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beanman

Big Pine Fishing Report for HANC

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HANC, since you're heading up in a couple weeks I figured I'd pass along what worked for me on Saturday on Big Pine and what I saw on Otter Tail since they're somewhat similar lakes. I stayed on Otter Tail Thursday and Friday and then fished Big Pine Saturday.

 

Thursday(no fishing):

 

I had to work all day so we didn't get to the lake until 7:00. I knew bad weather was on the way so we just left the boat out of the water(smart move). We had a big storm Thursday night that lasted several hours of sustained 50-60 mph winds. Otter Tail had a lot of docks, lifts, etc. damaged and a few boats that got loose and either floated to the other end of the lake or washed up shore. We got power back around 2:30 AM, so I sat and watched the resort owners out on the dock in the monsoon trying to save their pontoon since the lift was pushed over slightly. I probably should have helped, but I felt like sh#t because I've been sick the past week and I probably would have just been in the way.

 

 

 

Friday(Otter Tail)

 

Knowing that the fishing would stink given the big storm the night before, I slept in a bit before hitting Otter Tail. We tried jigging with shiners, spinners w/ leeches or shiners and floating jigs with shiners and leeches in various locations and couldn't get anything to hit. Our day was shortened when another 3 hour storm came through. I was watching my radar as well as keeping an eye on the storm and thought we had a good hour left, but I heard a high-pitched buzzing noise and my wife yelled ouch. I turned to her thinking she got stung by a bee or something and it turns out that she got shocked up her left arm when she touched the fishing pole. I looked at her and all the hair that wasn't in her pony tail was sticking up like this gal's: http://www.madsci.or...25697.Es.r.html, so we got the hell out of there quick. I heard the same sound when I was getting my boat on the lift, and it sounded like it was coming from the top of the flag pole right next to where I docked my boat. Scary sh#t; I thought lightning was about to strike in both cases so needless to say I cranked that bitch up on the lift at world record pace.

 

 

 

The only place I was getting any action from anything other than perch after trying several different types of structure(irregular break lines, humps topping out around 10 - 15 feet, inside corners, etc) was this guy below, which provided access to deep water on both sides. All the good hits we got were in 12 - 14 feet of water just below the weed line. I tried fishing in the weeds and didn't locate any fish. I tried below the weed line but the fish were tight to the bottom and not biting.

 

 

 

Saturday(Big Pine)

 

Due to having to check out of our cabin, load up the boat, wash the boat before transferring to another lake, and waiting 45 minutes for cold hashbrowns and a sh**ty omelet at At The Hop, we didn't get on Big Pine until 11:00 AM, and I figured given the 2nd straight evening with a storm coupled with me arriving at the worst possible time to fish for Walleye we probably wouldn't get much. But there was much action to be had on Big Pine. I chose a spot to fish on my GPS at the dock and headed over there. Not surprisingly, there were 10 boats working the area that I chose, which always seems to happen for me. So I once again looked like the douche that doesn't know where to go and just finds a pack of boats to fish by.

 

Anyway, once some of the boats cleared out and I was able to fish exactly where I wanted, we had some decent fishing. I observed no less than a dozen walleye caught around us that were in the 21" + category. Rarely did I see anything small caught. I missed several big fish (at least 4 lbs) that I had up to the side of the boat and they shook loose. We caught enough below the slot to have a fish fry for the family and grandparents when we got back and did manage to get a couple in the slot as well. The nice folks at Whispering Pines let me use their fish cleaning house, so I was happy with how the day went.

 

We were fishing primarily with Leeches. Other boats around us seemed to be using primarily minnows. I missed a couple nice fish on Shiners as well, but they all bit the dust from the warm water so I had to switch to Leeches the rest of the day. We had zero luck with spinners. I went to a more subtle presentation, with a small #6 hook and 6' snell coupled with a 1 oz VMC bottom bouncer.

 

 

The only spot I tried was east side of this reverse saddle which is located to the west of Squaw Point, since I saw no reason to move to another spot . I zig-zagged between 10 - 14 feet of water in the area shown between .5 - 1.0 mph on the first picture and found lots of active fish. Deeper fish weren't willing to bite, same as what I saw on Otter Tail. There aren't many weeds in this section to contend with, so it's easy fishing. I'd expect that by the time you get up, similar areas in slightly deeper water(maybe 13 - 17 feet) along with humps in close proximity to these areas would be good, kind of what like is shown in the 2nd picture. You probably know the lake better than me since I don't get on it as much as I used to, but with the weird spring things are probably not as far along as a normal year. The water temp on Big Pine was between 67 - 69 degrees, which was higher than I expected it to be.

 

 

I'm not sure if you have this on your computer or not, but I find the following web app from Navionics to be helpful for planning. I'm a Lakemaster/Humminbird guy, but it's much easier farting around on my computer than it is scrolling around on my electronics in the boat to plan out trips.

 

http://www.navionics.com/en/webapp

 

I hope you have a great time and your son doesn't whiff on the big fish like I did; there's certainly plenty of them in there. The slot limit seems to be doing the trick for big females.

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Thanks for the tips and information. More importantly, glad you and family made it through the storms without injury. The storms roll in, and easy to get caught on the bigger water in sh!tty and dangerous conditions... Have been there a time or two, but not with the lightening (which is scary stuff)...

 

Funny you mentioned Whispering Pines, that is where we stay. I have seen that entire resort under 1.5 foot of water from cleaning house, through the back end of RV camping with some of the torrential rains. I thought you mentioned being back in the area in July... if so, swing back to Whispering Pines for a little Husker talk and beverage of choice. The week or two that we are there, most of the resort is full of Nebraska folks from Lincoln and Omaha..... my truck with Huskur plates will be a give away...lol

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Thanks for the tips and information. More importantly, glad you and family made it through the storms without injury. The storms roll in, and easy to get caught on the bigger water in sh!tty and dangerous conditions... Have been there a time or two, but not with the lightening (which is scary stuff)...

 

Funny you mentioned Whispering Pines, that is where we stay. I have seen that entire resort under 1.5 foot of water from cleaning house, through the back end of RV camping with some of the torrential rains. I thought you mentioned being back in the area in July... if so, swing back to Whispering Pines for a little Husker talk and beverage of choice. The week or two that we are there, most of the resort is full of Nebraska folks from Lincoln and Omaha..... my truck with Huskur plates will be a give away...lol

 

Part of my 'extended' family pretty much takes over Whispering Pines the first week of June every year. I was at Vacationland on Otter Tail Thursday and Friday and nearly everyone there was from Nebraska as well. Lots of friendly people. Although the one guy said he hated living there and is wife wouldn't let them move :confucius

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I found a video that has a noise that resembles what I heard in the boat and at the boat dock coming from the flag pole. Go to the 2:50 mark of this video. That's pretty much exactly what it sounded like. The weird part was once we took off in the boat after seeing her hair standing up we did see the first lightning strikes in the storm, but it was still miles away. I don't quite understand what happened but needless to say it freaked me out at the time. I was doing some googling and it sounds like survivors of strikes have heard this type of sound as well as smelled ozone prior to being struck.

 

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Hey HANC, sounds like the resort we stay at on Otter Tail lost half their lifts, a couple pontoons and a jet ski during the storm we sat through, so we'll be trailering our frickin' boat all week since they have no lift for us to use. So what that means is I'm probably going to be on Big Pine 2 to 3 days during your 2nd week. Cya there!

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Hey HANC, sounds like the resort we stay at on Otter Tail lost half their lifts, a couple pontoons and a jet ski during the storm we sat through, so we'll be trailering our frickin' boat all week since they have no lift for us to use. So what that means is I'm probably going to be on Big Pine 2 to 3 days during your 2nd week. Cya there!

 

I guess that Whispering Pines is under "new management" this year. Too bad, because I really liked the young couple that ran the resort the past few years....but, it sounds as if they were good to you. July 6-13, we are staying in the small cabin off of the lake and will have our Nebraska canopy up outside to help store the "goods" for the next week...and then the week of July 13-20, we move onto the lakefront in the 2 cabins that we always stay in... towards the North end of the row of cabins.... My personalized plates will give it away..... I will be looking for a black Lund..

 

Really too bad about the resort on Ottertail... that not only puts a lot of people (vacationers) in a bind, but will be a mess for the resort to put back together... Mother Nature can be a b!tch... Hopefully it doesn't hamper your vacation and fishing experience.

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