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DomW

Cross Lake weekend

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DomW

My family is headed up for a long weekend on Cross Lake later this month. We are bringing the portables so we can sneak in a little ice time, but none of us has ever fished the lake, so I'm wondering if anyone is willing to share some ideas of where to concentrate our efforts.

The place we are staying at is on the northeast shore of the lake near the channel into Daggett Lake.

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BoxMN

We are going to be up there this weekend, but may only hit Cross one day at most. Last year we fished the west side, south of Rush channel quite a ways, with tipups. We got a lot of flags and about 7 or 8 small to medium sized pike. About 12 FOW on an edge. We were only there for a couple hours on our way home, though, so it was pretty good action.

We were not sure about driving, so we didn't travel far, and there were not many tracks (truck) on the lake at the time. I will post how we do on Tuesday if we hit Cross.

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DomW

Any spots to avoid with the truck?

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BoxMN

Thats what I would like to know as well. I am going to ask the new bait shop next to Twin Pines restaurant, or the Holiday station bait shop, but I think the new one might know better. I know there are currents through it, so I won't be anywhere near the channels. I will only go where I see truck tracks already ;\)

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LundDude

I have my icehouse on the west side of cross. The ice is pretty good, aout two feet thick. Just stay away from the rush channel opening.

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DomW

good to know, thanks. How is the action?

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LundDude

The walleyes are still biting decent,in 16-30 feet of water. They are either to big or to small to keep not many eaters. I havent spent much time on the panfish yet. The northerns show up with the walleyes during the day.

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DomW

Sounds good! We're not going to be too picky about size, just want the young'ns to have a positive experience.

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fishgutz77

we always had good luck going straight out from the bridge on the edge of the big flat. if you line up the east side point with one of the bridge piers that will get you close, then go just a little north. the break line is very sharp. fish 12-28ft should be lots of northern action there with a shot at a nice big walleye or eel pout.

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BoxMN

We were out on Monday morning until about noon. Using only tipups and shiners and suckers, in about 14-22 FOW. We only caught a few small pike. Was pretty slow, that was with 5 guys, but we didn't really hit the spot I wanted to try. We were farther south from the drive on access, but not to the islands, on a fairly steep break.

Tried a couple smaller lakes, and one we got a bunch of sunnies and small pike, and another we got lots of 9.5" to 11.5" crappies, with some smallish but decent sunnies mixed in. White plastic thin bodies on Genz bugs were the ticket. Me and brother used small flourocarbon "leaders" and the other guys did not, and we caught way more fish - not sure if that mattered.

Oh yeah, Friday night we started when we got up there, about 6:30 pm. Crappies were biting pretty solid up until about 9:00. Next day, same lake, crappies were biting really good from about 11 am until about 2:30 pm, we moved to our evening spot, and they bit from about 6 pm until only 7:30 and they just sort of quit, but that is when I gave me locator to my brother in law, and then he started to catch them. But they were biting really light. The locators caught a lot of fish for us \:\) BTW - LX5 and FL20 worked great together in same two man house, right next to each other.

Good luck!

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DomW

Interesting that the flashers worked well together...

Thanks to all for the info, keep it coming! Hopefully, the more fun the kids have, the more we dads will be able to take them out fishing, and the ladies can do their thing - whatever that is!

We will be staying in a place on the east side of Cross near the channel to Daggett. Assuming the ice is in good shape, where should we drive on?

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BoxMN

The owner of the bait store on the other side of the Twin Pines restaurant could tell you. He likes to talk and is really nice guy. The suckers we got from him died right away though, not sure why - the shiners were fine. Otherwise suckers from Holiday were great, but usually the folks you buy bait from there are not anglers... Both stores had shiners.

You might be able to drive on from the Corps campground, on the lake access, not the one by the dam! But I was not over there so not sure. Just stay away from tha channels! Obviously, but have to say it. We did see some goldeneye and ringbill sitting in the Rush/Cross channel \:\) That was cool to see this time of year.

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DomW

OK thanks for all of the info. Can you recommend any of the other lakes nearby for crappies/sunnies? I know that some of my partners will want to find them, and I suppose that makes for more entertainment for the kids.

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BoxMN

On my lake there is no public access anymore, we are not on chain... so that wouldn't help you out. I wish we had one - I am on a hill and that makes it tough to get out for me too. But that is where we caught the crappies. I Bet about any small lake will have them about the same. The lake we got sunnies on has a state campground on it, about 6 miles or so from Crosslake. We didn't see crappies there, but we didn't fish the deeper areas near where other fish house were, so maybe they were on the crappies. I do know that the crappies were right down in the weeds, right on the deeper edge of them. Go to any lake and find the edge, and I bet you would find some, with pike cruising by too. We saw lots of small pike on cameras, and even saw some strike. PRetty cool.

We talked to an old timer, a local guy, who was fishign with jiggle stick and he was catching sunnies like crazy, up in pretty shallow water, under 10 feet I bet. There were lots of weeds there.

Good luck, I don't want to name small lakes or I will catch heck... \:\)

But what I can say is that there are some nice breaks and even subtle points just south of where you are staying, between Dagget channel and the campgrounds, and I bet you would find panfish wherever you find a nice weededge there too, right on Cross, so close to where you will be. I fish those in summer. Good luck!

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DomW

Thanks for all of the great info. Are you heading up this weekend? We will be up the long Presidents' Day weekend of 16-17-18. We'll be in a green Eskimo and some other portables, driving a green F-150 and maybe a tan Caravan or blue Explorer. Say hi if anyone sees us up there. Hopefully I can share some successful techniques.

I will post our results when we return. All of this chatter is getting me pumped up.

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ozzie

I will be up this weekend for Winterfest......maybe hit the fishing contest at manhatten beach and then a round or 2 of ice golf at the other establishments...should be a good weekend!!!

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anchor man

Ozzie,

I'll be battling hard at the ice fishing contest too. Hopefully the cold snap holds off a day or so for all the outdoor activities planned this weekend. I don't have a clue where to fish for pike or walleye on Trout. Got any hotspots?? Ha.

Good luck

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ozzie

I am not even sure as to the rules and what it is about.....I have never fished Trout in the winter but I know it is deep and the structure has alot of sharp breaks...Do you know what the entry fee is and if you have to sign up prior to Sat. All I know is that it is at Manhatten Beach and I think it started at noon?

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anchor man

Ozzie,

Here's what I found online from up there:

Tickets are $10 per person and are available at Angler's Pro Shop, Manhattan Beach Lodge, Maucieri's, Riverside Inn, Pine Peaks Lodge, Holiday of Crosslake and all Brainerd Lakes Chamber offices.

Tickets also will be available the day of the event in the measuring tent on the shore of Manhattan Beach Lodge.

Participants should meet at 11:30 a.m. at the tent to hear the rules.

Holes will not be pre-drilled. Participants should bring their own auger and fishing equipment.

Contestants must be 18 and older or accompanied by a parent. Only one fish per person per species will be allowed.

Prizes will be awarded for the largest single walleye, northern pike and the largest northern pike/walleye combination. Anglers must be present to win.

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anchor man

FYI-

sounds like they are now going to allow portable fish house use during the tournament due to the cold weather on Sat.

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ozzie

Thanks for the info-much appreciated!! \:\) I am glad they are alowing fish house otherwise I sure wouldn't show up......I guess I shouldn't say that cause a tip-up and a case of beer might convince me to stay outside!!!!

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DomW

How was Cross Lake this weekend?

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anchor man

We had a good time. There were only about 35 or so people in the fishing contest..with only two fish caught. Two 10" crappies took 1st and 2nd place. The rest of the prizes were just raffled off. I think most everyone won something and most of us won multiple times. Jim at Anglers Pro Shop did a good job putting everything together, too bad the weather was nasty..at about -2 with 40mph gusts.

My wife, bro in-law and I did the jalepeno eating contest at Zorbaz later that night. Definitely warmed me back up.

I tried for walleyes on WF Friday from about noon-3:30, didn't have any luck at all.

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  • Your Responses - Share & Have Fun :)

    • Borch
      It usually pays off finding your own fish.   Nice report.
    • Borch
      Welcome to the forum.  Lots of good options already given.  Have some fun!
    • ozzie
      The fish are out there and they go hot and cold on the bite but they are catchable!  Anytime you can get the kids out fishing is worth it in my opinion!  Take them up and wet a line is about the only way you will find out if they can catch anything or not.  The main thing to look for before going to Red is the week leading up to the date you plan on fishing is to watch the wind speed and direction.  If blowing from the west for a few days the water stirs up and gets hard to fish. 
    • ANYFISH2
      Welcome TheEyesofanAngler! A ton of good bass lakes around the area.  For numbers of 2 to 4 lb bass, the eastern Todd County lakes near Burtrum and NW Morrison county are hard to beat as well.
    • Wanderer
      Good job guys!
    • YellowFinRed
      Have only been out a couple of times now but did get a 5.5 lb walleye my first 10 minutes out in 16 feet of water. Lots of fish in the 16-20 feet range. No jumping in the boat but catching fish on the mid lake areas. I'll be darned if I'll sit under a bridge with other boats when you can catch fish out on the lake without others boaters around.
    • Gillraker
      Any reports from Buffalo?  I would imagine that they are doing OK right out in front of the marina/beach.  Anybody?
    • DonkeyHodey
      agree with gimruis.  look to the river. Your chances of catching a 3# bass or better are exponentially better on the river.  (There's a reason SC/mississippi was chosen for the Gov's opener last year--the Mississippi around here is really a world class smallmouth fishery.)  (most river rats will tell you that you can essentially catch smallies any time of year and often as by-catch while targeting other species.)  Below the SC dam is pretty much catch and release only (all 12-20 inchers must be released) but it's quite loaded with big smallies! (and lots of good shore areas on public land)  Just be prepared to lose a few lures on snags... Frankly, If you want to stick to lakes, I think you can pretty much pick a lake in a 30 mile radius...--most produce bass in good quantity, it's just years may vary in terms of sizes.  Clearwater is good.  Consider Bass lake adjacent to it.  (...it's not just a clever name.)
    • Wanderer
      Haha!  Based on our conversation at the truck I’m going to edit that comment a teeny bit!  Cuz I know both of us had a workout.  I was still sore yesterday but it was a good sore. 😎
    • gimruis
      I like Clearwater too.  I haven't fished in in a couple years now but I used to and we caught a lot of fish out there.  The one negative was all the competition - there seemed to be a tournament almost every weekend. Another overlooked place to target smallmouth: RIVERS.  The Sauk River and the Mississippi between St Cloud and Elk River is plum full of bass and receives minimal fishing pressure (its just my opinion but rivers in general are very under fished here in MN).