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Good report Matt. Thanks. This is my first winter ice fishing this area and appreciate any advice(fish DL and LOW area previously). Not looking for spots but did you put most houses out deeper? 30ft? I was out on East side of Bemidji last night a few hours off a steep dropoff in 27ft and just one 13in eye. Green or gold have been what I've been trying most. Anyone have a go to color out there? A bit of snow out there now but makes for easy banking of the house.

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I hear ya'! The day we put them out there was litte-to-no snow, so banking was a chore. We had to plow then shovel. Almost wish I had waited a day! The snow is already making for slushy conditions out there...

We have houses scattered a bit. I like to fish no shallower than 19' of water early. 33-39' of water seems to be the best in the areas we like to hit early. 22' in another spot is great, but it's a whole different structure over there. Bemidji is great, because you can find fish in 6' of water in the weeds and 55' of water in the holes. So many areas to try, so much structure to explore. Keep digging and you'll figure out a pattern in the area you're fishing. Break the lake down in quadrants and hit 'er hard... wink

I've been using a red-spot glow Demon Jigging Spoon with a shiner head. It's caught all of my fish this year. I tried a Chubby Darter and had fish zooming in, but they wouldn't commit. Tells me the fish aren't as aggressive as some years early. Oddly though, they won't touch a dead-stick or bobber for me. Subtle pounding of the spoon has been the ticket. Make sure it's glowing.

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first time on the bemidji forum. I have two houses out a dark house and an angling house both on the north end. Just got the angling one out today. Im out on the KiKi bar anyone know how fishing can be there? And as far as ice thickness a good 12". but there is trucks driving out there would not recomend that. the ice is cracking and making lots of noise. Lots of slush by the shorline and about half way to the DNR bar there is a line of slush running north and south.

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Great report Matt. Fish do seem scattered at all depths just like in the summer. Was out last night about a mile north of Cameron. On my 3rd hole I drilled I went right through...about 6inches of ice only. I was in 22ft. I was glad I was on an ATV. Vehicles were within a few 100yards of me. A couple small eyes last night 330-530pm and 6 perch around 9inch I threw back.Pounding the jigging stick on the bottom then raising it up a bit seemed to get them more aggressive. I've noticed the reglowing often seemed to help too. Good luck and have a good Christmas.

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Drove my truck out today for the last hour of light - 4 eyes, only one keeper. 21 fow - they only bit on the dead stick - wouldn't touch the jigging spoon.

I think I'll be leaving my truck on shore for a few more days again, I was not comfortable with the ice I found & it turned into a slush field by the time I left. I think people are really pushing the envelope this year - please be careful out there!

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Got the house out yesterday and set up shop in 32 ft of water next to a shelf! Marked lots of fish and lots would come and sniff and go away! Glow red dead stick and a plain red hook caught the majority of the fish. The bite is so light they would pull the bobber down or rattle reel very slow and when you would set the hook you would feel weight and then some of them would let go half way up. Measured a good 15 inches in the spot we are on! grin

Good luck out there and remember it is still better than WORK! Oh, YEAH it is work! wink

Emily (3 yrs old) is bring the DORA pole today to catch all the fish! This should be a great experience! She was mad yesterday since Dora was still in the garage! whistle

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Have had the same "sniffer" fish where I've tried as well. They come right up to the bait but won't bite. I tried changing jigs a lot and upsizing and downsizing. I guess I need to find the banjo minnow or something to get them to bite! Good luck with the dora pole...if it works you may see more out there!

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Yea what's up with these fish? All they would do is come in an sniff at it. I mark some fish a dusk but nothing hits? SOmetimes a lite bite.

I've moved my house on Sunday thinkg my new spot would find new aggressive fish but it didn't happen. Still same old fish.

Do you guys think 22 fow is to shallow off a bar or hump? Should I go deeper for eyes? like 30-33 fow like Matts says?

I've caught only one fish so far. so need some advice.

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Good question right now! If you figure it out let us know. We did manage some prch this am, and now getting ready to head back out until dark. Hooked the aqua view up to the TV and watched perch, craw fish and eyes swim by. The perch were pulling/nipping at the minnow head, crawfish wanted some also! That was cool! grin

As far as depth, well I have fished from 14-36 with the same results! I am stumped, but hopefully with this front moving in that will change the bite! whistle Heck it can't get too much worse! cry

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Now I know its tough when woodman is having a tough bite. Thanks for the update Woodman and good luck. WHere you at woodman north end? I'm on the south end by the river.

I wish at least perch would come to the hole. The front of my house is in 21 and the back is 24 fow. Don't know what else to do but wait it out.

Here fishy fishy.

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Woodman, trying any of the shallow stuff yet? I hope to put up some reasonable reports this weekend. Only been out once in this area and iced a few nice eyes and missed/lost a bunch more with a buddy. Deadsticks caught more, spoons and heads caught bigger ones. Bites were pretty light. Maybe see you on the lake, you know where I'll probably be...

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Have not tried that spot yet, but did drive over it with a snowmobile. The area is full of spear houses this year, more than usual! Heading out to move the house into about 24 ft from 32 to see how that bite is. Had a buddy fishing a spot and he managed 3 eyes and some perch, so the house will go there in the am! Good luck and keep us posted! grinwhistlewink

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Managed to get out of bed today afterall, no fish but didn't blow anything up either so all in all a good day (ask woodman as I don't want to think about it). A ton of sniffers and lookers but very few takers. Hopefully these storms will shake things up a little and get them back to biting. Good luck to all who get out.

Buck

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Well I am glad I am not the only one not catching fish right now. Talking to people last night on the lake, one group fished 5 lakes in the last 3 days and the bite is neutral everywhere! mad The waiting game is on, the wife says you have to be in the fish house to catch fish and you don't know when they are going to bite, so off to the fish house we go again! This time I will bring some gas for the generator, so we can charge up the batteries so we can keep warm! grin

Buck- Good to fish with you again, and the TV, Stereo system, radio, and charger are only material items, don't worry about them, we will just have to update them all and sit back and wait for the fish! That should get me a plowed road ALL winter LONG!! wink

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Fished 20 foot depths tonight on Bemidji and the walleyes were cooperative. Managed 4 keepers between 4 and 5:30 pm. Few between 12 and 13" that were released as well. All hit on green and white slender spoons whith a chub head. Buddy fished last night and did even better.

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I have GOT to hear the story behind the above posts... wink

Well...started out by me getting a nice little generator for Christmas...all excited to go try it out. So head on out to Woodman's shack, fire up generator, plug shack into it and go inside. Sam (my youngest) wanted to check out the AquaView, fine, so while I'm lowering the camera I can hear ice on the roof popping. No big deal, continued with the camera, hooked it up to the TV and and turned it on, heard more popping. This time I was like, okay, what the heck is that noise, don't see anything so must be okay. Then Sam asked if smoke was supposed to be coming from the TV...ah, no, I don't think so. So out the door with the TV. Then I look up and notice smoke rolling out of the dvd/cd player. The generator was popping capacitors and resistors like they were going out of style.

So no more entertainment in Woodmans fish shack for the rest of the year.

Buck

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  • 2 weeks later...

okay, I'll admit it...the fish are winning all the battles this season so far. Either people are being tight-lipped, fibbing, or not getting anything to bite. I'm in the "not getting any to bite" category. I've talked to a lot of people and most are saying the same thing. Any good theories? Last year they jumped into the house, not so this year. I've tried about every bait possible, worked through the tackle box a couple times. If you are having a good bite and don't want to ruin your luck by letting out secrets I understand, but anyone doing real well out there?

Buck

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okay, I'll admit it...the fish are winning all the battles this season so far. Either people are being tight-lipped, fibbing, or not getting anything to bite. I'm in the "not getting any to bite" category. I've talked to a lot of people and most are saying the same thing. Any good theories? Last year they jumped into the house, not so this year. I've tried about every bait possible, worked through the tackle box a couple times. If you are having a good bite and don't want to ruin your luck by letting out secrets I understand, but anyone doing real well out there?

Buck

Same thing here. I mark a lot of fish on the marcum, but can't get them to bite!

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I think you all must be fishing in the same holes! And if you are, you need to move... wink

I agree, it's much slower this year than last year, or the year before, but I'm still seeing and hearing most people catching between 2-10 fish a night. Almost everyone I've talked to, in every depth over the last 2 weeks has said they get the flash bite right before dark and again in the morning. Daytime is horrid... I've been chasing perch and they're even finicky most of the day. Tullibee's and panfish are it for me until the perch start to get a fire under them.

For my report.... I was out with the family on Sunday. We fished for nearly 4 hours (by fished I mean watched DVD's and ate pizza). We caught quite a few perch, only a couple of keepers, and we landed 2 walleyes and lost or missed 2 other seeming walleyes. We had to leave right at prime-time because of 2 crying children, and we left with active fish on the flashers. My wife wasn't happy... wink Yesterday I chased tullies for awhile, and did pretty well. Took a long time to locate active pods, but once found, they bit good enough for a trip to the Locker today.

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Matt, my Vexilar hat like that in the first pic didn't come with a eye like that...guess I picked the wrong one again...dang. Nice eye, and nice hat.

Buck

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They're everywhere... I've seen them in 17' of water in the last 2 weeks, and over 50' of water as well. They're coming in scattered at all depths, moving as far as 30' in the water column to hit a bait.

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I'm finding the same thing with the tullies - they seem to be everywhere at every depth. I've never seen so many!

As for the other fish species... not much happening for me the last few weeks. The same old story - lots of lookers, very few biters.

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  • 1 month later...

Hit the Bemidji waters of Lake Bemidji and Lake Plantanganette this weekeend. We were able to locate the perch with no problems, but had to pick through them to keep a few keepers. Did end up icing my personal best walleye on Plan tan on Saturday night. 27", also got a few jumbos and a smaller eye. We did let the big fish go, as always!.. Good trip cant wait to hit her again!

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      Heading up to Garden Lake Resort Sep 16 - 24. Any reports or tips from up there? Thanks!
    • LakeofthewoodsMN
      By LakeofthewoodsMN
      On the south end...  Another really strong week of walleye fishing.  
      One of the main areas to fish is still deep mud.  Basically 28 - 34 feet of water.  Various schools of walleyes move around the basin relating to different kinds of forage.  
      Big walleyes eat a lot of everything but really key in on tullibees (ciscos) who live primarily in the basin.  Other forage can be perch, perch minnows, emerald shiners, blood worms, crayfish, and the list goes on.  
      Various schools holding shallower, over rocks or sand, based on bait options in that area.  Reefs are still holding fish, normally on the sides and base where rock meets the mud.   
      Drifting or trolling spinners with crawlers and trolling crankbaits are still very effective for catching walleyes this week.
      As we approach mid to late September and October, the jig bite will fire back up!
      On the Rainy River...   Walleyes hanging out in some of the deeper holes throughout the river.  Moving up and down the river, hitting numerous spots until you find which areas have walleyes is a good method for success.
      Some anglers trolling crankbaits to cover water.  Oftentimes, walleyes won't show up on electronics if they are laying in a depression in the river bottom.  Only way to know is to fish the area.
      Bass and pike are plentiful on structure, docks and weed edges.  Hitting various "goto" spots up and down the river is a fun and normally productive day.    
      The sturgeon "keep" season continues through Sep. 30.  Catch and release Oct 1 - April 23, 2022.
      Up at the NW Angle...  
      Great fishing continues on both sides of the border.  In U.S. waters, deep mud of Little Traverse Bay continues producing walleyes in 28 - 33 feet.  Gold, white and orange spinners with a crawler is effective.
      Underwater points, sunken islands and neck down areas with a bit of current in 18 - 27 feet holding fish.  These areas are good areas to jig.
      Pike and muskie anglers are still finding good fish on weedy points using jerkbaits and topwater. 
      Travel via vehicle through Canada to the Angle is open.  Boating into Canadian waters is now open.  Contact a NW Angle resort for details.
      Charter boat transport and float planes are still available through the LOW Passenger Service and Lake Country Air.  
      A complete list of lodging and fishing packages around LOW, the NW Angle, Baudette and the Rainy River at www.fishingminnesota.com/Lodging.  


  • Your Responses - Share & Have Fun :)

    • JBMasterAngler
      Made it to Riverdale Flowage today. Pretty silted in, structure less reservoir. Still has some potential. Seen a few bass swimming around, and caught 2 pike early on back to back casts, but didn’t see another fish after that. Floating leaves EVERYWHERE made whopper ploppers a difficult presentation. Jig and craw about the only thing I could use to keep that stuff off.
    • LakeofthewoodsMN
      On the south end...  An excellent week of fall walleye fishing.  Bring lots of bait as the fish are active.  There are lots of small fish in the system that bodes well for the future.  You will catch your eaters and other larger fish, but will usually have to sort through small fish along the way. Anchored up and jigging with a fathead or emerald shiner is the go to method.  Most fish are usually adjacent to the bottom.  Live shiners are available and effective.  Some anglers still using spinners with a minnow or trolling crankbaits. The best reports are coming from 17-27 feet of water across the south shore in areas such as Pine Island, Morris Point, Zippel Bay, Graceton Beach, Long Point and Rocky Point.  Various schools within these depths.  In addition to walleyes and saugers, pike, jumbo perch, sturgeon and even a few crappies are in the mix for walleye anglers.  On the Rainy River...   Emerald shiners continue to run in the Rainy River, consequently, there are walleyes around.  Jigging with a frozen or live shiner, is the go to method.  Emerald shiners are tough to beat.   Trolling crankbaits is an extremely effective technique in the river.  Also great in locating walleyes or when fish are scattered.    Sturgeon activity continues good.  A gob of crawlers and/or frozen shiners on a sturgeon rig (18 inch leader made of 60lb test, circle hook and a 2-3 ounce no roll sinker) is the ticket.  The catch and release season continues through April 23, 2022. Up at the NW Angle...  Fall fishing up at the Angle continues to be excellent.  Most anglers are using a jig and minnow or jig and plastic for walleyes.  In some areas, walleyes are stacked and active with big numbers of fish being caught.   Gold, pink and/or glow colored jigs and spinners are doing well.  Reminder, no live, frozen or dead bait being able to be transported over the border from the U.S. into Canada, consequently anglers boating into Ontario waters reporting various plastics on their jigs and spinners working great. Various areas of structure such as points, reefs and sandy areas in neck down areas continue to hold good fish.  12 - 26 feet is the range depending upon the spot.   Big crappies are active in their fall spots and being caught on jigs and minnows in 24-30' around various structure. Muskie action was hot this week.  Jigging large baits has boated good numbers of fish as well as casting and trolling.  Travel to and from the Angle via vehicle through the 40 miles of Canada is open.  Boating into Canadian waters is now open.   Want to avoid crossing the border?  Charter transport via water and ice and flights over the lake are available through the LOW Passenger Service and Lake Country Air both this fall and into the winter months via ice.    
    • gimruis
      I did pretty good bass fishing on Saturday from 8am - 1pm.  It was frigid when we started at 8am but by 10 the sun was fully up and it was more comfortable.  A friend and I caught 7 bass and 5 pike.  I caught the biggest bass I've caught in a month, a 19.5 incher.  The water temp was 58 degrees.  I might try going one more time and then hang it up for the season as long as the water temp stays above 50.  I think turnover has just occurred because the water temp dropped about 10-12 degrees in less than a week.
    • Wanderer
      Yep, western MN and Lake of the Woods diver reports were good from the weekend.  That Arrowhead head area is fickle for ducks and hitting the migration.     We had a fantastic week up there about 8-9 years ago and have been chasing that memory almost every year since.  We just don’t spend as much time doing it anymore.  Still love being there in October and that chase.   We went from a 30 decoy spread in small clusters to a 6 decoy spread set up in a 4/2 grouping.  That’s the one they liked.  No pass shots, wings cupped and feet down or they were left to carry on.   I gave up the fully flocked mallards in exchange for the early season mallards.  I don’t know if that change worked as well as I think it did but like I said, they came to em.  Even the geese.
    • Rick
      A weekly list of news briefs about fish, wildlife, and habitat management.Discuss below - to view set the hook here.
    • Rick
      One of Minnesota DNR’s largest habitat restoration projects is complete. The three-year, $18 million construction project in the St. Louis River estuary near Duluth has restored 230 acres of coastal wetland habitat at Kingsbury Bay and Grassy Point.Discuss below - to view set the hook here.
    • Rick
      Nearly half a million firearms deer hunters are preparing for the firearms deer season that opens Saturday, Nov. 6, and offers opportunity to spend time outdoors with friends and family, find adventure outdoors and put venison in the freezer.Discuss below - to view set the hook here.
    • Rick
      One of Minnesota DNR’s largest habitat restoration projects is complete. The three-year, $18 million construction project in the St. Louis River estuary near Duluth has restored 230 acres of coastal wetland habitat at Kingsbury Bay and Grassy Point.Discuss below - to view set the hook here.
    • Rick
      Nearly half a million firearms deer hunters are preparing for the firearms deer season that opens Saturday, Nov. 6, and offers opportunity to spend time outdoors with friends and family, find adventure outdoors and put venison in the freezer.Discuss below - to view set the hook here.
    • Rick
      A weekly list of news briefs about fish, wildlife, and habitat management.Discuss below - to view set the hook here.
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