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steffanf

July pike, panfish...

24 posts in this topic

Hello all... havn't been on the Cass forum for a little while (year or so). I have been to Cass a few times over the past few years. However, this will be the first time I will be going there in July (week of the 22nd). I have been there both early (early June) and late (late August) in the year. I'm looking for any tips or tactics I would need to catch some pike. If I managed to run into 30" pike all day, I would be happy. Also, I would like to find some of those elusive slab bluegills I hear so much about. In all the times I have been to Cass, I have never even seen a Bluegill, let alone some large ones. Perhaps somebody can give me some pointers on where to find any of these.

As an aside, this will be the first time I will be bringing my own boat, a 14' AMF Crestliner w/9.9. I know it may be a little bit on the small side for this lake, but I want to be able to use the portage into Lake Windigo for awhile. I also don't want to have to rent a boat/motor when I get there. Am I nuts for using such a small boat here, or can it be done... safely? Thanks for any help or comments you can offer. Who knows, maybe I'll see some of you at the Pike Hole for one of their mushroom/swiss burgers...

-Gregg B.

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Hey Steff,

I will be heading up to Cass the same day. We will be there from July 21st thru Aug 3rd. We go mainly for eyes and those toothy critters are more of a pain than anything else to us. I hate getting out those darn Y bones. Anyway, we usually troll Crawler rigs and Little Joe Spinners and with crawlers I usually avoid any Northern but my father in law and brother in law love using minnows and they always seem to get at least 2 or 3 northern per day. I use bottom bouncers with my crawlers so that may be the reason I don't pick up the northern. They use a 3/8 oz bullit weight in front of their spinner rigs with the minnow. I would try to do that if you are looking for northern. Stick in the 10-15 foot range and try to get around some weed lines and you should pick up what you are looking for. Try Wishbone Bar and also try the weed line in front of the opening to Windigo on Star Island all the way down to the narrows. That should do the trick for you for those toothy critters. The more of those you keep on your line is the less that can get onto mine, LOL. Have a safe trip and good luck.

Windy

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So long as the lake waves are not rolling, you will be able to use that boat, BUT if it gets windy .....well, stay safe.

In Windigo for pannies (and LMB), we use small black Beetle-spins around shore or toss crawlers under bobbers to the reeds. There is a lilly pad area straight left of the portage where I would try for larger gills and if I were you I would also try leeches.

On Cass, I think those larger gills will be in deeper water and I would try around the 8'-12' areas near shallow water in Allen's Bay. I also would give Dick's Bay a shot for them.

Good luck.

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Gregg,

You should be ok with your boat, but like Geno said, if the waves start rolling you better head for shelter. With the island you can usually find a side that is ok to fish if the waves start pounding but your problem will be getting home or to whereever fast enough with a 9.9. I have an 18 foot Lund Alaskan with a 40 4 stroke and that is not quick enough some times. There have only been a few times in the 20 years we have been going up there that I really felt worried but when that happens you have to respect this lake. You should be fine.

Be sure to let the guys know that you are an FM'er when you go up to the Pike Hole. We bring a group of about 24 to lunch one day on our trip and I always let him know that we pass his name along to people on the site. You might want to try Chippewa Paws also, it is the silver dock near the dam. The new owners are from Wheaton Illinois and their food is pretty good, though it is not the same atmosphere as the Hole. They do have a pretty good Chicago Style Italian beef sandwich and they have some Giardiniara imported from right here in the Windy City. Tell them we sent you too. Have a good trip.

Windy

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True dat, Windy.

Depending on where he is staying, I might reconsider my advice to go all the way to Allen's or Dick's Bay(s) with that small of a boat.

I'm lucky to be alive to tell this story:

This yr, we left PikeHole luncheon on Mon at about 1:30pm and Cass was really ROLLING. I had a 30hp on a very-wide 18' rowboat and it was the SCARIEST ride I ever had in 30 trips to Cass. We've been in similar waves, but I'm older and wiser so no more of that ignorance is bliss stuff. Any smaller boat or hp and I would have never tried it. I had to gun then cut the 30 to take the big SPLASH so as not to get flipped over. And as I got just past the shallows at the mouth of the Turtle, it was like in no-man's land where I couldn't turn back because of the size of the waves. I had to just keep cutting into the waves all the way out to O'Neils Pt before turning with the waves to go through the Narrows around Star. I am stil shaking 2 weeks later. I hope I NEVER go through that again. And, of course, I got my free shower that afternoon.

Same type of story about 7 yrs ago:

Came out of the Turtle R in a 16'er with a 15hp with my son and his friend who were both 11 at the time. I turned right around back for PHole and called our resort owner who had to come get us with his truck and a trailer. Just spotted our owner $30 and told him it was worth alot more than that to my wife. My wife would have never forgiven me if I came back without my son so I opted for the safer alternative. Best decision I ever made, but the boys, now 18, still say "we could've made it"! I just laugh.

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I have some spooky experiences out there too in our 25 years on Cass.....Brad and I got stuck out there in a storm in my old Ranger 373 and we actually put our life jackets on. We beached ourselves and rode out the storm on shore.........every wave went over the back of the boat and filled it with sand. What a mess.

Another time I was going into the waves going from Deadmans to Buck, and getting some good air between waves, when my dad's back couldn't take it. I told him we couldn't idle or we'd take in water, but he insisted I stop. So I backed er down and sure enough, a 4 foot wall of water came right over the front and swamped the boat......thank goodness you can't sink a Ranger. It was a battle getting out of that mess. It was a beautiful day and the wind kicked up out of nowhere....

(Enough with the bass boats out there so I got a Fisherman.)

You have to be very aware of your surroundings if any type of bad weather or winds are expected. Know your "escape route" at all times.

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My father in law and I had a scare up at Cass just going from Windigo to Wishbone Resort. We were fishing the weed line and a storm came up quick and the wind was just right where we were getting 5-6 footers all the way back in. I had to throttle down because his back was hurting pretty good from getting bounced in the front seat and I got soaked as each wave came pouring over at me in the back of my 18 foot Lund Alaskan. He was laughing all the way and I got my free shower (as Geno says) that day as well.

Hey Commanche,

Good to hear from you. Is your first day up at Cass Aug 4th? Or will you be up there the week before? I will be up there from July 21st thru Aug 3rd and was talking to Brian about getting a half day in with you and him. Let me know, but the way your posts were sounding, I think we will be like two ships passing in the night come Aug 4th.

Windy

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It gets windy on Cass??? grin.gif

Is there a day when it is not is the real question. Sometimes you do get lucky.

wink.gif

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Thanks for all your comments on this. My last boat was 15' semi-V Jon boat with a 20 HP Merc. I got caught out there one day when the wind started kicking up and found shelter out in the narrows going into Pike Bay, where it was nearly calm. The waves weren't quite coming into the boat, but one could see the large whitecaps out over the open part of the lake. It handled fairly, as long as I kept the nose of the boat into the waves and kept the speed down. I managed to sell that boat about a year ago. The last time I went to Cass, I was trying to beat a storm coming in and got caught in some large whitecaps. This time I was out in one of the resorts' 18' deep-v's and the boat handled pretty well, even though the pelting rain stung a bit on the face! These are the only times I got caught in any wind out on Cass.

Anyway, I just moved to the Minneapolis area from the south side (Oak Lawn) and I knew I had to get another boat to live up here. If any of you ever fished those crappy forest preserve lakes around there, you would know why I sold my last boat. This 14' I have now performs well on the metro lakes around here, even on windy days (which seem to be often). Of course, Cass Lake can turn into Lake Michigan when the winds start exceeding 20 mph!

This time I will be staying at Anglers Beach Resort, so I will be near Star Island. I will likely spend much of my time in and around Star Island anyway, so this site is probably the best for me. Personally, I would like to stay at Wishbone. I got a "tour" of this resort when I first visited Cass and always wanted to stay there. This was also the resort that my parents stayed at during the late 60's through the mid 70's, so it has a little sentimental value as well. Unfortunately, I can only schedule a trip up to Cass with nothing more than a few months lead time and Wishbone seems to get completely booked a year ahead of time. The last time I went to Cass a couple summers ago, I stayed at Chippewa Paws, so I know that the new owners are great and have a nice facility (restaurant included). Seems like they got completely booked early as well, so I had to look elsewhere.

As for fishing, it looks like July seems to be similar to both June and August in terms of Pike fishing. At least the areas mentioned seemed similar to what I have fished before. I may also think about booking Brian again for a half day. As for the bluegills, they may just continue to elude me at Cass. Besides, it's hard to fish for sunfish in a lake that's full of toothy critters! Don't the bluegills have any shallow spawning beds like they do around here?

So, when do all you Chicagoans get up at Cass? It looks like you all seem to get together at the same time to meet at the Pike hole and such. I would like to join you all one of these years... and finally meet all those that have helped me in the past. There may be alot of beer for me to buy that day...

-Gregg B.

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Oak Lawn eh?

I was Blue Island, then Oak Lawn and then So. Side proper... right off 80th and Polaski. (82nd Pl.)...

I'm up most every weekend... gonna put some food plots in for deer hunting in August, not sure which weekend yet. If I'm up, maybe we will run into each other...

Good Luck!

Ken

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Cool... I was on 96th and 51st... right across the street from the commuter parking lot. Basically, I was just 1/2 mile from the busy intersection of 95th and Cicero. Small world...

-Gregg B.

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Burbank ringing in here, although when I was born and raised it was called South Stickney. Lived thru the big snow storm and the Oak Lawn tornado. Part of my territory at my old job with the Southtown was Blue Island, my two biggest clients were Beggars Pizza and Kline's department store. Lived there until 1988 when I had my house built in Orland. I will be up there, staying at Wishbone, on July 21st and we stay for two weeks. Our entire family goes up and this is our 20th anniversary, we are doing shirts and the whole works. Yes, Wishbone seems to book up year in and year out around this time. Our entire camp, 20 cabins or so, have been coming up for about the same as us if not longer. They treat us right. We do a lunch up at the Pike on the 2nd week, usually on Thurs or Fri. Nice to see so many flat landers populating the site of 10,000 lakes! South Side Irish baby.

Windy

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I've noticed that about Cass ever since I went there the first time. There seems to be a connection with Chicagoans to Cass Lake. Many of those who I have met there were from the suburbs. Even this forum on Cass Lake is dominated by Chicagoans. I guess I'm just following in my fathers' footsteps, but I never understood why he chose to go to Cass instead of any other lake. I mean, I can see why he never liked going to the Fox chain or even Geneva, but there are so many good lakes in MN, especially up north... why Cass? On top of all that, my father was mainly a bass fisherman and even more so, a bluegill/sunfish fisherman. He never told me where he got all those big sunfish in there. Of course, even Cass Lake is not quite the same lake that it was some 30-40 years ago. Anyway, only 20 days until I'm up there, but I already have a bad case of Cass-fever. Being that I only live about 4 1/2 hours away now, I'm sure I will have to get up there more than once per summer.

-Gregg B.

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Ringing in here from Elmhurst.

We have always met Illinoisans while at Cass for our week.

This year, it was a family from North Aurora we met and put onto some Rockies. And another couple of guys who used to live in Lombard.

Pretty cool.

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Wow Gregg,

Looks like we will be up there the same week. That will be my first week of two. We stay at Wishbone. Where are you staying? Forgive me if you already said where you were staying in this thread but I did not re read it and I'm old!

Maybe we will meet up at the Pike Hole or out on the lake. I was fishing last year and met a guy out on the lake and started talking and found out he was from Illinois and he goes to me, "You're the Windy City Walleye Hunter aren't you?". It blew my mind, his name was Bob, I think, and he goes by Bluegill Bob on this site but he does not do a lot of yacking like we do, he is a reader more than a poster. He knew me from me talking about my boat. Pretty cool!

Windy

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From HazelCrest and now New Lenox, Will be up there July 21st-28th and staying at Sunset Cove. Would be great to meet for lunch.

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I will only be up on Cass for a short trip this year... from Sunday the 22nd to Wednesday the 25th. I will be up at Anglers Beach Resort... mainly because I can never get a reservation at Wishbone. Looks like a big crowd of Chicagoans are going down at the same time this year. How many other Illinoisans will be up there in late July? Maybe we should make all the Cub fans stay at Wishbone and the Sox fans stay at Stoney Point... no?

Seriously though, if any or all of you really want to meet at the Pike Hole, maybe we should try to set up a time. I think it would be great to at least meet some of you... maybe talk a little fishing tactics. I may have to always set up my trips for late July out on Cass. Of course, I think I may have to make my reservation now for July 2008!

-Gregg B.

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Steff,

It better be the other way around with the accomodations at Wishbone and Stoney. Our family numbers right around 27 people staying at Wishbone and we all have two favorite baseball teams. The White Sox......AND WHOEVER IS PLAYING THE CUBS!

Windy

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Oh Steff,

By the way, pay no attention to my avitar. I lost a bet this month with a Geno, a poor misguided Cub fan. He had to post our championship ring as his avitar in April and May when the Sox were ahead, now I have to post his choice since my beloved Pale Hose have decided to go south for June.

Windy

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And what a beautiful avatar it is!

And remember how I had almost given up on my Cubbies???

What a diff a month makes.

And next month you will be posting the Cub logo as your avatar(you misguided WSox fan you).

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Ouch, Windy!!!!!!

That hurts even me to see that, almost as bad as last nights blowup.

You are an honorable man.

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Right you are Commanche,

I did not try to "weasel out" of a bet, like somebody ELSE on this thread who will remain nameless (is that OK with you GENO!!!) LOL

Windy

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Well, Windy, I was suggesting Wishbone as the Cubbies hangout since it is on the north side of the lake and Stoney Point as the Sox hangout because it is on the south side of the lake... makes sense to me.

-Gregg B.

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Well then, that's OK Gregg. You gave a shot to the ole ticker here when you suggested a Cubbie fandom at The Wishbone. Most of the campers here bleed Silver and Black and the past two years we have been bleeding from every oriface! LOL

Windy

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