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BullFighter

Pelican Lake / pelican Rapids?

59 posts in this topic

How was the Muskie Fishing on Pelican lake last year, (near pelican rapids)

Where are some good places to Start ?

East side? off of HWY 31 or is a guy better off fishing from the West side?

Thanks in advance!

BF

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There are some nice fish in there, but don't plan on being on the lake from Memorial Day through Labor Day if you are going during the weekends. The whole state of North Dakota shows up on Pelican and surrounding lakes and it is full of pleasure boaters, cruisers, pontoons, tubers, jet skis, and so forth. I had a buddy pull a 53" out of there on opening day 3 years ago. I have always worked the East side through the middle of the lake where it flows south into a smaller lake that is connected. Enjoy, it's a beautiful lake!

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I am the resident guide in that area - Pelican is actually my backyard. It is a good lake - You can catch some nice fish, but you can really get your butt kicked as well. Pleasure boating really has effect on fish here. And Pelican was rated as the number 3 pleasure boating lake in MN. My blood pressure is often bulging veins out of my forehead. I have at least one bait a year get sucked up in a ski - pontoon - or speed boat.

If you do venture over, I just beg you to release it if you catch it - We have had a problem with idiots keeping their fish on the regular.

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Well Jerry if its a Legal fish, its a legal fish, and just because they decided to keep a

legal fish "does not" make them a [PoorWordUsage].

You may not like it but thats your Problem....lol...

I don't like watching people keep there limits of 13 inch Walleyes, makes me sick

but thats my problem....lol..

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Wow BF, you're clueless. Not too often people ask for help and then insult the guy that gave it them 3 posts later. It's not just Jerry's problem when those fish aren't put back, take the blinders off, think for a minute, have some respect.

How many musky lakes do pass coming to Pelican to fish Minnesota muskies? You come because there's big fish here, we let our "legals" go. lol, it's funny, isn't it?

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Sorry Bull but with Jerry because I know one of the idiots he's talking about and he has kept many muskies out of pelican and beers and has encouraged others to do the same. He claims he likes fishing them so I mentioned releasing them might help your own cause. I then added what do you do with them because your livewell is too small for a 40" +. I said you must have a stinky boat. He says he eats them. I added I don't think it is recommended to eat large fish because they can store icky things in their fat reserves. It was all water under the bridge to him. My last remark and the last time I ever talked to him was after he mentioned well then no one else can catch em again if I keep em with a snicker so I added you wouldn't have caught them either if others wouldn't have released them. End of story. He really is keeping them to spite others or at least his words and body language suggested it. I think Bull Jerry is saying without saying Pelican is a low density trophy type of fishery and it can be set back by people who are keeping fish for marginal reasons or something to that effect.

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They all go back. If it wasn't for catch and release, these fish would never get to 50 inches. Some fish get caught 20-25 times throughout their life. So, if you catch that 50"+ and decide to keep it, just remember 10-20 different guys/gals caught that fish before you and if it wasn't for their choice to release it you would have never experienced the thrill of catching it. Releasing all the fish gives another angler the opportunity to catch a fish of a lifetime as well. So for every fish you keep, you are taking memories away from another angler, young and old.

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Perfectly stated DHanson.. Thanks. Hopefully what you said will sink into his thick skull.

smilewhistle

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Hiya -

Guys - keep it civil or I'll have to break out the God button and start dusting posts - which I hate to do... smile

BullFighter - to expand on/clarify Jerry's comments a little...

I grew up in the area and still have a place up there. What Jerry's talking about are some very anti-muskie locals who have opposed the muskie fishery on Pelican since Day One. (Day One, by the way, was back in 1984). They've taken a very negative approach to the muskie fishery there, and some of them kill every muskie they catch, legal or not. I watched one guy slit one's belly with a fillet knife and let it swim off. I've been in shouting matches with guys who have cursed me up one side and down the other for releasing a muskie in front of them. There's actually one guy there who nails muskie heads to his garage...

What Jerry's talking about isn't an angler who keeps a trophy. I'd just as soon see them all go back, but I, and I know Jerry too, understand that right now in MN muskies are a trophy species and some will keep one to mount.

This is something different. The level of harvest out of Pelican is significant. Much of it is by guys who kill muskies for nothing but spite, out of pure ignorance and belligerence. Pelican has a lot of potential as a muskie fishery, but it hasn't lived up to that potential in part because of the amount of harvest that happens there.

So you'll have to forgive those of us for whom Pelican is our home waters for being touchy on the subject of harvest out of there.

To answer your original question: As Jerry rightly pointed out, Pelican can be hit or miss. It's not a lake that gives up fish easily, but when it's on it can be very good. If you're there on weekends, it's a zoo. During the week, it's a lot quieter. I prefer the east access (off of 31) as it's a little more sheltered, but the lake's not that big so you can run the whole thing from either end. Fishable stuff all over the lake.

The upside of the traffic on weekends is the occasional comedy show at the ramps. I've seen ski boats dropped on the concrete, bows through back windows, minivans turned into submarines and a pontoon on its side... Seen more than one marriage go to pieces right there at the dock too. Some guys don't get that their wives weren't born knowing how to back up a single axle trailer... On holiday weekends I've always been tempted to go down there with a lawn chair and a cooler of beer. You can't buy that kind of entertainment. smile

Cheers,

Rob Kimm

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I was not insulting anyone 50 inch Pig....lol...You make me laugh....LMAO

Man......Take a chill pill...!

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I was not insulting anyone 50 inch Pig....lol...You make me laugh....LMAO

Man......Take a chill pill...!

no, I think you just had a bad day. Jerry was just advising others to catch and release (which most of us are encouraged to do today) because it's what he does for a living/passion, catching muskies anywhere and releasing them. He also knows that if its a legal fish they can keep it if they want to, he's not dumb as you think. He is saying he would like to see them released...

Now with that 48" minimum rule, these fish under 48" must be released or call the TIP line, that guy MuskyBuck is talking about won't be too happy when he gets his fine nor he already has.

On another hand does that 48" minimum rule apply to all lakes in MN?

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Hiya -

QA - yes, 48-inch minimum applies state-wide, with the exception of a list of hybrid-only lakes in the metro area.

RK

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Hiya -

QA - yes, 48-inch minimum applies state-wide, with the exception of a list of hybrid-only lakes in the metro area.

RK

Thanks Rob!

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Thanks Rob! It is nice to have a head like yours overseeing all of this. Coming for Bass opener? I got your call last night, sorry I was in FLA.

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The great thing about fishing for muskies in Minnesota is that the better part of people chasing them are releasing regardless of their size. The people who aren't either don't understand the negative impact that taking just one fertile female on a low density lake can have or they just don't care. I hear about almost every big fish caught in this area, and I have kept a count for the last 4 seasons of fish that I know have met their demise from 2 area lakes - both lakes are in the 3000 acre range. Both are stocked. Both have mediocre natural reproduction.

2005 - 19 fish between 40 - 52

2006 - 28 fish between 34 - 54

2007 - 11 fish between 38 - 52

2008 - 19 fish between 44 - 53

These were all kept by people fishing for muskies. I have also found 1 floating severed head of a 50+ inch fish and 3 slit belly floaters in the last 2 years.

So far in '09 I have 3 recorded - One 45 caught and killed on walleye opener - One 47 killed during Ice fishing - and one 53 speared by a non-native american resident.

Fishing can still be good in this area but we certainly feel the loss compared to a decade ago. So I ask people to release them. Stocking efforts are much more select now and there are a lot of fish going elsewhere. And like I said, we feel the loss of these fish - A weekender might not, but we do - It is the least a visitor can do to give back to a lake.

And as collected RK seems on this thread, I have had experiences where I thought I was going to have to physically restrain him from disemboweling a mouthy bass angler. But that's a story for another time. wink

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Pelican is my home lake as well, i have a cabin on it and get up there every weekend. i first started musky fishing this lake 15 years ago- and let me tell you, you can get your but kicked out there. there are some big fish that swim these waters, but you might not ever see one. Like people have said it is managed as a trophy lake-low numbers- and there is alot of people killing fish, i say killing due to what Jerry and RK have mentioned, sliting bellys etc.. Also i know of at least 12 50's that were taken out and mounted in the last 2 years, cant be a good thing for the lake.

That said, along with the traffic on weekends, i usually opt for another lake. i would imagine most of us are driving past better water to get to this one. Big Detroit, Bemidji area, Alex area etc.

To answer the question, i stay on the East side, but tend to have my best fishing over open water.

It can be a tuff lake to fish, dont expect to just drop a boat and catch one. Also tons of snakes out there, to break your heart.

Dont forget to hit Zorbaz for a Pizza and cold one, you can likely find Jerry there as well.

SS

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2006 - 28 fish between 34 - 54

Someone was actually keeping fish 34 inches long?

I can understand a 52 or 54, ......but 34 ?

Did you actually see this?

On another note, do you really believe a 48 inch min is going to stop the guy

who (apparently on pelican Lake) uses a fillet knife to slit the belly and then release

them?

I ran into a Guy on Lake Bemidji who told me he uses a scissors to cut the gills then he releases them.

I think he thought he was going to get me hot and Bothered...I simply shrugged him off with a smile and walked away.

He later apologized for saying it.

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i have seen some of the smaller ones killed. a few years back, when i was in my wilder times. i was getting fed up about hearing about people killing fish. After a day of fishing i got back to my cabin and my neighbor had a 34 and maybe a 36 on a stringer off his dock.

i grabbed the fish and tried to revive them, neither were able to swim away. The neighbor saw me do this, and wasnt too happy. After a few words, i informed him that he was breaking the law. He laughed about it. and seemed very happy about it.

Also there are many unconfirmed stories about these situations that i have heard while out walleye fishing.

SS

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I have a hard time trying to understand why somebody would slit a fish with a knife and then release it. I'm not sure how I would react if I witness somebody doing this. As fisherman we have to have a certain level of respect to other anglers as well as to the fish. I wouldn't slit any fishes gills if I caught it, no matter what specie they are.

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WOW that all sounds like the same actions from the "No More Muskies" clan over in the Alexandria area a couple few years ago, I know the major target was Lake Miltona, heck for all I know this is the same group.

Why is it these guys get away with such crude behavior, better yet how is that these guys sleep at night, it's just so messed up, who made them judge and jury... aaarrrrgggg!!!!

on a side note I heard the DNR netted a 60"+ fish out there on Pelican a couple years ago. Can anyone confirm or deny?

RU

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Here is a disturbing photo from 2 years ago - I found this fish floating near the shore just before MN muskie opener - It was 45.75 inches [img:center]dead_ski_2.jpg

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That is so mess up. I'm guessing that all this negative Sh** is from walleye fisherman that think muskie eat all the walleyes in there lake. If these people only knew what a muskie diet actually is they wouldn't be pulling this [PoorWordUsage].

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Very tragic to see that pic... sure hit it home about the reality of how some people think of muskies...

Not entirely just walleye fishermen... I've had similar comments coming from bass fishermen... which I love to remind them that any other fishes are just "bait" for muskies... thankfully they've took it as a humorous comment... from those who I've talked to, apparently the anoministy is generated by the frequency of them catching muskies while pre-fishing or tournament-fishing for bass more than any other reasons but for walleye peoples, its an entirely different story...

The poor info is also rampant throughout the deaf fishing community... I know several deaf fishermen who swears that the muskies are doing more harm than good... and I love pointing the fact regarding muskies and walleyes frequently co-habitating spots all over Mille Lacs, along with the fact of how excellent the walleye fishery is in Mille Lacs "despite" the fact of how it is the same for muskies in there...

I did have a chat with a deaf walleye guy... and he got very repulsed when he found out that I fish exclusively for muskies, then went on to say how he really hates them, how they love to kill other fishes such as walleyes n etc, and how he would slit any muskies he would catch and throw it back in the water... I shot back, "Sure... let me go with you, and any walleyes I catch, I'll slit/gut them and throw them back... who cares about them" (I wont do that tho)... He really flipped out... and I told him, now you understand how I feel when you said that... He also accused me of not knowing anything, and I shot back... since I practically practice CPR 99% (100% when it comes to muskies) of the time, keeping only the small fishes that amounts to what my family and I can eat as long it is within the possession limits, I have high respect for all the game-fishes and that hes the one who has old-fashioned wives-tale crockpot stories that he still believes in, that hes the one who doesnt know any better... I even told him to crawl out from the rock he's been hiding under for many years and to buy a computer then check out all the information and knowledge that he can get from forums... he'll be surprised at how much he really doesnt know about this n that... he shot me this glaring look that could really kill but he didnt say anything further...

Thanks to all of the muskie-fishermen/women who has really helped muskies over the year, especially with Muskie Inc established in several states, forums like FM.com, Muskie Expos, muskie tournaments such as PMTT, MMTT, and many more avenues, Muskies sure has come long ways in the past few decades... fishing for muskies sure has come long ways with many good changes... come to think of it... 10 or 20 years ago... maybe it was take 1 step forward then 10 steps back... today its take one step, one or two back... or maybe better than that...

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Jerry, "cool-as-a-cucumber Rob" going to disembowel a bass angler?!? I love it... Wish I could have been there watching (maybe from a distance)! grin

Just a reminder on how most thing you should handle this sort of thing-- program in the TIP line in your cell phone TODAY! When you see garbage like is being discussed, call it immediatly and let the law deal with these people. It may or may not impact their behavior in the future, but it'd serve them right for getting pinched and having to at least pay a fine.

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The sub-legal fish that were kept / killed were reported.

There are rumors of 60" fish being netted every year all around in a 100 mile radius - But they are just that rumors. The longest fish I know of out of test nets in this area is 54".

There are also rumors of Crappie fisherman landing 60's on 6lb in the spring. One guy kept a fish a few years ago from a creek near a local lake - Word spread like wildfire... It ended up being a 51 inch confiscated fish and a big fine!

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