Fishing Report Northern Minnesota Archive May 2006 Fred's Bait Deer River Minnesota

Fred's Live Bait and Tackle Deer River Minnesota

"A Northern Minnesota Fishing Tradition"

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Minnesota Fishing Archived Fishing Reports May and June 2006

June 2006


Fishing Report 6-29-06 Mixed Bag Season Approaches– Jeff Sundin

    A warming trend is gently pushing up surface temperatures and moving the summer feeding patterns into full swing. On Wednesday the surface temperature on Lake Winnibigosh was 73 degrees at mid day. Most of the Deer River and Grand Rapids area lakes are in that temperature range right now. Mayfly hatches that were heavy last week have noticeably declined in the past day or two and a shift from "Walleye or die" fishing to the mid summer mixed bag style fishing is slowly taking shape for me. Continued warming predicted for the next week should continue to push us in that direction. I wouldn’t be surprised to see excellent mixed bag opportunities developing.

    Perch that have been weed bound and illusive for the past few weeks are inching their way toward the open water structures that they use during mid summer. The softer bottom areas surrounding mid lake humps and bars have attracted some nice size Perch. Although they are in small numbers so far, the trend is moving us toward some good open water Perch fishing. Checking the smaller rock areas and deeper weeds, we’ve discovered that some Perch are moving toward areas where Crawfish are most abundant. Mixed sand and gravel with light weed cover are perfect locations and it looks like we’ll be into some action on those spots as well during the next week or two. Click here for more about mid summer Perch fishing on Lake Winnie.

    Walleye fishing in the area is what I’d call "good" providing you’re adaptable and willing to work at it. They’re certainly not on an all out rampage, but sticking with the search and adapting to conditions as they develop will keep you in enough fish to make it interesting. Unchanged from last week, we’re still fishing mid lake humps and bars. The ratio of "keeper size" versus "slot size" fish has shifted noticeably toward the smaller keepers. We’re still releasing a larger portion of the "slot fish" but finding keepers has become easier this week.

    Walleyes inhabiting the weedlines are generally running smaller than the mid lake fish, but with minnow populations at seasonal highs, these fish are well fed too and it takes some searching to find a hungry school of fish. On the bright side, if you keep looking, you will find them and when you do they are more susceptible to jig and minnow or jig and worm style fishing that usually leads to some of the greatest Minnesota mixed bag fishing of the year. This is some of my favorite fishing because you can catch a variety of fish on the same baits, on the same weedline, on the same trip.

    Larger Northern Pike are in open water where cooler temperatures and a new supply of baitfish, mainly Tulibee are providing some excellent feeding opportunities for them. If you’re after some better than average Pike, tolling deeper running crankbaits like the Salmo Perch or deep running Shad Raps will get you into some action. Another good approach, try running a live bait rig with a 17 to 20 pound test monofilament leader, 2/0 hook and a seven to 10 inch minnow along the edges of main lake structure. Steeper edges along the breakline, areas with scattered rock and areas near weed flats are good places to start looking. Fish the rig just like you would use a Lindy Rig for Walleye. Substituting the larger minnows will help attract a higher percentage of Pike, but don’t be surprised if you catch a few nice Walleyes while you’re experimenting.

    We’ve had some decent Crappie fishing this week and I’m optimistic about the prospects for the next week or two as well. Heavy cover is the secret during the day. On one Deer River area lake we found a nice school of Crappies using a heavy patch of Coontail weeds mixed in a larger patch of Cabbage weeds for cover. On another, we’ve found them among brush piles. In either case, we’ve had to fish vertically (up and down) from an almost stationary position to catch them. If you’re fighting the wind, moving too fast or fishing too far above them, they will let you pass right on through without striking. Hold the boat still and get the bait in their face, then you’ll start catching some. For faster action, fish these areas at twilight with a slip bobber. Crappies are notorious for that "evening run" along and above the deep weeds.

    Bluegills aren’t too far from the same type of structures and to help catch more of them, switch to a jig with a cut piece of worm as bait. Fish closer to the bottom along the weed line and the Bluegills are active enough to find you. Once you locate a school, try moving in (shallower) and out until you fine-tune the location. Then stay close to that area and fish it thoroughly.

Anna Nosal with a great Winnie Walleye


Savannah Castellano, Smallmouth Bass


Steve Kulscar and friends Crappies



UPNORTH Fishing Report 6-26-2006 Jason Green

Massive May Fly Hatch Puts Anglers To The Test

Crappie 6-25-06

    This past week Northern Minnesota has experienced one of the worst May Fly hatches it has seen in many years.  Even with an abundance of food present anglers are still finding success.

    Crappie- For the past several days we have been finding active schools of crappie just before dark suspended off steep shoreline breaks.  Vertical jigging a 1/16oz jig or using a slip bobber with a plain hook tipped with a small minnow or piece of crawler has produced well.

    Walleye- With an abundance of food present in many of the area lakes anglers should plan on covering a lot of water to find active fish.  We have been keying in on main lake humps that on top are only big enough for one or two boats and peak at roughly 20'.  Pulling a 5' Roach Rig has worked well for a couple fish per hump with a leech or crawler.  Each school of fish on different humps seem to want something different to eat but over all a rig and leech has produced the best.

    Even in the most difficult of times anglers can catch fish.  Just keep moving till you find a school and lunch will soon be served.  Good Luck!

Walleye 6-25-06 Jason Green

Fishing Report Northern Minnesota 6-26-06


Fishing Report 6-22-06 Summer Walleye Strategies – Jeff Sundin

    The summer solstice has arrived and the classic mid summer Walleye fishing patterns are in full play right now. Cooler weather and lots of windy days have brought surface temperatures back down into the high sixty to low seventy degree range and a re-birth of the weedline bite has really charged up the action on a handful of the Grand Rapids area lakes.

    Most Walleye fishermen in the area (including me) have really focused on the deeper, main lake structures for the past couple of weeks and those deeper structures are still producing very well. In fact, if you’re trophy hunting and enjoy the classic deep structure fishing with live bait rigs, I’d suggest sticking with that pattern for a while. If you like the "action bite" and prefer shallow jigging the weedline, the wind and cooler weather have brewed up a pretty darn good shallow fish opportunity. We’ve found that the best action centers around loosely grouped cabbage weeds on shallower flats. Six to eight feet of water has been a key depth range. I’ve had to work to locate any areas where the weeds are mixed with either gravel or light rock/sand and when I find this type of structure, we’ve found smaller Walleye (eater size) of 13 to 15 inches in larger numbers. Depending on what else is available in the lake, we’ve also found plenty of Northern Pike, Bass and panfish in these same weedlines.

    Two presentations have produced best. First, a 1/16 ounce "Sneaky Pete" fished with a smaller size Rainbow Chubb and second, a live bait "Lindy Rig" substituting a 1/16 to 1/8 ounce bullet sinker for the traditional slip weight. Leeches or crawlers can be used on the live bait rigs, but I think crawlers are currently out performing leeches on the lakes I’ve fished. This live bait rig fishes the weeds fairly well especially when the fish are willing to roam out to the edges. Move slowly along the weed edges with your electric trolling motor and work the jigs by casting up into the weeds, then working slowly back toward the boat. The rigs can be fished just outside the deeper edges. When you find a school of fish, re-run the area once or maybe twice, then move on to find "new" fish.

    Largemouth Bass, Crappie and Bluegills have begun to show up in these deeper patches of Cabbage and in some of the Coontail patches along the outer edges. We’ve literally stumbled on to these fish while we work the weed edges for Walleye, so if you’re flexible, you can get into some of the mid-summer mixed bag fishing right now. If we find a school of Bass on these outer edges, switching to a 1/8-ounce jig and plastic worm combo produces great action. Bluegill nip at the tail of the plastics and you can zero in on them by switching to a small jig and cut piece of worm. If you hit a school of Crappies, try the same small jig, but substitute a 1-1/2 inch tube or small twister tail. Cast these into the weeds and fish them with a slow pumping action.

    If you fish lakes with brush piles, cribs or other heavy Crappie structure, you’ll be able to find some fish in these locations as well. Another early summer pattern that most folks can master easily is to anchor along the deeper weed edges during the evening and fish with slip bobbers until dark. The panfish go on a feeding binge at this time and small jigs tipped with minnows (for Crappies) or a cut piece of worm (for Sunfish) will get you in on some good action.

    Larger Northern Pike have mainly moved out deeper. But this same shallow weed structure will produce some fish of decent "eating size" along with lots of smaller Pike, particularly on the jig and minnow combo. For more information, click this link to a recent article about Pike fishing that sheds some light on utilizing these smaller Pike for eating.

    Perch fishing can be good at times, but there are a lot of days when the Perch seem to have vanished. My best guess is that the super abundant baitfish supply is keeping the Perch well fed, satisfied and scattered. Only when you find an active school, will they really bite well and since they’ve been scattered, we’ve had to struggle to keep locating small groups of fish.

Smallmouth Bass, Jeff Sundin

Bass, like this Smallmouth are locating on the deeper points and weed edges. This fish hit a jig & Crawler during the search for Walleyes. Nice bonus!

Sneaky Pete Jigs

Small jigs like these 1/16 ounce Sneaky Pete's are great for fishing the weeds. Short hooks and streamlined body make them less prone to snagging.

 

Walleye Joe Stevens 61506

 

Walleye Jason Skoglund 6-16-06


Fishing Report 6-14-06 Summer Peak Fishing Period Arrives – Jeff Sundin

    June fishing trips are in high demand in Northern Minnesota and it’s shaping up to be just the kind of weather for fishing that most folks hope for. Mid seventy to lower eighty-degree air temperatures, combined with stable weather and ideal water temperatures have made this a very nice week of fishing.

    For anglers that are Walleye fishing in the Grand Rapids region, the pursuit has become more centered on deep fish that have moved out to main lake structures. Walleyes of every size are showing up in larger numbers each day to take advantage of the insect hatches, minnows and larger baitfish. Tulibees, Suckers and Whitefish will all attract larger fish while young perch, shiners and other minnows attract the smaller ones. This has been good news for those folks fishing lakes with protected slot size limits, because for a time, only the larger fish were present on main lake humps, reefs and bars. Now these structures have a reasonable number of keeper size fish along with an opportunity to catch a very nice "picture fish" or maybe even a trophy.

    Live bait rigging has become more important every day and even though we can still catch some nice fish on a jig and minnow combination, the rigs tipped with either night crawlers or leeches are the best performers. Rig length? For fishing lakes like Winnibigosh, Bowstring, Sand and others in our area, I like rigs that are 5 to 6 feet in length and tied on 6-pound monofilament line. I like colored hooks, but I have had plenty of great fishing with the plain hooks as well and I think it’s fun to experiment until you find a combination that gives you confidence. So, try ‘em all until you get the color, length and performance that you believe in. That’s what really makes it work, mind over matter. A tip about the size of Leeches for Walleye fishing has been that the "Super Magnum Jumbo Leeches" are working fairly well for larger fish. But if you’re looking for an average size "keeper Walleye", large or even some of the better medium leeches will get you more bites and a higher percentage of eaters.

    Crappie and Bluegills have begun to show up in the deeper patches of Cabbage, Coontail and along the pouter edges of the deeper Bulrush patches. Most of the spawning fish have wrapped it up for this summer and are staged out in these deeper locations. If you fish lakes with brush piles, cribs or other heavy Crappie structure, you’ll be able to find some fish in these locations as well. One early summer pattern that most folks can master easily is to anchor along the deeper weed edges during the evening and fish with slip bobbers until dark. The panfish go on a feeding binge at this time and small jigs tipped with minnows (for Crappies) or a cut piece of worm (for Sunfish) will get you in on some good action.

    Northern Pike have moved toward deeper structure as well and the larger fish are using structure with handy access to their preferred food choices. Lakes with good Tulibee populations will generally have better size Pike locating on steep drop off edges. Pike will also eat Crappies, Suckers, Whitefish and even other smaller Pike. So any structures with good weed or rock cover that’s located near deeper water will produce some fish. If you like to troll, try using the deeper diving crankbaits along the edges of main lake bars.

    Bass fishing in shallow cover like Bulrushes is still good. Smallmouth are moving along sandy breaklines and rocky areas in water depths of 5 to 8 feet. Some of the surface baits are still producing well, but if you’re like me and like to fish with jigs and small plastic baits like crawfish, twisters and plastic worms, your time is here to get active.

    Perch fishing on Big Winnie has been a little tough for the past couple of weeks. The good news is that they’re starting to show up a bit more each day. Better numbers and better size fish are being located in weeds located on the shallower flats. Concentrate on depths of 5 to 8 feet of water and when you locate weeds that have rocks or gravel mixed in, hover in that area and fish vertically and slowly. For some reason, Perch have been more active on calm days so when you see the lake turn to glass, head to the flats.

 

 

 


Fishing Report 6-8-06 Summer Storms Cause Momentary Setback, Recovery Improves Walleye Fishing on Northern Minnesota Lakes. - Jeff Sundin

    Summer storms like the one that pounded hard on most of Northern Minnesota last Monday are usually to blame for a slow down in fishing and this was no exception. A day after the storm past, we were trying hard to locate active fish to keep the pace active. But this time the effect of the storm passing through was less dramatic than usual. I think it’s because it helped to counter-act the unusually hot weather and warm water temperatures that we’ve had so far. On Monday, I was able to find afternoon surface water temperatures of over 75 degrees. On Tuesday the surface temperatures were back down below 70 degrees and after a sluggish morning, the fishing had already begun to return to a normal pace for this time of year.

    Walleye fishing has probably been most affected by the enormous populations of baitfish in area lakes. Bumper crops of baitfish such as young Perch, Shiners and other minnows have made feeding easy for hungry Walleyes. Add to that the increasing number of areas where Mayflies and other insects are beginning to hatch and the result has been feast or famine fishing for many folks. The fish literally have it so easy right now that they don’t have to move to locate all the food they need. If your timing is off, or if you give up the search before you find an active school, some lakes could seem like the Dead Sea.

    The good news for Walleye fisherman is that if you find the right school of fish at the right time, the Walleyes are actually aggressive and easy to catch. In addition, there are a variety of approaches that will produce fish right now and it’s likely that your favorite methods will produce at least enough to keep you busy at times when fish are active. During the past couple of days, jig and minnow combinations, live bait rigs with night crawlers or leeches, spinner rigs, crankbaits and slip bobbers are all producing fish. The secret has been finding fish and then experimenting until you break the code of catching fish from that particular school of fish.

    Crappie and Bluegills are in the shallows right now and are in full spawning mode as the warmer water draws them in. Look for fish in water depths of 6 inches to about 4 feet, maybe a little deeper. Panfish are actively building beds right now and slowly moving along shoreline looking for the small "scooped out" areas will reveal where the fish have been active. If you have problems locating the fish during daylight hours, come back at evening and try these areas as the sun goes down. Presentation is a small jig 1/16 or 1/32 ounce, help up with a small bobber. Tip the jig with minnows for Crappie and use a cut piece of worm for bluegills. If you have ultra light equipment, you can cast small tubes, twister tails or feathered jigs without live bait. This more aggressive approach is perfect for locating fish while you are moving along a shoreline and want to check for signs of activity in the area.

    Northern Pike continue to inhabit the shallow weedline areas and the small hammer handle size fish are so active right now, that it’s hard to get your bait down to other fish in the area. Larger Pike are showing up in the deeper water along sharp drops, rock bars and on deeper weed flats. If I had to pick one presentation that would be most useful right now, I’d go with live bait rigs, a 2/0 hook and larger minnows like a Sucker, Creek Chubb or Redtail. Troll the baits along steep breaklines to 14 to 22 feet of water.

    Bass fishing is still largely centered on the shallow water spawning beds and most Bass fisherman are using spinnerbaits, jerk worms like the Sluggo or small minnow type stick baits like the Salmo or Rapala. Sight fishing around shallow bulrushes, mixed rocks and gravel or even around boat docks is working well. For the time being, Smallmouth will be found in the rockier sections of shoreline, Largemouth tend to favor the weedier sections. Areas that contain both types of shallow cover will produce a mixed bag including some panfish.

Walleyes on Sonar Screen

Walleye like the ones shown in the picture above are cashing in one of the better feeding opportunities. A huge school of Shiner minnows hovering within eyesight just under the surface. In clear water, you can watch the minnows and occasionally even spot the Walleyes as the roam the weed edges.

Walleye Picture, Ed 6-4-06

You can compete with all of that bait, but you have to keep searching for an active school of fish. Trying a variety of baits and locations will eventually pay off.

 


Grand Rapids Winnie fishing report 6-7-06

    Winnie has been a bit of a sea saw lately one day you can go out there and do well and the next its like they turn off a light switch. When the wind blows it has been pretty decent lots of fish coming off the North shore, south shore or west shore in 10-7 foot of water.
    If it is still we have had to go out to the deep humps and bars. Out on the bars I have been using jig and minnow but the shiners are on there last leg and will not hold out much longer, so we will be switching to crawlers and leeches soon. Pokegama the Bass are going crazy on top of mid lake humps and bars right on top, and the Northerns are biting like they always do. Splithand is doing well in the walleyes but a lot of the fish are on the small side.

fishing report sign off jason boser


UPNORTH Fishing Report 6-5-2006 Jason Green

1st Fish Fly Hatch Of The Season

Walleye Ryan Green
It's Definitely Been A Big Fish Summer!

It has been one of the most unbelievable Open Water Seasons I have ever experienced.  I have never seen so many big healthy fish come in the boat.  I would have to say on average we have been keeping maybe 1 out of every 5 for the fry pan.  All though it can be disappointing at times, it is a good problem to have.

Summer progression is shifting gears and is moving ahead of schedule forcing anglers to re-think their strategies.  During the early a.m. hours or low light periods there is still a good shallow water shoreline bite.  If you get out early enough a light Fire-Ball Jig tipped with a minnow is still producing well in the weeds but as the day progresses we find ourselves moving deep to mid lake humps.

When working mid lake humps we have been working smaller humps that top out around 18'-20' with a 3'-4' Roach Rig mainly tipped with a jumbo leech.  Boat control has been the main issue when rigging.  It can be extremely easy to get pushed off a mark in the wind when you are not paying attention.  Make sure to keep your presentation as vertical as possible and move slow.

The recent fish fly hatch hasn't effected the bite to bad at this point but as their bellies fill up I'm sure that will change forcing anglers to try new tricks to ensure a successful outing.

Walleye Jason Green

Fishing Report Sign Off Jason Green


May 2006

Grand Rapids Winnie fishing report 5-30-06

The weather here in the northland has heated up and so has the fishing. The crappie and sunnies are going strong on area lakes and on Red we have done well also. The Walleye's have been biting well on Winnie in their usual places, ravens,Mallard, muskie bay they have all been good. Just remember go with the wind if its blowing into or along side a shore that is the one to fish. I have been using 1/8 or 1/6th oz jigs and the bite has been good. Other area lakes have been doing just ok. Sand has been a bit of a struggle for the Walleye but the perch have been abundant and big with a couple coming in at a true 14 inches. Splithand has been doing well and Bowstring is doing ok at times. Good luck fishing.

fishing report sign off jason boser


Fishing Report 5-29-06 Memorial Day Scorcher Challenges Walleye Anglers – Jeff Sundin

    If you were tired of cold, rainy Memorial Day weekends, then this was the one for you. In the past few days, surface temperatures have dramatically increased, moving from the high fifties a week ago, into the upper sixties now. On the other hand, July-like weather has been moving the fish out into open water sooner than usual and it’s been tricky for lots of folks to figure out just where to fish as they discover the favorite fishin’ holes from the past have already been temporarily vacated.

     Walleyes are still available in good numbers in shallow water, but the feeding fish are following schools of baitfish that continue to spawn and they are moving a lot. A hot bite today, won’t necessarily guarantee that the school of fish will be in the same spot tomorrow. When fishing the shallows, your best bet is to move frequently and go shallower as warming water draws baitfish toward the shoreline. During windy periods, shallow water Walleyes will become more active and it pays to fish the windy shorelines right now. Jig and minnow fishing continues to be the fastest way to catch fish, but your presentation needs to be more aggressive than it was a week ago. Hard snapping, and faster hopping of the jig will trigger more bites than the slower, drag and drop that worked well in colder water.

     There are already a good number of Walleyes moving to deep water, with the shoreline related bars, deep weeds and sharp drop off areas showing the first signs of life. Presentations are varied, live bait rigs with Leeches are producing, so are heavier jigs (¼ to 3/8 ounce) tipped with minnows. Open water humps and bars further out into main lake areas aren’t producing much yet. Watch for those areas to produce well in another week to ten days.

Crappie and Bluegills are in the shallows right now and are in full spawning mode as the warmer water draws them in. Look for fish in water depths of 6 inches to about 4 feet, maybe a little deeper.    

     Panfish are actively building beds right now and slowly moving along shoreline looking for the small "scooped out" areas will reveal where the fish have been active. If you have problems locating the fish during daylight hours, come back at evening and try these areas as the sun goes down. Presentation is a small jig 1/16 or 1/32 ounce, help up with a small bobber. Tip the jig with minnows for Crappie and use a cut piece of worm for bluegills. If you have ultra light equipment, you can cast small tubes, twister tails or feathered jigs without live bait. This more aggressive approach is perfect for locating fish while you are moving along a shoreline and want to check for signs of activity in the area.

     Northern Pike continue to inhabit the shallow weedline areas and the small hammer handle size fish are so active right now, that it’s hard to get your bait down to other fish in the area. Larger Pike are showing up in the deeper water along sharp drops, rock bars and on deeper weed flats. If I had to pick one presentation that would be most useful right now, I’d go with live bait rigs, a 2/0 hook and larger minnows like a Sucker, Creek Chubb or Redtail. Troll the baits along steep breaklines to 14 to 22 feet of water.

     Bass season opened this weekend and as you might expect, Bass are moving in the shallows as they spawn in many of the same areas that we’re seeing the Bluegills. Surface presentations are the ticket right now. Small minnow baits spinnerbaits and surface lures like the Chug Bug will produce some nice fish.

     A note about fishing shallow water during the spawning season. I apologize for getting on the soapbox, but when we fish the shallows during the spring spawning season, it’s important to minimize our impact on the fishery. Bass should be returned to the water as close to their spawning bed as possible. Panfish can easily be over harvested right now, so keep a few for a meal and return the rest to fight again another day. During spawning, Crappies that appear "Blacker" are likely to be male fish. Keep those and return the ones that appear "normal" or more silvery in color as these are more likely to be females. If you practice selective harvest, you can literally have your cake and eat it too.

Walleye Fishing on Lake Winnie

Walleyes are still active in the shallows. Warm weather has lots of folks smiling.

Crappie Fishing on Red Lake

Warm surface temperatures are drawing Crappie, Bass and Bluegill into the shallow water to spawn.

 

Spawning Crappie color phases

Above: Male Crappie showing Black spawning colors. Below: Female Crappie colors don't change during the spawning run. Crappie spawning is in full swing right now in the Deer River area.


UPNORTH Fishing Report 5-26-2006 Jason Green - The Feeding Frenzy Begins


 

It's time to pack up your gear and the family and head to the 1000 Grand Lakes Area for a successful holiday weekend.  The bite we have all been patently waiting for has arrived.

Over the past couple of days water temperatures have risen to the low 60 degree range causing bait fish to school up in the shallows.  What does this mean?  Hungry active fish!

The early cool mornings fish continue to be sluggish with spotty results but if you can find a heavy concentration stay on them.  A slower presentation is needed to get them in the boat. 

As the day warms up we have been moving quickly over the fish and pumping those jigs hard!

We have been concentrating our efforts in 6'-8' of water on shoreline flats and points with signs of strong vegetation growth.  If you can locate an area with sand/gravel or smaller rocks all the better.  Using a 1/16oz Fire-ball on calmer days and a 1/8oz when the wind picks up tipped with a shiner has kept the rod bending.

It is that perfect time of year to get out on the water with the family and create a perfect holiday memory.


Grand Rapids Winnie fishing report 5-22-06
    Winnie has been the story up in the Northland; it has been producing consistently since opening day. The fish have been anywhere from 5ft all the way to 14-15ft. The best producer has been the 1/8-oz jig and shiner combo. When our cold fronts been coming through we have been going down to 1/16th oz jig and moving real slow that is just enough to make them take it. The other nice deal on Winnie is the Perch. They seem to be active and on the nice side with 9-11 inch perch common in the livewell at the end of the day.
    I haven't fished a lot of different lakes yet and I haven't heard much good. Sand Lake has been decent you are able to go out there and get a few Walleyes, and the perch on Sand have been great. The Perch have been shallow and the walleyes have been scattered on sand.
Good luck Fishing and when you are ready to fry up some fish don't forget our fish batter located more and more places. Fishing Fever all purpose fish batter in the blue for the more seasoned taste and Charlies Gone fishing fish and game batter for the lighter seasoning.

fishing report sign off jason boser


Fishing Report 5-22-06 Early Season Cold Water Fishing Calls For Finesse

    The weather during the first full week of the open water Walleye fishing season has been a challenge for Minnesota anglers. Surface water temperatures hovering in the mid to low fifties are actually losing ground as cold night temps dipping into the thirties coupled with low daytime high temperatures and blustery North winds offer little relief.

    Walleye fishing for most folks has been much better during the warmer afternoon hours and if you plan to visit the lake this week, I’d suggest sleeping in and hitting the water around noon. While there have been a couple of days where morning fishing was good, the afternoon bite has held up to be as good or even better on most days. Presentations are, as you’d expect, lightweight jigs of 1-16 or 1-8 ounce tipped with Shiners, Rainbow Chubs or nice Fatheads are producing the best action. Live bait rigs with leeches or night crawlers are working for some folks, but are a distant second in terms of action. Jigging action is really important now, so it’s important to vary your approach. At times, aggressive jigging, hopping or snapping has turned fish on. At other times, we’ve found that a simple steady wiggling or twitching of the rod tip triggered fish better. In really shallow water where sand grass has been a problem, we’ve set a slip bobber for about 18 inches off the bottom and used a slightly heavier jig while drifting with reasonably good success.

    Walleye location is still primarily shoreline structure like shallow drop-offs, weedbeds and shallow rocks. There are also some schools of fish to be found on the deeper water breakline in water depths of 22 to 30 feet adjacent to shoreline structures. These deeper fish are trickier to trigger, but we’ve done all right with a 1-4 ounce jig fished vertically. It’s been a good strategy to fish the shallows first, then move out deeper to clean up some of these scattered schools of deeper fish. If you’re fishing on some of the smaller, deeper lakes try the outer edges of weed beds about two to four feet deeper than the weedline. Aggressive Northern Pike are using the weed cover and make Walleye fishing really tough. But the clean-lip areas just before the drop off breaks into deeper water. These areas are holding Walleye in fair numbers. You might find that there are several small schools spread out along an extensive drop off, so be patient and keep moving.

    We’ve discovered some really aggressive Perch during the past few days. Both size and numbers are very good! Key locations have been shallow weeds, especially Cabbage in 5 to 8 feet of water. There are some early insect hatches going on and the Perch we’re catching are virtually full of these insect larvae. This is usually a pattern that continues for a while, so it could be a great time to get the kids packed up to gather the makings of a great fish fry.

    Crappies are in the midst of their spawning run right now. Male Crappie are sporting their Black spawning color and female Crappie are plump with eggs. Cold nights force the fish out of the shallows, but warm sunny afternoons trigger a move back in to the structures where they’re doing the best they can to establish spawning beds. Pick and choose your days and you’ll be able to get in on some action. The predicted warming trend should help and I’d guess that Crappie action will peak in the next week to 10 days, especially if the water temps can reach back up into the lower 60 degree range.

 

 

Ryan with a nice Walleye on Lake Winnie

The 2006 Father & Son Walleye fishing trip at Bowen Lodge was a big hit this year. Lots of wind and cold weather gave the group a test. But the kids (and the dads) came through with flying colors and bagged plenty of Walleye on Lake Winnie.

Bill Linder and Roger Will with pair of Walleyes

Cold weather hasn't stopped the Walleye fishing. Bundle up and keep fishing until you find them.


UPNORTH Fishing Report 5-15-2006 Jason Green-A Successful Opener For Many


Total Number Of Anglers Seemed To Be Down This Year But Many Fish Were Caught

Another Minnesota Fishing Opener has come and gone and it sounds like most anglers had a successful one.  Cold temperatures, wind and rain made for uncomfortable conditions.  For those who faced Mother Nature head on it was well worth their time.

What a feeling to be back on the water again!  Even with a chill that penetrated to the core as soon as the rod bent it all went away. 

The past week has kept water surface temperatures down ranging from 47-52 degrees.  With temps being cooler a slow presentation is needed.  We found that dragging a 1/16 oz Fireball Jig and lifting it ever so slowly worked best since walleye were sluggish but still hungry.  After checking many of the usual early season spots we worked our way backwards towards ideal spawning areas.  We concentrated our efforts on shoreline flats with sand and gravel.  Working the outer edge in 8'-10' of water with a sharp drop into 25'+ produced the best number of eater sized fish.

Walleye have bounced back after the spawn and look to be plenty healthy but remember until the water starts to warm up to work it slow.  We've got a Frenzy on the way!


Another Perfect Eater!


Walleye Have Bounced Back >From The Spawn And Are Hungry And Healthy


Lake Winnie fishing report 5-15-06 Capt. Ron
We had a great bite on Winnie again this year. Did not get out tell 11:00AM and done by 3:00PM. We did limit out on Walleye and ate freash fish for dinner. We put back 25" Walleye 25 3/4" Walleye and several in the 17 1/2 to 19" class. We started at the bird houses in 10' and stayed there tell boats moved the Walleye. Moved in to the 9' worked out to the 10 1/2' water. Best bait for us was the Northland tackle 1/8oz glow watermelon jig topped with a shiner.


Grand Rapids Winnie fishing report 5-11-06

Thursday before opener it's almost to exciting and the wait is too long. The weather up here has been rainy, but not real cold so that should help the water temps stay decent. I look for a good opener the walleye have spawned and should be ready to feed. Temps are in the late 40's to mid 50's just right. I look for Winnie to be a week or so ahead of time and they should be chasing shiners on the flats. So look for our normal places north shore, high banks, the dishes, Mallard all should be good. I would be using a 1/8-oz gumball or fireball jig and some of our famous Winnie shiners, which should be in good supply for the opening weekend. I know Bens bait in Grand Rapids and Freds in Deer River have good supplies. If you stop in at Bens I will be there till about 1:30-2:00 helping out. I will be off to Cass Lake again for the weekend and look forward to an excellent opener there as well. Good luck to all you fishermen and women enjoy and be safe.

fishing report sign off jason boser

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