end of the lake has some good structure ( sharp drop off) right out infront of Denny's resort. That would be within walking distance. Also up by the dam not sure what bay to call it other than bowen flats area. I Not quite sure what road # it is but I know if you were going to williams narrows after you turn off hwy 46 heading towards williams narrows you would go left at the first road you come to after you have turned off of hwy 46. This road will lead your along the north side of the lake between Winnie and Cut Foot Souix. You can Park along the road and Walk out from there also. It would be a bit of a walk out to where they fish but there always alot of fish in this area. you just have to sort threw the small ones to get a good meal of larger perch. But the action is great. The Pines Resort next to the dam would be a great place to get some help or info on this area they place there rental houses in this area for winter fishing. Williams narrows road is about 3-4 miles north of the Gosh Dam Place on hwy 46. Mabey someone else could help with better directions and road numbers. All resorts play it very safe when it comes to opening there access at this time of the year but there are several roads leading up to the lake within in the Chippewa National Forest that you may have a chance at getting on the lake also. I've been out there with an atv thinking it's the only way left to get out on the lake at that time of year and seen trucks driving around so there getting out there some how. You just need to be very careful with a vehicle that time of the year. I hope you can make it out it some of the best fishing for perch.

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