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Crane Lake Kabetogama-Namakan Fishing Reports

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Satchmo

Kab is entirely ice free, and I know Namakan is open all the way to Kettle Falls from Kab.

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imhatz

thanks Rick

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Rick

To say the 2018 fishing season started with a bang would be an understatement.

With just about everyone catching limits of fish it could be one of the best openers in years.  Most years the start of the season on Kab can be a head scratcher, but not this one.  Fish were being found in most depths and were hungry to say the least.

Dock and shoreline anglers seemed to fair best with the bigger fish and those in a little deeper water were finding more of the eater variety.  If you could find shiners at your local bait shop, you got lucky as very few had them.  Even though shiners were producing more fish, all minnow types did well.  Jig fishing was by far your best option.  Tip your favorite jig with any minnow you could find and it was game on!  All techniques were working whether you were jigging under a bobber, over the side of the boat or pitching the shorelines.  Early and late in the day were peak times to be on the water but there was a consistent bite throughout the day which made for a few sunburned faces and tired anglers.  

Northern pike were a nuisance as usual, but it was the size that made the difference.  Last years pesky 20 inchers are now that perfect 23-26 inch eater size and no one is complaining losing a few minnows to them.

Throw in the almost perfect weather and we had a banner start to which could be shaping up to be one of the best years we have seen on Kab!  The only negative aspect to the great weather is we are extremely dry so bonfires need to be kept in check.  Check with local authorities before having a fire as we were in a critical fire warning designated area yesterday.

With the late ice out waterfowl including hundreds of loons, are still migrating through which is making for some great bird watching while catching fish or enjoying a boat ride.  A few pelicans have made an appearance but it is obvious they are behind schedule as well.

Let's hope the fishing continues to be as hot as the the weather forecast!  Be safe out there, it's a long season and we are all just getting our boats in the water for the first time.  It may take a few boat rides to get our sea legs under us again!

On a final note make sure to pop your head into Gateway General as we have a new look and a lot more to offer.  Made to order subs have been a big hit as well as our hand scooped ice cream and new F'real ice cream machine that can make you a smoothie, milkshake or iced coffee!  We also have expanded our tackle, groceries, hardware and gift selection.  We have also have begun to add some award winning wildlife mounts done by Bob Christensen with more on the way.  It's your one stop place on the way to the cabin or before you go out on the lake!

Hope to see you soon!

Jason and Robyn
Gateway General

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Satchmo

The action has been very good almost everywhere on Kab. One group of four guys caught over 30 walleyes off the dock last night, including a 26 1/4" dandy.

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Rick

@Satchmo are the shiners up shallow? Thanks for the report.

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Satchmo
9 minutes ago, Rick said:

@Satchmo are the shiners up shallow? Thanks for the report.

Not that I've heard yet, but they should move up into Tom Cod Bay soon. Sounds like everyone is doing well, no matter what minnows they are using. I won't get up there until Memorial weekend, but several of my buddies have been doing very well at various depths. The shallows are yielding most of the bigger fish. Dock fishing has been superb all along the south shore.

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Spss

Has anybody heard how the fishing has been on echo by crane?

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Getanet

Well, spent Thursday and Friday on Kab for my first time ever. It's a beautiful lake, the weather on the other hand could have been better for camping. It poured both nights, and during the day it seemed like it was either windy, rainy, or both. Unfortunately we didn't have much luck and didn't boat a walleye. We fished around Bittersweet Island and that general part of the lake, and fished at varying times, depths and presentations. About the only thing we didn't try was fishing around sunrise.

Talked to a grizzled vet of the lake at the landing on Saturday. He said sometimes the strange weather patterns turn the fish off up there. I'm going to go with that excuse - we had a great time but was certainly disheartening after hearing how great the fishing was on Opener to have such poor luck.  

Will definitely be up there again though. Beautiful area.

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Uncle Boney

Sorry you got shut out.  Any two days any time of year can find that happening to anyone.  Sounds like you need to come back for a week one day.

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Getanet
21 hours ago, Uncle Boney said:

Sorry you got shut out.  Any two days any time of year can find that happening to anyone.  Sounds like you need to come back for a week one day.

I spoke to a buddy who was at Sag over the weekend, and my dad who was fishing a lake a bit north of Leech - none of them had much luck on walleye. I'm chalking it up to a walleye blackout across the northern part of the state. I just need an excuse for the rest of the trips I take!

We're talking about coming up again in the fall. I definitely would like to come back for a longer trip, there is so much more of the lake to explore

 

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Sushilicious

 So dad, my bro, n I started fishing at 4pm last Sunday (crane). We caught 21 eyes, 4 sauger, n a 10in. Perch. We were fortunate enough that 12 eyes, 2 saugers n the perch were keepers. We also had the pleasure of throwing back two 18", a 22" and a 24" eye. We ended up fishing  for 5 hours. There were 2 thing we noticed that affected r fishing. (A) the lack of water ment lack of current which is fundamental the first 3 weeks of opener. (B) we seen 14+ eyes surface as well as 6-7 mayflies in the boat.

Getanet I hate 2 state the obvious but from my quick look at kab u weren't even close to a spot I would think would be good this time of year. The best 4 types of spots the first 3 weeks of eyes opener in vnp r current, current, current, n sand. I've never fished kab this time of year but I know Sullivan bay/ash river is the best spot.

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Sushilicious

 

Screenshot_20180524-233931_Gallery.jpg

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Sushilicious

Screenshot_20180524-225439_Gallery.thumb.jpg.f47a06884f76f02edef591f11904e4e4.jpg

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imhatz

Was at Sand Point 5/17-5/23...did ok only..5 eyes, pike and smallies. The water temp rose so fast it turned off fish. We did better on Friday and Sat...then water warmed and slowed. Most on rapalas...no live bait.. That was a mistake may have done better. Hey slush you in a hot spot...or normal area on Crane. We tried NW bay and only Pike

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Getanet
7 hours ago, Sushilicious said:

 So dad, my bro, n I started fishing at 4pm last Sunday (crane). We caught 21 eyes, 4 sauger, n a 10in. Perch. We were fortunate enough that 12 eyes, 2 saugers n the perch were keepers. We also had the pleasure of throwing back two 18", a 22" and a 24" eye. We ended up fishing  for 5 hours. There were 2 thing we noticed that affected r fishing. (A) the lack of water ment lack of current which is fundamental the first 3 weeks of opener. (B) we seen 14+ eyes surface as well as 6-7 mayflies in the boat.

Getanet I hate 2 state the obvious but from my quick look at kab u weren't even close to a spot I would think would be good this time of year. The best 4 types of spots the first 3 weeks of eyes opener in vnp r current, current, current, n sand. I've never fished kab this time of year but I know Sullivan bay/ash river is the best spot.

Where the heck was this advice a month ago when I was booking our trip!  I knew nothing about Kabotegama and really only had a few choices of campsites available for the dates we wanted to go. Wood Duck Island looked as good as any. After I made the reservation I had read that the west end of the lake had better fishing earlier in the year since it was shallower than the east and the water warmed up quicker. Goes to show you can't trust everything you read on the internet.

Even though we got skunked on walleye it was still one of our favorite trips. My buddy and I typically stay at a resort or one of our family's cabins. Camping got us outside doing stuff a lot more. If we had a roof over our head and a TV we would have spent a lot less time fishing when the weather stunk.

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Satchmo

Getanet,

Most folks the first week or so did very well on the west end this year. It is a huge area with a lot of structure options. There are weed beds, sand flats, rubble shorelines, and creek inlets, just to name a few.The 5-15ft depths brought a lot of fish too big to keep. The keepers were in the 15-25ft range.  Evening movements can bring all sizes of fish shallow. This year, minnows were definitely the bait of choice. It's all about location, location, location. In general the best approach is to run and gun. Stay no more than 10-15 minutes in a spot, and then move to then next.  If the fish are there, they  are generally active. Stick with, and sooner or later, you'll get rewarded.  VNP really is an amazing place.

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Getanet

It sure is.  I know you can camp on Kabetogama, Rainy, Namakan and Sandpoint through the National Park Service. For someone who's never been (or only once) do you guys recommend one lake over the others?  Sort of the "if you can only visit one lake, make sure its ______"

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Fully Kraeusened
7 hours ago, Getanet said:

It sure is.  I know you can camp on Kabetogama, Rainy, Namakan and Sandpoint through the National Park Service. For someone who's never been (or only once) do you guys recommend one lake over the others?  Sort of the "if you can only visit one lake, make sure its ______"

My choice would be Namakan, but honestly that’s mostly based on emotion. It’s where my dad and I fished the most while up there. I also think it’s prettier than Kab.  I’ve never been on Sand Point or Crane. Just my two cents. I’ll be up there one week from today. Staying on the Ash River if anyone would care to enjoy a cold one first round is on my buddy. ?

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Sushilicious

Imhatz we didn't really find a "hot spot" we fished 5 spots n caught fish in 4/5. The 5 spots we fished were located in 2 of the 3 major area's that have current.

Well there u go getanet it sounds like satchmo gave you some sound advice. As far as your question I don't think there is a wrong answer, they're all great options.

 

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imhatz

thanks...got it. gorge and narrows are there others

 

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Rick

Kab/Ash Fishing Report  5/28/18

The 2018 Memorial weekend will be one to remember.  While most Memorial Weekends have a tendency to be unpredictable, 2018 will be remembered as one with almost perfect weather, good fishing and lots of smiles!

With temperatures consistently in the mid 80’s, lots of sun and no wind, you couldn’t ask for a better stretch of weather.  While most years we are putting layers of clothing on to stay warm, this year it was shorts and t-shirts and lots of sunscreen.  There were even tubers and water skiers on the lake enjoying the cool water.   Along with unseasonably warm weather, fishing has been good, but most are having to work a little harder to find fish as they are scattered at all depths.  The transition to summer happened fast so jigs as well as lindys are producing right now.  Minnows are still the preferred bait but as water temps have risen into the 60’s, leeches and crawlers are also a good bet.  See what works and go with it.

Let’s see what a few of the local guides have to say followed by Crabby Phil’s tip of the week courtesy of Gateway General.

Tim Watson - With the hot weather and no wind fishing has been mainly in deeper water.  22-28 feet and still on sandy bottoms has been the best.  Surface temps are mid to upper 60’s, so don’t forget leeches and crawlers as well as minnows.  Working shorelines with jerk baits has been good for bass and northern pike.

Trent Snyder - This week the walleye bite started off slow as the weather was hot sunny and no wind. We were still catching fish in the 32 to 40-foot range however as of the last few days the bite seems to have picked up. The range has been all over the board from 6 to 10 ft in the late evening to 22 to 30 during morning and afternoon. I'm using bright color jigs, white, pink, yellows exc. the keeper fish seem to be in the 22 ft. range and deeper as a lot of bigger fish are shallow. Remember to fish the wind and a slow presentation is a good way to fish them.

Dominic Ruis - This last week found fishing to be very tough Monday through Thursday with the warm temps, sun and no wind pushing fish deep and inactive during post spawn. As we had some fronts move through, accompanied by rain, this turned fishing back on. Fish started to bite in shallower again, 10-15 ft, as the bug hatches have just started. You will also find active fish in the 20-30ft range off island points. Jig and  minnow has still been good. As the bite picks up in shallow Lindy crawler rigs and spinner crawler rigs will start to produce!

Crabby Phil’s Tip of the Week!

While we are amidst a transition period, meaning fish, all species are scattered at various depths. I suggest you be prepared to start thinking slip sinker rigs using leeches and or crawlers. Surface water temps nearing 70. Traverse depths ranging from 12' to 25' till you find their hangout. Jig and minnow still a good choice but may not be the best offering. Very productive fishing at shallow to mid-depths on the West end.

 

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