Just wondering if anyone else that fishes the Root (especially below Lanesboro) has ever patterned or had any luck targeting sauger/eyes. This is my first year trying for them after hearing whispers for years and I've been surprised with my results. So far I've caught 5 sauger and 4 eyes out of the Root this year, a 17 inch Sauger and a 22 inch eye being my biggest so far. I know the river is a lot better known for trout but if anybody else has had any luck targeting other species I'd love to share reports or tactics.
On the south end... Anglers are pulling in nice catches of walleyes with some big trophy walleyes mixed in as well. The MN Tournament Trail Walleye Tournament just finished their championship with the winning team putting up 80.99 lbs for 10 walleyes! Water temps have dropped to the upper 50's, shiners are running and there is a lot of bait adjacent to shorelines, fall is here. The jig bite has picked up tremendously, but pulling a spinner with a crawler or shiner along with trolling crankbaits is still effective. Along shore try 10-16' and out on the mud 22-28'. Gold, glow and orange are strong this week.
On the Rainy River... More and more emerald shiners are entering the river this week. Current on the river is slow. Reports of some nice walleyes but still not the big run yet. Most anglers are jigging with frozen shiners. Trolling crankbaits or crawler harnesses still working and a good way to cover water. Sturgeon anglers focusing on deeper holes with a 3 ounce no roll sinker with an 18" snell of heavy line (60 lb) with a 4/0 circle hook loaded with crawlers and shiners. Pike showing up on weed edges.
Up at the NW Angle... Until the US / Canada border opens, guests can travel across the lake staying and fishing in MN waters. There are boat shuttle / passenger services available to the Angle. Check with your favorite NW Angle resort for options.
As fall kicks in, many anglers jigging with good results. Gold spinners with crawler or minnow also producing nicely. Some really nice walleyes caught this week targeting structure and shorelines in 10 - 15' and 21 - 27'. Muskies and big pike hitting topwater in weedy bays. Some big crappies on small jigs in 15-30'.
Just spent Thursday through Sunday at Becida near Bemidji. My dad, brother, nephew and I tried 7 different lakes. Nothing fantastic but a good time. Best walleye action was on Big Wolf and Andrusia. 14 to 16 ft water. We used mainly rainbows and left over leeches I had saved from summer. 11-18 inch walleyes. Also got some sunfish on Lake Hatti. Did pick up 3 walleye on Lake Bemidji also. 4 conservation officers at gas station south of Bemidji on Friday morning said they were in town for security with POTUS visit. Talked to a bait shop owner that said one group of 13 got 11 bear opening weekend. WOW that’s a lot of meat. Also saw a bobcat run across the road. And lots of deer in evenings.
Lead core was on fire for us on Saturday on both the east and west end in 22-30' of water. Five of us in two boats boated over 70 fish on Saturday. A lot of 10-12"ers but enough keepers to fill 5 limits. Biggest was 25". We did great Sunday and today as well although not as hot as Saturday. The only live bait fishing we did was with minnows on Lindy's. Caught a few but honestly did not spend much time live rigging as the lead core bite was so hot. Stomachs on most fish we cleaned were empty. The ones with full stomachs had mostly small crayfish and minnows.
Fished on and off Thursday to Saturday, from Frazer to Big Bay, caught a few in the 15-19" range. best success was in 28-32' FOW drifting with bottom bouncers and spinners. Bigger suckers out performed smaller rainbows. If any one knows where to get some larger rainbows, that would be nice to know.
I had some very aggressive bites on sucker minnows under a bobber over the weekend. It was only pike and bass, but they were devouring 5-6" minnows without toying around with it first. Seems like the Fall feedbag is getting underway.