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#2463275 - 01/10/11 06:13 PM
New Ice Fisherman
mark3962 Offline
Hello I'm New

Registered: 01/10/11
Posts: 3
Loc: Winona, MN
I went ice fishing a few weeks ago for the first time and am looking for some advice on places to go. I live in Winona. I went with a couple guys over to Wisconsin in the Merrick park area (fountain city). Not asking for any secret hot spots, just looking for a couple good places to catch some crappies etc. Any help would be greatly appreciated!

I can't believe it took me this long to realize how fun ice fishing is...

Thanks, Mark
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#2463433 - 01/10/11 08:13 PM
Re: New Ice Fisherman [Re: mark3962]
JIvers Offline
Hot SpotOutdoors Pro Staff

Registered: 12/29/03
Posts: 1768
Loc: Coralville, Iowa/SE Minnesota
Welcome to HSO!

I didn't learn how fun ice-fishing was until I was in my early twenties and living in Winona. You may want to check out the Ice Fishing forum here for some good advice on gear and such.

Anyhow, Bartlett Lake (actually a backwater), known locally in Winona as the "Airport Lake", is still a good place to catch numbers of sunfish.

You may also try east Lake Winona, which I hear has become a much better fishery than it was in the '90s when I lived there. DO NOT go too near the aerators, due to thin ice.

There are plenty of other places to try around Winona: Sam Gordy Slough, Schneider Lake, the Minnesota City Boat Harbor, and McNally Landing (although that is better at first ice), to name a few.
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#2463445 - 01/10/11 08:22 PM
Re: New Ice Fisherman [Re: JIvers]
Crm7290 Offline
Sr HotSpotOutdoors.com Family

Registered: 06/25/10
Posts: 384
Loc: Winona
Both Winona Lakes are really productive, look where the shantys are and go around them or try to find your own spots. Its not hard out there. Bartlett is awesome for bass, and panfish. Latch island is good, behind by the boat houses on the other side of the "wagon bridge". Dont go wondering where you dont see any tracks. Its my first year also so im pretty cautious. I usually don't go out alone.

Join the Winona bass fishing club if your a student, we have trips and members get out fishing a good bit.
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#2463979 - 01/11/11 09:42 AM
Re: New Ice Fisherman [Re: Crm7290]
mark3962 Offline
Hello I'm New

Registered: 01/10/11
Posts: 3
Loc: Winona, MN
Thanks for the advice guys. I remember reading an article a short time ago about sam gordy's slough. I might try and check that out. My other major problem is I don't know how to get to any of these places... I know I could get myself to Latch and Airport lake, but that's about it. Does the average beginner learn these locations by word of mouth? Is there a place in town that would have resources like maps or some other sort of guide? Sorry if these are dumb questions, just trying to figure this all out.

Thanks
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#2463997 - 01/11/11 10:01 AM
Re: New Ice Fisherman [Re: mark3962]
JIvers Offline
Hot SpotOutdoors Pro Staff

Registered: 12/29/03
Posts: 1768
Loc: Coralville, Iowa/SE Minnesota
Check out the Winona Public Library, which probably still has a copy of the Sportsman's Connection guide to fishing southern Minnesota--they have good maps. Or, Fleet Farm and Ace Hardware probably have it for sale. The local baitshops can give you directions as well.

The best way to find new spots is to get a spud bar and some picks, jump in your vehicle, and drive around looking for spots with your map as a guide. The spud bar is for checking ice to be sure it is safe, and the picks are there for the worst case scenario. Don't go out scouting new areas alone, and be sure to check the ice as you go.
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#2464017 - 01/11/11 10:22 AM
Re: New Ice Fisherman [Re: JIvers]
mark3962 Offline
Hello I'm New

Registered: 01/10/11
Posts: 3
Loc: Winona, MN
Thanks 'eyehunter'! I'll give those a try.
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#2464589 - 01/11/11 06:00 PM
Re: New Ice Fisherman [Re: mark3962]
Crm7290 Offline
Sr HotSpotOutdoors.com Family

Registered: 06/25/10
Posts: 384
Loc: Winona
get google earth. Then try spots accesible to you. Then learn names
you wont regret it
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