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I'll be coming up over the 4th of July weedend and was wondering if there is any reports on the muskie action on Big Mantrap. I would appreciate any help with location and bait choices. I've had a few follows out on the humps on the big part of the lake and I'm still waiting for my first fish. Thanks

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so JWB what are those big fish then? The ones I've cought sure look like muskies.

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JWB -
I assume you are trying to pull our leg! Mantrap has some of the best Musky fishing in the state!
Sod

[This message has been edited by Sod Farmer (edited 07-01-2004).]

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Alright, allright... Yes it does have some great fishing at times. It is my favorite muskie lake, and I drive from Longville to fish it, passing right by some pretty good Muskie lakes.

But every year I share it with more and more people, and I am selfish and want it all to my self...

My only concern, well two concerns are these:

#1) The Muskie fisherperson who comes to Mantrap lacking the essential tools to effectively land and QUICKLY release a Muskie. No net, no release tools (bolt cutters, pliers, etc). Last summer I saw two guys who actually HAD a nice enough net, net a musky only to drag it in the boat where they spent at least 5 minutes unhooking it, and another 5 minutes taking 10 photo's before finally putting it back in the water. This fish BARELY swam off after several minutes trying to revive it. Given the upper 70 degree water temp that day, and 90 degree air temp, the odds that fish survived are slim to none. To top it all off it was only an upper 30 inch fish.

Nearly every year I have come across dead muskies floating on Mantrap. In every case they were young otherwise healthy looking fish. Most likely the cause of release mortality.

And #2) An even greater concern of mine is the release percentage on Mantrap. I don't believe the release percentage is as high as other Muskie lakes. In fact, I believe there are ALOT of muskies kept out of Mantrap, fish caught by people who at best only casual fisherman.
Sub 45 inch fish are caught and kept out of Mantrap far too often. This has drastic effects on the fish population. While Mantrap is stocked by the DNR, it is the excellent natural reproduction that has made it such a great fishery. Those mature 40"+ fish are the best spawners in the lake, and when they are taken out of the fishery, it takes a long time to replace them...

Mantrap is a designated Muskie lake, meaning the DNR manages it strictly as a Muskie fishery first, other species second. I wish they would put a 48 inch minimum size limit on the lake to protect this great fishery, it has outstanding potential...

OK, I am done ranting...

To answer your original question - I haven't been out on Mantrap for a few weeks, but as soon as I make it there - I will post my report here...

Good luck and best fishes,

John Bestman

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Made it out on Mantrap on Sunday, started out as a perfect day.

At noon it was overcast, light to moderate winds, temps in the upper 60's to low 70's. Then by 4 or 5 it was 60 degrees, the water temp had dropped 3 degrees and it was getting awfully cold...

All of my favorite haunts were not holding any fish, so I decided to troll some steep breaks. Lost one nice fish, and caught a 40 incher. Finally called it a day at about 8 when I couldn't feel my toes anymore....

I thought it was July, but it sure felt more like October....

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Yeah, a GPS is really handy out there, especially considering how small some of those humps are.

I spent the majority of my time marking my spots out there into my new Lowrance Globalmap 4800, my old Magellan hand held died on me, and with it all my spots...

I had the same results on Sunday, no fish in the shallow cabbage, but they were out deep. I am amazed at the schools of baitfish I find on my locator out there, and the Skies I have caught out of Mantrap are very well fed....

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It's fun to hear how people have done on the water out on Mantrap. I didn't do a thing out there the past weekend, but whether I catch fish or even see a fish Mantrap is one of my favorite lakes to be on. I really enjoy the trip from the boat ramp winding through the narrow areas, I love the fact that most of lakeshore is still wooded and undeveloped. Thanks again for the info, If you ever see an older Crestliner Angler with marroon decals and a 70 hp Yamaha on the back stop by and say Hi.

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I was out on Saturday till the down pour came. I hit the mid-lake humps that are full of cabbage. Man we casted a lot. Never even seen a ski. I was very impressed with the structure that is on the main lake. Fished Palntan on Sunday. Missed the monster. He hit my bucktail but not where the trebile hook was.

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Newbe to the forum and live on the Mississippi in Champlin, found the forum looking for Mississippi River fishing info.

When I was a kid we went to Mantrap every summer, saw and heard of lot's of musky's but never many big ones. Sometime over the years I heard, I think it my be from Larry Bolig in his Burger brother years that the DNR at that time was stocking the Shoepac strain of musky and that was why there weren't many big ones there as that strain didn't get big. I think they have since mended their ways.

Jim

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Yep MSRiverdog, I believe the DNR used to stock it with the Shoepac strain, which rarely got any longer than 30 inches. But about 15-20 years ago they started stocking it with a Leech Lake, Missisippi and even Wisconsin strains of Muskies. But now they stocking it with 100% Leech Lake strain. The most genetically superior strain of Muskie in the world...

I hope someday the DNR increases the size limit on Mantrap, after all, it is a designated muskie fishery anyway - meaning the DNR manages it for muskies. So why not slap a 48" minimum size limit on it to protect some of the fish?

Timmyman, you point out some the same reasons that I drive 45 miles to fish Mantrap on the weekends (even after driving 190 miles to my families place in Longville). It is very scenic, and largely undeveloped. One of the first times out on the lake I saw a bald eagle swoop down and grab a baby loon....

You can thank 3M for that, they own a tremendous amount of lakeshore on Mantrap.
Wherever you see a little green metal sign that says private property, it is likely 3M property.

They own shoreline from their Wonewok lodge east almost all the way to the main basin, and west almost to the public access. They also have a small private lake that used to be connected to Mantrap that they now stock with trout.

See you all on the water, I have an old grey Alumacraft Competitor with a 50 tiller on it, stop by and we can share hot tips...

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