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2020 Brainerd, Aitkin, McGregor Area ice fishing reports


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  • knoppers

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I called 8 inches of good ice/2 inches of frozen slush and snow.  I did use a flip over today and had the pilot light on the little buddy to thaw out my lunch - a smoked duck breast.  So yeah, in my w

December 28th a tick south of Brainerd.  This was the most I found today.  The least was 7.   Weather isn’t nice.  Fishing has been OK.  Time to go home and eat!   Mostly

Got out on Friday and Saturday and found 13”-13 1/2” on Friday and 13 1/2”- 14” on Saturday. Fishing was okay nothing great but ended up catching a few nice gills 8+ and a few crappies 9+. No slush al

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this is my report for today. its not good for ice. was at the cabin today, my lake is only 300 acres and 15ft deep, it usually is one of the first lakes here that freezes over, and the best chance at first ice. to my surprise, it still had open water. I would say 75% iced over.

tonight may do a good job with cold temps and little wind, but the chance of snow Monday, and above normal temps next week will delay good ice.

I at least started to get my equipment ready.

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  • 3 weeks later...

any new reports on ice in this area? I will be up next Wednesday hopefully to get some ice time.

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Weathertite

If it is like everywhere else south of Red Lake you will be hard pressed to find safe ice. Sorry to burst your Bubble.

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I haven't found a lake with resident walleyes that has fishable ice. I'm even too hesitant to go on those lakes I was fishing crappies 2 weeks ago. Ice is in terrible shape.

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Mille Lacs capped last night. Lots of broken sheets, and plates, but ice nevertheless. The whole north end had significant ice at mid day yesterday. I walked out 100 yards on the east side, and found variable thickness, but it averaged three inches. There is lots of slush underneath, the bays should be a different story, as they had some ice cover prior to last night.  I should think the smaller lakes in the area will have better ice as each day goes by. Clear lake at Glen was frozen yesterday, as was Rabbit, Ripple was partial, as was Sissabagama. Knife, Fish, Shakopee, Platte, should be walkable in a day or so.

Please err on the side of extreme caution, take your time, constant checking, and be prepared with a buddy system.

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I was up today, ice looks very bad, lots of water on top of the ice. it looked like a small area of open water out from my place, about the size of a football field. still there was a couple out fishing on the other end of the lake. be careful out there. looks like much colder weather coming next week, that should get it going good.

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Just looking for any ice reports big sandy and surrounding lake coming up over new years weekend like to know if I can get out thanks in advance.

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welcome to FM Sammy! I would think by then it should be good all over, still would be best to stop in the local bait shop for current conditions.

not sure what this snow will do to it either, slush. they may not get as much as southern areas next week.

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welcome to FM nols12, anyone have any reports?

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Crappie2760

I fished with tip-ups all day Thursday, Friday and half of Saturday along the north shore of BSL.  On Thursday,there were about 5 inches of ice on every hole I drilled.  I made it out as far as about 80 yards from shore out into the main body of the lake.  By Saturday, the ice was a good 7 inches in the same area.  We took the sleds to Fisherman's on Saturday evening for the meat raffle.  There were a few other sleds there as well.

Fishing wise, it was pretty slow.  I had 10 total flags go up and only managed to pull up one small pike.  I had suckers and shiners.  Shiners drew more hits but I caught the 1 pike on a sucker.  They were grabbing the head of the sucker/shiner and running.  When I'd set the hook, nothing.  I'll be back up the last weekend of the month to try again.

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Thanks for the report Crappie. We didn't make the trip up north, because I just wasn't sure of the ice thickness. Im itching to get up and fish the ice up there. We are on the north end of the lake and looking at getting a heater for the cabin to be able to make a weekend of it. If I make it up before your next voyage I will submit a report. How is the fishing/ice on other lakes in the area?

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Crappie2760

BSL already had a big colony of shacks near Emerald Island (Northwest area of the lake).  There was for sure 1 permanent shack already out there yesterday, possibly 2.  There were a couple 4-wheelers out there in that big group on Saturday.

I've never fished that spot so I don't know what they are fishing for or if anything is biting out there.

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I was on Flemming, Gun, and Ripple over the weekend. Ice was variable on all three lakes, I saw everything from 5 to 9 inches, but for the most part nice solid ice on those lakes. Also saw considerable activity on Hanson and Hanging Kettle. Fast crappie bite on Flenming, and there are ATV's all over the lake. Size is generally on the small side, 8.5,  with a few decent gills in the mix.

 

Pulled crappies from both Gun and Ripple, better class of fish, but lots of moving and drilling.

I believe by the coming weekend you will be able to ATV pretty much anyplace on the smaller Aitken area lakes. But use caution, take your time, and drill lots of holes to check.

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I'll be heading up to bsl this weekend. Has anyone  figure out or know if cisco/tulibee are back to fishable population? Have catch any in ages since the flood.

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Crappie2760

I fish that lake a lot and have never caught one.  That being said, I don't know what to use, how to catch them or where to fish.

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Find the deepest main lake basins, with soft bottoms, looks like Bell Horn would be a good starting point, or Anishinabe/Webster. The latest DNR lake survey was in 2013, and it did not show very many Tullibee, but there are some there.

I'd start in 30 feet of water, and go deeper until I marked some fish in the water column, tullies can range up and down in the column as much as ten or even twenty feet from the bottom, and they tend to move around allot, they are not stationary fish.  Use typical pan fish tackle, small jigs, tipped spoons, euro's, waxies, etc. 

Who knows, you may bump into some nice crappies in those areas also.

Good luck    

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thanks for the reports, I know the tullies took a hit with the flood about 5 or so years ago, but also have heard they can come back quickly. the deeper water is the best place to look, in the main lake. and yes waxies would be the bait of choice.

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I am headed up this weekend. Kinda hoping there is enough ice to get our light perm out there. I am sure this weather has been doing well for making ice. And if we could get a few fish to bite, even better! 

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Was up on Waukenabo Lake this past weekend. Saw roughly 11-14" of ice.  Caught some decent pan fish and a few random northerns.

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thanks for the report, I will be on fleming this Saturday.

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Can someone please let me know if you can drive a baby truck (weighs the same as a smaller SUV) on Big Sandy.  I drove past a couple weeks ago and saw a few vehicles out but none on the main lake.  I'm hoping to get out on the main basin.

 

Thanks! 

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21 hours ago, lovetoicefish said:

Knoppers, do you know how the bite is on Gun, if there is one?  Also travel?

only thing I know about gun, was a report that was in outdoornews about crappies. there was 16 inches of ice on fleming.

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  • Rick changed the title to Brainerd, Aitkin, McGregor Area ice fishing reports

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