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Ice Fishing on Lake Minnetonka


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I’ve always experienced a pretty narrow bite windows out there - typical of heavily weeded lakes.  2 hours max around first light and last light.  Never did over nights on that lake though.  I’ve also caught walleye in just about every part of the lake with my biggest coming from Stubbs.

 

My best water was more main lake structure on either the upper or lower main lakes; upper probably having the best average.  Spring Park to the Narrows has tons of fishable water.

 

I preferred points that extended beyond the weed line and would drill the whole area out from 10 - 30 fow within 200 feet so I could run a tip up over the weeds and jig the deeper holes until the eyes started moving.  DO THIS WELL BEFORE THE BITE WINDOW.  You could see or catch them deeper and keep moving up the point to the shallower holes as they moved up.  Once they hit the weeds it was usually over and I’d head home since it was also usually a week night I’d go out after work.

 

I suspect this pattern works quite a few places but it played out pretty reliably when I was there.  I have caught walleye in that lake in 4-8 fow also.  Find some scattered boulders on sand or gravel flats for that.

 

Be quiet and keep the lights low.

 

Give us a report back please.

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A buddy was on Carson's last Sunday. He sent me pics of trucks and wheelhouses. He didn't say how much ice though. Use this info at your own risk.

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I would not pull a house with a truck on Lake Minnetonka, anywhere.  Just because some other fools did it without checking doesn't mean you should too.

 

Last week the east arm had about 15 trucks out there on less than 10 inches of ice.  Some places only had 5 inches.

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Hookmaster

Just texted my buddy. He said there were 15 inches of ice and about 100 trucks. After the mild week we've had and the melting the past 3 days I would not drive out on the lake with a car/truck.

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Wanderer

That’s a lot!

 

@wobert, any report from Wednesday?

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odd that Minnetonka has more ice than smaller lakes north of it...not saying it doesn't have 15" of ice but that surely surprises me when areas of the state with colder temps have less ice than that.  I would certainly check for myself before I just drove aimlessly onto a lake let alone one around the cities

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Wanderer

Carson’s is a pretty sheltered area as far as Minnetonka goes.  Always been one of the early ice spots on the lake, especially with the access convenience and shelter from the big winds.  I agree, 15 is surprising but possible.

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I talked to a friend from the Cross Lake area today and they’ve been hard pressed to find more than 9.5 on lakes they fish.  We’re running 9.5 - 12 in Central MN and I had up to 14 in Ely on New Year’s Day.

 

Never assume and always check, especially when going away from the crowds.

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gimruis
13 minutes ago, Wanderer said:

access convenience

 

I used that access one time in the spring but there's nowhere to park.  There's no lot and the parking on the shoulder of the road requires some kind of designated parking pass.  Needless to say after I launched my boat and realized this, I had to load back up and go to another access.

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Wanderer
1 hour ago, gimruis said:

 

I used that access one time in the spring but there's nowhere to park.  There's no lot and the parking on the shoulder of the road requires some kind of designated parking pass.  Needless to say after I launched my boat and realized this, I had to load back up and go to another access.

Winter access.  I’ve never launched from a south side access.  I always used Wayzata, Spring Park, North Arm or Maxwell Bay when boating.  There were a few winter access spots scattered around but they were never marked.  And who knows, they could’ve been shut down since the last time I was on Minnetonka ice.

 

By the looks of the feedback, I’m either posting too much about this for some people or experiences with the lake have really gone down hill over the years.

 

I’ve sometimes considered going back to the Cities just to fish my old spots out there.  At one time I could’ve drawn a map of the lake from memory.  Of course looking at Navionics I see I was still missing a lot!

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gimruis
15 hours ago, Wanderer said:

Winter access

OK so where do they park if the ice isn't thick enough to drive on then?

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  • Your Responses - Share & Have Fun :)

    • gimruis
      I did not participate in the youth hunt growing up because it didn't exist.  I went on opener like everyone else.  The early seasons and special youth regulations are relatively new.  Do I think that having the youth duck season a couple weeks inhibits my success as a duck hunter?  No, not likely.  I don't think there's enough pressure to have an impact.  But that's not the point.  I believe that every hunter or angler that wants to hunt or fish should be able to.  You buy a license and you can do it.  You can make opener about teaching your child to hunt too.  I know this because that's what happened to me.  The early deer season is another topic for another day.   Duck hunting has really gone down hill in about the past 8-10 years.  When I first starting doing it, I'd see flocks of mallards that I haven't seen anymore.  Hundreds of wood ducks early in the season too.  Recently its just a fraction of that now.  In the same spots I hunted years ago too.  They just aren't there anymore.  Its partially my own fault because I don't scout anymore and try to find new, more productive spots.  I think many of the ducks that used to migrate through here have changed their migration route to the west.  Something is going to have to change dramatically for me to start doing it again.   Thanks for your work in the health care field this past year, Kettle.  We are greatly appreciative of your work more than ever.
    • gimruis
      OK so where do they park if the ice isn't thick enough to drive on then?
    • Wanderer
      Yah, no kidding!  Heading the Winnie this weekend.  Wife signed us up for a GTG for a wheelhouse group.  About 100 confirmed attendance. 😲   The most important thing I packed was the 4 wheeler! 😄
    • monstermoose78
      Looks like we lucked out with the weather compared to what they were talking about. See you all on the ice this weekend!!
    • Wanderer
      Since y’all are weighing in.   I don’t have a grand opinion either way on the youth season.  Honestly for those I know, it seemed more important to the adults than the kids they took.  I understand that’s not universal with all kids so I doubt I’ll stand against it even though I do prefer level playing fields for everyone as @gimruismentioned.  Teaching kids to earn something is a life lesson in itself.     Teal - I still see a good percentage of BWT on opener compared to other ducks so I know there’s still plenty that haven’t left.  I’m more worried about the misidentified young of the year others that will get tossed or not retrieved when shooters realize they dropped non-teal.  Look no further than the splash duck rule for support.  A couple bonus teal so we can get “our fair share”?  OK, doesn’t sound too bad.  Same difference as shooting them for more days.   No trolling motors in WMA’s.  Paddlers still want to have a place to get away from motor hunters.  We’re supposed to be creating or at least maintaining opportunities in this state.  Don’t take quiet enjoyment away completely.  And by quiet enjoyment, I’m speaking of pressure not the noise of a trolling motor...    Spinners OK all the time, sure, why not everyone has them by now.  Again a level playing field.   The statewide open water rule is the single change I’m most interested in.  I’m all in.   Oh yeah, split season: I’m fine with it.  I’ve given up firearms deer hunting for ducks before and will keep doing it if I have ducks to chase.
    • Kettle
      I definitely appreciate your opinion and can see your point of view. Can I ask if you were as a youth able to participate in a youth hunt as I know relatively speaking it is fairly new.   You are definitely right, hunting is not what it used to be. I myself don't even waterfowl hunting in MN anymore. Ironically speaking I grew up hunting a faimly farm. On bad years my family would attribute the poor numbers to me youth hunting but there were years where I hunted the youth opener and on the standard opener we had limits for 12 individuals, seeing this and reading data I do believe that the youth opener has minimal to zero impact on hunting outcomes two weeks later. To this day I can say I harvested one wood duck, one mallard and two teal in my three years of youth day and didn't even shoot a box of shells in those three years. I have hunted early teal in Iowa in early September and saw large migrating flocks of teal, hundreds, bluewing teal, the mass majority are out of MN by our main opener and if lucky enough some individuals harvest green wing teal as they are late migrators compared to their cohorts. Covid definitely pushed more people into the outdoors but as an emergency medicine physician assistant and former paramedic I am glad people got out and enjoyed the outdoors versus congregating indoors. 
    • Wanderer
      I’d re-check the connections.  I had a bad terminal on one of mine I couldn’t see the bad spot under the plastic insulator.   Re-check the power connection on the back of the unit for tightness and the prongs in tact.  If you have a meter and can ohm the power lead out, do that.   If it comes down to having to open up the head, send it or take it in.
    • Wanderer
      Winter access.  I’ve never launched from a south side access.  I always used Wayzata, Spring Park, North Arm or Maxwell Bay when boating.  There were a few winter access spots scattered around but they were never marked.  And who knows, they could’ve been shut down since the last time I was on Minnetonka ice.   By the looks of the feedback, I’m either posting too much about this for some people or experiences with the lake have really gone down hill over the years.   I’ve sometimes considered going back to the Cities just to fish my old spots out there.  At one time I could’ve drawn a map of the lake from memory.  Of course looking at Navionics I see I was still missing a lot!
    • Mjen
    • gimruis
      I used that access one time in the spring but there's nowhere to park.  There's no lot and the parking on the shoulder of the road requires some kind of designated parking pass.  Needless to say after I launched my boat and realized this, I had to load back up and go to another access.
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