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    • Rick

      Members Only Fluid Forum View   08/08/2017

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rl_sd

Another crappy wheel house year

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We built our wheelhouse two springs ago and spent the summer and fall of 2015 tweaking, fine tuning and mostly anxiously waiting. Last year was a bust... we couldn't get onto the lakes until mid January and were off in early February due to ice conditions. Between those times we were able to fish 3 weekends (had a family emergency and funeral in between there). So now on to the 2015-16 season where we had temps in the 50s through Nov and into the beginnning of December. Finally two weeks ago had the cold snap needed to lock things up... of course Mother Nature had to follow it with 20" of snow delivered in two separate shots.... I have friends that checked out a western man lake that we fish a lot. He had issues getting around with his wheeler and said there we guys trying to pull small wheel houses out and not making it very far. Sounds like northeast is in the same boat.  Guess we are going to have to put some miles on to find a lake we can pull on to. Till then, will need to dust of the snowmobile and hook on to the portable..... never mind me, I'm just feeling sorry for myself.

 

Sooo.... what do some of the lakes look like up by Alexandria and Willmar areas?

 

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Heard not much for houses yet but we just talked to a guy out in brandon who had 9 inches on stowe.  Drove out on that in one of the little pick ups.  I'm hoping to get up there soon but looking more and more like not until the first full weekend in January.

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Hopefully this news will cheer you up.  Had some buddies up northern SD with their wheel houses out on a few lakes.  They were on some unpopular lakes and they used an UTV to get them out but they made it with their 8x16s.  Ice was 10.5" when they started on Friday and was 13"+ when they left Sunday morning.  10.5" was a little thin for my liking but 13" is getting close!  They didn't get the same amount of snow as we did down in the Sioux Falls area so not as much snow insulation up there.  This warm front isn't going to help much this week but it should still be making ice at night and won't hurt anything during the day.  Should be close to 15" by Sunday before it starts cooling off again.  Knock on wood but I'd guess there will be spots of 17" up north by New Years with a stable 15". 

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Good info... not looking for locations, but what region were they in? According to sportsman cove you are going to have a hard time getting around on Waubay without a snowmobile so I assume bitter and Lyn were also in jeopardy 

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8 minutes ago, rl_sd said:

Good info... not looking for locations, but what region were they in? According to sportsman cove you are going to have a hard time getting around on Waubay without a snowmobile so I assume bitter and Lyn were also in jeopardy 

You're in the same ballpark.  Lakes they were on aren't very popular, yet...  Not much biting over the weekend most likely because the massive front but anywhere you can get a wheel house on is going to be a mad-house once people find out. 

 

I did talk to one buddy who was out on bitter and said snow cover wasn't an issue at all and ice was in the 10-11".  Catching fish on the other hand, was a train wreck ha.  Bitter is a scary lake though, ice is always thick but never very uniform. 

 

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I'm in the Fergus Falls area and the lakes aren't freezing fast at all!! We have to much snow on the ice right now, most lakes its gonna be a bit yet before to many wheelhouses go out. We are hoping to make a run to the bitter/Waubay area end of next week if the ice will allow us. Would rather not have to haul the side by side out to pull houses out if we didn't have to.  

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I built mine 2 years ago too, this is 3rd year on it. By mid November of that year I could hardly carry the table saw and chop saw outside without my hands freezing to it, it was bitter cold! Sure hasn't been like that since.

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What size houses do you guys have?  Seems like the houses I see are getting bigger and more decked out which means more weight which means smaller window in which to use them.

 

Someone should do some math to figure out the perfect size/weight house that maximizes fishing time while keeping costs in check and includes the greatest number of features. There has to be a happy medium in there some where. 

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1 minute ago, nofishfisherman said:

What size houses do you guys have?  Seems like the houses I see are getting bigger and more decked out which means more weight which means smaller window in which to use them.

 

Someone should do some math to figure out the perfect size/weight house that maximizes fishing time while keeping costs in check and includes the greatest number of features. There has to be a happy medium in there some where. 

Crummy thing is a lot of us dont have wheelers to pull them out with.  Lots of lakes up north where our house could probably get out easy enough but not a half ton truck.

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Not having a wheeler does make it harder.  Tough to put the money into a house and a wheeler at the same time.

 

I've thought about going with some sort of wheel house but because of that exact reason I've decided to hold off on it until I've got a wheeler first.  I figure if I get the wheeler first it makes getting out onto the ice with a portable easier so I can enjoy that until I can save up enough to get into the wheel house game later.

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Yeah, we just walk out at the cabin for now which isn't bad.  Pretty sure the decision has been made though that me and the old man may be going in on one next year.  Like you said, with such a limited time after spending that much time and money on a house just doesn't make sense not to spend a little more to extend 3-4 weekends of fishing.

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I had a 8x18 the past 2 years, I just got my 21' a week ago, I had reservations on going to a tandem due to the weight. I have 4 kids so we needed the extra room for fishing and camping, and also wanted the tandem for ease of pulling. Just have to be patient for another week or to get it out, just have to fish the portable a little bit longer!

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3 hours ago, nofishfisherman said:

What size houses do you guys have?  Seems like the houses I see are getting bigger and more decked out which means more weight which means smaller window in which to use them.

 

Someone should do some math to figure out the perfect size/weight house that maximizes fishing time while keeping costs in check and includes the greatest number of features. There has to be a happy medium in there some where. 

6.5 x 14 + 3' V. Sleeps and fishes 3 adults comfortably. Weight is 3,000#

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Alexandria area lake: As of this evening there is 7" in most places I checked with 3" to 4" snow. Lots of hard drifts that I did not check ice thickness beneath.

With a solid week+ of single digits to below zero I was hoping for more ice. The ice seemed to be pretty solid but I like to have 9" before pulling the house out. There are a few small houses out. With the warm temps this week and the snow insulation, it isn't looking good for the rest of this week.

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Thanks eagle... still sounds more promising than lac qui parle or big stone... I haven't really done much ice fishing in those area... any suggestions on which lake I should start doing some research on?

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9 hours ago, eagle_3464 said:

Depends on species you are after. Being from SD, why would you want to fish MN when you have so many good NE SD opportunities?

Looking for a place to be able to pull the wheel house on. Poinsett, Waubay, and Big Stone look like they may be a no-go for the year.

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32 minutes ago, elkoholic said:

rl, I heard there driving trucks on Waubay?? Is it not enough ice or is it to much snow?

 

A few trucks on Waubay but they are crazy.  My buddy sent me snapchats of spots that had 7" on Waubay yesterday.

Recovery services are going to have a good year for business unfortunately.

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