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image links to fishing guide jeff sundin Jeff Sundin September 20, 2021 "A Break In The Action?"

image of radar screen showing thunderstorms in grand rapids area Murphy’s Law, Corollary #92021; “The more one wants to please somebody, the greater the likelihood that there will be obstacles standing in the way.”

My friends Erling and Karen Hommedahl have been fishing with me for a long time. We’ve fished in the snow, the rain, gale force winds and even occasionally, when its calm and sunny. Most days I can figure out something to do, but looking at today’s forecast, I’m not so sure about this one. This is not good news for me because of all the people on the planet that I wish to please, the Hommedahl’s rank high among them.

If you’ve been reading recent reports, then you already know that most of my time has been spent fishing on Lake Winnibigoshish. You know too that for the most part, the action has been good over there. But thanks to the significant weather changes we’ve experienced over the past 2 days and the line of thunderstorms that are moving through the region now, all previous reports should now be considered null and void.

My guess is that this will be a slow day at the minnow shop, but if you’re thinking about heading out on Winnibigosh and need some current information. Reports on the Lake Winnie page contain, for the most part, the most up-to-date information available. But these few notes from my most recent trip out there might be helpful.

On Saturday, surface water temperatures had fallen into the lower 60s, they ranged between 61.5 and 64 degrees, depending on the areas we fished.

image of Lake Winnie Guide Jeff Sundin with big Walleye The stretch of water between High Banks Resort and Nodak Lodge is well known for producing larger size walleyes, when conditions are right. Saturday’s strong south winds, an incoming full moon and continued turbid water conditions combined forces to create a classic “east side, big fish bite.” There were numerous reports of anglers catching large walleyes that day, we released numerous fish in the “protected slot” and each of my customers also decided to harvest fish that were above the 23-inch size threshold.

Like I said that fishing trip is behind us now, but it won’t be the last time those fish show up there this fall. The presence of such a wide range of sizes tells me that migrations from the lake’s deep water, mid-lake structures toward the shoreline have begun.

Cashing in on the big fish bite isn’t an everyday occurrence, it takes the unique blend of weather, water conditions and wind to churn up the shoreline. But when you observe these elements all coming together, you would be well advised to head that way, because when they do, it almost never disappoints.

If you’re heading out on the lake today, watch the weather, stay close to the calm side and take it slow. If we do decide to fish today, I’ll tell you all about it tomorrow morning. fish smiley image — Jeff Sundin 218-245-9858 or EMAIL

image links to Lake of the Woods, LOW Tourism September 16, 2021

image of woman with nice walleye caught on lake of the woods charter boat "There was some great walleye action this week on the south end of Lake of the Woods. A variety of sizes, along with numerous pike, includiong some big ones mixed in.

With water temperatures ranging from the upper 50s into the low 60s, Walleyes are starting to gravitate to fall patterns. Walleyes being caught in various depths, ranging from 13 to 34 feet of water.

Most anglers are still drifting with spinners or trolling crankbaits, but the jig bite is picking up steam. Reef fishing is starting to pick up. Jigging with a frozen shiner on or near reefs is a fall "go-to" and things are just starting.

September and October are excellent months to fish walleyes. If you like the jig bite, anchored up with a jig and minnow, this is a fun time of year.

Emerald shiners are continuing to run into the Rainy River. Some good runs so far and walleyes are showing up. Anglers are catching fish in the river. Fall is here.

Most walleye anglers on the river will anchor up along an edge or in a hole with a jig and minnow. Fishing is taking place from Wheeler's Point to Baudette to Birchdale.

Fall is a great time to fish sturgeon, bass and pike on the river, although the vast majority of anglers are after walleyes.

Excellent fishing continues on both sides of the border at the Northwest Angle. In U.S. waters, deep mud of Little Traverse Bay continues producing walleyes in 24 to 31 feet of water. Gold, white and orange spinners tipped with a crawler or a minnow is effective. Minnows on some days are starting to be preferred by the walleyes. Try both.

Areas with structure continue to hold fish. 18 - 27 feet are good starting points. Jig and a minnow is the goto.

Pike and muskie anglers are locating fish on weedy points using double blade spinners and topwater. Some nice fish boated this week.

Travel to and from the Angle via vehicle through the 40 miles of Canada is open. Boating into Canadian waters is now open. Please note, no live, frozen or dead bait allowed into Canada from the U.S. The various plastics on a jig are working well. Contact a NW Angle resort for details. 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 Lake of the Woods, Border View Lodge September 16, 2021

image of woman with huge northern pike caught on Lake of the Woods charter boat "As the anchor and jig bite gets going, we find ourselves spending most of the time drifting with spinners. Our Guides have been back into using frozen Shiners. Using a crawler and a frozen shiner on a 2 or 3 hook crawler harness works well. Starting the day in a warm hoodie or jacket is a good idea as the overnight cool temps are sticking around longer in the day.

We are seeing more schools of Shiner minnows around the Lighthouse Gap and in the river. Again, we continue to predominantly fish both Big Traverse and Little Traverse Bays with the wind speed and direction as the basis of fishing options available. We continue to have a mix of small to trophy size Walleye, and there were many large Northern caught last week.

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.

The forecast for this week looks like a repeat of last week. Temperatures from overnight 40’s to daytime 70’s are forecasted this week along with some showers. Don’t forget your rain gear! FISH ON!" 1-800-776-3474 Border View Lodge

image reader comments Reader Comments September 15, 2021 Labor Day Weekend Walleye and Crappie Report - Shared With Permission by Brandon Flaata

Image links to Brandon Flaata walleye and crappie fishing report from Labor Day 2021 "On 9-13-2021 Brandon Flaata wrote; “Hi Jeff, I know like many things, what happened yesterday is likely not what happens tomorrow. Regardless, I wanted to share my fishing (experiences) on (withheld) Lake over Labor Day Weekend in case you make a trip that way soon and it helps you.

Saturday and Sunday I focused on walleye. Many reports (that I received) had told me the Walleye had moved off mid-lake structure already. So, I focused on southern shoreline structure since it was windy both days. I was staying at (withheld) Lodge, so my focus was on the southern half of the lake and (withheld) Bay.

Fishing was very slow, but I managed to catch a few walleyes on rocky shoreline structure with Lindy Rigs and a fathead (minnow). Very few fish were showing up on my Humminbird, otherwise I would have changed to a jig and minnow if I found an area where it felt like there may be a school of them. No walleye caught was over 12 inches".

Monday the wind was much calmer and had shifted from a northwest wind to a south wind. I decided this was my opportunity to hit some spots around the southern part of the islands (where) I have historically caught some fish. Being the last day I was now targeting anything that would bite.

There is a small rock point I fish often and do well with walleye, but today I found crappies piled up. With every pass at the end of that point using a lindy rig, I caught a crappie that was 11 to 13 inches. I anchored with my trolling motor and tried jigging since they were piled up in a very specific 40-foot area, but couldn't get them to bite on that, so I went back to the Lindy. All in all, I managed to catch around a dozen nice crappies and one bonus walleye in a few hours.

Through the weekend the water temps were sitting in the upper 60s - mornings around 67 and topping around 69 in the late afternoon. The one surprise was catching a walleye in the deep hole in front of (the) Lodge. I was waiting on some family to come down to the beach to enjoy the afternoon, so I decided to take a spin around that hole.

I caught a few walleyes, all of which were actually over the slot! If I knew walleye were there, I likely would have spent more time staying closer to the lodge. What surprised me more about them being there is that hole is simply a bowl and mud bottom - no weeds or rock structure - and the sun was shining.

I'm not sure what I learned with that experience, but it will certainly force me to keep my options open and try areas I don't initially anticipate fish to be holding, because you just never know.

I fish (the) Lake a few times every summer, and each trip always seems like I'm learning the lake all over again. The fish are never where they were the previous trip. If there are any learnings you can share with me or ones you have found useful when you head out there, I'd certainly love to digest the knowledge!" - Brandon Flaata

image links to wired2fish Wired2Fish September 15, 2021 "Seaguar Tatsu Giveaway"

image links to Seaguar Tatsu Fishing Line Giveaway "Seaguar just introduced two new pound test lines in their premium line Tatsu, seventeen and twenty-two-pound test.

We were lucky enough to get a few spools for our latest giveaway, and three winners will each get a 1000 yard spool of each and a killer Seaguar hat.

More fish with a better line and better castability means more fun! We are all for it!

This giveaway ends September 28th, 2021 and you may enter once per day per email address. Good luck!" Learn More and Enter >> Seaguar Tatsu Giveaway

image links to fishing guide jeff sundin Jeff Sundin September 14, 2021 "Crappies Are Where YOU Find Them"

Scrolling through the fishing report archives, you’ll notice previous reports about the ups-and-downs of fall crappie fishing. I recall one of “the downs” was about me being surprised when crappies failed to show up at some of my favorite early fall locations. Later, I wrote about the subject after finally figuring out that the reason those crappies were not showing wasn’t because of a delay in seasonal transitions. No, their failure to show up was because they simply were no longer in the lake.

At the time, I wrote, “The cyclic nature of crappie populations has been well known for decades. As soon as a great year class comes along, anglers figure out where they are and then fish them hard. The local population gets depleted, and then those anglers lose interest and move along to wherever the next good bite happens to be.
The cycle itself hasn’t changed, but the timeline has. These days, more anglers are more proficient at both finding and catching crappies, so the boom-bust cycle is accelerated. What that means is that no matter how great the crappie action on your favorite lake was last year, there’s no guarantee that it will produce again this year.”

Those experiences led me to begin a new lifelong project, a perpetual search for fresh crappie fishing territory. I’ve spent a lot of time chronicling my search for fresh crappie territory, so if you’re interested, scroll through the fishing report archives and you’ll find more stories on the subject.

Today, I want to look back and parse out a few words from that original story, these words. “… no matter how great the crappie action on your favorite lake was last year, there’s no guarantee that it will produce again this year.”

On Monday, I learned that I should have written this instead, “No matter how great the crappie action on your favorite lake was a few days ago, there’s no guarantee that it will produce again right now.” In other words, these days crappies come and go even faster than they did a few years ago! So now, the only way that any of us can truly be assured of finding fast, reliable crappie action is to be the one, or one of the ones who locate a fresh school of fish before the masses figure out where they are and how to catch them.

Case in point, Monday September 13, 2021, Dick and Paul would like to catch some crappies and my goal was to help them do that. Knowing that I’ve been doing nothing but walleye fishing for almost 2 weeks, I was smart enough to ask for help. So I dropped a note, seeking help from a friend. He responded almost immediately, advising me about a couple of spots where he’d been catching crappies lately and shared some of the key details. Sounded good to me and I told the boys, we have a plan, at least on paper.

We arrived at the lake, launched the boat and drove to the first spot, … where there was another boat already parked over the top of “crappie hole #1.” Okay, no problem, I said, I have some of my own ideas about the lake, so we’ll just go do our own looking. That’s when I discovered my buddy, in his boat, parked over the top of “crappie hole #2.”  We moved down the shore, located a different pack of fish and dropped our jigs in the water. Dick caught a decent crappie almost immediately; I missed a couple of others and then the action died.

I could have gotten stubborn and spent the whole day searching that lake for a different school of fish. But there were still more ideas in the hopper, so I high tailed it to another lake, Bowstring to be exact, where I had both a “hot tip” and ideas of my own. In fact, I was so excited to get to one of my favorite crappie spots that I skipped right over some likely spots along the way. And when we got there, the fish … were gone. “A couple of weeks ago, we caught a nice batch of them right here, but that was then, and this is now,” I said.

I worked as fast as I could, searching as many spots as time allowed, but I ran out of hours, before running out of ideas. In lieu of exhausting the entire trip on a failed search for crappies, I opted to spend a few hours poking around in the weeds. A couple of nice walleyes, some decent perch and a bunch of pike validated the idea and gave us something of a late inning rally; it was better than nothing.

If you were tempted to feel bad for me, or if you think that I’m grousing about the situation, stop, don’t worry, it’s okay. I’m just sharing the information that I have at hand in the hope that it will serve you later, when you’re searching for your own school of fish.

Obviously, Bowstring Lake is not empty of crappies, I just never found the right spot yesterday. But the experience did reinforce an important idea, if I want to catch crappies consistently, I am on my own. My success will depend on my own ability to locate fish and then make them bite.

My buddy tried to help me out, he really did and that was great! But when you think about it, no amount of help from friends is enough. Friends have friends, and their friends have friends and eventually, there are enough “friends” who know about a particular school of fish to reach a point where the spot is almost always occupied by somebody, so chances of fishing there are minimal.

In terms of fishing pressure, no one person ever takes “too many” of the fish by themself, but collectively, “friends” will work on the schools until the fish finally disappear.

I don’t guess that I’ll be the one to ever solve the so-called “problem”. I’ll just have to keep pretending I’m like Amerigo Vespucci, an explorer, searching constantly for new territory. I guess too that I’ll need to keep adjusting my mindset that when it comes to fishing for panfish in the fall, nothing lasts forever. Just because I had a favorite spot last year, doesn’t mean that it will still be a good one this year.

Today, day 5 of Fun with Dick and Paul will likely take place on Winnie. We could still use a few walleyes and perch to fill out their legal limits and there’s always a chance that I could drill into a fresh crappie spot over there too. No matter what, I think keeping busy will outweigh being “species selective” on this one. fish smiley image — Jeff Sundin 218-245-9858 or EMAIL

image links to fishing guide jeff sundin Jeff Sundin September 13, 2021 "Prime Pattern For Portly Perch"

image of Paul Kautza with huge perch caught on a jig and minnow Day 3 of fun with Dick and Paul was slated to be a calm, sunny day, not the sort of day that trips my trigger for walleye fishing.

Knowing that both Mrs. Williams and Mrs. Kautza have strong fondness’s for perch and being a crowd pleaser at heart, I considered it my moral duty to use the day to try and please them. So, as we drove out of the Timberlake Hotel, heading in the direction of Cass Lake, I muttered, “I’m not going to try and get too cute today; I’m resolved to the idea of catching perch, so those fish better be there and if they are, we’ll all be happy.”

At the landing, most of the parking spaces were full. I mentioned to the AIS inspector that it looked like lots of folks thought this should be the place to be. “Lots of folks do think this is the place to be, she replied.” So, after the usual pre-trip inspection, we headed for the first spot with heightened optimism. Along the way, my Humminbird revealed that surface water temperature was 65 degrees, ideal for the early fall perch pattern I was hoping to take advantage of.

The best perch of the entire trip came on the first drop, at the first stop. Paul dragged out a pot-bellied perch in the 13-inch range and it looked like the game was on for sure. After that though, the rest of the action at that spot consisted of smaller perch, small pike and a couple of lost walleyes. Maybe this weed bed would work better later, after the small pike take their afternoon naps, I reasoned.

image of perch caught on september fishing trip by Paul Kautza and Dick Williams A move to a patch of eelgrass where we’d caught perch before worked out better. There were perch of varying sizes, anything from 4-inch fish, all the way up to 11 inches, nothing much larger than that. There were also a few pike and 2 wandering walleyes that we harvested as a bonus. Even perch prefer more wind and less sunshine, so the action was not fast, in fact it took all day long to get the fish we wanted. But, there was enough action to keep the fishing interesting, and enough quality to make the effort worthwhile.

The eelgrass, AKA wild celery grows to a depth of about 7 feet, and you’ve read before that wherever I find it, there are usually some perch in the area. “Fuzzy Stuff” is one term that I’ve used to describe it before, that’s what it looks like on your graph, like somebody scribbled in a pencil sketching of grass on the bottom. One thing I like about it is that folks don’t get snagged too much when they’re using a jig and minnow. We do feel the grass, and we do get hung up a little bit, but the jigs typically pop out easily and rarely get clogged up.

Over the past week, there have been similar spots on Winnie where perch are holding in the eelgrass too. Leech lake has a lot of it as well and while I haven’t been there recently myself, it wouldn’t be a surprise to learn that somebody has found some of those portly portage bay perch in a similar pattern.

For you, there may be other spots and other lakes that come to mind, places where you’ve encountered a similar situation. If so, this is probably a good time to check them out. If you haven’t fished the pattern before, keep an eye open for patches of wild celery and when you find one, drop in a jig and minnow to see if there are perch, or any other fish on hand.

Today, day 4 of Fun with Dick and Paul, I hope that crappies will get some attention from us. So far, the action for them has been spotty, so I’m not sure how many we’ll find or where we’ll find them. But we definitely will give it a good effort and whatever I learn, you’ll learn too. fish smiley image — Jeff Sundin 218-245-9858 or EMAIL

image links to fishing guide jeff sundin Jeff Sundin September 12, 2021 "Lopsideness, Presenting the Presentable"

image of Dick Williams with big walleye c aught on Lake Winnibigoshish Beginning with less fanfare than usual, the fall 2021 session of “Fun with Dick and Paul” is already about to enter day 3.

There’s less fanfare this year, I guess, because we opened the trip by fishing on Winnibigoshish and there’s been so much news from the lake already, that it didn’t seem like we had much in the way of a “breaking news” story. But there was dramatic reinforcement about one fact of fishing Winnie on Saturday; when the chips were down, she saved my butt.

Our first lake of choice didn't pan out, while the original idea looked good on paper, the fishing action was minimal. So now in hurry up offense mode, we headed for the relative safety of Winnie, hoping that she would, as a I said, save my butt.

Arriving at William’s Narrows Resort no earlier than 3:00 PM and fishing the big lake no later than 5:40 PM, including travel time, we were able to head for the Gosh Dam Place with enough walleyes for their fish fry for 4 people. After we were finished eating, I still had a few fish left over to freeze for Dick and Paul’s ride home. That’s not bad under the circumstances, not bad at all, I don’t think.

I remember the comments submitted by Eric Stone a couple of weeks ago, particularly this one. "There were plenty of 10-to-13-inch walleye, we must have caught over 150 'eyes in the 10-to-13-inch range. Like every other year, we hear from locals that we will get plenty of 15 inches 'eyes next year. This seems like a laughable excuse because we come at the same time every year and always find the same thing (mostly small fish); but fishing is still good."

image of jeff sundin holding fingerling walleye from 2021 year class Admittedly, Eric is right about the massive number of small fish in the lake right now. The 2019-year class of walleyes does seem to dominate the action and the 11-to-13-inch fish from that year clear outnumbers the larger, 2018-year class of fish significantly. As you can see by the accompanying photo, even fingerlings from the 2021 year class are present and "biting".

That said, many of the better anglers on the lake have already set their lower-end size for “keepers” at 14 inches. And over the past 10 days or so, there will be more (2018-year class) 15- to 16-inch fish in a typical one-day creel than there will be 14-inch fish. Recently, there have also been more fish in the protected slot moving in and out of shoreline breaks. We catch at least a couple of 20-to-23-inch fish every day, sometimes more and sometimes larger, “overs” as well.

We already knew that 2014 thru 2017 offered little in the way of a strong year class of walleyes, so it should not surprise anybody that there still is a shortage of fish in the 16-to-20-inch range. With all of the pressure on fish from the 2018-year class to provide protein for everybody that wants a fish fry, it is understandable that it isn’t easy for the current crop of “keepers” to keep up with demand. However, in the very foreseeable future, remaining fish from the 2018 year class of walleyes, combined with the massive 2019 year class will provide anglers with an excellent couple of seasons.

It won’t be too long after that, when we will be presented with another period of “lopsidedness” in the year classes. The period when 2018 and 2019 fish enter the 18 to 23 inch protected slot. That period will be a lot of fun for those of us who love "CPRing" Winnie’s big fat slot-fish, I think it will be a blast! But anglers remembering the boat loads of small fish we are catching now are liable to grumble about a relative shortage of smaller fish compared to fish in the protected slot.

Oh no, we don’t have to worry about that, some will say. “We have a good handle on management and with 2020 and 2021 year classes looking fairly good, the period of bounty will continue for years to come.” Right, maybe, but as a student of history, I’ll politely disagree. In my opinion, there are so many hungry walleyes in Winnie right now, that survival is going to be an uphill battle for fish from the 2020 and 2021 year classes.

I think you should mark this date on your calendar, September 12, 2021. This is the date that Jeff Sundin went out on a long, skinny limb and predicted that we have about 2 more seasons of “Easy Fishing” for eaters. After that, we’ll still be having a lot of fun, but stories recounting the days of catching a 150 little fish will be temporarily behind us.

So, I say enjoy it while it lasts and when you see anglers like Dick and Paul on the lake, give them a gigantic thumbs up. Why would I do that, you’re asking? Because Dick and Paul are selective, in fact I think the most selective anglers that I ever fished with. They enjoy catching numbers of fish, but not necessarily harvesting all of them. If the fish they catch are not “just the right size”, they’re gonna be released and this measured method of harvesting fish is wiser than you may realize.

I’ve written about this before, but it is worth repeating. On a lake which has a protected slot, waiting for the fish to reach sizes as close to the slot as possible makes a lot of sense. Why harvest a 13-inch fish today when there are already 16-inch fish in the lake? Next fall, that 16 inchers will be poised for entry into a long period of “protective custody”, but that 13 inch fish would have been a perfect eater.

Stacking, a term used in certain DNR Fisheries circles to describe what happens when there are too many large fish in any given body of water, begins to cause trouble. It’s not easy for me to explain the theory entirely. But in layman’s terms, the lake already has so many fish in it, that nothing ever triggers it to produce another large year class of fish. Some have said that this was part of the trouble for Winnie when the 2014 through 2017-year classes never materialized. The massive class of 2013, some of which are still being caught today, were responsible, in part, for holding up production of another strong class of walleyes.

In other words, by harvesting fish in the smaller size spectrum now, we anglers could actually be both accelerating the decline of “eaters” in the lake, while at the same time, decelerating the lake’s ability to produce additional strong year classes of walleye in the future.

By now, many of you have likely discounted me as being full of Bas in B, S as in S, but hold on a minute. Maybe this information is correct, and maybe it’s not, but don’t shoot the messenger! I have only reported here what I’ve been told by some of Minnesota’s better fisheries biologists. I think it is worth considering and if nothing else, being more careful about which fish we harvest now, will at the least extend the amount of time that we have to enjoy this fine fishing!

I’m just saying, that would be fun for everybody, not only Dick and Paul! fish smiley image — Jeff Sundin 218-245-9858 or EMAIL

image links to Ely Area, Arrowhead Outdoors Fishing Report September 11, 2021

image of young angler holding nice trout "Walleye - Here today, gone tomorrow, has been the story for walleye anglers this last week. Anglers reported having great success one day, in shallow water or deep water, then return the next day to find nothing. Walleyes are clearly on the move, but are biting in you can get your bait in front of them.

Anglers are finding many walleyes in shallow, 10 ft or less, during the early morning or evening hours. There also remains a few reports of cabin owners catching walleyes right off their dock. Here, jigs tipped with crawlers or spinner rigs tipped with crawlers has been most effective. Deep water trolling and leadcoring has maybe been the most effective way to catch walleyes this last week. Anglers have been trolling large crankbaits 20-40ft down over 20-60 feet of water. During the day, walleyes are relating close to the bottom and can be found near points and shallow mud basins, but during the evening hours they will move out and suspend over deep water, chasing ciscos.

Smallmouth Bass - Bass anglers have been finding more and more bass sliding out to sunken islands and more and more reports of big minnows working better and better have been coming in. Falling water temps have the Bass getting ready for winter, so anglers looking to catch some of the biggest smallies in the lake, now is the time! Smaller smallies continue to be found shallow in bays or around islands. They continue to hit spinnerbaits, in-line spinners, soft plastics and topwater, but bite is quickly cooling off.

Pike - Pike are enjoying the recent drop in water temps and have started to return the shallows. Cabins owners have begun catching quality pike right off their docks again, with large suckers fished under a bobber. Anglers looking to target them should start focusing on rocky points and mouths of shallow bays. Large spoons, large spinnerbaits, topwater and large suckers are all very effective on pike this time of the year. Early morning is typically best for bigger pike right now.

Lake Trout - Lake trout anglers continue to report good fishing for them this last week. Trolling spoons behind down riggers has been the best technique, but leadcoring deep diving crankbaits has also been very effective. Anglers fishing from a canoe have been jigging heavy 1 1/2 to 2oz bucktails, tipped with either a gulp minnow or sucker minnow, over 30-80 feet of water. Anglers should focus more and more on rocky shorelines." — Arrowhead Outdoors, 218-365-5358

image links to Lake of the Woods, LOW Tourism September 8, 2021

image of Jim Henry holding nice northern pike caught on lake of the woods "Another great week of walleye fishing on the south end of Lake of the Woods. The 20 to 34 foot water depth range is still holding schools of walleyes in a vartiety of sizes.

Most anglers are still drifting with spinners or trolling crankbaits. But, as the water begins to cool, the jig bite will pick up. There are already a good number of walleyes across the south shore and with more shiners running, this trend will continue. Reef fishing will get better as the water cools too and depending upon the day, fish might be staged on top, on the sides or adjacent to the reef in the mud.

More and more emerald shiners are showing up in the Rainy River. There have been some good runs so far, and they will intensify soon, Mother Nature makes the call on when and how things happen. The geese are flying, the water is cooling and more anglers are catching walleyes in the river. It's not a slamfest yet, but the numbers of walleyes are definitely increasing. Fall is here.

Most walleye anglers on the river will anchor up along an edge or in a hole with a jig and minnow. Walleyes are still hitting crankbaits and spinners and these can be effective in locating fish.

September and October are excellent months to fish walleyes, but fall is also a great time to fish sturgeon, bass and northern pike on the river.

Up at the NW Angle, great fishing continues on both sides of the border. In U.S. waters, deep mud of Little Traverse Bay continues producing walleyes in 24 to 31 feet. Gold, white and orange spinners with a crawler or a minnow is effective. Minnows on some days are starting to be preferred by the walleyes. Try both.

Areas with structure typically holds some fish. 18 to 27 feet deep are good starting points. Don't be afraid to try numerous "goto" spots until you find fish.

Pike and muskie anglers are locating fish on weedy points using jerkbaits and topwater. This action typically increases as waters cool.

Travel to and from the Angle via vehicle through the 40 miles of Canada is open. Boating into Canadian waters is now open. Please note, no live, frozen or dead bait allowed into Canada from the U.S. The various plastics on a jig are working well. Contact a NW Angle resort for details. 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 Lake of the Woods, Border View Lodge September 8, 2021

image of young boy holding nice walleye caught on Border View Charter Boat "We are excited to see some shiner activity the last couple of weeks. The schools seem to be getting larger. We do not take any at this time, it is too soon and the water temp is a bit warm to treat them properly and make good bait out of them frozen. Typically, these are the ones that get mushy when they thaw.

There are options on how to freeze emerald shiners with salts etc, but the best ones hold up after the water temp drops to about 45 degrees. Of course, there are many opinions on the matter, to us experience is what tells us when and how to make frozen Shiners usable as bait.

We continue to fish both Big Traverse and Little Traverse Bays with much success drifting with spinners. We continue to have a mix of small to trophy size Walleye.

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 >> Lake of the Woods Employment Page. We have openings available starting in the ice season.

Temperatures from overnight 40’s to daytime 70’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 September 2021 "Humminbird Introduces New Upgrades to ICE HELIX Lineup"

image links to fishing article about developments in electric outboard motors "The same Humminbird technology that has been dominant on the water is now fully integrated into the ice fishing product line, thanks to a handful of new product introductions. Ice anglers will now have access to an upgraded HELIX® lineup with bundles that include Humminbird MEGA Live Imaging™ and Humminbird MEGA 360 Imaging®. In addition, anglers will have access to a purpose-built Premium Ice Shuttle, new lithium batteries included in select bundles as well as adapter and conversion kits to fit nearly every on-ice electronics need.

Humminbird has created a turnkey option for the ice angler looking to harness the power of the award-winning Humminbird MEGA Live technology. With Humminbird MEGA Live, the angler can see fish, bait and structure in real-time with no gaps in sonar coverage, powered by the unmatched detail and clarity of ..." Learn More >>Humminbird Introduces New Upgrades to ICE HELIX Lineup

image links to fishing guide jeff sundin Jeff Sundin September 7, 2021 "Rolling Into The Fall Fishing Season"

image of Clark with nice size walleye caught on Lake Winnibigoshish Before the Labor Day holiday, Lake Winnie had been my home away from home. In fact, I don’t think I fished any other lake since August 25th, when I fished with the Shouse family on Big Sandy Lake.

Fishing patterns on the big lake had been incredibly consistent. Surface water temperatures hovered around 67 degrees, many fish were stacked up along the shoreline breaks on all 4 sides of the lake, others were located on isolated rock structures and still others were holding on deep, mid-lake bars.

Variable wind conditions were the only consideration in deciding which direction to go each day. If proper speeds and depth could be maintained, trolling spinners was good as gold. Whenever trolling became problematic, jig and minnow presentations picked up the slack. But for many, jig and minnow fishing took a lot of skill and the lake, in my mind, still had not arrived at the full-scale jig and minnow period.

As the accompanying photo shows though, Mike Nolan’s grandson Clark, turned out to be a handy man with a jig and minnow. Walleyes like the one he’s presenting are turning up on a more regular basis every day. In fact, walleyes of every shape and size are showing up in shallow water and the size-phenomenon that we experienced last fall appears to be playing out again.

Instead of catches dominated by small, 10-to-12-inch 2019-year class walleyes, 14-to-16-inch 2018 year class fish are becoming more plentiful all the time. Don’t get me wrong, there are still a lot of small fish biting, but harvesting nice size “keepers” in the 14 inch and larger range is now a goal that can be achieved by most anglers.

Panfish had not yet entered the fall mode last week, there were more crappies located in the weeds than there were in open water. Sunfish were still making anglers stay out late to catch them, staging short-but-sweet feeding runs just before sunset. And perch were scattered, some using weeds, others holding on rocks and still more roaming the big lake’s massive sand flats.

As water temperatures cool, we should see an uptick in daytime action and there should be noticeable shift in panfish location. I’d love to see them moving toward open water soon, but I’ve learned to be careful what I wish for. If the weather cools down too fast, it will send the action into a short-term tailspin. I’d rather watch the fall patterns develop more slowly, gaining momentum daily rather than suddenly be thrust into the cold water period. That’s not up to me though, I’ll adjust to whatever Mother Nature dishes out.

I’ve used the past 3 days to get as rested as I can. But with Labor Day behind us and the family vacation season winding down, boat traffic on the lake will take on a much more serious look. Die hard anglers, hoping to cash in on fall fishing action are arriving now and many of them will be fishing with me. In fact, I’m looking forward to spending almost every one of the next 40 days entertaining customers in the boat. I’m sure some days will be better than others, but all of them will provide valuable information for fishing updates as we roll into the final 1/3 of our fishing season.

Caricature image of Jeff Sundin denotes special information for readersWhen folks get in the boat with me, they often notice that I don’t spend much time using my cell phone. For me, it makes sense to devote my attention to providing them with the best possible service, instead of worrying about random distractions delivered to my inbox. Admittedly though, when it comes to staying in touch with legitimate business inquiries, getting in touch with me can be frustrating.

This weekend, we took one step that should help make contacting the office phone easier. I replaced my antiquated “land-line” with a mobile phone. So, not only I will know when prospective customers call or send text messages, but I’ll also have documentation about when the inquiries arrive. It still won’t be easy to contact me at work, when I have customers in the boat, and I apologize for that. But it will make customer inquiries easier to initiate and allow me to be more prompt about returning phone messages.  

Everything you need to know about getting in touch can be found here, at the contact page of the website. fish smiley image — Jeff Sundin 218-245-9858 or EMAIL

image links to fishing guide jeff sundin Jeff Sundin September 3, 2021 "These Things Must Be Handled Delicately"

“These things must be handled delicately.” So said the wicked witch to Dorothy as she attempted to figure out a spell that would allow her to gain possession of the ruby slippers. When my kids were little, we used to watch that movie, the Wizard of Oz repeatedly and this was one of my favorite scenes to reenact with them. Over time, I’ve learned that sharing my opinions about fishing is like that too, these things must be handled delicately.

It’s only natural that when anglers have a good fishing experience, they want to call attention to their success. So, sometimes, friends and fellow anglers get in touch to share their fishing stories with me and usually, I love it! Sometimes during the conversations though, I shrink, becoming a quiet listener who replies with your basic, “that’s nice”.

Like the recent conversation with a friend who gleefully reported catching some nice sunfish. “We caught some little ones, but some of them were good keepers, you know, those big, dark bulls that fill up your whole hand!”

This was one of those times where there wasn’t much I could say. He was so excited about catching those fish that I could not burst his bubble. How do you tell somebody that they are doing something that should be avoided, without hurting their feelings or worse, making them angry?

Well, if your me, you write little reminders like this one about harvesting sunfish; which ones we should and which ones we shouldn’t. For anybody who wants to be educated, there are so many articles out there already that there’s no need to re-hash the same content over again. Instead, below are some links that take you resources that will help explain why releasing large, male sunfish is a fantastic idea.

I am not the fish police and It’s none of my business what anglers want to fish for. If it’s legal, I believe that everybody should be free to choose which fish they harvest and when they choose to harvest them. But sometimes, mostly quite innocently, folks make decisions that work against their own long term fishing interests. So, for anybody who wants to catch more big sunfish in the future AND would like to learn how to improve the chance to do that, check out these related stories and DNR Links.

MN DNR Quality Sunfish InitiativeWhat's the Value of A Big BluegillFinding Better Bluegill LakesWhich Bluegills Should I Harvest?Quest For Quality Bluegills

If your plans are to simply harvest the biggest sunfish you can get, no matter what, then have fun. There’s no way that I could ever influence your thinking about that anyway and I’m not going to try. Please just don’t complain to me when you can’t find those big bulls anymore, it will be too late to worry about by then. fish smiley image — Jeff Sundin 218-245-9858 or EMAIL

image links to Ely Area, Arrowhead Outdoors Fishing Report September 1, 2021

image of man with nic lake trout caught in the Ely MN area "Lake Trout - With cooler water temps, there has been a sudden jump in lake trout reports. Angler have been catching quality lakers trolling deep diving crankbaits or trolling, trolling spoons with either leadcore or down riggers. Anglers have been finding them anywhere from 35-50 feet down in 40-90 feet of water. Look for schools of bait and you will find lakers!

Walleye - Walleye fishing has been good to excellent for many anglers this last week. Reports continue to come in, of anglers catching nice walleyes right off their docks during the evening hours, on many area lakes. Here jigs tipped with either half a crawler or with a minnow has been most effective when fished in 10 feet of water or less. Other anglers have reported catching good numbers of walleyes jigging with jigs tipped with pike suckers around sunken islands in 25-30 feet of water.

Trolling large crankbaits, with leadcore, over large, deep water flats, in 25-30 feet of water has also been very effective for anglers.

Smallmouth Bass - Bass anglers continue to find more and more smallies setting up, out on deep mid-lake humps. Here anglers are, more often then not, catching them while looking for walleyes. These smallies have been hammering larger minnows like big pike suckers, tipped on a jig. For the rest of the smallies that haven’t moved out, they are hitting hitting spinnerbaits, beetle spins, crankbaits and even some topwater bait, yet. Anglers should expect the topwater bite to really cool off as water temps continue to drop.

Crappies - Crappie fishing is where the best fishing is being found right now. Anglers fishing all over have been reporting excellent crappie bites happening. Schools of crappies are being found in and around just about anything they can relate too. Downed trees, lily pads and cabbage beds have all been holding good numbers of crappies. Small jig, tipped with a minnow, jig and twister and small beetle spins have been very effective." — Arrowhead Outdoors, 218-365-5358

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.