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Was wondering which one of these landings would have room to park my vehicle and trailer, as I prefer to go out on the lake with my 4 wheeler and portable. Regardless of ice thickness!! I will be stopping in for bait Sunday morning but would like to let my father now where to meet. I am coming up with my daughter and we will be targeting panfish during the afternoon and walleyes toward dark. Thanks for the info and see you on Sunday!!

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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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First Ice-Mike

Hobo fills up very quickly so keep that in mind. It's a pretty sure bet you'll be able to get into the bass at the very least.

FI

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basssmasher*

Landrr, didnt make it up today, but plannin on Monday and playin hookey from work,, what time can u open?? earlier than 8?

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Gravey 70...The landing out to Bottle Bay is great and you can just drive onto the ice and park there to unload if that works for you.

Otherwise you can also take the Sherif's Landing and park there as well. There are a bunch of fish houses parked there already and I often see trucks parked there.

Bassmacher...not a problem. I went to Monster Jam with my son and the scouts yesterday...what a time. I can be in as early as you want...just let me know.

Looks to be a great day...already some folks heading out to Bottle Bay. Got a call from one of our houses that there was a really good morning bite on walleyes...but not the night bite this time. Maybe something to do with the weather moving in now?

Fish On!

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basssmasher*

landrr i was thinking 630iss,, if that works for youif not i will be up as early as u open

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Monday...6:30ish...UFDA. I can do that if needed but 7-7:30 gives me some more beauty sleep. smile

I am hearing a good bite out on Bottle Bay again for panfish. I have not had any reports back from Crappie Town as of yet.

I would like someone to try Torgy's bay as well and give a report.

Fish On!

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Landdr, Thanks for the tips. We went out at Bottle Bay as far as the road went and then off road a bit. Same report LOTS of pannies with some decent size. Man those minnows were small.

crazycrazy

ole

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basssmasher*

Landrr, sorry this is late but sleep in today!! lol I can't hornswaggle my way outta work today, sp lets shoot for 715ish wednesday ok?? sorry!!

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Not a problem. Fish will be there waiting for ya.

Weather looks great for this weekend...colder this weekend. I hope that warm weather holds out thru Sat. and Sun.

Walleye bite for us has slowed. I thought this warm front coming through woudl trigger a bite but seems to have gone the other way. Some being caught but just not what we were hoping for.

Panfish have not slowed however...all you can put bait down for.

Fish On!

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Panfish have not slowed however...all you can put bait down for.

Fish On!

Wow. You can't say that about too many lakes anymore these days. How big do these panfish run??

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Most reports have been 1 out of 5 or 6 are "hand sized".

Hand size is relevant to how big of a hand you have of course but they seem very happy with the size. Some have reported 2 or 3 to a pound which is more relevant.

This is very typical for Minnewaska. I would still say that there are half the houses out on the lake than there usually are. I think last year there were close to 700 but I would say more around 300 to 400 this year.

Fish On!

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Hey Landdr,

I'm going to try and look you up on Friday. My brother-in-law and I are going to spend a couple of days on Waska. I'll be stopping in for some bait. You said the shiners are running thin, do you think you will have some for this weekend yet? or should I try somewhere else?

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I have head that several places are out of shiners or they are looking poor. I know I have had a couple of bait shops call me asking if I can get them some. My bait dealer will have shiners for me each week so I should be ok.

Walleye bite has slowed as I expressed earlier but I will be going out to check it myself smile and will report tomorrow. With all of the fish we were catching and marking, I thought this warmer weather would turn them on.

Fish On!

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Hey Landdr, my dad and I were in on Sunday morning, and you were talking to another group by the time I was going to introduce myself and all that... but I also wanted to get an anonymous feel for your store and the overall business.

I gotta say, you sell great bait (although the crappie minnows are tiny - but can be used effectively) and you are more than willing to help anyone who wanders in there to find some fish. Your store is great too, I will have to look around and ask you some questions on land management when I am in there next.

Now for the report... We went out and got away from the crowd. Sure going to bottle bay is probably going to produce, but the GPS just needed to be used smirk We did stick with your depth guidelines, just found the pannies somewhere else. (Note: there is a TON of unfished water on that huge body) We ended up keeping 30 sunfish, not one under 7 inches with a few pushing 9 - but not quite. Very nice fish. Then went and found some 18-19 foot water and tried for walleyes. Out of the same hole I caught 2 northerns, 1 bass, 1 walleye, and a sunnie. I was hoping for a crappie and call it a winner, but... My dad caught and kept 2 walleyes and missed another.

We had a great time fishing even though the wind was howlin' but that didn't keep the fish from biting. Good Luck all and I will be back Kyle for a crappie bite sometime - theres some real nice crappies in there but we didn't catch a one.

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Sounds like an untapped fishing bonanza there. I've been hearing about minewaska quite a bit lately. Couple of guys from work have been going there this winter, specially since Mille lacs is dead, and have been getting limtis each time out, the way they talk. Lots of big sunnies and crappies. Surprised you haven't got any sunnies over 9 inches. They've been getting many over 9 and even bigger, sorting through the smaller ones. Hope it stays good until I can get there. Hoping to get some friends lined up for this wekend. Thanks for all the info.

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Thanks Donk...appreciate that. Sorry we didn't have time to talk a little. Maybe next time. Glad to hear that you got on the fish...and you are right...there is a tremendous amout of unfished water on that big lake. The great thing...most fish are in the 14 to 18 foot mark...which is probably 50 percent or more of the lake! That means 3,500 acres or more of 14 to 18 foot areas to fish...WOW!

Mustup...two blocks south of the stop lights in Glenwood.

I think I am going to move my one house...missed two last night between 5 and 8. Mark a lot of fish...so maybe just need to wait it out to see if the bite changes. Maybe find another 18 ft. mark and try it there. ??

Thanks for the reports!

Fish On!

ps...I am leaving early AM for MO to work on a waterfowl project and won't be back until maybe Thursday or Friday so I won't be able to respond to questions directed to me...keep the reports coming and there are plenty of others that have been to the lake or know the lake to help others that might be coming out. Cousin Dan will be running the bait shop. I am going to see if I can find one of those MO or AR piggies while down there. Later!

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Free maps are on the counter with all the hot spots. Dan has been schooled in on helping people out.

Just had a fella back in this morning and said the sunnies bit all day. He was just amazed. He said they picked through them and kept about 20 or 30 of the nice 7 to 8 ouncers. Nice report!

Fish On!

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I don't know if this will do any good. However, I just need to say it. Despite what some will say the panfish action on Waska is not allways this good. As a matter of fact to regualarly find keepers the last couple years has been a challange at times. I had some locals tell me that about 4-5 years ago the crappie bite got hot, real hot. Ice houses, Boats and trailers came from near and far and pounded the lake. After that things got tougher.

We ofthen lose site of the opportinities we have in this state for public fishing and hunting. Many states pale in comparision to what we have available. With those opportunities comes responsibility so I really encourage selective harvest.

Waska is a pretty big lake but don't overesttimate it's sustainability.

I am probably preaching to the choir but it had to be said. Good luck and have fun but try to practice selective harvest. The panfish bite will only getting better from now til iceout.

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Tell it to the locals... the people who come there once or twice a year will never hurt that lake. It is a proven fact that local fishermen that double and triple dip are the leading cause of overfishing what a lake can sustain. I agree with your comment to a point, and I am glad you got it off your chest.

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Donk,

If my comments sounded geared to the non locals I am sorry that is not the case. Fact is the locals are usually on the leading edge of the bite. The locals can hit it hard before the word even gets out so you are correct. My post was not meant to be a local vs. nonlocal. I have been watching this thread for a while now and it is up to 140+ responses. That shows me that a significant amount of attention is being given to Waska. That spurred my comments and that is all. When I fish other lakes in the state I am the nonlocal, and I do that often so I know the feeling. Public waters means local and nonlocal and we all have the same responsibilities. Your point is well taken Donk and again it was not my intent to pit one against the other.

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Waska is a pretty big lake but don't overesttimate it's sustainability.

Thanks for the post scaup. I agree with the whole post, but this particular line the most. There's been an underlying message that the lake is a vast, mostly untouched fishing frontier. 3500 acres of untouched 14-18' fish holding water and several similar sentiments, sounds a bit too good to be true, but does provide a sense of security. Minnewaska, Mille Lacs, Leech, Red, and countless other "big" lakes have histories of having a finite limits to the pressure / harvest they can take.

I, too can attest that the fishing has not always been this good, and that shortly after "boom years" it has suffered because of overharvest. That happened without all the attention it's getting now and will get this spring & summer.

I've tried to air your message, often in the wrong way(s) in the recent past - emphasizing some kind of responsibility and restraint related to pressure / attention/ lack of Selective Harvest that this finite resourse is experiencing right now. I,too, echo your observation of the priviledge / opportunity of fishing and hunting we have. Some see great opportunity (local and non) in the lake right now, and there is. But with that opportunity (privilege) comes a responsibility to assure the lake continues to provide these opportunities for others in the future. Selective Harvest (voluntary or imposed), water quality and increased awareness of both are, IMO, the keys to this. With awareness (knowledge) and privilege come responsibility.

Thanks for your more receptive approach to this topic and for voicing your thoughts. Good luck.

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The only thing you can do is ask that people are selective about what they harvest. You cannot control the pressure that lakes get when the bite gets hot, the word gets out no matter what. Thats a part of what this website is about.

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carpshooterdeluxe

much of the problem that comes along with ice fishing lies in the fact that humans have the inherent urge to brag, show off, and think that limits mean they are better than somebody else. so when said persons actually do get into a bite, many just cannot resist the urge to show off the catch and exploit it for all it is worth. it happened in the late nineties with the perch on oliver, it happened 2 years ago on emily with the walleyes, its happened on numerous lakes in the spicer/willmar area the past few years. there is just no reasoning or educating some people about selective harvest. i dont think that minnewaska will be impacted any different this season than previous seasons; i havent been up there since around new years, but didnt see nearly the amount of houses i was used to seeing in years previous. i think for every 1 good report you hear on this website, there are probably 10-20 guys that got skunked. personally, i have started to see more and more trophy walleyes being photo'd and returned to the lake in the past few seasons ive had the opportunity to fish up there, the latest being a 28" my buddy caught on our last trip. 10 years ago he would have ate that fish! maybe there is hope!

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I personally feel that the crappie population on Waska might have been impacted by the cold late spring we had this past year. Ice on the lake until the beginning of May and snow on the ground until the middle of May kept the water temps really low for a very long period of time. I did not see the migration of crappies into the spawning beds as in the past and the spring bite just wasn't there.

I don't think the lack of crappies this year was due to over fishing. On large lakes like Waska, there are impacts within the aquatic system that usually affect fish populations more than fishing...water level, water temp, water clarity, etc.

Not much different than pheasants. We don't shoot hens so there should be exponential growth in the pheasant population. Variables within their environment cause populations to go up and down more than hunting or even other predators.

Just for thought...consider the number of fish taken out of a lake each year versus the reporductive potential to replace that same amount. If 3,000 fish are taken out of a lake...how many eggs are laid by one female and how many females would it take to replace that 3,000 harvest?

Same thing with pheasants. Hens have the potential to replace the harvest every year and then some. But variables in the environment change all of that.

Did something change or happen in Red and other lakes to reduce the replacement potential?

I can't see anything that could happen to Waska to reduce the reproduction potential except to have the Glenwood sewer put back into the lake...which won't happen.

We have been catching big sunnies on Minnewaska for as long as I can remember. I recall my grandpa coming down from Clarrisa to fish Waska when I was just a kid and the sunfish bite was non-stop back then. I have been fishing the lake more in the past 4 or 5 years than I ever have and it is hard to keep the big sunfish off my crankbaits even. Walleye guys are constantly complaining about the sunfish tagging their crawlers...however they also comment on the nice size. smile

I try to plant the seed every chance I get regarding releasing the big walleyes and it seems that young and old are practicing that for the most part. I rarely talk with someone that cuts up a big walleye (22 inch plus ??). I also don't hear too many guys keeping 20 sunfish each...most keep about 10 or so and that is good enough. Not all of course...but that is what I hear when they talk with me in the store.

I also don't think people are taking several limits like in the past. A couple guys got busted last year and the year before and the COs show their face more. They are pretty active on Waska.

I estimate that there are only about half or so the houses that are usually on Waska. Snow, ice conditions, getting late in the season, etc. are keeping people from getting out. For the people that want to fish...Waska is a nice place to go with good success.

Fish On!

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Carpshooterdelux,

I couldn't agree more. It's tough for us to turn the brag switch off, even when it cost's us fishing success on our lake(s). Diamond is classic example. I won't even go into it.....Nice "ray of hope" at end of your post too!! I'm seeing that more often too. Very exciting and encouraging!

Landrr,

Thanks for the panfish comparison to pheasants. Never thought of it like that before. Still think putting back the bigger ones is a positive, but I see where you're coming from. I've noticed quite a difference in the size the last couple years (nicer). Cycle, less pressure, pike cleaning up stunted ones???. Seems there were alot of stunted, spotted sunnies a few years ago compared to now. Didn't catch them last year at all.

What do you know about the pike in waska now?? In my expert armchair biologist opinion, if we want to maintain the panfish population we have now, we might give the pike some kind of protection?? I noticed a "big" difference in the ones I caught last fall, also. Doesn't seem there are enough of us to support a walleye restriction (17" minimum, slot limit,reduced bag limit, ect), so maybe a pike restriction would be a start. I don't know how many target, keep pike on waska, but it would be nice to have some protection for the few big ones out there. They are of as much value, in protecting the panfish population, IMO, as the big walleyes are important to our fishing satisfaction. (if that makes sense). Thoughts??

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

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      A 3/8 - 1/2 ounce jig is working nicely tipped with a minnow or a plastic.  Bright plastics and frozen shiners working best on jigs.  Walleyes caught in various depths down to 35 feet.  
      Some anglers trolling crankbaits with success to cover water.  Walleye season is catch and release only on Rainy River and Four Mile Bay through April 14th.
      Sturgeon fishing continues to be good with good numbers of sturgeon being caught.  Sturgeon aren't as affected by dirty water as they feed by scent.  Sturgeon catch and release season through 4/23/21.  Keep season 4/24/21 - 5/7/21, (45-50", or over 75")  Catch and release 5/8/21 - 5/15/21.  Closed 5/16/21 - 6/30/21.
      With lower current, a 3 ounce no-roll sinker combined with a sturgeon rig (18" snell of 60 lb test with a 4/0 or 5/0 circle hook) with a glob of crawlers, frozen emerald shiners or both is the ticket.  Local bait shops have rigs and bait available.
      Up at the NW Angle...  Various areas are starting to open up.  Looking ahead to open water, there are various ways to travel to the NW Angle this summer without crossing the border.  If you have the right boat and expertise, boating across is an option.  There is also the Lake of the Woods Passenger Service (charter boat shuttle to Angle).  And finally, Lake Country Air flying service, a float plane service out of Baudette and other locations.  
       


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