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Extreme Flathead Action!

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What a weekend of extreme flathead fishing!

Why Extreme? 'Cause I spent a couple nights in the boat with Rob (rushing) fishing flatheads on the Minnesota River. Rob knows extreme! smile.gif

I was not really sure what kind of a bite we were going to have, if we were going to have a bite. This is the earliest in the year I have started fishing flatheads but spring came early, water temps were way up, and the river levels are looking good so it was worth a shot.

We motored upstream checking out likely spots. A couple things we paid attention too while snooping around was the current and water depth. There is a lot of shoreline wood in the water right now but most of this wood is getting blasted by strong current. We were looking for likely areas out of the current with adjacent deep water.

The first spot we settled on Friday night was golden. At 9:28pm, I thought I noticed a thump on my rod and the tip started to pulse up and down. Hmmmm... somethings fooling around with my bullhead I thought. I picked up my rod and tried to feel for the fish but it didn't feel right, this sneaky devil was swimming upstream on me. I reeled up until I could feel weight and drove the hook home. Game on! Good fish! Didn't really think it was a big one until it surfaced out from the boat, kicked his tail, and pulled out 10 yards of line. LOL! I love this stuff. smile.gif

1st Flathead Outing of the year + 1st "Run" of the year = 1st Flathead of the year.

27lbs and change none-the-less. smile.gif


That fish right there made my night. It didn't matter if I caught another fish all night but that wouldn't be the end of the action. We located the boat closer into shore in shallower water and had action almost immediately.

The next fish is not much to brag about but proves the 1st wasn't a fluke. smile.gif


I had 2 more "runs" on Friday night. Missed on one of them and hooked up with another good fish that came unbuttoned halfway back to the boat. Dang! Could have been a real good night if I kept that one on.

Anyway... Saturday found me sleeping in until 1pm at which time Rob and I headed out to catch more bullheads. We were windmilling the bullies in left and right when Rob had to go and catch an "eater" sized walleye. Was this a sign of things to come? Maybe... smile.gif

Back on the river, it was scouting time again. We could have fished the same spot back to back nights but we wanted to do some more exploring. What we were looking for was more of the same, slack water areas with deep water nearby.

We did find some of these spots but I also found something I wasn't looking for... a trophy marbleye. smile.gif

This is the 3rd trophy walleye I've caught with catfish techniques- 8' Berkley Reflex rod, Garcia 7000C3 reel, 80lb PowerPro line, 10/0 Gamakatsu Octopus hook, and a lively little bullhead. smile.gif My bait was sitting in about 2' of water 3' away from the shoreline when I had a zinging little clicker run. We took a quick pic of a great incidental catch and let her go! Big smiles for me. smile.gif

Incidental 27" Walleye on a lively Bullhead


This spot we were fishing was not choice #1 for the night so we made a quick move to our "choice" spot, anchored up right against the shoreline, and I pulled this small flat out within 5 minutes of anchoring. Love it when that happens! Must have been my lucky new life jacket. smile.gif


We sat for awhile getting pounded by wind and waves. I need to mention that I hate wind! Part of the reason we tied right to shore was to keep the boat stationary, and therefore keep our baits stationary. Close to shore was probably good as this spot was a steep cutbank and I was still registering 8'-9' of depth 2' away from the bank.

About the time the grill and brats came out, Rob decided to take things to the extreme and get a flathead in the boat. Atta boy!

Rushing w/ an Extreme Action 24lb Flathead grin.gif


What a great way to start out the summer! This trip was either beginner's luck or a sign of things to come, lets hope its the latter.

Thanks for hopping in the boat Rob! Was an awesome 2 nights of fishing!

NOTE: Exact Fishing Locations not disclosed to protect the innocent. smile.gif

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Great to see ya had a good time this weekend Hanson... I have tuesday and Wendnesday off. Hopefully I'll have something to post.


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NICE! And a walter to boot laugh.gif

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Looks like its time to go find some bait then! grin.gif

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nice fish and sounds like a blast now I just have to finish rebuilding my carbs on my merc and will be headin down that way soon I can only pray for a night like that.

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Nice fish Hanson.

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i gotta get out!!!!!

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I'll be out there.....

Anyone else getting out tonight or this weekend??

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I'll be out Friday and Saturday for sure. Got my bullies already

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Maybe see ya out there.

I haven't found anyone to fish with yet for the weekend. All my buddies seem to want to go fishing on the lakes for garbage fish.....

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  • Your Responses - Share & Have Fun :)

    • Fathom
      Set up deeper on rock reef for the rest of the weekend and only managed one fish (26" eye), missed a couple others. We wanted to stay deeper due to all the traffic on the lake. We did enjoy a good time at Fishing for Ducks, we saw a nice walleye pulled through the ice but it only measured 27.5". Talk about a bummer for that guy!
    • Jarrid Houston
      Roads to the islands always need to be taken very cautious and I would encourage going with someone who knows the area..  I believe they were shutting down the highway H extension due to this recent weather we just got?  Plenty of fish and opportune situtations in the bay.
    • cookie129
      Another crazy busy weekend is in the books. I really enjoy giving out my fishing/what's happening on the lake reports but finding the time has been tough. To say its a grind is a understatement.
       I can tell you again as the season winds down I'm never ready for it to end, as I truly love being out there in my trucks, moving houses, plowing the  hillmen highway, giving advise, helping other fishermen when they do something silly, Driving into a snow bank, dropping there gun down a hole or any other important object like there keys. Every year all the workers seem to get a little grumpy as fighting mother nature, going from sun up to sunset takes a toll physically and mentally. It also seems I ruffle a few feathers every year and its never my intent  so I have to chalk it up as a long season. If I stepped on anyone's toes it sure was not planned or intended as all most every day plan a turns to plan b and c. Mother nature dictates where I go sometimes as well as any plowed roads that can make our job easier. The cookie shuffle worked very well this year as I tell everyone that gets lost in my maze of trails. I'm not a road engineer.
       Man did we get overwhelmed with wheel house's this past weekend, any fish coming from southwest had to go threw a gauntlet of hooks to find my fishermen.
       I had two wheel house's  that I set up at the end of the hillmens highway and was surprised how bad they did. I guess I should of went south not east? The nw road has gotten to much to maintain, there's one lone house out that way that will need a new trail made .
       Its all started Thursday as jonnny boy and I prepped for the weekend with Joe, Zack, Adam and   his crew arriving fro florida. Zacks birthday wish was fishing red lake, they had a blast. They went to westwind where they enjoyed a fish fry, plus they took home a few fish with a couple even getting a ride in florida fish house as we moved a small distance to put it on fresh ice for there last night sunday. Last year when they came we landed on the elusive yet still catchable upper red lake crappie mother load? I think  they had dreams for a year of repeating that. Every year is different and again this year was no exception.
       Ben who proposed in old Minnesota to Shawna 8 years ago were in old Minnesota with there two adorable kids. Louie the fishing machine and his little sister Willa plus there friend Nelli.
       They had a blast also with Shawna getting a elusive yet still catchable upper red lake crappie to boot. They also managed to take home a nice batch of upper red lake walleyes.
       Hunter and his two buddies were in north Dakota. It was slow but they also managed to take home a batch of fish.
       Charlie and Rizzo were in montana , They were very serious about there fishing and went home with there 8.
      Jeromy and his gal were in north Carolina Saturday, sunday . They also managed to get there 8.
       Sunday was a very tough day as we had all 5 houses re rented. I was planning on moving all of them so we battled mother nature the whole time as a ne wind with 2 inches of snow made it impossible to see. At one point I was getting sea sick as I struggled to see, With the sky, horizon and the lake all the same color. wow what a struggle.
       It took us  7 1/2 hours but we got every thing cleaned, moved.
       Mother nature has given us another bout of snow so tomorrow I will let every one know how the houses did the last two days as its time to check the fluids and fire up the fleet
    • nickeleye
      Figured I should report back... I fished prime time on Saturday morning and Saturday evening. No action. It didn't help that I forgot to grab the vexilar on the first outing, but it didn't help to have it on the second outing either! ha! Marked a few but couldn't get them to bite. Used a GPS chip to punch some holes over structure, but when I came back with the vexilar, they weren't quite as deep as I hoped. Thanks for the pointers BrianF
    • LucasLongCaster
      Around this time last year this thread was started by @Royal_Dutchman. I got my trip planned for April but by the look of the extended forecast it's not looking to promising, especially compared to where it was at last year on Feb 23rd. 
    • osok
      Been a brutal hard water season for me as well, figured it was a continuation of my fall fishing luck. 
    • Wanderer
      Thanks guys.  I checked out Modis for ice coverage and Navionics to help understand how things are laid out.  Knowing what areas certain fish prefer and those typical depths is a big plus.
    • urbaniceteam
      My wife and I are hoping to get up to Mille Lacs this Saturday and spend the night on the ice.  Does anyone have any last minute availability?  All the resorts I've contacted are booked. Thanks!
    • Borch
      Lots of nice fish!  Central Mn is cranking out some nice panfish.
    • eyeguy 54
      I did till about 2 then just had to go for a bit. LOL 
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