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2020 Detroit Lakes-Pelican Rapids Fishing Reports - Lake Conditions


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On 1/20/2009 at 1:55 PM, Jim Uran said:

South Twin has a decent crappie bite going, some nights are decent some nights are dead. Try to find 18-22 fow and throw the arsenal at them. I've been having luck on waxworms or small small crappie minnows. There have been a lot of people fishing out there and not doing so well. But I just think they don't know what they are doing. HAHA. I've been haveing some 20+ fish nights with more than half of them going back into the drink. I like to keep 11"ers and anything bigger or smaller than that usually go back. I've spilled the beans, hopefully someone else has a tip from there lake.

How's the ice condition out there Jim?

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I meant to post this earlier but here it is.  I was able to take my 3 boys and the sleeper house out last Friday (12th) on an area lake as they didn't have school.  Was able to get the house set up by

Was out friday just north of town.  Got set up at 1:30 and the guy with the bait didn't show up till almost 3.  Dropped two tip ups down right away then set my portable up.  After getting house set up

My son and I went out yesterday afternoon to hunt for late summer crappies, Took awhile to find them as they were super shallow. Tossing plastics into 5-6' on top of mid lake weeds produced limits of

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I see Jim hasn't been logged in for a few years.  I don't know if he has a different account or not.

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  • 5 months later...
Chill62

Has anyone been out yet?  I haven't even put my boat in the water yet!  Dang you work!!!!  Hopefully Friday I can get it up and running and Saturday make sure everything works properly because Sunday I might go chase trout if the wind stays calm.  

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paceman

I have been out a few times, lakes are still pretty cool. water temps were in the low 50's Saturday. Catching a good mix of fish. Just not lots of eyes. Hoping this warm weather this week will get them going up a bit.

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  • 2 weeks later...
paceman

Took my son out for a quick crappie hunt after dinner last night. Just a gorgeous night on the water. We were the only boat out there! Water Temps were in the low 70's. kept 10 good eaters and Jack caught a bonus 20" eye casting small plastics into 6 feet of water along pencil reeds. The only drawback was the pesky small northerns. Probably caught 15 or so. Pretty fun on panfish gear but I had to retie like a thousand times due to being bit off,.726936082_jack2019eye.jpg.b176b536275f80cb5996db333238f088.jpg

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  • 1 month later...
paceman

Still catching lots of crappies and eyes in the DL area. For crappies look for cabbage weeds extending into deeper points, about 12'. Pitching jigs/plastics. For walleyes it is spinner season. leeches, crawlers, minnows along deeper weedlines. I even had really good luck on a recent trip experimenting with plastics. I like to go about 1mph.

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  • 4 weeks later...
paceman

My son and I went out yesterday afternoon to hunt for late summer crappies, Took awhile to find them as they were super shallow. Tossing plastics into 5-6' on top of mid lake weeds produced limits of very nice crappies. Caught about 75 in 3 hours. Oodles of little ones mixed with keepers. Very odd to find them so shallow with water temps in the low 80's. Very fun!534336237_CrappiesAugust2019.jpg.2537dbf4e59e0938daeaf2d978b45967.jpg

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Chill62

Nice post!  I was trying for the panfish out deep for about an hour this weekend and only caught 2 2" bass so maybe I should have went shallower instead!

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  • 2 weeks later...

Finally got out in the area since I've been fishing other areas as of lately.  Got a tip of fishing weed line using a short lindy rig with a sucker minnow...well tip was accurate.  Got out onto the water a lot later than I had hoped for but finding LIVE minnows was a hard battle I hadn't expected to encounter on Sunday morning.  After hitting a few spots I took off to take the old man out fishing for his birthday.  We weren't on the water for more than 5 minutes he was pulling up his first big walleye of the morning.  I went a LONG time before catching my first fish.  Bite was aggressive, you'd feel the fish inhale the bait and hold it, all you had to do was drop the rod tip and set the hook.  We released atleast 4 over 24 on the morning and I think if I could have found minnows 3-5 inches long instead of 4-6+ inch long suckers like I was doing would have been best.  A three foot lindy with a #2 Hook going into the mouth of a sucker minnow being trolled from a few feet into the weed line to the edge of the weed line worked best.  Fished from about 7:30-11 when we decided to take off to go have lunch.

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  • 2 weeks later...

Got out Thursday after work.  Fishing was pointless till almost 7:30 but once sun got behind the trees it was hot!  Fished till we ran out of bait and killed all of our batteries.  Biggest was a 26.5" CR eye.  Only kept a few snots for my buddy to grill up.

 

Saturday morning I got out by myself, everyone bailed on me so went solo.  Started off with a small mouth on first bite and landed a 22" eye on 2nd bite and a 25" eye on the 3rd bite.  Fish were a lot more spread out then Thursday night.  


Fish were still close to weedlines and fishing structure associated to them.  Night bite was 12-15 feet but morning bite was 16-22 feet.  Small/Medium suckers worked best on plain lindy rigs.

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  • 2 months later...

Well I figured its getting that time of the year and people are itching to get out on the ice.  I know I have started ordering gear and it's starting to be delivered so it's like Christmas opening up packages.  I hope with the cold temps I'll be deer hunting this weekend and I'm hoping to be fortunate enough to get my deer and start ice fishing next weekend.  Buddy in the area is expecting in 7-8 days he will be getting out on the ice.  With that being said please do not trust any ice reports as ice conditions can change and I personally don't trust anything unless it's pictures on a bump board to prove thickness.  I've heard there are a few apps on your phone to share thicknesses but then again your still trusting that person with their 4" of good ice statements.  

 

First ice safety for those that might get out earlier than you normally do here's a few things I do.

1. Find a buddy

2. Wear a life jacket (I'll take it off after I punch holes in an area and know that area is safe BUT I will wear it while traveling back again)

3.  Use a spud bar or chisel to verify you have good ice as you walk out

4. Stop and measure along your travel

5. Hug shoreline to avoid deeper holes that possibly froze later and might be thinner.  

6. Pack light (use 1 pound propane tanks instead of 20# tank, do you need all that gear?)

7. If it warms up during the day to above freezing remeasure ice thickness.  We lost an inch one day while fishing and went from 5.5-6 inches down to 4.5 so it made us nervous and left soon after we realized it was loosing that much ice.

 

Please be careful everyone wants to ice fish but if you fall through first ice and get hurt you're missing a lot of good ice fishing weather.

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Buddy made it out on Friday on a small lake and had 3.5 inches of ice.  Hearing reports from others that a lot of lakes were 2-2.5 inches and they backed off the lake after finding that.  Also heard reports that some of the bigger lakes the wind yesterday ate up a ton of ice but this morning the lakes really refroze quickly and further out.  I personally tagged out Sunday for deer so I'm switching gears this weekend and going to try to get some fish on top of the ice.  I'd assume a lot of lakes will be walkable by the weekend but avoid current and deeper holes unless you are checking ice thickness.  I'm hoping to get out Saturday and Sunday if I can find a fishing partner, buddy is looking at 3-5 lakes tomorrow and Thursday.  Looks like tonight I have the project of respooling line and getting ready for the weekend.

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Made it out Friday in northern Becker County.  Found 4 inches at the access and when I started going across the lake we found 5....6....6.5 .... then 7.... then finally 7.5 inches!  Lake average was 6 to 6.5 inches of nice clear ice.  We fished from 10-23 feet of water chasing blue gills and crappies.  Usually they are up shallower 10-18 but we actually did better out deeper than shallower.  Brother did great I couldn't buy a bite!  Saturday went south by Dent had 6 inches of ice at shore went to a big crack at 12 feet and other side of the crack was 3 inches.  We never crossed the crack.  Went to a different lake as a result had a solid 6-7 inches all the way across the lake and when we were out there we couldn't buy bites.  Few fish came in at dark but then it started to rain and I wasn't in the mood to get rained on while ice fishing sitting on a bucket.  I'll head out Saturday is my plan due to birthday party on Sunday evening that I was informed we are hosting.

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  • 'we have more fun' FishingMN Creators
2 hours ago, Chill62 said:

WOW that sums up tonight. Nothing from 1-3 but from 3 till after dark when the girlfriend said time to go was WILD. Tungstens tipped with soft plastics and a wax worm. Crappies were coming up 3+ feet to fight over the jig. Released a 13 inch and a ton of gills and crappies non stop. Was in 12 feet with all the fish coming through at 10 feet. I didn't move from same hole the whole time. 

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[email protected]@💥💙💚👍💚👍😁

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Thanks rick. We were catching them too fast and furious to get more pictures. it was her first trip out for season so was glad we got some action. 

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leech~~

Chill62, you weren't the crazies I saw way out on Round or Northlong lakes yesterday when I drove by a wide open Gull lake were yea? 😯

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I was in Becker County. There were 4 wheeler tracks out there so I'm thinking you were looking at other people. we walked out and 7.5-9 inches of ice if we don't get hit next weekend with the storm I'll try to get out with the ranger 

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smalliehunter

I'm from southern Minnesota.  No good ice here.  Anyone wanna throw me a bone with a lake that has good ice and crappies?  I would love to make a day trip tomorrow.  I don't have a snowmobile or four wheeler.  I'll be on foot and alone.  Pm me or post here.  Thank you everyone.

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Travel right now is very sketchy.  A buddy is out and every lake he's been on so far is flooding.  MN DNR LakeFinder is a great app to check out lakes in the area, see depth contours, and check netting data.  We use that as a start to finding which lakes a person should starting looking at closer for where to fish.  

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  • Official Fishing Report Team - MN
IceHawk

Looks like a awesome trip the smiles on the kids faces say it all!

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When I was drilling holes for people and I could hear screams and squeals over the noise of my auger drilling holes it makes the trip worth it for me.  We have dubbed this trip Dad's and Lad's, its a get away for dad's and their sons to enjoy the outdoors, spend a night away from home and usually catch a lot of fish.  A set of twins were competing against each other last year and one of the kids was over 9 fish landed.  Not many kids can say they've caught trout through the ice and in this setting it's a lot of fun because of the aggressiveness of the trout.  I have a feeling we'll be doing a 3rd Annual trip in 2020.

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  • 'we have more fun' FishingMN Creators

Sounds like a fantastic weekend!   Gotta love it when the kids are catching fish.

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AlwaysFishing23

Looks like a very enjoyable weekend for you guys Chill62! Your ranger setup looks real slick! Jealous! 

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1 hour ago, Borch said:

Sounds like a fantastic weekend!   Gotta love it when the kids are catching fish.

 

The trip is a fun time and we have been blessed with warm favorable conditions the last two years I've helped set it up.  Just hope it keeps up that way because every trip prior it was -20 or worse temps.

 

1 hour ago, AlwaysFishing23 said:

Looks like a very enjoyable weekend for you guys Chill62! Your ranger setup looks real slick! Jealous! 

 

Thanks!  We've put a lot of work into it so far.  It isn't new but its new to us and that is the only way we could get what we wanted with the features we wanted.  Having a heated cab is amazing when going across the ice we actually had to take our jackets off prior to traveling across the ice.  I we made the rack for the back for hauling gear and giving us a little more space (PVC).  Ice fishing is our favorite season and when we figured we spent last year from weekend before Thanksgiving to April 22nd area on the ice every weekend its an investment that we will use.  We also plow out 5-7 driveways at the lake for neighbors so it helps cut down on the amount of time I am spending plowing when I have a 72" blade instead of a 60" 4 wheeler blade and not enough power to push big piles.  

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Thanks Chill, I really enjoy reading your posts.  On a quick update for me, I went out for the first time of the year on Nov. 23rd on a small lake by DL.  Had around 5" of ice and had to drill about 40 holes before we found the crappies and gills.  They were not super aggressive, but we were able to land one limit of keeper size crappies and also some nice gills.  Went out for the second time on Dec. 7th by Lake Park.  With the warm weather, still only found about 5" of good ice and 3" of slush on time.  Fishing was much slower and only caught a few perch.  Thank goodness for the Muck Arctic Armor boots for keeping the feed dry and warm in that slush!!

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Thanks for report. Glad to see when others give reports so doesn't feel lopsided. 

 

Went out tonight. Holy heck was it on fire!!  31 feet of water and from 18-26 crappies were stacked up on top of each other. From 230-630 I used a total of 3 Ripper soft plastics by Panfish Pirates and I wouldn't be shocked if was flirting 200 fish with 90% crappies all without a wax worm!! Biggest was 12.75 with average being 11.75 estimate. for two hours I was averaging one almost per minute. was insane tonight. Didn't catch anything huge but wide assortment of ages. 

 

4 mm wonder bread glow with a ripper plastic. 

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Fished Friday and Saturday in the same area. 

 

Friday bite was hot from 4-6 and died at 630.  Had to down size to a 3mm jig but the ripper soft plastics without a wax worm were producing fish.  Due to the light bites I had to downsize to a Noodle rod because I needed the lighter rods to watch that tip because they were just holding onto the bait and you wouldn't feel the bite till you jigged.  Thursday was amazing but Friday I think I maybe got 100-125 fish.  Had to work hard for them but was a lot of fun.  


Saturday weather was definitely changing and it was COLD.  Went to the ice show in the morning then picked up the brother in law to take him out.  Figured 130 fish didn't pick up the last time till 3 so no big rush.  Drilled holes house warmed up with the heater drop graph down about 2 pm and the graph is STACKED with fish...OH dump they are earlier.  Three of us fished out of our hub till 5 pm and the fish disappeared at 5 pm.  Few bigger ones were coming through and they definitely wanted the smaller baits because I was using a 3 mm, brother in law was using a 4 mm, and other guy was using a 5 mm.  As the jig went bigger the hook up rate was exponentially decreased.  After they got frustrated and about to kick me out of my own house for catching too many they dropped down to a 3 mm jig with a small split shot 12 inches above and were now keeping fish for fish with me.  Small glow jig and a small ripper plastic is all we were using and that was awesome to not be going through the bait like normally.  

 

This week is my last week of work for the year  so I'm hoping to get out as much as possible around Christmas and hoping the weather allows for me to actually get out and enjoy it.

 

I know I keep preaching about ice safety and I rarely ever say a lake for the fishery of the lake but for safety reasons I'm calling out Big Pine and Facebook.  One person is stating 9 inches of ice (Reliable source) at first breaks on the north shore.  Another reliable source is saying 7 inches over deep holes.  Random people driving around and fishing are saying they are finding spots of 4 inches of ice.  Facebook group is showing photos of full size pickups on the ice plowing out access and saying its go time people.  To the normal person they see a report and they go with it and depending on which one of the sources they found they may be in for a very shocking surprise.  PLEASE CHECK THE ICE BEFORE GOING OUT ON IT!!!  Nate Berg, guide and cameraman, was out this weekend around Brainerd and had safe ice and a customer hole hoping between "Safe" holes fell through.

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  • Your Responses - Share & Have Fun :)

    • 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?
    • monstermoose78
      Anyone been out hunting yet? I have doing housework 
    • smalljaw
      Oh my!  Those brown fish will be roaming the shallows soon.
    • Muskies
      As of April 15, the Canadian side of rainy lake, from the causeway up to devils cascade, is ice free. I believe that is the earliest ice out. Water is coming up as we had 2 1/2” of rain last week along with 1/2” of snow.
    • imhatz
      Ice off Crane Lake April 8, 2021.  
    • FishinCT
      This can’t be emphasized enough. Daily and possession limits are the same. If you catch a limit on opening day you CANNOT do the same on Sunday and bring 8 fish home. Gotta eat them Saturday night or do C&R Sunday. 
    • monstermoose78
      Great fishes Man
    • eyeguy 54
    • Raven77
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