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catfreak

Cattin' the Chain

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catfreak

Just seeing if anybody did any catfishing on the horseshoe chain in the past few days. I'm heading to Horseshoe tomorrow night with my girlfriend. She's never been ice fishin for cats before, so I'm hoping the bite will be on. If anybody has had any luck out there in the last week I'd be interested to here about it. Especially if you've got any tips on presentations that have been working.

Chris

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Borch

Was out the end of last week. A 1/16 or 1/8 oz spoon tipped with cut bait jigged subtle manner paired with a deadstick with a small spoon and cut bait. Sometimes they hit the jigging spoon and sometimes the deadstick. Look for the breaks on a hole and not so much setting up right in the hole.

Good Luck!

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Shack

Was out yesterday afternoon and well into the evening. Drilled holes, until I marked fish. Started out very slow and about the start of the fourth quarter of the Vikes game, the LX-5 lit up from top to bottom. Cats on the bottom and crappies 5-8 under the ice. The bite was very steady until about 9:30-10:00 when I packed up and went home. The fish pretty much went away or would not bite anymore.

1/8 Lindy Rattlin Flyer spoon and crappie minnow body (no head or tail) was what they wanted last night. Threw cut (fresh) sucker small chunks, cut frozen bull head, cut shiner, cut shad and all they wanted was cut crappie minnow crazygrin. I tried all kinds of spoons and jigs, from big to small, but the LRF was all they wanted.

I was jigging about 2-4 feet off the bottom, when bottom chatter would start on the LX-5. After a couple seconds of slight to moderate jigging, I would stop and hold still, then you could see the red bar come pretty quickly off the bottom and boom, the rod tip would bend. Set the hook and make sure your drag is set or in my case last night on a new reel (SC), make sure the drag evens works wink. Back reel'in was my only friend last night.

For the crappies I would just drop down a glow jig (Ratzo) about 5-8' under the ice and dead stick with spring bobber, tipped with a crappie minow for some action. @25' of water, with over a 30' hole to my back and 4' not to far away to my front. Like Borch said grin

Good luck and have fun!

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Rick G

Congrats on a good evening of fishing Shack.Glad to hear someone did well last night Looks like I should have stayed for a while longer as I didnt do so hot. I could find em but only managed to turn a few. Oh well tomorow is another day and I will be serching for mr wiskers again.

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catfreak

I went down to Horseshoe today and didn't have much luck. Fished from about 4 till 7. Only marked a few fish. I was out with my girl and didn't want to hole hop too much cuz I knew if she got too cold being outta the house the night would be over soon.

I did get to use my brand new fishtv though. Saw a nice little crappie checkin me out right away. So that made the trip worth it. Does anybody know why I was having such a problem finding my lure on the camera though? I've got a marcum lid cover thing for holding the camera, I just couldn't get my lure on the screen.

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50inchpig

I caught my first few cats last night on my first trip on Horseshoe, what a blast. Thanks for the sound advice on this thread, now I just need to ditch my 2 wheel drive for a 4 x 4!

Most of my bites were at dark but there were still fish hanging around with an occasional bite when I left about 7:30. It was all about the spoons and minnow heads, only a few light nibbles on the cutbait.

Sure seems like there's alot of space out there that a guy could pitch his house, catch some fish, and never get close to anybody else all day long.

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Rick G

Yep gota love the chain. Well I guess its time for me to go feed the cats. I will post how I do today.

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DTro

Amongst other things, I really like how this chain of lakes has multiple bays, river channels, and main lake basins. I only have 2 or 3 “go to” spots that never seem to fail when it comes to the cats, but I would LOVE to spend some more time exploring up there. Unfortunately the 1.75 hr drive puts a damper on the fishing time.

Eventually, I’m sure I’ll need to find some new water, just like any other fish, the cats react negatively to excess pressure. The spots I fish are more and more becoming community spots, which is fine I’m part of that same community, but I know there is a lot of untapped water that would no doubt be lights out.

I’m just grateful that a few individuals were kind enough to take me to a couple of these spots. They sure have provided me the opportunity to make some great memories.

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MinnesotaMuskie

How is the road access on Horseshoe. I am getting a little(actually alot) help on my first catfish trip.

I am pulling my perm off Sullivan and gong to try for Cats on Sunday...or if wour Wrestling commitments in Buffalo wrap up early enough...I may go out Saturday evening.

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catfreak

Is there any way to get to that southwest bay on horseshoe without driving out there? It looks pretty promising for the cats, but I dont think a mustang is going to be real fun on the lake...especially try to leave on that steep access.

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50inchpig

You should be able to get your perm out there if you don't mind fishing with the community, not sure about access to the southwest bay. Walking it would be really tough with the snow and I didn't see any roads going back that way.

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Rick G

Well fishing was fair to good for the most part today. I found the kittys by drilling lots of holes and moveing around until I located them on the vex. Most of the fish were in 22-28 ft. I like to fish the iregular shoreline breaks that drop into at least 30ft as most of the deep holes get hit rather hard by people targeting the cats as well as crappies. The bite was very light today as I had to break out the spring bobber setup and had to down size my spoon. There are so many places to fish on the chain that you almost never have to fish close to other fisherman if thats your thing. I only saw one other person all day and that was co. Mike Martin. He sure is a nice guy and told me of a couple other areas that I may check out here in the next week. There is a road that goes back to the southwest bay and I have seen a few cars use it.

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fins&feathers

as mnmuskie asks how is the ice?... is there a plowed road on horseshoe or a well trvaved path? i never did fish for cats through the ice , would like to give it a try this weekend..if the roads are good for driving up from chisago..

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Rick G

16-17 inches of ice on the shoe , cedar island and a bit less on becker.

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catfreak

Riverfishingmiss, do you ever fish the southeast bay of horseshoe? I've been fishing there quite a bit lately. I've been hittin that 30 foot hole just north of the access without much luck. I've been trying to work the slope of the hole in about 20 to 25 fow. Only having a hand auger might be part the poor luck. I get a little too sweaty after about 8 holes. If you do fish that area at all I'd like to get together and see if I can improve my luck, or skill, at all. Let me know.

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50inchpig

There is a road and tracks from 22 up to the big point by the meth hole. It's slightly worse at the point but there are still tracks to follow, then there is a plowed road running North/South along the west basin. In short, things are pretty accessible, even if you have to park and walk a short distance.

Catfreak, there's a decent chance I'll be out tonight by myself. If you'd like to come or meet me out there you're welcome to. I'm off work at 3:30.

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Rick G

Unfortunatly for me I have to work till fri night but will be over in krones bay this weekend with a few buddies if you would like to stop in and chat. I will be in one of the wheelhouses either the silver one w the black roof or the tan one w the big windows

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89Bronco
I've been thinking about trying for some cats this year and the Chain would be new water for me. Is there anyplace that you can't drive? Like a place on the lakes that always has strong current or 99% of the time it is thin ice that the locals, or you cat-pros, would know about? I've been reading all the tips and info for a long time...thanks to all of you who share your knowledge. I've caught some in the Mississippi during the summer and I can't imagine what it's like through the ice.

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DTro

Yes, there are plenty of spots on the chain of lakes that you don’t want to drive a vehicle on. In areas where the river runs through, there are spots with minimal ice. If you are unfamiliar with these areas, I would be very careful wherever you see narrows or neckdowns. The current from the river can keep the ice fairly thin in certain spots.

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Shack

Yep, always keep that back in the back of your head "River". You will find plenty of ice on main lake spots, but you get off the beaten path, you can find almost half the thickness or thinner eek.

If you get that feeling, stop and do an ice check. Most times you might be shocked at how thin the ice is.

Also, the Meth Hole on Horseshoe is a no-no. I do not even know if it is covered at all yet this year, but most times it is open. That is right in the main basin of the chain (horseshoe).

I would not be blazing a new trail with a truck or sled with out checking the ice first wink. It may take some time and effort, but think of the time and effort you would have to put into pulling your sled or truck out of the lake eek

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MinnesotaMuskie

We are heading out on Sunday...are cats an evening bite? I am taking my 6th grader and would need to leave by about 6:00PM.

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DTro

I’ve caught them sun up to sun down and after sun down. There seems to be extra activity during the early morning and dusk. Not much different than any other fish.

Good Luck!

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catfreak

Anybody have any luck with the cats this week? I'm guessing quite a few of you guys will be going out this weekend so I figured I'd see if anybody can give some reports. I'm gonna head to Horseshoe today and I'll let everybody know how I did when I get back.

p.s. Cross your fingers for me. I haven't been having too much luck lately. lol

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Rick G

I will be out there sometime today.

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soft

I would like to make it to the chain tomorrow for the first time of the season, but i don't have a truck, i have a sedan front wheel drive , do you guys think i can get on and off the access between Cedar island and Horseshoe?

thanks.

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