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I will be visiting some friends that live on Island lake. There place is not to far north from the Cloquet dam. I will be bringing a small 14' fishing boat with a 25hp. I have never been on the lake and I am looking for some help. how are the crappies? walleye? ect. Thanks. I will be up there around the 20th of may.

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Grab a map of the lake and head to the northeast side where the Boulder River dumps in. Start there and work the shoreline westward until you locate fish. Fish could be anywhere from very shallow to 20 feet so you will have to keep trying different depths until you locate some active fish.

Hay Creek is also a good spring area. Hay is located southeast across the lake from the dam. There will be lots of boats in this area so you will know where it is. A jig and a small minnnow fished very slow is a good early season presentation.

Fishing wood is also a good tactic for early season. Find the dead falls in the shallow northeast bays and pick you way through pitching light jigs and minnows. Slip bobbers casted well away from the boat works as well. If you find fish in the wood it will be a good day.

Tip - look for shallow stranded areas (areas that don't have much traffic) and try those.

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I would consider giving the east side where the cloquet river dumps in to island lake. Theres a decent chance you will get a mixed bag of both walleye and crappie. Like DD said it's hard to know if the fish are going to be shallow or deeper and you just have to try everything.

Island lakes water lvls are constantly moving up and down. Bring a lake map and BE CAREFUL. The lake looked like it was filling up nicely this past weekend, but there aren't very many rock reefs marked with anything so watch where you go.

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Like Down Deep said any of the rivers or creeks that come in are really good this time of year. Also if you want to get away from the crowds get a lake map and try fishing the shallow humps that are like 3 feet below the water, follow the hump untill it gets about fourteen to sixteen feet deep that seems to be the best depth this time of year. The smallest colored jig (green, or orange always seem to work best) that you can get away with, tipped with a leech is your best bet.

Now for crappies search all of the bays that are heavily wooed, use an extremly small jig and crappie minnow if you don't get a bite fairly quickly move to the next spot, if you can find them you will have a blast!

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I've only fished island once, and that was about 10 years ago. I remember catching lot's of pike, but only a couple smallies. I've heard the smallies have really exploded since then...is the pike numbers still strong?

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Island still has a good pike population. Last year I had about a 8-10 lb. pike hit a 14in. walleye at the boat before I could get it in the boat. Ended up netting both fish! There are some nice ones in there but you have to sort through a lot of cover to find them.

JB, whats your connection with Duluth? I remember you commenting that you live near one of my good friends in St. Paul. We should go out fishin sometime...

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The small mouth population is very good on Island. I've never targeted them, but this time of year I catch quite a few up in the shallows, pound for pound the best fight. If you're into Musky there are plenty of 40"ers and some 50"

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fishinfey8, my brother-in-law lives in duluth, so we go up there every so often. Will be up there the last weekend of june and hope to hit island, rice, and the st. louis (or at least 2 of the 3).

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Sounds like a fun trip. My dad lives up on island, if you make it up there give me a shout if you want.

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  • Your Responses - Share & Have Fun :)

    • Tripp_315
      How’s the the smallie bite? I’ll be up on Friday 😎 ~Tripp
    • FishinCT
      Culling is not against the law in Minnesota unless you have a limit. (Which obviously applies in this case.)   They finally cleared up the language about it in the regs this year. 
    • delcecchi
      Since culling is against the regs in Minnesota, weighing in early is a great thing to do.   Congrats.
    • Rivergroup
      We're heading up tomorrow. Hoping for walleye but looking to mostly relax. We'll have leeches and minnows and any tips would be great. Just looking for enough for a good fish fry. Thanks in advance.
    • Jetsky
      Caught a lot of small ones yesterday in 20 -30 ft.  A couple of eaters.  Minnows on Lindys clearly out fished the leeches on Lindys.
    • Hookmaster
      Kudos for doing this. I'm sure a lot of fishermen would not have.
    • MikeG3Boat
      I know it has been raining all week but anyone have any walleye reports?  Heading up for the holiday weekend and want to do some fishing.
    • MikeG3Boat
      Partyonpine, Would you be willing to share in what areas you were getting some nice Bluegills?  I am on the east end on big bay and would like to find some good panfish.
    • partyonpine
      Opener and the week after were good.  Not the numbers we normally get but better quality in the East End.  Not surprised on the weights for the Auto City a.  Usually for us we only catch a few slot fish but we averaged 3 a day for 10 days.  2 overs, biggest 27 inches.     Our best luck was 12-16 feet for quality.  When we went deeper we caught more but smaller.  Bass were really starting to heat up.  For me little earlier than normal.  Found some nice Bluegills the day we went after some panfish.  Dock fishing was as many as we wanted per usual.
    • Shulsebus
      We will be up on June 8th for the week. It will be our 13th year in a row staying on the lake.  I hope the walleye are hitting the bobbers by the time that we get there. 
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