Fishing Reports

12.08.10: I can’t believe how much time has passed since my last “fishing report” post!!   Bad Terri!!  I guess I need to be more diligent but for some reason deer season got in the way.  Anyway, we all know we’ve been in the deep freeze for the first part of December and there are some guys that can’t seem to wait to get out on the ice – UGH!!!  Knowing all of this, I did get in some schooley rods, a couple more augers, auger replacement blades, some jigs, etc.  So we are stocked up for the most part for those of you that feel the need to venture out onto the ice.

Prior to the cooler weather setting in, we had some fantastic crappie fishing during the fall months and even through most of November.  Crappie minnows were the bait of choice and most guys reported catching their limits of crappie each time they were out.  Who says our lakes don’t have any fish???

So if you aren’t stocked up for ice fishing, stop in and pick up your ice fishing supplies.  Bee-moth is a good bait to use through the ice and we will do our best to keep it supplied.

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01.01.11:  Happy New Year!   The saying of  “Out with the old and in with the new” certainly does apply in our case!  Looking forward to another year of growing and “re-building” here at the store, making it even bigger and better.  One of the things that we would like to make available to our customers and visitors is the Indiana Fish Identification Guide.  This has been a handy guide over the years and unfortunately it’s no longer available in the Fishing Regulation booklet.  By clicking on the picture, you can enlarge it for better viewing.  This guide has been very useful here at the store, especially for families visiting our lakes.

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03.01.11:  March is finally here and along with it, the hope that the fish will have an appetite and start biting feverishly.  We’ve had a few reports of some walleye being caught below both dams but the air temp needs to warm up a bit before the “masses” will invade the area to try their luck.  A good rule of thumb is that the walleye start biting right after ice out so the action should pick up soon.  You can’t go wrong using a deer hair jig tipped with a minnow or even a swim bait of some style.  When the action really gets started, it will likely continue for several weeks.

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03.27.11: Well, once again Mother Nature has thrown us a curve ball!!  Last week at this time we had quite a bit of  walleye activity going on below the dams and some crappie, smallmouth and catfishing action on the lakes.  And wouldn’t ya know it – it went from 60+ degrees to the deep freeze – UGH!!!  Ole Man Winter just seems to want to hang on and everyday John has to remind me “Miss T, it’s still only March!”  Well, that doesn’t mean it has to be in the 20’s at night, does it???!!

It seems that  guys are just wanting to get out of the house and do something besides sit in front of the boob tube watching basketball, even if the fishing action is a little slow.  All it will take is some warmer weather and warming water temperatures to get  fish to bite more consistently.  The walleye enjoy dining on a deer hair jig  (the gray ghost) which can be tipped with either a bass, crappie or river minnow or sometimes they prefer a white or chartreuse colored twister tail on a lead head.  These baits are a pretty safe bet, especially when fishing below the dams.

It’s bound to warm up eventually and I, for one, am ready for it to be warmer.  For even more up to date fishing information and pictures, be sure to visit our Facebook page under Twin Lakes Fish & Game.


A really nice Walleye caught below the Norway Dam

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04.29.11:  Well, it’s been about 2 weeks of constant rain, with this past week consisting of extremely heavy rains.  As I write this, both the Norway Dam and Oakdale Dam are putting through enormous amounts of water, making it almost impossible to enjoy any kind of fishing below the dams.  But prior to the higher water conditions, fishermen were having success with walleye and some white bass (silvers) below the dams and crappie fishing on the lakes.  Both the river and lake fishing will slow somewhat until the water recedes and clears up.  However, as things start to settle a bit, it’s past experience that the catfishing can be extremely productive using baits such as nightcrawlers, shad guts and even chicken liver.  It seems that catfish aren’t nearly as affected by muddy water conditions as other species may be so with a forecast of a better weekend weather-wise, grab your rod and reel and head out to try some catfishing – you might be pleasantly surprised.

http://water.weather.gov/ahps2/hydrograph.php?wfo=iwx&gage=nwyi3

The above link is for the NOAA website when you can obtain information about the Norway and Oakdale dams and the current water flow.  It’s a very interesting site as well as informative.
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05.15.11:  Thought you might enjoy an excerpt from the 2010 Where Magazine:

Fishing is a great family past-time and hobby for the young and old alike because fishing knows no age limits. It can be as simple as using an inexpensive rod and reel rigged for using a nightcrawler or as sophisticated as having all the latest and greatest gadgets and widgets that seem to reel the fish in for you! Lakes Freeman and Shafer offer much in family fun and fishing and whether you live in the area or are a visitor, you will be sure to agree that we are very fortunate to have the availability to the variety of fishing these two lakes offer.

Fishing in the Monticello area usually begins in as early as mid to late February, right after ice-out. Anglers in the pursuit of walleye will line the banks below the Norway and even Oakdale Dams to try their luck in catching their limit of walleye. This early season walleye fishing can last for several weeks, depending on Mother Nature but you can be assured that this cold water action is the favorite of many anglers.

When the walleye action starts to ease up and the water temperature begins to warm, many fishermen will focus their fishing interest on the hybrid white bass (Wiper) and the white bass (Silver). While the white bass are a native species to the area lakes, the hybrids were introduced by means of a stocking effort several years ago. It’s not uncommon to see Wipers in the 15 lb. To 20 lb. range being caught in the tailwater areas below both dams. And talk about a fight – the hybrids will test the abilities of even the most seasoned fisherman when trying to bring this fish to the bank or to the side of the boat!

The White Bass are so much fun to catch as they think they are just as big as their biggest cousin! Area fisherman are very familiar with the “Silver Run” and look forward to this fast, fishing fun every spring. The “Silver Run” is when the white bass migrate from the lake sections of each lake to the river section in preparation for spawning every spring. While weather and water conditions play an important role in when this actually occurs, it’s something that is highly anticipated every spring. When the river conditions are right, anglers fishing from a boat and from the bank can catch a limit of 12 silvers in a short period of time. This fast and furious action no doubt ranks very high on any angler’s list of fishing fun! After the river action diminishes, the lake action will pick up when the silvers begin feeding on the schools of shad minnows.

At about the first of April, anglers interested in fishing for largemouth and smallmouth will not be disappointed in the quality of fish available in each lake. Each lake receive their fair share of bass fishing attention and it’s not uncommon to have some type of bass fishing tournament on one or both lakes on most weekends beginning in late spring and going through as late as early December. In the fall months, most species of fish become very active in their feeding patterns in preparation for the winter months and the bass are no exception.

Spring is also a favorite time of the year for the crappie angler. Again, when conditions are right and to the liking of the crappie, anglers can expect to catch a nice mess of crappie using nothing more than a bobber and crappie minnow. While many of the crappie can be caught in areas of the lakes with strategically placed brush piles, they can also be found in areas with shoreline structure such as docks and piers. The best crappie fishing is during the spring months and again in the fall months, when the water starts to cool and they go into a heavy feeding mode.

In addition to all the above species of fish already mentioned, we cannot forget the catfishing available in each lake and below the dams. Both lakes have a healthy population of channel cats and flatheads and they are usually not too particular in what they prefer. Just simply putting a nightcrawler, redworm or any number of stink baits on a hook and fishing off of the bottom is likely to result in catching the whiskered fish.

Probably one of the most popular fish of all is the bluegill and sunfish. These little guys can be found throughout the lakes and river section areas and become very active in late spring. If you want to enjoy some fishing fun and have young children, rig up for some bluegill action, using nothing more than a small hook, bobber and bee moth. Just sit back and enjoy some fishing fun that can’t be beat, especially if you have young children.

If you prefer to fish for the rough fish species, both lakes have an abundance of carp, sucker and white drum. While these fish may not be much to look at, they sure do provide some great fishing action. In addition to fishing for them using a rod and reel, bowfishing for carp is rapidly gaining in popularity on the lakes.

Fishing anywhere in the state of Indiana requires a fishing license if you are a resident or non-resident 18 years of age or older. So before you venture out for a day of fishing, be sure you have a valid fishing license in your possession. Current fishing information can be obtained from locally owned bait and tackle shops and shop owners will be more than happy to assist you with your fishing needs.

Again, welcome to the Monticello area and we look forward to seeing you on your return trips to the area lakes when fishing is on the agenda for the day.

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05.15.11:  The day has dawned kind of cool and dreary and weather reports are not the greatest for the next day or so.  After record high temps the early part of the week, we have been brought back to reality of just how quickly our Indiana weather can change.  However, we have certainly dodged the bullet in the past couple of weeks as we’ve had the opportunity to dry out after several days of constant monsoon rains and extremely high water levels.

Even when there was strong river current and the water clarity was less than desirable, there was still some good fishing action.  John & I headed for the river above Bluewater Beach fishing for silvers and experienced some great fishing action.  The lighter weighted deer hair jig tipped with a river minnow was just what the doctor ordered and we filled the livewell with some very nice silvers and even a few crappie.  You had to practically stand on the trolling motor with it on high to keep from goin’ down the river so you didn’t dare loose your jig and have to retie!  Then, last Tues. we picked up our friend & customer, Julie, and headed upriver for some more silver fishing action.  While the quality of silvers was not as good as before, we still caught ’em and had a great time, mostly at John’s expense!

Customer’s are reporting nice catches of silvers and crappie anywhere from just below the dams to areas downstream.  Almost everyone seems to be using the deer hair jigs tipped with a river minnow (which doesn’t necessarily need to be alive, just ask me!).  Crappie like a crappie minnow and also a tube jig, color of which seems to vary.  The bass fishing is picking up as well and tournament action is now in full force.  Water temperature is the key to our fishing activity at present and it should do nothing but increase as we progress through the late spring time of the year.

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07.03.11:  I’m really trying not to whine but it’s getting very, very difficult!  Just when we get the water back in good shape (and my arena dried out) we get more rain than we can stand.  We just got the flood gates finally closed and the water level in the river was nearing a more normal level. And then that nasty storm cloud rolled over and changed everything for about the 10th time this year!  So we’ll have to put up with high, muddy water conditions for several days, just like we’ve been doing all spring.

Prior to this last gully washer, fishing was pretty darned good.  We’ve had great reports of some fantastic bluegill fishing on both lakes.   Bluegillers are primarily using bee-moth and crickets and literally catching boat loads of bluegills.  As a matter of fact, one avid bluegill angler was teasing me the other night with plans of having a fish fry at a time he knew I wouldn’t be able to attend – that was mean!

The bass fishing has also been very good on both lakes.  Tournament anglers are providing excellent weigh in’s with many of the limits being anchored by solid sized small mouth.   Even our little Wednesday Night Tournaments are seeing good weigh-in’s and you pretty  much better have a limit or at least close to it.  And what’s nice about these little weekly tournaments is we have several teams consisting of father-son and husband-wife.  I for one really enjoy seeing these youngsters fishing and having a great time.

This holiday weekend we had a group of local guys that caught their limits of silvers and hybrids below Oakdale dam.  One bait that’s been very productive for this type of fishing is a soft plastics swim bait.  Swim baits are becoming very popular among white bass &  hybrid anglers as well as bass fishermen.

And don’t forget the catfish.  With our current water conditions, they are sure to be very active.  One of the most popular baits of late is Sonny’s Catfish bait, available in either the regular or blood.  You can’t go wrong with shad guts or nightcrawlers as well.

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02.18.12:  Yep, it’s been awhile since I’ve done an update but if you read my articles under “Terri’s Blog”, it will pretty much bring you up to date with what’s going on in the fishing world.  Our milder winter weather has definitely been good for the walleye fishing and we’ve had some great walleye caught below the Norway Dam.  Below are a couple of pics to lend some validity to “The Walleye are Biting!!”

Shain Yenna, Medaryville 02.04.12

Chris Landess, Mich. City, 10 lb. 7 oz. Walleye Beauty!