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steffanf

South Metro Pike

20 posts in this topic

I am new to the area, just moved from southern Illinois. I am looking to catch some Pike around here locally. If I could find a lake within 10-20 miles of here where I could tangle with alot of 16-24 inchers, I would be happy. I specifically practice only catch-and-release. I currently live in the Lakeville area. Any and all help would be appreciated. Thanks in advance...

-Gregg B.

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im not really a south metro guy, but i can tell you it might help to throw an email address on there. people will send you in the right direction, but sometimes more discretely.

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I didn't even think about that. But, anyhow, here is my e-mail adress: steffanf@hotmail.com

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try lake marion not sure if the spelling is right, but is in lakeville, 35 runs directly over it.

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Marion or Crystal. Both decent populations, but smaller in size mostly.

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After checking out some info, I decided to go out to Lake Marion. A couple bad points I should mention first. I know now I should not have gone out on Memorial Day. The boating traffic was horrible. I never had to wait in such a line to launch my boat either. Also, it was terribly windy. It's my understanding that it is often windy over southern Minnesota and it is something I guess I will just have to get used to.

The lake features were something I really took a liking to. The entire west end of the lake has massive shallow weedbeds... almost too much weeds. I did spend most of the afternoon over this part of the lake. I never really could find a weedline or edge, so I was basically trying to fish relatively shallow or on the surface most of the time. With the windy conditions evident, one could guess that using surface or near-surface lures was not too productive. In fact, I cought nothing... not even a hit.

In hindsight, I think I need to try fishing here again on a weekday... where the boating traffic isn't so rediculous. It was my first time out on the lake and I still need to find some good sheltered spots from the wind as well. If anyone has any pointers or insight, I would appreciate it. I am not giving up on this lake and hope to have better luck next time.

-Gregg B. steffanf@hotmail.com

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If you don't mind driving a bit farther, you might give Minnewashta a try for pike. Lots of little guys, but quite a few decent ones too. If you like Marion's layout, you'll love Minnewashta. Lots of points, drop-offs, weedbeds. Weeknights are better, though. Weekends get hectic with the rec (Contact Us Please)....

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Boy Jonny magel you sound like you really know what your talking about. Have you thought about going PRO? LOL welcome to FM.

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Always talking smack, Wac? It would be nice to weed out some of those smaller 16 to 24's for league.

You see I have to contact Matty over my termanology in the previous posting? Were you able to pull another 300 eyes out of Gray's this weekend?

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300? try 500 eys biggest was about 38 inch eye I think it was about 18 to 20 pounds put it back of corse didn't take pic but I got memory and thats all you need right.

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Minnetonka can be very good for bigger pike, and not bad for #s too. Just try your typical pike baits, stay away from the shallows. Stick on the deeper weedlines

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That's what I tried looking for at Marion Lake to no avail... the deep weedline edge. I have fished up on Cass Lake several times and found this to be the key feature to target. At Marion, I was out over the western part of the lake which is very shallow overall. I'm guessing I need to venture out over the eastern part of the lake where there is deeper water. Of course, it would have to be on a weekday as the recreational traffic is rediculous on the weekend.

I am also using some relatively large (10-12") lures out there as well. While this seems to work good out on Cass, maybe I should tome things down a bit around here. More experimentation is in order, I guess...

-Gregg B.

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10"-12" lures may work, but I just don't think there are that many big fish in there that would take something that big. The lake gets really heavy pressure all the time so downsizing to 6" or so should help alot.

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The reason bigger lures work good on lakes like Cass, Winni, Leech, and most any lake up there is because of the forage. The bigger pike in those lakes are after cisco and whitefish, which regularly grow to those sizes. Down here, the main forage are sunnies, shiners, and perch, and your lures should look like the forage. It's all about matching the hatch, buddy!

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Got out there again a couple times this week. I managed to fish the main lake as opposed to the shallow north-end of the lake. I found a good weedline off-shore at about 50-60' out from shore. That Milfoil goes deep and it's already at the surface now. Anyway, I did decide to fish the outside edge of the weedline in a few places. In the few places I went to, I really had no luck. There are some places where I found an inside edge to the weedline. In those places, I did manage to catch some panfish. I'm thinking I need to get out on this lake really early during the week before the high sun-angle starts to make the fish weary. Then again, I only found the water clarity to be about 4 feet, so who knows. I did manage to try to fish some docks and got into some fair-sized bass. That kept these days from being a total failure, but it is not what I was after. Even the bass fishing wasn't as good the second time around (Saturday)- I suspect because there was a Bassmasters tourney that day.

So, after a few days, the northern pike here still elude me. I didn't try trolling yet and I really don't think it is feasible. The weedline edge is too erratic and I would get caught up in the Milfoil constantly, even with weedless lures. I also wouldn't think it was necessary to cover such a large area to get into some scrappy pike. I also didn't try baitfishing either, and I was hoping I wouldn't have to. Does anyone know if it is legal to baitfish with some of those tiny bluegill in this lake?

I also have a source that tells me that one cannot fish Milfoil like other native weeds, i.e. Coontail. The Milfoil weedline is not productive. Of course, I have another source that says it IS the best place to fish on this lake, so who knows.

Anyway, at this juncture, I am at a loss now. By no means am I going to give up on this lake yet. However, I think I may have to either try trolling or baitfishing... unpreferred methods of mine. Of course, maybe that is just the case all around... I just need to keep trying. Somebody already gave me a tip on another lake offline and maybe I need to try that as well... thanks, Andy... your secret honeyhole is safe with me. Otherwise, if anyone has anymore insight, I would gladly appreciate it. Like Andy, feel free to contact me off-line.

-Gregg B. steffanf@hotmail.com

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Quote:

Does anyone know if it is legal to baitfish with some of those tiny bluegill in this lake?


Point 3 on page 10 of the MN DNR fishing regulations states:

"Using whole or parts of game fish, goldfish, or carp for bait is unlawful."

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steffanf, if I were you I'd try another lake if you got a "tip" from somebody who knows better, & especially if it's somebody you know or trust.

I've tried Marion a few times for pike with limited success during both ice & hard water. Part of the problem, I'm guessing, is that the fish are really conditioned. Last time I was out in the boat we caught one decent fish & saw at least 3-4 others following but not hitting. On the hard water, I've talked to several folks who've said "Shoulda been here yesterday!" & I'm always on the water on Marion today, unfortunately.

I'm sure there are those that have solved the riddle of Marion pike, but there are much better waters around, especially if you're willing to drive a bit. If you're not, try Crystal Lake, we used to have good luck out there, although the past two summers haven't been so hot for pike for us.

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if you are fisghing in teh cass lake area i would go over to woman lake. teh place is crawling with northern you can catch them anywhere. my sugjestion would be troll rattilin rapalas on the front of weeds!

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Who says there aren't any pike to be found in Marion Lake? Witness this 30" that nearly ripped the pole out of my hand:

261520782.jpg

Of course, I caught this while fishing for bass... just like the 19" bass I caught while fishing for pike a couple weeks earlier. Seems backwards... maybe if I use some micro jigs I will run into a 50" muskie. Oh, well... perhaps I will eventually figure it out.

-Gregg B.

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Nice fish! A 30" in the metro is a good-sized pike in my book. If Marion weren't so gosh-awful busy on the weekends I might even fish the lake during the summer once in a while!

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