Fishing Guide MN Fishing Report October 29, 2013 Jeff Sundin - A Few Days To Hunt - Well, here we go, North Dakota bound!
With a little bit of luck, I'll be heading home from North Dakota with a few Ducks and maybe even a Pheasant or two. That is, if there's any left out there.
I don't know if I'm looking forward to it or not. I do know that it will be interesting to see how the terrain has changed since last year's wholesale removal of bird habitat.
From an article by Gary Howey, Agweek; "In the 25 years that CRP has been in existence, more than 2 million acres of wetlands have been restored, as have 2 million acres of riparian areas, which are buffers between land and water that act as a filter, preventing millions of pounds of nitrogen and phosphorous from flowing into water."
"Last year in the Northern Plains states, there were 800,000 acres pulled out of the CRP with an additional 6.5 million acres scheduled to be pulled nationwide this year.
CRP is not just for wildlife; it serves numerous purposes, including wetlands restoration, improving water quality and helping prevent soil erosion."
For us, lands set aside in the Conservation Reserve Program helped produce important crops too. Pheasants, Ducks, even tweety birds. They were all using those marshes and grasslands to raise their families. Unlike the rest of us, the birds don't have a "Government Safety Net" to fall back on. For them, it's eat or be eaten, succeed or die trying.
I hope I'm wrong, I hope that when we get there, the territory looks just like we remember it. Maybe we'll get lucky and find that there are still a few places sandwiched in between the No Hunting signs where we can walk our dogs. Maybe we'll come home with some birds, I sure hope so. Either way, we'll have a nice walk. See you in a few days.
You can read Gary Howey's entire Agweek article here >> Click "Wildlife habitat: here today, gone tomorrow?" . Oh and I know, it's all about the money. That's the problem.
Before we leave, I still have to get the boat ready for her little nap and one thing that I've learned, if you want it running next spring, you need to take care of the batteries this winter. W2F has something that will help.
link to Wired2Fish (10/29) From Wired2Fish; "We have all been there. Perfect 80 degree day, no wind, fish are chomping, boat is loaded and our batteries are dead. The engine won’t start, trolling motor won’t run and a great day just turned into a nightmare."
It's one of the most misunderstood ascpectrs of boating, but it's simple to keep your batteries healthy when you know a few tricks . >> Learn More
Click For Tips on Battery Care .
Link to personal appearances page (10/29) Sioux Falls South Dakota Ice Fishing Show - By the way, if you plan to be in the Sioux Falls, SD Area. I'll be on hand for the 5th Annual Dakota Angler Ice Institute on November 8-9, 2013.
The event features tons of guest speakers including: Tom Neustrom, Dave Genz, Brian Brosdahl, Tom Gruenwald, Brad Hawthorne, Larry Smith, Jason Durham, Dennis Kassube, Matt Johnson, and many more. Yes, even me.
I'll be on hand both days for Lindy Fishing Tackle along with folks from most of the major manfacturers of ice fishing gear, shelters and accesories.
You can make one stop and learn everything you'll need to know about the latest techniques and all about the new products for the 2014 ice fishing season.
The event is held at the Family Life Central at Central Baptist Church in Sioux Falls, SD. Food included, as well as a chance for door prizes! Learn More >> Click for Dakota Angler Ice Institute .
Link to Lakemaster (10/29) - "New - Western States GPS Map Card - "Not since Meriwether Lewis and William Clark plotted their overland route to the Pacific coast has a more ambitious swath of the West been surveyed by men in boats.
Of course, we’re talking about LakeMaster’s new Western States GPS map card, an impressive digital atlas of the best fishing waters in Arizona, California, Colorado, Idaho, Montana, New Mexico, Nevada, Oregon, Utah, Washington, and Wyoming.
Too bad President Jefferson isn’t still alive to hear about this most recent ‘voyage of discovery’ – heartbreaking tales of busted props and broken lower units as LakeMaster’s intrepid corps of angler-surveyors pushed deep into coves, creek arms, stump fields, and rock-littered bays to chart all those places that “just look fishy.”
link to Wired2Fish (10/29) From Wired2Fish; After weighing in a two-day limit of 14 Crappies, totaling 27.83 pounds, it was obvious that Tommy Skarlis and Kyle Steifeldt knew more about catching crappie than they let on before the tournament began. Or did they?
“Before the tournament, I could tell you what walleyes look like on Humminbird Side Imaging with my eyes closed, but must admit we both had to learn what made crappies stand out from the crowd while we were pre-fishing for the Championship,” Skarlis acknowledged. “But it really only took moments of on-the-water time to decipher what the Side Imaging technology was telling us, and soon we were able to come up with the winning technique because of what we could see on the screen.”
Skarlis says that thanks to Side Imaging he and Steifeldt found small pods of crappie here and there, but not everywhere, suspended 8 to 12 feet down over 14 feet of water. So instead of doing what most other participants were doing, sitting still and jigging or casting to the isolated schools of fish, the duet decided to ... Read the story >> Skarlis Steifeldt Strategy for Winning Crappie Tournament .

Fishing Guide MN Fishing Report October 28, 2013 Jeff Sundin - It's Just A Matter Of Time! - I remember when there was a beginning and ending to each fishing season. A certain time when I'd be all wrapped up for the year and waiting for the next one to arrive. These days though, for me, it's more like one continuous season, interrupted by short transitions from one style of fishing to another.
Just lately, the open water fishing season has been interrupted to allow our lakes time to freeze. So I've been taking advantage of having a few days off to do some brid hunting.
A couple of days spent in the woods taught I and my friends Mike Cleavenger, Rick Hastings a few lessons. The first time Grouse hunters had already heard that the populatrion was down and we helped prove that. There are some Grouse out there, but they're not everywhere and they're not in the "easy to reach" places. Even with Mike's 4 english Setters covering lots of territory, it was one heck of a challenge to find some birds.
On Friday we talked with a group of hunters from down South wh have been heading this way for the past 30 years. Hunting had been spotty, they said. Yes, we agreed, spotty and we were in the wrong one!
There wasn't much out there for us, a common problem for hunters who haven't been in the field often enough to get a handle on where the birds are, or are not. It's just a matter of time, keep covering ground and sooner or later you'll find some, somewhere.
That finally happened for us on Sunday, when we stumbled into some territory that did hold some birds. Most of them were spooky and had been pushed well away from the main trails. Forced by hunting pressure, into heavy cover near a large Black Spruce - Tamarack swamp. The transition between higher ground and the swamp was a mix of Aspen, Alder and Willow that provided more than enough cover for the birds.
The birds flushed well ahead of the dogs, frustrating our attempts to provide them enough birds to help get them trained in as Grouse experts. At least we were seeing some birds now and that did help keep the hunt interesting. All tolled, we saw 8, maybe 9 Grouse and a few Woodcock.
They're on their way home now, back to Texas and Oklahoma. Maybe not carrying many birds home, but definitely carrying back a truck full of good stories about the experience. Next time, they'll be a little more clever, another notch higher on the learning curve. All they need to do now is keep trying.
I Know, all it's gonna take is a few more steps along the path. It's just a matter of time! .
Greg Clusiau Fishing Report (10/28) From The Iron Range, From Greg Clusiau; "This was a precursor to an expected exciting ice season and it will be all of that. Clam Outdoors is bulging at the seams with ice fishing products, old and new, and Pro Day was an excellent way to showcase all products to a very large staff.
Just to name a few of the heavy hitters present on this day, Jason Mitchell was there representing his television show “Jason Mitchell Outdoors”, as well as the likes of Gary Parsons and Keith Kavajecz of “The Next Bite TV”. I even saw famed Minnesota Viking running back Jim Kleinsasser sitting there, taking it all in. And who could forget “the father of ice fishing” and Hall of Fame angler ... " >> Read Greg's Full Report .
Link to Minnesota Ice Fishing Reports (10/28) On Lake of the Woods, Border View Lodge, Mike Kinsella wrote; "44.9 is a number we wanted to see a few weeks ago and is the water temperature today. The water temp is dropping but slowly this year. According to local myth 45 degrees is a big trigger for more Shiners and Walleye coming into the river.
Fishing this past week had its ups and downs. We started off doing real well and the inconsistent winds and cold front changes may have impacted the bite. The forecast for the week shows more of the inconsistent winds changing from north to south throughout the week. The forecasted temperatures should guarantee a drop in water temp with low’s in the 20’s and highs only touching the 40’s.
We have had our charters fishing in the lake if they were able to but have spent most of the time in the river this past week. The lake has been giving up great action when the wind allows. Anglers are sorting through many little ones to end up with fish for dinner and nice take home fish.
We are wrapping up another great season and will be closing the bar and restaurant on Friday November 1st and will reopen when the winter season begins. There will be cabin rental available for the upcoming weekend at a discounted rate, 36.00 per night per person plus tax. Winter dates are filling in, it’s time to make your plan if you don’t already have on. FISH ON!" 1-800-776-3474 Border View Lodge .

Fishing Guide MN Fishing Report October 27, 2013 Jeff Sundin - Ice Watch 2014 - Saturday cinched the deal for me. There had been a glimmer of hope that maybe we'd squeeze in that "one last trip". But cold, blustery winds and snow showers, combined with our already busy schedules forced my boat into dry dock for the winter. Maybe.
At this time of year, a day to catch up on chores isn't a day that I can waste. So in spite of the crummy weather, I spent the day outside working on my new dog kennel. I had worked out there all day long on Thursday too and I had high hopes of finishing the project yesterday. It got dark before I got done, but I hung in there.
The good news is that I saved myself some mysery yesterday by finally remembering to dig out my pair of Therma Cells and fire them up. I remembered them on Thursday when I darn near froze my feet while I was working out there. But they were still tucked away in storage and then ... well, you know, one thing led to another and I never did get to 'em.
Meanwhile I'd gotten a call from a good friend. He was thinking about running out to buy a pair and wanted my opinion. I promised that I wear them all day on Friday and give him the Five Star, Double Thumbs Up Rating if they still worked reliably like they did last winter.
Late Thursday evening, I did think of them and dug 'em out. I hooked up the battery charger and dozed off, hoping that they be ready on Friday morning.
For me, I'm alway nervous when I drag something out of storage. It seems like even when you find a product that really works great, a few months in a cardboard box can lead to something going out of whack. Happily, not this time, they were just as sweet on this blustery fall day as they were on the ice last winter.
Since I promised my pal a proper test, I wanted to be sure that I would give the insoles a thorough workout. So I slipped them into my old, worn out pair of Muck, Jobbers. The rubber work boots are great for working in the snow and mud because they keep my feet dry. But they're not insulated and aren't exactly warm, perfect for my little test.
The story is short, all I can tell you is that I flipped the switches, slipped 'em in my boots, picked up the remote control and hit the on button. That was at 7:30 AM and at 7:30 PM, 12 hours later, my feet were still warm and comforatable. So there ya go then! Five Stars, Double Thumbs Up. Mine will be heading for North Dakota on Tuesday to hunt Ducks with me. After that, they're going Deer Hunting, then Pheasant hunting, then the Muzzle Loader season, after that Ice .....
Jeff Sundin Comment (10/27) Oh, by the way, If you want to read my original comments about the Therma Cells, you can. Just click here for >> January 17, 2012 Ice Fishing Report about Therma Cells Heated Insoles .

Fishing Guide MN Fishing Report October 26, 2013 Jeff Sundin - Ice Watch 2014 - I Know! It kind of snuck up didn't it? But on Friday, while hoping to spot some Grouse in the woods, I noticed that we already had some ice. Small ponds and shallow, protected shoreline areas had a 50 yard swath of ice cover.
The warm daytime temperature forced the icy edges back into the water, but not for long. Forecasting a week of daytime highs in the mid 30's and overnight lows in the mid 20's, the weather service appears to be signalling me that it's a good time to go ahead and put the boat away.
I may drift out of town for a few days to do some hunting, that's still up in the air. But soon, we'll be shifting gears and looking forward to the ice fishing season. In fact, I've already started digging into the tackle boxes to see what re-fills I need for this winter.
Finally, It's not like me to brag and believe me, that's not what I'm trying to do. But I received an email that made me really proud and it helps sum up one reason why I roll out early every morning to write this report.
From Central Iowa, Tom Dunham wrote; "I just had to comment and say again, thank you. Your description yesterday (10/19) of when to sent the hook (on a Walleye), teleported me once again up north, into Gods Country.
I could see the gray overcast scene, feel the cool fall air, I could smell it. Goose bumps on both arms, the hair on my neck stood at attention. Thank you, that was awesome for a guy born in the wrong state!" Thanks again!
Link to Minnesota Ice Fishing Reports (10/26) The hard water fishing season, is coming faster than you think and Ryan Peterson checked in; "I'm ready for winter and getting the ice shelters ready for the move onto Lake Winnibigoshish."
On Wednesday Ryan mentioned that he's been setting up a brand new 10 by 20 ft, 4 person sleeper set to hit lake Winnie this ice fishing season. This shelter provides a bunk over futon, full twin size mattresses, cook stove, spray foamed insulation that holds heat great. The new sleeper will be a welcome addition to his fleet of other great sleeper and day houses.
Winnibigosh has always been a destination for Perch anglers, but during recent ice fishing seasons, Winnie has also been a reliable producer of early ice Walleyes. This year, you can get in on the early action yourself. Just click here to learn more >> Ryan Peterson's Guiding .

Fishing Guide MN Fishing Report October 25, 2013 Jeff Sundin - For many, the memories of fishing with my Dog Buster Brown will conjure up a chuckle. During his first couple of years, Buster spent nearly every day in the boat with I and my customers. The idea was to help "socialize" Buster. But instead it wound up that Buster was actually "socializing the rest of us.
He was a character alright and nobody ever knew what trick he was gonna pull next. Plunging into the lake, head first after running the entire length of dock at full speed, disappearing from the boat to go see what was up on shore or stealing your food at shore lunch. He had a way of getting off the hook by being so darn cute that it was hard to be mad. During those early days, it was his antics that endeared him to folks and it's why a lot of people still check in to see how he's doing.
Well, yesterday was Buster's last one on this planet. We're gonna miss him, but not in a sad way. He'd had a run of poor health and something tells me that he's glad to be rid of that old body. The one that was holding him away from all of his favorite trickery. For him, it's a happy time, a fresh start.
I'll bet that he is gonna love being able to chew on all of the rocks he wants, without wrecking his teeth. Just sayin'.

Fishing Guide MN Fishing Report October 24, 2013 Jeff Sundin - The weather seems determined to force this fishing season to a halt. I suppose that it could be time to consider putting the boat in dry dock for the winter. But I'm still holding out hope that there's gonna be one last burst of "nice weather" and one more excuse to wet a line.
In the Deer River area, that could mean a trip down the Mississippi River for Walleye, a visit to one of the numerous small panfish lakes or maybe a trip into Musky territory.
Muskies follow Whitefish and Cisco (Tulibee) as they move into shallow water to spawn. The fall spawning salmonids are prime targets for the really big fish, the ones that we don't see during most of the season. We seldom see the giants because they don't mess around with small baitfish in the shallows. Instead, they spend their feeding time in the middle of the lake, where these same Ciscos and if they're present in your lake, Whitefish spend most of their lives.
The late fall Musky pattern is simple enough to figure out. Areas where Bulrushes grow often tip you off that mixed rock and gravel will be nearby. The combination of weed cover and solid bottom structure make ideal spawning territory. Whitefish and Cisco move into the shallow cover to spawn at night, holding during the daytime along the deeper edges of the adjacent breakline.
Improve your chances of hooking a Musky; Concentrate on the deeper breakline during the day, then move shallower at twilight.
During late fall, deep diving crankbaits, are likely to out produce bucktails on the deeper structure. Bucktails and Surface Lures will produce fish over the shallow structures.
link to Humminbird (10/24) Iowegian Sees Mississippi Crappies Sideways . Eufaula, AL (October 20, 2013) – Fishing pro Tommy Skarlis is no stranger to seeing his name on the top of tournament leaderboards. But what stood out about the Waterloo, Iowa, native’s latest first place – along with partner Kyle Steifeldt during the recent 2013 Crappie Master National Championship on Mississippi’s Lake Grenada - was the species of fish the duo were targeting.
That’s because Skarlis is well known for decoding the wily ways of ... >> Read Story Tommy Skarlis Crappie Championship .
Link to Minnesota Ice Fishing Reports (10/24) On Bowstring Lake, Erin at Geiger's Trails End Resort; "The word on Bowstring is that the lake water has finally turned over!
That means that the Walleye will soon be schooling up and moving toward early ice fishing territory. Recently, the Crappies have been suspended about 6 feet off the bottom, over the humps.
As for the Ducks, we have seen a few flocks coming in for a landing, but not too many Northern birds yet. We expect them anytime.
For the ice fishing season - New to Geiger’s Trails End Resort is our Full Service Ice House Care Package. Bring your house up and drop it off. We will put it on the ice when it is safe, keep a road plowed out to it, and bring it in by the required dates. Call for pricing details.
Also NEW is our Couples Murder Mystery Weekends. The First one in scheduled for Dec 6-8. Come up for the weekend, stay in a cabin, and become a sleuth to discover who did it! Call for details." - Erin and Bill Charlton, Trails End Resort .
Link to Minnesota Ice Fishing Reports (10/24) On Lake of the Woods, Border View Lodge, Mike Kinsella wrote; "Fall has definitely set in around Lake of the Woods! The fishing has been great and the river is continuing to improve on numbers and size fish. This past week’s cooler temps has put the river about equal to fishing activity as the lake. Many nice keepers have been caught in both places and the number of large fish in the river has increased. While on the lake just outside the Lighthouse Gap the number of small fish has increased. Many anglers have not been able to get there hook to the bottom before these bait thieves hit their minnow. This has created a great time of heavy activity and proves good for the lakes future of continued excellent Walleye fishing.
We have been steadily getting great size Shiner minnows off of our dock every night. The river is seeing much heavier traffic now then previous weeks. This past weekend everyone left with limits and had fresh fish dinners! The most common jig in the river has been 1/2oz.
Keep an eye on our Facebook page as we have started to do more video updates on fishing!
The river fishing continues to improve. The water temperature is down to 51.6. If the current forecast holds we should have a definite change for the better in river activity. We are seeing forecasts with high temperatures in the 30’s for this week with lows into 20’s. Winter dates are filling in, it’s time to make your plan if you don’t already have one!" 1-800-776-3474 Border View Lodge .

Fishing Guide MN Fishing Report October 23, 2013 Jeff Sundin The Wind Down! - Rolls into it's 4th day for me and according to the conversations I've had, it looks like I'm closer to being wrapped up than I thought.
Somehow, daytime high temperatures in the mid 30's doesn't appeal to my fishing customers and some of them have been jumping ship. So, instead of fighting an up hill battle, I'll go with the flow and work on chores around the house.
I will mention this though, if you're like me and don't really want to see this season freeze into the ice just yet. There are now a couple of open dates that you could slip into; Thursday 10/24 and Sat 10/26 are available and I'll just bet that we can find one more good fishing spot before the hard water season thrusts itself upon us.
The hard water fishing season, is coming faster than you think. Resorts and Ice Shelter Rental operators are already dusting off their gear and sprucing up the ice shelters. They'll be ready for those of you thinking about planning an early ice fishing trip.

Fishing Report October 22, 2013 Jeff Sundin The Wintery Wind Down! - Continues as overnight lows in Deer River dipped below freezing, for the 3rd consecutive night. For me, it means a few unexpected days off, but since I'm already into what I'd call a bonus season anyway, I guess that I can live with it.
On Monday, watching the wind and snow flurries whipping through the tree tops made me feel like I wasn't missing out too much fun. Later, my friend Roy Girtz confirmed that.
Fishing on Cutfoot Sioux with a group of 3 other guides, Roy reported that conditions on the lake were cold. Surface temperatures have now fallen below 50 degrees, ranging from 49 to 49.5 on Big Cutfoot. There weren't many boats out there, in fact Roy didn't remember seeing anyone except for the guides in his party.
In spite of the cold weather though, most of their group, fishermen staying at Ruttgers Resort, did go out on the lake. The ones who did, turned in a good score card. At least in terms of wrapping up the day with bags heavy enough to provide a group fish fry.
Girtz and his crew of two, held position over a school of Walleyes in 9 to 12 feet of water and by days end, left the lake with a dozen keepers. Fishing deeper than 12 feet yielded mostly slot-fish according to the veteran guide.
A couple of the other guides turned their attention to fishing for Crappies and spent the day fishin on Little Cutfoot Sioux. No one provided any information, but second hand reports were that the Crappie fishing also provided enough fish to fill out the bag limits for their crews.
The weather forecast for this week looks promising and I'm expecting to get out on the water a few more times, wrapping the season officially on Sunday 10-27.
I've noticed that there are still some boats tied up at docks and waiting patiently on boat lifts. So I Know that some of you are holding on to hope that there's another day or two of fishing in your future. If the forecast holds, It looks like this weekend might just be a good one for that. Good Luck!
Fishing Question(10/23) What is Deep and When do we go there? Q) Hi Jeff, thank you so much for answering my questions! I hope I'll have some nice pictures after this weekend to send your way! I've got a little map studying to do but should be able to prepare some good patterns with that info.
One follow up question... "What is "deep"? I always struggle when reading reports or articles. is "Deep" to you greater than a certain depth regardless of lake/area? Or is it relative to 2nd break lines? for example, in walker bay "Deep" can be >100', on west side of main basin (west of ottertail/stony) you cant get below 25', so "deep" could be 20'. - Jason Woodruff
A) Jason, you really already answered most of your own question, but I think that there's still more.
For me, "Deep" is a relative term that could apply to fish locations within a single body of water. But think about this too; Deep vs shallow could also be used as a comparison between lakes. In other words Walker Bay is a Deep Lake and Little Cutfoot is a Shallow Lake. It doesn't mater where the fish are located, it's that the lake types are just plain different.
In my area, there are lakes of every shape and size. Some shallow, some deep and others in between. During transitional times like the spring warm up or the fall turnover, there can be advantages to fishing on a deep vs shallow lake or vice versa.
In my fishing report on october 20th, I used the term deep in this sense. With the fall turnover clicking at our heels, I believed that it was to our advantage to fish a deeper, clear water lake. Not necessarily because of where the fish would be located, but simply beacuse the lake's deeper water would help hold warmth longer and help ward off the effects of the turnover. Regardless of where we might have located fish, I used the term "Going Deep".
In the spring, that strategy works in reverse. Shallow lakes with stained water or dark bottom content warm up faster and would likely provide better early season fishing. Deep, clear water lakes like Pokegama, Ten Mile, Thunder and others usually indicates that the peak Walleye fishing occurs later in spring, but lasts longer in the fall.
Going back to your example; The comparison of Walker Bay to Portage Bay really falls into this same category. They are actually two different lakes, in spite of the fact that they happen to be connected.
With a maximum depth of somewhere around 30 feet, Portage Bay Walleyes located on a 22 foot point would be considered deep. But in the much deeper, Walker Bay, 22 feet is just the edge of the first breakline and is relatively shallow for that body of water.
When I'm trying to locate fish, I break it down this way. 1) Find the weedline and figure out how deep the weeds grow. For me, anything shallower than the weed edges would be considered shallow. I look at points, rock piles, inside turns, anything that breaks up a stretch of straight breakline. If I draw a blank in the shallow habitat I move to step 2.
Find the second breakline, the one that drops into the lakes main basin. I would consider fish found at the lower portion of that breakline to be deep, at least for that lake. I repeat the process, look at points, rock piles, inside turns, anything that breaks up a stretch of straight breakline. If I haven't found fish by now, I roll up my sleeves and dig into step 3.
Mid-Lake, open water structures. Start checking bars, reefs, sunken islands anything that breaks up the expanse of open water.
By the way, in your research, you can cover a lot of ground without leaving your house. Lakemaster has a software called Contour Elite that installs on your computer and allows you to look at detailed charts of your lake. You can see a 3D view of the structures, pick out precise spots that you want to target and then save the data to an SD card. When you arrive at the lake, pop the card into your Humminbird and start fishing the lake like you've been there 100 times.
Here's a small sample, click here for a 3D version of the point where Matt Nistler caught his Walleyes on Saturday. NO! You don't get the GPS coordinate, but YES you will get the idea. In fact, maybe you'll recognize it, you may have already been there. A number of people have.

Fishing Guide MN Fishing Report October 21, 2013 Jeff Sundin Oh Oh! - On Sunday, an outburst of wintery weather caused one of two things; Either it held me back from having the time of my life - or - It saved me from a half day of utter chaos.
I was scheduled to fish with 13 kids and their 3 moms. Yes, all of them. It was Green for Go, right up to the very last minute. No one would get too cold, because we were gonna go out in waves, 5 at a time until everyone had just enough time to bring on a giggle. But, the snow falling was the final straw. The elementary aged children finally gave up the idea, at least for now.
Fishing Question(10/21) Question from Jason Woodruff Lund Pro Guide vs Lund Alaskan; Q) Do you have any insight on (The Lund) ProGuide vs (The Lund) Alaskan? I noted your fondness for the alaskan over the years and I'm going to be in the market next year for a big tiller.  I've had my eye on the ProGuide. Thanks, Jason
A) These are both wonderful boats and if I could have anything I wanted, I would own one of each. For you, the decision will boil down to choosing the one that has the features that will best suits your individual needs. For me, the 2000 (20 foot Alaskan) is a perfect fit.

  • It can go anywhere. This boat will float in super shallow water and I can fish in places where other folks can't. In fact, I have customers who can tell you how that single feature has helped lead them into fantastic fishing situations during this 2013 season.
  • It provides plenty of room for my customers and their gear. There are so many storage compartments that some of mine never even get opened up and used. Still, I can pack a couple of dozen rods and all of the gear I need to fish for anything, at any time.
  • It easily handles heavy loads. The Alaskan was originally designed as a boat that would haul large loads of supplies into remote fishing camps. For me, that means that I can plop four or five BIG Guys into my rig and take off across the lake without worrying that I'm going to get them wet. In fact, the Alaskans provide an incredibly dry ride.
  • It's economical to operate. Thanks to the lighter weight, I can run a smaller, more fuel efficient engine. I've been running Mercury's OptiMax 90 Horsepower. Depending on how I choose to prop that engine, I can achieve speeds approaching 40 MPH. For fishing, the 90 HP Opti trolls like a dream. Plus, my fuel consumption is minimal.
  • Regulatory concerns enter into my decision too; Without going too deep into details, for me, there are licensing issues and economic reasons that make running a half ton truck better than moving up to a 3/4 ton. Thanks to the Alaskan's lighter weight, I can use a single axle trailer and keep the gross weight of the whole rig under 10,000 pounds, an important distinction for commercial operators.
  • The Alaskan is all business, a workhorse that gets the job done. That's perfect for me, but at the end of the day, there are anglers who prefer more comfort and convenient features.

The 2010 Pro Guide provides more of those features, more comfort, more "eye appeal" and for anglers who want to get to get to the fishing spot faster, has a higher horsepower rating. Here's a list of features that I would find really useful, there are others too and I trust that you'll take a closer look and compare for yourself.

  • The Lund 2010 Pro Guide tiller boat provides ultimate boat control and allows for optimum back-trolling for excellent walleye fishing.
  • Under deck rod storage provides an incredibly safe, convenient place to store your fishing rods.
  • Enclosed electronics compartment helps protect your valuable Graph, GPS and Marine Radios.
  • Dry, comfortable ride.

Like I said, if I could have my cake and eat it too, I'd own one of each. In fact, I'd probably throw in a 208 ProV GL too! But based on the demands of my job, I made the best decision I can make for me.
Luckily, my customers agree and have been very well satisfied fishing out of the Alaskan. Here are some links that will help you make your own decision, compare the 2010 Pro Guide with the 2000 Alaskan .
Greg Clusiau Fishing Report (10/21) On The Iron Range, From Greg Clusiau; "The first school I found consisted of smaller crappie, not what I made the trip for. Moving about the lake, I came across various schools of fish and settled on a huge mass that looked like it was “busy.” By this I mean that the fish were bunched up in sort of a gang, like thugs, but were up off the bottom, which usually means they are competing for food.
Lowering my offering into the mass resulted in a quick crappie, although small in size. Several more were caught before I remembered how I found the larger fish last year.
With that in mind, I ... " >> Read Greg's Full Report .

Fishing Guide MN Fishing Report October 20, 2013 Jeff Sundin Going Deep, Clearly A Good Way To Go! - On Saturday, we spent the day fishing in water that never got shallower than 35 feet. Luckily, the fish thought that was a great idea, OH, by the way, so did the birdy!
Chad Haatvedt and Matt Nistler couldn't have cared less what we fished for. It was completely up to me and I thought that after a couple of weeks fishing really hard for Walleyes, a Crappie morning might be fun. It might really be fun if we could discover a new school of fish somewhere.
On our drive toward the landing, an air temperature of 33 degrees encouraged me to drive slow. Maybe if we killed some time, dragging our feet, it would warm up a little bit? It didn't, but that's okay because when we arrived at the lake, we found that the deep, clear water was retaining it's warmth better than expected. Surface temperatures were 53.0 to 53.5 degrees, fully 6 degrees warmer than on the same date a year ago.
We started by poking around the tips of some deep points, then in a couple of pockets, inside corners where deep water came close to the shoreline. So far, I wasn't seeing many fish. Then I moved out deeper and started circling the deep water around a mid-lake hump. I saw a few fish here, settled along the edge of the bar in 33 feet of water. We tried that spot, but if they were Crappies, they weren't buying our presentation. Next, I was roaming even deeper water, 35 to 38 feet wham I spotted something that could be what we were searching for. We stopped and discovered that they were Crappies and our attempt to catch them was semi-successful.
They were biting, but they were at least 10 feet above the bottom, making it tricky for the boys to figure out the exact spot to place their baits. We figured it out though and after we'd been there an hour or so, the cooler contained 13 Crappies. Not bad, but I thought that maybe we could find a larger school.
After covering a half mile of territory, I hadn't found what I was looking for and just as I was about to head accross the bay to check the other side, Chad said "Hey! Look to the left, what's that over there"? Hmm... Someone had left a marker along the path, apparently for me to follow. There it sat, all alone, begging for someone to come over and pay attention to it. Oh, what the heck, I guess we might as well go check it out and see if ..... Yes, there was. I'm not too sure who left that marker, but thank you, we were gentle!
Crappies in tow, we jumped across the road to the campground for a warm lunch. Crappies and Taters, skip the beans! By the time we finished lunch, there were a couple of hours to kill, not long enough to get fancy, but maybe we could check out a couple of Walleye spots and luck into a few.
Back on the water, a cold, Northwest wind had blown in and there were Whitecaps churning the surface. A stop on the windy side, a shoreline point where we'd caught Walleyes a couple of days ago turned out to be a little too chilly for effective fishing. Chad boated a couple of Largemouth Bass in 30 feet of water and I saw more fish on the Humminbird. But they were in 42 feet of water and holding steady in the Whitecaps wasn't working very well.
One more stop, another shoreline point, this time on the calm side. With about 45 minutes of daylight remaining, a small school of fish moved onto the point. They were holding in 38 feet of water and had a sweet tooth for the Green/Orange Lindy Jig that Matt had chosen. We didn't have a lot of time to fish, but it was a good time to be Matt!
If there had been more time, I'm fairly sure that we would have found more spots. But it was dark, chilly and time to call it a day, a good day at that.

Did you know that the Thursday Morning Early Bird Fishing Guide Program is available for a week after the air date? Yes, if you miss the live show, just click the KAXE Logo, then select the 6:00 hour on Thursday. Scroll in to about 6:20 AM and you're in business! Link to KAXE Audio Archive

Fishing Guide MN Fishing Report October 19, 2013 Jeff Sundin Better Late Than Never - After weeks of hand ringing about if and when Walleyes might stage a fall run into Cutfoot Sioux from Lake Winnibigoshish, they finally have. We saw it with our own eyes on Friday.
Anglers who frequent the Lake Winnie area have spotted this scene before; You know, after staring at your electronics, you take a quick break to look away from your graph and scan the surrounding area. Then you see that the guy in the White Tyee has his net in the water. Then the Lady in the middle of the Red boat has one and so does that fella in the black Pro V. That's what we saw on Friday, not the kind of bite where there was just a few guys catching fish, instead it was the kind of bite where there was enough action to go around for everyone.
When we arrived at Cutfoot Sioux, we found a surface temperature reading of 53.8 degrees. That surprised me because the overnight air temperatures were frosty; In fact, as we headed toward the landing, 28 degrees was the outside air reading in my truck.
I knew we had some potential when we stopped at the first spot and hooked a fish in the first minute. The spot was a random selection based on convenience, rather than strategy and if there were fish there, they'd be in other spots too. That first fish got away and so did quite a few others. But in the end, it didn't matter, we managed to locate enough small packs of fish to leave the lake with their limits of "keeper Walleye" and we released a good bunch of "slot-fish" along the way.
The challenge? Cold outside air temperatures, numb fingers and cold water Walleyes require more than a little bit of fishing savvy. My crew had plenty of past fishing experience, but they hadn't been on the water for a dozen years, maybe more and probably not ever when it was this cold. In other words, we started off a little rusty, but the hook sets got better as they had more chances to practice.
The single most important trick to setting the hook on these lethargic fish, is that you have to give them plenty of time to engulf the whole bait. In cold water, Walleye will typically grab the bait at the tail. To an angler, it feels like the fish is there and that it's time to set the hook. But if you do, more often than not that fish will swim away, unharmed.
The trick for getting your timing right is to let the fish tell you when it's time to set the hook.
Pay attention now, because class is in session and I am gonna give this my best effort.
When you first feel a Walleye pick up your bait, you'll notice a sensation of added pressure on the rod tip. At this moment, you'll have a few seconds to decide whether or not it's a fish and if it is, what kind and how seriously you should work on this strike.
If it's Walleye, your next clue will be a sensation of added weight. There will be some movement too, it will remind you of someone picking up your bait and trying to slowly walk away with it. Your rod tip will bend a little and the sensation of weight will increase. You'll be tempted to think that it's time to set the hook and by now, you probably do have a 50/50 chance. But if you really want to increase your odds, continue to step 3.
Do your best job of maintaining steady, but subtle pressure on the fish. Don't pull too hard, but don't let your line go limp either. Keep the fish interested by allowing your rod tip to move with the fish.
When your line feels like it's going slack, then gently applying pressure will keep the fish interested. If your line is getting too heavy, tightening quickly, then allow your rod tip to gently follow the fish back.
Now as you play this little game of see-saw with the Walleye, you'll feel a series of bumps or pops on your rod tip. Each one of these bumps is the result of that fish attempting to finish off your bait. But to do it, the fish needs to let go, loosen it's grip in order to advance to the next level. These bumps that you're feeling is the fish opening it's mouth, letting go of the bait and then taking another bite, moving the minnow further into it's mouth. Trust your feelings, wait until the fish finishes the process and ....
Finally, the bumps will disappear and there will be a sensation of a steady weight on your rod tip. The fish appears to be swimming along with you as if it was a mild mannered dog on a leash. OKAY, SET THE HOOK!
Something that will really help you is to be sure that you're geared up correctly for these cold water fish. Lighter action rods and 4 pound test line are a perfect match up. I bought several rods from TFO's lineup last winter and and after using them all summer, I've settled on a favorite. Using light line and small jigs for shallow water Walleye, The TFO FWS 662-1 is a 6-1/2 foot rod rated for 4-8 pound test and matches up nicely with the 1/16 and 1/8 ounce jig and minnow combinations that I like to use. It has a little more backbone that my "old favorite", but the rods have a soft enough tip to make good sport of that little see-saw game with the Walleyes.
Now I don't always win the game, just like everyone, sometimes I miss too. In fact, they recently caught me missing a Walleye on video. Watching it will help you get a better feel for the whole process. Just click here to view >> Waiting Out A Cold Water Walleye Strike . OH! And don't worry, I said that I'd wait and just watch, I really will!
Back to Cutfoot Sioux; Our best depth turned out to be about 9 feet of water, just outside of the weed edges. Our best run of fish came when we were tickling the weeds with our jigs. If I went too far out and wound up on a clear sand bottom, the small Perch would begin attacking our baits.
There were some fish on the rocks too, but those spots are currently the ones being worked most heavily by anglers.
We used 1/8 ounce lindy Jips tipped with Rainbow Chubs and jigging aggressively attracted the most strikes. Color did not seem to be a huge factor. We caught fish on several including Gold, Green/Glow, Pink Glow and Yellow.
After this weekend, I'm guessing that the traffic will drop off. But, if you're still rigged and ready, there should be a good week or two of fishing still ahead.
Fishing Question(10/19) A question from Jason Woodruff ; Q) Hi Jeff, great timing on today's (10/18) report! On the way (to work) today I was thinking about trophy fishing. I live in Mankato but over the last few weekends on leech we've managed to boat more than enough eater fish. Next weekend I'll be on leech again, and also a smaller lake where my parents have a cabin. Their neighbor reports 10 pound Walleyes in the fall.
(I'm trying to improve) at figuring out out trophy patterns, any advice you can give me for big water like leech and smaller water (635 acres)? Do I need to look at a totally different pattern? or (simply) adjust the eater pattern slightly to find Mr Big?
A) Jason, Leech Lake produces very nice Walleye and there is a growing list of my customers who have caught their "Biggest Ever" Walleye on this great lake. In my opinion, the two most effective ways to adjust for larger size on Leech lake are; 1) Fishing for Walleyes during the dark of night or 2) Focusing on using larger baits, that attract the attention of more large fish.
You've fished there enough to know that no matter where you are, there's always a chance at a big fish. Even if you're catching dozens of "eaters", there's a chance for a phantom fish.
Over the years, I've noticed that there are certain times of the season where certain spots produce more large fish than others. On the main lake, fishing rocks is typically better than the shallow sand. Deep Cabbage weeds do too and on the lakes West side, deep water, mid-lake bars produce larger fish too.
In these scenarios, learning to use the Lindy Rigs with large Creek Chubs or Redtails will help move you toward larger fish.
The night fishing on Leech Lake can be awesome, but is avoided by many, simply because the likelihood of catching smaller, eater fish is so low. During a night fishing session, it's not unusual to catch a couple of dozen Walleye that are all big.
One key for finding good night fishing spots is to watch your graph during the daytime. Deep weeds hold a lot of fish on Leech Lake and you can see them on your electronics. For some reason though, many of these fish seem to feed almost exclusively at night and are rarely caught during the daytime.
Shallow breaklines located adjacent to these deep weedbeds are an excellent place to begin your search. Trolling the shallow breaks with crankbaits will produce good results. In fact, a good friend of mine has been over there catching them this way, during the past couple of nights.
About the smaller 635 acre lake; Unless I'm getting news from a highly trusted resource, I try to avoid going to a lake based on the anecdotal stories I hear. There may or may not be a great bite for big fish on your lake, but sometimes, lakes with low populations of fish can produce an occasional lunker.
The best way to begin is by visiting the DNR Lake finder and checking for recent reports. I did that for your lake and according to the 2009 survey, there does appear to be a fairly good Walleye population and there is evidence that some large fish are present. That's a good start.
Apparently, that lake has a reputation as a panfish lake and most of the Walleye are the result of fingerling stocking, every other year, by the DNR. Typically, stocked fish would inhabit weeds much more than they would open water, structures.
So bearing in mind that this is only an educated guess; I'd suggest weedlines that lay adjacent to any structure that leads into the lakes deep water basin would be a good starting spot. The main forage appears to be small Perch, so if you can find stretches of gravel or rock within the weeds, that will sweeten the pie even more.
You're gonna have to get out there and use your electronics to take a look at the structure. During fall, fish that hold on the deep outer edges of the weeds will be easily recognized. If you can locate a school of fish on a point or on the outer edges of weeds, then you have a starting point. For big fish, wait until your graph reveals them before you drop in a bait. It's simple math, big fish lose a lot of their friends as they grow old. So large fish are likely to appear in small packs, maybe three or four fish on a spot, maybe a few more. But remember that whenever you mark a lot of fish, they are liable to be smaller.
If you can find 'em, you can catch 'em. The Lindy Rigs and big minnows will definitely do the job. If it doesn't work during the daytime, keep track of the AREAS WHERE YOU FIND THE MOST FISH AND TRY THEM AGAIN AS THE SUN GOES DOWN. In late October, we have done some of our best work between 5:30 and 7:30 PM. Just as it gets dark, these fish will often make a move to feed.
Link to AquaVu (10/19) Introduces New Micro II Underwater Camera - Crosslake, Minn. – Citizens of the planet earth now digest their daily dose of intel—be it news, sports, goofy videos or friendly correspondence—via handheld devices. If it’s interesting or otherwise important, we expect it to magically appear on our little viewscreens. When we’re done gathering information and catching up with the world—hopefully not while behind the wheel—we simply slip the unit back into our pocket.
Among fishing folks, another ergonomic, palm-sized device has recently become a major part of the program. Similar to its smartphone lookalike, the new Aqua-Vu® Micro II underwater camera delivers incredible images directly to your fingertips. But instead of tweets and text messages, the Micro II displays valuable underwater video, revealing structure, fish and otherwise hidden hotspots in 100% . ... >> Read Full Report AquaVu Micro II .

Fishing Guide MN Fishing Report October 18, 2013 Jeff Sundin Too Big For Our Own Britches? - Our search for "Mr. Big" left me scratching my head on Thursday. Were we barking up the wrong tree? or Did we just ask the fish to bite off more than they could chew?
My crew, Chuck Walior and Jeff Anderes were up to the challenge of searching for big fish. They already know how to catch "eaters" on their own and they know that searching for trophy size fish is different. It's more like hunting, you need to poke around, cover some territory and be persistent. So far, so good, that was no problem, they are, we were and we were rewarded, mostly.
The one thing I wish that I could do over, the element that held us at arms reach from true greatness was the lack of better bait. I don't mean more lively bait, not even a different kind of bait, we just needed better size minnows, ones that matched the fish we were trying to catch.
It all started off really well, once we had the boat on the water, we found that the surface temperature was still in "safe range" at 55.6 degrees. I headed for some deep points where I thought we might find some Walleyes and after we scanned two or three spots, the Humminbird finally revealed a school of fish on a deep point. The one that juts out right next to that little island.
The fish were holding in 35 feet of water and there were more than a few of them. The breeze was just barely strong enough to drift us down the breakline, our speed was a perfect .5 MPH.
Our first drift was a good one, I boated a nice Walleye, not a monster, but somewhere in the 21 to 23 inch range. Jeff boated a hefty Smallmouth Bass and Chuck landed a 32 inch Pike. All along the same breakline and it appeared that all systems were Green For Go! At least that's what we thought.
Soon though, we realized that there was one slight problem. We were getting plenty of strikes, but almost every time one of us hooked a fish, it came off of the line before we could land it. The fish had a firm hold on the bait, but the hooks were not finding purchase within their boney mouthes.
We were over staffed on huge minnows and under staffed on minnows that fell within the ideal range. They were close enough to make the fish wat to eat them. But they were too big for the hooks and rigs that we were using and there wasn't a lot we could do to change that. We were getting plenty of fish to bite, but not aggressively enough to engulf those gigantic Creek Chubs. Without the fish completely swallowing the baits, our hooks simply didn't have anwhere to go. As we reeled the fish toward the boat, they held on to the minnow until they realized their situation. To escape, they simply had to open their mouth and let go of the bait. Very Frustrating!
There wasn't a lot we could do to remedy the situation. We already owned every Creek Chub that could be bought from the 3 best bait shops in the area and all of them had the same problem, they all had just a few Creek Chubs on hand and they were all big.
We tried rigging one stinger hook, but that lasted for all of one bite, a Northern Pike chewed that right off of the 17 pound fluorocarbon leader. Cold fingers and a lack of fine motor skills encouraged us to forget that idea. Instead we would attempt to solve our problem by feeding them all of the line on our spools. That helped, a little bit, but we still lost an awful lot of fish.
Luckily, we had some moments of greatness. We did land some Walleyes, we had a couple of big Musky sightings and Jeff even caught a Musky. There were some Bass, some Pike and plenty of strikes to keep us interested. We were always on our toes, knowing that the next chance was lying just around the corner.
Most important we still had a lot of laughs and for me, it was a lucky break to be fishing with a crew who knows enough about fishing that they could see that the system had potential. Next time, we'll just need to plan a little further ahead. Allow ourselves a few days to lay in the correct bait supply and arm ourselves with a few more tricks for handling those finicky biters.

Fishing Guide MN Fishing Report October 17, 2013 Jeff Sundin Bluer Blues, Whiter Whites and Clearer Water - The tables have turned on some of the Itasca Area's popular Walleye lakes.
Remember my story from a few mornings ago? The one about starting at a spot, hoping for a fish or two, but instead stumbling into the mother lode? That was then, this is now.
When I and the co-hosts of KAXE Radio's Morning Show arrived at the lake, surface temperatures had slipped into the forbidden zone. At the landing, the noticeably clearer water was 51 degrees. When we got into the center portion of the lake they were hovering at just above 53 degrees. The sky was clear Blue, the water was calm and the Humminbird was working overtime, trying to lead me toward a school of fish.
To say that the fishing was spotty would be an understatement. In fact, we were on the water for about 3 hours before we had our first Walleye in the cooler.
There was action, we had several strikes, caught some Pike, even a couple of Bass, we just couldn't connect with a school of Walleyes. Not yet anyway. As the afternoon unfolded, we figured out where to concentrate our efforts and how to trick the fish into biting. I'm going to tell you all about it, but since I'm slated for an early start this morning, it's gonna have to wait for one more day.
I can tell you this; Teaming up with two of the best friends that anyone could ask for is a darn good way to spend a day. Spending it on a clear, calm lake, under Azure Blue skies makes it even better. Catching some really nice fish along the path and you have achieved .......... well almost perfect!

Fishing Guide MN Fishing Report October 16, 2013 Jeff Sundin Well Guess What? - Today, I Am entering the final 10 day stretch of the 2013 open water fishing season. You know what that means, it's time to let somebody take over as the Coxswain of my 2013 Lund Alaskan. Yup, she's a beauty and she took care of I and my fishing customers really well this summer. Now she's all trained in, ready to take you to the fish and help you catch 'em. Click here for details Lund Alaskan For Sale .

Fishing Guide MN Fishing Report October 15, 2013 Jeff Sundin Pre-Turnover Peak? - On Monday, my fishing partner and good friend Craig Anderson kept serving me opportunities to re-visit my own theories. Snippets of information that I have mentioned in the daily reports and that he's read, tucked away, saving them for a chance to experiment with on his next fishing trip.
Theories are what they are, educated guesses based on experience. Luckily, I have a lot of experiences and therefore, a lot of theories. Equally lucky, I have lots of time to watch, learn and observe. Add to that enough persistence to hang in there, giving theories time to unfold, time to become solid indicators of what lies ahead.
A few days ago, I mentioned something about the fall turnover, something about how you can recognize that it's headed our way. One of the clues was water temperature. I said; "On the lakes that do turn over, what gets my attention is when I read surface water temperatures somewhere around 56 degrees. That is often the temperature reading I see just before the lake(s) turn over and signals when the fall Walleye bite hits it's peak."
Another one of the clues that I mentioned was about the fishing, I said; "For me, the time to sound the Red Alert is at the moment when the Walleye fishing gets so good that you can't believe it. The day that you can't seem to do anything wrong and the fish are biting everywhere. Somehow, those fish just have a sixth sense, they Just Know!"
Okay, so on Monday, we arrived at the lake and discovered that the Surface Water Temperature was 55.7 degrees, just a couple of degrees above the tipping point. That was good news, an optimistic indicator, but still no guarantee of a good outing.
I'd hoped that I could get the ball rolling by making a quick stop on a clam bed. The spot lies adjacent to a large, shallow water weed flat and usually kicks out a few fish. So I thought that catching a couple of quick fish would set the stage for a series of stops. Occupying our morning with hit and run, spot to spot, cherry picking a couple of fish at each spot. Hmm.. That was a great idea, except that we never moved away from that clam bed for over 3 hours.  
It was one of those mornings, the fish were all over that clam bed and they wouldn't go away. It wasn't something we did, they were just there and we were just lucky to have good timing.
The point is that if you can take advantage of the timing, you can probably get in on this yourself for the next few days. The falling water temperatures will continue to push fish out of the weed beds, toward hard breaklines, points and isolated patches of rock, gravel or clam beds.
Patches of Cabbage weeds will remain Green even after most of the surrounding vegetation dies off. These healthy, standing Cabbage weeds will become a magnet for cover loving fish and should be also be checked out whenever you can find them.
Locating the right spot is a simple matter of checking a variety of areas where you think baitfish and/or game fish will have been forced out of shallow weeds and on to the breaklines. Now that many of the fish are on these breaklines and points, they are vulnerable, much more easily spotted on your electronics and more eager to strike too.
Jig and Minnow presentations in 6 to 12 feet are likely to be the best. But don't rule out Lindy Rigging with live bait, especially on calm days. Finicky fish can sometimes be more easily fooled by slow, live bait presentations.
Jeff Sundin Comment (10/15) Looking at the calendar and out the window, I Already Know that I won't be hearing much today. It's gonna be a good day to hunker down and stay occupied with paperwork. The glass? Offically filled with liquid sunshine and measuring in at 2/3 full!

Fishing Guide MN Fishing Report October 14, 2013 Jeff Sundin Grand Rapids Lake Pokegama - On Sunday, at Lake Pokegama, finding fish was the easiest part of the trip. Walleye, Pike and Smallmouth Bass were all present on the deep breaklines. The fish were easy to spot on my Humminbird, all of them holding in water depths of 32 to 40 feet.
We worked the breaks using Lindy Rigs, No Snagg Sinkers and medium to large size Creek Chubs.
As usual, the pike were the most aggressive, but on this day, they were>> Read Grand Rapids Fishing Report .
link to Humminbird (10/14) Humminbird® 360 Imaging™ Continues Winning Streak With NMEA Award - Eufala, AL (October 9, 2013) - With its ability to provide anglers with stunning underwater imagery up to 150 feet in every direction, Humminbird’s 360 Imaging™ has been heralded as the biggest advancement in fishing electronics since Humminbird introduced Side Imaging™ in 2005.
From its introduction in February 2012 at the Bassmaster Classic, the technology quickly set a new precedent for fishing electronics. In July 2012, 360 Imaging was voted “Best of Show” in the Electronics division of ICAST 2012 by global fishing >> Click To Learn More Humminbird 360 Imaging NMEA Award .
Link to Lund Boats (10/14) Lund Earns CSI Award for Fiberglass and Aluminum Boats - New York Mills, Minn. (Oct. 10, 2013) – The National Marine Manufacturers Association (NMMA) has awarded Lund Boats with the 2013 Marine Industry CSI Award in both the Fiberglass and Aluminum Boat categories. The CSI (Customer Satisfaction Index) Award recognizes marine manufacturers who attain the highest levels of customer satisfaction, as voted on by the customers themselves.
“To once again receive such high marks from our customers gives us a tremendous amount of satisfaction,” says Lund Customer Support Manager, Matt Geiser. “And, to have those positive sentiments validated with the CSI Award is a great honor — especially to be acknowledged for excellence in both the aluminum and fiberglass boat building categories.” The 2013 Marine Industry CSI Award is reserved for ... Click to Learn More >> Lund CSI Award For Boats .
Greg Clusiau Fishing Report (10/14) On The Iron Range, From Greg Clusiau; who spent the day with Tom Batuik, fishing for Rainy Lake Slab Crappies and after a little exploring, the bite was on. Learn more about Rainy lake Crappies ... >> Read Greg's Full Report .
Link to Minnesota Ice Fishing Reports (10/14) On Lake of the Woods, Border View Lodge, Mike Kinsella wrote; "Minnesota’s last Walleye Tournament of 2013 went off with great success! Finley had his game face on, mustache and all! Congratulations, Scott Thompson and Ryan Christiansen, the 2013 Chili Bowl Champs! It was a great day yesterday with 130 anglers taking their best efforts on the water. Scott and Ryan brought in their 6 fish max for 11.90 pounds of Walleye, which is a great bag of fish considering 19.5 inches or larger are not allowed.
Our charters have been fishing the lake most of the past week with phenomenal reports. There is an incredible amount of fish outside the Lighthouse Gap. Anchored and jigging with frozen or live shiners is the ticket. As the temps go down this week we expect to see great activity in Four Mile Bay and the Rainy River.
The river fishing continues to improve. The water temperature has not changed from last week staying at 59.1. Looking at the forecast it is about to drop.
We still have our charter boats in, if you are thinking of another trip this fall you have a couple weeks left. We are seeing forecasts with high temperatures in the 50’s for this week with lows into 20’s. - Winter dates are filling in, it’s time to make your plan if you don’t already have one!" 1-800-776-3474 Border View Lodge .

Fishing Guide MN Fishing Report October 13, 2013 Jeff Sundin S-t-r-e-t-c-h-i-n-g Out The Pre-Turnover Period - The scales are about to tip, the turnover is at our doorstep. So far though, the Walleye remain in pre-turnover locations and weekend anglers are finding active fish.
As of Saturday, surface temperatures held in the "safe range", which for me, is anything above 55 degrees. After that, I'm never completely sure if I'll show up to a lake that's on fire with action, or if my favorite lake will remind me of the dead sea. (Click To Re-Visit more >> About The Fall Turnover)
Pinning down the precise moment that a lake turns over is a slippery slope, in many ways, nothing really seems to change much, you need to have a sort of 6th sense to even notice it.
Our surface temperature on Saturday remained locked at 57 degrees all day long and the Walleye fishing was spotty, but good.
Fish location was typical of the reports that I've turned in over the past couple of weeks. Walleyes were holding in water depths of 10 to 14 feet yesterday and they showed a strong preference for rocks vs. weeds. The fish have become flighty, demonstrating active behavior as we first arrived at a new spot, disappearing after we lost the element of surprise.
Pesentation was typical except for one change. Walleyes showed an apparent preference for the color Pink. I'm not sure why, but I've seen this before, especially in the spring and fall when water is cool and clear. In fact, the only time in my career that I've ever seen fish snub every other color, was a fishing trip on Red Lake where we simply could not get bit without Pink jigs. Someday I'll write a book and tell that story, but not yet.
We used 1/8 ounce Lindy Jigs tipped with 3-1/2 to 4 inch shiners and aggressive jigging worked much better than more subtle presentations.
For a short time, Crappies found their way on to our radar screen and with just enough time allowed to prove that we could find 'em, we managed to locate a couple of small schools. That was more than enough to get us, especially me, giggling.
With heavy wind and whitecaps, holding still over the fish was a problem. So we needed to use heavier jigs than I'd normally have tied on. The crew stuck with the same jigs that we'd been using for Walleye fishing. Again, I tied on the 3/16 ounce Rattlin' Flyer Spoon and it was easily able to fool Mr. Crappie. If this happens again, it's looking like I could have a new favorite way to catch late fall Crappies.

Bowen Lodge Lake Winnie Report

October 13, 2013 - On Cutfoot Sioux; We caught up with Jeff Sundin, who was out on the lake again this Friday and coaxed him into sharing a few tips about the fishing on Cutfoot Sioux.
"Fall Fishing on Cutfoot Sioux and Lake Winnie would surprise more than a few folks right now." Sundin added, "It wouldn't be fair to call the action phenomenal, but it is a lot better than most folks realize and there's plenty of room to work out there because the traffic is unusually light.
Surface temperatures on Cutfoot were very uniform, hovering just above 58 degrees almost everywhere we stopped. The wind was very strong and the Whitecaps were thoroughly mixing the surface water, so I think that it's going to be a few more days before the fall turnover will be worrying me. Even then, we'll just have to make some adjustments. Fishing more during the prime times, early morning and late evening will help, so will .. >> Reading The Full Lake Winnie Fishing Report .

Fishing Question(10/13) A question from Andy Lundsted ; Q) Thanks for the reply on Friday. We have caught a few, but it hasn't been as good as normal. We are going to try the big lake tomorrow . Going in on the south side by Bena . Looks like you think we should concentrate on the shoreline breaks and weed line. What do you think about fishing the mid lake structure ? Thanks for all you help!
A)The weed edges could be really good, especially if the wind provides a nice drift. You would be smart to check the main breakline, located outside of the weeds too. The drop from 14 to 20 feet has been holding fish too, especially during calm periods. Fish will move shallow to feed when it's breezy and then move out onto the break during periods of rest.
For me, the one mid-lake structure that comes to mind and that has produced well in the fall, is the Bena Bar. This bar is actually a single, gigantic shoreline point that has been given a new name at each of it's numerous twist's and turns. When you hear names like "Big Musky, Big Bend, Mud Hole, Horsehoe, the Backside etc..., they are all actually small areas found on this "Main Bar".
The sprawling structure connects directly to the shoreline on Winnie's South end and spans several miles North and is likely to be one of Minnesota's longest main lake structures.
In the past, we have had good fall fishing out there for Walleyes and we've also had some excellent Perch fishing. My guess is that there would probably be some excellent Pike fishing out there at times too.
You'll need to cover a lot of territory, but it wouldn't surprise me if an enterprising angler reported scanning the edges of the bar and finding a school of fish. If you do find them, they'll be all yours, because most anglers have either already wrapped up for the season, or have chosen to pass over the big lake, concentrating instead on small waters.
For Walleye, Lindy Rig fishing using Creek Chubs or Red Tails has a ton of potential and so does vertical jigging. By concentrating on the points and inside truns, you can check for stationary schools of fish. I would avoid scanning long stretches of straight line structure.
For Walleye, the upper edges of the break would hold the most active fish. Look in depths of 14 to 22 feet for the fish that are most likely to strike. You may spot schools of fish that are suspended over deep water, but near the structure. Make a note of those fish and re-check the area at other times to see if they've moved up.
For Perch, the lowest portion of the breakline, 30 to 35 feet has been a common depth. If they're on the deep breakline, your electronics will reveal them. There are a variety of ways to catch them, but we've had excellent results using Lindy Rigs tipped with minnows. - If you find 'em, shoot me a picture and I'll help you do a little bragging.

Fishing Guide MN Fishing Report October 12, 2013 Jeff Sundin -It's not too often that I can let someone else do the talking for me. But since I'd been working with guests from bowen Lodge recently and because I spent the day yesterday fishing on Cutfoot Sioux, it made sense for the folks at Bowens to track me down for some tips. Just just look below and then follow the link to go on to their report, where you can kill two birds with one stone.

Fishing Guide MN Fishing Report October 11, 2013 Jeff Sundin -Surf's Up! Lake Andrusia is part of the Cass Lake chain, fed by the Mississippi River and is located within easy reach of Deer River. Somehow though, this pretty little lake seldom feels the bottom of my Alaskan on it's waters. On Thursday though, a trip into familiar, but seldom visited territory provided fresh scenery, some good laughs and even a few fish.
On the water, surface temperatures ranged from 59.5 to 60.5 degrees and remained stable throughout the day. There was a chop on the water all day, but during mid afternoon, the wind increased and Whitecaps rolled across the lake's surface.
Andrusia is included on Lakemaster's Minnesota Chart Card, so taking a quick swing around the lake, perusing some of the "good looking" points, bars and shoreline breaks was an easy job. Finding a starting spot, a small shoreline bar, covered with light rocks was a good call. In fact, catching our first few fish was almost too easy. Too bad that the rest of the day wasn't destined to be quite as easy as it first appeared.
After a few passes on the slender bar, we had 4 or 5 Walleye in the cooler, a couple of keeper size Perch too. It looked like the lake was ready to rock and that we might even be able to keep an appointment with some Crappies in the afternoon. Action on these rocks fizzled out though and the search for more good territory took a little longer than anticipated.
A series of stops at likely looking structures continuously produced fish throughout the day. There were always some Perch, always some Northern Pike and occasionally a Walleye, sometimes a keeper. I can't say that I ever found a hot spot, but I can say that we always caught something and that we were kept busy most of the day.
Of the spots we fished, the clear winners in terms of producing Walleyes were the shoreline related points with adjacent shallow weed flats. The fish were not holding deep inside the weeds, but on the outer edges, just before the break into deeper water. Water depth ranged mainly between 12 and 14 feet. My Humminbird revealed some fish in deeper water, but we seldom caught anything except for Pike at these locations.
Our presentation was jig and minnow combinations, 1/8 ounce Lindy Jigs tipped with minnows. Jig colors changed as the Pike thinned my supply. But for the most part, color didn't seem to be important as we caught something on every color we tied on.
By days end, we'd managed to keep 11 Walleyes, a couple of decent Pike and a few Perch. If someone asked me to head back over there today, I'd happily re-visit the lake. Knowing then, what I know now, would have produced a more desirable outcome. I Am positive that by spending a little more time out there, I would get Andrusia to reveal a few more secrets.
Meanwhile, On Leech Lake; (10/11) As I stayed in touch with friends, fishing reports from a number of locations were coming in mixed. The wind should have been perfect to produce one of Leech Lake's hot rock bites. Somehow though, many of the fish failed to get the memo and most fishermen were picking away at Walleye on the rocks. They were catching an occasional fish, but reporting only marginal success.
Walleye fishermen who fished the weeds were having better luck though and it appears that the weedlines and shallow flats might be getting set up for the "action round". The jury is still out, so I don't want to make a big deal out of a couple good reports. But if you think about it, the timing is just about right for a run of Shiner minnows into the shallow sand flats. If you're gonna be out there, checking the weed edges and sand flats could be a really good idea.
The reports of good Walleye fishing on Leech Lake really piqued my interest and I'd love to be heading that way this morning. But with a forecast that warns of howling winds for later today, I might just have to wait a day or two before my next visit to the big pond.
Fishing Question(10/11) A question from Joe Keyes; Q) "Hi Jeff: I always enjoy your daily fishing reports. Been going up to Wirt for over 30 years and love the area and the fishing. I'm always watching for reports about the fishing at ...
One request; How about some new pictures on the photo board? Everybody loves 'em and they seemed to have stopped. Maybe it's a hassle and I can see how busy you are. Happy fishing and hunting. Thanks for your reports, you do a great job."
A) I would love to keep the pictures going, but It's really a labor of love, one that had become very time consuming. I have been swamped these days and I needed to use some of the time to focus on keeping my fishing customers happy.
I've actually been looking for someone to help both with the pictures and with this website. But it's not been easy for me to find the right match up.
One of these days though, there will be an announcement and then I'll be inspired to get the photos rolling at full speed again. Until then, thank you very much for reading the reports!
Fishing Question(10/11) A question from Kurt Grobe; Q) "Jeff, Another question about the hummingbird finders. Which mapping chip, should i want it to have in it? Is one better than the other? I am as you can tell a little overwhelmed with all this techno stuff. Am a backtroller (weedline) walleye fisherman, that needs to get with the times.
A) Kurt, when it comes to mapping chips, the question these days isn't really which one is "better". The better question is which ones are most compatible.
Lakemaster's Charting software, including the SD cards are fully compatible with Humminbird units. The charting software is not only compatible with Humminbirds GPS units, but can also be linked directly to MinnKota trolling motors. This allows anglers to set their trolling motors to hold a course along a breakline, rock bar or weed bed. The link allows you to follow any structure that appears on the chart literally "hands free".
Fishing Question(10/11) A question from Andy Lundsted ; Q) "Headed up to the deer river area for a fri-sun fishing trip with my dad . Hoping to get a glimpse of some productive walleye spots . We like fishing big winnie, big cut foot, bowstring and I wouldn't be opposed to sand either .
Any pointers on spots you would hone in on these lakes would be greatly appreciated. Planning on fishing 1/16 - 1/8 jigs tipped with 3-4\" minnows. - Thanks for all your help !
A) Andy, of the lakes you've mentioned, the one that stands out right now is Cutfoot Sioux. In my opinion, an angler who can probe into all of the nooks and crannies should be able to get into some action. Crappies have been fished hard, but are still available and still active. Sunfish and Perch are active, but have seen little fishing pressure so far this fall. Walleye action has been spotty, but when you find them, they will bite.
I think that Lake Winnie is past due for the fall action bite. It wouldn't surprise me a bit to discover that there's a hot bite going on out there that nobody even knows about. Traffic has been so low out there that you could literally have a couple of miles of prime territory all to yourself. We've all been running toward other lakes, mainly because the reports from Winnie haven't been that great and none of us wants to play Amerigo Vespucci.
Take a good look at the deeper weedlines and shoreline breaks. Find a fresh school of fish that nobody's been picking on and you will be a star!

Fishing Guide MN Fishing Report October 10, 2013 Jeff Sundin - Surface Temperatures Rebounded as Wednesday's warm, calm conditions encouraged the extension of our fall, pre-turnover period. At the beginning of our fishing day, Surface Temperature were between 56 and 57.5 degrees, but by days end, they'd rebounded to 59.5 degrees.
While the effects of high blue skies and calm seas made fishing more difficult, they were offset by cooler temperatures and shorter daylight hours. In other words, we worked harder and had to be more persistent, but still managed a good showing.
Since I've been fishing the same patterns all week long and because I have a road trip ahead of me this morning and because I have a couple of questions to answer, I won't make you read all of the same stuff again. Just scroll down the page and you'll see everything that you need to know about Walleye and Crappie patterns for the upcoming weekend.
By the way, you can ask a question or just drop by to Offer Your Two Cents Worth? Email Me .
Fishing Question(10/10) A question from Kurt Grobe; "Q) I am looking to buy my first GPS sonar unit,and am wondering what you think is the easiest to learn and use? I would like to stay under $750.00 complete. Is that possible?
A) A) Kurt, The Humminbird lineup of Combo GPS/Graph units includes several options that are both easy to learn and are within your budget.
This is going to be an important purchase for you and I'd like you to be completely satisfied. So as you compare units and begin to weigh your decision, consider this;
For nearly 30 years, I have spent almost every single day, of every open water fishing season in my boat. The only single piece of equipment that I absolutely cannot do without, is my Humminbird. All of the other gear, gizmos and gadgets help add up to make fishing easier and more efficient. But in an emergency, I could find a way to survive a fishing day without many of them.
I cannot afford to show up at the boat ramp and discover that my graph doesn't work. My Humminbirds have never let me down, not a single time, ever. I wish that I could say that about other units I've used.
One thing that you'll love about your Humminbird is that the user menu is easy to learn and simple to navigate. They use the same basic format for all of their units. So once you know how to use one, you know how to use all of them.
Your new combo is going to be your eyes into the world of the fish that you pursue. So go all out and get the most features and the largest screen that your budget will allow. Skip a couple of Pizzas, cash in your piggy bank do whatever you can. I promise, you will thank me for this advice later.
That said; Here are two reliable combo units that would fit the bill. Either of them will get you connected in style with Lakemaster Map Cards and come very close to satisfying your proposed budget. I provided links to the product page for each of them, so just click on the links and I'll let the folks at Humminbird tell you about the their features and benefits.
First, look at the 788ci HD Combo . This unit gets you into the GPS/Charting/Graph and a provides a little larger screen. The 698ci HD SI Combo provides Side Imaging and Down Imaging. The added features come at the expense of a little bit smaller screen. To view my personal "Right Hand Man", look at the 998c HD SI Combo . - Whenever you have another question, shoot me an email, anytime.

Fishing Guide MN Fishing Report October 9, 2013 Jeff Sundin - Surface Temperatures Steady, In Prime Territory - On Tuesday, I recorded surface temperatures ranging between 56.5 and 58 degrees . Apparently stabilized after our recent cold snap, it's likely that most Itasca Area Lakes will remain in the "Pre-Turnover" period through the upcoming weekend.
The good news for you is that your upcoming weekend fishing trip promises to be a good one. Currently, fish are hungry, feeding aggressively and the only thing you'll need to worry about doing is to find them. Once you locate a school of fish, they will be cooperative.
We found Crappies on Tuesday and they were suspended 6 feet off of the bottom in 32 feet of water. The schools of fish are getting easier to locate now and when you find one, there are larger numbers of fish in each school.
Typical Crappie behavior was in full display, each time I discovered a fresh group of fish, we had a flurry of action. The strong wind complicated our ability to work light jigs and a little head scratching, I came up with a presentation that worked well. I substituted a 3/16 ounce Rattlin' Flyer Spoon for the small jigs that we had been using. The extra weight made it easier to get the bait in front of the fish and right now, they are more than aggressive enough to strike the larger offering. The only color we tried was the Techni-Glo Silver Shiner and that worked perfectly. Other colors that I'd be interested in trying are the Glow/Red and the Firetiger.
The trick to enticing a strike was to drop the bait into the school of fish and then begin slowly working the lure above the fish. It was easy to spot a strike coming because I could watch the Humminbird and see individual fish rise above the rest of the pack. Even if I couldn't spot my crews lures, I could still see the fish moving and that allowed me to give them a heads up that they had a looker on the way. After that, pausing for a moment was all it took to get the fish to strike.
Catching deep water fish has disadvantages. You are likely to be limited to keeping the first 10 fish you catch because pulling them out of these depths will damage the fish. Even if they swim away, they are likely to be injured, so please don't keep pestering after you have your 10 fish. Just be happy that you got 'em and go fishing for something else.
For advanced users of the Humminbird; You can watch these fish on your screen and get a reliable comparison of the sizes by watching the vertical size of the fish. It's not all that far fetched to believe that you can select the size of your fish before you hook 'em. At times, you'll have the ability to pull your bait away from fish that appear tiny on your screen. Drop it back into the school, watch the fish move toward it and if the fish appears larger, go ahead and let it strike. I know that sounds a little too good to be true, that's why I'll expand on the idea as soon as I can.
Walleye fishing was next on our agenda, but knowing that I would have a 2nd day to fish with these boys, I chose to quit battling the strong winds. Instead, we became Perch fishermen for the afternoon.
Perch fishing was good, but it wasn't automatic. Before we hit pay dirt, I tried 4 spots, each of them producing only a few small fish. In typical form, I said; "Okay, lets just try one more spot". Luckily, that 5th spot was home to a large school of Perch. There were few, if any that crossed the 11 inch mark, but we were able to keep our standards set at 10 inch plus fish.
The location was on top of a shallow weed flat in Cutfoot Sioux. The water depth is 6 feet and there are weeds everywhere. You need to take the time to poke around until you catch one good size fish. Once you do, mark the spot and range around that area to discover if there are more fish. You'll be amazed at how a small patch of gravel, a clam bed or even just a patch of cabbage weeds will hold fish.
Our presentation on Tuesday required meat on our jigs. I tried a few artificial baits and did catch some fish. But, clearly, the 1/8 ounce Lindy Jig tipped with a Fathead was the best way to catch them.
Because I put off the Walleye fishing until today, I've added a little pressure on myself to produce. If Ed goes back to Arizona without some Walleyes, he's in big trouble. If Ed's in trouble, then I'm in trouble, so I'm gonna work hard today.
Fishing Report Icon (10/9) Bemidji Lakes Area, Paul A. Nelson, Bemidji Area Lakes Guide Service says; "Surface water temperatures in the lakes in the Bemidji area have cooled into the high 50s and continue their fall cool down.
The thermocline is disappearing in the deep lakes, with fish like walleyes, crappies and some perch moving into deeper water in their fall patterns.
Walleyes and most other species have been active, with anglers usually having the best luck on days with decent weather and moderate to light winds, which is different than during the summer.
Anglers need to use their electronics to find fish in the fall and then slow down their presentations and hold over the fish to have the best chance for success.
Most schooling fish will group together into larger schools in their fall patterns, so location is the key for anglers. Once the fish have been located, they are usually willing to bite.
Muskie anglers don’t necessarily have to slow down their presentations, but many anglers like to use larger crankbaits or jerk baits in the fall, to give muskies a larger presentation.
Trolling for muskies is also a good option in the fall, with many anglers casting until their hands get cold and then trolling while they warm-up.
Remember to loosen the drag when trolling and tighten it back up when casting. Most anglers cast muskie lures with a very tight drag, but when trolling a loose drag will help prevent pulling the hooks out of the fish and also help prevent breaking a rod if the lure hits a snag.
Most species of fish are active in the fall, so anglers can fish whatever species they want and have a good chance for success. With several hunting seasons open, Bemidji is the perfect location for combination hunting and fishing weekends for those who like to participate in both sports." - Paul A. Nelson, Bemidji Area Lakes Guide Service, - 218.759.2235 .

Fishing Guide MN Fishing Report October 8, 2013 Jeff Sundin - Surface Temperatures Heading Down, Crappies Heading Out - On Monday, my fishing plans included what I'd hoped would be a re-run of what we'd done on Sunday. Part of it was, part of it wasn't.
With surface temperatures heading down, now in the 57 to 58 degree range. Crappies are heading further out into deeper water. The fish taken by Tim Higgins and Brian Shields were suspended 6 feet above the bottom in 32 feet of water. We didn't have too much trouble getting them to strike, but under bright sunshine, in calm water, the action was slower than Sunday.
Our presentation, 1/16 ounce jigs tipped with artificial tails has been solid. But with strong winds predicted for today, I'm gonna have to come up with a plan that includes heavier lures. I have an idea that I'm gonna catch a bunch of them today using Rattlin' Flyers and if I'm right, you'll be the first to know.
Our Walleye fishing got a little bit complicated yesterday. The fish that I'd pinned down on Sunday had apparently tucked back into the heavy weeds. I scanned the open water that surround the points and bars where we'd caught 'em. According to the Humminbird, they were nowhere to be found out there and when I tried to hug tight to the shallow weeds, we were rewarded by catching a 55 gallon drum full of small Northern Pike. It was time to make a move.
Hoping that we'd have enough wind to churn up some larger waters, we put the boat on the trailer and headed for the rocks. When we got out there, the surface had a slight chop, with just enough wind to keep the boat drifting. Moving from point to point, checking the shallow rocks, we found some fish at each stop.
We had enough action to keep our hopes alive. Now the only trouble was that we were catching more fish in the protected slot, than we were catching keepers. It was great for taking pictures, but it was beginning to look like I'd be sending the crew home with something short of their limit of Walleyes.
I may not have been born with the "Alpha Male Gene", but I was born with a slightly different condition. You know, the one that makes taking no for an answer almost impossible. Even though Brian was ready to head for home, Tim knew that I had my heels dug in and following my lead said; "Come on, we tan to this!".
Luckily, that was a good decision. As the sun sunk lower, the action picked up and we started adding to our larder slowly, but steadily. At just about 6:00 PM, a double header. Brian added number 11 to the cooler and I slipped in number 12. We had accomplished our goal, we were on our way out the door and with good roads, the boys might have even made it back home before the date changed.
Because of the light wind, fishing the rocks was tricky. Getting snagged was a problem and to help remedy that, we switched away from the 1/8 ounce jigs and used 1/16 ounce instead. That helped with the snagging, but it was fairly clear that the fish preferred the heavier jigs and the more aggressive jigging style that resulted by try to keep the jigs moving to avoid snags. The end result was that we switched back to 1/8 ounce Lindy Jigs, tipped with 3 to 3-1/2 inch chubs and jigged them hard.

Fishing Guide MN Fishing Report October 7, 2013 Jeff Sundin - Fishing Pre-TurnoverPatterns - The semi-annual fall crony tour turned out to be a blast on Sunday and not only a blast of cold air either. It may have started out a little chilly, but wound up being a darn nice day of fishing. In fact, before it was over, I'd have been more than willing to call it a beautiful day.
When I and my crew of 4 left the dock, the sky was Grey, there was a chop on the 59 degree surface water and it looked like we'd have the potential for good fishing. The breeze was good news, because with 5 lines in the water, drift fishing would be much simpler than back trolling.
Whenever I get too close to a good Crappie area, I get all wound up. It's usually hard for me to pass 'em by and this time it was no different. I had a spot in mind, a deep water point that I knew was holding fish last week. Cruising the breakline, we spotted fish on the Humminbird before we even had our lures tied on. I remember saying something like; "We're just gonna stop really quick and pick up some Crappies." Hmm.. I'd say that was an under statement.
They were in 32 feet of water, suspended 3 to 5 feet above the bottom and were very willing to take our 1/16 ounce jigs tipped with artificial tails.
Once I had that out of my system, Walleye fishing found it's way back on to the agenda. We headed up the lake toward the Starr Bar and Grille, where we hoped to find the Walleyes biting.
During my pre-trip warm up, a challenge had been issued. Somebody mentioned that in the preceding couple of days, the crony's had not been able to catch any Walleyes using any live bait except for night crawlers. Hmm.. actually, I'd brought along 4 dozen crawlers and I'd have happily been willing to use 'em. But once you say something like that, the theory just sort of begs to be dis-proven.
Fishing the shallow weed edges and shoreline related points in water depths of 8 to 10 feet, we picked up Walleyes at a steady pace. The action wasn't wild and wooly, but it was reliable and except for one spot that turned out to be zinger, there were a few fish everywhere we stopped.
Our best presentation was 1/16 ounce jigs tipped with 3 to 3-1/2 inch chubs. We fished the baits using a light snap and pause, giving the fish plenty of time to chew on the bait before setting the hook. I didn't think that the Walleye were overly aggressive, but they were active enough and by days end, we had blue skies, calm seas and 19 Walleye in the cooler.
All things considered, it was a darn good day of fishing. Even if the fishing was over shadowed by fantastic friendship, great food and good spirits!
Greg Clusiau Fishing Report (10/7) On The Iron Range, From Greg Clusiau; "Keep moving around in a pattern they call “mowing the grass”, which is basically just that. Picture yourself in a well-planned grass cutting task. You normally never cut over something that is already cut. Riding in a boat, looking at the gps, is very much the same plan of attack.
By watching your navigation track, you can cover a huge area to determine if it’s even worth fishing. I’ll do this by idling around an area before I even think of dropping a line. However, if fish are ... " >> Read Greg's Full Report .
Link to Nik Dimich Fishing Report (10/7) From the Lake Winnie Region, Nik Dimich muses about the arrival of October and says; "When October arrives - Remember in the movie “Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid” when Butch (Paul Newman) keeps asking the Sundance Kid (Robert Redford) about the posse that is relentlessly pursuing them, “Who are those guys anyhow?” If you do, you will surely understand how those of us who change personalities in the fall like the trees change color can also be considered “mystery people.”
Those of you who are familiar with or live with hunting and fishing people know what I am talking about. You probably have noticed for years that when October arrives something happens to those people who call themselves “outdoorsmen and women.” They change like a werewolf in the full moon. They are also easy to pick out of a crowd. How do I know this? I know because ..." Read >> Lake Winnie Region Fishing Report .
Fishing Report Icon On Leech Lake (10/7) - For fishermen who learn to pick their days, rocks are the place to find Walleye. In classic Leech Lake fashion, breezy weather encourages a feeding session that usually results in good fishing for Walleyes, but on calm days, her fickle fish aren't as generous.
Purveyor of the Royal Guide Service, Roy Girtz has been fishing on Leech Lake a lot recently. Roy has been finding Walleye in good numbers an catchintg fish of quality size as well.
Jig and minnow presentations in 6 to 10 feet of water on rocky points and rocky stretches of shoreline are working best. Picking the best fishing area is a simple matter of finding the areas where wind is working into the rocks.
As an example; During a Southeast wind, fishing on the West side of Portage Bay, let's say somewhere in the Two Points neighborhood would be a good idea. But if the wind switched to the Northwest, then you'd be better off moving East across the bay and fishing on Five Mile, Sugar or Battle Points. You get the idea, find a stretch of water where the wind agitates the structure and you're likely to find active Walleye.
Fishing Report Icon Fishing on Lake Winnibigoshish has been giving anglers a few headaches this fall. Walleyes are plentiful in the lake, actually more than plentiful, the current population is near the all time high. For some reason though, the fish are acting quite fickle and difficult to coax in to the boat.
A note from a reader provided a tidbit that might help you swim a few extra fish into your landing net. Walleyes have been located deeper than usual this fall and he has been having good luck by fishing in water depths of 16 to 18 feet. When conditions are breezy, he added that the fish move shallower, into 12 to 14 feet of water.
The water clarity on Lake Winnie has changed, become clearer than it used to be. The weeds grow deeper now and it takes more perfect conditions to produce a "hot bite". Add to that the abundance of forage in the lake right now and it's not hard to imagine that many of us might just need to break some of our old habits.
If I was in a situation right now where I had to spend my fishing time on Winnie and only Winnie. I would coach myself to act as if I was a complete newcomer to the lake. I'd forget about fishing at spots just because they had been good in the past. Instead, I'd be looking at the screen of my Humminbird and insist on seeing fish before I dropped a line in the water. I would explore new ideas and be creative, trying to be the first one to discover a unique pattern.

Fishing Guide MN Fishing Report October 6, 2013 Jeff Sundin - Wintery Weather Forces Surface Temperatures Into The Pre-Turnover Period - Low overnight air temperatures combined with an all night -- all day -- all night ... soaking rain have combined to force surface water temperatures in the "pre-turnover" range.
On Saturday, we found surface temperatures ranging from a high of 59 degrees, down to a low of 56.5 degrees, recorded in First River, located between Cutfoot Sioux and Little Cutfoot. Ideally, the the water temperature would linger in this neighborhood for a while, before moving us into the next phase of fall fishing, the turnover.
For I and my crew, Saturday's blustery weather was old news. In fact, when we fished together last year, the air temperature was 15 degrees colder and the precipitation that fell was White in color. So, even if we had to work our way through the whitecaps, bagging some nice Walleyes was well worth the effort.
I was doing my best to stay out of the heaviest water, searching for fish along calmer shoreline areas, weed patches and points. Scrounging for fish meant that the job took a while, but having to be persistent in order to win the game is also something that I'm used to.
There were some fish along the deeper outside edges of the weeds in 10 to 12 feet of water. Other small packs of fish were holding on small points and there were fewer, but some holding deeper on the breaklines if 14 to 16 feet.
When fishing the weed edges, it's easier for me to keep everyone in proper position by drifting, so I used the Drift Control Sock to help slow the boat. When I found fish on the small points though, drifting made us move past the fish too fast. So instead of wasting time drifting on these spots, I back-trolled with the MinnKota to help keep us over the fish longer.
As long as you can keep your boat speed under 1.0 MPH and maintain position over the target, you can take your pick, do it either way. But once the water gets colder, boat speed is going to become increasingly important. So get in the habit of paying close attention to boat speed. If you want to be the most efficient angler on your lake, make sure you have a good drift sock, fully charged trolling motor batteries and an anchor that you hold your boat in place. There will be a time and place this fall, when each of these methods performs better than another and the fisherman who knows how and when to use them will win the game more often than not.
Finally, working on each small pack of fish as they came along, we gradually added to the larder until we had enough fish for an evening meal and some nice fillets to send home with the boys.
Last week, there was a question about fishing the fall turnover and since it's timely, I'm re-posting it. If you already read it, sorry. But it could be helpful for folks who hadn't visited the page for a while.
Fishing Report Icon Crappie Fishing Patterns vary from lake to lake right now. Over the past few days, we've caught some in 15 feet of water. Some of them have been in 24 feet of water and on Friday, my most recent experience, we found them suspended at 28 feet, located over a deep point in 36 feet of water.
If you're fishing a productive Crappie lake that has a deep water basin, don't be afraid to take Justin John's approach and Go Deep! If you're fishing shallower water, where Crappies are prone to spread out horizontally, then hug the breakline adjacent to the deepest water that the lake has to offer. If you do not find them on your electronics, then Crappies in your lake may well lingering on the shallower flats, even in the weeds.
Perch Fishing continues to improve as the water temperatures drop. Young of the year forage fish are slowly being forced out of shallow water sanctuaries and moving toward deeper water where the cover and water temperaures are more suitable.
On Friday, we found small packs of fish located on weedy flats in 5 to 7 feet of water. It takes a while to find them, you just need to keep poking around, moving slowly through the weeds with a jig and minnow until you contact a school of fish.
On Friday, conditions were ideal for the fish, cloudy, breezy and they were active. Some of them showed a preference for live bait. But we had several moments of greatness with artificial baits as well. I will expand on that tomorrow, but I just ran up agaist the clock and need to get rolling toward a windy, wet, hunker down fishing day. By the way,
Fishing Question From Reader(10/2) About the Fall Turnover - Here's a question from John Donicht; "You talked about the water turning over. As a trust worthy guy that fishes practically every day, I would like your opinion.
Is there like a two week lull in the walleye action until the water stabilizes? I usually always fish winnie and I'm curious about the effect it has on this lake. Are we close to the turnover yet?
A) Based on the calendar from past years, I would ordinarily be mentioning the turnover in my daily reports by now. This year is different though, surface water temperatures are still holding in the low 60 degree range. In fact, the coldest temperature I've recorded so far was 60.8 degrees on Monday morning in Boy Bay, on Leech Lake. Yes, the lake you mentioned, Lake Winnibigoshish does typically turn over in the fall.
What forces the turnover to happen is that surface water temperature becomes colder than the water temperature at the lakes thermocline, a layer of water that forms a barrier between warmer surface water and colder water, deeper in the lake.
It's important to remember that the water's exact temperature, at the precise moment that a lake turns over is not set in stone. Further, not all lakes undergo a turnover; Some lakes do not stratify at all during summer and there is no hard thermocline. Two examples would be Deep water, spring fed lakes and large, shallow water lakes that are subject to churning during heavy winds. Name names? Okay, Walker Bay of Leech Lake and Upper Red Lake.
On the lakes that do turn over, what gets my attention is when I read surface water temperatures somewhere around 56 degrees. That is often the temperature reading I see just before the lake(s) turn over and when the fall Walleye bite hits it's peak.
For me, the time to sound the Red Alert is at the moment when the Walleye fishing gets so good that you can't believe it. The day that you can't seem to do anything wrong and the fish are biting everywhere. Somehow, those fish just have a sixth sense, they Just Know!
After the turnover, the action does taper off for a while. But it's not because the fish aren't biting, it's because they scatter and become more difficult to pin down. Still, it's awful hard for most folks to plan their fishing trips so they can arrive before the turnover. If you happen to wind up on the wrong lake at the wrong time, it's not the end of the world.
With renewed Oxygen levels in deeper water, many of these fish will move out over open water and suspend. For them, the pattern is more like what you'd expect during the ice fishing season. Walleye feeding occurring only a couple of times each day as they move into shallower water to feed during the twilight hours.
Other schools of fish will find remaining patches of healthy Green weeds where Oxygen and cover allow them daytime sanctuary. These fish are typically catchable during the daytime.
Once I'm convinced that any given lake has turned over, I begin planning my days around being on the water until dark. We spend our daylight hours targeting panfish and spend some time looking for deep, suspended Walleyes that are near areas where I believe that they'll feed during the twilight. You'd be amazed at how many of my "Post Turnover" fishing trips that have been saved by one of my famous 11th Inning Rallies.
Finally, if you're mobile, you can usually find another lake in the area to fish. One that has not yet turned over yet, doesn't turn over at all or one that had already recovered from an earlier disruption. - Wanna Offer Your Two Cents Worth? Email Me .

Fishing Guide MN Fishing Report October 5, 2013 Jeff Sundin - What A Difference A Year Makes! - I really could have been tempted to moan and groan about this cold snap that's been thrust upon me. But as the Senior Executive and Founder of the Multi-Taskers Guild, I've chosen to take a more optimistic approach. Living through icy times is part of the routine in Deer River. When I'm tempted to complain, all I need to do is recall the conditions that were present late last winter and it makes this cold spell feel like a vacation in the Mediterranean.
Chris Andresen and Justin Johns were here last year at this same time too and it was a chilly time then as well. In fact, I think you should click here to see >> what our day looked like one year ago . Yes, you're right, that is snow on the trees!

Fishing Guide MN Fishing Report October 4, 2013 Jeff Sundin - Mixed Bag Fishing Suggestions For Cutfoot Sioux - On Thursday, Cutfoot Sioux showed signs of moving another click toward more traditional fall fishing patterns.
Surface temperatures are teetering on the edge of the 60 degree mark for the fist time this fall. Rainy, Grey weather will encourage the Mercury to dip below 60 any day, maybe even today. On Thursday, 60.9 degrees was a common reading around the lake.
On Thursday, I had something special in mind for my great friends Erling and Karen Hommedahl. They've had a couple of sessions where they had to put up with some mirror glass, sunshiny days. Knowing that we'd be enjoying good fishing conditions this year, I wanted to make a point of squeezing as much variety into the day as time (daylight) would allow.
Crappies were first up on the agenda and we found some, caught some, but I can't really say that they were on fire. The Crappies are still running behind schedule in terms of making their move into deeper water, but there are some schools of fish suspended over open water. We spotted some fish holding at 12 to 14 feet over 24 to 26 feet of water. For me, trying to catch these suspended fish is just too intricate. Most of my customers have an easier time catching fish that are holding around structure or fish that are located closer to the bottom. So I left these suspended Crappies behind for the experts to work on.
Instead I made a move into shallower water, but not shallow enough, not at first. My Humminbird revealed some small packs and scattered singles in 17 to 18 feet of water. The problem was that we actually caught some of them. It was enough action to keep us interested, but not enough so that we could call it a good bite. As it turned out, the fish were located even shallower, closer to 15 feet deep. Once I figured that out, we caught more fish and we caught them faster. Now the problem was that it was getting close to lunch time and I still had Perch fishing on the brain. So we settled for 18 Crappies instead of 20 and headed toward the weeds.
Perch action on Cutfoot is improving steadily. You will still need to do some poking around in the weeds to find them, but once you're on a school of fish, they will cooperate. Best water depths have ranged from 4 to 6 feet and the fish are in the weeds.
The best approach to finding them is to back troll. Drifting is okay if you can move S-L-O-W-L-Y, but don't expect to find quality Perch by sailing through the weeds. You will drift right on by them without ever knowing how close you were to winning the game.
To locate the larger fish, use a heavier jig than you'd expect. A 1/8 ounce or if it's breezy, 1/4 ounce Lindy Jig tipped with a medium to large Fathead. The heavier jig with allow you to fish vertically and that's important. In the heavy weeds, horizontal movement encourages snagging and it will drive you nuts. If you can remember to lift and drop the jig into the open pockets between weed patches, this stem will pay off.
Once we located a school of fish, I marked the spot and we sat as stationary as possible. Holding the jig motionless about a foot over the bottom is the key. The jumbos saw the baits and came over to get it. The action was steady and while there are plenty of small fish to weed through, there are also fish of very good size mixed in. We had lots of fish in the 10 inch range and a good number of 11 inchers. I don't think we hit any that crossed 12 inches on the ruler, but if we'd spent longer on the project, I'm certain that we would have.
On this day, conditions were calm and the fish showed a preference for live bait. But there are other options, click this link if you missed my comments last week about using the >> Whatsit Spins for Jumbo Perch in breezy conditions .
After lunch, we packed up the truck and rolled over to another mixed bag opportunity. This time, hoping to capture some Walleyes and maybe a couple of Smallmouth Bass for a picture. I'm not to sure that I can write a glorious report about that experience because the truth is, I just got lucky.
I thought that the Grey, drizzly and by now, breezy conditions might give us an advantage over the Walleyes. So I singled out one spot, a shallow rock spine that topped out at 6 feet of water. We used 1/16 ounce jigs tipped with Chubs and made our first pass, slip drifting down the bar. The fish just happened to be there and they were fairly aggressive. We chipped away 'em until there were 8 in the cooler, releasing some larger ones and a few bonus smallies that busted into the party.
All tolled for the day; 18 Crappies, 30 Perch and 8 Walleyes. OH! and an above average shore lunch with fantastic company. Not bad work if you can get it!
By the way, after I dropped my friends off at the resort, I stumbled into another buddy who mentioned something about wishing that the water would drop below 60 degrees. Hmm... be careful what you wish for because the water is going to get cold, plenty cold and plenty soon enough for me. In fact, it's gonna be below 60 degrees for a good long time. And ... just to remind you, be sure to look at the picture that I'm going to put on the report tomorrow morning.

Fishing Guide MN Fishing Report October 3, 2013 Jeff Sundin - Crappie Patterns Moving Deeper, Slightly - On Wednesday, I had a chance to fish with Dale Schroeder, who's turned out to be a really good fishing pal for me. He likes to fish for Crappies and and I was born to chase Crappies, so after our Walleye fishing was finished, we set our sights on small water.
I started rattling off names of prospective lakes, adding my two cents worth about each of them. After each comment, Dale nodded politely, waiting for me to decide where we would be going. Then I said OH! I can't believe that I didn't think of this sooner and mentioned Lake Wishiknew. Dale responded immediately; "Let's go there!". So we did.
At the landing, we found an Algae bloom that reminded me more of late summer than the second day of October. The Surface Temperature was 63.5 degrees and in shallow water, there were still weeds standing right up to the surface. The tops of Cabbage weeds were poking their heads out of the water, showing no sign of weakening.
Typical fall locations didn't appear to be filled with fish, not so far. I scanned water depths of 20 to 30 feet, but the Humminbird revealed little sign of game fish in these depths. Heading for the shoreline, I began to spot scattered pairs and small groups of fish in the 17 to 19 foot range. We tested them out and they were Crappies. But after catching a couple, maybe 3 of them, it was clear that succeeding by working on these scattered fish was going to take a long time.
Next step, I dropped in the MinnKota and started slowly back trolling, straddling the breakline from 17 to 18 feet. This would help kill birds with one stone, if I spotted a school of fish, I could drop a marker and stop to fish them. If I didn't, we could chip away the scattered fish, picking off the active ones as we cruised by.
Luckily, I stumbled across a school of fish. They were congregated, stacked up vertically, in typical fall Crappie form. I dropped in a marker, then we dropped in our jigs and then the Crappies started gracing us with their presence.
After a short time, I discovered why. There was a stick or branch laying on the bottom and the fish were gathered around it. We worked on that school of fish until about 6:00 PM, when the bite fizzled out. That was a good time for us to bail out, so I don't know if I would have found more fish or not. But, one thing that I DO KNOW, the best is still to come!

Fishing Guide MN Fishing Report October 2, 2013 Jeff Sundin - Walleye Jigging Patterns Solid - If you've got your sights set on the Itasca area this weekend, don't be discouraged by the weather forecasts. I Know, from here, it looks gloomy and Grey. But be ready, there are good times a comin' !
As of Tuesday, surface temperatures remain above 60 degrees on all of the lakes I've fished. In fact, the temperature was 63 degrees when we left the lake yesterday evening.
Did you ever wish that someone would give you a heads up when a really good opportunity was staring you in the face? Well, I want you to do me a favor, please?
Right now, conditions are ideal for Walleye fishing. Shallow water, Jig and Minnow patterns are reliable, surface temperatures are perfect and the Walleye are feeding aggressively. YES! Right now. You should feel confident that once you find them, the fish will bite. So for the next week or so, I think you should take advantage of every opportunity to get onto the lake. Use every excuse, call in sick, get a flat tire, win the lotto, whatever! Just get out here! Then, be persistent and don't give up until you find 'em, because if you do, you will be rewarded handsomely for the effort!
Currently, the most reliable presentation for me has been fishing in 7 to 12 feet of water using a 1/8 ounce Lindy Jig tipped with 3 to 4 inch Chubs. Weed edges are still good provided that there are healthy, Green weeds present. We've noticed that areas where weeds have become soft and brown are being evacuated by Walleyes. Cabbage weeds remain healthy, but Wild Celery and Northern Milfoil patches are losing ground fast.

Fishing Guide MN Fishing Report October 1, 2013 Jeff Sundin - Classic Leech Lake Walleye Pattern - Try to think of the famous Neil Diamond song and then replace his opening line of lyrics with this instead; Stuck on the rocks? Ain't no big surprise, happens a lot, when you're fishing Walleyes ... Especially on Leech Lake and especially in the fall when the Walleye love to roam on the rocky points of this great lake.
On Monday, Leech Lake reminded me of the first time that I ever fished there. It was 26 years ago, almost to the day and the conditions now, were a mirror image of that first experience, Love On The Rocks! It was a picture perfect reminder of the lake's fickle personality; One minute loving you and one minute later, bringing you to your knees. But Lucky for me, this one keeps coming back and loving again!
In late September of 1987, I was guiding along with a bunch of guides and fishing personalities for the crew from In-Fisherman, at their event that they called "The Camp Fish Celebrity Jamboree". We had spent the first day on Cutfoot Sioux and Lake Winnie and it was typical of any fishing group, some had better luck than others, but everyone had a good day.
After dinner that evening, a discussion about what we'd do the next morning would take us in the direction of hoping to find a "Fresh Bite". Leech Lake was mentioned because one of the guides had reported having a good day over there. The conditions promised to be good for Saturday morning and so a group of us decided that we might as well go try it. So that was it, I'd head to Leech Lake for the first time ever, under combat conditions, with a crew of Wide Eyed Fishermen who were waiting to be wowed by my skills as a fishing guide.
I cannot believe how lucky I was that morning, I honestly can't believe it. Someone had mentioned "Ginsers Rock" and I liked that name, it had a ring to it. So across a choppy surface, I headed over there, looked at my flasher and saw some red bands on the dial. Like it was yesterday, I remember saying; "This looks like a good spot". We dropped our jigs into the water, started drifting and WHAM! The Walleye were biting.
We caught 22 Walleyes that morning and after that trip I was so in love with Leech Lake that I could hardly wait to get back over there. Who wouldn't? A lake full of Walleyes and they were so hungry that all you had to do ... was get over there, find the surface flat calm and get your butt kicked right up a tree! Yes, my next trip over there was a disaster. If I remember correctly, we may have boated two fish for the whole day.
Fast forward >> September 30, 2013. Fishing on a "ride share trip", with two long time friends, Bruce Champion and Ellie Bullington. They've both known me almost since the beginning, but until yesterday, had never met each other.
We arrived at the lake and found the surface covered with whitecaps. Choppy, but not unmanageable. I could by the look on Ellie's face that she had some doubts about the rough looking water, but I was excited and I said so. If there's anything I learned during those 26 years, it's that fall fishing on Leech Lake is always best when there's a stiff wind. As long as you can control the boat, the fish will usually cooperate.
I must have felt like reminiscing a little bit, because I decided to make my first stop at Ginsers Rock. A move that didn't work out as well as it did in '87, but we picked up a few fish and got the morning off to a start. During a series of moves from point to point kept taking us to another two or three fish at each spot. We weren't hitting the mother lode, but we were chipping away. Then I got lucky and stumbled into the magic spot. The fish were on the rocks in 8 feet of water and they were biting. Soon we had 6 fish in the cooler, then 7, 8, 9 just a couple of more passes and then we'd be able to ... watch the lake go flat calm and see the fish swim away, leaving us alone, with tears in our eyes.
For a couple of hours, the lake went flat as pancake and it was a struggle. We did get a few, a couple of slot fish and a couple of small ones, but it was the quintessential Leech Lake, flat water slow down.
I really didn't know if I was being smart or stubborn. But it just felt like the breeze was gonna come back. If I could just live through the slow time and keep my crew entertained, we'd get a second wind and wrap up with a winning record for the day.
Luckily, It Did, We Did and we're all gonna live happily ever after. Especially Ellie, who took especially good advantage of that second wind!
Fishing Question From Reader(10/1) Here's a question from Josh Fjeld; Hey Jeff, I was at a local bait shop and got some minnows the other day. I asked about Winni and he said they are starting to stage. What does he mean by stage?
A) Well Josh, that's one of those terms that could lead into slippery territory. The term staging could have different meanings for different people. But here's my opinion about what he meant.
Every season presents fish with different challenges. As the habitat changes seasonally, feeding opportunities appear and disappear in a variety of locations. At most times, it's the feeding opportunity that encourages fish to move into new territory. The problem is that they don't all make these moves at the same time or at the same pace.
Take right now for example; If you examine any lake on an area by area basis, you'll notice a variety of conditions. Seasonal changes, all occuring at the same time, on the same body of water, but at varrying rates of speed.
The water is cooling, but it's not cold enough to force a turnover yet. Weeds are dying, but they're not all dead yet. Insect hatches are fizzling out, but haven't disappeard altogether. In other words, the fish have multiple choices about where to hide, where to feed and when to do it. That's a lot of varryables.
During this time, the fish are moving, many of them toward common locations. But until the weather forces them to make a massive move, any given fishermen could still find some fish in deep water, some fish in the shallows and still others spread out accross the flats. Put another way; Some fish are still where they were. Some fish are already where they were heading. But most of the fish are still somewhere in between, moving along the path toward the next best feeding opportunity, but at their own pace.
Once a large school of fish assembles, it will lead to the next "hot bite". In the mean time, you could say that the fish are "staging". Wanna Offer Your Two Cents Worth? Email Me .


Buster Brown
Buster Brown July 3, 2000 to October 24, 2013 "Happy Hunting Brownie Boy."

Buster Brown On Rainy Lake
Buster age 1, Annalee age 9, Rainy Lake.

Lakemaster Contour Elite Sample
NO! You don't get the GPS coordinate, but YES you will get the idea. In fact, maybe you'll recognize it. You may have even already been there. A number of people have.
Click here for a 3D version of the point where Matt Nistler caught his Walleyes on Saturday. Click here to learn more about Lakemaster Contour Elite .

Lund Alaskan Snowy Inside
A tap on the shoulder, a reminder that winter is bearing down on the Northland. My Alaskan and all of of the tools were ready to go. But Sunday's snow fall forced the cancellation of the Lucky 13 Fisharoo.

Crappies cooking for lunch
Chad Haatvedt and Matt Nistler thought Crappies for lunch was a good idea. But afterward, Matt decided it was time to get serious.

Crappies caught by Chad Haatvedt and Matt
Crappies turn up in some of the oddest places, don't they? This lake is just full of little surprises. We weren't excpecting to stumble into this school of fish, but we did so we'll take it!

Matt holding Walleye
In clear water, going deep can produce excellent results.
Fishing in 38 feet of water, using 1/4 ounce Green/Orange Lindy jig tipped with a shiner, Matt Nistler uised his time wisely.

Shore Lunch at Cutfoot Sioux
On a cold day, there's something extra special about a warm bite to eat and the crackle of a little fire.

Walleye caught by John Puddicombe
John Puddicombe got the touch and hepled put 'em in the boat and according to Marj, not a minute too soon either!

Jeff Anderes shows Musky caught on Deer Lake
The gigantic Creek Chubs we were using got the attention of critters with even more teeth than Walleyes. (Above) Jeff Anderes slipped his bait to the Musky hole by mistake and wound up watching this one crash accross the water. (Below) Chuck Walior added this 32 inch Pike to his highlight reel for the day.
Chuck Walior with Northern Pike

ThermaCell Heated Insoles
My feet have never felt better in cold weather than they do now. Working outside in the snow, ThermaCell's heated insoles kept on going, even after sitting in the box all summer long.

Jeff Sundin with Walleye
And this is what was supposed to happen Fish sees minnow, fish eats minnow, fisherman catches fish. Sometimes the fish need to step up and to do their part too!

Scott Hall KAXE Radio showing nice Walleye
KAXE Radio Morning Show hosts, Scott Hall (above) and Chad Haatvedt (below) . Walleye were fickle, but no match for this pair of good friends. Fishing the weedline breaks in 10 to 14 feet of water produced several "above average fish".
Chad Haatvedt KAXE Radio holding Walleye

Crappie Fishing Guide Jeff Sundin holding nice Crappie
The Crappies were acting fickle too! But there are certain rewards for being persistent. A 1/8 ounce Lindy Jig tipped with a small Shiner, helped lure this slab off the bottom.

Walleye Fishing Guide Jeff Sundin
Pre-Turnover Walleye fishing could last for a few more days or a few more hours. The question is; Are YOU feeling Lucky? I Know That Am!

Pokegama Lake Walleye caught by Bob Carlson
There were moments of greatness to hang our hats on. Mr. C, bagged his usual, biggest Walleye of the trip. Lindy Rigging with Creek Chubs in 36 feet of water fooled this Pokegama Lake Walleye into thinking it was lunch time.

Pokegama Lake Smallmouth Bass caught by Mike Carlson
When you're fishing on Pokegama, Smallmouth bass are always in the area. Sometimes, romance ensues.

Crappie caught by Bob Carlson
Crappie expert, Bob Carlson, shows the reward for being persistent. The fish were found in small schools that were hugging the bottom in 25 feet of water. This one was fooled by a 3/16 ounce Rattlin' Flyer.

Gail Heig holding 26 inch Walleye
A resort owners dream, a free day to go out on the lake and fish. Gail Heig of Lake Winnie's Bowen Lodge , shows off a hefty 26 inch Walleye that she caught on a jig and minnow.

Phil Goettl displays Walleye
Quality Walleye are on the move. Ideal "pre-turnover" water temperatures are encouraging feeding, even during bright conditions. Phil Goettl shows off a nice walleye caught on an 1/8 ounce Lindy Jig and Rainbow combination.

Ed Goettl showing nice Walleye
Choking back a smile that might reveal why he's so happy. Ed Goettl shows off a $20 dollar Walleye that he caught on the rocks in 10 feet of water.

Crappie caught by Phil Goettl
Crappies were suspended 6 feet off of the bottom in 32 feet of water. The schools of fish are getting easier to locate now and when you find one, there are larger numbers of fish in each school.

Walleye caught by Brian Shields on Sand Lake
Brian Shields shows off a Walleye that he lured away from the rocks using an 1/8 Lindy Jig and Minnow combination. When fishing in water depths of 6 to 10 feet on rocky points, more wind = more fish!

Roy Girtz with Leech Lake Walleye
Photo courtesy Royal Guide Servie: Roy Girtz has been popping jigs and minnows on on Leech Lake's shallow rocks and coming up with highlight reels of his own .

Crappies caught by Tim Higgins and Brian Shields
With surface temperatures heading down, Crappies are heading out. These fish taken by Tim Higgins and Brian Shields were suspended 6 feet above the bottome in 32 feet of water.

Sand Lake
I already know what I think, What would you have called it?

Leech Lake Walleye
Photo courtesy Roy Girtz: On Leech Lake, wind is good for Roy. Jig and minnow presentations in 6 to 10 feet of water on rocky points and rocky stretches of shoreline are working best.

Walleye caught by Chris Andresen on Bowstring Lake
There are certain rewards for putting up with the windy, wintery conditions. Chris Andresen shows off one of his better efforts. Caught on a 1/8 ounce jig and minnow on the weedline in 10 feet of water.

Walleye caught by Justin Johns
Surface water temps in the 58 to 59 degree range and "Pre-Turnover" fishing conditions encourage Walleyes to go on a feeding binge. Sneaking up on them with a 1/16 ounce jig and a fat chub, Justin Johns sets the bar for the weekend.

Crappie Caught by Justin on Bowstring Lake
Crappies were suspended at 28 feet, over 36 of water. They were doing their best to avoid us, but Justin loves going deep and had the magic touch for finding just the right spot.

Walleye caught by Erling Hommedahl
A shallow rock spine that topped out at 6 feet of water. We used 1/16 ounce jigs tipped with 3 to 3-1/2 Chubs and presented the baits by "slip drifting" down the bar.

Smallmouth Bass Caught by Karen Hommedahl
Smallmouth Bass occasionally busted into the party too. This one brought a friend, but he was camera shy.

Crappies are moving deeper, but with warn water temperatures, expect them to be lagging behind schedule. Scattered pairs and small groups of fish in the 17 to 19 foot range are common. Brush, branches or rocks are home to larger concentrations.

Marty Glackin Showing Walleye
On a cross country, "Bucket List" tour from Nevada to Michigan, Marty Glackin decided to spend a day with me. Lucky for both of us!

Marty Glackin Shore Lunch on the beach
How could any "Bucket List" fishing trip be complete without having something to eat? Maybe you should try it?

Ellie Bullington Holding Leech Lake Walleye
Ellie Bullington, taking particularly good advantage of the 2nd wind, became another name added to list of folks who have gotten their "Biggest Ever Walleye" while fishing on Leech Lake.

Fishing Guide Jeff Sundin Lands Leech Lake Walleye
Steady, Take It Easy, Savor The Moment!

Bruce Champion holding Walleye on Leech Lake
Bruce Champion with another Leech Lake special. Jig and minnow combinations fished in 8 to 10 feet of water produced magnums like this, still providing us with a limit of eaters.

Walleyes caught by Matt and Andrew Higgins
Andrew (left) and his dad Matt Higgins had the Slip-Drift-Backtroll system dialed in and used it to cash in a great day of Walleye fishing.

Tim and Matt Higgins showing off fish
OH! Let's not leave out my long time friend Tim Higgins (left) who used a collectors item to catch a pile of fish himself! It's amazing what a little brotherly love can do for a fishing trip!

Smallmouth Bass caught on Pokegama by Bob Carlson
A few rain drops may have dampened his shoes, but not his spirit! Bob Carlson with one of lake Pokegama's specialties. Smallmouth Bass caught on Lindy Rig tipped with large Creek Chub.
(Mr. C allowed me a quick pic of the fish. He wanted to get it back into the water before getting it too wet.)

Pokegama Lake Walleye
Photo Oct. 13, 2012: The quintessential "Mister C". Big Walleye, Big Smile and his collectable, Red Little Kid Going To Kindergarten Jacket! As you can see, the pursuit of Mr. Big, went more smoothly last fall than it did this season.

Northern Pike caught by Grant Prokop
Photos courtesy Grant Prokop: After high winds and storms forced the pair of Musky Warriors to abandon Leech Lake, Grant wound up taking his guest to fish right underneath the Eye-Full Towers.
Prokop said; "The Musky follows were lazy, even the one that they landed. All of the action was during the last two hours of daylight". The 39-1/2 inch Pike was an unexpected bonus.
Musky caught on Deer Lake

Perch Caught on Custfoot Sioux by Kyle and Karen Reynolds
For Kyle and Karen Reynolds, bring home a basket of Perch for the family fish fry is High Priority! The lion's share of the fish were caught using a 1/8 Orange/Green Lindy Jig tipped with a small fathead.

Perch Fishing Guide Jeff Sundin showing a nice Perch
Quality over action is my style and with both arms tied up, skipping the live bait is essential. This 3/16 ounce Whatsit Spin allowed me to capture larger fish like this 12 incher, the biggest of the day.

Bag limit of Perch caught by Kyle and Karen Reynolds
And now, Kyle gets to watch me clean 'em. No worries, done in a flash using my absolute favorite, the Cutco Fillet Knife!

Smallmouth Bass Fishing Guide Jeff Sundin Showing Nice Fish
Warm, sunny afternoons turn on fall Smallmouth and for some strange reason, fall Smallmouth seem to turn me on too! An 1/8 ounce Lindy Jig pinned into the nose of a 2-1/2 inch Money Minnow helped turn both of us on!

Karen Reynolds with Crappie
Crappies on the brain! Fishing the breakline in 9 to 12 feet of water. Karen Reynolds used a 1/16 ounce Fuzz-E-Grub tipped with a medium Crappie minnow to sort out a limit of "keepers".

Paul Kautza netting a Walleye for Dick Williams
Whitecaps rolling, Walleyes rocking, I'm on the other line, so don't bother knocking!

For more tips on holding your boat in position, click here to watch this Drift Control video.

Walleye caught by Dick Williams
Walleye action was hot for the Grand Finale of "Fun With Dick and Paul". It was a good day to be Dick Williams, who was definitely on a roll.

Paul Kautza showing off a nice Walleye
Paul Kautza was holding his own too. Using 1/16 ounce jig and minnow combinations in shallow water, he CPR'd plenty of "slot-fish" and still captured enough for the fish fry.

Paul Kautza and Dick Williams with a pair of Largemouth Bass
Third time is a charm. We had to do some moving and shking on Sunday, but eventually We Won! 6 inch YumDingers, Texas Rigged on a mixed weed/rock point in 21 feet of water.

Crappie Guide Jeff Sundin With Nice Crappie
Crappies change their feeding preferences often, so experiment with artificial baits. Lindy's Whatsit Spin offers extra flash that can often attract and trigger fish to strike.

Image of Humminbird showing shallow water inside turn.
Walleyes were tucked into corners like this one. Shallow water weed edges in the 10 to 12 foot range were best. Follow my plotter trail and notice that I made a couple of passes out to the point, but always came back to the inside turn.

Walleye caught on Cutfoot Sioux
Grey skies and soupy weather helped fire up the shallow water rock bite for Walleyes on Wednesday. 1/8 ounce jig and minnow combinations fished over the rocks in 6 to 7 feet of water produced consistent results.

Walleye caught by Joel at Cutfoot Sioux Inn
Walleyes like this have a way of putting a smile on your face. Even while battling a case of the creeping crud!

Walleyes Caught by the Luscious Sisters on Cutfoot Sioux
The Walleyes didn't stand a chance during the 2013 "Luscious Sisters Bust Out". With a strong breeze, fishing on the rocks provided easy opportunities to catch fish on 1/8 Lindy Jigs tipped with minnows.

Walleye caught by Bob Carlson on Leech Lake
A bright Green 1/8 ounce Lindy Jig tipped with a nice big fathead produced plenty of fish for Bob Carlson. Key depths are ranging from 6 to 12 feet depending on the lake. For us, a mixture of weeds and rocks in 8 to 9 feet of water was the magic combination.

Pike caught on Bowstring Lake by Jeff Wilkening
Photo courtesy Nik Dimich: Jeff Wilkening of West Chicago, Illinois proudly displays an early fall, shallow water 30” northern pike that twice went “airborne.”

Joe Stevens with Walleye in hand.
Joe Stevens shows off his handy work. A solid "slot-fish" that he caught in 8 feet of water, using a 1/8 ounce yellow/lime Lindy Jig, tipped with a large fathead. Visit Joe at

Bill Linder holding Walleye
Special Guest, Bill Linder did the same thing and got the same results. Jig and minnow fishing is officially tested and approved as the fall Walleye season is starting to kick in.

Walleye Fishing Guide Jeff Sundin with Walleye in hand
Even Merele Whatshisname figured out how to bag a Walleye. Amazing!

Musky Caught by Mark Friedan on Lake Winnibigoshish
Photo Courtesy Bowen Lodge: Mark Friedan shows off his 54 inch musky caught while fishing on Lake Winnie last week.

Largemouth Bass caught on Big Sand Lake by Larry Lashley
In the Park Rapids area, Big Sand Lake's clear water and deep deep grass line issued more than a few surprises. This hefty Largemouth snatched a Lindy Rigged Redtail in 32 feet of water.

Crappie caught on Big Sand Lake by Larry Lashley
When the deep water grind gave way to the urge for action, Trolling Lindy Spinners on the weedline produced lots of it. Who was more surprised, the Crappies? or Us Guys?

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