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jvm1

Tonka west side ramps

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jvm1

Been fishing out of gray's bay for a couple years when I go here, tired of fighting the sailboats after work so it's time to try a new side of the lake. I'm not familiar with the west side at all, any recomendations for launches will be greatly appreciated.

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KTroller

On the North/Central side, Maxwell Bay is nice (15 to 51). Has docks and a decent number of parking spots. If it is full, you can proceed down 51 about a mile to the North Arm. No docks there but has shoreline walls that you can tie off to. A little further west is Spring Park but parking can involve a walk there on busier days. If you want to be on the SW side, the Three Rivers Park across from Crane Island (7 to 44) is also nice but has a $5 fee.

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jvm1

I was thinking of going to Cook's bay, and checking out that side of the lake. Thanks for the tips though! Can you get into halstead's bay from priest bay?

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fishnowworknever

Yes you can get there, there is a channel that is about 6-7' deep and plenty wide. there is one bridge to deal with but unless you're in a cruiser you won't have a problem.

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jvm1

How is the fishing on that side? I'm planning to go after Northerns and bass. Gonna give up on the walleyes in minnetonka, I fail every time i try to go after them and end up dealing with samll sunnies eating my bait.

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pikeguy2003

I traditionally fish Halsteads for sunfish during the summer months. I have had a lot of luck for walleyes in the spring and fall on the west end of the lake. I have caught walleyes on almost every bay on the lake over the past 30 years. Needless to say, I don't use leeches or crawlers. The sunfish will drive you up a wall if you try those presentations! For northerns I try to avoid the west end this time of year. I have the best luck for decent sized northerns mid to the east end of the lake as I like to pull cranks on the outside edge of the weedlines and I like deeper running cranks. You will catch plenty of bass and the occassional walleye with this technique as well. Halsteads doesn't have the traditional milfoil weedline because of the algae bloom being so bad. Most of the weedlines in halsteads end at about 6-7 feet of water and in other parts of the bay even shallower than that. Since most of the bay has a fairly soft bottom and not a whole lot of structure it is a fairly easy bay to fish. You can work the docks for bass, but Berkely Power Worms texas rigged can be very productive off the end of the point in 15-25 feet of water and the area down by the rock buoys is also a great spot to rig for bass. I used to be super hardcore into bass but quit targeting them years ago, so I don't mind sharing those spots with you. Have fun and good luck!

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jvm1

Thanks Pike guy, maybe i should try that east end for northerns! Never really targeted them on tonka before, always chasing the eyes and failing miserably. I'm not bringing any of my walleye stuff this trip smile. I'm going tonight after work, I'll report tomorrow.

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pikeguy2003

Don't feel bad about failing miserably for walleyes on Tonka. I was at Cabin Fever in Victoria about 6 years ago and it just so happened that there was a walleye fishing guy there picking up a couple bags of rapala's that he had special ordered. Guys name was "Doc". Some of you will probably now which pro I am talking about. But his advice to me was to learn how to fish walleyes on much smaller lakes with good populations as Tonka was not the place to learn. He told me it is one of the toughest lakes to fish for walleyes. From my experience, this has remained true to this day. If I go out in spring and fall for walleyes and manage to catch one or two each time I go out, I am very happy. It doesn't matter if it is a 12 incher that I throw back. Just catching a walleye on tonka period is a big ego boost for me. In all honestly I would rather fish Waconia for walleyes, catch fish, and throw 95% of them back because of the slot. Tonka will test your patience, there is no doubt about that. Good luck today. I am heading to Mille Lacs tomorrow morning for a day trip. Haven't fished Mille Lacs in 20 years but won a guided trip while golfing in the Farmers Charity Golf Classic to raise money for the March of Dimes. Ironically, I told my boss I needed the day off of work a few weeks ago, and he said no. I told him that was too bad as the trip I won was for me and a guest, and I was planning on taking him. Looks like I get the day off after all? Sunday, me and a buddy are taking our kids to Osakis for our annual one day trip to catch some nice sunnies. Looks like it is going to be a pretty good weekend!

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MN BassFisher

Ironically, I told my boss I needed the day off of work a few weeks ago, and he said no. I told him that was too bad as the trip I won was for me and a guest, and I was planning on taking him. Looks like I get the day off after all?

That sounds like a pretty fool proof way to get a day off!!

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jvm1

Well, went out of Maxwells bay there and fished Crystal bay and Maxwell, One northern and one bass is all I got. Both of them smallish so they went back in the water.

Had a 3-4 inch sunny hit a Mepps #5...got a chuckle out of that.

The back of Maxwells bay looked like Bass/northern heaven to me, they just werent biting I guess. Way less annoying traffic on this end of the lake, still had a couple skiers buzzing too close for me, can't get away from them I guess.

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fishnowworknever

We went out of Cooks yesterday evening, that landing isn't too bad either. Managed 1 35" pike and 1 16" eye trolling rapalas. Also tried spinners and crawlers and couldn't keep the sunfish off of our lines.

WAY too many pleasure boaters out there right now.. I can't wait for the weather to get cold and crappy.

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