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I saw a thread a while back about Big Balsam Lake. I am interested in trying the big lake myself. I would like a little information before I go. I will be taking a friend who is slightly handicapped and can't walk far. I don't have a 4 wheeler and prefer to walk out on the ice. Do you have to go far from the access to get some good crappie fishing on the lake? If you have to drive out, is there enough traffic to keep it safe with a 2 wheel drive truck? Thanks in advance for any help you can offer.

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Road King -

Give me a call anytime and I'll try to help you out as much as possible. May even have some others options for you.

Greg Clusiau (778-0087)

Merry Christmas!

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We own land on the lake, and have been going up there for as long as I've been alive. We close up after deer season, but fish the lake a ton in the summer. The crappies are limited to an almost exclusive evening bite in the summer, although spring I do well all day. Many crappie fisherman fish right past the access bay, when it opens into the main bay, a few holes and humps, but I shy away from that area, I have my own spots. I have never fished there in the winter though, so I couldnt tell ya what the bite is like. Get some nice gills and lots of small pike, but forget about the eyes. Good luck

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One more bit of advice. Contact Tony at the Balsam store (218 245 2340) and I know he can steer you towards some good spots.

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Thank you for the help guys. I will be heading there real soon if I can get work out of the way long enough to get some fishing done. Balsam is a big lake to walk around and hope to find the fish. You have narrowed the search some. I appreciate it.

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  • 2 weeks later...
  • 2 weeks later...

Backing up some advice. Tony at the Balsum store is really a great guy! I go a litle farther up the road for over 20 years now and always stop for gas and stuff because he is a great guy. He is a outdoors man and helps others. Tony knows me by face only because he is normally helping someone when i swing in. Great place to spend your money.I am not trying to advertize the store. I think he knows fish, deer and bear personaly.

[This message has been edited by Yamahopper (edited 01-25-2004).]

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  • Your Responses - Share & Have Fun :)

    • JerkinLips
      There were a lot of ATV/SxS running around the lake but I found it quite slippery even with AWD engaged.  I did see a couple of snowmobiles crossing the lake.  There is enough snow to keep the slides lubricated, especially when the temperature is above freezing.  If your track is studded that would help traction and slide lubrication.
    • SkunkedAgain
      It looks like it's ATV/SxS season on the lake. Snowmobile season is on temporary (or permanent) hiatus.
    • JerkinLips
      Was back Tuesday-Thursday this week after I discovered that walleye season ends on Sunday, February 25th.  I thought that the season has closed the last day of February in recent years.  I see that I fished on Monday, February 28th two winters ago so lucky I didn't get busted then.   The ice was in very good shape.  I found 15-18 inches of solid ice in the areas I checked.  There was no standing water on the ice and very little snow as shown in the 3 pictures of the McKinley Park landing from Thursday afternoon.  When the temperature was below freezing, the ice was very slippery.  When it warmed up mid day it wasn't as bad.  The landing was starting to deteriorate today, but with the cold weather on Friday it should freeze over.  It may start to get bad again by Sunday when it warms up.  Full size vehicles were still driving out close to Birch Island so apparently that path is still good.   Fishing was very good for late season.  Most of my walleyes were again 9-12 inches, but I did catch a 21, 24, and 27.  I was lucky to catch my limit of 14-15 inchers today to bring home for a meal.  The walleyes preferred small rainbows, but also liked lively chubs.  I caught four fish on the same small rainbow today when I was running low on small ones.  I finally gave up on that minnow when I went 20 minutes without a bite.  I had 3 rainbows come off the hook on their own; one when I dropped it in the hole and the other two when I dropped them to the bottom.  I think that happens when you hook them in the soft part of their body.  I caught my first tulibee of the winter (15 inches) and it really stunk up the house.  I also caught a lot of perch for the first time this winter.  I only caught 1 perch the previous 14 days I fished, but I caught 11 perch in these 3 last days, including six that were 11-13 inches long.  I wish I liked to eat perch so I could have kept them.  The hardest bite I had this week was by the pictured 8 inch walleye.  This little guy grabbed that full sized minnow and pulled it quickly to to bottom of the hole.  (However the 27 inch walleye did peel off a bit of drag bringing her in).  Morning bite from 830 to 1230 was best.   If you venture out the last weekend of the season, good luck.  Be cautious of ice conditions since the sun can really melt some holes in the ice this late in the season.
    • smurfy
      i cant speak for out that way but check the st cloud thread.......Rick gavee a pretty decent report on the ice around the area. he fishes a ton in the winter and is thinking of calling it quits............that tells me something!!!!
    • Mike89
      be careful!!  
    • mulefarm
      Thinking about one last outing, any information on the ice?
    • Brianf.
      There's not much snow left from what I can see on our Ring cam.  This is facing North across Niles Bay.  Also, the temp is 44 at this moment so what snow might be left is going fast.  
    • rundrave
      @Rick G   have you changed your approach or how you are fishing with no snow cover this year? It seems to really have changed things. Fish are spooky to  any movement above the ice.  Even just jigging a rod with your hand etc. spooks fish. Weed lines are not dying off etc., fish are staying up shallower etc.   I have had a lot more luck just dead sticking and bobber fishing and being away from holes or intentionally drilling holes in slush pockets or drifts to eliminate shadows etc.
    • smurfy
      Awesome cause Rick!!👍👍👌
    • Rick G
      Fishing has been pretty good for the most part with the exception of a slow day mixed in here and there. Been on a few different lakes in the last week. Ice conditions continue to fluctuate depending on warm and cold spells.  Right now there is 7-8 inches on the lakes I have been on. Snow cover is just about gone again, and with the warm days coming I think our ice season might be coming to an end locally.  Today I fished with a good buddy and we were on a mission... To find enough fresh fish to feed the folks at a local veterans home Friday dinner.  Mission accomplished!!!   Found a good mix of perfect eater size fish😁.   
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