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Vermilion Ice Reports 2021/22


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Let's get an ice thread going.

 

I saw on the fishing thread that someone said that Head O Lakes had open water prior to the most recent snowfall. Unless we melt off a lot of this snow, we are going to have a bad ice year. Is Big Bay completely frozen over?

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I heard there was a few open spots still last weekend.  Somebody walked out from McKinley Park on Saturday and found only 2-3 inches in the bay.  Now they got heavy snow and then very cold weather so all bets are off.  I delayed my first trip up until this Thursday to give the cold weather more time to work.  Hope to report decent ice then but I wouldn't bet on it.

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33 minutes ago, JerkinLips said:

CigarGuy are those your personal Facebook messages or from a Facebook group?

From Facebook group, "Lake Vermilion Cabin Owners".

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Had about the same on the Partridge River.... About 1/2 down towards Black Bay. I went out about 30 yards from neighbors shore. Snowmobile track running down the middle of the channel from yesterday.

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Measuring 7 1/2 - 8" northwest of the Moccasin point landing.

Spoke with a couple of snowmobilers who had just come back from the VC across the lake.

Definitely some slush, but only 1-2" of slush so not too bad

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14 minutes ago, jkrash said:

I think the little bugs are Hellgrammites , not shrimp, they eventually turn into some type of fly.

That was my second choice. 😉😁
 

Saw a lot of them in trout fishing. 

Edited by Wanderer
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3 hours ago, jkrash said:

Ooops! I now think there Hexegena nymps, some will eventually be May flies.

 

That wasn’t my third choice! 😅  But the “Hex Hatch” is a thing up there.  Makes sense.

 

Got any other possibilities we can try? 😂

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You should have tried using those bugs for bait. I searched around but couldn't find a good picture of freshwater shrimp. I don't know if they are in big lakes. I've only seen them some sloughs in North Dakota.

 

 

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30 minutes ago, Hookmaster said:

You should have tried using those bugs for bait.

Would have been interesting.  The walleyes were gobbling up very small chubs so these bugs may have worked.  The walleyes may have been picking these bugs up from the bottom and stumbled across an easy minnow meal.

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Hexagenia Limbata

They burrow in the mud.

It would be interesting to know if the fish are just pickin the nymphs off of the bottom, or "rootin" them out of the mud.

If you have ever seen a hex hatch, or have seen those (clouds) on your locator, it would make you wonder just how many of those little dudes are burrowed into the bottom of the lake.

I'm no biologist(flyfisherman), but I'm thinkin it takes 2 years for them to mature up in this country.

 

Jim

 

Edited by jim curlee
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My guess is that fish are rooting these larvae out of the bottom.  I say this because there are spots on the lake which look like they are pockmarked with bluegill beds - although these are in much too deep of water to be beds.
 

We’ve always surmised those were depressions made by fish rooting out bug larvae from the bottom.  Our assumption has always been that suckers or whitefish were the species doing this, but the photo above suggests that perhaps even walleyes are doing it.   By the way, if you find areas on your electronics that look like this, they always seem to be good walleye fishing areas. Another clue? 

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4 hours ago, jim curlee said:

Hexagenia Limbata

From Wikipedia:

Hexagenia limbata, the giant mayfly, is a species of mayfly in the family Ephemeridae. It is native to North America where it is distributed widely near lakes and slow-moving rivers. The larvae, known as nymphs, are aquatic and burrow in mud and the adult insects have brief lives. They are often referred to as fish flies around the Great Lakes as they tend to cause the areas around water to smell like rotten fish.

Picture of the larvae (nymph):

image.png.a17c9458d52c552727b7d91eddf3947c.png

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3 hours ago, BrianF said:

By the way, if you find areas on your electronics that look like this, they always seem to be good walleye fishing areas.

You are a real fisherman.  I just get lucky and spend a lot of time doing it.

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So in general it sounds like maybe the shorelines of most bays are strong enough for machines to travel but the centers may still be a little weak as they were just forming ice when the big storm hit the other week. 

 

I'm hoping to come up this weekend and go across the west end of the lake. I am happy to stick to shorelines to err on the side of safety.

 

CigarGuy - are there a bunch of snowmobile tracks going through the Partridge River or just the one that you reported?

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