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WTBskills

New to fishing and looking for any advice

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Hello all I have been trying to read everything i can here on these forums for about 6 months now, as well as picking up any info from anyone or thing about fishing that i can. I have just started fishing at the end of last season i bought a boat and decide to try it out. Now its all I want to do.... but i am really not very good at it and don't know anyone that is. Its over whelming and hard to know what to do. So a little about what i got. I have a that i just got a hummingbird 565 i use a open face reel. i got a good amount of lures that my grand father left to me when he passed away. i also have an eight week old yellow lab(useless only sleeps on the boat!) I have fished a lot on eagle lake in Maple Grove at the end of last year and a few times this year, twin lake a bit in Robbinsdale, minnetonka a lot this year and yesterday i went to lake waconia. Out of all of them I really like waconia a lot. but i have been trying to catch walleye as that is the only fish i haven't cought now. i was out there for 10 hours yesterday. could find more than a few pan fish i got a 17inch bass casting a jig and minnow. i love bobber fishing! but i feel like everything i do is wrong. i hope that anyone can help me out here as i am getting very frustrated and want to get fish in the boat!. Ask any questions as i will answer them ASAP. Thanks for taking the time to read this.

-Ben

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WTB, I'm sure you'll get a few chimes with this one. First of all welcome to the greatest and most frustrating sport around. Firstly, patients will be required at all times, even when you become a so called expert. Jig and minnow is a good start. A good sensitive rod for feel is important also, a 7 foot medium/light rod is what I use. At this time of year look for weed beds with 6-12 feet of water in the early morning and evening, and out deeper during the day. You need only use the size jig that lets you feel the bottom. 1/8"-1/4" in shallow and bigger out deeper. You need to change your retrieve to see what the walleye want ie. slow jigging retrieve, slow no jigging retrieve, fast retrieve etc... The hardest part with walleye is what is a bite and what is just hitting bottom. Walleye normally dont hit like a bass or other fish. You could be getting bites and not even know it. When casting to determine if your on the bottom, cast, keep the line taught by slowly reeling and you will see you line quickly drop, you are now on the bottom and can start your retrieve. Do not allow your line to have slack in it otherwise you may never feel a bite. Dont give up, as frustrating as it will be, once you get the feel you will be hooked for life. Good Luck and Happy Fishing

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Thank you bearfan on Waconia yesterday i was trying to "lindy" rig... my lead only had one hook.. i like the idea of drifting as i dont have a trolling motor yet, on that note i feel i need bow mount. Do I? If you know the lake i was trying in about 9 feet of water but was hooking alot of weeds! also i understood that bass was a fish you dont eat. but now i am hearing people eat them. this true?

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Hey WTB welcome. Bearfan gave great info so I'll add a bit also Drifting is a deadly technique, I would suggest using lighter tackle like a couple of split shots when going through shallower waters and also try to line up along the edge of the weeds. Lindy rigs work great when drifting deeper water or across sand bars or humps. Drifting with fireball jigs work well also.

Depending on the size of your boat you may be able to troll with the main engine, the idea is to keep you speed down around 2 mph. Troll along breaks or weed lines. A bow mount is nice for finessing a position but for trolling I prefer a kicker moter or the main motor if I can go slow enough.

A good thing to do before you hit the water is to study a lake contour map and look for structure and get a game plan where you want to fish, takes a bit of the guess work out of being on the lake.

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I do not know that lake. I do not troll often, but I feel a trolling motor is a must. And my preference is a bow mount. I fish mainly in upper minnesota ie. Kabetogama, Namakan, LOW and Rainy Lake. Trolling too is an art as you have to be moving at the right speed, normally 1-2.5 mph. I drift jig and to control my speed if its too windy, I use a drift sock. Bass are a good eating fish, not as good as walleye, but they eat well. I forgot to mention earlier, but a good guide for a half to full day would do wonders for your experience. A good one not only get you on fish, but also teaches.

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Hey WTB welcome. Bearfan gave great info so I'll add a bit also Drifting is a deadly technique, I would suggest using lighter tackle like a couple of split shots when going through shallower waters and also try to line up along the edge of the weeds. Lindy rigs work great when drifting deeper water or across sand bars or humps. Drifting with fireball jigs work well also.

Depending on the size of your boat you may be able to troll with the main engine, the idea is to keep you speed down around 2 mph. Troll along breaks or weed lines. A bow mount is nice for finessing a position but for trolling I prefer a kicker moter or the main motor if I can go slow enough.

A good thing to do before you hit the water is to study a lake contour map and look for structure and get a game plan where you want to fish, takes a bit of the guess work out of being on the lake.

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....also i understood that bass was a fish you dont eat. but now i am hearing people eat them. this true?

People will eat just about anything. Some say that cold water bass is decent..never tried them personally. I recommend throwing the big ones back and avoid eating warm water bass as they have a VERY muddy taste to them. If your fishing for table fare, stick to eyes and panfish. Welcome to fm.

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Originally Posted By: WTBskills
....also i understood that bass was a fish you dont eat. but now i am hearing people eat them. this true?

People will eat just about anything. Some say that cold water bass is decent..never tried them personally. I recommend throwing the big ones back and avoid eating warm water bass as they have a VERY muddy taste to them. If your fishing for table fare, stick to eyes and panfish. Welcome to fm.

Thanks Jim! happy to be here lots of knowledge floating around here

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puking on mille lacs. i've heard of that one from quite a few first timers. In my opinion. instead of going with trolling motors and drift socks. I would spend all that money on gas for the boat and vehicle and fishing. Just get out on the water and fish your butt off. try everything you want. figure out what you like to fish for and than hone your skills and purchase the equipment. all the equipment is great to have if you can afford it, just dont spend all your money and then realize you cant afford bait. nothing will beat time on the water in the end though.

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I would spend the money when you can on a trolling motor. Drift fishing can and does work great, but you often drift out to deep or in to shallow, unless the wind is just right for the struture your fishing. with an electric you can use that to move you, or drift and just use it to keep you in the right depth. if its windy you can use it to slow you down also. I couldnt imagine fishing without one. You said you like bobber fishing, try some slip bobber fishing for eye's it can work great at times. Plus you can stay on the structure without having a eletric motor.

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I am not the best source of advice on walleyes but here's my thoughts.

A-Walleyes in rivers are MUCH easier to catch than those in lakes. Buy a few firetiger Berkely flick'r shads (they can handle current and are cheap enough that you won't cry when you break off 4 or of them) and make a trip to the mississippi in Monticello. Troll up and down the channels and let the crank bait bump the bottom. You'll catch a lot of fish and some will be walleyes.

B-Eat the bass you catch through the ice and try one or two little one (15" or smaller) in the summer. Little ones taste like big sunfish, big ones taste like mud.

C-If you want fun, fish pike. You've got a lot of lakes with weedline trolling in your area. The second half of June through the first half of July can be the most enjoyable month of the year if you start trolling weedlines for pike. If you can find someone to show you how to remove the y-bones, you'll enjoy eating them. I usually keep one or two in the 2.5-4 lb range each week and average maybe 25-30 lbs of released fished each time out to the lake during this stretch. Best part is, once you've learned what you're doing, you can take kids and friends who don't know how to fish and give them a shot at the biggest fish of their life.

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mww24- Time on the water kinda sucks when your clueless! lol

GRH- I have bought an older not so nice trolling motor of hsolist just need a battery as i took one out of a small car i have for sale... lasted an hour tops. what kinda of battery should i get?

sutter-I have caught some small pike last year on Eagle in Maple Grove and cooked them up! they where fun! But i did it just achronerd and casting. Today... haha i wish any of you could have seen me... wow well first, trolling the weed line is hard. by the time i know its moving out i get hung up in weeds. So back to today! My roommate and I where trying to troll the weed line, casting and trying out the knew trolling motor and all we caught was a small bass(he did) it was around 8pm and we had plans to try trolling the weed line again on the way back to the launch. Than out of nowhere on my last cast with about 10 feet of line in the water boom! fish!! Shawn says need the net i go ummmm OH MY!! i saw it roll! wasn't much fight there got it netted and he jumped on top of the fishing deck to hold the puppy. and i tried to man up and deal with this huge 40+ inch fish! it was so freaky and strong I didn't get a good pic but here is what i got! Is it a muskie?It was all messed up had only about a quarter of its rear fin left on and one eye was all messed up and blind i think. tons of wounds on him too!

2009-06-08194604.jpg

2009-06-08194920.jpg

2009-06-08194940.jpg

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how long can a fish be out of water? with that guy there he was out for about 5 mins well we where freaking out. I netted him and placed him in the water to rest and was getting ready to try to take a pic... he got away.... still was awesome!

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looks like a muskie to me. wow that is an amazing fish for you to catch! congrats! you said it didn't put up much of a fight??

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looks like a muskie to me. wow that is an amazing fish for you to catch! congrats! you said it didn't put up much of a fight??

nope I only had about ten more feet to reel in when he got it! I think he was in really rough shape!

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Hey congrats on the nice fish. A fish out of the water is never good for em. Try and do all you can while in the water then snap a pic and set it free if thats your intention. You will catch some slack on here for havin it out of the water for 5 min then flopping around on the boat floor will get you even more. But regardless of that nice fish and you'll catch on to the catching and handling of them.

Good Luck

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Hey congrats on the nice fish. A fish out of the water is never good for em. Try and do all you can while in the water then snap a pic and set it free if thats your intention. You will catch some slack on here for havin it out of the water for 5 min then flopping around on the boat floor will get you even more. But regardless of that nice fish and you'll catch on to the catching and handling of them.

Good Luck

yeah thats why i lost him i knew it was to long.. i guess i should have picked him up by his gill.

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i would say a pike cuz the dots are going head to tail.. still is hard to tell the difference.. for me anyways..

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so one guy says pike other muskie 1 to 1!

Also what are peoples opinions on crank baits. i have alot of different ones hell not even sure what they are. but when i buy them i buy rapala, am i wasting my money?

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also i am looking for a new soft side tackle box as that my box opens up way way way to large for my small boat!

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Throw a nightcrawler out into the river, and have fun catching multiple species. CPR(catch-photo-release) is the best in my opinion. FISH ON!

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from your second picture it looks like it is a muskie because of the dark spots on lighter background, which is a muskie.

a northern pike is darker background with lighter spots.

can anyone else verify this? is it a muskie or pike?

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from your second picture it looks like it is a muskie because of the dark spots on lighter background, which is a muskie.

a northern pike is darker background with lighter spots.

can anyone else verify this? is it a muskie or pike?

from everything i have read i think your right

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Beautiful! Congratulations! The second picture shows enough of the coloration that I am pretty sure you got a tiger muskie. These are stocked fish that are a Northern Pike/Muskie hybrid. You got nice one!

If you are having trouble trolling weedlines (it should get easier over the coming weeks as the weedline becomes more pronounced), you can always position your boat in about 10-12' of water and just cast. It looks like you got this one on a soft-plastic, shad style swim bait? Bucktail spinners, shallow to mid-depth diving baits (like husky jerk rapalas) and daredevils work great for this as well.

Glad to see you're finding some success. Have fun!

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  • Your Responses - Share & Have Fun :)

    • be nice if they were back in St. Cloud...  I liked that place....
    • I caught one in a live trap couple years ago. Personally I'd try to rid yourself of them.
    • I grew up with purple Martin's. They seem to like power lines nearby. They eat all sorts of bugs. The diving never bothered us.  As far as the neighbor, I'd have said something.
    • This was my experience, may be completely different than others. I put up a house in my back yard, less than 40 feet from my house, pole was about ten feet tall. Had to remove a lot of sparrow nests until the martins found it, but I did have martins move in. They were beautiful to watch fly for sure. Unfortunately they would dive bomb anyone that came anywhere near, maybe with a taller pole that would not happen? They would fly silently up behind you, then squawk right as they went past. I knew I would not put up the house the following summer when I saw my neighbor, who was working on his boat in his driveway, swinging his landing net at one that was diving at him. From watching them, they would mainly catch dragonflies to feed to the young ones. By the time the mosquitos came out at dusk, the birds were all done flying, so they did not help with mosquitos. This was just my experience. A lot of people have houses and enjoy them, my guess is that if the pole was higher maybe the birds would not see people as a threat. I still have the house, if I ever move to a lake I will try it again.
    •   Yep you are right. I did go to the Sportsman's warehouse up in Anoka and St Cloud when they were here. 
    •   I think you are thinking of Sportsman's Guide- they are in south st. paul,  Sportsman's warehouse was in Woodbury.
    • NORTHWEST Arrowhead Lake
      Ice is 12 inches thick. Black Crappie - Fair: Use minnows or waxworms on a jig in areas with structure anywhere from 10-15 feet deep. Bluegill - Fair: Catch keeper size bluegills with a teardrop jig tipped with a waxworm fished near structure.  Bacon Creek Lake
      Rainbow trout were stocked on Jan. 27th.   Black Hawk Lake
      The winter aeration system is on in Town Bay. Expect areas of thin ice and open water in Town Bay. Ice thickness is around 15 inches off of Ice House boat ramp. Bluegill - Fair: Use a teardrop jig and waxworm fished off the bottom near Ice House Point and Gunshot Hill, the rock pile off of Gunshot Hill, and the rock pile off Cottonwood Point. Anglers have had luck fishing waxworms in 8 feet of water in the dredge cuts in the east basin. Some sorting is needed. Walleye - Fair: Use a spoon and minnow fished on the rock piles off Cottonwood Point and in the east basin. Low light hours and after sunset are best.  Black Hawk Pits
      Ice is around 10-12 inches thick. Bluegill - Fair: Try a small jig tipped with waxworms fished near the bottom.  Brushy Creek Lake
      Use caution, conditions are variable - drill test holes often and expect less ice near inflows, in the main channel, and near trees. Walleye - Fair: A few walleye are being picked up with jigging spoons and a minnow head. Low numbers, but most are bigger fish with some over 25 inches. Bluegill - Fair: Decent numbers of bluegill catches reported with waxworms on a teardrop jig. Some sorting is needed. Black Crappie - Fair: Use a minnow on a jig fished near structure in 10-15 feet of water.  Moorland Pond
      Rainbow trout were stocked on Jan. 20th. Use small tube jigs tipped with bait or live minnows under a bobber.  Storm Lake (including Little Storm Lake)
      Most ice is around 16-19 inches, but there are variable conditions near shore - some areas of shoreline had open water within the last couple weeks so use caution. Walleye - Fair: Use rattle spoons and jigging spoons with a minnow head in 8 feet of water on the edges of the old dredged area in the west end. Most of the action is at the west end of the lake off Casino Beach, Frank Starr, and College Island. Yellow Perch - Fair: Some perch have been picked up while targeting walleye. Black Crappie - Fair: A few crappies are being picked up while fishing for walleye.  Most lakes in western Iowa are maintaining 10-18 inches of ice. For more information, contact the Black Hawk District office at 712-657-2638. Blue Pit
      Trout are still being caught. Fish near the pier with small jigs tipped with live bait. Rainbow Trout – Fair. Clear Lake
      Ice thickness is 17-20 inches. Avoid areas near the aerators. Ice heaves have made access on the lake difficult in spots.Yellow Bass - Good: The bite has picked up. Use light tackle and be mobile to stay on fish. The best bite is still at dawn and the last hour of light. Walleye – Fair: Try jigging spoons and minnow heads near the island. The best bite is still at dawn and the last hour of light. Yellow Perch - Fair.  Crystal Lake
      Ice thickness is 17-20 inches. Avoid areas near the aerators. Black Crappie - Slow: Use a small jig tipped with spikes or a minnow head near the edge of the dredge cut. Bluegill - Fair: Try a small jig tipped with spikes near the edge of the dredge cut.  Rice Lake
      Ice thickness is 17-21 inches. Avoid areas near the aerators. Walleye - Slow.  Silver Lake (Worth)
      Ice thickness is 17-19 inches. Avoid areas near the aerators.   For information on the lakes and rivers in the north central area, contact the Clear Lake Fish and Wildlife office at 641-357-3517.  East Okoboji Lake
      Yellow Bass - Good: Yellow bass action is picking up; fish traditional sites and move often to find active fish.  Five Island Lake
      Walleye - Fair: Ice anglers have had good pole bending activity with numbers of fish harvested. Yellow Bass - Good: Action has picked up, good numbers of fish have been harvested; fish the dredge cuts for the best action. Black Crappie - Good: Incidental catches by yellow bass anglers reflect bonus numbers in the creel.  Ingham Lake
      Use caution; thin ice conditions around the aeration system. Walleye - Fair: Walleye action has slowed; persistence will be rewarded with a good catch.  Lost Island Lake
      Yellow Bass - Good: Good numbers of fish are being caught; fish the Stoney Point area for the best action. Walleye - Fair: Numbers of fish are reported from Lost Island Lake; change tactics with the changing weather conditions. Yellow Perch - Fair: Some yellow perch and black crappie are being caught by anglers fishing for yellow bass.  Minnewashta Lake
      Bluegill - Good: Report of bluegill being caught; sorting is needed. Anglers are also catching crappie and yellow bass mixed in the bite.  Silver Lake (Dickinson)
      Use caution; thin ice conditions around the aeration system.  Silver Lake (Palo Alto)
      Walleye - Fair: Ice anglers report catching walleye; best bite is during late day. Yellow Perch - Fair: Fishing action has been very variable; ice anglers are catching nice size perch.  Spirit Lake
      Limited access to the lake.  Trumbull Lake
      Yellow Perch - Good: Persistent and patient anglers will be rewarded with good numbers of yellow perch 12 inches and larger in the creel. Northern Pike - Good: Action has picked up; anglers are harvesting northern pike from the lake.  West Okoboji Lake
      Bluegill - Good: Bluegills continue to be fussy; persistence and patience will be rewarded with good numbers of fish caught. Reports of improving water clarity. Northern Pike - Good: Good numbers of fish up to 36 inches are being caught. Tip-up action will improve in the next few weeks.  For more information throughout the week, contact the Spirit Lake Fish Hatchery at 712-336-1840.  NORTHEAST Cedar River (above Nashua)
      Ice conditions may change fast with warmer temperatures. Backwaters have about 20 inches of ice. Use caution when going on ice. Check ice depths often. The bite is variable. Bluegill - Slow: Find fish in slack water out of current. Stumps, brush piles, and deep holes hold fish. Use small jigs tipped with spikes or waxworms. Black Crappie - Fair: Find fish in 8-10 feet water. Use minnows, waxworms, and multi-colored spikes on a teardrop shaped bladed lure.  Decorah District Streams
      Current water clarity is marginal. Weekend clarity will depend on precipitation type and amount. Streams with better watersheds will clear quicker. Slack water in deeper holes may freeze, but should melt in the afternoon With a slower bite, use bigger flashier flies and lures. Parking lots on wildlife management areas are not plowed. Use care when parking along the road. Brook Trout - Fair: Midges hatch all season. Try wholly buggers or a flashy fly for a hungry brookie. Brown Trout - Good: Afternoon melt water should turn on a brownie. Insects will hatch on sunny afternoons. Use small midge patterns. With off color water, try a flashy spinner or fly. Rainbow Trout - Fair: Drift a feathered spinner, crankbait or a hook tipped with worm along an undercut bank.  Lake Hendricks
      Ice thickness is at least 24 inches with snow. Water is stained yellow. Few anglers are out. Anglers finding habitat will find fish. Open water around the aerator. The bite has slowed. No motorized vehicles are allowed on the ice. Black Crappie - Fair: Move around to find fish. Use a small jig tipped with a minnow head. Bluegill - Fair: Use small jigs tipped with waxworms or spikes around structure.  Lake Meyer
      Ice thickness is about 24 inches ice with variable amounts of snow. Water is turbid. Afternoon bite is best. When the bite slows, move to a different spot. Few anglers have been out.  Bluegill - Slow: Use small jigs tipped with spikes or waxworms. Black Crappie - Slow: Key in to brush and dangle a small jig about a foot or two above the stems. Volga Lake
      Ice thickness is 20+ inches topped with melted snow. Water is stained. Afternoon bite is best. Black Crappie - Slow: Drop your lure about 3 feet above structure and watch them swim up to the bait. Use small teardrop shaped jigs tipped with spikes or waxworms. Bluegill - Slow: Fish around structure in 14-16 feet water about a foot off the bottom.  Expect a wintry mix of precipitation this weekend. Temperatures warm slightly through the weekend with mid 30s by Sunday. Most stream clarity is marginal at best with current runoff activity. For current fishing information, please call the Decorah Fish Hatchery at 563-382-8324.   We have not received any reports this week. Ice edges are getting soft and the bite has been slow; anglers are not getting out. Call the N.E. Iowa district office at 563-927-3276 for more information. MISSISSIPPI RIVER Mississippi River Pool 9
      River level at Lansing has bumped up to 8.2 feet. Backwater ice is variable with around 2 feet; use caution accessing the ice as shorelines and sloughs may become unsafe with warmer weather. Ice cleats may be needed as snow disappears. Walleye - No Report: Access to tail-water areas is difficult with large areas of ice flows. Black Crappie - Slow: Occasional crappie being caught in just 2-4 feet of water just under the ice. Yellow Perch - Good: Late ice can be a good time for perch fishing with some of the larger fish being caught this time of year. Sauger - No Report: Use jig and minnows fished off the bottom in the tailwater areas and deeper side channels. Bluegill - Fair: Ice anglers are catching bluegill. Use small teardrop jigs tipped with waxies in 4-5 feet of water with no current. Northern Pike - Fair: Use tip-ups baited with shiners along the edges of deeper cuts with vegetation. Largemouth Bass - Good: Both rod and reel and tip-up anglers are catching several 15-18 inch bass using red spike waxies through the ice.  Mississippi River Pool 10
      River level at Lynxville has risen to 15.8 feet and may rise slightly over the next week. The tail-water at Lynxville is still iced in. Backwater ice is variable with around 2 feet of ice; use caution accessing the ice as shorelines and sloughs may become unsafe with warmer weather. Ice cleats may be needed as snow disappears. Late ice can be good fishing on Bussey Lake. Avoid the boat ramp area as ice is not stable. Park along the south side of causeway road and walk down. Walleye - No Report: Access to tail-water areas is difficult with large areas of ice flows. Yellow Perch - Good: Late ice can be a good time for perch fishing with some of the larger fish being caught this time of year. Bluegill - Fair: Ice anglers are catching bluegill.  Use small teardrop jigs tipped with waxies in 4-5 feet of water with no current. Northern Pike - Slow: Use tip-ups baited with shiners along the edges of deeper cuts with vegetation. Black Crappie - Slow: Occasional crappie being caught in just 2-4 feet of water just under the ice. Largemouth Bass - Good: Both rod and reel and tip-up anglers are catching several 15-18 inch bass using red spike waxies through the ice. Mississippi River Pool 11
      River level at Guttenberg has risen over a foot to 8.1 feet and may rise slightly over the next week. Backwater ice is variable with around 2 feet of ice; use caution accessing the ice as shorelines and sloughs may become unsafe with warmer weather. Boat ramps at Guttenberg are still locked in ice, but may recede in the coming weeks. Black Crappie - Slow: Occasional crappie being caught in just 2-4 feet of water just under the ice. Yellow Perch - Good: Late ice can be a good time for perch fishing with some of the larger fish being caught this time of year. Bluegill - Fair: Ice anglers are catching bluegill. Use small teardrop jigs tipped with waxies in 4-5 feet of water with no current. Northern Pike - Fair: Use tip-ups baited with shiners along the edges of deeper cuts with vegetation. Largemouth Bass - Good: Both rod and reel and tip-up anglers are catching several 15-18 inch bass using red spike waxies through the ice.  Upper Mississippi River levels are rising with rains and the breakup of local tributaries. Most ramps are still iced in and areas below the dams covered in ice flows. Warmer weather and runoff have fish more active. Backwater ice is variable with around 2 feet of ice. With thawing snow, shorelines and areas with current may become weak or unsafe; use caution.  Mississippi River Pool 12
      Water levels are stabilizing at 8.7 feet at the Dubuque Lock and the RR bridge is 11.4 feet. This is up several feet from last week. Ice fishing is treacherous with open water now formed along the edges of most backwater areas. Mississippi River Pool 13
      Water levels are stabilizing at 12.4 feet at Bellevue. This is up several feet from last week. Ice fishing is treacherous with open water now formed along the edges of most backwater areas.  Mississippi River Pool 14
      Water levels are still rising and are 9.4 feet at Fulton, 12.4 feet at Camanche and 6.7 feet at LeClaire. This is up nearly five feet from last week. Ice fishing is treacherous with open water now formed along the edges of most backwater areas.  Mississippi River Pool 15
      Water levels are still rising and are 12 feet at Rock Island. This is up five feet from last week. Fishing has been non-existent after the big rain event.   The River changed dramatically this week due to the heavy rainfall on frozen ground. The River rose from 3 to 5 feet throughout the district. Ice conditions changed considerably and tailwaters are somewhat open for boat launching, but the water clarity is poor. Ice fishing will be tough with open water near shorelines. If you have any angling questions, please contact the Bellevue Fisheries Station 563-872-4976.  Mississippi River Pool 16
      Tailwater stage is 10.68 feet at Lock and Dam 15 in the Quad Cities and is rising. Tailwater stage has risen close to 5 feet since Monday. Current forecasts have the tailwater stage reaching 11.7 feet. Unsafe ice conditions with the recent rain, warm weather, and rising river levels.   Mississippi River Pool 17
      Tailwater stage is 9.6 feet at Lock and Dam 16 in Muscatine and is rising. Tailwater stage has risen close to 5 feet since Monday. Tailwater stage is forecasted to reach 10.9 feet by the weekend. River stage at Muscatine is 11.7 feet and forecasted to reach 12.7 feet. The ramp and parking lot at Big Timber is closed due to flooding. There are unsafe ice conditions due to recent rains, warm weather, and rising river levels.  Mississippi River Pool 18
      Tailwater stage is 12.18 feet at Lock and Dam 17 at New Boston and is rising. Tailwater stage has risen close to 6 feet since Monday. The current forecast has the tailwater stage reaching 14.7 feet. Flood stage is 15 feet. Unsafe ice conditions due to recent rains, warm weather, and rising river levels.  Mississippi River Pool 19
      Tailwater stage is 7.90 feet at Lock and Dam 18 above Burlington and is rising. Tailwater stage at Lock and Dam 18 has risen close to 5 feet since Monday. River stage at Burlington is 12.95 feet and forecasted to reach 14.9 feet. Flood stage at Burlington is 15 feet. Unsafe ice conditions due to recent rains, warm weather, and rising river levels. River stages have been on the rise this past week with the recent rains and warm weather. Water clarity is poor. Tailwater fishing for walleye and saugers has been slow. There are unsafe ice conditions with the recent rains, warm weather, and rising river conditions. If you have questions on fishing Pools 16-19, contact the Fairport Fish Hatchery at 563-263-5062. SOUTHEAST Big Hollow Lake
      Unsafe ice conditions. Lake Belva Deer
      Unsafe ice conditions. Lake Darling
      Unsafe ice conditions. 60 degrees and rain on Monday. 43 degrees and rain on Monday night into Tuesday has ruined what ice was left. Last couple of days of colder weather has refrozen open water, hiding the bad spots.  Lake Geode
      Drained for renovation work scheduled for later this year.  For more information on the fishing at the above lakes and rivers, contact the Lake Darling Fisheries Office at 319-694-2430. Central Park Lake
      The lake is drained for the renovation project that is going on now.  Coralville Reservoir
      The lake is holding at winter pool of 683.4 feet. Ice conditions are deteriorating with the runoff and increase in flow. Water clarity is poor.  Diamond Lake
      There is open water around the lake and ice conditions are not safe.  Grundy County Lake
      There is still 12 inches of ice, but the edges may be getting soft by the weekend.  Hannen Lake
      There is 10 feet of open water around the edges. Ice fishing is not recommended.  Iowa Lake (Iowa Co.)
      There is open water around the lake;  ice conditions are not safe.  Kent Park Lake
      The lake is drained for the renovation project that will take place next winter.  Lake Macbride
      The lake edges are either open or soft. You need a plank to access most areas. The remaining ice away from the shore is 6-8 inches in most areas, but use caution. There have been a few anglers around the main ramp, under the highlines, across from the beach, and on the south arm. A plank may be needed to get on. Some people have been walking off the boat rental docks; use caution. Bluegill - Fair: Use a jig/waxie around any brush or deeper rock. Size is marginal at best as these fish top out at 7.5 inches. Black Crappie - Fair: It is day to day on good catches. Some days have been good and others are slow. Fish over deeper wood or stumps or look for suspended fish over the deeper basin with a jig/waxie.  Otter Creek Lake
      The edges are soft and open in some areas. The remaining ice is reported as about 8-10 inches. There was an angler out yet on the 21st; use caution.  Pleasant Creek Lake
      The lake is still 8.5 feet low from the restoration project. The lake came up some with the runoff, so shorelines are bad and accessing the ice may be extremely difficult. The remaining ice may be fishable; use caution.  Rodgers Park Lake
      There is 6 feet of open water around the edges of the upper end. The lower end is a little better. Ice fishing is not recommended.  Sand Lake
      Ice fishing is not recommended. Union Grove Lake
      The edges are soft and open in places. The aeration hole is very large.  Wapsipinicon River (Troy Mills to Oxford Junction)
      Ice conditions on the river and backwaters are not safe.  Most of the smaller lakes are unsafe to ice fish. Some of the larger lakes have decent ice, but the edges are soft or open; use extreme caution. For more information, contact the Lake Macbride Fisheries Station at 319-624-3615. Lake Miami
      Unsafe ice conditions. Getting on the ice is not recommended.  Lake Sugema
      Unsafe ice conditions. Getting on the ice is not recommended. Lake Sugema is about 25% open water and Tug Forks West is open.  Lake Wapello
      Unsafe ice conditions. Getting on the ice is not recommended.  Rathbun Reservoir
      The current lake level is 903.19 msl. Normal operating elevation is 904.0 msl. Lake Rathbun has zebra mussels, so make sure to properly drain, clean, and dry equipment before transporting to another water body. The ramps at the Rathbun marina are closed for the season and all the campgrounds are closed. Unsafe ice conditions. The main lake has areas of open water. Getting on the ice is not recommended.  Red Haw Lake
      Unsafe ice conditions. Getting on the ice is not recommended.  Unsafe ice conditions across the district. The district includes Mahaska, Lucas, Wayne, Monroe, Appanoose, Wapello, Davis and Van Buren counties. Contact the Rathbun Fish Hatchery at 641-647-2406 with questions about fishing in south central Iowa.   SOUTHWEST Ada Hayden Heritage Park Lake
      Rainbow Trout - Good: Use spoons or small panfish jigs tipped with waxworms or live minnows. Trout tend to swim the perimeter, so set up close to shore in 3 to 10 feet of water.  Big Creek Lake
      Black Crappie - Fair: Anglers fishing mid-lake, generally out from the beach area and marina area in 25 to 35 feet of water are finding a fair crappie bite.  Des Moines River (Saylorville to Red Rock)
      Walleye - Fair: Anglers are catching fair numbers of walleyes below the Saylorville spillway slowly fishing jigs tipped with twister tails and/or minnows.  Don Williams Lake
      Black Crappie - Fair: Anglers are catching crappies suspended 10-15 feet down in 20-30 feet of water in the late afternoon and evenings. Midday they are also being found shallower near sunken habitat in 10-15 feet of water. Two size ranges are being caught. Expect to fish through many 5-7 inch fish for the 9-10 inch fish.  Hickory Grove Lake
      Bluegill - Good: Catch 7-8 inch bluegills over brush piles and suspended in deeper water. Move around to stay on active fish. Black Crappie - Slow: Most anglers are finding the crappie fishing to be slow, but when fish are caught the size is good. Crappie catches have been mostly limited to dawn and dusk.  Lake Petocka
      Rainbow Trout - Good: Trout were stocked Feb. 10th. Fish the perimeter of the lake with small panfish jigs and jigging spoons tipped with waxworms.  Ice thicknesses in Central Iowa are staying in the 8 to 14 inch range with some edge deterioration from rain runoff. For more information on Central Iowa lakes and rivers, contact Andy Otting or Ben Dodd at 515-432-2823.
       
        Lake Anita
      Ice has started to deteriorate on the main lake. Use extreme caution. Bluegill - Fair: Bluegill fishing is best in the afternoon. Catch fish up to 9.5 inches. Black Crappie - Fair: Best bite is late afternoon and after dark. Fish will average 9 inches.  Littlefield Lake
      Anglers report 6 to 8 inches of ice and fair fishing. Use extreme caution this week as ice will start to get soft and be unsafe. Bluegill - Good: Fishing is good around the cedar tree piles for bluegills up to 9 inches. Morning and late afternoon bite is best. Be prepared to sort for larger fish. Black Crappie - Slow: A few 10 to 12 inch black crappies are being caught around the tree piles.  Prairie Rose Lake
      Prairie Rose still has fishable ice, but it will start to deteriorate this week. Bluegill - Fair: The best bluegill fishing has moved to the morning bite. Fish will average 8.5 inches. Black Crappie - Slow: Black crappie become active just before dark. Fish are 9.5 inches.  Lakes and ponds in the southern part of the district are unsafe to fish. Use extreme caution; ice will start to deteriorate this week. For more information, call the Cold Springs District Office at 712-769-2587.
    • Little bit of an ugly win last night but two points is two points, Stalock was pretty incredible too, so close on that empty netter. Time to crush the rangers and get a little winning streak going here. 
    • Please delete if not allowed.
      Retriever Training
      Have a opening in April. First time taking clients. I train my 3 labs 5-6 days a week all summer and also run a few hunt test's. Would like to make it a full time job. Prefer to take on dogs with good prey drive and a willingness to please, I will be choosie on what dogs I will take with a one week trial period free of charge. Can do everything from obedience to Master level dogs. Your dogs will be kept in outside kennel runs on concrete. Please contact me for details. Located in Squaw Lake, MN. 218-553-0176
    • Is this a lug nut wrench?....Maybe.