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Craigums

Ice out techniques

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"The National Weather Service is forecasting 8 to 14 inches of wet snow across a large portion of southern Minnesota including the Twin Cities, St. Cloud, Willmar and Mankato starting Wednesday night and into Thursday."

"WCCO director of meteorology Mike Augustyniak said he’s looked at the extended forecast models through April 24, and he sees no real possibility for temperatures to break the 60-degree mark. Augustyniak said that would put us within shouting distance of the record for the latest 60-degree day within the calendar year."

With the WI opener starting early May looks like we might be fishing early ice out conditions this year. What tactics do you guys use that time of year? I imagine water temps will be around low 40's

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My tactic will be

"Deitz, drive the boat, I'm going to sit back here with my buddy heater, some hot coffee and drag this hair jig"

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If we make early ice out we blame global warming, late April, possibly early May ice out what then.??

I use small profile baits and work my bait slow.

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How about what depth and water clarity to target? Sight fishing is obviously such a big deal during the spawn in other parts of the country, so I would assume find a clear lake or area of a lake, but my gut tells me to target a dirty lake.

I think fishing shallow and up against the bank is the first thing people do spawn/pre spawn, but would anybody ever target a little bit deeper right at ice out, say 6-10ft?

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Already moved my early May North Wisc trip back as they still have 30 inches of ice plus a nice layer of snow. There is no way that will be gone by May 4th. Long range forecast for that area shows highs in the low 40s still. Unreal.

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Already moved my early May North Wisc trip back as they still have 30 inches of ice plus a nice layer of snow. There is no way that will be gone by May 4th. Long range forecast for that area shows highs in the low 40s still. Unreal.

Hope for lots of rain! I plan on being in northern Wisc. as well on the 4th.

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Water temps might not be out of the 30s by then at this rate looks like we might get a good long jerkbait bite this year!

Only experience fishing like that was an early trip down south on lake Kentucky and the best fish came off points of creeks with jerkbaits, squarebills and shallow cranks. Fishing deeper next to spawning areas would be my first idea...

Im gonna start looking for a new home! Already had river bass under the belt in the boat this time last year...

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I've already resolved myself to drilling holes over weedlines and wacky rigging senkos for opener.

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If Ice is out in west central wisconsin I plan on heading over there for their opener. If the water temps are high 30s low 40s. I will be fishing super slow I'd assume. Probably start with a jerkbait with short twitches and long pauses. Or dragging a jig in deeper water. Or live bait under a bobber drifting with the wind. Live bait is a last resort. But I'm guessing cold water with the fish not even considering spawning yet may make wisconsins opener difficult. Im really hoping that the spawn is in full swing come MN opener though. For whatever reason I've never really had the oppurtunity to fish the beds.

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Temps getting up to 70 this weekend. I think the ice will be off the lake, but the water temps are going to be cold!

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Did you venture out on Pool 2 at all last year Craigums. I know you got your new boat last year. It can be a fun place to fish. I've been fishing it for about 3 years now and still feel like I don't know anything about it...especially the south portion.

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Did you venture out on Pool 2 at all last year Craigums. I know you got your new boat last year. It can be a fun place to fish. I've been fishing it for about 3 years now and still feel like I don't know anything about it...especially the south portion.

I got out a few times, never had any great days but got a few fish here and there. I mostly fished the main channels/wing dams, ect. This year Im going to search out more backwaters, and that means heading south a little bit. I enjoy being out there though it's a learning experience every time.

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Pool 2 is definitely tricky to learn lots of water down there and fishing current with some artificial is a skill of its own. Never had a great day last year either but got into some fish. What launch do you guys usually use? I like 494 the best and it has a lot more backwater options do you guys use any launches farther south than that one?

Hidden falls is nice also to go up to the dam but the current by that one can be crazy sometimes!

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I used the launch in St Paul Park early last year when there was current ripping through and I had trouble getting my boat back on the trailer, then late in the season my trailer dropped into a hole at the end of that launch. So I avoid that launch for the most part.

I never used the 494 lauch because it was always busy and I figured the current would be heavy, but I've heard that its actually a really nice launch so I will probably use it more frequently this year, especially since its only 2 blocks from my house.

A few times I went to the Mississippi Pub and used their lauch, its kind of tucked away and they have a nice long dock. Unfortunately they charged me like 10 bucks to use it.

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I use the Hidden Falls/Lilydale launch when fishing the north portion of the river and then I use Willies Hidden Harbor launch when fishing the south. They charge $10 but the ramp is in decent shape. I'm not a fan of the South St. Paul ramp (Lions Levee). One side has a huge hole. Pay $10 at Willie's Hidden harbor and there is usually no one else there and you get a free drink ticket :-)

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