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cupper

Heading up to try Dumbell Lake, near Isabella, for a few days next week. Does anyone have any advice for finding a few eater eyes and an occasional musky? No honeyholes needed, just some ideas to get me started.

Thanks alot!

-cupper

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picksbigwagon

Muskies, yeah the shallow weed areas hold them , along with the shore lines. There is a bay behind the island that holds muskies. Can't help you on the eyes, I have fished that lake more than once, but have never caught an eye. It is my favorite lake up north due to the muskies and smallmouth, not to mention no one else fishes it and the campsite on the island is awesome...good luck and watch out for the moose

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MuskyBrian

there's no muskies in Dumbbell smile.gif

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MuskyBrian

j/k...Email me Dude, MIllerx80@aol.com, I dont want to broadcast but I will help ya out

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Muskie-searcher

All you have to do is toss spinners along the weed edges and you will have no problem finding yourself a muskie on this lake. Seems simple, but then I guess it is.

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83walleye

Walleyes - 8'-11' around sunken islands, lindy rig w/leech or crawler 3'-4' back, corkie or floating jighead. Sunken islands on both sides of the narrows. Get a depth map and fish the structure tight. Rocks all over - I'd really avoid going fast if you don't know the lake - particularly the south/west side. Smallmouth, walleyes, and headsup on bringing the fish into the boat - the muskies like to strike the fish on your line. I understand smaller, dark bucktails and cranks do best for muskies - traditional-sized baits seem to be too big or something. Really nice place though...

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cupper

thanks for all the hints guys! I really appreciate it. I'll be heading out tomorrow morning. I will write a post on Thursday/Friday to let you know how it goes.

Take care!

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picksbigwagon

Definately keep the speed down low and prop up a little bit, there are rocks in that lake bigger than my house. They rise up from 25' of water and top out about 2 feet below the surface. Of course with the lake of rain up there, most of the rocks will sticking out of the water.

Good luck, I love that lake

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cupper

Well guys, I am back from my first trip to Dumbell, and unfortunately I do not have good news to report. Despite all of your efforts to lead me in the right direction, I only managed a few 8 in smallmouth and one 22 in musky. Zero walleyes. The lake is beautiful and the campsites are awesome. I would love to go back... I feel the need to go back and redeem myself. I am still dumbfounded that I didn't catch one walleye... I am wondering if the full moon had something to do with it... maybe they were feeding at night. I tried the lindy rig with a float (leeches and crawlers) tight to structure and nada.

Well, thanks for all of your help. Sorry I couldn't put it to better use!

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83walleye

Well that's not good - but I guess that's why we call it fishing, not catching. A bit further up are Wilson and Little Wilson. I've had good luck on Little Wilson fishing the same way on the windy shorelines. 8'-12', not so good on calm days there though....and, there are alot of trout lakes in the area up there. Soaking an inflated crawler 2'-3' off the bottom or 10' down on a slipbobber will catch fish - we troll with little orange floating Rapalas sometimes too. Fun place to spend time...

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ahc667

don't expect to catch too many nice fish on this lake. the muskie population is out of control, and the dnr has no clue how to handle it. that's why you got yourself a 22 inch muskie, and not a single walleye. i was there a couple weeks back and caught 27 and 22 inch muskies, lost a 3rd while trying to net it (was by myself) but it was only around 30 inches. lost another one about the same size the next day.

a few years back the DNR removed 161 muskies from dumbbell to try and control the population, and how the overpopulation of muskies was affecting the forage. they have found out that their efforts went in vain. the dnr will tell you that the low muskie size is due to a limited forage base (walleye, perch). of all the muskies i've caught there, 90% were under 29 inches and not one was over 35. too many muskies means less walleye. not enough walleye will give you too many small muskies....and that's the state of dumbbell right now. you'd be best to concentrate your efforts elsewhere, even though it sure is pretty up there.

if you want walleyes, go to windy lake near finland. there are good numbers there, and i know of trophies over 30 that have been caught there.

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namaycush

I was up on Dumbbell earlier in the week and had good luck on 3" streamers for musky on a fly rod. I think a slower and smaller presentation might be good for this lake. A couple other guys had luck using smaller spinners and plastic frogs.

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83walleye

You know, it didn't take long for those muskies to disrupt the lake. I fished it alot back in the 1983-88 years, and they did have a pretty dramatic effect on the walleyes each year as their numbers grew. Too bad - maybe they should allow some more lenient fishing regs for these fish - maybe no minimum length and 3 daily? Kind of like northerns...too bad a lake with that kind of quality in the past gets screwed up with good intentioned plans...

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ahc667

It is sad. The lake has so much potential with all the structure. The problem is that they started the Muskie stockings with the smaller Shoepack strain. Then switched to the larger Leech Lake strain. In my opinion, what happened here is basically that 2 top predators were stocked. It's kind of like stocking Pike and Muskies in the same lake, except this is just 2 very different strains of muskies. The 2 species probably spawned in different areas of the lake for years, until the population of each got too large. Now, since there are so many Muskies, what is happening is that the 2 species are breeding together, bringing down the overall average size of the Muskies in the lake. A Leech Lake strain Muskie has the potential to be 50+ inches, but as soon as it cross breeds with a lousy Shoepack, there's no way it'll get above 40+. The crosbreeding of the two strains and the overpopulation of them as a whole have really declined the average size, and decimated the forage base in the process. I am waiting for the DNR to do something about it. Insert jeopardy theme song here.........

What's worse is that in their futile attempt to mitigate the effect of the Shoepack strain on the Leech Lake strain, they stocked some 160 of Dumbbell's Shoepack Muskies down the road into Homestead Lake. Homestead is a 40 acre lake. Do the math here, 160 Muskies in a 40 acre lake with a maximum depth of 8 ft. ! Prior to that stocking, Homestead supported a large number of Perch. The last survey the DNR did, there were none....zero, nil..not a single Perch. So the DNR went and screwed up up another lake while trying to fix Dumbbell. Now there are 160 starving Muskies in Homestead, and the DNR has no plans to stock more forage for them.

What a bunch of idiots!

I do like your idea of lowering the minimum length on Dumbbell, and increasing the bag limit. Maybe a coulpe of seasons of liberal harvest would better Dumbbell's future.

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83walleye

ahc667 -

Since you're online, any chance I could get a bit more info out you regarding Windy? My former brother in law is from Silver Bay and spoke of hunting ducks there, and catching some walleyes. I've never been on it, but have my father in law coming up this weekend, and he wants to go fishing. Haven't been up that way for some time - will probably do the Toohey/Fourmile deal, but woul;d try Windy if I knew what to look for. I have a map. Thanks.

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ahc667

To be honest, I've never fished Windy...just did some research on it. Some buddies of mine up there (I live in the cities) were telling me that a mom brought up her son wanting to do some Walleye fishing. They sent them over to Windy, and she caught a 32 or 33 incher on a leech, and had caught others throughout the day. If you look at the stocking report, it regularly gets 250,000 fry stocked, and the survey numbers look good.

I strictly (VERY STRICTLY) only fish for Muskies and Pike. I don't have the patience to sit around with a worm or a leech. I have to be casting constantly or I get bored. If you wanna email me, I'll tell you where you might be able to go to get some Windy fishing advice from these guys.

jason1151980@yahoo.com

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83walleye

Thanks, I'll follow with a pm.

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