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beer batter

Labor Day Weekend

24 posts in this topic

Coming to Sunset Cove Resort over Labor Day weekend. Never been to the area before and looking forward to it.

Guys might be looking for some morning walleyes, then family time kicks in with boat rides looking for scenery around the lake, and maybe some panfish to keep the kids and ladies busy.

Any general locations for morning time walleyes, and afternoon panfish? How about tactics? Minnows/leeches etc..

How about a nice tour of the lake(s)? Any recommendations on where I'd take a group for a scenic 2-3 hour cruising tour? Let's assume the wind isn't whipping up too bad for this tour or I realize we'll be staying much closer to home.

Also, where is the best location on Star Island to dock up your boat and head in for a hike? Do you just pull up on shore, or are there actual docks somewhere?

Enough questions for now. Thanks in advance.

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OK Beer Batter, here goes.

You can pull right up to the opening of Lake Windigo which is on star island. Pretty sandy and easy to just pull up. As for a cruise you have your choice. Cass is pretty big but would not take 2-3 hours. You can go into Andrusia from Cass on the northwest side in Allens Bay and you can go into Pug Hole Lake and then Kitchi on the North side of the lake. You can stop at the Pike Hole which is a bar/restaurant that has pretty good burgers and waffle fries. Their mushroom/swiss and the Pike Holer are famous and come in 1/4 or 1/2 pound varieties. Tell them you heard about them here. As for fishing, I would give Brian Jones a shout at First Choice Guide Service, he can put you and your family on the fish and set you up for the weekend showing you where and how to fish Cass. Tell him Windy sent you and he will give you a discounted price off his already low guide prices. He works well with kids and beginners as well as experienced fishermen. Tell him I said hi. He has always taken good care of my family. Enjoy your holiday up on Cass.

Windy

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Thanks Windy. I've seen your previous posts about Brian Jones, and I'm sure he's a great guide. Not looking to hire a guide though, just general "what's working now" type info.

As far as pulling up to Lake Windigo, what part of Star island (north, south) do you pull in to?

Cruising I was thinking about heading up river to Andrusia and maybe even Wolf but not sure of water levels. Anyone know if the river is navigable from Cass with a Crestliner 1850 sportfish?

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You might want to get a map of the lake. I'm sure the resort you are staying at has some kind of map that shows details. If nothing else, look on the Minnesota DNR website and print off a copy of the map. It shows the portage on it. Anyway, the "beach" that you pull up to on Star Island to access Lake Windigo is on the north shore of the Island, right in the middle. It is just about mid-way between the far northwest and northeast points of the Island. When actually on Cass Lake, look for the port-a-potty about 20 feet from the shoreline and you will find the correct beach and portage.

-Gregg B.

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Beer Batter,

If you want to cruise around 10-15 mph, it could take an hour or two to cruise the entire shoreline of Cass. If you head from Allen's Bay thru the narrows on the north side of Star Island, turn right (south) and hug the shoreline until the island turns to the east (left), and at that point, you will see the portage to Lake Windigo. The sand is unreal, as well as the sand and sediment on Windigo. It's like walking on powder.

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The ladies usually prefer a bit slower ride so they don't spill the cocktails if you know what I mean smirk.gif We typically stay below 10mph during the happy hour style cruises.

If we go slow enough, we could even throw out some plugs and see what hits.

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The cruise from Cass to Andrusia to Wolf is beautiful! There and back is a good 2-3 hours. If you head upstream in the Mississippi another 3/4 mile or so from Big Wolf, you will find the 'sand hill'. Kids love it. Pull the boat up, (tie it up or anchor it) and there is a couple hundred foot long sand hill they run up and down and go diving / swimming in the clear cool waters of the mighty Mississippi! Which by the way is only 6' deep or so and 20 yards across! grin.gif Great way to blow a sunny afternoon. Quiet and peaceful! You may even take in some of the 1st fall colors then. The view from the top of the hill is exceptional! The water levels are dropping a bit, so just make sure you take your time in the rivers and keep your motor trimmed and you will be fine.

By all means take in the beach at Windigo, but unless you're the party type, do it on a week day. You'll have it almost to yourself on weekdays. I myself won't go there anymore and I won't take my young kids there on the weekends... Windigo is on the North shore of Star. Take the kids into Windigo Lake (only a 20 yard walk) and let them know they are swimming in the only "lake in a lake" in North America! Windigo's waters are extremly safe and shallow. You can also pull up on Cedar Island... lots of sand there and room to spread out.

The walleye fishing of late has been tough. Lot's of weather changes. I haven't even taken my boat off the lift the last 2 weekends... not that I couldn't find a couple, but I'm getting a few 'Honey-do's" out of the way now so I can get into the better fishing later. Your ace in the hole will be a good long talk with Al. He's one of the owners of Sunset and a darn good fisherman. Knows Cass extremley well, and that's putting it mildly. Pick his brain and you will get into some walleyes... I wouldn't even doubt it!

Good Luck!

Ken

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Quote:

Windigo's waters are extremly safe and shallow.


Actually, I beg to differ on that a bit. I managed to drag my boat across the portage and fished Windigo about 4 years ago. I have a sonar and I can tell you that much of the lake is 10-15' deep. There is even a couple spots 20+' deep. I was fishing for pike along the weedline edge, and doing pretty well. Like anything else, I guess the kids would be OK if they don't wade out too far...

-Gregg B.

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I'm on Cass every week and I can tell you that straight out from the portage you can almost walk across the lake. If you go a ways to the west (more than a kid will ever walk) and a ways to the east at a lesser extent, you will hit the deeper water. The hundred yards square that a kid or teen will utilize in front of the portage is shallow and sandy. Never intended that a kid would wade or swim the entire 80 acres.

Good Luck!

Ken

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Thanks Labs, I thought I heard one of the owners was a pretty competitive fishermen on Cass. Speaking of which, are there some major tournaments out there this weekend?

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I think you will miss them over the weekend...

Good Luck!

Ken

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I was in windigo three weeks ago. I've always wanted to walk out until the drop. I've tried three times now. Every time I get bored with it (or run out of drink) about a 1/8 of a mile out and turn around and go back. As far as Cass goes, there is a PWT tournament the week after Labor Day and MWT tournament the weekend after. You'll have 135 boats pre-fishing that weekend. Will not be hard coupled with the local fisherman to see where people are fishing.

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Chris that is exactly the reply I was going to post... I had a buddy (but not a kid) in from SoDak up a month ago... he was gonna walk across Windigo but got bored about half way across and came back... It's shallow along ways out!

Good Luck!

Ken

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You guyz don't be spookin' my LMB now by walkin' thru the reeds!

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Awe, come on gene. You haven't lived until you've walked through the reeds on windigo wearing a swim suit and carrying a caption diet!!! grin.gif

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I don't need no stinkin' suit - au naturel only for us....we been doin' it for 30+, all around the Cass chain-even in Pike Bay not just Windigo. We've skinny dipped in Kitchi and the Turtle River in May in 85+ temps to cool off and at the Windigo portage but at BirchVilla's beach, we do wear our suits when we walk way out into Cass on the sandflat just N of their harbor.

I was gonna post a pic, but it might be censored so in the interest of younguns (and weirdos) that are out there (actually, I try to live by the old if "I wouldn't want my 12 yr old daughter to see/hear/read it" philosophy), I pulled back the pic link.

Brings back memories of times long ago though before marriage and kids and mortgages and car payments and just the whole darn ratrace......ah, to be carefree again and to be able to do whatever floats your boat, huh?

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Gene, keep your pants on, and I'm sure we're all thankful you didn't post those pics.

What is it with all the Illinois guys on the Cass Lake board anyway??

I've been reading threads on this forum over the past few months (since we've booked the resort) and at least half the posts are from Illinois.

Is there some underground railroad linking Illinois to Cass Lake nobody knows about grin.gif.

Must be a great place to keep everyone coming back for so many years. Really looking forward to this weekend, we'll see what the huge draw is all about.

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Draw? Just nature I think.

the magnificent waters,

the islands,

the Chippewa Natl Forest,

the undeveloped wilderness,

the "chain" of lakes,

the lack of Chicago traffic congestion!

the great people/resort owners/guides/business owners/...

etal

I suppose being from Chi-town, I might spend more time at/on Lk Michigan and sometimes I think it is silly that I live so close yet rarely enjoy what is in my own backyard.

Then I think, nah, there is still so much to learn/explore on Cass (in 30 trips, we still have hardly ever fished the NE part of the lake).

One of these years I'm threatening to spend more than a week so I can really relax.

PS I really think it is better on Cass in June than Aug, but it is all what you make of your vac.

Gonna put my pants back on now.

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Beer Batter,

Geno is right (not about the lack of clothing, LOL) but the fact that Cass is a huge draw for the Boyz from Illinoiz! Our family just celebrated our 20th anniversary of coming up to Cass. My wife and I do two weeks every year and the whole crew (about 25 crazies) go up for one week. Almost our entire resort, Wishbone, is full of Illinois plates for the two weeks we go up there. We are from the Orland, Palos, Tinley Park and Champaign area and other people in the resort are from Elmhurst, Herscher, Bridgeview and Kankakee areas. I have yet to figure out the connection but our resort is heavily populated by Land of Lincoln'ers.

Windy

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Yeah Windy, and I didn't even mention the draw of that great Mushroom/Swiss w/waffle fries at PHole that I don't think you can find anywhere in Chi-town ESPECIALLY with the view of the TurtleRiver off the deck.

PS Finally tried your BlueMoon but did not care for it..yuck.

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Not a fan of wheat beers either.

How would I get to this Pike Hole place? I've read a lot of great things about their food.

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On the N/NE shore of Cass is a small entrance to the Turtle River/PugHole Lake which connects Cass to Kitchi. At the bridge upahead is where the Pike Hole restaurant is. You can dockup right there. Great view and a great burger with a full bar......and back 30 yrs ago, some tasty, cold Schmidt's beer too!

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You have to add the slice of orange to the Moon. I have been drinking Tucher Weiss for years and Blue Moon is a close match. We used to do the Tucher with a slice of lemon but the orange works nicely. Sorry you don't care for it. If the water level does not let you get into Pug Hole Lake to go to the Hole you can drive there but that is not nearly as fun as boating there. Request from the owner: If you will be heading over there with a group of 10 or more, give him a call a day or two ahead and he can get the staff to handle your group. We dumped 23 people on him last year so this year we called ahead. We had about 30 people from our resort there, nice party! Pumped $5 into the juke box and started the pitchers of Leinie Honey Weiss, very nice!

Windy

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We had a fantastic weekend. The weather couldn't have been any nicer.

The fishing was pretty poor for us, the little time we put into it. We were targeting walleyes most of the time. Ran out of leeches and there were no more to be found anywhere. Met a boat near Star Island where we had some luck with leeches, and they were just short of their limit using leeches. Lots of tournament boats fishing with redtails too. Fatheads and trolling raps got us nothing but perch. Wish we would have brought more leeches!!

Fishing aside though, we had a blast hanging out with the 150 other boats at Star Island on Saturday, then Sunday we took a boat tour up the Mississippi to Wolf Lake, met some friends on Andrusia for a couple hours on the way too. Kids caught some northerns trolling through the Miss, we saw a huge walleye swimming in the shallows, and a small herd of deer drinkin out of the river too.

Never even made it east of Star Island. Guess I'll have to come back some time.

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