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icollectfrogs

Lake Winnepeg ice fishing

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My son and I would like to make a ice fishing trip next winter, never been there and would like a few hints to get started. Early ice, late ice, or somewhere in between is the best time? What part of the lake should I target that have accesses? Any good maps of the lake that I could buy? And any other tips would be very helpful. Thank you <*)))))))))))><{

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The lake is basically a big basin with no real structure. Its really similar to URL. Mobility is key, kind of similar to panfish fishing but on a much larger scale. Fish a spot and move 1/4-1/2 mile if theres no fish within 20-30 minutes. This year it sounds like there isnt much for snow up there, so wheelers and trucks are getting around just fine. Other years (like last year) theres 2-3 feet of snow on the lake so something with tracks or a snowmobile is a must.

Best time of the year would be late february through March. Stick to the south end of the lake around the mouth of the Red River. We go out of Chalet Beach landing on the west side and stay at a little hotel in Winnipeg Beach that is pretty cheap. Alot of guys stay at the casino on the east side and access the lake from the east. Theres also options in Selkirk for places. Better call for reservation for next year soon though, it really fills up quick!

Bigger baits really work well up there. A flasher is a neccessity as you will find the fish chasing baitfish from the bottom all the way up to right under the ice. Rattle traps and bigger flashy spoons work well. I like the live target rattle baits and the custom jigs Pro slender spoons. Biggest size with each. Sometimes tipped with a frozen minnow, sometimes not.

I am heading up March 19-22 this year and will have a full report when we get back. Can't wait!

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mobility is key. punch lots of holes. don't be afraid to use big baits. one of our local pro's started using big salmon type spoons this year, and they are hammering them. a new hotel has opened in selkirk, your 20 minutes from the lake. if you stay at the casino, you can sled right to the lake from there. message me if you need any help.

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lungdeflator- I'll be heading up with 3 buddies hitting the ice on March 19-22 as well. We're staying in Gimli and going out at Chalet Beach. We were planning on bringing sleds but with this warm stretch I think we'll use quads now instead. It'll be our first time out on Winnipeg, we've got about 10 spots marked on our GPS from a buddy who's gone up the past few years in March. We've got a bunch of different rattling lipless cranks, live targets, spoons etc. Saw a bunch of pictures yesterday of massive ice ridges forming the past couple days. Any general tips on fishing or advice for traveling around out on the ice/areas to avoid? I'll be in a red RAM pickup with MN plates, if ya see us come over and say hi! Good luck up there we're real pumped to get out.

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Its getting sketchy already. Fish are still spread out, and not staging in the usual spots. Really soupy out there yesterday. Might be touch and go towards the 19th.

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Philly-

We are staying in Winnipeg Beacha and going out of Chalet. It sounds like the landings are getting bad. Chalet Beach landing sounds about the best, but then theres a longer trek towards the mouth and more ice ridges to cross. I am bringing ATVs and some 2x12s along just in case to get back across some ridges. If your determined, theres a way to get out and catch some fish. Definately going to try to be off the lake before dark, I'd like to not have to guess at crossings in the dark.

Check out the ice fishing threads at fishingbuddy. com. ND's version of HSO and there's alot better reports from guys on there.

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I also heard some of the best tactics are ripping a rattle bait in one hole and having a flutter spoon tipped with a minnow in a hole close by. The rattler has been bringing them in and more often then not if they don't take the rattler, they will find the flutter spoon and hit that.

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Thanks Lungdeflator,

I went on that fishing buddy forum you sent and man they're talking like it's getting to be impossible to access the lake and get across the ridges! It got me to start thinking twice about my trip up this weekend.

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Just returned late last night from Giml. 4 days of warm weather changed things a ton. It's supposed to cool down this week though so should be good for wheelers. No snow left at this point. Be careful! Lots of spots with sketchy ice that would be best to avoid in closer to the mouth SE of Chalet Beach. Marcott landing was better than the others, although the road in was a little messy. We did well all over. Took Snobears out to the NE to 19 FOW and Friday afternoon our group got roughly 30 fish between 27-30" with countless others lost at the hole. All I can say for my first trip up is WOW!! I'll be going back, that's for sure!

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Theres alot of varying opinions right now!! Some guys are canceling there trips, some guys are saying the lake is dump and not worth going. Other guys are saying ATVs are perfect and you can get around no problem if your smart about crossing the ridges.

As of right now, I never expected to get out on the lake with a truck. We were planning on ATVs the whole way so I am not worried at all. I think alot of the guys complaining and canceling trips were hoping for a nice koosh trip fishing out of a truck. Maybe I'm just to positive, but I think if your willing to work a little the lake is very fishable still and likely will be until they close the season at the end of the month.

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Hey guys. I have heard alot of mixed report about the conditions as well. I just read a bait shop in the area saying truck traffic will be fine thru this weekend. I have never been up there, but I am trying to get a last minute trip planned for next weekend.We are looking to take wheelers or snowmobiles out. Will you guys please post some ice reports when you get back? I am not the guy to take chances on the ice, so if conditions are poor I will not be heading up. Thanks guys! Good luck this weekend!!

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I fished LW this past Saturday and Sunday... We brought sleds and accessed at Warner, fishing mainly out from the mouth both days. There was 1 big ice ridge close to the access and after that it was clear sailing. There were sleds, atvs, utvs, a few trucks, and more snobears than I've ever seen out fishing around the mouth.

I think most guys were going north from Warner to cross the ridge but on sleds we headed straight ESE and had no problems crossing it. Saturday morning the lake was covered with a thin layer of snow and by Sunday the snow was gone and it was mostly ice with small puddles of 1-2" deep water and some remaining pockets of snow. Sleds made travel extremely easy and the only place I saw a couple atv's stuck was in the remaining snow pockets. I'm sure by this coming weekend all snow will be gone and as long as you can find a good place to cross the ridge, you'll have easy travel with atv's.

Hope this helps!

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There is now a 300 yard slush pit just off warner. Unload on shore first. Quads are the way to go. Zero snow on the ice. I'm not going to post that the ice is safe.... That's up to each angler. A good video was posted on our ice fishing manitoba Facebook page showing a local drilling test holes. 42", 8-10" of water/slush just under the crust from the warm weather last weekend. Prudens is impassible. The ice around the mouth is soft and extremely unstable... Always gets rotten quick there. Be safe, and pick your path.

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I fished LW this past Saturday and Sunday... We brought sleds and accessed at Warner, fishing mainly out from the mouth both days. There was 1 big ice ridge close to the access and after that it was clear sailing. There were sleds, atvs, utvs, a few trucks, and more snobears than I've ever seen out fishing around the mouth.

I think most guys were going north from Warner to cross the ridge but on sleds we headed straight ESE and had no problems crossing it. Saturday morning the lake was covered with a thin layer of snow and by Sunday the snow was gone and it was mostly ice with small puddles of 1-2" deep water and some remaining pockets of snow. Sleds made travel extremely easy and the only place I saw a couple atv's stuck was in the remaining snow pockets. I'm sure by this coming weekend all snow will be gone and as long as you can find a good place to cross the ridge, you'll have easy travel with atv's.

Hope this helps!

The sno-bear convention was an annual event. It's our group, WAAM( walleye anglers assoc. of manitoba) hosting its sister group, the FM walleye club. Had to be 30 bears cruising around!

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The sno-bear convention was an annual event. It's our group, WAAM( walleye anglers assoc. of manitoba) hosting its sister group, the FM walleye club. Had to be 30 bears cruising around!

Yeah we found out about the FM/WAAM event when we were leaving on Sunday. So is there always that many people out there fishing, or was it due to the event going on, AYA Derby, and "March Madness"? It was the first time fishing the lake for my buddy and I and we were surprised at how many people were there. There had to be 1000 people on Saturday and about half that many on Sunday. Also, the fishing did not disappoint!

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Heres the report.

We got up to Chalet and were fishing by noon on Thursday. In front of the access there was alot of slush and water pockets. We couldn't find a spot up top so we parked on the lake with some other guys and barely made it through a couple of the pockets. We stayed at the Hamilton House and just drove the wheelers back and forth from there the rest of the weekend so I can't comment on the accesses after Thursday. Wheelers were the way to go. There were guys on snowmobiles, but with no snow I would think over heating might be an issue with sleds. In front of Chalet there was 2 smaller ridges to cross, no problem finding spots to cross, you don't have to go far. The ridges were really melted down on the west side. Ice was getting water logged. There was still 40" but it was wet slush coming up as you drilled, not the typical dry ice.

On to fishing.

Thursday- we fished from 13-18 fow (below the ice). Only marked a couple fish in shallow. Found a couple fish in 16 fow including a 27". Found the best fishing in 18 fow. Moved into 15 fow for the evening and did ok with a 25" being the biggest of the evening. My dad and I each caught around 8-10 fish Thursday. Caught fish on the green Live Target Baitball and green/yellow pelican spoon with half a shiner.

Friday- We fished from 6-18 fow. Started in 15 fow for the morning and found a few. Best fishing during the day was deeper in the 18 fow. More bigger fish were deeper. During the evening we went back into 15 fow and did well again with the biggest being a 28.5". We all ended up with 6-10 fish each again.

Saturday- We didn't move around as much. Started in 15 fow in the morning and moved once to 18 fow for the day. I moved around a bit in the 15 fow and 18-19 fow during the day but I think I did worse then the rest of our guys who stayed in one spot. We went to move back into 15 fow for the evening and found that everybody had moved out of the area into a little deeper water (16-17 fow). My dad fished the usual 15 spot while my cousin and I went further east and settled in 15.5 fow for the evening. Only caught a couple small ones and one 25" that evening. The school must have moved out deeper or in closer to the mouth.

Sunday- we got up early and only fish from 715-945. I caught 5 and my dad caught 1 in the 18 fow. Would have been a pretty good day for numbers if it wasn't travel day.

All in all a pretty good trip and my first full weekend experience up there. Our biggest was the 28.5" and we had 20-25 fish in the mid to low 20" range. The green baitball and green/yellow spoon with half shiner did the best. We also caught some on a silver rattler and a gold baitball. We talked to one group back on shore and they said they were fishing 12-13 fow more on the west shore and did pretty well, not many people fishing in that depth. We also caught 5 eelpout, a perch, and 3 whitebass on Saturday.

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Nice report LD! I guess I can share mine too.

My buddy and I were both first timers to LW, going in completely blind and the plan was to fish all day Saturday and Sunday. We caught about 25 fish each day, a few less on Saturday and few more on Sunday. 16 fish were 24" or bigger and the 4 biggest were (2) 29's and (2) 30's (+/- 1/4").

We moved around a lot fishing 7-13 fow (below the ice) with most time spent in 9-11. The two biggest fish came from 7 and 13, but it seemed like fishing out in 13 resulted in either big fish or 10" saugers. In shallow, we got a lot of 18-20" eater fish to kill time in between the big girls we were there for.

All but 2 of my fish came on a 1/2 oz Live Target, no meat. The other 2 came on a chubby darter with minnow head. I messed around a lot with throwback lures after I marked fish that wouldn't commit to the LT and it only worked twice. I tried the chubby darter, flutter spoons, rattle spoons, and a flasher jig all with meat and none of them produced other than the two fish on the chubby. My buddy got a couple fish on a #6 clackin rap, but the vast majority of his fish came on a LT again with no meat.

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Hey Guys Im headed up tomorrow for my first shot at the big lake. I have been doing a lot of reading and have learned a lot from your posts thank you! It sounds like we need to go further north to have good access to the lake? I was readin all the way up by Winnipeg beach then head down for the mouth. We will be in my ranger with tires I cant wait! Any last bits of advice would be greatly appreciated! I have all of the accesses in my GPS except for up at Winnipeg beach where do we get on up there? Thanks

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Don't forget a good camera. Love pics of those fish!!!

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Honker, if I went back up there, I would spend more time in shallow looking for fish. If they are not in shallow, don't be afraid to go deep, as in 18+ fow below the ice.

You can drive right through the park at Winnipeg Beach, but as for parking? Not really sure where to park for the day up there, as we stayed at the hotel and had a place to park there. Chalet Beach was easy to get across the ridges when we went through last Thursday, there was really only 2 that we had to cross.

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