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Inner City Lakes

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Just wondering if anyone has had any luck on inner city lakes like Harriet, Nokomis, Calhoun, etc. I've put in quite a bit of time on a couple of these lakes with only an 18"-20" musky to show for it, which was caught yesterday.

Can't even begin to count the hours that I've put in on these lakes, with only one other outing with follows.

Maybe it goes without saying that, but could it be that these lakes are just overpressured, and the musky have seen, and maybe been stung by about every musky lure out there?

Any suggestions on how to go about convincing these fish to take a look, or even to chomp down on a bait?

Talked to a guy that was bass fishing out there, and they had one hit a smaller bass bait, and another fish chomped on a little sunny as they were bringing it up to the boat. Would maybe downsizing be the way to go?

Man the fish in these lakes are irritating...just can't seem to give up on them though being it's so close to home.

To make matters worse, when out yesterday I saw a nice 'ski. Was on midlake structure bring my lure in and looked over to see a musky, guessing, in the mid to upper 40's range right next to the boat. Scared the [PoorWordUsage] out of both of us. She swam off, and a couple seconds later she came up from the depths and took a good look square at me for a second, then disappeared again. Goofy fish.

Thanks for any help.

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Downsizing might be worth a try. I usually fish with big sucker minnows on calhoun and hadnt caught anything in weeks. i downsized my minnow yesterday and ended up with a 35".

0727081658.jpg

There was also a 42" caught out there on saturday jigging for bass.

I know there is alot of fishing pressure on all city lakes but i dont think that is really the problem. There is alot of people fishing but the majority are not musky fisherman. And most of the ones i see are just fishing with sucker minnows not throwing lures all day(shore fisherman at least). From what i have noticed there really havent been that many boats on calhoun lately only 1 or 2 everyday on the weekends. So i dont think fishing pressure is the problem.

I know that it has really been slow the past few weekends. We usually manage 4-5 muskies and northerns every weekend. And last weekend we only got 2. We also had ALOT of problems with turtles eating all of our minnows. But it seemed like once the turtles were gone is when we caught our fish.

From what i have heard harriet has been kinda slow lately so im sure your not alone with not catching anything. I would suggest giving calhoun a try.

Eventually there gonna come around and your gonna start getting some fish. Maybe try taking a break and just throwing out a big bobber and sucker minnow and seeing how that does for your luck.

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I'm not an expert on those lakes but have caught fish out of 2 of the three you mentioned. Nokomis is hit and miss for the tigers by my experience, catch 2 one day, don't see a thing the next. Work the bridge hard. Also the edge of the big hole in the middle, seen some LARGE stripes out there. Big bass-sized spinnerbait has been my ticket for the tigers.

Calhoun might be best fished at night, seen some nice fish but it's been tough too and it's not my first choice, if I get on Calhoun again this year it'll be at night.

We really like Harriet, also nightfish there, but it was quite rude to me earlier this year to, I look for all these lakes to make up for it come September. I'll be on Harriet a few times later on in the fall. I've heard it's been really hard out there all year - gotta be an open/deep water bite going on though.

I don't think it's so much about the lakes, fishing has sucked for me everywhere this year but those metro lakes are little gems most of the time. I'll keep casting if you will......

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Thanks for the replies.

I don't think my personality will allow fishing with a bobber and sucker. I know it will probably yield the best results, but I need to be moving, thinking, pitching...never was put on ritlan, but maybe should have. : )

I won't stop pitching for 'em 50inchpig. It'll be a couple of weeks before I can get back out on the lakes, which is probably a needed break. I think night fishing would be an option this time of year, which I haven't given a persistant trial yet. Did try night fishing on Nokomis and a couple lakes outside of the cities with nothing brought to hand, but haven't had much faith in Nokomis either.

Did pull up a pike and bass while night musky fishing, so somewhat confident that the lure selection and retrieve is at least good enough for fish to find the bait. Using almost a painfully slow retrieve using spinners with willow leaf blades, or large colorado blades to put out some good vibration.

Does anyone troll musky at night? If so, what kind of trol speed, lures etc have been successful? Do musky have good night vision, or they seeking out their prey by feel?

This year has been one of my better years 'ski fishing. Had had follows the majority of times out, and one day both a buddy and I put muskies in the boat on a Wisconsin lake a couple weeks back. Too many ideas that run through the noggin'...find myself switching lures, tactics, and such when nothing is happening. Maybe should stick it out longer with a particular lure or approach, but the mental part of the game I haven't quite got a good grasp on yet. Figure if I can teach myself how to fly fish, tie flies, and all that jazz, the mental game of 'ski fishing can't be too far off.

This is the first year I've dedicated considerable amounts of time to musky fishing though too, so still quite wet behind the ears....

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I know there are fish caught trolling cranks over deep water on the metro lakes, don't know the specifics on these patterns. Nokomis wouldn't be my first night choice - Calhoun and Harriet (easiest of the 3 to fish IMO) would get the nod.

I wasn't comfortable at night until me and a buddy decided to fish all night. Just like daytime, pick any two hours and it's hit and miss, fish all night and you'll probably have some action. You'll settle in and become comfortable and you'll like it. Don't think about it, just do it.

Trolling is boring during the day and much moreso at night. There aren't many better baits in the dark than the Cowgirl. Throw a surface bait if that's your bag too, but keep it easy on yourself and the fish.

You don't have to go painfully slow, just keep it moving and keep casting. They WILL find it. They're the top predator in the lake. You'll learn to like it after a few hours of peace and quiet and not sharing the lake with 50 boats. You'll be able to see better than you think - you'll see follows and it ultimately won't be much different than daytime fishing, just don't get the bonus scenery on Calhoun at night. The fish will make up for it.

Yep - been slow. They're either eating at different times (maybe midnight-dawn) or they're eating in different places (deep/open water) than they were last year, but once you nail it down you're going to have a bunch of fish to yourself.

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I realize that this question probably has been posted somewhere before, but I'll throw it out there again. Can a guy with a 18' boat using just a bow mount electric, not the big motor, launch on Calhoun, Harriet, etc.? Are there any HP restrictions for a kicker?

I would love to fish these lakes sometime. Thank you for any responses!

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Gas motor up and you're fine.....no kicker.

Watch the tow vehicle and what's exposed on the interior and where you park, I don't want to hear about a vehicle break-in....been there, don't want someone else to experience the same quite honestly.

Overall, tigers are not really succeptable to the night bite, one would be far better off on a pure-strain lake.

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.....no kicker.

So how come the sailboat guys get to run around with tillers/kickers/gas engines all the time!??! mad

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I don't think the lakes get hit harder than any other metro lake...like WB or Forest, my advice would be to keep plugging away at it til you find what works That might sound like generic advice but when it comes to muskies there realy is no magic answer or secret....Hard work pays divedends..Keep at it good luck....uplander

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How do you see follows at night? Do you use a headlamp, or would you be better off keeping it completely dark?

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How do you see follows at night? Do you use a headlamp, or would you be better off keeping it completely dark?

For me it depends on a lot of things. I always fish with the headlamp off, but whether or not I see a follow is dependent on the lake color, weather, proximity to other lights, moon, etc etc etc.

It's also relative to what your eyes adjust too, keep looking into the dark and away from lights, you'd be suprised what you can see.

hth

JR

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Thanks for the replies! We may have to try one of the lakes sometime soon. Too bad though that everyone has to worry about the tow rig etc......

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That makes me wonder... worring about the tow-rig getting vandalized. Is this a problem on Calhoun during the day or only the night hours? I was contemplating trying Calhoun in the near future, but I don't want to come back to a vandalized car. It is my understanding that you can only park on the city steets near the launch, right?

-Gregg B.

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Don't use your lamp at night, wrap a towel or TP around your light on the back or throw your hat over it to dim it and you usually will not have a problem adjusting to the dark and seeing your follows!

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i lost a pig on a top-raider and have had 2 follows and those all came in 1 evening.that was in late june and i havent had any action since..

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