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erikwells

I have been fishing Martin lake in Anoka County. The DNR stocks 1 million fry per year in this lake. I cannot boat a walleye on this lake to save my soul. Has anyone else fished this lake with any level of success? If so, what technique, bait, depth and time have you been fishing.

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Erik,

I caught a good number of walleyes in the winter, so they definitely exist. However, I've never open water fished this lake. I do know there is a significant lack of structure in this lake. If you really wanted to catch walleyes from this lake, I'd look at options like trolling cranks along the break lines or fishing around docks.

I just don't think traditional jig and rig methods would be terribly effective on a lake where there's little structure other than shoreline breaks and where the water is pretty dark.

Anyone else have some good suggestions?

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erikwells

That makes sound sense. I imagine the fish tend to be scattered with the void in structure. I live in Elk River and am trying desperately to find a few good lakes close by that have some descent walleye fishing. Any recommendations? P.S. I do catch and release on all walleyes over 20 inches.

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Erik,

I would suggest the Mississippi River from the Coon Rapids dam to the 169 bridge. It's naviagble, the current is usually manageable and there are some walleyes. Now, you have to accept the fact that you'll probably catch more smallmouth and catfish than walleyes, but there are walleyes.

Look for mid river humps and concentrate on the upriver side of them. I suggest jigs tipped with fatheads (the biggest ones you can find) or homemade live bait rigs with a big split shot to anchor them. Tip them with a big fathead or a medium redtail chub.

You will also lose plenty of tackle, so don't bring your $2.00 apiece jigs. Go cheap. Also, to cut down on snags, don't troll. Use the current to sweep your bait into potentially productive areas. Position the boat with your outboard or trolling motor upstream of your target (or just anchor upstream) and "bounce" your bait into the area.

Fishing rivers can be challenging at first, but once you catch on it's really the simplest, most consistent fishing around. However, it does take some practice.

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erikwells

Thanks for the reply. I think you are right due to the lack of structure coveing water with crankbaits is probably the best way to fish when they tend to be scattered. I live in Elk River, do you have any suggestions for lakes to fish walleys that are relatively close? I can catch northerns at any time on a number of lakes that are close but would love to find a couple of lakes that hold good opportunities for walleyes. p.s. I do practice catch and release.

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erikwells

Thanks for the advice. I can now view all responses. I will be giving Christmas lake a try tomorrow to see if the trout bite is still active. I have never fished Christmas but know there are some nice trout to be had. I plan on trying some trolling and will probably put out a cowbell rig. If this is not productive I will try drifting a crawler over areas that I mark suspended fish in deep water. I will let you know how I do.

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