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Spearing Machine

2017-2018 Vermilion Ice Conditions and Fishing Reports

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Spearing Machine

I figured I would start up a new thread for us to use for the winter now that things are starting to set up and guys may be starting to creep out on the bays and smaller water.

 

I did some more poking around on Pike Bay this morning and I don't have anything much new to report. We've got less than an inch of fluffy snow on the ice and things healed up after the warm front this week. I worked my way from shore out into the middle of the bay and ice was relatively uniform between 5.25 and 5.5 inches of nice clear ice. Earlier this week I checked all landings on the Tower end and everything was iced up except for open water way out in Big Bay appearing to mostly be all West of Birch/Ely islands. Not sure if all the recent strong winds from North and South have changed that status though. I'm still sticking with my original guess of December 2 for my first trip off McKinley on 5 inches.

 

Good luck this winter to all and Be Safe!

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Spearing Machine

First fisherman seen trying their luck today out from McKinley park access and Stuntz Bay access. 

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Cliff Wagenbach

I spotted them also this evening out from McKinley.

A few more days yet before I will give it a try!

Cliff

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JerkinLips

Is Big Bay completely frozen over yet?

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Cliff Wagenbach

Big bay did not look to be completely frozen over yesterday afternoon. Broken up and refrozen by McKinley Landing.

Cliff

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Finnish Flash

7" of good clear ice in the couple holes I drilled in Pike Bay this morning. 

 

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JerkinLips

Thanks for the updates.  Think I will play it safe and wait until Thursday, November 30 to go out from McKinley Park.

Edited by JerkinLips
Correction
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JFitz

Got out today on Niles Bay. We had 4.5" to 6" of good clear ice. Only one walleye between the two of us but the tullibee and whitefish were on a tear. Even got a nice bonus pike! Hoping to dial in the walleyes over the next couple days.

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Snuffy

How deep were you fishing?

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JFitz

We caught em between 17' and 27' off a shoreline point. Definitely had more action in our shallower holes though.

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Cliff Wagenbach

Nice JL!

I may give it a try tomorrow somewhere!

Cliff

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redlabguy

Nice fish, JL! I hope you guys keep posting. We’ve abandoned Black Duck Island, but I still check this forum to find out what’s going on around the lake. It always makes me smile to see the smiles on people in big fish pictures!

Dick

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Spearing Machine

Thanks JL! Not a phenomenal report but got to start the season eventually and glad to see lots of recruitment coming up. I caught lots of those size fish on the west end this fall too. Looking long range and beyond the forecasts (for what they are worth) look like mid next week and beyond the temps take a plunge! Hang in there, fellas! And gals! 

I've still been finding anywhere from 6-7 inches of good, hard, bare ice in the wakemup narrows area with atv use occurring for the island and no road access folks in that area.

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BigVwalters

Has anyone been out this week at all?  Heading up this weekend and looking for ice reports.  Anyone been on any smaller lakes with any thicker ice?

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JTeeth

Was out yesterday... Buddy saw that there was open water not 50 yards from us that I hadn't noticed. The ice looks strong but the warmer weather is making it a little sketch. I saw wheelers flying over spots that where open the night before. I'm still on foot and not going out of the calm bays yet on big V. We need a week of cold weather. Still need to use caution.

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Spearing Machine
5 hours ago, BigVwalters said:

Has anyone been out this week at all?  Heading up this weekend and looking for ice reports.  Anyone been on any smaller lakes with any thicker ice?

The smaller bodies of water in the area are holding all about the same 6-8 inches of ice.

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OhioVike

Good call JT.  People need to be cautious out there.  I little local knowledge goes a long way.  We are in a small bay that two creeks run into.  There is always a band of thin ice where the creeks run out and they extend quite a bit into the bay.  As long as land is not frozen that water comes down and slows the freeze.  Probably only 5-6' deep there but still dangerous and hard on equipment if you go through.   

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BigVwalters

Sounds good.  Thanks guys!  Ill give a report after the weekend.  

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Spearing Machine

I tried to skate all the way up pike bay out to McKinley but hit a road block. Please be aware there is a 20-50ft wide varying in width active crack running from the south east side of whiskey island to the shore point Northeast of Glenmore Resort. There were areas the ice was piled a little and other spots the ice was busted up and just floating closer to the island when I tested with my hockey stick. Fingers crossed this potential storm on Monday is a bust or at least has enough wind to keep the ice blown bare. Then we'll be in good shape to build ice quickly.

Photos are looking SE just north of Glenmore and North towards hoodoo point.

20171202_143227.jpg

20171202_143249.jpg

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Cliff Wagenbach

Thanks for the info. S.M. !

I also found a small pressure ridge on the East side of the Pike Bay Narrows this morning.

Look like it runs all the way across to the first small Island North of the Narrows. Not very wide but is open and does not look safe! 4" to maybe 7" of ice found. It looks like the ice is getting softer out there to me!

I actually had the ice crack under me in a couple of spots while walking on the thinner looking stuff!

Cliff

 

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JerkinLips

Went back out of McKinley Park this weekend.  I had 7" of ice in the bay on Thursday afternoon when I caught only 3 little dinks in 17 FOW.

Went just out of the bay Friday morning and found 6" of ice, catching 3 dinks and 2 eaters in 19 FOW.  Beautiful sunrise that morning, and while I wore a life jacket and was carrying spikes walking out, an ATV drove past me dragging a portable.  Fortunately he came back later that day.

Saturday I fished straight out from McKinley Park in 30 FOW, had 6" of nice black ice, and had excellent fishing.  Caught a dozen dinks, four 15-16", a 21" and this 28½" walleye.  Love watching the fish come up through the clear ice.  Thought for sure the big one was over 30" as the ice seems to magnify the size.

Nobody was fishing near me on Saturday until the side-by-side ATV with chains on, two people in it, and towing a pop-up fish house was kind enough to test the ice by me and park/fish 30 feet away after noon (after I again walked out wearing my life jacket and carrying picks).  Fortunately the ice held and they didn't scare the fish away since I caught 8 more before quitting at 4:00 while they caught only one.

Another ATV carrying two people and pulling a light-weight permanent house came out earlier Saturday before noon.  They said that somebody tried to walk out to Birch Island earlier in the week and found water around a crack in the ice.  Be careful out there because I'm sure that there are bad spots with the warm weather we have recently had.

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IMG_4858.JPG

Edited by JerkinLips
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Cliff Wagenbach

JL,

Nice fish and beautiful pictures!

I got out for a couple of hours in Daisy Bay this evening.

Fished 17' of water and had 6 inches of solid ice.

Great to be out fishing finally but only iced one small pike and had a couple of light bites.

Cliff

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BRULEDRIFTER

Jerkin, is that an old Sno-Boat shelter?  I have the same thing! Awesome shelter I bought back in 2001, best 1-2 man, portable ever made. 

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JerkinLips

BD, it is a Frabil Hideout that I bought new about 20 years ago.  It is definitely worn with lots of patches in the fabric due to dragging it behind my snowmobile while loaded with gear.  Love to use this one before I put out my permanent.

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