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Mr Special

Splake up North

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Hi, I'm new to the forum, but would appreciate any help I can get on how, where, what to use, and when. I'm planning a trip to my familes cabin in Hovland at the end of the month. Always heard of the great trout and splake fishing on the Arrowhead region but never tried. Thinking about trying finally.

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By the way, if your wondering about my name. That's because I beleive it takes a very Special person to have a 1/8 hookset ratio like mine. Lets not talk about actually getting a fish on the ice.

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bearskin lake up towards the northern part of the gunflint, great splake. trout lake about halfway up the gunflint, some lakers and rainbows. clearwater up by bearskin, but can only fish the western part of lake, unless by foot on the other portions(BWCAW). good lawyers in clearwater.

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Thanks for the reply.
But I don't think my family wants to make a trip form Hovland to the Gunflint. If so what type of lures, presentation , and dept would be best?

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Mr Special,
Try a small/medium swedish pimple tipped with a dead or salted crappie minnow. This has worked well on Musquash lake off the gunflint trail. Xplorer

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What type of depths and structure do you fish splake in and does it pay to move around because I heard they just cruise the shoreline and you will get a bunch of bites and then it will go dead for a while. Any repsonses would be great. Thanks

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It does seem like they move in packs, especially smaller, more competative ones. We look for areas where we can move from shallow to deep to deeper and back again throughout the course of the day without having to move too far, always staying along breaklines, usually on the deeper side.

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Fish on and around major points. You can catch them in water as shallow as 2 feet. I like to start shallow then move deeper until I see fish swim by or mark them on the vex.

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Thanks Everybody,
For the great tips, I'll be heading up there tonight after work. Now if I could ask for Good luck from you, cause I'll need it that would be great. I'll be back on Monday.

Good luck.

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Sorry for the delay on reporting. The fishing wasn't the greatest but still had lots of fun. No splakes but did catch a couple of brookies 4lbs and 1lbs, some rainbows 7"-11". Saw three mooses, two that ran accross the trail 20yds in front of my truck. One cow and two bulls which one had at least a 40+" rack still. That was one of the high lites of the trip. Lots of unplowed trails with a good 10" of snow, so if any sled dogs out there hurry up to the Arrowhead.

Thanks Again.

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  • Your Responses - Share & Have Fun :)

    • Good luck on your hunt, let us know how you do!
    • I have another weekend in me to fish and fight the winds and weather and then the boat will be done for the year.  Guess it is that time of the season but would really love to get another couple outings in but such is life! 
    • who uses flashers now days haha; I'm a helix convert now too, i was hesitant at first as the Lowrance had a LCD screen a few years ago for ice fishing but the lag was unusable, but hbird figured it out. Mapping, flasher screen if wanted, and sonar all in one, its like a smartphone; everything in one.   also, I have not had any interference issues with others using the helix, especially with all of hte chirp setttings
    • Looks like a good time 
    • I love my Helix unit also, and GPS has been a game changer for me. No more fumbling with my phone in the cold with apps eating my battery and trying to keep it out of the elements.    I miss the simplicity of my Marcum VX-1 but after getting my Helix dialed in I have no complaints.
    • SD resident opener was a wet one. Saturday I didn't go out. Sunday morning woke up with 4.5" inches of snow at my place a few miles south of Sioux Falls. Never would I have imagined we would be able to hunt in snow this early! The other odd part is that none of the weather people even hinted at any accumulation or even predicted any chance of precip. It literally just came out of nowhere.   Yesterday I hunted the entire day from noon to sundown and was fortunate enough to still have some snow stick around in areas.. My only summary is swamp country. I wore the wrong boots, wrong pants etc. Should have just wore waders would have been able access things better. My biggest mistake was not going far enough west and not far enough north. But there is a ton of public land where I headed and I hadn't been able to scout that way yet this year. Everything that looked walkable was wet it didnt matter how high or low it was. If it looked good at knee level it very likely had ankle high standing water under it. Ditches were full of water, some roads were underwater it was just wet everywhere and I don't see any signs of any harvesting starting any time soon. The water just made things difficult to walk as some areas I am familiar with. I could walk one side and work it good, but then get land locked because of water and have no way of getting to the other sides and ended up back tracking and walking a lot of same areas twice  which usually isnt productive.   I only managed 1 bird all day. I missed 1 bird my first walk probably at 12:01pm right after getting out of the truck. Just was slow to get the gun up and was way behind it. Typically early season lull, I think I just stared at the bird before I even realized I should be trying to shoot it. I downed another bird early afternoon and I knew it wasn't hit hard. Made a good mark on it and then my dog got a good track and pinned it down. As I went to grab it with my hand the dog released and the bird took off like a bat out of hell and we never were able to recover it because of all of the water. As soon as I put my hand on it, it just exploded and was gone. Was just an odd scenario.   Saw a few other hens but otherwise a very very slow day. I had spotted a bunch of birds coming out of some CRP earlier in the day that headed for corn. I came back an hour before sundown and hunkered down hopefully to get some pokes at them during the golden hour and they never showed up. I know the birds are around but all the crops in makes it difficult to hunt during the day.   I dont know what to suggest for people coming for the big opener this weekend. Its going to be difficult with so many crops in. I would say anywhere north of HWY 14 should be a little drier in areas but they have still seen some moisture the last couple weeks. Up near Brown county they are basically in a drought and down in the south eastern part of the state we are breaking yearly precipitation records. Harvest is off to a slow start all over. I know this weekend is the big opener everyone gets fired up for but if it were me I would be coming back for late season hunts and skip the circus this weekend.   I wont be hitting it hard any time soon will probably just stick to some sundown hunts closer to home for now. I have some gopro footage I need to get edited from yesterday got alot of good stuff on video including the bird that got away.   Good luck to those heading out this weekend!
    • I'd like to see how the Helix handles interference.   Interference was the reason I went from my Interphase Video to a flasher. Currently using HBird Ice 45 and MarCum LX5.
    • I put all the boats put away,  subsequently the rain stopped.  I'll take that and finish pulling the dock in.
    • Posting.  Cuz I can’t sleep worth a dump.  Gonna be a MEA yahoo for most the rest of the week.  I’ve heard good reports from the friends that are already out there. They took the whole week so I’m driving myself out Tuesday night.     Just getting the the back of the truck filled with dekes got me too revved up.  Gonna be hard packing anything else besides waders, layout blind, guns and shells!  Who needs food and more than one change of clothes for 5 days anyway?!
    • I was ALMOST headed to Ely as well but opted to stick to “productive” pursuits at home, figuring I probably missed the October window this year.  That only lasted a day though before I headed west.   It looked really cool though.  Quiet too I bet.
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