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630 N. 4th Street
Tomahawk, WI 54487
April 14, 2015
“Perfect Perch at Lake Winnie”
I took my kids, Isaac, Faith, Halle, and Jake to Lake Winnibigoshish in Minnesota for our spring break trip. We planned on doing a little scouting for jumbo perch our first evening, but the late afternoon rain spoiled our plans. That was okay because we had to unload the pick-up truck full of gear.
During our second day, we unloaded the wheelers at the landing and drove out on the ice almost to our destination except a pressure ridge was in the way. I checked the crack with an ice chisel, and it was pretty solid to cross, but the middle part had a water pocket in it; however, it was good for the day. I crossed the pressure ridge first with no problems and then Jake crossed and dropped his front tires in the crack! Luckily, there was a hard bottom to it. This is one reason why you should not go out spring ice fishing by yourself! There was no danger, but sometimes things happen.
Next we finally got to the fishing. We drilled some holes; the ice was 28 to 30’’ thick; you definitely needed an auger extension! That’s incredible especially after a couple of weeks of warm weather, but remember mid-winter in Northern Minnesota did not have much snow, which caused the ice to get thick. We then dropped our ice jigs down tipped with lively minnows in 10’ depths of water, and caught small perch. After a good honest try we moved around the lake trying different flats and depths. We caught fish everywhere, but sizes we wanted were hard to find. We even drove out nine miles to a deep water hot spot, but fishing was slow. Later back to the flats and fished in the 11 to 15’ stuff, and caught nice keeper perch. Another problem soon faced us…two augers and no gas!! The auger can was over seven miles from the truck! This was a first, but like I mentioned earlier things happen!
In the early evening we drove back to our morning spot. I cooked brats and dogs on the grill for supper, and helped Isaac and Faith fish. They caught perch every time down the hole using the old trusty slip-bobber pole with laser sharp hooks and lively minnows. Not all of the fish were keepers, but they each got a few nice keepers while having great fun!
The next day, we headed to the West side of the lake. At the first landing we checked, there was open water along the shoreline and a no go. Next we checked another landing on the way back. The ice was good to get out except there was a crack out about 100 yds. You couldn’t cross it unless you had planks, but we were not interested in this especially with three young children! Not a good start today as we drove 76 miles out of our way because of the ice conditions! We ended back at our first day spot, and didn’t get out fishing until about noon, by the time we got the bikes off the trailer, and loaded up the kids and gear! We then set up the shack seven miles out for the kids as the wind was chilly for a while. The fish were biting okay; Jake had seven or eight fish on the ice before I got the kids set up with their stuff. I drilled a good amount of holes in one area and it was nice to have a full tank of auger gas today! The afternoon weather was beautiful with not much wind, it was a little overcast and probably at least 60 degrees. We got some nice runs of jumbo perch. At about 5 pm, it was time to take down the shelter and Faith wanted to help. She took the plastic ice scoop and started pulling the slush off the bottom of the tent. This went well until I heard a scream! Her leg got stuck in a hole half-way up. Luckily I brought out extra socks and boots. What a trooper; she did not complain!
On our last day, the sun was bright, but the wind was cranking at 25 mph! No shack today. We just fished behind the bikes for a wind block. The fish bite was good in spurts, but running smaller than usual. This was most likely because we were two weeks late, missing the recent moon phase bite. We ended up harvesting around 75 nice perch and are truly blessed to be able to fish some of the Midwest’s finest waters!
This will be our last ice report until next fall. The ice is out on most lakes here in the Northwoods! Be cautious if you do some early boating; there are still some floating ice sheets, floating logs, and un-marked rock bars. BE SAFE!!! The fishing opener will be here soon. Good luck!! Good fishing!! See you on the water!!
If you are looking for a day of fishing, give me a call at 715-966-1821. Remember to check out my Facebook page at Buck’s Taxidermy and Guide Service. Well, that wraps it up for this time. This is Roman Derleth reminding you, “Don’t slack off and always keep your line tight!”
Last updated: April 15, 2015
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