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Sportland_Bait

Updated Fishing Reports!

27 posts in this topic

What a weekend! With the warm temperatures the Ice Fishing Extravaganza went terrific. Record crowds hit Gull lake in search of a big fish. The lucky winner landed a 5 pound walleye and drove home in a brand new truck. It was a fun weekend for everyone. The fishing was a little slow during the first part of the week but really took off when the weather warmed up again. We had some awesome walleye fishing on Gull from Thursday through the weekend. Most walleyes were hitting shiner minnows on a small jig fished near the bottom under a slip float. 18 feet seemed to be the best depth give or take a little. So far all year the fish have remained relatively shallow relating to the weedlines. The ice is in tremendous shape so far with most places having between 16-24 inches of good ice. Without much snow on the lake travel to the hot spots has been pretty easy. Mid lake humps had the best action this week. We have also caught some nice perch mixed in with the walleyes. The panfish action has been pretty good up on Nisswa lake. It has been mostly sunfish during the daytime and the crappies are turning on towards evening. Small glow jigs tipped with spikes have been producing siome nice catches. The pike action has picked up on the Cullen Chain for anglers using tip-ups and sucker minnows, mid day has been the best. Good Luck this week!

Jason Erlandson

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ImissReeds--- I have to stand behind the fact that we not post the names of small lakes.. If people were to hit a small lake it could kill the population of decent spawning fish. Bait shops and the likes will help people on the larger lakes, but I commend them for keeping the smaller lakes secret. Its up to you to go out a drill some holes in some pot holes and find out for yourself.

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I understand what you are saying, sometimes the reports sound like a broken record. But I do try my best to keep everyone informed. Whether you decide to patronize our business or not that is your choice. One of the tough things here in the Brainerd area is our sunfish and crappie fishing in the winter. Many of our better lakes for sunfish and crappies are very tough to access. A lot of private land more so than ever before because of the rapid land development over the last 20 years. The end result are reports from the lakes that people can access. Another thing that limits the panfishing reports is above average walleye fishing. As long as anglers are still catching walleyes most of those same anglers haven't switched over to chasing panfish yet. On a typical year this happens earlier in January but the walleyes have kept biting really good on Gull. It is pretty easy for us to get some up to date walleye reports because of the sheer numbers of walleye anglers. But most of the time if an angler is on a good/great sunfish or crappie bite they are usually pretty tight-lipped. And they should be. I try to use my best judgement on where to send people but I always try to be honest as well. I will always be the first to tell people that fishing is good or tough. Because with fishing we will always have good days and bad days. I'm sorry if you think that our coverage area isn't what you are looking for but we do not get many reports from certain lakes including some that you are asking about. South Long, Rice Lake/Miss. River, even the Whitefish Chain in the winter. But I always try to get the current reports out for the waters here in our backyard, like Gull, Edwards, Hubert, Round, Pelican, and N. Long, among others. Sometimes it isn't always as easy as it may seem, but I try to do my best. If you have any suggestions about how we could improve we would love to sit down and discuss things with you. Dave and I have been been in business now for 32 years but we are always looking for ways to improve our business. So feel free to stop in and chat anytime.

Jason Erlandson

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Any thoughts on best times for crappies on those tiny lakes? Am going to my cabin on tiny clear (non chain) lake this weekend for the first time this year, and we usually do best on crapps from about sundown for about an hour or two. Fish tipups during the day for the action of lots of small pike \:\) but would like to go after some crapps during the day. We have a sled this year, so will try more spots. Just never had much luck during the day for them, but we never traveled too far from front of cabin area ;\) as we are old and can't really get vehicles on the lake easily.

Also going to Cross Lake for some pike tipup action, but any thoughts on depths for walleyes might be fun too. Last year we had lots of fun with pike there, about 14 FOW, but we hadn't been there before so not sure of ice conditions for driving. Does anybody know if the west side of the lake is normally pretty good for driving a truck on? We just go and hit the humps and points over there, but one bro-in-law has bum ankle, so we need to drive. Thanks for any thoughts or advice, or should we go to Whitefish?

BTW - thanks guys for the reports, I always check to see them even if I don't get up there much in winter, I like to see people haivng good luck and seeing what the action is like. I usually stay pretty tight to the Crosslake area, just cause it is easy for me \:\)

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I agree with poster - keep the little lakes from being advertised. That will reward other fishers that try for themselves and will definately keep hoards of panfish hunters from the small lakes that wouldn't be able to handle hoards of green hornets dropping lines under the hard water.

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The key to getting good advice at the bait shop, sportland included, is to ask more specific questions. Generic questions get generic answers.

Let them know your plan, where you are thinking of going, ask if you have put together a good plan. They aren't and shouldn't just divulge the everything to everyone, but they won't lie to you either.

I like to ask about specific spots and whether it is 'worth my time'. Typically they are very helpful with me when I approach them this way rather than the "Where they bitin.'"

It helps them help you, as it is easy to tell someone to look for a little inside turn on the hump when you are already familiar enough with it to plan to fish it.

I would agree with the report. We had a great weekend of fishing, we found plenty of hungry fish to make some excellent afternoons.

Hot Tip: We did find that the crappie bite occurred much earlier in the day that we thought it would.

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I always read the gull reports even though I don't know when/if I'll make it up this winter. I definitely would LOVE to hear reports from the whitefish chain, but oh well, I'll survive. I'd like to believe that a fairly average to above average fisherman can make lot's of good from even "generic" or "bland" info. Just point me in the right direction and I'll figure it out from there. grin.gif

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One post on a small lake, gives so much info. Because it does not take much to find out where people are fishing.

Its simple you drive to the lake.

Look around

"O look there a fish house"

walk.... walk....

drill hole.....

fish.....

Now do that to your favorite little lake until you learn the lake, follow fish patterns through out the year. Get a camera watch how they react to different colors and shapes of jigs. Follow their daily movement. Take a notebook out with you and record times that the schools come in and leave. After a few times on the lake you should be able to follow and stay on top of fish all day long.

All good things take time. So, Put some time into fishing and you shall receive good rewards.

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Both Sportland and S & W have always been pretty good at stearing people in the right direction when I've been in there. I can only imagine how many times in a day they hear, where are the fish biting? One also has to take into account the info they are recieving is from fisherman. Knowing fisherman, i don't think they always report the truthful specifics about thier honey holes.

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Jason, right on... Nice honest reply...

I like many others appreciate you and your dad....You run a first class operation...

Joel

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I think it is crazy for some to think that bait shops should post specifics on any lake, big or small. Most if not all people in the bait shop business are in the business because they love what they do. Last time I checked they aren't on the Forbes 50 richest people list. They love the daily conversation and good hearted exchange of information between them and their patrons. They also understand what specific tips will do to certain lakes/spots versus tips such as "There is a decent walleye bite in 18-24FOW on Gull. Look to shiners on set lines and jigging spoons with a minnow head as your best approach."

Bait shops owners are part of the heart and soul of Minnesota and its outdoor traditions. They do all kinds of great things, yet some seem to always pick out the one thing that bothers them.

All of us on this site are fisherman or fisherwomen and how often do we give the greatest, specific information.

Just think, bait shop owners are trying to get out of people, what most of us wouldn't give if our life depended on it!!

Thanks to Sportland and all other shops for doing their best to provide us with good products and solid information.

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I for one am glad that bait shops dont give out information on small lakes. There is nothing more annoying than finding a good bite for yourself and having 5 other houses around you a day later. I have become very tight lipped especially on specifics of certain lakes. If you tell one person chances are they tell a buddy and pretty soon you are on the move finding more fish.

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Bait shops deal in bait, and B.S.

Good panfish spots are found by hard work and kept secret. That is the nature of the fisherman, women.

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I agree...get out and work for em a little bit and when you do find what your lookin for it is alot more rewarding.(and then don't tell a soul)

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BEERME, you can tell me! I will bring the beer.

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Sounds good it could be a "late nite" of bending elbows and rods.

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Thats how I got the name!

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You won't get much info on alot of these lakes for the reason alot of the smaller lakes or even chain of lakes (whitefish) only have so many anglers touching them......I have been out in the cross lake area all winter and the Whitefish Chain has only a handfull of anglers on it!! The smaller lakes I have went to have a resident population using them and they aren't going to spill info and have "their" lake raided by the weekend fisherman from the cities!! Get out and try something new....go to the smaller lake and fish....check out the permanant shacks and check out the addresses on them and notice if they are local or not....if they are local something must be going on in the area!!! I have been on a few small lakes and I wonder on some of them if they even see pressure in the winter as I have a hard time finding old holes or signs of life at all!!! Good Luck!!

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well when most people come into those bait shops and go to the producing lakes such as Gull and north long and nisswa what kind of report are you going to give???? Give out some [PoorWordUsage] and say that lake X is producing big walleyes and big crappies just to change up the report!!! I look at the other reports and from alot of the areas they are the same lakes and the same depths and are all generic carbon copies of what they have reported before!!! If you are from the area why do you need the report anyways....don't you know others that fish that will induldge hot spots or haven't you developed certain lakes that you know produce?? Why would you rely on the bait shop for bite info anyways.......If they are giving you the info they are probably giving everyone the same info and then when you show up to fish it is a zoo on the lake!!! Maybe you should write a fishing report for the bait shops to give to the publications and the internet so they are different from week to week!!LOL Good Luck

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I go to 3 bait shops with absolute regularity. Been going to 2 of them since they opened and the other for about 15 years. The owners and i at all 3 are on a first name basis. They and their staff always give me all the info I could use. Hot spots, what's biting, what they are biting on, how deep, etc, etc. Unless I am with someone they don't know well or at all. Then they tend to be somewhat vague. Personally I appreciate that. They will give me the generic news of the day. Bigger lakes, general areas, the like. The same thing i get at nearly every other bait shop I visit throughout the year. Very few bait shops that I am not a very long time regular at ever give me more than the most general and generic info. Though even they will give you a few good tips here and there. Personally I wouldn't really want it any other way.

They don't reveal my secret hot spot and i won't reveal theirs. ;\)

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truely good fishing spots have to be kept quiet, 6-7 years ago there was a small lake in Brainerd area which was hard to get to, but had some huge crappies. We fished it and threw all the crappies back. It was just too much fun to catch truely large crappies (14-16.5") than to keep them. But alas the word finally got out to some locals who lived on the lake and they kept and carved them all up, now its 6 inch crappies. Small lakes with big panfish are a much different thing than something the size of Gull and panfish reports. BTW some good crappies biting on the south end of Gull, and most of you likely know where.

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