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JBMasterAngler

Tonka Report (2/24)

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JBMasterAngler

Made it tonka (1 day later than planned). Fished the narrows, and to my surprise there really wasn't that many people out on the ice considering it's the last day of walleye season.

Caught about 40 perch...most being right on the borderline of keeper size. Hooked in to 1 18" walleye that I lost at the top of the hole. Made a desperate attempt to hand grab it to no avail...my glove is in the bathroom being dried with a heater as I type this. crazy.gif

Wanted to come out on saturday so I could stay late and fish after dark...couldn't do that tonight because of work. Oh well, there's always next year. I think I will try to squeeze in 1 more panfish trip here before ice out though.

How'd everyone else do?

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Matt Johnson

Spent a good part of the weekend out on Tonka guiding. Ran through a tank of auger gas on both days but ended up finding fish a on few spots each day. The target was crappies for the most part. Sorted through a bunch of smaller ones but eventually tied into some larger fish. The deeper holes held a lot of fish but it ended up being the shallower weeds that held the more consistent numbers of larger fish. Depths from 9-13 feet seemed to be key. Fish were caught on size 8 Ratsos, pink head and white body. They would hold tight in the weeds and then slowly rise out to take the bait. About 2-3 feet of weeds on the bottom is what we focused on.

A great weekend to be on the ice weather wise. Not much wind and a lot of warm temps! \:\)

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blackdog1101

My 11 y/o son and I had a hoot fishing for sunnies on Saturday. We were out for about 4 hours and caught 50+ sunnies, kept 20 for dinner. From what I observed everyone seemed to be catching fish. We drilled holes from 30 to 12 FOW just a little away from the main group of houses. I think we found a nicer class of fish than the folks in the main group were catching. These fish seemed to be thicker and had that "hump" that some sunnies get behind their head. At times there were so many fish on the flasher it was hard to tell where bottom was. Didn't matter what depth we were at, all the holes were active.

My son really got into sight fishing for them inside the portable in about 12 FOW. He was using a small "Jig-A-Wopper" tipped with a waxie. He stayed in the shanty for quite a while working on the sunnies. Every now & then I'd hear a "Got one!" For a kid who didn't like ice fishing a month ago, he sure is into it now.

I stayed out in the sun and fished in the open. The warm sun felt good. I switched around for a while and tried a number of baits, but it seemed the hands down favorite was anything tipped with a waxie. Lots of short strikes on baitless hair jigs and plastics.

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  • Your Responses - Share & Have Fun :)

    • mrpike1973
      Hi all hope to make it this Saturday. Depending on the snow coming we should be able to drive on correct?
    • Hoey
      This past weekend, only two were caught by our group of three fishermen and they were small, in the 10" range.  
    • Hoey
      Why not go out of Swift?  I nothing about the Warroad access, sorry.  
    • Hoey
      OK - we made it back!!!  Every trip is different with it's own potential perils.   I finally got into my house on Friday around 11am.  My guests were rookies, so i spent time with each of them, getting setup, heaters started, Vexilars set, houses banked, lines prep'd and set, bait, etc...  The bite was somewhat slow and many small ones.  The day got better 3 to 430pm.  Ended up with 6 nice eyes (19, 18x3, 17x2), 13 jumbos (most ever for a day), 12 small sauger which we ate for dinner.   On Saturday we headed up to the south shore of the Angle, longer ride, so again did not get started too early.  Ended up with our 6 eyes for our limit, these ranged from 15 to 16 inches and a 4-pack of sauger.  Again the bite seemed to pickup at 3 or so and was done by 430pm.   Ice as 3 foot or so.  Snow depth varied a lot, depending on the condition of the ice.  Smooth areas were blown off to crusty 6 inches or so.  Rough ice surely held a lot of snow.   The drive back on Sunday was somewhat tough from Baudette to Emily, winter storm warning.  Slow go, low visibility, and icy roads, sometimes down to 15 mph.   Next scheduled trip is with my wife, son, and three of his Gopher swim teammates for spring break in three weeks.  
    • Naturboy
      Those were caught from a shallow lake (17’) in 9 feet of water at the bottom of the first shoreline break. I was using a UV buckshot and minnow head since the water was murky. The crappie is still swimming the walleye not so much. I didn’t get the exact location. Sorry  
    • Sunset Lodge
      Hello from the NW Angle!

      Minnesota fishing has been most productive in 20-24 feet of water.  Guests are bringing home their limits of Walleye and Sauger with the occasional Perch and Northern mixed in. Fish have been most active early and late in the day and the bite has been terrific. The use of electronics continues to be very beneficial with fish taking jigging spoons, jigg’n raps or rattle baits.  Snowmobile ttrails on the Minnesota side continue to be maintained and are in great shape. We are still making ice, with most spots at over 30 inches. 

      North and East of us in Canada, big Crappies are coming in on light tackle setups out of 30 feet. If you are looking for walleye, they are everywhere!

      Until next week, 

      Sunset Lodge
    • JBMasterAngler
      On the Bayfield side of the bay, the target depth is typically 10 to 40 ft. The basswood island area is where they go after lakers. There’s a plowed road that goes out there. As of last week the ice was about 20 inches in that area, might be thicker now. Check out the Bayfield webcam, you can see what kind of activity is going on.
    • Jarrid Houston
      Wanderer, stop in at the River Rock bait shop in Ashland and they will get you pointed in the right direction.  They are always pretty cool about that.  Fishing near Ashland off of 2nd landing can be good.  Don't need nothing more than regular walleye gear, and some tip-ups and really there is no rhyme or reason where a guy should set up shop. Its a pretty wide open water and the fish that live there are always on the move. For us, most often, the sit and wait pays off.  It has been slower as of late, but still some fish..  Good luck, JH
    • cat44
      Anybody know if there is a pressure ridge/ice heave out in front of the Warroad Access? I know ice conditions will change throughout the coming weeks. Looking forward to getting after some pike.  The last few years there has been a pressure ridge there, last year it went from Springsteel over to Swift. And we've been up there plenty of times when there hasn't been one at all. Just curious to find out what conditions are like in that bay. Thanks!
    • Hoyt4
      Most likely our last trip up this year unless we go up for crappies but i'm running out of weekends. We had another great trip this weekend the fish are so fat this year more than I remember in the past.  Got my old man out for a good walleye bite he had a blast and caught a ton of fish. One day they just attached the bait as it was coming down they would come up and smash. Next day you put in the bottom and not even see the lure on the vex bring up a tad and they would smack it. Fun and a lot of snow hitting yesterday when we left.
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