The window for ideal fall fishing seemed to open and close more quickly than usual this year. High temperatures across much of the ice belt have been below freezing for about a week now. Some overnight lows have approached zero degrees. Skim ice has formed on ponds and the shallow bays of some lakes. This has some people champing at the bit to get out on hard water and drill their first holes of the year. Read more
We arrived at a small lake near Fergus Falls, MN just before 2pm so our fishing time was limited to a few hours of daylight. Having never fished the lake before, we set up near the crowd on a drop-off from 10 to about 20 FOW. The fishing was slow in the first spot which prompted a move slightly deeper into the basin which was about 25 feet deep. As soon as I drilled my first hole, I marked a school of suspended crappies as well as Read more
Temperatures dropped fast Friday with the warmest part of the day being before the sun up as we got on the lake. We found a few smaller fish near the bottom in 30-35 FOW. Around noon we moved to a smaller lake and set up on the deepest part of the lake (around 20 FOW). The bite came in waves, but when the fish came on our flashers, they were very active. Perch and sunfish were hitting on small jigs tipped with wax worms. Pike and walleyes were hitting crappie minnows on plain hooks about 6-12″ off the bottom. Read more
What a beautiful morning to be on the lake! Unfortunately, the fishing wasn’t as good as the weather. After drilling 30 or so holes up and down a breakline from 12-30 FOW, we only found a couple of perch. After several moves and dozens of holes later, we decided to call it quits on Big Pine and move to another nearby lake. In 6-8 FOW, we were able to find a few pike and perch on the second lake, but the fishing was still slow. I talked to a conservation officer on the lake who said that most of the anglers she had talked to also reported slow fishing. Read more
The perch were hot yesterday! I took a buddy of mine out on his second ever ice fishing trip (we got skunked the last time) to a spot that I love to fish in the summer for huge numbers of nice bluegills. What I had heard at the bait shop and read online suggested that we should try fishing tight to weed edges in 7-10 feet of water. We drilled a bunch of holes (maybe a dozen, but through 3 feet of ice, it felt like more) trying to find our target depth and structure, but we eventually settled over a mud bottom in 14 feet of water.
We were still drilling holes and setting up the Eskimo when I dropped a crappie minnow on a plain hook under a bobber down one of the holes, and it was instant perch action. We popped a few more holes around it and set up on them. It took a little bit to refine our presentation on the active rods while the set lines got consistent action. The hot item ended up being a 1/8oz Custom Jigs & Spins Slender Spoon in silver with blue or chartreuse tape Read more