Monday, March 29, 2021

Platte Open And My Tackle Warehouse Open As Well

It got to the mid 70's today.

2:30 Today Public Access
Whitecaps were blowing across the lake as far as the eye could see to the North. There was an ice sheet out front of the access, but I'm pretty sure it got blown across the bay by the day's end. I didn't get out to check the access in the evening because of colonoscopy prep. I did confirm Jenny's was ice-free. Long was 50-60% ice-free. Bulldog and Rock were maybe 20% open. No clue about Sullivan   

In the afternoon I got the Trophy prepped to be vacuumed out and then opened the Tackle Warehouse when I came back home to start the prep. I should have gotten to lake place earlier today. Oh well. 

Sunday, March 28, 2021

My Day & Tonight's GOMH Report


 I went up to Baxter today to pick up my new Garmin Striker 7SV. It just so happened that Frabill Minnow Buckets were on sale, so I picked up a new one. I also got a Kalin's Tickle Tail and B-Fish-N swimbait to try out. Watched a video yesterday of a guy whacking eyes on the Tickle Tail. It is supposed to be a cold water smasher, as is the B-Fish-N. For some reason, I had never tried a B-Fish-N lure even though they have a cult following among walleye fisherman. Talked with Snatcher Chuck on my way home. The rents went up to the Brothers for dinner. I got into the Garmin unit and read the instruction that I needed an SD card to download the latest software. So I wasted a bunch of time trying to figure out a way to do that. Turns out those instructions are obsolete; it doesn't take SD cards. I found that out after I got back.

I got to the GOMH a bit later than I wanted with all the screwing around. Fatso was up in the tree again. It looked like things were open to the south shore of the Big Island. It was getting dark, and I wanted to hit the NE side, so I made what was going to be my last cast on the SW side.  As I was bringing my bobber slowly in, I thought to myself, I've got fish in this exact situation before. About 5-seconds later, the bobber went under. I set the hook, and my line broke. It could have been because I didn't re-tie from the other night, but I think it was probably a toothy. I then fished another 20-minutes or so on the SW side with the lighted bobber, nothing. I thought I saw an eyeball swimming along the SE side when I was headed in. I fished until about 8:20PM. A nice bright full moon showed up around 8PM.

Saturday, March 27, 2021

GOMH Tonight

 Open water was all the way up the west side of the small island and the Intersection on Sullivan was all the way open. There was light rain from early in the morning until about 5PM today and it only got to about 40-degrees. Didn't get a bite.

Friday, March 26, 2021

GOMH Tonight


About 50% to the Small Island

Fatso In the Tree
I lost a bullhead tonight. Chances of catching a fish by April Fools are looking up. I would say 60%.

Wednesday, March 24, 2021

I Now Believe Ice Will Be Off By Easter

GOMH Tonight

Open 20% to Small Island 

C-130 Over Platte

Sullivan Inlet

Sullivan Inlet

Rock Lake

Rock Lake

Bulldog Lake
In light of how the lakes were looking tonight after yesterday's rain, I now think ice off by Easter is inevitable. I briefly fished the NE and SW sides of the GOMH and got skunked. 



Tuesday, March 23, 2021


 Didn't fish or get pictures of the GOMH tonight because it was raining, getting dark, and I had Kaylee along with me. It was windy today out of the NE. The Platte side open water now stretches in Channel Inn Bay. The Sullivan Side is processing down the SPRO.  Windy,  rain, and snow tonight with temps above freezing. Even windier tomorrow with a lot of wind in the forecast. I think the timetable for ice off is moving up rapidly. It wouldn't surprise me now if Platte and the area lakes are clear by the 6th. I'll plan on having the Trophy ready to go by Easter (April 4th).

Congrats To Bill Lowen And Family!


Seigo Saito

14 years of grinding it out and doing things the right way finally paid off with a win for family guy Bill Lowen. He had to catch 'em today as Brock Mosley put the pressure on with a 23lb bag. But Bill's 8lb monster was enough to seal the deal. It's always nice to see when one of the really good guys breaks through the ceiling he has been banging his head against. I think I speak for the whole bass fishing world in saying you guys deserved for things to fall into place today.

Congrats to the Lowen Family!

DNR Says Walleye Fishing Until Midnight This Fall


Early-season walleye anglers on Mille Lacs Lake will be able to keep one walleye 21-23 inches long or one longer than 28 inches. Summer will bring catch-and-release walleye fishing, with a mid-season closure, before the potential for a one-fish limit returns in the fall.

“Lower walleye harvest this winter is allowing us to offer some open-water walleye harvest this year,” said Brad Parsons, fisheries section manager for the Minnesota Department of Natural Resources. “We’re glad Mille Lacs anglers will have the chance to keep a walleye on opening weekend and Memorial Day weekend — two of the most popular times to fish during the year. We also hope to be able to allow some harvest this fall.”

The one-fish walleye limit will be in place from Saturday, May 15, through Monday, May 31. Walleye fishing will be catch-and-release from Tuesday, June 1, through Wednesday, June 30. A two-week closure — implemented to reduce hooking mortality — will be in place from Thursday, July 1, through Thursday, July 15. Catch-and-release walleye fishing will resume on Friday, July 16, and continue through Wednesday, Sept. 15.

After opening weekend, fishing hours on Mille Lacs Lake will be 6 a.m. to 10 p.m. for all species. Beginning Saturday, June 5, muskellunge and northern pike anglers using artificial lures or sucker minnows longer than 8 inches can fish after 10 p.m.

The one-fish walleye limit is scheduled to resume Thursday, Sept. 16, through Tuesday, Nov. 30. During the late season, the DNR also will allow anglers to fish from 6 a.m. to midnight.

“Our projections strongly suggest that fall harvest can occur,” Parsons said. “However, predicting fishing pressure, catch rates and weather involves some uncertainty so we want people to recognize that the fall harvest will depend on how much of the state’s 2021 walleye allocation remains as we approach September. As always, we will monitor the factors that determine the state’s walleye take throughout the open water season.”

The state and the eight Chippewa bands that have treaty fishing rights agreed Mille Lacs could sustain a state harvest of up to 87,800 pounds of walleye this year, unchanged from 2020. During the 2020 season, state-licensed anglers took 66,748 pounds and tribal fishing took 33,113 pounds.

This year’s winter walleye harvest was about 16,000 pounds, about half of what it was in 2020. Lower catch rates for anglers, combined with fewer people fishing, caused the harvest to return to normal levels after a big spike last year. That drop in walleye take gave the DNR more flexibility to implement a one-fish limit during the early season and plan one for the late season.

Even with the drop in winter harvest, a two-week closure during what’s normally one of the hottest times of the summer remains necessary to protect walleye. As water temperature increases, so does hooking mortality — the tendency for fish to die after being caught and released. Protecting walleye during this vulnerable period can allow for many weeks of harvest during cooler times of the year.

To help avoid incidental catch of walleye during the two-week closure, fishing for any species with certain kinds of bait will be restricted. Anglers targeting northern pike and muskellunge can use sucker minnows longer than 8 inches. But anglers targeting other fish may not use live, dead, preserved, or parts of minnows, nightcrawlers, worms, leeches, or crayfish.

“Our goal with these regulations is to meet the state’s treaty obligations while also providing the best possible experience for anglers, recognizing that fishing and the anglers it brings are economically important to the Mille Lacs Lake area,” Parsons said.

My Thoughts:
I am happy to see them expanding the fishable time in the Fall to midnight.

Monday, March 22, 2021

GOMH Tonight with Bulldog (Skunked)

South GOMH Bay is 95% Ice Free. Just some on the East Rim

North GOMH Bay May Be Ice-Free Tomorrow

Two Eagles on the ice at the Base Of Eagle Perch Tree

Very Little Progress At Bulldog

Checked out Bulldog, North Platte Lake Drive, Rock Lake, and the GOMH tonight. A little pulling away from the shore along North Platte Lake Drive and the Rock Access, but not much. Eagles, Swans, Canadians, and Red Wings at the GOMH. Didn't get a bite, no surprise.

So It Begins, Ice Out 2021

The Fairmont Cluster went off on 3/19/21
Spoon Lake in the cities went 3/21/21

I am guessing there are quite a few more lakes that just haven't been reported yet. I don't think the DNR has sent out the yearly ice out reporting email yet.

My guess is most if not all of the lakes in the Twin Cities and south are open by April 1st, no fooling. If this long-term forecast holds and we get into the 60's in the first days of April up here then I believe we will beat last year's April 8th ice out for Platte.

Sunday, March 21, 2021

1st Open Water Trip And Bullhead Odds For March (80% Against)

I made my first casts at the Grumpy Old Man Hole tonight. A day earlier than my first cast in open water last year.  It is slightly more open than it was at this point last year, but there was a lot more water around last year and the snowmelt wasn't over yet. The water is low and unsurprisingly I got skunked. The snowmelt for this year is 99% over at this point. When I was out there tonight I thought the odds were slightly against me catching a fish this month. I thought 55/40 against. A closer look at the weather has me backing off those rosy thoughts. I think the odds are 80% that I don't get any bullhead this month. The water is too low and it doesn't look like it will warm up enough to send fish shallow until April. I think this little warm windy stretch we were in accelerated ice off. I am now eyeing April 8th, the same as last year. 

1st Open Water/Last Ice Trip Today


9" VMC Fly/Wax/Polli (Pink)

 7:30-9:30PM 5 Tul Hole 26' 
42℉, PC, 10-20mph SE

Amazingly enough, I was able to get up. Pete beat me to the lake by about 20-minutes. I set up in my spot and had a pike show up about 10' down. It loitered for a while, then left for about 10-minutes, then came back. I started seeing stuff near the bottom, so I lowered the camera. There were crappies, sunfish, perch, and shiners down there. The crappies seemed more enamored with the barrel swivel. I had several of them hit it. I only caught one 8-inch crappie that I didn't take a picture of. I realized that right after I released it. Think I had the same pike come back around 9:00AM. Didn't see tullibee, neither did Pete, who fished all over the place. Called it a morning at 9:30AM. One other guy came off with us.

7:00-8:10PM NE SW GOMH
53℉, Cloudy, 3-4mph S

I got to the GOMH, and there was a guy and a lady fishing off the bridges Southside. I went down the NE side. He asked me which side was better. I told him right now it probably doesn't matter much as it would probably be a couple of weeks before anything showed up. But I did say to him that the Southside tends to be the better option. They left at about a quarter of 8. I switched sides. Nothing going on. The water is low, but not as low as last Fall. It is probably going to be a week plus before anything shows up.

Saturday, March 20, 2021

GOMH Tonight

Heavy South Winds today did a number at the GOMH
More on the way tomorrow

NE Access Sullivan Lake

Rock Lake looking sketchy for foot travel

Thursday, March 18, 2021

Pickwick Elite Fantasy Roster


Bucket A: Not picking Hack when he is hot is foolishness, but BP is a home run hitter as well.  This one looks to be a slugfest.

Bucket B: Going with Canada Chris to put another high finish on the resume.

Bucket C: Better angler than his current place in the points.

Bucket D: Same as MF.  I dropped Mullins for Auten, Hopefully, I don't regret it.

Bucket E: Mueller is a home run hitter that strikes out a lot. Hoping he connects with a really high finish.

GOMH Today, And A Look At RPRO @ Rock


Wednesday, March 17, 2021

GOMH With Story

It only got to 34℉ today. Open water expanded, especially in width. As I was standing on the bridge there were a couple of swans over by Eagle Perch Point and another pair out further in the SPRO. From the west along comes an otter beelining toward the farther out swans. As he got closer and swans turned toward the otter I thought they were gonna have a throw down. When the otter got about 15' away. The swans turned tail and flew about 35-yards closer to Eagle Perch Point. The otter just stayed on the same heading and then eventually veered to the open water as an Eagle showed up high toward the East. The otter wanted no part of that eagle and kept up his rapid pace until he reached the water. What a show!

Warm weather starts tomorrow. The average daily high temp reaches 40-degrees tomorrow.


Tuesday, March 16, 2021

Tuma on Tuma


No Pressure

It's Keith telling how and why he decided to throw his hat in the ring in the Opens this year.