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Rochester Area Fishing Reports (Zumbro, Reservoirs, Foster Arend, Chester Wood)


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Fished Lake Zumbro yesterday. Lots of people out, although I never saw a fish. Ice was a good 8 inches in all the spots I fished. There were a fair number of vehicles out, including 1/2 tons but you won't see mine out there for awhile!!!

Fished the high banks, Ryan's Bay, and a few other spots ranging from 12' to 30' FOW. Never marked a fish on flasher or camera. It's the first time I have ever been out on that body of water so it was mostly exploratory and I deliberately avoided the few clusters of shelters that were out.

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  • 11 months later...
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HuskersRule

I have a niece that lives in Rochester that wants to go ice fishing. Where should I take her for some pan fishing? I've never fished in that area. Thanks!

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I would suggest chester woods, west of rochester a few miles. good crappie/blue gills.

Depending on what you have for equipment and how far you want to travel, there is some good pan fishing on lake zumbro also.

In febuary, be sure to watch for my posts on "take a kid ice fishing". We hold an event at ChesterWoods that is a blast and everyone gets great prizes, food, and fun. Plus, its free!

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Redbeard5289

Chester Woods is a great place to go especially if you are looking for good size, expect to pay a small parking fee to get in.

Willow Creek Reservior (free) is another place I like to go with my son. Its free and the walk in is not so bad for young kids. Have pulled out some decent size pannies out of here in the past.

Foster Arendts Park (free) is another great place to go especially for younger kids. The gills out there are pretty small but they are hungry little buggers and will keep the kids entertained with lots of hookups. Always found this place to be a great way to introduce kids to fishing with minimum effort. Plus the DNR stocks some trout in there so there is some angling opportunity for the adults. :-)

Silver Creek Reservoir (free) is another place to go. Been a while since I was out there. Heard some good things from here but the hike over the dike is a bit steep for young kids.

Gamehaven Reservoir (free) is another place to go as well. The hike in the parking lot is a bit long for young ones. I usually prefer not to hit this one as the angling opportunities are pretty few and small.

Hope this helps...

Redbeard5289

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  • 2 weeks later...
northernfishin

Fished silver creek today. 10-12" of beautiful black ice. Fished for a couple hours and had good luck in numbers and species variety. It'll be nice to get some more snow to make the pull easier.

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V-12 Merlin

Silver Creek Reservior, east of Rochester….

My first time on Silver Creek Reservior today, and I thought I would share. None of the fishing forums have had anything to say about it, and it's been difficult to get any information to plan my trip.

This is about as close as I've been able to get:

http://www.dnr.state.mn.us/areas/fisheri...creek.html

There were quite a few portable shelters on the ice and a few guys on buckets. I opted for a bucket, because I wasn't sure how much I'd be moving. While it doesn't look like there's much structure by looking at the shoreline, I didn't want to assume that (and I still have no idea).

Ice appeared to be in the 14-15 inch range, as of today. I doubt the above-freezing temps tomorrow will have much impact.

I sat in roughly 12 feet of water. The flasher showed nothing at all, once I got the hole cleared of ice. That changed as soon as I dropped a jig down, though.

When the jig reached about a foot off the bottom, the water below and above immediately "filled in", and I knew I had quite a few fish below me.

In spite of that initial feeling that I'd found active fish, that turned out to be a little misleading. I found a school of "lookers", not "biters". It was probably my fault, and if I'd taken a little more time, I may have figured out what they were really interested in. I did manage to catch a few, and discovered that they were little perch.

I was using tungsten jigs with a few different kinds of Berkley Powerbait.

So, in summary:

14 inches of ice

12 feet of water

Perch off the bottom, up to about 1-1/2 feet above the bottom.

Nothing appeard to be suspended

Overall, still beats going to work, and I'm surprised I was able to find fish on my first trip out there.

If anyone has a topographical map of the reservoir that they can share, or any other tips to finding something other than perch, I'd sincerely appreciate it.

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northernfishin

Crappies and gills usually suspend around 7'. Crappie minnows work well and or grubs with flutter glo jigs. There's a little structure out there. Channel that's kind of in the middle otherwise weeds and such throughout. Look at a summer google image to see the weed lines. My best luck is early morning late afternoon. Punch a bunch of holes and see a structure that way and I've been able to find suspended fish too.

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natertater83

Silver creek used to be THE place to go but with the big northern kill and now that everyone goes there, it has died down a lot. I hope it doesn't get fished out

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northernfishin

I've fished this hole for the past three years and have noticed a change in even that time. I live in boarder land where I am able to fish plentiful waters responsibly. What sickens me is people harvesting 6-8" perch and any crappie or gill they catch. The dnr did a good job of stocking over the years but the population over harvesting negated any efforts. This hole has a lot of potential but people need to be ok with CPR and not trying to fill a freezer with small fish.

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natertater83

I'm taking my 5 year old out to willow creek tomorrow, it has been a few years just wondering if there are any reports? from what I remember it was just a lot of little guys but the walk is a lot easier then other reservoir's in town.

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Redbeard5289

natertater83,

The walk into willow creek is easier, especially if you drop off your gear in the handicap area and park your car at the top parking lot. The fishing is pretty good, my son and I were pulling up 5-7in gills before xmas. I have notice that the gills that we were catching were smaller than what I remember but hopefully the new restrictions will restore them to proper size in a few years.

Another good bet for smaller kids is foster arendts. The sunnies and gills are pretty small (less than 4 inches) but they are numerous and hungry little buggers that will keep the action hot for little ones. It is also an easy walk in from the parking lot. Took my son to foster arendts for a number of years because I knew the bit was hot and consistent for his level of attention and enthusiaism.

Redbeard5289

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natertater83

Well we did pretty well (for a kid) Saturday on willow creek. lots of little sunnies and gills, even got a few bass but everything was small. He had fun which is all I cared about

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minnesotahusker

I was out on saturday at chester woods and landed a nice largemouth and a bunch of sunfish. 22 ft of water and the sunnies were basically laying on the bottom.

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  • 1 month later...
507_MRcrappie

Took the family out on beautiful day on a heat wave full-47481-42566-screenshot_2014_02_12_1

full-47481-42567-screenshot_2014_02_12_1

, we ended catch some good size rainbows on slender spoon wow they put up a good fight on 3lbs test.

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Mmm, grilled trout...

If I didn't love ice-fishing so much I'd be looking forward to stream trout season.

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507_MRcrappie

best time to eat them are in the winter when the meat are cold less fishy tast, bacon wrap them up some butter and garlic in the oven they go.

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  • 10 months later...
northernfishin

Any ice conditions report. I'm coming down for Christmas week to visit family and would like to take my brother in law from oklahoma ice fishing for the first time.

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northernfishin

Fished willow creek today. 5-7" of good ice. Lots of slush. Marked a bunch of lookers but no takers.

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  • 2 months later...
dispatch1313

How's the ice, or lack thereof, on Lake Zumbro? I am ready for some open water crappie fishing and this ice can't come off soon enough.

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  • 4 weeks later...
fivebelow

anyone been fishing foster arend since ice out? looking at coming down to the area in the next week. want to wet a line.

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  • Your Responses - Share & Have Fun :)

    • JerkinLips
      Pike suckers are about 3½ inches long.  Walleyes really like them in the fall and early winter.  Caught my fish in 13-15 FOW drifting slowly.  Good solid bites.
    • delcecchi
    • JN13
    • fishingMN4eyes
      Got up Thursday evening to rain and pretty heavy wind Friday morning had us holding off on putting the boat in the water. Fished briefly Friday evening at sunset and picked up an 18" and a couple smalls. Fishing was decent Saturday morning but no real size, everything was 12-15". I had one that looked to be 17"ish flop off as I was trying to flip it into the boat. All the fish we caught were in 17-22'. We were fishing around about a 6' top but never caught anything on top. They appeared to be relating to the structure but not actually on it. Tried again Saturday evening for a couple hours and continued to pick up small walleye just like the morning. Sunday was windy again but we decided to slug it out for awhile and caught one decent perch and one small walleye. We fished similar depths and spots as Saturday but they weren't there. Marked them out in 35'+ but didn't feel like fighting the wind out in the big water so we called it quits around noon and never went back out(the wind never really did lay down or we may have tried again). Jig/minnow way outfished bottom bouncers/crawlers. Wish bottom bouncers would have worked better because it was tough to keep a jig down as fast as we were drifting and we never found a school to spot lock on.
    • Mike89
      that last pic is great!!   Hazel is saying oppps!!!  
    • MikeG3Boat
      I am heading up there tomorrow.  Where do you guys get minnows up in the area?  Tower or Cook or down in Virginia?  I have never heard of pike suckers?  How large are they?  Are you guys fishing the East or West side of the lake?  Let me know.  I am thinking of fishing the East side tomorrow and then headed to the west side from Thursday thru Sunday.  Any help would be appreciated?  I am a newby to the area.  Any help would be appreciated.  Thanks!
    • monstermoose78
      Finn and Hazel are getting along poor Finn get the biggest chomps from the baby shark teeth. Finn and I just want a nap, but we can’t as we are puppy patrol. 
    • monstermoose78
      Crap I am feeling like an old man today. Hazel is not letting Finn and I take a nap, but it is getting Finn and I ready for duck season.
    • JN13
      Asking $1,100 contact me at jen at malcotools.com
    • JN13
      contact me at jen at malcotools.com
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