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Steve Foss

Burntside laker report

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Steve Foss

Fished Bside today from 8:30 to 4.

What a gorgeous day. NWS was calling for cloudy and flurries but it stayed sunny and warm and CALM. By 11 a.m. I turned off the heater in the Otter and just let the sun do its thing.

I'd had some great outings around laker opener but a bunch of poor ones since just before and after the Burntside Bash, with two skunkings and a couple days with only a dink each day to show for it.

Today felt different, and it turned out to be different. Caught three lakers, though the biggest only went 3-4 pounds.

I saw nothing until about 10:30, when the first fish came in really sluggish. From 11-12 was fast, with five fish coming in or fewer fish coming in more than once, and they were pretty hot. Couldn't get any to go, though, and I thought it was all over when the 20-inch, 2.5 pounder in the picture came from the side and whomped my chubby darter (white/black natural pattern with orange belly, untipped to preserve lure action). About 20 minutes later a 22-incher hit the same lure and went back down the hole after I landed it. Both were stocked fish with clipped fins.

About 2 p.m. there was a flurry of activity for half an hour or so, and I popped a cute little 16-inch native fish (no clipped fins usually means it's not stocked). Caught it while hole-hopping with a Northland buckshot rattle spoon (tipped with smelt tail).

Also had one good flag on the tip-up baited with dead smelt 2 feet off bottom, but the fish headed right into the boulders and I got snagged up, so no fish.

I've found the 11-12:30 and 2-3 o'clock periods to offer the most activity so far this season. That tracks with former seasons, too. Not to say fish won't bite at other times, just that it's a good idea to have you A-Game going at those times.

Here's the 20-incher I kept for supper.

steve-laker.jpg

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Jim Hudson

Steve

Great photo!!!

See that nice new rod in your hand.. How do you like it so far?

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Steve Foss

Thanks, Jim. A fella can do a lot with a tripod and a timer. grin.gif

The Jason Mitchell Mackinaw is a sweet rod. Took a little getting used to because of the long butt (and my protruding belly). None of my other laker poles have that. Actually fishes quite differently because there's more butt and less rod. I like it. grin.gifgrin.gifgrin.gif

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Northlander

Oh I so want to make a joke but its a family site. grin.gif

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Steve Foss

Bummer for you, Steve. grin.gifgrin.gif

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jigman

hay jigman here nice fish been getting my gear ready learning the marcum with crappie fishing had a nice one off battlelake 12 " throw backer its a breeder. kept the 7 to 10"s there good eating but i have a taste for laker. Ive fished pipe stone in emo Ontario and the fish are really dark orange are they like that on bside the meat almost looks like salmon.

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finnbay

Hey, nice lookin' fish AND pic. Fisherman??????? Glad to hear there's still some action out there. Would like to give it a try next weekend.

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Steve Foss

jigman, all the lakers I've kept from Bside and other inland lakes have that great orange meat. Mmmmmmm. grin.gifgrin.gif

Ken, shoot me an e-mail. I got nothing going for next weekend so far. I'd bump you if a client called, but it's February, so there ain't a big chance of THAT happening. We can also get a little supplemental shooting in if you bring your camo. grin.gif

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tcbrookston

What a STUD in that picture. \:D

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JBMasterAngler

Is the natural reproduction for lakers on burntside on the up side? I read on the DNR lakefinder that the high smelt population do a number on the eggs/fry. Smelt on the decline perhaps?

Amen on the trout meat! Maybe a close 2nd behind salmon on the grill.

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Great Outdoors

The jury is still out on the natural reproduction, as even the DNR guys can't figure out how the smelt take out everything (except for the smallmouth and northerns)but some trout appear to be making it.

There are many trout being caught that aren't clipped.

They think the Gilis strain is doing better than others, for some reason.

The Gilis strain are the dark brown ones, hatched from Gilis Lake on the Gunflint Trail.

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Great Outdoors

PS on the last post.

The smelt population is still very high.

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Steve Foss

JB, I pretty much agree with everything G.O. said. He and I only differ in that I'm a little more optimistic about the likelihood that natural trout reproduction is turning around. And I agree the jury's still out on that.

If that does happen to be the case it's probably because smelt, though still with very high numbers, have declined somewhat. I'd speculate that the DNR stocking of large numbers of yearling lakers over time also has had an impact on the smelt population. That's a pretty typical pattern from what I've read with smelt introduction. The populations reach a point where natural smelt reproduction becomes viable and then they explode, then overpopulate and stunt, then decline and reach an equilibrium point. If smelt in Burntside are declining toward that equilibrium, it certainly will be better for the species whose eggs they've been eating (walleye, laker, whitefish and cisco) and whose fry they've been outcompeting for micro-organisms.

And when I say "native" fish when I catch an unclipped fish, it may not actually be native to Bside at all. They've been stocking lakers in there plenty long enough for some of the stocked fish to have reproduced and their get to have grown well into keeper size. So rather than calling those natives, I'd be more accurate to call them naturally reproduced.

This is all just my thinking based on the DNR data I've read and fisheries folks I've talked to in the last few years, so you can put it in the "for-what-it's-worth" category. grin.gifgrin.gif

Bside old timers like G.O. and a couple others I've talked to can tell the difference between a true Bside native trout and the stocked type. I can't.

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Steve Foss

Well, today was a totally different day than yesteday. Doh, right? grin.gifgrin.gif

Fished from 8 until 3, and aside from a few lookers, including two very hot fish I could not get to go because I was talking on the cell phone both times, all I had was one shoulder swipe from a 5-lber to report.

I pulled that one up to within a few feet of the ice and had a great time watching it stalk my chubby darter and give it the cold trout shoulder (literally). grin.gifgrin.gif

Hope the few other folks I saw out there were having more success. Sure did blow up a gusty mess starting about noon.

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caseymcq

Oscar and I were out on Snowbank today. We saw one fish on the Vex and couldn't get it to bite. By 13:00 we were packing up because even while we were sitting in my Clam 5600 the wind was picking up the corner I had the hole drilled in (only corner without any extra weight. While I was packing everything up it was so brutal Oscar wanted to sit in the truck. That is extremely rare for him to be out on the lake and not want to run around. I barely found my tip up it had drifted over so bad. It was an interesting day on the lake grin.gif

In the time it took for me to drive from Snowbank to Ely the temp went from 14 to 4. It is nasty out.

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Steve Foss

Casey, I fished the east end of a tall island with deep water close to shore and was pretty much out of the wind, but I sat there in the Otter looking out the windows at the snow blowing over my head and all around the lake and decided at 3 p.m. that it was enough. Hardly ever caught a laker after that time of day, anyway. grin.gifgrin.gif

I've been meaning to hit snowbank one of these years, but today would not have been a great day to experiment. Reminded me of all that time spend in North Dakota! grin.gifgrin.gif

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Great Outdoors

Steve,

You stopping by about 6 in the morning for some bait, or are you gonna let this balmy breeze scare you off??? grin.gif

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Steve Foss

Jimbo, believe it or not I have a photo excursion client who called me today to book tomorrow. Yikes, are we gonna be c-c-c-cold! grin.gifgrin.gif

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Great Outdoors

What time you picking him or her up at the asylum?? crazy.gif

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Steve Foss

Not at any 6 a.m., I can tell you that. Hard to take pictures in the dark.

Where are YOU fishing tomorrow? grin.gifgrin.gifgrin.gif

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Great Outdoors

I was thinking about hiking out to Dollar Island around 5:30 am, but remembered I have to be at the shop by 7. (possibly 8 or later if this stuff keeps up) grin.gif

Dang it, I really wanted to venture out!! \:D

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Steve Foss

 Originally Posted By: Great Outdoors
Dang it, I really wanted to venture out!! \:D

Sure you did, bubba. Sure you did. whistle.gif

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finnbay

Whataya takin' photos of - icicles? grin.gif

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Steve Foss

Ken, I think we'll have pics of the icicles hanging from our noses. grin.gifgrin.gif

And yikes, -44 coming tonight! cry.gif

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fishgutz77

Nice fish steve! are you planning anything for the last saturday of the trout season on b-side? Have you ever gone over to blueberry after we fished it on the Bash? I gonna come up and take at least half a day to fish the north arm, any other good recomendations. the trout we kept that day were nice and orange and tasted great. never to cold to take photo's hey.

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