Fishing the same lakes each time out can get a bit stale. Here’s some incredible spots to get in on the early-ice goodness if you’re up for a roadtrip.
First thing that comes to mind is Lake Winnipeg and its portly “greenback” walleyes, but there’s zillions of other options too depending on what you wanna catch.
Ice-heads have already been plucking fish through the ice for several weeks now [insert not-fair, huffy-puffy breath here] in Manitoba’s northern region! Couple recent pics from Wekusko Falls Lodge — and the Ice Fishing Manitoba FB page — that’ll make you wanna head north ASAP:
I’m planning 2-3 runs up there this winter ‘cuz no matter what species you’re chasing, Manitoba grows ’em stupidly big. Gotta say though, the green ones will always have a special place in my heart. Here’s a few from our early-ice trip last year:
The fall bite was en fuego [fire emoji] with a pile of walleyes along the south shore and loaded in the Rainy River. One of the reasons IDO pro Cal Svihel decided to spend his “deer opener” on the water — impressed that Humminbird can still fly being so weighed-down with arches lol:
Seen it before up there: a hot fall bite usually = excellent ice feeshin’, and you don’t have to be a pro to enjoy it.
They have “full-service ice fishing” where all you gotta do it show up. They pick you up from the resort and drive you to a heated fish house where the thermostat is set to 70 and the fish are hungry. Will even bring you back to shore in time for “happy hour” if that’s what you’re into…unless you’d rather have it on the ice:
That’s Zippel Bay Resort’s Igloo Bar that they set up ON THE ICE each year. Big screen TV, full bar, food menu…and the answer is “yes,” they catch fish out of it.
Lake Alice (National Wildlife Refuge) will be open for ice fishing again this season and it’s one of the first areas of Devils Lake to get safe ice. Sounds like it may have locked up last week — main lake won’t be too far behind.
Devils Lake is a world famous perch fishery — with 15-16″ jumbos being a real possibility — but don’t overlook the hefty walleye population. Leave the 6″ auger at home: Devils is packed with freshwater shrimp and the fish have serious girth.
Case in point: Joe Koors stuck this 15″ stump-knocker while fishing out of Woodland Resort, didn’t even have to get cold to do it. Weighed 1.83 lbs and was caught on a Northland Buck-Shot Spoon: