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I was out on South Center and Chisago today for a couple hours. With the warm temps the snow cover has really melted. The ice on Chisago was much better than South Center, close to 24" on Chisago still. I fished Whispering Bay on SC and had less than 18" of ice and it was getting soft. I would not recommend driving out there anymore. Ice was cracking all over the place and had spiderwebs under my car out there after fishing an hour.

Be careful, with these warm temps, the ice is going to go quick.

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  • Deitz Dittrich

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Thanks for the info !

I also found 24 inches of Ice today on Rush Lake.. But a guy dropped his truck in between Braham and Cigar Islands..

I am thinking its officially walking-4wheeler season !

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  • 1 month later...

Well as sad as it sounds, I have yet to put the boat in yet. I plan on hitting the WI bass opener this weekend. So, I figured I would run the boat to make sure all is ok and ready. As I live darn near the S.Center landing, it was easiest, hence I went there. YIKES.... Water is way down.. WAAAAAY DOWN.. the right side I dont think you could float a boat off it, the left side you better have your eng trimmed up or you will loose a prop. Bad stuff.

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How about those "lakeshore" homes they have for sale on the old McCormick place. Nothing like owning a home with less than 100' of swamp shore, or this year mud shore.

I too was shocked at how low the lake was when I stopped by the other day. I was up in crow wing co this past weekend at the cabin and the lakes were way way up, but around home they're way down.

I remember when they put that in, it was a bummer for us, but the west edge was not dredged out near as much as the center/east and guys would go to take off and wham. Initially they didn't dig out far enough either so once you left the bowl you had to get over a hump. It was comical at times. When the water's high its fine but when it drops you have to be careful.

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Those houses you talk about.. I am on the intersection of the road that goes to their houses and 295th... I used to be able to see the lake and cant any more.. which to me is no bid deal..

but each and every one of those houses are those that we are bailing out.. I dont think any of them are still lived in.. I know the one closest to me started at $450K.. and I looked today and is at 200K.. heck, my house across the street is not as large, but just re-financed and is $225... if someone had the money, there is money to be made, although I would be worried about the 3rd house it looks to be shifting on its foundation...

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That guy did himself in being the owner and exclusive contractor. I didn't know you lived over there. I grew up in the funny looking place right off the southwest of the landing (the double A-frame thing with a big deck), Strands bought it from my dad. We still own the 8acres next to that development. That bunch of houses sure is a mess. Some day the market will turn around and you could make money on those places, but they will never have "lakeshore" in my mind. The lake isn't supposed to be that high. In '87 we had 3' in the basement, fish spawning in our basement was kind of weird (there was no doors on that concrete room at the time).

The landing is great for the masses, but that was sure a nice quiet corner of the lake growing up before it went in. We had 388' of lakeshore back then. That lake needed an adequate access though. How's the parking over there now? Do they need a bigger lot yet?

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Hey Deitz...must have just missed ya.

Be good to meet ya in person one day.

smile

We was over tonight at that launch an had the hounds swimming about 7 PM.

We drive around all lakes each night for something to do.....checking things out an hitting the DQ.

smile

Pretty sad looking area from past..kind a spooky to see so low an mucky.

Hounds had fun dock jumping... but had to hose them off big time when we got home here musky acres.

They was algie stinky in back of truck....peeU!.

Stopped at White Bear Yesterday an beach at Ramsey have not seen it that low in 10 years....unreal how low that one is also.

North center launch is a bit better but way way low...west side shore is way out to lilly pads....whole bay is now so narrow....low wake for sure.....beaches on point homes way out, way out.

RAIN.

Need some rain....freaky large rain.

Heading to open island and cabin this weekend on sweet Vermilion...things just broke up there an water levels I hear are normal....good stuff.

Big change from May 2008 as last year big April snows had water way up over dock iron until Mid May in pike bay an river way flowing like mad for the whole month...all feeder creeks filled to over flow level.

Freakky big water round us then...island was smaller but taxes stayed the same.

frown

Need some big rain down hear...some may not like it but it is really needed.

Keep on rocken.

Tommy

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Thanks for the heads up on South Center Deitz! Anyone know how the depth is on the channel connecting N/S Center Lakes - whats the depth at?

I need to launch my I/O on North Center. Unfortunately the big mound of gravel in front of the ramps are still there - I believe it is from people power loading boats (I wish people wouldn't do that frown ), since before the mound is a big hole at the bottom of the ramp. Wonder if that mound is permanent now, or does the DNR rake the gravel mound back into the hole to level things out?

To get my I/O in without banging up the lower unit, I think will have to stand on the gravel mound and float the boat past it by hand with the outdrive trimmed up in full trailering position.

Current water clarity, you can see these trouble spots - once the water starts greening up, boaters may not see these problems at the launches ... LOTS of business for the prop rebuilders, better beat the rush if you need yours fixed eek

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Jonsd16- I see that house you grew up in all the time.. looks like a neat place.. parking is fine, its the largest landing in the area by far!!..

TomW- I was off the water by about 6pm.. I was just running the boat a bit to be sure all was good for the weekend.. I too saw that algae slime.. I bet the dogs were very ripe smelling..

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last year they built the new channel, its awesome, you can get through no problem... HOWEVER, I did not try last night.. I know last fall it was only about 3' deep.. the water is down pert near 2 feet from last fall.. so I dunno?

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I went through the channel a couple weeks ago. Trim it all the way up and you can make it.

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I was wonderin with this all low level water around chisago city. Does it hurt the spawning habitat or no?

Thanks

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Fished South Center Monday and I think fishing pressure is really hitting this lake. Bet I caught over 100 sunfish and only one was big enough to keep. Probably caught close to 30 bass as well on the flu flu with euros and they were pretty small. Biggest was about 2 lb. This has been my go to lake for 10 years now and this is the worst I have seen it for fish size. Maybe I have lost my touch but I am worried. Time to find a new lake.

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I've noted bouys in places where they had not been before. The lakes really need the rain....

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Fished South Center Monday and I think fishing pressure is really hitting this lake. Bet I caught over 100 sunfish and only one was big enough to keep. Probably caught close to 30 bass as well on the flu flu with euros and they were pretty small. Biggest was about 2 lb. This has been my go to lake for 10 years now and this is the worst I have seen it for fish size. Maybe I have lost my touch but I am worried. Time to find a new lake.

The pressure is taking its tole on most area lakes. Kinda sucks when every spring people go out day after day keeping limit after limit just because its easy pickins. The Dnr needs to put some strict regs on panfish in this state to get quality to where it used to be.

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Yes, the DNR needs to take some action. I would be in favor of a 5 or 6 fish limit for bluegills and crappies. If you can not get enough meat for yourself and even a buddy with 5 bluegills, you need to learn how to use a fillet knife better.

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i agree wholeheartedly with the concept of smaller limits on panfish. I would even be in favor of a slot, but that may not happen. Two years ago I sent a letter voicing this very concern to the fisheries office in Hinckley, I did not even get a reply. The lake I am on is an absolute zoo in the spring with literally hundreds of people fishing from shore, not to mention the boats. I see the same people day after day after day. They either eat one hel l of a lot fish or have a freezer packed tight. Its a real strain on the CO's as well they can only be so many places at once. It happened on Red with the diminished fish population and size with the big crappie boom, it can happen on our smaller lakes and a lot faster. I released 154 crappies in the past two weeks, (I only keep fish when someone is going to visit and is looking for a fish fry) out of that number probably 18-20 would have been keepers. But you watch the shore fisherman and if its got fins its in the bucket.

mad

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what people don't realize is that you can't even have more than your limit of fish in your freezer. It gets pretty sad when you see the same people catching limit after limit of fish these are the people that need to be taught a lesson. If we don't do something about it now lakes will have no decent size panfish in them. I have been out to Chisago quite a few times this year and caught probably close to a hundred crappie and sunfish and I brought home maybe 5 for my mom for supper.

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way more in favor a size limit that a quantity limit. the min on green still baffles me. there is a ton of fish just haven't heard of many over 11+. but still a very good idea by the dnr

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I am coming up next week to fish S. Center. Wondering how the bite has been lately on that lake?

Thanks

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I hope you dont need a lot of water to launch. Use the left dock as you are facing the lake and make sure your motors are up. I mainly fish panfish and found a bunch of sunfish but most are too small to keep. Also caught a bunch of small bass on beetle spins. Cant help on Walleye. I am guessing sunfish should be spawning soon. I fished two days out there and only caught a few small crappie.

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As euro said.. the landing is not so good till we get some rain.

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I would think that you are better off fishing the north or south Lindstrom lake. I've managed to pull a few decent eater size walleyes and crappies two days ago on shore fishing.

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Thanks guys for the replies. Sounds not to promising from the reports. Luckily I am not bringing up the boat and will have access to one up there. I am looking to do some walleye fishing and a little bassin opening weekend. Are there any lily padded areas on the lake this time of year, or even in the water since it is low??

Thanks,

Michael

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The access conditions sounds ideal to me grin I'm guessing that'll affect the boat traffic on the lake? I might have to give this place a try now.

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Hooked into a 19" walleye and a few northern 10-14ft of water. Slow, but steady bite. Hooked some crappies as well.

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Anyone damage your prop or make contact with bottom trying to get through??

I checked out the channel this past weekend in my kayak ... WOW is it really shallow. I watched a big Mastercraft boat try to make it through from North to South Ctr, good thing he shut it down and tried to use a paddle to push his way through - he ended up getting stuck just on the south side of the bridge. I jumped in the water to try to help him out - turns out he could not get past what appears to be a 3ft wide concrete slab that extends the whole width of the channel that has ~16" of water (don't understand why this is there???). Since we couldn't get it past this point, we ended up pushing him back through the way he came. Pushing it throught that channels, bottom is ALL prop busting sized rocks, couldn't believe all the prop scratch marks I could see on them eek !!

Besides the 16" of clearance over the concrete slab, the rest of the channel is probably around 20" give or take a few.

If you have an I/O, DEFINITELY do not try to make it through. I tried to warn a family, didn't listen - watched him motor through. Sure enough, when he hit the concrete slab, his whole boat shuddered eek

One guy with a newer ProV used his trolling motor to get through (smart thinkin), he ended up getting hung up on the concrete slab and had to pull up his trolling motor to run shallow to get past it.

Boats with outboards were getting through if they had their motor trimmed way up as shallow as possible. But if you have a heavy glass boat, I wouldn't try it.

The DNR needs to post warning signs, the water clarity is getting worse, especially with motors stirring things up - so it can be hard to just how shallow it is until you hit it.

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  • Your Responses - Share & Have Fun :)

    • Rick G
      St Cloud has a good access at Wilson park,  Sartell has a nice access off NE River Rd,  another access above Blanchard dam on East side off Hilton Rd  and at Lindbergh state park...Little Falls  has a access right above the dam.   Water is pretty high and dirty.  Crayfish colors have been good again this week.  Smallies have been using anything available that breaks the current so finding them most days has been pretty easy
    • Brianf.
      Interesting...   You're doing better than most.  The biggest bass weighed-in during the recent MN Bass Federation tourney was only 4.33lbs.   The winning bag was less then 20lbs.  To have several over 5lbs during your trip is pretty special.   Congrats!  
    • Jetsky
      Question.  I have guests coming who may want to fish for muskies.  I've cast for them in August along shorelines and at rock piles.   Do I fish for them that way in June?   Should I troll shorelines or drop offs for them?  Thanks.
    • partyonpine
      Yeah was up for a week.   As other alluded to the weather was brutal.  Did catch some larger walleyes on slip bobbers on windy points in under 5 feet of water.  As for minnows they were at Lucky seven in Virginia and Grubens has some nice minnows as well.  Smallmouth fishing was terrific given the circumstances.  
    • partyonpine
      Brian   That is funny and shows how things are anecdotal.  Just got back from a week we caught as many fish as we wanted, however our average size was 16.5-17 inches.  While no 6 pounders we did score several 5 pounders.  We did not catch any or very few fish under 14  inches all week.  I was just commenting that the average size has increased substantially.  We were throwing larger artificial and live bait but again did not really catch any small smallmouth.  Fished smallies for 5-6 hours each day and walleyes at night.  Overall was slow but the weather was horrendous.  Did go home with enough walleye to satisfy me.  
    • Brianf.
      I haven't been up to fish smallmouth  in a couple weeks.  My partner and I caught about 300 over the  course of those two days.  That sounds great - and it is if you like numbers. However, few of those fish were over 3 pounds and even fewer were over 4 pounds.  Most of our catch comprised fish between one and a half to 2 1/2 pounds.   I've been fishing the lake for 20+ years and feel that the size structure of the smallmouth in the lake has changed quite a bit during that time.  When I first started targeting smallmouth 20 years ago, half our bag seemed to be comprised of four pounders - and five pounders were in the mix with an occasional six pounder here and there. I haven't caught a 5 pound smallmouth bass in five years on Lake Vermilion!   They are a daily occurrence on places like Mille Lacs and in Door Co.   What has changed on Lake Vermilion?     I have some theories about why the size structure has changed, though curious what others are seeing.  Anyone have thoughts about the state of the smallmouth fishery on Lake V? 
    • SkunkedAgain
      Don't forget about the times that they unwittingly fly into your fishing line.   Normally I would say that ebbs and flows in food source would be a good sign. However, even with this bountiful mosquito population available there just really aren't enough bats around for the natural cycle to capitalize on it to any noticeable degree. The DNR says that roughly 90% of the bat population in the Soudan mine has died off. If that 90% is representative of the entire area, even a mosquito all-you-can-eat-buffet will not bring the bats back for many years.   Hopefully the little guys can make a comeback.
    • Dash 1
      Made it back to the chain today. Sunfish are spawning but finding them in the thick weeds is nearly impossible. My main reason to get out was to test my minnkota after rewiring it. It definitely made the difference. Never shut down once and I ran it for several hours.  Now I just need to relearn how to catch fish.😂
    • LakeofthewoodsMN
      On the south end...   A good week of walleye fishing with some big fish caught along with good eaters.  All of that despite some fronts that came through and lots of wind.  Being in a charter boat a few days this week was an advantage for sure.     Wherever you fish, there are days the wind will blow.  Here are some good options for anglers when the wind blows on LOW.   -Fish on a big charter boat -Fish the 42 miles of navigable Rainy River -Bays such as Four Mile, Bostic and Zippel Bay -Slide behind one of the thousands of islands that being up at the NW Angle -Trailer your boat to a leeward boat ramp and fish that shoreline A jig and frozen emerald shiner was the go to presentation for walleyes.  Most boats are anchored up and vertically jigging.  Some are starting to use spinners and minnows or crawlers with success.  This pattern will pick up steam as the walleyes are starting to transition with warming waters. Walleyes have been caught this week in various depths.  As a rule, 21 - 32 feet of water was still the range.  Again, various areas across the lake are holding fish.   Various rock reefs have been good.  Fish are transitioning to mud as the season progresses. On the Rainy River...  The river is flowing strong right now as water is being released from the dam which controls its flow.  With the heavier current, fish are being found in areas with a current break.  Even a slight break that still has current is a fish attractor when the water is moving.   Jigging with a minnow, pulling spinners and trolling crankbaits along shoreline breaks against the current in 6 - 12' of water is producing a mixed bag of walleyes, saugers, pike, smallmouth bass and an occasional crappie.   Casting to shoreline structure and even docks is also an effective method.   For those who like fishing for dinosaurs, the sturgeon season opens July 1st. Up at the NW Angle...  A great week of fishing amongst the island area of Lake of the Woods.  Guides fishing the Canada side of LOW reported big numbers of walleyes along with a mixed bag.   Minnesota waters also produced good fish.  Many of the walleyes are being found in deeper than normal water for this time of year, in that 22 - 28 feet.  As hatches begin and shiners begin to spawn, there will be some shallow water opportunities as well. The goto presentation continues to be a jig and minnow.  Pulling spinners with shiners or crawlers and trolling crankbaits also putting walleyes in the fry pan.     As is common in these parts, a mixed bag of walleyes, saugers, pike, jumbo perch, crappies, pike and smallmouth bass being caught.   Muskie anglers, the season opens on both sides of the lake Saturday, June 15th.  A glorious day for those who target the almighty predators!  
    • leech~~
      Over the years the only sure time I have been able to see bats or know their around.  Is sitting by a fire or down by a dock at sun down when there's just a bit of light left when looking up, and seeing them diving in and out.  
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