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Lake Winnie and Cutfoot Sioux Fishing Report

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image denotes fishing report submitted by Jeff Sundin Fishing Report September 23, 2014 - "Fun With Dick & Paul, minus Paul + Bass = A Good Way To Wrap Up!

This time of the season is hard, that's because when I see the clock clicking down on some of the special fishing patterns that don't come along very often for me, I Know that there's a long, cold winter ahead.
From now until freeze-up, I know that each time I fish might be my last chance of this season to do whatever special thing it is that we're doing on that day.
Like Monday when I and Dick Williams paid a visit to one of Grand Rapids better Largemouth Bass fishing lakes. It's one of my favorites and for me; the memories of fishing on this lake go really deep.
As usual, she didn't let me down, but this time she was a little bit particular about how she wanted us to fish.
I found the Largemouth Bass, they were hungry and they were definitely catchable, but they were in a tricky pattern to pin down. They were on flats in 9 to 11 feet of water that contained patches of dark, almost black weeds. These heavy patches of weeds were holding most of the fish, but there weren't many spots on the lake that contained them.
I only know these weeds by sight, not by their proper name. But looking at a ton of photos on the web, Id say that Northern Water Milfoil is the closest match I can find. The problem is that I see that a lot around here and when I find it, it usually covers a lot more territory. These patches were smaller, covering 50 yards or less at each spot.
No matter what they were called, the heavy weeds were definitely the preferred location for most of the Bass on this lake today. If I tried any other type of cover, we could scrounge up one, maybe two fish. But whenever I found a patch of these dark weeds, the fish were there in good numbers.
We were fishing with YUM Dingers rigged in a variety of ways, but the absolute best presentation was with the 4/0 hook rigged weedless in the tail (skinny end) and half of a 16 penny nail in the nose (the fat end).
The nailed worms are really easy to work through the heavy weeds. Cast them into the thickets, finesse the worm through the veggies until you feel it settle in a clearing and then let it sit still. The Bass will find it and when they do, they really smack it.
There was just enough chop on the water to make getting good pictures of these weeds too difficult on Monday. But I promise to make a return visit soon and get some good images to share with you.
So that’s the whole deal; we spent a nice warm afternoon in a beautiful place, on a beautiful day and for 2014, fun with Dick & Paul, minus Paul is a wrap.
Greg Clusiau Fishing Report (9/23) From The Iron Range, Greg Clusiau wrote; "I thought maybe a large northern but after watching the battle for a minute or so switched my thinking to it possibly being a big walleye.
I was right. My first glimpse of the telltale “white tip” of the tail fin revealed a very fat, large walleye. I missed it with the net on the first try but not on the next. Steve had done it again, beating his night before 28” walleye with a 30” ten pound fish. This was turning out to be quite a ..." >> Read Greg Clusiau's Full Report .
image denotes field report (9/22) From Cass Lake, Cub Reporter, Staff #004 checked in with this; "It was a great day to be Steve Parker of Alexandria, MN.
While attempting to guide his girlfriend Mary Weirauch to her first Musky, Steve wound up landing two of them himself. Within an hour, he boated a 49 inch and a 50 inch fish."
For many, either of these two would be the fish of a lifetime. But for Steve and Mary, the pair of monsters came in less time than it takes to watch a boring re-run on TV. I guess that it pays to get outside occasionally!!

image denotes news from Wired2Fish DUO Realis wants to give Wired2fish readers a chance to win a set of 5 Spinbait 90′s, a cool DUO Realis tackle box for them, and a DUO Realis hat. 3 winners in this giveaway. Learn More >> Duo Realis Spybait Giveaway

image denotes field report (9/22) From Lake of the Woods, Mike Kinsela, Border View Lodge; "The leaves are changing! And this week’s forecast looks great with highs in the 70’s and lows in the 50’s with sunshine predicted most days.
We have spent most of this past week off of Pine Island or towards Zippel Bay. Anchored and jigging has been the best technique. We have been ranging depths from 20 to 30 feet. There was a lot of wind last week so we are hoping to be done with it for awhile.
Don’t forget to get your winter fishing trip booked! We are filling in fast so make those plans soon." - 1-800-776-3474 Border View Lodge .

Bowen Lodge Lake Winnie Report

September 22, 2014 - Lake Winnibigoshish Fall Fishing Action

"Reports from around Lake Winnie are getting better all of the time. Walleye are on the move along the North shore and with water temperatures dipping below 60 degrees, we're expecting to see a fresh run of fish moving into Cutfoot Sioux any day.
That will be good news to the Crappie and Sunfish who have been pursued heavily during the past few weeks. Most Panfish have moved away from their shoreline haunts and begin to set up .... >> Cutfoot Sioux Fishing Report

image denotes question from a reader (9/21) Permanent Live Bait Aerator For The Boat - From Tom Crosby; "Jeff didn't you write about putting a live bait system in your alaskan at one time. Is that in the archived articles?"
A)Yes Tom I did, The Lund Alaskans have an ideal layout for setting up your own live bait system. The one that I described allows you to keep your entire bait supply healthy all day long using fresh well water without exposure to any lake water.
I AM on my 9th (or is it 10th?) Alaskan now and I've been using this system since day one. I can only imagine how many thousands of dollars this has saved me in live bait expenses over these years. Besides that, when it comes to preventing the spread of AIS from one lake to another, I have peace of mind KNOWING that I always do my best.
Note: At the time I wrote the original article, it was legal for you to keep the water in your boat. These days you'll have to remove the water from your boat during transportation. Place the minnows in a second tank of fresh water kept in your truck and you’ll be good to go.
Here's a link to the original article and when I get a chance, I'll update the details about the legal aspects of the system. Read Article >> Keeping Your Live Bait Alive .
OH and by the way, there are links to lots more fishing articles, fishing videos and favorite fishing lakes too. Just click >> Fishing Articles Updates and Archives .

image of BOOYAH spinnerbaits

There is nothing better than a blow up on a buzzbait fished on a grassline or the slam of a big fish while slow rolling a willow leaf spinnerbait around wood. Fall is a great time for both types of lures to shine. BOOYAH wants to give Wired2fish readers the opportunity to add a supply of spinnerbaits and buzzbaits to their tackle box. Just click >> BOOYAH spinnerbait giveaway . (9/23)

image denotes fishing report submitted by Jeff Sundin (9/20) From The Grand Rapids Area - When we arrived at Coleraine's Trout Lake, near Grand Rapids, day 2 of Fun With Dick and Paul, minus Paul, appeared to be a no-brainer.
Grey skies and wind driven rain showers would encourage the lakes fickle Walleyes to move around and bite, at least a little bit; that's what I thought anyway. But in spite of seeing plenty of them on my Humminbird, they were too tight lipped for me.
Surface temperatures ranged from 60 to 61 degrees, the water looked clear and there was little evidence of any weeds dying. In fact, the ones that we found were really green and healthy. Although the weeds weren't inhabited by Walleyes, they were holding some nice ... read >> Grand Rapids Fishing Report .
image denotes question from a reader (9/18) From Steve Sykes; "Hi Jeff, thanks for the press you gave me in your fishing report on September 15 . The boat is an Impact that I purchased last year, it’s been a great boat and I love fishing out of it.
The crappie fishing was the best I have seen in a long time. The word seems to be out, I don’t recall ever seeing so many boats out fishing for them. Even on Monday the lake was full.
Is it like that every year? How does the lake handle that much pressure?
The crappies did start to slow down in the “crappie hole” , I think they were just tired of getting fished so hard.
I found a hole (in a different area) that was between 25 and 28 feet deep and we caught a ton of crappies there and no one bothered us. We did a lot of catching and releasing them, what a blast.
The walleye fishing was pretty slow for us, we caught about 12 fish all in the slot. We graphed a ton of fish in front of Pigeon River on Winnie between 12 to 14 feet and managed to get a few of them to bite, they were all in the slot." Thanks for all your tips. - Steve Sykes
A)Thank You Steve, you answered part of your own question already. It is typical for Panfish on both Cutfoot and Little Cutfoot to receive a lot of fishing pressure in the fall. During the past couple of years though, a combination of factors have added even more pressure than usual.
The most obvious one is that the population of Crappies has really been strong. In 2013, there were thousands of fish in the 9-11 inch range and this year, the remaining population has achieved sizes ranging from 11 to 13 inches. That presents a very attractive opportunity and most folks, including me, have a hard time passing it up.
Here's the point that you already touched on when you said: "Walleye fishing was slow".
On a fishing trip, most folks, including me, want to find some fish to catch. There's a certain group of anglers who are targeting Walleyes (or some other species) and if they discover unfavorable conditions for catching them, turn to an alternative.
Fishing conditions on both Cutfoot and Winnie have been tricky this year. So fishermen who would typically be out doing something else have joined you in the pursuit of Crappies.
You asked; "How does the lake handle that much pressure?
A) Crappies are a resilient fish and their populations re-build quickly. Unfortunately though, what really control the fishing pressure are declines in population caused by fishing pressure.
Crappies have always been vulnerable to these "boom and bust cycles". They flourish, we find 'em, they decline, we move on and so on ... There aren't many back to back years of fantastic Crappie fishing on the same lake. One of these seasons, we will notice a decline as the populations are drawn down. Then the fishing pressure will disappear for a while and that will begin the next cycle.
I don't want to sound like I'm preaching. But please do me a favor and think about some important information regarding fishing in deep water.
Catching any freshwater fish (except Lake Trout) in deep water is extremely hard on them and the deeper you go, the worse it gets. Whenever I fish in water depths approaching 30 feet, I know that I am going to kill these fish and once I have reached a reasonable goal, I move on to another pursuit.
It's vital that we as fishermen learn more about the effects of Barotrauma on the fish that we think we are releasing. Many of them do not survive and we can help preserve some of these fish for next year by avoiding a few common mistakes.
I'm up against the clock right now, but I will re-touch on that subject as time allows.
Thanks for the report Steve and be sure to stay in touch!
Greg Clusiau Fishing Report (9/16) From The Iron Range, Greg Clusiau wrote; "Meeting up Friday afternoon at the family cabin on Rainy Lake, we had plenty of time to get in a little fishing before supper. Crappie were the target and we were more than delighted to find them in their fall locations.
Early the next morning found us boating across the bay for our first ever cast and blast get-together. Having talked about doing this for years, it just hadn’t taken place. Now, here I was, gliding across the darkened waters of Rainy Lake with a shotgun and a big grin on my face. Also, the air... " >> Read Greg Clusiau's Full Report .
image denotes news release Deer River-Blackduck Team Win MWC Tournament on Cass Lake

Cass Lake, Minn.—Sept. 13, 2014: Consistency was the key for Minnesotans Jay Braaten and Dan Swenson, who put together a pair of equally solid baskets to claim top honors at the Cabela’s Masters Walleye Circuit’s Cass Lake qualifier September 12-13, 2014.
“It’s really exciting,” Swenson, of Deer River, said of the win seconds after topping the 80-team field in front of a roaring crowd gathered at Stony Point Resort. “This was a great day,” beamed Braaten, of Blackduck. The event was Swenson’s second Circuit competition, and Braaten’s first. “It’s a good way to start out on the MWC,” he added.
After landing in fourth place on day one with a five-fish limit weighing 15 pounds, 9 ounces, Braaten and Swenson stormed the leaderboard with an identical day two weight for a 31-pound, 2-ounce total.
They relied on rigging creek chubs and redtails in 20 to 30 feet of water on ... Read Story >> MWC Walleye Tournament Cass Lake .

Bowen Lodge Lake Winnie Report

September 13, 2014 - Winnie Walleye, Cutfoot Panfish

"Jig and minnow combinations have now overtaken other, faster moving presentations. Walleyes are being located on shoreline points and weed edges. There a few anglers finding some fish on mid lake bars, but shoreline areas are getting the nod for being most productive. Key depths have been 10 to 14 feet and will vary from spot to spot. Don't fall into the trap of finding them at a certain depth on one spot and then expecting all of the spots to ... >> Cutfoot Sioux Fishing Report

image denotes question from a reader (9/12) From Keith Eberhardt; "Coming in tomorrow. Will be picking up bait Saturday morning. What are the walleye and crappie biting on? I normally pick up night crawlers, leaches, shiners and crappies minnows. - Thanks, Keith Eberhardt
A) Keith, I don't think you'll find many leeches up here right now and I doubt that you'll need them. Until yesterday, we had been catching Walleyes on Lindy Spinners tipped with 1/2 night crawlers. But as I wrote in today's report, jig and minnow worked well on Thursday.
I know that you won't find any spot tails up here right now. But you can get Golden Shiners, Rainbows and Fatheads. For me, the Rainbows are a good option and that's what I'll be stocking up on for today.
Crappies are in the same patterns that I've written about over the past couple of weeks. Water depths of 18 to 22 feet are best on Big Cutfoot. Jigs tipped with minnows will work fine. So will a variety of small artificial tails. If you want to go with artificials, then I'd say use 1 inch size minnows or the ones with the needle type of tails.
image denotes question from a reader (9/12) From Steve Sykes; "I plan on going up to Cutfoot this Saturday and fishing through Monday. Do you  have any tips for catching walleyes and crappies.?
Last year when  you took us out, the crappies were still in the weeds and we used Ripple Shads and did very well. Will these work vertical jigging if the crappies are deep? Any help would be appreciated. - Steve Sykes
A) Steve, most of your question is already answered in today's report except this.
I don't think you'll need to focus on the weeds as much this fall. There are relaible schools of fish on the sharp drops and inside corners. Jigs in the 1/16 to 1/8 ounce range tipped with small minnows are fine. The swim baits won't be required for these deep fish, but they could be useful this fall in Little Cutfoot where the fish have tended to be spread out horizontally along the shoreline breaks.
Slowly trolling and using a soft jig-swim-jig approach will be a good way to utilize those swim baits. Good Luck!

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Today September 23, 2014

image of Dick Williams holding a nice Largemouth Bass
Dick Williams (above) and I were fishing with YUM Dingers rigged in a variety of ways, but the absolute best presentation was with the 4/0 worm hooks rigged weedless in the tail (skinny end) and half of a 16 penny nail in the nose (the fat end).

image of Jeff Sundin with a nice Largemouth Bass
I guess that you'd have to know me to judge the size. But that ain't no little paw gripping that nice Bass!

September 22, 2014

image of Jeff Sundin with Mississippi River Walleye
Active Walleye were on the flats, at the upper edges of holes on corners and bends in the river. Lindy Jigs in 1/8 to 3/16 ounce sizes tipped with large minnows worked well.

image denotes lucky number
Of all the dew drops in the world, the most beautiful dropped in here. Keeping a watchful eye on ... the Lucky Number for 9/22/14 2,220,480 and ... :)!!

image of Steve Parker with 1 of 2 Cass Lake Muskies
Photos courtesy cub reporter, staff #004: Steve Parker, who while attempting to guide his girlfriend Mary Weirauch to her first Musky, wound up landing two of them himself. Within an hour, he boated these two, a 49 inch and a 50 inch fish.
image of Steve Parker with the 2nd of 2 Cass Lake Muskies

September 21, 2014

image of live minnows in cooler
Keeping live bait fresh can be the secret to catching fish on a tough day. You can keep your valuable bait alive all day long on one tank of fresh water. For lots of us, it's worth the effort in terms of saving money. But it's also the best way to keep invasive species from spreading to your favorite fishing lake. Read Article >> Keeping Your Live Bait Alive .

September 20, 2014

image of fall colors at trout lake
Don't blink! It may seem like the fall colors are just beginning to appear, but I think that they are going to peak really fast this year. If you don't want to miss them, get outside this weekend and you will see them at their best.

September 19, 2014

image of Dick Williams with Smallmouth Bass
As the seas calmed and the Sun burned off the clouds. Smallmouth Bass acted like they had been lying in wait for the good news. As the day warmed, they showed up in good numbers on the rocky points too.

September 18, 2014

image of Walleye covered with weeds
Walleyes were tucked into the inside corners nearby heavy weed cover where shadowy conditions provide security. They were catchable by rooting them out of the weedy cover.

September 17, 2014

image of Mike Shepard with big Walleye
Mike Shepard captured the big fish title of the trip with this fatty, a 25-1/2 inch Walleye caught on Phil's Black 1/8 ounce Lindy Jig tipped with a large, lively chub.

image of Lori and Phil holding a nice Walleye"DeLuscious Lori" allowing her personal attendant Phil Goettl to help display her 20+ inch Walleye. Weedlines with tapering points held the most fish on Tuesday.

image of Guide Jeff Sundin with a nice Walleye
On Tuesday, Walleye were not primarily interested in rocks. The edges of heavier weed beds in 10 - 12 feet of water contained the most fish. When the wind blew, the fish roamed out where we could catch them. When it stopped, they retreated back into the cover.

image denotes insider fishing news

Jeff Sundin is a full time, professional fishing guide, outdoor writer and photographer. Book Jeff for guided fishing trips, for fishing seminars, fishing promotions and media events. Click here >> learn more about Jeff Sundin.

The Early Bird Fishing Guide, Jeff Sundin - 44076 Co Rd 128, Deer River, MN 56636
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