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2020 Ottertail-Battle Lake-Perham-Fergus Falls area Fishing Reports

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Chill62

Yeah trapper landed a hawg. Weighed 5.0 pounds on a shipping scale hour plus after catching it. That lake doesn't produce a ton but when you set the hook its usually big!!

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Chill62

Well we weren't local last weekend but tried ice fishing in Milwaukee harbor. went with a guide and got on the ice at 630 by 655 I was taking pictures of my fish. At 722 buddy was getting pics with his fish and that's when action stopped. fished Sunday from 630-230 and had 4 bites 2 fish. Monday 1 bite no fish. Was an interesting trip.

 

Going to be fishing locally this weekend then might be scouting a lake by Alexandria the following weekend. 

 

Reports...obviously second hand. Lake travel is getting better but still random slush pockets. Also hearing more roads being plowed. if you haven't caught on hearing not much for action. very light bite and guys doing ok are using small jigs and cameras help knowing you have a bite. 

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otterman91105

Just wondering if lake travel has got any better in the last couple weeks with the cold weather does anyone know

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Chill62

Second hand I was told yes

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bbfenatic

First hand yes, got real good then we had high winds with a bit of snow that set things back a little....but still better than 2 weeks ago

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otterman91105

I will be up on tommorow so i guess i will see first hand. Thanks for the reply.

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Chill62

Lake travel on most lakes are great. On most lakes if you can get 100 yards onto the lake you'll be safe. Its getting soft with drifts but just fine with 4x4 but few drifts and accesses are causing some issues 

 

Bite has been good downsize and 1 or 2 waxies most. 

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Rick

@otterman91105 let us know how it goes please. Pics would be awesome.

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Chill62

You know it was a busy weekend when you get to sleep in Monday morning to go to work.

 

Saturday I guided for Thalmann Guide Service. had 5 clients from SD and 3 from Kentucky. weather was about perfect for hole hoping. drilled a ton of holes to find fish up shallow. In the evening I took off to a different lake to scout the night bite. We had a huge town in our usually vacant spot. We ended up with some nice crappies and biggest was 14 inches. 

 

Sunday took off from access at 600 and instantly was on the fish. Tulibee season has begun!!!! With our groups I think we got 57 tulibee and 1 sucker. 

 

After breakfast/lunch a nap was in order for me!!

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Getanet

Pardon the question if it's dumb, but I've seen a lot of photo on social media recently, particularly with tullibees, with a lot of blood on the snow. Do people tend to slit their gills to bleed them out? Or does that happen as they begin to freeze while laying on the ice?

 

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Wanderer

They bleed easy like trout do.

 

Nice work @Chill62!

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Chill62
57 minutes ago, Getanet said:

Pardon the question if it's dumb, but I've seen a lot of photo on social media recently, particularly with tullibees, with a lot of blood on the snow. Do people tend to slit their gills to bleed them out? Or does that happen as they begin to freeze while laying on the ice?

 

There is never a dumb question. 

 

Tulibee bleed very easily to begin with but we do personally cut them to bleed out better. It results in whiter meat and it takes less salt to brine. Some people will use the livewell keepers and help bleed out the fish, I have not used one yet but some swear by them. 

 

If you have not purposely targeted them they are a blast to fish. 

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Ando009

How are the lakes west of ottertail. Can you get around with a ranger on tires or should I bring sleds?

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Chill62
1 hour ago, Ando009 said:

How are the lakes west of ottertail. Can you get around with a ranger on tires or should I bring sleds?

Hardest part is getting onto most lakes not driving around. if you can make it 75 yards onto a lake your golden. Saturday morning will be cold you'll be good. Saturday coming off you might have fun. Sunday might be soupy. 

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Rick

Welcome to FM @Ando009

 

Please let us know how it goes for you.

 

Pics are awesome.

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otterman91105

I must say that lake travel in the last 2 weeks has changed big time. Two weeks ago you couldn't get anywhere and now there are trucks all over the lakes. Hardly any slush much easier to travel. Fishing was pretty good sorry forgot to take pics.

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Chill62

Lake travel getting better...you can thank me for buying tracks 3 weeks ago!!!  LOL  Good thing is it'll make it easier to get around bad part is the sun will start eating up the ice quickly.

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Chill62

Well I've been busy and finally home to fish locally!!!

 

Saturday we hit a lake I haven't been on since deer hunting. Second spot we tried we found them! Gills and crappies were in 12 feet of water 2-3 feet below the ice. Ton of fish. Had to increase our size of presentation to deter smaller fish. 

 

Saturday night after a great lunch and most taking a nap we got back out. At the access guy flew buy us as we unloaded and dropped his suv into the ice. Had to get out his passenger side door to ask me to pull him out. Hey I made $5 pulling him out, $4 in quarters lol. Fishing was slow but if they came through the crappies inhaled the lures. I set the ladies up in the house but Katie was on fire, heard minnows were her secret. 

 

Sunday tried lake 3 of weekend. Drilled ton of holes from 5-12 feet and that 7-9 feet we found the huge gills and crappies. Kristen got a 9.75" gill and right as we were tearing down Scott landed 13.5" crappie. Color made huge difference and when I lost my pink plastic and put green on I quit catching them, switched back to pink and boom back to catching. 

 

Sorry if too many pictures. Scott and Kristen took amazingpictures and I stole them lol. The colors are amazing!!!

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Chill62

Well I got out the last three days and I need a vacation from myouting lol.

Friday we fished am for tulibee and ended up with 19 before switching in the afternoon for crappies. Found a deep hole and the slabs were STACKED UP!!! Hole was 30-36 feet and fish were 18-bottom. Had to drill a ton of holes and stay mobile. Literally you'd have fish in one hole and 5 feet away nothing. Average size was 12 inches with a few 14s. 

Saturday tried for tulibee again and I think we got 10 for 7 of us. Switched to the same crappie hole and first 5 fish up the hole were tulibee lol. After a while we found crappies but just couldn't find them. Switched to 4 or 5 other spots then we finally found them. Thought were perch because bottom 5 feet were solid fish. Crappies were averaging 11 inch. Had to stay mobile and drill a lot of holes. kept enough for a supper. 

Sunday morning my buddy and I went after big tulibee and got a late start (9 am start). We started by targeting spots people hadn't been lately. Instantly we had 3 on the ice. It was weird they were coming out of the mud. After hour half we quit graphing them so took off for new spots. We ended up with 4 fish biggest two were 4 lbs 4 oz and 3 lbs 12 oz. After that we took off for crappies again. We parked the ranger and guess fish wanted to hide under it. Literally had 10 holes drilled with 10 feet of the ranger and we just kept circling the ranger. We did film a YouTube vide and hopefully the wind wasn't too strong for the audio. 

 

Sadly I doubt I will make it back out again. 

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Rick

Well done Cody!!!

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