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Joe

Rainy River Fishing Report

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Tim_Anderson

Have been at it for 3 days now. We have been pretty happy with our results considering the conditions.

We had two boats. Our other boat spent the vast majority of their time chasing sturgies, and did very well. They caught right in the neighborhood of 50 sturgeon, and had some really nice fish. I think their biggest fish (several) were around 60" and lots of 50's.

We have been chasing walleyes more than sturgies in my boat, but have been doing some of both. The eyes have been pretty challenging. We caught 23 on Friday, 27 on Saturday, and 25 today. Today, we had a good walleye bite, but spent the vast majority of our time fishing sturgeon. Based on the rate we were catching the eyes tonight, I'm thinking we would have had a really good day (maybe 75) if we had stayed at it all day.

But we had an amazing sturgeon day. We caught a dozen, but most all really big. Our biggest was 61 inches with a 28 inch girth. Next was a 65" with a 25 inch girth. 7 more in the fifties, two in the forties, and one in the thirties.

It was very windy and cold today, but at least the sun was out for a change.

Clarity depends on where you are, but mostly 18" or more. Clearer as you go east. Current is still fast, and really seemed to kick up a notch yesterday. I wondered if they opened up some gates up at I-Falls?

We are having no problem feeling bottom with 1/4 or even less while drifting, but that has not been very productive. Pitching unfortunately hasn't been working very well either. Getting a few vertical. But mostly our walleye bite has been trolling upstream really slow with 3/8 or 1/2 depending on the spot. Jig and minnow has been the best. Finally got a few on plastics today though. Current breaks and hovering just off bottom has been crucial for us.

Hardly anyone using Birchdale. Frontier hasn't been that busy either. I haven't been as far west as Vidas, but I heard the most boats were down there, and that landing was the busiest. Of course, everyone cleared out today.

Water temp remains pretty cold. I'm not trusting my unit as they seem to vary by a few degrees with everyone you talk to. I still have not heard of anyone over 35 point something.

Sounds like we have some sun and slightly warmer weather coming for the long term. Tributaries seem to be holding steady. Based on the long range forecast, we just might make the season before they break loose. Lets hope.

Can't remember if I said so, but our largest walleye is 26". We have many more in the 23-25 inch class. I feel we would be doing better with both numbers and size if we were committing all day every day to walleyes, but alas, the sturgies are too alluring.

Heading back out to the park now. Will continue fishing here until the season closes as long as the river cooperates. Got a blank day here and there if anyone wants a trip short notice. If so, call and leave a message. I am coming in to town most nights to check messages and communicate.

Wish I had the time and wherewithall to post some of our pictures cuz we've got some great ones, but I will do it when I get home.

That should about do it. Time to get some sleep!

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fiskyknut

Sounds like Friday was aweful good for you wally-wise Tim.

Everyone cleared out today huh?

Think Spring!... Oh we are!

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rangerboy

On Saturday when we caught fish, we also were back trolling into the current, casting our line down current and then keeping the boat speed between 0 (no movement) and .5 mph(the current movement not trolling up stream) which allowed us to cover some ground. We were using plastics and caught all of our fish including 2 25" and 1 28" with this method. We use this method most of the time since I believe it looks more natural to the fish, as your bait looks like it is also swimming up stream with the current. It also presents the lure in the strike zone longer as the fish are swimming upstream. Just our method.

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hanson

But we had an amazing sturgeon day. We caught a dozen, but most all really big. Our biggest was 61 inches with a 28 inch girth. Next was a 65" with a 25 inch girth. 7 more in the fifties, two in the forties, and one in the thirties.

THATS the kind of report I was looking for. Very, very nice!! Only 10 days to wait...

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Sportland_Bait

Thanks for the report Tim.

Jason Erlandson

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crazyice

Great report Tim!! I can't wait till next Thursday!!

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Tyler Holm

Originally Posted By: Tim_Anderson
But we had an amazing sturgeon day. We caught a dozen, but most all really big. Our biggest was 61 inches with a 28 inch girth. Next was a 65" with a 25 inch girth. 7 more in the fifties, two in the forties, and one in the thirties.

THATS the kind of report I was looking for. Very, very nice!! Only 10 days to wait...

OMG. How and I going to sleep between now and then. Thanks Tim.

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fishuhalik

We ended up just going up on Saturday, the fella I was going with backout out at 1 o'clock when we were supposed to leave at 4:30, so I ended up talking my dad into going on Saturday. Half way up he realized he didn't renew the tabs on his boat, said screw it he'll take the ticked. We ended up getting busted, but the CO was as nice as could be.

Only ended up fishing from 9:30-5ish. We didn't do too bad seeing it was both our first time river fishing, but we didn't light 'em up. We ended up with 17 eyes, all under 21", and 2 sturgies, 48" and 42". It did seem that just as many sturgeon were caught on Saturday. It seemed like every time we looked around there was a couple of rods doubled over. Biggest we heard of was 58 1/2", but we did see one guy catch one on eye gear at 52", and saw another guy fighting one for at least an hour, we ended up leaving before he got it in the boat. We caught almost all our fish in one spot, about 2-3 miles toward the lake from Frontier, right on a big bend in the river as close to the Canadian side as we dared to venture, in line with a house on the Canadian side that had a flag pole in the lawn. We did talk to several people that were targeting sturgeon and most boats had anywhere from 5-20 fish in the boat.

BTW, sorry I didn't get a chance to talk to ya Tim, I was hoping to shoot the bull a little bit but it looked like the COs were busy talking to ya. Glad to hear you're getting something!

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Pat Burch

Tim I plan to come up wed night and fish the rest of the weekend. What to the campgrounds look like? are they full? The west side of Birchdale was mostly wet and under water and the east side was full of snow when I was up two weeks ago. Can you give me an idea on what it is like now, will I find room with the pick-up camper? Thanks in advance for any info..

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Tim_Anderson

Pat, You should be fine either way (birch or frontier) if you are coming up on Wed. It's very quiet up here right now. Accesses are really slow, and so are the campgrounds. They plowed parts of frontier, otherwise a bit sloppy but do-able. I can't say for Birch as I haven't been there, but I assume it's about the same.

Fishahaulik, yeah, sorry I didn't get to talk to you. Wardens were checking us out pretty thoroughly.

Report for today was just a little better again. Again, sunny all day, but really windy. We fished the first half day for sturgies. Caught 15. Biggest was 61 x 26. Fished eyes the afternoon. Caught 37. Biggest was 25. No real hogs, but we had a hard time catching eaters. Vast majority of them were 19-24.

Boat control and lure presentation was a challenge today because of the wind and cold, but again, a notch better. Warmer temps coming and I am excited. Just gotta figure out what to do with my face. It is FRIED!

See you on the river!

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Pat Burch

Tim, thanks for the update I will pull into Frontier late Wed. night. White Truck with a gray Skeeter wx1880 if you see me around come on over and say Hi. Pat

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losthikingguide

First timer on Rainy River coming up tonight. Anyone share the best landing to go out of and to fish by? How deep for eyes and best rig and depth for sturgeon?

Thanks in advance!

Godd fishing

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Tullibee

losthikingguide,

You barely beat me to the same questions. I am also heading up tonight with two buddies for the first trip to the Rainy for all of us. One additional question I had was what should we watch out for as far as hitting rocks with the lower unit?? Are there a lot of really shallow stretches of the Rainy and are they marked??

Thanks to all that have posted info!! It has surely helped us newbies out!!

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Effie07

losthikingguide and Tullibee, I would recommend you invest a half and hour or so into reading what has already been posted so far this year. If you read through the Rainy River threads you will see where others have posted the same question and recieved many responses that I would agree are helpful to any newbies on the river.

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DrStizo

Tullibee and lost guide

As for landings, if you are new to the river i would say to go with Frontier. If you do a google search you can see a map of all the landings from Baudette to Ifalls. We are heading up Wednesday and usally have a couple bots and we each pick a different landing and keep in touch on how we are doing. We typically verticle jig for the eyes and try to go as slow as possible, careful to stay on the US side of the river, get Canadian and ....well just be careful. As for sturgeon, big hook, big sinker big gob of nightcrawlers and let her lay. We never fish for them but catch plenty jigging for the eyes. As for your lower unit and shallow spots, you should be fine, keep the boat speed down down, keep an eye out for ice chucks and debris though. Good Luck

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Tip Up Rookie

I am jealous. When does the walleye season close on the border water? I have a week open April 20, is it still open?

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DrStizo

april 14th is the last day

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bowhuntz

Just currious what kind of water temp does anyone have after the mon,tues sunshine and warmer temps. be up there in the morning

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fiskyknut

Well we have'nt seen much for warmer temps up here! Don't think my thermometers have pushed past 40 in a week.

Temp on the river this morning a hair over 33, Temp about an hour ago about 34 and a half.

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Royal Dutchman

My bow unit (deeper) showed 35.5 and my transom unit showed 36.2

Best report so far from a trusted, long time guest who had 70 fish for 2 guys. As with most good fishermen, he was not ashamed to say he got lucky and fell into a very small spot that held fish, and worked it all day. His tip; big jig, big plastic, big rainbow, vertical jig.

They topped out with a 29.5 & a 29.9. Most folks would claim 2 30's but not this guy. That's why I trust his count.

Carl & I didn't fare so well with maybe 10 in a short afternoon (one of us really struggled). Had 1 spot that transitioned from sand to rock that was good for 3 hits on each of 3 passes. If we had stayed with it we could have racked up some numbers but greener pastures you know. Spent a lot of time working places that have produced well before but did not hold fish yesterday.

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fiskyknut

Hey Doug what kind of boat were you running in yesterday?

We had a tough bite also but moved around a bit and found fish on a few spots. A spot we finished on put out 2 good keepers and a low slotter in short order, had we been able to hang out there a bit longer we would've certainly pulled more gooduns. Todd pulled one about 25-26 inches early in the day and we saw a few other good 'Eyes caught by other boats. He also managed to get a 54+ inch tagged Sturgeon into the boat on his jig rod. He really leaned on this fish all the way with that little jig rod and I did the tail grab after about 15-20 minutes.

All in all a good day fishing. Just enough Walleye activity to keep us from dragging out our Sturgeonfish gear. Lotsa time for those things the after walleye season ends eh. Plenty of those things being caught and we saw a father/son team with a giant hooked up.. Kid was justa screaming whent they got it boatside! Another boat came to help them land it but it popped off.

6 days left.. Still time for things to get crazy!!

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Silver Scale

I was anchored just upstream sturgeon fishing of where the father / screaming son had that sturgeon on. Was wondering if they got it in, couldn't quite see that far. Too bad it broke off. We ended up with 6 sturgeon out of that hole but nothing over 46 inches or so. Didn't try for walleyes as my son didn't want to fish for them but I did see some caught but it didn't look fast and furious. Canadian CO's made two patrolling passes about 4 hours apart.

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fiskyknut

I probably said 'hello' to you yersterday Silverscale!

Well they got it to the boat anyhow.. I was about 100yds downstream as we had slip drifted thru that area and when boatside I saw it roll a coupla times and it looked to be easily a good 5 foot+ very rotund white belly model. As we slipped thru that pack at that same time a bit further up was a crew of 3 in a black Lund that were following a monster, one of the fellers hooked up on a jig rod, last I saw of them he was still hooked up about a 1/4 mile upstream of where they had been! Wonder if they ever got that beast in?

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Silver Scale

Fiskyknut.

Probably did talk to you. What sort of boat were you in? Had alot of folks drift by and make small talk.

I also talked to some guys in a crestliner at Birchdale landing that had a monster up to the boat three times, jig snagged in the fin. Played it for 1 1/2 hours and then they parted ways. At least they got a look at it. It sounded like one I'd like to get a hook in.....

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fiskyknut

Todd's swanky Red Triton w/mercs, we only slipped thru that spot the one time. Maybe I'm mixed up it may have been a black c-liner that was hooked up for so long. Went upstream from there to the salt block and watched a crew of 3 anchor their bass boat down, toss lines and one of them hooked up within about 2 minutes time.

Todd was hooked up with Sturgeonfish 3 or 4 other times but they came off as he put the backbone to em so as to not waste precious jiggin time!!

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