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Billy G

Just to stir up the forum from its death I thought I'd throw up a new post. What's everybody's prediction of this season's Ice? I'm gunna guess good early ice and and just have hope that the ice stays at least good enough to ride wheeler on for the winter! As a snowmobiler I hope for a record amount of snow not seen in decades... might be better off tying to win off a lottery ticket though.

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BringAnExtension

Hope you are right.  The past two hard water seasons were way too short.

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Mitch K

I'll venture a guess and say 1st weekend of December we'll have a good 4" to walk on. 

Then it will continue to freeze to at least 12" before it gets snowed on :cool:

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gimruis

I'm going to predict that these warm winters with less snow are going to be occurring more frequently and that safe ice will be a thing of the past.  Open water fishing will be back sooner than you think next spring.

Billy G - go get that lottery ticket!

Edited by gimruis

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Billy G

Haha I'll get right on that, some snow predicted tommrow night though, i think my theories might be coming true....

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Mitch K

With this cold I wouldn't be surprised to see fishable ice by Thanksgiving.

 

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Jordan Manderfield

It's possible, definitely up North. I'm pretty big into weather and the latest models have us creeping back into the 50s...maybe low 60s for highs come mid month. It can very well change though! As a whole I think we'll have a great winter compared to the last few...finally a La nina pattern. Also plenty of cold building in Canada. I say first weeksfct.us_nc.thumb.png.ebca35d11db4b1588abffa1735d8fd5d.png of December...and very soon for places in Nw MN.

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Knowknot

It sure looks like everything is getting locked up around southern Minnesota. Could be earlier than planned..

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Jordan Manderfield

It's all open...it's ready to go..But we won't see any big time cold for awhile..Still in better position then last year. I was open water fishing the first weekend of shotgun in a t-shirt last year. We'll be alright. 

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JIvers

Looks like a stretch of warm weather for the next week or so. No safe ice in November for southern Minnesota this year.

Maybe safe ice for the weekend of December 9 in south central Minnesota if the temps are just a bit colder than currently predicted.

The weekend after that is looking good unless the predicted temps for December get warmer, or you get a bunch of snow up that way.

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JIvers

Any updates? I think I'll be heading up that way next weekend.

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Billy G

Alot of open water pockets on bigger lakes still, some people out on cannon on 3 inches about 60 yards or less from shore. 

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JIvers

Thanks for the report--about what I figured, which is why I stayed down here in Iowa this weekend.

I am fairly optimistic about getting on the ice in southeast or south central Minnesota next weekend; whether I am on a lake around Faribault or Waseca, or one of my old backwater haunts on the Mississippi remains to be seen. Maybe Clear Lake, Iowa.

Whatever I do I will post my results.

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geliason

Can't get on the lakes yet, but there are still fish in the river.

Cannon Eye 2017.JPG

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gimruis
23 hours ago, geliason said:

Can't get on the lakes yet, but there are still fish in the river.

There's no reason to go on the frozen lake when you are catching fish like that in the open water of a river.

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geliason

Saw a bunch of houses on Union today. I didn’t know that lake had anything worth catching. Is it just an early ice lake?

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JIvers

I may make it over to Elysian, Francis, or Tetonka this Saturday. Depends what I find on the Mississippi tomorrow afternoon.

From what I have heard the ice on the backwaters around Winona and La Crosse may actually be in better shape than that around Waseca and Faribault, which is kind of odd for early ice. Usually the south-central MN lakes freeze up just a bit quicker.

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Harpenter

I'm 4-5 hours South, but my cousin texted me yesterday and said guys are walking out from the North side of French.  He said there's still open water on the South side though.

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troutman72

use caution on the lakes in southern mn  there is a lot of lakes that have one or 2 spots of open water.  with that said where ive fished there has been a solid 5-6 inches as of yesterday  clear, cedar.cannon,elysian, circle.  i would use a spud bar to check if your going where people havent gone yet.

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Billy G

Buddy saw 2 cars out on Roberts last night, a little brave among other words if you ask me! I bet there's some good ice being made now with these below zero days we've been having.

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pikeandchester

I found a lot of 9” ice but am sitting on 7 1/2” now. Several vehicles on the ice including many 1/2 ton trucks. Way more brave than l am.

84EF38F9-F157-475E-B46C-2B1E8635C5C6.jpeg

34DB121A-25D8-4341-9905-7158B6FA92F2.jpeg

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Billy G

Man people like to push their luck, or maby they just have lots of money laying around to get their cars and trucks out of the ice! What you reported for ice just goes to show like most people should be aware of is that if you have this much ice here and there it doesn't mean you have it everywhere

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Reeling n" Rockin

What lake were you on there are some lakes like roberds nw corner point that geese kept open so that ice is a week or so behind the rest of the lake.

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geliason

On Roberds yesterday. A good 8-10 of clear ice. Still not driving thickness for me. Lots of marks on the flasher. 16.5 FOW and ended up with a 4 lb white bass (biggest ever for me) and a 16" walleye right at sundown. 

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Nate Willinger

I've never caught one before. Are they good to eat? Good fighters? Never been on that lake before, any advice on some good spots to check out? My wife and son have never been ice fishing before and this winter I told them we would check out a bunch of new lakes and I wanna put them on some good spots.

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  • Your Responses - Share & Have Fun :)

    • Wanderer
      My recollection of Sylvia is it being a nice, clean looking lake that would have nice views.  Bass were plentiful when I last fished it but ran pretty small on the weedlines.  You had to fish the slop to get better sized bass.  Couldn’t tell you a thing about walleyes there. I agree with Tom, Clearwater is a more dynamic fishery.
    • Wanderer
      We had to cut the hooks on one of my fish this year.  Caught on a Cisco Kid, 2 of 3 sets of trebles in the fish.  Just by how they were twisted, the leverage made removal by pulling very difficult and the fish would thrash when I attempted to work them out.  Made the decision pretty easy to cut the hooks. I’m honestly considering going barbless on everything.  Half the time the lure shakes free in the net anyway so the pressure is what keeps them buttoned until netted.  The plus is if one of us gets one in the hand when working on a netted fish, it won’t hurt so bad getting it out!
    • Wanderer
      Thanks for the feedback.   We have the time from hookset to release pretty short I think.  I read earlier this spring the average fight these days lasts 90 seconds or less.  I’ll admit I was amazed to hear that but after a half dozen muskies that have come to net this year, that’s no bull.  We usually have em netted on the first pass by the boat.  My 48 inch net allows one to do all the handling in the water while the other gets the bump board laid out and phone ready for a pic. A quick measure and quick pics and back in the water they go. Thats about as much as we can do.  70 degrees is lower than I expected to hear.  We were seeing those temps on opening weekend in Ontario.  We didn’t like seeing 80 last Friday on Leech.
    • delcecchi
      What do you think of the "cut the hooks" method of dealing with Muskies?   Small bolt cutters to make the process fast.   Just wondering.  
    • guideman
      Typically temps over 70 degrees are considered dangerous for handling Muskies. The length of the fight and the time you take handling the fish will make a difference. That is one of the reasons we use heavy line and big rods, you don't want to battle the fish to the death. Skip photos on smaller fish and remove the hooks with the fish in the net, in the water, not on the bottom of the boat. "Ace"   "It's just fishing man"  
    • Tom Sawyer
      Sylvia would have been my 1st choice, until it recently was discovered to have Stary Stonewart. Pretty devastating invasive. I'd bet Clearwater holds a state record large mouth bass. It also has strong walleye year classes.
    • Wanderer
      I was able to get back out on Leech last Friday the 13th.  Had to take a day off work to get some fishin’ in! This time was strictly for muskies but bass and pike showed themselves anyway. 🙂  The morning waves were still rolling from either the night or Thursday and the lake was rougher  than expected at 6 am.  The forecast said 0-5 and eventually the wind did calm from the northwest, switch, and then proceed from the southwest.  The effect for us was basically almost a 180 degree switch while we were out there and we didn’t see any fish of any size after that.  I think the switch was complete by roughly 1 pm. The other thing that raised our eyebrows was the surface water temps.  We started seeing high 76’s right away on the main lake but climbed pretty quickly to 78-79 mid day and was topping out at 81 by the afternoon/evening.  This made us really want to focus on deeper weeds but weren’t having much luck locating them.  We just weren’t in the right part of the lake.  But that’s how you learn - by doing. Total muskie count for the day = 2; 1 follow (mid 40 class) and one boated (41.5).  The day went SUPER fast for 10 hours of fishing.  Black bucktails raised the two for us.  I had the follow, my partner caught the fish. The temps had us concerned about the fish but my monster 48 inch net enables us to keep the fish completely in the water until it’s time for a quick measure and pic. Still trying to come to grips on what’s too warm for fishing muskies.  This one was on the line for no more than 2 minutes, including the net time before the hooks were out.  Maybe another minute to get the phone and board out and glove on for grabbing it up.  Less than 1 minute to measure and photo, then back in the drink for an easy resuscitation.  
    • Jeff Thill
      Looking for walleye  and bass fishing mostly.   I did hear good things about Clearwater Lake.   My wife has been looking at houses and her focus landed on West Sylvia.  She could care less about the fishing. Have any of you heard good or bad things about Sylvia Lake?    
    • FishinCT
      I looked up the Mille lacs hooking mortality study on walleyes and it started to dramatically increase around 65 degrees. About 5% mortality at 65 degrees but about 25% at 75 degrees. I have to imagine the numbers are higher for muskies given an extended fight with a large fish, having to take more care to not get cut up or hooked yourself while unhooking the fish, temptation to take lots of pictures, etc.  Here's the study if you're interested http://mnmuskie.org/wp-content/uploads/2013/04/Reeves-and-Bruesewitz-2007_factors-influencing-hooking-mortality-of-walleyes-Mille-Lacs.pdf
    • DLD24
      Went out the last couple days on Mille lacs, we had no problem finding fish, but the big fish eluded us... We got all sorts of year classes from 11" eyes on up to 24", which is a good sign... That big storm they got must have dirtied the water up, all the fish we found were on the top edge of the flats no matter how bright it was... Rigging leeches and crawlers were the best until we got some waves then the jigging rap was taking all the fish. The fish were stacked up on points of flats and narrow ridges on the flats... We tried pulling lead for a little while, but I've never done it so I had zero confidence in it haha.