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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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Waska is in great shape...all accesses are good, ice is good and travel on the lake is good. With 4wd you should be able to get where ever you want...2wd you better stay close to the roads.

Most are fishing panfish out from Lakeside Ballroom (access is on the north side of the ballroom) and Bottle Bay (couple accesses available). Still in the 16 to 18 fow range but there are some in shallower in Bottle Bay that are doing well.

Sunnies tend to be right on the bottom...6 to 12 inches...hitting shrimp and uro mostly but some are using waxies. I was out last Sunday and most of what I caught were 9 inch gills...kept about 10...thru a few smaller back. Also pailed 4 crappies.

Crappies are mostly suspended 3 to 4 feet of the bottom. I usually set up a dead stick with a crappie minnow about 3 ft or so off the bottom and then fish gills in the other hole. Works out pretty good.

Houses need to be off the lake next Monday midnight if they are going to be left unattended. If you plan to live in your fish house, then you can leave it out longer. smile

Jake...sent you an email a few weeks back. Maybe my emails are being blocked...check your spam files to see if it got stuck in there. I will send you another one today.

Reno...all I hear are small perch and lots of them. Guys still try and they report a few panfish but mostly small perch.

Fish On!

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Hammertime...you will be just fine bringing a house out. Reference the rest of the Minnewaska thread for updates, lake conditions, etc. Those reports are mostly very accurate.

You can go off the landings out to Bottle Bay or you can use the access on the north side of the Lakeside Ballroom to fish out in that area. Both have been really good for both sunnies and crappies...mostly sunnies but there are crappies mixed in during the day. Crappies will continue to bite thru the night.

Fish On!

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most of what I caught were 9 inch gills...kept about 10...thru a few smaller back.

Fish On!

Is 9" about the max size now this year?? Last year I caught and tossed back quite a few 10" and reports of them were common. Haven't caught any or heard of any this year. confused

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Goose...I don't think so. I have looked at some fish my renters have caught plus some others and there are some that appear to push 10"...didn't measure exactly. I have thrown some bigger sunnies back...there are plenty of 8 and 9 so I keep those instead. I had one come in on the camera Sunday that looked much much bigger than the other sunnies I had been catching. I would like to guess it around 12 inches but since I didn't actually catch it to confirm...it has to stay a fish story. smile But it was a lot bigger than any sunny I have seen on the camera.

I think most feel Waska has had a very good year again. Nice to see the crappies back again...a lot of smaller ones but shows there have been some good year classes produced. It will be interesting to see what the spring crappie bite is going to be.

Fish On!

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I have thrown some bigger sunnies back...there are plenty of 8 and 9 so I keep those instead.

I haven't seen or heard of that much this year on waska. Read about it commonly in other areas and in the panfish forum. Good to know.

We're gonna have to practice that on the crappies this spring as well. Waska could be so much more if we'd let the biggest (less common) panfish / crappies back, and keep the middle of the roaders (most commos). Thanks for the selective harvest practice.

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It is harder to get people to throw back the big sunnies...but I think it is easier with big crappies. My opinion, but crappies bigger than 12 inches just don't cook up as well and don't taste as good as the 10 inchers. Also...there is a very high percentage of 12+ that are going to be females. You can be pretty safe throwing those fish back expecting they are females. We need those girls in the lake. I put three 14.5 inchers back so far this year...nice fish and always fun catching those slabs!

Fish On!

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wetaline1

3- 14.5" crappies?

and 11"+ bluegills?

no.

I've been fishing Minnewaska for years and Im not just the weekend warrior, I'm not a pro, I dont fish tournements, I definitely dont own a bait store... but I know enough to believe your ruler is shorter than mine.

My personal bests on Waska are something like a 9 1/8" bluegill (that might even be pushing it an eighth inch) and a 12.5" crappie. Great lake to find limits of eaters, but a trophy lake? far from.

I've never seen anyone pull a wall mount off the lake.

As for the report, gills and crappies everywhere, KEEP MOVING. Best area is out from Lakeside roughly 15 from below the ice. If you're that guy who drills 4 holes, 2 for you 2 for your buddy and plop down the house in the middle of the group... gonna be a tough day

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Wetaline...were are you going with this? Why always the harassment?

Maybe your fish are shorter than mine? smile

Some of the best crappie fishing is just around the corner for Waska with late ice. I will see if I can get some of these late ice guys to take some photos of the crappies they catch to satisfy your arguement.

In the mean time, please take the higher road and don't criticise people that make posts on this forum.

Fish On!

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Hammertime0802

Where is the ballroom access?

I plan on going out off sacs, just anywhere in the middle would be good or should i try and get away from the crowd?

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firefish_12

Minnewaska is a good lake especially with the kids

I haven't did well out there this summer or ice season but maybe late ice or early open water I'll do better. I think I need to spend some mire time out there looking for spots to be productive

Good luck at late ice

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Chad Peterson

Your right Aaron, it is great for kids. My son loves going out there and catching any size sunfish.

Sniffer

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I agree with wetaline, I have been fishing Waska for 30+ years and I don't know if I've ever seen a 10 inch bluegill! There are very nice fish in the lake but I know how ice fisherman are...."yah theres 8 inches of ice" when there is really only 5-6. get a new ruler!! Have fun everyone, I will be out tomorrow on the lake hopin for those "10 inch" gills!!

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pulsar_nx

At least the sunnies and crappies were in a positive mood out there today.

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Chad Peterson

At least the sunnies and crappies were in a positive mood out there today.

How did you do today? Might take the son out tomorrow.

Sniffer

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pulsar_nx

It was a down and up kind of day this afternoon, be sure to pack some rods with spring bobbers.

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Chad Peterson

It sounds like they will bite but a lite bite. I had a lite bite this afternoon on the sunfish, but the ones we caught were nice. Good luck out there!

Sniffer

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Corey Bohn

Haven't been out in a week but that will be changing in about 9-10 hours. Any of you try in the 8-11 a.m. time frame. Last few times I was out the mornings were far better than the afternoons, and you have to be parked on or near the weeds. Went out to the garage today and sat in my boat. Was that ever nice! Sounds like they're getting some dandy bluegills in that area west of Otter Tail. Nothing like bull bluegills. My dad lives on OT so I think I'll make a road trip Sunday. Maybe pops and I can have a little fish fry.

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basssmasher*

to comment on whether there are trophy fish in waska are not... i personally haven't gotten over the 10 in gill, BUT I have gotten 7 crappies over 14 inches in the 5 yrs i've lived here, they all got put back as I have a 17 in from a lake in sw mn on my wall...so the BIG crappies are in waska. Might be few and far between, but they are there smile

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Went out today from Sax and caught 1 bass then moved in front of the ballroom away from the crowd and my buddy got 3 crappies and 3 NICE bluegills. I got 0. Good time.

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Hammertime0802

So what would be the best place to try from some suns...i was thinking about going of sacs landing and in 15 to 18 FOW,is that a good spot?

Also, where is the ball room and what access do you have to go off to get there?

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Yesterday's reports were a tougher bite...fish where down there but not as aggressive. We had a increasing high pressure yesterday so that might still be the trend. Pressure is heading down today but it is still on the high side...have to see what the reports are. Still nice fish caught...even a tough day on Waska is pretty good.

Out from Lakeside Ballroom and Bottle Bay are both good spots to try. These areas are big...and almost connected...so there is a lot of room to move around and look for some active fish. If you have a camera, drill some holes and look for the fish before even putting a line down. Still a lot of pike moving the panfish around.

Access along Lakeside Ballroom is on the "north side" of the building. It is really good shape, nice gradual slope...good for bringing houses on and off or just accessing the lake. There is a snowmobile event today just right out in front of Lakeside but the panfish are another 300 to 400 yards or more out.

Fish On!

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I will see if I can get some of these late ice guys to take some photos of the crappies they catch to satisfy your arguement.

Nice! I'm pretty skeptical...

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Might be few and far between, but they are there smile

That could be said for just about any lake. It'd be nice to have a good chance at a "picture fish", not just a "few and far between" chance.

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wetaline1

That could be said for just about any lake. It'd be nice to have a good chance at a "picture fish", not just a "few and far between" chance.

Agreed!

I went on a lake around Alexandria yesterday and caught multiple bluegills over a true 9". No crappies tho

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wetaline1

Prove me wrong. On a tape and quarter next to it for authentication?

Its just that I've put my hours in... way too many hours on that lake and caught a lot of fish, failing to catch panfish of that size.

I have however pulled a 28" walleye out during summer

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"If" I get out, I can certainly do that...but my wife has already told me this morning that I have way too much to do get ready for sport shows and spring projects. She is right of coarse...but I gotta get some fish houses off the lake as well...maybe sneak in a little time then.

As far as how other people take photos, that will be up to them and it is what it is.

I caught the big crappies over in Crappie Town earlier...I'm not over there any more but there should be some guys fishing out from Torgy's during late ice that usually get into some big slabs. We catch some big slabs during first open water in Torgy's Bay as well so this whole project will have to continue on.

So...just so everyone knows...we are looking for a good clean photo of a 10+ gill and a 14+ crappie on a ruler (with a quarter smile ) from Waska. Just for fun...I will throw in a Ice Rod/Reel combo ($20 value) at the store for the first person that can provide a satisfactory photo of what we are looking for. Wetaline will be the official judge if the photo is satisfactory or not. There is no end date to this offer...this year, next year, summer, winter or whatever...just who ever comes up with it first.

Let the fishing...and photographing...begin!

Fish On!

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I'll throw in that the pic has to be accompanied by a "release" pic. But, that's up to the party giving out the gifts, I guess.

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

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