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2020 Crane Lake - Lake Kabetogama-Namakan Lake Fishing Reports


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Dan Erikson

We're at Voyagaire Lodge on the 14th and on a 54ft houseboat starting on the 15th for a week. We'll be cruising thru Sand Point by 10 am on Friday with 3 fishing boats in tow. If the ice is gone we plan to head up to the west Namakan area and move the HB closer to Crane every couple days. Hope to make Browns or Grassy Bay one of our stops near the end of the week.

Enjoyed your posts last spring!!

Dan

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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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Dan Erikson

Found this news article from May 15th last year!

Posted: Thursday, May 15, 2014 8:59 am | Updated: 4:36 pm, Thu May 15, 2014.

Journal Staff Report Laurel Beager

A bird’s eye view of area lakes shows about 75 percent of Rainy Lake to be still covered in ice.

Voyageurs National Park Chief Ranger Chuck Remus reports that park pilot Steve Mazur flew over the lakes Wednesday and reported Rainy Lake is open to Alder Bay; is impassable from Alder Bay to Brule Narrows with 75-percent ice coverage; Brule Narrows is free of ice; is impassable from Brule Narrows to Kettle Falls with 75-percent ice coverage.

“A few more warm days and some rain and things may open up pretty quick, Mazur said in a report to Remus.

Remus urged area boaters to use caution on Rainy Lake.

“There is still a lot of ice floating around, and there’s always the danger of the wind blowing and the ice shift and people getting caught somewhere,” he said. “I wouldn’t recommend boating on Rainy yet.”

Ice out occurred on Kabetogama Lake Tuesday, said Remus. In addition, Mazur’s flight showed Crane Lake and Sand Point Lake to be free of ice.

Namakan Lake, reported Mazur, is open, but ice sheets were found on the southeast shore, but open through Namakan Narrow

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May 14,2014 at Sheen Point campsite. The lake was open until I got to the bay where the campsite is located. Just blown-in ice chunks that I idled through.

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Hi Dan

We will launch out of Handbergs on Friday Morning May 15 we are staying at campsite S23 in Grassey right bt Staege entrance. My father inlaw and his gang started that site in the 1950's and the DNR took it over in the 1990's and made it a designated site. I watch Handbergs web cam every day and I am sure there ice will be gone in 10 days. We will be looking for you....if you are planning to fish Pike, get some head on frozen smelt they will eat the like candy.

keep in touch.

mark

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Dan Erikson

Mark,

It was great following your posts from last spring! Nice Pike photo as well. We've houseboated on Lake of the Woods and Rainy Lake above Fort Frances in the past and can't wait to get a look at VNP! Sounds like the folks at Voyagaire are expecting an earlier ice out this year as well.

Hunted around for past ice out info and found a state site the showed the average ice out for North Eastern MN being the last week in April. It did say Rainy to average out at May 3rd. Ron's photo from above showing the ice jam at his camp site last season is an eye opener. Thanks for sharing that Ron!

Got a place in the Arkdale, WI area and will be bringing our boat up Tuesday evening to enjoy some fishing and turkey hunting. We do most of our fishing at Petenwell and Castle Rock the 2nd and 4th largest bodies of water in our state. Guessing you might stay busy on Green Bay?? We're big into Planer Boarding but with the MN 1 line rule we're going to have to teach ourselves some new tricks. Hoping to find a few eater eye's in the shallows but with early ice out they may all be back out to the deeper areas. Not into Bass fishing so Eye's, Pike and pan fish will be our targets.

Looks like your favorite spot is labeled Monroe Point??? I've spent a bunch of time looking at Google Earth. The VNP Sat Photos are dated 5/22/13. That's just a week after our trip's up and it does give a few hints as to where some spring fishing spots may be. Monroe Point has a couple tarps spread out and a boat beached as well. Well be trying to raise the roof at Voyagaire Lodge Thursday evening and boarding the HB early Friday. You guys staying over night in the area or driving all night and jumping in Crane Lake Friday morning?

Dan

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Hi Dan,

We drive all night and hit Handbergs in the morning and head out. We camp on the site S23...we have stayed on Brown Bay View last 4 years. This is my forst spring trip in years and I alsways stayed spring at S23. Close to all the spots for Pike and a quick run to Swansons bay.Like I said got to the handberg website and they have a web cam facing the dock. so you can see ice out...Pine point lodge has one also (but has been not working). Last year was a strange wet spring and high water....ice will go in 10 days pretty sure..I can only remember once in last 25 yrs having issue to deal with and we went for opener. We will be fisihing pike, crappies in the evening and from campsite and with dead bait for pike. Be cruising shallows looking for pike...evening be on sand bars for eyes.

stay in touch....We will have two boats on our site....one from pine point and one from handbergs. I have been logging my spots on my graph already for new areas. I have the elite 7 with the chip so I can hook up my battery in house and view all the topo maps.....no messing around cruising on the lake and wasting time.

I retire in 2 years and my retirement party will be on the houseboat for a summer trip.

Mark

mark

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Dan Erikson

I have my Humminbird 788 rigged for ice fishing and have been cruising the map and marking from my recliner as well. Cant wait to be able to label them or delete them after we try them. We're hoping for some shore lunches and that will determine what we'll target. You guy's try for any Jumbo perch? Have been combing utube videos and see Kab has some dandies! Anything down in the southern waters?

Dan

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Dan,

we hang out all down in Sand point...not been to Kab. I filet northerns every day for shore lunch ...no problem. We catch lunch first then mess around for eyes and crappies. It was in the 70's at Handberg today. some rain and sun ...my guess ice gone end of the week. That would put water temps in 40's for may 14.

we will see...

Mark

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big_fish_guy

this ice is honeycombing fast. walked out today and it's still pretty solid though. my guess is about 2 weeks.

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Dan Erikson

Found a Sat view that shows Crane Lake, Sand Point and the east end of Namakan all melted. It also shows Kabetogama all the way to central Namakan is melted as well. Check out the Ice Out thread for the link.

Find the border marker and follow it down to Rainy Lake and the rest of the Voyageurs chain.

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Dan Erikson

Well, now that the ice will be long gone by the opener does everyone think the walleye will be back out to deep water? We'll be out on the second weekend and my best geuss says find the reefs if you want eye's for shore lunch! Be nice to get some rain between now and then too. Looks a bit shallow still. going to have to make a depth adjustment on the finder for safety sake!

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cranelake

Namakan still has a good chunk of ice from blind pig channel to west of gull island as of yesterday. Anyone coming up for opener use extreme caution both at the ramps due to low low water and there are also rocks witnessed from the plane that we havent saw in the 30 + years of being up here

CL

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imhatz

Dan...what is the link to view..... Talk again soon. I want to check the end of Browns Bay...I usually get ice from the spring.. mark

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Dan Erikson

http://ge.ssec.wisc.edu/modis-today/inde...resolution=250m

Be careful, if you open this up and it's a cloudy day all you'll see is white! LOL!! There's an area at the top of the link to select which day you want to look at. If it's cloudy today, check yesterdays pic.

We're looking at 2 weeks!!! Been planning this trip for 1 1/2 years!!

Heading to Petenwell this weekend to give the boat another workout! Don't want any surprises when we hit VNP.

Building a minnow saver out of an old cooler for the 3-4hr haul to Junction Bay the first day. Do you guys take minnows and how many dozen would you typically start with? We have daily delivery if needed so a refill won't be to big of a deal.

Anybody else with a suggestion?? Pike and eye's will be the targets.

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imhatz

Dan, we get minnows up there and haul them in a 5 gallon bucket with a mr bubbles aerator. Then they go in minnow keeper in the lake. I heard water temp on crane is 50 degrees.We target Pike and looks like crappies this year too...if that water temp is right the smallies will be staging or on the beds.

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Dan Erikson

Mark,

We had some fun Sat on Petenwell but ended up with 10 eye's between 13 and 14.5 inches. Didn't make the 15-20" keeper slot though.

What kind of minnows do you normally find up in the area bait shops? I'm guessing we'll be getting some large minnows for pike and some medium's for eye's. Any suggestions on places to hook up with licenses on the way?

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imhatz

Hi Dan,

countdown is on...only a few days to go. We always get minnows there ..basic mud minnows. I bring frozen smelt dead bait for pike from campsite full-38895-53224-dsc00604.jpg

. As for license ..you can buy them on-line through Mn DNR...saves time.

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Dan Erikson

Mark,

  Just about go time!!  We leave Wed after work for our camper at Arkdale WI. Thursday morning we'll be stopping at Superior for Breakfast and on to Voyagaire by 2-3pm.  Looks like Friday-Saturday will be nice with 70% chance rain and possible thunder on Sunday. Cloudy but less chance of rain after that.  Time will tell!  We're on the water Fri to Fri.  Planning on moving the HB into Grassy or Browns by mid week so we'll honk the horn on our way by if you guy's are still out.  My fishing boat is a 19.5 ft Spectrum in Dark Blue.  Any luck with Cell service up there?  If not I'll try posting our results after we get back to civilization!!

Thanks for sharing info Mark!  Have a safe trip!

  Dan

 

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Dan,

 

we head up on Thursday night be on the water Friday through Tuesday. We eat at perkins in Superior..We will have two boats at Grassy site site s23. As for weather it is what it is..it changes daily. Cell service the only luck I have heard is AT&T. We have verizon, US cellular...lose that around Orr, Enjoy Dan and good Luck...if you honk we will be watching. Some nice house boat sites in grassy an browns. Take care and luck to you and your crew. That will be us at s23

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DSC00651.JPG

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TheAngler

Mark,

  Just about go time!!  We leave Wed after work for our camper at Arkdale WI. Thursday morning we'll be stopping at Superior for Breakfast and on to Voyagaire by 2-3pm.  Looks like Friday-Saturday will be nice with 70% chance rain and possible thunder on Sunday. Cloudy but less chance of rain after that.  Time will tell!  We're on the water Fri to Fri.  Planning on moving the HB into Grassy or Browns by mid week so we'll honk the horn on our way by if you guy's are still out.  My fishing boat is a 19.5 ft Spectrum in Dark Blue.  Any luck with Cell service up there?  If not I'll try posting our results after we get back to civilization!!

Thanks for sharing info Mark!  Have a safe trip!

  Dan

 

​Hey Dan, Buddy and I headed up Thursday-Sunday camping at McManus Island West (N18).  We'll be in a Red Lund Fisherman 1750.  In the past I have had good luck with ATT service but not sure about this area.  Interesting deal that they set up a permit reservation system this year.  Nice in that you are guaranteed a site, but I will kind of miss freedom of moving around sites unrestricted.  What do you think?

Good luck with the fishing.  we are going to try and get after some big northerns, and of course walleye.  My friend is an avid fly fisherman and is going to try using some streamers.  Dress warm and tight lines.

Steve

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Dan Erikson

6 More hrs of work and then our adventure begins!!  We'll be right in your area on Friday Steve!  We'll keep a weather eye out for you!  Hoping to bump into Mark as well.  Weather is looking very bareable so this should be an awesome trip.  We're doing the houseboat deal so the res system won't effect us so much.  We can pull up on any sandy beach and park if need be.  The res system looks good on paper but enforcement if some choose to not play be the rules looks a little scetchy?  Time will tell.

 

  Good fishing!

 

   See you out there!!!

 

  Dan

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  • 2 weeks later...

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 all week. Fishing was fine...nothing big but ate fish every day. Water temps were low 50's to mid 50's nothing higher even in shallow bays. Water was low and we could not even get back to Staege. How did you do ?

Mark

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Dan Erikson

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 the evening the storm hit parked in an awesome little cove on the west side of Blind Pig Island.  Lost 6' of beach front over night!!  Shocked it came up that far in such a short time.  We did OK on Northerns in just about any shallow bay no matter what lake we were on.  Had meals whenever we wanted. The Walleye remained pretty tough to get consistantly. Biggest eye was 22.5 and biggest northern was 21.  Northerns averaged 18-20 on crank baits.

The first day we cruised up to Namakan and stayed at Deep Slough HB site.  Posted a couple youtube clips from their. Jumped in the boats and headed to Junction Bay.  Water seemed to low to move the HB up across from the waterfall so we just stayed a few hrs and fished.  Think we saw Steve and his red boat!  Gave him a honk but my horns kinda whimpy. Spent 2 days here and moved on Sunday to Blind Pig. We were hoping to move to Depthfinder View HB site but as luck would have it another HB slid in the evening before we were gonna move. We were trolling around the nearby islands and found the undesignated site on Blind Pig.  Awesome site this time of year but with a nearby marsh I bet its empty most of the summer. To many blood suckers in the air I'll bet.  We had no bug problems.  We did however have a snow day!!  Had 3 brave fishermen try to tackle the weather for an hour and a half LOL!!!    They joined the rest of us for beverages and a routy afternoon of liars dice. This day the HB was worth every penny!!!  I'll post more later.  More you tube clips to come as well.   PS I snuck back to Staege Bay with the trolling motor.

Should have a clip of that posted soon too.

 

Dan

 

 

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Northlander

Anyone going to be on Kab June 7-14th? We will be up there staying at Voyageur Park Lodge. Black lund explorer with twin yamahas.

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Genofish

My son and I will be up there June 8-12, staying at site K16 Lost Bay.  White Lund 

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mbartelt86

A group of 5 of us buddies will be up there 6/7-6/14.  Putting in at CLRS and staying at S13, right by the Namakan Narrows. Black Alumacraft and red Lund. First time at VNP for all of us!  I went through the reports over the years for June timeframe trying to get an idea of what depth to start at but came to the realization the walleyes could be anywhere.  Any reports on recent success and what depth you found them would be great.  I've never fished walleyes as deep as some people are saying they've found them, but I'm ready to try it! 

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

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