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Lake Minnewaska Fishing Reports - Ice Conditions


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I understand fishing is fishing. I also heard people say that the crappies would never get fished out of Red Lake, but when the fisherman flocked in there, they did. Lots of fisherman are flocking onto Minnewaska.

Lots of fishermen, but less than winters past any of the days I was up there, and not very many guys consistently target or have the finesse to ice the bluegills. I'd venture to guess that there are more 10" gills plucked from the pencil reeds in june or the weedlines in july/august than taken in the winter. anybody can pitch a slip bobber off a pontoon in the summer, and the fish are more active. And there are vast chunks of the lake that never get fished for gills that hold fish during the winter. Not saying pressure hasn't affected the fishing, but personally, I think the summer fishing has much more of an impact on the "bull" gills than ice fishing does. But, hang a camera down from a boat along the weedlines in the summer and you'll see that there is good recruitment of recent year classes of gills. However, the pike seem to favor perch over gills lately which may or may not have an effect on the growth rates of the gills.

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Oh yeah that's right, there are no 10" gills in waska.

...that have a chance of being returned to waska if caught. WE could have oodles of them, if Selectively Harvested....take the 7.5" to 9.5"ers home...put the rest back..but hey, it's a big lake. She'll take anything we can dish out.
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That's my point. The top end of the blue gill fishery is usually the most vulnerable and gets the most pressure when they are up in the pencil reeds. You'll get pontoons full of people throwing slip bobbers at them. I fish the same methods, but I could care less about keeping anywhere near a limit of gills.

I measured and released 5 10" gills last summer, with 2 of them coming off the dock. probably had a few others I tossed back that were close to 10 as well. Heck I'm about 50/50 on keeping or tossing back 9" fish. It's just too bad that people will keep a 10" gill over a 12" bass or 20" northern, yet complain about how many bass and northerns there are. More meat and they taste the same after dunked in 425 degree oil. A buddy and I did a fish fry at waterama and we told every person there they were eating walleye, when in reality it was all bass and pike. Nobody knew the difference, and there were 5-6 people there that "only eat walleye."

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Carp, i think we're on the same page...But it doesn't matter when they are caught...it's the same with the crappies....there's a lot of nice crappies now,and more on the way...yes, they are cyclical, and big ones don't last for ever, I get that. But, the advertising of and propagation of the "no worries" attitude that waska is a big lake and there's fish all over, and there's not as many icefisherman / ice houses as in the past doesn't allow waska a chance to meet it's potential. Even if we are less in numbers, the ease with which we can catch fish compared to 20 years ago is staggering....And believe me, I have nearly every gadget to make catching them easier (GPS,SI,DI,Spot Lock,insulated portables,LakeMaster / Navionics chips, internet reports, ect, ect)...But, I harvest as differently as we used to fish too. I'm far from preaching C&R 100%. CPR the big ones, and eat some of the mid-sized ones.

If we'd somehow get the majority to put back 12.5" crappies back the next couple years, we'd see some pretty impressive trophy crappies...but with current practices and attitudes, we'll settle for limits limits of 12-13"ers and rarely see trophies....goes for all species.....one I'd really like see protected the most is the pike...30" pike and above are the most important fish in waska.

We could harvest, as you agree, less vulnerable sized panfish and mix in a medium sized pike or bass and leave the very biggest (of all species) and have a real destination. As is, it's a big, moderately good fishery for average sized fish......which is better than some lakes, esp. in the metro I guess. But, it could be so much better. But, without self regulation (Selective Harvest)and ending the "it's a big lake" campaign, it's a pipe dream.

Meanwhile, back at the ranch....

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  • 2 weeks later...

I eat bass quite often in the summer and people think Im crazy. I dont mind it at all and can fool people just like your saying carp. I agree that waska is very fragile the last couple years the lake has got pounded I dont even keep fish out of there anymore at least not gills or crappies as they are so fragile and everyone and there mother keeps everything they catch. If you think it doesnt add up your lying to yourself. I catch alot of fish out of waska but for every 12-13 inch crappie I throw back I cant help but smile as that fish will hopefully get to be 15 inches which I doubt will happen as people think the big ones are good eaters. I just dont get how people think they can always keep fish and it doesnt do anything. Waska is the worst Ive seen it right now its actually pretty miserable yeah you can catch fish but you have to do some serious seaching. It isnt like it used to be were you could drop your house anywere in bottle bay and catch fish. Those days are long gone. We need to do our part to keep this a good fishery which includes letting the fish over 9 inches go. If you wanna keep fish keep the 8s and 10 inch crappies. You can do whatever you want but it makes a guy feel better knowing hes making the lake a better place. With all this being said waska is really tough right now the fish are out there you just gotta find em.

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Over fished...not at all. You put the camera down and they are all over down there...

Clayton, based on your observations, a whole lot has changed in just a few short weeks.

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The last time I went out I didnt catch much and when have I ever told anyone to go out there and keep all there fish???

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White. Ha Ha j/k, saw some pickups out there this morning and afternoon. Some water near shore but must be better further out.

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I was out today theres barely any snow out there still alot of ice shore is holding up pretty decent so far fishing is tough tho.

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  • 3 weeks later...

Havent been out since last week been busy moving. Just got a house by st cloud. The national championship for team extreme ice fishing tournaments was held on waska on march29th&30th yours truly won it with 23.79 lbs for the two day total. Was truly an awesome time. I found the fish friday camera fishing. Out on the bar then sunday they were in bottle bay in a spot were we been seeing a couple but that sunday it was crazy. I will either be out here on sunday or on osakis I got a blue clam suit with a burn hole on the buttock section dont be afraid to come say hi.

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  • 'we have more fun' FishingMN Creators

Congrats Clayton!

Now that we're practically neighbors we'll have to get out fishing so of the St Cloud area lakes.

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Thanks.I would be down for that Borch. Went out this afternoon on a lil lake around here and slammed some big gills. Always fun sight fishing in 3 feet of water.

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lake has opened up pretty good around the edges, don't think a plank or ladder will reach in most places. not sayin there isn't some place u could do it.

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There was a few guys fishing in there when I drove by on saturday morning on the way to the cabin. Took a break from projects to wader fish old bull rush patches around 2 on saturday...a few gills and one nice perch, but mostly smaller perch chasing the bait; didn't fish very long before some ice flowed in though.

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  • 3 weeks later...

Any reports on the Opener? I was out Saturday for a few hours with no luck on Walleyes, bass and hammer handles were a different story.

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

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    • LakeofthewoodsMN
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    • AnglerJake
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    • LakeofthewoodsMN
      By LakeofthewoodsMN
      On the south end...  Another really strong week of walleye fishing.  
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      A complete list of lodging and fishing packages around LOW, the NW Angle, Baudette and the Rainy River at www.fishingminnesota.com/Lodging.  


  • Your Responses - Share & Have Fun :)

    • Tom7227
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      Full throttle before I even start to spray.  When trying to restart it pulls easy and I keep the wand open to assure it doesn't get backed up.  I agree it has to be a fuel issue.  But the tank to engine line is a straight shot except for the fuel shut off valve.  When I was replacing the carb the fuel would run out of the fuel line quite a bit until I remembered to shut off the fuel line.   The gas has been brand new non-oxy every time I have tried it.  
    • Wanderer
      When you try to restart it does it pull easy or hard?   When mine has water pressure built up, it pulls hard to start.  I trigger the wand to release the pressure so it starts easier.   Maybe the hours for yours is due to pressure that needs to bleed off?  Hard to tell not being there.     I can kill mine at low throttle just by spraying.  Are you running yours at a high throttle position?  Again, hard to tell without hearing the RPMs of the engine.   Otherwise for fuel, it could be a blockage or venting issue anywhere in the system. If there wasn’t a change in performance with the change of carburetor, the carburetor is probably not the issue.  If it sat with old gas for a while something could be varnished up and the engine starves for gas until it quits.  Taking hours to get enough fuel flowing again to run seems odd if you actually get to run it hard enough to spray for even a few minutes.   Hearing the way it behaves would help a lot for me.   I’ve had pressure washers that you’re not supposed to let idle for extended time without spraying and others like my current one that bypass just fine while it’s running.  I’m just wondering if your killing it on high pressure AND low idle.  Mine will die every time that way.
    • Tom7227
      It is a Powerhorse, the northern tool house brand.  It dies while I am spraying.  If I replaced the carb what more fuel issues could there be?  The carb replacement took about 5 minutes and was extremely simple.
    • JerkinLips
      I retired 2½ years ago.  My wife finally agreed to move up north after she retires the end of 2021.  When she retires there is nothing that would keep us in the cities.  Blaine has been very peaceful over these turbulent times, but I have a lot of buckshot for my three 12ga shotguns just to be safe.  Anywhere from Barnum to Soudan would be fine for us (easy day trip to Vermilion).  Would go as far west as Grand Rapids.  Would love to live on Vermilion but the prices are just too high now.  Best of luck to you.
    • smurfy
      How far north?????🤔😅
    • leech~~
      Wife just retired. I retire next May. Hope to follow you north before the next round of riots and lotting in Brooklyn Center! 👍
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