Today’s Top 5
Fat IS beautiful…when it comes to fish, anyway! Tom T. caught this 16-in, 2.26-lb hawg perch on a white tungsten jig from Larson’s Quality Jigs tipped with a waxworm. Tom was fishing with legendary Devils Lake guide Pete Harsh, had 57 jumbos on the day — wow! (Does his hoody look hungry or is it just us??)
WI’s Kerry P. popped this 32-in, 12-lb ‘eye on a rig he invented — a minnow with the Automatic Fisherman unit he designed. #Stout
Beauty of a 31.5″ Winnipegger caught by Donovan P.:
Brendan M. got some green with this 29″ water-pig. Called her in on a Rapala Rippin’ Rap, but she opted for the deadsticked live minnow next door. Great 1-2 punch.
This time last year Rapala intro’d the Shadow Rap, and this time it’s…well, they’re not saying yet but here’s a teaser video:
Pretty sure that’s Al’s voice in there (lol). Can’t wait!
But they’re walleye? Talking about about the blue pike, which was a subspecies of the walleye. The last (real) ones believed to be caught more than 50 years ago. A little more below — let us know if you catch any blue ‘eyes or perch:
> “In a few lakes in ON and QC, blue-colored walleyes are frequently caught, but DNA analysis has repeatedly shown that they are simply a blue color-phased walleye that is missing yellow pigment and not a true blue pike.”
> “It differed from yellow walleye by their smaller size, unique bluish coloration and proportionally larger eyes. They were sexually mature at 13″ and reached a maximum length of 16″ and 2 lbs.”
> “They were especially favored by local restaurants for their convenient size that perfectly filled a dinner plate when hog-dressed, cooked and served intact, as was customary.”
Nothing says ‘I love you’ more than walleyes and roses:
Really all you need is walleye, but we just threw the roses in there…lol
1. MB: 30″ ice walleye (video).
2. MN: Mille Lacs ice fishing contest.
Is it winter yet??
In a blizzard:
> “You try to sleep at night and you hear that cracking in the ice and it’s, like, whoa.”
Make sure you note the special code for Target Walleye/Ice subscribers!
The Flatstick 8.5″ long and catches ‘eyes quadruple that:
Finally! But…$500. Website here.
> The T-H Marine KVD Kong Extreme Electronics Mount is built of aircraft aluminum and stainless steel. It is designed for the heaviest of today’s marine electronics and has zero movement with these units in the roughest water. In addition, the arm is secured to the base with a mechanical cam-nut that allows quick installation or removal.
> …delivers the many of the same properties as mono in that it features single-strand construction, is super pliable, casts very well and it floats. Offering many of the advantages of braid as well…provides zero stretch, extremely thin diameters, and incredible strength.
> Some ice roads are letting half-ton pickups pulling 20′ houses on the lake. 3/4-ton pickups are being let out with pors. Contact your resort for more specific information. Ice averages 15-19″. Fishing in 26-35′. Some houses in 10-19′ producing a few walleyes in the morning. Lots of saugers with a few slot walleyes.
> Most houses able to catch enough fish for a fish fry. The key is to really work those fish. Electronics help. Glow orange and pink continue to be best. Jigging line should have a jig that makes a noise or rattles. Plain hook or small jig on deadstick with a live minnow.
> The Rainy River is iced over and being fished in spots, but mainly by locals who know the ice. Evening bite in 16′ will producing a few fish. Sturgeon and eelpout mixed in with walleye. For safety, work through resorts.
> Up at the NW Angle, fishing is steady. Ice is 20-22″ where resorts fish on the Minnesota side with about 8″ of snow and 16″ on the Ontario side. Walleyes on or near reefs around 26′ and saugers in the mud around 32′. Jumbo perch, monster pike, and a few eelpout in the mix. Large crappies are being caught around the 33′ mark with guides on the Ontario side.
> Morning bite has been best this past week, putting fish in the bucket until 11am. Then things slow down until about 4pm when the bite picks up again. Colors such as pink, gold and red are always good options, but don’t be afraid to break away from the norm and try chartreuse.
> Nice saugers up to 16″, along with walleye and large northerns being caught. Most groups checking out with their bags of fillets going home with them.
> All kinds of fish are being marked, they just are stubborn and not biting constantly. We’re hoping that the weather front predicted to come in this weekend will have a beneficial impact on the bite.
> Ice is holding steady at 16+” in most areas with up to 20″ in areas outside of creel bay on the main part of the lake. Reports of many cracks and small ridges in 6 Mile Bay.
Tip of the Day
Hitting that magical window where crappies and zooplankton collide can produce some seriously impressive results. It’s all about finessing your way onto their dinner plate and doing so on their schedule.
Deepwater crappies can often be found following the vertical migration of zooplankton. Typically we think of the ‘magic hour’ as being sunrise or sunset, but it’s important to remember that sunrise can be as much as an hour later under the ice — thanks to the lack of light penetration.
Increased light levels in the morning trigger zooplankton to vacate areas higher in the water column and slide back towards bottom. It’s a similar situation towards evening. Maybe you’ve noticed the bottom ‘lighting up’ on your flasher near dusk? Zooplankton will begin to rise off bottom as the light levels drop, and they feed on microscopic plant-like organisms called phytoplankton. Mud basins in the 22-34 ft range are where the magic happens.
Light line (no heavier than 3-lb test) and ultra-finesse tungsten jigs are key for these filter-feeding crappies. A lure like the VMC Tungsten Fly Jig with a Trigger X Nymph has the perfect compact profile yet is still fishable in deeper water. Basic colors such as straight glow, white and occasionally black work great as Zooplankton are virtually translucent. Working the lure fairly aggressively will help to call fish in, but subtle jigging movements that will seal the deal.
Quote of the Day
I think an underwater camera critically impacts their enthusiasm.
– J.P. Bushey talking about how underwater cameras can help kids enjoy fishing and be more passionate about conservation:
> The deeper and more personal the connection that you can forge between your child and a lake, the more likely that child is to grow up to appreciate and conserve it.