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Mayhew Lake


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A buddy and i were thinking about checking this lake out and i was wondering if anybody knew anything bout it. anything would be a start.

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I went out there a couple times last winter. Got some small crappies with a big one mixed in now and then. And some sunnies and perch on the other outing. Its a good panfish lake with a chance of a northern.

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i fish that lake often, be careful as ice can really change from spot to spot, i normally do well on pike on the west side follow the shore line out about 200 yards down from the landing, think depth is about20 feet or so. also catch some sunnies off the landing. good luck be safe smirk.gif

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This can be a solid crappie lake some years. When the bite gets hot though, it tends to take a lot of pressure and it doesn't last long. Most crappies I've caught there in the last 10 years were 9 inches or so. No monsters. The best time to be out there is the last hour before sunset. As soon as the sun falls behind the trees, the bite picks up. A flasher really helps. I have had the most success with a small jig that hangs horizontally, tipped with a waxie, or a small minnow. I have caught a couple small walleyes mixed in with the perch that you can get during the day. A silver spoon tipped with a minnow chunk will usually bring em out. The perch tend to be right at the bottom. Depths range. The channel is basically a big V shape, so I like to drill 6 or 8 holes across 50 or so feet and check multiple depths. Stay on the outskirts of the "villages" and you will tend to have better luck than right in with the crowd. Open water fishing for crappies can be quite good in early May. By the end of May it gets really green and smelly, so I avoid it until ice up. Good luck, Dave

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Dave, do you ever fish out in the middle of the lake? I believe there is an island out there, and I see a permanant house out there all the time. I have never made the trek, but am willing to try if it is worth it. Do you have any advice?

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There is a pile of rocks out in the middle of the lake. I have never fished it in the winter, but I'm sure it would be productive early and late in the day. I think it is probably an old time farmers rock pile, either put on the ice one year, or it was at the edge of the pasture before they flooded the creek. Either way, it is pretty tiny and can be tough to find even in a boat. The guy that has the house out there (and I think it is the same house every year) really knows the lake well or saved it on his GPS. Since I've seen him out there going back about 10 years, I'll bet its the former. You also see a few houses on the other side of the lake away from the launch every year. Those spots have been good to me, on the few occasions that I wasn't too lazy to trek across. I'd be careful as you get close to the inlet though, I would think the ice could get a little scary there. Both the rock island and the inlet are great spring crappie spots. You have to be careful of shallow spots and stumps by the inlet though. Have you ever made the trip down to the far end of the lake? I never have, but would be interested to hear how the fishing is. I never seem to be able to get past my regular haunts, you know how that goes. Dave

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Thanks for the info... no I have not fished the other end of the lake. I usually just stick to what you call the "village" and catch a lot of small perch and a few crappies early and late in the day. I also have tried going really shallow, near the spear houses in the "village" and have found that I can catch bigger perch in there along with a decent sized pike about 1 every 15 minutes or so. I just used a small orange "Genz worm" tipped with a small crappie minnow right on the bottom. The perch and pike both bite on that rig. Maybe ill see you out there if Little Rock isnt producing. I am really anxious to get out there, but I am at school until Dec. 13 at SMSU in Marshall. Good luck! Todd

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i fish this lake pretty regular all year... spring, summer, fall, and hard water.. close for my dad and i.. i have never caught a crappie here.. some others have, but plenty of perch and northerns.. 5 and a 7 lbr in last two years.. walleyes out on the 'island', but it is small, about two-three boat lengths.. but spring is best bet, sit on top and cast off the side.. northerns are more across from launch and in the 'village', shallow and move out il u find them.. i take the neices and nephew out too.. caught a bunch of sunnies this fall, off of the dock.. for a small lake it has a lot of spots...

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My grandpa fished this lake all the time when he could go out. He told me he found a spot where the crappies bite in the day time, but that was years ago and wouldn't tell ya anyways. It use to be a good crappie lake he said, but now its just another central minnesota dead pond like Little Rock, Fish, Rush, or Julia. One thing i can't believe is the fishing pressure on that lake and how many people fish it. No wonder there is no big crappies or bluegills on that lake. Im from the area, and you would not catch me on that lake anytime of the year. You would have to pay me to fish that farm pond, because thats what it use to be and still is. If you want to fish a crappie lake go to Briggs, not Mayhew LOL! Oh and a hint for ya dave, you should think about keeping your lips shut about spots on small ponds or lakes (if you want to call it one) like this. I hope you don't do that on some of your other "secret" spots on lakes around St. Cloud. Its people who run their mouth about good fishing lakes that are not big enough to hold alot of fishing pressure because that justs ruins a lake, just like this one, or Julia or Little Rock. All because one guy caught a 10 inch crappie, and told about everyone in the county and where he was on the lake, what time of day, what bait, and lure, etc. Give me a break! Figure it out yourself thats what half the point of fishing is, to learn the lake and its structure and to find the fish and catch them, and to keep it to yourself, so other people can figure it out for themselves. Most people i think just do not have the guff to do that anymore, because people are really lazy. Some food for thought there for everyone!

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Agreed, a lot of people read this site and others, just hoping to find an "easy spot" for some fish... I would never say boo on here for an area lake. Personally, if I find them by myself and have a killer night on the lake, that is the most fun I can have. Just my two cents....

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Lighten up! Any lake that is close to a heavily populated city like St. Cloud is going to get a lot of pressure no matter what. Most Fisherman/women that live in this area have fished Mayhew at least once and know what to expect. Will you see your bobber go under? probably. Will you catch a trophy size fish on that lake? not unless you consider a carp a trophy. If you don't mind catching a few small fish, then go to Mayhew. That way it will be less crowded on Little Rock. wink.gif

Winniewalleye777 - Dont you have finals to study for? Your Dad said to tell you that the blades are shot on the auger and the dog chewed a big hole in your fish house so he threw it out. grin.gif

Nels

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good call on the Mayhew quote Nels. It is the only place where I can take my dad so that he can catch a fish. Those 3-4 inch perch out there are "monsters" to him. "Get the net!!" Anyone fishing on your lake yet? Ill have to give it a try when I get back home next Tues. Give my dad some (Contact US Regarding This Word) for me by the way!! tongue.gif Ill tell you where the fish are once I get on them!!! cya around -Todd

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You have a meaningful arguement. However, I think it is true that Mayhew will get hit hard no matter what. And this is a forum for sharing fishing tips. I think the dead lake syndrome that is so common around here has a lot more to do with harvest habits. I think it hurts a lot more to have so many people keeping as many fish as possible during a hot bite than it does to share info. Lake Julia is a great example. A few winters back there was an incredible couple weeks for sunfish. I kept hearing about all the "limits" coming out and it made me sick. Guys talking about how they kept a limit three of four days in a row and such. I think it's a problem on Mayhew too, I've even had people come over and ask me for the crappies I was releasing. You see it in the spring on the Briggs Lake chain real bad as well, when the crappies are piled up in the same spots every spring. I'll have a whole plate of your "food for thought" however before I share so many details.

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Let me just say, if you ever have seen a kid catch a big carp (or sucker) on a Scooby-Doo pole, they can be a trophy. You would have thought they caught a shark wink.gif

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  • 'we have more fun' FishingMN Creators

Harvest habits do go a long way in the fate of our area lakes. There really aren't any in the area immune to overharvest as long as they have a public access.

The toughest fish to find in the St. Cloud area in large sunfish. They are around but so many of the lakes here hold large numbers of stunted sunfish. They are also the most targeted and kept of the fish in the area. They are especially vulnerable early spring through June.

There are nice crappies, walleyes, pike(although they would be the next toughest), bass and catfish. There's even some decent perching around if you look for it.

So our harvest habits are things we should be keeping an eye on. For instance, last winter and most of this summer I caught plenty of fish. I bet I ran a knife through less that 10%(most of those were URL crappies or Cass Walleyes) of the keepable fish I caught. I had a few fish in the freezer(most of it was snapper, sea trout and shark from my folks wintering in TX). So why keep any more?

Keep a few fish for a meal or two. Caught a bunch and enjoy yourself. As far as sharing spots got I generally give info on bites on lakes with general info like depth and presentation. I don't give spots out generally unless they are already well known community spots. If the bite is going on a lake that is in my opinion fragile I'll keep it to myself.

Just remember for every member that posts here there's another 20+ people lurking. You might not be able to get to your spot next time if you're too specific. wink.gif

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Dave I didn't want to seem harsh but i see it to much on here about people giving spots away, especially on Lake Mille Lacs. I just get ticked when people down south (city folk) ask just about every question in the book and just want the easy way out. Then whats the point of fishing? One thing i learned from my dad and grandpa (who both fished Mayhew back in the day) is that you have to be skunked sometimes, that way you learn about fish habits, structure, presentation and food size/type. Then also you actually are thankful to take a limit of fish of any kind when you get the chance or the bite is right!

Dave I know what you mean on Julia, my dad and I go down there when im home on break from college, but thats about it, and we did catch some nice bluegills and a few crappies off that lake about 3 years ago through the ice. We didnt get our limits but we got a meal or 2. But it was really nice cuz we got on top of a school of them out off the normal village, and we were by ourselves sorta. Until some dipsh!t with a walky talky radio was walking around and saw i had 12 bluegills on the ice and radioed back to his buddy! They didn't come fish by us thank god otherwise there would of been words said. People like that i see alot on lakes around St. Cloud and on Mille Lacs and it just sorta gets to me on how it seems no one has commen sense or isn't curtious to other fishermen. I guess i am spoiled because i go to Bemidji for school, and can fish these lakes up here, and for instance last night a friend who is from the foley/gilman area was with me and we had the whole lake to ourselves when fishing last night, and frankly he wasn't use to it at all because of fishing on lakes like little rock, julia or mayhew. In my opinion if the DNR wants to help out some lakes instead of ruining them, they should impose a 1-2 year fishing ban on some of the smaller lakes around St. Cloud just so that the fish can get out of their stunted growth, because seriously its a problem and alexandria and brainerd are not that far away to drive to fish then maybe people will take their fishing more serious if they have to put more time and effort into it as well.

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Borch i agree that about 80 people will read these posts so keep your honey holes to yourself because i don't want to know about them! lol its your spot not mine and you found it before me so shhhhhhhhh

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Im pretty sure just about everybody and their mother knows about the spot that we are talking about on Mayhew. I don't care if everyone goes out there now. It is a great place to take a kid fishing. You can catch about 50 small perch and a few small crappies and pike in one evening. This is a great recreational, catch and release lake if you ask me.

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  • 'we have more fun' FishingMN Creators

I don't disagree with that assessment. I've never fished Mayhew and I know about the rock hump. I might have a hard time finding it though.

The St. Cloud forum is one that doesn't get a lot of chatter going about fishing reports. For some reason folks are pretty hush, hush about the bite going on. I'm always willing to share info to a point. No harm point folks in the right direction. I just don't want to do all the work for them.

Thing is every one of the lakes in this area cycle. Part of that is just the natural peaks and valleys of fish/bait relationship. Part of that is harvest. It's just the way it is.

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I'm surprised that little mud puddle Mayhew has generated so much discussion!!! I'd like to hear what people's thoughts are on this: I talked with a guy from some type of Benton County sportmens group (sorry, don't remember which one) out at Mayhew one day, and he complained that the design of the spillway made it impossible for fish to enter the lake from that end of the creek. He contended that the walleyes that are stocked all go over the spillway during the spring, so that it's not helping any to stock.

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  • Your Responses - Share & Have Fun :)

    • Brianf.
      No, that wasn't me.  I drive a 621 Ranger. 
    • CigarGuy
      So, that was you in the camo lund? I'm bummed, I have to head back to the cities tomorrow for a few days, then back up for at least a few weeks. Got the dock in and fired up to get out chasing some crappies till opener!
    • LakeofthewoodsMN
      On the south end...   Lots of ice on the main basin, but it is definitely deteriorating.  Some anglers have been fishing the open water at the mouth of the Rainy River in front of the Lighthouse Gap.  The rest of the basin is still iced over. Pike enthusiasts caught some big pike earlier last week tip up fishing in pre-spawn areas adjacent to traditional spawning areas.  8 - 14' of water using tip ups with live suckers or dead bait such as smelt and herring has been the ticket.  Ice fishing for all practical purposes is done for the year. The focus for the basin moving forward will be pike transitioning into back bays to spawn,  This is open water fishing and an opportunity available as the pike season is open year round on Lake of the Woods. The limit is 3 pike per day with one being able to be more than 40 inches. All fish 30 - 40 inches must be released. With both the ice fishing and spring fishing on the Rainy River being so good, many are looking forward to the MN Fishing Opener on Saturday, May 11th.  It should be epic. On the Rainy River...  An absolutely incredible week of walleye and sturgeon fishing on the Rain Rainy River.     Walleye anglers, as a rule, caught good numbers of fish and lots of big fish.  This spring was one for the books.   To follow that up, the sturgeon season is currently underway and although every day can be different, many boats have caught 30 - 40 sturgeon in a day!  We have heard of fish measuring into the low 70 inch range.  Lots in the 60 - 70 inch range as well.   The sturgeon season continues through May 15th and resumes again July 1st.   Oct 1 - April 23, Catch and Release April 24 - May 7, Harvest Season May 8 - May 15, Catch and Release May 16 - June 30, Sturgeon Fishing Closed July 1 - Sep 30, Harvest Season If you fish during the sturgeon harvest season and you want to keep a sturgeon, you must purchase a sturgeon tag for $5 prior to fishing.    One sturgeon per calendar year (45 - 50" inclusive, or over 75"). Most sturgeon anglers are either a glob of crawlers or a combo of crawlers and frozen emerald shiners on a sturgeon rig, which is an 18" leader with a 4/0 circle hook combined with a no roll sinker.  Local bait shops have all of the gear and bait. Up at the NW Angle...  Open water is continuing to expand in areas with current.  The sight of open water simply is wetting the pallet of those eager for the MN Fishing Opener on May 11th.   A few locals were on the ice this week, targeting pike.  Some big slimers were iced along with some muskies as well.  If you like fishing for predators, LOW is healthy!  
    • Brianf.
      Early bird gets the worm some say...   I have it on good authority that this very special angler caught no walleyes or muskies and that any panfish caught were released unharmed.        
    • smurfy
      got mine done........for the cabin.....ready for summer festivities!!!!!!   there was still frost in the ground...........but good gawd are the lakes low!!!!!
    • CigarGuy
      Just 1, 50" muskie🫣
    • SkunkedAgain
      How many walleye were on the stringer on their way out??? 
    • CigarGuy
      Saw the first boat of the year yesterday, heading towards Black Bay 
    • SkunkedAgain
      All of the webcams appear to be ice-free except for shore ice. It looks like you could navigate most of the way on Vermilion at this point. Happy boating everyone.
    • Dash 1
      I'm the same on honey do lists. I seem to feel better doing my list than my wife's list, even though they my be similar. 
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