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guideman

Board gettin boring? ask some questions about open water fishing.

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guideman

I know it's still winter but I am really sick of winter and ice and staring down a 10 inch hole.

How about some open water stuff to get things going here.

Walleyes, Muskies, smallmouth and Pike. I'm old, I have a lot of acumulated knowledge to share with you. just don't ask me how the ice is or whats the best way to catch panfish in the winter time?? I hate that stuff, winter sucks. smile

Lets think about warm water and crusing down the lake with the motor wide open and chicks in halter tops waving to me on their pontoon boats. Im getting a little stir crazy so please help me out here, lets stop talking about ice fishing they have a whole seperate board for that stuff. smile

You don't want me to go postal on ya, do ya??

"Ace"

Ace guide service.

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delcecchi

Sure, here goes. What's up with Northern Pike the last few years? I fish the west end, and have for years.

I used to catch some decent northerns in the weeds earlier in the summer and on rocks later in the year. The last few years have not been good, with only an occasional hammerhandle.

I blame it on the musky fishers flogging my spots but I don't really know if that is it. Good excuse anyway.

Any suggestions for new things, since spinnerbaits etc in weeds and Jigs or Rapalas on rocks aren't getting it done?

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delcecchi

And another one.... When I see numbers of fish marks, pretty good sized, down 30 feet or so over 40 or 45 feet in open water, like north of Schmidts Island, what do you think they are? They don't want to bite and I haven't been able to see them with camera.

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goblueM

Delcecchi, try using some leech-like baits - a black senko-style bait, for instance. Pike love leeches, and that is an underfished tactic. Or some soft plastic jerkbaits. I tend to go finesse when I can't get my usual tactics to work in spots that usually produce.

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Cliff Wagenbach

I agree with you Terry! This winter is getting to be way to long!

I must be getting old too! I just do not enjoy busting my butt getting to a spot, drilling a bunch of holes, cleaning them out, fishing each a few minutes, maybe setting up the portable, then moving and starting all over again if there were no fish active in the last spot! Especially with the nasty weather and travel conditions we have had most of this winter! frown

Cliff

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sparcebag

WINTER?? On Thurs. I sat on my south facing open porch,on the steps for 1 hour in a teeshirt & sweats,sippin my coffee, cap with visor & sunglasses,DREAMIN of summer!!!OPENWATER I'm ready!!

It was in the mid 40s but felt like a dose of whats to come.

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Casey Sunsdahl

I can't wait to do some more trout fishing, don't shew away winter... just hurry up march...

delcecchi what time of year and how frequent are you seeing the arches.. any bait nearbye?

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caseymcq

...I fish the west end, and have for years.

I used to catch some decent northerns in the weeds earlier in the summer and on rocks later in the year. The last few years have not been good, with only an occasional hammerhandle...

I fish on the east end. Some of my good muskie spots have been producing some decent snot rockets, 36" - 38", that I typically didn't see in years past. They were pounding a Bucher Tail consistently and occasionally putting a hard chardge at my Giant Killers. Maybe those fish you were seeing on the west end headed east? All the muskies I caught this summer were small, less than 30", and only saw a couple decent fish (one over 40" and one probably 45" or a hair bigger.)

I am by no means a very good muskie fisherman but this last summer was tough. In years past I didn't catch any big fish (48"+) but I had seen big fish consistently and was able to get a good number of follows. confused

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guideman

Hey Del,

I would bet that those arches you are seeing in deep water are Whitefish. Especially in Head of the Lakes bay. They can run in schools of 3 to 5lb fish, and that would look very impressive on your sonar. smile

As for the Pike problems you are having. I would say that the largemouth probably have more to do with pushing your Pike out of their normal spots than the Muskie anglers. Bass on the west end have been growing in numbers and they both feed on much of the same stuff.

Higher water temps will also move Pike out of shallow weeds and move them out to the breaks. I haven't noticed any problems catching Pike here on the east end. With all of the small perch up on the west end I'm sure the Pike are eating well. I don't know where you are fishing, so it's tough to

say if it's the locations, or maybe the presenations.

I catch alot of big Pike every summer, some come on the weed edges, but most of them come off of islands, saddles and points. You may even want to try doing some jigging with some big soft plastics around mainlake humps and rockpiles, or points that have some grass or boulders on them.

I still catch most of my large summer Pike on my spinnerbaits and buzzbaits. Can't say that I have noticed any real major change, in how well they will hit either one of those two presenations. The same two colors seem to be working just as well as ever for me. smile

It may just be time to find some new spots if the old ones aren't working for you any more. I caught a lot of decent Pike in Head of the lakes last summer. I also do pretty well up in Wolf bay, the Hinsdale or birch narrows, and in the Wakemup Narrows.

Some other good areas for Pike are Greenwood bay, Mud creek bay, stuntz bay, Pike bay and Armstrong bay, are also pretty good. Try fishing more islands on the west end, especially if they have long points or flats connected to them. Current areas, windblown or otherwise are magnets for Big Pike, they absolutely love the wind. smile

I hope that was helpful!

"Ace" smile

Ace guide service.

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SledNeck

i dont icefish so open water cant come soon enough

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caseymcq

i dont icefish so open water cant come soon enough

Doesn't that cut into your snowmobiling?

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Brian H

Here is a summer question.

Are there any campgrounds or resorts that have seasonal trailer spots? Looking for something that lacks little kids wink with access to good fishing. Under $2,000 a year would be good also.

I currently have a trailer on another lake and don't think I would move it so I may be looking for a trailer also.

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SledNeck

Originally Posted By: SledNeck
i dont icefish so open water cant come soon enough

Doesn't that cut into your snowmobiling?

I dont like winter, snowmobiling is just something to make it more tolerable. Havent really had the urge to go too much this season anyways. If I could I would live in the south from the end of Nov-Feb and hunt ducks and deer everyday.

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BrianLucky13

Is there any campgrounds on any islands on the east end??? If so where???

Thanks

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Cliff Wagenbach

Hinsdale Island is the closest one to the East end that I can think of. Quite a few campsites there. All are first come, first serve.

Whisky Island in Pike Bay has a camping spot on the SE corner of it that I have used a few times in the past. Probably not a registered site though.

Cliff

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delcecchi

It was middle of summer, July. Not really any bait that I recall. Just all these nice arches. I told another guy and he tried fishing them too and got nothing.

They are there reasonably consistently. My guess is ciscoes or maybe whitefish. My daughter had a nice one almost to the boat over by Norwegian Point. Looked to be in the 20 inch range. Maybe not quite that big, but it would have been a keeper walleye (pre slot)

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delcecchi

Thanks. Do you fish spinnerbaits in spots without weeds? The spots like the flats off the north end of taylor's Island, for example. Big flat 10 to 15 feet with scattered rockpiles.

Mostly I have been fishing weeds until late summer for pike. I use spinnerbaits a fair amount. I spent some time with the stange swimbait and jig and caught nothing, nada, zip. used weedless jigs in weeds and regular jigs in open water. Even tried jigspinner deal.

Almost got out the old Lucky13. Used to catch some on that. Never caught anything on a buzbait.

What are your two colors? Mine is white with silver, now that they don't make tinsel tail spinnerbaits anymore and the tinsel fell off my last one. I may have to get out the fly tying vise.

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BrianLucky13

Thanks Cliff!!!

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Casey Sunsdahl

probably whitefish like Ace said

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caseymcq

Is there any campgrounds on any islands on the east end??? If so where???

Thanks

There is a USFS campsite east of the Trout Lake Portage, all the way to the east from the portage in the bay (don't know the name of the bay if it is named). The area is far from roads and bordered by the BWCAW to the north so it is almost as isolated as an island if you are looking for that type of setting. I believe there is a fire grate and a latrine so it is a pretty decent place to camp on the lake unless you are looking for a campground.

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SledNeck

The only problem with that spot is not very quiet or private during the day with all the BWI boats buzzing back and forth around there. Its a great weekday spot, though.

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Silver Scale

I can think of four USFS free campsites. Two on the north side of Pine Island, one on mainland just east of Trout Lk portage, sand beach but close to party spot on weekends. The other is on the mainland just east of pine island. There are also some shorelunch spots with docks but no camping is allowed on these.

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guideman

Hey Del,

I catch a lot of Pike on buzz baits, especially during the summer peak. The will go into

places where other baits just can't go like weeds and pads, without hanging up and the Pike just eat them up.

Spinnerbaits aren't just for fishing in the weeds. They are great for fishing the rocks or around docks, over wood cover and slow rolling in deep water.

It's hard to beat white/silver for day in day out fishing. I also like white/chart or plain chartreuce with silver or gold blades. I rarely use painted blades for Pike, unless it's a really dark day. 1/2 to 3/4 oz is what works for me however I will go as heavy as 1.5oz when I'm searching for the big ones.

Some days you just have to try some different colors, so always be prepared for that. I also throw some purples and greens in various shades, when they aren't hitting the usuall

suspects.

Blade combinations can also be a factor when they are off the bite a little. I'll go to a single colorado in those tough conditions. Otherwise a willow

colorado combination, is my go to set up. Sometimes a hammered

blade will out fish a smooth blade and vice versa.

Gold or silver blades are my primarys, but I'll also go to the hammered copper or nickle blades at times. The painted blades have their place, but I

only use them in a few special weather conditions, like I had mentioned before.

In my experience, nothing will out fish a spinnerbait on lake Vermilion for Pike, nothing!! You may have one day here, or one day there, where they are really hitting spoons or maybe a crankbait, but I'll bet that I'll catch more Pike throwing a spinnerbait, on a day in, day out basis, than any other kind of presenation, you can think of, bar none.

"Ace" smile

Ace guide service.

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SledNeck

Also for pike.... X-raps and husky jerk-baits (big size) work on winswept points and rock ledges and you can pick up some bass that way also. If the fishing is slower you can try speed trolling to. Spinnerbaits and big jointed rapalas work pretty good....you can pick up some monster walleyes that way in pretty shallow water. Ive noticed as the weeds are starting to disappear its wayyy easier to speed troll.

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caseymcq

... but close to party spot on weekends.

One of your's grinlaugh

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