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Choco Taco

Hello, new bass fishing Minnesotan here

20 posts in this topic

Hey fellas,

I recently moved to the area from out East and trying to learn how to fish the waters around here. I am just a catch and release guy that's in it for the relaxation not the tournaments.

Well, I have been fishing Minnetonka and met my match. I have never seen so much milfoil/weeds on a northern lake like this. I was hoping you guys could help me out here.

So, I see the weed line can run deep out here. I am used to throwing jigs no heavier than 1/2 oz. Do you guys think I need to upsize that over 1 oz so I can to the structure under the weeds? Also, any tips fishing the weeds out here?

My approach usually has been to throw some lipless cranks as I approach the weedline then through some spinnerbaits, topwater, buzzbaits closer in, then hit it with t-rigs and jigs. Does this sound reasonable?

Any advice would be very much appreciated. Thanks.

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Could try some weighted tubes or senko's and that might help keeping some of the milfoil off your baits. But yeah alot of the suburb lakes have some bad milfoil, just wait till it gets hot over the summer and it will get even worse.

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That's exactly my fear is that I'll be mowing the lawn more in the summer than I am now. Will I be needing heavier gear come summer time to punch through this stuff?

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Choco-- Welcome to MN.. We are good people here. Fishing is very good, you will just have to get used to it, and not expect the size you once saw out east..

As our weeds go, so our bass go. No tides here.. I have caught bass as deep as 27 feet here, but for the most part its 16 feet or less.. rock to weed trasitions and such.. but in the summer, the bass can be caugth in the thick stuff, in which case your 1/2 oz jigs may be a tad light.. they will work, but you may be better off with a tube or such.

I'm sure it will be a learning curve for you. But bass are bass.. They are near the cover!..may it be docks, rocks weeds or wood.. they are still bass.

I would highly suggest getting a guide for a day or so, I think it would boost your learning curve for the areas that much quicker..

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Thank Dietz for the welcome and the advice. What tubes do you throw? I have used Fat Ikas and Berkeley Power Grubs. Will those work?

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If you ever wanna try some lakes other then tonka, their are some good lakes a little northeast of you out around the chisago area and the milfoil is alot less.

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Thank Dietz for the welcome and the advice. What tubes do you throw? I have used Fat Ikas and Berkeley Power Grubs. Will those work?

CT those tubes will be just fine. Color and presentation will be far more important than brand. I use MisterTwister tubes, but then again, they are one of my sponsors.

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If you are use to shallower weedlines and a little dirtier water, go to the west side of Minnetonka. That's one of the great things about that lake, one end has 10 foot water clarity and the other has less than a foot.

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Try fishing the inside edge of the milfoil early and late in the day. Pay attention to how much the outside is getting hit and how guys are doing. Long casts with light lures any thing weight less can really help on the shallow inside fish. Have seen guys go through shallow water and ignore the real shallow cover then go behind them and slowly fish smaller baits. It amazes me how shallow big bass will go even in warmer weather.

If you can get an inside edge with 3' at the edge or so and a sand bottom with rocks there will be fish on it somewhere.

Points and islands are go to areas. Many of them have an area around them that has some very sharp edges for sand/rocks to foil. There will be fish on these. Don't think to much about the big mats of foil right away. Try finding fish on the edges and what they are relating to before penetrating the foil. The bite on Tonka can turn on then shut off real quick. Make mental notes of were you contact fish and get a milk run started. Some spots will show you only a fish or 2. Make a note of it on a map and hit it from different angles with different baits at different times of day.

If you can rip a lipless crank right on the edge through the weeds or a bigger spinner bait you'll start learning areas. If you can fish it right on the edge and cast your bait parallel to the edge and retrieve it right down the edge instead of casting to the edge ups the odds from what I've seen. A bluegill flavored lipless crank has always worked well for me.

Tonka is a big body of water that requires some patients. Give yourself time to learn it. For me have always found the fish really relate tight to the edges, pockets in the foil or isolated rock piles. If there's one fish there's usually more. Concentrations of good fish on certain specific cover is the norm. If you're not catching fish look at it as eliminating water.

The deep water can be a challenge to learn on the heavy recreational traffic days. Save that for a day you can watch the depth finder and work the fish you find with out all the traffic.

It is a great body of water and is worth the time to learn it. Bad weather days and weekdays can help fishing productivity with getting away from all the recreational traffic.

Good luck with it.

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I see you're Maple Grove. Fish Lake has some nice bass. Yup plenty of milfoil to, but it's close. (two words - top water) It's a pay access though $5, but you could get a season pass for 25-30, plus it's a pass for more lakes than that, like Medicine which is another great bass lake. Almost all the lakes have good bass.

Tonka is huge and fun, but it'll get really busy here over the summer. Weekdays or early AM is best to beat the traffic.

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Tonka can be the most humbling lake out there on any given day. A lake with that many good fish and it can spank you. Just realize it gets more pressure than any lake in the state, both fishing and boating.

PS, Weaver is good too.

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Everyone, thanks for the tips. Before I read any the latest posts, I decided the other day to get back to the basics. I held tight to one area trying to learn it and the structure. I threw a bunch a lipless cranks at the weedline and parallel to the weedline. I tried taking on the milfoil and said "@#*! it." So, I stuck to the edges of the weedline. Thankfully, I caught several bass doing what I did.

Actually, had two decent pike on at different points as well. I am not used to seeing those bad boys from where I come from. At one point, I had a 30"+ pike in front of my boat and was going to grab my net. The pike kept shaking its head and before I could net it, it spit out a bluegill that I caught on my Rat-L-trap. I thought I hooked a pike but I must've caught the bluegill first. The pike striked the bluegill a second time before it went away. I just stood there with my jaw on the ground. I have never experienced this and it was pretty cool to witness.

What jigs do people recommend for taking on the milfoil?

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If you are use to shallower weedlines and a little dirtier water, go to the west side of Minnetonka. That's one of the great things about that lake, one end has 10 foot water clarity and the other has less than a foot.

Those are exactly the conditions I am used to. Any specific bays that I should hit? I have been fishing areas on the westside so far but the lake is so massive.

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West arm, Halsteads are the dirtiest

As far as jigs, you will need at least a 1/2 oz if you are on the edge. You will need more if you are up in the stuff..

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Thanks for the welcome. MN is great but I wish the temps would hit the 80s and the wind would die down.

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We normally do have a bit of wind in the spring..but this spring had been abnormally windy.. We dont normally hit 80's till min june though.

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Does the cooler temperatures mean that the bass spawn ends much later than I am used to? When does the post spawn begin around here?

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agreed, but you may be able to find some deeper clearer lakes where they havent spawned

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