As of March 2, 2019 we have some updates about lake accesses and travel conditions on Lake Winnie.
After talking with several resort owners, it's evident that access to Lake Winnie will be restricted to say the least. But as rental operators begin to regain control of their plowing, options for anglers are improving.
Some of the accesses have been re-opened, but only provide limited access to the better fishing areas. Others remain closed and are unlikely to be re-opened this winter.
The accompanying map with numbered descriptions identifies the access points around the lake.
After talking with several resort owners around the lake on 2-26-19, it's evident that access to Lake Winnie will be restricted to say the least. Many of the plowed roads are closed, some of the closures are temporary while operators attempt to regain control of their plowing. Some are closed permanently and will not re-open during the early spring ice season.
Snow on Lake Winnie's ice is hard packed and drifted, some drifts are 3 to 4 feet deep. The ice has been well insulted and ranges in depth only between 20 to 28 inches. There are numerous areas of slush under the snow, particularly in areas where there had previously been gatherings of anglers. If you’re depending on a pickup truck for travel, stay only on plowed roads, no other travel off of the roads is possible. If you’re travelling by snowmobile, steer clear of high traffic locations to help minimize the risk of getting bogged down in slush.
#1 Dixon Lake Resort, Open As of 3-1-19 provides a plowed road into the Third River Landing.
Access from this landing is typically limited to waters within the Third River Flowage and following the north shore toward the “clay banks” near Farley Creek.
Ice ridges frequently crop up from near Stony Point and run across the lake westward toward Mallard Point. The ridges, when they occur, will block travel onto the main lake.
This access is open to the public, but there is a drop box provided for folks who are willing to make a free will donation. I'd suggest $12.00 which is the low end rate at most other resorts on the lake. >> Dixon Lake Resort 218-659-4612
#2 The Poacher's Landing is a user developed site which allows access to the lake's north side and is most commonly used by ice fishermen who want to fish along Bowen's Flats. This landing is always suitable for snowmobiles and ATV's. At times, the access is good enough for pickup trucks too. It's rarely suitable for vehicles towing large shelters, but it's worth a drive by to check it out. Don't be disappointed if it won't work for your wheel house, it's not a sure thing.
#3A The Pines Resort and Campground. Open with limited access as of March 10, 2019. The Pines has a "semi-private" plowed road that provides access for Pines Resort guests and their ice shelter rental customers. They do allow public access for pickup trucks towing small trailers and ice shelters, but the ramp is not suitable for large rigs towing wheel houses. The road fee is $20.00 per day.
The Pines road provides access mainly to the northeastern section of the lake, through Tamarack Bay. Typically, this area is best known for good Perch and Pike fishing. But there are occasional spurts of good Walleye action too, especially along the steep Mississippi River Channel breakline. >> Pines Resort & Campground 218-246-8546
#3B Tamarack Lodge Closed Temporarily As of 2-26-19. Tamarack Lodge works together with The Pines Resort to maintain the plowed roads in Tamarack Bay. Whether you enter the lake though Tamarack Lodge or through The Pines Resort, you are essentially accessing the same road system. Tamarack does however have their own, semi-private landing and the incline of their landing is less steep than the landing at The Pines. For anglers with wheel houses, this may provide a more desirable location for driving on.
Tamarack Lodge is open during winter and provides lodging for ice anglers. Contact >> Tamarack Lodge 218-246-8515
#4 Highbanks Resort Open with limited access to fishing areas as of 2-28-19. Highbanks has an excellent network of plowed roads that provide coverage to the entire east side, most of lake’s mid-section, and provides access to the deep water structure on the north and northwest sides of the lake as well.
Their roads are open to the public for an access fee of $15.00 daily or $40.00 for a 3 day pass. This is one of the lake's most convenient drive on locations. For Lodging and shelter rental >> Highbanks Resort 218-246-2560
#5 The Birches Public Landing Closed Permanently As of 2-26-19. The public landing allows access to the lake's east and north sides along with access to most of the lakes mid-section. It is most commonly used by ice fishermen who want to fish "the humps" and mid lake bars. This landing is always suitable for snowmobiles and ATV's. This access is frequently good enough for pickup trucks too, sometimes even vehicles towing large shelters. It's worth a drive by to check it out, but it's not a sure thing for folks towing larger shelters.
#6 Denny's Resort Open with limited access to fishing areas as of 2-28-19. Denny's has a very good network of plowed roads that provide coverage to the south end, most of lakes mid-section, and along the southeast side of the lake. Their road is open to the public for an access fee. Pickup trucks are $12.00 per day, wheel houses are $15.00 per day or $30.00 for a weekend pass.
Denny’s Resort also provides shelter rentals including both day houses and sleeper rentals. >> Denny’s Resort, 218-665-2222
#7 Nodak Resort Closed permanently As of 2-26-19. Nodak Lodge has a system of plowed roads that provides access mainly to the south and west sides of the lake, along with mid lake bars and humps. As of January 2, 2019, they have about 3 miles of plowed roads and will expand their network as conditions allow.
Their ramp is open to the public and it is currently available for anglers towing large shelters. Daily road access fees are $12.00 for a single pickup truck, $15.00 for wheel houses and $25.00 for a full weekend pass. Nodak Lodge 218-665-2226
Closed Permanently As of 2-26-19 #8 The Richards Townsite public landing is most commonly used by ice fishermen who want to fish along the southwest shoreline and the lake's southwestern mid-section. This landing is usually suitable for snowmobiles and ATV's. At times, the access is good enough for pickup trucks as well. But at the time of this writing, there is a pressure ridge blocking access for larger vehicles.
#9 Two Resorts, Becker’s and McArdle’s Closed Temporarily As of 2-26-19. McArdles and Becker's cooperate to maintain a system of plowed roads that provide access from the public landing located on the west side of the lake. Accessed via Trappers Drive NW just south of McArdle’s Resort, this is an excellent landing for vehicles towing wheel houses.
Ice ridges frequently prevent vehicle passage from shoreline structure out onto the lakes mid-section. But coverage of the western shoreline is typically very good and occasionally, anglers can reach out into the mid lake as well.
This access is open to the public, but there is a drop box provided for folks who are willing to make a free will donation. I'd suggest $12.00 which is the low end rate at most other resorts on the lake. >> Becker's Resort 218-665-2268 or McArdle's Resort 218-665-2212
As always, field reports from anglers on the ice are welcome. Let us know what you've seen on the lake and help your fellow anglers have a safe, fun ice fishing trip! >> Contact Jeff Sundin