Lake Winnie Ice Fishing Report for January 25, 2017

Hellom from Big Winnie. The warmer air has made for some better fishing as people can move around easily and cover more hot spots. Perch fishing is still very good at the shore drops, from 12 to 20 feet of water, and also some basin fish off the main lake bars and humps. Orange is still the best color to use. Minnow pieces are better than whole minnows, unless you are using plain gold hooks.

Walleye have been a bit more active on the structure edges in the evenings.

Pike are still also going well for tip-up fisherman with sucker minnows. Ice conditions are ok yet, but we all are redoing roads and access points do to the warmer air. Do not get alarmed if access is shut down here and there, as we are all re-making safe points of travel. Snow melt has helped though. As this refreezes, travel will be good.

See you on the lake!

Pat Rooney

Lake Winnie Ice Fishing Report for January 18, 2017

Big Winnie has a great perch bite going right now! Still have to sort through a few smaller perch to get good-sized eating fish, but it's not hard to do at all. On the west side of the lake, look in the Snag Hole area, from 15 to 23 feet of water. Also, find perch near Sugar Island, in 12 to 18 feet of water. Perch are biting well at several humps north of Bena Bar and this would be a great location to try several humps. At the east side of the lake, look for good perch at the Saddle, and down through Moxey Hole, in 18 to 28 feet of water. Perch are biting best on gold jigs and minnows.

Pike have continued to bite well, with 22 to 28-inch pike being standard size over the last 7-8 days. Tip-ups with sucker minnows are best way to change pike right now. Fish for pike along the shore break tops and main lake bar tops. Look for the best pike action in 11 to 16 feet of water.

Hungry walleye are starting to show up a bit more frequently and for slightly longer bite windows. Find walleye right now by looking deeper - 18 to 30 feet off the main lake bars for the best action. Rattle spoons and minnow heads are working the best for walleye.

Ice is sitting at 19 to 20 inches thick with about 5 to 8 inches of hard-packed snow on top. Travel good right now using standard sized pick-up trucks. If you're pulling fish houses, you should stay on the plowed roads or VERY near to them to be safest. Call ahead to the resorts where you intend to access for an up-to-the-minute road report.

See you on the lake!

Pat Rooney

Lake Winnie Ice Fishing Report for January 11, 2017

Hello, from Big Winnie! The perch bite is great right now with good numbers of fish being caught - enough to sort out a good batch throughout the day and keep only the best perch. Look to the deeper shore drops from 14 to 23 feet of water. The color gold is good on sunny days. But, on cloudy days, use orange and glow for the best action. A minnow or a half-minnow the best bait options to tip your jigs.

Pike are VERY HOT on the tops of the bars and shore-drops in 12 to 18 feet of water. Tip-ups, about three feet off bottom, with sucker minnows has been the best method to catch several good pike.

Walleye are very spotty with some being caught on the main lake bar edges and the humps north of Bena Bar. Rattle spoons and a minnow head are the best rigs right now.

Roads are open again after the snow. We have good roads going up to Moxey on the east side. We are opening roads to Bena Bar right now. Ice is 18-19 inches thick. Truck traffic is ok, but safest only on the plowed roads. Can get around safely off the main roads if you are not towing a shack. Check into the resorts for up to date road conditions.

See you on the lake!

Pat Rooney

Lake Winnie Ice Fishing Report for January 5, 2017

Hello, and Happy New Year from Big Winnie and Denny's Resort! the Ice conditions are improving a bit this week. There are now 16 to 18 inches of ice around the lake. The snow depth is three inches of "hardpack," then a layer of light fluffy stuff - another three inches thick. Travel has been very good with ATVs, sleds or side-by-sides, anywhere across the lake. We do have several big cracks as the ice formed very quickly this year, so you need to talk to the resorts you are going out of for travel conditions - to be safe. We are letting gas trucks out now with some of the roads that are open. Same practice is true with most resorts around the lake.

The jumbo perch bite has been good on sunny days with numbers of perch ranging from 8.5 inches to 10 inches in length. Look to the shallow weed edges in 5 to 8 feet of water for quality perch. Most of the main lake drops have perch going on them, also. Look for perch in 15 to 23 feet in these locations. Oranges and glows are still the best to get their attention. Gold would be a close second choice.

The walleye bite has slowed up a bit this week. The main lake drops are still best for them, toward the top of the drops and in the evening hours. Look to 12 to 19 feet of water for the best walleye action.

Pike fishing has been very good with tip-up fisherman doing well on the tops of the main lake flats, two to four feet off bottom. Sucker minnows are the bait of choice. Time to go fishing! See you on the ice!

Pat Rooney,

Lake Winnie Ice Fishing Report for December 31, 2016

Hello, from Big Winnie! The perch bite has been very good lately. Look to the shore drops, five to ten of water, early in the day until about noon. Then, the deeper drops from 15 to 23 feet, as the day goes on. The smaller orange and glow jigs have been working the best for perch this week. Small minnows or half minnows are working the best to get them to take your hook. When they get active and then suddenly quit, look for a pike to be around as they are quite numerous numerous. While "perching," set up a tip-up a bit shallower and catch some of these great pike - there are plenty from 22 to 30 inches, ready to be caught.

Walleye have been biting best late in the afternoon and a bit beyond into the dark hours. Somewhere from 4 pm til 7 pm you will get a good bite for about a half hour. Make sure you're ready and working them. Pimples or buckshot rattle spoons with a minnow head has been the easiest way to get them on the ice in recent weeks.

Speaking of ice, we are at 13 to 15 inches all around the lake. We have a crust of hard packed snow about 3 to 4 inches thick. Travel has been good with ATVs and sleds. Light trucks and SUVs under 4000 lbs can go out in very few spots right now. The Iice heaves are still making there minds up where they will stay. You need to stop in to a resort and then be directed to safe travel for those ends of the lake. Be safe and ring in the new year with some fresh fish! I welcome your calls to check on reservations and availability.

Pat Rooney

Lake Winnie Ice Fishing Report for December 18, 2016


Hello, from Big Winnie! The cold temps, as of late, have worked WONDERS making ice! Most places are reporting 7 to 8.5 inches, with safe travel by ATVs or snowmobiles as the best way to travel.

Northern pike spearing is going very well at the Mississippi River inlet to Sugar and the Third River flowage. But,fishermen and women are having great success. The travel by ice is rough, as our freeze-up was caused by cold wind, but is good for traction throughout the lake.

Walleye are being caught on some of the shore drops early and later in the day. Traditionally, walleyes (and perch) get more active on the cloudy days at Lake Winnie.

Perch have been caught out of the spear shacks on the west side of Winnie, but are expected to pick-up across the lake very soon.

This week's temps will moderate a bit, so anglers can travel around a bit easier, trying several spots. Be sure to check-in with the resorts where you access for travel recommendations and ice conditions. Especially at this time of year, this is an important safety consideration.

See you on the ice!

Pat Rooney

Lake Winnie Fishing Report for July 29, 2016

Big Winnie fishing is HEATING UP, as are the temperatures! We're really seeing some great walleye fishing right now and are guests are really enjoying the action! Walleyes can be had with a variety of trolling presentations. Spinners and crawlers, or leeches, are working on the main lake bars, from the edges in 20 feet up to the tops in 12 feet of water. Bottom bouncers will keep you off the bottom and out of the snails - they can certainly be a pain. The next option to help you get into the walleyes is smaller crankbaits, running 5 to 10 feet down on the shore-drops just outside of the weed beds. Look for 10 to 12 feet of water and go - this is a blast!!

Perch are doing ok with the best bite (for good sized perch) is to look for them off of the main lake bars in 20 to 35 feet of water. They are there, but deeper than you might expect.

Pike are still CRAZY with good fish numbers in the weed beds from 6 to 10 feet of water. You can really catch all the pike you want - tons of fun! We see a lot of kids catch their very first pike this summer on this lake.

The crappie bite is a bit slow. The sunfish bite, though, is good all around, later in the day into evening. Look for good sunfish fishing just outside coontail beds, with a bobber and a small leech or pieces of worms.

Time to go fishing and then cool off with a swim in the lake!! It's a great summer and we hope to see you up here soon!

Pat Rooney


Lake Winnie Fishing Report for July 13, 2016

Hello, from Big Winnie. The summer walleye patterns are in full swing. The walleye bite is going well with many smaller bite windows going on throughout the day. Bring along crawlers and leeches; you can rig them or troll them on spinners. Let the fish tell you where they are. Look to the bars and humps. Also, the main lake structure is going well now. Look to Bena Bar, Sugar Bar and Moses. The humps north of Bena Bar have been good - north and east. If the fish are low in the water column, start out rigging. As the fish rise, load air up the crawlers, then when you see them go away they went way up. Start trolling spinners for more bites. Plenty of fish in the 15 to 16 inch range getting caught, with plenty of chances at a picture fish. Saw several of those yesterday, as a matter of fact.

Perch are hungry, but getting good-sized perch is still an issue. Larger perch are not very active this week.

Pike are biting very good, also, with plenty to go around.

Panfish are really getting good now also with sunnies ending their spawn, getting into an evening or am bite on the weed lines.

For bass fisherman, bass are hitting plastic worms well now in Tamarac Bay, Third River and in Sugar Lake. Look to the cabbage beds and drop worms into them. Twenty a day is not uncommon. Fishing is GOOD!

Pat Rooney


Lake Winnie Fishing Report for June 22, 2016

Hello, from Big Winnie. The walleye fishing action is starting to get into "summer mode." During the course of the day, there are now several smaller bite windows throughout the day - and that's normal. Leeches and crawlers have been the "go-to" baits. Plain hook rigs and some spinner action is working well. Look to the main lake structures, fishing from 12 feet to 28 feet of water. Windy or cloudy days produce better bite windows and more frequently throughout the day.

The northern pike bite is good, using big minnows, trolling crank baits and doing so outside the deeper weed beds. Look to the 10 foot depths to get started in finding good pike action.

Perch are being caught in very shallow waters right now, in 3 to 7 feet of water. Sorting through the good numbers of caught fish and picking out the larger ones has been normal. But, this action can be great fun for kids. There are plenty of good perch being caught.

Time to get out and go fishing!

Pat Rooney

Lake Winnie Fishing Report for June 6, 2016

The walleye bite on Lake Winnie is very good right now with fish starting to head into their summer patterns. The main lake structures are starting to load up with walleyes. Shorebreaks are still producing, as well. Jigs and minnows on the shorelines are working well. Rigs and leeches, or crawlers are working out in deeper water. The water temps are in the low 60-degree range and this has fish very active. Most areas have some weed beds set up that are holding walleyes along the shoreline.

Sugar, Horseshoe and Big Musky on Bena, have all been good for walleyes. The Humps, north of Third River Bar, are starting to go, also.

The perch action is starting to pick up as the spawn is down and they are now "on the feed." "Sorting" through small and larger perch is the norm, with plenty of action. Weeds or rock areas have been the best for good perch schools. Look in 5 to 8 feet of water.

Pike are HOT right now - everywhere!

Crappie are about done with their spawn. Sunnies are on their beds now. The sunfish bite is good early or later in the day.

Good fishing!

Pat Rooney


Denny’s Resort – Lake Winnibigoshish • 15017 16th Ave. NE • P.O. Box 8 • Bena, Minnesota 56626
(218) 665 - 2222