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vister

spring smallies

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vister

A few friends and myself make a yearly trip to rainy lake in mid to late summer for eyes. Although fun, we would like to find a good mess of good sized smallies for a day, possibly the trip. I was thinking spring, if that is the better time of the year for smallies, but not too sure on where or how to fish them. i am an avid bucket mouth fisherman around the ottertail area in central mn, but only caught small smallies on Rainy in August. North or South of the border doesn't make a difference, however my buddies would prefer mn border. The last 3 years we have camped at birch point camp, and we are somewhat familiar with the lake, so any advice would be great. thanks for your assistance. also aware that this fishing trip is a few months away, so fishing can change a lot by then!!

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Fish&Fowl

Welcome to FM and the Rainy Lake forum.

Spring is the only time of the year I target smallies, and I think it's the best time of year to do so. Fish can be found shallow from pre-to-post spawn and are usually very aggressive throughout. I mainly fish them on the Canadian side, but there are many good spots on our side as well. Early June is a good bet to catch the smallies at their peak.

I would stick to any major shallow flats or shoreline points that have rocks, wood, or weeds. A combination of any of those three is a bonus.

Live bait (leeches and crawlers) can be great on the U.S. side, and crawlers can be deadly on the Canadian side. If you're going artificial, shallow running cranks, tube jigs, and spinner baits all produce fish. If the wind (or lack of) allows, you have to try some topwater methods as it can be incredible. This should get you started, keep checking in as the time gets closer. Again, welcome aboard.

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rainy dude

I like May for the giant bonus time. Lay the map out and pick a shallow section off the main-lake basin. The shallow bays heat up, and present the best successful spawning areas, which makes them good spring areas.

They exist in strange new bays all over the lake I continually find. Pick an area and fish using shallow water tossing methods and have a chance at an agressive female at its possible peak weight. Many fish are there when the ice leaves. Warming water with boulders near black organic bottom.

Mid June will usually find the males on the nest and the females recouperating.

R_D

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vister

Thank you for the advice. I spent this weekend talking to a few buddies convincing them to go to rainy in the spring instead of early fall. Maybe we'll make it for both! Anyways, I have heard that smallies are very aggressive by nature. Does weather make a difference when spawning smallies feed? Will they chase anything lake bottom to surface? Or do they prefer setups like carolina and texas rigging with foul weather and other slower presentations? I guess we'll just have to experiment, and see what triggers the strike. I'll take any info i can get. thanx again!!

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rainy dude

The absolute best time is well before they spawn. About two weeks is perfect. The fish are in the areas cleaning up on any potential small predators that may disturb their nests.

Find the shallow black bottom bays and use light pitching stuff like tubes. My biggest fish have taken a preference to a big Ika from Yamamoto. This is rootbeer color is deadly on prespawners. Any brown colored tube with a small inserted jig head will work for big numbers.

Fish the boulder between the catails areas on shallow bays. Anytime in mid May is about right. If you time it right you can fish the week before the opener of Carp (walleye) and be ready on Saturday like the other carp fisherman. Almost every decent sized bay in the north arm has a good sizeable population of smallies using it.

Bring suspending baits if the weather has been cold and the fish are balling up at the first primary edge and the water is aproaching 50 degrees. Nothing like the suspenders when that bite happens.

Good Luck,

R_D

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CaptJohnWI

be mad at you. Comparing those fighters to walleyes.

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fishmeister_86

HEY RAINY DUDE,

ARE YOU THE SAME GUY WHO POSTED THAT SAID YOU SHOULDN'T CATCH SMALLIES DURING THE WINTER...BUT NOW SAY THAT PRE-SPAWN IS THE #1 TIME TO CATCH THEM. I SAY WOW, WHAT HAPPENED TO ALL THAT FISH BIOLOGY & YOU HAVE ALL OF US REALLY CONFUSED. IT ALSO SEEMS LIKE YOUR ALWAYS TRYING TO CHALLENGE THE F.M. USERS. THIS HAS BEEN A EXCELLENT SITE FOR MANY YEARS & MANY USERS HAVE USED IT AS A GREAT SOURCE OF GOOD INFO. I UTILIZE MANY DIFFERENT LAKE INFORMATIONS WHEN I GO TO A SITE & KNOW WHO HAS HONEST INFO, SUCH AS THIS SITE,THE RED LAKE SITE & LAKE OF THE WOODS SITE., USERS READ THE INFO & AFTER FOLLOWING THE SITE, KNOW WHO HAS GOOD INFO & WHO DOES NOT. I VOTE TO KEEP THIS FULL OF GOOD HONEST INFO & NOT TRY TO CREATE PROBLEMS. I KNOW OF PEOPLE WHO HAVE BEEN BANNED FROM THE FISHING MN...IF OWNER RICK FEELS NECESSARY TO DO SO.

SINCERELY,

FISHMEISTER

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Fish&Fowl

Yeah I'll diddo the challenging part of it. Both on the this spring smallies post and the night fishing part. If you have had one of your all-time best walleye bites on Rainy at night, there is something wrong. I'm not saying it can't be done as I've never really tried it during open water, but saying you can go out and catch a bunch of crappies and walleyes at night and that anyone who hasn't is probably not a good fisherman is a load of BS. This site is about giving a few tips to people, and how much info you want to give out is up to you. It's not about saying something to contradict what others are saying--unless you know it's misinformation. Keep it fun or what's the point?

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rainy dude

Pre spawn finds smallmouth in top shape from eating since ice out. They are in the shallowest water all year and can be handled easier than being yanked out of deep water. You see, smallmouth bass go into subsistence feeding only, during the winter period and the worlds top scientists like Dr Ridgeway call it the "winter starvation period". It is an undisputed fact that they are at their most vunerable during this phase. Good reading on the issue can be found in Infisherman with articles done by Gord Pitzer like " When to leave smallmouth alone" Disertions from Dr Ridgeways work can be ordered for pure scientific data. Mr Pitzer does a good job at putting it into understanable information.

Spring gives smallmouth a new life and an aquatic food structure that they can utilize. Unlike the winter period. Hence a good time to fish for them with low mortality and putting their lifes in jepardy.

I have fished bedding bass when I was a kid, but no longer. I switch it up to muskies, pike, and walleye during the smallmouth spawn.

I have only got excited when others like yourself (fishmiester) have expressed opinion that we should not tread lightly in well known periods that we should leave fish alone. There are specific times and depths you should be keeping in the back of your mind. Now a days we must think proactive and regulate our selfes unlike yester years. Or we will be faced with closed seasons.

Thats it, and I have rarely piped up before, unless something was said that needs disscusion. Like the recent one.

As much as you paint the picture you want, it is in fact unwanted topics and miss-direction that fuels the fire.

R_D

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rainy dude

Fish&Fowl,

I never said that if you never caught any night bites on Rainy then you are "probably not a good fisherman". You see, I said one can only say they never experenced one. I have only hit a few of them but like I said my June full moon bite was unreal. I put more big walleyes on the notch pole in two hours than at any other fish in my history. In fact it is permently embedded in my hard drive for future fishes. My mid night bite through the ice on Little Black Sturgeon Bay was mind blowing. One to remember.

I know many wicked fisherman up here and most will tell you they have not hit a good night bite. Its just a fact that they were not in the right place at the right time. The bite does exist.

If you don't believe me, try trolling in Ranier Rapids in late October. Wait until two hours after dark. Troll plugs like shad raps and hang on, then come back next fall and tell me there is no night walleye bite.

Please don't missdirect my statements.

R_D

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vister

Just curious, the small smallies i have caught on Rainy were on the MN side around jackfish bay and dryweed island, while we were fishing for eyes in august. Do you think these sound like good bets in the spring as well, or should we go east, west, or preferably, North for good action?

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DancesWithWaves

Go North Early--All the major fish sanctuary spawning areas are in Canada

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Fish&Fowl

RD,

When the question came up about night fishing, the topic had to do with ice fishing. I said I can't say anything about the night bite in open water as I've never tried it, I didn't say "there is no night bite"

I also realize you didn't say "people who haven't caught fish at night aren't good fishermen," but when you threw in the "reality sucks sometimes" at the end that's the way I took it.

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rainy dude

I do know of two walleye bites that happen every winter on Rainy. They aren't my bites and I am sworn to secrecy and thats as far as I can say. In both instances they are specific instances. But they are duplicated year after year. I have targeted a few winter bites just north of Rainy and stayed and fished all night. In a few places I have gone to do just that. Winter night bite exist all over here. Its just actively finding one can be tough.

Like most night bites there is a lull after dark to give you time to cook diner and get relaxed. I would suspect a few guys could get onto some really good smelt patterns at night in the future. There maybe a few guys doing it already.

R_D

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rainy dude

Vister,

There many good places on all basins in Rainy in the spring. Shallow extended bays that have dark bottoms are what you are looking for. Look over the maps. Many to choose from.

North is definately a good choice. Forget the fish sancuary's as they open too late and fish in any of the bays open to fishing. Think early.

Toss tubes and plastic in the shallows and suspending jerk baits on the first real edge if they are not real shallow.

Good Luck

R_D

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