"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 remain in the vicinity too long, often because their electronics continue to read fish. While there may still be fish under your boat, they can become boat shy and will be tentative, or simply will not bite at all.
In some circles, fishing pros refer to a technique called “cherry picking”. They always strive to keep the element of surprise on their side by moving to new spots frequently, catching the first few active fish and then moving on to locate another fresh school of fish. You should consider trying it because this pattern works and will not only help you catch more fish but will also help you develop a working knowledge of the lake faster as well.
When folks do contact fish, jig and minnow presentations continue to outperform other techniques. Jig weights vary because fish are being located at random depths. Anglers are reporting sightings of fish on their graphs anywhere from 6 to 28 feet down. A good rule of thumb is to carry jigs ranging in 1/16, 1/18, 1/4- and 3/8-ounce sizes, that will cover every situation from 4 feet of water, down to 28 feet of water.
Jig colors that we love include gold, blue-glow, orange-glow, pink and black. Chartreuse, an everyday angler favorite will produce fish too, but don’t overlook the others and always experiment. Fish can be quirky and the color that worked great yesterday, may be their least favored today.
At the shop, we do have a huge selection of jigs and currently, plenty of Spottail Shiners, Rainbows, Fatheads and Sucker Minnows are on hand too.
Leeches and night crawlers are being used by some and the effectiveness of Lindy Rigging with live bait is on the upswing. Leeches and night crawlers are plentiful, we have leeches by the dozen, ½ pound and 1-pound containers.
Spinners are going out the door too, so we guess that there are folks catching fish trolling as well. Bottom bouncers can be used for trolling at deeper depths, but don’t overlook the shallow weed edges. Use a 1/8- or 3/16-ounce bullet sinker to troll spinners in water depths from 6 to 12 feet, especially wherever you contact emerging vegetation.
Smallmouth Bass are in shallow water, male fish are in full-scale nest guarding mode. Female fish, mostly finished spawning, can be found roaming the shoreline breaks and on shallow water rock piles and bars. We understand that the most successful bass anglers are catching the most fish using “Ned Rigs”. Stop in at the store and we can show you how to rig and present them to the smallies.
Northern Pike, another species that shy’s away from calm, sunny conditions, are still being found in shallow bays. Conventional casting presentations are not ideal for catching them in these weather conditions. The most consistent presentation has been using large, lively sucker minnows suspended below slip floats. Customize your presentation by setting the float depth about 2 to 3 feet above the bottom, this depth will vary from spot-to-spot.
As you can see by the accompanying photos, great catches can come even when the weather conditions are less than ideal. Sometimes folks make their own good luck by persistently adjusting to fishing condition. We’re here to help you do that, so stop by the store and ask questions, we will happily share tips and techniques that will help you do some of your best fishing."
— The shelves are stocked with everything you’ll need to convince those fish to bite; so be sure to stop in and let us help. For More Information >> Contact KAB OUTDOORS or Call 218.875.2281
"Bass fishing with Ned rigs is an incredibly effective way to catch bass. Although this fishing technique has been around for quite some time, it really busted onto the scene the past several years. Anglers throughout both the country and world quickly realized how many bass are easily fooled by this finesse technique.
Ned Kehde is widely considered the world's foremost expert on this technique and is credited with being the father of the aptly named Ned rig. Quite the humble man, Kehde won't take credit for it, but he has helped millions of anglers catch more fish with his unique tactics.
Kehde was gracious enough to share an extensive gear guide with us that details his must-have Ned rig baits and his observations and experiences with each. With all of the options out there these days, his descriptions and reasoning for choosing each bait will help you" Learn More >> 21 Ned Rig Baits for Bass Fishing in 2021
"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 fish for their crews. As you might expect though, the turbulent weather didn’t help in terms of keeping the fish on a hot bite. The shallow water action was affected most, Kolby’s favorite early season method of pitching jig and shiner combinations toward the shallows and working them back to the boat was put on pause.
Somehow though, despite the tough conditions, folks were still able to catch some fish. Fish had moved out to the breaklines and the key depth range was 18 to 28 feet, at least that’s where Kent and his crew had the most success. Some of the anglers who actually produced the best catches were the folks who stayed at the resort and spent their time fishing right here, from the dock! In this instance, they were the smart ones.
Honestly, it was a couple of tough days, but it looks like happy days are here again. Kent says that by late evening on Thursday, anglers had begun carrying walleyes into the fish cleaning house again. Memorial Day Weekend appears to offer more stability in terms of weather and that will help make this a productive period on Kabetogama.
Planning for your holiday weekend fishing trip will be fairly easy. Kent, Kolby and most of our guests are still using spottails as the bait of choice. Most folks add them to jig head in the 1-8-to-3-8-ounce size range, depending on how deep they’re fishing. Never forget, shiners, especially the larger ones can also be used on Lindy Rigs to produce excellent results. Sometimes, the slower presentation, combined with the minnows natural attracting power can leave walleyes powerless to say no. They will often take this presentation when more aggressive ones fail.
Lindy Rigs tipped with leeches is an option too, in fact leeches began flowing out of the bait shop last week. We’re waiting for some of the anglers who bought them to return with reports about how they produced fish and we’ll pass the info along to you when we can.
At the store, we have a fantastic selection of walleye jigs to choose from and they are available in both bulk and pre-packaged, with sizes ranging between 1-16 ounce and 3-8 ounce. So no matter where the fish go, you’ll have the right weight to get your bait in front of them.
Walleyes have captured the attention of most everybody, so northern pike are not getting a lot of attention. But as the accompanying photo proves, there are some big ones out there for anyone who wants to take a swing at catching them.
Kent has a passion for catching big pike by casting large, wood jerk baits like the Suicks. We’d encourage anybody who shares Kent’s passion for big pike and who’s interested in learning the ropes to stop by the store for a chat. We will show you the gear and Kent’s favorites lures for catching. By the way, you could really get a jump start by booking a guide trip, there’s no better way to learn the lake than that.
Our MinnKota trolling motor shop has been hopping, in fact strong sales have depleted inventories. But, we do still have a couple of standard, 24 volt Terrovas in stock and there are a couple of Ulterras with 60 inch shafts that were traded in last week. Call to double check the availability, but we currently have both 24- and 36-volt models available.
The warm weather piqued folks’ attention for ice cream last week and sales were brisk. Don’t worry though, ice cream is one item we have plenty of, so stop in for a cone, a chat and maybe to do a little bragging about your catch.
This will be a busy weekend on the roads, so drive cautiously, with an eye on the ditches because both deer and bears will be wandering. We’ll see you when you get here to wish you good luck on the lake!
" — The shelves are stocked with everything you’ll need to convince those fish to bite; so be sure to stop in and let us help. For More Information >> Contact KAB OUTDOORS or Call 218.875.2281
"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 numerous locations. On guide trips, Kent has been focusing on 22 to 26 feet of water and catching a mix of slot-fish to release, along with some eaters for dinner table. This year, it seems that the anglers are catching fewer super-small fish than usual; that may change later, we’ll let you know.
Keeler: “Doesn’t seem to matter location or depth range, hard or soft bottom shallow or deep water, fish are scattered everywhere, just got to find the hungry ones. I move regularly and don’t spend a lot of time in any area unless the walleyes are poppin’.”
Anglers who love action can still find it in shallow water. The shoreline breaks currently host a lot of smaller northern pike and smallmouth bass. Jigging with 1/16-to-1/8-ounce jigs tipped with shiners, Kent fan casts as he creeps along slowly. He reports that he and his customers are getting some decent reactions from the fish and that they are having lots of action.
Kolby has been guiding every day as well and he has been more focused on jigging in 15 to 22 feet of water. For Kolby and his fishing guests, Spottail Shiners have been the primary bait and they select jig heads that suit current conditions.
Most commonly, a ¼ jig will do the trick, but occasionally, heavier, or lighter weights are substituted to correct for strong winds or calm seas. Keeler: “I’m sure a Lindy spinner rig would do well too, but we just haven’t tried that yet, jig fishing is what we know and love, so we stick with that presentation whenever we can.”
Occasionally, we’ll hear folks talking about catching fish in super-deep water. We know that most anglers do not mean to do any harm to the fish, but unfortunately, when we pull fish out of deep water, it is extremely hard on them.
Recently, a pair of seasoned, veteran anglers told us of their fishing trip and were proud of catching numerous walleyes in water depths of 45 to 55 water. “We sort out the 13-to-14-inch fish and let the smaller ones go,” one of them said.
We do not fault them, because they just don't know about barotrauma yet. So, without sounding preachy, we would respectfully ask that they seek out information from knowledgeable sources about barotrauma before fishing in such deep water.
The plain truth is that fish caught and released in water depths over 30 feet is next to impossible. Even if they appear to be healthy and swim back down, the odds are high that damaged internal organs will result in their un-timely demise. Using good judgement now, can help keep those fish in the system and help up the odds that fishing will remain good on Kabetogama in the future, that will benefit everybody!
We can’t say that the action is frantic right now, but we are getting enough fish every day to make fishing enjoyable. We did some mid-day “road hunting” the other day and even under bright skies, on calm water, found some fish and had some action.
Weed lines are growing and fry minnows are loaded in the bays. Summer patterns, we believe, will start up sooner than later this year.
Remember, we have a new MinnKota trolling motor shop and it has been a busy place. We have Humminbird electronics in stock too, so if you didn’t think of it sooner, let us help you bring your rig into the modern era with a new graph or bow mount trolling motor.
The shop is stocked with everything you’ll need on your trip, including plenty of Spottail Shiners, so be sure to stop in and stock up on your way to the lake."
— The shelves are stocked with everything you’ll need to convince those fish to bite; so be sure to stop in and let us help. For More Information >> Contact KAB OUTDOORS or Call 218.875.2281
"Kevin Rogers has caught more crappie than he can even remember after decades of chasing these popular panfish all over the country. He's fished just about everywhere you can for crappie and seen all the advances over the years in fishing for crappie come and go.
But with the advent of real time sonar like Garmin Livescope, Rogers believes we all need to be good stewards of crappie populations and hopes that the catch and release mentality that has been so popular with bass fishing, also becomes a mainstay thought in crappie fishing.
While he keeps crappie to eat, he's long been a proponent of letting the biggest crappie go to replenish year classes on his favorite fisheries. While massive reservoirs won't see much affect their crappie fishing, today's angler is much more ..." View Video and Learn More About >> The Case for Catch and Release in Crappie Fishing
"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 the deeper breaklines too. Key water depths ranged between 17 and 19 feet of water, where there were large clouds of baitfish. Adjacent to the “bait balls”, were walleyes congregating in good numbers. Targeting these fish could be a good daytime strategy for anglers fishing Kabetogama this weekend.
Despite the popularity of jig and minnow fishing combinations for opening weekend. Lindy Rigs tipped with larger minnows could also be a great strategy for the fish holding along this type of breakline structure.
We do expect jig and minnow fishing to be good this weekend too, especially early and late in the day. On Kabetogama we like “glow” colors for our jigs. Glow/Blue and Glow/Pink combinations are good. Chartreuse Greens and Yellows are always popular too and when it sunny outside, gold jigs with lots of flash is deadly.
Slip bobber fishing for walleye is another super-effective presentation to keep in mind. Small jigs tipped with minnows and suspended below a Thill Slip Float will catch lots of fish, especially during the evening. Fish the lure of the top of shallow rock piles and shoreline points. Later in the season, leeches and crawlers will be okay on the slip bobbers, but for now, stick with minnows, they will work better.
As far as minnows are concerned, this is going to be a stress-free opening weekend. Shiners are readily available and in stock right now. We also have some beautiful rainbows, golden shiners, big fatheads and light pike minnows. As always, leeches and crawlers are on hand for folks who prefer those during the early season.
We’ve added a new service this year, “The MinnKota Shop” is now open! Folks who experience unforeseen difficulties with their trolling motors can count on Kolby and Jim to have their backs. We also have MinnKota trolling motors in stock, including both Terrova and Ulterra models.
Around the resort, we’ve added 4 new Alumacraft boats to the rental fleet. They are rigged with 115 HP Yamaha engines, so you’ll be able to go wherever you need to for the best fishing action.
Another new feature coming soon at the resort will be a new swimming pool and part-time tikki bar. The project is scheduled for completion by June 12th, just in time for warm weather guests to enjoy.
We’re looking forward to seeing you this weekend. The jig boxes are filled, the bait tanks are stocked, and the ice cream counter is ready for action. Be sure to stop in for anything you need, including some friendly, free fishing advice!" — The shelves are stocked with everything you’ll need to convince those fish to bite; so be sure to stop in and let us help. For More Information >> Contact KAB OUTDOORS or Call 218.875.2281
"Experienced open water anglers, Todd, and Reed, hailing from central Iowa, told us that neither of them had spent much time ice fishing. They said too that before reading about KAB Outdoors, they hadn’t even known how to pronounce the word Kabetogama. But learning about our Sno Bear rental combos, the idea of ice fishing piqued their interest. So, they booked a trip and drove on up to give ice fishing on Kabetogama a try.
During the pre-trip run through, I mentioned that if you can run a riding lawn mower, you’re qualified to run our SnoBear. Okay, so operating the machine is simple, but what about figuring out where to go and fish, they asked?
That is simple too, I already have the key fishing depths highlighted on the Lakemaster Chart that is loaded on our Humminbird Helix 10. Waypoints for the better fishing spots are loaded on the unit too and so are my trails, marks, and other helpful information.
Armed with a little information and a sense of adventure, Todd and Reed headed across the ice and look what they did. As you can see in the photos, folks who don’t have a lot of ice fishing experience can still find and catch fish, even on their first trip to the lake!
There’s no doubt that the comfort and efficiency of the SnoBear makes it shine as a fishing machine. But we learned this winter too that not everybody needs to catch a fish to make renting the SnoBear worthwhile. Some of our guests used it for playing on the ice, sightseeing in the Voyageurs National Park, or traveling to dinner at restaurants on the lake.
We’re thankful that the weather, the ice and the snow conditions combined to make this winter a fabulous one. In fact, it is hard to think of any way that things could have gone much better than they did.
But as the walleye season came to an end this weekend, we began pulling our fleet of rentals off the ice. For us, the time has come to put the ice fishing gear away and begin preparing for the upcoming open water fishing season.
We want to thank everybody who came up for a visit this winter and thanks to all of you who are making inquiries and reservations for next winter. By then, we’ll be chomping at the bit to get back on the ice, but for now, we’ll enjoy a little break in the action.
As the weather warms and we get closer to ice-out, we’ll begin posting fresh reports. In the meantime, thanks again for your support, we’re looking forward to seeing you again!" — The shelves are stocked with everything you’ll need to convince those fish to bite; so be sure to stop in and let us help. For More Information >> Contact KAB OUTDOORS or Call 218.875.2281
"The great 2021 mix-up continues on Lake Kabetogama. Every day presents us with a fresh fishing pattern, every day brings us a different mix of fish species and most days, we target more than one depth range to find them.
During the past couple of weeks, our guests have caught crappies, jumbo perch, walleyes, pike and sauger, all in no sequence. The one constant has been that when folks are persistent, they wind up being rewarded.
Throughout this entire season, fish have been more likely to roam over softer bottom flats than to hug tight to structure. Still, they will occasionally move onto structure to feed, so even when we fish over the mud, we are positioned nearby more defined structure like reefs and deep water points.
Because of the nomadic nature of the fish this season, we’re convinced that the best plan is to fish with a combination of tip-ups set in shallower water, while jigging lures are fished slightly deeper. Fish are roaming in an overall depth range of about 20 to 30 feet, but 30 feet is a little deep for our liking, so we try to focus on a 25-foot maximum.
Each angler rigs a tip-up and sets it up at about 20 feet deep. Once the tip-up is set, drill a handful of holes, in a variety of depths around the neighborhood and try a variety of jigging lures in each of them.
At the store, we’ve got some nice lively minnows for rigging tip-ups. They run larger than your average jigging minnows, so swing by and pick up a few of each size on your way to the lake. We’ve got all the most productive jigging baits too, and we can walk you through some of the better choices for your next trip. Even experts agree, if you want to catch a fish on Kabetogama, we have the right tackle for the job.
We weren’t sure what to expect when we decided to start offering SnoBear and lodging combinations this winter. But the response has been strong, our guests have really enjoyed the comfort and efficiency. If you’ve ever wondered, these things are super easy use and really fun to fish out of. Plus, we have ours rigged up with the latest electronics to help you find and catch fish.
The Sno Bear and lodging combo trips are great for couples and families who want to fish together efficiently, but in total comfort.
Summer is fast approaching, and our bookings are already looking good, but there are still openings available. In all likelihood, the Canadian border will remain closed this summer and that means demand will remain high.
We wouldn’t want you to be disappointed, so don’t wait around too long, give us a call and lets get your reservation in the books before it’s too late." — The shelves are stocked with everything you’ll need to convince those fish to bite; so be sure to stop in and let us help. For More Information >> Contact KAB OUTDOORS or Call 218.875.2281
Natalie, along with her brothers Andy and Oliver have been coming to Kabetogama on the annual family ice fishing trips for a while now. It’s been fun to watch them grow, learn and as 12-year-old Natalie proved last fall, mature.
Demonstrating more patience than many adult hunters, Natalie let several potential bear targets walk in and out of range of her stand as she waited for something “better” to come along. Finally, one did, the 300-pound chocolate that you see pictured here.
Natalie knew that persistence would pay off, but the knowledge didn’t come out of nowhere. Her persistence was developed, nurtured and developed over time, we think, because of getting outside, hunting and fishing with her family. Anyway, we’re proud of her and we’re pretty darn sure that we’ll be seeing signs of her influence on her brothers, Andy and Oliver in the near future too.
Our wildest dreams would come true if we are able to watch scenarios like this play out over and over again, right here at Kabetogama. We genuinely believe that our outdoor heritage depends on more families playing outside, together.
As we roll into the final few weeks of the walleye season, we’ve generally been pleased with the fishing on Kabetogama. While there haven’t been many “hot bites”, there haven’t been many totally down days either. Most every group have been able to parley their catch into a fish fry for the family.
Walleyes, like we reported last week are coming from a wide range of depths and have been caught on a variety of presentations. When push comes to shove, a combination of tip-ups and jigging lures, all in action at the same time will produce results. Use large lively minnows on the tip-ups to produce both large walleye and big pike.
Set a tip up out and away from structure, but near sunken reefs or underwater points. Drill holes nearby, but closer to structure for using the jigging presentations. Periodically re-position your tip ups and drill a few fresh holes for jigging.
We have experimented with jigging lures and had some success with most of the popular presentations. Glow Spoons, Rattl’n Flyers and Quiver Spoons are a few that come to mind, but stop in the store on your way to the lake and we’ll fill you in on what’s hot at the moment you arrive.
Perch, sauger perch and pike have come along as bonus fish, part of the overall catch but not the specific targets. For folks interested in adding more perch to the creel, one thing we can suggest is to fish softer bottom areas. Rocks and hard gravel are fine for perch at times, but late winter is when insect larvae begin to pull fish away from defined structure.
Marl is a semi-soft material that’s ideal for bloodworms and it is found in areas that transition between a hard bottom and mud. When you locate areas like these, be deliberate in your search, perch are almost sure to be roaming the flats nearby. We can help point you in the direction of some likely areas where this strategy can work.
Fishing from our Ice Castles, or for that matter, any rental shelter offers anglers opportunity to develop specialized strategies. We suggest experimentation and advise our guests to offer an array of lures that cover the gambit from attracting, to enticing to triggering.
Rig a couple of rods with large flashy lures to get the fish’s attention, but always have a couple of rods set up with more subtle, lifelike baits too. When you see fish that don’t strike the aggressive presentations, quickly offer them the more subtle ones.
For a family, this could be accomplished by taking turns at offering specialized presentations. Maybe mom could handle the jigging rod, using something like a Glow Streak, while dad watches the set line rigged with a large lively minnow as the kids present smaller blade style ice jigs tipped with smaller minnows or waxworms. Have fun mixing it up and forming your own “family plan”.
Our Sno Bear and lodging packages have been well received this winter. In fact, we’re already adding reservations to the books for next year. Even though the season is winding down soon, there are still a handful of openings during mid-week. If you’ve pictured yourself moving across the lake in total comfort, drilling holes and fishing spots without needing a jacket, then the Sno Bear is for you! Give us a call to find out what we still have available."
— The shelves are stocked with everything you’ll need to convince those fish to bite; so be sure to stop in and let us help. For More Information >> Contact KAB OUTDOORS or Call 218.875.2281
"It’s amazing how time flies when you’re having fun! Today, the 1st of February marks the beginning of Minnesota’s last full month of walleye fishing. Ironically, our sense is that the season is just beginning!
Walleye action has not been the greatest this winter, but persistent anglers are catching some fish. Last week we mentioned the effectiveness of combining tip-up fishing searching the surrounding territory using more active jigging presentations. This approach continues to be effective and is contributing, we think, to the wide range of alternative species that our customers are catching during their pursuit of walleye.
Sauger, northern pike, crappie and jumbo perch have been in the mix all along. But this week, smallmouth bass showed up in the mix and in good numbers. The smallies were found when one group of anglers slipped across to the other side of the rock reef they were fishing for walleye. Not only are the bass fun to catch, but we’ll put them up against walleye as table fare any day of the week.
The Voyageurs National Park Ice Road finally opened last week and now runs about 3 miles east, and another 2 to 3 miles straight out over the center reef. Public access to the lake is good news for anglers, but for those who have never used it, getting the hang of Voyageurs Park rules and restrictions is important.
Here’s a quick start guide to help anglers stay on the right side of the law when accessing the lake via the park service ice road.
Park rules prohibit plowing any spurs longer than 300 feet off of the primary access road.
We don’t want to oversell the fishing action on Kabetogama right now, but there’s enough going on out there to make an interesting trip out it. Expect a mixed bag of fish and plan on being creative in terms of presentations. All things considered; most everybody seems to be finding something interesting to do.
On your way to the lake, stop at the store for an up-to-the-minute update about fishing conditions on the lake. Oh and by the way, almost all of the snowmobile trails are open too, so if you just want to get away for a couple of days, that’s an option too.
One parting thought, last week we mentioned the SnoBear and how it has helped Kent find fish in some of the more off-beat areas of the lake. Those comments generated a few questions from readers, like how much it costs to rent it.
In the past, our SnoBear was typically reserved for transporting customers to and from KAB Outdoors rental shelters. But it has become increasingly popular and now, we do offer a package that includes the use of our SnoBear.
Our plan includes check in to our lakefront cabin on Thursday afternoon and checkout on Sunday. During your stay, the SnoBear, rigged with a Garmin Live Scope, Vexilar 28 flashers, fuel and bait included is yours to use the entire time. All you need to bring is your fishing rod and a few ice lures.
Have you wondered what it would be like to enjoy the ultimate combination of comfort and efficiency on the ice? Then contact Dawn for more information about our super-deluxe, lakeside cabin and SnoBear rental package."
Remember, the shelves are stocked with everything you’ll need to convince those fish to bite; so be sure to stop in and let us help. For More Information >> Contact KAB OUTDOORS or Call 218.875.2281
"Ice conditions on Lake Kabetogama are great, no matter where we’ve traveled, ice thicknesses are 16 inches and thicker. Snow cover is building as slow-but-steady snowfalls arrive every 4 or 5 days. Travel by snow machine is good, but off-road travel via pickup trucks is not possible at this time.
For reasons known only to the Voyageurs National Park staff, there is still no ice road on the lake. We get a lot of inquiries about the reasons, but the truth is that we simply do not know when, and if there will be an established ice road from the National Park this winter. Your best bet is to contact the Voyageurs Park office directly by calling 218-283-6606.
As of January 24, most of the Voyageurs Park Snowmobile Trails are open, but some are groomed, and others are not.
Updates about trail conditions can be found here at the National Park Service Website.
Walleye fishing has been peculiar this season, if the fish are concentrated anywhere, we don’t know about it yet. Our search has taken into shallow water, deep water and everything in between, plus we’ve fished sand, rocks and mud. Results are pretty much the same wherever we go, walleyes are scattered, and the bite is finicky.
Anglers visiting the store echo our reports, most of them catch some fish, especially those who check a lot of territory. But nobody reports getting into any large school fish.
One way to maximize the effectiveness of your search is to set a tip up, rigged with large, lively minnows. Set up a search perimeter around your tip up and try jigging the structure from several different angles.
Often, the commotion of drilling holes and testing presentations gets a few fish moving. Fish that find it easy to snub a small jigging lure will find it harder to say no to a large, lively minnow. Repeat the process every time you move into fresh territory and you definitely will pick up a few fish.
Thanks in large part to the effectiveness of our Sno Bear, Kent’s search has taken him into more new territory than ever this winter. And one of the payoffs has been his discovery of active crappies. When the walleyes are sluggish, crappies are a nice way to give our guests something to do.
While not considered a “Crappie Mecca”, Kabetogama does have modest populations of nice size fish which are not pursued by large crowds. Maybe you’re interested in a Sno Bear trip to the crappie hole with Kent, it can be arranged.
Some of our other guests report taking advantage of active perch as a substitute for sluggish walleye action. Folks are catching good numbers of nice size jumbos by fishing soft bottom transitions that lay adjacent to sand flats. Perch feed on insect larvae that inhabit the soft, marl substrate and the transitional edges provide them with a defined travel route. Anglers have done well by focusing on depths from 27 to 32 feet of water.
Perch eat a lot of different things and there are a variety of lures that pique their interest. One of the best setups is to rig one rod with large, flashy blade baits tipped with minnows, while a second rod rigged with small, tungsten jigs and larvae is used to trigger strikes from insect feeders.
Recently, pike fishing hasn’t been a hot topic around the store. But remember, it won’t be long before pike will begin migrating toward late winter and early spring staging areas. The force of nature is strong in these fish and they will be located in areas adjacent to spawning territory well before the ice begins melting. Using tip-ups rigged with big sucker minnows is a great way to ice one our monster Kabetogama pike." — The shelves are stocked with everything you’ll need to convince those fish to bite; so be sure to stop in and let us help. For More Information >> Contact KAB OUTDOORS or Call 218.875.2281
Unlike many other species of freshwater fish, crappies can be found in a wide variety of locations up and down in the water column. Feeding preferences, oxygen levels and water clarity all play a role in where crappies will be found.
Knowing where to psotion your offering can make the difference betwen a boom or bust on your next crappie fishing adventure.
Want to catch MORE crappies ice fishing? Understanding where and how crappies are feeding in the water column is the key to a consistent bite. Follow Jon Thelen as he breaks down a variety of tips & tricks that will help dial in your presentation and catch more fish! View Video and Learn More >> Jon Thelen's Crappie Fishing Tips and Tricks
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In 2021, Abu Garcia® observes an important milestone in the company's history-its 100th anniversary-by looking to the future while also paying homage to a legacy that spans across continents and marks the foundation for many modern-day angling innovations.
Carl August Borgström founded AB Urfabriken in 1921 near the Mörrum River in Svängsta, Sweden. The onset of World War II in Europe led AB Urfabriken (ABU) to redirect its skills to the development of ..." Learn More >> Abu Garcia Turns 100
"Fishing action has improved on Kabetogama over the past week, but before we get into the ice fishing report, let’s talk about travel conditions, particularly the Voyageurs National Park Ice Road.
Travel conditions on the lake are awesome for snowmobiling, the snow is deep enough to provide a nice smooth ride to and from the ice fishing spots. But drifted areas have become deep enough to rule out most off-road travel in a pickup truck, so hold off on that, it is not an option at this time. This is why we’ve been getting a lot of calls about whether or not the ice road is open.
So far, it is not and there is no indication that the ice road will be opening anytime soon. In fact, we’re not even sure that anyone from the office has been out to inspect the landing or check the ice conditions.
Folks who are curious about the timeline for when the ice road will be open can cut out the middleman and call direct to Bob De Gross at the Voyageurs National Park headquarters in International Falls. De Gross is the one in charge of making final decisions about the road and can provide you with updates. Contact him at 218-283-6606 and be sure to leave a voice message if he’s not available at the time of your call.
If we know something soon, we’ll provide an update on our facebook page and of course, provide additional information here, in our fishing report.
Back to fishing, the bite has been better the past couple of days. Our graphs reveal lots of fish in water depths of 25 to 28 feet, in some areas, the activity is nearly constant throughout the day.
We’ve had some success using a lot of presentations but haven’t seen any one of them really stand out. Aggressively jigging with loud, flashy lures like Glow Streaks calls fish into the area, but sometimes triggering a strike from them requires a 2nd rod rigged with a more subtle lure.
Maybe because of what the walleyes are feeding on, tiny, young of the year perch in the 1-inch size range, smaller lures and smaller minnows have proven to be effective this winter. While walleyes fill their gullets with tiny perch, a crappie size jig tipped with small fatheads or a couple of waxworms goes down easier than larger lures, at least that’s one theory.
We are catching some walleyes on spoons tipped with minnow heads too. Glow Spoons are working, and so are some of the other proven and popular jigging spoons. Don’t be afraid to experiment with a wide array of lures, it seems that offering fish more choices is a solid approach right now.
Tip ups set in 15 feet of water helped us bag some walleyes during the daytime this week too. We have rigged with larger minnows and take care to be sure that the bait is lively and swimming. Walleyes have a harder time saying no to a minnow that appears to be struggling to escape.
We haven’t had a lot of folks interested in pike of perch so far. So any other fish we’ve caught have come along as bonus fish while we were in pursuit of walleyes.
Some of our upcoming reservations have fallen through, so you might want to take advantage of the cancellations. There will be a couple of openings this weekend and again over the weekend after that. Give us a call for an up to the minute availability assessment.
Up to the minute fishing reports are always helpful too and our staff at the store can always help with that. Whatever the fishing patterns are at the time, we have the right lures and selection of live bait to help you capitalize, so stop in on your way to the lake!" — The shelves are stocked with everything you’ll need to convince those fish to bite; so be sure to stop in and let us help. For More Information >> Contact KAB OUTDOORS or Call 218.875.2281
"At KAB Outdoors, 2020 was an amazing year. Despite the obvious challenges, our customers, guests, and staff all pulled together to make it an enjoyable and productive fishing, hunting, and boating season.
A growth year for us, we acquired lots of new gear, updated our fleet of rental ice fishing shelters and made a lot of progress updating the grounds and facilities. In fact, the slower-than-typical start to the ice season allowed us some extra time to make even more progress and in 2021, our customers and guests will enjoy more comfort than ever on their next visit.
That is why we’re so excited to, drum roll please … RING THE OPENING BELL ON THE 2021 FISHING SEASON! Yes, that’s right, the lake is locked up, our rentals are in place and customers have begun catching fish through the ice on Kabetogama.
Because of Mother Nature’s tardiness in freezing the lake, pinpointing the fish has taken a little extra time, but we’re beginning to zero in on some of the better fishing spots now.
Maybe it’s because of the late start, or maybe fish have responded to some other natural influence, but so far, their mood has been less than aggressive. Some of the jigging baits that we typically favor during the early ice season aren’t really triggering strikes.
An aggressive jigging motion will call fish in, we see them on our graphs often throughout the day. But we are actually triggering strikes and catching fish using lures that do almost nothing. In fact, we could argue that a lively shiner, on a bare hook, suspended below a slip float is the “best” presentation right now.
Trophy hunters might be interested in that because using larger than average minnows on setlines or tip-ups could produce bonus pike along with larger walleyes.
At the moment, none of the Voyageurs Nation Park snowmobile trails are open. However, there is enough snow on the lake for comfortable snowmobiling. The Voyageurs Nation Park ice road is not open either. We do not suggest attempting off-road travel by pickup truck, there are still too many potential pitfalls to make that a safe option.
We’ve been covering lots of ground using the Sno Bear and experimenting with depths. Kent has fished in water depths of 12 to 30 feet and everything in between. So far, there’s no clear pattern, so experimentation will continue until we have to dial in key depths more specifically.
If you’ve never fished in a Sno Bear, you deserve to treat yourself, it’s quite an experience! And this season, Kent has added a lot of new electronics, so the Sno Bear is becoming a great search tool as well. Seeing is believing, they say, so we’d love for you to come up and see the machine for yourself!
Whether you choose one of our guided ice fishing packages or check in to one of sleeper rentals, we’ll be working hard to make your ice fishing trip the most comfortable and enjoyable one ever.
Oh, and if you prefer to wing it, fishing the lake on your own terms, that’s great. Just remember to stop by the store for bait, lures, licenses and those last-minute items that fall through the cracks. We’ve got the supplies you need, and the information you want, so swing into the store and let us help!" — For More Information >> Contact KAB OUTDOORS or Call 218.875.2281