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Team Otter

"Just a bit outside"

38 posts in this topic

I think we've all seen the movie, Major League, but today that famous line is not related to Bob Uecker and baseball but rather the shallow water 'eyes that are on a tear here in South Central MN. Last week, the fish willing to bite were right in the cover in 2 - 4' of water but this week, there are "just a bit outside" the cover in 3 - 5' of water and when it's time to eat, be ready! I was on the water Friday and this morning and the bite is right where it should be this time of year. grin.gif

I fished Friday late afternoon and evening and started in an area that had standing weeds but several of them were laying at a slant. Perfect scenario. Well, I quickly realized the fish weren't buried in the cover like last week but that they had shifted themselves just 20 - 30 yards from the same location. After making some adjustments, I started throwing parallel to the cover in 3 - 5' of water and on my 6th cast, smack! For the better part of the next 2 hours, I put ~14 fish in the boat. A majority of these fish were 15 - 18" but I did stick 3 fish between 25 - 27". The big girls are in town! One thing was for sure on this day; if you threw into the cover and brought it back, nothing. You had to be parallel with the cover and that was that. This morning, I went right back to the same spot where I had done well on Friday and casted myself silly for the better part of 90 minutes with nothing. I made a small move ~200 yards from spot #1 and within a handful of casts, boom! I had a 22" 'eye hit about as hard as I've ever had one hit. Good sign? I think so. I hit mark on my GPS and finished the rest of my morning casting to a spot about the size of a kitchen table. I picked 8 more fish out of this spot over the course of the next 2 hours, with 6 of them being 14 - 19" and 2 more in that 22 - 24" range. With the exception of just a couple eating size fish, the fish are still swimming. Fresh 'eyes, potatoes and onions on the grill are tough to beat. grin.gif

Outing observations:

1. Smaller profile baits were definitely key. I ran through the tackle box but the "go-to" baits were a #4 Gold and Metallic Orange Hornet and a #5 Baby Bass shallow Shad Rap.

2. 95% of the fish hit half-way back to the boat. This would indicate that they wanted to get a good look at the presentation before committing. I was not "rushing" to get my crank bait in and I was even throwing in a few subtle pauses throughout the retrieve.

3. Patience. Hang in there, even if it means making small moves or even a simple presentation change.

4. Time of day has not mattered. On Friday, I was catching fish by 4:30 pm, again at 6:00 pm and a real nice rush of activity ~7:00 pm. This morning, I had nothing until ~7:00 am and then the flood gates opened until I left ~9:00 am.

With guide trips on the horizon, I sure hope this bite hangs in there for at least another week.

Sorry, no pics from the last couple outings. My wife took the camera this weekend. crazy.gif

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For the times that I have targetd the eyes this year, seems they are plentiful and rather easy to catch this year. The trips I have made to ML and Red have been nothing short of great. For me, it seems it has not mattered what bait I used as the fish were always biting at what was in front of them

Great year.

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Outside the box or zone? The whole box or zone this time of year is shallow water on lakes that have shallow weed shelves and sand flats to the outside. It is very common to not only target larger walleyes staged along a strong weed edge in shallows but catch some of the nicest fish of summer during this peak opportunity.

Small slower bait presentations are working well because that is whats for dinner. These fish are targeting post spawn baitfish such as shiners, fatheads and bullies that have spawned their last spawn along with the small slow moving young of the year fry coming out of the extreme shallows attempting to venture into the big open. So slow moving smaller baits are triggering a neon sign in those little fish brains that flashes FOOD EAT NOW.

As for the delayed stike I would place that as a cut off manuver. These fish have wicked vision in the shallows and no need to use up all the energy when the chow is coming to you like a pizza delivery. Just sit back, open you mouth and make a small effortless move for a easy meal.

This is one of the few times you will see this esox angler get revved up about walleyes. When you can boat 25-27 inch walleye one after the other, even an old muskie hunter makes sure he has the camera in his junky Crestliner. wink.gif

This nice walleye was tipped over on a small Shad Rap slow twitched around bullrush points.

27walleyetd2.jpg

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Jonny

Let me know when it would be a good time to run up for some more action as the last trip was awesome. I still need that 40+ pike since I could not get one to the boat. frown.gif next time she will be netted. smile.gif greg and jerry said they had the time of thier life catching all the fish we did.

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ML and URL have been "fish in a barrel" lakes this year. I think you're right that, on those 2 bodies of water, anything including the kitchen sink would work. However, we're in South Central MN. Slightly different playing field. smirk.gif

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Outside the cover.

How do you not fish shallow water on URL any time of the year? grin.gif Cheers to all Crestliner owners.

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Nice fish and report Jamison! Those shallow fish still elude me, but I've been working at it. smirk.gif One of these days I'll pull in a walleye and not weeds (or those pesky bucketmouths) out of 3' of water. tongue.gifgrin.gif

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It's only a matter of time. One thing is for sure; once you connect, you'll be hooked. grin.gif

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From the people I have talked to on Red, it has by no means been a fish in a barrel for fishing. My last trip up many fisherman were getting next to nothing for slot or bigger fish. Jonny P knows the lake and can and will put you on them.

The lakes I have fished in Southern Minnesota have not been that diffucult to find and catch the eyes to date from what I have seen in my most recent trips out.

As far as where do you fish anything but shallow water on Red? Red is a huge lake with many hiding places for the fish to go. They may be miles from where you start out.

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Too bad we can't fish the whole thing. grin.gif

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I don't know about "fish in a barrel"; fishing on Mille Lacs and URL have been hot, but you still need to know what you're doing, and it's by no means easy. Especially when it comes to location and experience on home waters. Local patterns, colors, and presentations often make all the difference. The Mille Lacs and URL boards as of late are proof of as much.

Agreed, South Central MN and all of its lakes, rivers, and ponds are different than a single waterbody like Mille Lacs and URL.

Joel

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basscatcher, could you please email me at mittni@aol.com. I would like your advice on a lake. Thanks Mittni

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I guess I was referring more to the spring-time bite on both ML and URL. Should have clarified. The bite definitely has slowed as expected.

Guess I'm not quite sure why these 2 lakes are getting so much attention from a report I posted about South Central MN fishing. Oh well. Often times it seems as though this forum attracts all kinds. Heck, we've even had 'eye pictures from Dogtooth on here. grin.gif

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Quote:

ML and URL have been "fish in a barrel" lakes this year. I think you're right that, on those 2 bodies of water, anything including the kitchen sink would work.


Wow! You sure are good at making friends. I would not fly your colors when making a trip to URL or Mille Lacs.

As far as shallow water fishing on Upper Red lake or the comment of "How do you not fish shallow water on URL?": Depth patterning is completely relevant to the surrounding environment. So Upper Red lake that maxes out at 17 feet makes smaller structural elements such as a 6" dip in the sand or a 10" high cabbage patch very important to fishing success just as a break from 3-15 feet does on a lake in your area. On the lake with the 3-15 foot break line these fish have to move or migrate 200 yards at most to place themselves on a new feeding pattern on a southern MN lake, Upper red walleye may travel two miles to make this change. So the barrel just got bigger, correct there Buckshot? This actually makes fishing the "barrel" even more challenging. You may make a trolling turn or drift run and swing to far one way or the other and stumble onto a pattern due to tightly packed structure change on a southern MN lake, Upper Red you have to start the motor and travel long distances to find these new patterns or should I say know what you are looking for instead of just ending up a little outside.

Now you have found the walleyes in the barrel, next trick is to find fish within the barrel on the structural element that fit into the DNR's idea of what you can keep. So not only do you have to find active fish you have to find active fish that are NOT 17-26" long, barrel just got bigger again.

Needless to say before you call some peoples home a barrel take a hard look at your backyard and be happy you are only dealing with a 400 acre lake and not 107,800 acre lake. Not to mention that you do not have to deal with having no idea what is going on the other two thirds and that you may only fish the shallow barren side.

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Fishing ML and URL this year has spoiled many people. After fishing other lakes where the bite is more diffucult it may seem like fishing in a barrel. Don't get to bent about the comment. Take it as a complement that the fishery is doing well!

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Don't take that personally Jamison, My family and I are from the area and know that i have had a much much harder time finding eye's here than up north. My dad is originally from Northome. I also wanted to let you know you may have ruffled a few feathers, not in what you said but the fact that there might be a little competition from an outsider. Dont get me wrong, the northern part of the state will always be home and i will retire there, but the people don't care for outsiders much unless they have a pocket full of green to share. just a point of view from both places. Sorry if I made anybody uncomfortable, but the truth is the truth.

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I look at it this way, and I love to fish local lakes, Mille Lacs, and LOW. The secrets to success are quite different for all three areas even though there are some common tactics also. If I combine drive time with fishing time, I do far better in area lakes in 'eyes per hour than I do on the others. I personally like the challenge of catching 'eyes on the local lakes. I agree with TO when he says don't give up. Keep trying different spots and different methods until it clicks. For me it is like a treasure hunt. Then you put the treasure back for someone else to find. smile.gif

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I'll send ya an e-mail a little later today.

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I find it interesting how a local area fishing report for southcentral MN has immediately turned into a "debate" about fishing 200 - 300 miles north of here. Before you know it, a guy has to "defend" his comments which were probably meant to simply say he has had good fishing on one or both of those particular lakes.

Par for the course it seems. frown.gif

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It is just FM in a nut shell lately! confused.gif

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( Note from Admim,Please read forum policy before posting again,Thank-you.)

Good report TO. The bone I have to pick with you is, I now have to go to Owatonna for replacement Salmo Hornets.

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What has been said is not that bad you don't have to blow it up any bigger. You guys are like a band of roving thugs that attack any one that disagrees with you. He was making a good point by saying that it is a little harder than fish in a barrel. No lake is ever a guarantee! Lighten up Francis. smirk.gif

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I think finding the fish is where it is at. Getting them to bite and not even knowing if they are there. Then hunting them down with something you don't even know if they want. Now that is where it's at. Don't get me wrong. I love going down to the Trout pond right after they've been stocked but that is skipping the most important skill. FINDING them.

Sorry for my pre-edit, but I had to hurry to Owatonna.

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i will agree that it is easier up in northern minnesota, alot easier. i will also agree that the locals are pretty resentful of southern mn people up there. we have a cabin up by PR, well used too, now akeley is the new place. dont get that warm feeling from the folks up there like you do from most down here.

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I don't hang out in this forum much but this is a great topic, and I think TO & JonnyP both have great viewpoints on it. To discredit Jonny's viewpoints as wrong and not applicable because the lake he fishes is 300 miles north is completely wrong. While there may be subtle differences, the basic idea remains the same- walleyes relate to weeds in shallow water lakes. Heck, they relate to weeds on Mille Lacs as well.

Last I checked, a walleye is a walleye wherever you go. wink.gif

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