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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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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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Chill62

Fished last night trying to beat storm. 9.5 inches of ice...gained 2 inches over the week. Found sharp break and set up. No one was near us easy 500 yards away. Well that changed people set up feet from us leaving wheeler running. Then get set up they decide to run back and forth right by us. Before they showed up we had a few walleyes and a gill. They showed then nothing. Fished till 6 and only landws 2 fish after they showed up. 

 

Drilled a ton of holes to find this break. Took pic of depth and maybe 20 feet away. Kept some for a fish fry today. Ton of pike went through lots of jigs. Biggest crappie came through at 545 8 feet off bottom, I was in 13 lol. 

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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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  • Your Responses - Share & Have Fun :)

    • bowhuntingboy1
      That's why I said it's very unrealistic. 
    • kelly-p
      If that was tried I would guess that the Band would be in court very fast to get the boundary dispute settled. Then all of URL could be Bands waters. If you're going to poke a sleeping bear better be prepared for him to wake up.
    • leech~~
      Well this is 5 years old but does talk about the long term history of the problem, not just Red Lake.   https://www.google.com/url?sa=t&rct=j&q=&esrc=s&source=web&cd=4&cad=rja&uact=8&ved=2ahUKEwjyntGNzafmAhVsp1kKHXHkC44QFjADegQIBRAB&url=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.startribune.com%2Fmay-3-2013-fishy-trade-in-walleyes-persists-up-north%2F205903751%2F&usg=AOvVaw3ZqjwEw_5vfkNmB2fCEjN4    
    • bowhuntingboy1
      I feel it would be best to shut down commercial fishing from red lake and simply have the natives follow the same regs as everyone else. You could say this is unrealistic, but you asked for what I think and this is my opinion. Another alternative I see is let the natives have lrl to do whatever they want with and compromise so everyone else gets access to the entirety of url with the same regs for everyone and a closing to commercial fishing. Then we see 20 years down the road how each lake is doing. This is obviously also very unrealistic, but I'd love to see it happend. 
    • leech~~
      Shouldn't there be some kind of tribal need number? After all, isn't this Hunting, fishing-gathering thing really all about subsistence living?  🤔
    • kelly-p
      So what do you feel should be the cap for the number of pounds of walleyes the Band can harvest from the Red Lakes?
    • islandmn
      Looking for ice conditions on the west end around Taylor and Schmidt's islands, hoping to get out there around the holidays. Thanks 
    • Mike89
      yup and with more snow coming ugly!!  I made mine from a small sleeper off a semi...  and it's on a steel frame with wheels...  so it does have some weight..  
    • mtheis
    • mtheis
      I wish I could tell all of you I got a big one, but I talked myself out of it due to the deep snow.  Where I go up there there is no plowing, and I figured I had enough with a deer from Wisconsin and one from Michigan already.  Maybe next year!  
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