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How is the Ice Holding up? I plan to get out Thursday and Friday and want to drive the Jeep. I would guess driving is just fine yet, but how is the ice near shore. With the warm up, the Jumbos should be going good!

Thanks for any info.

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Still driving out, have see a few spots where it has pulled back a foot or two. We had 54 degrees today and at 10 pm it is still 40, check in before you head out Thursday. I agree they fishing should be great.

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John, can you send me an email. I have a couple questions I need to ask.

Thanks,

Rhino0018 at yahoo

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Fished today, lots of water on the ice. Conditions are starting to change! Fishing was good today! 14-16 ft. Landing we used was good.

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I'll be up Thursday through Monday next week Jack with a couple pals from work. Gonna try and show them what the spring perch bite is all about. We'll be in Thursday morning to get some minnows. Dad said he's been in a couple times, fishing has been kinda slow the last 2 weeks. Should be picking up I would think. See you then, Tate

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Swanson bait shop in Hackensack said most lakes people are still driving trucks out so atv travel should not be a problem. just use caution. Also check out there website for the latest fishing reports.

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It was down in the single digits last night so it was makeing ice!!Should be no water on the ice.

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I drilled thru on Leech this morning in Portage bay down to the auger head. No water on the ice since it was cold last night. Limited on 10 to 12 inch perch just off the Fed Dam flats in 9 to 12 feet with a green demon jig. Jake

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Where did you drive out from? I have a cabin in Isle harbor and am thinking of taking my son out on Saturday. Would an Envoy or Trailblazer make it out? What time of day seemed best.

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I drove out from New Leech Lake Camp which is directly across from Isle harbor. There were also 5 or 6 trucks on the ice near where I was fishing. I only fished in the morning. I'm not sure what the shore looks like up close at Isle Harbor, but the others fishing near me drove on from Northstar. Jake

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Went out yesterday from NorthStar and the ice was good, it had been cold overnight. Lots of solid ice still. It warmed to about 40 during the day and there were some puddles forming and making the high spots in the ice very slick so wear your cleats. Take it easy on the landing if it is warm because it is sandy and getting mucky after you get off the ice.

Two of us fished all day and caught lots of small perch 6-9 inches. We moved from north to south out from Northstar and ended up keeping 14 perch.

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does anyone know what the white stuff on the meat is? found it on 5 perch this weekend

Willowriver,

What you are referring to is a parasite found in perch called Heterosporis. We always just called it "cancer". It makes white, blotchy spots on the muscle tissue of the fish. The bad part is that you can't really tell the fish has the parasite until you clean them. It seems the most prevalent under the rib cages of perch. I have even seen this parasite in walleyes a time or two. I found a link on the DNR site that talks about the parasite. http://www.dnr.state.mn.us/fish_diseases/heterosporis.html

Looks like the meat is still safe to eat, but I don't hink I would!

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How much snow cover is left? Was thinking about a weekend trip if work doesn't tie me down. I'll have to check ice reports or call Swanson's as the weekend gets closer.

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Tate how you doing! Lots of rain,should know more on conditions of ice Tuesday. Still should be okay with wheelers! Stop or call me at the bait store! Fishing good thru sunday so hopefully will be able to get out Thursday. Jack

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Hey Jack. Coming up late Wednesday night for 5 days and dad and I are gonna be taking a couple guys from work out. We'll be in Thursday morning....and hopefully every morning for bait! We will only have 1 wheeler to use so we might be running back and forth a bit. Man, last year we were driving trucks around till darn near the 2nd week of April if I remember right. I think the ice will still be pleanty good for truck traffic, its just the getting on and off that is gonna be tough. My dad has been fishing pretty hard around Sand Point and in Agency Bay for a couple weeks and it has been very slow for him. Looks like they are deeper right now from what I have read on here. Last year we were catching perch under more ice than water depth! Oh well, see you end of the week, have em dialed in!!!!!

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Lakedoctor:

Have you been on Pleasant in the past few days?

I was thinking about heading up Wednesday or Thursday this week. I was just wondering if the ice is still good to get out on.

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The ice is disappearing fast in South Central and the metro...any hope for the Hack and Walker area?

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We were on Birch last weekend - on Sunday there was still 28 - 30 inches of ice. We go on by our cabin, so I don't know what the accesses look like. At that point there was ice right up to the shore by our place. We saw trucks, 4 wheelers and snowmobiles out there as well. Not sure what this rain will do.

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I was there on Sunday morning. Fishing wasn't that great. Picked up a couple 10-12 inch crappies but nothing to brag about. I talked to another guy on Sunday morning and he heard that some guys came off with 90 crappies on Saturday that were 14 inches. I doubt that, but you never know. The access was starting to break up pretty good by Sunday morning. I'm not sure what the recent rain and wind did to the lake, but I drove my F150 crew cab with my 4 wheeler in the back on the North end. I wouldn't do that now after the rain, but I drove on every lake I went on last weekend. The accesses were starting to take their tolls, but there was still plenty of ice. Just be careful, a lot of holes were drilled this past weekend. The 8 inch holes are now pretty big if they got the rain like we got in St Cloud. Maybe swanbait can chime in on the current ice conditions.

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Like lakedoctor said, the rain took its toll. 4-wheelers are a must now. There will be guys telling you that they are still driving trucks out but I would not say it is safe for trucks anymore. Fishing has been slow. Been out a couple of nights in the rain and did not do well. My "usual" spots did not produce. There is not much for water on the ice. Have seen some pretty wide cracks and large holes from the running water. Be careful when you are heading out.

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As swanbait said, the cracks will open up. On one lake I fished this past weekend, the ice was pretty soft on top and I was hesitant about driving on but I was watching everyone else drive so I did. I was stopped by the CO and even he said that the lakes have really changed with the warmer weather and wind. That was before the rain! On this same lake, I crossed a pressure ridge on the way out and when I left the lake a couple hours later, this spot was starting to spread out and open up. I would image all of the water from the rain ran into this opening causing it to further open. Every lake I was on this weekend had quite a bit of traffic on it. There were quite a few holes been drilled. I fished some holes on Friday that were still open Sunday morning. The rain water has to go somewhere and it will go into these holes causing them to open up bigger than they were first drilled. The ice around these spots is also weakened as the water will pool. Anyway, I think 4-wheelers will still be alright, but watch some of the accesses and avoid heavily drilled areas when driving.

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Is there still some time left to the ice season? Thinking of coming up this Tuesday for the last outing of the season. I would be coming from St Cloud.

What are the ice conditions? What is the best option for ice travel (wheeler / sled)? Is it worth making a trip up?

Thanks for any information.

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I was on Leech Thursday - Saturday, and it got pretty cold most nights (3 to 8 degrees), so everything was really froze solid again. Lots of truck and wheeler traffic on the main lake. I think you are good to go for at least another week with a truck, and depending on the weather next week perhaps a couple of weeks. The lake was awesome the past few days.

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I was on the ice in a few spots this weekend...broke through on to get on in a few different spots and in some spots got a four-wheeler out. I talked to a guy that broke the front of his truck through the ice trying to get it out on the ice this morning. Once on the ice there is two feet plus but the shore lines are pretty soft. I did not see a truck on leech this afternoon.

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  • Your Responses - Share & Have Fun :)

    • Rick G
      St Cloud has a good access at Wilson park,  Sartell has a nice access off NE River Rd,  another access above Blanchard dam on East side off Hilton Rd  and at Lindbergh state park...Little Falls  has a access right above the dam.   Water is pretty high and dirty.  Crayfish colors have been good again this week.  Smallies have been using anything available that breaks the current so finding them most days has been pretty easy
    • Brianf.
      Interesting...   You're doing better than most.  The biggest bass weighed-in during the recent MN Bass Federation tourney was only 4.33lbs.   The winning bag was less then 20lbs.  To have several over 5lbs during your trip is pretty special.   Congrats!  
    • Jetsky
      Question.  I have guests coming who may want to fish for muskies.  I've cast for them in August along shorelines and at rock piles.   Do I fish for them that way in June?   Should I troll shorelines or drop offs for them?  Thanks.
    • partyonpine
      Yeah was up for a week.   As other alluded to the weather was brutal.  Did catch some larger walleyes on slip bobbers on windy points in under 5 feet of water.  As for minnows they were at Lucky seven in Virginia and Grubens has some nice minnows as well.  Smallmouth fishing was terrific given the circumstances.  
    • partyonpine
      Brian   That is funny and shows how things are anecdotal.  Just got back from a week we caught as many fish as we wanted, however our average size was 16.5-17 inches.  While no 6 pounders we did score several 5 pounders.  We did not catch any or very few fish under 14  inches all week.  I was just commenting that the average size has increased substantially.  We were throwing larger artificial and live bait but again did not really catch any small smallmouth.  Fished smallies for 5-6 hours each day and walleyes at night.  Overall was slow but the weather was horrendous.  Did go home with enough walleye to satisfy me.  
    • Brianf.
      I haven't been up to fish smallmouth  in a couple weeks.  My partner and I caught about 300 over the  course of those two days.  That sounds great - and it is if you like numbers. However, few of those fish were over 3 pounds and even fewer were over 4 pounds.  Most of our catch comprised fish between one and a half to 2 1/2 pounds.   I've been fishing the lake for 20+ years and feel that the size structure of the smallmouth in the lake has changed quite a bit during that time.  When I first started targeting smallmouth 20 years ago, half our bag seemed to be comprised of four pounders - and five pounders were in the mix with an occasional six pounder here and there. I haven't caught a 5 pound smallmouth bass in five years on Lake Vermilion!   They are a daily occurrence on places like Mille Lacs and in Door Co.   What has changed on Lake Vermilion?     I have some theories about why the size structure has changed, though curious what others are seeing.  Anyone have thoughts about the state of the smallmouth fishery on Lake V? 
    • SkunkedAgain
      Don't forget about the times that they unwittingly fly into your fishing line.   Normally I would say that ebbs and flows in food source would be a good sign. However, even with this bountiful mosquito population available there just really aren't enough bats around for the natural cycle to capitalize on it to any noticeable degree. The DNR says that roughly 90% of the bat population in the Soudan mine has died off. If that 90% is representative of the entire area, even a mosquito all-you-can-eat-buffet will not bring the bats back for many years.   Hopefully the little guys can make a comeback.
    • Dash 1
      Made it back to the chain today. Sunfish are spawning but finding them in the thick weeds is nearly impossible. My main reason to get out was to test my minnkota after rewiring it. It definitely made the difference. Never shut down once and I ran it for several hours.  Now I just need to relearn how to catch fish.😂
    • LakeofthewoodsMN
      On the south end...   A good week of walleye fishing with some big fish caught along with good eaters.  All of that despite some fronts that came through and lots of wind.  Being in a charter boat a few days this week was an advantage for sure.     Wherever you fish, there are days the wind will blow.  Here are some good options for anglers when the wind blows on LOW.   -Fish on a big charter boat -Fish the 42 miles of navigable Rainy River -Bays such as Four Mile, Bostic and Zippel Bay -Slide behind one of the thousands of islands that being up at the NW Angle -Trailer your boat to a leeward boat ramp and fish that shoreline A jig and frozen emerald shiner was the go to presentation for walleyes.  Most boats are anchored up and vertically jigging.  Some are starting to use spinners and minnows or crawlers with success.  This pattern will pick up steam as the walleyes are starting to transition with warming waters. Walleyes have been caught this week in various depths.  As a rule, 21 - 32 feet of water was still the range.  Again, various areas across the lake are holding fish.   Various rock reefs have been good.  Fish are transitioning to mud as the season progresses. On the Rainy River...  The river is flowing strong right now as water is being released from the dam which controls its flow.  With the heavier current, fish are being found in areas with a current break.  Even a slight break that still has current is a fish attractor when the water is moving.   Jigging with a minnow, pulling spinners and trolling crankbaits along shoreline breaks against the current in 6 - 12' of water is producing a mixed bag of walleyes, saugers, pike, smallmouth bass and an occasional crappie.   Casting to shoreline structure and even docks is also an effective method.   For those who like fishing for dinosaurs, the sturgeon season opens July 1st. Up at the NW Angle...  A great week of fishing amongst the island area of Lake of the Woods.  Guides fishing the Canada side of LOW reported big numbers of walleyes along with a mixed bag.   Minnesota waters also produced good fish.  Many of the walleyes are being found in deeper than normal water for this time of year, in that 22 - 28 feet.  As hatches begin and shiners begin to spawn, there will be some shallow water opportunities as well. The goto presentation continues to be a jig and minnow.  Pulling spinners with shiners or crawlers and trolling crankbaits also putting walleyes in the fry pan.     As is common in these parts, a mixed bag of walleyes, saugers, pike, jumbo perch, crappies, pike and smallmouth bass being caught.   Muskie anglers, the season opens on both sides of the lake Saturday, June 15th.  A glorious day for those who target the almighty predators!  
    • leech~~
      Over the years the only sure time I have been able to see bats or know their around.  Is sitting by a fire or down by a dock at sun down when there's just a bit of light left when looking up, and seeing them diving in and out.  
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