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best panfish lakes in area


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With ice out coming, what are your favorite panfish lakes in the area? I love the Rat!

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Fishhawk.....I put a thread on about Rat Lake last year and didnt get any replies...only info on Minnewaha (SP)

My grandpa used to fish Rat years back and caught decent gills. I asked last year if they were still there and the only talk was about crappies. I am thinking of stopping by there on my way to Blackduck this spring...kind of a nostalgia trip....

Otherwise, I fish around Blackduck and Bemidji.

Are the gills there still decent or not? Thanks in advance.

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Esquaghama is a pretty decent panfish lake. My favorite lake to fish is Moulton though. Don't really catch too many fish but it's so far back there it's always nice and quiet. Waukenabo/West lake is another good one.

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Rat lake was fished pretty hard this winter. The size of crappies and sunnies has been declining the past 3 years. I have been fishing this lake pretty consistantly in May and June for the last 20 years. If you you want snake northerns, there are plenty of those to be had. Do not know how much I will fish Rat this time. Probably go to wawa or sandy.

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does anyone have any info on GUN LAKE? i hear that lake years ago had nice panfish. i just read with disappointment about the extreme fishing pressure that mille lacs is having in isle bay. i used to live up north and we used to hate seeing the crowds come to fish our lake. it really doesnt take long for 50-100 people to fish out a small panfish lake.

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GRUMPY1962
I only fish gun for bass and pike, I have heard of some nice panfish, but don't have a clue where.
I here ya on the fishing pressure, thats why its so darn hard to get good info on a hot panfish bite nowadays. I know I don't even give my uncles a tip on how good they may be biting on my lake, since they seem to have to always keep there limit. large panfish are good for one thing, and thats catch and release. since they are such a blast to catch on ultra lite gear.

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Hey hollywood moulton is a great lake and its quiet, until the sun starts to go down. Then your donating to the mosquito blood bank. Where do you fish on the lake, am familiar with it but fished it only for walleyes. Shoot me an email [email protected]

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Gun is just like Rat and that is not even close to what it used to be. You can thank the readers of Outdoor News for its (Gun) demise. Both used to be a lot of fun and frankly, the bigger panfish were pretty easy to predict and catch. The problem is that people just don't catch and release nice panfish. I go to Minnewawa when I'm in the area and would like to catch decent panfish now.

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YUP... I GREW UP ACROSS THE ROAD FROM LOWER MISSION. A NEIGHBOR LADY NEAR THE PUBLIC LANDING TOLD ME THAT A COUPLE OF YEARS AGO PEOPLE WERE HAULING PANFISH OUT OF THE LAKE BY THE 5 GALLON BUCKET FULL. THAT DIDNT TAKE LONG. AND ON UPPER MISSION A COUPLE OF YEARS AGO THEY NAILED SOME FIBS WITH WAY OVER THEIR LIMIT TOO. THEY WERE FINED AND ORDERED TO PAY RESTITUTION BUT WE ALL KNOW HOW LONG IT TAKES FOR A LAKE TO COME BACK AND YOU CAN THANK THE RESORT ON UPPER FOR ALLOWING THIS BEHAVIOR! AND NOW I HEAR ONE OF THE BIG RESORTS HAS BOUGHT THE ONLY RESORT ON LOWER AND THEY ARE GOING TO PUT IN CONDO'S AND THAT STUFF. I DONT GET IT,THE LAKE IS A WEED HOLE IN MID SUMMER! I ALSO HEARD THE SAME IS PLANNED FOR LAKE EDWARDS! WHAT A SHAME. PRETTY SOON IF YOU WANNA GO TO A LAKE YOU WILL HAVE TO STAY AT A PRIVATE RESORT.

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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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