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james_walleye

Do any of you guys fish Pepin much? From early May until early fall i dont know if there is a body of water anywhere in MN i'd rather fish. Ok maybe Mille Lacs...just because of the average size of the walleyes. And maybe my honeyhole by Mankato the 1st 2 weeks of walleye season because its been over 8 years since i've not caught at least 1 eye over 7 lbs in that time frame.

But back to Pepin. Its really incredible when you learn how to fish it. Our best day for walleyes last year was early May. We caught we figured 50 walleyes that day between 14-18" and it was only 50 because we didnt find the fish until 1:00 and we ran out of crawlers at about 6:00. Our best day overall there was mid August. Here was our tally (we kept track and i wrote down the figures on my calendar). Approximately 50 smallies...the biggest being 18 1/2". 2 largemouth. 2 walleyes. 2 carp both about 12 lbs. 15 sheephead. 6 channel cats 4-7 lbs. 4 sauger. 30 big bluegills...most about 1/2lb. 15 crappies from 3/4- 1 1/4lbs. 2 northerns. 5 rock bass. The action was pretty much non-stop that whole day. And its such easy fishing. You can fish all day long and not see 1 other boat fishing the way we fish and i cannot for the life of me figure it out. Its all about fishing the rip-rap south of Lake City in about 2-6' of water. Fishing 1/32 oz jigs with about 2" of crawler. The walleyes are there early in May and as it gets to June the walleyes move off a bit deeper and the other fish start biting. July and August is the best for sheer numbers of fish.

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Guest

James, SSSHHHH, Keep this to us. (HA, HA)

I think Lake Pepin and all of Pool 4
use to be one of the best kept secrets around. Fishing there gets better and better each year.

I don't know of any body of water that I would rather run off to for a day of fishing.
You can target all most any fish in Minnesota . (Other than Muskies) I have caught my largest Walley and northern down there. I know of people who drive to Canada to catch the same numbers of walleye or size notherns that can be caught in our own back yard. I spend a lot of days on the river exploring and catching fish.

Please don't even get me started on the bass fishing on the river. This key board would be smoking... (ha, ha)

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Guest

One more thing...

Check out he Wisconsin D.N.R. fishing forcast posted on the Mississippi river south of Hastings board. Sounds like some good times a head.

Go Fish!!

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james_walleye

I'd like to learn how to fish the walleyes down there a little more. I can catch a lot of them in april/may but who cant. I have a bit harder time of it during the warmer months. And i have a hard time period locating the bigger fish. Give me a lake in May and i can find good fish. The river...i guess i havent fished it enough yet to have figured out that part. Northerns....i love to fish northerns but i've yet to really give it a try. We catch a few by accident but i know how big the northerns are on the river and i'd like to learn how to target them.

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Jim W

Thanks for the wonderful info! I'm sure that it won't effect your fishing results by sharing the info! Do you/have you icefished Pepin? I heard last season that the large saugers were really being nailed on the South end of the lake. I personally have never ice fished Pepin, but would love to give it a go. Everone seems very tight lipped regarding icefishing Pepin. Must be pretty good action going on!!!??? Keep it coming in boys, one good turn deserves another!!! Jim W

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james_walleye

I have never ice fished Pepin but i've been thinking about giving it a try. If a guy could get into a bunch of big saugers it would surely be worth it......

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Guest

O.K. here goes. Lake Pepin, in my opinion is the most under ice fished area around. Don't get me wrong the back waters of pool 4 get hit pretty hard but the lake it self tends to go untouched.

One good place to fish and I have done well at is at the fishing pier in lake city and the large flat down stream. You can park around the marina area and walk on. Some people drive on at the boat landing just south of the marina and pier. I personally do not drive on the frozen river, and must say when ice fishing it, test the ice for thickness. Current does funny things to the ice in different areas. You will pick up a mixed bag of fish in this area. Early and late ice tends to be best.

Another good area is all along the Minnesota side down stream. The channel cuts in close here, and fish move up and down all season.
The water usually opens back up down around lacopolis so areas north are best. This is a area to pick up some dandy walleyes come summer. But during the winter my favorite is the HUGE northerns that cruise these banks. I am talking 20 LBS. + fish. I don't usually preach catch and release but I love these fish and they are truly a treasure for our area. So catch a Trophy for the wall if you want but Please throw the rest back.

You can get into different areas down stream along the Highway between Lake City and Wabasha. Take a drive down some day and you will see where the local guys go out and park. I will say this if the fish are going in these areas winter or summer the locals are usually out there.

One more tip of safety. Stay away from the areas where streams and springs enter the lake. The ice is never very safe to walk on even during the coldest weather.

That's what I have to offer. Like I said it is not hit hard for ice fishing. Most of the guys like to go north to Redwing and open water fish for walleyes this time of year. And if you want big numbers of fish that is the way to go.

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MnSportsman

It's not necessarily topic related, but I wanted to mention...
"Head of the lake" area towards Frontenac & Bay city.

try it out.

and,
West Newton & the Half Moon landing area.
(look on your maps, or ask at "Shortys'".)

AS WAS SAID BEORE... Watch the places where moving water can cause thin ice!

------------------
Good Luck & Watch your bobber!
MnSportsman
Proud to be a member in good standing, of the
"Church of the Divine Wilderness"!
;)

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james_walleye

Hey Nitro you catch those big northerns under the ice on the Minnesota rip-rap shoreline? How consistent is this action and what depth level do the northerns run at? I'd love to catch and release a few hogs. Is the whole shoreline good or specific areas? Thanks.....

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Guest

Yes, I have caught them al along the rip-rap on the Minnesota side. I really have never seen where one depth stayed consistent. I would usually start with Tip-ups a varies depths. It really helps to take a second guy a long so the tip-up numbers can increase to cover more water. Once you get some consistent flag home in on that depth.

Hurry you most likely have about 2 to 3 weeks left and these Big guys start heading to the shallow bays to spawn. Most years by the first of March you can start catching these fish in 3-4 ft or less in Dark bottom bays.
On dead shiners or sucker minnows. I don't have much luck jigging for them by than.

And by ice out you can even wade and stalk these fish. Want real fun do this on a fly rod.

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  • Your Responses - Share & Have Fun :)

    • grundy
      OK i'm not leech but really? 14"er.. knowing your height Royce you'll probably need a stepladder to start out drilling Sorry bud I had to do it!!
    • LakeofthewoodsMN
      South Shore.  A good bite was reported for last week with the warmer temperatures in 24-32'. In addition to traditional daytime bite, some anglers getting into some good fish after dark on structure which is not typical. Morning evening bite in 15-17' for walleyes continues to be good.  Resorts and outfitters keeping ice roads in good shape as warm weather moving around ice. One two punch of jigging line and dead stick effective as is the use of electronics to mark fish. Jigging spoons in gold, glow, glow red and pink UV.  Small rippin raps in bright and gold colors. Auger extension could be necessary in spots where ice is layered.  Snowmobilers stay on marked trail, big ice chunks off of trail.   Rainy River pushing out some nice walleyes with an occasional sturgeon through the ice.  Fish houses along the snowmobile trail from Wheeler's Point to Baudette Bay.  Morning, evening bite most effective.   The NW Angle has good ice conditions where resorts have ice roads / trails and fishing has remained hot. Good walleyes in 18-28' with saugers and perch in deeper water. Set dead stick a bit higher than jigging line.  Resorts guiding for crappies on the Ontario side of lake, best bite in 30' or deeper, morning best. Crappie mortality rate high when releasing in 25' or deeper thus move on to walleyes or another species when you have your fish.  Snowmobile trails on and around the lake are marked and groomed.  
    • FishinCT
      Jerkin, you are absolutely onto something. Back when I used to put a permanent out in the south metro, I made sure to fish as many weekdays as possible. Weekends were always worthless, no matter the conditions. Luckily vermilion is big enough to get away from it all!
    • Cliff Wagenbach
      Darrell, Nothing in the area that I have been traveling. Cliff
    • IceHawk
      That's a pretty one! Nice fish Rick 
    • Darrell Larson
      Clifford, how is the slush out there? I have slush in front of my home and looking at sled tracks they are turning color also.
    • eyeguy 54
      got a 14 incher on the way to try out next week. should be nice not bending over so far.   no crazy comments leech!  LOL 
    • nofishfisherman
      Used mine for the first time this weekend and I don't think I've ever used a better cutting auger.  Even my wife wanted to take a turn after seeing me use it and she's never used an auger of any type before.  We had maybe 18" of ice (just a guess, didn't measure it ) and I cleared the shavings a couple times with just a quick pull up at it worked slick. 
    • Sunset Lodge
      1.22.18 Sunset Lodge Fishing Report Hello from the NW Angle! Minnesota walleye fishing has been consistent between 18-21 feet. The most effective method is on the dead stick set slightly above the jigging rod. 25-28 feet is also filling buckets with a good walleye and sauger mix, even the occasional jumbo perch. Slender and Tundra spoons have been bringing fish to the house. We have also seen numerous northern pike this week with the largest being over 42.” Canadian walleye fishing remain excellent, especially along points and reefs. Crappie action has been hit or miss. The bite has been better in the morning with anglers limiting out in the first few hours. Fishing deeper than 28 feet is important to get good action. Until next week, Sunset Lodge
    • Chill62
      Moved house on Friday night in the dark.  Got holes drilled and let aired out.  Came back out after supper to fish for crappies.  Only small ones but had some action.  Got up early on Saturday and tried chasing tuilibee's and struck out.  Graphed a few but not a bite.  Switched back to the house around 8:30/9.  Buddies were near the house and had one crappie in the bucket.  Five of us fished till 11:30 without a crappie being bigger than 9".  Went back out after lunch fished till supper and nothing.  Came out again after supper got a 14" and 12.5" in 5 minutes and not a fish after that.  Sunday fished from 7 am till 11 nothing bigger than a 8" crappie.  Fished 3 hours Friday, 12 hours Saturday, 4.5 hours Sunday with only 2 crappies over 10".  Pretty sad but heard a ton of poor reports all over the area.
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