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West Metro - Minnetonka, Waconia, Prior Lake Fishing Reports by Great Day on the Water Guide Service


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Troy Smutka

8/6/15     Caught about fifteen bass all about the same size, and one nice pike on Waconia this morning before the rain moved in. Also had a big muskie on that bit the line and took the bait and caught two ten inch crappies. Caught some fish over the tops of weed covered reefs on spinnerbaits, and others along the deep weed edges of reefs on Rippin' Raps. Good luck, and I will see you out there somewhere.

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7/24/17     Got my son and one of my daughters out with Grandpa Smutka on Waconia this afternoon (I have football practice every morning this week). We targeted panfish alongside a weedy reef. Small j

6/9/15     On Waconia and Minnetonka the past few days. Caught mostly largemouth and panfish, but also a few pike and a couple walleyes. Bass, pike, and eyes are on the inside weed edges and especiall

6/23/18     Guided on Waconia on Saturday. Clients from Iowa looking for walleyes, northerns, and maybe a musky. No musky, but did catch walleyes, northerns, bass, and crappies, including some big one

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Troy Smutka

9/2/15      My boat heads down the road with its new owner on Saturday, so finished with open water fishing reports for 2015. Football and hunting will take up my time in the fall. Check the waterfowl hunting reports this fall for our hunting reports, and I will be back on this forum as well as Hutchinson and Mille Lacs with ice fishing reports once the water firms up. Pick up a new boat in the spring and will be back with open water fishing reports then. Good luck this fall, and I will see you out there somewhere.

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Troy Smutka

12/28/15     Just enough ice to walk on many west metro area lakes. We found five inches on Burandts Lake near Waconia, and four inches in Waconia Bay on the big lake. Caught some pike on tip-ups on Burandts, and jigged up some bluegills and pumpkinseeds on Waconia. Some area lakes still have very thin ice in spots, especially over deep areas, so please use caution. If we don't get too much snow tonight and tomorrow, should thicken up the ice over the next few days. Good luck, be safe, and I will see you out there somewhere. 

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Troy Smutka

1/16/15     West Metro

     Out on a west metro area lake this morning as the next visit from the polar vortex begins. 10 inches of good ice with not much snow on top, so easy walk out with the Fish Trap. Fish on the flashers all morning, but the bite was slow. Caught about two dozen bluegills in four hours, most of them 7.5 to 8.5 inches. Small VMC Tungsten Tubby jigs tipped with two red Eurolarvae or one wax worm. One pike on a sucker minnow under a tip-up. Gonna stay inside during the brutal cold tomorrow. Should make a lot of ice the next couple days, and hopefully it will warm up a bit then. Good luck, be safe, and I will see you out there somewhere.

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Troy Smutka

1/30/16     West Metro

     Still about 15 inches of ice on the west metro area lake we fished Saturday. 40 degrees with rain in the afternoon--our odd, up and down weather continues. Fishing a deep hole between a shallower shoreline point and offshore reef. Sunfish and crappies visible on the flasher and camera all day long. Finicky biters most of the day except for a window from 1-3:30 pm when they fed voraciously. Caught several dozen bluegills, most from 7 to 9 inches, and one crappie during daylight. Caught several crappies, also mostly 7 to 9 inches, after dark. Chartreuse and orange Gill Pills tipped with a couple red Eurolarvae were the ticket for the sunfish. Glow white Tungsten Tubbies tipped with a large wax worm was best for the crappies after dark. Good luck, and I will see you out there somewhere.

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Troy Smutka

2/15/16     West Metro

     Found 18-19 inches of good ice this past weekend in the west metro. Sunfish and crappie bite was good on Saturday afternoon, after is warmed up a bit, but was slower on Monday. Almost all of the sunfish were 7.5 to 9 inches, and most of the crappies were 8-11 inches. Tungsten Tubbies and Gill Pills with red Eurolarvae or 1" Gulp! Fish Fry were the ticket. Fish roaming a deep hole of 20-23 feet near a shallow reef. Good luck, and I will see you out there somewhere.

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Troy Smutka

2/20/16     Out on Prior Lake this morning. Still 19 inches of ice where we were fishing, but the ice around the shoreline is starting to get pretty bad, so we walked out. Fair amount of water and slush on the ice--most wheel houses had been removed. Unfortunately, a lot of garbage (wood blocks, empty propane bottles, beverage cans and bottles, bags of garbage, etc.) left on the ice. We picked up as much as we could carry on the walk back to shore and put it in the garbage cans by the landing. Let's try to clean up after ourselves as the rest of the houses come off over the next week--for the good of the lakes and everyone that uses them. Fished VMC Tungsten Tubbies tipped with waxies and 1" Gulp! Fish Fry over a deep hole near a shallow reef. Fish below us most of the time from 7:00 to noon. Bite was off and on, but fairly consistent. Caught dozens of sunnies and crappies, mostly the size in the photos with only a couple small ones. Good luck, be careful, and I will see you out there somewhere.

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Troy Smutka

3/28/16     Mississippi River Pool 2

     Caught five eyes from 16-18 inches on Friday, ten from 12-25 inches today. Fish were holding in current breaks at the base of a steep shoreline break. Water temp was 39 Friday, 40 today. 3/8 ounce pink and chartreuse round head jig with a Lindy rattle chamber tipped with a fathead minnow out-fished all other offerings Friday and today. Good luck, and I will see you out there somewhere.

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popriveter

Thanks Troy. It is encouraging to see someone catching something. Today was supposed to be my 1st boat day of 2016 and Pool 2 is calling, but all this rain and cold may keep me in.

I'll need to watch the levels.

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Troy Smutka

popriveter,

     Still time to get down there and get in on it. Slayed them this morning--see below.

4/3/16     Mississippi Pool 2

     Had the morning free to fish today, so headed to Pool 2. Twenty-seven walleyes and one sheephead in four hours. Caught most by the dam, but when the bite slowed and it got crowded there, headed downstream and popped a few more before we had to leave. A few small ones, but most were from 14 to 19 inches. Not milking yet, no females yet, water temp about 43 degrees. 3/8 ounce jig tipped with a fathead was the best bait. Good luck, and I will see you out there somewhere.

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Troy Smutka

4/13/16     West Metro

     Water is finally warming on area lakes and the crappies are starting to bite. Found crappies cruising above weeds in 9-11 feet of water Wednesday afternoon. Almost all of them were 8-9 inches with just a couple smaller and one larger. Fish were very aggressive and easy to catch. 2" Berkely Power Bait or Gulp! Minnows on a 1/16 ounce VMC Mooneye Jig suspended five feet under a slip float was the best bait. Caught 60-70 fish in two hours. Larger fish should show up as the water warms a little more, and they all should start moving shallower. The water was 42 degrees on this particular lake. Warmer water--check shallower. Be careful with the harvest and try not to "freezer fill" as the fish are vulnerable right now. Get a kid out if you can for some fun and to ensure the future of our sport. Good luck, and I will see you out there somewhere.

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Troy Smutka

5/3/16     Still catching plenty of crappies over shallow to mid-depth weeds. Catching a few on a small jig spinner slow-rolled over the weeds, but the most consistent presentation is still a 1/16 ounce jig tipped with a 2" Gulp! or Power Bait minnow suspended under a slip-float above the weeds. Crappie minnows are catching fish too, but if they will hit soft plastics it keeps your hands out of a minnow bucket and keeps you in the water more triggering fish instead of reeling in and rebaiting. Get a kid out for some fast crappie action on a nice spring day--you'll have as much fun as they will. Good luck, and I will see you out there somewhere.

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Troy Smutka

5/7/16     Hit Prior Lake for crappies this morning to hide from the wind that would have been tough, and cold, on Waconia. Found fish in some weeds along the north shore, protected from the wind. Caught 30-40 nine to eleven inch crappies, 15-20 seven to nine inchers, and a dozen big pumpkinseed sunfish. Also caught a few small bass. The female crappies were full of eggs, and the males are starting to go black. Fish were cruising an inside weed edge and using some docks along the way in 4 to 6 feet of water. We were suspending a 1/16 ounce VMC jig tipped with a 2" Gulp! Minnow three feet below a slip bobber. Used the Terrova I-Linked to the Humminbird to "anchor" off the fish and casted to them. Even kept a few for a fresh meal for Mom this afternoon. Happy Mother's Day and a big "Thank you" to all the moms out there. Good luck, and I will see you out there somewhere.

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Troy Smutka

5/28/16     Hit the west metro area for bass this morning. Found mostly post-spawn males on the inside weed edges near bedding areas. These areas are full of sunfish, so plenty of food to hold the bass and pike. Mostly buzzed spinnerbaits through the top of cabbage in six to eight feet of water. Cloudy and hazy had the lake quiet without much traffic, and the fish biting. Caught twenty nine largemouth and four pike in about four hours, before the rain moved in. Most of the bass were from 15 to 18 inches, but did catch one 20.5 inch female and a half dozen smaller males. Good luck, and I will see you out there somewhere.

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beeflover

whatta nice day you had and I stayed home cause I lost a bearing cap the other day. I shoulda took a picture of the mess of grease I made changing bearings.

looking at some of your previous posts you seem to throw spinnerbaits a lot and it seems to be working for multi-species.  Old school that.

I'll be lookin for ya somewhere

good fishin

 

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Troy Smutka

6/13/16     Got my kids out on a West Metro lake for a couple hours this morning. Sunfish are on the beds and biting like crazy. A few small bass in the area as well. Get some kids out on your area lake right now to get in on some fast fun fishing any time of the day, the nicer the weather the better. Perfect for kids, and for the kid in all of us that likes watching a bobber go down. All you need is a 1/32 ounce jig in pink or orange tipped with a small 1" Berkley tube or Fish Fry (same colors) suspended under a small slip float balanced with the jig size you are using. Sunnies, and bass, will hammer this--no need for live bait. Good luck, and I will see you out there somewhere.

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Troy Smutka

6/17/16     Got two of my kids out fishing on Waconia on Friday. Sunfish are still up on the beds and biting like crazy, so everyone had a blast. A small Power Tube or Gulp! Fish Fry on a 1/32 ounce VMC jig under a slip float was all we needed to catch over a hundred sunfish in a couple hours. Good luck, and I will see you out there somewhere.

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Troy Smutka

6/24/16   Still catching bass and sunfish in numbers on west Metro lakes, with a few pike and walleyes mixed in. Sunfish are still shallow--small jig and soft plastic under a slip float. Catching bass mid-depth and deep with multiple presentations including crankbaits, spinnerbaits, swimbaits, topwater prop baits, and swimming soft plastic lizards. Good luck, and I will see you out there somewhere.

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Troy Smutka

7/5/16   Fished Minnetonka this morning. Caught several bass and pike slow rolling spinnerbaits over cabbage and grass in six to nine feet of water early. Then switched to deep diving crankbaits along edges of deep weedy points and reefs. Caught about thirty fish altogether, and most were fair to good sized. White Terminator 1/2 ounce tandem was the best spinnerbait, and a shad or bludgill colored Rapala DT 10 and 16 were the best crankbaits for the spots we fished. Good luck, and I will see you out there somewhere.

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7/5/16   Fished Minnetonka this morning. Caught several bass and pike slow rolling spinnerbaits over cabbage and grass in six to nine feet of water early. Then switched to deep diving crankbaits along edges of deep weedy points and reefs. Caught about thirty fish altogether, and most were fair to good sized. White Terminator 1/2 ounce tandem was the best spinnerbait, and a shad or bludgill colored Rapala DT 10 and 16 were the best crankbaits for the spots we fished. Good luck, and I will see you out there somewhere.

 

 

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Troy Smutka

8/1/16     Got out on Waconia this morning hoping for a bite ahead of the rain and storms coming. Caught eight largemouth from 12 to 16 inches, and had two 19-20 inchers come off jumping by the boat. Caught three pike from 35 to 40 inches, and two muskies that were 43 and 44 inches. Also had a muskie in the low 50's hit right at the boat. Swallowed the bait and a six inch titanium wire leader, bit off the line, splashed me, and swam away. Exciting couple of seconds anyway. Caught all of the fish in four to seven feet of water with some clouds and good wind/waves. Good luck, and I will see you out there somewhere.

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DrewFlu33

Great report!  What were you getting the bass on?  

I've only been able to find them deeper lately on drop shots and the like.  Do you think the wind and cloud cover had them up shallower, or that they're starting to move back up for fall? 

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Troy Smutka

DrewFlu,

     Got the bass on spinnerbaits, jig spinners with 3" grubs, and Rippin' Raps. I think the prefrontal conditions with wind was why there were big fish of multiple species up shallow. We experience that all summer on Waconia--the fish are willing to move up shallow quickly with the right weather conditions.

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Troy Smutka

8/12/16     Got out on Waconia this morning. Perfect conditions. Cloudy, some wind, drizzle on and off, and storms to the west. Hit top of one weedy reef and inside weed edges on two other spots. Had one 1/2 ounce bass spinnerbait and one 1 ounce small musky spinner bait going through the weed tops and along the edge. Got ten largemouth from 16 to 19 inches, four pike up to 36 inches, and a 46 inch musky. Also had another musky roll on a bait but missed it. Once the wind dropped to nothing and the sun cracked out briefly in the late morning, this shallow water (5 to 9 feet) bite was over. Good luck, and I will see you out there somewhere.

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Troy Smutka

12/24/16     West Metro

     Got out on a couple west metro area lakes Friday afternoon/evening and Saturday morning. Caught some crappies and nice bluegills Friday evening in 20 feet of water. Saturday morning caught some nice sunfish in shallower water, with two-foot high weeds. Both days the sunnies wanted small gill pills tipped with a waxie or a couple red Eurolarvae. The crappies hit this offering some, but really liked a small crappie minnow under a slip float. Found 5 to 8 inches of ice everywhere we looked. Not much snow left. Will get out next week to see what all the rain does to the ice. Headed to Mille Lacs in the middle of the week for walleyes and perch--check out the Mille Lacs forums for a report later in the week. Good luck, be safe on the ice, and I will see you out there somewhere.

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Any ice reports coming in from Waconia? I haven't hit the ice yet this season. Might venture out towards Waconia tomorrow. Any info would be greatly appreciated!

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Troy Smutka

Haven't been on Waconia yet. In Towne Marina keeps pretty good tabs on ice conditions--give em a call. Last report I heard was six inches in Waconia Bay but that is about ten days old.

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Troy Smutka

1/1/17     Happy New Year everyone:) Got out on Prior this morning. Still about 8-9 inches of ice--no snow at all. Good sunfish bite with a couple crappies mixed in. Fish coming up out of the weeds all morning, with peak bites from 8:30 to 9:30 and 10:30 to 11:00. Fast action with lots of doubles during those peak times, but still seeing and catching a fish here and there the rest of the time. Almost all the sunfish were over seven inches, caught sunnies up to 9.5 inches. Just two crappies, one 7" and one 9 inches. Caught probably sixty sunfish, kept two meals--one tomorrow and one in the freezer. Small VMC Tugnsten Tubby in orange, chartreuse, and white tipped with two red Eurolarvae was our best offering, but Gill Pills and waxies caught fish as well. Fishing over two to three foot high weeds in mid-depth water not far from a deep hole. Good luck, and I will see you out there somewhere.

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Troy Smutka

1/16/17     Got out on a west Metro area lake this weekend. Sunfish bite was a little slow, but had a couple of good spurts of activity, and the fish were mostly big ones. Panfish have move out over the deep basin area. Seventeen inches of ice where we were and snow is not a problem. We caught sunnies (and one bass and one crappie) on small VMC Tungsten Tubbies in white and orange/chartreuse/white tipped with two red Eurolarvae. An underwater camera was helpful as the fish were a bit finicky and often grabbed the end of the Eurolarvae and just held on for a couple seconds before finishing inhaling the bait enough for a hook set. Probably would have missed more fish fishing by feel than by sight. Panfish should be over these deep basin areas feeding on larvae coming out of the soft bottom for the nest six weeks to two months depending on the timing of the arrival of spring weather. Good luck, and I will see you out there somewhere.

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Troy Smutka

1/23/17    Night crappie bite is on. Hit Waconia Saturday evening. Got a good sunfish bite half hour before sunset until dark. Crappies bit well from six to eight pm. Larger Tungsten Tubby in glow tipped with a wax worm and a small VMC spoon in glow pink fire UV tipped with a waxie were the best baits. Sunfish were near the bottom over a deep basin area adjacent to a shallower weedy area, and crappies moved through spread out over the bottom eight feet or so of the water column. Sunfish still biting during the day on Prior, but they are moving around a lot so you need to hole hop for a consistent bite. Numbers and size. Tiny Tungsten Tubby or Gill Pill with one or two red Eurolarvae were working well. An inline reel is a big help as it reduces line twist and keeps you jig from spinning and spooking finicky sunfish. Still sixteen to eighteen inches of ice on Waconia, and fifteen to sixteen on Prior. Water and slush on top, but more seasonal temps this week should firm things up. Good luck, be safe, and I will see you out there somewhere.

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Troy Smutka

3/28/17     Fishing for spring river run walleyes on the Mississippi in St. Paul the past two days. No big females yet, but lots of 12 to 18 inch males for myself and clients. 3/8 ounce  to 1/2 ounce chartreuse/pink or white jigs with a rattle chamber tipped with a fathead minnow were the ticket. Kept the jig slightly off the bottom, and slowed the boats drift with the MinnKota so the jig was drifting faster than the boat and was down stream of the boat at about a 45 degree angle. Just slightly lifted and dropped the jig to create a subtle swimming motion. Hungry male walleyes were slamming it. Heading up to the Rainy for a few days--will report on that when back. Good luck, and I will see you out there somewhere.

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      On the Rainy River...   River fishing started out strong, slowed down with cold weather and the Big Fork and Little Fork Rivers spilling mud into the Rainy River and now is picking up again.  The water is clearing and water temps are on the rise.
      A 3/8 - 1/2 ounce jig is working nicely tipped with a minnow or a plastic.  Bright plastics and frozen shiners working best on jigs.  Walleyes caught in various depths down to 35 feet.  
      Some anglers trolling crankbaits with success to cover water.  Walleye season is catch and release only on Rainy River and Four Mile Bay through April 14th.
      Sturgeon fishing continues to be good with good numbers of sturgeon being caught.  Sturgeon aren't as affected by dirty water as they feed by scent.  Sturgeon catch and release season through 4/23/21.  Keep season 4/24/21 - 5/7/21, (45-50", or over 75")  Catch and release 5/8/21 - 5/15/21.  Closed 5/16/21 - 6/30/21.
      With lower current, a 3 ounce no-roll sinker combined with a sturgeon rig (18" snell of 60 lb test with a 4/0 or 5/0 circle hook) with a glob of crawlers, frozen emerald shiners or both is the ticket.  Local bait shops have rigs and bait available.
      Up at the NW Angle...  Various areas are starting to open up.  Looking ahead to open water, there are various ways to travel to the NW Angle this summer without crossing the border.  If you have the right boat and expertise, boating across is an option.  There is also the Lake of the Woods Passenger Service (charter boat shuttle to Angle).  And finally, Lake Country Air flying service, a float plane service out of Baudette and other locations.  
       


    • Mata Eveleth
      By Mata Eveleth
      Hey just trying to find a report that says like on March 20th, 2021 the water level measured at Crane Lake was.. say 18 feet 6 inches.. measured again on April 5th, 2021 and the depth is now at 17 feet six inches.. something simple. been searching around this web site.. and way to complex.. KISS   Keep it short and simple.. over and out.. same thing any web site you just want a bit of info.. and all this run around crap.. pffff.
    • JBMasterAngler
      By JBMasterAngler
      Made my long awaited return to the Rush yesterday. Never got a WI license last year, so it was good to be back! Beautiful weather! But conditions could not have been worse for trout! Water was lowest I’ve ever seen! And gin clear, without a single cloud in the sky. We were fortunate to catch the 3 we did. Way too many people out for my liking. But our gear worked, and our boots didn’t leak 😁 so it was a great day as far as I’m concerned.
       


    • LakeofthewoodsMN
      By LakeofthewoodsMN
      On the south end... Ice fishing is all finished up on the main lake.  The focus is on back bays for big pike and areas of open water on the lake for walleyes.  The pike season is open year round on LOW and the Rainy River.  3 fish per day, 30-40 inches must be released, one over 40" allowed.  
      Anglers are allowed a limit of walleyes and saugers on the lake, but catch and release only on Four Mile Bay and the Rainy River through April 14.  A limit of walleyes and saugers is a combined limit of 6 fish with up to 4 being walleyes.  Walleyes 19.5-28.0 inches must be released with one allowed over 28 inches.  The walleye season runs through April 14th and starts up again May 15th for the MN Fishing Opener.
      On the Rainy River...   Five boat ramps are open on the Rainy River and there are 42 miles of open water for fishing.  Nelson Park in Birchdale, Frontier, Vidas (near Clementson), Timbermill Park in Baudette and the Wheeler's Point access at the mouth of the river 12 miles north of Baudette are all open.  
      River fishing has started out strong.  Good numbers of walleyes are being caught by some with trophy fish in the mix.  A 3/8 - 1/2 ounce jig is working nicely tipped with a minnow or a plastic.  Walleye season is catch and release only on Rainy River and Four Mile Bay through April 14th.
      Sturgeon fishing continues to be excellent with big numbers of sturgeon being caught.  Sturgeon catch and release season through 4/23/21.  Keep season 4/24/21 - 5/7/21, (45-50", or over 75")  Catch and release 5/8/21 - 5/15/21.
      With lower current, a 3 ounce no-roll sinker combined with a sturgeon rig (18" snell of 60 lb test with a 4/0 or 5/0 circle hook) with a glob of crawlers, frozen emerald shiners or both is the ticket.  Local bait shops have rigs available.
      Up at the NW Angle...  Looking ahead to open water, there are various ways to travel to the NW Angle this summer without crossing the border.  If you have the right boat and expertise, boating across is an option.  There is also the Lake of the Woods Passenger Service (charter boat shuttle to Angle).  And finally, Lake Country Air flying service, a float plane service out of Baudette and other locations.  
       


    • eyeguy 54
      By eyeguy 54
      White suckers are on the move in some of the local rivers. Night crawler on a #6 hook and a 1/4 oz slip sinker brought many to shore the last two days. Crazy light biters. 





  • Your Responses - Share & Have Fun :)

    • BrianF
      Due to all the the weeds, I’ve heard the name ‘Garbage Bay’ given to the bay just West of Niles Point - which bay actually has a name, Laura Bay - but I’ve not heard of Garbage Point.  Maybe it’s associated with Garbage Bay?  Dunno for sure...
    • Skibo
      Skunked - I've always been Lowrance.  A friend suggested buying one smaller Humminbird to connect to the Minnkota.  I did just that with a 9" and have since upgraded to a 12", and have been very happy with the setup.  I prefer the Lowrance/Navionics for navigation, and the Humminbird with their Side Imaging for fishing.
    • SkunkedAgain
      That's a beautiful part of the lake. Great pictures.   Forgive my ignorance as this is more of a map question. Is "Garbage Point" right next to Niles Point? I've heard the name over the years and believe that it is right around there on the north side.
    • SkunkedAgain
      I don't remember what kind of survey they did in the fall, but whatever it was showed very favorable walleye populations on Vermilion.   I did a quick search, and they were netted not shocked out of the water:  http://timberjay.com/stories/walleye-boom-time,17521
    • DonkeyHodey
      You got it, bro!   The secret spot is not so secret...    Usually the beach is empty in April but it wasn't this past weekend (we planned to try Sun before lunch and there was no room, so we took early lunch, came back and thankfully then the prime beach spot was open!  YES!)   The high water is one thing;  there's at least enough standing room and I could barely fit a folding chair.  (but action was hot--we weren't sitting much at all!) The bigger issue was casting room.  80% of the time I spent fishing and 20% untangling line from the brush/trees.  🤣
    • BrianF
      East end of Waconda Bay.  Our dock points N towards Niles Point, which you can see in the background there.  Been eight years now since we bought; every year better than the last.   
    • gunner55
      Still there today, 2 boats in the water along with at least 2 vehicles. Usually they're done in 2-3 days so I'm not sure if the weather delayed them or if since it didn't happen last season they are taking more.
    • Sorgy
      Nice view, Where on the lake is that?
    • FishinCT
      I assume they also didn’t do the fall electrofishing survey to assess young of the year walleye?
    • Rick G
      Nice job @DonkeyHodey   The old "secret" spot produces again😏  Hard time finding a place to stand with the high water?  
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