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Fishing Report - Archives Section - Fish Reports For June 2011
- More Fishing Reports
(6/30) Bemidji Lakes Area and NMLOG Member, Paul A. Nelson says; "The mayflies are hatching just in time for the Forth of July Weekend. The mayfly hatches were delayed this year by all the cold weather and rain. The sudden arrival of warmer weather triggered the hatches to begin in most of the larger lakes in the Bemidji area and they should continue to hatch for the next week or two.
Anglers can still catch walleyes during the mayfly hatch, but it often takes a change in locations and a change in tactics to catch fish. Most walleye anglers have switched to live bait rigs tipped with leeches or night crawlers, which often resemble large insects and they usually have a better chance of getting eaten by walleyes with full stomachs than larger minnows. .
Mayflies gather together in big clouds as they emerge from the mud and will slowly rise to the surface at night, where they can dry their wings and finish laying their eggs in the water, which starts the annual cycle all over again.
The clouds of mayflies are so dense coming off the bottom that they are visible on sonar. Walleyes feeding on mayflies often suspend well off the bottom, so anglers often need to use longer snells to reach the fish.
Anglers fishing walleyes suspended several feet off the bottom can use longer snells (6-10 feet or longer) and inject the night crawlers and leeches with air, to help them float further off the bottom.
Most of the walleyes have been located on the edges of mid-lake bars and humps in 18-26 feet of water, but they can also be on hard mud areas in much deeper water. A few walleyes are also using shoreline breaks that have direct access to deeper water with a mud bottom.
Generally speaking, when anglers are seeing fish in a range of depths on sonar, they should try to catch the shallowest walleyes first, because they tend to be the most active fish.
The water in the lakes is still very clear, so the best bites have been on days with some wind or clouds. The algae blooms are starting and the water temperatures are now approaching 70 degrees, so summer fishing patterns are just around the corner on most lakes.
(6/29) The Wired2Fish Tackle Box section is where I just learned about some new products that are going to help me catch more fish this summer. Click here to Visit the Tackle Box.
(6/29) On Bowstring Lake, Marjean Oelke at Bowstring Shores Resort sais that it's been a good week on Bowstring. Their guests have been catching Walleyes in 18-22 feet of water on the main lake drop offs and out on some of the mid-lake bars and reefs. Marjean added that they've had good Perch fishing too and some of their guests have found "a few" Crappies on the rock piles.
(6/29) On Ball Club Lake, Gus' Place Resort is reporting that water temperatures are now locked in the mid 60 degree range. Warmer water has helped make Walleyes active and Gus' customers are finding limits of fat, healthy looking Walleyes. There is a modest Mayfly hatch going on the lake, but according to Gus, it hasn't slowed the fishing down. Gus added that this hatch has been minor compared to recent years.
So far this Spring, most of the fishing has been in 12 feet of water or less, using Lindy Rigs. Gus is anticpating a move toward deeper water, especially by the larger fish as the water warms.
Gus said "We are already marking schools of game fish in the 18 - 20 foot range and slow trolled Lindy rigs and bottom bouncers rigged with spinners & crawler harnesses will soon be very effective." He also mentioned that July is crankbait time on Ball Club and customers who troll the edges of the deeper, North breakline on Gus' Bar at evening and sunrise often pick up some nice fish.
Crappie fishermen who figure out the location of roaming schools of fish are picking up limits. The fish are Usually found in 7 feet of water or less and location is more important than presentation. Using bobbers & minnows, small spinner baits tipped with crawler pieces and even jigs tipped with soft plastics are effective.
Finally Gus adds that "Perch & Northerns are still in shallow water. The Perch are happy with minnows or crawlers and it is very easy to catch limits."
(6/29) On Lake of the Woods, Mike Kinsella of Border View Lodge says that Trophy size Walleyes are still being caught and that the few days of nice weather we enjoyed recently, helped to kick the fishing back into high gear. Fishing in depths of 29 to 32 feet of water, anchoring and jigging remains the preferred method for catching Walleyes. Jig colors that have worked best are Gold, Pink and Chartreuse.
Some fishermen have been catching fish by trolling spinners or crankbaits in the shallower water near Pine Island as well.
(6/29) On Lake of the Woods, Jackie LaValla of Sportmen's Lodge says that the Weekend brought nice, steady action for their guests. Walleyes responded best to gold/orange jigs tipped with a minnow and a leech combination. Their anglers really pulled some nice walleyes in before a front went through Sunday afternoon and Monday which slowed the action down. But on Tuesday, the action picked back up again and they are seeing some real nice eating sized walleyes as well as 5+ slot fish per day per boat (19.5-28 inch). The weather looks like it will be in our favor the next week ahead.
Fishing Report June 30, 2011 Jeff Sundin The warm, Southerly breeze that blew in on Wednesday was just what the doctor ordered. The waves were pounding and Walleyes were feeding!
We headed to Lake Winnie for what I'd hoped would be a mixed bag of Walleyes plus any other kind of fish. The forecast of strong South winds was already coming true and there was a good chop on the lake by 8:30. I headed straight toward the humps located in the Northeast corner of the lake hoping to get some Walleyes before the wind picked up even more.
Fish were easily visible on my Humminbird and it didn't take a lot of coaxing to get them to bite. We boated 4 fish on our first drift at the first spot and another 4 on the second drift. This set the tone for the morning and the action continued until we had bagged our limit.
Fish were holding in the 22 to 26 foot depth range and were aggressive. Fishing with Lindy Rigs as we have for the past week or more, the most notable change was their preference today for Leeches over Night Crawlers. Not that we didn't get any on the worms, we did, but the fish clearly preferred the Leeches and within an hour or two, all three of us were using them. Rigging minnows which had worked well during the past couple of days was producing some fish too, but this time there were lots of Perch pestering the minnows. If they'd been Jumbos, I would have been thrilled, but this time the Perch fell more into the bait stealer category.
By lunch time, the wind had really picked up and the chop had turned into rollers. We decided to go cook and then head elsewhere for the late afternoon.
The next stop turned out to be Bowstring Lake because we'd heard a tip about some Crappies that may have been catchable during the mid-day. We cheked a few of the likely places, deeper dips in the weedline on the large flats on the South end of the lake. Even if there were Crappies present, the wind was so strong that the job of fishing for the, in the weeds was more than we could accomplish.
We searched in the shallow water on the calm side of the lake and kept picking away at a hodge podge of fish. Perch, small Northerns and a few Walleyes. By the end of the day, I had finally found a better school of Perch in a Cabbage patch located in about 8 feet of water. The Perch were better size than most of the ones we'd caught earlier, but they were scattered in the weeds and definitely not schooled up. Using a heavier, 1/4 ounce jig and fishing vertically produced better results than moving horzontally through the weed patches.
Fishing Report June 29, 2011 Jeff Sundin The aftermath of the "big storm" was just about what I'd expected. Flat calm, bright sunshine and grinding away on the lake to get the Walleyes interested. The good news is that this one is behind us now and that the conditions are set to improve for today and for the up-coming weekend.
On Tuesday we played it safe and fished on Lake Winnibigoshish where I knew we could chip away at the Walleyes that were located out on the deeper, mid-lake bars and humps. Water temperature in the morning was close to 65 degrees and by late afternoon it was up to nearly 70 degrees. Fish were scattered all over the mud flats in 30 to 33 feet of water, they were very easy to spot on the Humminbird, but not too easy to catch.
I kept checking the tops and edges of the humps, looking for any small group of fish that were holding shallower than 28 feet. More often than not, the shallower fish seem to bite better than the deepest ones. On Tuesday, there was no point in fishing any spot where we didn't see some fish on the locator first. It was hard enough to fool the ones we could see, let alone wandering around, hoping for them to find us.
There were several humps where we caught one or two fish and then had to leave in search of another spot, but by noon or so, the baitfish and some small schools of Walleyes were beginning to build up again on the deeper structures. On a few spots, fish were starting to get a little more active and we even fished one hump that yielded a string of 7 or 8 fish before it fizzled out.
Knowing ahead of time that it would be a work day, I didn't want to miss out on some little trick, so I brought a few extra tidbits of bait along. Lindy Rigs with Redtails was one of the tricks we tried and it worked like a charm, except for all of the fish we caught using these minnows were over-size, protected slot fish in the 20 to 23 inch range. Lindy Rigs, plain leader and an air injected night crawler was still about the most effective presentation, but we caught some fish using Leeches too.
I'd expect to see the action pick up today as the recovery continues. With nice weather
coming for the weekend, we could be staring down the throat of the summer peak this week.
Fishing Report June 28, 2011 Jeff Sundin The thunder, lightning and heavy rain that bowled us over on Monday morning caused a delay in our start time and didn't exactly inspire confidence in the fishing outlook. I hung out around the office trying to catch up on some paperwork until the worst of the storms got passed us.
Once it looked like the rain was going to stop, we met up and headed back toward Bowstring lake. It was fairly nice when we got out there, but soon the rain started again and we spent the rest of the afternoon in it.
Luckily, the fish were still active and we were able to start picking up smaller size Walleyes almost instantly at the first stop. A shoreline point that drops into 20 feet of water from the edge of a large, sand and weed flat. I stayed up on top of the flat, but near the breakline in about 8 feet of water. As I roamed from one weed patch to another, we'd pick up scattered fish from a variety of locations. The better size fish were in the premium Cabbage weed patches and were not in schools, but were in singles and pairs.
Jigs tipped with night crawlers was the main presentation, but we also caught a couple of fish on jig and minnow and a couple on Lindy Rigs with Leeches too.
Walleyes and Jumbo Perch were mixed together in these weed patches and fishing with the jig and minnow would be the best way to get a mixed bag. Amazing, was the lack of Northern Pike in and around the weeds. A week ago we'd have been snipped off a hundred times, but yesterday the Pike were very gentle on the jig supply, only stealing two or three jigs all afternoon long.
Our goal was to gather enough fish for a big fish fry at the Gosh Dam Place and by 5:00 PM we had more than we needed and headed off the lake, ending the trip with a dozen Walleyes and a handfull of bonus Perch.
(6/28) Bemidji Area, NMLOG Member Guide Ryan Klein Was on Leech Lake, a few days last week and says "we caught fish, just not many of the right size". "I've been on Blackduck Lake lately and as for the last few days the bigger fish have took a break from eating but the small fish have really been biting everywhere on the lake there is another big year class of 13-14 inchers and right now it doesnt matter whats on your hook there biting."
Fishing Report June 27, 2011 Jeff Sundin The weekend was a good one for most of the anglers who fished on Lake Winnibigoshish. Some of the other area lakes are having their ups and downs though as we head into the mid-summer, boom and bust season.
For me, I hit a downer on Sunday when I fished with Lionel Harris and his two sons Ron and Rex. Lionel lives on Sand Lake and was interested in learning something more about how to fish Walleyes on Sand. In spite of reports about slow action, I agreed to give it a whirl over there and I found out that reports were accurate. We didn't go fish-less, but it was a struggle to figure out a pattern to consistently put the guys on fish.
Surface temperature on Sand Lake was hovering at just below 65 degrees, there was a chop on the water and the skies were Grey. Everything looked good, but the fish weren't reading the books and failed to respond to the near perfect conditions. The only explanation has got to be the appearance of a booming baitfish and insect population. Everywhere I went on the lake, the screen of my Humminbird was
filled with evidence of baitfish and insect larvae. More than enough food for the fish can make it seem like they've got lockjaw, in reality though, they're probably feeding like pigs and can afford to be finicky when it comes to choosing one of our baits.
My fall back plan on Sand has always been to fish the weeds on shoreline flats and on any of the many mid-lake weed humps that can be found all over the main lake. This time, the weeds were not paying off for me. We switched to fishing deep water, 26 to 32 feet, using Lindy Rigs tipped with Night Crawlers and Leeches. At about 30 feet, I marked a steady flow of fish, but they were sluggish and slow to pick up a bait. The fish we did catch, responded best to Night Crawlers.
On a brighter note, If we'd been interested in picking up a nice bag of Jumbo Perch for a fish fry, we could have done that. There were several areas on the lake where Perch would peck away at our night crawlers while we tried to catch Walleyes. We found Perch in both deep and shallow water, but the most interesting to me was a saddle between two of the weed humps near the island. In about 12 feet of water there were lots of Perch and just for fun, I tossed in a 1/8 ounce jig and minnow. The Perch responded on the first cast and I'm sure that we could have switched gears and picked up a bunch of them in a hurry.
Rock Bass were also using the shallow weedlines and we caught quite a few of them along the way. I think we could have bagged a boatload of these too, if we'd been in the market for some of them.
(6-27) On Lake Winnie, Grand Rapids area guide and NMLOG member Zach Dagel had a great day fishing Walleyes in shallow water on the big lake. When I talked to him yesterday, he was finding a lot of fish on rocks in shallow water. There was a good chop on the lake and even though the conditions were good, the Walleyes acted sluggish when he tried to fish them with live bait. Zach told me that they switched to trolling shallow running crankbaits and the fish responded. Once they had a good trolling run set up, the fish started coming in fast and they estimated catching 40 to 45 walleyes in about 4 hours of fishing.
Zach said that 7 to 8 feet of water was the key depth and that Green colored baits worked the best. Shallow running crankbaits like Lindy's Shadling in the #5 size are perfect for shallow water.
On Trout Lake, Zach has been doing well on Walleyes. He says the fish he's been catching are mainly larger, protected slot fish, with a few keepers mixed in. The fish he's been working are mainly on deeper structure, using live bait.
(6-27) On Cass Lake, Bemidji area guide and NMLOG member, Chad Benson reported that Walleye action on Cass Lake remains steady. According to Chad, fishing main lake humps and bars in the 15 to 32 foot depth range is producing Walleyes in the 15 to 20 inch size range. For Cahd, Lindy Rigs with Night Crawlers and Leeches has been consistent, but he's sure that Creek Chubs and Redtails would work if that's your favorite way of fishing. Over the weekend, he's also found some good Walleye action in Allens Bay using the same presentaion and in the same depth range.
Jumbo Perch action has been good in the 7 to 10 foot depth range. Chad says that he had a great outing with his
daughter & nephews on Saturday, bagging Perch in the area North of Cedar Island.
(6-27) On Pokegama Lake, Grand Rapids area guide and NMLOG member Sean Colter says: " Pokegama lake is starting to show it's big walleyes. We are finding most in 14-20 FOW. Concentrating on corners and points on shoreline structure. We are using Northland rigs with crawlers with 6-8 ft snells and pumping the worm with a shot of air. Should be some great fishing if your after big walleyes the next 2-3 qeeks!"
(6-27) On Cass Lake and Red Lake River, area guide and NMLOG member Travis Giffen says; " Lake of the week choice for walleyes, Cass Lake. Cass Lake has been extremely consistant on the big lake this year and it continues to do so through the mayfly hatch. Of course things may change as the temperture rises, but as of yet the mayfly hatch has been longer drawn out then normal, and thus the walleyes are not gorging like they are used to. What does this mean for us? Better biting walleyes, of course!
The Red Lake River has been fairly high due to all the water we have got this spring, but we are definitely still fishable with the average number of smallmouths between `10-15. This number should increase to 20+ once the water drops. My estimite is by mid July things will really be rocking. One day last week we boated every fish the river has to offer including: smallmouth, walleye, pike, catfish, skipjacks, carp, even sheephead. It was a day of never knowing what was on the end of the line."
(6/27) On Bowstring Lake, I got a report from Long time friend, Dave Grace who spent a few hours fishing Bowstring this Saturday. Dave and his fishing partner had a great experience out there
(6/27) On Leech Lake, Walleye action has been a lot better in Sucker Bay than it has on the East side of the lake. Fishing the breakline areas and weeds in the 8 foot range has been good. Goose Island, Pine Point and Stony have been good too. Breezy days are better than calm and "slot-fish" out number keepers considerably.
On Leech, they fishermen are using everything from soup to nuts. Lindy Rigs or spinners, tipped with Leeches, Crawlers and Minnows too. Not many guys are still jigging, but if the wind blows, this is an option, especially on the rocks.
(6/27) On Lake Winnie For more details about Lake Winnie and Cutfoot Sioux, check out the update on Bowen Lodge's Fishing Report.
(6/27) Finally, here's a comment that came in by email this morning. He's probably giving me too much credit, but I like the thought! "Hey Jeff, thanks for writing all of the reports they are excellent! I read the reports for about 2 weeks before we came up to Bowstring, guess what? I was dialed in. (At least until the weather changed). Thanks again you made my trip to the north country an excellent one." - Chris Andresen
Fishing Report June 26, 2011 Jeff SundinThe 2011 Crony's Summer Weekend has come and gone and this time the Walleye action was about as good as it gets. When I picked up my crew at the secret location of northwoods Crony retreat , I was told that Lamar Popp had just been named the Grand Poobah of the group, so his head was already swollen. For Lamar, the good news wasn't finished yet though, Saturday on the lake was definitely a good day to be Lamar!
Lots of times, we stay and fish on "the home lake" of the Crony's secret Northwoods location, but today we decided instead to load everyone into the truck and head over to Lake Winnibigosh, where the Walleye action has been good. When we got there, the wind was blowing from the South and there was a fair chop on the water already. The surface temperature had settled in at about 64 degrees and traffic was light.
I headed for the cluster of humps that I'd fished on Friday hoping that the fish would still be around and active. We caught fish on every one of the humps we tried, sometimes just a couple, but always something. At about 11:00 AM,
I stumbled into one of them that had a much better than average school of fish on it and as unusual as this is, we spent the next 5 hours fishing the same hump and had continuous action the whole time.
The routine was the same as it had been for the past several days, Lindy Rigs tipped with Night Crawlers inflated slightly with the Worm Blower. We fished at 22 to 32 feet of water, depending on where the fish showed up on the Humminbird. Apparently they were feeding primarily on minnows at this location because the school of fish was moving around the bar and we'd have to keep re-locating them throughout the day. However, if I could see them on the graph, they would bite.
There was one interesting twist. When I started getting a lot of Perch picking at the worms, I tried switching my bait from a Night Crawler to a medium size Rainbow minnow. I had hoped that the plain rig and minnow combination would help me catch some of the Perch for our evening fish fry. What happened instead was that the instant my sinker reached the bottom, the minnow was attacked by a 15 inch Walleye. We all switched to minnows for a while and doing this yielded two of the biggest fish we caught, 23 inch and 24 inch
Walleyes. It might not be a bad idea to make sure someone in your boat experiments with minnows on your next outing.
Finally, to the group of guys who we saw at the landing on our way off the lake yesterday. Thank you for reading the reports, I really appreciate that! Also, thank you for that little show you put on as we left the lot. It was kind of embarrasing, but it gave me a heck of a good smile!
See you out there.
(6/26) On Leech Lake, Walleye action has been a lot better in Sucker Bay than it has on the East side of the lake. Fishing the breakline areas and weeds in the 8 foot range has been good. Goose Island, Pine Point and Stony have been good too. Breezy days are better than calm and "slot-fish" out number keepers considerably.
On Leech, they fishermen are using everything from soup to nuts. Lindy Rigs or spinners, tipped with Leeches, Crawlers and Minnows too. Not many guys are still jigging, but if the wind blows, this is an option, especially on the rocks.
Fishing Report June 25, 2011 Jeff Sundin Finally a summer day, a chance to dry out and not bad fishing action either.
After spending the first day of Kenny Shipler's trip looking for big Walleyes, Friday was the day to go for some "eaters" and with a forecast of calm seas and sunny skies, no lake fits the bill better than Lake Winnibigoshish.
When we arrived at the lake, the surface temperature was 62 degrees and there was a light wind from the West. Drifting the larger bars was a good idea because the breeze was perfect for keeping the lines in position. We started on the long, shoreline connected point just South of Highbanks in about 22 feet of water. As we began our first drift, we picked three Walleyes, 2 keepers and one larger "slot-fish" and then the wind died. For a while, I stuck with fishing the edges of the large structure, but with a mile of water to cover and fish scattered randomly along the breakline, this was moving too slowly for me. I decided that it would be better to work on some of the smaller humps where we'd have a better chance of finding fish more tightly schooled.
We headed for the nearest hump, a small one located only a block or so away and here we found a small school of fish, mostly smaller 13 to 15 inchers with a couple of slot fish thrown in for good measure. Once this spot fizzled out, we checked more humps and the stroy was the same at each stop. Every one of them had at least a few fish on them, some more than others and some larger than others.
The depths we fished ranged fro 22 feet down to 29 feet and no matter whether the fish were deeper or not, they'd bite if we worked on them a little. Trolling speed was best when I held it down to around .5 MPH, but we could still catch fish up to about .8 MPH anything faster was a waste of time. Presentation was a Lindy Rig with a plain, six foot snell and we used the Worm Blower to inject just enough air to make our Night Crawlers float. I tried Leeches several times, but there was no doubt that the Crawlers were the best bet for me. There were still some anglers jigging out there too, so if that's your favorite, go ahead and keep that up for a while.
Fishing Report June 24, 2011 Jeff Sundin Thursday was scheduled to be a search for a trophy Walleye for Kenny Shipler. Our original game plan was to take a drive up North and try Lake of the Woods, but with all of the Northeast wind and cold weather we've had, we decided not to trust the weather. Instead we stayed in the area and made a trip to one of my favorite "Big Fish" lakes.
When we hit the water, I spied a bit of bad news on the Humminbird, 59 degrees was the surface temperature. All of the rain and cold temperatures really put a dent in the summer warm up. Luckily, the winds had calmed down to a manageable level and the Grey skies helped make us less visible to the fish in this clear water. So in spite of the cold water, I was optimistic about the chances of meeting our goal.
On our first spot, we started fishing with Night Crawlers as I've been doing for the past couple of weeks and within a few minutes had the first Walleye, a 22 incher. Two more fish from this spot including a 16 inch "keeper" and a 28 incher that I caught. Now if I could just get Kenny on to one of these, we'd be all set. Those three fish were the only ones we caught here and the experience at this spot set the stage for how the rest of the day would go. We'd soon learn that our day would be cherry picking a fish or two from a variety of places, but never finding a major school of fish.
The most notable change was that some of the weedline areas where I'd caught fish a week ago, were now inhabited by Largemouth Bass instead of Walleyes. On one spot, we caught 7 or 8 Bass and could have caght even more if I'd lingered, but we left the weeds and started checking some deeper, main lake humps instead. This is where we found the lion's share of the fish we caught. None of the hups had much build up of bait and some of them were just plain empty, but about every third
spot would have a few fish. On most of the humps, fish were holding in the 22 to 26 foot range and were easily seen on the graph.
We kept chipping away at the fish, boating several fish in the 20 to 23 inch range, a handful of keepers and finally one Walleye for Kenny that came in
at 27 inches. Not the biggest we'll ever catch, but large enough to be his best one to date. It does prove the point though, if you want to catch a big Walleye, you can do it, on purpose.
(6/24) On Lake Winnie, I checked in with friends who reported a much better balance of wind and weather
than we've had lately. With a North Wind providing a good Walleye Chop, there was action on the Bowen's Flats area. A mixed bag of Walleye and Perch coming out of 6 to 8 feet of water along the weed edges.
The mid-lake humps are beginning to hold fish more consistently, but they are still not loaded. An angler who keeps moving from spot to spot in search of small groups of fish will be successful. Check out the points and inside corners on as many of the humps as you can, don't waste a lot of time drifting or trolling the entire structures, just make a quick stop on each of the key features.
Lindy Rigs tipped with Leeches and Night Crawlers will work fine. Water depths in the 18 to 28 foot range will be the key.
Fishing Report June 23, 2011 Jeff Sundin Wednesday was wet, a little windy and not exactly warm. But it beat the heck out of Tuesday! A lucky break for Ryan, Devin and Blayn Sprecker who had a chance to make up for some lost action!
After our experience with getting chased around by high winds and blasts of rain on Tuesday, we decided that a better game plan was to find one good spot and stick with it for the whole day, then cook lunch after the trip was finished. The plan paid off and the boys are on their way home this morning with a full bag of Walleye and some bonus Perch to boot.
We spent Wednesday on Bowstring where the Walleyes have been fairly cooperative lately. The North-Northeast wind was still a little blustery, but way more manageable than before. Surface temperature is hovering at a steady 62 degrees and there is a lot of evidence that an insect hatch is about to emerge. In fact, all of the Walleyes I cleaned last night had been gorging on larvae.
The fish we caught were mainly found on the edges of deep shoreline breaks that lead out into the main lake basin. We caught fish as deep as 22 feet and also as shallow as 9 feet, but always on the edges of these main breaklines. We checked several of the mid lake humps and bars, but except for some fish in the 12 to 13 inch range, the mid lake structures were sort of dead.
Our presentation changed throughout the day too. In the morning, fish seemed to prefer Night Crawlers, but by mid afternoon, the Lindy Rig and Leech combination was gaining momentum. A 1/4 to 3/8 ounce weight, six foot leader and number 6 hook was perfect.
There are two really distinct year classes on Bowstring this year. You will discover a lot of fish in the 12 to 13 inch range and a good number of fish in the 18 to 20 inch class. Fish between 14 and 17 inches are rare, or at least they have been for me throughout the season. Perch were running on the smaller side yesterday, but we did weed out 15 of the better size fish.
(6/23) Bemidji Lakes Area and NMLOG Member, Paul A. Nelson says; Summer has arrived on the calendar, but lakes in the Bemidji area are still stuck between spring and summer fishing patterns. Surface water temperatures were slowly back on the rise again, but then a couple more inches of rain fell and cooled the lakes back down again.
Some members of the sunfish family were able to spawn the first time surface water temperatures rose into the mid 60’s, a few more spawned the second time surface temperatures reached the mid 60’s, maybe the third time will be the charm for the rest of the sunfish, crappies and bass that have not been able to spawn yet.
Persistent east winds have also had an impact on fishing this spring. Most of the lakes fish best with winds out of the south because of how the structure in the lakes is laid out. East winds tend to scatter fish and put them in unusual places.
Walleye anglers are finding some fish on shoreline structure with cabbage weeds or scattered rocks. Other walleyes have moved off the shoreline break into deeper water. A few more walleyes have moved out on to mid-lake structure, but not the numbers of fish there should be at this point in the season.
Jigs and minnows work for walleyes when they are shallow, but some anglers may want to try using jigs and plastics, so they can rip the jigs through the weeds without losing their bait.
Live bait rigs have been working best for the walleyes in deeper water. Anglers have been using leeches, night crawlers and larger minnows in the live bait rigs, so anglers may want to bring a mixture of baits to see which one the walleyes want the most. Some anglers have been using bottom bouncers and spinners with night crawlers to search for walleyes, which also allow anglers to work their baits at higher speeds to cover more water.
The best bite for walleyes has been on the larger lakes like Winnibigoshish, Leech, Upper Red, Cass and Bemidji. Most anglers are struggling to find larger schools of walleyes and have had to try pick off a walleye or two out of multiple schools of fish.
Fishing Report June 22, 2011 Jeff Sundin Tuesday wasn't a very good day to be me, it was a heck of a battle between us and the wind. But I still lucked out in more ways than one! First, Ryan, Devon and Blaine Sprecker are tough enough to keep up with me and they were willing to tough it out. In spite of it being a tough day to learn from scratch how to trick a Walleye, they managed to do it and while our catch wasn't impressive compared to some standards, we had some definite "moments of greatness", especially Blaine who bagged the two largest Walleyes of the day.
We started the day on Bowstring Lake's East side where we were protected from the worst of the wind, but still had whitecaps smacking into the Wave Wackers. Conditions weren't impossible, but trying to feel a Walleye pick up your Leech or Night Crawler in 30 MPH winds was kind of tricky. The fish we found, were on the main shoreline break in 10 to 12 feet of water and the Walleyes were hanging out on a large Clam bed.
In spite of the shallow depth, we were using Lindy Rigs with 3/4 ounce weights to maintain contact with the bottom. We used both Night Crawlers and Leeches, I'm not sure if the fish had any real preference, but the Leeches were less prone to being picked to death by small Perch.
At 1:00 PM we headed to shore for lunch and just then, the rain started. That forced me to make a move to the covered shelter at the Winnie Dam so we could cook a proper meal.
After Lunch, we drove down to the Birches Landing on Lake Winnie, just in case the East side of the lake was semi-protected, but NO WAY! The Northeast wind was howling and the rollers were rolling, so we backed out of there and headed for Cutfoot instead.
On Cutfoot, we found plenty of protected spots to fish and some of them had fish holding in marginal numbers. I tried fishing a spot that was out in the open, but here the wind was just too nasty. The best we could do was to keep checking new spots and pick away at the fish. Where we did catch some, the approach was to hold the boat in 10 to 12 feet on the upwind side of points and weed flats. A 1/16 ounce jig tipped with Night Crawlers was the only presentaion we used.
Lucky for me, I and the boys have a re-match today and it sounds like the wind will be less nasty. With luck, we'll stage a rally and have a strong finish to their trip.
(6/21) On Cass Lake, Jim Ball from Cass lake Lodge says that Walleye fishing has been very good. Walleye are holding in the20' range and are still being taken on shiners. Night Crawlers are working as well and some of the other anglers report using Leeches too. According to Jim, they are seeing the night bite heating up for anglers using shallow running crank baits in 6-10 feet of water. He added that the Jumbo Perch are sporadic, but being caught with a jig and fat head on the shallow flats. Jim Ball, Cass Lake Lodge 218-335-6658
(6/21) On Ball Club Lake, Gus' Place Resort is reporting
that the past week offered the "best Walleye fishing so far this spring". Thanks to the cool weather, surface temperatures are stuck in the low 60 degree range and the temperature reading at 25 feet is now 58 degrees.
Walleyes have been hitting best on Lindy Rigs tipped with Leeches or slip bobbers with Leeches. Fish remain relatively shallow, mainly on the south end of the lake where Gus' customers are taking limits in 8-12 feet. Gus thinks that the trend is likely to continue until the water warms up near 70.
Crappie action has been sporadic. On warmer days, the fish ten to gather in the Cabbage weeds and hit more aggresively, cooler weather has forced the fish back out into the open water. Northerns & Perch are active in 4-10 feet using live bait rigs, jigging or drifting.
(6/21) From Leech Lake, Darcy at Tonga's Launch Service Says fishing has been a little slow in the Federal Dam area lately. Fishermen who are doing well have switched from Jig and Minnow to Night Crawlers and Leeches. Walleyes in Portage Bay are scattered, but some of the better spots are located in the Cabbage weeds, where fish are holding tight to the cover.
(6/21) On Leech Lake, Ron Gard, from Anderson's Horseshoe Bay Lodge reports better action on the Southwest side of Leech Lake. Surface temperatures are in the mid 60 degree range and so far, there's been no sign of any Mayfly hatches. Stony Point and Grass Point areas have both been producing Walleyes. The rock humps are producing some fish too, especially on breezy days.
The best presentation has been Lindy Rigs tipped with Jumbo Leeches, they've caught some fish on the rocks using jig and minnow combinations, but even there, the Leeches are working better.
Perch schools are moving, but active when you find them and panfish are hitting in the shallow bays now.
Anderson's is running a special right now; "Poolside Inn rooms", with 2 queen beds, small table & chairs, microwave, coffeemaker, fridge, small couch, with a view of Leech Lake just outside the window are $129 a night + tax.
(6/21) From Bowstring Lake, Marjean Oehlke at Bowstring Shores Resort says that it's been a "pretty good week of fishing on Bowstring". Walleyes have been biting primarily on leeches and fatheads, some on crawlers in the 18-24 feet of water by the bars. Some of their guest have found nice crappies in muskrat bay and cow bay.
(6/21) From Bowstring Lake, Chris Andresen writes; Hey Jeff, just missed you this morning. If ya need a report from Bowstring here ya go. Walleyes and perch were very hungry for night crawlers on a jig. I kept trying to tell myself it was getting too nice out to be fishing in less than 8 foot of water but the fish made me believe otherwise.
(6/21) I'll be heading for Lake of the Woods at the end of the week and it sounds like our timing might be good. Mike Kinsela at Border View Lodge is reporting great springtime action on the South side of the massive lake.
Walleyes have been hitting at the South end of the Big Traverse, where they've been spending the majority of their time fishing from outside the Lighthouse Gap along the shore towards Zippel Bay.
Best fishing depths have been from 20 to 28 feet of water and the presentations have been varied. Anchoring and jigging has worked well on most days, but there have been a couple "slower than average". Even on the slower days, most of Border Views anglers are catching limits of fish.
Leeches, Night Crawlers and frozen Shiners have all been working and the fish seem to change their preferences daily, so keep an open mind and experiment.
Fishing Report June 21, 2011 Jeff Sundin On Monday, I had a trip out of Eagle Nest Lodge on Cutfoot Sioux. I asked my customers for the favor of starting in the afternoon because I'd made some arrangements for a special treat in the morning. Luckily for me, the timing was good and I was at the dock at my appointed time of 1:00 PM.
At the dock, surface temperatures were 64 degrees and the seas were calm, conditions were cloudy (as usual) and our game plan was to head to wherever the Walleyes were hitting. As I headed out toward the big lake, I spotted my friend John Gossen
as he was heading back toward his cabin. John gave me a heads up about a Walleye bite that was going on the Southeast side of Winni, so we headed straight there.
Johns tip was to fish the area near Highbanks in about 20 to 24 feet of water, so I stopped there and started scanning the area with the Humminbird. Almost immediately, we were seeing fish scattered
along the breakline. At first they were holding at about 22 feet, but eventually dropped down into the 25 foot range.
Fishing with Lindy Rigs, six foot leaders and Leeches kept us in action all afternoon. The only "trick" was to not linger too long in any one spot. The fish were moving along the breakline and when we saw them, they bit. When they left the area, we'd have to go and find them again. I never did see any large schools of fish, mostly singles and doubles spread out over a mile long stretch of shoreline.
One more thing we noticed was that the fish were loosely group by size. there were areas where we only caught slot-fish and others where we only caught keepers. In other words, it pays to keep moving around, even if you only shift locations by a couple of hundred yards.
Fishing Report June 20, 2011 Jeff Sundin Sunday was an industrial strength work day for me. Two groups of three guys with a shore lunch for seven sandwiched in the middle. Due to all of the running time in and out of the landing and a change in the weather during the middle of our afternoon shift, it was one of those days where I know more after the trip than I did during it.
After Saturday and the Mosoquito infested, failed shore lunch, I knew that I'd need a better spot to cook so we used the Mosomo Landing at Cutfoot Sioux and ran out to the main lake from there. On our morning shift, we had the job of catching enough fish for the lunch, so we started out jigging the rocks for a mixed bag and the plan came together, ...sort of. What I mean is that there were Perch and Pike on the rocks, but no Walleyes. We were fishing in about 12 feet of water on a couple of small rock humps, using 1/8 ounce jig and minnow combinations. The Perch were good solid keepers, so we fished for an hour or so, until we were getting close to enough fish for lunch, then we started searching for some Walleye.
After looking a few spots over, we finally settled on one of the mid-lake sand humps where I'd marked a few fish on the Humminbird. Here, we fished with Lindy Rigs, tipped with Night Crawlers and had a little spurt of Walleye action to finish off the supply of fish for lunch. Before we could make another move, the phone was ringing and it was time to head back for lunch.
lunch, I was planning to pick up where we left off and started scanning some more mid-lake humps. The first one I checked had a small school of fish on it and we picked up three keepers and two slot-fish almost immediately. Now that we had the ball rolling, the plan was to stick with Lindy Rigs and leeches for the rest of the day, but the plot thickened. The wind started blowing in from the East and eventually became strong enough to force a change. Now we moved back into the rocks hoping that the wind might kick the fish into high gear. No such luck though, at least not the few spots we tried. Time was getting short and evening was setting in so I headed back into Cutfoot for one last stab at some Walleyes.
In Cutfoot, I staged another one of my famous 11th inning comebacks when I stumbled into a good school of fish on a point, in about 12 feet of water.
Here we fished with 1/16 ounce jigs tipped with Night Crawlers and bagged 5 keepers and a couple of slot-fish. I was marking a lot of fish here, and if we'd stayed longer, I think we would have more fish.
By the end of the day, we'd caught enough fish to feed seven hungry young men and had another gallon bag of fillets to send home, so I can't really complain. But, without all of the churn in our day, I think that there would have been two winning strategies for Walleye that could have nmade it a great day.
First, there were enough fish moving onto the mid-lake humps that we could have spent most of the day "cherry-picking" fish by moving from one hump to another, catching a few at a time until we were satisfied. Second, I think we could have stayed in Cutfoot for the whole day and checked out all of the points and weed edges until we found schools of active fish. Again, cherry-picking our way to a full livewell.
Fishing Report June 19, 2011 Jeff Sundin On Saturday, I fished with Jim Bopp, his son Jim Bopp and his Grandson Cameron. We were speculating about how long they've been coming and near as we can tell, it's going on 20 years. They fly up for a single day of fishing, so I knew ahead of time that I'd be going into "production mode" for this trip and mixed bag fishing on Winnibigosh is a good way to go for that. I wasn't too happy about the Thunderstorms that rolled through the Deer River area early on Saturday morning. But we'd soon find out that we could work our way through the conditions.
When we arrived at the lake, Surface temperature was hovering at just about 62 degrees and the waters surface on the East side of the lake was calm, with a light wind blowing off shore from the East-Southeast. Not a good scenario for the folks who had done well on the shoreline and hoped to re-live the experience. Just in case the fish hadn't moved out, we tried a couple of the shoreline spots from Musky Bay on Down to Duck Pass anyway, but except for some small fish and missed strikes, not too much happened here.
We moved out to the Bena Bar and re-rigged to fish deeper water and things began going a little better for us. The Walleye were holding on the breakline at about 25 feet and while they weren't going gangbusters, they were at least biting. Using Lindy Rigs and Night Crawlers on a six foot snell, we caught a 50/50 blend of keepers and larger slot-fish, including a 26 inch Walleye caught by "Little Jim". Once this school of fish fizzled out, we headed toward the top of the bar, where I hoped to find some mixed Perch and Pike along with the Walleyes.
In many areas of the Bena Bar, scattered weed beds grow in the 11 to 14 foot range. We decided to switch from Lindy Rigs to 1/8 ounce jigs tipped with minnows and work some of these weeds. This was a lucky move for me because the weeds were alive with life.
There was a mixed bag of Pike, Walleye and Perch and for a half hour or so, the action was really good. In this type of cover, we don't try to troll around the weeds, instead, moving slowy with the MinnKota, we drop the jigs vertically and fish right under the boat. Especially in trhe heavier patches of Cabbage weeds, the fish don't care that you're right over their head, in fact the largest Walleye of the day, smacked Jim's jig right under the boat in this weed bed.
Our only real downer of the day was after we left this weed patch to cook lunch. We arrived at the Birches Landing, anchored the boat and went up the hill to get started cooking, but within ten minutes, the Mosquitos were so thick that we decided that
it just wasn't going to work. In over 25 years, I've only ever scrapped one other lunch due to heavy bugs, so that should be an indication of how many there were.
Back out on the lake, we ran to a few more deep spots, some rocks and some more weeds. No matter where we went, there were always a few fish, but never a giant school. By the end of our trip we'd released at least a dozen "slot-Walleyes", kept 14 eaters, 20 Perch and 5 Pike, just what the doctor ordered. The nice thing about Winnie right now is that almost any style of fishing will work.
(6/19) More about Lake Winnibigoshish came in a report from Nick Perkkio who just returned home from a three day trip to Winnie. Nick found a good perch bite in the dam area on the lake between 12 and 6 feet of water, using Lindy Rigs. Many of these fish were on the small side, but plentiful, you'll have to do a lttle sorting.
In Cutfoot Sioux, Nick had some good action on Friday afternoon using a 1/16 ounce jig, tipped with a night crawler and fished in about 14 feet of water near the weed edges. Mainly slot fish, but good action.
(6/18) On Lake Winnibigoshish, Friday was a productive day. According to Grand Rapids area guide and NMLOG Founding Member, Tim Dorholt, The Walleyes were on the rampage in the Southeast corner of the lake. A 9 to 10 foot trough located between the shallowest break and the main breakline into deep water, held a large scool of fish. Tim and his customers caught all of their fish using jig and minnow combinations. But he did observe other anglers who were doing well with Lindy Rigs and Night Crawlers.
Fishing Report June 18, 2011 Jeff Sundin On Friday, weather conditions were to be the deciding force in whether we would go for another "big fish" excursion or head for somewhere safe, like Lake Winnie. Lucky for me, the conditions were perfect for fishing clear, cool lakes and we decided to head for a favorite big fish spot.
When we arrived at the lake, the sky was Grey, there was a cool breeze kicking up a ripple on the surface and the water temperature was 62 degrees. Last Monday, the pattern for Walleyes had been shoreline related structures with weed growth on or very near by. So, that's where I started looking this time.
The first spot I checked, a shallow, weedy point connected to shore by a 21 foot deep saddle of sand was loaded with baitfish, Perch and small Rock Bass, but not a Walleye in sight. Next stop, we used the Humminbird's Side Imaging to locate a good looking school of fish on top of a shallow rock hump and WOW! we hit the motherlode.....of Rock Bass, hmm.
Okay, so I made an adjustment, leaving the shoreline structure, I started checking some mid-lake humps instead. This time I stumbled into a better story. The fist good hump was shallow on top, with a soft sand drop-off into about 21 feet. The bottom was grass covered, but no heavy weeds were present. Apparently the grass was holding baitfish, because the Walleyes we caught here were spitting up minnows and showed no sign of eating any insect larvae. On this spot, we picked up 8 or 10 Walleye, 5 of which were keepers in the 16 to 18 inch range, the rest were larger and we released them to fight again another time.
For the rest of the day, we alternated between shoreline strucures and mid-lake humps. In the end, the mid-lake structures were producing better than the shoreline spots. For us, the trip ended well. We had boated a half dozen Walleyes over 26 inches, including a 28 incher. We also caught a handful of fish between 22 and 26 inches and 14 "keepers" ranging anywhere from 14 inches up to about 20 inches.
On this lake, it was clear that the fish have
begun making a transition away from the shoreline and out toward deeper structure. That means the peak is just around the corner and if you have a deeper, cooler "Big Fish Lake" in mind, the time to get out there and try it has arrived!
Finally, I get some emails asking for specifics about the lakes and where we find them etc...If you've read these reports for a while, then you know that I mention certain lakes by name when I believe they can handle some pressure. When I think a lake needs a little "protection" from too much attention, I tend to let you figure a few things out on your own.
Here's a compromise though, some suggestions about places to go if you want to try this pattern on your own. These are just lakes I know about and I'm sure that you'll think of some others.
Suggested Big Walleye spots in Northern Minnesota; Pokegama Lake (Grand Rapids), Trout Lake (Coleraine), Thunder Lake (Remer), Ten Mile Lake (Hackensack), Pike Bay (Cass Lake), Deer Lake (Deer River), Turtle Lake (Marcell) and Long Lake (Park Rapids). While we're at it, don't forget about the Walleye factories like MilleLacs, Lake of the Woods and Rainy Lake. These lakes can produce whopper fish
at almost any time!
(6/18) On Bowstring Lake, Walleye fishing remains consistent. There are a lot of small fish in the 12 to 14 inch range this year, but there are also a respectable number of fish in the 16 to 19 inch category too. Some fishermen are still using jig and minnow combinations, but if you want to single out Walleyes over Perch and Pike, then try using Night Crawlers instead.
Some of the mid lake bars and humps are producing here, but so are the weed edges along shore. Decide where to fish by judging the weather conditions, if it's calm, go to the middle, if it's breezy, fish the shoreline.
Fishing Report June 17, 2011 Jeff Sundin On the lake in Blackduck, MN and the Walleyes are frying! Our day was typical for a calm, partly sunny day during the early summer on Blackduck. The fish hunkered down in the weeds and challenged us to find them one by one, so that's what we did.
When we launched the boat, the surface temperature was 63 degrees, the surface was calm and the water showed signs of an Algae bloom starting. As the day grew warmer, the Algae bloom intensified and by the end of the day water temperature was about 66 degrees with plenty of green on the surface.
Don Johnson had already spent an evening on the lake and tipped me off that Night Crawlers were working, so I rigged everyone up for what I thought would be a shallow water weed bite. My favorite rig for this is a 1/16th ounce jig tipped with a whole Night Crawler. The light weight jig dances around the heavy weed cover and lands gently, instead of plowing through them the way a heavier weight would do.
Fishing with the small jigs is like jigging until you get a strike, from then on, fish it like you would a Lindy Rig. Feed line to the fish for about 20 seconds, pick up all of the slack and then set the hook, LIGHTLY.
To find the fish, I started checking some of the mid-lake humps and found most of them to be filled with baitfish, but couldn't see anything really interesting in terms of larger fish. We moved over to the weedline on the east side and picked up three or four "eaters" on the first pass, but the second pass yielded nothing. That first weed patch set the tone for the entire day. We'd make one good pass on a spot and while the fish were seeing our baits for the first time, they'd bite. After that, we were snubbed by any fish that remained on the spot. We simply continued to move from one weed patch to the next and cherry picked fish until at about 5:00 PM we did a live well check and found that we had our limit. Not a glamorous story, but we did get the job done and as a bonus, most of the fish were very nice size. Our typical "keeper" was about 18 inches, some larger some smaller.
We found the best action in about 10 feet of water, close enough to the weeds to get stuck occasionally, but not buried in the thick of them. Open water humps that looked attractive, yielded no Walleye, but did give us four of those giant, Blackduck Lake Sheep heads. We didn't have a scale to weigh any of them, but they were heavy and a lot of fun to catch.
Probably because of using the Crawler presentation, we didn't catch many Pike of Perch. But there were times that Perch would peck at our worms and if we'd stopped and fished with small jig and minnow combinations, I think we could have found some of those too.
(6/17) On Lake Winnibigoshish, there was little wind on the big lake to work with and the shallow weed bite was on hold. Some of my friends were out there and spent their day fishing deeper water and reported good action. So far, most of the action has been on the Bena Bar. Fishing in a variety of places on this giant structure, the guides were having good action using jig and minnow presentations. Most folks fishing the bar though are using Lindy Rigs tipped with Night Crawlers or Leeches and enjoying equally good results. Fish have been showing a preference for Night Crawlers lately, but this changes day by day and I'd be sure to have some Leeches along, just in case.
Fishing Report June 16, 2011 Jeff Sundin Wow, the Gandy effect was in full force yesterday! As usual, whenever Jim and Judy Gandy go fishing with me, it rains cats and dogs. As usual, they along with their son Brian, spent Wednesday on Lake Winnibigoshish in an all day soaker. By the the time we wrapped up, we were making jokes about not getting the fish wet when we reeled 'em in.
The good news is that Walleyes were cooperative and somehow when you're reeling in fish, the rain doesn't bother you as much.
My original game plan was to spend more time "going deep", but that plan didn't work out too well. We did make a trip out onto the Bena Bar where we caught several Walleyes and a handful of Jumbo Perch. With a moderate, but wet Southeast wind blowing, it was a little too blustery and the protected shoreline just worked out to be more comfortable.
There were small pods of fish located in most of the emerging weed patches along the East shoreline, but there was also some pressure on these fish. Our best bet was to get away from the crowd and locate our own small, but active schools of fish.
Location was fairly easy, just move toward the shoreline until you find the shallow breakline that goes from 7 feet up to about 5 feet. Start trolling or drifting along the breakline, watch for weed growth or gravel stretches from about 6 to 8 feet deep and most of them will be holding at least a few fish. We found one area along the Southeast shoreline that had a good school of perfect "keepers" in the 15 inch range and they were plenty active.
Some of our fish were caught on a 1/16 ounce jig head with a Shiner, but the lion's share were caught using light weights and Night Crawlers.
We didn't try Leeches at all, but they may have been effective too.
The rain sort of kept me "off the grid"
so I didn't communicate with anyone and I'm hoping to get a chance to play catch up on the news soon.
(6/16) Bemidji Lakes Area and NMLOG Member, Paul A. Nelson says; Surface water temperatures have risen into the mid 60s in most lakes in the Bemidji area. Members of the sunfish family, which includes largemouth bass, smallmouth bass, bluegills and crappies have finished spawning in most lakes and have moved out of the spawning areas and are beginning to set up in their summer patterns.
Sunfish will move to the deeper cabbage and coontail weed beds, while crappies will mix between the deep weeds and suspending just off of structure in deeper water and making feeding movements into structure in the mornings and evenings.
Walleyes in most lakes are starting to disperse away from shoreline structure as the shiner minnows finish spawning. Walleyes have been holding on cabbage weeds or rocks feeding on shiners and perch most of the spring. Once the shiner minnows begin to move into deeper water, many walleyes will also head for deeper water and mid-lake structure, where there will be major insect hatches happening for the next several weeks.
The jig and minnow bite is starting to slow down for walleyes, with many anglers switching to live bait rigs tipped with leeches, night crawlers or larger minnows.
Some walleye anglers have also started to use bottom bouncers with spinners. Anglers have the option of using a one hook spinner rig, which is usually best for leeches or minnows or they can use a two hook rig when using night crawlers.
Muskie anglers continue to see good numbers of muskies, but the clear water gives the muskies too good a look at anglers’ baits, so more fish have been following rather than biting the baits. Muskie fishing typically picks up as surface water temperatures increase, with the peak bite occurring when the algae blooms begin to reduce visibility in the lakes.
Fishing Report June 15, 2011 Jeff Sundin Well today marks the end of the first month of fishing trips for me and there goes the first half of June. Everyone knows how fast time tends to fly by. So if you want to hit the peak of the early summer, mid lake Walleye bite, don't sit around thinking about it, make your plans and get out there.
Waster temperatures on area lakes are hovering in the mid sixty degree range, evidence of insect hatches are starting to show up
and pictures of Big Walleyes are springing up all over the place.
In the Deer River, Grand Rapids area, deeper lakes like Pokegama, Trout, Deer and Bass lake are beginning to produce consistently and for the next week or ten days, you're shot at getting a trophy is as good as it gets! Most fish haven't moved too far out from the shoreline and for now, points, saddles between shore and nearby humps or breaklines adjacent to the weed flats are producing better than mid-lake structures.
On some lakes, Walleyes are still active on jig and minnow combinations, but more fish are choosing Lindy Rigs with Leeches and Crawlers every day. A good rule of thumb right now is to stick with jig and minnow when you're fishing the shallow breaklines during breezy periods. On calm days, or when you're fishing deeper structure, go with the Lindy Rigs instead.
If you're a night owl, trolling crankbaits just after dark is producing lots of fish too. I've been hearing great reports about fishing in 6 to 10 feet of water using shallow running baits like Shadlings or Walleye Divers. Leech Lake, Pokegama, Ten Mile, Thunder and MilleLacs are all producing at night right now.
(6/15) On Ball Club Lake, Gus' Place Resort Gus is enthusiastic about the early summer conditions and the fishing action on Ball Club. He says that water temperatures have risen into the mid 60 degree range and reminded us that Ball Club lake is a deeper, colder lake than many of the surrounding area lakes. Fish tend to "turn on" later here than they do on the shallower, warmer waters, so the fishing peak is still ahead for Gus' place guests. In fact, ball Club will produce during the warm weather better some some of it's neighboring lakes.
Currently though, the action has been good and guests are catching a variety of species including Crappie, Walleye, Perch and plenty of Pike. Gus says that every morning, the gut buckets in the cleaning house are full!
Lindy Rigs and live bait have been the best presentaion in water depths of 4 to 14 feet. Minnows are better for Pike, Perch and Crappie, while Night Crawlers and Leeches tend to trigger the Walleyes a bit better.
Gus offers the reminder that Ball Club is not a "slot-limit" lake.
(6/15) Bemidji Area, NMLOG Member Guide Ryan Klein in his own words "Well it's been a busy few weeks for me on a few area lakes. As for the bite it seems to getting better by the day with the water warming up. Blackduck is were I've been lately with lot's of fish being caught. The walleyes have been more consentrated on the west side of the lake with all the bars and points holding good numbers of fish. Look on top of all the bars and off the sides all the way out to 18 feet with a crawler or leech lindy rigging has been working best. For the shore bite look right in the weeds to just outside with the same presentation. I suspect the fish will start to move out of the western basin a bit as the water temps get a few degrees warmer. Jumbo perch are also being found in these areas. The giant bluegills are getting closer to spawn but have been still hanging out deeper lately in 14-16 feet just outside the reeds. Lake Bemidji is also a hot lake to be on now. The east side of the lake has a great walleye bite going on right now in the cabbage in 6-7 feet lindy rigging a crawler or leech and I've found the faster the better 1.2 mph has been the best. The west side cabbage is also good but a bit deeper 10-11 feet with the same presentation." Good Luck and Good Fishing.... Ryan
Fishing Report June 14, 2011 Jeff Sundin On most of the Deer River and Grand Rapids area lakes, water temperatures have risen into the low to mid 60 degree range. With reliably warmer water and a forecast of mostly cloudy skies and breezy conditions. The stage seemed to be set on Monday for the beginning of my "BIG FISH" season. It's not all that often that I get to do this because it's a different kind of fishing than routine guide trips. Customers who like to chase the big ones know that it takes more time and that we need to be happy with lower numbers. But when it works, the payoff is that awesome feeling that you get when you land that biggest one ever! Lucky for me, I have some customers who love to do this and so I get to live my big fish dreams vicariously through them. Also lucky for me that on Monday, we had one of those "biggest ever" experiences!
There are a handful of lakes in our area that have the ingredients necessary for catching monster Walleyes. They are typically deeper and clearer than most of the popular "Walleye Factory" lakes and the cooler water provides habitat for the kind of baitfish that help Walleye grow faster and larger. Populations are often lower than the more popular lakes which also makes it easier for Walleyes to reach a larger size. Also typical for these clear lakes is that they have a reputation for being "night lakes" and Walleyes can be hard to come by during the daytime. Picking the right day can be more important than picking the right lake, so if you're headed out to fish and the skies are Grey and the wind is blowing, this might be your day time give the big fish bite a try.
Monday, we paid a visit to one of these deep lakes that hosts larger fish.
When we arrived at the lake, surface temperature was 61.5 degrees and conditions looked good. The sky was a little bright, but breezy conditions would help offset the sunshine. I started checking out the humps and reefs that would ordinarily hold fish by mid-June, but most of the deeper, open water spots were void of fish. As the water warms up, more fish will begin heading toward these sunken islands and reefs, but for now, most of the Walleyes we found were located closer to the shoreline. Water depths of 15 to 20 feet with the presence of weeds was the key to locating fish on this outing.
In spite of the fact that water temperature remained low, the expectation that jig and minnow fishing should work , was not correct. Walleyes much preferred night crawlers over a jig and minnow. In fact, the only fish we caught on a jig and minnow were Perch. We also attempted to trick one school of finicky Walleyes by slip bobbering them using Leeches for bait. The fish snubbed that idea too. As soon as we switched back to crawlers, we were back in the game.
It took a little time, but once we had the location, depth and presentation dialed in, the Walleyes were more than cooperative and we wound up boating something like 30 Walleyes including a 29 incher for Jesse Priem (his largest open water Walleye) a 27 incher for yours truly and a bunch of fish in the 20 to 24 inch range. As a bonus, we caught 11 fish in the keeper range, 15 to 19 inches and used these for a great meal at the end of the day.
Northern Pike weren't too active and crawlers aren't the best way to get them, but Larry Lashley did manage to bag one 31 incher that had a sweet tooth for worms.
Fishing Report June 13, 2011 Jeff Sundin Weather cools down, action heats up! Sunday was the complete opposite of Saturday in terms of weather, Gone was the mirror glass surface, replaced by the quintessential "Walleye Chop" and the blue morning skies would soon turn Grey. Walleyes were apparently happy with the change, because on this day, they were most cooperative!
On Lake Winnibigoshish, The surface temperatures were at an ideal 63.5 degrees when we headed out from Nodak Lodge onto the the Bena Bar. A line of about 25 boats suggested that folks on the South end of Winnie were already clued into news about the deeper, "bar-bite" and we would soon be joining them.
As soon as we hit the drop-off, I started the side imaging on the Humminbird and began looking for fish. My first stop on a school of fish was UN-productive. Maybe these fish weren't Walleyes or maybe just not ready to bite yet, but as moved further out on to the bar, I located another school of fish and we dropped our Lindy Rigs over the side. This time the Walleyes were much more willing to bite and it wasn't log before were dialing in the sweet spot.
At first, the fish were holding in about 20 feet of water, but after we worked on the spot for a while they dropped a bit deeper, holding at 24 feet. They never moved deeper than that and from this point on, we never found any fish deeper than 24 feet. Most of the fish were found by watching the graph as I moved along the break from 14 to 24 feet and we didn't stop to fish anywhere unless we saw them first.
The best presentation for the deeper fish was the Lindy Rig, plain snell tipped with a night crawler. We injected a tiny bit of air with the worm blower just to keep the bait off of the bottom a little. I caught 3 or 4 fish with Leeches too and I suspect that if we'd all been using Leeches, it would have worked out fine too.
In some areas, we found fish on top of the bar in 13 to 15 feet and for these shallower fish, it was faster to use an 1/8 ounce jig and minnow combination. I know almost everyone has a fixation about using shiners, but I am telling you, it did not matter what kind of minnows we used. Fatheads, Rainbows, Leatherbacks and anything else that was in the Hodge-podge. That will change as food for these fish becomes more plentiful, but for now they are aggressive enough that it won't be a problem.
(6/13) On Bowstring Lake, my friend and co-host of KAXE's Morning Program, Chad Haatvedt, headed out to Bowstring with his fishing partner Jack. Chad said that they didn't hit the water until 3:00 PM. First they headed North and fished along the east side, where they found a couple of Walleyes in about 8 feet of water, just outside the weedline.
They headed West toward the river, and fished the shoreline heading north. Moving in and out of the weedline, they ended up catching several more. By the end of their session, they'd thrown back 5 small ones and also released a 23-1/2 incher and wound up with 8 keeper walleyes. They also caught a ton of small Northern Pike, but made no mention of any Jumbo Perch.
Drifting with the wind was not too productive. They got all of their fish back trolling, using 1/8th oz jigs. Chad said that Shiners attracted too many northerns, but yielded a few 'eyes. Fatheads seemed to be the ticket.
(6/13) On Lake of the Woods, Mike Kinsella from Border View Lodge says "The lake has finally settled down from last week’s winds. Fishing has been picking up on the south end of the lake. Spinners and plugs have been working well in the shallower waters along Pine Island. Good results have been reported in 4 to 12 feet using both minnows and crawlers. Water is still a little murky in the middle of the lake, slowing down the jig bite. Fish are still being caught in 26 to 31 feet, but you have to work for them."
(6/13) On Sunday June 12, 2011 Bemidji Area, NMLOG Member Guide Ryan Klein and brother Shawn Klein, made a last minute decision to enter the Kraus Anderson Walleye Tournament on Lake Bemidji and took home the top prize! That's right, the brothers will be cashing the first place check for $12,500.00! Congratulations guys!
(6/13) Wired2Fish and Simms are offering a chance to win a pair of Simms Pursuit GORE-TEX® Mid Shoes. Enter the contest here. Contest ends on June 16th, 2011.
|One little fish caused quite a stir on Bowstring Lake! Click on images to see larger view of the Bald Eagles in action.
Fishing Report June 12, 2011 Jeff Sundin Great weather on Saturday forced us into work mode as we chipped away at the Walleyes and caught our fish one-by-one. Sunsine, calm winds and cool, clear water make life interesting when you want Walleyes, but in spite of the fact that they weren't hitting, we managed to drag enough out of the lake to get a great shore lunch and a few meals to send home with the boys.
I started the the day on the weedline in about seven feet of water and there were still some active Perch and
Pike hitting on the jig and minnow, but except for a couple of dinky Walleyes, it wasn't looking good for a monster Walleye bite today.
After trying a few more weed edge locations, we moved out into the main lake and fished a couple of sand humps in water depths of 18 to 22 feet. Here we managed to trick a few keeper size fish, but even in the deeper water, the fish got spooky and soon, this main lake hump became un-productive. Checking for fish on a few more humps, we found Perch and may have missed a couple of more 'Eyes, but it was clear that the deep bite wasn't going to be the answer out here either.
Back to the weeds, this time with the intent to keep grinding way and pick up as many of the fish as we could. Once we had plenty for lunch, we took a break and fried some up for lunch. After that, we went back and stuck out the weedline grind until we wrapped up.
Not the most glorious report, but in the end, we bagged about a dozen Walleyes, caught a lot of Perch, some keepers, some not and got more than enough sunshine for the day.
The most interesting development was that the preferred jig and minnow bite faded late in the day and the fish began craving Night Crawlers. So far, that hadn't been the case, but this could be an indication of a larger move toward deep water as the insect hatches start emerging throughout the week.
(6/12) Heads Up! There is yet another NEW BAIT BUCKET LAW IN Minnesota and it affects everyone who fishes! Governor Dayton signed the bill that requires all of us to get rid of all water befroe trailering the boat on any public road. This includes the fresh water that you may already be using to keep minnows alive in the boat. Even the fresh water system I installed in my rig must be drained.
If you want to save your minnows between fishing trips or when moving from one lake to another, you'll need to carry a supply of fresh water in your vehicle and put your minnows into the fresh container before travelling. If you don't want to mess around with that, then the DNR says that left over minnows must be placed "in the trash".
I'll be adding some ideas about how to deal with the new law as time allows over the next few days. In the meantime, there are a couple of links that lead to more information about the new requirements. Minnesota DNR Article or Duluth News Tribune Article. You can ask questions or leave comments by email here or on the facebook page here.
Fishing Report June 11, 2011 Jeff Sundin Friday was a day full of surprises for me. Some good, some not so good. The good news is that the weather, predicted to be crummy, actually turned out to be nice. The bad news is that it messed up our plans to fish on Leech Lake which has a reputation for taking a nap on nice days. Oops, more bad news, when we got there, we found ourselves in the middle of a big-time, pro Walleye tournament. That's a lot of really good fishermen, splitting up a relatively low number of active fish. Hmmm...
On Leech Lake we found water temperatures howering just below 62 degrees, still cold for this time of the season. The wind was from the East but gentle, maybe 5 to 10 MPH and the water along the East side of Portage Bay was calm.
I headed accross the bay toward Two Points where we found a half dozen of the tournament fishermen. We saw a handful of Walleyes caught, but for sure not a hot bite. Fishing in 12 feet of water, on the shoreline break, we picked up a 34 inch Northern Pike and a half dozen Rock Bass. Our next move to the South was better, we picked up three slot-size Walleyes on a shallow rock breakline and for a short time it looked like the day was about to improve. Just about then, we starting getting visited by tournament boats and the extra activity in the calm water was enough to dampen the bite and we moved again. Fishing on the variety of rock structures around Submarine Island and the Annex yielded some bites, but here too, the calm water just wasn't right for a hot bite. After a special meeting of the executive fishing committee, we decided to pull the plug on Leech and move back up North, to another lake.
I had been staying in touch with friends on Lake Winnie and already new that the action in Tamarack Bay was still going and getting better as the day warmed up, but I still had good memories of the recent trips to Bowstring Lake and the mixed bags of Walleye and Perch we'd been enjoying. It was the sparkle in Eldon's eye when I mentioned Bowstring that tipped the decision in that direction.
On Bowstring Lake, the water temperature had risen to 65 degrees and with calm conditions. Weedline fish were hitting, but not aggressively. For an hour or so, we poked along the weed edges at about seven feet, picking away a mixture of Perch and Walleyes.
When the breeze picked up, the action picked up as well and for another hour or so, the fish hit more aggressively. In true Sundin fashion, we had staged another 11th inning rally to win the game with 14 Walleyes and a couple of dozen Jumbos. Plenty for a nice shore dinner and a couple of bags for the boys to take home.
Our presentation continues to be jig and minnow, 1/8 ounce is plenty of weight and if you have access to larger fatheads, they'd be fine. Second choice, Rainbow Chubs. Because of the snip-offs by small Northern Pike, I'd suggest making Shiners a distant third choice. I tried to drum up some action on night crawlers, but the fish snubbed that idea.
(6/11) In the Duluth area, NMLOG Guide Dustin Carlson says "Fishing has been good despite the cold winds off lake superior every day. we have water temps in the low 60's on the st louis river. The muskie bite has been good when the wind is not blowing or raining. Many of the fish are coming off early weed growth in 2' of water on bucktail & glide baits. The walleye bite has been good on the St. louis & inland lakes, many big walleyes are being caught in the shallows also they are feeding on shiners.
Lake Superior coho & trout bite has been on fire also. have been hearing of 20-40 fish days when it is not windy.
(6/11) In the Bemidji Area, NMLOG Guide Ryan Klein says that Lake Bemidji has been hot lately. With the opening for the Kraus Anderson Tournament today, Ryan expects to see some impressive bags at the weigh in.
Fishing Report June 10, 2011 Jeff Sundin I can't find words to express how wonderful it was to have one nice day where I and my customers Arnie Spilly and Ed Stage could just plain fish and relax! When I met them on Thursday morning, I told them that it would be nice, just for once, to go back to the same place that I found fish the day before and have them still be there. Luckily for me, on this one day, they were.
Since we already had our Walleyes from the previous trip on Tuesday, our goal was to catch some Jumbo Perch for the boys to take home and fry up. Since I'd stumbled into the Perch on my previous trip to Bowstring Lake on Wednesday, the idea was to go back and try to take advantage of them.
On Bowstring Lake, we found the Jumbo Perch right where I left them on Wednesday. Seven feet of water along a narrow strip of flat area between the weeds and the breakline.
Fishing with 1/8 ounce Lindy Jigs tipped with minnows, the Perch were more than cooperative and so were some bonus Walleyes. The trick was to try not to do anything too flashy, because the small Northern Pike were also aggressive and the jigs were getting snipped off the line in a hurry. One remedy we've used for years on lakes like this, skip the shiners and other large minnows because they attract the Pike a lot more than they attract the Perch and Walleye. The result is that you spend a ton of time catching Pike and the other fish don't get a chance to find your bait. Instead, switch to smaller, darker colored minnows like medium fatheads or rainbow chubs. These seem to fly under the Pike's radar and give the Perch and Walleyes a better chance to find your bait.
(6/10) On Lake Winnibigosh, the Walleye action was steady for NMLOG Guide Tim Dorholt who kept me updated throughout the day . Fishing in Tamarack Bay, the bite was steady, but not hot along the shallow 6 to 8 foot breakline. They've been catching fish using 1/16 or 1/8 ounce jigs, the weight depends on how much wind. The Sand Grass along the bottom is tricky to fish with too heavy a weight, so generally go as light as you can. You'll know immediately if your jig is too heavy, it will be fouled with the low lying weeds every time you retrieve it.
(6/10) On Red Lake, my friend Jaso Alto said that the Walleye fishing was steady, but not wide open. They were catching their fish without too much trouble, but to do it, they had to keep searching for new structue to fish. Jig and minnows on small piles of scattered rock was the key for Jason. Watch your electronics for any sign of rock or gravel, mark the spot and fish around the edges and on top of the small structures.
(6/10) On Cass Lake, NMLOG Guide Chad Benson has been finding Walleyes on deeper structure. He's been fishing as deep as 30 feet, but 18-22 feet seems to be a key depth right now. Chad and his customers have been fishing Lindy Rigs tipped with lively leeches and the Walleyes have been cooperating.
(6/10) My fishing customer and friend Mike Nolan submitted a fishing report, I think tounge in cheek, but at certain times, when I might be tempted to forget that I live in paradise. I'll go back and re-read this particular paragraph.
Mike's fishing report - "Wednesday took friend fishing to Chautauqua county Kansas to very old watershed pond. arrived at 7:45 left at 10:45. Tried beetle spins no luck, switched to double 1/8 jigs, white and yellow. 12 crappie, 7 perch, one small bass and two bass that broke our lines. 25-30 mph winds drove us of the pond, it was hard rowing, in 14' jon boat. Wonderful to be outdoors, temperature by noon was 100 degrees.mhn"
Mike, I'm happy you caught some fish for your effort. I'm not sure if it's ever hit 100 degrees up here. But if it does, I will not be rowing anything, anywhere.
Fishing Report June 9, 2011 Jeff Sundin You just have to love how the weather keeps giving us a chance to learn more about catching fish! Wednesday's lesson, how to find and catch Walleyes after a 30 degree temperature drop, during a 25 MPH Northwest wind. In the end, we managed to find a good spot that provided Walleye and Perch action, but it took some doing.
When I arrived at Bowen Lodge in the morning to pick up my customers, the wind was howling already. There was a great report from Tuesday about a school of fish located near the satellite dishes and we'd hoped to stay nearby so that we could return to the resort for lunch. The problem was that we could already
see that the boat ride from Cutfoot Sioux out to Tamarack Bay in the whitecaps wasn't going to be too much fun. We trailered the boat to Plughat Point and made the first run out against the waves, knowing that if it got worse, we'd have an easy ride back to the landing. So far, so good.
When we arrived and started fishing the shallow flats, the conditions were windy, but manageable. For us though, the fishing wasn't coming together very well. Within the first drift, we'd hooked and lost a couple of fish and it looked like the plan was going to work, but in subsequant drifts, nothing happened. My friend Tim Dorholt was there too and his group was doing okay, picking up a few fish on every pass, but sometimes it's hard to duplicate everything that another fishermen is doing. This time, what worked for him, wasn't working for us and the slow action, combined with cold fingers helped us to decide that switching lakes would make us all happier.
We trailered over to Bowstring Lake and when we arrived there, the seas were still rough, but friendlier than than the big lake we left behind.
On Bowstring Lake, surface temperatures had dipped back down to about 61 degrees from what was the season high of about 68 degrees on Monday. The chop on the lake was manageable, but we were on the calm, Northwest end of the lake and to avoid big whitecaps again, I knew that we'd be foregoing a trip to the South end where we'd done well a couple of days earlier.
At first, Walleyes were a little tricky to find because they had evacuated some of the deeper spots that we'd become familiar with. After fishing and ruling out the first three or four locations, we knew that the fish had made a move so we started checking out new areas. At first I stuck with the deeper water idea, but except for some Perch, Pike and a couple of baby Walleyes, this wasn't going to be the solution.
In shallow water, along the weed edges, better things started happening. Drifting with the wind, using 1/8 ounce jig and minnow combinations, we began picking up a mixed bag of Walleye and Jumbo Perch. The best depths were anywhere from about 7 to 9 feet. If I went too far into the weeds, and if I went too deep, the small, aggressive Northern Pike would snip off our jigs too. The Walleye and Perch were occupying a band of water on the flat between the the shallow and deep breaklines.
There were some quality size Perch and the overall mix of fish was leaning more heavily toward these, than Walleye, but by the time we wrapped up, we'd caught a lot of each. Our final bag was 35 Perch of mixed sizes and 14 Walleyes split half and half between what appears to be two year classes. Half of the fish were in the 17 to 18 inch range and the other half on the small side at 13 to 14 inches. The smaller fish weren't great for taking pictures, they were very, very tasty though!
One final thought, all of the fish I cleaned had been feeding heavily on insects, not minnows. We probably had good luck with the jig and minnow presentations because of the windy conditions. But if you go out and find calm seas, don't forget to try Lindy Rigging with Leeches or Night Crawlers on the weed edges too.
(6/9) Bemidji Lakes Area and NMLOG Member, Paul A. Nelson says; The Bemidji area finally received some summer like weather this past week, which was just the boost the bass, sunfish and crappies needed to start moving onto their spawning beds.
Surface water temperatures in most lakes broke the 60 degree mark this past week. The most accurate time to check surface water temperatures is in the mornings, before the sun has had a chance to warm the top few inches of the water column.
Walleyes in most lakes continue to feed on shoreline structure, but more walleyes are filtering off the shoreline structure, heading for deeper water.
The cabbage weed beds have been growing quickly in the clear water and the vegetation is reaching near the surface in many locations. The cabbage weed beds offer shade and cover for minnows and larger fish, so the most developed weed beds often attract the most fish.
The midge hatches have begun in deep water and more insects will begin to hatch out of the mud basin in many lakes as the water temperatures continue to increase. Once the walleyes begin to move off shoreline structure, the jig and minnow bite will start to fade and many anglers will switch to live bait rigs tipped with leeches, larger minnows or night crawlers.
Anglers can also begin to try more aggressive presentations for walleyes like bottom bouncers and spinner rigs or artificial baits like crankbaits or jigs and plastics.
Bass fishing gets easier for most anglers when the bass move onto their spawning beds. Anglers are reminded to release bass caught off of beds quickly near the spot where they were caught, so they can get right back on their beds.
Muskie anglers have been catching a few fish in the first week of the season. Bucktail spinners or surface baits worked over the tops of the emerging weed beds has been the most successful presentation.
(6/9) On Lake of the Woods, Sportmen's Lodge's Jacki LaValla says that windy weather has been testing anglers skill. The guides at Sportsmen's continue to find plenty of walleyes though and they're fishing in 26'-29' of water just outside of Lighthouse Gap, Graceton Beach and Zippel Bay. Jacki added, "Sounds like the weekend is going to be nice!" Might be a good time to check it out.
(6/9) On Leech Lake, reports were sparse because of the windy conditions during the past couple of days. Darcy Tonga did say that in the Federal Dam area, Dan (Tonga's Launch Service) is still finding some decent action for their customers. On Wednesday they caught 20 Walleye and could keep 10 they did find a few perch also. On Tuesday they managed to bag 7 keepers and some Perch as well. You can check out Tonga's at the ramp near Federal Dam, Corps of Engineers Campground.
Fishing Report June 8, 2011 Jeff Sundin In spite of the storms that blew through the area during the night and early morning on Tuesday, turbulent weather and lots of wind helped keep Walleyes prowling the weedlines.
All of the waves gave surface water a good mixing, revealing the true surface temperatures of 61 to 65 degrees, depending on the lake.
This was my first visit of the season to Sand Lake. I was hoping to find a mixed bag of Crappie, Perch and maybe a few bonus Walleyes. The way it turned out, Walleyes were the main-stay of the trip with Perch and a couple of Crappies thrown in for good measure.
Perch were "semi-active" but scattered. I tried several stops in good areas, but without exception, we'd catch a few on the first pass and then the action would fizzle out. The closest I can get to having a "hot tip" is to say that almost all of the fish we did catch, were in the weeds in water depths of 8 feet or less. The fish we caught had all been feeding on insects, so I think that somewhere on the lake, there's probably a better flat with a good bug hatch going. Once that spot is located, there's likely to be a great school of fish, I just didn't have time to find it.
Crappies didn't seem ready to cooperate either. It looked like we'd be on green for go when I stopped at a little hole near a nice Cabbage Weed patch. There were tow aggressive Crappies that bit almost instantly and then, like the Perch, the action fizzled out. Both of the fish were males, deep black in color and it's probaly a clue that the fish have not finished spawning yet. We'll give this another try tomorrow and see what else we can learn.
Walleyes were happy about the wind and took advantage of the feeding opportunity that the current provided. We moved frequently from one weed edge to another and found fish on most of them. In our case, the best presentation to trick the Walleyes was still a jig and minnow. We used 1/4 ounce jigs which for me, is kind of heavy. But with the wind, they were required to get the baits into the kill zone. Walleyes were located along the breakline, just outside of the weeds in 9 to 12 feet of water. We checked some deeper water, but the Humminbird screen revealed nothing but clean bottom, so for now, stick to the weed pattern a little longer.
(6/8) On Lake Winnibigoshish. Texting throughout the day on with NMLOG member Tim Dorholt, reports were coming in about good Walleye and Perch action in the shallow water in Tamarack Bay. Windy conditions stirred up a good current and both were feeding actively on Jig and Minnow presentations in 6 to 9 feet of water.
A note from the folks at Becker's Resort on the West side where they say that their customers are still reporting good Walleye and Perch action on Ravens, Sugar and Mallard Points. Fishing in 6 to 8 feet of water with jig and minnow combinations, many of their customers have said it's the best fishing they've had in years.
(6/8) On Lake Winnibigoshish Cutfoot Sioux Bryan Harris from Eagle Nest Lodge says; "Our fishermen have been having good luck with a jig and shiner, but this warm weather has started the change to Lindy rigs and leeches or crawlers. I guess things are starting to happen on the humps. And the battle/seelye bar is turning on, too. But the best walleye action has been off the dock in the evening!
(6/8) On Ball Club Lake, Gus' Place Resort reported water temperatures finally reaching into the lower 6o degree range. According to Gus, Most of the game fish are still in shallow water, 4 - 12 feet. Live bait presentations are the most effective on slip bobbers & Lindy Rigs. Jigs; leeches, Fat Heads and Shiners are producing fish too. Water levels are good on the lake and Walleyes are becoming more aggressive.
(6/8) On Dora Lake, Dean and Kyla Haag at Dora Lake Lodge say that the crappie bite has slowed down, but the Jumbo Perch bite is picking up. They are seeing some nice ones coming in, including several fish in the 14 inch range during the past week. The Walleyes are still biting but the pattern seems to be changing. Sunfish have started showing up and they're hopeful that the next week will bring even better panfish action.
Fishing Report June 7, 2011 Jeff Sundin Monday was the first day of "basking in the sun" for 2011. It doesn't get much brighter than this. For the first half of the day, there wasn't a cloud in the sky or a ripple on the lake. Surface temperatures moved from the morning low of 59 degrees to an afternoon high of 76 degrees. The temps will fall as soon as we get the first breeze, but this was a shot in the arm for weed development and will certainly help edge fish further toward their summer locations.
Looking out over the surface of Lake Winnie from the high bank at Bowens and seeing mirror glass water and high sunshine. I decided that we would need to make a run to either a darker water lake, or one where we could find heavier weed growth than what Winnie has to offer right now. Knowing that I'd need to come back to cook lunch, I decided to head for Bowstring Lake which has darker water, weeds and is located near by.
(6/7) On Lake Winnie. After lunch, we decided to take a shot at some deeper fish on Lake Winnibigoshish. I stopped and looked a a couple of the deeper points, still connected to the shoreline, but well out into the main lake, near some of the Eastern humps. On the second sport, we found a school of fish and dropped our 1/4 ounces jigs ito the school of fish. Everyone had hits, but none of us could get the hooks set into a fish. They were grabbing the Shiners by the tail and sitting still without eating them. Trying Leeches and Crawlers yielded similar results and we gave up on this school of Walleye and moved on to other humps. That wasn't the answer either, no matter wher we tried, fish were not buying anything from our bag of tricks.
Next move, lets go see if we can catch some Perch. So we headed for the shoreline and checked out some shallow rocks that have had Perch on them all week. They were still there and we were getting a few by sheer persistence. We got a lucky break when a large cloud moved into the sky and a breeze kicked up from the West. Right on cue, the Perch startred getting more aggressive and for a half hour the action was good. While we were at it, Al Pietras picked up a bonus 24 inch Walleye to CPR.
What I did learn during the afternoon though, is that there are fish showing up on the mid lake structures and that the first sign of improved weather conditions will probably be a good time to head out there.
(6/7) On Ball Club Lake, Gus' Place Resort reported a setback last week when the North/Northeast winds put a chill in the water and slowed down the bite for most most of last week. Luckily, the Warm sunny days over the weekend have helped us catch up and the fish are on the bite again on Ball Club.
Currently the water temperatures are in the high 50's and rising. They've been pulling in a few Walleyes in the 18 inc range from 8 feet of water using silver spinners and minnows. So far, most of the action has been in the warmer, south end of the lake, especially where the shiners have been roaming the shallow water.
Slip bobbers and leeches have been effective as well, anchoring on the south end for both Walleye and Perch. Crappie action is picking back up with the last few days of warm weather.
(6/7) On Pokegama Lake, Larry Becker of Southwood Resort Went out on Pokegama last evening and fished the shallow flats and found the nice Crappie and Bluegill. They also caught over 20 bass on top of that.
Fishing Report June 6, 2011 Jeff Sundin Sunday was about as pretty as it gets in Northern Minnesota. Not a cloud in the sky, 75 degrees with bluer blues and greener greens. Not exactly the best day for exploring the clear water lakes, but welcome after a week of gloomy skies. My customer was on a mission to learn something about Little Boy Lake near Longville. So I accepted the challenge and headed down for the day.
When we arrived at the landing, the scene was like looking at a postcard. The sky was as blue as it can get and the water had a slight ripple and dazzling sparkles. Gorgeous to look at, but not so great for fishing and I knew that my fishing day would be a stuggle. At 60 degrees, the surface temperature was still cold for this time of year and I'd soon learn that the lake was behind in it's progression of weed growth too.
For a small lake, Little Boy has lots of structure and we started by scanning a number of the main lake humps looking for Walleyes.
Except for an occasional lone mark on the screen, the Humminbird was coming up blank on all of the open water humps and reefs, so we never even wet a line on any of the mid-lake structure.
The next move was to search for fish on the weed edges and on the first one we tried, there was a mixed bag of Northern Pike, Largemouth Bass and a single Walleye, that we caught on a jig and minnow. It actually looked like the morning was going to go fairly well because all of these fish seemed active. The problem was that this was one of the only spots on the lake with a decent bit of weed cover and everyone on the lake knew about it. We opted to leave this area and explore for a better spot, but no matter where we looked, small Northern Pike and the occasional Bass was all we could drum up.
I returned to the original "honey hole" where we had a little excitement as we managed to pick up a couple of more Walleyes, some more Pike and Bass. Another moment of excitement occurred when my customers spotted a huge Musky that attacked a 20 inch Northern Pike. By now, we had enough fish for our shore lunch and we'd seen most of the lake, so we decided to pack up the boat and run North to Leech Lake, hoping for a couple of hours of better action.
(6/6) On Leech Lake, Walleyes were more cooperative. Without a lot of time to explore, I headed for one spot in the Five Mile Point area and scanned the breakline for Walleyes. We spotted a small school of fish in about 15 feet of water and within a few minutes, Pat had boated a 20 inch Walleye. Initially, we fished with jig and minnow, but I had mentioned that fish on Leech Lake were hitting on spinners too. A died in the wool MilleLacs Lake fisherman, George jumped on that idea immediately and rigged up a long leader with a #2 hammered gold spinner blade, tipped it with a minnow and in about 2 minutes, boated an 18-1/16th inch Walleye.
It wasn't long before we were all using spinners and they produced a mixed bag of Walleye, Perch and Pike. Just a hair too big, was the rule of thumb for most of the rest of the Walleyes we caught, but at least now we were having some action.
Other anglers around Leech Lake were catching fish too and the good reports were coming in from a variety of areas in Portage Bay. Best depths were 14 to 17 feet and presentaions varied widely. Some anglers were using jig and minnow, many were trolling with spinners and there were a few fishermen using Lind Rigs tipped with Leeches and Night Crawlers.
(6/6) On Lake Winnie, Walleye anglers contiuned to catch fish in Tamarack bay where the Walleye bite has been going on for a while now. In spite of the pressure on this school of fish, the action remains steady.
Fish are dispersed along the North shore as well. Stony, Ravens and Mallard Points continue to produce fish. Further South, Duck Pass, Little Stony and "the Bird Houses" are also producing fish reliably.
So far, most anglers have been sticking to the jig and minnow bite and 1/16th ounce jigs tipped with shiners have been producing awesome results in the shallow water. Fishing "the middle" hasn't been big news yet, but this week will be the beginning of anglers sniffing around out on the main lake for the early signs of a bite on the main lake bars and humps.
(6/6) On Lake Winnie, Walleye anglers can get a full update about Cutfoot Sioux and Winnibigoshish by clicking here for this weeks Bowen Lodge Featured Fishing Report.
(6/6) On Bowstring Lake, Walleyes were more cooperative than they should have been considering the conditions. In spite of the high sun and mirror glass water, the fish were at least active enough to gather more than enough for a shore lunch. There were lots of small Walleyes, maybe 20 or so that we released, but we did manage to capture 5 nice keepers and a handful of Perch before lunch time.
Our best presentation was a jig and minnow fish on the deep breaklines in roughly 20 feet of water. There were several fish caught on a Lindy Rig tipped with a crawler, but so far, it didn't seem like any real advantage to go that way when a 1/4 ounce jig and minnow would do the same job.
I'd expect that an improvement in fishing conditions would be enough to trigger a good bite on this large lake and I'll probably pay it another visit later this week.
Fishing Report June 5, 2011 Jeff Sundin Saturday was the pay-off for putting up with a weeks worth of weird, windy weather. A cool front came in from the Northwest, cleared up the sky and put a nice "Walleye Chop" on the lake.
Surface temperature in the morning was 57 degrees and by days end had risen to 59 degrees. That's the first time in a week that I recorded a noticeable rise during a fishing trip.
Dick Williams and I had lost our fishing partner Paul Kautza because he had to return home early for a family event. Since it was just the two of us, Dick and I decided to have some fun and go back for some more mixed bag fishing.
The morning was chilly and the first couple of spots didn't give up too easily, but as the morning warmed up, the fishing action improved.
Until about noon, we found better numbers of Walleye in deep water
than we did in the shallows. Schools of fish were easily spotted on the Humminbird in 18 to 24 feet of water and they were biting very well. I'm sure that we could have caught them on Lindy Rigs, but we chose to stick with our jig and minnow presentation which was working great. The only variation was to X-Change 1/4 ounce weights instead of 1/8 ounce.
Late in the day, Northwest winds kicked up a notch and with whitecaps on the lake, fish moved back into the 8 to 12 foot range. Walleyes, Pike and Smallmouth were hiding wherever there was a hard gravel or rocky patch located inside the edges of weeds.
Heads up, on Saturday, there was evidence in every fish that I cleaned and most of the fish that we caught that they are feeding on insect larvae instead of minnows. Obviously, they'll feed on anything that gets close enough, but as they focus more on larvae, we should be moving toward Lindy Rigs with live bait. We've already been getting reports from fishermen who have made the transition to Leeches and Crawlers and with a week of warmer tempertures on the way, the feeding preferences will change even more.
Fishing Report June 4, 2011 Jeff Sundin Friday was one of those dreaded "aftermath" days. The first calm day after several days of windy weather and fish that had been on a three day feeding binge, now to advantage of a resting day. They didn't totally shut down, they just didn't feed like crazy, especially in the morning.
We had Perch fishing in mind when we left the dock at Bowen Lodge and headed out onto Cutfoot Sioux. At 56 degrees, the water was still cold and it was churned up too, murky from all of the recent wind. The guys I was fishing with had been on Cutfoot with Tim Dorholt a few days earlier and were excited about the Perch that they'd caught during that trip. Of course, when we went to check out the spot(s), the Perch were nowhere to be found. This set me up for a morning of hunting and pecking as we travelled around the lake looking for the monster bite.
We headed out of Cutfoot and Westward to Stony Point. Fishing the weed edges in 7 to 8 feet of water, we were able to pick up a couple of keeper size Walleyes and lots of Perch. But they were too small to do us any good. It felt like we were fishing the right area, but at the wrong time. There were lots of fish showing on the Humminbird and lots of bait in the area too, just not enough action to hold us there. We moved out onto the rocks, just South of Stony and found a few more Walleyes, this time "slot-fish" that we released. Holding tight to the heaviest rock, there were some keeper Perch too, but we had to nurse them along to make them bite.
I had gotten a tip about the action in Tamarack Bay, so we headed East to check that out. For some reason, we did not find the Perch, but we did start catching Walleyes. I guess that we all needed some action, so we stuck with the Walleye fishing for a couple of hours. Finally, we decided to take another stab at the Perch in Cutfoot. Still calm and still no mother lode of Perch to be found on this day. We wrapped it up by fishing one last Walleye spot where we picked up 4 more keeper size Walleyes.
In the end, we had a nice bunch of fish, 11 keeper Walleyes and 15 perch. We earned them all and were were happy to have them, but I'll be even happier when the weather straightens out and makes the action go a little faster.
(6/4) On Lake Winnie and Cutfoot Sioux, Bowen's has a complete rundown of the action on Winnibigosh, so check out The Bowen Lodge Fishing Report here.
(6/4) On Leech Lake, I stayed in touch with friends who fishing Leech Lake in the morning and reports about slow action were coming in the morning. But by mid-afternoon, action was improving there too. The best news seemed to be coming from anglers fishing the North end of Portage Bay and the East side of Sucker Bay. I got a heads up from a friend who said that the rock reefs were starting to heat up as well. This could be a good tip for fishermen who plan to be fishing on Leech next week.
(6/4) Ryan Klein, Ryan's Guide Service, has been fishing on Leech Lake for most of the past week. He reported Walleye activity in 8 to 10 feet of water in Portage Bay that he's been catching on spinners tipped with either Night Crawlers or Leeches. He's also had a good run of smaller size, keeper Walleyes in Agency Bay fishing with Crawlers and Leeches on the breaklines in 10 to 20 feet of water. Finally, he mentioned spinners again when he fishes the gravel/rocks in Sucker Bay.
(6/4) On our way home, we spotted my pal Bill Powell from Freds Bait walking in the water at bowens Flat, with a minnow basket in tow. I pulled over and met him to get a quick update on the Shiner run. He said that over night, the Spottails really made a major push into the shallows and he had a good catch of minnows in his traps. The good news is that there is a great supply of Shiners at the bait shop, but it probably also means that this is the peak of the run and we should expect to see it winding down soon.
Fishing Report June 3, 2011 Jeff Sundin You would think that sooner or later, summer would decide to pay us a visit in the Itasca Area. No such luck, at least not so far. Thursday was another day of wind and storms blowing through the area and another scramble to find 20 spots that each have a few fish on them.
I had hoped to fish Crappies and Walleyes yesterday, but with 20 MPH Southeast winds and gusts to 30 MPH, that plan bit the dust before I ever left the parking lot. Instead, we decided to make another mixed bag trip for Smallmouth and Walleye and returned to Island Lake, which has been reliable for me this week.
At the lake, surface temperatures were hovering at 57 degrees and the Southeast wind had whipped up whitecaps
everywhere on the Western side of the lake. Remembering that the shoreline bite had fizzled out last Tuesday, I skipped that step and headed straight for the rocks. Most of the spots we fished were main lake points with rock structure in the 8 to 12 foot range. We caught some fish on every spot we tried, but today was the first time that I noticed that Walleye and Smallmouth Bass were inhabiting seperate territory. Until now, they'd been mixed on the shallow edges of rock spines adjacent to sand flats or clam beds. Today, these structures contained mainly Smallmouth and only a few 'Eyes.
The Walleyes were moving into new territory and we found them in two types of cover. Our first great discovery was a reef that topped out at 14 feet deep and the Walleyes were holding tight to the breakline in 16 to 18 feet. By holding the boat steady with the drift sock and the outboard, we were able to catch plenty of fish using an 1/8 ounce jig and minnow combinations. If it had been calmer, I think Lindy Rigs with Leeches would have done the trick too, but it was just to rough to spend the time re-rigging.
Our second discovery of "new" Walleye territory was in the heavy Cabbage patches. In these areas, we found few, if any Smallmouth but the Walleye and Northern Pike were mixed. It was better to creep along the weed edges and pictch the jigs on a short line, instead of trolling along the break. Fish were holding tight to the cover, but when they saw the jigs, they hammered 'em.
If you're looking to fill the freezer, this might not be the spot for you. We estimated catching 30 Walleye and a couple of dozen Smallmouth, but left the lake with only 9 "keeper size" Walleyes. It was plenty for us, but I know some anglers prefer more keepers than this.
(6/3) I finally got the 2011 Photo Page set up, so use this link to view your 2011 fishing pictures.
(6/3) On Dixon Lake, Karen from Dixon Lake Resort says; "Fishing has been good here on Dixon. The sunnies are moving in, walleye still like the shinners but the crappies are hiding. We still have a few openings and our gas special is still in effect. Book a week, bring in your gas reciepts and we will take it off your bill up to $100. Email for more info
(6/3) Jacki LaValla at Sportsman's Lodge on Lake of the Woods reported that Walleyes are hitting well on the giant lake. Fourteen to nineteen feet and twenty-five to twenty-eight feet have been excellent. some of the better locations have been right outside of Pine Island near Light House Gap, Zippel Bay and Graceton Beach along the shorelines.
The water temperature has fallen the past week, they are currently sitting at 58 degree surface temperatures.
The best tackle has been 3/8 oz red, yellow or orange jigs or a hammered gold Lindy Spinner and sinker tipped with a chub or shiner minnow.
Jacki says that the guides are ready to guide you to the catch. No equipment required, they provide everything and they're running the 30/30 Walleye special this summer. Up to $60 off per person on select fishing packages this summer. Email for more info.
Fishing Report June 2, 2011 Jeff Sundin Fishing took a turn for the better on Wednesday afternoon as the stormy weather moved away from the Deer River area. By mid-afternoon, sunny skies and calm seas replaced the windy, wet conditions that challenged anglers over the past few days.
For my last day of fishing with Skip and Sandy Finch, I wanted to find some Perch and I needed some calmer water than what Winnie or Leech had to offer. We headed for Jessie Lake, North of Deer River and at the landing, struggled against the whitecaps to put the boat in the water. Once we were on the lake though, it was easy to find calmer spots to fish.
Looking at several humps and shoreline points revealed nothing but small Northern Pike hanging out in the open. It wasn't until I pulled up on a heavy Cabbage patch that the fish started cooperating. Once we started fishing in the heavy weeds, Perch action was hot and heavy for a couple of hours. The lake doesn't really have a great crop of "big ones" right now, so we had to do a ton of sorting. Our goal was to get ten inchers, but we occasionally settled for 9-3/4 when a fish looked pretty enough. By the time we wrapped up, we had kept 24 Perch in that range, with only one fish over 11 inches.
There were some Walleyes hiding in the weeds too and we bagged enough of them for a nice shore lunch. Northern Pike were ravenous, especially in the afternoon. There weren't any big ones, but in certain spots, we could could catch 2 to 3 pound Pike on nearly every cast. They were extremely hard on the jig supply!
(6/2) From Bryan Harris at Eagle Nest Lodge on Cutfoot Sioux - Winnibigosh, Walleye fishing has been spectacular on Winnie. But the change of weather and WIND has made it tough to go out on the big lake. Cutfoot Sioux has been very good. The usual spots are producing, but shallower than typical for this time of year. Not too deep and not too fast are what I'm telling my guests. Our guests have been catching quite a few walleyes off the dock in the evening. I would guess that if we get warm weather, the bite will convert to Lindy rigs and leeches and crawlers. Crappies have been biting in Little Cutfoot and in the narrows.
(6/2) From Dean and Kyla Haag at Dora Lake Lodge, The walleye bite is still good here but slower. The guys are having good luck with slow trolling shallow running rapala's and drifting with slip bobbers is still producing some fish. The colder weather seems to have slowed things down some but the guys are sticking with it and pulling in a few nice ones in spite of the storms and cold. The crappies were up in the shallows spawning last week so they should be moving out to the deeper water this week and moving into their summer patterns. They are usually grouped up around the deadheads and deeper weedlines for summer. We saw some real nice northerns come in over the weekend, several in the 30 plus range. Good eating!
We are running a 4th of July weekend special. Rent 3 nights get the 4th night free. We still have some openings so give us a call!
(6/2) On Leech Lake, Rich from Acorn Hill Resort said; "Fishing been fantastic. A lot of lunkers caught, but you get enough for eaters also, so it could not get much better. Most on shiners, and fat heads. The larger part of Leech is producing the best fishing. Traders Bay, Portage, around Goose Island."
(6/2) On Lake of the Woods, Rainy River Resort - Paul Johnson reported;
We are back into the full swing of fishing this summer. The weather has been very fall this spring. A few days of wind and rain. The fishing has been fantastic since opener.
Rainy River- Many fish are still being caught in the river. Gold, pink, and the gold and pink disco ball jigs have been working very effectively. Heavier weight is needed. Most have been using 3/4 to 1 ounce jigs. Most of the fish are being picked up in early morning and late evening in about 15 to 18 feet.
Lighthouse Gap- We have had many guests coming back with there limits fishing in the gap. Most of the females have left the river, leaving the males to do their job, which should be rapping up soon.
Lake of the Woods- Fishing has been productive in that 21 to 28 foot range outside of the Lighthouse Gap, Morris Point Gap, and Zippel Bay. Jigging with gold and pink jigs when the sun is out, and switching to orange and chartreuse when any cloud cover comes in. Knight Island, Starren Shoals, and Little Oak have also been producing some great numbers of bigger fish. Many 28 and 29 inches were caught this last week.
Fishing Report June 1, 2011 Jeff Sundin If I was back in school, I'd say that my fishing report for Tuesday got blown out to sea by the wind and I need another day to write it over again. We didn't exactly choose what we wanted to do yesterday, we just sort of figured out a lake where the landing would be fairly calm and did the best we could. Luckily, I was able to find a few spots that held fish and we made some highlights for ourselves. But relaxing? No.
I was prepared to fish with long time customer and friend Bruce Champion and his son J.B, because in all of our years, there's never been a scenario where we didn't fish. Snow, sleet, wind, heat, bugs, you name it, if the date was on the calendar, we'd go! But this time, before we started out for the lake,
there was a couple of hour delay to figure out what we were going to do. Thinking about the river and some of the smaller lakes, I ran a few ideas up the flag-pole, but Bruce had in mind to try and catch some mixed Smallmouth and Walleyes and that recipe narrowed down the choices a little. Finally we decided on Island Lake, where the landing was protected from the strong Southwest winds.
At the lake, surface temperatures were 57 to 58 degrees no matter where we fished and with temperatures this cool, Smallmouth Bass still haven't spawned. All of the fish, Smallmouth, Walleye and Pike that we encountered, were on the shallow side of rock and sand breaks in 6 to 12 feet of water. Try as I might, locating fish on the calm shorelines was a tedious ordeal. There were a few, mostly Pike and Perch with the odd Walleye thrown in, but fish on the calm weedlines were as scarce as hens teeth.
Moving out into the open water and big waves cured the fish location problem. Shallow rock points with wind pounding into them almost all held at least some fish. The best ones for us were the spots where I could hold the transom of my Alaskan into the waves and slip down the breakline. Drifting was out of the question and so was anchoring. This slipping technique, is well known to river fishermen, but it works great in windy situations like this too. The tiller engine and Wave Wackers are perfect for this type of fishing and without them, I'm not sure I could fish this way, in these conditions.
We fished with 1/8 ounce jigs and minnows, but there were times that I saw fish on the Humminbird that did not strike. In calmer seas, I would have tried Leeches and Crawlers too. But with all of that wind, changing rigs was a major ordeal and we stuck with the easier presentaion and settled for what we caught.
In the end, we caught a dozen or so Walleyes, mostly "slot fish" that we released, another dozen Smallmouth and some Pike. Just enough action to keep it interesting.
Before wrapping up on Island Lake we took a little break and slipped into Sleepy Hollow Resort to pay the new owners Kirk and Mari Petersen a visit. Kirk reported that in general, fishing on Island Lake has been good.
Many of his customers have been catching Smallmouth Bass and Walleye. The Pike action on Island is almost always good and with the protected slot, better than average Pike are available for anglers who want to try for "something big". Mari greeted us with a gigantic smile and Kirk was warm and welcoming too. If you're in the area, stop in and pay them a visit.
(6/1) Bemidji Lakes Area and NMLOG Member, Paul A. Nelson says; Bass season opened last weekend in most of Minnesota and this Saturday June 4th is the muskie opener in Minnesota. Anglers have also been fishing for walleyes with good success in most of the larger lakes in the Bemidji area.
Anglers will be able to fish for whatever species they want to when the muskie season opens on Saturday. Walleye fishing is nearing the spring peak, so most anglers will be fishing for walleyes as long as the bite is good.
Walleye anglers have been catching walleyes in most of the larger lakes on jigs and spotail shiners, but more anglers are switching to live bait rigs with leeches, night crawlers or larger minnows as the walleyes move deeper and head off to mid-lake structure.
Bass, crappies and sunfish should be moving onto their spawning beds in the next week to begin spawning. Members of the sunfish family spawn when surface water temperatures reach into the mid 60’s. Hopefully, most anglers give the fish some space when they spawn and let them finish their business and put in a good age class of fish for the future.
Muskie anglers typically don’t fish for muskies too hard until the water temperatures get closer to 70 degrees and the weed beds become more fully developed. There are still anglers who will fish for muskies as soon as they are legal.
One of the best presentations for muskies early in the season is burning bucktail spinners over the tops of the emerging weed beds. When the visibility in the water is good, anglers usually have better success with fast moving baits, which don’t give the muskies too good a look at the baits in the clear water.
(6/1) Wired2Fish Has tons of fantastic fishing videos. Look for tips from the pros about everything from rigging your boat to choosing the right color fishing lure.
Brian Mielke shows off a little of his handywork with a Lindy Rig and Leech.
Walleyes were holding tight to the bottom on Friday, but were visible and catchable.
Not a bad day's catch for Brian and Don Mielke.
For Pete Raquet and Paul Skogheim, the Walleye action on Winnibigosh was good. Today, we bagged our Walleyes before lunch.
No meal too large for Perch when they're active. Here's about a nine incher who thought a 5 inch Redtail was just about right.
Dawson shows off a hefty Northern Pike. The youngster caught this fat 7 pound Northern at Ball Club Lake on 6/25 while casting a blue & white "Suick". Courtesy; Gus' Place Resort
Courtesy Sportsman's Lodge, Lake of the Woods. The Ambrose party had a great outing on the big lake. How about this Walleye? Envious? Me too!
Courtesy Border View Lodge. Lake of the Woods Walleye action has been steady. Lots of eaters and some trophies too.
This is one way to get caught up on paperwork. Hmmm...
The Benson Boys enjoying a good, Cass Lake Perch bite on Saturday with their Uncle Chad!
Jim held out for quality vs. quanity and socres one of the better Crony Weekend fish, a nice 23 incher.
It was a good day to be Lamar Popp, Grand PooBah Crony! He only keeps track of his "slot Walleyes" and he lost track! That's a good day!
There's a reason we call some of the Walleyes we catch "eaters". No rain, no bugs and a comfortable place to sit. Life is good!
It's different from "action fishing" but Kenny Shipler discovered on Thursday that if you want to, you can go fishing for big Walleye and catch one on purpose!
Paul Casper, new to Walleye fishing shows that he's getting the hang of it.
Ryan, Blayn and Devin Sprecker showing off a portion of their handy work. An all day soaker didn't stop them from fine tuning their Walleye touch.
In spite of high winds, Blaine Sprecker got the feel for Walleye fishing and bagged a couple of nice ones like this 22 incher! Way to go Blaine!
Ryan Sprecker picked up the magic touch and boated this Cutfoot Sioux slot fish in the afternoon session.
Walleye Chop? Hmmm...Man, I love this job!
On Monday, fish were loosely grouped by size. Larger fish all came from one area, while keepers were found a couple of hundred yards away.
Hey! Here's a new recipe for you, Baked Parmesan Walleye. Click here for recipe.
It was a good day to be Alex! He like catching Walleyes on Lindy Rigs and his catch went a long way toward feeding the hungry mob at lunch.
On Lake Winnie, mid-June is the ideal time to land a big one. It was a good day to be Jim Bopp, he picked up this trophy and at least 4 others in the same size range on the Bena Bar.
A double header for Cameron Bopp and Jeff Sundin. According to Grandpa Jim, this was the most big fish we'd ever caught in a day.
What's coming in to the net this time? Look below to find out.
Top: Roger Will with a solid 27 inch Walleye. Below: Bill Linder with another 27 incher. The big fish peak is upon us, don't miss out!
Jeff Sundin, "Oh Man, I Love This Job!"
What the heck, that's a giant fish, but what is it? Look below to find out.
Jim Fonner shows off a nice Blackduck Lake Walleye. Jigs and Night Crawlers on the weedlines did the trick.
Don Johnson with one of the 4 giant
Sheep Heads (Freshwater Drum) that we caught on Thursday. They put up one heck of a battle!
The screen of my Humminbird shows insect larvae and small minoows gathering on soft bottom, near mid-lake hump on Winnibigosh.
Evidence of Walleyes beginning to feed more heavily on insects. Insect hatches will encourage fish to move onto deeper, mid-lake structure.
Jesse Priem showing off his largest open water Walleye to date. A night crawler fooled this 29 incher on Monday.
This Northern Pike had a sweet tooth for Night Crawlers, but didn't count on stumbling in to Larry Lashley!
Brothers Ryan and Shawn Klein will be cashing the first place check for $12,500.00 for winning the KA on Lake Bemidji ! Congratulations guys!
With a chop on the surface and grey skies over head, the Walleyes on Lake Winnie were more than cooperative this Sunday.
Calm seas and lots of sun as the summer season approaches Bowstring Lake , Minnesota.
Really nice mixed bags of Perch and Walleyes have kept me interested in Bowstring Lake this week.
Calm seas and sunny skies and be nap time for Walleyes on Leech Lake, but the "Norwegian Hammer" can trick even finicky Walleyes.
When you're hungry for fish, Perch fillets like these are hard to pass up. Active fish on the weedlines are hitting jig and minnow combinations.
Courtesy: Gus' Place Resort. Walleyes are becoming more active in shallow water.
Here's what Lake Winnibigoshish looked like at 4:00 PM on Monday. Not a breath of wind and the fish were taking an afternoon nap.
By 6:00 PM there was a breeze kicking up and the fishing perked up, giving Al Pietras and opportunity to CPR this 24 inch Walleye.
Evidence of progress. Slot limits on Northern Pike appear to be helping produce more large Pike. This seven pounder is way above average. Maybe we'll catch her again when she's a 20 pounder.
A good example of why slot limits on Pike can help. As Pike grow larger, they help reuduce populations of small, stunted Pike. Reducing over-population allows remaining Pike to feed and grow more easily. (Read Article Here )
Saturday was the first day the we found better numbers of Walleye in deep water than shallow. 18 to 24 feet was perfect.
Now recovered from spawning, Larger Walleyes are becoming more active and feeding in areas where insect larvae is present. Lindy Rigging season is just around the corner.
Bill Powell from Freds Bait on his way to the bait truck with a fres load of Lake Winnie Spotail Shiners. Supplies will be good for the weekend!
Island Lake "slot fish" are not giants, but they are frisky 18 to 22 inchers. There's enough 'eaters" out there for a fish fry too.
Dick Williams with another hefty Island Lake Walleye.
It never fails, go Perch fishing and stumble into some nice Walleye too. This one was hanging out in heavy Cabbage weeds.
Bruce Champion with a chunky, 20 inch Smallmouth. Not bad for 35 MPH wind!
No giants, but a bunch of nice "slot size" Walleyes were mixed in with Smallmouth Bass and Pike.
Five year old Paz, with one of his first ever Walleyes! Big Sandy Lake produced Walleyes, Perch and Pike over the Memorial Day weekend. (Courresy Tim Higgins)
One of the few remaining Red Lake Crappies fell victim to Chad Haatvedt's unparalled fishing skill over the weekend. This specimen is headed for the taxidermist.
Jacob Krug with his largest Walleye to date. A nice Lake Winnie "slot-fish" caught on a jig and minnow in 10 feet of water.
Amazing what you can do without a cell phone these days! Jesse took time out from his busy schedule to bag this 25-1/2 incher on Leech Lake. (Courtesy Carol Painter)
Fishing the rocks in 7 to 10 feet of water is producing lots of Leech Lake Walleyes in the 19 to 24 inch range. There are a few 'keepers" and a few bigger fish mixed in to keep it interesting.
Walleye action was steady, but not fast on Saturday at Leech Lake. In spite of changing weather, the smiles came along at the perfect times.
Tim Dedo with a nice Leech Lake Walleye. Jig and minnow fishing in 8 feet of water on the East side of Portage Bay.
On Leech Lake, lots of Walleyes on Friday were "in the slot". This 25-3/4 incher was our largest and there were lots of fish in the 20 - 23 inch range.
Sandy Finch with a nice Winnibigosh "slot-fish". Jig and minnow in 12 feet of water.