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MNGrouser

I was planning a splake trip this weekend, but heard that most trout slowed down a couple of weeks after season opened. My source said lakers are still active, but he has never down well on rainbows or brookies more than two weeks after season opened. He wasn't sure if it was oxygen levels, fishing pressure, his own rotten luck, etc.

Can anyone verify this or prove him wrong? Thanks in advance for any advice.

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End of the Line

Welcome to the forum.

I cant believe that anyone actually thinks there is no place to fish that would have the same affect on every splake, or any other species, that you couldnt go out and get some on any given day. There are lakes in MN that have splake and trout that hardly ever see an angler all winter. But to put a general cap on one guys outings is certainly not fair. Splake and Cohos were the best biting fish on Lake Superior last weekend in WI.

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JustinG

I have been targeting stream trout now for the past 2 weeks and have had varying luck on any given day. I have not been skunked once...just some days are slower than others. I really think the weather this week has has alot to do with the fish bite as a new front has passed every day this week. I saw the biggest Rainbow ever this past week, he swam up to my bait, circled it and would only snap at it and wouldn't bite. It was still unbelievable excitement! Splake, however, seem to be voracious and have been biting hard. Not always, but more often than not they fly right in and smack the bait. You just have to go out and drill some holes and give it a try.

Justin

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Steve Foss

Hi grouser. Welcome to FM. Great to see you here. grin.gif

If your source only was talking about his/her own experience, that's one thing, and it's chancy to take the word of a single person on something that broad.

And your source is wrong. Streamers will bite all winter. They tend to be most active from just before sunup through the first few hours of light, but that's just a tendancy, not a law. And splake are a cross between a brook trout and a laker (both actually are char), and lakers are quite agressive in all seasons. If someone tells you not to bother fishing splake after the first couple weeks of opener, I'd say balderdash.

However, most fish species, and I believe trout in particular, tend to be shy of tons of on-ice activity. Someone who is in the middle of a village of houses and looking for splake or streamers, or lakers for that matter, is going to find hard going more often than not. Likely your source fishes near other folks, because that's what most do, and it doesn't take more than a week or two of a lot of traffic to move fish away from villages. People who isolate themselves and fish quietly catch streamers and splake the whole season.

So I say: Get away from the crowds, because trout move around ALOT, and there are many good places on any given lake that have not sprouted houses. And fish whenever during the winter you feel like it.

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JustinG

I think one huge mistake people make ice fishing for any species is unwillingness to seek fish. If you aren't catching fish-you need to move! Don't be afraid to try other depths either. All too often, people will catch fish in one location early then "it shuts off" and they still sit there, well, alot of times this is true- but more often if you make a move to different depths or locales on a particular lake, you can still find actively biting fish.

One thing a person needs to remember when fishing stream trout is it is a totally different ball game than Walleye fishing...and that goes for time of day as well. I think a lake with heavy weekend activity on it especially early in the morning will have a tendency to shut fishing off early-you just need to make a move and use your fish senses. Seek and you shall find!

Justin

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  • Your Responses - Share & Have Fun :)

    • leech~~
      Word, Yak Bowstring. 😉
    • Big Dave2
      Wanderer, do you frequent the area often?
    • Fishouttawater
      Anyone know what water temps are recently? Hoping they start dropping quick
    • Wanderer
      Well we’re back home and tired!   We tried to get lost as best we could in the Itasca/Cass counties area.  Looking for carry in accesses to kayak into duck hunting heaven. 😅  So was everyone else and they had jon boats with mud motors.   We had a great time despite some negative highlights that really affected everyone’s hunting.  We found a roost during scouting on Friday, along with a great campsite to stay.  The roost and campsite were 2 miles apart though.  We scoped out the closest spot we dared set up the following morning cuz, Don’t shoot the roost, right?  Paddling by 3:30 am we got our spot, not flushing too many birds out.  Sure enough a boat with 3 guys churns past us later and deep into the roost.     Sure enough again, birds blow out but settle back down.  We still think we’re in a good intercept spot with a convincing decoy spread laid out.   Low and behold, 8 minutes before legal shooting hours the three guys open up a barrage of shots that starts scattering everything to the wind.  Birds are whizzing by us but we hold our shots.  5 minutes to go and they open up again.  At 2 minutes to go the rest of the groups in the area start popping off.  Everything is flying high now and showing NO interest in decoys.  We have birds going over us but too darn high.  Not for everyone else though, they’re blasting at birds higher than the tree tops.  Sigh...   The three guys churn back by us maybe an hour into the day - limited out I’m sure.  We were the last ones back to the “carry in” access and were greeted by a group of 4 with 2 boats that scouted Friday also.  We know where each other were hunting.  They had that look on their face like they were expecting some answers.  That was enough for us to say “It wasn’t us!”     It was a civil conversation after that. Local guys, upset with the shenanigans as well.  Three groups were able to get just half a limit with the tough shooting after the blowout.  All pass shooting; nothing coming to the dekes.  Those birds are spooky and know their safe distances.  Such a difference than expected.   We put plenty of miles on the truck and about 15 miles paddling looking for Mecca.  It’s a tough game around there that needs some more time to figure out.  But it’s a fun area to look at.  Short of not coming back with limits of ducks, it was a good, long weekend.  
    • ozzie
      good to hear!  How were ya catching them?  Redtails, trolling, jig n leech?  what depths were ya finding them at? on weedlines or over structure?  I don't want to know the spot but some more detailed information can help us all!😎  Thanks for posting!!
    • moneyback2
      walleye fishing was pretty good on lake alexander this weekend.
    • thunderbirdprince
    • Rick
      Several connected lakes also added to infested waters list The Minnesota Department of Natural Resources has confirmed a report of zebra mussels in Blandin Reservoir on the Mississippi River, abutting the city of Grand Rapids in Itasca County. Several lakes connected to the reservoir by a Mississippi River tributary are also being added to the infested waters list.  Itasca County invasive species staff contacted the DNR after finding zebra mussels on settlement samplers that were installed this spring near the public access on the east side of the reservoir. Settlement samplers are solid surfaces placed in the water that people can regularly check for attached zebra mussels. DNR invasive species staff confirmed zebra mussels on old saw logs and other logging relics throughout the reservoir. The Mississippi River splits near the reservoir, and a tributary connects several nearby lakes. Because of the connection, Lake Pokegama, Jay Gould Lake, Little Jay Gould Lake, and the Mississippi River from Lake Winnibigoshish to Mississippi Lake will also be added to the infested waters list. DNR invasive species specialists recently confirmed zebra mussels at several points in that stretch of the river. No zebra mussels were found in recent surveys of Lake Pokegama and Jay Gould Lake, but they will be added because they are closely connected to waters with confirmed zebra mussel populations. Following additional surveys and technical review, more distant connected waters may also be added to the infested waters list. To reduce the risk of spreading aquatic invasive species, activities like bait harvest, commercial fishing, and water appropriation are managed differently in infested waters. The DNR has already been in contact with some of the businesses that would be affected by this designation, along with the Leech Lake Band of Ojibwe. The DNR appreciates the help and cooperation of Itasca County staff, who detected zebra mussels, notified the DNR and assisted with the follow-up investigation. Whether or not a lake is listed as infested, Minnesota law requires boaters and anglers to: Clean watercraft and trailers of aquatic plants and prohibited invasive species. Drain all water by removing drain plugs and keeping them out during transport. Dispose of unwanted bait in the trash. Some invasive species are small and difficult to see at the access. To remove or kill them, take one or more of the following precautions before moving to another waterbody: Spray with high-pressure water. Rinse with very hot water (120 degrees for at least two minutes or 140 degrees for at least 10 seconds). Dry for at least five days. Zebra mussels can compete with native species for food and habitat, cut the feet of swimmers, reduce the performance of boat motors, and cause expensive damage to water intake pipes. People should contact an area DNR aquatic invasive species specialist if they think they have found zebra mussels or any other invasive species. More information is available at mndnr.gov/ais. Discuss below - to view set the hook here.
    • Rick
      The Minnesota Department of Natural Resources has confirmed reports of zebra mussels in Sauk Lake, near Sauk Centre in Todd County.  A resident on the northeast side of Sauk Lake contacted the DNR after finding numerous zebra mussels up to one-half inch in length on a boat lift being removed for the season. DNR invasive species staff found zebra mussels on rocks in the same area of the lake. Sauk Lake is downstream from Lake Osakis and the Sauk River to Guernsey Lake, where zebra mussels were previously confirmed. Whether or not a lake is listed as infested, Minnesota law requires boaters and anglers to: Clean watercraft and trailers of aquatic plants and prohibited invasive species. Drain all water by removing drain plugs and keeping them out during transport. Dispose of unwanted bait in the trash. Some invasive species are small and difficult to see at the access. To remove or kill them, take one or more of the following precautions before moving to another waterbody: Spray with high-pressure water. Rinse with very hot water (120 degrees for at least two minutes or 140 degrees for at least 10 seconds). Dry for at least five days. Zebra mussels can compete with native species for food and habitat, cut the feet of swimmers, reduce the performance of boat motors, and cause expensive damage to water intake pipes. People should contact an area DNR aquatic invasive species specialist if they think they have found zebra mussels or any other invasive species. More information is available at mndnr.gov/ais. Discuss below - to view set the hook here.
    • Rick
      The Minnesota Department of Natural Resources has confirmed reports of zebra mussels in Big Pine Lake, just northwest of Mille Lacs Lake in Aitkin County.  A lake property owner contacted the DNR after finding four adult zebra mussels on docks and boat lifts being removed from the lake for the season. The DNR confirmed zebra mussels at that location and about a half-mile west of the original location. No zebra mussels were found during searches of the nearest public access and near an island on the lake. Whether or not a lake is listed as infested, Minnesota law requires boaters and anglers to: Clean watercraft and trailers of aquatic plants and prohibited invasive species. Drain all water by removing drain plugs and keeping them out during transport. Dispose of unwanted bait in the trash. Some invasive species are small and difficult to see at the access. To remove or kill them, take one or more of the following precautions before moving to another waterbody: Spray with high-pressure water. Rinse with very hot water (120 degrees for at least two minutes or 140 degrees for at least 10 seconds). Dry for at least five days. Zebra mussels can compete with native species for food and habitat, cut the feet of swimmers, reduce the performance of boat motors, and cause expensive damage to water intake pipes. People should contact an area DNR aquatic invasive species specialist if they think they have found zebra mussels or any other invasive species. More information is available at mndnr.gov/ais. Discuss below - to view set the hook here.