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Big Sandy Walleye caught on Saturday 4/28

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Darn you fishing Gods. Fishing off the dock on Big Sandy Saturday and landed a 3lb walleye. Why couldn't she have waited a couple weeks to bite.

Darn you fishing God, darn you!

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Bet you won't see one like that for awhile.

A 3 lber,wow.

I've caught hundreds of eyes there & to see one 20" is a feat to be sure.

Way to go!

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Tell me about it. I've fished this lake for the last 25 year and have only caught one Walleye bigger than that, and that was last winter I caught a 4lb. To cap it off she bit on a crappie minnow. Crazy!

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The winters seem to produce bigger fish I have a half dozen in the 20's in the winter, my biggest open water is around 18"s.

I am predicting the opening weekend "walleye" Big fish contest will be in the 20's this year, I think 18's have won the last 3 years.

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Why don't walleye get bigger in BSL? I have seen quite a few posts now about the walleye being smaller on this body of water? Any theories? What is the average size that you catch for those of you who fish lake often? Thanks.

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I think the biggest issue facing all species on this lake is the fact that the DNR does not stock this lake. I have no idea why they don't. It's got such great structure and is one of the biggest lakes in the area. It just doesn't make sense.

So what happens is people catch the 10 inchers and keep them for a meal, abd those are the ones that should be thrown back. mad.gif They need to stock the lake or have a slot for the walleyes.

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I grew up on the lake back in the late 70's and early 80's. It has never been a great Walleye lake. The DNR has stocked the lake but the last data that I have found was back in 95. In 91, 93 and 95 they put a total of 15,000,000 Walleye fry in the lake.

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From the DNR website...

Big Sandy Lake is located in northeastern Aitkin County approximately 9 miles north of McGregor. The lake is characterized as a large fertile walleye lake comprised of several habitat types. These include the open, windswept main basin, the deep cool eastern basin, Bill Horn Bay, the shallower and more isolated south basin, Webster Bay, and shallow bays containing dense rice beds on the south, east and northeast sides of the lake. The lake is currently managed for walleye, northern pike and black crappie. Walleyes are the most popular target for anglers, particularly in the main basin. The walleye in Big Sandy grow slowly and tend to be smaller on average than lakes with a faster growth rate. Past management has included a long history of various stocking strategies for walleye dating back to 1917. No measurable changes in the walleye abundance were detected due to stocking, therefore stocking was discontinued in 1995. Furthermore, the strongest year class of walleyes ever produced was in 1994, which was a year when stocking did not occur. The mean length for walleyes caught in the survey gill nets was only 10.8 inches long and only six percent measured 18 inches or longer. The size distribution was similar to what was found in previous surveys and gillnet catch rates were virtually identical to what was observed in 2001 at 3.2 fish per net. Survey data indicates that current catch rates are lower than what was documented through the 1990's when gill net catch rates ranged between 5.2 and 9.4 fish per net. Five different age classes were represented in this survey with the 2002 and 2003 year classes being the strongest. These fish will recruit to the sport fishery in the next couple of years. The walleye population will continue to be monitored at regular intervals in the future. Northern pike are also an important game fish in Big Sandy Lake. The gillnet catch rate for northern pike is about average for this type of lake at 4.6 per net and has ranged between 4.0 and 5.9 per net since 1975. The northern pike were also small, averaging just 17.8 inches, but ranging up to 26 inches in the survey gill nets. Despite the presence of a desirable yellow perch and tulibee population northern pike are small and seem to grow slow. Habitat segregation may explain some of this incongruity for example; yellow perch were mostly captured in the main basin, whereas northern pike were captured more often in the shallower, more vegetated areas of the lake. Angler harvest may also be a factor contributing to the lack of large pike. The abundance of yellow perch was about average for this type of lake and has fluctuated over time. The average size of perch was 8.0 inches and 30% were 9 inches or longer with some individuals reaching nearly 13.0 inches. The black crappie catch was up slightly from historical numbers and ranged in size from 7 to12 inches in length and averaged about 9 inches. The 2002 year class of crappies is strong and now are about 8 inches long. Bluegill numbers also showed an increase in 2005 with a strong 1999 year class and reasonable recruitment from the 2000, 2001 and 2002 year classes. Although not particularly numerous the average size was good with a mean of 7.2 inches and 33% of the sample over 8 inches in length. The tulibee population experienced summer kill in the mid 1980's but has since rebounded to normal levels. Tulibee were caught at a rate of 9.8 per net in 2005 with an average size of 13.8 inches with some fish reaching nearly 20 inches. Tulibee are a cold-water fish and provide quality forage for walleye and northern pike. They have a low tolerance for warm water and are therefore are usually limited to the confines of Bill Horn Bay during the summer months. Anglers are encouraged to release large northern pike and walleye and also to protect habitat by practicing responsible shoreline management techniques.

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My Dad and his buddies, fished Sandy from the 30's to the early 60's, when he finally gave up on it.

He typically caught what has been reported in these forums.

Lots of snake Northern, .5-3 pounds, a few Walleye, .75-2 pounds, and some medium size panfish. Oh yeah, some bullheads.

He never reported a Northern over 7 pounds, or a Walleye over 5 pounds.

Of course there are bigger fish in there, as in every lake, and some of the locals may have a small honey hole here or there, as on every lake of size, but these remain only because they are not regularly pounded, and even these can disappoint.

It is a very large, complicated, beautiful body of water, with reasonably fair fishing. There are better fishing lakes in the area, as described in other forums.

Its greatest value to most, is in its Scenic Beauty...when there are not too many watercraft, especially the big jetboats, and jet skiis, racing around, destroying the solitude.

Like most lakes, Sandy is what it is , and has been for a long time...

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(Contact Us Please) fishing Gods. Fishing off the dock on Big Sandy Saturday and landed a 3lb walleye. Why couldn't she have waited a couple weeks to bite.

(Contact Us Please) you fishing God, (Contact Us Please) you!


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  • Your Responses - Share & Have Fun :)

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