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Wanted to start a thread about what people think is the best times and depths to fish walleyes on Osakis during ice season. Are they usually only biting in morning and evening or are they active after dark as well? Do the old weedlines have good luck in the 8'-15' depths?

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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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27' is the magic depth for early ice any time of day on Osakis!

Usually next to a dropoff on an inside turn!

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We did well in about 20 FOW last winter on Osakis. Best bite was evening but the few nights we spent out we'd have a few fish pass though every hour or so. Got a few fish in the morning and none during the day where we were set up. We were setup on an inside turn close to some deeper water.

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  • 2 weeks later...

Thanks for the input.

Last year all we caught were perch in the shallower depths close to the weeds and not much after dark . We did fish around the 25' mark and had some luck with suspended crappies and sunnies moving through but only a couple eyes. I would rather fish 20' or less in a portable with the holes so close together but hopefully get the permy out this year.

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Finally starting to get some ice. It's coming slow but it is happening. Have about 1/4 inch of ice that extents from shore out about 30 to 40 feet with some more ice out farther in the bulrushes. If the wind stays down it should start to fill in the area in between tonight. I don't think it will be walkable by this weekend though unless it gets colder than what they are predicting. I only need about 3 to 4 inches and I'm out there. I wouldn't expect it to freeze out past the bulrushes until sometime next week though, depending on the wind.

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I have a dumb question. I read most posts on here and it seems that the guys are far more vocal or excited for hard water than open. Why is this? Is the fishing better?

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I used to be in that camp too. Couldn't wait for the ice to come. But for me it was because in those days I didn't own a boat so my only opportunity to fish on my terms and schedule was when I could ice fish. So I was really thrilled and eager for the cold weather to set in so I would have that chance. I was probably more eager than guys are on May 1st for opener because the season is open right now and until ice comes these fishable days without ice are wasted for the ice fisherman without a boat.

But now I have a boat and open water fish a lot, so I'm burned out on fishing come Oct. Now I much prefer if it stays warm in Oct/Nov/Dec so I can chase roosters and archery hunt in milder weather.

Another factor fueling the enthusiasm is if the ice come's early enough you can still be on top of fish that are still really active and hitting the feed bag for winter. I suspect because of the nice warm pheasant hunting weather of November that the ice is much too late this year to coincide with the fall feeding frenzy.

Anyways, going to get 2 more weekends hunting birds then I'm done with fishing/hunting until the Spring...by then I'll be salivating for ice out and open water panfish in late April.

Good luck on the ice guys, fish safe.

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Been fishing Osakis at first ice for years and I found 3-4 inches of ice pretty much the same every place I fished.

Always the same thickness except where you could see open water over the deepest part of Osakis which is 72'!

But the fish were always snappin at first ice! grin

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Guys, I dont ice fish Osakis ever, so you dont have to worry about me taking your spot.

But just because it was that way in the past doesnt mean you should bet your life on it being that way in the future. Every year, there are a few deaths caused by people who "thought" the ice conditions were safe. Be cautious, a fish isnt worth a bath, let alone what could happen.

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Cody, I'm pretty sure most people on this forum knows what safe ice is. But if you want why not post a sticky about it for the 1000 time on this forum. Sorry, I'm just a bit board with people saying be careful and then rambling on after that.

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Can never be too careful when venturing out on ice a few inches thick.... Many newcomers and veterans all need the reminder when it comes to ice safety.... Be careful out there!

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I have a dumb question. I read most posts on here and it seems that the guys are far more vocal or excited for hard water than open. Why is this? Is the fishing better?

For me the excitement isn't so much that the ice is coming. It's the fact that I am going to be able to start fishing again. I have two periods during the year where I go through a lull in the fishing and then the excitement building as fishing gets closer. Late in the fall, mid Octoberish, I put the boat away for the winter and stop fishing because of the cold and damp air. Actually more the dampness than the cold. The cold doesn't bother me much, but this old body doesn't handle the dampness well anymore. So my fishing is done until walkable ice arrives. As the ice begins to form, the excitement builds, as soon I will be fishing again. I go through the same emotions every spring also. Once the ice begins to get honeycombed and pull away from shore to the point that I can no longer get out I again have that lull in my fishing activity until open water. I watch patiently as the ice pulls farther and farther from the shore. When it gets out to the point where it begins to move in and out, side to side, depending on the wind, the excitement builds again because this is a sign that soon I will be putting the boat back in the water and once again fishing.

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The area between the rushes and the shore ice filled in last night in most places. There is an area off to the left of my place that didn't fill in yet. What bothers me is this persistent light snow we have been getting since early yesterday. Might slow the ice down a little if we get to much. Took a step out from shore and knocked a chunk of ice out with my spud bar. It was about 1 inch thick now. About 3/4 inch of good ice and about 1/4 inch of 'snice'(combination of frozen snow and ice) on top. I'm sure the ice that just formed last night is thinner. I think I will wait a couple more days and then drive around the lake to see how the rest of the lake is shaping up. Took a picture from the deck this morning. You can tell where the ice is because it is covered with snow.


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Woke up this morning and the lake was capped over as far as I could see from my place. Took a drive around the lake and it is locked up from what I could tell. Did see a couple real small areas where it looked like there may be some water yet, but it looked more like water on top of the ice rather than open water. No one out fishing yet. Going to check the thickness by my place later. c63, the answer to your question is yes.

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My folks used to vacation there,(30to40)years ago.I can remember those 'gills as plane as day.A 1#gill puts up one H#$!! of a fight no matter what kind of rod/reel you use.After last nights lows hopefully you can get out this next week.Good luck and don't fall in!c63

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"I have a dumb question. I read most posts on here and it seems that the guys are far more vocal or excited for hard water than open. Why is this? Is the fishing better? "

For me harvest starts about the same time good fall fishing starts so I've missed the fall run(late sep and oct) so when I put the machinery away and I am ready to drop a line in and crack open a cold one, it meant building a wheel house but spending time on the ice fills my need to fish till open water at which time my machinery come out and planting begins


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Ice is forming slow, not sure why. Went out about 4 o'clock this afternoon to check. Took a small shovel with to move the thin layer of snow that is on the ice. Ice cracked a lot so only went out about 15 feet. Knocked a chunk out with the spud bar and it was only 2-1/2 inches. Thought we would have gained more than 1-1/2 inches in almost 2 and 1/2 days. Had one inch Friday morning.

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With these temps, that is about right. About an inch a day until the ice gets thicker, or we get colder weather.

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I could really care less if you are "board" with someone saying be careful on thin ice. And maybe you could explain how the ability to log on to an internet forum suddenly gives people the ability to judge ice conditions? The next time you hear about someone dropping through the ice, maybe you will realize that if someone had cared enough to warn them, one more time, they just might have used a little more caution. Sheesh, jump on me for asking people to be careful. Nice.

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I have a dumb question. I read most posts on here and it seems that the guys are far more vocal or excited for hard water than open. Why is this? Is the fishing better?

jeffreyd, I noticed you are from AZ, have you ever been up here on the ice during the winter in Minnesoda? It's a long winter and we all try and find something to do all winter or we have to stay home and help clean the house or garage! We call it "cabin fever", which is when your stuck in the house to long with your wives! So, we all go hide out in little shacks on the ice with our buddies so our wives can't find us! That's why we are all excited this time of year about ICE! crazy

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We cut holes today, had 3 to 3.5 inches of ice. Fishing was rather slow.

Was that on Osakis? I noticed a couple houses out on Manthey's Bay yesterday. There were two guys out today. They came on at the Battle Point access. Watched them with the spotting scope and they stayed pretty close to shore. Starting to snow a little, hope we don't get much.

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I used to fish Osakis in the winter religiously. I waited until there was 12" ice then drive out to the mud flats ENE of Millers point. We would fish 26-28'. We would leave friday afternoon and stay until Sunday noon. After about 10 years of doing pretty well most trips, I tired of it. It became very apparent that out of every 24 hours the walleyes bit 2 hours. 1 hour at sunset and 1 hour at sunrise. For the last half dozen years I have opted for Minnewaska. Shallower lake and the walleyes are more apt to bite well after dark.

Now I mainly target crappies and gills on Osakis. I do catch walleye while crapie fishing in deep water, but both follow the same pattern of an hour before dark then it's over. Rock bass first, walleyes second, then the crappies. Last year it was like clock work. Just my experience. I don't like fishing walleye in deeper then 30'. To many dead short fish.

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I am heading up tomorrow. I will give you a report on monday. I have read this chat for over a year now and figured i should join in. One thing I would like to say though is dont fish the walleyes on Osakis deep. They are always too small, they get the bends, and then die.

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SJL you are corret on that! Too many deep sea fisherman that fish the deep water only to pull up 10-12" walleyes that have to be released on Osakis with there air sack sticking out of there throat and die after.

27' of water is the prime depth on Osakis for walleyes anyways.

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