Fishrapper Archives: Fishing Reports For April 2016

image denotes fishing report submitted by Jeff Sundin Fishing Report April 28, 2016 - Preparing The Preparable

The countdown to the Minnesota Walleye fishing opener feels a lot more real to me now that the new boat is in the driveway. In fact, I like the sense of urgency that strikes me when I look at the stack of boxes containing gizmos and gadgets that need to be installed before I can go out for my first Crappie fishing trip.
While I'm doing all that, I've been thinking about my strategy, which lake I'll choose and where I'll search for panfish when I get there.
That gave me another idea, maybe you'd like to know hear some ideas about where and why spring Panfish are gonna show up. So I'm working on that right now, with a bit of luck, you can read it here tomorrow morning. I'll do my best!!

image of electronics stacked up on boat

image denotes fishing report submitted by Jeff Sundin Cutfoot Sioux Walleye Egg Harvest Report April 21, 2016

If you were listening to the radio program this morning on KAXE, then you know that I promised to refresh the link to the map leading to the Walleye egg harvest opeartion at Little Cutfoot.
If you plan on making the trip up to visit, it is almost 100% assured that you will need to do it today or tomorrow. It's likely that Friday will be a long day before the DNR Fisheries staff wrap up the operation, but I'd suggest getting there before lunchtime on Friday, just to be safe.
The 2015 article about the Egg Harvest Operation includes the link to the map that leads to the site is available by clicking here >> Cutfoot Sioux Egg Harvest Operation


image links to article about spawning Walleye

image denotes fishing report submitted by Jeff Sundin Northern Minnesota Ice Out Report April 20, 2016

I'll bet that I KNOW what you're thinking; "what the heck happened to that boy, where did he disappear to?"
Well, I received a little work assignment that took me into the southern reaches of the US a couple of weeks ago. While I was fishing on Arkansas' Lake Ouachita, one thing led to another and before I knew it, I was engrossed in all sorts of side adventures. Some were more time consuming than others, some were more fun than others too, but all vastly important, each in their own way.
Now that I'm back in the office, I'll do my best to make up for lost time.
First, a few words about fishing in Arkansas; “It’s a lot like fishing in Minnesota, except that it’s warmer”. I was pleasantly surprised by the Walleyes, they were not easy to pattern, but they were catchable using many familiar presentations inluding some of my favorites. We caught Walleyes on Wiggle Worms, Li’l Guys, Crankbaits and plastics.
We got Crappies on jigs and minnows, plastics and even on Crickets. Sunfish struck all sorts of lures, but they had a fantastic time stealing my night crawlers before the Walleyes could get ‘em. Bass, for us, were not really the target, but we caught plenty of them as we pursued other fish.
My only disappointment was that I couldn’t figure out how to bag a Striper, so far. I’m guessing that there will be a re-match in my future sooner or later.

image of Lake Ouachita Walleye
Lake Ouatchita Walleye were not easy to pattern, but they were catchable using many familiar presentations inluding Wiggle Worms, Li’l Guys, Crankbaits and plastics like this Lindy Jig tipped with a YUM Money Minnow.
For me, one of the biggest treats of the entire trip was the time that I got to spend with Billy Murry. First spotting him as he pulled up to the dock in his 1973 Bass Boat known as “Creampuff”, I just knew that there was something about this guy that I was gonna like.
Northerners’ may not know the name, but in Bass fishing circles Billy and his twin brother Bobby Murray are legends. The Murray’s have done so much for the fishing industry that I can’t even scratch the surface here. But what Billy is doing these days is running The Bass Fishing Institute, an educational organization founded for the fisherman, Bass fishermen in particular.
image of Billy Murray in the Creampuff
Billy Murray pulling up to the dock in his 1973 Bass Boat "The Creampuff".

The Bass Fishing Institute is strictly a noncompetitive; its purpose is to bring individuals into close contact with the methods and techniques of the country's top bass fishermen.
What Murray did for me, more than once, was to drop whatever he was doing, taking time to chat. Small talk, big talk, old talk and new talk; Murray, the quintessential southern gentleman made me feel like I actually deserved to be there, rubbing elbows with one of the greatest legends of fishing.
I took the liberty of linking to his website, so if you’re an aspiring Bass angler and want some help getting on the fast track of fishing knowledge, then click this link for >> The Bass Fishing Institute  
I’m not at liberty to talk about every detail of the trip, but I can tell you this; if you'll keep following the reports this summer, then you will definitely see snippets of big news trickling out.
Closer to home, the Walleye spawning season has begun and according to DNR Fisheries staff, activity at the Cutfoot Sioux Egg Harvest Station has been robust. On Tuesday, field staff gathered 400 quarts of fertilized Walleye eggs for delivery to the hatchery at Grand Rapids. At this pace, it would require a major weather change to prevent completing the harvest before the upcoming weekend. That means that if you want to sneak a peek, you’ll have to fit it in over the next two or three days. If you were hoping for a weekend trip to view the fish, check the report on Friday and I’ll let you know if they plan to be working up there or not.
Combining second hand reports with my own observations, it appears that nearly all of the Itasca Area Lakes are now ice free. Even if there are still some ice cubes floating in select lakes, it is virtually assured that anglers in every corner of the state will enjoy more typical opening day conditions than what we’ve seen in recent seasons.

image denotes fishing report submitted by Jeff Sundin Northern Minnesota Ice Out Report April 7, 2016

Despite Mother Nature’s attempt to trick us into believing that winter won’t let go, Walleye waters in Northern Minnesota are opening up.
On Wednesday, I drove up to the Cutfoot Sioux Walleye Egg Harvest Station at Little Cutfoot. I expected to see more ice on Little Cutfoot, so I was pleased with the discovery that the small lake is nearly ice free right now. In just a couple of weeks, upward of 50,000 Walleye will follow their urge to spawn, passing through that passage, but so far, the DNR had not moved any equipment into the site.
I drove up to the North end of Big Cutfoot and discovered a narrow band of open water along the shoreline. There’s still a lot of ice out there, but there’s not much chance that it will linger long enough to throw Walleyes off of their spring spawning schedule.
Here are a few words, about Wiggle Worms for Mark, who I met at the Northwest Sportshow. I perused the archives looking for the original article that I wrote about using the 1/16 ounce jig tipped with night crawlers for Walleye fishing. So far, I haven’t located the original, but I did find this one from last summer and I think it will put you on the right track. Click Here For >> "Wiggle Worms July 23, 2015". I found another reference too, it's an article by Sam Cook, Duluth News Tribune, who wrote about the technique after fishing with me several years ago. Follow this link to >> Sam Cook Article, Sundin "Wiggle Worms".
Soon, I’ll figure out where the rest of that information went, so keep an eye open for more.

image of cutfoot sioux
At Big Cutfoot, I discovered a narrow band of open water along the shoreline. There’s still a lot of ice out there, but there’s not much chance it will linger long enough to throw Walleyes off of their spring spawning schedule.

image of wiggle worm
Here are a few words, about Wiggle Worms for Mark, who I met at the Northwest Sportshow. Click Here For >> "Wiggle Worms July 23, 2015".

image denotes fishing report submitted by Jeff Sundin April 5, 2016 Minnesota Fishing - Sundin Optimistic About The Fishing Opener; Of Course!

You know what? A lot of states don't have an "Opening Day" of fishing, but in Minnesota we do and I'm really glad.
The opening day of fishing is a tradition, an event that gives communities a reason to celebrate. The fishing opener gives families a date to mark on their calendars, special time, set aside to be together, enjoying the outdoors.
I think you'll enjoy this short video about the "Fishing Opener" in Minnesota and if you do, I hope you'll share it with your family and friends.


image links to wired2fish (4/7) WIRED2fish;Rod Glove Giveaway

Taking care of our rods and reels while stored, in the boat or while traveling to a farm pond and walking the bank can be easy if you use the neat products from Rod Glove.
In our latest giveaway we are giving you a chance to win ... Learn More >> Rod Glove Giveaway

image links to rod glove giveaway

image denotes fishing report submitted by Jeff Sundin Northwest Sportshow Report April 4, 2016 - Spring Springing?

Driving home across US Highway 2 this morning was like taking a trip backwards in time.
Greeting snowplows on icy roads with a temperature of 20°, made it hard to hang onto the notion that spring had sprung.
After spending most of the past week in Twin Cities looking at green grass and flowers blooming, my enthusiasm for getting home and taking my new boat out on the water was growing. Unfortunately, the availability of open water in Minnesota’s Northern region hasn’t kept pace.
Another snowstorm forecast for tomorrow means that I'm liable to spend most of this week stretching my imagination, searching to figure out ways to help you hold your enthusiasm about the upcoming fishing season.
After I get caught up on chores and clear up this stack of paperwork I left behind, I’ll get out and take a look at the lakes to see what condition they’re in.

image of snowplow on US Hwy 2 on April 4th
Greeting snowplows on icy roads with a temperature of 20°, made it hard to hang onto the notion that spring had sprung.


image denotes fishing report submitted by Jeff Sundin Northwest Sportshow Report April 3, 2016 - "Schumacher; Passing The Torch of Tourism"

I think it’s fair to say that nearly every visitor to the northwest sport show, who’s ever looked into visiting Grand Rapids, were familiar with Wayne and Diana Schumacher.
The Schumacher’s, passionate advocates for tourism in the greater Grand Rapids Minnesota area, began travelling together as volunteers for the Grand Rapids Chamber of Commerce. Believing that it was important to broaden the scope of their efforts, the couple formed their own volunteer organization; “Grand Rapids & Deer River Area Tourism”.
Before Wayne’s passing in 2011, the Schumacher’s distributed upwards of a million information packets to folks interested in visiting the greater Grand Rapids area. And guess what, they did it all on their own dime, as volunteers.
Even after Wayne’s passing, Dianna’s commitment for promoting tourism continued and she’s been staffing the booth alone, until now.
After more than three decades, Dianna has decided to pass the torch; handing it over to the Deer River Chamber of Commerce. Today will be her last official day of duty as the highest ranking authority on Grand Rapids - Deer River Area Tourism.
If you’re here at the show, be sure to stop by booth number 737 and wish her well. Ya’ never know, if you hurry, you may get there before she runs out of cookies!

image of Dianna Schumacher at the northwest sportshow

image of kids gathered around the gamma fishing line booth

image denotes fishing report submitted by Jeff Sundin Northwest Sportshow Report April 2, 2016 - "Something Fishy In Minneapolis"

You may not have thought of it of it, but this is one time of the year when there are experts from all over the Midwest, collectively, they know almost everything there is to know about fishing. That means there's no better time to get your list whole of fishing questions answered before you head into the store to get stocked up for the open water fishing season.
Besides that there are lodges, campgrounds, vacation destinations, boats, ATVs, gizmos, gadgets and contrivances; there's something for everybody who wants to go anywhere or do anything.
You already know that I'm here too, so if you're going to be out and about today, then do me a favor and swing in to the Minneapolis Convention Center. Pay us a visit in the Lindy Booth #835 and we can chat about the upcoming fishing season, rigging your boat, tips and tactics that will make your fishing more productive.
At 11:00 AM you can check out Jon Thelen's seminar about "Alternative Walleye Tactics" and get more inside information about how to catch more fish this summer; maybe we'll even give you a free gift.
OH, and by the way, if you do by we'll even explain why Steve Kusske has that big grin on his face!

image of Steve Kusske with Lindy Wally Demon Crankbaits

image denotes fishing report submitted by Jeff Sundin Northwest Sportshow Report April 1, 2016 - "From The Show Floor In Minneapolis"

The CUTCO fillet knife that I'm using these days was gifted to me by good friends a few years back. I can remember them worrying that I wouldn't like it, but honestly, this has turned out to be hands down, the best fillet knife that I've ever used.
Throughout the summer, I get numerous requests from fishing customers about where they can buy a fillet knife like the one I use. I've told them that they have to find a CUTCO rep and some of them have struggled trying to find one in their neighborhood.

image links to Crank Canvas
I'm sure that some of you do already know a CUTCO representative; maybe you even have one in your family, that's great. But for anybody who's ready to choose the best fillet knife that you've ever owned, and need to know where to buy it, then pay me a visit at the sport show this weekend and I'll introduce you to Jill Sieben.
I realized yesterday that I needed to do favor and mention this lady because I see her working her tail off every season at sport shows I visit. It's a lot of work, and as long as she's here, and as long as you need a knife, well, you get the idea.
Oh, by the way, just in case you can't get down to the show, you can still get in touch with Jill by clicking this link to >> CUTCO Cutlery Jill Sieben.

Sometimes I stumble into people that make me feel like writing a story just for the fun of it. That's what happened on Thursday when I ran in the Captain Dan Fox.
During a conversation about who I was and what I do, Captain Dan said; “Well when you write your report tomorrow, be sure to mention that you ran into the world's best charter fishing captain for salmon on Lake Michigan”.
When someone makes a statement like that, you have to keep asking questions, so I did.
It turns out that Captain Dan Fox has been chartering on Lake Michigan for 40 years; that's 10 years longer than I've been at it. That's a lot of experience, and I know what that experience is worth to customers.
I asked a few folks who know Dan and by all accounts he works every bit as hard as I do and he’s really good at it.

image of captain dan fox

After spending another quarter hour chatting with Dan, I have to say that whether he is the world's best charter captain or not, there's no doubt in my mind that he's definitely qualified to do a fantastic job.
So if you're in the market for a Salmon fishing trip on Lake Michigan and you want to go with a seasoned professional. The 40 year veteran, Dan Fox should get the nod.
Oh and by the way, I saw a fish that he caught them smoke after he delivered it to a friend of mine and I have to say that fish looked awful tasty if he's as good at catching him if he is can cook and then I think you've got a winner on your hands. I'll introduce you to Dan at the show, or you can get more information here. >> Captain Dan Fox, Foxy Lady Charters

Do You Know that you can even post your own helpful hints to our fishing reports page on facebook? YES! You Can! You don't have to tell us your secrets, just go ahead and brag a little when you get a whopper! Click >>> Fishing Reports Minnesota .
And ... did you know that Jeff's Thursday Morning Program is available for two weeks after the air date? Yes, you'll never need to miss the show. Click the image and 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