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What are your favorite lures for Brookies through the ice. As a creature of habit I ve never experimented with any other combinations besides my go to lure the Swedish Pimple ( usually a red with a little silver )on it and tipped with a minnow or small Krocodile spoons. Just wondering what other people have had luck with?

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that's what i have caught most of mine on as well. very small pimple with eurolarva or waxie have been good also at times. i caught my biggest brookie [ a three pounder] out of Topper lake off the Gunflint on a charteous "ant" type panfish jig with a minnow head. the brookie is mounted. good luck.

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I caught a 19 incher in open water on a buckshot spoon a few years back..Kinda regret not putting that one on the wall..I told myself if I hit a 20 incher that I would..Oh well..got a nice framed picture of it on the wall. I'd better get back out there and try for that 20!!

As for Ice fishing, yea..Pimples work great, as do frostee jigs and rat finkies..kastmasters are another one..tipped with something..waxies, minnows, ect.

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Just wondering, do you target them in shallow water like you would rainbows? I fished Miner's this summer before I bought my pickup, plenty of rainbows but never saw a brookie come out of there. I would like to get out there and chase some rainbows this week and would love to catch my first brook trout as well.

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as far as i'm concerned [on lakes] i fish them shallow on hard water. dont fish for them in summer [in lakes] but in the fall it's the same pattern, shallow. that's when they spawn. fish them most in streams for the most part. good luck.

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  • 'we have more fun' FishingMN Creators

Swedish Pimples with the treble hook switched one size larger or 1/8th - 1/16th oz Go Devils all tipped w/chub head for sure. For Bows 2' under the ice. Brookies start close and shallow at early morning and have all you holes drill so you can move around in deeper water when the sun gets higher. Having a step break close by or the point off a rock slide is golden.

Ice Ants tipped with waxies under a bobber. The bite detection will look like a Gill or in other words when the bobber moves set the hook. Bows will take this but I'm more prone to use it for Brookies.

There are other baits that work just as well but those two you should have along.

Flutter Jigs tipped with half a crappie minnow or waxie will work.

Reinhard, Been to Topper many times starting in the 70's and that was where the Brook Trout State record was from at the time.

Hottest bait there is salamanders. If you fished Topper much you might have had a Brookie cough one up. If you put the on a hook and sent it down the hole you'd have another Brookie.

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Thanks for some of your tactics for Brookies. I ve had great success with Swedish pimples and figured there had to be other options out there. I ve been to Topper about 3 times but never experienced the Topper Whopper as in reference to the large Brookies that had been pulled out in the past. Matter of fact I think I've only iced one Brookie at that lake. Now Topper is just a lake to cross to go after lakers.

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  • 'we have more fun' FishingMN Creators

All those streamer lakes cycle.

Its a matter of not much pressure and a year class or two taking hold. Your must be referring to South. I used to run all over that area. Came in from Topper and from Loon lake.

If your bushwacking over the hill from Topper its a nice climb. smile

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We winter camped at south for two nights earlier this year and caught some nice lakers but not as good as years before. I refer to the hill as the nutcracker it makes the trip pretty fun. Btw it appeared people had tried fishing Topper a week early during laker opener as there were holes all over the lake. That's what trout fishing doesn't need.

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the day we did well with the brook trout at Topper it was 28 below with a lot of snow on the ground. we had to shovel 2 feet or more of snow just to get to the ice. were i fished i would say there was three feet of water under the ice. the ice was thick and hand augers were the tool of the time.

at the time we stayed at the resort on Popler lake two weeks before it burned down and killed the owner in the proccess. real nice guy. we would drink into the night and played some pool. the owner [a big man] ended up sleeping on the stairs one night.

we also fished Mayhew while there and did well on small lakers. Topper is a beautiful lake. the brookie i caught there was the first fish i ever mounted and still looks great today. never thought of salamanders there for brookies. very interesting. love that area. good luck.

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  • Your Responses - Share & Have Fun :)

    • SkunkedAgain
      Luckily we don't have large open areas of ice that break away, such as on Red Lake.   Stay safe and warm.
    • JerkinLips
      Earlier this morning it looked like Vermilion froze over last night but now I see open water on the Hibbing Point webcam.  The strong winds must have opened the lake back up.  Tonight the temps drop to single digits and the wind dies down by 5am so it will freeze over tonight.  Expecting 1-2" of snow on Friday with high winds so hopefully the snow will blow off the new ice.  Saturday-Thursday looks very cold with no more snow, so the main lake should get a solid freeze.  Some are ice fishing in Stuntz Bay already, and some braver than I may walk out from McKinley Park this weekend.  I'm going to wait until the end of next week to venture out, although it will be very cold.
    • LakeofthewoodsMN
      On the south end... Ice is forming, but other than some back bays, it isn't ready quite yet.  Mother Nature is on track.  Some resorts are making the prediction of December 10th for day houses being out, give or take, but at this point, this isn't set in stone and time will tell.  There are cold temps in the forecast and things look optimistic.  Many resorts and outfitters have been checking ice conditions.  When the time is right, resorts and outfitters will slowly and safely begin marking and grooming trails for ice travel.    Please remember, ice conditions vary greatly in different parts of the lake.  One ice road can have good ice that has been checked and marked while down the shoreline there may be ice not suitable for travel yet.  Work through resorts and outfitters on the ice and stay on the marked trails for safety. Anticipation is high as the walleye and sauger fishing this fall was good and fish were staged in good numbers along the south shore.   On the Rainy River...   Much of the Rainy River is frozen up.  Things are progressing but it certainly needs cold weather and some time. Ice conditions vary and on the river there is current, so much like the lake, we encourage visitors to work through a resort or outfitter for safety.   Up at the NW Angle... Ice is forming nicely and is right on track for this year's ice fishing season.  There has been no ice fishing yet as resorts are simply monitoring ice conditions at this time, waiting until the ice is thicker before marking trails and getting fish houses out. Fall fishing was excellent with walleyes in good numbers along with some monster pike being caught.  All indications point to good fishing when the ice is ready as the fish are there. Driving through Canada to reach the Angle no longer requires COVID vaccinations or the use of the ArriveCan App (which is optional).   For those looking to access the Angle while avoiding customs, there are few options.   1.  When ice conditions allow, the snowmobile trail will be groomed and staked from the south shore up to the Angle. 2.  The Lake of the Woods Passenger service provides round trip bombardier service across the lake.   3.  Lake Country Air provides air service to both the south end and NW Angle.    
    • Wanderer
    • leech~~
      Was just going to post this!  
    • Wanderer
      At least they can all say they were there early!  
    • SkunkedAgain
      I'm still hoping for a sunny warm-up to melt all of the existing snow off of the existing ice, and then an arctic blast. After that, I'm hoping for a giant walleye to hop out of the lake and filet itself before skinny dipping in some batter and then relaxing in a hot pan of oil in my kitchen.
    • gimruis
      I'm planning to go later this week.  There's fresh snow coming tomorrow too.
    • gimruis
      I would highly recommend not doodling around out there at night time either.  When those cracks form, the piece breaks off from the main sheet or the land and you are then caught "adrift" with no way back.   The bite is not as good as it normally is from what I have read either.  We're so used to hearing that "its on fire" for the early ice bite but that doesn't appear to be the case.
    • leech~~
      Well, a new report for today talked about cracks opening up and ice piling up!  Better check the night before you head up.  😕
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