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goosemafia

coming up there this weekendend, im wondering if the northerns and gills are still biting on blue or if im better off heading somewhere else? thanks for any help.

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Greg Clusiau

I haven't been on Blue in 6 weeks or so but am sure the fish are biting out there somewhere. I don't see why not. Also, if it's like many other area lakes at this time, don't be afraid to fish shallow. My latest outing for gills had us catching fish in 8'.

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RangeFishing

Goose, yes Blue is still producing Blue gills and Northerns and ya dont even have to travel far. As soon as ya hit the boat landing and head onto the lake you'll notice houses set up on the right side of the "ice road". They are all fishing between 20-25 ft and the bluegills are biting steady throughout the day. The occasional crappie wonders through as well.

Just past them there is a bay on the right side as well and its a relatively flat bay with some nice tree structure on the edges. It drops off very fast from the shore line and the northern are ALWAYS roaming through there.

I personally love this lake and fish it regularly!

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RangeFishing

Unfortunately it sounds as if we only have a couple years left to fish it though frown

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fishuhalik
Unfortunately it sounds as if we only have a couple years left to fish it though frown
boo! guess i havent heard that. why would they close it? first res 2, now blue?

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RangeFishing

I called the DNR a few weeks back to ask a few questions, 1) about the horrible water quality in Trout Lake in Coleraine and 2) about any future plans to do a more in depth study of Blue Lake since the DNR website doesnt provide a Depth map or much info at all. The gentleman I spoke with said that because the lake and all the surrounding land is property of US Steel and one other mining company they never had any desire to do any more in depth studies of the lake. He actually asked me what kind of fishery it was and if it is used alot. He informed me that the state was giving permission to put up a Public water access and to maintain it while the land was in a state of dis-use. He said they have been contacted and told that within the next couple years US Steel plans on readying the land south of 169 for tailings and/or mining and that Blue Lake would thus be drained once again. Ive spoken with a number of people who have lived in the Nashwauk/Keewatin area for many years and all have said the mines have made "warnings" like this before but most of the time it was just rumors spread through mining employs about what they had "heard" round the lunch table. This time though people are hearing it from the DNR and assume that it is true. Guess we will see. But dam will that be an amazing fishery lost.

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fishuhalik

well that just stinks! i didnt fish blue a ton, mainly went to res 2 (speaking of great fisheries that were shut down!) if i was gonna fish in the nashwauk area, but i know alot of guys that fish blue a ton. one of my buddies has won the pike tourney out there i think 4 out of the last 5 years, it was something i looked forward to every year when i was living up there. i really need to sneak into the res one of these days, that lake was an incredible bass/pike/sunnie lake before it was shut down, i cant imagine what its like now! i got more 15-20lb pike, 5+lb bass & 10+" sunnies out of there than any other lakes combined

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RangeFishing

Res 2 froze out about 3 years ago. The mines drained it down about 10 feet DURING winter. That spring just about all the fish were floating on the shorelines. I found this out the other day when I was telling someone I was planning on sneaking out there this summer to create my own little fishing spot where the Pinkerton couldnt catch me on the wheeler. Was informed that its a dead lake now.

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goosemafia

thanks alot!

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fishuhalik

no kidding? wish i coulda been there to see the floaters. i'm convinced there were state record bass & sunnies in there

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RangeFishing

I completely agree with you. Fishing opener of either 02 or 03 I was fishing the Res with a buddy from nashwauk, I was living in Keewatin at the time, and he hooked into a largemouth that made us drool when we got it to shore. There was a DNR officer there right at that time checking people from his 4wheeler so we never had a chance to weigh it just wanted to get it back. Im sure it was close to 6lbs though. Another buddy from keewatin has 3 mounted Northerns that all came from the Res. That lake was producing some AMAZING fish 10 years ago. Its a shame when the mines destroy awesome fisheries.

Also, just down the dike from the res there is a little "holding pond" or something, not even sure what to call it. But it is the creek that runs out of Obrien and traverses the whole road on the way out to the Res. Anyway, during that same time period around 02 or 03 I would camp down there along its shore every chance I could. We were hooking into 5-7lbs walleyes as easily as a overrun bluegill lake. At times it seems they would stock up in there and we could just catch them one after another. Now the beavers have damned up that creek so bad I dont think anything leaves Obrien.

Some awesome fisheries out there. Be a shame when they ruin it frown

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goosemafia

is there many walleyes in obrian or are they few and far between?

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RangeFishing

Obrien actually has a number of walleye in it and there is a rather funny story to how they got in there. A couple of extremely hilarious and often drunk fisherman from keewatin for years would catch walleyes out of season that were loaded with eggs from Swan and race them over to Obrien.

How they got into Blue itself I have no clue. But a 11.5 pounder was caught last month.

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magnum mike

They are all connected to O'Brian Brook which has walleyes.

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RangeFishing

the brook is completely clogged now though and has been for the last 5+ years. Ive traversed the entire length and there are a number of damns and grass growth that I dont see anything more than maybe fingerlings being able to move around. And because it flows OUT of Obrien towards the south that would make traversing something that cluttered way to hard.

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fishuhalik

there's been big eyes in blue for YEARS. a buddys uncle use to go out there a long time ago, like 30+yrs, & get some monsters.

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fishuhalik

ya know, i never heard of walleyes in the res though. you ever hear of any being caught? spent alot of time soaking suckers & shiners in 12-18fow.

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Hibbingite

Rez#2................... what a place and a lot of memories!!!! In the late 80s as a teenager, my pals and I would ride bikes out there, Welcome, or into St. Paul Pit. We'd stop in Keewatin at Bill's Bait for suckers. We hauled in many 10# plus northerns off shore in ALL them ponds Buckhorn included as well as the pond south of Buckhorn. Also the pond behind the mining shack on the road in was also hot for Bass & Pike.

Also I fished #2 and Buckhorn buy boat until they locked the Keewatin gate. Back then the pinkertons were great. When we were kids, they'd supply us minnow and fish with us on their lunch breaks. Also, buy boat they would leave the gate open for us to fish late and tell us to lock it if we were last.

All this came to an end around 91 or 92 for the Keewatin entrance. I have been told that at the time it was a result of the garbage being left at the landing and also due to potential liabilities. Some Keewatin locals and I know whom and I am sure others also know but anyhow, they were fishing with "Dupont" lures over in Croxton pond by Buhl and blew up their boat. I think one died and one lost half his hand. Rumor has it they tried to sue the land owner. Is the sueing thing true? I do not know but either way, too bad...... The year after is when it all locked up by Keewatin.

Then until probably 3 or four years ago, we could still at least fish #2 by going in around Blue Lake. Again, countless memories. I swear I had the biggest pike of my life in there. I have a 42 incher on the wall from Red, and 3 from rez 2 from 15-20lbs and one time I had a fish snap my 30# braided dacron like twine. Many big bass in the spring by the "overflow" plus the huge pike and all the suckers you could want. Rez 2 was an outstanding fishery and I have personally caught more 10# plus there in one summer than many will get in a lifetime. In fact I had one weigh in at 26 lbs and Ted from TRM bait in Nashwauk put my pic in the little Nashwauk paper.

As far as walleye, I'm sure they were in #2 as they were in Buckhorn. We would catch an occasional wally while trolling for northerns in Buckhorn and they were fat ones let me tell you. Again, sure sucks we no longer can go back in there. As far as sneaking in???? I can't as I work for US Steel and not worth the risk. But I did figured if I could video me getting in there without passing a sign, I would do it. But a made it to where I could see the water twice but there was heavy signage everywhere so good luck.

Sad to hear about Blue hopefully this is untrue. I have heard all the rumors myself but this DNR thing sounds serious if true. I could see it happening again and what a loss it will be. But again, people still leave garbage all over. We try to clean it up as we come across but again, they'll close it regardless.

About the walleye thing again, Buckhorn used to be a regular lake years ago just ask some old timers. Buckhorn had walleye and also the swan rivers has fed this chain on top of Obrien from what I've heard.

Blue Lake is an excellent fishery also but I can't talk about it much till it is closed up. Never tell your secrets........ But yes it has the walleye and they can be big and I think it is due to all the structure which makes it hard to jig. I have caught them trolling raps at dusk but this can get spendy. There is a goldmine of lures on the bottom of Blue. Blue lake is great to take kids as they can be entertained with gills and numerous pike which Blue has some dandies in it.

Well hopefully this resource close to home isn't taken from us. Good luck all, and it was fun reading these posts on Number 2.

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RangeFishing

Hibbingite,

When I moved to Minnesota I lived in keewatin up until i was about 18 and then lived there for a year again a couple years ago. All my family still lives there. We use to sneak back to St Paul pit ALL the time. I actually had the great chance to fish the pit as they were draining it and hooked into several very nice northerns. I use to fish Welcome and two small ponds in the woods behind it on a regular basis when i was 13-14 years old. I dont know if it was my young mind at the time or all the time that has passed since and my memory "enlarging" it, but the largest northern i believe I have ever seen in my life ALMOST came out of Welcome. We were fishing with huge Red and White bobbers with shiners trying to catch bass actually. Ill never forget my buddy who still resides in Keewatin reeling in the line and our eyes got huge when a log came to the surface. Much bigger when the log decided to splash its tale and try to swim. Im sure we fought that fish for 25-30 minutes and Ill never forget when it got to the shore in shallow water, he handed me the rod and hopped in the water to grab it. He wrapped his entire arm around that things body and fought it in the water, he was thrashing and the line broke and he told me to hop in and help. We both had our arms around it and tried to bring it to shore and it got away. We both stood there dumb founded. I had only lived in minnesota for about 6 months at this time and I remember because of this incident being scared to swim for quite some time. I really wish we had gotten that thing to shore. Ah the good ole memories from when we were kids.

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RangeFishing

Hibbingite,

Rereading through your post you mention 91 or 92 it ending. I moved to Keewatin the very end of 93. The summer of 94 we were fishing Welcome right at the landing next to the road. It was the end of that summer that they started kicking everyone out of there.

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goosemafia

thanks everyone maybe i'll see you on blue this weekend clam flip-over with either a black and camo truck or a camo grizzly next to it. swing in and say hi.

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RangeFishing

My girlfriend got an 11inch crappie out of Blue yesterday while i sat and sighed a little.

I lost a decent northern as well in the same spot. We were looking for Walleye which continue to elude me in that lake. Sigh

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fishuhalik

any of you guys ever duck hunt on the res? man, we had alot of terrible hunts out there smile but we had a few really good ones too. around 00-01 we hit the bluebill migration pretty good, had quite a few nice flocks working us. we shot our limit & decided to go check out the pit to the east of the res, over the dyke. i couldnt believe it. there had to be 200,000 ducks in there. they were absolutely thick!! other than oak hammock in canada, i've never seen anything like that.

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Hibbingite

Range Fishing,

You may be right as I am getting old he he.......... But I do remember as far as driving under the waterline out to Rez 2, that was closed either 91 or 92 after the dynamite incident in Croxton Pond.

As far as Welcome and St. Paul pit??? You're probably right as I haven't fished that since 91. St. Paul pit had some monster pike in it. They would hit "Little Cleos" on the fall off the red beach. There used to be a fiberglass canoe stashed there we would use. A buddy would scuba dive it a few time and told us we'd quit swimming in it if we could see the size of the fish in that thing. In all, it sure was a fun place to fish, swim etc..... I see now on google earth looks as if St. Paul Pit is drained. What a bummer..... I sure hope they leave Blue alone!!!!

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RangeFishing

Oh ya when i moved there in 93 we couldnt take the water line to res at all. Pinkertons everywhere! The way by Blue Lake was open until just a few years ago actually. An older gentleman I know use to camp his RV out on the dike every summer and it was good times. They locked it up tight around 04 or 05 i think. And yes, St Paul pit is now completely drained as is the Chief pit.. They are mining the land between St Paul pit and the Chief pit and it will be all one.

And ya the whole Blue Lake situation really gets to me. Ive been noticing ALOT of heavy machinery activity as well as big trucks out on the tailings flats right outside of nashwauk. Im hoping this isnt the start of the process. Would be a shame to get rid of such an amazing fishery! Especially as Im still trying to compile my own little depth map of the lake and trying to find those darn walleyes!

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goosemafia

well thanks for the help we had a good weekend of fishing. caught some nice gills and crappies. the northerns were fun and the best fight of the weekend for me was a 10 pound dogfish.( i thought i had the northern of a lifetime on till i seen the tail come up the hole.) he put on a good show tho.

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RangeFishing

Where did ya fish? I was looking for the vehicles you described but didnt see anything. I just left the lake bout an hour ago

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RangeFishing

Hibbingite,

Thought id throw this picture in here since we were talking about St Paul pit. Found this going through my pictures. I took this at the top of the trail leading down to the pit last April!

full-40052-17803-sany0310.jpg

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goosemafia

we fished by the first group of houses on saturday morning. then we went to what i would call the second bay across the big lake past that house like 3 feet from that tree we just went around the corner and thats where we found the best fishing. would have liked to bounce around more but that will be another trip.

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RangeFishing

ya thats been the best fishing spot all year! Thats where i spent sunday fishing in the straight with all the tree were the road goes through. Great spot for big sunnies and northerns

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  • Your Responses - Share & Have Fun :)

    • JBMasterAngler
      Trout fishing is easy! Just troll small floating minnow rapalas along the shoreline. Otherwise, yeah, the pits are full of bass!
    • tacklejunkie
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