First Ice 2020 Is Here On Minnesota’s Early Season Walleye Factory

Most ice anglers are weeks away from venturing out on frozen lakes in the pursuit of the aggressive ”early ice” feeding window. However, anglers fishing Red Lake in Northern Minnesota are on top of the early-season walleye bite.

Ol’ Big Red

First Ice 2020
A bird’s-eye view of Red Lake. PC: Wikipedia

At roughly 427 square miles, Red Lake is the largest lake IN Minnesota. While considered one lake, Red Lake is divided in half by a sharp pointing peninsula that jets out from the east, creating Upper and Lower Red Lake.

In addition to the physical separation between Upper and Lower Red, there is also a significant cultural separation. This region is home to the Red Lake Band of Chippewa, a Native American tribe whose reservation encompasses roughly three-quarters of the Red Lake system.

Natives have exclusive rights to the reservation, which includes most of the lake. However, the northeast corner of upper Red Lake is open to the general public, and this is precisely where most ice anglers flock early in the season.

Why Such A Crowd?

First Ice 2020
Photp credit: Nicole Stone Outdoors. Learn more in Nicole’s Complete Guide To Fishing Red Lake

The mostly flat and shallow basin of upper Red Lake freezes faster than most lakes, which is why so many people choose Upper Red early in the year.

Most people target Minessota’ss state fish, the walleye while being occasionally surprised by the monster crappie that also calls these waters home.

In shallow skinny water, lures choices include: jigging spoons, jigging raps, or ice jigs tipped with minnows. Minnesota law allows anglers to use two lines per person, so, in addition to keeping one rod in their hands, many anglers will fish with a second ”set rod” which are usually baited minnows.

Anglers say that fish often appear out of ”nowhere” biting their lure before they have a chance to mark them on electronic fish finders, a tool popular in ice fishing.

First Ice Videos From 2020

You know little about the Red Lake fishing scene, it’s rich Native American history, now let’s see the fish this lake is producing right now.

Watch Wisconsin walleye hammer Tom Boley and fishing buddy Mitch lay the smackdown on early ice walleye.
Wisco Angling brings in his first walleye of the ice season
One of Minnesota’s handiness YouTube anglers, Marshall Outdoors beats down on eater sized walleyes.

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