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CSTPETER

Interesting question

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I was out in the boat last Saturday fishing on a private access lake north of Bemidji that my family is lucky enough to own property on. The lake is relativley small (80-100 acres)and extremely fertile. Fish species include Perch, Crappie,Largemouth bass, Northern Pike and an assortment of sunfish. Fishing pressure is very limited. The lake itself is eggshaped with very little structure reaching a max depth of 42 feet smack dab in the middle. I had boated a 35" pike and less than 10 min. later my brother boated a 39" fish. As he himmed and hawed about releasing his trophy I took the opptunity to release it for Him. The question then presented itself of how many trophy size fish could a lake this size possibly produce. The biggest fish that I know of to come out of this lake was a 42"er that my wife cpr'd two years ago. Are we just amazingly luck and have caught the two biggest pike in the entire lake or is it possible there are a substantial number of this size fish due to the limited fishing pressure and a loose, self imposed 32" and over slot. Any guesses?

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i dont know, but i could help you figure it out if you took me out there fishig with ya

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I envy you. Big northerns are a lot of fun to catch (and release).

There may very well be a good population of large notherns in the lake. Once a northern reaches a certain size (ie 30+") they do a very good job of controlling the small northern in a lake thru canabalism. So if the minimal fishing pressure is allowing the northerns to reach this size the northerns themselves will tend to keep the small northern population in check, which will in turn allow the big northern to grow bigger.

So, the best thing you can do for the northern population in your lake may be to keep some of the smaller northerns for eating and release the bigger ones so they can continue to grow.

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I also have the fortune of being able to fish a small lake near the Crosby area that receives little to no fishing pressure. The lm bass and northern fishing is always good. There have been a number of 4-5# bass pulled out with regularity and the northern are of nice size as well. The bass are all CPR, but we do keep some of the smaller northern for eating occasionally. Maybe this is helping to keep some of the bigger fish as suggested above. It is definitely a fun lake to fish year round as the ice fishing is always good with a nice population of crappies. I even pulled out a 39" northern a few years back (on a crappie minnow and 4# test).

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I would do as much as possible to protect the lake. Small lakes can be upset very easily. I'm not saying 2 fish will kill the lake but just that I would be doing everything in my power to ensure that the lake is sustanied in it's current state. If you want a trophy fish for the wall I would seriously consider a replica. I know some people just don't like replicas but if it came down to protecting your slice of heaven and compromising with a replica I know which way I would lean. As most of us know lakes like these are few and far between. I have guest access to a good private lake and we make it a policy to never keep a single fish. We go there for the pure enjoyment of catching quality fish that are normally a bit above par for local "public" lakes. Just my two cents worth.

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I've had the pleasure of fishing two small (100-200 acre) private lakes when I was younger. Most lakes that size tend to be pretty fertile and can support good bass and northern populations.

There are probably a fair number of large notherns in your lake, but you'd be amazed at how fast they can disappear.

On one of the small private lakes I used to fish, one of the homeowners decided to grant non residents access to the lake (through their property) for a fee. After two summers of this increased fishing pressure (without C&R) the lake was dead. Three pound bass and 5-10 pound northerns were common before, but after you were lucky to catch anything over a pound.

I'm sure the lake would come back over time, but it just goes to show that even a handfull of people keeping large fish on a small lake can make a big impact. All it takes is one greedy landowner...

I'd keep the huge pike secret, even from the locals.

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jwhjr, shoot me an email i think i we might be fishing the same lake? niftybob20 at gmail.com

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Gus, You are preaching to the choir on this one. I am in the process of creating a replica/ scene for My wife to include the 42" fish she released as well as a couple of Big slabs that we've caught through the ice here. The good news is most of the folks fishing on this lake are dedicated to keeping it vibrant and healthy. I personally preach the virtues of CPRing the bigger fish to the couple of guys that I know "meat fish".

I don't want to come off as selfish here but I do thank the powers that be every time I fish this lake, for the fact that it is a totally private access lake. I have seen first hand the destruction imparted upon a small lake when word gets out of a "hot" bite. I personally think a one or two hour lake biology course would be a good idea once in a lifetime as a prerequisite to buying a fishing license. many people seem to have no idea as to how fragile a lake's ecosystem can actually be.

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Bobb-o - you've got mail.

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I would just about bet that nobody is spearing on that body of water.Removing the large preditor fish from a system really messes up the whole food chain.

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I hate to be a jerk, but it just comes naturally. Someone is going to ruin your lake. Ive seen it too many times not to know its coming. Let me be the first to say sorry for your loss.

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Here's a nice 4.5 pounder that came out of said lake on Sunday the 8th...

2006-10-08JR4.jpg

Sorry for the bad quality, it came off of a cell phone camera.

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Quote:

I would just about bet that nobody is spearing on that body of water.Removing the large preditor fish from a system really messes up the whole food chain.


How true. Everyone should practice/preach selective harvest including the spearfishermen. Spearfishermen have to exercise a great deal of self control. Once you spear a fish there is no returning it to the water. frown.gif

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