Lake Winnipeg

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pigsticker's picture
pigsticker
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Lake Winnipeg

Getting ready to head to Lake Winnipeg next weekend with some buddies and I was wondering if anyone has been up there yet and what the conditions on the lake were/are like. How thick is the ice, do we need snowmobiles, catch any fish, etc...?

Any help would be greatly appreciated. Thanks

How bout you backwater eddy? Been up lately?

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icngrnbacks
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I have been up there e few times. I would take sleds. Make sure you have an extension on your auger, the ice is plenty thick. Try fishing by the pressure ridges when you are in shallow water, the broken ice sheets under the water creates structure for the minnows to hide. Get out away from the crowds. I have been having luck using Lindy Darters, Chubby Darters, buckshot spoons, and regular jigs with a salted shined. Make sure you have a vexilar, marcum, or hummingbird with you. Watch for suspened fish, even in shallow water. If the walleyes come into cranks, but don't bite, have a jig with a minnow ready to toss down the hole. Be prepared to move around, if you are not marking fish, move!

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We are heading up on the 13th of March, I know alot can change between now and then, As of now are four wheelers an option? Is the snow real deep?

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P.S. not sure where that beer can could have came from?

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Eyecatcher,

ATV's are an option. The snow has been hard packed, but by March 13th, it could get sloppy. Snow doesn't seem deep over all, but there are drifts, pressure ridges, broken ice piled up where the snow gets deep. Some access points have deep snow before you get on the lake. I have tracks on my atv, so I don't have any problems. A couple friends took out thier front differentials last year trying to pull thier frabill portables through deep wet snow at an access point.

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Here's a report from last week. 16th

We hit the east side Friday and Saturday. Three of us on Friday over 50 fish landed. One master between 28.5-29", most fish were 23" + we could only scratch together 14 keepers.
Mike and I returned to the same area on Saturday and we ended up with Mike icing 31 walleye including a fat MA just under 29", and I added to our total with a modest 24 fish. Aain alot of 23"+ fish.
I think, no I know I've got Mike sold on the LIVE TARGETS, finally. Of our 110 fish in 2 days I'd say 105 were caught on LIVE TARGETS. On Saturday we were even deadsticking with them. Fish would come to them and 1 twitch and slam! and it also was always in the right area if you happen to miss one on the main rod. Minnows on the TARGETS at all times, 1 full minnow attatched head to one hook and one to the tail. I have been using TARGETS most of the winter and easily have over 120 walleye on them this year. Talking to Roger and Lee, I think I may fish them slightly different than they do, but all you have to do is work them and watch your flasher. It's not always the same presentation that works.
We were in about 22' of water from the bottem of the ice, nice clean water. The fish all had minnows in them, and alot of bait fish marked. 8 AM till noonish was the "hot" bite and then a small flurry around 4. Both MAs were caught betwwen 11-12.
I have to say that my best purchase for this season was my snowmobile, it gets you where the fish are.


sunset and Lester side this morning till lastlight with the boys managed 48 greens took are limit fish were ranging from 19- 24' only pigs were 27'' and a pig 30 1/2'' LT's and Slender spoons no bait .. deadstix lindy darters with 3 hooked minnows once fish dont commit to the LT's pop jigging the lindys were right on... all the walleyes were caught on LT's as usual .... LAKES NOT DEAD

 

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I got an email from a friend in Winnipeg and he said the fishing was still slow and there is alot of pressure ridges popping up. We are thinking about going around March15 or so.

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5575
I was going to get some LT's to go up in three weeks. What size and color worked best? THANKS.

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I wonder what Live Target bait they are using?

 


 

 

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peterwhistle
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Joined: Friday, January 1, 2010 - 3:25pm

Kopper's live target lures is what Lee recommended to us last year. Basically a clackin rap or rattle trap type of lure. Couldn't find any last year before we went, but the lindy darters and buckshots still worked well for us. Pigsticker even had quite the contraption rigged up to land a nice fat greenie. Any sort of rattle it seemed was what would draw their attention. Anyone been able to find any live bait up there? All we could get last year was salted minnows.

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I believe its the golden shiner model. A lipless rattlebait.

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Don C
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Don C
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keep trying

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Don C
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Will fig it out sooner or later

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Heading up the 8th of March and had a couple questions. First, been doing tons of research and there are a couple variations on the Live Targets. One like the picture above has the back hook on the bottom, and the other has the back hook in the back. Profiles look the same and rattles also. Before dropping 12-14 bucks a piece would like to be sure which one.. Also, what size weight are you using? I've found 1/4-1/2-3/4 etc.

Also, was wondering on the minnows. I don't think it's legal to bring any across the boarder correct? Would be nice if you can't get live bait to bring up a cooler full of frozen fatheads.

Thanks in advance!

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i12fish Said:
Heading up the 8th of March and had a couple questions. First, been doing tons of research and there are a couple variations on the Live Targets. One like the picture above has the back hook on the bottom, and the other has the back hook in the back. Profiles look the same and rattles also. Before dropping 12-14 bucks a piece would like to be sure which one.. Also, what size weight are you using? I've found 1/4-1/2-3/4 etc.

Also, was wondering on the minnows. I don't think it's legal to bring any across the boarder correct? Would be nice if you can't get live bait to bring up a cooler full of frozen fatheads.

Thanks in advance!

Where are you located i12fish?

And, you are correct, no live minnows to cross the border. A great way to preserve the minnows is a trick taught to me by an avid canada angler from the states. First dump out all the water from your live minnows then dump in a can of coke or however much is necessary to cover them sufficiently. Lay the bag flat and put it into the freezer. The minnows will be easy to sort out because the coke never freezes super hard and kinda flakes away when you pull your minnow from the bag. It also helps preserve their color and they don't get mushy like that store bought preserved junk. Do this the night before you leave to achieve optimum freshness of your bait. I tried it and it works great!

I also wanted to say thanks to you guys who have been up there already and provided  some great reports and information. It's gonna help a lot for us being prepared. Thank you.


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Oh, and I forgot to mention there is a baitshop north of Winnipeg on the way up to the lake that handles live bait I guess. It's just expensive, but who cares when it might land you a big fat PIG!


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This contraption looks like it works just fine~

Perazzi usa
Benelli usa
Briley Chokes
 

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I am going March 18-20 and after reading this thread, my right hand started shaking. Can you get around with a vehicle out there at all? We are hoping for either vehicle travel or four wheeler with trailer by those dates. Live targets have already been purchased, now I am looking for a good frozen bait. I may try Gulp alive minnows or the recipe listed above with coke added to the minnows. Man I am excited. Is it true that you should just put your summer time reels on your rods before you leave and that Ice Fishing reels just can't cut it?

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Buckshot157 Said:

Man I am excited. Is it true that you should just put your summer time reels on your rods before you leave and that Ice Fishing reels just can't cut it?

A bunch of guys and myself last year only used ice equipment. We prefer a heavier rod (a few of us prefer the 30"-32" medium to medium heavy sticks for bigger eyes) but as far as the reels we used standard ice reels. They worked great. Keeps your rig lite for long days of jigging. So in other words, i'd say no to the summer reels, the ice ones will cut it just fine. Man, am i excited too!!!


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Buckshot157 Said:

 Is it true that you should just put your summer time reels on your rods before you leave and that Ice Fishing reels just can't cut it?

Don't know about ice fishing reels but my summer spinning reels worked just fine for me.  Inside a heated popup and outside one day at -20 and to windy to get popup set up.  Didn't last to long that day Brrrrr. caught this guy on summer reel, ele tape to a piece of broom handle and an old rod tip in a hole drilled into the end

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Buckshot 157,

Last year we went in the time frame in which you are going, we ended up leaving the 4-wheelers home due to the fact it was heavy slush. ended up driving out and what a hair raising experience that turned out to be! around the landing was water with ice underneath it, from there it was slush for a mile or two and then it turned to hard pack once again.
Two weeks later a group went up and the water had all sucked in and re - froze allowing for great travel conditions. (truck and or atv's) In my personal opinion trying to drag a trailer out there would not be the best idea! might want to consider the otter type sleds behind your atv. (the ice is usually bumpy as all hell)

So I guess what i am saying is you need to stay on the reports in order to really know what your means of trasnport is going to be. I am going up 13-16th so if you want to drop me a PM I will try to be of assistance.

On another note we just always purchase the "salties" or frozen salted minnows from the convenience store  when we get our licence.

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Don C Said:

. caught this guy on summer reel, ele tape to a piece of broom handle and an old rod tip in a hole drilled into the end

opps was wrong on rod.  Was using a cheap commercial ice rod with big eyes. not the home made ones

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Standard ice tackle use in these cases:

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Seriously, do you have to post those pictures. I am at work you know trying not to get excited for Winnipeg yet because it is still 22 days away for me. Yeah pulling the sleds out behind the wheeler would be an option as well. I guess it will be a game time decision. Thanks for the responses guys. It has been a long time since I have been to Lake Winnipeg, we used to go when I was younger every year to Anama Bay. We usually caught fish and always had a good time. This year I am going with the FM Walleye guys so I am excited to go up there and learn new things and catch big fish.

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Buckshot,
Keep it in your pants buddy. Everything will be alright.

Hail the Bison!
Go Pack Go!

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You have to be prepared for anything, when you are in a different country, on a frozen lake with you Auggie. Make sure to take notes about these pictures above, that is exactly what I want the picture that you take of me with a 12 pounder to look like.

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I'll take your picture. Just don't John Gilespe me. OK?

Hail the Bison!
Go Pack Go!

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Yes I will not grab the fish out of your hole before you can and then hold the fish and tell the whole story, even though you caught it. I will also not make you eat Johnsonville brats directly off of the grill so that you burn your mouth. You can let them cool off. I may use a Zip Lure though.

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Wx changes pretty fast.  Was there 2 weeks ago it was -34F one day and + 35 the next day and rained all day then back to -20 the next Snow and wind with big drifts then warm and melting with overflow.  Hard to plan in advance for sure

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Any one heard if you can drive trucks down netley creek yet? 

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There is a bait shop in lockport with live bait.  If you pull into lockport on the west side of the river there is a small strip mall with a live bait, saltys and  licenses.

Wi Wa Po
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We are heading up Friday.  Can we get around in trucks? 

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Wi Wa Po Said:
We are heading up Friday.  Can we get around in trucks? 

By the sounds of it you can but very limited. From what i'm told iff you want to get away from the crowds and really find fish you either need 4 wheelers or snowmobiles. We are going up on thursday and are bringing all that equipment with us. Should be fun!

Good luck to you!


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Only 3 more days pigsticker and we will be winnipeg bound.  I can't focus on work today thinking about those big sumo greenbacks. it will definitely be a blast.

Calling an illegal alien an undocumented immigrant is like calling a drug dealer an unlicensed pharmacist.

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perchpirate Said:
Only 3 more days pigsticker and we will be winnipeg bound.  I can't focus on work today thinking about those big sumo greenbacks. it will definitely be a blast.

what's the report?  Heading up there this week?  are wheelers o.k. to get around? 

Thanks.

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wally_gator Said:

perchpirate Said:
Only 3 more days pigsticker and we will be winnipeg bound.  I can't focus on work today thinking about those big sumo greenbacks. it will definitely be a blast.

what's the report?  Heading up there this week?  are wheelers o.k. to get around? 

Thanks.

Hey wally_gator,

The fishing was really good. The first day we went with a guide and he got us on some fish but never pulled any monsters. Our biggest was a 25 incher that went over 7lbs. We caught several more between the 5-6.5 pound range, 85 walleyes in our group not counting the guides. I think he caught 20 some, 9 of which he said were over 24". Many of these 24" fish are 6 lbs or over. Absolute slobs.

The second day the group decided to go search for some bigger eyes and we went closer to the mouth from where we fished the first day. We only caught 24 but it was super cold and we moved a lot to try and located an active band of fish. It was a bit slower but still fun.

Day three we went back to the day 1 spot to boost moral and I think we pegged 67. Still no Master Anglers but several in the 5-6 lb range.

On the last day we left and went out on the west side by chalet beach. We were able to access the ice with a pickup and make it about 3 miles out. It was too cold (-21 F) and a short day for us so we just fished where the pickups stopped. A couple of pickups stayed on the main trail and did make it out by the mouth but I can't tell you how they did. We caught about 10 that morning with one being 28 1/2" but was not a sumo. Still at least someone got a MA in our group. Congrats to Corndog! He is the one that caught it.

Hot lures: Live targets worked well, hang a minnow horizontally under them attached to both the front and rear hook. Lindy darters were also hot in the chartreuse glow color in the smaller and medium size with the hanging minnow. For awhile you couldnt beat them away with a stick they wanted that smaller darter real bad. The big one came on the largest Rapala Clackin' Rap with a minnow hanging horizontally.

Bait: Bring your own bait!!! Buy fathead minnows here and freeze them in coke. We easily went through 200-300 and had to buy more of the salted shiners which were expensive and mushy. Save yourself some money and get some superior bait at a cheaper cost.

Gas: It is expensive up there. It equates to about $4.60 a gallon right now.

Equipment: We went through a lot of it. The ice is hard and towing the houses behind the sleds and atv's took its toll. We wrecked 3 out of 4 augers, busted a windshield off of a atv, busted a couple rods, a couple heaters and a vexilar. Also wrecked a front differential on one of the 4 wheelers and had to leave it on the trailer. Bring extra equipment and don't forget a 12" auger extension, the 6" is not enough. About 40" of ice with snow on top.

Had we known we could trailer out onto the ice on the west side we may have tried down by the mouth a bit more but we went off the east side most days. After talking to several other fisherman, the big ones are there but it is still a bit slow. Our action spot was about 9 miles north of the mouth where the big ones were being caught about 2-5 miles north of the mouth so It depends on what your goal for the trip is. For lots of quality fish, go north on the east side. Bigger but fewer fish, go closer to the mouth and come from the east (on sleds or atvs) or west with pickups then using atvs/snowmobiles the rest of the way). Wheelers were okay but the sled worked the best. There is some good drifts closer to the mouth that could cause problems for the atvs but they are pretty hard so you might drive right over them. I would not recommend pulling a trailer unless you have skis for it.

We wrecked some equipment but everybody in the group got along great and never let that part interfere with our fun. The trip was a success with lots of nice fish being caught and we are looking foward to going back. Hope that helps and good luck! Let us know how you do up there!


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Pigsticker, sounds like quite the battle up there. Would you have broken less gear if you would have pulled a trailer behind the wheelers? I think that is what we are planning on doing March 18-20. It also looks like the weather is going to break by then so it might be a sloppy mess up there but that might trigger the the big fish. Thanks for the report.

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Great report pigsticker! we are heading up on Sunday the 13th until Wednesday. pumped up now!!!

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Buckshot157 Said:
Pigsticker, sounds like quite the battle up there. Would you have broken less gear if you would have pulled a trailer behind the wheelers? I think that is what we are planning on doing March 18-20. It also looks like the weather is going to break by then so it might be a sloppy mess up there but that might trigger the the big fish. Thanks for the report.

Yes, a trailer may have helped but make sure it has skis. It took all my buddys 4 wheeler had to pull his trailer out and he ended up leaving it onshore after the first day until his atv broke down on the 2nd day. I myself have a clam hitch hooked directly to my sled from my ice house and that seemed to be better for the equipment. It kept the sled from bouncing over all the drifts. The ones being pulled with a rope bounced up and down so bad and that may have caused the damage to some of the equipment.

Also, if possible, strap the auger onto your 4 wheeler by use of an auger holder. This will help keep from the augers getting beat up which suffered the most on our trip. 2 out of the 4 had broken throttle linkages and 1 had the clutch lock up. The 4th wouldn't run without continuously priming it. Finally we made 3 augers into one since we all had jiffys.

It was super cold too and that never helps equipment. Like I said, if you want big ones, i'd fish closer to the mouth (No further than 6 miles north from reports of other fisherman). Water is a little milky (2-3 ft visibility by the eagles nest) but not as bad as some of the places we fished last year.


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Just got back on Sunday from up there.  We had a great trip with one coming home to be on the wall,  31.5 inches with a 19 inch girth, a real pig.  We landed over 55 fish over the 23 inch mark with lots of 25, 26 and 27 inch fish.  Fish came on live targets, lindy darters and swedish pimples.  Pimples got most of the fish.  We did bring home 25 fish, 17 to 20 inches.  Only one auger was broke from the kids driving to fast over the hard snow.  Overall a great time and plan on going back next week for another round

wally_gator
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Thanks for the reports....any depth seem better? 

I am heading up tomorrow through the weekend will post when I get back.

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wally_gator Said:
Thanks for the reports....any depth seem better? 

I am heading up tomorrow through the weekend will post when I get back.

Oh man! I forgot one of the most important aspects!!!

Don't forget a vexilar or sonar unit! If you do you probably won't have much luck. If you don't have one, borrow one!!!

Most of our fish came in about 4-8 ft from the bottom of the ice suspended over 14-18 ft. of water. You really had to watch your electronics and if you noticed a flicker you reeled up to that depth and would get them to look or commit. Very few of our walleyes came in on the bottom. A few were even caught a foot under the transducer. Kinda weird for walleyes but very cool way of fishing and getting the most use out of your electronics!

As for depths it varies on where your at but no, we found fish in all depths of the lake from 10' (close to the mouth) out to 20' ( way north of the mouth).


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I just going to let you know that Dakota Takle in Bismarck, ND carries most of the koppers lures know as  "Live Target" lures, they are currently running about $11.99 They also do mail orders and their number is 701-222-3092 give Wade a call and he will be able to sent it out to you.  
          Golden shiner below
..

He has carried 1/4 oz. and 1/2oz.

shown below
Gizzard shad

He has carried this one in 1/2 oz.

 

fishingfettig
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Joined: Monday, March 9, 2009 - 5:43pm
I just going to let you know that Dakota Takle in Bismarck, ND carries most of the koppers lures know as  "Live Target" lures, they are currently running about $11.99 They also do mail orders and their number is 701-222-3092 give Wade a call and he will be able to sent it out to you.  
          Golden shiner below
..

He has carried 1/4 oz. and 1/2oz.

Gizzard shad

He has carried this one in 1/2 oz.

 

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Can anybody tell me what Alltel/ATT cell phone coverage is like up there. Thinking of getting the temporary switch to cover Canada.

 

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riverview
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Joined: Thursday, December 25, 2008 - 7:17pm

by the amount of traffic through pembina they must be biteing.

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Well, we had a great trip up to lake winnipeg last weekend.  Lots of very nice fish.  If you are looking for live bait stop at PRO Am tackle in winnipeg.  Getting around on the lake was a challenge for atv's but doable.  The sleds and tracked atv were much better.  Lots of fish just below the ice.  Depth did not matter. Caught some sauger, eel pout, and perch in addition to the green backs.  Canadian cisco buckshot spoons worked great. 

Live every day!

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Tritonman Said:
Well, we had a great trip up to lake winnipeg last weekend.  Lots of very nice fish.  If you are looking for live bait stop at PRO Am tackle in winnipeg.  Getting around on the lake was a challenge for atv's but doable.  The sleds and tracked atv were much better.  Lots of fish just below the ice.  Depth did not matter. Caught some sauger, eel pout, and perch in addition to the green backs.  Canadian cisco buckshot spoons worked great. 

Did you guys land any of the big ones? We decided to make another trip so i'm excited for that especially if the sows are biting.


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