Lake Kabetogama Ice Fishing Tips
Ice fishing on Lake Kabetogama is a great way to spend the winter months. Kabetogama has some of the best walleye fishing in Minnesota, you will have the lake to yourself and if you work at it, catching a limit of walleye and crappie can be pretty easy.
You really should know the bottom on Lake Kabetogama when youíre fishing it. If you donít have one, buy a good lake map and study it. You want to know where the deep holes are, the points and sunken islands, the reefs and river inlets and outlets. Drill a lot of holes before you even start fishing and explore with your sonar marking areas that might hold fish and who knows, you might get lucky and spot some fish right away.
Pick a few good spots on that map and prepare to work them hard. On Lake Kabetogama, some of my favorite walleye spots in winter are Center Reef, the west side of Chase Island, the south west end of Cutover Island and the east end of Three Sisters. I tend to look for sharp dropping bottom areas near a likely feeding area. I know that fish will move along the bottom from deep water towards this feeding spot. When they hit the edge of the food shelf they turn and swim along it until they can turn and move up in search of an meal. If your bait is waiting for them there, it is a safe bet that you are going to get some attention.
Sometimes it takes a lot of holes and good sonar to find fish. I use a Strikemaster Lazer auger to cut at least 15 or so holes over a good area. Search the bottom with your sonar looking for the sharp drops and fish, and use these readings to find out where you are on the map. Mark each depth in the snow or ice next to the hole so that if you go back you will know what is under you without having to check again.
Using a little bigger lure, like a jigging Rapala or a Fire-Eye Minnow I start by dropping a minnow down to the fish. With a good ice auger and sonar you should be able to find some active fish. My game plan always calls for finding active fish. With a snowmobile, 4 wheeler or even the truck, itís pretty easy to cover a lot of lake.
Last winter the Park Service plowed a road from the Lake Kabetogama visitor center boat landing to the Ash River boat landing and opened the lake up to some great fishing spots that were accessible from a vehicle. Hopefully, this winter will allow them to do that again as it really makes it easy to find some great fishing without having to tow everything behind a snowmobile or ATV.