Winter CrappieGuest blogger, Tom Neustrom, MN Fishing Connections and Fishing Professional, shares early ice fishing conditions and tips.

This will be a start of a winter to remember for 2014 ice fisherman. Better than average ice conditions has given anglers opportunities to get out and enjoy ice fishing in Grand Rapids. Most of our lakes in the Grand Rapids area have anywhere from 7-11 inches of ice depending on the lake. Caution on the ice should always be used, but ATV and snowmobile travel  have been getting to locations that fisherman are having success with several species. Make sure to become familiar with the Minnesota DNR Ice Safety practices prior to heading out. Crappie and bluegill fishing has been very good on area lakes with light line and small baits being the ticket. Walleye fishing on Big Winnie and Pokegama Lake has been good with more anglers getting to off-shore areas that have been producing fish. Northern pike fishing has been good as well and reports of pike in the 5-10 pound range have been taken.

Check out this ice fishing tips video:

The Grand Rapids area lakes are known for some of the best ice fishing in Minnesota.  With over 1,000 lakes to choose from anglers are sure to find good action and have a wide variety of species to choose from. The MN DNR has a great lake finder resource that allows the user to enter in a county. It will then give an alphabetical list of that particular counties lakes. You can get more information about any  by clicking on it. It will bring up the lake code, a google map, fish species in that lake, special fishing regulations for that lake and aquatic invasive information (if any). Itasca Counties 1,000 area lakes and rivers come up and give you

northern MN snowmobile trailsAs winter continues to move forward the Grand Rapids area is blessed with outstanding groomed trails and paths to walk in the woods that are breath taking. The Grand Rapids area lakes are known for more than fishing. When snow covered the lakes can be used for snowmobiling, cross country skiing and snowshoeing. You always want to use caution when traveling across frozen lakes. Bringing along picks to test the ice as you move across is always a good plan. You can check with Visit Grand Rapids website on their weekly snowmobile club reports, or check with the Minnesota Department of Natural Resources for their snow depths and trail conditions. Sometimes you will find that one site has more updated information than another depending on when and how they get their information.

Loon Point Night Cabin 2014

When coming up to ice fishing, come and stay at our grand lodging options. Lodging properties include rustic to upscale hotels, affordable motels, family and fishing resorts that are open in the winter months, and comfortable and clean bed and breakfasts. Conveniently located near all of Grand Rapids’ recreation and area attractions, there’s a lodging option with amenities for everyone in Grand Rapids, MN. It’s your choice whether those amenities include a waterpark, room service or tasty s’mores around a fire. Come experience “Grand” hospitality in Minnesota’s nature.