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Well the ice fishing season has started for me on Friday.  Fished a lake in northern Becker County and averaged 6 inches of solid ice but it ranged from 4 inches at the access to 7.5 along the way out to our fishing spot.  Fishing was hit and miss and I personally didn't do well but my brother who doesn't fish often did pretty well on the trip. 


Saturday I fished down by Dent in the morning had 6 inches of clear ice on a very SMALL lake that's been frozen over for 10 days BUT when we got to 12 feet we found a huge crack and the ice was only 3 inches on the other side of the crack.  We followed the crack 200+ yards up and down the shoreline and we didn't find safe ice on the other side of the crack.  Yes I know some people fish on 2.5 inches of ice but when I'm 350+ and my buddy is bigger than me the answer is NO!!!!  We got off the ice and took off for a different lake closer to DL and that had 7 inches of ice.   Buddy took a big group out the night before and supposedly caught 200-300 gills and crappies.  All I could find was 8 inch crappies in 35 feet of water.  The only big fish I caught was a 12.5 inch crappie that when I was dropping down out deep chased my jig 12 feet down and it inhaled the bait instantly when I reeled it back up to the 12 ft mark (24 feet off of bottom).  Blue gills did pick up closer to dark and I started catching some 5-7 inch gills with a mixed snake in the batch but then it started pouring on me and I really didn't want to get drenched and I also didn't want to get all my gear wet on the second trip of the season.  


Sunday I couldn't find a fishing partner and I will not hit early ice without a partner till I know its safe but I saw a few guys hitting Big Pine on the north side.  First guy I saw was really close to the access for my liking walking out and I looked 30 minutes later and he was all the way down to crappie village already.  Looked an hour later and a guy was setting up on the first break from the north shore in a 2 person flip over.  I'm waiting for a partner and more ice before I hit the big lake since I was told it only froze over 100% on Tuesday and I don't want to find a thin spot.


Hearing reports of wheelers and snowmobiles out already on some lakes.  I personally think they are crazy as heck with what I'm seeing on some lakes for ice conditions but I've also not been on a lake where I have seen another person fishing yet either.  Please use extreme caution because we need one more week of good ice making conditions for me to start hitting all of my favorite spots.  Heck Long and Sybil Lake's by Vergas you could have been in a boat on this weekend.  Long is frozen on the east side but the NW side by the loon you could fish off of the docks.

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As always, a good report Chill.  I spent three nights over the Thanksgiving holiday on Little Pine just walking to the first break, we had 4-5 inches.  By Sunday morning after the snow fall it became very difficult to move around, as the flooding led to an abundance of slush. Not in a hurry to get back out there until things firm up again.

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I heard but haven't seen personally snow did NOT treat little pine nicely. Big pine had a huge cut out from road river, was staring as I was plowing cabins. I keep hoping the next two days this snow keeps settling and melting because next week when we hit -15 to -20 it'll be making ice quickly. 


I'm off for Red Lake Reservation tomorrow (Friday) for a trout fishing trip Saturday. before people say anything let me answer your questions. 

1. Season is open on Reservation all year long

2. We have a tribal guide so we can fish the Reservation 

3. No we are aren't fishing lower red lake


We will be fishing for rainbows and brooke trout. I'm taking a group up from my church in frazee. should be a fun time. 


Sunday if weather isn't bad I'm hoping to get out and we might make first trip out with ranger. Pretty excited to try it out. 


Should have reports on Monday. 

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  • Your Responses - Share & Have Fun :)

    • IceHawk
      Wow that's a sled tell him congrats ! like all the little stickers good character
      Out of this stand😁
      My brother crushed this monster this evening at 421👍
    • Wanderer
      You sure this is from Red Lake in MN?  There’s a Red Lake in Canada that’s a commercial fishery.  Often confused with MN.
    • leech~~
      I agree. A few years ago I got a Hummer Ice 55. I went up to Red lake for a 3 day 2 night trip.  I brought my FL-18 along as a back up. When I was fishing I said, what the heck and ran one in each hole started at the same time with both batteries charged to full at the start of the trip. The Bird-55 died in a day and a half and the FL-18 ran until I shut it off to leave on the 3rd day. I sold the Hummer Ice-55 later that winter.
    • eyeguy 54
      Very low power draw i am told on the fl18
    • CJH
      Wouldn't be surprised if the Vex gauge doesn't read the battery correctly, since lithiums have a flatter/higher voltage curve and those meters read the voltage, if my memory serves me right.   Or the Vex just has such low power draw its barely making a dent in it.  🙂        
    • leech~~
      Lot's of really good reading and points in the above.  Hope they have learned some lessons from the past and the Greed doesn't come back again!  It's always Man's Greed that makes them fail! 😕   "Commercial fishing grew from 200 Indian netters  in the 1960s to a peak of 600 in the 1980s,  with some individuals setting 80 nets, Bedeau  said. With large bonuses from the association, some of them made $80,000 per season, he said. "It was greed," Dickenson said. "The culture  got lost."   "In 1989, the tribe's commercial netters  registered a record 948,000 pounds of walleye."   And this years quota was just about back to that of 820,000.  So did they learn anything? 🤔
    • bowhuntingboy1
      If we could all just follow the same rules, this wouldn't be a discussion. The law shouldn't discriminate.
    • bowhuntingboy1
      I think what he was referring to is that you should care before things go bad, not after. 
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