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New Update 1/22/04
A cold, windy and snowy week sums up the activities since last Saturday. The best outdoor news we have up here right now is that our snow base is good and getting better. Snowmobiling is picking up and it’s starting to look like the good old days with 30 snowmobiles parked out front of every restaurant and gas station. We have another 3 or 4 inches of new snow from Wednesday and this will begin to influence our choices of where to fish, as plowed roads become more important to the daily game plan. If you can travel to your fishing spots by snowmobile, you’re in good shape most anywhere in the area right now.

Last weeks Trout opener was hampered by cold cold and windy wind a genuine old fashioned Minnesota winter weekend kept a lot of us indoors for the better part of the week. The folks that did make it out have reported spotty results. One of the smaller “Pit Lakes” in the Grand Rapids area received a lot of publicity last week and was the target for a large group of anglers. Once they arrived they found that the lake still has an open water hole in the center. Ice thicknesses of about 6-8”around the edges were reported. Sherrif’s deputies checking the lake for safety reported that the fishing had been slow for most of the folks out there. Other Trout lakes in the area have produced a few fish for the rugged anglers who stuck it out.

Walleye and Perch fishing have continued to be reliable choices for Deer River and Grand Rapids area anglers. Although there are still some fish available on shoreline breaks and points, the best action has definitely moved to the deeper main lake areas. Fishing humps and bars is the key to locating both Perch and Walleye. The Perch are biting during the day and are located mainly on the flats located out deeper from the humps. As evening approaches, move up to the edges of the structures to catch the Walleye on their evening move. Presentation has shifted a bit and the fish seem to be showing a preference for more natural looking baits. Swimming jigs with a tail hooked minnow, plain hooks with bobbers and small size Perch Eye imitators are all doing nicely.

Northern Pike are active in the deeper water near the breakline or relating to deeper bars and humps. We’ve had some consistent action setting tip ups with medium size sucker minnows. On Saturday we had a half dozen flags up in a couple of hours and the same thing on Sunday. Although, we haven’t been catching many large pike, we’ve been getting fish that are great eating size in the 2 pound range. The action is consistent enough to keep it interesting and I think a full day spent on it would get you some nicer fish. We rig the tip ups with a ¼ oz egg sinker, barrel swivel and a 3 foot long leader made of 17 pound test monofilament and a 2/0 hook (see photos). This gives you the advantage of the clear mono line with enough strength to prevent most of the bite offs.

Crappie fishing locally has been spotty for us. We are getting some fish in 26 to 32 feet of water using glow in the dark swimming jigs or Demons and a tail hooked Crappie Minnows. The fish are present and we can locate them on our Vexilars, but they have been biting in short spurts and have been reluctant to hit until last light. There are still a few groups of anglers making consistent catches on Red Lake and the reports are of really nice fish coming in. In fact, one report late last week was of fish in the 16-inch neighborhood. Now that’s a nice Crappie! So the good news is that it can be done and if you’re hungry for Crappies, you can probably still get enough for a meal.
Good Luck! Check Back For Updates!

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

[This message has been edited by TheEarlyBird (edited 01-22-2004).]

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Hey Jeff,

We could get together and fish for stream trout. I usually do fairly well, laker's are a different story though! I usually fish rainbows and splake. We still need to hook up and check out that lake up north and see if we can find those big 'gills. I wish this weather would straighten out for a few days. Let me know.


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Sounds like good fishing action, how about the snow, what depth on the trails, I was
thinking of doing a little sledding while
sampling some local lakes if the trails
are groomed yet?

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Kurtt,all the trails in the Marcell area were just groomed and are in good shape. Should be alot of sleds out this weekend. If the forecast is right we are gonna get 3 to 9" toight!!


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