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Schnauzer

Woman Lake Report

21 posts in this topic

Greetings from Woman Lake. I am sitting a few feet from water's edge as I type this. I have been up since the middle of last week and will continue to be fishing through the upcoming weekend.

If you have read my comments before, you may know I spend a lot of night hours fishing Woman. Shallow water trolling over flats and shorelines had become a staple for me over the years. Things really changed last year. It was my worst year for night trolling in a long time. My first outings on Woman this year over Memorial Day weekend provided similar disappointing results. So, I decided to "re-learn" the lake and attack it with more traditional live bait presentations during the early morning and daylight hours. As I arrived last week, I stopped at the bait shop and picked up lots of crawlers and leeches.

But... I couldn't resist spending at least one night on my old stompin' grounds pulling crank baits. I just had to confirm one LAST time that it was indeed time to switch things up. Well, that last try resulted in a limit of nice keeper sized walleyes ranging in size from 16.5" to 19". Was it a fluke? After a big family fish fry, I ended up with almost identical results the next night. By this time, more relatives had arrived and I had a full boat of 4 for the third night. I figured it would be the ultimate test because the lake was glass calm. To my surprise, we had steady action all night and although we didn't "limit out", I was very pleased with the night given the tough fishing conditions (flat calm water has not been good for me for shallow trolling in the past).

So, after that trip I continued to fish by myself but I am now pretty much catching and releasing the walleyes. I have had to change up location each night but of all my regular haunts, at least one seems to be producing each evening... it has just been a matter of moving around until I find THE spot.

Some other notes: The lake seems to be completely full of walleyes about 6" right now. These little cigars are hammering the shad raps and I am catching them everywhere. It looks to be a MASSIVE year class coming up. I have also seen a lot of small throw-backers in the 12"-13" range (another good year class).

On the flat calm night, since I have four people in the boat, I was assuming the planer boards would outproduce the long lines. I was surprised to see the walleyes biting right behind the boat on the long lines.

The largest walleye so far was a tad over 23". In years past, when I have caught these kinds of numbers, I have seen more walleyes in the 26" range but so far not this trip. As was common in year's past, the bulk of the walleyes caught on "my" spots have come well after midnight.

Another observation... after spendig most of this fishing season on Mille Lacs, I became used to catching, handling, and releasing walleyes that basically give up and lay there in your boat. These Woman Lake walleyes have more spunk than any I have ever seen. Sometimes it seems like they would prefer to leap off the bottom of the boat and bite you in the nose. SPUNKY!!

To make a long story short... all that live bait I bought is still sitting there in the fridge.

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please check the regulations on the lake u are fishing was there this weekend and the board said up to 17" for the slot at the girl lake launch. If it is the same as woman u kept some expensive fish in your livewell.

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I could be missing something here, but I just looked on the DNR web site and I don't see any slot for walleyes on Girl or Woman. They list slots for northerns and musky, but not walleyes. Correct me if I'm wrong.

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schnauzer good job fishing don't mean to scare you but i swear I saw a slot on the board at the girl landing for eyes. First time i had ever seen one. check out one of the landings and let me know. hopefully i am wrong. Looked identical to the slot board at leech. flourescent yellow in color

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There is talk of a Woman Lake slot NEXT year (I was just talking to a resort owner -All Seasons- at his landing about 15 minutes ago.) There is currently no specific slot beyond the regular Minnesota fishing laws for walleyes.

So if I am mistaken, we might want to inform the resort owners as well smile.gif.

I do not keep fish beyond my possession limit and I have my own "voluntary" keeper slot of 14"-20". I release anything larger than 20". Believe me, if a specific slot goes into effect on Woman Lake, I will be among the first to notice.

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what type of lure were u using?

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Mostly shad raps but when I had more people in the boat I ran a variety of baits including tail dancers, shad raps, and a couple others. I haven't noticed a preference for a certain color but I have been running mostly natural colors given the full moon conditions.

I am now heading up to Rainy Lake for a couple days but I am already looking forward to being back at the cabin on Woman Wednesday night. The only bummer is the late nights. I tend to get to bed at 4:00 AM or later when I pull these late night trolling outings.

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Schnauzer, we should hook up one of these nights up there. I'll be up tomorrow night until Saturday. Maybe we could fish on Woman for a while or head over to one of my "hot spots" on another local lake. Shoot me an email Rhino0018 at yahoo.com I am over on Pleasant closer to Hackensack.

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well didn't mean to scare you. i will look at what the sign says again on my next adventure up. maybe it was a selective harvest sign with recommendations to keep under 17" fish. I will have to look u up next time i'm up. I'm from maple plain and parents have a cabin on girl. I usually end up on portage bay this time of year. Couldn't get any musky's up there in two four hour trips this past week. Buddy got a 33" musky out of longville area lake right at dark. Never saw a fish on leech besides slimers. good luck

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LakeDoctor, that may indeed work out. We are taking a run up to Rainy Lake 'til Wednesday night. Keep in mind, I have been fishing from about sundown (or later) until the 2:00-3:00 AM time frame. I'll check the boards and fire up email on Thursday.

One other tidbit... historically, I catch a LOT of rock bass shallow trolling Woman Lake. Their numbers are outstanding. I tend to sigh and throw them back until a couple years ago I saw someone set the state record with a 12 incher. At that point I was convinced I had thrown a state record or two overboard! So, I made a note to start measuring the bigger ones. And, right on queue I quit running into them at about the same time my shallow walleye trolling went sour. I have noticed the big rock bass have returned as well. I have taken the time to measure a couple of the biggest ones but 11.5" has been the biggest so far.

Rock bass are sort of funny. They whack the lure and they have a horrible aim compared to a walleye so they are often hooked on the side of their body or the top of their head. When this happens even a tiny rock bass seems like a nice fish until it breaks the surface, since their round bodies push a lot of water pressure when coming in sideways.

Oh, and I will be passing through Longville a couple times over the next couple days. My curiosity is peaked over that sign at the ramp. I'll check it out.

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Going up to Woman Lake in a couple of weeks with my in-laws. Just curious as to what depth were you were trolling when you mentioned shallow?? >10 ft or less or more like 10-15?? It's our first time there and any info would be greatly appreciated so I don't have to deal with angry people all weekend because of no fish. Also, just curious what other types of species are found here.... smallies would be great as well as panfish (for the neices) or muskies??? Thanks in advance.

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I stopped by the Longville access yesterday on the way back from Rainy Lake and checked out that sign. As was suspected, it is a public information statement about a potential slot for the Woman Lake Chain next year. It announces a public input meeting in September and says that the potential proposal is for a 17"-26" protected walleye slot and also a possible drop in the keeper limit.

I fished with a friend last night and we had similar results. Many smaller walleyes in the 6" class, as well as lots more in that 12" size. I am more and more convinced these are two excellent year classes on their way up. We did boat 10 walleyes between 14.5" and 20" as well. One thing that was different was the walleye switch was on earlier and turned off around 1:00 AM, which is the time it usually turns on for me. It was pretty slow after 1:00 AM.

I will drop you an email shortly, LakeDocktor...

Most, but not all of my trolling at night is at depths shallower than 10'. There are other species present. Northerns can be pretty easy to find during the day and I occasionally run into them after dark, especially when there is a full moon. I have traditionally also mixed it up with some large smallies. I have had one "accidental" 19 incher this trip. I was alone in the boat and I wasn't sure what I had on the line until the last second when the thing exploded out of the water and jumped a couple feet into the air, right at the back of the boat. Since I was alone and it was around 2:30 AM at the time, I nearly had to go to shore for a pants change grin.gif . I don't target the smallies, largemouth, or Northerns but I know of some guys that have had a lot of fun chasing them on Woman Lake.

I admit, I probably talk more freely about this bite on a smaller lake with a family cabin then I normally would if it was as simple as picking up the walleyes with lindy rigs in 18' of water off Government point. It requires a lot of late night trial and error. I am no fishing wizard, there are plenty of other guys on this forum that would do better given the same amount of time I have put in on Woman Lake. It has been a constant evolution in timing, depth, location, speeds, etc. etc. Despite all of that, I still had a dismal '06. It is just nice to be back in business this year. I have appreciated this has worked out during the dog days that normally make things tough in area lakes this time of year.

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hey schnauzzer i have had a cabin on woman lake since 1974 and for the last 3 yrs have not been able to get anything going as far as walleyes. im assuming u are talking the flats when you say shallow but am not positive. if you could give me some info that would be greatly appreciated. email me at nater2416@msn.com

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Schnauzer,

Not sure if you remember me but have spoken a few times through Walleye Central (NC). Just saw your post and thought I would say hello. We have been going to the Longville area quite a bit as my folks just bought a cabin up there as well as my sister & brother-in-law. Mostly fishing Little Boy & Wabedo, but trying to get over to Woman every now and then. Still haven't done the night fishing thing, but maybe some day!

Hope all is well. Just wanted to say hello.

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Nater... I'll send you an email.

NC, yes of course I do remember you. In fact, I saw your login ID here and was wondering if you were the same NC I remember. It is nice to hear you are going to be around the area more often. That has to be a haul from your neck of the woods. smile.gif

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6 hours & 23 minutes is my best time! We have been up there a number of times this year and can't wait to get back! Nice part is that we aren't pulling a boat each time. We just love it. Little Boy is a pretty neat lake too.

Have you ever fished it? I don't think I have your email anymore, but mine is the same as it was in the past if you still have it. Send a message sometime if you have time.

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My in-laws on Woman have a harbor so typically I drop my boat in on the way up and pull it out on the way home. So, that hasn't allowed me much opportunity to check out other area lakes. I tend to be a bit Woman-Lake-focused when I am up there. Plus, since I tend to do a lot of late night fishing, I am not getting up until 10:00 AM. By the time I eat and often end up taking kids tubing or sunny fishing, it hasn't allowed the time to explore other lakes.

I don't have your old email address and mine has changed since those days. This system won't let me send you a PM (maybe a setting on your end?).

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Can't figure out why I can't send a PM. I will look into it and let you know if I can figure it out!

Thanks,

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Quote:

Can't figure out why I can't send a PM. I will look into it and let you know if I can figure it out!

Thanks,


PM's are not configured on this site. Can't figure out why, but any message board that is worth going to has it, I am surprised they haven't done something about it. It is not like the technology doesn't exist and to be honest, it would keep some of the crap off of the boards because it could be sent via PM instead of plugging up boards.

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Any reports for this coming weekend? Looks like the forecast has changed a bit from overcast to sunny on Friday and Saturday. Will be heading up early Friday morning......anybody throw me a bone as far as whats working and what you've been catching? I'd appreciate it!!

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Schnauzer-- Thanks for the report. I am heading up to Women in mid September any suggustions for fishing during the day at that time of year? Does trolling cranks work or do you find them deeper? We fished the same time last year with live bait on deeper breaks and did so so.

thanks

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