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2020 Crane Lake - Lake Kabetogama-Namakan Lake Fishing Reports


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  • 'we have more fun' FishingMN Creators

A very fine week of fair weather and lots of sunshine was the story for this past week. Families were grateful for the beautiful weather and walleye anglers were less than thrilled as the fast action from previous weeks came to a sudden halt.

Anglers were scrambling trying to find a bait presentation to entice the walleyes away from the mayfly larvae.

Yes, unfortunately the warm weather warmed the lake bottom to a point the mayflies began emerging and walleyes were waiting.

Fishermen now need to get in their face with a good bait presentation. Shiners are still out performing fatheads and rainbows in shallow waters. Slow moving slip sinker rigs or slip bobbering seems to be working.

A few folks report a decent walleye, but in the 26-35’ range jig and minnow, or trolling crank baits at 15-18’. Sauger and perch still being caught off shorelines and docks.

Northern pike abundant, good bite with any method, and small mouth action is great along shorelines.

No big word on crappies as we slip past their spawning season. It’s been such a strange year weather-wise, fish are as confused as humans.

On a positive note, we’ve had constant sunny days and 70 degree + temperatures, the summer pattern should blend in soon allowing anglers fishing for their favorite species with some predictability.

Bugs are out full force so be prepared, the water warming up so swimsuits should be in order.

It feels like summer now…

See you soon,

Phil & Ellen Hart

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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 di

Mark,     That was us!  We cruised up to the top of the bay and parked at the Leach Bay HB site. Can't tell you what a thrill it was to finally get on these bodies of water!  We were up on Namakan t

Hey dan, hope your trip was good....we had 4 seasons in 5 days ! Think we saw you motor by in the houseboat through grassy towing a few boats behind. Must have been you...no one else except one boat

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did pretty good sat and sunday

caught way more big ones than keeper size

leeches were working WAYYYYY better than minnows

fast troll, slow troll, fast drift, slow drift ...it was all working once you are on a spot with fish

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Just got back, fished Saturday and Sunday. Our boat was just slip bobbering with leeches off island points by La Bontys point. Over those two days we boated 40 walleyes. Lots of 22 - 24 inch and some 15- 16 inchers. The night bite was hot, at times all 3 bobbers were under water.

The other boat was drifting and jigging and using leeches. They boated 20.

Northern were hitting leeches on retrieve and in the shallow bays they'd hit anything that moved.

We didn't see 1 sauger or any smallmouth.

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We fished Kab Thursday through Saturday, couldnt catch much during the day untill the sun went behind the clouds for a few hours, but we did ok jigging\bobber fishing minnows and leeches, and even crawlers when we ran out of minnows in shallow water 8-15 feet. But 95% of the fish we caught bit around sundown. Caught some really nice perch along with the walleyes and did manage a few saugers. Marked a lot of non-biters out deeper. Probably kept 15-20 fish over those days between 2 boats which is really slow compared to other spring\early summer trips for us. just couldnt get them during the daytime was our biggest problem.

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walleyecheeks

I'm heading up to Kab on Monday. Its been a few years since I was last there. We always went the 1st week of June. We always were up just before the mayfly hatch and did really well. So I'm not too sure what to expect or even an aproach to getting few in the boat. Any help would be much appreciated!

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  • 'we have more fun' FishingMN Creators

A great summer week passed by for us, evening rains, sunny days mild temperatures. Mayflies still emerging, no heavy hatch noted.

Anglers have had a mixed bag. Fish several species being caught in shallow and deep water. Bait, minnows, leeches and crawlers working, as mentioned several depths providing fish for anglers enjoyment.

If targeting walleyes, start shallow, less than 10’ and work you way deeper as necessary. Slip sinker rigs, using leeches might have the edge. Soft bottom lake structure is your best bet until the mayfly hatch is finished.

For die hard jig and minnow anglers, 30-38’ depths, near rock reefs may still produce some keeper walleyes, along with sauger and perch.

Pike are taking nearly any bait offered, many small pike quite bothersome as the large pike bite randomly. Stick baits or sucker minnows working well if pike is your target.

Smallmouth settling into a summer pattern, waiting for an X-rap to cross their path.

This time of year any part of Kabetogama and Namakan are fishable and results can be had throughout the lakes.

A geat time can be had this time of year in our beautiful National Park.

Lady Slipper Festival on Kabetogama June 29-30th.

Blueberry pancake breakfast, 5K Mingo’s Miles, Juried Arts and Crafts, Childrenns activieds, karaoke Contest, Sloughgrass Band, Antique Car Show, Big Boy Toy Show.

BINGO Tues and Thurs through Aug 13 ( No Games on July 4th)

Come and Enjoy the Summer,

Phil & Ellen Hart

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Wish-I-Were-Fishn

Heading up in the morning. Long drive, but worth it. I know the camping is great, now I hope the fishing will be too.

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Heading up in the morning. Long drive, but worth it. I know the camping is great, now I hope the fishing will be too.

Me too, putting in at Crane and heading to East Namakan. Where you heading?

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bluewater2

We are coming up on Sat. for a week . staying at a different resort,Sounds nice. I hope the weather is good and the fishings GREAT.

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Wish-I-Were-Fishn

Hey! Somebody is in our site! Darn. Plus my buddy somehow missed loading his bin with all the tarps! Making memories.

We didn't fish last night which was a bummer. It took us to long driving around looking for a site. Anybody have a report?

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juice6916

We had 5 guys up there in 2 boats Wednesday afternoon through Saturday AM. We were camping on the West side of Namakan. We caught a few drifting live bait rigs wherever we could find wind. I think we tried 4-5 different spots, there were fish in all of them. We heard that the bays with emerging weeds had fish, but we couldn't figure it out. We ended up heading East to Pike Island and fished it Friday afternoon and evening. We found a few nice slot fish. There was a big group of guys out there jigging on the South side of the island. We saw them pick up fish, but did not talk to them much, seemed like they were having fun though. Overall it was our best fishing on Namakan the last 4-5 years.

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SledNeck

hammered em on kab yesterday

getting harder and harder to catch them below 17"

used leeches and crawlers with the edge going to crawlers

8C0CE216-7F4C-4023-8E1B-3F3C170E0C13-198

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  • 'we have more fun' FishingMN Creators
Rick

The mayflies have emerged and have become airborne. Yes, it slows fishing down, meaning you need to get your presentation in front of those fish.

Bait choices vary, but as of late leeches and crawlers have been the best offering. It’s important to keep your bait offering very close to the bottom for walleyes, in contrast to pike and bass where surface or shallow running lures are effective.

The forecast for this upcoming week is for sun, more sun and very mild winds, this is a favored time for trolling lures along shorelines, not only scenic but a great way to tease the fish and very productive as well.

Mid-day is great for family time, water sports, tubing, skiing or laying around on air mattresses. Save early mornings and late afternoons for serious fishing.

Wildlife is at its peak and there isn’t a better place in the world to enjoy it. Pack bug spray and swimwear and come north to relax.

Happy Independence Day!

Phil & Ellen Hart

P.S. – Gateway has 89 Octane available with credit card at the pump. Other flavors will be available later this summer. Thank you as always for your patience! We really appreciate all of your patronage; your shopping local has allowed us to continue in the fuel business along with Cenex in Baudette, we are so happy to be able to offer the fuel convenience again!

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Fished nam last week thurs. thru sun. fishing was good, especialy when the wind blew. heading up tomorrow eve. thru sunday again. leeches and crawlers worked well. also trolling raps along the shore produced as well. perch colored raps were the eyes favorite.

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  • 'we have more fun' FishingMN Creators
Rick

A fine summer week has passed by, hot weather, thunderstorms and humidity and many very nice, sunny, calm days for water activities.

Now for fishing news, lots of big walleyes caught and released including several over 28”. Many big bass between 18-20”. A 42” northern pike with many in the 36”+ range.

Mayfly hatch appears to be over, so walleyes should get an appetite and head to summertime haunts. Reef edges should provide some walleye action.

Shallow week lines always hold fish, problem there is many “weed” walleyes are well over the keeper under 17” size.

Depths in the 20-30’ range may yield good results for all species until water gets a little warmer. When the lake continues to warm, walleyes tend to roam a little deeper.

Crawlers, leeches and artificial lures are preferred now, saving minnows for the deeper water or slip bobbering.

West end of Kab warming up fast pushing walleyes toward mid-Kab and down towards Namakan. The transition from mayflies and warm water gave Namakan the edge for any consistent bite.

Lots of summer left for fishing, hiking, blueberry picking and water sports.

See you Soon,

Phil & Ellen Hart

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  • 3 weeks later...

fishing was slow for us on sunday marked tons though

did manage this lil fella

ra4_zpsd2c5c63e.jpg

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  • 'we have more fun' FishingMN Creators

Nice eye Sledneck!!

Persistent wind - inconsistent fishing were the headlines this past week.

Anglers caught fish on and off and used this and that. Good catches were reported in 14’-20’ using no spinner rigs, plain hook and crawler.

Jig anglers caught fish at 30-36’ using jig head and minnow.

Don’t forget leeches, good reports on the off days when crawlers weren’t effective.

It seemed good days provided action and there were a couple days Kab plain shut off for all species.

Northern pike favor shorelines and weed edges, live bait or artificial lures garner plenty of action. Smallmouth chasing their favorite food, crayfish, hence try gravel beds and reef tops.

Walleyes still finding some may fly larvae shallow, but the big population of walleyes moving onto summer reef hangouts. West Kab favors center reef, mid Kab locations for walleyes try Martin Islands, Blundt Island and Headlight.

Heading to Namakan stop by Green and Larkin, try the structural shoreline as well as the rock pile edges.

Time-wise, sunrise and early/late evening remain the best hours to fish.

See You Soon,

Bring some Summer with Please,

Phil & Ellen Hart

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Kab is in the worst walleye slump Ive seen since Ive started fishing it. Usually its on fire right now going by my records I keep. Im quite sure it has to do with the water temps being so much below normal for this time of year.

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Sled I saw you headed to Woodenfrog that day. I was mowing our resort lawn. We have guests doing great right now with 2 oz bottom bouncers and a 3 ft spinner. 1.5-1.7 mph trolling

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Was it an f150? that's what I have now.

We fished it Friday, albeit kind of late in the morning. I drag 1.5oz bouncers with 3-4' spinner rig. I was not marking fish like normal at all. At the end of July beginning of august is usually when I do the best on kab. This year is weird.

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  • 'we have more fun' FishingMN Creators

Another week of fall temperatures slips by in our late summer. Anglers are picking up a few more fish with a little less effort than the prior weeks.

Live bait, minnows, leeches and crawlers lead the way, while a bite is developing for artificial lures and lead line users.

The last couple of days, leeches and crawlers with a slow moving presentation has put a lot of fish in the boat.

Kabs best walleye action is at 18-28’ reef edges and of course windward shorelines with breaking structure. Sugarbush Island on into Namakan best area of Kab to fish.

Minnows are popular again and being used with some success with jig heads in the 30-35’ range, works best it seems on the unsettled weather days.

Many big pike over 40” being caught each week and a few 28’ plus walleyes. Folks, that a fall fishing bonus time reward for your efforts.

The fast moving unusual weather patterns, many abnormal temperatures, have wreaked havoc with fishing most of this season. That being said, fish do and will get hungry with fall and winter approaching.

Late summer and fall is a great time to fish and have a good chance at a lunker as well as your limit of fish.

Still time to Make Vacation Plans,

Wish you were here…..

Phil & Ellen Hart

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Fish n Fool

2 fifty year old guys are going to go to Crane Lake Sept 14, go camping and chase fish for a week. Problem is neither of us have ever been there before. With help from the tourism board and google earth I found where the boat landing is, after that shooting from the hip.

We have camped/fished Rainy Lake half a dozen times before but thought it would be fun to explore some new water. Any advice would be appreciated....campsites.. fishing areas.. things to avoid.

I have Lowrance finder with GPS/chip so not afraid to explore. Wouldn't rule out a guide.

Thanks in advance

Jeff

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Just like any stained up north lake, jig and minnow 6" off the bottom slow jiggle and you will catch fish! cool

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  • 'we have more fun' FishingMN Creators

Weather fooled me, I thought we were heading into an early fall, here we are in full bore summer again.

A long string of 80 degree temperatures is on us, great for water sports, temperatures and full sun require anglers to make some changes as fish respond to the change in water temperatures.

As usual for Kab/Nam early morning and early to late evening are your best fishing times of day. Shorelines, both gravel and weed edges are giving up eyes on all offerings, lures, crawlers and leeches.

Minnows presented in deep waters, again at 28-35’ jig head or heavy weight slip sinker rigs put you in the target area.

Lots of good reports coming out of mid-Kab, from the Martin Islands East into Namakan. Rock reefs around Twin Island, Wilson Island and Larkin Island producing walleyes and small bass, be careful lots of outcroppings.

Several Sturgeon have been reported and caught on Kabetogama, remember they must be released immediately, there is no season for Sturgeon on Kabetogama.

If you latch on to a sturgeon be prepared to cut your line after a picture, minimum handling is required to sustain this species health as you must release this fish immediately.

Radio show/Fishing Contest wrap-up this weekend, stop in or listen in on Friday August 23rd.

A bonus for residents and tourists this weekend is the Huge Community Garage Sales with at least 9 locations to visit and many multi-family sites.

Hope to see you here,

Phil & Ellen Hart

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Fished kab yesterday till 5pm

we caught a limit (2 people)(lots of 17 1/8th fish of course), and the fish were biting "ok".

Bug hatch and the walleyes were over the mud/sand. Most fish ive ever marked on kab. All on leeches.

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  • 'we have more fun' FishingMN Creators

Wow, hot weather leads the way and is in control now and for most the week. Anglers and I’ll bet the fish are all miserable and confused.

Deep, shallow, live bait, lures, lead line, bottom bouncers, slip sinker rigs all being used last week.

At the present, live bait, minnows with a jig being presented at the 30-35’ range. Slip sinker rig with crawlers/leeches 9-12’ early mornings.

Anglers using artificial lures doing pretty well in the 30’ range if trolling, and pike seekers casting lures near weed edges and shorelines are getting results and catching a few smallmouth as well.

Water temperatures back into the mid 70s has moved the best action to the East end of Kab into Namakan.

Anglers can expect very unpredictable patterns and will find it necessary to change up methods and times of day for success as we continue on in this heat wave.

Come on up for some last chance relief from the heat down south – the water can bring great comfort and relief and in general our evenings still cool down some.

Happy Labor Day!!

Phil & Ellen Hart

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I will be there in 2 days and will do what I often do is start with bottom bouncers to cover water and see what I can figure out.

Can't wait to get there smile

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all I use is bottom bouncers. Whats funny is I was just thinking the other day that Ive had the same bottom bouncer on all year. Hundreds of lake bottom dragging miles on it! I also use 20# fireline, that's probably why I haven't lost one yet.

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  • Rick changed the title to 2020 Crane Lake - Lake Kabetogama-Namakan Lake Fishing Reports

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