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Anybody icefish for trout around Aitkin? I want to try the pit lakes sometime. I would love some tips on what lakes, times, equipment, tackle etc...
Also for open water.
Any info I could get would be great, Thanks.

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My favorite place for open water rainbows is the trout pits in the crosby area. Iam pretty sure they are closed for ice fishing. But open water you cant beat it. The DNR has a map of the mine pits for the area. Pennington is a great one. From opening day to the end of june you can catch them right off shore. Most shore fishing is done from the public access. I put my boat in there once but the fish were biting next to shore anyways. I fish them two ways: Large weighted slip bobber to cast far and a yellow flu-flu with a waxworm or a plain long shank hook tipped with corn. Start fishing 5-8 feet down. Keep going deeper until you contact fish. You usually dont have to go deeper that 15-20 feet. The next rig i use is a bottom rig. Use a 1oz egg sinker tied above a swivel. Tie a #6 thin wire hook to the swivel. Next tip the hook with Berkely trout paste. It comes in a jar and you ball it on the hook.Its almost like silly puddy. The key to get it to work right is to get it a litte wet first and then pack it on the hook hard. Cover the whole hook,barb and all. Cast it out as far as possible and lit it sit on bottom. The paste floats so the hook will rise from the bottom.Its like carp fishing. When the line goes tight, set the hook. When using the bobber rig you will see the fish wont pull it down. When the bobber starts to bob, set the hook. Most fish in pennington are nice 15-18 inchers. When Mille Lacs gets to windy,you'll probably see me there.... Good Luck

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MILLE LACS AREA GUIDE SERVICE
651-271-5459 http://fishingminnesota.com/millelacsguide/

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  • Your Responses - Share & Have Fun :)

    • Mike89
    • Kettle
      Maybe a replica but it's still swimming 
    • 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.
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