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2020 Crane Lake - Lake Kabetogama-Namakan Lake Fishing Reports

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We fished kab thursday and yesterday and it was slow on thursday but we did allright yesterday. I decided to go camp down in namakan friday night since the weather was pretty nice. Fishing is pretty good down that way. Lots of small ones but we had action pretty much all day long and 2 of us caught a good 50 plus fish saturday. Tough to get a camping spot on a friday afternoon out there though.

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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

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

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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crazyeyes...thought about hitting namakan, but wanted to find an island campsite, so stuck with kab for our first trip there. for sure would like to try namakan next time. especially since it is still on the MN lakemaster chip (I believe), whereas Crane and such prob on the Rainy/LOTW chip?

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We got lucky friday. Every campsite on western Namakan was full but some campers were just leaving Pat Smith Isalnd. Farther than I wanted to camp but I was planing on fishing around there anyway .Dont quote me on this but I think that older lakemaster chip has LOTW, Rainy, Kab, and Namakan on it. I think that My cousin has that on his lowrance. Its not the 1ft interval though. I have been thinking about getting a new unit because my older garmin is not campatibale with some of the newer chips but I never bought the old one either. I really have no need for gps on kab or namakan and have'nt felt like buying a new one for the couple times a year I go to rainy or elsewhere. Mine still does everything that I need it to do as far as marking spots but you got to love new tech. Of course the old tech like Grandpa worked pretty well too.

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  • 4 weeks later...

Fished Friday. We caught fish in the short time we sat in the wind but we were the only ones that I could see sitting out on the worst place to get blown around. We caught them on plain rigs with minnows and they seemend to be in about 23 to 28 ft where we were. As of friday the lake had not turned over and the water was still 60 during the day but if it gets cold this week and windy again I think it will turn. Saw a lot of birds hunting saturday and sunday. Numbers are supposed to be down but I saw more than opening weekend last year.

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Was out on Thursday last week and it was pretty slow. 70+ degrees no wind. Caught one 22" walleye, a small sauger and a smallie out by Martin Island. Didnt mark much but what I did mark was in 25' of water.

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We were out Wed, thurs, and saturday. We only fished Kab and never got out before 3pm any of the days because we hunted in the morning until it got too warm to walk and didnt bother to drive out to namakan either. We got fish here and there but never really found good numbers. There were lots of birds around to keep us busy and we went to rainy river on friday which was lots of fun though and fishing was pretty hot up there. I couldnt have asked for nicer week of October weather to be up there though.

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Fished Friday-Sunday of last week. It started off extremely slow with only a few fish in the 25-30 fow range. We finally found them in a few spots (steep island drop-off points) in 35-40 fow on Sat. evening. Much deeper than I usually fish at any point of the year. We were catching them on rigs and 3/8 oz jigs with minnows. Sunday am was good as well, caught one of my bigger kab eyes at over 26". Great weather and scenery....a perfect weekend despite slower fishing.

Saw guys fishing off Martins in what must have been well over 40FOW and they caught a few.

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Went out Saturday and fished on Kab near south shore in 28-32Fow from 10am - 5pm. Overall slow with some action mixed in. Several very light biters throughout the day which I discovered were tulibees after I managed to somehow hook a few of them (forgot my smoker so I let them go). Lost a few on the way up that put up a good fight, who knows what they were. Managed a real nice 11"+ perch and a 19" eye. Many lookers on the sonar, but not many interested. Used rattle spoons w/ minnow heads. I didn't think color mattered as I switched between gold and red glow all day, then I finally switched to charetruse glow and got my walleye within 60 seconds (so who knows?). After that the sunset bite yielded nothing. Weather was windy, cold, and somewhat misearable. Still great to be fishing though!

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nptrojan or whoever else might want to chime in...

How is it getting around on Kab?

If I wanted to use a 4 wheeler is that possible? I know a snowmobile would be ideal, but is the snow super deep on the lake itself? or pretty blown down and solid?


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I used a snowmobile. After finding a way last year to get my 4wd truck stuck in very little snow on Kab, I am hesitant to use anything with wheels.

When Kab access was a problem I used to just walk out on the mouth of the Ash River near the boat landing and do ok for walleyes, northerns, and the occasional crappie.

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The snow is deep and lots of slush. The wheelers I have seen ended up stuck.


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Fished last Saturday and Sunday. Ice conditions were great for snowmobile travel, albeit not much snow on the frozen slush. I tried to fish the steep reef edges that I usually try and had only marginal success. After trying shallower and finding nothing I went significantly deeper and found some fish. They seemed to be off the couple of reefs I tried in the nearby flat areas. Typical depth was 32fow. Not non-stop action but a lot of fun both days. Mixed bag of fish with 5 species caught both days. Not much for size but perfect eaters (save for the tulibee and small northerns. Very aggresive biters both days, maybe one or two little nibblers total. Reef location didn't seem to matter as I tried 4 and did approximately the same on each. Wish I could do again this weekend but good luck to those that venture out.

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We had a large group (9 guys) fishing from the 21st to the 26th. We camped near Junction bay and fished predominantly there. The group had pretty poor luck, water temps were as low as 50 at the beginning in Junction bay and up to 60 in Lost bay at the end of the week.

We tried trolling cranks, Jigging in open water over suspended fish (usually marked in 27 to 40 feet of water), slip bobbers in the water falls in junction bay. Casting jigs on rock walls. Casting shallow bays.

Trolling gave us the best action but mainly hammer handles. We caught a few smallies and nice Northerns on the rock walls. Walleyes were only present the last two days on Namakan.

Talking to a baitshop guy he said Namakan is pretty poor early season. It was our first time. We heard reports that it was slow, but people still caught them shallow or super deep.

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Mike Maas

June 12, 2011

Fishing has been great on Crane and up into Namakan. The walleyes are still in 8 to 10 feet, as well as the crappies. We've been catching nice ones off the back of the houseboat while moored in a side bay back in Brown's Bay. We've also caught both while fishing saddles between points and islands.

Lots of annoying small northern pike all over the place as well.

Weather has been unseasonable cold and wet, but has improved a lot this past week.


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Was on Kab from 6/8-6/13. Worst fishing I have ever had on the lake. Buddy did catch a 19" & 25" eye. We also caught 2 smallies, 2 sauger & a few snake NP. That was it for the 4 days of hard fishing.

On the plus side we got the campsite we were hoping to get and the weather was great. We are calling it our camping trip not fishing trip.

Bottom line is go to Leech for fish and Kab to camp I think.

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Huh, my grandpa just got back and said the fishing for them was kind of slow as well, but they did get enough for a fish fry. My group went up over the first week of june and had one of the best years yet. kept 30 over the week with 2 large perch as well. Tossed back just as many if not more than what we kept. We did the best jigging on underwater points in about 15-25 fow, also caught a few trolling raps in 12-13 fow. All on Kab. The key was slow as possible. We ran 2 drift socks most of the time. If you werent verticle it was tough. The keepers were mixed in with the larger ones on one spot we found.

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Just got back from a short trip (3 days) to a friends cabin on Sand Point Lake. All of the traditional "good" spots did not produce any fish for us. I did manage to get a 20 1/4" walleye just going by a random point in less than 10 ft of water. We also caught three other smaller walleyes. We were couldn't believe that all of the fish were caught in less than 10 ft. We did manage to have very nice weather.

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I fished Kab on thursday and had a great day! I caught 25 walleyes that ranged in size from 12" to 24". I was fishing 18' to 24' using lindy rig with a 3' snell. I used both leeches and crawlers. The key was to go slow. It was windy and boat control was difficult. I used my bowmount and trolled into the wind at around .05 mph. I tried drifting, but because of the wind I was going to fast.

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Fished Kab the week of June 18-the moring of the 23rd. Had a cold front all week, 20-30 mph winds many times. Was a little tough. We caught enough keepers to have a few meals and few too big. The bite was slow, boat control was tough at times. We stayed at North Star resort so fished the West end.

Nothing was spectacular but we had best success with fishing #3 indiana gold spinners with a leech, plane red hook and red glow bead with a leech or shiner trolling speeds less than 1 mph in 20-25'. Occasionally picked one up shallower in 17'. As the week continued less was more and stopped pulling spinners altogether.

In the evenings we caught some in 8-12' in the bays with emergent weeds fan casting 1/8 or 1/6 oz. jigs red or gold tipped with a leech, 1/2 crawler, shiner---each day they preferred a different bait it seemed. Very picky. Trolling shallows did not work had to ahchor and fan cast. Seemd to come in waves. Catch a couple then nothing for awhile then all of a sudden a few more. Tried moving around but had best luck just picking a spot for the night and lettign them come in and out.

Good luck, with the weather warming or more consistent weather they have to put on the feed bag soon. I think if we could have stayed a few more days we would have gotten into them better. We still caught some fish every day just not spectacular like we are used too.


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Any recent updates? and does anybody have a legitimate or favorite guide they could recommend for Kab/Nam late August?

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we had tough fishing last weekend. fish we found were in 26'-30' on reefs. didn't have trouble marking fish, had a hard time getting them to bite though. kab has been tough for me this year

I hired Tim Watson a couple of years ago and he was awesome. Fishing was great and the stories of kab were great. he might be booked, other one I see on the water a lot is Travis Carlson out of harmony beach

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Dock Boy

Tim Watson 218-875-2075 or Frank House 218-875-3051 two of the best guides on the lake and have been guiding for longer then anyone on the lake. If they are both booked try Wade Watson Tim's nephew. All have guided many trips out of our resort and never a complaint. We will see Tim next week as he has a trip here at VPL.

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let it snow

Kabetogama Guides (very active ones, anyway) listed alphabetically...

Chuck Carlson - 218-875-2025 Travis Carlson - 218-875-2811

Don Granger - 218-875-3062 Frank House - 218-875-3051

Bob Nevalainen- 218-875-3961 Tim Snyder - 218-875-3831

Tim Watson - 218 -875-2075 Wade Watson - GoFishKab.com

BTW....Dock Boy is at Voyageur Park Lodge

Hope this helps!!

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Any recent updates? and does anybody have a legitimate or favorite guide they could recommend for Kab/Nam late August?

If it wasn't for your rediculous Twins comments, id save you a couple hundred bucks and put you on the fish.

I'll be up off and on for my couple vacation weeks in mid august. I'll look for a guide baiting hooks/taking your fish off for you and I'll wave.

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

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