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image links to fishrapper.com Lake of the Woods, LOW Tourism October 19, 2021

image links to fishing report from Lake of the Woods "It was an excellent week of fall walleye fishing for folks on the south end of Lake of the Woods. Our advice to anglers is to bring lots of bait, because the fish are active.

There are lots of small fish in the system and that bodes well for the future. You will catch your eaters and some other larger fish, but will usually have to sort through numerous small fish along the way to your limit.

Anchored up and jigging with a fathead or emerald shiner is the go to method. Most fish are usually adjacent to the bottom. Live shiners are available and effective. Some anglers still using spinners with a minnow or trolling crankbaits.

The best reports are coming from 17 top 27 feet of water across the south shore in areas such as Pine Island, Morris Point, Zippel Bay, Graceton Beach, Long Point and Rocky Point. Various schools within these depths. In addition to walleyes and saugers, pike, jumbo perch, sturgeon and even a few crappies are in the mix for walleye anglers.

On the Rainy River, emerald shiners continue to run in the Rainy River, consequently, there are walleyes around. Jigging with a frozen or live shiner, is the go to method. Emerald shiners are tough to beat. Trolling crankbaits is an extremely effective technique in the river. Also great in locating walleyes or when fish are scattered.

Sturgeon activity continues good. A gob of crawlers and/or frozen shiners on a sturgeon rig (18 inch leader made of 60 pound test line, circle hook and a 2 to 3 ounce no roll sinker) is the ticket. The catch and release season continues through April 23, 2022.

Fall fishing up at the Northwest Angle continues to be excellent. Most anglers are using a jig and minnow or jig and plastic for walleyes. In some areas, walleyes are stacked and active with big numbers of fish being caught. Various areas of structure such as points, reefs and sandy areas in neck down areas continue to hold good fish. 12 to 26 feet is the range depending upon the spot.

Gold, pink and/or glow colored jigs and spinners are doing well. Reminder, no live, frozen or dead bait being able to be transported over the border from the U.S. into Canada, consequently anglers boating into Ontario waters reporting various plastics on their jigs and spinners working great.

Big crappies are active in their fall spots and being caught on jigs and minnows in 24 to 30 feer around various structure. Muskie action was hot this week. Jigging large baits has boated good numbers of fish as well as casting and trolling.

Travel to and from the Angle via vehicle through the 40 miles of Canada is open. Boating into Canadian waters is now open. Want to avoid crossing the border? Charter transport via water and ice and flights over the lake are available through the LOW Passenger Service and Lake Country Air both this fall and into the winter months via ice."  Lake of the Woods Tourism, (800) 382-FISH

image links to fishrapper.com Lake of the Woods, Border View Lodge October 19, 2021

"Activity is definitely the word of the week. Carry lots of bait with you, as the fish are hungry. Sorting is another word to use as there seems to be a lot of small fish getting to the minnows first. In time you will still gather your quota and you will be busy.

That has been the conversations from those fishing in front of pine island on the lake side. Our Walleye Master Guide are still attacking some prime areas up North around the various islands with much success. Shiners are the bait of choice and the run this year has been fantastic. The river fishing and Four Mile Bay fishing will continue to increase. Anchoring and jigging is the fall style of fishing.

11th Year of the Chili Bowl went well with many anglers competing for larger prizes this year. We increased the entry fee and obtained sponsors so we could run with 100% payout! $10,000.00 was awarded with $6,500.00 for the first 3 teams.

The fall leave colors are starting to show up. It is amazing to see how long the leaves are staying on the trees this year. You can watch our webcam from time to time to see them change.

If you have thought about relocating to a location like Lake of the Woods check out our new employment webpage. We have openings available starting in the ice season. https://borderviewlodge.com/employment/

The forecast for this week looks like a normal fall cool down. Temperatures from overnight mid 30’s to daytime low 60’s are forecasted this week along with some showers. Don’t forget your rain gear!" 1-800-776-3474 Border View Lodge


image links to wired2fish Wired2Fish October 19, 2021 "6 Spinnerbait Tips to Catch More Fall Smallmouth Bass"

image links to fishing article about developments in electric outboard motors "Wired2fish caught up with Bill Lowen for a lesson on finding and catching shallow water smallmouth bass using spinnerbaits during the fall. While deeper offshore structure makes prime smallmouth habitat, the shallows always hold fish, particularly during the spring and fall. A fast-moving spinnerbait bulged just below the surface is tailor-made to imitate a small school of baitfish and excels at combining vast flats and triggering reaction strikes. *Product links at the bottom.

Here are Lowen’s 6 tips to dial the bite:

  • Burn (speed reel) spinnerbaits just under the surface. Bass in clear water feed by sight — a fast retrieve prevents fish from inspecting the bait and forces a reaction strike. It’s also among the best methods for combining vast expanses of water in search of scattered bass.
  • Always ... View Video and Learn More >> 6 Spinnerbait Tips to Catch More Fall Smallmouth Bass

image links to fishing guide jeff sundin Jeff Sundin October 18, 2021 "Depending on the Depend-Able for Ending the End-Able"

There’s nothing harder than seeing a really good thing come grinding to a halt. But like George Harrison wrote, “All Things Must Pass” and in this instance, what faded away over the weekend was Lake Winnibigoshish’s red hot, shallow water walleye bite. Yes, I’m afraid that it is true, many walleyes skedaddled in the aftermath of the “super blow” and subsequent cold snap that rolled in last Wednesday.

As of Saturday on the big lake, surface water dropped a full 10 degrees; from the 64-degree reading that I reported last week, to the 52 to 53-degree readings we saw on Saturday. In Cutfoot, water temperatures held somewhat better, tickling the 56-to-57-degree mark.

Some folk’s interpretations of what I just wrote will be that I said the walleyes stopped biting on Winnie. But that’s not what I said, “many walleyes skedaddled” were my exact words and what I meant by that is that they were now scattered, instead of bunched up.

After the turbulence, large numbers of fish moved away from what recently were very popular “hot spots”. In those areas where walleyes, perch and pike had been congregated in large numbers, there were now a tiny fraction of the original numbers.

It appeared to me that where they went was to scatter and spread out across the shallow flats. I think that because on Saturday, we, or I should say at least Bugs Benton, was still able to catch fish. But the walleye were hanging out in tiny groups, so we had to "spot hop", moving from one place to another, catch whichever active walleyes were there and then move on to a fresh spot.

Positioning the boat within casting distance of a weed patch, rock pile or small inside corner along the break line, we cast a 1/8-ounce jig tipped with good size minnows and swam them back toward the boat using a snap-drop-snap-drop retrieve. By good size minnows, I mean ideally any minnows from 3 to 4 inches in size. We had bought the "river mix" which contains at least 5 species including lake shiners, brassy shiners, rainbows, leatherbacks and golden shiners. I also had some leftovers, fatheads, dace and others that had built up in my bait tank; they all worked, but in my view, the bigger ones worked the best.

Watching Bugs fish, I noticed that his jigging style was much more aggressive than other folks were using, and that it was working to his advantage. What that signaled to me was that the fish were still “biting”, but that catching more of them would require constantly moving and searching for another spot to fish.

Doing that, we managed 8 keeper walleye and a handful of nice perch. If we’d wanted to lower our standard for keepers down to 13-1/2 inches, we would have finished off their 2-man limit, but we chose to let those smaller fish go, hopefully to harvest next year instead.

The takeaway for you, I hope, is that you can keep on presenting your lures aggressively, assuming the fish will strike. But that you’ll need to present your lure in a wider variety of locations in order to encounter enough numbers of fish to make good days catch.

Catching fish one-by-one works for me, but I can see where folks would be disappointed after becoming accustomed to catching fish "hand-over-fist" the way they were a couple of weeks ago. One of the hardest things about fishing Winnie on Saturday was knowing that only a few days earlier, fish had been jumping in the boat for almost everybody, me included. So, with lots of folks recollecting the spots where they’d done their best work last week, the decision-making process became more complicated. Once you start remembering that “Pete caught ‘em on the rocks, Fred found ‘em out deep, Debbie landed on a school over the sand flat and Uncle Ned got ‘em in the weeds, your head starts spinning.

There are so many ideas floating around in your head that you can’t decide which way to travel next and nobody can ever get to every spot for a fair assessment. So, my advice is don’t try to cover the whole lake, just select a territory and pick it apart piece by piece. Make short, but meaningful moves from one rock pile, to one weed bed, to some deep water, to some … you get the idea. For a time, anglers who want to catch walleyes consistently will have to cover a lot of territory.

OR - you could do like the Hippie Chick, and I did on Sunday; take a breather from fishing Winnie and poke around on some of the Itasca Region’s smaller lakes where water temperatures have not yet fallen so dramatically.

After fishing Winnie on Saturday, I wasn’t sure whether walleyes in all the area’s lakes might have gotten the same chill. But, fondly remembering the trip I had with Tim Higgins, customer #0001 last Wednesday, thought that a re-match with that lake might work out well for the Hippie Chick.

At the landing, the surface water temperature was 54 degrees, but by the time I motored out onto the main part of the lake, 56-to-57-degree readings were the standard. Sunny and calm on Sunday, instead of cloudy and breezy on Wednesday, fish location had changed.

As far as I could tell, crappies still had not moved out and away from the shallow breaklines and/or weed beds. We spent some time, so did other anglers we saw, scanning the lakes deep, mid-basin holes. We located nothing out there and never saw any other boats stop and get serious about fishing either.

Image of The Hippie Chick and Jeff Sundin with nice walleye doubleWalleyes were a different story, fish that were moving in the shallow weeds last week, were now located deeper, along the breaklines that separated the shoreline from the lake’s deeper basin. The depths varied from spot-to-spot, 10 feet deep was good in one area, 14 feet was good in another, and 18 feet did the trick further down the shoreline. One thing all of the spots had in common was that when we marked fish on the Humminbird, they bit.

As you can see by the accompanying selfie of Susan and I, we even coaxed 2 fish out of one school at the same time for a rare-but-rewarding walleye double. She was particularly impressed with my calm and cool netting job, “Wow honey, you even got both fish in the boat without losing them,” she said.

There were a couple of very small packs of crappies floating along the breaks too, but they literally were travelling in 2s and 3s, so I don't think we'd have been able to target and catch a lot of them.

After we’d caught enough walleyes to suit us, I mentioned wanting to check out some of the lake’s shallow weed beds. It was getting close to evening, and I figured that maybe some panfish would be moving through on a crepuscular feeding run.

The weeds, 7 to 9 feet deep still held some perch and small bass, but if there were walleyes crappie or sunfish there, they did not strike our lures.

That was the situation on our lake, but panfish locations in some of the other lakes in our region HAVE already changed. Friends fishing one area lake reported good catches of both sunfish and crappies in deeper water this weekend. They had no problem finding schools of fish in water depths of 22 to 26 feet. I know of some other folks who are also finding panfish in deep water too. So, like I said a few days back, we’ll need to check out both deep and shallow water for a while. If the panfish on your favorite lake don’t show up in classic, deep-water fall locations, check out the weed beds and shallow breaklines.

image of Sundin's Yellow Lab Sandy on boat At the end of this day, Susan and I think even our Yellow Lab Sandy agreed, there simply could not have been a better way to put an exclamation point on what has been a great fishing season. Beautiful weather, beautiful fish and a beautiful walleye dinner all combined to make this one of our most memorable fishing trips and served as a welcome reward for some of the summer plans that didn’t quite come together as planned. We’ll both be hoping to out-do this one someday, but it will take a lot for that to happen.

As the sun set yesterday, the fishing season, at least the work part of it is behind me. All my scheduled charters are done and there are some welcome reminders on the calendar about the next upcoming family event, Katie’s wedding.

Yes, that’s right, my little girl is getting married this weekend, so I need to spend a few days getting groomed and re-socialized. The last time I wore a Tuxedo was at the high school prom in 1974, but she’s instructed me to have one on this Friday. So, if anybody happens to catch me long enough to snap a photo, you could be on the verge of seeing an historic event.

As traffic on the lakes wind down, fishing reports won’t disappear, but may become somewhat less frequent for a while. Remember, if you’re out there and want to share a few words with your fellow anglers, they are always welcome here.

image of shotgun shells for trade Finally, I am looking forward to an upcoming duck hunting excursion scheduled for after Katie’s wedding. I was perusing the supply cabinet to see what I have and what I don’t have ready to go. Like bird hunters everywhere have learned, it is hard to get shotgun shells for hunting this year. Personally, I’m exasperated by looking through my stuff because it appears I’m competing for the “mismatch of the year” award. I do have some shells that I don’t have a gun for, and I don’t have a gun that’s suitable for the shells I do have on hand.

Knowing how hard it will be to get the right shells for the right shotgun made me wonder if some of you have the same problem. Maybe you also have some mismatched shells and are interested in making a trade?

What I have and want to trade away are some 10 gauge, 3-1/2 inch Federal steel shotshells, some 12 gauge, 3-1/2 inch magnum Estate steel shotshells and some 20 gauge, 2-1/2 inch #7-1/2 lead shotshells. There are a number of boxes of each, so please inquire about exact quanities.

What I am hoping to find are either some 2-3/4 inch #2 or BB or 3 inch #2 or BB steel shot for duck and pheasant hunting. If you’re interested, use the office cell number >> 218-245-9858 to call, text or leave a message and I will get back to you ASAP.

Oh and by the way, whether you’re still on the water fishing, or have taken to the woods and fields, Good Luck! See you soon. fish smiley image — Jeff Sundin 218-245-9858 or EMAIL


image links to fishing guide jeff sundin Jeff Sundin October 16, 2021 "Does Jeff Sundin Deserve Hall of Fame Vote?"

As a rule, I don’t consider myself to be much of a “self-promoter” and in some ways, that’s probably worked against me over the years. Today though, I don’t really see any way to write this note without being, or at least appearing to be, a self-supporter of the highest magnitude.

You may already know; I was first nominated for the Minnesota Fishing Hall of Fame in 2015-2016. So, this is the 6th year that my name has been in the hopper. Well-deserved were the inductions of every “legend” who was voted in during those 6 years, in fact, I wrote stories about a couple of them. Today, Hall of Fame Legends have their ballots, and they will soon be casting their votes, as you may expect, the reason for today’s note is that my name is on the list, again.

How voting works at Minnesota’s Fishing Hall of Fame is that only inductees, “legends” they call them, are eligible to cast a vote. So, the list of voters is hort and whether any one of those members happens to consider me “famous” is completely subjective and debatable; that’s where you come in, maybe.

Honestly, I don’t know if I’m qualified or not and to me, even voicing an opinion seems crass and self-serving. But if you’ve known me for a while, fished with me, or maybe followed my writings and have an opinion about whether I should be inducted, this could be a good time to say so.

Obviously, I can’t publish a list of who to contact or what, if anything, you should say, but all that information is public. So, if you’re interested, the list of inductees is available here, on the Minnesota Fishing Hall of Famers page. Maybe you already know somebody on the list and feel like putting in a good word, if so, that would be fabulous. If not, thanks anyway, I’ll be back to writing about fishing in a day or two. fish smiley image — Jeff Sundin 218-245-9858 or EMAIL


image links to wired2fish Wired2Fish "Drop Shotting Crappies in Open Water | New Methods"

image links to fishing article about developments in electric outboard motors "Wired2fish’s Mitch Anderson explains how he locates roaming crappies using live forward-looking sonar (Humminbird MEGA Live) and catches them with a finesse drop shot setup. Crappies are schooling panfish constantly on the move, but they’re also eager biters if you can get a bait in front of them. Sonar, whether the more common 2D or newer forward-looking varieties, is a huge aid in finding fish fast. Similarly, a drop shot is among the quickest rigging setups for putting bait on their snout in a natural manner.


Anderson shares his drop shot setup, catered around delivering micro soft baits to unsuspecting fish. While live bait generates bites, quality plastics are usually good for several fish per bait and can catch them just as well without time wasted spend re-baiting hooks. Using real-time sonar feedback to maintain contact with crappies is key to Anderson’s success in open water. With that in mind, he shares some boat control tips to ..." Learn More >> Drop Shotting Crappies in Open Water | New Methods


image links to fishing guide jeff sundin Jeff Sundin October 14, 2021 "Walleyes Are Easy, But Coming Up With A “Crappie” Plan? Not As Much"

On Wednesday, I and customer #0001, Tim Higgins enjoyed a blustery day on the water together. Our hope was that we could combine both walleye and crappie fishing. Part of the plan, the walleye part, worked out great the fish were biting, and the average size was beautiful.

The crappie part of the plan didn’t come together so well, just to prove that there were crappies in the lake, Tim caught one. The fishing trip reinforced a theory though and I’ll tell you all about it, but first, this.

Your family must be so proud of you! The fish that you cooked for them were delicious, I hope. And I’m sure that with our present state of economic affairs, they were really needed and really appreciated too, bringing home fresh fish can be a good way to stretch the family budget!

I’ll bet the story about how you got them was a great one too, I can hear you telling it, almost like I was there myself; “I was trolling along just outside of the bait shop when I spotted a cooler, sort of a nice looking blue and white one.

There was a name written on the top of it, Jeff Sundin, it said. Inside the cooler were two bags of fish, there was another name written on those, John something, I recall. There were some perch fillets and a couple of walleyes too, not a lot of fish, just enough for a nice meal. Wahoo! I thought, it’s my lucky day, the fish are fresh and cold, and that cooler will be a great addition to my “hunting and gathering” and now … they are all mine!”

I always have been a trusting soul, the type of person who would leave some cleaned fish for his customers in a cooler, behind a bait shop, so that they could pick them up at THEIR convenience. Mrs. Sundin always tells me that I’m too trusting and that I should be more careful. In fact, when I told her the story about how somebody “borrowed” my cooler and added the fish that it contained to their own protein plan she rightly said; “That Was Stupid!” Yes, I guess it was, stupid I mean.

image of sideways smile taken at the Big Winnie Cafe in Bena MNSadly, I must disappoint you, the troller, I won’t be leaving my cooler behind the bait shop anymore. So, I’m afraid that your next meal of “finders keepers’ fish” will have to come from someplace else. My only hope is that you really needed them bad and that you really enjoyed them good.

Oh, and by the way, if you do need them that badly and stealing other people's hard earned fish really is a necessary element of your daily food budget, then please give me a call, maybe I can figure out a nice safe place to drop some off for you. You know, a place where nobody will troll by and grab them before you can get there to pick them up.

Okay, back to my “crappie” report. I’ve done less crappie fishing this fall than any season I can recall in the past 30 years.

Part of the reason is because the walleye bite has been so good that most folks want to fish for them, they are not as interested in crappie fishing right now as they may have been in past seasons. Another part of the story is that crappies, in most lakes are not in their typical fall locations and finding them is not as quick and easy as it usually would be during this period. Instead of being out in the open, suspended over deep water structure, they remain hole up in the weeds. They can be caught, but fishing for them reminds me of mid-summer, they bite early and late, or when conditions are ideal, but not all day long.

So, what I’m learning this fall, I think, is that crappie migrations must not be based a lot more on water temperature than on the calendar. Normally, this time of the season would be primetime for finding panfish in open water. “Normally”, water temperatures would be in the low 50-degree range. On October 11, 2020, I reported 52-53 degrees and on October 15, 2019, the temperature range was 48 to 50 degrees, in 2018 the 51-52 degree readings reported on 10-19, were also typical of what “normal” falls should look like.

Contrast those readings against the steady 61.3-degree surface reading I saw yesterday, and you’ll see why this is such a non-typical fall. According to the calendar, it is almost time for the deer hunting season but according to the weather, fall fishing is just beginning to get good.

So, if you’re still fishing and catching panfish is your passion, look to the shoreline weeds to save your fishing trip when you can’t locate fish in “normal” fall locations. Like fishing panfish in mid-summer, target them during early morning and late evening when they are most likely to be moving and feeding on their own. Bring along a supply of small jigs and variety of action type lures. Jigs with the safety pin style Lindy Spinners can be tipped with small minnows or soft plastics. Paddle tails, shad body imitators, twirl tails and other plastics can be added to 1/16- or 1/8-ounce jigs and used effectively in the vegetation too.

Like me and many others, you may simply skip the crappies and go for walleyes instead. If so, that’s a great idea because they are still biting and should continue until the next major weather event comes our way. I can’t predict when that will happen, but it’s beginning to look like most of us will have moved on to other pursuits before the fishing action ever slows down. That’s unusual for sure but appears to be the trajectory for the end of our 2021 open water fishing season.

There are still a handful of firsthand fishing updates in store for you. But for me, the upcoming weekend marks the end of my scheduled fishing trips. If the weather stays nice, I’ll probably fish a day or two next week as well, but my daughter’s upcoming wedding will provide a hard deadline to put the boat away before the next weekend. After the wedding, it’s time to break out my waders, take out a mortgage on a box of shotgun shells and then, hopefully, bag a couple of ducks. I haven’t shot one since 2016, so I think I’m due! fish smiley image — Jeff Sundin 218-245-9858 or EMAIL


image links to fishing guide jeff sundin Jeff Sundin October 13, 2021 "Puzzling The Pro on Bowstring Lake"

Sometimes, customers have their own reasons for wanting to fish on a specific lake. Sometimes they just want to learn more about it, or maybe they rented a cabin and don’t want to venture away from the “home lake”. No matter the reason, there are times when they select their destination for reasons other than because there is or has been a “hot bite” going on there.

Often, they know going in that there’s some risk, because on any given day, I can’t always learn everything I need to know about a lake fast enough to make it a great fishing day. I just can’t cover every nook and cranny of a lake and the larger the lake is, the longer it takes to solve the puzzle. Solving the puzzle on Bowstring yesterday took a little too long for me, but we did fit enough of the pieces in place to help form a game plan for the rest of the week, maybe even the rest of the open water season.

Bowstring, for me anyway, always has been a tricky lake to fish during late fall to begin with. Walleyes seem to avoid open water and hug the weeds so tight that they sometimes can’t be coaxed out. Then, the 2021 season has been odd too, there have been wild swings both up and down all season long. Some days the walleye fishing has been fabulous, but some days, we can’t buy a strike. Occasionally, it doesn’t matter where I look, they just don’t seem to be anywhere, that’s where they were for me yesterday, nowhere.

Starting out, I did believe that I knew enough to try the weeds first, like I said, during past seasons, fishing the weeds usually turns out to be the best bet during fall. In the end, that instinct was right yesterday too because 90% of all the fish and 100% of the walleyes I bagged all day long were caught in the weeds.

image of Little Joe SpinnerThe other thing that I thought I knew, was that we’d be okay fishing with jigs and minnows. That’s been the only presentation required for the other lakes I’ve fished recently, so why not on Bowstring too, right? 

Well, that instinct wasn’t totally wrong, we did get a few decent perch and a lot of “Bowstring Specials”, pike in the 14-to-18-inch range, using the jigs and minnows. But it wasn’t totally right either, because nothing got exciting until I broke out the Ugly Sticks and started trolling with the Little Joe Spinners; that was the first sign that anything serious was about to happen.

Cabbage weeds growing in water depths of 5 to 7 feet was where we found some action. Like the Live Bait Jigs, we had been using, the Little Joe Spinners, tipped with fatheads still attracted pike. But there were more perch striking the spinners and they were nice size fish. If it was supposed to be a “meat trip”, I could have stuck with the perch hole longer and gathered quite a few, but we decided to keep searching for a walleye spot, one that never materialized during our trip.

Ironically, after I dropped my crew off at their dock, I had a nagging message from my little voice. “You should check out that weed bed again, you know, where the perch were, there were probably some walleyes there and they probably will bite just before sunset.” Yes, my little voice was right again, I made one pass over that weed bed and caught 2 walleyes. If I’d stayed until dark, there might have been more, but I didn’t.

Surface water temperatures in Bowstring were cooler than I’ve seen elsewhere, ranging from 59 to 62 degrees. But that didn’t stop the fish from striking the Little Joes and maybe it won’t for a while. With cloudier, breezier conditions on the way, John and Amanda might stick with the “spinny and minny plan” and do better the rest of the week than they did with me yesterday; at least I hope so.

For me, today will be a search for crappies and walleyes with customer #00001. That’s right, Tim Higgins, the guy who actually fished with me 40 years ago during my earliest, most formative, “learning how to be a guide” fishing years. He’s still holding on to a bunch of collector’s item fishing jigs that came from my original jig factory in the basement. I hope they’re working well today! fish smiley image — Jeff Sundin 218-245-9858 or EMAIL


image links to fishrapper.com Lake of the Woods, LOW Tourism October 12, 2021

image of angler with big musky caught near sunset lodge in the northwest angle "It's been another really good week of fall walleye fishing on the south end of Lake of the Woods. Big numbers of fish being caught and it should only improve as water temperatures get cooler. This fall has been unseasonably warm. Big numbers of walleyes and saugers are set up along the south shore and anglers are catching a lot of fish.

Most anglers are anchored up and jigging with a fathead or emerald shiner. Live shiners are available and effective. There are still a lot of walleyes being caught on spinners with minnows surprisingly. Trolling crankbaits has also been catching a lot of fish.

The best reports are coming from 18-28 feet of water across the south shore in areas such as Pine Island, Morris Point, Zippel Bay, Graceton Beach, Long Point and Rocky Point. Various schools within these depths.

In addition to walleyes and saugers, pike, jumbo perch, sturgeon and even a few crappies are in the mix for walleye anglers.

On the Rainy River, Emerald Shiners continue to run into the Rainy River and more and more walleyes are entering the river each week. Fishing has picked up but most believe when water temps dip into the 40 degree range, it will get even better. Currently, surface water temps are in the low 50 degree neighborhood.

Jigging with a frozen or live shiner, is the go to method. Emerald shiners are tough to beat this time of year.

Some reports of big fish being caught, but not in big numbers... yet.

Sturgeon activity continues to be good. A gob of crawlers and/or frozen shiners on a sturgeon rig (18 inch leader made of 60 pound test, a circle hook and a 2 to 3 ounce no roll sinker) is the ticket. The catch and release season continues through April 23, 2022.

Fall fishing up at the Northwest Angle continues to be excellent. Most anglers are using a jig and minnow or jig and plastic. Some strong reports with warmer than normal water of spinners with a minnow or plastic being the hot bait.

Gold, pink and/or glow colored jigs and spinners are doing well. Reminder, no live, frozen or dead bait being able to be transported over the border from the U.S. into Canada, consequently anglers boating into Ontario waters reporting various plastics on their jigs and spinners working great.

Various areas of structure such as points, reefs and sandy areas in neck down areas continue to hold good fish. 12 to 26 feet of water is the range depending upon the spot.

Big crappies are in their fall spots and being caught on jigs and minnows in 25 to 30 feet of water around various structure.

Muskie anglers report good fishing overall. Trollers reporting mixed results. One day is great, the other not so much. Covering water trolling is a strong fall muskie technique and should get better as water cools.

Travel to and from the Angle via vehicle through the 40 miles of Canada is open. Boating into Canadian waters is now open.

Charter boat transport and float planes are still available through the LOW Passenger Service and Lake Country Air."  Lake of the Woods Tourism, (800) 382-FISH


image links to fishing guide jeff sundin Jeff Sundin October 11, 2021 "The Final Countdown"

image of Audrey Jones with grandpa I guess my timing for planning a weekend off was good! Ever since I wrapped up the final fishing trip of the season for Larry Lashley, Tim Fischbach and Mike Cooley last Friday, it’s either been raining, threatening to rain, or there have been blustery winds. While that was all going on, I was sitting inside without a care in the world, with my newest grandbaby resting on my lap.

Audrey Jones, now one week old, won’t see the inside of my boat this season, but I bet it won’t be long before her and her cousin Charolette Ray become featured guests on these pages!

I guess there’s no point in recapping what the fishing was like late last week, particularly considering the significant weather changes over the weekend. Plus, I’ll be on the water every day this week, so beginning tomorrow morning, my information will be both more up-to-date and more personalized anyway.

Today, I’ll be back out on Winnie and from the current forecast, it should be manageable. What I can say about last Friday is that the surface water temperature on the big lake was still an unseasonably warm 64 degrees. So even if the rainy weather dropped it below 60 degrees, which I doubt, fishing should still be good out there.

Tune in tomorrow to find out how it goes. fish smiley image — Jeff Sundin 218-245-9858 or EMAIL


image links to fishing guide jeff sundin Jeff Sundin October 8, 2021 "Sticking To the Stick-Able"

If you’re headed out on the lake this weekend, you should find out that your timing is better than average for a fall fishing trip. Walleye and perch are definitely on the prowl, pike fishing is still holding its own too and bass anglers will find lots of action as well. Panfish will bite, but don’t be surprised if the fish act more like they do during early-September than they typically would during late fall.

Conditions are similar on a variety of the regions better fishing lakes. Surface water temperatures are holding steady at about 63 degrees. Hearty vegetation like cabbage and coontail are still green, healthy, and holding lots of baitfish. It hasn’t mattered if the target species has been walleye, perch, panfish or pike; for me, these weeds have been the key to success for most of the past week.

One exception though has been under ultra-calm conditions. Then we’ve found that fishing isolated points, bars and small rock piles have produced some “above average” size fish. So even if we could have caught a lot more fish by pitching jig and minnow combos toward the weeds, we’ve produced more “keepers” by catching fewer-but-larger fish living in more isolated territory.

I’ve been on a few of the smaller lakes in the area this week, but Winnie still plays a prominent role in my fishing schedule. Because the fish cleaning station is closed at the resort my crew uses as its headquarters, we’ve been traveling south to the Federal Dam at Leech Lake to clean fish. There, I’ve observed that anglers are bringing in both walleyes and perch in reasonable numbers.

On Leech, the walleyes must be moving around a lot because I’ve talked with folks whose experiences varied wildly when were there on successive days.

On Wednesday, we talked with Randy Langseth, “Last Cast Adventures” while he was cleaning a nice-looking batch of perch. “Yesterday (Tuesday) we caught lots of walleyes, but today they were nowhere to be found”, Langseth said. Ironically, another friend of mine was at the same fish cleaning shack on Thursday and he said, “We caught walleyes good yesterday (Wednesday), but today they were not around at all.” In the meantime, a camper form the campground came in with a 5 gallon pail and proceeded to pull out walleyes, which he filleted proudly.

In the old days, they called that sort of fishing action “spotty”. If you’re in the right spot at the right time, you’ll think that fishing on Leech is pretty good. But if you hit the wrong places on the wrong day, then your experience won’t be as much fun. The takeaway for me though was that “stick-to-itiveness” would be a good personality trait for folks fishing on Leech this weekend. I remember one day Gary Roach saying, “you never get skunked, some days you just run out of time.” In other words, if you keep searching for more spots, you will either win the game or the clock will run out. In my view, the search is half of the fun of fishing, so unless the fish are biting, I seldom sit in one spot very long, even if it provided the bite of the century yesterday.

image of lake winnie walleye location mapI called it a personality trait, although some days my wife might call it a “character flaw.” Either way, “stick-to-itiveness”, stubbornness, pertinacious or whatever word you’d use, not giving up paid my crew and me big dividends on Winnie yesterday.

For us, the walleye action was wild on Wednesday, but fishing the same area produced only a few bites on Thursday. After trying a few fresh spots, I still hadn’t found a good school of fish and there were moments when I pondered the prospect that maybe they’d simply “quit biting”. At one point I moved up the shoreline a few miles and tried a prominent point. Finding nothing, I almost moved a few more miles to try another point but decided to first look at an inside corner that lays between to points. As soon as we stopped, one of the boys threw his jig into the water and there they were, a big school of hungry walleyes.

The takeaway for you could be that even when YOU KNOW that fish are biting on a lake, it is still possible to guess wrong a few times before you find the right spot. And just because the fish were biting in a particular spot yesterday does not mean that they are obliged to be biting in the same place today. When you think about it, even fish that were meandering at a snail’s pace, could still travel a fairly long distance overnight. Don’t give up too easily and more often than not, you will win the game.

Jig and minnow presentations still dominate my fishing trips, we’ve had consistent action using 1/16 to 1/8 ounce Lindy Live Bait Jigs tipped with the largest fatheads I can get. But last Tuesday, we pulled out the Little Joe Spinners and trolled them through the cabbage beds. With warm, 66-degree surface temperatures, walleyes appeared to prefer the fast pace and struck willingly. Tipped with fathead minnows and trolled at about 1.1 MPH in water depths of 6 to 8 feet was the most productive.

You may recall that in my Leech Lake report September 30, 2021, I wrote, “…if I was headed out there (Leech Lake) again, I would go wherever I need to go and pick up some redtails or creek chubs. Lindy Rigging with the largest minnow I had on hand was how Tom caught the bass. I think that more of those fish would have fallen for a nice lively minnow on a Lindy Rig.” Well, last night, also at the fish cleaning station at Federal Dam, I Ran into a friend Brock Anderson and that’s exactly what he did out there last week. Anderson, “The weed bite was tough last week, so we went into deeper water and rigged big minnows, that helped us get some larger fish.”
So, if you’re interested in catching “something big”, or just need a trick for when conditions go flat on the lake, carry a supply of big minnows, they might just come in handy.

I won’t be on the water this weekend because I’ll be busy meeting my 2nd grandbaby, Annalee and Austin’s daughter Audrey Kathryn Jones. I’ll be back on the lake again Monday though, along with most days next week, so there will still be several fresh fishing updates in the days ahead.

While the forecast for the weekend doesn’t look great for comfort, it doesn’t look too bad for fishing either. There might be some rain, but with more warm weather predicted, most folks who fish during this period can probably shrug that off. If you haven’t put your boat away yet, one more weekend fishing trip would not be a bad idea and if you decide to try it, have fun and good luck!

OH, and remember one more key takeaway from this report. There are times when you can learn a lot at the fish cleaning station at Federal Dam! fish smiley image — Jeff Sundin 218-245-9858 or EMAIL


image links to fishing guide jeff sundin Jeff Sundin October 7, 2021 "What Is A Fall Migration Anyway?"

image links to fishing article about fall crappie migrations Every day is the same for me, put the boat on the water, assess the weather and then to the best of my ability, calculate necessary adjustments to fish location based on current weather. When I’m lucky, fishing patterns might stay the same for a few days or maybe even a couple of weeks. But seldom can I count on finding fish is the same places and feeding on the same things for an entire season. In fact, oft times, I can’t even count on them being in the same location two days in a row.

Knowing how to adjust for “seasonal migrations” makes calculating locations a little easier. There are general rules of thumb that apply to certain aspects of fish location every season. When you know them, then watching for the beginning of a given pattern and cashing in on it when it starts is a huge advantage.

Recent questions from readers got me thinking; what is a migration anyway? And how long do migrations actually last? Take this comment from Jim Morlan for example, it came in via my “social” media page; “Good morning, just curious if you were able get the crappies to bite yesterday? Three of us got skunked after having a great week there last week!”

Or what about the email question from Mike Bisping, he wrote, “Lately, I have been reading a lot about the (emerald) shiner run that happens up on the Rainy River. Obviously, the walleyes (and other predators) follow the food source up into the Rainy and fishing can be great.
Does this fall migration of shiners happen on other bodies of water that contain them - Winnie, Leech, etc.?  It seems like I read reports of shiners going up shallow onto sand flats, but not necessarily migrating up rivers. Thanks so much for your insight. Tight lines!”

First off Jim, your crappie question is interesting in that my experience would have been the same as yours, if I would have stuck to fishing the classic “fall migration pattern”, but luckily, I didn’t.

When we received a short-lived cold front a couple of weeks back, water temperatures dropped and panfish began showing up over and adjacent to the classic deep-water holes and steep shoreline breaks. For a time, the traditional vertical fishing pattern, search-locate-drop-catch worked well, and it looked like the fall crappie pattern was here to stay. On September 24, 2021 fishing with Karen and Kyle Reynolds, crappies were stacked up over deep water and easy to catch.

My next chance to try for crappies came on September 30, 2021 when I found out that some of the fish were still there, but far fewer than we’d scoped the week before. After catching 10 of them, I explained my thoughts about the crappie migrations as I and Ken high-tailed it out to the walleye hole.

The next chance to try for crappies came along this Tuesday when Mike, Mary and I tested our luck over that same “hole”. This time, the crappies were gone altogether, as far as I could tell, there was not even one of them left out there. So, we went back to the weeds, a patch of cabbage in 8 to 9 feet of water and that’s where they were. In fact, there were walleyes there too, and some perch, and some pike. Every fish in that area appeared to have their own reason for being focused on that weed bed.

It’s been my long-held belief that fish, or any other critter for that matter, do not give a darn about “locations”. Except for when they’re spawning, I believe that what drives every movement for them is food. Take away the food source, and any fishing pattern, even the most predictable ones will fall apart.  That’s why so many of us fail at times, we go to our favorite “spots” and insist on waiting there until the fish finally show up and sometimes, they don’t.

I’ve been guilty, even recently, of referring to seasonal migrations as if they are semi-permanent. For example, as if those crappies moved into the deep hole because they loved it there during the fall and once, they were there, would prefer to stay all winter long. But this warmer weather is teaching me something, I’m learning that they do not care about that deep water, they care about food and once the sunshine and warm water temperatures attracted bait, either minnows or insects back into the weeds, the crappies simply followed them in.

Following up on Mike’s question about minnow migrations that are like the emerald shiners running into the Rainy River is next on my list. But since I’m not an expert on baitfish movements, I’m going to ask a few questions first, and then I’ll follow up.In the meantime, I can offer one simplified answer though.

Minnows and small baitfish do show up regularly in shallow water during the fall. Back in my formative years, I used to hang out at one of the resorts near the dam, at the southeast corner of Tamarack Bay a lot. During October, we would often see huge schools of Spottail shiners swimming in the shallow waters of the sand flats. Young of the year, minnow sized gamefish like tiny perch, crappies and sunfish also swim along the shallow sand flats and inhabit shallow weed patches too.

A good hard frost will often push the minnows out of shallow water; they will stack up along deeper weed edges or gather into tight “balls” over open water. When that happens, gamefish disappear and I think this is what many of us have referred to, often mistakenly, as “the turnover”. I think a better way to describe events like these are actually “short-term, feeding migrations.” The more I learn, and the better I can explain, the more I’ll be sharing.

In the meantime, I have got to get the boat ready and hit the road. Two more trips this week, then a weekend off followed by 6 more trips next week and then … my season is supposed to be over, but we’ll see. I’m a lot like a fish and if Mother Nature keeps dishing out these delicious fall days, I might just have to keep on “migrating” toward them! fish smiley image — Jeff Sundin 218-245-9858 or EMAIL


image links to wired2fish Wired2Fish Archives "10 Fishing Tricks to Find Loads of Fall Walleyes on Snap Jigs"

image links to article about outboard motor maintanance "Seth Feider takes the guesswork out of choosing the best lures for smallmouth bass fishing from late summer through late fall.

This comprehensive seasonal progression video breaks the fall period into distinct water temperature ranges; Feider then tells us what baits work best during each window based on years of hunting big bass on Minnesota's famed Mille Lacs and other productive Great Lakes region fisheries.

His lure selection is narrowed down to the following categories:" View Video and Learn More >> 10 Fishing Tricks to Find Loads of Fall Walleyes on Snap Jigs


image links to fishrapper home page October 6, 2021 — "Fillet Knives That Make the Cut?"

image of Cutco Fisherman's Solution Fillet Knife For Fish. On 10-6-2021 Dave Heck wrote; "Q) I’m curious as to the type of filet knife you use. On our trip north we broke my Buck filet knife (cutting cheese) and am looking to replace it. The one downside to the Buck is the gaps around the handle that allow the accumulation of unwanted germs and possible bacteria to form. The up side is the blade is fairly stiff which I like because previous knives I’ve owned the tip would curl up on the opposite side of the filet leaving meat on the skin. I respect your opinion and look forward to your response.

"A) Dave, Fillet knives are a super subjective topic, everybody seems to like theirs "a certain, special way".

For me, Cutco's fillet knife is just about perfect. The tip is a little blunt and I like that for working around the ribs when I fillet the fish. I would not call the blade "stiff" but it is not flimsy either, workable in every way as far as I'm concerned. They do hold their edge well and providing I keep them maintained with a good steel, only need sharpening about every 3-4 years. It has an extendable blade, which can come in handy for larger, wider fish, like lake trout or pike, I don't use it a lot, but it is a handy feature.They run about $110, so they are not cheap, but over the long haul, well worth the price.

Prior to my love affair with Cutco, I also enjoyed the Gerber fillet knife and before that, Normark’s black handled “presentation” fillet knife. A google search reveled that neither of the models I used to use are currently produced. But, I did see a model in the current Gerber lineup that interested me, particularly since you mentioned folding fillet knives. Check out Gerber's Folding Controller, it’s the only one in Gerber’s current lineup that might interest me.

image of Forchner 6 inch boning knifeNot sold as a fillet knife per say, Forchner’s  Fibrox 6" Flexible Boning Knife (photo right) sat on my kitchen counter and was used frequently for filleting fish. At $35, this would be an affordable alternate to the Cutco and I could have easily used this knife as my primary fillet knife for work, but I already have the Cutco in my cleaning kit, so there’s no need to buy another knife right now.

Another boning knife, Wustof’s 4602 with a 5-inch blade is also an excellent stand-by fillet knife in the kitchen. At $100, it’s right up there with the Cutco, but if you cut a lot of meat or need a super-sharp, all-around knife in your kitchen, this one is worth a look too.

In a pinch, I could make almost any fillet knife work. But if you look at the images of these few knives, you’ll see that they all have something in common; a rounded, blunter tip section. It’s purely personal, but for me, skinny pointed, fast tapering fillet knives are out, I just don’t like them.

That said, some fishing customers of mine gave me the gift of the Wusthof Classic Fillet Knife model. I cannot use that knife for the initial steps of fillet my fish. BUT, when it comes to skinning the fillets, this thing cuts through them like butter, it is the sharpest, fasting cutting knife I’ve ever used. So, if you liked your Buck Knife, and it's faster, more slender tip, then check this one out too.

That’s what I got for now, but I’ll bet there are readers out there who have recommendations of their own. If you’re one of them, drop us a line and let us know your thoughts so we can share them with your fellow anglers.

OH and by the way, I love doing business with real people, earning a living by working. That's why I wrote about the Cutco back on April 1st, 2016. One of their independent representatives, Jill Sieben works a lot of trade shows selling these knives and to me, it seemed like she should have been rewarded for the hard work. Since there were no sport shows last year, I'm not sure how or if she's still selling them, but if you do get interested in the Cutco, try contacting her for a price and delivery options." fish smiley image — Jeff Sundin 218-245-9858 or EMAIL


image links to fishrapper.com Lake of the Woods, LOW Tourism October 5, 2021

"It's been an incredible week of walleye fishing on the south end of Lake of the Woods! It should only get better throughout the month as the water cools.

With traditional fall walleye movements around the lake, big numbers of both walleyes and sauger are set up along the south shore and anglers are catching a lot of fish. In addition to walleye and sauger, pike, jumbo perch and sturgeon are in the mix for walleye anglers as well.

The best reports are coming from anglers fishing in depths of 18 to 30 feet of water. Most anglers are anchored up and jigging with a fathead or emerald shiner. Live shiners are available and effective. There are still walleyes being caught on spinners with minnows as well as trolling crankbaits.

Emerald shiners continue to run into the Rainy River and more walleyes are following them into the river each week. Fishing has picked up consequently.

Jigging with a minnow, in many cases a frozen or live shiner, is the go to method. Emerald shiners are a favorite native forage for walleyes in this system.

With 42 miles of navigable river and lots of boat ramps from Wheeler's Point through Baudette east to Birchdale, there are many stretches of river to fish. Good reports up and down the river. Schools of walleyes are moving through chasing shiners.

Sturgeon activity continues to pick up with good fall reports. A gob of crawlers and/or frozen shiners on a sturgeon rig (18 inch leader made of 60 pound test line, a circle hook and a 2 to 3 ounce no roll sinker) is the ticket. The catch and release season continues through April 23, 2022.

Fall fishing up at the Northwest Angle and just over the border adjacent to the Angle continues to be excellent. Most anglers are using a jig and minnow or jig with plastic tails and some are even still pulling spinners and trolling crankbaits.

3/8 ounce gold, pink or glow colored jigs have been hot. With no live, frozen or dead bait being able to be transported over the border from the U.S. into Canada, NW Angle anglers fishing into Ontario reporting various plastics on their jigs and spinners working great.

Areas with structure and sandy areas in neck down areas continue to hold good fish. 14 to 27 feet is the range depending upon the spot.

Big crappies are in their fall spots and being caught on jigs and minnows in 25 to 30 feet of water around various structure.

Muskie anglers report good fishing overall. During stable weather, fish were shallow. Cold front pushed the muskies deeper. Covering water trolling is a strong fall muskie technique and should get better as water cools.

Travel to and from the Angle via vehicle through the 40 miles of Canada is open. Boating into Canadian waters is now open. Charter boat transport and float planes are still available through the LOW Passenger Service and Lake Country Air." Lake of the Woods Tourism, (800) 382-FISH

image links to fishrapper.com Lake of the Woods, Border View Lodge October 5, 2021

"Big fish is the game. Catching big Walleye and other species continues. It’s time to get your fresh Walleye Catch of the Day meal and enjoy the incredible Fall weather we have been having. Anchored and Jigging with a live Shiner, our Walleye Master Guides have mostly been fishing on the lake. The river action continues to improve, there are many fish close by.

The fall leave colors are starting to show up. You can watch our webcam from time to time to see them change.

Here is a late September and early October Guided Walleye fishing deal! Charter package specials from September 26th to October 17th. 3 nights lodging and 2 days of Walleye Master Guided Walleye fishing for $426.00 per person, add 8 meals and its only $526.00 per person.
If you have thought about relocating to a location like Lake of the Woods check out our new employment webpage. We have openings available starting in the ice season. https://borderviewlodge.com/employment/

The forecast for this week looks like another repeat. Temperatures from overnight 50’s to daytime 80’s are forecasted this week along with some showers. Don’t forget your rain gear!" 1-800-776-3474 Border View Lodge


image links to bowen lodge on lake winnie Bowen Lodge Cutfoot Sioux, Lake Winnie Walleye Fishing Report October 4, 2021

image of lake winnie walleyes on the fillet table "Fish from that large year class have entered what we consider an “ideal size range”, 15 to 16 inches and are on the prowl in the big lake. As the accompanying photo shows, anglers who figure out where to look can gather a meal of fish from abundant supply of 2018 year class fish.

So, where do they look, you may be thinking? The simple answer is by staying away from the crowds and away from wherever the “bite chasers” have proclaimed as the “best” fishing spots.

Walleyes from the massive 2019-year class, and even some of the tiny 2020-year class fish now dominate the action in certain areas on Winnibigoshish. In some spots and when conditions are prime, catching doubles, even triples have been common, anglers have enjoyed a lot of action catching the 2019 class, 12-1/2 to 13-3/4 -inch fish. Some anglers are happily harvesting fish from the higher end of that year class already

While it is true that anglers will harvest some larger size fish amidst the legions of smaller ones, most of the fish will ..." Read >> Bowen Lodge Lake Winnie Report


You Are Invited To Become A Duly Deputized Fishrapper Cub Reporter

image links to fishrapper facebook page If you've been waiting for a gold engraved invitation to participate in the daily reports, then stop waiting and consider this your own personal invitation.

Helping your fellow fishermen and women stay abreast of fishing conditions in your area is good for everybody and it's easier than you think!

You don't have to write a book, you don't have to share your secret fishing spots and you don't even have to mention your lake. But even a few words about general trends, seasonal patterns and local weather conditions can really help.

Be like me, become a duly deputized "Cub Reporter", it's good for fishing! Contact Us or if you prefer to be "social", Fishing Reports Minnesota, the Facebook counterpart to this page is open to the public, so you can post your own fishing update or just share a photo of a nice catch.