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Beltrami/Fox report


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We had a nice day in two parts today.

Caught lots of sunnies and smallies with slip bobbers on leeches and crawlers in 6-12 FOW, in weed pockets and just along the deep weed edge. Largest smallie was 19 inches, and they ranged from 10 inches on up. Two others were 18 inchers. Largest sunny was 8, and we of course had to sort pretty hard to find 8 of them from 6-8 inches. That was this morning.

This evening (after we ate this morning's sunny catch) we went mobile and hit the cabbage/bulrush line with spinnerbaits. Lots of 1 to 2 lb largemouth, a couple more smallies (14 inchers), and half a dozen small pike. Partly the shallow run and gun was an effort to see if any smallies were in the shallow cover, and they weren't. All were caught at or near the deeper weed edges, as I'd expect at this time of year.

Was really nice to have that added smallie action. Always knew the chain (and Beltrami in particular) would be great smallie water, but never would have had the cajones to stock them myself. There's quite a nice size/year class structure going on already. Caught some of them on Fox, too. I think we'll be combing 6-7 pounders out of our hair in a few years so long as folks practice C&R (not usually a problem with smallies),

Didn't see any muskies, though. smile

Best part was that my grandson got to drool on my shoulder while chattering about whatever babies chatter about. smilesmile

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Thanks for the report, Steve! Sounds like some decent action! Love having a viable smallie option this close!

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Matt, after we left this morning, Dad had 3 grouse run right across the front yard. Don't worry, he's not a hunter. gringringrin

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Your old-man and I will have to sit down and have an early morning coffee some morning... we can chat about tending net back in the day, and I'll bring bessy to lay across my lap just in case we see ruffled feathers strutting across the yard... wink

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I fished Beltrami Sept 1-5. What a great fishery. I'll not post my results since I believe this does nothing but bring too many fishermen to a "small" body of water. This IS a very small lake (less then 600 acres I believe) and it doesnt need anymore pressure then its already getting.

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I hear you, MO. We've had a cabin on Beltrami since 1983. I've logged gazillion hours on Beltrami and the chain since then, and only post a couple reports a year. Beltrami's not by any means the best fishing lake in The Bemidji area, but I'm selfish about not wanting a ton of boat traffic when I go there. gringrin

Luckily we usually pick weekday stretches to head to the cabin.

BTW, that whole chain of five lakes is excellent, but there are 20 lakes within 30 minutes of Bemidji that are as good as Beltrami (and some better.)

It's a mighty rich area for anglers.

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Lotto near Bemidji? What??????? If it's gonna be lotto I may as well stay here. And tomorrow's the durn antlerless app deadline! frown

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Well, I'm gonna pass on the doe thing this time.

I still may come to hunt out of the cabin on Beltrami. Or not. We'll see. There IS an odd little intensive harvest unit around Cook/Effie that's basically surrounded by lotto units. It's an area I know pretty well.

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Mr. Foss- A question for you...

If you are "selfish about not wanting a ton of boat traffic when I go there.", then why post a report about a species that is uncommon in the area? Doesn't make sense to me...

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Mr. Foss- A question for you...

If you are "selfish about not wanting a ton of boat traffic when I go there.", then why post a report about a species that is uncommon in the area? Doesn't make sense to me...

Here's how I look at this.

Always a fine line. This site is about having fun and sharing information. As HSO staff, part of my job is to share information. People want to know things, after all. For some, that's crossing the line. For others, it isn't. If we don't share any fishing information, eventually the forums are just a bunch of people yapping at each other, or they turn into the Dead Sea. smile

Beltrami and the chain are busy lakes on any given summer weekend, with lots of pontoons, jet skis, canoes, pleasure boats and fishing boats. I doubt they are going to get a lot busier now that the fella who lives on Beltrami has taken nature into his own hands and smallmouth have established themselves. Some busier? Sure. And that'll take a bit of pressure off some of the other lakes in the area. Fishing pressure waxes and wanes on any given lake or chain, and for a lot of reasons, including information given on sites like this.

Another thing to consider is how directly smallies and walleyes compete for space/forage. They often do, especially on smaller lakes. There are finite amounts in both in any lake. Beltrami in particular is only a fair walleye lake dependent on DNR stocking to maintain a decent population, though quite a few people go there to target them. Smallies probably are going to push down the Beltrami walleye fishery to some degree, and those anglers will go to other lakes for their 'eyes, possibly compensating for an increase of folks pursuing smallies.

Smallies also love rivers and are aggressive colonizers, and you can bet that they've made their way not only into Fox but into Movil as well. and perhaps farther. Certainly some populations will establish themselves on all the lakes in the chain. Some are more smallie-friendly than others, but all five of them will sure hold their share. So now you've got five lakes, not one, with fishable smallie populations.

Taking the long view, my little Beltrami/Fox fishing report isn't going to have much impact. And of course you left the part out of your quote about how I'm usually fishing over a stretch of weekdays, when traffic is much lighter. smilesmile

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Several years ago I wrote a fishing report about one of the nearby lakes and I was bashed by several other posters about "letting the cat out of the bag", "giving up fishing spots", "giving out TO MUCH information", and some were just flat angry and upset at me and some sent nasty private messages to me. At the time I just felt a little sheepish and maybe a bit lame for doing it. I stayed pretty quiet after that and didnt really post much information that might get me into trouble. I understand more now then I did then, how what they were saying was true. It wasnt my place to post on a forum like this with specific information. I think "we" as responsible fishermen and neighbors to others on the same lake have to be just a little more vague about what we say to the general public on public forums. It is true that there are many lakes not far away that are much better overall lakes, but when so much attention and focus along with specific information is given then problems of overcrowding can occur. My feeling especially with Beltrami is that ANY added pressure just isnt good. That is a pretty small body of water and any added pressure just isnt needed.

I understand when guides give out information its to promote there businesses and attract clients. My feeling is that there needs to be some flexibility and acceptance with that. When it comes to the standard fisherman and those with lake homes or people just visiting lakes, maybe they can back off just a little with information that will bring in people and cause the boat population to increase more then needed. More people then ever are on these forums and gathering information. It just keeps growing...lets not let it get to far out of hand. Word of mouth goes far enough. I think if people request information they should share the info on a 1 on 1 using e-mail or private messages.

This is just my view of this subject. I fish a lot of different lakes and boat traffic is just one of those things you need to deal with, but to me Lake Beltrami is special because of its smallish size and with that its a bit more fragile then say, Lake Bemidji, Cass Lake, etc.

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Several years ago I wrote a fishing report about one of the nearby lakes and I was bashed by several other posters about "letting the cat out of the bag", "giving up fishing spots", "giving out TO MUCH information", and some were just flat angry and upset at me and some sent nasty private messages to me. At the time I just felt a little sheepish and maybe a bit lame for doing it. I stayed pretty quiet after that and didnt really post much information that might get me into trouble. I understand more now then I did then, how what they were saying was true. It wasnt my place to post on a forum like this with specific information. I think "we" as responsible fishermen and neighbors to others on the same lake have to be just a little more vague about what we say to the general public on public forums. It is true that there are many lakes not far away that are much better overall lakes, but when so much attention and focus along with specific information is given then problems of overcrowding can occur. My feeling especially with Beltrami is that ANY added pressure just isnt good. That is a pretty small body of water and any added pressure just isnt needed.

I understand when guides give out information its to promote there businesses and attract clients. My feeling is that there needs to be some flexibility and acceptance with that. When it comes to the standard fisherman and those with lake homes or people just visiting lakes, maybe they can back off just a little with information that will bring in people and cause the boat population to increase more then needed. More people then ever are on these forums and gathering information. It just keeps growing...lets not let it get to far out of hand. Word of mouth goes far enough. I think if people request information they should share the info on a 1 on 1 using e-mail or private messages.

This is just my view of this subject. I fish a lot of different lakes and boat traffic is just one of those things you need to deal with, but to me Lake Beltrami is special because of its smallish size and with that its a bit more fragile then say, Lake Bemidji, Cass Lake, etc.

MO, you should not have been bashed in any way. It's unfortunate that it happened. I've been bashed myself for posting reports on this forum. And you know what? I just ignore their insecurities.

I'll let my previous comments about reports, the Beltrami chain and its future stand. smile

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  • 5 weeks later...

Try bashing that! Bam!

downsized_1009001101a.jpg

downsized_1009001102.jpg

I caught this one (same fish) off the public access dock this morning on a lead jig head and a black 4 inch twisty tail. It wasn't so much of a strike as i thought it would be, just felt like a heaviness, so i jerked like i was pullin free of a snag and it jerked back. Lotta fun!

This idea of "keeping a secret" about a fishing spot is ridiculous. I understand the feeling of wanting to fish a spot and not have it overrun, but to chide somebody for sharing is shameful. I have nothing more to say about it.

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  • Your Responses - Share & Have Fun :)

    • 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. 
    • 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!  
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