Fishing Report Library Northern Minnesota Fred's Bait Deer River November thru April 2006 - 2007

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Minnesota Fishing Archived Fishing Reports November 2006 thru April 2007

Ice Report 3-26-07 Bill Powell

Got a chance to get out yesterday and look around at the ice conditions and spend a beautiful afternoon on the ice. The conditions were still good for pickups but the landings will be softening up in the next couple days so I'm guessing by Sun. or Mon. it will be ATV. time. There was still a little water on the ice but it is disappearing fast so this should be a good weekend for family outings on the ice. The bigger Perch seem to still be in the deeper water at the bottom edge of the humps. We fished a flat in 14 feet of water and there was a lot of fish there but the size just wasn't what I've been finding in deeper water. The Crappie and Blue gill action has really picked up in the last week for the guys that get up early with many limits caught before 8:00 in the morning. I'm predicting by Mon. or Tues. we will start to see a few boats being pushed in at the Birchdale landing. This year with the low water the ramp doesn't have as much ice on it so by the weekend big boats will most likely be able to get out. So this week I have say hope ta see ya on the ice or water. Bill

Perch Ashton Powell, March 2007

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Ice Report 3-10-07 Bill Powell

The phone calls have been coming in wondering about conditions since the big snow fall, so yesterday I started checking lakes on my way to Winnie. Many of the smaller lakes as of right now are snowmobile access only because there is a lot of snow close to shore. Bowstring is accessible with a pickup on the north end. Somebody plowed a road out, once you get out away from shore a ways you can get to the well known Crappie holes. Winnie is the best with a maze of roads plowed from the resorts and once your out a mile or so “off road” travel is possible as long as a drift doesn’t surprise you. I headed out of the Pines Resort, John has a nice road across the bay to the north shore rock piles with push offs where the Perch are likely to be. I was lucky, the first structure I came to that had a nice push off, I found Perch and in fact they were very hungry. I was able to get my limit out of three holes in a couple of hours. If we get the warm weather that is forecasted, the off road travel should get a lot easier. The perch fishing from now until the ice out should keep getting better so I hope to see ya on the ice. Bill

Perch Caught on 3-8-07 Bill Powell



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Ice Report 2-23-07 Bill Powell

The thermometer is on the rise but the wind has been kind of a bugger making it hard to stay mobile and keeping most hunkered down in the shacks after finding a few fish. With the long weekend we were able to get out on the ice several times to mix things up Fri. we went Trout fishing on Erskine a very nice small lake on a windy day. After finding fish on the flasher we cut bigger holes to see what really was going on down there. This has been very entertaining for us on the last two trips even though it is a little work two cut a 2 by 3 hole in better than two feet of ice. After getting one house set up and see a few trout pass by we cut another hole for Dads house. This was his first time Trout fishing on ice so I was hoping he'd get the thrill of watching them in the clear water and he did and was also the only one to catch one for the day. Saturday the pressure was on to find a descant bite and get the house set up cause the "minnow maid" said she'd like to go on Sun. and I had to find where she might have a chance at catching some fish. We started where I caught fish the weekend before but the fish had moved on so the hunt was on. It took about two hours of drilling and moving to find active fish and these fish were hungry. Looking back I guess it was good timing to land on these fish. We had one of the best Walleye and Perch bites I've had this winter we set the house up and I hoped the next day would be the same for Mary and Chester and when they got there the next day the bite had slowed considerably but was able to catch her first Walleye for the winter so I didn't get too much grief. Hope to see ya on the ice Bill

Walleye Mary Powell Feb 07



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Ice Report 2-15-07 Bill Powell

Along with a little break in the temp came some better fishing reports the Crappie bite seems to be picking up just before dark with many nice fish caught in the last week on the small Demon jigs. We went looking for Perch on Sat. and found enough to get a couple good meals and with a hand full of Northerns thrown in we didn't go long with out getting a bite. With all the good Perch lakes in the area to pick from no matter where I go it seems like I catch about four 7 to 8 inchers to one keeper, hopefully this means in the next couple years we'll have some great Perch fishing. On Sunday we hit one of the local Trout lakes to give it a try. I brought along the ice saw so after we found our spot we could cut a big hole and watch what was happening. We drilled several holes on a small point and set the house up in 28 feet of water the clarity of the water was very good we could see Perch swimming on the bottom. One Rainbow came in about mid morning and took a look then we had some Perch come and visit about three o'clock it was like somebody opened the gate with several sightings of Rainbows and Bookies I had several chase a white tube jig with one hookup that came off below the ice and a couple stole Chester's minnow before he had a nice Brook trout come and inhale his jig and minnow . That was the only one caught for the day but I think were ready to try or luck again.
It was a lot better that watching any TV show to see the fish chase our baits around. Hope to see ya on the ice Bill

Trout Chester Powell 2-13-07

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Ice Report 2-8-07 Bill Powell

Yea, the fish are still there but finding them can be a challenge when the wind chill don't get above -20. On the warm days and as most successful anglers know mobility is the difference between a good trip and a so so trip. We've been trying about everything we can to be successful yet stay comfortable on the worst days. I've looked at the maps and what has worked at this time in the past with the help of my Lowrance and map chip and hopefully a little luck, drill our holes on the X, put our house up and at times running two heaters to stay warm and hoped for the best. The weather gave me a break yesterday and I moved along punching holes beside the pickup until I found some hungry fish before setting up camp. Along with a lot of other fishermen I'm finding a lot of tight lipped fish and not being able to keep moving to find active feeders can get frustrating to say the least. There are still some Perch on the shore line areas in the 12 to 18 foot range but I've had to start fishing the deeper mud for the Jumbos. Where you find good Perch numbers is where the best Northern Pike bite seems to be setting a tip up with a good size Golden Shiner has been getting action. Red Lake seems to be the hot spot lately with many monster Crappie still being caught and the bonus Walleyes with a huge Pike thrown in every now and then is making it a wheel house heaven. Hope to see ya on the ice. - Bill

Fish Shelter Picture


It's been a little chilly lately. Two burners are better than one when the wind blows.

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Ice Report 1-18-07 Bill Powell

After a week of sub-zero temps I snuck out yesterday to see how the ice was doing and see if I could catch a meal of fish. Except for the very deep lakes most now have some automobile traffic on them with little or no snow covering. I was looking for Perch and Walleye and after a lot of searching and many holes in places I'd caught them before I found them on a steep break. There must have been some good feed in this area that they were relating to because the Northern, Perch and Walleye were all mixed together. The cold weather has seemed to get the Crappie bite turned on with many good reports coming in with even a few limits being caught on Red lake in the last week. Most of the traffic through the door is fishermen headed for Winnie with no snow and 20 inches of ice. Mobility is a snap just what a true Perch fisherman would order. So far this year catching Perch don't seem to be a problem but with a couple strong year classes of Perch in the 7 to 9 inch range you will have to sort trough a few if you're looking for the big jumbo's but that don't seem to bother many of us.. Hope to see ya on the ice. Bill

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Ice Fishing Picture


A nice mixed bag of Perch Walleye and Pike for dinner.

Ice Fishing Report! Jeff Sundin 1-17-07

     If you were worried about ice conditions, have no fear. This week’s cold snap has been a regular ice-making machine, adding as much as six inches of new ice to the good base that we already had. We fished Lake Trout this weekend on one of the deep clear lakes that usually freezes late and even out there, the ice was solid, clear and about 14 inches thick. In fact, I was surprised to see that several of the Trout anglers had driven trucks out onto the ice.

     The Lake Trout opener is getting to be kind of a tradition with a buddy and me so we went even though the conditions were kind of tough. It was 15 degrees below zero when I drove into the lake and we had to use the portable fish houses on every hole we drilled. My Otter really comes in handy when it gets cold like this, but even the greatest portables slow you down when you’re trying to drill lots of holes looking for active fish.

     In spite of the tough fishing conditions, there were glimpses of hope that kept us out there fishing into mid afternoon. I broke one nice fish off at about 9:30 AM and had several sightings on the Vexilar. Matt caught two smaller fish that he released and also had several sightings. Even though we felt like the chances were good to pick up a couple of "keepers", we never wound up connecting so I am currently fish-less and photo-less. I’m hoping to take advantage of the warm up during the next couple of days and hopefully I’ll catch my annual quota of a couple of local Lakers for the frying pan.

     Even though folks are still picking up some decent Walleyes, especially early in the morning, the hot bite that we enjoyed earlier this winter has slowed down. Many of the ex-Walleye aficionados have now turned their attention to Crappies and a few others have turned to Bluegills to take up the slack. Reports for both are coming in fairly good, although fishing traffic is still fairly light compared to past seasons.

     Crappie anglers are doing best by seeking out isolated deeper holes and capitalizing on the fresh, albeit smaller schools of fish. 25 to 35 feet of water, softer bottom with the presence of insect larvae seem to be the ticket for finding these fish. If you catch a couple of fish that have been feeding on bugs, you’ll know it because you can see evidence of the larvae in their throat, the roof of their mouth or you may even see mud or other soft material in their teeth. If you haven’t got any fish to examine, but you still think you’re in good territory, watch your Vexilar for a while and make note of any signs of action. Often, you’ll see fish that look but won’t eat, return to these areas at prime time, dusk or early morning.

     Conventional Crappie methods and presentations are working fine. I like blade baits like the Frostee, Demon and Swimmin’ Jigs. Tail hooked minnows are general best and I like to run the hook parallel to the dorsal fin. Fish these small groups of fish for a couple of days until they get thinned out, when the action slows it’s time to move on.

     Bluegill anglers are finding their fish shallower and closer to weed growth. The big trick with the ‘gills is to keep the bait as nearly motionless as you can. Hold the bait almost still a few inches over the bottom and set the hook at the first sign of a bite. Heavier than average baits work well as long as they’re small. If your selection isn’t quite that sophisticated, you can use the conventional ants, glow bugs or even a plain hook and add extra split shot sinkers a foot up the line. Tip your hook with a wax worm and you’re in business.

Picture, 15 Below Zero

The cold snap! Fifteen Below should stiffen up the old ice sheet.

Walleye, Ice Fishing Winnibigosh

Walleye fishing has slowed, but you can still pick up enough for a fish fry.




UPNORTH Fishing Report 12-30-2006 Jason Green

Perfect Conditions For Hard Water Anglers

Ice Fishing Report 12-31-06
The First Walleye Of The Season

Tis the season to be Ice Fishing!  We finally got the chance to get out on the ice, what an incredible feeling to be jigging walleyes through the ice again.

Ice conditions in the 1000 Grand Lakes Area are actually pretty good.  We brought the tape measure with, scrapped the snow and slush away and read 14" every time.  The DNR stopped by and asked what we had for ice and said that we had enough ice to drive on.  The problem I see is multiple vehicles in one area.  As soon as there is one truck there will soon be others. 

We had our best luck the other day locating shoreline

Ice Report 12-31-06
Hole Hoping Seems To Be Producing More Numbers

 structure in roughly 15'-20' of water.  Look for little fingers that extend out to deeper water with any kind of vegetation present.  We have been drilling 12-20 holes on a certain piece of structure, grab the vexilar and start looking for bigger pockets of fish.  If there is nothing on the flasher there is no reason to waist your time.  Many people take the time to try and "Call" the fish in and they might pick a few but we choose to be proactive and go look for fish.  Once we located fish normally there would only be a couple that would bite.  We are using a Super-Glo Perch Buck-Shot Rattle Spoon with a small shiner minnow hooked through the tail.  Once we have pulled the active fish we switched to Super-Glo Gold and were able to produce a couple more fish.  When several minutes go by without a bite its time to move to the next hole.

Wishing you a safe and Happy New Year!!!

Report sign-off Jason Green

Ice Report 12-18-06 Bill Powell

 With December better than half over we are just starting to see a steady flow of ice angler's though the shop. The warm temps last week didn't seem to hurt the ice conditions at least where I've been checking. The local " Perch King" Ron Tice stopped last week and gave me a hot tip on the shallow water Perch bite on Winnie. I'm sure glad he stopped in and let me know I was able to slip away three times and I think the action is the best I've seen in three years. Although I had to do a little sorting to get a limit of good sized fish the action seemed to never stop if you have a youngster that you would like to take fishing or looking for a fast meal of fish its very worth you're time to check out. The ice conditions are very good on these shallow water flats were only fishing 8 to 10 feet of water so its only a 1/2 to 3/4 mile trek on the lake so its not that far even if your on foot. On Sat. Chester and I decided to make most of a day of it and wanted to target Pike and Walleye as well and ended catching three nice Pike cruising the shallows and a nice catch and release of a 20 inch Walleye with none stop action of Perch I couldn't have asked for a much better day. We checked several lakes on our way home on Sat. they all had a few anglers on them but not the big groups that you usually see on a Sat. afternoon at this time of year but that will most likely change with colder nights in the forecast an Christmas vacations around the corner. Hope to see you and the kids on ice next week Bill Click Here For Fishing Report Archives


Ice Report 12-11-06

    The cold snap we got last week was enough to get most of the Deer River and Grand Rapids area lakes frozen over and there are a variety of good places to get out and fish already. The quality of the ice in the area ranges from excellent to poor though depending on whether the lakes were frozen before or after the snowfall and heavy winds. This weekend we had warm, sunny weather that put a temporary hold on making much new ice and on some of the larger lakes, cracking is emerging as a problem. Don’t count on traveling by truck just yet, but there are a growing number of folks using their ATV’s on the eight to 12 inch ice.

    The Northern Pike spearing is off to a decent start especially for folks fishing on the Northwest side of Big Winnie. Fish are moving fairly well on some of the area’s smaller lakes too, but the average size has been better on the big lake. There are a few complaints about murky water right now, so you might have to do a bit of scouting for good water before you go to the trouble of getting the dark house set up.

    Walleye and Perch fishing on the shallow flats are off to a good start. Look for the better concentrations of fish in 6 to 8 feet of water adjacent to weedy areas. The weeds don’t have to be real heavy just enough to provide cover to hold baitfish. Perch and Walleyes will roam these shallow flats until the minnows finally get pushed out into deeper water.

    Reports of Crappies that are hitting in the late afternoon are trickling in as well. I haven’t seen it with my own eyes, but several friends are reporting good action on the deeper shoreline breaks and out into deeper holes adjacent to them. Soft bottom areas are okay, but try to find areas where the soft bottom meets underwater bars or points that have some harder structure like rocks or gravel. These are good starting spots and many times you’ll find Perch or Walleyes located on the shallower structure with Crappies hold out in the deeper water. Click Here For Fishing Report Archives

Ice Report 12-11-06

Here's the scene on Red Lake this past weekend. There are a few folks traveling by ATV, but there's not enough ice for vehicle traffic yet. Some cracks are opening up too and that's going to slow down the progress until we get another cold snap.






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