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Thinking about possibly making a trip to Thunder Lake for some fishing. Curious to see if anybody on the forums here fish it very often. I would love any input anybody might have as far as how fishing has been on the lake. Is it worth the trip, etc. Thanks to anybody who responds in advance.

Much Appreciated

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Bass Man, My mom lives on Thunder. I'm there every couple of weeks. You interested in LM, Smallies or Walleyes?

I run into the occasional SM while Walleye fishing. The next 4 weeks are my favorite fishing on Thunder for the year. The fish in my avatar was caught there last year mid-Sept.

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As my user name and avatar would indicate, I am a largie and smallie guy first and foremost. However, I do dabble from time to time with walleyes and crappies as well. Looking for a general synopsis on the lake overall. Any info on these species would be very helpful. I have never fished the area or the lake before. I appreciate your post and look forward to more of your thoughts on the lake in general.

Thanks Tom

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Bass Man,

Sorry I'm just getting back to you. First of all I spend 75% of my time chasing Walleyes, the rest on Crappies and Sunfish. I do have many incidental catches of bass, specifically Smallies though.

Since you talked about maybe making a trip over the next few weeks, I'll give you my fall overview. During the day, barring a major wind, walleye's will be chasing ciscos in 30-45 of water. You want to focus on the areas that have close access to weeds and deep water. Because of several mid-lake reefs, Thunder has a lot of these spots. The key is watching your depth finder to find the schools of baitfish. I fish almost exclusively with shiners in Sept. Oct., using a jig, lindy with a 4-6 foot snell and slip bobbers. If you see the fish suspended over 35-50 fow I will vertical jig, pull spinners or cranks. If the wind is in excess of 15mph, I will anchor on top of 20-25 foot structure and set my bobber at that depth but allow the wind to carry it out 10-30 feet from the structure or cast into the wind and have it float back in to the reef. Finally, I like to lindy when I have either a long trolling run at 30-40 or if I see the Walleyes hearding the Ciscos against a reef or shoreline.

Thunder's weedline in the summer extends down to about 25 feet. Primary is usually to 20 feet. As the fall progresses and weeds begin to die off the thickest weed cover will be to 15 feet.

At night, I will concentrate on this 15-20 foot area with a lighted slip bobber. Try to stay anchored a ways away from where you are casting too. One other fun approach after dark is to cast floating Rapalas onto the tops of mid lake reefs, (4-10 fow). I have caught all species this way and they really hammer it.

Depending on when you go, the buoys marking the mid-lake reefs may be gone. They are usually pulled mid to late September. The same is true for the dock at the access.

Specific spots for walleye would be any of the mid-lake reefs, the Islands coming out of Deer Haven Bay and the secondary break on the North end.

For Smallies, the same islands, the reef just north of the south arm by sandy beach and the rocks just before the channel to the west bowl.

Good Luck and post a report if you go.

Got any tips for Rainy Lake smallies? confused.gif I'm leaving Thursday. grin.gif

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Big Tom,

I really appreciate your in depth, detailed description of the lake and its structure. Thank you very much. I hope to try get up there within the next week or so. I wish I could help you with your trip to Rainy Lake for smallies, but I have never been there before. I hope you do well. Let us know how it goes. I'd be interested to see how you did.

Thanks again Tom

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