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2020 Detroit Lakes-Pelican Rapids Fishing Reports - Lake Conditions


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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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Chill62

Fished a local lake with the girlfriend and did pretty decent for some action, not best for bucket but she was happy with quantity. We probably caught around 40 gills with average size being 7.5-8" long but we caught around a dozen smaller crappies (9-10") mixed in the batches of gills. All action happened between 4:20-7:00 pm which wasn't a bad night but I had to be constnatly switching jigs and was getting frustrating.

Fished same spot Sunday and took a kid fishing...well it was taking a buddy of mine who hasn't fished in years out so about the same thing. We got set up and they started coming through about 3:30/4. He had my FL-8 in his hole and I had my ICE-55 in mine maybe 3 feet away and he was pulling gill after gill up and I umm could see my jig! He was having a blast which was most important thing. We had a bobber rod down each with a crappie minnow set up 3-4 feet off bottom where everything was coming through and they never went down. Night before half the crappies came off of minnows. I wish I could say I caught the biggest or the most or even that I caught a crappie sadly I'd be lying. My buddy probably caught 30/35 gills, two perch (haven't caught a perch on this lake in 6 years), and two crappies. His average size was probably 9.5" he had a few that were filet knife long. I maybe caught 10 and average size was 8" lol. Lets just say he's already looking forward to fishing next weekend if I go out. Last fish came about 6/6:15 through the hole but after that they came through but wouldn't bite regardless what we put down there.

Saturday: Color didn't matter, crappies preferred minnows and small fat head to medium/large crappie minnow, all fish came 3-7 feet off of bottom (I was in 15 fow beneath the ice), aggressive and inhaled lures.

Sunday: PINK only. minnows were a waste of a line. fish came in from bottom to 7 feet off of bottom but we never caught a fish in the bottom 3 feet of water, tried but never committed for a bite. Lighter bite but when you set the hook they were there so must have been biting it and just staying in place?

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I was out on an area lake sat with my 3yr old after getting him situated after putting his foot in the hole we ended up him getting two crappies. me i got 8 with five of them over 13" was fun

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  • 2 weeks later...

Fished Lida yesterday evening...plenty of ice but it sure is soft...even a dull blade cuts through it like butter...warmer temps coming..be safe!

Fishing was just OK...7 crappies in 13' just off a reed bed.

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Chill62

How was it getting onto the lake? I don't plan on fishing that lake but I'm worried about access getting onto some lakes. Is the ice pulling away at all or too early

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Access was a little tricky...had to weave on to avoid the collapsed ice on each side but once on was OK...Accesses are going to be the toughest part...gonna be ATV or walking only very soon IMO....I probably will not be driving on anymore after this coming weekend's warm temps.

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  • 2 weeks later...
Chill62

Went out sunday and didn't do too bad. We've been getting crappies a little before dark till hour after sunset. Sunday we got out about 3:30. Edge of the lake had refrozen in clear ice which made a little nervous walking out the first 10 feet but once we got onto old ice it was smooth sailing and I stress SMOOTH. Thank God I had my ice cleats! Redrilled holes from week before and started hopping around. Had holes from 12-32 fow. I started deep and my buddy started shallow since earlier in the week he had caught them up shallow right away. He started yelling and he had his rod over his head holding a crappie up, only took him 5-10 minutes. He didn't reel in. We hole hopped and ended up catching close to 50 crappies only kept about 10 between the two of use and we caught probably 75ish blue gills keeping maybe 18-20. All fish were in the top 5 feet of water and when we would graph something down closer to bottom they never bit. One blue gill actually was caught at the transducer getting dropped down, it was comical because we were seeing who could catch the shallowest fish and my buddy was watching down his hole and saw it bite in his hole. All in all it was a good day on the ice. Crappies were aggressive but gills would just lightly bite and half time you dind't know they were there till you jigged your rod. Was hoping to get out saturday but only if ice is good and I have a fishing partner.

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  • 3 weeks later...

i was out on lee lake sunday ended up keeping 7 crappies. It was nice to be out in the boat

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  • 2 weeks later...
Chill62

Went out sunday for the maiden voyage with the boat. Tried a little lake and water temp was 47 degrees according to the depth finder. Tried my favorite area of the lake and then the big motor's battery died so I didn't have graph and a quick ride back to the trailer so I trolled back and fished along the way so not in my favorite spots but didn't want to paddle across the lake. Very light bite but was fun. 3 Crappies, 1 bass, 8 northerns, and my buddies daughter had a bunch of bites on a bobber with a worm but she didn't connect and I believe they were sunfish.

Water was murky and stuff floating in it which I was shocked. Lilly pads were about 3-4" tall. Nothing up shallow like I thought all in that 7-15 fow. Didn't use minnows so everything was caught on a jig and plastic. Buddy got less fish on the smaller jig with a tube and I caught more but I also got all but one northern with it to. Also lost about 4 lures instantly, joys of light tackle and pike in the area. Before batteries died was graphing stuff out deeper so maybe in the next week or so stuff will start transitioning into shallower water??

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Been out more than a few times....crappie fishing has been very good in the transition areas 10-15' lately.....too cold yet for females to be on beds.

Lakes I have been on are super clean do to lack of silt, dirt, junk that normally gets washed into lakes with the snow melt. Another factor due to little-to-no snow cover this year is that I am finding cabbage growth already and that is where the crappies I have been getting are staging. With sun getting through the ice most of the winter the weeds died late and came back early.

Water levels are way down, access areas are super shallow so be careful putting in and taking out...I've seen some nasty motor bumps this spring already.

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quietcranker

Seems to be a lot of crappies in the shallow water now .some of the bays are 55-59 surface temps ...Get out and enjoy the nice weather and soak a cork .....

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Crappie Coach

AS OF 4/29/2015

Crappies are on the run right now a survey this week results with a few fishermen netting crappies over 1.3 lbs on Detroit, Sally, Muskrat, Lizzy. Melissa and Big Cormorant. A 2 lb Rock Bass was taken on Sally by a boater on Monday.

NOTE: MN DNR and Becker County Sheriff are enforcing boat regulations heavily on Detroit which includes Deadshot (3 citations were issued to boaters for fishing under The Long Bridge boat passage I was informed by the Becker County Sheriff Boat and Water Deputies that fines could go as high as $1,500.00 and a mandatory court appearance on the citation.)

This was a surprise to me as I never knew you could not fish under there in a boat in the passage. I only knew you couldn't anchor there.

Tell your fellow fishermen this weekend Wardens and Law Enforcement will be out in force in the D.L. area.

PLUS 2 anglers were witnessed being arrested at that location, 1 for no license, and the other with a walleye in possession out of season.

Hatchery Operations are going on at Dunton Locks and Bucks Mills among other locations.

Be courteous to your fellow fishermen and Good Luck!

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Bagman101

Quote:
PLUS 2 anglers were witnessed being arrested at that location, 1 for no license, and the other with a walleye in possession out of season.

For the record, neither one of those violations will get you "arrested". Those are infractions, for which you get ticketed. If they were truly being arrested (as in being cuffed and hauled to jail), there was something far more serious going on.

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  • 2 weeks later...
paceman

Hopefully those that went out enjoyed the opener and even caught a few fish. I went out with my son and buddy to our traditional opener lake. Walker by Otter Tail. We didn't go until the afternoon as I had morning committments. Had fun. We ended up wityh 10 eyes and quite a few crappies. All caught lindy rigging shiners. Probably the first time I can remember trying to avoid crappies! They were doing a good number on our shiner minnow supply:) Pretty Fun to be in a boat again!

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Made it out yesterday for only the 2nd time this year. Water was about what i expected at 53 degrees. Last wed at 61 degrees found some crappies shallow and fairly active. Yesterday those fish were simply no longer there. After a little looking was able to see a big black slab holding tight to last years cabbage in 12 fow. Backed the boat off and pitched jigs. It didnt take long and we were on em. Caught many in the 11-12" range with a few bigger ones keeping only 5 for a meal. Releasing the larger ones. None of the fish we had caught were even close to spawn with the females bulging with eggs. Saw at least a half doz boats looking shallow. Fortunately they never noticed us as im sure they had figured we were chasing eyes. Wont be back on the water til first week of june. With the forecast i might come back to lights out fishing

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  • 2 weeks later...
Chill62

Fished a local lake on Tuesday since my holiday was shifted for work.  Flat calm and we were told fish the edges of the weeds with shinners.  Got a 14" bass almost instantly.  Didn't graph much and didn't get any bites for about hour half.  Fished from 10-22 fow.  NOTHING.  Got bored so went up shallow 12-8 fow and could see fish swimming around.  Shinners were running up shallow and everything was chasing them (Bass, Walleye, Northern).  Started throwing raps and pulling them quickly above the weeds and the bass were on fire.  Caught and released a 19.5" bass which I was excited about.  Did this for about 2 hours then we finally heard our first boat for the morning and it came almost a mile straight towards us and they decided to follow us for the next hour and a half.  I'm ok with people getting near but they were within casting distance using their big motor to move around when they had a front trolling motor and a kicker.  We still caught fish but they were spooky with that motor running.  Ended up trying a few spots along the way back and caught 3 walleyes jigging in 13.5 fow (16, 18, 22").  Was nice with almost no traffic on the lake but just wish some people would back off from getting too close to another boat.

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  • 3 weeks later...
paceman

Made it out to a new to me local lake last night. Odd but with all the lakes around here, some just don't get my attention. Well after limiting out on both crappies and walleyes, there is a good chance I will head back there very soon. The crappies weren't on fire but by sticking with the game plan of casting small jigs tipped with plasctic over and through submerged weed beds I ended up catching about 20, keeping 10 good eating 10-11 inchers. I then switched to rigging crawlers behind a float. My biggest mistake was not looking in the crawler box to see how many were in there. I didn't realize that my son had used so many last time out, I only had about 10 in there. Working a windblown point in the middle of the lake I had 3 good eaters in about 20 minutes, then the pesky notherns/sunnies took the last of my crawlers. I tried to stay in the magic 18' depth. Any shallower and the pannies clobbered you. Any deeper and nothing. I tried a powerbait for awhile but all i caught was bass/notherns. I then switched to a leech/gumdrop float and was able to pick up my remaining 3 but it took another hour. I did see a few mayflies in the air so not sure if the hatch was done or just starting.

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paceman

Another good but short trip last night at an area lake before the little cold front/storm chased me off after only an hour of fishing. Rigging a leech along a midlake weedline in 15' produced 4 nice eyes, 1 being a fat 24.5" all in the first 30 minutes, then the lake turned to glass and the bite just stopped. Nothing for the next 30 minutes. I didn't feel like cleaning fish so I tossed them all back and beat cheeks to the landing just before the strong winds came up and it turned ugly very quickly....

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paceman

Took a break from Walleye fishing this past Saturday to chase crappies with my son. Once the winds layed down the crappies we found a bunch of in 10' next to weeds. Simple jig with plastic worked well. (I tried to attach a picture but I failed - not sure what I am doing wrong with the new format?)

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  • 6 months later...

Since the weather was supposed to be frigid cold and I didn't want to freeze my rear off I took off Friday and hit the ice.  It was a little lake but deep and I have been getting tired of walking so I filled up the gas tank and started drilling holes.  Right out in front of my access point I hit 10.5" of ice.  The area had been flooding (North Side) and a few guys had fished the area hard core.  Got out from the holes 50 feet and had 12" of nice ice.  Hop scotched across the lake and had 12-12.5" the whole way across!  Set up the house in 24 fow and had the camera down.  I felt it wasn't warm enough to buy sucker minnows for tip ups so strictly was fishing bobber and jig.  Dropped camera down and instantly had visitors of big pike.  I thought for sure they wouldn't be out so deep but I had at one time three big hogs cruising 3 feet off of the bottom heading for deeper water.  I had pike from bottom to 10 feet down, I played with the camera a lot to see what was cruising through to make it more fun while I waited for panfish.  I picked up a 13" crappie during the middle of the day he came in majorly suspended.  Friend joined me at 15:00 and he almost instantly started pulling in crappies.  We ended up keeping 9 crappies threw a few back, I lost more then I caught at the base of the hole which sucked because I had a huge slab on at one time.  Crappies were coming in 10-17 feet down.  Bluegills on the other hand is what I was mainly targeting and they never quit came through like normal.  We ended up keeping 3 gills that were over 8" and usually we catch 20-40 of them with 99% of them being over 6".  Friday on the other hand I was pulling up 4" gills like they were going out of style! lol I guess I just found the small schools of them.  We each caught one crappie on a plain hook with a fathead but everything else was on a light tungsten VMC Tubby Jig tipped with wax worms.  I got out fished by Chartreuse and I was using Pink and Watermelon Colors.  Best bite was from 3:30-5:30 with random fish swimming through during the day.  It was a little cold in my hub fish house especially when my big buddy heater quit working!  Good thing I had two heaters running in the first place.

I'm hoping with the nicer weather this upcoming weekend to get out and I'll hopefully have a report next week.

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Made it out with my son yesterday for a mid-day panfish bite. While sitting at the landing, I was contemplating whether to drive or walk out when a suburban drove around me and out, so I gave him a good 5 minute lead and drove out. First time on this lake. was able to get pretty close to a mid lake hump. Was not a good feeling to drill holes and find 10-11 inches of ice. Set up the porty and fished about 5 hours. Panfish were slow, would come in waves but we kept 10 sunnies in the 8-9 inch range. Was really happy to also catch 3 walleyes that were 16-18". Didn't really expect that during the middle of the day. had to run to BB practice so pulled the pin at 3:00 pm... Drove off the lake in full pucker mode.......

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Made it out with some friends on Saturday.  Buddy was out getting crappies earlier in the week in 22 fow using jigs and plastic for crappies.  Got out 1030/11 started drilling setting up house.  So much for sunny calm and 35 degrees! It was windy and cold when we were hoping around.  Put out a tip up per person and we were jigging for blue gills.  One flag kept going off (Medium Sucker) finally caught something...it was a jumbo perch!  Set tip ups up from 15-25 and only caught one.  Set house up in 22 and the camera had northerns swiming through the whole day not one bit.  Caught a bunch of perch from 11-2/3 then they moved out of the area.  At 430 the girlfriend finally caught one and it was about a 10" bluegill and the battle was on from then till 6:15.  From 6-6:30 we graphed stuff but they wouldn't bite.  Good mixture of crappies and bluegills.  I couldn't keep the small blue gills off of my line and the girlfriend couldn't keep huge ones off of her line lol.  Tip ups were a bust this weekend had two broken lines (8# power pro for leader) and one snake.  Was worth a shot.  Ice was 13" where I drilled (12.5" last weekend) with a little flooding.  There was 3-6" of snow on top of the ice.

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Tested a few lakes this past weekend. Found a few crappie, sunfish, and pike, but couldn't stay on them for very long.  

Found the following for ice thickness:

Melissa: 12" (but found 11.5" near access), found some deeper spots of snow on the lake.

Big Cormorant: 16"-18"

Upper Cormorant: 12"-13"

 

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Had a Saturday off from Basketball tourneys so was actually able to go Ice Fishing! With the warm weather this past Saturday the area lakes were very busy, folks driving all over! I set up on a small secluded hump on Sallie. Nobody within 200 yards of me. Fishing small suckers I caught 2 northerns in the 5 pound range and in my jigging hole a few small perch, really small, like 3-4 inchers. Hungry little buggers. From about 5:15 til 5:30 caught 3 eyes, a 10 inch, 17 inch and a 24 inch, all on the bobber. Put them all back. Sat until 6:00. Forgot my lattern so had to pull the pin as it got dark fast. Ice was about 14 inches.

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14 hours ago, bak2MN said:

sounds like a good trip

It was a fun trip.  The girlfriend had said she'd like to try a new lake so she had fun trying a new lake.  Granted we didn't keep anything but she said she had more fun because there was action all day and she was able to try hole hoping without getting cold.  She's a rookie for ice fishing and has minimal summer fishing experience but it felt good when I looked over at her and she's taking off a 10" crappie and dropping it down the hole telling it to grow up so I can catch you next year.  Trying to decide where to fish Saturday, debating on trying for walleyes or not.  Anyone hearing any rumors that they are biting or if Pike are biting?  I'd like her to hook into a big one even if it's on a tipup.

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Those kinda trips is what I look for with the kids!! Don't have any ideas on the fishing Im in South Carolina working for a few weeks. Good luck hope you find some.

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  • 2 weeks later...

Went out fishing for several hours on Friday evening and targeted panfish. Drilled our first hole in about 20 feet of water off a point by a deeper basin and marked fish in the first one. Got the Clam hub set up since it was pretty cold outside and started catching decent bluegills right away. They were either really really small or 8+ inches. Were specifically targeting crappies so we were hoping they would turn on once the sun went down. Did catch a couple 9"-10" crappies but not many. Once it got dark we were marking fish almost constantly but they were super finicky, to the point where they wouldn't even bite no matter what. Not sure if this had to do with the cold or high pressure. Fished until around 8:30 and decided to pack up. Vehicle said around -10 when we were driving off the lake.

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    • mulefarm
    • DonBo
      Buddy and I were fishing just below Whalan last summer and he caught two keeper sized walleye on a Rappala.  We were pretty surprised.
    • SkunkedAgain
      It's not a very deep lake, so it is all relative. Most of the lake is 30-40ft deep so it is a relatively easy lake to fish from that standpoint. They aren't sliding any deeper than on a bright sunny day in July. There is also not much of a fall turnover to worry about.
    • ozzie
      Great to hear from you Dtro!  It is sad that the participation in forums like this is going by the wayside and it seems we are losing valued members constantly which is sad, but also the way of the world.  Great to hear you are succeeding in your latest adventure, but that does not surprise me, as following you for the past 15 years, I wouldn't expect anything less from you!  I enjoyed the news clip and the excitement on the young girls face as she reeled in her first sturgeon!  Keep doing what your doing and don't be a stranger!!   Take care and stay safe!  Ozzie 
    • smurfy
      came back to civilization this past sunday. was nice tuesday when i got there and got alot of cabin stuff done. wed it rained all day but managed to do inside stuff that needed doing. thursday i finished up yard stuff and did a little hunting. friday finally got 2 grouse 😊 them gonna be good!!!!!!!! sat the kid and i fixed up deer stands but holy moly rockey with that snow was it wet in the woods. finished winterizing the cabin.   for me the weather wasnt cooperative to fish, so......... until there is ice the fish are safe from me!!!!!😜 the deer need to worry though!!!! sure would be nice if this snow melted, the ground needs to freeze up some.
    • Hawkem9
      Better fishing out weighs crappy weather for me.  We are leaning the October dates, seems a fair amount of the resorts on the E side close first week of October however.  I would imagine fish slide deeper on Vermillion as the water cools?
    • Rick
      The Minnesota Department of Natural Resources will host its annual Roundtable event in January using an online format. Discuss below - to view set the hook here.
    • SkunkedAgain
      I'm in Black Bay, which in a typical year is no more than 6 feet deep (5ft this year!) so it's one of the first places to freeze along with all of the other shallow bays. My rule of thumb has always been to plan on trips through the end of October, open water in November is a pleasant gift. This year is obviously a little different at the moment.   I am hoping for that warm up....maybe I should just sit tight for a week and not push trying to get up there this weekend.
    • matt320
      I have the JMX5000 thermal hub with the floor attachment its a nice hub warm and easy to set up. 
    • mulefarm
      Ice fishing by Halloween?
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