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Hello everyone, hope a few of you are enjoying our little warm up. I know i am well the wife and i hit Fleming yesterdy evening we had pretty good action but would love to get into a little more size... Anyone hit Portage Lake recently, not much size there either from what i remember but its been a few years. Any numbers or size Crappies to be found on WAWA right now?
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Portage has some good size gills if you hit it right, and tip-up fishing at first ice is dynamite for some decent Pike and Largemouth Bass.

The Crappies are...well...Hand size at best.

PCG

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thanks for the info..... Heading out at about 1pm for a lake not sure yet which one probably do Flemming again but would like to hear updated info on Minnewawa or we might just have to try it.....driving yet anywhere? we drove on flemming but wifey was very scared.

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I agree with PCG. For the most part the craps are small but, I managed to get 5-10 9-11" last season on most every trip out of that 15'-17' hole off the small point on the east side. Lots of bass too, my wife pulled in a monster 20" largemouth on a crappie rod last season. Another nice thing is out of the 7 times I fished that, I only had company once!

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Cool thanks for the replys, we live in Cloquet but willing to go anywhere for some crappies..... We did Fleming again last evening same results. Any other lakes in that area that we should try out?

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Give Rat Lake a try if you want some consistent 9-10" gills. There is a 22 foot hole in the middle. Start there and work your way towards the east shoreline until you make contact with fish. This lake also has some slab sized Crappies in the 13" range.

Look it up in your Sportman's Connection Book for Brainerd Area Lakes. It is off of cty 232, about 7 miles east of Palisade.

PCG

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also through out a minnow for that walleye on rat lake. there is not many, but they are usually nice fish.

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I am not exactly sure of the exact number, but I believe Rat Lake to be approx 400 acres...With quite a bit of shallow weed flats on the north end.

Would you believe that on Fishing Opener last spring there were 47 boats lined up on the shores near the access on Rat Lake at 11:30 pm just before the big fish off!!!???

PCG

PCG

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Hey PCG,I was up there on rat for the opener last year. There were hardly any boats waiting to fish for that walleye. I have fished this lake for the past 18 years and the last 2 yrs, the fishing just has not been that good. Also, the size of the fish has really declined. It does get alot of pressure in may, but the weeds take over in june and makes it that much tougher to fish.I also heard that last year, two people were caught with two limits over their limits on crappie. That does not do anything to help out the population or size. (Rat lake is around 600 Acres)

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That means there is about 400 acres of fishable water, considering the north end of the lake is mostly 5 feet deep and less.

My information as to the 47 boats was incorrect then, as I was not there to witness it, but had heard from others. Thank you for the heads up.

It certainly is a shame that some folks have to keep more then their fare share in an outing. Very true that over-harvest does little to aid in the future and current conditions of fish population and sizes.

Rat lake is not the easiest lake to catch large Crappies and Gill's out of, but it does have the fish present with the sizes to provide excellent angling opportunities for those that are up for a little bit of a challenge.

It might take some work, as Rat lake fish aren't usually where they're "suppose" to be in the winter time.

Thanks for your input on Rat Lake.
Good luck,

PCG

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right after ice out, I have seen some of the biggest crappie and gills come out of rat. even while fishin' these pans, we caught walleye up to 4 pounds. this lake is not deep, and only about 400 acres in size, but it can really produce some lunkers. this is one of my sleeper lakes that will produce something. one fish I don't know about is the bass. anyone konw if this lake has any bass that is worth fishin'.
good luck all, this winter.

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Knoppers The bass in there are good size. We were fishing crappies in the weeds and caught several bass that were in the 19" to 22" range. They do not put up much of a fight in the early season. Almost like you are pulling in a log.

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  • Your Responses - Share & Have Fun :)

    • 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😁.   
    • leech~~
      Thanks for clearing up your statement.  So what is the daily limit down there?  
    • SkunkedAgain
      How thick is the snow on the lake? Is there any left?
    • Kettle
      His guide business harvests less than 1,000 teal a year. The state of Louisiana harvests over 150,000 teal a year and over 2 million ducks total. If that makes sense. 
    • leech~~
      Maybe I'm confused, but I hope one guide is not killing anywhere near the birds as an entire state of hunters?  
    • LakeofthewoodsMN
      On the south end...   Ice fishing continues strong and it is still winter on the border.    Overnight temps in the teens and twenties are maintaining ice nicely.  Fishing continues to be excellent.  It has been an incredible year for walleyes and saugers with both numbers and size.     Resort fish houses and sleeper fish houses are available.  Some ice roads are allowing pickup trucks pulling wheelhouses as well.  Check with each individual ice road for specific limits.   As always, and certainly this year, it is important to stay on the resort ice roads.  It is tempting to go off on your own as there isn't much snow, but that is a risky move any time of the year.  Resorts and outfitters keep their roads on the best ice and monitor it numerous times per day.   Lake of the Woods enjoys an extended ice fishing season each year.  Fish houses are allowed on the ice through March 31st, the walleye / sauger season goes through April 14th and the pike season never ends.   The majority of ice fishing for walleyes and saugers is taking place in 24 - 34 feet of water.  Jigging one line and using a live minnow on the second line is the way to go.   Pike anglers fishing shallower shoreline breaks and reporting good activity and big fish.  Pike activity will only increase as we approach the month of March.  Arming your spread with a mixture of live and dead baits will allow you to quickly figure out what the pike wants that day. Alewife, smelt, herring, numerous sizes of live suckers, or even large shiners work well. On the Rainy River...  Most ice fishing is taking place on the lake.  There are a couple of resorts that ice fish on the Rainy River.  Know ice conditions or work through a resort or outfitter for safety.    The river is open east of Birchdale.  Those who enjoy the spring open water season on the river are optimistic the river will open early.  Is your boat and fishing gear ready when it does? Up at the NW Angle...   Another very good week of ice fishing up at the Angle.  Walleyes, saugers, jumbo perch, eelpout, pike and some big crappies in the mix.   Water conditions are clearer this winter compared to most.  For that reason, the morning and evening bites have been stronger than midday overall. Jigging one line and deadsticking the second line is the way to go.  Electronics help in determining what the fish want that given day and will up your catch of fish.   Ice fishing has been excellent, come on up.  It's still winter on the border! 
    • Kettle
      There's only one Waterfowl guide in the country that I went to. He runs about 20 trips a year. So he harvests about 185,000 less teal a year than some of the individual southern states. In MN, lots of the teal are gone before the early teal season 
    • leech~~
      Wow, don't want to be one of those guys.  But, you don't think such liberal limits down there, hurts the northern population next spring?  
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