Thursday, January 10, 2013

Slow Few Days (1/4/12 - 1/10/12 Report)

I'll keep this one short as there's not much to say.

It's been a pretty slow week. Aside from a grand total of 6 walleyes since the last post, two being worth keeping, we haven't seen much aside from perch, perch, and more perch.

We continue to mark fish around sundown, but it's getting increasingly difficult to get them to commit. I swear, we've had one fish that's been sticking around for almost a week now that does nothing but pop up, take a quick look, and head back down. Never once has he done so much as take a nibble even.

If you can't tell, it's been a little frustrating, but we'll get back in the swing of things shortly.

This evening there was an absolute frenzy right up until the rain began. If only it held out for another hour or so, because about 2 minutes before it started while it was still a bit light out, I managed to pull in 2 walleyes in quick succession (Both quite tiny, though. 8" and the other was even smaller). Right as I heard the rain drops hit the side of the house, the sonar wasn't showing a thing, and it - for the most part - stayed that way up until about 7pm.

I've tried staying out as late as about 10pm, and am still hoping to get an overnight in one of these days to see how things are at 2-3am, but I haven't heard too many great things from other anglers that I've talked to.

Looking at last year's posts, we never actually had a good day of walleye fishing until about the 15th of January, so I've still got a bit of hope left, but if nothing changes it won't be long until I start drastically changing things up.

As far as ice conditions go, we haven't lost anything, but I haven't really even seen a single inch gained over the past week either. We're still at a pretty solid ~12"-13". That said, who knows what this rain might do, not to mention a day of 40 degree weather. Hopefully things should be back to normal by next week, though, and we'll get back to making ice.

Best of luck.

Thursday, January 3, 2013

Fish On, House Out (Ice & Fishing Report 1/3/2013)

Had a pretty good day today. After finally getting all the work we needed to get done finished with, we finally managed to get the wheel house out for the first time in almost three years.

We put it out on Wayzata after drilling well over a dozen holes and finding nothing but 12"+ of ice everywhere we went. Got it out in a bit over 20 feet of water.

(Edit: Figured I'd toss this in here, but supposedly the areas near Big Island only froze over recently, but because of the snow cover they look the same as the rest of the lake. Much of the lake is safe for vehicle traffic, but I would avoid this area even with an ATV/Snowmobile. As late as Christmas there was still open water, so take that as you wish, but be safe regardless.)

Afternoon till sundown was pretty action packed, but as you can guess, it was nothing but perch. Once sundown hit we managed a total of four walleyes and one loss. People like to embellish stories about "The One That Got Away" but I'll say with some certainty that, if what was on the other end of that line was a walleye, I've never heard a walleye peel line like that. It was non-stop for a good 10+ seconds. Oh well, another time.

We only managed one keeper, everything else was under ~10" and the one we kept was a 14"er. Caught that one shortly after the sky got dark on a Northland Tackle Moxie Minnow-Glo tipped with a minnow head. Two of the others came on the same setup, and the last on a Northland Tackle Glo Buckshot.

I also stopped by Mills Fleet Farm today to pickup a few Propane Tanks and found myself walking out with a new 10" Slush Inhaler. I've wanted to get one of my hands on these for a LONG time, as to me, redrilling and cleaning out the holes every time you get back to the house is far and away one of the most tedious parts of ice fishing. Well, without giving too much away, it's money well spent.

We got a new 10" drill bit for the auger this year as well, so we weren't looked forward to the added slush that comes with using one of those over our old 8"ers. Generally, we'd have one guy running around drilling holes and he'd be done with all 6-7 by the time the guy cleaning the holes was done with 1-2. Now, my father was drilling the holes, and I was always just one step behind him. Drill the hole, shovel the excess snow/ice outside, drop in a hole sleeve, plop the slush inhaler in, out, empty outside, take 1-2 scoops with the normal ice scoop to clear our the little bit of remainder, and you're good to go. Each hole took us less than 2 minutes, and we were setup and fishing within 10 minutes of putting the house on the ice, something that used to take closer to 30 minutes.

It's not at all a good investment if you only use portables, as it's way too large and inconvenient in almost every way, but if you've got a small corner or pickup truck bed that you can toss it in while you're out in the wheeler, I would highly recommend it. It'll save your back a lot of work since you're not constantly bending over to pull slush out, and it'll save you loads of time.

I was skeptical getting one, as all the reviews I've seen were along the lines of "Don't waste your time," "It's too big," and "Too heavy," but I'm extremely glad I bit the bullet and got one. Money well spent.

I also picked up a brand new rod & reel setup, a Thorne Bros Custom Med-Light Tripwire w/ Recoils, with a Tica Cetus LF500. It's only taken me about 4 hours of using it to confidently say that I'm in love. The rod is light enough to work just fine for panfish, yet rigid enough to be able to handle a 14" walleye with ease and make the fight that much more enjoyable. I've been sold on spring bobbers since the first time I used one, so having it built into my rod is a godsend. I also kept the rod in a rod sleeve over night (With the spring bent) and as soon as I took it off it went right back to normal. The amount of action the rod gives you is phenomenal, and the rod itself is so lightweight that even the slightest twitch from a fish and you'll feel it.

Like I said, it's only been 4 hours since I put it on the ice, but I'm sold. Had a hard time switching back to my St Croix Legend rod, and that thing is by no means a "bad" rod, but the Thorne Bros custom comparatively almost makes it seem like one.

Thursday, December 27, 2012

It's On! (Ice & Fishing Report 12/27/2012)

Finally made it back out on to the ice again today for some real fishing, and found a good 6"+ almost everywhere I went.

I stuck pretty close to home, so I didn't venture out past Wayzata Bay, but both Wayzata and Grays seemed to be solid. Wayzata had more than a couple pressure ridges that I was a bit skeptical of crossing, but luckily we didn't have any issues. The spot we fished probably had a solid 8", and as said, the smallest amount of ice we've seen so far (And this was as of 2 days ago) was 6". I'm sure there are some channels to watch out for, but some of the main bays are shaping up a lot nicer than I expected.

The fishing wasn't really even worth mentioning. Over the course of two hours I landed 3 perch, and missed probably 10 more. I'm pretty certain all the fish I missed were perch as well, due to how quickly they'd dart back to the bottom (I rarely, if ever, see walleyes do that). We were in just over 20 feet of water, and fished the hours around sundown.

It wasn't until about mid-January last year that the specific spot I was on today started producing, so I'll try back in a week or two, but I'll definitely have more updates to come within the next week. It sounds like my father wants to make a trip up to Mille Lacs this weekend, and I'll be sure to have another Minnetonka update by this weekend, if for no other reason than to report current ice conditions.

Good luck out there, and stay safe!

Oh, and try to have better luck than I did ;)

Monday, November 12, 2012

First Ice!

As of today, 11/12/12, we've got ice in some of the back areas of the lake. With an expected low of ~20 tonight, I'd be surprised if we didn't see a little more in the morning.

That said, forecasted 40s this week aren't going to help, but either way, it's always good to see ice before Thanksgiving!

Monday, January 30, 2012

Request: ATV Rack?

Wondering if anyone out there knows of a rear-mounted ATV rack that's capable of carrying a portable fish house?

I've got a runner kit, but with all the running around I've been doing (Including a decent bit of driving on asphalt to avoid thin ice in channels) it's still taking it's toll on both the runners and the sled.

So, if anyone's got any recommendations, or thinks they know what I'm looking for, please leave a comment or shoot me an email!

The pictures to the right seem to be what I'm looking for, but the website that sells these racks have very few details about them. I shot the guy an email, but haven't heard back quite yet.

Ideally, it would be something that carries the house off the ice while moving (See Picture 1), but can quickly be lowered to the ice so you can flip the top over and get to fishing (See Picture 2). If it were a perfect world, I'd also love it if you didn't have to disconnect the fish house from the ATV rack (Aside from maybe undoing a few bungie cords or something of that nature).

Little summary of what I've heard from this weekend. Fishing seems to be okay still. Could've just been my spots that weren't producing (As I said, Wayzata bay was pretty heavily pressured).

Some things that you may want to consider:

  • The bite seems to be for a longer time period. I've heard fish coming in as early as 4:00 and as late as 8:00.
  • Fish (may) have moved deeper. Had two reports come in of finding fish in water that was significantly deeper than 20'.
  • As far as I can tell, avoid the crowds. Stick close to them and you'll undoubtedly catch fish, but you'll be weeding through 20 small fish for every 1 that's worth keeping. 
Looking to get out this week and put those theories to the test. Will report back as soon as possible!

Saturday, January 28, 2012

Fishing Report - Wayzata Bay (1/28/2012 @ 4:00-6:30)

Slow night. Wayzata was seeing a good deal of pressure this weekend with all the cars and wheelers. With all the reports of cars going through the ice on Metro lakes, and Minnetonka's record still being clean this year, I can't say I'm too surprised.

Managed three walleyes over the course of a couple hours. All three went back.

Don't think I'll be out tomorrow, but check back Monday for some new updates.

Another day, another fish! (1/27/2012)

Got some eaters tonight while out with my brother. Should have some more detailed reports coming in this weekend, stay tuned!