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walleye6336

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I am coming up next weekend with 2 guys who have never seen snow and do not believe you can actually drive on a lake! We will be driving up from the airport and arriving Hillmans about 7PM. Is there a good tackle shop on the way that anyone can recommend?

Also, any helpful hints would be appreciated. The 14 Y/O boys we are bringing are talking trash already! Should be a great time either way. confused.gif

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Welcome to Minnesota. Hillmans will have anything you need to catch fish on Red in the way of lures but they aren't open late. What airport you coming from? If in Bemidji head east from the airport on Paul Bunyan Drive (197)just east of hwy 71 and you will see a Gander Mountain store on the north side in front of the Paul Bunyan Mall (address 1313) They are open m-f until 9pm and 6pm on Sundays. You will see many small bait shops along your way but their hours vary. Good luck and good fishing, Ken

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I have to say, it is kind of fun to watch a "Southerner" take his first step on the ice. My brother-in-law, is from Texas, and made his first journey north during the winter last year, for my sister and him, to stay with me through Christmas.

As we fished into the evening, the ice started rumbles and popping.....of course, I had to have a little fun with him. I bailed out of the portable, jumped in the truck, told him the ice was giving away....as I was driving away!!!

I thought he was going to have a heart attack running for shore!! I'm laughing right now, remembering how big his eyes had gotten.

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We are coming in from Minneapolis. 3 people from Alabama and 2 from Colorado. Need to purchase a couple of rods and minimal gear for the 4 days. Will anything in the Waskish area be open around 7PM?

Thanks for any help.

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Hillman's should be open at 7:00. The Tall Tales Bar (Hillman's) will definitley be open (if the store is closed) and one of the Hillmans in there can help you. I don't know if they have a big rod and reel assortment. Plenty of lures and bait. The North Country convenience store in Waskish has a good selection of ice fishing gear and I believe they are open till 10:00. There are many bait shops on any route on the way up from the Twin Sillies... one of those should be able to help you also if you need a break from driving... Have a great trip!

Good Luck!

Ken

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From Mpls you will be heading West on Hwy 94 toward St. Cloud. After you pass Maple Grove watch for the signs for Cabela's. Take the Hwy 101 exit and follow the frontage road to the store. From there I highly recommend taking the co rd 24 exit off 94 to Clear Water so you can stop at McDonalds Meats for the best beef sticks and jerky. (not to be confused with the hamburger joint grin.gif) My favorite is the jalapeno cheddar sticks tongue.gifwink.gif From there you will take Hwy 10 west to 371 north. You will see a variety of sporting goods stores as you pass through Brainerd. When you get to Walker you will see Reeds sporting goods right in town. In Bemidji you can find Gander Mountain 1 mile east of Hwy 71 on Paul Bunyan Drive. All of these places will have the largest selections. At this time of year most stores are closing out their winter inventory so don't wait until you get too far north. You may not find what you want at the first place you stop at.

Bring your small sized spinning reels from home with fresh 4# or 6# line. I prefer 4# Berkley clear XL. That way all you need to buy is a few poles and some tackle. When you tell any of the sales people that you are going to Red they will be able to direct you to the right size rods. For tackle you will need some small split shot, slip bobber knots and some slip bobbers. I highly recommend the yellow foam Ice Buster Bobbers.Wait to buy your bait and lures for when you get to Hillmans. My favorite lures for Red have been RED or green Neon glow jigs in size #6. When you get to Hillmans they will tell you what lures and bait they are biting on and they have a good selection. Another piece of equipment I strongly recommend is a landing net. Most rental houses are high off the ice and you will lose alot of fish if you try to lift them with the rod and bending and kneeling down fast gets to be a big pain. I have found the long slim nets at the West Wind bait store. A small pair of forceps for hook removal and a small flashlight to charge your glow jigs and your good to go. Hope this wasn't too windy for you. Good luck and good fishing, Ken smile.gif

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Great post Wingnutken. I couldn't agree with ya more, those McDonald's meats sticks are the best around. And yes, you will save time taking 94 to Clearwater, and cutting across to 10. Are y'all (my southern impersonation)inexperienced when it comes to ice fishing, because if you are, I would highly reccommend Reeds in Walker, as they WILL have the best service out of all the stores, and are truly genuine people. Get your rods and line there, then leave it up to Hillmans and they'll take care of you real well.

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Thank You! I am from MN originally and Ice fished regularly with Grandpa growing up. Am in the Air Force now and am trying to share an experience with friends who have no idea what they are getting into. Two years ago we went to Mille Lacs, last year LOW and this year URL. We will stop at Reeds in Walker for some Rods and will definately be stopping at McDonalds for some meat sticks. How are the roads leading up to the lake with all the snow? How is the crappie fishing this time of year?? Three more days cannot wait!

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The roads are fine, just wet. They are forcasting more snow later in the week though, but you will be on main highways all the way up shouldn't be a problem. One thing you should look into is renting a portable flasher,"depth finder" Vexilar is a popular brand. I don't think they had those when you fished with Grampa. The kids will think they're playing xbox or somehting. This will improve your catch greatly.Your guide should be able to set you up with one.

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Thanks, already have a vexilar reserved in our rental. We have a 4WD Suburban reserved, so should be ok. Is 5 hours a good estimate on the drive?

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Drivetime from the MSP airport is about 5.5. on good roads normal traffic. What time are you coming out of the cities?

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We are leaving the Airport at 1:30 if flights are on time....

Do Wax worms work for Perch and or Crappies up there?

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Personally i haven't had much luck with waxies. I probably haven't used them enough to know if they would work though. I'm sure if the hungry crappies are down there they would take them. grin.gif

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The trick on Red is find the fish. They will bite most presetations. Remember these crappies are huge. Baits used for walleyes are good baits for Red Lake crappies. Fathead minnows either whole or just the head on a 1/8 oz. jigging spoon. As for color I like red on RED.

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Past years, the perch were supposedly hot on the waxies but I rented from Kelly P. earlier this month and they did tell me that nobody is reporting any catches on waxies to speak of. In fact, they told me they keep finding almost full containers of waxies left in their rentals.

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I just want to say that this forum and its members are most helpful. Just like southern hospitality! cool.gif Thank you all for the pointers! What should we expect as far as action this time of year? Last year at LOW, our group of 4 caught over 200 Tulibees 5 Eal Pout, 4 Saugers and 3 Eyes in 3 days.

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