• GUESTS

    If You  want access  to member only forums on FM, You will need to Sign-in or  Sign-Up now .

    This box will disappear once you are signed in as a member.

  • Join In - We Share Fishing Reports & Outdoor Information Here

     
      You know what we all love...

      The same things you do!!!! Share what you love & enjoy in the outdoors as well as thank those whose posts you 'appreciate.'

      Have Fun!!!

Slopfishin

Fall Smallmouth Fishing Namakan/Sand Point/Crane

Recommended Posts

Slopfishin

I realize that walleye is kind up there, but was hoping there were some smallie fishermen here on the board that could give me some advice on the fall smallmouth fishing on Namakan, Sand Point and Crane.  I've been coming up there for many years to fish for smallies in the springtime but have never tried it there in the Fall.  Was thinking that I may try my hand at some fall smallmouth up there while they're trying to fatten up for the winter. 

Right now I am planning on coming up at the end of September.  I'm hoping to find the fish in less than 20 feet of water.  Jigs, tubes, jerkbaits and topwater is what I'm hoping they will be biting on.  I know water temperature plays a huge role in the fish moving back shallow to feed so I'm hoping my timing is right.  Do you folks think it's worth the trouble around that time.  I really don't feel like hauling my boat 1,100 miles (I live in Kentucky) if I'm gonna be fishing the dead sea.  Would Rainy Lake be a better choice?

Any advice would be greatly appreciated.  Thanks.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Dusty
  • I think in fall you will find the Smallmouth going deep. We were on Namakan last week and found Bass at all depths. Three of us were fishing Walleyes and constantly were pestered by Bass taking our live bait rigs. We measured many Bass in the 16" to 20" range. The walleye fishing was darn good too. Heading back Monday for a week can give you another report if you like. I am not Bass fishing but usually find them with the walleye this time of year.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
CaptJohnWis

Fall is the best time for smallmouth! October is my favorite month on Rainy. But I have my best luck a little deeper than you mentioned. Check humps that have lots of 20-25 FOW on top and you may hit a jackpot. There is a reason Minnesota has a catch & release only season for smallmouth in Fall. They really school up, and once you find a hump they like, it can be loaded. Some fish hogs were keeping them and hurting the bass fishing on several lakes so the state put in the rule protecting them once the water starts to cool down.

I never use live bait for bass but if you must, please use a circle hook to avoid gut hooking them.

Bass have always been hard for me to mark on sonar. But once you hook one, try to reel it up under your transducer. If you are in a good spot you might see this. Half the school will chase the hooked one!

 

Rainy2015-10-11b.jpg

Rainy2010-10-2.jpg

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Slopfishin

Thank you guys for the responses.  It seems like I'll need to be willing to fish the deeper humps.  Around here we do a lot of ledge fishing.  But most of the ledges have tops that are about 10' of water and drop down to 20 or so.  There are some guys that do deeper ledge fishing but I've never been one of them.

But I'm always willing to learn.  You were talking about humps with tops that are about 25'.  Will the fish just be milling around on the top or will they be sitting right at the edge where it drops off? 

Also, I'm definitely an artificial lure guy.  No live bait.  If I'm gonna be going this deep what should I be using for smallies?  I'm thinking jigs, heavier tubes and even spoons.  Any thought.

BTW, those are some really cool sonar pics you posted, Capt.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
CaptJohnWis

Yes to all three lures that you mentioned. You can go to my thread on Rainy Lake and review pictures from previous Fall trips to see what I use.

Rainy Lake link

My favorite humps top off around 10 feet. The fish are rarely there in October, but when they are, you get bit every cast. Normally they are around 20 FOW on secondary humps, or at that depth on the edge. They often suspend at around 20 FOW away from the hump but tough to find them there and they don't stay put for long. Trolling deep running cranks will help locate them when suspended. While I rarely mark bass with sonar, I will mark bait and then spend more time in that area.

When you find a good bass hump, you hardly catch any walleyes. Probably 25 to one ratio.Mean smallies run off those bottom feeders!

Dress warm! The colder it gets, the fatter the fish.

2015 fall bass.jpg

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Slopfishin

Thanks for the link to your fishing reports thread.  That was some interesting reading.  Especially for a bass guy like myself that has become addicted to smallie fishing those lakes up there.  I was able to read 10 years of reports in a few hours.  It was great.

I've been going up to Crane Lake in May for about 6 years now.  I usually try and spend two weeks up there.  I went up there the first time and really liked the people at the resort I stay at and the fishing.  So I have just kind of made that place my annual fishing vacation location.  I primarily fish the Canadian side of Namakan and am pretty much the only smallmouth fisherman there.  I've fished Rainy once and it seems that Namakan has a lot of the same structure, just on a smaller scale than Rainy.  So the type of fishing you're talking about should translate to that body of water...I hope.

Having said all that, I really should get back up and try Rainy.  I hear nothing but great things about it.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now



  • Similar Content

    • Jesse Wilkins
      By Jesse Wilkins
      Hey fellas, I developed a free fishing phone app for my fellow fisherman. It’s called FishIQ. I broke down 10 species by their location based on the water temperature. So if you’re looking for quick pointers or interested on where to find other species throughout the seasons give it a try! Hopefully it leads to more fish at the boat!
    • Bassman1
      By Bassman1
      Hi all my group will be up there on potatoe lake june 1 looking for any fish ideas and how toos especially pike and smallies were from Iowa large mouth country so i need help love some pan fish too
    • Fully Kraeusened
      By Fully Kraeusened
      Wondering if any of you ever fish the inland lakes throughout Voyageurs and if so which ones? I have fished the Locator chain, Ek and Net lakes. My favorite of those three is definitely Locator. Seems to have a lot of northern and I also caught a good sized largemouth. Had a rough day on Ek. Was fishing with light tackle because I’ve been told it’s a good crappie lake and was broken off once otherwise nothing. One small pike on Net. This is a picture of the bass from Locator. 

    • Fully Kraeusened
      By Fully Kraeusened
      Hey guys. I’m new to this site. I’ll be visiting the park early June. While I have made several trips up there I’ll be bringing a friend who never has. He is a very experienced angler, but has yet to catch a walleye. A lot of his experience comes from using down riggers on Lake Michigan. He was asking about using them on a vacation this year and I had no answer for him. I can’t recall ever seeing anyone using that method in Voyageurs. Does anyone have a thought on this? I’d appreciate any advice. Want my buddy to have a great trip! 
      Tight lines!
      Fully Kraeusened
    • Chevy Nation
      By Chevy Nation
      I was wondering if and there is any good fishing in Hastings during the summertime lake Rebecca, lake Isabella, Vermilion River, or anywhere off the banks of the Mississippi? I haven't caught anything yet this year and I am itching to catch anything now. Just a fyi I just bank fish.
       
      Thanks in advance!
    • Kab Kid
      By Kab Kid
      Good opening weekend...great weather for opener and more boats than normal I would say.  Fishing was good, not great.  I'm sure others have differing opinions, but for us we found larger walleyes in 6-12 feet when pitching jigs.  You had to put up with the large number of small northern that must have been hungry!  Most of our walleyes came by way of a jig and minnow, in 30-35 ft of water...most of these 9-13" and went back, but every 4-5 fish was keepable and a fair number of sauger's were in the mix.  Problem was you could catch 3-5 fish in a spot and then you needed to move.  So, lots of boats running all day Saturday.  Saturday night/evening the bite improved and keeper fish were coming from 22-28' of water, again with a jig and minnow for us.  Sunday sunny and beautiful day to be on the water!  Similar patterns with the evening bite producing most of our keepers that day.
       
      As far as scenery, you simply can't beat this area.  Kabetogama, Namakan, Ash River, and Crane lake is truly beautiful and the fishing is just bonus.  Listening to other fisherman, it seems the slot is frustrating some people...again lots of small fish (future fish) and many 20-22" walleyes but not many trophy's and eaters were tough to find.  All and all, great opener again on Kabetogama, hope everyone else had fun and a safe opening weekend.  Happy to talk fishing on Kabetogama, enjoy the season...
       
      Kab Kid
      http://www.kabkid.com
       
    • MN Fishing Guy
      By MN Fishing Guy
      Got on the west side yesterday from 10 till 3.  Smallmouth were snapping in 15 - 17 FOW on green tubes with red flakes.  Three 20 inch plus footballs. 20 fish total.  Two came up barfing out crawfish.  Had two incidental google eyes 14 and 15 inches.  All the fish were extremely fat and well fed.  Great day on the water, very few boats.  Shout out to Terry's, great place to launch and close to the action! 
    • Nipper7272
      By Nipper7272
      Hello staying on Namakan later this week for first time with my wife a two boys. Any fishing tips would be helpful.
      Thanks
    • fishin
      By fishin
      Wind set the pace for anglers this past week. Some thought it was too much of a good thing.
      Windblown shorelines were good to anglers that could manage boat control and stay in the 10-15’ depth. Baitfish get directed into those shorelines which usually leads to good fishing.
      If the wind dies down at anytime, or the following day, concentrate your efforts accordingly for great results.
      A suggested method of fishing while the winds are blowing, is troll artificial lures at depths between 12-16’, or use lead line and troll deeper waters. All fish species relate well to this, and boat control isn’t as critical.
      The walleye bite remains very scattered, reports of anglers catching fish on all baits, shallow and deep, the only common denominator is, only a few fish from each location. It’s safe to say walleyes aren’t schooled up as would be expected.
      Live bait rigs, a slip sinker or bottom bouncer, with a 3’-5’ snell, plain hook or spinner and beads using a crawler or leech is the preferred methods these days.
      Pike taking artificial crank baits by casting or trolling deep weed edges is attracting pike of all sizes.
      Casting stick baits, spoons or buck tails up to weed edges or clearing is working well for pike and smallies.
      No favored areas of the lake to fish with them being so scattered, however best reports coming from say Sugarbush Island down to the Ash River entrance into Kab.
      Some deeper water success on Namakan using jig and minnow in the 30’ plus depth range.
      Biting flies still a nuisance as are evening mosquitoes - be prepared. I might add, lots of UV rays so lotion up and enjoy your time in Beautiful Voyageurs National Park.
      BINGO continues on Kabetogama at the New Community Hall on Tuesday and Thursday Nights at 8:00pm.
      Great Time for Planning a Trip,
      See you Soon,
      Crabby Phil & Ellen Hart
    • Joe
      By Joe
      Great info below. Newer reports are on pages that follow.
       
      Post your Crane Lake Kabetogama - Namakan fishing reports here!!
  • Your Responses - Share & Have Fun :)

    • eyeguy 54
    • monstermoose78
      Some of the lakes have roads park and walk it what I will be doing
    • Borch
      Yeah I'm planning and scouting starting next week.  Any help is appreciated.   Also a reminder....   You will need a new fishing license as of 3/1/19.  The warden often comes by to say "hi"  and chat for a bit at our gathering.   I would hate to have someone forget.   Especially me. 😉
    • PRO-V
      Here's another I just saw in the newspaper.
    • smurfy
      Thanks I'll pass it along!!
    • Mnfisher
      I got stuck on West Rush Wednesday.  Thanks to Nick?  P  from Rush City for helping me get out.  I couldn't budge.  Mike from Mike's towing was going to come out and rescue me but Nick saved me a bundle!  Thanks, Mike for being willing to come out on the ice.    Just wondering how travel is on Rush and Pokegama this weekend.  I will be hesitant go get out until the snow gets packed down on a bit.!!!  
    • PRO-V
      Might want to have him call a realtor but I think there is something open in that strip mall behind McDonald's. A friend retired and closed his jewelry store and that spot might work good. I think it's called Pokegama  Plaza. Next to Edward Jones and Sears.
    • smurfy
      Hey PRO V, you wouldn't happen to know of any office spaces for rent in rapids would you? My co worker is maybe thinking of moving our office up there if he can find a reasonable price and enough room for his cabinets.
    • monstermoose78
      I am going to put a get together on Blue Lake in March!! I am thinking the second weekend at the time. My question is would Saturday or Sunday be best for most of you? This will be out of the north access as I have work on finding a good spot with active fish yet. Please let me know and if you are interested in helping find a spot with active fish. Thanks 
    • monstermoose78
      Lori lake has been pretty good for crappies