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Fall Walleye Bite Is Under Way
Walleye Report – Water temperatures are really falling now and we’re already looking at temps down into the low to mid 50’s on some of the shallower lakes. Larger, deeper water is holding at 58–59 degrees right now and will continue to fall throughout the weekend. We are still finding lots of nice green weeds on the deeper lakes and the fish are holding pretty tight to the weed edges. On a trip to Sand Lake this week, we found that there was virtually no action unless we fished exactly in the weeds. Thanks to the higher winds this week, the Walleyes on Leech Lake, Winnie and Cutfoot Sioux have been moving in the current and the bite has been reliable. Jig and minnow fishing is now the clear ticket during the day. We’re using 1/8 to 1/4 oz Bug Eyed Shorties and having plenty of action. Your choice of minnows is especially important right now, so shop around a little bit. The past few years we’ve found it more difficult, or sometimes impossible to locate spot tails (shiners) in the fall. But if you can get them, it will really pay off. If you can’t get the spot tails, LARGE size Fatheads, Rainbow Chubs or small/medium Red Tails will all work. In fact, if you can get a good supply of really nice Fatheads, you’ll be okay almost everywhere except maybe Leech Lake where the Spot Tail is king. Fish location remains fairly simple, primary drop off along weed edges, shoreline rock/gravel and anywhere that large schools of baitfish can be located.

Crappie – Locations are slowly beginning to change to the classic fall pattern. Moving out to the deeper weed edges adjacent to deeper shoreline breaks. If you are able to locate brush piles or crappie cribs, there will be more fish in the cover than out in the open. With the abundance of green weeds, the fish are reluctant to leave the protected cover, but they are schooling up and moving out to where you can find them. Concentrate on Crappies in the morning right now and fish them until the early run fades. Then switch to Walleye of Northern fishing during the mid day. Jig & minnow fished vertically is good, use an 1/8 oz to find them and then scale back to a 1/16 oz for the fine tuning.

Bluegills – The deeper edges of heavy weed flats are producing consistent catches of nice bluegills. Small young of the year minnows and a variety of insect hatches are providing the feeding opportunities for these fish and they have moved in to chow down. Our best approach has been to move slowly along the deeper weed edges and cast 1/16 oz jigs tipped with about 1/3 of a crawler. Keep moving until you start picking up a few fish, once you've located a pocket of fish, slow down and move a bit further into the weed bed and then fish vertically into the pockets between weed patches. We've found that keeping the jig near the bottom and fishing it almost stationary produces the best results. At times we stumble into groups of Crappies, Bass, Pike or even Walleyes. When we do, we adjust the baits and try for the mixed bag or the go with larger tube jigs and a 1/8 oz jig head and concentrate on the deeper edges of the weed flats. Locating rock or gravel mixed in the weeds will really up the odds of finding a good pocket of fish.

Largemouth Bass- Action and average size is great! Spinner baits or Rattle Traps fished near the Bulrush edges are the best way to go. We’ve had better luck if the bulrushes are located near the edge of deeper water, especially on a sharp drop into deep weed cover. Avoid really shallow flats, the water is cooling down fast and these are often several degrees colder than the drop of edges.

Smallmouth Bass-are still congregated on deep-water points and humps. Mixed rock and wood are the definite favorite right now, but rocks mixed with weeds will still hold a few fish as well. On our sunny days these fish seem to be snubbing most of the artificial baits we’ve thrown at them. But, they’re more than willing to hit a large shiner or medium creek chub fished on a simple slip sinker/live bait rig. We’ve been avoiding feed out line like you would with a Walleye because we don’t want the fish to swallow the bait. Simply troll the rig along the deeper edges of the rocky cover, when you get a hit, give the fish a few seconds to take the bait and sweep the rod to a hook set. Please try and release the majority of these fish. Smallmouth are a great resource and “quality fish” are getting harder to find. If you have an occasional fish that swallows the hook, cut the line near the hook and release the fish. They have a much better chance that way.

Perch Report – The Perch fishing has been fairly consistent although the fish seem to be fairly scattered. Most of the fish are showing up in the shallows, but there are still groups of fish located on the secondary drop offs too. Cabbage weeds with gravel or rock near by are the best bet for action. Jig & Minnow fished IN THE WEEDS and as nearly vertically as possible will be your best bet. If you think there are nice perch near by but they aren’t hitting aggressively, try fishing the jig about 6 inches off the bottom and without any action at all. They seem to prefer a really lazy presentation right now and I’ve caught lots of fish by laying the rod down and watching the tip for movement.

Northern Pike – Nice size Pike and lots of smaller ones are available in almost every weed bed right now. We’re actually having the best luck catching nice Pike using a jig & minnow. A leader made of 17 to 25 pound test mono will protect you from almost all of the bite offs. Tie the jig head directly to one end of the heavy mono and use a small swivel to attach the leader to you fishing line. This rig gives you the benefit of a steel leader, without the kinks and twists. You’ll catch more Walleye this way, because your jig still swims fairly naturally.
TheEarlyBird-Jeff Sundin
[email protected]

The Early Bird-Jeff Sundin
Early Bird Fishing Guide Service
Phone: 218-246-2375
North-Central Minnesota
Lakes Country
E-mail: [email protected]

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Great report Jeff!

It's nice to read about it even tho' my schedule at work has made it impossible to get away lately! Maybe it'll work out yet!

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  • Your Responses - Share & Have Fun :)

    • skyking
      Was up last week on Kab and it seemed that your bait depended on where you were fishing. Some areas leeches did good, but others minnows were the go to. We lindy rigged the entire trip and on days when wind was gusty we did pretty good shallower with minnows in 13 to 20 ft....then some areas we were doing better with leeches 16 to 32 ft. No wind was like the dead sea.
    • Mike89
      catch and eat the crawfish too!!!
    • Uncle Boney
      I can second A Warrior.  Jumbo leeches for Walleye.  Northern were more interested in minnows and crawlers.
    • Harry Goodliffe
      A Carp Anglers Group Fishing social will be on June 23rd in Coon Rapids. If you enter the park from the Coon Rapids side (Egret Blvd), take a left from the parking lot and drive towards the picnic shelters. Take a right at the first stop sign and park in the lot. We will be fishing in the stretch or river behind the picnic shelter/playground. Start time can be before 7am and you can fish into the evening if you want. There will be medals for the 3 largest fish captured.
    • Gone Out Fishin
      Thanks for lots of good info guys.  Sounds like if I do things right I can have fish for breakfast, lunch, and dinner. I'll try fishing that reef for some evening walleye. Bobber fish for some sunnies in the weeds.  @delcecchi, I catch enough Walleye in the summer that I really don't want to ask. I won't shy away from a bite. I'll check that little bay for crappies.  @vermilionfox, Wow that is a lot of location data. My PROP thanks you for the rock info!  Merry Go Round? I have another question regarding the Rusty Crawfish... are they a problem on the west side of the lake too? Bloody mini lobsters. I remember spending lots of time using orange for bass and walleye since they were a major food source. Been years since I've done that.  Gone Out Fishin
    • Parmer
      I don't think you will be able to run it on that generator. I have a yamaha 2000 and I have not tried it yet but from everything I have read you need 2800 watts to start the AC. All the 2018 ice castle fish houses are coleman mach 3 plus AC I think. 
    • BigVwalters
      The fishing was pretty decent over the weekend.  Walleyes were biting on rigs with leeches or crawlers. Caught 12 between Friday and Saturday with with 4 nice slotters.   Biggest being a 24".   
    • Borch
      Star Island in Cass Lake has remote, boat in primitive camping as well.
    • A Warrior
      Just returned from a successful trip on Kab.  Minnows did catch fish, but leeches were the ticket
    • Rick
      Angling regulations on Lake of the Woods and the Rainy River in northern Minnesota would change under a proposal being considered by the Minnesota Department of Natural Resources to reduce the number of walleye and sauger allowed to be kept in the winter on the lake, and on the river allowing only catch-and-release fishing for those fish in the spring.  “We recently went through a public process of updating the Lake of the Woods Fisheries Management Plan and identified several potential areas of concern with regard to current levels of harvest,” said Phil Talmage, Baudette fisheries supervisor. “That’s why we’re discussing these potential changes.” The proposed changes would reduce the aggregate limit of walleye and sauger in the winter to align with the summer regulations on Lake of the Woods, and make spring angling on the Rainy River catch-and-release for walleye and sauger. The changes would go into effect starting March 1, 2019. Anglers will see yellow signs at public water accesses around Lake of the Woods and the Rainy River later this month notifying the public of the proposal. Future news releases will provide the details of a formal public comment period during the fall, and will include ways to provide comment to the DNR on the proposal. For more information on Lake of the Woods management go to mndnr.gov/lakeofthewoods. Discuss below - to view set the hook here.