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Joe

Detroit Lakes-Pelican Rapids Fishing Reports - Lake Conditions

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Chill....pink plastics or waxies on a small horizontal jig...Lindy Tungsten Toad....good luck this weekend...can't wait to hear the report!

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Thanks for the tip!  I haven't actually caught crappies lately and I'm getting sad!  I'm excited for the weekend and hoping we get the guys on the ice.  It's a little nerve wrecking when the owner of the jig company that your a pro staffer for is bringing a vehicle full of people with him and one is a custom rod manufacturer!  The request was Tuilibiees, perch, crappies and gills, maybe walleye/pike.  hopefully we get them on the fish.

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What a heck of a weekend!  I think I need a vacation from my vacation!  I burned 2.5 tanks of gas on my auger this weekend and it was just one of four that was drilling holes this weekend.  We had 4 guys from NY, 3 from IL, 2 from WI, 2 from MI, 1 from IA, and 4 of us from MN all out fishing this weekend.  Fished Friday-Sunday using headlights to drill holes in the morning and using headlights to come off the lake at night!  Fished for Tuilibees in the morning and I think everyone was shocked at how big and how hard they fight when hooked.  They were pretty touchy and didn't seem to active, if you got one solo mark you rarely had a hook up 10% of the time if you were lucky.  If you had 2 marks the chances were probably closer to 50%.  They liked rainbow Kastmasters with a drop jig tipped with wax worms.  Fished 2 days on a perch lake in the area and did really well on them there.  They preffered the saddles/flats between the holes and a few were caught up shallow on points.  Walleyes, pike and bass were mixed in the bag and sadly on this lake the gills and crappies were not to be found.  Fished one day on a little lake up north and caught a TON of bluegills and crappies.  It was so much fun watching these guys pulling up the fish and they'd instantly break out there phones and cameras for selfies and pictures and then drop the fish back into the lake.  This lake was a giant flat on a finger of a lake and we fished from shoreline to shoreline across it.  Sadly on both lakes the fish seemed to die about 5 pm both days.  We went chasing big pike one evening  and had a few flags but nothing big came out.  I was very jealous because I've caught 1 walleye ALL ice season and 3 guys got two each within 10 minutes each!  I've got to be doing something wrong!  FYI 4 of them were caught on a tungsten jig tipped with wax worms!  All in all it was a great weekend.  Rarely did we see people out Friday-Sunday.

 

Monday morning we were going to meet on the ice and when I got out to the tuilibee spot I saw a vehicle and was shocked since I've been the first on one the ice each morning.  Get there drive up to it thinking it was a buddy and realize 30 feet away it wasn't.  Felt like a jerk so went and appologized and the guy came unglued on me.  Told him they had similar vehicles and that this was the exact place we were to be meeting but I drove up to him to tell him he was off on his spot by 300 feet.  He calmed down when I told him I was the person who had drilled the 200 holes in the spot on Friday and Saturday morning.  I started drilling holes and about 20 minutes later he came up to me so I shut my auger off.  He appologized for getting mad and asked where he should drill holes and I told him that we were going to have a large group come out and he'd be welcomed to join and I pointed him in a direction.  He was awesome enough to help drill holes and we got him on fish almost instantly.  Sadly the spot was SLOW and another guy went exploring holes across the lake and when he found fish we packed up and I asked him "YOU COMING WITH???" and away across the lake all of us went.  He was fishing his traditional daredevil technique and we gave him some tips and what we were using and soon he was putting them top side with us.  The pro staffers all left so it was just the three of us fishing and in that spot we had 3 doubles and 1 tripple!  Was a blast fishing with him and getting to know him.  Around 11 the fishing slowed down so we were going to switch lakes for another spot and he asked "Can I invite myself with to the new lake?" sure follow us over!  We had a blast all day fishing.  Moral of the story is try to be nice to each other I felt like the largest JERK in the world and tried to appologize and I know he got mad because some Jerk came in on him out there but after we both appologized we had a blast.  He was excited because he has fresh fish for the smoke house.  I think he caught around 6-8 big boys and was excited since biggest ones he's ever seen before.  We caught around 20 ish big boys and about 20 smaller ones on another lake.  Very Light Bite!

 

Long story short.

Blue Gills were in the flats

Crappies were not in the flats! Few mixed in but not many

Perch were where they normally are but the big boys were not to be really found  

Pike were hit and miss, thought they'd be feeding with the increase flow of water I was wrong.

Walleyes were up with the perch.

Tuilibees were in the deep holes.  Best luck in holes over 50'

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Chill....overall seems like a decent weekend with a bunch of guys who love to get out and explore...way to go!  

 

As for me...with the colder temps the crappies were not as shallow but had moved out to the first break in that 13' depth.  I am finding weed growth already and they we tucked in the weeds.  As soon as it warms up again I hope to find them real shallow like they were the previous weekend...good luck!

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Sounds good.  When we chased gills and crappies we were from about 10-20 feet and we didn't find a bunch but a few were mixed in the group.  I haven't been targeting them yet but I'm hoping to soon.  Chasing tuilibees have been eating up a big part of my days.

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I've done the Tullibee thing once...stunk so bad I said never again! LOL

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Everyone says they stink and they slime up your hole and why would you want to catch them to me all the time.  The fish I have caught aren't slimy and honestly I think a northern pike is slimier and stinks more then a tuilibee.  So I don't know if its the lakes that I'm fishing that they don't stink or I don't have a sense of smell but I'd rather catch them then a stinking pike lol.  We were catching a few pike mixed in the tuilibees the last few trips and we also got a few big walleyes to bite also.  Don't know why in 80 feet of water suspended they'd bite a wax worm.

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I'd have to agree the times I've targeted them they don't stink or get the hole all slimy. Pike are the worst.

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Got out just on Sunday, we had to put our dog down this week so we kinda took it easy on Saturday.  Went out tuilibee fishing first light.  Drilled holes for my friends that were coming out had some random guy drive right up to me and throw buckets out of his truck and sat down with his grandkids.  I said I have holes drilled there and he's like oh awesome!  UMMM OK thanks for asking to fish 20 feet from my vehicle.  They were loud as heck throwing around the buckets all morning and they didn't catch a fish. We tried to stay away from them and we caught 8 or 9 between four guys but they were all 2-3 pounds.  We fished till 11:30 then took off for Chinese Dragon.  After over eating I went and hit a small lake I like for panfish.  VERY SOUPY out there and water was flowing down the holes.  Drilled a few holes otherwise I used holes that were still open peole fish the other night.  IF water was flowing down the hole I caught fish down them.  WEIRD!!!!!!!  Was really slow till those clouds came in mid afternoon but once the sun hit the clouds the fishing picked up.  Was using my favorite custom Shoehorn Jig in metalic colors tipped with a wax worm.  They wanted a very slow presentation and 99% of the time they hit it as it was dropping down.  Probably caught 75-100 gills but only about 6-8 crappies.  Ended up keeping about 16 blue gills and 3 crappies when all said and done.  A buddy came out right before dark and was using a small spoon and was catching crappie after crappie so maybe bigger presentation was key for them.  We had best luck from 17-22 fow and I don't know if it was coincidence but once the clouds came in they started biting.

 

Ice conditions...lot of water running down the holes yesterday.  Shores looked good and it seemed soft as I was drilling but there was still 18" plus out there on the two lakes I fished.  It's supposed to freeze up good this week but there will be a ton of damage from yesterday and today.

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Was able to get out Saturday for crappies and planned on hole-hopping, but MAN was it windy.  Ended up fishing in a hard sided house so didn't move at all.  Didn't catch anything but a bass until about 5:30.  Then we picked up 11 keeper crappies and threw some smaller ones back.  Caught everything in 25 fow with a minnow.  I think with the wind they were very timid and every fish came on a deadstick with a bobber.  Couldn't get them to hit on the jigging stick.  On Saturday I'm guessing we had about 19" of good ice.  There were a couple of ice castles still out and about 8 trucks.  

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Catching up on sharing some pics of recent outings chasing Crappies/Gills, actually gills and those 2 eyes just got in the way! LOL First pic is with a few guys during that warm spell end of Feb and we got them real shallow, second pic was couple days ago (Saturday) with a couple of the bunch I caught and they were a little deeper; third pic was yesterday (Sunday) and they were shallow again. All the crappies were 11" minimum with a some in that 12-13.5" range.

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Made it out this weekend and the summary was BURRR that was cold!

 

Safety first!  I fished two lakes and drilled a ton of holes ice looks awesome still!  There are some freaky looking spots that must have been lower but they still had 18-22" of ice in them.  We built a lot of ice over the weekend.  One access did start having an ice heave that has not been there for the past month.

 

Back to buisness end...Ummm fishing was slow.  Saturday took a bunch of rookie fisherman out and due to the cold and wind they stayed in the portables.  We had three graphs and two cameras for 6 people so they were content sitting in the houses and watching the fish.  Water temp at bottom in 21' was 41.3 degrees, three weeks ago it was 38 and change.  We also saw weeds growing up already and some were 4-6" long!  Drilled probably 50 plus holes in a spot I have done good a few weeks prior and all the fish came out of three holes.  Nothing big but I caught about 40 bluegills all went back, a few crappies, and two bass, lost one northern.  Blue gills were active but skidish at same time which was hillarious.  They'd fly up to see your jig then fly away if it got too close to them lol.  We fished from mid morning to late afternoon.  We did drive out there with my Rav 4 but we left the pickups on shore just in case for safety sake.

 

Sunday I met up with some guys and we chased tuilibees right away  in the morning.  Holes were freezing over quickly!  Marked a few before sunrise and only managed to catch one and had two bites I missed.  Only saw on the graph 2 maybe 3 schools come through.  Had two guys come out with a wheeler and a trailer drive up inside of our holes we had drilled and set up there house and drill holes without saying a word.  Guess we weren't going to be using those holes he parked ontop of and set up right next to any more.  Sadly this is the third time these guys have done this in about 4-5 weeks.  We were the only ones on the lake and there were 4-5 holes people had been fishing.  Tried 3 different holes across the lake and graphed a few but none were chasing.  We ended up with 3 between 4 of us.  Very slow.  We fished till noon when the snow hit us.  Boy did a hot breakfast feel good at noon when we came to town for lunch/breakfast.  Was really mad because my Monster was a frozen popsicle when I was really needing it on the way home from the lake lol.

 

This weekend they are talking warm weather again and since we had 18-22" on all the lakes i found I would expect there will be a bunch more people up this weekend hitting local lakes.  Every single group I ran into that actually stopped and said hi and was nice was from southern minnesota where they wanted to get one more fishing trip in before they break out the boat.  I plan on hitting it one or two times next/this upcoming weekend and sadly it might be my last big weekend before my busy season at work starts.  I'll be down in the Perham/Dent/Vergas area chasing tuilibees in the morning for sure and maybe hitting big pine up in the afternoon for crappies if I can find them. 

 

Stay safe and check those ice conditions.  Rivers are opening up large areas at inlets and outlets of lakes.

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Went out for a short while Saturday morning...found crappies in a secondary basin closer to the spawning area.  Pic of the few I kept...nice 12-13"....let one 14.5" go and caught plenty of smaller ones...and left fish on the screen as I was packing up....had about 15-16" of just OK ice but it is definitley softening up.

 

20170318_120228.thumb.jpg.e6e6e780972b7a66492cc5dc16e97127.jpg

 

 

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I was able to get out Saturday afternoon in a hole I've been doing fairly well at.  Took awhile to find the fish. When I did find the fish they were very hard to get to bite.  As BB said, maybe moving and staging closer to shore??  I had 15"-18" ice, but the top few inches is getting rotten.  The 50's and rain yesterday didn't help either.

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Fished Saturday morning on a new lake that was 62 acres for tuilibees.  Navionics didn't even have a countour map for the lake lol.  Found the deep hole and instantly had fish down there.  Caught probably 10 in 45 minutes but they were all 8-10" long.  After we figured they were all the same size we drove to Long and drove by the east side and saw a huge group of wheelers out there along with one pickup.  Went to access but couldn't find tire tracks from the pickup.  We didn't have a wheeler so changed lakes and walked 0.3 miles out to the spot.  Felt bad because everyone was all set up where we wanted to so set up off of the group.  Caught 9 in 2 hours there but they were 13-15" long.  Thought it was funny because people were complaining about not getting anything as they were leaving and the closest group as they packed up I got 4 lol.  Came home took a nap and was going to fish near the cabin by perham in the afternoon since the girlfriend had my vehicle let dogs out quick as I got dressed and I heard them yelp.  Skunk!  No fishing Saturday afternoon for me!

 

Sunday morning got out to a local lake near the cabin since I drove the wheeler over and fished for tuilibees.  Graphed a ton had ONE bite and it was about a 12" tuilibee.  Let her go.  After that they quit chasing and they quit showing up on the graph.  Switched lakes and started fishing a crappie hole I've hit a few times.  Ton of 4-6" crappies!  Guy that was near me told me they wanted crappie minnows on a bobber not jigging.  I didn't have minnows and didn't have a bobber so I just held the jig still and landed two bigger ones (13 & 14).  Wind was picking up too strong for my liking so headed for shore.  Ice still looked good for all things considered.

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Crappie bite is on!  Not on beds yet but finding them staging out in that 9-12' depths on every lake I normally chase crappies this time of year....finding temps 50-54 depending on whether muddy bottom or not.  Pressure has been more than normal...lots of people out enjoying the weather and the bite!

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Took a buddy out..he was wanting to get some crappies for an Easter fish fry for his family. Went to a spot in Ottertail Cty....larger lake with a muddy bottom bay...they are still holding deeper...expect them to move to beds within a week.

 

20170413_172257.thumb.jpg.bc18c566a489465c1927352824ebafbd.jpg
 

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I took the boat out for a test run last weekend to a quiet little lake. Water temp was 54. This weather isn't going to help with the water temps.

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Went fishing for a couple hours yesterday. Water temp was 48-50. It was a nice day to be out on the water. My arms and neck are a lovely shade of red to prove it. Make sure you're smarter than me and toss a tube of sunscreen in the tackle box before you head out. 

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