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#3629 - 01/11/09 11:07 PM Re: Recent Reports and Pictures [Re: Matt Johnson]
Corey Bechtold Offline
Thorne Bros Pro Staff

Registered: 11/17/06
Posts: 2646
Nice report Matt! If I want the Mrs. to come out Ice fishing with me I have to be on a stellar bite with a lot of action. You got yourself a keeper if she likes to come fishing with you. cool

Good fishing,

Corey Bechtold

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#3634 - 01/12/09 09:23 AM Re: Recent Reports and Pictures [Re: Corey Bechtold]
Matt Johnson Offline
Thorne Bros Pro Staff

Registered: 09/18/06
Posts: 3817
Loc: Ramsey, MN
Yes, I am very lucky Corey smile

Open water and ice fishing... she seems to have a knack for catching everything! smile
_________________________
Good Fishin,
Matt Johnson
Guided Open Water and Ice Fishing
www.MattJohnsonOutdoors.com

Ice Team - "Join the Team!"
www.IceTeam.com

Ultimate Panfish League
www.UltimatePanfishLeague.com

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#3635 - 01/12/09 09:23 AM Re: Recent Reports and Pictures [Re: Corey Bechtold]
Brandon Nyquist Offline
TB Moderator

Registered: 11/02/08
Posts: 701
Loc: Braham
Looked like a fun day of fishing! Good Job Matt! You da man!
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Brandon Nyquist
Snake River & Rum River fishing guide
www.nyquistoutdoors.com

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#3790 - 01/19/09 10:46 AM Re: Recent Reports and Pictures [Re: Brandon Nyquist]
Matt Johnson Offline
Thorne Bros Pro Staff

Registered: 09/18/06
Posts: 3817
Loc: Ramsey, MN
Spent all day Friday in the Chisago area during the "arctic freeze" and ended up staying put over a shallow rock pile. Guided a group of guys from New Jersey who were experiencing ice fishing for the first time and this was quite the first experience in terms of weather smile Actuall temp when we got on the ice was -22! It finally got above zero around 2pm wink

We hunkered down and focused on shallow structure in about 7-9 feet in hopes of intercepting a few schools of fish as they cruised through. We linked two Fish Trap X Thermal's together and had no problem staying warm... and the fish must have felt the heat because action was consistent all day!

We managed to pull up a lot of sunfish... but very light biters. Spring bobbers and Power Noodles were definitely needed to detect the light bites. Every once in a while we would get an aggressive fish but for the most part it was finesse fishing all the way!

Maynard's Flutter Bugs ended up being the go-to jig. We tipped those with Berkley Gulp! Alive Maggots and Waxies and never really looked back. Also managed a few fish on Fatboys and live maggots but the Gulp! took the cake!

Overall it ended up being a day mostly packed with sunfish, but we did end up with a few crappies mixed in and sighted some really nice walleyes and a giant pike that decided to swim around under us for a while smile

Looks like the cold weather is behind us for a few days... but don't get too comfortable, because its coming back next weekend frown
_________________________
Good Fishin,
Matt Johnson
Guided Open Water and Ice Fishing
www.MattJohnsonOutdoors.com

Ice Team - "Join the Team!"
www.IceTeam.com

Ultimate Panfish League
www.UltimatePanfishLeague.com

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#3965 - 01/26/09 12:50 PM Re: Recent Reports and Pictures [Re: Matt Johnson]
Matt Johnson Offline
Thorne Bros Pro Staff

Registered: 09/18/06
Posts: 3817
Loc: Ramsey, MN
Spent some time on the ice this weekend in search of another shallow "cold-weather" bite. Found a decent bite during the last cold spell that wasn't any deeper than 9 feet and wanted to see if it held true on other lakes...

We started out firing off holes along the outside edge of a shallow flat in about 8-9 feet of water. As expected, a pile of runty sunfish roaming all over the place. Managed to pick several of those off before we had enough and decided to pack up camp and move...

Made another move darn near across the lake to a shallow, isolated hump in about 6 feet just off another flat similar to the first one... and again, a lot of fish, but mostly small. So another move was in order...

We scooted down that same flat to the edge in about 9 feet of water and managed to locate a decent pod of crappies... but just as fast as they came they moved on and we were back on the chase. We left the portable where it was and hole hopped for a few minutes until we relocated the school... and sure enough they were close by. So back to the portable and a series of Reel Weeds were put down to try and hold the fish in the area. We managed to pick off another dozen or so before all activity ceased. Hole hopping produced very few after that so we made another move...

Hole hopping in zero degree weather is never fun to begin with, so we were trying to find something that we could sit over and focus on...

Next stop was a spot similar to the first spot but with a mix of gravel throw in... and after short order we were on them! This spot kicked out sunfish for two hours straight as fast as we could get our lines in the water! Biggest gill was about 8.5 inches, so nothing trophy class, but the action was nonstop with some decent fish thrown in and we found a place to stay put for the remainder of the day.

Fatboys, Flutter Bugs, Marmooskas... we used a variety of jigs. Berkley Gulp! Waxies in blood red was the ticket for tipping these jigs. We also used Berkley Gulp! Alive Maggots in Chartreuse.

Moral of the story... I hate cold conditions just like the next person, but we forced ourselves to keep moving until we found something we liked. It would have been fun to stay on top of those crappies but they were cruising around in attack mode and didn't want to stay still. Chasing them around outside in below zero weather didn't work the best. Focusing on the shallow structure where something "unique" was present turned out to produce this time again and my quest for patterning shallow cold-front fish is beginning to make sense... hopefully more to come this week...
_________________________
Good Fishin,
Matt Johnson
Guided Open Water and Ice Fishing
www.MattJohnsonOutdoors.com

Ice Team - "Join the Team!"
www.IceTeam.com

Ultimate Panfish League
www.UltimatePanfishLeague.com

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#3972 - 01/26/09 02:37 PM Re: Recent Reports and Pictures [Re: Matt Johnson]
Zach Bellcour Offline
TB Moderator

Registered: 11/23/08
Posts: 201
Loc: Brooklyn Park/ Rush Lake
Good Job Matt! i havent really found alot of sunnies shallow this year. i have found mostly mine in about 12-18ft on weed lines or points but fishing shallow is always a fun time especially if they are biting like that!

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#4012 - 01/27/09 05:51 PM Re: Recent Reports and Pictures [Re: Zach Bellcour]
Robin Offline
Thorne Bros Pro Staff

Registered: 05/31/06
Posts: 835
Loc: Crow / LOTW
Matt I am glad you had a good weekend. I found some crappies this year in some shallower than "normal" water also.
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#4073 - 02/01/09 08:23 AM Re: Recent Reports and Pictures [Re: Robin]
Matt Johnson Offline
Thorne Bros Pro Staff

Registered: 09/18/06
Posts: 3817
Loc: Ramsey, MN
Whew... finally a chance for a quick report...

Spent Thursday guiding all day for panfish on an East Central MN lake and managed to locate a few spots with excellent action for both crappies and sunfish...

We started the day working the edge of a deep hole in search for crappies. We set-up in about 33-36 feet of water and fired off a series of holes trying to find the school of fish. We eventually stumbled across the fish and managed to pick several out of the school, but soon we had to hole hop to stay on them. Most fish came through suspended. Diamond jigs, Marmooskas, Fatboys... didn't really seem to matter what we had tied on just as long as we dropped the jig in front of the fish's face smile

After an hour or so we decided to move shallower and target some sunfish... but low and behold we found our bigger crappies too!...



We plunked down over an expansive shallow weed flat in about 6-7 feet of water and drilled a series of holes trying to find pockets in the weeds. Several holes found us pulling weeds up, while others found us smack dab in the middle of a pocket... needless to say, we fished the pockets smile

We ended up catching some very nice sunfish up to darn near 10-inches but not quite. A lot of nice size fish are using these weed flats and incorporating some sort of spring bobber or Power Noodle was definitely a must. Light-biting fish but once hooked they packed a punch! Focusing on the shallow weeds ended up being the ticket on Thursday.

Yesterday I spent the day on the infamous Pelican Lake in Wright County. We chased down spot after spot in search of those big sunfish. Needless to say the day bite left something to be desired… as we found ourselves only catching crappies and smaller sunfish during the day. Some of the crappies hit that 1-pound mark but most were in the 8-10 inch range. We pounded the lake and two of our augers in the group went through well over a tank of gas! A lot of fish marked, but like always out there, they decided that sniffing the bait was more important than actually eating it smile
_________________________
Good Fishin,
Matt Johnson
Guided Open Water and Ice Fishing
www.MattJohnsonOutdoors.com

Ice Team - "Join the Team!"
www.IceTeam.com

Ultimate Panfish League
www.UltimatePanfishLeague.com

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#4076 - 02/01/09 08:45 AM Re: Recent Reports and Pictures [Re: Matt Johnson]
K Dawg Offline
TB Moderator

Registered: 05/18/08
Posts: 977
Loc: Fargo, ND
Great report Matt!

Pelican lake was a zoo yesterday. As someone said as we gathered together at the end, it looked like the Lake Minnetonka of Ice fishing. Just a line of cars coming onto the ice.
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The original K Dawg.


Proud Moderator on Thorne Bros.!

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#4262 - 02/09/09 09:22 AM Re: Recent Reports and Pictures [Re: K Dawg]
Matt Johnson Offline
Thorne Bros Pro Staff

Registered: 09/18/06
Posts: 3817
Loc: Ramsey, MN
Some of the best days of ice fishing this past weekend that I've had in a long time! A lot of giant sunfish with some that are soon going to find their place on my wall as replicas smile



We worked over an expansive shallow 5-7 foot weed flat in search of sunfish... and maybe the occasional crappie, but the crappies eluded us. We punched roughly 50 holes throughout the day and had to hop from hole to hole in order to consistently find biters. A fish or two out of each hole was all we were getting. Some holes had too many weeds to fish it, but others were perfect pockets in the weeds and bingo!... that's where the fish were!

Spring bobbers or a Power Noodle was definitely needed as these fish were very light biters at times. A lot of bites went undetected (we soon figured that out by watching them on the underwater camera) but when the hook was set you better hold on!

I was amazed at the amount of 9+ inch fish that were caught, in fact, I would say I've never touched that many 9+ inch fish in a weekend in my entire life! We found an isolated pod and worked them over! A lot of patience at times but the rewards were well worth it.

I caught most of my fish on either a size 10 red glow Fatboy, size 12 Northland Tackle glow red Gill Getter, or a size 10 red Flutter Bug... all were tipped with a single Berkley Gulp! blood red Waxie threaded on.

The key was constant movement... meaning that if a fish came in to take a look at the bait we had to keep it moving in order for a fish to bite. If you let it sit still the fish would swim away. The trick though... you had to BARELY move it... pretty much a very subtle quiver is what they wanted and then you had to pay very close attention to the spring bobber.

It's been a while since I've dropped my rod to grab a bluegill at the ice, but this weekend found me doing that a few times smile
_________________________
Good Fishin,
Matt Johnson
Guided Open Water and Ice Fishing
www.MattJohnsonOutdoors.com

Ice Team - "Join the Team!"
www.IceTeam.com

Ultimate Panfish League
www.UltimatePanfishLeague.com

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