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Mark Stroeber

Anchoring, Drifting And Trolling.

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Mark Stroeber

My friends and I take a trip to Northern Minnesota every September. There are differing opinions and fishing styles. What are the opinions on here as when to anchor, when to drift and when to troll? The resort we go to doesn't have trolling motors on the boats, so when we troll, we troll at the lowest speed on the motor. So the bigger question then is anchoring or trolling. In the weeds, or along the edge of the weeds, shallower or deeper?

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Tom Sawyer

Great question Mark, but there really is no right answer, you'll need to let the fish tell you each time out. I'd like to start by first saying, when and where, and trolling vs throwing the hook, comes down to fishing "edicit". Not always a perfect world, but try to avoid trolling through a group of boats anchored on a specific piece of structure, or achoring along a nice straight stretch of productive weed edge, that boats are trolling. Generally if your visiting a new lake, the boats out there are doing what they're doing for good reason. I don't want to make it sound like follow the leader, but if they are cating fish, don't over think it. Once you have established a pattern of what the fish want, strike out on your own to other likely areas on the lake, that have less fishing pressure.

Time of year, and what species I'm targeting, greatly effects how and where I decide to fish. Since you did mention September, I have to say that can sometimes be tough early in the month as far as location goes, since fish are transitioning to the cold wayer period. My next question to you would be, "what species are you after"?

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Mark Stroeber

We fish for anything we can catch. Mostly go for Pike, Walleye, Bass, Blue Gill. Using mostly Daredevles, Johnson Silver Minnows, Mepps Spinners, Jigs and Jig Heads, hooks and worms. Sometimes differences arise in whether to stay shallow and in the weeds or go a little deeper. Differences arise in drifting and having the supposed fish finder showing fish all over a certain area, as to whether to keep drifting through, or drop anchor and stay in that area for a while................. I know the more time you spend on the water, the better your chances. Won't get into it, but that is a whole other situation. Usually there mid to late September. We are there for a week, and an average of 8 of us there. We will pull in 1 - 7 of anything on a pontoon carrying 5 of us, late in the morning and about the same late in the afternoon. That's not per person, that's the boatload.

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  • Your Responses - Share & Have Fun :)

    • JerkinLips
      It may be unkind but I don't know how putting the snow back that you removed would be unlawful.  Don't shoot the messenger; I am just passing along what I have heard.  I travel by snowmobile so I couldn't care less about plowed roads.  To me they are just a hazard for sledding. That being said, the people that used the plowed road today were very considerate.  They pulled well off of the road and kept a fair distance from others. I took a sled ride from McKinley Park to Fortune Bay and encountered at least 6 patches of slush.  I saw a couple of spots were 4 wheelers drove through slush; looks like they had a hard time.  I saw several 4 wheelers getting stuck in the deep snow today.  They would back up and take another run to keep going.  Traveling is very difficult for most wheelers.  I did see one Jeep on the lake just outside of McKinley Park bay. Good luck fishing and traveling on Lake Vermilion.
    • eyeguy 54
      The rod silly. 😁
    • knoppers
      was planning on heading up to the cabin this weekend to do some snowmobiling, but since I had to ride across my lake I decided to wait. they had some good ice early, but then the warm weather, then 18 inches of snow, I would guess the lake is a mess. last report I had from a week ago, was no snowmobile or wheelers have been out on the ice.
    • monstermoose78
      It was good ice
    • Kettle
      Yea I definitely understand wanting to fish your "home lake." I'm the same way hence while a walked through the slush today, fishing was worth it and I didn't feel the need to exercise after getting home tonight. The conditions will definitely hamper a lot of people's plans. It's a bummer but thinking back it has been quite a few years of ideal conditions so I should feel fortunate for that!
    • eyeguy 54
      Like the black ice?
    • HunterFisher11
      Ok so let me start off with I don’t have a big truck with a V-plow, but did make one for my wheeler so I could get on and off with no help from any one else, and I can not tell you how many times I have helped people to get there stuff off the lake.. So long story short many years ago I spent 8-10 hours plowing a road (at that time just had a straight blade plow) and then set down the fishhouse and did not even drill a hole just to tired!!!!! Yep you guess it.... woke up and had a village around me, well that is the way it goes??? So a couple days later decided to move, well got my truck and fish house stuck and had to unhook my fishhouse and hand shovel to get my truck unstuck hook up a chain to get my fishhouse turned so I could hook up again, while there was two guys drinking coffee not more then 15-20 yds away that did not lift a finger to help, so went home got the wheeler and as I was coming back out they stopped me and asked if I could help them out!!!!!! Yep really!!!!!! So second story have a uncle that had his kid that has a plow to punch a road to his fishhouse so he did well one day he is coming off the lake and some one decided to put his wheel house right on the road!!!!! So he knots on the door and the guy told him well sucks to be you!!!!!!!! So you wonder why these guys get a bit upset????? Not to mention going out to my house and having holes drilled I don’t no inches around my house!!!!!!!!! Yep it is not you doing it but yep kind of really makes a person upset!!!!!! Man they need to realize that the guy that made that road is your life line to get off also!!!!!! So like JerkinLips said if you happen to see a person keeping the road open toss him some money or in my case some beer, will make your life a lot easier when you want to get off...
    • Rick
    • smurfy
      we are on a smaller lake by spring lake. there was 7 inches of ice already the 3rd weekend of deer hunting, at least where I checked. but there was no snow out on the lake at that time. with your report i'm sure there's more then enough slush out there. I've been fishing that lake since I've been 6 years old. 
    • AlwaysFishing23
      Got out this afternoon for a few hours and found the landing parking lot to be a drifted rutted up mess. Was able to throttle my way in and barely not getting stuck. Found 6-7” of good hard clear ice. Fish were not lacking today that’s for sure.  I caught between 100-200 gills and crappies and a few perch mixed in. Gills ranged from tiny to 8” and crappies were all 8-9”. 4-6” of snow and no flooding going on. Fish were stacked and I was able to sit and catch one after other while staying nice and toasty in the otter. Fun afternoon and got to put the clam drill plate to use and all I can say is wow! That thing is the best auger I’ve used and definitely will change the way I fish. Should be able to use it all season besides drilling spear holes which I’ll leave to the solo. Fun trip! Tentatively planning on skipping next Friday and heading up north to do some spearing. Lake I’m gonna try has for sure 4” so good for walking but was hoping to take the new snowmobile up with me and use that for transportation so we will have to see if I’ll be able to or not. Back down to -20 tonight and barely above 0 tomorrow. 
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