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jellio

Hi guys,

Heading up to Vermilion specifically pike bay for the opener. Just a few quick questions hopefully someone can help with. What are good colors for jigs and sizes. Also what are some good lures for smallies. Top water or something else. What type of minnows do you folks use. Thanks for any help you guys can give.

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MarkB

I really never fish Pike's Bay but I have had success, early in the season, fishing size 7 floating Rapalas in similar areas of Lake Vermilion. We have used black/grey, black/gold, blue/silver, and rainbow colors trolled at ~1.5-2mph with success. Color and speed varies daily. We don't do too much of the shallow water lure fishing in the spring anymore due to hoardes of small northerns in the areas that we fished. I always use big rainbows, if available. To me, "big" rainbows are 3"-4" and I like them because they are hearty! I don't mind loading up on bait that's going to be alive for several days. Chubs, suckers,and shiners will all work, but, in my experience, rainbows are the livliest and my hands down favorite.

Good Fishing,

MarkB smile

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Cliff Wagenbach

Good info. from Mark!

May want to add size #7 & #9 shiny gold/orange belly Husky Jerks to the trolling list though.

Pike Bay is shallow and heavily fished on opener but there are usually plenty of fish there if you don't mind crowds.

Jig size depends upon wind if you are drifting. If you are anchoring and casting I like to use 1/8 oz. or 1/4 oz. jigs

Cliff

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TrophyEyes

Given the early ice out, what depth are you starting at on opener? What depth are you running your trolling baits too?

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Cliff Wagenbach

I do not plan to troll on the opener.

I will be starting at around 26 feet and working deeper. Lindy rigs with minnows or jigs with minnows. I may bring a few leeches along also!

Cliff

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jellio

Thanks for all the replies guys much appreciated keep them coming

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MarkB

When I ran the small Rapalas early in the season, depth was never a factor because the areas that I fished generally ran 4'-8'. When trolling at 1.5-2mph, I would constantly sweep the rod 2'-3' giving the lure erratic action in addition to driving the lure deeper. The strike generally came as the lure slowed and was preceded by a distinct "tick". Cliff always has a winning plan for the opener and you would be wise to listen to him for rigging depth. Based on what I have "seen" up to this point, I "should" also follow Cliff's advice, BUT, I have a few areas that have produced early in the past that are shallow mud bottom areas( deepest water 20') and I will try those and then move to different areas with deeper(30'+)water.

Good Fishing,

MarkB smile

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GSP4ME

wow really deep water for the opener, will it stay like that most of the summer then or will you guys start fishing shallower anytime before fall

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MarkB

Two years ago I started at a couple of "no fail" spots in water that ranged from 35' up to 15'. Eventually we found them in an area with a 20' maximum depth and actually caught lots and lots of slot sized walleyes bouncing rainbows right over the top of a snaggy rock reef that topped out at 5'! Last year, we didn't get a hit in that same area but found them on a mud flat in 35'-40'. A few years ago, we had a tough August bite fishing mid-lake reefs adjacent to deep water and eventually found them in 8'-12' of water with a maximum depth of 18'. That time, if we got to 14', we were too deep! I try to fish areas where other people don't fish and, so, my methods appear unorthodox at times. The big advantage I have is knowing the lake pretty good and having multiple spots that have produced fish at all times of the year in all types of conditions. Spring or summer, trying different depths in different areas will eventually produce fish.

Good Fishing,

MarkB smile

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Cliff Wagenbach

wow really deep water for the opener, will it stay like that most of the summer then or will you guys start fishing shallower anytime before fall

I like fishing deep water! That is why I start deep. If I do not have success there I will certainly move shallower if required to find hungry fish!

Keep moving and trying different presentations and baits! That is the real secret to catching walleyes consistently.

Cliff

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SkunkedAgain

While I am 1/1000 the fisherman as Cliff, that's one thing that we do the same. When I'm not getting bites, I change lures first and change locations second. There are always fish in the lake. Like us, you can't get someone to eat rice cakes when he's in a steak and potato mood. Same with fish, keep switching presentations until you find their steak and potato lure.

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jellio

Is the water in Pike Bay clear or stained. I'm a jig/minnow guy myself and plan to start with that. I'm wondering if I need to stock up on bright glow jig heads or darker colors. Not sure what I'm looking forward to more the smallie action or the walleye's I'm not very picky when it comes to what bites my hook.

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TrophyEyes

Stupid question, but this will be my first time on Vermilion. Are bass open on the 12th on Vermilion? If so, awesome, just never had to even think about that on Mille Lacs because I knew it was closed.

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MarkB

Pike Bay is stained water. Bass season opens on May 12 on Lake Vermilion.

Good Fishing,

MarkB smile

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Cliff Wagenbach

The water in Pike Bay is very dark!

Cliff

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james_walleye

Mark where do u get your bigger rainbows?

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Thomas

Pikes bay is only 7 feet and has dark water; jig and minnow may work, but never worked for me. Seems like people use lindy or troll cranks. Rainbow for sure and small crank with square lip for bass.

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MarkB

I get all my bait at Vermilion Fuel and Food grin. Dave always has a great selection of bait and absolutely anything you might need for tackle. The thing I really like about their bait is they really don't count very well wink If, for any reason, Dave can't get the big rainbows I like, then I have to use plan B. E-mail me at marksretired@yahoo.com for plan B James.

Good Fishing,

MarkB smile

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jellio

I've never been much of a trolling guy but I'll give it try. For smallies does any one use xraps?

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SkunkedAgain

I've never had much luck with X-raps, but I've only had one and am not a big purchaser of the new stuff. A #7 perch colored rap has always been a killer for me around typical openers.

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guideman

Jigs have always worked well for me in Pike bay. Jerkbaits, Spinnerbaits and inline spinners can be stone killers for Smallmouth this time of the season. Soft plastics are also very good, especially if the bite is slow. Wakebaits and topwaters will catch fish, however you'll need the right conditions for a real consistant bite. Any crawdad patterns will typically catch a lot of Smallmouth, so green, brown and orange cranks can be very effective. Pre-spawn Smallmouth are typically scattered, so moving fast with horizontal presenations will generally get you on the fish.

"Ace"

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Down Deep

I've fished Vermillion on opener for the last 15 years. During daytime hours, although other presentations have worked, I have always done the best fishing deep water 25 to 30 feet using jigs and minnows. After 6:00 pm we set up on the dock and use slip boppers with minnows and leeches. I fish areas in Frazier and Pine Island.

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neptune

The wife and I generally work our own small spots on opener but this year we might want to "experience" the opener chaos in Pike bay. Any etiquette rules I should know about before venturing over or does everybody just try to be as patient as possible? Are most people pulling rigs, jigs or trolling or is it a mixed bag?

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iceranger792

They do it all in pike bay! Got your crankers, your jiggers, and your lindy riggers! But dont make a PEEP if you get one on, keep your rod low to the water so nobody see's it bending, no fast sudden moves, and most importantly, never, I mean NEVER pull the net out!!! Sit down in your chair, position boat so it blocks anyone from lookin, then slowly, I mean SLOWLY reach in and grab your fish.. Dont mess up or you might not make it outta there Alive grin

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Cliff Wagenbach

They do it all in pike bay! Got your crankers, your jiggers, and your lindy riggers! But dont make a PEEP if you get one on, keep your rod low to the water so nobody see's it bending, no fast sudden moves, and most importantly, never, I mean NEVER pull the net out!!! Sit down in your chair, position boat so it blocks anyone from lookin, then slowly, I mean SLOWLY reach in and grab your fish.. Dont mess up or you might not make it outta there Alive grin

Yup, that's Pike Bay on the opener!! crazy

Still, there are usually a lot of fish caught there and everyone seems to manage to get a few!

Last year my grandson went out there at 6:00am with his uncle and they were back home by 8:30am with their limits! Had a spot all their own too!

Lindys & minnows.

Cliff

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