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Chill62

2017-2018 Ice Fishing Reports - Detroit Lakes & Pelican Rapids Area

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Chill62

Figured I would start a fishing report to keep it separate from someone trying to get ice thicknesses.  Fished three different lakes this weekend. 

First lake we got to on Saturday had a side by side on it so we felt safe walking.  Hole at access had 7" and we stopped in a few holes along the way fishing and we found an average of 8".  This lake was up on the WE Reservation, long skinny and deep.  Fishing was hit and miss pike were chasing around the gills.  Caught a few big bass which was fun on the UL's and caught a few small gills.  Found a few keeper crappies and kept enough for a meal.  Average was around 11" for crappies and 7" for gills biggest being a 13" crappie. 

Second lake is a very known walleye lake around DL.  we had 8" out there also.  Made the hike out to a shoreline break/point and set up with tip ups and jigging spoons.  I suck at walleye fishing and struck out.  Buddies that were 10-15' on either side of me landed 2 EACH and the one tip up 30 feet away also landed one.  Perch were THICK!  I only caught 4-6" perch.

Sunday my fishing partner over slept so I went chasing bluegills and crappies on a small lake.  Drilled holes from 42' to 14'.  Fishing was SLOW until the sun came out and then the sunnies were showing up in 38' suspended and aggressive.  Hole hopped because they were all 4-6" but that's all i could find out deep.  As dark came closer my friends started appearing and we could follow the fish up shallower.  Ended up with a few meals for a buddy and his daughter who came out.  A lot of weeding through small ones for keepers.  Very spooky fish.  Aggressive jigging to attract and then they pretty much didn't want it moved.  Wax worms were key last night.

Good luck fishing.

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Lotharski

Thanks for the report, Chill!  I went out for a few hours Saturday afternoon and set up on the first break in about 15 fow.  I had the camera down and only saw pike.  Not one gill or eye...  I had 7-7.5" ice where I checked.

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Chill62

Buddy had a camera down on Saturday and he said he'd get a mixture of panfish to come in then they'd fly out of the hole and in comes a pike or two.  He said that when the gills would leave it was because a pike would be around the hole and he knew it was safe again when he'd see his first panfish.  That was in 18-22 fow.

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bjamin

Got out Saturday afternoon and after putting in some time drilling holes finally found panfish in 20-24 ft, almost in the basin areas I'd look mid winter.  Crappie and sunfish were mixed and we caught almost all of our fish on a small jig and waxworm.  Tried minnows and only caught a couple fish that way, even when we were catching fish on waxworms in a hole 3 ft away.  They seemed to want something to chase so keeping the jig moving and pulling away from them helped quite a bit.  Had 10" of ice where we were fishing and was pretty consistent, but there's lots of reports of extremely varying ice thickness so keep checking ice thickness on your way out. 

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Chill62

We made our annual trip up to Red Lake Indian Reservation on Saturday.  Fished the whole day chasing rainbow and brook trout.  Before anyone tries to call me out it's legal to fish trout on the reservation during the winter and it's actually the only thing you can legally keep on the tribal waters during the winter.  We did have a guide and he was amazing and was cheap!  14 adults and 2 kids and we ended up keeping 65 trout out of 76 possible.  We left the ice by 2 so could have finished out the day and easily "Limited out" but we had enough to make us happy.  Its so weird being in 8' of water catching trout when you think they should be in 30-60'. 

I'm done working for the year so its time to drill some holes locally and try to have some fun.  Local reports are hit and  miss but seeing friends catching stuff and a mixed bag.  Its awesome to see guys with 3-4 different species that they are catching.  Buddy was on Melissa last night and found 3" of ice.  So please be careful and I read an article today that someone went through on Mud Lake by Big Floyd and someone went through on Little Cormorant.  FYI those that fish Big Floyd a buddy reported to me that the deep hole just froze over end of last week and he was saying there was a 75 x 75 opening that wouldn't freeze up.

Hopefully with cold air coming in over Christmas we can get lakes to be drive-able shortly. 

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bbfenatic

Chill: I heard you guys had a good outing up North for the Trout..good job!  As fas as Melissa goes there is plenty of ice over on the crappie hole 9-11" but that area Scott was targeting Pike is always the last to freeze over on Melissa and it was not long ago that it did freeze out there...these larger bodies of water with rivers going through them or springs or that opened back up with those warmer temps and high winds are going to be suspect for quite a while unfortunately.

Stay Safe Everyone!

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Chill62

It wasn't scott that warned me about the ice conditions another guy warned me about it.  It'll be interesting here shortly when snow starts hitting and people start hitting lakes with snowmobiles.  See how many find thin ice.  Kinda sucks but it is what it is can only take precautions while  going out.

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Chill62

Finally back to the computer so can give a quick report.

IT'S COLD OUT THERE!

Ok more serious report, fished a few little lakes for panfish since I suck at walleye fishing.  Had a few good days before storms coming in and we also struck out a ton in spots we usually do great on them.  Pike were chasing the dang gills around and would shut them off.  Smaller the presentations the better is what we found for the panfish.  I fished from north of Richwood down south by Dunvilla.  Drove on a bunch of lakes but also have a light vehicle.  Still hearing reports of 8 inch spots on Melissa and Sallie.  

Weekend is supposed to warm up so I think we will head down to the cabin and try it hard Saturday and Sunday.

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Lotharski

I was able to get out for a couple of hours yesterday afternoon.  Saw several walleye on the camera, but couldn't get them to commit.  Maybe the cold weather gave them lock-jaw?  Only had 11.5" ice where I was at, but that didn't stop a truck from pulling up near to us.

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Chill62

Those dang cameras just frustrate me lol.  Sounds like  a warm up this weekend hopefully they pick up.

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Chill62

Fished Saturday morning and froze.  Was chasing Tuilibee down by Vergas, had 11-13" of ice in the deeper holes.  Not a bite guess that might be why people aren't fishing for them this time of the year.

Switched gears and took hard sided out for the evening around Perham and got schooled by girlfriend.  Fished a deeper hole 36' deep hole but I was in 32/33' crappies were suspended 20-31' and wanted small presentations.  Small jigs with wax worm landed 6 big boys, minnow drowned on dead stick.  Her biggest was 14"

Sunday fished same spot landed only 1 crappie over 12" but did land a tuilibee/white fish.

20180106_164427_resized.jpg

cody crappie.jpg

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Chill62

Got out Saturday for a Forum get together on Pelican.  Everyone split up and the only thing biting were perch.  Fished a few sunken islands and the resulted in getting the bigger perch.  Had tip ups out with suckers and they never went off.  #3 Rippin Raps worked the best for keeping little ones away.  Houses I was in were 16.5 and 19.5 feet of water and we had cameras down both.  One pike swam through the 19.5' house otherwise just perch.  

 

Saturday night went over by Perham and fished again.  Landed a few crappies biggest being around 12" pretty slow.  Fished till almost 10 with anything after dark being a waste of time.

Sunday morning I accidentally forgot to shut my alarm clock off so I was wide awake at 6:15.  Went out to the house and started fishing instead of waking the cabin up.  Had fish down there instantly.  Kept 6 keeper crappies with biggest ones being 13.75", 13.5", 12.75".  Bunch of 11 inch crappies.  Fished till almost 10:30 when I had to get to shore to clean up for Christmas with my mom.  Turned graph on at 6:30/45 and had fish below me and when I shut it off had them down there too.  Was in 31' with the big boys holding in that 18-27' range.  Minnow was a waste of time again.  Green 4 mm jig with yellow dots tipped with a bunch of wax worms were key.

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bbfenatic

Fished crappies B Pine Sunday Morning early while the temps were good....fished a 35' hole....tried all diff jigs with waxies and not many takers...finally switched to a VMC paddle tale 2" minnow black/white  on a 1/16th oz VMC white jig and that was the ticket as long as they hit it while I was steadily pulling away...if they came up and sniffed it they would not bite...I bet if had live minnows it would have been better....got a limit of nice eaters and let some bigger 13-14" go back down the hole.  With the winds and recent snow it was tough traveling off the plowed roads.

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Chill62

Fished by Perham Friday night, Saturday Morning, and all day Sunday.  Didn't graph a bunch and moved the fish house we did get two crappies both about 8/8:30 each morning and that summed up my fishing around Perham.  Trying a spot that was suggested to us but we will see if it pans out I'm still new to the lake.

Saturday afternoon we set up on our honey hole by DL.  Wind was blowing and it was trying to snow so we ditched the idea of hole hoping since the portable felt so much warmer!!!  About 3 the gills started coming in and it was fast and furious till about 5/5:30.  Dead at 6 and we packed up.  Set up from 17.5-19' with the fish house and before dark had a bunch of HUGE pike and bass swimming by and of course we didn't have any bait for tip ups.  One bass had to have been over 5#.  All fish moving by were barely moving very lethargic while swimming.  Didn't pick up a single thing other than bluegills.  Yellow tungsten jigs tipped with wax worms worked best. 

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paceman

Tried a couple local lakes this weekend. Found ice to be 18-20". Quite a bit of snow in spots. Saw a few guys getting stuck which surprised me. Had my son with so we were primarily after action/sunnies. Found the smaller ones near the bottom in 24-25 feet, bigger ones were suspended 10-15' off the bottom. CPR'd quite a few in the 8-9 inch range. Using red waxies.Also caught some nice pike on shiners. Did not keep anything.  Interesting that the last 90 minutes of daylight provided the hottest action both days...

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Chill62

Got out this weekend around Vergas and DL.  Tried again for those frustrating Tuilibee and struck out but graphed stuff this time lol...One step closer.  Snow cover in the area was pretty deep off the plowed roads.  Glad we had three vehicles out there because we got hung up multiple times while exploring.  We fished HOL Saturday as storm was "Lightening up" and couldn't see anything out there.  If you are driving out there be careful a ton of blocks of ice from spear houses and poorly marked blocks of ice.  Fished for 5 hours caught a few gills and crappies but the pike wouldn't leave us alone.  Had camera down the whole time watching them and at one time we had 3 pike all less than a pound and 2 bull heads swimming around on camera.  Should have moved but too cold in our books at the time because fishing sucked.  I got hung up with the 3/4 ton, couldn't see a drift and I was plowing with the running boards it was that deep. 

 

If you go on any lake please make sure you have a tow strap and a shovel handy.  This snow can settle any time soon.  Kinda shocked lakes haven't started flooding yet, probably a good thing the snow content doesn't have much moisture to it.

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Chill62

Had a Pro Staff get together this weekend and hit the lakes hard around the DL area.

Friday:  -22 when we started the truck. Started NE of DL 15-20 miles fishing a big shallow lake. Fished till noon hour with mixed results.  Nothing huge and nothing fast was biting.  Few guys were using slender spoons tipped with a minnow and couldn't keep the 16" pike off their lines.  Switched after noon and hit up around Frazee on a local lake.  More panfish were biting with a few crappies mixed in the group.  Girlfriend ended up getting a mark at 14 feet down (28 to bottom) and hooked something big ended up being an 18" walleye cruising through.

Saturday: -22 again when we started the truck.  Fished south of Detroit Lakes a few miles.  Started in 24' and didn't graph a thing.  Guys started hoping around and started finding stuff in 12'. So we fired the augers up and searched around from 6-19' and around 10-14' we found the fish.  Mixed bag of panfish with a few pike and bass mixed in the group.  Fished till dark then packed up.  Three guys stayed out till 9:30 and the crappies came in around 6:30/7.  They were the only people on the ice when the crappies started biting.

Sunday: -18 when the truck was started.  Tried for tuilibees down by Vergas in the morning.  First spot we didn't get a mark so we moved to deeper hole and graphed a few but no bites.  Fished/froze till almost 11 chasing them then took off for DL area for panfish.  Fished south of DL a few miles and lake is usually an evening bite for panfish and the moment we drilled holes the gills were down there.  Yellow jigs were the key out there tipped with wax worms.  Few crappies mixed in the group but was fun to actually catch some stuff!

Monday: -18 when I woke up and said screw it went back to bed...woke up mid morning and went out to the Perham area and moved the perm house.  Got stuck a few times with an audience watching and it was motivation to get out by myself.  Got set up in a deep hole and graph was lit up and started getting small crappies nothing of size.  had to fix some things in the fish house and by the time I got it fixed the fish quit coming through.  Fished till dark and didn't catch anything after 3.

Tuesday: 10 above!  I got talked into going out north of Richwood by a buddy who has a YouTube channel.  Set up for panfish and got into some instantly in 18' of water.  They wanted pink or white jigs tipped with wax worms but it had to be a small lure 3 mm was working best.  Buddy jumped around and found better schools up in 12-14' so we moved over there and had fun.  Tons of 6-8" gills and a few crappies 10-11" mixed in the group.  Wind was picking up bad so we had to upgrade size of our jigs to 4 mm to feel the lighter bites.  Filmed till around 12:30 when the second battery for the camera died and we decided we had a ton of film for a video and called it a day.

Wednesday: I was exhausted and no one could say definitely they would go fishing so I stayed home to recover from "Vacation" lol  Buddy sent me picks mid morning that he went to the same spot we chased tuilibees on Sunday and was catching big ones.  Had to downsize the jig size to get the bites.  He caught 6 lost 2-4 at the hole was his report.  He said he was filming a YouTube video so we will see what his video has to say about his outing.

My take away from this weekend:  Downsize your lure presentations.  Minnows were a waste of time for us and I don't know if I would even waste my money on them.  Keep changing your colors we found Yellow, White and Pink were best depending on lake with Green being ok on a few other lakes.  Very light bite so break out the UL rods to detect those light bites.  Find weed edges and get up tight to them.

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IceHawk

Well made a run up that way yesterday and it turned into a perfect day. Hit a bunch of lakes with a few friends and did really good. We targeted isolated cabbage humps that were still green and scored on some real nice gills.  The Garmin Panoptix really played a role in elimanateing unproductive water.  We saved a lot of hole drilling and utilized our time to stay on active fish rather then drilling tons of holes. . Key baits were 4 mm Kenders tungstens and spikes they really wanted meat yesterday. I tried plastics with many cadences but went back to meat. Gills were on the edges of the cabbage iced some dandies. All Gills 9 inch plus were returned to catch another day.  Looking forward to another trip to Gods country soon 

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Chill62

Got out Saturday for Tuilibees.  Ended up getting 2 (19" and a 10") hooked one that seemed huge!  After about five minutes of fighting it heard a loud SNAP! Looked and the fish spooled me!  I always put the full spool of line on my reel so I was shocked as heck.  We had 5 or 6 people out there trying multiple things and smaller the presentations the better.  Travel was almost impossible without a full size vehicle and following tracks.

Sunday we went out north of Richwood and got onto the lake by 9 am and at 11:30 I was cleaning out the wheels at the access.  I never drilled a hole.  Lake was soo deep I couldn't get around and finally after an hour we finally pulled the plug and said lets get off of this lake!  If your house is still on the lake be careful a ton are flooding now!

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bbfenatic

Went to a small lake and fished on the edge of the basin in 22'....crappies moved in after dark and it was busy to say the least....most on a minnow under a bobber...a few on a horizontal jig with a plastic tail and a waxie....should start getting real good everywhere with the melt coming soon.

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Chill62

Got out around Vergas on Sunday morning.  Temps were warm but wind sucked.  Hugged the side of the pickup tightly!  Fished in about 40-45 feet for tuilibee.  It was my first time fishing them on this lake so it was fun to try.  Ended up getting the first one within 5 minutes of starting.  We probably caught 60 plus but thought they were small, buddy showed up after trying another lake and striking out and wanted to keep the ones we were throwing back.  Kept 21 but 8 of the larger ones had worms in it.  Guess that lake we wont be coming back to this lake sadly.

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bbfenatic

Was out yesterday evening fishing on a ledge of a basin in 30' crappies showed up at 7pm all suspended 14-16' down...and it was non-stop action for over an hour...big fish...many too big to keep...ended up with a limit of very nice eaters....usually I am fishing shallow this time of year but finding them still out deep....once the major melt comes and water starts pouring down old holes they will move shallow and towards their spawning grounds. Travel was much better than I had hoped, no slush but I am hearing some nightmares on certain lakes that the snow/slush is getting a lot of guys stuck even in large 4W pickups.

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Chill62

Made it out this weekend again with a bunch of friends on Saturday morning.  Ice conditions at shore were great condition, ice driving around was just fine especially since I was only in 2wd.  Fished a deep hole from 6:30 till 2 pm around Dent.  Fish were active and everyone was able to land a few fish.  Fish ranged from 12-16" with average being in that 14-15" range.  Tons of people out there.  Coming off the ice the access was no longer in great condition but was still very easy to get off the water.

Fished over by perham in the afternoon for crappies hit a deep hole that usually holds good populations.  Graphed a ton but only 3-6" crappies.  Fished till graphs died, guess LX7's with a 9 amp hour rating wont run 12+ hours lol.  Access on that lake was getting very sketchy to say the least.  Everyone kept driving on good ice so the trails coming off the lake were sporadic at best.  Lots of snow on the lake and lots of slush and flooded spots on the lake.  We were throwing water with 4wd in the pickup locked in.

Fished Sunday morning again, buddy I took is worse than most 5 year olds so it was an interesting morning.  Got one around 7:15 right away.  Was trying to set his rod up and graph and hooked one in the process he gave it too much slack and lost it.  5 minutes later he's fighting one and I can hear drag flying off so I thought I went too light of gear for him, he landed an 18.5" tuilibee!  Biggest one of the weekend and ended up being his only fish.  We fished the rest of the morning and ended up with about a dozen of them.  Range was from 5" to 18.5" average being about 14" again.  Access coming off was same condition but you drive through a "Beach" on shore and the beach is getting really dug out and soft.

Unless we get tons of cold weather soon I might be done for driving on any access that gets hit by sunlight.  Sun has tons of power and I got a nasty sunburn on Saturday while hole hoping!

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Chill62

Was debating on trying to get out on Good Friday and decided I would stay home.  Buddy had 8" of snow at his place around DL and with 6-12" being forecasted I decided to stay home.  Buddy went out and fished from 5:30-7:50 and got 7 tuilibees.  With the weather forecasted we stayed put and waited till noon to start moving around.  Got to the lake around 2 and there was an easy foot of fresh powder on the lake.  He had to plow a path with his vehicle and I followed in line to get to the fishing spot.  Still had over 24" of ice on the lake though with a foot of fresh powder.  Got the house set up with the two vehicles blocking the wind and parked using the receiver hitches to secure down the fish house.  Got set up around 2:30 and within 5 minutes I had my first one on and sadly lost it.  We were in 45 feet of water and the fish were coming through 30-42 feet of water.  We ended up catching 4 monsters (19.5-20"), 2 huge ones (18-19") and one baby (10").  I had two personal bests with the 4 fish I caught on Saturday and I lost one after it straightened my hook.  I've never had a fish fight like that before!  People who've been following my posts know a few weeks back I got spooled and I was afraid of getting spooled again even though I put a TON of line on this time!  Was a great bite from the time we set up till 5:30, from 6-7:30 we got one fish.  Hopefully try it again next weekend.

3.31.ch.jpg

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