Minnesota Fishing Reports
As far as I could tell, crappies still had not moved out and away from the shallow breaklines and/or weed beds. We spent some time, so did other anglers we saw, scanning the lakes deep, mid-basin holes. We located nothing out there and never saw any other boats stop and get serious about fishing either.
Walleyes were a different story, fish that were moving in the shallow weeds last week, were now located deeper, along the breaklines that separated the shoreline from the lake’s deeper basin. The depths varied from spot-to-spot, 10 feet deep was good in one area, 14 feet was good in another, and 18 feet did the trick further down the shoreline. One thing all of the spots had in common was that when we marked fish on the Humminbird, they bit.
As you can see by the accompanying selfie of Susan and I, we ..." Read >> Grand Rapids Fishing Report October 18, 2021
As a rule, I don’t consider myself to be much of a “self-promoter” and in some ways, that’s probably worked against me over the years. Today though, I don’t really see any way to write this note without being, or at least appearing to be, a self-supporter of the highest magnitude.
You may already know; I was first nominated for the Minnesota Fishing Hall of Fame in 2015-2016. So, this is the 6th year that my name has been in the hopper. Well-deserved were the inductions of every “legend” who was voted in during those 6 years, in fact, I wrote stories about a couple of them. Today, Hall of Fame Legends have their ballots, and they will soon be casting their votes, as you may expect, the reason for today’s note is ..." Learn More >> Does Jeff Sundin Deserve Hall of Fame Vote?
"... In terms of locating panfish, the sub 60 degree readings gave me some hope that Jeff Wilkening was right when he messaged me, commenting about the October .., 2021 panfish article where I said that most panfish were still located in the weeds and not in classic, fall haunts. “We found panfish in deep water last week, you just have to keep looking”, Wilkening wrote.
Well, the term “keep looking” is subjective and can be interpreted differently from one situation to another. In terms of fishing for panfish on Cutfoot, or Little Cutfoot, 2 hours was long enough for me to “keep looking”. I covered as much water as I could and checked as many of the most likely spots I could think of and if there were any crappies or sunfish in deep water, I didn’t find them.
If my search had ended there, I would have been tempted to declare that either there were no panfish in those 2 lakes, or that any of them that were there, simply wouldn’t bite. Except what happened next would have totally dis-proven those comments. You see when I moved over to the weedline, stopped the boat and dropped my 1/8-ounce jig tipped with a fathead into the water, it was literally smashed by a 9-inch bluegill. Yes, I ..." Read >> Cutfoot Sioux Panfish Locations October 15, 2021
On Wednesday, I and customer #0001, Tim Higgins enjoyed a blustery day on the water together. Our hope was that we could combine both walleye and crappie fishing. Part of the plan, the walleye part, worked out great! The walleyes were biting, the average size was beautiful and the fish we harvested were well above average.
The "crappie" part of the plan didn’t come together so well though. Just to prove that we were at the right lake and that there were crappies in there, Tim did catch nice one, but that was it. The fishing trip reinforced a theory though and I’ll tell you all about it, but first, this just in.
Sundin 10-13-2021, "Your family must be so proud of you! Those fish that you cooked for them must have been delicious, at least I hope so. And I’m sure that with our present state of economic affairs, they were really needed and really appreciated too, bringing home fresh fish must be a good way to stretch your family food budget!
I’ll bet the story about how you got them was a great one too, I can hear you telling it, almost like I was there myself; “I was trolling along just outside of the bait shop when I ..." Read >> Grand Rapids Area Fishing Report October 14, 2021
"There’s no better sensation in bass fishing than experiencing an explosive buzzbait strike. And there’s hardly a better time of year to use buzzbaits than during the fall cool down, where loads of active offshore bass spread out across shallow flats to feed. Join Wired2fish’s McKeon Roberts as he uses buzzbaits to quickly fish expansive flats and catch some of the biggest bass of his fishing season and this particular lake.
Roberts’ 5 basic pointers to help you get started with fall buzzbait fishing on a lake or river near you.
Replace the buzzbait skirt with a plastic trailer. Different anglers use a range of modifications to enhance bait performance. Roberts feels a plastic trailer enhances the profile and helps bass train their attention on the hook of the bait instead of attacking the blade and missing the hook on the strike.
Then, the 2021 season has been odd too, there have been wild swings both up and down all season long. Some days the walleye fishing has been fabulous, but some days, we can’t buy a strike. Occasionally, it doesn’t matter where I look, they just don’t seem to be anywhere, that’s where they were for me yesterday, nowhere.
Starting out, I did believe that I knew enough to try the weeds first, like I said, during past seasons, fishing the weeds usually turns out to be the best bet during fall. In the end, that instinct was right yesterday too because 90% of all the fish and 100% of the walleyes ..." Read >> Sundin Bowstring Report October 13, 2021
Curious about reports he’d heard from folks who have been fishing on Lake Winnibigoshish recently, a friend called and asked, “Is it true that the water is clearing up and the fishing is getting tougher on Winnie this week?”
Regarding water clarity, my answer is that yes, the water, at least in certain areas definitely is getting clearer, but with surface water temperatures still holding above 60 degrees, there are still places around the lake where I cannot see the bottom in let’s say 5 feet of water or deeper. So, by itself, water clarity isn’t stopping the fish from biting, especially when conditions are good, i.e., walleye chop, cloudy skies etc.
About the fishing, I would not say that it is getting “tougher”, but I would say that it is getting “different”. It’s becoming less practical to chase schools of fish and far more practical to ..." Read >> Lake Winnie Fishing Report October 12, 2021
"It's been another really good week of fall walleye fishing on the south end of Lake of the Woods. Big numbers of fish being caught and it should only improve as water temperatures get cooler. This fall has been unseasonably warm. Big numbers of walleyes and saugers are set up along the south shore and anglers are catching a lot of fish.
Most anglers are anchored up and jigging with a fathead or emerald shiner. Live shiners are available and effective. There are still a lot of walleyes being caught on spinners with minnows surprisingly. Trolling crankbaits has also been catching a lot of fish.
The best reports are coming from ..." Read >> Lake of the Woods Fishing Report October 12, 2021
I guess my timing for planning a weekend off was good! Ever since I wrapped up the final fishing trip of the season for Larry Lashley, Tim Fischbach and Mike Cooley last Friday, it’s either been raining, threatening to rain, or there have been blustery winds. While that was all going on, I was sitting inside without a care in the world, with my newest grandbaby resting on my lap.
I guess there’s no point in recapping what the fishing was like late last week, particularly considering the significant weather changes over the weekend. Plus, I’ll be on the water every day this week, so ..." Read >> Sundin Update October 11, 2021
I called it a personality trait, although some days my wife might call it a “character flaw.” Either way, “stick-to-itiveness”, stubbornness, pertinacious or whatever word you’d use, not giving up paid my crew and me big dividends on Winnie yesterday.
For us, the walleye action was wild on Wednesday, but fishing the same area produced only a few bites on Thursday. After trying a few fresh spots, I still hadn’t found a good school of fish and there were moments when I pondered the prospect that maybe they’d simply “quit biting”.
At one point I moved up the shoreline a few miles and tried a prominent point. Finding nothing, I almost moved a few more miles to try another point but decided to first look at an inside corner that lays between to points. As soon as we stopped, one of the boys threw his jig into the water and there they were, a big school of hungry walleyes.
The takeaway for you could be that even when YOU KNOW that fish are biting on a lake, it is still possible to ..." Read >> Sundin's Fishing Report October 8, 2021
Every day is the same for me, put the boat on the water, assess the weather and then to the best of my ability, calculate necessary adjustments to fish location based on current weather. When I’m lucky, fishing patterns might stay the same for a few days or maybe even a couple of weeks. But seldom can I count on finding fish is the same places and feeding on the same things for an entire season. In fact, oft times, I can’t even count on them being in the same location two days in a row.
Knowing how to adjust for “seasonal migrations” makes calculating locations a little easier. There are general rules of thumb that apply to certain aspects of fish location every season. When you know them, then watching for the beginning of a given pattern and cashing in on it when it starts is a huge advantage.
Recent questions from readers got me thinking; what is a migration anyway? And how long do migrations actually last? Take this comment from Jim Morlan for example, it came in via my “social” media page; “Good morning, just curious if you were able get the crappies to bite yesterday? Three of us ..." Read >> What Is A Fall Migration Anyway? October 7, 2021
"Good morning radio listeners. If you hadn't already heard, KAXE is building a new radio tower. During construction, lowered transmission power could affect your ability to listen to the morning show on your FM radio.
Listen for me, "the Early Bird Fishing Guide" at 6:20 AM on today's morning show. I'm on every Thursday and you'll hear my segment, along with all KAXE programming, LIVE on the internet using this link ..." >> KAXE Radio 91.7
The one downside to the Buck is the gaps around the handle that allow the accumulation of unwanted germs and possible bacteria to form. The up side is the blade is fairly stiff which I like because previous knives I’ve owned the tip would curl up on the opposite side of the filet leaving meat on the skin.
I respect your opinion and look forward to your response.
"A) Dave, Fillet knives are a super subjective topic, everybody seems to like theirs "a certain, special way". For me, one that is just about perfect is ..." Read >> Sundin: Fillet Knives That Make The Cut October 6, 2021
With traditional fall walleye movements around the lake, big numbers of both walleyes and sauger are set up along the south shore and anglers are catching a lot of fish. In addition to walleye and sauger, pike, jumbo perch and sturgeon are in the mix for walleye anglers as well.
The best reports are coming from anglers fishing in depths of 18 to 30 feet of water. Most anglers are anchored up and jigging with a fathead or emerald shiner. Live shiners are available and effective. There are still walleyes being caught on spinners with minnows as well as trolling crankbaits.
Emerald shiners continue to run into the Rainy River and more walleyes ..." Read >> Lake of the Woods Fishing Report October 5, 2021
"Fish from that large year class have entered what we consider an “ideal size range”, 15 to 16 inches and are on the prowl in the big lake. As the accompanying photo shows, anglers who figure out where to look can gather a meal of fish from abundant supply of 2018 year class fish.
So, where do they look, you may be thinking? The simple answer is by staying away from the crowds and away from wherever the “bite chasers” have proclaimed as the “best” fishing spots.
Walleyes from the massive 2019-year class, and even some of the tiny 2020-year class fish now dominate the action in certain areas on Winnibigoshish. In some spots and when conditions are prime, catching doubles, even triples have been common, anglers have enjoyed a lot of action catching the 2019 class, 12-1/2 to 13-3/4 -inch fish. Some anglers are happily harvesting fish from the higher end of that year class already
While it is true that anglers will harvest some larger size fish amidst the legions of smaller ones, most of the fish will ..." Read >> Bowen Lodge Lake Winnie Report
Lake Winnie surface water temperatures rebounded over the past few days. Several days ago, 60 to 62 degrees was the most common temperature range. On Thursday, finding 65 degrees was easy, finding 66 degrees was possible in select areas of the lake.
With calm water and sunshine, walleye anglers found themselves working harder to get strikes, but still catching fish. Perch anglers have found “easy pickings” in shallow weeds and panfish anglers who know their way around the lake are picking up modest numbers of both crappie and sunfish.
Whether you’re after walleyes or perch or a mixed bag of both, staying close to the weeds is your best bet. Even sparse patches of low-lying grasses hold minnows and small gamefish that are attracting gamefish. Under calm seas, expect to catch most of your fish by ..." Read >> Lake Winnie Fishing Report October 1, 2021
The problem with being a good sport is that you have to lose to prove it, I’ve said that before. And yesterday, I had another chance to “prove it” when I lost to Leech Lake, again. Yes, she provided me with one of her period lessons in humility, one of those days when no matter where I go or what I try, walleyes, at least most of them, give me the Class A snub-job.
If she was a real live person, I could imagine our pre-trip conversation going something like this.
Me) “Good morning sweetie, I’m going to bring some boys over today and we’re gonna catch some of your walleyes, okay?”
Her) “Oh, so you think you’re a good enough fisherman to just drop over with “some boys” and catch my walleyes huh? Hmm, well, okay let’s see what you got, show me what you and “your boys” can do with me today then.”
Too sunny, too calm, too whatever; I won’t bore you with explanations and excuses. I’ll just ..." Read >> Leech Lake Fishing Report September 30, 2021
"The month of October is an excellent time to fish walleyes and the jig bite has begun on the south end of Lake of the Woods. Anglers report that both walleyes and saugers are cooperating very nicely, along with some perch and pike mixed in. Lots of good eaters, along with some sorting of smaller fish. Pike continue to be active with the cooling water temps.
The walleyes continue to transition to fall locations including at 25 to 30 feet of water, in front of Pine Island and to the west along the south shore have been hot.
Most anglers are anchored up and ..." Read >> Lake of the Woods Fishing Report September 29, 2021
Best reports are still largely coming from shallow water. 6-12 feet of water and jig and minnow has been best. Reports from anglers of trolling still be very effective, continue to come in also.
Smallmouth bass fishing has been excellent for many this last week. Anglers are finding smallies setting up on mid lake humps near deep water. Here, smallies ..." Read >> Ely Area Fishing Report September 29, 2021
Perch fishing action always ramps up during early fall, or least it always has during the time I've been working as a professional fishing guide. And for me, this is the one time every year when I can usually take off for any lake with a "decent population" of perch and expect to catch enough fish to satisfy my customers. Even if the cost of satisfaction is trying several spots and a variety of presentations before zeroing in on them.
That goal, satisfied perch fishing customers, is easier to accomplish when the weather is foul. But even under bright skies and calm seas, perch on Leech Lake, Winnie and Cass have provided enough action to keep life interesting these past few days. And as the accompanying photo of my friends Keith and Diane Eberhardt, along with their friend Greg reveals, satisfaction was the reward not just for a few hours of diligent searching on Winnie this Monday, but the culmination of ..." Read >> Cass, Winnie, Leech Lake Perch Fishing Report September 28, 2021
Like I mentioned late last week, the goal for Karen and Kyle Reynolds was to catch their limits of Northern Pike. We already had 2 of them in the freezer, so to bring them to their legal limits, I only had to figure out where to catch the remaining 18 fish: simple right?
Setting a goal of harvesting 18 pike sounds fairly easy, especially if you’re fishing on one of the north central Minnesota lakes that seems infested with little “scissor bills”. But let’s say you’re selective, and that you want to harvest only the “short-but-fat” 20–21-inch eaters, pike that fall below Minnesota’s zone 1, 22-to-26-inch protected slot sizes; then you’ll have your work cut out for you.
The trick is not to figure out where the biggest fish are, and unless the lower size range doesn’t matter much to you, simply figuring out where the most fish are won’t do a lot of good either.
Right now, there are some lakes in the Itasca region offer great fishing for pike that ..." Read >> September 27, 2021 "Selecting the Select-Able"
Back on September 14th, 2021, in a story titled "Crappies Are Where YOU Find Them", I wasn’t too worried when I wrote, “I worked as fast as I could, searching as many spots as time allowed, but I ran out of hours, before running out of ideas. In lieu of exhausting the entire trip on a failed search for crappies, I opted to spend a few hours poking around in the weeds. A couple of nice walleyes, some decent perch and a bunch of pike validated the idea and gave us something of a late inning rally; it was definitely better than nothing.”
At the time, I was writing about day 4 of the annual “Fun with Dick and Paul”, fall fishing trip. The day we followed a “hot tip” that led to an unsuccessful attempt at finding crappies. I wasn’t too worried at the time because it wasn’t the end of the world if we didn’t ..." Read >> Crappie Fishing Reeport September 24, 2021
I don’t know where this month has gone, but according to my collectable, Beatles model date calculator, we are only “8-days a week” from the end of September! All I can say, as many of my fishing customers have heard before, “Savor the Moment.”
Surface temperatures on Winnie entered the ideal range this week, hovering somewhere between 61 and 65 degrees, depending on the section of the lake we visited. But my first reminder of the brevity of this “ideal period” came about yesterday morning when I saw the first 59 degree reading on the big lake. Now, that was just a temporary dip, later in the day temperatures rebounded to 61 degrees, but don’t get used to the 60s, the 50s are coming soon.
There’s already been so much hubbub about walleye fishing on Winnie that I ..." Read >> Sundin Report September 23, 2021
Surface water temperatures did not fall as much as we expected, even after the cold air that settled in after Monday’s heavy rain. In Cutfoot, 63 to 64 degrees was the range we observed and on the big lake, 62 to 63 degrees was more typical.
Water clarity was still fairly low, we could not see the bottom in 5 feet. We’re not sure if this is due to an “algae bloom” that’s hanging on, or residual cloudiness caused by the turbulent weather. Either way, the murky water conditions encouraged walleyes to ..." Read >> Bowen Lodge Lake Winnie Report September 22, 2021
The walleye are are now transitioning to fall locations. Walleyes are setting up across the south shore and with more shiners running, this trend will continue.
Three different methods used to catch walleyes this week. Drifting spinners, trolling crankbaits and anchored up and jigging with a minnow, which is becoming more effective each week. Fall is an excellent time to ..." Read >> Lake of the Woods Fishing Report September 21, 2021
If you’ve been reading recent reports, then you already know that most of my time has been spent fishing on Lake Winnibigoshish. You know too that for the most part, the action has been good over there. But thanks to the significant weather changes we’ve experienced over the past 2 days and the line of thunderstorms that are moving through the region now, all previous reports should now be considered null and void.
My guess is that this will be a slow day at the minnow shop, but if you’re thinking about heading out on Winnibigosh and need some current information ..." Read >> Lake Winnie Fishing Updates September 20, 2021
By Saturday morning, 61.5 was the new "lowest reading" of the fall to date. Throughout the day, temperatures creeped back up slowly, but did not exceed 63 degrees by late afternoon.
For many, these water temperatures are entering the ideal range and last Friday, in his fishing report, Jeff Sundin wrote, “I love it when the temperature falls in small increments like these, it’s really good for ..." Read >> The Pines Resort Lake Winnie Report September 19, 2021
Angler’s fishing in the Lake Winnie region will be in for a treat this weekend. Not only are the fish biting, but the early stages of fall colors have set in too! We won’t see color everywhere, but shorelines that contain hardwood trees will be lit up with a blend of bright green, along with vivid reds and oranges. The sky is offering some fine viewing these days too, reflecting Mother Nature’s moods in colors that also seem to only occur during the fall.
The water in Lake Winnibigoshish still has some color too, summertime algae blooms are hanging on. But I’ve noticed that a lot of this color is related to sediments, stirred up on windy days. Mid-week last, after a couple of calm days, the water clarity increased significantly, I could easily see the bottom in 6 to 7 feet of water; it’s been windy ever since, so I doubt most folks have noticed. For now, there’s more wind in the forecast, so there shouldn’t be much trouble in terms of slower fishing action. But I’ll ..." Read >> Lake Winnie Walleye Report September 17, 2021
With water temperatures ranging from the upper 50s into the low 60s, Walleyes are starting to gravitate to fall patterns. Walleyes being caught in various depths, ranging from 13 to 34 feet of water.
Most anglers are still drifting with spinners or trolling crankbaits, but the jig bite is picking up steam. Reef fishing is starting to pick up. Jigging with a frozen shiner on or near reefs is a fall "go-to" and things are just starting. September and October are excellent months to fish walleyes. If you like the jig bite, ..." Read >> Lake of the Woods Fishing Report September 16, 2021
"On 9-13-2021 Brandon Flaata wrote; “Hi Jeff, I know like many things, what happened yesterday is likely not what happens tomorrow. Regardless, I wanted to share my fishing (experiences) on (withheld) Lake over Labor Day Weekend in case you make a trip that way soon and it helps you.
Saturday and Sunday I focused on walleye. Many reports (that I received) had told me the Walleye had moved off mid-lake structure already. So, I focused on southern shoreline structure since it was windy both days. I was staying at (withheld) Lodge, so my focus was on the southern half of the lake and (withheld) Bay.
Fishing was very slow, but I managed to catch a few walleyes on ..." Read >> Reader Labor Day Walleye and Crappie Report September 15, 2021
Scrolling through the fishing report archives, you’ll notice previous reports about the ups-and-downs of fall crappie fishing. I recall one of “the downs” was about me being surprised when crappies failed to show up at some of my favorite early fall locations. Later, I wrote about the subject after finally figuring out that the reason those crappies were not showing wasn’t because of a delay in seasonal transitions. No, their failure to show up was because they simply were no longer in the lake.
At the time, I wrote, “The cyclic nature of crappie populations has been well known for decades. As soon as a great year class comes along, anglers figure out where they are and then fish them hard. The local population gets depleted, and then those anglers lose interest and move along to wherever the next good bite happens to be.
The cycle itself hasn’t changed, but the timeline has. These days, more anglers ..." Read >> Fishing Report September 14, 2021
Knowing that both Mrs. Williams and Mrs. Kautza have strong fondness’s for perch and being a crowd pleaser at heart, I considered it my moral duty to use the day to try and please them. So, as we drove out of the Timberlake Hotel, heading in the direction of Cass Lake, I muttered, “I’m not going to try and get too cute today; I’m resolved to the idea of catching perch, so those fish better be there and if they are, we’ll all be happy.”
At the landing, most of the parking spaces were full. I mentioned to the AIS inspector that it looked like lots of folks thought this should be the place to be. “Lots of folks do think this is the place to be, she replied.” So, after the usual pre-trip inspection, we ..." Read >> Fishing Report September 13, 2021
I think you should mark this date on your calendar, September 12, 2021. This is the date that Jeff Sundin went out on a long, skinny limb and predicted that we have about 2 more seasons of “Easy Fishing” for eaters. After that, we’ll still be having a lot of fun, but stories recounting the days of catching a 150 little fish will be temporarily behind us.
So, I say enjoy it while it lasts and when you see anglers like Dick and Paul on the lake, give them a gigantic thumbs up. Why would I do that, you’re asking? Because Dick and Paul are selective, in fact I think the most selective anglers that I ever fished with. They enjoy catching numbers of fish, but not necessarily harvesting all of them. If the fish they catch are not “just the right size”, they’re gonna be released and this measured method of harvesting fish is wiser than you may realize.
I’ve written about this before, but it is worth repeating. On a lake which has a protected slot, waiting for the fish to ..." Read >> Fishing Report September 12, 2021
"Walleye - Here today, gone tomorrow, has been the story for walleye anglers this last week. Anglers reported having great success one day, in shallow water or deep water, then return the next day to find nothing. Walleyes are clearly on the move, but are biting in you can get your bait in front of them.
Anglers are finding many walleyes in shallow, 10 ft or less, during the early morning or evening hours. There also remains a few reports of cabin owners catching walleyes right off their dock. Here, jigs tipped with crawlers or spinner rigs tipped with crawlers has been most effective.
Deep water trolling and leadcoring has maybe been the most effective way to catch walleyes this last week. Anglers have been trolling large ..." Read >> Ely Area Fishing Report September 11, 2021
It would certainly seem so, by all accounts, guests are returning to the marina with reports of good walleye fishing on the big lake. When we walk out to the fish cleaning station, we see even more evidence and hear more reports about good catches every evening.
One true test occurred on Thursday (9-09), after a long stretch of breezy weather, the sun came out and the lake went flat. Most anglers know that flat, sunny conditions typically stop a great walleye bite in its tracks, but this did not happen. In fact, there were lots of folks who actually caught more walleyes during this period of calm, than they did on previous days when conditions were windy.
Boat control, in many cases is likely the main reason for an improvement. On of the local guides fished out of the resort on Thursday and said, “I think it was easy to get strikes on the windy days, but not as easy to ..." Read >> Lake Winnie Fishing Report September 10, 2021
"... Some of the more productive shoreline spots, like the north shore, Ravens Point and Stony Point had already been fished a lot. While there are still fish present, it now takes longer to get a strike and longer still to sift through the smaller fish, waiting for a “keeper”.
At some point, cooler water temperatures will trigger more migrations and these areas will re-populate. In the meantime, folks who do their own exploring are likely to fare well compared to those who follow the crowds.
Fish are widely distributed around the lake, making the chore of locating them easier than usual. It is safe to say that following shoreline breaks along any side of the lake where you ..." Read >> Lake Winnie Fishing Report September 9, 2021
"Tournament angler Troy Diede of Sioux Falls, S.D. has officially caught the largest smallmouth bass in South Dakota history. His July catch from Lake Oahe has just been approved by South Dakota Game, Fish and Parks as an official state record. The monster fish measured 20 3/4 inches and weighed 7 pounds, 4.7 ounces.
(1 of 2)HOW IT ALL HAPPENED
Diede was actually having a tough time finding bites the previous day and upon changing areas, he boated a 6.39-pound smallmouth which was his personal best at the time. As it turns out, he caught this state-record fish just 100 yards away the next day.
"We are excited to see some shiner activity the last couple of weeks. The schools seem to be getting larger. We do not take any at this time, it is too soon and the water temp is a bit warm to treat them properly and make good bait out of them frozen. Typically, these are the ones that get mushy when they thaw.
There are options on how to freeze emerald shiners with salts etc, but the best ones hold up after the water temp drops to about 45 degrees. Of course, there are many opinions on the matter, to us experience is what tells us when and how to make frozen Shiners usable as bait.
We continue to fish both Big Traverse and Little Traverse Bays with much success drifting with spinners. We continue to ..." Read >> Lake of the Woods Fishing Reports September 8, 2021
Before the Labor Day holiday, Lake Winnie had been my home away from home. In fact, I don’t think I fished any other lake since August 25th, when I fished with the Shouse family on Big Sandy Lake.
Fishing patterns on the big lake had been incredibly consistent. Surface water temperatures hovered around 67 degrees, many fish were stacked up along the shoreline breaks on all 4 sides of the lake, others were located on isolated rock structures and still others were holding on deep, mid-lake bars.
Variable wind conditions were the only consideration in deciding which direction to go each day. If proper speeds and depth could be maintained, trolling spinners was good as gold. Whenever trolling became problematic, jig and minnow presentations picked up the slack. But for many, jig and minnow fishing ..." Read >> Lake Winnie Fishing Update September 7, 2021
“It’s only natural that when anglers have a good fishing experience, they want to call attention to their success. So, sometimes, friends and fellow anglers get in touch to share their fishing stories with me and usually, I love it! Sometimes during the conversations though, I shrink, becoming a quiet listener who replies with your basic, “that’s nice”.
Like the recent conversation with a friend who gleefully reported catching some nice sunfish. “We caught some little ones, but some of them were good keepers, you know, those big, dark bulls that fill up your whole hand!”
This was one of those times where there wasn’t much I could say. He was so excited about catching those fish that I could not burst his bubble. How do you tell somebody that they are doing something that should be avoided, without hurting their feelings or worse, making them angry?
Well, if your me, you ..." Read >> These Things Must Be Handled Delicately September 3, 2021
Anglers have been catching quality lakers trolling deep diving crankbaits or trolling, trolling spoons with either leadcore or down riggers. Anglers have been finding them anywhere from 35-50 feet down in 40-90 feet of water. Look for schools of bait and you will find lakers!
Walleye fishing has been good to excellent for many anglers this last week. Reports continue to come in, of anglers catching nice walleyes right off their docks during the evening hours, on many area lakes. Here jigs tipped with either half a crawler or with a minnow has been most effective when fished in 10 feet of water or less. Other anglers have ..." Read >> Ely Area Fishing Report September 1, 2021
"Eric Stone wrote; "This year, we once again limited out on our perch. We keep 8-1/2 inch or bigger and bagged 40 per man. We found the perch around any clumps of vegetation in the 4 to 8 foot depth range and used small jig and minnow combinations. Our biggest was 12inches, the average was around 9 inches.
There were plenty of 10 to 13 inch walleye, we must have caught over 150 'eyes in the 10 to 13 inch range. Like every other year, we hear from locals that we will get plenty of 15 inch 'eyes next year. This seems like a laughable excuse because we come at the same time every year and always ..." Read >> Lake Winnie Report September 1, 2021
One of the main areas to fish is still deep mud. Basically 28 to 34 feet of water. Various schools of walleyes continue to move around the basin, relating to different kinds of forage.
Big walleyes eat a lot of everything, but really key in on tullibees (ciscos) who live primarily in the basin. Other forage can be perch, perch minnows, emerald shiners, blood worms, crayfish, and the list goes on.
There are various schools holding in shallower water too, over rocks or ..." Read >> Lake of the Woods Walleye Report August 31, 2021
A few days ago, I wrote that we’d been doing our best work on Winnie Walleyes whenever we used jig and minnow combinations. It’s true, we are still catching plenty of fish using my favorite, 1/8-ounce Lindy Live bait Jig tipped with fatheads. But during the past few days, there have also been situations when the Little Joe Spinners have performed better.
So, what’s the difference?
Weedline fish in shallow water have been spread out horizontally, making spinner presentations more efficient. On both Saturday and Sunday, we’ve located and caught fish that were spread out along ..." Read >> Sundin: Lake Winnie Fishing Report August 30, 2021
A report by one of the local guides included this; “The windier and cloudier the conditions are, the better walleyes bite. Last Saturday was overcast, there were 2-to-3-foot waves in the northwest corner of Winnie and the walleye action was very good. Early in the day, the average size was smaller, 10-to-13-inch fish were most common, but as the waves rolled along the shallow breaks, larger fish began showing up. Limits of 14 to 16 fish were bagged for all 3 of my fishing customers.”
After a long, hot summer, the change is welcome, and after the fish have a chance to adjust, the improvement in fishing action will be too. In fact, on select days, there has already been an uptick in walleye, crappie and pike activity. As surface temperatures decline, the improvement will be more pronounced, fish will become easier to locate and prime feeding periods will extend longer into the mid-morning and begin earlier in the evening.
An old friend, Skip Meister once told me, “A Day Without Sunshine is Like Night.” It’s too bad that he’s not with us anymore because this is the time of year he would typically have been here and this weekend, he’d have gotten a chance to say, “see, I told you.” That’s because from what I witnessed yesterday; the fish do agree with his assessment. There was already an improvement in ..." Read >> Fishing Update August 27, 2021
South wind on Friday, northwest wind on Saturday, southeast wind on Sunday, west wind on Monday and east wind on Tuesday. Yep, that’s a shifting weather pattern alright, and it tests one’s talents being adaptable to changing circumstances.
I wish I could say that over the past week, I passed every test with flying colors, but that would be stretching it. I can say though that we managed to find something to do each day, even if it wasn’t exactly what we were expecting at the beginnings of our trips.
Walleyes, generally speaking, have been tough to come by, especially ones of quality size. There are exceptions though, and when all of the elements of weather, fish location and presentation come together, they will bite. Saturday for example, was a “good walleye day”, the fish ..." Read >> Fishing Report August 25, 2021
There has been some good fishing in 25 to 29 feet of water in front of Pine Island. When the south wind blows, the Zippel Bay and Graceton Beach area have been productive as well. The fish in that region have been in the 17 to 21 foot depth range and are mainly small fish and eaters with some slots thrown in.
There are still big numbers of fish being found in ..." Read >> Lake of the Woods Fishing Reports August 24, 2021
"Surface waters that registered in the high-70-degree-range a week ago, now barely make the 73-degree mark. For a time, my Humminbird was showing 69.5-degree readings yesterday morning, but during the daytime, the surface temperatures recovered back up into the 72-73-degrees.
As far as the fish are concerned, the churning water has offered opportunity to feed, and they have been. For anglers though, staying a step ahead of the whitecaps and figuring out where there is a “workable” school of fish has made life interesting. I, for example, have made use of a wide variety of boats ramps this week, trying to launch my boat in calm water, but still within reach of some fish to catch.
Some of the smaller lakes still ..." Read >> Fishing Report August 23, 2021
Given my preference toward optimism and a strong preference for sharing good news vs bad news, it’s not been easy to dwell on the dry conditions in Minnesota. But I’m afraid that whenever I see the root-term “RESTRICT” coming from the DNR, I must at least look to see what kind of restrictions they’re proposing. So, when I saw this DNR News Release come across the wire yesterday, I had to drop everything and take a look.
Here’s the headline, along with a link to the story. “Portions of Minnesota Enter Drought Restrictive Phase”.
“The Mississippi River Headwaters watershed, the Rainy River watershed and the Red River watershed are experiencing extreme to exceptional drought that necessitates further restrictions on water use to ..." Read Full Report >> Floating the Float-Able August 19, 2021
Big minnows like pike suckers, on a jig, and jigging raps have been accounting for the majority of walleyes caught out here. Deep water trolling bite continues to also be excellent with anglers catching walleyes 20-30 feet down over 40-80 feet of water.
Smallmouth bass fishing continues to be excellent to outstanding for anglers targeting them.
Topwater remains excellent early in the mornings, very close to shore with ..." Read >> Ely MN Fishing Report August 18, 2021
"Another good walleye bite on the south end of Lake of the Woods this week. One "Go-To" summer pattern on LOW is fishing the various schools of walleyes over the miles of deep mud in the basin called Big Traverse Bay. Targeting walleyes in 30 to 34 feet of water is a good bet as there are a lot of fish roaming the basin.
Reefs are still holding some fish as well and they could be located on top, along the sides or suspended, relating to the deep mud just off of the edges over the mud.
The two primary techniques are drifting or trolling spinners with crawlers and ..." Read >> Lake of the Woods Fishing Report August 17, 2021
Reminiscent of the “glory days” on Winnie, algae blooms clouded the water, fish moved onto the shallow breaklines. Presentations varied, spinners continued to produce, so did jig-minnow combinations, slip-boobers and trolling crankbaits. As long as anglers got bait into the shallow water strike zone, they produced fish.
On Sunday, strong winds from the south blew last week’s fishing patterns out of the water, pun intended. The water column, first mixed up by last week’s strong northwest winds, was now thoroughly homogenized and temperature readings held steady at about ..." Read >> Lake Winnie Fishing Report August 16, 2021
"Color me ignorant on this one but I had no idea electric outboards were even a thing. Heck, I didn't know that electric-only fishing was a thing, that is until recently. I had heard of the famed Dixon Lake in California where Dottie, the 23-pound largemouth bass that could have broken the world record, lived. Lake Dixon doesn't allow you to bring your own boat, instead you have to rent a boat from them rigged with nothing more than a trolling motor. So essentially, that's an electric-only boat. But that's nowhere close to what "electric-only" fishing means anymore.
Apparently, electric-only fishing has been a big deal for a really long time and electric-only outboards aren't new either, with our own Jason Sealock writing a piece in 2017 featuring one of the industry's front runners in this technology, Pure Watercraft. I also recently learned that Mike Iaconelli, former Bassmaster Classic champion and arguably one of the most influential ..." Learn More >> Is Electric-Only Fishing the Next Big Thing?
The folks at Arrowhead have been sharing their fishing reports on the FishRapper for a couple of years now. So, it was fun having the chance to meet them and see their store, which by the way is very nice. They have a wide selection of lures, great looking live bait and their hours, 5:00 AM to 8:00 PM make it super-convenient for folks who need to get bait on the way to lake.
Comparing notes with Kris at Arrowhead validated the idea of a couple of lakes we had in mind to try. One of them, a lake that had stream trout in it, could offer a chance to catch our first ever open water trout. Another one appeared to have what promised to be decent populations of both ..." Read >> Sundin, ELY Area Fishing Report August 15, 2021
"Walleyes seemed to have settled in, the 10 to 15 feet of water depths, as the majority of good reports continue to from that depth range. Anglers have been having good luck trolling spinner rigs out around islands and sunken islands during the evening hours. Anglers have also been reporting good luck trolling deep diving crankbaits during the evening hours on many area lakes. Best lakes for this have been lakes with strong cisco populations.
Bass - Little has changed with the excellent bass fishing on many area lakes. Early morning topwater bite remains excellent for both smallmouth and largemouth bass. Here whopper ploppers, pop-r and torpedoes have ..." Read >> Ely Area Fishing Report August 11, 2021
"This content-rich video is an excellent watch if you're looking to get started with punching grass or advance your existing skillset. Like Seth Feider, Bassmaster Elite Series pro Bob Downey learned to bass fish on heavily vegetated lakes that required weedless presentations. Downey takes us on an ultra-thorough punching tutorial with topics ranging from finding mats and fishing them effectively to top tackle and rod setup recommendations.
Downey's 6 Tips to Grass Punching Success: Locate grass mats fast. Grass mats develop where free-floating grass collects against hard stem cover such as lily pads, cattails, bullrushes, and cane.
Consider prevailing winds, the densest mats will ..." View Video to Learn More >> Punching Matted Grass for Bass | 6 Key Tips - Beginner to Expert
"QUESTION TWO: Is targeting the weedline my best bet on lakes that are inhabited by zebra mussels? We seem to have less and less luck on a yearly basis when targeting walleyes on the humps of that lake. The northern pike are still crazy on this lake and you can catch a boatload of them on any given day and that still gives us some fun and enough fish to fry for the week. Thanks! Ron Hansen
A) Fish are flexible and will typically work with whatever Mother Nature dishes out. If they can go to deeper water, they will, but the lake has to have desirable temperatures, oxygen levels and food sources for the deep water lifestyle to work. So, in many cases, weeds do wind up being the best game in town for walleyes on Zebra Mussel infested lakes. The only way to figure it out is through ..." Read Q&A >> Where to Find Fish on Zebra Mussel Infested Lakes August 8, 2021
Nathan Rusinack wrote; Q) “I'm heading up to Lake Winnie on Sunday morning for the week. Thought I'd ask you for any fishing advice or reporting. I'm hoping to target walleyes. I've been going to lake Winnie with my whole family for about 40 years now. I have a good feel for the lake but any advice ahead of time would be greatly appreciated!
A) Fishing reports from Winnie, especially daytime ones, are less than stellar right now. Elite anglers who are “in the know” are catching some walleyes during the day on ..." Read Q&A >> What's the Word on Lake Winnie? August 8, 2021
"Your July report, “A Sucker Born Every Minute” was spot on because getting the right fish to bite was nearly impossible at the time. We probably caught more fish in that single week than I had ever caught in one trip. It is really sad that zebra mussels have been found in this lake.
QUESTION ONE: When fish are biting like this what size leeches should I buy when targeting walleyes? We ended buying panfish leeches after debating whether to buy large leeches. We did catch some of the nicest ..." Read Q&A >> What Size Leeches For Trolling Spinners? August 8, 2021
It all seems a little “fuzzy”, I mean the “crappie” way some of my days have gone lately. One of the summer patterns I really love is taking hold and helping to round out the mix of fish on some of my favorite mixed-bag lakes.
Deep patches of Flat Stemmed Pondweed, a grass that occurs in numerous lakes around the Itasca Region, attracts and holds good numbers of crappie and lately, the pattern is becoming more reliable by the day. As soon as you connect the dots and learn to recognize it on your electronics, pondweed varieties will begin making you a more productive crappie angler.
In past reports, you’ve heard me refer to some weeds as “fuzzy stuff”, that’s because they appear as fine clouds of wispy, thin lines on the screen of my Humminbird. In some ways, they remind me of ..." Read >> Fishing Report August 6, 2021
"Walleyes seem to have slid out a little deeper this last week. Best reports continue to be fairly shallow for this time of the year. 10-13 feet of water has been where the best and most consistent bite has been.
Anglers catching walleyes here have been doing so with spinner rigs, jigs tipped with leech or crawler and even slip bobber and a leech.
Anglers looking for trophy walleyes have been trolling deep diving crankbaits during the evening hours, 20-30 feet down, over 35-70 feet of water.
Bass anglers continue to report excellent bass fishing on ..." Read >> Ely Area Fishing Report August 4, 2021
"After what seemed like an endless period of calm, stable weather, fish were easy to figure out and easy to catch. Most of the better guides and elite anglers that I know were routinely catching limits of walleyes for their customers and guests. That period of stability ended last week when a string of heavy storms blew through the area, disrupting the status quo.
This means that looking for an easy, “Hot Bite” for walleyes has become trickier over the past week or so. I’d say trickier, but not impossible, because every lake I’ve fished this week eventually provides some highlights. The trick, if you want to call it that, is that we just have to just keep fishing.
Yesterday, on Bowstring Lake was a great example of what I mean. Walleye fishing actually started out pretty well, nice size fish were located on ..." Read >> Deer River Area Fishing Reports August 4, 2021
Big Traverse and Little Traverse have schools of Walleye from 28 to 31 feet of water. There have been many large Walleye caught and released this past week. Having a fresh catch of the day meal and limits of take-home fish has not been a problem for those fishing multiple days.
Smoke in the air, yes, there are many fires on the Canadian side of the Border. If you go to our website and watch the web cam you can see the action on the docks and river, as well as how the smoke is hovering from day to day.
At Border View Lodge we like having as many options in our tackle box as possible. This gives us the opportunity to ..." Read >> Lake of the Woods Fishing Reports August 3, 2021
"On Saturday, it began feeling more like a normal summer again as the "Camp Hastings" crew began arriving back in town. Fishing with the advance crew, Rick and Mike, we got a good head start on gathering fish for the annual fish fry that we'll have later this week.
The recipe for our fishing day was really a simple one. Ingredients: 1 small lake, 1 mixed population of walleye, panfish and pike, 1 weedline, 3 Little Joe Spinners, 1/2 pint fathead minows.
Instructions, using an outboard engine powered boat, troll the ..." >> Fishing Report August 1, 2021
After a few days without electricity, I finally have access to my computers, along with 3 days’ worth of email questions, account notifications and “special offers, just for me.”
Truthfully, the sensation of disconnected-ness has been somewhat dis-heartening this week, I guess because our expectations had changed since we moved into town. We had been relieved since leaving the “country life”, where getting hit by damaging storms, power outages and muddy roads ..." Read >> Fishing Report July 30, 2021
"The urge to explore new fisheries eventually yields incredible fishing. Wired2fish's McKeon "Keys" Roberts found himself a "gem" by doing some late-night map reconnaissance and taking his kayak out on a bass fishing mission on an abandoned iron ore mine.
Going light while remaining fully equipped allows Roberts to find fish on new water quickly. For this mission, he prepares his kayak and a handful of proven tactics and lures. Ultra-realistic Ned crawfish and creature bait plastics prove highly effective in the gin-clear water.
A little background. Once upon a World War II, American had an unquenchable thirst for steel, and a mining industry was born. Many deep open-pit mines eventually ..." View Video and Lern More >> Bass Fishing an Abandoned Mine Pit Ultra Clear Water Tactics
On one hand, a 2-day break from the heat wave was nice! On the other hand, the cooler weather sent a signal that the warm water, stable weather fishing patterns we were enjoying, never last forever. Being prepared for changes should be in the back of our minds as we roll into August.
On Wednesday, the surface water temperature under my Alaskan was 73 degrees, a full 7 degree drop from the water temperature reading delivered at the same spot last Monday. What started as a cool breeze from the Southeast turned into a full blown wind by mid-morning and controlling both boat speed and direction on small, intricate, mid-lake humps and bars became “tricky” to say the least.
My goal had been to deliver Lindy Rigged night crawlers to neutral minded walleyes by hugging every nook and cranny of ..." Read >> Report July 22, 2021 A Break From The Heat Wave Changes Fishing Patterns
After we wrapped up our fishing day and returned to William’s Narrows Resort, host location for the Daikin Fish-A-Roo, a few of us guides were together in the fish cleaning station. You know the drill, we were all chatting where we went, about how the day went and how the fish were biting.
During a pause, my long-time friend and fellow veteran guide Jeff (Cubby) Skelly looked at me and said; “You know, fishing really has been pretty good this summer.”
Truthfully, that single sentence would be enough information to complete today’s report right now.
Stable weather and warm water temperatures have induced many fish to enter sort of a semi-permanent state of “hungriness.” If we can get the right bait in front of them, then there’s a better than average chance that we can get them to ..." Read Report >> "Fishing Really Is Pretty Good July 21, 2021"
"Walleye fishing remained steady this last week. Anglers continue to find walleyes fairly shallow, 10 feet of water or less, in most area lakes. Here anglers are either finding walleyes on shallow boulder flats with night crawlers or on shallow weedlines with leeches. There are a handful of lakes where anglers have been catching big walleyes out on sunken islands in 20 to 25 feet of water, with jigging raps, during the evening hours.
Smallmouth Bass fishing remains excellent on many area lakes, as the shallow water, early morning, topwater bite continues to be excellent for many anglers. Here, whopper ploppers, pop-r’s and torpedoes have been hard to beat.
As the sun gets up, the topwater bite cools off, so anglers ..." Read >> Ely Area Fishing Report July 21, 2021
Steady as she goes, that’s the best way to describe the first two days of unofficial Texas only version of Daikin’s “Fish-A-Roo. Fish are coming into all of the guide’s boats and the crew, after 2 days of fishing, are getting close to amassing 6 fish limits of walleye for each guest take back home on Wednesday morning.
When you get 8 or 9 of the better fishing guides together for an event like this, there are usually a couple of them who get into fishing that is “above average”. I think that so far this year, we’re all doing well, but nobody has broken new ground with a surprise hot spot.
On Sunday, day 1 of the event, most of us played it safe and headed for ..." Read >> Bowstring Lake, Fish-A-Roo, and More July 20, 2021
"There are a lot of summer walleyes are being caught and fishing has been good on the south end of Lake of the Woods. Not all of the walleyes are targeting the same forage and consequently, walleyes are being caught everywhere from shallow water to deep.
Many of the shallow fish are eating crayfish or chasing schools of baitfish. Fish found in deeper water feeding on baitfish, mayfly larvae, blood worms, tullibees and the list goes on!
Most anglers are targeting walleyes in 30 to 34 feet of water over the deep mud. There are scattered reefs too, which can always hold fish as well. Spinners and crawlers have been very effective. Hammered gold, orange, and ..." Read >> Lake of the Woods Fishing Report July 20, 2021
“Surface water temperatures on Cutfoot Sioux Lake are warm, ranging from 77 to 81 degrees, depending on the breeze. Algae blooms, triggered by weeks of warm, sunny weather are helping to darken the clear water and lush vegetation provides shade for fish in the shallows. When you combine these ingredients, along with shoreline trolling patterns, you can count on an action bite that leads to a mixed catch of walleye, crappie, sunfish, perch, and northern pike.
Die hard” anglers can still catch fish under the warm sunshine, but most folks can get all the action they need by making short morning and evening fishing excursions. For many, midday is a time better spent on the beach, or playing on the lake with family and friends.
The grass lines in Cutfoot are green and they are thick, mostly growing out to depths of 8 to 10 feet of water. Some vegetation, depending on which type, may grow a little deeper than that, coontail for example, can be found in water depths of 16 to 20 feet. Those deeper patches of coontail should be explored for crappies, while the shallower stands of grass will hold more variety. For walleye, sunfish and pike ..." Read >> Bowen Lodge Lake Winnie Report July 19, 2021
Starting today, the ship hits the sand as an un-official, reduced scale version of Daikin’s annual Fish-A-Roo begins. Knowing that it would be a busy week, I scheduled myself off yesterday (Saturday) so that I could spend the day with the Hippie Chick; naturally, we went fishing.
Saturday, I wanted to take Susan someplace where we could catch a few fish early, and still get back home in time to putts around the house a little bit too. I have not fished Bowstring much this summer, but I’ve known that folks have been doing fairly well out there and earlier this week, I checked it out to be sure that she’d have a chance at catching a few fish without having to work hard at it. So, we got up early, drove up the dusty road leading to the south access and got the boat launched before 7:00 AM.
Compared to the traffic reports I’d heard from folks who have fished there more this summer, the Saturday crowd ..." Read >> Sundin Fishing Report July 18, 2021
That said, conditions dictate, and a few basic settings tweaks will help you produce the best readout for the situation. Jeff "Kolo" Kolodzinski shares his top 6 tips for getting the best fish finder readout for the conditions.
Mount your transducer correctly. Install transducers in a location that ..." View Video and Learn More >> Top 6 Tips for Getting the Best Fish Finder Sonar Readouts
Instinctively, we want to believe that when the weather gets hot, fish go deep. On the surface, it makes sense, why wouldn’t a fish want to beat the warm temperatures by diving deeper in cooler water? Well maybe in some lakes it’s because there isn’t any air down there and they have to choose between being too warm and not being able to breathe.
Heat stress, for lack of a better term, is a common theme among the lakes I’ve fished recently. I’m seeing early indicators that some lakes are forming hard thermoclines and on them, fish are moving away from the deep water in favor of more oxygen rich, shallow habitat.
Over the past week or so, I’ve fished on Winnie, Cutfoot Sioux, Bowstring, Big Sandy and others. On every one of them, the fish that I have located and caught were in shallower water than most folks would have anticipated. In fact, the most common “magic depth” has ..." Read >> North Central Minnesota Fishing Report July 16, 2021
Leech under a bobber was the best technique here. Anglers found nice walleyes here in 4 to 6 feet of water. Best colors continue to be orange, chartreuse and gold.
Smallmouth bass fishing continues to be excellent on many area lakes. Anglers have been reporting that Bass have been spitting up crawfish as they bring them in, so anglers should be fishing soft plastics that look similar to crawfish. Topwater bite continues to ..." Read >> Ely Area Fishing Report July 14, 2021
“There’s a sucker born every minute”, P.T. Barnum Said. But even with all those suckers in the world, walleye anglers don’t see them all that often; until the water temperatures reach mid-summer peaks. Surface temperatures temporarily reached above 80 degrees on Monday before an afternoon breeze churned the surface. After the re-mix, my Humminbird showed readings of 77 to 78 degrees in exposed areas.
The accompanying photo shows that even slow-moving suckers will strike a Little Joe Spinner when their metabolic rate races. It also serves as a reminder about what I mentioned on Sunday, the warm water has activated fish of every shape and size!
On the surface, pun intended, many would perceive this news as good, who wouldn’t want to fish on a lake when every fish in the system is on the move and biting? And for the most part, I agree, it is a lot more fun to ..." Read >> Fishing Report July 13, 2021
"Another really good week of summer walleye fishing on the south end of Lake of the Woods. Walleyes are being found in many areas but most anglers are targeting deep mud in 30 to 34 feet of water.
Folks are catching a nice mix of eaters, fish in the protected slot and also quite a few trophy walleyes over 28 inches this week too. Using spinners with night crawlers or leeches has worked well, so has trolling crankbaits; these have been the 2 most effective techniques.
Good spinner blade colors to start with are hammered gold, red/white, gold/glow, pink, orange or chartreuse. Crankbait colors, pink UV firetiger, chrome/blue, firetiger. It is good to start with ..." Read >> Lake of the Woods Fishing Report July 13, 2021
On Friday I wrote, “I can honestly say that if you have a list of lakes that you’ve always wanted to try, this is the time to do it. The advice is doubly true if the lakes you’re interested in lakes affording opportunities for multiple species, if there is ever a time that you can go to a lake knowing that something will be biting, it is now.”
On Saturday, We weren’t under any pressure to catch walleyes, 2 limits of those were already packed and frozen for the trip home. Wanting to be sure that Jay and Adam had some good action to finish off their weekend fishing trip, I decided to take a chance on a lake that I hadn’t fished for a couple of years. If it worked out, we’d catch a mixed bag of pike, bass, sunfish and maybe even some crappies.
When we arrived at the lake, the parking lot was almost full, by the time we had the Alaskan floating, there was 1 spot left for my truck. I guess I wasn’t the only one that ..." Read >> Fishing Report July 11, 2021
With the arrival of clear water caused by Zebra Mussels, fish, especially walleyes have become more “boat shy” than they used to be. They can still be caught, but sometimes driving the boat over them will force them to move before an anglers lure can get in front of them. Positioning your boat within casting distance, but not directly overhead will allow you to present a lure to the fish before they are alerted to your presence and therefore less prone to strike.
Locating structure is the key, cabbage patches, rock piles and sharp, well-defined points make good targets. Remember, you want your lure to ..." Read >> Bowen Lodge Lake Winnie Report July 8, 2021
I imagine that there are more than a few anglers in the Itasca Region who are enjoying some really good fishing and hope not to let the word slip out about their favorite fishing holes. It wouldn’t surprise me to learn that they think the great luck they’re having is because they know about a secret spot, the only place in the county where the fish are biting.
If you happen to be one of them, let me reassure you. Nobody is going to blab about your secret spot, because they are already busy trying to keep a lid on the news about their secret spot. That’s right, there are so many good bites going on right now that anglers can pick and choose where they want to go and how they want to fish. Just yesterday, I talked with friends fishing in the region.
On 1 lake, I received a good fishing report about walleyes on mid-lake structure, caught using Lindy Rigs and live bait. Another one was about great walleye action pitching jigs on ..." Read >> Fishing Report July 9, 2021
"Walleye: Many anglers struggled finding walleyes this last week, but several groups had no issue, not only catching good numbers, but catching several trophy walleye’s. These groups found walleyes in 7-12 feet of water, over large boulder flats, very early in the morning.
Leeches and crawlers, fished on a spinner rig or tipped on a jig, was very effective. Orange, gold and chartreuse have been hot colors this last week. Trolling bite has started on several lakes. This has largely been a evening bite where anglers are using a deep diving crankbaits trolled over deep water, during the evening hours.
Smallmouth Bass fishing has remained excellent for bass anglers this last week. Topwater and soft plastics continue to ..." Read >> Ely Area Fishing Report July 8, 2021
Like most American’s, the Independence Day provides me with incentive to take a couple days off. And if the ordinary festivities aren’t incentive enough, my daughter, Annalee’s 4th of July birthday adds the extra boost that it takes to get me to take time away from work to smell the roses.
I always think of this as the warmest period of the summer and the recent heat wave certainly has not discouraged that belief. I don’t think that it’s been any hotter than past years, but it feels like maybe it’s been hotter longer, so we’re more tired of it.
Either way, in a typical season, we’d have done more family fishing than we did last weekend, but none of us were overly concerned about maximizing boat time in the middle of a heat wave. So, except for a guide trip last Friday and a quick family trip on Sunday morning, I ..." Read >> Fishing Report July 6, 2021
"With more hot weather bearing down on us, the epicenter of Kabetogama’s Independence Day weekend may well be the ice cream section at the store; at least during mid-day. That’s when folks will want to cool off in the air conditioning, in-between early morning and late evening fishing sessions on the lake.
Beating the heat, for many, conjures up notions of walleye that move into super deep water to avoid sunshine and warm temperatures. In some cases, fish do that, but we want to remind you that vegetation can be equally inviting to a fish.
Think about the last time you drove through the country and spotted a large grassy field. The sun beat down on the wide-open territory and the last thing you wanted to do was to go stand in the middle of it. But that shady spot under the grove of trees was more inviting, it may have even ..." Read >> Kabetogama Report July 1, 2021
Like us after eating a huge meal, walleyes that gorged on mayfly larvae act like they don’t need to go anywhere or do anything. It’s not unusual to have 1 big mayfly hatch, but this year there have been 2 of them and they were both big ones. Because they are so full, they show little interest in moving much, they have sat tight all week long. and
In one sense that is good, we have been able to predict that whenever we find walleyes, they will stay there for a while. Another benefit is that all those larvae help fuel the fish’ growth rates, Winnie walleyes, with an already fast growth rate, are plumping up fast and it is getting easier to ..." Read >> Lake Winnibigoshish Fishing Report June 30, 2021
Pike for eating are typically not a problem, especially these days when the DNR wants us to be proud of little ones. Crappies on the other hand, can be problematic when bright sunshine and calm seas are in the forecast. Still, that was my work assignment, so I rolled up my sleeves and put on my thinking cap.
As I mentioned in the June 27, 2021, walleye report, one remedy for sunny mid-summer days is dark water. One lake I know has root beer colored water and at the time of my most recent visit, also had a nice population of “eating size” crappies. That seemed to be as good an option as any, so we ..." Read >> Fishing The Fuzzy-Stuff For Crappies, and Whatever Else Comes Along
"It's been another great week of walleye fishing on the south end of Lake of the Woods. Some areas of the lake are experiencing a mayfly hatch, along with other, less identifyable bug hatches. This can be a good time to fish spinners with crawlers, leeches or minnows.
A two ounce bottom bouncer with a two hook harness and a crawler is tough to beat. Drifting the mud flats where walleyes are living is an effective strategy in 25 to 33 feet of water.
As fish can be scattered across big mud basins, covering water by drifting crawler harnesses and trolling crankbaits is effective. Good colors this week were ..." Read >> Lake of the Woods Fishing Reports June 21, 2021
There are 2 remedies for slow walleye fishing on calm, sunny mid-summer days. The first is to look for lakes with brown, tannin-stained water, root beer colored water provides protection from the sunshine and encourages walleyes to be more active.
The 2nd remedy is to search out lakes with the greenest, gooiest, algae-filled water you can find. Obviously, the lake has to first have a decent walleye population. But if it does, you’ll know that you’re on the right track when you arrive at the landing and 1 or more of your fishing partners says; “Ewww!”
Unless you’re new to these pages, you’ll likely recall that I’ve written about the ewwwy-gooey algae bloom pattern before, so I won’t make an extensive story about that, it isn’t the point today.
The point today is that the ewwwy-gooey pattern is working right now and ..." Read Report >> ewwwy-gooey algae bloom walleye pattern June 27, 2021
"The walleye fishing took a small hit this week. The cold front early in the week affected the bite and the mayfly hatch that followed did, as well. Fish were still being caught if you were persistent.
Using your electronics to locate the fish and having an arsenal of baits to entice them would eventually pay off. Most of the fish were coming from the ..." Read >> Lake Winnie Fishing Update June 27, 2021
"Walleye fishing remains challenging as mayflies continue to hatch on area lakes. Angler success has more to do with where the mayfly hatch is on that lake. On lakes where the hatch is still going strong, anglers have been struggling to catch a few with spinner rigs tipped with crawlers or a leech. Lakes where the hatch is wrapping up, anglers are reporting a improving walleye bite and even limits being caught. Anglers have ..." Read >> Ely Area Fishing Report June 24, 2021
Catching walleyes was not impossible on Thursday, but calm seas and bright skies did make catching them tricky, especially on lakes with clear water. That wasn’t any surprise, or at least shouldn’t have been to me, I’ve been dealing with weather conditions like these for a long time.
What does surprise me though, is my ability to fall into the same trap over and over again. I call it the "follow the leader trap". Stay with me on this because I’ll bet that something similar has happened to you. A good friend mentions a lake where the fish are biting, they were just there yesterday, and the bite was really good. Immediately, all other plans are put on hold and Lake Wishiknewit becomes the new destination.
So far, so good, we all follow our friends to lakes where the fishing has been good. This is not the trap, more often than not, we get there and find out that our buddy was right, the fish are biting and we ..." Read >> Fishing Report June 25, 2021
The mid-summer, mixed bag fishing pattern has begun to overshadow “pure walleye” fishing trips. Not those walleyes aren’t biting, they are, but for many of the folks who fish with me at this time of year, action trumps selectivity. For them, catching a handful of everything is better than catching 6 or 4 whitetails.
Crappie, a fish that’s known for its crepuscular feeding habits during early summer, begin getting active whenever deep weeds begin maturing and now, they are. On Monday, Fritz and Penny Becker, as you can see in the accompanying photo, were with me for the first good crappie bite of the summer. Holding over the tops of wild celery plants, they were more than willing to strike during mid-day.
On that same trip, there were also a handful of nice walleyes that ..." Read >> Bemidji Area Fishing Report June 24, 2021
"Most everyone agrees that the recent spell of hot weather was too hot for human comfort! But we do have to admit that the stability it provided was great for both Winnie and Cutfoot, not only in terms of fishing success, but also as it relates to fish growth over the long term.
In terms of fishing, massive hatches of Mayflies occurred as the water warmed and walleyes responded by moving toward expansive, semi-soft bottom flats. It’s not uncommon to hear about folks catching walleye in what appears to be “structureless” territory. Random schools of fish, some large and some small, roam the flats gobbling up Mayfly larvae before they can reach the lakes surface and emerge as adults.
On Winnie, the key water depth in many of these areas runs from ..." Read >> Bowen Lodge Lake Winnie Report June 23, 2021
Most walleyes in 25 to 33 feet of water. Fish are starting to be scattered across big mud basins. If you find a good school, anchoring up with a jig and frozen shiner can catch fish quickly. Otherwise, drifting crawler harnesses effective and covers water.
Good colors this week were gold, orange and chartreuse.
Covering water trolling crankbaits was effective this week. Get lures down to where the walleyes are living using lead core line, downriggers or ..." Read >> Lake of the Woods Fishing Report June 23, 2021
The lake I went to on Sunday is small, and by Grand Rapids standards, so are the fish. In fact, the lake has a reputation for churning out tons of crappies, but not many of them ever stretch out to the 10-inch mark. I hadn’t fished there for a long time, maybe 10 years, but I figured it was worth a try because if it was anything like the last time, I’d be busy taking crappies off the hook all morning long.
At the landing, the surface water was 71 degrees, warmer than I expected after the recent cool front. I used my outboard to motor out of the shallow water at the ramp, but when I arrived at the drop off and saw fish on my Humminbird, I turned the out off and put the Terrova in the water and used only that for the rest of the fishing trip.
That first school of fish ... Read >> Scrounging the Scrounge-Able June 21, 2021
A cold front provided a much-needed break from the recent heat wave on Friday evening. In isolated areas, it arrived in the form of thunderstorms, not severe ones, but somewhat disruptive in terms of fishing action. I used the term “somewhat disruptive” because metaphorically, it did not compare to a crash that totaled out a car, instead it amounted to more of a fender bender.
The fender that got bent was Bowstring, the first lake I tried on Saturday morning. I was optimistic at almost every spot, fish appeared on the screen often. But despite a good start early in the trip, walleyes that I spotted on my Humminbird were stubborn, biting occasionally, but without much enthusiasm. Occasionally, somebody we would see somebody land a fish and that gave me the idea that the bite would improve, but by mid-trip, I ran out of patience and decided to make a move.
Knowing full well that I’d have to settle for smaller fish, I ..." Read >> Compensating for the Compensate-Able June 20, 2021
Fish love stability and the weather in the Deer River region has been as stable as it gets! With surface temperatures holding steady in the mid-70s, we have seen fish of all species get active. Last week our guests were catching everything from rock bass to walleyes.
Two trends for walleye anglers to watch have been walleyes moving shallower and changing their feeding preferences.
Many of the well-known, early season hot spots were located on steep breaklines in 28 to 32 feet of water. But insect hatches are in full swing now and the larvae, soon to emerge as adults are attracting fish. Most of those deep-water fish have moved away from the steep breaks in favor of ..." Read >> Lake Winnibigoshish Fishing Report June 18, 2021
There are some days when lengthy fishing reports are just not required. As you can see by the photo collage, Eldon Skoglund was here with his grand kids Finn (left) and Mica (right). Somehow their dad Sean got left out of the photos, but I'm fairly sure that he'd agree that this trip, as it should be, was really all about the kids.
When water temperatures reach into the mid-70s, fish metabolism is high and barring major weather changes, there is almost no way to stop them from feeding. So at this time of year, this is one magic fishing trick that you definitely can do at home, with your own kids, click here for the recipe >> Mixing The Mix-Able June 19, 2021
Sometimes people ask me about wiggle worming and wonder why I do that instead of just using Lindy Rigs tipped with night crawlers. If the walleyes are eating worms, why wouldn’t they eat them using either presentation?
The answer is yes, if worms are the hot bait, then theoretically, it should not matter which fish hook you pin it to, it should work. BUT … The problem is not with the fish, or their appetites, the trick is figuring out the best way to work with the habitat. When the goal is to get bait in front of a fish, but sinkers are constantly snagging on rocks, or the bait gets lost in the weeds, then efficiency is lost. There may still be some fish caught, but sometimes it takes more work to produce less fish.
On Wednesday, I took my crew, including Larry Lahley (pictured left top), who coined the phrase "Wiggle Worming" in the first place, to ..." Read >> June 17, 2021
I’m not exactly flush for time this morning, lots of paperwork and a few repairs to catch up on before work. But I did want to give you a quick heads up about the changing feeding preferences of walleyes we’ve caught recently.
Last week I wrote that we were beginning to use wiggle worming as an alternative to jig and minnow presentations. For a time, the 2 presentations could be interchanged, we used whichever one best suited the weather conditions at the time. Over the past few days, our catch rate using night crawlers have consistently outpaced that of the ..." Read >> Sundin Fishing Update June 16, 2021
Anglers having the best luck have been pulling lindy rigs, tipped with a leech or crawler or using a slip bobber and a leech during the early morning and evening hours.
Many of the anglers using lindy rigs reported marking good numbers of fish, but often failed to catch more then one from any school of walleyes. These successful anglers stayed on the move to stay successful. Key depths was 12-14 feet of water during the day and 6 feet of water or less during the early morning or evening.
Smallmouth bass fishing continues to be excellent for bass anglers. Smallmouth Bass are either on their beds now or have ..." Read >> Ely Area Fishing Report June 16, 2021
"There has been some good walleye fishing on the south end of Lake of the Woods this week. As many summer weeks, it was helpful to be versatile. On the big lake, sometimes you have to play the wind, meaning, you have to be flexible where you fish.
The fish were there, resulting in some great catches this week. Most anglers are fishing in 25 to 33 feet of water. Some are still jigging, using frozen shiners and leeches; both good this week. With water temperatures in the mid to upper 60s, leeches and crawlers will heat up.
Spinners (otherwise called harnesses) with minnows, leeches or crawlers were all effective this week. It is good to mix up colors and bait until you ..." Read >> Lake of the Woods Fishing Report June 15, 2021
Walleyes, the most popular fish for Bowen Lodge guests have moved into 3 key areas. Shoreline related bars that extend out into the lakes deep water basin, sprawling mid-depth flats and shallow water structure like weed beds. In the past week alone, we have heard reports of walleyes being caught in depths ranging from 6 to 26 feet, depending on the type of structures where walleyes have been located.
On the bars, active walleyes ..." Read >> Bowen Lodge Lake Winnie Report June 14, 2021
Nobody can cover every spot, from every angle of any lake in a single day; that’s the truth. But there are certain days when not catching fish is simply our own fault; days when human error is the blame.
Most folks would never admit it, but sometimes, the reason they don’t catch fish is that they are “too smart”. But I will, because I’ve done it, and I’ve learned some painful-but-valuable lessons because of it. Painful because looking at myself in the mirror after letting a customer down by being “too smart for my own good” really sucks. It’s often the result of not remembering to ..." Read >> Sundin Fishing Report June 13, 2021
"Walleye fishing has dominated the fishing scene at the resort this past week. Guests have found fish along the shoreline breaklines in 20 to 30 feet of water. Jigs and minnows, Lindy Rigs with leeches and worms have been the most productive presentation. Fishing with the jigs and minnows increases the chances of catching both northern pike and perch.
Northern fishing has picked up on artificial baits. You can troll, cast, or ..." Read >> More Lake Winnie Fishing Reports June 13, 2021
Anglers are finding fish in relatively shallow water compared to areas where they were being targeted earlier this season. Either fish have become happier in shallower water recently, or else anglers are just now finding fish that were overlooked earlier because the deep-water bite was getting all the attention.
There are a few theories, but it could be in part, that water clarity is beginning to decline. Water conditions are still clearer than they were in 2020, but as water temperatures have risen into the mid-70s, algae blooms have developed and that has added some color to the water in Winnibigoshish.
Another theory is that some of these fish have moved onto the lake’s expansive flats, feeding on minnows as they retreat from the shorelines. It seems that now, every weed bed, every rock pile and every dip on the sand flats have large schools of ..." Read >> Lake Winnibigoshish Fishing Report June 11, 2021
"Walleye fishing slowed way down as the record heat wave moved in. Anglers fishing during the day really struggled to find active walleyes. Early risers and night owls often reported a very different story. Both of these angler groups reported similar locations, techniques and times to be out for success.
Early risers often caught walleyes in 6 feet of water or less, using a slip bobber and a leech. Often times right off their docks or campsite, before 8am. Night owls also reported catching walleye shallow, in 6 feet of water or less, with slip bobber and a leech or search baits (paddle tails or minnow baits), but this time after 8pm.
Smallmouth bass are either building spawning beds, spawning or have wrapped spawning, depending on what lake your on. Regardless of where they are with the spawn, they are shallow and very easy to ..." Read >> Ely MN Fishing Report June 9, 2021
The best way to report about Upper Red Lake this morning is to say that it was “okay” yesterday and that I think it will be “more okay” when the weather settles back down.
Early Tuesday, during the wee hours of morning, there was a line of strong thunderstorms rolling through the north central Minnesota. Checking the weather forecast and seeing calm seas and sunshine in the forecast, I reasoned that my best bet was to head for Red Lake. Based on our good fishing experience up there last weekend, I guessed that even if the fishing was affected by the storms, we’d still be able to scrounge out some walleyes.
That was exactly how the day turned out, 4 people fishing, 4 limits caught, 12th fish dropped in to ..." Read >> Upper Red Lake Fishing Update June 9, 2021
Recapping the last few days boils down to this. When the clouds move in and the wind picks up, the fishing action is great! When the wind stops blowing and the sun beats down on the water, the fishing gets tricky.
I used the word “tricky” because fish can still be caught in the bright conditions but catching them take both creativity and determination. Knowing a lot of fishing spots doesn’t hurt either, moving frequently and picking off a fish or two at each stop is a good idea right now. One of my fishing guide buddies added to that thought yesterday.
In a discussion about Lake Winnie, he said; “When I see a school of fish on my graph, we stop, drop in our jigs and ..." Read >> Sundin Fishing Report June 8, 2021
"Walleyes were active on the south end of Lake of the Woods this week. Some warm weather hit the north country and the fish responded nicely. Jigging with a live fathead minnow or frozen shiner vertically jigged or drifting spinners with a minnow or crawler in 15 to 29 feet of water has been the ticket for most walleye anglers.
Snelled spinners or night crawler harnesses work well all summer and into the fall. These are also a really good way to cover water while searching for fish. They are also versatile as they can be fished shallow to deep. 1.0 to 1.25 mph is a good speed, as long as the spinner is spinning.
Reliable colors to start out with are hammered gold, either by itself or with another color, pink, glow red, orange and chartreuse. Are also all good colors in the stained waters. Trolling crankbaits is gaining steam with ..." Read >> Lake of the Woods Fishing Report June 8, 2021
"Lakes, like people, are individuals and one of Kabetogama’s "individualisms" can best be described by saying “she is an early riser”. For what it’s worth, there are many days when Kabetogama’s walleye like to nap during the daytime.
We always have preferred fishing during early morning and late evening, fishing customers and friends who read our reports frequently already know that. But this week we are doubling down on our appreciation for fishing during the twilight hours! The lake conditions have been sunny, calm and HOT, forcing daytime anglers to scrounge around more to capture fewer fish.
The best advice that our guides Kent and Kolby have offered is to keep moving and contacting “new fish”. There are times when anglers locate a school of fish, catch a few of them and then ..." Read >> Lake Kabetogama Fishing Report June 7, 2021
"The walleye fishing has been very good despite the hot calm conditions. The fish are starting to migrate toward the summer haunts, with most of the fish being caught deeper than 20 feet of water.
Jigs and shiners continue to be the bait of choice. Other minnows are doing well, too. Fatheads and small suckers are starting to do the job as the shiners become more scarce. Leeches and crawlers are starting to do the job on jigs, live bait rigs, and spinners. Some low level light conditions are seeing crankbaits catch ..." Read >> Lake Winnie Report June 7, 2021
"We’ve been working Little Traverse Bay all week with good results. Floating with jigs has been bringing in a lot of nice fish. Plain hammered gold and chartreuse with hammered gold has been working really well. We saw some blistering hot days this last week in the mid-90s, just a week after getting some freezing temps and snow.
The forecast for the coming week is mid-80s with chance of thunderstorms almost every day. If you plan on coming up, bring your rain gear just in case. Winds are supposed to be in the teens with possible gusts into the 20mph range.
Stay safe and hope to see everyone soon!" — 1-800-776-3474 Border View Lodge
Over the past few days, surface water temperatures have been shooting up into the high 70- degree-range. In fact, on Saturday, the water on Winnie, out front of our resort reached above 79 degrees, nearly passing 80 during the late afternoon. Algae blooms are increasing, water clarity is decreasing and thanks to that, fish are finding their way into shallower water.
The benefit to our guests is that walleye are becoming easier to catch during bright conditions without having to ..." Read >> Bowen Lodge Lake Winnie Report June 6, 2021
Mostly, I can do whatever I want whenever Fun with Dick and Paul is in session. Still, there are a couple of assumptions that I make before every fishing trip. One of them, maybe the most important, is that the boys do expect to bring home their limits of walleyes.
Gathering 6 walleyes each isn’t a lot to expect for a 5-day fishing trip, but it does tend to focus my attention on visiting at least 1 “walleye-or-die” fishing lake each season.
Upper Red Lake has provided a day like that more than once, and it did again yesterday (Friday 6-4). Typically, I would have already fished Red Lake a time or two, by this point in the season. This year I hadn’t though, cold, turbulent weather kept me away earlier this year and then my schedule shifted focus toward other lakes that were closer to home. If it weren’t for a heads up from a great friend, I may still not have ..." Read >> Upper Red Lake Fishing Report June 5, 2021
Day 2 of “Fun with Dick and Paul 2021”, took place right here in Grand Rapids. Like I said yesterday, cloud clover and a breeze gave me the only excuse for trying one of my neighborhood’s clear water lakes that I was going to get before the heat wave strikes. Near as I can tell, we were a little bit early for some fish, and a little bit late for other fish.
One of the primary intended goals was to fish for crappies, so that’s what we tried first. Although there was some dispute about crappie location at the bait shop, weed flats containing cabbage weeds would be our best bet, I thought. We made our first stop on a wide patch of cabbage and cast 1/16-ounce jigs tipped with action tails. There were some pike, some largemouth bass and a few perch in the weeds, but no crappies that we could find.
Maybe Andy was right, maybe there were crappies in the shallow spawning beds? We checked that theory out by stopping..." Read >> Grand Rapids Fishing Report June 4, 2021
"Fishing isolated bars surrounded by flat terrain with a soft bottom was the general rule for finding fish. Not all the bars held fish yet and the ones that did, hosted only a few fish each. But, if we kept moving and fishing, we had enough action to call it a good day.
As far as presentation was concerned, our Lindy Live Bait Jigs tipped with shiners worked fine. But I’ve gotten the heads up from 4 bait shops already that the shiner supply will be exhausted soon. So, to test the alternatives, we rigged up the Little Joes and took them for a spin along the weed edges. Pike responded to them, but on Wednesday, we did not pick up any walleye, perch, or crappie.
We’ll be using Lindy Rigs with leeches and night crawlers today and in my opinion, “rigging” will likely ..." Read >> Fishing Report June 3, 2021
I took the bait when Fritz Becker mentioned going for a mixed bag of fish on Tuesday. I had chosen a lake where we could catch almost anything from rock bass to walleye to largemouth to crappies to sunfish to pike.
The good news is that the fish, some of them at least, took the bait too, but not before giving me reason to doubt the decision.
When we arrived at the landing, surface temperature readings ranged from 64 to 65 degrees. Before we even broke idle speed, we spotted schools of sunfish, along with a handful of largemouth bass in the shallows. “We might as well start right here”, I said. “Why bother driving all over the lake when we can ..." Read >> North Central Minnesota Fishing Report June 2, 2021
"Walleye fishing has steadily improved as anglers work out what walleyes are doing on their favorite lake. More and more anglers reported excellent early morning fishing and even better evening fishing for walleyes.
Anglers have been finding walleyes shallow in 6 feet of water or less over gravel or rock. Leeches fished under a bobber or on a jig pitched shallow has been very effective.
Many cabin owners and resort goers also reported catching walleye right off the dock during the evening. Trolling minnow baits in 8-12 feet of water has also ..." Read >> Ely MN Fishing Report June 2, 2021
... "Warmer water, we hope, will lead to algae blooms which would encourage walleyes to move into shallower water. Weed patches, shoreline breaks, and shallow water rock structures came alive during 2020 when the lake’s algae blooms produced ideal conditions. In fact, last summer was like fishing Winnie back in the good old days when it was known for its 11 AM to 2:00 PM walleye bite. Everyone we know would love to see that happen again this summer!
There are a few of ways that folks could ..." Read >> Lake Winnie Fishing Report June 1, 2021
"It's easy to become overwhelmed by the sheer number of different fishing rods available today. In its quest to offer anglers the upper hand in any fishing situation, St. Croix Rod, the Park Falls, Wisconsin-based, family-owned American rod manufacturer, offers over 700 distinct rod models alone.
So, how does one go about making the right choice?
There are many variables that affect a fishing rod's performance and price, including materials, components, engineering, manufacturing technologies, and much more. But, moving into the more-fundamental realm of what a fishing rod actually needs to do in a given situation, basic performance is dictated by three primary variables: length, power, and action. Length and power are almost always ..." Read Full Article >> Fishing Rods: Understanding Lengths, Powers and Actions
Gerry Albert, retired MN DNR Large Lake Specialist wrote; "I just read your April 29, 2021 response the the walleye limit question. Your response should be required reading for politicians voting on the bill."
Larry Brown, East Peoria, IL wrote; "Jeff, Once again you are spot on with your response to Mike (April 29, 2021) about social versus biological facts in reducing limits in Minnesota. I agree with the sunfish limit reductions that will ..." Read More >> Reader Comments May 3, 2021
"Anglers fishing Lake Vermilion this summer may be asked to participate in the lake’s first creel survey since 2015.
Beginning with the walleye opener on Saturday, May 15, 2021 and through the end of September, creel clerks from the Minnesota Department of Natural Resources will be traveling the lake by boat to interview anglers about their harvest. During the interviews, the creel clerks will ..." Read More >> Lake Vermilion creel survey to begin May 15, 2021
"Have you taken a drive to a public boat ramp at any of your favorite lakes this spring? If so, chances are good that you noticed some signs notifying anglers about changing panfish regulations this spring.
These new regulations combined with other, already existing “special regulations” for other species on many lakes means that keeping track of what we’re fishing for and where we do it will be more important than ever this season.
If you have a law degree, or you work as an editor for a publishing company, then understanding the Minnesota fishing regulations booklet will allow you to track most of the regulations from one lake to the next. But if you’re like me and your eyes glaze over after the first 15 minutes of reading, then skip the booklet and do this instead. Use the ..." Read >> April 29, 2021 Regulating The Regulate-Able
If this were a “normal” spring, we’d still be speculating about the DNR walleye egg take operations in Grand Rapids and around the state. But thanks to the early ice out, operations at 9 locations are already mostly completed.
Last Friday, Dave Weitzel, Grand Rapids Area Fisheries Manager wrote, “We expect to reach full state-wide quota for Mississippi Strain Walleyes today (4-23-2021), so it went very well. We will have taken about 850 quarts from Cutfoot over 8 days and are very happy with that, considering that we had fewer staff so that we could practice social distancing.”
The photo left, courtesy MN DNR, shows the Windom-area fisheries egg take in progress at ..." Read >> Fishing Report April 27, 2021
Every spring, there are a couple of weeks when pan fishing from the metro region and south is much better than it is in the northland. To date, I’ve seen more fish photos and heard more good reports from anglers who fish in southern Minnesota and Iowa than I have from folks in my home territory.
The accompanying photo (left), provided by Chris Andresen, reveals a nice mixed catch of crappies and sunfish he caught last week. Chris fishes up in my home territory a lot, but not during spring, his exploits in southern Minnesota always get me fired up about fishing in the lower 1/3 of our state. If I were smart, I’d move in with him for a couple of weeks every spring while I wait for the water to warm up at home.
"Anglers fishing during the summer season on Upper Red Lake in northern Minnesota will have a three-walleye bag limit, with only one walleye longer than 17 inches allowed, according to the Minnesota Department of Natural Resources.
Anglers had an excellent winter season, harvesting 143,000 pounds of walleye. The annual harvest by state anglers is anticipated to fall within 120,000-240,000 pounds.
The three-walleye bag limit, with one over 17 inch size restriction, is intended to keep annual harvest within the target harvest range. Last summer, anglers ..." Read >> Upper Red Lake Walleye Regulation For 2021
For Grand Rapids DNR Fisheries Staff, the early ice-out has not necessarily translated into an accelerated pace for the walleye egg take at Cutfoot Sioux. As of Monday (4-19-21), area manager Dave Weitzel reported that they are about 5 days into gathering and fertilizing walleye eggs so far.
“So far, so good with about 375 quarts of eggs taken and should be near 450 quarts by days end. The cold snap will slow the run down a little bit. Water temps are still cold at 43 to 45 degrees F, so we could still see an uptick in catches after a few warmer days. We often get smaller catches over a longer time with early ice out dates, so things are progressing as expected.” Weitzel wrote.
I asked about the quota for this spring, but apparently that number will depend on how fast eggs ..." Read >> Walleye Egg Take Under Way April 20, 2021
The NOAA forecast predicted Thursday to be the first dry day in over a week. That gave my buddy Jon Thelen, who like me, was suffering from an ailment called coopedupedness, a reason to give me a call. “The weather looks good for Thursday and I got a heads up from a friend who caught some crappies; you want to go give it a try?” he said.
Asking me that question was like walking up to a kennel and asking a hunting dog if she wanted to go out in the field for a walk. “Yes, of course I do, I’ll be ready to go on Thursday morning,” I said.
The lake could have been any one of a hundred north central Minnesota waters. A moderately deep, 300-acre lake managed primarily for bass, crappie, and sunfish. When I looked at a map of it, I ..." Read >> Fishing Report April 16, 2021
"At the moment, only a few fishing-related bills have been introduced and/or discussed in the legislative committees. The most significant is a bill to change Minnesota’s walleye limit statewide from six to four fish, daily and in possession.
Your MN-FISH board voted to support this bill largely recognizing the impact of our advanced angling skills and how social media attracts angling crowds to hot walleyes lakes in a matter of hours.
It should be noted a four-walleye limit is not likely to make walleye fishing better, but may reduce exploitation of walleye populations as angling pressure increases. If you have an opinion about walleye limits, please ..." Read and Learn More >> Full MN-FISH Newsletter April 2021
On 4-7-2021, Ryan Fox wrote, “Good afternoon! Several questions that are on my mind and I’m sure many others in the Lake Winnie area too.
Q) Why is the water level so low and why did the Corp keep the Dam wide open all winter? (The last two winters!)
Why the last two springs has the water level been so low? Was there not an agreement between the Fisheries and Corp to maintain a higher water level in the “spawning” season?
Two and a half years ago our fisheries department determined that higher water levels in the spring translates to stronger year classes of Walleye. The next two springs in a row, low water. This Spring lower than I’ve ..." Read >> Winnie Water Levels For Spawning April 9, 2021
"Competitive anglers need the best tools. They look for the best and try to stretch their hard-earned money to get there. Most look at a value-to-cost ratio when selecting their gear. Finding quality at an attractive price is sometimes tricky. More and more companies see that type of product as a substantial competitive advantage to sustain buyers and enhance their expectations.
Savage Gear has a stellar line-up of rods in their portfolio that is ever-increasing, and for this giveaway, we are giving five lucky Wired2fish followers a chance to win a 7'3" MH Battletek casting rod. Made from 30-ton high modulus carbon blanks, these rods are lightweight but will also stand up to the most challenging demands of even the hardest hook setters.
"I've been a bass boat owner for the majority of my life. I've restored older fiberglass boats because of my limited budget and I've also been able to save to buy a shiny, 21-foot fiberglass rig that made me feel like a total hotshot.
I got to thinking the other day and for whatever reason, I grew up thinking that you had to have a fiberglass bass boat to be a "real" bass fisherman. It's what I saw on television and in the magazines, so it's really all I knew to be honest.
But man, there's a trend happening in recent years that we can't really ignore much longer. A bunch of anglers, whether they're weekend guys or full-time touring professionals, are flocking to aluminum bass boats. The number of newer tin boats I'm seeing on my local fisheries is absolutely blowing my mind. I've talked to boat dealers and they're having to drive thousands of miles to other states just to ..." Learn More >> The Aluminum Bass Fishing Boat Trend: There Just Might Be Something to It
Follow up on yesterday’s report about the legislative proposal to reduce Minnesota’s walleye bag limit is going to take a little while. That’s because somewhere in my piles of saved stocking reports, DNR meeting agendas and notebooks filled with jotted notes, are some facts. Facts, in this case, facts about average walleye angler catch rates in Minnesota. I know they’re out there though because I’ve seen them with my own eyes. I just can't put my fingers on them and I don’t want to start spewing information, relying only on my memory.
The reason I am searching high and low for facts about walleye catch rates, is because nobody else is doing it. Advocates for walleye bag limit reductions cite plenty of “social reasons” for making the change. But statistical information and biological facts are harder to come by than an autographed ..." Read >> Walleye Bag Limits "Following The Follow-Able February 18, 2021
It’s worth noting that which side of the issue anglers argued, depended on which medium their comments came from. Virtually 100% of the commentary from those in favor of reducing Minnesota's walleye limit came via the “social” media page where I posted links to the original article. Conversely, 100% of the anglers in opposition to the regulation change are those who took the extra time to write their comments and send them via email.
I’ll let you be the judge of what made that happen, but I think it’s interesting. I'll have to think about it for a while and I'll let you know if I develop any solid theories.
Of the social comments from folks in favor of limit reductions, the most credible, in my opinion, came from MN DNR Brainerd Area Fisheries Manager Marc Bacigalupi who ..." Read >> Minnesota Walleye Bag Limit Reductions February 17, 2021
Sifting through emails on Wednesday, I found a note from Vern Wagner, organizer of Anglers for Habitat, a conservation based angling group. The message carried a copy of the organization’s position on the proposal, S.F. 12, which would reduce walleye limits statewide from 6 to 4 fish.
The letter penned by AFH President Lance Ness is offered to MN Senator Carrie Ruud as “testimony” to be considered during hearings about the bill. In its conclusion, Ness writes, “While Anglers for Habitat neither supports nor opposes the legislation, we suggest a lively discussion.” Let’s backup a minute and break down what that discussion would be about.
Within the body of the testimony, AFH appears to be leaning in the direction of slow walking this legislation and asks for proof that the proposal is based on scientific ..." Learn More >> AFH Weighs In On Walleye Bag Limits February 11, 2021
In recent years, support for reducing Minnesota's walleye bag limit has grown among Minnesota anglers. In fact, results of an informal FishRapper poll conducted last year, indicated that anglers in favor of reducing Minnesota's walleye possession limit could be upward of 75%.
This year, supporters of a bag limit reduction could be in luck, because Minnesota Senate Bill SF 12 would do just that. If passed, the bill will mandate the MN DNR to reduce the statewide walleye possession from 6, down to 4 walleyes.
The bill's author, MN Senator Carrie Ruud spoke with me about the proposal. “In the past, discussions about reducing walleye limits have centered more around the social aspects of the issue rather than statistical ones.” Ruud said. Anglers who have a high conservation ethic would naturally ..." Read >> Minnesota Walleye Bag Limit Reduction January 8, 2021
The Insider News List is the way to receive infrequent notices about fishing news of special interest. Links to articles, videos and breaking news about the world of fish are occasionally sent to subscribers.
Fishing trip cancellations happen too and whenever a fishing charter becomes available on short notice, subscribers to the insider news list are the only ones who find out about them.
This is a private, opt-in only list, we never subscribe anyone to the newsletter without permission and we never share member's contact information with anybody, not ever. To subscribe, click to >> Opt-IN Fishing Guide's Insider News List.
Reader questions, comments and testimonials are always welcome. If you have friends who'd enjoy receiving occasional updates, please let them know about us.
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
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
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
Email copyright©2021 Fishing Blue Books, LLC All Rights Reserved - last revised 09-29-2021