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Time for my spring fishing trip to 5th CW


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It's that time of year again - I'll be heading out on that L-O-N-G drive from Vancouver, WA to Park Rapids on Thursday morning (5/27).

I'll be at the Owl's Nest on 5th Crow Wing for two weeks. This will be year 48 since my first trip - same lake - same resort (It was called Fran-Rick's then).

I would appreciate any reports or information anyone can share regarding Bluegill, Crappie and/or Walleye activity.

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Water is COLD... Panfish are bitting, try crank baits right up on shore.

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captain ahab, make sure you post your success after you get home, I"ll want to know how you did. How many hours is that drive for you? Good Luck.

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gilby -
It's about a 28-hour drive for me, just a few miles short of 1600. I take two and a half days to drive from Vancouver to Park Rapids. That way I get into town about mid-day on Saturday, get my fishing license, bait and groceries and arrive at the Owl's Nest about check-in time. I drive home in two days, two long days. I enjoy the drive though. North Dakota is a bit monotonous but Montana and Idaho are spectacular.

I will be sure to post the results of this years fish-chasing when I get home.

Anyone else have any thoughts, information, tips, reports, guesses, wild stories, intuitions, dreams, or communication from aliens or distant deceased relatives that might be useful?

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Any idea when the name changed? Also, when did they remodel? My family stayed up there from 86 until 93, but went back last year for the first time. They stayed there while they bought their own place. Always enjoyed it very much.

Have a great time
Mike G

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The name changed from Fran-Rick's to The Owl's Nest when the Lewis' bought the resort from John Davis - can't quite remember the year but it was the late 1960's or early 1970's - Kris was 11 years old.

The remodel has been an on-going project for several years, a cabin at a time. BTW - Kris designed the remodels and she also did 99 percent of the work. A very talented young lady!

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Ahh crow wing numero 5 one of the 4 crow wing lakes that I haven't had the chance to visit yet. But the weird thing, I to am leaving tommarow the 27 to head up to crow wing #1. If you hear anyone making bird calls to the fish... that would be me smile.gif

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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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