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Looking for fishing companion(s) (teacher really) in Minneapolis


MinneapolisTransplant

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Living in SW Minneapolis, and have gotten back into fishing after many years away (guess COVID was good for something). I mostly fish in Bde Maka Ska (formerly Calhoun) and other urban lakes because I can get to 'em and get out on the water under pure human power (not opposed to electrics or real boats, just can't afford 'em). Most times out I'll get bass or northerns... but no dang walleye, despite all the fry that DNR pours in there. In fact, I've been living in Minnesota for 3 years now, and from the BWCA to the southern lakes, I have never gotten a walleye to bite, be it leech, jig, dropshot, or crankbait. Which tells me I need to quit trying on my own and get on the water with somebody who knows what they're doing.

 

I'm pretty flexible about timing; can even do some weekdays if we plan in advance. Would love to meet others who fish my local lakes, but at this point, I'll happily travel to learn the mysteries of the 'eyes. If you're looking for another partner or just like to spin yarns, I'll listen and bring along some brews and gas money for your troubles.
 

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I don't walleye fish those city lakes you speak of but if you are only fishing them from shore, you are going to have problems getting a walleye to bite, especially during daylight hours in midsummer.  Deeper water is where they are now and you aren't in proximity to that on shore.

 

Under normal circumstances, I would advise trying a river.  But rivers are historically low right now because of the drought, so that's not going to work either.  Maybe if we get a monsoon of rain and water levels come up this fall a river would be worth trying.

 

You didn't even get one to bite in the BWCA?  That's just bad luck.

 

Sorry I'm not more help on this subject.  Maybe someone else will chime in with some better advice.

Edited by gimruis
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Rivers should actually be pretty good right now.  Lots more bank fishing/wading opportunities due to the drought.  Fish are still there and walleyes don’t need to be deep during early mornings or the evenings especially.

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@gimruis  I'm not shorebound, but it's human-powered watercraft only on those lakes (OK, I guess I could try to mount an electric to a paddleboard or canoe somehow, but I am not yet that clever). Most of my fishing time has been on the water this summer -- I tried the pier and can't even get the sunnies to bite, I think it's over-pressured. I've tried a variety of deeper-water tactics, including trying to run various things along weed edges and paddling back and forth over the lake's deeper points (approx 50ft) with bottom bouncers trailing a variety of things (Berkley crawler on a slo-death, regular spinner, shad-style swimbait, live leech). That bottom-bouncer trick fished in maybe 20-30ft will usually get me a northern somewhere along the way. (Interestingly, mostly NOT when moving, but when I pause and reel it in for a bait check.)

 

To describe it a bit more, the lakes near me are mostly mud-bottom. No obvious structure on the contour map, aside from a few places where there's sort of an underwater peninsula (and I've tried fishing the points of those). The water's pretty clear, so there's weeds you can't see (mostly coontail style, very small amount of cabbage-style) that'll happily grab a trolled bait. I haven't found anything that's more grass-like. 

 

@Wanderer Any good river suggestions near the Cities? I've heard mumbles about the Minnesota, but not sure how to zero in on likely spots since that's a lot of bank to cover. My best guess at the moment is one I know where there's an old disused railroad bridge crossing a feeder creek, seemed like maybe the currents there would do something?

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@MinneapolisTransplant

Around the Cities is a little tough for me to recommend when you’re coming out of the SW.  I grew up fishing the Miss from the Camden Bridge to the Coon Rapids dam but haven’t fished any of that for a long, long time.  I’ve heard good things about the Ford dam.  Honestly any dam is worth a try.

 

Redwing is a HUGE walleye draw in the winter because of border water season and numbers of fish.  Hastings has been good to me from the dam to the St. Croix confluence.

 

Most of my time these days is spent further north from Anoka, on up river.  Fish the head ends of holes were there’s good current in the low light hours with some Rapalas to start.  When the walleyes come up to feed they’ll likely be in a pretty specific spot/certain current seam or gravel bar.  The head or tail ends of islands can be good too.  You have to get out there and put some time in to find the sweet spots but when you do, you can count on em.

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Hi,

 

Calhoun used to be a fun walleye lake 10-15 years ago but walleye stocking rates have declined, northern pike abundance has increased and yellow perch (walleye main diet in this lake aside from sunfish) seem to be disappearing as well.  During open water it's not worth your time to fish for walleyes.   You aren't doing anything wrong, they just aren't abundant. 

 

Aside from the walleye decline, Calhoun can be a tough nut to Crack and you need to have the patience of a saint.  If you want to try for walleyes do it in the winter.  Find an inside turn with lots of weeds and set up in 14 - 17 feet with a large shiner on a plain hook 1 foot off the bottom or a foot above the weeds.  As I said earlier there aren't many eyes left but the ones in there are very nice fish.  You might only catch 1 in 5 days of ice fishing but it will be a nice one.

 

Good Luck

 

 

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I fish Northeast metro every week and the walleye fishing is just plain tough if you do not have a boat. And even for guys with a boat. Most of the time its just plain hard to find good walleye lakes in the city. I can usually find them in the winter time on my lakes and I was able to get on some nice bites last winter but that was on a couple lakes I would fish four to five times a week so I could find consistent patterns.  summer is a different story. If you want a decent chance at metro eyes I would try lindstrom area lakes use contour maps to find some structure. Or the river. This is the rig I have been using this year works pretty slick with the casting deck I made.

IMG_1573.jpg

IMG_1676.jpg

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Good advice you got here.  Clear water is not your friend during daylight hours.  Target low light periods like dawn, dusk, and at night.  If we get a cloudy or rainy day that would be ideal but those days have been very tough to come by this season.

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Hi again,

 

If you want a better chance to catch a walleye in Minneapolis give Nokomis a try.   If you'd like, send me a PM with your contact information and I'll meet up with you out there this winter.

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@Austin12345 Nice rig! Makes me think it's time to bolt some more PVC sides to my own milk crate.

@Musky RC  PM sent! 

 

I guess it's good to know that some of this is abundance rather that technique... will see about broadening my choices of waterbodies.

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I agree with the advice previously stated here. I have seen eyes come out of Bde Maka Ska and Lake of the Isles, even from shore (springtime). It's all about timing and patience! There are some massive muskies and northerns in there that are putting pressure on the other fish. To locate those deep holes check out the dnr lakefinder! The map shows approximate depths and you'll be able to get in the right area, since the heat we've had has chased a lot of fish into deeper water.

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@PeachyHans Thanks, that's helpful. I do have the topomaps, and have them georeferenced so I can get to pretty much right over some of those holes/points. It may well be that I'm not trying deep enough.

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  • 1 month later...
On 8/30/2021 at 3:21 AM, MinneapolisTransplant said:

@PeachyHans Thanks, that's helpful. I do have the topomaps, and have them georeferenced so I can get to pretty much right over some of those holes/points. It may well be that I'm not trying deep enough.

I would like to know more about old town solo-canoe. I would appreciate any information you might have.

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    • smalljaw
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  • Your Responses - Share & Have Fun :)

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      Well I had to go north this weekend with the predicted weather and boy did it not disappoint!   What a great weekend of perfect weather!!  Hit up Gull Lake Saturday afternoon equipped with a dozen lite pike minnows and a plan to move until we graphed fish and move if they don't bite.  First stop we searched and found one spot with bait balls and a few fish but nothing was biting so we went searching.  Searched alot of ground over the next hour and half and didn't mark a fish, so we went back to the spot with fish marked and as we pulled up there was one boat right on the spot...catching a fish!!  We trolled around with this boat exchanging information and catching fish for the next 2 hours.  We ended up catching 9 throwing back a 25" and keeping 8 from 13" up to 23" that was gut hooked.  Fished in 20-32' of water using lindy rigs with lite pike minnows.  Some fish we would give a lot of line to and they would have the bait swallowed and other times we would give line and find the hook just barely in the lip!  Missed a lot of hook sets but could not beat what was possibly the last fishing trip of the year for me...GOOD LUCK 
    • ozzie
      I have been gearing up getting ready to walk again after 10 weeks!  I have been lucky enough to get out fishing a few times and can't wait to get out in the deer stand...bad thing is I have a basketball tournament for my 4th grade son on opening weekend of deer season and I am the coach!  Oh well I have used enough patience getting this far, what are another few days!  Otherwise not much for me to do...
    • smurfy
      i think Leech is using his wife as a an excuse not to actually live out in the sticks in fear of meeting up with bigfoot!!!!!!!!!!🤣🤣🤭
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