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frozen toes

Lake Onalaska

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Thought I would let people know about the lake. Ice conditions are excellent for foot travel and atv's. 4-8 inches thriughout the lake. Crappie, bluegill, and perch have been very hot last couple of days. A friend of mine caught a 1# perch last Sunday. Anything orange or pink tipped with a waxie has been getting the most action. Fish have been at different depths all week. the deeper water has been producing some very nice gills. Hope to update from time to time. Layed off all winter so I will be on the ice alot. It has been a blast lately. Tight lines and good fishing everyone.

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I fished the lake yesterday and did pretty good even though the bite seemed to be slow. Between my brother and I we ended up with 25 keepers after a morning of fishing. Crappies 10"-12" perch 9"-13" sunfish 8"-9". Hooked into a northern on a swedish pimple, maybe 8# got a good look at him as I tried to get it thru a 6" hole then he bite the line off. All in all it was a good outing. Lake onalaska has always produced good fish even with the heavy pressure it gets. Alot of the lake never see's ice fisherman. If your mobile, atv or snowmobile you can find some great fishing away from the crowds. I found some ice less than 4" all the way to 8" so be careful if your exploring. Good luck

Fishing is Life.

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Bodyman- Man I need to get with you!! The bite out there has been TOUGH the last few days. I was there yesterday and the day before. Friday we did well on crappie and perch. Saturday we got very little. We were fishing in the main cluster of folks in the channel. We also hooked into northern with a pimple.

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I was also using the vex, marked alot of fish, but very picky. We had the best luck with a small white teardrop, and the pimple. We moved a cuople of times, but we only fished till noon. Last week that same spot was hot. But there were also only a handful of people out there then. I heard a guy fell through in that area last week. There was a patch of open water last Sunday between those two islands, that is where he went in. I fish that lake exclusively in the winter. Mainly because that is the only place I really know of. Have you ever fished at Black Deer? I heard it is pretty good also. Will probablt try there New Year's day. i usually fish there alone. I have a newer Frabill Ice Shak 200, it has the darker blue material. Did you get a chance to get to the deeper water yet? Might try that tomorrow afternoon. Good Luck to you also.

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I have fished black deers but not this year. It can be a good spot for pan fish. The ice is aways a question there in warmer weather. I haven't fished anything deeper that 15" so far.

Fishing is Life.

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Frozen Toes, I live a half hour south of the lake, and spend most time south of LaCrosse. I wasn't to far away from from you but not in the big group. The fish were very spooky, clear ice and alot of people. We were in 10'to 13' and close to or in the current. That's where I found less than 4" of ice. The vex helped alot on what they wanted as far a presentation, I changed bait constantly to keep them interested. Crappies and gills liked pink/pink and green purist with no bait and the perch a small pimple with 4 spikes. I stayed in about a 50 yard area and fished ten different holes. Maybe I'll see you out there sometime, I have a small blue shappell. Good luck

Fishing is Life.

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Thought I'd join in. Fished Lawrence yesterday. The bite was quite slow through the middle part of the day, but heated up as the sun hit the bluff top. Kept 10 and threw a lot of nice 8-9 inch gills back. Darn things were still biting at dark. Clear water and clear ice makes for spooky fish. It helps to be away from the crowd. I was fortunate. No one near me.

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I fished Lawrence once, did not do too well. But I also do not know the lake. That was about 4 years ago. I have not been there since. I have heard it can produce some nice panfish though. might try to check that out this year. Do you fish in deeper or shallower water? All I found was very shallow.

Bodyman- Blackdeer still has open water at the boat ramp. It was packed on Saturday. I am not sure how they got on the ice but they did somewhere. Got the flu last night or I would be out fishing today and checking it out.

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Yea. Don't expect a lot of difference in water depth as compared to Onalaska. Six feet is deep water in Lawrence. The fish on sunday seems to be located where the bottom slopes from about 4'-5'. On a backwater like Lawrence a 6" change in water depth is can be a big deal. Finding live weeds is also very important out there. Caught my fish in 4' of water 3' down.

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Roger, I used to fish Lawrence alot, but with MN setting the limit to 10 on blue gill I won't be making any trips across the river for pan fish. The regulation change is supposed to be an experiment that will last for 10 years. Look for it to be a permanent thing with the direction MN is going with their limits. I really don't understand the reasoning behind their limits. There's aways been plenty of good sized gills in the mississippi back waters. Wisconsin is 25/50 and across the channel 10?? Doesn't make much sense. I do see plenty of MN tags fishing our side of the river taking advantage of the more liberal limits. I would like to see Wis laws hold MN residents to MN bag limits when fishing the boundary waters. Now that would be fair.

Fishing is Life.

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Have you guys been fishing Lake Onalaska recently and having any luck. I stopped by the Lawrence bait shop this afternoon and the lady working said they are getting lots of northerns and bass there right now. Big ones I guess. No crappies yet. Good fishing.

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musky- yes, I have been fishing everyday for the past week. Yesterday the bite finally picked up. Caught 5 very nice crappies and assorted gills and perch. they have been getting bass and northerns on the upper end (Black Deer) on tip-ups. If you go there on a weekend, it is a pain, too many people. During the week it is pretty good. Last time I was there we got 3 northerns in the 5-lb range and 2 bass about 3-4 lbs. Fishing using medium shiners 1 foot below the ice. The lake is still in very good shape as far as ice goes. 4- wheeler and 1 person did go through last night though in the same area. The bait shop can point the spot out for a person (pressure crack). Today people were back driving full size vehicles out there. The wind is making it hard to keep portables in one place. If you are looking for panfish that is the place to be around here.

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1-16-2003 Update
The lake is now drivable just about anywhere you want to go with large vehicles. We finally have about an inch of snow cover also. The gills have been pretty consistent in the 10-13 ft. Crappies have also been coming on, also in the same depth. We have been having good luck fishing in 13 FOW with bigger fish hitting around the 10 ft range. When they are on, any smaller jig tipped with a waxie has been getting them. The afternoon has been the best for bigger fish. There are a lot of smaller fish you will have to sort through, keeps it active at least. there are a lot of tip ups being run with northerns being the primary target. This has been spotty, but they are definitely there. Good fishing to all.

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1-16-2003 Update
The lake is now drivable just about anywhere you want to go with large vehicles. We finally have about an inch of snow cover also. The gills have been pretty consistent in the 10-13 ft. Crappies have also been coming on, also in the same depth. We have been having good luck fishing in 13 FOW with bigger fish hitting around the 10 ft range. When they are on, any smaller jig tipped with a waxie has been getting them. The afternoon has been the best for bigger fish. There are a lot of smaller fish you will have to sort through, keeps it active at least. there are a lot of tip ups being run with northerns being the primary target. This has been spotty, but they are definitely there. Good fishing to all.

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Frozen Toes, Have you been fishing over in that group of houses by the rail road tracks or have you been out by the other houses?

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musky- I have been fishing away from the other houses. There is a little island by the houses away from the tracks, that is where I have been having the most luck. I will probably get by the tracks a little later in the year. The crappies move out there mid season. The fish cribs are out by the houses by the tracks. You can tell when that happens because all the houses will be packed in a small area.

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1-22-2003
The crappie bite is very good right now. I have been catching good sized ones on anything you throw at em. Gills are pretty steady, with many small ones to weed through. Small perch are everywhere and kind of a nuisance if you are looking for eating sized gills and crappie. Northerns and bass have been good on the upper end of the lake.

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I was fishing below the Dresbach dam in La Crosse this weekend. The ice was one foot thick. Caught a bunch of walleyes about 13 inches but did not get one of the 15 inch minimum to keep. I did see a couple come up for the other guys. Kept a few sauger for the frying pan though. Frozen Toes, when you caught those crappies were you fishing for sunnies or going after the crappies specifically? Are you still catching them?

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Musky-Sorry so long to respond. yes and no. I usually go for the sunnies, but have been getting into the crappies more lately. I have found a couple "holes" that have been exclusivelly crappie. Pure luck though, LOL. Yes they are still biting. I was out the last couple of days and have been hooking quite a few. Some real nice, but most in the 8-10 inch range. We have been getting into some bull sunnies mixed in with them. I have not tried Dresbach yet this year. Are you fishing out from the main boat landing? What type of equipment(jigs?) I fished there once, but got skunked. That was about 3 years ago. How is the ice there? There is a tournament on the Lake this coming Saturday. Starts anytime in the morning and ends at 3. Should be interesting. If you could, let me know a little about Dresbach. Thanks. Mike

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Frozen Toes, I have been using a gold kastmaster this winter but a jigging rap works good and a swedish pimple works good. These work best best when tipped with minnow heads or tails. I even had one old timer show me how he was catching them with a plastic minnow head on his treble hook (swedish pimple) and he was doing very well. He had trouble trying to keep real minnow heads on as his hands wouldn't work good if they got too cold. That plastic head stayed on good. He said the plastic head had to be on perfectly straight though. I don't know where he got that plastic head but it looked real lifelike and I haven't seen one like it in the stores. They are right down on the bottom and its works good to bounce the lure on the bottom some and when you let it flutter down let it flutter right into the bottom once in a while and a lot of times when you pick it off there will be one sucking on it. Last Saturday when I was out they were biting so light you never new they were on until you lifted your rod. It got for a while there instead of lifting for another jig I set the hook. With those Kastmasters and pimples it works good to lift slow (a couple feet) and drop fast so they flutter around some. Some places are better than others but it really doesn't matter too much, just go out where everyone is and fish. The fish move around and come through in schools. So you can move around too if you want or sit still and eventually a school will come through and you will get bit. One day a couple years ago a school of big ones came in that I could not lift off the bottom. Lost three in a row like that in about 40 to 50 seconds. So you never know out there. I was using a rap that day and I think if I had a kastmaster on I could have landed one of those. Its hard to get a good hookset in a walleye mouth roof with the end hooks on the rap. There is good ice out there, a foot thick last week end you but you always watch very close where you go at all times. Good Luck. PS. Put a 15 inch mark on your pole so you can measure the 14 and three quarter inch fish fast and slip them back. I was using fire line to help detect that light bite.

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Frozen Toes, I made it out to the lake for the contest. Alot of time looking at the fish on the vex, but little action. Fished about 5 different spots and all about the same, very slow bite. How about you?. Got out friday afternoon to dresbach. 6 walleyes between the 2 of us only 1 keeper 19"

Fishing is Life.

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Bodyman-Yeah, I was there. The most frustrating day of the year. All my "good" spots were dead, or had people all over them. I tried 3 different areas drilling about 9 holes with a hand auger, that was fun, LOL. I caught 1 decent gill, and 4 small perch. I had fish, they just would not bite. I am thinking about heading to Dresbach very soon. It sounds like fun, and I love walleye. Are there a lot of people fishing there? Anybody use tip-ups, or is it better to just jig? I went to Gander yesterday and picjked up a power auger so I should be able to drill a few more holes without getting tired and sore.

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Action has been pretty good lately. Crappies have moved to the shallows and constantly on the move. Gills and perch are also being found in shallow water. I have been fishing in 3-6 fow and having good luck. Small presentations are working the best. Red spikes really draw the fish in when they are finicky. Last Sunday I caught the biggest crappie I have ever caught. Scaled in at 1.75#. Weighed it and set him free. Wished I had a camera to take a pic to get a replica. Oh well, there are always more. Also caught a nice Largemouth on my little jig, good fight on the ultralight.

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musky- that is where I have been doing the most fishing. Big gills and boat loads of Bass. Bass are nailing the tip-ups as well as anything in the water. Closer to the lights they are getting into the northerns. There have also been some good sized perch out there. No crappies that I have heard of. I will be taking the kids out there tomorrow because they are really biting good. Just right for the kids. The water is 3-5 feet deep with lots of weeds.

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