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Hi everyone,

My Dad and I are thinking about heading up and trying fishing somewhere in the Alex area. We are thinking of Osakis, Carlos, or Miltona. Or if another lake is better please suggest it. Can anyone tell of the ice/slush conditions as well as the recent bite on any of these lakes? Are there plowed roads on all of these lakes? We will be fishing out of a wheel house so also wondering if off road travel is at all possible anywhere.

Thanks for any info

Brady

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Be patient. I'm sure Landrr will be back in the morning and will get you going in the right direction.

He's located 2 blocks south of the stop lites in Glenwood. Fish On Bait / Tackle. Not sure if he's an FM sponsor, and if I can say that, but I think it's okay since it's been posted several times before. Good luck Brady.

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I dont know much baout Osakis but Carlos and Miltona are pretty much a no go for wheel houses unless you stay on the beat-n path. The snow is starting to harden but if you hit one of those slush pockets your going to be stuck for a long time with a wheel house on the back. Some people are venturing out on portables parking their trucks and cars on the road and then pulling the sled the rest of the way. As for the bite guys rea starting to get some nice size sunfish and crappies on miltona but its hear and there with the big changes in weather it can be inconsistant. Carlos I havent heard much about besides a few crappies from a few guys and you talk to others who strike out on the north end but other than that their arent any houses out there so you havent heard much of a report. I bet I can count the houses on two hands. good luck.

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Good morning! Nice little snow we are getting...only 3 to 4 inches of REALLY fluffy stuff. IF the wind picks up it will make it interesting.

There are others that can give you better reports on the immediate Alex area, but from what I have seen, there are some tough ice conditions.

Here are some options...

Reno...I have heard the roads are hard packed but rough...if you get off the path it can get slushy. Doesn't sound as bad as some of those other lakes further north...but still enough to be concerned. I am sure there are enough well traveled areas to get around and set up without venturing too far off the path. The crappie bit has been great...I have heard from 6 ft. to 18 ft. that they are finding them. Crazy to fish crappies that shallow but they are. Sunfish too. Walleyes are still very active.

Minnewaska...probably the best ice in the area. No slush that I have seen or heard off and everything is hard packed. Roads are in great condition and relatively smooth. If you venture off, there isn't any slush but watch out for the occassional snow bank...just drive around them and you should be fine. Again, there are enough well traveled areas that you don't have to get venturous. Crappie Town was dead this weekend but Bottle Bay was HOT as well as other locations...just get to 13 to 16 feet for the sunfish. Some walleyes being caught as well and numerous pike.

This week is supposed to be pretty miserably cold...but the weekend is supposed to be pretty nice. Have to see if that holds out.

Hope that helps.

Fish On!

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hhguide,

Do you know any general areas where they are getting the crappies on Miltona. I've fished crappies on Miltona quite a few times and never done very good in January.

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I dont know any specific areas that the guys are fishing they keep pretty tight lipped. They said it was hit and miss. I have just seen a few pictures and such. Sorry I couldnt help out more

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thanks for the response, i'll keep on my quest to find them mid and late ice season. I've done well early ice and got that figured out for the most part.

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brady_d- you should be ok on the N/E side of Reno, out of the old access. The roads are rough but most of the slush is now frozen. I was out there on Friday and did not have a problem.

You know your in Minnesota when one of your friends call on the cell and ask you to stop over for coffee... and he's talking about his ice-shack on Reno.

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Thanks for all the info guys. I'm thinking probably hitting Minnewaska or Reno as long as its the easiest traveling, but I'll have to see where the old man wants to go. I think we've had enough fun shoveling on Mille Lacs this year already!! eek Probably find your place first Landdr and go from there when we get up there.

A few more questions I've come up with.

Are the roads on these lakes plowed by resorts or is it just trails from the public accesses? And is there a night bite on any of these lakes? Is one better than the other as far as action during the night? Also any info on what the sunny's and eyes are biting on, and the depth they are being found would be greatly appreciated.

Again thanks for any responses...without you guys we'd be coming up there blind.

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I think Wayne is right on Reno probably freezing up now with these sub zero temps. However...if it gets to the temps that they are talking about for Saturday and Sunday...that might all change. We will see if we can get some reports on Friday and have to go from there.

Reno panfish are being caught in 6 ft. of water to 18 feet. How's that for a tip! smile That pretty much covers most of the lake doesn't it? But that is the truth. I am not sure of the night bite on Reno but I am sure it is just as good of a chance as Minnewaska. I have heard that guys with plows have been trying to keep the roads open.

Minnewaska's best panfish bite is in Bottle Bay. Really nice sunfish from 13 to 16 feet. I have had several people in that went off on their own away from the houses...but stayed at those depths...and did really well as well. Good walleye bite in the morning and from 5 to 7 in the ussual spots. Most are 16 to 22 feet...both jigging and bobber are working. Marking A LOT of fish as well on the flasher so there are plenty coming to take a look. Roads are being maintained by private plows as well as resorts/bait shops...a consorted effort and the roads are in really great condition...smooth and open. No slush anywhere on Minnewaska that I have seen nor heard of. Even with the possible temps this weekend, Minnewaska will be really nice. Bring sunglasses and suntan lotion.

Fish On!

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brady_d:

You may want to keep a close eye on the weather. They are now talking about 3 to 4 inches of new snow tonight. If we get the snow and the wind picks up again you could have some drifting to contend with.

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Good information guys! I am planning on heading up to Reno on Thursday and should be there by 3. I have heard there is a lot of snow and slush. The snow doesn't bother me because I can dig out of that if I get stuck but the slush could be a different situation...especially when they are predicting -7 degrees for a high on Thursday. I am however bringing up a set of chains for my truck so it shouldn't be too bad. How is the landing by the Green Iguana? How far is a road plowed out along the north side?

One other question I have for you locals is about bait. Around here, the shiners suck...is there a good bait shop to stop at that has decent shiners that are healthy and will stay alive for more than a day? We typically stop at the one on the corner of 29 and 55 in Glenwood. Thanks for the info that you have already posted!

Chad

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There is a road out to the houses in the bay by 29 but everything thing else is pretty much blown shut and where ever these roads were there is starting to be a lot of slush. Probably snowmobile travel only, but Minnewaska has roads that are kept open pretty much everyday .

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If you're coming in from Sauk Centre, Fetterer's Bait, a couple miles before Glenwood, had great shiners last time I went through. That can vary, but I've gotten great bait all last fall and through December from them. It is self serve, so please be honest. I usually throw in few extra bucks, because of the quality, and convience.

Look for a large shed, that usually has a red Nissan truck on the North side of the road with Fetterer's (self serve bait / open 24 hrs) sign. Good luck.

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Thanks for the info guys but I will be coming up Hwy 55. So Sauk is a little out of my way. Unless I am not understanding where this bait shop is. I love those types of bait shops. We stop at one on our way up to LOW too and I typically throw in a little extra because the quality is so much better than just a bait shop...plus it is open 24 hours! Well, if you see 2 guys with a blue Silverado and a maroon 6.5'x17' wheel house stuck, make sure we aren't dead or drop us off a beer. How much snow is actually on the lake? Is it just the drifts a guy has to worry about or is I do plan on unhooking the house and at least driving to my spot to kinda make a trail but there are no guarentee's with that either. Hopefully the chains will be enuf to get us out there...and back! Saturday and Sunday sound good...as far as temps! Thanks again!

Chad

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Hey Chad,

If you're coming in on 55, turn Right on Hwy 28 when you get to Glenwood. Go East / NE on 28 for about 2 1/2 miles. Fetterer's will be on your Left (north side of the road) Then you go back on 28, down the hill to the lake. Well worth the extra 4-5 miles. Good luck.

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That's not bad at all! I will definately be stopping by to pick up some bait there...I would assume they have shiners, fatheads, and crappie minnows...Do they have golden shiners? I would also assume they have ample room to turn around with a wheelhouse behind...Sorry for asking so many questions...just want to be sure. Thanks agian guys! Great info!

Chad

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Yup, last time I was there, they had a good supply of all three. All sizes of shiners nice large fatheads, and crappies minnows. I got sick of buying 5-6 "scoops" fatheads at other places in the area in order to find a dozen nice, large ones. Personally, I'd pay a bit extra for just large fatheads, which would be cheaper in the long run. Seems at some places, 1/2 are crappie minnows, a few fatheads, and a couple large fatheads per scoop.

Plenty of room to turn around with a house in there yard too.

Hope their supply is as it was a few weeks ago when I was there last. I know in the fall it wasn't always a given, but I still drive almost 10 miles, (one way) from West end of the lake to Fetterer's. Majority of the time it's well worth it. Good luck.

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Shiners are a tough commodity this year. Due to poor populations from last year and the deep snow causing lower oxygen levels in some of the ponds...the shiner availability days are numbered.

With the VHS issue, bait is not being allowed in or out of the state from what I understand...so we only have what is grown in MN.

From what I understand, bait growers are going to be steadily forced into harvesting bait from "ponds" they have made or can control and not any "wild harvest". That is really going to put an issue on bait availability and prices.

Not good.

We still have a supply of shiners but it will be a week to week thing. Feel free to check in if needed.

We had a really great walleye bite last night on Waska. Problem is I didn't catch any! Four up to the hole got off, two broken lines and numerous misses. UFDA! But it was fast and furious for awhile...and fun even though I did not get one all the way up the hole. Shiners and suckers in 18 ft.

Fish On!

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Bait "Growers" always claimed they didn't import. Then when imports were banned shiners dried up and illegal shipments were stopped.

Turns out almost 50% of the shiners came from Tennessee where they grow twice as fast.

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Thanks for all the help everyone. We have decided to give Minnewaska a try this weekend. Heading out around 5 tomorrow morning so should find our way to your bait shop around 8 or shortly after Landdr.

Brady

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