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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 :)

    • JerkinLips
      It may be unkind but I don't know how putting the snow back that you removed would be unlawful.  Don't shoot the messenger; I am just passing along what I have heard.  I travel by snowmobile so I couldn't care less about plowed roads.  To me they are just a hazard for sledding. That being said, the people that used the plowed road today were very considerate.  They pulled well off of the road and kept a fair distance from others. I took a sled ride from McKinley Park to Fortune Bay and encountered at least 6 patches of slush.  I saw a couple of spots were 4 wheelers drove through slush; looks like they had a hard time.  I saw several 4 wheelers getting stuck in the deep snow today.  They would back up and take another run to keep going.  Traveling is very difficult for most wheelers.  I did see one Jeep on the lake just outside of McKinley Park bay. Good luck fishing and traveling on Lake Vermilion.
    • eyeguy 54
      The rod silly. 😁
    • knoppers
      was planning on heading up to the cabin this weekend to do some snowmobiling, but since I had to ride across my lake I decided to wait. they had some good ice early, but then the warm weather, then 18 inches of snow, I would guess the lake is a mess. last report I had from a week ago, was no snowmobile or wheelers have been out on the ice.
    • monstermoose78
      It was good ice
    • Kettle
      Yea I definitely understand wanting to fish your "home lake." I'm the same way hence while a walked through the slush today, fishing was worth it and I didn't feel the need to exercise after getting home tonight. The conditions will definitely hamper a lot of people's plans. It's a bummer but thinking back it has been quite a few years of ideal conditions so I should feel fortunate for that!
    • eyeguy 54
      Like the black ice?
    • HunterFisher11
      Ok so let me start off with I don’t have a big truck with a V-plow, but did make one for my wheeler so I could get on and off with no help from any one else, and I can not tell you how many times I have helped people to get there stuff off the lake.. So long story short many years ago I spent 8-10 hours plowing a road (at that time just had a straight blade plow) and then set down the fishhouse and did not even drill a hole just to tired!!!!! Yep you guess it.... woke up and had a village around me, well that is the way it goes??? So a couple days later decided to move, well got my truck and fish house stuck and had to unhook my fishhouse and hand shovel to get my truck unstuck hook up a chain to get my fishhouse turned so I could hook up again, while there was two guys drinking coffee not more then 15-20 yds away that did not lift a finger to help, so went home got the wheeler and as I was coming back out they stopped me and asked if I could help them out!!!!!! Yep really!!!!!! So second story have a uncle that had his kid that has a plow to punch a road to his fishhouse so he did well one day he is coming off the lake and some one decided to put his wheel house right on the road!!!!! So he knots on the door and the guy told him well sucks to be you!!!!!!!! So you wonder why these guys get a bit upset????? Not to mention going out to my house and having holes drilled I don’t no inches around my house!!!!!!!!! Yep it is not you doing it but yep kind of really makes a person upset!!!!!! Man they need to realize that the guy that made that road is your life line to get off also!!!!!! So like JerkinLips said if you happen to see a person keeping the road open toss him some money or in my case some beer, will make your life a lot easier when you want to get off...
    • Rick
    • smurfy
      we are on a smaller lake by spring lake. there was 7 inches of ice already the 3rd weekend of deer hunting, at least where I checked. but there was no snow out on the lake at that time. with your report i'm sure there's more then enough slush out there. I've been fishing that lake since I've been 6 years old. 
    • AlwaysFishing23
      Got out this afternoon for a few hours and found the landing parking lot to be a drifted rutted up mess. Was able to throttle my way in and barely not getting stuck. Found 6-7” of good hard clear ice. Fish were not lacking today that’s for sure.  I caught between 100-200 gills and crappies and a few perch mixed in. Gills ranged from tiny to 8” and crappies were all 8-9”. 4-6” of snow and no flooding going on. Fish were stacked and I was able to sit and catch one after other while staying nice and toasty in the otter. Fun afternoon and got to put the clam drill plate to use and all I can say is wow! That thing is the best auger I’ve used and definitely will change the way I fish. Should be able to use it all season besides drilling spear holes which I’ll leave to the solo. Fun trip! Tentatively planning on skipping next Friday and heading up north to do some spearing. Lake I’m gonna try has for sure 4” so good for walking but was hoping to take the new snowmobile up with me and use that for transportation so we will have to see if I’ll be able to or not. Back down to -20 tonight and barely above 0 tomorrow. 
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