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Rainy lake fishing 2020


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Hello everyone.

I have not seen or heard from anyone on the form so I thought I would post some pictures of opening weekend on rainy lake, May 16 and 17. Water is about 18” low from July levels and water temperature is 56 degrees as of Sunday. The walleyes and bass were caught on jig and minnows in 8’- 12’ of water. 

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Nice work Muskie. Good to see that there are still some fish left in the lake! I'll be up shortly and post a full report of the memorial weekend bite. Are you guys west or east side fishing? We tend to stay east but might be venturing westbound considering the no Canada restrictions.

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Thanks Mallertime! One afternoon in the rice Bay Area and the other Far East end of seine bay... ontario side. So far the  only news here is the border is closed until June 21. Good luck and enjoy your trip!

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Thanks for the pictures. We will be back up the end of July. Sure would be nice to run up into Canada but if you can't you can't.

 

Bill

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Thanks Bill.

Hopefully the border will be open by then but again it’s a wait and see. By July all the reefs on the east end will have fish on them, but always better when you have more choices...good luck when you come up in July.

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Hello Muskies

 

Glad to hear the opening went well.  We are still in FL due to the border closure and can’t return to our home on Rainy Lake.  The urge to fish was strong so I ordered some fishing equipment from Bass Pro Shops.  The brain trust decided to ship a two piece rod and reel combo 40” long in a 39” long box!

 

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Thanks smalljaw. Great packing job! Hopefully you’ll be able to get away from the heat and humidity and enjoy lake life again and use that new rig!

We were out again yesterday (Saturday) on the east end of rainy. Caught 20+ walleyes largest was 23” and 8 hammer handle northern in 8 -11 feet of water.  Water is still down about a foot with little or no current anywhere. The water surface is up to 66 degrees. Here’s a sample of the day...

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May 31...Another beautiful afternoon on rainy lake with my wife...fishing east end this time...out for 4 hours 20+ walleyes and one 30” northern. Surface water temperature 65 degrees in 10-14 feet...jigs and chubs...Cajun batter on the fillets...

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  • 2 weeks later...

News from Ontario...border closed until the end of June...sorry to all who fish both sides of rainy lake. We have received over an inch of rain total over the past few days so no chance to wet a line. The lake is now at normal summer time depth. 
 

sorry, just found this...

OTTAWA (Reuters) - Canada and the United States are set to extend a ban on non-essential travel to late July as both countries seek to control the spread of the coronavirus, according to three sources familiar with the matter. 

Washington and Ottawa introduced month-long restrictions in March and renewed them in April and May. The ban, currently due to expire on June 21, does not affect trade. 

Canadian and U.S. sources said although the governments had not yet taken a final decision, a further extension was highly likely. 

“It’s going to be a clean rollover” on June 21, said a U.S. source who requested anonymity given the sensitivity of the situation. “We will want to look at it again in July.” 

The U.S. Department of Homeland Security was not immediately available for comment. 

Data show that while the outbreak is slowing across the 10 Canadian provinces, new cases show little sign of abating in Toronto and Montreal, the country’s two largest cities.

Edited by Muskies
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Thanks for the report.  I feel for all the camp operators and retail operations who are seeing their business evaporate.  I feel for all the fishermen who have been coming to Canada for many years.  For me personally, I never dreamed when I bought my home on Rainy Lake that one day I would be told I can’t go to my own home.  What happens if COVID takes a turn for the worse?  Does the Government decide we can no longer live in our property?  Nobody knows because all we are being told is that the border is closed.  What is needed is some detailed long term planning so all involved can run their business, plan their trips, and decide whether continued home ownership is feasible.  The fishing/hunting tourism business is valued in the billions.  Real estate is valued in the billions.  We need some adults in Government to pay attention.

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I agree! This past week the govt is allowing immediate family to return to Ontario. Camps and lodges open to Canadians. At the border US camp owners can apply to enter and work at their camps and lodges but have to isolate for 15 days.  At least this is a start...hopefully things will improve. Have not been out for a few weeks. Every day I have off it’s been blowing and or stormy. Hopefully out this week.

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On 6/14/2020 at 5:46 PM, smalljaw said:

What is needed is some detailed long term planning so all involved can run their business, plan their trips, and decide whether continued home ownership is feasible.  The fishing/hunting tourism business is valued in the billions.  Real estate is valued in the billions.  We need some adults in Government to pay attention.

 

While I do agree with your assessment, I'm sure the fishing/hunting tourism business is only a small fraction of Canada's overall economy.  They have to make a decision that is best for the entire country as a whole, not just one specific sector.  Toronto and Montreal cases are still on the rise and those two cities represent the two largest in their country.  I believe that they will continue to tackle this issue on a month-to-month basis.  As we get closer to the next deadline, they'll make another announcement.  Just my personal opinion but I don't think it will be open until August.

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Heading up to Rainy Lake July 5th for a week. Cannot wait. Love reading your updates and looking for more in the days to come!

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Finally took the boat off the trailer in into the lake...during my lunch....of course had to stop and check a spot 

... no bait...used jigging rap for 20 minutes...1 sauger-12 1/2” and one 25” sucker...caught in 22 feet, surface temp at 66 degrees, water is at normal summertime levels, some mayfly carcasses floating in the water. Watched a few bass surface eating bugs on top of the water where I tie my boat up. Sorry couldn’t fish for them due to lunch time restraints...another day....

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This will be the first Independence Day weekend on Rainy Lake I have missed since 1999.  I have a favor to ask.  Please tie on a Pop R and catch one of those bass gorging on mayflies.  Post a photo for all to enjoy.

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Hey smalljaw,

sorry you’ll miss out out the “smallie” fireworks...lol...I’ll make sure to post a couple of pictures next time I’m out...it’s been a bit warm here with heat warnings up until next week...temps been around 85-90 and humid.
Happy 1st of July to anyone north of the border and Happy 4th of July to everyone south of it!

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Getting closer for me. We will be up on 7/25. If you guys see a red Lowe FM 165 (Fishing Machine) w/90HP Merc, that will most likely be me.  We stay at Idlewood so with no CA this year I suspect we will be traveling east a lot. I know by then Black Bay is "supposed" to be done but I manage a few eyes in there this week. I just like fishing that area, I fished it a lot years ago with my dad. There are big pike everywhere so I will hit a few spots that week.  The reef's I like best for eyes are mostly all east.

 

The way the border looks I don't think Smalljaw will get to see his cabin in CA this year. That really stinks! Years ago I wished for a cabin on an island on Rainy, that is still a fantasy I guess. I wouldn't be too happy if I finally had my cabin and I couldn't visit it.

 

I am retiring this summer if things line up right. After this trip with my wife I might try to get my dad back up onto Rainy if I can figure it out. He is 83 and in decent shape except a bad back. My mom is our concern, she has dementia and needs watching, so far my dad is her full time caregiver. My dad started taking me to Rainy when I was in my early teens so I owe him. I know there may be better places to fish but Rainy just keeps me coming back.

 

Muskies, I really enjoy you posting. Oh, have you ever caught a musky on Rainy? I have not that I recall.

 

Thanks for letting ramble on your thread.

 

Bill

 

 

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Thanks for sharing...I was lucky enough to grow up on sand bay. As for muskies, I’ve caught a few smaller ones. The picture is of the lake today...it was a nice day but work needed to get done...no fishing

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Edited by Muskies
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Good morning resplendent.. With all the warm weather we have had the walleyes should be Biting on the reefs by this weekend. The forecast is for 80-85 next week but I would like to see some rain up here as it’s pretty dry in the bush. Good luck and enjoy your trip.

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I'm new to this forum, so I thought that I'd make my 1st post about Rainy.

 

I was up there for a 4 day / 3 night camping/fishing trip, around the end of June, with my grandson that is 14 years old.   Our camp site was about 16 miles east of of the visitor center ramp by boat, but probably only 12 or 13 miles as the crow flies......  Around the Kemp Channel Entrance.   This was before the hot weather hit, so we had nights in the low 50s and and days in the mid to low 70s.

 

We mostly cast jigs with soft plastics into 3 and 4 ft water then  retrieved out to about 12 ft of water.  A lot of the time was working the windy side of rocky shorelines and a few exposed reefs.  Was disappointed in the size and number of Smallies that we picked up, but we did pick up several eater and over slot Walleyes in the process.  We also did a fair amount of  trolling with #7, and a little deeper with #9 Shad Raps.  This got us a few more Walleyes, 2 decent Pike, and a couple of little Smallies.

 

We did find a small hump fairly near an island  that had good marks in small groups, that I was sure were  Walleyes.  We drifted it several times with jigs and crawlers, and only caught 4 small Walleyes.  I'm pretty familiar with my bottom machine's readout, and the marks were not the small fish that we caught.   Just could not get the better marks to bite.

 

Near camp, and in many other areas, the depth finder was showing mid water column  round blobs.  I was thinking that these could have been bug larvae working their way up in the water column prior to hatching?  What do you think those blobs were?

 

I'll be back camping at the same spot at the end of July into early August.  Hoping for bigger fish this time.

 

 

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Just came across this forum for the first time.

 

I have been coming to rainy lake since I was born, and have always had a passion for the pre july 4th fishing in the bays and try to make it up at or before that to enjoy.  This year with things in flux we will be up mid july.  I know that is traditionally reef time, but have never had much success.  I have read and talked with some locals who say find the reefs that come up to 25-40 feet surrounded by deep water.  Does anyone have any advice on spots to hit mid july.  I will find them on a map, but am definitely a novice reefer.

 

Thanks

 

Erik

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Hello manbearpig,

You were out in the middle of bug hatch...finally finishing up now. When you come back in late July try locate reefs in the 20-30 foot mark and you should have some luck. If you look at a map there are many in the area you were camping. I prefer using a jig and minnow as my go to but have  used different techniques over the years...depending on what the fish want. Hope you enjoyed your time on the lake.

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Good morning Erik
If you want to fish in July and August, the reefs are a good choice. I also look for shelves along side islands. The info received from the local people is correct. Use your electronics to find active fish. If you don’t see any fish move to a new spot. Once you find them a jig and minnow is a great choice. Good luck when you cone back.

Edited by Muskies
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24 minutes ago, Muskies said:

Hello manbearpig,

You were out in the middle of bug hatch...finally finishing up now. When you come back in late July try locate reefs in the 20-30 foot mark and you should have some luck. If you look at a map there are many in the area you were camping. I prefer using a jig and minnow as my go to but have  used different techniques over the years...depending on what the fish want. Hope you enjoyed your time on the lake.

 

Thank you for your reply Muskies!

 

Knowing now that there was a bug hatch going on during my last trip, as I suspected, I don't feel quite as bad about my fishing skills.

 

I'm  really looking forward to our end of July/early August trip.  This camping/fishing trip will be with  and old friend  that I've know since grade school days.  However, the last time that we camped together was in the BWCA about 40 years ago.  My plan has been to fish the mid-lake humps with crawlers on bottom bouncer/spinner rigs or just using jigs.  Now that you mentioned minnows, I may try to bring some of those as well.  As you using Fatheads on the jigs in late July?

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Chubs mostly...depending on the day and conditions. Always good to bring crawlers and leeches to try also.

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      Fall is a great time to fish sturgeon, bass and pike on the river, although the vast majority of anglers are after walleyes.
      Up at the NW Angle...  
      Excellent fishing continues on both sides of the border.  In U.S. waters, deep mud of Little Traverse Bay continues producing walleyes in 24 - 31 feet.  Gold, white and orange spinners with a crawler or a minnow is effective.  Minnows on some days are starting to be preferred by the walleyes.  Try both.  
      Areas with structure continue to hold fish.  18 - 27 feet are good starting points.  Jig and a minnow is the goto.
      Pike and muskie anglers are locating fish on weedy points using double blade spinners and topwater.  Some nice fish boated this week.
      Travel to and from the Angle via vehicle through the 40 miles of Canada is open.  Boating into Canadian waters is now open.  Please note, no live, frozen or dead bait allowed into Canada from the U.S.  The various plastics on a jig are working well.  Contact a NW Angle resort for details.
      Charter boat transport and float planes are still available through the LOW Passenger Service and Lake Country Air.  
       


    • AnglerJake
      By AnglerJake
      Heading up to Garden Lake Resort Sep 16 - 24. Any reports or tips from up there? Thanks!
    • LakeofthewoodsMN
      By LakeofthewoodsMN
      On the south end...  Another really strong week of walleye fishing.  
      One of the main areas to fish is still deep mud.  Basically 28 - 34 feet of water.  Various schools of walleyes move around the basin relating to different kinds of forage.  
      Big walleyes eat a lot of everything but really key in on tullibees (ciscos) who live primarily in the basin.  Other forage can be perch, perch minnows, emerald shiners, blood worms, crayfish, and the list goes on.  
      Various schools holding shallower, over rocks or sand, based on bait options in that area.  Reefs are still holding fish, normally on the sides and base where rock meets the mud.   
      Drifting or trolling spinners with crawlers and trolling crankbaits are still very effective for catching walleyes this week.
      As we approach mid to late September and October, the jig bite will fire back up!
      On the Rainy River...   Walleyes hanging out in some of the deeper holes throughout the river.  Moving up and down the river, hitting numerous spots until you find which areas have walleyes is a good method for success.
      Some anglers trolling crankbaits to cover water.  Oftentimes, walleyes won't show up on electronics if they are laying in a depression in the river bottom.  Only way to know is to fish the area.
      Bass and pike are plentiful on structure, docks and weed edges.  Hitting various "goto" spots up and down the river is a fun and normally productive day.    
      The sturgeon "keep" season continues through Sep. 30.  Catch and release Oct 1 - April 23, 2022.
      Up at the NW Angle...  
      Great fishing continues on both sides of the border.  In U.S. waters, deep mud of Little Traverse Bay continues producing walleyes in 28 - 33 feet.  Gold, white and orange spinners with a crawler is effective.
      Underwater points, sunken islands and neck down areas with a bit of current in 18 - 27 feet holding fish.  These areas are good areas to jig.
      Pike and muskie anglers are still finding good fish on weedy points using jerkbaits and topwater. 
      Travel via vehicle through Canada to the Angle is open.  Boating into Canadian waters is now open.  Contact a NW Angle resort for details.
      Charter boat transport and float planes are still available through the LOW Passenger Service and Lake Country Air.  
      A complete list of lodging and fishing packages around LOW, the NW Angle, Baudette and the Rainy River at www.fishingminnesota.com/Lodging.  


    • klee103
      By klee103
      How are the lakes across southern Minnesota? 
      Do they "green" up with the summer heat?
      Are there any lakes you would recommend for sunfish, crappie or perch?  
      Looking to do a day trip or 2 this fall to somewhere from Fairmont to Mankato.
       
      Any recommendations?
      Thanks!
  • Your Responses - Share & Have Fun :)

    • Wanderer
      Very, very few ducks in Ely today.  4 grouse seen with only 1 coming back to camp.   I literally saw more fish today than birds.  And I skipped the fishing gear this time! 😒
    • monstermoose78
      Finn and I hiked the river in Sherburne and only saw 5 swans. 1000 cranes and not one duck or goose.  Saw some guys looking in the grass and they said they dropped a woodduck and Finn found it for them. Boy Finn was mad when I gave them the duck. 
    • JBMasterAngler
      Fished Black Brook Flowage (Apple River) today. This is my kinda lake! Very few houses, small little boat launch. Only caught 2 little pike. Missed a small Muskie, and seen a mid 30’s hovering under the boat. Was tough dealing with the wind, but I like this place. Fishing below the dam with waders is a possibility also. 
    • Wanderer
      I’d like to know what you have also.
    • jerkin'm
      I posted some of my not needed ammo on IDO…I could use some steel if you have it too…
    • LakeofthewoodsMN
      On the south end...  A really good week of fall walleye fishing.  Big numbers of fish being caught.  It should only improve as water temps get cooler.  This fall has been unseasonably warm. Big numbers of walleyes and saugers are set up along the south shore and anglers are catching a lot of fish.   Most anglers are anchored up and jigging with a fathead or emerald shiner.  Live shiners are available and effective.  There are still a lot of walleyes being caught on spinners with minnows surprisingly.  Trolling crankbaits has also been catching a lot of fish. The best reports are coming from 18-28 feet of water across the south shore in areas such as Pine Island, Morris Point, Zippel Bay, Graceton Beach, Long Point and Rocky Point.  Various schools within these depths.  In addition to walleyes and saugers, pike, jumbo perch, sturgeon and even a few crappies are in the mix for walleye anglers.  On the Rainy River...   Emerald shiners continue to run in the Rainy River and more and more walleyes are entering the river each week.  Fishing has picked up but most believe when water temps reach the 40's, it will get even better.  Currently, temps are in the low 50's. Jigging with a frozen or live shiner, is the go to method.  Emerald shiners are tough to beat this time of year.  Some reports of big fish being caught, but not in big numbers... yet.   Sturgeon activity continues good.  A gob of crawlers and/or frozen shiners on a sturgeon rig (18 inch leader made of 60lb test, circle hook and a 2-3 ounce no roll sinker) is the ticket.  The catch and release season continues through April 23, 2022. Up at the NW Angle...   Fall fishing up at the Angle continues to be excellent.  Most anglers are using a jig and minnow or jig and plastic.  Some strong reports with warmer than normal water of spinners with a minnow or plastic being the hot bait.  Gold, pink and/or glow colored jigs and spinners are doing well.  Reminder, no live, frozen or dead bait being able to be transported over the border from the U.S. into Canada, consequently anglers boating into Ontario waters reporting various plastics on their jigs and spinners working great. Various areas of structure such as points, reefs and sandy areas in neck down areas continue to hold good fish.  12 - 26 feet is the range depending upon the spot.   Big crappies are in their fall spots and being caught on jigs and minnows in 25-30' around various structure. Muskie anglers report good fishing overall.  Trollers reporting mixed results.  One day is great, the other not so much.  Covering water trolling is a strong fall muskie technique and should get better as water cools.    Travel to and from the Angle via vehicle through the 40 miles of Canada is open.  Boating into Canadian waters is now open.   Charter boat transport and float planes are still available through the LOW Passenger Service and Lake Country Air.    
    • Rick
      The Minnesota Conservation Volunteer magazine, in partnership with Wildlife Forever, will host the 2022 Minnesota Fish Art Contest. Open to students in kindergarten through 12th grade, this free art competition aims to introduce Minnesota youth to the wonders of fish, the joy of fishing, and the importance of aquatic conservation.Discuss below - to view set the hook here.
    • Rick
      The Minnesota Department of Natural Resources is accepting grant applications now through Nov. 16 for projects through its Minnesota’s Lake Superior Coastal Program. Approximately $500,000 will be available for projects to begin fall 2022. The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration Office for Coastal Management provides the funding for these grants.Discuss below - to view set the hook here.
    • Rick
      Minnesota’s waterways were unusually deadly this year, with 17 people losing their lives in boating-related drownings and crashes—the highest number since 2005. And with weeks of open water left this year, there’s a chance that total could climb higher.Discuss below - to view set the hook here.
    • Rick
      The Minnesota Conservation Volunteer magazine, in partnership with Wildlife Forever, will host the 2022 Minnesota Fish Art Contest. Open to students in kindergarten through 12th grade, this free art competition aims to introduce Minnesota youth to the wonders of fish, the joy of fishing, and the importance of aquatic conservation.Discuss below - to view set the hook here.
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