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ib_jigged

Very suprised by low number of fisherman

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ib_jigged

I was up with some friends over the weekend (Friday-Sunday) and was very suprised at how few people were on the lake. I know fishing or should I say catching was very slow. The fishing is always great and was fun to catch up with some friends from Buffalo/Delano area. We did not have much for luck, even moved around a bit, but that is what fishing is all about.

I remember my first trip to URL about 6 years ago, man it looked like a little city out there at night. Maybe the crappies miss the crowd??

Would be nice to know if they are all still holed up on the deeper side of the lake (off limits to us). If the weather holds out and things are right temp wise I think that we can still have a great chance to still catch some through the ice yet this spring.

Remember everyone catching fish is only part of the experience!!

fishon!!!!!

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brady_d

You should be happy.

Less fishermen = More fish in the lake for you!!

grin.gif

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mtheis

I have given this some thought, and I am SURE that the guides up there have given this ALOT of thought. I am not so sure it is the bad fishing that is reported to be the problem...perhaps the real problems are what no one is willing to admit. These are in no particular order: 1) It's the economy stupid! Let's face it, the cost of gas to drive up there is becoming very expensive. 2) More and more families are watching "discretionary" spending, and find the money spent going up there and fishing for a couple of days now top over $500 easily. 3) The fish limits are so overly restrictive that the fish you can take home are not even enough for a family of 5 to have a nice fish fry. 4) The length of the usable fishing season is short(late Dec - Feb), and I can see how the resorts might champion a longer season for themselves.

For full disclosure let me tell you that we are coming up to a noted resort in URL in the middle of March. My first pick was declined to me because they were taking down their permanent houses by the end of this week? My second pick is not a sponser here but the prices will be $200 per day (for two days), at least $140.00 for gas, $60.00 for food, and say $20.00 for extra tackle and minnows. This will cost us (three of us) about $620.00. One of us is a minor (my son), so to catch a few fish will cost us about $320.00 each for two days of fishing. When the exact same crew go to Lake Vermillion and stay at a hotel in Tower for 6 days in the summer, we usually spend the same amount of money per person. How did URL get so expensive?

If I was a resort owner I would be looking across that huge empty lake and ask myself, What is going on here?

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theicehooker

Add $10 per day for the lake access pass and beer. For me that may cost an additional $75 or so. Gotta count that. And Thanks for all the work on the roads fellas.

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Wanderer

I feel your pain guys, I like to go to Ely as much as possible. Maybe this will help (a little) though... Deduct the food and beer from the cost of the trip.

You're going to eat and drink over the weekend no matter where you are!!! ;\)grin.gif

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DTro

Reminds me of a story I heard when I was up there last. Pat Foster had a group of guys out and they only caught one fish. They went on an on about how much money they spent and how much that one fish cost them.

Pat said, "well guys, you should feel very lucky"

They said, "why is that?"

Pat said, "The way I look at it, if that fish cost you X dollars, just think if you would've caught two"

grin.gifgrin.gifgrin.gif

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shaky legs2

 Originally Posted By: dtro
Reminds me of a story I heard when I was up there last. Pat Foster had a group of guys out and they only caught one fish. They went on an on about how much money they spent and how much that one fish cost them.

Pat said, "well guys, you should feel very lucky"

They said, "why is that?"

Pat said, "The way I look at it, if that fish cost you X dollars, just think if you would've caught two"

grin.gifgrin.gifgrin.gif

The meat fishermen are gone and heading to Winnie or the "Woods". I quit trying to figure out what each bird or fish cost years ago. The economy/price of gas I'm sure does have an impact but if the crappies were being caught on Red as in the past you would see the same scene repeated regardless of the cost. Personally, I like it this way even though it does same strange to have it so quiet. I love the history of the area, memories from my childhood on the lake plus more recent years, and the people up there are the "salt of the earth". Catching fish is secondary.

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late night

I drove by Red Lake Monday morning and noticed almost nobody out fishing. I also noticed lots of houses on shore already. I drove by Mille Lacs Monday afternoon and saw almost nobody fishing either. I was on Lake of the Woods for a three day weekend and they too seemed to be on the slower side.

A three day weekend renting a cabin and fish house for two days cost me $400.00. That does include the food I ate, the beer I drank and my share of the gas bill. I quess that doesn't sound outrageous but it is expensive for me. That was the last trip I will make anywere this winter.

I think most people are feeling a little pinched with money these days and some fishing trips will have to be postponed for now.

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BigVLover

If you go to Red or any lake for that matter for the meat, save your $ and go to your local supermarket or fast food chain and buy fish.

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The Donk

I don't think people now days go fishing for the meat, regardless of what they say. BUT.... the 200-400 dollar per person trips are starting to wear on the average joe. Back when people weren't worried about losing their jobs, 3-4 a year was cool. Now, 1-2 might be pushing it. The fish are there, but the money aint.

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Sandmannd

 Originally Posted By: late night
A three day weekend renting a cabin and fish house for two days cost me $400.00. That does include the food I ate, the beer I drank and my share of the gas bill. I quess that doesn't sound outrageous but it is expensive for me. That was the last trip I will make anywere this winter.

I think most people are feeling a little pinched with money these days and some fishing trips will have to be postponed for now.

I thinnk it's a spendy trip. Something like that I would have a hard time doing once a year. I make decent money, but have expenses as well. I went up to Red and Black Duck this year. It was with Big Wade and we stayed at his father in laws. That really cut costs since his father in law provided unbelievable food and we didn't have to pay for lodging. That's the way I like to go out of town. Next year we are already talking of doing it again, but spending a day on LOW and rent a house.

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CraigM

I agree that the cost of fuel is causing a lot of people to think twice about making trips to Red. Combine that with the generally poor fishing this year and it's tough for people to justify the expense in this economy. I work in construction so my income has taken a huge hit for the past year or two but my son and I still head up there as much as possible. I keep a wheel house up there so it is really just the cost of fuel once I've already paid the storage and season road pass. Can't count food as we have to eat any way. My boy (who is 10) doesn't do organized winter sports because it would interfere with our trips to Red. He is crazy about it and you just can't replace those memories. I will find a way to pay for the fuel. The time spent with my son doesn't have a price. Hoping for at least 2 more trips this year.

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kgpcr4

Well lets see here..... Expensive trip and no fish or just a few. I got a limit of nice crappies 15 miles from my house. total cost 10.00 maybe 15.00. Trip to URL 300.00 maybe two slabs... Not a tough one to choose. Why spend big money for no fish?? Or spend the bank on 2 walleyes?? its just not worth it and from the looks of it i am not the only one who feels that way! i love the lake but this coming weekend i will hit Winnie and do well on the perch, we always do. we have to look at work at them but we find them. then in the early evening we hit a small lake and do very well on the crappies, again not URL slabs but there are numbers of very nice fish. Not a tough choice! I go fishing to catch fish. A buddy has a sleeper on a local lake that produces nice fish. its a 20 minute drive. Why go through all the ho hah for a URL trip and catch 3 fish??

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ozzie

well after hearing a few reports I am finding a way to get up to red in the next week or two.....glad I will have room!!

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Borch

Well on a bad weekend maybe 3 fish. If a guy is willing to work for them they generally are doing better. We'll be up this weekend renting a sleeper and exploring during the day. It's a spendy trip but then again it's not about how much each fish is gonna cost.

During slabfest I gabbed and offered a few drinks to old and new friends far more than I fished. Sunday my wife and I got serious and headed out to a spot we recieved a tip about. After about 75 holes we found them. Sometimes you can drill all day and not find them other times they are there right away. That's URL.

My wife is trying to talk me into another trip up there after this weekend. We'll see how the finances look. ;\)

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hugonian1

Man, I need a wife that tries to talk me into another fishing trip. Nice catch. \:\)

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late night

I agree!!!!!!!!!!!!!

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Shoogs32

Or a wife that can make apple pie like she does!

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BigVLover

Let me just start out by saying, to each their own. I'm not judging anyone but I'll put in my 2 cents. I have a place on Vermilion and the ice fishing there is hit or miss at best. I go on one up-north trip per year with my Dad and 2 brothers and we rent a sleeper. We went to LOW one year and did well as far as quantity but our biggest fish of any species was 14". The next year we decided to stay closer to home and go to Mille Lacs. We caught Perch but not in large numbers. We tried URL and have been coming back ever since. It's worth the drive to me, just for the potential: Walleyes, Crappies and Pike. If you're going to use the gas argument, you're spending about $1 per gallon more than when it was "cheap" and hordes of fisherman made the trek. Even with the worst gas mileage vehicle, that's maybe $60-100 per trip, right? If that's the deciding factor as to whether one stays home, I'd consider a new getaway. URL is cheaper than LOW and the service at least from the guides we've used is much better overall. Mille Lacs doesn't compare to either one. For one trip per year, you still can't beat URL even in a bad year. It's not always only the fish that you're after, is it? 2 cents from a one weekend warrior.

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theicehooker

All of you who have friends at URL have a great time seeing old friends and that may be the reason you are going up there, and getting into a few fish is always a lot of fun as well. Now think of this....take away what your going there for....the people, would you still go to a dead sea???? I think it is just natural to stop going places ounce you remove what attracts them. I would not hunt North Dakota, 7.5 hr drive, if there were no birds. We as sportsman take trips to places that are known to be a reasonable place to have fun fishing or hunting and not only the boozin. Not that I am against boozin but I can do that right here.

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Borch

First off I'm a lucky man no doubt! The better half just loves going up to red.

Well I guess I wouldn't even think about calling URL the deadsea. But then again I've heard the same discription regarding Mille Lacs in the past even when we were hammering them.

No doubt the bite has been slow compared to past years. Last winter was the best I can remember in the past 5 or so. The year prior to that was very much like we are experiencing this winter. Money is tight for folks and that's just the way it is. Whether it's a slow bite, the cost for fuel or whatever weighs on a person, it is what it is.

Good Luck where ever you wet your lines.

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kosterguide

you may be nagging about Red, but let me tell you there is fish in the lake mybe you guys that are complaing need to quit playing cards and drinking and go find the fish the guides on this lake put you in the gereral deriction, dont think if you come and rent a house that the crappies will magiclly apper its just not going to happen. i know that you prolly going to get a few in the hard house but get out there and explore, i have cought so nice numbers of crappies this winter but we had to work for the fish, thats why they call it fishing and not catch, if catching was all we did thats what theyd call it, we dont put your lake down so dont put ours down,

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kosterguide

so people keep saying that there is no fish, well how many lakes can you go to and catch possible up to 30 to 50 fish a day, well Red has been known to do that often, how many other lakes do you have a chance at that 40 in pike, and the 14 inche crappies, really you never know what your going to get! please dont say theres no fish out here cuase there is a [PoorWordUsage] load just get out there and look

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Sandmannd

I wet up for slabfest this year, it was my first trip to URL. We stayed in Black Duck and fished there Friday all day and Saturday morning and caught some nice fish. We headed to URL for the slabfest cause we wanted to experience Red Lake. Didn't manage a crappie, but I saw a few get caught and it had me pumped. I did manage a couple of small eyes. I had fun being with FMr's and fishing. Not always about catching fish for me but the possibility of hooking into a slab is nice to have.

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Eric Wettschreck

I have a love affair with URL that I can't explain. Sure, by comparison to previous years the bite is slower. However the opportunities Red presents are incredible. On Red I've caught many nice walleye, perch, crappie, and pike. As a bonus, one day I caught the 4-some out of the same hole.

I have a hard time believing Red is a dead sea.

Do what you like to do and go where you want to go, but passing by Red because the bite is slower than previous years isn't something I'll be doing.

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  • Your Responses - Share & Have Fun :)

    • 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.
    • PRO-V
      Agreed!!
    • SaintPaulPaul
      Switch to regular Budweiser and they seem to just jump out of the hole. No, seriously the way I improved my landing success through the ice was to go to small treble hooks. One small one on a 6' leader, a weight and Colorado blade above the leader seems to work for me. If you are on the flag right away, you don't risk gut-hooking them. I also recycle my Power Pro musky line and put it on tip ups. Also, I should add that I always  have a jaw-spreader and 8" forceps for quick and easy hook removal.
    • Iowabrewcrew
      Funny...seems like when the Emerald run slowed down up there 4-5 years ago, the fishing followed suit!
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