Minnesota Fishing Reports From June 2010 through October 2010

Field Report October 31, 2010 Happy Haloween! The weather was perfect on Saturday for getting outside and doing chores. We spent most of the day with my daughter working on horse fencing, but we managed to wrap that up by about 4:00 PM so I and my daughter's boyfriend could try to get even with the Geese that have been driving me crazy for the past few days.
We set up a half dozen decoys and fashioned some make shift blinds for a quick try and we did get one group of 20 or so to take a look, but not enough for a shot. A short time later, we got a chance at a pair and we managed to bag one of those. That was it, not exactly a big time Goose hunt, but a good enough reason to get horizontal in a corn field again. Listening to the reports locally, I have the feeling that a lot of the ducks in the Deer River area took advantage of the Northwest wind a few days ago and made their jump south. Another sign that we're at the tail end of our season, is the greater number of Swans we're seeing, they generally show up in the greatest numbers just about the time most of the ducks move out.
As I was fixing dinner, I made some calls and got one report from a friend who is up on the Rainy River right now. They had fished out in the gap and on Lake of the Woods first, but were unhappy with the results there. Later, they moved about 40 miles up-stream where they did find some fish and wound up catching a dozen or so nice Walleyes. Water temperatures in the river were getting down into the 43-44 degree range and he said that there was evidence of the shiners moving into the river. Now if the rain stops for a while and the water clears up, fishing action should surge one morte time before ice cover.
Hey, with the sun shining and the wind calm again, I realized how un-ready I was for this season to end. I'm already getting anxious for next year and if there's any way to get out one last time this week, I'll be up there!

Field Report October 30, 2010 There's no justice in the world! After I and Bill spent 4 hours scouting the area for ducks on Thursday, I came home and was working in the back yard when 50 Geese landed in the corn stubble about 150 yards from my house. Talk about torturing a guy!
Thanks very much to those of you who have been emailing me with your fishing updates from around the area. It really helps me get a feel for who's still out there and what's going on.
The bulk of the fishing news for those of us in Northern Minnesota is now centered on the Rainy River and with temperatures dipping into the 20's at night, we could see the Emerald Shiners start running into the river from Lake of the Woods at any time. I talked with Bill Powell (Fred's Bait) yesterday and he said that any time the water temperature drops below 48 degrees, the shiners will start their migration. The most recent report I got from Baudette was that the best Walleye fishing was still centered out on the main lake. I have friends that will fish the river today and Sunday, then I'm going to try and make a run up there early in the week, whenever the weather looks best.
Hey, If you're out in the field hunting or fishing this weekend, I hope you're having a great time! With my daughter home visiting from college this weekend, I just have to stick around here, but I'd love to get a few more updates from folks in the field.

Field Report October 29, 2010 The rain finally moved out of the area on Thursday as the cold front pushed it's way in. Chilly tempertures and a stiff wind from the Northwest, hmm...that's the kind of weather that could give ducks a tail-wind and might have been enough incentive to make a jump further South. At about noon, Bill Powell and I jumped in the truck to make a scouting run around the area to see what we could find.
First stop was the Winnie Dam at the Mississippi River where we glassed the lake and saw mostly whitecaps and steam, it was just too windy to get a good look at anything floating or flying in Tamarack Bay. If there were any ducks on the big lake, they weren't flying within glassing distance of the dam. From there we moved down to Little Winnie, where big waves also made it tough to see, the water was really high at the landing as well, so we couldn't walk out onto the point where we could have seen more water. Again, if there were ducks out there, they were not flying within our line of sight. We continued up the line to check out Round Lake and Squaw Lake, where there were a few diving ducks bobbing in the waves and a handful of single and pairs flying low to the water. No big rafts flying on either lake though, so we moved east toward highway 6, checking out smaller waters along the way.
There were a couple of small, backwoods ponds that each had a half dozen or so Bluebills, but nothing that we could get excited about visiting on Friday. All in all, we spent about 4 hours looking and saw a total of less than 20 ducks, not the most scientific data sampling ever taken, but enough to give us a feeling that the cold front didn't bring in any large batch of new ducks to the area.
Along the way, we either stopped at or saw a dozen boat ramps and the only one where we found a rig parked was the Mosomo landing at Cutfoot Sioux. Now that the weather has stabilized, there may be a little more traffic flow today and if there's something interesting developing later in the day, I slip in a quick note.
Hey, even though we didn't see what we were looking for, we still stumbled into some really great sights, the Eagles were everywhere today and I got a few chances to snap some above average shots for you.

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Field Report October 28, 2010 Sure would be nice to get outside and do something! After 6 months of being outside almost every day, I'm fully into what you could call my "wild animal mode" and sitting inside at the computer all morning had me feeling like a caged Lion. Finally at about 11:00, (just to get the cobwebs out of my head), I went for a 3 mile walk that I'd hoped would give me some great inspiration aboust fishing or hunting later in the day. I'm afraid that the weather was too crummy even for me, so back to the computer I went.
Most everything I can find out about right now is old news already, but here's a quick recap.
I and most of my friends are still looking toward the Rainy River as our last great open water opportunity for this fall. With temperatures dipping down into the 20's last night, the Emerald Shiners just might start moving into the river this weekend and when the Walleyes start following them in, we should get a chance to land one or two of those "big ol' girls" before ice up. So far, the reports are still leaning toward more fish in the 18 to 22 inch range, but that can easily change overnight.
Leech Lake continues to produce fish too and the action is swinging back to more of a daytime bite. Almost every rocky point on the main lake was mentioned as a good spot during the past weekend, but there has not been a new report since Monday.
If duck hunting sounds like better idea, I hear from friends that there are a lot of Ringbills in the area right now and I'm planning to go for a ride to see if I can find some. With Northwest winds at 15 to 25, we might have some new ducks move in today or they might do the dreaded "fly-by" as they head further South. We'll see about that, but for a good sporting opportunity, there will almost certainly be a week or so of good Goldeneye hunting. If I don't find something else, that will be a good excuse to get out the Alaskan for one last big water hunt before I sell it.
Hey, since I was locked up inside anyway, I thought I'd practice my cooking. I snapped a few photos along the way and put together a quick page with a couple of easy duck recipes. Sometimes I hear people say that they don't like to eat duck, but that's usually because they've never really had it cooked just right. Maybe one of these will come in handy for you sometime.

Field Report 10/27/2010 Well I picked a really crummy day to try and drum up some information about fishing in the Deer River area. Windy, rainy weather kept most of the remaining active anglers inside. As I drove back from a business meeting I checked in with some of the local bait shops and most are getting ready to close down shop for a few weeks while they wait for early ice cover.
Even though most folks have hung it up for a while, there are still some anglers hanging in there and there are a few things to do. If the weather straightens out this weekend, here are a few ideas.
Crappie fishing continues to be good on Cutfoot Sioux and many of the smaller area lakes. Fish are still in deep, open water areas and most will remain there until after the ice forms.
Walleye fishing remains good on Leech Lake, Cass Lake and Cutfoot Sioux. Your best bet for reliable action is to fish the afternoon and early evening. If you're feeling adventurous, there is still a good nite bite going on as well. Trolling shallow running crankbaits continues to produce larger fish on Leech Lake, but Cass and Winnie are still producing "eater size" fish after dark.
The Rainy River has been producing Walleye, but so far, many of the larger fish are still out on the main lake. If the weather straightens back out, the cooler water should help and river will probably be the last fishing stop on my agenda for this season.
Northern Pike and Musky fishing could be interesting now for a while too and could be a chance to put a trophy in the boat. With all of the Tulibees and Whitefish (in some lakes) on the shoreline to spawn, the large Pike and Muskies roam the better spawning grounds, areas with mixed gravel, rock and Bulrush are the best, but sometimes areas with green Cabbage Weeds will hold fish too. Even after the Tulibees finish spawning, they'll hang around the area for a while, so this pattern usually lasts until after the ice forms.
Casting large crankbaits and working them like "jerkbaits" or fishing larger live bait like big Suckers or Golden Shiners will work too.
Duck hunters around Deer River had been grumbling about slow action, but on Tuesday, I could hear a lot of shooting from my back yard. Later today I'll be doing a little scouting around here and maybe even shoot at a Minnesota duck this year.
Hey, While I was in the field in North Dakota, I kept thinking how great it would be to share some of the sights I was seeing. Here are some North Dakota hunting photos that give you a glimpse of how gorgeous the sights were. Believe me, many of you were there with me!

Field Report 10/26/2010 Well folks, the first round of North Dakota Duck and Pheasant hunting has come and gone for 2010. I really want to thank everyone who emailed notes wishing us luck before we left. It does my heart good to hear from you and I think all of the well wishing did us some good, we had great weather and great hunting too.
When we arrived out there on Monday (10-18), it was obvious that the weather had been dry and there were lots of crops (mostly Corn and Soy Beans) already picked. With so many crops already out, it was a lot easier to find both Pheasants and Ducks, so it was a real head start for us to locate hunting spots early in the week.
Our first couple of days were geared toward hunting Pheasants and then scouting for ducks in the evenings. We had easily bagged our limits of Pheasants on both Monday and Tuesday and by Wednesday morning we had gotten some good ideas about duck locations too. We set up in a corn field on Wednesday morning and managed to bag our limit of Mallards. It looked like we were on a roll, until we had problems getting permission to hunt somewhere on Thursday.
When we headed to dinner that evening, we had no plan for the next morning when a young man asked us if we'd found a spot for the morning. What turned out to be one of the highlights of our trip, was when he invited us to hunt on "the family farm" with a couple of his buddies. These three really nice young men; Jeremy Gleason, Brady Storbakken and Kelly Illies were great guys to hunt with, good callers and great shots. I can't tell you how nice it is to meet young people like this and I hope we all become lifelong friends.
Hunting slowed down a little toward the weekend, but through the rest of the trip, we always managed to find something to do and this year we even had a grand finale' on our last day when we saw an unbelievable number of Mallards. We couldn't shoot many beacuse we were already near our limit, but the sight of all those ducks coming into the decoys was something to behold.
Hey, for me this has been a year where I've learned to really appreciate the times when fate steers you in the right direction. You know, when you somehow manage to hit that lucky spot where you just can't believe what you've stumbled into. Maybe it's happened all along and I never noticed it before, but now that I have, I really live for these times.
I'll use today to get my feet back on the ground here at home and see what I can dig up about the last of the open water fishing action and get something up later today or tomorrow morning.

Field Report October 26, 2010 Well folks, the first round of North Dakota Duck and Pheasant hunting has come and gone for 2010. I really want to thank everyone who emailed notes wishing us luck before we left. It does my heart good to hear from you and I think all of the well wishing did us some good, we had great weather and great hunting too.
When we arrived out there on Monday (10-18), it was obvious that the weather had been dry and there were lots of crops (mostly Corn and Soy Beans) already picked. With so many crops already out, it was a lot easier to find both Pheasants and Ducks, so it was a real head start for us to locate hunting spots early in the week.
Our first couple of days were geared toward hunting Pheasants and then scouting for ducks in the evenings. We had easily bagged our limits of Pheasants on both Monday and Tuesday and by Wednesday morning we had gotten some good ideas about duck locations too. We set up in a corn field on Wednesday morning and managed to bag our limit of Mallards. It looked like we were on a roll, until we had problems getting permission to hunt somewhere on Thursday.
When we headed to dinner that evening, we had no plan for the next morning when a young man asked us if we'd found a spot for the morning. What turned out to be one of the highlights of our trip, was when he invited us to hunt on "the family farm" with a couple of his buddies. These three really nice young men; Jeremy Gleason, Brady Storbakken and Kelly Illies were great guys to hunt with, good callers and great shots. I can't tell you how nice it is to meet young people like this and I hope we all become lifelong friends.
Hunting slowed down a little toward the weekend, but through the rest of the trip, we always managed to find something to do and this year we even had a grand finale' on our last day when we saw an unbelievable number of Mallards. We couldn't shoot many beacuse we were already near our limit, but the sight of all those ducks coming into the decoys was something to behold.
Hey, for me this has been a year where I've learned to really appreciate the times when fate steers you in the right direction. You know, when you somehow manage to hit that lucky spot where you just can't believe what you've stumbled into. Maybe it's happened all along and I never noticed it before, but now that I have, I really live for these times.
I'll use today to get my feet back on the ground here at home and see what I can dig up about the last of the open water fishing action and get something up later today or tomorrow morning.

Field Report October 18, 2010 Well I'm outta here. We're on our way to North Dakota and with a little luck, I'll be laying in the mud barking at the ducks while you're reading this.
I'll be back on Monday (10/25) and I'll get an area wide update as soon as I can. Hey, Have a great week and lots of good luck hunting, fishing or dreaming of either.

Field Report October 17, 2010 The decoys are packed, the shotguns cleaned and I have a half dozen pieces of paper that say it's okay to pack up my dog and go hunting for a while. We'll be leaving on Monday morning for North Dakota and with a little luck, some kind of bird will fly in front of me.
Hey, I don't want you to think I fogot about you! I had lined up a loaner laptop to take along in the hope that I could feed in some field reports from out there, but it sounds like the motel is short on Wi-Fi, so I might not get it done. If something really cool happens though, I'll feed it back to my daughter to put up on the facebook page.
Oh yeah, fishing. Except for the brisk Northwest wind, Saturday was added to the growing list of really nice October days we've had this year. Lots of folks have already hung it up for the season, but thanks to the gorgeous weather, there are still some groups of anglers out there. Not too many pioneers reporting in though, most of the fishing is concentrated in a few key areas.
Leech Lake: Walleye and Perch angling continues to be good. The only secret to catching daytime Walleye is to find the windy shorelines. I've heard good reports from all of the "well known" fall spots; Stony Point, Ottertail, Pine Point, Big Hardwood, Sugar and Battle Points are all producing Walleyes right now. Avoid the calm shoreline areas, pick the ones that will give you the best drift and fish tight to the shoreline in 6 to 10 feet of water. Use 1/8 or 1/4 ounce jigs tipped with the best size minnows you can. Avoid small fatheads and stick with minnows in the 4 inch range, (even larger if you like) find some Spotail Shiners, large Rainbows or the largest fatheads and you will catch some fish. If you're trophy hunting, fish the same areas after dark using shallow running crankbaits and hold on tight.
There are still lots of folks fishing for Perch at the North end of Portage Bay and they are catching fish, Tom Neustrom reported seeing 25 rigs fishing up there on Friday. The fish are holding in the weeds and you'll have to do some sorting, but a jig and minnow fished near the bottom will do the trick.
On Lake Winnibigoshish Walleye anglers continue to work the Northwest corner of the big lake (winnie) from Mallard Point all of the way back East to Pidgeon River. There are pockets of Walleye, Perch and Pike mixed all along that North shore. If you happen to get a nice South wind, don't forget about Highbanks, but if it's calm, wait for the evening bite.
Cutfoot Sioux has been doable-but-slow for Walleye during the daytime, the evening bite is better though and if you stay out past dark, there's a decent nite bite going on there too. Crappies in Cutfoot have been getting more aggressive lately and if the winds are light, they'll keep you busy during the daytime. The last school I found was in 35 feet of water, but there are still some fish in the 25 foot range too.
For me, when it comes to Crappies, I'd prefer to look at some lakes that aren't getting fished right now because un-pressured fish will certainly give you a lot more action. Sometimes it's fun to pretend that I'm Amerigo Vespucci and fish where there aren't any other boats around. I think I might do that this afternoon as I squeeze in one last fishing trip to use up all of my old supplies and to clean things up and get the boat semi-ready for winter (just in case).
I'll put up one last report on Monday before we leave. It sounds like later this week the weather may turn back toward a more "normal" October pattern, so we'll see how much more fishing we can squeeze out of the 2010 season before we start counting down days to ice fishing.

Field Report October 16, 2010 Moderate South winds, sunny skies and warm temperatures provided the backdrop for another great day of fall fishing. Hey, even though most of my day was spent catching up on paperwork, yard work and preparing for the duck trip, I was thinking about you and made a few phone calls to keep tabs on the fishing.
At Fred's Bait, traffic was light, but there were still a few groups making their way into the area for fishing this weekend. The best Walleye reports coming in from Cutfoot Sioux and lake Winnie are centered around evening and night fishing. A guest at William's Narrows has been fishing strictly at night, trolling crankbaits on the big lake (Winnie) in 5 to 7 feet of water and doing very well. Most of the fish he's been catching have been in the keeper range (under 17 inches). Another group reported doing very well on Cutfoot Sioux by waiting for the evening bite. They fished jig and minnow in some of the "routine spots" and as the sun went down, the fish came up.
Over on Leech Lake, my friend and member of our NMLOG group has been working the nite-bite for several weeks. He's been catching a lot of large Walleyes, many over 26 inches. If you're after meat, this won't be for you because most if not all of the fish they're catching are in the protected slot. But if you're looking for some great photos and the thrill of releasing some big fish, try trolling shallow running crankbaits in 6 to 9 feet of water.
Perch action on both Winnie and Leech perked back up again on Friday as well. Apparently, the lighter winds and sunny skies bring out the best in them because these are the type of days that I hear the best reports. Best Perch action still centers around the weeds in 6 to 8 feet of water and the best presentation has been jig and minnow, fished really slow, almost motionless just a few inches off the bottom.
Lots of folks have been commenting on the fishing reports lately and I want to thank you for all of those kind words! During the next several weeks, the reports won't be updated quite as often, but I'll try to keep tabs on what's going on. If you're out on the lake and want to help out, I'd be happy to use your photos or reports about your trip. Use the contact page to get in touch.

Fishing Update October 15, 2010 Well that's a wrap, right? When I left the house on Thursday, I was fairly sure that it would be my last fishing trip before leaving to hunt in North Dakota. But when I got home last evening, there was a message about another possible trip on Saturday, we'll see if that one works out or not, but for now, I guess I'm more or less finished for a while.
As anticipated, we decided to make Leech Lake the destination on Thursday and with strong winds predicted, we hoped that the Walleyes would move back up on to the rocks for a feeding frenzy. When we arrived, the surface temperature was still 54 degrees. The water was already churning from a stiff West wind and with 3 to 4 foot waves breaking accross the rocky points, I knew that I'd have my work cut out for me.
Drifting was not possible because the waves were coming straight into the shore, so I backed the transom into the waves and slipped sideways down the shore. Fishing in 8 to 10 feet of water, this allowed us to move slow enough to stick with 1/8 ounce jigs. The first spot produced only a couple of fish, one 19 inch "slot fish" and a 16 inch keeper. We moved about a half mile up the shore and tried again, this time, we picked up 3 or 4 more fish on the first drift. Each subsequent drift produced another fish or two providing us with "slow, but steady" action. At around 10:30 AM the wind shifted to the Northwest making the drift much simpler and the fish seemed to like that diagonal wind direction a lot better. Our boat speed increased because of the wind shift, so I did switch to 1/4 ounce jigs for better feel. Walleye action became steady for the rest of the morning and we probably boated another 25 fish, nothing really big, but plenty of 20 to 22 inch fish to keep it interesting.
Our main presentation continued to be either 1/8 or 1/4 ounce jigs tipped with large fatheads. But, I did catch a few fish using 5 to 6 inch Redtails and a couple more using the 4 inch Ripple Shads on a long shank, 1/4 ounce jig.
Barring any unforseen weather change, the fishing should remain good for the next week or so as long as you remember to move with the wind. On Leech, it generally won't help to find the calm shoreline, you need to get out into the wind and fish tight to the rocks to be consistent.
For the afternoon, we decided to go after some Crappies, but I wanted to fish some new water that hadn't been heavily pressured. We looked at the map and picked a small lake in the area that I hadn't visited for a few years, but when we arrived there were whitecaps blowing straight into the shallow landing and we realized it just wasn't going to work out for us on that lake.
I was scratching my head about where to go next when a light bulb went on in my head.
Hey, why don't we try that little lake I'd gone into about a month ago? We drove about 20 miles cross country to a tiny lake that I'd tried on another windy day back in September. Call it luck or whatever you want, but I think I had a little help on this one. When we got there, we found Crappies scattered all along the small lake's 21 to 24 foot drop off. They weren't stacked up vertically like they've been on many other lakes, instead they were strung out horizontally along the breakline. We trolled slowly, following the drop-off using 1/8 ounce jigs tipped with various dressings, the best of which was a Chartreuse and Lime, 2 inch Berkley Gulp twirl tail.
We caught and released Crappies steadily all afternoon, in fact even after Dale mentioned going home at 5:30, I managed to squeeze in another hour using the old, "just one more fish trick". At 6:30 we finally headed out, declared victory and we'll see what comes next.

Fishing Update October 14, 2010 Well folks, today will be my last scheduled fishing trip of the season. I'll be keeping the reports updated until Sunday and then I'm going to take a week off for our annual Duck and Pheasant Hunting trip to North Dakota. This year when we return, there will be more time than usual before the Firearms Deer Hunting season begins, so depending on the weather, we may still be in for some more fishing during the last week of October.
Hey, you know I love to fish, but there are certain times that you just have to drop everything to go and do. This hunting trip is one of those few events and I plan to make the most of every single minute. When something only happens a couple of times a year, you tend to really appreciate the experience.
Back to reality, today, we'll be heading over to Leech Lake again and I hope the wind has kicked the Walleyes back into high gear. Check back on Friday morning for a report.

Fishing Update October 13, 2010 Okay, come on now, that's not fair! We just had a five day stretch of calm, sunny weather that made everyone forget all about the fall and on the only day of the week that I'd really appreciate that kind of weather, we get a cold front with NW Winds at 20 MPH instead.
After reading on the site that I'd had some cancellations for this week, my Brother decided to pick up my mom and run her up for a quick, one day visit. Naturally, I thought it would be nice to run them (along with a special, mystery guest) out to the lake to pick up some Crappies or Perch, you know, something nice and simple. Before we left the house, we already knew that there was a cold snap heading our way, but by the time we arrived at Cutfoot Sioux, the wind was gusting too. After several days of following them around, Crappie location was easy, but for my chilly guests, executing the game plan was a little tricky. With the wind blowing the boat around and causing problems with everyone's sense of feel, it was hard to get them from the lake into the boat and after a few frustrating attempts to find a spot where I could hold still, we decided to take the handful of Crappies we'd caught and start looking for something easier.
Walleye fishing seemed to make the most sense to everyone, but anyone in the boat who might have been chilly had already ruled out going into the big waves. We stayed inside Cutfoot and scrounged around the calm shoreline areas where we did pick up a few Walleyes. As their time started getting short, we made a quick trip into Little Cutfoot where wind was still a problem, but not so bad that we didn't bag a few more Crappies before calling it a day.
Hey, this isn't the first time something like this has happened and I guess this is some kind of corollary to Murphy's Law, the more you want to do something nice for someone, the more complicated the job has to be. Either way, it was a nice visit and they did have a bag of fillets to take home, all in all, not a bad day.
After the trip, my focus was on a 6:00 PM meeting with the regional DNR fisheries manager and large lake specialist about the proposed changes to the "Protected Slot Limit" for Walleyes on Lake Winnibigoshish. The best news about the presentation was that the analysis of ten years worth of lake survey data supports my notion that the slot limit has really helped improve the consistency and quality of the Walleye fishing in Winnie.
Angler catch rates have steadily improved over the period and angler harvest rates have remained constant. That means that we still get to eat about the same amount of fish as we did before the special regulation, but now we also enjoy catching more fish than we did prior to the regulation.
According to the presentation, Walleye population in Winnibigosh is still improving so no one is really sure when, if ever, Walleye populations could hit a plateau under the existing regulation. This suggests that there might be an opportunity to 'tweak" the low end of the slot limit from 17 inches up to 18 inches without seriously affecting the population. However, moving the slot size to 18 inches would likely reduce the angler catch rate somewhat, because a portion of the 17 inch fish that we release now, are caught again at a later time.
Long story short, I tend to be in the camp that says "IF IT AINT BROKE, DON'T FIX IT" and favor leaving the existing regulation in place. That said, if the fisheries officials believe that the lake can support the proposed 18 to 26 inch slot, I'm not necessarily opposed to that proposal either.
In any case, I do not favor reducing the bag limit from six fish down to four fish. For those of us who fish locally, a four fish bag limit is no big deal, but for folks travelling some distance to visit, it's nice to have the opportunity to return home with those extra couple of fish. Said another way, If it wasn't for tourism, you wouldn't be reading this report! As long as we have the ability to sustain fish populations using the existing bag limit, I can't see any reason to make it tougher on local businesses to attract folks to the area.
In fact, if you happen to hear talk about leveling the playing field for folks on other large lakes with a 4 fish bag limit, my answer would be yes, lets level the playing field! Increase their bag limit back up to 6 fish too!
Listen folks, we're playing with our own money. All of these resources are paid for by anglers in the form of license fees, there is no state funding of these programs. We should insist that the goals remain high and that Minnesota tourism remains healthy. With infrastructure already in place, plenty of suppliers, angler support and demand for this COMMODITY, Walleyes are the easiest of all fish to manage. The more opportunity we can provide anglers to enjoy them, the better off we'll all be.
To view details of the proposals and to voice your opinion, click here.

By the way, The 2008 Lund Alaskan is now for sale. Click here for details. My buddy's Lund 2025 Pro V is still listed as well and my current rig the 2010 Lund Alaskan pictured below will be available this fall. Details will be posted shortly.

Fishing Update October 12, 2010 Summer like weather in the Deer River area continued on Monday and while the calm, sunny days may be working against daytime Walleye fishing, Panfish, Perch and "The Night Bite" are providing plenty of angling opportunities.
Yesterday I mentioned that I thought we'd be checking out the panfish action and as I thought, when I picked up my crew, they requested that we target Perch and Crappies. With another mirror glass day in store, those words were like music to my ears.
I like to try the Crappies first thing in the morning because for me, they've been hitting better either early or late in the day. I wanted to save the mid-day for Perch because all reports from the area have been that daytime action had been good to excellent.
I've been looking around for some new Crappie territory hoping that I'd find some fresh schools of fish that haven't been so heavily pressured lately. For some reason, late fall is the time that we start seeing more Crappies scattered around the lake on deep flats so I started there. As I trolled the lake on a 22 to 25 feet flat, I was able to pick up some scattered pods of fish located near the bottom. When you see these on your locator, they look more like small Walleyes because they show up as single fish instead of the clusters of fish that you find on steeper drop-offs. We can still use an 1/8 ounce jig because most of the time, Crappies will rise up to get the bait and you are not required to get it all the way down to the bottom. You can also substitute a twister tail or another artificial dressing for a live minnow if you like. While you're moving, Crappies strike more aggressively, making live bait less important.
We just roamed slowly and put a little swimming action on the bait until we came accross a pod of fish. Once I found a small school, we'd stop the boat and fish vertically. Fishing this way, the action comes in spurts, when you find new fish, they're aggressive, but the small schools scatter quickly and when they do, just repeat the process of roaming until you hit another school of fish. It didn't take too long to find three or four of these pods of fish an soon we were nearly at our limit.
The search for Perch took a little longer, because my first couple of ideas didn't play out. But the third spot we tried was a large, shallow weed flat in 5 to 7 feet of water and this time it paid off. We trolled around for ten minutes or so as I looked for an active school. First one, then two, three and finally off to the races, once we found a school of fish and they were on GREEN FOR GO! I dropped a marker and hovered with the MinnKota in an area about 30 yards wide and the perch were about as ative as they can get. I was taking off fish and putting on minnows as fast as my arms could move. They weren't all jumbos, we probably had to catch a hundred fish or more in order to sort down to 40 nice ones, but there were enough 10 to 11 inchers to make it interesting.
I talked to a buddy who was doing the same thing over on Lake Winnie and another friend on Leech Lake who was also having good Perch action. All of the reports have one thing in common, shallow water, weedy flats in the 5 to 8 foot depth range.
If you've been frustrated by slow daytime Walleye fishing, you might want to think about the night bite. Several friends are fishing in a variety of locations with shallow running crank baits after dark and the results have been really impressive. Winnibigosh, Leech and Cass Lakes all have active night fishing going on right now and I don't know how you could ever get better weather than this to try it.
It sounds like we have some new weather moving in so I don't know what I'll try for today, maybe Walleyes if the breeze picks up, or maybe more panfish if it doesn't.
Hey, Just when you thought the fall color in Northern Minnesota was over, there's one last little color treat before the snow flies. The Tamaracks are now in their full gold color. I wish you could see them in person because the photos don't do them justice, but they're better than nothing.

Fishing Update October 11, 2010 I'm stumped for another way to say that this is an incredible stretch of weather we're having. I think it might be a couple of mis-placed weeks from July of 2009. Too bad that great weather sometimes equals tough fishing, but on Sunday I didn't really care too much because this time I was the passenger instead of the guide.
My friends Bill and Chester Powell wanted to check out some Cass Lake Musky spots so we headed over there to get a workout and hopefully bag a trophy. Well, I guess you've heard this before, but the high blue sky and mirror glass surface on the lake, were less than ideal for our outing. In fact, the only Musky we saw was an incidental sighting, a fish that just happened to be sunning in the shallow water near a patch of Bulrush. Same was true for the only decent Pike we saw, that one was sleeping in a cabbage patch in about 8 feet of water. As always, the trip wasn't wasted because at least we did learn the location of that Musky and next time, we hope she'll be chomping.
Hey, I'm not sure how they got the idea that it was time to make a move, but whenever Chester woke me up in the boat, we decided to run over to Leech Lake and try that for a while.
We landed on Sucker Bay and as soon as we arrived at the first spot, picked up some small Perch, a couple of Walleyes and a few small Pike. We kicked around the area for a while longer and sensing that we weren't in for any hot action, decided to head home. The fish that we did catch were in 8 to 9 feet of water in areas where there was mixed Sand Grass and short weeds on the bottom. The heavier Cabbage Weeds were not producing for us today and neither were the rocks close to shore.
I guess that you've heard this before too, but one of these days, we really could use a little wind to perk up the action and lift our spirits about the Walleye and Pike fishing.
There is good news though, Perch and Panfish action is still holding up and if we get the promised warm, sunny day again today, I'll probably spend my time looking for Crappies, 'Gills and maybe Perch. I'll report about that tomorrow and then unless the phone rings, I'll be down to my last couple of trips before heading over to North Dakota. Our annual Duck and Pheasant hunting trip will interupt the reports for next week, but when we return, I'll try to keep tabs on what's happening on Winnie, Leech Cass Lake and the Rainy River until the Deer season opener.

Fishing Update October 10, 2010 Another bluebird day in Northern Minnesota and another chance to drag out the shorts and light shirt.
I've wanted to fish some deep water for a while now and on Saturday we finally had a chance. Bob and Mike Carlson are always up for a chance to try and bag a trophy Walleye, so that was the game plan. We knew we'd be fishing until dark, so we didn't start until after 10:00 AM and I think we missed out on some early action because of it. During our first hour or so, we boated several Pike and a couple of Walleyes, but as the sun got higher in the sky, the bites really slowed down. As I moved from spot to spot, I could easily find small schools of fish suspended out over deep water. Most fish were hovering at 45 to 55 feet down over 80 to 90 feet of water. Hook and line anglers like us, are kind of messed up when the fish do that and so we just have to keep checking spots, looking for fish that are up on fishable structure.
On Calm, sunny days, we'd seen this happen before so we weren't too worried, Mike kept reminding me that the "evening bite" would be good and as usual, he was right. At about 4:30 we started seeing fish move on to a deep water point (see image) and soon we were getting some action. We fished using live bait rigs with six foots leaders, a #2 hook and added a propeller type float to help hold the large Redtail Chubs up and out of the rocks.
From 4:30 until 6:30 PM, we landed about a dozen fish, all really nice fish in the mid 20 inch range, but this time there were no giants. Next time, the really big one will bite!
Hey, I'm usually not this shallow, but on my way over, I came accross a real fox, a beauty that I just have to share with you. This is a family site so you'll have to click to see her image .
Around the area; as we were fishing, I stayed in touch with friends on Lake Winnie and Leech Lake. For them, daytime action was slow, but similar to our experience, the evening bite was saving the day on both of those lakes too. From here on out, it's probably a good idea to plan your fishing trip to include staying out until at least 6:30 to 7:00 PM to take advantage of that magic hour.
Today, we're going to try and bag a Musky over on Cass Lake. I hope I have some good news about that tomorrow, check back to find out.

Fishing Update October 9, 2010 Unbelievable! July in October? Another bluebird day in Northern Minnesota and a chance to put on the shorts and short sleeve shirt one last time before the snow flies. Another day of hard fishing, but this time the rewards for the work were a little better.
Another Crappie morning was in store for us as we headed out accross the mirror glass water. We slipped along the steep drop-off in 30 to 35 feet of water looking for packs of fish, found some and repeated the performance I reported about on Thursday.
Today, we knew that the Walleyes would make us work for them, so we came set with with the attitude that we'd grind away until we got the job done. This time, we headed back over to Leech Lake. Knowing that the calm seas would cause some problems, our plan was to fish until the sun went down, hoping for one of those 11th inning comebacks at the end of the day.
During the mid-afternoon, fishing was tough, but not impossible. In fact Justin caught the largest Walleye of the trip at about 3:00 PM on the sand flat near Five Mile Point in 12 feet of water. We moved around a lot and made long trolling passes as we pitched the 1/8 ounce jigs out and away from the boat. The reasoning behind this is to get the baits far enough away from the boat to work fish that haven't yet been spooked. Not often, but occaisionally, we'd get a fish to keep our spirits up. As the evening approached, the plan started coming together. At about 4:30 PM the fish began to bite more frequently and by 5:30 the action was slow, but steady. I can't really say that there was a peak, but there was a definite improvement toward sunset. In the end, we managed to put 9 keepers in the boat while we released another dozen, some too big, some too small.
Our best depth was 10 feet and unlike the windy days, rocks were not the key. Softer bottom areas, near the rocks were better. The wind is supposed to pick up today (Saturday) so I'll bet the rocks will be better again.
Hey, I guess it turns out that if you stick with it, you can make some progress and wind up having a pretty darn good day.

Fishing Update October 8, 2010 Bluebird day takes a bite out of Walleye Action.
Today (Thursday) was one of those picture perfect events that guys like me have a little trouble accepting. High, blue sky and no wind combined with cool, clear, water gave Walleyes a case of "nappy time" fever. No one should ever have to listen to a guy complain about such great weather, so I'll focus on the good news.
Luckily for me, Crappie fishing was also on the agenda for today and the calm conditions didn't bother the "specks" at all. Our first try for panfish was in water about 24 feet deep where we found a few small schools of fish. They were semi-interested, but acted really picky, hitting the bait and sptting it out before we could set the hook. We moved to a spot where I already knew that the schools of fish were located in deeper water, 30 to 35 feet. Fish that deep are easy to spot on the Humminbird and it didn't take long to discover a tight ball of fish. This time it was different, as soon as we dropped our jigs in the water, I could see fish coming up toward the falling bait. We had a little work catching the first dozen or so, because it takes a while to get the feel of how to trick 'em. But once I knew that Karen and Erl were "getting the touch", I made a move to find a fresh school of fish.
Being up a notch on the skill level made a huge difference and by noon, we had our limit of nice slabs in the cooler. We had to use 1/8 ounce jigs to get down in the deep water, but the heavy weights didn't seem to bother the fish at all. Crappie minnows, wax worms or even small, immitation minnow tails worked equally well.
After shore lunch, we headed out onto Lake Winnibigosh hoping to bag some Walleyes and maybe some Perch as well. We started up the North shore and discovered mirror flat water, strewn with loose floating weeds that had been tugged loose by all of the other anglers already sifting through the same weeds, hoping for a few Walleyes from the heavy cover. Erl caught an 18 inch "slot-fish" fairly soon and it looked like we might be in good shape, unfortunately, that was the only one on this spot. After a half hour, fighting all of the floating weeds got the better of me and we moved West hoping to find some weeds that had been less picked over. At Stony Point, we found some decent size Perch and caught a handful as we trolled for Walleyes, but we didn't stop and fish them hard. Eventually we picked up a couple of more keep size Walleye, but for some reason, I just couldn't get focused on finding an active school and finally at sunset, we called it a day.
Hey, Everyone has a tough Walleye day from time to time and although I felt really bad, Erl and Karen were so gracious it warmed my heart. Still, this was another one of those humbling experiences for me and points out a leeson that I've learned the hard way, "The problem with being a good sport, is that you have to lose to prove it".
The good news is that eventually the conditions will swing back in favor of the anglers and the fishing will improve again.
For today, the forcast is calling for another Bluebird day and I'm going to try and defend myself by going deep. We'll see how that works out and report back tomorrow.

Fishing Update October 7, 2010 Blue skies and moderate temperatures continue to create ideal fall fishing conditions in Northern Minnesota. For me, Wednesday marked the third day of fishing on Leech lake and even though the wind switched to the Northwest after three days of southerly flow, sunny weather and moderate overnight temperatures have combined to raise surface temperatures back up over 55 degrees.
In spite of the wind switch, the Walleyes managed to re-group, now shifting somewhat from previous locations, but still active. My only adjustment was to look for points or shoreline areas that we exposed to the Northwest. For most of the morning the breeze was perfect and the "Walleye Chop" on the surface kept the fish in an active mood. We spent a couple of hours fishing in 8 to 9 feet of water on a single rocky point and the action was steady. Winds were lighter than we found on Tuesday, so we were able to scale back down to 1/8 ounce jigs. We are still using the largest minnows available, it doesn't seem to matter if they're fatheads, rainbows or shiners as long as the size is good. I like them to feel "heavy" on the jig and try to get minnows in the 4 inch ranch, if possible.
Another observation we made about the lighter wind was that a greater number of the larger size "slot fish" were showing up in the mix today. This suggests that the drifting speed of the boat is a factor in catching those larger fish. When the wind blew hard on Tuesday and our drifting speed got up over 1.2 to 1.4 MPH, the smaller, more aggressive fish continued to bite, but some of the larger fish apperently just let us blow by without hitting. Another observation about the wind, there was an hour or so on Wednesday where the winds calmed and the lake went flat. Like the old days, the fishing action dropped off immediately. Later, the wind blew and the action resumed. In other words, if the prediction is for a calm day, it might be best to hold off and wait for a day where you're likely to get a better breeze.
Meanwhile, up on Lake Winnie, friends reported continued action on the weed edges in 6 to 8 feet, also using jig and minnow combinations. On Winnie, there are also a good number of Perch mixed in on the shoreline, so a mixed bag is likely.
Today, we'll be checking up on the panfish at some point, so I'll get you an update about that tomorrow.

Fishing Update October 6, 2010 More great fall weather, more great Leech Lake action!
Tuesday was another great day with sunny skies, temperatures in the low 70's and a South wind that set up the perfect "Walleye Chop" on Leech Lake. Fishing with friends Arne and Tina Danielson, we didn't plan on breaking much new ground, we just wanted to expand on the experience I had at leech Lake on Monday.
Water temps were still holding just above 53 degrees and there was a fairly heavy chop on the surface, about 2 foot waves, more or less. Fishing the rocky shoreline on the East side of the main lake in 10 feet of water, we starting picking up Walleyes within ten minutes of starting our first drift. The action remained steady for most of the trip, but we found that there were more tightly grouped "pockets" of fish instead of fish scattered over a wide area like there was on Monday. Also, in contrast with Monday, today's fish were mostly in the 16 to 18 inch range and there were relatively few "slot fish" over 18 inches compared to the larger fish we caught on Monday. In fact our largest Walleye for the trip was a 22 incher caught by Arne on one of the first few drifts.
Maybe boat speed was the problem, at 1.2 to 1.4 MPH we drifted a little too fast for the 1/8 ounce jigs that we'd used on monday. Two of us switched to 1/4 ounce jigs to improve the feel, we got snagged on the rocks more often, but it didn't seem to diminish our Walleye action. Still, the heavier jig and faster presentation may have been a little to much for the larger fish or maybe they just weren't present at this particular spot.
I still was interested in trying to catch a lunker and wanted to try a different approach, but with all the waves and heavy water, I couldn't really try rigging the large Creek Chubs that worked well on Monday. Instead, this time I thought I'd give the big, 4 inch Ripple Shads a whirl and it didn't take long to connect. Walleyes hit the White pearl version of the bait aggressively, but still, most of the fish were on the low end of the "slot size" around 18 to 19 inches. I stuck with the artificials until I'd lost my third one in the rocks and then switched back to the jig and minnow.
Meanwhile, up the shore a few miles, a friend reported that the Jumbo Perch were hitting too. They'd been at it a while, but did catch their limit of Perch, all over 10 inches long. Fishing in 7 feet of water with jigs and minnows is all they used and while the action wasn't hot, it was steady.

Fishing Report October 5, 2010 Perfect autumn weather provides the backdrop for a great day of Walleye fishing!
Our goal on Tuesday was to check out the fall Walleye action on Leech Lake which until recently, had been falling short of anglers expecations. Fishing with long time friend, Bruce Champion, the goal is always to find some large fish and Leech Lake is a perfect place to pursue that goal. Hoping that the latest reports I'd been getting were accurate, we headed out onto the lake, eager to find out for ourselves.
We were prepared for a slow start because at 53 degrees, the surface water temps were the coldest of any large lake I've been on so far this fall. This, combined with an air temperature of about 40 degrees, gave me the distinct feeling that the fish would be suffering from a case the "morning chills". Even though we struggled at first, hunting and pecking for an area that would deliver good action, we knew that weather conditions were perfect and I really had the feeling that fishing was going to improve as the day warmed up.
Fishing the weeds and sand breaks in 8 to 12 feet of water yielded sporadic action that included a few small Walleyes and some Perch, but it wasn't until we started checking out the rocks that things began improving.
Our first encounter with a "school" of fish was in the Five Mile Point area where our first fish was a hefty, 26 inch Walleye. After that, we caught numerous small fish in the 10 to 13 inch range and a couple more "slot fish" around 19 inches. Maybe later the size would have improved, but even though we were having good action, we decided to keep looking for something better. Heading South toward heavier rocks, things started looking a lot better and by noon we started boating fish of every size you can imagine including everything from peanuts-to-trophies, with a smattering of the "Coveted Keepers" in the 17 inch range. Our best fish for the day were Bruce's 27-1/2 inch Walleye and 33 inch Northern Pike.
Hey, as the day warmed up, the action continued to improve, but there was one particular moment around 3:45 PM or so that signaled the start of a good old fashioned action bite. It was almost like someone signalled the all clear, green for go! From that moment on, we had non-stop action until sunset!
We could sense that there were a lot of Walleyes moving because fish would come in waves of similar sizes. We might catch a half dozen 20 inchers followed by eight 16 inchers, then back to large fish again, then small and so on...It was clear that new schools of fish were moving on and off the rocks frequently.
Our main presentation was an 1/8 ounce Bugeyed Shorty Jig tipped with the largest size minnows I could find. Large fatheads or Rainbow Chubs worked fine, but on Leech Lake, I always feel better if I can find some Spottails just in case the fish get finicky, I didn't have live ones, but I did bring along some frozen shiners. At one point, just for fun, I rigged Bruce up with a live bait rig and hooked on an 8 inch Creek Chub for bait, success was almost instant as he caught a nice, 25 inch fish on the first drift. He missed connecting on two more hits after that and soon broke off the rig in the rocks. We never re-rigged with the big minnows because the jigs were working, but I think someone who wants a trophy should give this a whirl.
Comparing notes with another friend, the "night bite" on Leech has also been very good and there are lots of larger fish coming in. If you're up to the task, trolling shallow running crankbaits in 6 to 9 feet of water on the shoreline will work great. Night fishing will put a lot of 26 to 28 inch fish in the boat, but don't expect to get many keepers.

Fishing Report October 4, 2010 A frosty morning in the Deer River area turned out to be a day that I wouldn't trade for all of the money in the world! Long time friend Ellie Bullington (grandma), Jen Adams (daughter) and Jaden Adams (grandaughter) teamed up to keep me busier than a cat in a Tuna factory all afternoon! My official instructions were to catch some Walleyes, but I had just gotten a hot tip from my buddy, Vern Valliant about some panfish and it sounded like this would be a great "tune up" to get the action rolling, so we decided to spend a little time over there first.
Crappie and Bluegill: I need to be protective of tips from friends, so without getting too specific, this was new territory for me and not an area that I'd normally have been looking for panfish. Unlike the deep water (30 foot plus) areas that I've been fishing, Vern's spot was a lot shallower (about 18 feet deep) and on a flat where some debris on the bottom served as structure for the fish. It wasn't hard to locate the school of fish and within minutes the action bite was on. I had three lines rigged up for Crappies using 1/8 ounce jigs tipped with small, imitation minnows and one line rigged for Bluegills using a 1/16 ounce jig tipped with a live Wax Worm. At first, the sunfish acted like they hadn't seen food in a month and the wax worm kept I and Jaden busy non-stop for about 15 minutes. Then I discovered that the Crappies were in the same spot except suspended over the top of the sunfish. Now we lifted the lines higher (about two feet above the bottom) and began catching Crappies. From then on, the rule of thumb was Bluegills on the bottom and Crappies two feet higher than the bottom. Today, it seemed like the panfish were a little more color selective and for us, two tone yellow and lime jigs were better than most other coplors we tried.
This was a really nice "head start" and by the time we had 15 crappies and 15 Bluegills, we packed up and prepared to head back into Walleye territory.

Jaden Adams Sunfish Action Jaden Adams Sunfish Action Jaden Adams Sunfish Action Jaden Adams Sunfish Action
Hey, Another "Dream Girl" in the making. Ten year old Jaden Adams kept us all on our toes. Ya gotta love it!

On Cutfoot Sioux, we found that the surface temperature was still holding at 56 degrees and boat traffic was light, especially for such a nice day. I didn't really break any new ground here, we bounced around from point to point picking up our Walleye and Perch a couple at a time. I never found any spot that was "loaded" with fish and I never found any that didn't have at least a couple of biting fish either. Today, the Walleyes were really holding tight to the shallow drop off at about 9 to 10 feet deep. Too far into the weeds yielded Perch and anything deeper than 12 feet yielded bite offs from "hammer handle size Pike". Today was the first time that I noticed an evening bite where there was really significant increase in the action as the sun got near the tree line. On our last spot, Ellie put on quite a show for us as she boated for Walleyes on one drift. I think we would have gotten more, but as the sun dipped, so did the temperature and we headed off the lake at sunset.
Presentaion did not vary in any way from recent reports, 1/8 ounce jigs tipped with either large fatheads, rainbows or shiners if you can find them.
The reports from Leech Lake keep improving so today (Monday) We're heading over that way to explore the options. Watch for some info about that on Tuesday.

Field Report October 3, 2010 Saturday morning was a chance for me to get part way through a list of much needed repairs, maintanance and cleaning. Believe it or not, I found a boat underneath the gravel road that I've been trailering around for the past week and it only took 3 washings to find it!
By mid-day, I started calling fishing buddies around the area to see what the action was like and everyone I talked to was giving me the thumbs up for fishing. Panfish action was good at mid-day and the Walleyes were still hitting at 3:00 PM. I didn't hear anything that varied much from what we've been talking about for the past week, so just check the reports from the past few days and I'll spare you the trouble of reading it again.
The weather was beautiful and hitting a fishing hole sounded pretty good, but not quite good enough. For me, this was the kind of day that I just felt like I needed to go for a walk, so I packed up Buster Brown, my Water Spaniel and headed out into the woods to try and bag a Ruffed Grouse. After standing in the boat every day for the past 56 days, the walk on dry ground was delightful, but not very productive in terms of shooting. I did get to watch the old dog get "birdy" a few times and he did flush two Grouse for me, but I guess I wasn't very mad at 'em because I never even raised my shotgun.
One cool thing that I did get to do was to walk right up underneath a mature Bald Eagle sitting in a dead tree. This one allowed me to snap a half dozen pictures at close range. We see Eagles every day, but it's not too often that they let you get this close.
Fishing Reports from around the area: Cass Lake, Congratulations to Carl Adams and Brian Broshdahl who took 1st and 2nd places in the Muscular Distrophy tournament today. My good buddy Chad Benson would have taken third place if he'd rememered that the weigh in was at 3:00 PM instead of 4:00 PM, what the heck Chad, you still got to eat the fish, so that's pretty good, right?
Most of the anglers on Cass are sticking with the deeper water Walleye patterns, jigging in 35 to 70 feet of water, but there are still lots of Walleye in the 18 to 26 foot range as well. Also, when the wind blows, there's a decent shoreline bite in 8 to 12 feet of water too. Perch continue to be active on the flats in 10 to 12 feet of water, especially where there are scattered weeds.
Acoording to friends that have been fishing on Leech Lake, the action on the East side is holding up fairly well and now there are some good reports coming in from Stony Point, Ottertail and up toward the hardwoods. My guess is that the typical Leech Lake, rock spots will be good as long as you have a wind to work with. If the weather is clear and calm, steer clear of Leech for the day and head up to Winnie where the weedline fish are still active.
Lake Winnie, Water temperature dipped down to 54 degrees today, but according to my pal Vern Valliant, Walleye action remained good on the weedline in 7 feet of water. By now, most everyone on the lake knows that jig and minnow presentations are all you really need for Walleyes. If you want to experiment for big fish, live bait rigging large minnows could be a fun way to catch a mixed bag of Walleye and better size Northern Pike.
Hey, I hope your weekend is going great! I'll be back in the boat on Sunday and I'll get additional news for another report on Monday. In the meantime, have a great day on Sunday!

Fishing Update 10-2-2010 What a great way to start october! Last week I had posted a note about an un-expected cancellation and a short while later got a call from Kim Masterson who along with Steve Shears, wanted to book the date. We kept bumping into each other all week long at various landings and out on the lake, so even though we hadn't fished together before, we were already getting aquainted. For me, it's always nice to meet new people, but it's even better when you get a really nice surprise and meet folks like these two, relaxed, inquisituve and each of them had a great sense of humor.
I happened to mention Crappies and they were both interested, so we headed out onto Cutfoot Sioux and started searching in likely territory. Surface water temperature was still holding at 56 degrees and the water still looked great, so I was cautiously optimistic.
During the past week or two, Crappies had become finicky, so I warned them that we may be working at it a bit. My second nice surprise of the morning came when we found a nice school of fish that were in the biting mood for a change. Spending only about an hour, we had our Crappie mission wrapped up and wre were ready to tackle the big lake for Walleyes. My third nice surprise of the day came when the rain stopped and the skies cleared just in time for our ride out accross the lake.
I started out to the main lake hoping that the fish we'd found on Thursday would still be active, so we headed out toward the Stony Point area. My fourth nice surprise came when I discovered that the Walleyes were still in the area and were in the "biting mood". We started on the shoreline, fishing in 6 to 7 feet of water with 1/8 ounce Bug Eyes, tipped with the largest size fatheads I could get. Walleye and Perch were more than willing to cooperate, although the bite was not fast and furious, just nice and steady. After the weedline action began to slow down, we bounced around to several shallow rocky spots with the notion of catching some larger size "slot fish". All of these rocks had at least a few fish on them and we did get a few nicer 20-22 inch fish as a reward for the effort.
Today there were also a larger number of toothy critters in the area. We lost a dozen or more jigs due to Pike bite offs and we also had a nice Musky chase up one of the Walleyes we were landing. It's hard to get an idea of the size of Pike when they snip the jigs off, but it might be worth some effort to cast for these to see if there's any larger fish moving in.
My fifth nice surprise of the day came when we spotted a cloud drifting accross the lake with a rainbow tagging along. Hey, by now we had fish in the well, the weather was beautiful and the scenery was excellent. I just couldn't hold back! I was in a full scale good mood.
Toward the end of the day, we moved back into Cutfoot to take one last run on a spot that was good for me last week. My sixth nice surprise of the day came when Kim managed to stage a last minute grand finale' by catching one last 20 incher on our last drift of the trip.
As I write this report, I'm still trying to decide if I should hunt or fish today so who knows what I'll have to report tomorrow. But, I'm sure there will be some info to share.

Fishing Update 10-1-2010 Happy October! Well folks, I'm down to my last couple of weeks of serious fishing and from here on out, I'm guessing that I'll be talking mainly to "Die-Hard" anglers and fans of the report. With all of the opportunities heading our way this month, it's going to be a little tougher for me to focus only on fishing, so I'll be throwing in a few tidbits about hunting too. I'd really appreciate hearing reports from you about your own fishing and hunting trips or maybe even about what's going on with new regulations for 2011.
Thursday was the last day of my 5 day stint with the "Texas Boys" and we really used it to relax and soak up the scenery, catch a few more fish and look at some new water before they headed home.
In the morning, our first stop was at a small lake that I'd never fished before, but always wanted to try. The lake is known as a Walleye lake, but also has a fair number of Crappie and Perch. I knew that we were in for trouble when we arrived at the lake and saw the lumps of floating debris everywhere in the water. For me, this was a sign that we arrived just after the dreaded turnover, but we still wanted to see the lake and decided to give it a few hours. Working the shallow weedlines yielded several small Pike and a couple of skinned minnows, but I wasn't marking many fish and the weeds were looking horrible, black and dead. We moved out into the main basin to check out lakes only "deep hole" and there we did find and catch a few Crappies, but holding to my self-imposed time limit, decided to head out and spend our afternoon on more productive water.
Lake Winnie still has surface temperatures ranging from 55.5 to 56.5 and with a NW wind at 15, there were several places to fish that offered the perfect drifting conditions. We settled in to a stretch of water in the 6 to 7 foot depth range with a good weedline. Walleye, Perch and a few Pike were still holding to the weed edges in good, but not fantastic numbers. The strikes seemed solid, which is a good indication that they are still in the fall feeding mode. Our presentaion hasn't changed a bit since earlier reports, jig and Minnow combinations are still working just great. I have avoided Cutfoot lately, only because of the crowds, but reports from friends fishing in there indicate that it's still fairly good as well.
Hey, I keep mentioning that I really want to get a chance to go deep, but I've been having a little trouble finding the right time. With a little free time this weekend, I just might head out to one of the lakes where the deep bite is going on and take a little time for myself to check it out.
My buddy, Chad Benson told me that they are definitely hitting some deeper fish over on Cass lake and I've heard a few rumors about Leech lake starting to pick up as well. There are a handful of other lakes in the area where fish can be found in 60, 70 or even 80 feet of water. It's a different style of fishing, but when the conditions are right, I absolutely love it!
Recently, I've been trying to give you a little glimpse of the progression of fall colors. Grouse hunters will be happy when they see today's photos, but color enthusiasts will see why I think that it's time to wind this down after today. Lots of pretty places still out there, but there are more and more bare tree branches showing up every day.

Fishing Update 9-30-2010 Happy for the chance to find some Northern Pike to prepare our annual "Fish Boil", we left the resort on Wednesday morning with nothing else in mind but that. Our secondary goal was to try and re-live a happy experience we'd had last year on a tiny lake in the Marcell area. When we arrived, surface temperature of this deep, narrow lake was holding at 59 degrees, the warmest I'd seen anywhere this week.
The lake is so small that it only takes a few minutes of scanning with the 898 to figure out where the fish are and we discovered that most fish were suspended 30 feet down, over 50 to 60 feet of water. I should have brought my lead core equipment to troll for these suspended fish, but I hadn't. We tried fishing the deep Pike with jigs and artificails, but they turned up their noses at everything except live minnows. We caught several Pike, but all were small and losing interest, I decided to pull the pin and switch lakes.
We traveled back toward Deer River and dropped the boat into another lake where we usually catch lots of Pike. This time, we were much happier as the windy conditions had these fish a lot more stirred up. The fish were deep here too and most of the action came in water depths of 22 to 30 feet. I stuck with artificials all afternoon and caught my share of Pike on a variety of minnow shaped swim baits, but clearly, the fish preferred live bait. The boys stuck with 3/8 ounce jigs tipped with above average size minnows and had steady action all day long. By days end we had sorted out a half dozen fish in the 28 to 30 inch range and headed back to the resort for our fish boil. If you haven't tried this, you owe it to yourself to do it at least once. Pike are the perfect fish for a boil and it's so simple, you can't do it wrong.
Hey, remember this quote? "Yes!, it's September, the month that never arrives soon enough and never stays long enough. Hey, there's so much to look forward to this month that it could even make my heart skip a beat! I can hardly wait." Well, that was from my fishing report on 9-1-2010 and guess what, September is now nearly over. I've learned a lot this year about the passage of time and I made a special point to soak up all of the goodness, happiness and beauty that this month brought. I hope you did the same, but just in case you didn't, it's only a blink of an eye until next September.

Fall Fishing Report September 29, 2010 As far back as I can remember, the last week of September has always been one of my favorite weeks of the year. Everything just seems to happen at once and what we saw on Tuesday was a perfect example.
Picking my crew up at Leino's Riverside Resort in Squaw Lake, our plan was to drop the boat in at the Third River landing and head down-river out to Lake Winnie. We had a goal of catching a mixed bag of Crappie, Perch and Walleye. The drive over is a ten mile stretch of gravel road, so we had a lot of opportunity to see great fall colors and even some critters along the way. The fall colors were past their peak, but still very pretty and the thinning leaves allowed us a glimpse at a flushing Ruffed Grouse.
At the landing, it really looked like fall, lots of leaves on the ground, the Wild Rice had lost any hint of it's summer green color and there were ducks flying everywhere. Surface temperature in the river was still holding in "prime territory" at 55.6 degrees and it looked like we might have a good day in store.
Our first stop was to stay in the river and check out the Crappies. We started roaming slowly through the weeds in 7 to 9 feet of water using small jigs, one tipped with a minnow, one with a 3 inch twister and another with a small ripple shad. For over an hour, we found no sign of any Crappie, but there were plenty of Perch keeping us busy while we searched. Even though it was looking like we might miss out on the Crappies, I had a feeling that eventually they would put on a lttle show for us.
I'm glad that I dug in my heels because at about 10:30 the calvary arrived to lend us a helping arm. My buddy Norm, from Bowen Lodge who just might be the best Crappie fisherman on Cutfoot and Winnie, showed up and began working an area about 300 yards from where we'd been searching. I worked my way toward him and soon there were a few fish coming in. Norm called us over to a "hot-spot" that he had located and by noon we had boated 15 nice slabs. Thanks Norm! I really appreciated that.
Our next stop was on a shallow point adjacent to a large weed flat where we hoped to bag some Walleyes for our evening meal.
Hey, I have a thing about birds and as I arrived at my spot, there was a Loon feeding just outside the weedline. For me, this is always a good sign and this time was no exception. This particular little birdy hung around, watching over us for more than two hours.
As we chipped away at a mixed school of Walleye and Perch, It was calm, but cloudy and remained that way until around 1:30. While the overcast conditions persisted, the fish were holding on the inside edge of a weed flat, just where the shallow rocks met the inner weed edge. There wasn't much wind, so to avoid getting snagged, we used 1/16 ounce Sneaky Petes tipped with fairly large, 4 to 5 inch Rainbow Chubs. Even the perch preferred these larger minnows and hit them aggressively.
There was a peak in the action as the clouds passed and the sky first became sunny that lasted for about a half hour. But once the full sun was overhead for a while, the bite slowed, then stopped and we were forced to move to deeper weeds to continue our search. Switching to heavier weeds in the 8 to 9 foot depth range, we found a major school of Perch. The average size was fair, not really magnums, but still good, most of the fish ranged from 9 to 10 inches and an occaisional 11 incher for added fun. We sorted through them and kept 20 nice ones for the boys to take home.

Walleye Action Chrz Walleye Action 2 Chrz Walleye Action 3 Chrz Walleye Action 4 Chrz
The Stoic Norwegian Brothers Strike Again! Reel 'em in, but try not to crack a smile! click to enlarge

Before we left to cook dinner, I checked in with some friends who were fishing inside Cutfoot and it sounded like fish were coming in slow, but steady there as well. Thanks to the warmer daytime temps, it looks like the surface temperatures might hold and maybe we're going to squeeze in another good weekend of prime fishing.

Fall Fishing Report September 28, 2010 A day that I arranged backwards. I was really hoping to take advantage of my opportunity to check out some "fresh" Walleye and Crappie water on Monday, so we decided to venture out to a couple of lakes that I hadn't fished for a few weeks. Since we needed fish for shore lunch, Walleye fishing was first on the schedule.
When we arrived at a small lake North of Deer River, everything looked good. Surface temperature was 56.5 degrees and there was a slight Nortwest breeze. We tried our first spot where a weedline met an underwater gravel point. We caught several Perch and Northern Pike, but so far, no Walleye. We moved around the lake a bit and finally found some Walleyes in a heavy Cabbage weed flat, but as we boated our first couple of fish, a series of strong lighting bolts, forced us to shore to wait out an approaching storm. After the storm had almost completely passed, we headed back to the same weed bed and found that the thunderstorm had given the fish a "tingle", they were quite active now. We caught a few more and missed some too. But, now the plot thickens, as the sunshine replaced the clouds and glassy smooth water replaced the ripple, the fish shut off faster than a teenager's alarm clock on Saturday morning.
We cruised the lake for a half hour looking for a good sign of Crappies schooled up, but I just never got happy with the view on my Humminbird. A good time to break for lunch anyway, we packed up and headed out.
Our next stop was a lake known for better Crappie fishing and here the conditions looked good as well. Surface temperature at the landing was 60 degrees and ranged from 57 to 59 in other spots around the bay. Our first stop made me really optimistic as we immediately boated 3 nice Crappies and a half dozen nice Sunfish. Now guess what, here's comes the wind and a great chop on the surface for Walleye fishing. My thoughts were that I should have come here first and then gone to the first lake second, live and learn. Even though it was a struggle to stay on the panfish, we poked around for the rest of the afternoon and picked up fish intermittently.
, sometimes I forget to follow my own advice and let my "little voice" tell me where I need to be. This time I did a little too much thinking and wound up out-smarting myself. I'll try not to make that mistake again today.
The fish we did find were located in water depths of 26 to 30 feet and they responded best to a small, pink ice jig tipped either with minnows for Crappie or wax worms for sunfish. There were a fair number of bites on a 1/8 round jig head tipped with a minnow, but this presentaion yielded a lot more Rock bass than Crappies..
Around the area, a friend reported that the daytime Walleye action is beginning to pick up just a bit over on Leech Lake. So far it sounds like the rocks on the East shoreline are okay whenever the winds blows in. If you're a night owl, the after dark bite is pretty good, but you'll catch few eaters, so it's purely a sport fishing opportunity.
Cutfoot Sioux has been reliable for Walleyes, but crowded. There has been a ton of pressure on the panfish now, so expect the Crappie and Sunfish action to be spotty.

Fall Fishing Report September 26, 2010 Another spectacular autumn day in Northern Minnesota. Sunday marked the beginning of fishing with a group that's made this an annual tradition for 15 years, maybe more. David Chrz and Eldon Skoglund sometimes fish alone, sometimes fish with other guests, but always do whatever the spirit moves them to. With five days to fish every fall, I really look forward to using this time to visit lots of lakes that I don't see very often. Over the years, we've probably covered something like 60 or 70 lakes and whether we catch a lot of fish or not, it's always an adventure. Even Buster has a few stories about these guys (and vice versa).
Following tradition, I and David decided to fish a smaller lake that's "off the grid" for Walleye and hoping maybe for an odd Smallmouth or two along the way. It's over an hour from home, so I rarely visit this lake more than a few times each year, but it's had a good track record in the fall and we wanted to try it.
When we arrived, I got a little nervous once I saw that the surface temperature was at 54 degrees, but with a good Walleye Chop on the water and a sunny blue sky to warm us up, we were ready for the challenge. I headed out to a shallow rock flat adjacent to a large weed bed that drops off into 25 feet of water. Soon, Tulibees (Northern Ciscoes) will start to gather near this deep edge and the larger Walleyes and Pike will follow them in. It took fifteen minutes or so to start getting a feel for where the fish were, but soon we began picking up fish at a fairly steady pace. Nothing really big just yet, but there were an ample number of 19 to 20 inch fish mixed in with the 16 inchers that were common. Following the same pattern we fished three other spots, all featuring rock flats or points near shallow weed beds. All of the spots had at least some fish and one of them had enough fish to warrant a return visit at days end. Jig and minnow combinations in 8 to 12 feet of water was the only presentation we needed. Obviously, 54 deggrees didn't cause any trouble today, but I'll probably start casting an eye toward some deeper lakes to work on really soon.
Hey, Another thin, I never realized how out of touch you can be when you're just an hour away from home. Not only were we out of communication with everyone, we discovered that fall color had un-expectedly progressed a lot further up there than it has closer to Deer River. All of the Ash trees were free of leaves as were many of the smaller Aspens. Hardwoods were still colorful, but obviously well past their peak and there were plenty of Maple leaves on the ground near the landing. If this is indicative of what's ahead, we'll be seeing a lot of leaves disappear this week.
On Monday, we'll be on the prowl for some new Crappie water as many of the popular spots around home have been heavily pressured. Monday will also be a day to catch up on news from Winnie, Leech and Cutfoot, so check in Tuesday for an update.

Fall Fishing Report September 26, 2010 Wow! What a difference a day makes. After spending Friday in the rain and gusty winds, it was really nice to wake up to a calm, sunny morning. The weather and fall scenery was nearly perfect on Saturday and even though it might have worked against us a little in terms of the ultimate fishing, we spent most of the day in awe of what nature had treated us to.
At the lake, the surface was calm and the water temperature had managed to hold at 56.5 degrees. Throughout the day, warm sunshine and virtually no wind helped warm the surface and by the time we left the lake, I was readintg 59.5 degrees at the landing. Of course it won't stay that high over night, but it will help hold off the turnover for just a bit longer.
Having only one angler is kind of relaxing for me, so we weren't pushing too hard so we didn't get the earliest start, arriving at our first spot around 9:15. Our Walleye fishing started off really well as we tossed jig and minnow combinations toward the weedline on a gravel point. Our first pass accross the point yielded 4 fish and on the next few passes we picked up several more larger, release fish plus a couple of more keepers. By now we were in good shape having Bob's limit in the cooler so we turned our attention to Crappies. By now the sun was high in the sky and the lake was like glass, Crappies were really easy to find, but tricky to hook. Looking back, it would have been better to fish these first and then switch over to Walleyes. We caught half of the fish we needed, but we were ready for some action and returned to jigging the weedlines for Walleye. We caught several more Walleyes, some Perch and Pike and then returned to the Crappie project to finish out the day. I'm sure that anyone who fished earlier in the morning or later in the evening would have had better action, but in the end, we wound up one short on the Crappies, which wasn't a bad showing considering the conditions.
Hey, I know that there have been a few times in my life when I've laid my eyes on more beautiful sights, but believe me, not too many. Playing my role as cub reporter, I snapped some more pictures of the trees, these don't do justice to the real thing, but they're still pretty nice and you can see them by clicking fall colors here. I think this is about as good as it gets, in fact look close at some of the photos and you'll see that lots of the Ash Trees have already lost their leaves. So if you can head up for a look today or at least in the next couple of days, I think you should.

Fall Fishing Report September 25, 2010 Friday was back to the Walleye fishing for me. In the morning we got another lovely surprise. Heavy rain fell through the early morning, forcing a short delay before we got our wheels off the ground. We did manage to get it together though and meet at the landing by about 10:00 AM. Once on the lake, surface temperatures looked good, still hanging in there at 57 degrees. Another complication arose though as the Northwest winds were gusting and white-caps were busting.
All of this unfolded while I had an extra (4th passenger) for the first and only time all season long. My only choice was to find a couple of spots out of the wind where we could make long drifts and hope that the Walleyes cooperated. Luckily for me, they acted hungry as they have all week long and I was able to fish fairly tangle-free for the morning. Good news, many spots are holding fish and we were able to find at least some fish everywhere we tried, so don't be afraid to experiment.
The fish were located in 8 to 10 feet of water again and today they really liked the tips of underwater points. Whenever we'd drift closer to the up-wind side of a point, the action would heat up. Jig and minnows are still working great, larger minnows are better than small ones.
Around noon, a couple of my guys needed a break to warm up so we dropped them off at the landing. The rest of us went back out and did some searching and picked up a half dozen more fish in the process. By mid-afternoon, we had the whole crew assembled again and started fishing.
Hey, by now I was seeing things on my electronics that really made me want to go deep, but with the heavy load and high winds, I was forced to stay protected in the shallows. I really felt like it was time to pay attention to deeper water and I am planning to return there for a closer look at my earliest opporuntiy.
A side note, there was a really nice sprinkling of Jumb Perch mixed in with the Walleyes, so for the fish fry minded anglers, consider adding a few of these to your bag.

Fall Fishing Report September 24, 2010 Our day on Thursday turned out better than expected in terms of the weather. A few rain showers and some wind, but not the gully washer that we'd expected. With the goal of catching panfish, we had some nice options for getting out of the wind and even though the fishing action wasn't fast, it was steady enough to keep us occupied.
As we left the dock at Bowen's water temperature in Cutfoot Sioux was 57 degrees and holding. Phil Goettl was interested in showing his sister a few of the big Bluegills that Cutfoot has to offer, so we headed toward a spot where I thought we could get some. As I mentioned yesterday, finding fish on the locator has become easy since most of the fish are out of the weeds and into open water, so we just cruised around a little and tossed a marker on the first school that showed up on my Humminbird in about 16 feet of water.
We knew that the fish were getting sluggish, so we scaled down our presentaion from what I've been using up until now. We tied on small ice jigs (number 10 hooks), used split shot sinkers for weight and tipped the hooks with wax worms. The fish seemed to respond better now to the small size of the bait and I think this was an improvement over what had worked over the past couple of weeks. There was still another trick though and this one is important. We watched several boats trying to catch fish by trolling around in the same area. They did not catch fish because their boat movement was working against them.
Hey, listen, I've learned that there are certain times when you have to go with the flow and let your little voice tell you what to do. Failing to remember this is almost always the only thing that makes things go wrong for me, so I really try hard to "tune in".
In this particular case, the secret was to stop trying to catch the fish. Don't work the rod, don't jig, don't wiggle, don't worry. I dropped the bait to the bottom, reeled up about 8 inches and then set the rod down on the back of the boat, watching the rod tip for any sign of movement. Even the slightest tick or flex in the rod was all that we needed to see and when we did, we'd lift up to feel the pressure and then set the hook. Now all I had to worry about was keeping the boat still. We probably could have anchored, but it was easy enough to back up into the breeze with MinnKota and hover almost motionless near the marker. This work like a charm and allowed us to put about 40 nice 'Gills and a dozen Crappies in the cooler.
After the trip, there was a lot of chatter among other anglers in the fish cleaning house and by all appearances, the Walleye action is still holding up really well. Several groups were telling stories about their fishing and all had success during the day. Some caught more than others, but no one was complaining and this is always a good sign that the fish are active. Everyone was talking jig and minnow and all were fishing the weed edges in ten to twelve feet of water. Simple, but effective.
I'm going to warn you now that the reports will be a little thin over the weekend because I have a writing project I need to get finished, If there are any major developments, I'll make a note, otherwise you should assume that everything is okay. Please watch for a full scale update on Monday.

Fall Fishing Report September 23, 2010 As colder water temperatures drive baitfish into open water, panfish activity becomes sluggish in areas where fish have been heavily pressured. Walleye, Pike and Perch action remain consistent as the effects of pre-turnover continue, at least for now, but surface temperatures on Winnibigoshish were at 55 degrees. The main lake could turn over any day now, or may even have already turned by the time you read this. Cutfoot Sioux was still hanging in there at 57 degrees on Wednesday so it's possible that good action will continue through the weekend there.
Our mission on Wednesday was to gather Sunfish and/or Crappies and gather we did, but not as easily as I would have liked. The first indication of a looming slow-down in the panfish action has been the mass movement of baitfish from the weeds, out into open water. Watching the screen of my Humminbird, there is literally bait everywhere I look and it makes it tricky to decide where to stop and fish.
One trick to keep in mind, don't stop unless you can see individual, horizontal marks with plenty of "grey-line" (solid return indicating game fish) on your electronics. It's so easy to get fooled by the large balls of bait that you'll go crazy if you stop every time you spot something that looks good.
We found that Crappies had moved out to as deep as 34 feet in some areas and sunfish out as deep as 26 feet. No matter where we found them, we literally had to trick them into biting one by one. In order to get everyone in on the action, I had to have everybody gather at the back of the boat with me so that they could watch their baits on the graph. We worked the fish by dropping the jigs to the bottom and then raising the bait above the school and watching for individual fish that would move up. Much like ice fishing, seeing the fish react to your bait is the only way to really know when to pause. The movement up and down attracts the fish to your lure, but the pause allows them time to strike and it's the most critical part of the system.
So far, we've been using 1/16 or 1/8 ounce jigs tipped with crappie minnows or small pieces of cut night crawler, but today I am bringing ice-jigs, wax worms and I'm going to go for a walk in the field and gather some golden rods too. I'll report on that tomorrow.
Walleye and Perch action is a little easier right now. With most of the fish located on the outer edges of the weeds and actively feeding, the only real trick is checking spots until you find a school of fish. I didn't spend a lot of time fishing them on Wednesday, but within an hour or so we had gathered enough Walleye and Perch for our dinner last night. Not much has changed in terms of presentation so read my earlier reports for more details.
Today sounds like kind of a crummy day weather wise, but it brings to mind a fall trip I had a few years back with two sisters who toughed it out and had one of the most fantastic fishing experiences of their lives. If you can handle a little rain, the same thing could happen for you today.

Fall Fishing Report September 22, 2010 Walleye action continues as surface temperatures hold in pre-turnover range. Tuesday delivered another one of our famous 2010 high wind days and even though I thought it was kind of nice outside, my crew from Florida had a slightly different opnion. It was obvious that we wouldn't be spending much time out banging accross the waves on the big lake (Winnie), instead we opted to stay in the back bays of Cutfoot Sioux. Luckily the grey skies over night prevented the air temperature from dropping down below 50 degrees and helped stabilize the lake water temperatures. The surface temperature was hanging in there at about 57.5 degrees which is still in the "pre-turnover" range and signals continued good fishing.
I got a question from a reader asking about my comments yesterday that the fishing will slow down after the turnover. I will set up a more detailed article about this as soon as possible, but click here for the simple explanation of the fall turnover.
In typical fashion, the fall pattern in Cutfoot changes from day to day as certain schools of fish move in from the big lake and others simply shift position within Cutfoot. The large school of fish that gave us such good action on Monday, had now moved and today we found fewer fish per spot, but we found fish on a greater number of locations. Locations holding fish are similar to earlier reports, almost any weedline adjacent to any sand or gravel point should be considered, especially if the breeze is blowing into that spot.
Jig and minnow combinations continued to work for us throughout the day in water depths of 9 to 14 feet. I noticed that at the moment, Walleyes were especially interested in aggressive jigging. The more we hopped and popped the jigs, the better they seemed to like it.
After lunch, we finished up our Walleye limit and then crusied around to locate some panfish for a sneak preview of our trip this Thursday. We found a couple of schools that were mixed Crappie and Sunfish. We only spent a half hour, but we did manage to catch about a dozen panfish, so it looks like this is still an option.
Today's crew already has their Walleye in the freezer, so we'll be prowling for Perch or panfish all day long. The next couple of reports will be heavy into the panfish news so if you're interested in that, be sure to check in tomorrow and Friday.

Fishing Update for September 21, 2010 The fall action bite is here! Walleye, Perch and Northern Pike activity is at the peak today! In yesterday's report I mentioned that there soon would be a time that "you could do no wrong" and for me, that day already arrived on Monday. Hey, I know, if only you had wings.......but for anyone who has a shot at getting out on the water this week, I think you should try and do it.
On Monday morning we decided to try for a multi-species trip instead of Walleyes only, so we headed on over to Cutfoot Sioux to see how the action was holding up. Water surface temperature was hovering on either side of 58 degrees and I was cautiously optimistic that the Walleye bite would be good. It turned out even better than I could hope for! As we made our first drift on our first spot, we picked up 6 Walleyes in about 10 feet of water. Each subsequent drift yielded anywhere from 4 to 6 fish and by 11:15 AM we had our Walleye limit in the bag.
Nothing fancy to report, simple 1/8 ounce jig and minnow presented on the points, weed edges and sand breaks. If you move around even a little bit, you're going to find some fish.
By now the wind was blowing from the East Southeast at a stiff 20 MPH or more, so I didn't care for the idea of Crappie fishing, but a little voice told me that maybe the Perch fishing could work. We tried one spot that my buddy Zach Dagel had turned me on to last week and there were still some fish there, but the wind was really tough to work with. I decided to check out some shallow weeds on the calm side of the lake and after a half hour of hunting and pecking, finally found a school of Perch located in the weeds in about 6 feet of water. Our tag boat came over too and they decided to drop anchor where I had set my marker. That turned out to be a good idea as we spent most of the rest of the afternoon at at anchor on that spot. We caught a ton of Perch, some better than others, but there were a healthy number of 10 to 12 inchers in the mix.
To get the Perch to bite, we had to fish almost motionless near the bottom and in the weeds. The fish were really lazy and when they bit, we had to wait a long time before setting the hook. Again, no fancy presentation, 1/8 ounce jig head tipped with a fathead.
With the full moon, colder water temperatures and what appears to be the peak of action, it wouldn't surprise me if the turnover and subsequent slow down in the action was just around the corner. Like I've already said, if you can, try to get out there this week.

Fall Fishing Report September 20, 2010 Okay, if Sunday wasn't one of the most gorgeous days anyone has ever seen, I'll eat my hat!
Hey, I have seen some really beautiful sights in my life and I know you can't buy 'em at Wal Mart, Ya Know? Right from the start, I knew the vibe was so good that this day was going to be one of the best fall fishing days ever and it really was!
Look here for some Deer River Fall Color Pictures.

When I picked up my crew at Leino's Riverside Resort, we had a little talk about our game plan for the next few days and we decided to start our first day by taking a run at the Walleyes on one of the smaller, off-beat lakes where we wouldn't have to steer around a big crowd of boats all day long. We arrived at the lake and found the landing empty, that's right, just us and no one else. The lake was like glass and the scene was so pretty that I had to start snapping pictures even before we launched the boat. When we did get the boat in the water, we found the surface temperature had dropped down to 57 degrees and a lot of the Algae bloom that had recently been present, has cleared up since my last visit. I was a little nervous about the calm seas , clearer water and blue skies, but as it turned out, we also had the full cooperation of the Walleye as well.
Without any wind blowing, the logical place to start the search was on the weedline so I cruised out to the first spot and we started by back trolling slowly as we pitched our jigs toward the weed edge and then hopping them along the bottom back toward the boat. Within a few minutes, Tony boated a nice "eating size" Walleye and from that point on, our fishing remained slow, but steady all day long. What I mean by that is that we never had a wild flurry where everyone was catching fish at the same time, but neither did we experience any real dead time throughout the day. We probably averaged a fish every 15 minutes which really adds up over a full day of fishing. Before we were finished, we had our limit of 15 to 17 inch fish in the cooler and had released another dozen or so.
Our only presentation during the day was a 1/8 ounce Bug Eyed Shorty tipped with a Rainbow Chub. Don't be afraid of the larger size rainbows. At this time of the year, these fish are hungry and will eat a larger than average size bait. Even the Perch will eat a 4 to 5 inch minnow right now, so whatever you do, don't walk out of the bait shop with some pathetic little fatheads.
We fished exclusively on weedlines in 11 to 14 feet of water. At times the fish were located outside the weed edges, at other times I had to stay much closer to the edge.
With the cool water temps, now is the time to get out on your favorite Walleye lake. Even though the surface temperatures rebounded a bit during the day, they never rose above 59 degrees. There is always a peak in the action just before the lakes "Turn Over" and it's a time when it will seem like you can do no wrong. Listen, it's here now! Don't wait around, just get out there and fish.
The fall colors are just about at their peak right now. If you can tak a few hours to go for a ride, you're going to see some really nice spots! I think that by this time next week, we'll be looking at some of the leaves leaves already on the ground.

Fishing Update for September 19, 2010 Surface temperatures dive again as the most recent cold snap Delivers the first hard frost of 2010 to the Deer River area. Frost on the Pumpkin, literally, in my garden on 9-18. We've had a couple of close calls already, but for me, this was the frost that will bring my gardening season to an end for this year. By about 8:30 on Saturday morning we arrived at Cass Lake and thanks to a bright blue sky with lots of sun, the outside air temperature had risen from below freezing to 38 degrees. The water temperature on the surface was now down to 57 degrees and remained there the entire time we fished the lake.
This was day 3 of my fishing with Mike and Atcha Nolan and our mission was to try and get in on the Jumbo Perch at Cass Lake. You know from previous reports that the action over there has been solid for me during the past month and as we plowed through the waves with cold fingers, I was hoping that we could find them just one more time. Like everyone, I have a tendency to go to the last spot first, so I returned to the place we'd caught them a few days ago. Luckily the fish were still there!
We were fishing on a ten foot flat located near a deeper hole that has been holding a giant school of minnows which have in turn, attracted the Perch. Cass Lake has a bunch of spots spread around the lake and while not all of them have big schools of fish on them, there are enough spots that you'll be able to figure it out, if you want to. We started fishing with 1/8 ounce jig and minnow combinations, but after putting on a dozen minnows, I figured out that I wasn't going to last long with wet hands, so I rigged one line with a bare Buckshot Spoon. The Perch responded well, so from here on we fished only the spoons with no added live bait.
Remember this tip: In order to keep catching fish of a larger average size, you need to keep roaming around a little. I see lots of folks fishing for Perch by anchoring the boat and fishing vertically, this works, but eventually you'll get a gathering of small fish under the boat. I like to hover using the MinnKota and let my boat drift away from the main pack occaisonally. As we move around, we tend to pick off the larger fish on the outer edges of the main school.
By about 11:30 we had our Perch and wanted to pick up an extra few fish to round out the bag for their return home. A good time to warm up, we put the boat on the trailer and ran over to Leech Lake to see if we could drum up a little multi-species action. Surface temperatures at Leech were also in the 57 degree range and the folks who had been catching Crappies lately were now drifting around hoping to re-live the moment. Unfortunately, this wasn't going to happen today. We saw one Crappie caught and I had a fish hooked that I thought was a Crappie, but that was it. We moved around a little, picked up some more nice Perch and one 22 inch Walleye. We moved again and picked up a few bonus Pike and wrapped up the day. So far, it looks Leech is going to have trouble pulling itself out of the doldrums to stage a comeback for this fall, but there's still some time and a lot of spots to check. I may give it a few days and try again next week.

Fishing Update September 18, 2010 Walleye action continues to improve as falling temperatures trigger baitfish movements. Thanks to the sunny skies we've been enjoying, surface water temperatures have stabilized at about 60 degrees during the past couple of days. Every day now, I'm seeing more and more schools of baitfish on my locator as I scan the deeper, open water adjacent to weed flats. Predators of all varieties are showing up in decent numbers to capitalize on the event.
On Friday, I enjoyed my first real day of "Multi-Spot" Walleye fishing where almost everywhere we looked, there were a few active fish to be caught. Not quite what I'd call wide open, but good enough to give most anglers who can recognize a potenial spot, a better than average shot at picking up some fish. For me, it was also the first day that I could fish jig and minnow combinations with complete confidence as the Walleye are now taking this presentaion reliably. We haven't had a reliable source of Shiners, but we've had really good luck using the larger size Rainbow Chubs and to a lesser extent, large fatheads. Don't be at all afraid of minnows in the 4 to 5 inch range, even on a small jig, the fish are aggressive now and want the big meal.
Best depths for me over the past couple of days have been 8 to 12 feet depending on where the weed edges are. At times, I've had to keep the boat right in the weeds, but I noticed on Friday that there were certain schools of fish now using the clean, outer lip areas just out away from the weeds.
A side benefit of the weedline bite is that there are now a good number of nice Perch showing up along with the Walleyes. You don't have to do anything different to catch the Perch, but if you find them and want to get a bunch, try stopping the boat and "hovering". At times they will respond to simple vertical jigging, at other times it's better to cast and retrieve the bait to help 'draw in" new, larger fish.
Better size Norther Pike are slowing finding their way into the weeds too. We're catching several now on every trip and even though we have caught a few casting larger baits, our Walleye jigs are putting just as many in the boat.
Today marks the beginning of a lot of a lot of new open hunting seasons and I sure wish I was there to join you. Hey, If you're in the Deer Stand today, I hope it's a great experience! My hunting time is just around the corner, but I guess for now I'll just have to be satisfied catching a few more fish.

Fishing Update September 17, 2010 Walleye action on Lake Winnie is heating up, Crappie locations are shifting and Northern Pike begin to prowl the weedlines.
On Thursday, we found the conditions on Winnibigosh and Cutfoot Sioux almost exactly the same as in recent reports except that the surface water temps on Winnie had rebounded to about 60 degrees. That's good news because it signals an extension of the action. I get worried about a pending turnover when the temperatures get down into the 56 degree range, so the longer it hovers in the higher 50's, the better.
The only other really noteworthy item today is that the Crappies have really shifted deeper. Here are two views of my graph from yesterday. Note that even after I found the fish in 30+ feet of water, they continued to move deeper as we fished for them. This will force you to keep re-figuring their location, but they can be followed if you're persistent. Crappies on Graph: View 1 View 2
You can see by looking at my plotter trail that we were able to stay with them at 30.8 feet for quite a while, but in view 2, we had to go find them again. Eventually, they moved even deeper (34 feet), but by then we were headed out for some Walleye and Perch action.
Hey, it's been a hectic week, so I have to stop short of the full story right now. But I'll expand on all of this really soon. For now, have a great weekend!

Fishing Report September 16, 2010 Walleye fishing on Lake Winnie was the main game plan for Wednesday but first we had to stop and see if we could get a head start by catching some Crappies. As we arrived at stop #1 and put the boat in the water, we found surface temperatures at 61 degrees and there were many signs that the cool water is finally beginning to force baitfish, small gamefish and in turn, predators out of the shallow weeds and into open water. The screen of my Humminbird was lit up like a Christmas tree as I cruised across the deep water. Minnows, big fish, little fish and who knows what else, were all occupying the open water now.
During the past month, you've heard me describe hovering over the top of a school of Crappies and fishing vertically below the boat to catch them. This will still work if you can locate a school that's tightly grouped. But during the past few outings, I've noticed more and more Crappies are spreading out horizontally near the bottom. On the screen, they look more like Walleyes and when you see this image , you're going to be better off trolling slowly instead of trying to fish vertically. There's no real magic to it, just find an area where you're marking fish and work through the fish at a trolling speed of about .5 to .7 MPH. The weight of your lures will depend on how deep the fish are, in our case 1/16 ounce jigs with a 3 inch white twister tail was enough to get down to about 20 feet. Any deeper than that and 1/8 ounce would be needed. Keep the jigs light so that they tend to "float" around above the bottom. Avoid dragging or bumping the bottom, this is not necessary for Crappie fishing.
Hey, One of the better little surprises for me came about mid-morning, just after we wrapped up the Crappie session our plan was to fish Walleyes. We all love surprises and sometimes a little stroke of luck comes in really handy!
We moved out onto Lake Winnie to see how the Walleye bite was holding up and I somehow managed to land in an area where the Walleyes were really moving. Fishing on the weedline in 7 to 8 feet of water with 1/8 ounce jig and minnow combinations was all that we needed. Our first drift yielded a half dozen fish and although subsequent drifts varied in producivity, each was successful, some better than others. We caught a few "slot fish" that were released, but most of the Walleyes ranged from 14 to 16 inches and catching our limit of eaters was not a big problem.
On our way back home, we stopped again to check out the Crappies, but this time found Bluegills instead. We didn't make a career out of fishing them, but plan to return today for another run at them.

Fishing Report September 15, 2010 Another amazing day in the Grand Rapids area! For the past few days, the view of fall colors has been much better from the truck than from the boat. On Tuesday, we saw the shoreline colors really starting to change though and it looks like we're within a week or so of the peak. Today we decided to do what has become an annual Northern Pike outing at Pokegama Lake in Grand Rapids. Water surface temperature was 62 degrees as we cruised away from the landing in the morning. The sky was slate grey and there was just enough breeze to drift the boat.
, I'll tell you what, my lucky charm was really working in the morning! We never even got out of the access bay before I started marking fish on the breakline at 25 feet. I back-tracked to give myself some time to rig lines and as soon as they were ready, we dropped our baits in the water and had a Northern in the boat, another one hooked that escaped, two Largemouth and a Smallmouth. All of this happened in about the first 100 yard drift. We had similar results at the next spot too and it looked like this day was going to be smooth sailing.
Later in the morning, the sky cleared and as the sun got bright, the fish definitely got finicky, but not impossible to catch. We kept grinding away at deep points and breaklines looking for the Pike one at a time. Fishing with live bait rigs made from heavy leaders of 17 pound fluorocarbon and tipped with 8 to 10 inch Creek Chubs was probably our best producer, although we did catch some on jigs tipped with large minnows too. Water depth ranged from 21 feet down to about 30 feet and fish were easy to mark on the graph.
Casting artificial baits towards the shallow weedline was not working at all. I stuck with one of my favorite plastic baits for the entire day and never boated a fish until about 6:00 PM when I finally tricked one Smallmouth.
Except for some fish that sawed off our hooks and escaped, we would have come home with our limit, but those are the breaks, pun intended. All in all, I'd say that if you get a grey or misty day, the action should be okay. Next time if if it's really sunny, I might wait and fish elsewhere as until the conditions are more in my favor.

Fishing Report September 13, 2010 For me, Monday was the quintessential September day. High blue skies, Northwest breeze and temperatures in the low 50 degree range. Area lakes are all showing surface temperatures hovering at the 60 to 63 degree range. This is in the ideal range and there's no doubt that the action is going to improve every day for the next week or so.
My fishing party is a group of guys from Chicago that have been fishing with me every year for over 20 years now and I knew that they'd love to get in on some of those Jumbo Perch that we've been catching on Cass. The only problem is that every time I've ever taken these guys over to Cass Lake, the weather has somehow messed up my plan and we've bombed, forcing me to switch lakes in order to stage one of my famous 11th inning recoveries. Based on how that lake has been treating me lately though, I decided to "man up" and face the pressure of the infamous Wirtz-Laga-Bello Cass Lake jinx.
When I got to the first spot, I ran the flat at between 10 to 12 feet scanning the 898 for signs of a school of fish and settled on an area to try. It took 10 to 15 minutes to get the fish interested and moving, but once we did, the action was good. It became apparent that we'd broken the jinx, so we set a goal of keeping no fish under 10 inches. Even with this limitation, we were able to bag 68 Perch before lunch. Presentation was very simple, 1/8 ounce jig and minnow combination. I have all three anglers fishing vertically beneath the boat, but I always cast and retrieve my bait. I believe this helps draw in small packs of "new fish" and prevents the group from catch only the smaller ones that can tend to gather under the boat if you stay in one area too long.
After lunch, we headed out for Walleyes hoping to discover that the jig and minnow bite was getting stronger. I ran one of the more popular main lake bars and spotted some fish in the 30 to 40 foot range, but when we jigged 'em, nothing happened. When I moved to the second spot, another main lake bar, I spotted some fish in shallower, 25 to 30 foot water. This time I rigged up a live bait rig, six foot leader and night crawler and dropped that while everyone else jigged. I caught one Walleye almost instantly, then another...next words out of my mouth were "Hey, you wanna try a worm?" We switched everyone over to the rigs and soon, we were all getting bites. I didn't really allow enough time in the afternoon to stay until we had a limit, but we fished almost until sunset and boated about 15 Walleyes. Nine were solid keepers, the rest were smaller fish that we released.
Hey, Not fishing related, but something really uncanny happened yesterday, the subject of a rainbow coming from a cloud came up. About six hours later, I took this picture. Also, yesterday was the first day that I really noticed a lot of young Loons fishing without their parents. I've already spotted some large groups of Loons gathering on Cass Lake, Lake Winnie and Ball Club Lake. The migration will be underway fairly soon.

Fishing Update September 13, 2010 Sunshine, Westerly breeze, fall colors and great fishing combined to make Sunday the perfect September day! Hey, the vibe was almost perfect and right from the beginning, I knew we'd be off to a good start and that this would be a great day.
Fishing with long time friends Mike and Atcha Nolan, I knew that action was the name of the game for them, so we never even talked about anything except Panfish and Perch. We decided to give the sunfish a whirl today and I'm glad we did.
As we headed toward our first fishing spot, surface temperatures were holding at about 62 dergrees in most areas. As we passed through shallow water areas, I did see it dip down to around 60 degrees a couple of times, but by mid-afternoon, it was back up to around 63 degrees.
Sunfish location continues to shift. There are still pockets of fish in the shallow weeds and deeper weed edges, but now the pods of fish roaming around in open water are also becoming easier to locate. We found our first small school of fish in about 15 feet of water and began fishing them by hovering above the pack and fishing vertically with a 1/8 ounce jig tipped with a cut piece of night crawler. These fish acted spooky and after we caught a few, the rest of them ignored us, so we moved on. The results were almost the same at every stop, catch a few, wait for the action to quit and then move. As the sunshine warmed the day, the action began to get more reliable and we eventually found one good school of fish that kept on biting. In fact, this was one of the better sunfish outings I've had recently so just this one time, click here and I'll show you the exact spot where we caught them.
Our best results came by letting the jig settle to the bottom, raising it up about six inches and holding the bait still. Boat control is important and if you want to get in on some of the action, work on learning how to hover above these small schools of fish.
There were also a fair number of Crappies mixed in or at least nearby and every so often, we'd pick up a bonus on the same jig and worm combo we're using for the sunfish. The Crappies tended to ride higher in the water and could be spotted on my Humminbird, suspended above the sunfish. I noticed another angling couple out there who were fishing for Crappies by slowly trolling with jigs. They were also having some good action and I think this would be a great approach for catching those fish that are spread out horizontally along the bottom. If you're checking you electronics and the fish aren't showing up as tight pods, try the trolling approach first. We've had good success using a 1/16 ounce jig with a 2 or 3 inch twirl tail.
We never fished Walleyes yesterday, but I've been hearing reports of improved weedline action out on Lake Winnie. When the wind blows, the action develops in rocky areas but if it calms down, there are a number of people picking up fish in the 10 to 12 foot range along the deeper weed edges. I'm sure that Walleyes will be in my game plan today and I'll some new info on that tomorrow.

Fishing Report September 12, 2010 Saturday was a busy day on the lake as anglers arrived to take advantage of the breezy, but otherwise nice weather in the Deer River area. I and my fishing partner and long time friend Bob Carlson split our day between two lakes starting at Cutfoot Sioux in the morning. When we arrived at the Mosomo landing at 8:30, the parking lot was already half full and there were more rigs coming in behind us. Thanks in part to the above average Westerly breeze and also the high number of anglers competing for Crappies, Cutfoot was a busy place in the morning.
Surface water temperature has stabilized for now and was holding steady at about 63 degrees, there is evidence that the water is beginning to clear up a bit as well.
The West wind was a blessing to me because it gave me a ton of "calm spots" where I could search for Crappies in peace and quiet. Hey, this really frosted me beacuse these conditions would have been ideal for my Friday trip. By now, all I could think about now was how I wished I could have a "Do-Over", ya know? A chance to really get it right.
The Crappie locations haven't changed all that much from what I've described in recent reports, but the pressure is really on them now. From here on out, if you want to be consistent on the Cutfoot chain, you'll need to work a little harder. We found one pack of fish in the 24 to 26 foot range and managed to pick up a half dozen before the school got spooky. After 20 minutes or so of looking around, we found another good looking school and this time picked up another half dozen and again, the pressured fish got finicky. That was enough for us, so we decided to take a look at a couple of Walleye spots.
Walleye fishing on Cutfoot is improving, but so far there's still not a real great build up of fish. We stopped in three locations and scanned the breaklines finally settling on one location to try. I saw one Walleye caught by another boat and we caught two Northern Pike in this location. We tried one more spot where we had a couple of pick ups, but didn't boat any fish. Reminiscing about a lake where we'd had good fishing earlier this year, we talked each other into putting the boat on the trailer and heading West.
As we arrived there, the water temperature was 60 degrees, but the shallower water was still green with a fairly heavy algae bloom. The first spot I tried was a shallow weedline adjacent to a hard sand Clam Bed. My lucky charm was really working for me today because this spot was home to a school of perfect 15 to 16 inch "eaters" that were all lined up, ready and waiting for us. In the first three drifts we had 8 keepers, two larger "slot fish" and a pee wee. Feeling confident now, we decided to roam around and look for other good opportunities. The second spot yielded a couple of really nice 'slot fish" including a 25 incher that Bob tricked with a jig and minnow. From on out the plot changed, we checked three or for more locations that all kind of fizzled out. By about 5:00 PM we decided to return to our original starting point where Bob graciously allowed me to watch him catch 3 more fish as I tried to tie a new jig on my line. As soon as I was ready to fish, he said let's go, so we headed back over to the Gosh Dam Place for a nice fish fry.
All in all, it looks like we're on the verge of turning the corner into some more consistent fall fishing. I think another few days and many of these shoreline spots will begin to populate with fish ready to feed before winter sets in. One thing I noticed on Saturday that might be a key going forward, was that our best spot was adjacent to a really shallow weed bed. Perhaps the shallower spots are going to "turn on" first as this water has cooled down the fastest. Watch for deeper spots to turn on after 7we get another cold snap or even a hard frost.

Fishing Update 9-11-2010 Red sky at morning, sailor take warning! On Friday morning I and a visiting friend decided to get an early start so we could squeeze in a few "bonus hours" of fishing before I had to run and fish another full day trip. The sunrise was gorgeous and leaves are turning color so the road leading in to an otherwise beautiful place was even more lit up and beautiful than usual.
My decision was to keep it nice and simple, something quick and easy like Crappies. You know, like the ones I've been catching almost every day for the past month, right? Not so fast buster, let's just say I can always find a way to complicate even the simplest mission.
We arrived at the landing to discover strong winds blowing in from the South and whitecaps blowing into most of the better Crappie areas I've been fishing lately. We scanned the shoreline in a couple of spots and seeing little life, I decided to make a run into Little Cutfoot where the wind would be a little more workable. Now we found a few small packs of fish and managed to scratch out a few, but the cold wind was still a problem. As an excuse for a nice warm ride in the car, I decided to make a move to another, even smaller lake. This time the wind was more workakble, but the fish were less abundant. We did manage to scratch out a few more here before I had to run. Hey, the trip was a good one, just a little less than I'd hoped for considering that I really wanted to do well on this particular occasion.
Next stop, Cass Lake, which has been really reliable for me this summer. Here the surface water temperatures were hovering right around 62 degrees. The wind was still blowing, but the lake was fishable in certain areas. Our first stop was on one of the main lake bars that drops into deep water. We caught our first Walleye in 31 feet of water rigging night crawlers, but I wasn't marking a lot of fish. I made a move into shallower water on a shoreline with weeds in 12 to 14 feet of water. Here the pace started picking up as we fished jig and minnow combinations on the weed edges. The mix was mostly Perch, but an occasional Walleye held our interest in the spot.
By now the hard rain had set in and we were starting to feel like drowned rats, but another move to a second shallow drop off landed us on top of a really "hot school" of Jumbo and Magnum Perch. This spot took our minds off the rain and cold, we just couldn't leave this spot! Still using jig and minnow, We probably caught 80 or more Perch and kept 40 that were all over 10 inches, some up to 13 inches.. We did pick up another Walleye and a bonus Pike here too, but it didn't look like a Walleye hot spot.
With rain now filling our shoes and the clocking ticking toward 7:00 PM, we made one last stop at another deeper, main lake bar. Back to rigging crawlers, we picked up a couple more last minute Walleyes in about 26 feet of water and we were out of there.

Fishing Update 9-10-2010 The conditions on Thursday were a lot more friendly for those of us who wanted to catch some fish. Leaving the dock at Bowen Lodge, I noticed another dip in the surface water temperature, 61 degrees in the shallows and 63 as we crusied into deeper water. Breezy, but not windy and overcast skies added up to make fishing conditions good.
This was the final day for me with my friends the Skip and Sandy Finch. Many don't realize it, but the Lakemaster chart of Bowstring Lake features a spot called "Finch Point" which happens to be named after this couple as a reult of a special fishing day we had there several years ago.
We didn't need Walleye or Crappie so our game plan was to round up a few more Bluegills and maybe some Jumbo Perch. Starting with the Sunfish, I was pleasantly surprised when each pod of fish I located cooperated fully. Through the course of the morning, we located about six or seven different schools of active Bluegills and stumbled into a few Crappies along the way as well. Water depth ranged from 15 to 17 feet and there were signs that the size of the schools was building. This could be a really good indication of increasing activity during the next week or so.
Presentation was simple, 1/8 ounce Bug Eyed Shorty tipped with a cut piece of night crawler. For some reason, the heavier jigs actually seemed to be an advantage today. The 'Gills liked it best if we dropped our jigs to the bottom, then lifted them a few inches up. Any slight "tick" is all you need to feel, go ahead and set the hook immediately.
After we rustled up a shore luch at the cabin, I and Skip decided to follow up on a lead I got from a friend about Jumbo Perch that were hitting. We managed to get to the spot by about 3:45 and after fishing for 3 hours we had managed to sort a pile of small Perch down to about 20 nice Jumbos, all ten inches or better. Our water depth was ten to twelve feet on a sandy flat with sand grass and light weeds along the bottom. To catch the larger fish, we used 1/4 ounce jigs and dropped them to the bottom. Tickling the weeds and waiting for a hit was much better than jigging agressively. Too much action brought in the small ones.
While we were doing all this, others from the resort had a good day fishing Walleye and Pike by trolling Shad Raps in 10 to 12 feet of water. I may check this out this morning after we see how a session with the Crappies works out.

Fishing Report 9-9-2010 The conditions early on Wednesday morning looked great, the heavy winds that blew in the recent cold front had finally calmed, the sun was rising in a clear blue sky and all systems looked green for go. Since I'd been doing a lot of driving lately, I decided to try and find some "fresh" schools of fish somewhere closer to home. We headed up to a smaller lake near Deer River where I'd had a good spring and early summer. When we arrived at the lake the surface temperature was about 63 degrees and there was a gentle breeze out of the Northwest and the sky had become mostly cloudy. As we headed to our first spot, everything looked good.
Unfortunately for me, the fish had a bad case of lockjaw. Locating fish was not my problem, we found a school of fish on a weedline in about 12 feet of water, another on a main lake points and others located on main lake bars in 18 to 24 feet of water. Except for Perch that were just too small to do us any good, we could not make the Walleyes bite. At about 11:30 I had enough and pulled the boat to head for safer territory on Cutfoot Sioux and Lake Winnie.
As wee arrived at the landing at Cutfoot, I ran into a friend who told me that the fishing was decent earlier in the morning, but that it had recently "slacked off". Oh Oh, Here I go again. As we headed out onto the lake the sky cleared, the sun filled the high blue sky, the wind diminished to zero MPH and produced a wonderful glassy surface. From here on out, Jeff Sundin spent the rest of the day struggling.
In an attempt to recover, I tried several spots where I had caught Walleye in recent days, weedlines, rocks and the deeper, main lake bars that had produced so well last week. In the aftermath of the cold front, the fish had "made a move". Every year in early fall the same thing happens and I've already mentioned this several times in recent weeks. Eventually conditions change enough to force fish out of their summer haunts and toward fall feeding locations. I have to admit that I really don't like getting stuck out there on those transition days, but Hey, I've seen this before and I know for sure that the time to be most optimistic, is just when the conditions seem toughest. The best times are still ahead!
Today I'll be wrapping up a trip with some folks who I've been fishing with recently. We're not going to need any Walleye or Crappie, so I'll problem start chasing Perch. I'll let you know the scuttlebutt tomorrow.

Fishing Report 9-8-2010 Tuesday featured another windy, rainy and cold early fall day. As we arrived at the lake, we discovered North winds blowing at about 20 MPH combined with light rain. Surface temperatures had taken another tumble over night and were now down to about 62 to 63 degrees.
With the grey sky and light rain, it seemed like a no brainer to take a troll up the north shore of Lake Winnie to try and bag some Northern Pike. We pulled aroung just west of the gap and started trolling 2 rattle baits along with one Salmo hornet just in case there were a few lingering Walleyes. I was completely caught off guard by the fact that there was literally no action! We didn't have any hits, no small Pike, No Perch nothing. This will be a bit of a head scratcher for me and I'll have to try and figure out if the fish aren't there yet, of if they were somehow affected by the changing weather.
After we decided to give up on the trolling, we headed back out into the big waves to take a run at the Walleye and Perch. We set up shop in the Northwest corner of the lake and started checking all of the shallow weedlines and isolated rock spots that offered opportunities to drift with the wind. Fishing was tricky beacuse of the cold winds, but we did manage to pick up some Walleyes and Perch using 1/8 ounce jig and minnow combos. Personally, I missed quite a few fish, which is generally a sign that my boat speed is too fast and I tend to rush the hook set. On this particular day, backtrolling caused me more trouble than it was worth. Lots of tangled lines and snags in the weeds forced me to decide to bag the Walleye fishing for the afternoon.
We hightailed it into Cutfoot Sioux to work on some Crappies and this endeavor went a lot smoother for us. We found a school of fish holding in about 24 feet of water and in short order had the first 15 in the cooler. The next few stops didn't go quite that smooth, but every small school of fish yielded at least a couple of bites and after a short time, we finished out the day with the Crappies.
Hey, There's a lot more to say, but time is short. It looks like a gorgeous day ahead and I hope that puts a smile on your face. We're going to check out some smaller lakes, near Deer River to see if we can drum up some new spots. Watch for an update tomorrow.

Fishing Report 9-7-2010 Well folks, there goes another Labor Day weekend and for me, the passing of this holiday signals the beginning of the final segment of the fishing season. From here on out anglers arrive in Deer River not with Jet Skis, Tubes or Bermuda Shorts. But with fishing rods, rain gear and snowmobile suits. This is the start of hard core fishing for those of us who want to get every moment of fun we can from whats left of the open water fishing season. I'm down to my last 40 trips of the year and like you, I'm anxious to make every day count.
Monday (9-6) sure was a good primer for the hard core season too! Overnight temperatures were moderate, so there wasn't any dramatic change in surface temperatures. We started our day with about 64.5 on the surface and finished the day with around 65.5. With the prediction of big winds, we decided to spend our day on Winnibigoshish and Cutfoot Sioux searching for Crappies and a few Walleye. Today, the weather forecast was right on the money. East winds at 25 to 35 kept me holding on tight to my Merc's "Big Tiller" all day long and so we didn't spend as mych time on Crappies as I had planned.
Instead, we fished most of the North side of Lake Winnie today from the gap all the way out to Mallard Point. So far, there was no evidence of any mass-movement of Walleyes into the shallows. Instead we found small, scattered groups of fish on the weed edges. Key depth for me was between 7 and 8 feet of water, but we did catch some fish in water as shallow as 6 feet. We did our best work on an isolated rock pile with weeds on the one side and shallow gravel on the other. The fish were located on the seam between the weeds and gravel. Other areas where we found fish included the inside edges of weeds in about 6 feet of water and the deeper portion of the weedbeds in about 9 to 10 feet of water.
We didn't need a lot of Walleye today, so for us the presence of many small schools of Perch in the shallow weeds was good news. Hey, I like it better when things are un-predictable and something happens even though you weren't expecting it. Just like stumbling into these Perch, this was really a great deal for us, because my crew still had room in their bag limit for them, plus they gave us some much needed action between Walleye bites.
There wasn't much experimenting with presentation going on today, 1/8 ounce jig and minnow combinations are all that we fished and this presentation was adequate. By days end, we had about 30 nice Perch, 7 Crappies and 10 Walleyes. Not the best day of my fishing season, but not bad either considering the conditions.

Fishing Report September 6, 2010 Water cools down, Walleye action heats up. On Sunday (9-5) the outside air temperature was 38 degrees just North of Deer River. In fact, while I was filling the minnow cooler, I found ice on the garden hose. When we arrived at the lake, we found surface temperatures ranging from 64 to 66 degrees, cooler int the shallows, warmer out deep.
The skies were blue and winds were calm, so we decided to begin Walleye Fishing in deeper water. Fishing the main lake bars in 21 to 30 feet, still using live bait rigs with night crawlers we were able to put a dozen Walleyes in the livewell by noon. Just then, some light clouds moved in and the breeze picked up and we decided to make one final drift before heading for the shallow water. We picked up 3 more keepers on the last drift and heading for a shallow flat to check up the Jumbo Perch action.
When we arrived at the flat, a good friend of mine was already there and we could see that his crew was catching a lot of Perch. We started roaming around on the flat looking for a pod of fish, but just as important a patch of weeds and mixed gravel. The weeds are important because minnows and Perch like the cover. During the daytime, Perch get more active if it's breezy, but they'll bite well if you can find them in this weedy type of cover.
It took me a while to locate a pod of fish, but near an isolated hole, in about ten feet of water where sand grass was mixed with light cabbage weed, the graph lit up. At first, it seemed like the Perch were going to be only small fish until I started casting my jig out away from the boat and let it sit almost motionless on the bottom. This little trick worked and I caught three or four better size fish right away. Now we all began fan-casting the area for ten minutes or so until we started to draw in enough fish to get our own little school and some decent action right under the boat. From then on, fishing vertically was almost as good as the casting. My crew fished under the boat as I continued to cast to the outer edges and I think they actually caught more Perch than I did, but by casting & retrieving, I picked up some bonus Walleye including a nice 24 incher. I also hooked a nice size Pike who gave me a few thrills before snipped my jig off. Presentation was really simple, 1/8 ounce jig head tipped with a medium to small size fathead.
A note about picking your spots, when you get breezy conditions, going shallow is going to work well. But if it's calm, there will continue to be some fish in deeper water as well. Hey, I love going deep and there are going to be fantastic opportunities to do this coming up really soon. In fact, on a handful of area lakes, some of the best deep water Walleye fishing will occur during the next month.

Fishing Report September 5, 2010 Now this is more like what I had in mind for September. On Saturday morning the air temperature was about 43 degrees. The surface temperature on Cutfoot Sioux had dropped another two degrees overnight to settle in at 66°F. The sun was shining and the Northwest breeze was providing that often mentioned "Walleye Chop".
As we left the dock, I decided not to run across Lake Winnie in the chilly morning air and opted instead to start in Cutfoot Sioux with some Crappie fishing.
Maybe I had been beaten to a couple of spots by other anglers or maybe the colder overnight temps made the fish act a little persnickety, but either way, they were a picky at first. Eventually we did find a decent school of fish and get them to bite, but even then the duration of the action was short compared to recent outings. The fish were in 23 feet of water and an 1/8 ounce jig tipped with minnows was the best. We had to fish the jigs really slowly to trigger a bite. Lift the jig a couple of feet over the top of the fish and slowly inch it downward, if you feel a pop or if your line goes slack, lift and reel. No big hook set is required to put these fish in the boat.
Even though we were still a few fish short, I decided to take another run at the Bluegills that we'd found on Friday and headed for a little shallower water. Today the 'gills were in about 15 feet of water and were more cooperative. The action was good, in fact as we caught the sunfish, we picked up the rest of the Crappies we needed too. The Crappies were mixed right in, but were riding a couple of feet above the Bluegills. Location tip: The gills look different on your electronics than the Crappies do. On my Humminbird, I watch for a tight, vertical stack that almost looks like a clump of weeds or maybe a tall tree branch. Typically, the 'Gills won't spread out horizontially as much as the the Crappies so when you see schools of fish that are widely spread out, expect them to be Crappie.
We used 1/16 ounce jigs with a cut piece of night crawler and caught both Crappie and Sunfish on the same rigs.
After lunch, the air temperature had risen up into the 60 degree range and we were ready for a ride out onto the big water to try for some Walleyes. We ran up the North Shore of Lake Winnie and found that the breeze was almost perfect for Walleye fishing. A friend of mine was out there already and his crew was catching fish jigging, so we decided to join in with jig and minnow combinations on all lines. If you're like me and love to fish light jigs in the shallows, then you'll be happy to hear that the jig and minnow combo worked like a charm.
Fishing on the inside edge of the weeds in aout six feet of water was the best for Walleye. When we fished a little deeper and into the weeds, there were also a fair number of decent Perch. You could use a 1/8 ounce jig head, but since the wind wasn't very heavy, we switched to 1/16 ounce Sneaky Petes to help reduce snagging on the bottom. Another thing I noticed was that larger minnows were better than small ones. If you can't find some nice big fatheads, it might be better to go with some larger rainbow chubs or maybe even golden shiners. If there are any spot tails available in the area, I don't know about them, but obviously if they become available. It's always a good idea to bring some.
Okay one parting thought, every day someone asks me if I get tired of eating fish. I didn't think I could, but I never really knew for sure until this morning when I woke up and realized that with the family away and me home alone last night, I could have eaten anything I wanted. After cooking shore lunches almost every day for the past three weeks, what do you imagine I cooked myself last night? That's right, "here fishy, fishy"....

Fishing Report September 4, 2010 Well this time the weather report was right on the money! On Friday morning, an advancing cold front blew in Northwest winds that forced the cancellation of the final fishing day of the AIM, Lake Winnie Walleye Tournament. Knowing that the tournament had been canceled for the day, I never expected to get much fishing done on the big lake, so we showed up with a game plan for the day of fishing panfish in protected areas as the primary goal.
When we arrived at Cutfoot Sioux, we found 2 foot rollers coming into the shoreline at Williams Narrows and a surface water temperature that had dropped from 74 degrees on Wednesday, down to about 68 degrees.
Crappie fishing has been reliable on Cutfoot for me and there have been schools of fish in a variety of locations around the lake, so we selected a calm, protected shoreline and started cruising the breakline in about 24 feet of water. We quickly found a school of Crappies in 22 feet, that were semi-active and managed to pick up 15 or so using an 1/8 ounce Bugeye tipped with a Crappie minnow. When the action died there, we searched around a bit more and found a second school of fish. This time they were more aggressive and it didn't take long to finish out the limit.
Walleye fishing was a little tricky, Cutfoot Sioux hasn't exactly been a hotbed of Walleye action to begin with and the only fish I know about are in locations that would have been really UN-pleasant to fish. I had hoped to get lucky and find at least a few fish to scrounge on one of the calmer shorelines, but after working for an hour catching nothing but little Perch and small Northern Pike, we decided to take a shot at the Sunfish instead.
This time I got a little luckier as we discovered several small packs of Bluegills scattered outside the weed line in water depths of around 15 to 16 feet. The packs were small, but by marking the fish on the Humminbird, I was able to hover on them long enough to pull a few fish out of each school we found. Most of the 'gills I located were in breezier locations so it was a little tricky to keep the boat still enough to really do our best work, but by sticking with it we wound up catching 30 nice sunfish in the 8 to 9 inch range. I would have like to use smaller jigs than we did, but because of the wind we had to use 1/8 jigs tipped with pieces of cut night crawlers. These jigs were kind of big for the job, but it was really hard to keep the bait still using anything lighter and bobber fishing would have been really problematic because o9f the wind. Today, the winds are supposed to be lighter and if we trey the 'gills again, I'll do a better job of experimenting with a variety of baits. FYI, the day after we received the last major cold front, there was a heck of a good sunfish bite on the outside edges of the weed line. Fish that have been hiding all summer long in the heavy cover, move deeper when the shallow water cools. Today (Saturday) could be a re-run of that occurrence.
Hey, If you're at the lake for the Labor Day, it sounds like the weather should be better for the rest of the weekend. Relax and get rested up, because there's going to be a lot going on next week and I know you wouldn't want to miss out on any of the fun!
Anyone who's going to be Goose hunting today for the start of the early season, think about poor old Jeff out there pining away to be pulling the trigger as we're fishing. Good Luck!

Fishing Report September 3, 2010 The weather didn't hit us quite as hard as we'd expected on Thursday morning. We expected another really blustery day, but instead we arrived at the lake to a Grey sky and light only a light chop. Thanks to the cool front that's still blowing in, surface temperatures had dipped just below 70 degrees.
Looking at the conditions and remembering our Perch experience from Wednesday, I was chomping at the bit to take another shot at the Perch. When we got to the spot, there were some small fish hitting and Skip bagged a nice bonus Walleye, but the Jumbos seemed to have disappeared. After a few minutes of roaming around watching the 898, I managed to locate a school of Perch and once we dialed them in, the bite was on again. From then on most of the experience was a duplication of what I wrote yesterday, except that today I made a point of changing our baits a bit from what we'd used on Wednesday.
On two of the lines, we still used live minnows but this time I made a point of bringing much smaller size minnows than the Walleye bait we had used the day before. The smaller minnows really made a difference and helped improve the hook setting percentages a lot. I was hoping to find a good substitute for minnows, so I committed myself to experimenting with artificial baits. After trying several baits that really didn't trigger many fish, I rigged up an 1/8 ounce jig head with one of Northland's Mimic Minnows in the fire-tiger color. This time I hit the jackpot, the Perch hit great on this bait and I caught lots of fish, including several 11 inch plus jumbos on this bait by casting it out away from the boat and hopping it back along the bottom.
Around 1:00 PM we were ready for shore lunch so I headed back to Norway Beach and Hey, if you've never been there, you'll have to take my word for it, everything about that location is beautiful and this was especially true yesterday.
The game plan for the afternoon was to get after the Walleyes. Unfortunately, on our way back out to the main lake, we saw the lightning rolling in and headed back to the beach to wait out the storm. By 4:00 PM we were still watching the lingering rain come down and decided to bail out for the day.
They're calling for another windy day today, so I think we'll be looking for panfish, check back tomorrow for the report.

Fishing Update September 2, 2010 A happy start to September was in store for us on Wednesday when we headed over to Cass Lake. A bright, sunny day with little or no wind and temperatures in the high 60's to low 70's. Not the ideal conditions for fishing, but it was nice to be able to hear each other talk instead of listening to the sound of the wind blowing through my ears. The surface temperature of the water when we arrived was 71 degrees and by day's end had risen back up to about 74 degrees.
We started our day Walleye fishing and for the first hour or so, the fish were fairly active on main lake bars at 28 to 35 feet of water. Even though I was easily able to locate and mark fish on the Humminbird, as the sun rose higher in the sky, the bites became less frequent.
By about noon, I could tell that the boy's were getting a little down about the slower action, so we moved to a shallow flat to look for some Perch. As luck would have it, I stumbled into a nice school of jumbos on the first try. Located on a ten foot flat, near a 20 foot hole, there were some light weeds and mixed sand grass on the bottom. The perch seemed to like that cover and if I moved out onto any clear sand bottom, the action stopped instantly. We started fishing for the Perch with 1/8 ounce Bug Eyed Shorties tipped with minnows. Using the whole minnows, we were missing a lot of bites and spending too much time re-baiting the hooks. We started cutting the minnows into three pieces and adding just a chunk to the hook. Once we started using the smaller pieces of cut bait, the hook sets improved dramatically. Now the action was fast and furious and we put 60 jumbos in the cooler in just a couple of hours.
Now that the edge was off, we went back to Walleye fishing and just in a nick of time, the breeze picked up and a few clouds moved in. We now had the full cooperation of the Walleyes and we picked up the remaining fish to reach our limit and headed for home. Hey, it's amazing how fast the ride home goes when you're on cloud nine!
Presentation for the Walleyes hasn't changed much yet, summer conditions are still in force and so as boring as it may sound, live bait rigs with night crawlers is still the best bet going. We did try jigging, but we only had one missed hit on the jig and minnow and I expect that until the cooler weather drives temperatures down into the lower 60's, the jig bite won't really get into high gear.
Today sounds like a return to the big wind, this time from the Northwest. I'm guessing I'll be hiding from the main force of the waves, I'll let you know how it works out.

Fishing Update September 1, 2010 Yes, it's September, the month that never arrives soon enough and never stays long enough. Hey, there's so much to look forward to this month that it could even make my heart skip a beat! I can hardly wait.
Monday night ahead of the cool front, a line of rain showers and mild thunder storms moved through the Deer River area and by Tuesday, almost as if it were scripted, the warm summer winds gave way to a cool front that moved in from the West. The heavy South wind was replaced by a cooler, drier breeze from the West with a high blue sky. Later, we enjoyed a cool evening that featured one of the most spectacular sunsets (click here) I've seen in years. Welcome to September! Did I mention that this makes me happy?
We decided to spend our day Crappie fishing and in the morning, the after effect of the front was noticeable as the Crappies were really finicky. Every time I found a school of fish, we could capture one or two of them and then the school would scatter. This continued for a few hours but at about 11:30 or so, I got a little day brightener, the fish began to re-group and from then on, things went a little better. in the end, we caught plenty of fish, I covered a lot of "new water" and found lots of new small packs of Crappie and some of them were in unexpected locations. All in all, we learned a lot and it was well worth the effort.
Toward the end of our trip, the West wind began getting stronger so we spent an hour checking a couple of spots for Walleye, caught one, lost another and called it a day.
Today (wednesday) the AIM Walleye Tournament begins on Lake Winnie. I have so many friends fishing in this tournament that I think I'll stay away from the lake for a few days just to avoid conflicting with anyone's game plan. For me, the first of September sounds like a good day to run back over to Cass Lake and check the situation over there.

Fishing Update 8-31-2010 Before I get into the report, I want to say thank you very much to the folks that I talked with in the fish cleaning shack at the White Oak Inn and Suites on Saturday. I got home last night after a tough, windy day on the lake and got the message that you'd called. I wish you'd left your name so I could thank you in person for all of the nice things you said, but this will have to do for now. Thank you very much, I hope we do find a way to get together next summer, email or call back any time.
Monday (8-30) was another day that I wish I'd had three hands! The wind just keeps on blowing and I can tell by watching around the lake at the lack of boats, that lots of folks have become too frustrated to fight it. There's not much any of us can do about the weather, but for anglers who don't mind working through tough conditions, the fishing is good enough to make your efforts worthwhile.
On Monday as we started our day of Walleye fishing, it was already sunny and warm with an air temperature of almost 80 degrees at 8:00 AM. We didn't even look at shallow water because it was just so bright outside that I didn't feel confident that that the shallow fish would be on the move. Instead we headed straight out to deep water where I was lucky enough to stumble into a school of active Walleyes in the 21-22 foot depth range. Rigging crawlers as I have been for the past few weeks, was working so there's not much new news here. Trying to drift with all of that wind is nearly impossible because the boat speed just gets too fast. If you get stuck with one of these big winds while you're trying to fish these main lake bars, follow my lead and look for stretches where you can control your drift by backing into the waves as the wind pushes you along the drop. Yes, the waves will slap over the back of the boat, but by doing this you can keep your speed down around .7 MPH and you will get a lot more fish. For example, yesterday with the wind from the south, I found a half mile long stretch of the bar that generally runs North, but has a significant bend from West to East. Keeping the back of the boat pointed into the waves (South) forces the boat to slow down as you pull with the outboard toward the drop off. At the same time the wind pushes the boat at an angle toward the Northeast. One final note, a good drift sock is really essential in order to keep the bow under control.
If you'd like to know more about this, email me or go in to the facebook page and ask questions. I'll be happy to expand on this system.
While we were rigging for Walleyes, I kept wishing that I had someone with me who was really good with a 3/8 ounce jig. Watching my graph I kept marking fish that I know we weren't catching on the rigs. Hey, maybe an Orange and Black jig tipped with a minnow could have helped us bag a few extra Walleyes or even a couple of bonus Pike. I'll bet that in another week or so it will be worth a try.
After we finished cooking shore lunch, we decided to put the boat on the trailer and head to a smaller lake to try our luck fishing Crappies. I was a little nervous about trying them at mid day in the hot sun, but here too I was able to stumble into a few packs and although the were kind of finicky, we did manage to put them in the boat. Last week I mentioned steep breaklines along the shore, but these fish have begun to move out into a little more open water. Water depth was 24 to 28 feet depending on whick pack I was working on and the largest school I found was at the tip of gradual point that dropped from about 22 feet down to 35 feet. Because of the wind and the deeper water on this lake, we used a little heavier baits to make it easier to fish. On one line a 3/16 ounce jig tipped with a minnow, another line had a jigging spoon (about 1/8 ounce) without bait and the third line had a 1/8 ounce jig head tipped with a cut piece of night crawler. As long as I could hold the boat on fish, all three baits worked roughly equally.

Fishing Update 8-30-2010 Sunday morning greeted us with another warm windy day. Surface water temperatures have risen back into the 71-72 degree range again.
On Sunday, I finally got my chance to go and have some fun chasing Northern Pike, so we headed to a lake where we thought we'd have a chance to catch some larger size fish. First we tried casting jigs dressed with artificial tails and it looked like we'd be in for some action on the weedline as we caught a couple of medium size Pike and Largemouth Bass on the weedline if 12 to 16 feet of water. But as the sun moved higher in the sky and the temps warmed up, the action slowed down. We switched our presentation and began rigging large Creek Chubs in deeper water. Fishing at about 20 feet deep, we started catching more decent size Pike and a nicer Largemouth Bass almost instantly.
This was working out great for one of my anglers who caught a half dozen fish in short order. The problem was that the other angler was having some trouble getting the fish hooked and/or keeping them on the line. Hey, for every problem, there is a solution. So after we finished cooking lunch, we packed up and headed toward another good Pike lake where I thought we could troll in shallower, weedier water.
We rigged up the line counters with #7 Rattlin' Raps and trolled the edges of a large weed flat adjacent to deeper water and after a half hour of surveying the territory, found a stretch that was teaming with smaller, but aggressive Pike. Trolling in 10 feet of water at 2.8 to 3.0 MPH was the best way to stay on the fish. If I lost track of the weeds on the Humminbird, I also lost the fish. In other words, I had to see weeds on the graph to keep the crew in the action. I had one particular Rattlin' Rap, Red on top with a yellow bottom (looks kind of like a hot dog with ketchup and mustard on it) and this bait was really hot. Doubles were common and after three hours of trolling we probably caught upwards of 50 pike and a few bonus Walleye.
Keep this in the back of your mind for the up-coming week. If we start getting some more traditional late August weather, grey drizzly days with lighter winds, it looks like trolling the weedlines on the larger lakes could really come alive too. This can really be a great time of year for catching "above average Pike" and I will try to give you a heads up if the opportunity looks good.

Fishing Update 8-29-2010 Saturday was an almost perfectly typical late August day in terms of weather. Warm temperatures in the low 80's pushed the surface water temps back over the 70 degree mark as the wind blew steadily out of the South again. Walleye fishing has been remarkably steady providing that the weather allows us to fish where we want to. Today's wind was managable, so it made a trip back out to the main lake (winnie) really enjoyable.
I think the best Walleye action is still out in the deeper water on the larger main lake bars. Today after lunch we fished in 18 to 22 feet using live bait rigs, six foot leaders and night crawlers. The action was good and we managed to keep 12 Walleyes in the 16 inch range, another 6 that were carbon copy 14 inchers. We also released a half dozen slot (17-26 inch) fish and a handful of little tykes along the way too.
While we were doing that, friends of mine were fishing in the shallows where there was a reasonably good bite in spite of poor conditions for fishing the shallow water. Had today's weather been cloudy or more breezy near shore, it may have been better action in the shallows. Jig and minnow combinations are beginning to produce reliably in the shallow water, but you can still catch fish on crawlers if you want to.
As I've been doing for over a week now, we started our day fishing Crappies and they are continuing to be cooperative for me. There are a growing number of folks fishing for them now, so I'm noticing a decline in the reliability of certain locations. It's going to get more important to move around searching for "fresh" schools of fish and for me, time to start checking a wider variety of lakes as well.
Bluegills are hitting during the day now, but the action is spotty. Some folks are finding good schools of them while others are missing the locations. I saw a family in the fish cleaning shack yesterday who had come in with a cooler full of really nice Bluegills and they told me they'd caught them in and around the weed edges in shallow water. As far as I know, there hasn't been a start to any deeper sunfish action just yet, but whenever we get the next good cold snap, I'd start checking the deeper water too.
I hate to say it, but it looks like we're in for another huge wind again today, so I'll have to come up with a game plan on a smaller lake.
Hey, I'm not complaining though because I realize how lucky I am just to be here! Sometimes you just have to squeeze every ounce of enjoyment out of the few opportunities that come along. Ya Know?

Fishing Update August 28, 2010 An unexpected day off on Friday gave me an opportunity to get my rigged cleaned up and some time to get the fishing gear back into shape too. As usual, some of the best discoveries are ones that I stumble into and I found a tip that might come in handy for you sometime.
Last week during one of our huge winds, I had waves rolling over the back of the boat flooding everything. While I was getting organized yesterday, I opened one of my tackle boxes and discovered a pile of wet, rusty jigs. In the past, I would have thrown 'em out and started from scratch. Yesterday, I decided to try getting rid of the rust using Iron Out and it worked like a charm. Use this link to see the images and more about removing rust from fish hooks.
Today, I'll be back out fishing so watch for another fishing report on sunday morning.

Fishing Update August 27, 2010 Thursday brought us another gorgeous day with high blue slies and a managable South wind. Surface water temperatures started off at about 68 degrees in the morning and slowly warmed back up to about 70 by the end of the day.
Another day, another new Crappie location discovered and as has been the case all week, an hour or so is enough time to put our Crappies in the boat before we head out onto the big lake for some Walleye fishing. This was a new school of fish for me, but the conditions were as I've described all week. Twenty two to twenty six feet of water, steep shoreline drop-off and fish vertically over the suspended schools of fish.
Our Walleye action today reverted back to the pattern I'd been working last week. Main lake bars in the 16 to 24 foot range. Before we headed deep though , I did try trolling the shallow water that we'd fished a few days ago, but the fish were really sparse. We did catch a few Walleyes and a couple of Pike, but all of the heavy winds appear to have blown a lot of the fish out of the weeds that we had fished before. We moved back out into deep water and immediately found Walleye in 18 feet of water on the main (Bena) Bar. Everyone was talking about the fish only hitting leeches, but we had about equal numbers caught on crawlers too. Although the fish were scattered along the edge of the bar, they were feeding actively and if I marked fish, most of the time they did bite.
We used a 3/4 ounce sinker, 6 foot leader and Leeches or Crawlers depending on the mood we were in. We didn't try minnows at all because the rigs were working, but I had the feeling that a bonus pike or some Jumbo Perch could have been added to the bag, had we chosen to try the minnows.
Thanks to the high blue skies, the Pike were not in much of a feeding mood today. I plan tro keep trying until I finally get a lucky break, I hope to do some casting tomorrow. If that works, I'll let you know.

Fishing Update August 26, 2010 Finally, a manageable day on the water. I guess you could call it the aftermath of the cold front that blew in on Tuesday. Cool Northwest wind, high blue sky and the typical "where did the fish go this time?" scenario. Thanks to the force of the winds that brought this cold front in, surface temps really plunged this time, 68-69 degrees on Wednesday compared to 74-75 degrees on Monday.
For me, it's been a part of daily life to start the day with a little Crappie action and today was no exception. Since I've been doing it every day now for a week, I have a few schools dialed in and we had our Crappies in about 45 minutes. Location and presentation all the same as in the previous reports.
To look for some Walleyes, we switched lakes and moved back over to Big Winnie to see how things shook out over there. As expected, the Walleyes took a little extra time to nap in the morning, but later as the sunshine warmed things up, the fish did kick back into biting mode. The first place we found a decent school of fish was on the outside edge of a shoreline weedbed in 13-14 feet of water. Many of the fish were outside of the heavy weeds and on the clean lip between the weeds and the next drop-off. We managed to eek out a handful of these fish on night crawlers while a friend of mine up the shore was capturing some of them trolling spinners w/night crawlers. We moved out into the large weed flats a caught a few more on jig/minnow combinations, but this location didn't hold up for very long either. Finally I moved further out into the wind and on to a shallow 5 to 6 foot deep rock pile that's surrounded by cabbage weeds and that's where we found some action. We switched all lines over to 1/8 ounce jigs with minnows and caught a mixed bag of Walleye, Perch and a few Northern Pike.
Thanks to all of the nasty winds we've had, I feel like I misssed out on the full moon Pike and Musky action that we'd usually have. The predicition is for south winds today, so I'm hoping to do a little trolling and with luck, maybe I'll have a good report about the toothy critters in the next day or two.

Fishing Update August 25, 2010 From one extreme to another! Yesterday's hot wind from the south turned into today's cold wind from the Northwest. There was about a 25 degree drop in the air temperature since Monday. This would have been a great time to put on a nice warm sweatshirt, but hey, you can't wear it if you don't have it. I guess it's time for me to rummage around the house for some extra clothes to pack along.
We defended ourselves against the brisk Northwest winds by switching to a smaller lake North of Deer River. We were hoping to find some decent perch and a short scan of the shoreline on the calm side of the lake revealed a school of fish in the 10 to 12 foot range just outside the weedline. We rigged two lines with jig and minnow and one with a jig and crawler and did start catching perch immediately, but it turned out that the majority of the Perch were too small to do us much good.
A stroke of luck for me was that there was a nice school of Walleye in there too and they were responding well to the jig and crawler combination. While the fish were there, they were surprisingly active so we stuck with the Walleye pattern long enough to gather the last couple of keepers we didn't save on Monday, a few for lunch and a meal for me.
After lunch we switched lakes again to try and find a couple more Pike to round out their limit of those as well. The action was fair, but not great. We did manage to catch 20 or so using a 1/4 ounce long shank jig head tipped with the 4 inch Berkley Ripple Shad. If you rig the jig using a 12 inch length of 17 pound fluorcarbon, you'll have a fairly good insurance policy against bite-offs, without the trouble of the steel leaders getting kinked and twisted. Jig these Ripple Shads agressively for the Pike and you'll be amazed at how willing they are to hit them.

Fishing Update August 24, 2010 As promised, the South wind blew again today at 25 MPH and another day of what will some day be known as the famous "2010 Season of Defensive Fishing" has been written into history. As much as I'm ready for one of those nice September days with a light Walleye chop and a crisp blue sky, I have to say that if you're willing to put up with the weather, fishing hasn't been bad at all.
We started our morning with a quick trip into Crappie territory and after fishing a couple of slow spots, we found a nice school and managed to put a limit in the cooler. The pattern remains un-changed from the past few reports. Watch for schools at 18 to 24 feet, steep shoreline related drop-off, 1/8 ounce jig and minnow.
Phase two was to switch over to Walleye fishing. Feeling like I was in a rut, I had planned to avoid the same patterns that I've been fishing for the past couple of weeks. You could say that the big wind helped me stick to my game plan because I'd been tempted by a friend who was doing well on the main lake bars rigging with crawlers. I was on my way out to visit him and got about half way out there before the wind really started blowing. I stopped on the shoreline and tried one drift on the weedline in 7 feet of water using jig and minnow. As soon as we started jigging, the Northern Pike began snipping off our jigs. Now that I knew the Pike were in the area, we put away the jigs and began trolling rattle baits. First fish was a nice 18 inch Walleye, then a pike then several more of each. I was pretty happy with our action until we moved about a mile down the shoreline and ran into my pal Jim Trombley who was trolling with Salmo Hornets and really having some great action. We switched a couple of rods to the #4 Viking Color Hornets and that helped with the Walleye action, but I left one rod rigged with the number 7, Fire Tiger Rattlin' Rap, that bait was really hot as well. From then on, we spent the rest of the day trolling and finished up with just a couple fish short of both our Walleye and Pike limits. Trolling speed was 2.4 to 2.6 MPH and the best action came by fishing the flats at about 7 feet and passing near by any isolated weed clusters we could find. Maintaining contact with a hard breakline was not important, but staying near the weeds was critical.
Today's weather is supposed to be even windier, if that's possible and I have the same crew again, so I'm planning to scale down to a smaller lake where we can try and catch some Perch or Bluegills to send home with the boys.

Fishing Update August 23, 2010 On Sunday, summer blew back in courtesy of a Southeast wind at 20 to 25 MPH! This might be one of our last stretches of hot, sticky weather, but for now, summer is back. Surface temperatures moved back up into the 73 degree neighborhood. With tropical storm Danielle brewing in the Atlantic, it's possible that we'll see these Southeast winds blow until that storm finally fizzles out. Watching the forecast for today, we decided to cancel our trip up to Lake of the Woods aznd wait for a better stretch of weather before we try it again. Hey, what I can I say? I'd rather be home where I can hear from my friends anyway.
I generally start watching for a slow-down in the Walleye action at surface temps of about 75 degrees. The off-setting factor right now will be the stiff winds we're expecting over the next couple of days. Until now, I've been able to find enough fish on deeper structure to keep us busy, but I think that finding schools of shallow water fish where the wind and current is strong will be one way to get into some better action.
On Sunday, hiding from the big wind by staying in Cutfoot Sioux, we were able to scratch out some nice eating size Walleyes by working small points adjacent to the weedlines. The best depth varied from spot to spot, but typically 10 to 16 feet was the range. The only baits we used were 1/16 ounce Sneaky petes tipped with whole night crawlers. The action was not fast, but we picked up a fish or two from nearly every spot we tried, so if you're into scrounging mode, this game plan is solid.
It looks like the Crappie action is going to be reliable for a while. We have now found schools of fish in six or seven different locations, all of them in the 22 to 24 foot range. Look for areas where deep water comes very close to the shoreline. These little shoreline related holes are the first places that Crappies show up. Later, these fish will move out into open water, but for now they'll want to stay close to shore in order to cash in on all of the baitfish that are still living in and around the weeds.

Fishing Update August 22, 2010 Fall fishing patterns are emerging and your variety of angling choices in the Deer River area are expanding every day. Over the weekend, we've had Crappie, Bluegill, Walleye, Pike and Perch action all within a three day period. On Lake Winnie, the movement toward shallow water by Pike, Walleye and Musky continues and the panfish action is starting to heat up for anglers who like to fish them during the daytime.
A foggy, humid morning on Saturday was the signal to stay off the big lake for a while. We already had most of the Walleyes we needed from our trip on Friday, so we began our fishing by searching for some Crappies. After a ten minute cruise along the weedline scanning the 18 to 22 foot drop-off with my Humminbird, we found a school of Crappies on a sharp break, close to shore. The fish were more than coopertive and we got our day off to a great start by gathering some of these tasty criiters for the boys to take home.
The secret to finding these early fall schools of Crappie is to look for areas where deep water comes the closest to shore. This pattern will hold up for a few weeks before the fish eventually go more out into the wide open water where they'll roam around in larger schools until winter.
There are lots of ways to present a bait to Crappies, but for me the simpler, the better, so we stick with a 1/8 or 1/16 ounce jig head tipped with a medium size Crappie minnow. My favorite way to fish these schooled fish once I locate them is to hover over them with the trolling motor and fish vertically. Most of the time, this will get us started fairly well.
By the time we moved on to searching for Sunfish, the fog was starting to lift and the brighter sky was taking the edge off of the panfish action. We did find a school of Bluegills located in a heavy patch of mixed Cabbage and Coontail but the fish were sluggish. We managed to catch a dozen or so before we moved on.
A one hour troll down the weedline on Lake Winnie using Salmo Hornets picked us up three bonus Pike and a couple more Walleyes.
Today, I have a similar game plan so I'll know if some of these patterns are "locked in" or just an early sign of what lies ahead for the fall.

Fishing Update for August 21, 2010 For everyone who is lucky enough to be heading for the lake this weekend, I hope you have a great time. Hey! relax, get some rest and enjoy what's left of the summer. Soon we'll be talking fall fishing and the early hunting seasons. All good, all fun, but all signaling the end of another great summer.
For me, summer returned on Friday as a warming trend blew in another series of thunder storms, followed by a calm, warm day on the lake. During the aftermath of the storm my Walleye fishing action dipped a bit from what we'd been enjoying, but by working at it, we managed to keep sixteen nice fish. No real change in the presentation from recent reports, live bait rigs, crawlers fished on main lake bars in 18 to 22 feet of water.
Since I have the same group today and we already have most of the Walleyes we need, I'll be taking another look at some Crappie spots and maybe some other panfish spots as well.
There's a report from a friend that the Northern Pike have been active on the mid-depth flats, 12 to 14 feet of water. These are probably fish that have moved on to the flats to feed on Tulibees that are forced in from deeper water. He's been trolling the flats using Salmo Hornets and I think we're going to take a run at some of these Pike today (Sat) as well.
I'm preparing to hunker down for another heat wave and I'll keep you posted about how things develop over the weekend.

Fishing Update August 20, 2010 Thursday was nearly the ideal fishing day. Temps in the mid seventies, a nice chop on the lake and surface water temps solidly below 70 degrees for the first time since late June.
Walleyes were located on main lake bars and smaller main lake humps in the 16 to 22 foot depth range. Their mood was very cooperative, Live Bait Rigs tipped with air injected Night Crawlers, 3/4 egg sinker, 6 foot leader has been my standard approach for the past several weeks. For me, keeping the boat directly over the top of the fish and moving slowly with lines positioned vertically as possible is the key.
I compared notes with a friend of mine who had been doing well using leeches and long lining his rigs instead of the vertical approach and he said that the leech and "long-line" pattern seems to be falling apart at least for now. It's probably just as well, leeches are getting so hard to come by that it's barely worth the trouble.
Some other friends are having good walleye action on the weedlines, so we dabbled with that for a while and found a nice school of fish in 8 feet of water near a mixed cabbage/coontail patch. Still using night crawlers, but presented with a 1/16 ounce jig head instead of the live bait rig.
Another pattern worth noting has been trolling the shoreline weeds with Salmo's #4 and #5 Hornets. This is a "multi-species" approach and you will find Walleye, Pike and perch are all hitting these small crankbaits.
Perch are getting more active too and can be found on main lake flats in the 8 to 12 foot range. The packs of Perch are roaming a bit, so it's hard to go back to the same spot twice, but if you cruise the flats watching your electronics, you'll find Perched scooled tightly together. Once located, jig and minnow is all you need to catch them.

Fishing Update August 19, 2010 On Wednesday we had a little extra time to experiment so I tried a few panfish spots to see what I could find. This was the first day that I've been able to locate some small schools of Crappies starting to build up on the main drop offs located outside the weed edges. They were schooled in small packs in 18 to 22 feet of water and were what I'd call semi-active. We had to pick at them a bit, but we were rewarded with 20 nice Crappies. A 1/16 ounce jig head and small fathead was all we needed.
The story with Sunfish was similar, but they were still on the shallow weed edges in 8 to 10 feet of water. We didn't get around to fishing the Sunfish until mid-afternoon so its hard to tell if they would have been more active earlier in the morning, but using a 1/16 ounce jig head tipped with a cut piece of worm, we did manage to scratch out a batch of these as well.
Also, thank you to John Gossen who helped out by taking Don Wilson and his son on a Musky fishing trip for me. They boated two and saw another one and all this occurred during the bright blue sky and cold morning after the big front blew in. That's pretty darn good if you ask me, thanks again.

Fishing Report August 18, 2010 On Tuesday in Deer River we woke up to an overnight low of 39 degrees and so I decided that we better stick with the deep water Walleye pattern. When I arrived at the lake, the surface water temperature had fallen from 77 degrees to 69 degrees and there was a high, blue sky. Our first few stops revealed that the Walleyes had gone down into deeper water, in the 35 to 55 foot range and while we were able to get a few fish to bite, the effects of the front were quite dramatic.
As the day grew warmer, we noticed that the bait fish and eventually Walleyes were gathering back on to the main lake bars and humps where we'd found them during the past week or so. By the end of the day, warmer temperatures and winds from the South at 15 MPH had helped to trigger a much better bite.
For me, the presentation continues to be live bait rigs, night crawlers and fishing the edges of main lake bars and humps in the 20 to 30 foot range.
Perch action seems to be picking back up again too, I heard from a friend that told me he had been catching lots of Perch in the 10 inch plus range by fishing the weed edges inb 8 to 10 feet of water. I ran into another buddy on the lake yesterday who was catching them like crazy on a main lake flat in about 10 feet of water. Jig and minnow or jigs tipped with pieces of night crawler were the trick for these two guys.
Last night another string of thunder storms blew through the area, so it will be another interesting day. If anything incredible happens, I'll let you know.

Fishing Report August 16, 2010 A good old fashioned Minnesota cold front has blown into the area moving us another day closer to our "pre-fall" fishing patterns. Even though the heavy winds have been a major hurdle for anglers in terms of trying stay on top of Walleyes, the cooler surface temperatures and heavy current have made the fish more active. During the past two days, surface temperatures have fallen from 77 degrees down to 70 degrees (as of Sunday evening).
On Saturday and Sunday, I spent my days battling the wind on main lake bars where I've been able to catch fish where I see them. In other words, whenever I can locate a pack of Walleye, they have been active enough to bite. So far, the fish aren't in large schools, but scattered throughout the lake. The main depth for me has been 18 to 22 feet and my best bait by far has been live bait rigs with night crawlers.
On Monday (8-16) we spent some time fishing the weed edges in 12 to 14 feet of water and picked up some perfect eating size Walleyes in the 16 inch range using 1/16/ ounce Sneaky Pete's tipped with a whole night crawler. The fish were widely scattered around the weedline and the action was somewhat hit-and-miss, but it beat banging around in the big waves, so we stuck with it.

Fishing Report August 13, 2010 Back out on Lake Winnie for a Musky and Pike trip (Wed 8-11) and water temperatures were still hovering around 75 to 77 degrees. The baitfish and Walleyes are building up on the weedlines and it looks like we're poised for the start of some good shoreline fishing really soon.
The highlight of my my day was when Dan McClure scored on a modest size, but great looking Musky. The Northern Pike action on Winnie had been reported to be good too and we thought it was going to be great when we started catching them almost immediately at the start of the trip. But after a half hour or so, the Pike action dried up suggesting that the "Full Scale" movement into shallow water still hasn't occurred. We did see some more evidence of a minor fish kill starting up on the big lake when a couple of Eelpout floated past us on the surface and this is another sign that more fish will move toward the weedline soon.
An unusual occurance, was that all of the Pike and the Musky that Dan captured were raised on the same bait. We took turns throwing the only Salmo "JACK" Jerkbait that I currently own and literally every single fish we caught, came in on that bait. For some reason, the fish on this particular day wanted to see that bait, so naturally I'll be ordering some more. It fishes like most any other jerkbait, but is the spitting image of a small Northern Pike. There is also a model that resembles a small Musky and I think I'll try one of those too.
Walleye and Perch action on Thursday (8-12) on Lake Winnie also started off really well for us in the morning, but deteriorated as winds from the incoming storm system stirred up a nice 4 to 6 foot sea that forced everyone off the main lake until later in the afternoon. We dodged into Cutfoot Sioux where the action was slower, but where we did catch another half dozen fish for the shore lunch ice chest.
Many of the people we saw fishing were on the same weedlines along the North Shore of the lake in nine to 11 feet of water. I saw most folks trolling or drifting using live bait spinners tipped with night crawlers, but we used 1/16 ounce Sneaky Petes tipped with whole night crawlers and our action was good (while it lasted).
Perch were mixed in with the Walleyes so we really didn't do much extra to catch them, we just saved the better ones when they came along. I think a spinner/minnow or jig/minnow combination could have been deadly for Perch though and I will try that as soon as I get another chance.

Fishing Report August 11, 2010 I just returned from a four day trip to Rainy Lake and as usual, the experience was fantastic. A cold front had moved through just before we arrived, providing us a couple of days relief from the previous hot spell. By the third day, the weather had returned to hot, calm and sunny. The fish didn't seem to mind though and I think maybe our best fishing occured on day 4 during the peak of the hot, calm weather.
From the first spot we tried, Walleye fishing was very good. Lots of fish in the 19 to 22 inch range and mixed in every day, was a smattering of fish from 23 to 25 inches. Ironically, the largest fish we caught on the entire trip was a 27 inch Walleye that also happened to be the first one of the trip. It took us the entire balance of the trip to put together a limit of Walleyes between 15 and 17 inches for my friends to take home. It's obvious that there's been a ton of pressure on those "premium keepers" around 15 to 16 inches and we only added three or four of these each day to our bag. I'd say that if you're looking for eaters and only had a day or two to fish, you'll have to settle for some 13 inchers. The good news is that there were a lot of 13 inch fish to catch and had we wanted to eat fish every day, we surely could have done it.
We had about equal results using live bait rigs with Night Crawlers and a 3/8 ounce jig head with larger than average minnows. I had a supply of nice Redtails that really seemed to produce, but later in the trip, we had to pick up some large Golden Shiners and they caught fish as well. Many of the Walleye we caught had obviously been eating tulibees in water depths of 50 to 60 feet located around mid-lake reefs. Our best fishing occurred on spots where I saw lots of baitfish in the outer portions of the deep reefs.
We also spent some time trolling for Northern Pike and caught several nice fish using Rapala, Deep Down Husky Jerks and it didn't take long to figure out that the best Pike areas were on reefs with good rock structure that topped out in the 20 to 25 foot range. Trolling at about 2.7 MPH and hitting the top of these rocky rieefs produced good decent results. My fishing buddy August Manzardo also had a way of catching Northerns by casting a lighter jig away from the boat toward shallower water as we fished the steep outer edges for Walleye. In fact he caught the best Pike of the trip using this method.
I have a Musky trip this morning at 6:00 AM so, I'll have to pick up where I left off tomorrow morning. Don't forget to tune in to the radio program at 6:20 on Thursday for more info

Fishing Report Update August 5th 2010 On Tuesday the air temperature moderated and after a quiet, calm morning, a very nice 15 to 20 MPH Northwest wind blew some cooler air into the area. As the temperature cooled down, the action heated up and we were able to have a nice afternoon of Walleye fishing.
Surface water temperatures are still quite warm as I've been looking at readings of 77 to 80 degrees during the past two days. During our fishing Wednesday, we found one more floating Tulibee that fell victim to "summer kill" so I'm still expecting to see more signs of a significant movement of Pike and Walleye into the shallows.
Based on what's been happening for me the past few days, I'd say we're starting into the late summer pattern where shoreline fishing becomes an important approach and whenever the wind blows, fishing will be good. Fish to be found in main lake areas will be located on mid depth flats in the 10 to 16 foot range, rock piles and along the edges of deeper main lake bars that drop into deeper water.
Friends have been reporting that Jig and Minnow presentations are working for them, but for me, night crawlers on a 1/16 ounce Sneaky Pete fished slowly along the weed edges has still been the best presentation. We've had a little action on leeches as well, but overall I think the crawlers are still the ticket.
Earlier in the week, we checked out some deeper-water lakes hoping that wherever we found cooler temperatures, the action might be a little better. Although we found a lot of fish in the deeper water, it didn't really translate into a lot more action. The fish apparently have so much food to eat, that they can pick and choose when to bite (or not). If you like to fish for trophy fish though, I've been talking with a fishing buddy, Sean Colter and he has been concentrating on these deeper fish and catching some really nice Pike. Some of these have been up into the 20 pound neighborhood. They've been trolling with lead-core line and using Salmo Stings and Hornets.
Musky action in the Deer River neighborhood remains above average, but not as good as during the peak of a couple weeks ago. Most reports about Musky location have been in the deeper cabbage weeds in 10 to 14 feet of water, but I did hear from one friend who reported that there are some fish moving toward the rocks over on Leech Lake. While fishing for Walleye on Cass Lake this past Monday, we hooked a Musky on a jig and minnow in a small, isolated cabbage bed in about 5 feet of water.
Panfish action hasn't changed much for me during the past week. If I want to catch Sunfish or Crappies, I have to be out during the evening. On Tuesday, I talked with a camper up on Cutfoot Sioux who mentioned that they had also been doing well early in the mornings. He reported that they are usually off the water by 9:00 AM so it sounds like the sunrise/sunset pattern is still solid. On Tuesday, I did check a few deeper spots where we start to see Crappies in the early fall, so far there was not a major build up, but I did see a couple of small packs of fish moving along the drop-off in 18 to 22 feet of water. We also stopped in some shallow weeds in the 6 to 8 foot range and picked up a handul of decent sunfish, so it does feel like an improvement in the daytime action is on the horizon.
After a couple of years without a chance to visit, I'm finally heading back up to Rainy Lake with friends to relax and see if I still know how to trick some of those nice black-faced Walleyes and maybe a few Pike too. The fishing reports will be a little sparse until I return next Tuesday, but I'll get a nice report together after that. In the mean-time, Have a great weekend of fishing.

Fishing Update August 3, 2010 On Monday we fished a deeper lake hoping that the Walleyes would be a little more active if we could find some cooler water temperatures. Surface water temperature over most of the lake was 77 degrees and there wasn't a breath of wind. We didn't get the earliest start, not hitting the water until 9:00 AM but we did the best we could considering the conditions we had.
We checked a few spots on the weedline in 12 to 20 feet of water, a few deeper points in the 35 foot range, a handful of main lake humps in the 20 to 26 foot range and finally a couple of really shallow cabbage patches in the 4 to 7 foot range. The good news is that we marked fish on almost every spot we checked. The bad news is that trying to get them to bite was like pulling teeth.
We did wind up with enough fish for a decent fish fry and we had more opportunities to catch Walleyes than we really took advantage of. So if you're into getting a nice chocolate brown tan and working on the fish until they bite, it wouldn't be a total waste of your time.
In the end, our best bet for the conditions was still to work on the smaller humps (sunken islands) in about 22 feet. It seems like the fish in the deeper water were less likely to bite and the fish in the really shallow weeds were too small to do anything with. Live bait rigs, 6 foot snell and tipped with night crawlers was our best bait, but we had some fish hooked on medium size crrek chubs and a couple on leeches too.
Today I'm heading for an earlier start time and going back to Lake Winnie for more of a variety bite. Check in Wednesday for an update.

Fishing Update August 2, 2010 Another hot, sticky weekend on Saturday and Sunday made the Walleye fishing a little tricky. There is food (bait-fish) everywhere right now and this abundant bait supply is keeping the fish widely scattered. After Saturday, we thought our best bet for walleye fishing on this type of calm, sunny day would be to skip the daytime fishing and concentrate our effort on fishing during the late evening. So for Sunday, we changed our plans to start the fishing trip in late afternoon with the plan being to stay out until sunset or maybe a bit longer.
Our reward was to work our tails off trying to catch some fish as a series of wind and rain storms blew through the area. We trolled crank-baits for Pike and Walleye, fished live bait rigs for Smallmouth or Walleye, fished jigs on the weed-line for anything that would bite. No excuses, but for whatever reason, weather or otherwise, the fish had a serious case of lock-jaw and except for some small sunfish, fish activity was at a minimum. That said, I still think the strategy was a good one because had we started in the morning, we would have looked like raisins by about 11:00 AM.
With water temperatures pushing toward 80 degrees I plan to keep a close eye on the weed-lines this week. I think that we should be considering the possibility of a fish kill creeping up on many area lakes and generally, this coincides with a significant movement of fish toward the weed-lines and shoreline flats. The exception(s) to the fish kill scenario would be lakes like Cass, Walker Bay, Pokegama and other deep fisheries where the Oxygen levels don't deplete as much during the late summer. On lakes like these, game fish will likely seek out locations where the water temperature is in their preferred range. We're going to take a look at one of these lakes today and I'll put up a quick update tomorrow about how it turns out.
We're at the point in the summer where just as we think the fishing has slowed to a halt, a handful of lakes will emerge as the "go-to" spots for the last half of August and soon after that, we'll get the first signs of the early fall bite. The glass is definitely half-full and the vibe for the upcoming weekend is really fantastic!

Fishing Update July 31 2010 Warm, stormy weather just keeps on coming! According to the book, fishing should be tougher than it is, but somehow the Walleye action manages to hang in there. With surface temperatures hovering in the mid to high 70 degree range, Bass and panfish action continues to be good as well, but the majority of the better panfish are still being caught by anglers who fish the twilight periods in morning or evening. I know that there are exceptions and some anglers are catching panfish during the daytime too, but for some reason this summer, I can't get a really good panfish bite started until about 7:00 PM.
Walleye fishing for me this week was surprisingly good on a variety of lakes. We fished a windy day on Lake Winnie on Wednesday and lots of small, 13-15 inch fish were on the shallow weedlines and shallow rocks. Jig and minnow combinations were the trick in the wind. The past couple of days I've been on some smaller lakes and the Walleyes there have occupied a wider variety of terrain. We've had some good results fishing the weedlines in 12 to 16 feet of water with 1/16 ounce Sneaky Petes tipped mainly with night crawlers, but also a few using the same jig tipped with leeches.
There are still some fish on the main lake bars and sunken islands too, but these fish have been pursued heavily already and you have to be persistent to catch them. Most of the time the fish on these "humps" bite on the first and maybe second pass, but then it's time to move on and find another small pack of fish. On the deeper structures, we've done okay with live bait rigs, 6 foot leaders with either night crawlers or leeches.
The warm water has helped to keep the Smallmouth Bass active and we've been catching some awfully nice fish on live bait rigs while we fish for Walleye. The Smallies are mainly located on the upper edges of main lake points or humps in the 18 to 26 foot range, but there are still some fish on weedlines, especially if there are some rocks nearby. The easiest way to know that you've located Smallmouth bass is to watch your electronics for fish that look "active" or "nervous". While the Walleyes show up as a single arch or as a series of arches spread horizontally and appear motionless, the Smallmouth will show up as a pack of fish and the arches will appear to be moving.
So far, the best bet by far is to rig these fish using a standard live bait rig tipped with leeches. We've caught a few on crawlers or minnows also, but for now, the leeches are clearly the best bait.
Musky and Northern Pike fishing slowed a bit this week after what appeared to be a peak during the days just before the full moon. Fish are still available, but not at the same pace of ten days ago. From here on out, watch the moon and the weather to be sure that you take advantage of the prime times. New moon, full moon and the days of the half moons are an advantage and so is fishing on the days just before a storm moves in. If the weather stays warm, we are going to see some good action for both Pike and Musky before this summer is over, so if catching a big one has been your goal, keep at it and your chance to win the game is near.

Fishing Report July 26 2010 Warm weather persists and with surface water temperatures pushing toward the 80 degree mark, Musky action continues to heat up. Bass action has been good and the panfish action continues to improve as fish get set up on well established weedlines. Walleye anglers who keep their "nose to the grindstone" can continue to bring in some fish, but the Walleyes have been sensitive to the weather conditions. For my money, your best bet is to plan your fishing day to take advantage of whichever opportunity is best on the day you go out.
Musky reports during the past few days have been just too good to pass up and so on Sunday, we set our sites on a combo Pike and Musky trip. The weather was bright, clear and calm and not at all was I was hoping for. Casting for Pike on the weedlines wasn't too bad early in the morning, they remained semi-active until the sun really started beating down. We managed to catch one decent Pike on a Suick and a couple more on Rattle Traps, but as the fish sunk down into the weeds, jigging and live bait was the only way to catch them. After making several moves, we decided to finish up our morning by checking out a large weed flat where mixed Cabbage, Coontail and Musky Weed grows in 12 to 13 feet of water. Here Arian Vornbrock hooked into a nice Musky in the 48 to 50 inch range. Sadly the fish eventually got off at the boat, but not before I had a chance to snap a few good Musky pictures. This fish hit on a 1 ounce tandem spinnerbait, black & orange at about 1:00 PM.
Walleye fishing patterns that I talked about last week are still in effect. Windy conditions, go to shallow rocks or shallow weedlines. On the rocks, we've been able to catch fish on jig and minnow or jigs tipped with night crawlers. Others have had consistent results with live bait spinners and leeches.
During calm conditions, head to toward main lake and fish the larger bars in the 14 to 22 foot range. Cruise the edges and top of the bars looking for small pods of fish and stop whenever you find one. Live bait rigging with six foot plain snells have been working for me, night crawlers have been okay, but during the past few days, leeches seem to have an edge.
Sunfish action has been good, but for some reason I can't get them to really bite until the evening. My best bet has been to locate them on the weedlines as we fish for bass during the day and remember the key spots to return to during the early evening. Usually by about 7:00 PM the Bluegills start hitting and once they do, the action has been great! Small jigs tipped with a cut piece of night crawler is all you need. On Friday, we discovered that the Sunfish were holding deeper on the outside edges of the weedline while the Crappies were over the weed tops in heavier cover. While my crew fished the sunnies, I casted a small jig with a 3 inch twister tail over the weed tops and picked up some bonus Crappies.
Perch action has been fair, with the better size fish coming from rocky bars, humps and weedlines with mixed rock or gravel. Many of the Perch are feeding on small, young of the year Crawfish so obviously the rocky areas are the ticket for that pattern. We've also found some schools of fish on the flats in 12 to 16 feet of water, the problem is that the fish are widely scattered so you have to do some moving if you plan to catch a bunch. If there's a breeze, you can drift on the flat while fishing a jig and minnow. If it's calm, a spinner rig tipped with minnow is probably a better way to cover water.

Fishing update July 25, 2010 Northern Pike and Musky are on the prowl right now. It's 5:45 and we're heading out the door to see what kind of action we can drum up. Muskies have been coming in from lots of lakes in the area including Leech, Moose, Deer, Cutfoot Sioux and Cass Lake. I'm sure there are others, but I haven't heard reports yet. On Saturday, I talked with someone who reported seeing nine fish, another reported seeing 19 and one angler actually boated five on Friday. Maybe this is going to shape up to be a great Musky summer? I'll let you know how it goes.

Fishing update July 24, 2010 Smallmouth Bass have been more than cooperative this week, but Walleye, Pike, Musky and panfish are also comoing in steadily. The action is better at certain times than at others, but for any angler willing to spend some time looking for fish, there will be a reward for the effort.
We've had several days of changing weather this week so the Walleye patterns have been widely varied. Working with a group of long time customers from McQuay Air Conditioning on their annual "Fisharoo" has given me a chance to compare notes with several of the areas top fishing guides. Everyone spent time fishing their own favorite patterns and most everyone did well. The top producing patterns this week were live bait rigging on deep water, main lake bars and humps, trolling spinners tipped with live bait on shallow weedlines and jig and minnow combos fished on the rocks.
Jigging the shallowest rocks (4 to 6 feet) was best whenever we had a good wind, but deeper rocks (12 to 15 feet) still produced some fish at calmer times as well. The benefit of fishing the rocks has been the Jumbo Perch that were mixed in with Walleye. For eating, the bonus Perch are hard to beat.
In the deeper water, live bait rigs with a six foot leader and tipped with large or jumbo leeches was productive for me on Thursday. We had a good southeast breeze that was perect for working the main (Bena) Bar on Lake Winnie, so we scanned the breakline looking for small pods of fish and worked each one until the action slowed.
I've gotta run for now, but I have some more to add. Check the report again on sunday morning.

Fishing Update July 20, 2010 Turbulent weather gives Walleye anglers lots of "head Scratching moments" on the lake, but the warm water has really helped push the Bass and Panfish into high gear. On Sunday, we fished Walleye hard and steady all day long on Lake Winnie. Moving from shallow water to mid range flats and back out to the deeper humps, we discovered lots of bait in almost all locations. When we found fish, they were in small, scattered packs so we we forced to catch our fish one-by-one, by the end of the day we managed to gather up 14 Walleye, a dozen Perch and a few Pike. In other words, you can catch 'em if you work at it, but don't expect a "hot bite" for a few more weeks.
Smallmouth Bass on the other hand have been more than cooperative! I and the boys from McQuay had a great time on Monday as we worked our way around mid-lake bars finding small packs of Smallmouth. Early in the morning we found several Bass in the 12 to 14 foot range and they were catchable using artificials like a jig and 4 inch grub. By 9:30 or so they were all down in the 22 to 30 foot neighborhood and live biat, primarily rigs with leeches was the ticket for catching them. A small number 4 hook tied on a 5 to 6 foot leader and a 1/2 ounce egg sinker is all you need.
If you're live bait rigging Bass, you can protect them from injury if you avoid feeding line as you would when rigging for Walleye. All you need to do is let the Smallmouth give a few tugs on the leech and as your line tightens, lift the rod tip in a steady sweep, just enough to get the fish swimming.
Mixed bag fishing is going to be the rule of thumbe for a while because sunfish have started showing up on these deeper weed edges too along with a few Walleye and Pike included in the mix.
On Wednesday, I plan to take a couple of dads and their kids out for panfish so I should have a more solid report about panfishing by Thursday morning, just in time for the KAXE radio program at 6:20, if you're up, tune in or use this link to find the radio broadcast archives.

Fishing Update July 14, 2010 Water temperatures are reaching into the high 70 degree range and helping to lock in traditional mid-summer fishing patterns. With un-settled weather and baitfish at their summer peak, Walleye fishing action has slowed during the past few days, but the fish remain catchable for anyone willing to put in some time.
Deep water action on Winnie is steady right now with a lot of fish in the 24 inch range. Slot fish (17 to 26 inches) out-number eaters by about 2 to 1 right now so we are rarely coming off the lake with a limit, but the big fish action is fun and we are getting enough for a good fish fry.
We're in a stretch right now where the news about how to catch them doesn't change much from day to day. My best pattern continues to be main lake humps in the depth range of 20 to 26 feet. Best bait overall has been a live bait rig using night crawlers. We've caught a few fish on leeches too, but I think the fish are taking the crawlers a little better. We have also caught a fair number of Walleye rigging with minnows. Our best results have been with a large rainbow chub or creek chub in the 4 to 5 inch range. On a lot of the recent trips, oyr goal has been to catch at least some "eaters" so I've avoided rigging with the really large minnows, but I think that would work right now as well. On Sunday, we had fairly high winds and we were able to catch several Walleye on jig and minnow as well. On calmer days like Monday though, I didn't do much with jigs.
I'm starting to get more familiar with my new Humminbird 898 and as I learn all of the tricks, I've discovered that I really love being able to scroll my cursor to a fish, or school of fish and mark the spot on my GPS. Once it's marked, just go back to that spot and catch it. I'll be expanding on this as I get more experienced with it.
Bass action keeps heating up one the weedlines and my buddies who are Bass fishing a lot these days report catching 25 or more on every outing. Overall, it sounds like plastic worms on the weedlines are the best, but there are still fish hittiing top-water baits and spinnerbaits in Bulrush beds too.
Crappie and sunfish action is still best during the evening hours, but with warmer temperatures, the lakes are starting to get an algae bloom. We should start to see an improvement in the daytime panfish action within the next week or two.
Yellow Perch are hitting right now, but with baitfish populations high, the Perch are scattered. We have found some on the deeper humps, some on the weedlines and others on shallow rocks. For the time being, we have been fishing Perch only when we "stumble into them" as they pick at our night crawlers. By switching over to a jig and minnow, we can zero in the Perch for a while. Whenever the actions slows down, we go back to rigging for Walleyes.
Now that summer has settled in, I'm going to have some time to get caught up and I will be posting some stuff for sale. If you're interested in a boat, my friend Joe Thmpson has his 2025 Lund Pro V listed here already and I will be posting my 2008 Lund Alaskan as soon as I get her spruced up a bit.

Fishing Update July 9, 2010 Another "Big Walleye" day on Lake Winnie Thursday. After being out of the area for a few days, we fished main lake humps in 22-28 feet of water and the fish were still out there. The wind was a little strong for my liking on the humps, but it was managable. There are huge schools of young of the year Perch minnows on a lot of these humps and almost all of them have at least a few fish. Three of us fishing eached used a different bait, one night crawler, one leech and one jig-minnow. I think overall the night crawlers had the edge in terms of numbers, but everything worked and the jig and minnow actually caught the largest fish.
We fished some two-hook spinners tied up with #4 colorado blades and dressed with night crawlers as well. The spinners didn't out produce the other baits, but these did seem to produce a higher percentage of "eaters", so I think I'm going to start stringing a couple of these up every day for a while.
Perch are starting to show up out on the humps in fair numbers too. Try using a jig and minnow for the the combo bite when you want to add a few jumbos to the basket for lunch.
More reports from friends about the Bluegill action and so far, almost all of them involve the "evening bite". Fish are located in weeds where water depth is 6 to 10 feet. My favorite scenario is to locate a patch of cabbage weeds within a thicker patch of coontail or other heavy weeds. We have been tipping a 1/16 ounce jig with a cut piece of night crawler and working near the bottom near these cabbage patches.

Lund Alaskan Mercury Opti-Max

Finally, the major news of the week has been getting my new boat rully rigged and into service. This is my seventh Lund Alaskan and for the first time, I moved away from the Camo pattern and picked up a very nice looking red version. Speaking strictly from the perspective of a fisherman, this boat rigged with the Mercury 90 HP Optimax is the fish-catchin'ist workhorse on the market. Fast enough to get to the spot, but I don't have to sacrifice trolling speed or boat control. I have ultimate flexibility of where to position the anglers and we can drift, troll or cast in complete comfort. I'll give you some updates on some changes I've made as I get the new rig "trained in" this week.

Fishing Update July 8, 2010 After the storm that blew through last Saturday night, fishing was a little bit spotty on Sunday. Since then weather settled down and the temperatures cooled and fishing action really picked back up. Surface temperatures are now in the mid to high 70 degree range everywhere now so the Sunfish, Bass and Crappie action is poised to be shifting into high gear really soon. So far, our best Bluegill action has been in the evening, but we are starting to get a good "bloom" in a lot of areas and as this develops, we'll be able to get more panfish during the daytime.
Walleye patterns vary now with the lake, but two of the most reliable across a wide variety of lakes have been night crawlers on the weedlines and live bait rigging with Leeches on main lake humps and bars. I have been deciding where to fish based solely on the wind, so if we get light winds or flat water, I head out deep. Stronger breezes, I head for the weedline.
If you're into mixed bag fishing, the weedlines also have some nice Bass going right now. Weeds with rocks nearby or mixed in seem to be the best especially for Smallmouth Bass, but a grass line or mixed coontail-cabbage will work well for the Largemouth.
It's been a whirlwind weuek for me and I just got back from a few days out in the field, so I'm playing a little catch up. I will get a more complete reort together tonight and have it ready for Friday morning.

Fishing Update July 3, 2010 Rising water tempertaures change Walleye locations, shift Bass and Panfish action into high gear. The water surface temperatures are now ranging from 70 degrees to as warm as 75 degrees depending on the lake you visit. On an evening trip to one of my favorite "big Walleye lakes" this Saturday, we found that many of the mid-lake bars are now empty of baitfish and Walleyes. Cruising in deep water revealed that most fish are now suspended in open water. There was already evidence of a hard thermocline developing at about 30 feet and virtually all of the baitfish and predators were suspended between 15 and 30 feet. Luckily we found one main lake point that tapered down into the deep water where a school of cooperative Walleyes gave us some action, but on my next trip, I'll be packing the line-counters, crankbaits and lead-core line.
Based on our earlier than average warm spring, it looks like the fish remain on a schedule that's a couple of weeks ahead of what you'd normally expect, so I think it might be a good time to start watching for some of your favorite patterns that normally occur in late July or early August.
Many of the weedline spots that we fished only a week to ten days ago are now full of aggrssive Largemouth, Rock Bass and Perch so it looks like the mid-summer weedline panfish bite could be gearing up as well. During the next three days I'll be doing some more panfishing and I hope to have some good reports about that by next Thursday morning's radio program on KAXE.

Fishing Update July 3, 2010 Fishing during the windy weather during the past couple of days has forced me back into the shallows. We had some action fishing Walleye in 8 to 12 feet of water using night crawlers, by about 1:00 PM the effects of high sun took over the Walleye bite got tougher. We switched lakes and spent the afternoon fishing for Northern Pike which were a lot more cooperative. Fishing in the heavy wind, on the weedline in 8 to 10 feet of water, the pike were willing to take 1/4 ounce jigs rigged with a 12 inch fluorocarbon leader and dressed with several varieties of artificials including a 4 inch white "gulp" minnow, 4 inch white tubes and the 4 inch "ripple shads". You can use minnows too if you want, but they really aren't needed right now. If we go back to calm conditions, the live bait will become more important.
With water temperatures now hovering at about 70 degrees again, it's getting near time for a decent population of Walleye to set up shop in the heavier weed beds again. So far, there are small packs in a widely scattered variety of locations, but as it warms up, expect to see a lot more Walleye activity in the weeds.
An update on the "Pick it or Ticket" campaign that the DNR is conducting. many of you already know that I have been doing my best to spread the word about alternative ways to handle bait and captured fish without using my livewells for several years now. As careful as I have been, I still had a DNR Conservation Officer, lights flashing and loded for bear, pull me over on Friday. The reason, even though my livewell was empty and my boat plug pulled, there was a little bit of water coming out of the drain hole at the bilge. I was told that the bilge must be drained dry at the landing before proceeding down the road. In other words, no matter how careful you think you've been, you better double check everything because it's just a matter of time before you get stopped.
Here's a link to an article about keeping your bait alive without using any lake water.

Fishing Report July 1, 2010 Musky fishing didn't go as well as we had hoped yesterday. We traveled into the Bemidji area and fished on one Bemidji's great Muskie lakes for a few hours in the morning and came up without a follow or even a sighting. We did come across another Muskie fisherman who had seen one fish, but he also reported that so far, the Musky action had been slow.
As a form of dampening our disappointment, we switched over to Walleyes and found them to be more cooperative. We fished in 8 to 10 feet of water with night crawlers and managed to catch 18 to 20 fish of mixed sizes. Some were small, 12 to 13 inches, but most were between 15 an 19 inches. We tried jig and minnow for a while, but caught only small Northern on that presentation.
New Boating Law For Minnesota Boaters Takes Effect Today July 1, 2010 There are several new state laws intended to cut down on the transportaion of invasive species. Among them is the requirement that all drain plugs be pulled from livewells, bilges and any other device or container that can circulate lake water. Here's a link to the full story on the DNR Website .

Fishing Report June 30, 2010 The ups and downs of Walleye fishing have been evident this week as mid-summer patterns emerge and the typical stormy weather of late June creates the opportunity for some head scrathing. Hmmm, should I fish deep? Go to the weeds? Should I use Leechs, minnows or night crawlers? I've been asking myself all of these questions an an hourly basis since the storms blew through last Thursday and so far the answer has been yes. If you want to catch Walleye consistently right now, you need to use every trick you can think of. During the past few days the two best patterns for me have been weeds and mid-lake humps surrounded by soft bottom. I'm sure that there are some exceptions, but the rock spots that I've checked have had little, if any life around them over the past few days.
As you head out on to the lake, you're going to notice that there are baitfish, insects and young of the year hatches of gamefish every place you look. With all of the extra food in the lakes, the fish can afford to be kind of choosy right now and this will show up as a "boom and bust" cycle. Great fishing for an hour or two and then a strruggle to find more active fish. Some days are better than others and also some times within the same day are better than others.
On calm days, we've been able to fish mid lake structure in 22 to 30 feet of water. Until yesterday (tuesday), we've been able to catch Wallye using jig and minnow on the deeper structures but yesterday it was a total switch to Leeches for us. Fish came in the boat steadily until about 1:00 when fish reacted to the sunny sky and calm seas slowing the pace to a crawl. Low light periods would be the best times to fish for the next few weeks, morning, evening or if the weather is cloudy. Experiment with presentations and remember even though the fish seem to be less active, they are actually feeding more now than they will any other time during the year. The trick is to get to the right spot at the right time, so keep moving and looking for an active school of fish. Start covering ground faster by using spinners and crankbaits more as the water warms up.
Perch fishing has been an option on some of the Deer River area lakes. They are well fed too and the better size fish have been finicky, but we've found some nice fish in the weeds at depths of 6 to 8 feet. Jig and minnow is still the best way to catch these and to help weed out small fish, I use a large minnow 3 to 4 inches is perfect and with the bigger bait, you always have a chance at an extra bonus Walleye.
Todays agenda includes some Musky fishing so I haope to have a good report about that tomorrow morning. When you want to hear the latest updates, listen to KAXE Radio 91.7 FM Grand Rapids every thursday morning at 6:20 for the Early Bird Fishing Guide Report.

Comments or Questions? link to the Early Bird Fishing Group on Facebook

Fishing Report June 24, 2010 Heads up for all of you "trophy Walleye" hunters. Whether it was influenced by the up-coming full moon, storm fronts moving into the area or the great food supply concentrated by insect hatches and young of the year minnow hatches, the big Walleye bite has been happening this week. On Wednesday we fished a lake where "eaters" have been common this season, but this time for reasons known only to the fish, we boated multiple 26 inch plus Walleye including two over 29 inches, two over 27 inches and many fish over 24 inches. If catching big fish is your game, you might want to drop your tee time this weekend and hit the lake instead!
Our best bait was night crawlers although we still caught a few fish on a jig and minnow. During the past several days Leeches and Crawlers have alternated betrween days, so don't rule out fishing with leeches either. Our best depth has ranged from 22 to 26 feet, but we have found a handful of fish up in the 12 to 14 foot range as well. Unless the wind is really pounding into the rocks, the shallow bite has been slow, so if you're out on a calm day, I think you can safely spend most of your time fishing deeper, main lake structures.

Fishing Report June 23, 2010 Summer weather, summer patterns prevail. The past week has been full of surprises, mostly good ones, but we have hit a snag or two during the stormy weather that blew in last weekend. Un-stable storm clouds forced us off the lake for a few hours last Thursday, but the fish didn't seem to go off the bite. In fact, Walleye fishing has held up fairly well as long as we've been prepared to change tactics frequently. On calm days the main pattern has been to fish deeper mid-lake structure or heavy weeds. When the wind blows, there are still good numbers of fish willing to bite on the shallow weed edges, rocks and gravel bars. The two main patterns I've been watching are the main lake areas where insect hatches dicate Walleye location and the shallower rock structrures that Walleye use on the breezy days. Insect hatches are occurring on several area lakes and where we find the most larvae, we find the most fish. Main lake bars, humps and sunken islands with soft sand or marl bottoms are better than hard, rocky structures, but we have found some fish on deeper rocks too. Leeches and Night Crawlers have become the "go to" choice for Walleye on this pattern.
When the wind blows and we go to the rocks, jigging has been holding up well and since we can get a variety of fish that way, I've tried to keep it up as long as possible. When we want to isolate Walleyes from the other fish on the rocks, we switch from jig and minnow to night crawlers presented on small 1/16 ounce Sneaky Pete jigs.
Perch fishing hasn't been bad this week either. There are a number of shallow rock locations where newly hatched Crawfish have atrtracted good numbers of Perch. On Lake Winnie, we've caught some really nice fish on rocks in the 6 to 10 foot depth range. Jigging works great for this, but don't jig too agressively. Slight twitches and hops will out perform hard snapping or fast movement. I like to weed out the smaller fish, so we stick with fairly large "Walleye-Size" minnows, when the larger Perch are your goal, this will really help.
Crappie and Sunfish
appear to have switched over to a mid-summer type of pattern. During the daytime, the presence of fish doesn't necessarily mean that you'll catch them. We spent several hours on Monday looking for Bluegills and found some, but were disappointed when they turned out to be very hard to catch during mid-day. Comparing notes with some of my fishing buddies, it sounds like the Crappie are behaving the same way. Since we've spent most of the week chasing Walleyes, I'm not 100 percent up to speed, but an educated guess would be that we're in the classic early summer, evening bite stretch of the panfish season. As the sun goes down, the panfish typically get more active and if I had some really devoted panfish fans, I'd suggest fishing during the late afternoon and evening. As the water temperatures rise and weed growth thickens, the daytime panfish action will pick back up again.

Fishing Report June 15, 2010 Northern Minnesota suimmer peak patterns are emerging on on more lakes every day. The Shiners have almost completely finished their spawning runs to the shallows and the supplies in Deer River area bait shops are expected to run short soon. As insect hatches and young of the year baifish hatches become more abundant, Walleye and panfish locations are shifting toward areas of deeper weeds and open, main-lake structures like reefs, bars and mid-depth flats. When the Walleye appetite changes, adjusting your presentaion will make a lot of difference. So if you've been jigging with minnows and your bite sudeenly goes flat, don't leave the lake until you try fishing with Leeches or Night Crawlers or even some of the newer artificial baits.
During the past week we have continued to catch Walleye fairly steadily, but I can tell that some of the better early season bites are starting to taper off. The types of areas on almost every lake that have given us the best results have been isolated mid-lake structures with mixed sand and rocks in the 12 to 18 foot depth range. The exeption to the rock pattern has been areas containing good green weed growth in the 10 to 14 foot range. The weed spots have contained mixed bags of Walleye, Bass, Pike and Crappies, so when fishing the weeds I always try to keep a copuple of guys fishing with jig and minnow while the rest of us experiment.
Northern Pike and Bass are becoming more prominent on these weedlines and during the past week the size has been really nice. The only thing I've had to do to adjust for the Pike has been to add a foot or so of 17 pound test fluorocarbon line as a leader. Smallmouth and Largemouth Bass are mixed on the weedline too and so far, we've caught these "accidentally" on the jig and minnow as we work the weed edges. Since I haven't purposely fished for Bass, I won't sapend a lot of time here, but I have been hearing some very good reports from Bass anglers around the area and I will spend more time fishing them at my earliest opportunity.
Crappie fishing has been best in the early morning or evenings, but since most of the fish have moved away from the spawning beds, the deeper weed patches of Coontail and Cabbage are now holding lots of fish. We had a great experience this week fishing in 6 to 8 feet of water in heavy weeds using a 1/16 ounce jig below a bobber and tipped with small fatheads. The Crappies are concentrated and when you find them, very aggressive. I usually troll very slowly along a good looking weed edge until we pick up one or two fish, then stop moving and fan-cast the area until the action slows down.

June 9, 2010 Tuesday was kind of wet and we might look like drown rats in the photos, but the fishing action definitely made up for the weather.
During the past several days Walleye fishing has been steady. It's been kind of a smorgasboard of fishing styles depending on the lake we've been fishing. Several lakes are still in the jig and minnow mode although we're fishing them a bit deeper than we were last week. Weedlines (especially cabbage) near any kind of rock or rubble bottom are holding good schools of fish. Some of the deeper, shoreline points in 16 to 24 feet of water are also holding small schools of fish. When we have a wind blowing, many of these fish move up on to shallow rock spots in 4 to 8 feet of water and I'd suggest keeping the shallow spots in mind on any breezy day.
Due probably to the low water on many lakes, water is still quite clear and this has frustrated some of us because fish that we can see with our eyes, have been very difficult to catch. I have been defending myself on these sunny, calm days by poking around in the weeds until I find some more willing fish.
Some Walleye Lakes in the area are moving more into the "summer mode" and fishing with night crawlers or leeches will catch more fish for you. Walleyes in two of the five lakes I've fished this week have produced much better when we switched to night crawlers and we watched a group do very well on a sunny day by using slip-bobbers and leeches on a large cabbage flat.
One final tip, when we find active fish, I have been having an absolute ball fishing with artificials too. I keep going back to one particular bait, Berkley's "Ripple Shad". I started out by using the 3 inch size and have caught tons of fish on them, but when Fred's Bait got in a shipment of the 4 inch size, I decided to give these a try instead. So far the results are good with the larger size and I notice a definite difference in that I'm catching larger fish with these four inch baits.
Perch fishing has been somewhat spotty, but quite good when you find them. On Lake Winnie, some friends joined us for shore lunch after they caught a bucket full and all of their Perch had small, 1/2 to 1 inch long Crawfish in their stomachs. Perch that I've caught this week were located in cabbage weeds and were actively feeding on some kind of insect larvae.
Northern Pike have been really active this week as well. We've caught many of the 3 to 5 pound size while we're jigging the weedlines. We haven't tried casting or trolling for them, but if you're into some nice chunky Pike, take a look at the cabbage patches in 8 to 12 feet of water.

June 3, 2010 We spent our day on Wednesday fishing strictly on mid lake structure. If this is your favorite way of fishing for Walleye, then you'll be happy to hear that's we're at the early stage of a good deep-water bite. We wound up boatying about 35 fish for the day, but no one spot delivered all of the fish. I moved a lot and looked for small schools of fish on my sonar and picked them off one-by-one. Although I caught several fish by rigging night crawlers, the 1/4 ounce jig and minnow fished vertically did the trick faster and for now, better. Expect the deep-water bite to gain momentum over the next week as the insect hatches emerge.

June 2, 2010 Walleye location has been shifting tyhe past few days and it looks like time to start watching the deeper, main lake bars and humps. For the past several days we've been seeing a build up of insect larvae on our electronics and even though there are not a lot of bugs hatching yet, it can only be a few days before the mid-lake structue becomes the main game p[lan, especiially on calm days. Another prime location at this time of the season are the deepest weeds you can locate on your lake. A cabbage bed in 11 to 13 feet of water was the scene of a great fishing experience for us on Leech Lake yesterday. The insect larvae is building up on the flats just outside the weedline and almost every patch of green weeds had a few fish. Mixed bag of Pike and Walleye on Jig and minnow combinations, Walleyes alone if you fish with night crawlers.

Be sure to listen or go to KAXE 91.7 FM Grand Rapids Radio on Thursdays at 6:20 AM. We usually try to expand on this report. If you miss the show, you can pick it up on the website. Check back for a weekly fishing update (usually on Wednesdays). Ask fishing questions if you need to and I'll try to get back to you ASAP. Use these links to read Minnesota Fishing Artcicles and get information about my favorite MN Fishing Lakes.

Katie Sundin Crappie 10-17-2010
One last trip to the lake to pick up a dozen Crappies. Katie, strikes first!

Walleye Dale Schroeder 10-14-10
Dale Schroeder with a typical leech Lake Fall Walleye.

Leech lake Walleye
Most Walleyes we caught were like these "cookie cutter specials". Many in the 19 to 21 inch range with just enough 16 to 17 inch keepers to make up a limit.

Ripple Shad Walleye
These large, 4 inch Ripple Shads have really been fun this fall. Rig them using a 1/4 ounce, long shank jig head.

Crappie Jeff Sundin October 12, 2010
My days for 2010 might be numbered, but it's not too late to catch a few more slabs before the snow flies.

Lake Winnie Walleye
Slot limits have helped improve angler catch rates and provided more harvestable fish too. It's been a win/win for anglers on Lake Winnie.

Angler Walleye Catch Rate
The Angler Catch Rate for Walleyes on Lake Winnie have steadily increased during the study period and are currently at all time highs.

Crappie Dianna Shumacher 10-11-10
Crappie action was good for Dianna Shumacher on Moday. This one was caught in 32 feet of water, but we found some fish scattered on flats in the 22 to 25 foot range too.

Fall Tamaracks Deer River
Hey, Just when you thought the fall color in Northern Minnesota was over, there's one last little color treat before the snow flies. The Tamaracks are now in their full gold color. I wish you could see them in person because the photos don't do them justice, but they're better than nothing.

Humminbird Deep Walleyes
(10-9-10) Walleyes were suspended away from the deep point during the day. As evening approached, they starting getting active and moved onto the deep point near the bottom where they became much more catchable.

Walleye Mike Carlson 10-10-2010

Justin Dickinson Mankato MN
A good day to be Justin Dickinson! How about a 15 inch Crappie, A 33 inch Northern Pike and a 25 inch Walleye all in the same trip? Not bad!

Humminbird 898C
Looky here, this is a Crappie getting pulled right off the screen by Chris Andresen (below).
Chris Andresen Crappie 10-8-2010

Karen Hommedahl Crappie 10-7-2010
(Karen Hommedahl 10-7-2010) Shows off a nice crappie that she caught in 34 feet of water.

Erl Hommedahl Crappie 10-7-2010
Another nice slab Crappie for (Erl Hommedahl 10-7-2010)

Walleye Sundin 10-6-2010
Not giants, but really nice, hard fighting Leech Lake Walleyes in the mid 20 inch range are common right now along rocky shorelines in 8 to 12 feet of water. (10-6-2010 Jeff Sundin)

Shoreline rocks exposed to the wind have been best areas to find Walleye on Leech lake this week.

Arne Danielson Walleye 10-5-2010
Arne Danielson with another nice Leech Lake Walleye. (10-5-2010 Arne Danielson)

Ripple Shad Walleye
Check out the size of this bait compared to the fish that ate it. Fall is the time to tempt Walleyes with a large bait. (10-4-2010 Jeff Sundin)

Jeff Sundin Leech Lake Walleye 10-4-2010
Leech Lake is a perfect place to pursue larger Walleyes in the fall. This 26-1/2 incher hit a 1/8 ounce jig and shiner.

Bruce Champion Leech Lake Walleye 10-4-10
Lots of "slot fish" like this hefty 25 incher kept Bruce smiling all afternoon. (10-4-2010 Bruce Champion)

Sunset Leech Lake
How about a new, happier meaning to the phrase "down and out"? (enlarge)

Ellie Bullington Crappie 10-2-2010
Crappies were active, but located several feet above the school of Sunfish that held tighter to the bottom. (10-3-2010 Ellie Bullington)

Jaden Adams
Favorite quote of the day "My cheecks hurt, I think from smiling all day" - (Jaden Adams, 10-3-2010)

Walleye jenny Adams 10-3-2010
1/8 ounce jig and minnow combinations fished in 9 to 10 feet of water still producing Walleyes in Cutfoot Sioux. (10-3-2010 Jenny Adams)

Bald Eagle 10-2-2010
Hey, you know I love birds and when this one let me walk up right under his tree, it was kind of a thrill. I hope you'll have a chance to do this sometime too! (click to see Eagle in flight).

Walleye Kim Masterson 10-1-2010
Kim Masterson shows off his "Grand Finale", the last fish of the 2010 fishing trip, before heading back to Wisconsin to start his new job.

Crappie Kim Masterson 10-1-2010
Not bad, Crappies that had been finicky all week long, appeared to be re-grouping.

Walleye on the line
A walleye on the line looks great coming up in the clear water of fall. "Oh man, I love this job".

Fall Turnover
Lumps of floating debris in the water are one of the indicators that a lake has "turned over".

Fishing Pike
Northern Pike Action was good for David Chrz. Deep Water jig and minnow fishing out-performed other presentations.
Want your picture here? Come on up and lets go fishing!

Crappie 9-28-2010 Norm the "Crappie King"
When it comes to panfish on Cutfoot and Winnie, Norm is likely to be the best Crappie fisherman I know and he's a real gentleman on the lake too!

Walleye Eldon Skoglund 9-28-2010
Walleyes like Eldon Skoglund's 20+ incher are getting more common every day. We're catching several of them mixed in the areas with the smaller "eaters".

Fall Color 9-28-2010
The scene at the Third river Landing. Colors are past their peak, but still quite pretty in that late gold, amber and brown phase.

Crappie David Chrz 9-28-2010

Walleye Jeff sundin 9-26-10
Jeff Sundin pictured with released 20 inch Walleye on a 1/8 ouce Bug Eyed Shorty. Lots of fish are still prowling the weed edges in about 10 feet of water. 

Smallmouth bass David Chrz 9-26-2010
A bonus catch and release Smallmouth for David Chrz, Abilene, Texas.

Autumn Leaves Minnesota 9-27-2010
Fall colors as of 9-27-10 are already past their peak. (more fall colors) or view more photos of gorgeous sunsets.

Hey, Between the cloud cover of day and darkness of night appeared a "window of opportunity". When you see one, you have to take advantage of it. Click here to (enlarge) this photo or view more photos of this gorgeous sunset.

Kris Pietras Sunfish 9-23-10
It could be worth putting up with a little rainy weather for Bluegills like this. They weren't jumping in the boat, but there were enough like this 10 incher to make it interesting.

Crappies John Bruch and Paul Kautza 9-22-10
Crappies have become sluggish lately, tricky to catch, but not impossible as this nice double for John and Paul (Hey, maybe I could be Ringo?) proves.

Walleye Kris Pietras 9-21-10
Kristin does it again! She ruins the Boys' day when she catches the biggest fish, but she always does it!

Perch Paul Kautza 9-21-10
Paul Kautza with another Jumbo caught in six feet of water.

Walleye Tony Butkus 9-19-10
How can you beat Walleyes like this for the evening fish fry? Tony Butkus, put this one in the baot with an 1/8 ounce jig and minnow fishing on the weedline in 12 feet of water.

Fall Colors 9-19-2010
Fall colors are getting ready to peak in the Deer River area. Click here for more fall color pictures.

Atcha Nolan 9-18-10 Jumbo Perch
It's worth putting up with chilly fingers to get in on Perch like this 12 incher caught by Atcha Nolan using a 1/8 Northland Buckshot Spoon.

Crappie Barry Laga 9-16-10
Crappies continue to be "catchable", but they've been under a lot of pressure and continue to move deeper.

Pike Guide Sundin
Another sample of what's to come. With Walleye, Perch and baitfish all showing up on the weedlines, larger Pike will begin to follow. We didn't catch many on Thursday, but the size is improving and the action will to.

Fall Colors 9-18-2010

Northern Pike John Bello 9-14-2010
Northern Pike size wasn't huge, but nice. John Bello shows off a nice fish in the high 20 inch range.

Atcha Nolan Sunfish 9-12-2010
Sunfish action improved during mid-afternoon as the sun warmed the water.


Sunfish Bag Limit Mike & Atcha Nolan
A great basket of Sunfish with a few bonus Crappies mixed in. Mike and Atcha nolan, 9-12-2010

Bob Carlson Walleye 9-11-10
Another step in the right direction. Larger Walleye are starting to show up in the mix on shallow, shoreline locations. Bob Carlson caught this one on a jig and minnow in 9 feet of water.

Bruce Champion Jumb Perch September 2010
We felt a lttle like drowned rats on Friday, but the Jumbo Perch help take our minds off the problem.

Walleye Arnie Spilly September 2010

Walleye Jeff Sundin 9-5-2010
As water temperatures cool, larger fish are showing up in some of the classic early fall spots. This chunky Walleye was caught on a jig and minnow in 9 feet of water.

Sandy Finch Bluegill 9-4-2010

Bluegill 10 Inches On Ruler

Want your picture here? Come on up and lets go fishing!

Bluegill Arnie Spilly 9-3-10
Dodging the wind on the big lake, sunfish were a great way to do something productive in more protected water. Small packs are starting to show up in the 15-16 foot range outside the weelines.

Crappie Ed Stage 9-3-10
Ed Stage shows off a nice Crappie taken from a protected shoreline.

Sunfish and Crappies Mixed Bag
30/30 mixed bag half sunfish and half Crappies. Not too bad on a day that folks stayed inside.

Mimic Minnow Perch Jeff Sundin 9-2-10
Once we dialed them in, Jumbo Perch responded great to Northland's Mimic Minnow rigged on a 1/8 ounce jig head.

Perch Ed Stage 9-2-10
Ed Stage with another nice Perch. Once we started cutting our minnows into small pieces, the action and hooking rate really improved.

Paul Smith Walleye 8-28-10
Back out to the main lake bars for Walleye. Paul Smith caught this nice walleye using a live bait rig and night crawler in 22 feet of water.

Northern Pike Eats Walleye
For these two fish it was kind of a bad day all the way around. Angler hooks Walleye, Pike eats Walleye, anglers capture and eat both Pike and Walleye, hmm....

Crappies Carolyn Thurston August 2010
Crappie action has been steady all week, getting 'em two at a time is not uncommon. Look for steep drop offs near the shoreline.

Crappie lawrence Blackmer 8-22-10
It looks like the Crappie action is going to be reliable for a while. We have now found schools of fish in six or seven different locations, all of them in the 22 to 24 foot range.

Humminbird Screen Shot FB Quiz
Want to take a guess at the quiz I put up on Facebook? Join this discussion here. Just want the answer? View photo series here.

Pete Raquet Crappie 8-21-10
Proof that fall panfish patterns are setting in, Pete Raquet hoists in another nice average Crappie.

Fishing Guide
We're starting to see more large fish showing up on the weedlines, another sign of the full moon, pre-fall pattern.

Musky Nick Perkio August 2010
Thanks to John Gossen for leading Don and Nick Perkio to a couple of Muskies this Tuesday. Even after the big cold front moved in they boated two and saw another.

Walleye 81610 Brett
Fishing the weedline in the back bays was a good way to beat the wind and put a few nice eaters into the boat.

Dan McClure Musky August 2010

August Manzardo Northern Pike
A nice 30 inch Pike for August Manzardo while casting a 1/4 ounce jig tipped with an above average size Redtail Chub toward the shallow rocks on deep mid lake reefs.

Pike Deep Water on Humminbird
Here's a sonar view of a school of fish we found in deep water on a steep broeakline.

Northern Pike 80110
Here's what they look like topside. In lakes with enough disolved Oxygen, Pike will seek out areas with the coolest water. Don't be afraid to look for them in 50 to 80 feet.

Smallmouth Bass Carl Bergquist July 2010
Smallmouth Bass have been really active during the past few weeks. We find most of them on the breaklines in 16 to 26 feet of water.

John Armstrong Walleye July 2010
John Armstrong has been the master mind behind the McQuay "Fisharoo" for the past 22 years. John, AKA "Rosebud" announced his retirement from McQuay this year. We'd be sad to see him go, but something tells me we'll see him around at the Fisharoo next year.

Close but no cigar, Here's a peek at Arian Vornbrock's "almost landed Musky" just before the famous last head shake.

Goettl family July 2010
One of the higlights of a week fishing the "action bite" was this great family moment for friends who also happen to be long time customers, the Goettls.

Smallmouth Bass July 2010
We boated and released many Smallmouth in the 3 to 5 pound range. This solid 19 incher was typical of the fish we caught during our trip.

Walleye July 2010
A bonus Walleye like this 28 inch beauty makes the mixed bag style of fishing all the more fun.

Lake Winnie Walleye July 2010
Deep water action on Winnie is steady right now with a lot of fish in this 24 inch range. Slot fish (17 to 26 inches) out-number eaters by about 2 to 1 right now so we are rarely coming off the lake with a limit, but the big fish action is fun.

Snyder family rides to the fishin' hole.
Part of the Snyder clan pictured with Zach Dagel as we head across Lake Winnie to the favorite fishing hole.

Vicky Latimer Walleye July 2010
Fishing with a jig and minnow, Vicky Latimer caught another Lake Winnie walleye in 24 feet of water.

Humminbird 898
Schools of small Perch are the main attraction on main lake humps and bars. (click for larger view).

Darrel Handley Sunfish July 2010
Early evening Bluegill action is good! Darrel handley caught a bunch of these between 7:00 and 8:00 PM.

August Manzardo Battles Walleye

August Manzardo Walleye July 2010
August Manzardo shows of his own 26 incher caught in 28 feet of water using night crawlers.

Walleye Elizabeth June 2010
Broken sky and breezy weather produces a decent shallow water jig and minnow bite.

Lake Winnie Walleye Tim Reardon June 2010
Tim Reardon had a lifetime total of one Walleye until his recent visit to Lake Winnie. I think we lost count, but the total is better now.

Bob Halvor Grand Rapids Walleye
Above: Bob Halver of Grand Rapids with one of many trophy Walleye we caught on Wed. 6/23/10. Whether it's the up-coming full moon, weather or just plain luck, the big fish bite was on this Wednesday.
Below: Bill Linder and Jeff Sundin with more large Walleyes during the same trip.
Bill Linder Grand Rapids Walleye
Jeff Sundin Walleye Guide

Bruce Champion Walleye June 2010

Northern Pike Sundin
The weedline bite is getting interesting. Mixed bag of Walleye, Bass, Pike and Crappie in 10 to 16 feet of water.

Arnie Spilly Walleye
We might look like drown rats in the photos, but the fishing action definitely made up for the weather. Arnie Spilly (above) and Ed Stage (below) braved the elements to cash in on a "fish bitin' day".
Ed Stage Walleye

Sundin Ripple Shad Walleye
This isn't the first time I've mentioned these "Ripple Shads" and won't be the last. This has been a consistent performer for me, especially for larger catch-photo-release fishing.
2010 MN Walleye Stamp
When you buy your 2010 MN Fishing License, please add your voluntary $5.00 Walleye Stamp. The cash goes strictly for Walleye habitat and stocking projects.

Walleye Leech Lake May 2010
A benefit of the early spawning season is that many of the larger female Walleye have recovered and are already feeding heavily. During the past week, we've caught and released many "above average" size fish like this dandy.

Jeff Sundin is a full time, professional fishing guide, outdoor writer and photographer. Jeff is available for fishing seminars, fishing promotions and media events. Click here to read more fishing articles and fishing reports.