By Cody Hill

Chill Guide Service

Tullibee season is here, and action will only be picking up over the next few weeks. Saturday, I had a group that were members of Women Anglers of Minnesota. They wanted to catch their Master Angler caliber tullibee. With the amount of snow lately it had made travel difficult, but we were able to get out and set up in time to capture an amazing sunrise. 

It did not take long for the first tullibee to be caught and it met the Master Angler requirements. The Livescope was showing a fair number of fish in our area but there were big pike or walleyes chasing the tullibees around big schools of fish, but our bites were coming on solo fish.  

After a few small fish one angler hooked into something and judging off the rod it was going to be big!  After coaching her on keeping her rod tip up and focus on the fundamentals and letting me worry about diving after a fish, I started seeing big flashes below her hole.  When I reached down and got her fish out of the hole there was no doubt instantly that it was Master Angler caliber and after breaking out the bump board, she was only ¾ inch away from the state record length.  We couldn’t wipe the smile off of her face after she got her Master Angler.

We only had one more angler that needed to catch her Master Angler and she kept getting shorts and perch till mid-morning.  She was able to land our second largest tullibee to make sure that all three anglers achieved their goals of catching a Master Angler fish.  

When we tullibee I use two lines with similar setups, but one has a large spoon and the other has a small spoon. The largest one of the days came off a large spoon but the rest came off the smaller spoon setup.  We had a lot of fish on the graph throughout the day, but our bites came off solo fish which I thought was unique. Most of our fish were only a few feet down but we had them come through from bottom to a few feet below the ice so keep an eye on those random high flickers on the graphs.  

I have heard reports on other lakes of people sight fishing tullibees in 60 plus feet of water but only catching them a few inches below the ice making it very fun experience.  We are very blessed in our area to have some of the best tullibee lakes in the state and they make for a very fun experience especially with a large group of people.  For those that haven’t had them they are some of the best fish to get smoked and for those that don’t have a smoker a bunch of our local butcher shops will smoke them for a very small fee.

Tullibee season is a sign that our ice fishing season is about to end shortly.  There are a few remaining dates available in March to get out fishing before we are done guiding for the ice season.  

Contact Cody today to book a trip that will make memories to last a lifetime!

For more information visit or call (218) 443-3813