Ice conditions are improving a few days ago we had slush on the lakes from the last snow fall and our area of the state the lakes are firming up out here in the Annandale area. The last spots that froze up we are finding around 8-10 inches of ice. The spots we have been fishing are around 12 inches of ice. We have some nice ice making weather over the next week with some cold nights in the forecast. Lots of ice that has not been touched by wheel houses this year and fisherman so this next week we are going to have some good fishing as the wheel houses roll out on the local lakes. The crappie bite has been in 22 feet of water out to 41ft of water on the lakes we have been fishing. The key has been to stay mobile and move around. Pictures below are from the last week.
This past week Fishing has been hit or miss. Ice Conditions are improving. We have had groups going to Upper Red Lake, Cass, and Mille Lacs. We have been getting out locally on a few lakes in Meeker and Wright County and finding ice conditions vary from lake to lake. Some lakes have 8-11 some have 6-10. As far as Upper Red Lake we are hearing reports from 18-20 inches and Mille lacs 13-15 inches. Pictures below are from the last week.
Ice fishing season is among us and the reports are starting to come in! We had a group take a wheel house to Upper Red Lake the last few days out of JRs access for 3 nights! This group traveled all the way from central Illinois putting on around 1300 miles on round trip! The group said fishing was great. Fathead minnows on rattle reels and jigging tingler spoons with a minnow head was the ticket. This group fished the north end of center bar just outside the pressure ridge. As far as travel on the ice the fresh snow made truck travel a little more challenging but 4 X 4 trucks getting around is no problem just dodge the drifts. As far as Ice thickness was around 18 inches of ice on 12/29/2020. They said the Ice Cave wheel house worked out great for the group and they might be back again in January!
As far as Wright and Meeker county lakes go we are finding anywhere from 3 – 11 inches of ice. The big factor is if the lake was locked up prior the winds we had a few weeks ago those lakes are more consistent. We got some fresh snow on the ice so this might insulate the ice a little and slow ice making. Check the ice as you go. The walleye bite has been slow for us but we are getting a few crappies if you put in the time. We did get a Ice Castle out the last few days on a lake that had 7-11 inches of ice. The lure of choice for the crappies was the pink Frosty pictured below. The best depth for the crappies was 22 feet of water. The crappies we have been getting have been nice but not seeing the numbers we would like. We will be working some other lakes and checking ice as the week goes on. My wife caught a nice 13 inch crappie pictured below also!
We have been finding 6-7 inches of Ice over the last few days the next few days should add a few inches. Some lakes the wind has been keeping some open pockets of water. We are monitoring these. I am planning on putting out our wheel house on a local lake that should be around 10 inches this Sunday. The 2 person Skid house is out and ready to go. We can also set the skid house up at lake home rentals for guests. We did get a little bit of snow and I think this will help school the crappies up a little better. They have been on the move lately not staying put in the spots they usually do! We have been getting the crappies in 19-20 ft of water. Pictures below are from the last week. We do offer hook and go fish house rentals also!
Well we have officially kicked off the 2020 Ice Fishing Season. We had our first group go to Upper Red Lake they rented a sleeper Ice Castle and parked it on shore and fished for 3 days over last weekend. They said the fishing for them was a little slower on the south shore. They ended up walking out 2 miles to get away from the crowds and had better fishing. Today I did a fly over Upper Red Lake to check out the Ice formation. The reports for the most part are 8-12 inches with much less in the spots that recently froze you can see these places in the pictures. Also noticed Cracks in several locations. If you decide to venture over any cracks I suggest having a back up plan or a portable bridge of your own. Listen to the resorts for safety as they usually know best. If the snow stays off the Ice I could see some great Ice making conditions over the next week. I also noticed a fair amount of resorts have started to bring out the wheel houses. I saw ATVs and Side by Sides out. As far as Wright and Meeker County Lakes we are starting to get some walkable ice. If you are wanting to do your own thing and go to a lake of your choice we offer a Hook and Go option with Ice Houses. Remember check ice as you go for safety. I have fell through the ice a few times over the years and its not fun. This is a good time of the year to have your Ice Picks Handy. I also took some Pictures of Leech Lake they are the pictures are posted last.
Seasons are changing water temps are dipping down to 40 degrees! It will only be a few weeks and we will be walking on water again! I was out in the boat this last weekend fishing for a few crappies and caught a few for a fish fry! Crappie bite was out in 16 feet of water off the rock piles. I tipped chartreuse color 1/32 oz jig orange green with a crappie minnow seemed to work. The lake sure has turned over and the pan fish are in the winter spots. Sure was a low light hour bite on the crappies half hour before sundown to a half hour after. The sunfish did not seem that active on the lake I was on. I feel I should have worked the plastic baits a little more! What a nice weekend it was a little windy on Sunday. Looking at the 10 day forecast I am seeing rain and cooling. A normal year we are walking out on the ice between Thanksgiving and December 1st. We will have wheelhouse rentals available for hook and go rentals along with a few guided outings. Our hook and go rentals for the first two weeks of December usually are heading up to Upper Red Lake ice permitting for the early walleye bite. If you want to get in on some of that action let me know I am happy to share some waypoints when you schedule a hook and go Ice Castle Rental.
This is going to be a short report! Was out before the storm and caught 9 keeper crappies. Had a customer come out to fish Friday night during the storm and only got one walleye! Marking fish under the house just not committing. We do have one group out on Mille Lacs with the hook and go rental. Ill post another report once I hear from them. We have some snow on the lakes. Now its time for trucks and 4 x 4 vehicles to get around. The snowmobile rentals have been out the last few days and the trails are in good conditions. We do have the lake home rental open here and there. The fishing out in front of it has good sun fish, pike, and large mouth bass fishing. I do have a spot not to far from the lake home rental that is known for big walleyes 20+ inchers only a low light hour bite on that spot.
Check back soon for another report. Wednesday we have a guided outing booked so I will probably post a report Tuesday before I head out with the group I will be doing some pre-fishing. Pictures below are from the crappies I got prior the snow storm. 6-12 inches of snow on the lakes.
Fish are being caught but they are not exactly jumping out of the ice hole over the last few days. Definitely having to work and put some time in to get a few. I always tell customers usually after a few slow days of fishing you can expect the fishing to ramp up over the next few days. We have some snow forecasted and some cold temperatures for Wednesday night! In the Annandale area I am finding 12-14 inches of ice! Sure feels good to be out with the truck getting around. I did a guided outing yesterday and we were targeting crappies. We ended up having 4 walleyes iced, half a dozen crappies. We had crappies and sunfish on the camera along with walleyes but they were tight lipped yesterday so I expect a good bite going into middle of this week and next weekend. Pictured below are from the Annandale area. Had a couple nice sunfish I kept. We are fishing in 29ft of water.
I did have the hook and go rental go to Mille lacs lake they went out of Red door and had anywhere from 12-17 inches of ice. They said fishing was a bit slow a lot of fish would chase but had a tough time getting them to bite off the north end of Mille Lacs. Pictured below is one nice fish they caught!
I also had a group head out to Devils Lake that we outfitted them with some equipment. They were targeting Perch gold tungsten jigs tipped with wax worms was the go to. The walleye bite was a low light hours bite on Green jigs fishing off rocky points with a full minnow. Pictured below is a nice Pike they caught. They mentioned the bite was slow for them also on Devils Lake ND. I expect we will have some good fishing coming up after the slower reports over the last few days!
The last few days sure have been cold and making some ice. Fishing Guide Vinny was out on the ice checking a few spots. He took out his father in law Paco and mother in law Nelly this evening. It’s always fun to see a wife out fish her husband! Nelly caught 9 and Paco caught 2 pictured below! I am now driving out with the 3/4 ton pick up and using hard sided fish houses for guiding also. If you would like to book a guided outing give us a call!
It has not been really busy this week. I have had customers out everyday. I had two of my repeat customers out on Saturday in the small 2 bunk house catch a nice eater walleye, throw back walleyes, couple crappies, Some sunfish, pike that snapped the line this is what I was told by my helper on saturday. Sunday had a father son out fishing and they caught a few crappies and the nice walleye in the picture below. I am set up in 29ft of water with the 4 hole bunk house and have multiple species of fish moving under the house. We are set up off a sunken rocky point that comes up to 12ft of water.
I had some local customers that fished in the Ice Castle Mille Lacs for walleyes and they managed a few for the frying pan. I borrowed them a Vexilar to help them get lines set at the depth they needed to be 6 inches off the bottom. The first day they didn’t have the sonar so I got out the 2nd day and checked the lines and they were 2-3ft off the bottom when should have been tighter to the bottom. This group was in 19ft of water. Talked to a friend who has been picking up a few walleyes here and there. Definitely seems to be a low light hours bite.
Today I had customers hook up to the Ice Castle Mille Lacs to tow to Mille Lacs lake and do some fishing! I expect a report on Sunday from them also.
As far as the ice conditions go I drove the 3/4 ton out to hook up to the Ice Castle sure felt good not having to use a four wheeler. The spots I have been checking have around 12 inches of ice and I expect to be seeing 12-14 inches of ice this weekend. We have little to no snow on the lakes in the Annandale area this is speeding up the ice making process. Give us a call if you want to jump in a heated fish house or do the Hook and Go with the Ice Castle. We are more than happy to point you in the direction that has favorable ice and good fishing! We also have some guys that we rented a Garmin Panoptix to that went out to Devils Lake to chase some perch. I look forward to hearing the report and seeing some pictures Sunday!
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