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How's Your Fishing Prowess Been?


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This forum has been pretty quiet lately so I thought I'd start a discussion to see where it takes us. Is it just me or have others had a similar experience this past year? Quite honestly my fishing success this year was not something to write home about. I'm primarily a walleye fisherman and my main mode of attack is a jig and minnow or jig and leech. About two weeks before the MN fishing opener in May, a friend and I did visit Lake Traverse on the SD/MN border and did quite well. That gave me a pretty good feeling going into the open water season but alas it was cut short rather quickly. I struggled to connect with walleyes all summer this year. Was on Vermilion for the opener and we struggled to find enough for a fish fry. Spent the next two weekends on Leech and got the same results. Then we took a trip to Rainy and again we really had to work to put together a fish fry. After that a friend and I went to Winnibigoshish and caught one fish all day, a 23-1/2" walleye but that was it. Couple weeks after that we tried West Battle lake and although we did find a few fish (couple rock bass, small mouth, couple northerns, and a couple sunnies), walleyes were not being cooperative at all. Add to that a few trips to my local Lake Osakis and other area lakes and I really struggled. I did get a couple here and there but they were definitely sparse to say the least. I even tried pulling cranks and Lindy rigs and even tried artificials with virtually no success. 


Anyone else have similar experiences or is it just me? Any thoughts? Was it weather, low water conditions, water temp, other?  

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I definitely agree on this past year as well. I too target walleye more often than not and struggled as well. I do know those with the newer electronics were doing much better than I, but I just can’t justify the money at the moment.  Maybe it was the heat, or drought. Maybe it’s the pressure with more anglers out on the lakes.  I don’t know if we’ll ever know the definite answer, but then again it is called fishing not catching. I’m just mainly happy to be able to get out there and wish it could be more often, although my wife might think I am out plenty already.  I told my brother the last time we were out, we probably do not try enough different ways and rely on what we are comfortable with.  That is what I need to change in the future. 

Good luck fishing......and catching.

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I had the opposite experience for the little bit of time I was able to fish over the summer.  Seemed like I could do no wrong.  And that was a big improvement over the year before.


Never used live bait at all and caught anything I targeted with some good sized fish.  Not huge but nice.


What I found odd for a hot drought year was I couldn’t catch anything deeper than about 18 feet and most were quite a bit shallower.  Walleyes we’re consistently shallow for me and hammering the stick baits and swim baits.  Crappies were the deepest.


I fished a mixture of rivers and small lakes stretching from central MN to the Boundary Waters and mostly from my kayak.  Only once did I fish from a motorized boat with all modern electronics - and that was the poorest success day.  I’ll admit I had a depth finder in my kayak that helped locate fish on lakes but otherwise everything was kept basic/simple.  

It was some of the best fishing I’ve had in the past few years.

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  • Your Responses - Share & Have Fun :)

    • Wanderer
      I was surprised too.  I’ve assumed anyway the large milky white sack instead of roe was an indicator.  Like when you clean perch the males and females are obvious.  Some of the 15 inch walleyes had some roe in them.
    • Wanderer
      Well I’ve been wasting more time that lately!  Sorry for wasting your time then to read it.     A little agitated this evening?
    • JerkinLips
      I bet a much larger % of fish kept over 26" end up on the table rather than the wall.  I would personally like to see the upper slot changed to 28".   25" male walleye?  I didn't know the males got that large.  Guess I will have to check their gender from now on just for information.   The picture I posted was a picture of a picture developed from a negative 9 years ago.  Reason for the poor photo quality.
    • knoppers
      not much happening on the lake this winter the slush is that bad. only ones out have walked pulling portables. snowmobile is the only travel, and that gets a bit iffy in some areas, no stopping, and plenty of horsepower to get through some areas.
    • leech~~
      So pretty much your time spent typing this was a total waste!  Thanks. 👍
    • smurfy
      so as i understand it a smaller female lays less eggs then that 26 incher with maybe a better hatch rate but the 26 incher may lay MORE eggs with better genetics????🤔 but what do i know..... 
    • Wanderer
      I can’t personally answer that but I’m pretty sure 26-30 inch females do quite a bit of spawning.  The over 26 allowance is for keeping anglers happy about being able to keep a “trophy” at some point, knowing that harvest is likely minimal.   I agree the table fare quality decreases with every inch past about 24.  I prefer the under 20 walleyes for eating but occasionally keep one up to 24.   Over New Years weekend my wife caught a 25 that she wanted to keep.  Her fish, her choice.  It was a little thin and very old looking.  It was a male; a big male IMO.  She thought it was good when we ate it but I thought it was soft and watery.  To each their own on that I guess.   Just my 2 cents.   Nice one you have there in your pic!
    • JerkinLips
      Do female walleyes stop spawning at a certain age/size?  I am wondering if the 26" upper slot limit was picked to allow people to mount a "trophy", or keep a very large walleye for consumption.   I have never had a fish mounted, and would probably consider having a replica made if I catch a walleye over 31".  I have only kept one walleye over 26" (a 28" fish caught in 2013 winter that would not have survived if released), and that fish was not very good to eat.  Maybe it was at the end of its life.
    • Wanderer
      My worst was on Burntside in Ely.  Breaking trail across the lake, overloaded, big deep slush field.  Took half the day for three of us to get out of it.  Water deep enough everyone’s boots were soaked except my tall insulated rubber boots.   Sleds froze up and had to chisel out the tunnels to move again.  One person in the party became ill and didn’t go out the second day.  Thought it was because he got so chilled.  He went to the Dr after the trip and found out he actually had a heart condition.  Could’ve lost him that day.  That’s my big reason I won’t expect anyone to help beyond what they’re comfortable with.  Some friends are still gung ho but others will say no.  I’m fine either way.  I’ve got enough equipment and enough experience now that I’ll figure it out - if I’m willing to.  Yesterday in that wind and alone; not so much.
    • monstermoose78
      Fished Mille Lacs on the gravel in 23-26 feet and we seen a few but no takers. No fish over night or this morning. 
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