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I was out in one of our walleye houses for awhile last night in 19 to 20 fow...what was just amazing and majestic were these "flocks" of huge sunfish that would come by on the camera. I say flocks rather than schools because they almost appeared as geese in formation floating by. It was amazing as they drifted by...some close to the bottom and others appearing 5 or 6 feet off the bottom like big saucers. This happened several times. I only had shiners down but a few harassed the shiner and then moved on. Just as the reports have indicated, there are some nice big sunnies to be found out in deep water...they have a picky bite however.

I did more running back and forth last night trying to get my Mom and Son set up in one of our panfish houses just in from the house I was set up in...but I did managem to catch a pike, bass, 17" eye and missed two others but had to head out b-day dinner plans. With the activity, the eye bite could pick up with this nice weather. ?? Places to try for walleyes...as I mentioned prior, the ice conditions allow a person to go just about anywhere on the lake so this is a great time to try out some new areas. Give Swenson Pt. or Barness Pt. and edges between between these two. There are some great walleye spots along the south side of the lake and you can easily get to them now. Otherwise, try to target anywhere along edges in the 18 to 20 fow range...I would think you could pick up 2 to 4 walleyes and they are FAT! Stop in if you want to look the map over for ideas.

30 F already! Wow...nice weather finally.

Fish On!

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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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How is the water clarity? I would like to spear in as deep of water as possible, but still want to see the bottom. Any suggestions?

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I think Terrible Fisherman has been spearing so maybe he can give a better report on that or any others that have been spearing. I heard it was pretty good earlier.

I personally think the water clarity has gotten a little worse from what I have seen with my camera but it just might be in the locations I have been as well...not sure.

Fish On!

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Bluegill1510

Minnewaska is no secret at all...there are only secret spots on the lake! If you get upset about Landdr or others give up reports... then get uspet at Dave Genz, Brosdahl and every other fishing writer who posts reports & give information on certain lakes, cuz they have written about Waska many a time in many statewide publications. So its no secret by anymeans, and its a big lake & will go through its cycles like any other lake across Minnesota does. About the only way you can keep it a good panfish lake is by selective harvest, and by keeping your "secret" spots to yourself if you do so choose to. I've learned after fishing many lakes all over the state is that you can't control the fishing pressure a lake recieves nor can you deter tourists from our rural & lake area communities. You just go about your business and be respectful and polite, and hope the same from others or non-locals. To me Glenwood & Starbuck are a 2nd home away from home for when I was kid (family)...and so not really a tourist destination as others would say but more farming area with rolling hills & lakes surrounding it.

I guess my 2 cents is just be thankful that you have some of the best panfishing lakes in the state right out your front door!! Not to many guys can say that, and if you don't like all the people on Waska..move around then, find your own spot or go fish another lake in the area cuz its not like there is a shortage of them that don't hole panfish or travel north (ottertail county, DL, Park Rapids), where there are many good panfish lakes..even better than Waska. Oh ya happy birthday Landdr..catch a 2 lb crappie for you birthday present!

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rangerforme

More than half the people on the lake are not local. And my guess is they aren't coming for CPR ("catch, picture, release" for those of you that like to rape a lake)

It wont matter how many pounds of walleye the association dumps into the lake, with all the ""promoting"" people do this lake cant handle the pressure

I can tell you that most the locals aren't there to CPR ("catch, picture, release"), so tell me who does the most damage the local that goes every other night or the guy from the twin cities that comes up twice a year. Just saying that local argument to me doesn't hold much water.

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terrible_fisherman

I have been spearing out there some on the weekends and the clarity is pretty good. Over Xmas weekend I was in about 13 and could see pretty well but not perfectly to the bottom. Last weekend I set up in about 11 feet and could see the bottom very clearly when the sun was out. It got a little dark in the mornings and evenings but that is not due to water clarity, more of an issue with lack of light and the snow on the ice.

I will be out spearing again tomorrow during the day before moving my house. A lot of pike activity in the bottle bay area but not a lot of size recently. I set up off of woodland over Xmas and saw one in the 15-20 lb range. Last weekend I saw lots of fish but nothing over 3-4lbs which is ok with me since I typically pickle them but if you are looking for trophies you are going to have to watch a lot of little ones swim by before you find one.

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LANDDR,

You mention a camera a lot in your posts, what kind do you have? Do you like it? And thanks for all the reports!!! I make it up to Minnewaska 3-4 times a year, its a great panfish lake! I wish it was closer!! I usually go off the Starbuck side but from the sounds of it I should try different spots!

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I had an Aquaview SRT...nice but someone wanted to buy it so I sold it. smile Then I got a Fish TV...nice until my fishing budy came into the house with his camera one day not long ago and his picture was so much clearer and stayed better well after my Fish TV lost it's picture when the sun was setting. He has an Angler's Choice from Cabela's. So I put mine up for sale in the store and sold it the next day...went on-line and ordered one from Cabela's...and it was here in two days. smile Cabela's have them on sale for $139.99 I believe and there is a $20 credit you can get for orders over $100. I really like it...better picture and you can see longer once the sun starts setting.

A renter had a Marcum last week so I got o see that as well. Nice camera as well...but for the 400 or 500 bucks they want for a Marcum, I could buy two of the Cabela's cameras.

Just my opinion and experience.

Fish On!

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Hey Landdr, I want to thank you for getting me that lakemaster chip. I also appreciate you going the extra distance in calling Garmin to fix the problem. I was checking out the map last night and got some points set on it to try. Also to BLACKJACK, I have one of the Cabelas cameras. For the price I think it works pretty good. Definately would recommend it to anyone. Thanks again Lanndr.

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What seems to be the word for "hunchbacks" or, big sunnies on Minnewaska? Bottle Bay, Starbuck, depth? I'm thinkin of bouncing around tomorrow out there.Just lookin for last minute tips!! Thanks!

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Byron...not a problem. Nice set up you have with the Nuvi and Lakemaster chip...very nice. Got me wanting one of those now! smile

Fishduck...I would go deep to start with as I have seen some really nice fish on the camera out deep. But they seem to be picky...trophys are always harder to get no matter what you are after. Let me know how you do.

We are getting freshwater shrimp (scuds) stocked in ponds for ducks now. If anyone wants to try some shrimp, I will give you a free sample to try out. That might be the ticket for those pickey bluegills on Waska. I heard crappies love them too. Anyone ever use shrimp before and had any luck with them?

Fish On!

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crappieking54

I have used the fresh water shrimp on Osakis before and they are the ticket! The only problem is that they are super fragile and fall apart after any nibble.... worth the money though if you fill the bucket!

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100_0448-1.jpg

not my picture, but someone I do know

I dont rape lakes like this, this picture is from just a few years ago on Minnewaska. to me those all look 11"+

now LANDDR where does a guy find this on lake Minnewaska today? You Wont

I know lakes do go have cycles and lake Minnewaska crappies will eventually rebound... due to spawning conditions and LAKE PRESSURE. There are a few areas where the majority of crappies spawn and that makes them vulnerable.

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Wetline

You really need to stop by and talk with me. I would be happy to provide you with my opinion of what has happened to the crappie population in Minnewaska...but I am not going to discuss it on a forum. I have spoke with Dean Beck at the DNR last year about it as well as last week about it. I also spoke to Steve Lawrence at the Pope County Planning and Zoning office about it last year. It has nothing to do with fishing pressure...but the only way I will discuss it with you is if you stop by.

I will look forward to seeing you.

Fish On!

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Fished Bottle Bay today from about noon to 5:30pm. 1 bass and 1 small sunfish. Tried about 12-15 different holes in different depths. No luck. I did see one group that had some nice pike,crappies and sunnies.Oh well.

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Let's not go there guys. This thread has gotten a lot cleaner and respectful since it first started and I would appreciate if we could keep going in that direction.

Crappie are much different than walleye and sunfish when it comes to spawing areas. They are very specific on needs and with Waska there are only a few areas to spawn. Sunfish have almost the entire shore line of Waska as potentail spawning areas. Walleye have much of the south shore. So those species do have large areas on Waska. Crappie on the other hand require shallow, muddy areas with cattails...and there are only a couple of these areas. Shallow pond on the other side of Torgy's is by far the largest crappie spawning area. In the recent two years we have started catching many crappies during the late spring and summer that still have their eggs. Why? The majority of Crappies are not going back into Shallow Pond. Why?

I spoke with Dean Beck at the DNR in Glenwood. He last comment to me was that the "DNR really does not want to manage for crappies on Minnewaska". I was really taken back by that statement and was quite for awhile. He didn't say anything either. I really didn't know what to say...crappie and panfish are the big draws to Minnewaska and what brings people to the area for tourism...but the DNR doesn't want to manage for them. Wow!

I would encourage each of you to give Dean Beck a quick call to encourage him to look into why it appears that crappies are not spawning in Shallow Pond and also express to him how important it is to manage for "ALL" species in the lake...rather than just one species. His phone number is 320-634-4573.

I have my opinion on what is going on and it would only take a slight change in practice to resolve it. If the DNR can not take initiative on it, then I guess I will give it a try.

I appreciate everyone's passion and interest in the Minnewaska thread and the love for the lake. It really is a gem and can be that way for year's and year's as long as we practice selective harvest and understand what her needs are. It is really one of the few lakes in the state that has actually gotten better in regards to water quality and, in my opinion, quality multi-species fishing.

Should be another beautiful day on the ice. Good luck and GO VIKES!

Fish On!

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First Ice-Mike

I'm pretty sure those pics are against forum policy.............. Yeah - not a fan of Dean's - he seems much more interested in creating duck sloughs than quality fisheries. Anyways, crappies are notoriously cyclical in nature so this could be part of the issue. Also - I'm thinking the very cool springs the last couple of years have prevented some spawning. There are other lakes in the area that the crappies have kept their eggs the last couple of years.

Keep the trolls away!!

FI

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I don't think I would be to quick to judge Dean Beck on why the crappie fishing is the way it is. There are many more areas where crappies spawn than the slough by torgys. What are they supposed to do Corral them in there and tell them to spawn. As far as not managing waska for crappies, I don't think there are many lakes that do get managed for crappies.

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Just to clarify...sorry if it was interpreted that I was saying Dean Beck was the reason for the crappie demise, that was not my intention. My statement was that he did not seem to interested in looking into my concerns last year as well as last week when I spoke with him again regarding it.

There are some other areas on Waska where crappies spawn but I would think everyone would agree that Shallow Pond is the most prime habitat and provides the most acreas of prime spawning habitat (by far). There is nothing like that around the lake. Of course you can not corral them or talk to the fish, but the run needs to stay open and uninhibited during that time.

I agree with Mike 100% that the cold spring has had some issue with spawning as well. But there are some other things going on in addition to that.

Fish On!

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First Ice-Mike

I don't think they have to "manage" Waska for crappies, however if there are some things that can be done to help out the population I think they should help. I don't think anyone is talking about stocking or anything like that. Protecting or creating spawning grounds is something that could help and would not be overly expensive.

FI

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Correct Mike...that is all that I asked Dean to look into last year as well as this year. Based on my observations, I am pretty sure I know what is going on. I just asked Dean to take a look at it as well and to see if a win-win solution could be arranged. I also asked the same of Steve Lawrence at Pope plan/zoning. What is frustrating is that I got no response or effort from either party. If I can't get them to assist, then I will probably just try to work out a solution myself (or if anyone wants to help) to see if that helps the crappie population at all. I don't think I can go thru another year seeing hardly any crappies in "Crappie Town"...otherwise there will need to be a name change to "No Crappie Town" or "DNR Bar" cuz it sure isn't a Crappie Town.

Thanks for the comments.

Fish On!

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If you really care about the crappie population, I would consider implementing a slot or reduced limit. They have worked very well on the lakes that have special regulations for crappies. That would not make the meat fishermen happy though.

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In most cases that may be the solution. But in this case, the drop in the crappie population has been so dramatic over the past two years that it is more than just implementing a slot limit. A slot limit is certainly a good option and the lake association is working on it from what I understand...but we also need to reproduction.

Go Vikes!

Fish On!

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fishingfool

"Crappie are much different than walleye and sunfish when it comes to spawing areas. They are very specific on needs and with Waska there are only a few areas to spawn. Sunfish have almost the entire shore line of Waska as potentail spawning areas. Walleye have much of the south shore. So those species do have large areas on Waska. Crappie on the other hand require shallow, muddy areas with cattails...and there are only a couple of these areas. Shallow pond on the other side of Torgy's is by far the largest crappie spawning area. In the recent two years we have started catching many crappies during the late spring and summer that still have their eggs. Why? The majority of Crappies are not going back into Shallow Pond. Why?"

From my experience Crappie generally spawn on sand or gravel areas with cover (i.e. bullrush, tree, etc). generally from what I have seen they only use shallow muddy areas after first ice out where the water in warmer and generates invertabrate feed quickest, not for spawning.

Crappies also by nature are very cyclic. They go from boom to bust based on recruitment vs fishing pressure. When you get moderate fishing pressure combined with poor recruitment years (drastic changes in spring temps the last several years have resulted in relatively poor spawning conditions and subsequent poor year classes )your bound to have less fish in the system.

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had a pretty good day saturday but had to move alot until we found some pretty good sunnies 7-8 inchers. kids had a blast. yet to find any crappies but i am sure they are there. alot of northerns but just seemed to be lookers---(thanks to the camera love that thing)

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

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  • Your Responses - Share & Have Fun :)

    • Coleman
      I was able to hit the chain on Saturday and cruised around a bit to see if I could find what the walleye were doing. Appears they should be spawning and did find what I think were a couple females just based on the location I found them.    50° on the river and saw as low as 47° on the main lake. 
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      And just a few days later, I got my first 10inch bluegill of the season.  Same body of water Royce got his from, but clearly a different shaped hen bluegill. As always, trophy size fish get released😁   VID_20210418_110303001~2.mp4
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      First outing this spring turned out fairly successful.  Not consistent action yet but enough to stay interested.  Nothing bigger than 12 inches though.  All were released fully alive to complete the reproductive process.
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      I fished north central Minnesota and the arrowhead for trout but never the northwest part. Thanks for posting and good luck!!
    • Mike89
      welcome and good luck!!   don't know the area so can't help you but others will help ya if they can!!   
    • BigTrucka
      Hey all, just moved back to MN where I grew up after living in the PNW for a long while. I became addicted to fishing rivers and streams out there and have started to check out the offerings in the NW section of the state as of yesterday’s opener. Wondering if anyone has experience in this area and can give me some pointers or just tell me if I’m wasting my time since that’s what I’m wondering right now since I didn’t find any signs of fish. I’m using a spinning rod with Mepp’s and Panther Martin style spinners and went through a bunch of color combos. I started yesterday morning at the Clearwater River in western Beltrami County essentially on the border with Clearwater County where the state has some land and a pretty lengthy easement. Probably a well known area. Beautiful area to walk through. Found multiple holes, but yeah no fish at all. I waded for a bit and decided to leave. I went south since I live closer to Moorhead and stopped at Felton Creek. I’ve read a DNR study about this creek having a decreasing population of fish, but it’s still considered a trout stream although not “designated”. I understand the channelization of creeks in this region ruined fish habitat over the last 100 years, but still find some DNR material as of the last 5 years that reference Felton Creek as a spot for trout. Walked the stream for a bit before I left and headed to Lawndale Creek south of Barnesville. I waded through the AMA on the Atherton WMA expecting to find some brook trout since the DNR has stocked it as of at least 2017. Nothing through the entire stretch besides frogs and minnows. Are there actually fish in these places? The Clearwater and Lawndale are designated trout streams. The Clearwater is stocked annually and Lawndale is supposed to have wild brook trout. Anyone have any experience in these spots? Should’ve just drove down MN200 & 71 to the obvious spots in Becker/Hubbard?
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