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Southpa

Where to go in early-mid December?

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Southpa

Looking to take my first trip up to LotW this winter. Looking at the 2nd or 3rd week of December, planning to rent a cabin and drive out to the house each day. I have a couple questions

1.) Can you recommend a worthy lodge/resort? Our needs aren't much - basically a warm place to sleep and decent accomodations on the lake. I've searched and found plenty of places and I have seen the link at the top of this forum...but I would still like referrals if you got 'em!

2.) Is this an "iffy" time of the year for the lake? Meaning, what is the likelihood we'd have to cancel due to poor ice conditions? Impossible to say?

Any other advice would be most appreciated to make our first trip up a great one!

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gotfish

I'm wondering the same for first or second week in January? Any issues with ice thickness? Is fishing good at this time of year?

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icemiester71

try fishing straight out of morris pnt around dec 1st through xmas. ther is a road but they dont let u drive trucks out till its good n thick, the latter part of the month. 18 fow cant go wrong.

jan 1st...head for the reefs. drive out on babbler`s road, right next to arnesens resort. excellent fishing!

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NAMASafetyDirector

Hi, I would recommend Wigwam Resort. It's right on the bay with all the accomodations you could ask for, knowlegable staff, lodging, excellent food and location! Right on the bay where the early ice fishing is excellent.If the lake isn't quite ready yet you can still get out and find some of the best fishing all year on the bay! Not to mention the best nighttime entertainment on the river! I.M.O.

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curt quesnell

Most full service resorts will haul you out to the lake

early in the season. They are prepared with the lightest

of equipment and will be on the ice as early as can be.

The first weekend in December is usually the time the

fishers venture out on atvs and portables but it is not

a lock. The second weekend can be pretty busy.

The best early ice on the lake is at Zipple Bay, then Morris

Point and Pine Island follow closely.

There are several top notch resorts that will fit your

needs in the Pine Island are. I can recommend River Bend

Resort (link at the top of the page). Nothing fancy but

great food, good service, nice bar and they really work

hard on the fishin.

Once the ice is there (cant tell you exactly when that

would be) the fishing is tremendous!!!! I plan on being

there the first weekend in December (or maybe at the St

Paul Ice Show).

Absolutely, we will be fishing for a long time before

early January.

See you guys up there

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  • Your Responses - Share & Have Fun :)

    • crappieslapper
      Oh oh, sounds like work. Better than work in the office any day though. Thanks for getting back. Let you know how it goes this weekend.
    • BRULEDRIFTER
      Ely Lake is tough. I don't have much experience fishing it, but everything I've heard about it is weedlines are key. 
    • gimruis
      I was an intern for the DNR one summer many years ago and I rented out a large fish house as my residence it at Hunters Point Resort.  It was more like a small, one room cabin actually.  There was obviously no running water but there was a shower/bathroom complex a short walk from my door.  I had propane power so I could use that for cooking and it had electricity via an extension cord provided by the resort.  I paid a flat monthly fee to stay there.  The bar/restaurant was a short walk too so I spent many nights bellied up there drinking beer.  The one thing that I will advise to you on this subject is to outfit it with some air conditioning.  Those things are designed to be outside in the winter and stay warm so if its 70 outside, its 80 in there.  They turn into a friggin' oven.  I put a 12,000 BTU AC unit in mine and turned that sucker into a meat locker.  Lots of other people at the resort used their own winter houses as a weekend cabin there, plus there was a lot of RV's parked there too.
    • gimruis
      I'm not sure why rivers are so over looked here.  Its probably because we have so many lake options.  Plus some of these stretches of the river are quite shallow/rocky so I think that turns people off about launching a sizable boat.
    • crappieslapper
      Thank you sir. I have read through the DNR report and have a map printed out. Lot of structure, shallow humps and belly's mid lake, shallow shoreline points, etc.. So, plenty of places to try. Any idea what kind of forage is in there and a preferred bait shop in the area? Thanks for the reply!!
    • ZachD
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    • chizek
      Anyone ever fish the stretch of the mississippi like highway 694 bridge to the lowry ave bridge   in ne minneapolis mn 
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    • DLD24
      Do you have any tips for fishing Fish Lake this time of year? I'm gonna try it out in the next few days... Is it typically an early morning, late evening bite or can you get them all day long? Thanks for any info.
    • PRO-V
      Calling them would be your best bet. Maybe you can reserve some on a card.
    • delcecchi
      starft you off.... https://www.dnr.state.mn.us/lakefind/lake.html?id=69066000 http://files.dnr.state.mn.us/lakefind/data/lakemaps/b0537011.pdf Status of the Fishery Ely Lake is located approximately 2 miles SE of the city of Eveleth. This popular lake is highly developed with homes and cabins. There is a small seaplane base and two public swimming beaches also located there. Water clarity is good and large amounts of aquatic vegetation can be found throughout the lake. 

      There is a concrete planked boat ramp and dock located near the NE end of the lake off Cedar Island Drive (CR629) for public access. The parking space is somewhat limited near the ramp. Several private accesses are also present. 

      Thirteen species of fish were sampled during the 2017 survey on Ely Lake. Gill nets, trap nets and night electrofishing were all used to sample the fish community. Small bluegill were common in the gill net catch (34%) and abundant in the trap net catch (57%). Other panfish species including hybrid sunfish, pumpkinseed, green sunfish and black crappie were also sampled in good numbers. Largemouth bass outnumbered smallmouth bass in the 2017 sample. Walleye (16%) contributed to the gill net catch and several were sampled in the trap nets. Yellow perch are present in average amounts and some good sized pike were again sampled during the 2017 survey. 

      Bluegill numbers in 2017 (72.1/trap net) were much higher than the long term average (31.6/trap net) on Ely Lake and greatly above average (7.9/trap net) compared to other similar lakes in the area. The average bluegill sampled was 5.6 inches long and about 6 years old. Approximately 66% of the bluegill sampled with the trap nets were under 6 inches with a maximum size recorded of 8.0 inches. Bluegill sampled with the gill nets had a similar size structure. Approximately 7% of the hybrid sunfish sampled in the trap nets were 8 inches or larger. Several pumpkinseeds were also in this size range. 

      Largemouth bass (92%) and smallmouth bass (8%) were sampled during the night electrofishing effort. The average largemouth sampled was 10.9 inches which is similar to the historic average of 10.6 inches. The biggest largemouth sampled was 18.5 inches. Approximately 33% of the largemouth sampled were 12 inches or larger. The average smallmouth sampled was 9.8 inches which is slightly larger than the historic average (8.4 inches). The largest smallmouth sampled was 16.8 inches long. Approximately 32% of the smallmouth sampled were 12 inches or larger. Largemouth bass were also sampled from the gill nets and trap nets in numbers above average. 

      Walleye numbers in 2017 (6.2/gill net) were similar to the historic average (6.1/gill net) on Ely Lake and slightly above average (5.0/gill net) when compared to other similar area lakes with walleye. The average walleye sampled was 15.5 inches and about 4 years old. Approximately 34% of the walleye sampled were 15 inches or larger up to a maximum of nearly 29 inches. Walleye fingerlings are currently being stocked during even-numbered years and in 2017 approximately 62% of the walleye aged came from years where stocking occurred. 

      Northern pike numbers in 2017 (1.1/gill net) were similar to the historic average (1.3/gill net) and below average (3.2/gill net) compared to other similar area lakes with pike. The average pike sampled was 26.8 inches which is similar to the historic average length of 26.3 inches. The largest pike sampled in 2017 was 35.2 inches long and sampled with a trap net.