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I just got back into town after a couple week vacation. I haven't had time to take a drive over to Island. Has the recent rains filled it up?

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  • reinhard1

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Nope. I was out for a few hours yesterday. The level hasn't changed but the big winds of the last few days sure had them stacked up. But I'm sure last nights storms drove them down.

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Thanks Gunflint. It's getting to be time for the fall bite on the walleye and musky.

I wonder where all this water is going?

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Some of the leaves are starting to turn. The surface temp as dropped 6 or 7 degrees. We're quickly coming into my favorite fishing season. I think crawlers will be the ticket this weekend but the deep minnow bite isn't too far off.

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Only way Island will ever get back to normal is if they quit dumping out what comes in.

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  • 2 weeks later...

Agreed. The lake won't rise until next year for sure. Until then, i'll be coming up this weekend and hope to do some fishing out of the canoe on island. I haven't really fished any of the surrounding lakes this summer, but was wondering if anyones been out lately? I can easily go to fish, island, boulder, or rice. Which one do you think is worth a shot?

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I would try fish for crappies in the weeds and wood areas and Island has been pumpin out a few eyes in that 14-21' range.

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Too windy to fish out of any sort of boat today...so I shore-fished. I ended up fishing above and below the Island Lake Dam, then drove over to the abbot rd launch and fished around the floating bog.

The only action during the day was above(lakeside) of the dam. Crazy thing was, you could only catch them directly in front of the dam where it was deepest. Oh ya, and only caught fish on lite pike minnows(big ones), not chubs. Caught 5 walleyes between 13-17 inches, and one smallie.

The best action by far was by the abbot launch though during evening. Caught one 12in. crappie, one 8in. gill, and 8 walleyes between 10-18.5 inches. All fish at this location were caught on chubs. The best part about the fishing was that I literally caught all the eyes directly in front of (like 2 ft. in front) the dock at the launch in about 5-7fow. I don't know of many places that you can just pull up to a boat launch dock, and drop a hook and minnow beneath the dock and catch a nice supper of walleyes...pretty spoiled up here!

All in all it was a good day considering I was shore fishing and the weather was crappy. Oh ya, and all fish were let go!

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Too windy to fish out of any sort of boat today...so I shore-fished. I ended up fishing above and below the Island Lake Dam, then drove over to the abbot rd launch and fished around the floating bog.

The only action during the day was above(lakeside) of the dam. Crazy thing was, you could only catch them directly in front of the dam where it was deepest. Oh ya, and only caught fish on lite pike minnows(big ones), not chubs. Caught 5 walleyes between 13-17 inches, and one smallie.

The best action by far was by the abbot launch though during evening. Caught one 12in. crappie, one 8in. gill, and 8 walleyes between 10-18.5 inches. All fish at this location were caught on chubs. The best part about the fishing was that I literally caught all the eyes directly in front of (like 2 ft. in front) the dock at the launch in about 5-7fow. I don't know of many places that you can just pull up to a boat launch dock, and drop a hook and minnow beneath the dock and catch a nice supper of walleyes...pretty spoiled up here!

All in all it was a good day considering I was shore fishing and the weather was crappy. Oh ya, and all fish were let go!

Your report is a good one.

I haven't fished Island in years. May have to go on my "to do" list

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fishing from shore at island was all there was to do when i was a kid. we seemed to always bring home something. when i'm up there now without my boat the shore directly below the island lake picnic ground is my go to spot. good smallie and walleye there. good luck.

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When I first moved to Duluth shore fishing on Island, Fish was all I did for a couple of years. I seemed to always have a few walleyes or northerns to eat from Island. In the spring I still stop and shore fish off the road to the Island Lake dam. The evening bite there can be really good. In the fall the Hwy 4 bridge and the dam were good spots.

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Fished Island again last night. Only got out for a couple of hrs. but the action was fast and furious. Lite pike minnows, the bigger the minnow, the bigger the eye. Lindy rigging on the break from 14 to 7 fow. Also found some huge jumbos nearby in the weeds. They bit on chubs and a jig. All in all probably caught 30-40 fish in 2.5 hrs of fishing! BTW- walleyes ranged from 12-20 inches. Seemed to be alot of 14-16 in. fish. Alot better to see than 10-12 in. fish!!

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I'm headed back up to Duluth this weekend to work on the deer stand. I will be out fishing Island Friday evening, sat. morning, sat. evening, and sun. morning before church. If you see a 22 yr old in a canoe stop by and say hi. Has anyone been out fishin lately?? The Duluth area in general hasn't seen much action on the forums this fall. Just curious if that means everyones out and not sitting behind a computer, or if it's just been slow going?

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Everyone knows that there is only small walleyes in Island lake so there's little use in reporting differently.

I guess there's no use in asking or reporting anymore...

Island has plenty of nice sized walleyes, but if I can quote the words of S.T. there are tons of different patterns. I have tried to be helpful, as well as stimulate positive ideas for catching them, but I never seem to find any positive advice or feedback. There are few that have the patients to figure out lakes like Island, but all I can say is that I have really enjoyed reading the posts of Surface Tension, Down Deep, and a few others over the years. Learned quite a bit from them and they probably didn't even know it! Someday I think it would be neat to get together with the guys that are interested, and have some knowledge in fishing Island. Anyways, I've changed my mind and will agree with gunflint; Island only has small walleyes so don't waste your time! wink

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i have fished island and boulder since i've been 10 years old and i am 61 now. gunflint had to be joking for the most part, for there are quality walleys there in island. sure there are more eaters to be caught as a rule, but whats wrong with that. i have cought several walleys over the many years over 5 and my largest 8. all were realeased. island is more than just walleys now but still has a great fisherie for them. if you want a trophy walley lake to up your odds then go somewhere else, but if you want a challenge stick with island cause they are there. boulder on average has a better chance for a larger walley but in my opinion that is because of the shallower structure. island is deeper and different patterns are needed, and its a larger body of water so there is more to cover and those pesky smallies sometimes get in the way. but i'm not complaining. i would love to get together sometime and just talk about island,boulder,rice, and fish lakes. consider yourself blessed just to live near all of these great fisheries. i tell my brother this all the time for he is still in my favorite city on earth, duluth. good luck.

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I know Gunflint was just yankin your chains. He fishes Island a lot and knows what type walleyes are in there. I bet he is on a HOT bite right now too. wink

I agree with some that there is a inbalance of smaller fish to bigger fish. I keep thinking that in another 5 years we will see a cycle of bigger 18" plus fish but it just never comes. I would love to see the DNR do a study on Island to see why this is always the case. Its been like that for the 30 years or so I have fished it.

Ya you can get a few nice ones here and there but its just not as good as I think it should be.

Anyways Im all for a gathering on Fish or island Lake this fall but lets do it quick.

I will be on Fish Lake Friday Morning from about 7-3pm.

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northlander i would love to meet you and for that matter a lot of the duluth guys on this post. it's a littly late in the year for me though to make a commitment, for once i make one i keep it. grandkids, hunting, fixing up deer stands wrap me up fot the fall. i want to make the fishing contest this year again at island on hard water, along with other hard water trips there and on boulder and rice for pike. as far as walley size and the growth rate it has always been slow. personaly i believe slots wont help much but an injection of tullibees would. i have been saying that for years but so far no go. a good place to meet someday would be the picnic ground on island. i will bring some deer sausage to grill on my part. wether it's 5 guys or 20 the more the merrier. but like everyone a good plan would be nice, like you guys had on superior. bring the boats and park them by the picnic ground. thank you for the post and good luck.

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Well if you get a 1/2 day or so where you want to go puts around on Island and chase Crappies and walleyes let me know at the e-mail below.

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Hopefully my last post didn't come off as a rant; it's hard to detect sarcasim on a computer screen. I would love to have a get-together, the only problem is that it would have to be on a weekend since i'm in the cities for college. Let me know if you guys get a free weekend, my email is below.

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Hope to head up to Island this PM

Any tips you Island Lake vets can give me?

I don't want GPS cords just depth, bait things like that

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my brother got some eater walleys in 10ft of water monday in the afternoon. he got them on minnows. we were talking more about hunting preps and he just mentioned it to me. i think the walleys should be comming in shallower as fall progresses anyway and minnows would be the go to bait for me. you guys are next to heaven up there. good luck.

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Hope to head up to Island this PM

Any tips you Island Lake vets can give me?

I don't want GPS cords just depth, bait things like that

Bring your rain gear and HOT coffee and fish 16' to 24'. Shallower come dusk time. Jig n minnow or lindy rig n minnow. Light Pike or big chubs. Look for areas with a bit of current moving through and the sharp drops off points. When you feel that minnow get nervous stall out.

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Don't know if you'll be able to read this but bigger minnows in 14fow was what worked for me last time. I fished a pinch between two islands that had good wind action all day long. Cast shadraps or huskyjerks on the shorelines and reefs at sunset.

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RH1, northlander, fishingfey,

It looks like the rain put a damper on my trip but I appreciate the tips.

It appears my partner and son are made of sugar

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yeah i seen the radar. i think the consensus was go shallow during late afternoon. but over the years, except during the hot summer months, i tend to go shallow in the fall and early in the year. the stained water helps the daytime bite if you have a chop on the water shallow also. these guys know what their talking about and one day i'm going to have the honor of meeting them. good luck.

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All the lakes around Duluth, produce a population of mostly small walleyes, for one reason. Its the forage base!!!! If smelt could live in those lakes, you would

see big fat walleyes. What can be done? Maybe nothing will change, maybe a slot will help, maybe nothing will help. You want big walleyes? Fish the lakes that produce big walleyes, Rainy,LOW, Mllacs, Winnie, ect.

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  • Your Responses - Share & Have Fun :)

    • SkunkedAgain
      Those are some fine specimens. Great job
    • gimruis
      I'm quite shocked to hear that a walleye tournament is still doing a live weigh in.  Virtually every event these days around here is doing a catch, photo, and release format.   Regardless, nice work.  Congrats.
    • LakeofthewoodsMN
      On the south end...   A great week of fishing with walleyes and saugers caught in good numbers.   The go-to presentation, again, was a jig and frozen emerald shiner.  Emerald shiners are a staple in LOW and walleyes love them.  Other minnows worked also, but emerald shiners are a favorite of anglers for good reason.   The Lighthouse Gap area, Morris Point Gap and just in front of Pine Island held nice fish in 17 - 21' of water.  Various schools of walleyes and saugers across the south shore.     A quarter ounce jig in gold, glow white, pink, orange, chartreuse, or a combo of these colors tipped with a minnow worked well again.   Some big pike and jumbo perch being caught by walleye anglers. On the Rainy River...  Some nice walleyes were caught on the river this weekend, although most anglers normally head to the lake.  12 - 15' of water is holding some nice fish.   Sturgeon fishing on the Rainy River is closed until the keep season starts up again July 1st. Up at the NW Angle...  Some nice walleyes being caught along with a mixed bag.  12 - 25 feet of water.  Points, neck down areas and bays with warming water were holding good fish this week.    The go-to presentation was a jig and minnow as on the south shore.  A mixed bag as is common around the Angle.  
    • leech~~
      Nice work!   Here's two words you hardly ever hear anyone say anymore.  "grateful and humbled"   
    • Brianf.
      RLG, thanks for the shout-out!     Jeff and I are still trying to wrap our heads around what happened this past weekend.  We are humbled and full of gratitude  for having won 'The Classic' for a second time.     We practiced through all the rain on Thurs and the wind on Friday and found six different spots holding big fish.  Fishing was good on both days with several 'overs' in our catch...but would it hold up for another day?   We didn't know.     On tourney day, we made a long run to our first spot where I lucked out on a 26.5"er on my second cast.  Jeff followed up with a thick 27" er a few minutes later, which turned out to be the big fish for the event at 7.26lbs.  We finished out our limit and weighed-in at 10:30 am for the welfare of the fish in our livewell.    There were some big weights in this event which would have won in most other years, but - for whatever reason - this was our day.  Everything just went our way.  Again, we are just super grateful and humbled by this success.  We also want to congratulate all the other anglers who did well and give a big 'thank you' to the tournament organizers who put on such a great event!  
    • SkunkedAgain
      I had a good start to the season on opener. Fishing was slow but consistent. I had four eaters in the box by lunch dragging perch raps. Crappies were biting. I haven't been up since so don't know how things have changed since then, but I'm sure the walleye continue to migrate out into the main basins.
    • redlabguy
      Let’s start this by congratulating Brianf and son for winning their second City Autoglass Walleye Classic last weekend. These guys know how to fish.  We just got to the lake for the season. Chores are almost done and I’m ready to fish.  red(new dog is more yellow)labguy
    • Jetsky
      I tried starting a 2024 Lake Vermilion Fishing Report topic but it doesn't show up on this board.   Maybe somebody else knows how to do it?
    • Mike89
      then use the BB gun after catching them!!!    and then enjoy rabbit dinner for revenge!!!   
    • leech~~
      Yep crazy. 🤪 I played goalie in HS and my two grandsons play hockey now.  
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