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Metro Area Minnesota Fishing Reports by Matt Johnson


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Matt Johnson

The last week has proven to be one of the more memorable weeks in my fishing career... we had 6 bass over 5 pounds in the boat one day... my clients were on fire! Wish I could say I caught them but definitely not the case! smile Then I followed that up with a 1st Place win at a charity bass tournament on Thursday out on Lake Minnetonka! And after that I went out to WI with my family to the cabin and got to watch my 4 year-old son and my 4 year-old niece put the whoppin on some bass! Still on cloud 9 from a fantastic week of fishing!

To start things off, we continued to hit the Chisago area hard... the shallow, sloppy weeded shorelines proved to hold fish once again. Wacky-rigged Mister Twister Comidas were the ticket and fishing very SLOW was the name-of-the-game. When the bait got over a pocket in the weeds you had to force yourself to pause for literally seconds... the fish typically bit during this part of the retrieve sequence. Color of plastic really didn't matter, it was more of the action and the location than anything else. Water depths were 3-6 feet of water. Docks held some fish, but it was the area in between the docks that were gold (the area that typically gets passed by most anglers... put the trolling motor on speed 10 type of spots... but I really like these areas wink ). A lot of big fish using these areas, even with water temps in the mid 80's and everyone telling you to fish deep... you'll see this pattern to hold true on Lake Minnetonka as well...

So, this brings us to Lake Minnetonka... I fished the annual Principal Financial Charity Bass Tournament out there on Thursday, August 19. There are around 75 boats who compete in this event and each Pro is paired with a partner of sponsor(s) of the event. I got paired with two representatives from Wells Fargo. All the proceeds went to the Ronald McDonald House. Each team weighs in their 4 biggest bass, heaviest weight wins. We hit the lake focusing on some deeper rock spots to start... landed a handful of fish out there on jig worms and roller jigs (rock jogs) but nothing over 2 pounds... we boxed four 2 pounders to give us something to sit on for the time-being... then I wanted to move shallow to hit the same pattern that has been working in the Chisago area. So... I found a shallow spot in the milfoil where I knew some rock was holding, also a shoreline spot with scattered, sloppy weeds like mentioned above. We grabbed the trusty wacky-rigged Mister Twister Comida and let it fly into the pockets... it wasn't but 5 minutes and we had a 3 pounder in the boat... then shortly after that another 3 pounder... then shortly after that a 4 pounder... and at this point we were feeling pretty good with a nice weight in the live well. But then it got real serious... upon flipping the bait into a nasty pod of weeds, we all watched the water explode with a hookset to follow... the battle lasted a couple minutes and soon we had a net full of weeds sitting in the boat... and at the bottom of the weeds...... sat a 5 pounder!! 5.10 pounds to be exact, and the 2nd largest fish weighed in at the event. We knew we had a good bag and couldn't wait to weigh-in. We got to the weigh-in and watched several teams weigh-in healthy bags... 12.5 pounds... 12.77 pounds... 13.22 pounds... the leader board for 1st Place kept getting higher and higher... when we got there someone was on the hot-seat with 13.77 pounds... we threw our fish on the scale and...... 14.98 pounds!!! We were pretty pumped as we held up our fish for a few photos. A couple high-fives later and we tried to calm down so we could watch the remainder of the field weigh-in. We watched a few more teams weigh-in around the 13 pound range and then came up a bag that had the MC of the event smiling as he said "we might have a new leader"... the fish hit the scale... and.... 14.01 pounds... we were safe, and still on the hot-seat... we watched several more teams weigh-in and it got down to the last team... another healthy bag of fish and our nerves were pumping... the fish hit the scale... only 13 pounds... we had it!! My two guys in my boat were pretty darned pumped to say the least... especially when they said they didn't even catch a fish in this event last year smile Needless to say we had big smiles the rest of the day as we snapped photos and shared our story!! Without a doubt a great day on the water and all for a great cause!! Very proud to be a part of the event, the result was just the icing on the cake!!

Here's a photo of the big fish from the day...

MJbigTonkaBassVert_lo2.jpg

Thanks for Gary Klingler from Big Dog Guide Service (helped organize all the Pros) as well as Principal Financial (and all of their partners) for putting on such a great event! Definitely one I will never forget!

Now only if some of this warm weather would pass so we can spend a day on the water without losing 10 pounds of sweat before the day is done! Although it does look promising later this week with weather in the 80's (only wink ) for highs... might actually have to put on a long sleeve t-shirt right away in the morning... nawwwww grin

Good luck out there and even though the trend says to do one thing, go with your gut sometimes, it can pay off...

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Well... Minnesota definitely showed its colors in the last couple weeks... -60 windchill one day, to 40 degrees just a few days later!  No doubt a season where you need to "prepare for the elements!" 

Sure would be nice to have some stable weather!  Warm, cold, warm, cold, cloudy, sunny, windy, snow.... Lol. Most inconsistent winter I've seen in a long time!  It definitely keeps us on our toes and

Some good news and some bad news over the last week...  good news is that we made more ice!!  Bad news is that the fish keep moving (STAY PUT FISHY'S!!! LOL)!!    I'm finding 12-16" of ice o

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Juan Grande

Matt,

Congrats on the tourney win and on the great week of fishing.

What kind of hooks do you use when you wacky rig comidas?

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Matt Johnson

I use a Gamakatsu tarpon hook in a 2/0 or 3/0. They are in most fly fishing sections. These hooks are pretty wicked and man do they stick fish and not let go!!!

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Congrats on the win and on all the other nice fish. Thanks for sharing the stories and the tips where you found fish and what techniques you used to get them to bite. Let the good times roll!

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MN BassFisher

That sounds like an awesome week Matt! Gotta love boating those big bass in the heat of the summer! Makes ya excited for when the time comes to fish Fall bass.

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Matt, do you use a casting or spinning rod when fishing those wacky rigs around heavy cover?

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Matt Johnson

Matt, do you use a casting or spinning rod when fishing those wacky rigs around heavy cover?

A little of both. I have it rigged on both rod-types and it depends on wind and how many docks and over-hanging trees I'm going to be fishing. I prefer to use a spinning rod when having to skip the bait... baitcasters will work for this, but you're asking for problems if you're not always paying attention. If I can get away with a baitcaster then I will use it, but it ends up being a 50/50 with me on this technique...

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Congrats on your great week Matt! Just to let you know, I fished my first MTT walleye tournament with Al Kichler of Princeton up on Winnie this past week end, and had a great time. We took 5th on Sat and 4th on Sun. Trolled spinners w/crawlers on 2oz bottom bouncers on a big bar. He also showed me how "power corkin'" works, which gives me some ideas of how to add it to some of those structure lessons of yours. grin

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MNBasserman

Hi Matt,

I am new to HSO but I have been following your posts for a while. They have been very informative so thanks a lot. First of all, congrats on your win on Tonka! It sounds like it was an awesome day out there. Second, I have a few questions for you. Do you ever use a drop shot? If so, where (as far as structure) have you had success in this technique? Also, you have said several times now that the bass are relating to a hard bottom. How do you find these areas? Are you able to feel the bottom content with your lure or are you able to see something different on electronics? Thanks a lot for your help and thanks again for the great posts.

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Matt Johnson

Do you ever use a drop shot? If so, where (as far as structure) have you had success in this technique? Also, you have said several times now that the bass are relating to a hard bottom. How do you find these areas? Are you able to feel the bottom content with your lure or are you able to see something different on electronics?

Definitely, I love the drop-shot. It works great on a variety of situations, not just the ones you read about in magazines. I use it as a cast and retrieve method too, much-like a carolina rig at times. It's most commonly used on isolated pieces of structure like rock piles, humps, etc, and most people equate it to a finesse bite. I would definitely agree that it works great in those situations, but I would also encourage you to try it along outside weed lines and on spots where you know fish are stacked up, regardless of the structure. If I know I have fish stacked up on a hard bottom spot on a deep weed line I will deploy the drop-shot and let it go to work. It can also be used in heavy foil if pockets are available... bypass the jig and use heavy tungsten on a drop-shot instead. It's also not just a bass technique too wink

As far as find hard bottom goes, I typically use two methods...

One... my never-lying Vexilar flasher that I have on the bow of my boat. We've all trained ourselves to read our Vexilar flashers out on the ice, and a lot of us have become masters at finding hard bottom during those months, so why not bring that same tool into your boat? I have a hard time fishing a lake like Minnetonka without having my face glued to my Vexilar. I have it rigged on the bow with an external puck-style transducer rigged to the bottom of my trolling motor. Finding the hard bottom is very easy with a flasher and no matter how thick the weeds are it never blinks-out or fails.

Here's a link to a shot video that I put together with Tom Zenanko from Vexilar about finding the hard bottom...

Second method for finding hard bottom... use a rock jig or crankbait. I will oftentimes run a deep diving crankbait (one that runs deeper than the depth I'm casting) and feel for the hard bottom or rocks. The same technique applies to the rock jig... drag it across the bottom until you feel the right structure. Carolina rigs can work too.

Some anglers also turn to their Lowrance or Humminbird for finding hard bottom, which can work, but if I'm using my Lowrance to find hard bottom I'm usually looking at the Structure Scan. When on Tonka, the bow of my boat has my Lowrance at full-screen GPS and then I turn to my Vexilar flasher to show me depth and bottom-content...

And these hard bottom spots on the deep weed line will be one you want to come back to during the winter months too wink

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Matt Johnson

Today was certainly an interesting day out on the water. We hit Tonka bright and early (ok, it was early, but not so bright, LOL). Got to the lake around 5:30am and it was pooring rain... didn't seem to really let up until around 9am or so... going from Maxwell Bay to Wayzata Bay was quite the run at 40mph and rain drops hitting your face which felt like tiny rocks... my boat got a good wash though grin

As far as the fishing goes, things were a little tough out there. We managed a handful of fish but nothing to write home about. Had a couple big blow-ups on topwater but no takers (bass). Also hand on one decent pike on but it got the best of us at boat-side. My clients were in from New York and said they were up until 1am watching the Olympics... so from the sounds of it they were more impressed that they were actually up for the trip than they were to even catch any fish... the weather didn't help with the excitement either.

Or best fish came shallow again... 4-6 feet. Also a couple way up against the shorelines... it what seemed to be only inches of water... water temps right around 80 degrees so things cooled down a little... enough to give them comfort in that skinny water.

I had the chance to talk to a few other anglers throughout the morning and it sounds like the bite shut-off for a little while? We left around 11am and it looked like the sun was just about to pop out... I'm sure things picked up as the day went on... would have stuck around after I dropped my clients off but my own two boys had swimming on their minds smile

Looks like this week is going to warm again... a couple days that might hit 90 degrees... I will be back out on Tonka a couple times this upcoming week again... hopefully I'll have more to report on...

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MNBasserman

Hey Matt,

Thanks for the info about the drop shot and finding hard bottom with the Vexilar. It proved to be helpful. I went out on Tonka with my dad and we slayed a bunch of largemouth on deep weedlines. Could not find em on deeper rock/gravel piles in Wayzata Bay but did find them on some points close to the weedlines. I made sure we were over a hard bottom before fishing the area and it was a consistent pattern. The drop shot was working with finesse worms in natural colors and we caught two on bulky punch rigs in the thicker weeds. Where are the bigger fish? The numbers were there but the size was only average. Do you think they are deeper? Suspended? Not hungry? Thanks again for the detailed reports.

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Matt Johnson

The biggest fish I've found out there lately have come in 4-6 feet of water, but the numbers are out deeper. I know several anglers who are finding big fish deep too. Crankbaits have accounted for some nice fish out there as well...

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Matt Johnson

Is this weather awesome or what!?!? Can't remember the last time it's been in the mid 70's throughout the "hot hours" of the day... not to mention the humidity is down... great couple days to be on the water!!

We spent most of our time out on Minnetonka again... the bite has been getting better and better and we're finding more fish stacked-up. Lately it's been all crankbaits... burn those crankbaits (something that dives down deep enough to hit bottom in 13-16 feet of water) and bang-up those rocks. Mainlake points and humps are great, same with any saddles around deeper water. Find the right angle and keep making the same cast. The fish will SMOKE the bait without thinking twice! Fun way to fish!

Here is a good one we got the other day...

JonSellsBass.jpg

One thing I've noticed though (and I'm not complaining) was that the pike were not creating havoc... usually they are all-over when the crankbait bite turns on, but we honestly didn't catch a single one in three days of fishing... knock on wood... yea, I'll probably catch nothing BUT pike from here on out now wink

So... I would encourage you to try throwing some crankbaits... it's a lot of fun and you really learn a lot about bottom content too!!

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  • 2 weeks later...
Matt Johnson

Finally more comfortable weather... you don't feel like jumping in the water every 10 minutes now! Actually, starting the day with pants and a jacket isn't all that bad... and the fish even seem to like it too!

We've been continuing to find our fish in their expected positions for this time of year. Outside weed lines, deep rocks, and of course up in the slop and around docks too. Your typical summer patterns. The bite has been good and the sizes are great as well. The willingness to move is important though, because if you're not getting fish on a deep spot then cruise to another one... the fish will be schooled up and they will bite, so if they're not snapping then try another spot.

Best techniques continue to be crankbaits, rock jigs and texas-rigged or wacky-rigged Comidas. We've done a little bit of drop-shotting but if I don't have to go that route then I won't. Oh, and jig worms are always working too! My number one choice is the crankbait (because it's so fun! smile ), but we've found ourselves turning to the rock jig and jig worms for a lot of the deep situations at times. The wacky-rig Comida has still been the go-to producer around docks and shallow areas... Mister Twister must sprinkle something on those because the fish LOVE them!!

The cooler weather dropped the water temps a little, but it doesn't seem to really be slowing down the fishing. We had temps (water) in the mid 80's last week, but the last few days we barely tip into the mid 70's (for Lake Minnetonka). Chisago area is a little warmer but not by much... darker water.

Forecast is calling for 80 degree temps again later this week, so that could light a fire again in the water... have fun out there and good luck!!

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Matt Johnson

The last week brough some ups and downs in terms of weather and fishing patterns... one day they are here, next day they are gone and someplace completely different... talk about staying on your toes...

Earlier in the week we found our fish holding on outside weed lines--typical summer haunts. Then as the week progessed, we found a lot of fish moving back into the shallows... temps dropped a little (both air and water) so it made a little sense, but what threw a curveball was that they weren't relating to anything... in fact, they were just cruising between docks slamming anything that hit the water. Not complaining about the bite, but it didn't make a whole lot of sense (talking about bass here). We also noticed very large schools of minnows all over in the shallows, so it eventually became obvious they were plain and simply following the forage. Find a boiling pod of baitfish... throw whatever you had tied on into it... hold on for the strike!

We caught our bass on everything from spinnerbaits to buzzbaits to crankbaits to worms to slugs... you get the picture. Not a whole lot of big fish, but good numbers to keep my clients busy and catching fish. Friday we got a couple in the 3.5-4 pound range, but those were the big ones. Otherwise a pile of 1-2.5 pounders. Always fun to watch a fish cause a wake from 20 feet away as it high-tails it towards your bait, only to smoke it seconds later! Fun fishing!

Outside of the bass we've found some steady action throwing spinnerbaits and crankbaits for pike. These fish have inhabited the 5-10 foot range and are thick in these sparse weedy areas. Burn a spinnerbait throughout these spots and you'll get bit. I'm not going to say you'll catch 10 pounders all day, but you'll be on 2-5 pounders on most lakes you frequent. This has held true on four different lakes this week. I even got my dad and older son out on some action today.

Here's a shot of me netting my 4 year old's pike...

JackMattPikeNet.jpg

And here's a shot of his catch! ...

JackMattPike.jpg

I was very proud of him, as he hooked and landed these all by himself... outside of the net job and hook removal smile

We must have caught 15 of these today in a couple hours out on a local lake in the North Metro. But like I said, any lake with a healthy population of pike will have the same bite going on right now... it's a great way to put fish in the boat when the weather turns hot... action is action some days...

Otherwise it looks like a warm week ahead of us... upper 80s and sun all week... should be a good week for docks (bass) and weed lines (pike)... I would also troll the basins for walleyes if you need a break for a sandwich... tie on Salmo Hornet and work outside weed lines or add some weight and hit the basins... you'll catch whatever swims!

Enjoy the week and good luck out there! Also have a safe and fun Labor Day weekend!! smile

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  • 3 weeks later...
Matt Johnson

Has anyone else been out playing in this wind?!?! We've had a few days on the water in the last week and I don't think I'd complain one bit if the wind died down!! The problem right now is a lot of our best bites are out on main lake structure and it sure makes it hard for boat control when the wind is howling at 30mph, LOL smile

We've been switching gears to pike lately to keep things consistent. Heavy spinner baits, put the wind at your back, and cast away! The pike have been more than eager to play lately and this fluctuation in weather patterns hasn't seem to change their behavior much. Just continue to beat up the weeds and you'll find the pike... the action is good.

As far as bass go, we've been doing well on deep rocks as well as tight to the outside weed line. But again, the wind has played a role in being effective out in these areas. We've found break in the morning where things calm down enough to be out there chasing this pattern, but then we end up resorting to flipping shallow once things begin to speed up with the weather. The fish are still in the shallow slop and dock areas, but they are more spread out and you have to work more. I like sitting over a pod in deeper water, just plucking them out one-by-one smile

It looks like another cold front is at our door... supposed to drop into the 60s for highs again and some potential cold rain. Should make things interesting once again... but either way, you gotta get out there! Good luck!

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I was thinking the same thing with the wind. I was hoping to get out on tonka for pike and ski's before this front came through. Keep us informed if you are having any luck. Big spinner baits seemed to be the key last week. This cold front has me thinking fishing maybe off for a bit? Thoughts?

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Matt Johnson

Spent all day out on Tonka on Thursday and Friday and really had a good time with the fish up in the shallows. We rarely fished deeper that 6 feet and caught quite a few nice fish. Ended up getting 5th in a 75 boat event on Thursday and then spent the day guiding on Friday. Most of the fish moved up on the shallow flats and really put the feedbags on. We threw spinnerbaits and shallow crankbaits. Your typically deep haunts are not far away, just move up on top of the point or flat and there they are!

Water temps took quite the drop in the last couple weeks out there and we need to start thinking about typical October spots for where they're sitting. I've seen a lot of guys continuing to fish deep and we haven't done well out there. I would encourage you to move shallow, even target docks and channels, as lot of the fish are in those areas too...

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I was in Boston this week, but my Buddy was out on Tonka this weekend and echos what you said. Shallow with spinners. Was thinking of going out sometime in the next few evenings, but fearful that the wind will make it challenging? Looks like a warm front is coming through....

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Matt Johnson

I wouldn't let the wind stop you from going. The way we're fishing is actually not too bad in the wind, as you're just slinging baits and reeling in. Not a lot of finesse involved. You can also tuck in out of the wind and still catch fish too... I would head out there and slam 'em! smile

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LOL.... ok good news.. there were a grand total of 8 Trailers at the Gray's Bay launch today. Bad news, the wind gusts made it almost impossible to stay on any points and it was a wet ride whereever you went. Pretty quiet... but being on the water beats just about everything else. Chatted with another boat and they got a few northern. We had some hits on bucktails but and some northern follows in the 2 hours we were out. Suppose to have some cold fronts swing through the next few days, but Monday temps pop back up.

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pinkfloyd4ever

I'm looking forward to the weekend, hoping the cool weather has made the fish want to strap on their feed bags. I saw even a slight mention of "flakes." I keep saying to myself to try something different, yet I keep doing the same things, this weekend will be different. There's not a lot of time left to fill up the freezer

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  • 3 weeks later...
CatholicConis

Matt: thanks for all the reports and advice. Can I pick your brain on this past weekend? My dad flew in for a few days to do some pike/bass fishing. Of course, the day he got here temps dropped 30 degrees with massive winds. The dreaded deep cold front. We fished Tonka three times at some of my go-to spots. Friday for two hours: 2 northerns, a few bass and a muskie sighting. Not bad. Saturday for 3 hours, only two northerns and a couple of other missed strikes. Sunday no northerns but 4 bass really shallow. Most fish were caught in 7-8 feet of water, though we tried all depths. We mainly had "success" on spinnerbaits. I suppose I should be grateful to bring home a couple of eater pike, but after decent fishing in September it was a bummer to have my poor dad freezing in the boat with only a few bites. Considering the conditions (terrible), would you have done anything different? Thanks in advance!

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Matt Johnson

Sorry I haven't been on here the last couple weeks, spent 9 days in NY for a sports show and drove out and back... it was a long trip smile

CatholicConis,

Sounds like you put in the effort. The weather can throw curve balls at us and you just need to pass things off as that sometimes. I think you made some very productive moves. Covering water would have been the name of the game and it sounds like you put that plan into action. One thing to suggest would have been to incorporate a crankbait for a different look... might even work on the those same spots. I know the jig worm bite on the outside weed line had been good, right tight to the weeds. You could also start to focus on channels now too... fish are starting to make those moves...

I will be back on Tonka tomorrow trying to figure out these "cold water" fish because it sounds like temps are dropping fast!! Outside weed lines should be producing and I know of a few decent walleye bites starting to pick up so we'll be checking those out as well... I will report back this weekend...

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Sandervitreus

Matt:

Have any advice on walleye fishing from piers around the area lakes, specifically Lower Prior? I haven't had any luck.

Thanks.

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CatholicConis

Thanks Matt. I made it out for a couple of hours this morning, caught one eater northern. On the deep weedline as you said. Early last week they were still shallow. I think the lake has turned and they are moving to winter spots. How'd you guys do?

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Matt Johnson

Friday was OK out on Tonka, but we really had to work for them. Move, move, move... didn't help that it was 28 degrees when we started the day and bitter on the face when cruising across the lake smile We did manage to start the day on a good note with a muskie... clients wanted a shot at a muskie and I knew where a couple have been hanging out near a channel mouth and 10 minutes into the spot they landed a mid 30-inch fish. Nothing huge, but it gave us a few acrobatic moves that got the blood pumping and made everyone forgot about the cold for a few minutes, LOL. It ate on a single blade spinner bait, burned in fast.

Otherwise the bass were scattered and couldn't really nail down a pattern. We caught fish shallow and deep, with the bigger fish actually up on the shallow flats once the sun got high... best bite was from noon-3pm. Everything in the morning came out deeper or in the channels.

Water temps were around 45 when we started the day and barely broke 50 by the time we left the lake around 4:30pm. We never ventured east of Arcola, so stayed mostly north and west... hit a total of 8 different bays so we were all over the place. North Arm produced the best for us, but we had some action in Black and Seton, as well as Phelps. Crystal had the deep bite going on the outside weed edge too.

We did manage some decent size fish though, so that was a bonus. Not a ton of numbers but we could have threatened a 15 pound bag for 5 if we pushed it hard.

Anyone hear how things went out there on Saturday for the Full Throttle Championship?

I'll be heading the other direction (Chisago) this week...

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    • imhatz
      By imhatz
      Hey guys we are all set for our trip to Sand Point May 21, 2021. Plan to fish pike and crappies. I have been going to this lake since 1982 and now have a new generation crew. They have been going 12 years with me. We normally stay in Browns and fish that area and Grassy. We are in King Pin site this year and plan to fish towards Swanson Bay and up and around Wolf Island. Any pointers. Thanks
    • eyeguy 54
      By eyeguy 54
      New rules for purchasing a combination license in MN. 
      DNR adjusts how married anglers and hunters buy combination licenses
      Both members of married couples who want to purchase a combination angling or hunting license in person will need to be present at the sales location starting Feb. 18, when the Minnesota Department of Natural Resources will begin requiring both spouses to provide and verify their own complete customer records on file to purchase a combination license.
      “These changes will bring the DNR into compliance with state and federal laws that require collecting this information for angling or hunting license sales,” said Steve Michaels, licensing program director. “The information helps prevent licenses being sold to people with violations or unpaid fines.”
      Customers will continue to pay the same price for combination licenses, which are discounted compared with purchasing two individual licenses.
      When purchasing a combination license in person, both spouses must be present, and, if age 21 or older, also must provide their current Minnesota driver’s licenses or identification cards. If both spouses are not present, the person present may purchase their part of the license and their spouse may obtain their license at a later date at no additional charge.
      If a spouse does not have a record on file with the DNR, that spouse can create one with their full name, birth date, social security number. If they are a Minnesota resident age 21 or older, they also will need a current Minnesota driver’s license or current Minnesota identification card. They can create their record anywhere DNR licenses are sold, or call the DNR license center at 877-348-0498 or 651-297-1230 Monday through Friday, 8 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. New resident customer records for people age 21 and over cannot be created online.
      “Thank you to all our license purchasers for patience adjusting to these changes and for buying a license,” Michaels said. “Your license dollars pay for a great deal of DNR conservation work and leverage more federal funding that supports hunting and fishing opportunities and habitat work.”
      The DNR offers the following married combination licenses:
      Angling, valid for fishing.
      Conservation angling, valid for half the possession limit, per spouse.
      Sports, valid for fishing for both spouses and small game hunting for one spouse.
      Super Sports, valid for fishing for both spouses, small game for one spouse, includes two state trout stamps, and waterfowl and pheasant stamps for one spouse. It also offers the choice of a firearm, archery or muzzleloader deer license for one spouse.
      Family nonresident angling, valid for one or both parents and dependent children under age 16.
      Also check out the DNR website - https://www.dnr.state.mn.us/licenses/combo.html
    • LakeofthewoodsMN
      By LakeofthewoodsMN
      On the south end...  Despite te cold weather, some good fishing reports up on Lake of the Woods this week.  A nice mix of walleyes and saugers being caught in 29-33 feet.  The cold weather made some of the fish less active, so coaxing them was key.  Using a jigging line in one hole with lures that put out vibration or noise was helpful.  That combined with a deadstick in your second hole with either a glow jig or plan hook and a minnow.  Keep the jigging line moving to attract fish.  Try gold, glow white, glow red, wonderbread and pink.  Lures that glow, have a glow stick or make noise are effective in the stained water.  
      Electronics are helpful to show suspended fish as well as how fish are reacting to your presentation.  Some bait shops and resorts will rent units for the day. 
      On the Rainy River...   Morning and evening bite producing some walleyes on the river.  A variety of areas being fished with low flow and cold temps.  The snowmobile trail on the river from Baudette to Wheeler's Point to the NW Angle staked and groomed.  Use caution and work through a resort, outfitter or gain info from a bait shop as there is current and areas not fit for travel on the river.
      Up at the NW Angle...  With the border closure, there are four ways to travel to the NW Angle without crossing the border.  1.  NW Angle Guest Ice Road from south shore up to the Angle.  2.  Snowmobile trails across the lake.  3.  Lake of the Woods Passenger Service (bombardier).  4.  Lake Country Air flying service.
      A lot of nice walleyes caught up at the Angle this week with a mix of other species.  Walleyes in 24 - 30' of water.  Some resorts are fishing structure, others fishing deep mud.  Jigging with noisy lures 3-4' off of the bottom is a good way to pull in fish.    Plain hook or a glow jig with a live minnow on deadstick.  Some days, the jigging line is hot, others the bobbers are going down.  Communicate with your favorite NW Angle resort for specifics.  Ice fishing on LOW through March. 
       


    • JBMasterAngler
      By JBMasterAngler
      What are the hours for parking at park point? I can’t remember if it’s 6 AM or sunrise, or anything in between. 
    • JBMasterAngler
      By JBMasterAngler
      Just curious how far some of you have walked across a lake to find a fishing spot? I don’t officially know myself, but assume I’ve done 3 or so miles round trip on Mille Lacs looking for tullibee. I’m probably going to try and double that (and more) in search of them again, late in the season. Has anyone traveled via bicycle across ice? I’m considering that too. Oh what we’re willing to do for a fish 🙄 😳🤣
    • JBMasterAngler
      By JBMasterAngler
      Just out of curiosity, has anyone fished in Texas before, particularly the Dallas/Ft. Worth area? I’ll be down there the week of thanksgiving, and hoping to plan a fishing day.
       
      Originally, I was thinking of going after alligator gar. But it doesn’t sound like November is the greatest month to target them. So I’m leaning towards a multi species outing, with an emphasis on striped bass.
       
      So, just wondering if anyone has been down there and has any guides or resorts to recommend.
       
  • Your Responses - Share & Have Fun :)

    • Oohfersuure
      I would explore helical footings.  Why not? Below is a company I’ve worked with. Not sure if they work up north or if they know someone that does? They are knowledgeable, a phone call should do er’ and see what you can find out. Good luck!   https://goliathtechmn.com/
    • eyeguy 54
      I just look at pics 😁😂😉
    • eyeguy 54
      Remind me to bring tums!! Lol
    • Rick G
      ice is still looking good, have roughly 24inces give or take a little. Cats have been kinda tough to find in any real numbers. I have done a bit of scouting this week.  I think I might have an area pinned down that has activity... Will do a bit more scouting this weekend and into next week.   Will Have  The location posted by Mid week for sure.  Will also keep monitoring ice conditions.
    • Rick G
      Well, might as well add some details to Royce's pics...lol With the longer days and warming weather pattern this week.  We have started to see more quality fish moving shallow to take advantage of the food and cover skinny water provides. Panfish start to move out from the basins during late winter to feed on the insects that become more active as the days get longer and warmer. There is also more oxygen available due to the weeds starting to grow again.     We have been finding more quality fish showing up in the 8-12 ft areas close to the greenest thickest weed available.  Insect type baits  like the p3 spug, the chigger fry and mayfly rigged on 3-4mm tungsten jigs have been working best.
    • Better Than Working!
      Never been there in may but early to mid June has provided lots of great memories!
    • JerkinLips
      Have fished 15 hours the last yesterday and today without catching a walleye. Y store only had crappie minnows and Fuel and Food had no minnows Thursday morning when I came up so I had to fish with the crappie minnows. My fish house neighbor caught 3 walleyess yesterday morning on pike suckers so I went back into town to get some after bait was delivered. Didn't help. I have only caught four 15" tulibee and a 12" perch. Switching to lake trout the rest of the weekend. 34" of ice. Gas sugar barely made it through. McKinley Park landing has a lot of water on the plowed road as you enter the lake. The Ice Castles may have a hard time getting off the lake this weekend. Good luck if you venture out and be careful.
    • gimruis
      I haven't got mine either.  But I don't intend to fish again until there's open water.  Carry on Bob
    • smurfy
      awe man............🤧😪 nice.................👍
    • eyeguy 54
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