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Fishing Report - Archives Section - Fish Reports For July 2011 - More Fishing Reports Here
Fishing Report July 31, 2011 Jeff Sundin On Saturday, we needed a reliable spot to catch some good, eating size Walleyes without going into over-time. A return visit to Bowstring Lake filled the bill and while most of the fish are running small, we did manage to catch enough nice fish to fill out the cooler and we did it just in time.
When we arrived at the lake, it was overcast, a little breezy and cool. Surface temperatures on Bowstring were in the 75 degree range and the water was free of any heavy algae bloom. The water is still a little on the high side, there is no sign of any visible rock at the rock pile, where the Pelicans usually sit. That's really unusual for this late in the summer.
A few days ago, Walleyes had been using a number of mid-lake reefs and as I mentioned, there was a definite preference for reefs that had rocks on them. There must have been some kind of insect hatch or other baitfish using these structures because the fish were really really reluctant to move off of them. They were still on the same spots today and for me, no matter how many "new areas" I'd try, I always wound up going back to three or four of the same ones. Each time we returned, we could pick of a couple of nicer fish before the yearlings would take over.
Our presentation was simple, Lindy Rigs tipped with lively, Jumbo size Leeches. I usually don't worry that much about the size of leeches we use, but in this case, there were so many smaller fish present, that I thought the larger size baits would help attract a better than average fish. Whether I was correct or not, we did occasionally catch a nice size fish in the 17 to 20 inch range, our best was a 22 incher. The presentation was made a lot simpler by using the No-Snag Sinkers in place of the traditional Lindy Rig sinkers. It is really a lot easier for folks to work through the rocks and when we do get hung up, they come out a lot easier. In fact, we only lost one rig all day long and that was due to an over-enthusiastic hook set, not a snag.
There are some nicer Perch mixed in with the Walleyes and from time to time, we'd catch one on a Leech or Night Crawler. I couldn't help but think that dropping in a jig and minnow or switching to a Spinner tipped with a minnow would be a good way to get some bonus Perch action.
I talked with Darv Oelke at Bowstring Shores Resort and he mentioned that there have been a few Crappies caught by some of his guests that work hard at finding them. There aren't any big numbers coming in just yet, but it may be something to keep on your radar screen for the near future.
For me, today is the start of a hectic week that will probably lean heavily toward Northern Pike, Bass and maybe even some Musky fishing. I'll be looking forward to the variety and should have some new twists and turns in the report over the next several days.
Fishing Report July 30, 2011 Jeff Sundin More luck came my way on Friday when I stumbled into another great day on the water!
Every season I do a number of special trips for a very special friend who treats his company employees to random fishing trips. The trips are literally drawn out of a hat and no one knows when or where they're going until after they've been drawn. Friday was the lucky day for Russ Puddicombe and his wife Jess who had asked me to fish a particular lake that they fish and wanted to learn more about. I explained that I'd fished the lake several times, but that I am far from an expert, in fact if they'd learn anything, it would be how to figure out where to fish on un-familiar water. Everyone agreed and the mission was to catch some Walleye and Bass.
The water on Lake Wabana is really clear and the weedline goes out to about 20 feet. On a sunny day, it's easy to spot structure with your eyes and there's a lot of structure to spot! We started fishing weedline edges in a variety of locations using a mix of Lindy Rigs with Leeches and jigs with Night Crawlers. For the most part, we were busy all of the time. In fact, there were so many Sunfish, small Bass and other assorted little critters that I was getting concerned about running out of bait before we ran into the fish.
The next step for me was to get a lot more particular about where we stopped. Instead of just taking a casual look at the structure, I started insisting on seeing some larger fish on the Humminbird first. This was a good move on my part and after a ten or fifteen minute cruise along the breakline, we spotted a small school of fish and marked the spot.
As we moved through this school of fish, I got the first pull down and soon we had our first nice eating size Walleye, Russ caught the next one and then another. Now we were getting some confidence and we knew that if we could find them, the fish would bite.
We pulled up on shore and fixed a nice shore lunch and headed back out this time to try for some Bass. I had a couple of leads from a friend about where he'd caught Bass pn his last visit. We went to take a look and along the way, saw some of the most gorgeous scenery I've seen all summer long. But the Bass, well to be honest, we were catching more Bass while we fished for Walleyes than we were by fishing for them on purpose. We decided to go back to Walleye fishing and just let the Bass come to us. Another Lucky Move!
Another session of crusing the weedline led me to a school of fish located in 20 feed of water, over the top of a thin grass line. At first, we caught average size "eater Walleyes" and a variety of Bass and Sunfish. Toward the end of the day, Russ said something like "Okay, just one nice one to finish off the day". Well, using a jig tipped with a Night Crawler, Jess got a pull-down, fed some line and then set the hook on a 28 incher. Not bad for a finale'. We could have packed up and gone home right then and there, but, you know me, I had to try one more time before leaving. We went up for one last drift, I showed Russ a picture of two fish on the Humminbird, he got a pull-down, fed some line and set the hook on a 26-1/2 incher! Okay, now that was enough even for me and we got the heck out of there before anything could take the shine off of a perfect day!
Fishing Report July 29, 2011 Jeff Sundin Thursday, I caught a lucky break on the summer pattern for fishing fickle Walleyes. For me, Thursday was one of those "good days". Fishing with Craig and Jan Narowetz, who have been with me since the very beginning, I really wanted to show them a good time. Luckily, we happened to stumble into the right place at the right time and the Walleyes rolled out the red carpet for them.
The pattern was interesting, Walleyes were using mid-lake structure, reefs in the 15 to 20 foot depth range and the secret to finding the right ones was that they had to have rocks on them. As a test, I tried several of the more sandy bottom humps and found some small fish, but little if anything to get excited about. Each time I tried a slightly shallower, rock covered reef, there were at least some nice, keeper size fish. There were also some above average size Perch hitting our baits and I think someone wanting to dial these in, could have caught a lot more Jumbos out there too.
The presentation was similar to what we've been doing for the past few weeks, Lindy Rigs tipped with Leeches. We tried Night Crawlers too and they worked. The problem was that small Perch were frequently destroying the baits so we eventually put the fish on an all Leech diet.
I did substitute the traditional
rigging sinkers with Lindy's No-Snag Sinkers just to make it easier to work in and around the rocks. For anyone who lives to rig fish, these are a must for the rocky spots. You can finesse your your baits around the cover and when you do happen to get stuck, retrieving them by moving to the opposite side of the snag is much easier.
On Thursday, fish were aggressive and we didn't need to feed much line, in fact it might have been better to simply hold on to the fish for a few seconds, wait for the line to tighten up and then gently set the hook. This method doesn't work so well when using night crawlers, it's good when using minnows or Leeches. By reducing the number of deeply hooked fish, this method saves a lot Walleyes that you want to release
Fishing Report July 28, 2011 Jeff Sundin For beating the summer duldrums, Bass fishing is where the action is right now. But if you want to catch some Walleyes, it can still be done.
On wednesday, the idea of getting enough fish for shore lunch drove my decision to move toward deeper, cooler water. Heading for one of the Itasca Area lakes that's known for cooler temperatures and a better late summer Walleye bite, the plan worked out a little, but even there, the bite was sluggish and it was one of those mornings where we got enough fish to eat, but didn't get too much extra action. On a really positive note, the fish we did catch were perfect size and the 16 to 17 inch Walleyes will make a couple of great meals.
Water conditions were calm, surface temperatures were warm, in the mid-seventies and the fish that I found were on main lake humps, holding in the 15 to 20 foot range.
Presentaion hasn't changed much yet, Lindy Rigs tipped with Night Crawlers was the main offering, but we caught a couple of fish on leeches also. The bottom had a growth of the Black Moss that plagues anglers in the late summer, so we did use the Worm Blower to try and keep our night crawlers off the bottom. Even then, we'd still get some rigs fouled up and with the leeches, a carrot float or maybe even two, helps.
After lunch, the mission was to try and bag a musky and naturally, the sun came out to make the job even trickier. Long story short, we fished a couple of sand breaks, a couple of weed beds and finally some shallow Bulrushes. Not a follow, not a sniff, the Muskies weren't interested.
(7/28) On Lake Winnie, mid summer temperment has set in and the Walleyes are up one day and down the next. With calm, sunny skies, the reports from over there hadn't been too positive. Follow this link for a full report on Lake Winnibigoshish and Cutfoot Sioux fishing.
Fishing Report July 27, 2011 Jeff Sundin For me, Tuesday was time to leave the fun and games of Bass fishing behind and get back to Walleyes. The game plan was to split the day between Lake Winnie and Sand Lake, trying to catch some eaters on Winnie and then show my customer the lay of the land on Sand.
On Winnie, it was another flat, calm day and a lot of the fish did what they've been doing lately, waiting for a better feeding opportunity. It wasn't that we didn't catch any fish, it's just not as good as it was before. With the water temperatures reaching into the high 70's, Walleye activity shifts and every summer, we go through this re-adjustment period. Part of my problem on Tuesday was that I should have re-adjusted more quickly! I went out to the middle instead of following my own advice from last week which was to be sure and check the weeds first.
After the day had already past, I heard from friends who had done well by fishing the weeds insteady of the open water humps and bars. For the next few weeks, I'll have to remember to try some of each, instead of trying a lot of either.
Sand Lake is a bit of a challenge right now because it is loaded with food and we've known that for a month or more. But the idea on Sand Lake was to cover as much territory as I could as fast as I could. The goal was to catch some fish, but also to get around the lake and check as many spots as we could. The end result was a list of ideas, more so than a full report.
There were at least some fish in three or four of the spots that we checked. All of the places where we caught fish were within or very near the weedlines in 10 to 12 feet of water. The better spots had some harder gravel or sand content on the bottom mixed in. One of them had some larger rocks mixed within the Cabbage Weeds as well.
We caught some fish on Night Crawlers and some on Leeches, but I thought that the better presentation was a Lindy Rig using a very light 1/8 ounce sinker and tipped with a lively Leech. This rig was responsible for the bettrer size fish.
At one point, we caught a nice Perch on a Night Crawler. I had in mind to catch some more, so I tried a jig and minnow. This presentation yielded almost immediate Northern Pike action and it seemed like we could have caught a hundred of them, if we'd have kept on jigging.
The best news of the day was that there are a lot of small, 10 to 12 inch fish in the system this year. Every day those hungry little fish gobble up a few more minnows, bugs and crustaceans and sooner or later, the predators will catch up to the bait supply and we'll have some really good fishing.
For me, the up-coming game plan for Walleyes will be split between searching the weeds
on warmer water lakes and moving toward some of the deeper, cooler lakes that typically produce better during late summer. For my customers who want action, I'll be trying to steer them toward Bass fishing whenever possible. Right now, there are great reports about Bass coming in from all over the area and it's a great time to capitalize on these warm water species.
Today, we're going to try our hand at Musky fishing. I'm hoping that the warm weather and turbulent conditions have put a tingle in their spines and just maybe, we'll have a great report about that tomorrow.
(7/27) Bemidji Lakes Area and NMLOG Member, Paul A. Nelson says; The hot weather in the Bemidji area looks like it will continue through the end of July, with surface water temperatures in most lakes in the mid to upper 70s. Fishing has been spotty on most lakes, with anglers in the right place at the right time catching fish, but a tough bite when the conditions are wrong.
Walleye anglers are finding fish both on top of structure and off the sides of structure, depending on the conditions and where the most food is located. Anglers should watch for schools of baitfish on sonar and fish the areas with the most baitfish.
When anglers see what they think may be walleyes on sonar, it may take several passes through the fish to get a bite. Once anglers are sure the fish are walleyes, they can mark the spot on GPS and return later, when the conditions are more favorable.
Muskie anglers are finding a few active fish, but much like the walleyes, the muskies feed when they want to feed. The best chance of catching a muskie has been in the mornings or evenings or under cloudy skies. There are a growing number of muskie anglers that are fishing after dark, especially when the moon phase is close to full.
Perch have been slow to move back into the shallows like they normally would by this time of year. They usually move in to feed on the new hatches of minnows that are beginning to grow up enough to be a viable food source. Perch also feed on crayfish hiding in the mats of chara covering the bottom on the shallow flats.
The big schools of perch need huge amounts of food to fuel their appetites, so if the food is scarce, the perch tend to be scattered. The cold rainy weather this spring slowed down weed growth in many lakes and may have caused poor minnow and baitfish hatches, which would limit the amount of food available in the shallows.
(7/27) On Tuesday, I got a field report from my friend Steve Ott who said; "Rob and I fished for bass and northerns on a small remote lake north of Deer River today. Had a lot of action and a lot of fun. While cleaning one of the bass I noticed its stomach was huge. Expecting it to be gorged with perch or minnows I was surprised to find a star nosed mole inside the stomach. These things are about the size of a huge mouse. The next surprise was when we found another bass with a star nosed mole in its stomach too. It was a day for weird things. In the bull rushes we came across a dead loon. It looked from the outside to be in good condition but probably had been dead for a day or two. I called the DNR wildlife people to let them know." Note: Steve sent a photo, but it didn't make it throught the spam filter. I'll try to get that up tomorrow.
(7/27) From Wired2Fish, Humminbird took home some hardware for their hardware at the 2011 ICAST show in Las Vegas. Their new 1158c DI combo took the Best of Show honors in the Electronics Division. The new unit features....Learn More, Read Humminbird Report Here. Thanks for being Wired2Fish.
Fishing Report July 26, 2011 Jeff Sundin Bass fishing on windy days might not phase experts, but if you're a new-comer to the sport, it can cause a few problems.
Meeting my customers in the morning, our game plan on Monday was to spend some time on a nice quiet lake fishing for Bass and Panfish. You know, something nice and relaxing, something simple and fun. Unless you can't figure out where your bait is and the boat is going around in circles, zig-zagging all over the place. We did our best, catching a few small Bass, some Rock Bass and other small panfish, but the plan just wasn't coming together, so we decided to move lakes and switch to Walleye fishing. At least that way we use the wind to our advantage, right?
Well when we arrived at Cutfoot Sioux, the whitecaps were coming out of the Northwest and it was obvious that for this crew, heading out on to the big lake wasn't going to work. Hopefully we'd find some action on the calm side of Cutfoot. After all, there is such a thing as good luck, right? Not yet. We tried three or four places, points along weedlines and out into the deeper water too. We tried some rocks, some sand, even up into the sloppy weeds. We did manage to pick up a few Walleyes including one really nice one for a picture, but not many numbers and the tiny Perch were picking at us like crazy. We needed to try something new.
We were putting the boat on the trailer with the intention of heading for Bowstring Lake when I thought of a tiny, 200 acre lake that just might have some Bass. We shifted gears and headed that way with our fingers crossed. Along the way, I checked in with a friend who'd been there recently and got a heads up about a good starting spot. Hey! there is such a thing as good luck!
Within a minute of getting the lines wet, Bass were coming into the boat. Not big ones, but the action was good and there were smiles on everyone's faces, especially mine!
The fish were hanging on the deep edges of mixed Cabbage and Coontail weedline. Simple 1/8 ounce jig and worm combinations were perfect for ther job and by now, the crew was tuned in enough to make good use of them. Within an hour and a half we did more fishing than we had done all day long and the trip ended up well. I'm glad we hung in there and kept trying and especially grateful for the good nature of my crew, who in spite of my frustrations, had smiles on their faces all day long.
(7/26) On Lake Winnie, I checked in with Zach Dagel during the mid-afternoon. They were fishing on the main bars using Lindy Rigs and doing fine. When I talked with Zach, he said the waves were about three footers, not comfortable, but manageble. Walleyes were coming from the edges of the main bars in 15 to 18 feet and pods of fish were scattered around the bars in a number of locations.
(7/26) On Lake of the Woods, Mike Kinsella from Border View Lodge says that the fish are starting to spread out. Jigging, which had been productive, has recently become hit and miss. Now, trolling with spinners has become more effective. Night Crawler harnesses, Leeches and spinners with minnows are all producing Walleyes. There are an increasing number of anglers using down riggers too.
According to Mike, the most consistent area has been North, around Garden Island he added that the reefs are producing some nicer fish too. The South end of the lake, while not as good, has still been producing fish for anglers who keep working.
Fishing Report July 25, 2011 Jeff Sundin On Sunday, I had a really special fishing trip with a couple of really special guys, the kind of experience that makes someone like me keep doing what I do.
I had recently received a call from a friend, John Gossen, asking to set up a date with me to go Bass fishing. Understand this, John is an excellent fisherman and a guide himself, who could easily do anything I can do. So at first, I didn't understand the motivation, but he explained and I understood and we booked the date. John showed up with his fishing buddy Stan, who is a super excellent fisherman too. From here on, it was just a fun day of fishing and a great experience.
Hoping to try a few unique locations, we started the trip on the Mississippi River at daybreak. It was a wonderful place to visit, but the Bass were off duty so after a half dozen stops, we scrapped the river idea, loaded up and moved to one of the dozens of other eligible small lakes
in the area. The sun was up bright by now and the Bass here were a lot more alert.
Once we cleared the landing, we hadn't even started the engine when Stan started catching Bass near the Bulrushes. That was just the beginning and for the rest of the day, action would start and stop, it came in flurries as we discovered new pockets that held fish. Most of the time, the best locations were areas where weeds and Bulrushes met. Most times, the fish were holding down the drop from the Bulrushes, on the inside and outside edges of the submerged weeds.
The presentations varried, but all involved getting down into or just over the tops of submerged weeds. Plastic worms rigged Wacky style, Jig and worm combos and texas rigged worms all produced fish. Stan, a real expert on Bass fishing, caught more Bass than any of us and he primarily used two deadly presentations. His weedless Jig and Pork Rind (real Pork Rind) combination was an excellent producer for most of the day. I also loved his Texas Rigged worm with the tail weighted using a cut nail. In fact, before the day was over, he'd have all of us using this setup and now I'll be adding the idea to my bag of tricks.
I'll probably have more to add about the trip later. But for now, lets just say that I got a lot more out of it than I put into it, THANK YOU! John, please click here.
Fishing Report July 23, 2011 Jeff Sundin Wrapping up the McQuay Fisharoo for another season took a little more effort than usual, but another one of my famous 11th inning rallies helped send my crew out in style.
It's been hard to break out of this weather pattern lately, the one day storm, one day wind and one day calm scenario has been keeping everyone on their toes. On Friday, we left the dock hoping for at least a partial re-run of the mixed bag Walleye and Perch action that we'd had on Thursday. Only this time, calm, sunny conditions were giving the fish a case of nappy-time fever. It was one of those mornings where every time I moved to a new spot, we'd pick up a couple of fish before they realized we were there. Once they felt the slightest pressure, the action would stop dead.
Luckily for me, my crew only wanted action and what kind of fish they were wasn't important. Since getting fish to eat was no concern at all, we put away all of the jigging and rigging rods, pulled out the heavy artillery and headed into the shallows for what we'd hoped would be Bass action. The only problem was that they had lock-jaw too, at least that's what we thought. Another lucky break for me was having one guy, Ross, who really liked this idea and wanted to keep pressing on. It was just enough motivation to keep the search going and on about the third spot, we finally started
having some luck.
The solution to our problem was that I had to figure out that with all of the bright sunshine, the Bass were hiding in the heaviest cover and always on the shady side of the shallow Bulrsuhes. Whenever there was a log or other stucture mixed in the cover, it made the spot even better. In other words, the heavier the cover, the better the fish liked it! We had to keep moving,
searching for these isolated spots, but once I knew the pattern, we found fish almost everywhere we looked.
Texas Rigged plastic worms were about the only baits that we could get into the cover and even then, we had lots of problems getting snagged and fouled up. But, if we could get the bait in front of a fish, they were biting and as the guys got more practice, they got more action. If you plan to try it, make sure you have some heavy gear. A flippin' stick or maybe even a minor league Musky-Pike rod, spooled with at least 30 pound braided line. Without some "brute force", the fish are going to wrap you up in the cover and break free of your hook.
You could say we were stubborn or maybe to dumb to quit, either way, I'm glad we stuck with it and finished out the 2011 Fisharoo with a bang. See you next year, especially you, Big J Little A Consulting!
Fishing Report July 22, 2011 Jeff Sundin Day 4 of the McQuay Fisharoo and one of the only days that I recall having a West wind so far this season. Before we ever arrived at the resort, the breeze was already kicking up a chop on the lake, so about half of the guides trailered around the lake to launch in calmer water. The idea was to fish on the main lake bars, in a variety of locations in the Southwest corner of Winnibigosh. Sugar Bar, Moses Bar and Horseshoe Bar all had at least some fish on them, the Bena Bar was in my game plan, but the West wind wasn't too appealing for that, so I skipped it in favor of working toward the West shoreline instead.
For most everyone, Lindy Rigs tipped with either Night Crawlers or Leeches fished along the top edges of the breaks worked fine. The most notable departure from recent reports was that most of the fish caught by everyone on Thursday happened to be in the "protected slot" so there were a lot of fish being caught, but not too many in the keeper size range. It may just have been one of those days, or maybe it's the beginning of a new trend, we'll see.
Another interesting twist, we caught several nice Walleyes using Creek Chubs in the 6 to 8 inch range. The larger minnows tend to encourage more of the larger fish to strike, so if you were interested in a trophy, it could be worth your time to give these a whirl too.
For me, the idea of gathering fish for the evening fish fry drew me into the shallow water where the chop was pounding on to the rocks.
We all rigged up with 1/8 ounce jigs tipped with mall size Golden Shiners and started working in 6 to 8 feet of water. Lucky for me, the fish were there and almost instantly, we began picking up a mixed bag of Jumbo Perch and Walleyes. At first, there were more Perch than Walleyes, but eventually the Walleyes showed up and began hitting better than the Perch. Here too, the scale was tipped heavily in favor of "slot-fish", many of them were between 17 and 18 inches, just a little too big. It worked out fine though, there were just enough keepers to make it worthwhile and in the end, all of the boats returned with plenty of fish for the fish fry.
Today, my work assignment is the "action bite" so there's no telling what we'll wind up doing, but I'm going to take a closer look at the shallows if there's enough wind to drum up a good chop. If it's calm, we'll head into heavy weeds or maybe out into deep water with some minnows, looking for a mixed bag.
(7/22) on Leech Lake, Darcy Tonga at Tonga's Launch Service says that Musky activity is increasing. Anglers are seeing more fish and there are reports of several catches duing the past week. Walleye and Perch action has also been improving and Dan has had some good trips recently.
(7/22) On Bowstring Lake, Darv Oelke from Bowstring Shores Resort says that Walleye anglers are still having decent luck fishing in 10 to 15 feet of water. Many of his guests are finding fish just out in front of the resort. They're catching them by drifting using Lindy Rigs and Spinners. There are some Jumbo Perch mixed with the Walleyes too and they're being caught on the same baits.
There have been some guests finding Crappies and even one party who mangaed to locate a limit fishing in Muskrat Bay using Little Nippers.
Fishing Report July 21, 2011 Jeff Sundin Wondering what the after effects of Tuesday's storms would be, I was kind of ne..nervous meeting new customers Marsha and Randy Newsome for the first time. Their son Kyle and their neighbor Marv were along on the trip too and they would be fishing with my friend Rod Dimich.
When we picked them up at Bowen Lodge on Wednesday, the lake had settled back down, the sun was shining brightly and the winds were light an out of the Southeast. After the giant waves mixed everything up on Tuesday, the surface temperature had dropped down to 74 degrees. Just in case the winds would become stronger during the day, I decided to make the longest run first and we headed straight for the South end of the Bena Bar. Along the way, winds became increasingly stronger and by the time we made it to the Big Musky are of the bar, there was a solid chop on the lake.
Once we got set up, I scanned the edge of the bar and found a school of fish and started our first drift. For a while, It was good, we picked up a couple of keepers and a few "slot-fish" too. But soon, the wind stopped blowing and the lake calmed down and this school of fish became in-active.
I compared notes with Rod, I decided to go exploring while he kept working on this school of fish and after a couple of sluggish tries, I finally discovered another active school of fish. This time the fish were holding on the top of the bar, on a point. This school of fish remained active long enough for us to get Rod and his crew in on the action too and soon, we were in good shape. We probably released at least one "slot-fish" for each keeper and there were some smaller released fish too. It never seemed like we were in the middle of hot action, but it remained steady and by the end of the day, we were in the 50 fish range, which was really a nice surprise for me!
We experimented with presentations and caught fish on Lindy's 2-hook Crawler
Spinners, a jig and Crawler combo and on Lindy Rigs with Leeches. In the end, our best action was still coming from the Lindy Rig tipped with an air injected Night Crawler. Best depths were on the top edges of the bar in 15 to 17 feet of water. Few fish, if any came from deeper than 18 feet and there were a few that came from as shallow as 14 feet. In the cleaning shack, we discoverd that these fish had been feeding on small, young of the year Perch minnows.
Here's a tip; When I scan the edge of the bar with my Humminbird, I watch for gaps in the schools of baitfish. These gaps represent areas where Walleyes or Perch have been feeding and have scattered the baitfish. Remember the old saying? "Find the bait and find the fish" , Just remember, find the gaps and you'll find the biting fish.
(7/21) On Ball Club Lake, Gus' Place Resort; The lake is in it's summer pattern now and according to Gus Sheker, patterns should remain the same until well into August. He says "Walleye fishing remains good using spinners with leeches or crawlers Lindy rigged, trolled along and just above the weeds in 7-9 feet, also outside the weed lines in deeper water 18-20 feet." In the weeds, trolling Silver, minnow type baits over the weed tops will also produce Walleyes.
Gus adds; "Northerns are plentiful and the bigger ones prefer live sucker or creek chub minnows & spinners trolled or drifted in 15 feet or less. Perch are everywhere in 12 feet or less and will fall for minnows or crawlers on slip bobbers or drifted along the shore line. Crappie & Bluegill have been slow, but the slip bobber fishermen are catching a few in 15 feet."
(7/21) Bemidji Lakes Area and NMLOG Member, Paul A. Nelson says; "Hot weather and frequent storms have slowed down the fishing on some days, but when the weather stabilizes, the fishing has been pretty good. Anglers are finding walleyes moving tighter to structure, with the fish moving up the breakline and even on top of some bars and humps when the walleyes are actively feeding.
Anglers have been finding most of the walleyes in 8-16 feet of water when they are feeding and in deeper water when they are inactive. Most of the walleyes have been either near the weed line or on the edges or tops of humps, bars, points and weed flats.
The best lakes for walleyes have been the larger lakes like Bemidji, Cass, Leech, Upper Red and Winnibigoshish, mostly because these lakes have more walleyes, which give anglers a better chance of finding larger numbers of active fish.
Muskie anglers have been catching more muskies recently in the hot water. The last half of July is usually the time when muskie anglers begin to see more fish over the 50 inch mark. Muskie anglers have also been catching some large pike when fishing for muskies. Anglers can target the larger pike by using sucker minnows, spoons or smaller muskie jerk baits.
The best lakes for muskies have been Bemidji, Cass, Leech and Plantagenet, although many of the smaller lakes connected to the better known muskie waters also have the potential to produce big fish and tend to get overlooked by most muskie anglers.
Bass and panfish anglers have also been catching fish, often with very little competition from other anglers. Walleyes and muskies continue to be the most pursued species by most anglers in the Bemidji area.
Hopefully the State of Minnesota will be open for business again soon, so the tourists and other visitors to the Bemidji area can get back to normal and buy fishing licenses, stay at the State Parks and support the people who rely so heavily on their business."
Fishing Report July 20, 2011 Jeff Sundin Come on, you gotta be kidding me, just when the fish were really biting too!
Just when we were having some fun, a string of thunder storms came ripping through the Itasca area. We had managed to get in a few hours of Walleye fishing as we watched the weather developing around us. But eventually, there was no choice but to head toward a safe harbor to wait out a big one that was bearing down on Lake Winnie. For me, there is no harder job than sitting around, doing nothing while we wait for a storm to pass through, but that's how we spent the next few hours. It became obvious that we weren't going to get back out on the big lake, so a handy team of friends came to the rescue and drove our rigs down to Nodak Lodge, where Roger and his crew had graciously given us a safe place to wait. We headed back to Cutfoot Sioux and watched the sky, waiting for a chance to get back out.
Luckily, we did get a break later in the day and my crew was interested in seeing what we could drum up close to the lodge on Cutfoot .
Walleyes gave us something to work with as we staged one of our Famous Fisharoo Eleventh Inning Rallies. On Cutfoot, we jumped from spot to spot and found small groups of Walleyes on shoreline points in about 16 feet of water. Some deeper, some a little shallower. Lindy Rigs tipped with Night Crawlers had been the best presentation until about 6:30 PM when the fish started moving shallower. We switched to 1/16 ounce jigs tipped with Crawlers and fished them in and around the weed tops at 8 to 10 feet. This presentation worked well, but yielded a much smaller average size fish. Many of them were too small for keeping, but a handful of them were good enough for us guys. In the end, we managed to head back to the dock with 13 keepers and had released an assortment of larger, slot-fish and smaller ones too.
I had promised myself that I'd try to find the Northern Pike in deeper water and before the storm blew in, I had been using a Lindy Rig tipped with a six inch Creek Chub. I did catch a couple of Pike on the deep breakline of the Bena Bar, but with only a couple of tries, I'm not sure if this is a pattern or not. Today, I'll try again and let you know how it works out.
(7/20) John Seekon from The Pines Resort on Lake Winnie added; "Some customers are working the smaller humps and are getting walleyes with leeches on the winward side of the structure. Other customers are trolling spinners and minnows on the edge or over the tops of the weeds for a mixed bag of perch walleyes and northerns."
Fishing Report July 19, 2011 Jeff Sundin Oooh, that was a hot one! First day of the season that I've seen an 80 degree surface temperature on Lake Winnie. As the warm up continues, the fish will be making some adjustments.
Tuesday was day 2 of the McQuay Fisharoo and for me, action was more important than species. When we left the dock, we hoped for some better Northern Pike fishing, but after a couple of hours of trolling, casting and jigging the weedlines, it was obvious that the high, sunny sky and hot temperature was working against that idea.
When the natives get restless for action, it's time to visit the Bass hole, so that's what we did. This was a better idea, a lot better! Largemouth Bass were thick in the shallow Bulrushes and with the warm water, they were really aggressive. For a couple of hours, we caught, missed or saw a Bass
on literally every cast.
At first, Bass were active enough to move out of the Bulrush and hit spinnerbaits, after they'd seen those and had become more wary,
we had to rig plastic worms texas style and cast into the pockets to get fish to strike. The better size fish seemed to be off doing their own thing and were found away from the areas where there were higher concentrations. Deeper patches of Bulrush with soft, dark bottom content was holding other panfish and maybe the larger Bass had focused on these as their next meal.
By about 1:00 PM, it was getting hot enough out on the lake to make the guys un-comfortable, so we headed in for a break, replenished our supplies and prepared for round two.
Next, we headed out toward the middle of Lake Winnie and started looking for some Walleye. Checking in with friends who wer out there already, the reports similar. Fish were being found in small packs on a variety of the smaller humps and on the larger bars too. Lindy Rigging with live Leeches and Night Crawlers is still producing fish for everyone, but spinners have been working too, so have slip-bobbers.
For day 3 of the Fisharoo, I have some fishermen who want to try for Walleyes and Northern Pike. We already know that the Pike weren't too plentiful in the weeds yesterday, so today I'm going to look out deeper for these. We'll be rigging with some larger minnows and maybe we'll try bobbers too. Tomorrow I'll have an update about how that works for us.
(7-19-11) On Monday, NMLOG Member Dustin Carlson, checked in with an exciting Musky Story, in his own words; "This weekend Charlie Gallagher & his Friends/family came up to the north country from Chicago, IL to Muskie fish with me and caught one of the largest Tiger muskies ever caught in the world.
It was 48.5" long, with a 28.5" girth and weighed 49lbs, Charlie released her. The world record Tiger muskie was caught in 1919 in WI it was 51" , 51lbs. The MN state record is 36lbs, so this blows the Mn record out of water. It was
caught in MN on the St Louis River, caught on a Top raider -top water bait. Truly a amazing fish, I was just happy to be there to witness Charlie catch such a amazing creature and release her to get bigger. Congratulations Charlie, a True Giant, & she is still swimming" Dustin Carlson - Northland Muskie Adventures Guide Service
(7-19-11) Click here for today's Audio Fishing Report.
Fishing Report July 18, 2011 Jeff Sundin Sunday reminded me a lot of last summer, hot, sticky and calm. Luckily the Walleyes on Lake Winnibigoshish are hanging in there, at least for now.
Fishing with a large group from McQuay Air Conditioning that visits annually for their Fisharoo, the goal on day one is always to gather fish for the evening fish fry. When we started the day on
Sunday, it was already nearly 80 degrees and there was a dense fog covering the lake. The surface temperature on Lake Winnie was a glassy calm 73 degrees. Most of the 8 guides who fished the event were planning the same strategy, head for the middle and start the hunt. Most everyone found a workable area and applying their own twist, came up with winning strategies.
For me, working the mid-lake humps was the best option, I moved from one to another and worked small schools of fish as I discovered them. This "Cherry Picking" has been a reliable way to find Walleyes lately, but I only use this strategy on calm days. If there had been a breeze, I'd prefer to fish longer stretches along the lake's main bars like the Bena Bar, Horseshoe, Moses, Sugar and Center. All of these larger structures are holding fish, choosing which one to fish is a simple matter of judging the wind and figuring out which will present the best drifting or trolling pattern.
Our best depths were 19 to 23 feet and we found many of the small schools of fish using the upper edges of these structures. Lindy Rigs, six foot leaders and air-injected Night Crawlers worked best for us, but I talked with friends afterward who had similar results using Leeches. Some of the Fisharoo anglers had great luck using spinners too and that will be on the agenda for my next Walleye trip.
Today, my crew will be interested in "action fishing" so I'm going to head toward the weeds where I hope to find a mixed bag of Pike, Bass and Walleyes. I am up against the clock this morning and Tuesday will be a major update, so please be sure to check in for more details tomorrow.
(7/18) There's a YouTube version of the new video from Bowen Lodge about Lindy Rig Fishing on Winnibigoshish. A couple of weeks ago, Doug Tenpas, Doug Hafften, Annette Krueger, Mike Desutter, Gail Heig, Deb Bassuener
all teamed up with me, to help produce this short video. Click here to view the Walleye Fishing Video.
Fishing Report July 17, 2011 Jeff Sundin Some days are like that ya know? Hot, Sunny and tons of traffic on the lake. In spite of the fish not being very cooperative, there were some highlights though. The drive to the lake was fantastic! The drive home from the lake was fantastic! My evening spent with friends was also fantastic! In other words, everything about the day was fantastic, except the fishing.
Once upon a time, in a land just down the road, I was part of a rock band in the Minneapolis area. The drummer, Mike (Curly) Smith and I have been friends and former band mates since junior high school and although I'm not doing it any more, Curly is still doing his usual "bang-up" job of playing the drums. Lots of people in the Twin Cities know him as the drummer for Raggs, which has been one of the most entertaining bands in the area for something like 30 years now.
The guitarist and Bass player from Raggs also have their own act, which they call DrunkNStupid. Occasionally Curly replaces the electronic, drummer gizmo thingy that they use and sits in as the live drummer. Last night was one of those nights and they were playing at a nice place called "The Narrows" in Outing, MN, at the bridge on Roosevelt Lake. Heck, that's only 45 miles away from Deer River, so guess what? I got there in time to catch up for a while before they started doing their thing at 8:30.
|DrunkNStupid, Buffalo (Guitar) Mike (Drums) and Chris (Bass). These guys are natural born entertainers! You'll have some laguhs and hear some great classic songs with the DrunkNStupid twist. Besides that, they are all great guys!
Their act is based on having a lot of fun and they do. You never know what they're going to play, anything from old time country to classic rock, but the common thread trhough all of the music is their ability to twist the songs into a shape of their own. Bassist (Chris) and Guitarist (Buffalo) are the kind of guys who can sing and play just about anything and they each have a great sense of humor, great stage presence and lots of bounce to their step. I think you should keep an eye peeled for these guys and if you get a chance to go and see them, do it!
Fishing Report July 16, 2011 Jeff Sundin On Friday, the first sign of the in-coming heat wave rolled toward us as the lighting and thunder rumbled around the Grand Rapids area.
I met up with Bruce Hoem and Dick Lidstad in Grand Rapids, we planned our strategy for a mixed bag, Smallmouth and Largemouth Bass and ten minutes later, we arrived at Pokegama Lake. On the water, the surface temperature was just over 70 degrees, the moderate wind was from the south and the sky was Grey. In the distance, there was lightning flashing high above the clouds and if we'd been on a Musky fishing trip, I might not have been able to contain my excitement! Too bad for us that we were trying to bag some Smallmouth Bass and whether it was the weather or something else was influencing the fish, we were not finding the Smallies we came looking for. We bagged a few Largemouth Bass, some Perch, Rock Bass and even a nice Walleye, but no Smallmouth, time for Plan B.
A quick meeting of the executive fishing committee produced a decision to save the Smallmouth fishing for Saturday and spend the afternoon fishing for Largemouth Bass instead. We headed for one of the small lakes located South of town and prepared to re-group.
On the water, surface temperatures were already nearly 75 degrees, the wind was lighter, much more manageable and the threat of storms was apparently behind us. Now it looked like we had a better chance at having some serious Bass action. The first spot yielded a dozen Bass, although they were mostly small ones. The fish were in heavy weeds high on the flat, not out on the edges, the key depth was between 6 and 10 feet.
We fished a variety of baits, but the best ones were a 1/8 ounce Gold Jig tipped with a 4 inch swimming grub and the 4 inch Yum-Dinger, rigged Wacky Worm style. There was another grub that Bruce dug out of his mystery bag too and it produced several fish, but we don't know the exact name of the bait. Today, I'll get a picture of it and maybe you'll recognize it.
We fished several spots on the small lake and some produced better than others, but we caught at least some fish at every stop. The heavier cover on the weed flats was good enough to keep us interested all afternoon, so I never tried heavier shoreline cover. I did try deeper weed edges a few times and these open-water spots were not producing many fish.
Fishing Report July 15, 2011 Jeff Sundin I met Chuck Johnson for the first time yesterday and when he told me that he wanted to go after Sunfish, I thought I had died and gone to heaven. Just the two of us, natural born panfishermen at heart, in search of monster Bluegills, YES!
This was my first chance of the summer to take a stab at Sunfish, so I can't say that I was totally prepared. It took me a couple of lakes to find them, but find them we did and in the end, the fish were more than cooperative. On our way toward the Blackduck area, I explained to Chuck that if we could find the 'Gills on one of these "Special Regulation" lakes, that they'd likely be giants, so he put up with the long drive.
Our first stop fell short of the mark, as we looked for the Sunfish, we caught a nice Walleye, one Northern Pike and missed a few more short-strikes, but the wind was too strong here and we decided to try something smaller and more managable.
The second lake worked out a lot better, smaller, calmer and much more appealing.
My strategy for finding Sunfish during mid-summer is really simple, start your search by fishing for Walleyes. Yes, start the search by drifting or slow trolling along the weed edges using a Lindy Rig or a 1/16 ounce jig tipped with a night crawler or leech. For me, this is a great way to figure out where the fish are because on most good panfish lakes, there are also Bass, Walleye, Perch and Pike using the same weedlines. This strategy helps hold the attention of anglers because they are constantly having action, even if it's not immediately the kind of fish we're looking for. Sooner or later, you will stumble into the right patch of weeds like we did, in fact, Chuck's first Bluegill came just seconds after I caught a nice Walleye.
Once the first Sunfish was caught, I dropped in a marker and stopped moving. Now we switched to small jigs, one tipped with a piece of cut night crawler, the other tipped with a Wax Worm. I had also rigged up a slip-bobber with one of the new Lindy Bugs that I'd just picked up on Monday. Tipped with a leech, the first cast yielded a 9-1/2 inch Bluegill, not too shabby!
The school of fish was located in 8 feet of water, in a weed patch of mixed Cabbage and Coontail. There was an open patch of gravel nearby and there were also some really nice bonus Perch mixed in with the Sunfish. We fished this spot until we had 10 Sunnies and 10 Perch, those plus our couple of bonus Walleyes were plenty for fish fries all around.
Today and Saturday, my vacation from Walleye fishing continues as I go on a mission to find some cool Bass fishing. With, luck, I'll have some good Bass information during the next couple of days.
(7/15) On Lake Winnie, Walleye action was good for friends who reported that the big lake was choppy, but that Walleyes were active. Fishing the Bars and humps using Lindy Rigs tipped with Leeches and Night Crawlers was the best approach. The larger humps located in the center of the lake have become more productive than the humps located on the outer edges.
(7/15) What, No Boat? Who cares? Austin Jones and David Deutch hoofed it down to their favorite hole on the Mississppi River, East of Grand Rapids and fished from shore. A couple of great looking Bass and Walleyes kept them occupied!
Fishing Report July 14, 2011 Jeff Sundin Good Morning! Still playing catch up as I take Multi-Tasking to a new level. After a few turbulent days, Wednesday helped get me back in the groove with a fairly routine, summer fishing day on Lake Winnibigoshish.
Fishing with Long time customers and great friends Pete Raquet and Jim Moe, I'd hoped to re-locate the school of Walleyes that have been milling around in the center of the big lake. The school of fish I'm talking about are the ones we managed to find on the Bena Bar a couple of weeks ago. The fish have been somewhat nomadic during the past ten days, so I've had to keep finding them over and over again. They have been on the rocks, on the Backside, in the weeds and all along the East side of the bar. Whenever I find them though, they have been somewhere within the boundries of this giant structure that runs from Lake Winnie's South shore, all the way out to the center of the lake.
On Wednesday, it took a while to figure out, but we finally did. This time they had moved about three miles South of where I'd last fished and were holding the East side of the bar in about 16 feet of water. Locating them isn't complicated, you'll just need to keep moving as you scan the edges of the bar with your electronics. If you can't find them on the edges, then start searching on the top of the bar. Yesterday, we had already finished up with our Walleye fishing when I spotted some additional fish on the Humminbird in about 12 feet of water on the inside edges of the deep weeds toward the South end of the bar.
Presentaion has varied between Lindy Rigs, Jigs and sometimes Spinners. Wednesday, the Lindy Rig tipped with Night Crawlewrs was the ticket. Before we drop the Crawlers into the water, I add a slight bubble of air with the worm blower to help them float off of the bottom. We caught a few fish on Leeches too, but the Crawlers had a definite edge. When we find fish up on top of the bar, spinners have been reliable. If you tip the spinner with minnow, you'll get some bonus Perch too.
(7/14) On Ball Club Lake, Gus' Place Resort; The deeper, cooler water of Ball Club Lake is an advantage during the warm weather period. While the action on some of the shallower lakes slows down at this time of year, Ball Club perks up. Right now, Walleyes are becoming more active as they chase large schools of baitfish. Watch your electronics and you will find suspended "bait-balls" flanked by predator fish. Fish the area where you mark these fish and you have a chance of catching some trophy Walleyes like the 30 inch, ten pounder caught and released by one of their guests last week.
Gus says that Walleyes have been active during low light periods. Early morning, late evening and overcast days present Walleye anglers an opportunity to troll Crank Baits or Bottom Bouncers with Spinners. Traditional minnow type baits work well when trolled just over the top of weeds and along the shallower weed edges.
Guys say that the daytime is better used to fish for Pike and Perch. He added that they've been seeing some really large Perch caught in less than ten feet of water on the South end of the lake. For Perch, the best presentation has been jigs tipped with fatheads or cut bits of night Crawler.
Northern Pike anglers are catching the better size fish by slow trolling or drifting with medium to small size Sucker minnows or Creek Chubs on spinners.
Bobber fishing using the same baits in 8 to 12 feet of water will produce good results too.
(7-14) Bemidji Lakes Area and NMLOG Member, Paul A. Nelson says; "Walleye fishing in the Bemidji area has been spotty most days, with anglers needing to be in the right place at the right time to catch the walleyes in a feeding mood. The best lakes for walleyes recently have been Winnibigoshish, Cass, Bemidji and Upper Red Lake.
When the conditions are bright and the winds calm, anglers have had a tough bite for walleyes in most lakes other than Upper Red Lake. Many of the walleyes have moved into deep water on mid-lake structure or on the edges of the shoreline structure with direct access to deep water.
Walleyes have been holding in 24-32 feet of water in most lakes, with walleyes moving shallower when they are actively feeding and deeper when they are inactive. Most anglers have been using live bait rigs with 6-10 foot leaders and tipping them with leeches, night crawlers or larger chubs.
Bottom bouncers and spinners tipped with night crawlers have also been working for anglers searching for active walleyes. Anglers can also search the cabbage weeds with jigs and plastics, slip bobber rigs or casting crankbaits on the edges of the weeds or where the weeds are less thick.
Muskie action has been improving on most of the larger lakes, with anglers seeing lots of fish and also catching a few. The best action has been on days with overcast skies or under low light conditions. Northern pike action has also been good, with anglers catching pike on sucker minnows or by accident when fishing for muskies.
The bug hatches are tapering off, so more walleyes should be moving onto structure looking for minnows and other baitfish. Eventually, a portion of the walleyes will move back into the shallows when the algae bloom tints the water enough to make feeding in shallow water more comfortable during the day.
Fishing Report July 13, 2011 Jeff Sundin Good Morning! Catching up after the road trip to Lake Mille Lacs where I met up with the folks from Lindy Legendary Fishing Tackle for their annual meetings. A big part of the production is to gather video and photos of the new product line up for the next show season. The weather was far from cooperative, but the folks at Lindy have assembled a team of pros that have seen all of that before. They shrugged off the challenges and went out and got the job done. You'll be hearing a lot more from me about the Lindy lineup as the season progresses and I hope you'll share my enthusiasm about the direction that this great team is going!
There are a ton of new developments right now, especially the seasonal shifts in location taking place because of insect hatches, increasing weed habitat and baitfish populations. It's going to take me a day or two to get all of the information written for you, so please check in often as I get caught back up. Here are some of the current highlights.
(7-13) On Leech Lake , Grand Rapids area guide and NMLOG member Zach Dagel checked in to let us know about a big Mayfly hatch going on. With all of the extra food, Walleyes are taking advantage of the opportunity to get particular about what they eat and when they eat it. Right now, the best bet on Leech Lake is the "after dark" night bite. If that's not your style, try crankbaiting on the sand flats in 12 to 16 feet of water for a mixed bag of Walleye and Northern Pike.
(7-13) On Cass Lake, Lake Bemidji and Red Lake River, area guide and NMLOG member Travis Giffen in his own words; "Mother nature does it again. Just after posting how excellent the walleye fishing has been out on the big lake Cass, the new fry hatch (shiners and perch) have moved out of the shallow flats and out on to the breakline edge creating a new challenge for the walleye fisherman. Good news-bad news scenerio. The fry hatch has been one of the most intense hatches I've seen in years providing much forage for the existing fish base, although the fish you might be after has many choices other than your bait to choose from. I have switched to fishing more of the weedline lakes (currently Lake Bemidji), which traditionally can hold many of the walleyes on the weed edge throughout the season.
Pike action has held good throughout this as they prefer a larger meal than the fry hatch, and Muskie action is starting to pick up. Muskies are starting to follow more with a few biting, but look for the upcoming week to really kick things along. I have walleye patrol for the next few days, but I expect some nice fish to show up for those out there fishing for them.
The Red Lake River took a week out from the fishing schedule due to high water conditions early last week. We are back into good fishable water levels now, but high water levels really slows the fishing so we took some time off. We did get out for two days later as the water was receding some and caught some trememdous catfish on spinnerbaits and light tackle for a blast of a time. The smallmouth numbers were low as they seem to be during the high water periods. I will be fishing the RLR later this week for a new update".
Fishing Report July 10, 2011 Jeff Sundin Saturday started off as a confusing morning for me, I just couldn't understand some of the things that were going on.
After a delay in getting on the road, I was making my way toward Lake Winnie, looking at the Wind blowing through the tree tops as the rain hit the windshield and an element of doubt about whether or not I was making the right move came over me. When my customers realized that they'd left one rain suit back at the hotel, we headed back to pick it up and something was telling me to switch gears.
Once we had everything back in proper order, I reversed course and headed for Bowstring Lake. At first, I'd thought I made a smart move because there was a heck of a wind blowing and I was happy that we weren't on the big lake. But by the time we'd checked three or four spots, I could see that this wasn't going to be the right lake for us today. If we'd been on a mission to get "eating fish", Bowstring would have been a good choice, there were lots of Perch, some of them were really nice. We also caught a couple of smaller Walleyes and Pike. At the same time, my friend Sean Colter was pulling crankbaits and they were having action, but like me, only small Walleyes were coming to the boat at that time. My problem was that my customers wanted to catch some larger fish, even if it meant releasing all of them. They didn't need anything for the freezer and didn't plan on taking a single fish home with them.
By now, the wind was calming and the rain had stopped, so we decided to pull out and head back toward Lake Winnie. That was a good move and once we got dialed back in over there, the rest of the afternoon went well.
The fishing reports from the past week cover every detail of what we
did on Saturday, so there's no point in writing it all over again. Just go ahead and scroll down this page and you'll be in good shape.
Heads Up, after we wrap up our trip today, I will be travelling down to Lake Mille Lacs for some business meetings and media work. Depending on how busy they keep me and the availability of Wi-Fi, I may not have a report for Monday or Tuesday. Don't worry though, I'll be gathering some good information as we work and I'll have everything back up to speed by Wednesday morning at the latest.
Check my Facebook Page for period mobile updates during the session. Have a great day today!
Fishing Report July 9, 2011 Jeff Sundin The project was to gather footage for an upcoming video that will provide guests with some mid-summer, open water Walleye fishing how to's and ideas about fishing Lake Winnibigoshish when they visit the lake. The idea was to make fish with some of Bowen's guests and to make the trip as close to a real guided fishing trip as we could, while still gathering the footage we needed. The usual rule of thumb is that when the Video camera is rolling, the fish disappear. Luckily for me and the crew from Bowen Lodge, we managed to pull a fast one and slip in under the radar. There were a few moments of tension though when I discovered that the fish had moved from where we found them on Thursday. The good news was that we found them again on the flat, just a mile or so from the rocks they'd been using the day before.
(7/9) On Dora Lake, Kyla Haag at the Dora Lake Lodges says; "The walleye bite had slowed down during the cold rainy week that we had but it seems to have picked back up some with this warm stable system. The jumbo perch are biting well and we are still seeing some crappies being caught here. Still not much northern action but our water level has been fluctuating a lot with all the rain we had." Kyla, is anticipating a better week ahead for Northern Pike fishing.
(7/9) On Lake of the Woods, Mike Kinsella of Border View Lodge is reporting mixed reults on the South end of the lake. Runoff from heavy rains muddied the Rainy River, which in turn made the water on the lakes South end murky too. Anglers who veture further out and find cleaner water have continued to do well, while those staying closer are struggling to find consistent Walleye fishing. Mike says; "The water is warming up and a few boats have been using downriggers. The good news is the river has cleaned up and fishing should be back to normal on the south end soon."
Leeches have been working well for those who are fishing out deeper, shiners or trolling with crankbaits has been better in shallower water.
(7/9) On Bowstring Lake, Darv Oelke at Bowstring Shores Resort is reporting that a lot of nice walleyes in the 18 to 22 inch range have been coming in from the shallows. Some fishermen are doing better than others and results have ranged from limits of fish for some, just a few for others, but no one is going home fishless.
Nice Perch are mixed with the walleyes and the best fishing has been in 7 to 9 feet of water using Leeches or Night Crawlers. Some of their guests are getting a few on the crank baits too, Perch colors are working well.
Finally Darv says that not many reported catching any Crappies, but he added that there hasn't been much pressure to find them either.
(7/8) On Ball Club Lake, Gus' Place Resort reports that water temperatures are in the low to mid 70 degree range right now. Water levels are still high and the water is clear. Crappie fishing action has slowed with the passing of the spwaning season, but there are still a few being caught on the Southeast end of the lake in 12-15 feet of water.
Some of the Perch fishermen are reporting catches of larger fish, some of them exceptional, up to 15 inches. They are finding them on weed lines, fishing with Crappie minnows.
Walleye locations have shifted and many have moved off of their shallow water haunts in favor of the deeper 18-21 foot pockets along the main breakline.
Gus says "The best action has been along the East shore. Yesterday one of our customers caught a nice 19 inch fish while trolling for Northerns ising a Black/White/Silver spoon, most likely taken for a Shiner by the walleye."
Most of the Walleye anglers are using Lindy rigs or bottom bouncers for Walleye, fishing has been best early morning and late evening.
Northern Pike fishing is always good on Ball Club, Right now, customers are trolling artificial baits in 12-18 feet, but every year, many of the larger Northerns are caught drifting live Creek Chubs or Sucker Minnows. Many 5-7 pound fish have been taken using this method during the last week.
(7/8) Bemidji Area, NMLOG Member Guide Ryan Klein Talks about some of the small lakes just north of Blackduck. "The big sunfish are biting well right now in the cabbage weeds 6-12 ft just outside of the bullrushes. Small jig with piece of a crawler or lindy rig with a float and piece of crawler has been working. The occasional walleye has also been showing up while fishing for the bluegills. The walleye bite has been pretty good out there on a few of the bars in the 12 -17 ft with lindy rig and crawler or leech.
Fishing Report July 8, 2011 Jeff Sundin Hardly a day goes by that I don't get some kind of surprise. In spite of high skies and calm conditions, the Walleyes were on the rampage Thursday and even cramming two short half day trips into one day, there was enough action to go around for everyone.
Winnibigoshish has been home territory for me this whole week and on Thursday, I expanded on the patterns that have been emerging throughout the week. When we arrived, the surface water started at 71 degrees and by days end had warmed to almost 75 degrees. There was a chop on the surface as we rode out from Cutfoot into the big lake, but it soon subsided and we were eventually fishing in flat calm conditions.
Expanding on the idea that most of the humps have been fished hard for the past two weeks, I skipped even looking at them and started the morning by scanning a couple of pockets and points on the larger Bena and Center Bars. We saw a few fish and made one pass on each spot, but there were no fireworks, so we quickly reeled 'em up and headed for shallower water.
A new theme of the week has been emerging, shallow rock rises on larger sand & mixed gravel flats. With warming water temperatures, the flats are filling up with all kinds of food. Everything, bugs, minnows, smaller game fish, you name it, they're all gathered up on the flats and any structure can be a potential gold mine. Rocks are the most common, but an isolated weed bed or even a transition from sand to mud can be a gathering point for these fish.
We headed for one of the more popular rock spots and found a mixed bag of Walleye, Perch and Northern Pike. There were several other boats fishing the area too and from what I could see, a variety of prestentations were working, some btter than others.
For us, 1/16 ounce jigs tipped with Night Crawlers was our ticket for Walleyes. I saw a couple pulling spinners tipped with minnows and they were catching a lot of Perch and another couple using Lindy Rigs with Leeches who were also catching Walleyes. I experimented with artificials and caught the largest fish of the day, a 28 inch Walleye using an 1/8 ounce Lindy Jig tipped with a Ripple Shad.
During the past few days, we've found the same mix and had similar results on every rock spot we've tried. Some are holding more fish than others, but all of them have had something to offer and part of the fun is exploring the flats looking for these rocky areas. If you really want to find a lot of them, get serious and pick up one of the Humminbird units that has the side imaging feature. You'll be amazed at how many of these places there are. I've found three new (to me) ones in the past two days already.
Fishing Report July 7, 2011 Jeff Sundin Have you ever had one of those days where it seemed like you were spinning your wheels and then all of the sudden, things just started to work and by the end, you wrapped up feeling really, really good? That's how my day was on Wednesday, except that for me, I wound up feeling better than good, it was great!
Now don't get the idea that I'm talking about how fantastic the fishing was,
no, I mean the experience. It's about the time you spend with people and getting something really good from your time together.
It all started off like an ordinary day of fishing for me, I met first time customers, Tom Wright and his sons Connor and Evan, ages 11 and 13 at Fred's Bait for what was going to be a half day fishing trip. When I asked what they wanted to do, the boys were all pointing toward the Walleye hole, saying "take me there". I knew it was going to be a challenge, the forecast was for calm-sunny conditions
and we'd just had a major weather change, but I promised to give it my best and we headed for Lake Winnibigoshish to see what we could do.
When we got to the lake, it was calm and the sunshine was intense, surface water was warm, 73 degrees and it didn't look too promising for teaching first time Walleye fishermen how to get the job done, especially in four hours. I was hoping that we could trick a few Walleyes on the shallow rocks before they got spooky and headed for the spot where we'd wrapped up on Tuesday evening. We were all rigged up with 1/16 ounce jigs tipped with Night Crawlers and within a few minutes, we'd had three strikes and missed all three fish. Oh oh.... the fish were weird, the vibe was weird and the boys were getting restless. We spent some time talking about conditions and how it affects the Walleyes and the list of questions was getting longer than the list of answers, you know, it looked like things were going down hill. The bites fizzled out on this spot and looking around for something else to do, I found another shallow rock spine that I hadn't fished before. Sticking with the jig 7 crawler combo, we caught two keepers on this spot and that perked the boys up for a few munutes, but this spot fizzled out too. Time for a new game plan.
We headed for deeper water hoping to get on top of an active school of fish on one of the mid lake humps. I wasn't looking forward to the potential tangles and snarled line, but planned to make the best of it. After checking a couple of duds, my Humminbird revealed a small school of fish at the third stop. Here we got set up with Lindy Rigs, two lines with Crawlers and two lines with Leeches. Tom picked up a nice Walleye, an 18 inch slot-fish and when I let it go, I had another round of explaining to do about the pros and cons of slot limits, but we got through this one fairly easily. We fished here for another 10 or 15 minutes and the rest of these fish gave us the cold shoulder. By now, it was well past noon, fishing was tough and it was getting tempting to start working our way home. Still, I knew how badly the boys wanted to get some fish for dinner at Grandma's and I promised to give it some extra time.
I decided that it would be better to get into some new territory, so we headed a few miles up the lake and started looking at some humps that I haven't been fishing this season. We found a hump that looked good and as we got set up to fish, I was paid a visit by a little helper (see the lucky number), just then, a little breeze
came up and soon there were some waves slapping the back of the boat. I told the boys that we were in for some better fishing and that Grandma was going to get her fish fry! Okay, I know it's not about me! HEY! I know I had help! But on this one particular occasion, I want to take the credit.
All of the sudden the boys just started fishing really well, everything we talked about all morning was coming together and they were really starting to have fun. Everyone caught at least one Walleye in the mid 20 inch range, we added a couple of keepers and we were on our way to reaching the goal we set for ourselves. Now, time was working against them, because they needed to make the drive back to Chisholm in time for supper. We decided to make one last stop on a shallow rock pile that was on our way back toward the landing.
On the rocks, we found a mixed bag of Perch and Walleyes and this time, they were biting! With 45 minutes of fishing time, Using an 1/8 ounce jig and minnow combination, we gathered enough fish for a great fish fry and headed for the landing.
On the ride back, I reflected on the day and realized how easily this day could have gone down the drain. If it weren't for that extra little push, those extra few hours, I could have missed out on seeing all of those smiles. I could have missed out on making these great new friends and helping pass the sport on to another generation. Okay, we didn't get our limit, we got a lot more than that! We caught Grandma's fish fry and that's really all that mattered, huh?
Fishing Report July 6, 2011 Jeff Sundin On Tuesday I was back to William's Narrows Resort and another go around with the Schultz - Danielson clan on Cutfoot Sioux and Lake Winnie. My crew for the morning shift, Tammy, Tina and Cody were all ready to bag some Walleyes out on the big lake.
Storms that moved through the Deer River area during the night had left behind a cooler, Northerly breeze and there was a light chop on the lake. Still, the surface temperatures managed to hold the 71 degree mark and for the first time this summer, the spray from splashing boat waves felt warm instead of cold.
We returned to the game plan that served us well a couple of days ago, fishing mid-lake humps and bars in the Northwest corner of Winnibigosh. Scanning for fish on the first hump, the Humminbird revealed a school of fish holding in about 23 feet of water. We were all using Lindy Rigs again and I rigged two lines with Leeches and two lines with Night Crawlers. Within a few minutes, we had boated one keeper and another 21 inch "slot-fish", both on Leeches. Within another 10 or 15 munutes, we'd had enough action on the Leeches to warrant switching eveyone to this presentation instead of the Night Crawlers.
We stayed on the same hump for an hour or so and while the action was slower than it was on Sunday, it was still good enough to hold our attention. Eventually, the action on this spot slowed down and we hunted around for another good location, but found only some smaller schools of fish. We'd get a fish or two from each stop, but did not find another large school of fish within the immediate area.
Before heading in for lunch, I thought we should try to drum up some faster action so I started checking some small, shallower rock piles in order to locate a mixed bag of Perch, Walleye and Pike. For this, we put away the Lindy Rigs and switched to a 1/8 ounce jig and minnow combination which is a good way to drum up some action on these rocky locations. The first stop had a small school of small to medium size Perch, not exactly what we had in mind, so we moved East and found another one. This time the action was better, we caught some nice Perch, a couple of Pike and another Walleye. By This time, we'd already been hearing the dinner bell ring for a while, so we headed off the grid to do some cooking!
After dinner, my crew was the whole Danielson family, Arne, Tina and Libby. I had the idea that fishing shallower water, maybe more rocks was going to be better for us than heading back toward the humps, so we picked up where we left off in the early afternoon, jigging the rocks in 12 to 14 feet of water. We poked around for a while on the North side of Winnie, but eventually made a larger move, heading West to Raven's Point where persistent rumors of catching Walleyes on crankbaits had been getting my attention for the past week or so.
On the shallow rocks, the wind was light and it was too early and bright for a full scale "hot bite", so just to kill some time while we waited for the evening run, I headed out onto some deeper rocks. This was a lucky break for me, because I stumbled into a large school of Walleyes here and as we would soon learn, this spot would be home for us until we were filled out and finished for the day.
The spot was a narrow rock spine that might have been 75 yards long and topped out at about 13 feet deep. The fish, mainly Walleyes, were holding just off the edges in 14 to 16 feet of water and were easily visible on my Humminbird. At first, everyone was set up with 1/8 jig and minnow combinations, but when I started experimenting with a 1/16 ounce jig tipped with a Night Crawler, the Walleyes responded so well that it was time to sitch the girls over to this presentation too. Arne stuck with the jig and minnow and easily kept pace with the rest of us, so I'm sure we could have kept up with that presentation. But, the 1/16 ounce jig and crawlers snag so much less often on the rocks, that it was better to stick with this pattern.
There's been a lot of traffic on the humps for the past week or more. I don't mean to say that there won't still be some fish on these spots, but the high traffic coupled with warmer water and ordinary seasonal shifts in location are going to warrant some changes in fishing style. Expect to hear more about the Lindy Spinners, crankbaits and other faster moving presentaions
during the next week or so. Also, expect to hear more about the weedlines, shallow rocks and mid-depth flats as the more active fish begin expanding their range as they attempt to fatten up for the winter.
(7/6) On Lake Winnie, Brice Mink, a frequent visitor to the lake and guest at Williams Narrows Resort says that the evening crankbait bite has been good in the shallows on the big lake. Fishing from 8:00 PM until just after dark has been good for him. Fish shallow rocks in the 6 to 8 foot range using shallow running crankbaits. For me, the #5 Shadlings would be a good selection. Experiment with colors, but I'm told that Black/Silver combinations have been reliable.
(7/6) Product Information. For me, one of the joys of the past few days has been using my new landing net. It's not that often that I get excited about something like this, but I am really thrilled with the new Beckman-Penn Fishing Net that arrived last week! This thing is awesome! The coated basket has allowed us to net all kinds of fish without a single snarl and the long, six foot handle means that I'm always in reach of the next fish coming toward the boat. This net has been a joy to use and I really look forward to showing it off for the rest of the summer.
Fishing Report July 5, 2011 Jeff Sundin The weather was just about perfect for a family gathering of any kind. But for me, fishing with my daughter on her birthday would have been perfect anyway, even in a blizzard! As it turned out, one of our favorite lakes gave us everything we needed to make this one of the best days ever!
For about a month, Annalee had been lobbying to do some Bass fishing on her birthday and with warming water, stable weather and relatively calm seas, I couldn't have asked for a better work assignment. Along with her boyfriend Austin Jones and college friend Kayla Osterbauer, the four of us picked a lake where we could fish, swim and take some nice pictures. It all came together as planned, the Bass weren't the biggest I've ever seen, but they bit steadily and kept us busy with almost non-stop action. There were a few Walleyes that got in the way, I couldn't help that, so we put up with the interuptions and packed 'em up for Kayla "Spanky" to share with her family at home.
I thought that weeds would be my first choice for locating the Bass and on our first spot, it worked like a charm.
A small hump with weeds around the edges and rocks in the center was full of fish. Everything from Rock Bass to a really nice Musky that put on a little show for us. The second spot, a cabbage bed located on a main lake point, was actually better for Walleyes
than it was for Bass, but we did catch a few Largemouths here as well. After a break for some swimming, the wind had picked up and we hunted around for another spot. This time I stumbled into the motherlode on the deep edge of a shallow rock hump. The wind coming into the rocks had the fish stirred up and again, there was everything from soup to nuts on this spot. We boated at least a couple of dozen Bass, tons of Rock Bass and I even released a 25 inch Walleye.
Our presentaion varied, but the one of the coolest baits we used was the 3 inch Ripple Shad that Kayla fished with the entire day through. It was the only one we had along and she caught everything on this single bait. Six inch Power Worms, Gulp Worms and live Night Crawlers also did well.
The best fishing depth was anywhere from 8 feet downt to about 20 feet. The shallowest rocks were loaded with Rock Bass and they were so aggressive that it's doubtfull that we'd have had time to find many larger Bass in the shallows.
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Fishing Report July 4, 2011 Jeff Sundin Ah Ha! This is it, the one. My first day off since the fishing season opened and also a day that means more to me than I can ever hope to explain. So I won't try. But I will say Happy Birthday to my precious daughter, Annalee who is one of the very few people in this world who could get away with asking me to go fishing, today! ~ :) ! But she did, so I AM.
It looks like I'll have a real boat full, the whole family, plus a couple of extras thrown in for good measure. So I'll be on the prowl for something nice and easy to do, maybe we'll go Carp Fishing or Bullheads....maybe Sunnies from the dock, hmm...the possibilities are endless.
On Sunday, my friend Arne Danielson worked me like a rented mule as we fished to entertain his nieces and nephews visiting from both near and far. Three in the morning and three in the afternoon with a shore lunch for sixteen people stuffed into the middle. The crew is all staying at Williams Narrows Resort on Cutfoot Sioux, so we spent the day on Lake Winnie, fishing for Walleyes.
The weather was just about perfect for a family gathering of any kind. Sunshine, calms seas and most anglers had the cooperation of the fish too! Especially the folks that fished the morning shift.
I, along with lots of other folks headed for what's been the "hot bite" lately, the mid-lake humps on the big lake. For me, the morning shift was great. Fishing with Cody, Nathaniel and Tammy, we got lots of training because the Walleye bites were frequent and aggressive. Fishing in about 23 feet of water, using Lindy Rigs and Leeches, we caught 15 keepers and a half dozen "slot-fish" and did most of this on the first spot we tried. My buddy Arne was fishing too and they caught some really nice size keepers too, so by mid-day, we had plenty of fish to feed everyone and headed back to the cabin for a super-sized shore lunch.
At around 4:00 PM we assembled our crews for the second shift and headed back out onto the lake for round two. This time I was fishing with Todd, Travis and
Mackensie. Because of the good morning, our expectations were high, but this time the fishing was more of a struggle, at least for me. The lake was flat calm, the sunshine was bright and hot and when the fish did bite, they were much less aggressive than before. I'll never be quite sure if the problem was that they didn't get very many bites or if they just had trouble feeling the subtle tug of the sluggish fish, but either way, I wasn't finding enough action to do a proper job of training. Anyway, we managed to catch a few more, but the results were nowhere near as good as the morning. Arne did better. He and his crew, Nathaniel and Cody bagged eleven more Walleyes by working the humps thoroughly and convincing the fish to bite.
All in all, it was a great day though, everyone had fun, we had plenty to eat and at about 9:30 we were even able to help feed a giant flock of Mosquitoes!
(7/4) On Upper Red Lake, I had a Facebook message from Shane Hastings who is camping up at Red Lake and fished yesterday. He didn't say how many fish or what they caught them on, simply that Center Bar was really good.
Fishing Report July 3, 2011 Jeff Sundin A little different than I expected. That's the best way to sum up my fishing trip on Saturday.
It started at the dock on Sand Lake and judging by my own frame of mind, the vibe was excellent and all indications pointed toward a good day on the horizon. When we headed out on to Sand Lake, I found surface temperatures at 67 degrees, a nice Northwest breeze was giving me an easy drift and after looking around, I even found a spot that seemed to be holding fish. Mike boated a couple of of small Pike and a Perch using a jig and minnow and I had been getting some teasing from Walleyes that were taking less than my full offering of a night crawler. Just when it seemed like I had good reason to be optimistic, Mike was stricken by a sudden, self-induced health issue involving an over-dose of Jose Cuervo. We needed to head back to the dock and we needed to do it now!
At the dock, I made small talk with Joe Campbell while Mike re-traced some of his steps from the night before and when he re-emerged, we put the boat on the trailer and headed toward the nearest source of food and coffee.
After breakfast, we were so close to Lake Winnie that it only made sense to put the boat in there and try to get in a good afternoon of fishing.
Luckily, the wind on the lake hadn't gotten too strong yet and the fish were still cooperating so we managed to pull out a limit of Walleyes before the seas got rougher and another "health issue" emerged. This time, we needed to find calmer water, so I headed into Cutfoot where we finished out the rest of the trip.
On Cutfoot Sioux,
it was a nice surprise to find out that the shallow water was holding a variety of fish. The Northwest wind was perfect for drifting in several areas and the weedline in 7 to 9 feet of water was holding Pike, Walleye and a few Perch. Since we already had our Walleyes, we fished only with jig and minnow in the hopes of finding a school of Perch. We didn't find the Perch, but we did catch at least a half dozen Walleyes on the 1/8 ounce jig and Fathead combination.
I got a phone call from my friend Vern Valliant who told me that there were nice Perch hitting on the rocks, on the big lake, but by then, time and convenience were an issue and we headed toward the dock and wrapped up the day.
To sum it up, on Saturday, I may have learned more about life than I did about fishing. But I did manage to glean some information. Sand Lake has some fish on the weedline in about 8 feet of water, the humps are still producing Walleyes on Lake Winnie, there are some active Walleyes on the weedline in Cutfoot Sioux, Perch are using the rocks on Winnie and finally, Stay away from too much Jose Cuervo!!
About Pokegama Lake: One Question: Would anyone be able to share some insight into the possible causes for the massive die-off of Smelt and Panfish on Pokegama Lake? My friend Sean Colter reported that there are thousands of dead fish floating on the surface of the lake right now and except for the storms that blew through on Monday, I can't begin to guess what killed all of these fish. I'm sure everyone who loves Pokegama Lake would like to know the answer though and if you can help, please email me.
(7-3) On Lake Superior , Grand Rapids area guide and NMLOG member Zach Dagel had a great day fishing Lake Trout. They were trolling over 200 feet of water, fishing about 5 feet below the surface using shallow running crankbaits. Zach said that the key for him was to locate 50 degree water. When they did, the fish atrted hitting and before the trip was finished, they'd boated a dozen Lakers.
Fishing Report July 2, 2011 Jeff Sundin Another day on Lake Winnibigosh for me on Friday and as we head into what looks like a great July 4th weekend, the timing looks good for Walleye anglers visiting the lake.
We had a series of lighter than average thunderstorms move through the area last night, but this morning, the sky is blue and the sunrise (see lucky number) suggests a nice day ahead. Sunny, breezy and highs in the upper 70's.
On Lake Winnie yesterday, winds were light and most of the Walleye fishermen on the lake appear to be fishing on the mid-lake humps and bars. It was no different for me, fishing the humps has been a steady strategy for me for most of this past week.
It's been a few days since the last real heavy winds and it's easy to see the build up of bait on some of these humps. There are tons of young minnows, insect larvae and small baitfish inhabiting the structures now and the Walleyes are nearby to take advatage of the opportunity.
Water temperatures are starting to creep up now too. In the morning, surface temps were ranging from 66 to 67 degrees, but by late afternoon, we were looking at 69.5 degrees on the main lake and 75 degrees at the landing.
Walleyes were semi-active for us. We could easily find fish on the structure and most of them were holding in the ideal, 22 to 26
foot deoth range. On the first pass, the fish always bit aggressively, sometimes on the second pass as well. But once the fish had been worked a time or two, they would get finicky and the best bet for me was to go and find another school of fish. You should be confident in this pattern though, because there were literally fish on every structure we tried. Some yielded better results than others, but all of them have potential, at least for the next few days.
Our presentation was Lindy Rigs, six foot leaders and Leeches. I remembered a friend telling me about his trip on Friday and that they used Night Crawlers, so I tried these again and still decided that I liked the Leeches better.
For today, I'm heading up to Sand Lake where my customer is staying and based on my last trip up there, it could be a long day for me. We're going to start a little early to try and get in on what may be left of a morning bite. So I'm cutting the report a little short for this morning and I plan to update a few more notes this evening.
Fishing Report July 1, 2011 Jeff Sundin Welcome to July and what promises to be a happy month for everyone visiting Minnesota's Northland. Warm, stormy conditions persist for today, but hopefully the weekend forecast of suny skies and warm temperatures will come true for everyone who is making their way up for the 4th of July weekend.
For me, it's the beginning of another month of fishing trips, but this month, there are going to be some really special things happening in July and I'm looking forward to
telling you all about them as the events unfold.
On Thursday, I met up with first time customers/first time Walleye anglers, Brian and Don Mielke. Our game plan was to split the day into a half day of Walleye fishing and a half day of Bass fishing. After scratching my head for a while, I decided to "play it safe" for the morning and head back up to Lake Winnibigosh where the Walleye fishing has been reliable and steady.
On Lake Winnie, we arrived at the Birches Landing to discover that a massive new hatch of those little, black, ankle eating flies had emerged. If you're wondering how to make things move faster at the launch sites, just make sure that there's a bunch of these flies around and I'll guarantee that everyone will move faster than lightning (like we did) to get out of there. Once we were on the water, the breeze along with a few squirts of Skin So Soft took care of the fly problem and we were able to pay attention to the job at hand.
On the lake, there was a chop, but conditions for fishing the deep-water humps and bars were manageable, so we headed out into the area Southwest of Bowens Flats and started checking them small humps for signs of life. It didn't take too long to find the first small school of fish and we started whittling away at the ABCs of How to Bag A Walleye. We got our Lindy Rigs set up, pinned on some Leeches, dropped the 3/4 ounce weights to the bottom and in a few minutes, Don had his first Walleye in the boat. From here on out, we enjoyed our moments of greatness as they came along. Learning curve aside, the fishing was good and after we'd boated a dozen or so Walleyes, we decided to head for the Bass fishing lake.
The system on Winnie was the same as its been for the past few days, so just read the reports from this week and you'll have everything you need for this weekend.
Fishing for Bass in the afternoon,
we headed for a small lake not far away and rigged up with the simplest possible baits. All three of us were using 1/8 ounce jig heads, I tipped one with a 4 inch wide tail Twirl Tail, One with a Ripple Shad and the third with a 4 inch ring-worm. At first, the windy conditions were working against us, but as we moved toward calmer water, the fishing improved.
We found the first school of fish in the Bulrushes located near a steep drop off. These fish were in the 3 to 5 foot of water range and while it was nice to catch a few, it didn't seem like the hot-bed of action. We moved into the shallows to look for signs of spawning beds, panfish or any other clues to help zero in on the location of the motherlode.
I stumbled into a rocky area where we found signs of beds that appeared to be already abandoned. Just to the deep side of the rocks was a nice Cabbage patch, a small point and drop into deeper water. Hmmm....interesting, we started casting the small baits into the Cabbage weeds and guess what? We picked up at least a dozen Bass on this spot, maybe more. Most of them were Largemouth Bass, but we did hook a couple of Smallmouths here too.
The fish seemed to prefer the fatter 4 inch Power Grub, so I switched the boys over to these. We caught several fish on Black, but some of my old mutated, ugly White ones worked even better.
Any small, soft plastic baits have potential on these deeper weed edges, so don't be afraid to experiment, mix and match colors and sizes until you're happy.
The presence of rocks, weeds and access to deeper water was the key to finding a good school of fish. This is a typical summer pattern, so it's probably going to be effective an most all of the better Bass lakes in the area for the up-coming weekend.
Finally, the heat and bugs were sort of pushing us away from the idea of cooking our fish on the shoreline, so we loaded up the rig and headed back to Deer River and the White Oak Inn, where the boys are staying. We cleaned up the fish and headed into the Outpost Bar and Grill, where they cooked up our fish for us while we relaxed and reflected on the day. The Beer Batter Walleye dinner
was great and we never got bitten by a single bug. Nice!
(6/30) Bemidji Lakes Area and NMLOG Member, Paul A. Nelson says; "The mayflies are hatching just in time for the Forth of July Weekend. The mayfly hatches were delayed this year by all the cold weather and rain. The sudden arrival of warmer weather triggered the hatches to begin in most of the larger lakes in the Bemidji area and they should continue to hatch for the next week or two.
Anglers can still catch walleyes during the mayfly hatch, but it often takes a change in locations and a change in tactics to catch fish. Most walleye anglers have switched to live bait rigs tipped with leeches or night crawlers, which often resemble large insects and they usually have a better chance of getting eaten by walleyes with full stomachs than larger minnows. .
Mayflies gather together in big clouds as they emerge from the mud and will slowly rise to the surface at night, where they can dry their wings and finish laying their eggs in the water, which starts the annual cycle all over again.
The clouds of mayflies are so dense coming off the bottom that they are visible on sonar. Walleyes feeding on mayflies often suspend well off the bottom, so anglers often need to use longer snells to reach the fish.
Anglers fishing walleyes suspended several feet off the bottom can use longer snells (6-10 feet or longer) and inject the night crawlers and leeches with air, to help them float further off the bottom.
Most of the walleyes have been located on the edges of mid-lake bars and humps in 18-26 feet of water, but they can also be on hard mud areas in much deeper water. A few walleyes are also using shoreline breaks that have direct access to deeper water with a mud bottom.
Generally speaking, when anglers are seeing fish in a range of depths on sonar, they should try to catch the shallowest walleyes first, because they tend to be the most active fish.
The water in the lakes is still very clear, so the best bites have been on days with some wind or clouds. The algae blooms are starting and the water temperatures are now approaching 70 degrees, so summer fishing patterns are just around the corner on most lakes.
(6/29) The Wired2Fish Tackle Box section is where I just learned about some new products that are going to help me catch more fish this summer. Click here to Visit the Tackle Box.
(6/29) On Bowstring Lake, Marjean Oelke at Bowstring Shores Resort sais that it's been a good week on Bowstring. Their guests have been catching Walleyes in 18-22 feet of water on the main lake drop offs and out on some of the mid-lake bars and reefs. Marjean added that they've had good Perch fishing too and some of their guests have found "a few" Crappies on the rock piles.
(6/29) On Ball Club Lake, Gus' Place Resort is reporting that water temperatures are now locked in the mid 60 degree range. Warmer water has helped make Walleyes active and Gus' customers are finding limits of fat, healthy looking Walleyes. There is a modest Mayfly hatch going on the lake, but according to Gus, it hasn't slowed the fishing down. Gus added that this hatch has been minor compared to recent years.
So far this Spring, most of the fishing has been in 12 feet of water or less, using Lindy Rigs. Gus is anticpating a move toward deeper water, especially by the larger fish as the water warms.
Gus said "We are already marking schools of game fish in the 18 - 20 foot range and slow trolled Lindy rigs and bottom bouncers rigged with spinners & crawler harnesses will soon be very effective." He also mentioned that July is crankbait time on Ball Club and customers who troll the edges of the deeper, North breakline on Gus' Bar at evening and sunrise often pick up some nice fish.
Crappie fishermen who figure out the location of roaming schools of fish are picking up limits. The fish are Usually found in 7 feet of water or less and location is more important than presentation. Using bobbers & minnows, small spinner baits tipped with crawler pieces and even jigs tipped with soft plastics are effective.
Finally Gus adds that "Perch & Northerns are still in shallow water. The Perch are happy with minnows or crawlers and it is very easy to catch limits."
(6/29) On Lake of the Woods, Mike Kinsella of Border View Lodge says that Trophy size Walleyes are still being caught and that the few days of nice weather we enjoyed recently, helped to kick the fishing back into high gear. Fishing in depths of 29 to 32 feet of water, anchoring and jigging remains the preferred method for catching Walleyes. Jig colors that have worked best are Gold, Pink and Chartreuse.
Some fishermen have been catching fish by trolling spinners or crankbaits in the shallower water near Pine Island as well.
(6/29) On Lake of the Woods, Jackie LaValla of Sportmen's Lodge says that the Weekend brought nice, steady action for their guests. Walleyes responded best to gold/orange jigs tipped with a minnow and a leech combination. Their anglers really pulled some nice walleyes in before a front went through Sunday afternoon and Monday which slowed the action down. But on Tuesday, the action picked back up again and they are seeing some real nice eating sized walleyes as well as 5+ slot fish per day per boat (19.5-28 inch). The weather looks like it will be in our favor the next week ahead.
Fishing Report June 30, 2011 Jeff Sundin The warm, Southerly breeze that blew in on Wednesday was just what the doctor ordered. The waves were pounding and Walleyes were feeding!
We headed to Lake Winnie for what I'd hoped would be a mixed bag of Walleyes plus any other kind of fish. The forecast of strong South winds was already coming true and there was a good chop on the lake by 8:30. I headed straight toward the humps located in the Northeast corner of the lake hoping to get some Walleyes before the wind picked up even more.
Fish were easily visible on my Humminbird and it didn't take a lot of coaxing to get them to bite. We boated 4 fish on our first drift at the first spot and another 4 on the second drift. This set the tone for the morning and the action continued until we had bagged our limit.
Fish were holding in the 22 to 26 foot depth range and were aggressive. Fishing with Lindy Rigs as we have for the past week or more, the most notable change was their preference today for Leeches over Night Crawlers. Not that we didn't get any on the worms, we did, but the fish clearly preferred the Leeches and within an hour or two, all three of us were using them. Rigging minnows which had worked well during the past couple of days was producing some fish too, but this time there were lots of Perch pestering the minnows. If they'd been Jumbos, I would have been thrilled, but this time the Perch fell more into the bait stealer category.
By lunch time, the wind had really picked up and the chop had turned into rollers. We decided to go cook and then head elsewhere for the late afternoon.
The next stop turned out to be Bowstring Lake because we'd heard a tip about some Crappies that may have been catchable during the mid-day. We cheked a few of the likely places, deeper dips in the weedline on the large flats on the South end of the lake. Even if there were Crappies present, the wind was so strong that the job of fishing for the, in the weeds was more than we could accomplish.
We searched in the shallow water on the calm side of the lake and kept picking away at a hodge podge of fish. Perch, small Northerns and a few Walleyes. By the end of the day, I had finally found a better school of Perch in a Cabbage patch located in about 8 feet of water. The Perch were better size than most of the ones we'd caught earlier, but they were scattered in the weeds and definitely not schooled up. Using a heavier, 1/4 ounce jig and fishing vertically produced better results than moving horzontally through the weed patches.
Fishing Report June 29, 2011 Jeff Sundin The aftermath of the "big storm" was just about what I'd expected. Flat calm, bright sunshine and grinding away on the lake to get the Walleyes interested. The good news is that this one is behind us now and that the conditions are set to improve for today and for the up-coming weekend.
On Tuesday we played it safe and fished on Lake Winnibigoshish where I knew we could chip away at the Walleyes that were located out on the deeper, mid-lake bars and humps. Water temperature in the morning was close to 65 degrees and by late afternoon it was up to nearly 70 degrees. Fish were scattered all over the mud flats in 30 to 33 feet of water, they were very easy to spot on the Humminbird, but not too easy to catch.
I kept checking the tops and edges of the humps, looking for any small group of fish that were holding shallower than 28 feet. More often than not, the shallower fish seem to bite better than the deepest ones. On Tuesday, there was no point in fishing any spot where we didn't see some fish on the locator first. It was hard enough to fool the ones we could see, let alone wandering around, hoping for them to find us.
There were several humps where we caught one or two fish and then had to leave in search of another spot, but by noon or so, the baitfish and some small schools of Walleyes were beginning to build up again on the deeper structures. On a few spots, fish were starting to get a little more active and we even fished one hump that yielded a string of 7 or 8 fish before it fizzled out.
Knowing ahead of time that it would be a work day, I didn't want to miss out on some little trick, so I brought a few extra tidbits of bait along. Lindy Rigs with Redtails was one of the tricks we tried and it worked like a charm, except for all of the fish we caught using these minnows were over-size, protected slot fish in the 20 to 23 inch range. Lindy Rigs, plain leader and an air injected night crawler was still about the most effective presentation, but we caught some fish using Leeches too.
I'd expect to see the action pick up today as the recovery continues. With nice weather
coming for the weekend, we could be staring down the throat of the summer peak this week.
Fishing Report June 28, 2011 Jeff Sundin The thunder, lightning and heavy rain that bowled us over on Monday morning caused a delay in our start time and didn't exactly inspire confidence in the fishing outlook. I hung out around the office trying to catch up on some paperwork until the worst of the storms got passed us.
Once it looked like the rain was going to stop, we met up and headed back toward Bowstring lake. It was fairly nice when we got out there, but soon the rain started again and we spent the rest of the afternoon in it.
Luckily, the fish were still active and we were able to start picking up smaller size Walleyes almost instantly at the first stop. A shoreline point that drops into 20 feet of water from the edge of a large, sand and weed flat. I stayed up on top of the flat, but near the breakline in about 8 feet of water. As I roamed from one weed patch to another, we'd pick up scattered fish from a variety of locations. The better size fish were in the premium Cabbage weed patches and were not in schools, but were in singles and pairs.
Jigs tipped with night crawlers was the main presentation, but we also caught a couple of fish on jig and minnow and a couple on Lindy Rigs with Leeches too.
Walleyes and Jumbo Perch were mixed together in these weed patches and fishing with the jig and minnow would be the best way to get a mixed bag. Amazing, was the lack of Northern Pike in and around the weeds. A week ago we'd have been snipped off a hundred times, but yesterday the Pike were very gentle on the jig supply, only stealing two or three jigs all afternoon long.
Our goal was to gather enough fish for a big fish fry at the Gosh Dam Place and by 5:00 PM we had more than we needed and headed off the lake, ending the trip with a dozen Walleyes and a handfull of bonus Perch.
(6/28) Bemidji Area, NMLOG Member Guide Ryan Klein Was on Leech Lake, a few days last week and says "we caught fish, just not many of the right size". "I've been on Blackduck Lake lately and as for the last few days the bigger fish have took a break from eating but the small fish have really been biting everywhere on the lake there is another big year class of 13-14 inchers and right now it doesnt matter whats on your hook there biting."
Fishing Report June 27, 2011 Jeff Sundin The weekend was a good one for most of the anglers who fished on Lake Winnibigoshish. Some of the other area lakes are having their ups and downs though as we head into the mid-summer, boom and bust season.
For me, I hit a downer on Sunday when I fished with Lionel Harris and his two sons Ron and Rex. Lionel lives on Sand Lake and was interested in learning something more about how to fish Walleyes on Sand. In spite of reports about slow action, I agreed to give it a whirl over there and I found out that reports were accurate. We didn't go fish-less, but it was a struggle to figure out a pattern to consistently put the guys on fish.
Surface temperature on Sand Lake was hovering at just below 65 degrees, there was a chop on the water and the skies were Grey. Everything looked good, but the fish weren't reading the books and failed to respond to the near perfect conditions. The only explanation has got to be the appearance of a booming baitfish and insect population. Everywhere I went on the lake, the screen of my Humminbird was
filled with evidence of baitfish and insect larvae. More than enough food for the fish can make it seem like they've got lockjaw, in reality though, they're probably feeding like pigs and can afford to be finicky when it comes to choosing one of our baits.
My fall back plan on Sand has always been to fish the weeds on shoreline flats and on any of the many mid-lake weed humps that can be found all over the main lake. This time, the weeds were not paying off for me. We switched to fishing deep water, 26 to 32 feet, using Lindy Rigs tipped with Night Crawlers and Leeches. At about 30 feet, I marked a steady flow of fish, but they were sluggish and slow to pick up a bait. The fish we did catch, responded best to Night Crawlers.
On a brighter note, If we'd been interested in picking up a nice bag of Jumbo Perch for a fish fry, we could have done that. There were several areas on the lake where Perch would peck away at our night crawlers while we tried to catch Walleyes. We found Perch in both deep and shallow water, but the most interesting to me was a saddle between two of the weed humps near the island. In about 12 feet of water there were lots of Perch and just for fun, I tossed in a 1/8 ounce jig and minnow. The Perch responded on the first cast and I'm sure that we could have switched gears and picked up a bunch of them in a hurry.
Rock Bass were also using the shallow weedlines and we caught quite a few of them along the way. I think we could have bagged a boatload of these too, if we'd been in the market for some of them.
(6-27) On Lake Winnie, Grand Rapids area guide and NMLOG member Zach Dagel had a great day fishing Walleyes in shallow water on the big lake. When I talked to him yesterday, he was finding a lot of fish on rocks in shallow water. There was a good chop on the lake and even though the conditions were good, the Walleyes acted sluggish when he tried to fish them with live bait. Zach told me that they switched to trolling shallow running crankbaits and the fish responded. Once they had a good trolling run set up, the fish started coming in fast and they estimated catching 40 to 45 walleyes in about 4 hours of fishing.
Zach said that 7 to 8 feet of water was the key depth and that Green colored baits worked the best. Shallow running crankbaits like Lindy's Shadling in the #5 size are perfect for shallow water.
On Trout Lake, Zach has been doing well on Walleyes. He says the fish he's been catching are mainly larger, protected slot fish, with a few keepers mixed in. The fish he's been working are mainly on deeper structure, using live bait.
(6-27) On Cass Lake, Bemidji area guide and NMLOG member, Chad Benson reported that Walleye action on Cass Lake remains steady. According to Chad, fishing main lake humps and bars in the 15 to 32 foot depth range is producing Walleyes in the 15 to 20 inch size range. For Cahd, Lindy Rigs with Night Crawlers and Leeches has been consistent, but he's sure that Creek Chubs and Redtails would work if that's your favorite way of fishing. Over the weekend, he's also found some good Walleye action in Allens Bay using the same presentaion and in the same depth range.
Jumbo Perch action has been good in the 7 to 10 foot depth range. Chad says that he had a great outing with his
daughter & nephews on Saturday, bagging Perch in the area North of Cedar Island.
(6-27) On Pokegama Lake, Grand Rapids area guide and NMLOG member Sean Colter says: " Pokegama lake is starting to show it's big walleyes. We are finding most in 14-20 FOW. Concentrating on corners and points on shoreline structure. We are using Northland rigs with crawlers with 6-8 ft snells and pumping the worm with a shot of air. Should be some great fishing if your after big walleyes the next 2-3 qeeks!"
(6-27) On Cass Lake and Red Lake River, area guide and NMLOG member Travis Giffen says; " Lake of the week choice for walleyes, Cass Lake. Cass Lake has been extremely consistant on the big lake this year and it continues to do so through the mayfly hatch. Of course things may change as the temperture rises, but as of yet the mayfly hatch has been longer drawn out then normal, and thus the walleyes are not gorging like they are used to. What does this mean for us? Better biting walleyes, of course!
The Red Lake River has been fairly high due to all the water we have got this spring, but we are definitely still fishable with the average number of smallmouths between `10-15. This number should increase to 20+ once the water drops. My estimite is by mid July things will really be rocking. One day last week we boated every fish the river has to offer including: smallmouth, walleye, pike, catfish, skipjacks, carp, even sheephead. It was a day of never knowing what was on the end of the line."
(6/27) On Bowstring Lake, I got a report from Long time friend, Dave Grace who spent a few hours fishing Bowstring this Saturday. Dave and his fishing partner had a great experience out there
(6/27) On Leech Lake, Walleye action has been a lot better in Sucker Bay than it has on the East side of the lake. Fishing the breakline areas and weeds in the 8 foot range has been good. Goose Island, Pine Point and Stony have been good too. Breezy days are better than calm and "slot-fish" out number keepers considerably.
On Leech, they fishermen are using everything from soup to nuts. Lindy Rigs or spinners, tipped with Leeches, Crawlers and Minnows too. Not many guys are still jigging, but if the wind blows, this is an option, especially on the rocks.
(6/27) On Lake Winnie For more details about Lake Winnie and Cutfoot Sioux, check out the update on Bowen Lodge's Fishing Report.
(6/27) Finally, here's a comment that came in by email this morning. He's probably giving me too much credit, but I like the thought! "Hey Jeff, thanks for writing all of the reports they are excellent! I read the reports for about 2 weeks before we came up to Bowstring, guess what? I was dialed in. (At least until the weather changed). Thanks again you made my trip to the north country an excellent one." - Chris Andresen
Fishing Report June 26, 2011 Jeff SundinThe 2011 Crony's Summer Weekend has come and gone and this time the Walleye action was about as good as it gets. When I picked up my crew at the secret location of northwoods Crony retreat , I was told that Lamar Popp had just been named the Grand Poobah of the group, so his head was already swollen. For Lamar, the good news wasn't finished yet though, Saturday on the lake was definitely a good day to be Lamar!
Lots of times, we stay and fish on "the home lake" of the Crony's secret Northwoods location, but today we decided instead to load everyone into the truck and head over to Lake Winnibigosh, where the Walleye action has been good. When we got there, the wind was blowing from the South and there was a fair chop on the water already. The surface temperature had settled in at about 64 degrees and traffic was light.
I headed for the cluster of humps that I'd fished on Friday hoping that the fish would still be around and active. We caught fish on every one of the humps we tried, sometimes just a couple, but always something. At about 11:00 AM,
I stumbled into one of them that had a much better than average school of fish on it and as unusual as this is, we spent the next 5 hours fishing the same hump and had continuous action the whole time.
The routine was the same as it had been for the past several days, Lindy Rigs tipped with Night Crawlers inflated slightly with the Worm Blower. We fished at 22 to 32 feet of water, depending on where the fish showed up on the Humminbird. Apparently they were feeding primarily on minnows at this location because the school of fish was moving around the bar and we'd have to keep re-locating them throughout the day. However, if I could see them on the graph, they would bite.
There was one interesting twist. When I started getting a lot of Perch picking at the worms, I tried switching my bait from a Night Crawler to a medium size Rainbow minnow. I had hoped that the plain rig and minnow combination would help me catch some of the Perch for our evening fish fry. What happened instead was that the instant my sinker reached the bottom, the minnow was attacked by a 15 inch Walleye. We all switched to minnows for a while and doing this yielded two of the biggest fish we caught, 23 inch and 24 inch
Walleyes. It might not be a bad idea to make sure someone in your boat experiments with minnows on your next outing.
Finally, to the group of guys who we saw at the landing on our way off the lake yesterday. Thank you for reading the reports, I really appreciate that! Also, thank you for that little show you put on as we left the lot. It was kind of embarrasing, but it gave me a heck of a good smile!
See you out there.
(6/26) On Leech Lake, Walleye action has been a lot better in Sucker Bay than it has on the East side of the lake. Fishing the breakline areas and weeds in the 8 foot range has been good. Goose Island, Pine Point and Stony have been good too. Breezy days are better than calm and "slot-fish" out number keepers considerably.
On Leech, they fishermen are using everything from soup to nuts. Lindy Rigs or spinners, tipped with Leeches, Crawlers and Minnows too. Not many guys are still jigging, but if the wind blows, this is an option, especially on the rocks.
Fishing Report June 25, 2011 Jeff Sundin Finally a summer day, a chance to dry out and not bad fishing action either.
After spending the first day of Kenny Shipler's trip looking for big Walleyes, Friday was the day to go for some "eaters" and with a forecast of calm seas and sunny skies, no lake fits the bill better than Lake Winnibigoshish.
When we arrived at the lake, the surface temperature was 62 degrees and there was a light wind from the West. Drifting the larger bars was a good idea because the breeze was perfect for keeping the lines in position. We started on the long, shoreline connected point just South of Highbanks in about 22 feet of water. As we began our first drift, we picked three Walleyes, 2 keepers and one larger "slot-fish" and then the wind died. For a while, I stuck with fishing the edges of the large structure, but with a mile of water to cover and fish scattered randomly along the breakline, this was moving too slowly for me. I decided that it would be better to work on some of the smaller humps where we'd have a better chance of finding fish more tightly schooled.
We headed for the nearest hump, a small one located only a block or so away and here we found a small school of fish, mostly smaller 13 to 15 inchers with a couple of slot fish thrown in for good measure. Once this spot fizzled out, we checked more humps and the stroy was the same at each stop. Every one of them had at least a few fish on them, some more than others and some larger than others.
The depths we fished ranged fro 22 feet down to 29 feet and no matter whether the fish were deeper or not, they'd bite if we worked on them a little. Trolling speed was best when I held it down to around .5 MPH, but we could still catch fish up to about .8 MPH anything faster was a waste of time. Presentation was a Lindy Rig with a plain, six foot snell and we used the Worm Blower to inject just enough air to make our Night Crawlers float. I tried Leeches several times, but there was no doubt that the Crawlers were the best bet for me. There were still some anglers jigging out there too, so if that's your favorite, go ahead and keep that up for a while.
(July 2011) Free smiles available here! Always. !!
Advertise Here! Expanded Itasca Area Fishing Reports. Since mid-summer 2010, I've really made an effort to expand my area fishing reports. My goal has been to give anglers who are surfing the web, one fishing report that's always up to date and well written. Now I want to expand the reports section even more and I'd like you to participate. Lodging, Bait & tackle suppliers, guides or any other fishing and hunting related business can find a way to take advantage of the offer. For more information about contributing, sponsoring or advertising. Email Me
Pressured Smallmouth were trickier to catch, but not impossible. Joe Chessare fooled this one with a drop shot rig in 11 feet of water.
Finding small, isolated rock piles helped us locate more active Bass. This one hit a Wacky Rigged, Yum-Dinger.
Bowstring was loaded with small fish on Saturday, but some fish were a lot more loveable than others.
The presentation was made a lot simpler by using the No-Snag Sinkers in place of the traditional Lindy Rig sinkers.
Ya gotta love that clear water!
Jess Puddicombe with living proof that the jinx has been broken! She released this 28 incher so that they can match witts another day.
Russ Puddicombe with his 26-1/2 inch "grand finale". A night crawler and jig combination is all it takes.
Craig and Jan Narowetz had a good day! They've been with me since the beginning and it was a thrill for me to see them in action!
Dog days? Maybe, but they sure are pretty!
Roberta Olson with a nice Cutfoot Sioux Walleye caught on a night crawler in 12 feet of water.
Starting the day at sunrise on the river. Gorgeous place to visit, but here, Bass gave us the cold shoulder.
Fishing small water, the Bass were on the weed edges between Bulrushes and Deeper water. Texas rigged plastic worms produced well, so did jigs.
Our first real sign of success! A nice double for Scott and Ross. Texas Rigged, plastic worms did the trick.
Lucky to have Ross along to keep us pressing toward the Bass. Nice!
Courtesy Gus' Place Resort, Ball Club Lake. Nicollet with a chunky, eater size pike.
Marsha Newsome shows off one of Lake Winnie's mid summer, main bar Walleyes. Lindy Rigs in 16 feet of water worked best.
Randy Newsome caught his share of fish too! Most of the slot-fish were in the 21 to 23 inch range, no giants, but hard fighters!
McQuay's Brent Kellum with one of the "Pre-Storm" Walleyes. Lindy Rig and Night Crawler in 22 feet of water.
Glen's goal was to move further up the learning curve and luckily, he had just enough time to do that. In fact, it was a good morning to be Glen as he boated a half dozen Walleyes before we got chased off the lake.
Warm, sunny weather didn't slow down the Bass fishing. John Zachary shows off one he caught on a Texas Rigged plastic worm.
Courtesy Dustin Carlson, NMLOG Charlie Gallagher, Chicago, IL catches World Record Class Tiger Musky on St. Louis River.
The McQuay Fisharoo 2011 is off to a good start for Ken from California.
Fisharoo guest, Eric was happy fishing mid-lake humps in 19 to 23 feet of water using Lindy Rigs with Night Crawlers did the trick for us on Sunday.
The 4 inch Yum-Dinger fished over the weed tops in 6 to 10 feet of water was a reliable producer.
First cast with the new Lindy Bug yieded this 9-1/2 inch Bluegill for Chuck Johnson. I think we have some potential!
What, No Boat? Who cares? Austin Jones and David Deutch hoofed it down to their favorite hole on the Mississppi River.
Bobby Cox with a weed-Walleye caught on a jig and minnow in 12 feet of water. On sunny days, Walleyes retreat into the hevy cover.
Courtesy Gus' Place Resort, Ball Club Lake. Mark T caught this great Walleye by trolling crankbaits over the weed edges.
Courtesy Zach Dagel, NMLOG. Leech Lake Mayfly hatch causing shift in Walleye location.
Leaving Mille Lacs Lake behind as the thurbulent weather gave way to a gorgeous evening and great sunset.
Bob Baird and Grandson Kurt showing off one of the youngsters many Walleyes. At one point, the nine year old was putting on quite a show for the surrounding boats!
Walleye action was best using Lindy Rigs with Leeches in 14 to 17 feet of water on Lake Winnie's Bena Bar.
Gaps within a cloud of baitfish is a sure indicator that Walleyes are active. (view larger image)
Back at the cabin, Emily, Phillip and Beth Roberts showing off the morning catch from Winnibigosh.
Connor showing off the results of his new found skills. This one came on a Lindy Rig and Leech.
Oh yeah, Evan can do that too!
Tom Wright gets the top prize for passing the tradtition on to his sons!
Trolling the shallow rocks at sunset has been producing Walleyes on the big lake. Try a #5 Shadling in 6 to 8 feet of water.
One of the many Bass that kept us entertained on Independence Day.
Even when we're Bass fishing, it's hard to resist trying to bag a Walleye or two. It's just fun!
Kayla Osterbauer shows off a nice Walleye she caught on an 1/8 ounce jig and 3 inch Ripple Shad combination.
I am really thrilled with the new Beckman-Penn Fishing Net that arrived last week! This thing is awesome! I really look forward to showing it off for the rest of the summer.
Vern Valliant and his "Harem" fishing in the Northland Lodge Walleye contest on Sunday.
You just get the hang of it after a while!
Zach Dagel had a good Lake Trout outing on Lake Superior. Using planer boards and shallow running crank baits, they boated a dozen.
Walleyes were holding tight to the bottom on Friday, but were visible and catchable.