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Jim W

Hardwater Action!!

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Jim W

It's about time to start discussing ice fishing! Let's take this site to the next level! We can really learn from each other, sharing strategies and success stories for crappies, walleye, northerns, perch, bluegills etc etc. I know that I will never learn everthing there is to know about ice fishing, but it is sure nice to learn and share information, getting pumped and enjoying the shear excitement one gets from search and destroy missions on hardwater. Let's party Hard water!!!! Jim W

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SEwalleye

Hey Jim- let me pick your brain. do you have any suggestions for early ice walleyes in SE MN? my dad and I have learned the crappies of SE MN, but we are truely walleye guys. we just haven't really tried for them around here in the past! thanks.

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Jim W

SEwalleye-
Ahhh, The pursuit of the elusive SE MN walleye! My wife has plainly labeled me obsessed with fishing, especially for walldads!
The subject of SEMN walleye has been a big part of my icefishing the last few years. It can be and is usually a very frustrating adventure.
Last winter I hit the Fairbo area hard with little success, yet reeling in a few walldads. I studied the DNR survey on Fairbo area lakes in depth, found lakes with a good year class of walleyes then head out. I am by no means an expert on those lakes, but there is walleye to be found in the Fairbo area. Here is some of the lakes that I caught dads in over there. Madison, Cedar, Tetonka and Fox. It was very SLOW going for me! We need to pick the Fairbo boys brains! That is if they will give up any info.
The rest of the time, I try for dads on the mighty Mississippi, backwaters and spillways. Pepin is suppose to be real hot on hardwater, but I haven't tried her out yet! Depending on the early ice, spillways and tributaries to the Miss can be good. Be extremely careful!!!!!!!!!!! The Vermillion river by hastings holds some runnin dads and saugers as well.
Since you have the crappie spots nailed, it would be a good idea not to focus on walleyes every outing like I did last year! Very frustrating! Thanks for writing, I hope this helped some!
PS- Those boys up Nort don't know how good they have it!!!! Keep the rods bendin'! Jim W

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Rick

Generally you're better off fishing for panfish and pike in the Faribault area. Most of the lakes are stocked and they get cleaned out pretty fast.

If I was targeting walleye Cannon Lake would be my choice. It is part of the Cannon River system and has a pretty good supply of walldads for a southern MN water. Still, it is nothing like a northern MN experience for them.

You really are better off targeting the hot lake(s) for Crappie, sunfish, or pike.

Another sleeper for walleye is Horseshoe lake by Morristown. The locals keep it pretty quiet, but I have caught plenty of eater walleyes out of that lake and I heard last year that the locals were pulling a few out.

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Jim W

Rick
Last year I tried furiously for Walleyes on Cannon with out any luck. ANy suggestions? I punched a ton of holes and worked the area in and surrounding the 15ft hole on the Eastern part of the lake. Did manage a few JUmbo perch, but that was it. Is it a day bite? Thanks for your info! Jim W

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Rick

Find a point or inside turn off that hole. That is the deepest part of the lake. I wouldn't fish in 15 ft but the breaks at 9 to 6 ft. It is a dusk or dawn bite and stealth is necessary. So drill your holes well ahead of time. Regardless, it's still a tough bite compared to northern MN. They do have some nice perch though.

Be careful though because that is part of the channel.

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Jim W

Well this Se Mn boy made it out on the ice for the first time this year. I ventured up to the Vermillion river South of Hastings. My friend and I managed a couple decent walleye after dark, using the buckshot tipped with a fatty. The ice as of Saturday was very sketchy!!!! Be extremely careful! However with these subzeros forecasted for the upcoming week, most should be safe! Good luck and keep the flags flying and the rods bendin'!!!!! Jim W

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