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This is about the time of year when going after the big gators through the ice is my favorite game plan. Northerns will always allow a good deal of action and ice conditions usually let a person get just about everywhere on a body of water. Through the years I have found quite a few spots on some lakes in the northwoods that provide not just action, but the excitement of pulling a toothy beast through a whole in the ice... ( Always putting these ones back is IMPORTANT )
Most of my expertise has been done with tip ups and large live suckers, chubs, and shiners in the apropriate locations. In the last couple of years I have been trying out some rigs that allow me to use dead bait like ciscoes or smelt. It has produced the occassional fish, and usually it is a better sized specimen ! I think that if I fine tuned my presentation it would be quite rewarding. Do any of you fellow fisher people out there have a particular hook or style of set that you have perfected for using deadbait ? I want to make sure the bait sits as natural as possible in the water and this is not an easy thing to accomplish. Any help would be appreciated....
The other problem is the availablity of finding the bait. If anyone has connections on where I can obtain dead bait, pointing me in the right direction would be great !

Thanks, Andy

No matter how cold the air temperature is, when catching fish it feels like a sun filled warm afternoon !!!!

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Give Lucky Bait a call. West of Grand Rapids on 2. They may be able to help.
218-328-5949

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Lucky Bait sure seems like a good place to by bait. I really like the mounts in their store! Great prices too! Give em' a try!
By the way my user name is "Beretta" I could not use beretta because it was taken. I hope my name has not caused to much confusion. Just squint your eyes a little and you will see it!

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As the season progresses, I like to use a big stinky dead bait (cisco, smelt, sucker...mostly suckers due to availability) and either trim the tail of a live sucker (to enhance thrashing with not much ability to move horizontally) or cut the gut of the sucker and pull the guts to hang. I feel this makes a bit of a chum trail that helps the fish smell the bait. As the season progresses, the fish are used to more dead forrage due to oxygen levels, etc.

For what it's worth...

------------------
May your house always smell like fish...

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Somebody had some Herring(Frozen) for sale here at a good price .. check in the gear under $150 forum... I was thinking of picking some up myself.

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  • Your Responses - Share & Have Fun :)

    • smurfy
      So is it going on the wall??
    • Kettle
      Thank you! For minnesota it's a fish of a lifetime. 12 in girth, mouth was 7 in in circumference 
    • Hookmaster
      Wowsers Kettle. Very nice fish!!
    • smurfy
      dang..thats a piggy!!!!!!!!! i first though  tyou were talkin ice thickness!!!!!!  😆
    • Kettle
    • JerkinLips
      There were a lot of ATV/SxS running around the lake but I found it quite slippery even with AWD engaged.  I did see a couple of snowmobiles crossing the lake.  There is enough snow to keep the slides lubricated, especially when the temperature is above freezing.  If your track is studded that would help traction and slide lubrication.
    • SkunkedAgain
      It looks like it's ATV/SxS season on the lake. Snowmobile season is on temporary (or permanent) hiatus.
    • JerkinLips
      Was back Tuesday-Thursday this week after I discovered that walleye season ends on Sunday, February 25th.  I thought that the season has closed the last day of February in recent years.  I see that I fished on Monday, February 28th two winters ago so lucky I didn't get busted then.   The ice was in very good shape.  I found 15-18 inches of solid ice in the areas I checked.  There was no standing water on the ice and very little snow as shown in the 3 pictures of the McKinley Park landing from Thursday afternoon.  When the temperature was below freezing, the ice was very slippery.  When it warmed up mid day it wasn't as bad.  The landing was starting to deteriorate today, but with the cold weather on Friday it should freeze over.  It may start to get bad again by Sunday when it warms up.  Full size vehicles were still driving out close to Birch Island so apparently that path is still good.   Fishing was very good for late season.  Most of my walleyes were again 9-12 inches, but I did catch a 21, 24, and 27.  I was lucky to catch my limit of 14-15 inchers today to bring home for a meal.  The walleyes preferred small rainbows, but also liked lively chubs.  I caught four fish on the same small rainbow today when I was running low on small ones.  I finally gave up on that minnow when I went 20 minutes without a bite.  I had 3 rainbows come off the hook on their own; one when I dropped it in the hole and the other two when I dropped them to the bottom.  I think that happens when you hook them in the soft part of their body.  I caught my first tulibee of the winter (15 inches) and it really stunk up the house.  I also caught a lot of perch for the first time this winter.  I only caught 1 perch the previous 14 days I fished, but I caught 11 perch in these 3 last days, including six that were 11-13 inches long.  I wish I liked to eat perch so I could have kept them.  The hardest bite I had this week was by the pictured 8 inch walleye.  This little guy grabbed that full sized minnow and pulled it quickly to to bottom of the hole.  (However the 27 inch walleye did peel off a bit of drag bringing her in).  Morning bite from 830 to 1230 was best.   If you venture out the last weekend of the season, good luck.  Be cautious of ice conditions since the sun can really melt some holes in the ice this late in the season.
    • smurfy
      i cant speak for out that way but check the st cloud thread.......Rick gavee a pretty decent report on the ice around the area. he fishes a ton in the winter and is thinking of calling it quits............that tells me something!!!!
    • Mike89
      be careful!!  
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