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Turk

Report 12-23

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Turk

12/23/03
The lower St. Croix River ice fishing is variable depending on the day. On the right days, crappies and saugers have been on a good bite from dawn until around 9:30- to 10:30 and the evening bite is starting an hour or more after dark. Crappies are running keeper size and 9 to 11”s is average with smaller and some magnum sized crappies also coming in, anglers hitting the ice at the right time are getting keepers in numbers of the low teens. On the wrong days next too nothing is being caught. Ice is forming with thickness anywhere from 6- 10 inches. Crappies are over the deepwater basin in 36 to 39 feet and hitting on small crappie minnow tipped jigs along with plain bobbers. A few sturgeon have been caught this winter and walleyes as well.

Keep catchin'
Turk

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Jim W

Hey Man!!
SOunds like the Croix is doing well? Could a guy be safe in stating it's better this year compared to last?(at this time)

Merry Christmas TUrk!
your friend!

Jim W

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HUNTINGBAILEY

My buddy drove by bayport and said he saw some guy in a truck on the wisconsin side. I say he's taking his life in his own hands.I don't think the ice is that safe yet? he was probley sitting in 40 ft of waterover there.

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Sinker

I wouldn't try it,that's for sure.I had about 8" of ice where I was this past weekend.There were a few trucks that were parked on the ice only a little ways out that were pulling snowmobile trailers.That I would do,but not too far out.

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hunt4food

I was spooked to have my ATV out there. I had about 8" of ice, but the top 3" was not very good ice. I came on the MN side out of Bayort park. Be very cautious if yu try to corss to Wisc. side. There was a barge working on the Sunnyside docks that broke ice on it's way back down the river. There is not nearly 8" across that gap. Fishing was not very good today. Caught one Smallmouth approx. 14" in 32' of water out from Bayport park. No other fish marked.

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TRZ

action has been inconsistant for me. size has improoved for me and got a 13.5 incher yesterday. some days have been good and others have been truely dead. anyone been hitting the open water yet? my shack is the pinkish permenent all alone on the wisconsin side. anyone feel free to stop by and see how they are bitting- good luck

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Sinker

I don't know if it's only me but the river is kind of kicking my butt this year compared to last year.Don't get me wrong,I don't need a bucket of fish to bring home every trip for it to be fun.Just the action keeps me out there.But it seems that there aren't as many fish marked on the flasher and the ones that you do see almost seem scared by the lures and baits that they would slam in the past.Hopefully it will pick up.The crappies that you do catch lately are definitely bigger than they were a few weeks ago.Good Luck Fishing!!!

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BassPatrol

Went out today between 1PM to 6PM, action was slow except for 3 10" walleyes caught and released in 18' of water. There was a lot of water on the ice, but the ice was still 8-9" thick. There were a lot of people out, some on ATVs but I am not sure if they caught anything.

-Lee (BassPatrol)

[This message has been edited by BassPatrol (edited 12-28-2003).]

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Turk

Jim,
I would say last year has been a tad better so far...I have heard more poor reports than good ones lately...The beauty of the river is the variety of fish that can be caught, as you know first hand.

Keep Catchin'
Turk

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Roughfisher

Was out from Bayport Friday night - found fish on the flashers while shooting through old holes, but bites were hard to come by. Fish would come up and look at the bait and then leave. Ended up catching one small crappie and one large mudpuppy. We were in 32 feet of water off the main group of houses. Tons of fast-moving marks coming through about 12-15 feet down - they wouldn't hit anything and usually got spooked when a bait was near. Don't know what those fish were - could they be schools of shad? I've seen huge, tight schools of shad on that part of the river in the summer. I was hoping for some better luck out on the Croix - first time ice fishing it for me. Maybe next time I will try fishing shallow.

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JJB

roughfisher there is still a lot of shad out there but I never rule them suspended marks out.I have been out in bayport a few times this year and had the same thing happen.I dropped a 1/16 spoon with just a head on it and got 3 crappies and 3 stripers
around 10-15 feet down in that 32foot area.
Anyone know how long them shad usually live through the hardwater season.I have been seeing more dead ones showing up but didnt know how long they live through the winter.Some of them have been almost 5-6 inches long.

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Roughfisher

JJB - I thought I had one tap up high in the water column but whatever they were, they were not taking. The whole time I was there I had a shiner hung at 15 feet, as well as waxies and minnow-head-adorned forage minnows whenever they came through. Same thing on the bottom that night though - fish would come up and look but not take. Could've been just one of those days I guess - I won't count out the suspended fish. Thanks.

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  • Posts

    • Rick
      Now is the time to talk to kids about the dangers of thin ice. As temperatures continue to dip below freezing, ice is forming on many lakes, ponds and rivers. But conditions vary across the state.  Minnesota Department of Natural Resources conservation officer Hannah Mishler has already responded to multiple ice rescue calls. “Ice, especially snow covered ice, is extremely deceptive. You can’t see dangerous cracks or the thickness of the ice under the snow,” Mishler said. With many children out of school for holiday breaks, they may look toward the newly formed ice for entertainment. “Teach your children that ice is never 100 percent safe,” cautions Mishler. “If your child is near the ice, you should be near your child.” While adults and children are recreating outdoors, they should always take precautions around any body of water during the cold water season. Lisa Dugan, DNR recreation safety outreach coordinator, advises in addition to checking conditions locally and being prepared with an ice safety kit, anyone recreating on ice should be wearing a life jacket. “A life jacket is the one piece of equipment that increases your odds of not drowning from cold water shock, hypothermia or exhaustion should you fall through the ice.” Ice safety guidelines No ice can ever be considered “safe ice,” but following these guidelines can help minimize the risk: Always wear a life jacket on the ice (except when in a vehicle). When a child is near the ice, an adult should be near the child. Caution children to stay off ponds, streams, and other bodies of water. A thin coating of ice on a pond or lake does not mean it is safe. The minimum ice thickness guidelines for new, clear ice are: 4 inches for ice fishing or other activities on foot. 5-7 inches for a snowmobile or all-terrain vehicle. 8-12 inches for a car or small pickup. 12-15 inches for a medium truck. Double these minimums for white or ice covered with heavy snow. For more information, visit mndnr.gov/icesafety and mndnr.gov/boatingsafety. Discuss below - to view set the hook here.
    • Cret Jigs
      Good chance I will be there after 1pm.... thanks for putting this together.   Plan on bringing 4 wheeler. ... and hoping Daughter can make it :-)
    • monstermoose78
      @Cret Jigs
    • Wanderer
      It’s been interesting in Central MN so far.  There are plenty of lakes that have very walkable ice and ice that could hold ATV traffic but also several that stayed mostly to partly open for longer than expected.  Several lakes have both rideable ice and open water as of last weekend. There are only a couple lakes that I’ve been tracking that I would commit to an ATV ride on right now, especially with the new snow cover.  We lost the ability to see what “generation” of ice you were on this week.  On the plus side, we’ve had good ice making conditions all week. Short story: There are lakes that are ready to fish but don’t assume they all are.  Phone ahead to a resort or bait shop to find out about particular lakes if you don’t get the info here.  Buy your bait at the shop that gives you your key info. Be extra cautious this weekend until you’ve proven the ice you want to fish.
    • monstermoose78
      I moved this here as you will get better info
    • BRULEDRIFTER
      As far as I know, never been there.  I know it's great for splake, browns and lakers. 
    • JTeeth
      A return client for a couple years brought fish grips with him... After watching him mangle a couple fish I asked him not to bring them anymore. Big fish need more care when landing in my experience. I hand land most muskies. This helps with not bringing a green (not ready) fish into the boat to hurt itself and the boat. With musky fishing growing in popularity I'm noticing a lot more fish with net scars from green fish. For a young musky angler learn correct technique early. The scars after a 4 fish day are a badge of honor. One of the best gifts I've received for my musky gear is a good pair of wire cutters. I use them to cut hooks in an emergency or out of a poorly hooked fish. Or if you can find it...a jar of musky slime cologne, my wife loves it. Ha! Good luck
    • monstermoose78
      There was 7-10 inches last weekend 
    • ANYFISH2
      I have Hockey travels Saturday, good luck guys.
    • Horseshoe_Don
      Drove out the wheeler on the thickest ice.  Fishing for the first time. Had a solid 7" here.  But 50 yards away only 3".   Don