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2020 Crane Lake - Lake Kabetogama-Namakan Lake Fishing Reports


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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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I just retied them all to get ready for this trip. Lost one at the end of my rainty trip 2 weeks ago, but I don't have 20#.

For deep water I use 2oz bouncers.

Are you typically pulling spinners?

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I use 1.5 bouncers in calm to windy conditions. I suppose I should probably switch to 2oz in a strong wind but I can usually slow the boat down good enough with the drift sock. I tend to pull spinners at kab, sometimes just hook and beads. I never use spinners when I fish rainy.

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how slow are you going, a couple times I have done well moving 1.5-2 with 2 to 3 oz and spinners but that was becasue of 3-4 foot waves not by choice. the drift sock could only do so much.

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My speed is based on how the fish are responding. Sometimes they want it slow sometimes they want you ripping it by at 100mph

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do you usually start slow or fast?

Rigging or jigging has out produced in the past for me but I like the idea of covering more ground and still keeping it on the bottom.

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We fished parts of Friday and Saturday, mostly mornings on kab. Jig and minnow was better than rig and leech. We found most fish in 28-30fow, reefs and islands about the same. A lot of small walleyes and Saugers w enough eaters mixed in, only a handful over 17" surprisingly. Best luck was on the eastern end of the lake. Not too many boats on the lake either day.

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weather was all over with wind and lighting but we managed to get out a couple hours Sat. and Sun. rigged with crawlers and found eyes mid lake eyes in 24 nice eaters 13-15 we drifted the northwest side with a south east wind blowing. Rock bass and smallies mixed in. Larger eyes came out in 26-32 ft rigged again with pink hook silver or purple bead on 3 ft tags or less. Wish we could have fished more as they where biting when we found them, lots of others out.

Best time was Sunday my son and I went out for our first fishing ever, he is 1 1/2 and he lasted a hours and we caught 10 smallmouth and had two pike and one thing of crawlers dumped out on the rear deck but it was a great time to have him in the boat and catching fish! Hoping to have a fishing partner for life!

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We waited out the storm Saturday on a beach point. I feel sorry for any small boats that didn't get off the lake for that.

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  • 'we have more fun' FishingMN Creators

Summer is still hanging on, water temp a balmy 72 degrees plus. Coming week, looks cooler which should improve fishing. It has been good, but very spotty to say the least.

The warm temperatures and warm water has kept fish on the move. Early am or late afternoons, fish seem to favor waters on the shallow side, 15 feet or less. Mid-day fish tend to be more active in deeper water down to 30-35’.

Jig and minnow is favored in the deeper waters whereas, leeches, crawlers or artificial bait produce a little better in the shallow waters.

One exception to the rule is deep water trolling with artificial lures. One can choose many methods. Deep running lures, bottom bouncer with lure trailing or a lead line rig presentation. This method is producing several species of fish consistently at 29-33’.

Anglers watch for water temperatures drop and prepare your tackle for jig and minnow action on reef edges.

Fall fishing will be heating up as the month rolls by, don’t miss out.

See you soon,

Phil & Ellen Hart

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limited out last weekend. Caught all our fish at around 23 feet in the day and 30 at night. Trolling minnows. With probably 2 or 3 fish on a leech in the eve.

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  • 'we have more fun' FishingMN Creators

Cooler weather, cooler water, cool fishing lots of happy anglers. Yes this past week was a vast improvement over previous weeks for catching fish.

It seems all species started responding to all offerings, live bait and artificials. Cold fronts generally shut fishing down a bit, but this time fishing improved.

Lake temperatures now in the mid-60s and fish are on a feeding frenzy as the feeling of fall is most likely here to stay.

Surprisingly anglers are finding walleyes in less than 12’ of water, and a good consistent bite in 30’ plus depths.

For walleyes, reef tops and vertical drops from the shallow point down to the 30’ range has been pretty reliable.

Artificial lures trolled in the 28-33’ have been netting nice pike, walleye and sauger.

Live bait users lead the way with jig and minnow, followed by slip sinker rigs. Shallow bite best in the mornings and then bite goes gradually deeper.

Enjoy fall fishing and comfortable weather here in the northland, for that matter enjoy a walk in the woods while hunting grouse, bear or archery for deer.

Come “Fall” in Love with Kabetogama!!

Phil & Ellen Hart

Gateway General Store

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  • 'we have more fun' FishingMN Creators

Very favorable fall weather, cool nights mid-day temperatures in the 60s. The fall bite is on for pike and walleyes.

I’m hearing leeches and crawlers in shallow waters specifically in the AM. Minnows with jig head or using a slip sinker rig is doing the job in the 28-35’ depth range. Reef edges anywhere from Sugarbush Island area East to Ash River area has endured a consistent bite.

Artificial lures trolled deep in the 30’ plus range is yielding big pike as well as walleyes and sauger. Anglers using deep runners, leadcore, or bottom bouncers to get the depth.

Starting to get some nice color in the leaves up here, guess it will peak within next 2 weeks. Some aspen and maples starting to change as this report goes out.

Bear season about over, grouse still have good cover but leaves are flying off the trees with the weekends strong winds.

Come and enjoy the fall season, bring your cameras for some great memories.

Hope to see you soon,

Phil & Ellen Hart

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I'm admittedly not a great walleye fisherman but I enjoy it enough to make a trip to crane the first week in October. I've never fall fished for wallys so I don't really know what to expect. Do you think they'll be moving back to their spring ( opener) spots or still holding deeper by then? Any info is greatly appreciated!

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  • 'we have more fun' FishingMN Creators

What a Beautiful Fall and Indian Summer here in the Northland.

Anglers have been quite happy with the active fish over the past week. Many reports of 40” plus northern pike, great walleye bite with the majority being under 17”. Sauger appear plentiful and a few nice perch all cooperating.

Some leech action in the a.m. favoring shallow water, the big bite is jig and minnow at depths between 22’-30’.

Windward bays and points collecting bait fish is the natural feed steering fish into these areas. Water temps near the mid 60s mid-day is a bit unusual making fishing locations difficult to predict or project.

Many avid artificial lure users doing well casting shorelines or deep trolling in the 30’ range.

Lots of good fishing and nice weather remain ahead. Pack a shotgun with your tackle and enjoy grouse hunting with your fishing.

See you soon,

Phil & Ellen Hart

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  • 4 weeks later...
  • 'we have more fun' FishingMN Creators

Cooler weather accompanied by snow flurries, sleet and cold rain, put a damper on the anglers activity. The brave souls who stayed the course and fished through the elements did quite well.

Anglers did well with jig and minnow in the 30’ range catching quantities of small walleyes and keepers under the 17” mark.

Another method popular this time of year is shore fishing until freeze up. Live bait especially shiners used with bobbers, still fishing, has been producing fish of all species.

No word on crappie action, look for activity anytime.

Grouse hunters doing a little better with the loss of previous heavy cover.

Deer activity increasing as rut season approaches.

See You Soon,

Phil & Ellen Hart

___________________________

Gateway General

9378 Hwy 53

Kabetogama, MN 56669

(218) 875-2121

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WALLEYEGUY28

How's the ice fishing on Crane? Im thinking about making a trip up there this winter for a few days. any info would be great! thanks!

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  • 1 month later...
  • 'we have more fun' FishingMN Creators

WOW, winter is for real up here in the icebox, a second week of sub-zero temperatures and lots of snow as we head full bore into the winter season.

Fishing reports vary between folks spearing, and anglers. Difficult ice travel is impending anglers as they work to get at their winter hot spots, in consequence no reports there.

Spearing enthusiasts doing well in the shallower shoreline and lake areas. Average depth now for this group, 8-12’ using live decoy minnows and or suckers with tip-ups.

Not bad walleye reports from spearing folks who have been 2nd line fishing with fatheads.

Snow cover as of this report 16”, ice thickness shallow bays up to 10” big lake ice varies between 5-8” which is improving daily.

Land snowmobile trails have a good base and have been packed. Grooming will be taking place in most areas this week.

Winter Wonderland it is!!!

Happy Holiday and Hope to See You All Soon,

Phil & Ellen Hart

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  • 3 weeks later...

Was fishing kab jan 28-30. Slush not too bad although a few spots were dicey. It was very cold, thankfully almost no wind made it tolerable. I fished 32 fow mostly and did ok using spoons and minnow heads, but not as many fish as normal this time of year. Got some nice perch, small northerns, tullibee, and both tiny and big walleyes. No walleyes to keep or saugers, but luckily the perch were there for a meal.

Again this year there looks to be good numbers of small walleyes (10"), which bodes well for the future. Many spots to fish will be accessible once the remaining slush freezes up, which should be soon.

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xPSExBrute

Hey guys , I'm making a trip up to kab at the end of january to do a little ice fishing with 4 buddies.. We're going to have snowmobiles for transportation. We're gonna going spend a day trying to catch lake trout at mukooda and little trout lake.. Was wondering if anyone has ever tried these lakes for lake trout and would be willing to give up a few tips for a new trout fisherman. Also was wondering if anyone had any luck ice fishing for walleyes in any of the surrounding lakes.. We're also gunna make a trip to echo lake. Any information is greatly appreciated. Thanks guys.

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Hey Brute, I would not spend any time on Little Trout I know many guys who have Swiss cheesed that lake in the winter with no luck at all. Mukooda on the other hand is a much better choice. Remember you can not bring live bait into the lake, so artificial only. Chubby darters and swimming baits work well. Start out by fishing off the back side of the large island that is directly off the snowmobile trail. Drill lots of holes and find contours. Then jig and jig and jig. Where are you staying on Kab?

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Mukooda lake is now catch and release only. It was announced just this week that this is the case and goes into effect for this winter. DNR and Park Service agree on this one. As Dock Boy said it is no live bait also. Good Luck

Fishkab

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xPSExBrute

Hey dock boy. Thanks for the info. I'll be staying at a buddies cabin on ash river. We will also be spending a day on one of the three big lakes. I think we gunna fish kab for walleyes. I know mid winter the walleyes tend to hang around deeper structure. Would u have an idea what depth I could find some eyes on kab. I was think 20-40 fow but waasnt too sure.

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  • 4 weeks later...
  • 'we have more fun' FishingMN Creators

Late report this week, sorry, been to dang cold to write till now.

Finally above zero with more moderate temperatures in the future. In the past, warm-ups trigger a good bite, and that seems to have started yesterday.

Bait sales up and anglers are hungry to feed and catch fish. Ice road is really providing good access points for fish house set-ups.

Spearing enthusiasts as well as anglers doing well with live bait. For anglers, fatheads with glow jigs or light suckers for tip-ups getting the job done.

Spearing depths 10-15’, tip-ups 15-30’, angling stay between 26-35’. Late afternoon before dark favors walleye bite, northern hitting hard and traveling all day.

The deeper bite includes perch and sauger mixed with walleye.

No big crappie bite yet, an occasional crappie coming out of the Ash River entrance.

Kabetogama is finally groomed up for great sledding, this again gives anglers great access to fishing spots throughout the lake.

Looks like a good month of fishing coming your way.

See You Soon,

Phil & Ellen Hart

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  • 'we have more fun' FishingMN Creators

This past week finally typifies a normal winter. Temperatures below zero at night above zero during the day with sun. This pattern looks good for the next 10 days which is general favors the fisherman.

The bite for walleyes, perch and saugers has been holding up pretty well, a little slow, but steady. Northern pike showing up both shallow and deep - quite aggressive.

Live bait is as usual the preferred bait choice for winter fishing. Glow jigs still the best presentation. Peepers, eye drops up to small rattle baits are getting action.

This past week perch were hanging near the bottom with walleye and sauger a few feet above. Most anglers fishing at depths between 26-35’ deep. The accessible areas are off the ice road if using a vehicle or off the snowmobile trail with your portable. Don’t forget tip-ups.

Kab snowmobile trails staked and groomed, and the ice road is plowed from Kab Visitor Center to Ash River Visitor Center.

The only thing missing this winter is you…

See you soon,

Phil & Ellen Hart

Gateway General Store

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  • 'we have more fun' FishingMN Creators

Winter with a big capital “W”. Sub-zero overnights and single digits above daytime, yes we have plenty of ice. So far no auger extensions needed, but may be necessary by end of the month.

Anglers having success most days from mid-afternoon till evening. Catches include perch, sauger and walleye in the 30’ range, steadier northern pike bite in waters less than 15’ deep.

Live bait leads the way, fatheads for most, small suckers for pike. Crappies still elusive, being caught occasionally.

Walleyes, sauger going after glow jigs, small jigs just need head of minnow. Pike doing fine with plain hook and a weight to keep it down.

Nearly all anglers setting up off the ice road with some going off snowmobile trail. Cold weather has put an end to slush.

Snowmobile trails in great riding condition both on land and the lakes.

Make your plans,

See you Soon,

Phil & Ellen Hart

Gateway General Store

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  • 3 weeks later...
  • 'we have more fun' FishingMN Creators

Winter continues to keep a good grip on us in the Northland, another ten plus inches of fresh snow faced the anglers here at the close of the season for walleye, sauger and pike on inland lakes.

Note, I said inland lakes, Namakan and Sand Point still open into April as they are Canadian Border Lakes.

Crappie action hasn’t taken off yet, expect a bite there most anytime.

The ice toad remains open, expect slush again if not on ice road or snowmobile trails. Cold weather mid-week may freeze slush down to provide better lake travel.

Fishing Namakan look for a good depth location of 28-35’ for walleyes thats in close proximity to the snowmobile trail. Lots of good locations just off the trail to Kettle Falls.

Great snowmobiling on and off the ice, looks like lots of good winter left, enjoy it!!

Hope to see you yet this winter….

Phil & Ellen Hart

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

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