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Mike Wallace

Pipestone-Clearwater Chain Muskies

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Heading to this chain the end of June and am looking for info. Don't need spots, just looking for comments from anyone that has fished this system before.

Thanks for any info you can share.

Mike

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My partners chose Little Moose Lodge. Price was important to one of our party and the fact that it seemed like the closest location to muskie fish in Canada to the Twin Cities.

What is the scoop up there? What I have found is that it is a clear water chain and it doesn't seem to get a lot of muskie traffic. Did we choose poorly?

Mike

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Clearwater has some real good muskies in the lake, but at different times of the year there is alot of traffic on the lake. It should be ok that time of the year though, typically there is alot of boat traffic when the summer cabin owners and family vacations are taking palce in July & August. Not near as much traffic on Pipestone and real good muskies, but gets costly boating up everyday and paying the portage($25perRT). I have an outpost cabin located on the far end of Pipestone if you are interested in the future.

Lucas - Gateway North Outfitters

www.gnofishing.com

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Lucas is right about the traffic on clearwater, there are lot of resorts and a ton of private cabins. I see alot of traffic on clearwater starting mid-june. The best muskie fishing is located from the gates ajar area of pipestone, the indian reef area, the north arm of pipestone and schistose area. You can fish this area from little moose, but you have a $25 RT portage fee and you will travel between 20-35 miles each way to fish these areas. The best times to fish this clear water from my experiance at the time of year you are going on your trip will be day break until about 8:00am and then the last 2 hrs of light. Unfortunatly the portage does not open until 7:30am and closes at 8:00pm. With the long boat ride and the portage hours, it would be impossible to fish these area during primetime. If you like the system once you are up, your group should look at staying a little closer to the better fishing.

There are also some inexpensive places on LOW with great muskie fishing, with much shorter rides to the fishing.

Good Luck, bring alot of gas with you.

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Matt or Lucas,

Do either of you guys know of the Trout Bay Camp on the Pipestone chain? It is not far from the Happy Landing Lodge. My godfather was a part owner in the camp and his family still is. I have been hinting to them to bring us back up there for a trip. It has been about 28 years since I was a young boy when we last went there as a family. What an adventure, it was so beautiful, secluded, and the fishing was awesome. My family were not great fisherman but we ate lots of walleyes while we were there. Man, if I would have known then what I know now about musky fishing. We used to just watch big sows lay in the shallows sunning themselves. Some day I will be back!!

Sorry if I rambled on, just reminising about good times of my childhood.

Does anyone know if there is there anywhere else near that area besides the Happy Landings where someone can stay? They are alittle spendy for my budget.

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I do know the Trout Bay Camp, pretty good friends with a few of the owners. I actually have an outpost cabin located just past Gates Ajar area. It is very reasonably priced and has hot & cold running water and shower. There is a generator for the lights, fridge, & chest freezer as well. Do you know Al Bachel? His boy and some friends stayed the cabin for a winter lake trout trip and had a great time and caught some beautiful trout. If you want more info email me

[email protected]

www.gnofishing.com

Lucas Adams - Gateway North Outfitters (807)482-1388

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I caught my biggest muskie hardly even a stones throw away from superbee's cabin on Watson Bay. We laid it on the middle seat of a Lund S-16 and it reached all the way from one side to the other. 46 to 47 inch's! Believe it or not, I caught it on a #7 Shad Rap using 8 lb test TFI Camoescent line. grin.gif 1DIRTBALL wink.gif

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Krats, I stay with the Bachel's at Trout Bay every year, and was with the group that went trout fishing with Lucas last week. We see huge muskies every year when we fish for them, 45"+. I would definately look into staying with Lucas at his outpost as it is very close to some real good fishing for all species.

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Hey Lip Ripper, good thing you guys came up when you did, it has really cold since you left. Look forward to you guys making up again, winter or summer.

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That's right. The wind was terrible to, that made it miserable out there. Cut some firewood at the cabin one day and thought I'd fish a little bit after. That didn't last to long, missed a couple trout and thought that's enough. It's getting nicer each day now. So , I will be going fishing again.

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Lucas did you do your trout fishing somewhere close to your cabin? Never tried it down in that area. I always went up by that cabin I was staying at in the middle of the NW arm. We got so many trout up there that we never needed to try anywhere else. grin.gif 1DIRTBALL wink.gif

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I mainly fish the big part right out in front of my cabin and few spots just starting up the arm. Never had any need to go any farther up than that. I usually get the biggest ones in the big part out from my cabin. I know alot of people fish up the arm though. The biggest thing is just work different depths, sometimes it takes a little bit to figure them out, but I have always had good success there. Do you have a spring trip planned for Pipestone, maybe I'll run into you up there.

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No I don't have anything planned as yet. Can't seem to find anybody to go with me. Sure would enjoy it though. Maybe I'll have to come up by myself just to pay you a visit! grin.gif1DIRTBALL wink.gif

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  • Your Responses - Share & Have Fun :)

    • Isn't 15 amps the breaker size for 14 gauge wire?
    • Forsythe Not too shabby.
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    • Any idea what gauge wire you have going to the outlet?  In most garages 14 would be the lightest and even that should should handle a 30 amp breaker: if worried about it just replace the 20 amp breaker.
    • I don't know if your pressure washer has changeable tips?  They are to find but I found a 0 degree blast tip for mine and that thing will chew up some stuff. 
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    • NORTHWEST IOWA FISHING REPORTS Black Hawk Lake
      Water temperatures are in the upper 70's. Water levels are 3 inches over the crest of the spillway. Bluegill - Slow: Try Town Bay, Ice House Point, and the North Shore. Use a small hair or tube jig with a small piece of crawler fished under a bobber in 5-6 feet of water. Target deeper fish this time of year on the rock piles near Gunshot Hill, Cottonwood Point, and the East Basin. Walleye - Slow: Try leeches or crawler harnesses around Ice House Point, the dredge cut near Denison Beach, and around the rock piles near Gunshot Hill, Cottonwood Point and the East Basin. Largemouth Bass - Fair: Catch largemouth all over the lake using traditional bass lures. Many anglers have found good bass action at the Ice House Point, the east shoreline, and the lake side of the inlet bridge. There is a 15 inch minimum length limit on largemouth bass in Black Hawk Lake.  Channel Catfish - Fair: Use stink bait, cut bait, or crawler fished on the bottom along Ice House Point and in Town Bay, and anywhere along rocky shorelines.  Brushy Creek Lake
      There is a 15 inch minimum length limit on largemouth bass in Brushy Creek Lake, and a 40 inch minimum length limit for musky. Walleye - Fair: Use minnows and leaches in 15-20 feet of water. Black Crappie - Fair: Try a small piece of crawler or minnow on a jig in 10-20 feet of water. Yellow Perch - Fair: Find perch along the vegetation and deeper structure. Largemouth Bass - Fair: Catch bass along weed lines near shore just about anywhere with traditional bass lures. There is a 15 inch minimum length limit on largemouth bass in Brushy Creek Lake. Bluegill - Fair: Anglers are picking up bluegills in 15-20 feet of water.  Storm Lake (including Little Storm Lake)
      Storm Lake has a daily limit of 3 walleye and all 17- to 22-inch walleye must be released; no more than one walleye longer than 22 inches may be taken per day. Walleye - Fair: Boat anglers are picking up fish trolling crankbaits or drifting crawler harnesses on the edges of the dredge cuts around the lake in about 8 feet of water. White Bass - Fair: Use crankbaits; most action has been from boat while fishing dredge cuts. Channel Catfish - Fair: Fish stink bait, leeches, and crawlers on the bottom.  Water temperatures in Black Hawk District lakes are in the upper 70's. For more information, contact the Black Hawk District office at 712-657-2638.   Beeds Lake
      Black Crappie - Fair: Drift fish or troll with a tube jig or small minnow. Yellow Bass - Fair: Drift fish or troll with a small jig.  Clear Lake
      Surface water temperature is 77 degrees. Walleye - Good: Jig a minnow or leech above submerged vegetation in 6 to 10 feet of water. Channel Catfish - Good: Use cut bait or crawlers fished after sunset. Black Crappie - Good: Try a jig and minnow near the deeper submerged vegetation. Yellow Bass - Excellent: Drift or troll a small jig tipped with cut bait in 6 to 8 feet of water until you find the fish.  Crystal Lake
      Largemouth Bass - Fair: Bass are biting topwater baits. Black Crappie - Good: Drift or troll small tube jigs in the dredge cut.  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: Excellent bite continues with good numbers of fish being caught. Cast mini-jigs or hair-jigs or use small baits tipped with wigglers. Walleye - Good: Numbers of fish are being caught with traditional baits; good numbers of yellow bass are mixed in with the catch. Bluegill - Good: The bite has fluctuated with the changing weather, but persistence will be rewarded with good numbers caught.  Lake Pahoja
      Bluegill - Good: Recent surveys show good numbers of large angler size fish in the lake.  Lost Island Lake
      Walleye - Good: Walleye action has improved; reports of the best action in areas with flow. Yellow Bass - Good: Reports of yellow bass being caught with black crappie and yellow perch mixed in the catch. Use small lures such as a twister tail or hair jigs. Channel Catfish - Good: Anglers report catching large channel catfish after dark.  Bluegill - Good: Recent surveys show numbers of fish about 7 inches in the lake. Black Crappie - Good: Recent surveys show numbers of angler acceptable size fish up to 10 inches in the lake.  Spirit Lake
      Walleye - Fair: The walleye bite has slowed, but persistence will be rewarded with good catches of fish. Yellow Perch - Good: Good numbers of angler acceptable size yellow perch are being caught shallow; start on the outside line of the weed beds. Bluegill - Good: Reports of bluegill, crappie and yellow perch being caught in the Illinois Pondweed in 8 - 10 feet of water. Use a slip bobber and jigs to fish fast and find active fish.  Trumbull Lake
      Yellow Perch - Fair: Anglers fishing from a boat or kayak report some perch action from the lake. Tuttle Lake
      Walleye - Fair: Use crankbaits in the basin. West Okoboji Lake
      Bluegill - Good: Rock piles in deeper water with stands of aquatic growth will produce good numbers of angler acceptable sized fish.  For more information throughout the week, contact the Spirit Lake Fish Hatchery at 712-336-1840.
    • NORTHEAST IOWA FISHING REPORTSD Big Woods Lake
      Reports of anglers catching crappie. Black Crappie - Good: Try fishing various depths near structure with a slip bobber and minnow or jigging colored tube jigs.  Casey Lake (aka Hickory Hills Lake)
      Casey Lake is in good condition with clear water. Vegetation remains abundant around edges, but it is starting to die back. Catfish, bluegill, crappie and bass are biting well. Largemouth Bass – Fair: Best bite is mornings and evenings. Bluegill – Good: Try fishing various depths with a piece of crawler under a bobber near the edge of weeds or structure. Channel Catfish - Good: Catfish are biting on a variety of baits. Best bite is early morning and late evening. Catfish size has been excellent. Black Crappie - Fair: Jig tube jigs or fish a minnow under a bobber near structure in the lake towards the dam area.  Cedar River (Nashua to La Porte City)
      The Cedar River continues to improve. Smallmouth Bass – Good: Cast artificial baits along rocky shorelines. Walleye – Good: A jig tipped with a half crawler and twister tail is a deadly combination this time of year. Channel Catfish – Excellent: Use stink baits in the top or upstream end of log jams. Flathead Catfish - Fair: Fish the larger snags with live bait.  Maquoketa River (above Monticello)
      The Maquoketa River is in excellent condition. Smallmouth bass and walleye fishing should be good throughout Delaware and Jones counties.  Martens Lake
      Expect to fish through and around vegetation. Adjust tactics as needed, including heavy baits or topwater options. Reports of some quality size bass being caught. Largemouth Bass - Good: Use weedless artificial lures with the dense vegetation. Try also topwater frog imitation baits.  Shell Rock River (Greene to Shell Rock)
      Reports have been good for walleye, smallmouth bass and some northern pike. Walleye - Good: A jig tipped with a half crawler and twister tail is a deadly combination this time of year. Northern Pike - Fair: Float a live chub or shiner under a bobber or cast larger artificial spoons or lures. Smallmouth Bass - Good: Cast crankbaits along and near rock shorelines.  Wapsipinicon River (Tripoli to Troy Mills)
      The Wapsipinicon River continues to fall in Buchanan County; conditions have vastly improved. Reports of anglers doing well on northern pike on the Upper Wapsipinicon in Bremer County. Northern Pike - Good: Cast large bucktail spinners.  All interior rivers received some rain, but some more than others. The Cedar and Shell Rock in Butler counties remain in good condition and anglers are doing well. The Wapsipinicon and Maquoketa Rivers remain a bit high and mudd. Trout streams remain in excellent condition. Call the N.E. Iowa district office at 563-927-3276 for more information.   MISSISSIPPI RIVER FISHING REPORTS IOWA, WISCONSIN & ILLINOIS Mississippi River Pool 9
      River level is 8.3 feet at Lansing and is expected to remain steady. Water temperature is near 81 degrees. New Albin ramp road is open. The Lansing Village Creek ramp is closed through October.  For more updates, call the Guttenberg Fisheries Management office at 563-252-1156. Walleye - Good: Water levels are at a good level to find walleyes on wing dams. Use a 3-way rig with a floating jig and a worm. Yellow Perch - Fair: Perch bite has been spotty, but some nicer ones are being caught with live minnow rigs. Northern Pike - Good: This time of year pike are attracted to cooler water coming in from springs and tributaries. Channel Catfish - Good: Try cut bait or stink bait in the main and side channel borders. Largemouth Bass - Good: : With lower water levels, bass will be pulling out to wing dams and structure along the main channel. Smallmouth Bass - Good: Find smallmouth along shorelines in slight current off rocky points. White Bass - Fair: Cast flashy spinners or crankbaits along the rocks in main channel current for big white bass. Bluegill - Excellent: Use light tackle tipped with small piece of worm under a bobber in 4-6 feet of water. Freshwater Drum - Excellent: Freshwater drum are actively biting in areas of current. Drop a heavily weighted worm rig into the current for some big fish action. Black Crappie - Good: Try tube jigs or minnow under a bobber in submersed trees in the backwater sloughs.  Mississippi River Pool 10
      River level is 14.7 feet at Lynxville and is expected to fall slowly to 14 feet. Water temperature is 82 degrees at the Lock and Dam 9. Sny Magill ramp is open. Walleye- Fair: Water levels are at a good level to find walleyes on wing dams. Use a 3-way rig with a floating jig and a worm. Yellow Perch - Fair: Perch bite has been spotty, but some nicer ones are being caught with live minnow rigs. Northern Pike -Good: This time of year pike are attracted to cooler water coming in from springs and tributaries. Channel Catfish - Good: Try cut bait or stink bait in the main and side channel borders. Bluegill - Good: Panfish bite is picking up this week. Try a small piece of garden worm on small tackle under a bobber. Common Carp - Good: Carp are on the move with the high water. To hook into a big one, try fishing the warm shallow backwaters where carp are staging for the spawn. Largemouth Bass - Good: With lower water levels, bass will be pulling out to wing dams and structure along the main channel. Smallmouth Bass - Good: Find smallmouth along shorelines in slight current off rocky points. White Bass - Fair: Cast flashy spinners or crankbaits along the rocks in the main channel current for big white bass. Bluegill - Excellent: Use light tackle tipped with small piece of worm under a bobber in 4-6 feet of water. Freshwater Drum - Excellent: Freshwater drum are actively biting in areas of current. Drop a heavily weighted worm rig into the current for some big fish action. Black Crappie - Good: Try tube jigs or minnow under a bobber in submersed trees in the backwater sloughs.  Mississippi River Pool 11
      River level is 6.2 feet at Guttenberg and is expected to fall slowly and stabilize near 5 feet. Water temperature is 76 degrees at Lock and Dam 10. Walleye - Fair: Water levels are at a good level to find walleyes on wing dams. Use a 3-way rig with a floating jig and a worm. Yellow Perch - Fair: Perch bite has been spotty, but some nicer ones are being caught with live minnow rigs. Northern Pike - Excellent: This time of year, pike are attracted to cooler water coming in from springs and tributaries. Channel Catfish - Good: Try cut bait or stink bait in the main and side channel borders. Largemouth Bass - Good: With lower water levels, bass will be pulling out to wing dams and structure along the main channel. Smallmouth Bass - Good: Find smallmouth along shorelines in slight current off rocky points. White Bass - Fair: Cast flashy spinners or crankbaits along the rocks in main channel current for big white bass. Bluegill - Excellent: Use light tackle tipped with small piece of worm under a bobber in 4-6 feet of water. Freshwater Drum - Excellent: Freshwater drum are actively biting in areas of current. Drop a heavily weighted worm rig into the current for some big fish action. Black Crappie - Good: Try tube jigs or minnow under a bobber in submersed trees in the backwater sloughs.  Upper Mississippi River levels are leveling off this week with good water clarity, but lots of vegetation present. Boaters should use caution with the lower water with wing dams and sandbars now at or just below the water surface. As water levels settle back to summer lows, look for fish along side channels as the temperatures warm up. Water temperatures are in the upper 70's to low 80's.   Mississippi River Pool 12
      Water levels are 6.1 feet at the Dubuque Lock and Dam and 8.6 feet at the RR bridge. Expect water levels to drop slowly this upcoming week. Water clarity is good. The water temperature is around 81 degrees. Channel Catfish - Excellent:Try stink bait or worms near shore. Freshwater Drum - Excellent: Most anglers use a simple egg sinker and worm rig. Drum will be hanging out relatively near shore in moderate current areas. Largemouth Bass - Excellent: Largemouth bass are being caught along flooded weed lines and in weedy backwater using lures like scum frogs.  White Bass - Good: Look for schools of white bass feeding on the surface in the morning and evenings. Bluegill - Good: Try along the vegetation lines in 4 to 6 feet of water. Flathead Catfish - Good: Current areas along rocks are starting to again produce some nice eating sized flathead catfish. Walleye - Good: Use crankbaits on the wing dams. White Crappie - Good: Try small minnows in newly exposed brush piles along major side channels or deeper backwater areas. Smallmouth Bass - Good: Use spinners or crankbaits along rocky areas with strong current.  Mississippi River Pool 13
      Water level is 6.5 feet at the Bellevue Lock and Dam. Expect water levels to recede this upcoming week. Water clarity is good. The water temperature is around 82 degrees. The north ramp at Sabula is not in use this year due to bridge construction.  Channel Catfish - Excellent: Try stink bait or worms near shore. Move often if you are not finding catfish. Freshwater Drum - Excellent: The drum bite is on. Fish worms with an egg sinker in moderate current areas. Fish near the shorelines if possible. Largemouth Bass - Excellent: Most are feeding along the edge of weed lines. Use a bright colored spinner that imitates minnows. Try also frog imitation lures in the weedy backwaters. White Bass - Good: Look for feeding schools of white bass in the morning and evenings. Small spinners and white jigs work best. Bluegill - Good: Bluegills have returned  to the creel. Try fishing along vegetation lines in 4 to 6 feet of water. Flathead Catfish - Good: Try live bait in high current areas or above large brush piles.  Smallmouth Bass - Good: Focus on rock lines and piles with strong current. Spinners, jigs and crankbaits work best. White Crappie - Good: Some nice crappies were reported coming out of deeper backwater areas along newly exposed brush piles.  Mississippi River Pool 14
      Water levels are 6.1 feet at Fulton Lock and Dam, 10.2 feet at Camanche and 5 feet at LeClaire. Expect water levels to drop this upcoming week. Water clarity is fair. The water temperature is around 82 degrees. Channel Catfish - Excellent: Try stink bait or worms near shore or along brush piles. Freshwater Drum - Excellent: Use a simple egg sinker/worm rig in moderate current areas. Find fish near the shoreline in flooded conditions. Largemouth Bass - Good: Bright colored spinners fished along flooded shorelines are picking up some bass. White Bass - Good: Some schools of white bass have been seen in the tailwater area. Use bright jigs or flashy lures. Smallmouth Bass - Fair: Focus on rock lines and rock piles with strong current. Flathead Catfish - Good: Some flatheads are hitting crankbaits and jigs along rocky areas. Anglers are using live baits on trot lines with some success. Bluegill - Good: Lower ends of Rock Creek and Catfish Slough have produced some nice bluegills; mainly using worms and bobbers. White Crappie - No Report: Try newly exposed brush piles with small minnows and jigs.  Mississippi River Pool 15
      Water levels are 6.3 feet at Rock Island. Expect water levels to drop this upcoming week. Water clarity continues to improve. The water temperature is around 82 degrees. Channel Catfish - Excellent: Try stink bait or worms near shore. Freshwater Drum - Excellent: Use an egg sinker and worm rig fished near shore in moderate current areas. Flathead Catfish - Good: Use live bait above large dead falls. Smallmouth Bass - Fair: Try spinners, jigs and crankbaits in rock lines and piles with strong current.  Water levels are receding throughout the district. Levels are below what anglers have seen in a few years. Be careful boating; many underwater hazards are now exposed. If you have any angling questions, please contact the Bellevue Fisheries Station 563-872-4976.   
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