"On the south end, it was a great week of walleyes. As we approach the Dog Days of summer, more anglers pulling crankbaits over big expanses of mud with success. Drifting with spinners and crawlers also doing well.
Main depths are 30-34'. Some big fish caught this week. Reefs continue to hold walleyes. On windier days, try the tops, calmer days, fish transition areas at base of reef. Crankbait colors, gold, pink UV Firetiger, black.
On the Rainy River, Sturgeon keep season continues till Sep 30 when it switches to catch and release. Nice sturgeon being boated up and down the river. Fish the upstream side of deep holes with a glob of crawlers and/or frozen shiners.
Resident walleyes being caught trolling cranks. Smallmouth bass near rocky areas and bridges.
Up at the NW Angle, another strong week of walleye fishing. Area west of Little Oak Island still full of walleyes spread out over flats. Troll cranks or drift spinners and crawlers. Reefs and adjacent to reefs still holding fish. Nice week of muskie fishing with good pike caught as well." — Lake of the Woods Tourism, (800) 382-FISH
"Another week of good fishing in the books. Our guides are drifting with spinners both North by the islands and in the mud flats. Down rigging is starting to be productive by Big Traverse Bay. Most have been fishing in 26-35 feet of water.
There have been lots of slots caught and released this week. Orange, gold, chartreuse and glow red are the colors working this week with crawlers and leaches.
The weather is more of a typical week with highs around 80’s and lows in the 60’s.
We still have some space available in July and August and we expect an awesome bite all summer long. The World Poughing Contest is coming up at the end of August!" — 1-800-776-3474 Border View Lodge
"Walleyes have begun to pull out of the shallow water and start chasing cisco or smelt in/over deeper water. Anglers have landed some very big walleye’s this last week pulling tail dancer, reef runner or shad rap bodies, with three colors of leadcore out or 150 feet of line out behind planer boards, over 20 to 50 feet of water.
Best colors for crankbaits have been bloody nose, white and uv colored crankbaits. Mid-lake humps and rocky points are also worth noting, with the key depth being 16 feet of water around both structures. Anglers are catching walleyes here slowly trolling lindy rigs with either a crawler or leech around the hump or rocky point. Anglers have reported catching nice walleyes right on top of humps as shallow as 6 feet of water, during the evening and into the night. Here slip bobbering a big leech right on top has resulted in some very impressive numbers and size walleyes being caught.
The crappie and sunfish bite has been excellent! Both are being located in shallow cabbage weedbeds, but time of day has been key to what your going to catch. During the day Sunfish have been very aggressive and easy to find. Anglers have been catching them with wax worms, piece of night crawler or with a small jig and twister for the bigger sunfish in 5-8 feet of water. Crappies are being located in the same areas, but during the last couple of hours of the day has been the best time to catch them. Crappies have been very aggressive and eagerly hitting small jig and twisters. White and yellow colored twisters have been hard to beat when the crappies move up to feed.
Stream Trout fishing has remained constantly good this last week. Rainbow trout are being caught over deep water in 15-25 feet down. Anglers have been using crawler harnesses lindy rigs tipped with half a crawler. Anglers have been using 3/8 to 3/8oz rubber core sinkers to get the lindy rigs down to the trout. Anglers targeting brook trout have been fishing close to timber. Anglers are casting small flashy spoons, small jig and twisters or trolling small crankbaits as close to the timber as they can to catch brook trout.
Largemouth Bass fishing has been excellent as they are very easy to locate this time of the year. Largemouth bass are weed loving fish, so simple keep a eye out for thick weedbeds and or lily pads to find them. Anglers texas rigging worms in the weedbeds have found very consistent action all day. For anglers looking for heart stopping action should focus on fishing in the thickest lily pad patches they can find. Weedless frogs slowly dragged over the lily pads will get the attention some big largemouth. Smallmouth Bass are being located on shallow rocky points and mouths of shallow bays. Anglers continue to catch bass on the surface early in the morning on topwater, then switching to jerkbaits and senko rigs as the sun gets up.
Lake Trout fishing also has been excellent this last week. Anglers trolling flutter spoons with down riggers set at 40 feet, have been catching multiple trout a day. Anglers who don’t have a down riggers setup have been using three to four colors of leadcore to get down to the trout. Stickbaits in white, bloody nose and clown has been the top colors for leadcore anglers.
Northern Pike fishing has been good for pike 30” and under. These pike are hitting flashy spoons, spinnerbaits and even buzz baits fished in and around weedbeds, in 6-12 feet of water, during the day. Anglers are finding a few big northerns out on top of large reefs while walleye fishing. These big northerns are out there looking for large bait fish, so anglers looking to target them should be throwing large husky jerks or swim baits to catch these fish." — Arrowhead Outdoors, 218-365-5358
Hot and humid, the story continues, but don’t complain too much about it, as we’ll be walking on the ice in four months. I guess that isn’t so bad either. Never-the-less, the fish, practically all species, are biting well, and some big ones at that.
Most of my crappie lakes show off a good bite toward evening, like around 7 to 9 pm. This goes for most any panfish lake in the area. If you’re having trouble in catching those crappies, head out to the nearest weed line around 7 pm and they should be there, if not very far away. It may take a little trolling to find them, but you will.
I’ve a few lakes that produce all day long and I’m sure most lakes do but finding them can be a problem. That’s why the evening bite is so special. It’s almost a guarantee and remember, the longer you stay out on the lake, the larger the fish become, or so it seems. I do know that most of the larger crappie bite later. Maybe that’s how they got so big in the first place.
Bluegills? Yes, big gills are biting well too, and ..." Read >> Greg Clusiau Report July 31, 2019
My favorite late summer pattern for catching a mixed bag of pike, panfish, bass and walleye has become pretty darn reliable this week and crappies are showing up in greater numbers on every trip. Depending on whom I’m fishing with at the time, it’s arguable whether the walleye or the crappie gets the warmest greeting at boat side, but neither is shunned.
With so many species of fish inhabiting the same weedlines at the same time, it’s been tricky for me to sort out the complete pecking order. On Sunday, we stopped at one spot and caught 6 different species of fish on the first trolling pass. It seems like they’re all living their “together”. But really, each of those fish species was there for their own reasons; it’s up to me to figure out which subset of the structures each one prefers.
Focusing more on which fish lives in which sub-section of the habitat is why we’re catching more crappies now than we did a week ago. What I mean is that I think there have been plenty of crappies in the areas I’ve fished, but it’s only been a few days since I actually went out of my way to put my boat over the top of them.
Every lake has its own unique blend of habitat and fish species. So how this information translates to your fishing experience will vary depending on how closely each of the elements match up. That said, there are a few generalizations that crop up in a wide variety of lakes and I think it’s safe to say that if you follow these few rules of thumb, it will help you become more deliberate about the fish species you intend to pursue.
Walleyes that we’ve found have been near the weeds, but not in them. They’ve been found holding on clean, flat areas located alongside the weedy flats. For most folks, fishing the tips of points is a fairly obvious choice. But over the past few days, we’ve caught at least as many walleyes that were located along the inside corners. These spots get overlooked a lot, but when the fish are on them, they’re actually easier to catch.
Crappies that we’ve found have been over the tops of “fuzzy” weeds like Wild Celery and Eelgrass. When I see weeds on my Humminbird that look thick, but only come up about half way from the bottom, then we catch crappies. If I fish in heavy weeds like coontail and cabbage, then we catch pike, rock bass and largemouth bass.
Sunfish have shown a preference for patches of gravel located inside the shallow edges of weed growth. Very few of them are showing up on the deeper, outside edges of weed beds. Your observations might be different, but that’s unusual I think.
Typically, we’d have sunfish striking our spinners constantly on the deeper weed edges, but this summer populations have been sparse on the deep weedlines. I speculate that there must be some really good bug hatches occurring in the shallower cover and that’s why they don’t seem interested in moving to the deep side.
Rocks are another key location, if your favorite lake(s) have them. Whenever I find a stretch of rocks located with a large weed flat, I know that something is going to happen. During mid-summer, crawfish feeders love these weed and rock combo spots. If the lake you fish has smallmouth or largemouth bass, then that’s where they will be. Perch and pike like crawfish too and if there are good perch in your lake, then you will find them on these spots too.
On Sunday, we stuck with the presentation I’ve described throughout the past couple of weeks. Little Joe Spinners tipped with leeches, night crawlers or minnows all performed equally well. The target fishing depth was roughly 12 feet of water; I’d roll out to about 16 feet when I saw any interesting flat that might hold walleyes. We used 3/16 ounce bullet weights to be sure we could get deep enough when we needed to.
There was a slight decline in water temperature throughout the day. In the morning, 76.3 degrees was the average and by late afternoon, temperatures had fallen to about 75.5 degrees. They’ll probably rebound a little bit, but in my opinion, we have already seen the peak water temperatures. From here on out, there will be ups and downs, but the general trend will be downward. — Jeff Sundin 218-245-9858 or EMAIL
"Walleye fishing has been very productive this past week. All the guests that pursued walleyes had success. Northern pike fishing is going good too and I think the best method is the mixed bag approach, fishing the weeds on top of the main bars.
Jigs and small sucker minnows are the preferred bait. Some fish are starting to go on crankbaits as well. Fishing adjacent to the main shoreline drop-offs with the crankbaits is the best location. Lindy Rigs with leeches and crawlers are working along the edges of the structure. Also, trolling with spoons and crankbaits in the weeds will catch fish. Focus on the best weeds you can find for targeting pike.
Perch are still the mystery of the year. When you can't get a perch bite dragging a night crawler, you know something is going on with the perch. Some fish are being caught, but the action is very much hit and misses right now. The folks that are having some success are fishing the shoreline weeds using fathead minnows.
We have some openings for the next few weeks. There is still time to get in a family fishing vacation before the kids go back to school. Check out our availability and give us a call." — Joe Thompson, Four Seasons Resort 218-665-2231
Last Friday, I mentioned that I might have good reason to expect an easier than average fishing trip on that day. I promised folks an update this morning about whether or not “The Snyder Effect” was in full force and if it happened to grace my boat with its presence that day.
In case you’re wondering, “The Snyder Effect” is a term that I use to describe what happens when this, the Snyder family steps off of the dock and takes their seats in my boat. They have the uncanny ability to transcend whatever sort of bad fishing conditions we could encounter. I mean it, somehow this family manages to catch good numbers of good size fish no matter if the conditions are right for the pursuit of them or not!
I first noticed the effect over 20 years ago when I was issuing a pre-emptive disclaimer about what could have been a tough fishing trip to Warren Snyder. It was the day after a series of massive thunderstorms, the air was clear and cool, the skies were bright and the lake’s surface was like glass.
Sundin; “A post storm cold front, calm seas and sunshine are not my favorite way to start any fishing trip. I just want you to know that we could be in for a tough day of fishing”.
Snyder; “Oh don’t worry about it, we’ll do fine. We always catch lots of fish when we fish with you and we will today too, we’re going to catch lots and lots of good fish!”
Well even if I didn’t understand why at the time, it turned out just like Warren said, we did catch lots of good fish. In the seasons to come, the trend continued and we’ve caught good numbers of good fish on almost every outing. In fact, some days have been better than others, but I’m not sure that we’ve ever had a “bad day.”
So here we are, it’s last Friday and this time my charter is with Warren’s son Nils Snyder. To say that Nils is a chip off the old block is an understatement; he and Warren both have the same cheerful attitudes. They shed worries, especially about fishing, the same way a duck lets water roll off of its back.
On this particular date, Nils has brought his daughter Signe and Cynthia, an intern from France whose time spent with the Snyder’s, her American “host family” led to her being referred to as their adopted daughter.
As we were preparing the boat, Nils asked how the fishing has been lately. If you’ve read any of my recent reports then you already know that I didn’t paint him a very rosy picture. That didn’t matter though, Nils said; “don’t worry, we’re gonna catch ‘em, we always do. We have to at least catch enough fish for your shore dinner tonight; everyone’s looking forward to the fish fry.”
“By the way, how many people will we be feeding tonight”; I asked. Snyder; “Let’s see, 1, 2, 3, 4 … um there’s 12 altogether, yes, that’s right, 12 people.”
A discussion ensued, but I won’t bother you with the banter about having 12 hungry mouths to feed. Instead, I’ll just say that it all worked out fine; we wound up with more than enough fish for the dinner on Friday with me and there was even enough left over for a 2nd fish fry of their own on Saturday.
It’s not really fair to call it a fishing report, but to the extent that I can make it sound like one, here are a few details.
The small lake that we fished has a variety of fish species and has lots of weed cover. The water clarity is moderate, so the weed edges stop at about 12 feet; the surface temperature on Friday was 75.6 degrees. Every weed patch held some species of fish and some of them were home to more than one species at the same time.
We only ever used one presentation; Little Joe Spinners trolled along the weed edges at .9 to 1.0 MPH in 12 to 16 feet of water. I tipped the spinners with small to medium leeches after trying night crawlers for a little while. There were lots of small perch and they chewed the crawlers up so fast that I couldn’t keep a line in the water. For some reason, the perch seem to leave the leeches alone and allow other fish more opportunity to strike them.
We never caught a lot of any one species, but we sure did get a variety and except for the perch, most were of good quality and some were exceptional. There were walleye, pike, bass, sunfish, crappie and rock bass. If there was a way to predict which species would be found at which spot, I didn’t figure it out; we never knew which fish the next strike would produce.
That is literally the most technical detail I have to share. For me, holding the boat at the right depth and speed was all I needed do. The rest took care of itself, I’m just lucky that the “Snyder Effect” happens to be so reliable.
I’d feel guilty if I was the only one with luck of this magnitude; everybody deserves to have an ace in the hole occasionally. So my wish for each and every one of you is that some way, somehow, you have the chance to experience your own special version of “The Snyder Effect” in your daily pursuits; it’s only right. — Jeff Sundin 218-245-9858 or EMAIL
Sometimes it’s funny how things work out, yesterday I wrote this; “Mid-summer walleye fishing doesn’t have to automatically be bad. There are days when the weather turns favorable to angling and when fishing conditions are good, you could have an awesome day of walleye fishing, even during the slowest part of the summer.”
This morning, I’m writing this; “On Thursday, the weather turned favorable for walleye fishing. Thanks to cloud cover and brisk winds that churned up the water, my 3 day trip with Kyle and Karen Reynolds ended with a rally.”
After looking at the weather forecast, I did what I said would do yesterday. Believing that we’d have cloud cover and wind to work with, I selected one of the areas deep, clear water lakes that have a reputation for getting good later than other lakes in the region. Even if the walleye bite wouldn’t be on fire, we’d probably be able scratch out a few and we’d likely catch a bunch of panfish and some pike along the way; I figured.
At the lake, surface water was a uniform 75 degrees, the surface was choppy and the skies were grey. Fish were fairly easy to find, I could see numerous small schools of them on my Humminbird. We’d learn as we fished that there were walleye, pike, bass and perch feeding at various levels in and around the weeds. Some of the fish were riding high over the weed tops in 8 to 12 feet of water. Others were deeper, holding along the outer edges of weed growth in 16 to 18 feet of water.
If there were fish on deeper structures, I don’t know about them because I didn’t look; I wanted to stick with whatever shallow water bite I could find.
I short suited myself on presentation too; my plan was to catch whatever we could catch by trolling the Little Joe Spinners. Generally speaking, the strategy worked, we always picked off something whenever we’d stop at a fresh spot. But there were times when I tempted myself to change it up because at every stop, there were always a few fish that didn’t bite.
It was common for me to see a small school of fish that looked like walleye. We’d troll through them and catch one, maybe two and then the action would fizzle out. If I’d tried fishing slower, using either Lindy Rigs or slip floats, I may have captured a higher percentage of walleye. On this day, it didn’t matter, I didn’t need to single out walleyes, the Reynolds’ just like to catch fish and they were doing that using the spinners.
We caught a lot of species; there were pike, smallmouth, largemouth, crappies, sunfish, perch, rock bass and walleye all feeding along the same weed edges. Perch were the most active and they were too small to be of interest. They annihilated every night crawler we sent down and they stripped off a lot of fatheads too. But when I started using leeches on the spinners, the small perch became easier to manage and walleye strikes came more frequently.
You could say that the walleye preferred leeches over the other baits but I don’t think that’s what happened. I just think that the perch like leeches less than the other baits. Because our hooks were in the water longer, the walleyes simply had more opportunity to grab them.
Either way, the end result was the same; this is not the first time this has happened either. I’ve convinced myself that I’m not going spinning any more unless I’ve got plenty of small leeches on hand. I’ll be sure to mention whether or not the results are consistent from one lake to another.
I can’t claim that my strategy was brilliant; in fact even I thought I was being a little single minded. But free from the diversions of rigging up more and more stuff, I was able to focus on steering the boat like any good coxswain should. That helped the Reynolds cash in on the opportunity to bag some fresh walleye.
Strategy, combined with good luck, was enough to give me an opportunity to look like I knew what I was doing yesterday. Today, it may be out of my hands again. I’ll be starting my day 50 miles in the other direction and the forecast says that I’ll be back to fishing in the sunshine again.
I may have a better trick up my sleeve because as luck would have it, Nils Snyder and his family are in town for a fishing trip. In a text message from him last night, he wrote; “The Snyder Effect is in full force.” By this evening, I’ll know if he’s right and on Sunday morning, so will you. — Jeff Sundin 218-245-9858 or EMAIL
Walleye fishing has been a struggle this week; at least it has been for me. But if I complain, lots of folks will think I sound like an idiot because the reason fishing has been tough is that the weather outside is a little too delightful.
It’s sort of hard to complain about sunshine, calm seas and temperatures in the low 80’s. Most folks pay good money to visit states that offer that sort of weather. But if you’re looking to catch walleyes during the middle of summer, these are the days that test any angler’s patience.
As always though, there’s a silver lining and the common theme I’ve heard this week is that panfish activity is definitely ramping up. Comments like “the walleye bite was tough, but we got some good crappies” or “while we were looking for walleyes, we stumbled into some great sunfish”. It happened to me just yesterday, we were trolling the weedline in search of walleye when crappies began striking instead.
For me, crappie, sunfish and perch have always been the remedy for the late July walleye doldrums. In fact folks who knew me in the 1990’s probably remember hearing me use the phrase; “I’m going into gathering mode.” It means, instead of pounding my head against the wall in search of a few walleyes, I’m going to catch whatever I catch and when I’m finished, there will be a few walleyes mixed in with the rest of my catch.
Don’t get me wrong, mid-summer walleye fishing doesn’t have to automatically be bad. There are days when the weather turns favorable to angling and when fishing conditions are good, you could have an awesome day of walleye fishing, even during the slowest part of the summer. On balance though, walleye fishing typically trends slower during late July and early August and I figure that it’s silly to buck the system.
In the past, I’ve been able to beat the system by heading further north. Lakes like Rainy, Kabetogama, Lake of the Woods and others are far enough north weather wise, so that the fish are actually in a different phase of the fishing season. While north central region lakes have moved out of the summer-peak period, lakes further north are just now moving into their summer-peak periods. This gives anglers an opportunity to fish for walleyes that are still active and easier to catch.
In my home area, I can apply the same strategy in a different way. When shallow water lakes like Bowstring, Round or Splithand “lose their cool”, deep water lakes like Cass or Walker Bay on Leech are more likely to offer a chance at good walleye fishing. This is assuming that the weather cooperates a little bit of course.
Managing expectations is another matter, sometimes I think anglers forget that fish are wild animals and that they don’t always act the way we want them to.
It is a simple fact that there are times when walleye fishing is generally good and there are other times when it is generally slow. The same scenario holds true for other species too and it’s been that way for a long time. Most days, the best we can do is learning how to recognize opportunity and take advantage of it when we can.
I wonder if in part, our push button, respond immediately, instant gratification society hasn’t worked against fishing. Maybe we’ve become so accustomed to getting whatever we want, whenever we want it that going out on the lake and actually searching for something to do has become too tedious.
Recently, I heard somebody blame the DNR for “the slow fishing” on Water Lake. “If they had their act together, then we’d be able to catch fish, even in late July”; the young angler said.
I know it’s tempting to look for something or somebody to blame, but sometimes there really isn’t anything wrong. Sometimes fishing is just slow and that’s because it is “normal”.
Granted, I’ve only been guiding for 35 years so my firsthand knowledge about fishing is entirely based on a few recent decades. But throughout the entire time, there have always been ups and downs, the fish haven’t always bit and every lake hasn’t always been good. In fact I can’t think of a single lake in my region that has been consistently good, without ever having an “off” season.
If you ask me, we should be thankful that the fish have the instinct to snub us occasionally.
Collectively, we’ve advanced so far that we can find them almost anywhere and when they’re biting, nearly every angler on the lake knows how to catch them. If the fish bit the way we want them too, we’d be in real trouble. If we could all catch fish every single day, then there wouldn’t be anybody to blame about anything, the fish would already be gone. But that's fodder for a different column.
For today, I’m looking at the forecast and hopefully, seeing an opportunity. Cloudy skies, brisk winds and a chance of rain could provide relief from all of this nice weather and I’m hoping for an uptick in the action as a result. I’ll let you know how it goes tomorrow. — Jeff Sundin 218-245-9858 or EMAIL
For anybody who is in hot pursuit of walleye, night time is the right time for walleye fishing on Winnibigoshish right now. While there are some fish being caught during mid-day, the odds of catching good numbers of walleyes will go up exponentially during the dark of night.
Most anglers who fish at night favor trolling presentations and crankbaits are the preferred offering. With key depths for walleyes ranging between 12 to 16 feet of water, selecting lures that dive down into the 8 to 12 foot range will get you ..." Read >> Bowen Lodge Fishing Report July 24, 2019 a b c
"Walleyes continue to be found as shallow as 4 feet of water over rocks or in weeds. Anglers fishing this shallow have been catching them on a jig and leech either casting them and swimming it just off the bottom or fishing with a bobber. Other areas to check have been deep weed lines in 10-15 feet of water. Here anglers have been catching walleyes on Lindy Rigs tipped with either a leech or crawler.
Reports out around sunken islands have been limited, but there has been some excellent reports of multiple big walleyes over 25” being caught out around the sunken island, in one evening. Anglers fishing out around the reefs have been catching walleyes in 10-15 feet of water with a simple jig and big leech, jigged near the bottom. Gold, blue and pink have been the top producing colors.
Lake trout fishing has been good for anglers able to present their baits to lake trout in 40-80 feet of water. Trolling large flashy spoons on down riggers or trolling stick baits with three colors of leadcore out has been the ticket for a successful day of laker fishing. Sliver and blue, pink and chartreuse or silver and white have been the top colors for spoons. White, bloody nose and wonderbread colors has been the top producing colors for stick baits.
Smallmouth Bass fishing has slowed some this last week, but anglers continue to catch good numbers of bass. Anglers have been catching bass on the edge of shallow rocky flats, points or on top of reefs in 5-15 feet of water. Bass have been aggressive early in the morning, hitting buzz bait, whopper ploppers and pop-r’s. As the sun gets up, bass move deeper and anglers that adjust keep catching the bigger bass. Senko rigs, spinnerbaits, in-line spinners and tubes are needed to keep catching these mid day bass. Watermelon, white and pumpkinseed have been great colors this last week.
Stream Trout fishing picked up this last week as several reports of some nice rainbows and brookies being caught. Anglers fishing from shore have been having luck catching trout on a slip bobber and a crawler suspend about 10 feet down. Anglers fishing in a boat have catching lots of trout trolling small crank baits or small spoons with a planer board. These anglers have been working the tree lines or weedlines to catch fish." — Arrowhead Outdoors, 218-365-5358
"The sweltering heat, high humidity values, and intermittent thunderstorms have certainly provided some challenges for anglers but even as we enter the dogdays of summer the fish are still on the chow!
As we all know there is never any shortage of action when one sets out to target Bass. Smallmouth Bass can be found along the deep weed lines, rocks, and sunken humps.
Try using a Drop-Shot Rig tipped with a Leech. Largemouth on the other hand can be found working the weeds inside and outside the lines using Tubes, Spinner Baits, and Carolina Rigs. In the early morning, try working docks, shoreline structure and swimming platforms next to sharp drop-offs.
Of course, usually by this time of year we have shifted our focus to chasing Large Slab Crappies. The weed beds are holding large numbers of both Crappies and Sunfish. Pay especially close attention to the cabbage along deeper drop-offs. Slip-Bobbers using live bait or plastics, Small Swim Baits, Spinners, Beetle Spins are all working well, these buggers have been hungry!!
The Walleye bite is also one that has yet to relinquish to the torrid, humid conditions. A lot of techniques have still been producing good numbers of fish. Anything from pulling Spinners in the weeds, Lindy Rigs, Slip-Bobbers, jigs tipped with Leeches, Crawlers or Chubs… Cranks, Shiver Minnows and the list goes on!! It really is Dealer’s Choice it seems, trolling Cranks on the mid-lake flats has been best toward the evening hours until after dark, Spinners have been enticing them during the mid-day, as well as jigging raps for the walleye found out over the deep structure." — Justin & Alice Wiese, Wheezy Guide Service 218-275-7525
Jigging with frozen shiners or leeches,drifting spinners with crawlers and trolling crankbaits all effective this week. Main depths are still 29-32'. The late summer pattern of big numbers of fish over deep mud is here. Various reefs holding walleyes as well. Try the top, sides and transition areas into mud. Each day can be different.
On the Rainy River, multi-species for anglers fishing the river and Four Mile Bay. Pulling spinners and crankbaits has been effective in finding fish. Fish river channel edges, holes and current breaks for walleyes. Smallies found primarily around rock. Sturgeon keep season going strong till Sep 30.
Up at the NW Angle, awesome walleye fishing at and around the Angle. Spinners with crawlers, jig and minnow and trolling crankbaits all effective this week. Reefs and adjacent to reefs over mud good places to start. Smallies, big pike and muskies in the mix again amongst island areas." — Lake of the Woods Tourism, (800) 382-FISH
"Fishing continues to be wonderful. Our guides are doing a mix of styles, anchored and jigging is happening, mostly right away in the morning. Then switching to drifting with spinners with a leech and minnow. We have also been doing some trolling with plugs in the afternoons.
So far, July has not disappointed. The number of large Walleye has been great and plenty of fresh dinner and take-home fish.
The forecast for the week ahead looks better than any we have had so far. Sunshine with highs in the 80’s and lows in 60’s.
We still have some space available in July and August and we expect an awesome bite all summer long. The World Poughing Contest is coming up at the end of August!" — 1-800-776-3474 Border View Lodge
There were some ups and downs, but from my perspective, I’d say that overall the week of fishing was pretty darn good.
As a collective, the group of guides didn’t cover as wide a range of territory as usual. Upper Red Lake got the lion’s share of attention because up until now, it’s been the most reliable place for anglers who want to bring home walleyes and nothing else. In fact, in my particular case, Last Sunday’s trip to Red Lake was the only one in which I returned my crew to the resort with full bag limits of walleye.
Leech Lake got some attention from the group this week too and that worked out well for the guys who already had the bite dialed in. We joined the group over there on the last day of the Fisharoo and while it worked out happily in the end, there was a steep learning curve for my crew to navigate. It took us a good while before we became productive, so I doubt that I’d suggest heading that way to most casual anglers; I think it was more of an “experts bite”.
Some of us visited smaller lakes in the area this week too; if the mixed bag style of fishing intrigues you, then this would probably be my recommendation for the upcoming week. There’s always something going on and there are enough walleyes in the mix to keep folks happy. The mix of fish you catch depends on the lake.
There may have been an exception that I don’t know about, but I’m pretty sure that all of the guides I worked with over the last week were fishing with spinners. When I say it that way, it makes it sound like everybody was “doing the same thing”. But that’s far from the case; everybody including me, applies their own twist, confident that their way is the best.
For us, our way is the best, or it’s perceived to be best because through trial and error, we’ve come up with our own little tricks that seem to work more often than not. But if everybody’s best way is a little different and they all catch fish, then that tells you that there’s latitude for experimentation. You can take a proven presentation, apply a twist or two and call it your own; that makes it kind of fun.
I don’t really enjoy tying my own spinners, so I’ve given up on that. The Little Joe spinners that I use have been around for over 50 years and there’s a reason for that; they work. Some of the other guides tie their own spinners and some of them have other “go-to” brands, but when I peek in other boats, I see rigs that are all very similar. A long shank Aberdeen style hook, I think about a 2/0 size and #3 hammered gold Indiana blades are the standard.
Personally, I’ve believed that tipping the hooks with night crawlers shifts odds in favor of a higher percentage of walleye strikes. But I pay a price for that, we get picked on by lots of small perch and panfish.
Some of the guys tip their spinners with minnows and stick to that at all times. I’ve seen that they catch plenty of fish and have used the “Spinny and Minny” a lot more myself lately too.
Last week, Jeff Minton and his crew fished with me on the 3rd day of the Fisharoo. They told me that on day 2, their guide had them tipping the spinners with leeches and that they caught good numbers of fish doing it that way. I tried it and it worked, in fact it worked better than I expected. The leeches actually stay on the hooks really well and for some reason, the small perch don’t pick on them as much. I’m going to try using leeches more and see if it always works out that way or not.
Sinker weight and style is dictated by the water depth and type of cover you’re fishing. The ideal location for your lures is about 18 to 24 inches above the fish. Avoid dragging the bottom, which is extremely counter-productive and will result in a greatly reduced harvest.
If you’re fishing shallow water weeds, rocks and such, then bullet sinkers ranging in weight between 1/16 and ¼ ounces will be best. Standard weights in most lakes I fish are either 1/8 or 3/16 ounce. I guess I have 1/8 ounces weights tied on more often than any other.
In deeper water, bottom bouncers offer more precise depth control. But the name bottom bouncer is a misnomer; you actually never want to bounce the bottom at all. The ideal location for your lures is about 18 to 24 inches above the fish. Avoid dragging the bottom, which is extremely counter-productive and will result in a greatly reduced harvest. Here’s a link to a video that will help you get the hang of the concept >> Pulling Spinners For Late Summer Walleyes
If you don’t use spinners already, now is the ideal time to try them. With water temperatures in the upper 70 degree range, trolling spinners will continue to be a mainstay over the next few weeks. If you're already a spinner aficionado, then you should have plenty of time to experiment and come up with your own “TWIST” on this proven presentation. — Jeff Sundin 218-245-9858 or EMAIL
"Fishing has been better than average this past week. There were a lot of fish caught by all of the fishermen at the resort.
Most of the guests have turned to the "mixed bag" method of fishing. This is where you go out and just fish for what will bite. Using small sucker minnows on a spinner or jig has been the most productive presentation in this mixed bag approach.
Just find some weeds on top of one of the main bars and you will catch walleyes and northerns using the mixed bag method. Most of the walleyes are in the slot, but the northerns are keepers. This has been the main table fare for our guests.
You can still target walleyes using live bait rigs with leeches and crawlers. Fish the edge of the bars and mid-lake humps. You will catch fish.
Northerns have been caught using all of the traditional methods. Trolling spoons seems to be the preferred method when targeting pike. Look for the best weeds you can find in 13-17' of water.
Perch continue to be a mystery. In the past, you couldn't keep the perch off of your line while fishing a night crawler on a rig. This year, we can't find the perch when we are trying. I will stay on top of this unusual situation and try to come up with some answers for next fishing report.
We are in full vacation mode at the resort right now. The fishing seems to be secondary to the pool, playground, grill, etc.We have openings for the fall season. Remember we offer a 20% fall discount after Labor Day. Pick out your dates and give us a call." — Joe Thompson, Four Seasons Resort 218-665-2231
The schedule has been hectic lately and I can feel my “stack of stuff” piling up! So in lieu of a glorious, long winded story about what’s been going on with folks in my boat, let me just update you on some of the current conditions.
Surface water temperatures are approaching the warmest levels that they will reach all summer long. This week I’ve seen readings that range from 76 degrees on the low end, up to 81.5 degrees on the high side.
Overall, water levels remain at or above normal levels for this time of the season. Land-locked lakes remain well above average, but I see water levels falling on lakes that have out-flowing rivers and streams. That said, there aren’t any access ramps that have given me a problem launching “Big Red”, my fiberglass Lund 208 Pro V.
With the warm water, comes the mid-summer “action bite”, the time when you can fish any given stretch of good weed growth and catch every species of fish that swims in your favorite lakes. It’s a given that the species you catch may not always be the species you target. But usually, the smattering of “target species” that come along is enough to satisfy the purists, while other fish keep the action going for folks with restless leg syndrome.
Over the past several days, trolling the weed patches with Little Joe Spinners has produced walleye, northern pike, largemouth and bass smallmouth, rock bass, sunfish, goldeye, sheepshead, bullheads, perch and dogfish. The only species that hasn’t seen the inside of my boat has been a crappie and that’s because I haven’t fished any lake that has a strong crappie population.
Sometimes folks lose sight of the target and get hung up about the odds and ends; fish that they don’t really care to catch. Take yesterday for example, one of the kids wasn’t too impressed with the number of “little northerns” that we were catching. The problem is that if we wouldn’t put up with catching them, then we wouldn’t have caught the keeper size walleye and perch that came along in the mix.
The tricks to managing the warm weather action bite if to focus on the goal and forget about the distractions. I know that if I keep fishing, it’s just a matter of time before I’ll catch something I want. If I have to release 50 fish to catch a few good keepers, I’m okay with that.
The alternative would be to select a presentation that singles out only my target species, knowing that at the end of the day, I may have the same exact number of “target fish” in my creel, but without having the action to go along with it.
The target species only approach might be a good one if your lakes don’t have a very robust variety of desirable species. But if there’s a wide variety of “good” panfish, bass or pike, then I think it is the only way to go.
I’ll catch up some more tomorrow, but right now I gotta run. It’s day #4 of the Daikin Fisharoo and the crew is waiting on me already. — Jeff Sundin 218-245-9858 or EMAIL
"The heat has turned off the fishermen more than is has the fish this past week. The pool has seen a lot more action than the lake. That being said, the fish continue to cooperate with the ones who choose to go after them.
Walleyes are in their normal summer patterns. Rigs with leeches and crawlers on the main bars and humps will catch fish. The weeds on top of the main bars has been productive for both walleyes and northerns.
Larger minnows with spinners or jigs have been very good while fishing this structure. Most of the walleyes continue to be in the protected slot.
Northern fishing has been reliable, trolling the shoreline drops with larger spoons such as Trolldevles. We had two muskies caught this past week while trolling for northerns. Lori Turnbull from Anna, TX caught a 44" beauty on an orange and green. Ruby Koch, from Reinbeck, IA caught a 46" monster on a orange and gold Eppinger trolldevle.
They came as a surprise as we have not seen or heard of many muskies being caught in the past couple of years.
Perch continue to be very spotty. Hopefully, we can get them dialed in by late summer for some great fall perch fishing.
We have openings for our fall season. Our fall special kicks in on Labor Day, 20% off all cabin rental. Make your plans, and give us a call." — Joe Thompson, Four Seasons Resort 218-665-2231
Main depths are still 29 to 32 feet of water. The main basin is starting to load up with walleyes, some nice fish this week on crankbaits. Various bites happening from structure to mud, from east to west. The key, find the fish.
On the Rainy River, there's a mixed bag for anglers fishing the river and Four Mile Bay. Pulling spinners and jigging depending upon if you are covering water or fishing a spot on a spot the ticket. Some walleyes in Four Mile Bay along river channel edge. Smallies still coming from rocky areas, weed beds and bridges. Sturgeon keep season July 1st - Sep 30.
Great week of walleye fishing for folks up at the Nortwest Angle too. Drifting spinners west of Little Oak still producing combo of eaters and slots. Hammered gold and silver blades strong.
As summer progresses, some walleyes still on structure, some over mud. Jigging and pulling spinners on and around reefs in 16-24' producing walleyes in Ontario. Good fishing continues for smallmouth bass, big pike and muskies." — Lake of the Woods Tourism, (800) 382-FISH
"There is an awesome bite with spinner blades at Little Oak. The jigging bite off Lemms Reef is doing very well. The main basin is filling up with fish. We haven't been on them yet, but we are marking a lot. Hammered silver spinners and gold and chartreuse jigs are the way to go.
We had another week of great bites with a great number of big walleyes caught and released.
Again, with highs in the 80's and lows in the 60's. Great for sweatshirts in the morning and shorts in the afternoon.
We still have some space available in July and August and we expect an awesome bite all summer long. The World Ploughing Contest is coming up at the end of August!" — 1-800-776-3474 Border View Lodge
"Walleye fishing remains a shallow water affair, with good numbers being caught in 6-8 feet of water. Weedbeds have been best, but windy shorelines are also productive. Anglers fishing shallow have been catching walleyes by simply casting a jig and leech or jig and half a crawler. Shallow diving crank baits, casted, is also worth knotting.
Walleyes are also being caught out on the sunken islands, but it’s more of a one or two fish then move to the next hump for one or two more fish. Anglers are reporting that fishing out there is slow, but the big walleyes are out there. For anglers fishing out around the sunken islands, they should focus fishing in 12-15 feet of water, with spinner rigs tipped with a leech or crawler or jig and leech. Blue, pink and gold remain the hot colors.
Smallmouth fishing remains excellent as fish begin to stage on the edge of the first break. Anglers should still be working the shoreline, but out a little deeper in about 10 feet, for the bigger bass. Topwater fishing remains good early in the morning, but as the sun gets up, anglers should switch to spinnerbaits, jerk baits or senko rigs to keep catching bass. Pink, white and chartreuse remain the top colors.
Crappies remain shallow but only in weedbeds. Anglers casting a simple jig and twister, close to thick stands of weeds are catching nice crappies. During the evening hours crappies are being found out on the weed edge and hitting crappie minnows under a bobber, small crank baits or jig and twister. White, yellow and pink has been the top colors.
Lake Trout fishing has been good this last week. Anglers are catching lakers on flashy spoons trolled, with down riggers, in 40-80 feet of water. Stick baits trolled with 3 to 4 colors of leadcore line out, has also been catching lakers.
Northern Pike remain very active, but overall size has been on the small side. Spinnerbaits, buzz baits and suspending jerk baits fished in and around weedbeds, has been accounting for good numbers of nice pike. Big pike are now showing up out on deep reefs and are being caught by accident by anglers fishing for walleye’s. Anglers looking to target these fish, are having luck with large minnow baits fished right on top of the humps." — Arrowhead Outdoors, 218-365-5358
Warm water species like Bass and panfish have been very active. Take a look at last week’s harvest of Largemouth Bass by some of our guests. Folks love to target bass because they’re a hoot to reel in, but don’t overlook bass as a good table fare too.
Though largemouth bass in Winnibigoshish were once thought of as an obscure population that were hard to locate and tricky to catch. They have flourished as vegetation becomes more lush and green over the past several years. Bass are now widespread in our own back yard; they are abundant in both the Dam Bay and in Tamarack Bay as well.
Bass can be found in a variety of depths and in cabbage, coontail and bulrush patches. Plastic worms rigged weedless are a good way to find them. Bass can also be taken using spinnerbaits, weedless top water frogs and using live bait like leeches under slip bobbers.
While you’re looking for bass, you’re liable to find some other nice surprises in those weed beds too. Northern Pike, Sunfish, Crappies and Walleyes are all using the same patches of green vegetation. You might even snag into a trophy Musky while you’re fishing for a mixed bag of other gamefish.
Jig and minnow combinations continue to produce fish, and wiggling a lively night crawler on a small jig head will produce fish in the vegetation as well. But surface water temperatures are now at their warmest of the summer and with more warm weather in the forecast, water temperatures will have the fish’s metabolism racing. Fast pace presentations like trolling spinners is already working for many and will probably become the go to presentation as water temperatures reach the 80 degree mark.
Die hard walleye anglers can find fish on the main lake too. The larger main bars are producing fish, so several of the smaller, mid-lake humps in the middle. Key depths vary with light conditions; early morning and late evening look in depths of 22 to 28 feet. Lindy Rigs tipped with leeches and night crawlers will produce fish, so will spinners trolled behind 2-1/2 ounce bottom bouncers.
During the daytime, many of these fish move out and away from structure. Look for walleyes suspended over the deeper soft bottom mud flats. Targeting the suspended fish can be tricky, but the best approach we know of for catching suspended walleyes is power corking. In a nutshell, you have a slip float set at roughly 25 feet deep. Below the bobber, you’ll tie on a 1/16 ounce Live Bait Jig and an extra #4 size split shot about 18 inches above it. The small jig is tipped with a leech or night crawler cut in half.
The presentation isn’t hard; cruise the areas near outer edges of structure watching for fish on your electronics. The instant you spot fish, kick your engine into neutral and drop your lures over the side. Give fish a few minutes to respond, re-position your boat a time or two, catch the active fish and then proceed with your search. If you’ve never tried it, you should; watching that bobber go down is a lot of fun!
Overall, it looks the period of stability should continue throughout the week, with only a few hiccups in the form of scattered showers and thunderstorms along the way. — Chad & Melissa Mertz The Pines Resort 218-246-8546 or 1-800-342-1552
Leech Lake Walleyes like a nice chop on the water, sunshine and calm seas are rarely the recipe for the most dependable walleye bite. And when those conditions occur a day after strong thunderstorms rumble through the area; the negative effects are heightened even more.
For me, a half day fishing trip is just barely enough time to rule out a few spots and hopefully, rule in a few others. Even working as efficiently as I can, covering a lake the size of Leech in 4 hours is a tall order.
Even though the odds were less than favorable, we would eventually learn that there still were some walleyes to catch. From what I could see, folks on the lake who knew where to go and how to fish did catch some fish for their effort.
My game plan was to first try fishing 3 “rocky spots”, mid-lake reefs located near the resort on the south end of the lake. I expected that we’d pick up a few smallmouth bass, but we didn’t. Neither did we catch any walleye, pike of perch; maybe those spots will be productive when the wind blows again, but we quickly learned that this was not a productive strategy on Thursday.
The next step was to try some deeper water, wherever there was a well-defined transition between soft mud bottoms and hard sand. There were multiple insect hatches brewing in these areas and at various stages of development. For me and my crew, these turned out to be the “fishiest” looking locations.
The reason those areas were fishy was that entire food chains had set up around the emerging insect hatches. Small minnows and tiny, baitfish size perch were feeding on the larvae. Larger baitfish, what appeared to be Tulibees showed up frequently on my Humminbird too and occasionally, I could see the odd walleye and or pike.
Bugs on the main lake were already airborne over the deep hole between Ottertail Point and Stony Point. There were some tiny white bugs about the size of a pin head and there were some small midge-like looking insects, dark grey and about 1/16 inches long. We’d heard from the dockhands at the resort that there were mayflies hatching, but did not observe any of them in that area.
In Walker Bay, there were areas where I could see larvae on the screen of my Humminbird, but very few of the bug hatches had developed to the point that insects were in the air.
We spent a couple of hours targeting those fish that were scattered along the drop-off in 24 to 28 feet of water. Trolling Little Joe Spinners behind 2 ounce bottom bouncers produced a few walleyes and a 25 inch pike. There were a few other boats out there too and we saw each of them catch fish. So I believe that if we’d stayed in that area and spent the entire day working that pattern, it would have produced a respectable catch. I imagine it would likely have been one of those slow-but-steady bites.
With limited time though, it was important to break away from those fish and see if we could turn up another spot. A quick pass over some weed tops produced a lot of very small perch, but it did also allow Mark to add another walleye to the larder. I could see larger fish lying outside the weed edges and because of that, had the impression that if we’d fished those weeds closer to evening time, there may have been some good action.
In terms of poundage, one might not be able to judge this as a great trip. All in all though, it was not a bad day at all, there was a lot of information generated. There were just enough fish caught to prove that the locations and presentations offered good potential for more action over the upcoming weekend.
If I was headed toward Leech Lake this weekend, I’d be optimistic. At 73 to 75 degrees, surface temperatures are favorable for trolling presentations. That means anglers can cover a lot of territory in a hurry. The weather forecast looks favorable too, more warm weather coming and not many storms on the radar.
If I was on the lake for my own vacation, I’d work those deep breaklines with spinners and bottom bouncers during the day. At dusk, I’d be trolling the weed tops looking for a mixed bag of panfish, perch, pike and walleye. — Jeff Sundin 218-245-9858 or EMAIL
"Walleye fishing on Mille Lacs continues to be excellent. The mud flats are where most are fishing the walleyes.The rock points when the wind is right are also producing a good number of walleyes.
Smallmouth bass fishing has improved, some days have been excellent while others have been slow. The bite should be more consistent as we get closer to August.
Northern pike fishing has been slow, some Muskies are being caught, about normal for this time of the year." — Terry Thurmer, Terry's Boat Harbor, 320-692-4430
"Although the Northland has been about a month behind it seems from where the fish would normally be this time of year, the recent heatwave has bumped up our surface temps and the cabbage beds are getting thick, good news for us as we target the green cabbage at least 70% of the time on our trips as the heat of summer sets in and we always end up with the most plentiful bags!
The cabbage provides cover, shade and holds tons of baitfish so why wouldn't fish thrive in it?
Walleye: ANYBODY’S GAME RIGHT NOW! No matter your preferred style, they’ll hit it! Walleye can be found in 13’-16’ of water or also in 24’-32’ of water pulling spinners and bottom bouncers tipped with crawlers, Lindy Rigs tipped with either crawlers or leeches, Crank Baits, pitching Shiver Minnows, or Jigging Raps have all been producing well!
Bass: Smallmouth have moved off the shallow flats now. You will find them on the rocky or gravel points, bars, and humps. Try using Drop-Shot, Carolina-Rig, or even Lindy-Rig with leeches. Largemouth are hitting Spinnerbaits in the shallows. Try working the pencil reeds, cabbage beds, or soft bottom bays.
Panfish: Crappies and Sunfish alike can be found, you guessed it, in the cabbage beds as well as off the weed lines. Using small jigs like a Clam Tungsten Drop-T, tipped with either live bait or plastics under a slip bobber, has worked quite well. If you prefer a more active method, toss small Mepps spinners or Beetle Spins.
Pike: Of course, well pulled up several of these through our efforts in targeting others. However, if it is the lurking Northern you seek, you’ll find the best luck tossing spoons such as a Dare Devil or pulling spinners over the cabbage, on the weed lines or along the shallow breaks leading to deeper water. Floating a sucker minnow under a float can be hot early morning or in the evening." — Justin & Alice Wiese, Wheezy Guide Service 218-275-7525
Fishing remains good even with the big hatches. Rigging crawlers blown up with behind a 9’ snell so the bait rides high off the bottom seams to be the ticket. With the bug hatches don’t be afraid to get up a bit in the water column as that is where the fish are feeding.
The smallie fishing has been very good. There are still a lot of fish sitting on the 8-12 foot breaks. A “Ned Rig” has been absolutely lights out. Throw the bait out and let it sit on the bottom. Twitch it a couple of times and reel in and recast. If you aren’t catching fish keep moving until you locate them.
I still have openings for July and August. All full day trips booked in the month of July will receive $50 off!" — Matt Klug, MK Fishing Guide Service 320-260-5494
"Walleye fishing has largely remained good to excellent for many anglers this last week.
Location of the hottest fishing hasn’t been out on sunken islands or mud flats, but rather on shallow water weedlines. More and more anglers are reporting that fishing shallow weedlines in 10-15 feet of water, while casting a jig and leech and slowly dragging the bottom, are experiencing a fantastic walleye bite!
Anglers are also catching walleyes out around sunken islands with mud around the island. Anglers fishing out here have been catching walleyes in 12-18 feet of water with spinner rigs, lindy rigs and power corking, tipped with a leech or crawler. Anglers have been reporting that keeping a sharper eye on your depth finder and tracking the walleyes as they moving up and down the the sunken island helps tremendously with your catch. Blue, gold, pink and purple continue to be the top producing colors.
The once fantastic topwater Smallmouth Bass bite has begun to slow on many area lakes as water temps climb, pushing big bass out deeper. Still anglers who want to catch bass on topwater, should target bass shallow on main lake shorelines. Early mornings, when water temps are at their coolest, has been the best time for topwater.
When the topwater bite cools off and the big bass move deeper during the day, anglers should switch to a simple senko rig, tubes, spinnerbaits and in-line spinners too keep catching bass. Natural colors on clear water lakes and bright colors on dark water lakes has been the rule of thumb for best colors to use on the lake your fishing.
Sunfish fishing has remained excellent in the shallow weedy bays. Anglers have been catching them with small crawlers, small leeches and waxies fished under a bobber in 7 feet of water and less in weedbeds or near lily pads.
Crappies are also being caught in 10 feet of water, inside the weedbeds about 3 to 4 feet under the surface. Crappies have been hitting small jig and twisters while swimming them through weedbeds or a crappie minnow fished 3 to 4 feet under a bobber.
Lake Trout anglers have been catching lakers out over deep water. Jigging large bucktails and white tubes, if your in a canoe, trolling with down riggers and flashy spoons if your in a boat has resulted in some nice lakers being caught. Key depths have been 40-80 feet of water near large mud flats as may flies on lake trout lakes have yet to reach their peak.
Northern Pike remain very active in the shallows, but reports of big 30+ inch pike have become scarce. Smaller pike have been hitting suckers, spoons, spinnerbaits and large minnow baits. Anglers should focus on weedlines, mouths of shallow bays and creek mouths for active pike." — Arrowhead Outdoors, 218-365-5358
"On the south end of Lake of the Woods, walleye fishing has been excellent. There's a healthy mix of eating size fish, (under 19.5"), protected slot-fish (19.5 - 28") and also fish over the 28 inch protected slot size.
Jigging with frozen shiners or leeches super effective. Drifting spinners with crawlers also producing nice walleyes. Main depths are still 29-32'. Gold mixed with orange, pink or chartreuse strong color choices. Some walleyes coming on crankbaits.
On the Rainy River, the Sturgeon keep season is open and runs from now through September 30, 2019. Anglers are allowed to keep 1 sturgeon per calendar year between 45-50 inches, or if it's over 75 inches. We've been hearing ositive reports from sturgeon anglers.
Walleyes relating to holes in river, current seams. Smallies in rocky areas, weed beds and bridges. Pike on edge of weed beds. 42 miles of navigable river.
Up at the Northwest Angle, walleye fishing remains excellent. Mayfly hatch nearing end. Drifting spinners west of Little Oak producing combo of eaters and slots. Jigging and pulling spinners on and around reefs in 13-20' and around islands producing walleyes in Ontario. Smallmouth bass being taken on cranks and spinnerbaits over rocks. Big muskies caught and released this week." — Lake of the Woods Tourism, (800) 382-FISH
"Jigging in Big Traverse Bay and pulling spinners in Little Traverse has been really effective with a strong morning bite and slower mid days. We are seeing more traffic with the plug fishing and getting ready to go with it.
We had another week of great bites with a great number of big Walleyes caught and released.
Again, with highs in the 80’s and low in 50’s. Great for sweatshirts in the morning and shorts in the afternoon.
We still have some space available in July and August and we expect an awesome bite all summer long. The World Poughing Contest is coming up at the end of August!" — 1-800-776-3474 Border View Lodge
"Summer bass are a sucker for hard-charging deep-diving crankbaits grinding and ricocheting over the bottom. Wired2Fish's Ryan DeChaine explains how to put these baits to work on deep schools of bass concentrated over isolated hard bottom areas.
The challenge is finding spots that haven't been heavily pressured. DeChaine relies on side imaging to find offshore 'rough patches' overlooked by other anglers - high-frequency side imaging is a powerful tool for locating these areas while waypoints serve as a bullseye for long casts worked methodically over the bottom.
While you'll trigger fish with finesse presentations, DeChaine targets the biggest and most aggressive bass first with a large-profile crankbait like the Rapala DT-16. The trick is to quickly repeat productive casts while the fish are fired up. Consider switching up to a finesse presentation like a Neko or drop shot rig once the crankbait bite slows." View Video and Learn More >> Deep Cranking Summer Bass on Hard Spots
"The walleye fishing has been quite good despite the calm conditions.
Mid-lake structure is the best bet using rigs with leeches or crawlers. Most of the fish continue to be in the protected slot.
These fish are very impressive, though. There are also some fish being caught in the best cabbage weed growth you can find. Look for areas adjacent to deep water in 13-17' of water.
These weeds are also the prime areas for northern pike. Jigs and minnows as well as normal hardware are catching pike. This has been the prime fish for eating this year. There are many under the slot as well as some overs being caught.
Perch fishing is still very spotty. Cabbage weed growth is a good place to start. If you don't find them in the weeds, look at the bottom side of the primary break on the main bars. The key depth is 30' when fishing this structure. Jigs and fatheads or a bare hook under a bobber and a fathead minnow will catch these perch.
The summer season is in full swing. We still have a few openings for the prime vacation season. Check out our availability and give us a call." — Joe Thompson, Four Seasons Resort 218-665-2231
"Walleyes are now largely being located out around sunken islands with large mud flats near by. Key depth has been 15-25 feet of water. Walleye’s on many area lakes have been feeding heavily on mayflies, but anglers fishing with half a crawler or leeches, have continued to catch walleyes. Anglers watching their graphs to see where the walleyes are, in relation to where the mayflies are and presenting their baits at the correct depth are having the best luck. One angler even boating a 30” walleye, his new personal best.
On lakes where the mayfly hatch isn’t as big of a issue, walleyes are being found out on the edge of weedlines. Anglers are catching these walleyes with a simple spinner rig tipped with a night crawler. Anglers are finding these walleyes in 10-15 feet of water. Blue, gold and pink remain the top colors for successful anglers.
Smallmouth Bass - Smallmouth Bass fishing has been on fire this last week! Some real monsters have been caught right off the dock. Two were caught that may of changed the current state record of 8 lbs. Both were released, to grow even bigger! Main lake shorelines remain the best area to find these big bass and topwater, senko rigging and inline spinners are accounting for the majority of bass being caught. If you have kids and are looking for a simple and easy way to catch lots of fish, a simple bobber and a juicy leech will also catch a ton of them and put smiles on faces.
Crappie fishing has slowed as crappies move out of the shallows and are now largely being caught, by accident, by walleye anglers. Reason for this is largely thanks to the invasive rusty crawfish and its ability to wipe out weedbeds. If the crappies have no weeds to relate too, they simply roam. Sunfish anglers are continuing to catch very nice sunfish shallow. Anglers should look to shallow bays with lily pads, weeds or downed trees in the water. Sunfish are hitting on small crawlers, crappie minnows or wax worms.
Stream trout fishing has slowed as the water has warmed. Warmer water temps have bushed the trout deeper. The once excellent shoreline bite has slowed to more hit or miss. Anglers fishing out of a boat are having the most consistent luck trolling small glass crank baits or cowbells over deep water. Anglers are reporting that they are marking most trout 15-20 feet down.
Northern Pike fishing too has slowed, as water temps have risen and pushed the really big girl out deep. While big pike has become hard to find, the smaller pike (30” or less) remain shallow and very active. Anglers have reported catching lots of them trolling spoons, burning buzz baits and large suspending minnow baits. Anglers should look for mouths of shallow bays, mouths of streams and weedlines for aggressive pike." — Arrowhead Outdoors, 218-365-5358
"Walleye fishing remains to be extremely good right now on Mille lacs as well as the Alexandria area.
On Mille lacs the walleyes are primarily out on the mud flats. The key is trusting your electronics, if you aren’t marking fish keep moving until you do. Rigging a leech or crawler with a 6-9’ snell, bobber fishing a leech or pulling spinners and crawlers with bottom bouncers is very productive right now.
Alexandria area fishing has been fantastic. Mid lake hunps as well as the largely over looked weed lines are producing walleyes. Using an 1/8 ounce bullet weight in front of a crawler harness and pulling it over the top of the weeds at 1-1.3 mph will produce a great multi species day. Walleye, pike, blue gills, crappie and bass will all eat this presentation so get out there and catch some fish!
I have openings for July as well as August currently. Feel free to call ore text with questions." — Matt Klug, MK Fishing Guide Service 320-260-5494
You’ve had this happen before, you really had the fish dialed in, and you catch them in your sleep if you needed to. All you needed was for weather conditions to remain stable and your next trip to Lake Wishiknewit would be a fantastic success. The night before your fishing trip, the lightning flashes, thunder claps and the rain comes down by the bucket full.
Your first thought; “I hope this doesn’t screw up my fishing tomorrow.” You toss and turn, you think again to yourself; “this is gonna screw up my fishing tomorrow.” You spend the rest of the night restless, wondering how long this storm is gonna last and how bad will the impact be?
In the morning, you check the weather forecast hoping to see some optimistic news. You try to spin the reports into a scenario that will work in your favor, any thread of good news makes you feel like you might beat the odds and have a great fishing day.
When you arrive at the lake, puddles of standing water from last night’s rain cover the parking lot. There are twigs, leaves, dead bugs and other soupy looking stuff floating on top of the murky water, riled up by the storm’s strong winds. Hoping for an optimistic outlook you ask the AIS inspector; “how bad did the storm hit here last night?” When she says “that one was a real doozy”, it finally sinks in, it’s gonna be a tough day on the lake.
Jim Seeley is one of the nicest guys in the whole wide world. All I’ve ever wanted to do for him was go to the lake, put on some bait and catch a few fish without having to scrape and scrounge for every bite. Yesterday was no different, I just wanted to show him and his girl, Susan a good day on the lake. I know that’s definitely gonna happen one of these days, but yesterday wasn’t destined to be the big one.
The series of storms that rolled though the Itasca region during the wee hours of Sunday morning were disruptive in a major way. This was the first full scale thunderstorm we’ve received all summer. In Grand Rapids, it lasted for several hours; lighting and thunder flashed and popped all night long.
On the lake, fish were scattered far and wide. I moved from spot-to-spot, marking a fish here, and two fish there. I kept the back of the boat pointed into the wind to keep our drift speed slow, ranging between .2 and .5 MPH. When I marked fish, I tried to make sure that the baits stayed in front of them for as long as possible. Most of the fish allowed us to pass by, but occasionally, somebody picked one of them off.
We caught a few fish Lindy Rigging leeches and a couple more using spinners, but the best presentation overall was Wiggle Worming. If we wanted to catch them, the light biting walleyes needed to be fed a lot of line and even giving them tons of time, it was a crap shoot whether we’d hook them or not.
The day was spent plodding along, moving from spot to spot, and picking off a walleye here and there. By days end, we had bagged 5 keepers and had released another 8 or 9 slot-fish. Everybody caught something and reviewing photos of our successes, made the crew feel better about the day.
One of my earliest lessons came from an episode of In-Fisherman TV back in the early 1980s. In a segment about fishing after the passing of a major weather front, Al Lindner taught me the rule of thumb; “sometimes you have to work harder and smarter for less.” He was right then and he’s still right today.
Success on some fishing days can’t be measured by how many fish you have in the cooler. It’s the experiences, even the tough ones that add up to a lifetime of fish stories. We’ll have one of those “easy days” one of these times. In the meantime, I’m glad that Jim and Susan and Susan and I added a few new stories to the repertoire yesterday.
This morning I really need to hold my chin up about yesterday’s catch because looking both at the weather forecast and my fishing schedule, there’s a good chance that I’ll look back at yesterday and regard it as one of the best fishing trips of the week. Yes, I’m serious, my schedule is definitely not taking me to the right place at the right times.
I’ll explain more about that later but in the meantime, if you’re felling generous, I might need an extra big dosage of the rainbow fish meditation today. Help me call ‘em in everybody; “here fishy, here fishy …” — Jeff Sundin 218-245-9858 or EMAIL