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2020 Crane Lake - Lake Kabetogama-Namakan Lake Fishing Reports


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  • SledNeck

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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 didnt think the fishing was that good this time of year on kab...I only went here cause it was too windy to fish Rainy"

Glad you had a good time and that you figured out that you don't have to go all the way to Rainy to catch some nice eyes. Keep up the good work Sled!!!

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"I didnt think the fishing was that good this time of year on kab...I only went here cause it was too windy to fish Rainy"

Glad you had a good time and that you figured out that you don't have to go all the way to Rainy to catch some nice eyes. Keep up the good work Sled!!!

To be fair. I havent found a lake yet that is on the same level as Rainy as far as numbers of quality fish. YES folks, it is that good.

I will say that I love Kab. The woodenfrog boat landing always has spots to park. Short boat ride to my first fishing spots. It can get rough, but I have not seen a day where you cant get out of the wind a little to still be able to fish. Boat traffic is very mild. Lots of wildlife (seen a huge 12 point on an island sunday). I CANT BELIEVE I WASTED SO MUCH TIME FISHING FOR BASS AND PIKE in the past, ON THIS LAKE!

The bad part is the road into wooden frog is in need of repair.

Fish are pretty chunky in Kab. Id rather fish there anyday over Vermilion. Atleast at Kab you have a realitic possibility of catching bigger walleyes.

I ended up with 200 miles on the truck after the crane lake debacle!

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walleyematt

hey do you think u could help me out on spots im going up in the morning for the week

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If your going for a week you'll have plenty of time to find a bunch of spots.

Motor around islands and reefs until you mark fish. Basic walleye know how seems to work out on Kab. Typical walleye spots and presentation. I fished the nw part of the lake. Any further info might require a a substantial paypal donation! Good luck.

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Saturday was unfishable, but I managed a 5 lber and couple other ones in less than 2 hours of fishing.

Sunday I fished it 2 pm-8 pm and it was slower than usual, but we still caught quite a bit of fish and a few big ones. Got checked by game warden for the second week in a row. Saw another boat near us "who were catching fish too" get checked and the warden was there for about 10 minutes then when he left that other boat left right away...makes you wonder!

The fish were hitting leeches 4-1 over crawlers, which is the total opposite from the week before. Water surface temp was 69.

I did catch my 5lber on a HUGE crawler, though.

Had a bouy out on a reef not near where anyone was fishing and a boat comes from another spot trolling by at 4mph with 4 people using jigs and minnows (got love that!). They trolled 4 feet from my buoy like 4 different passes. I never saw them catch any fish the whole time either (big suprise)... I know a buoy doesnt declare ownership of a spot, but Kab is big and empty enough that you dont have to fish other peoples buoys, nevermind that they could have caught it and had a big mess.

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bassislife

A little tip. Don't use a bouy if you have a GPS. If you don't have a GPS, paint your bouy green or brown, hard for anyone but yourself able to spot it.

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echotrail

Last Wednesday three of us were fishing a reef on Namakan and doing pretty well. Around 2:50 p.m. one of the local guides came up behind us with two customers (A young couple) and backtrolled to within about 20 feet of us pushing us off that spot and held his boat there. We couldn't go back over it without hitting his boat.

He was killing the last 45 minutes of the day and left at 3:40 p.m. after they caught a few small fish. Later, we saw him on the Ash River after he dropped off his customers. An area resort employee identified him to us as he went back towards Sullivan Bay.

What low class act this guy is. I called the resort he dropped his customers at and asked they don't recommend him (If they did in the first place). I hope he reads the thread and and realizes it was him. No professional ethics at all.

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fished sat and sunday

Started out sat at 11am pulled up to the first spot and caught 5 or 6 fish 20"+ or bigger in the first 15 minutes. Then after that the fish shut completely OFF in that spot.

Moved to a few other spots and caught fish that were too big...didnt catch a keeper or smaller until about 6pm that night!

All in all the saturday was pretty stellar for size and amount of fish, but we didnt get as many keepers as we hoped, but got more than enough for dinner.Crawlers and leeches worked the same until the evening and then it was leeches.

Sunday fishing started out slow. Then since it was windy, we moved to some windswept small rock islands. We'd troll into the wind and drift back...we hammered the keeper walleyes that way. LOTS of fish caught in that area...and we were able to fill up the livewell...we pretty much fished there the rest of the day, slightly adjusting and seeing were they were moving around to. WE caught them 14-30 feet. Crawlers and leeches worked in the morning then it was almost an exclusive leech bite after 5pm.

ks1-1.jpg

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Absolutely stellar day of fishing on saturday. Got there at 10:30, and fishing was slow till 5pm, by then biggest we had was a 23" and only had one keeper....THEN the 30 mph winds and rain hit...

we had to park on an island for 30 minutes and wait it out...

almost considered going home disappointed. Then the wind died down to about 10 mph and we fished a place that we didnt try all day. Marked PILES of fish on the windy side of an island in 19-22 feet. Trolled back and forth and we HAMMERED em, limited out (2 guys 1 kid) from 6:30-8. The best action Ive had all year on Kab for numbers. FULL ON LEECH BITE! Wind was back up to 15 mph steady whee we were catching em. Caught another one about 23" jerking the sinker off the bottom.

All caught on lindy rigs with RED HOOK, RED BEAD and LEECH.

3/4 oz sinker 36" leader.

kj2.jpg

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  • 2 weeks later...
fishuhalik

Geez sled, I'm starting to see why you're starting to give up on bass and pike. Sounds like you're having a heck of a year up there!

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fishuhalik

Hey Sled, you interested in joining up on Kab on Saturday, Labor Day weekend? I'm thinking of heading out to the bass lake you were telling me about for the morning and then heading up to Kab for the rest of the day, depending on the eye bite. If it's slow on Kab we'd probably just go back to the lake you were telling me about for an evening bass bite.

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I just got home Wed after being up there since July 23rd. The cool weathere has kept fishing pretty good all summer and Up until the water hit 70 degrees you never needed to leave the west side of the lake. I think the best fishing has been on some of the east side spots the last 2 weeks or so though. Leeches have been best all summer and I have done fairly well on crawlers as well but this week I bought some minnows for the first time since June after noticing that they spit them up all over the livewell a couple nights in a row. Most of the time leaders have been best and sometimes a plain hook is the ticket and other times they really hammer a spinner. I have tried jigs but never done all that well on them. As far as depth it seems to really vairy depending on the weather or what time of day because i have caught them anywhere from 10 to 35 ft and the windier the better.

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I just got home Wed after being up there since July 23rd. The cool weathere has kept fishing pretty good all summer and Up until the water hit 70 degrees you never needed to leave the west side of the lake. I think the best fishing has been on some of the east side spots the last 2 weeks or so though. Leeches have been best all summer and I have done fairly well on crawlers as well but this week I bought some minnows for the first time since June after noticing that they spit them up all over the livewell a couple nights in a row. Most of the time leaders have been best and sometimes a plain hook is the ticket and other times they really hammer a spinner. I have tried jigs but never done all that well on them. As far as depth it seems to really vairy depending on the weather or what time of day because i have caught them anywhere from 10 to 35 ft and the windier the better.

YES on the leeches. Ill be hitting it for 2 days. Sunday looks crappy cause of lack of wind, but who knows. I am bringing minnows with. It definatley does vary day to day. I find myself switching back and forth from spinners to red bead. Longer leaders seem to be working well as the fish are sometimes 4 feet off the bottom. My kid even had a walleye hit on the surface when reeling it in. I try to move around and find new spots when its slower, so theres always a bright side to little action.Ive found some stellar spots that way.

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I've used leaders that are almost 6 ft and red hooks seem to do better for some reason. I also keep moving around but the best spots for keepers seem to be in about 28 to 32 ft where it breaks off to the flats. The one thing about the leeches is you don't get too many saugers. Last week when I swiched to minnows I started getting quite a few saugers again, one was almost 18".

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okay

fished sun-mon

Sun was wayyyy to calm. Didnt do as well as I thought I would. found a bunch of new spots, though.

Sunday the fishing was VERY good because of the south wind.

chartreuse spinners w/ 4 foot leaders

and

round chartreuse floaters on a 5 foot leader w/ red hook

MINNOWS ONLY!

COULDNT EVEN GET A BITE ON LEECHES.

Lots of fish caught were 20"+ inches. Managed to bring home a pile of keepers though.

kf4.jpg

kf6.jpg

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Nice pics, wish I was still there but I have my cabin rented out this weekend and I'm heading west dove hunting. I new they were switching to minnows last week! Phil at the gateway shook his head at me when I told him to get me a dozen fatheads. That and south or east wind is ALWAYS the best fishing on kab.

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slower day than usual on sunday, water was almost 70F in the evening...

we still caught alot of fish but had more get off than usual.

5 foot leaders w/ floater and minnow.

ks4-1.jpg

ks2-2.jpg

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Had a real good day on Saturday. Took a while to find 'em, but when we did we hammered 'em. Quite a few eaters in the slot, and a decent amount over the slot. Ended up with about 40, kept 3 limits, all on the south shore of what I think is Sugarbush Island. Also had one big pike come unbuttoned halfway up to the boat.

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I just talked to the family that I had my cabin rented out to for the weekend. They fished Saturday through Tuesday and did fairly well for their first time fishing up there. They figure that they got about 75 fish in 3 days which was pretty good seeing thay did not fish solid the whole time and said Saturday night was the best. They said that minnows and rigs were the way to go and they found fish in about 30 ft on a couple of spots that i marked on the map for them and their son who is 14 got one that was 29 1/4" which is bigger than any fish my boat got all summer. I can't wait to get back up. I debated heading back tonight after Lee from the rocky ledge called me and told me to get my rear back up but I'm waiting until next week so I can bird hunt. GROUSE BEWARE!

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Arrived Thurs evening to find the park very quite. Had our choice of camp sites. Fished most of Fri, Sat, Sun and a little Monday morn. By far the best fishing our group has had in 4-5 yrs. Fish were all over the lake. Caught all fish on jigs or lindy's from 19-40 ft. Lots of eaters which seemed to hang together. Majority of fish were fat 20-23" crazy fighters and a handful of 24-27.5". These fish are redicoulsly fat. I bet the 27.5 was pulling 8.5-9 lbs. What a great weekend. Minnows out produced leeches big time. What a great area! Will be back soon.

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  • 4 weeks later...

I finally closed the cabin up last thursday and came home for the winter. Aside from the last week it was the warmest september weather I can remember with highs in the 70s everyday. The fishing was real good all summer and i would have to say the last couple weeks it was as good as it has been all year. The fish have been back to minnows and seem to be a little shallower as soon as the cold weather moved in. In the middle of september the water temps were as high as 77 and last thursday when i pulled the boat finally the water in the main lake was 61. when it was hot I caught them in 30 to 38 ft but this last week it was 22 to 29 depending on the time of day. I've been doing a quite a bit of grouse hunting since the season opened and its been fair but a bit spotty. some of the areas right around kab and north near the falls and ray i have not seen that many birds but saw pretty good numbers south near orr and ash lake. All together I think I ended up with 31 birds in 13 days but with the heat opening weak and the dry weather you really needed to get off the trails and near the swamp and creek edges during the day. hope to see you all up there next summer.

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  • 3 months later...

Heading up in March for some late season fishing. Plan on hitting Grassy for some crappies but was wondering if I should try for some walleyes or northern while I am there. I would like to try a different spot then Grassy but don't know the lake well enough. Is there any spots I need to watch out for? Would it be safe to go over by the Namakan Narrows and fish around the islands at all? I got a GPS and lakemaster chip so I shouldn't get too lost. The season is still open upthere at that time correct. Sorry for so many questions don't want to end up in a bad spot of the lake if there is one.

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magnum mike

Grassy has been pretty slow for the last few years. There is some decent walleye fishing in Namakan but I fish the Kab end of Namakan. I would avoid the narrows at that time of year.

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

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