Fishing Report June 30, 2014 - Fishing Patterns Heat Up on The Itasca Area's "Late Peaking" Waters - With surface temperatures now locked into the 70 degree range. Walleye fishing on most of the warmer, shallow water lakes has moved well past its peak. There are few, if any lakes where minnows remain in their spring spawning haunts. That helps explain why there aren't a lot of fishermen reporting "hot bites" on these shallower lakes.
We were on a couple of them yesterday and fished fairly well, considering the weather and our current position on the learning curve. After a half day on each of these shallower lakes, my conclusion was that while we did catch some fish, it was obvious that they are well past their peak time for action.
Conversely, reports coming from a number of anglers who have been fishing deeper, clear water lakes are more encouraging. These waters have a tendency to hit their peaks a few weeks later in the season and according to friends, it's happening now.
The reports, most of them anyway, follow a similar pattern. Walleyes have begun showing up in good numbers on mid-lake bars and sunken islands. As they first arrive on these structures, they have been active and feeding aggressively.
For Walleye fishing on these deeper structures, the most ideal way to single out White Tails is by Lindy Rig fishing. The best report I received on Sunday was from a good friend who was using Leeches as the primary bait. I trust his advice and I’m certain that it was sound. For me though, past history says that the best bait will vary from lake to lake, even from spot to spot. In other words, I'd be sure to have a little bit of every kind of bait instead of a lot of any one kind of bait.
There are Walleye remaining on the weed lines, but along these weed edges the scales are tipping in favor of Bass and Pike.
Anglers from the Grand Rapids area are weighing in with reports about both Smallmouth and Largemouth Bass moving toward their summer peak locations too.
Almost any rock structure in deeper could attract Smallmouth. But check out deep water points or mid-lake bars, especially those that contain a mix of Cabbage weeds and rocks. Apparently Smallmouth Bass find this type of structure to be ideal and will often inhabit the inside edge of the weeds where they meet the rocks.
For Smallmouth, I can’t leave home without my Wacky Rigged Yum Dingers. Tube jigs, swim baits and spinners will catch them too.
For lakes with good populations of Largemouth Bass and Panfish, trolling spinners along the weed edges will produce reliable mixed bag action. The mix depends on which lake you fish, but the common thread among all reports is that by "spinning the weed edges" you will catch some number of whatever species your lake has to offer.
After a couple of industrial strength, blue collar working days of fishing, I'm hoping that paying a visit to a couple of these deeper lakes today will help me send my friends Kevin and Al home with memories of our fantastic, day 3 grand finale'!
(6/30) From Greg Clusiau, A Big Bass Story by Brett McComas; "The first thing I do is up-size everything; braided line, powerful rods and the biggest, nastiest jig combo you can put together. Now I don't necessarily mean the heaviest jig you own, but instead the biggest and bulkiest profile. The majority of your bites will come on the fall with this type of presentation. I prefer a 1/4oz or 3/8oz jig which allows me to slow down and keep that lure in the strike zone longer. Matching the perfect trailer to your jig will maximize your ..." >> Read Greg's Full Report .
(6/30) From Lake of the Woods, Mike Kinsela, Border View Lodge; "We have moved from jigging to pulling spinners. High winds have kept fishing close, just outside the Light House Gap and on the West Side as well. Fishing has been strong, each day a little different as far as what bait is working best. It started with shiners but we did well using crawlers and leeches the last couple days. Gold spinners have been consistent.
We did get a little more rain but we have had some days without so our docks are still usable. The river is still very high and lots of debris throughout the river and into the lake. The No Wake order is still in effect to help protect the river bank and docks so please pay close attention.
After Tuesday the weather looks great. Now through Tuesday is rain and clouds. However the following week right now is showing low winds and lots of sunshine. Pack that sunscreen!" - 1-800-776-3474 Border View Lodge .
Fishing Report June 29, 2014 - Mixed Up, Shook Up, Crazy Water - Gusty winds and stormy weather turned Saturday's fishing trip into a geography test. Fishing decisions were based on where we could fish, more than where we wanted to fish.
For me, the challenge was finding spots where I could keep my crew within reach of some fish. For Kevin Scott and Al Heimer, the challenge was sorting through weeds, rocks and wind to detect finicky strikes. I think we did a darn nice job, even if I do say so myself.
By the time we launched the boat, there was already a heavy chop on the lake. The surface temperature in the rough water was 69 degrees. The water was cloudy looking thanks to the turbulence. Luckily, there were lots of spots to choose from and a couple of them already had a proven track record.
Fishing shoreline points and mid-lake bars that have rocky areas adjacent to shallow water weeds has been one of my favorite patterns for years. Recently, this pattern has been producing fish on a variety of lakes.
At first, we were able to find spots like that in semi-protected water. The fish were there and we were doing alright, but it was obvious that we couldn't make a day of it without covering some fresh water.
The problem was that a lot of spots in fresh territory were located out in the open where heavy winds sailed the boat way too fast for accurate fishing. Whether I liked it or not, we'd be forced to adapt and try to find fish on the calm shorelines.
If I have to fish in calm water, then I almost always have to find weeds; for me, that's all there is to it. The exception is when there are good schools of fish on deep water structure. We didn't have access to spots like that, so weed lines were going to be the best bet.
The first spot didn't work out, but the second stop, a patch of mixed Cabbage and Coontail weeds did. There was a school of fish laying at the outside edges of the weeds in 10 to 12 feet of water. The fish were fairly active, especially for Al who took this opportunity to put on a clinic.
Al was using a 1/8 ounce Lindy Jig tipped with a Leech. The selection was sort of random, but I'm glad that he did what he did, because it worked.
Ironically, we had talked about presentations earlier and I had mentioned that I don't fish leeches on jigs too often. Luckily for me, I also added, "But if you like to fish that way, then do it"; he did it and it worked out well. Kevin's favorite rig, a small floater tied on a short snell and tipped with a leech produced some fish too. So did my old standby, the 1/16 ounce jig tipped with a night crawler.
For us, the takeaway about presentation was that these fish were flexible enough to allow each of us to fish our own favorite way. It's not always that simple, but this time it worked out.
All things considered, it was a good day of fishing. We had to work at it, but we were rewarded for the effort.
(6/29) Mike Bisping wrote; "On occasion, I fish a small 400 acre lake for walleyes in the Backus-Hackensack-Longville area.
As you might expect, the lake is stocked by the DNR and I find that a lot of the fish relate to the weedline in 10 to 15 feet of water once it gets established.
Typically, I experience the "summer peak" bite around the 4th of July give or take a week either way. During this time, the fishing is good, especially for larger fish. However, I struggle to find the walleyes before and after this time period.
Do they eventually head out to the feature-less main lake basin and follow schools of baitfish? Do they still relate to the weed line, but only bite sporadically due to the abundance of forage? Are they recovering from spawning and not biting earlier in the year? I have not been able to put the pieces of the puzzle totally together.
A) Mike, congratulations! You have asked enough questions right here to provide material for an entire book. It's going to take me a few days to get into all of it, but here's a starting spot.
After spawning, but before the summer peak: I know that it can be frustrating, but there are times when any given body of water simply doesn't produce a lot of action.
Technically, there is no such thing as water that's too ... Read Article >> Walleyes Locations In Stocked Lakes
Fishing Report June 28, 2014 A+(2B)+(1G)-(1B)(1G)+(1B) =The Snyder Effect - It's a complicated equation and trying to figure it out had me scratching my head again on Friday.
It's been 20 years, maybe longer since Warren Snyder first began bringing his kids fishing with me and anyone in the Deer River area who has met them, has never been quite the same afterward.
Regular readers of these reports have heard about "The Snyder Effect" before. In case you haven't, here is the dictionary definition; "Snyder Effect" adjective,
1.one's natural ability to sail in to town for a fishing trip and without learning anything, remembering anything or doing anything; succeed!
2.having or marked by good luck; fortunate: That was my lucky day.
3.happening fortunately: a lucky accident.
4.bringing or foretelling good luck, or supposed to do so: a lucky minnow, lucky dog.
luck·i·ness, luck·i·er, luck·i·est
We've all seen people who are just naturally lucky. They're the ones who manage to get more unexplainable "lucky breaks" than most people get. That's the Snyder family and when you meet them, it's like catching a virus; you just can't help yourself. You're bound to begin feeling optimistic whether you want to or not.
I like fishing with The Snyder's because they make writing my fishing reports so easy. Looky here; "On Friday I fished with Warren, his son Nils and his grandson Bjorn.
For each of them, I put 1/2 of a night crawler on a 1/16 ounce Lindy Jig. They cast their baits into the water and reeled in fish.
Sometimes the fish were too big and sometimes they were too small, so we had to let a lot of them go; but sometimes they were just right and we got to eat them."
I'd love to go into more detail, but trust me; you couldn't duplicate it anyway. ... and Suzie laughed and laughed saying "Ya just gotta be a Snyder!"
Fishing Report June 27, 2014 - X Marks The Spot - Yesterday, I teased you with; "... if you click the link, I'll show you >> The exact spot we were fishing!"
Well, I'm sorry, but I needed to get your attention because sometimes reporting "old news" requires a little creativity.
So what was the big deal about the marker? Here's the scoop; There was a nice school of "keeper size" Walleyes in those weeds and if we wanted to capture some of them, it was important that we didn't scare the fish away. On a calm day, in clear water, plowing into those weeds would have ruined the whole deal. For me, when there's no margin of error, this "old technology" is still one of my most useful tools.
In this particular instance, that marker buoy was allowing us to hold on to the element of surprise. It was sitting about 20 feet away from the outside edge of a great patch of Cabbage weeds. As long as I held the boat just close enough to reach the interior edges, we were able to catch fish.
By now you're asking why a big time pro fisherman would ever even think about dropping a marker buoy in the water. Especially in this age of super electronics, why wouldn't you just punch a number into the GPS and use that as a marker?
Well, I do. In fact without my Humminbird and its Lakemaster charts, most days I would be completely lost. Still, there are certain times when absolute, pinpoint precision is what's called for and this was one of them.
So I apologize for playing that little trick on you, but I can't promise that I won't do it again. That's because that marker comes in really handy in more situations than you think. The next time one of them comes along, I'll remind you.
On your way to the lake this weekend, walk into the bait shop and say; "Sundin says I need a marker buoy". They'll fix you up!
About the presentation, 1/16 ounce jigs tipped with half of a night crawler worked like a charm. Once we used up all of our worms, we caught a few more fish using minnows, but they were not as effective.
An interesting feature about this weedline was that it had rocks on the shallow, inside edge and access to deeper water along the outside. Within the weed bed there were separate schools of fish, segregated by location. The Walleyes held on the outside edges, smallmouth Bass were on the inside edges near the rocks and high above the weed tops, Northern Pike.
June 27, 2014 - Lake Winnibigoshish Walleye, Perch and Pike Report
Walleyes are on the prowl in Lake Winnie's mid section. The majority of fish remain located on bars and humps located nearest the shoreline, But there are fish moving toward the more isolated structures in the center as well.
Thursday, Phil Goettl and his crew were on the lake and reported catching numerous picture fish along with just enough keepers for a fish dinner.
Historically known as a
great daytime Walleye fishery, recent reports indicate that Lake Winnie has become a ... >> Read Lake Winnie Fishing Report
(6/27) On Cass Lake, Arne Danielson happened along as a couple was in the process of landing a nice fish that turned out to be a Northern Pike. Sara, Maple Lake, MN caught the monster pike while casting for Musky.
Arne's conversation with the couple led to a question about Cabbage weeds and the difficulty they've had searching for them.
I've noticed this on the other large lakes like Winnie and Leech too. Last winter's deep snow cover and severe cold temperatures definitely took a toll on the weeds.
They are coming back though; it's just a matter of time. I've noticed that many smaller waters in the area have healthy looking patches of Cabbage again. Barring an entire summer of cool, rainy weather, the big lakes shouldn't be too far behind.
(6/27) On Pokegama Lake, Chad Haatvedt had promisied his young neighbor Gideon an afternoon fishing trip.
After deciding that the Walleye fishing wasn't leading to enough giggles, Chad and Gideon paid a visit to the weedlines where trhey could cast for Bass and Pike.
Good Decision! Gideon landed the Monster Pike you see to the right.
(6/27) From The Marcell Area, Frontier Sports, Paul Larson said; "Storm fronts have been moving in and out throughout the week, causing a virtual 180 degree change in terms of fishing success. Last week up until Sunday the Walleye bite was good and the Smallmouth fishing was phenomenal. Things changed Sunday night. The winds started to die down and then came the lightning, accompanied by rolls of thunder. That took care of the walleyes and most everything else that swims. Reports currently have been spotty with just a few fish taken here and there. Bass fishing is slower but still holding up somewhat. Northern Pike have been cooperating through it all and have been hitting bucktails and crankbaits as well as sucker minnows. Crappie and Sunfish have been slow this week as well. The good news is that the skies will be clearing somewhat and warming up by the weekend. June is our wettest month and the weather is always a force to be reckoned with. But you can’t catch fish if you don’t go. Bring good rain gear and keep your eye to the sky and you just may have a great day on the water. You just never know and by the way, when you’re in the area, drop by and check out our great tackle selection and fully stocked bait shop.
Frontier Sports features a complete and fully stocked Sporting Goods department and Bait Shop, Gas, Grocery, Deli and Gift Shop. Frontier Sports is an authorized LIVE TARGET and SAVAGE GEAR dealer." Frontier Sports 219-832-3901 or Email .
Fishing Report June 26, 2014 - Remember my closing comments in yesterday's report? "With luck, I'll be able to tell you how we made a fantastic recovery AND I'll be able to catch up on a stack of fishing questions that came in over the wire yesterday."
Well I'm not sure that I can say we had a fantastic recovery, but we did have a good one. Second thought; if you consider all of the circumstances, maybe it was a great one. In fact, it was so good that if you click the link, I'll show you >> The exact spot we were fishing!
Fishing Report June 25, 2014 - Stormy Weather Delivers New Lows - Wanna know one of the things that can make a big guy like me cry?
One of them is when we receive the combo platter of low barometric pressure, overhead lightning, thunder and a cold front. The kind of weather system that rolls into a local area and infects fish with a case of lockjaw!
Weather patterns like this don’t strike at the exact spot we’re fishing all that often; but it does happen. I've seen it before and as far as I can tell that’s what happened to me and my crew on Tuesday.
We were fishing on familiar water, with no particular goal in mind. Perch? Couldn't catch 'em. Walleye? Only a few dinky ones. Crappies? Nope, they weren't there either. What about Northern Pike, you can always catch them right? Not this time, not for us. It was just one of those days when I couldn't catch a Tuna Fish Sandwich in a brown paper bag.
Luckily, my crew is understanding and even luckier; I still have a couple of days to dig myself out of the hole. I'm anticipating that we'll be able to do that, I just haven't decided how, not yet.
(6/25) On Lake Winnibigoshish, Joe Thompson, Four Seasons Resort says; "The perch continue to bite! The 15-16' flat off of the Birdhouses just keeps churning out limits of 10-12" jumbos. Jigs and fathead minnows are the best bet for these tasty fish.
Walleye fishing has been a different story. It has been a tough bite for folks who haven't spent alot of time on the lake. It has been a tough bite for people who have spent alot of time on the lake!
Northerns are being caught where the walleyes normally are this time of year. The bars, rocks, and flats are all holding northerns. Nothing huge, but big enough to debone and fry up nice!
We are turning the corner into our busy time after the Fourth. If you are thinking about a fall trip, we have two great specials for fall. Our Labor Day special is a great way to get some free nights. We also offer 20% off all reservations after Labor Day ... Read >> Four Seasons Resort ".
(6/25) Gus' Place Resort, Ball Club Lake; "Lake level is high and the surface temp has dropped back into the mid 60s.
I cannot AlWAYS say this, but the fishing on Ball Club Lake remains exceptionally good.
The Walleye bite isn’t an all-day event, but customers are catching fish early & late in the day on leeches and crawlers along the drop in 12-16 feet.
The Perch on Ball Club Lake are finally starting to grow up. A few years back there were many small Perch and now the middle size is in the 8 inch class with an occasional 14 inch wall hanger.
Look for Perch in 6 to 12 feet with minnows and bobbers or vertically presented jigs tipped with a bit of crawler or live minnow.
Many of our customers come to stay with us to fish Northern. These fish rarely disappoint the anglers who pursue them. Go with live sucker minnows or artificials in 8-12 feet. On some days the Northern are in a little deeper water column up to 18 feet, but only 6 feet from the surface.
The best is yet to come, warm weather and hot days really turn Ball Club Lake on; next month we break out the cranks and bottom bouncers for Walleye fishing ..." - Gus Sheker, Gus' Place Resort .
(6/25) From The Grand Rapids Area, Brian Castellano spent the last 3 days on the water. wrote; "On Saturday we hit Wabana. Mary and I shared the boat with her youngest son Matt and his boys Johnny 5 and Geno 3.
We found the largemouth bass and bluegills holding on the edge of the lily pads. The little guys kept us busy baiting their hooks and taking fish off. No monsters, but they had lots of fun. Bobbers and small jigs w/ a small leech or piece of night crawler kept the kids busy.
On Sunday afternoon, the same crew hit Trout Lake in Coleraine. While we couldn't find the bluegills, we did end up putting a few nice walleyes in the boat. We caught some slot fish, 20-23", and a few eaters in 16-20' of water using ... read >> Grand Rapids Area Fishing Report .
(6/25) From Bowstring Lake, Darv Oehlke, Bowstring Shores Resort says; "May flies I think are done and gone. Walleye fishing is still really good. Finch bar and the center Hump Have been giving up limits of nice walleyes. Right now they are biting on most anything. Crappies down by the rock pile. Perch along with the walleyes. 18 to 24 feet. The northern bit has been slow if you can believe it ..." - Darv Oehlke, Bowstring Shores Resort >> Email
(sticky) Patrick Hoolihan wrote; what do you think the hooking mortality is when walleyes are caught in deep water, over 25 feet deep?
A) Patrick, that is an excellent question and one that is complicated by a sea of variables.
Let me begin to tackle this question by saying this; "No matter what the mortality rate currently is, it could be greatly reduced". Allow me a moment on my own soap box; "It's been my observation that most fishermen are woefully under-educated about ... read article >> Walleye Deep Water Hooking Mortality .
Fishing Report June 24, 2014 - Upper Red Lake Walleye Fishing Remains Reliable - On Monday, Fishing Upper Red Lake entered the discussion. With sunny skies and calm seas forecast and rumors of reliable Walleye action still looming, it just seemed like a good idea.
When we arrived at Roger's Campground, Jerry greeted us at the ramp. He confirmed earlier reports of good fishing and cited high water flowing into the lake as the reason why.
Once on the lake, we found water temperatures in the mid 70 degree range, 76 degrees being the warmest. The root beer red water flowing out of the river contrasted with the green water on the main lake which had a fairly heavy Algae bloom.
Our first stop, barely outside the break wall at Roger's yielded a 19 inch Walleye and a couple of smaller fish too. But I couldn’t stay too long. I was getting a case of restless leg syndrome because there was just enough wind to drift the boat. I wanted to take advantage of the good drifting breeze by taking a run to one of my favorite rock spots for a few passes.
At first, the rock spine produced a good number of fish; but before we completed our first drift, the wind died and I had to back troll using the MinnKota instead. Backtrolling produced a good number of fish, but without a breeze, rocky spots often lose their pizazz and this one did. For another half hour, there were good numbers of fish boated, but few fish in the ideal "keeper" range.
A series of moves from one shoreline area to another produced action for most of the day. Ironically, after catching so many of Red Lake's 17-1/4 inch Walleyes earlier this spring, there was only one 17.01 inch size fish caught yesterday. The overwhelming majority of the fish we caught were too small, mostly in the 10 to 13 inch range. Still, there were just enough "keepers", fish in the 15 inches and up range to allow us our bag limits.
Our presentation, a 1/8 ounce Lindy Jig tipped with a 3 inch Ripple Shad was very, very reliable. We jigged the baits aggressively as I kept the boat zipping along at 1.1 to 1.3 MPH. Walleyes hit the baits sharply, so did some of the lake's freshwater Drum.
For me, the key to finding the most fish was to hug the 5-6 foot shoreline breaks. Rocky spots began producing more Sheep heads than Walleyes, especially the deeper water rocks. Shallow stretches of mixed rock and sand held a higher percentage of Walleyes.
The takeaway for me was that there are still enough fish remaining on the shoreline to make Red Lake a viable option. That said, it’s obvious that the shallow water Walleye action is past its prime; you could call it spotty.
I guess what I'm saying is that if you’re looking for a reliable Walleye hole, you should make the trip. But I were you, I wouldn't be disappointed by making a few stops where there wasn't much action. Sooner or later, you'll hit a stretch of water where there's an active school of fish.
Fishing Report June 23, 2014 - Rigging Leeches, Night Crawlers Producing Consistent Walleye Action ... For me, the most noteworthy news of the past couple of days is that the scales have finally tipped heavily in favor of Lindy Rigs over jig and minnow presentations.
Catching fish on jigs is simple and fun so we held out as long as we could, but on Sunday, I don't recall catching a single nice size Walleye jigging.
That's partly because of where we were fishing and I do not mean to say that nobody can catch a Walleye anywhere for the rest of the summer unless you're rigging. It's just a heads up that your live bait budget should maybe be shifted more heavily toward Leeches and Crawlers now. I still always carry minnows along, but for the next month or so, they are more of a backup plan than anything else.
On Sunday, we did some puddle jumping. I brought my crew to 2 lakes where we fished a variety of structures; mid-lake bars in 18 to 24 feet of water, shoreline points in 12 to 22 feet and weed edges close to shore. All of them produced a few fish; none of them produced a lot of fish. Looking forward though, I could see evidence of more fish turning up deep than I could find in the shallows.
Insect hatches are cropping up around the area too. So far, I haven’t witnessed a full scale Mayfly hatch. But there are several area lakes that have hatches of the smaller fish flies along with a handful of Midge hatches occurring too.
That signals me to continue shifting my focus toward the mid depth flats and soft bottom areas near main lake structure. The bugs draw a lot of attention and induce migrations of everything into these deeper water spots. It sets up a completely new “summertime food chain” that will last as long as the insects continue to hatch.
Oh and guess what? My arch enemy, the biting flies are home for the summer now too. I do not like those flies at all and in preparation, I have stocked in a full scale supply of Avon Skin So Soft. In case you haven’t heard, this is probably the single best defense there is against these nasty critters. I don’t sell it, I don’t own their stock and I’m not even sure what ingredients are in it. But it definitely does work, I Promise!
Our best presentation overall was a plain Lindy Rig and healthy, large Leeches. More than half of the structures we fished contained at least some rocks so I used 3/8 ounce No Snagg sinkers to help my crew avoid getting jammed up too much.
Fishing with the No Snagg is a little bit different than using conventional sinkers. But once you get the hang of using them, they are wonderfully effective at protecting you from getting hung up. I Know, sooner or later, even the best sinker in the world will find a crevice in the rocks. But what I really like about these is that if you do hang up, you can almost always back up the boat and wiggle them out again.
For today, we're going to forget about the shallows for a day. We'll get a fresh start on the mid lake bars and humps, looking at as many of them as can be fit into the schedule. We’ll try a few more twists and whatever we learn, you’ll be the first to know.
(6/23) From Lake of the Woods, Mike Kinsela, Border View Lodge; "The numbers of slot fish that we are catching is unbelievable we have had a great time reeling in so many big fish. We are picking up a good number of eater fish as well. Our locations have not changed much we are still going north fishing in areas from bridges to little oak. We have been doing a lot of jigging and we are just starting to pull spinners. Gold jigs and gold jigs with pink still tend to be what is working the best.
We have had lots of rain and the river is very high. The docks here are still usable and we hope that the water doesn’t come up further! They have put No Wake orders out for the river to protect the river banks and dock systems for everyone along the river.
This next week looks to be in the high 70’s to 80’s. Make sure to pack your rain gear as there are chances of rain and isolated thunderstorms most of this next week. Mid week we will get some south winds bringing in those warmer temps so also bring that sunscreen as well." - 1-800-776-3474 Border View Lodge .
Fishing Report June 22, 2014 - Hide and Seek, Fish Are Where You Find Them ... - There's nothing wrong with KNOWING the truth; there's no harm in realizing that on most of our toughest fishing days, the odds are that the reason we don't catch fish, is that we don't find fish. It's hard to look in the mirror, but more often than not, that's where the answers are revealed.
Okay, maybe there are some weather related events that give us tougher conditions to work with, but even then, somebody on the lake always finds some fish to catch, always.
The reason that I'm so sure about this is because I've been on the losing end of the equation plenty of times. For me, the lessons have been sufficiently driven home.
If you want to learn where humility comes from, arriving at the dock, all eyes watching while you turn up with little or nothing to show for a day’s work is a great start; especially when you find someone in the fish cleaning shack who’s filleting a nice mess of fish. The ones that they caught just around the corner, you know, that spot where you passed them this morning while you were driving toward the opposite side of the lake.
It's not that much fun, but it is one heck of a way to learn something about fishing, that is if you want to learn something.
It’s happened again, only this time, there’s a new twist. On back to back days, I wound up on both sides of the story and learned even more than usual.
Fishing Leech Lake was an uphill battle for me and my crew on Friday. We covered a ton of water, but for one reason or another, my game plan always came up a little short.
It was made even trickier by the fact that almost every time we did manage to hook a fish, it would escape. It was just one of those days and by the end of our trip, I had already apologized about a dozen times, but did it again anyway. The understanding crew patted me on the back, took the few fillets that we did bag and told me that I could save my anxiety for the re-match next year.
Later, I learned from a friend what I'd done wrong. I was spending too much time on the structure. It was a sunny, calm day and what he learned was that the fish weren't holding tight to the structure. They were near the rocky reefs, but not holding tight to the rocks. He said that he spotted some fish in deeper water, dropped his bait into the water and started jigging. They jigged up 8 keepers and caught a few more fish to release.
Ironically, I had already known the answer and talked about it with my crew. We did venture out into some deeper water to try it for ourselves and I did mark some fish out there. But I'm afraid that my timing stunk and I didn't think of it soon enough.
On Saturday, things went a little bit better. Conditions were still tricky, but I remembered the lesson that I learned on Friday. I stayed away from the tops of the bars and fished the deep flats in 22 to 26 feet of water instead. It still wasn't a "hot bite", but this time we managed to gather enough fish for a nice Gosh Dam Place fish fry...
And that is where I was treated to a conversation about how tough the fishing is and all of the reasons for it. The fishermen I was talking to is a friend, a really good guy, except for his explanation included every conceivable reason for not catching fish except for one. I'll bet that you can guess which one.
Take it from somebody who learned this the hard way; there are plenty fish out there and they can be caught. It's just that sometimes we forget to look in the right place. Sometimes we just need to forget about where we think they are and look for 'em until we find 'em.
We’ve got the greatest boats, the fastest engines, the most sensitive rods and highest tech tackle. Our boats are rigged with everything from soup to nuts, everything... except a mirror.
Fishing Report June 21, 2014 -Catch And Release Walleye Part 2 - Yesterday, I began my attempt to answer Patrick Hoolihan's Question. Here's the rest of the story along with links to 3 studies about Walleye hooking mortality. Read article >> Walleye Deep Water Hooking Mortality .
Fishing Report June 20, 2014 - A Special Day, Questions Worth Asking - Most days, my fishing reports consist of anecdotal stories from the lake, usually about a recent fishing trip. Today is a special day though and I'm going to spare you those musings. That's because I have a couple of questions, the answers to which will be much more interesting than any cute story that I could pass along.
(6/20) Patrick Hoolihan wrote; what do you think the hooking mortality is when walleyes are caught in deep water, over 25 feet deep?
A) Patrick, that is an excellent question and one that is complicated by a sea of variables.
Let me begin to tackle this question by saying this; "No matter what the mortality rate currently is, it could be greatly reduced". Allow me a moment on my own soap box; "It's been my observation that most fishermen are woefully under-educated about handling and releasing fish in every situation, no matter if the fish are caught shallow or deep."
So in my opinion, catching them in deep water adds to an existing problem more than it creates a new one. That said; the answer to your specific question is even more complicated by your phrase "over 25 feet deep".
That covers a lot of water and means different things to different anglers. I'll try and help simplify the answer, I'm going to split this into two categories; Water depths over 30 feet and depths fewer than 30 feet.
There's a key distinction there and I'm afraid that many anglers will not like my answer. Still, it remains true whether we like it or not.
There is no such thing as safely releasing any fresh water fish (excluding Lake Trout) that has been caught in water deeper than 30 feet.
It's a fact of nature, one barometric atmosphere, roughly 30 feet, is the tipping point where drawing a fish toward the surface results in at least some partial damage to its internal organs.
For anyone who's followed these reports over the past few years, this sentence should be a familar one. I've written it several times before; "If you're fishing for food and the fish are located in 30 feet of water, catch what you are going to eat, be happy and the leave the rest alone, move on to something else."
Yes, I do realize that some percentage of these fish will indeed survive, But we cannot predict which ones and releasing fish caught in water deeper than 30 feet, is a total crap shoot.
Reeling them up slowly, fizzing the air bladder, even kissing them on the cheek won't help. If you reeled 'em up, the odds are that something bad happened along the way.
The effects of this "Barotrauma" are well studied and easily proven, so in the interest of time, I'll leave it at that for now.
Luckily, most of the Walleye fishing that we do in the Itasca area occurs in shallower water. The shallower we fish, the more feasible catch and release fishing becomes, especially during the cool water, prime time periods of spring and fall.
That's because water temperatures are an important part of the equation too. The cooler the temperature, the better it is for the fish.
That brings up another interesting point; there are a lot more anglers on the water during the cool weather, prime time periods then there are during the "dog days" of summer.
Assuming we take good care to learn the best fish handling techniques, catch and release fishing is a very good way of helping preserve fish populations for future seasons.
But back to Patrick’s original question; when we look at fishing in water depths of 18 to 30 feet, there's some Grey area and the deeper we fish, they Greyer it becomes.
Even though we know that there will be a certain percentage of fish that don't survive the rigors of being hooked and drawn up to the boat, we do know that the vast majority of these released fish DO SURVIVE.
That's an important point because for some, pointing to studies about hooking mortality is simply an excuse to push away from catch and release fishing and move toward catch and freeze fishing.
Don't get me wrong; I love to eat fish and so do most of my customers. But over the years, experience has taught us that we can have plenty of fish to eat and still release larger fish into the lake where they'll do a lot more good. For me, releasing larger female fish, especially into the waters with productive natural reproduction, is a lot better than harvesting those fish.
As always, education is the key to better fish handling and releasing practices. I know from firsthand experience that anglers are willing to learn. I also know for a fact that the majority of them want to do their best to promote good fishing for the future. It all boils down to who is teaching.
For those of you who want to learn more, here are links to three studies that will answer these questions in fantastic detail • Lake MilleLacs Hooking Mortality • Rainy Lake Deep Water Walleye Mortality • Walleye Tournament Hooking Mortality .
June 20, 2014 - Cutfoot Sioux Walleye Report - Rich Riemersma
Thanks for a great week again. We caught well over a hundred fish this week, almost all on Cutfoot. Jig and minnow seemed to work best but leeches and crawlers also worked along the weed lines in 7 to 12 feet of water.
It's my 25th year here and this year we are celebrating my father in law, Leonard Wilson's 84th birhtday. For 29 of those years, he's celebrated them at Bowens. Here's a photo of a "Walleye double" that we ... >> Read Lake Winnie Fishing Report
Fishing Report June 19, 2014 -Shiner Supplies Dwindling, Time To Gear Up For Rigging - Wednesday morning at the bait shop, I was told that the supply of Spottail Shiners is just about gone. In fact, at the time, I was buying the last of them. Even if bait trappers do manage to find some more, supplies will be temporary and un-predictable.
In one way that was a sad moment, but in another way it was refreshing; sad because I, along with most of my customers really do love fishing with jigs and minnows and that's coming to an end for a while. Refreshing because it means that the Shiner runs are over and the fish will be moving further into their early summer haunts.
"Summer Peak" is the phrase that In-Fisherman coined to describe this period of time when everything in the lake's food chain erupts and the fishing action moves into full swing.
You can already see the evidence in the current batch of photos. The fish that folks are catching right now are larger, plumper and prettier than they were a just a few weeks ago.
This summer peak period is one of the key times of the season when the odds are tipped in favor of anglers who love the idea of bagging a trophy.
Think of it this way; for weeks you've been eating the same two or three meals. The food has been good, but it's starting to get a little boring. Then your neighbors call and tell you that they found a fresh patch of ripe Strawberries or some other one of your favorite foods. It's the first supply of fresh ones since last summer and your mouth begins watering for the first taste. Mmm...
Now you know how the fish feel when the water warms and insects, crawfish and young of the year baitfish hatches begin maturing. There's lots of good, fresh tasting stuff out there and the fish move wherever they need to in order to get in on the bounty.
One really good thing about fishing around bug hatches is that fish remain in the area longer. The food supply is more stable because it can't swim away when threatened like a school of minnows can.
For Walleyes, deeper water structures adjacent to areas where insect larvae are maturing will soon become prime habitat. In fact, on some lakes it already has.
Soft, marl bottom areas that coincide with deep shoreline points or mid-lake bars are the spots to search for.
Your electronics will reveal areas where churning masses of insect larvae appear as fine, grainy looking blobs somewhere near the bottom. Typically, insect larvae can be distinguished from small minnows, but it can be tricky, even for the pros.
The easiest way to know for sure is by catching a fish in the immediate area and looking in its mouth. Walleyes that are feeding on insects will have mud inside their mouths."
Lindy Rigs or Spinners fished with Leeches or Night Crawlers will begin out producing jigs over the next week or so. But for now, if you can pack along a small supply of good minnows, they will certainly come in handy.
Fishing Report June 18, 2014 - Clear Water Running Deep - Calm, sunny and clear water conditions forced us to move deeper on Tuesday. No matter whether we fished weeds, rocks, mud or anything in between; if it was shallow, it was not holding fish. Let me re-phrase that; if there were fish in the shallows, they were not active, at all.
Surface temperatures have fallen back into the low 60's and heavy rains have given us super high water levels. Algae blooms that would usually help darken the water have been discouraged. All of the lakes in the Itasca Area are clear now, even lakes that are typically much more turbid.
What that means to me is that fishing will be very weather dependent for the next couple of weeks. Ideal conditions will encourage good daytime fishing, but all of us should prepare for some tougher days during periods of nice weather. See the fishing report from June 13, 2014 - A Beautiful Day?
Walleye fishing was actually fairly good for us on Tuesday, but for my crew, catching fish meant that I'd have to pass my Geography Test with flying colors.
The fish were easily spooked, so we had to move continuously to find un-suspecting fish. We literally did fish 20 spots to gather 18 fish. Some friends of mine call it "Cherry Picking", I call it chipping away, you call it whatever you want, but it does work.
Watching the Humminbird like a Hawk, I stopped the boat every time I spotted a small pack of fish. We dropped in for one trolling pass, sometimes two, but rarely a third.
The fish were holding on deep shoreline points and sunken islands and almost all of them that I stopped at were holding a smattering of fish.
Walleyes were typically holding in 22 to 26 feet of water, but occasionally we'd get one in 18 feet, on top of a structure.
It made sense to spend some time Lindy Rigging, so we tried that. But if you're like me and prefer the simplicity of jig fishing, the 1/4 ounce Lindy Jig tipped with a Shiner is still the preferred presentation.
June 18, 2014 - Lake Winnibigoshish Walleye Summer Patterns
On Lake Winnie, Mayfly hatches are beginning to appear. The Tamarack Bay fish that were active last week, have begun moving into mid-lake territory like deep points and larger shoreline related bars.
Crappie spawning activity is all but fully complete on Cutfoot Sioux now and fishing for them is becoming an early morning, late evening sport.
Blegill anglers may still discover some of the fish in shallow spawning territory, but expect them to
... >> Read Lake Winnie Fishing Report
(6/18) Gus' Place Resort, Ball Club Lake; "Recent heavy rainfall continues to push water level on Ball Club Lake higher. The run off has stained the south end of the lake near the river. Surface water temp is mid to upper 60s.
Weekend storms kept many anglers off the lake mostly due to high winds. Fishing remains very good for all species, but we are starting to see the Crappie bite taper off.
Fishermen are still working the shallow 6-14 ft. depths with Perch & Northern shallow and the Walleye on the deep end, live baits and slow presentations are doing the job.
This past week we have seen several (what I would call “Lunker”) Walleye caught and released, like this one @ 30 inches & 10 lb. caught on a Lindy rigged leech." - Gus Sheker, Gus' Place Resort .
(6/18) Fish ED - Shallow Early Summer Bluegills - "This week, host Jon Thelen shows you exactly how to catch big bluegills from shallow water. His No. 1 early summer bluegill rig features a Thill Wobble Bobber and a Lindy Little Nipper jig, and it’s a rig you can take anywhere in the country to load the boat with these tasty Panfish." Click here for >> Fish Ed Shallow Early Summer Bluegills .
Fishing Report June 17, 2014 - It's A Beautiful Day! - Sometimes there isn't whole lot more I can say. Believe me about this though, if there's anyone on earth who deserved to enjoy the beautiful day with me, it's the Gandy's.
Jim and Judy have been fishing with me for a long time, almost from the very beginning. They've been here when it was too hot, too cold, too wet, too ... you get the idea. If there's been a challenge on the lake, we've faced it together. Some days have been better than others, but we've always done okay.
On Monday, we all got something that we really needed; a nice, relaxing day on the lake. It was filled with just enough challenge to make the search interesting; but more than enough success to keep us smiling for the whole day. In fact, it worked out so well that I'm not even going to try and duplicate it; I'm just going to savor it like I did the Pork Chop sandwich and the Chocolate Chip Cookies!
The lake had risen almost a foot since my last visit, the surface temperature had dropped again, now down to 60.6 degrees. But we were still optimistic because at least there was a nice breeze that churned the surface into a Walleye chop. Out of habit, I took them to "the last spot first". That's where the fish were last time, 8 to 9 feet along the weed edges. But today the fish were gone, probably because the falling temperature and stormy weather forced them into deeper territory.
I moved out into the deeper water and started checking mid lake bars, but they were empty too. The screen of my Humminbird was showing large pods of suspended fish. It showed everything from grainy microscopic looking critters, all the way up to some large, heavy yellow marks. After a little head scratching, we started cruising shoreline breaks again, only this time deeper.
Whenever I moved over the break from 18 to 26 feet, I started seeing stragglers. One here, two there ... they were not there in big schools, but it was worth a try. Luckily, I had stumbled into the correct answer. They were Walleyes and although they weren't super aggressive, they were willing to strike.
I'm fairly certain that we could have fished these spots using Lindy Rigs tipped with Leeches or Night Crawlers. But all three of us prefer jig fishing, so we adjusted to the deeper water by rigging up 1/4 ounce Lindy Jigs and tipped them with Shiners. The fish ate them, so we were happy.
We all had different colors and they all produced fish. Glow/Blue, Pink/Yellow and Green/Orange were very nearly equally productive.
The takeaway is that even though the fish were deeper, they were still related to the shoreline breaks and they still remember feeding on minnows. They've been reluctant to make a full scale move into the mid lake bars and humps. But once we begin seeing some large insect hatches, they will make the move and it might happen really fast.
In fact some of them are moving out there and they are catchable, but for now, the shoreline still holds the lion's share of the fish.
(6/17) From The Iron Range, Greg Clusiau wrote; "Now came the tricky part. What type of lure would be used? Dad always liked to take his time when reeling, saying “I want to enjoy it.” This absolutely ruled out a spinnerbait or bucktail of any kind, as they would surely sink to low and come in full of weeds with each cast. It had to float.
A wooden jerkbait would be fine but most all of them were too big for the rod he was using. That’s when it came to me! I had a black 6" Suick that had never ... " >> Read Greg's Full Report .
Fishing Report June 16, 2014 - Saving Up Your Walleyes For A Rainy Day? : It might not be as easy as you think; especially when the rain and wind continues to pound away for hours at a time. But in the end, it worked out okay.
For many, Father's Day is a good excuse to kick back and relax; maybe fire up the barbeque and slice up a gigantic Watermelon. For my pal Carl Bergquist and me, the annual spring Crony weekend superseded Father's Day, well, most of it.
If anyone would mention that it was going to rain all day long and get chilly too, plus the wind is going to blow. If they'd ask, wouldn't you rather relax in front of the TV?
My answer would be no, we're too tough for that. We are going to catch some fish and have our "shore lunch" no matter what! So that's what we did and as usual, it was a blast.
On Saturday, I mentioned that I thought the high water appeared to have scattered the Walleyes. On Sunday, they were even more widely distributed. Most of the spots we fished would yield a fish or two, but we never found a "good school" or keeper size fish and it was rare to spot more than an occasional fish on the Humminbird.
Depths of 9 to 15 feet worked out best for us. I tired moving deeper, into the 22 to 25 range, but on this day, that's where most of the small Northern Pike were holding. Even if there were Walleyes out there, the Pike were beating them to the baits.
Surface temperatures had stabilized and were holding steady at about 62 degrees. Water levels are far from stable though and the lake level rose at least 6 inches, maybe more. I know that because when I launched my boat in the morning, the dock at the boat ramp was high and dry. By evening though, there was about 3 inches of water covering the decking on the dock.
For me, the jig and minnow presentation continues to produce the best results. I experimented with Leeches and Night Crawlers, but neither of those baits made any impression on the Walleyes.
I can't say that it was the best fishing day we've ever had. The rising water, falling barometer and crowded boat all added to a reduction in production. I was getting a little nervous about feeding 10 hungry men, but we chipped away at the weed lines and eventually did bag enough fish to feed all 10 of us. OH, YES and there was enough for our special guest too.
The highlight of the day for all of us was when my daughter, the lovely and gracious Katie Sundin joined us for the fish fry. I'm sure that there were lots of proud papas in the world yesterday. But not a single one of them had anything on me.
It's amazing that anyone like me could ever be lucky enough to have such a wonderful young lady as a daughter. But I do and I am doubly blessed because it happened twice! Annalee, who refers to herself as "my oldest child", also beautiful, talented and graceful made her appearance by phone during the fish fry. That pretty much topped off the fuel in my "lovin' life tank".
When we plan these fishing trips a year ahead of time, it's a little bit hard to predict the weather. This time, we didn't exactly wind up with a scenario for a dream trip. But we did make it through the day and we did accomplish our goal of having the fish fry.
Best of all though, 10 of us guys got the greatest Father's Day gift you could ask for, an evening with Katie Sundin, cameo appearance by Annalee. Thanks! We needed that!!
(6/16) From Lake of the Woods, Mike Kinsela, Border View Lodge; "Despite the weather fishing was still great! We have had lots of rain and a few days with high winds. We are catching some big fish along with the keeper fish and slot fish!
We are fishing on the north side of the lake from the Knight Island to Garden Island areas. We have been taking advantage of the strong jig bite. Gold colored jigs have been the best.
We expect to move into spinner fishing soon. Although the jig bite has been strong we go prepared for both since we know we are right on the edge of jigging dying out and spinner fishing taking off.
The forecast is looking great! This next week looks to be in the high 70’s to 80’s with only a chance of rain Thursday and Friday. It does not look like we will see the high winds that we had this last week so that is great! - FISH ON!" - 1-800-776-3474 Border View Lodge .
Fishing Report June 15, 2014 - Rising Water Lowering The Boom : I remember seeing high water before in the Itasca Area; at times, even isolated areas of flood stage water. But I'm not sure that I can recall any time when water levels around the region have been so uniformly high. Everywhere you look, there's more water than we know what to do with.
The small river that connects to a lake that I had visited just 3 days ago usually goes UN noticed. But on Saturday the water was far outside of its banks, flooding a half mile of what is usually dry territory.
The water at the landing was a foot higher too and all of the cool rain had dropped the surface temperature 6 degrees. The new surface reading was 62 degrees at the landing. Once we were on the main lake, temperatures were all over the map, ranging from a high of 63 degrees to a low of 58 degrees.
The affect this had on the fish was to scatter them. They didn't necessarily quit feeding, in fact they could even be fairly aggressive; they just didn't stay schooled up as tightly.
That's because the super high water levels instantly provided all kinds of new sanctuary areas for baitfish and newly hatched, minnow size game fish.
Some expert anglers that I know believe that a falling barometer causes trouble too. I try not to worry too much about that because I can never change it and I have to fish anyway. For me, it’s better not to think about what’s wrong, but to focus on doing the best that I can under the circumstances. But that said, I do recognize that the Low pressure system moving in may have amplified this scattering effect too.
Long story short, we moved around a lot and in the end, did okay.
Fishing on a variety of shoreline related points adjacent to the best weed growth I could find; we managed to bag some nice Walleyes, half our limit of Crappies and a handful of nice size Perch.
The presentation has not changed at all. Jig and minnow combinations fished in and around the weeds continue to be the key. If I don't see my crew tugging on some vegetation, then I don't see their rod tips loading under the weight of fish either. The two go hand in hand.
For today, it looks like another session in the rain. In fact, the forecast calls for 100% chance of rain. That ought to give me some good practice keeping the Sunny Side Up.
(6/15) On Lake Winnibigoshish, Joe Thompson, Four Seasons Resort says; "This past week we had a perch bonanza! A large school of nice perch in the 10-12" size range were located by Al Sasso of Palos Heights, Il and his trusty sidekick Jack! Then the word got out and it was game on! Limits of these tasty fish were being caught in less than two hours! I got in on the program yesterday and it ... Read >> Four Seasons Resort Fishing Report ".
Fishing Report June 14, 2014 - Let Me Be Clear - Ooops that's his line ... I meant "Let me be ON ... clear water lakes".
Yes, that's right, the waters are warming and the Grand Rapids area's deep water Walleye lakes are turning on.
On Friday, we headed for Pokegama Lake in Grand Rapids with a single goal in mind; getting Mickey "Rooster" Lashley hooked up with one of the lake's super magnum size Smallmouth Bass.
It turned out that during the search for Smallmouth, we'd stumble into a fairly decent multi-species bite. Northern Pike, Largemouth Bass a few Smallmouth and a half dozen nice size Walleyes.
I KNOW, that doesn't sound like a lot of Walleyes, but consider this. It's the day after a series of major thunderstorms; the sun is out, the sky is blue, it's beautiful and so ... you're on a lake that's famous for being fickle! Tough bites on Pokegama are a dime a dozen, but you succeed anyway. In my world, that means that things are about to break loose and get really good.
Key depths for us was 11 to 13 feet. Due to the bright sunshine, the presence of weeds was a must. Fish of all species were holding tight to healthy patches
of Cabbage and the heaviest weed patches held the most fish.
We caught most of the fish using 1/8 ounce Lindy Jigs tipped with Shiners. But I like having a worm in the water on this lake and yesterday I did trick a few walleyes into taking night crawlers too.
So far, we didn't spot a lot of fish on mid-lake humps or bars. For that matter, except for baitfish, my Humminbird didn't show much of anything in water depths over 20 feet.
I'm guessing that I'll be following the trend of fishing these deeper waters for the next week or so
and soon, You'll Know what I do.
(6/14) Lakemaster SmartStrike: 2014 Map Cards - Conduct searches for the best fishing locations in your lake with the new Humminbird® SmartStrike™ - map card now available in 9 editions that parallel the LakeMaster card coverage.
The intuitive, fish-finding power of smartstrike takes you straight to the action by showing you where the fish are biting at any given moment. This powerful software program contained on the SmartStrike map card allows anglers to utilize Humminbird LakeMaster® High-Definition map data* and extensive search algorithms to pattern and locate fish like never before.
Based on search parameters like fish species, season, time of day, and temperature, the SmartStrike engine searches depth ranges, type of structure, proximity, and more to quickly reveal and highlight the results on the lake map. learn more >> Lakemaster SmartStrike: 2014 Map Cards .
Fishing Report June 13, 2014 - A Beautiful Day? - They say that what you don't know can't hurt you and I think that's generally true. What about the times that YOU DO KNOW, then what? One thing that I DO KNOW is that whatever we did yesterday, it won’t matter today.
Smallmouth Bass and Walleyes that moved up onto the shallow rocks and fed heavily during the rain and gusty winds won't do that today. Instead, Walleyes will either hunker down in heavy weeds or move deeper to keep sunlight off of their sensitive eyes. If they're guarding beds, Smallmouth Bass may stick around the shallow rocks. But if they're not, they'll make a move too.
Anyone who considers themselves more than a casual reader of these reports probably already knows what I'm going to say about the fishing scenario that we're facing today. The first beautiful day that settles in after a big storm; for me, it's known as the dreaded aftermath day.
It doesn't have to mean that we'll go fishless, but there's no doubt that we'll need to make some adjustments. The cover we fish will have to be heavier, the depths will have to be deeper and the strike zones will be smaller.
When I was a teenager, I watched Al Linder's fishing program religiously. Back then I never thought for a minute that I'd be fishing for a living. Still, I was interested enough to pay attention because Al and his cohorts were passing along really solid advice and it was helping me learn how to find and catch fish.
One of the most important lessons that I ever learned was from the episode about fishing the period just after a major weather change. Al's advice was simple but effective. In essence he said just because You Know that fishing conditions will be tough doesn't mean you need to give up. He said; "Sometimes you just have to work harder and smarter for less".
Little did I know at the time that I'd ever become a full time fishing guide. Nor did I realize that the phrase "working harder and smarter for less" would roll through my brain thousands of times during my first 30 years of guiding. Buit I did learn from Al's advice and I'm guessing that this phrase will continue rolling off my tongue thousands more times during the next 30 years too; starting with today.
I'm lucky this time though; with this crew, I have already been fishing for Walleyes, Smallmouth Bass and Crappies for the past couple of days. We've caught a lot of fish and we're not under any pressure to catch fish for the table. Today we can go play in the weeds. Whatever we find lurking will be good enough for us, as long as I can drum up some action.
If you're on your way to the lake today and have loftier goals, here are a couple of ideas.
Mid-lake bars and humps for Walleye. So far, there's little evidence of any mass movement of Walleyes toward deeper, mid-lake structures. But this would be a good day for Walleye fishermen to at least take a look at mid-lake bars and humps.
If you do find some, they will probably be ready for you to get serious with Lindy Rigs instead of jigs. When there's a breeze and the fish are active, jigging will still work. For finicky fish though, Lindy Rigging is better because it allows you to keep bait in front of the fish longer. Creep along slowly and present the bait to as many fish as you can. Sooner or later, some of them will strike.
Make sure that your bait is lively because assuming that you can keep your boat over the fish, it's the bait that does all the rest of the work.
If your electronics do not reveal fish in deeper water, go to plan B. Cabbage weeds are green and healthy right now and they are holding fish.
Jig and minnow combinations are still providing good action for these weed fish. But I wouldn't rule out slip bobbers or jig and crawler combinations either.
During periods of calm, sunny weather, you'll be better off positioning the boat within easy casting distance and working the weeds by pitching. Allow your lure to fall into the gaps or pockets and swim your bait back toward the boat.
Lately, pitching and retrieving has been particularly good for multi-species fishing. See the report from June 10th >> Game On in the Cabbage Patch!
For today, we're heading toward the Bass hole. My goal? Find Rooster a big Smallmouth Bass and get a picture.
(6/13) Fish ED “Casting Crankbaits For Devils Lake Pike” "This week, host Jon Thelen travels to famous Devils Lake to chase the lake’s scrappiest predator fish, the pike. His weapon of choice is a crankbait, and he shows you exactly what you should do and where to go to catch these scrappy fighters." Click here for >> Fish Ed Casting Crankbaits For Devils Lake Pike .
(6/13) From The Marcell Area, Frontier Sports, Paul Larson said; "Fishing in the area right now is either very good, bordering on fantastic or so so. It just depends on what you’re after and where you go.
Crappie fishing in the area is very good right now in the shallower lakes. Anglers are finding fish up in the shallows in these lakes but it’s a different story in the large, deep, colder lakes. Crappies in these lakes seem have been staging in 9 to 12 feet of water adjacent to their spawning areas, waiting for the right conditions.
Bass fishing is red hot right now, with the better known Smallmouth lakes giving up some very nice fish. Largemouth fishing is excellent as well. Spinner baits and plastics as well as crankbaits are getting the job here.
Northern Pike have warmed up to the chase and are getting more aggressive. Crankbaits, spoons and spinners have been working well, along with sucker minnows. Musky fishing has also been good. I got a report recently of 15 follows and one fish over 50 inches hooked in one day.
It seems the weather has slowed the Walleye bite in this area. Jig and minnow and leeches on Lindy Rigs have been producing a few but the crank bait bite is almost nonexistent. You just need to be patient and persistent, as a typical early June scenario plays out. Historically, the third week of June is when the switch is flipped and the start of the best summer fishing begins.
Be sure to stop by when you’re in the area. We have everything you need for a great day on the water.
Frontier Sports features a complete and fully stocked Sporting Goods department and Bait Shop, Gas, Grocery, Deli and Gift Shop. Frontier Sports is an authorized LIVE TARGET and SAVAGE GEAR dealer." Frontier Sports 219-832-3901 or Email .
Fishing Report June 12, 2014 -Three Weed Patterns For The Price Of One! - I Love Weeds! Especially during the early summer when fresh green plants emerge, attracting the tiniest baitfish to the monster of the lake and everything in between.
On Wednesday, my friends Tim Fischabach and Larry Lashley were here for day 1 of their second 3 day stint for 2014. This time, a familiar face from the past was along as well; "Rooster" Lashley volunteered to put up with my shenanigans for a few days too.
Knowing my crew's propensity for seeking out an "action bite", I decided to return to a Deer River area lake that I fished a week ago. On that trip, we found a mixed bag of Crappie, Perch and Walleye. I hoped that this time, they'd still be there and that they'd still be striking. They were and they did and the weed bite was the real deal.
By now, you're wondering why sometimes I won't spill the beans and just tell you where these little lakes are. But the truth is, you don't need to know which one, for you, I'm revealing something even better. I'm letting you in on the real secret and that is how to fish the pattern; actually, two patterns. Once you know that, you can go to any one of 100 hundred lakes and get the same results.
• Use this link for one of them, the pattern that I wrote about last week; "Baby Weeds = Multi Spices Action Bite!"
On this day, another reliable pattern was in full swing too, Crappie fishing in the Eelgrass. Eelgrass? What the heck is that? It's actually a name that covers more than one variety of plant, but in Northern Minnesota lakes it generally resembles a fine, light grass, pale green in color. It could remind you of how your back yard would appear if the grass was really tall and then suddenly became flooded. Crappies Love This Stuff and on Wednesday, we got lucky and found them playing in it.
Fishing the Eelgrass can be a little tricky because the plant itself is so fine that your lures can easily become tangled. They don't get stuck, the plants aren't that strong, it just gets wrapped around your bait and fouls up your presentation.
The logical choice of presentation would be to use floats. Slip bobbers like the weighted "Wobble Bobber" can be cast a long distance. A clip on float can be used whenever long casts aren't necessary or if the fish are holding in shallow enough water.
We started out using 1/8 ounce jigs tipped with small shiners, suspended about 5 feet below the floats. It was working fairly well and we could have stuck with it until we either had all of our Crappies, or had consumed all of our bait. It appeared to me that consuming the bait was going to come before the quota of Crappies would.
The problem was that small Perch, Rock Bass and little Pike were robbing us blind. As fast as the bobber hit the water, something would strike. For me, switching to swim baits was the only way that I'd be able to save some minnows to use for Walleye fishing later in the day.
I started with a 1/8 ounce jig tipped with a 3 inch artificial shad tail. Casting the jig over the grass, letting it drop and swimming it back toward the boat was working well. But when the crew tied on the same baits, they had trouble keeping the baits out of the grass. They switched back to bobbers and still caught some fish, but by now, I really had the swim baits dialed in and they were out producing the floats.
This time we rigged up lighter, smaller baits that didn't fall so fast into the grass. That fixed our problem, now using 1/16 ounce jigs tipped with 2 inch shad tails; there was enough "hang time" to allow the fish to strike before the lures disappeared into the grass.
I'll try to expand on this later when I have more time. But I'm guessing that you have already thought about a couple spots where this pattern might work. They are in there now, so if you're going to try it, don't wait around too long or you're liable to miss the boat.
(6/12) David Wallace wrote; "Jeff, Read your post daily and love the updates and pics. We are making our annual trip to Wabana 6-20 through 7-4.
Have you been on Wabana this year? If so, can you tell me where the panfish are in the spawning process and current water temps? Thanks, David Wallace
A) Actually David, I have been on Wabana, but we were on a mission for Walleyes and didn't spend any time fishing for Crappies.
Like most of the GRand Rapids area lakes, Wabana's surface temperatures are holding steady in the upper 60 degree range.
There are still some Crappies on spawning beds, but throughout the area, we're seeing lots of evidence that the spawning movements are already
past their peak. Deeper weeds are outproducing shallow Bulrush or rock patches.
Sunfish and Bluegills are on beds right now, but will likely be wrapped up before you arrive next week. That said, I'm guessing that there will be a lot of Sunfish still lingering in the shallows.
Wabana is an especially good lake for fishing the deep weedlines for panfish
and I'd suspect that you'll begin finding some fish on the weed edges next week too.
(6/12) From The Deer River Area, Brian Castellano wrote; "Just spent the last day and a half on a great local multi species lake. A friend of mine and his neighbor from southern MN were up at my friends cabin for a few days.
We hit the water yesterday (Tuesday) around noon. After fishing a large sunken islandin 6-12' all we had to show for our efforts were a few perch, small northerns, and my nice 17" smallmouth bass that I caught on a lindy rig/leech combo.
We made a move to another hump and then finally to a shore line weedline and hit the multi species motherlode! Perch, northerns, walleyes, crappies, and a few rock bass were all sitting on the edge of the weeds in 7-10 feet of water. Light jigs and minnows and also Berkley Ripple shads were the lures of choice. Lots of fun setting the hook and not knowing what you had on till you had it up to the boat.
In the evening we anchored up on a deeper 17' rock hump and used slip bobbers. The first 15 minutes had us catching some eater sized walleyes and missing a few more. Then the action stopped, so we re-deployed in about 12' of water on another hump. We found the spot and the walleyes, northerns, and perch kept us busy until dusk. We slip bobbered here too and also casted light jigs.
This morning (Wednesday) we headed out near our weedline from Tuesday and again found a great multi species bite.
After a couple of hours we decided to see if we could track down some big bluegills. We did end up with a few nice gills in the 9-10" range, but caught more medium to small sized ones. We bobber fished 1-4' of water. I think the gills and largemouth bass are just starting to invade the shallows as we didn't see a lot of these fish up in the shallows.
My friend's neighbor, Ron Bruzek, did end up with this real nice 19" largemouth that was sitting up shallow on a nest.
The crappies were still showing their spawning colors and some of them were still full of spawn as were the bluegills." - Brian Castellano
Fishing Report June 11, 2014 - Mixing It Up On Clear Water Lakes - In the Itasca area, we're lucky to have lakes, lots of lakes where we can fish for multiple species of good quality all during the same fishing trip. There are a lot of ways to do it, but one of the most enjoyable is a combination Smallmouth and Walleye trip.
Good combination Smallmouth Bass and Walleye lakes aren't exactly a dime a dozen, but there are more of them than you think and on Tuesday, longtime friends Jim and Jan Bopp rode along with me to one of them.
When we arrived, I commented that the surface water temperature had actually fallen since my last visit. Now holding steady at 67 degrees, conditions were perfect for Smallmouth spawning activity. It didn't take too long to figure out that that's what they were doing.
The same fish that had been moving and striking aggressively a week ago were now holding tight to beds that they had fanned out near the rocks. The fish were catchable, but the strike zone had become much smaller. Instead of fan casting and catching fish that were cruising along in the shallows, we had to pin point depressions around large rocks.
Many of the fish we caught were really fat and it appeared that they had not yet finished spawning. There were a few spots though where smaller male fish were holding tight to beds, protecting their territory. That indicates that some of the females have already moved in and dropped their eggs.
Another notable exception from what we found last week was that Walleyes were not mixed in like they had been. On Tuesday, Walleye were located on the deeper outside edges of mid-lake bars. For us, 12 to 15 feet was about the right depth, but we did catch a few fish deeper, between 16 and 20 feet. But, I never fished in water deeper than 20 feet, so I don't know if we would have found fish out there or not.
I've been prepared to switch presentations, carrying Leeches and Night Crawlers every day. But so far, the fish are continuing to respond to jigging. Again, we fished with 1/8 ounce Lindy Jigs tipped with Shiners and had no trouble getting the fish to respond.
(6/11) Gus' Place Resort, Ball Club Lake; "Water level is rising and the surface temp ranges from mid to upper 60s.
We are finally starting to see some standing weeds on the South end of the lake.
Our customers are showing a good multi-species bite with Perch, Pike, Crappie & Walleye.
The Crappie are not completely done spawning yet.
Except for the Northern the best fish are being taken on slip bobbers or slow jig presentations, both with live minnows or leech.
The Northern are very aggressive and biting hard on tossed spoons. Fire Tiger pattern seems to be the hot color right now.
I usually like to fish the Pike with drifted sucker minnows & spinners with 3/8th oz. slip sinkers, but right now the bigger fish really want more flash and action, maybe because the Shiners are starting to run.
All the catchable fish seem to be shallow inside 12 feet. It is an excellent time to go fishing." - Gus Sheker, Gus' Place Resort .
(6/11) From Bowstring Lake, Darv Oehlke, Bowstring Shores Resort reported that; "Crappies and large Bluegills being caught in 3 to 5 feet of water, down by the south landing. Walleyes in the 13 to 16 feet. Leeches seem to be the bait of choice. Perch being caught along with the walleyes. Most northerns being caught in the shallow waters." - Darv Oehlke, Bowstring Shores Resort. 218-832-3101 .
Fishing Report June 10, 2014 - Game On in the Cabbage Patch! - Walleyes, Crappies, Perch, Rock Bass and Northern Pike were all in the weeds on Monday when I visited Sand Lake.
The fishing trip was to be Marshall Brock's "Father’s Day Gift" from his son considerate and loving son Terry Brock.
When I met them at the landing and asked Marshall what he'd like to do, he said "catch fish". Well, we did that, but I wish that he'd been a little more specific about the size of the fish, especially the Walleyes.
Surface temperatures in the morning were locked right on 67 degrees. That’s perfect for an early summer, mixed bag action bite. The sky was partly sunny and there was a light breeze.
The water is high and clear on Sand Lake right now, so I'd have been happier with a strong wind, but we did have enough to drift along the break lines so we made it work.
Beginning at the first stop, the theme of our day would be set. Toss a jig and shiner into the weed edges, get a bite, set the hook and ... reel in a fish that was just a little too small.
On this day, Sand Lake was teaming with Walleyes in the 10 to 13 inch range. They were aggressive and fairly easy to catch. Because of the small size, getting the Shiners into the tiny mouths and setting the hook was a little tricky. But for the most part, we managed fairly well.
Occasionally, a larger specimen would grace us with its presence and if we'd spent the entire fishing strictly for Walleyes and if we'd never made any mistakes, we might have gotten a dozen keepers. But we didn't, because we got distracted.
Crappies were turning up in small packs and so were some fairly good size Perch. The Rock Bass and Pike were there also and so whether we liked it or not, we spent some time reeling them in too.
Our fishing day turned out to be a series of moves from one weed patch to another. With mostly calm seas, the fish were somewhat spooky, so we'd pick off a few of whatever was at each spot until the action fizzled out, forcing another move.
On this day, open water rock bars or sand breaks were not holding fish. As long as I found weeds and kept the boat in range, there was always something to catch.
Without a wind, pitching the jigs into the cover and working them back toward the boat was more effective than was trolling. In order to keep the jigs from getting fouled up in the moss, we were forced to get rid of our 1/8 ounce jigs and use 1/16 ounce weights instead.
Tipping the jigs with Shiners, Fatheads or artificial tails all seemed to work out about the same way and if I was heading back up there today, I'd skip the Shiners in lieu of some less expensive minnows.
Night Crawlers, when I tried them yesterday turned the heads of some small Walleye, but really attracted the Rock Bass. After a short while, I opted to skip the worms and get back into the groove with a jig and minnow.
Key depths were 5 to 9 feet and the presence of weeds was a must. Cabbage was better than anything, but we also caught some fish in the deeper Coontail and Eelgrass as well.
I'm not sure what to say about all of the small Walleyes. It could have just been "one of those days" where some environmental oddity, known only to the fish, caused a work stoppage among the larger fish. Or it could just be that there are a lot of small fish in there and not a lot of larger ones to spread around.
I do know that there are plenty of anglers on the lake. I saw more boats on Sand this Monday than I spied on Winnie over the previous weekend. So there is definitely plenty of pressure on the Walleye population. More on that later.
(6/10) From The Iron Range, Greg Clusiau wrote; "The past week had me fishing nearly every day, which included three trips with my brother Joel and two with cousin Terry Wickstrom. These are two of my favorite people so it’s always nice to spend a little quality family time, especially when catching fish.
Joel and I put on the waders for a great day of shallow water crappie fishing before heading north to Upper Red Lake.
Our first trip has us going out of the Tamarac River public access and heading south. Using jigs and minnows, we were catching a few fish but really got into them when we started trolling" >> Read Greg's Full Report .
Fishing Report June 9, 2014 - Panfish On The Prowl! - Since I'm backed up against the clock this morning, I'll just give you the upshot of what we learned yesterday on Lake Winnibigoshish.
Walleyes continue to roam shallow water and the lake remains very wind sensitive. On Sunday morning, we had an ideal drifting wind. It was blowing from the
Southeast at about 7 or 8 MPH and moved the Alskan at a perfect drift speed of .7 MPH.
We fished Tamarack Bay and found Walleyes scattered along the breaklines in 13 to 15 feet. The packs of fish were small, but they were active and struck well until about 11:00 PM when the action fizzled out for mid day.
After we finished Walleye fishing, an exploration for panfish led us into the shallow Cabbage weeds where a mixed bag of Crappies, Sunfish and Rock Bass kept us busy for another few hours.
Right now, there's a 50/50 chance that you'll still find Crappies on spawning beds. If you've been covering shallow spawning territory and can't find them. Move out into the cabbage and fish for them there. That's where we found them on Sunday.
Casting 1/16 ounce jig heads tipped with artificial tails was our most productive presentation. However, we did spot other anglers who were catch fish using slip floats and live bait. Key depths were 4 to 7 feet.
(6/9) From Lake of the Woods, Mike Kinsela, Border View Lodge; "Big Walleye was the trend this week! Fishing has been phenomenal and the weather was great! There are many new pictures from this past week now on the website.
We have mostly been fishing on the north side of the lake from the Knight Island to Garden Island areas. The bite has been going strong and a great time had by all.
Typically using gold colored 3/8 oz jigs tipped with a minnow. We are expecting a crawler bite to come soon.
The forecast is looking cool! Lows may get into the 40’s and highs to 75 for the week ahead. It looks like it may be a repeat of the week we just had which turned out great!" - 1-800-776-3474 Border View Lodge .
(6/9) A question from Greg Stuedemann; "Hi Jeff, I have another question for you. My wife and I just purchased a 617 Ranger to go with the TFO rods you suggested. I want to get a drift sock for it but am curious which size to get. Any input would be greatly appreciated."
A) Greg, the sock that I use is the Drift Control Magnum series and I actually carry two of them. When the wind is strong and gusty, the 60 inch sock is required to keep my 20 foot Alaskan at prime fish catching speed. But if it's calmer, the the 60 inch can actually slow me down too much.
For backtrolling under calmer conditions, I use the 48 inch sock instead. That allows me to the the boat on a good trolling track without have to push my engine too hard.
Your boat is about 18 feet long and has a lower profile, so I think that overall, you'll love the 48 inch sock.
Drift Control offers other models, but for me the magnums are the best bet. Here's a link for you >> Drift Control Magnum Series Drift Sock .
Fishing Report June 8, 2014 - Defending Yourself Against Perfect Weather? - Fun in the sun is a nice idea, but it's better for water skiing and sun tanning than it is for fishing. At least it is for the moment.
I've been trying to put my finger on how to explain it, but it's tricky. I've been hearing a lot of fishermen falling into the trap of equating slow fishing with a lack of fish. That's not the problem at all though because there are plenty of fish. Generally speaking, fishing in the Itasca area is really good, right now.
But try getting caught on one of these zinger days and you'll know what everyone means. We all know that fishing under the sun, especially on calm days has always been tricky. Recently though, it's become downright frustrating.
One key problem is that the weather outside makes us think that it's summer. Under the surface though, it’s still spring. There is lots of baitfish in the shallows and insect hatches are slow to emerge. It's the bug hatches that attract Walleyes toward deeper water and it's the deep water bite that gives anglers one key defense against a sunny calm day.
For me, toughing it out under less than ideal conditions is just a fact of life. But if you're in the area on vacation or if you live on the lake, then you're in luck. All you need to do is spend your days playing, working, catching up on chores, whatever you like; but save your evenings for the fish.
For me, the evening bite has saved many a fishing trip and from what I can see, it's going to save many more.
For you, if you see that the lake is flat and sun is out, make the time to fish during twilight hours. You'll see what I mean; it's a lot more fun to plan your fishing for the times that they are on the move and biting.
June 8, 2014 - Cutfoot Sioux - Lake Winnie, Walleyes Cutfoot Crappies
Fishing this week has been good or most of our guests. Walleyes on Lake Winnie continue to be active during low light periods and on windy days.
Most of the fishermen on the lake are still fishing with jig and minnow combinations. But some are using Lindy Rigs with leeches, others have begun pulling spinners tipped with minnows.
Crappie activity in and near their shallow spawning cover it at it's peak right now. Locate Crappies near patches
of ... >> Read Lake Winnie Fishing Report
Minnesota Fishing Report June 7, 2014 - Summer Peak Walleye, Smallmouth and Crappie Action Bite! Clear water lakes warming, fish are on the move. - On Friday, Eldon Skoglund, known affectionately as "The Norwegian Hammer" and his two sons Jason and John joined me for our annual pre-father’s day, father's day fishing trip.
After a few minutes of thinking, I decided to head for one of the Itasca areas many multi-species lakes. If we played our cards right, we could catch enough Walleyes for a Gosh Dam Place fish fry, Some Smallmouth Bass and with luck, maybe some Crappies too.
On the lake, we found surface water temperatures ranging from 66 to 69 degrees, overcast skies and an unexpected "Walleye Chop" on the water.
Pleasantly surprised by the variance from our original weather forecast, we were optimistic that we had a good day in store. Luckily, we did and it was.
Smallmouth Bass were on the prowl and it didn't take long for us to learn about it. They were up on top of almost any rocks that I could find. Most of them were in shallow water, roaming in depths of 6 feet or less; but occasionally we'd get one from the deeper edges of the breakline where we were attempting to stay focused on Walleye fishing.
Crappies were holding on the shallow rocks where there were Bulrushes present. We spent about 45 minutes focusing on them and bagged 8 of them and lost a few more too. I think that under slightly calmer seas, I would have spent more time fishing for them, but it was windy enough to take the fun out of working in the shallow, snag filled cover. So we moved out of the territory and went back to work on Walleyes.
For Walleyes, deeper water in the 9 to 12 foot range was more reliable. Thanks to the overcast and windy conditions, precision placement of the boat didn't appear to be a priority.
Most of the fish we found were loosely gathered along the breaks. Sometimes there were fish on the rocks, some were inside the weedline and even a few were found out deeper, relating to the structure, but not on it. Most of the time, fish were not tightly grouped. There was one spot that had an above average number of fish, but otherwise we mostly picked up fish from scattered packs, chipping away steadily toward our bag limit.
Using 1/8 ounce jig and minnow combinations and snap jigging aggressively was our most reliable presentation.
For bait, we had a 50/50 mix of one pint Shiners, along with a pint of smaller creek run minnows that contained Rainbows, Dace, Leatherbacks and even a few small size creek chubs. It did not matter which minnows we used, all of them got bit. In fact I literally do mean all of them. At 5:15 PM we were one fish away from our limit and every single minnow was gone. At about 5:30, a 1/8 ounce Lindy Jig, tipped with a 3 inch Ripple Shad bagged the final Walleye.
Let me close with a general observation about Walleye fishing. Over the past few days, I have not been on the same lake twice. But on each lake I've fished, we've caught at least one "Big Fish" on every trip. For me, that's a signal that the girls are fully recovered from spawning and that they are about to go on the summer peak feeding binge.
Water temperatures are solidly pegged into the high 60 degree range and there can't be many more days left before we begin witnessing some fresh insect hatches. Mid-depth flats that lead into main lake, deep water basin areas will be the first to produce good numbers of large fish. After that, mid-lake bars and humps will begin producing reliable catches too.
When the action slows down at your favorite shallow water areas, I think that it's time to be thinking about moving out to the deeper flats and shoreline points.
(6/7) From Bowstring Lake, Trails End Resort;"During the weekend of Sept 4th thru 7th, 2014 we'll be donating our resort to bring in 35 Veterans for an event called Heroes On The Water .
Their only expence will be traveling to get here. We will supply them with food, drinks and fishing/camping activities and mini tournaments. There are donations being made by Vexilar, Clam, Ice Armor and other companies. We are accepting donations for food, drinks, and supplies. We are also looking for any fishing guides willing to donate time on the water.
To make a donation of food, contact Brian Ortloff at Orty's Custom Meats. For any Fishing guides interested in donating time, please contact Me @ 218.832.3231." >> Geiger's Trails End Reosrt . Click here for >> Heroes On The Water .
(6/7)From Lake of the Woods, Mike Mayer at Wheelers Point Resort had this report; "A little rain this morning and more on the way for this evening, but it didn't bother the walleyes! The bite is still on at Lake of the Woods and Wheelers Point Resort. Drifting or trolling spinners was a very effective method today to fill up the coolers on the charter boats. Lots and lots of perfect sized keeper walleyes with multiple slots as well. Willie Walleye Days are this weekend in Baudette. Lots of fun activities like a street dance, karaoke, 5k run/walk, merchant side walk sales and much much more. Come and join the fun and maybe do a little fishing as well!" Mike & Sheila Mayer, Wheelers Point Resort & Lodge 800 542 2435 .
Minnesota Fishing Report June 6, 2014 - Best Kept Secrets File; Baby Weeds = Multi Spices Action Bite! -
I'm going to let you in on a little secret about one of the most reliable patterns for early summer, mixed bag fishing that I know about.
Fishing newly emerging patches of Coontail and Northern Milfoil
You Know the ones that I'm talking about, the ones that during late summer, that grow all the way to the surface and float like a carpet. Those really thick patches of weeds that you won't even try to fish during late summer because they're too thick to work in.
Well that is then
and this is now. During the first couple of weeks in June, these weed patches are just beginning to emerge and fishing in them is easily manageable. When the weed stalks are short 6 to 12 inches tall, they attract and hold all sorts of bait for the fish. Minnows, insect larvae, you name it. If it's good for the fish, you can find it in these thick, green weeds.
On Thursday we found one of the little gems and it
held lots of fish and they were all mixed up. Walleyes, Crappies, Perch, Rock Bass and of course, Northern Pike were all in the same 100 yard stretch of water and we caught them all on the same baits, fished the same way.
For Walleyes and Perch, 1/16 or 1/8 ounce jig and minnow combinations were good. Shiners, Rainbows or Fatheads were fine. The larger minnows caught some of the Crappies too, but for me, a 1/8 ounce Yellow/Pink Lindy Jig tipped with a 3 inch Ripple Shad produced more Crappies. In fact, the artificial tail continued to produce after the minnows failed.
In case you're already racking your brain about where to find spots like this, here's a clue.
In the Itasca area, lakes like Bowstring, Splithand, Round and Sand all have these shallow weedy flats. Key depths are between 5 and 8 feet. Just recall places that you avoid fishing in August because of heavy weeds and you'll be on the right track.
(6/6) An email question from Matt Mattson; "Fishing looks like it has been treating you well so far. Hey, I have a few friends that read your (bass fishing) article and you refer to different rigging techniques.
They keep asking what is that “whacky Style” Don’t know if you can, but maybe some pointers in your articles or pics might add to the site." Matt
A) Matt, the true answer is that there are a variety of ways to rig a plastic worm "wacky style". Generally speaking, it means that you're hooking the plastic worm in the middle, rather than on the tip. I did a quick search and found some articles for your friends. For now, here are a couple of good places to start. Later, I'll add some more links that cover the topic. Video >> Various Ways to Fish Wacky Rigs . Video >> The Power of the Wacky Rig .
Minnesota Fishing Report June 5, 2014 - Grand Rapids Pokegama Lake Updates - If you read yesterday's report, then you already know that game plan for day 4 of "Fun with Dick and Paul" would lead us to Pokegama Lake in Grand Rapids.
From our point of view, it turned out to be a blast, especially in light of the fact that we weren't out to bag too many fish for the frying pan.
Surface temperatures at the landing were 67 degrees and with glass calm water, that reading was fairly uniform across the lake. As the day progressed, there was barely a breeze and no cloud cover at all. Surface temperatures soared into the high 70's during late afternoon.
We spent a lot of time trying to prove (or dis-prove) the idea that Panfish and Bass were on their spawning beds. In the end, I'd say the answer is that there's a 30/70 split right now.
Some of the fish that we spotted in the shallow water did appear to be near spawning beds. But the majority of the Bass, Sunfish and Crappies were either holding in heavy cover, hiding from the sunshine, or they cruising along the shallow inside edges of the shallow breakline.
We started our morning with some Smallmouth Bass fishing. We only made one stop, but it was a good one. We fished wacky rigged, "Yum Dingers" over a rock bar that topped out at 6 feet of water. That spot produced 6 nice ... Read Full >> Pokegama Lake Fishing Report .
(6/4) From The Bemidji Lakes Area Guide Service, Paul Nelson wrote; "The last fishing opener of the spring is on June 7, when the muskie season opens in Minnesota. Most of the muskies should be done spawning by the time the season opens, with the smaller male muskies most likely to be active early in the season.
One of the best lures early in the season for muskies is the bucktail spinner. They are easy to cast and easy to fish. Use a longer rod to get more distance on the cast and retrieve moderately fast, which helps cover more water.
Bucktails come in many styles, with the single blade in-line spinner, tandem spinners or safety-pin spinners all having their place in muskie fishing. Bucktail spinners easily fish over the tops of the weeds and muskies love them, so what’s not to like?
Walleye anglers are finding the fish dispersing into the lakes, with several patterns emerging. There are walleyes on the shallow flats, on the break-lines and in deep water on the edge of hard bottom and the mud basin.
Walleyes on the shallow flats have been concentrated around new weed growth or rocks. Walleyes on the break-line have been moving up and down the breakline as the alternate between feeding and resting.
Walleyes feeding on the edge between hard bottom and the mud basin are feeding on a combination of minnows, perch and insect larvae.
Sunfish, crappies, bass and muskies are among the last fish species to spawn each spring. Once the fish finish spawning, they disperse back into the lakes.
Most large lakes have a good walleye bite right now, with jigs and minnows working best in the shallows and live bait rigs with minnows, leeches or night crawlers working better for walleyes located in deeper water." - Paul A Nelson, Bemidji Lakes Area Guide Service 218.759.2235 or EMAIL
(6/5) From The Marcell Area, Frontier Sports, Paul Larson said; "Water temperatures really climbed this week. Some lakes have reached 70 degrees on the surface. Of course the temperatures below the surface are much colder. The warmer temperatures mean the Crappies and Sunfish have moved into the shallows on most of the area lakes. Some very nice catches of Crappie have been reported and the Bass fishing is really picking up. Northern pike are hitting crank baits and big spinners and spoons in the shallow bays and out on the edge of the new weed beds. This year the store has the best tackle selection ever. Along with the top performers of last year we have quite a few new lures and an expanded Musky section. Some of lures that are catching fish right now include several from LIVE TARGET including; The Golden Shiner, Jointed Perch, The Rainbow Smelt, The Baitball Series, The Blue Herring Wake Bait and of course the Frogs and Mice. The SAVAGE GEAR 3D Glide swimmer has been doing very well this season and so has the 3D Craw. Shimano Waxwings have been working great on pike. We beefed up our Musky section with the Savage Gear Alien Eel (a top performer last year), the 16” Real Eel, 3d Glide Swimmer, Waxwings, Windels, Suick and many others. LIVE TARGET introduced its Sucker trolling bait this year in 6 ¼” and 8” sizes. Available in 5 colors, we have them all. The 6 ¼” LIVE TARGET Perch is in stock as well (this was my favorite big Pike lure last year…incredible!) Also this year, we are carrying a new line of Shimano Musky Rods and reels, SAVAGE GEAR and G.LOOMIS apparel and a lot more. Be sure to drop by when you’re in the area!"
Frontier Sports features a complete and fully stocked Sporting Goods department and Bait Shop, Gas, Grocery, Deli and Gift Shop. Frontier Sports is an authorized LIVE TARGET and SAVAGE GEAR dealer." Frontier Sports 219-832-3901 or Email .
Minnesota Fishing Report June 4, 2014 - Today, It's Fun In The Sun With ... - Dick Williams and Paul Kautza and it's day 4 out of 5 and hmm... Let's see, we already have our Walleyes, most of our Pike too and Paul only wants a couple of Bass today to take home for the broiler.
It doesn't look like we need to worry much about numbers so we might as well start looking for MR. BIG!
And luckily, this question came in yesterday from
a reader and it gave me an idea;
HI Jeff, I'm coming up to Grand Rapids on Wednesday with my dad for our annual fishing trip.
We have been coming up there to the Grand Rapids area for about 15 years now. This year, I think we are going to spend some time on Pokegama to see if we can catch one of the trophy walleye that are in there.
Curious if you had any recommendation on what water depths we should focus on for Walleyes on Pokegama? Any help would be appreciated.
Love reading the fishing reports/posts on your website. It’s the best site around. Sounds like you are having a great spring. - Andy
A) Thanks to your question Andy, I think that I'll drop over there today to have a look for myself.
Typically, Walleyes begin showing up on mid lake structures a little bit later in June, sometimes even early July.
But during the spring, (early-mid June) Walleye fishing on Pokegama is typically a weedline proposition.
Fishing the weeds on Pokegama poses some interesting ... Read full answer >> Grand Rapids Fishing Report .
Minnesota Fishing Report June 3, 2014 - Early To Bed, Early To Rise ... That's fine, but don't show up too early at the lake ... - At least not if it's one of Itasca County's deep, clear water lakes. The kind that like to be warmed up before the action starts.
Monday wasn't the first time and it won't be the last time that I've showed up at a lake and discovered that it wasn't quite ready for prime time. During early summer, there are just some lakes that don't get really great until they've had plenty of time to warm up.
Hoping to re-live an experience that we had last year, Dick Williams, Paul Kautza and I shuffled into the Grand Rapids area to try our hand at fishing some clear water.
At first our timing looked good. We found surface temperatures of 69 degrees in a shallow bay and there were a quite a few fish in there too. Largemouth Bass, Sunfish and even a small school of Walleyes roaming around in a patch of Cabbage Weeds at 7 or 8 feet of water.
The Walleyes roamed away as we approached and were not interested in our baits. But the Bass and the Sunfish were very active. In fact I think that we could have stayed and caught a lot of them, but we were after big game and before long, the boat was headed for the main lake.
Long story short, we were just a few days too early, the lake wasn't quite ready to rock.
We caught a couple of nice Smallmouth Bass, a few more Largemouth, one really nice Pike and some of the lakes ever-present small Perch. But one skinned minnow was as close as we came to bagging a Walleye. Now, with the evening fish fry Gosh Dam Place in jeopardy, switching lakes was in order.
It was time to head back to Bowstring Lake where my luck lately has been relatively good. The late afternoon fishing was as it has been, steady but slow. During evening though, the action picked up and in spite of strong winds and rain showers, our fish fry came together easily and we even had a few nice size fish to send home with the crew at the end of our trip. Just a few days ago, I wrote about the presentation, water depths, everything and it's all still current. Click to read more about >> Bowstring Lake and presentations we used .
(6/03) Small Walleye Lakes + Jig & Minnow + Jon Thelen = This week's episode of Fish Ed. "Jon alters his plan to fish Lake Winnibigoshish due to weather and chases down post spawn walleyes on a small northern Minnesota Lake by trolling Lindy Jigs tipped with a shiner minnow. This can be a very effective, but often overlooked tactic for spring walleyes across the Midwest." Click here for >> Springtime Small Lake Walleye Fishing .
(6/3) From Cutfoot Sioux and Lake Winnibigoshish, Eagle Nest Lodge; "Our guys have been having good luck both in Cutfoot and Winnie. The water has really warmed up! It seems like things are moving toward lindy rigs and leeches/crawlers...although plenty of walleyes are still being caught on shiners. They are still biting off the dock, which makes it easy for our guests. I think the crappies are starting in, too. We have openings through the summer. - " Take care, Bryan and Sue Harris, Eagle Nest Lodge 218-246-8701 .
(6/3) From The Iron Range, Greg Clusiau wrote; "My regular fishing partner, Blake Liend, should be thrilled to death, as I will be out quite a bit during the week making our outings more of a sure thing, not that we have done poorly in the past but we have had our days of struggle time. Everyone does.
I do know that plenty of experimenting will be done on my part in trying to unlock that special bite that most all lakes have. I enjoy that. To me, figuring out how to catch fish is almost as much fun as catching them. Almost.
Take last Sunday for example. Fishing a large, deep lake, which is usually slow to warm, I was faced with a tough bite. Things weren’t going well but I expected that and still had plenty of fun exploring the shallows, looking for fish.
The absence of ..." >> Read Greg's Full Report .
(6/3)From Lake of the Woods, Mike Mayer at Wheelers Point Resort had this report; "The weather was hot and sticky this last weekend. Apparently the walleyes liked it as well. The charters have had no problems catching lots of walleyes again this last week, with numbers of large fish mixed in. Some big pike showed up this weekend as well. Had a 40 and a 37 incher, as well as a 10 lb musky on crankbaits to go with limits of nice 16 to 18 inch walleyes. Pine island has been good drifting spinners or trolling crankbaits and most of the rock piles and reefs have been good jigging with shiners. We've caught fish in as shallow as 3 feet, and several are fishing as deep as 25 feet. General starting tip: crankbaits shallow early and late in day, jigging deeper water all day." Mike & Sheila Mayer, Wheelers Point Resort & Lodge 800 542 2435 .
(6/3) From The Ottertail Area, Ross Haggemeister wrote; "Things are beginning to move forward in Ottertail Fishing Country. We had an amazing week of intense warm weather which really heated up the lakes FAST! Too fast? It’s a hard question to answer. Fishing surged on some lakes in the county while others seemed to drift backwards. On the walleye side of things, the shiners are in a big hurry to get ride of their spawn. With so much shiner activity on the shorelines and shallows on the lakes, the walleye have followed suite. They are, for the most part, shallow. Bright, sunny, calm days make for challenging fishing when the walleye are right on the shoreline. Waiting till dusk and or windy and dark times makes catching the shallow walleye easier. Try slip bobbers with 1/32 oz jigs tipped with a minnow or leech in the shallow areas—from the bank or boat, it doesn’t matter. If you’re looking for walleye out on the weed edges away from shore, then you might have to look longer and harder for fewer fish, but they are there; and for the most part, they will feed. Things are happening fast, however. Keep a sharp eye out for sudden changes in depth, lure and hook color, and bait choice. Yesterday’s walleye patterns might just be “yesterday’s" patterns—you might need to find a new one today! Wow. It’s the time of rapid change. My guide’s tip-of-the-week is: To determine if a minnow is good/alive/worth using, don’t pull it out of the lake and hold it in your hand and stare at it. It won’t help you know if it’s actually alive and well and desirable. Let the minnow stay in the lake and watch the minnow. If it’s swimming—that’s all you need to know. Put it back down and keep fishing. If it lays stiff and lazy—toss it—it’s time for a new minnow." - Ross Hagemeister, Meister Guide Service (218) 495-3140 or Email .
(6/3) From Bowstring Lake, Darv Oehlke, Bowstring Shores Resort says; "The Bite has been Good. Most walleyes are still being caught in that 6 to 10 foot range. And a few down on the humps at 16 feet. Lindy rig and a fat head minnow is working best. Leeches are starting to go also. Perch and Crappies are biteing in the bays and along the west shore 3 to 5 feet. And Northerns everywhere." - Darv Oehlke, Bowstring Shores Resort. 218-832-3101 .
Minnesota Fishing Report June 2, 2014 - Early Summer Mixed Bag Fishing Doesn't Get Any Better! - You just can't beat this period of the fishing season for mixed bag fishing. For me, the next few weeks are the absolute best time to open up the notebook and check the list of new lakes that I want to visit. For me, it's this time of year when I've learned most about these lakes over the past 30 years.
The reason that I’m so excited about this part of the season is that fresh weed growth is emerging and the healthy cover attracts plenty of forage for the fish.
Walleye, Pike, Perch, Crappie and who knows what else will all be sharing the same territory as they transition from spring spawning territory into early summer locations.
Assuming that an angler is capable of selecting a lake that has an ample supply of fish to target, the next few weeks will be the only time of the entire year that you can be assured that when you locate fish, they will be feeding and feeding heavily.
Of course weather is a factor and you'll need to be somewhat creative about your presentations; But generally speaking, the fish will be cooperative, like they were for us on Sunday.
Our visit to a small Deer River area lake turned out to be a good idea. The lake was one of my favorites in the early days, but had slipped a little bit off of the radar screen in recent years. But needing a good quiet place to kick off "Fun with Dick and Paul V 14.1", the small lake seemed like a good idea.
At the landing, the glass calm reflected what was left of the overnight rain clouds. There was fog, but no rain and the surface temperature of the water was 69 degrees.
On this, like many other small lakes, there is no need to run all over the place checking spots and we didn't. In fact, I never even started my engine. Instead, I lowered the MinnKota and began creeping along the breakline at a snail’s pace.
With calm seas, trying to troll though the shallow water would only spook the fish. We got our baits close to them by pitching our 1/8 jig and minnow combinations toward shallow water. This was the best way to present bait to these fish that were holding in water depths of 5 to 8 feet.
At times, we'd move past short stretches of "dead water", but virtually every time we came to a small point, weed patch or clam bed, we'd find something to do.
A mixed bag of Walleye, Perch and LOTS OF SMALL PIKE kept us plenty busy. I guess that our visit was a little early this season because Crappie and Smallmouth that would typically share the weed lines were missing on this day. Those fish are probably still on the shoreline, guarding spawning beds.
2:00 PM, 3:00 PM ... 4:00PM was the first time that I ever had the engine started and when I did, we already had our limit of Walleyes, 5 Pike and a dozen nice Perch in the cooler.
We had one ride back across the lake toward the landing and that was the most disturbance that the lake ever felt from us. I liked that, that was fun!
I'm sure that Dick and Paul are sitting on the edge of our chairs, wondering how we're going to top that one. Well, I'm not really sure myself, but when I figure it out, You Will Know!!
Minnesota Fishing Report June 1, 2014 - Upper Red Lake Walleye and Crappie Migrations - We arrived at Upper Red Lake this Saturday on the heels of storms and heavy rain that had blown through overnight.
Air temps were mild and the surface temperature hadn't dropped much since Friday. At 66-67 degrees, there wasn't any reason to believe that water temperature would force fish out of the shallows.
It was obvious that the storms stirred things up though because water clarity was poor during the morning. Luckily, there were calm seas and throughout the day, the lake had settled and clarity was steadily returning to "normal".
Walleye action was still fairly good, but had tapered off noticeably since Friday which for me, had been the peek of this seasons action on the giant lake.
Walleye location was the key to our success on this day. Unlike most recent trips up there, fishing on rocks was NOT THE BEST answer. Sheephead have moved into the shallows and are now inhabiting many of the shallow water rock structures. There are still Walleyes on these rocks too, but the Sheephead are so aggressive that it's hard for your lure to find it's way into a Walleye mouth before Ba Ba Black Sheep finds it.
For me, fishing the sandy breaklines worked better for singling out Walleye. It made pinning them down trickier because there aren't as many "spot on a spot" locations when you do it this way. But there are still enough fish on the shallow breaks to give and angler confidence that you will find fish if you keep moving.
I used the MinnKota to make long trolling passes in search of scattered schools of fish. Once located, we could concentrate on a small area for two or three passes. Whenever the action fizzled out, I just resumed trolling until we stumbled into another random school of fish.
Crappies are turning up on the shoreline too and most of the fishermen we encountered were picking up a few of these fish too.
It's not like the once
famous Red Lake Crappie boom, but there is a fresh school of Crappies in Red Lake and they range in size from 9 to 12 inches. I believe that if you wanted to, you could go out for a day targeting only Crappies and come home with enough of them to be satisfied. We caught 4 as we fished four Walleyes. There were also reports of as many as 14 Crappie that were caught by one group fishing on the shallow rocks.
When you're fishing the sand breaks, holding a precise water depth is important. Don't allow your boat to ove too far from the shallowest break, typically found in 3 to 5 feet of water. Walleyes will travel along the edge of the drop off and occasionally move to the shallow side for a feeding frenzy when the encounter a school of Shiner minnows.
Jig and minnow presentations lend thenselves perfectly to this style of fishing. As I troll along the edge of the drop off, we cast our lures aout and away from the boat in either direction. As soon as the lures settle, we then snap the jigs as they trail back into line with the travel path of the boat.
Lindy Jigs, 1/8 ounce size, tipped with Shiners, Rainbows, Fatheads or artificial tails all produced fish. On Saturday, the fish seemed to show a slight preference for Rainbows, maybe because the darker minnow was easier to see in the turbid water.
As a rule of thumb, the arrival of Sheephed
in large numbers usually signals the the Walleye run is waning. I think that you still have a week or more before the fish we move away from the shoreline, but I do believe that the action will be diminishing steadily over the next few weeks.
(6/1) Gus' Place Resort, Ball Club Lake; ""This week’s warm weather has really picked up the bite on Ball Club Lake. Water temp is now consistent and steady at the surface over 60 degrees and the fish are really on the bite.
All of the fish in the picture were caught in 14 feet or less on jigs and minnows or slip bobbers.
Check out the picture of a great mixed bag of fish that is very typical of our lake. In fact, Ball Club Lake remains one of the best multi-specie fishing lakes in the area.
I always share GPS hot spots with my customers." - Gus Sheker, Gus' Place Resort
(6/1) From Lake of the Woods, Mike Kinsela, Border View Lodge; "The big fish have been biting. The fishing has been strong and the weather has been fantastic. We have moved out to deeper water. We have been ranging from 25 feet of water out to about 32.5 feet, it seems like the fish are out deeper just off the edge of the main reefs. We have made it up to knights and some have even ventured further north and fished the rocks up by Garden Island. Bridges and south bridges have had a lot of big fish on them. We are still jigging and hoping that the jig bite continues to stay strong through most of June.
There are a few colors that have been producing the best. Gold has been the best. However, the gold with glow white and tri-color which is gold hook with yellow and orange have done well also." - 1-800-776-3474 Border View Lodge .
June 30, 2014
Photo Courtesy Greg Clusiau: Big Bass for Brett McComas, shown here releasing a trophy Largemout. Brett lives in Brainerd and chases trophy fish all across the North Country. Read Article >> Bulking Up For Dirty Water Bass
For Smallmouth, I can’t leave home without my Wacky Rigged Yum Dingers and the Largemouth love 'em too. Read this great report about rigging >> Wacky Styler Yum Dingers
June 29, 2014
On a mission to capture "something big", Al Heimer
moved the bar up a notch closer with this hefty Walleye. Al was using an 1/8 ounce jig tipped with a Leech. The jig/leech combination accounted for several nice Walleyes.
June 28, 2014
Warren Snyder points to the fish that he caught. It's a Smallmouth Bass and Warren really wanted to hold it for the picture, but he just couldn't get me to let go of it.
Bjorn Snyder with one of his many Walleyes. To help enhance the Snyder Effect, we used 1/16 ounce Lindy Jigs tipped with 1/2 night crawler. We fished on the weedline at 10 to 12 feet of water.
Photo: Courtesy Arne Danielson who happened by as this nice Pike was being landed. Sara, Maple Lake, MN was casting for Musky on Cass Lake when she turned the head of this hefty Pike.
Photo: Courtesy Chad Haatvedt
who brought his young neighbor out for an afternoon fishing trip. Casting the weed beds, Gideon turned up this monster Pike.
June 27, 2014
Thursday was ladies day on Lake Winnibigoshish. Jackie Blood (above) and Kristin Pietras (below) showing off some of their better work.
On Winnie, fishing mid-lake bars and humps in 24 to 28 feet of water, using Lindy Rigs and leeches will produce good numbers of high quality CPR fish. >> Read Report
When there's no margin of error, calling on "old technology" is still one of my most usefull tools.
I'd love to know how many of these trusty Lindy buoys have been churned out over the years. There's been more than a few of 'em in my boat.
June 26, 2014
Nine year old Jason did pretty darn good on Wednesday. Using a 1/16 ounce jig and half of a night crawler, he boated this hefty Walleye.
June 25, 2014
Photo courtesy Brian Castellano:
Sharing the boat with son-in-law Matt and his boys Johnny 5 and Geno 3, caught some nice Walleyes slip bobbering with Leeches. Read >> Grand Rapids Area Fishing Report
June 24, 2014
Bill Linder puts on a clinic about how to catch the big ones on Upper Red Lake.
June 23, 2014
Mid summer insect hatches draw a lot of attention and induce migrations of everything into these deeper water spots. It sets up a completely new “summertime food chain” that will last as long as the insects continue to hatch.
I used 3/8 ounce No Snagg sinkers to help my crew avoid getting jammed up too much. Fishing the No Snagg is a bit different than conventional sinkers and once you get the hang of using them, they're wonderfully effective at protecting you from getting hung up.
June 22, 2014
Okay. so maybe it's not the ideal scenario for Walleye fishing. But for me, it's hard not to be happy about a beautiful day, especially now!
Conditions were still tricky on Saturday, but I remembered the lesson that I learned on Friday. Staying away from the tops of the bars and fishing deeper adjacent flats worked out a little bit better.
June 21, 2014
This week, host Jon Thelen shows you exactly how to catch big bluegills from shallow water. His No. 1 early summer bluegill rig features a Thill Wobble Bobber and a Lindy Little Nipper jig, and it’s a rig you can take anywhere in the country to load the boat with these tasty Panfish.
June 20, 2014
June 19, 2014
Photo courtesy Bowen Lodge: A visit to Grandpa's secret Pike hole produced results fo 11 year old Teagan. Northern Pike, 31 inches.
Strong winds enocouraged the Smallmouth Bass to move up onto the rocks and feed aggresively. Bobby Cox shows off one of his better efforts.
Walleyes were near the rocks too, but not on top of them. Lindy Jigs tipped with Shiners and fished in 12 to 16 feet of water produced most of the Walleyes.
June 18, 2014
Photo courtesy Gus' Place Resort: Our guest Arlin turned up a true trophy, a 30 inch Walleye!
Caught on a Lindy Rig and Leech combo, this 10 pounder was one of many big fish caught during "Lunker Week" on Ball Club!
In spite of the fish moving deeper, they still remember the shoreline where they were feeding heavily on minnows. Lindy Rigging time is fast approaching but For now, the 1/4 ounce Lindy Jig tipped with a Shiner is still the preferred presentation.
June 17, 2014
The Gandy's, Jim and Judy, showing off some of their better work. Walleyes were in 18 to 22 feet of water and struck 1/4 ounce Lindy Jigs tipped with Shiners.
June 16, 2014
Water levels continue rising. I launched my boat in the morning and the dock at the boat ramp was high and dry. By evening though, there was about 3 inches of water covering the decking on the dock.
I was nervous about catching enough fish to feed 10 hungry men, plus our special guest. But we chipped away at the weedlines and eventually did bag enough fish for our (rainy day style) "shore lunch
June 15, 2014
Sunny Side UP! ... :)!!
June 14, 2014
Deeper, clear water lakes in the Grand Rapids area are warming up and the Walleyes are on the prowl.
On Friday's trip, Pokegama Lake produced small numbers of high quality fish.
Mickey "Rooster" Lashley captured this Weedline Walleye using a Gold 1/8 ounce Lindy
Jig tipped with a Shiner. Key depths were 11 to 13 feet and during Friday's bright sunshine, we had to root them out of the weeds.
June 13, 2014
June 12, 2014
This week Jon Thelen travels to famous Devils Lake to chase the lake’s scrappiest predator fish, the pike. His weapon of choice is a crankbait, and he shows you exactly what you should do and where to go to catch these scrappy fighters.
Courtesy conservation gateway: Crappies Love Eeelgrass
and they are in it now! >> View Larger
Photo courtesy Brian Castellano:
Fishing a large sunken island in in 6-12 feet of water using a Lindy Rig tipped with Leeches.
June 11, 2014
Fishing with couples is my all time favorite kind of fishing trip! Jim and Jan Bopp help illustrate my idea of a great way to spend time together.
Aove: An authentic King and Queen Smallmouth Bass double. Below: Jan helps land another Smallmouth for Jim and ...
Jan is rewarded handsomely for the effort!
Some Walleyes for eating, along with some for pictures. Another fantastic feature of the Grand Rapids area's mixed bag Smallmouth/Walleye Lakes.
Tuesday June 10, 2014
Our Walleye fishing was interrupted bcause we got distracted.
Crappies were turning up in the Cabbage weeds and the small packs of fish were active. Pictching 1/16 ounce jigs into stands of green Cabbage Weeds was the secret.
Photo coutesy Greg Clusiau: Joel Clusiau did well donning waders and shore fishing for crappie and bluegill. Read Greg's Fishing Report
Monday June 9, 2014
A great day to be the Eberhardts! Sunday's nearly perfect weather encouraged good Walleye, Sunfish and Crappie action. (above) Diane with a magnum Bluegill. (below) Keith shows off his best effort on the Crappies.
Panfish were in the Cabbage weeds and casting 1/16 ounce jigs tipped with artificial tails helped turn them on.
The wind was perfect for Lake Winnie, blowing from the
Southeast at about 8 MPH. It moved the Alskan at a perfect drift speed of .7 MPH.
We fished Tamarack Bay and found Walleyes scattered along the breaklines in 13 to 15 feet. The packs of fish were small, but they were active and struck well until about 11:00 PM
Sunday June 8, 2014
Walleye fishing wasn't too bad for "Mr. C" on Saturday. That is until this bad boy came along and stirred things up. A 44 inch Musky on 4 Lb test and an 1/8 ounce jig.
Saturday June 7, 2014 Summer Peak 'Eyes & Smallmouth
Eldon Skoglund, AKA "Norwegian Hammer" With one of his better Smallmouth efforts.
Under overcast skies and a brisk wind, Smallmouth Bass were
on the rampage. Numerous Smallouth follows included one fish that repeatedly attacked a Walleye as it was reeled toward the boat.
Over the past few days, I have not been on the same lake twice. But on each lake I've fished, we've caught at least one "Big Fish" during every trip. To me, that's a signal that the girls are fully recovered from spawning and that they are about to embark on the summer peak feeding binge.
Photo Trails End Resort: Erin Charlton caught this nice keeper while fishing Bowstring Lake. Using Liny Rigs on mid-lake structure is beginning to produce Walleyes.
June 6, 2014 Multi-Species Weeds
One of the most reliable patterns for early summer, mixed bag fishing that I know about. Newly emerging patches of Coontail or Northern Milfoil produce all kinfds of fish.
Fishing the early summer weeds is like a box of chocolate, you never know what you're .... :)!!
June 5, 2014
For us, the take away story of the day was that if you plan to fish pokegama this weekend, you should be focused on shallow water. Paul Kautza shows off one of his better efforts, a 5.0 pound Largemouth caught on a wacky rigged "YUM Dinger".
We didn't spend a lot of time Walleye fishing. But fishing the weed edges in 12 feet of water using a Lindy Rig, Night Crawler and Worm Blower did allow me to CPR my first 10 pounder of the season. >> Read Report .
Photo courtesy Brian Castellano: Fishing Pokegama Lake on Tuesday provided some action for nice size Smallnouth Bass on the rocks. Panfish are moving on to the beds in shallow water too. Read >> Grand Rapids Fishing Report
Some of Grand Rapids deep lakes need time to warm up before they're ready to rock. Even though we showed up a few days early for the party, we still had some highlights. This 12-1/2 pound Pike caught by Dick Williams, struck a jig and minnow in 14 feet of water.
Jon Thelen alters his plan to fish Lake Winnibigoshish due to weather and chases down post spawn walleyes on a small northern Minnesota Lake by trolling Lindy Jigs tipped with a shiner minnow.
Photo Gus' Place Resort: Great multi-species fishing continues on Ball Club Lake. We’re working jigs & minnows in shallow water for the best bite.
We never even strarted the outboard for our quiet trip around this small Deer River area lake. A mixed bag of Walleye, Perch a Pike kept us busy for most of the day.
America's Armed Forces need a day off once in a while too. Jordan says that it's been 6 years since he last fished. He made up for lost time on Red Lake this Saturday, doing his best work in 5 feet of water, using a 1/8 ounce Lindy Jig tipped with large Rainbows.
Photo courtesy Gus' Place Resort: A great mixed bag of fish that is very typical of our lake. In fact, Ball Club Lake remains one of the best multi-specie fishing lakes in the greater Grand Rapids area.
I know, it's not like "the Good Old Days" any more. But Upper Red Lake still produces some Crappies and on Friday, I and Arne Danielson
weren't too disappointed when we caught a couple.
Photo courtesy Brain Castellano: Who snuck out for an evening trip in the Grand Rapids area and caught this dandy 28 inch Walleye on a jig and minnow. Read the Grand Rapids Area Fishing Report
Photo Courtesy Brian Castellano: Shallow water Crappie action is in full swing right now. Bobbers and small ice jigs fished near shoreline vegetation produced well.
Photo courtesy Reed Ylitalo:
Crappies are building and hanging tight to their beds in shallow water! Over the past couple of days, we've had a great crappie bite in shallow water. Best depths are 2 to 6 feet in heavy cover.
It wouldn't surprise me if Virgil Krug slept in a little bit this morning. At this time of the season, waiting for the evening bite makes for a long day, but it's worth it and on Wednesday, was a great way to make up for lost time.
HEY! If you're
an avid angler, then this image probably means something special. Tell us what, click on the image to give us your 2 cents worth.
If you're on Leech Lake and catching some Walleyes under these conditions, then it is an excellent indicator of how great the fishing will be under ideal conditions. Keep this lake in mind for your next fishing trip.
No matter which bait you're using, adding a Wobble Bobber to your setup will give your bait more action. The Pear shaped float is balanced off center so it rocks side to side giving your bait attracting action.
America's Armed Forces need a day off once in a while too. Jordan says that it's been 6 years since he last fished. He made up for lost time on Red Lake this Saturday, doing his best work in 5 feet of water, using a 1/8 ounce Lindy Jig tipped with large Rainbows.
Photo courtesy Gus' Place Resort: A great mixed bag of fish that is very typical of our lake. In fact, Ball Club Lake remains one of the best multi-specie fishing lakes in the greater Grand Rapids area.