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WEEKLY FISHING REPORT: It’s a losing battle to keep ice roads open this winter

Even with my plow on my truck, it’s a losing battle trying to keep my ice roads open to my fish house rentals, and now I’m running into slush where I hadn’t before.

Dick Beardsley Fishing Report
Dick Beardsley has been a fishing guide for over 50 years and owns and operates Dick Beardsley Fishing Guide Service in Bemidji.

What a winter it has been: lots of snow, slush and wind. As I’m writing this report, we are due for more snow and wind early this week and then bitterly cold temperatures.

Even with my plow on my truck, it’s a losing battle trying to keep my ice roads open to my fish house rentals and now I’m running into slush where I hadn’t before.

I’ve noticed many folks have now pulled their houses off of area lakes probably for good this winter. The walleye, pike, bass season comes to a close at midnight on Feb. 27.

But don’t fret as the crappie, bluegill and perch season is never closed and don’t forget about tullibies and eelpout.

Brady Laudon, of Visit Bemidji, holds a 41-inch northern pike he caught on Lake Bemidji.

To recap this winter's walleye fishing would be to say it has been a bit up and down on area lakes. On some days it has been pretty good and other days not so much. On Lake Bemidji this winter, we caught pretty good numbers of walleyes but lots of smaller fish in that 8- to 11-inch range.


I know it’s not what folks are looking for to take a few fish home to eat, but it bodes very well for the walleye fishery down the road.

If you're looking to get out on some of the smaller lakes in the area, there are virtually no plowed roads on any of the lakes. Snowmobiles or walking out pulling a portable are about your only options.

From what I’ve been hearing, even snowmobiles are bogging down in the slush on some lakes, so be careful and know where you're going.

If you are north of the highway 10-34-200 line, roughly from Moorhead to Duluth, you don’t have to have your fish houses off the lakes until March 21. If you're south of that line, they need to be off by March 7.

Also, remember that come March 1 you need a new 2022 Minnesota fishing license.

Weather-wise, there is no real warm-up for the next couple of weeks, so if we quit getting snow and wind there is still plenty of time to get out and pursue panfish.

Have a safe fun time out on the ice, and please remember to practice selective harvesting, by doing so we will continue to have great fishing for years.

Dick Beardsley is the owner and operator of Dick Beardsley Fishing Guide Service in Bemidji. He can be reached at (218) 556-7172 and dick@dickbeardsley.com . For more information, visit www.dickbeardsleyfishingguide.com .

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