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curt quesnell

Late Ice the books

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curt quesnell

Justin Kjos, Johnny Pietruszewski (Winner of the Late Ice

Adventure Contest on North Country Outdoors Radio) and I

gathered at the Buffalo Bay Manitoba Marina Wednesday midday

and set out on our adventure. Justin said the fishing in

his secret fishing spot had gotten steadily worse with the

stiff east-northeast winds that would not quit.

We used Justins truck the first night and the going could

not have been better. No slush at all, Nice solid ice all

the way. Last year the slush was a foot deep and almost

too much for snowmobiles.

Justin was right, the evening flurry of the biggees never

happened we wound up with 4 real good keeper Walleyes and

a few dinks. This spot is pretty much an "end of the day"

bite so we needed something to do all day Thursday. We

knew there was a good Walleye, Sauger, Perch bite going on

at Stoney some 15 miles away by ATV, there was the issue of

us being in Canada and Stoney Point being in US waters. A

phone call to the border patrol gave us some suprising

news. They said as long as we did not touch land in the

US, it was ok to go over and fish and return. The offical

we talked to said this was something new. So off we went on

4 wheelers.

The ride over was long but nice, crossing the breakers took

some time but was no problem as we had ramps along. Justin

and Johnny were in a Polaris Ranger with a cab and I was in

my lucky Arctic Cat 250 4x4 (I won it at the Strathcona

races in 2002).

We set up in 30 feet of water out in front of the old fish

cleaning house, we knew this wasnt the depth we had heard

was good but set up because we were eager to wet a line and

we knew the area was good. We put my house right on top of

a big school of fish (how does Justin do it?) I am using

only one hole because the fish are coming so fast, Justin

came over to see what the commotion was about and fished

my other hole for 10 minutes and 10 fish then called for

Johnny to fish the hole.

While the two of us are hauling in fish, from tiny mites to

decent keepers, Justin drills a hole right next to us and

moves the other Otter and gets nothin! and worse yet our

fish dissappear.............10 minutes later they return

and we spend the hour or show catching fish.

I was using the pink all glow Scenic Tackle Go-Devil jigging

spoon, Justin had the big hammered gold Angel Eye Minnow

and Johnny had his lucky Swedish Pimple on the line tipped

with any part of a frozen shiner. Everything seemed to be

working as long as you were in my portable.

We quit and headed back to the secret fishing spot for the

end of the day bite and a shot at a huge fish but we fished

till dark and caught only one fish. But now we are excited

about Stoney and, after a few phone calls, we found out

where the Perch were biting.

We moved out of the Buffalo Bay Marina cabin in the morning,

headed for Warroad to gas up the wheelers and leave from

Springsteel with a couple of Johnnys buddies from

Stephen in tow and off we go Perchin. The ride out was

real nice! Only one breaker to cross and the ramps made

short work of that.

We set up in the area we had heard about and for 15 minutes

wondered how long it would take until the Perch showed up.

The first red line on the flasher that wasnt a jigging spoon

turned into a 12 and half inch Perch and it was steady

going of Perch, dink Walleye and good keeper for an hour and

a half in all three of our houses.

The sun was replaced by clouds and the wind quit and the

fishing slowed until around 4 pm, a new flurry began but the

Perch were pretty much gone. We had all the Walleyes we

could have and lots of these big Perch. We dumped the fish

our onto the ice for final count at 5:30 because we decided

an early start for home would allow for challenges along

the way. While we were counting fish, the big Perch

returned on the bite. 28 became 30 (25 were real nice fish)

and good Walleyes to fill everyones limit.

A very nice uneventful ride back to Springsteel on wheelers

ended the 2007 Late Ice Adventure on a smooth note.

John Pietruszewski is a 26 year old Lake of the Woods

veteran who has done pretty much everything you do on the

big lake. We werent going to show him anything new. The heading off

on ATVs for the adventure and a couple of

real good days fishing on the lake at late ice made the

trip pretty much what I had hoped for but wouldnt dare ask


We lucked out and got almost perfect conditions this year.

Sadly its time to put the ice stuff away and start cleaing

up the boat.

Thats the story of the North Country Outdoors Radio Late Ice

Adventure 2. Registration begins for "3" in 10 months.

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Cool story Curt. thats interesting about being able to go to the us side and fish. bring on the open water!

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Sounds like a wonderful trip!! Great job.

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Great post Curt and a memorable trip for sure. Bill

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I have a remote border pass from both Canada and the US. Which gives the the right to cross the border and return as long as I call in if I cross by boat. I have to appear in PERSON ( at the US Customs Station ) if I cross by wheeler - snowmobile - walk - auto on the ice. I don't understand what happened when you called customs.

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curt quesnell


I know! Justin has a remote border pass but none of the

rest of us did. I heard Justin on the phone with whoever

it is that you call......Justin said "Oh really, well that

sounds great" and off we went.

Sometimes you get different information depending on who

you talk to....????

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Curt, kind of like the IRS blush.gif Bill

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I have a place on the Rainy north of the golf course, so I have fished in Canada in the past. Why I say the past is because they are making it hard to cross without jumping through hoops. I didn't fish there at all this winter. I'm not going to drive into town to appear in person every time. The summer is much easier.

I have been stopped by both US & Canada customs and they don't mess around.


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I was told by Canadian customs several years ago that you could cross into US waters from Canada (without touching US soil) and not need anything but both licenses.

Has this changed???

It wasn't allowed coming from US to Canada without the Canadian required Remote Border Crossing Permit. Just the other way around. Can anyone fill me in for sure, not just guesses???

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MN Mike

Back in the '90s they use to run the I500 snowmobile race out of Warroad and run the track around some of the shoreline, that track would run right past the marina at Buffalo Bay, we watched the race from our fishing spot on Buffalo and it would run between us and the shore, I doubt that the racers had remote permits.

Seems to me ( and I might be wrong hopfully someone will clarify ) that the snowmobile trail that comes from Springsteel and heads to the NW Angle runs in Canadian water for a ways by Buffalo Pt, I have to think that the border is farther out in the lake than where the trail is.

Another one is over on the Rainy side, from what I understand, every time you leave on the river to get to the lake, your crossing into Ontario before you get onto the main lake.

By the way, good post Curt !


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You have to have a US customs issued border pass when you cross from Canada to the US in a boat and you have to call in when you return everytime( there is an 800# ). If you cross on the ice you don't need that pass but you need to appear in person at the customs station( Baudette has one ).

You will need a REMOTE BORDER PASS whenever you cross into Canada, if you don't cross at a customs station.

From what I can understand the fine for entering the US without a pass or not calling or appearing in person is a lot.

You don't have to cross the border to get from the Rainy--4 Mile Bay--the Gap to get to the Lake, if you know where the line is.


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curt quesnell


What you just said is exactly what I thought the deal was.

Here is an interesting thing to further muddy the water.

The Snowmobile trail that runs from Warroad to the NW angle

goes several miles into Manitobas Buffalo Bay. Not only

was it obvious to anyone who knows roughly where the

border might be but the GPS shows very clearly you are

in Canadian waters while on the trail.

For everyone following this thread, I think tillie has the

best information for you to use day to day. I think 20

phone calls may net several different messages.

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MN Mike

I agree with both of you that if your planning on jumping the border, get the remote pass.

There is just some things that make you scratch your head.

Mystery continues.......


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