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Matt Johnson

Fishing Report...

9 posts in this topic

I spent half the day today guiding a guy in the Chisago area in search of crappies and bluegills. We found 7-8 inches of solid clear ice and fished in about 13 feet of water over a hole in the weeds. We managed to find quite a few bluegills and crappies as well as a couple pike and bass. The fish were pretty aggressive at times and they would meet the jig on the way down. Other times we had to really coax the fish into biting. Size 10 Custom Jigs and Spins Shrimpos were the hot lure today. We used glow pink, glow blue and all black. We caught fish by both tipping them with maggots and plain with just the finesse plastic. Minnows only caught one pike, everything else came on maggots or finesse plastic. I dropped the underwater camera down and we noticed quite a few pike cruising through stirring up the pannies. I also noticed that the bigger bluegills would hug the bottom, while the smaller fish took control of the suspended water. The crappies were mostly suspended and they came in schools.

If you get a chance to hit the ice tomorrow I would focus on mid-depth weeds. The fish are relating to those areas right now and the activity level should still be pretty good. I located several areas where fish were holding and the bigger panfish seemed to like those weedy areas just off the initial break on the mid-depth flats. 10-17 feet seems to be key. I also found a few fish in shallow water amongst the thick weeds, but they were very, very finicky with the cold snap we've had. I'd expect those fish to pick up their activity level this weekend once we see those 20 degree temps.

Here's a few pictures of Mike and some of his fish from todays trip...

MikeFytencrappie2-283x227.jpg

MikeFytengill-180x243.jpg

MikeFytenbass-281x249.jpg

MikeFytenpike-282x194.jpg

MikeFytenpile2-240x336.jpg

Good Fishin and Merry Christmas,

Matt Johnson

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Great report and thanks for the tips. Makes me wish I could go fishing tomorrow ...... frown.gif

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Good fishing Matt! Glad to hear you could get out on the ice w/clients. Hope you can make the White Bear Lake event.

Chow for now,

GF

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I made it back out the same spot today with another group of guys. I had them set up in 13 feet of water and work a Shrimpo and maggot combination. The fishing was a little bit slower than yesterday and the fish were a lot more finicky. The ice was cracking and booming a lot more than yesterday and the wind changed direction as well. Temps were a little colder but pretty much the same. I set up in 10 feet of water and both houses were catching fish. They were set up right along the edge of the break and a few pike came through and decided to take their Shrimpo's for a ride on a couple occasions. We only managed a few crappies today but a bunch of bluegills. No real pigs but a lot of 7-8 inch fish with a few around 8.5 possibly 9 inches. We all had on either a noodle rod or a spring bobber after the first hour of fishing. Often times the only indication of a bite was by a pulse in the line.

The fish were very intent on staying close to the bottom today and we didn't see as many suspended fish. The crappies were pretty much non-existent and the ones that did come through were on the bottom with the bluegills.

Once a fish showed up we had to really finesse them by small little quivers of the rod and a slow rise as the fish approached the bait. The rise sequence really seemed to trigger the fish into biting. They were willing to chase the bait about 2 feet off the bottom, anything higher then that and they would sink back down.

Some decent schools showed up at times, but a good majority of time it was one or two fish that appeared.

Again, 10-15 feet seemed to be key and they are relating to the weeds (bluegills).

Here's a picture of Greg and his dad Loren with some of the bluegills they caught today...

GregandLoren2-286x291.jpg

The ice is getting thicker everyday and I watched a car drive by out there. Might not be the best idea yet. I found about 8-9 inches of ice today. Still well too early for cars or trucks. A lot of permanents houses are starting to show up and wheelers or snowmobiles are out all over. The warm up this weekend should bring some life back into the fishing and we should see the fish activity pick up...

Good Fishin,

Matt Johnson

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Good job MJ!

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I think that warmer weather will turn the fish on. Seems like that underwater camera is treating (info wise)you pretty good. grin.gif

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Matt,

Great report. Thanks for the info. I'm heading out Monday for the day!

Ole the Guide

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Matt,

Thanks for the detailed report. I will be hittin' Chisago all day Sunday before I head to Upper Red Monday.

Hope to see you (& others FM'ers) out there - I'll be in a black Frabill around the south side. Good Luck !

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Today was a pretty good day for bluegiils. The crappies were basically none existent. Only two crappies were caught all day. We made it out on the ice around 10am and fished until close to 4pm. The midday bite seems to be the best out in the Chisago area for bluegills right now, with the best hour being between 1 and 2pm. The fish were in the same area as last week, 12 feet of water.

Here's Chris with a nice catch of bluegills...

ChrisSteward-208x364.jpg

The warm up in temps really caused the fish to put on the feedbags. We had gills chasing our baits all the way to right below the ice. The sizes were a lot better today too, with a lot of fish in the 8 inch range and several around 9. We lost a really nice bass at the hole and that was only bass we had on. We watched a lot of bass swim through on the underwater camera but no takers. We also saw several nice pike cruise through the area as well.

Custom Jigs and Spins Ratsos and Shrimpos along with the Ice Minnow from JR's Tackle worked very well today. I just used a single eurolarva to tip the jig, or else I would use just a plain finesse plastic on the Ratso's and Shrimpo's.

Here's a scene from when I left the lake today...

CLicesceen3.jpg

Tomorrow should be an even better day if the weather pattern continues. A lot of people on the ice today and it looks like ice fishing is in full swing! smile.gif

Good Fishin,

Matt Johnson

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