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shadow886

Rice Lake (AKA the river)

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I am new to this area and I was woundering What is up with all the houses on rice lake. I know there in a deep hole, catching crappies. BUT is the fishing that good, or is everyone just seeing houses and joining in.

How good is the fishing out there?

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People tend to get panfish, pike, and the occasional walleye on Rice. I think its more popular because its so close to town, as opposed to having great ice fishing.

the proximity to Brainerd can be nice, but it can also some with its costs. Very common to hear of thefts from houses out there.

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I like to fish Rice a few times a year, but tend to fish out by the big Island "Whitey or Whitely" Island. When I have fished the main hole, the bay just off the landing where al the Ice Houses are, you can sure catch a lot of crappies, sunnies, a few northern and sometimes walleye. That bay has gotten very weedy and there are some nice weedlines to fish, but many fish the middle of this "Bowl" with good results for Crappies.. Sometimes getting big slab crapies. The Mississippi supports a great crappie population.

The main bowl has better ice than out by the island. You will notice that when fishing the island side of the channel, there is still a slow sluggish current that pulls your lines back toward the bridge, which is above Potlatch dam. Be VERY CAREFUL going out. I have found that when thee is 15" of ice in the main bay, there may be 10 or 11" on the S. side of the Island. By the way. I never fish the river channel side of the island, just behind it. I won't be the fool that drives out on river ice in the winter.

The island is better for small waleyes, lots of northerns, bigger jumbo perch, and the occasional smallmouth bass. I once caught a silver phase muskie about 3 pounds, which goes to show that you never know what may come out of the river. Eelpout and sheephead are also part of the mixed bag that can surprise you there.

I haven't been out yet, but I wait unntil it is really safe. Rivers are tricky, and with all of the reports of unsafe ice, water, and slush layers, I would stick close to the bay for a while.

Paul W, Ouimon.

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anyone know how much ice is out there? i have saw some snomobile tracks going accross, wondering if i can bring the 3 wheeler out.

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I went out there tonight, there was 5 to 8 inches of ice, guys around me on wheelers and snowmobiles. Got a few crappies, saw a lot on the vex but couldnt get them to bite.

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Good report, Thank You. Can't wait to get out there yhis year. I would assume there will be people driving out on the ice between Christmas and New Years... How was the Snow/Slush and layers of water we have been hearing about on local lakes? Was it tough getting around out there? Paul W.

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There is a nice packed down trail that goes out to all the houses, pretty easy pulling. I have been taking the wheeler out the last few times. There was a good 8 or 9 inches where i was at. I havnt come across any slush out there. Did real well today, caught about 30 crappies, and one nice walleye, kept six the size of the ones in my avatar. Hope its ok to eat fish out of the river. shocked.gif

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is the crappie bight a night bight or what time? I can't get out until 5pm after work. Is it worth the trip?

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I was out from 1 to 6 and caught them the whole time, my bro in law stayed out later last night, i will find out how he did and let you know. He got out about 5:30 and had caught 3 before i left around 6.

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So my bro in law stayed out until 8, and caught just a rock bass between 6 and 8. He said a few guys were still out in there permenants when he left, know idea if they were catching fish. Seems like the nights could slow down?

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Nice catch! Thanks for the ice/slush/snow report too. I think as rivers go, they accumulate a lot more of industrial and farming pollutants and runoff than lakes do, but we are pretty far North and the river hasn't had a chance to go too far. Like down in Red Wing and the other pools and dams in Southern Minnesota that have mercury warnings and say you shouldn't eat more than a pound or two a month! I think the river fish up here get a clean bill of health. Years ago, downstream from Rice Lake is Potlatch, and there was a Mercury scare from the paper mill waste, and locals said it was bad to take fish from there. It has cleaned up a lot, and I think taking fish from below Potlatch is OK too.

Fishing this summer under the Potlatch dam, just below Rice Lake, I kept catching those Zebra mussels on my rapalas! They are ALL OVER the bottom. I heard about the aggressive foreign species, but hadn't seen how they can really take over.

Anyway, good luck on the river, and hope you get a LUNKER!

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