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2020 Lake Mary, Alexandria MN Fishing Reports - Click Here. Show us your pics!

 

I’ve been invited to join some guys from work to fish a few days on Lake Mary this weekend. I think it’s mostly a social thing, but it always helps to catch a few fish too. Anyway, I have some decent fishing background, but I don’t know anything about the lake or how to fish it.

If anyone would be willing to help me out with some general advice I would really appreciate it.

Feel free to email me directly if you prefer.

Thanks very much,

Tony ([email protected])

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Brother in Law was out on Little Mary last week caught a bunch of small gills but not many respectable ones. I know the crappies are normally good size but he said they didn't catch many of them. 

I to will be on Mary from Wednesday thru Saturday a.m. Is there anything going on?

Any help would be greatly appreciated.

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Big Julie

Lake Mary has been fished out by people keeping way too many 8-12 inch fish.

Just like Reno.

It'll be a few years before stocking can catch up if they can possibly put a slot on the lakes from preventing others from keeping the dinks.

We desparately need a 14 or 15 inch minimum by law to keep people from keeping 3 limits that will not cover the bottom of a 5 gallon bucket.

What a shame that people "have rights" (to keep any fish they choose to) but no common sense.

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Prairiefire

Easy there Big Julie, fishing is supposed to be fun right?

I agree with you to some extent, but both Reno and Mary have plenty of good fish in them. All of our lakes go through natural cycles of higher and lower populations of both gamefish and baitfish. I think we all give ourselves a little too much credit for the good times and too much blame for the tough times.

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MN Shutterbug

Personally, I think the DNR should raise the non resident license fees. We're giving out of staters too good of a deal here. I just talked to a resorter friend of mine by Alex and he told me that his guests, from out of state, have been catching a lot of bass and from the looks of the fish cleaning house they had some over 4#. He said that they eat or take home everything they catch no matter what size it is. This is also the time the bass were on the beds. If MN could cut down on the numbers of fishermen from Iowa, Indiana and Illinois I think many of our lakes would be in much better shape. I understand they need to promote tourism but if our lakes get depleted, tourism would really suffer. Double the non resident fees and implement a statewide minimum size for walleyes and a maximum for bass, such as only one over 18", and we all win.

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abens1078

Raise the prices, Ohio isn't that much further from Iowa.

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Hey Stiff and Gerty, I've had good success on Mary and even with walleye over 15 inches. I like to fish around little mary bay(south end of lake) or just outside of it. I will use a jig and shiner or a lindy rig with shiner or leech during the morning and daytime. At night, shiners or leeches under a slip bobber work great in 8-10 ft of water.

Good luck to you.

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Big Bobber

Seems like there a few folks who paint with a pretty broad brush when you talk about the "Out of staters or Resorters" when talking about the fish harvest from the Minnesota Lakes. I have fished the same lake for over 40 years, the same week every year. I have personally witnessed most of the resort patrons get totally drilled by the lake, most of them barely catching enough for a fish fry or two. Conversely, I have witnessed many of the "Locals" catch one or more limits of walleye per day several days in a row. After a number of years, I start to recognize some of the locals, especially when you see them put the boat on a lift at a residence each day. My family and I just returned from our annual vacation. We probably caught in excess of 250 walleye during the ten days we were on the lake, but only kept ten to eat. If the walleye is under 15 inches or over 20 inches it goes back into the lake. There were ten boats fishing out of the resort, and I do not think that there were more than twenty walleye caught by those other fisherman. We also caught over one hundred bass per day, most of which are still swimming. A good share of the fisherman that visit your state are sportsmen, just as many of the residents of your state. I can appreciate being protective of your resouces, but my personal observations have indicated prudence by the resort patrons. I have witnessed first hand customers being turned away from the lake by resort owners if they observed their customers harvesting small, large or excessive amounts of fish.

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Hey x-tackleman,

I think its terribly naïve of you to “blame out of staters” for the state of the fishery on Mary or Reno. All you need to do is take a look at the number of resorts on a lake such as Reno. There is a total of one. Its hard to believe that the out of state guests staying at one 8 cabin resort fished out Reno.

The truth of the matter is that 3- 4 years ago, the word was out that Reno had great Walleye Numbers and the bite was on. It only takes a few years of everyone flocking to a lake that size to hurt the population.

The next time you hear about a “hot lake” don’t go to fish, instead drive to the public access and count the number of license plates from out of state versus in state and let us know what you find out.

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Hey Ole #1. Thanks for the help. I sure wasn't trying to start a debate. Just looking for some help.

When you say outside of the bay, are talking in the channel or do you actually get out into the main body of the lake?

Thanks again.

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I fish the channel and just outside the channel during the morning and daytime, but at night I fish right where little mary bay meets the channel. The shores on the east and west side of the lake just outside the channel will hold walleyes as well.

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Let's play nice people smile.gif All our area lakes go thru cycles of fish populations, and these cycles will vary from species to species. If you were to pull the lift count histories for both Reno and Mary for the past years you would see a cycle of high lift count years and low lift count years. The cycles have more to do with young of the year recruitment and spring spawning conditions than they do with fishmen keeping small fish or out of staters taking our fish blush.gif I've had a number of guide trips on both lakes this year, and we have had no trouble locating fish. I would much rather see our DNR manage the lakes based on bio. data collected by them, than manage our lakes based on political pressure.

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hey gerty, I am heading up on Thursday, my uncles property sits just off of 14 and 21... right across the road from mary... I think those are the roads, just want a shot a couple of eyes, where should I head?

CC

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ghotierman

Ole...thanks for getting this post back on topic. gerty is looking for a little advice...and I know from Ole's track record, he can provide some reliable tips.

Keep in mind that Mary is a broad shallow lake...not alot of structure beyond the areas Ole mentioned.

One pattern to try is to drag lindy rigs with leeches to locate active fish. Then pinpoint them with a jig and fathead. I know Ole is a jig fisherman, and that pattern seems to produce consistently for him.

As far as the comment of Mary being fished out....there is a very strong young year class in the lake...you'll undoubtedly run into a lot of small fish. DNR electro fishing last fall had the highest young of year count in the lakes history. Be selective in your harvest, and as these fish mature...Mary will continue to be a solid choice for walleye fishing.

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Ole #1 and Ghotierman - Thanks for the added info. Hopefully we'll have a successful trip! cool.gif

Muc33 - I am just looking for info too. Read Ole #1 and Ghotiermans post above. Good Luck.

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Ghoteirman, curious as to where you got that info, we have been talking to the DNR, and last fall they're electrofish count was less than 8 young of the year per test. That was down from over 200 in the fall of 2004. We did get the data from their survey in raw form this past winter directly from the DNR.

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ghotierman

might have been the fall of 04....i had a conversation with one of the fisheries biologists....(time flies...)

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No problem guys. Good luck out there and save a few for me grin.gif

Another thing. We've caught some nice bonus crappies while slip bobber fishing in the eve, they would even hit the shiners.

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Agape, I would be interested in getting the "lift count" data history on lake Mary, even though I don't know what that is! Assume it is fish survey results of some kind. I have been to the DNR lake finder website but that is old data and never changes. Any info on how to get up to date anual survey data? Also I am interested in a guide on Lake Mary, I will try your website.

Thanks

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You can get the reports on line, but only after the DNR has them entered and available to the public. You can also try contacting the regional fisheries office, in this case in Glenwood and see if they will give it to you. If you are on the lake, you can also contact the lake association for Lake Mary, and they can give you info. There are two surveys done usually, a trap net and gill net survey during the summer which targets adult fish, and electro fishing in the fall which is used in part to measure young of the year fish which are generally in the weeds and measurable at this time.

Last year, the summer survey showed markedly lower results than in the past. Also the fall survey dropped significantly. Summer counts could have been affected by the warm weather and water, but the fall was not.

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When I want lake info that is outdate I will stop in at the fisheries in Glenwood or give D. Beck a call. They are always helpful.

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Ole # 1 and Ghotierman - Thanks for the tips. Fishing was tough. Caught 3 keeper walleyes for two days - 16", 17" and a 19". Only caught 1 short fish. So much for only catching little ones grin.gif. We must have had three different fronts come through in those two days, so it made it pretty hard. We didn't see very many people catch fish either. Felt fortunate to catch some big enough to keep. tongue.gif

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  • 1 month later...

Yes, I am an Illinois fish hog whose group has released 5 to 7 pound walleyes caught on Lake Mary the last two years. We also don't keep anything under 15, so yes, I agree with the comment about painting in broad strokes. That said, a slot limit would be a good thing to protect the resource from those poor starving masses who need tiny filets to survive. As for the licenses, fishing brings a ton of money to the state besides just the license fees, so keep the foreigners out and the state loses money, the DNR loses funding and fish management will suffer as well.

Now as to fishing on Lake Mary, we found when you got a good walleye bite going, it was usually weed related, especially when a good wind has pounded in on the shore. A lot of boats hang out in the deep hole off the big north bar but that never worked like the weeds edges. Plus, you get alot of bass and panfish in there too. Good luck.

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  • 2 years later...
lifeisfishing247

for all who think that Mary is not a good summer lake,,,,, try again. we spent 5 days up there and ended up with northerns, walleye, bass, lots of wonderful .75 lbs crappies, and 1 great DOGFISH( lol). i agree you need to work for them. seemed many ways worked Fatheads for the crappies before sundown. walleye white rapalas, few little sunfish!!!.. it was a great time!!

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fishing4fun

Any certian areas, trolling breaks or weedlines?

My family is going up there for the Labor day weekend. And we have some young kids with ages 2-5 that absolutely love to fish. So any action will be nice. I know the docks are loaded with small sunnies, but they get bored with that after awhile.

Mainly looking for some walleye action.

Thanks.

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lifeisfishing247

there is a drop off from 7ft to 10 ft right out from the lifts. troll it slow with spinners and a leach or bobber fish off the lifts of eden acres like 1 hr befors sundown to sundown for nice crappies. i also picked up one walleye over by the DNR area.

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gofishingtom

were you fishing eden acres on the west side or the eden on the east side?

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We and the others at Maryview Beach did OK as well this past week. We found a good hole for crappies just outside of the resort area. Unfortunately for me and my fam, our resort mate faired much better than us however, the all resort fish fry Thursday evening was AWESOME!

We also found a few bass around the reeds and of course we ran into our fair share of hammer handles. I'm going to try pickling them this year. I've never tried it before so any info would be appreciated.

The wind didn't cooperate with us Wed-Fri afternoon. Didn't even get the boat off the lift during that stretch. The north shore of Mary gets rockin' with 25+ mph south winds!

Myself and two resort mates put in on Pocket Lake Sunday morning and they returned Monday morning. Once we found the fish the action was quite good. Caught quite a few crappies, a few hammer handles, some bass (including one PIG <of course I didn't catch it...>) and even a couple small walleye. We didn't manage to scare up any dogfish though...bummer...

All in all it was a very relaxing and enjoyable week and I am already looking forward to next year.

On a ~somewhat~ related note, I heard once that a guy is supposed to destroy any dogfish that he may unfortunately catch. Is this true? I was on Mary on week in June 3 years ago and they were EVERYWHERE. The bass were too but you had to spot fish for them around the big nasties that were cruizing the shallows. We caught several but I never even boated the rotten things.

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      Just spent Thursday through Sunday at Becida near Bemidji. My dad, brother, nephew and I tried 7 different lakes. Nothing fantastic but a good time. Best walleye action was on Big Wolf and Andrusia.  14 to 16 ft water. We used mainly rainbows and left over leeches I had saved from summer. 11-18 inch walleyes. Also got some sunfish on Lake Hatti.  Did pick up 3 walleye on Lake Bemidji also.  4 conservation officers at gas station south of Bemidji on Friday morning said they were in town for security with POTUS visit.  Talked to a bait shop owner that said one group of 13 got 11 bear opening weekend. WOW that’s a lot of meat. Also saw a bobcat run across the road. And lots of deer in evenings. 
    • Raven77
      Lead core was on fire for us on Saturday on both the east and west end in 22-30' of water.  Five of us in two boats boated over 70 fish on Saturday.  A lot of 10-12"ers but enough keepers to fill 5 limits.  Biggest was 25".  We did great Sunday and today as well although not as hot as Saturday.  The only live bait fishing we did was with minnows on Lindy's.  Caught a few but honestly did not spend much time live rigging as the lead core bite was so hot.  Stomachs on most fish we cleaned were empty.  The ones with full stomachs had mostly small crayfish and minnows.
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