Fishrapper Fishing Report Archives For June 2016



image denotes fishing report submitted by Jeff Sundin Fishing Report Jeff Sundin, June 30, 2016 - A Relaxing Day on the Lake

Scott Hall and me go back a long way, as near as I can figure, we’ve been friends for at least 25 years.
One day way back when, Scott got in touch with me about doing a radio interview. As the producer of KAXE Radio’s “Morning Show”, his job was to find somebody interesting to talk to about fishing and I agreed to help out. Somehow I must have managed to string my sentences together well enough to be invited back and ever since then, I’ve been a KAXE Volunteer.
Chad Haatvedt came along in, well, I can’t quite recall; but he had a good long run as co-host of the morning program and we’ve become good friends too.
Every so often, we all get together and do a little fishing, like we did yesterday.
Typical of the two most laid back men that I know, their fishing demands were very strict and Scott told me in no uncertain terms; “we want to do whatever you want to do”. I decided that we should go back to the lake I fished on Tuesday and experiment a little bit, try to expand on the patterns I already knew about.
At the landing, I was surprised to see that the surface temperature had fallen since Tuesday. When we left the lake that evening, it was about 67 degrees, but on Wednesday, 64 degrees was the warmest I found during the morning. By late afternoon, the temperature warmed up again and we observed temperatures ranging between 66 and 69 degrees. Those are cool temperatures for the 4th of July weekend, but they were warm enough to encourage fish to be fairly active.
On our way out to the first spot, we rigged up for experiment #1, slip floats set at the depth of about 8 feet. In the clear water, we could easily see Cabbage Weeds from the breakline at 20 feet. The big idea was to push the baits ahead of the boat and try to capture fish before they became aware of our presence.
The idea worked, our first fish was a 24 inch Walleye, then we got a nice Largemouth Bass and just when our optimism peaked, the legion of doom appeared; hordes of Perch ranging in size from 1 to 3 inches. They attacked our bobbers, our baits, everything, it took the fun out of this presentation at this spot, so we moved.
At the second spot, we caught a couple of Smallmouth Bass and another Walleye. There was enough action to validate the concept, but I have to admit, this approach was too slow for me. In my opinion, slip floating the weeds would be a good way to grind some fish out during a tough bite, but if they’re active, I feel better when I cover ground more quickly.
Next we returned to Tuesday’s proven tactic, Lindy Rigging with leeches and night crawlers. This worked well, just like it had the day before. There Walleyes and Smallmouth holding in 22 to 26 feet of water and we’d had enough action, it was time for a break to cook lunch. The only problem was that we couldn’t find a place to do it, the lake, the landing, the parking area; they were all too busy and we decided to fish more and eat later.
As long as we were starting over again, it was a good time to re-tool and try another experiment; “Wiggle Worming the Weeds”. There were just enough breezes to give us a slow drift, which really helps when you’re fishing the wiggle worms. But there wasn’t so much wind that it would cause problems feeling the light weight jigs fluttering around in the Cabbage, the conditions were ideal.
The bait is a 1/16 ounce Lindy Live Bait Jig tipped with a whole night crawler. We cast the lures out about 40 feet and start jiggling the rod tips, not twitching, not hopping, not dragging; wiggling. When you get it right, you can see the tail of your night crawler dancing in a circular motion. The twirling action is what convinces Walleyes to strike, and when this presentation is on, it is deadly. In fact readers who visit frequently know that this is one of my all-time favorite presentations and that’s why I was so delighted when it worked.
We drifted along the outer edges of Cabbage weeds in depths ranging between 18 and 22 feet. Both Walleyes and Smallmouth reacted positively, so did a couple of sunfish and an errant Pike. We tried the wiggle worms again, on a different weedline where there were fewer fish, but they worked well there too.  If I was looking for mixed bag action and heading back to that lake any time soon, the jig and crawler combo would be the first presentation I’d use.
By now, the day had slipped away, we were hungry and it was time to cook dinner. It might not have been the quintessential shore lunch location, but the picnic table at the KAXE studio provided a shady place for a nice relaxing dinner.
After a plate of Walleye and one of Chad’s special home brews, I think it’s safe to say that we were all relaxed out and by today, already looking forward to the next time.

image of scott hall and chad haatvedt with big walleye
Scott Hall (background) and Chad Haatvedt, former hosts of KAXE's Morning Show proving that you can relax and fish at the same time.

image of Scott Hall with eating size Walleye
Mmm ... wanna join me for dinner?

image of Lindy Live Bait Jig with night crawler
The bait, a 1/16 ounce Lindy Live Bait Jig tipped with a whole night crawler. We cast the lures out about 40 feet and start jiggling the rod tips, not twitching, not hopping, not dragging; wiggling.

image of Chad Haatvedt with nice smallmout
The Smallmouth Bass' reaction to our wiggle worms was equally positive. Presented along the weed edges, the baits easily float in and out of pockets where smallies wait to ambush.

 

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image links to wiored 2 fish

image denotes fishing report submitted by Jeff Sundin Fishing Report Jeff Sundin, June 29, 2016 - The Pursuit of Mr. Big; Refining the Refineable

An important detail about yesterday’s fishing trip was that we had a goal; we understood that the pursuit Mr. Big was more important than re-visiting familiar territory searching for “eaters”.
In our case, the fish we wanted to catch had to be over 20 inches. That’s because in some circles, you are running the risk of being “shamed” if you catch and release a slot-fish and it is not longer than 20 inches. That “boat rule” was light hearted and fun, in my opinion, it added to the enjoyment of the afternoon.
Along the way, I realized something else, I can see how anybody could fish every day for thirty some years and never get tired of doing it. It’s because you never get the fish figured out, not completely anyway.
Yesterday I said; “Clear water, flighty Walleye and high blue skies are liable to provide me with ample opportunity to discuss the particulars about why Walleyes run and hide from days that most folks would drool over. I hedged my bet by scheduling the trip to run well into the evening and hopefully that will allow us a few hours of good action.”
I can see how somebody might read that as a “negative” statement, but it’s really not. It’s just a matter of understanding how fish react to their environment. Typically, high skies and calm seas do not favor the angler; they usually encourage Walleyes to lay dormant, waiting for a more opportune time to feed.
Prove it to yourself, read the fishing reports from all around the Itasca region and you will see that this thread runs in common through all of them.
Except in this case, the best few hours came at the wrong time, our best fishing was smack dab in the middle of the day, when it should have been tough sledding. Conversely, the closer the sun got to the tree tops, when the fishing should have gotten better, it took longer and longer to entice the next fish into striking. I understand what happened; now I just have to figure out how to fix it.
The larger fish that we were targeting were located on a variety of mid-lake bars and points in water depths of 18 to 28 feet. They weren’t hard to find, we just had to keep moving, watching the Humminbird for another sighting. Frequently, groups of 4 to 12 fish would appear on the screen, we’d drop in and catch a couple, maybe a few, seldom more.
What I do understand is that this is not unusual, except during ideal conditions; only some of these deep fish were ever gonna bite. Many of them are not; these deeper water areas are primarily places to rest, sanctuaries, and not feeding areas. When we catch one, it’s because we’ve placed the bait in front of a neutral fish that was coax able, so enticing that they just can’t resist eating it.

image of Randy Swenson with Big Walleye
Randy Swenson Shows off one of the larger fish that we were targeting. They were located on a variety of mid-lake bars and points in water depths of 18 to 28 feet.

image of Bev Swenson and Susan Bolos with pair of big walleyes
There's no shame in showing off a nice pair of 20+ inch Walleyes. Bev Swenson and "Hippie Chick" with a nice double caught using Lindy Rigs, ½ ounce No Snagg sinkers and 6 foot leaders tipped with lively leeches.

I also know that later, during the wee hours after dark, a lot of these fish will move into super shallow water and that will be the feeding run, the really big one.
What I still need to figure out is how to intercept them when they’re not in either place. Knowing how they get from one location to the other; that’s what I need to figure out. It’s like deer hunting, figuring out the travel route that leads between resting and feeding areas and then being there to head ‘em off at the pass. When I have it completely figured out, I’ll let you know first, and then I’ll quit fishing and become a farmer.
OH, by the way, the Walleyes we caught showed a strong preference for leeches and night crawlers. Large minnows, usually associated with catching large fish, came in a distant 3rd in the action department.
Like I said, the water depth ranged between 18 and 28 feet and the presentation was Lindy Rigs, ½ ounce No Snagg sinkers and 6 foot leaders tipped with crawlers or leeches. We never moved faster than .6 MPH and .4 MPH was my target as the ideal speed.
My crew, Randy and Bev Swenson are delightful, and they welcomed the “Hippie Chick” into their fishing trip too, that was also delightful. The fish were more cooperative than I expected and except for the gap in the action toward evening, it was a great day. I’m not sure that we’re supposed to get much luckier than that!

image denotes fishing report submitted by Jeff Sundin Fishing Report Jeff Sundin, June 28, 2016 - Stabilizing Patterns For Independence Day?

Northern Minnesota weather over the past few days has made fishing interesting to say the least. There’s been some sort of change in the pattern every day and I can’t recall the last time we’ve enjoyed two days of similar weather in a row.
The crazy weather hasn’t stopped the fishing action; in fact some anglers have found isolated local bites that are exceptional. I talked with a friend of mine on Friday who described the Walleye fishing on his favorite lake as “Stupid Good”. An email message from another friend just last night says; “My week up at Winnie flew by.  Fishing was great both in Cutfoot and Winnie.  My time fishing with you is either really paying off, or I got really lucky. We managed to catch fish at any time of the day regardless of sun or wind.  The lucky lure was a pink hook and a night crawler.  We caught fish on the shoreline weed edges and also on the mid-lake humps. Thanks” – Steve
I agree that Winnie has been good this summer and so have some select lakes that were ripe for a great season. But good luck and exceptional fishing skills aside, I do believe that it’s generally fair to say that the weather has forced many of us to work harder than usual during what should have been the “peak” fishing season; that may be about to change.
Looking ahead to forecasts about our upcoming July 4th holiday week, I AM cautiously optimistic. It appears that we are headed for a period of calmer, more stable weather and if you ask me, the arrival of any stable pattern will be very good for fishing.
Now that surface waters have warmed into the high 60 degree range, action style presentations are becoming more effective. On Saturday, Little Joe spinners tipped with night crawlers produced a number of quality fish for us on Lake Winnie. We did not find lots of fish, but we did locate some small schools that have taken up residence in the deeper weeds, now growing in water depths of 12 to 15 feet. As the weeds continue to develop, more fish will move into them and the action will intensify.
On Monday, we fished Bowstring Lake and found a mixed bag of Walleye, Perch and Pike that were aggressive too. Coincidentally, Trails End Resort submitted a fishing report that covers the bases really well, so instead of making you read the same thing twice, just scroll down the page and pick up the info from them as well.
For today, I have my work cut out for me, again. Clear water, flighty Walleye and high blue skies are liable to provide me with ample opportunity to discuss the particulars about why Walleyes run and hide from days that most folks would drool over. I hedged my bet by scheduling the trip to run well into the evening and hopefully that will allow us a few hours of good action.  Smarter than I thought, or out-smarted again? we’ll know soon!  fish smiley

image of Scott Hauke with big Walleye
On Saturday, Little Joe spinners tipped with night crawlers produced a number of quality fish for us on Lake Winnie. We did not find tons of fish; we did locate some small schools residing in deeper weeds.

image of Cody Hauke with nice Walleye
Typical June Walleye patterns on Winnie are producing. Lindy Rigs equipped with 1/2 ounce No Snagg Sinkers and tipped with leeches produced a blend of eaters and slot-fish over the weekend.

image links to trails end resort Bowstring Lake, Geiger's Trails End Resort June 28, 2016;

"Bowstring has been one destination lake of choice for lots of anglers this season. The blend of Walleye, Perch and Pike has provided lots of action and for folks who sort them down, really nice bags of quality, eating size fish too.
Our guests, along with visitors from around the area enjoyed fabulous mixed bag Perch, Pike and Walleye fishing in the shallow, weed filled bays this spring.
There are still fish in the weeds, but some of the most popular areas have been heavily fished for a few weeks already and the action has slowed. If you’ll be creative and search areas where there aren’t a lot of boats, then you’ll enjoy better success.
The best presentations for weed fishing are Little Joe Spinners, #3 Gold Blades, tipped with fatheads and trolled at about 1.2 MPH. The spinners will produce a mixed bag of fish and the action will be very good. Jig and minnow presentations will work too, but be prepared to get snagged a little bit, the weed growth is green, lush and becoming very strong.
Walleye purists have been targeting fish on mid lake structure, in water depths of 16 to 24 feet. Lindy Rigs tipped with leeches and night crawlers are producing fish of mixed sizes. Some fish are bigger than others and although you will discover that there’s a very strong population of 11 to 13 inch fish in the lake right now, you will also find some fish of quality size too.
Crappie fishermen are reporting mixed results. The fish are scattered and moving primarily during the evening hours over deeper rock points and humps that have rocks on them. It’s not unusual to find fish along the weed edges too, but if there are lots of weed fish, they have not been reported.
Lake water levels are stable and surface temperatures are inching their way toward 70 degrees. Mother nature appears to be aligning conditions for a great 4th of July holiday!" - Bill & Erin Charlton, Trails End Reosrt .

image denotes fishing report from Rour Seasons Fishing Resort Lake Winnibigoshish, Joe Thompson, June 26, 2016 Four Seasons Resort;

"We had a great week of fishing at the Four Seasons!  Lake Winnie was in fine form for our guests this week.  Believe it or not, the only species that was hard to find were the perch.   I'm not talking about the 7-9" perch that are always biting, but the desirable ones in the 9" plus category.
Walleye fishing was outstanding.  Most of the guests were using Lindy type rigs with leeches on the main lake structures.  It was easy to find fish, but they wouldn't always bite.  If you waited them out, there would be a feeding frenzy and the action was fast and furious. Then they would stop biting and you would have to wait them out for another couple of hours. 
Those of you that know me know I would never be that patient! I would hit four spots instead of waiting them out and probably just hit another of the feeding times and catch them on another spot.  There were numerous fish caught in the 18-23" protected slot, but there were an awful lot of keeper size fish, as well.
I had the pleasure of fishing with a family singing group from Nebraska on Thursday.  They were novice fishermen and wanted to have enough fish for a fish fry that evening for......20 people!  So my options were limited.  Either go for perch or northerns.  Since the only reliable perch spot was eight miles away with no guarantees, I opted for option two.
Armed with jigs and fathead minnows, we drifted down the breakline south of the River.  I love it when a plan comes together.  We brought in enough for the fish fry and they had a great time!  I only had to tie on about a dozen jigs.   We also caught a few nice perch and one walleye in the slot.  Hopefully, they had a trip on Lake Winnie they will remember for a long time.
The reliable perch spot I found on Tuesday.  We were targeting perch and found them tight to the largest cabbage weeds I could find.  The only way we could catch them was to have our lines as vertical as we could.  Fighting a 15 mph wind made this task a little tricky but we got the job done.  The ratio of keepers (over nine inches) to throwbacks was 50% which is very good for perch fishing.
The fishing should stay this way until we have a major bug hatch.  There have been no signs of that so far. 
If you are looking for a place to bring the family for a week or just a few days, check our availability on the website, and give us a call." Joe Thompson, Four Seasons Resort 218-665-2231

image links to horseshoe resort Cass Lake Cass Lake, Horseshoe Resort Fishing Report June 24, 2016

"Low light is the name of the game on Cass Lake right now. It really won’t make a difference how you accomplish it;" says veteran guide Chad Benson.
“Whether you fish early morning, late evening or during overcast weather, take advantage of good opportunities when they arise.”
Cass Lake’s water is super clear this season and that’s the reason that Benson is so adamant about targeting Walleye during high percentage periods. Gin clear water and Walleyes don’t mix well and when the sky is bright, Walleye disappear from their traditional haunts.
It’s not that they aren’t catchable, they are, but unless we target them on their terms, it’s going to be frustrating.
Increased water clarity is not unique to our lake this year, cool weather discourages plankton growth and that’s affected many of the lakes in our area. When these waters have a significant increase in Algae blooms, then more fish will return to structure during the daytime.
When it’s clear and sunny, daytime fishing is better suited for anglers who target Panfish and Bass. Heavy weed cover is holding Bass and Panfish and living in the shadows makes them easier to catch at mid-day.
When the sun hits the tree tops, Walleyes begin to feed and after dark, they are moving up onto shallow flats. Trolling shallow diving crankbaits will produce consistent catches at night, traditional presentations like Lindy Rigging remain effective at twilight.
"On overcast days, I can do okay says Benson, any grey, drizzly day seems to make Walleyes return to places where I am used to finding them. Strong winds are okay too, the fish react by feeding, as long as it's not so rough that you can't get to your favorite spots."
We'll keep you posted about changing conditions on the lake, but if you have questions, give us a call. Clark Heitmann - Horseshoe Resort on Cass Lake.

image denotes link to fish rapper article Marcell Area - Edge of the Wilderness, Frontier Sports, Paul Larson June 24, 2016;

"Fishing in the area has been slowly getting better, despite the strange weather interruptions that have been so common during this month of June.
Crappies are being caught in water depths ranging from four to twelve feet. It appears that some Crappies have not spawned. Anglers are reporting catching fish still holding eggs. Whether they will spawn or not is anybody’s guess.
Bass fishing has been excellent with wacky worms, dark spinner baits seem to be Bass anglers top, go to lures. Top water baits like the LIVE TARGET frog have been producing plenty of action as well.
Walleye have been hit or miss with fish being found anywhere and everywhere. They have however begun to move onto the main lake humps in ten to eighteen feet of water. Cabbage weed beds are still a good bet. Lindy rigs and spinners with night crawlers have been working the best. Anglers pulling cranks have been doing pretty well too.

image of Gavin holding nice crappie
Photo courtesy Frontier Sports: Gavin showing off a good crappie caught on a Marcell area lake.

Some nice sized Pike have been hitting large cranks off weedy points in the early to late morning hours.
For once, the weather forecast for this weekend appears promising. There will be lots of opportunities to catch a nice mess of fish. Be sure to drop by the store and see what’s new and have a Great weekend everyone!!"
Frontier Sports features a complete and fully stocked Sporting Goods department and Bait Shop, Gas, Grocery, Deli and Gift Shop. Frontier Sports is an authorized LIVE TARGET and SAVAGE GEAR dealer. Frontier Sports 218-832-3901 or Email .

 

NEW!! Fish ED Internet Season; "Shallow Water, Pre-Spawn Bluegill" June 22, 2016

"When the frantic action of the bluegills early-season feeding frenzy fades, most panfish fans focus their efforts on predictable spawning areas. But as Fish ED's Jon Thelen shows us, setting your sights on staging areas will help you get a jump on the action before bluegill hit the beds." View Fish ED >> Shallow Water, Pre-Spawn Bluegill

image denotes fishing report submitted by Jeff Sundin Jeff Sundin image of Gus' Place Logo Ball Club Lake, Gus' Place Resort June 22, 2016

"When I stopped in to pay my launch fee at Gus' Place Resort on Tuesday, Gus said as long as you're here, you might as well write my fishing report for me; okay, so I am.
We were looking for a place to dodge at least some of the wind that was predicted to blow. My crew and I were hoping that Ball Club Lake would be manageable, but still serve up enough of “something” to satisfy our hunger for a shore lunch. Walleye are nice, but so are Crappie, Perch or Pike and Ball Club is capable of providing good action for any or all of them; we didn’t care all that much.
Our first stop was at “The Crappie Hole” and I thought we were off to a great start when Bill pulled in a 12 incher within minutes. But today, the Cabbage weeds that held Crappies a week ago were quiet. Either my timing was off, or the fish have dispersed, transitioning into their summertime pattern of feeding during the early morning and late evening.
For our next trick, Joe Stevens, AKA Stevens Magic, agreed with my suggestion to check out the “Walleye Hole”. This time our timing was better, although still not perfect; Walleyes were easy to find, but they tried to give us the illusion that they wouldn’t bite. Shear stubbornness allowed us to pick up a half dozen nice eaters, and that was more than enough to accomplish our shore lunch.
The fish that we did catch were located in 12 to 14 feet of water, adjacent to the weed edges. They struck Leeches presented on Lindy Rigs, with 3/8 ounce sinkers, six foot leaders and small hooks. I was able to keep my drift speed down to about .8 MPH, but I think if we’d slowed down more, we might have picked up a few extra fish.
There were enough Walleyes along the weed breaks to make believe that we could have caught more. Like the Crappies though, I think that they were a little shy during the mid-day, under the bright sky. If I was on vacation, staying at Gus’, I’d get up early and work those weeds while the sun was low in the sky and I’ll bet the fishing would be very good.
Our backup plan, Northern Pike, never made it onto the radar screen, so I’m not sure where the majority of them are located right now. The surface water was only 59 degrees on the lakes windswept north side and that tells me that most of the better Pike are liable to still be holding in shallow weds vs the deeper breaklines.
When it comes to lending a helping hand to guests, Gus is without doubt, one of the most generous with fishing information. That, combined with Ball Club’s reputation as a mid-summer fishing lake, makes it a good idea to give Gus and Susan a call to inquire about a fishing trip. Gus' Place Resort 1-888-246-8520
For today, anything is fair game. We might even be happy running a repeat of last years “Google Eye, Goggle Eye, Red Eye, Brown Eye” fishing tip. Whatever we do, you will be the first to know!

image denotes fishing report submitted by Jeff Sundin Fishing Report Jeff Sundin, June 21, 2016 Solving the Solvable ...

Isn’t always pretty, but when fishing conditions get tough, you can put your head down, keep plodding along and with luck; gather enough for a respectable fish fry.
That’s how my day went on Monday when gusty west winds pinned us into the so-called “calm side” of Lake Winnie. By staying on deep water structure, close to the shoreline, we found and caught enough fish to call it a fishing trip. Admittedly, there was a certain lack of glamour, a shortage of pizazz if you will, but despite the turbulence, I was a lot happier than I would have been if the seas were calm and the skies were blue.
Luckily, my crew, Corey and Joel Schmidt have been around the block a few times. They recognized the challenge, joined me in the search and wore smiling faces the whole time. That sense of understanding is what keeps guys like me going, problem solvers appreciate knowing that they have room to work and that’s what they gave me, cheerfully.
This means that they’ve each earned an A+ score and received extra bonus credits on their first semester finals at the U of SSU! image of fish smiley
I can’t say that I’m gonna make a bee-line back to the spots where we fished yesterday, but if you’re planning on fishing Winnie soon, then you may find enough fish to satisfy you on the west sides “Main Bars”.
We found small schools of Walleye located on the upper edges of both Sugar Bar and the River Bar. Key depths were 14 to 17 feet of water found along the upper edges of the drop offs and even on top of the large flats adjacent to them.
A ¼ ounce Lindy Jig tipped with a minnow caught a few of the fish, the others were caught Lindy Rigging with ½ ounce No Snagg sinkers, 6 foot leaders and night crawlers. I think that the jigs bagged most of the “eaters” and the night crawlers yielded more slot fish. The jig/minnow combos are always better at attracting pike and perch too, so if I was doing it again today, I’d stick with the jig and minnow all day long.
Surface temperatures held steady at 64.5 degrees all day long and the water clarity has increased noticeably since last week. Even in the whitecaps, we could easily see the bottom in 6 to 8 feet of water; that would really worry me on any calm day.
By this time tomorrow, there will be a more extensive report about Winnie, so if your weekend plans include a trip up, then hold on tight for another day. If you’re headed out there today, keep in mind that there is a decent weedline bite going, if you can get to it.
Spinners tipped with ½ night crawlers and fished over the weed tops in 12 to 14 feet of water worked well over the weekend, they will again as soon as the lakes settles back down after yesterday’s tantrum. So if we can manage today's wind, that's what I'll do, otherwise, plan b is anybody's guess.

Wired2Fish What Bass Look Like on Down and Side Imaging: Jason Sealock gives a great tutorial on what schooling bass DO and do NOT look like.

"Electronics arm anglers with the ability to find fish holding cover, structure and even schools of visible fish before wetting a line, but you're not finding anything unless you've learned to correctly interpret what's on the ... Learn More >> What Bass Look Like on Down and Side Imaging

 

image links to bass fishing video

image denotes fishing report from Rour Seasons Fishing Resort Lake Winnibigoshish, Joe Thompson, Father's Day, 2016 Four Seasons Resort;

"I had the distinct pleasure of fishing with my two boys today. It was just like it was 25 years ago, except my son Mark drove the boat and I just had to fish. In fact, I sat in the middle and David even had to deploy the drift bag! But like 25 years ago, the old man still caught the most fish!

Here are photos of the better walleyes we caught. We started out fishing the main shoreline break with rigs and leeches. When the wind drove us off of our spot, we switched to jigs and minnows on the flats in 14-15' of water.
We caught a mixed bag of walleyes and northerns as well as some very small perch. David was happy he had a few fish to bring home.

This week offered some tough conditions for our guests. The wind seemed to switch daily and it blew hard from each direction. The fishing was limited by the wind and that hampered efforts to catch fish. Walleyes are holding to the structure in the lake when the wind is lighter.

Make sure you pay close attention to the inside and outside turns on each spot. This seems to be the key to catching walleyes in the calmer conditions. When the wind blows, the fish are scattered all over the flats just up from the main shoreline break.

You can find them anywhere from 5-15'. Watch your electronics for the bait on the screen. Where the bait is, the fish won't be far away.

Also with windy conditions comes tougher perch fishing. It is easier to catch perch when you can "hover" on the fish and fish vertically. Windy and rough conditions make this much more difficult.

Best bet for northerns is on the flats fishing jigs and minnows.

We are looking at some consistent weather for the rest of this week so I look for a good week of fishing. Happy Father's Day to all the dads out there and if you are looking for a good place to go fishing, give us a call." - Joe Thompson, Four Seasons Resort.

image of Mark Thompson with big winnie walleye
Mark Thompson (above) and Dave Thomspson showing off some of their better work on Lake Winnie this Father's Day.

image of dave thompson with winnie walleye

image denotes fishing report submitted by Jeff Sundin Fishing Report Jeff Sundin, June 16, 2016

"After spending Tuesday, day 1 of 3, in hot pursuit of Walleyes on Lake Winnie, mixed bag fishing was on our radar screen for Wednesday.
Perch, Walleye and Pike continued to inhabit the shallow weeds and jig and minnow presentations allowed us to gather enough for the evening fish fry, along with topping off the crew's take home larder of Walleye.
Now we're on day 3 and I'm hoping for a lucky break that will lead me to some Crappies. It's been a couple of weeks since I've entertained any Crappie fishermen, so it could be interesting. Whatever I learn, you will be the first to know.
I'm pressed for time this morning, but before I log out, I want to share a report that came over the Fishing Reports FB Page from Carl Michael Parson.
All of us, especially me, dream about the day that we might catch the “Fish of a Lifetime”. I’ve seen it happen a few times and when it does, it’s usual a big surprise.
I’ll bet that Jim Brant was plenty surprised when he dropped his 1/8 ounce jig tipped with a leech into the 65 degree water and pulled out a 12-1/2 inch Bluegill. For anybody who hasn’t fished for Bluegills very much, take my word for it, this is truly a catch of a lifetime, it really is.
For a time, the lucky anglers were suspicious that it might be a record breaking fish, so they brought the monster Bluegill to an official weigh station where it tipped the scales at 2.22 pounds.
Congratulations on a fantastic catch and please do me a favor; sprinkle some of that “lucky dust” on my scrambled eggs this morning!!

image of Jim Brant with huge bluegill
I’ll bet that Jim Brant was plenty surprised when he dropped his 1/8 ounce jig tipped with a leech into the 65 degree water and pulled out a 12-1/2 inch Bluegill.

image denotes fishing report submitted by Jeff Sundin Walleye Gardening, Post Storm Fishing - Jeff Sundin Fishing Report, June 14, 2016

Yesterday I ended my report with these words; “I’m not a gloom and doom guy, but I do know what I know, even when I don’t like it. As the storms move out of the area today and sunshine settles over calmer seas, my guess is that the fish that fed heavily yesterday are gonna feel like taking a nap today.”
Well, the report about Monday’s fishing trip could go either way, one way would be all about struggling to catch tough, post thunderstorm Walleyes under sunny skies, on mid-lake structure. Or the other way could be all about catching a nice mixed bag of Perch, Walleye and Pike in dense, shallow weed cover.
After a special consultation with the chancellor at the U of SSU, I’ve decided to meet in the middle and talk about the seemingly odd conflict between the two.
One would think it logical that fish holding in deep water would be less affected by and therefore more willing to strike after a major storm system. One would also think that fish holding in the weeds at 5 or 6 feet of water would have been scared away, or at least not willing to strike for a while after the storm.
On Monday, the fish reacted completely backwards to these assumptions. Fish holding in shallow water weeds were much easier to catch than were their deep water cousins and they were also larger in size. I will admit that the action was not as good as it had been before the storms, but at least the fish were catchable.
That was a really nice surprise and I’m sure that my customer and friend of 25 years, Jim Gandy would say “A Blessing”.  
I don’t really have an explanation that’s based on hard facts, but as usual, I have a theory. I think that the fish located on deep water structure didn’t have any incentive to feed. The more bars I checked, the more fish my Humminbird revealed; but there wasn’t any bait, the bottom was clean and the fish were sitting still.  
Add to that, almost everybody on the lake was in hot pursuit of these deep water fish. There were crowds on many spots, and most every one of the better spots had at least a boat or two fishing over them. The weeds on the other hand were only lightly pressured. In fact, we fished for several hours without ever encountering another angler.
The trick, if there was one, was to work in the thickest weeds we could find. That’s where the fish had enough shade to be comfortable under the sunny afternoon sky. Patches of Cabbage were the best, but we did catch some fish in Coontail patches and also along the outer edges of Eelgrass too.
Most of the fish we caught were Perch and small Pike, but there were enough Walleyes to keep it interesting. There were a few unfortunate losses that brought our total down, but we still managed to bag a half dozen keepers and released another dozen or more little ones.
We used 1/8 ounce Lindy Jigs tipped with small Golden Shiners. We made short casts, just far enough to get our lures away from the boat, but not far enough to lose sight of our bait. We hopped the jigs up and down, not side to side because in the dense weeds, vertical presentations are much less prone to snagging the garden plants.
Here’s the most important trick that I will ever tell you about fishing in the weeds, so hit the record button.
If you feel your jig touch a weed, DO NOT PULL on it! Instead, let your line go slack and allow the jig to fall even further into the weed patch.
Think about it, there is a lot less surface area at the base of the plants than there is near their bushy tops. If you were to feel a weed, and tug on it, you could become instantly snagged, you could become frustrated and begin pulling even harder, and then your lure would get snagged even more.
What’s worse is that after all the ripping and tearing, the fish never even see your presentation, they can’t strike what they don’t know is there, so you could catch nothing and you might go away upset, swearing to never fish in the cabbage patch again.
That would stink because if you took my advice and allowed your bait to fall under the bushy tops and into the clear spaces beneath the plants, then the fish would have an opportunity to see and strike your lure. Then you would catch them and become happy, you might even master this technique and become a life-long fish gardener.
Master this technique and you will almost always be able to scrounge up a meal, I Promise! image of fish smiley

image denotes fishing report submitted by Jeff Sundin Tricky Timing For Walleye During Stormy Weather, Jeff Sundin Fishing Report, June 13, 2016

"With thunderstorms and lighting rumbling over the Itasca Area on Sunday, the timing for catching Walleyes was tricky.
We had just pulled onto a main lake bar, dropped our lines in the water and caught our first fish, a healthy 19 inch "slot Walleye" when our trip was interrupted, almost before it got started by a line of slow moving thunderstorms.
While we waited at the dock, I chatted with a young service man who had been out on the lake before we arrived, the fish were biting he said. He had found Walleyes on a mid-lake hump and was catching those using Lindy Rigs and leeches. He pulled the pin when he saw the sky darken too, but I could tell that he was chomping at the bit to get back onto the lake.
The anxious Walleye fisherman lit a little fire under me too and even before the storms had completely passed, I and my crew were back on the lake, in hot pursuit of our own “honey hole”. I’m glad that we pushed the timing, because while the dark clouds hovered in the area, the winds remained fairly calm. It was that hard to control the boat and that made it easier to focus on finding fishable spots.

image of dragonfly nyumph with zebra mussels attached
Photo courtesy Mark and Amy Hinzmann: Look close at this Nymph that came out of Sand Lake and crawled up the wall of the Hinzman’s cabin where it will emerge, I think as a Dragonfly. Look even closer and you’ll see that riding on the Nymph’s back are some Zebra Mussels; now what?

For me, a series of lucky guesses led us to 3 or 4 consecutive mid-lake bars that all had a few fish on them. I had a crew of 3, so for simplicity, I set aside the advice about rigging with leeches, instead we started with jigs and minnows. Luckily, the jig/minnow combo was equally effective and for a time, we were able to boat Walleyes of all shapes and sizes.
When the storms finally passed, strong winds complicated the fishing for a while. The fish were still active, but it was easy to see why the crew had trouble knowing that. In the heavy seas, it was all but impossible to feel a strike and keeping the lines organized was problematic too. By mid-afternoon, it was beginning to look like another day where the morning action was gonna have to hold us for the entire day.
That’s when the good news, bad news scenario unfolded. Another line of storms was rumbling toward us and these storms stalled the wind, just like what happened in the morning. As soon as we had control of our presentation again, all 4 of us began catching fish, the bite was better now than it was all day long and that allowed us to stage a nice, late inning rally before the storms arrived and cut our day short.
I’m not a gloom and doom guy, but I do know what I know, even when I don’t like it. As the storms move out of the area today and sunshine settles over calmer seas, my guess is that the fish that fed heavily yesterday are gonna feel like taking a nap today. If the Walleyes follow past patterns, then that is the most likely scenario.
We’ll be doing our best out there though and we won’t be giving up easily, you just never know, we might find a way to beat the odds, especially if the weather remains un-settled, that could help a lot.
By the way, when I wrote about Sand Lake yesterday, I ran short of time before I could mention a curious phenomenon that Mark and Amy Hinzmann shared with me. Look close at the photo on the right and you’ll see what I believe is a Dragonfly Nymph that creeped out of Sand Lake and up the wall of the Hinzman’s cabin.
Look even closer and you’ll see that riding on the Nymph's back are some Zebra Mussels. That makes me wonder, if the Zeebs can get out of the lake without human intervention, then how in the heck are we supposed to prevent them for getting into the next lake and the next one and so on?
If you ask me, it’s time to double down and put all of the money being spent to examine the bottoms of boats to better use. I think we should re-direct all of the time and all of the cash to figuring out how to deal with, eradicate or at least minimize the effects of these nasty critters. We are not stopping the spread now, not the way we’re doing it, and I believe that getting ahead of the next infestation is more important than continuing to tell boaters what they already know.
Of course, that’s just my opinion. For now, I’ll go back to worrying about getting the fish to bite."

image denotes link to fish rapper article Deer River Area, Brian Castellano , June 12, 2016;

"I was on the water 3 days in the last week. Sunday the 5th found my 5 year old grandson Geno and I on a tiny largemouth bass lake, full of 9-12" bass.
I paddled while Geno provided the entertainment catching 14 bass all by himself. A bobber w/ a small jig and panfish Gulp leech kept the action fast and furious. We had to dodge a few showers and booms of thunder, but that didn't slow down the fish.
We did have a little "mishap". We went to shore to wait out the rain in my Jeep. I thought I had pulled the boat far enough up on shore, but when we came back to fish after the rain, Geno noticed our boat was floating about 30 yds off shore. I dug around in my vehicle and come up with 100' of para cord, a hatchet, and a bucket. I cut a piece of downed wood, tied the para cord to the wood, and loosely coiled the rope in the bucket. It then took 4 attempts before I finally "hooked" our boat and pulled it back to shore. A memory to last a life time for sure.
On the evening of the 10th, my daughter Savanna, my friend Danny Curtiss, and I tried our luck with those chunky Pokegama pike. While they fished heavy duty lindy rigs with creek chubs, I ran a bottom bouncer, spinner, and pork crawler set up. We targeted the 17-30' depths. They put several pike in the boat and had a few swings and misses too. Savanna had big fish honors with a 29" gator. I did have one big fish on that shook off before we could get a glimpse of it, but I believe it was a big walleye the way it fought.
On the 11th, my step son Aaron and I tried our luck on Winnie. We fished from 8am to 2pm, took a break and fished 3:30pm till 6pm.
The morning started off with a perfect west wind blowing down the North shore and over cast skies. We tried jigging a couple of spots and that didn't produce, so we headed in shallower (8-12'), found some weeds, and ran spinners w/ crawlers and minnows. We caught a couple of walleyes and the pike and perch kept us real busy. We tried lindy rigging crawlers during the afternoon when the sun came out and the wind went down. We found some cooperative walleyes in 17-23' of water. They definitely showed a preference for crawlers over leeches. We ended the day catching 8 walleyes, 4 nice keepers and 4 slot fish. The pike were on the small side as were the perch.
The west side of Stoney Point only produced small perch for us. There was a gathering of a dozen boats and McArdles launch that were working the east side of Stoney Pt. pretty hard."

image denotes link to fish rapper article Grand Rapids Area, Grant Ubl, June 13, 2016;

"We did so-so on Big Cutfoot and on Big Splithand this week for walleye. The west flat on Split was putting out fish early in the week in 9-13 FoW. Then, the humps started to produce some slot fish. Then, the humps turned into 12" dinkers. All jig/minnow fishing; fished it 4 afternoons.
Big Cutfoot produced in the 12-16 Feet of water range, but that is where we fished. Mostly slot fish and they weren't setting the world on fire. We continually worked the windward spots with jig/minnow, but had better luck dragging leeches on a rig. Fished it 3 mornings at oh-dark-thirty."

image denotes fishing report submitted by Jeff Sundin Sand Lake June 12, 2016 “Any way the wind blows, doesn’t really matter …”

“Any way the wind blows, doesn’t really matter …”
To me, it looks like Freddie was right; as long as there’s a wind blowing, the Walleye’s will cooperate.
For the past few years, we’ve been talking more and more about Itasca area lakes becoming clearer and their Walleye populations becoming more sensitive to sunshine and calm seas. On Sand Lake this Saturday, we were treated to yet another side by side comparison that drove that point even deeper.
I’d read the weather report and the forecast of calm seas and sunny skies served to make my drive a long one. I knew that the day would be challenging and I was racking my brain for ideas that I hadn’t thought of before, new hiding places where I could scratch out some fish for my crew, the Hinzman’s.
When I arrived at the lake, the surprises were plentiful and pleasant. First, there was a stiff breeze coming out of the northwest, second, the skies were cloudy and the temperature was cool and finally the surface temperatures were ideal, at 66 degrees, it seemed almost assured that some of the fish would be active somewhere.

image of Amy Hinzman holding nice Walleye
It was a good morning to be Amy Hinzman. She led the Walleye charge, catching several Walleyes using a 1/8 ounce Lindy Jig tepped with a small, Golden Shiner.

As I drove the boat over deep structures, we chatted about where we might find fish. We talked about the “post Zebra Mussel” water clarity and how it affected the lake and its fish. Speculating about where we might find ‘em, we moved from spot to spot, watching the blank screen of my Humminbird. Hmm … they gotta be somewhere; maybe they’re up in the weeds?
I moved up the lake to a weed bed where the whitecaps might work in our favor, rigged the crew with a variety of shallow running baits and began backtrolling. After a relatively short search, we had a fish, then two, three … before we left that weed bed there were seven keepers in the livewell and Amy had released one larger fish. For the moment, we were enjoying Sand Lake, the way it used to be.
Eventually the weather forecast caught up to us, the calm seas and sunny skies took their toll and fishing during the afternoon was very slow. Hoping to pick up some Panfish, we spent a couple of hours cruising along the shoreline, searching for beds or other visible signs of a good, daytime Panfish spot. The tour was fascinating, but except for a couple of Sunfish, mostly fishless.
The clear water allowed us to see everything and there was a lot to see. There were dozens of Redhorse Suckers, thousands of minnows and a dozen new weed varieties for me to learn. Oh, and those huge globs of green, mossy looking stuff that remind me of something that you’d see on The Undersea World of Jacques Cousteau.
Obviously, there’s a lot to learn about Zebra Mussels, and the affect they have on Walleye fishing. They’ve touched my life personally by transforming one of my “All Time Favorite” daytime Walleye fishing lakes into a lake where catching white tails into a hit and miss proposition.
Luckily for me, my crew was the curious, inquisitive type. They know that sometimes there’s more to catching a fish than just knowing where they are. I think that all of us left the lake thankful for the action that we had in the morning, but curious about where we’d go next.
The lake’s protected slot limit began this season and has some potential to help re-populate the lakes Walleyes, but that will take time and in its own way, presents more challenges. Walleyes that range in the deepest water will be vulnerable to anglers who innocently catch and release them without realizing the risks involved with deep water fishing. Barotrauma in fish, an article by Rebecca Eberts is an excellent article that will help you gain an understanding about fishing in deep water and why we shouldn’t do it.
It’s obvious that fishing the lake is gonna require using different tools at different times of the day.  I'll be hoping for lots of wind and more than our fair share of rainy days. Oh, and I think it’s good that every day has a sunrise and a sunset, I believe that for Walleye anglers in the northland, the twilight hours are becoming more valuable every season.

image denotes fishing report submitted by Jeff Sundin Family Traditions, 3 Generations Of Skoglunds On "Home Water" Bowstring Lake June 11, 2016

It doesn't happen right away, but if you spend enough years as a fishing guide, sooner or later, you’re gonna realize that there's a point when your relationships with "customers" undergoes a metamorphosis. There are families who grow up fishing with you, take you in as one of their own and let you be yourself whenever you’re with them.
The Skoglund’s are one of the families I’m talking about, there’s no pressure and when we get together, it’s just us guys goin’ fishin’.
Frequent visitors to these reports will surely remember references to fishing trips with Eldon Skoglund, AKA “The Norwegian Hammer”. We go back further than that though, even to the days before Al Gore invented the internet, so lots of our stories are known only to us, at least for now.
The roots of this family tree grow so deep that they lead all the way back to my earliest season as a fishing guide, even before I knew how to fish on Bowstring Lake; that’s part of the point.
Before I knew Eldon, I knew his father in law, Joe Chrz; he’s actually the one who brought me into the family. Once upon I time, Joe bought a cabin on Bowstring Lake, it’s the only cabin anywhere that had, or ever will have a boat dock made out of Walnut, but that’s another story.
If I’m not mistaken, Joe actually knew how to fish a few spots on Bowstring before I ever floated a boat there. Back in those days, I wasn’t quite as busy as I am now, so sometimes I’d give Joe a call and we’d spend a few hours fishing Bowstring; teaching each other. Joe introduced me to David, his son, David introduced me to Eldon and Eldon in turn introduced me to his son’s Jason and John. So now you have it, we’re all caught up.
On Friday, Bowstring Lake seemed like a fitting place to enjoy watching the emergence of another branch of the Skoglund family tree. Joining us in the boat would be Jack Skoglund, who at 10 is the newest member of the annual “Father’s Day” fishing trip.
It wouldn’t be the first time anybody suggested taking a youngster to Bowstring, surely we’d keep him busy catching something, on that lake, we usually do. Luckily, this fishing trip worked out better than usual and it was really a great day to be Jack!
The fishing report isn’t complicated; Surface water temperatures in the shallow water ranged between 61 and 64 degrees.  We fished in the cabbage weeds at 5 to 7 feet of water using 1/8 Lindy Jigs tipped with Fatheads. My instruction to the crew was to use ‘em all up, and they did.
Perch, Pike and a handful of Walleye were sharing the weed beds and we kept busy from starting time until early afternoon. After that, we headed toward the middle and did a bit of “pre-meditated Walleye fishing”. There were small schools of fish using mid lake bars at depths of 22 to 24 feet. The schools of fish were small and under bright skies, easily spooked. We picked up one or two fish at each stop, not bad, but not fantastic either.
I expected the deep water fish to accept night crawlers and leeches, but they didn’t. The same 1/8 ounce jigs that we used in the weeds worked out there too. There were Pike, Walleye and Perch all mixed together on deep structure to, but our Walleye catch rate did improve significantly.
At the end of the day, our annual visit to the Gosh Dam Place for a fish fry which was fantastic as usual.
So there you have it, the beginning of the next tradition and with luck, you’ll be hearing more about them next year.

image of Jack Skoglund with Nice Walleye
It was a great day to be Jack Skoglund, shown here showing off one of his better efforts.

image of Jack Skoglund with big perch
Whether we fished shall or deep, the same 1/8 ounce Lindy Jigs tipped with Fatheads caught Perch, Pike and Walleye.

image denotes link to fish rapper article Alexandria Ottertail Area, Capt Josh Hagemeister; June 10, 2016

"What a week of fishing! Things are in full swing all over the state; my travels included Grand Rapids, Park Rapids, Alexandria and Fergus Falls. All have excellent fishing opportunities happening right now.
We were chasing smallmouth and largemouth bass in the depth of 2 to 6 feet using tube jigs or a live leech on a black 1/8 oz. jig.  The smallmouth bass were found on sand gravel flats whereas the largemouth bass were found on shallower weedy soft bottom areas.
The northern pike are in just about any cabbage weed bed in the 6 to 12 foot range, be sure to work the edge of the weed bed close to shore and also the deep weed edge towards the middle of the lake. Of course the entire center of the weed bed may hold fish as well.
Walleyes were caught anywhere from 5 feet of water in heavy wind, down to 38 feet of water on mid-lake humps. At this point I am strictly using night crawlers and a few leeches I will no longer be buying minnows until October.
Jigs slip bobbers and live bait rigs have been top producers along with a classic spinner Rig. Good luck this week!". - Capt Josh, Minnesota Fishing Guide Service 218-732-9919

image of Ava holding big sunfish
Photo courtesy Frontier Sports. Anglers pursuing Sunfish in the Marcell Area are doing very well using slip floats and small jigs tipped with live bait.

image denotes link to fish rapper article From The Marcell Area, Frontier Sports, Paul Larson June 10, 2016;

"The Search is on! While some of the larger deep lakes have Crappies just coming into the shallows, most of the lakes in this area have seen a migration of Crappie and Walleye out into the weed beds in water anywhere from five to 13 feet. The weather has certainly had an effect on this relocation.
Post spawn Walleye are usually difficult to locate and I usually have my best results casting into relatively shallow water (4 to 6 feet deep) and working the lure through the weeds and out into deeper water. For this type of fishing I really like using lipless crankbaits. Lures like the LIVE TARGET Golden Shiner or the Baitball rattle bait are a proven favorite. At this time of year, fish in the weeds can be quite aggressive and a loud rattle bait really sets them off. As an added bonus, this type of lure tends to bounce of the weeds due to the lack of a bill and they rarely get hung up. I’ll be using a Savage Gear Sand Eel Slug on a drop shot rig for Walleye this coming weekend. This combination showed great promise for me last weekend and it too rarely got hung up in the weeds. It seemed that everything wanted to eat the Sand Eel last weekend.
The hottest bite going on in this area right now seems to be Bass and Pike. A good number of Smallies over twenty inches were reported last weekend and throughout the week. Largemouth Bass are cooperating as well, with some big fish being caught, most of which were released. People out after Sunfish have been doing very well and a just a reminder, please release the big ones so that they may spawn another day, thereby keeping the gene pool stocked with fish that have a tendency to grow large.
Trout anglers as expected…. are not talking. The weather forecast looks promising for the weekend and it should be a good time to get out there and explore. You never know, you just might find that hungry school of Walleye. Have a fantastic weekend everyone!"

Frontier Sports features a complete and fully stocked Sporting Goods department and Bait Shop, Gas, Grocery, Deli and Gift Shop. Frontier Sports is an authorized LIVE TARGET and SAVAGE GEAR dealer. Frontier Sports 218-832-3901 or Email .

 

image links to bass fishing article

image links to wired 2 fish 5 Reasons to Flip a Tube this Summer - Walker Smith

According to Elite Series pro Mark Menendez, a soft-plastic tube is one of the most effective pitching and flipping baits you can use throughout the summer months. With all of the new soft plastic shapes on the market these days, tubes have largely fallen by the wayside in regards to shallow-water pitching and flipping. They may not always catch the biggest fish in a body of water, but their ability to coax quality keeper bass is ... Read >> 5 Reasons to Flip a Tube this Summer

image denotes link to fish rapper article Q&A June 8, 2016 From Rod Heidemann - Cabbage Weeds, Walleyes, and Big Waves;

Referencing the fishing report of June 2, 2016, Rod Heidemann wrote;  “Hi Jeff; So when you are fishing the shallow water,  6 to 8 feet, how do you position the boat & present the jig so that you are not spooking fish? Are you drifting with a drift sock, backtrolling, anchored?”
A) Rod, Fishing in and around Cabbage Weeds encompasses a lot of different scenarios. Over the years, I've used all of the methods that you mentioned, but on this particular occasion, the wind was strong and there were whitecaps blowing into the shallow flat.
In heavy seas, Walleyes move continuously, feeding on baitfish that is dis-oriented by the turbulent water. Under these circumstances, there’s no reason to anchor, and trolling would move the boat too fast for accurate presentations; so controlled drifting is almost always the best approach for me.

image of big waves behind boat
In heavy seas, Walleyes move continuously, feeding on baitfish that is dis-oriented by the turbulent water. Under these circumstances, there’s no reason to anchor, and trolling would move the boat too fast for accurate presentations; so controlled drifting is almost always the best approach for me.
My approach to scenarios like this one is to "Use the Waves" as an anchor to help me hold my boat in position on the breakline while I allow the wind to slowly slip us along the weed edges. A tiller rig equipped with Wave Wackers is essential to make this system work. A Drift Control Sock to help control the front end of the boat may be needed too. When I fish out of my 20 foot Alaskan, I always use one and it works like a charm to tame the bow of the boat. But the front end of my fiberglass 208 Pro V is much more stable in rough seas, so in this boat, deployment of the drift sock is rarer. That said I’m always certain to have it available, just in case it’s needed.
For lack of a better description, I’ve borrowed the term slipping; it’s similar to the method that river fishermen use to slow down their drift speed in swift current.
My approach to locating good fishing spots depends on the wind direction. I prefer a wind that blows into the shoreline at an angle, not perpendicular. But I can make a 90 degree angle work when I need to by using the MinnKota in conjunction with Big Tiller. I avoid waves that are blowing parallel along the weed edges because they are liable to make the boat drift too fast. I look for any angle that will allow me to back the transom of the boat into the waves, using them as a brake.
Once I have a spot figured out, I have all of my customers positioned to fish off of the port side of the boat. Then I kick the Verado into reverse and begin creeping along the weed edges. I do my best to hold our drift speed down, somewhere between .6 and .9 is ideal. I can get away with a little bit more or less speed by making adjustments to our presentation; heavier weights, faster retrieves etc...
Admittedly, my method of “slipping” sounds a bit tricky, but honestly, it is a piece of cake to master. In fact, I think this is probably the single most effective trick in my grab bag and it is the #1 reason why I will always use a tiller boat; it provides the most precise control.
Here’s a good tip, if your crew can keep all of their lines off the same side of the boat and each angler can fish without tangling, then you are doing it correctly.
If your boat isn’t equipped with a tiller engine, don’t worry, you can use a bow mount too; just reverse the instructions. The Drift Control Sock will be essential to help square up the alignment of your rig because the bow trollers tend to make your boat troll, rather than slip.
Okay, so this answers your question about how I used the boat to position my crew over the fish on that one particular day. If weather conditions were different, then it’s likely that the presentation would have been altered to suit them.
I’m sure that you noticed that I didn’t mention a specific presentation. That’s because this system works with a variety of lures and baits; jig and minnow, wiggle worms and even slip floats can all be deployed as needed. Because it was springtime, we used the popular jig and minnow presentation. But do not hesitate to blend in other presentations throughout the summer.
I KNOW, sometimes an answer leads to another question and you have one, all you need to do is ask; I’ll do my best to provide a good answer.
Do You Know that you can post your own helpful hints to our fishing reports page on facebook? YES! You Can! You don't have to tell us your secrets, just go ahead and brag a little when you get a whopper! Click >>> Fishing Reports Minnesota .

image of fishing guide holding big walleye
Admittedly a big fish addict, I love it when my crew allows me to fish the CPR circuit. Perch, Pike and Panfish round out the larder for eating while these big girls stretch our strings.

image denotes fishing report submitted by Jeff Sundin Quality vs Quantity; Can You Have Your Walleye and Eat It Too? Fishing Report June 7, 2016

If you do more than a little bit of fishing in the Itasca Area, then I’m sure that you’ve already noticed; selecting a fishing lake that does not have a “protected slot” for Walleye provides no assurance that you will catch and harvest larger fish. In fact, it is a darn good way to ensure catching little fish, ones that are smaller than any slot size anyway.
Conversely, heading for a lake that does have a “protected slot” for Walleye is a great way to find and catch large fish. The problem is that there may not be very many that are legal to harvest.
That should tell you something, and I believe we should all be willing to recognize that we are getting so good at locating, catching and consuming fish, that we really don’t have any choice except to protect a portion of them from our persistent harvest.
Without going overboard about philosophy and politics, it simply means that we have to make choices about our fishing goals. Luckily, for me, there are some folks who love to pursue big fish the same way that I do, the goal doesn’t have to be about consuming fish.

Sometimes KNOWING where something is, doesn’t really help. For example, I know where there is some good, eating size Walleyes right now. In fact so do you, but for one reason or another, we can’t always get to them.
That was the trouble on Monday, gusty winds and heavy seas weren’t gonna allow me to go out on any big water. Instead, I’d have to come up with an alternative, a lake small enough to be manageable, but good enough to provide some fun. My question to the crew was do we go after quality or quantity, and theirs to me was, why couldn’t we have both?
If you do more than a little bit of fishing in the Itasca Area, then I’m sure that you’ve already noticed; selecting a fishing lake that does not have a “protected slot” for Walleye provides no assurance that you will catch and harvest any larger fish. In fact, it is a darn good way to ensure catching little fish, ones that are smaller than any slot size anyway.
Conversely, heading for a lake that does have a “protected slot” for Walleye is a great way to find and catch large fish. The problem is that there may not be very many that are legal to harvest.
That should tell you something, and I believe we should all be willing to recognize that we are getting so good at locating, catching and consuming fish, that we really don’t have any choice except to protect a portion of them from our persistent harvest.
Without going overboard about philosophy and politics, it simply means that we have to make choices about our fishing goals. Luckily, for me, there are some folks who love to pursue big fish the same way that I do, the goal doesn’t have to be about consuming fish; at least not completely.
We all love a fish fry, and I doubt that anybody will argue that Walleyes aren’t awful good to eat. But sometimes, a meal of Perch, Crappie or Northern Pike can be a good substitute and as long as the lake is willing to give up a meal or two, I‘m okay with tossing back some hefty Walleye in exchange for a meal of almost any other fish.
On Monday, Dick Slater and Lee Jameson were okay with that idea too, in Dick’s words; “as long as I can have a picture, then I’m happy”.
Our choice was to visit one of my all-time favorite smaller lakes, these days it’s one where catching slot fish is easy, but she’s stingy with eaters and a meal of Walleye is scarcer than hen’s teeth.
It took a while for me to figure out the most of the fish were long gone from the shoreline. Except for a few stragglers, working shoreline structure was a waste of time. The next obvious choice was to fish mid lake bars, humps and points; they weren’t there either.
After digging myself a nice, deep hole to work out of, I finally figured out that the lion’s share of these fish were scattered on soft bottom flats in water depths between 12 and 14 feet. Their location could reveal that there’s an insect hatch coming our way, or they could have simply been scattered by the heavy storms that struck on Sunday. We’ll know more about that later this week, when the weather stabilizes again.
Our presentation, jig and minnow, may not have been the best choice for catching Walleyes, but it was a good choice for encouraging a variety bag. There were nice Perch, some Pike and even a bonus Crappie in our creel. As expected, we only bagged one keeper Walleye, but the big girls provided some excitement and an opportunity to exercise my camera lens.
In the end, my crew was happy, I was happy and the fish were happy too. I could ask for more, but I’m not gonna!

image of Dick Slater with big Walleye
Dick Slater shows off the result of one of his better efforts, Walleyes like this don't come along every day!

image of Lee Jameson with Big Walleye
Lee Jameson shrugged off the cold and got into the action too, another prime specimen caught on a jig and minnow.

image denotes fishing report from Rour Seasons Fishing Resort Lake Winnibigoshish, Joe Thompson, Four Seasons Resort June 7, 2016

"I "had to" go fishing yesterday. I made up my mind to fish like it was 1993!
We were looking for walleyes only, so I took them out like I used to take out fishermen in 1993. My plan was to fish on the main bars only. Fish with lindy rigs and leeches. It worked for a while, we had a nice bunch of keeper size walleyes along with some in the slot. But when the northwest wind kicked up to 20-25 mph, I had to change tactics. 
We went up north and fished on one of my favorite spots in the 10-12' range. The fish were very cooperative, but the ratio of keepers to slot fish went way down. The jigs and minnows in the shallow spot were equal to the rigs and leeches in number of fish caught. So my fish like it was 1993 was successful. The only thing missing was my Lowrance Bluewater Pro flasher and my compass!
The walleyes have migrated out to the midlake structures. When the winds are calmer, this is the best way to catch walleyes. When the 
wind blows, you can still have good success shallow.
Perch fishing continues to be very good. Look to the shoreline breaks in 15-20' for the larger perch. There are large schools of smaller perch in the shallow water.
Northerns are being caught on the 15-20' breakline with jigs and minnows.
Everyone has been catching fish. There is no problem catching enough for supper. If you are looking for a multi-species fishery, now is the time to come to Lake Winnie. We have openings for the remainder of the month of June. Pick out a date, and give us a call. 218-665-2231" Joe Thompson, Four Seasons Resort.

image denotes fishing report submitted by Jeff Sundin Catching the Catchable - Bass, Walleye and Sunfish; Fishing Report June 6, 2016

Surface temperatures are moving backward; at least that’s been my observation over the past few days. By Sunday, the Mercury had settled back into the 59 to 62 degree range and from the fishing point of view, that’s been a mixed blessing.
It’s been good because I, along with many of my customers really like to fish with the jig and minnow presentations that are popular during spring and the cool water has helped extend the jig and minnow bite.
Insect hatches have been minimal too, and that’s been good because it’s helped hold fish back from making mass migrations to mid lake structure.
One tricky part though is that the cool water temperatures are preventing many lakes from growing good algae blooms, which means that the water is staying clearer and this is not good news for folks trying to trick finicky fish on calm days.
The cooler temperatures are also holding back the “Hot Bite” for Bass and Panfish that occurs during the summer peak. The fish are there, shallow water cover is now inhabited by Largemouth, Smallmouth and Sunfish. But the cool, clear conditions force anglers to move slower, fish slower and be more precise about lure placement.
Bass fishing, the first excursion of the summer for me, was on the agenda this Sunday. There were plenty of fish in shallow water, the action was decent, but most of the fish were small and larger fish we did catch required more teasing than usual.
There was a stiff breeze and that maybe helped conceal beds that were in deeper water. But if there were Bass on beds, we could not see them. Instead, the fish that we caught were holding in and around shallow, woody cover. Tree branches, Bulrush and shallow stubble were holding the majority of fish.
I think that it’s human nature to try and pursue an area where the action is fast and furious, but on this day, that wasn’t the way to go. We saw lots of fishermen on the water and they were ripping around from one spot to another, all looking for a hot bite and all of them were fishing way too fast to find it.
Even within the confines of my own Pro V, coaching about slowing down the presentation was nearly constant. The unweighted wacky rigged, Yum Dingers were getting struck, but only if you let the bait fall and fall and fall, sinking so slowly that almost nobody has enough patience to do it.
I was lucky; I learned my lesson when this happened a few years ago. On that day, Bass would strike, but not if you rushed the presentation. I never would have known it; I would have tried the spot, failed and then left without hooking up. But instead I was treated to a Bass fishing clinic put on by an incredibly patient woman who is also a Bass fishing machine. She made 1 cast to my 3, she allowed the bait sink for-ev-v-v-er and she out fished me at least 3 to 1.
On Sunday, once we started fishing slower, the fish struck more frequently.
Sunfish inhabited the shallow water cover too. Some of them were on spawning beds, some of them were holding in the tree branches and some were cruising over the shallow fats.
I experimented briefly with a slip float, a 1/8 ounce jig and a cut piece of night crawler. The Sunfish did strike and the action would have been good if we’d chosen to pursue more of them. I can’t say that the size was huge, but we could have sorted out enough keepers to make a good fish fry.
Around the area, Walleye reports came in mixed this weekend. Lake Winnibigoshish produced good action for one of the guides I talked to this morning. Leech produced some fish over the weekend, but the hot bite appears to be waning; anglers are working harder and smarter for less fish.
I’ll be back on the water today, but I’m not sure what we’ll do. The strong northwest winds might keep us away from water that can get too rough. It might be one of those days when I do the unexpected, at least that’s what I’m expecting.

Jeff Kriet Shows How to Rig a Weedless Wacky Worm - Jason Sealock

Elite Series pro Jeff Kriet shows us how to quickly rig a weedless wacky worm, allowing you to deliver that deadly action into wood and heavy grass without snagging. If bass are in cover like brush and heavy grass, you can still get a wacky rig into the thick of it, but not with conventional rigging.

image links to video how to rig a weedless wacky rig

Jeff Kriet shows us how to hook the worm so it’s completely weedless, while retaining that wacky action. He employed this method during the 2016 Elite Series Bull Shoals/Norfork event. As Kriet explains, the bass were located at the base or root structure of brush, making it virtually impossible to fish a conventional exposed hook wacky rig. This slick weedless system let you fish tight to the cover, and accounted for many of his weighed bass. View Video >> How to Rig a Weedless Wacky Worm

image denotes fishing report submitted by Jeff Sundin Soaking the Soakable, Day 3 of "Fun with Dick and Paul" - Fishing Report June 4, 2016

For me, it's been an exceptionally interesting few days, especially the time spent "behind the scenes"
For me, it's been an exceptionally interesting few days, especially the time spent "behind the scenes" on the phone and the computer. Most of my correspondence wouldn’t matter to anyone except for a handful of my closest friends, but some one of these days, I’ll figure out how to write it up and we’ll all get a good laugh together. Right now, I’m pressed for time, so I’ll cut to the chase about fishing.
On Thursday, weather conditions were perfect for fishing on Lake Winnie, I was able to execute my game plan and I don’t know how it could have worked out too much better. It wasn’t just us catching fish out there either, in fact almost everyone I’ve talked to had a really good day out there.

image of mike nolan with huge fishing lure
Mike Nolan wrote; "I'm going to northern Minnesota in August to fish with Jeff Sundin for about the 20th time. They say the bigger the lure, the bigger the fish and I want to catch a big fish so I got a big lure.”

There’s a good report on Bowen Lodge’s website right now and you can get most of the details by reading >> Bowen Lodge Fishing Report
There was one significant new development though and I’m not sure that I’ve seen it written up yet.
Walleyes have begun the transition from shallow water to deeper, mid-lake structure. The trick is to remember that they don’t all move at the same time and that they don’t make the whole move in one trip.
Instead of leaving shallow cover and swimming straight into deep, open water, small packs of Walleye travel across Winnie’s huge sand flats. Along the way, they spend short periods holding up on small, isolated structure like rock piles or isolated weedy patches. On many of these small spots, the Walleyes will be here today, gone tomorrow, but knowing about the transition might help you scrounge a few fish one of these days.
I’ll do my best to keep you posted as conditions change, but for now, use your own intuition. If your favorite shallow water fishing hole becomes vacated, spend some time scanning the flats for isolated structures.
Keep depths are typically somewhere between 12 and 16 feet, sometimes a bit shallower, sometimes deeper. Rocks are the obvious first choice, but don’t overlook any patch of Cabbage weeds, there are small, isolated patches popping out in places where we never saw them before, and they usually hold some fish.  
I promise to expand on this soon, but I’m up against the clock right now; see you tomorrow.
OH< by the way, Mike Nolan wrote; "I'm going to northern Minnesota in August to fish with Jeff Sundin for about the 20th time. They say the bigger the lure, the bigger the fish and I want to catch a big fish so I got a big lure.”

image of 28 inch Walleye caught on Cass Lake

image links to horseshoe resort Cass Lake Cass Lake, Horseshoe Resort Fishing Report June 3, 2016

"Wind and grey sky is perfect Walleye weather on Cass Lake and recently, we’ve had both; but there’s been enough sunshine to warm the water too. Surface water temperatures range from 62 to 65 degrees and that has triggered some summertime Walleye patterns.
Right now on Cass, live bait rigs tipped primarily with leeches appear to be the ticket. Some fishermen are still jigging and there are a few anglers dabbling with Lindy Rigs and large minnows.

The key depths vary depending on the bar you are working, but surveying the range between 14 to 26 feet of water will help get you over some fish. One of the better guides who work on the lake said that he’s been focusing on deep points that connect to shoreline structure.
There are some night fishermen working the lake for Walleye too and they are reporting good success using crankbaits. Shallow running crankbaits like Shad Raps or Reef Runners that run in the 6 to 9 foot range are productive.
Most of the Crappie have come and gone from the shallow water spawning cover, but there are still some pre-spawn fish in shallow weeds. Anglers searching for Crappie should keep track of Cabbage weeds that are adjacent to shallow Bulrush patches. The Crappies usually move into Cabbage once the spawning cycle is complete." Clark Heitmann - Horseshoe Resort on Cass Lake.

image of Gus' Place Logo Ball Club Lake, Gus' Place Resort June 3, 2016

"It was a very busy Memorial weekend at the resort, in fact we even ran out of dock space for a short time. Most of the action was centered on the Crappie bite, they were in shallow at 4 feet. Since then the Crappie action has fallen off considerably and the bite has slowed down.
We also saw some mighty nice Walleye taken with live bait on slip bobbers in 12 feet of water.

image of nice pike caught on ball club lake
Photo: Gus' Place Resort "Cooper's Pike".

I noticed on our brag board in the fish house that several 24 & 25 inch Walleye were released, but in the gut buckets there were several 10 & 11 inch Walleye that should also have been released, but were instead cleaned.
Perch fishermen did well in 8 feet using Fat Heads and slip bobbers. As the water warms up the fish will move a little deeper and anglers will switch to a faster bait presentation.
Lake temps at the surface have been both North and South of 60 degrees depending on the cloud cover and the wind.
I think the big news on Ball Club Lake is that the Shiners have started to run and the bait traps are filling. The local bait dealers will tell you that Ball Club Lake Shiners are a little smaller in size, but prized for their sturdy durability.
I haven’t mentioned the Northerns, well, they are always biting in around 8 feet." - Gus Sheker, Gus' Place Resort 1-888-246-8520

image denotes fishing report submitted by Jeff Sundin Managing the Manageable on Day 1 of "Fun with Dick and Paul" - Fishing Report June 2, 2016

Today’s report may seem a bit “industrial”, especially on the “Fun with Dick and Paul, spring trip”, but it should be. It reflects the nature of fishing over the past couple of days.
It can be awful easy to find a calm spot, hunker down and hope for the best, especially with waves splashing over the gunnels. Winning the battle has required extra discipline, a stricter focus on finding fresh spots and constantly moving to avoid being trapped by complacency.
Following the weather forecast was tricky on Wednesday; we’d listened and knew that eventually, west winds would churn the waves on Itasca area lakes. But first, there was supposed to be a morning of lighter, southeast wind that could have made Leech Lake fishable for a while.
We high-tailed it to Sugar Point Resort, where we’d launch the boat, but by the time we arrived, whitecaps were already pounding into the rocks in front of the harbor. The west winds arrived too early and were too forceful to make fishing there a good idea, so we rolled out and headed south.
The next nearest lake that presented reasonable fishing conditions was Boy Lake, I hadn’t been there this year, but we know that it has fish in it and it was close, so we gave it a shot.
When we arrived, the surface temperature was 63 degrees. The tree tops were being blown by the strong wind and the sky was Grey, threatening rain. These conditions are perfect Northern Pike weather and they knew it.
I don’t think that we fished anyplace where we didn’t catch hammer handle size Pike and in some areas, we caught them as fast as we could drop our jigs into the lake. Luckily, they weren’t very aggressive and their strikes were soft, like a Walleye strike. That saved us a lot of jigs because if they had been ripping into the lures, we would have spent most of our day tying on new tackle.
Walleyes were shy, but we did manage to capture 10 of them, an accomplishment that looked good at the end of the day, never felt action packed during the search.
Weeds were the key to locating Walleyes, Cabbage Weeds in particular. The scattered patches of Cabbage were lush and green, the open spaces between the plants provided open cover that accommodates the feeding style of a Walleye.
Stands of Eel Grass, Coontail and Northern Milfoil hosted many, many, many Pike, a few small Perch and a smattering of Crappies. When we stumbled into them, we tried to turn the Crappie action into a bigger part of our day, but after catching 5 of them, the bite turned into a rock bass bonanza, so we lost interest and moved along.
If there were any Walleyes using deeper water, I didn’t find ‘em. I marked some fish at 18 to 24 feet, but when we fished for them, all we caught was more scissor bills.
Like I said, it sounds industrial, but it was actually a pretty good start, day one of “Fun with Dick and Paul” ended with a great fish fry, a few fish left over for the freezer and the promise of more manageable conditions for today.  
I’ve been itching to get back onto Lake Winnie, where the Walleye fishing, has been very consistent, at least when the weather is cooperative. Northwest winds at 5 to 10 MPH and partly cloudy skies might just be enough to get the water churning and if it is, that’s where we’ll be.

image of Penny Becker with smallmouth bass
There's always a highlight reel for Penny Becker, this time it's her first ever Smallmouth Bass. Cold fronts, thunderstorms maybe dampen our clothes, but not our spirits.

image denotes fishing report submitted by Jeff Sundin Summer Cold Front, Thunderstorms Cause Walleye Slow Down - Fishing Report June 1, 2016

On Tuesday, Mother Nature caused an interruption in the excellent fishing that helped make the Memorial Day weekend memorable.
A series of thunderstorms, accompanied by a serious drop in air temperatures and an “all day soaker” forced Sun worshipers out of their shorts and back into rain suits, hoodies and waterproof boots.
I watched surface water temperatures fall throughout the day on Tuesday, beginning at 62 degrees and ending at 60 degrees, probably falling even lower overnight.

For I and my crew, the conditions didn’t force Walleye action to a complete stop, but it was noticeably harder to entice fish into striking. When they did strike, they were tentative, holding on to the tails of our minnows; reluctant to inhale the bait and allow us good hooksets.
Shallow water was sparsely inhabited, the fish we did locate were seldom found in water depths shallower than 15 feet. That was a major departure from the experience we had this weekend; fish were previously occupying the shallow rocks and weed flats in 4 to 6 feet.
Apparently, there was a scattering affect too. It was fairly easy for me to spot fish on the Humminbird, but I had to settle for finding singles and doubles. It was rare to see more than a few fish on the screen at any one time. In fact I think there was only one spot where we caught two fish, the rest of our stops yielded one fish, sometimes only a missed strike or two.
I just peeked at the forecast and it looks better than I expected. Showers, south wind at 5 to 10 and temperatures holding near 60 degrees gives me hope that the after affects will be short lived.
As a fisherman, I liked the warm, stable weather; it did wonders for the fishing. But it was getting a little dry around here and I have to admit that I’m happy to see the rain, especially considering that we just planted the garden on Memorial Day.
I am cautiously optimistic that we will have fantastic fishing over the next few days and whatever I learn, you’ll be the first one to know. fish smiley

Do You Know that you can post your own helpful hints to our fishing reports page on facebook? YES! You Can! You don't have to tell us your secrets, just go ahead and brag a little when you get a whopper! Click >>> Fishing Reports Minnesota .
And ... did you know that Jeff's Thursday Morning Program is available for two weeks after the air date? Yes, you'll never need to miss the show. Click the image and then select the 6:00 hour on Thursday. Scroll in to about 6:20 AM and you're in business! Link to KAXE Audio Archive