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HateHumminbird

Stories From the Hunt - '05

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HateHumminbird

The spring turkey season is now one day old, and like last year, lets see some birds and hear some stories! Please post whatever information you want, whether you bagged a bird or not.

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ikes71

My season lasted an hour and a half. I bagged a 19 lbs. 14 oz. bird. I have never had one come in as hot as this one. He was on a full sprint. The first spot I went to on opening day didn't hear one gobble, moved over two ridges and called, and he gobbled from a long way away. Five minutes later he gobbled again, and he was closer. Five munites later he was on the next ridge. I called to him and he ran, yes I did say ran, right to me. When he finally stopped and put his head up, he was six steps away. All pellets in the head, and not one in the meat. Heck even the wad hit him in the head. The empty was thrown farther than the shot was. It was an exciting first morning.

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HateHumminbird

Our season was a bit longer, but went very well too.

My brother and I had two groups of birds put to bed the night before, and we hit the best/most certain setup right away in the morning. Well, as it turned out, those birds were on a mission to run ridges and brush in the exact opposite direction of our location. I knew these birds were with a good group of hens from scouting them, so we quit the chase at that location around 8AM.....due to laziness partly =)

8:15 brought us to a new spot, with a big tom strutting/gobbling in the middle of the hayfield we were hunting as we pulled up. We hung right of him, snuck through a crick-bottom along a fenceline, and belly-crawled under the fence and around the edge of the field. Our setup was about 80 yards on the backside of a hill he was strutting on; we couldn't see him and vice versa.

We were in the prone position, hid well by shadows, and started calling. Our calls went unanswered by the bird in the field, but the wooded hillside erupted with what i thought were a gaggle of jakes. We'd seen a big group of jakes the night before in the exact same spot, and with their half-hearted gobbles, I was thinking it was them. I got them fired up anyway to see what we could do. They all triple-gobbled, then gobbled 3 more times. I shut up. They shut up. 20 minutes of sore neck and arms went by.

After contemplating our next move, and planning to sneak around them.....we started seeing hens pour out into the hayfield about 100 yards to our left and above us. The last 7 birds out of the woods were all males, 5 big toms, and 2 jakes. They fed nervously and in a tight group, not responding to soft clucks. One of the toms seemed to run the show, and he left the group and came about 60 yards from the end of our barrels, never breaking strut. The others slowly followed. Eventually, hens started back up into the woods, and two gobblers started moving back to where they came from, all not 60 yards away. We were losing them, and fast.

Purring, and lots of it, saved the day. The hens came back into the field, with 3 gobblers tight to them, and the two moving away, headed right for us. Our arms and necks were tired....20 more minutes of holding gun and neck motionless had taken its toll. They were within range for 5 more minutes, but we had to wait for the two gobblers to clear the rest of the flock so as not to wound birds.

The lead bird started getting nervous at 35 paces, so i started counting, "1....2....wham" Both birds went down hard, and it was 9AM on opening day, two tags filled.

I'll post pictures soon, but here's the stats, almost identical birds. They were the heaviest two birds we've ever taken.

jtky_05.jpg

jtky2_05.jpg

stky1_05.jpg

BIRD1

Weight: 25lbs

Spurs: 1 1/8"

Beard: 9 1/4"

Bird2

Weight: 25lbs 12oz

Spurs: 1 1/4"

Beard: 9 1/2"

My wife is happy (had our first son Isaac 10 days prior), but I am, one day later, ready to suit up and head out again. I'll be calling for a few people throughout the season, but those days can't come soon enough!

Congrats to all this season by the way, and good luck to all you guys about to head out!

Joel

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FOOT

Due to a few health problems I was unable to go out this past Wednesday (opening day 1st season. I was able to drive my 30 year old son to our hunting location and waited in the vehicle.

It's about a 30 minute walk to get back in to our location. I had just dozed off when at 06:55 the passenger door opened and there my son stood with a 25lb 3oz Gobbler.

9 3/4 inch beard with 1 1/2 inch and 1 1/8 inch spurs. The 1 1/2 inch spur was curved like an "C".

Great trophy. It was his first in the spring, he'd gotten several in the fall, and he was/is happy as h---.

Hopefully, I'll be feeling better by Saturday or Sunday so I can get at least a day or 2 of hunting in.

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setterguy

Hey guys, could you please leave a few in the field for us? Totally kidding, congratulations on the gobblers, they all look/sound like beautiful birds. The 28th of April seems so far away....counting the days.

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Borch

Congrats guys!

All very good hunts and very nice birds! laugh.gif

Borch

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catmaster1557

Also will be heading out the 28th of April. Can't wait!

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IceHawk

Nice birds guys!!! Congrats on a sucessful hunt. My season is B. The pictures and stories of these birds really gets my blood pumping.

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fivebucks

I can't wait till Monday the 18th. We're going down on Sat. to start the scouting etc. Can'WAIT - but I have to.

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bigbucks

Good job guys, but thanks a lot! May 3rd is an eon away now.

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run-n-gun

Nice work on those birds! Those 25lbers are just monsters. I don't start until the 13th of May...and I'm so excited already! I can't wait.

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huntandfish

Waited 5 years and my hunt was over in 30min. but it was a blast. Scouted all day tuesday and seen a total of 25 longbeards and 20 hens largest group was 6 toms and 11 hens. I was able to put them to roost that night and set up there in the am. Started calling early to try to get the toms to come to me before the hens and it worked. One toms flew down early and landed 70yards from my decoys he struted and i called for about 30 min till he finally came in my arms and neck were so sore i could not wait to shoot so i could move. Anyway he is 21 lbs 3/4"spurs and 8.5"beard this is my 3rd bird and i just cant get enough of it. Good luck to eveyone else.

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Borch

Quote:


Waited 5 years and my hunt was over in 30min. but it was a blast. Scouted all day tuesday and seen a total of 25 longbeards and 20 hens largest group was 6 toms and 11 hens. I was able to put them to roost that night and set up there in the am. Started calling early to try to get the toms to come to me before the hens and it worked. One toms flew down early and landed 70yards from my decoys he struted and i called for about 30 min till he finally came in my arms and neck were so sore i could not wait to shoot so i could move. Anyway he is 21 lbs 3/4"spurs and 8.5"beard this is my 3rd bird and i just cant get enough of it. Good luck to eveyone else.


Way to go! Sounds like you had them pegged!

Borch

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hanson

Atta boy Joel!!!

Nice birds.

I'll shoot you an e-mail this weekend. I'm all done icefishing now and have a little free time on my hands. grin.gif

I hope ya'll leave some birds for me when season G rolls around.

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Borch

Hanson, did you make it out last weekend? I officially put my stuff away on Sunday. It was a sad day. frown.gif

Now if I can just get my boat ready and find that big tom. laugh.gif

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hanson

Borch-

With the temperatures, I didn't even bother with a phone call or checking it out. I did hit the shore this week in the metro and landed a few smallish bluegills. Hope some bigger ones show up soon!

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Duck-o-holic

Our hunt started when we left MN on the 8th, and headed to the Black Hills. We got there plenty late, and had to go through sheets of rain before reaching the hunting cabin. Hunted with a friend from Spicer, and met up with a friend from SD who was taking his nephew out for his first turkey hunt. Opening day brought SNOW, which is pretty common in April in the Hills. It did a great job of shutting up the birds and made hunting them hard. Day one was tough, but both uncle and nephew bagged birds. With a 2-year old bird falling to a single shot from a .410!!! There was no follow-up shot needed from uncle... and one proud kid on his first turkey hunt. Good times!

Days two and thee were tough for my friend Brian and I. We were at 7,000 + feet altitude, and we concluded that many birds hadn't returned to the high country yet. We had cold weather and high winds that made roosting birds difficult, but we just weren't seeing birds or sign like we usually do in that area. We opted to hunt with another friend from the Hills who had done some scouting in the "low country". In our first day in the new area, we saw a lot of birds, and Brian shot a nice gobbler that he called in himself. He was also almost run over by 6 jakes, before two nice Toms came in to check out the commotion and decoy. One shot ruined the biggest Tom's day!

The 13th took me to the same area that Brian had scored on his bird. While waiting to be picked up the night befoe, Brian had roosted a nice flock that we set up on. We didn't get as close to the roost as we'd have liked due to the clear morning, hiking to the spot to slow, and the birds coming off the roost to soon. Like JNelson's opening day... these gobblers were on a mission to run the ridge in the opposite direction (and were also with plenty of hens). We ended up stalking one gobbler for a ways, but couldn't get it to leave it's female company. Ended up heading to the back-up spot that we found while Brian was busy shooting his bird the night before. It didn't take too long to locate a nice flock of birds. We caught a glimpse of them, and circled a long ways around them before setting up and calling. Again it was WINDY... and we got no response. We made another loop through a stand of thick timber to set up again, and just as we came out of it, we both froze as the flock was 25 yards away! The crest of a hill was between us, but the birds had sensed our presence and were pretty alert. By not moving for a LONG time, the birds relaxed, and began feeding again.

During this time, I only saw one "Red-head" in the near group, which was a jake. But I did make out two nice looking gobblers in the treeline behind the hens. Not wanting to try and draw the Tom's THROUGH a flock of hens, we waited for the right time, and circled back where we had come from to try calling again. After the first call, I saw movement... and it was one of the gobblers! I called again, and it cut away from the rest of the birds, and was coming our way. I made the mistake of not being set up with gun drawn, with my Franchi still hanging on my shoulder. I slowly lowered my slate and striker to the ground, and waited for the bird to cross behind a large stump before unslinging my gun and clicking off the safety. Brian was 2 feet behind me watching. When it came out, I didn't hesitate taking the shot which was about 35 yards. It rolled nice, and ended our season in the Hills! It wasn't my biggest bird (small spurs and medium weight), but it did have an 8 1/2" beard. It also didn't strut or gobble coming in, but we hadn't heard a single peep out of those birds in that wind. In all, it was a great time, and I really love hunting those Merriam's!

Good luck to all who are still hunting!!

Duck-o-holic

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Borch

Way to go Duck-o-holic!:D Sounds like you guys had a ball.

This time of year it's usually best to be at those lower elevations. It just happens sooner there.

Borch

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Borch

Quote:


Borch-

With the temperatures, I didn't even bother with a phone call or checking it out. I did hit the shore this week in the metro and landed a few smallish bluegills. Hope some bigger ones show up soon!


I guess the bays are all open right now and the lake may be as well by next weekend if this weather continues.

Borch

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strat-o-caster

I just returned from Glenwood where I guided my dad on his first turkey hunt. I didn't get down to the area 'till about 8 am on wed. because I worked late tue, but got the blind set up for the afternoon hunt..

Now keep in mind, my dad is nearing the age of 75 and isn't as nimble on his toes as he once was, but I figured that since he took me out as a kid when he did all the work, it was my turn to pay him back!!

Nothing came in that afernoon but we did hear lots of gobbling. So we headed out at sunrise the next day (a little later than we should have), just so he could see where he was stepping.

We had about a mile walk in and a 10ft stream to cross.

We had 3 tom's and a hen come within 100 yards of us at about 7:30. They wouldn't come any closer than that because they seemed more interested in the hen at the time.

At about 8:20 the three Tom's showed up, again, this time with no hen. They started strutting about 80 yrds out. We watched this for about 5 to 10 min, then I gave a soft cluck and the lead Tom came strutting straight toward us. When it got about 50 yrds from us I told my dad that in five more yards he could take a shot, five more yrds, nothing, 5 more yrds, nothing. By now I was shaking so bad

I couldn't take it any longer. At 35 yrds...finally he pull's the trigger!! The bird drops like a sack of brick's. I ran out in the field to get the bird.

When I turned around and looked back at my dad he had the BIGGEST smile on his face I had ever seen!! When I asked why he had waited so long, he said, "I was enjoying watching them come in."

The bird was 21 lbs with 6.5" beard.

In 2 weeks it's my turn in the Black Hills!!!

dadturkey34ce.jpg

~Strat

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Borch

Wat to go stratocaster!

I bet you enjoyed that more that shooting one yourself!

Good Luck in the Black Hills. My dad and a few freinds will be out there about the same time. I think they leave the 28th. So hopefully the birds will be working.

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30 inch eyes

we'll this year I decided to use my new bow. Wed. I got out there around 5:30 and waited and waited until finally some came my way but they were out about 50 yards. Thurs I tried to mave a little closer to where they came down the hill only to find that they came down the hill where I was the day before. I gave some soft clicks and had a tom coming in nicely. I got drawn back in my nice new blind. When he got to what I thought was 20 yards I let him have it. Only for him to run off slightly hit. It seems I had shot him through the armpit, but I did get 2 nice white wing feathers off of him.(he ended up being 24 yards out and I should have let him get closer being he was coming nicely, nerves and impatence I guess). Back out Fri. only to see 2 hens within spitting distance of the blind. Sat. was slow at first, then I have a tom coming down the hill to me until he spots a hot hen, who of course, decides to go the other way from me and take him with her. Now it's 9am and I have 4 smaller toms on the way in(oh yeah by the way the bow stayed in the truck today in it's place is my trusty 12ga.) They get to the exact same spot as the tom I had shot at 2 days earlier and I aim and fire and MISS aim and fire, MISS,aim and fire, MISS. I'm thinking what the heck did I do? I relize the normal sights I have on my gun for turkey hunting aren't on the barrel so I was shooting high all of the time. I quit for the day. This brings us to today. Sun. trusty shotgun in hand and my good luck charm with me(my friend) to help call. we have a few distant gobblers going then they all shut down. I just got done standing up in the blind and look out the window to see a bird about 45 yards out but couldn't tell what it was when we hear a putt right behind us. We look out the back to see 2 birds about 10 yards out when they dissapear. then they show up in the exact same spot as the last 2 I had shot at. We were waiting to see if they had beards and spotted small ones on them. I aim shoot and fire but this time i'm successful with my shot. A beautifull 11 b. 13oz., 3 3/4 in. bearded jake. Not a monster but well worth the 5 long days of hunting the almighty turkey. Hope you all have a great hunt and good luck.

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Borch

Congrats!

You sure had a lot of action during your season. Gotta love that!

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Ray Esboldt

Eyes,

You shot more in one trip than I've shot in my 3 previous years of hunting. grin.gif Glad to hear you tagged one.

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run-n-gun

Haha...sometimes the turkeys come in when you rub two sticks together. Congrats everyone!

Strat, that sure is a nice bird. Makes you proud...

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SnagQueensHubby

Ha! That's my ol' man! Great story Strat! You gave me something to chuckle about when you called this morning and told me Dad had given you guff about the "nearing 80" comment. Good to see the old guy still has a steady hand on the gun. Can't wait for next year when we will all (hopefully!!!) get a tag and be able to hunt the big birds together. Can't wait for SoDak!!!

-SQH

PS. Remind Marveen that I still think he shoots like a girly-man. Too much time sitting in the Depot! Heh heh wink.gif

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SnagQueensHubby

Yo Duck!

My bro and I (and 5 others) are heading out to SoDak next wednesday and REALLY looking forward to the hunt. This will be my first year out there, but the others were out last year and loved it.

It was great reading your story. Hopefully the weather will be a bit better while we're out there, but I am sure however things pan out, it will be a darn good time. I'll be sure and post our story (with pictures) as soon as we get back. Hopefully, we'll get some color commentary from Strato-caster (my baby brother).

Anyway, Gratz on the successful hunt! You've got me foaming at the mouth to get out there and try my new gun.

SnagQueen's Hubby

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Jackpine Rob

At the end of two 15-hour days of chasing turkeys, Jr. and I were still having fun, but exhausted and running short on time. We had seen deer, coyotes, wild dogs, turkeys, all manner of waterfowl and tweety birds, but had yet to fire a round.

Friday we had two gobblers just out of gun range, strutting and gobbling - and Jr. reported later that he "nearly peed his pants." That night we put 3 gobblers to bed, planning to come back in the morning and finish the job.

Saturday we returned, but alas, two pickup trucks were parked nearby, so we went to "Plan B". Plan B was pretty much made up as we went, approaching an area we had heard a gobbler in the day before, but which I hadn't been through in over 15 years. The alternate plan found us nearly scoring, but again - as is often the case - 3 hens drew our gobbler away before he came into range. The remainder of Saturday found us trying to avoid the weekend crowd of hunters, then playing cat and mouse with 3 gobblers. As darkness fell we sat listening to them go on roost, hopeful, yet tired and just a little discouraged....

Our sleep time on Saturday night amounted to a 5 hour nap, and then we were up and back at it in the pre-dawn darkness of Sunday. The fog was heavy on the prairie at the base of the Hills, and we slipped quietly into position as the sky lightened, trees became more distinct, and the turkeys we had followed the previous night woke up in their roosts and started gobbling.

From a mile away, I called and called and called. Then called some more as the turkeys gobbled excitedly, and finally the sound of their wings beating as they left the roost trees drifted through the fog. One went away from us, but one landed several hundreds out in the tall grass, where he gobbled once - I answered back - and then quiet descended, broken only by the cackle of rooster pheasants and the songs of the robins, doves, and the occasional squeal of a wood duck.

Behind me, I heard another turkey fly down, and saw him materialize out of the fog like a jumbo-jet, landing in the field behind me and then running into the tree line we were hiding in, about 100 yards away from my position. We were surrounded when a 3rd turkey landed in the field to my left, several hundred yards out.

From the tall grass came a faint "cluck", I answered softly, and a large gobbler materialized out of the fog about 60 yards from Jr., angling past him directly towards me. As the gobbler passed Jr., I prayed silently..... "take the shot, take the shot, take the shot, take the shot", realizing that the turkey was right at the edge of Jr.'s range. I clucked softly on the mouth call - the gobbler's blue and red head stuck straight up as he stopped and looked at me - a thunderous shot split the silence, and the gobbler crumpled in a heap as his head smacked into the dirt.

It was 6:45 am on our 3rd day, and Jr. had gotten his first turkey. A very nice adult gobbler with 1 inch spurs, a 7 inch beard, and weighing a tad over 20 lbs. Pictures were taken, we headed back to my buddy's house, loaded up our stuff, and headed back to Minnesota.

Jr. slept most of the way....

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Captain B.R.K

Great stories everyone--hope to continue to read more and be able to add one this coming weekend. I've got all the gear ready, just need Saturday morning to come around AND that can't seem to come soon enough.

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Borch

Sounded like a great hunt. Glad to hear Jr. scored. That's what it's aboput anyways. laugh.gif

Cpt. Good Luck when you get out.

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  • Your Responses - Share & Have Fun :)

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      Now that we have some nice new fresh snow on Lakes I thought I would give out a little trick of mine that I use when Walleye fishing all winter if there's snow on ice . . This works with ATVS, Snowmobiles, and Trucks. Most of us have summer setups electronics  in our boats. Why not take advantage of them in winter. Before putting your boat away for summer pull one of your Locators off if GPS compatible and mount it on a Blue box  suction cup for Truck or Ram mount on ATV  or Snowmobile. If you don't have a chip buy a lake master, lake insight or Navionics. Whatever is sufficient for your brand of electronics. Next get a game plan together on your depths  you want to fish according to the  ice period your fishing early mid late winter.  Go out to a lake after a nice fresh snowfall and basically follow the break lines points etc with your mode of transportation just like you would in your boat. Once you have laid a path out on your depth go back and cut holes in your trucks wheel tracks saves piles of time and keeps you on a designated depth you are targeting saveing lots of time. Right now I have my Lowrance Elite 7 mounted on a suction cup on windshield in my truck. When I get on a lake and want to fish a underwater point I will first decide on depths I intend to fish  set my course to follow that depth keeping constant eyes on my electronics to stay on that depth just like I was in my boat. First I will start  off close to the  shoreline and follow that depth   to tip around tip back to  opposite shoreline. Staying exactly on depths I want to fish, Walk out stand back and look at your trail in fresh snow you will see exactly how that piece of structure is laid out. It shows obvious knobs,  tip of point inside corners etc. . Then go out with your auger and pound a series of holes every 15 foot or so in your vehicles wheel tracks all the way around your trail, as they will be right on the depths you want to target. . Next I Ice troll all these holes during day giving each hole only a minimal amount of time  before moveing on, until I hook a fish or two. The location hooking of active fish useally dictates where I want to be setup before prime time to capitalize on that prime bite.  This technique has proven itself for me over and over on many lakes. Works like a charm on the Millacs mudflats. or if you want to target the edge of a nice weed line. 
    • Rick
      Lakes in the Bemidji area are covered with deep snow, patches of slush and thin ice in many areas. In other words, this year has some of the worst ice conditions in recent memory.   January in Minnesota is consistently the coldest month of the year. The short days and long nights usually combine to create the longest stretches of cold weather of the year.   With these things in mind, there is colder weather on the way. The extended forecast is predicting highs most days in the single digits or low teens, and lows most nights close to or slightly below zero.   This is not the bitter cold Minnesota is known for having in January, but it is cold enough to start freezing some of the slush on the lakes. This is a slow process, so don’t expect the ice conditions on the lakes to improve right away.   Anyone paying attention during the weekend may have noticed many large pickup trucks pulling double-axle fish houses in parking lots all over town. Many of these people didn’t call ahead to a resort or bait store to check the ice conditions. When they got here, they found out they couldn't get on the lakes with their big fish houses.   One look at the lack of fish houses on Lake Bemidji speaks volumes about the ice conditions. By this time of the year, there are usually houses all over most lakes, with little cities on the ice close to the public accesses.   Not this year. The same story of thin ice and deep snow is being repeated all over Northern Minnesota.   Anglers with snowmobiles or other vehicles with tracks have the best chance to access the most lakes, but there is still a good chance of getting stuck, no matter what anglers are driving. Anything with wheels needs to stay on the plowed roads. The resorts are trying to expand their roads as soon as the ice conditions allow it. They are trying their best to accommodate as many anglers as possible, while still keeping things safe. Remember to thank the people who provide you access to the lakes. Don’t complain and have unrealistic expectations just because you paid an access fee.   The lake with the best ice conditions is Lake of the Woods, but this observation is not a secret. The lake with the most fishing pressure right now is also Lake of the Woods, with people from all over the state flocking to the best ice conditions in the state.   The increased fishing pressure on Lake of the Woods will probably continue all winter, or at least until more lakes have better ice conditions, to give anglers more choices. This is going to take a while, even under the best case scenarios for freezing slush.   Upper Red Lake got hit hard in the last storm, along with the rest of the Bemidji area. Virtually all of the roads on the lakes got filled with snow and had to be completely redone. There is slush around most fish houses and traffic on the lakes is still being limited by most resorts.   Anglers planning to fish Upper Red Lake should call ahead or check the social media pages for updates, or they might end up parked in a parking lot, instead of on the ice.   Anglers can get into some lakes with a snowmobile or vehicle with tracks. Use the buddy system, constantly check the ice thickness and have a shovel and a tow strap with you to be prepared for the possibility of getting stuck.   Many anglers are staying home or renting a fish house on Lake of the Woods or Upper Red Lake, instead of trying to do things on their own.   Vikings fans have at least one more weekend of football, and the possibility for more if the team keeps winning. This should give people something else to do on the weekends while they wait for better ice conditions.   Current Minnesota Fishing Reports - Click Here. SHOW US YOUR PICS!   Report on January 8th, 2020 by: Paul A. Nelson runs the Bemidji Area Lakes Guide Service. Guided fishing trips for 2020 and the rest of 2019 can be booked by phone or text at 218-760-7751 or by email at [email protected]
    • IceHawk
      Ice trolling for sure. If there is a low oxygen problem in the lake there wont be after I get done.  😁 I guess I like to put my stuff through the test. I can definitely give a honest opinion on quality after a winter of use. If it holds up to some of the abuse I Put it through it gets a thumbs up 👍 No weak links saved here 😂
    • IceHawk
      Brother in Law was out on Little Mary last week caught a bunch of small gills but not many respectable ones. I know the crappies are normally good size but he said they didn't catch many of them.   
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