Minnesota Fishing Reports
Anglers are finding fish in relatively shallow water compared to areas where they were being targeted earlier this season. Either fish have become happier in shallower water recently, or else anglers are just now finding fish that were overlooked earlier because the deep-water bite was getting all the attention.
There are a few theories, but it could be in part, that water clarity is beginning to decline. Water conditions are still clearer than they were in 2020, but as water temperatures have risen into the mid-70s, algae blooms have developed and that has added some color to the water in Winnibigoshish.
Another theory is that some of these fish have moved onto the lake’s expansive flats, feeding on minnows as they retreat from the shorelines. It seems that now, every weed bed, every rock pile and every dip on the sand flats have large schools of ..." Read >> Lake Winnibigoshish Fishing Report June 11, 2021
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"Walleye fishing slowed way down as the record heat wave moved in. Anglers fishing during the day really struggled to find active walleyes. Early risers and night owls often reported a very different story. Both of these angler groups reported similar locations, techniques and times to be out for success.
Early risers often caught walleyes in 6 feet of water or less, using a slip bobber and a leech. Often times right off their docks or campsite, before 8am. Night owls also reported catching walleye shallow, in 6 feet of water or less, with slip bobber and a leech or search baits (paddle tails or minnow baits), but this time after 8pm.
Smallmouth bass are either building spawning beds, spawning or have wrapped spawning, depending on what lake your on. Regardless of where they are with the spawn, they are shallow and very easy to ..." Read >> Ely MN Fishing Report June 9, 2021
The best way to report about Upper Red Lake this morning is to say that it was “okay” yesterday and that I think it will be “more okay” when the weather settles back down.
Early Tuesday, during the wee hours of morning, there was a line of strong thunderstorms rolling through the north central Minnesota. Checking the weather forecast and seeing calm seas and sunshine in the forecast, I reasoned that my best bet was to head for Red Lake. Based on our good fishing experience up there last weekend, I guessed that even if the fishing was affected by the storms, we’d still be able to scrounge out some walleyes.
That was exactly how the day turned out, 4 people fishing, 4 limits caught, 12th fish dropped in to ..." Read >> Upper Red Lake Fishing Update June 9, 2021
Recapping the last few days boils down to this. When the clouds move in and the wind picks up, the fishing action is great! When the wind stops blowing and the sun beats down on the water, the fishing gets tricky.
I used the word “tricky” because fish can still be caught in the bright conditions but catching them take both creativity and determination. Knowing a lot of fishing spots doesn’t hurt either, moving frequently and picking off a fish or two at each stop is a good idea right now. One of my fishing guide buddies added to that thought yesterday.
In a discussion about Lake Winnie, he said; “When I see a school of fish on my graph, we stop, drop in our jigs and ..." Read >> Sundin Fishing Report June 8, 2021
"Walleyes were active on the south end of Lake of the Woods this week. Some warm weather hit the north country and the fish responded nicely. Jigging with a live fathead minnow or frozen shiner vertically jigged or drifting spinners with a minnow or crawler in 15 to 29 feet of water has been the ticket for most walleye anglers.
Snelled spinners or night crawler harnesses work well all summer and into the fall. These are also a really good way to cover water while searching for fish. They are also versatile as they can be fished shallow to deep. 1.0 to 1.25 mph is a good speed, as long as the spinner is spinning.
Reliable colors to start out with are hammered gold, either by itself or with another color, pink, glow red, orange and chartreuse. Are also all good colors in the stained waters. Trolling crankbaits is gaining steam with ..." Read >> Lake of the Woods Fishing Report June 8, 2021
"Lakes, like people, are individuals and one of Kabetogama’s "individualisms" can best be described by saying “she is an early riser”. For what it’s worth, there are many days when Kabetogama’s walleye like to nap during the daytime.
We always have preferred fishing during early morning and late evening, fishing customers and friends who read our reports frequently already know that. But this week we are doubling down on our appreciation for fishing during the twilight hours! The lake conditions have been sunny, calm and HOT, forcing daytime anglers to scrounge around more to capture fewer fish.
The best advice that our guides Kent and Kolby have offered is to keep moving and contacting “new fish”. There are times when anglers locate a school of fish, catch a few of them and then ..." Read >> Lake Kabetogama Fishing Report June 7, 2021
"The walleye fishing has been very good despite the hot calm conditions. The fish are starting to migrate toward the summer haunts, with most of the fish being caught deeper than 20 feet of water.
Jigs and shiners continue to be the bait of choice. Other minnows are doing well, too. Fatheads and small suckers are starting to do the job as the shiners become more scarce. Leeches and crawlers are starting to do the job on jigs, live bait rigs, and spinners. Some low level light conditions are seeing crankbaits catch ..." Read >> Lake Winnie Report June 7, 2021
"We’ve been working Little Traverse Bay all week with good results. Floating with jigs has been bringing in a lot of nice fish. Plain hammered gold and chartreuse with hammered gold has been working really well. We saw some blistering hot days this last week in the mid-90s, just a week after getting some freezing temps and snow.
The forecast for the coming week is mid-80s with chance of thunderstorms almost every day. If you plan on coming up, bring your rain gear just in case. Winds are supposed to be in the teens with possible gusts into the 20mph range.
Stay safe and hope to see everyone soon!" — 1-800-776-3474 Border View Lodge
Over the past few days, surface water temperatures have been shooting up into the high 70- degree-range. In fact, on Saturday, the water on Winnie, out front of our resort reached above 79 degrees, nearly passing 80 during the late afternoon. Algae blooms are increasing, water clarity is decreasing and thanks to that, fish are finding their way into shallower water.
The benefit to our guests is that walleye are becoming easier to catch during bright conditions without having to ..." Read >> Bowen Lodge Lake Winnie Report June 6, 2021
Mostly, I can do whatever I want whenever Fun with Dick and Paul is in session. Still, there are a couple of assumptions that I make before every fishing trip. One of them, maybe the most important, is that the boys do expect to bring home their limits of walleyes.
Gathering 6 walleyes each isn’t a lot to expect for a 5-day fishing trip, but it does tend to focus my attention on visiting at least 1 “walleye-or-die” fishing lake each season.
Upper Red Lake has provided a day like that more than once, and it did again yesterday (Friday 6-4). Typically, I would have already fished Red Lake a time or two, by this point in the season. This year I hadn’t though, cold, turbulent weather kept me away earlier this year and then my schedule shifted focus toward other lakes that were closer to home. If it weren’t for a heads up from a great friend, I may still not have ..." Read >> Upper Red Lake Fishing Report June 5, 2021
Day 2 of “Fun with Dick and Paul 2021”, took place right here in Grand Rapids. Like I said yesterday, cloud clover and a breeze gave me the only excuse for trying one of my neighborhood’s clear water lakes that I was going to get before the heat wave strikes. Near as I can tell, we were a little bit early for some fish, and a little bit late for other fish.
One of the primary intended goals was to fish for crappies, so that’s what we tried first. Although there was some dispute about crappie location at the bait shop, weed flats containing cabbage weeds would be our best bet, I thought. We made our first stop on a wide patch of cabbage and cast 1/16-ounce jigs tipped with action tails. There were some pike, some largemouth bass and a few perch in the weeds, but no crappies that we could find.
Maybe Andy was right, maybe there were crappies in the shallow spawning beds? We checked that theory out by stopping..." Read >> Grand Rapids Fishing Report June 4, 2021
"Fishing isolated bars surrounded by flat terrain with a soft bottom was the general rule for finding fish. Not all the bars held fish yet and the ones that did, hosted only a few fish each. But, if we kept moving and fishing, we had enough action to call it a good day.
As far as presentation was concerned, our Lindy Live Bait Jigs tipped with shiners worked fine. But I’ve gotten the heads up from 4 bait shops already that the shiner supply will be exhausted soon. So, to test the alternatives, we rigged up the Little Joes and took them for a spin along the weed edges. Pike responded to them, but on Wednesday, we did not pick up any walleye, perch, or crappie.
We’ll be using Lindy Rigs with leeches and night crawlers today and in my opinion, “rigging” will likely ..." Read >> Fishing Report June 3, 2021
I took the bait when Fritz Becker mentioned going for a mixed bag of fish on Tuesday. I had chosen a lake where we could catch almost anything from rock bass to walleye to largemouth to crappies to sunfish to pike.
The good news is that the fish, some of them at least, took the bait too, but not before giving me reason to doubt the decision.
When we arrived at the landing, surface temperature readings ranged from 64 to 65 degrees. Before we even broke idle speed, we spotted schools of sunfish, along with a handful of largemouth bass in the shallows. “We might as well start right here”, I said. “Why bother driving all over the lake when we can ..." Read >> North Central Minnesota Fishing Report June 2, 2021
"Walleye fishing has steadily improved as anglers work out what walleyes are doing on their favorite lake. More and more anglers reported excellent early morning fishing and even better evening fishing for walleyes.
Anglers have been finding walleyes shallow in 6 feet of water or less over gravel or rock. Leeches fished under a bobber or on a jig pitched shallow has been very effective.
Many cabin owners and resort goers also reported catching walleye right off the dock during the evening. Trolling minnow baits in 8-12 feet of water has also ..." Read >> Ely MN Fishing Report June 2, 2021
... "Warmer water, we hope, will lead to algae blooms which would encourage walleyes to move into shallower water. Weed patches, shoreline breaks, and shallow water rock structures came alive during 2020 when the lake’s algae blooms produced ideal conditions. In fact, last summer was like fishing Winnie back in the good old days when it was known for its 11 AM to 2:00 PM walleye bite. Everyone we know would love to see that happen again this summer!
There are a few of ways that folks could ..." Read >> Lake Winnie Fishing Report June 1, 2021
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Any boat with a rail system along the gunnel is ripe for Railblaza but they also have plugin mounts that allow flexibility to mix and match items like cell phones and cameras to be placed in the best places in the boat. Electronics can also be mounted and moved too.
"There was some excellent walleye fishing on the south end of Lake of the Woods this week. Guides, like Houston from Sportman's Lodge, who you see pictured here, did a nice job of being versatile on days when the wind really blew!
Jigging with a live fathead minnow or frozen shiner vertically jigged in 14 to 29 feet of water has been the ticket for most walleye anglers. Never discount trolling though, there were some good reports that trolling crankbaits achieved very good results. Trolling is a great way to cover water where walleyes are living.
Some popular crankbait colors to start with are ..." Read >> Lake of the Woods Fishing Report June 1, 2021
From an angler’s perspective, the weather pattern going into Memorial Day Weekend improved. Warmer temperatures, a broken sky and breezier conditions encouraged walleye movement on a variety of north central Minnesota lakes. So, if you find fish today, there is a good chance that they will bite; that is the good news.
The shallow water breaklines on many of the regions better walleye lakes now host fewer schools of minnows. Shiners on many lakes, have already completed their spawning runs and moved away from shore. At the same time, insect hatches are beginning on many of those same lakes and the tandem combination of less food shallow, and more food deep have triggered walleye migrations away from the shorelines.
Walleyes migrating away from shore ..." Read >> Sundin Walleye Report May 30, 2021
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"Fishing has remained in a sort of holding pattern. The cold weather this week has kept the fish in the same areas as last week. Shoreline breaklines continue to hold the majority of the fish on Lake Winnie.
Walleye fishing remains steady although yesterday morning when it was 29 degrees did have an adverse affect on the walleye bite. But as the day wore on a fairly reliable bite took over. Jigs and shiner minnows remains the ..." Read More >> Lake Winnie Fishing Reports
"The weather pattern on Kabetogama this week has been interesting to say the least. First, sunburned to the point of being painful to get dressed, then temperatures plummeting into the mid-30s. Oh and let’s not forget the 180-degree reversal of the wind that blew hard from the southwest on Tuesday, before the 45-degree temperature drop turned it into a nor’easter for Wednesday.
When Kent pushed away from the Dock that morning, it was 42 degrees with a 20 to 25 MPH wind out of the north and snowing sideways. Kent said “My fingertips were still numb a day later. Luckily, my Simms ice gear was the ticket for keeping the rest of my body toasty warm and dry.”
Prior to the temperature crash, Kent and Kolby were both producing limits of walleye that ..." Read >> Kabetogama Fishing Report May 28, 2021
"Admittedly, Leech Lake was a lot more fun on Tuesday, before the cold front blew in. But even after an overnight drop in air temperature of 30 degrees or more, walleyes were still “catchable” along the shallow weed line and rock piles in Leech Lake’s Portage Bay and that should tell you something.
I’ve written before about how to judge whether or not the walleye bite is either “good” or “bad” on Leech. I think that when anglers can still catch walleyes when conditions are tough, that it is a signal that overall, there’s an underlying, strong walleye bite going on.
So, Wednesday, a post-cold front day, featuring a 6-degree surface temperature drop and a 180-degree wind reversal provided a good test of the theory. Friends coming back to the landing with walleyes in their live wells was an indication to ..." Read >> Leech Lake Fishing Report May 27, 2021
"After a weeklong warm up, a slightly cold, cold front interrupted progress toward early summer walleye patterns on Sunday. Walleyes that had already moved onto deep water structure stayed where they were, but there was not much change in numbers. According to incoming reports, small, scattered packs of larger, mostly female fish were all that could be turned up out there.
Surface water temperatures rebounded nicely afterward, hitting the 65-degree mark on Monday. Walleyes resumed their migration, in fact picked up their pace, we believe. By late in the day, larger schools of smaller male fish started showing up on some of the prominent bars and deep-water points. This is good news, because these migrating fish have been found in water depths of 15 to 22 feet.
Until now, many have relied on the most popular destinations for walleye action, the steep, shoreline breaks adjacent to ..." Read >> Cutfoot Sioux, Lake Winnibigoshish Fishing Report May 27, 2021
Anglers catching bigger walleyes have been finding them in shallow water, 8 feet or less. Anglers are having success catching them on slip bobbers and leech during the evening hours or fishing a little deeper, 8-12 feet of water, with a jig and minnow during the day.
Pike fishing has cooled off as water temps continue to rise well above average for this time of year. Trophy pike have become few and far between, but good numbers of pike continue to be caught in ..." Read >> Ely Area Fishing Report May 27, 2021
Fish love water temperatures in the 60s, at least that’s my experience. Whenever I look at my Humminbird and see 60 anything, I feel good about the odds of having a good day on the water. And right now, the water temperatures in almost every north central Minnesota lake are smack dab in the middle of ideal, mid-60-degree, fish catching range.
For me, the uptick in action has been noticeable on recent fishing trips. Fish have been biting aggressively enough to ensure good action most of the time.
Except, that is, for the odd sunny day zinger on clear water under calm, sunny conditions. We had one of those zingers on Winnie a few days ago, the clear water didn’t ..." Read >> Fishing Report May 25, 2021
Q) On May 23, 2021 Dave Heck wrote; "Just wanted to know if you could give me any insight to the ins and outs of crappie fishing on the (witheld) Lake fishery. We will be coming up next saturday the 29th and staying until the 12th and unless we happen to hit the spawn (unlikely) our experience in years past has been a crappie bust.
We have done well with walleye, perch, and northern over the past few years but the crappie have eluded us. We did catch some in (witheld) a couple years ago but I have a larger boat now and can't get in there.
I would consider myself a mediocre crappie fisherman and my wife and I ..." Read >> Early Summer Crappie Location May 24, 2021
"Walleye fishing continues to dominate the fishing scene at the Four Seasons on Lake Winnie. Fishermen are finding good numbers of small walleyes on the west side of the lake.
Whereas in the past few years it has been a challenge to catch any fish under the protedted slot size, this year it is a challenge to catch larger fish, ones that are large enough to keep. But, it seems that if you ..." Read >> 4 Seasons Lake Winnie Report May 23, 2021
"As an observer of water, weather, and fish activity, it was a really encouraging week for me. Warm, stable weather helped give lakes a boost toward better productivity last week. Water temperatures rose into the mid-to-high 60s.
On Friday, we fished on Lake Winnibigoshish and surface water water tickled 65 degree. On Saturday, we fished a lake with bog-stained water and found surface temperatures above 69 degrees, almost touching 70 at one point.
Earlier this week, panfish in a wide cross section of north central Minnesota entered their spring spawning phase and ..." Read >> Fishing Report May 23, 2021
"All in all, this has been a classic opening week of walleye fishing at The Pines Resort. Our report about fishing patterns, and fish locations could have been written nearly anytime in Lake Winnie’s history.
Over the past week, walleyes have been found in most of the popular east side locations. Our bay has been about as far as anybody needs to travel to find fish. There are good populations along the shoreline break from Plughat Point to Haubrich’s Bay. Traveling west from there, Bowen’s Flat has decent schools of fish and so does Tamarack Point, the Mississippi River Channel and the breakline at 3 Sisters.
Another similarity to Winnie’s history of providing great early season action is ..." Read >> Lake Winnie Fishing Report May 21, 2021
"Minnesota Fishing Opener never ceases to amaze us. Years past we are all too familiar with cold air temps, generally ugly precipitation, marginal surface temperature, high winds and frozen fingers. Wow! Was this opener a surprise or what?
The early ice out set stage for an early spawn; however, water temps still lingered a little less than ideal for several days, nonetheless, our opener was a successful one and we have been on them since.
The walleye are not in their typical transitions this year compared to most. Especially with ..." Read >> Wheezy Outdoors Report May 21, 2021
"Mother Nature decided it was time to put Kabetogama onto the fast track to summer! This week’s sunny, hot weather caused quite a spike in the water temp. On Tuesday afternoon, temperatures were already in the low 60s and climbing, we have heard reports of 66 degrees in some regions of the lake.
Smallmouth Bass have already begun moving onto shallow water spawning beds and walleye patterns are more summer-like than they would be during most pre-Memorial Weekend periods.
In the areas we have been fishing, there really has not been any shallow water walleye bite. The fish have scattered and now turn up in small schools located in ..." Kabetogama Fishing Report May 20, 2021
Without a lot of time to write this morning, my summary of fishing conditions for the past couple of days may seem overly succinct. But that’s because with only 4 days of fishing under my belt, reports coming from friends around the state are likely more valuable than whatever I have to say right now.
Surface water temperatures are warming, we found 62 to 64 degrees on the shallow, dark water lake that we fished on Tuesday. Anglers on Winnibigoshish reported temperatures pushing toward 60 degrees, but in some areas, they are still as low as 57 degrees.
Maybe the cool water temps explain why for me, afternoons have produced better action than ..." Read >> North Central Minnesota Fishing Update May 19, 2021
"Jim Jurvelin wrote; "I was on Red Lake yesterday with my brother and one of his friends and the bite was tough. I caught one walleye between 8:30 and noon and that was it for the entire boat!
My brothers friend threw out a dead shiner on a plain hook, with a stinger hook in the tail and ..." Read >> Upper Red Lke Fishing Tip May 19, 2021
"Walleye opener was excellent for some, tough for many. Sunny, calm and warmer then usual water temps meant walleyes were not going to be located in there usual opener locations. Anglers looking for walleyes in their usual opener locations were disappointed.
Successful anglers found walleyes in ..." Read >> Ely Area Fishing Report May 19, 2021
As predicted, the go to bait for walleyes and saugers was a jig and frozen shiner vertically jigged in 14-20 feet of water. Many caught limits and most caught walleyes for a hearty fish fry. A healthy mix of small fish, eaters, slots and trophies reported.
Jig colors, gold, orange, glow, pink, chartreuse or a combo of these colors.
Some reported trolling crankbaits for the opener with ..." Read >> Lake of the Woods Fishing Report May 19, 2021
The accompanying photo of Lisa and Mike Lindholm was typical of what many anglers enjoyed this weekend as well. A healthy smattering of fish from the 2013-year class helped keep the cameras clicking while folks gathered some of the 13-to-14-inch 2018s for family fish fries back at camp.
On the south end, walleyes were stacked up along a steep shoreline break. To the west, they were straddling a slow tapering breakline between the shallow flats and deeper water. Up north, walleyes were holding in a trough formed by the tailwaters of Third River Flowage, the large flat between ..." Read >> Bowen Lodge Lake Winnie Fishing Report May 18, 2021
"Opening Day, 2021, we had the trifecta of fishing! Great weather, great fishing, and for the first time in several years, keepable fish. There were smells of fresh walleye cooking all over the resort last night.
Most every boat reported good catches of 13-15" walleyes today.
Fish were caught on jigs and shiner minnows all along the west side of the lake. Key depth was a little deeper due to the calm conditions.
Most of the fish were caught from 16 to 20 feet of water and it was a ..." Read >> Four Seasons Winnie Report May 17, 2021
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"Great Times Ahead! Opening weekend is always fantastic. We are super excited to get the season going. We are also excited to have the restaurant back to normal, mostly. We are not going to have the buffet for breakfast, but otherwise the restaurant operation is back to pre covid.
We find it very ironic that just before our Minnesota Governor drops the mask mandate the President ..." Read >> Border View Lodge Fishing Report May 17, 2021
I know this wasn’t the first time we’ve had beautiful weather for the fishing opener, but the 2021 opener has to rank right up there with the best of the best. Sunny skies, mid-70-degree air temperatures and calm seas combined to help make most everybody’s opening day experience an enjoyable one.
For me and my crew, Lake Winnibigoshish’ Four Seasons Resort on the west side was the target destination. Before we left the dock, Joe Thompson had already heard from one of his friends on the lake and pointed me in the direction of where the “hot bite” was happening. But me being me, I was obviously not going to start there, I had to at least take a swing at finding my own spot first.
As we crossed the large flat going out from the river mouth, surface water ranged from about 56 to 57 degrees. Water clarity was higher, in my opinion, than it was during the early part of the 2020 season. We could easily ..." Read >> Great Start To Minnesota’s Walleye Fishing Season
Well, here we are, the beginning of another walleye fishing season. For me, this marks the start of a hectic time, but it is a “good hectic”. There is always work to do, there is always something interesting to think about and thanks to 100 hour work weeks, never a sleepless night either!
One interesting thing to think about is where the walleyes will be this Saturday morning. My thinking is that fishing near spawning areas, a theme that runs through most opening day reports, will scarcely get a mention this weekend. Unless you’re fishing a lake in the furthest reaches of the Arrowhead region, walleyes will have largely abandoned spawning territory weeks ago.
For anglers fishing the large, walleye factory lakes, the single most important factor driving walleye location this weekend, I think, will be food. Not coincidentally, most of the “really good” walleye waters also happen to ..." Read >> Sundin's MN Walleye Opener Forecast May 14, 2021
"Did you think it has been a hectic spring? We Did! Never before have we worked so hard to get all the gear and supplies ready for our guests to enjoy fishing on Kabetogama. But somehow, it’s all coming together, and we are ready for the walleye opener this Saturday.
Despite an unusually early ice out, conditions on the lake haven’t advanced much further than they would have during most typical springs. Water temperatures on the main lake are hovering around 55 degrees and water levels are slightly low, but manageable.
We do expect to find walleyes in typical early season, shallow water locations. But Kent has been doing some exploring in our new Vexus boat and earlier this week, found quite a few fish on ..." Read >> Kabetogama Fishing Outlook May 13, 2021
On May 13, 2021, Cody Clarke wrote, Q) "Thanks for posting the fishing reports. The have been helpful as my father, my buddy and I prepare for our fishing trip to Lake Kabetogama next week. This will be our first trip to "KAB”, and we have heard great things.
I was curious to know if you have fished the lake and if you had any tips on structure or areas of the lake to start out with? We will be focusing on the walleye, pike and perch/crappie bite. Looking at the map it appears the north east end of the lake would be prime for spawning with all the shallow sand flats and weed growth.
Also, what is the water temperature currently up there? From what I read on your reports it appears as though the walleye have completed their spawn for this year, and I am trying to figure out where would be a good depth to start. Any help or advice you could provide would be great! We are excited to get up there and do some fishing!
A) Cody, as a matter of fact I have fished Kabetogama, not a lot, but enough to get a feel for the basics. My first open water trip was in 2018 and I ..." Read >> What Does Jeff Sundin Know About Kabetogama? May 13, 2021
We’ve tried more than once to find crappies this spring, but for the most part, have arrived too early to find them in their typical spring haunts. But on my semi-weekly ECG visit to the Twin Cities, we found the Lilacs were in bloom in Eden Prairie last weekend, and you know what that means; crappies were already moving into shallow water spawning structure in metro area lakes.
We haven’t seen any Lilacs blooming in the Grand Rapids area, but for those of us in north central Minnesota, the countdown has definitely begun. Thanks to sunny, warm daytime weather, anglers are reporting good catches of crappies in shallow water.
I will know more tomorrow than I do today because we’re headed for the lake to ..." Read >> Fishing Update May 12, 2021
Early data from MN DNR 2020 Fisheries surveys supports the widely held belief that walleyes from the 2018 year class now dominate the population of “catchable” size fish in the system. As the class of 2018 matures, the stage is set for our guests to enjoy good fishing walleyes this summer. And during 2021, we expect to see not only strong numbers of fish, but also improving size quality.
During the 2020 fall assessments, the arithmetic was favorable. In fact, DNR fisheries staff recorded the third highest walleye numbers observed in ..." Read >> Bowen Lodge Lake Winnie Outlook May 7, 2021
"Preparing for the fishing opener, I always worry more about fish location than I do bait supplies. And as it happens, this season, finding those minnows in the lakes will likely be more important than finding them in the bait tanks at the tackle shop.
It’s already been two full weeks since DNR fisheries wrapped up all of the walleye spawn take operations statewide. In most of those lakes, the majority walleyes are already done spawning and in their post spawn recovery period.
Walleyes in some of the deeper, cool water lakes might still be actively spawning, but those runs should be done before the opener too. That tells me that this year, feeding walleyes will ..." Read >> Where Will Walleyes Ber On The Fishing Opener May 6, 2021
Angling life in north central Minnesota is starting to get interesting. Reports about minnow supplies from bait shops in the region are cautiously optimistic. Nobody that I know of has Spottail Shiners in their tanks yet but supplies of large fatheads and rainbows are already good.
Spottails had just started to run on Upper Red Lake last week, but then a cold front moved in and that turned schools of shiners back toward deeper water. Today, those minnows could begin appearing again in certain shallow water areas as the sunshine and calm seas return.
Last week, I started looking into who was planning what for this year’s walleye fishing opener, now less than two weeks away. After last season’s “non-opener”, I was particularly curious about where and when the 2021 Minnesota Governor’s Fishing Opener would take place. A quick search on the internet informed me that Ottertail County will be the “official epicenter” of walleye fishing on May 15, 2021. There were several references about how this year, the fishing opener would be “different” than past openers, but I didn’t learn much more than that.
Hungry for more details about what the term “different” means, I tracked down the Chairman of Ottertail County’s organizing committee, Erik Osberg. On the phone with Osberg, my first, most obvious question was whether Governor Walz will ..." Read >> Opening The Open-Able May 3, 2021
Gerry Albert, retired MN DNR Large Lake Specialist wrote; "I just read your April 29, 2021 response the the walleye limit question. Your response should be required reading for politicians voting on the bill."
Larry Brown, East Peoria, IL wrote; "Jeff, Once again you are spot on with your response to Mike (April 29, 2021) about social versus biological facts in reducing limits in Minnesota. I agree with the sunfish limit reductions that will ..." Read More >> Reader Comments May 3, 2021
"Anglers fishing Lake Vermilion this summer may be asked to participate in the lake’s first creel survey since 2015.
Beginning with the walleye opener on Saturday, May 15, 2021 and through the end of September, creel clerks from the Minnesota Department of Natural Resources will be traveling the lake by boat to interview anglers about their harvest. During the interviews, the creel clerks will ..." Read More >> Lake Vermilion creel survey to begin May 15, 2021
"Have you taken a drive to a public boat ramp at any of your favorite lakes this spring? If so, chances are good that you noticed some signs notifying anglers about changing panfish regulations this spring.
These new regulations combined with other, already existing “special regulations” for other species on many lakes means that keeping track of what we’re fishing for and where we do it will be more important than ever this season.
If you have a law degree, or you work as an editor for a publishing company, then understanding the Minnesota fishing regulations booklet will allow you to track most of the regulations from one lake to the next. But if you’re like me and your eyes glaze over after the first 15 minutes of reading, then skip the booklet and do this instead. Use the ..." Read >> April 29, 2021 Regulating The Regulate-Able
If this were a “normal” spring, we’d still be speculating about the DNR walleye egg take operations in Grand Rapids and around the state. But thanks to the early ice out, operations at 9 locations are already mostly completed.
Last Friday, Dave Weitzel, Grand Rapids Area Fisheries Manager wrote, “We expect to reach full state-wide quota for Mississippi Strain Walleyes today (4-23-2021), so it went very well. We will have taken about 850 quarts from Cutfoot over 8 days and are very happy with that, considering that we had fewer staff so that we could practice social distancing.”
The photo left, courtesy MN DNR, shows the Windom-area fisheries egg take in progress at ..." Read >> Fishing Report April 27, 2021
Every spring, there are a couple of weeks when pan fishing from the metro region and south is much better than it is in the northland. To date, I’ve seen more fish photos and heard more good reports from anglers who fish in southern Minnesota and Iowa than I have from folks in my home territory.
The accompanying photo (left), provided by Chris Andresen, reveals a nice mixed catch of crappies and sunfish he caught last week. Chris fishes up in my home territory a lot, but not during spring, his exploits in southern Minnesota always get me fired up about fishing in the lower 1/3 of our state. If I were smart, I’d move in with him for a couple of weeks every spring while I wait for the water to warm up at home.
"Anglers fishing during the summer season on Upper Red Lake in northern Minnesota will have a three-walleye bag limit, with only one walleye longer than 17 inches allowed, according to the Minnesota Department of Natural Resources.
Anglers had an excellent winter season, harvesting 143,000 pounds of walleye. The annual harvest by state anglers is anticipated to fall within 120,000-240,000 pounds.
The three-walleye bag limit, with one over 17 inch size restriction, is intended to keep annual harvest within the target harvest range. Last summer, anglers ..." Read >> Upper Red Lake Walleye Regulation For 2021
For Grand Rapids DNR Fisheries Staff, the early ice-out has not necessarily translated into an accelerated pace for the walleye egg take at Cutfoot Sioux. As of Monday (4-19-21), area manager Dave Weitzel reported that they are about 5 days into gathering and fertilizing walleye eggs so far.
“So far, so good with about 375 quarts of eggs taken and should be near 450 quarts by days end. The cold snap will slow the run down a little bit. Water temps are still cold at 43 to 45 degrees F, so we could still see an uptick in catches after a few warmer days. We often get smaller catches over a longer time with early ice out dates, so things are progressing as expected.” Weitzel wrote.
I asked about the quota for this spring, but apparently that number will depend on how fast eggs ..." Read >> Walleye Egg Take Under Way April 20, 2021
The NOAA forecast predicted Thursday to be the first dry day in over a week. That gave my buddy Jon Thelen, who like me, was suffering from an ailment called coopedupedness, a reason to give me a call. “The weather looks good for Thursday and I got a heads up from a friend who caught some crappies; you want to go give it a try?” he said.
Asking me that question was like walking up to a kennel and asking a hunting dog if she wanted to go out in the field for a walk. “Yes, of course I do, I’ll be ready to go on Thursday morning,” I said.
The lake could have been any one of a hundred north central Minnesota waters. A moderately deep, 300-acre lake managed primarily for bass, crappie, and sunfish. When I looked at a map of it, I ..." Read >> Fishing Report April 16, 2021
"At the moment, only a few fishing-related bills have been introduced and/or discussed in the legislative committees. The most significant is a bill to change Minnesota’s walleye limit statewide from six to four fish, daily and in possession.
Your MN-FISH board voted to support this bill largely recognizing the impact of our advanced angling skills and how social media attracts angling crowds to hot walleyes lakes in a matter of hours.
It should be noted a four-walleye limit is not likely to make walleye fishing better, but may reduce exploitation of walleye populations as angling pressure increases. If you have an opinion about walleye limits, please ..." Read and Learn More >> Full MN-FISH Newsletter April 2021
On 4-7-2021, Ryan Fox wrote, “Good afternoon! Several questions that are on my mind and I’m sure many others in the Lake Winnie area too.
Q) Why is the water level so low and why did the Corp keep the Dam wide open all winter? (The last two winters!)
Why the last two springs has the water level been so low? Was there not an agreement between the Fisheries and Corp to maintain a higher water level in the “spawning” season?
Two and a half years ago our fisheries department determined that higher water levels in the spring translates to stronger year classes of Walleye. The next two springs in a row, low water. This Spring lower than I’ve ..." Read >> Winnie Water Levels For Spawning April 9, 2021
"Competitive anglers need the best tools. They look for the best and try to stretch their hard-earned money to get there. Most look at a value-to-cost ratio when selecting their gear. Finding quality at an attractive price is sometimes tricky. More and more companies see that type of product as a substantial competitive advantage to sustain buyers and enhance their expectations.
Savage Gear has a stellar line-up of rods in their portfolio that is ever-increasing, and for this giveaway, we are giving five lucky Wired2fish followers a chance to win a 7'3" MH Battletek casting rod. Made from 30-ton high modulus carbon blanks, these rods are lightweight but will also stand up to the most challenging demands of even the hardest hook setters.
"I've been a bass boat owner for the majority of my life. I've restored older fiberglass boats because of my limited budget and I've also been able to save to buy a shiny, 21-foot fiberglass rig that made me feel like a total hotshot.
I got to thinking the other day and for whatever reason, I grew up thinking that you had to have a fiberglass bass boat to be a "real" bass fisherman. It's what I saw on television and in the magazines, so it's really all I knew to be honest.
But man, there's a trend happening in recent years that we can't really ignore much longer. A bunch of anglers, whether they're weekend guys or full-time touring professionals, are flocking to aluminum bass boats. The number of newer tin boats I'm seeing on my local fisheries is absolutely blowing my mind. I've talked to boat dealers and they're having to drive thousands of miles to other states just to ..." Learn More >> The Aluminum Bass Fishing Boat Trend: There Just Might Be Something to It
Follow up on yesterday’s report about the legislative proposal to reduce Minnesota’s walleye bag limit is going to take a little while. That’s because somewhere in my piles of saved stocking reports, DNR meeting agendas and notebooks filled with jotted notes, are some facts. Facts, in this case, facts about average walleye angler catch rates in Minnesota. I know they’re out there though because I’ve seen them with my own eyes. I just can't put my fingers on them and I don’t want to start spewing information, relying only on my memory.
The reason I am searching high and low for facts about walleye catch rates, is because nobody else is doing it. Advocates for walleye bag limit reductions cite plenty of “social reasons” for making the change. But statistical information and biological facts are harder to come by than an autographed ..." Read >> Walleye Bag Limits "Following The Follow-Able February 18, 2021
It’s worth noting that which side of the issue anglers argued, depended on which medium their comments came from. Virtually 100% of the commentary from those in favor of reducing Minnesota's walleye limit came via the “social” media page where I posted links to the original article. Conversely, 100% of the anglers in opposition to the regulation change are those who took the extra time to write their comments and send them via email.
I’ll let you be the judge of what made that happen, but I think it’s interesting. I'll have to think about it for a while and I'll let you know if I develop any solid theories.
Of the social comments from folks in favor of limit reductions, the most credible, in my opinion, came from MN DNR Brainerd Area Fisheries Manager Marc Bacigalupi who ..." Read >> Minnesota Walleye Bag Limit Reductions February 17, 2021
Sifting through emails on Wednesday, I found a note from Vern Wagner, organizer of Anglers for Habitat, a conservation based angling group. The message carried a copy of the organization’s position on the proposal, S.F. 12, which would reduce walleye limits statewide from 6 to 4 fish.
The letter penned by AFH President Lance Ness is offered to MN Senator Carrie Ruud as “testimony” to be considered during hearings about the bill. In its conclusion, Ness writes, “While Anglers for Habitat neither supports nor opposes the legislation, we suggest a lively discussion.” Let’s backup a minute and break down what that discussion would be about.
Within the body of the testimony, AFH appears to be leaning in the direction of slow walking this legislation and asks for proof that the proposal is based on scientific ..." Learn More >> AFH Weighs In On Walleye Bag Limits February 11, 2021
In recent years, support for reducing Minnesota's walleye bag limit has grown among Minnesota anglers. In fact, results of an informal FishRapper poll conducted last year, indicated that anglers in favor of reducing Minnesota's walleye possession limit could be upward of 75%.
This year, supporters of a bag limit reduction could be in luck, because Minnesota Senate Bill SF 12 would do just that. If passed, the bill will mandate the MN DNR to reduce the statewide walleye possession from 6, down to 4 walleyes.
The bill's author, MN Senator Carrie Ruud spoke with me about the proposal. “In the past, discussions about reducing walleye limits have centered more around the social aspects of the issue rather than statistical ones.” Ruud said. Anglers who have a high conservation ethic would naturally ..." Read >> Minnesota Walleye Bag Limit Reduction January 8, 2021
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So far in 2020, I’ve looked forward to the beginning of each new month hoping that it would be better than the last one. So far none of them has and now the month of May did not even make me wait for a single day to find out that it won’t be any better either.
I’ve been pouring through the details of the recent changes to Governor Walz’ Executive Orders. From what I can see, yesterday’s signing of Emergency Executive Order 20-48, will keep fishing guides and charter operators in dry dock until the 18th of May, at least.
The order, “Extending and Modifying Stay at Home Order, Continuing Temporary Closure of Bars, Restaurants, and Other Places of Public Accommodation, and Allowing Additional Workers in Certain Noncritical Sectors to Return to Safe Workplaces” was good news for certain retailers who can set curbside pickups and home deliveries. But does not relax restrictions on any face-to-face business activity, like fishing.
Launches, charter boats and fishing guides are expressly prohibited from conducting business as was spelled out in EO 20-38 on April 17, 2020. In every revision, they include a section that spells out the penalties for ..." Read >> Walz' Minnesota Fishing Guide Ban Update May 1, 2020
On Wednesday April 22, 2020, I received an email from Explore Minnesota. It contained the most comprehensive list of the types of lodging services that are available, or not available to anglers in Minnesota right now.
Long story short, resorts are (and always have been) allowed to remain open. However, while Governor Walz’ “Stay at Home Order” is in place, anglers will continue to be discouraged from traveling to them.
By now, most resort and campground owners have probably received the same email, so they likely already have this information available. But anglers everywhere continue to ask for updates about this confusing aspect of the executive order and its impact on the fishing opener.
According to the newsletter, even though resorts will be “allowed” to remain open, they are not obligated to ..." Read >> Minnesota Resorts Remain Open — With Caveats April 23, 2020
Responses to Saturday's column, Governor Allows Certain Outdoor Businesses To Re-Open.
Thomas Kotula wrote; "How far you go away from home is subjective and I doubt many people, including myself, are going to worry about that. Not to mention this is a suggestion by the governor not a law.
A) Trying to stay on top of all the rules is getting worse than keeping up to date with Minnesota's Fishing Regulations Book.
The best place to look for clarity on changes to these executive orders is on Governor Tim Walz' website, so that's where I checked. Under the NEWS tab, there's a complete list of all executive orders including the most ..."
As doctors and nurses wage the primary battle against the coronavirus, a secondary conflict is gaining intensity: how to ease the price paid by closed businesses, schools and idled workers. Since mid-March, more Americans lost their jobs more quickly than any time in history. Minnesota just six weeks ago was one of the strongest economies in the country, but now nearly one in five people in the state’s labor force is jobless.
Pressure grew all last week for government leaders to chart an end to their stay-home orders and nonessential business designations — and to allow businesses and consumers to ..." Read >> Minnesota business leaders say Walz's next move could make or break them
If you have an itch to go fishing, and you live close to a bait shop, then you are in luck. Governor Tim Walz’ most recent executive order 20-38, allows bait stores to re-open beginning today, April 18, 2020 at 5:00 AM.
That’s right, Minnesotans are now allowed to stop for live bait on their way to the fishing hole.
That is as long as the fishing hole isn’t too far away from home, and they don’t bring anybody from outside of their own household, and provided they don’t stay overnight, and as long as they pledge to stay at least 6 feet away from the nearest human.
Executive Order 20-38 also relaxes restrictions on certain other outdoor facilities such as marinas that rent seasonal docking spaces or provide repairs, sell fuel and the like. Folks that install docks and boat lifts are in luck too, they can ..." Read >> Governor Allows Certain Outdoor Businesses To Re-Open April 18, 2020
In the past month, some public officials in northern Minnesota have said visitors aren't welcome, worried metro vacationers might tote the coronavirus with them. But resorts need customers. Or some won't survive.
Three weeks from today, on the eve of the Fishing Opener, Minnesota resort owners near and far from the Twin Cities will swing open their cabin doors and hope people show up.
Already many of these small-business operators have developed new ways to clean their cabins, sell bait from their shops and keep anglers safe distances from one another while launching boats — all because of the coronavirus pandemic.
Now they need customers. Or some won’t survive.
“A lot of resorts are getting by now only on their ..." Learn More >> April 17, 2020 Northern Minnesota resort owners make clear they want anglers coming their way
I mentioned yesterday that I’d been soliciting information about lodges, resorts and bait shops about their current plans for the fishing season opener. I learned quickly from early responding resorts and bait shops that response to the Covid-19 situation is going to be all over the map.
Most of those early answers to my questions were clear; the proprietors either said we’ll be open, or they said we’ll be closed, there wasn’t much grey area.
Later in the day though, the responses began getting more thought provoking and complex; like this one from a regular contributor.
Lee Nupson at Oak Point Resort on Leech Lake asked as many questions as it answered. "Nupson; “We will be open but I am a little confused about our ability to ..." Read >> MN Fishing Opener Update April 16, 2020
On April 10th I wrote about the 2020 walleye opener, "For many, fishing closer to home is probably going to be the best bet. A day trip to any lake that allows comfortable travel time to and from our own homes would be ideal. Folks with well stocked cabins or campers that require little interaction in the community will probably be just fine too.
The situation is fluid, so I’ll be adding frequent updates as information about lodging and fishing supplies become available. In the meantime, stock up your tackle box and tune up your outboard, the opener is only 28 days away!"
Well as of today, the fishing opener is only 23 days away and Governor Tim Walz' Emergency Executive Order 20-35 places yet another roadblock for Minnesota anglers.
After reading my Thursday update about the Minnesota fishing opener, Nate Altendorf wrote; “The question I have about the MN fishing opener is can we travel outside of our community to fish?”
A) Nate, the direct answer is yes, we are allowed to travel anywhere in Minnesota to fish. But bear in mind that while we are legally allowed to fish anywhere in the state, some locations will be more practical than others.
Recalling yesterday’s comment from MN DNR Spokesperson Kim Pleticha; “All we ask is that anglers observe the safety practices described in the Governor’s Stay at Home Order.”
According to the stay home order, we definitely are allowed to ..." Read >> MN Fishing Season Update April 10, 2020
Pleticha assured me that the DNR has no plan to cancel, postpone or otherwise interrupt the 2020 opening of Minnesota’s walleye fishing season.
“All we ask is that anglers observe the safety practices described in the Governor’s Stay at Home Order;” Pleticha said.
“Ramps and parking areas owned and maintained by the Minnesota DNR will be open. But we cannot give assurances that local accesses owned by counties or municipalities will ..." Read >> Fishing Opener Update April 9, 2020
Since this Covid-19 stay home order was implemented, all my usual spring routines have been wiped out. Reporting the report-able has been fine for the gloom and doom crowd, but optimists like me have had to turn over a lot of stones to find a good story.
Take the Northwest Sportshow for example. According to the plan, it would have ended last Sunday. By now, I should have spent several days telling you about all the cool stuff that I found at the show; but that was cancelled, so I couldn’t.
After that, I should have been giving you reports from the Rainy River and talking about all the great walleye fishing that’s been going on. But we can’t get on the river with a boat so that’s been off the table too. Last week, I was able to at least ..." Read >> Fishing Update April 8, 2020
By now, you’ve likely heard about Koochiching County’s decision to close the 4 county owned boat ramps on the Rainy River this spring. That decision, controversial at the time, appears to have been made moot by Governor Walz’ shelter in place order; or is it?
I went to Governor Walz’ website, clicked on the StayHomeMN Frequently Asked Questions sections and selected “When is it okay for me to leave my home?” Among the listed exceptions to the travel ban; found this. “Permissible activities during the stay at home order include: Outdoor activities, such as walking pets, hiking, running, biking, hunting, or fishing.”
Apparently, Governor Walz or someone at his office has the good sense to understand that we’re better off outside than staying cooped up. So, if we can navigate the rest of the restrictions in the shelter in place order, they are encouraging all of us to get outside and be active.
I’m assuming that it will be tough to obtain live bait. But even if bait and tackle shops are closed because of the restrictions, I think too that most of us can cobble together some lures that will work well enough to keep the fish entertained.
I’d rather go fishing without my favorite bait, than sit at home working myself into a tizzy over the media coverage of this bizarre event. So, that’s what I’m going to do and if I see you out there, I will keep my distance; I PROMISE! — Jeff Sundin 218-245-9858 or EMAIL
Wired2Fish's Ryan DeChaine faces such a situation on a small lake and walks through how to map an offshore hump using Humminbird's AutoChart Live and Zero Line SD Card.
Using Humminbird's AutoChart Zero Line SD Card, DeChaine uses a circular survey method instead of traditional transects to quickly and accurately map the structure. He then describes how to display and adjust bottom hardness data on top of the custom map; bottom hardness in conjunction with accurate 1-foot contour intervals reveals previously hidden spots on the ..." Learn More >> Custom Mapping Tips For Humminbird Users
Q) On January 11, 2020 Shannon Poppinga Wrote; "I live in South Dakota and fish the river and many NE lakes. We cast most of the spring and summer for walleye in some high wind days.
Currently, the boat that I have is a Ranger 618 tiller and my current engine is a Yamaha 90 HP with the variable RPM button to help get the proper power I need.
I am interested in a larger 20 foot tiller boat but I am concerned about not being able to use a larger motor on a 20 ft tiller to put the butt of the boat into the waves, be able to idle down slow enough so I can sit in one place and cast.
I was looking on the internet to see if I could find any info on this and stumbled onto one of your reviews of Lund Tiller Boats. I’m more interested in knowing if you feel I would be able to get a larger Mercury tiller motor to do what I need?"
A) Shannon, my history with 20-foot tiller boats goes back a long time, I’ve owned about 25 of them. These days, I have ..." Learn Morde >> Reader Asks About Mercury Pro XS 115 HP Tiller Performance
"Side imaging sonar reveals an entirely new underwater world to anglers interested in learning the technology. It produces highly detailed readouts of the water column and bottoms off both sides of the boat; this has some major benefits, one of which being discovering sleeper or hidden spots missed by most anglers.
Jeff "Kolo" Kolodzinski demonstrates this perfectly. While driving to one of his "known" spots, side imaging reads a bottom composition change - it's a hard spot covered with fist-sized rocks and some larger boulders mixed in. Of note, there's no appreciable change in depth, so mapping doesn't ..." View Video >> How to Use Side Imaging to Find Hidden Spots
Fishing The Fall Turnover In Natural Lakes - Jeff Sundin
... "This probably means that for most fishermen, "The Turnover", I mean the absolute scientific event is probably not really what influences fish locations and feeding patterns during the cold water period.
Jeff Sundin is a full time, professional fishing guide, outdoor writer and photographer. Book Jeff for guided fishing trips, for fishing seminars, fishing promotions and media events. Click here >> learn more about Jeff Sundin.
"The Early Bird Fishing Guide" Jeff Sundin - Fishing Blue Books, LLC 715 Byington Ave, LaPrairie, MN 55744 218-245-9858
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