Guests - If You want access to member only forums on HSO. You will gain access only when you sign-in or Sign-Up on HotSpotOutdoors.

It's easy - LOOK UPPER right menu.

Sign in to follow this  
Followers 0
Cove

Name the top ice fishing destinations

26 posts in this topic

Believe it or not, I am currently thinking about where I can go on a prime ice fishing trip next winter instead of a run to Florida or some other warm climate. I am in SE MN and could see traveling as far north as LOW region or into the DAkotas or Wisconsin. Any suggestions for dream trips?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

The best ice fishing trips I've ever had were with Jonny P on URL.

Having said that, there's lakers on Burntside, perch on Devils Lake, and this may sound weird to some of yous guys, but walleyes and crappies on Sarah in SW MN is tough to beat.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Over 20 years going up to Lake Of The Woods. Try to go 4-5 times a year. 4 hr drive for me but well worth it. Mid December has been best for me. Also had a great trip early March.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

What about Lakers? I am looking for a single trip for Lakers next winter.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I second lake of the woods. This is the first year for me up there and I went twice. Fishing Minnesota's sponsor up there is Riverbend Lodge and they are unbelievable. Super nice people and they keep their houses on fish.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

For what you would spend going to florida you could spend a couple of days at each destination, hit redlake, make youre way to LOW for a few days an hit red lake again coming back down maybe bust over to DL in ND. or hit Milacs on the way. Just make sure to eat you fish before the next destination. That would be an awsome trip for the price an time to go to Florida. Boar

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Upper Red for walleyes, pike and crappies. Hook up with thr Petrowskes or Bear Paw if you have never been there.

LOW for walleyes and sauger. Ballards is a great resort.

Gogebic in Michigan for BIG perch (haven't done the trip personally but have friends who have)

Winnie for number of perch and the walleye fishing has been unbelievable

A March run to Mille Lacs for big perch.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

The 22 hour drive from Dallas to LOTW is well worth it for me.....now that gas is so high....it puts quite a dent in the wallet. I too would like to try some BWCA pike action this year!

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

THanks for all the comments. I was not optomistic about ice fishing forum comments in mid June but obviously I am not the only one with ice fishing bug. I have fished the hard water off and on for decades but only in the past couple of years have I retooled and gotten a good flasher and other gear and I just love it now. I could see the south to north trot line going from Rochester to Mille Lacs, hitting Red Lake or Winne, depending on what is going, continuing on to LOW.

Then there is the idea of Devil's Lake in ND which has always tempted me and I suppose I could veer off that direction. Michigan I had not thought much about but I will check out Gogebic. I would like to try some of the commercial ice houses e.g. on LOW but would also like to try my own portable stuff on these lakes.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

For the past several years, we've taken a trip up to Winnie in January...we've always figured if the fishing was poor on Winnie, we could just make a run up to Red Lake or even LoW.

We've never had to do that...

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Gunflint trail on a sled with a portable hunting lakers. Hands down for me. LOW is fun but it's too much of a "canned" experience. They drive you out to the house, the holes are drilled, and most days you don't move an inch. You're not relying on yourself rather you're relying on the resort. The GFT is as beautiful as it gets. You can spend half your time riding and half fishing. The trails are second to none in the state. It's a blast. That being said you MUST either own or rent a sled to fish most of these lakes.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

LOTW all the way with a resort or not. If you want comfy and not have to worry about anything meals included go Riverbend. Even if you don't want comfy LOTW is the way to go.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

My vote goes to Walleye fishing in the N.W. Angle area of Lake of the Woods. Beautiful scenery, the best walleye fishing in the world and just a great way to get away from civilization for a trip. There are lots of great resorts willing to make your stay up there an unforgettable one. Good Luck making a decision!

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

deer river area. way to many lakes with different varieties of fish species to choose from.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Lots of lakes and multi speciese, but nobody's dream trip. LOTW has it's days, Red Lake can be a skunk fest sometimes. If I were to have the choice to go fishing I'd hit Tobin Lake in Saskatchewan. That would be my dream trip.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I will take any safe frozen body of water, preferably big enough for my wheelhouse and then I can explore with the portable from my base camp. Northern MN has most of the appeal for me however I would like to check out some canadian opportunities on some remote lakes.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Oh, I can see this is going to be hard, but fun.

I do believe I will skip a trip to Florida this winter and spend the travel time and money doing some variation on what I read above.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Red River of the North near Selkirk MB just after Christmas, and/or again in March on the Lake...Lake Winnipeg. Mmmmm-Boy..Sumo giant Greenbacks. No other place like it in my book. Stu McKay of "Cats on the Red" would be my recommendation to hook up with. The size and quantity of sumo walleyes caught up there is mind boggling!

A round trip may include Devils Lake ND in March as well. Jason Mitchell and his crew are always on fish than. Woodland Resort would be my pick for accommodations.

A nice round ice road trip may also include LOTW, or Red Lake, again at late ice.

Late ice is a subjective term, I guess...it was April darn near May for late ice on some of these locations this season.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

By the two best spots that I like to go are Lake of the Woods and Red lake. If I have a friend that is new to ice fishing and they want to catch walleyes I plan a trip to LOW, I can almost promise them that they will catch walleyes there. Staying at Riverbend is a most, they treat you GREAT nuff said!! And Red lake for the chance of catching a wall hanger pike, crappie, and just the number of walleyes that you can catch. It is only June and I'm getting pumped for the upcoming hard water season.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Ed,

You fish on the REd River near Selkirk. Ice fishing on the river? I thought I saw the Red as I drove through Winnipeg a year ago and it looks managable size. I have never ice fished on a river before.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Whoa! wait a minuet, forgot all about the Red. I fished giant cats up at Selkirk, and have been trying like mad to do some early ice up there for giant kolwalskies. If I was doing what you want to do I'd put that in the mix for sure. Boar

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I spent three day on Gunflint lake on the Gunflint trail last Feb. What a beautiful area and lots of wildlife to view. The fishing was great and I will go back. Those lakers are awesome on ice rods.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

All of these fisheries are awesome, but hear me out. There's nothing like stopping at a lake that "only the locals know about" and catching fish. I reccomend you go to an area with a number of lakes and look around.. mingle with the locals and find the hot spots and tactics. For example, I went on a trip to LOTW last march and didn't have the best of luck. We left a day early and stopped in Willmar at a bait shop to ask how their fishing was locally. It didn't take much and we were out catching limits of crappie. I guess what I'm saying is to not limit yourself to the "Big Six" where everyone else is.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!


Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.


Sign In Now
Sign in to follow this  
Followers 0