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Hello, from Big Winnie. The Minnesota fishing opener has come and gone. As you've probably heard, we had ice on most of the lake. The ice is just about gone as of today, May 15. There's just a little left in the northeast corner of the lake. Ice will be gone tomorrow evening, no doubt. The perch fishing thru the ice during the opener was good, though. We had a couple of people out there catching them. Next report to follow in a couple of days.
Another snowstorm has dumped NINE inches on Lake Winnie. We have now about 40 inches on top of the ice! Due to several heavy slush areas, vehicle travel is not at all possible at this time. We will be looking again at doing some roadwork after there is some snow melt. I will update progress on snow melt and any roadwork we choose to do.
The perch bite has been very good on sunny days. The 20 foot depth line in to 8 feet deep has been good as long as its sunny outside. On cloudy days look to the deeper areas for perch - best between 20 and 40 feet deep. The perch seem to be more active there when cloud cover blocks the sunlight. Look to the west side from River Bar north through to Ravens Rocks. For perch, use smaller jigs and minnow heads fished next to a plain hook with a live minnow. The east side Stumps in 18 to 22 up through Moxey has been ok. At the Highbanks shore-drop, the same depths (18-22) have been ok. Travel is possible on plowed roads only at this time. Leaving the plowed roads is a recipe for disaster. Check into the resort you are accessing for a map and recommended areas to fish for perch.
Sunfish and crappie have started to bite on several area lakes, but on most lakes you need to travel with a snowmobile or ATV. Look to Big Cutfoot off Mcavity island. Little Ball Club or Portage Lake has some increased panfish activity.
See you on the ice!
The Big Winnie walleye and pike fishing season has closed with a bang! Pike are roaming around stealing jigs for perch right now. The perch are getting active on the west side from Mallard Point out to the drop in 12 to 18 feet of water. Ravens down to Sugar Point from 8 feet out to 14 feet has also been good. Smaller jigs and fatheads have been the bait of choice. You will have to sort through your catches, culling the small ones, but there is plenty of action and the perch are biting well. From 10 a.m. till 4 p.m. has been the best fishing time.
A few sunfish are mixed in with the perch, closer to shore, by Raven Creek and Sugar Point.
We have about 18 inches of snow now and compacting down a bit each day. There are some slush spots to deal with but not that bad. Denny's Resort has roads out to Ravens. Most resorts have roads out to the perch areas. Check in for up to the minute reports on travel.
Reminder: We can have overnight shacks out on the lake till March 19th.
See you on the ice!
Big Winnie pike fishing remains ON FIRE! Big suckers or shiners on tip-ups with the baits 2 to 5 feet off the bottom have been the successful method. Fish the tops of the main lake bars or the shore-drop tops for them. Pike fishermen and women have seen amazing success. Bring your tip-ups and give this amazing pike opportunity a try.
Perch fishing is fair with decent numbers of perch being caught. You can sort your twenty out, though, as there are a mix of small, medium and large being caught. The west side has some perch going in the Sugar Island area, ten to twelve feet depths. The south shore has some perch going on Snag Hole. East and north from Moxey up to the High Banks area are seeing good perch.
Walleye are being caught early and late in the day for about one hour - that's the window. It's a short bite window, but be ready at prime time you will get some walleyes. Jigging spoons and minnow heads fished next to a plain hook or live minnow has been working best.
Roads are plowed around the lake. Check into where you access to get a road map and directions.
The walleye bite has been spotty in recent days. There has been some evening walleye bites from 1 hour before sunset till dark. But, there's a short bite window. You will get 5 or six walleye bites, but you'd better make each bite count (don't miss 'em). They are making moves up top of the structure and spreading out on top. Look to shore drops from 13 to 18 feet. The main lake bar tops from 15 to 20 feet. Jigging spoons fished next to a tail hooked live minnow works well.
The perch bite has gotten a bit better, lately, with the fish going up the drops also but only up 24 feet or so. The shallow bite for perch has been good also from 5 to 8 feet. Drill a bunch of holes when you locate a school of perch. They are eating well right now.
The northern pike bite remains excellent! Fish large shiners or suckers, from 4 to 8 inches, and hang on. Pike sizes up to 36 inches and in the 12 lb range have been common this winter. Very healthy fish, for sure, and a blast to catch. There are plenty of great opportunities to get kids on some good sized pike this year.
We have plowed roads out to Little Musky, then up the east side through Moxey Hole to the Saddle. Check into the resorts for an update on roads when you get here. We had about ten inches of snow on the ice. There is some slush in spots; however, the spots are manageable.
See you on the ice!
The northern pike bite remains tops at this time. Tip-up fishermen are taking good numbers of pike in the 4 to 7 lb range. Some 10 pound pike and 12 pound pike have been photographed and returned to the water (we respect "catch, photo and release"). 15 to 20 flags in a day has been the norm for the pike fishermen.
The perch bite also remains good. You have to sort a bit more through the good numbers of fish to find the good eating size. They are making some shallow moves in to 6 feet of water. The perch bite has been super shallow and out to the main lake bars. Look for them in Tamarac Bay, the Mississippi River mouth and thee Third River mouth.
The walleye bite has been good within short windows at dawn and dusk. Some bigger walleyes have been reported throughout the night by the guys using the sleeper shacks. Look to the sharp shore drops of Moxey's Hole, Snag Hole or River Bar. The humps up north produce walleyes right now, but the walleyes hit on one hump one day and move to another hump the next day.
The lake has about ten inches of snow right now. You can get "off road" in 60 to 70 percent of the lake. There are ice roads out of several resorts, but check-in for up to the minute conditions.
See you on the ice!
Hello, from Big Winnie! The perch bite has gotten better this week. They have made some deeper moves. The east side, from the Moxey area up to the Saddle have been good out in 30 to 35 feet of water. The west side has seen perch biting on south Horseshoe and Snag Hole and also Sugar Bar, in the same depth range (30-35'). You will sort a bit, but plenty of good perch bites. Fishermen have still been getting perch on the north humps around to Tamarac Bay.
Pike remain active with the tip-up guys and gals reporting they are finding pike about 1 to 3 feet off the bottom in 15 to 20 feet of water. The top portions of the structures are the best.
Walleye have been active for "keeper" sized fish an hour before dark and an hour after sun up. Jigging spoons are the best option with a minnow head for walleyes. The bar tops and sharp shore drops have been the best for walleyes. The crest at about 15 to about 19 has been working well. The bigger walleye - in the slot - have been biting throughout the night.
Sunnie and crappie fishing is spotty around here at the moment. The weather has something to do with that, though, as we have had some wind and snow.
We are at about 10 inches of snow on the lake. Plowed roads are open around the lake. Check to the resort you are accessing from for up to the minute road maps. The lake is at 20 inches of ice with some cracks to drive around right now.
See you on the lake!
The walleye bite on Big Winnie has gotten a bit better in recent days. Moxey's Hole and the Saddle have put some good walleyes on the ice. Snag Hole and Horseshoe also have put some walleye numbers out this week. The North Humps from Third River Bar north and west are working walleyes day to day.
The pike bite remains active all around the lake. It's actually quite impressive! A 41-inch pike was taken in Tamarac Bay, and several pike in the 10 lb. range from the Bird Houses to the River Bar. This kind of pike action always makes me think of my recipe for pickled pike. It's so good!
Perch are still spotty with action from 10 feet of water one day, 35 feet the next. If you drill enough holes, you will get into the perch - just takes more effort than we're used to seeing. Seems the better perch are 1 to 4 feet up off the bottom.
Lake Winnie ice thickness is between 18 and 20 inches, with some heaves as one would normally see this time of year. Just check in with the resort you are accessing for road directions. There is a heave on the west side out to Sugar Bar. There's another heave on the south side out to Horseshoe and Red Hook. Look for a heave on the east side out to North Bar. Tamarac has good roads throughout the bay.
See you on the ice!
Hello, from Big Winnie! The northern pike fishing is still VERY VERY hot! Several beautiful pike over 40 inches being reported with a 18 lb monster pike being the biggest pike taken this week.
Right now, the walleye bite is rather spotty. One day the "keeper" fish bite, the next day it is all "slot" walleyes to put back - not many complaints though.
The jumbo perch bite has been challenging as of late. You need to check from 10 foot of water out to the basin areas in 35 to 40 feet to find any concentrations of perch. They are still making some big moves. On the west side of the lake, look to the birdhouses and the River Bar north to Sugar. On the south side of Winnie, check Horseshoe and Bena Bar as they are still kicking out good perch. On the east side, check for perch at Moxey Hole west to the Mud Humps, north of the Third River Bar. The Tamarac Bay river channel edge is doing ok, also, for perch. Spoons and minnow heads are working well. The perch and walleye are biting the same baits.
The tip-up fishermen are reporting the bulk of the pike catches, by far. One to six feet off bottom with bigger sucker minnows, up to 8 inches in length is working best for the tip-up guys.
Ice conditions have gotten better after a recent rain storm. We are at 17 to 18 inches most everywhere on the lake. The little snow left on the lake got wet, turned to slush and froze over (about an inch thick). Travel is good now. As always, check in to the resort you are accessing for an up to the minute road report.
See you on the lake!