Here is what I am finding on lakes that we are fishing on. 8 – 13 inches of ice. I have heard reports that other lakes still have some open pockets of water on them. I was up on Suak lake up by Sauk Centre and the fish did not want to cooperate on Tuesday. Sauk Lake had some decent ice on the north end of the lake. Some guys started driving trucks out and saw a handful of 8 x 16 Ice Castle Fish houses out. We did find some crappies on Sauk Lake using the Garmin Panoptix but they would not bite. They were suspended out in 25-35 Feet of Water.
Wednesday I set up the guide shack for a father son outing on a lake in Meeker county and they ended up with 13 keeper crappies and had some fun hole hopping and caught 6 Small Mouth Bass and a large mouth bass. They fished 21 Feet of water on the Rocks and hole hoped out to 24-25 feet of water. Plastics and wax worms small tungsten jigs seem to be working for the crappies. The crappies are starting to moving out off the rocks into a little deeper water.
Thursday I spent all day getting the bigger ice castle fish houses ready. Friday I have two hook and go rentals one group is going to Devils lake and the other group is going to Mille Lacs. Friday Afternoon I am getting out in the Sno Bear to pre fish a few lakes. I look forward to hearing the reports that the hook and go rentals come back with. In the Annandale area over the next few days we should be making about 1/4 – 1/2 inch of ice a day. So I anticipate the day after Christmas we will be setting up Ice houses on a few local lakes if they are not rented for hook and go rentals. Saturday I have a guided outing in the Sno Bear. I want to wish everyone a Merry Christmas and stay tuned because the bite is about to heat up as we will be running the fleet of ice house rentals and the Sno Bear in full force starting the day after Christmas!
12/16/2018 Small Guide Shack is producing some nice crappies. Kids are having a ton of fun! Call to get set up on some fish 320-310-9089.
Monday and Tuesday I will be guiding for Veterans. The small guide shack opens back up today. We have openings for guiding in the Sno bear starting on Wednesday.
I have a customer who took out his daughter and niece ice fishing. I put them in the small Guide Shack and they are catching crappies and walleyes. He has kept 5 walleyes and 8 keeper crappies this morning. The bite was hot from 6:30 – 8:00 a.m. Walleyes are biting on Rainbows and shiners. The crappies are biting on crappie minnows. We are fishing in 22-24 feet of water. The Guide Shack opens up Sunday. I have some openings for guiding in the Sno Bear call for reservations 320-310-9089
We are still out on Early Ice. Ice making has slowed down a little. We are on 8-11 inches of ice. Not all lakes are the same thickness. I have been out with the Sno Bear marking new way points and checking Ice making progress. We have a mild week ahead of us So I do not expect the lakes to make a ton of ice over the next week. I am running a special this week 50% off Hook and GO Ice house Rentals. For those of you going up north this is a great deal! Give me a call to reserve a rental. This morning caught 5 pike and 1 walleye. Kept two pike three of them were in the slot 22-26 inches. The walleye was probably around 18 inches. I made a video on how to clean a Pike.
Went out today and checked ice on another lake I have not fished yet this season. I brought my wife with and our two youngest kids Levi 4 and Paisley 1.5 years old. While checking Ice I put the camera down on a way point and boom Big Walleye chasing some perch around. I handed my wife one of the walleye rods with a Custom Jigs and Spins Slender Spoon tipped it with a fatty Rainbow Minnow. Down that spoon fell and I watched that walleye attack and my wife set the hook! She caught her personal best 26.5 inch walleye. She was a fatty too. We let her go to grow a few more inches. I saw a few more walleyes on the camera that we saved for another day and the next guided outing. I measured 8.- 11 inches of Ice on this lake.
This week I have the guide shack out on a school of crappies ready for rental! We also have Guided Sno Bear outings open this weekend to target multi species. Start with walleyes and transition into Perch, Crappies, Blue Gills, and Pike.
Thursday and Friday I started monitoring and checking ice on 5 lakes in the Annandale area. I guided with the Sno bear on Saturday. We had a mixed bag no monster fish but caught a few crappies, Large mouth bass, small mouth bass, sun fish, pike, and 5 walleyes with one keeper 20.5 inch walleye. We can only do what the ice will allow us with ice thickness. Out of the 5 lakes we checked 1 had a small open pocket of water on one of them. I drilled another couple hundred holes over the last few days checking ice. In the areas we fished in the snow drifts I had 7.5 Inches outside the drifts 8-10 inches. Guys need to be careful this year because Ice Thickness varies. The open pockets that are freezing over last have much less ice. We watch for ice variations in color while out checking the lakes. I also watch the lakes freeze over everyday so I know the areas that froze over last. One Lake had 3-4 inches on the last pocket that froze over so we stayed off that side of the lake and fished what we know had been locked up for two weeks. Today we are taking 3 Iraq war Veterans out fishing. We will post another report Monday! This week I do plan on targeting some Perch. One of the lakes I used to fish a few years back has some nice numbers of perch back in it. We also are working on putting together a day trip to Bow String Lake to target Walleyes and Crappies.
Upper Red Lake some of the resorts are allowing 8 x 16 wheel houses to be pulled behind half ton pick up trucks. We do have 8 x 16 wheel houses open for rentals! The small guide shack is out on the ice and available for rental.
Over the last few days I have fished Upper Red Lake and down in the Annandale area lakes. Upper Red Lake I was finding 10-12 inches of Ice. There will most likely be resorts letting out trucks and wheel houses by this next weekend with the cold snap this week. While on Upper Red Lake I was working with my 3 year old and 7 year old teaching them how to set the hook on walleyes. This was a quick trip to Upper Red Lake with the Sno Bear. We stayed in one of Cookies Cabin Rentals on Upper Red Lake. We caught 25+ Walleyes. I did not get out to my favorite way points as we had a pressure ridge that was holding us back. Most resorts are bridging over the pressure ridge. Most walleyes being caught on a white Lindy Rattl’n Flyer. This trip was not so much about numbers of fish for me as it was about teaching the kids how to set the hook. I was plenty happy with 25+ walleyes. We fished in 6.5 – 7.5 Feet of Water. Fish Pictures below are walleyes from Upper Red Lake. I am running a special on Hook and Go ice house rentals for this weekend we are removing our 4 day Minimum down to a 3 day Minimum. Pick up your ice house Friday have it back by Monday morning.
8 x 16 Ice Castle Mille Lacs $405 for 3 days https://chartered-rentals.com/our-rentals/ice-houses/ice-castle-mille-lacs/
8 x 16 Extreme Ice Cabin $405 for 3 days https://chartered-rentals.com/2016-extreme-ice-cabin/
2016 Grand Castle $562.50 https://chartered-rentals.com/our-rentals/ice-houses/2016-ice-castle-grand-castle/
2018 Grand Castle $750 https://chartered-rentals.com/our-rentals/ice-houses/2018-ice-castle-grand-castle/
As far as the Ice report for down in the Annandale area Lakes are making ice this week! I am finding 4 to 8 inches of Ice and expect to see 8- 10 inches of ice on Friday on the lakes I have been checking ice on. We have our first guided Sno Bear Outing scheduled for Saturday. We will be fishing walleyes during low light hours and crappies and blue gills during day. I have the Guide shack available for rent for $100/24 hours starting Friday. It is booked on Saturday but open on Sunday. Vinny the fishing guide was out pre fishing on Sunday and caught 8 keeper crappies, and a few small mouth bass. He was fishing Mid Day. We have officially started the 2018 / 2019 Guided Fishing season!
I was on 5 inches of Ice. The lake still had some open water on it. The wind is keeping some of the lakes open. It sure felt good to get out! We added the K-Drill and the Garmin Panoptix for Guiding this season.
Mike and I have been spread out fishing. I have been down in the Annandale area with the sno bear Mike has been hitting Leech and some smaller lakes in the Leech Lake area. I have been targeting crappies and blue gills mostly just catch and release. Down in the Annandale area I am seeing 25-26 inches of ice. Up on Leech There is still 36 inches of ice. Ice conditions change rapidly this time of the year so check ice as some lakes will start seeing honeycombing and accesses will be getting soft. We have some snow in the forecast Friday so if this holds true 3-8 inches of snow this is going to preserve the ice even more.
Mike and I are available for guided trips in the Leech Lake area and I am available for guided outings in the Annandale area. Pictured below is from Mike he got into some nice sunfish. The other picture is my daughter Emma with two 12-14 inch crappies we kept for dinner. We also have a spot that is producing good numbers of eelpout for the customers who want to get into some eelpout give us a call. Lots of species to fish for bluegills, crappies, eelpout, tullibee, and white fish.
I had last weekend off as I was out of state for a wedding we are hitting the ice hard this week. I will be teaming up the last few weeks with Michael Charwood Local Leech Lake Guide and hitting the ice hard. We will be working together as a team guiding for Tullibee, Jumbo Perch, White Fish, Crappie, and Blue Gills. We have a special going for the next couple of weeks. Below is the special from my Facebook page along with pictures combined from Michael and I from prior guiding trips!
Best Deal of the Season! Price $175-$250 per guy! Group Pricing! 2 Days 2 nights of Fishing Full Package Deal Group Sizes needed 4 person groups $250 per person, 6 Person Groups $200 Per Person, 10 person groups $180 per person, 20 person groups $175 per person! End of the Season unheard of Special. Targeting Multiple lakes and Multi Species Crappies, Jumbo Perch, Blue Gills, Tullibee, White Fish, and EelPout. Package Deal includes two days Guided Fishing includes two night stay at one of MN finest family friendly resorts Trappers Landing and Lodge on Leech Lake. Prices below include Guides, Heated Sno Bear for transportation, Portable ice houses, Ice Castle Fish Houses, Resort Stay, Electronics, Rods n Reels, Bait Its all included. We have the Gear all you need to do is show up and fish! 30-40 inches of Ice! 320-310-9089 for reservations.