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Where to ice fish?

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Ok i have fished on the zumbro for about 13 years. And i have ice fished it once! Where can i go to catch me some crappies or whatever is biting? Are there walleye to catch under the zumbro ice? where and how? and is chester lake a good lake to fish for panfish and bass? thanks

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Jim W

Born to Fish,

It's good to hear from somebody! All of the forums that are from regions with tons of lakes are generally buzzing loudly, but we still fish down here! As far as ice fishing the Zumbro river, I personally have never "ice fished" it. There are walleyes in that river, but they are below the damn and downstream from Mac's Park Place!
Chester Woods is loaded with large gills, sunnies and crappies and small laregemouth! The large mouth are taking their time growing for some reason. If I'm not mistaken(please correct me if I'm wrong, Chesterwoods has been in operation for only 5-6 years now. I wish they would stock that sucker with walldogs!!! Plenty of forage base, cover, cold water etc. etc. etc.!!!!
Give Chesterwoods a shot. If you want a good chance to catch fish through the ice first try Foster Arends and Willow Creek. Other wise, your best bet would be the backwaters of the Miss.
Unfortunately, our topography isn't conducive for natural lakes. So us SE MN boys need to do some driving in the winter for good hard water action. I hope this helps, keep the flags flying high and the rods a bendin'!!!!! Jim W

[This message has been edited by Jim W (edited 12-26-2000).]

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Jim W

ssendek,
Hears how you catch fish on Foster Arends through the ice. First, if you want to catch a bucket full of 4 inch crappies and 4 inch perch, anywhere from 8 -24 feet, using either crappie minnows or waxies. Try slip bobbers or small tear-drops with minnows and small tear-drops with the waxies. I like using a jigging spoon with a head of a fatty tipped on the treble.
The environment in Foster Arends doesn't equal large crappies and perch. Now trout, that's a different story.
That pond is stocked several times during the winter with rainbows, brookies and browns. There is a good chance of catching brookies that you would never see, unless you head up North. I've caught 16inch Brookies there and heard of 5lb. browners being pulled through!! Your best bet for locating trout(catching trout) is right up near shore in 5ft or less of water. Don't need to go where everyone else is. However, try the North shore past the little bay and just past the little point. Drill your holes close in.
Since this body of water isn't a natural setting for these trout, they spend there time cruising the shallows looking for food. You could probably head out right smack dab in the middle, fishing only a few feet under the ice and catch your limit of trout. They won't be found near the bottom in deep water like a laker.
I hope this helps! Let me know how you did! Jim W

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J.A.Say.Tree

ssendek,

Jim's right-on about Fosters. Just about anywhere will do for catching the trout. And you will be plesently surprised with the tussle you'll get from those winter time "stockers."

I like to fish out a little further from the shore, in say 10-15 feet or so. Then I'll start with one rod a foot or two off the bottom, and another half way up (With your son along, you could cover all depths those trout cruise at). I like to keep changing depths... even fishing like Jim says, right under the ice.

I've had the most luck with a small teardrop or plain hook and a crappie minnow on a bobber set up. Keep the presentation active by bouncing the bobber every 30 seconds or so. The trout many times will hit right after you jiggle the minnow down there. But be sure to leave some slack in your line or a rod holder if you're not constantly watching the holes (which may be tough with a 5 year old!). I've heard of plenty of people losing rods out there.

Good Luck!!! It actually is pretty fun place to fish, and I've left satisfied from battlin' a nice trout many times.

J.A.

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ssendek

Thanks guys!!!!
I will probably have to wait until Saturday but I'll tell you how it goes!

Thanks again

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ssendek

Jim What do you use to for bait on Foster Arends? I want to take my 5 yr old out and need some advise on bait and/or location on the lake.


Thanks

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ssendek

Jim
Thanks for the info. I just got back from a beautiful day on the ice. I was sitting over about 10 ft of water, with 10 inches of ice under my feet. I started fishing just under the ice and slowly jigged down to about 4 ft under. Nothing was happening but I kept trying. I heard a couple of guys leave and they said they were fishing on the bottom. I lowered my minnow down to the bottom and raised it about a foot. I waited and jigged a little then I got a bite. No fish but there was activity. I put on a fresh minnow and sent it down to about 8 1/2, 9 ft and waited. Boom. raise. lower. boom. raise. lower. Boom and run. Pole bends set the hook! Reel up a nice looking rainbow. The rest of the couple of hrs I was there I got robbed of two minnows and lost one at the hole.
The best day I have ever had on that lake! My first trout! What a joy it was, and it will make a nice meal for me tonight!
I have to go back again! I'm hooked on icing those trout!

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Jim W

ssendek,
Way to go!!! When those troutski's are biting that stock pond(Foster Arends) can be a real hoot!!! You did the right thing by starting in that 10ft area, trying different depths etc.
Next time give the real shallow a shot a half hour before dark and a half hour after. I'm mean real shallow! 2-5ft. I think you'll have a more consistent time with them "hole rollers"! Good luck out there and keep us posted!!! Jim W

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Jim W

HAUNG,
Foster Arends Park is located off of 37th St. NW. in Rochester. If your coming from the North(hwy 52), get on 37h st, follow it all of the way to East River Road, take a left North on to ERR and it's on your left. If your coming from the South on 63("Broadway") take broadway all of the way to 37th st, take a left on 37th st. then the very next right. Can't miss it! Good LUck and let me know how you did!!!

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Guest

Hey guys i was just out on Foster the other day and it was so exciting! Trout left and right! All you need is the basics: pole,jig and minnow and you are set to catch yourself some fish! I plan on going here within the next few days to try my luck again! Oh yeah has anyone been to Chester? Good luck everyone!

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Jim W

Born to Fish,
Were the trout you caught all rainbows? Was there any size to them? Not to pop your balloon or anything, but generally, if you can catch them left or right, the DNR must have recently stocked it.
It gets hit so hard that most of the stocked trout are pulled through not long after a stocking. Infortunately, there isn't much of a reproduction to speak of in Foster Arends, but that doesn't mean we can't have fun now right??!!!
Hopefully you can get into some of those beautiful Brookies they pout in there or one of those sow browns! Good luck and keep us posted!!!! JIm W

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Guest

Well as far as keeping the rainbows that i try not to do. I mean i have kept i think a grand total of about 3 maybe. But i only keep those that i plan to eat. I still have not hooked into any brookies or browns. That which i am hopin that will happen here very quick! Is there any presentation and/or lure that you can use to maybe prompt the brookies or browns to bite? I have not been able to catch either or. Just Rainbows. I have been fishing along the shore that is right up next to the main parking lot. In about anywhere from 10-6 feet of water. I use a jig(normally a pink or hot yellow)about like 1/8oz.I think. Tip that with a minnow either in the tail or right through the noze! I suppose that hooking it through the back works but i have learned that you loose more fish that way! Trial and error. And also other than what we caught i would say that we lost at least 15-20 fish. Ones that take that bobber down under the ice, u pull up on the rod and they are gone! The mystery 20pounder!! Yeah we wish! But i plan on visiting it here again if anyone can help me out finding and catching these brookis and browns! Thanks again !

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Guest

I have been out to Foster Lake about three times this week and just caught a few crappie. Were do you fish at out there? I just went were everyone else was and had little luck.
Thanks,
Ed

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Jim W

I made it down to Foster Arends for an hour or so on Saturday evening with little success. I did however have a decent trout on my line, but foolishly lost him! I marked a ton of perch and crappie, but from past experience, these fish tend to be real small. For the mostpart I went for the trout.
Sunday evening I went down to the Dresbach dam with "D from Reno". We managed a few decent sized saugers, but that was about it. Good luck, Jim W

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Jim W

Born to fish,
Now that I think about it, who isn't "born to fish"? Anyway, you can get to Dresbach Dam if you get on I 90 and head East. Before you cross the bridge to Lacrosse, exit to LaCrescent, Mn. You have to go all of the way into LaCrescent, do a U-turn then head back North until you get to the Dam turn off.(I'm not swearing, not the damn turn off). Turn right, then follow the signs. You'll see a sign that reads "dam closed", turn there. You'll see the parking area on the right. I hope this helps. I recommend using buckshot spoons tipped with a fat-head. The saugers really liked an aggressive jig, but then a stand still for the bite. Good luck! Keep the rods a bendin'!!! Jim W

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J.A.Say.Tree

Born to fish,

If you do plan to try fishing below the dam at Dresbach, please be extremely cautious on the ice. There's plenty of funky current going on all the time below the hard water. Ice conditions can change rapidly, and areas that are frozen one day can be open the next.

J.A.

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Guest

Jim where is the dresbach dam? I would love to know where to go and catch some saugers. Even if they are far and few in between i would love to try and catch me a few. Never know when the big hit is gonna be on anyways!

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Jim W

Hello gentlemen!
I have orginized a day of fishing for my workplace on Foster Arends on Monday(martin Luther Day). It is a holiday for us! Any way, I 'm curious to hear what the ice conditions are like with all of this warm weather? I'm hoping to have a good 4-6 by Monday. If you have been there recently, let me know, I'd really appreciate it! I'd hate to have someone I work with go to the bottom of the drink!! Keep the rods a bendin hard!!! Jim W

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Jim W

Fishing on Foster Arends was a success! However, as in the past, you need to really focus on the morning hours- 7:00am-9:00am and again in the evening last hour of light to an hour after sundown! We caught quite a few crappies some perch and a bonus rainbow! The bite died around 9:30 or so!!
Apparently, the crappie have been hitting hard at Chesterwoods! Fish over deep water! If you can find 30ft., fish it!! Good luck out there and keep us informed!! Jim W

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