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JBMasterAngler

Island or Keller?

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JBMasterAngler

First weekend of april (assuming the lakes are completely ice free, which I think they will be) I was take out my canoe and do a little paddling around. Maybe catch some early spring panfish. I'm thinking either island lake in shoreview or keller lake in maplewood...anyone think one is better than the other?

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Katman

for panfish....I think they're both great! Keller, Phalen..the whole chain over in Maplewood are a bit crowded at times. I usually see less pressure at Island. I think you can't go wrong with either. But I've always had better luck at Phalen for a mixed bag of crappies and panfishes! laugh.gif

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Maximum12

As long as someone mentioned Phalen, the action sometimes is good early in the channels between Phalen & Round. From the canoe, you could try the mouths of both channels where they empty into the two lakes. I used to fish there in the spring quite a bit.

Really? There are fish in Island Lake? Dropped the boat in there a few times over the years & figured they were using the lake as a mud-rearing pond. tongue.gif

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JBMasterAngler

Yeah, I was leaning towards keller anyway, but I wanted to see if anyone's input could change my mind. I've never caught anything but potato chip sunnies in island. I'll probably have a better chance of catching some bigger sunnies in keller.

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Mr. Pike1

You will catch panfish on Keller, Spoon, or Phalan but I would not hold your breath on getting bigger sunfish. I think they are all genetically programed to be 6" but good action for the kids and to test out some plastics

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JBMasterAngler

That's the main thing right there, trying some new stuff. There's literally dozens upon dozens of better places to go. But the MRS wants to stay very close to home and go on a "romantic" canoe ride.

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Katman

Phalen does do pretty well I'd say. I tend to find bigger fish on those chains. But Island does have some decent fish. There are lots of shallower areas at Island...but there are still some decent fish there. Once you get past the sunnies..you can pull a nice cat here and there. But I'd stick with Phalen, Keller, and the rest of the chains for action. Some years...the crappies hit hard early spring. I haven't been out yet to verify..but I'm sure they're getting ready to make their way in!

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dilleyo

You could also try Elmo or Jane or Demontreville out towards N. St Paul. Don't know how good they are for panfish, but I don't think there is too much fishing pressure on these lakes. I have only fished them in the winter. I know that Jane has probably the best water clarity that I've fished for a metro lake. I caught a few nice crappies through the ice this year, but not a lot of them. There is a lot of trees in the water on that lake also in the shallow area to the left of the public access that might hold some nice sunnies.

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JBMasterAngler

I considered demontreville, still have it on my mind actually. It's a nice little lake. Keller will warm a little quicker though, so the chances of more active fish are greater. Plus keller has alot more area to fish if I decide to go through the whole chain, which I might do. Has anyone seen how the ice is doing on keller? Totally gone? 75% gone?

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SFBOY

JOSEPHINE WOULD BE NICE TO CANOE AROUND OR JOHANNA. THOUGH I WOULDNT EXPECT TO SEE MUCH FOR SIZE. TALKED TO A GUY THAT CLAIMED TO CATCH SOME NICE CRAPPIES LAST APRIL ON JOSEPHINE. I AM SKEPTICAL ABOUT THAT ONE THOUGH. GOOD LUCK.

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dilleyo

I've never tried it, but if you can canoe on Johanna, you might want to try to get into Little Johanna and try there. I think there is a little creek on the south end of the lake and I don't know how deep the creek is, but might be worth checking out. I'd do it myself, but I don't have a canoe...Little Johanna has NO public access on it and not sure how much pressure it gets from the people who live on the lake, but might be peaceful with no other boats or PWC cruising around. The last survey the DNR did was in 84, so who knows????

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JBMasterAngler

I can't imagine there will be too much (if any) boat traffic on any lakes the first saturday of april. I know alot of people shorefish on keller, but they won't be in my way at all. I guess when I think about it, I don't really care about the size or quantity of fish, I just want to be out on the open water. It'll be fun.

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dilleyo

I suppose not, but from the looks and sounds of things, a lot of people are itching to get their boats out. I just thought of another lake that might be worth a try near St Paul. Battle Creek might be another option for you if you stay away from the highway. I saw a lot of people out there this winter on the ice, not sure how they did, but just another option.

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JBMasterAngler

That lake would definitely be one of the first lakes to start warming up. I know it gets really weed choked in the summer, could already be some good green stuff growing now.

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dilleyo

I just drove by Valentine in Arden Hills and that lake is totally open now, NO public access on that lake as well. Pretty big lake with lots of trees hanging in the water for pannies to hide in.

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JBMasterAngler

I drove by keller today, totally ice free. As of now there was some flooded timber on the highway side of the lake, let's hope it stays that way 'til I get there. I'm getting giddy like a little school girl!

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dilleyo

Good luck and give us a report when you return.

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JBMasterAngler

Will do. It's still another week and a half away. Hopefully the cold weather that's in the forecast next week doesn't screw things up.

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sammyboy1022

Is there any size to the panfish on Keller?

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TurnUpTheFishing

About the same as most metro lakes. The majority are smaller with a few keepers mixed in.

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