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Scott K

I have a free long weekend coming up the second weekend of feb. looking for your opinions on where to go, Lake of the woods, or lake Vermillion, I have fished l.o.w. before but havent been to Vermillion, been hearing good reports. Has anyone been to either of these lakes this year? I have had the best fishing of my life on l.o.w., but I like to try new lakes also. Any input is welcome, thanks!

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Team Otter

Is there a reason you're limiting yourself to those 2 options?

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Scott K

The only reason i picked these 2 lakes are the consistant good bite. I have been to l.o.w. and have done really well. I know several people that go to Vermillion, and they do very well. I am open to other sugguestions, I like to be adventurous, always open for new places. If you have a place that your willing to share I will consider it? I dont like Millacs in the mid winter, because the bite is inconsistant, I like action, slot limits dont effect me, I only catch and release, at least most of the time. I like a fair priced resort, with nice acomadations, I have 3 days and nights to fish. Thanks for any nice spots anyone wants to share!

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Team Otter

I would recommend Winnie. Solid perch and 'eye action throughout the lake and plenty of resorts to chose from. Some that come to mind right away are The Pines, Tamarack Lodge and High Banks.

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fiskyknut

The bite on the LOTW has been reliable and quite good for the most part till the weather throws us a curve. West end of the lake has been really shining as of late. Lots of Jumbo Perch to be had over on the westend too. This past summer/fall were fantastic as far as numbers of BIG Walleye being taken, and it's looking like this winter will go down in the books as a super one for the BIG girls too....Many, many 10 to 13 pound+ fish have been taken so far this season.

fiskyknut

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Team Otter

Coming from a guy on the home page... smirk.gif

Had to Fisky! grin.gif

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fiskyknut

Did you see the pics of the 2 Whales caught out of Sportsmans they have posted on their website? WOW!

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Team Otter

Yes. "Killer".

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Scott K

Thanks fiskynut, 10-13#, if your trying to pursuade me to go to l.o.w., thats the way to do it!

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Scott K

Where do I find this website I want to see these fish? (whales)

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fiskyknut

Don't get me wrong there are 10 gazillion wee ones fighting for your bait in this pond too! Seriously though it's been an exceptional year for catching big fish, best I remember in my life and most folks in the know would probably say the same. I pulled 2 31 inchers 6 days apart this past summer. Had another day with 5 over 28 while running just 2 lines. Fish in the mid twenties were so common we did'nt even bother with measuring them things!

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james_walleye

I would go too Red if it were my choice. Walleyes are on a good bite and if your willing too drill a few holes, you can still get into a pile of those HUGE slab crappies. I've never been up there and not caught alot of fish. 3 weeks from now i'll be up there.

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eyepatrol

I just got back from River Bend on LOTW. Me and a buddy caught around 25 walleyes and missed probably as many. tongue.gif Fishing was pretty good Friday, but slowed tremendously when the cold front blew through Friday night. Most fish were between 14" - 18", but we did end up with a 21.5", 22", 25.5", 28" and 29.5". cool.gif

Check out the Lake of the Woods forum for a more detailed report.

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harvey lee

Nice to hear you caught some eyes. I went to the Bash and those lakers are a rush. Pound for pound you cannot beat them.

I dont know if there is a eye that can fight like a 25" laker! smile.gif

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eyepatrol

I have never caught a laker before, so I have nothing to compare. However, I did have one fish on yesterday that just couldn't be stopped! Fought it for 10 minutes and never gained an inch...more like lost 75yds. Got all the lines tangled and oh what a mess. Line snapped so I never got to see it, but it would have taken quite some time to even get it close enough for a peek. shocked.gifsmirk.gif

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harvey lee

Probably was the fish of a season, to bad it got away. frown.gif I had a laker I believe break me off this weekend. I reeled him up approx 20-30ft and he made a sudden heavy run and the line snapped and that was the end of the game. I do believe my drag was set a little firm.

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eyepatrol

It's a bummer when the line snaps. I pretty much did it on purpose though. Our other 3 lines were caught up with this fish I had on, my buddy was trying to hold onto the 3 poles, so I just put my hand on the spool, pulled and let it break. We had a good'ol mess. tongue.gif

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mrpike

I'm a LOTW fan been there twice this year already and headed back next weekend. its a blast!

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engfish

Harvey Lee, I would agree. I caught my first two (and only two) on Burntside two winters ago. They are unbelievable fish through the ice and hard to find, too. I lost the first one after fishing for 8 hours over two days and threw my rod and reel about 50 yards. (Almost as good a feeling as tossing that 7-iron after a bad shot...) The next one came up ten feet and hit my jigging Rap so hard it almost knocked the rod out of my hand. I haven't been on that thread for awhile, but the FMers gave me some nice tips to catch those lakers. Tried again last year with no success, but I'd go again in a heartbeat if I had the time to get up there again.

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engfish

Sorry, Harvey Lee got me off my game with that report of catching lakers...no doubt on my choice--LOW. I've been going there since I was in high school (a long time ago) and it's set up for ice fishing, especially for those of us who don't get up there a lot. From the pics at Sportsmen's, it looks like you need to bring your wife/girlfriend/significant other if you want a real big one! I've had great success with Border View, but I don't think you're going to get too many complaints about any of the other places. Most of them are out past Pine Island into the deeper water, and if you jig during the middle of the day you can still entice some of the walleyes instead of the sauger. Hey, wherever you go, you'll still be fishing!

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Scott K

Thanks for the reports, l.o.w. was my lake of choice, but as I said, if there is closer action, im up to any lake. I have been to l.o.w. a few times myself, I have always done really good. Friends of mine go to Vermillion and tell me the good reports they have from there, but l.o.w. is not much further then Vermillion. U.R.L. I hear is hot also, maybe I can do a day at U.R.L. then fish L.O.W. the next couple days. When you guys fish there, do you rent cabins, or do you rent the sleepers, I have never caught anything after dark up there, but is it cheaper to just stay in the sleeper then to rent a cabin for night then an ice house for the day?

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eyepatrol

I'm not sure if it's cheaper or not. We rented a sleeper for a couple reasons. 1) Because we didn't want to be hauled out and hauled in from day houses during primetime fishing hours and 2) We knew we were going to have "some" cold ones and knew we wouldn't be in any kind of shape to get up at 6:00am to get ready, eat breakfast, etc. wink.gif

Although we had pretty good fishing from the sleeper house, most of the others in the pack of sleeper houses didn't fair well at all. Charlie at River Bend said this time of year it's usually better to fish from the day houses because they set them out miles away from the packs of houses on fish that haven't seen much fishing pressure.

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Scott K

Thanks basscatcher, I seen your fish on the low reports, nice fish!!! where did riverbend have there houses set up? what depth?

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eyepatrol

Out by Pine Island with the rest of the pack, but our house was closer to the pressure ridge where not many other houses were. So we were amid the pack, but off to the side which I think helped. 20fow.

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  • Your Responses - Share & Have Fun :)

    • mrpike1973
      Did real good on cats today got 4 wife 4 and I got a huge sucker that was fun. Horseshoe sure opened up today.
    • eyeguy 54
      Sure glad you had some help moose and all turned out well ! 
    • Rick
      Impressive, both Tom and Jeremy
    • eyeguy 54
      Almost time but maybe not quite... Although I did get the yak out of the backyard today, on to the trailer and up front to spend some time prepping it for time on the water soon.  Indeed it was fun getting out with you and the gang a few times this winter and looking forward to the next outings whenever they may be. WIll share what worked for me and look forward to reading some more info from others. Panfish is what I love going after and I had great fishing with gold jigs almost all winter. Did use a few other colors that worked also but that gold was hard to not use. Tear drop style tungsten in and 4 mm from Widowmaker Lures. Tried some from sportsmens direct also the last couple outings and liked them also. For plastics, the wishbone was good and also impulse mayflies and slug bugs. Tried and bought too many different things to try... LOL. Fished with shrimp for the first time ever this winter and that was a challenge and fun to try something different.  Started out with my good old ultralight gander mountain rods with the frabil titanium spring bobber and then bought a couple of the TUCR Inferno with the orange tip. I really like them for the 4mm and prefer the old ganders with a 3mm. Won a custom 32 inch power noodle from Kichler Custom Rods in Elk River at an event in Wisconsin and used it a few times yesterday. Very nice and looking forward to playing with it more. CGI inline reels still doing their job fine and I did grab one of the new Descent inlines and it worked sweet also. Nice that it now has a pop off spool instead of the gold screw off knob. 10 1/4 was my biggest gill and 14 for the crappie. Even went after catfish 3 times. Saw my first catfish tornado on the vex and iced a lot of fish after being taught how to use a bobber right for those super light biters. thx RickG   My highlight of the winter was getting a PB northern on a tip up up on Mille Lacs with stick in the mud. Fun City! My good old FL 18 is still working dandy and although I am tempted to upgrade, not sure if I will. Nills 6 inch saved my back from the hassles of the gas and when I put the Milwaukee on it life got even better. All in all a fantastic winter fishing with great guys and learning how to be a better fisherman.   Fish On! 
    • monstermoose78
      Well monstermoose78 is done ice fishing around here for the year. Why you ask I fell through yes there was 28-30 inches of ice on the lake, but the shoreline nope. Went fishing with @Cret Jigs and we had fun fishing. I cut lots of holes and we got some good ones for the knife. Cret jigs brought a plank for the way out but on the way in I did not make it to the plank. Cret jigs helped me get my stuff the shore and out. I worry about the guy on the wheeler and they guy who used the plank to get out too. Thanks Cret jigs for a fun day. 
    • redlabguy
      To all you guys who’ve been keeping us posted, thank you. I’m an islander so I don’t have much hope for the opener, but I’ve been reading all the posts (read them year around), including entertaining posts on new gear, and, again, thanks for letting a lot of guys know what’s going on there. The current weather, forecast and web cams, give me hope! I’m thinking I may get back home in three weeks, maybe four. Keep the sun shining, Dick
    • jkrash
      What a difference a day makes, yesterday the dam was locked up tight and today it's roaring. Walleye should be running this week...
    • IceHawk
      Well this morning was officially the end of the ice season for me.   Its been a lot of days on the ice this winter and I have to admit I'm  a little burnt out.   It wasn't easy but it was time to end it.  Have to admit It was a sad moment putting the gear away but it was time as needed space today to put the boat in the garage   Learned a lot of new water and reacquainted myself with some old standbys. Fished 10 different counties this winter so definitely fished a lot of different areas.  Fished many species on the ice this winter so there never was a dull moment. Didn't take a ton of pics just a few need to take more just have never been a pic type of guy LOL.   Iced 7 walleyes between 26-28 3/4 all on local lakes.  So just a tip if you dedicate some time locally big eyes can be found. Fished panfish everywhere in the state highlight area for big fish being Becker and Ottertail Douglas counties. Biggest gill this winter was 10 3/4    many 10's came topside but couldn't break 11 this winter. Craps 15 inchers were tops. Good fish but had goals set at a 16.  Some things learned this ice season where number one lure for the eyes was a old school hammered silver Swedish pimple. It far out produced anything else.   Kenders tungsten where my mainstay for gills and crappies. The plastics of choice were power bait wishbones,  chigger frys, and Northland impulse mayfly's.  The catfish were a hoot and a  change of pace did well on Maynards slammers Glow red. The equipment and gear I was running and never failed me all season were Thorne Bros Rods- For eyes Perch sweethearts. For the Panfish I was running  Power Noodles, panfish sweethearts,  and my favorite the Tripwire. Reels Pflueger Presidents, Prestige ,and Supremes.. Did use some inlines also from 13 fishing The free falls where worth every penny. Ran a K-Drill 8 inch early and late and During the thick ice Ran my strikemaste Lazer.  Vexilar Electronics the old trusty FL18 my eyes underwater, Please Don't  think that I'm pushing these products because I'm sponsored by them, I'm Not. Just want to give a thumbs up and honest opinion on  some top notch equipment that has worked and weathered the storm of a good hardwater season. Realize we all work hard for our dollars and I can honestly say these products where worth every penny and never let me down!  Well Off to the Garage to start getting the boat ready for the Next season  By the Way big Shout out to some of the best Anglers I had the chance to share the ice with this season from FM.  Thanks  Borch,  Bass Thumb,  Moose,  Eyeguy, Rick G , Tom Sawyer for shareing some ice time with me.  Hopefully I get to meet and fish with a few other FMer's this summer or next hardwater.  We had some great Times great laughs and managed to even ice a few fish   Looking forward to having a few summer outings in the future.  BYE BYE Ice Hello open water 
    • Cliff Wagenbach
      Thank for the update and photo Dave and Diane! Cliff
    • Cliff Wagenbach
      I was out on Vermilion fishing today again. Big bay still has about the same amount of ice but the ice is a lot softer now! Small patches of 4" to 6" deep slush pockets on it. Pike bay seemed solid when we went out but when we returned almost the entire bay had about 6" of very soft slushy ice on top! That will be my last trip out this winter. Talked to one Native that I saw checking a  net that he had  out under the ice in Pike Bay. He had caught around 15 walleyes and a pike today and 8 or so walleyes yesterday. Tough way to catch fish! Cliff