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Guest

Hey guys and gals, I'd be happy to ponder your questions about lakes in the East Central region of the state. I've been fishing this region for almost 20 years and would say it's pretty hard to beat for quantity, quality, and specie diversity. If I don't know the answer, I can probably get it from the other folks I know that fish this area as much as I do. Plus, there's some regular contributors to this forum that know an awful lot about the area. If you've got a question, it will get answered here. If you've got a hot tip, post it here. If you've got a secret, email it to me wink.gif

Let's heat this forum up a little. A little something for you right now, I rarely ice fish anywhere but this region. That might say it all right there.

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shorefisher

Great, I have a ? I do a lot of oce fishing but don't have much luck cheching eye's throught the ice what is the best set up for this and what baits are good. I pick up a few just crappie fishing but never on my set up for eye's. If you have any ideas I would love to here them.

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Guest

Shorefisher,

I don't think winter walleyes are a bait issue as much as I think they are a location issue. I think if you can present a bait where the fish want to be you have a pretty good chance at iceing them. Now, there's no doubt that such-and-such bait will be better than another at a certain time, and that makes for a good case to have multiple presentations rigged up. The baits I have had the most success with have been jigging spoons like a Sweedish Pimple tipped with the head of a fathead, a jigging Rapala with eurolarve on the the treble, and just a plain hook and small shiner on a tip-up. But these presentations are worthless without the right location.

The right location? Boy that varies greatly in every lake. It takes a lot of holes and quite a few fishless trips before I've been able to put something together. Some lakes I still haven't figured out. One piece of structure has seemed to be common to almost all places that I've caught winter walleyes is a bottom composition change. And, it's almost always a real distinct change. I mean rocks or hard packed clay to mud. A deal where the depth finder gives you a triple echo to where it almost doesn't read any bottom at all. And, this transition seems to run for a signigicant distance, say 100 yards or longer. It's never really seemed to matter where that transition was. It could be on the side of a point or hump, on top, or at the base; it could be up on a flat or even in the main basin of the lake. Whenever I've caught walleyes in the winter, it's been there.

I've still got a ton to learn on winter walleyes. I'd like to see someone else chime in on there experiences.

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BIG

.....before you get all tangled up in presentation and so forth, don't forget, that
FIRST ICE rules, especially in pressured metro lakes.....

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Guest

BIG,

Agreed, first ice can be the best deal in the metro and areas immediately north. Also, it does pay to keep away from the pack through the season. Then the first ice type bite can last well into January.

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Pherris

I was wondering if you know how things are going on Pine lake near Finlayson? I have never fished it this late in the year but will up in the area this weekend and still have the boat out. Wondering if you had any info?

Thanks

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Guest

Pherris,

I have not heard anything about Pine since Labor Day. I'm guessing you're thinking about crappie fishing. I'll give someone a call tonight that might have a report. There's also someone else in this forum that has posted info about Pine in the past. Post this as a new topic and maybe we'll get a response.

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Pherris

Thanks. I will check back to see if you heard anything. Also I would be open to trying other lakes in the area if you think they would be better.

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Guest

Rush, Pokegama or Cross could all be worth a try for crappies. I think you're going to find them in fairly deep water. I've had experience with Cross in the fall and have caught crappies. In fact, it can be real good once you find them. They get out in the main basin of the lake though, so you need to do alot of hunting with the electronics.

Pine is more than likely the same deal. Both Pines bottom out between 25 and 30 ft, the crappies will likely be out in that main lake basin. I think Pine is a good choice, but you'll need to patient with the fish until you locate them.

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BIG

.....I can confirm what Born... is saying
because 2 weeks ago - on Rush - the crappies
were deep, 28-30 feet and fairly aggressive, and on Rush there also were perch in some spots that were 6 inches or more....by the way the crappies were always near the deepest water....also, I didn't catch any walleyes - which should have been in the same places....a little puzzling.....
the water temps haven't changed that much in the last two weeks - about 45 degrees- so everything should be the same....good luck, if you run into some wallbeanies let us know....

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  • Your Responses - Share & Have Fun :)

    • delcecchi
      My transducer issue was during open water.   My hypothesis after several transducers was that freezing them after having been in the water damaged them.    Once I stopped letting them freeze then they stopped going bad.   Maybe some water was getting into them and causing damage when it froze.   The transducer in my Minnkota  US2 is fine with freezing.
    • Hunternitz
      I fished by the Lester area yesterday n today. I was in 75-78’ water. Had one school of coho’s chase my jig all the way to the bottom of the ice. I looked down the hole and was amazed by the fish just swarming around my jig and just nipping the tale. That was my very first time out there. Didn’t catch any, but seeing those fish made it all worth it. At Lester there is an Easier way out there if you go to the south side of the river. It’s an easier trail to follow out onto the lake. There must be some open water just north of there. There was a lot of mallards flying around and landing. ? 
    • Hunternitz
      Eagan Mn
    • Bigfatbert
      I don’t have what your requesting , but you can do just as I did to verify such changes by calling the Mn DNR at 651-296-6157 ... 
    • Wanderer
      When you rubbed your hand on the ducer before, did you notice a thin layer of ice on it?  I’m guessing No, with how you described the situation, but that can happen with a ducer that’s below freezing when you dunk it in the water.  It ruins sensitivity.     You’re open ice fishing, yes?  Not in the warmth of a house?  Like the others mentioned, could just be your graph doesn’t like the cold.  And it’s always better to have the depth range locked in than on auto.   Good luck Bob.
    • Walleye Guy
      Do you have a link to an article or regulation that shows the changes?
    • Wanderer
      Yeah, I think we’ve had enough.  The silver lining for me is I DONT plan on fishing this weekend.  But I do have to ready my sled for next weekend in ON.  I’m hoping the snow isn’t as bad up there.  Strange to think it’s a possibility but yeah, that’s how much we have in MN.   I kept my face plastered to the plane window going down to Denver on Monday.  The snow line peters out around the NE/CO border.  The only people not complaining about snow and cold at home were from CA!   I thought there was a noticeable lack of fishouses out on our MN lakes too.  I hope to get a good view of Mille Lacs when we come into Brainerd.  It was amazing how small the lake looked on the way out! 😄
    • smurfy
      so anyone know whats up with snowfighter???????? he hasnt posted in a long long time?????? hope all is well with him. my parents bought the cabin from his dad!!!!!!
    • Dusty
      good news, I heard earlier that it was under consideration.
    • artjaco
      Looking at the latest images, the lake looks pretty iced over... are there any areas of thin ice / open water to be found? Not looking to fish, need to test some safety gear with a group. Any river mouths open or areas between Duluth and Tettegouche?