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2020 - Upper Red Lake Fishing Reports (URL)


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We were out all the way from Hillmans with 9 guys friday-sunday had 45 walleyes 2 crappie and a perch. Most of the action was Saturday morning from 7:30-11:00. Blue and Pink forrage minnows produced the most fish with fatheads.

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2 of us in 15 fow out of JR's corner. 1:30-10:00 sunday. Very slow for us. 3 walleyes 1-16.5, 2-17.5 slot fish, no pike or crappies. Missed 4. All on deadstick, no action with jigging.

50 yards from us 4 younger guys in 2 portables were on fish all day, they left by 6pm with filled limits. I joked with my fishing partner that maybe we were slow because, obviously, we were not being as loud as those younger guys!!!!

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My dad was up saturday through monday am out of westwinds. They kept one walleye and 3 perch. Threw 3 back and missed 3, so it hasnt turned around from the cold yet or maybe he was just in the wrong place.

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Fished URL 15-16. We where only there about 18 hrs. 3 guys in our shack and we had caught 22 walleye. Most in the 13"-16" range. 2 walleyes over 18". Good fishing but cold. One of the two small heaters in the sleeper quit shortly after we got there. The holes where freezing over and you could see your breath. That part was not fun. I will be back next year, and will try a new place. Thinking Jony P or Cooky, don't know for sure. My brother will also be checking out places.

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Fished with a group in 2 houses Thursday to Sunday night 4 miles out on Hillmans road. Caught about 20 keeper eyes per house for the trip with about 6 to 10 over the slot. Also had 1 14.5 inch crappie, and 3 or 4 30" northerns, and one 35", one 36" and one 38" northern all on 4-6 lb test icerods tipped with fatheads. No action on the tip ups. The eyes were a little slow but bit often enough to keep us interested. Night bite usually ended about 1 AM and didn't start again until daylight.

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I was up in Becida and my dad and I decided to do a spur of the moment trip. we heard from a guy who was at fishing by a west wind house on Saturday night, so we called them the next morning but they were booked but they told us to ask a guy by the name of spider if he had any houses open. He did so sunday we drove up and met with him and he showed us to our house where we would stay the night. After fishing for about five hours with one fish we went to watch the steelers ravens game at westwind bar. after the game we went back and fished for about two hours and fell asleep with no fish. at about five in the morning a rattle reel waoke us up with a nice 18 inch eye. we had to leave at eight this morning becausae of some work my dad had to do. WE were in about 9 foot of water and marked no fish on the vex except for the one we caught. From the looks of the other posts we just must have been in the entirely wrong spot.

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Well I'll try and give a good detailed report. We fished out of Hillmans Friday-Monday and we caught some fish but the fishing was kinda slow.

We started on Friday around 10am at 6.7 miles on the Angle road, Saturday around noon we picked up and move to 8.6 on the Main road and Sunday noon we picked up once again and fished at 4.2 until 830am today(Monday).

Our totals between the 2 of us were one 9" perch, one 28" pike, one sheephead(which at 315am when he bit and came up the hole I thought it was a huge crappie!..stupid thing.)...and 28 walleyes. We had 3 fish in slot to let go 18-20", 11 little guys 13" and under, and 14 keepers that were 14-16.75".

There was really no special time that they bit..really sporadic, but seemed to be a little better from 3-5pm each day. We caught 4 or 5 jigging rattling varmints, otherwise everything was on rattle reels. A plain pink hook, or any red glow jig worked best with a real lively fathead.

We had a fish fry each night and had a good time even though the fishing was kinda slow. From reading the reports it sounds like it was slow for most this weekend and the fishing can only get better i think, which makes me wanna come up for another weekend in February. This was my 9th trip up to URL and the first time I havent caught a crappie. I want to come up and redeem myself.

Good Luck all!

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Just got back from URL. Fished with 3 guys from Friday night to Monday morning. BY FAR the SLOWEST I have ever expierienced up there. Caught only 6 keeper eyes the entire time; about 10 total. I have no idea what was going on but we fished hard the entire time and they just never turned on. During trips last winter and the year before we caught at least 3-5 times more walleyes than this year. Ive definitely given up on URL for this year...too far to do this poor

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I was up from Wed night thru Sunday morning.

Wed night and all day Thursday the fish were very skiddish and would pretty much run at the sight of a jiggin spoon, but would attach a set line occasionally.

I pretty much had fish on my graph for most of the day every day, but getting them to bite was another story.

I was about 1.5 miles down the 6 mile angle road on the inside turn on the structure.

Thursday i caught 11 eyes, all on rattle reels and nothing over 16". (I had a nice fish dinner on Friday).

Friday with the weather turning a little warmer they started to get a little more aggressive. caught another 17 on Friday plus some nice perch, again with no walley going over 16 1/2". This time i was getting them to hit on some jiggin spoons. Mainly 10 -11:30 am and 4:30 - 600 Pm were the more active times.

The night bite was pretty slow, but Friday night i managed to get 3 on the rattle reels before midnight.

Saturday was by far the most productive day, I caught around 30 during the day with about a 50/50 rattle reel to jigging ratio. The biggest were a pair of 18" and there was quite a few of the 12" variety as well.

Saturday after about 8pm, it just died and i never got another over night or before i packed it up at 8:30am.

The freakin cold weather on Wed night and Thursday night was a real eye opener, when the thermomoter said -40. The old Ram Diesel started thursday morning, but it sure was complaining...so I let it run all night THursday night to make sure it didn't freeze up.

Plenty of action and it was an interesting trip...vacation well spent.

As far as colors go, i started out with the pinks and the reds, but Blue and glow got the nod wed and Thursday. Then Green was the active color on Friday and then the blue and glow on saturday for both the jigging and set line. Didn't have much luck with the pinks and reds this weekend.

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ironrangegemneye

Had two portables and three people yesterday near the end of Hillmans road. We were just about nine miles out. We moved a couple times but could not get on any fish. Between the three of us, we caught one perch and nothing else. We had a few fish show up on the vex but would not bite at any of our presentations. I had one sit on my bait for almost 10 minutes without a bite. Not a bad day to be on the lake, but it was sure slow. I thought it would pick up after that cold weather last week but was wrong.

Did anyone lose a collapsable canvas fish house yesterday? We watched it tumble like a tumble weed for about 1/2 mile and then stopped it and picked it up. It is pretty old, but I figured to put it on here.

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Myself and three other guys were up friday afternoon-sunday morning. The fishing was a little disappointing. We caught around 15 eyes and 1 9" perch.

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CrawlerKing

2 guys up this weekend out of Rogers....fishing was slow for us...caught a total of 23 walleyes....1 small, 8 between 14 and 17, the rest over...with one being 23"...no crappies or northerns, but one sheephead to end the trip at 5:30 in the morning on Monday...best luck for numbers was deadsticking either a fathead or shiner....best for larger fish was a jigging rap. Certainly not the numbers that we expected, but still a good time.

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Quackaddict9

I went out of Hillmans with 2 other buddies Sat/Sun and we were 7 miles out then take and a right another mile down and set up in a sleeper house. Slow Saturday then it picked up around 3 pm on Sunday evening/dark. Ended up close to 20 walleyes, lost a crappie at the hole, and lost a handful of fish. It was a little slow as to my experience but had a great time anyway. Most fish were 14-17" with a few over 17". I'll be back again soon, hopefully! Most people were fishing 6.5-9 miles out, don't be scared to try closer to shore, thats where most of my best fishing have been occured! smile

Good Luck and keep the reports coming!

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Wife and I fished out of JRs access Sat afternoon to tues afternoon. Caught 35 walleyes, 50% of those were 15-16.75". The rest were in the throwback slot. Lost 2 huge northern. Missed a lot of fish and many, many lookers, that just would not bite anything. Caught fish on about 15 different things, but glow green and glow orange hooks had the most luck. Scratched about 25% of the fish out jigging spoons. Tuesday was the worst day.

We thought we ended up with a slightly lower than average trip, but compared to some reports, I guess we did OK.

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Went up 16-17 out of Hillmans, 8.2 miles out and fishing was sub-par. Had a good time as we caught enough for a good fish fry! Hillmans are great people and would recommend them to anybuddy! BJ is a great bar tender too, we need to stay out of the bar more next year! Good Luck to everyone else...

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19 to 21st 8 miles out Hillmans road with my doughter caught 35-40 eyes, must have missed another 20 she cant get them up the hole with all the ice but we had fun trying, missed one northern. Rattles out fished anything.

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Set on up URL out of J.R.'s on Tuesday morning around 10:00 AM in 15 ft. of water. After I had put a red hook with a fat head down the hole I was getting my shelter out when I saw on the graph a huge red line off the bottom. Bobber disappeared and I closed the bail on my Shimano lined with 6 lb. test and upon feeling tension,set the hook. You all know the sound of drag being taken out, that zzzz sound. It ran about 8-9 times when I got it to the bottom of the 8" hole. I was shaking my head because I had a grip in my bag in the car which would have helped get this monster out of the hole, but knew I'd have to land it by hand. After several tries of turning that huge head into the bottom of the hole, he started to come up. I eased his head about 2-3 inches out of the water and grabbed him behind the head just as the line snapped. I ran my finger under his gill plate and hoisted him out, what a fish, 40.5 inches with out pinching the tail. Admired it, then eased it back into the hole and he swam away. Fished for 4 more hours without even seeing a line off the bottom (Vexilar FL-8). Moved north about 2 miles from anybody and put a tip-up with red hook and fathead. Before I even got my other hand rod set up the flag rose up. Ran over, let line out and slowly began bring the line in, felt the tension, tried to set the hoook, but could tell I pulled the minnow of it's mouth. Re-set the tip-up, and went over and lowered my hand rod. The bobber went down after 15 seconds, set the hook and a nice 16" walleye. Re-set that, looked out and the tip-up was tripped again, another walleye. This went on for about 40 mnutes from 3:30 PM until 4:10 PM, one after another. Then as quickly as they came, they were gone, not another mark on the flasher, nor tug on the line until sunset. Drove off the ice thanking the Walleye gods, and headed north to see what was up at Hudec's. Was really bummed to see the gate to his old house chain locked with a For Sale sign on it. I had so many successful trips out of that resort that it almost made me cry. But time moves on, and change is unevitable, sad as it may be. Great one day trip though.

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It makes me feel better hearing about how many others lose the fish at the hole. I thought and still think it had something to do with my technique/anxiousness at the prospect of bringing the fish in, etc. Just curious as to what I might be able to do to if anything minimze this from happening less vice more???? Perhaps a dumb question for some but I missed a few really nice ones that would have looked good in the electronic photo album. Appreciate any ideas.

BC

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Fishing has gotten even slower at Rogers this week. Three of us were up Jan. 20-21 (Tues. & Wed.). Only caught one walleye in two days, the slowest I've ever seen it on Red Lake. We were out about 5 miles in 14 feet of water. We talked to a lot of others fishing in the area and the results were all the same. No one was doing anything worth while.

Friends of mine were fishing in the house last weekend and only caught 5 walleyes in two days. We thought the nice weather coming in at midweek would improve fishing, but instesd it only got worse. Several bait shops told us that fishing was better out of JR'S in shallower water. Anyone have information on that?

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I have heard that the shallower water has been much better myself although that info has been 2nd hand. I always seem to have done better in close in trips that I may made to red in midwinter inthe past. I only get up there a couple times a year though so I am far from an expert on the lake but I don't go out to far because on this. I am curious to others thoughts

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One other bit of information. The fishing on Center Bar has come to a standstill. I was out there around Christmas and New Years and the fishing was excellent. The number of fish houses on the bar increased greatly at that time. On Wed. the last fish house on the bar left. None there anymore, a pretty good indication that fishing out there has slowed.

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SomethingFishy*

Started fihing anout 10pm last night and have had 1 walleye over slot and 3 perch thus far, hopefully we will see a little more action. We are up thru Sunday.

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going up to redlake in feb am just wondering if anyone has ever stayed in the alpine/royalshooks fishouses before. just kinda wondering if they are nice and if they put you on fish

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knucklehead

tweeker......i have not stayed with them but this is their mainstay for winter income so I think it would be safe to say that the houses will be accomdating and that they will put you on fish. Besides the way folks hoot and holler these days if there is a bad experience from these folks your fellow FM'ers will sound off here. Go up and have a good time. We will be up 16-18th again with Kelly P!!!!

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WE ARE GOING UP NEXT WEEKEND 1/30 FIRST TIMER TO RED

NEED SOME IDEAS ON JIGS THAT ARE CATCHING FISH

WE ARE FISHING OUT OF ALPINE FISH HOUSES

HAS ANY ONE USED THEM RECENTLY

ARE THERE PLACES TO RENT FISH FINDERS

GET BAIT IN KELLIHER AND WHAT BAIT SHOULD WE BE USING TO CATCH FISH

ANY HELP WOULD BE GREAT

THANKS RICK

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I'd try any glow type lure and gold jigs. Havn't fished thru them just seen the houses from a distance. I think the bait store in keliher has fish finders and as far as bait fatheads and crappie minnows did well last wknd.

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Was up to Red several times between 15-20 Jan. Lots of nice fish. No huge eyes, 21 was the biggest, but limited out on 16 1/2 inchers. Went out of JR's. He'll put you on the fish. Did get one Northern on a small red glow Genz worm with a small minnow. Couldn't get his head in the hole. It's eyes were the width of the hole (8") and the tip of his mouth extended 3" beyond. Fought it for 20 minutes on 3 lb test. Got it up to the hole but it wouldn't fit. Didn't want to gaff it. Used LED lights and stared at it for 5 minutes before it regained strength and snapped my line with a quick shake. 40" plus, just a pig. Oh, well.

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SomethingFishy*

Originally Posted By: SomethingFishy
Started fihing anout 10pm last night and have had 1 walleye over slot and 3 perch thus far, hopefully we will see a little more action. We are up thru Sunday.

are you using satellite internet service? I cant even get a cell signal unless i drive 50 miles south.

Using a Sprint Mobile Broadband card, although it is about dial-up speed up here.

We also have a Verizon ans Sprint cell phone but the Sprint phone maintains better signal.

As for fishing we are up to a whopping 4 Walleyes and 4 Perch.... all released. On the the plus side all the Walleyes have been 18"-21". My girlfriend is happy because she has pulled in all the eyes.

P1000665-1.jpg

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Was up on Red 19-21 did great on walleyes did get two 14.5 inch crappies for a bonus weather was good windy the last night

went out of Hillmans Got the crappies in the am 9:00 And Then 10:00 Frosty Jig's red glow

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shaky legs2

Had some fun doing battle with a big gator this weekend for about 10 minutes. He came in on the vex in my buddy's hole and hit the minnow in my hole while still on display in the other hole 4 feet away. After about 10 minutes of playing him on 4# test line and a reel with a h.s. drag I did get him up to the bottom of the hole and saw the HEAD - HUGE!! I couldn't get him turned to come up the hole and no gaff so when he took another run the line was in contact with the ice at a sharp angle and goodbye gator!! It was fun while it lasted!

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  • Rick changed the title to 2020 - Upper Red Lake Fishing Reports (URL)

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      Made it back to Winnie on our second attempt.  We left yesterday afternoon and the truck broke.  The fan shucked a blade through the radiator for some reason!   With help we got the truck to the shop and our fish house home by around 7.  Cleaned out the work truck early this morning and headed back up.  Caught em good the first hour or so but then real tight lipped.  Perch, walleye and tullibee are on the ice.  Missed two flags for pike.  Curious how tonight will be.  Nap time now to prep for the rush! 🤣
    • Hookmaster
      A little long winded but I'm excited to share. Got out on Tonka 4 times this week. Yes, I'm retired. 😀 Bought the Milwaukee 2803-33 and put it on a 6" lazer hand auger that I've had for 20 years but have never used it since I have a gasser too. Very impressed by that set up. Also gave the LiveScope a good work out. Monday afternoon found the sunfish and crappie suspended over a 40-foot hole. Saw fish with the LiveScope with the first set of holes and drilled a few more to get on top of them. Kept 3 of each for fish sandwiches. Tuesday afternoon in the same hole but near the ridge that connects shore to an offshore reef. Mostly sunfish there but a few crappie too. All released. Yesterday started an hour before sunrise and fished a small 12 foot-hole that I started fishing around 1970. Caught sunfish, crappies, largemouth and lost an ~8# carp at the bottom of the hole. Had it played out and laying sideways at the bottom of my 6" hole. Trying to get it started up the hole and my 4# test line broke with a new 4 mm tungsten glow wonder bread jig in its lip. Looked at the flasher and they was another fish. Grabbed the other rod with a 1/16 oz jointed pinhead minnow on it and fired it down the hole to be immediately consumed by a 12" crappie. All fish released. This morning fished the small hole again at the same time. Sunfish and crappies. Largest crappie was 11 7/8. No sunfish over 7". Just drilled 3 holes in the spot with the most fish from yesterday. Two for fishing, one for the LiveScope and set the house up. It's fun seeing fish creeping in from 8 feet away and you can definitely tell the different sizes of fish on the LiveScope. Reminisced on some of the times I've fished this hole over the years with friends and family.
    • papadarv
      Son and I decided one last trip before ice melt on Rush. Lots of slush at access, probably unpassable by next weekend with 40 to 50 deg. temps next week. 25" ice with 4" packed snow on fishing area. No hot spot just area with 30 so wheel/skid shacks. Drilled a few around orange marker found nothing, flasher lit up at blue marker suspended 15 to 28 ft. 36 FOW. Bite non existing put everything down, colors, plastic, variety. Got 3 at 9 to 11 inch. Talked to several anglers, same results. Love the floor I built for the flip no water/slush everything dry. 
    • deere322
      Most likely heading out to Blue later this afternoon.
    • PSU
      Thanks Oohfer, I did meet with DBS out of Duluth for their helical piers. Excellent solution, however rather pricey ($25K) and not sure how we would hide or make more pleasant looking as they would need to tie directly to the cabin, sort of "stilt-like" looking. We are going to get a couple more quotes on simply (not the best term probably) have new footings put in all the way to the ledge rock.    Thanks again, this forum is VERY helpful. Lots of good information on the Lake Vermilion owners Facebook page too!   Andy
    • Oohfersuure
      I would explore helical footings.  Why not? Below is a company I’ve worked with. Not sure if they work up north or if they know someone that does? They are knowledgeable, a phone call should do er’ and see what you can find out. Good luck!   https://goliathtechmn.com/
    • eyeguy 54
      I just look at pics 😁😂😉
    • eyeguy 54
      Remind me to bring tums!! Lol
    • Rick G
      ice is still looking good, have roughly 24inces give or take a little. Cats have been kinda tough to find in any real numbers. I have done a bit of scouting this week.  I think I might have an area pinned down that has activity... Will do a bit more scouting this weekend and into next week.   Will Have  The location posted by Mid week for sure.  Will also keep monitoring ice conditions.
    • Rick G
      Well, might as well add some details to Royce's pics...lol With the longer days and warming weather pattern this week.  We have started to see more quality fish moving shallow to take advantage of the food and cover skinny water provides. Panfish start to move out from the basins during late winter to feed on the insects that become more active as the days get longer and warmer. There is also more oxygen available due to the weeds starting to grow again.     We have been finding more quality fish showing up in the 8-12 ft areas close to the greenest thickest weed available.  Insect type baits  like the p3 spug, the chigger fry and mayfly rigged on 3-4mm tungsten jigs have been working best.
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