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Mike Ravenhorst

I spent the last 3 days on Birch Lake by Ely and caught next to nothing. I jigged off the points, casted the bays, pulled cranks deep... everything I could think of. I'm coming back on Labor Day weekend with 4 other guys and am not very optimistic.  Looking for pike and walleye.  Anybody have any tips? We're staying at River Point.

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Wanderer

Can’t tell you particulars about Birch since I haven’t fished it but I’ve fished the area and plan to be there in about a week.  This time of year can be tough.

 

Are you marking anything on your electronics?  If yes, it’s probably a tight bite window.  Make sure you’re fishing The first and last hours of daylight plus the major moon phase.  This time of year we fish at night quite a bit.  We’re in the waxing full moon right now so it should be decent at some time.

 

If you’re not seeing anything, try zooming in on the bottom and see if they’re laying low in the mud.  Work them at them at the peak times if they are.  Try half crawlers, they might be eating bugs.  If nothing is laying on the bottom, they’re probably shallow.  Troll raps shallow or bobber up shallower than you might think, like 5-7  fow, maybe even less.

 

I think Birch has decent weed beds.  Try those too.  Walleye will get into them in the daylight hours. 

 

Good luck and report back!

 

And feel free to be my 1000th like, lol!  I just noticed the funny number when I submitted. 😅

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Mike Ravenhorst

Thanks Wanderer,

 

For the most part, I was marking fish all over the place. Spent most of my time in that 12'-18' range off points and running raps.  It just felt like they weren't biting at all, so maybe your tight window theory is the issue.  Hoping the next few weeks will change things around a bit.  Thanks!

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james_walleye

Mike I was on vermillion last week and couldn't get fish to hit cranks at all. Try running  Lindys and spinners through them with half a crawler. That's how I got them to go. Oh and by the way I'm pretty sure you know my in laws. Im married to Laura Edwards.

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Wanderer

@Mike Ravenhorst

 

Just got back from Ely.  We did alright but not phenomenal.  7-9 am and 6-9 pm were the times to be on the water for us.  Earlier than 7 might’ve been even better but I didn’t feel the need to get out earlier.

 

The morning window was best snap jigging in 18-20 feet.  The evening window was mainly trolling rapalas in 4-9 feet.  I did some snap jigging in the shallows one night and did fine.  Crawlers on spinners took some fish as well but nothing really cleaned up better than dragging the Rapalas around at 2.75 mph for our group of 6 boats.  

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chaffmj

 

44 minutes ago, Wanderer said:

Just got back from Ely.  We did alright but not phenomenal.  7-9 am and 6-9 pm were the times to be on the water for us.  Earlier than 7 might’ve been even better but I didn’t feel the need to get out earlier.

 

What lake(s) were you on Tracy?

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Wanderer
1 hour ago, chaffmj said:

 

 

What lake(s) were you on Tracy?

 

The one with GEL on it. 😉  I’m sure you and the other regulars will pick up on that.

 

Sorry, but I’m still a fisherman... 🤐🙄

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chaffmj
15 hours ago, Wanderer said:

The one with GEL on it. 😉  I’m sure you and the other regulars will pick up on that.

 

Ha ha. Well it sounds like you guys had a good time!

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JBMasterAngler

Are there smallmouth bass in birch? 

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Bigfatbert
2 hours ago, JBMasterAngler said:

Are there smallmouth bass in birch? 

 Yup !

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JBMasterAngler

Good to know 🤗

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  • Your Responses - Share & Have Fun :)

    • gunner55
      So that's what you call all that MGL now?😉
    • gimruis
      I fish the crappie contest every year on Lake Minnetonka in early May and someone brings in a 15+ inch crappie out there every time.  Last year the biggest was a 16.5 incher.
    • ozzie
      I am sure Icehawks theory doesn't play out on all lakes, but my findings is more inline with what Icehawk stated.  It may have to do with after a lake is winterkilled pressure is usually nonexistent for a few years, and if there is a good year class hatch the next year, they tend to grow quicker as the competition is less and the forage can still be abundant.  When I was on the ice more often I used to keep an eye on lakes that winterkilled and would try to hit them 2-3 years later.  Not always a payday but often we found success with little competition for fishing spots.   Good read and discussion!
    • smurfy
      while i tend to agree with most everything you posted icehawk, i'm going to disagree to a degree regarding the winter kill and fish growing big faster. NOW i'm not looking for an argument!!!!!😂 the lake our cabin is on is what what i would consider was one of those trophy fish, sunfish, lakes back in the day. since 1965 when we first bough the place 3/4 to lb sunfish off the dock. this lake has had a winter kill 4 times since we owned the place. last year it had a severe winter kill, and i'd bet all the beer in my house that it will get finished off this year.   one year it had a winter kill, fish population decreased but was ok so to speak.  several years later it had another winter kill, and numbers and size went off on the wayside. it did rebound in numbers but never in size. it be a good outing if ya caught 3 to a lb fish.   now before you say it i will. i'm sure it has alot to do with it being a smaller up north lake. like itasca county north. the lack of weeds for food or cover where never an issues, actually probably is a main reason it winterkilled. there is a 50 ft hole as well as a good amount of 20-30 ft of water. but alot of shallow 6-8 ft of weedy bays!!!!   ok icehawk....give it to me!!!!!!
    • IceHawk
      Partial Winter kill  basically thins the population, eliminateing the stunting going on in a lot of lakes because of a over abundance of panfish.  Sort of thin the herd.  During a partial winterkill not all panfish will die and the ones that make it grow real quick.  This comes  from less competition for food and forage.  Another benefit is getting rid of high rough fish populations that frequent a lot of winterkill lakes such as bullheads carp. Rough fish  basically ruin the ecosystem by destroying weeds which in case create habitat and microorganisims that it takes to grow sumo panfish.  Sort of a full circle rebuild  in the underwater world.  
    • smurfy
      hoping to make it.....kinda far drive though!!!!!!!!!🤔 its also about that time of year when the wild game feed is in town!!!!!!!!!!
    • Getanet
      Really interesting advice. I'm especially interested in why you say to look for lakes with occasional winter kill. Why is that? Less competition for food?
    • IceHawk
      I would say Yes as Jeff talked to me earlier in the week and wants it to be a Cat Panfish gathering and we all know the Chain is catfish central.
    • JustinN
      I'll be there!
    • IceHawk
      There has been a lot of talk about trophy fish  on the site and in the fishing community as of late. So I thought I would try and give some advise maybe some tips to a approach that helps me up my odds of landing some quality fish. .Obviously there are different opinions on a trophy caliber fish to some who aren't as experienced or don't get out a lot  a 8 1/2 inch gill or 11 inch crappie is considered a trophy. My hats off to them and a congratulations goes out to them but IMO  in time with experience they will set the bar higher. Myself  and a few other experienced anglers I fish with set some pretty high goals for ourselves. I consider a 10 inch gill up and a 13 inch crappie up trophy caliber fish. I know that standard is high but its been achieved quite a few times and you have to set higher goals to work hard to achieve them. Here are some steps I recommend to help in your search. 1)  Well first thing is research, do some searching here and other areas on the internet and find out what areas counties are notorious for kicking out trophy caliber fish. You definitely up your odds and percentages by putting yourself in the right area.  You don't want to hit lakes that are notorious for small panfish AKA nursery's. And also be willing to put on some miles there's a reason trophy panfish come from far away less harvest and pressure. I will help your search Douglas, Todd, Beltrami, Ottertail and Kanabec are some bread butter areas that always produce trophy fish every year. 2) Go to MN  Lakefinder in that county you intend to target  and search lake  surveys. Look at two things number of fish netted and size netted. For Gills I look for high numbers of 8-9 and with any luck a few in the 10-11 in same lake.  For crappies I look for high numbers in 10-11 and a few in the 12-14 inch range. Next lakes with occasional winterkill and 5 -10 fish limit rules are worth investigateing. 3) Once a lake is selected do some research on it water clarity history etc. Pick the lake according to time you intend to fish. If daytime fishing stained moderately dirty lakes would be my choice. If fishing the evening  AKA wheelhouse dunking minnows a clear body of water will  normally be the ticket. I also like to chase trophy panfish in Known walleye lakes as they tend to grow some hogs as they often aren't targeted for that species  and get bypassed by the walleye fisherman. 4) Go out fishing an if all possible get out prime time very early before first light or right before the evening bite. IMO in all my years of fishing I would say 75% of the trophys I have caught Ice fishing have been at daybreak. My philosophy is noise really plays key in ice fishing. Ever notice how the Red Lake bite and many other lakes always die when the trucks and wheelhouses come out? Noise pushes them off. I like to have holes cut shacks set  well before dawn in prime locations and be ready.  Isn't that why there called sunfish 😂 And be quiet you cant realize  how many times I witnessed on my camera fish spooking from as much as a boot with cleats scraping ice. Lastly  when fishing on a piece of water get to know your neighbor fishing by you give a friendly Hello maybe start a conversation some small talk . You cant imagine how many leads locations on that lake I have got just by being friendly. Hopefully some of this advise tips will help a few in the Quest of a Trophy.😁
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