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Hello, from Big Winnie! We are slowly making ice. Most areas still vary quite a bit in ice thickness. 10 inches in some area, but up to 16 inches thick in others.
There are a couple of small roads up the west side and the south side, mostly out to the shore drop.
Fishing has been fair. Perch are going off the Mississippi River mouth and also Third River. 6 to 9 feet of water has been the best for good perch fishing.
The main lake shore-drops from 13 to 22 feet has been good for walleye and pike. Temps have been cold so hardy people have not ventured out of shacks much. Fishing will get better as temps are warming a bit now for several days. You can drill more holes when it becomes more comfortable outside and really find the good fishing.
Best travel still by snowmobiles or ATVs. Check in with the resort you are staying for an up to the minute report on travel. See you on the lake!
Happy New Year from Big Winnie! We are making ice at a rate of about an inch a week. Most areas in the main lake are between 12 and 15 inches, with 8 inches to a foot and a half of snow. Slush spots still exist in areas, but some are now freezing up. Tamarac Bay is still building ice slowly with the least ice at around ten inches. It is just a slow process.
The perch bite remains spotty with the best bite at the Mississippi River mouth up to the campground. The main lake bars are kicking out walleye in the evenings. Pike still are hitting well, though. Pike fishermen are using tip-ups about 2 to 4 feet up from the bottom on the edges of the drops.
Travel anywhere on the lake with snowmobiles. ATVs can get around in spots. Check in with area resorts for a road access update when you get to the lake.
See you on the ice!
Happy Holidays! We hope everybody had a Merry Christmas! We are still making ice, just going slow with the snow cover. We are between 11 and 15 inches thick with some slush in spots.
Fishing has been spotty. Perch have been biting, but most are on the smaller side. The walleye bite is fair when there is cloud cover during the day and again in the last hour of daylight. Minnow heads and smaller jigging spoons have worked for an attractor, fished next to a plain hooked minnow.
The pike bite is going very good with fish in the 23 to 26 inch range being the norm.
Ice travel with sleds or ATVs is the way to go. Some small roads are going out but with very limited travel. In the larger heaves and cracks, they are still wet with slush. As always, check in with local bait shops or area resorts for the safest info to access the lake.
Have a safe and Happy New Year!
Hello, from Big Winnie. Ice thickness is varying from 8 to 12 inches. Heavy snow areas are where the ice is thinner and also a bit slushy. Where the snow cover is at about one foot the ice is 11-3/4 to 12-1/2 inches. There is little or no slush when you drill. A slight warming trend has brought out some fisherman, with mixed results. Perch are biting but "sorting" is the norm as there are many sizes to choose from.
The walleye bite is ok for an hour before sunset. Mostly, walleyes are found at shore drops from 12 to 24 feet.
Pike remain strong though with several fish taken in the 8 lb range. Spear fisherman are doing well, also. The west side Mississippi River inlet and north, a bit, to the Sugar Lake opening has been best for spearing. Third River is also going well.
Be safe - we are in a slow process of making ice. ATV or snowmobiles are the safe way to get around as of now. Check in at any resort open around the lake for up-to-the-minute reports and travel areas before going on the ice. See you on the lake!
Hello, from Big Winnie! We are making ice even though we have about 12 to 14 inches of snow on the ice as of right now. We are varying quite a bit for ice thicknesses, though. South end up to Bena Bar is about 10 to 11 inches. Tamarac Bay is at about the same. The west side by the river is between 7 and 9 inches. Some flooding but manageable, yet. North side by Third River is between 9 and 11 inches. The main wet spots are where there is a crack or heave. 4-wheeler or ATV travel is good now. Soon plows will be making roads, as we like to 12 inches minimum to start this.
Pike spearing for spear fisherman has been very good with numbers of fish from 3 to 8 lbs. Perch move in and the angling starts. Check in with resorts on the lake; we will all tell you how to access the lake safely.
Hope to see you soon!
The ice is being made and growing quickly as I type. Last week the lake froze over and, as of Sunday, we had two to two and a half inches. We are cold enough, we should make about a 1/2 inch a night. We will be out measuring again Friday and Saturday of the Holiday weekend. Time to get your ice equipment ready to go. Ice reports will follow as we continue to check. You may also call the resort for up-to-date ice reports. See you on the ice soon.
Have a safe and happy Thanksgiving!
Hello, from Big Winnie! We are waiting for ice right now and it looks to be coming soon. There is some fishing going on at this time and folks are having good days. Water temps 40 degree range ice is around the corner. I did run a guided trip up to Rainy River last weekend and our party did quite well. This is a really fun fall fishing trip to take and our party would recommend it to anyone. Fishing is unusually good right through to early December, as long as you can handle the cold air.
Ice reports will be available as soon as it gets here - it's coming. Have a safe deer hunting season.
Hello, from Big Winnie. Fisherman are still going out for walleye and perch, but it has been slow with the changing weather. Trolling cranks in the six to ten foot range has put some walleye in the boat especially into the evenings. The perch bite is spotty with minnows and plain hook or jigs. Water is cooler now and into the low forty degree range.
P.S. Check out our new "Hunting Reports!"
The Big Winni walleye bite is just ok right now. The weed lines are still producing with some bigger slot walleyes mixed in. The wind has to be right, though. Jigs and minnows are working best. The main lake bars are kicking out mostly slot walleyes.
The northern pike bite is going very good. Big jerk baits or big cranks trolled outside of the weeds has been working well.
Water temps are still warm for this time of the year, about 62 degrees. Time to go fishing!
Fall is a great time of the year for fishing Lake Winnibigoshish! The Big Winnie walleye bite is going strong in the shallow weed edges. Work jigs and minnows, spinners and minnows or crawlers in the 4 to 7 foot range. Play the wind to go along the weed edges, instead of blowing into them. Move along at 1 to 1.5 mph. Look to the east side from Duck Pass to the Rock. The west side, look to Townsite landing through to the Bird Houses. Farley creek west to Big Stoney Point is also producing good walleyes. There is a good mixed bag of fish with plenty of keepers. Crank baits are working, also, outside of those same weed lines.
Pike fishing is also very good now with bigger spoons or cranks trolled outside of the weeds. Bigger pike are taking big minnows on the deeper edges.
The sunfish are still going well in the coontail beds in 5 to 8 feet of water. Crappies are now starting to make some moves to deeper structure, in the 24 to 30 foot range.
If you didn't get in as much fishing as you may have liked this year, there is still another 1-2 months to get in some of the best fishing Lake Winnie has to offer.