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By Sunset Lodge
Hello again from Sunset Lodge on Oak Island!
Hope everyone had a great week! Here in the Northwest Angle, things are about as good as they can be, the weather has been decent and just a few showers and storms to contend with. And the fishing has been good! The water temp was between 70 and 73 degrees this week.
Stateside, anglers are finding that pulling night crawlers behind spinner rigs has been working well and catching walleyes. Depths range anywhere from 8 to 25 feet with hammered gold, copper, orange, and pink being the best producers. Areas to target are the flats and mud between Oak Island and Four Blocks, Little Oak, and Crowduck Islands. The South and East side of Oak Island has also been producing fish. Pulling crankbaits in 8 to 12 feet of water has also been working well.
In Ontario, the Musky action has definitely been heating up! With numerous fish being seen and landed throughout the week. Reports of some larger specimens have been steadily coming in but the majority of fish being landed are between the 40" to 45" mark. Rock reefs and points seem to be the best bets for finding one of these giants. Casting bucktails and large spinnerbaits have been the best producers. Walleyes can be found among the reefs and rocky points in Bishop Bay, Tug Channel, Deepwater Bay, Monument Bay and Skeet Island. Big Narrows is also a good bet. Jigs with frozen shiners and fatheads in depths of 20 to 30 feet have been producing limits for anglers. Gold, pink, chartreuse, and orange are top colors.
Hope everyone has a fantastic week! Come visit us soon at Sunset Lodge!
The bug hatch is over! Fishing picking back up again.
Up in Ontario, small reefs are all holding fish and the big reefs down in Little Traverse are all starting to have fish on them, too. The best fishing was in 22-26 feet right on the edge or top of the reef. Little Traverse is the place to be if it is calm enough to fish there. Otherwise, the reefs up by Skeet Island are all holding fish now too and you can get out of the wind. The best was a fluorescent colored jig tipped with a minnow. Jumbo perch are being caught along with the walleyes.
On the Minnesota side, there have been boats all the way from Four Blocks down to Garden Island. Once again, fishing the edges of the reefs if pulling spinners.
We took 9th in the Musky Bowl at Wiley Point this past weekend. Seen a lot of fish but they just wouldn't eat the bait at boatside. The winning team caught 5 muskys in the two days. You can already sign up for next year. It was a great turnout for the first year with 20 teams in it.
Until next week good luck fishing!
Selling 12x12 Muskie, Walleye, Bass decals. $14.99. Perfect for the boat or truck. The decals are printed on 6mm vinyl, UV protected and the art work is original. Message me if interested.
Trolling for walleyes and my son caught this muskie-just shy of 50". I took a picture that didn't show the whole fish, my buddy is holding the full length shot.
Researchers carefully hoist a huge muskellunge onto a boat. They record its measurements, identify the sex of the fish, scan an electronic tag implanted in the muskie and return it to the lake where, one day, it could take an angler’s lure and provide a long-remembered thrill.
Collecting information and studying muskie populations allows the Minnesota Department of Natural Resources to make well-informed decisions about how to stock muskie and manage harvest.
“As anglers head into the muskie season that began June 6, they are enjoying opportunities that came about largely due to research-based management,” said Don Pereira, fisheries section chief. “Better information can lead to better fishing in a state that’s already a renowned muskie fishing destination.”
The DNR studies muskie in a variety of ways, including looking into everything from muskie ancestry using DNA analysis to how well muskie grow and survive once they’re stocked in certain southern Minnesota lakes. The research builds on past work that identified how to best capture and rear a large-growing native strain of muskie, stock this strain into appropriate waters, and manage the harvest.
“This large-growing strain is one reason muskie anglers are able to catch fish in the 50-plus inch trophy range,” Pereira said. “There are enough of these fish in the population that many anglers asked for the change to a 54-inch minimum length on muskie in most waters of the state, which is in effect this year.”
Along with a growing interest in muskie fishing, research taking place around the state aims to fine-tune muskie management.
Walker area fisheries: Using DNA to study muskie ancestry
With the help of DNA analysis, researchers can trace the ancestry of individual fish, including muskie. The work has real-world management implications.
“It’s a pretty cool concept. We’re starting to do more of it now on special projects around the state,” said Doug Schultz, Walker area fisheries supervisor.
For one study, Walker area fisheries teamed up with Loren Miller, a fisheries research geneticist, as well as anglers who were shown how to collect muskie scale samples for DNA analysis.
The study’s central question: In Baby and Man lakes in the Walker area, stocking of the less desirable Shoepack Lake strain of muskie ended in the 1970s. Now, what is the residual effect of Shoepack strain muskie on the current muskie population in these two lakes?
“Strain” in fish is similar to heritage in humans: Fish from a geographic location of origin tend to have similar physical characteristics that may differ from those of other locations. From the 1950s to the early 1980s, muskie from Shoepack Lake were reared and stocked in several Minnesota lakes, even in lakes where a native muskie population already existed.
It was later seen that the Shoepack strain grew slower and reached smaller maximum sizes than the Mississippi strain, which are native populations connected to the upper Mississippi River drainage system, including Leech Lake. The use of the Shoepack strain ended in favor of the faster growing and larger Leech Lake-Mississippi strain.
On Baby and Man lakes, the study found that Shoepack ancestry declined to only nine percent, down from 13 percent in 1995. Yet, historical Shoepack strain stockings are still having an impact on size potential of some fish in today’s muskie populations.
“This study could set the stage for future muskie management decisions on lakes with residual Shoepack ancestry,” Schultz said. “A study using DNA adds a new level of certainty about the effects of past stocking. That helps as we take multiple factors into account when making management decisions aimed at improving opportunities for anglers.”
Montrose area fisheries: Tagging and recapturing muskie after new stocking
Muskies were first stocked in 2011 in the Sauk River Chain of Lakes, giving anglers in the St. Cloud area a chance to fish for muskies close to home.
For Montrose area fisheries staff, the stocking offers a rare chance to track the growth of a new fish population using electronic tags.
“It’s a new fish to the system. We don’t really know what the growth potential is out there. It will be neat to find out,” said Joe Stewig, Montrose area fisheries supervisor. “Some of these fish will be marked, and we will then be able to track their growth throughout their lives.”
Beginning in 2013, Montrose area staff started implanting electronic tags into muskies, work paid for through hunting and fishing license dollars and with financial help from the Hugh C. Becker Foundation through the St. Cloud chapter of Muskies Inc. After fish are tagged, the goal is to recapture some of these fish during fall electrofishing, when crews look specifically for these stocked muskies.
“With continued funding, we’ll be able to use these tags to monitor the growth of this newly established muskie population,” Stewig said. “Using this method goes above and beyond the standard lake survey.”
West metro fisheries: Tagging muskie to evaluate stocking efforts
To study the effectiveness of muskie stocking in three Twin Cities metro area lakes, the DNR’s west metro fisheries staff is working on a muskie tagging project in partnership with the Muskies, Inc. Twin Cities Chapter and Hugh C. Becker Foundation.
The study taking place on Lake Minnetonka, Bald Eagle Lake and White Bear Lake measures the survival numbers of year-old muskie, called yearlings, and smaller muskie less than a year old, called fingerlings.
“All three lakes have high northern pike populations. So we normally don’t stock muskie in the face of that kind of competition,” said Daryl Ellison, west metro area fisheries manager. “But there’s an interest in it because they’re metro lakes.”
The study results will help evaluate the DNR’s standard stocking ratio of one yearling per three fingerlings – important knowledge because yearlings cost more to stock than fingerlings.
“Initial results seem to support the 3:1 ratio, but more study is needed,” Ellison said. “The study was showing some positive results for fingerlings in Lake Minnetonka.”
Windom area fisheries: Studying Fox Lake muskellunge
Fox Lake is Minnesota’s southernmost muskie lake, and was first stocked with muskie in 1999. Years later, electronic tags began informing an ongoing study on muskie in that lake.
Each spring from 2011 to 2013, Windom fisheries staff counted, measured and weighed muskie captured with nets. They also implanted muskie with electronic tags, and recorded information about the growth of individual fish already implanted with a tag from a previous spring.
Starting in 2012, muskie fingerlings have received electronic tags before they are stocked into the lake. To date, more than 1,200 muskellunge of varying sizes have been tagged in Fox Lake.
“Through this study on Fox Lake, we’ll gain pertinent information on population abundance, growth and longevity of muskie,” said Nate Hodgins, Windom area fisheries assistant supervisor. “It will give us a good picture of muskie populations in similar size and type lakes.”
Windom fisheries plans to use the data to help evaluate how Fox and perhaps other lakes are stocked in smaller, southern Minnesota lakes in the future. They will be netting muskie and updating Fox Lake population numbers every two years starting in 2015.
By Sherman · PostedI'll be out this wknd and got 3 spots to try out so still debating which one will be the ticket. The past couple weeks I've been getting some while crappie fishing. Going to be shore fishing so FYI the water level is pretty high right now with all the rain from few weeks ago. A wader would be handy if you have one. Good luck n be safe out there.