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Glad to hear the east end has some good ice, but dont assume that the whole lake does. I was just out in the central part of the lake and some areas still only have 3" of ice. And that was areas with no current and some of the first spots to freeze.

Steve

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Wanted to provide a follow-up report for all interested. In a word...tough. Got to the campground on Friday with a huge wind coming off the lake from the SW. Got set-up just before the rains came.

We had an incredible trip last year in the BWCA. Smallmouth action was the best I've seen it. The best that time of year were poppers, jerk baits, and wacky worms. Here's a video I put together of the

life=outdoors92

i am gonna be up there this weekend for some fishin and hunting, so i was just wondering if they are bitin anywhere round the lake

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I got a report from two guys that were out last Saturday (December 12th) that the ice was 4" - 5" thick on Shagawa. From Saturday to yesterday (Wednesday) the temps have been well below zero. It has "warmed" up some but is still below the freezing mark (16 degrees right now).

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Ice thickness on Shag is now ranging from 8 to nearly 12 inches, with only an inch or so of snow on the ice. With highs in the teens and lows around zero, we aren't making ice as fast as we were earlier this week, but it's still building up 24/7 with so little snow on it. And no snow expected in the near forecast. Shaping up to be a great ice year up here.

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Totally different lake, but my wife drove by Lax Lake (between Finland and Silver Bay) yesterday and there were trucks on the ice.

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Silver Scale

Good I bet. Some people don't eat them due to what used to run into the lake in stinky ditch.....

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It's good. Just got back from a couple hours tip-up fishing on Shag. Ended up with four from 13-19 inches. Had a solid foot of ice where I was, with a few permanent shacks on the ice. I reckon the shacks will be flying out onto this ice this weekend, but meanwhile it was nice to have a spot all to myself. smilesmile

Shag walleyes taste at least as good as Vermilion walleyes. wink

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I do believe for a period of time the walleyes were referred to as Shagawa *substitute synonym for feces here* sharks for similar reasons Stinky Ditch got its name laughlaugh

May not have influenced the flavor but ... grin

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Fish don't taste like what they eat. They taste like what they are. And walleyes, as you'd expect from a Norwegian fish, are as bland as lefse. No matter which roller you use to flatten the lefse. winkwink

I know the Irish know bland Norwegian food, because of the Irish know a lot about potatoes, which are buhLAND by definition. And, uh, it's called potato lefse for a reason! grin

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Wait now... fish eat fish, and fish taste like fish... so one could argue they taste like what they eat grinwink

I did say it may not influence the flavor. It is more so the idea of eating something that may have ingested a deuce somebody dropped in Ely laugh. There is a reason I don't eat vegetables out of some people's gardens wink

Bland is good... keeps the food from overpowering the taste of the whiskey laugh

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I agree overall fish taste is affected by their environment. I once had a bite of a sauger caught out of the Illinois River that tasted like 90w gear lube...Pennzoil to be exact! Don't ask me how I know what that tastes like, it's a long story.

An old fisherman once told me, If girls didn't swim, fish would smell and taste just like water grin I guess with your short and sometimes non exisent summers up there,bland walleye taste would then make sense laugh

Just havin a little fun.

Merry Christmas and a better new year to all.

Stizo

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Tominator692

An old fisherman once told me, If girls didn't swim, fish would smell and taste just like water grin I guess with your short and sometimes non exisent summers up there,bland walleye taste would then make sense laugh

Just havin a little fun.

Merry Christmas and a better new year to all.

Stizo

Now that's some funny stuff!!!

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  • 3 weeks later...

There is no slush on any of the lakes I've been on or heard about. Just a little touch of shallow slush in one small area on Vermilion a week and a half ago, and that was locked up tight next time I went through. I haven't checked if there's a road off Van Vac, but if there is, it isn't necessary. There's only about six inches of snow on the ice. I haven't gotten out to check on the ice like I thought I would yesterday or today. I'd be very surprised if there's less than 14-16 inches. We have so little snow to insulate it, and we've had some serious cold snaps since freezeup (which was about a month ago).

I'm planning on getting out there in the a.m. and will post a report on this thread. Great Outdoors might already have an ice thickness report to post. Not sure if he'd been testing the ice yet on Bside.

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I'm sure he knows the ice thickness. With a Popemobile like that, all he's missing is a tall hat. Shouldn't even have to drill a hole. He can just ask God for a report. gringringrin

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I drilled several holes out in the middle of Van Vac Bay this morning. I had 16 inches of solid, clear, hard ice in each one. Van Vac is one of the last two big portions of Burntside to freeze over, so there will be some parts of the lake with more ice than that.

There isn't even six inches of snow on the ice. My mid-size SUV sank in one or two inches. A stupid Impala will get you anywhere you want to go. Hardest part about getting around on Bside with a 2-wheel drive car or truck will be climbing the steep access road on the way out. I can't speak for conditions on the western end. I know that froze over well before Van Vac did.

There are a couple plowed roads, but the road berms are only 6 inches deep, so there's really no need for a road at all. Trucks have been driving all over, and there were a couple trucks on the ice this morning.

That being said, no ice is safe, so please everyone take care out there.

Also was fun to drill my first holes with the new IceGator with the Nils 8-inch drill mounted. SuhWEEEET! Quiet, fast, no fumes, no gas to haul around, no loud racket slamming your ears. Love it! We'll just have to see how many holes I can get out of one charge. They say 100 holes through 10 inches and 40 holes through 28 inches.

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thanks for the report Steve. going up tomorrow night and starting early Friday morning. Pete Zebich grin and I will hit it hard. Should have a report Monday for everyone.

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Great Outdoors

caseymcq

Just wait until you see the Pope Mobile with the 5x9 1/2 lock and ride insulated fish house that folds out of the back with one smooth motion laugh

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Has there been any traffic headed west from Van Vac?

Has anybody been out from the Wolf Lake Road Landing?

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Great Outdoors

Has there been any traffic headed west from Van Vac?

Has anybody been out from the Wolf Lake Road Landing?

Yes, yes smile

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  • Your Responses - Share & Have Fun :)

    • smurfy
      well gentlemen, i got my fires under control and moved, but i woke up this morning feeling pretty tough.🤒🥴 i waited till this afternoon to decide but unfortunately i need to bow out tomorrow. 😪 with the current status of things 😷😷 i do NOT want to risk giving this to anyone else. i'm certain its just a head cold but not taking chances...... i feel pretty rough.   sorry guys i was really, really looking forward to fishing with you guys, and didnt want to wait any longer letting you guys know..........good luck, have fun. i'm sure there will be other opportunities before ice goes away!!!!!!🤧
    • smurfy
      yea maybe!!!!!!!🤣🤭
    • Wanderer
      Maybe it’s her that can’t be trusted, eh? 🤣
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      I fully agree that lakes go through cycles but that negates nothing I said.  MNs best walleye fisheries are that way because they have a slot.  Rainy, Winnie, Leach, Mille Lacs, and Red were destroyed and the slots brought them back.  Lake of the woods a slot was put in before it got depleted and that fishery is awesome so easy to catch a limit there and a great mix of small fish and jumbos...just a matter of time for other lakes.  Can you be more specific what lakes you are referring to that have just large fish and no slot?  If it is not one of the well known lakes be careful if you name it here its fished out in 3 years if it does not have a slot guaranteed.
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      Fun looked like you guys a blast!  👍
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      I don't think it will impact anything... but I also agree it is dumb.  It's not logical that I can buy it on line sight unseen but need to be present at a store. 
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      they are a team!!!     
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      Minnesota's best walleye fisheries are anything but stable populations. These populations are constantly cycling with new robust year classes recruiting to the fishery every few years. Harvest of excess spawning stock actually stimulates frequent strong recruitment. The closest thing we have to stable walleye populations are lakes dominated by old fish with low to moderate recruitment replacing natural mortality from the aging population. 
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      In other words, she don't trust you in any store alone???🤔😅🤭
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