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My 80 year old brother-in-law and his wife are coming to Minnesota in early June, he heard from a friend about good fishing on this lake. I haven't fished it in over 20 years, I need some tips for showing him a good time. He was usually a bass fisherman down in his home state of Tennessee but he wants some walleyes. I don't need coordinates, just  good structure to fish and what would be the best method for early June. My husband (his brother) passed away last fall and at his age this may be his last trip north.

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Thanks for the tip. Good information. I was searching environmental impact of zebra mussels and never found any of these links. I still find it a bit strange that despite knowing about their presence

Talking to a coworker that lives on the lake, it has been frozen over since last Saturday morning. Cloudy skies and below freezing temps all week so I suspect it has been making ice. Whether it's "saf

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Sportfish1850

At that time of year the Walleye are typically in pretty shallow water.   Focus on areas of the lake that have 12 ft of water with drop offs into deeper water but also near weed lines (for normal lake levels).  Don't hesitate at all to fish in even shallower water very close to the pencil reeds or weed beds.  I would slow drift leeches using typical Lindy rigs or slip bobber as my presentation until I see that isn't working then switch to something else (jig and minnow etc).   Given the light winter they may be willing to take crawlers at that time too. I'd use a two hook crawler spinner rig and a bottom bouncer trolled really slowly (just fast enough to spin the blade).    Evening hours a leech on a slip bobber can be very productive right up to dark.  We've caught nice fish right up at the dock in the last hour of daylight from opener to late May but the water might get too warm too quickly for that to work this year. 

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Iambjm

Thanks for the tips, he changed his date the 19th to the 26th,I sure will try all these tips

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  • Rick changed the title to Osakis Fishing Reports
  • 4 weeks later...

Was out on Osakis Friday and Saturday evening for about 2-1/2 hours each night. Checking out many places all over the lake but the walleyes were not cooperating with me. Tried main breaklines, sand flats, and midlake humps starting from town bay all the way up to Caughren Point. The only place I actually found eyes were on the midlake humps but even then they were few and far between. Had some action from hammer handle northerns. Surface water temp on Sunday was about 62 degrees.

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Borch

Running crawler harnesses on the mid lake humps or points off of bars should be good at that time of year.  An evening trolling with shad raps on the weed edges would also likely be very productive especially being fairly close to full moon.

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BartmanMN

I know Osakis has good fishing, but I am curious what the water clarity is like in Summer.  Thinking about booking a family vacation up there in early August and I am wondering how the water would be for swimming.

 

Thanks

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BartmanMN
2 minutes ago, BobT said:

It is subject to an algae bloom in the heat of summer. 

Thanks

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Sportfish1850

After a pretty good May and early June on Osakis I went to Canada for a week and came back to a totally different lake.  Lake has greened up considerably and the walleye are not as eager to take a bait as they were just 3 weeks ago.   We were getting 15-20 or so fish for a few hours fishing with the occasional 15"-18" keeper.  Perhaps the bait fish have moved out of the cover as the weed line dies back to some degree since I am also getting way more perch rapid fire attacks on my crawler harness.  That could mean the walleyes are fat and happy with perch forage and more difficult to catch.  Personally I expect the tougher walleye fishing to continue for a while.  I'm marking lots of fish in 14ft-18ft of water adjacent to weed-line edges but they are not happy with what I am offering for dinner.

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When I was out there over the weekend I noticed the surface temps are getting up into the 70's. Might be time to switch to summer tactics. I love the challenge and feel of the pick up using a jig and minnow or leech combination but in mid to late summer when I am looking to hook walleyes, I turn to trolling shad raps in the 7' - 10' depth. That's all I'll share on that. You have to find those "special" spots on your own. ;) Look for areas where the early weeds have died off leaving clean bottom structure between weeds both deeper and shallower. I don't know why these areas exist but they are there. Good luck!

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  • 2 weeks later...
mnvikes32

Hi Bob - have you been out lately?  Likely going out this weekend and will report back.

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No, I haven't been out on Osakis for about a month. Good luck out there. Look forward to your report.

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Heading to Osakis this weekend for a few days. Will post a report after I get back, if not while I am there.

I have not fished there this late in the summer for a long time, so I am not quite sure what I will find.

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Back from several days on Osakis.

The sunfish bite was good on the edges of the bars on the south end of the lake, and I caught a few nice crappie down there, too. The crappie I caught came on shiners fished on bobbers, and on Firetiger-colored crankbaits trolled along the dropoffs and over the flats where the deeper weeds have mostly died off. Had I been targeting crappie instead of walleye, I probably would have gotten more of them.

I did not catch any bluegill because I made no effort to do so, but the people who did were getting them on bits of worm, leeches, and small jigs.

Crappie are nice, but I did not drive up there to catch panfish. I knew I was going to be near the end of the window for the best walleye fishing by going up in mid-July, but this was the time that worked for everyone in my party. Turns out that window for walleye-fishing was pretty much closed this past weekend. :crazy:

We caught a few sub-15" walleye on the edges of rock on the north arm, but when I left Osakis yesterday morning we had one legal walleye to brag about. We caught a few Northern,but not nearly enough to be considered a nuisance like they are in the second half of June. Plenty of small largemouth bit in the shallower areas, and we got a couple of the biggest bullhead I have seen come out of Osakis in years. :lol:

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Thanks for the report. Did you cook those bullhead? They can be pretty tasty.

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I was born and raised in Minnesota, so while I have lived in Iowa--southern Iowa, no less--for fifteen years I did not haul my boat up to Osakis to skin bullheads. :D  Those big yellow bellies are still swimming.

I left Osakis a few days ago, but the people who stayed the full week did get in to a few keeper walleye on the south end of the lake over the last couple days.

Edited by JIvers
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walleyeman1

Zebra Mussels were found on July 20th in Osakis according to the Echo Press. Add another lake to the list. It will be interesting to see what changes are ahead on Osakis.

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2 hours ago, walleyeman1 said:

Zebra Mussels were found on July 20th in Osakis according to the Echo Press. Add another lake to the list. It will be interesting to see what changes are ahead on Osakis.

Maybe clean up the lake.

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hoppe56307

It will be interesting if they designate any of the lakes down stream from Osakis, since the Sauk River comes out of it.

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On 7/26/2016 at 0:20 PM, BobT said:

Maybe clean up the lake.

Yup.

I lived in Winona for most of the 1990s as the zebra mussels took hold in the Mississippi, and there was a lot of doom and gloom in the air, err water, about what they would do to the river. The Biology Department at WSU closely monitored the situation to see how it unfolded.

What happened was the mussels filtered out the water, dramatically increasing light penetration and plant growth. That had some positive effects, such as an explosion in the smallmouth bass population.

Not to ignore the negative effects of zebra mussels, such as docks coated with them and the impact on native mussels, to name two, but zebra mussels did not destroy the river.

I would expect them to filter out the water in Osakis, which among other things would lead to clearer water and deeper weed growth than we see now. And, yes, people with docks or slips on Osakis will probably have to start scraping the pesky things off on a regular basis--I have seen for myself how quickly they can coat any solid object left in the water.

Edited by JIvers
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I figure the effects from them can be somewhat dramatic at first as they will have an abundant food supply and few predators to deal with but over time, which could be a few years, eventually a balance will be established between available habitat (food and environmental) and their reproduction just like any other animal.

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timjones
On 7/26/2016 at 0:20 PM, BobT said:

Maybe clean up the lake.

My opinion is I think it will get worse. Zeebs only eat the beneficial algae. They don't like the blue green. As they eat the normal algae that makes more nutrients available for the blue green which causes large blooms of the stuff as shown in other lakes that have had them for a while. Especially nutrient rich lakes like Osakis. Not a problem in the lakes that don't have the blue green algea or very little of it to begin with.

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On 7/29/2016 at 1:35 PM, timjones said:

My opinion is I think it will get worse. Zeebs only eat the beneficial algae. They don't like the blue green. As they eat the normal algae that makes more nutrients available for the blue green which causes large blooms of the stuff as shown in other lakes that have had them for a while. Especially nutrient rich lakes like Osakis. Not a problem in the lakes that don't have the blue green algea or very little of it to begin with.

I did some digging and from everything I found I don't see where the Zebra Mussel is specific in the types of algae they consume. Every article I read indicated they filter everything out of the water including toxic pollutants, PCB's, etc. I have not been able to find anything definitive with regard to the actual environmental damage they do aside from out-competing indigenous mussels but even with this, there is very little information about why that would be a bad thing aside from the possible extinction of the indigenous species in the lake. Whether rendering the other species extinct is a bad thing or good thing is not explained. Every article I found mentioned how the water is clarified but again there's little information about whether that is a good thing or bad thing. Clearer water provides better habitat for vegetation to spread deeper. This in turn provides additional habitat for fish, minnows, and other animals. 

Virtually every article I found only produced the same truly definitive negative impacts and virtually every one was related to how they affected human use, both recreational as well as industrial. Even in Lake Eerie where they were first found 40 years ago, I haven't been able to find real definitive ecological negatives with regard to their presence. Every article I read essentially noted that the long-term effects of Zebra Mussels is still being researched (apparently 40 years of data isn't enough) and virtually every negative environmental impact was more of a speculation and opinion than fact using phrases like, "could potentially cause....blah, blah, blah." In fact, one article identified a positive impact on Lake Eerie with regard to the salmon food chain. 

Edited by BobT
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timjones

Do a Google search for "Zebra mussels and blue green algae". Lots of information about the blooms. Either way it's going to be wait and see what happens over the next X number of years.

Edited by timjones
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timjones

I agree BobT. As long as these things have been around there doesn't seem to be anyone or group that really knows a lot about them. Typically when there is something wrong somewhere there are suddenly a dozen "Experts" on the problem. Not so in this case.

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whateverisbiting

The dogma from the Lake Erie fisherman was that when zebra mussels cleaned up the lake it created a much higher natural rate of hatch for walleye eggs, but the survival rate was lower due to the lower amount of small food particles that the newly hatched fish eat.  It seems walleye fishing is still good on the lake so not sure of the net impact.

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  • 4 weeks later...
elkrivermn

As I sit here scratching my head I wonder what would Barefoot Louie and Orten Michelson think of this?

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  • Rick changed the title to Lake Osakis Fishing Reports

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