Ron Anlauf

By mid to late winter more and more bluegills and crappies show up in deeper water and can make for some easy pickins. They’re easy because they show up on good electronics and can usually be caught, as long you’ve got “right stuff.”

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Good ice came earlier this season than it has in recent memory and was welcome news for those chomping at the bit to get it all started. In the northern part of the state, anglers were even out before Thanksgiving on the shallower lakes and some of the walleye action has been red hot.

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With the last of the deer hunting zones coming to a close it might be time to get back in the woods and chase a few ruffed grouse around. Even though the small game season extends through the end of the year it’s the time between the end of the deer season and the arrival of fresh snow that can be some of the best.

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Minnesota deer hunters have had it pretty darn good for last 20 or more years but things have changed a bit. The fact is the numbers aren’t there like they have been in recent past, especially in the north woods where a tough winter and too many predators (in my opinion) have taken their toll.

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The fall walleye action can really heat up when water temps cool off, especially when it comes to rivers.

Fish that had been spread out all summer and most of the fall start to pile into deeper holes and pockets where they are easy to find and easy to catch. And best of all, the top technique is jigging and that’s as good as it gets.

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The news for Minnesota bird hunters isn’t all that rosy, not with drumming counts for grouse being down and pheasants taking a big hit.

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