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MarbleEyez

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Has anyone been up to Winnipeg yet this year, who isn't vaccinated? Curious what border crossing is like without the stab!
 


HUNTFISHND

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Yep. Piece of cake. Didn't question it at all at the Pembina Port. Didn't have to do anything in the app anymore either. It was just like pre Covid times.

Only thing we found out to be different than in years past, is that you are no longer allowed to bring any type of bait across. We've always brought frozen minnows, but got turned around to dispose of those before we could get all the way across. Took an hour to get back through on the US side and they are usually the ones who you have to play a game of 20 questions with.
 

eyexer

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Yep. Piece of cake. Didn't question it at all at the Pembina Port. Didn't have to do anything in the app anymore either. It was just like pre Covid times.

Only thing we found out to be different than in years past, is that you are no longer allowed to bring any type of bait across. We've always brought frozen minnows, but got turned around to dispose of those before we could get all the way across. Took an hour to get back through on the US side and they are usually the ones who you have to play a game of 20 questions with.
Yea they don’t like Americans coming back from Canada but they roll the welcome mat out on the southern border
 

MuskyManiac

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Went up to see the Jets and Wild play a few weeks ago in Winnipeg. Coming back on a Wednesday morning it took about two hours to get through tot he US. They even had 3 gates open....never took us that long before, I don't know what was going on.
 

HUNTFISHND

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Went up to see the Jets and Wild play a few weeks ago in Winnipeg. Coming back on a Wednesday morning it took about two hours to get through tot he US. They even had 3 gates open....never took us that long before, I don't know what was going on.

Would start going through the smaller Port of Entry's, but seems like if you don't go to a 24hr one they all close at either 4 or 5pm.
 


Johnny Five

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Anyone used a guide service on lake Winnipeg for ice fishing? curious on recommendations just never been up there before and would love a guide first time around.
 

Jigaman

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Anyone used a guide service on lake Winnipeg for ice fishing? curious on recommendations just never been up there before and would love a guide first time around.
I've been up there many times (heading there this weekend) but have never used a guide. Blackwater cats is probably the most popular. For the most part he is a tag-along service. You use your own truck and follow him and his network of guides around. If lake travel is really difficult I think he has a tracked suburban. Icebound excursions is another and they run snobears. IMO, a guide is not needed if you have the equipment and are willing to put a lot of effort into finding fish. For the most part there is not much structure in the southern basin so you move very often (like every 30 minutes) hoping to land on a school. It is hard work but the results when you find them are more than worth it.
 

fishman

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what we do is fish a spot and mark on GPS, and move every 30 mins if no fish. Do this till h you got a seris of holes. then go back and refish the old holes,hoping to find a school. this cuts down on having to drill new holes all the time
 

Johnny Five

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Got it. Just never been there before so thought maybe a guide would be worthwhile for the first time. Appreciate the insight.
 

Wall-eyes

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When go up good ice/ snow traveling equipment is a must. You will see all the people and roads out, ask qustions everyone is great to talk too, bars etc... Have fun not hard at all get good map if dont have one or use phone etc...
 


Wall-eyes

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The ice was 22” thick in most areas, with it being thicker near pressure ridges. Extensions were needed when fishing next to the ridges. Spoons outfished rattle baits. We took tracked rangers on the ice, but there were trucks traveling on the lake. The trucks were getting on at the Red River and traveling north to the mouth of the river. A lot of rough ice made for a rough ride.
Good luck to all heading north this year in search of a giant Greenback Walleye! Safe travels and tight lines! From my friend last week both got two biggies
 

Jigaman

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fished all day Saturday and Sunday morning east of the mouth. Found plenty of fish but they were tight-lipped. Spoons and rattle baits were about even. Most of what we did catch was 18-22". Biggest was only 23". Fished 12-25'. Tons of suspended fish.
 

Icepirate

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Just saw an update from a guide up there. Said the same thing as lots of other people I've heard fishing there this year. lots of fish but finicky. Live minnows out performing salted minnows and more traditional tactics.....which has been the trend the last few years.
 

Jigaman

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we tried live minnows on dead sticks in a very target rich environment and not even a bite. Hopefully the bite improves later in the season.
 


BRK

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Anyone used a guide service on lake Winnipeg for ice fishing? curious on recommendations just never been up there before and would love a guide first time around.
Just got back from a Friday/Saturday guided trip with Blackwater cats. They require you to book two days because most people just wanted a day mark locations and then came back to fish the same areas themselves the next day.

Travel is possible by truck, but I wouldn't go out without second to pull you out. You will likely get stuck at some point. The amount of holes they drill for you is awesome, and they do a pretty damn good job of keeping you on fish and fishing, rather than drilling. If you're a first timer who intends on going back often, then they're a good crew to learn from. It was nice so we were able to fish outside all day long, which also makes mobility so much better. Spoons definitely outfished rattle/swim baits, but they had there time and place during the afternoon lulls. We found probably 10 fish between 26-29.5", many many more between 22-24", and easily brought home a limit of eaters. Nothing over 30", but overall, an awesome time.

We fished the first afternoon ourselves and did pick up a couple on a dead stick.
 

Johnny Five

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Just got back from a Friday/Saturday guided trip with Blackwater cats. They require you to book two days because most people just wanted a day mark locations and then came back to fish the same areas themselves the next day.

Travel is possible by truck, but I wouldn't go out without second to pull you out. You will likely get stuck at some point. The amount of holes they drill for you is awesome, and they do a pretty damn good job of keeping you on fish and fishing, rather than drilling. If you're a first timer who intends on going back often, then they're a good crew to learn from. It was nice so we were able to fish outside all day long, which also makes mobility so much better. Spoons definitely outfished rattle/swim baits, but they had there time and place during the afternoon lulls. We found probably 10 fish between 26-29.5", many many more between 22-24", and easily brought home a limit of eaters. Nothing over 30", but overall, an awesome time.

We fished the first afternoon ourselves and did pick up a couple on a dead stick.
Nice. Thanks for the update. I did contact them and unfortunately they were booked on the days we can go. He did say if we brought our own tracks and equipment we could follow them...only issue there being tracks.

I contacted another guide and they do have availability and sounds like it'll be a similar experience. Lots of hole drilling and moving to try stay on top of the fish.

Like I mentioned in my first post, first time up there so I think we want to use a guide. We are gonna fish 3 days and next time around we will have a better understanding of what is necessary and the lay of the land.

Appreciate it.
 

Sluggo

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What is the preferred auger by the guides up there? Brand, electric vs gas, blade still, hole width, etc.? Thanks
 

Bfishn

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What is the preferred auger by the guides up there? Brand, electric vs gas, blade still, hole width, etc.? Thanks
8" auger, they laugh at us stupid Americans who think we need a 10". I actually sold my 10" after the first time to Winnipeg, to much work in 4' of ice. When I used Blackwater quite a few years ago Donovan was using a strikemaster, the next year he had a strikemaster engine converted to use an eskimo auger, said those blades stood up a bit better. Would be interesting to know if the guides swtiched to electric yet.
 

BRK

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Our guide, and the guide next to us, both from Blackwater Cats used a Husqvarna grass trimmer power head that was tuned and modified to attach to an auger. I did not ask what kind of auger it was but assume it uses chipper blades due to the amount of holes they are drilling each day. We never thought of the 8" versus 10" this way until we guided this year, but 8" is just find. Once you get the bigger fishes head in the hole there's no room to turn around so it's not like you need to panic after that.

Hey @Johnny Five - make sure you have some bigger batteries, or lithium batteries on your flashers that'll last all day. I don't think we'll ever go guided again now that we know the recipe to find big fish.
 


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