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Decided to switch it up and try for panfish today and got a nice mix bag of slabs, big gills, perch and a few walleyes... The only spot I found fish was right on a breakline going from 6-10ft out from

Got out and found some nice wallys and a pile of jumbos.

1st piggy of the year already, going to be a good year.

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This is such a downer, what with all the bluebird weather we've been having and now all this wet snow...I feel like the season is shot already..if we get a few days of below zero weather, will that shore up the ice any?

Someone inspire me! cry

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Early Riser

I was just reviewing my journals for a little perspective on this winter's progression.

I am not too worried about these current conditions. It will work out for the lake ice. I remember waiting nervously for ice fishing Lake Trout season opener in the BWCA Jan 1 when we lived in Hovland wondering if I could get into the big border lakes that first day.

I still can almost always make it into where I want to go for the BWCA trout opener; but some years the ice is not good enough for a week or so after the first of the year. Even in those late cold years we stillI have until March 31 for some of the best ice fishing anyone could imagine.

It was far warmer than average until 12/27/1993 when the high temp reached 32f. That afternoon it started snowing and the temp dropped to -26f by the next morning. It did not get above zero for daytime highs until January 18th. That day it was -17f when we left to go out fishing at 7:30 AM. I was out fishing all day without wearing gloves because it felt so warm by the time it got to zero. The very next day it got back down to -27f with a strong NW wind to go with it. Many days during that cold spell the daytime highs, even down by Lake Superior in Grand Portage where I worked at the time were hovering around -20f.

It started out pretty mild with no signifiant snow over 1" since 12/19/1995. Then after New Year we had snow storm after snow storm, including a single storm that started 1/16/1996 lasted almost three days. At the end of it all it was -10f, windy from the NE, and snowing to beat the band. By 1/19/1996 it had dumped 23" of snow. Tower MN broke the cold record fairly late in February that year. Our thermometer at the house inland from Lake Superior bottomed at -40 so I don't know how cold it got below that. We were ice fishing far into Lake Superior well into early April that spring. The ice wasn't gone from even the small lakes until 5/20, and I noted finding piles of snow in the woods and piled in places along the roads on 6/1. So be careful what you wish for, unless you, like me, like the type of variation that often occurs in MN.

The same thing happens many years with the heavy snow coming before the big lakes are ready for snowmachine travel. The weight of the snow will push down the ice, flood it, and then it will refreeze. You will still find pockets of slush, but once a few folks run through them with their high powered sleds they will reset for some solid travel routes into the back country.

All we need now is the cold between now and the first week of January. It could come later. Just remember the phrase: "When the days get longer the cold gets stronger."

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Jack Stasney

Well said by Early Riser. If we had 8 inches of ice and then got 18 inches of snow, it would take days of -20 weather to refreeze and the lakes would become impassible. Eventually some would open roads, but the second you went off the path it'd be slush city. I think we'll be okay as EA said. There is not enough ice to hold this heavy wet snow and not so much that you'll have an insulating layer above the slush that will no doubt be out there.

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  • 2 weeks later...
arctic_scrap1

5-6 inches on Tamarack, near Wright, MN. Lots of slush, though. The top of the slush is froze but you break through everywhere you go with an atv.

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  • 'we have more fun' FishingMN Creators
Surface Tension

7" of good ice + layer of frozen slush from the weekend rain is what I'm seeing in the Twig area.

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arctic_scrap1

Around 10" of good ice + around 2" of not so good ice[the slush that was on a lot of the area lakes] on Eagle Lake near Cromwell. Saw a small truck out there. Also saw a couple of cars and a small truck on Island Lake, also in Cromwell.

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live4chrome

Anyone have a snow report for the local lakes

I want to try boulder tomorow but dont want tobdrive all the way up there to find i cant get out with my jeep

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  • 'we have more fun' FishingMN Creators
Surface Tension

Driving cross county on area lakes can be done just watch out for snow drifts.

Bring good shovel just in case. If that doesn't get you out, drill a hole at a 45 degree angle but not all the way through and use a 6' 6x6 as an anchor for a comealong.

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tmg1brandt

Hi all, does anyone have any information about how the fishing has been along the shore from Duluth to around McQuade's landing? What have you caught, on what, what depths, etc? Thank you very much...just wanting to know when the time is right to make the trip.

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LoonASea

I would wait till the construction is done for the lakewalk expansion (Grandmas marathon weekend it should be finished) We got skunked last time we fished the McQuade area but the water was cold then ,,,Im sure the fish will be around shortly after the marathon and maybe the mud will settle by then too

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Northlander

Some friends did real well on lakers out from the Lester in 140' of water with sticks yesterday.

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tacklejunkie

Some friends did real well on lakers out from the Lester in 140' of water with sticks yesterday.

Off boards or Downriggers?

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JasonAkers

Hello,

I was wondering if anyone could point me in the direction of some good perch / walleye fishing in the Grand Marais / Lutsen Area? I will be traveling up next week and staying in a cabin on Caribou but I've heard mixed reports about the fishing there. I'm sure with the pure amount of lakes in the area there are good walleye and perch lakes but since I'm not familiar with them thought I would ask here. I will have my boat with me so I'm not isolated to the shore.

Thanks!

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  • 'we have more fun' FishingMN Builders
monstermoose78

Check out the post on Tofte area. Crescent Lake was hot for me over memorial weekend. The fish should be shallow still. Lots of great lakes in the area to try.

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Spent a few hours fishing from the Two Harbors Breakwall earlier this week. Caught 5 Coho in that time, and missed / lost a few others. Nothing happening on spoons and jigs at any depth, for anyone I saw. Lots of fish being caught on crawlers and minnows under bobbers.

Never would have considered bobber fishing for salmon had I not read some posts on here. Once again, FM helps me out. Cooked up three for the group on the grill that night, and brought home 2 for later.

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  • 4 weeks later...
  • 'we have more fun' FishingMN Builders
monstermoose78

I was up on Basswood near Pipestone Bay over the weekend. We caught lots of fish in 2 days of fishing we ended up with 43 walleyes, 27 rock bass, 11 pike, and 3 smallmouth and 4 perch. The walleyes were mostly small in the 10-13 inch range, however I did catch a 29 incher on Saturday. The boat I was in released all the fish we caught. Our group had 3 boats up there and they did about the same except no one else caught any big walleyes. Jigging with leeches was the key for sure. If you used a crawlers rock bass were all over it.

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Been spending more time on Island Lake recently. Size of the 'eyes are on the small size, but with lots of sorting have had some very nice eaters.

Also have been having decent luck finding some respectable Croppies and Perch as "by-catch" not too terribly far from one of the launch ramps.

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Another good weekend on Island Lake. Jigging minnows between 13-20' has produced good mixed bag results. Some of the Croppies are very respectable size and weight.

Boat traffic is way down and depending where you are fishing, there could be only one more boat in the area.

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ladyfishfinder

Birch lake has some nice roads plowed out now it has been slow maybe now with change of weather it will pick up

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What's the condition on hanging horn is it drivable every where or is the snow to deep? Any help would be much appreciate.

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You can never drive on Hanging Horn out of the Public access. Theres a shallow river you have to drive on. Only way to get around out there is with a Snowmobile. Just got 14" of snow.

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  • 'we have more fun' FishingMN Creators
Surface Tension

Rice Lake May 18.

Water temp 48.

Sluggish bite but managed to release a pair of 22" eyes and keep a handful in the 15-16" range.

Spinners w/worms or chub. Some nice perch and a couple pike to boot.

full-831-45936-rice222tim.jpg

full-831-45937-rice22frank.jpg

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Surface Tension

The fish is the subject in the photo so why not put the emphasis there.

I stated the size so that puts it into perspective and just wanted a quick shot for a quick release.

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  • Your Responses - Share & Have Fun :)

    • LakeofthewoodsMN
      On the south end...  On the lake, the focus is on the May 15, 2021 Fishing Opener for walleyes.  There is much optimism as fishing in the Rainy River this spring was excellent and reports of good fishing from the spring season on the lake was also good. The limit for walleyes and saugers during the open season is a combined limit of six fish, up to four of the six can be walleyes.  There is a slot limit in which all walleyes 19.5 - 28.0 inches must be released.  One can be kept over 28 inches.   Pike anglers are still catching fish in back bays. The pike season is open year-round on LOW and the Rainy River.     On the Rainy River...   Sturgeon anglers are enjoying catch and release through 5/15/21.  Closed 5/16/21 - 6/30/21.  Harvest season opens up again on 7/1/21 - 9/30/21. Good numbers of sturgeon have been running in the Rapid River near Clementson just east of Baudette this past week.  These fish are incredible to see up close, but are also very much protected and respected. Anglers looking to this weekend and the opener.  Typically, there is some good walleye fishing in the river early in the season, such as this weekend. Up at the NW Angle...  A few anglers fishing pike in back bays but most looking forward to the May 15th fishing opener.  The go to walleye spots come the opener will be shoreline and island structure and underwater points.  The technique, a jig and a minnow! With the Canada border still closed, there are many ways to get up to the Angle.  The LOW Passenger Service, charter boat shuttle service from the south end, is open and running.  If you have the right boat and expertise, boating across is an option.  And finally, Lake Country Air flying service, a float plane service out of Baudette and other locations.  
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    • Raven77
      In Black Bay I think it's called wading, not swimming 😀
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