Minnesota Fishing Reports
I wouldn’t go for a walk out yet, but on Monday, I saw thin ice covering about 90% of Pokegama Lake at Grand Rapids. The same was true at Sugar Lake located southwest of Grand Rapids, except the ice was somewhat thicker there; 2 to 3 inches at the shoreline.
Further south, I checked the ice on Splithand Lake. The accompanying photo tells the story there, 5 to 6 inches of ice already cover the shallow, shoreline portion of that lake. I expect that the next time I drive that way, I’ll see fishing shelters on the lake.
Further north, dark house spearing shelters are popping up in ..." Read >> Ice Report December 1, 2020
But overnight, Mother Nature has gotten more serious about making ice. As I write this report, the air temperature outside my office window is 11 degrees f and with the forecast high of 25 degrees, I expect to see a lot more lakes around the Itasca Region skimmed over with ice this morning.
The numerous shallow-water lakes that were already frozen, will be making ice all day long today and again overnight tonight. Temperatures may moderate again later this week, but by then, most lakes should ..." Read >> Ice Fishing Update November 30, 2020
Most of the men and women in my family love fishing. Naturally, that means that they love fishing gear too, so Whenever somebody mentions picking up stocking stuffers for Christmas, I start checking around for special sales on fishing tackle.
A couple of days ago, an email from Lurenet got my attention. It contained an announcement about a big flash sale on fishing lures and a lot of the lures they listed, are the same ones I use every day for both open water and ice fishing.
When they use the term “Flash Sales”, they mean it. Both the lures that are on sale and the times at which they're offered are moving targets. So you have to check in every day to see which ones they running at the moment. The deals are running at random times and usually last only if the supplies do.
So whether you have anglers on your Christmas list or just want a great deal on lures for your own tackle trays, save some money and have some fun checking out >> Lurenet's Black Friday Flash Sales. I'm on their website, checking for bargains myself, right now. — Jeff Sundin 218-245-9858 or EMAIL
"The beginning of the 2020/2021 ice fishing season is upon us and from what I can see, it’s shaping up to be a fairly routine opener.
In the northern tier, Minnesota’s shallowest water lakes are pretty much all frozen now. As of Tuesday, ice thickness varied from about 2 to 4 inches, so there is some activity on a handful of lakes, but activity is not widespread.
Deeper water is skimming over at night, but on many of the region’s deeper lakes, thin ice formed overnight breaks up again during the daytime. Until we receive a period of sustained cold weather, deep water lakes should be avoided.
On Upper Red Lake, the cat is out of the bag. A few anglers began showing up to test their skills on Sunday, a few more showed up on Monday and by Tuesday, there were enough people around to ..." Read >> Upper Red Lake Ice Updates November 25, 2020
Overnight Monday, the shallow bay from our resort out to the main lake breakline froze over. The west end of the lake has already been iced up for 5 or 6 days now and the ice-line is migrating East. We had estimated being about halfway to seeing the entire lake frozen over. But yesterday, a stiff breeze blew the bay open again, so it's going to be a while longer before we see it locked up.
Because our typical ice fishing season begins after Christmas, this shouldn't cause problems, but we'll be keeping an eye on the ice as it develops.
This year, the mild weather has been a blessing and we definitely ..." Read >> KAB Outdoors Update November 25, 2020
"November for me isn't about beards. It's about crappie. It's the month I like to catch crappie for the family. We eat quite a bit of baked fish, so I like to chase those coldwater crappies that are easy to catch with a jig if you know where to look. More about that here. But then comes the cleaning part. I'm pretty adept with an electric fillet knife. But I've been wanting a good cordless one for a while.
BUBBA sent me their newest Lithium ION Cordless Electric Fillet Knife a few months ago and it has been getting a workout since early October. I've cleaned a pile of crappie, yellow bass, white bass, bluegill and even a sauger.
I think a lot of folks serious about cleaning a lot of fish over the course of the year will want to ..." Learn More >> Bubba Lithium Ion Cordless Electric Fillet Knife Review
For a closer look, enlarge the satellite image, roughly half of the lake is covered with thin ice with the rest open water.
Ice anglers are hoping for cold nights combined with low wind and no snow to create a good early sheet of ice.
Every year is different based on Mother Nature of course, but normally resorts will be able to get their smaller fish houses, called day houses, out by ..." Read More >> Lake of the Woods Ice Update November 24, 2020
“Winter Fever”, my term, does not exist, at least it’s not recognized by any dictionary or electronic resource. But if you ask me, it is real and one of the most easily recognizable symptoms is the perennial clamor among a certain segment of our population to be the first angler to catch a walleye through the ice on Upper Red Lake.
The fever is kicking in right now, as evidenced by questions popping up everywhere, including my email in-box, about the ice conditions on Upper Red.
You’ll be happy to know that relief is in sight, the giant lake has already ..." Read >> Upper Red Lake Ice Update November 21, 2020
"Winter anglers on Mille Lacs Lake will enjoy a walleye harvest this winter for the fifth season in a row. Starting Tuesday, Dec. 1, anglers will be allowed to keep one walleye between 21-23 inches or one fish longer than 28 inches. This is the same regulation as the last two winter seasons.
“It’s good news that anglers will be able to harvest walleye again this winter,” said Sarah Strommen, commissioner of the Minnesota Department of Natural Resources. “Conservative management continues to sustain good fishing on Mille Lacs.”
Mille Lacs was a popular ice fishing destination during the winter of 2019-2020, in part due to ..." Read >> Mille Lacs Lake winter anglers allowed 1 walleye
Rainbows in the sky and 45 degrees are hardly the recipe that puts us on the fast track toward the ice fishing season. For hard core ice anglers, looking at all of this open water is a little un-settling.
It is true, you can forget about finding ice on any of the Itasca Region’s deep-water lakes today. But despite this week’s short term warm up, shallow water lakes are doing okay at holding on to the thin layers of their ice that formed last week. I don’t think there are places to fish safely yet, but it is coming.
In today's report, a photo provided by Russ Jaeger shows a school of minnows swimming below a sheet of clear, solid ice over about 1 foot of water. Jaeger said ..." Read >> Believe It Or Not, Ice Season Is Coming November 20, 2020
We really didn’t have much fear of catching any virus while we would have been there, especially playing outside on the beaches. What had us second guessing ourselves were the hours we would have spent in airports, waiting to catch the 3 connecting flights to get us there.
So, since we didn’t spend Sunday evening gazing at the ocean sunset, we decided to see what we could see here, in our own neighborhood instead.
Ice has begun to ..." Read >> Observing the Observe-Able November 16, 2020
Within the first 2 hours, I'd seen at least a half dozen bucks and at one time or another, had my rifle pointed at 3 of them. Not believing in taking unnecessary risks with marginal shots, I chose not to pull the trigger and that's okay. I'll just have to wait and see if I can get a better angle sometime during the rest of the season.
How much time I’ll actually have to hunt is debatable? Ice had already taken hold of ..." Read >> Hunting the Huntable November 10, 2020
Loren Bosmans wrote; “Jeff, I do a great deal of fall crappie fishing in north central Minnesota. I have had good fishing this fall, getting the crappies suspended over deeper holes, pretty much same areas I ice fish.
I fished the past 2 days for the first time in about 3 weeks, the surface water temperature ranged from 36 to 40 degrees, I even had to break ice with the boat in one bay.
What surprised me was that I marked almost no fish and when I did find crappie, they bit reluctantly and were much smaller than fish I caught a few weeks ago.
"To say that there are significant gaps in my knowledge about how to fish in 35-degree water temperatures is an understatement. That’s pretty much what I told Paul Kuznik when he called about a fishing trip for he, his father Tony, and father-in-law, Ivan.
Kuznik, along with both of his dads shrugged off my words when I said; “I know the weather will be nice, I know we’ll have a nice day on the lake and I’ll definitely give it everything I’ve got. But it’s been 3 weeks since I’ve been on the water and I can’t promise that I’ll figure out where the walleyes are or how to catch them.”
The trio always makes 1 or 2 trips to Canada every summer. Just like everybody else who planned to fish north of the border, they were never allowed to make the trip. So, for them, Wednesday’s trip was more of an excuse to get together and spend a day on the water. Fish, if we caught any, would be the icing on the cake, not the main entre’.
Cutfoot Sioux would be as good a choice as any, I thought, so we ..." Read >> Sundown On Fishing Season November 5, 2020
She is not, however, the first female to qualify for or compete in the All-American. That honor was given to Belinda Lewis of Lawrenceburg, Tenn., who qualified through the Bama Division, finishing in 43rd place and earning $1,500 in May 2009. Katie Jackson was the second woman to qualify for the All-American, with a sixth place finish in the 2012 Wild Card as a co-angler.
And Mize won't be the lone woman in next year's BFL All-American on Douglas Lake. Terri Davis of Chilhowe, Va. also qualified through the co-angler ranks at the BFL Regional on ..." Learn More >> Mize First Woman to Win BFL Regional
"It's been an interesting fall on the Rainy River. There has been a good shiner run but low current. Some anglers say slow fishing compared to past falls. Others report excellent fishing but you have to work for them.
Move around to different spots or even trailer to different sections of the river until you find fish. Best depths range from 7 to 24 feet of water.
Jigging with shiners on current breaks and in holes or trolling crankbaits over flats where fish are spread still pulling some fish. A sturgeon rig with crawlers and shiners in deep holes still catching lake sturgeon.
Good walleye reports from a variety of ..." Read >> Lake or the Woods Report November 3, 2020
"I am just back from Minnesota’s western border with North Dakota, where my son-in-law, Austin Jones and I hunted for Pheasants. While I can’t say that we saw the most birds ever, we did enjoy some nice walks and on each one of them, saw at least a few birds.
It had been a long time since I’d hunted on the Minnesota side of the border, so I didn’t know exactly what to expect. For me, it was heartening to see that in one respect, Minnesota has it all over North Dakota; the availability of huntable public habitat.
As good as North Dakota may be, it just keeps getting harder and harder to find access to decent hunting land. Sure, if you know somebody that can get you onto private ground, you’ll ..." Read >> Sundin Report November 2, 2020
Professional fishing guide and ice angler Brad Hawthorne explains when, why, and how to create custom maps using Humminbird's AutoChart Live features while fishing.
Why would ice fishing be any different than open water angling? Your goal is to determine fish location and why they're there.
Some folks, along with the icy images they post, offer guidance about how soon the ice, in their opinions, will be ready to support ice anglers and their gear.
It is 13 degrees outside my office right now and if I really wanted to, I bet that I could find a couple of shallow lakes that skimmed over last night. I could make it appear as if the ice fishing season starts tomorrow if I wanted to. But I’m not ready for that, I’m ready for one little stretch of warmer weather before it’s too late.
I love ice fishing alright, but I am not gonna do that, I am going to ..." Read >> Sundin Report October 27, 2020
Some even bring their Mr. Heater in the boat. High temps this week in the low 40's. The water temps are in the 30's and the walleyes are staged in many early ice areas. Good reports on the lake with a mix of small fish, eaters and some big fish.
Consider areas on the lake such as the Lighthouse Gap, Morris Point Gap, Zippel Bay and Long Point. Good reports in all of those areas.
Walleyes in 7 - 26' of water. Most anglers anchored up and jigging with an ..." >> Lake of the Woods Walleye Report October 27, 2020
Heavy winter fishing over the last four years necessitated more restrictive regulations. Winter angling on Upper Red Lake averaged 1.6 million angler hours with a harvest of 130,000 pounds annually over this period. The new regulations, which become effective Sunday, Nov. 1, lower the possession limit from ..." Read >> Upper Red Lake walleye regulations change for winter season
Gary Dunn wrote, “How do you filet a walleye?". I have been using an electric knife for 20 plus years and am pleased with the results.
What confuses me is that some folks obsess over taking out the "pin bones" and the "mud line". I don't keep a walleye over 18 inches, so it's never been a problem for me (I think). I would appreciate your thoughts, Tight lines.”
A) Gary, I have used several electric knives in the past and I agree with you, they do a nice job of filleting a fish.
There is one and only one objection that I have about using an electric is that they force me to ..." Read >> Walleye Fillets October 26, 2020
Every day this week, I’ve looked for any good reason to hook up the Alaskan and head out of the driveway. So far, the only one I can think of is to take her down to the car wash and get her cleaned up for a long winter rest.
The weather forecast just won’t cooperate, daytime highs in the low-30s have been the norm, but temperatures are trending even colder now. Friday night will be cold, 15 degrees at the low and Saturday, supposedly the date of my last scheduled fishing trip, is forecast to ..." Read >> Sundin Update October 22, 2020 wf 300
"It's fall in Minnesota and on the south end of Lake of the Woods it means dress warm and catch walleyes! That was the theme with good fall fishing this past week. The colder weather has walleyes snapping.
Most anglers anchored up and jigging with an emerald shiner. Walleyes are relating to bait in anywhere from 15' - 23' of water.
Structure, areas of the lake adjacent rivers / streams and areas in front of bays holding good numbers of fish. Pike continue to be active in bays and along shorelines. Trolling crankbaits continues to catch anglers a mixed bag.
On the Rainy River... Some commenting this is one of the best ..." Read >> Lake of the Woods Report October 20, 2020
"Fishing in the fall can be an overlooked prime time for crappie fishing. Mostly because anglers get set in their ways for fishing for these tasty panfish. They either want to only spider rig, vertical jig or fish when the fish are shallow and easy to get at.
Likewise anglers seem to get set on certain colors. And that's generally because a color has produced numerous crappie for them. But when that color quits producing they seem to go opposite spectrum on colors and never really figure out what happened to the color that had been working.
That was the case for me for a long time. I'm one of those guys who grew up with a father who often quipped that any color was good for bass fishing as long as ..." Learn More >> Improve Fall Crappie Fishing with Subtle Color Changes
I figured that when I put my Alaskan in the garage last Friday, it was just to keep her high and dry while a few days of cold, snowy weather passed through the Itasca Region. Unfortunately, though, this little cold snap situation of ours is getting more serious by the day. The snow that fell last Saturday is still on the ground and they say that that there's more on the way.
I’ve checked the weather forecast 3 and 4 times every day, hoping to spot a window of “decent” fishing weather to pounce on.
Every time I do, the forecasted lows get lower, while the highs get frostier and the predicted snowfalls get heavier. In fact, daytime highs are now predicted to remain below freezing for at least another full week.
If this trend keeps up, we’ll ..." Report >> Freezing the Freeze-Able October 20, 2020
Most folks who hunt and fish know at least one "certain somebody" who always catches the most fish, finds the most birds or bags the biggest bucks. I have a friend like that, not only does he almost always get a big buck, but he also lets of smaller ones walk past his stand while he’s waiting.
The secret to success, he says, isn’t what happens during the hunting season, it’s what he does to prepare for the hunt during the off season. Scouting fresh territory, learning about local populations, and checking trails during a variety of weather patterns is his key.
Yes, it does sound like a lot of extra work, but the work he does during the off-season is what adds up to having a golden horseshoe up his sleeve when the hunting season arrives.
For me, the scouting season started yesterday, but not for deer, for winter panfish lakes. Over the past few years, I’ve learned that there’s no better time to ..." Read >> Scouting For Winter Panfish October 15, 2020
It takes someone special to get excited about fishing with high temperatures in the mid-40s, especially when that is combined with rain and breezy conditions. So, it is understandable why my fishing trip, scheduled for today, is cancelled. I do not blame these folks for wanting to be comfortable.
Unfortunately, the folks who cancelled their MEA Weekend fishing trip, ARE cut from that special cloth that allows them to fish in the cold weather and still enjoy themselves, in fact they have ..." Read >>
"Walleye fishing showed good signs of improvement as several anglers reported good bites with quality walleyes being caught.
Key was to fish large baits, deep. Anglers trolling large minnow baits in 25-30 feet of water, along sharpe breaks had the best reports of catching big walleyes.
Live bait anglers also reported catching walleyes along ..." Read >> Ely Area Fishing Report October 14, 2020
There is still a great bite out on the lake just about everywhere, and the school of Walleye outside the Lighthouse Gap is not practicing social distancing.
Anchor and Jig is our regular go to tactic, some Anglers are still preferring trolling with plastic baits, this seems to have become a preferred tactic by some for all of the soft water season.
We have added a new webcam to our website, check out the >> Lake of the Woods Walleye Report October 13, 2020
Most days, my answer to that question would be that I don’t know. I would probably suggest waiting until the last possible minute to decide. Before making the final call, I’d be checking the weather and wind forecast to be sure that we went somewhere with a reasonable chance of success.
My propensity for taking last minute decisions has probably irked more than a few of my customers. But it isn’t because I can’t decide, or that I want to keep secrets. It is because when it comes to fishing, there are just a lot of things that one simply cannot plan.
Let’s check my personal, Sundin’s stack of fishing for more about how this works. OH YES, here it is, Murphy’s Law, corollary 101120C; “The more planning you do in preparation for ..." Read >> Fishing Report October 12, 2020
Rand Olson wrote; “I do have a question for you, (but) let me paraphrase for a moment. Regarding lake Winnie, I thought I understood from one of your previous blogs that you felt one of the reasons the walleye bite was so good on Winnie was that there might be a shortage of forage in the lake.
I found this interesting because since the beginning when good graphs and displays became available it seemed Winnie has never suffered from a lack of forage.
Your previous blog was etched into my thinking these past 12 days. My conclusion was this, the forage at least in my experience seemed to be in the normal range. I found massive clouds of bait with forage clutter almost everywhere I fished.
Question: Have you changed your previous opinion? or have you ..." Read >> October 9, 2020 Forage Base Shortage In Winnibigoshish? 1011
"Walleye fishing remained slow as cold temps and rain made it challenging just to get out. The few anglers that went out reported still finding walleyes out around sunken islands or up on large shallow, wind blown flats. Larger minnows fished on lindy rigs seemed to be key to anglers success. Water temps are now holding in the mid 50’s, so the best fishing is still to come.
Pike Anglers continue to ..." Read >> Ely Area Fishing Report October 7, 2020
I decided to take a chance on fishing a smaller lake, typically decent for walleye fishing in the fall.
The fishing wasn’t bad, but it was what I’d call an “experts bite.” For folks who sit at the edge of their seat, waiting to sense every little vibration at the tip of their fishing rods, it is productive. But for folks who’d rather sit back, relax and let the fish bite, results are less appealing.
By the end of the day, we ..." Read >> Sundin Fishing Report October 7, 2020
Throughout most of the summer, our guests have enjoyed good fishing close to the resort. Between the Dam Bay and Tamarack Bay, folks have been able to dabble their way from one weed patch to another and pull out everything from panfish to muskies.
Since the most recent cold snap, many of those fish have been pushed out and away from the shallowest weeds and are in open water. The resulting potpourri of fish species, all mixed together, has been great news for our guests.
Over the weekend, Chad found a mixed bag of Perch, walleye and pike in the bay. “I found them on the flats in about 13 feet of water. Walleyes ranged in size from 13 inches up to 23 inches, almost all the pike were between 28 to 33 inches and the perch ..." Read >> The Big Winnie Mix-Up October 6, 2020
On Friday, in the article about jig and minnow fishing for walleye, the intended link a short video about timing the hook set for walleye did not work. Sorry, it was completely my fault! Most days, I miss a few details during the uploads, that's what I get for being in a rush to get out to the lake every morning.
So if you want to re-read the article, or if you hadn't seen it at all yet, the link is fixed this morning and there are a few fresh images that might be useful as well.
Today, I'm getting a break from Winnie and headed for Leech Lake. With luck, I'll have some tidbits about what's going on over there after today's trip. Read >> >> Get Better Hook Sets When Jigging For Walleye October 2020
The nearly 2 month long “HOT BITE” on Lake Winnibigoshish had to end sooner or later, there never was any doubt about that. The only question was when, and apparently, the answer was Sunday October 4, 2020. But it shouldn’t have been much surprise as there were signs of its passing as early as last Thursday.
Anglers who had become accustomed to drifting or trolling along the shoreline, gathering easy limits of small-but-tasty “eater size” walleyes, found themselves working harder and smarter to get some keepers for a meal.
Ironically, larger fish, mos tly fish in the protected slot began biting better as the pee-wee bite faded. On Friday, the last day of a 3-day stint with Larry Lashley and Mike Cooley, my trip began with Larry’s pledge. “I’m not hanging around, waiting for any fish cleaning today. All I want today is to ..." Read >> Winnie Walleye Report October 3, 2020
At Kabetogma, the chilly northwest winds have blown autumn onto center stage. Surface water has fallen below 60 degrees, weeds are losing their grip on the shallow flats and walleyes are dispersed throughout the lake.
Nowadays, we still hear the phrase “I got one!” but it means different things to different people. For folks like Terry Lee, the proclamation could ring out as he set the hook on a 40 inch pike like the one you see here.
Recently, 19 of our customers used the same phrase after filling their 2020 black bear tags and this week, Kolby has used the term more than once as he and his friends have ..." Read >> Kabetogama Fishing Report September 30, 2020
Q) Dave Heck Wrote; "We just finished our three week trip to Sand Lake and Crane Lake and had pretty fair fishing. But at both lakes, the fish were biting extremely lightly. So, I have a question I know you can answer.
It seems they were picking the bait up by the tail and even though I was giving them a little time. Quite often I was coming back with half a minnow or no minnow at all. Sometimes they would drop it if I gave them too much pressure and sometimes, I would get them halfway back to the boat and they'd get off. Probably (I’m assuming) due to a short hook set in the bony part of the upper lip.
Can you give me any tips, or have you written an article that would help me learn the finer points of walleye light bites? I’ve never jigged much in the past and I'm learning more about jigging but obviously have a way to go." - Thanks Dave
A) Dave, if you want to feel better about missing some of those walleye bites, then watch this video. In it, I attempt to demonstrate the process of getting a strike and allowing the fish to ... " Learn More >> Get Better Hook Sets When Jigging For Walleye October 2020
"Walleye fishing has been challenging for many this last week. Successful anglers found walleyes shallow, in 10 feet of water or less. Large main lake points, close to deep water where the key areas to focus on. Lindy rigs tipped with large minnows remained the best way to catch walleyes. There was a few reports of anglers catching walleyes in 18-23 feet of water, with jig and minnow, but anglers fishing out there struggled to find any kind of numbers of walleyes.
Pike anglers enjoyed a good week of pike fishing, as they ..." Read >> Ely Area Fishing Report September 30, 2020
This comprehensive seasonal progression video breaks the fall period into distinct water temperature ranges; Feider then tells us what baits work best during each window based on years of hunting big bass on Minnesota's famed Mille Lacs and other productive Great Lakes region fisheries.
His lure selection is narrowed down to the following categories:" View Video and Learn More >> Seth Feider's Top 9 Bait Categories for Fall Smallmouth Bass
There are various schools located across the south shore, but most anglers report catching good numbers of walleyes just outside the Lighthouse Gap, where the Rainy River enters Lake of the Woods. There are also good bites going in front of Zippel Bay and further west, around Long Point.
Depths of 22 to 28 feet of water, anchored up and jigging with a fathead or frozen shiner have been successful. Anglers report having a lot of action, sorting through many small fish and some larger slot-fish in order to ..." Read >> Lake of the Woods Walleye Report September 29, 2020
Let’s say that you were me, and that the night before you were scheduled to fish with a customer, you received a text message that contained this; “I am hopeful that we can get into some bigger fish, even if it is catch and release. You choose the lake based on the best chance of success.”
Where would you take him, Leech Lake, Ten Mile, Pokegama, Wishiknew?
Well, I thought about all of those and a lot more, I even called a buddy, a retired DNR Fisheries biologist, for his advice. I thought maybe he’d help me move off of the fence about a couple of this season’s better spots. We batted around some ideas until the decision became clearer and, in the end, I picked Winnibigoshish.
You may be thinking WHAT? Nobody on that lake is catching anything but little fish, that’s what I heard.
It is true that the 2018 year class of walleyes, now ranging in size from 13 to 15 inches, has gotten the most attention. It is also true that those are the fish that ..." Read >> Lake Winnie Walleye Report September 28, 2020
"Winnie showed signs of starting a full scale migration toward Cutfoot. Fish were found following traditional routes such as the shoreline breaks from Stony Point headed east and heading west along the Mississippi River channel through Tamarack Bay. Highbanks, another traditional fall shoreline pathway for walleye began heating up as well.
This week, warm air temperatures and lots of sunshine warmed the surface water. By Wednesday afternoon, 62 to 63 degree readings were the norm and there was an algae bloom developing on the surface. The warmer, calmer, conditions did not seriously impact angler’s ability to catch walleyes, but they did appear to temporarily stall out any full scale exodus from Winnie into Cutfoot.
With plenty of food, adequate cover and comfortable water temperatures, many of the fish simply held position wherever they ..." Read >> Bowen Lodge Fishing Report September 25, 2020
"How do you find bass in lakes loaded to the brim in grass? Lake Guntersville, Okeechobee, Rayburn, and thousands of north country lakes spread bass out across thousands of acres of prime real estate.
You need the right bait and a strategy. Wired2Fish's Ryan DeChaine explains how to identify productive areas with the naked eye and fish them fast with hollow body frogs.
Although this video discusses emergent grass such as tulles and wild rice, the same points are applicable in all grass lakes with vegetation that reaches the surface.
Here are DeChaine's steps to finding and catching bass from emergent grass during the fall months: Focus on isolated and irregular grass beds with a mixture of ..." Learn More >> 7 Frog Fishing Tips to Catch More Bass in Emergent Grass
"Walleye fishing remained consistent for many walleye anglers this last week. Water temps too has remained in the high 50’s to low 60’s. Jig and big minnows have been the go to for just about every angler consistently catching walleyes right now.
Depths anglers have been finding them has remained 20 to 30 feet of water, along main lake points, sharp drop off and around sunken islands. There has been a few reports of anglers catching good numbers of walleyes trolling ..." Read >> Ely Area Report September 23, 2020
It’s not easy to write a report about walleye fishing on Lake Winnie without sounding like a broken record. But I do have to say that all the hubbub you’ve been hearing from resorts on the lake is true; fishing has been very good out there.
One way to measure the quality of walleye fishing in any lake is to fish it on a calm, sunny day. This is an especially good measure if the calm day comes on the heels of a few days of breezy ones that produce ideal walleye fishing conditions.
Granted, walleye fishing on calm seas, under bluebird skies is almost never as good as it is when there’s a nice chop on the water. But in my estimation, if most folks on a lake are catching fish, even when the sun is reflecting off of a mirror-like surface, then the bite is the real deal.
This is the scenario that played out over the past few ..." Read >> Winnie Walleye Fishing Report September 23, 2020
The Minnesota Tournament Trail (MTT) Walleye Circuit just finished their championship on Lake of the Woods. Focusing on catching only big fish, the competitors can give us an annual glimpse of the awesome big fish production in this big lake. The winning team put up a final weight of 80.99 pounds for 10 walleyes, a 9 pound per fish average, WOW!
Water temps have dropped into the upper 50's, shiners are running and there is a lot of bait adjacent to shorelines.
The jig bite has picked up tremendously but pulling a spinner with a crawler or shiner along with trolling crankbaits is still effective. Along shore, try 10 to 16 feet of water and ..." Read >> Lake of the Woods Fishing Reports September 22, 2020
For weeks now, the prevailing winds have blown from either the west or northwest.
For our guests, along with most everyone who fishes the north half of Big Winnie, heading toward the north and western shorelines has offered both predictable and reliable fishing for walleye, perch and pike.
On Sunday, gusty winds from the south churned up huge, un-manageable whitecaps and turned over the water in those areas several times over. Of the few folks who attempted fishing on the north end, none were impressed by the fishing action and none reported good catches.
As water current caused by the wind intensified, walleyes ..." Read >> Winnie Walleye Report September 21, 2020
After a few days of relative comfort and predictable fishing patterns, strong winds will come at us from the south. The NOAA forecast predicts gusts of up to 35 MPH for today, so except for folks who have already been fishing on the south side of smaller waters, adjustments to the new plan will be required.
For me, walleyes are on the agenda, so there is a good chance that I’ll be rocking and rolling in the waves. But if you’re not so sure about fishing in the strong wind, crappie fishing on a small lake could be an option.
On Friday, I started to see signs of a migration toward ..." Read >> Crappie Fishing Update September 20, 2020
After last week’s first of 2020, September frosts, surface water temperatures held their own, resisting a fall below 60 degrees. But yesterday, frosty morning air temps forced the surface water of many lakes to breech the 60-degree mark.
In areas where I have fished, 58.5 degrees was the coolest reading and 62 degrees was the warmest.
Depending on where you fish and what you fish for, the benefits of fall migration patterns could already be noticeable. Walleye and pike are on the move, especially in the Itasca Region’s larger, walleye factory lakes.
The strong walleye year class of 2018 that we’ve heard so much about on Winnie, was more widespread than folks realize. Over the past few weeks, anglers on many of the region’s best walleye waters have ... Read >> Cooling Water Heats Up Walleye Action September 18, 2020
"Jim Dressler wrote, "Just read your article "Following out Fall Crappie" and enjoyed it immensely. Might be time to repost it on FishRapper or at least provide a link to it as this is timely and timeless information.
Keep up the good, informative work. I'm sure there are many weekend warrior fishermen that would benefit greatly from this info.
Thank you, Jim, for the vote of confidence. You are right on the money about timing, this is a pivotal week for panfish anglers in the Itasca Region of northern Minnesota.
Surface water temperatures on some lakes have dropped below 60 degrees, shallow weed cover has been diminished and crappies have begun to ..." Read >> Fall Crappie Movements September 16, 2020
Bait of choice was mixed between crawlers or minnows, but techniques were similar with jigs or lindy rigs being reportedly most effective.
Handful of anglers reported an excellent bite, for big walleyes, happening out around sunken islands in 30-35 feet of water. Out here, pike suckers fished on a 3/8oz jig is the only way to go, according to these anglers.
Smallmouth bass are now largely being found out around sunken islands now. Anglers looking for walleyes out here are finding aggressive smallies right on top of ..." Read >> Ely Area Fishing Report September 16, 2020
Big northern pike will be the primary target, but I want to try hunting some walleye before everyone else gets up. Can you offer any advice, please, about likely locations and techniques to try?
A) Tim, Pokegama has never been one of my favorite fall walleye destinations because I don't like to fish them in deep water.
The fish focus on smelt, and because of that, spend a lot of time over open water, sometimes very deep. The big fish population in that lake ..." Read >> Pokegama Lake Fall Walleye September 15, 2020
As small schools of fish move toward the shoreline by following the edges of these bars, they start showing up on shoreline breaks and on the flats that lay adjacent to them. As smaller schools continue to arrive, they amass into larger and larger schools, and feeding becomes their #1 priority. This is how we find ourselves in the throes of “the fall bite.”
At this point, we have already seen evidence of some early migrations. Our guests have found good schools of walleyes along both ..." Read >> Bowen Lodge Fishing Report September 15, 2020
If knowing a lot is good, then knowing more is better, right? Not necessarily!
Most folks who fish Winnie already know that fishing on the big lake is good right now. Some folks even think that they know the exact spots where fishing is the best. But be careful, fish are on the move and if you’re someone who thinks you know “the right spot”, you could get caught holding a creel that’s lighter than it needs to be.
60 to 61-degree surface water temps, moderating winds and cloudy skies have combined to trigger fall migrations. Walleye, pike, and perch show up on the flats one day, on the deep breaklines the next and then ..." Read >> Winnibigoshish Fishing Report September 13, 2020
"The fall fishing is in full swing and the fish are hungry and eager to bite. Multi-species has been great this past week. Walleyes, Northerns, and Perch, have all been good to very good.
Northern fishing is very good. Trolling larger spoons is a sure bet. Fish the deepest weeds just inside the shoreline break in 13-15'. Look for areas that have a lot of life on your electronics and you will catch pike.
Some fish are also in 7-10', as well. Fish are being caught while pursuing walleyes on jigs and minnows. We also have had some success on big sucker minnows under bobbers. Using this method, you need to find the thickest weeds possible.
Walleyes are being found in the ..." Read >> Lake Winnie Fishing Report September 13, 2020
"On September 10, 2020, Steve Sykes wrote; "I am headed up to Eagle Nest Lodge tomorrow for 5 days of fishing. According to your updates it looks like they are biting on Winnie.
Q) I was curious if the water is cloudy with an algae bloom or if it’s starting to clear up and what depths have been good for you. Also, I was wondering if spinners and night crawlers are still a good bet or if it’s pretty much changed over to jigs and minnows.
A) Steve, since the cold snap that blew in over Labor Day, water temperatures dropped significantly. In a conversation with Grand Rapids area guide Reed Ylitalo, I learned that on Thursday morning, he found surface temperatures of about 59 degrees on the big lake. By mid-afternoon, the water had warmed back up to about 62 degrees, he reported.
As the water has cooled, the algae bloom has ..." Read >> Q&A Lake Winnie Water Clarity, Surface Temperatures?
"Walleye - Walleye fishing proved to be very challenging for many anglers this last week as several cold fronts and high winds made walleyes sluggish and boat control extremely challenging. Still some anglers were able to locate and catch walleyes.
Best reports came in 10 feet of water or less on wind blown shorelines. Jig and minnows were the top producing, but there were a few reports of ..." Read >> Ely Area Fishing Report September 10, 2020
"By yesterday, the winds abated, but the air was still cold; 37 degrees was the air temperature at the landing I used. Masses of thick foam clung to the bulrushes and there were piles of weeds, blown into the shoreline by the recent winds. When I looked up, I saw sunshine and blue skies and when I looked back down, I saw the sun’s reflection on the mirror-like surface of Cutfoot Sioux.
I can’t say that those conditions gave me much confidence, because optimistic as I am, I have struggled with conditions like these before and I would not have been surprised by another “hard day at the office.”
Imagine my surprise when we drove out onto the big lake, stopped at the first spot, and started catching fish almost immediately. I was gobsmacked that the fish in Winnie were still hungry after all the recent turmoil. Their behavior was not typical of Winnie walleyes at all, it was like they ..." Read >> Fishing Report September 10, 2020
Falling air temperatures have forced surface water in Kabetogama down into the mid-60s, and the surrounding woods now have the added autumn crispness that has critter on the move. No matter whether they’re fishing, or hunting, our guests are enjoying the bounty of harvest time in the Northwoods.
With water temps hovering in the mid to low 60s, walleyes are starting to really move out. Some of us are still catching fish around the weed edges, but these days many are also doing well in ..." Read >> Kabetogama Fishing Report September 9, 2020
Jim Atkinson Wrote; "Greetings, thanks for addressing my (Wide Gap, Short Shank Hooks, Why?) hook question in your recent report. A guy can't have enough tricks for catching the wily walleye. When the minnow bite is in full swing, I'm going to give your jigs an honest try.
This thought leads me to another question I have. I've always heard that the Fall bite is great, but for some reason I struggle more during this period than any other time of year.
Q) I realize every lake is a little different and there are a million variables, but please share your number one thought during the Fall period. and around what water temp do you quit using crawlers and switch to minnows? Also, If fish are scattered do you focus shallow or deep?
A) Jim, for me, the number one thought about fall walleye fishing is to make sure that I ..." Read >> Best Water Temperature For Jig and Minnow Fishing September 8, 2020
"Seasons are slowly starting the change up at the south end of Lake of the Woods. Trees are turning colors and waters are starting to cool. With a few windy days this week, anglers fished both along calmer shorelines and in the river finding some nice eaters for their efforts.
Most walleyes are still being caught on crawler harnesses. Crankbaits are a good second choice. Walleyes are being caught in ..." Read >> Lake of the Woods Fishing Updates September 8, 2020
During the mid-1980s, when I first began guiding in the Deer River area, my first impressions of Lake Winnibigoshish was that it produced tons of small walleyes, but not very many large ones. Folks who are visiting the lake for the first time this weekend could easily get the same impression.
The photo of Scott Johnson holding what is now a very typical class of 2018, Lake Winnie Walleye could have just as easily been taken back in 1986, during my formative years on the lake.
On Saturday, conditions were not that great for walleye fishing. The sun was shining, the lake was calm and there were large crowds fishing in select areas of the lake. Despite the less than ideal conditions, most folks were catching their share of the lakes great 2018 class of fish.
Trolling spinners on shoreline breaks and jigging on ..." Read >> Lake Winnie Walleye Report September 6, 2020
"Just as I predicted, the fall fishing season has got off to a roaring start! All species of fish are in the biting mood right now. The nice thing about the bite is that your favorite method of fishing will probably catch fish.
The walleyes have moved shallow and they are catching them in 5 to 8 feet of water. Anything with bait attached to it will catch them. I have been using ..." Read >> Four Seasons Lake Winnie Fishing Report September 6, 2020
On Sunday, Mother Nature treated us all to another one of her “episodes”. This one came in the form of a wind tantrum that forced me off one lake and on to a smaller one. Even on the smaller lake though, the strong winds allowed me only to hunker down in single corner where the waves were manageable.
Luckily, there were enough fish there to keep us busy for the afternoon. But the downside was that it didn’t generate a lot of fresh new ideas about fishing, certainly not anything that departs from what you’ve been reading this week already.
So this morning, I took some time to catch up on Q&As that have come in over the past week and there are some good ones. Tomorrow morning, I will have the answers to some particularly good questions about fall walleye fishing patterns that I think will be helpful.
So now, I’ll simply wish you well for this Labor Day holiday. Enjoy your day on the water, travel safely and check in for the news about fall fishing patterns that I have on tap for tomorrow morning. — Jeff Sundin 218-245-9858 or EMAIL
"By now, most everybody knows that the fishing on Winnie has been good. Walleye, perch and pike have kept anglers busy for the better part of a month. Until late last week, catching fish has been a simple matter of finding a school, rigging up with your favored presentation and figuring out the right boat speed.
The late summer peak, we believe, coincided with the arrival of a full moon that occurred just yesterday, September 2nd. As the moon waxed toward maturity, not only did the fishing action intensify, but there was also a noticeable uptick in the size of fish that we saw anglers on the lake catching.
The accompanying image shows some of the larger walleyes that were active on Tuesday, the day of the full moon. When the Armstrong crew ..." Read >> Bowen Lodge Fishing Report September 4, 2020
Labor Day Weekend is upon us and I know that your plans for the weekend are likely already set in motion. So, I won’t make a career out of writing today’s report, just a few last-minute updates that might be helpful.
First off, let me say that for over a week, Winnie is the only lake that I’ve been fishing. There has been a reliable bite, my customers are happy getting fish in the 14-15 inch range for the frying pan and we’ve had good pike and perch action as well. That’s been good for business, but it has also left me short suited in terms of firsthand info from other lakes in the region.
The cold front that’s gripped lakes in the Itasca Region has not yet passed. Another day of cool and breezy conditions are in today’s forecast. So, surface water temperatures that have already taken a nosedive, are likely to cool even further. Areas where we fished in 75 degree water a week ago, are now showing readings that range from 65 to 67 degrees.
During mid-summer, a cold front like this would be horrible for fishing. But during fall, cooling water temperatures are just what the doctor ordered and the fish’s reaction to the cooler water has proven it. Walleye, perch and pike have ..." Read >> Winnie Walleye Fishing Reports September 4, 2020
Jim Atkinson sent some photos of his special, handmade jigs this weekend along with a note comparing features and benefits to the Lindy Live Bait Jigs that I use. In it, he says; “I know they are similar in design to the jigs that you like, but your (Live Bait Jig) hooks are shorter shanked and wider gaped than the ones I use.
What is it about those features that you like?
Jim, I know your original comments and questions regarded “wiggle worming”. But the question is so timely for jig and minnow anglers because we are on the verge of the best jig fishing period of the open water season! So, I took a little liberty with the original “wiggle worming” question and comment on what was really most important about the design when I first developed it.
When I stumbled onto the design of the ..." Read >> QnA September 1, 2020 Why Wide Gap, Short Shank Hooks?
"Walleye fishing has been steadily improving as water temps fall into the 60’s. Anglers have been reporting that they are finding walleyes either out deep in 20-30 feet of water, around sunken islands or in water 10 feet or less on main lake points.
Regardless where anglers are catching them, minnows have been out producing all other baits as of late. Best way to catch walleyes has been with jig and minnow or trolling spinner rigs, during the first two hours of daylight or last two hours of daylight. Trolling deep diving crankbaits during the evening hours is also worth noting.
Smallmouth Bass fishing has been very easy for anglers targeting them. As water temps fall smallies have begun putting on the feed bag. Smallies have ..." Read >> Ely Area Fishing Report September 2, 2020
"Locating summer crappie can be a daunting task due to their nomadic nature. Wired2fish staff McKeon Roberts discusses how you can shortcut locating summer crappies by highlighting what to look for as well as an in-depth look at a variety of baits to help you cover water and stay on the fish.
McKeon talks about transition areas that are magnets for summer crappie. Namely finding thick, healthy, outer weedlines adjacent to fertile bays that have access to deep water. Weeds are the key here, and crappies will roam them like underwater corridors. These weed beds can often be massive, which makes intercepting roaming crappies a bit of a challenge.
Two things to consider when locating crappie in weeds are, the ability to cover water and fish slow while staying snag-free in and around thick vegetation. McKeon goes over a variety of baits suited for all anglers, that ..." View Video to Learn More >> Fishing for Summer Crappies | What it Looks Like Underwater
"There were a lot of walleyes caught again this week on the south end Lake of the Woods. And for those who's mission it is to single out huge walleyes, like the AIM tournament anglers who were just here, the week was a success as well.
Charter boats and guides doing a nice job of finding good schools of eater walleyes as well. And they always catch some slots and trophies as well.
At times, eaters might be in a different location vs the big walleyes.
Walleyes are being caught in ..." Read >> Lake of the Woods Fishing Updates September 1, 2020
Last Friday morning, August 28, 2020, I mentioned that I was headed to Winnibigoshish for a couple of days and promised a firsthand update about fishing and water conditions over there.
First off, I’ll have to agree with the recent reports coming in from Winnie, there certainly are a lot of fish in that lake right now. Walleye ranging in size from 5 inches to 13-1/2 inches are plentiful and right now, easy to catch. Walleye moving into my self-imposed “keeper range” of 14 to 15 inches are beginning to show up, but we had to catch and sort a lot of small ones to get a decent batch of those.
There were 6 of us fishing on Saturday and we fished from 7:30 AM to 4:45 PM. When it was over, we had ..." Read >> Lake Winnie Walleye Report August 30, 2020
"As predicted, the walleye fishing is really heating up. The fish have moved shallow and are eager to bite. This program should last the rest of the fall. It hearkens back to the old days where we could catch walleyes in the shallow water.
The algae bloom has made the water clarity down to four feet. Quite the contrast to the 12-14' of clarity just a few months ago. Jigs and minnows, trolling crankbaits or ..." Read >> Four Seasons Lake Winnie Update August 30, 2020
It's almost September and usually by now, I can find a few crappies moving into early fall habitat. But I've been checking some of my favorite holes and for the most part, there have been no meaningful signals that any early fall movement has begun.
It shouldn't be a surprise, the warm and relatively stable weather we've enjoyed recently has not given crappies any incentive to move away from the cover of lush, green weed flats.
In fact, underneath the 75-degree surface water, the cabbage weeds we encountered on Thursday were at the peak of health. Green, full bodied and strong, they looked just as good now as they did at the height of the growing season during mid-summer.
Crappies located in several of those cabbage patches ..." Read >> Fishing Report August 28, 2020
On Lake Winnibigoshish, the surface water temperature is warm, at 75 degrees, the water is about 7 or 8 degrees higher now than it was one year ago today. Thanks to frequent rain this summer, water levels are high too, docks at some of the landings are flooded, or awfully close to it. The Corps of Engineers has water flowing freely through the dam and the Mississippi River is filled from bank to bank.
From what we can see, this is all good news for anglers. The constant inflow from Lake Winnie’s tributary creeks and rivers, combined with the warm water temperature has apparently given the big lake the ability to maintain a healthy algae bloom this summer.
The semi-green, stained water reminds us of what the lake looked like during the pre-zebra mussel days and obviously, the fish see it that way too.
Remember when the best late summer fishing on Winnie occurred during mid-day and ..." Read >> Lake Winnibigoshish Fishing Report August 27, 2020
When this happens, I have to find other ways to scratch the itch. In this case, it's endlessly scrolling through fishing videos on YouTube and watching other people catch giants. I guess I'm a glutton for punishment!
I ran across this video earlier this week and wanted to post it for everyone else to enjoy. Palmetto Backlands TV on YouTube posted this video a while ago but somehow I've missed it until now.
While fishing a Strike King KVD Caffeine Shad, the angler hooks into the bass of a lifetime while his cameras were rolling." View Video >> Caught on Video: Angler Catches Huge Double-Digit Bass
Several reports of jigs tipped with big minnows, have also surfaced as a effective technique to catch walleyes. Trolling large shad raps, during the evening, over large flats, continues to be very effective on big walleyes.
Smallmouth and Largemouth Bass continue to hit topwater lures early and late in the day.
Whopper ploppers and frogs have been the most effective. As the sun gets up, bass go down and ..." Read >> Ely Area Fishing Report August 26, 2020
Anglers are targeting different schools of fish, following multiple patterns around the lake. Fish are being caught in 14 to 36 feet of water. Trust your electronics.
Two strong patterns, pulling crawler harnesses and trolling crankbaits. Covering water and moving is important.
Best spinner colors, hammered gold, pink, glow white, glow red or orange. Mix up crankbaits until you get size, shape and colors dialed in. 2.2 - 2.8 a good range for speed. Shiny or brighter colors are good starts. Some schools are active, some inactive. Different feeding windows throughout the ..." Lake of the Woods Fishing Reports August 25, 2020
Let us say that you’ve finally learned all of the rules and most of the tips and tricks that make winning your favorite game easier. Now that you’ve gotten really good at it, you win more often than you lose and that’s what makes playing so much fun; for you.
But then the rules change. Your way of playing still works fine if everybody else plays the game your way. But folks that have learned how to use “new rules” to their advantage begin kicking your butt up a tree. It’s not as much fun watching them win as it was being the winner yourself.
If you were like some folks, you would throw up your hands and declare that the game will never be the same, that it is ruined forever. Some might even suggest getting rid of the “new rules”, declaring that we have to “do something” before it’s too late. Maybe you would say something like ..." Read >> Too Much Techology, Advancing The Advance-Able August 24, 2020
For a time, crappie locations vary with both the weather and time of day. During early morning and late evening, some of them are sneaking out of vegetation and showing up along steep breaklines in water depths of 18 to 24 feet. Inside turns, adjacent to weedy flats and close the shoreline are key early season locations.
It is cool weather that helps accelerate the movement out of shallow weeds, but when conditions warm and the sun shines, many crappies will retreat back into heavy cover. Cabbage, Coontail and Wild Celery are the 3 most common locations to find them.
For the moment, Cabbage appears to be the most preferred cover; that’s where the fish ..." Read >> Bowen Lodge Fishing Report August 23, 2020
Recently, there’s been a trend toward fishing slightly deeper water. We’re finding more fish in water depths of 15 to 20 feet and we’ve noticed that the live bait preferences are changing too. Walleye in the protected slot are showing up more frequently too, it has become more common to catch larger fish in the mix each day.
Some fishing patterns and presentations have been consistent over the past several weeks. “Mud Raking”, the super-slow, jig and night crawler presentation remains the mainstay for our guides. Using 1/16 to 1/8-ounce Lindy Live Bait Jigs tipped with ½ night crawlers, we pitch our baits out and away from the boat. Once they reach bottom, we fish them with a slow and gentle hop-drop-hop-drop motion.
We think that these baits remind the fish of crawfish moving on the bottom; who knows for sure about that? But we do know one thing, fish will ..." Read >> Lake Kabetogama Fishing Report August 23, 2020
Typical of most conversations about the turnover, the authors of those comments passed along a series of completely inaccurate advisory information about what it is and where it happens.
Since this is the time of the season when the subject often comes up anyway, I’d like to call your attention to an article that I published in September of 2018. In it, misconceptions, including my own, about what the turnover is, along with where and when it occurs are debunked.
If you’re interested in actual, factual information about where a turnover occurs, or not, then this is a good starting place. Read >> Fishing The Fall Turnover In Natural Lakes
As water temperatures begin trending downward, fish of all species become more nomadic. Some begin to migrate toward early fall locations, but not all at the same time. Some fish give up some of their mid-summer traditions early, others hold on until they run out of juicy things to eat and still others move back and forth between summer and fall haunts.
Mid-depth flats and the open water between them now hold more fish than the prominent structures do. Any small patch of gravel, small rock rise or patch of weeds could hold a handful of fish.
That’s not to say that you won’t find fish along a steep breakline on mid-lake bars or humps. And it’s not to say that you can’t find a school of fish in a shoreline related weed bed either. You can, but you can’t necessarily expect to find the same school of fish in ..." Read >> Lake Winnie Fishing Report August 19, 2020
Deep diving crankbaits that reach 15-30 feet were key to anglers success. Anglers simply trolled over large flats or open water during the evening hours. Couple of anglers also reported success trolling lindy rigs or jigging with larger minnows, out and around sunken islands in 20-25 feet of water.
Smallmouth - Smallmouth bass have been a major challenge for walleye anglers fishing around sunken islands. Smallies have been aggressively hitting jig and minnows, jig and half a crawler and even deep diving crankbaits trolled to close to ..." Read >> Ely Area Fishing Report August 19, 2020
Although different schools of walleyes are relating to different parts of the lake, big numbers of walleyes are on the deep mud in 30 - 36' of water. Cover water by drifting or trolling. Crawler harnesses in hammered gold, pink, glow or orange.
Crankbaits in colors best for stained water, orange, pink uv firetiger, chrome / blue, firetiger, and gold are good for starters. Mix up crankbait size, shape, rattling vs non rattling, speed and direction of trolling until you ..." Read >> Lake of the Woods Walleye Updates August 18, 2020
"Wired2fish Video Producer Ryan DeChaine shares his thoughts on how effective a shallow floating jerkbait like the Rapala Original Floater can be for bass holding on shallow cover that is a lot harder to fish with modern baits that sink or suspend.
With this setup, anglers can let the bait float up over real shallow branches or stalks of grass and then work the bait back down into the cover to get to those fish on the edges that other baits will hang or completely miss.
He demonstrates how powerful these classic jerkbaits are for fishing summer streams where you need to be precise with your casts but also able to fish a lure 1 foot deep or a few feet deep depending on how the terrain changes or a new piece of cover like ..." View Video >> Why You Should Choose Floating Jerkbaits for Bass in Shallow Cover
"The walleyes are biting. All methods are working. Trolling, jigging, live bait rigging, jigging raps, and bobber fishing are all catching fish.
The key is finding the fish and then they will bite. We are catching a lot of small fish right now. Some are keepers and some are just a tad small to keep. If the growth continues as it has this summer, Most of the 2018 year class will ..." Read >> Lake Winnie Fishing Update August 16, 2020
I didn’t know it at the time, but I know now that he was pointing at a device called the “De View”. In my fishing partner’s opinion, it looked silly, he saw no reason for having one, but for me, the first impression was the complete opposite.
“HEY, wait a minute, I could use one of those things, I said, I wonder where it came from?”
What the De View is, is a directional aid that installs on the shaft of any bow mount electric trolling motor. The De View gives an angler, operating from the back of their boat, an easy indicator showing the direction that the trolling motor head is facing. And where they come from is ..." Read >> Guiding The Guide From Anywhere In The Boat August 14, 2020
Walleyes are adaptable, they'll eat whichever forage species are available in their lake. Mimic the forage species, and you'll tap into walleyes naturally instinctive feeding preferences.
Choosing the best crankbait to put down depends on which forage species the walleye in your lake are targeting. Matching the action, color and profile will all help you put more walleyes in the boat.
This week on Fish Ed host Jon Thelen heads offshore to talk about how he decides on what crankbaits to pull for walleye and his decision-making process, and color is further down the list than you would think. See Jon’s process for deciding on which Smithwick Rogue to troll on any given day. Pay close attention and you will be more successful on the water.
View Video and Leran More >> Learn To Choose The Best Crankbaits For Walleye
Rainy Lake has been a busy place these past few days. I can’t think of a single time since Monday when we sat more than a few minutes without a boat passing by. The intensity of the traffic on the lake may explain, in part, the sluggish mood of walleyes.
The weather didn’t help much either, we drove into Island View on the heels of heavy rain and thunderstorms last Sunday evening. Monday morning, during our first few hours on the water, the “stormy weather”, still lingered in the atmosphere and that’s when our best fishing of the trip occurred.
By around noon on Monday, a stiff west wind blew in clear, cool air and the whitecaps turned into rollers. From that point on, even the best fishing reports were about small schools of fish, scattered willy-nilly on the lakes numerous reefs and deep points.
The wind and heavy seas persisted until Wednesday morning when the lake ..." Read >> Rainy Lake Report August 13, 2020
"Walleye fishing continues to be challenging for some, but good to excellent for others. Key has been the time of day these anglers are fishing. The first two hours of the day and last two hours of the day have been the best time to be fishing for walleyes.
Jigs tipped with half a crawler and dragged on the bottom, has been very effective. Dragging lindy rigs, tipped with crawlers or minnows and trolling shad raps during the evening hours has also been very effective for many anglers. Key areas to look for walleyes continues to be sunken islands and tradition areas in 12-18 feet of water.
Smallmouth Bass continue to be caught on topwater lures, early and late in the day.
Whopper ploppers have been hard to beat, but pop-r’s and hulla poppers account for ..." Read >> Ely Area Fishing Report August 12, 2020
August is THE prime time of the season for trolling up deep water walleyes on Lake of the Woods. If you've never done it, but have thought about giving it a try, then here's your chance to learn from the pros.
In this episode of Fish Ed, host Jon Thelen is joined by Nate Altendorf and in it, they will show you a great way to get Bandit Walleye Deep crankbaits down super deep, and you don’t need downriggers!
Jon and Nate explain in easy to understand language how to use lead core line to get your crankbaits down to depth when the walleyes make there move to the lake basin.
See how utilizing a Bandit Walleye Deep and lead core line will put more giant walleyes in your boat! View Video and Leran More >> Leadcore Trolling for Deep Water Walleye
Walleyes are hanging out over the deep mud in 30 to 36 feet of water. There are two great ways to catch walleyes at this time of year, crawler harnesses and crankbaits.
Cover water by drifting or trolling. Crawler harnesses (snelled spinners) in hammered gold, pink, glow or orange with a 1-2 ounce weight. The second technique is trolling crankbaits through various schools of walleyes over the deep mud.
Get lures down with ..." Read >> Lake of the Woods Walleye Report August 11, 2020
"Before we left the dock, Keeler filled me in on his game plan. On most recent trips, he had been fishing the weeds, using 1/16-ounce Lindy Live Bait Jigs tipped with night crawlers. Well if anybody knows how to do that, it’s me; I thought. So when we left the dock, I enthusiastically followed Kent as he headed straight for a patch of shallow weeds he’d been fishing lately.
When we arrived, I learned that my mission up the learning curve isn’t quite over yet. Despite years of experience wiggle worming, there were a few tricks about fishing Kabetogama that I would have to learn.
Slowing down the speed was the first trick I learned from Keeler. One would not think that moving at .5 MPH is too fast, but on Kabetogama, especially under sunny skies and calm seas, it was.
Over the years, I’ve told a lot of anglers to slow down their presentations, so I was surprised when he told me to ... " Read >> Live Field Reporting From Kabetogama August 9, 2020
"The walleye fishing continues to improve daily. The small fish from this spring are mostly in the keepable size right now. Trolling, rigging, bobber fishing, jigging raps, jig and live bait, it doesn't matter. If you find a school of these fish, they will bite.
It requires some sorting, but you can get several 14" fish each time you ..." Read >> Lake Winnie Fishing Update August 9, 2020
"Folks are getting on the lake early these days. Typically, by 6:00 AM, our guides have their crews on board and are headed for the first stop of their morning fishing trips.
With sunshine and calm water in abundant supply, the early morning plan has been the most practical way to ensure the most action and for most, the morning bite has been paying off. We have heard from guests that their best fishing action usually occurs before 11:00 AM and that’s why some are leaving the docks even earlier than our guides are. In fact, it’s 5:15 AM right now and there are already boats travelling across the water.
Most days, anglers are making their first stop at ..." Read >> Lake Kabetogama Fishing Report August 6, 2020
"Walleye - Crankbait bite for walleyes has been excellent this last week, as several groups reported catching nice limits of walleye while crankbaiting. Crankbaits that dive 15-30 feet of water and trolled over large flats, during the evening hours, has been the ticket.
Other anglers continue to report catching walleyes with spinner rigs, tipped with crawlers or minnows, worked around sunken islands in 15-25 feet of water now. Many of the anglers catching fish out here have reported that walleye are there one day, then gone the next, so anglers should stay mobile to keep catching walleyes.
Bass - Topwater fishing remains excellent for both smallmouth and largemouth bass this last week. Whopper ploppers have been most effective on smallmouth bass, while frogs have ..." Read >> Ely Area Fishing Report August 6, 2020
As a rule, the big walleyes are hanging out on the deep mud in 30 to 34 feet of water. There are two main techniques working well, drifting or trolling spinners with crawlers or leeches. Best boat speeds are from about 1.0 to 1.25 MPH. Hammered gold, hammered silver and glow white are good starting colors.
The second technique is ..." Read >> Lake of the woods Walleye Report August 4, 2020
Take the entrants in last weekend’s walleye tournament for example. Pre-fishing was a grind, sunny, calm conditions favored the walleye, but the anglers, not too much. But on tournament day, the air was cool and a steady breeze blew up a good chop on the lake; the fish decided it was time to take advantage of the opportunity to feed.
Our friend Jeff Sundin compared notes with some of his friends who finished in the top 10 and found out presentations, water depths and locations varied. There were fish caught in shallow water weeds, on the flats and in ..." Read >> Bowen Lodge Fishing Report August 3, 2020
The attack happened on July 25 at the North Star Village, in Minaki, Ont., north of Kenora. Kim and Terry Driver, seasonal regulars and experienced anglers, went for a swim to cool off. Kim Driver says she was standing in water up to her chest when she felt a sharp pain in her leg, and when she looked down she saw what looked like an alligator head.
A muskellunge, or Muskie, more than one metre long, had grabbed hold of her calf. She says when she was hauled out of the water, blood was pouring out the back of her leg.
"Once it bit me it started flailing me through the water and then took me ..." Read >> Woman Attacked by Big Musky
"The walleye fishing has definitely picked up this past week. Trolling patterns have developed using spinners and live bait as well as crankbaits. You have to be aware of the amount of line you have out as more seems to work better.
Flats on top of main bars and off of shorline drops are best when there is a chop. When it is calm, low light conditions are the best time to catch fish. Jigging Raps and jigging spoons are starting to become more and more popular. Some bobber fishing is working well on ..." Read >> Four Seasons Lake Winnie Report August 2, 2020
"It’s been a long time since anybody planned a 3-day, mid-summer fishing trip with me which landed smack dab in the middle of persistently sunny, calm and warm weather; Ken Seufert and his nephew Mike did it this week though. For most of the past 3 days, the surfaces of area lakes have been mirror glass calm, water temperatures have hovered near 80 degrees and the clear blue skies have allowed the sun to beat down on us like a spotlight.
For anybody who chooses to focus strictly on walleye fishing, conditions like these do not represent ideal circumstances and we did a pretty good job of proving that on this trip.
Happily, as you can see in the accompanying photo of Mike, we managed to end the trip on a high note yesterday. Moving from spot to spot and grinding away at small packs of fish, we were finally able to finish off their 2 limits of keeper walleye and ..." Read >> Walleyes: Convincing the Convince-ABLE July 31, 2020
Jigging raps, lindy rigs and half a crawler on a jig, worked around sunken islands and main lake points, have accounted for the majority of walleyes being caught.
On lakes where ciscos are present, anglers have been catching walleyes trolling large crankbaits over deep water during the evening hours. Walleyes are suspending 15-20 down, over 40-70 feet of water.
Smallmouth and Largemouth bass fishing continues to be excellent for ..." Read >> Ely Area Fishing Report July 29, 2020
I’d been lonesome for the fun it is to have the swirling, bulldogging, bubbles of joy occasionally nail one of our spinners. You may feel different, but personally, I love how they fill in the gaps while we’re waiting for something really, really, important like a walleye, to show up on the end of the line.
Well, this week the panfish finally started showing up in significant numbers and I do love that. But ironically, when they did finally show up, the walleyes ..." Read >> Sundin Fishing Report July 30, 2020
Now is the time that many LOW anglers look forward to, when the mid-lake, deep water summer trolling patterns begin to dominate. Trolling is a fun technique with no snags, miles and miles of space and thousands of walleyes.
There are two main techniques, either drifting or trolling using spinners or trolling crankbaits over the deep mud. When using spinners, tip them with crawlers or leeches. Hammered gold, glow white and glow red are good colors. There are a variety of great crankbaits for ..." Learn More >> Lake of the Woods Walleye Report July 28, 2020
"First, I would like to apologize for the lack of fishing reports the past two weeks. The problem is that not much had changed.
Now we are seeing the normal migration out to the flats for walleyes. Probably in pursuit of the young of the year perch.
Trolling with spinners tipped with live bait or crankbaits are catching walleyes right now. A key to this fishing is to ..." Read >> Lake Winnie Fishing Report July 28, 2020
I know that I promised a firsthand report from Lake Vermilion, but I’m afraid that my busman’s holiday to Tower, MN was postponed because of thunderstorms and lightning that rolled through the northeast region on Saturday.
Instead of wetting a line together, I and the Hippie Chick braved the heat and humidity to catch up on yard chores and generally re-acquainted ourselves with each other.
Sunday brought some relief from the heat. There was a cool breeze blowing from the northwest, the humidity was down, and the air temperature was moderate. The crisp air and bright sunshine did represent a “post storm cold front”, but the effects appeared to be mild compared to the one that struck last week.
Surface water was 75 degrees and steady throughout the day and the breezy conditions encouraged walleyes to ..." Read >> Fishing Report July 27, 2020
At the time, surface temperatures were still above 80 degrees. We were trolling the weed edges with Little Joe Spinners and catching a mixed bag of pike, sunfish, crappies and rock bass. We hadn’t found the walleyes yet, but we had only fished a few spots and I am confident that we would have caught at least some white tails before the trip would have normally been over.
That morning was about the last time that I felt really good about the fishing action. In the aftermath of the cold front, surface temperatures had dropped into 71 to 73-degree range. Since the water cooled, fish activity on all 4 of the lakes I’ve fished has ..." Read >> Fishing Report July 24, 2020
"The travel ban imposed on US Citizens by the Canadian government has resulted in jam packed resorts on Kabetogama. Folks scrambling to find alternatives to their cancelled Canadian trips have taken note that our lake is one great place to do that.
Naturally, resorts bursting at the seams with guests has been good for business at the store. We’ve had very robust traffic, with everyone in the family working 16 to 18-hour days, we might have even used the term “overwhelming” at times. Somehow though, we’re managing to keep up and we’re bracing for a busy late summer and fall.
Guide trips have been off the charts, both Kent and Kolby have been guiding every day, rain or shine. There doesn’t appear to be a morning sunrise that doesn’t include fishing anytime in the foreseeable future either.
On the lake, surface water temperatures have risen into the low 80s and that warm water has triggered a lot of activity among all species of fish, especially ..." Read >> Kabetogama Fishing Report July 23, 2020
"Walleye fishing continues to pick up for many anglers this last week. Anglers continue to find walleyes out on main lake structure in 12-18 feet of water.
Spinner rigs and jigging raps have been accounting for the majority of the walleyes being caught out there. During the early mornings and evenings anglers have been catching nice walleyes on large shallow flats, trolling large minnow baits in 10 feet of water or less.
Smallmouth bass have ..." Read >> Ely Area Fishing Report July 23, 2020
"Anglers experienced another awesome week of walleye fishing on the south end of Lake of the Woods. They caught strong numbers of eater walleyes and some big walleyes too, some of which were "personal bests" for lucky anglers.
The two most popular patterns are spinners with night crawlers and trolling crankbaits. Hammered gold, glow white, glow red, firetiger all good colors.
As a rule, the larger walleyes are over deep mud and on or adjacent to deep reefs. Eater walleyes from 7' as deep as 34' in scattered schools. The big walleyes aren't always with the eaters so adjust accordingly.
There are some walleyes being caught on ..." Read >> Lake of the Woods Fishing Report July 21, 2020
Variable weather and turbulent conditions took a little bite out of the fishing action over the past few days. But even so, water temperatures remain warm and fish, sluggish as they were, could still be caught in reasonable numbers.
Last Friday and Saturday, calm sunny weather had moved surface water back up near the 80-degree mark. On the deep, clear water lake we fished, walleyes, at least the ones we found were in deeper water, most of them were holding at 24 to 26 feet and there were others suspended even deeper.
The weeds may have held fish too, but you couldn’t prove it by me. We spent the first 2 hours of our trip trolling the weed edges and what I saw was that weeds in that lake, even the thickest ones, were still too well illuminated by the hot sun.
It was easy to find fish, the screen of my Humminbird revealed numerous small packs of fish located along ..." Read >> Fishing Report July 20, 2020
For me, what started as a staggering number of trip cancellations has evolved into a summer series of fishing with old friends.
Take yesterday for example, Chuck Steen, an old-time friend and fishing customer that I haven’t seen for at least 15 years showed up in Grand Rapids to ..." Read >> The Summer of Coronacraziness: One Silver Lining
I’ve been working with a fairly large group of anglers this week, and it’s given me a chance to compare notes with many of the better guides in our area. From the conversations we’ve had, I’d say that we’ve entered the period of summer when the quality of one’s fishing depends largely on the ability to explore fresh territory.
What I mean is that on any given day, almost everybody has been able to find and catch some fish. However, in order to do that, we’ve ..." Read >> Fishing Report July 15, 2020
"Walleye fishing remains slow for many anglers. Anglers able to find walleyes are all reporting very similar locations and techniques to catch them. Sunken islands that top out at 10-15 feet of water have been holding walleyes. Not all sunken islands, in that depth range, have fish on them, so anglers will keep moving until they locate fish with the depth finder.
Once located they will drift over the fish with a jig and pike sucker or spinner rig tipped with a leech or crawler. Another technique anglers have been having luck with is ..." Read >> Ely Area Fishing Report July 15, 2020
"It is another great week of walleye fishing on the south end of Lake of the Woods this week. There have been lots of limits, plenty of larger. 19.5 to 28 inch protected slot fish and numerous trophy walleyes over 28 inches.
The MTT Photo and Release Walleye Tournament winners Lonny and Teresa Witkofsky weighed 5 fish each day of the 2 day tournament. On MTT Day 1 they weighed in 40.5 pounds and on MTT Day 2 they weighed in 47 pounds, that is an incredible average weight of over 9 pounds per fish; there are a lot of big walleyes in Lake of the Woods right now!
Different parts of the lake have different things happening. In some areas, the mayfly hatch ..." Read >> Lake of the Woods Walleye Fishing Report July 14, 2020
“Everybody that’s returned to the dock have come in with their walleyes.” So said one of the camping guests at Roger’s Resort on Upper Red Lake on Sunday. His account of the fishing success on the giant lake may have been accurate, but not necessarily complete.
By all other accounts, including reports from some of the very best fishermen that I know, the fishing on Red Lake was slow, way slower than usual compared to recent years. Most everybody who was there this weekend did catch some fish but reports of 3 to 5 fish per boat were the rule and not the exception.
Still, I don’t think that the camper was passing along bad information, I believe that he really did ..." Read >> Upper Red Lake Fishing Report July 13, 2020
Have you ever spent a day on the lake when fishing was so tough that it made you thoroughly convinced that there was no chance that anybody on that lake could have possibly caught any fish that day? Have you ever, after spending a day like that, returned to the dock and been greeted by somebody who was the one angler on the lake who really “found them”?
I have, more times than I can remember and humiliating as those experiences were, it was those tough days that taught me the most about fish and the pursuit of them.
I know, now you’re expecting me to ..." Read >> Learning the Learn-Able July 12, 2020
Take yesterday for example, when I left the house, I was all worried and upset that overnight thunderstorms would ruin the fishing trip for my customer. Even his wife worried about the fishing experience, at the boat landing he told me that before he left his house, she asked him; “are you sure it’s going to be worth fishing after all of those storms last night?”
The answer he gave his wife was like the answer I would have given her, or anybody else for that matter. When it comes to predicting what will happen on any giving fishing trip, the only true answer is that if you don’t go, you won’t know. It’s not easy to justify cancelling a fishing trip on a perfectly lovely day only because the weather was bad yesterday. And as I wrote yesterday morning; “There is always a chance that I’ll stumble into a lucky break and find fish that ..." Read >> North Central Minnesota Fishing Report July 10, 2020
"Walleye fishing remains challenging for many anglers as record high temps made it challenging just being on the water and not in the water. Still anglers managed to find walleyes.
Walleye are now largely being found out on top of sunken islands, in as shallow as 10 feet of water. Trolling or drifting spinner rigs over the top of them or around them, has been very effective. Minnows continue to ..." Read >> Ely Area Report July 9, 2020
"Hot, sunny weather and calm winds have allowed surface water temperatures to sky rocket on both Cutfoot and Winnibigoshish. It doesn’t matter where we go on either lake, 80 degrees is the current minimum temperature and we’ve see a few readings pushing the 85 degree mark.
Generally speaking, fish are active but typical of the post zebra mussel era, clear water conditions do not favor anglers who target walleye during the daytime. For die-hard walleye anglers, fishing during the early morning and late evening is the secret to consistency.
If you hang around the fish cleaning shack, you might over hear anglers talking about searching for fish on mid-lake structures like bars and humps. The consensus among many is that the fish have ..." Read >> Lake Winnie Fishing Report July 8, 2020
Thunder has been rumbling in and around the Grand Rapids area all night long. In fact, as I write this report, I’m still seeing my back-yard light up under the occasional flash of lightning.
When it comes to walleye fishing, I am not a fan of unstable weather and this is especially true when it comes on the heels of an already “tough bite”. The negative effects of unstable weather had already been noticeable on recent fishing trips, walleye have been sluggish and hard to locate. Even when we have found them, there has been no guarantee that we could make them ..." Read >> Fishing Report July 9, 2020
Knowing that fishing conditions would be sunny skies and calm seas, I hedged my bet by selecting a lake that also had good populations of sunfish, walleyes and above average size pike. I figured that if we couldn’t get the crappies to go, that there would be another species to serve as a backup.
When we arrived at the landing, there were only about 3 rigs in the parking lot. But on the lake, there was already a boat on every weed bed, the shoreline was surrounded by resident anglers who appeared eager to get an early jump at the “morning bite”. Obviously, we would have our work cut out for us, but the odds of finding anyplace quieter, that also had equal fishing potential were low. Our best bet was to ..." Read >> Fishing Report July 6, 2020
"The Walleye Master Guides have been working fishing grounds on the North side of the lake. This past week has been either on the East side or West side of Garden Island. Great success continues. There were many fresh meals of Walleye and limits of take-home fish with a great number of trophy size Walleye caught and released.
The restaurant has been busy and it has been difficult having some items regularly in stock. It is amazing to say, sliced ham and Miller Lite are hard to get, say it isn’t so Bob Uecker!
The anchor and jig bite has been slowing down this past week. There has been a lot of drifting with spinners and live bait. Same usual colors, hammered gold, chartreuse, glow red.
Big news this past week for the lodge, we ..." Read >> Lake of the Woods Fishing Reports July 7, 2020
"The fishing this past week can be summed up in one word "hot". We saw temperatures that were way above normal and calm winds. That made for some hot fishing. Catching had its moments, as well.
Walleyes are finally showing up on the mid lake structure. The bugs are hatching and the fish are eating. Look for a sunken island that has less fishing pressure for best results. Rigs and leeches or crawlers is working the best. Some walleyes ..." Read >> Lake Winnie Report July 4, 2020
I imagine most folks have their holiday weekends well planned out by now. I know we do, as usual, we are taking a couple of days off to help Annalee celebrate her birthday. Before I go off the grid for a couple of days, here’s one last update, hopefully this will bring you up to speed about current conditions,
Surface water temperatures are skyrocketing, on Thursday we began our fishing day at 74 degrees and by days end, easily found 82-83-degree surface readings.
The effect of those warm temperatures on the lake we fished was dramatic and for many, not at all what many anglers might expect. Often, I get questions like the one Mark Gerdes, my fishing customer asked yesterday. “How warm does the water have to get before the fish go deep?”
The answer, at least the answer for shallow, dark water lakes like the one we fished yesterday was that they, the fish, NEVER ..." Read >> Fishing Report July 3, 2020 - Location, Location, Location
"Beginning July 1, 2020, Mille Lacs Lake is closed to walleye fishing for the month of July, with the anticipation of a fall walleye season ahead.
Working with local anglers and the community in March, the Department of Natural Resources determined a July closure would provide the best chance for walleye fishing this fall by reducing walleye mortality when water temperatures are the warmest.
“Even with the good walleye fishing Mille Lacs anglers have experienced this year, we have not exceeded our allocation and we don’t expect to,” said Brad Parsons, the DNR’s fisheries section manager. “We know many people really enjoy fall walleye fishing and we heard from folks that this was their priority. So we made plans this spring for the July closure to ..." Read >> Planned Mille Lacs walleye closure implemented to protect fall fishing
If you are planning to fish over the July 4th holiday weekend, you should feel optimistic. There are reports of good fishing action coming in from almost everywhere my friends are fishing. And except for one lake that threw me a zinger on Monday morning, my trips have been going very well this week as well.
Surface temperatures on every lake I’ve fished over the past few days are pushing 75 degrees. It hasn’t mattered if the lakes were large, small, deep or shallow, temperatures have been fairly uniform.
Along with warmer water comes an increase in fish metabolism and this is when mixed bag trolling patterns really start taking off. Comments like “the sunfish and crappies were going nuts”, “largemouth bass were blowing up everywhere” and “the pike have ..." Read >> Fishing Report July 1, 2020
"Walleye fishing is slowly starting to improve on many area lakes, as mayflies wrap up their annual hatch. Locations where anglers are finding walleyes vary as much as the anglers. Shallow weedbeds, deep mud, around sunken islands and trolling over deep water for suspended walleyes, all have been working for anglers.
Anglers finding them shallow are catching them by ..." Read >> Ely Area Fishing Report July 1, 2020
The Lighthouse and Morris Point Gaps in 8 to 10 feet of water have been good and also around Garden Island. Big numbers of walleyes are also staged over deep mud in 25 to 31 feet of water.
Most anglers are either drifting or trolling, using night crawler harnesses with spinners or using single hook spinners with crawlers or leeches. Hammered gold is hard to beat but glow, pink, chartreuse and orange are also popular in the stained water.
Some fish are still being caught on ..." Read >> Lake of the Woods Fishing Report June 30, 2020
Mid-summer fishing patterns are gaining momentum as surface water temperatures rise. Surface temperatures have risen above 75 degrees on the lakes I’ve fished over the past few days. Granted, the lakes I’ve selected to fish recently have all had dark, tannin stained water. So, I’m seeing the warmest surface readings available in the north central region. Deeper, clear water lakes are somewhat cooler, ranging between 71 and 74 degrees.
As temperatures rise, fast moving presentations are fast becoming my mainstay. In fact, I haven’t pulled out anything except the spinner rods since last Friday. Little Joe Spinners tipped with fatheads or night crawlers have produced every fish we’ve caught over those 3 days.
For the most part, we have been fishing weeds and if you want action, that’s probably the best way to go. The mixed bag approach has delivered everything, pike, walleye, bass, crappie, perch, rock bass and sunfish. The only limitation on varieties of species have depended on whether they inhabited the lakes or not.
Walleye purists, I think, could ..." Read >> Fishing Report June 29, 2020
"Surface water temperatures have pushed above 70 degrees and mayflies are emerging everywhere on Kabetogama. You know what means, baitfish are on the move toward deeper water, so are other gamefish, especially walleyes!
In-Fisherman, the original authority on seasonal feeding patterns referred to this as “The Summer Peak” period. It is the time when food supplies are the most abundant and fish metabolism reaches its peak. Over the next several weeks, fish will focus on one thing: feeding!
During this period, anglers can catch walleyes using a variety of presentations and that’s been the trend we have seen out on the lake.
Our guides have been attacking the weed lines, catching lots of fish wiggle worming using both 1/8th and 1/16th ounce Lindy Live Bait Jigs. Not only are the “Wiggle Worms” catching walleyes of all sizes, but we also ..." Read >> Lake Kabetogama Fishing Report June 28, 2020
"Jason Sealock: "I get asked about specific items I use for bass fishing all the time, and that can get overly detailed when it comes to terminal tackle. While there are always new things being developed in terminal tackle to make lures do different things, I keep my terminal box real simple, small and easy to travel with.
Generally speaking, I like a heavy duty 3600 size single tray box to store my terminal tackle. Because of the weight of the box, I went with the Bass Mafia 3600 Ice Box Casket. I like that size, as it fits in a bag as easy as my boat. That box can be dropped and not spill everywhere, and you can jump up and down on it and not hurt it or yourself.
"Walleye fishing this season is kind of like the rest of the year has gone, kind of out of sorts! There are no signs of life out on the midlake structure. That is totally out of whack! A normal year would see bugs hatching on the mid lake structure of Lake Winnie. That hasn't happened so far.
We are catching some fish along the shoreline drops in low light conditions, morning and evening. Rigs with leeches seem to be the best presentation. Look a little deeper than ..." Read >> Lake Winnie Fishing Report June 28, 2020
On Thursday, the forecast called for sunshine and calm seas. From a fishing guide’s point of view, the safe strategy for walleye fishing would have been to head for Upper Red Lake. That’s the mid-summer plan that has worked well for me during the past few fishing seasons. The nutrient rich water helps block some of the sunlight and fish tend to be more active than they would be in clear water lakes.
When I’m fishing with Craig B. Anderson though, there’s a little more latitude for risk taking; I can test ideas, rather than heading for what I hope will be “guaranteed bites”. Fishing with Craig on Thursday gave me a chance to try another theory on for size.
My idea was to find a lake that ..." Read >> Fishing Report June 26, 2020
Recently, cooler weather and below average water temperatures have taken my mind off the fact that it’s summer now. But the fish and the weeds do remember and summer fishing patterns are emerging despite chilly surface water temperatures.
On Wednesday, my crew was really hoping to catch some crappies and I wanted to do my best to help with that. But where to go and how to do it would be challenging, at this point of the season, those fish are famous for making folks wait until sunset before they go on a feeding run. When they’re not feeding of their own volition, they hunker down in weeds and often times are un-responsive to ordinary methods of persuasion.
Naturally, I was blessed with calm water and sunny skies on Wednesday, so our success became even more dependent on our ability to root them out of the vegetation.
The lake I chose ..." Read >> Crappie Fishing Report June 25, 2020
Like every fishing method, it's good to know the fine points of how to present spinners in a way that triggers the most strikes from the most fish. Knowing how to adapt spinner presentations during periods of unstable weather is critcal for success too.
In this episode of Fish ED, Jon Thelen is literally dealt a blow buy the weather! But watch as he shares with you some simple changes to help beat a windy day and still catch plenty of good walleyes.
Weather always influences our fishing plans, but don’t let it keep you at home! View Video and Leran More >> Early Season Spinner Tactics For Walleyes
"Walleye fishing has begone to cool off as Mayflies have begone to hatch in large numbers on many area lakes. While some anglers continue to catch walleyes shallow with slip bobbers, in the evening, that bite has cooled off as walleyes continue to become more scattered.
Anglers have adjusted to lindy rigging or trolling crankbaits to find these scattered walleye. Anglers are now finding walleyes in ..." Read >> Ely Area Fishing Report June 24, 2020
There were fish being caught all around the lake. There are a lot of fish on the south shore right now near the Lighthouse Gap, Morris Point Gap, Zippel Bay, Long Point, Rocky Point and Pine Island anglers all reporting good catches.
Two main techniques, drifting with a snelled spinner with a crawler or leech and jigging with a frozen shiner or fathead are the way to go.
Gold-pink, glow red, glow-white are all working well. Anglers arevcatching plenty of ..." Read >> Lake of the Woods Fishing Updates June 24, 2020
"Walleye anglers who love to fish mid-summer, mid-lake patterns on Lake Winnie have renewed enthusiasm today. A much anticipated period of calmer, warmer weather, which will allow easier access to mid-lake fishing structure is in the forecast for this week.
Surface water temperatures have been receding, now in the mid-to-upper-60s. It happened so slowly that we barely noticed, but the lake’s water temperature went from being slightly ahead of schedule early this month, to now being lower than average, for this time of summer.
Insect hatches have not been heavy so far, but as water temperatures rise, they should intensify. Mid-lake structure adjacent to soft bottom areas will continue to attract and hold walleyes until ..." Read >> Lake Winnibigoshish Fishing Report June 23, 2020
I get the feeling that most fish in the greater Itasca region want to move into mid-summer feeding patterns, the only thing holding them back has been a recent series of storms and cold fronts.
Surface temperatures that had already crossed the 70-degree mark over a week ago, had slipped back into the mid-60s over the weekend. While it didn’t stop fishing from feeding entirely, it did take the edge off of what had promised to be the beginning of a full-scale trolling bite, on some lakes.
Crappies and sunfish have begun to migrate away from shoreline spawning cover into deeper water, where vegetation is maturing. Crappies, bluegill, pike and perch have all ..." Read >> North Central Minnesota Fishing Report June 22, 2020
"Fishing this week seemed like an episode of "Deadliest Catch"! The south and southeast wind howled most of the week 20-30 mph making fishing a real challenge.
Most of the success focused on the perch. Fishermen were finding perch in the weeds in 5-6' of water. Backwater areas were the main focus to find these fish.
A myriad of methods were used including: jigs and minnows, bobbers and minnows, bobbers and a piece of worm, jig and a piece of worm, jig and leech, spinners and minnows, shad raps, etc. Basically, they bit on whatever you put down there.
Walleye fishermen had an ..." Read >> Lake Winnie Fishing Update June 21, 2020
Not unlike a lot of anglers who visit Kabetogama, catching a trophy pike was on this year’s “to-do” list for this guy. For most folks, catching a fish like this 43-1/2-inch monster could easily be the fish of a lifetime and if you would like a shot at it, this one was released. Who knows, could your next cast be the one that entices her to strike again?
Kabetogama is part of Minnesota’s northeast pike zone, an area where trophy pike still exist and can be caught by anglers who pursue them. The pike regulation here allows anglers to keep 2 pike. All from 30 to 40 inches must be released and only one over 40 inches is allowed in possession. According to the DNR, “The approach here is meant to maintain harvest opportunity and protect large fish already present.”
While we can’t promise that everybody who fishes here will catch one, we can definitely say that the fish are here. Your odds of catching a giant pike are better here than they are in ..." Read >> Lake Kabetogama Fishing Report June 19, 2020
As I mentioned on Wednesday, our mission was to explore another one of Grand Rapids’ clear water lakes. The walleye, bass and panfish combo experience is what we’d hoped for, but the bass and panfish didn’t show up in large numbers for the party; we caught mostly walleye and pike on this trip.
Ranging between 66 and 70 degrees, the surface temperatures were drawing a few largemouth bass toward deep weeds, one of their mid-summer favorites, but there was no evidence that panfish were heading that way. In fact, except for some rock bass, we did not catch any panfish, presumably they must still be in shallow water.
Walleye were located in and around ..." Read >> Grand Rapids Area Fishing Report June 18, 2020
"Walleye - Another large cool front, cooled off a extremely hot walleye bite on area lakes. Stable warm weather has helped get the bite back on track and the evening bobber bite, in 5-10 feet of water, remains popular and effective, but walleyes are beginning to move away from rocky shorelines and out over mud flats and near shore, sucker islands. Out here anglers are trolling lindy rigs tipped with a leech or a crawler, and catching walleyes in ..." Read >> Ely Area Fishing Report June 17, 2020
"Water temperatures really took a plunge after last weekend's cold front. In fact, on Monday, surface water on the lake I fished was only 59.5 degrees. The clear, deep water lake was the coldest I have seen in a while. Temperatures on a couple of other lakes I checked were warmer, but also down considerably, 63 to 66 degrees was range I’d observed before the hot air rushed into the area on Tuesday and began moving them upward again.
For me, that plunge sent walleyes packing and last Friday marked the beginning of an unpredictable period for establishing solid fishing patterns for catching them. The unstable atmosphere and strong, gusty winds have either forced a short-term change in fish behavior, or those conditions simply made it too difficult to present lures effectively.
For walleye, my most reliable presentations have ..." Read >> Grand Rapids Area Fishing Report June 17, 2020
There were a few prominate fishing patterns this week. Some walleyes are shallow, 4-10' of water being caught with crawler harnesses and crankbaits.
Anglers are still anchored up on or near structure with a jig and frozen shiner or leech in 15-30'. Others drifting crawler harnesses in 23-28' with good success. Gold / pink / orange / yellow / gold or combo of these colors still working well.
Lots of eaters with larger slot and trophy walleyes being caught. Some big pike showing up in ..." Read >> Lake of the Woods Fishing Reports June 16, 2020
"Strong winds have been blowing from the southeast at 20-30 mph and that's made fishing difficult for our guests. Despite the rugged conditions, fish have been caught by the guests.
Perch continue to be the best bet for a fish fry. Deeper shoreline breaks 20-25' using jigs and fatheads have been a good reliable perch pattern. Some guests are venturing into Sugar Lake and finding perch, as well.
The walleyes seem to ..." Read >> Lake Winnie Fishing Reports June 16, 2020
After reaching 70 degrees or higher, many lakes in the Itasca Region fell back into the 64 to 68-degree range during the cold front that blew in late last week. That cold front should end today if the forecast of warm, gulf air from the south rushes into the northland plays out. Surface water temperatures should rebound this week, marking the start of mid-summer presentations week.
Catching fish with fast moving presentations like spinners and crankbaits had already begun. In fact, we began catching fish last week using Little Joe spinners tipped with night crawlers and minnows. That said, there were also fish caught using both jig and minnow and Lindy Rigs with crawlers. By my account, the Lindy Rigs were more effective, especially during mid-day, for walleye, while spinners accounted for a larger number of pike.
The lakes I fished late last week have good populations of ..." Read >> Grand Rapids Area Fishing Report June 15, 2020
"Like most Minnesotans, we weren’t too thrilled with the turbulent weather in recent days. Going from sunny and stable weather with air temps in the high 80s to thunderstorms, cold-fronts and blustery northwest winds is not the recipe for consistent fishing patterns.
Fortunately, a more stable weather pattern appears to be setting in and that will help us pin down more consistent, predictable locations and presentations.
We find surface water temperatures consistently above 61 degrees everywhere on the main lake right now; still cool enough to encourage fish to remain in traditional spring and early summer locations.
Pike are still shallow and they are hitting anything and everything, especially lures that have ..." Read >> Lake Kabetogama Fishing Report June 11, 2020
"The incredible walleye bite has returned and gotten better, as several very big walleyes have started coming to the boat, for many anglers. Anglers continue to catch as many as 50+ walleyes a evening, while using a slip bobbers in 5-15 feet of water. Leeches are accounting for the majority of walleyes being caught right now. Top colors continue to be pink, purple and blue.
Smallmouth and Largemouth Bass have largely rapped up spawning and are starting to ..." Read >> Ely Area Fishing Report June 10, 2020
June is a great month to fish in Minnesota. But it’s also a volatile month, a time of changeable weather and ever-expanding sources of food for fish, like emerging insect hatches and the like. An angler can never be too sure if the presentation that worked well today will be the same one that works well tomorrow.
In a recent report, I wrote about the importance, in my opinion, of how it’s better to have a little bit of every kind of bait, than it is to be “all-in” on any one type of bait. I couldn’t ask for a better way to illustrate my reasoning than to recap my last 5 or 6 days on the lake.
Last Friday I fished on Cutfoot Sioux, the wind was blowing stroke and walleyes were hungry. They chomped Live Bait Jigs tipped with shiners, which was lucky for me because the wind was blowing so hard that I could never have ..." Read >> Diversify Your Presentations and Catch More Fish June 10, 2020
For many, trips out to nearby structures like Plughat Point, The Three Sisters and along the NE shoreline of Tamarack Bay, (area known as the Satellite Dishes) have provided all the action they’ve needed. Northern pike, walleye and perch are mixed and located along the breakline in water depths of 8 to 12 feet.
For some of our more adventurous guests, Winnie’s mid lake bars are attractive now as well. Well-known structures like the Bena Bar, Horseshoe, Moses, Sugar and other large bars, closely related to steep shoreline breaks are the best. These areas are particularly productive for larger fish right now and would be good spots for “Catch Photo Release” walleye fishing.
Pike and perch still inhabit ..." Read >> Lake Winnie Walleye Report June 9, 2020
"On the south end of Lake of the Woods, it was an excellent week of walleye fishing. Great to have charter boats running again. Best success in 13-28 feet of water. Anchored up and vertical jigging on structure areas very effective.
Drifting or trolling crawler harnesses effective this week on flats or basin areas. Spinners cover water when fish are spread out and not stacked. Gold / pink / orange / glow all working well.
Most anglers catching limits of eaters. Larger walleyes are also being caught in good numbers. Nice pike and jumbo being caught while walleye fishing.
On the Rainy River, most walleyes ..." Read >> Lake of the Woods Report June 9, 2020
Many anglers would rather sit it out at home than try to catch fish during a major bug hatch. The trick though, is to figure out where the maturing insect larvae is located. Once you know that, you'll have the chance to cash in on one of the best walleye bites of the summer.
This week on Fish Ed, host Jon Thelen shows you a great technique to beat a bug hatch and put tons of walleyes in the boat.
Don’t let a bug hatch on your favorite lake keep you home, get out there and cash in on the soft bottom, walleye bonanza!
Spinners are becoming a more important part of my daily routine. That’s not to say they are the only way to catch fish right now, but with warming water temperatures, their effectiveness is on the rise.
Over the past few days, we’ve caught walleye, pike and crappie, primarily in shallow water, in the weeds. Some of them have been caught on jig and minnow; others have been caught wiggle worming and some have been caught using jigs with plastic action tails. But in every case, these presentations were implemented only after I located fish by trolling the weeds with spinners.
On the lakes that I’ve fished so far, pike have been the most responsive to the spinners. Once I’ve located a school of crappie or walleye, I’ve stopped the boat and fine-tuned the presentations to focus on catching them. Beginning early last week, any walleye, crappie or bass had come along as bonus fish, but on Saturday that began to ..." Read >> Fishing Report June 8, 2020
"Q) Jim Dressler wrote; "I keep seeing on FISHRAPPER where authors are referring to "slot length" in regards to walleye. It was my understanding that you could keep anything (within reason), so long as you only had 1 fish over 20" in your possession. Please clear this up for me, And keep posting, I find your reports and banter very helpful.
A) Minnesota's "state wide" walleye regulation does allow for an angler to possess 6 fish, with a total of one fish over 20 inches in possession.
However, there are some lakes that are managed individually and have "special regulations" on walleye harvest. There are upwards of 2 dozen Minnesota lakes that have either "protected slot size" limits, reduced bag limits and in a few cases, like Big Sandy Lake "keeper slot size" limits.
At every public lake landing, there are signs posted to advise anglers about any special regulations in effect on that body of water. If you see no signage, then the lake likely falls under the blanket, state wide regulation.
Another way to learn about a specific lake is to look it up on the DNR Lake Finder website. Search for your lake by name and county, then at the bottom of the page, read the section for special regulations. If there are none listed, then the lake falls under the blanket, statewide regulation."
Sunny and hot describes the weather pattern that settled over Lake Kabetogama this week. Surface water temperatures have risen above 70 degrees in some of the shallow water bays and most of the main lake surface readings now range from 65 to 68 degrees.
Beating the heat has become the focal point not only in terms of fishing patterns, but also in terms of personal comfort on the water.
Walleye anglers have reported that the most comfortable and productive fishing occurs early in the morning. Start fishing as early as you can, and you will find steady action in shallow water until about 9-9:30 AM. After 10:00 AM you will feel the beginning of a slow-down. That’s when you’ll want to switch to fishing another species, or maybe ..." Read >> Lake Kabetogama Fishing Report June 4, 2020
Water temperatures are warm, we’ve seen 70-degree readings in a number of locations already. In fact, on Thursday, I noted 72 degrees on the small lake I fished. To me, any self-respecting crappie that intended to spawn, should have completed the mission by now.
But I had been on the fence about whether crappies were in pre-spawn or post-spawn mode this week. Mainly, the fish that we have kept consisted of black faced male fish that were caught in cabbage weeds, not on shallow water spawning beds. So when I clean them, there isn’t any evidence to indicate how far along in the spawning process they are.
A few days back, we did capture a few females and when I cleaned them, they ..." Read >> Crappies In Transition June 5, 2020
Over the years, folks have mentioned that they notice me dropping little clues about lakes where I fish and spots within them. Some like to read between the lines or examine the photos for hints about where to go.
Well, if you looked at the accompanying photo of Keith and Diane Eberhardt and didn’t figure out where we were yesterday, call me; I will confess to you that we were on Upper Red Lake. I was there the day before too with my fiends Marty and Janet Christensen, but we didn’t take many photos because we were too busy reeling in fish.
Surface water temperatures touched 70 degrees during the afternoon, but for most of the day registered between 66 and 68 degrees. Sheepshead are in full-scale spawning mode and were present in large numbers both days, but there were still lots of walleye which ..." Read >> Upper Red Lake Fishing Report June 4, 2020
"On the south end of Lake of the Woods, it was very successful week for walleye anglers. Great walleye fishing continues with best success in 17-28 feet of water, with walleyes also being caught shallower.
A number of areas along the south shore from Pine Island, Morris Point, Zippel Bay, Long Point and Rocky Point are producing. Knight & Bridges Island area also still holds good numbers and size of fish.
Anchored up and vertical jigging, drifting crawler harnesses and pulling crankbaits all working. Best colors are gold, pink, orange and glow all combinations are working well. A nice mix of eaters and slot fish to be released between 19.5" and 28" and a good number of ..." Read >> Lake of the Woods Fishing Update June 3, 2020
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My phone rang off the hook yesterday and it’s already started this morning, I think it's gonna be another one of those days. Most of the calls are from folks asking questions about what they can do, and in some cases what they can't do for the fishing opener this weekend. I am a little frustrated because most of the information I've disseminated is already available right here, on this page.
Frequent readers of my reports already know that I’ve gone to considerable effort to make sure that I accurately report the dos and don’ts of fishing during the “coronacrackdown”. Not everyone is familiar with me though and the hardest part of my day yesterday was attempting to provide corrections to compensate for inaccurate or misleading information that folks have been picking up on the social media pages.
I checked some of them myself and was astounded by what passes for information on some pages. That’s why I need to ask you for a favor, especially if you ..." Read >> Fishing Report Updates May 7, 2020
"It sounds like shiner minnows will likely come at a premium for the next couple days. There will be some around but certainly not an over abundance of them. Everything else seems to be running pretty darn nice crappie, fatheads, rainbows, suckers, crawlers, and leeches are all available! Good luck this weekend. Remember there is no such thing as bad weather, just bad clothing!" Andy Walls, 1000 Lakes Sports 218-999-5992
The great Minnesota Fishing Opener is this weekend! We finally made it! So now, what do we do when we head into this weekend? A good start is to have a list of what is important on the trip, whether you’re headed to your cabin or just out on the lake for a day. Plenty of snacks, beverages, and bait should be on your mind along with your favorite rod and reel combo.
It will also be a little cooler this weekend, so pack some warm clothes. Layer up as you can always take off layers, but when you don’t have them, it is hard to add warmth!
Another aspect to this weekend is that Governor Walz has ..." Read >> Shane Boeshart Heading Into Fishing Opener May 6, 2020
I have a busy day planned checking with bait stores and resorts about supplies and services available for the fishing opener weekend. Updates will be posted as they come in, so you may want to check these pages more often than usual over the next few days.
Bill Powell at Fred’s Bait in Deer River is always my first go-to guy about bait supplies. Among the best minnow trappers anywhere, Powell has his fingers on the pulse of Mother Nature’s ebb and flow.
“I got the shiner traps out late last week, but the water was still cold and after a couple of days, only had a few shiners. The big winds that blew over the past weekend trashed the whole setup, now I’m hoping for calm conditions to get the flow started again”; Powell said. “I do have some rainbows and really nice ..." Read >> Minnesota Walleye Fishing Opener Updates May 6, 2020
Having a system that allows you quick and easy access to all of your fishing gear will mean you spend more time catching fish. Professional bass angler Jeff Gustafson runs us through his preferred boat organization methods in his Lund 2075 Pro-V Bass.
Featured Fishing Gear: Plano Storage Options, The Rod Glove, Casting, The Rod Glove, Spinning Lund 2075 Pro-V Bass Boat, Mercury 250hp Pro XS FourStroke.
Gustafson uses a combination of waterproof boxes to store anything from fishing tackle to emergency tools. With the massive storage compartments in his Lund 2075 Pro-V Bass, he can haul everything for a full season of professional tournament fishing ..." Learn More >> View Video Bass Boat Tackle Storage Ideas that Make Fishing Easier
I hadn't thought of it until just this morning when I was getting paperwork together for my insurance agent. But the boat I picked up from Ray's Marine on Monday represents a milestone. It's been 20 years since I picked up my first 2000 Alaskan Tiller. That's right, for the past two decades, I and my customers have caught fish from one of these efficient and versatile boats.
As the accompanying photos reveal, I still have some rigging to do if I'm gonna have it ready for the fishing opener, but something tells me that I'll meet the deadline.
I am really excited to see if this rig lives up to the standards set by my 2019 Alaskan. Last I wrote about that rig was late summer in 2019 when I reported that in my estimation, the 20-foot Alaskan, paired up with the Pro XS 115 HP engine constituted the perfect fishing setup. I've been happy with every one of these boats that I've owned, but last year's boat was the best ever and I'm hoping that I'll feel the same way when this one hits the water.
In today's report, I've got a few updates about lake accesses and availabilities for the fishing opener.
Yesterday, I talked again with Hunter at the US Corps of Engineers office at Federal Dam. He confirmed that ..." Read >> Fishing Updates May 5, 2020
With everything that’s happened this year, we’ve been so wrapped up with stuff to do that The Hippie Chick hadn’t had a chance to fish. In fact she hadn’t held a fishing rod in her hands for nearly 7 months. Saturday was our first chance to change that.
We knew it would be windy, but maybe we could tuck ourselves into a quiet corner, all we really hoped for was a nice afternoon. So even if the wind was blowing at 30 MPH, we were bound and determined to find a lake, we made a rough plan, prepared the prepare-able and headed toward the bait shop to pick up some minnows.
When I walked into 1000 Lakes Sporting Goods on Saturday Andy Walls was beaming with happiness. “Crappie fishing has been really good around the area; everybody has been coming in with good reports”; Andy said. He gave me a few pointers about shallow water spots where folks had been catching Crappies, advised me about the habitat and key depths and then..." Read >> Fishing Report May 4, 2020
Q) "Did I read right a couple of weeks ago that the Walleye harvest was not taking place this year at Little Cutfoot? If not, what do you thing the impact will be on the DNR stocking program?"
A) Yes Larry, you did read correctly, MN DNR fisheries staff did call off the egg take, not only at Little Cutfoot but they cancelled all of the walleye, northern pike, steelhead, sucker and musky egg takes statewide for 2020.
How it will impact fishing in Minnesota will vary from region to region. Some regions of the state are blessed with lakes that have good natural reproduction. Other areas are not as fortunate and have higher percentages of lakes that are dependent on stocking.
In my home territory, Lakes like, Winnibigoshish, Leech, Bowstring, Bemidji and ..." Read >> May 3, 2020 QnA No Fish Stocking In Minnesota, Really?
I am guessing that most didn’t really care much about catching fish, but it served as a reminder that I should whip up something for the handful of anglers who really were in serious pursuit of panfish.
Last spring, I shared a report about an early season crappie trip that the Hippie Chick and I went on. That fishing trip taught me a lot about where to look for spring crappies. Since I and Susan are planning another crappie fishing trip this weekend, I looked back to that article for another look at some of my own advice about how to get started.
The reason I needed the refresher course is ..." Read >> Planning An Early Spring Crappie Trip April 30, 2020
So far in 2020, I’ve looked forward to the beginning of each new month hoping that it would be better than the last one. So far none of them has and now the month of May did not even make me wait for a single day to find out that it won’t be any better either.
I’ve been pouring through the details of the recent changes to Governor Walz’ Executive Orders. From what I can see, yesterday’s signing of Emergency Executive Order 20-48, will keep fishing guides and charter operators in dry dock until the 18th of May, at least.
The order, “Extending and Modifying Stay at Home Order, Continuing Temporary Closure of Bars, Restaurants, and Other Places of Public Accommodation, and Allowing Additional Workers in Certain Noncritical Sectors to Return to Safe Workplaces” was good news for certain retailers who can set curbside pickups and home deliveries. But does not relax restrictions on any face-to-face business activity, like fishing.
Launches, charter boats and fishing guides are expressly prohibited from conducting business as was spelled out in EO 20-38 on April 17, 2020. In every revision, they include a section that spells out the penalties for ..." Read >> Walz' Minnesota Fishing Guide Ban Update May 1, 2020
A lot of ice disappeared over the weekend; we saw for ourselves that the east side of Pokegama was wide open. On Saturday, Cub Reporter Will Layland wrote;” Little Cutfoot is open, Little Jessie is mostly open and Big Jessie should be open by Monday.”
With the warm weather, some anglers emerged from their Covid Virus hiding spots and began testing the shallow bays and inlets for panfish. We saw folks fishing in several likely panfish locations around the area.
I aspired to getting in on some early action too, I wanted to get some suckers for the smoker while I have the free time to prepare them. But my goal of finding a spot where suckers were running, looked better on paper than it did in practice. My favorite spots showed little sign of any fish movement and the best report I heard was from a young man who ..." Read >> Grand Rapids Area Fishing Updates April 27, 2020
John Keprios emailed on April 23, 2020; "One quick question, I have never tried fishing for perch on Winnibigoshish just after ice out and would like to know if you have had any luck trying to catch perch on the open water between ice out and the walleye opener. Any advice like best depths to find them in and general locations?"
A) The short answer is that after ice out, everything is about spawning.
By the time Winnie, or any other good perch fishing lake is ice free, pike have already made their move into shallow, back water bays and creeks. Walleyes are next, moving toward their preferred spawning habitat even before the big lake is completely open. Perch are next to spawn, following closely behind the walleyes in timing, but not location.
While walleyes move toward shallow gravel on the main lake, or into the flowages and small rivers, perch head toward areas that contain woody cover. The spawning structure could consist of ..." Read >> Ice Out Perch Fishing Lake Winnie April 24, 2020
On Wednesday April 22, 2020, I received an email from Explore Minnesota. It contained the most comprehensive list of the types of lodging services that are available, or not available to anglers in Minnesota right now.
Long story short, resorts are (and always have been) allowed to remain open. However, while Governor Walz’ “Stay at Home Order” is in place, anglers will continue to be discouraged from traveling to them.
By now, most resort and campground owners have probably received the same email, so they likely already have this information available. But anglers everywhere continue to ask for updates about this confusing aspect of the executive order and its impact on the fishing opener.
According to the newsletter, even though resorts will be “allowed” to remain open, they are not obligated to ..." Read >> Minnesota Resorts Remain Open — With Caveats April 23, 2020
I don’t need to catch many fish to be happy, but I do like seeing one come in occasionally. That’s one reason I love going over to Superior, if you look far enough down the shoreline, you’re going to see somebody catch a fish. Sometimes we can see them moving around in the water too, they don’t always bite, but it feels good to see them and know that they are nearby.
Rigging up to fish the shoreline is easy, a slip float suspended a few feet about a small jig tipped with waxworms is what most folks use. There are some folks who fish on the bottom using Lindy Rig type setup. The rig includes a ½ to ¾ ounce bottom weight and a leader with either a plain hook or a floating Lindy Rig leader. Again, tip the hook with a few waxies, cast the sinker and let the rig lay on the bottom.
After our first couple of trips over there, I learned that when you’re fishing from shore, the angler with the most reach has an advantage; so I ..." Read >> Report Ultimate Shore Fishing Setup April 21, 2020
Responses to Saturday's column, Governor Allows Certain Outdoor Businesses To Re-Open.
Thomas Kotula wrote; "How far you go away from home is subjective and I doubt many people, including myself, are going to worry about that. Not to mention this is a suggestion by the governor not a law.
A) Trying to stay on top of all the rules is getting worse than keeping up to date with Minnesota's Fishing Regulations Book.
The best place to look for clarity on changes to these executive orders is on Governor Tim Walz' website, so that's where I checked. Under the NEWS tab, there's a complete list of all executive orders including the most ..."
As doctors and nurses wage the primary battle against the coronavirus, a secondary conflict is gaining intensity: how to ease the price paid by closed businesses, schools and idled workers. Since mid-March, more Americans lost their jobs more quickly than any time in history. Minnesota just six weeks ago was one of the strongest economies in the country, but now nearly one in five people in the state’s labor force is jobless.
Pressure grew all last week for government leaders to chart an end to their stay-home orders and nonessential business designations — and to allow businesses and consumers to ..." Read >> Minnesota business leaders say Walz's next move could make or break them
If you have an itch to go fishing, and you live close to a bait shop, then you are in luck. Governor Tim Walz’ most recent executive order 20-38, allows bait stores to re-open beginning today, April 18, 2020 at 5:00 AM.
That’s right, Minnesotans are now allowed to stop for live bait on their way to the fishing hole.
That is as long as the fishing hole isn’t too far away from home, and they don’t bring anybody from outside of their own household, and provided they don’t stay overnight, and as long as they pledge to stay at least 6 feet away from the nearest human.
Executive Order 20-38 also relaxes restrictions on certain other outdoor facilities such as marinas that rent seasonal docking spaces or provide repairs, sell fuel and the like. Folks that install docks and boat lifts are in luck too, they can ..." Read >> Governor Allows Certain Outdoor Businesses To Re-Open April 18, 2020
In the past month, some public officials in northern Minnesota have said visitors aren't welcome, worried metro vacationers might tote the coronavirus with them. But resorts need customers. Or some won't survive.
Three weeks from today, on the eve of the Fishing Opener, Minnesota resort owners near and far from the Twin Cities will swing open their cabin doors and hope people show up.
Already many of these small-business operators have developed new ways to clean their cabins, sell bait from their shops and keep anglers safe distances from one another while launching boats — all because of the coronavirus pandemic.
Now they need customers. Or some won’t survive.
“A lot of resorts are getting by now only on their ..." Learn More >> April 17, 2020 Northern Minnesota resort owners make clear they want anglers coming their way
I mentioned yesterday that I’d been soliciting information about lodges, resorts and bait shops about their current plans for the fishing season opener. I learned quickly from early responding resorts and bait shops that response to the Covid-19 situation is going to be all over the map.
Most of those early answers to my questions were clear; the proprietors either said we’ll be open, or they said we’ll be closed, there wasn’t much grey area.
Later in the day though, the responses began getting more thought provoking and complex; like this one from a regular contributor.
Lee Nupson at Oak Point Resort on Leech Lake asked as many questions as it answered. "Nupson; “We will be open but I am a little confused about our ability to ..." Read >> MN Fishing Opener Update April 16, 2020
On April 10th I wrote about the 2020 walleye opener, "For many, fishing closer to home is probably going to be the best bet. A day trip to any lake that allows comfortable travel time to and from our own homes would be ideal. Folks with well stocked cabins or campers that require little interaction in the community will probably be just fine too.
The situation is fluid, so I’ll be adding frequent updates as information about lodging and fishing supplies become available. In the meantime, stock up your tackle box and tune up your outboard, the opener is only 28 days away!"
Well as of today, the fishing opener is only 23 days away and Governor Tim Walz' Emergency Executive Order 20-35 places yet another roadblock for Minnesota anglers.
After reading my Thursday update about the Minnesota fishing opener, Nate Altendorf wrote; “The question I have about the MN fishing opener is can we travel outside of our community to fish?”
A) Nate, the direct answer is yes, we are allowed to travel anywhere in Minnesota to fish. But bear in mind that while we are legally allowed to fish anywhere in the state, some locations will be more practical than others.
Recalling yesterday’s comment from MN DNR Spokesperson Kim Pleticha; “All we ask is that anglers observe the safety practices described in the Governor’s Stay at Home Order.”
According to the stay home order, we definitely are allowed to ..." Read >> MN Fishing Season Update April 10, 2020
Pleticha assured me that the DNR has no plan to cancel, postpone or otherwise interrupt the 2020 opening of Minnesota’s walleye fishing season.
“All we ask is that anglers observe the safety practices described in the Governor’s Stay at Home Order;” Pleticha said.
“Ramps and parking areas owned and maintained by the Minnesota DNR will be open. But we cannot give assurances that local accesses owned by counties or municipalities will ..." Read >> Fishing Opener Update April 9, 2020
Since this Covid-19 stay home order was implemented, all my usual spring routines have been wiped out. Reporting the report-able has been fine for the gloom and doom crowd, but optimists like me have had to turn over a lot of stones to find a good story.
Take the Northwest Sportshow for example. According to the plan, it would have ended last Sunday. By now, I should have spent several days telling you about all the cool stuff that I found at the show; but that was cancelled, so I couldn’t.
After that, I should have been giving you reports from the Rainy River and talking about all the great walleye fishing that’s been going on. But we can’t get on the river with a boat so that’s been off the table too. Last week, I was able to at least ..." Read >> Fishing Update April 8, 2020
By now, you’ve likely heard about Koochiching County’s decision to close the 4 county owned boat ramps on the Rainy River this spring. That decision, controversial at the time, appears to have been made moot by Governor Walz’ shelter in place order; or is it?
I went to Governor Walz’ website, clicked on the StayHomeMN Frequently Asked Questions sections and selected “When is it okay for me to leave my home?” Among the listed exceptions to the travel ban; found this. “Permissible activities during the stay at home order include: Outdoor activities, such as walking pets, hiking, running, biking, hunting, or fishing.”
Apparently, Governor Walz or someone at his office has the good sense to understand that we’re better off outside than staying cooped up. So, if we can navigate the rest of the restrictions in the shelter in place order, they are encouraging all of us to get outside and be active.
I’m assuming that it will be tough to obtain live bait. But even if bait and tackle shops are closed because of the restrictions, I think too that most of us can cobble together some lures that will work well enough to keep the fish entertained.
I’d rather go fishing without my favorite bait, than sit at home working myself into a tizzy over the media coverage of this bizarre event. So, that’s what I’m going to do and if I see you out there, I will keep my distance; I PROMISE! — Jeff Sundin 218-245-9858 or EMAIL
Wired2Fish's Ryan DeChaine faces such a situation on a small lake and walks through how to map an offshore hump using Humminbird's AutoChart Live and Zero Line SD Card.
Using Humminbird's AutoChart Zero Line SD Card, DeChaine uses a circular survey method instead of traditional transects to quickly and accurately map the structure. He then describes how to display and adjust bottom hardness data on top of the custom map; bottom hardness in conjunction with accurate 1-foot contour intervals reveals previously hidden spots on the ..." Learn More >> Custom Mapping Tips For Humminbird Users
Q) On January 11, 2020 Shannon Poppinga Wrote; "I live in South Dakota and fish the river and many NE lakes. We cast most of the spring and summer for walleye in some high wind days.
Currently, the boat that I have is a Ranger 618 tiller and my current engine is a Yamaha 90 HP with the variable RPM button to help get the proper power I need.
I am interested in a larger 20 foot tiller boat but I am concerned about not being able to use a larger motor on a 20 ft tiller to put the butt of the boat into the waves, be able to idle down slow enough so I can sit in one place and cast.
I was looking on the internet to see if I could find any info on this and stumbled onto one of your reviews of Lund Tiller Boats. I’m more interested in knowing if you feel I would be able to get a larger Mercury tiller motor to do what I need?"
A) Shannon, my history with 20-foot tiller boats goes back a long time, I’ve owned about 25 of them. These days, I have ..." Learn Morde >> Reader Asks About Mercury Pro XS 115 HP Tiller Performance
"Side imaging sonar reveals an entirely new underwater world to anglers interested in learning the technology. It produces highly detailed readouts of the water column and bottoms off both sides of the boat; this has some major benefits, one of which being discovering sleeper or hidden spots missed by most anglers.
Jeff "Kolo" Kolodzinski demonstrates this perfectly. While driving to one of his "known" spots, side imaging reads a bottom composition change - it's a hard spot covered with fist-sized rocks and some larger boulders mixed in. Of note, there's no appreciable change in depth, so mapping doesn't ..." View Video >> How to Use Side Imaging to Find Hidden Spots
Fishing The Fall Turnover In Natural Lakes - Jeff Sundin
... "This probably means that for most fishermen, "The Turnover", I mean the absolute scientific event is probably not really what influences fish locations and feeding patterns during the cold water period.
Jeff Sundin is a full time, professional fishing guide, outdoor writer and photographer. Book Jeff for guided fishing trips, for fishing seminars, fishing promotions and media events. Click here >> learn more about Jeff Sundin.
"The Early Bird Fishing Guide" Jeff Sundin - Fishing Blue Books, LLC 715 Byington Ave, LaPrairie, MN 55744 218-245-9858
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