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Whitefish Chain Fishing Reports


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No reports so fishing must be dead so I will throw in my two cents.   Have had a bad time of it since opener.   Weather changes and big time winds have made the Walleyes hard to find.  Far as panfish they also are hiding.   What's worse the haunts I usually fish are weeding up very fast.  So much for a early spring.  So I will ask anybody doing any good ?  Been a bad couple weeks.                         

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I have not been on the chain yet this open water season but between my father in law and father they have fished crappies.  they fish on the cross lake area and east to little pine mostly and they have had a few good days of fish in the 10-11" range but other than that the fishing has been tough and the weeds are starting to develop.  I will try by your end of the lake this weekend possibly one morning and throw some jigging raps out in front of the river on the first break to try my luck if the wind and weather cooperate.  Good luck and take care- Ozzie

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  • 2 weeks later...

Well this upcoming weekend is the Lions multi-species fishing tournament out on the grand Whitefish Chain!  Who is fishing this year?  I am fishing with a buddy...we have not fished the chain yet this season and only one of us can do any prefishing Friday.  Any tips, points, or helpful advice is appreciated and good luck to the other anglers this weekend!!!

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I'll be on the Chain Friday Prefishing.  Haven't been on the lake for I guess....2 years? Gonna be a hot one out there Saturday.  Make sure you keep that aerator circulating!

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well another tournament weekend came and went by leaving me wondering where all these fish go! haha  It was a beautiful day on the water but with no time spent prefishing it took our boat a little time to figure out our bass pattern, and then as we usually do, we spent too much time for walleyes on unproductive areas.  If they could ever figure out the end of the tournament weigh in situation...too long sitting in the shallow warm water bay.  We literally had a northern die on us while waiting 45 minutes to weigh our fish.  In fact we got jumped by 2nd round boats even though we were in first flite and at the front trying to get into docks to weigh.  Not that our weight was winning us anything in the end, but what a horrible system they had going.  At least this started a fire for my fishing partner to want to come back next year and give it a better shot with prefishing and finding out the lake situation prior to game day!  Hope everyone had a good time and were more successful than us!

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Thanks for the report @ozzie. Wish you would’ve been able to get on them better!

 

Sometimes those tourneys do need to be set up and run better with the health of the fish in mind if they’re intended to be 100% live release - and to avoid dead fish penalties.  Maybe send the organizers some suggestions?

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This was a complete mess of a year I will admit.  I know Moonlight had their grand opening for their new deck so they booted folks quickly from the normal weighin.  I heard the hockey kids normally help with weighin but they were out so some of the local pros came and helped.  But yeah, it was a mess for weighin.  Hot water lead to some issues for us keeping fish upright.  Ended in 11th but had 5th without that 1 dopey dead fish......  And for the record prefishing I only got 2 fish Friday so that wasn't what hekped it for us.

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Congrats!  Bummer that the dead fish was the difference especially if it was healthy and swimming when you entered the bay!  What weight did you have pre deductions and what was your fish/weight breakdown?  Curious what people were catching... Did you fish the same spots on tourney day as you did in prefishing? and if you don't mind sharing did you fish crosslake or make it out to whitefish?  Sorry for the questions but I always am interested on the where, how, and how many in this tourney but never stick around for the long drawn out awards handout...  

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  • 2 weeks later...

Sorry, I hadn't been on for a while here.  With full weight if no dead 22.4  with the 40% deduction on our bass had 21.1  It was a 1.3lb difference.  Had 15lbs and change in Bass and 7lbs in pike.  I always fish Hay or the lakes out that way, generally has been better for us.  And no, the 1 bass wasn't in great shape when we stopped at our last spot to try and upgrade pike and find an eye but i didn't want to waste all the fishing time running through the channels.  We did end up upgrading 1 pike at the spot so it helped.  But yeah was a tough day after the first few hours but my first bass spot in 3 casts I had about 7lbs in bass so I it was looking up....

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  • 1 month later...

Been awhile since any reports so here goes.  A tough summer this has been. Never saw so many weeds yet there is very little wild rice. Fishing has been tough to say the least.  No real pattern, nor walleyes are not in there usual summer haunts it seems. Been so slow we headed up to Leech last week for a Musky trip.   Non caught but four follows,   one on Pelican reef that was in the mid 40" range.  Then back to Whitefish for a few more hours of no activity.  Even the panfish are slow.  Anybody with any better reports lets here them.  Lord send some rain.

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I haven’t been on Whitefish and only out a few times for a few hours each but have done well by down sizing and going slower than I’d think I’d have to.

 

Dragging and slow drifting smaller plastics with little or no jigging and long pauses with smaller sized jerk baits have worked the best.  4-8lb test on spinning gear.

 

I’ve caught crappies, gills, perch, walleye, smallies, largies and pike all on the same baits in the same systems at the same depths.  Those depths vary by system but all the fish seem to be using the same water - according to what I’ve seen the past few weeks.

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2 hours ago, Wanderer said:

I haven’t been on Whitefish and only out a few times for a few hours each but have done well by down sizing and going slower than I’d think I’d have to.

 

Dragging and slow drifting smaller plastics with little or no jigging and long pauses with smaller sized jerk baits have worked the best.  4-8lb test on spinning gear.

 

I’ve caught crappies, gills, perch, walleye, smallies, largies and pike all on the same baits in the same systems at the same depths.  Those depths vary by system but all the fish seem to be using the same water - according to what I’ve seen the past few weeks.

And the depths were? In or around weed lines? I have been having a dickens of a time finding the eyes, other then trolling sallow sand weed edges at sun down. 

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1 hour ago, leech~~ said:

And the depths were? In or around weed lines? I have been having a dickens of a time finding the eyes, other then trolling sallow sand weed edges at sun down. 

One system was 8-10 ft weeds; clear water.

 

One was 12 ft flats out from the weed line in bog stained water.  Not 11 or 13; 12.

713CBDAB-11A9-4178-8F5C-EB5431074B75.thumb.jpeg.322e3431c53acb9c6266cad2a5872cbd.jpeg

One was 1-3 ft in clear water around weed pockets.  That’s were the walleyes were.  I did get a couple on the surface but had better action sub surface.

FE9F190B-CB79-47B6-A530-EAFDBAA789B4.thumb.jpeg.2af90bd23c5a09a507cc557f487b206b.jpeg

 

All were in wind or current.  And all were in my kayak.  It wasn’t easy for boat control but my anchor helped.  I’m adding a small drift sock for this weekend.


For 1.5-3 hrs of fishing, each outing yielded 1-2 dozen fish total.  I tried depths from 1-20 feet each time.

Edited by Wanderer
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I did have a fail though.  We tried a designated trout lake and didn’t land any.  Had a couple small ones shake off but the bigger ones were marking 20-30 feet down over 40 - 50 fow.  It was mid day so we didn’t spend much time on em.  Just a nice little find to check out.

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Designated trout lakes seem to either be on or off!  Dang frustrating sometimes! ?

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That’s for sure.  We stopped by another one on the way home.  Labeled as a put and take fishery for rainbows and brookies.  Judging by the signs and development of the road to it I believe it sees some serious pressure when people time the take right after the put.  

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Heard almost the identical report I gave from another person today.  Couldn’t get anything if they trolled or casted and retrieved too fast.  
 

Panfishing.  No bobber.  Cast it, count it down and s l o w l y reel it back it in.  

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I have been fishing quite a bit this past week while on vacation. Fishing has been slow. As far as I can tell. I have had a good bluegill bite. Caught a 9 1/2” one. My personal best. 
 

Anyone have any advice for catching walleye or even some pike?

 

any help would be appreciated. Just got today August 14th and morning of August 15th left on Vacation. ?

BAC284CC-A07A-44DE-9C57-1E8659C3C02E.jpeg

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2 hours ago, MikeG3Boat said:

 

Anyone have any advice for catching walleye or even some pike?

 

any help would be appreciated. Just got today August 14th and morning of August 15th left on Vacation. ?

BAC284CC-A07A-44DE-9C57-1E8659C3C02E.jpeg


Nice Gill - congrats!

 

Are you fishing the Whitefish area?  I only ask because I post non-whitefish area info on this thread.

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Sorry I could be of no help to you on this as I have not fished the WFC this year other than the Lions Fishing Tournament, but my father In-law will go out still and has not found walleyes to cooperate but he does get a few whitefish to smoke each time out. He usually will fish trout n lower whitefish over 70' of water on calm days.  move around until you mark a big school in 70 feet or less and then drop a jigging rap in front of them and watch it all unfold on your graph and hold on as they are a tug pulling them up from those depths!  Good Luck!!

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  • 3 weeks later...

Quite a few boats fishing the past few days. What’s up are they jumping in the boat?   Have caught some eaters since the rains. Must be something changing as there was a raft of coot swimming around upper WF. This morning

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my father in law hit up the river area of the chain this past week and said he marked a lot of bigger fish but threw the proverbial tackle box at them and could not find a willing taker.  He did say that he found a few sunfish out there.  He also checked a few humps out on upper wf but they were void of fish when he checked.  I am laid up after having ankle surgery and will not be out on the chain most likely until winter if I can get there then...might be until next spring!.?

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  • 2 weeks later...

 

What's the latest on the chain?  Any better fishing now that fall is here? Been a tough summer for fishing.   How about the lifts?  Any problems getting boats off the lifts?  Hardly any water coming in at Pine River dam. Watch out between Hay and Whitefish. The channel is very shallow .  Saw a Bass boat rap its prop the other day.  Take it slow.

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father inlaw got out late last week (Thurs?) and found the whitefish.  Between the 2 of them they caught 7 and missed many others.  He noted the lake appeared to be up a slight bit after the recent storms but still very shallow.  That channel thru hay has always messed people as I recall a few years ago they had not marked it yet prior to opener and sure enough on opener a guy was stuck up shallow.  

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  • 1 month later...

2 weekends ago I got out for the first time in a couple months and we hit a little lake in the Crosslake area for some crappie fishing.  We trolled small plastics in 12-14 feet of water and caught a lot of crappies and sun fish.  The crappies were all in that 9"-11" range for the most part with one at 11 7/8" and the sunfish were up to 9".  We ended with 15 crappies and 3 sun fish kept for a nice meal or 2.  We went back this past Saturday and the fished moved to deeper waters as they were not in the 18' or less range.  We did find marks on the graph in deeper water but was too windy to try.

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Well I had to go north this weekend with the predicted weather and boy did it not disappoint!   What a great weekend of perfect weather!!  Hit up Gull Lake Saturday afternoon equipped with a dozen lite pike minnows and a plan to move until we graphed fish and move if they don't bite.  First stop we searched and found one spot with bait balls and a few fish but nothing was biting so we went searching.  Searched alot of ground over the next hour and half and didn't mark a fish, so we went back to the spot with fish marked and as we pulled up there was one boat right on the spot...catching a fish!!  We trolled around with this boat exchanging information and catching fish for the next 2 hours.  We ended up catching 9 throwing back a 25" and keeping 8 from 13" up to 23" that was gut hooked.  Fished in 20-32' of water using lindy rigs with lite pike minnows.  Some fish we would give a lot of line to and they would have the bait swallowed and other times we would give line and find the hook just barely in the lip!  Missed a lot of hook sets but could not beat what was possibly the last fishing trip of the year for me...GOOD LUCK 

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    • leech~~
      That looks like a pretty big haul!   Got any T.I.P  s   🤭
    • smurfy
      Another batch of Itasca county snot rockets thru the smoker.
    • JerkinLips
      First year I put it out I went 3 miles out from the closest plowed road.  Used the lake snowmobile trail for a few miles, then packed my own trail before dragging it out.  Slush could be a problem but you could do the same thing (pack a trail with your sled the night before and let it freeze overnight).  Portables are much easier to move, but not as comfortable as a wood house.   Vermilion Ice Conditions - heard there was still open water on Big Bay Thursday and Friday.  Not sure if I will go out 7 days from now.
    • opsirc
      Has anyone been out on lakes around duluth and how was the ice.
    • Mike89
      sorry for your loss...  prayers and thoughts to ya all...
    • Mtnman
      Happy Holidays Muskies !! I've been off sight for a long while. My Son died in July at 45 from a heat stroke while working in Knoxville Tn. I've had a hard time with that.  We did not make our fall trip to Rainy Lake, and the effects of it all are felt now.  How was the fall ?  A friend with a guide service there told me I didn't miss anything, and the lack of post tend to support that. We appreciate all post and fishing chatter shared on this forum and especially all you share. Best wishes for a great winter. CHEERS to all !!
    • Mike89
      that's what I thought but it threw me!!   
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