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Chill62

Well I figured its getting that time of the year and people are itching to get out on the ice.  I know I have started ordering gear and it's starting to be delivered so it's like Christmas opening up packages.  I hope with the cold temps I'll be deer hunting this weekend and I'm hoping to be fortunate enough to get my deer and start ice fishing next weekend.  Buddy in the area is expecting in 7-8 days he will be getting out on the ice.  With that being said please do not trust any ice reports as ice conditions can change and I personally don't trust anything unless it's pictures on a bump board to prove thickness.  I've heard there are a few apps on your phone to share thicknesses but then again your still trusting that person with their 4" of good ice statements.  

 

First ice safety for those that might get out earlier than you normally do here's a few things I do.

1. Find a buddy

2. Wear a life jacket (I'll take it off after I punch holes in an area and know that area is safe BUT I will wear it while traveling back again)

3.  Use a spud bar or chisel to verify you have good ice as you walk out

4. Stop and measure along your travel

5. Hug shoreline to avoid deeper holes that possibly froze later and might be thinner.  

6. Pack light (use 1 pound propane tanks instead of 20# tank, do you need all that gear?)

7. If it warms up during the day to above freezing remeasure ice thickness.  We lost an inch one day while fishing and went from 5.5-6 inches down to 4.5 so it made us nervous and left soon after we realized it was loosing that much ice.

 

Please be careful everyone wants to ice fish but if you fall through first ice and get hurt you're missing a lot of good ice fishing weather.

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Chill62

Buddy made it out on Friday on a small lake and had 3.5 inches of ice.  Hearing reports from others that a lot of lakes were 2-2.5 inches and they backed off the lake after finding that.  Also heard reports that some of the bigger lakes the wind yesterday ate up a ton of ice but this morning the lakes really refroze quickly and further out.  I personally tagged out Sunday for deer so I'm switching gears this weekend and going to try to get some fish on top of the ice.  I'd assume a lot of lakes will be walkable by the weekend but avoid current and deeper holes unless you are checking ice thickness.  I'm hoping to get out Saturday and Sunday if I can find a fishing partner, buddy is looking at 3-5 lakes tomorrow and Thursday.  Looks like tonight I have the project of respooling line and getting ready for the weekend.

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Chill62

Made it out Friday in northern Becker County.  Found 4 inches at the access and when I started going across the lake we found 5....6....6.5 .... then 7.... then finally 7.5 inches!  Lake average was 6 to 6.5 inches of nice clear ice.  We fished from 10-23 feet of water chasing blue gills and crappies.  Usually they are up shallower 10-18 but we actually did better out deeper than shallower.  Brother did great I couldn't buy a bite!  Saturday went south by Dent had 6 inches of ice at shore went to a big crack at 12 feet and other side of the crack was 3 inches.  We never crossed the crack.  Went to a different lake as a result had a solid 6-7 inches all the way across the lake and when we were out there we couldn't buy bites.  Few fish came in at dark but then it started to rain and I wasn't in the mood to get rained on while ice fishing sitting on a bucket.  I'll head out Saturday is my plan due to birthday party on Sunday evening that I was informed we are hosting.

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Rick
2 hours ago, Chill62 said:

WOW that sums up tonight. Nothing from 1-3 but from 3 till after dark when the girlfriend said time to go was WILD. Tungstens tipped with soft plastics and a wax worm. Crappies were coming up 3+ feet to fight over the jig. Released a 13 inch and a ton of gills and crappies non stop. Was in 12 feet with all the fish coming through at 10 feet. I didn't move from same hole the whole time. 

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[email protected]@💥💙💚👍💚👍😁

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Chill62

Thanks rick. We were catching them too fast and furious to get more pictures. it was her first trip out for season so was glad we got some action. 

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leech~~

Chill62, you weren't the crazies I saw way out on Round or Northlong lakes yesterday when I drove by a wide open Gull lake were yea? 😯

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Chill62

I was in Becker County. There were 4 wheeler tracks out there so I'm thinking you were looking at other people. we walked out and 7.5-9 inches of ice if we don't get hit next weekend with the storm I'll try to get out with the ranger 

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smalliehunter

I'm from southern Minnesota.  No good ice here.  Anyone wanna throw me a bone with a lake that has good ice and crappies?  I would love to make a day trip tomorrow.  I don't have a snowmobile or four wheeler.  I'll be on foot and alone.  Pm me or post here.  Thank you everyone.

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Chill62

Travel right now is very sketchy.  A buddy is out and every lake he's been on so far is flooding.  MN DNR LakeFinder is a great app to check out lakes in the area, see depth contours, and check netting data.  We use that as a start to finding which lakes a person should starting looking at closer for where to fish.  

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IceHawk

Looks like a awesome trip the smiles on the kids faces say it all!

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Chill62

When I was drilling holes for people and I could hear screams and squeals over the noise of my auger drilling holes it makes the trip worth it for me.  We have dubbed this trip Dad's and Lad's, its a get away for dad's and their sons to enjoy the outdoors, spend a night away from home and usually catch a lot of fish.  A set of twins were competing against each other last year and one of the kids was over 9 fish landed.  Not many kids can say they've caught trout through the ice and in this setting it's a lot of fun because of the aggressiveness of the trout.  I have a feeling we'll be doing a 3rd Annual trip in 2020.

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Borch

Sounds like a fantastic weekend!   Gotta love it when the kids are catching fish.

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AlwaysFishing23

Looks like a very enjoyable weekend for you guys Chill62! Your ranger setup looks real slick! Jealous! 

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Chill62
1 hour ago, Borch said:

Sounds like a fantastic weekend!   Gotta love it when the kids are catching fish.

 

The trip is a fun time and we have been blessed with warm favorable conditions the last two years I've helped set it up.  Just hope it keeps up that way because every trip prior it was -20 or worse temps.

 

1 hour ago, AlwaysFishing23 said:

Looks like a very enjoyable weekend for you guys Chill62! Your ranger setup looks real slick! Jealous! 

 

Thanks!  We've put a lot of work into it so far.  It isn't new but its new to us and that is the only way we could get what we wanted with the features we wanted.  Having a heated cab is amazing when going across the ice we actually had to take our jackets off prior to traveling across the ice.  I we made the rack for the back for hauling gear and giving us a little more space (PVC).  Ice fishing is our favorite season and when we figured we spent last year from weekend before Thanksgiving to April 22nd area on the ice every weekend its an investment that we will use.  We also plow out 5-7 driveways at the lake for neighbors so it helps cut down on the amount of time I am spending plowing when I have a 72" blade instead of a 60" 4 wheeler blade and not enough power to push big piles.  

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Lotharski

Thanks Chill, I really enjoy reading your posts.  On a quick update for me, I went out for the first time of the year on Nov. 23rd on a small lake by DL.  Had around 5" of ice and had to drill about 40 holes before we found the crappies and gills.  They were not super aggressive, but we were able to land one limit of keeper size crappies and also some nice gills.  Went out for the second time on Dec. 7th by Lake Park.  With the warm weather, still only found about 5" of good ice and 3" of slush on time.  Fishing was much slower and only caught a few perch.  Thank goodness for the Muck Arctic Armor boots for keeping the feed dry and warm in that slush!!

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Chill62

Thanks for report. Glad to see when others give reports so doesn't feel lopsided. 

 

Went out tonight. Holy heck was it on fire!!  31 feet of water and from 18-26 crappies were stacked up on top of each other. From 230-630 I used a total of 3 Ripper soft plastics by Panfish Pirates and I wouldn't be shocked if was flirting 200 fish with 90% crappies all without a wax worm!! Biggest was 12.75 with average being 11.75 estimate. for two hours I was averaging one almost per minute. was insane tonight. Didn't catch anything huge but wide assortment of ages. 

 

4 mm wonder bread glow with a ripper plastic. 

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  • Your Responses - Share & Have Fun :)

    • jigginjim
      My thought was like a 4 wheeler only with real wide tires on the back and skis on the front.  have enough power to pull single flip over with equipment. yet do about 10-15 mph.    
    • jigginjim
      i was wondering about a uv light, for fishing, to see float on surface.  I know you legally can't shine the light down the hole but.........
    • JBMasterAngler
      It’s not very good.
    • monstermoose78
      Wanderer you know the lake I was on I am almost positive. It froze over in early November and people have been ice fishing it for a 3 weeks to a month now. Snow cover was about 6-7 inches and it’s a good thing it’s a short drag across the lake as this fat guy was huffing and puffing on the way back to the truck.   Be careful as the swans were thick and the have an open spot on the north side where the creek exits. 
    • Kettle
      Did well yesterday with similar presentation of wanderer. Super small tungsten jig with either waxies or small plastics. I would lift the jig above the fish half a foot and just hold it and watch the spring bobber. Ended with 9 crappies and a bluegill for two guys so a solid meal
    • Wanderer
      My best crappie yesterday came on a tungsten jig/wax worm dead sticking on a noodle rod.  I could just see the pressure on the rod tip.  Let the rod lay on the ice so my hand couldn’t even shake it the slightest.
    • Wanderer
      I think ice thickness right now is more dependent on snow cover.  When it fell compared to ice being made on a certain lake and how much.  20 below for a day won’t cure the thin ice/slush blues with 10 inches of snow on the lake.     Thanks for pics Nick!
    • tfin
      I didn't say your data was wrong.  I said it was incomplete.  Comparing the number of lbs taken and allotted in two different years without stating the lbs of total fish in the lake was a non point.  Wasn't trying to add a whole lot of new data but was referencing the fact that non natives have the right to use our land for any commercial business we se fit as mandated by our gov't but not allowing the natives to do the same with their own land and waters is hypocrisy.  We pollute waters with factory and farm runoff and destroy fisheries all over the US and my guess is that there are close to zero post on this site saying boo to that.  When do we decide to do something about that?  When the impact is noticed.  When did the Band start to manage the lake better?  When the impact was noticed.  Enough said on my account.
    • smurfy
      I just looked at them again, the second picture down. narrows facing east, now looks like the snow is wet...…..want like that yesterday!!!!
    • monstermoose78
      I was local be careful of some lakes but the lake I was on I found no less than 9 inches and up to 10 inches.
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