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Hey all:

Bunch of us FMers around Duluth/Superior had an ice-fishing get-together a week ago on the St. Louis River.

It was a lot of fun. We had a dozen guys.

And we figured that, what with all the new guys because of the Wisconsin board, we should have a similar gathering in Wisconsin. So we figured we'd pick Smith Lake, which is just northwest of Hayward and next to Nelson Lake.

That puts it an hour away from Superior, and within striking distance of some of the more central Wisconsin guys.

Smith has crappies and walleyes and all the other usual suspects, and has easy public access not far off Wisconsin Highway 27. It is big enough for good fishing but doesn't get the pressure of the bigger area lakes.

The two dates that would work best for some of us up here are Sat., Feb 1 or Sat. Feb 15. However, without having the Wis regs in front of me, I'm not sure when walleye season closes in Wis., and Feb. 15 may be too late.

Who wants in? There was over a foot of ice on the lakes in that area couple of weeks ago. In another month, I figure it'll be a shoo-in to drive on unless we get lots of warm weather. We can update on ice conditions closer to the date.

------------------
Steve Foss
Superior, Wis.
[email protected]

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I'm in!!
who's bringing the "bait" grin.gif
i'm o.k. for either weekend I'll talk to Condor because we all know he does'nt have a computer grin.gif
See Ya

Jar Jar

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Thanks spin.

Jar, should we all pitch in and get Condor a computer? Hmmm, ahhh, thinking . . . Nope, it's too good a time having fun at his expense when he's defenseless. So is he going to bring his LOOOOONG rods? Don't think there are pout on Smith.

As for the bait, it's gotta be BYOB. grin.gif Everyone has their own "bait" preference, as you know. A few guys will stay with waxworms (pop and coffee). Some prefer crappie minnows (Lite), others the larger walleye fatheads (High Life). Still others prefer emerald shiners (Leinies). Some like the very sporty, stylish and expensive larger golden shiners (Sam Adams), and still others go for the big ole blue-collar suckers (City Slicker Malt Liquor, 24 oz).

Man, I can't wait to bait my hook.

[This message has been edited by stfcatfish (edited 01-03-2003).]

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Let's set it for Saturday, Feb. 15. If that date won't work for anyone, let me know.

This doesn't have to be a big deal, either. It might boil down to three or four guys. However many can go will go, and I think it's new water for all of us, so it'll be fun to explore. We can just meet at the ramp and decide if we want to fish together or scatter out and hunt up the good spots. If anyone has handheld radios, they should bring them so we can stay in touch if we want to.

Looks like the crappie guys could have success on Smith , as could those for walleye or northern, based on sampling data from the latest DNR reports. cool.gif

Anyway, closer to that weekend, I'll make another call for who's going, and we can plan it out a bit.

------------------
"I've driven farther before to catch fewer fish . . ."
Steve Foss

[email protected]

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FYI ... Was on Smith Sunday from 1:00 - 5:30 PM. Trucks are driving out already, there's a solid 14". As for the fishing, it was very slow (small fish, and not many). The statement that Smith is smaller, and therefore doesn't see the pressure of some other lakes is not really true. There are two 25' holes, not very large either, that hold the crappies. Right now the northern most hole is covered with fisherman on the weekends. I fish this lake quite often (being from Hayward), and it can be cyclical (is that the right word?) Some years great, some years not so great. You'll catch crappies, but this year the slabs seem to be missing. Have yet to catch a Walleye on this lake, and not for lack of trying. Just throwing in my $.02. Nelson Lake might be a better choice, not very different in location, Crappies have been pretty decent on the North end, and tip-ups near wood always seem to produce Walleye & northern too! Good Luck,
SMEDS

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OK gentlemen, chime in. Nelson works just as well, it's bigger water, and the recent gathering at Vermilion showed us that we shouldn't be wedded to an area when the fishing is not so great.

So it's a simple matter to switch things to Nelson, which I've hit a couple times so far this year and wouldn't mind going again.

But Nelson's a lot bigger than Smith, and snakes around with several put-in points.

Smeds, where has it been good? It's pretty shallow, with the deepest part being consistently the river channel about 15 feet, except for that 30-foot-plus hole in one corner of the lake.

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you might be able to add me in too smile.gif
ill keep in touch in here, it would be interesting to try a new lake in wisconsin. would the crappie bite during the day on these lakes?

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Well what ever youguys decide I'm in ,even the Eau Claire chain is o.k. for me it's all in the same area.
Just post where and I shall follow.


Jar Jar

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A day crappie bite on Nelson is a good possibility. It's a stained lake, clear only to about 4 feet, and day bites seem to happen more often on those kinds of lakes.

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you guys ever fish the flowages or anything?
they look like it would be fun trying to find some fish in.

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Steve & guys ... I've been fishing on the North end, off Tagalder road. There's a good access there, plenty of room in the parking area. I basically hit the river channel, and start punching holes. Crappies on Nelson are like everywhere else, they're nomadic. If the weather is nice, just keep hole-hopping to stay on the fish. Look for 12'. I've tried the 30+ hole, it's never panned out, not even last-ice. Buy a map, and put tip-ups up on the flats surrounding the river channel. Look for stumps on your electronics, eye's and slimers will not be far away. Because of the stained water, the crappie bite happens during the day, but does pick-up towards dusk. There is a new limit on Crappies here ... only 10. Implemented in 2002 to protect that fishery ... good idea! Nelson has been pounded in the past, and the Crappies seem to be rebounding. Should be able to scratch a limit out no problem, but you never know ... that's fishing!
SMEDS

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Pig-sticka ... Moose lake is a fun Crappie flowage, about 18 miles east of Hayward. There is a 20+ hole by "Louie's Landing" access that consistently produces. This lake also has a 10 fish new limit. Caught my biggest (15 1/4") Northern Wisconsin paper-mouth there last year at first ice. That's up there with URL size! Walleyes run small here, I don't even attempt 'em anymore ... too much fun pounding the slabs! Keep what you'll eat THAT NIGHT, and throw the rest back. Frozen fish is supermarket fish ... eat 'em fresh! Because Moose is a flowage, they have a winter "draw-down". Some years the 20' hole is 14', others 17'. Pays to stop at Louie's and ask ... have a cold one for me!

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Smeds and Sticka:

Thanks for the info. I've got a Fishing Hot Spots map of Nelson, and the reason I like it better than what I hear of Moose is that you can punch holes in the 15-foot channel for crappies during the day with pike tips nearby and fish walleyes at evening bite too. If Moose has little 'eyes and isn't worth 'eyeing, it sounds like Nelson is more versatile.

Waddya think?

Also, are people driving on Nelson? Is there current in the "channel" or is it pretty still?

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People are driving on Nelson, with 12-14" of ice. I'm still driving my ATV though, I always feel better with 16+" before I take a 3/4 ton pickup on the ice. The current, if any, is slight. The Totogatic River was dammed to form this lake, and it's flow is pretty slow in the summer, so no big deal in Winter. Stay away from the dam, and the far north end by inlet, and you'll be fine. I would agree Nelson is a better all-around lake.
SMEDS

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Well Nelson sounds to be a better all around lake and it seems to be enough ice so we can be pretty mobile and spred out to find the fiesty creatures. Just need to bring radios to keep in touch

Jar Jar

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that might be alittle hard though being the 15th is right on my 1 year anniversary with my gf frown.gif

i am up for going but just not on that day. if you keep that day maybe we can get a smaller outing too or something one of these days.

i usually fish the western side of wisconsin since i am in the cities but going over to more central might be fun.

[This message has been edited by pig_sticka (edited 01-08-2003).]

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