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Joe

Here is where to put hunting or fishing reports. All posts are welcome.

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Johnny_Magellan

We were up after New Year's and got a few smaller eyes on Blackduck in 12 feet-how are they going now? Any size these days? Thanks!

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Drake

Still fishing in the 12-14' depths in either early morning or late afternoon on Blackduck for the walleyes and the fish they are reeling in are ranging from 11-14"..so eater size. Most anglers are targeting the perch on Blackduck, in the deeper 20-24' depths and that is going really well. Last weekend for walleye and this weekend is also the Jaycees annual Fishing Derby on the Duck.

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Johnsonator

How are the ice conditions for driving?

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Drake

We had the rain early last week which helped to get rid of a good portion of the snow, then we had the cold temps last week and it firmed things up really good. Now the travel is going good hitting the lake off the public access and able to tool around the lake. (Even had some guests out there in a van this weekend)

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AugieAngler1010

Fished Blackduck Weds evening and Thursday until about 2pm. Travel was good, not much snow left. It was really bumpy out there, but at least the huge snow drifts are gone.

The fishing Weds night for eyes was good from 5:15-6:15. They bit really hot and then shut off completely after about 6:15. Red glow frostee and a minnow head was working. They seemed to be biting short on whole minnows so I had to go with just a minnow head.

The perch fishing Thursday was tough. I was fishing alone which makes the searching a longer process. I finally found em in 20-22 FOW. If you come up looking for perch, bring lots of gas for your auger!

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Frank Boling 41

I have been by Blackduck a few times over the years in the winter,but never have done any ice fishing there,need to get back over to that Blackduck/Bemidji area next winter.I have been spending lots of time the past few winters ice fishing over around Tower and the lake Vermilion area.

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Drake

You'll have to be sure to do some icefishing in the winter when you are here...lots of great little lakes!

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Frank Boling 41

Drake,

I think I have driven right by your motel before,we lived in Fargo for a while some years back before moving back down here to Oklahoma...When me and my wife would go back to Fargo to visit we sometimes would drive over to Bemidj to snowmobile and ice fish,my wife really loved to hit the casinos in the area to play the slots or play bingo,LOL...But yes I need to get over that way this next winter hopefully.

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Drake

Little change from this area to Oklahoma..especially with the weather we've been getting. But have to have the cold to keep the ice fishing going! The snowmobile trailhead is in the park right next door to us, so maybe you sledded right by us..and Mrs. Drake likes the casino bingo too! Hopefully you'll be up to a change in climate next winter and be able to hit the ice!

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walleye2001

I was just woungering when they are or if there gonna change the slot limit on the lake. We have a cabin on there an I have heard so many didderent stories on it so if anyone knows let me know please. I have fished that lake for nearly 30 years an what a change, for the worst. Was fishing it a couple years ago and caught a stinkin bass out there. Who's stupid idea was it ta put them in there. I dont agree with that at all, there are plenty of other lakes with them in there. Next thing ya know there are gonna stock it with Muskies in there. Let the northrens grow up there is plenty of small perch in there. It just make me mad why they gotta ruin a good walleye lake.

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walleyefreak33

just seen the new regs for 09 and in the book the slot is still the same, so as far as i know they are not changing it but that is just what i know but u can never tell what te dnr will do hopefully that will help u

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fivebucks

I don't know about any new slot changes on Island but I like the current one (well maybe 19"-28" would be my choice). A few years ago it was tough fishing and now with the slot it has gotten better IMO. As long as they keep it consistant with the other larger lakes in the area then it won't get pounded hard like it did when Winnie had the slot and Island did not.

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Tip Up Rookie

Has anyone been out on Island lately? If so, any luck? Really hoping to get away for for a few days to spend on the ice and chase down some pannies.

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brna0102

Hey Drake how is travel on Blackduck currently? We are looking to come up this weekend. How much snow is left? Truck, 4 wheeler, or snowmobile?

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Drake

The sun really melted the snow down, think the fourwheeler would be easier than the snowmobile. Trucks are able to get out and about right now, current temp is 12 with a high today of 33, tomorrow is showing a high of 46 with a 30% chance of light rain or freezing rain in the am with a low of 29; Saturday is showing sunny and around 50..I dunno, I think I may be tempted to bring the wheeler with.

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Frank Boling 41

Drake,

What do you think the AVG ice depth was on Blackduck this past winter?and whatever that number is if you know, how does it relate to normal...Me being an Ag Met I have an on-going study of such things,thanks for any help.

Frank. P.S.I forgot to add that many of the lakes in southern Mn had as much as 6" more ice on Avg this winter compared with normals...Still waiting on some other areas of the state for final data.

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Drake

Frank~Blackduck and the other lakes in the area was pretty much running normal this year, around 30". Now, if we wouldn't have had all that snow at the beginning of the season I would say we would definitely be above average.

Rains came through last night, and the access at Blackduck is pretty wet because of the water run off from the golf course, which is typical for this time of year, I had folks that hit it last night and they said that they went off the access to the left and once they were out about 10' it was good going. We just took a drive by and there was a truck out on the ice this afternoon. We have an inch of snow in the forecast for tonight, and tomorrow through Monday the forecast highs are around 32 and the lows are in the mid teens, so hopefully that will firm it back up. The other lakes in the area that our anglers have hit yesterday and today are saying no problems at the access, but the roads are a bit muddy getting to the lake, again, with the cold temps that should help firm them up too. So we'll see what ma nature brings us. As for fishing, our guests yesterday hit a couple of the smaller lakes in the area and brought back some pretty decent crappies.

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fishinbum

Hello-

Heading up to Blackduck this afternoon for some panfishing in the area. With the recent cold weather, how is travel on area lakes around Blackduck? Can a person get on with a 4-wheeler on lakes such as Pimushe, Rabideau and Big Lake? Have these lakes been producing any panfish in the last week or so?

Thanks for any reports in advance!!

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AugieAngler1010

We used a 4-wheeler last weekend. Pimushe was slow. When we drove by Rabideau it looked like a total circus out there. Talked to someone later on the duck that was out on Rabideau and said only a few fish being caught. Actually did well on perch on Blackduck, with a bonus crappie and a few bonus gills as well.

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Frank Boling 41

Drake,

Thanks for the info,that seems to be the case through the region,the lakes that had less snow on them early on had thicker ice depth then normal...I know they had early ice and thicker ice conditions for areas around northern Iowa also...I remember early ice reports form Clear lake,Ia were really something...I know on the way back down here this past Jan, I fished a lake in Waseca,Mn and can tell you that lake had a good 25"-30" of ice, in some spots maybe a bit more,I know trying to cut through that ice with my hand auger was really tough going.

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Drake

It has been a little unusual this winter, tons of snow and more days below the normal temp than at normal. This weekend was pretty decent weather wise, actually saw some sunshine. Travel on the lakes in the area is best with wheelers now, even if you do see some brave soul out there in his vehicle, don't follow suit. Fishing over the weekend was pretty good, a lot of different lakes got hit so a variety of fish coming through the cleaning shack. Those that hit Blackduck Lake and drilled a bunch of holes were rewarded for their work because they did a lot better than those only drilling a couple of holes and waiting for the fish to come to them, typically getting about 5 jumbos before going on to the next hole.

As Augie said, Rabideau last weekend was a circus, we had a couple of people who drove by there and said the same thing and said the people they talked to said they weren't doing too good on the catching, even though they saw it in the paper that Rabideau was hot; sure hate to see certain lakes being written up like that. But there are a Lot of lakes in the area that have done well this winter and have continued through the weekend, and we had people going all over the area this last week and saw some nice panfish. Pimusche has been off and on the past month, one day you can go out there and not get but maybe one or two and then the next day you can reel in a limit of crappies. One lake that was slow this weekend was Round Lake, had some folks trying their favorite hot spot but no luck.

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swamptiger

Island Lake was pounded really hard a few years ago and hasn't recovered yet. The story from the locals is that there are plenty of walleyes over the slot - not many smaller, keeper sized fish yet - give it some time..

Since you have a cabin on the lake, you could join the lake association and get involved in the management of the lake if you want. Not sure who the current president is, but I know Joe Bender from Northome has been a past president.

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woodman

Good points Swamptigger! I fished it last summer and yes it was hard to get some under the slot fish, but it was nice to see the size and quality of the eyes in their again. I would say in 5 years it will be bact to what it was in the early 90's I hope! When I was out there I counted 3 other boats on the lake and my father who fished it at least once a week last summer only counted a few each time he was out also. This will also help the production. I can remember when I was growing up you could walk on the boats around us cuz we were catching fish and everybody wanted on the spot. Now it is nice to have the lake to yourself and still catch fish without all the crowds.

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Tip Up Rookie

what is the slot on Island? At the end of march i caught a nice eye chasing down some panfish. Guessing it was 19-21.

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  • Your Responses - Share & Have Fun :)

    • JerkinLips
      Lake Vermilion/Big Bay is frozen over and somebody was fishing in a portable out of McKinley Park today, so the season has officially begun.  Not sure if I will make it up next weekend after 12 days of deer hunting.  Be very careful if you go out.    
    • monstermoose78
      In my deer hunting party you can’t shoot anyone else’s deer any more!! Unless you give them permission to harvest your deer and everyone agreed except one uncle and he is no longer allowed at deer camp! He is not happy but the deer camp is better without him.
    • gimruis
      Minnesota is one of very few states that still allows party hunting.  That rule needs to go.  If you were limited to one and ONLY one buck the entire season, regardless of what weapon or zone you hunted in, or who you hunted with, it would immediately increase the average size of bucks.  If a hunter was going to hunt for days, and he saw a spike or a fork on the first day, I think it would make them think twice about filling their tag right away knowing that they wouldn't be able to shoot another one and fill someone else's tag later on.   The House of Representatives recently passed a ruling on removing gray wolves from the endangered species list in the great lakes region.  That's a good first step.  Each state is capable of managing their own wolf population whether that is through a limited, lottery drawn season or whatever.
    • kfancody
      I found 14 of these! Glad ice is back.
    • Parmer
      On red people walking out. Not sure about LOTW. 
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    • CANOPY SAM
      This is always an interesting topic.   I absolutely love Whitetail Deer and Deer Hunting!  I read messages from all over the state and I'm often reminded just how fortunate we've been to live in a high density deer area (Northwest Minnesota).   In our particular zone, being primarily agricultural land, it's key to a hunter's success to be on, or very near the food during the regular firearms deer season.  In a "normal" year with reasonably normal early to mid-November weather, if you're on the food source you're covered up in deer.  If you're not, you can have some pretty quiet days in the stand.   Last year, and the year before, we had some standing beans on our deer lease.  All thru the bowhunting season, and well into the firearms season, it wasn't unusual at all for us to have 25-35 deer milling around any one of our multiple stand sites.  We had our choice from multiple 2 1/2 yr old bucks, spikes and forks galore, and of course does and fawns constantly making it hard to remain undetected.  There was always at least one real tanker somewhere on the State Land adjacent to our lease, but they usually go entirely nocturnal about 30 seconds after the firearms season starts.   This year, for a number of foolish reasons, we didn't have ANY food left on our lease anywhere!  Boy was that a mistake we'll never make again!  We still had a fair number of deer move thru our property, but for obvious reasons they were all headed somewhere else.  Personally, I passed on a couple forkhorns, and a couple mature does, but never did see anything I bothered to put the scope on.   My youngest son harvested his first deer ever - a nice 9-point "first" deer for a young hunter.  He's pictured in another thread.  That was the biggest animal any of us saw on our lease.   Opinions/observations.... As we are really fortunate compared to many I really can't complain about our deer hunting opportunities.  One of the things that worked against us this year was the weather.  Our weather patterns were like a bad roller coaster ride!  Super cold and windy one night, then really mild and dead calm the next.  Then another couple days of spitting snow, high winds, and frigid temps, only to return to mild and calm.  This made it hard to "pattern" any movement.   I'm pretty sure we're seeing an uptick in predator numbers in our area.  I watched fox from the deer stand.  I know there are coyotes in the area, and I saw very large canine tracks on our land, but I can't say for certain if they were a wolf's tracks, or if they were simply the neighbor's dog?  I did note there were noticeably fewer fawns around this year as compared to last year, and the year before.   Last winter was a long, tough one in NW MN.  It was VERY cold (double digit subzero temps) for a VERY long time (3-4 weeks straight?), and it just dragged on, and on, late into the spring.  I suspect we likely experienced more winter kill than many of us know.   My last observation.  I see this every year, and I sense it's just getting worse with each subsequent season.  There aren't very many people in our area that know how to successfully hunt whitetail deer.  This year I actually watched a neighbor drive INTO the woods, right to the base of his stand!  Mind you, there isn't any road there!  He just drove across the field to the edge of the treeline, then proceeded to drive right thru the trees and brush to his stand!    Few people pay any heed at all to scent control.  They routinely make more noise than a demolition crew going into and out of their hunting areas.  And when the deer aren't up and moving, again for obvious reasons, most people jump into their vehicles and road hunt all day.  To take a trophy animal in our zone during the regular firearms deer season is almost nothing but LUCK.  It might just be me, but I believe the vast majority of our really big trophy bucks go 100% nocturnal within minutes of the firearms opener.  It's not really hard to see why.   But again, I can't complain.  We see lots of deer, and we have lots of opportunities to harvest animals.  I am spoiled by numbers of Whitetail Deer.  Is there such a thing as being too picky when deer hunting? 😄  It will be wonderful to hit the woods again this coming weekend with the muzzleloader.  There will be almost no one else around.  Our zone is a ghost town during the smokepole season.  It's AWESOME!!!!!   ALL the deer are MINE!!! 😆
    • JFitz
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    • Kettle
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