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Jarrid Houston's fishing report

Facing Challenging Ice Conditions

It may be a long while until we are driving on our area waters. Lots of snow and slush pockets still exists on our inland waters.

By: Jarrid Houston | December 19, 2019

How about some ice fishing opportunities for Christmas? Let us first wish everyone a very merry Christmas! Okay, now time for the show to begin. We are making more and more ice everyday. This last cold week has many area waters locked up nicely. Rumors have it, that select resorts on Upper Red Lake & Lake of the Woods are even allowing vehicle traffic. With that said, closer to home we are still facing challenging lake conditions. It may be a long while until we are driving on our area waters. Lots of snow and slush pockets still exists on our in-land waters. For those that like to utilize hard-sided shacks (permanent houses), we may be in for a very tough go. Best choice is to utilize snow machines, or huff it on foot. With all the challenging conditions we are putting up with, at least some hard to reach productive fishing spots are not getting pressured. Point being, if you are ambitious enough, you might find yourself a very successful day on the water. Here is our report:

Lake Superior is starting to have fishing opportunities in the reaches of Chequamegon Bay. As always, anglers should check in with bait shops, resorts, and/or fishing guides before venturing out. Ashland areas are holding about 5" as of this report. No real news on fishing success, except the water is still dirtied up and needs some time to clear. Soon enough we will be accessing the Gitch with reports. 

The St. Louis River has been seeing some anglers venturing out to the confines of the harbor. Most anglers are setting up shop from the Sky Harbor Airport and all the way toward Duluth past the rowing club. Fishing has been on the slow side to start the season. The water is still pretty dirty on account of the late fall snow storms we have experienced the last few weeks. Things should pick up, but time will tell. The river will be very popular because of the tough in-land lake conditions we are experiencing. Remember, to spread out as there is plenty of room for everyone. Also, remember to practice all safety precautions as the St. Louis River is also one of the most dangerous waterways in the Midwest. 

Inland lake angling continues to be more the same with catches of daytime Pike, bass and the occasional walleye. Set lines have been a fun way to pass the time. I like to set my tip-ups, or dead sticks at differing depths to see which one is most productive. Once we start to see success from one particular hole, we dial in from there. Pan fishing has been fair at best. Again with the often changes in pressure systems, most fish seem to be lock-jawed. Best attack is to downsize presentation and maybe not even jig. In these cold days, I actually prefer a live bait set-up under a float. When the bobber goes down, make sure to give plenty of time, as the fish seem to slow on the intake. Good news is we should be getting some very mild consecutive days coming in the near future. One thing is for sure, we are done with the ice fishing shows and excited to have fun on the real business side of things. Again be safe out there and everyone enjoy your Xmas break. 

TIght Lines and GoOd FiShN,

Capt. JH


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