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Is Lake Minnetonka the world's greatest bass lake?


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Minnetonka home of 1 million bass. Seriously I can't think of a better lake to fish bass. You have big fish potential and numbers galore. There's no such thing as that lake pitching a bass shutout. Why is there so many tourney's on Minnetonka...because the success rate for almost all the anglers is astounding.

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Different type of post but my two cents:

Minnetonka can be great, but as far as the milfoil goes, that stuff throws me for a huge loop and frustrates me. I can catch decent bass in most metro waters, but Minnetonka's vast milfoil structure creates so much problems for me that it seems the only way to fish it is a jig and pig, dinking and dunking small pockets.

I typically launch in the north arm or smith bay and it seems like all those bays on that end are so weed choked.

It even seems difficult to pin point deep weedline bass seeing that there are so many possible areas, and then fishing those deep edges effectively too.

Hints or suggestions?

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It is one of the best. The best in the world is a stretch though. There are a couple of lakes in Mexico that probably hold that title. By far the best north of the mason/dixon line.

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There are lakes in Korea that were stocked during the War for the Colonels and other top "Dogs" to fish in and they have way better Bass in them than Tonka...

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Chells

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It is a great lake, but I don't think its even the best place for bass in the Metro area. I like to fish on the weekends and it's too busy. Many smaller lakes have been overlooked for a long time. That's where my favorite fishing takes place.

[This message has been edited by Chris-Neises (edited 06-10-2004).]

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Minnetonka is a very good lake. Full of fish, all species. I would have to rank it up there as one of the best all-round fishing lakes in the Midwest. I would have to agree with wgsma, a very good quality and quantity lake. Minnetonka has produced some of the best weights for many different bass tournament series, and in more than one occasion. A lot of good bass lakes in the Metro and Minnetonka is one of them.

Good Fishin,
Matt Johnson

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Matt Johnson Outdoors
Metro Area Ice Fishing, Team Catch-N, and more...

[email protected]
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No WGMSA it is not the greatest bass lake, but you know where it is. About 180 miles away, give or take a few. It is pretty close to perfect as far as metro fishing goes though.

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Watch the Bassmaster stuff....Tonka offers a better size fish week in and week out. Fish live deep off milfoil weedlines...they live in the foil....they live under docks....they cruise the inside weeline...they live on rocks...they can be caught anywhere in the lake any time of the bass season. You can drive there...you don't need a passport...there's great restaurants on the lake...there's burger spots...pizza joints...places to get a beer and if you figure out the bass you'll catch 100 bass in a single day with many in the 18-20 inch range! Just Tonka Baby!

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Hey guts isn't it past your bedtime? You haven't even fished tonka this year...settle and put the barley pop down!

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Hmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmm

Interesting topic.

If I put in 8 quality hours on Tonka, versus 8 quality hours on my favorite Ottertail County lake..........


Hmmmmmmmmmmmmm

Not sure what my answer would be.

Although, I can say one thing.
In Ottertail county I am not dodging big boats all day.
So catching a few less quantity or quality fish to enjoy a lot less people action may move the scales over.

But that is just me.....

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Scenery can be awesome....just get in that pile of boats on the backside of Big Island on a summer day for an hour and you'll know what I mean. I'm just talking bass fishing period....I know there's lots of wake makers but the fish bite.

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The thing about Minnetonka is that there are literally hundreds of spots to fish, with many of these being very precise spots. This is what separates Minnetonka from any other body of water in the metro, and places it well ahead of most in the Midwest and nation. Most other great bass lakes in the metro have at the most 5-10 legitimate spots, with only several exceptions. Throw ten skilled fishermen on these lakes and the spots are full. Throw ten skilled fishermen on Minnetonka and you have another hundred or so spots to hit. To clarify, when I say spots, I am not referring to a dock you catch some nice fish on or a good weedline or shoreline. I am referencing precise spots that have the capacity to predictably hold schools of three to five pound fish and do so regularly during the appropriate time of the year. Spots where you can catch five, ten, or more four plus pound fish in as many casts. There are lakes in the metro where you can do this on one or two spots or the average or top end size is bigger, there are lakes in other areas of the state that are great and the average or top end size is bigger, there are private lakes like BLB’s Shangri-la of bass fishing that none of us will ever be able to fish, but I would argue that for sheer spots to fish and the likelihood of these spots to hold big schools of big fish, there is no better lake around.

Look at wgmsa’s post above. How do you want to catch fish? Docks, inside edge, outside edge, flats, through the milfoil, pads, reeds, slop, wood, riprap, deep rocks? There are bass everywhere and you can catch them however you’d like to. Although, from my perspective, there are only two of the above that hold the best fish the majority of the year.

In my opinion, the best bass fishing was about seven to ten years ago, approximately the time the big tournaments were on the lake, a certain jig color in the milfoil was the magic lure, the down deeps were pulling big limits of fish, and Jim Moynagh spread the gospel of fishing beyond the weedline. It’s still outstanding, but I don’t believe that the lake has the numbers of four and five pound fish that it had then, nor the predictability of these fish. I believe without a doubt the emergence of muskies EVERYWHERE, is one reason why, though I’m not here to bash muskies and do fish for them a lot out there. But they are a definite reason. I’m not sure of the others, perhaps it’s just a natural cycle. That being said, I think last year we saw a resurgence of six pound plus fish in the lake, though I would go elsewhere to specifically target sixes they are by no means a common occurrence, nor will we see one person weigh in three fish for nineteen pounds like we did at one of the first Shelby’s.

I have spent a week spring break the last dozen years fishing Stick Marsh in Florida, Lake Toho, Lake Okeechobee, Lake Eufala, Lake Fork, Castaic, Castias, and the Delta in CA, among others and I’d take Minnetonka any day for numbers of three to five pound fish. A typical day on these lakes (when not fishing during the spawn or using shiners in Florida): five or six 13 inch fish and MAYBE an 18 inch fish. Fish one for a week and you will at least tangle with a big fish. A typical day on Minnetonka (when you actually try to maximize your catch) would have numbers exponentially ahead of this, and your catch size would look like a normalized distribution curve centered right in the three pound range. Fish for a few days and you will hit a school of four plus pound fish.

The boats are a part of life. Most metro lakes are overrun with boat traffic. Guess what, THE FISH DON’T CARE! I used to get so irritated with boats coming too close, throwing big wakes and just being generally rude. Now I just don’t care and laugh at it and even take some pleasure in fishing near high traffic areas. Some people will not like it, but if you set your mind to tolerate the traffic, it becomes more manageable. If it is raining on a weekend, I go to Tonka because the pleasure boat traffic will be at a minimum.

Only three more hours of work and I’ll be out there. I can’t wait!

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DoctorB...

i liked your post.. i fished Tonka for the first time last weekend (did not do well, but thats my fault) and i was really turned off by the heavy boat traffic, in fact it REALLY got to me... next time i will change my attitude BEFORE i get to the lake (more positive and willing to put up with the other boats)and i am sure i will fish better and have more fun...

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YIPPPPEEEEEEEE

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I agree that it is a great fishery. It holds enormous amounts of good fish. But changing my mindset on lake traffic is not something I will do. Give me a lake where the population is good and the lake traffic is light and I am a happy person. And yes I have fished 'Tonka and will fish it again.

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Minnetonka is nothing but a yuppie watering hole. Ya, its a good bass lake. "the best"- of course not. I consistently catch 18"-24" largemouths and 18"-23" inch smallies and the lakes I fish are nowhere near Minnetonka. I dont know any thing about most of you, but if you honestly think minnetonka is the greatest, you must not fish anywhere else. Plus, trying to fish with a bunch of rich drunk poeple and way too many Cops isnt my idea of a good time. If the "BASSMASTERS" or whatever, wants that lake, they can have it.
Thats just my 2cents.

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Tonka is my "go to lake" for fishing before or after work. During the week, you more or less have the lake to yourself. There is very little traffic and it gives the fish time to "mello out" after all the goofy weekend traffic.

Tonka and Pelican (in Orr) have been listed in the top 10 lakes of the midwest for best bass fishing. Yep, there might be better lakes for bigger size, or maybe better lakes for numbers, but all around for both size and numbers, Tonka is the place to go. Another reason why Tonka is a "go to lake" is because of the vast structure on the system. If the fish "shut down" on another lake, you can get them on Tonka. Why? Again, because of the vast structure, you can find different types that will hold active fish.

Tonka does have fishing pressure. The bass and muskie are really chased out there. But, again, because of the size, you will catch fish. Yesterday, I raised 5 muskies, including one pushing the upper end of 55". They were off yesterday.......I knew they would be off. 2 reasons. One: The weather change up to a high pressure system. Two: The fish are still a bit "messed up" with all the boat traffic on the day that summer fell on a weekend (I mean Sunday was nice and all the boating types came from the depths). Too bad it was my only day to get out there.
But, I did manage 6 pike (one pushing over 10# and 4 bass (nice bass) all on muskie lures. I fished from 5am to 1pm.

If you want quality sunfish, go to Tonka. They are on their beds. Most people really don't target them, because of the goofy boat traffic. But again, nothing wrong with 9 to 11 inch sunnies!!! Plenty of crappies and walleyes too...........

Best advice, is to just hit it during the week.

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Tonka is a great lake, but by no means the greatest lake.

It is my go to lake, but I primarily fish for muskies. It is muskie heaven! The big bass are there and I know the spots.

I do like some smaller metro lakes that are not heavly fished where I consistently managed 5-6 bass. I hit these smaller lakes when Tonka is a Zoo! They are fun!

You have to hit Tonka at the right time!

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