On the south end... A very successful week for Lake of the Woods anglers. Great walleye fishing continues with best success in 17-28 feet of water, with walleyes also being caught shallower. A number of areas along the south shore from Pine Island, Morris Point, Zippel Bay, Long Point and Rocky Point are producing. Knight / Bridges Island area also still holds good numbers and size of fish. Anchored up and vertical jigging, drifting crawler harnesses and pulling crankbaits all working. Gold / pink / orange / glow all working well. A nice mix of eaters, slot fish to be released between 19.5" and 28" and a good number of trophies over 28". As last week, big pike and jumbo in the mix.
On the Rainy River... Most walleyes are being targeted and caught in the lake. There is always a population of resident walleyes that live in the river. Best depth is 12-24'. Jigs and minnows working the best however trolling a crankbait and covering water is also effective. Smallmouth bass near rocky structure. Good pike hanging in and adjacent to bays. The sturgeon season is closed until July 1st when the season re-opens.
Up at the NW Angle... Until the US / Canada border opens, guests can travel across the lake and stay in MN waters. Check with your favorite NW Angle resort for options.
Fishing continues to be excellent. Walleyes being caught on 5-7' flats with snelled spinners and crankbaits as well as jigging rocky points in 10 - 20 feet of water. Walleyes being caught in many different areas on the Minnesota side. Pike in bays and creek mouths. Water temps 55-57 degrees.
Going to lake vermillion for the first time. June 13. Staying near Arrow Head Point, Isle of Pines. Only have a small boat with 15 HP so looking for some tips for where to go for big pike that is reasonably close given my boat. I do not mind a drive, but I know how conditions can get on big water. I also plan to go to Trout Lake (reason for bringing the small boat) If anyone has tips on Trout Lake for Pike. Thanks and #tightlines!
Don’t ya love when the weather forecasters are wrong? S’pose to rain all weekend, but we were blessed with overcast/partly sunny weather.
Over the weekend, we fished around on 3 little lakes (all <200 acres) in Bemidji area (Clearwater county). One lake was already up to 66 degrees in the middle!
Most vegetation is still low except a few lily pads were just hitting the surface at the shallows; bulrushes are still dried/brown. With the warmer weather this week, I’ll bet the lakes will start filling out with vegetation in a matter of days and probably be growing fast.
Sunny/crappie bite was nice on Sat; dead on Sunday—had to work to find them though. (Morning bites were poor--Afternoons much better. Evening is always good…)
(males were staging; females weren’t around yet) Their location varied between hugging emergent bulrushes to being suspended at ~8 feet in ~15 feet of water. (the suspended ones weren’t biting, though) We were using slip bobbers with 1/32 flu flus and nightcrawlers.
Found some nice perch hugging the bottom in 7-10 FOW jigging with 1/16 pink/white beetle-bou jigs.
Once sonny boy starting catching northerns casting a shad rap, then princess wanted to catch a nort too; so our fishing trip shifted from casting bobbers to trolling with spoons and the norts were very cooperative—getting 1-2 strikes every time down a simple shoreline of ~100 yds. Norties were fat and healthy!
Princess caught her PB northern!
Hoping to be back fishing around in Stearns and Morrison county (central MN) this weekend and got another getaway planned for next week. Happy Fishing!
I've been going up to the areas mentioned for 20 plus years now and ended up buying a cabin in the Bovey area. Looking to hear and share some fishing reports about the surrounding lakes. Never keep much besides some pesty northerns and panfish (which are plentiful) for the occasional lunch. So, I highly respect the area, but if you know the area at all, you will never be able to fish all its lakes in a lifetime... so some well informed fishing reports is always welcome. Again, I emphasize "smaller lakes," because the bigger ones (Jessie, Round, Wabana, etc) all have fishing reports available. Post if you're interested and lets get a good conversation going.
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!