image of fishrapper logo

image links to Lake of the Woods, LOW Tourism August 16, 2022

image of angler holding large musky on Lake of the woods "Walleye fishing has been good all summer and is still going strong on the south end of Lake of the Woods. Folks are bringing in lots of limits of walleyes, along with some big fish being caught and released along the way.

Nice eaters still set up in 15 to 20 foot depth range outside both gaps on the south end of the lake as well as numerous areas of Big Traverse Bay. Lots of anglers running north if conditions allow.

Drifting spinners still producing. Hammered gold, pink, orange, glow white, glow red or a combo of some of these colors working well. Usually a two or three hook harness with just a few inches of crawler off of the back hook. Good success jigging for walleyes. This technique usually slows down in August, but this year it is still working great. Using a frozen emerald shiner is the go to. Big walleyes being found, as a rule, over deep mud. Jigging, spinners and crankbaits are all catching the big fish.

Lake levels continue to drop thankfully. Boat ramps are open so all of the fishing charters and guides continue to be on fish.

There are some good walleye, sturgeon and smallmouth bass reports from the Rainy River too. Water levels continue to drop, and shoreline breaks, current breaks, weed edges and holes are holding a mixed bag of fish. Sturgeon anglers are reporting good numbers of fish. Putting in a couple of days normally results in some success. Holes and flats or saddles just off of the current good areas to look at.

Up at the Northwest Angle, catching lots of walleyes along with a mixed bag is the norm. Some anglers fishing MN waters, others boating into Ontario waters from the Angle and fishing there. Good reports across the board.

Little Traverse Bay (large open water east of Little Oak Island) still holding good numbers of walleyes over deep mud. Typical summer spots are producing. Sunken islands, neck down areas with moving water and points. With 14,552 islands, lots of places to fish. Muskie anglers reporting fish have been active with good numbers being caught.

Angle resorts are located in MN right on the border. Checking in with Canada Customs and being vaccinated is not needed if boating from the U.S. to Canada and not touching land, docks, anchoring, mooring or exchanging goods or services."  Lake of the Woods Tourism, (800) 382-FISH

image links to mn dnr news release News Releases August 12, 2022: "Fisheries Workgroups Accepting Apllications"

"Periodically, I’ll have conversations with anglers who are frustrated by one DNR regulation or another. It’s easy to understand why that happens, because when it comes to fishing, our “issues of the day” are becoming more and more complex. Often, it’s easy to get anglers to agree on what the problems are, but they seem to only ever disagree on how to solve them. One thing I can tell you for sure, there are few, if any, “one size fits all” rules and regulations that ever solve anything.

Education, in my view, is the best possible way to strike a balance between what’s good for the fish, vs what’s good for the anglers who fish for them.  Occasionally, opportunities come along for folks who either want to influence the system, or in some cases, gain knowledge about fish, and fish biology.

The Minnesota DNR has announced volunteer openings on several of the fisheries workgroups. Whether your interests favor walleye, panfish, catfish, bass or pike, there’s a group working on ideas about how to preserve, or make better, fishing for those species in Minnesota.

Don’t keep your ideas to yourself, stand up and be heard. Follow the links below, learn more about the fisheries workgroups and if you’re ready to make a difference, fill out an application.

I did, just now, I submitted my request to serve abother term on the panfish workgroup. But truthfully, these groups need "new blood" from time-to-time, and if your application happens to be chosen over mine, I would not be disappointed. That said, somebody has to stay involved, so if you won't, I will, and with luck, it will some good."

MN Fisheries Workgroups Overview >> MN Fisheries Workgroups Application Page

image links to fishing guide jeff sundin Jeff Sundin "Lake Superior, Busmans Holiday" August 11, 2022

image of the Hippie Chick with salmon caught on Lake Superior, near Duluth As a shade tree mechanic, my dad was about as good as they get, in fact, he seldom, if ever, bought any vehicle that already ran, he’d rather get them on the cheap and then fix them up. Among family and friends, he was in high demand and always fixing somebody’s car, truck or motorcycle, including mine.

One of the most valuable tidbits of information I learned while “assisting” him in the garage was to never change the engine until after you’ve first tried changing the spark plugs. In other words, rule out the simplest problems first, that may be all it takes to get your heap of nuts and bolts running again.

Applying that same philosophy to fishing works also, try the simple stuff first and if that won’t work, you can get into the more advanced methods later.

I’ve never caught a salmon, but I’ve always wanted to. Some folks have told me that Alaska is the place to go. Others have suggested Lake Michigan, still others, the Columbia River, along with other glorious destinations. They all sound like fun, but with limited time and resources, I reasoned that we ought to at least try Lake Superior first. It’s in our back yard, there are plenty of charter captains to choose from and by all accounts, can offer up some pretty good fishing at times. So, I and the Hippie Chick booked a charter and yesterday was the big day!

Image of The Hippie Chick and Green Eyes Charter, first mate Greg, showing off walleye caught on charter fishing trip We departed the dock at Barker’s Island yesterday morning at 6:00 AM and after the crew searched for the “right” water temperature, began setting lines by about 6:45. It appeared the day might be action packed because the salmon you see the Hippie chick holding struck before Captain Scott had finished setting all the lines. A short while afterward, another salmon struck, and I was allowed to reel that one in. Then there was a lull, followed by the walleye Mrs. Sundin caught and then … nothing.

As it happens, the conditions, calm seas, high sunny skies and clear water don’t work much better for salmon fishing on Lake Superior than they do for walleyes in my home territory. We trolled until noon, changing the colors of spoons, and adjusting the depths periodically, but that wasn’t gonna change anything; the bite was over. Chatter on the marine band radio made it sound like most of the fishing charters were experiencing the same thing.

When I scheduled the trip, I was hoping that we might get a salmon, but not expecting it. Folks had told me to expect Lake Trout to dominate the catch on Lake Superior, but yesterday, we didn’t catch one. That seemed surprising, but I didn’t mind, we got to see firsthand that there are salmon out there and that folks do catch them.

From the technical point of view, we did learn that starting early is a good idea. We met our captain at the dock at 6:00 AM and if I could start the day over again, I’d ask him if 5:00 AM would have been okay. Getting out there and set up early was the key and if we’d started an hour later, we might night have caught anything.

Water temperatures on the south end of the lake are warm, they say. Searching for the thermocline, 42-degree water is how they figure out where to fish. The problem is that they really struggled to find water in that temperature range, even when they took the boat out over 100 feet of water. I gathered that a favorable change in the location of the ideal water temperature range will make finding and catching fish easier.

Even if we didn’t fill the cooler with lots of fish, the experience was a good one and sooner or later, we’ll try it again. Weather wise, we could not have asked for a better day and that meant a lot to the semi-seasick-prone Mrs. Sundin. I got a look at how the crew rigs up all the gear and a learned a little bit about what makes those fish tick. And as a bonus, we do have a couple meals worth of fresh salmon to look forward to, we’ll probably have one tonight. fish smiley image — Jeff Sundin 218-245-9858 or EMAIL

image links to Lake of the Woods, LOW Tourism August 11, 2022

image of angler holding giant smallmouth bass caughton the rainy river Lake levels continue to drop and fishing is excellent on the south end of Lake of the Woods. Boat ramps are open and the fishing charters and walleye guides are on fish. There are lots of "limits" of walleyes coming back to the docks, along with some big fish being caught and released on the lake.

Warrior Boats had their David A. Andersen Memorial Walleye Tournament Saturday. 144 boats. Catch and release. Winning bag, 5 walleyes for 49.37 lbs. Some big walleyes, congrats!

Normally, August is crawler harness and crankbait time on LOW and jigging isn't as effective. All three techniques are working well this year. Some walleyes are still holding closer to shorelines, while other fish are living out in the basin as is more traditional during the dog days. Reefs continue to hold walleyes. Some days on top, other days off the edge.

Got your limit or want smaller water? Back bays such as Four Mile Bay, Zippel Bay and Bostic Bay holding pike, bass and even a few eyes.

On the Rainy River, water levels and river current are slowly dropping and slowing. Anglers are finding a smorgasbord of summer fishing opportunity.

Sturgeon anglers are reporting good numbers of fish. Some days they eat like crazy, other days not so much. Some big fish being reeled in. A 4 to 5 ounce weight combined with a sturgeon rig loaded with crawlers continues to be effective.

With water levels dropping, some fish starting to gravitate out of the bays and into more traditional river structure. Shoreline breaks, current breaks, weed edges and holes holding a mixed bag.

Fishing continues to be excellent up at the Northwest Angle as well. It's usually a mixed bag amongst the islands including walleyes, saugers, pike, smallmouth bass, perch and a few crappies. Jigging and pulling spinners are most used methods.

Fish are set up in late summer areas. sunken islands, neck down areas with moving water and points are good places to start. Good numbers of walleyes on mud flats, often spread out but often in good numbers. Muskie anglers again showing good numbers of fish casting a variety of shoreline structure. Lake of the Woods Tourism, (800) 382-FISH

image links to Lake of the Woods, Border View Lodge August 11, 2022

"Down riggers are starting to be used more often each day. We are starting to focus more on the deeper mud and less on the shallow structure. Most of our down rigging success is coming with natural minnow patterns and fire tiger.

Big fish are still primarily being taken with spinners and crawlers, drifting spinners when it’s windy is still a reliable tactic for most of our guides. Overall fishing has been good with quality keepers getting brought in and the occasional trophy fish getting caught." 1-800-776-3474 Border View Lodge

image links to wired2fish Wired2Fish "3 Sneaky Tricks to Find Summer Bass" August 11, 2022

image links to video about catching bass in heavy weed cover"Crankbaits perform best when they come back to you in a straight line. Cliff Pace discusses why your crankbaits need to be tuned and how to tune a bait with a simple twist of the bait eye.

So why does it matter? As Pace discusses, a straight running bait reaches its maximum running depth and deflects off cover with less snagging. Simply grab a needle-nosed plier and make a subtle bend of the line tie the opposite direction the bait is running. If it’s veering to the left, bend the eye slightly to the right. It’s easy to overcompensate, so a small bend usually corrects the issue.

While most crankbaits and plugs come tuned, the simple act of fishing them, fighting fish, and just regular wear and tear knocks them out of whack from time to time. Follow this guide to ..." Learn More >> 3 Sneaky Tricks to Find Summer Bass

image links to Ely Area, Arrowhead Outdoors Fishing Report August 9, 2022

image of angler with big smallmout4h bass caught in the ely mn area "Walleye: Trolling bite has been very consistent for walleye anglers. Most anglers have been trolling in 15 to 18 feet of water with shad raps. During evening hours, on lakes with ciscos, walleye suspend to chase ciscos. Here anglers are fishing with tail dancers in 20 to 30 feet down, over 30 to 60 feet of water.

For anglers who don’t like trolling there has been reports of spinner rigs working. Best report have been when anglers are tipping it with leeches. These anglers are finding walleyes in 15 to 25 feet of water, around sunken islands, mouths of bays and main lake points. Hammered gold, silver, pink and blue have been top colors.

Smallmouth bass fishing remains very consistent everywhere in the Ely area. Whopper ploppers continue to be hot, hot, hot. Anglers are working shorelines, shallow flats and around downed trees. Soft plastics, spinnerbaits and in-line spinners have also been very effective in the same areas.

Stream Trout: Rainbows have continue to be active on many area lakes. Anglers have been trolling cowbells with a small crankbait trailing behind, about 20 feet down. Shoreline anglers have been having good luck fishing a night crawler 10-15 feet under a bobber, during the evening hours.

Panfish anglers continue to find active sunnies and crappies working weedlines. Small beetle spins have been very popular, along with waxies and crawlers, for panfish. Crappie have been more active during the evening hours on the same weedlines sunfish are being found during the day." — Arrowhead Outdoors, 218-365-5358

image links to fishing guide jeff sundin Jeff Sundin "Hiding From Wind? Try Mississippi River" August 6, 2022

image of Ken Seufert with crappie and walleye caught on the Mississippi River I don’t usually do much writing on Saturdays. For my custom content resort customers, this is “changeover day” so folks are either coming or going and don’t spend much time reading their fishing information. For me, it’s a morning carved out of a hectic schedule that allows me an extra few hours of sleep before doing whatever I do for the rest of the day. Today though, I do have a few timely words about fishing that could be useful over the next few days, when my reports will be spotty due to mom’s funeral coming up.

Wednesday, the wind was blowing 10 to 20 MPH out of the northwest. Ken Seufert, my customer that day, has spent enough time in rough seas with me, so to ensure a calmer ride, I drove over to Four Seasons Resort on the west side of Winnibigoshish and paid to launch at their boat ramp in the Mississippi River. The fishing on Winnie was fine, as it has been, but with the good reports from Bowen Lodge August 4 and the Pines Resort August 1 already on these pages, I don’t see any reason to elaborate about that.

Instead, it was Ken’s question on Wednesday that provides the lead in for todays report. Looking upstream on the Mississippi River, west from Four Season’s dock, he asked; “Do you ever go up the river and fish for crappies?” “Not on this stretch I said, but I have fished other places on the Mississippi and done fairly well at times. Maybe one of these days we’ll give it a try”, I added.

Well, on Friday, Ken and I were scheduled to fish again, and this time, the forecast wind was from the south at 20 MPH, with stronger gusts at times. This called for another defensive play, but where would we go to stay out of the breeze this time? Yes, you’re right, timely, topical, and not at all a bad choice for a multi-species, mixed bag fishing trip on a windy day; the Mississippi River! You can see Ken’s hat flapping in the wind in the accompanying photo, so this turned out to be a good idea.

Water conditions on the river remain high and the current is strong, but the oxbows and back bays benefit from that. Places where I have not been able to fish at all in recent years are easily accessible right now. Because of the high water, submerged weed growth is more manageable too, so getting off the main river channel and fishing weeds is more attractive than usual.

Northern Pike dominated the catch like they usually do. But we also caught crappies, walleyes, rock bass, a few perch and a handful of little largemouth bass. I was expecting to see some larger bass, and was surprised that we didn’t, but we never actually pursued them intentionally. If we’d gone into the heavy cover with some Texas rigged plastic worms, we might have caught a few, we’ll try that next time.

Spinners, fished over the weed tops was our primary presentation and it worked for most of the fish. But once we caught a couple of crappies, I used the spot-lock to hold us on a small, weedy point. The crappies held tight in that weed patch and we caught most of them using small jigs tipped with minnows and/or plastic tails. We caught 3 or 4 fish using the clip on floats that I talked about on …, The floats were more relaxing, they helped keep our lures above the weed tops, but the action was slower this way.

Casting spinnerbaits produced a couple of pike too. But I watched Ken using the spinnerbait and he was fighting with weeds on every cast, so decided not to make a day out of using that presentation. If you’re an expert with spinnerbaits though, it is also a fun way to fish the eddies and pockets on the river. So, keep that in the back of your mind for a try as well.

Don’t get the idea that you’ll casually float down the river and catch fish hand over fist. We had to work at it a little, but by day’s end we’d caught 9 keeper crappies, 5 keeper walleyes, couple of keeper perch and 1 sunfish. Northern Pike were plentiful, we probably caught 50 of those and they ranged in size from 10 inches, up to the largest, 33 inches. That one was too big for cooking, but there was a 27-1/2-inch pike, perfect for Susan’s coconut pike delight recipe. Ken and I split that, so I and the Hippie Chick had ours for dinner last night; it was even better than usual. Hopefully, Mrs. Seufert will love hers just as much as we do.

It's not the sort of fishing trip that you can repeat every day, but all things considered; this was a great idea for yesterday. Even though it was still windy, we were able to avoid big waves, making boat control a lot easier for me. There was enough action to keep us busy for most of the day, and there were enough “keeper” fish to provide a reasonable harvest for my customer. So, if you’re the adventurous type, want to try something different, think about this the next time the wind is too strong for the big lake. fish smiley image — Jeff Sundin 218-245-9858 or EMAIL

image links to Ely Area, Arrowhead Outdoors Fishing Report August 3, 2022

image of woman holding a big smallmouth bass caught near Ely, MN"Walleye angling has slowed for many, as walleyes have been scattered this last week. Anglers, covering ground, have been catching walleyes trolling deep diving shad raps and tail dancers. These anglers have been working weedlines, large flats and over deep water during the evenings.

Anglers continue to have luck pulling spinner rigs, tipped with leeches or crawlers. Gold, pink and silver have been popular colors right now. Anglers pulling spinner rigs have been catching walleyes in 6-9 feet of water, in and around scattered cabbage beds.

Smallmouth Bass fishing continues to be consistent biters for many anglers with a few reporting catching good numbers of 20+ inch smallies. Whopper ploppers continue to be hot, hot, hot, but effective times is largely early in the morning or cloudy days with a little chop on the water. Shorelines with large flats, down trees and scattered boulders, has been areas to target. Spinnerbaits and soft plastics have also been very effective on smallies when the topwater bite isn’t going.

Crappie - Good crappie reports have been growing as we come into peak bite, for summer crappies. Anglers have been working weedlines with beetle spins and twisters. Best times have been during evenings, but anglers have been reporting catching crappies all day."— Arrowhead Outdoors, 218-365-5358

image links to wired2fish Wired2Fish "Finesse Hair Jig Smallmouth Bass | Best Rod Setup"

image links to article about fishing hair jugs for smallmouth bass"Hair jigs catch just about every fish that swims, but there are a lot of design differences based on the target species and time of year. Wisconsin-based pro, Cody Hahner, discusses hair jigs for northern smallmouth bass: when to use and how to fish them, jig specifics, and the best rod, reel and line setup to get maximum performance from this lightweight offering.

Unlike the Preacher jigs of the south, small maribou hair jigs are more akin to flies and excel for springtime and early summer smallmouth. In particular, Hahner loves using them when prespawn smallmouth are cruising shallow flats in search of bedding sites. While you can argue they resemble natural forage: insects, leeches, crawfish, and even minnows, Hahner feels it’s their super-sneaky presence and almost floating appearance that perks smallmouth curiosity and ..." View Video and Learn More >> Finesse Hair Jig Smallmouth Bass | Best Rod Setup

image links to Lake of the Woods, LOW Tourism August 2, 2022

image of walleyes stacked up on fish filleting table at Zippel Bay Resort "As evidenced by the accompanying photo, the mid-summer walleye fishing remains excellent on the south end of Lake of the Woods. It's common to see fishing guides and resort guests returning to their respective docks with limits of both walleyes and saugers. Access to the lake is easier now too, water levels are slowly dropping and boat ramps are open.

Anglers report finding nice pods of "eater" walleyes in 12 to 20 feet of water out in front of Pine Island, near both the Lighthouse and Morris Point gaps.

It's common to hear about fish moving to the deep mud this time of year too, and they are. Key fish holding depths are 28 to 34 feet of water, fish are showing up there in good numbers. Reefs are also holding nice numbers of walleyes for folks who prefer "structure" fishing for walleye.

The top 2 presentations most anglers report are spinners and crankbaits. With spinners, most folks are using night crawler harnesses and drift fishing with them.

image of Nick Panovich holding walleye for fishing customer on charter boat Crankbaits are trolled at faster speeds using kick motors or with bow mount electric motors. For some, jigging with a frozen shiner or fathead is still working well. Some anglers do all 3, fishing from an achored postition using jigs in the morning and then switching to trolling spinners or cranks come afternoon.

On the Rainy River, good summer fishing continues as well. With decent current, current breaks are still holding fish. Sturgeon anglers are reporting good numbers of fish. A 4 ounce weight combined with a sturgeon rig loaded with crawlers has been the set up. Big pike are feeding in bays and feeder rivers. Smallies around rocks, current breaks, bays and bridges.

Fishing has been great up at the Northwest Angle also. Most anglers are targeting walleyes, but there is a mixed bag of fish species available for anyone who likes variety. Jigging and pulling spinners have been the go-to methods.

Areas such as reefs, neck down areas with moving water and points holding fish have been best. Good numbers of walleyes on mud flats, often spread out but often in good numbers. East of Little Oak Island in the deep mud has been holding nice walleyes. Muskie anglers continue to catch good numbers of fish casting shoreline structure."  Lake of the Woods Tourism, (800) 382-FISH