Howdy and thanks for taking the time to give some advice. My family's renting a houseboat from Ebel's the 2nd week of June and would appreciate some advice on specific locations for northern pike/smallmouth bass on the Eastern end of Lake Kabetogama. We'll have a 12 foot motorized boat with us so moving around won't be a problem. Want to focus on the Eastern end of the lake to minimize a long haul with the houseboat.
Any advice on specific bays, islands, or points would be appreciated!
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!
Voyageur Park Lodge on Lake Kabetogama recently purchased brand new Ice Trek brand fish houses to rent on Lake Kabetogama. The houses themselves are all aluminum with spray foam insulation, clean, warm and comfortable! If your looking for something different from the usual LOW, Red experience check us out. These are day use houses only and we will offer lodging at Voyageur Park Lodge. We will only have one lodging unit open in the winter, so fishing parties will be the only guests at the resort, so lots of privacy and no other parties around. Fish houses will be private out on the ice also!
We are excited to be the only angling houses on Lake Kabetogama! If your looking for something different let us know!
Voyageur Park Lodge (Reef Runner Ice houses)
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...
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.
Sounds great Squirt. Good to hear you have plugs that will hit those depths, but more than likely you'll only need something in the 10-20' range...maybe even higher in the water column. Hope you get to find out!
We also eat a few pike. My personal slot ends at about 25-26" - everything bigger goes back - but the new NE MN limits allow harvest up to 30". Northern nuggets are tasty, and I've never had anyone who could tell me the difference when presented side by side with walleye.
RoseyPike 19 and all, Thank you for the tips. Very good instructions and specifics that I can see on the map. I will give these a try. For big pike I am looking for 40 inch plus.... I also like fishing the shallows as you say for the 20 - 30 as I like to eat pike. I think the fillets are the best minnesota offers. For the deep fish I have the tackle and divers to get down 30 - 40 so I will try that. You also gave me specifics around where I am staying, so I will report back on how I do.
Launched out of Copas today. Got beat up by the wind pretty good. Caught an 18.5 inch largemouth, and a 17 inch walleye. Then it was a looooooong time in between fish. My son found a brief bit of success when he started jigging a small paddle tail and caught his very first sheephead. Then I had him jig one of those gulp minnow things, and he caught a 15 inch smallie. But that’s where it all ended. After we loaded everything up I threw him in the river 😂
I'm in a group of 5 that heads to Vermilion once a year. We'll be on the West end starting 6/13. We're open to traveling but will be looking for walleye primarily. I'll keep an eye on the message board, but any input for success would be appreciated. In the past, we've had luck with crawlers and leeches, but not much with minnows. We've had the most luck with lindy rigs and slip bobbers. We'd like to get ahold of some crappies too if anyone has any pointers. We're used to Mississippi River fishing so we're kind of at a disadvantage when it comes to Vermilion. Thank you in advance!
The previous tips are all good regarding pike on Vermilion. Find some shallow reeds/weeds and you will find some nice sized pike (Average = 20-30" with a bigger fish at times).
What is your definition of a "big" pike? The shallow program is fun and that's how I do most of my pike fishing, but overall that is not how you will find the biggest pike on Vermilion. I'm talking East Vermilion as that's the basin I fish. By now many of the biggest pike are suspended and feeding on ciscoes in deep water. They will make occasional forays into the shallows to follow food (think windy days), but they spend much of their time suspended over the depths.
Several really good areas very near you have this potential: 1. The narrows between Moccasin Point and Pine Island. You can't miss this area on a map. There is BIG pike potential here. 2. The deep water break on the east side of Isle of Pines. I have literally seen giant pike chasing ciscoes out of the water here (also a fantastic muskie spot).
Those two areas are a literal stones throw from your place.
How do you fish the deep water? IDK! Like I said, I'm a shallow pike program guy. The few times I've done the deep suspended thing we found the bait and big hooks on sonar and then jigged 1 oz hair jigs and/or 1 oz lead heads with a white fluke. It worked, but it was technical and tough. If I ever do it again (maybe later this summer), I'll troll big plugs at the depth just above the fish.
Last week we had a lot of fun catching many nice pike in the shallow weeds, but our two biggest fish (including a 40"er), came on a very windy, cloudy day while fishing shallow rocky points adjacent to deep water. Coincidence? I think not. So definitely take advantage of those windy, cloudy days if you expect to find a giant. In my experience, those conditions provide your best shot a true trophy pike from shallow water. (Of course there are some exceptions and any cast on Vermilion could land a big pike!)
Otherwise, ply the suspended depths and report back what you find.
Hope I'm not too late on this report. We were up last week (23rd-30th), and overall we had fantastic smallie fishing. We had to adjust a bit as they were definitely more in spawn mode than most Memorial day weeks, but that just meant moving from points and secondary points towards the spawning bays and banks. I really enjoy pre-spawn smallie fishing because they are often schooled up on the points leading into spawning areas, they are fat as heck, and they are very active - and while we had some action in this regard - we had more overall action on the banks and in the bays and saw a lot of spawned out females compared to previous years. So I'd say about a 1/3 of our fish were pre-spawn, a 1/3 were spawn (males on beds), and a 1/3 were post spawn. T'was all fun.
The whole month of June = awesome shallow smallie fishing, so whoever is up, good luck!