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I'm a student at MSU and me and a buddy arent sure where to put the house. Thinking Washington or Madison. Whats our best bet for eyes and maybe a mixed bag?

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Both are good lakes for walleyes and crappies. Washington seems to give them up a little easier though and the sunfish are usually biting there too. Madison's crappies tend to run bigger, whereas on Washington there were a lot of good walters pulled last winter.

Traffic will be dam near unbearable on Washington as soon as you can drive out. Tons of people fish that lake in the winter no matter what. Madison usually isn't as bad, but word of a hot bite will pack em in there too.

I would give both a try over the course of the winter.

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The amount of snow on the early ice will dictate the fishing on Madison this year. The more snow early on, the faster the natural forage, shad, will die off. Last year we had a huge shad hatch in the fall that survived most of the winter because we had no snow. Washington is best fished mid-week if at all possible. There is less pressure. Washington is a bit more predictable as far as the crappie and walleye bite go. There is always a lot of sunnies to be had on Washington. Madison has bigger crappies and a bit better walleye population. As I mentioned earlier, if we get a good snow cover, the plant life will die off quicker and so will the shad. Thus, getting the bite off to a good start. We did not see any decent action last year until mid February. Eagle Lake is a good early ice choice due to the walleye and northern population. German also tends to do well with the 'eyes. Check around and see what you find, have fun.

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Take that advice and run with it Mkto Wallys. Big DS couldn't have said it any better.

Great advice Big DS.

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I fish Washington alot in the year and it is a very good lake.The panfish are usually pretty easy to find and the crappies are not bad either.Yes,Madisons crappies are a little bigger on average but washington will kick out some nice ones also.As far as eyes go,in the winter I do o.k. on this lake,but usually im chasing the panfish and crappies more.As you will see this winter,I almost always post how im doing on Washington all winter long and try to give a accurate report with baits used and the general area I fish.Good luck this ice season.Also,when on Washington watch out around the narrows and squirrel nest point for bad ice.

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Which would you guys choose, for keeping a perminent on. Kinda thinking washington, but with all this snow early thinking with what you guys are saying with this snow madison would be, maybe a better bet. Last year just fished mainly loon and caught walleyes, but usually small so me and my buddy want to put it on a lake with some biggies. Curious what you pros think.

thanks

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I'D TRY MADISON FIRST WHEN THE ICE GETS THICK ENOUGH. STOP BY REEL FISHING AND TACKLE IN MADISON LAKE AND THEY CAN HOOK YOU UP WITH A MAP AND POINT OUT A COUPLE OF THE USUAL HOT SPOTS ON THE LAKE. MADISON HAS A GOOD POPULATION OF BIG 'EYES. DON'T BE AFRAID TO PUT 'EM BACK TO CATCH ANOTHER DAY. THERE ARE A LOT OF FISH IN THE 16-18 RANGE.

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I know for sure there are some pig 'eyes in Madison. I didn't keep any from this past summer.

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Last February 2 weeks before 'eye season closed, there were a lot of pics of 7-9 lb fish coming into the bait shop, and one a bit over 12 that was released after being weighed and measured. There were a few pics from Madison this summer, but most of the big 'eyes on the wall at the bait shop were from several different area lakes.

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Do you find that the walleye's are in the same spots winter and summer on Madison, or do they move to new area's in the winter?

~piker

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Mkto. Wallys, one thing you may want to consider is the fact that many more people will fish Washington. This means that roads to the congregations of houses is usually cleared.

On Madison you may be busting your own trail.

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The rock pile, between grassy island and Bray park, Miller's point, and around the rocks by the narrows usually seem to hold the fish. Matt at the bait shop in Madison Lake is usually a good source as to where the fish are at. I think there will be plenty of traffic on Madison this year to keep the roads open to the fish. grin.gif

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Pikerliker, I don't mean to intervene about your inquiry to Big DS, but I can tell you that there is a population of 'eyes that hold in shallow water during the winter months as well on Madison. Look for areas that have little snow cover where vegetation is known to be present in 4 - 8' of water. This requires a "stealthy" approach during low-light periods, with evenings typically being the best. I typically target these 'eyes with large minnows and plain, glow hooks and a slip bobber fished on the top of the vegetation, say between 2 - 4' below the ice. These 'eyes will slide in out of adjacent, deeper water to feed at night above the vegetation.

I know this tactic also works on Washington as well. A buddy of mine and me put some great catches on the ice last year well into the season doing the same thing.

Good luck!

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Thanks for the advice Otter I do appreciate it! I will definately give it a try!

~piker

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Sorry Big D's! I meant to say thank you for your advice also. Just a slip of the keyboard!

~piker

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