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Matt Johnson

Ice Fishing Destinations...2004-2005

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You can never prepare too early for an ice fishing trip. Let's hear some of your ice fishing destinations for this winter. Where you would like to go, or where are the hot destinations going to be for this winter?

I'll toss 10 out there...

1) Lake of the Woods, Minnesota/Canada
Always a good choice for walleye, sauger, pike, crappies and perch.

2) Red Lake, Minnesota
A crappie fisherman's dream. 12-14 inch crappies are the norm. Another heavily sought after species is pike, and they are big in Red Lake!

3) Horseshoe Chain, Minnesota
Catfish through the ice! If you haven't tried it, than you're missing out.

4) Glacial Lakes, South Dakota
Excellent perch and walleye fishing! A series of lakes filled with both quality and quantity.

5) Devils Lake, North Dakota
Everyone knows about the perch in Devils Lake, but it is also home to big pike, walleye and whitebass.

6) Rainy Lake, Minnesota
This lake has it all, walleye... pike... panfish... an ice fisherman's paradise. I got two words...SLAB CRAPPIES!

7) Spirit Lake, Iowa
This lake is a fish factory!

8) Whitefish Chain, Minnesota
Bull bluegills...slab crappies...monster walleyes...giant pike...need I say more smile.gif

9) Reedsburg Area, Wisconsin
Great scenery and awesome fishing for panfish and walleye.

10) Metro Area Lakes, Minnesota
I had to throw this one in there grin.gif

Good Fishin,
Matt Johnson

------------------
Matt Johnson Outdoors
Metro Area Ice Fishing, Team Catch-N, and more...

[email protected]
Iceleaders
Catch-N Tackle and Bio Bait
MarCum
Stone Legacy
JR's Tackle

[This message has been edited by Matt Johnson (edited 07-21-2004).]

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I don't care if it's one or a dozen lakes, as long as I get out more than twice a month. I would like to hit mille lacs thou

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Otter Tail, it's only about a half-hour away. Of course, Winni...

Maybe a few other small lakes around here...and, of course, Winni...

That comment about the Glacial Lakes area of SD brought back some good memories...some of the best days I've had through the ice have been on Waubay. And, or course, I'll probably get up to Winni to do some ice fishing.

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OK, I've got a list. It is very similar to Matt's.

1) Lake of the Woods -I've icefished LOW more than any other lake in the state I believe.

2) Upper Red Lake -We're dropping the permanent sleeper house on Red for this winter. Its going to be my first year with a sleeper, should be fun!!

3) Mille Lacs... Until I find out I'm not going to be able to catch a single walleye on that lake AGAIN this year!

4) Devils Lake- Fished it for the first time last winter. I was a pretty good trip except for the fact it was -20 the ENTIRE time we were there!

5) Any Lake With an ICELEADERS EVENT this year!! Too Much Fun! And any FM get together on the ice.

6) Horseshoe Chain- Since I recently got hooked on catfishing, this one I'm going to have to try this winter! I can't figure out why people would fish for walleye when catfish taste so much better wink.gif

7) Rainy Lake- Always wanted to try it throught the ice, It might happen this winter!

8) Follow fishable ice north into Canada sometime in April!! Not sure on a particular lake yet but its a long time until April.

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1)NW Metro secret lake, better known as lake (x), for some fast and furious walleyes.

2)MilleLacs every Friday at 10:00 am till the ice goes out!

REMEMBER TO: CROSS THEIR EYES!

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mille lacs perch jerking, it will be fabulous this year

big pine/ottertail eyes, there are more then enough of them up there. oh MJ I got two words for you SLAB CRAPPIES, deepwater and spring bobbers, cant beat it.

Spooner area northern pike, full contact tip ups.

Lake of the woods, everyone knows about.

Red Lake, yes the secret is out.

Big stone eyes, not just a good spring spot.

Buffalo Marble eyes, can beat the sunrising on a couple of eyes sitting on the ice!

Lake Sarah crappies, light the vex up like a christmas tree and the youner cousins love catching them,, cant beat there smiles!

Pokegama Sunfish and Crappies

Rush lake sunfish

Best Fishes
Chris

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Chris,
I knew it was just a matter of time until you posted a reply grin.gif Full contact tip-up fishing...one of my favorite high school memories grin.gif

fubar,
We're gonna have to hit the ice again this winter...on a lake different than Bald Eagle grin.gif

DCON,
The Metro "gems", gotta like em!

hanson,
The ICE Series is going to be awesome this year! Always a fun time hanging out with fellow FMer's, and the fishing destinations are always topnotch.

Jarrod,
Waubay is a sweet lake! oh...Winni is good too grin.gif

Grebe,
I like your answer smile.gif


Here's another one...

12) Lake Superior, Minnesota/Wisconsin
A chance for a mixed bag. The smallmouth fishing can be excellent out there if you hit it right.
Chwsmallie2-161x223.jpg


Good Fishin,
Matt Johnson

------------------
Matt Johnson Outdoors
Metro Area Ice Fishing, Team Catch-N, and more...

[email protected]
Iceleaders
Catch-N Tackle and Bio Bait
MarCum
Stone Legacy
JR's Tackle

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Matt
I moved to Princeton so it will be green lake and mille lacs smile.gif if you head up this way some time give me a shout !!!

[This message has been edited by fubar (edited 07-22-2004).]

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I see alot of good places to go but the lake I will hit the most this year is horseshoe. From my home in Crystal it is an easy trip and until you catch a catfish through the ice it is hard to understand how fun it is. Besides catfish I did very well on walleyes out the as well. Adam

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red smile.gif


good fishing!

------------------
an "all chapters, charter member" jigglestick I.B.O.T.#5 have you clamped today???

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Oh yeah, can hardly wait, we got some shipments in today for ice fishing, woo hooo, first crack at it.
hey are you coming to the game where we go to a town named coon rapids and have a little bird beat down, coming this fall!
Best Fishes
Chris

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My first ice destination is up to the N.W. Angle first part of December. Lots of action and NO people around...nice and quite.

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Chris,
Drop me an e-mail and let me know when the game is and I'll try and make it. I sure hope Coach Wilkie brings it when they play the "birds", Coach Copple always brings the heat grin.gif

Good Fishin,
Matt Johnson

------------------
Matt Johnson Outdoors
Metro Area Ice Fishing, Team Catch-N, and more...

[email protected]
Iceleaders
Catch-N Tackle and Bio Bait
MarCum
Stone Legacy
JR's Tackle

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I hope Copples brings it, they are going to need it, does he still run right, run left, pass, then punt? grin.gif
Best Fishes
chris

[This message has been edited by huskiesplayer15 (edited 07-23-2004).]

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First ice on LOW and then here and there. My mom just bought a place on cyclone lake in spooner, WI. I hear tales of slabs and pike, so I guess I will have to give it a try.

scott

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Pete,
Some ice fishing geek took that pic grin.gif Yep, IceLeaders should be a good time again this year. We're gonna have to hit those smallies again smile.gif

Good Fishin,
Matt Johnson

------------------
Matt Johnson Outdoors
Metro Area Ice Fishing, Team Catch-N, and more...

[email protected]
Iceleaders
Catch-N Tackle and Bio Bait
MarCum
Stone Legacy
JR's Tackle

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1. Upper red - Gotta get back on those slabs! grin.gif

2. Cass Lake - Lots of nice eyes and jumbo perch. Not a lot of pressure.

3. Mille Lacs - Forget the eyes! I'll be chasing jumbos and slabs! grin.gif

4. Gull Lake - Lots of eyes and various other fish to be caught. Good shot at a pig!

5. Horseshoe Chain - I really should get a few kitties though the ice. wink.gif

6. Various Unnamed St. Cloud Area lakes(some have names and other doesn't. But I'm keeping my mouth shut.

7. LOW - Would love to fit this one in if I can this winter. Time will tell.

Borch

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Good list Matt. Nice smallie too! Who took that shot anyway? Working on IceLeaders right now...can't wait for some ice. Enough of this 75 degree water temp stuff.

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MJ-
You might want copple to take note that we won the St Cloud State 7 on 7 Passing tournament on saturday! Beating Chromwell, Fergus Falls, Lakeville, Elk RIver, Annandale, Sauk Rapids and one other team I dont remember. Cant wait!
Best Fishes
Chris

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URL-slabs
take a break on Splithand spearing
URL-slabs
Devils lake-perch and eyes
URL-slabs
back home to fish some nice private lakes
URL-slabs
Sometime in all this I plan to make it to the Bdub for some trout/pike, would be nice to get to rainy, someone mentioned cattin on horseshoe never doneit but waould like to.
Anyone in the know on cattin through the ice give me a hollar would be nice to meet w/someone who's done it b4

------------------
Ice is coming soon!!
GRIZ

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  • Your Responses - Share & Have Fun :)

    • Awesome story! That's amazing your Dad can pull off trips like this at 69 yrs old! I can only hope to be in that kind of shape at that age.    Thanks for writing this up! 
    • A 9 year old may be a good enough shot to harvest a deer, but can he really comprehend what it means to take the life of an animal?  I'm all for taking kids hunting, but make sure they're mature enough to understand what it really means.
    • They have a meeting with everyone involved in the hunt, all hunters, coordinators, city officials, local police, all at the same time.  There's no way they can redo that to accomodate one hunter no matter how good an excuse he has.  That's why they draw alternates. Sorry, you lose this time, keep trying.
    • Without a doubt......NAP KILLZONE.  Shoot great and really drop the hammer when they connect with a deer.
    • Another win for the icefishinnut  with 323 pts. For win number 3 in the year.😀 2--Fishing_Novice             311 3--Juneau4                         292 4--BlackLundProV             283 5--Rip_Some_Lip               267 6--huckfin                           247 7--mnwildman                   239 8--rl_sd                                208 9--Swiveldigger                  80 ----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------- Season totals 1--Fishing_Novice                   7811 2--Juneau4                               7658                   The score in the top three are getting closer and with the ROVEL and Dega --🤔 3--BlackLundProV                   7654 4--huckfin                                 7485 5--icefishinnut                         7398 6--Rip_Some_Lip                     7384 7--mnwildman                         7265 8--Swiveldigger                        6971 9--rl_sd                                      6623   Good luck with the guesses this week. ( except for the  Fishing_Novice!😁 BlackLundProV could back off a Little too.😁   Good Luck in the mess this Week.
    • Sounds like a great trip and a really fun experience, congratulations! Thanks for all the pictures and sharing your story. I know that's a lot of work and it is much appreciated.
    • At this point we had one full day and one morning left to hunt.  No more elk moved into the drainage behind camp.  By some miracle a cow and spike did come back to the hillside we had elk on that first evening, but neither Dad or I could get in position quick enough before they went back over the fence.     All added up we had 2 very good opportunities, and one decent, which by our standards and past experience in general OTC type units was a pretty decent week of elk hunting even though no elk were killed.  We learned a lot about the unit and a potential better way to access the landlocked area behind us via a possible easement logging road, but we have to confirm that with the forest service at a later date.       You might be wondering what happened with our whitetail tags.   We had numerous run-ins with deer on an almost daily basis.  There were at least three occasions where does would feed right into camp, and it got to a point I kept my bow in the cook shack to try to shoot out of it as a blind.  They never stuck around long enough though to actually get a shot off.      Dad sat his tree stand a number of times above camp as he came down at sunset with enough time to sit in a tree for a half hour or so, but the deer always seemed to pass through the spots he could not shoot or see.  One time he climbed down to two deer staring at him from within range, he just did not see them coming...   Almost every evening we walked down the road behind camp we would kick up a deer or two bedding in the quakeys, but as the week progressed they clearly became more skittish of us.  I also tried hunting back down the gravel road and found some good spots where they crossed the road and creek, which if I actually focused on sitting over with a treestand I feel I could have shot a deer, but I wanted an elk more...        Our Elk B tags are good through rifle season, as are the deer tags.  If the stars align and my wife allows I might make a run back out.  I have an acquaintance in the area that I am checking with to see if he might be interested.       I hope Scoot and ArcherySniper come back to report better luck on their hunts.  
    • It rained that night, and the next morning we went up high to glass back where we left the elk.  They seem to have never left the cut we saw them bed in.       Some interesting low clouds.   It rained all afternoon, but the forecast said it would clear a couple hours before sunset.   We observed snow on the high peaks in the distance.        Once the rain stopped and the skies looked clear we went back to see if we could finally shoot an elk.  We worked the wind back up to where we had last sat so we see the elk and still move down to intercept if they came down for water/feed.   The elk were still up high, but shifted left a couple cuts.  We were now close enough to confirm that the bull was in fact a smallish 6 point.       We waited a long time watching the cows get up to feed and then bed down again repeatedly.  As sunset neared the lead cow looked ready to commit to coming down.  Our plan was to run down fast to intercept, watching as we fast-walked down to the bottom.   It was clear now the elk were following the left most ridge, and moving quite fast, they definitely wanted to get to the bottom for the good creek water and green grass!      The plan was I would run ahead to intercept as I could get their faster.  I knew the place they were going, having scouted it earlier in the week.  It was a perfect funnel.  The cows went behind the narrow ridge they were following, but the bull stayed high watching the drainage.  I managed to get up through the saplings quietly and in position, and could see the bull up high, and the cows feeding and walking right to me on a string!      Unfortunately behind me I heard a loud stick break.  The bull did too and was pacing back and forth rapidly trying to figure out what was below him...  I could see my dad standing in the creek bottom.   I adjusted my position, the cows were coming closer, I ranged for shot options, they would pass within 40yd and the bull might walk right over me...    The bull unfortunately had had enough.  He swooped down to the cows and herded them back up the hill...  The cows had no clue what was going on, but the bull clearly was not stupid.   After waiting until it was close to dark I picked my way back down to my dad, who was standing on the cattle trail we had gone up previously.  It turned out that he tripped over a downfall fell badly.   He was not hurt, but he thought the bull could not see him, but I had a better view from above as to what was going on.  Those elk were not seen again for the rest of the hunt.    
    • Unfortunately the weather turned bad on us and it rained over night, I forget if it was day four or five.   In any case a cloud system rolled in and low cloud ceiling filled the drainage behind camp.        We went up the front side of the area hoping elk would be out there to get out of the clouds.  It was extremely windy now as well.  I went high back where I saw the spike days earlier and was glassing back up the drainage when I saw a bull and three cows in the wide open up high!   I considered running down the cut between us to try to intercept in the creek bottom below, but did not want to risk bumping these elk when they were the only elk in the entire drainage!     Dad sidehilled across to join me, followed by a herd of mule deer does...      Selfie with cloud covered hills.        We watched where the elk bedded and decided to ambush them in the evening.  We decided to drive out to town to hit the grocery store so Dad could have more fresh food and not have to resort to eating what I brought.  The cloud system over the area did not look good from below at all...     That evening we went to the hill the elk were on in the morning so we could see where they were bedded.  The clouds were so thick now in the drainage we could not see up to where the elk were.  It was very windy and cold. The elk never showed up.  We left before sunset.     Another selfie in the clouds, so cold and windy I had to break out the facemask and extra layers while hunkering down behind a blowdown.      
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