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Team Otter

"Banker's Hours" - Lake Pepin

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Team Otter

One never knows what to expect when venturing out on a new adventure, especially when it's ice fishing. The anticipation always seems to be, at least for me, just a touch higher when your vehicle or ATV rolls onto the "frozen tundra" for the first time in a new location. While Lake Pepin wasn't "new" to our group this past week, it was from an ice fishing stand-point, so the learning curve was steep right from the get-go.

We arrived in the "big town" of Maiden Rock late Thursday morning and took a look at ice conditions, etc for the first hour or so. We decided on a location on a large flat in 17' that had received very little, if any, fishing pressure. Good sign? Well, we weren't sure but with the nice weather, we knew we'd have a good opportunity to "snoop around".

First 10 minutes after settling in; Good sign? whistle.gif

pepin001yl7.jpg

Well, it turned out that mobility was not key; patience and focusing on electronics was. We ended up sorting through a nice mix of saugers, saugeye, and walleyes right up through this morning. Our best fishing was from 9:00 am - Noon and then again from 2:30 - 5:30 pm every day. In fact, you could almost set your watch to the fish. It was nuts. A night bite? Um, non-existent.

Thursday afternoon/evening and Friday morning had us feeling pretty good about our location grin.gif

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Despite our positive results to this point, my ADHD (Ha!) kicked in and I went looking. But every time I'd come back to the houses to "check in", there would be more of this...

Piggie, Piggie; oink, oink \:\)

pepin003xw2.jpg

So, I decided to stay put, hang with "the guys" and really put the screws to 'em while watching "Meet the Fockers" and sippin' on a cool one. The 'gig was to watch for very quick "blips" on your electronics, reel up to where you saw the "blip", jig like mad for about 30 seconds and then close your eyes and hang on. All fish we caught came through suspended ~2 - 4' down and would just smack anything and everything put in front of them that was jigged but not a set line. Well, we did get 1 on a set line...

23+" BOAR

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Lure style or color didn't seem to matter much but we typically used Northland Buckshot Spoons, Chubby Darters, Jiggin' Raps and Rattlin' and Pro Varmints, each of which could be used with or without meat.

Saturday, when the weather changed and people started leaving, that really ticked the fish off.

Blowing and Drifting Snow Advisory? crazy.gif

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Crazy Bite Advisory?

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Oh, when fishing this area, the scenery is darn tough to beat, so I have to include a sunrise and sunset...

Rises in the East

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And sets in the West

pepin012fj6.jpg

In summary, just a great trip with friends! Got home today and already set to go back for more. Note to self; make spot on calendar for same trip next year, barring decent ice conditions.

Oh yeah, ice conditions; perfect. 22 - 28" everywhere we drilled.

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walleyecaber

T.O. Wow nice looking pic's nice looking fish and what a great trip it must of been. The fish have been going from the Redwing dam to the Genoa dam. I fish all these area's plus the lake and i new you where in for a great bite i was up there earlyer in the week and had great luck.The times you mention have been the times it seems this year good morning bite the a late afternoon bite been that way for me all year on the river. Anyways glad you got down this way and had the chance to see some of the true god's country it is great and the fishing is hot year round. cool.gif Thanks for another great report.

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james_walleye

Hey Jamison nice fish. I'm thinking of heading that way next sunday. Give me a call when you get a moment.

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Team Otter

Thanks WC. No problem about sharing a report. It's something I love to do following a trip such as this. It's nice when a plan comes together. Glad you enjoyed the read.

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Team Otter

JW,

You have mail.

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hanson

Dude... Those are some AWESOME saugers!!

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markkstanley

Chris , the sumo sauger bite is great on open water right now too. Can't go wrong on pool 4 right now.

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Team Otter

Thanks Chris. It just depends if you want to be bundled up and fishing in a boat or sitting in a T-shirt in a wheel house having pizza.

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james_walleye

Otter my friend was up at Mille Lacs thursday and friday and did decent all things considered. They had a few walleyes between 23-26" and they had a bunch of jumbos in the 12" range. You going to head up at all before the season ends? I'll be up the weekend after this.

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spinnerfisher

Hey could anyone give me some directions to the access on lake Pepin planning on heading down there on Saturday, (team otter your post got me excited to try a new lake) I live in the north Metro/Champlin. And was wondering how long of a drive is it?

Thanks for any info,

Jeff

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SCONASOTAN

TO - Was heading that way this weekend and was wondering if you can access the general area you were fishing from the MN side?also can you drive out with 4x4 pickup? Were the fish on or near the edge of the river channel or in the middle of the flat? Just trying to eliminate some water before I start drilling holes.

thanks

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ice fishing maniac

nice fish man was thinking of going tomarrow any advice I dont have gps but i do have vexilar

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Team Otter

Nope, not 'til open water.

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Team Otter

There are multiple accesses on to Lake Pepin, both on the MN and WI sides. Some of the more popular locations are Frontenac, Lake City, Bay City and Maiden Rock. Grab a map and have a look.

Just to give you an idea, Champlin to Lake City is ~105 miles.

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Team Otter

Vehicle travel was not an issue and no, the area we were fishing must be accessed from the WI side.

The fish were in "no man's land" in 17' of water.

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Team Otter

All the advice you need should be in my report.

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ice fishing maniac

up stream or down stream from the rush river outlet

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Team Otter

That's a little more specific than I care to share.

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Team Otter

I saw people doing it.

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ice fishing maniac

well thanks for the report i will let you know how i do oh by the way did you hear about that 12.7lb walleye they pulled somewhere on the lake pretty crazy

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SCONASOTAN

thanks TO for your input. DOn't know if it will be ice or boat adventure, but want to keep the options open.

thanks again for the report

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Team Otter

Yup, heard about the "big girl".

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hanson

 Originally Posted By: markkstanley
Chris , the sumo sauger bite is great on open water right now too. Can't go wrong on pool 4 right now.

Sure wish I could do that. I've got back to back weekends at Upper Red Lake coming up. I have had the itch to get after some Eyes on P4 though.

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ice fishing maniac

decided to go out of mn side posted report on methodist

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