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DooWap

Crane/Namakan

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DooWap

Heading up to Crane next week for the holiday and planning on spending most of my time out on the water. I've fished Kab and Rainy a few times but never the east end of the chain and just looking for some starting points. I'm mostly a walleye guy but if the smallies are biting I don't mind fishing for them. Is Crane worth fishing for walleyes or should I put more time into Sand Point and Namakan this time of year? Are the walleyes still relatively shallow or have they moved to deeper midlake structure? I was just on Lac La Croix last week in the BWCA and it seemed like our best fishing was still on the rivers feeding into the lake, wondering if the pattern would be similar given the proximity. Thanks in advance for the help!! The weather is looking to be great for next week!!

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FisH_SLaYer24

A lot of people will preach that you have to fish Sand Point and Namakan to catch walleyes. However, some of my best fish came out of Crane Lake last year especially for large sized eater fish (15-17 inches). Even though I caught my biggest walleye up on Sand Point, I usually start fishing Crane before I make the run up the chain. I would bet that there are still quite a few fish up shallow, but other fish may be moving out deeper. I would start shallow and work my way deeper until I find an active school of fish. The smallmouth action is phenomenal up there, just work around the islands and the rocky shorelines especially around Indian. Anything from soft plastics, to fast moving jerk baits, and even top water seem to entice the bronze backs into biting. I'll be up there starting 7/6 until 7/11 and I'll be staying at Scott's. Maybe we will bump into each other, I will either be fishing in a blue Skeeter WX1850 or a green and tan Crestliner Fishhawk 1650!

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DooWap

Thanks Fish Slayer, good to know Crane can put out some fish. That will make for some easier fishing close to the lodge. I'll probably still plan for an all day trip up to Sand Point and/or Namakan too, but I'm glad I don't have to plan on making the trek every day.

We'll be staying at Pine Point and I'm fishing out of a green Pro-V 1800, I'll keep my eye out for you.

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Stizo

Pine Point Jeff & Cathy and their staff = Great people smile They'll let you in on what /where is hot or not. Wish I was u ...have fun.

Stizo

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DooWap

So after getting back from our trip to Crane this past holiday weekend, I have to agree with Stizo that the folks at Pine Point were great! That area is a blast over the 4th of July weekend. Fishing was good as well, focused on walleyes primarily. Did our best on Namakan, but Sand Point and Crane produced some good eaters as well. I'll definitely be looking to get up there again soon!

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Xplorer

Wondering what kind of temps you found on Nam? Did you stay on the east end or venture any farther west than Pike? Heading up saturday for 5 days on Nam somewhere, with the family for our first trip this year (our 16th year!).

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DooWap

We didn't venture far from Namakan narrows, surface temp was reading in the low 70's. I'm jealous of you, I wish I was still up there!!

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Xplorer

Thanks, sounds like temps have warmed up pretty good.

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  • Your Responses - Share & Have Fun :)

    • Hoey
      OK - we made it back!!!  Every trip is different with it's own potential perils.   I finally got into my house on Friday around 11am.  My guests were rookies, so i spent time with each of them, getting setup, heaters started, Vexilars set, houses banked, lines prep'd and set, bait, etc...  The bite was somewhat slow and many small ones.  The day got better 3 to 430pm.  Ended up with 6 nice eyes (19, 18x3, 17x2), 13 jumbos (most ever for a day), 12 small sauger which we ate for dinner.   On Saturday we headed up to the south shore of the Angle, longer ride, so again did not get started too early.  Ended up with our 6 eyes for our limit, these ranged from 15 to 16 inches and a 4-pack of sauger.  Again the bite seemed to pickup at 3 or so and was done by 430pm.   Ice as 3 foot or so.  Snow depth varied a lot, depending on the condition of the ice.  Smooth areas were blown off to crusty 6 inches or so.  Rough ice surely held a lot of snow.   The drive back on Sunday was somewhat tough from Baudette to Emily, winter storm warning.  Slow go, low visibility, and icy roads, sometimes down to 15 mph.   Next scheduled trip is with my wife, son, and three of his Gopher swim teammates for spring break in three weeks.  
    • Naturboy
      Those were caught from a shallow lake (17’) in 9 feet of water at the bottom of the first shoreline break. I was using a UV buckshot and minnow head since the water was murky. The crappie is still swimming the walleye not so much. I didn’t get the exact location. Sorry  
    • Sunset Lodge
      Hello from the NW Angle!

      Minnesota fishing has been most productive in 20-24 feet of water.  Guests are bringing home their limits of Walleye and Sauger with the occasional Perch and Northern mixed in. Fish have been most active early and late in the day and the bite has been terrific. The use of electronics continues to be very beneficial with fish taking jigging spoons, jigg’n raps or rattle baits.  Snowmobile ttrails on the Minnesota side continue to be maintained and are in great shape. We are still making ice, with most spots at over 30 inches. 

      North and East of us in Canada, big Crappies are coming in on light tackle setups out of 30 feet. If you are looking for walleye, they are everywhere!

      Until next week, 

      Sunset Lodge
    • JBMasterAngler
      On the Bayfield side of the bay, the target depth is typically 10 to 40 ft. The basswood island area is where they go after lakers. There’s a plowed road that goes out there. As of last week the ice was about 20 inches in that area, might be thicker now. Check out the Bayfield webcam, you can see what kind of activity is going on.
    • Jarrid Houston
      Wanderer, stop in at the River Rock bait shop in Ashland and they will get you pointed in the right direction.  They are always pretty cool about that.  Fishing near Ashland off of 2nd landing can be good.  Don't need nothing more than regular walleye gear, and some tip-ups and really there is no rhyme or reason where a guy should set up shop. Its a pretty wide open water and the fish that live there are always on the move. For us, most often, the sit and wait pays off.  It has been slower as of late, but still some fish..  Good luck, JH
    • cat44
      Anybody know if there is a pressure ridge/ice heave out in front of the Warroad Access? I know ice conditions will change throughout the coming weeks. Looking forward to getting after some pike.  The last few years there has been a pressure ridge there, last year it went from Springsteel over to Swift. And we've been up there plenty of times when there hasn't been one at all. Just curious to find out what conditions are like in that bay. Thanks!
    • Hoyt4
      Most likely our last trip up this year unless we go up for crappies but i'm running out of weekends. We had another great trip this weekend the fish are so fat this year more than I remember in the past.  Got my old man out for a good walleye bite he had a blast and caught a ton of fish. One day they just attached the bait as it was coming down they would come up and smash. Next day you put in the bottom and not even see the lure on the vex bring up a tad and they would smack it. Fun and a lot of snow hitting yesterday when we left.
    • PRO-V
      Agreed!!
    • SaintPaulPaul
      Switch to regular Budweiser and they seem to just jump out of the hole. No, seriously the way I improved my landing success through the ice was to go to small treble hooks. One small one on a 6' leader, a weight and Colorado blade above the leader seems to work for me. If you are on the flag right away, you don't risk gut-hooking them. I also recycle my Power Pro musky line and put it on tip ups. Also, I should add that I always  have a jaw-spreader and 8" forceps for quick and easy hook removal.
    • Iowabrewcrew
      Funny...seems like when the Emerald run slowed down up there 4-5 years ago, the fishing followed suit!
  • Share & Have Fun