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Lake Kabetogama Fishing Reports by Kab Kid


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Hi Gang,

I was asked to provide an updated fishing report from our area. I know many of you are fishing these waters daily and I would LOVE help and info from any and all of you. Ask questions...I'll try to help, or find you someone that can!!!

Just to give you some info about me...I've been guiding Kab/Namakan for 14 yrs, and lived and worked up there full-time until I met my wife, who was a park ranger. Now I live in White Bear Lake with my wife and two young sons. I still fish all the time...just not always at Kab. I do work as a paramedic full-time, but I have enough time to guide 30-40 trips per summer! I love guiding, but life and other obligations only allow so much...so I have connections to keep updated on the pulse of Kab & Namakan throughout the open water season. My family has been in the area since 1916 and my grandparents started the Gateway Store, my "uncle" Tim Watson was long time owner of Harmony Beach resort and has been guiding on Kab since he was a teenager!

This thread is to keep you updated on the lake kabetogama fishing reports ...it won't be daily but I'll try to help as much as possible.

Good Fishin...and hope to see you on the water!!!

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July fishing...bugs, hot, and challenging!

Here is what i know about recent fishing on Kabetogama/Namakan basin. Overall right now if I was your guide I would likely try to talk you into going to Namakan if you're walleye fishing! Namakan has been great the second 1/2 of July and is worth the gas and time to get down there. Fishing large reefs near Big Namakan Island or Junction Bay area have nice keeper walleyes and some jumbo perch in 24-30' of water. You may need to move around a bit. Try pulling live-bait rigs with crawlers or leeches with or without spinners a little faster (1-1.5 mph). Also I've caught some HUGE smallmouth bass when you creep up the reef into 10-15'. GREAT time to fish if you're looking for fun with those smallies...

As for Kabetogama...fishing is fair to good...I just haven't found a reef or island that was full of active fish. People are finding the best numbers of fish in morning and evening (7a-11a---not to early). Which makes sense with the hot flat days we had in July. If there is wind, I found fish near island points and shelves in 18-28'. I've done better on crawlers, but I would have a few leeches with me as well. I know some people are pulling cranks and finding big walleyes. Last time I was out I used a "Flat-fish" and 5' leader behind a 3/4oz. weight...and had a crazy evening...the walleyes hammered it! I would suggest trying a spot and then moving...try slow, if nothing happens then move faster through the same area...with so much food in the water, your bait needs to be perfect!

Good Luck and I hope you guys keep me updated on your reports as well!!!

See you on the water...

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Leeches are starting to work good for us again (kab). They were hitting them harder than crawlers. Although we were still catching fish on crawlers. Had the best luck trolling/drifting fast.

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i just spent 6 days up on "Heaven", that would be Kab! so if you all dont mind ill throw my 2 cents in as well. To prefess this im a jig fisherman, so my thoughts are based on jig fishin! We caught good numbers every day, 3/8 once blue jigs and shiners, mainly worked reef edges and wind blown points... i found that the saugers were between 19 and 26 feet and the eater walleye's "the slot on my boat is no bigger than 16 inches, personnal choice is all" were between 22 and 29 feet. Wierd, i know. I never had to go east of the Martins and the boat had good numbers! The other thing this year i've been noticing is HUGE perch in great numbers! In one spot we missed 9 hits in a row, that dont happen. So i hit anchor on the minnkota and set up a slip bobber in 22 feet off the west side of a reef. 45 minutes later, 22 perch between 12 and 15 inchs!!! CANDY!!! so for what its worth thats what i know... hope all has great fishin!.. Carmon..

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GREAT REPORT...thanks F&F for the update! Kabetogama is like my zen moment in the world. You breathe easier, you worry less, you smile more when you're near Kabetogama. Thanks for the report...I need help from others that love the area, so please add you input!

As for Jig fishing, I love jig fishing but I haven't tried a jig for 2 months I bet. I usually go away from them and go with lindy's, slip-bobbers, or pitching small jigs or cranks in the weed-lines. I'm happy to hear your catching walleyes on jigs. Were you using Minnows or did you try a jig and leech???

Love the perch that I've seen in the past TWO summers on Kab! Like you said some nice, big, beautiful perch. Most of mine have come off the reefs in the center of the lake...but it's nice to see. My kids love slip-bobber fishing and it is a great technique for anyone that marks a nice school of fish like Finsandfeathers did....

Thanks again...keep it up!

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We caught a couple big perch on accident the last few weeks. I havent caught a sauger in a while. which is a GOOD thing.

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KabKid, we did also have leechs and they were ok early in the morning and at dusk in 8 to 16 feet along wind swept shoreline breaks. After about 10am the shiners got way more hits as the fish transitioned deeper. I figured its been such a goofy weather season with everything a couple three weeks early the jig bite would come early as well, that seemed to be the case for us. I also heard about the perch being on center reef when i was in Phil's place, lets just say i was way closer to sucker creek than i was to center when we got into them wink i'll be back up aug 22-25 so if anyone see's a red 1875 pro v with three guys in it looking dumb come on over and say hi. We always enjoy meeting other Kab fisherman. Take care all and fish hard... Carmon... aka finsandfeathers

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Those are the days I'm happy i didn't have to go fishing...Even though I would rather be at Kab then the cities. I haven't been fishing Kab for more than a week now, but I always have to check in...

So between a friend that has been fishing Kab for a few years...and the "mayor" of Kabetogama Tim Watson Kab Angling Adventures I'm hearing that the drive to Namakan is as busy as Hwy 35...many people are headed east and catching fish...but the fish were biting well on Kab last week. My uncle was finding Fat Walleyes, and good numbers of perch and saugers still pulling 4-5ft. spinner rigs with crawlers or leeches on them. We've both said that the fish coming out of Kab the past 2-3 years are HUGE...fat, I mean. We're catching this "football" looking walleyes! A 16" walleye on Kab looks like a 18" fish on other systems...the food source and age class must be great for our 16-22" walleyes...Try 22-28 ft of water in the daytime sun on Kab or the reefs in Namakan are still producing some good walleyes, you may have to join the crowd though.

Hope to see you on the water!

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Kab has the fattest walleyes Ive ever seen. If you put a vermilion walleye next to one, it would look sick.

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Hey Guys (and girls maybe)...

Hope the fishing is going good. I'd like to put you on fish, but honestly I need your help. It's been the longest stretch of the summer I haven't had the big Pro V in the water...with kids soccer, and tee ball, and a few pan fishing trips out on Bald Eagle Lake I haven't been able to sneak up to my "ahhhhhh place" of Kabetogama. I want to know were people are fishing- good or bad. I'm sure this past weeks cooler temps. didn't help the fishing or maybe drove them to the jig/minnow tactic a little better. So speak up...let me (and everyone else) know what's happening. I'm back on the waters Friday through Monday, so until then I need reports from you guys!

PS. All of you fishing Namakan in the past two weeks, have you scene any Crappies??? Sometimes summer crappies often can be found around Hoist Bay or Moose Bay area and I haven't been that direction for awhile...

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Hey Kid,I did not know you where now in this area. As a avid fisherman of both the the St. Croix and Kab/Nam/Rainy areas,I would love to introduce you to the St. Croix, it is the best local fishing we have. Shoot me a email and lets get together this could be a lot of fun. Bob at r g larson dot com

PS my buddy just got back tonight from Sunsets on the Ash Trail, claims he hammered the big walleyes all weekend and caught his biggest ever, 34", I think the talk is getting deep.

HTB

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I didn't have live bait last week but I talked with a bunch of people that said the fishing was really slow. I marked a ton of fish in 32-40 FOW but couldn't get anything to bite. I tried bottom bouncers and raps, deep divers, and even some artificial leeches and crawlers. I talked with some guys that said they couldn't get anything to bite on the USA side but the hammered them on the Canadian side. I hope that helps...

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We have had guest last week and this week pulling 2 oz bottom bouncers with spinners and a small chunk of crawler and having no trouble finding fish. Soft bottom and covering ground trolling 1.3-1.5 mph. I have cleaned plenty of fish the last couple of weeks because of this method.

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Returned last night from 3 days fishing...first two on Kab, and a 1/2 day trip on Sunday in Namakan. We had great weather, cool nights and sunny days with light breeze. I tried a few things on Kab, without a lot of success Friday and Sat. We marked fish and caught a couple with a Jig and Minnow in 24-30' near big Martin. I talked with a couple resort owners and they had guests with the best luck using crawlers and spinners still. We did get a few, but I had my young ones with and we were looking at spots and enjoying the weather and time in the boat.

Water temp. on Kab and Namankan was 69-72 degrees. Stable front moving in this week and slightly warmer temps may make those fish more active...wish I could have stayed the whole week! Good luck to anyone heading that direction or you lucky ones that are up there all the time!

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Sorry forgot to tell you about our Sunday 1/2 day trip...and let me start by saying that we saw a "Freshwater Jellyfish" near Pike Island. I just read an article in the Duluth News and Tribune about these and I know my guest's and I saw one...anyone else noticing these in Namakan???

We tried several depth ranges from 6' out to 40' and the best fishing we had was in 28-35'...scattered fish. We used a jig and minnow...tried different colors, but gold, or blue seemed best. I had a wonderful couple celebrating there 20th anniversary!!! Congrat's Hanna & Andy! Thanks for taking me fishing with you...ha,ha. We caught 5 nice keeper walleyes and Andy and a nice 23" walleye we put back. We had another couple that were to small...but we moved around and tried to show these guys some spots for the rest of the week...hopefully they will find the fish. Fun 1/2 day trip...thanks, hope you had fun!

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Good point Sled....I would have loved to have leeches, but none in the area. Talked to Jack at Cold Springs bait and he said he can't get any...so if you know of leeches near your home, good idea to brings some up if possible! You won't find many, if any on Kab right now.

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Fished in the 5 foot waves on sunday and caught a bunch. Leeches. We were using bouncers with 5 foot leader and beads. 28-36 fow

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Same as us!!

We fished Saturday, Sunday and Monday, with Sunday being the best. Straight out from the resorts, SE of Fin Island at 30 feet. Otherwise we caught several nice walleye at 9 feet also. Deep on leeches, shallow on minnows. Artificial bait should have been left at home.

DD

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Just returned from Kab. Went up to take possesion of our "New to us" RV at Pine Aire Resort and snuck in a couple trips out with buddies. We did a lot of leadcore trolling in the main lake basin areas at the base of drop-offs and did quite well. We did not fish extremely hard, but still averaged about 20-25 fish a day and kept 6 to 8 fish both Sat and Sun. Caught a couple of bonus 30" plus pike to boot. My son even caught his biggest walleye to date a big, fat 26 incher.

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Wow, feels like I'm buried in work and not enough fishing lately. I was up over Labor Day weekend, fishing for two days...one with a group of two ladies out of Ash-Ka-Nam, and the other was me exploring on my own.

I fished Kab on my own for about 4 hours...lots of boats that weekend, very surprised by the number of people out, but the weather was great. I caught 4 nice keeper walleyes by Big Martin's North side in 28-32' of water with a lindy and leech...I tried jigs and lost a few bites, and caught one walleye around 21". Northern's stole my jig 2 or 3 times that day. I also tried pulling a few cranks in deeper water...I brought one nice one in and lost another one in a couple passes near Nashota Pt. Also talked with "Kevin" the VNP Ranger and he said fishing had been slow with more fish taken closer toward ash river.

Next morning we were on the water around 7am and my group wanted to learn more about Namakan after we talked about some of the lastest patterns and findings. Our first spot was one of our best, catching a couple keepers, and 4-5 too small. We caught walleyes on both Lindy's and jigs. Moving east we found walleyes in Namakan near Big Namakan, and also down in Junction Bay. Total we caught 28 fish...none over the slot...most smaller walleyes and a few northerns. We ended up with most of our fish coming from Jigs and minnows but we kept trying everything we had. Fun day and ended with some keepers and a fair number of fish...just couldn't find many with size. Sunny day, light winds, and most fish that we caught were 28-34' deep.

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  • 2 weeks later...

Fished on Thurs & Friday of last week...out of Arrowhead for a group of plumbers staying at Arrowhead lodge. Great group, we've fished with them for the last 2-3 years. Weather was windy on Thurs. with some rain coming that evening. We had to hide behind a few islands and find some deeper holes to find the walleyes, but we did fairly good fishing. We had 4 guys in the boat and caught about 30 walleyes...7 big ones that needed to go back, our biggest was 24" and fat! We had a good number of saugers, some keeper walleyes, and a few small ones. News from other guides out that day was fare less fish coming from Ash river area into Namakan...and much smaller walleyes!

Friday started cold...upper 30's, but sunny and great until mid-day when the rain and isolated storms roled throught about every 1/2 hour until we ended around 4:30 that day. We caught a few more fish on Friday...counter was just over 40 fish for the day! We had about 5 slot fish that day and a number of small northers in these deep waters...again saugers, lots of good walleyes, and a few jumbo perch. Fishing in 28-35' deep. Fun to be on the water and great start to fall fishing!!!

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  • 8 months later...

Hi guys & girls,

I know other guides are up there daily, but I come and go...and even thought I fished opener and one other weekend the guide season just started last this past week with a great group staying at Harmony Beach for 3 days. We fish Sun-Tues. with 4 boat and 13 guys.

Sunday, overcast with light 5-10mph wind out of the East. We caught a good number of walleyes, saugers, and smaller pike in 3-8 ft of water using mostly 1/8oz jigs tipped with minnows. We did catch several walleyes using leeches, but minnows and shallow water were key to success. The bite was fairly light, and we did miss a good number of fish, but each boat caught 20-30 walleyes and I know we had at least 8 in the 20-25" range that went back.

Monday, similar overcast...slightly cooler and winds changed direction constantly. We caught fish, and our boat stayed shallow all day. We caught more in the morning than afternoon. Again, we stayed in the middle to West end of Kabetogama. Similar numbers of fish with 20-25 walleyes boated and about 5 or 6 big fish went back.

Tues. Overnight T-storms screwed things up and we didn't catch many fish. 6 total fish in 1/2 day out of my boat 4 walleyes and 2 northern...only one keeper. I did fish a little on my own and found keepers in 18-20 feet, sitting on them with a lindy and minnow (but barely moving)...

water temps. 60-65 and things look great...I think this weekend and into the week should be great! Hope to see some of you on the water!

Kab Kid

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Hey Kab Kid---I think we saw and talked to you on Tuesday afternoon? We were the 4 guys in the Sylvan, IA boat.

That fish I hooked into---that took forever to land and we thought was a sturgeon turned out was only a 23 inch walleye. It had another spinner/little joe rig I had hand tied and lost on Sunday in it's mouth. I think the rig in it's mouth had gotten lodged in the rocks. We finally just got the right angle and loosened it up out of the rocks is what we think happened. What are the chances?

We fished the same spot on Thursday and leeches seemed to work better either plain hook or small gold spinner.

Good luck with the rest of the season.

T

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Fun talking with you guys T,

I don't know what was happening with that fish but something was weird for a 23" fish to be THAT locked on the bottom. It was nice to fish that spot without the normal traffic at that area and good to have you guys fishing around and catching some in some hot conditions. Hope you had a great week! (sorry for the late reply, I just got back again after fishing 4 days this week)

www.kabkid.com

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Another quick update:

Fished Sunday - Tues. this past week...saw a few mayflies starting, stay tuned next week. Depending on the hatch, in general the first week you start seeing them fishing can be amazing! After that if can shut down for a week depending on how bad the hatch is...if that happens I like to run to Namakan as the hatches can be later and not as thick...so tip to maybe try Namakan in a week or two of the Mayflies are thick on Kab!

www.kabkid.com

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My fishing groups this past week:

Fished Sunday evening on 1/2 day trip with a group of guys and a "follow boat" out of Ash-Ka-Nam. Got in 2 hrs of fishing (Before rain scared us off) and caught 4 keeper walleyes and another couple slot fish (biggest was 22") fishing on the east end of Kab. Lots of boats moving and weather was storm clouds coming and going. Our best tactic was very SLOW moving with lindy rigs (plain hooks) and leeches. Fish were caught in 6-12ft of water.

Monday 1/2 day trip: tried half dozen spots and only found fish in 2-3 of those spots...when we caught one, we worked that area over slow and steady and each pass picked up another walleye. Some caught on jig and minnow others with leeches.

Tues: Full day, bright, hot, and flat...not your ideal conditions unless you're headed to Kettle falls. But we did O.K. and and 4 northerns, and 4 keeper walleyes for shorelunch. Afternoon was much better as just a slight breeze picked up and we found several spots in the shallows again that just had walleyes of all sizes...some small, keepers, and some slot fish...but out of one area where there was some sand and emerging weeds with that slight breeze we pick up at least 20 walleyes out of one spot and another 6-8 fish from another...good afternoon of fishing! I'm back up next week for several days and I'll let you know what I know...

Good luck, say "hi" if I see you on the water...

WW "kab kid"

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  • Your Responses - Share & Have Fun :)

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