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I hit Minnewaska last week and what a week it was. First morning out, limit of eyes, gills and crappie. Talk about largemouth, must have boated a dozen from 3-5.5 punds, never caught bass like this be

called my cuz yesturday and they put the permanent out saturday not too far from Glenwood on favorite spot.  zippo on the action but hopefully it will go after this snap. welcome to FM JD ! 

Curious on this also heading up there Sat on a gill hunt hopefully wont have to swiss cheese the lake to bad  Guessing there's some truck traffic but would like a little more info if possible.

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I know a couple of weeks ago the tournament bite was slow. Cranks at night is starting to produce some fish but nothing fantastic for me.

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Water temp down to 61-62 last weekend. Been hitting them on the head with jigs/rigs but it's slow. Full moon this weekend if clear should help night trolling.

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It has been slow slow slow.

I know there are a lot of walleyes out there but it has been tough. Most of the fish caught during the tournament were caught in 3 to 6 fow...even during the day! Crazy to fish walleyes that shallow during the day. Most guys were fishing them like what I would call bass fishing...flipping jigs to the edge of weedlines or edge of bullrushes...or even right in them. Some where ripping jigs in the shallows and others were pulling crawlers over the weeds in shallow. I even seen one group bull some small walleyes up just out in front of my parents house...that had to have been no more than 3 to 4 fow!

AS per the tournament, if you are looking for walleyes you might want to try ripping jigs in 4 to 6 fow along weedlines and bullrushes or shallow flats.

The night bite has been slow as well...a few fish but not what is expected. Are these fish just full from feeding all day since they are in shallow versus sitting out deeper and coming in hungry?

Fish On!

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  • 2 weeks later...

Not many people out to have any reports. Many days with higher winds as well as rain...has people thinking and doing other things. I have been in the field harvesting prairie seed so not much time for me to fish either. A friend has been out a few nights with the full moon and picked up a few walleyes but not a lot.

Duck hunting this weekend and pheasant opener closing in...along with all the kids events leaves little time to get out. I hear the lake calling me though.

A few people in I have directed to try shallow for walleyes in 4 to 6 fow. No one has come back in yet to give any reports. Anyone else out on Waska with any reports?

Fish On!

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  • 2 weeks later...
GoingFishin

Weather been beautiful and the lake temperature is now in the high 50's, but there are very few boats fishing. Maybe it's because the fishing for eyes is poor. Those boats that are out there seem to be moving alot. The northerns are biting off jigs and the bass are always hungry but the eyes are keeping their mouths closed it seems. With the high water, I think there is lots of forage this year keeping them shallow on a feeding binge. I don't know. Any other ideas?

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I think there is a lot of food out there as well. If you recall last winter's sunfish bite, it did not really get going until late January because there as so much food for the sunfish to eat and were almost lethargic. Our August and September were switched around last year with Agust being cold and something like 3 days with 90s in September. This cause the algae bloom to happen in September instead of August...which cause te zooplankton to bloom a month later (they feed on the algae), which cause the food supply for the sunfish to run a month later. Since the sunfish didn't finally depleat the zooplankton down until the end of January, the sunfish harvest was way down on Waska. That resulted in many many more breaders for this spring...and therefore we have all of these little sunfish now that are feeding the walleyes, bass and pike. Hopefully they will start eating the forage down and the bite will pick up...but I think we are still seeing the impact froom last August/September.

What I find interesting is the importance of the sunfish harvest. Due to the reproductive native of Waska, it apears that if there is not a sufficient enough harvest of sunfish in the winter, we have to deal with the over abundant reproduction (forage) the next year(s). I also wonder what it will do to the "size" of sunfish on the lake with more little mouths out there creating more competition and potentially reducing growth rates...getting the sunfish to the 8 to 10 inches that we all enjoy on Waska. All of those little sunfish could really create an issue. But...maybe they will grow walleyes bigger and faster?

Another correlation could be made to the spike in the small pike population. Anyone catching a lot more pike in a similar small pike year class appearance? This could be because of the amount of small sunfish available for that year class...increasing success of survival as well as growth of this year class. I think we might see an impact from this year class for several years...good or bad.

My initial thought is that we need all of those ice fisherman in the winter to take a good harvest of sunfish each year so we don't have this overabundance of little sunfish. A better balance of reproduction allows for more zooplankton and inverts that allows for more food and faster growth of the existing population of sunfish...ultimately more 8 to 10 inchers...and not an excessive amount of little sunfish as bait fish.

That switch of August and September last year has been really interesting to watch...but I don't really like what I have been seeing so far. We might need a healthy harvest of sunfish this winter to get things back on track. Probably need more people keeping small pike as well to get that back in check. ? ? ?

Thoughts?

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Jack Peterson

Yeah, I agree with you Landdr. Last fall was reversed for a while, and it threw off ice fishing last year for a month or two. I think this year is acting a little weird too. The water in central Minnesota still seems too warm for the crazy fall walleye bite. I've been catching walleyes almost every night, but nothing spectacular. We need traditional Minnesota weather to reset the feeding habits of our fish! On the other hand, this fall is starting out better than last year for walleyes. IMO. Hope to get out to Waska in December this year rather than the first week in January.

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GoingFishin

There is no doubt that there are tons of very small pike in the lake now. I also believe that the perch population is doing well and maybe things will balance out. How about adding a musky population?

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What would muskies do for Waska...pros and cons?

I am just curious what people think about it.

Most of what I have heard is that a musky population in Waska would mess things up...but I don't know much about the biology of the fish to know what it would do.

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pushbutton

about the only negative thing a managed musky stock would do to waska is create diaper rash in some of the hard core eye guys. if they could reproduce, they might also slightly alter the pike population, since they both would be competing in the apex predator role. conversely do not think adding muskies to waska would really help the lake either. it already has nice pike, bass, and walleye base which helps to control these "baitfish" outbreaks. the best thing we can do to aid a multi species fishery like waska is to help mother nature out and harvest some of the smaller out of balanced fish populations and release the larger healthier predators and breeders.......be it walleye, bass, pike, or panfish.

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Jack Peterson

The last thing I want is muskies in Minnewaska! With trophy pike, walleyes, and bass, I'm sure people who fish the lake regularly wouldn't want muskies either. For example, Cedar Lake in Morrison/Todd County has a 40 inch regulation on Northern Pike. Hmmm, a 256 acre lake with pike that are supposed to be able to reach 40 inches? yeah, that's not going to happen very often. Fish in lakes are just like fish in tanks. The pike are all going to reach about 30 inches and stop growing, due to the lack of baitfish. This regulation wrecked Cedar lakes' walleye fishing, bass fishing, crappie fishing, and sunfish fishing. Guess what the funny part is!?! Nobody, I mean NOBODY fishes for pike regularly. This would happen in Minnewaska if muskies were introduced. They would choke out all the other fish, and not many people would be interested in them! People go to Minnewaska for two main reasons: 1. sunfish. 2. walleyes. From my experience, people enjoy Waska because they can come home with a limit of eater fish almost every time! Lets keep it that way. My two cents I guess.

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IMO This could be catastrophic for this lake they would reak havoc on all the walleye fry and fingerlings that have been stocked into the lake not to mention all the other species that they would deplete I know there used to be a few in the lake but i don't think anyone got real excited about it there are other lakes in the area that the musky junkies can go and fish for them IMO

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Haha, yes heaven forbid they put muskies in the lake. Might turn into something ugly like miltona. Ohh wait i guess you can still go there and catch 75 walleyes a day. Hmm. Do a little research. Muskies feed in the top 1/3 of the water column. When was the last time you saw a walleye surface feeding?

Clean some of those stupid bass and sunfish out of the lake, you cant pull a crawler 10 feet without gettin it picked off.

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all i'm saying is that most of the walleyes caught this year were in the 4-10 fow so ur saying that a musky wouldn't be feeding on them in there. Minne walleyes have a good poulation of stocked fish. when they are in a stocking pond most are pretty shallow so the like to be in the same depths they grew up in. You are right about miltona, but i think they have a better natural reporduction than on waska IMO!

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Minnewaska's shot...that's funny. smile

Some really good resports coming in lately. Not many people fishing with all the other activities and winter around the corner, but the people going out have been giving some good reports.

I have had several people in reporting really nice sunfish just off shore. Sounds like 8 to 10 inchers from what they have discribed. Sounds like a good opportunity to catch some late season panfish. Last year we did well on crappies out from Torgy's around this time of year as well.

Some reports on walleyes in shallow at evening and into the night. Some reports are really good! A lot of good spots to try...just have to find the time. Maybe the forage supply is running down and the bite is heating up? Most are using shiners but taking some fats along as well.

Bass and pike are their usual...no one will starve fishing Waska!

Fish On!

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Start stocking them again! I always hear people talking about muskies destroying lakes. What is the evidence to back those claims?

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the best thing we can do to aid a multi species fishery like waska is to help mother nature out and harvest some of the smaller out of balanced fish populations and release the larger healthier predators and breeders.......be it walleye, bass, pike, or panfish.

Someone understands........I'm not gonna go stir the pot on the musky stocking issue. As a walleye fisherman, I am not afraid of them, and believe in many instances they are beneficial. I'm not sure, esp. since they didn't make it in the '80s / early '90's, that they'd thrive / help in Minnewaska.

What I do believe would help, during sunfish booms, or not, would be a healthy population of larger pike. Few years back there seemed to be quite a few. At least I caught a good number of them fishing for walleyes. I'm not against spearing, or fishing for big pike, but I am against keeping them, for the same reasons musky fisherman, and many walleye fisherman do not keep large fish.

Most of us that fish 'waska have an easy time with the voluntary minimum slot for walleyes, and alot of guys I know also have a voluntary upper size they'll let back also. (voluntary slot). PUSHBUTTON makes a great point. It doesn't matter what speices, we'd be doing Minnewaska, ourselves, and our kids, a favor, if we'd keep some of the more common sized (smaller than what me might normally feel comfortable keeping) ESPECIALLY sunfish & pike. Obviously there's nothing to get from the smallest fish, but if we need to really try to increase the harvest of sunfish this winter, then let it be the 7-8"ers. Keep limits upon limits, until they're thinned out. But, maybe, let the 10"ers back, and see if we can get some 10 1/2"ers, and Heaven forbid, some 11"ers in the future. Seems like the food sources are there for them to keep growing, but the predators (us) are preventing them from becoming real trophies. Might be a pipedream, but I thought that with people releasing 20+ walleyes 10 years ago too. That's common place today.

Do the same with Pike, and they'll help keep the stunted sunfish population in check too. Again, I am not anti-spearing. I believe it's a great sport, and have enjoyed it many times myself. It's a great way to harvest, and selectively harvest pike. I don't believe we should see how many 15#ers we can bring in to the local baitshops for pictures / proof that they exist in Minnewaska. We all know they do. Apex predators, whether large pike, or muskies, are not the lake killing eating machines to fear......they are a boon to healthy overall fish populations in lakes. Waska will straighten out again, but might do it faster next time we have a sunfish boom (which seems like always lately) if we had a matching "big pike" boom. They won't / can't do it without our help though.

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When was the last time you saw a walleye surface feeding?

You would be suprised!!!

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This is an interesting discussion on the Muskie impact on the walleye population. I am primarily a walleye fisherman but like to consider myself a multi-species angler, and no matter what I am fishing for I am usually just happy to be on the water. I like to keep up with all the popular fishing mags, In-Fisherman, Minnesota Sportsman, Field and Stream, etc... and I wish I could remember which one it was, but there was an article I read where a study was done to try to access the impact of Muskies on walleye populations. Through the course of the study they found the biggest predator of eye fry on the lakes studied was Largemouth Bass. These were lakes with Largemouth, Smallmouth, Muskies, and Notherns as the primary predator species. I am not looking say anything against Largemouth as I enjoy catching them as well. Just thought it was and interesting study. I also am not sure what size of the lake was or the structure,lake depth, weed content etc... Obviously we all know the big waters like Leech, Mille Lacs, LOW etc.. can support populations of all of those species but can be cyclical over time. Just be curious to know how this all plays out on a lake like Minnewaska as I would consider it and in-betweener. Not a huge lake but not a small lake either.

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Through the course of the study they found the biggest predator of eye fry on the lakes studied was Largemouth Bass.

And a different study proves it is the crappie... yada yada yada.

If you ever wonder what a fish will eat, take a tip from the Aquarists,

"If a fish can fit in another fish's mouth... it eventually will."

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GoingFishin

It appears that muskys and northern generally like to spawn in the same areas and the fact that northerns hatch usually about 2 weeks earlier, they will eat the musky fry. Maybe this has happened in Wasaka where they haven't survived from the 80's stockings. In lakes like Leech where they both are common, they have evolved to spawn in different areas, northerns on weedy shorelines and muskys in 3-6 fow. Not sure if muskys are the answer, but there needs to be some topline predators to help with all these small fish.

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Lookin4Walter

The fall bite is turning on!! Get your long-johns on and grab your hat,gloves and a lantern and get out there!!

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GoingFishin

I'm curious why all the local docks were pulled early this year. The DNR usually waits until late October. The weather surely can't be the reason. Is the walleye fishing picking up and Waska?

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We have been frustrated with the swimming beach towers and slides being pulled in early as well. Even though it is getting close, I feel the docks could be left out longer as well. I will have to check on the reasons.

I have been hearing some good reports for walleyes on Waska...and good sizes. I have just had too much going on to get out myself...and the duck hunting has been excellent on the wild rice pond...but I do need to get out before I have to put the boat away. Gotta make the time!

Fish On!

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The beach docks and towers come out early due to city budget issues. They only had lifegaurds on duty a little over half a day. No gaurds on duty must be to big of a liabilty to the city, so pull the towers early? but the other docks at the landings should stay in a little longer.

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I don't see how it would cost more later on to remove the docks than it would cost a couple weeks ago.

The "Tower", or T-dock as the kids call it, is probably the easiest to bring in since you just hook on to it with the loader and pull it into the part across the road.

There were a lot of people upset again this year with the swimming beach closing early. There were a lot of nice days left. I have discussed this with the City to at least leave the kiddie slide and the short kiddie tower out for the parents and kids.

They also locked up the Beach House which leaves no where for anyone to use a restroom...guess where they pee then! Yep...either in the lake or in a corner on the outside of the Beach House. It was actually becoming a sanitary issue with all the kids peeing in that corner!! I offered to the City to open and close the Beach House daily so peoplpe had a restroom to use but that was a no-go as well.

I am on the ballot for City Commissioner this election...so maybe I can get in there and offer some changes to better accomodate people using the lake. I need your vote so move to Glenwood quick!! smile

Fish On!

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  • Rick changed the title to Lake Minnewaska Fishing Reports - Ice Conditions

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