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nate larson

Lake Minnetonka...overwhelmed. Where to start?

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nate larson

I moved to the cities this past August and I am thinking about giving the big pond a try. Most of my fishing in the past has been on smaller lakes and I have to say I am overwhelmed by Lake Minnetonka. I have tried a few lakes in the West Metro and have caught quite a few panfish but I have yet to catch a keeper. I have talked to a few people and that do well on Minnetonka but I have no idea where to start. The lake is huge and has so many bays. I am hoping to find some decent sized crappies and bluegills. I drive a small car so getting around the lake can be tough at times. Are people able to get around out there right now in a car? I am guessing the ice conditions will be deteriorating rapidly with this warm weather and rain. Would anyone be willing to give me some adivce on where to start and a good place to access the lake? Or better yet, let me tag along. I will provide bait, beer, gas money, whatever. My email address is larson_nate at hotmail dot com.

Thanks in advance!

Nate smile

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markkstanley

Travel is easy anywhere on the lake. Just do not drive through channel areas. Tonka is really a series of connected lakes and should be approached that way. West end is very different from east end and all the bays differ from each other. Halsted's is stained water for example while Crystal is like it's name implies. Get a map, pick a bay and start fishing it. Right now pannies are still on the deep weed edges. Look for humps and points find a flat area in about 10ft attached to one of those and start fishing it. Crappies are hanging deeper - suspended over 20 to 30ft depths but close to structure. Look for contained areas - deep water almost if not toally surrounded by shallow water. You'll find crappies there.

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BeaverHunter

Black Lake and Phelps Bay will have fish. You will have to sort through them to find keepers.

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mike11

new to the forums help because i must be blind looked on the map cant find phelps bay so were is it? thanks

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blackdog1101

If you're looking at the DNR map, it's the bay between Island Park and Enchanted Island.

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mike11

thanks for the help blackdog

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buzbunni

Mark gives sage advice...best listen to him.

Treat every bay in Minnetonka as a separate lake, and that will help to lower the intimidation factor.

You'll be tempted to look at other areas (bays) after you have selected your "lake", but don't listen to the siren song. Pick a bay (lake) and stick with it...for now.

In time not only will you learn the peculiarities of that area, but soon you will be branching off to explore the other "lakes" on Minnetonka as well.

Good luck.

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bigdaddyk

I just got off of Tonka when I left there was about 3" of water on the ice and the water was making my holes bigger and bigger so I decided to leave I wanted to get some eye When driving I had water at time coming over the hood and was only going 15 or so try and not drive along the roads that were plowed that is whare the water is deeper drives safe and fish hard

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nate larson

Thanks everyone for your help!

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  • Your Responses - Share & Have Fun :)

    • Chris mo
      Thank you Rick, it's very nice of you to help us, and even kinder to give me some areas to check out. I will let you know how we do. Chris
    • DLD24
      Thanks for the info, heading up tomorrow to visit some family, hoping to get on a few walleyes.
    • ozzie
      heading up Thursday evening through Sunday afternoon and hope to find a couple hours to get out on the lake.  Word is the eyes are biting out there
    • Rick
      The Minnesota Department of Natural Resources has confirmed reports of zebra mussels in Lake Oscar in Douglas County.  A lake property owner contacted the lake association after finding a three-quarter-inch adult zebra mussel. The lake association reported it to Douglas County aquatic invasive species staff who, in turn, contacted the DNR. DNR divers found a total of 78 adult zebra mussels in four locations on the lake. Whether or not a lake is listed as infested, Minnesota law requires boaters and anglers to: Clean watercraft and trailers of aquatic plants and prohibited invasive species. Drain all water by removing drain plugs and keeping them out during transport. Dispose of unwanted bait in the trash. Some invasive species are small and difficult to see at the access. To remove or kill them, take one or more of the following precautions before moving to another waterbody: Spray with high-pressure water. Rinse with very hot water (120 degrees for at least two minutes or 140 degrees for at least 10 seconds). Dry for at least five days. Zebra mussels can compete with native species for food and habitat, cut the feet of swimmers, reduce the performance of boat motors, and cause expensive damage to water intake pipes. People should contact an area DNR aquatic invasive species specialist if they think they have found zebra mussels or any other invasive species that has not already been confirmed in a lake. More information is available at mndnr.gov/ais. Discuss below - to view set the hook here.
    • Grindstone29
      Fished three hours Friday 7/19 evening and 3 hours Saturday morning between Grindstone and Fox Islands.  Friday evening was slower but managed three keepers between 15-17 and 1 pike.  25-35 feet of water jig and crawler.  Crawler was definitely better than a leech and part of me was wondering if a minnow might start taking hold.    Saturday morning I was solo and used the graph for the first hour on all my favorite haunts until I saw worthwhile pods of fish.  Winds were very high, spot lock was key and even with the motor coming out of the water every 5th roller, it held me there and was able to get a 1 man US limit and three slots (biggest 22) in the first two hours on that first spot.  I love to pitch jigs, but every single bite came almost directly under the boat vertical jigging them.      Trying to add a picture here... will see how it goes.   
    • chucker1101
      Should have put more that post   Found fish on flats near deep water. 20' was where I caught them on Sunday. Caught fish on both worms and leeches.   Both days it seemed following the wind worked (even if i didn't get anything to move on Saturday). On Saturday with the west wind, fish were concentrated on west-facing shorelines. On Sunday with the North wind, found fish on the North side of a shallow reef.
    • MN BassFisher
      We recently embarked on a paddling, fishing and camping adventure on the Saint Croix River.. We put the Kayaks in at Interstate Park (MN) and our take out point was Marine on St. Croix (16.1 miles downstream). In between those launches we explored the river, back waters, caught multiple different species of fish, camped one night at a primitive site, got rained on and had a blast! I can't wait to get back out on that stretch of river. This video captures a good portion of our adventure.    
    • Rick
      @Chris mo you should book your stay at Appledoorns and talk to Paul Waldowski. He knows the lake well. That lake is loaded with bays and points, rock reefs, sand bars, mud flats, and islands. Rockier on the southeast transitioning to sand on the north side plenty of pike and musky there as well as numerous other areas on the lake.    Vineland is a well known pike hang out as are the Garrison area spots.   It6a very big lake and you can almost always find a sheltered from the wind spot if youre6willing to travel around the lake.    What looks like a small point on any map is usually very large. The South side along the east side past big point has plenty of big bays.  If it's calmer don't be afraid to get out to the islands or long spiny rock reefs and chase walleyes, pike are out there as well.
    • Rick
      Elephant lake is about 20 miles west of Crane Lake. Maybe a wee bit south as well.
    • DLD24
      What kind of structure did you have luck on Chucker?.