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Plenty of ice and plenty of action are now the rule throughout the area. Ice conditions are improving by the hour thanks to the very low temps at night. On Thursday morning Cass Lake reported 15 degrees below zero and it’s plenty cold again this morning. So far, most everyone in the Deer River, Winnie and Cass Lake Areas are using four wheelers to get out to their houses, but with 8-10 inches of ice and more coming, there will be some folks venturing out in vehicles this weekend. In fact, there are already folks travelling by vehicle on Red Lake just an hour North of us.
Reports of fast Perch action are plentiful on Winnie and there are a fair number of Pike and Walleye being caught as well. Most of the action has been in the shallow water 6 to 10 feet deep. Perch are hitting well on rocker spoons tipped with a minnow head, or even a plain jig head fished on the bottom. One of my favorite tricks is the “Stand Up Cicada” with a minnow on it. Leave it lay motionless on the bottom and jump it every 10 seconds or so. Walleyes are running the shallow points and weed edges during the last hour or so in the afternoon. Swedish Pimple or other jigging spoons with a minnow head will produce now. A nice approach is to fish one hole jigging and set up another hole nearby with a simple bobber, plain hook and a lively shiner. The jigging rod often attracts fish into the area, but the free-swimming shiner catches the ones that won’t jump at the jig.
Crappie fishing has been a little spotty, but anglers are catching some fish. Some of the lakes that were fished hard during the past couple of years are not producing great catches this winter, so it may be a good idea to strike out and look for some new water to try. The traditional approach of locating the deeper holes and fishing with small jigs, teardrops and plain hooks with crappie minnow will all produce some fish. Glow in the dark jigs kept charged with a flashlight, does seem to give you an edge and is worth the effort to try.

The Early Bird-Jeff Sundin
Early Bird Fishing Guide Service
Phone: 218-246-2375
North-Central Minnesota
Lakes Country
E-mail: [email protected]

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