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Snowbank?

  • Chris Mielke
    Participant
    Posts: 7
    #1673193

    How has the laker fishing been on Snowbank Lake this winter? How about travel conditions on the lake? I will be up there in a couple weeks, fishing it for the first time. I fished Burntside last winter, but I understand Snowbank is a bit different. Are there any particular baits that I should not leave home without?

    Ben Putnam
    Participant
    Saint Paul, MN
    Posts: 993
    #1674402

    #6 rippin raps in gold or blue/silver have been killer for me, find the Cisco schools and you find some hungry trout. Tip ups with a Cisco on the bottom if in shallower or suspended if out deeper can pick up some fish here and there too.

    Chris Mielke
    Participant
    Posts: 7
    #1674465

    Thanks Ben. It sounds like I will have to add a few more rippin raps to my collection. Is there a particular depth you typically find the cisco schools? I was thinking we would start in 40-50 feet of water and go from there. Does that sound about right for Snowbank?

    On a side note, I don’t know if you remember me, but I fished with you on Burntside about this time last year. We caught 5 and I have been hooked ever since. I have been fishing lakers on Green Lake in Wisconsin a few times since then, but I am really excited to get back up to Ely.

    Ben Putnam
    Participant
    Saint Paul, MN
    Posts: 993
    #1674471

    I do remember, I was out on Grindstone last Saturday when it started raining and I checked radar and saw a dark cell. Reminded me of the thunderstorm that rolled in when we were getting off the lake, told my buddy all about that day!
    As for the Cisco schools, try to hit a point or hump away from crowds, but keep the bwca line in mind. I usually find the Cisco schools between 50-70 feet in an area similar to the structure we were fishing at the end of our day on those non-committing chasers. The schools can take up 30 feet or more of the water column, so they’re hard to miss when you’re on one… I fish above the schools about 10 feet and often times you don’t see the laker come in, you just get smacked! In 40-50 feet or when you can’t find a school, I change depth in the column but spend most of my time jigging 10-20 feet off bottom

    Ben Putnam
    Participant
    Saint Paul, MN
    Posts: 993
    #1674472

    Don’t be afraid to upsize your baits, the lakers on snowbank are used to eating much bigger prey than the ones in burntside!

    Ben Putnam
    Participant
    Saint Paul, MN
    Posts: 993
    #1674473

    Did you get one of those TUCR LTP’s yet?

    Chris Mielke
    Participant
    Posts: 7
    #1674647

    No LTP for me yet. I’ve been using a 36″ Heavy something-or-other from Clam and a couple of my heavier walleye rods, but the LTP is on my list before next season.

    Chris Mielke
    Participant
    Posts: 7
    #1674648

    Is it worth the effort to cross into the BWCA? There is some nice looking structure on the other side of the line, and I don’t mind walking, but I do not look forward to the hand-augering.

    Ben Putnam
    Participant
    Saint Paul, MN
    Posts: 993
    #1674664

    It’s worth it… but is it worth it? That’s the question I always ask myself, and the answer changes by the day.

    MnPat1
    Participant
    Posts: 357
    #1674742

    Is it worth the effort to cross into the BWCA? There is some nice looking structure on the other side of the line, and I don’t mind walking, but I do not look forward to the hand-augering.

    Cross the bwca line and keep going about 10 miles. If you want good lake trout fishing the bwca and Quetico is where it’s at. Get a pair of cross country skis and a good sleeping pad. The best part of the ice fishing season is coming up soon. If it’s easy to access the fishing isn’t going to be very good.
    Good luck.

    Ben Putnam
    Participant
    Saint Paul, MN
    Posts: 993
    #1674975

    He’s talking about on snowbank…

    Chris Mielke
    Participant
    Posts: 7
    #1675067

    I would love to go deeper into the BWCA sometime, but it’s not going to happen on this trip. Thanks for all the info. I will post a report when I get back.

    Chris Mielke
    Participant
    Posts: 7
    #1677362

    I just got back from Smitty’s on Snowbank. Ben, your advice was spot on.

    Friday was humbling. We hit several spots and depths from 20-80 feet, and just could not get anything to bite. We marked a lot of fish, but they just would not commit.

    Saturday morning we started off near a spot that broke sharply down to about 70 feet. Almost immediately, I caught a 16 inch walleye on a gold Rippin’ Rap. After a few more lookers, I switched to a gold Slender Spoon with a minnow head and quickly caught two 10 inch lake trout, followed by a 21 incher. The other guys had several hits and misses, and there were constantly bait fish moving through, so we decided to just set up shop in that spot. We ended up with 5 more 20-24 inch lakers, all from two holes in the comfort of a heated house. All lake trout were caught on either a blue chrome Rippin’ Rap or a gold spoon with a minnow head. Every time we caught one, a massive school of bait fish would come through either right before or right after the fish hit. Some of the fish chased our lures as much as 50 feet up before committing. It was an awesome day in my book.

    Sunday we went back to the same spot and got skunked. The cisco schools were still moving through, but no feeding trout. Go figure. As Smitty told us, that’s trout fishing for you.

    Ben Putnam
    Participant
    Saint Paul, MN
    Posts: 993
    #1677376

    It is amazing how they change so much from day to day and throughout the day, sounds like you had a great trip even if all the hot action was confined to one day. It’s the days the fish are toughest to catch when you learn the most! You got more lakers in one day than a lot of locals get in a whole winter ????, so pat yourself on the back, you earned it!

    Patric Doyle
    Participant
    Brainerd Lakes
    Posts: 16
    #1901451

    Curious on the ice conditions? Anyone been out in this lake or burnside?

    tangler
    Inactive
    Posts: 812
    #1901458

    Look for Steve foss guide service on facebook, he always has reliable reports. Keep in mind lake trout are still closed til Jan 18th.

    tangler
    Inactive
    Posts: 812
    #1901470

    For those not on FB:

    Attachments:
    1. 170D5EEA-C016-406C-9DD3-46BDB1ECB3BC.png

    Ben Putnam
    Participant
    Saint Paul, MN
    Posts: 993
    #1902155

    Yes, Steve always does a great job with ice reports on his Facebook page, and he’s an excellent guide if you want to learn more about the magnificent Lake trout first hand.

    tangler
    Inactive
    Posts: 812
    #1902157

    Yes, Steve always does a great job with ice reports on his Facebook page, and he’s an excellent guide if you want to learn more about the magnificent Lake trout first hand.

    I’ve read a bunch of your old posts and enjoyed the episode you did with James a few years back chasing trout near Ely. Good to see you check in here at IDO wave

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