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My dad and I started fishing Thursday morning out of Warner.  Started in 14 fow.  Made 2 moves in that same depth and caught about 10 before 10:00.  After that we made a move out to the big ridge in 17-18 fow.  We sat in one spot the rest of the day and caught 24 more walleye in that same spot.   Biggest one of the day was 23".  All the rest were 13-17".  Rattle baits worked the best, but we caught some on spoons in a neighboring hole too.  Ended the day with 34 walleye between the 2 of us.  

Friday we started in 14 fow again and caught 7-8, and then moved to the ridge again.  The ridge was slower.  I went back to the landing to get my wife and Uncle and the rest of the day we bounced around in shallower 14-10 fow.  Only caught 24 walleye all day, no big ones.  

Saturday we started in 14 fow again, caught 10 and then moved out the big ridge.  Fishing right on the ridge was slow, so we moved out about 200-300 yards North (across) the ridge.  We lucked upon an active school of fish and sat in that spot making small 20-30 yard moves the rest of the day.  Ended up with 71 fish between the 4 of us.  Biggest was a 28.5" and had 2 at 24" as well.  

Sunday we could only fish half the day, so we went back to the spot with the active fish from the day before. I didn't get a total number from all of us before we left, but I had 25 walleye just myself from 830-1230.  Biggest on Sunday was 29" with a 27" as well.  Would have been a great day if we were able to fish all day.  

The big ridge in 17-18 fow is the biggest ridge that we found. Kind of runs SE-NW. It was very active with the warmer weather, lots of ice movement.  Saturday was tough to find a place to get back across in the dark.  We had an extension on the augers, and really didn't need it, but it was more comfortable than bending over and burying the powerhead in the slush.  We had quads and travel was very rough on Thursday and Friday morning, but got better by Sunday.  We were moving slow, 10 mph.  Lots of melt on Friday afternoon and Saturday.  The ice is very dirty.  Especially around the rough ice areas.  If all the snow melts off and the sun beats on that dirty ice, the top portion could get pretty bad quickly.  My auger blades were very run down by Sunday morning.

Firetiger and brighter green rattle baits worked best, tipped with half a minnow.  Caught some fish maybe 20% on something other than a rattle bait. 

 

We are heading up again late March....if the ice is still good!  Any questions feel free to ask!

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In the 3.5 days fishing up there, I caught about 15 sauger, 3 burbout, and a white bass.  We have caught some pike and I have heard of some big ones being caught out of there but they are few and far between.  

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Not that there's anything wrong with catching huge walleyes, but it's always fun to catch a surprise bonus fish every once in awhile too. I hear there's not much for accomodations up there? Are there any resorts that plow roads, or take you out in bombers? Or is it pretty much guided snowmobile trips?

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There are a few places to stay that are not too far from the lake.  Hamilton House in Winnipeg Beach is good, a lot of guys stay at the Casino on the East side,  there is a new hotel in Selkirk that is pretty nice and has lots of rooms and breakfast.  

 

Nobody plows roads.  We always watch the weather and snow depth before we go.  We have been lucky to only have to bring ATVs with wheels up there.  Eventually we will have to deal with some deep snow though and bring sleds or tracks up.  

 

There are a few guides that run around on the lake.  Lee Nolden and Blackwater Cats are the 2 I know of.  From what I hear they are pretty accomadating and have all the necessary gear.  

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I was up last weekend.  It was my 3rd trip of the year.  I canceled my rooms for my March trip.  Call the Hamilton House...2 rooms just opened up for the 8-11th of March.  

 

There's a ton of Walleyes in LW, but debatable how many big ones.  Big fish seem to be in decline.  Pick any reason you want, but it's a fact.  The big fish are nowhere near as prevalent.  That doesn't mean you won't catch one...or multiple...but you're going to have to work.  If you're not in the fish, move.  If you find fish, but not bigger ones...move.   I'm a mover...I'll move 5 times in a day easy.  I know guys who will wait it out all day and they might be the guys who catch some big fish, but they're usually the guys who only catch a few eaters and nothing big.  just my opinion.  Good luck and above all, don't let all the fisherman completely devoid of courtesy be justification to abandon yours.  

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We talked to a local guy up there who has been fishing all winter.  He said this year has easily been the worst as far as big fish go.  He was putting 100% of the blame on the commercial nets.  He said the price for walleye ROE has been up high and the commercial guys are going to 6" nets to target the bigger fish.  

 

I would still say it is the best chance to get a 30+" walleye through the ice.  But not like it used to be. I think they are going to lose a ton of recreational (tourism) dollars the next couple years because of this. Our group is going to revisit future plans for trips up there after our trip in March.  

Sam I am---  I agree about the courtesy.  I posted a report last year in Janurary.  During that trip (literally the coldest weekend of the year last year) there were not many people fishing on the lake that weekend.  We were fishing inside our portable and had a truck buzz by literally 3 feet from our shack.  We were not close to a road or any other vehicle tracks so there was no way the guy was just following his tracks back.  Still makes me mad when I think about it today.

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On 2017-02-23 at 6:34 PM, Sam I am said:

I was up last weekend.  It was my 3rd trip of the year.  I canceled my rooms for my March trip.  Call the Hamilton House...2 rooms just opened up for the 8-11th of March.  

 

There's a ton of Walleyes in LW, but debatable how many big ones.  Big fish seem to be in decline.  Pick any reason you want, but it's a fact.  The big fish are nowhere near as prevalent.  That doesn't mean you won't catch one...or multiple...but you're going to have to work.  If you're not in the fish, move.  If you find fish, but not bigger ones...move.   I'm a mover...I'll move 5 times in a day easy.  I know guys who will wait it out all day and they might be the guys who catch some big fish, but they're usually the guys who only catch a few eaters and nothing big.  just my opinion.  Good luck and above all, don't let all the fisherman completely devoid of courtesy be justification to abandon yours.  

There are a lot of factors going on. The north basin of the lake has had a 100% crash of the rainbow smelt. That is the primary food source for the north basin fish. Those fatty baitfish are why they grow so big so fast. All the eater size eyes have moved into the south basin to feed on shiners. There has been a huge biomass of fish migrating south. Commercial harvest is a major factor. Zebra mussels have to have an impact as well. Not to mention the normal ups and downs of the natural cycle. Are the best days of the lake behind it? Hard to say. Is it changing? Definitely. The last 6 weeks of the ice season will be a good tell. 

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On 2017-03-18 at 8:03 AM, lungdeflator said:

Any new reports?  We will be up there the 23-26 again.

The fm walleye club and our sister club had our fishing weekend. Good numbers coming through, deeper water seems to be the ticket. More neutral presentation. The barometric pressure has been on a roller coaster last three weeks. Ice is moving pretty good. Lots of front end damage happening to the " I can make it" crowd. 

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Haha I get you there.  Sometimes it is just like people watching at the mall up there.  It is crazy the stuff you see people do around those ridges.  Just like that recent video of the truck going through the ridge, didn't even get out to check.  Last trip we watched a group barrel over a ridge without stopping to even think about it.  Other side of the ridge had 15ft of standing water.....just hold the throttle down and hope for the best I guess.  

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Well another year in the books for us on Winnipeg.  We fished Thursday-Saturday, just left right away Sunday morning without fishing.  Accessed out of Warner.  Thursday access was great, but by Sunday morning, it was sloppy with some deep ruts and puddles.  Lots of trucks parked out along the road.  All water depths measured from the bottom of ice.  Water was dirty straight out from the mouth, but clear out deep and farther west.  Eagles nest was dirty at 11.5fow but clear at 12.5fow.  Seemed to be an "umbrella effect" with the dirty water and the river pushing it straight out.  

Thursday- We went straight north of Warner about 4 miles and started in 17fow.  Only caught a couple, then moved east to the ridge in 19fow.  Caught a few more small ones and one guy had a 25"er.  From there we tried a few spots out deep, 22-24fow.  Very slow out deep, only caught 2-3 in the couple hours we were out there.  Mid afternoon we headed south to the ridge in 20fow, pretty slow again.  In the evening we moved back NW to the spot on the ridge we were at in the morning and had a better evening bite there.  I had a nice one get off halfway up, but other than that all smaller ones.  Every spot we tried we caught at least 1-2 fish, but it was a grind.  Ended the day with 26 fish between 4 guys but only one over 20".  Best baits were pink/silver flutter spoons and purple rattle baits.  

Friday-  Started out by the ridge again in 19fow caught 5-6 in that spot.  Friday started pretty slow for us.  By the later part of the day we were on the North side of the ridge in 19.5fow, right were the ridge turned to go North.  We found better fishing about 150-200 meters off the ridge.  Ended up sitting on one smaller area for the rest of the day and did fairly well.  Ended up with close to 60 fish between 4 guys on the day, with the biggest coming right at the end, a nice 27.5"er.  Best baits were purple rattle baits.  Gold rattle baits did fairly well earlier in the day.  

Saturday- We woke up early and tried in 16fow right at first light, only marked a few with no biters.  Moved out to the North side of the ridge and same thing, managed to catch a few but only after going through the whole tackle box to find something they liked.  Moved about a half mile to the east and sat in the shelters to get out of the wind until about 330.  Had a few bigger schools of fish come through, at one point 2 of the guys caught 7 fish in 5 minutes.  The bite seemed to get better as the day went on.  We moved back to the west about half a mile to where we were Friday evening.  The bite there was good and we figured out that the fish wanted blue and silver rattle baits and blue and silver spoons.  We ended up catching 20-30 fish in that one spot from 330-dark.  In that time we had a 26", 26.5", and a 27".  So if we count that 27.5" from Friday, that was 4 fish 26" or bigger out of that one little spot.  

 

Ice was in great shape.  Travel was very easy.  Crossing the ridge on ATVs wasn't that bad at all, used the ramps to cross only 2 times and found other spots to cross without ramps.  All 3 days the bite seemed to get better as the day wore on.  Most consistent bite for us was 200pm or later in 19-20 fow on the North side of the ridge.  What the fish wanted to bite on seemed to change by the hour.  

I think we will be back next year, but only 1 trip, not 2.  

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