Foster Arend Lake Rochester Mn. Ice Fishing Report


I am posting this report for Nate Cadwell. He was ice fishing at Foster Arends Lake yesterday afternoon for a short while and also this morning. Trout were being caught in shallow water of only 2 to 8 ft. The best bait was small fathead minnows. Crappie minnows would not produce.

The lures being used were tear drop jigs, Genz jigs and Rat Finkes in orange or chartruse color.

The trout were caught one foot off the bottom and also in water that was 3 feet below the ice. Yesterday afternoon the fish were mostly 13 inches to 16 inches. This morning the fish caught were one 8 incher and seven 18 inch fish. He did see a person catch a 21 incher that was close to the bottom. Nate said he feels that the 8 incher might be a natural reproductive fish as he believes that the fish stocked are bigger than that and he has never caught a trout that small there.

With the colder weather the ice getting thicker but please becarefull as no ice is perfectly safe. Have fun and please feel free to post about your fishing outtings.

See you on the ice. Nate Cadwell


  1. 7 – 18″ trout in a few hours is a pretty fun little outing! I know a lot of the stream trout guys pound the rivers a long time between 18″ers.

    Does the DNR still dump some of the larger brood stock each winter or have they ceased that practice? I’ve heard of some darn big trout taken out of that little lake!

  2. The last I heard was they still like to put decent size trout in that lake as fingerlings would be eaten and the DNR has the lake set up as a put and take type lake which means good size fish put in. Am anxious to get my back problem taken care of so I can spend some time down there on that lake along with other places too. Just have to be on the water alot more 2004. [a good addiction to have, lol.] Its a close lake, right in Rochester, for alot of people to have the opportunity to fish it even if they only have a limited amount of time in any given day to fish. And thats only one of many lakes in the Rochester area. Thanks, Bill

  3. I had the chance to get out on Foster-Arends late today. Caught 4 trout up to 17 inches. Missed several others that hit like freight trains and somehow did not get hooked. I like to use small spoon ice jigs tipped with minnows or a dead stick with a minnow on a red hook. It is a fun lake to fish, especially through the ice.
    Glad to hear that Nate did well! Of course, he usually does!!!

    Good Fishing,

  4. Ya Mike, he even kicks my beep on ice too. Some people were born with a lucky spoon in their mouth. lol. Hes really good at finding fish so when I’m able I think I will follow both him and you. Keep the reports coming. Thanks, Bill

  5. Quote:

    Ya Mike, he even kicks my beep on ice too. Some people were born with a lucky spoon in their mouth. lol. Hes really good at finding fish so when I’m able I think I will follow both him and you. Keep the reports coming. Thanks, Bill

    You know as well as I do that we make our own luck. It’s like the saying goes “the more I practice the luckier I get.”

    Gator Hunter

  6. In other words: Time on the water. Some homework and a thought out plan help too along with the willingness to adapt to changes.
    Thanks, Bill

  7. Hi, I have seen 5+ pounders come out of there– and have personally cought one 4 pound rainbow there and many medium sized. I usually get 5-10 fresh stocked fish and then one that lived last yr. As for the dumping–?? There are also huge bass in there, but good luck catching one. I have gotten the young and dumb ones( up to 4 lbs, but not the mommas).

  8. I did not personally see this particular fish, but there are many people who claim to have seen a 10+ waldo come from this pond this winter! I know two who were there that day and they would not lie. When the pond was opened to the public after years of being private and privately stocked, the numbers of northern and walleyes caught was just as impressive as the size of the fish! The likelihood of the lake having huge fish still in it is very good, given the fact that the deepest water is not shorebound and eveyone in the winter fishes for trout in very specific areas. Like Chesterwoods, Foster is accessable by non-motorized boat or canoe and I don’t know why more people don’t cash in on the opportunity that simply sits there waiting to be tapped. And the lake has some majo league trout in that deep stuff as well, many of which would pull the pointer past six pounds on the scale.

  9. About a dozen years ago I fished Foster Arends with a canoe, fish finder, and electric trolling motor. I would highly recommend that we NOT encourage anyone to do this in the soft water season. The fish are such easy targets with a canoe and the right presentation that the pond would quickly be fished out. I stopped doing this after only a few times as I wanted to keep the fishing as it was, especially for the kids and handicapped fishermen.

    Dave Gulczinski

  10. Dave, Are you trying to tell us that you almost took all the fish out of there?!? lol. It would be fun to go out there with a locator, maybe even a under water camera, and leave the pole at home, but to be out there would be an education to study the structure, habitat, etc.

    Thanks, Bill

  11. Bill,

    I will tell you that I was catching and releasing about 20 trout an hour plus several other kinds of fish with the presentation I was using. People on shore were watching what I was doing and I knew if I kept it up there would be lots of canoes out there — it could easily harm that small pond.

    The last time I was there I did bring my wife along and we could not even handle the two poles we using as the fish bit so fast. The shore people were catching next to nothing during these periods. The trout were getting hooked so hard that I was afraid they may not have a good chance of survival. That is when I decided this pond was not meant for that kind of fishing.

    Only one presentation worked, at one depth, and in one location. I will not say what I was doing and if you ask my wife, she probably forgot the presentation but does remember the wild bite there.

    Dave Gulczinski

  12. Dave…A few years ago I too put the square stern in out there and paddled around for about an hour. My companion and I had the same sort of results as you found. That was the last time it( the canoe)went out there for fishing purposes. Been out there in a tube too. Once. I’ll not mention what the size of fish we were getting was nor the location. I have also seen people fishing out the from canoes and not catch diddly, but then , too, they did not appear very experienced. I don’t think the problems which might come from boat traffic are going to be caused by well meaning anglers who enjoy the fight and then the release…it will come from those who stumble into a concentration of fish and don’t care about tomorrow. Other than to go back twice more and limit up. That is a practice which is very commonplace out there anyway. We can’t change people’s practices, but we can change what we do. I only fish the ice once in a while and from shore now. I do not keep any of the fish for myself, but might give one to someone who’s having a tough go at it. You are right though, it is no pond for a boat. I meant no harm in mentioning the boat legal status of the water and hope you took no offense. Tom

  13. Crappie Tom,

    Your below comment is the exact reason I stopped fishing at Foster Arends in the canoe.

    “It will come from those who stumble into a concentration of fish and don’t care about tomorrow. Other than to go back twice more and limit up.”

    About the time I had my experience Foster Arends with the canoe I also fished at Shields Lake. Over there was a shore spot for spring crappies that I had fished for years and really enjoyed it. My wife could even catch them on a bare hook with a just little red thread on it.

    Then a certain ethnic group of people found out about it and had family members fish it day and night while relatives pulled up in cars and just loaded buckets of fish into their trunks. That way if the warden ever came over they would never be over their limit. I could not communicate with them as they did not (or would not) speak English to me. Anyway that spot was shot and I stopped fishing at Shields Lake.

    Dave Gulczinski

  14. It is very sad to hear stories about people comming across a good bite and then just loading up on them for the dinner table. These people obviously don’t care about the future of the lake. It is also a bad thing to pass on to the kids.

    All of this reminded me of something I witnessed last year at the Sportsman’s Show. A man and his son went into the trout pond area. I was watching from the side and I saw this man put a wax worm on his and his son’s hook. Within seconds they were both getting bites (nobody else was ). Finally, the guy caught one. He quick threw the fish in his bag and rebaited his hook. People watching all this started ragging on him. The guy running the pond noticed it and kicked the guy out. This didn’t stop him. He baited his son’s hook from outside the rail and started coaching the kid. He even reached over the side to help his son set the hook.
    It was sad to see the poor sportmanship, and even worse was that he was passing it on to his son. There is a lot more to fishing than taking home fish.

  15. I carry the cell, paper and pencil. License numbers will work as well as phone numbers. You don’t have to approach them to act. But, sirs, this is exactly what I meant in my statement.

  16. Unfortunately it only takes a few people doing that to ruin a fishery for all of us. Fishing is much more than taking fish home. Its the feeling of nature, being out there in God’s creation, the peacefullness and joy of being on the water. Catching fish is a bonus and we each have a respondsibity to not damage the fishery by taking more than our fair share. Common sense, being fair to others, and not abusing our resources will all help to have a good fishery for everyone to enjoy.
    Thanks, Bill

  17. i agree %100 with what has been said so far about a few “select” people being able to ruin a fishery. take northern hills pond for example. these “select people” found out about it and fished it until there were no fish left. that still makes me steamin mad .

    that being said, i think foster would be an exception to that rule. being that it is considered a “put and take” fishery, the DNR dumps fish in it quite often. although someone taking there limit out of there day in and day out would be abusing the resource, i don’t think it would have any longer term affects.

    ….and as for the comment about “NOT encouraging people to go out there in a canoe as fish can be caught so easily that it may hurt the pond”, i think it might have had the opposite effect as what was intended. if i was a shore fisherman that just heard “Foster is accessable by non-motorized boat or canoe” i wouldn’t have given it a second thought as i was already aware of that….but when someone adds “the fish are so easy to catch out of a canoe, but don’t do it because it’s not good for it”, now i might just try it sometime.

    ……just my thoughts

  18. Jake,
    I would hope that people on this forum would not abuse a situation like on Foster Arends – that is why I even mentioned catching fish there. I would not have any problem with the guys on this website going out there and enjoying a good bite and trying to learn how to catch them. I am sure they would only take a few fish (if any) home and release the others.

    Unfortunately, if you ever do determine how to catch them from a canoe, then the people on shore can probably see exactly what you are doing. As in a previous post of mine (and by others) some people/groups will drastically abuse that tiny fishery if they know how to do it – that is what I am worried about.

    It is hard to discuss this situation without giving the reason as to why encouraging canoes could be a problem. I guess we will see what happens this summer. I only live a few blocks from Arends and enjoy frequently walking around it – I’ll keep an eye out for anyone abusing these waters.


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