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Big Winnie is getting better for travel now, as about 40% of the lake has froze to the top. More roads are going out, but still a bit slow going with the strong winds we've been having.
Fishing has been spotty with good numbers of perch but plenty of sorting to find the keepers. Pike are still crazy! Great pike fishing so far this season. The walleye bite is consistent, but during a short window in the evenings. Look to shore drops from the Stumps south and east shore, west side River Bar on up to Sugar Bar and northeast out to the first set of humps off High Banks. Seems gold is the color as of late and smaller lures to finesse these fish in the changing weather conditions.
Most areas are sitting with 15 to 20 inches of ice with spots of little or no snow, to some spots with 2 foot drifts. There is some slush, but that, too, is getting better. Check into the resorts for road conditions.
See you on the lake!
Big Winnie is getting a bit better for travel and several areas have small roads out to good fishing spots. You just need to check in with the resort where you are staying and they will be glad to suggest areas for safe travel and good places to fish. The west side has roads out to River Bar and up to Sugar Island. Tamarac Bay has a couple of shoots out to the Fishing Grounds. East side, off High Banks, you can get out to some of the closer humps. South side you can get to the stumps, east Bena Bar and over toward Snag Hole.
Again, check in with the resort your are staying at.
Perch bite is spotty with good numbers being caught, but a lot of sorting to find keeper perch. The walleye are going for a short period about a half hour, somewhere between 3 and 6 PM. Pike are going crazy!!! We have a lot of 22 to 26 inchers coming in with occasional 30 to 36 inchers showing up.
Most ice is 14 to 16 inches but varies between 13 and 20. If you are running into deeper snow, the ice is thinner. Stay on the plowed roads with heavier vehicles. If you want to go anywhere on the lake, bring a sled. See you on the lake!
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!"