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December 2004

Ice Fishing Report 12-29-04 Bill Powell

Most of the local lakes have good fishable ice but ATV's and snowmobiles are the way to go yet with many lakes with less than 12 inches of ice reported. There has been many good reports coming in I'm not sure if the warm front turned the fish on or its just made it easer for moving around to find fish. The deeper humps on Winnie have some good Perch action going on right now with a Walleye throwed in once in a while for a extra bonus. The kids and I went to Red on Tues. the ice was in good shape there with all the resorts letting pickups drive out I was surprised there was no snow on the ice up there . We caught and released 8 nice Walleyes and iced 2 Crappie with 2 more getting knocked off trying to get them through the hole. It still amazes me that you think your catching some nice sized fish on a local lake then you pull a Red Lake Crappie through the hole and it comes to ya why there's hundreds of guys out trying to find them.

Fishing Report 12-29-04 Jeff Sundin

Winter Patterns settling In – Ice Conditions Stabilize

Finally! Ice conditions got a boost from last weeks sub zero blast of winter air. There are several area lakes with enough ice for vehicle traffic and almost all lakes have enough ice for relatively safe travel by ATV or snowmobile. Checking the scene in the area yesterday, I found a wide range of Icehouses out on the lakes. Everything from portables to some of the giant "super houses" have shown up. Traffic is picking up too now that the scheduling challenges of Christmas have eased and angler’s attention has turned back to recreation.

No problem if you have one of these!

Fishing reports are less than stellar because of light traffic. Most folks that had been out were engaged in spear fishing for Northern Pike. Many or these anglers are talking about seeing lots of smaller Pike and some medium size fish as well. The fish have been kind of spooky with lots of hits on the decoys coming so fast that the angler doesn’t get time to throw at it before it’s gone. Thin ice and bright conditions weren’t helping this situation and now with a little more ice, better snow cover and more overcast days, the fish should settle down a bit.

Perch, Walleye and pan fish anglers are just now beginning to show up. Getting to the main lake structures safely has been the main concern of these folks and there will no doubt be a good crowd this weekend. Deeper water structures like points and sunken islands will be the destination and it should be a fairly good bite because few, if any anglers have made it out there yet. If you’re one who’s been itching to get out there, you’ll find a spot now and if you were waiting to hear more about the conditions first, I would guess a more detailed report should be available by Friday or Saturday. Either way, it looks like we’re on green for go!

We're starting to see a lot more of these out there now too!

www.jeffsundin.com    jsundin@paulbunyan.net   Copyright © Jeff Sundin 2004

Ice Fishing Season Sneaks Up On Grand Rapids Area Anglers

Ice Fishing Report 12-11-04 Jeff Sundin

Well folks, with area lakes beginning to "firm up" and another cold snap predicted for later this weekend, it looks like we can declare the ice fishing season open in the 1000 Grand Lakes Area. While not all of the lakes are safe for traffic, there are plenty of places to go that will support foot traffic and we're starting to see more ATV's out there every day. It's fair to say that if you want to find a place to fish, you'll be able to do it.

Some of the smaller lakes that froze ahead of the recent snowfall have anywhere from 4 to 7 inches of fairly good ice. On some of the medium to larger lakes there's a little slush in those areas where folks have drilled holes because ice thickness isn't sufficient to hold up this heavy/wet snow. But away from these moderately slushy spots, the snow doesn't seem to have created much trouble and the underlying ice is mostly clear ranging from about 3 to 5 inches. The largest and deepest lakes continue to have open water stretches toward their centers and travel shouldn't be attempted on these waters yet.

You can see the hole in the lower right corner. Areas that have been fished are a bit slushy but the underlying ice is in fairly good shape.

*Note: Special Leech Lake Fisheries meetings are scheduled for 12/16/04. Click here for additional information.

The largest and most popular Northern Pike spearing areas are the places with all of the serious traffic right now because these folks know that you have to get to the shallows early in the season to cash in on the best Pike movements. The Pike action has been average to good depending on the day and some folks are reporting sighting some large fish.

Playing it safe by hugging the shoreline in the shallows, this local resident is on his way to virgin territory. He walked out and drilled several holes and found ice thickness of nearly five inches. His are the first tracks out there, but it won't be long before he has plenty of company.

Walleye and Perch fishing is starting to get some attention and these fish are being located in 6 to 8 feet of water. Weed edges and points breaking into deeper water are good starting spots. One of the better approaches right now is to set one tip up per angler and fish another hole jigging. The tip ups offer dual action for Pike and Walleye while the jigging allows you to pick up anything in the area.

www.jeffsundin.com    jsundin@paulbunyan.net   Copyright © Jeff Sundin 2004

Ice Report 11-30-04 Jeff Sundin

Slow to come, Ice is starting to cooperate! Fishing opportunities are only days away.

December 1st, 2004. That's tomorrow folks and thanks to the extended run of gorgeous fall weather, Ice is in short supply. Without a doubt, there will be some folks who find their way onto a thin sheet of ice to try and outwit the early season Northern Pike or least exercise their throwing arms. But the crowds will be forced to gather in a small number of spots until the real ice gets here.

Medium size lakes are getting a good build up of edge ice, but their centers are still wide open.

I ran the countryside yesterday looking for ice and it's forming faster than we thought it might. Even though most of the larger-deeper lakes are open in their centers. There are solid stretches of shore line ice and the inlets, bays and accesses are freezing nicely. Several of the smaller lakes are frozen over completely and I even found footprints and Ice holes from someone's weekend fishing trip on Big White Oak Lake in Deer River.

Look close! Those are ducks sitting on this lake. Almost all of the deeper lakes like this one are sitting wide open right now. It's going to be a while before anyone gets out here to ice fish.

There's no doubt that we're a solid ten days behind schedule, but we haven't had much snow and the nights are falling into the 10-15 degree range. With a little lucky break in the weather, we're probably only a week or so away from some good solid opportunities. IT'S GOING TO DEPEND ON SCOUTING. Folks who want to get out are going to need to make some stops at a lot of lakes until they find the few good ones.

I walked out on good ice to get this photo. This small lake has fairly shallow water and has been frozen for a week or so already. Careful anglers will be able to find some opportunities soon.

Here you go. When I checked this lake, I found tracks leading to the ice holes from someone's fishing trip from the past weekend. It's just a matter of a few days before there will be lot's of these smaller lake opportunities.

www.jeffsundin.com    jsundin@paulbunyan.net   Copyright © Jeff Sundin 2004

November 2004


River Waters Run High and Fast – Good News For Walleye Anglers 11-4-04 Jeff Sundin

Thanks to everyone who waited patiently for a fishing update while I was out of town on our annual Duck and Pheasant trip this fall. We had better than average weather and even though the main flight of Ducks was either not down yet or maybe gone already, we still had enough action to make it a fun trip. I am especially thankful that our new Yellow Lab, Maisie had an opportunity to get a good head start on both Pheasants and Ducks. I’m proud to say that it looks like she’s going to be pretty darn good.

Tomorrow 11-5-04 is the official delivery date of my Lund Alaskan to its new owner. I have really enjoyed this rig and it served me very well, but it’s the time of year to get on with a new program. I am now travelling by foot, so I guess the fishing reports are going to become more dependent on friends and coffee shop here say for a while. There are still a few opportunities out there for all of you die hard anglers who want to cash in on some of this great fall weather before it’s too late.

Since we’ve been back, I’ve already seen one great opportunity for anglers who want to fish Walleyes from shore. This fall the river waters are running high and there are Walleyes moving up stream to the dams and delta areas. I ran across a couple of anglers who had a nice bucket of Walleyes they caught from shore fishing with Jig and Twister Tail Combinations. They were simply working the current breaks, casting upstream and working the jig back down current. Crankbaits worked slowly upstream are also a good choice for fall, especially after dark.

Here's another nice catch from one of our last cold water trips. Travis and Paul bundled up and hung in there for a day that yielded a great mixed bag of Crappies and Walleyes. It's never too late and if you've got the desire, there are still fish out there to catch.

I suspect that most folks will be Deer hunting this weekend, but I’ll try to keep the fishing report at least moderately up to date for the next couple of weeks. In another month, we’ve got the start of another ice fishing season to talk about and I’m planning on a busy winter on the ice and writing fishing articles for this site and some others. Stay in touch and ask questions!

www.jeffsundin.com    jsundin@paulbunyan.net   Copyright © Jeff Sundin 2004

October 2004

Fishing Report Updated 10-14-04 Jeff Sundin

Mixed Bags, Fishing In The Dark and Road Trips Signal The End Drawing Near

We've been unbelievably blessed with great fall fishing weather this year, we've had a few zingers, but it's been easy to find somewhere to go and something to do almost every day. As the Mercury drops, so do the water temperatures and we're seeing a range of temperatures from 50 to 55 degrees depending on the make-up of the lakes we're visiting. For the most part, conditions and patterns are the same as I described last week, but here's a brief update.

Walleyes continue to feed best at morning and evening twilight hours even in the rivers. We are still picking up some fish during the day, but it's been better to concentrate the effort toward evening and use the daytime for fishing panfish.

There has been a shift away from the Crawlers and live bait rigs that we had been using for most of the fall. Although I still carry crawlers with me just in case we may need them, I believe anglers could probably do okay without them now. Jig & minnow or live bait rigs tipped with minnows are both working. We've noticed that some of the "oversized" 5-6 inch rainbow chubs have worked better on the rigs and the smaller 3-4 inch ones are better on the jigs. Shiners are great if you can get them, but they have been in short supply.

Walleye location is still somewhat varied in terms of depths, but the shoreline related drop offs are the best place to center your efforts. Pay particular attention to areas where you find green weeds adjacent to deeper water and main lake flats leading toward current areas like narrows, river mouths and channels between lakes. River fishing is also becoming a stronger possibility each day, but we've noticed that there's still quite a bit of floating weed debris moving downstream. The river fishing will become more enjoyable as this water "clears up" a bit more.

Cormorants; coming to a lake near you! Keep an eye open for some reports about the spread and seriousness of the challenge these birds will be presenting. I'll be posting lot's of information in the coming weeks.

Crappies continue to hold our attention during the day and we've been using a rotation of reliable lakes as regular daytime stopping spots. The one day this week that I tried to fish panfish early in the morning, we found a sluggish bite and it was several hours before the Crappies began to act like they were hungry. This was just more evidence pointing me in the direction of fishing these fish during mid-day and saving the Walleye fishing for morning/evening.

The approach has not changed for most of the fall, find the small groups of fish on your electronics and concentrate your efforts fishing vertically with 1-16 to 1-8 ounce jigs tipped with small minnows. The fishing report archives from the past month is packed with more details on the Crappie methods we've been using.

Perch fishing has been spotty for lots of folks this fall, but one key that may help is to locate stretches of shallow green weeds and concentrate your efforts in these locations. Many of the areas where we typically find the perch this time of year, simply aren't holding large numbers of fish. But some of these 3 to 6 foot deep weed beds are holding pockets of nice fish. We've had some success by checking these spots as we search for Walleyes and as we pick up a Perch or two, we'll stop the boat and fish much ore slowly. Cast the jig & minnow into the weeds and fish it back in a hopping motion. This seems to draw the fish toward the boat, then we fish vertically until the group begins to break up. Repeat the process as needed.

Day by day the leaves are falling, ducks are flying and folks are putting up their boats for the winter. It won't be long until our open water season ends for another year. I'll be keeping the reports going for the "Die Hard Anglers" out there, but in the next couple of weeks we'll begin to switch the focus to some of the "off the water issues" that will be facing us in the next couple of years. If you've been following some fishing issue or have questions regarding the future of our sport, let me know so I can begin doing some research.

www.jeffsundin.com    jsundin@paulbunyan.net   Copyright © Jeff Sundin 2004

  Fishing Report 10-11-04 - Jeff Sundin

Another Episode of "Bitterly Nice" Weather! - Morning & Evening Bites are Best

If I don't go to heaven it will be because of spending too much time complaining about the beautiful days we've been having. Sunny, warm days with light winds; this has been tough on the ol' Walleye fishing during mid-day.

Our best defense has been to either start early enough in the morning or stay out late enough in the evening to catch the "prime time bites" and use the mid-day for panfish or bass fishing. It's amazing that we'd have to fish this way during the fall run, but nice weather teamed up with incredibly high bait fish populations are giving the fish plenty of opportunities to feed whenever they want too. It's not all gloom and doom however. There is a fairly reliable opportunity to catch Walleyes each day from about 7:00AM until 9:30AM and again from 5:30 PM until Dark. In between, it's a day by day assessment and if you get the right weather conditions, it can still be very good.

Our best approach this week has been to fish the weed edges with at least one person live bait rigging using night crawlers and the other's) using jig & minnow. Moving along the edges, the live bait rig is fished below the boat while the jigs are pitched up toward the weeds and worked back down the drop offs. We are encountering small groups of fish that feed in spurts. When it's over, it's over; move on to a new location and pick up the search again.

During the day, Crappies are still keeping the troops interested and we've begun to see more Bluegills showing up in the open water mix. The traditional approach of finding the schools of Crappies and then fishing vertically, is still working well. But, if you want to key in on the Bluegills, switch to a small piece of cut night crawler or a wax worm and use a small ice jig with split shot sinkers a foot up the line. The Bluegills tend to stay more stationary and closer to the bottom. We have had some luck creeping along and combining the Crappie and Bluegill fishing. But if you hit a school of the 'gills, it's better to stop and fish while holding the boat as still as possible.

Bass action is also holding the interest of anglers during the day and there are enough fish to keep it interesting along the shoreline structure and bulrush patches. It's been a matter of covering water and casting Spinnerbaits along stretches of shoreline with cover that drops into deeper water. Shallow flats are not prime areas right now and are to be avoided. Look for bulrushes that come out to the drop off and have some green submerged weed growth along the deeper edges, these fish are beginning to build up in areas like this and the action could get quite good in the next week or so. There are enough small to average size Pike mixed in on these weed edges to keep the action level up for all of us with Fishermen's A.D.D.

Good Luck!  (218) 327-8183 jason@upnorthinc.com - www.upnorthinc.com  


Captain Ron Report - Final Report Of the Season 10-11-04

A lot of nice Walleye caught, a lot of Walleye released. Another fun summer meeting and fishing with wonderful people. Sad to say another great summer has come then gone for me. This will be my last report for the summer as Sharon and I will be heading south for some more fishing. Watch for Donavon's winter reports from the Big Fish supper club. He will be on Winnie every day and will have all the latest updates. Friday's catch was something, Crappie, Large Mouth Bass, Perch, Northern and Walleye. Best action came from shore line in 8' of water north of Stony point on the 3rd river side. Between Ravens point and Mallard point by the sand shore line in 8' of water. Northland tackle's glow/watermelon 1/8oz fire-ball tipped with a fathead minnow was the best bait. Word got to me that Cut Foot is still a hot area of the lake. The gap and points are the best spots to catch Walleye. Captain Ron Hunter

Fishing Report Updated 10-8-04 Jeff Sundin

Fall Turnover Looms over Some Lakes, Arrives on Others

No matter how well the weather held during September, the arrival of colder temperatures and the "Fall Turnover" is upon us. With temperatures falling into the low 20-degree range this past Tuesday night and combining with high winds on Wednesday, many of the shallower, wind swept lakes have surface temperatures falling into the low 50-degree range. The good news is that most of the larger, deeper lakes are still showing temps around 56 to 58 degrees which is just above what I consider to be still in the "good fishing" range.

The past week has been one of experimenting and traveling from lake to lake in search of the "hot ones" and although we did find some bright spots, scattered fish and sluggish fishing was what we found on many of the lakes we visited. You could say that this was the definition of the term "spotty" fishing. When we were in the right spot, we did well. But the search was often tedious and required lots of persistence.

Walleyes remain on the sluggish, but catchable list. Lakes to avoid are the ones with shallow, darker water. These are the ones that seemed to nose dive on the cold snap this week and the ones we visited were not producing well at all. The threshold or "magic number" for me seems to be about 55 degrees. Whether this is technically correct or not, it is the temperature that seems to trigger the big change on my favorite lakes.

Stick to lakes with deeper water and if possible, less direct exposure to high winds. On these lakes we found some Walleyes still relating to the deep weedlines and some fish relating to the steeper drop off areas in 20 to 35 feet of water. The night crawlers that we’ve been using for the past few weeks are starting to be less advantageous and even though they are still producing, we’ve been slowly shifting toward jig & minnow fishing during the week. Check the weedlines first because this is where we’ve located the most active fish. Then move to the deeper breaklines and work on the deeper fish. The river waters are running high and fast. A test run down the Mississippi revealed cloudy water with lot’s of weedy debris flowing in the current. There were some folks picking up scattered fish, but the best quality fishing is probably a couple of weeks away.

Largemouth Bass that had been the highlight of fishing last week were scattered and in very small groups this week. We still caught a few fish on spinnerbaits over the weed flats and a few in the bulrushes. It’s time now to watch for the deeper weeds that stay green. These fish will begin to group up in these good green weeds and there will be yet another "hot bite" before the fall is over. With luck, I’ll have a report on that next week.

Bluegills have been slow to move out of their weed locations and as long as the weed flats continue to be green, the majority of these fish will remain in these areas. There are some fish out in open water with the schools of Crappies, but not enough to make it the top pattern just yet. Most of the folks catching these fish right now are "still fishing" with bobbers, small jigs and pieces of worm or small bluegill size leeches. Locate the better areas by slowly creeping through the weed flats with light jigs tipped with worms. Stop as soon as you locate a school of fish and either anchor the boat or hover with an electric trolling motor.

Crappies are still saving the day on a lot of trips. They have been willing biters for the past month or more and they’ve been relatively easy to locate.

Crappies like these are probably the best news we've had for most of the fall season. They've been willing to bite and relatively easy to locate. Well worth the effort!

We’ve found good schools of fish in a variety of lakes. They are still relating loosely to the deep breaklines, but there are now also some small schools of fish roaming open water, well away from the structure. Best bet for success is to keep on the move and stop only when you locate better groups of fish. This will really swing the odds in you favor. The standard approach of using jig & minnow and fishing vertically is still working fine, but there are times when we’ve used a live bait rig tipped with a lively minnow as "search baits". We troll around slowly until we make contact with a better school of fish. Once we find a good school, we’ll switch back to the jigs for more precise control.

Northern Pike of small size have been up in the shallow water and somewhat vulnerable to spinnerbaits. There are a couple of area lakes that are reported have decent action, but for the most part, the absence of quality Pike on lots of lakes is notable. Until we see the fall spawning runs of Tulibee and Whitefish, we’re not very optimistic about the Northern Pike fishing. This is one time I’d like to be wrong, but it doesn’t look like we’re going to get that hot fall pike bite that we always look forward to. If you really want to make a day of it, I’d suggest trolling the deeper flats and steep drop of areas with crankbaits. Covering lots of water will probably trick a few fish as a reward for the stealthy angler.

Perch action has kicked up a notch and some folks are enjoying pretty fair fishing in terms of both numbers and size. Schools of fish are randomly scattered and most folks are finding them while in the search for Walleyes. Shallow weeds and mixed rock have been better areas and "simple, but effective", jig & minnow fishing is doing the trick.

Cormorants; coming to a lake near you! Keep an eye open for some reports about the spread and seriousness of the challenge these birds will be presenting. I'll be posting lot's of information in the coming weeks.

www.jeffsundin.com    jsundin@paulbunyan.net   Copyright © Jeff Sundin 2004

  Fishing Report 10-4-04

Water Temperatures Drop, Walleye Fishing Heating Up

The first hard freeze of the season brings water temperatures down into the high fifty degree range for the first time since last spring. Walleyes are responding and the first true signs of a fall movement are upon us.

Here's a true sign of fall, a nice Walleye caught on a live bait rig and large chub minnow. With water temps falling, minnows should be the ticket for most of the days to come.

The most noticeable change for me has been the beginning of a decent jig & minnow bite. During the past several weeks, we've done much more fishing with night crawlers than we usually would this time of year. Now during the past few days, we've had more success fishing minnows either on jigs or live bait rigs. The choice of rigging vs. jigging has mostly to do with the size of minnow. When we're looking for larger fish, we're using 6 to 8 inch chubs that do not work well on a jig. We use a five to six foot leader, a number 2 hook or larger and we walk the bait along the deeper breaklines and rock points. If we're searching for "eaters" on the weed line the jig weight will depend on water depth and wind conditions. A 1/16 up to 1/4 ounce jig  tipped with a nice fathead, rainbow or shiner will bring in some fish right now. We've had good results by holding just outside the weedline on the outer lip areas before the water drops into the deeper edges.

No matter where we go, if there are Crappies present, we continue to find them in an aggressive, biting mood. During the past couple of trips, the search for Walleyes in deeper water has revealed Crappies on a couple of lakes where I've never caught them before. My recommendation is to follow the deep water breaks and watch your electronics for schools of fish. When you find them stacked vertically, they will most likely be Crappies. Fish spread out horizontally are more likely to be Walleyes. Either way, once you see fish on the screen, you'll be able to get them to cooperate. On a side note, when we've found Crappies, we've had some Bluegills beginning to show up mixed in with them and it's been helpful to spend a little time fishing with a worm on a small jig before we leave the area. I suspect these deep Bluegills will begin to build in numbers as the hard frost at night, kills off the weeds in the shallows.

Without a doubt, whenever you have a chance, take some time to fish Largemouth Bass during this fall pattern. They have been located in the heavy cover on weed flats, but they too will be forced to move deeper with the colder water. Start keeping track of where your better patches of green weeds meet the deeper water breaklines and cast these areas with Spinnerbaits. I like a single colorado blade that can be fished over the weed tops until it reaches the outer edges, then I let the bait drop into the deep edges. Fishing it this way gives you all of the advantages of both a jig and a spinnerbait. When you locate fish they will be aggressive.

One important trip tip right now is to search for lakes that have received less pressure than some of the more popular ones have had. Even though some of the lakes I'm fishing have relatively low Walleye populations, we're getting some nice fish because they haven't been pressured. If you've always wanted to try a little lake that you heard about, I would advise you to do it now while the fish are in the fall biting mode. You will be surprised by the variety of fish on the weed lines as well as the aggressiveness of the fish. It may only last a week or two at the most, so don't spend too much time thinking it over. As they say, just do it.

Good Luck!  (218) 327-8183 jason@upnorthinc.com - www.upnorthinc.com  


September 2004

Fishing Report Updated 9-30-04 Jeff Sundin

Fall Bass Patterns Emerging – Large Walleyes Beginning to Move

Largemouth Bass have been the highlight of my fishing week. Rod benders that hit hard have been the rule and without a doubt, early signs of the fall feeding frenzy are upon us. Usually by this time of year the fish locate on the outside edges of deeper weed patches that remain green after the die-off of shallow weeds. With water temperatures in the low sixty-degree range and warm sunny days, Bass are still somewhat scattered and located in the heavy green cover. Coontail patches in the midst of larger weed flats are producing some very nice Bass. Outside edges of mixed cabbage and Bulrushes are also showing signs of quality bass fishing. No matter what kind of weed growth we’ve found, the presence of rocks in the immediate area has been a key to the most productive areas.

We haven’t found any of the large schools of fish. That will be coming in the next couple of weeks, but there are some very nice small groups of fish showing up in these areas. I’m sure that there are a variety of baits that will produce, but we have been sticking with quality 3/8-ounce spinnerbaits. Particularly larger single Colorado blade models. These big thumpers are really getting the attention of the nicer 18 to 20 inch fish. White and Yellow have been top producers.

Bluegills have been slow to move out of their weed locations and as long as the weed flats continue to be green, the majority of these fish will remain in these areas. There are some fish out in open water with the schools of Crappies, but not enough to make it the top pattern just yet. Most of the folks catching these fish right now are "still fishing" with bobbers, small jigs and pieces of worm or small bluegill size leeches. Locate the better areas by slowly creeping through the weed flats with light jigs tipped with worms. Stop as soon as you locate a school of fish and either anchor the boat or hover with an electric trolling motor.

Northern Pike of small to medium size are mixed in the weeds along with most of the other fish. We’ve caught a ton of these one to four pound fish with jig & minnow combos. We’ve caught a few fish as large as 30 inches or so but these are the exception right now. The majority of the better size fish being caught in the shallows are being caught using large Sucker Minnows. Some folks are getting action on decent fish by trolling with shallow running crankbaits. Salmo’s floating Whitefish series has been getting us a few nicer fish. Pike located in the deeper water are also being caught trolling deeper running crankbaits like Salmo’s Perch Series baits or by using large minnows on a live bait spinner rig. We’ve caught some nice fish trolling with in 18 to 22 feet of water, following the edges of the larger main lake bars. Use a heavy 17 to 25 pound test monofilament leader, a 4/0 hook and a number 2 or 3 Colorado spinner blade. Work the rig as you would a live bait rig for walleyes with the minnow lip hooked. When you feel a pick up, feed out line for a half minute or so and set the hook only when you’ve gathered all of your slack line back on the reel.

Walleyes remain on the sluggish, but catch-able list. We have located some schools of fish in almost every conceivable location.

Some are deep, some are shallow and some are on the flats. This is the quintessential definition of the phrase "spotty fishing". The consensus among a variety of experts is that a combination of higher than normal water temperatures and amazingly high baitfish populations are holding the fish back from going into high gear. One thing that remains constant is that if you can locate these fish, there’s a very good chance that you can catch them. A pattern that has emerged this week is the "twilight bite" and we have been pretty successful at locating better schools of fish during the day and then heading to the most productive looking spots toward evening. This is paying off for me as the fish feed heavily for about an hour just before dark.

Some friends are catching fish using jig & minnow combinations, but we continue to fish with live bait rigs. Five to six foot leaders, a number 2 hook tipped with a larger Red Tail or Creek Chubb are producing some larger fish. The same rig tipped with lively night crawlers is producing more numbers of "eating size" fish.

Perch action has kicked up a notch and some folks are enjoying pretty fair fishing in terms of both numbers and size. Schools of fish are randomly scattered and most folks are finding them while in the search for Walleyes. Shallow weeds and mixed rock have been better areas and "simple, but effective", jig & minnow fishing is doing the trick.

Crappies are fully in to their fall open water mode and can be found in water from 18 to 30 feet deep. They are still relating loosely to the deep breaklines, but there are now also some small schools of fish roaming open water away from the structure. Best bet for success is to keep on the move and stop only when you locate better groups of fish. This will really swing the odds in you favor. The standard approach of using jig & minnow and fishing vertically is still working fine, but there are times when we’ve used a live bait rig tipped with a lively minnow as "search baits". We troll around slowly until we make contact with a better school of fish. Once we find a good school, we’ll switch back to the jigs for more precise control.

Smallmouth Bass remain grouped up on deep-water rock/gravel points and humps. They can still be caught on artificial baits with Tube Jigs and crank-baits leading the way. Live bait rigging with large lively minnows or Leeches will also produce some nice catches, but be careful not to allow the fish too much time to swallow live bait. In general, we release all Smallmouth and live bait fishing can put some of these fish at risk. So try the artificial baits first, then go to the live bait only as needed.

www.jeffsundin.com    jsundin@paulbunyan.net   Copyright © Jeff Sundin 2004

  Duck Hunting Report 9-27-04

Mosquitoes, Sunburn and Ducks!

Another Minnesota Duck Opener has come and gone. What a remarkable two days to add to the book of memories.
Anyone who has ever ventured out in search of "Winged Jets" knows that the more miserable the weather is, generally, the better the duck hunting. This was not the case this past weekend. Blue Sky, 70 degrees and minimal wind made for comfortable hunting and many opportunities but the heat took its toll on the dogs. Who ever thought about problems with mosquitoes, bees and heat exhaustion while you were hunting, not me.
Duck counts in the 1000 Grand Lakes Area seems to be up from the 2003 season, or at least the opportunities have increased with strong numbers in Teel, Mallards and Bills. We all like to head out onto the big water but this time of year if you are looking for dinner, you better stick to pot holes and small lakes. Finding those small bodies of water loaded with food such as rice and duck weed will make your hunt more productive. Waterfowl are a lot like people in what they need, food and shelter. I make it a practice throughout the summer months to document where I see nests and families of young ducks while fishing to help narrow my options for early season hunts.

"Hunting is not only about the harvesting of game but rather stopping to enjoy the sounds and scenery around you."

See You On The Water!  (218) 327-8183 jason@upnorthinc.com - www.upnorthinc.com  

Fishing Report Updated 9-23-04 Jeff Sundin

Walleye Scattered, But Feeding – Find ‘em and they are yours!

It’s been a pattern we’ve seen for the past few years now, Walleyes that are feeding heavily for the up coming winter, but are not yet gathered in large numbers. The good news is that when you find them, they will most likely bite at least for a pass or two. In fact, we’ve had some of those good old-fashioned rod-ripping bites this past week. The kind where you think there has to be a Northern on the end of your line and it turns out to be a Walleye instead. The only problem is we’re just not getting the bites as often as we’d like. Sometimes it feels like we’re looking for a needle in a haystack because the fish are spread out over such a wide area, it makes it hard to recognize a pattern that you can stick with. The best advice I have at the moment is to cover plenty of water and don’t stop the search until you find enough fish to make a day of it. Last week we fished 10 lakes in 6 days and found almost the same situation everywhere. Scattered, but biting fish.

High winds have forced us to stick with the weed patterns most days and I’ve found that the best bet has been to first move into the weeds and then back out to the upper lip of the drop-off just where it begins to move deeper. We’ve had about equal success using jig & minnow or live bait rigs with Crawlers. There has been a few times where live bait rigs with large minnows have also brought in some fish. Stay on this upper edge and occasionally back out just enough to watch for fish on the upper portion of this break. Most of the time when I’ve gone all the way down the drop, lets say out to 22 feet or so, I’ve found mainly Northern Pike and Crappies.

Another pattern that’s worked for me has been to keep close watch of my electronics during the day and keep a mental note of areas where you mark the best numbers of fish. Come back to these areas a couple of times each day and especially just before sunset. If you can gear up for some trolling after dark, we’ve had some good results by moving up onto the shallow weed edges and trolling with Salmo’s Stings for about the last hour of daylight. There has usually been a nice burst of mixed Pike and Walleye action.

Perch action continues to be generally fair, with some decent groups of fish in the shallow weeds and some smaller groups of larger fish being found on deeper humps and bars. Even though a lot of the fish are smaller, we’ve continued to concentrate on the shallow weeds because there has been much more action. If you stick with it, fish of nine to eleven inches are available and in numbers enough to keep the action interesting. Our better fishing has been by pitching the jig into heavy weeds and hopping it back toward the boat. Once your jig is near the boat, fish vertically for a while to give the following fish a chance to strike.

Largemouth Bass are still mainly occupying the deeper weed edges and heavier weed patches up on the weed flats. Small plastic worms rigged Texas Style or on 1/8 ounce jig heads and fished slowly down the drop off edges will still produce some bass. It’s important to fish each spot more thoroughly because these fish are not moving very far out of cover to hit the bait. They can still be caught, but it may take several casts to the same fish before your bait gets close enough to entice a strike. Weed growth is still extremely good and green, so there hasn’t been much incentive for the bass to switch locations. Just keep it simple, go catch ‘em and have fun.

Smallmouth Bass remain grouped up on deep-water rock/gravel points and humps. They can still be caught on artificial baits with Tube Jigs and crank-baits leading the way. Live bait rigging with large lively minnows or Leeches will also produce some nice catches, but be careful not to allow the fish too much time to swallow live bait. In general, we release all Smallmouth and live bait fishing can put some of these fish at risk. So try the artificial baits first, then go to the live bait only as needed.

Crappies are fully in to their fall open water mode and can be found in water from 18 to 30 feet deep. They are still relating loosely to the deep breaklines, but there are now also some small schools of fish roaming open water away from the structure. Best bet for success is to keep on the move and stop only when you locate better groups of fish. This will really swing the odds in you favor. The standard approach of using jig & minnow and fishing vertically is still working fine, but there are times when we’ve used a live bait rig tipped with a lively minnow as "search baits". We troll around slowly until we make contact with a better school of fish. Once we find a good school, we’ll switch back to the jigs for more precise control.

Above: Crappies in small packs like this are catch able, but don't expect the bite to last too long. Instead, look for larger groups as shown below. There's more fish along with some baitfish and a couple of sticks on the bottom. Fish will hold longer in an area like this.

Bluegills are slowly moving away from heavy weed patches and starting to show up out in the open water with the Crappies. Numbers are not great just yet, but the stage is set for a strengthening bite as the water continues to cool. To check for the ‘gills, follow roughly the same pattern as for the Crappies. A smaller jig like an ice fly or 1/16 ounce jig head tipped with wax worms or cut night crawlers will be better for these fish. Add split shot sinkers as needed to get your bait to the bottom when moving.

Northern Pike of small to medium size are mixed in the weeds along with most of the other fish. We’ve caught a ton of these one to four pound fish with jig & minnow combos. We’ve caught a few fish as large as 30 inches or so but these are the exception right now. The majority of the better size fish being caught in the shallows are being caught using large Sucker Minnows. Some folks are getting action on decent fish by trolling with shallow running crankbaits. Salmo’s floating Whitefish series has been getting us a few nicer fish. Pike located in the deeper water are also being caught trolling deeper running crankbaits like Salmo’s Perch Series baits or by using large minnows on a live bait spinner rig. We’ve caught some nice fish trolling with in 18 to 22 feet of water, following the edges of the larger main lake bars. Use a heavy 17 to 25 pound test monofilament leader, a 4/0 hook and a number 2 or 3 Colorado spinner blade. Work the rig as you would a live bait rig for walleyes with the minnow lip hooked. When you feel a pick up, feed out line for a half minute or so and set the hook only when you’ve gathered all of your slack line back on the reel.

www.jeffsundin.com    jsundin@paulbunyan.net   Copyright © Jeff Sundin 2004

Grand Rapids Winnie fishing report 9-21-04 - Jason Boser

Grand Rapids Winnie fishing report 9-8-04

Wow what a weird year we are having august weather in September and had September weather in august, only in Minnesota. The weather and the large amount of baitfish have made the fishing a bit tough around here for awhile. Some fish are still in the deep parts of the humps on lakes like winnie, trout, sand and bowstring but the majority of the fish are in the shallows next to the weeds. Winnie has been alittle tough with occasional good bites going on. Cutffot has been a bit better. Sand has been ok with fish being caught on the humps and on the shoreline. Bowstring is ok again some deep some shallow and trout is the same way. Maybe with this cooler temps coming our way things will kick into full gear soon here. The crappies are still in the deep water but after getting beat up for the past couple three weeks they aren’t going quite as well it’s a hit or miss thing any more. Cutfoot,bowstring,sand splithand pokie, the river between the dams are all good bets to look for the crappies.

Good luck fishing - Jason

  Fishing Report 9-20-04

Walleyes - Proposed Protected Slot Limit Regulations Public Comment Period

Folks interested in Walleye fishing on several of the great Walleye lakes in the 1000 Grand Lakes Area have an opportunity to voice their opinions on the proposed 10 year-experimental, "protected slot" regulation that's intended to increase the number of larger female Walleyes and enhance Walleye spawning production. The public comment period is open until October 4, 2004 and folks who want to weigh in on the subject, can do it by phone, e-mail or letters to the DNR Regional Office at Grand Rapids, MN. There will also be a public meeting in Squaw Lake, MN on September 21, 2004 at 7:00PM. The format is an informal one-on-one question and answer session with area fisheries officials. Anyone with an interest in fishing the area lakes is welcome to attend.

Opinions vary about whether to support these regulations with anglers, lakeshore owners and resorters on both sides of the fence. When Lake Winnibigoshish had the protected slot limit put into place several years ago, there was similar controversy about whether or not it would help, but from our point of view, there seems to be little doubt that there are more fish and better fishing at Big Winnie today, than there was before the regulation went into effect. This (2004) was a banner season on Big Winnie and there were literally tons of catchable, eatable fish for the public to enjoy. There was also a very nice supply of larger females that were fun to catch, photograph and release.

There is little doubt that when the Winnie regulation took effect, a lot of the areas "better" Walleye lakes suffered from heavy fishing pressure at the hands of folks who moved their attention away from Winnie because they disagreed with the regulation at the time. So today's proposed regulation has gained even more importance because it would not only augment Walleye production, but would also serve to "level the playing field" by relieving part of the pressure on the Walleye populations in these other lakes.

The lakes that would receive this special regulation are; Trout (near Coleraine) 17-26 protected; 1 over 26 in possession Proposed 5/14/2005, Round (near Squaw Lake) 17-26 protected; 1 over 26 in possession Proposed 5/14/2005, Sand 17-26 protected; 1 over 26 in possession Proposed 5/14/2005, Bowstring 17-26 protected; 1 over 26 in possession Proposed 5/14/2005, Splithand 17-26 protected; 1 over 26 in possession Proposed 5/14/2005, Swan 17-26 protected; 1 over 26 in possession Proposed 5/14/2005, Moose 17-26 protected; 1 over 26 in possession Proposed 5/14/2005, Jessie 17-26 protected; 1 over 26 in possession Proposed 5/14/2005, Island (near Northome) 17-26 protected; 1 over 26 in possession Proposed 5/14/2005, Deer/Battle/Pickerel 17-26 protected; 1 over 26 in possession Proposed 5/14/2005

To make your your comments contact,

Chris Kavanaugh
Area Fisheries Supervisor
1201 E. Highway 2
Grand Rapids, MN 55744
(218) 327-4322
chris.kavanaugh@dnr.state.mn.us
 

Good Luck!  (218) 327-8183 jason@upnorthinc.com - www.upnorthinc.com  

Fishing Report Updated 9-13-04 Jeff Sundin

Northern Minnesota Early Fall Fishing Progress Report

Update Notice: This is one of the rare times in Minnesota Fishing where the weather and fishing patterns have remained fairly consistent for the past week or so. For the most part, the fishing strategies and advice from last week’s report are probably best left unchanged for a few days. So except for the general overview, some minor additions and a bit of shuffling, the report has changed little.

Southeast winds and sunny days have brought us another week of warm shirtsleeve temperatures. The most noticeable change on the lakes has been the influx of baitfish into the shallows. Huge schools minnows consisting mostly of young of the year Perch, can be found on the outside, inside and on top of nearly every weed bed on most of the lakes we’ve fished this week. With the abundance of food and warm sunny days, has come a fishing pattern that has a lot of folks pulling their hair out.

Fish are still being caught and occasionally in good numbers, but your timing will be really important and you’ll need to keep searching for spots that have active fish at the time you are there. We’ve marked several schools of fish and after catching the first few "BITERS", the rest of the school gets weary of the pressure from above and the bite is over. The best approach in a lot of these cases has been to make one pass or maybe two at the most and then move on to greener pastures. Finding new water that hasn’t been pressured seems to help quite a bit and I’d recommend staying out of the larger crowds except for those rare days where the fish are on more of a "peak bite". In other words, if you work at it, you’ll catch enough fish to keep you happy.

Walleyes are still found not only in the shallow weeds, but also on deeper main lake structures. Some anglers found the best action by fishing live bait rigs with Leeches and Night Crawlers on the breaklines at 16 to 24 feet. Smaller humps that are generally good in early/mid summer held a few fish too, but the larger bars with both immediate access into deep water and easy access to the shoreline flats were prime locations. We’re locating schools of fish that are moving from deeper water or large flats as they move toward the shoreline and vice versa. The huge flats associated with these structures have room for lots of fish to spread out while they roam around looking for easy feeding opportunities.

There are always a few "false starts" in the early fall where it begins to look like the shallow fall patterns have begun and then without warning, the fish move back out to the main lake. I believe this is the time of the season when the Walleye action comes and goes with the wind and fish that move in to the shallows at "prime feeding times" give us this false impression of a long lasting move to the shallows.

Playing the wind to your advantage is really fairly simple. When it gets windy, we concentrate on the shallow breaklines and the calmer days generally call for fishing the deeper structures or in the heaviest weeds. Wind speed and direction are equally important and I tend to favor areas where the wind is moving parallel or slightly into the shoreline. A key tip to remember is that fish will usually travel into the current that’s generated by the waves. So if the wind blows from the same direction for a sustained period, you should be expecting fish to move slowly ahead into the current and stop to feed as they encounter pockets of baitfish that gather behind points or in weed beds.

Right now, there are quite a few folks still using live bait rigs with Crawlers and Leeches in the shallow water, but we’re catching a wider variety of fish and enjoying a lot more fishing action by using jig & minnow combinations and occasionally jig & crawler combos. Depending on the lake, this jigging approach has allowed us to catch as many as six different species in the same trip, fishing the same water.

Largemouth Bass are still mainly occupying the deeper weed edges and heavier weed patches up on the weed flats. Small plastic worms rigged Texas Style or on 1/8 ounce jig heads and fished slowly down the drop off edges will still produce some bass. It’s important to fish each spot more thoroughly because these fish are not moving very far out of cover to hit the bait. They can still be caught, but it may take several casts to the same fish before your bait gets close enough to entice a strike. Weed growth is still extremely good and green, so there hasn’t been much incentive for the bass to switch locations. Just keep it simple, go catch ‘em and have fun.

Crappies that had been really snapping in the open water on several area lakes the past couple of weeks have had an awful lot of pressure put on them and the bite can be hit or miss depending on the traffic on the lake you choose to fish. The Crappies have shown a preference for locating closer to "cover" this week, but there are still a lot of smaller schools in open water as well. The best action has been concentrated on scattered brush piles or deeper weed beds. Bait choice is really simple, small jigs tipped with minnows are the standard. But we’ve had some nice action with the "safety pin style spinners" like a beetle spin or horse head type jig. Fishing the brush piles is a little tricky, but remember this simple tip to make your life a lot easier; when you feel your jig touch the brush, NEVER PULL! Always let it drop. Most of the time, you can get the jig to fall off of the branch and then you can wiggle it back up. This helps keep your bait in the strike zone and if you can remember this simple tip, you will catch many more Crappies than you ever did before.

Bluegills are in the heavy weed patches feeding on what looks like some kind late summer bug hatch. The best approach for finding them has been to slowly creep along the deeper weed edges while casting a jig & half crawler combination into the weeds. As soon as you pick up a fish or two, stop the boat and switch to a small jig tipped with a piece or crawler or a smaller angleworm. Fish slowly, almost stationary within a few inches of the bottom and set the hook as soon as you feel the tiniest "tick" on your line. Darker jig colors have been good and 1/16 ounce has been the best size overall, but 1/8 ounce may be needed on breezy days.

Smallmouth Bass remain grouped up on deep-water rock/gravel points and humps. They can still be caught on artificial baits with Tube Jigs and crank-baits leading the way. Live bait rigging with large lively minnows or Leeches will also produce some nice catches, but be careful not to allow the fish too much time to swallow live bait. In general, we release all Smallmouth and live bait fishing can put some of these fish at risk. So try the artificial baits first, then go to the live bait only as needed.

Perch action continues to be generally fair, with some decent groups of fish in the shallow weeds and some smaller groups of larger fish being found on deeper humps and bars. Even though a lot of the fish are smaller, we’ve continued to concentrate on the shallow weeds because there has been much more action. If you stick with it, fish of nine to eleven inches are available and in numbers enough to keep the action interesting. Our better fishing has been by pitching the jig into heavy weeds and hopping it back toward the boat. Once your jig is near the boat, fish vertically for a while to give the following fish a chance to strike.

Northern Pike of small to medium size are mixed in the weeds along with most of the other fish. We’ve caught a ton of these one to four pound fish with jig & minnow combos. We’ve caught a few fish as large as 30 inches or so but these are the exception right now. The majority of the better size fish being caught in the shallows are being caught using large Sucker Minnows. Some folks are getting action on decent fish by trolling with shallow running crankbaits. Salmo’s floating Whitefish series has been getting us a few nicer fish. Pike located in the deeper water are also being caught trolling deeper running crankbaits like Salmo’s Perch Series baits or by using large minnows on a live bait spinner rig. We’ve caught some nice fish trolling with in 18 to 22 feet of water, following the edges of the larger main lake bars. Use a heavy 17 to 25 pound test monofilament leader, a 4/0 hook and a number 2 or 3 Colorado spinner blade. Work the rig as you would a live bait rig for walleyes with the minnow lip hooked. When you feel a pick up, feed out line for a half minute or so and set the hook only when you’ve gathered all of your slack line back on the reel.

www.jeffsundin.com    jsundin@paulbunyan.net   Copyright © Jeff Sundin 2004

Grand Rapids Winnie fishing report 9-8-04-Jason Boser

We finally got rid of that hot weather up here now we can get on with our fall bite again. Winnie and cutfoot have been producing walleye in the shallows off the east shore, by the high banks area, down in muskie bay, on the west end by ravens, stoney and all along the west shore. The shallow weeds have been the ticket, with a jig and minnow. Crawlers also have been working but you won’t get the perch and northern action like you will with the jig and minnow. Sand, bowstring has been doing pretty good in the weeds also with a lot of nice fish. The other thing that has been happening is the crappies in the lakes are in their fall patterns. That means you look over the open water spot a school on your locator and drop a jig and minnow in on them and if they are active you can get a bunch in a hurry. Pokie, spider, wabana, and splithand all have a decent crappie bite going on this time of the year also with the same open water tactics.

Fishing Report Updated 9-06-04 Jeff Sundin

Northern Minnesota Early Fall Fishing Progress Report

After a couple of weeks of below normal temperatures, it had begun to look like the typical fall fishing patterns were here to stay, but a re-birth of summer brought us air temperatures in the high seventies to low eighties and water temps back up into the mid sixties. Along with the warmer temperatures, came a re-birth of late summer style fishing for Walleye, Bass and Panfish.

Walleyes were found not only in the shallow weeds, but also on deeper main lake structures again. Some anglers found the best action by fishing live bait rigs with Leeches and Night Crawlers on the breaklines at 16 to 24 feet. Smaller humps that are generally good in early/mid summer held a few fish too, but the larger bars with both immediate access into deep water and easy access to the shoreline flats were prime locations. We’re locating schools of fish that are moving from deeper water or large flats as they move toward the shoreline and vice versa. The huge flats associated with these structures have room for lots of fish to spread out while they roam around looking for easy feeding opportunities.

There are always a few "false starts" in the early fall where it begins to look like the shallow fall patterns have begun and then without warning, the fish move back out to the main lake. I believe this is the time of the season when the Walleye action comes and goes with the wind and fish that move in to the shallows at "prime feeding times" give us this false impression of a long lasting move to the shallows.

Playing the wind to your advantage is really fairly simple. When it gets windy, we concentrate on the shallow breaklines and the calmer days generally call for fishing the deeper structures or in the heaviest weeds. Wind speed and direction are equally important and I tend to favor areas where the wind is moving parallel or slightly into the shoreline. A key tip to remember is that fish will usually travel into the current that’s generated by the waves. So if the wind blows from the same direction for a sustained period, you should be expecting fish to move slowly ahead into the current and stop to feed as they encounter pockets of baitfish that gather behind points or in weed beds.

Right now, there are quite a few folks still using live bait rigs with Crawlers and Leeches in the shallow water, but we’re catching a wider variety of fish and enjoying a lot more fishing action by using jig & minnow combinations and occasionally jig & crawler combos. Depending on the lake, this jigging approach has allowed us to catch as many as six different species in the same trip, fishing the same water.

Largemouth Bass are still mainly occupying the deeper weed edges and heavier weed patches up on the weed flats. Small plastic worms rigged Texas Style or on 1/8 ounce jig heads and fished slowly down the drop off edges will still produce some bass. It’s important to fish each spot more thoroughly because these fish are not moving very far out of cover to hit the bait. They can still be caught, but it may take several casts to the same fish before your bait gets close enough to entice a strike. Weed growth is still extremely good and green, so there hasn’t been much incentive for the bass to switch locations. Just keep it simple, go catch ‘em and have fun.

Nothing to it! A jig & plastic worm fished on the weedline and you're in business. Plenty of action and some nice ones too.

Crappies that had been really snapping in the open water on several area lakes the past couple of weeks have shown a preference for locating closer to "cover" this week. The action has been just as good or perhaps even better, but we’ve had to concentrate on brush piles or deeper weed beds if we wanted to get in on the hot bite. Bait choice is really simple, small jigs tipped with minnows are the standard. But we’ve had some nice action with the "safety pin style spinners" like a beetle spin or horse head type jig. Fishing the brush piles is a little tricky, but remember this simple tip to make your life a lot easier; when you feel your jig touch the brush, NEVER PULL! Always let it drop. Most of the time, you can get the jig to fall off of the branch and then you can wiggle it back up. This helps keep your bait in the strike zone and if you can remember this simple tip, you will catch many more Crappies than you ever did before.

Bluegills are in the heavy weed patches feeding on what looks like some kind late summer bug hatch. The best approach for finding them has been to slowly creep along the deeper weed edges while casting a jig & half crawler combination into the weeds. As soon as you pick up a fish or two, stop the boat and switch to a small jig tipped with a piece or crawler or a smaller angleworm. Fish slowly, almost stationary within a few inches of the bottom and set the hook as soon as you feel the tiniest "tick" on your line. Darker jig colors have been good and 1/16 ounce has been the best size overall, but 1/8 ounce may be needed on breezy days.

Smallmouth Bass remain grouped up on deep-water rock/gravel points and humps. They can still be caught on artificial baits with Tube Jigs and crank-baits leading the way. Live bait rigging with large lively minnows or Leeches will also produce some nice catches, but be careful not to allow the fish too much time to swallow live bait. In general, we release all Smallmouth and live bait fishing can put some of these fish at risk. So try the artificial baits first, then go to the live bait only as needed.

Perch action continues to be generally fair, with some decent groups of fish in the shallow weeds and some smaller groups of larger fish being found on deeper humps and bars. Even though a lot of the fish are smaller, we’ve continued to concentrate on the shallow weeds because there has been much more action. If you stick with it, fish of nine to eleven inches are available and in numbers enough to keep the action interesting. Our better fishing has been by pitching the jig into heavy weeds and hopping it back toward the boat. Once your jig is near the boat, fish vertically for a while to give the following fish a chance to strike.

Northern Pike of small to medium size are mixed in the weeds along with most of the other fish. We’ve caught a ton of these one to four pound fish with jig & minnow combos. We’ve caught a few fish as large as 30 inches or so but these are the exception right now. The majority of the better size fish being caught in the shallows are being caught using large, Musky style baits like the Suick, Reef Hawg and Giant RattleTraps. Pike located in the deeper water are being caught trolling crankbaits like Salmo’s Perch Series baits or by using large minnows on a live bait spinner rig. We’ve caught some nice fish trolling with in 18 to 22 feet of water, following the edges of the larger main lake bars.

www.jeffsundin.com    jsundin@paulbunyan.net   Copyright © Jeff Sundin 2004

  Fishing Report 9-5-04 - Jason Green

Twist Again With Mother Nature

Brrrrrrrrrrrrrrrr, can you believe this weather? Just when you thought summer was back Mother Nature throws us another twist. This has been one of the most remarkable seasons on the water. Last night I was going over the UPNORTH Archives and to my surprise there was never a full week that it shut down. There were a few difficult days here and there but never the late summer lull.
Even with the drastic changes in weather fish continue to bite. Keying in on wind blown shorelines with a jig and minnow combination is producing well. Cold water temperatures are starting to thin out the summer vegetation but you will still need to keep it light. A 1/16oz Northland Fireball is perfect to work those weed lines but don't be afraid to up size to an 1/8oz on windy days. As the patterns progress to fall an excellent cold water presentation is a Northland Stand Up Fireball. Remember, the trick is to keep your presentation in the strike zone with out all the hang ups.
On calmer days reports of fish being caught on mid lake flats have been coming in. Sunshine and little to no wind has put the water temperature on the rise and pushed fish back into summer patterns. Using a live bait rig with a crawler or leach has been keeping those rods bending.
Check back often, UPNORTH Duck Hunting Reports will begin shortly.
See You On The Water!

Good Luck!  (218) 327-8183 jason@upnorthinc.com - www.upnorthinc.com  

Grand Rapids Winnie fishing report  9-1-04 - Jason Boser
We did something yesterday I just have to tell you about. Lakewood lodge on Sand Lake donated their resort for 2 days to a group of handicapped people. They had a day of hanging around the resort fishing playing volleyball, sitting around the campfire,singing songs all the cool things you could ask for in a resort outing. The next day we lined up 10 guides around the area and took them all out fishing. The weather was bad and we didn’t get to fish long but not one of them people cared they were having a ball. We caught enough fish that we could feed the whole bunch with a great shorelunch. So if you ever get a chance to do something for people who don’t have the great things in life we do go for it it is very rewarding.
Fishing has picked up in the area Winnie is still alittle slow for the walleyes but if you work the shoreline and the rocks with the wind you can manage a nice batch of fish. They are still going on a leech or crawler with a lindy rig but the jig and minnow seem to get you more action.The big news is still the crappie action on the other area lakes. Cutfoot, sand bowstring, lots of those lakes with a good crappie pop. Are schooling up in that open water and making some nice catches of fish.

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