Is it this article or a different one?:
Trophy Bass Lakes in Minnesota
September 30th, 2010
Read more: http://www.gameandfishmag.com/fishing/fishing_bass-fishing_mn_aa082803a/#ixzz3ESEyOaLY
By Tim Lesmeister
While I stood there watching the weigh-in I thought to myself that the bass these guys think of as average, we up in Minnesota think of as trophies. I was watching a bass fishing tournament in Eufaula, Ala., and some 7- to 9-pound bass had been caught and brought to the scales. When I asked the anglers who caught the fish if they thought these were trophies, they said ďno.Ē A trophy to them is over 10 pounds.
That goes to show that trophy status is relative to where you live. My biggest Minnesota largemouth was caught on a metro lake and the fish weighed 6.3 pounds. I released this fish, but in my mind it was a trophy, and the anglers who were with me stated they, too, felt this was a true trophy bass. The biggest smallmouth I have ever caught was a 6.5-pounder on Mille Lacs. Thatís a good one anywhere.
The state-record largemouth bass is an 8-pound, 12.75-ounce fish that was caught from Lake Tetonka in Le Sueur County. The state-record smallmouth is 8 pounds and was caught in West Battle Lake in Otter Tail County. If global warming ever catches up to Minnesota, then maybe those records will be broken. This would have to happen because the weather is what keeps Minnesota bass from hitting that 10-pound mark.
The problem, of course, is the fact that largemouth and smallmouth bass donít get the benefit of a year-round growing season like they do in the southern United States. With only half as much time to grow, the bass in Minnesota are lucky to hit the 6-pound mark. So when you do land a bass over 6 pounds in Minnesota, you can rest assured that everyone who knows anything about bass fishing in this state will know you landed a true trophy.
Not every lake in Minnesota is known for producing trophy bass. As a matter of fact, few lakes are capable of consistently turning out high numbers of huge fish. The conditions must be right.
Look at the Alexandria Chain of Lakes, for example. This chain produces some 50- to 60-fish outings, but they are all 2- to 3-pounders that look like they came from the same mold. One or two big fish a week get caught, but the majority are average-sized.
Now look at the metro areaís Lake Minnetonka. You may not catch 10 fish in one outing, but half of what you do catch will be fish over 4 pounds. Itís taking a 5-pound average to win a tournament on that lake these days.
Biologists will tell you itís all part of the ecosystem, and lakes that have a good prey/predator relationship do well. But who cares what causes the lakes to produce monster bass? The bottom line is theyíre there and you can catch them because of the numbers of big fish present. When you gamble, you like high odds. When youíre fishing for a trophy fish, you want to be on a lake where the number of big fish is high. It ups your odds.
Everyone already knows about the phenomenal big-bass fishing on Minnetonka for largemouths, and the monster smallmouths that await a hook on Mille Lacs. Letís look at a few more.
St. Louis County
Bill Slaughter and I park at The Chainsaw Sisters on Mudro Lake and drop in a canoe. We make a few portages and wind down the Horse River to the big waterfall that signals weíve reached Crooked Lake. Itís a long dayís journey over many portages weíve sworn weíd never cross again due to their difficulty, but after a few months you forget the agony and pencil the trip onto the calendar once again. Not only can you find nonstop walleye action on Crooked Lake, but the monster smallmouth bass are there as well.
Iím always casting crankbaits to the points and swimming jigs tipped with plastic grubs over the rockpiles. Slaughter likes to vertical jig with a minnow or leech. He often outfishes me 2-to-1 and always catches the biggest fish of the trip. You just canít beat real meat for bites.
Slaughter always puts us into some current when heís targeting smallmouth bass. There are some channels between the big basins of Crooked Lake where the water moves through pretty fast, creating some strong current. Slaughter uses a rock for an anchor and positions the canoe so that itís right on the edge of the current. We fish where there is some slack water and eddies right next to some moving water.
If your jig is getting swung off the bottom by the current, youíre too far into the moving water. You want to be in the slow-moving current. Use a jig thatís heavy enough to keep the bait near the bottom. We often use jigs up to 1/2 ounce.
The big bass stack up in these locations and you can have a field day pulling in one after another.
For more information, contact Northwoods Guiding Service at (218) 365-2650.
Back in 1989, a major bass tournament was held on Leech Lake and this event showcased just how awesome the lake is for trophy largemouth bass. Even today the big lake receives hardly any pressure for this species.
The big bass in Leech hang in the vegetation in the big bays. Much of this is in the form of rice beds, which you must be careful around. You want to keep your boat on the outside edge of the rice and not motor through this harvestable crop. Thereís plenty of coontail and cabbage beds, and if youíre careful the rice can be navigated and fished properly.
The best way to nail these big bass in Leech Lake is with topwater spoons, floating frogs and shallow-running spinnerbaits.
On a lake like Leech the reason the bass population has advanced to the state itís in is that fishing pressure is light and harvest is almost non-existent. Practice catch-and-release with the bass in this lake to maintain the healthy trophy fishery that exists.
For more information, contact Reeds Sporting Goods at (218) 547-1505.
St. Louis County
Thereís a smallmouth hiding behind every big rock on Lake Vermilion, and chances are good itís a 5-pounder. Another great place to target the huge smallmouth bass on this lake is on the docks. Shoreline development has picked up in the past few years and more docks are being constructed. The smallmouths are migrating to these docks to pick off the forage that is attracted to structure.
Many anglers are using a jig-worm method to target the smallmouths on the docks. The rockpiles are getting hammered with crankbaits, as
well as the jig-crawfish combination.
For more information, visit the Vermilion Web site, located at www.lakevermilion.com.
The largemouth bass in Prior Lake, much like those in Minnetonka, are getting bigger. Blame it on the milfoil. On lakes that have milfoil, it seems the bass are gaining on the average size. That sure is the case on Prior, where an eight-fish tournament there recently took slightly over 40 pounds to win. Thatís a 5-pound average, and many of the competitors were pushing that mark.
The big fish are coming from the deep transition lines: a point that tapers into 25 feet of water and ends on a cobblestone bed, a sand line in 22 feet of water that butts up against a rockpile, sparse strands of grass protruding from between the boulders. Spots like these are getting bombed with barrel-headed jigs tipped with plastic crawfish bodies and slowly dragged along to look like the real thing. The big bass are falling for the pseudo-crayfish and getting caught in good numbers.
For more information, call MK Fishing at (952) 447-6096.
The special regulations on Portage Lake, just north of Ten Mile near Hackensack, have been in effect for eight years. The restrictions require anglers to release all largemouth and smallmouth bass immediately after they are caught. It just goes to show how much the size of the fish can be attributed to angler harvest.
Each year the bass caught on Portage keep getting bigger. I was on an excursion to Ten Mile Lake five years ago when someone informed me of the great bass fishing on Portage Lake. Iíve stopped off every year since.
Itís a deep lake with bulrush, cabbage and coontail. The center of the lake is deep and the water is very clear.
Get on the water as the sun begins to rise. Make long casts to the emerging vegetation with floating shallow-diving crankbaits. Twitch the baits to the boat and make another long cast. Itís quite a bit of fun to watch those big largemouths and the occasional smallmouth crush those baits.
For more information, contact Swansonís Bait and Tackle at (218) 675-6176.