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Fully Kraeusened

Down riggers in Voyageurs

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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

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PRO-V

I've tried them up there for the heck of it and caught walleye. You can catch large suspended pike that are hanging with the tulibee over deep water also. Wouldn't be my main method though.

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Fully Kraeusened

Hey  Pro-V. Thanks for responding. My first thought was no way, but I’m trying to be more open minded. I feel sometimes I get locked in on certain methods or locations and a lack of flexibility costs me fish. Maybe we will give it a whirl for a bit if the usual methods are slow. June seems like a lifetime away, but I’ll report back if we do. 

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PRO-V

10-4. They are tricky to use if the depth varies alot. But I kicked myself one time for not bringing them when the fish hung out suspended like I mentioned and the shore and reef bite was tough.

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Sushilicious

I personally have never down rigged in voyaguers. From time 2 time I've seen ppl down rigging on namakan n sand point but I don't notice them having success/catching fish. With that said my family only jigs, bobbers, n casts with a split shot plain hook/float jig. If u do bring up down gear it may not be a bad idea laker fishing in david if u have a spare day.

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Fully Kraeusened

Hi Sushilicious. Pardon my ignorance, but I don’t know what you mean by “David”. 

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Sushilicious

It' all good. David lake is in Canada east of sand point. It's a lake trout lake. 

Screenshot_20180305-231251.png

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Fully Kraeusened

Thank you sir. The farthest east I’ve ever been is just north of the Namakan Narrows. How is it getting back there? 

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Sushilicious

Sounds like u have only put in at Kab. The drive from Kab 2 sand point logde isn't an issue. Sand point lodge is the only place that sells license and has live bait on sand, sand point lodge is in canada. The drive from sand point lodge 2 David has a channel with some random rocks and I would recommend taking it slow

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Fully Kraeusened

That’s sounds like a fun day. May look into that. I usually stay on the Ash River. Spend most of my time on Namakan. Does Sand Point see a lot of pressure?

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Barbelboy

In early June there is absolutely no need for downriggers. the only time I ever used them was to target lake trout in the adjacent waters to Voyaguer. We had a cabin in Grassy Bay for 27 years until the park took it. I'd suggest the following.

Remember, David lake is in Canada, you will need to have all of your documentation in order and visit customs prior to entry. If you choose to do that, stopping at Sand Point lodge on the way in might be a good place to get bait and some current info.

day time - Walleyes - look for points, saddles, humps in between islands. A jig and minnow was usually what we went with. Also trolling crank baits along rocky shores works as well.

Pike- cast mepps spinners or rattle traps to weeds or rocky islands. You'll know how to find weed beds on shore by looking at the trees. If there are big aspens down by the shore, almost inevitably there will be a weed bed. It may not be big, but it will hold fish. Conversely by casting those same lures you will catch small mouth.

Bass- the last hour or so before dark. find 3-4 nice rock piles (the one's with buoys are usually awesome) and cast floating rapalas. (let em sit and twitch them back.) trust me, you will enjoy this experience.

also casting mepps, rapalas, jig/twister or rattle traps to rocky shores, island, rock piles will produce bass and the occasional walleye.

Night (if you have the energy) find a rocky point, break and sit with lighted slip bobbers to catch walleyes.

good luck.

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Bigfatbert

If your trip to VNP is in early June and your staying in the Ash River  I personally would try just hook and line methods , either jig minnow or jig leech combinations , or lindy rigs with the same baits. I would stick to either Kabetogama or Namakin lakes in search of Walleye at this time of year , from ultra shallow to maybe 20 feet or so . At these depths and with structure variations , and the proximity to more of a shoreline bite at the dates you will be vacationing there , it could be a very tough way to try down rigging ,vs a more mid summer , July-August scenario of were the Walleye typically tend to be found on more mid lake reefs and flats , then I would think that the down rigging scenario would possibly be a better time of the season to take that type of approach if you so choose...   You didn't say what size boat and motor you will be using ,  but the earlier mentioned David lake that's accessible through Sandpoint lake into Canadian waters is a long haul by water to make with a smaller set up . I would say though , if you choose to make that journey from Ash River to David Lake , it surely would be a beautiful and scenic boat ride ... whatever you choose to do I hope the weather holds for you and you enjoy your stay up there as VNP is a great place to be ...

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Fully Kraeusened

Wow!!! Unbelievable amount of information. Wish I could buy you guys a beer! I was only curious about the down rigging because my friend who is coming for the first time is very experienced in it. I have been to Voyageurs several times and feel pretty confident with the methods you suggested. My biggest problem always is, and I’m pretty sure I’m not alone, is catching walleyes small enough to keep. We have hired guide Wade Watson(Kab Kid)the first day of our trip. That should set us up for a solid week. I really appreciate everyone’s feedback. The boat I’ll be bringing is actually more of a pleasure craft. 20’ bow rider with a 350 in it. So in order to even try to down rig we would also have to drag something to slow us down. It idles at about 4-5 mph. Based on these responses doesn’t sound like we should go through all the trouble. I’ve usually rented a boat but I’ve finally mounted a trolling motor on mine so I’ll be bringing it with me for the first time. On the plus side I’ll be able to cover a ton of water now and think I might check out Sand Point and Crane. Here’s some pics of how I convert my pleasure boat to a fishing boat. Please don’t laugh. Lol

1DE9D052-B0CC-4BF3-BAC6-E5CC54492196.jpeg

B278FCD4-6B45-410E-96B3-53044FF09852.jpeg

918261E9-35B0-4D17-8872-A841DDD87D22.jpeg

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PRO-V

It's so pretty it would be a shame to get fish blood on it!!:D

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  • Haha 1

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Fully Kraeusened

Glad I found this forum!

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leech~~
Posted (edited)
3 hours ago, Fully Kraeusened said:

 

 

 

918261E9-35B0-4D17-8872-A841DDD87D22.jpeg

Wow, how did you get the wife to OK putting that on the Ski boat? :D

On a side note. How do you have that front seat support base bolted down? If it's just sitting there that could be a bad deal if it tips over in rough water or a buddy hitting the gas to hard! :(

Edited by leech~~
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Fully Kraeusened

Shhhh don’t tell her. :DJust kidding. Best part is I can change it back in about 10 minutes. I remove the cushions and set it down in there. It fits in pretty snug. Between that and how much it weighs it doesn’t move(battery is up there to). I’ve already had it out on 3-4 footers. All good! 

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leech~~
Posted (edited)
2 hours ago, Fully Kraeusened said:

Shhhh don’t tell her. :DJust kidding. Best part is I can change it back in about 10 minutes. I remove the cushions and set it down in there. It fits in pretty snug. Between that and how much it weighs it doesn’t move(battery is up there to). I’ve already had it out on 3-4 footers. All good!

Please make sure no one rides there when your under way. Some girl died a year or so back when the front seat ripped loose and she hit her head or something. :(

I would even keep an eye on that battery flying up in heavy waves.  Sorry for being a Buzz kill. ;)

Op, one more. Where did you put your Bow Light with the trolling motor there. No evening or night fishing planed? :confused:

Edited by leech~~

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Fully Kraeusened

Trolling motor was relocated just a bit since that pic. Bow light is present. Seat is bolted to 3/4” plywood with six 3/8” bolts. It’s not going anywhere. That being said I wouldn’t let anyone sit up there while traveling. I think it might even be illegal where I live. Battery is also secured down. It’s pretty neat. 

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Bigfatbert

I Agree with others that your plywood sub floor holding your seat pedestal would best be anchored somehow , and not just fitted into the tight fitting area and being somewhat weighted down by your battery on that plywood... I do think that most sensible people would not ever think of riding in this seat while the boat is attempting to plane out , or in a cruising manner . .. you also stated that the battery is secure and you have been in 3-4 footers . There is a big difference between non propelling, or idling, or trolling/drifting in 3-4 footers , vs cruising down lake at 20-30 or more mph and slamming into some good rollers , I too would  be afraid of throwing that battery loose up there by some heavy jarring...  And yup bow lights are definitely part of legally boating at twilight in Mn . , for your own safety , and for the safety of all others out on the lake when you are ... I personally spend a lot of time up VNP way and do agree that hiring the Kab kid is a smart move on that lake for your guiding , he will definitely get you on fish that day , but remember if you catch fish all day long with your guide , at a certain spot , and the very next day the wind comes up from a different direction , be prepared for a plan B attack on those Walleye that day , as the fish I'm sure won't be stacked in that same spot again that day with that wind change . I mean don't think your good to go for that week  by hiring that guide for the one day . That's it , I'm done , good luck up there.

7 hours ago, Fully Kraeusened said:

Glad I found this forum!

 

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Fully Kraeusened

I really appreciate your guys concern but I promise, you and everyone else on the lake will be safe. I’ve owned a boat for 21 years and been on the water all my life. That set up isn’t going anywhere. I don’t think a sensible person would ride on an elevated bow mounted pedestal seat on any boat while cruising.  The picture I posted was not the finished project. I never said I was idling, trolling or drifting in 3-4 footers. That was at a cruising speed.  I also don’t anticipate spending the whole week at one spot. I’ve fished with Wade one time before and it was a great time. He really takes the time to teach you. Which is what I’m hoping to use the rest of the week. 

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Fully Kraeusened
11 hours ago, Barbelboy said:

In early June there is absolutely no need for downriggers. the only time I ever used them was to target lake trout in the adjacent waters to Voyaguer. We had a cabin in Grassy Bay for 27 years until the park took it. I'd suggest the following.

Remember, David lake is in Canada, you will need to have all of your documentation in order and visit customs prior to entry. If you choose to do that, stopping at Sand Point lodge on the way in might be a good place to get bait and some current info.

day time - Walleyes - look for points, saddles, humps in between islands. A jig and minnow was usually what we went with. Also trolling crank baits along rocky shores works as well.

Pike- cast mepps spinners or rattle traps to weeds or rocky islands. You'll know how to find weed beds on shore by looking at the trees. If there are big aspens down by the shore, almost inevitably there will be a weed bed. It may not be big, but it will hold fish. Conversely by casting those same lures you will catch small mouth.

Bass- the last hour or so before dark. find 3-4 nice rock piles (the one's with buoys are usually awesome) and cast floating rapalas. (let em sit and twitch them back.) trust me, you will enjoy this experience.

also casting mepps, rapalas, jig/twister or rattle traps to rocky shores, island, rock piles will produce bass and the occasional walleye.

Night (if you have the energy) find a rocky point, break and sit with lighted slip bobbers to catch walleyes.

good luck.

That’s great information Barbelboy. One thing that really caught my attention that I’ve never heard before, how do the aspen trees relate to weed beds?

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Cpt Beefcheeks

I was actually thinking about riding in that seat the whole time. Best get me a seatbelt, Mr. Kraeusened. 

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Capt. Quicksteel

Those aspen trees indicate that there is some earth rather than just rock going down into the water. It's a good clue to finding out of the way weed beds!  (Barbelboy is my son!)

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Barbelboy

+1 on what Quicksteel said.

Aspen trees instead of pine trees mean soft soil. Which obviously weeds need to grow instead of rocks! Usually located in little (tiny bays) or even indents along main lake shore lines which can mean just a small pocket of weeds. And sometimes those little untouched spots can be gems. You might only get a fish or two off of it, but add it up to 10-12 little spots and you start to have a pretty good day.

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      Youth ages 10-15 can participate in a special deer season that runs from Thursday, Oct. 18, to Sunday, Oct. 21, in 28 permit areas of southeastern and northwestern Minnesota, including in the Twin Cities metro permit area 601, according to the Department of Natural Resources.  “Youth deer season is about giving kids a unique opportunity to get out into the woods with a parent or mentor,” said James Burnham, DNR recruitment, retention and reactivation (R3) coordinator. “Many students get a couple days off school for teacher workshops during the youth season so the break is a great time to go hunting and help share the passion for being outside that so many of Minnesota’s hunters and anglers have.” Deer permit areas open to the hunt are: 101, 105, 111, 114, 201, 203, 208, 209, 256, 257, 260, 263, 264, 267, 268, 338, 339, 341, 342, 343, 344 (including Whitewater State Game Refuge), 345, 346, 347, 348, 349, 601 and 603. Blaze orange or blaze pink requirements apply to all hunters, trappers and adult mentors in areas open for the youth firearms deer season. Public land is open, and private land is open if the hunters have landowner permission. Since it was first implemented in 2004, the youth deer season has expanded and encompassed new areas – creating a growing number of opportunities to develop Minnesota’s next generation of hunters. Passing along the annual fall deer hunting tradition does more than contribute to the bottom line of businesses in communities across Minnesota. It helps fund conservation efforts that benefit wildlife, habitat and water quality, making a better Minnesota for all. How to participate Youth ages 10 through 15 must obtain a firearms deer license. Youth ages 12 to 15 need to have completed firearms safety or, if not, can obtain an apprentice hunter validation. During the youth season, a parent, guardian or mentor age 18 or older must accompany the youth and only need a license if the youth is taking advantage of the apprentice validation option. Party hunting on a youth license is not allowed – so youth must take and tag their own deer. The bag limit for the youth season is one deer only. Youth may use their regular license or a bonus permit if they take an antlerless deer, regardless of the management designation. Bucks must be tagged with the youth’s regular license. Participation does not affect eligibility for the regular deer season; however, the harvested deer counts against the youth’s annual statewide bag limit and the bag limit for the deer permit area. If hunting in permit areas 346, 348, 349 and 603, the early antlerless only season is in effect from Oct. 18 to Oct. 21, so adults and youth can hunt at the same time in these areas; however, if a youth harvests a deer and wishes to continue hunting during the early antlerless only season they must purchase an early antlerless permit. Tags and CWD testing in permit area 603 In permit area 603, youth hunters may purchase and use disease management tags but only for antlerless deer. Disease management tags may be purchased at any electronic license vendor, online or by telephone and are valid without first purchasing a regular deer license. The tags cost $1.50 plus issuing fees. Youth hunters in permit area 603 must have their adult deer tested for chronic wasting disease (CWD) by providing the head of all adult deer in one of five head collection boxes (see page 64 of the 2018 Hunting and Trapping Regulations Handbook for location details). After the head of these deer are provided for sampling, the hunter cannot move the carcass out of the permit area until a not detected test result is received. Properly cut-up deer and boned-out meat can be taken out of the area provided no brain matter or spinal column material is attached. A tent and tripod to hang deer is provided by the Bluffland Whitetails Association at the Preston DNR Forestry office. This is available to hunters to allow them to quarter their deer, leave the carcass remains in a provided dumpster, and give them options so quarters or meat can leave the 603 zone before receiving a CWD test result. Information on proper steps to follow after harvesting a deer in permit area 603 or to check CWD test results is available on the DNR website at mndnr.gov/cwd. CWD testing during the early antlerless and youth season outside the CWD zone is not required. Mandatory testing will occur on Saturday, Nov. 3, and Sunday, Nov. 4, and Saturday, Nov. 17, and Sunday, Nov. 18, during the first two days of the firearms A and B deer seasons in these areas. More information about the youth season can be found on page 35 of the 2018 Minnesota Hunting and Trapping Regulations Handbook and online at mndnr.gov/regulations/hunting. Discuss below - to view set the hook here.
    • Rick
      Hunters in portions of southeastern Minnesota can once again harvest antlerless deer in an early antlerless-only season from Thursday, Oct. 18, to Sunday, Oct. 21, in deer permit areas 346, 348, 349 and 603 in Fillmore, Houston, Olmsted and Winona counties, according to the Department of Natural Resources. “The goal of this hunt is to reduce the deer populations in these areas with higher deer densities because of damage to agricultural crops and increased risk of chronic wasting disease spreading,” said Erik Thorson, acting big game program leader. “Any antlerless deer harvested as part of this hunt do not count against an individual’s normal statewide or deer permit area bag limit, so they can be considered extra deer.” Deer populations in permit areas 346, 348 and 349 have been over the population goals established in 2014 for multiple seasons. The antlerless-only season is intended to help move populations toward established goals, reduce damage to resources and provide additional hunting opportunity. How to participate Public land is limited in the early antlerless hunt areas and hunters need to ask permission to hunt private lands. All deer must be tagged with an appropriate permit. There are a few permit and license options for those who want to participate. With at least one valid early antlerless permit, and a valid archery, firearms or muzzleloader deer license for all four open permit areas. With bonus permits and at least one valid early antlerless permit, as well as a valid archery, firearms or muzzleloader deer license for all four open permit areas. In permit area 603 with disease management tags. Any hunter of legal age may purchase and use an unlimited number of disease management tags to harvest antlerless deer during the early antlerless-only hunt in permit area 603. They are available for $1.50 plus issuing fees wherever deer licenses are sold and are valid without any additional licenses. Disease management tags may not be used outside permit area 603. In the early antlerless deer hunt, only antlerless deer may be taken, the bag limit is five, and hunters may use up to five early antlerless permits or other valid permits. Deer harvested during the special season do not count toward a hunter’s statewide limit during other deer seasons. Early antlerless deer permits cost $7.50 for residents, $40 for nonresidents, and may be purchased wherever hunting licenses are sold. The early antlerless season coincides with the four-day special youth deer season. More information can be found at mndnr.gov/hunting/deer. CWD testing in permit area 603 Hunters in permit area 603 must have their adult deer tested for chronic wasting disease (CWD) by providing the head of all adult deer in one of five head collection boxes (see page 64 of the 2018 Hunting and Trapping Regulations Handbook for location details). After the head of these deer are provided for sampling, the hunter cannot move the carcass out of the permit area until a not detected test result is received. Properly cut-up deer and boned-out meat can be taken out of the area provided no brain matter or spinal column material is attached. A tent and tripod to hang deer is provided by the Bluffland Whitetails Association at the Preston DNR Forestry office. This is available to hunters to allow them to quarter their deer, leave the carcass remains in a provided dumpster, and give them options so quarters or meat can leave the 603 zone before receiving a CWD test result. Information on proper steps to follow after harvesting a deer in permit area 603 or to check CWD test results is available on the DNR website at mndnr.gov/cwd. CWD testing during the early antlerless and youth season outside the CWD zone is not required. Mandatory testing will occur on Saturday, Nov. 3, and Sunday, Nov. 4, and Saturday, Nov. 17, and Sunday, Nov. 18, during the first two days of the firearms A and B deer seasons in these areas. Individuals can voluntarily have deer tested for CWD through the Veterinary Diagnostic Lab at the University of Minnesota for a fee. More information is available online at vdl.umn.edu or by telephone at 612-625-8787. Discuss below - to view set the hook here.
    • jgrimmz
      I had a good opener, also with ten. We should have taken a lot more, but shooting, jitters, and other factors prevented it (as usual). For us, Sunday was really slow, but still managed to bag a few. 
    • Parmer
      That's a good idea thanks. 
    • fish_time
      We love it when we catch a muskie, but it can be such a grind!   
    • mbeyer
      Just got back from five days on the lake. We were fishing for walleye in the end fun with limits already taken. We are on an island and the dock bite was very good. Slip bobbers with either rainbows or chubs. Also, walking the island and casting tubes was also productive for larger walleye. Off the point of the island, under dock, near rocks. I guess that means we caught most of our fish shallow. Wind was our friend, to a point. Didn't like some of the gusts but wind blown shore and points were key. Follow the wind.   Smallmouth were not shallow. We did work some shoreline but did not find those fish up shallow. We did run into some smallmouth on the points, etc deeper while fishing for walleye.