Lake Report
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Shimano Curado 200 I 

This is a clip on the new Shimano Curado 200 I that is fixing to drop tomorrow at the Bassmaster Classic! This is a sweet reel that is going to change the way fish by opening up longer casts and more control thanks to the new breaking system.

Mining The Right Bedrock

The phenomenal December gold rush continued into the first part of January and we found fishing to be good at Lake Minnetonka, Lake Waconia, Lake of the Woods, and also Leech Lake.  On this particular adventure we fished Lake of the Woods and caught and released 40-60 sauger and walleyes per day with a few of the mid 20" fish each day.  As usual, our biggest fish continued to come on the biggest golden shiner in the pail on a plain colored gamakatsu hook.  I am a big fan of the orange, pink, and chartreuse in a #2 for the big golden shiners that I like to use for bait.  

The "walleye whisper" was able to get in on some of the great bite.  I am still fishing a lot of plain hooks but mixing in a few pink jigs on some of the set lines.  I would say that the "set lines" produced 75% of our gravel lizards with jigging only be productive in the morning hours and evening hours.  Our best jigging baits continue to be orange and perch jigging shad raps from Rapala.  

Had to travel for a few shows the past few weeks that has kept me away from the ice.  Hit the open water of the river this weekend, and it felt great to get out the "big rods"!  Will be back on the ice this week and have reports from a few local lakes.  Until then, Fish On! 


It's a "Gold Rush" Time Of Year

As so many of you have been gearing up for ice fishing we have been out chasing the early season "gold"! The bite has been great, as it always is this time of year.  The one thing that has slowed us up a bit was SNOW(lots of it) and also spent the past weekend at the St. Paul Ice Show.

Let's start with the latter of the two. I do not remember the last time we had good ice and below zero temps for an ice show. This year was the perfect storm and it brought people out in mass #'s. I spent a majority of my time talking ice fishing with familiar faces. Since I had already been on the ice for 2 weeks I had many stories to share. All in all it was a great show. Clam showcased many of their new houses and features. As usual we were sold out of shelters before the day was over on Sat.

Now to the "juice" of the story. Where has fwm been fishing and what are the conditions?! Ice conditions on Leech Lake, Lake Mille Lacs, Lake of the Woods, Red Lake, Lake Minnetonka, and Lake Waconia... That is what people really wanna know. Here is what I have to report for ice and conditions across much of MN. After spending some days traveling MN and fishing all the above places I can tell you that the snow hurt us bad. I was on Red Lake back around thanksgiving and it had 6-8" of ice. As of yesterday many areas only had about 9" of ice. So that tells you what the 15" of snow we got did to our ice. Even with a week straight of below zero temps we have not made much ice. Lake of the Woods was sitting at about 7-9" when we left there on Dec 5th, as of today it is sitting around 10-12" of ice. Leech Lake ice conditions have been hit hard and is still sitting at about 7-9" with lots of slush and wet areas.... I know what you are thinking, "how can there be slushy spots when it's minus 15 every night"?! I think the same things, but there are wet areas.

Lake Waconia and Lake Minnetonka believe it or not have better ice conditions then some areas further north. Because Minnetonka was barely froze when it snowed much of the ice "sunk" from the weight of the snow and has now froze nicely in many areas. All of the above mentioned lakes have been producing many gravel lizards for us. I will be on Minnetonka and Mille Lacs before weeks end and will have more to report.

All I can say, if you are going to venture out, please be careful. If you don't know what you are doing, the area, or don't think you should be out there, then stay away. We have been traveling on most lakes with 4 wheelers and many times with smaller wheel shacks. That does not mean all areas of the lake you can do that or that I would recommend that, but this is our profession and we take every precaution before heading out. If you have a snowmobile and Clam fish house I would get out on a lake with it and get in on this killer "gold rush"! If you are looking to get in on some of the most amazing walleye fishing through the ice you need to contact me NOW. This "gold rush" won't last long and never does. Until next time, Fish On!


Pulling Hard

After a great first outing to Red we re grouped and headed for another lake where we knew we could catch some big gravel lizards!

We were ready for something to pull back hard on the other end, and that we found. These are a few specimens from that trip. These fish fell victim to the usually plain hook with a large golden shiner. After a few quick photos we launched them back in the hole to fish another fight.

Stay tuned, cold weather is bearing down on us and the ice fishing is "heating" up!! Fish on!