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Fishing the Flats and Spirit Island.

Pauly B

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Just wondering if anyone has been out to Fletchers flat or any of the other surrounding flats. I was also wondering about Spirit Island. I know that in the past there have always been perch around Spirit. How about this year? I am looking to fish Mille Lacs with a buddy and my brother before I return to college. We want to try for perch and walleye. If the walleye bite is not happening then we could go strictly for perch. Can anyone help me out? It would be much appreciated. Thanks in advance. I will trade quardinates for a flat that is awsome later in the year. It always produces when we hit it right. Big walleyes and a few perch. I won't be around this year to fish it anyway. Thanks. email me if you would like.

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Here's a report I've been re-printing all night long. Just got it today from Lundeens Tackle Castle...

"The ice thickness has improved a little since last week - up to 11 inches on much of the main lake. There are still some pressure ridges to be reckoned with, so we recommend that you travel during the daylight - just as we have the past few weeks...Some are letting people drive out, others are still requiring ATV's, snowmobiles or shuttles. The bays along the south end have up to 15 inches and vehicle travel is common. Overall, things are shaping up from the past few weeks.

Conditions are changing daily...

The walleye bite has improved A LITTLE - scattered reports of multiple fish (a decent ratio inside the slot!) have been trickling in, but most are still finding the walleye bite slower than normal. 18-22 feet has been the best range, 25-28 the next. Vineland Bay, Garrison Reef and 9-mile flat are good starting spots. Shiners on a set line are your best bet overnight, and Hawger Spoons or Weasels tipped with a piece of a minnow are
tops during the day.

There are a ton of small perch with a handful of jumbos mixed in coming from the South Bays.
Northern pike fishing is decent in
these bays too.

There is currently no significant snow on the ice..."

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It will be very tough to get to Spirit right now until the pressure ridge heals up. Probably a good week before vehicles can cross,..thats if it even heals up. I think you need to get on the lake way over on the south side and the come out to the Island from there.

DON'T TRY THIS IN THE DARK!! There are many ridges right now and with this fresh snow you probably won't see them. Be very careful!

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I fished just past spirit island yesterday and the ice is pretty heaved up. Definitly watch where you are going. As far as ice there was 10-12 inches where we were. Fishing was good. 25 walleyes with eight slot fish for three guys with some nicer ones also. We never caught or seen any perch though. we accessed from the south end. hope this helps

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Hey Rocky and others,
Thanks for the reply's. You think I should go on the ice on the south side. Which resort did you use to get on the ice? Rocky did you drive a car out there or were you still sticking to atv's or snowmobiles? It sounds like the fish might be starting to bite. I hope so. I don't mean to steal anyone's spot, but are the walleyes still in about 18-22 feet or have they moved out to about the 28 foot range? During the day I am talking about. Thanks for all the help and I hope you guys do awsome. Rocky what is your email? Thanks Paul B

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We went out of brandts on the south side. The road was marked out to sloppy joes but as of sat they were not allowing vehicles on yet. We had to use a four wheeler. The fish we caught were in deeper water, 25-32 feet and were caught from 1:30 to 5:30 in the afternoon. I can't tell you exactly where we were (my buddies would hurt me) but we were all by ourselves on a spot that had not even had a hole drilled on it yet this year. My best advice to you would be to get away from the crowds. With the size and the endless structure this lake provides you can always get away from the crowds which I believe increases your chances of catching fish dramatically, especially on this lake. To be honest though with all the negative reports I was hearing before we went up we were not expecting the fishing we had, but we must have got lucky and hit it just right. good luck and happy new year

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  • Your Responses - Share & Have Fun :)

    • LakeofthewoodsMN
      On the south end...  A great week of walleye and sauger fishing on Lake of the Woods.  Lots of limits.  Good numbers of fish being caught, which includes eaters, slots and some trophy walleyes to make things interesting!    Most anglers are jigging with a frozen emerald shiner or live minnow.  Jig colors to consider are gold with a bright color such as gold / pink, gold / glow white and even gold with some tinsel.     Some reports of spinners starting to work well tipped with a minnow or crawler.  A great technique is drifting with a 2 ounce bottom bouncer and spinner rig. Fish being caught around the lake.  Trust your electronics and watch for fish.  In addition to the south shore where various schools of walleyes and saugers are living, consider the Garden Island area, Knight / Bridges Island area, and Twin Islands where good fish are being caught.   Most walleyes in that 18 - 24 foot depth.    Good pike reports.  Back bays are still holding good eaters and a few big females.  Some of the larger fish have made their way to the lake.   On the Rainy River...   Walleye anglers are finding some nice eater walleyes in the River.  There is always a number of walleyes that stay in the river all year.  Whether you like the beauty and secluded feel of the river, have a small boat or simply want to get out of the wind, the river is a great summer spot with little traffic.  Anchored up or slowly moving upstream with a jig and minnow, trolling spinners / crawlers or trolling crankbaits are all effective right now.     Smallmouth bass are plentiful in the Rainy River.  Whether you are a bass angler or simply want to mix up species, target feeder rivers, bridges, and areas with rocks.   The sturgeon season will re-open again July 1st. Up at the NW Angle...  Excellent walleye fishing this past week.  The jig and minnow is the goto bait.  Anglers using spinners with crawlers or minnows and crankbaits are catching lots of fish as well.     Structure around the many islands holding walleyes.  Shallow flats areas with current are also heating up.     Great fishing reports from both sides of the border.  NW Angle anglers boating into Canada to fish cannot possess or transport any bait, alive or dead.  Most are using jigs / plastics, artificial crawlers on spinners and crankbaits with great success.  If desired, live bait is available and can be purchased for the day just over the border via boat in Canada, check with your resort for details. This entire area is great for multispecies action.  In addition to walleyes, big pike, smallmouth bass, jumbo perch, crappies,and muskies are also being caught on a regular basis.  
    • Rivergroup
      We are heading up a week from Friday if anyone has walleye thoughts on the West end. Thanks!
    • delta dude
      Fishing for Walleyes slow. Panfish are going good however.  Lots of junk floating around the lake be careful. Pontooners give the fishing boats a wide birth.
    • Feathers Rainin
      Thanks to all that have shared reports.   Please post water temps and general area of the lake from the weekend and throughout this week.  I am heading up this weekend and water temp will play a role in our tactics.  Thanks!
    • Rick
      A weekly list of news briefs about fish, wildlife, and habitat management.Discuss below - to view set the hook here.
    • Rick
      DNR now leading egg take effort in partnership with the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, and Red Lake and White Earth nations.Discuss below - to view set the hook here.
    • Rick
      The state park herds usually grow by 25-30 calves each spring.Discuss below - to view set the hook here.
    • geniejamess
      Great idea! Filming your hunts and watching the footage during the offseason is a fantastic way to stay connected to your passion. YouTube offers a wealth of non-professional hunting videos filled with tips and inspiration. Your friend's camera stands for shallow water hunting sound impressive! It's a clever way to capture memorable moments. Enjoy your hunts and happy filming!  
    • chucker1101
      Fished for about 4-5 hours this weekend with the kids, all time in Big Bay. Had a mix of rainbows and pike suckers for bait. Rainbows out-fished pike suckers, and the small rainbows were bringing in fish. Caught about 12-14 fish, kept 8 for a fish fry. Biggest was 16". Limited sample says action seemed better in the morning than evening. Working 16-18' in the morning was our best run. Evening was slow. Didn't get to too many places, hit four reliable spots and caught fish in 3 outta 4.
    • SkunkedAgain
      I generally found 65 degrees in Black Bay, and 60-62 degrees in main areas of the west end. Ideal swimming temps in my opinion, where you jump in and notice the cool and then it feels great after you swim around a bit.
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