"Walleyes of all sizes still being caught. Trophies being caught daily. Pulling spinners and jigging a crawler working well during lower light, crankbaits effective all day in the mud. 24 -32 feet. Reefs to the west producing lots of good fish. Some struggling to find saugers but others have found them schooled up in good numbers. Chartreuse, pink, UV colors working good.
On the Rainy River, sturgeon fishing "keep season" is open until Sept 30. Pike and smallies are being found in tributaries into Rainy River. Weed edges holding a variety of fish in back bays and on the river itself.
Up at the NW Angle... On the Minnesota side, spinners and crawler harnesses are still the preferred method of walleye fishing, with the hot colors being pink/gold, orange/gold and orange/chartreuse. Walleye are being caught off of structure scattered in the mud between 20-30 feet. Down riggers and deep running crankbaits have also been productive. Canadian walleye are being caught in channels off of islands and along reefs in 18-25 feet of water. Both bottom bouncers with a crawler harness and a jig with minnow or shiner have both been successful.
Muskies favoring rocks over weeds right now with some 50" + fish being caught." – Lake of the Woods Tourism, (800) 382-FISH
"Hot has been the trend! Hot fishing and Hot weather. The bite remains strong and we have had a great number of large Walleye caught and released again this past week.
There is still a mix of bait fishing and trolling with plugs. Drifting or trolling with crawlers in the 22-23 foot range in Little Traverse Bay has been productive some mornings. While in Big Traverse, down rigging or trolling spinners in 32-34 feet of water has been steadily excellent. While having the option of using bait or using plugs on the down riggers there have been significant differences. The down riggers allow for a more controlled and consistent presentation and out catch rod holding 10-1 without the hassle of snap weights or other devices.
Mixed temperatures are forecasted this week. We have daytime high’s in the 60’s on some days and 80’s on others. Overnight temps ranging in the upper 40-50’s.
Fall Special rates start soon, do you have your trip booked already? Give us a call and we can check availability!" - 1-800-776-3474 Border View Lodge
"This week had something for everyone. As far as fishing went, no matter what tactic you used, the fish would bite at some point in the week.
Walleyes were caught trolling crankbaits, spinners, and fishing live bait rigs on the structure. There was a good number of keeper size walleyes caught. It was the best percentage versus slot fish we have seen this year. If you are trolling, key areas are flats with deep water immediatly adjacent to the flat. 14-16' was the best depths.
Live bait rigs with leeches were the ticket on the structure. When it was calm, the humps were the best. When the wind blows, head to the main bars. No reports of shallow walleyes this past week. It won't be long, the fish will move shallow.
Northern fishing was definitely a trolling bite. Crankbaits and spoons in the areas where the walleyes are being caught trolling. Many nice fish over the slot have been caught.
Perch fishing has improved. Look in the deeper water 20-30' where there is life on the graph. There will be perch in the vicinity.
Jigs and fathead minnows are the best bait.
The summer is winding down, and we are setting our sights on fall. We have great specials. Reserve the week of August 25th, pay for the week and stay until Labor Day for free. Or enjoy our 20% discount on all cabin rentals after Labor Day. As always, a covered boat slip is included with the cabin. See you this fall." — Joe Thompson, Four Seasons Resort 218-665-2231
St. Louis Park artist Richard Goodkind has won the Minnesota Department of Natural Resources trout and salmon stamp contest with a painting of a brook trout. The painting was selected by judges from among nine submissions for the annual contest, and will be featured on the 2019 stamp.
Goodkind is now a two-time winner of the trout stamp contest, having previously won in 2010. Two entries advanced to the final stage of judging during the contest that happened Aug. 2 at the DNR Central Office in St. Paul. The runner-up in this year’s contest was Stuart Nelson of Cloquet.
The DNR offers no prizes for the stamp contest winner, but the winning artist retains the right to reproduce the work. The following species will be eligible for the 2020 stamp: rainbow, brown, splake and lake trout, coho, pink, chinook and Atlantic salmon. Brook trout designs will not be eligible for the 2020 stamp.
The trout and salmon stamp validation is sold for $10 along with fishing licenses and is required for Minnesota residents age 18 to 64 and non-residents older than age 18 and under age 65 to fish designated trout streams, trout lakes and Lake Superior and when in possession of trout or salmon. For an extra 75 cents, purchasers can receive the validation as well as the pictorial stamp in the mail. It also is sold as a collectible.
Revenue from stamp sales is dedicated to trout and salmon management and habitat work. For more information on trout fishing license requirements, visit mndnr.gov/fishing.
"Heavy fluorocarbon has a tendency to kink when folded. You risk break-offs if that kink makes it into your knot or somewhere up the line.
Kyle Peterson delivers a simple tip that can save you from losing fish by avoiding kinks in fluorocarbon."
View Video >> Avoid Kinked Fluorocarbon to Prevent Break-Offs
Looking ahead at the weekend weather forecast makes me feel like going to bed really early. That’s because I and the Hippie Chick are going to steal a few days of fishing for our own fun and if we want both comfort and good fishing, we’ll have to be up at the crack of dawn.
Yesterday I wrote about the benefits of fishing during the warm water, “Dog Days” of summer. I said that I am gaining more respect for this time of the season every year and I meant it. But, just because I know that the fishing is good, doesn’t mean I like fishing under the blazing sun on a calm day.
By 10:30 AM on Wednesday, I had sweat dripping down my back and the flies were already getting active. The fish were biting, but hour by hour, they were hunkering deeper into the weeds and by mid-afternoon it was literally impossible to catch one without dragging up a pound of weeds along with it.
I’m not sure that any of us would want to work that hard at catching a fish unless we didn’t have another choice. Since I do have a choice this weekend, I think I’ll do whatever I can to make fishing the most relaxing and fun.
I’m not sure if we’ll be on the right lake to pursue panfish, but casting for crappies along the weed edges would be a really good idea for early morning. It’s not at all rare to stumble into walleyes, sunfish, bass and pike, so I’d be ready to take advantage of any un-planned opportunity.
If the Hippie Chick prefers lunker hunting, I might try some pike fishing, we haven’t done that for a while and it’s getting to be “that time” of the season; so maybe we’ll try a little trolling.
Open ended as my weekend plans may be, I’m not quite there yet. I will be working today and the present plan is the pursuit of pike, so whatever happens, you’ll be the first to know.
If you’d like to go fishing this weekend and your schedule allows, then I’d suggest following our lead. Our plan will included arriving at the lake early, fishing the sweet part of the morning and then taking a nice dip in the water before heading home for lunch and a nap. If it’s really nice during the evening, we might sneak out again for a couple hours, but then again, maybe not; it depends.
I don’t like wishing away time because we can never get it back. So even if it’s a little bit hot for me, I’ll be planning on getting the most out of these last few weeks of summer. No matter what you decide to do this weekend, I hope you enjoy the gorgeous weather too, good luck out there! - Jeff Sundin 218-245-9858 or EMAIL
Warm, stable weather is always good for fishing, but it’s even better for entertaining mom on Mother’s Day.
Oh I know, for most folks Mother’s Day occurs in May, but my mom doesn’t like going out in the boat when the weather is chilly. That’s why my family has shifted the date of Mother’s Day (observed) into the typically dry, warm “Dog Days” of August.
Lots of anglers have heard the expression “dog days of summer”, but not many know where the term originated or how to benefit from the great walleye fishing that occurs during this period of time.
As a Master Astrologer, my mother knows all about Sirius, the “Dog Star”. But since you're not here to talk with her about it, here's a snippet from the website Space Dot Com; “Sirius is the brightest star in the night sky and it is part of the constellation Canis Major — Latin for "the greater dog." The expression "dog days" refers to the period from July 3 through Aug. 11 when Sirius rises in conjunction with the sun. The ancients felt that the combination of the sun during the day and the star at night was responsible for the extreme heat that is experienced during mid-summer.”
Most folks don’t associate this time of the summer with great walleye fishing. But I am gaining more respect for this time of the season every year. Over the past decade, many of my most memorable fishing experiences have occurred during this period and this year is shaping up to be no exception.
Of course you have to find fish before you can catch them, but assuming that you have the ability to find fish, you will almost certainly be able to catch some.
The expression “finesse fishing” has no place in the vocabulary of anglers fishing during this period. Warm water raises fish metabolism and the warmer they get, the more active they become. At a certain point, some species of fish will feed almost non-stop. For anglers, the trick is to use fast moving lures that take advantage of the fish’s higher metabolic rate.
Over the past week, I’ve caught fish using both Little Joe Spinners and Lindy’s hybrid lure, the Lil' Guy. Both of them have been productive and you can scroll through the reports for more details about how and where we’ve used them.
Obviously, the secret is to getting fish to strike is placing the lure within the fish’s strike zone. I think that’s the one thing that I haven’t emphasized enough; how to place the lure in the strike zone. How you get your lure into the right territory depends on where the fish are located. When you think about it, the sinker you choose is critical, in fact selecting the right weight to get your offering into the strike zone is just as important as is choosing the right lure.
Whether you’re using spinners or Lil' Guys, they will catch fish in deep water, shallow water and everywhere in between. What you will have to decide, based on the location of the fish you find, is what style and weight sinker to use for proper placement.
It’s not easy to fish a weed patch with heavy bottom bouncers and a 3/16 ounce bullet sinker is never going to get your spinner into 25 feet of water. Conversely, that light weight bullet sinker will slither through the weeds without getting hung up and a 2 ounce bottom bouncer will easily allow you to hover over the rocks, logs and debris on the bottom.
Here’s a complete list of every sinker that I’ve used this summer. If you have a few of each, you will have almost every conceivable fishing situation covered.
Bullet sinkers for fishing the weeds, 1/16, 1/8 and 3/16 ounce sizes will cover water depths ranging from 4 to 12 feet. Lindy No Snagg Sinkers 1/2, 3/4 and 1 ounce sizes will cover fishing on sand flats, clam beds and sparse weed patches in water depths ranging between 8 and 16 feet. Bottom bouncers in 1, 1-1/2, 2 and 2-1/2 ounce sizes will cover the deep water situations. A good rule of thumb for bottom bouncers is to use 1 ounce of weight for every 10 feet of depth. I almost always have 1-1/2 ounce weights on my rods unless I need to fish deeper than 20 feet. A 2 ounce weight covers me down to about 26 feet and I never fish any deeper than that anyway.
If you see me mention trolling, then you can rest assured that one of the listed sinkers was in use at the time.
As a matter of interest, Lindy’s most recent video happens to be about fishing with spinners in deep water during the late summer. This video will be helpful as a jump start for trolling with bottom bouncers. So if you want to learn more about using bottom bouncers and haven’t already seen it, then I’d suggest watching it today. View Video >> Fishing Spinners For Walleye During Late Summer
If you're a "finesse fisherman" and believe that the walleyes won't bite during the warmest time of the summer, think again; sometimes being more like a bull in a china shop is a good idea. For me, fishing during the "Dog Days" has become Sirius business! - Jeff Sundin 218-245-9858 or EMAIL
Pulling spinners and jigging during the morning, crankbaits effective all day. West bar of garden producing as well as Little Oak area. Trolling cranks out in the deep mud bringing in walleyes of all sizes including many trophy walleyes. 24 -32 feet. Chartreuse, pink, UV colors working good most days and purple on cloudy days.
On the Rainy River, sturgeon fishing "keep season" is open until Sept 30. Pike and smallies are being found in tributaries into Rainy River. Wabanica, Baudette Bay, and Clementson always holding good fish. Weed edges holding a variety of fish.
Up at the NW Angle on Minnesota side, walleyes biting while bait fishing with a jig and minnow on top of structure like reefs and rocks. Bottom bouncers and crankbaits in a little deeper water such as 24-28.
Some trophy pike and big muskies being caught near walleye schools. Canadian walleyes spread out in deeper mud areas around 24 ft. Muskies being caught on a variety of bucktails over weeds and rocks. — "Lake of the Woods Tourism, (800) 382-FISH
"We are continuing with another week of Excellent fishing! It is the time of year when the morning boat ride is quite cool, then the afternoons are sunny and warm.
They are catching fish in the deeper water. Trolling spinners and crawlers to start the day, then switching to down rigging.
Good news! We are able to do shore lunches again!
There is warm weather predicted for later in the week. It’s a great time to grab some friends and catch some fish.
We have some availability through the rest of the season, give us a call and have us take you fishing!" - 1-800-776-3474 Border View Lodge
"Fishing line is a critical component to successful topwater fishing. Choose one that sinks (fluorocarbon), and you'll negatively impact the bait's performance. Monofilament and braided line are your 2 options - both float, and when tied correctly provide freedom of movement to the bait.
Bass pro Drew Benton relies on both for topwater fishing, opting for braid for some baits, but switching to a strong yet supple monofilament line for others. He outlines both in this short, straightforward video."
When I quizzed the morning crew about what fish we should pursue, Barry, Owen and Blaine Chheatham said that they had northern pike fishing in mind.
Knowing both that I’d have another crew trading places in the afternoon and that I’d be cooking a lunch for the whole family at noon, I decided that Pokegama was the best place to pack everything into one location. I reasoned that we would find plenty of action amidst the weeds and no matter what we caught, it would be entertaining for the kids, plus bagging a few of these and a few of those would help round out the noon meal.
Admittedly, I had my doubts about how much action we would find; the weather forecast of sunny skies wasn’t my favorite. Luckily, the forecast was wrong, we arrived at the landing to find grey, drizzly skies and a lake stirred up by whitecaps.
For frequent readers, this will be no surprise, but I still have to say that we were fishing with the old reliable Little Joe Spinners. I had the rods rigged for trolling with 3/16 ounce bullet sinkers and we tipped the hooks with small golden shiners. Using minnows instead of night crawlers would encourage more northern strikes; I thought.
The surface temperature on Pokegama was 72 degrees, a decline of 2 degrees since my most recent visit. The lower surface temperature had a dampening effect on the number of bass and sunfish that struck our lures. But pike, crappie, perch and walleyes didn’t seem to mind the cooler temperatures. In fact, I’m not sure if the action for perch and pike wasn’t better now than it had been with warmer surface water.
By the time we returned to the Tioga Landing to cook lunch, Barry and the boys has landed at least a dozen pike, a couple of walleyes and enough nice perch to fill the frying pan, twice. So our shore Lunch consisted of pike prepared blackened style and perch fried the old fashioned way, in Jeff’s original shore lunch recipe.
The afternoon crew set out with a goal of picking up where the boys left off. But by the time we were back on the water it was after 2:30 PM and the breeze had diminished. The skies were still grey, but Pokegama was still showing signs of its famous afternoon slow-downs. We did not go pikeless, but the action was slower than what the boys experienced in the morning. That is until we stumbled into one of our lucky little discoveries.
Toward the end of a rather long trolling pass, we’d picked up a few small pike and couple of baby perch. I just beginning to lose interest in the area we were fishing when WHAM, Kristin pulled in a nice crappie. Then I caught one and after that Chris popped another one into the boat. It didn’t take long to figure out that we had located a patch of cabbage weeds that was holding a lot of crappies. As long as I stayed near the cabbage, we continued to catch fish.
We trolled the area for a couple of hours and caught fish regularly the whole time. They were not always crappies; pike and small bass were in the same area and added to the action as well.
For anybody who’s fished Pokegama a lot, it will be no surprise that many of the crappies we caught were small ones. But I was impressed by the number of times that one of us would reel in a fish that was way above average. I don’t think we caught any fish over about 12 inches, but there were some solid 10-1/2 to 11 inch keepers in the mix. We did not bag a full 2 person limit for the crew either, but we came close, ending the day with 17 fish in the livewell.
Northern Pike, when pursued for the table don’t have to be very large to be impressive. That’s good because with the new protected slot on pike, we were mandated to release at least a dozen fish that would formerly have been our “preferred” eating size fish. That said, we fed a lot of people using only 4 fish that were in the 20-21 inch size range. Being proud of small fish seems counter intuitive, but it definitely is a good way of feeding the family.
So there you go, Camp Hastings came and went in a hurry this year, but at least we got a good day for the fishing trips. It’s nice to be lucky. - Jeff Sundin 218-245-9858 or EMAIL
"This past week we were transported back to the past, Circa 1980.
When you went walleye fishing, you put on a Lindy type rig with a bare hook, checked the wind, grabbed some leeches, and headed out to the appropriate bar on the lake that the wind dictated you go. The main bars produced walleyes all week long. Sugar, Moses, Snag Hole, Horseshoe, and Bena. Names that haven't been mentioned a whole lot the past couple of years. Oh, when it was calm, the humps were still good. I think the reason the leeches were better is that you couldn't get a worm past the seven inch perch on most of the structures.
Trollers have had a little success, but the live bait was far better.
Northerns are biting on spoons and crankbaits. You can use jigs and small suckers as well.
Perch continue to be an enigma. There are small perch everywhere, but to target the nice keeper size perch have been elusive. We didn't have anyone really seriously look last week, but I would say the north shore is your best bet. Look for cabbage weeds and the perch will be near.
All of the fishermen left this morning with smiles on their faces. They said it was some of the best walleye fishing they have seen in quite some time.
The fishing should continue to improve into the fall. We have openings for both our Labor Day special, and our fall special. Come back to Winnie this year, fishing has been great." — Joe Thompson, Four Seasons Resort 218-665-2231
But it would be a lie to say it’s all cool stories all the time. There can be a lot of frustration with hunting bigger bass with big swimbaits and lot of near misses that make you question what you are doing. I think everyone that has thrown big swimbaits has struggled with turning followers into biters at some point.
I’ve had so much success fishing swimbaits deep, that it’s gotten to be all I ..." Read >> 7 Tips to Make Big Swimbait Bass Bite
"Drifting and trolling spinners and crawlers east of Long Point has been on fire. Reports of one pass being mainly slot fish and the next pass picking away at walleyes and saugers for the fry pan. Some anglers even jigging with good success. Trolling cranks out in the deep mud good when fishing slows in the afternoon. 24 -32 feet. As always hammered gold, chartreuse, pink, UV colors are good starting points.
On the Rainy River, sturgeon fishing "keep season" is open until Sept 30. Hearing good reports. Pike and smallies are being found in tributaries into Rainy River. Weed edges holding a variety of fish.
Up at the NW Angle... Water temps are consistently in the mid to high 70’s. In Minnesota, walleyes being caught on reefs with a jig and minnow. Bottom bouncers and crank-baits in 24-28 feet of water. Covering a lot of ground is key when the fish aren't schooled together. Lots of 40”+ Pike caught while trolling, reports of large muskies also. Mud bottomed areas deeper than 25ft for best results on Canadian side." Lake of the Woods Tourism, (800) 382-FISH
"The trend has continued with another great week of fishing! It is the time of year when the morning boat ride is quite cool, then the afternoons are sunny and warm.
Down rigging has been the method of choice, more towards the end of the week, with many big fish to show for it. There is still a good bait bite going up by Little Oak also. Our Guides have spent most of the time this past week in Little Traverse Bay off of Little Oak Island although there has been time spent in the deeper 36-foot range of Big Traverse.
We are still on a no shore lunch agenda; the bugs have been so bad on Garden Island. The last shore lunch we did guests were in the water using the dock as a table to try and get away from the black biting flies and horse flies.
Again, we have another great week forecasted. Highs hitting 80 and lows in the 50’s coming up this week.
We have some availability through the rest of the season, give us a call and have us take you fishing!" 1-800-776-3474 Border View Lodge
On August 1 Loren Keizer Wrote; "Q) Hello Jeff. I was curious if you could share any information on your "wiggle worm" technique?
I'm going to be fishing this weekend with my oldest son, 10, and nephew, 12.
I'd like to try targeting some walleyes over shallow weed flats and thought this technique would work? Thanks in advance for any help or information."
A) Loren, Wiggle Worming does work for fishing in and around weed patches. During this warm water period, you are likely to catch a lot more than just walleyes. Bass, panfish and even pike are liable to keep the kids busy while your search for walleyes takes you down the weedline.
Here are some links that will get you started with the basics of Wiggle Worming. Read >> Wiggle Worming 101 View Video >> Fish ED Wiggle Worming
After you take a look, let me know if you have any specific questions remaining about the presentation. - Jeff Sundin 218-245-9858 or EMAIL
There have been a lot of calls and emails lately from readers asking for one sort of advice or another. I’m doing my best to keep up and at the same time, prioritize the list so that I get to the really pressing issues first.
Since the “busy season” is in full swing, my office time is really limited. So if you’ve dropped me a line and haven’t received a reply, I apologize, I will get the stack cleared up eventually, so please bear with me.
I’m usually checking messages during the wee hours of early morning, so my schedule tends to favor emails rather than phone calls. Also, I do offer The Early Bird Insider’s News List, an “opt-in” email list that I routinely use for announcing last minute openings, special announcement and fishing events. List membership is free and it only takes a few seconds to register. I can’t sign you up; you need to do this yourself by clicking the link to the news list.
One final thought, every fishing question that I’ve received for the past week has been about lakes and situations that I have already written about. The fishing archives are jam packed with information about the specific lakes and situations that you’ve been asking about. So if you want a jump start on your next fishing trip, go to Fishing Report Archives, select the month that you plan to fish and peruse the past reports. I promise that you will find the information you’re looking for, plus a lot more. - Jeff Sundin 218-245-9858 or EMAIL