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Joe

2020 Crane Lake Kabetogama-Namakan Fishing Reports

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Satchmo

mbartelt86,

The old adage, "They are where you find them" is very true, BUT this is the time of year we live for on Kab. The fish will be starting to set up in their summer haunts, and consistent morning & evening movements will become the norm. During the day, fishing feed shelves in 18 to 25 feet of water will usually produce decent catches. Just keep moving until you find fish. One of the big wild cards will probably pop up here in the next couple of weeks. This will happen when the mass movements of baitfish move in to the newly emerging weed growth back in the many bay areas and big movements of walleyes will follow. This bounty can last for only a few days or 2-3 weeks depending on the weather. Good luck up there.

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Kab Kid

Spot on Satchmo...biggest variable is the changing weather this time of year.  Cold nights, warm days change those water temps enough to push bait fish around.  Wind and consistent wind in the same direction will stack fish into warm bays or island points/shelves.  Minnows generally are best, but casting cranks can be productive...leeches will start soon as well.  Good luck you guys!  Kab and VNP in general is amazing and maybe overwhelming to first timers, but it's a system you will love to fish and fish for life!

 

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mbartelt86

Thanks for the info guys!  I'm confident we'll find fish, but I know the trip will be great regardless.  I'll be sure to report back with how we did. 

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imhatz

Hi Guys,

Was up at Sand Point in May this year...tried Swanson Bay but water was low and a bit cold surface temps around 52. The usual Browns Bay, Grassy, and other areas. Eyes were picky, smallies were ok and the pike were our lunch. Planning next year trip..been going to Crane and Sand Point 30 yrs...water was about as low as 28 yrs ago...It rained a bunch when there and was rising. Planning trip for next year and going to reserve king pin in June. It was our first time to swanson bay because we have stayed in Brown and it is a pretty good run to swanson. What can we expect for weed growth in june in swansons bay...I have heard it gets pretty weedy. We are a catch and release group we only keep enough fish for lunch and we mostly keep all pike and release eyes and smallies. thanks guys

 

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snoozebutton

Been on Kab since Saturday and have been doing good on slot fish, not great on keepers though. There sure is a healthy class of 21 to 24 inchers in this lake. Minnows have been out fishing leeches or crawlers so far but crawlers brought in a couple of nice perch and one sauger, caught 3 other saugers, one on a leech and 2 on minnows. Been using a harness with just a red hook with one red bead attached and a no snag sinker and have caught the most fish in 25 to 15 FOW with a couple coming a little deeper (up to 33 feet). Saugers a the few keepers we've caught seem to be a little deeper.

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Northlander

We had great weather and great fishing. Early in the week it was mostly big fish. Many in the 18-24" range with biggest being a 28"er. Later in the wek when we had warm weather and no wind I hit the 40' of water and started catching some eaters. Good mix of walleye and some dandy saugers. My best baits by far were a lindy rigged shiner or in the am on flats trolling spinners and crawlers. Lighted  Slip bobbers off the dock at VPL also caught plenty of eater fish at night.

VPL is a awesome place to stay and close to tons of good spots that hardly anyone will be on. Thanks for everything Casey! See ya in Sept.

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herm

Our party of 5 spent 6/12-6/18 camping on east end of Namakan. It was about our 10th annual such trip and fishing was great. Oldest son keeps detailed records, which showed about 230 smallies, eyes and northerns. Smallies were hitting flukes and stick baits shallow until cold front pushed them a bit deeper. Then it was worms. Caught eyes at all depths, even on spinner baits bass fishing. Best eye action came near Pat Smith. Plenty too big and many too small. Also got enough eaters. Lindy rigs and leeches. Northerns came mixed w bass, but no big ones. Biggest fish were 27-inch eye, 21.5 smallie (eldest thought hard about walling it but CPRd it) and about a 26-inch pike. Biggest surprise was the lack of people. I'd say 80% of campsites in our area were open the entire time. And very little boat traffic. Can't help but wonder if the reservations system turned people off. Still, we had an awesome trip and cannot wait until next time!

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walleyedane

Kabetogama report,

We have been fishing throughout the month of June and into present day July.  Currently the mayfly hatch has slowed things down considerably but it looks like it is on the tail end of things so hopefully things will pick up.  The photo shown was from a group of us the weekend of June 20th.  We found those fish and a whole lot more overs and smaller ones on some small humps in the main body of the lake.  The humps that nobody else fishes and are not much bigger than the average living room.  Some of them are not marked on some chips or maps.  What's nice about them is that they receive little to no pressure.  These were caught on the top of the humps in about 18-20 feet of water with slip bobbers and leeches.  Theses spots seem to stay pretty consistent throughout the summer (unless the mayfly hatch is on).  If we can't find them on one hump we just try another until we do and rarely have to go to more than 3 spots to find them.  There are some nice jumbo perch mixed into these fish.  The other method that has been consistent is pulling spinners with bottom bouncers in 18-22 feet of water on the shorelines.  I use an orange spinner, 3 oz. bottom bouncer, and a fathead minnow and just start trolling about 1.5 mph.  Seems to work most of the time for at least a few fish.  Fishing was a quite a bit slower for us over the week before the 4th but heading back up for a few days this week and it should be better with some consistent weather and the hats being done. 

Fish.jpg

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bfisherman11

Heading up to Kab on 7/18. Will be staying at Pine-Aire. This is our second year and we are looking forward to the northwoods. really love Kab.

 

Last year we concentrated on the central and NW areas. this year we will learn the east side better. This lake is a perfect size to motor end to end if we don't care for the fishing on the east side. We found some nice spots on the NW side and can't imagine not checking them out. last year we hit temps in the 90's. That did not help the walleye fishing much. I am assuming the eyes will be on the reefs in two weeks. Always fun tracking them down!

 

ANTICIPATION................

 

Bill

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enduro67

I will be there the same time.  Temps look much milder for next week compared to last year so should be more comfortable fishing anyways.  Last year the reef bite was slow for us with the high water leading up to our trip.  Hopefully this year will be more normal.

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Northlander

Anyone going to be on kab or at VPL sept 19-26?

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bfisherman11

Leaving in the morning with my dad, brother and nephew. Should be a great week on Kab. This week will be at Pine Aire.

 

Even though it would seem hard to get better, I am pretty sure I have the #1 wife around, because two days ago she mentioned we should take my grandson (3yrs) on a fishing trip. My wife has not fished with me in years since we started doing the guy trips. I said, OK, want to go to Kab in August? She said "you read my mind". Got a last minute reservation at Northern Lights. It will be my first stay with them but they look like a top notch resort. Just the right amount of amenities for the wife and grandson.

Also close to some of my spots.

 

Bill

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Satchmo

Heading up to Kab on 7/18. Will be staying at Pine-Aire. This is our second year and we are looking forward to the northwoods. really love Kab.

 

Last year we concentrated on the central and NW areas. this year we will learn the east side better. This lake is a perfect size to motor end to end if we don't care for the fishing on the east side. We found some nice spots on the NW side and can't imagine not checking them out. last year we hit temps in the 90's. That did not help the walleye fishing much. I am assuming the eyes will be on the reefs in two weeks. Always fun tracking them down!

 

ANTICIPATION................

 

Bill

Bill,

Good luck on your trip. I have a seasonal RV at Pine Aire. Great people and great central location to start from.  I can head to any corner of the lake and not have it be too far a ride. The mayfly hatch has slowed and the blueberries are ripe. Fishing should be getting more consistent as well. Have fun.

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SledNeck

I would get out as early as possible and fish. After about 11am Id fish shallow next to the rocks (troll). Im talking about 10-15 feet. Last time I was out we caught a few casting jerk baits into the rocks. Then go back to normal depth trolling in the evening where the wind has been blowing into. As for trolling shallow, its going to be all big fish. But that's what Im after anyways.

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bfisherman11

Well my group had a tough week fishing last week (7/18-24). Caught no walleyes. I tried about everything. Trolling with minnows/spinners from 10-24ft very slow to crawler and lindy rig. First couple days the wind made boat control tough. A couple folks caught a few on the back sides of islands. I assume they were using lindy rigs and maybe leeches. We did ok on northern and smallmouth when we took a break to cast the weeds.

Going back up on Aug 8. Maybe things will pick up. The resort owner said it has been a tough slow year.

We had some bad weather move through. One day what I would describe as a micro burst of wind came through and knocked trees down at our resort. Heck, one fell on our deck busting up the railing.

Anyhow, just love the lake, wish the fishing had been better. Anyone else fish up there lately?

I don't think the eyes are on the reefs yet. If they were I think folks would be catching some...

 

Bill

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Ducks_22

We were also up 18-25. We focused primarily on walleyes and had great success. The reefs are going well but not all of them. We caught many fish between the 20-26" range. Some shorelines were going and a couple of the heavily fished areas are still producing good numbers of fish. We used minnows all week with the exception of 1 doz crawlers and used them all pulling spinners with a chartreuse blade and caught some decent fish. Perch are going good also. Our group of 11 brought home a few limits of eyes and perch and ate fish 3 days.  We made 1 trip to Nam and pulled a limit for the boat. 

Started the week catching fish in the 18-22' range and majority were big fish with larger perch mixed in. Toward the end of the week we fished deeper water, up to 37' and did quite well on all sizes of fish. Wind-blown areas were producing well. Having good electronics and knowing how to use them is key. Here are a few pics from the week.

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f6.thumb.jpg.8675b0ebafe4aab43d54c3ebfe0fish1.thumb.jpg.db6fe6054475e66fc4cd1edf

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Nastynate

One good report and one bad, sounds about right for that lake, it can be tough up there. Can't wait until I head up there Aug 28th! Counting the days!

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imhatz

Starting to plan next trip for June 2016 to Sand Point. I see many pics of perch on Kab are they in Sand Point as well. I have been going for over 25 years and never were our target. Would make a good shore lunch. Any help would be appreciated...we stay in Grassy. thanks guys

Had an okay year this year in May...had to locate and fish new areas the water lever was way down...lowest that I can remember in over 20 years.

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Team Bobberdown

Hey everyone. My name is Nick Grbich from st cloud and I am making a trip up to crane lake on September 9 th - 12 th and would like to be put on some fish and hit a few spots that are producing. My email is [email protected] so if anyone would like to help a guy out and share a little info that would be cool. I will share the same for you if your ever in this area. I am on fish here locally and know the lakes and area. Not a guide, but could be. I am just a guy who loves to fish and pray and sometimes not in that order. Thanks to anyone who can help me out. Once again will be in that area September 9-12. God bless you and bobberdown

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EyeChsr

we will be coming up the sept 16th -20th hopefully staying at blue fin bay houseboat site. looking for any pointers, depths, baits. Never been there in fall  any help appreciated.

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Northlander

In the fall I like big minnows on a lindy rig or jig. Fish can be in 12' on shore lines or 40' out off of reefs. Trolling crank baits can put some nice fish in the boat. I would start on reefs and start up top and work deeper if needed. Bounce around and find the reefs that are producing. Watch your graph. If I dont see some fish I dont fish that area and move on. I like a 3/4 to 1 oz no snag sinker and hook n beed on a 4' snell and 3/8 oz jigs. White/pink, orange/chart and glow white are my go to. Gold is also another good one.

Slip bobbers in late afternoon on top of reefs can also work well.

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TrophyEyes

We have a group heading up this weekend.  Any suggestions with the expected cool down or will they maintain their current pattern?  

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SledNeck

wont be cool enough to change anything, I was up there this past weekend and the aren't in fall mode

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TrophyEyes

Sledneck, any guidance on the depth or presentation you had success with?  

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SledNeck

Fish where you see fish is he best advice I can give. Minnows have outfished all baits the last few times I was up there.

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Northlander

Was up at Voyageur Park Lodge all last week and the fishing was tuff. No fish bundled up in areas yet. water still around 64 degrees. Saw lots of suspended fish so we trolled up most of our fish on reefrunners down 20'. Jigs n rigs didnt do much but when they did there was some dandy fish caught.

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imhatz

Just got back the replica mount Joe Fittante work from Antigo,WI...Sand Point Pike 2014

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HunterFisher11

Just wondering how the fishing has been going?? Heading up late saterday and staying for a week, have never fished this late in the year any advice on how to start out? You know trolling cranks/ jig/deap/shallow. Thanks..

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Northlander

I would start out riggin n jiggin mid lake humps. They should be there by now.

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imhatz

Heading back to Crane and Sand point again this year 100 days and counting...staying on King Pin. Let's hope the water is higher than last year.

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  • Your Responses - Share & Have Fun :)

    • chucker1101
      work the area between Daisy and Banana Island, it's near where you're at. There are three hazard markers there, just be careful with your lower unit   There are plenty of Pike spots in Daisy Bay - study the map and follow the wind. 8-10' breaklines where the wind is blowing into. Look for mid-lake structure that support Ciscos and Perch.
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      Just cut the head off first.
    • Daniel Hayes
      looking to try cut bait for catfishing. Usual use nightcrawlers or stink bait, but am looking to filter the Rockbass and small cats.  I'm gunna buy a couple decoy suckers and use. But am wondering how to humanely kill and cut up? Or do I just cut umm alive while flopping like a serial killer?
    • Rivergroup
      Thanks guys, I'll keep watching.  Can't wait to get there again!
    • chaffmj
      I'll give you a buck more than SkunkedAgain!  😆
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