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road kill

new to crane lake

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road kill

Hello
My son and I are going to crane lake on saturday June 12th for 4-days. I have fished Namakan years ago and did very well in July. This is our first trip to Crane, any tips and areas for walleyes and smallmouths would be great! I do have a lake map, so if anyone can name a few areas I can look them up on the map.
Thanks A Bunch!

[This message has been edited by road kill (edited 06-03-2004).]

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Duke96

road kill - My Dad, brother, uncle and I have fished Crane the first week in June for the last 6 years, and we had walleye for lunch every day of every trip. The thing about Crane is that you have to keep at it - you'll probably catch 6 or 7 under the slot for every one that makes it in. We've had our best luck with Lindy rigs and chubs. Chartreuse jigheads tipped with minnows work well, too. A couple spots to get you started -

1) King William's narrows - if you can stand dealing with the boat traffic. Heading into the narrows from Crane there's a sandy area on the right, out in front of that has produced. Also, a little further up on the right is a tiny, bay like area with a steep rock cliff north of it, right out in front of that little bay can be good.

2) Directly across from Wolf's Point is a steep cliff shoreline - work that with a lindy rig.

3) The Gorge - it's always busy, but if you're there during the week you might find a spot to get in. We've also caught Smallies and nice slab Crappies in the channel leading into the gorge.

Hope that helps.

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road kill

Thanks for that information Duke96! A few questions I would like to ask you though. When you said across from wolf point, do you go south or east from wolf point? And the Gorge. Is that the Vermillion George on the SE corner of the lake? Also what are the depths that you normally fish this time of year?
Thanks Again Duke96!

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89Bronco

The Gorge would be the mouth of the Vermilion River. I've done well there with a slip bobber, split shot, bare hook and a leech for smallies and rock bass. My two biggest smallies are out of the Gorge. Like Duke says, it is crowded in there, but during the week you should have room to fish.
Also, Duke is on target with the size of the walleyes on Crane. In my experience, if I catch 10 'eyes, 1 will be over the slot, 1 will be a keeper, and the rest will be about 12 & 3/4 inches. grin.gif
I know a lot of people fish chartruese on Crane (including me), but my favorite color is gold. Hammered gold spinners with crawlers, gold jigs with chubs, and gold husky jerks. Good luck!!!

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Duke96

East of Wolf Point and yes, Vermillion Gorge. We typically would stay in 10'-20' of water. We learned early that trying to hold a specific depth on a lake like Crane becomes frustrating, the bottom is just to rocky. We found it easier to try to pick a line, or stay a certain distance from shore. Basically we would pick our starting point for our trolling pass, and go straight in towards shore until we got to 8'-10' feet, then we'd turn paralell to shore and work that line. If we didn't get any fish, we'd move out a little bit on the next pass, and so on until we started hitting fish, then we'd try to hold that distance from shore.

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road kill

Thanks again Duke for the info.,and thank you Bronco for the added "hot color". I have marked out the map for our starting points.
Have you guys fished Little Vermillion and or Sand Point? If you have, Do they seem to hold the same size fish? or are they more of the slots? Also on any of those lakes do you recall any shorelines that would tend to hold more smallies then others?
Thanks Again Guys!

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Duke96

We tried Little Vermillion our first year to Crane. Nothing happened for us in there so we never went back in the following years. The last two years we have had great success on Sand Point. There is one spot in particular, but I have a hard time describing it without a map in my hand. blush.gif I'll take a look at my map this weekend (I'm at work right now) and try to get something posted here for you next week. Basically, it's a spot on Sand Point that the fish have to go through in order to get to Nam or Kab after spawning in Crane. I'll get more details for ya. wink.gif

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mjordan912

I've fished Crane several times, but always late in the fall. On several trips, I never left Northwest Bay because the wallys and giant pike were going crazy. Is NW Bay a good spring spot as well? I'm heading to Crane on the 9th and looking for tips. Thanks.

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89Bronco

mjordan,

What do you use when you are fishing the pike in nw bay?--live bait or spoons, plugs, etc.? I'm usually in that area almost every weekend in the fall, but I'm hunting. It would be nice to hook into a big pike or two during the lunch hour.

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Timber

Can you motor around Northwest bay easily? I always assumed the bay was very shallow. Deep enough to fish walleyes there?

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mjordan912

Usually minnows on lindy rigs. When the walleyes stop biting, or when you see a pike snap at a hooked walleye, then switch to a straight 6" rapala, black and gold, or a big jointed jerk bait, same colors. Only big pike in there at that time of year - hooked a 41" last fall.

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mjordan912

Don't go all the way into the bay - it's too shallow and weedy for walleyes. Circle around the mouth of the bay, staying in 12-20 feet.

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road kill

Thanks again guys for extra tips!
Question for duke: Is that area on Sand Point on the American or Canadian side?
Thanks Again!

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Duke96

road kill - it's on the U.S. side. I'll try to explain, but bear with me cuz the LakeMap I have doesn't have a name on the islands or point that I use as a reference. After you go through Harrison Narrows keep traveling North through upper Sand, like you're going to Namakan, staying on the Minnesota side. There is a larger island, with a smaller island and a point directly North East. The smaller island has a cabin on it. There is a rock reef that extends to the East off the small island, the end of the reef is marked by a bouy. Work that area, from out in front of the cabin to the end of the reef, and both sides of the reef. The North side of the reef is fairly smooth, the South side is jagged, be prepared to lose some tackle, but you should get 'eyes in there. Don't worry about bothering anyone in the cabin, it was abandoned three years ago when the owner's land lease ran out and the state reclaimed it as park land. If you need to run ashore for a bathroom break in the woods, be careful using the dock, if it's still there.

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mjordan912

Any good smallmouth tips on Crane and Sand Point?

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Duke96

mjordan - sorry, no great smallie tips for ya. We've caught some nice ones on both Crane and Sand, but they've been the lone smallie accidentally found while working for walleyes. We've never had any great luck looking specifically for smallies on either lake, but I should admit that we have never tried very hard to find them.

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road kill

Duke
I think I found it on the map. I sure do appreciate all your information you have given me! We will be fishing up there for 4-days and I think we have enough spots to get us started in the right direction.
Thanks A Bunch Duke!!

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Duke96

My pleasure. My fishing experiences may have been a lot different if it hadn't been for friendly advice/tips received from strangers at the dock or in the bait shop. I initially came here looking for info on Kabetogema, but I'm happy to help others if I have something to offer. I hope you and your son do well and make a lot of great fishing memories.

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89Bronco

mjordan,

I know where you are talking about. I was fishing that area this week. I got back last night. I caught a few walleyes (one slot). In the evening they were on the break where it starts heading down from 10' to about 17'. I was just anchored and jigging. During the day they were kind of all over, but I marked fish anywhere from 20' to 35'.

Congrats on your 41" northern! I've never broken the 40" mark on pike. I've caught a 38" at the mouth trolling a daredevil and I caught another 38" back in the weeds near that white rock that sticks out casting a husky jerk.

I'll probably be up there again sometime next week!

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Jim W

Just wanted to say you guys are really providing some good info!
This is what continues to make this site top-notch!

Thanks guys!!

Jim W

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hookem_9

Thanks for the tips also, We're heading up on June 26th for the first time. Trying to find a good lake map has been a bit of a challenge also. think the pattern will change much by then?
Thanks,

Hookem_9

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road kill

Just got back from Crane on 16th. We tried everywhere from the gorge, the narrows,bear Island, east bay, wolf point and the mouth in front of northwest bay.The only area that was producing in Crane was the mouth in front of northwest bay then all around wolf point. However we did have 16 in the slot in 3-days fishing. All our action was on lindy rigs with yellow floats and chubs in 15'-20' water. We also caught a few 18" that we released in Grassy Bay on Sand Point.
Good Luck!

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Duke96

If it was just you and your son, 16 slot fish in three days on Crane is pretty good, I think. I'm just glad you didn't get skunked, I would have felt really bad. grin.gif

Hope you had a good time. I hit the road tomorrow morning for my first trip to Kabetogema.

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89Bronco

16 in the slot is great on Crane! Congrats! I'm heading up there this Sunday through Wednesday. Bringing a rookie (girlfriend) and the dog, so I don't know how serious about fishing we'll be, but I'll let you know how we do! smile.gif

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