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1forwalleye

Any Big Sandy Lake Reports?

7 posts in this topic

How did everybody do Memorial Day weekend? Any fishing reports out of BSL? I managed a half dozen small walleye and a 10# northern. Thanks.

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Caught the usual small walleyes and northerns, but it was still fun. Wish the weather would have been a little better though.

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We did pretty good. About 12 nice keeper walleye out of BSL. The weather didn't help much. mad.gifmad.gif

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Quote:

We did pretty good. About 12 nice keeper walleye out of BSL. The weather didn't help much.
mad.gifmad.gif


Aha caught you SF,and you said you'd never fish for how was it oh ya,GRAVEL LIVARDS.

Glad to hear you finaly got out.

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Thanks for the replies. Scumfrog - if you do not mind me asking, what were the size of the fish you were catching? I am fishing BSL for the first time the year and 75% of the fish I have been catching are less than 14" and the largest was only 18". I understand this is the norm for the lake. Thanks.

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Yeah the fish are small in that lake, don't know why. I think it's because of the fishing pressure the lake gets.

We don't keep any thing smaller then 14". And I'm not a walleye fisherman. smirk.gif I manly fish bass, but in that lake there isn't any so I'm forced to fish for walleyes. tongue.gif

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Here is what the Mn. DNR says.....

Status of the Fishery (as of 07/11/2005)

Big Sandy Lake is located in northeastern Aitkin County approximately 9 miles north of McGregor. The lake is characterized as a large fertile walleye lake comprised of several habitat types. These include the open, windswept main basin, the deep cool eastern basin, Bill Horn Bay, the shallower and more isolated south basin, Webster Bay, and shallow bays containing dense rice beds on the south, east and northeast sides of the lake. The lake is currently managed for walleye, northern pike and black crappie. Walleyes are the most popular target for anglers, particularly in the main basin. The walleye in Big Sandy grow slowly and tend to be smaller on average than lakes with a faster growth rate. Past management has included a long history of various stocking strategies for walleye dating back to 1917. No measurable changes in the walleye abundance were detected due to stocking, therefore stocking was discontinued in 1995. Furthermore, the strongest year class of walleyes ever produced was in 1994, which was a year when stocking did not occur. The mean length for walleyes caught in the survey gill nets was only 10.8 inches long and only six percent measured 18 inches or longer. The size distribution was similar to what was found in previous surveys and gillnet catch rates were virtually identical to what was observed in 2001 at 3.2 fish per net. Survey data indicates that current catch rates are lower than what was documented through the 1990's when gill net catch rates ranged between 5.2 and 9.4 fish per net. Five different age classes were represented in this survey with the 2002 and 2003 year classes being the strongest. These fish will recruit to the sport fishery in the next couple of years. The walleye population will continue to be monitored at regular intervals in the future. Northern pike are also an important game fish in Big Sandy Lake. The gillnet catch rate for northern pike is about average for this type of lake at 4.6 per net and has ranged between 4.0 and 5.9 per net since 1975. The northern pike were also small, averaging just 17.8 inches, but ranging up to 26 inches in the survey gill nets. Despite the presence of a desirable yellow perch and tulibee population northern pike are small and seem to grow slow. Habitat segregation may explain some of this incongruity for example; yellow perch were mostly captured in the main basin, whereas northern pike were captured more often in the shallower, more vegetated areas of the lake. Angler harvest may also be a factor contributing to the lack of large pike. The abundance of yellow perch was about average for this type of lake and has fluctuated over time. The average size of perch was 8.0 inches and 30% were 9 inches or longer with some individuals reaching nearly 13.0 inches. The black crappie catch was up slightly from historical numbers and ranged in size from 7 to12 inches in length and averaged about 9 inches. The 2002 year class of crappies is strong and now are about 8 inches long. Bluegill numbers also showed an increase in 2005 with a strong 1999 year class and reasonable recruitment from the 2000, 2001 and 2002 year classes. Although not particularly numerous the average size was good with a mean of 7.2 inches and 33% of the sample over 8 inches in length. The tulibee population experienced summer kill in the mid 1980's but has since rebounded to normal levels. Tulibee were caught at a rate of 9.8 per net in 2005 with an average size of 13.8 inches with some fish reaching nearly 20 inches. Tulibee are a cold-water fish and provide quality forage for walleye and northern pike. They have a low tolerance for warm water and are therefore are usually limited to the confines of Bill Horn Bay during the summer months. Anglers are encouraged to release large northern pike and walleye and also to protect habitat by practicing responsible shoreline management techniques

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