Lake Winnie Ice Fishing Report for February 23, 2017

Hello, from Big Winni! The perch bite has been excellent in recent days and the percentages of "keeper" fish has been quite high! The warmer temperatures has caused perch movement toward the shore drops. Look for solid perch action in the 15 to 20 foot depths, along shoreline drops. They are moving to the tops of the breaks to eat, then dropping back down. These perch are acting more like their walleye cousins, to be fair to this behavior. Sunny days are better than cloudy ones for great perch fishing.

Note: This is the last week of walleye for this area of the state. For walleye fishers, continue to look to the main lake bars and humps from 14 to 22 feet, along the edges.

Pike are still biting very well - all around the lake. When the perch or walleyes slow down, get your tip-ups out!

Ice travel has changed and will continue to evolve each day. Check in with the resort you want access from, most have paths to follow. We have had a SIGNIFICANT melt, so we have a few areas that remind travelers of a big toilet bowl. We are marking most of them - drive slow and cautiously! We, as most resorts have, stopped big trucks and shack travel till a freeze-up returns. Colder weather is coming! See you on the lake.

Pat Rooney

Lake Winnie Ice Fishing Report for February 15, 2017

The perch bite is good, mainly from Snag Hole west and north thru the Mallard Point area. Look for solid perch action on the shore drop side, from 10 feet out to 22 feet. Minnow heads and small spoons are working well for perch. Gold seems to be very good right now. There is some basin perch, but they are in loose schools, in the 30 to 35-foot range of depths. When you get these basin perch, they are good size. The perch bite has been best from 9am to 3pm.

Walleye have been caught on some of the shore drops, such as Moxeys, north of the saddle and Bena Bar, from Little Musky to the Bend, and at the east side of Horseshoe. Work the top from 15 feet to the edge, at about 20 feet. The top edge is producing the best walleye activity. Late afternoon till dark is the best right now.

The pike bite has been ok all around the lake with bigger sucker minnows on tip-ups.

Some smaller area lakes are starting to kick out nice crappies in the evenings and some sunfish, late afternoon till dark. Look for great panfish action at Portage Lake, Big and Little Cutfoot Lakes and Six Mile Lake. Drill your holes from 12 feet down to the basin, in 24 to 30 feet of water. You will get them on waxies and hexie flies.

Warmer temps this weekend will make fishing mobility and outside fishing very easy. Check in with the resort you would like to access from for road maps and ice conditions. Time to go fishing!

Pat Rooney

Lake Winnie Ice Fishing Report for February 8, 2017

Hello, from Big Winnie! Perch are still the BEST BITE right now on the lake, with good perch spots going all around the pond. Tamarack Bay has some perch fishing on the channel edge going up to ten feet of water. The humps north of the main lake bars are "spotty," but when a school is found there the size of the perch caught is better than most spots around the lake. The main lake bars such as Bena, Moses, Horseshoe and Sugar all have fish that are moving up and down the drop from 15 down to the basin area 35 feet deep. Best baits for perch have been glow jigs during the darker cloudy days and gold in the sunshine. Tipped with minnow heads.

Pike are STILL going strong with the main lake bars, where your best bet is to start on the tops in 14 to 18 feet of water. Ask me for my pickled pike recipe, or offer to share yours! I'd be honored to post your recipe within these fishing reports.

Walleye have remained somewhat "spotty" with the humps and the bar drop being the better spots to fish, but they do not hang around long. One day they are there, the next day they have moved on to the next hump or are crossing the bar tops. Rainbow minnows or smaller sucker minnows in the 3 to 4 inch range have been the best bait. Using plain hook with lighter weights, fish one to two feet off the bottom.

Ice conditions are fairly good right now with 5 to 7 inches of snow on top of 22 to 24 inches of ice. Just check into the resort you would like to access from for road maps and current conditions. Be safe!

Time to go fishing!

Pat Rooney

Lake Winnie Ice Fishing Report for February 2, 2017

Hello, from Big Winnie. The perch bite has been good, but sorting through fish to find sizable fish is still the norm. Lots of perch being caught, but there are several sizes of perch coming through the ice. At the west side of Winnie, look to 8 to 14 feet of water. Farther north, toward Raven Point, look to the rock pile in 18 feet. On the east side, there has been a good bite on the shore drop in 16 to 30 feet, and they do move back and forth that far daily. One the main lake bars, you'll find good perch action also on the deeper side. Start by looking down to the basin, in the mud, at 30 feet. The best perch baits have been small spoons with minnows tail-hooked. Use gold in when the sun is bright. Then use glow orange or glow blue when its cloudy.

For Lake Winnie walleye, there remains a a short bite window just before dark - call it "Happy Hour (4 p.m. til 7 p.m.)." Use bigger spoons, set next to a dead stick, with a whole minnow.

Sunnies are starting in some of the smaller lakes around us. Look to weed edges in 10 to 25 feet of water. Use waxies on dark green teardrops for the best action.

Ice conditions are good with six inches of snow on the lake. Travel is good, but slower as after the freeze up, there are plenty of ruts are all around the lake.

See you on the lake!

Pat Rooney

Lake Winnie Ice Fishing Report for January 25, 2017

Hellom from Big Winnie. The warmer air has made for some better fishing as people can move around easily and cover more hot spots. Perch fishing is still very good at the shore drops, from 12 to 20 feet of water, and also some basin fish off the main lake bars and humps. Orange is still the best color to use. Minnow pieces are better than whole minnows, unless you are using plain gold hooks.

Walleye have been a bit more active on the structure edges in the evenings.

Pike are still also going well for tip-up fisherman with sucker minnows. Ice conditions are ok yet, but we all are redoing roads and access points do to the warmer air. Do not get alarmed if access is shut down here and there, as we are all re-making safe points of travel. Snow melt has helped though. As this refreezes, travel will be good.

See you on the lake!

Pat Rooney

Lake Winnie Ice Fishing Report for January 18, 2017

Big Winnie has a great perch bite going right now! Still have to sort through a few smaller perch to get good-sized eating fish, but it's not hard to do at all. On the west side of the lake, look in the Snag Hole area, from 15 to 23 feet of water. Also, find perch near Sugar Island, in 12 to 18 feet of water. Perch are biting well at several humps north of Bena Bar and this would be a great location to try several humps. At the east side of the lake, look for good perch at the Saddle, and down through Moxey Hole, in 18 to 28 feet of water. Perch are biting best on gold jigs and minnows.

Pike have continued to bite well, with 22 to 28-inch pike being standard size over the last 7-8 days. Tip-ups with sucker minnows are best way to change pike right now. Fish for pike along the shore break tops and main lake bar tops. Look for the best pike action in 11 to 16 feet of water.

Hungry walleye are starting to show up a bit more frequently and for slightly longer bite windows. Find walleye right now by looking deeper - 18 to 30 feet off the main lake bars for the best action. Rattle spoons and minnow heads are working the best for walleye.

Ice is sitting at 19 to 20 inches thick with about 5 to 8 inches of hard-packed snow on top. Travel good right now using standard sized pick-up trucks. If you're pulling fish houses, you should stay on the plowed roads or VERY near to them to be safest. Call ahead to the resorts where you intend to access for an up-to-the-minute road report.

See you on the lake!

Pat Rooney

Lake Winnie Ice Fishing Report for January 11, 2017

Hello, from Big Winnie! The perch bite is great right now with good numbers of fish being caught - enough to sort out a good batch throughout the day and keep only the best perch. Look to the deeper shore drops from 14 to 23 feet of water. The color gold is good on sunny days. But, on cloudy days, use orange and glow for the best action. A minnow or a half-minnow the best bait options to tip your jigs.

Pike are VERY HOT on the tops of the bars and shore-drops in 12 to 18 feet of water. Tip-ups, about three feet off bottom, with sucker minnows has been the best method to catch several good pike.

Walleye are very spotty with some being caught on the main lake bar edges and the humps north of Bena Bar. Rattle spoons and a minnow head are the best rigs right now.

Roads are open again after the snow. We have good roads going up to Moxey on the east side. We are opening roads to Bena Bar right now. Ice is 18-19 inches thick. Truck traffic is ok, but safest only on the plowed roads. Can get around safely off the main roads if you are not towing a shack. Check into the resorts for up to date road conditions.

See you on the lake!

Pat Rooney

Lake Winnie Ice Fishing Report for January 5, 2017

Hello, and Happy New Year from Big Winnie and Denny's Resort! the Ice conditions are improving a bit this week. There are now 16 to 18 inches of ice around the lake. The snow depth is three inches of "hardpack," then a layer of light fluffy stuff - another three inches thick. Travel has been very good with ATVs, sleds or side-by-sides, anywhere across the lake. We do have several big cracks as the ice formed very quickly this year, so you need to talk to the resorts you are going out of for travel conditions - to be safe. We are letting gas trucks out now with some of the roads that are open. Same practice is true with most resorts around the lake.

The jumbo perch bite has been good on sunny days with numbers of perch ranging from 8.5 inches to 10 inches in length. Look to the shallow weed edges in 5 to 8 feet of water for quality perch. Most of the main lake drops have perch going on them, also. Look for perch in 15 to 23 feet in these locations. Oranges and glows are still the best to get their attention. Gold would be a close second choice.

The walleye bite has slowed up a bit this week. The main lake drops are still best for them, toward the top of the drops and in the evening hours. Look to 12 to 19 feet of water for the best walleye action.

Pike fishing has been very good with tip-up fisherman doing well on the tops of the main lake flats, two to four feet off bottom. Sucker minnows are the bait of choice. Time to go fishing! See you on the ice!

Pat Rooney,

Lake Winnie Ice Fishing Report for December 31, 2016

Hello, from Big Winnie! The perch bite has been very good lately. Look to the shore drops, five to ten of water, early in the day until about noon. Then, the deeper drops from 15 to 23 feet, as the day goes on. The smaller orange and glow jigs have been working the best for perch this week. Small minnows or half minnows are working the best to get them to take your hook. When they get active and then suddenly quit, look for a pike to be around as they are quite numerous numerous. While "perching," set up a tip-up a bit shallower and catch some of these great pike - there are plenty from 22 to 30 inches, ready to be caught.

Walleye have been biting best late in the afternoon and a bit beyond into the dark hours. Somewhere from 4 pm til 7 pm you will get a good bite for about a half hour. Make sure you're ready and working them. Pimples or buckshot rattle spoons with a minnow head has been the easiest way to get them on the ice in recent weeks.

Speaking of ice, we are at 13 to 15 inches all around the lake. We have a crust of hard packed snow about 3 to 4 inches thick. Travel has been good with ATVs and sleds. Light trucks and SUVs under 4000 lbs can go out in very few spots right now. The Iice heaves are still making there minds up where they will stay. You need to stop in to a resort and then be directed to safe travel for those ends of the lake. Be safe and ring in the new year with some fresh fish! I welcome your calls to check on reservations and availability.

Pat Rooney

Lake Winnie Ice Fishing Report for December 18, 2016


Hello, from Big Winnie! The cold temps, as of late, have worked WONDERS making ice! Most places are reporting 7 to 8.5 inches, with safe travel by ATVs or snowmobiles as the best way to travel.

Northern pike spearing is going very well at the Mississippi River inlet to Sugar and the Third River flowage. But,fishermen and women are having great success. The travel by ice is rough, as our freeze-up was caused by cold wind, but is good for traction throughout the lake.

Walleye are being caught on some of the shore drops early and later in the day. Traditionally, walleyes (and perch) get more active on the cloudy days at Lake Winnie.

Perch have been caught out of the spear shacks on the west side of Winnie, but are expected to pick-up across the lake very soon.

This week's temps will moderate a bit, so anglers can travel around a bit easier, trying several spots. Be sure to check-in with the resorts where you access for travel recommendations and ice conditions. Especially at this time of year, this is an important safety consideration.

See you on the ice!

Pat Rooney

Denny’s Resort – Lake Winnibigoshish • 15017 16th Ave. NE • P.O. Box 8 • Bena, Minnesota 56626
(218) 665 - 2222