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10,000 Casts

Advice for a 1st timer

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10,000 Casts

Hey,

I'd like to come up this spring and was hoping you guys could give me some advice since I've never been up there. I've heard stories of people bringing bikes because they have to park so far away from the landing and I'm not sure where to start. Are some accesses better than others? Is it mostly jig and a minnow? Can we try for Sturgeon at the same time? Are there area's you need to be careful of?

Any advice is much appreciated! Thanks!

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Tony S

The ice goes out from upstream to downstream.  Some people start fishing far to the east by Pelland or even in da Falls.  Lots of people start coming up when Birchdale opens up.  Next one down is Frontier access, then Vidas, then several in Baudette.  When Birchdale is the only one open it is busier than s#it.  As more ramps open up the traffic becomes more reasonable as people want to head downstream and fish near where the ice sheet is breaking up.  I have never brought a bike but have often hitched a ride with people driving up from or down to the ramp and I always let people jump in my boat or back of truck to hitch a ride to where they parked.  It can be over a mile at Birchdale or Vidas sometimes.  All accesses are good when they are free of ice.  People will  bring small boats and push over the ice to get out at Birchdale, then the County ends up coming in and clearing ramp of ice for bigger boats.  Mostly jig and minnow but I have done really well trolling cranks when the jigging is not working.  You can catch/release sturgeon before sturgeon harvest season.  Bring sturgeon gear if the walleye aren't around the sturgeon will be.  River is pretty navigable up by Birchdale with exception of deadheads(big logs with one end at the surface).  Those tend to accumulate on shallow flats.  Down by Baudette there are some true hazards in the form of these old log cribs that you would not want to hit.  Those can be hard to spot if water is higher.  You need to go up on the Ontario side to get through that stretch safely.  You can navigate Canadian side,  just don't fish there without proper paperwork and no live bait.  Also no sturgeon fishing on Canada side anymore.  That's a start I'm sure others will chime in with advice for you.

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IceHawk

Great advice Tony S :) You pretty much nailed it on the head.

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slammer

It also helps to have someone along that can back a trailer up and someone that knows how to load a boat properly.  Some people don't have a lot of patience but most are good and are willing to help load/unload if you need it.  Also there is a strong DNR presence so be a good boy!

Also I believe the Vidas landing has a sharp drop off shortly after your trailer wheels hit the water.  It can be a problem for bigger boats.  Definitely need 4 wheel drive.  Back in slowly!

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ANYFISH2
11 hours ago, slammer said:

  Back in slowly!

Absolutely critical advise here!  When the mornings are in 20's the ramps become extremely icy.  Another thing to do to help this situation out is,.to stop just after your trailer leaves the water and let the water drain from the trailer directly back into the river, before pulling back up the ramp.  The people after you will thank you on those cold mornings.

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LucasLongCaster

Very icy. Last year was our first time in icy conditions and a friend of mine unhooked the boat before we got to the water. Luckily I caught it before he started backing down and hooked safety hook back up..the boat tried to slide off the trailer and would have ended up on the pavement. I was kinda angry because because it was my boat and told them don't do that without asking..and he should have known because when backing down the ramp it was hard to stop the truck without sliding into the river. I had to ride the rocks on the side of the landing just to get traction. No harm done but was very close to being a terrible day.

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Ballyhoo

Has anyone ever spread floor dry or kitty litter on the ramp for traction?  I suppose that would get iced over after a while also.

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Cliff Wagenbach

A couple of years ago someone , (DNR?) , had dumped a load of gravel next to one of the ramps for sanding it.

Cliff

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LucasLongCaster

Sand sure would have helped last year in the morning. Taking the boat out in the evening wasn't bad as the sun had thawed the Ramp. Can't wait, I'm getting the itch to get up there fishing soon.

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slammer

Like Anyfish2 said.  Stop on the ramp for a few seconds as soon as the trailer is out of the water and let it drain.  

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SkolVikingsGuy

If you had to pick a weekend, would you choose April 2nd/3rd or April 9th/10th?  Does the fishing get gradually better or worse?

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ANYFISH2

Taking the reports that the river has muddied, I would pick April 9/10th.  

Fishing usually get better with time, unless waters muddy and or water temp cause fish to spawn (rarely happens).

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LucasLongCaster

I'm going up the 9th weekend so everyone else should go the 2nd and 3rd weekend!:D

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midminn

Is there any updates to the muddy water planning on heading up on Sunday the 27th wondering if we should push it back.

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side_laker

Just got home from the river. We went out of birchdale the water is dirty. Clarity is about 6 inches and the water is moving. The little fork was still ice covered at 630 this morning with real white ice as far as we could see from the road but on way home there was open water we could just see up stream and some ice had broken up I would take a guess and say it might let go in a couple days. The big fork s had white ice on our way home that might take little longer to open. We did get tangled up with. 2 ton log this morning almost had to cut the anchor rope but after 15 mins we were able to get the rope off a branch under water. Guess we should have paid more attention to up stream. We had one arts ice chunk come down river and a few smaller ones. Now for the fishing report. 8 hours on the water and about 25 boats we saw one walleye caught and talked to a guy the went 15 miles down river and worked his way back and only hooked one sturgeon. The fish should come soon I hope. 

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