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Anyone familiar with Turtle Lake by Staples? If so, any info wiiling to divulge? Not looking for a honey hole- just curious if it is worth dropping my rig in sometime.. Thanks in advance. 8-Ball.

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Sorry dude - this is a Brainerd Forum. With all the great lakes around here not too many folks find themselves fishing where there are so few options.

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Yeah I know theres alot to choose from there. Just trying to find out about it from anyone who may have tried it sometime. Someone else suggested posting it on this forum.

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Are you talking south of Staples? If so, I lived in the area my whole life, its been hit prety hard, its a small lake and can't take the presure it see's in the summer, it is one of the closest lakes to the Sylvan Shores development area, and is vacationed hard in the summer you can find a decent crappie from time to time but they are few and far between, if your after small N. Pike, you'll be happy there, the walleye stocking is unsucessful due to the high pike population, its just another one of them lakes that need some other form of management from the DNR, along with about 20 other lakes in the area, I say close the season on it for a few years and see what happens, trap the pike out of it and leave some to grow, they ask that you keep the pike under 24" and release anything bigger, but you know how well that works when its only a sugestion and not a law, other lakes just to the south like Coal, Thunder, Mill, Horseshoe, Pine Island, and Big are all alike, way too many fish kept and not enough let go to sustain the preaditor balance, everyone keeps the big sunfish, crappie, and perch, and then you have lakes that are stunted, you end up with the land of 10,000 lakes, but half of them are full of small fish, and no bag limmit quotas. I wish the DNR would impliment a plan to close some of these lakes to other than land owners on a every other year basis, and set stricter size limmits for all the species.

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I hear you 100 % Capt. It happens all over the state. But it is getting a little better as time goes by, IMO. Thanks for the info. I like to try small lakes that others may perhaps whiz by to another destination. I guess I will whiz by this one as well. You work for Todd. Co. Sheriffs office, by chance?

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captkev, I think your observation of this lake's problems are acurate and common. The one thing I'd like to comment on though is the equally common opinion that the "DNR should manage it differently". One thing I observe is the fairly recent change in the DNR's desire to balance out hammer handle lakes.

The problem usually is like you said, that suggestions don't work very well. The implemented regulations often get fought with tooth and nail by jugheads unlike you and me who don't realize how much of a problem keeping only the nice fish out of a small system can be.

I guess what I'm seeing isn't so much the DNR not managing lakes the right way, but our arm-chair wannabe biologists fighting the DNR and putting political pressure on them, not letting them do the right thing. The best way is not to hope the DNR manages things better, but help them and not fight them (like the Big Birch Lake fiasco started by spearers fighting a northern slot AGAIN!!).

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I do not know why people in the Big Birch area are so upset with that. They now have a great fishery and monster fish. Big Swan is another lake in that area where the slot limits on pike have proven to work. I think there should be more restrictions put on. I think that the bag limits for non-residents should be made smaller. To many out of staters come in and take the max. of fish they can no matter the size or species.

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8-Ball, No I'm not with the Sheriff's dept. I'm a truck driver for a local company.

Now on the DNR issue, I for one try and help them as much as possable, I have 5 of the closest CO's on speed dial and the TIP number in my cell phone, I do my part. It just seems no matter what they do someone is going to (Contact US Regarding This Word) anyway, If I would have wrote that they are doing everything they can to improve the area lakes, someone else would have commplained that there not doing enough, there is allways going to be a tug of war on this issue no matter what anyone says. So they have done a great job on Swan and Big Berch, now that there is some nice fish in there again, someone wants to go get some with a spear and change the law again, I say great, have at er. go down there and give some of the other lakes a break for a while. This is exactley my point, close alot more of the lakes with stricter size & bag limmits so there will be more lakes to bennifit and more of them will make recoveries faster. Without more Laws to protect more lakes and not just the big ones, I say they're just shooting pool with rope.

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It isn't just the out of staters that pile the fish up. I've seen the same local people take the limit off of the ice and water every day they are out. I don't think they realize what posession limit means. I think people think that possesion limit means what you take off the lake that day not that they have their freezer piled clear full of fish. Also out of state fisherman are big revenue for Minnesota. I think that the local bait shop will testify to that. But I agree that regulations are definately needed and slot limits do work. Sometimes I wonder if the slot limits are the correct ones.

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Anybody care to get back to giving out fishing tips? I just spent 3 hours out fishing this evening and like magic I don't feel like beeotchin' anymore. Funny how a little fishing makes everything hunky dory just like that...

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  • Your Responses - Share & Have Fun :)

    • redlabguy
      Mark, Glad your crew had another great outing. It’s always good to read your reports. Just wish there were more of them like the old days. Sorry you hit the storm. One of the worst in our 14 years. We’ll be dealing with dock issues for a long time but nothing like the good folks in Cook have.  The fishing has come around a little since the storm. Definitely nightcrawler now. I don’t get far out of Frazer but the reefs are where the action is. Looking forward to hearing from you in September.  My best to you and Linda, RLG p.s. Our good old red lab, Ole, cashed it in last summer, but we have a 6 month old lab now who is learning the ropes up here (and teaching us we’re older than we think we are!)
    • Mike89
    • leech~~
      No can see?  
    • smurfy
      yeppers......nuttin more aggravating the boat motor issues!!!!!!!   what was the problem the first time???????
    • Hookmaster
      Nice fish Kettle. Hope it's really "fixed" next time.
    • Rivergroup
      Our group will be returning in September as well. Wish we were able to be there now to lend a hand.
    • smurfy
      dang...tough to hear..........hope the good people up there recover soon!!!!!!!!!
    • MarkB
      We just returned this afternoon from 6 days on Vermilion. We arrived Saturday and enjoyed 3 fantastic days of walleye fishing. My cousin, our friend Greg, and myself fished several of our spring spots and found fish on all of them. Water temperatures were pretty much 65-67 degrees everywhere we fished. The wind was variable and made boat control a challenge at times. Bait was not an issue and we had success on crawlers(Tim), leeches(Greg), and minnows(me). If I had to pick one of those as catching the most fish, it would be crawlers. Our best day totalled 48 walleyes, 4 smallmouth, and 2 big JUMBOS. We ended up with over a hundred walleyes, 12 jumbos 11"-13", and 10 smallmouth to 18". Our biggest walleye was 24.5" and the balance went from 13"-22". There are lots of 14"-16" walleyes this year which are perfect eaters. The mayfly hatch was in full bloom in some areas but we found very few mayflies in the water column over rock reefs. We caught our fish in depths ranging from 10' to 32'. I didn't fish in any area where I could see mayflies top to bottom in the water column. Slow trolling in the .3mph to .6mph worked and we caught nothing using slip bobbers. Terminal tackle was a 3'-4' 10# flurocarbon leader, 2 lime colored beads, and a plain #6 Gamakatsu walleye hook . Snags are always an issue when fishing in and around the rocks and when the fish are biting they are acceptable. NOW, for the bad news.......Tuesday was a day I won't soon forget. The area suffered devastating torrential rainfall. Lightning was non-stop for several hours and when things settled down, flood damage was everywhere. We checked our rain guage on the side of the cabin and we got 7 3/4 " in a little over 4 hours! Breezy Point road washed out, Mud Creek road washed out as did several others in the area. Cooke business area was completely covered with flood water. I would consider it a disaster area and should be declared as such. We couldn't find a dock anywhere that wasn't covered with water. People were stranded behind flood covered and washed out roads. Dock decking, limbs and such were floating everywhere in the big water. My group sends our prayers to the people of that beautiful country that lost their businesses, homes, and suffered damage to their lake properties. The people of that north country are resilient and we have confidence that they will recover. We stayed our final 3 days but didn't fish at all Tuesday. Our last 2 days showed the effects of the storm. Water temps dropped to 64 degrees and our premo fishing became 10 walleye days. We did manage to catch a dozen really nice jumbos. We plan on returning in September and we pray the area will have returned to normal by then. I haven't figured out how to transfer photos from my phone to my computer yet so no pictures at this time. Good Fishing and God be with you. MarkB
    • SkunkedAgain
      Word is that the river has peaked and therefore the town can start the process of recovering sooner.
    • smurfy
      Heard that too. Also heard 38 was closed for a but north of rapids due to flooding.    I know the water really came up when I was up last week compared to when I was there in April. 
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