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stoneeyes317

Lake Mary general info, please

19 posts in this topic

My in-laws are having a 50th anniversary celebration starting May 31st @ Big Foot Resort on Mary. I am wondering if I can get some general info. on the lake beyond what

I've gotten from the DNR survey. I'm wondering what specie/s are best to keep fisherpeople busy and involved. Is the panfish population decent, or would bass or northern be more likely for us to find/catch/ Lastly, is it an OK walleye lake??

Any answers, as well as any other info. will be greatly appreciated...

eyes317

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Mary can be a good panfish lake. It is also a sleeper lake for bass (green ones) In the past Mary had a reputation as a great walleye lake, it is making a come back. Last year the average size was small 12-14 inches, hopefully this year we will see a little better quality.

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Thanks for the reply, Agape! I'll keep your info. in mind when I talk to my relatives...

eyes317

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try the deep hole of the bar twoards the north end, and the entrance to the bay where it narrows down and stays deep down the middle at night troll or cast the pencil reeds.

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Fished Lake Mary on opener and we did great. we ventured out at midnight and only managed 1 eye in two hours, headed back to camp and got a couple hours of sleep and were back on the water at 5 a.m. the bite was a lot better once it was light out managed 13 walleye before 7:30 a.m. we went to town to get some breakfast and had a broken rear axel seal repaired on the truck. anyways we were back on the water about 2 p.m. and had 6 more fish before dark. all in all a great trip. 20 eyes between 4 of us. we will definately be back to lake Mary.

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Here goes the small fish debate again! I fished Mary on opener I don’t think I’ve ever seen anything more disgusting in my life. People catching limits and limits of 12”-14” walleye. The reason I say limits and limits is because I seen a number of boats keeping a limit in the morning and then again in the evening. I personally didn’t see anyone catch one over 15”. I talked to a guy who said his neighbors were out there four times. Between two guys they caught, cleaned and froze over 100 walleye under 15” this weekend. They live down in the cities and just come up here to rape the lake. The guy I talked to said they’ve done the same thing before. I told him he should turn them in but said he didn’t feel it was his place to do that. I think if a person knows of someone being unlawful they are obligated to turn them in! There are a few fish out there 15” and above but a guy has to look for them. Just use a little self control out there and don't keep everything you catch.

As for the debate about, “we have to take some of the little ones or there won’t be enough food.” Every fish I caught was very fat and were even spitting up minnows and small perch. This year looking around on the lake in the shallows I’ve never seen so much bait fish, they are absolutely everywhere. In short there is more than enough food for all the fish and they will grow, but not if this year class gets caught out again. Doesn’t anyone want to see a lake with 16”-18” walleye again? This is a vicious man driven cycle we can’t seem to get out of. The DNR puts the fish in, they grow to 11”-14” and then we take em all out. I just don’t understand. You can catch nice fish if you try harder, it’s plain and simple people are greedy and lazy. Catch your limit regardless of their size and go home and clean them. Then realize there’s no meat on a 12”-13” walleye and then have to go out and do it again.

It’s not all negative though I did notice the younger the people in the boat the more under sized walleye were returned to the lake. Even a couple boats with a small children let them go. I overheard a conversation from a boat with a father and his kids. One of the kids caught his very first walleye around 12”, the kid got a pic and to my surprise the father explained to the child why he had to let it go. I went out of my way to go over there and congratulate the Dad and child on what I had witnessed. It gave me hope. Spread the word and maybe we can change the future of our local lakes. Thanks

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I again applaud your post. It will be tough to turn the lake into a first class fishery if some self restraint is not used. I was hoping that the walleyes would have grown to 15+ inches since last year. I would not blame the lake association and DNR if they quit stocking the lake if people keep abusing the fishery. If everyone keeps it up, the lake will be a great carp and dogfish lake. It was nice to hear that someone was setting a good example. If in fact the guy you talked to was correct, it is too bad the fish poachers did not get a chance to witness someone being conservation minded. Granted gas is expensive, but the group from the cities can come back to the lake three times for the amount of gas it will take me to come to Alex one time. I will not use that as a justification to keep small fish. The walleye must be 15" or back it goes. Call it personal preference, I call it being conservation minded. It does not take near as many walleye to feed my wife and I and our 2 kids.

I will be heading up there in about 3 weeks. How was the water level and water temperature? I would like to send you an e-mail sometime. Let me know if you would care to exchange e-mails.

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Big Bobber, it's funny you mentioned carp and dogfish. One guy in our group caught 2 carp and one caught a dogfish. They all fought better than the walleyes we caught.

PieEyed, if people would turn in the people that overharvest it would help a lot with improving the fishery. You should have called TIP on the boats you saw double-dip. Fish close enough to them to get their registration numbers and report them.

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Thanks guys for supporting my comments. When I’m out there fishing it feels like I’m the only one that gives a ****. It’s nice to hear that not everyone kills every walleye that enters their boat. I understand it’s confusing for fisherman in this day and age. Some lakes it’s encouraged to keep small ones and in others it’s not, how is everyone supposed to know which is which? I guess I’d have to say that comes on the shoulders of the DNR and I don’t think right now they have the time or the resources to do it properly. I say this because there wasn’t a DNR on Mary all weekend as far as I know. The busiest lake in the county and no DNR to be seen? Pretty bad. I would have to say our next best option is word of mouth. Explain to people the difference between a lake like Winnie where the harvesting of small fish is encouraged vs. a lake like Mary where if the little ones don’t get protected we’ll never have anything. Winnie has an ample supply of large spawning fish (24”-28”). Mary on the other hand has basically none of these sized fish, so we rely solely on the stocking programs to keep the lake going. That’s where if we can protect a decent number of these small fish now until they become adult size, we could then start to harvest a number of the smaller fish without a problem because we’d have spawning fish to keep the little ones coming.

I realize this is a pipe dream but it is possible. They did it on Mille Lacs, Red, Winnie and they are well on their way down on Minnewaska. By the way I’d like to congratulate the Lake Minnewaska, lake association. They have come a long way and have done so much for the lake. I can only hope the Lake Mary, lake association can accomplish what those guys have.

Big Bobber feel free to shoot me an email at big.walleye@hotmail.com

Hookmaster, I would have turned them in but I knew a couple of them through other people. I know they have a wife at home and they bring fish to their neighbors. This is still no reason to poach or over harvest small walleye. My question is how do you catch people like this? If I turned them in they’d be at or under their possession limit, even though only one person has been fishing. If people are smart about it they can take as many walleye as they want and never get caught? It’s basically a failing honor system. We need to have stiffer penalties for poachers.

1st offence – Put your full name in the paper, lose your hunting and fishing privileges for a year from the date of the infraction.

2nd offence – Put your full name in the paper and lose your privileges for 5 years.

3rd offence – Put your full name in the paper, lose your privileges for life and/or jail time.

I think this would make up for the fact that there are very few DNR officers out there. As it is right now it’s cheaper to pay a fine than it is to go purchase fish. Break the law for ten years and maybe get caught once or if you have real bad luck twice, I bet if you figured it out you’d come out way ahead. What’s the incentive for these law breakers to stop there ways?

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I live in the cities. I have a place on Lake Mary so I can go there to catch fish, not to kill & clean fish. I will keep a meal or maybe two, that is all any of us need. The rest of the fish can store nicely in the lake!!! not the freezer. It is kind of funny, if you are from the cities you think it is the locals who are the "meat" fisherman. I'd say neither is the case, I doubt it matters were you're from. I think it is more of a "think what you are doing" thing.

If it is true that keeping all those small fish kills the fishery, (I think it is true but I'm ignorant) it seems to me it is the DNR that should step in. If that is the case, they are letting us down. Are they really so busy they can't impose a lower slot limit? What's wrong with a three fish limit? You would think twice about keeping that 13" fish and it seems like it would have to help overall. If people could really catch three nice fish they would still come to the resorts.

Sorry about the soap box speech, probably not what this forum is for.

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Quote:

I say this because there wasn’t a DNR on Mary all weekend as far as I know. The busiest lake in the county and no DNR to be seen?


They were at the north landing when we were coming off the lake Saturday around 11:30a.m.

I have fished Mary only for the last 2 openers. I have caught 3 fish that were 20" or more and each one went back into the lake. I have caught 2 that were 14" that I kept to eat.

Now am I hurting the lake more by not keeping the fish that are going to produce more in the near future and keeping the 14" to eat, personally I dont think so, but that same day I caught one just under 14" that I threw back. One of my big problems is with the guys going out there and keeping the big ones that are just plump full of eggs and there are plenty of them out there that do it.

I think that the state should start an fishing education class that is required before you can purchase your license when you turn sixteen. Just like hunting, when you go through the classes it instills some morals in you. THey could use the proceeds for more DNR officers.

Until then we need to keep teaching our kids or other young kids the right way to fish and respect the lakes and fisheries.

Just my 2cents

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Quote:

1st offence – Put your full name in the paper, lose your hunting and fishing privileges for a year from the date of the infraction.

2nd offence – Put your full name in the paper and lose your privileges for 5 years.

3rd offence – Put your full name in the paper, lose your privileges for life and/or jail time.


Do you honestly think that this would work? I mean please these ppl are already breaking the law even if they had their fishing privlidges revoked you would still see them on the lakes doing the same thing. I understand the need to vent about overharvesting but frankly i'm sick of reading about it in every post. I am very passionate about outdoors and it irritates me to hear about it but if you are truly upset i don't care if it's your best freind put an end to it and turn them in. At least they are going to get busted and pay a fine to the DNR so they will end up paying for those fish. We preach CPR and seletive harvest but your only leaving more for the poachers. Do your part TIP 24 hours a day, 365 days a year 1-800-652-9093.

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Wow there’s a little mix of comments there.

Shark I couldn’t agree with you more I’d love a 3 fish limit and or a 15" min. I think it would be easier to catch people that are trying to do wrong.

Fishinphilth, I’m glad the DNR at least made a presence out there. I was pretty shocked when I didn’t see them out there. I guess I forgot to mention the releasing of big fish. Throwing back the big ones over 20” is the best thing you can do. I understand what you are saying, throw back a big one and keep a couple 14”ers. I think that would be a good trade. It still just comes down to selective harvest. I agree the average fisherman is very uneducated about what they are supposed to do. I wish the DNR would try to do something about that. You guys are true sportsmen and you can see that in your comments.

ASMOLEY, if you don’t want to read about selective harvest and poachers then don’t read this post. There are many posts on this site I choose not read for one reason or another. I don’t post to that person and tell them to stop because I don’t want to read what they type? As for turning people in I would if I knew I could catch them. I see these people do it over and over again. I guess I’m kind of waiting until I know the DNR can really bust em. For example I’ve seen the same truck on the North end access of Mary everyday this week on my way to work. Do I turn him in or is he practicing catch and release? I’d like to have evidence first. I fish a lot too and keep a couple here and there, but most nights none. I’d guess I wouldn’t like it if someone called be in just because I fish often?

The other day I talked to a guy that got busted last winter for over possession and I guess they took his license for a year along with a nice fine. So if that’s the law someone must agree with me? The reason I threw in the “name in the paper” bit, is because I heard they did that years ago and it supposedly helped quite a bit. I think if there was a possibility to have my name in the paper for poaching, that alone would scare me enough not to poach. If you tarnish your name what else do you have? I don’t know maybe we should take your advice, quote“We preach CPR and seletive harvest but your only leaving more for the poachers.” Huh? That mind set alone is completely wrong. That’s like saying there are so many people in the world that need help, what good is it help out one person?

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what they biing? rigs?

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Quote:

I told him he should turn them in but said he didn’t feel it was his place to do that. I think if a person knows of someone being unlawful they are obligated to turn them in!


That is so true. The DNR needs our hep. Actually, I woud be all in favor of an increase of $5 more per fishing license if the extra went towards the hiring and training of more DNR officers. Take that $5 times the hundreds of thousands of licenses sold and that would add up to quite a few more officers. They are just spread too thin.

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First off I'd like to apologize to anyone who has posted on this link. I haven't replied in the last 10+ days since we had a power surge @ the house and I've been without a computer. I've noticed from reading my early posts that when I'd ask for some info. I wouldn't always say thanks to posters, and I;m trying to do a better job showing my appreciation.

With that in mind, I say "thank you" to Eyehunter for the good, easily understood information!

eyes317

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Stoneeyes, Don't you like how your simple question turned into a big debate over poaching? Anyways, me and my family were at bigfoot resort this past weekend. There were 6 of us fishing in 2 boats. If you are looking for some easy fishing for the family, we were trolling with shad raps and in 3 days we caught over 200 northern all C&R of course. We had decent luck with the walleyes, none of which was over 20 in. though. Most were between 14 to 16 in. range.

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Schloogs:

Thanks for the reply. My family also takes an annual trip to Star Lake west of Dent in late August and the best luck we've had the past few years is trolling for northerns, but never that many blush.gif !!

I don't know if we will get into any walleyes, but my brother in law has a 15" minimum; I'm more inclined to got down to 14", but we'll have to see...

Thanks for the info.!

eyes317

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Just wanted to again say thanks to all who posted information about Lake Mary. I didn't get out much; transmission problems when we got there, starting problems with the loaner vehicle and a sick son kept me off the lake. However, my brother in law found a bit of a pattern for a mixed bag (pike, bass and an occasional walleye) on the south end of the lake. I don't think he ever really left the south bay of the lake, but we had enough fish Sunday morning to have a nice fish breakfast for all of us.

Mary is a nice lake, and I can't say enough good things about the resort we stayed at. Clean cabins, helpful and accomodating people, and lots of things to do @ Big Fooy Resort.

Thanks again...

eyes317

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