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Island Lake opener


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Hey Guys,
My first post on your forum, although I've been following along for some time. Hasn't been much talk about Island, and I was wondering what your thoughts are on this lake for opener. We've been up for a couple of openers and we'll do well one year and not so good the next. Course the weather has been completely different each year. Wondering if you might have a couple of pointers on where we might concentrate our efforts during varying conditions on opening weekend. Lots of structure out there, still learning about the lake. Appreciate any tips.

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Hey crappieslapper, welcome to the Blackduck forum. Island lake is a great lake that holds a lot of walleyes, northerns and perch. I don't remember if last year or the year before I was out to Island lake on the sunday of opening weekend. Anyway I was out there and it was snowing out, and we were catching walleyes and northerns very well. Island has a lot of structure like you said. This is probably your best lake for a chance at a great big northern. Besides Red and Winnie. This lake has some monsters in it.
I would focus my efforts in the shallows around the reeds for opener. Take a right off the north landing, and there is a patch of reeds there, this has been a real good spot in years past. On the south side of the Island, there is 3 humps that come up pretty shallow. This is a great early year spot as well. Other than these spots, I would basically fish shallower water in the 6-8 foot range with a jig and a minnow. Try a light jig though because there are a lot of weeds around the reeds. Plus in shallow water, you want your jig further away from the boat because the fish are laying in the weeds wait to feed. Either drift or use the electric trolling motor to go over these spots so you don't spook the fish. And fish slow too.
Good luck.

------------------
Kupcho's Guide Service
Upper Red, Winnie, Blackduck Area
http://fishingminnesota.com/blackduck/
Phone:(651) 426-1545
E-mail: [email protected]

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Welcome Crappieslapper! Your timing was perfect to ask about Island as that was the lake that I've been doing some research on..now to get the weather to turn back to spring and we could get the boat out there and do the "real" research work on the lakes!

What Kupcho said is exactly the things that we've been told by folks who fish Island around opener..the shallow spots (just out from the 5' areas) on the southside of the lake are a good place to start your fishing for the walleye and northern as well as in the middle of the lake where it gets shallow. The shoreline shallows weedbed is also a great place. Once you find the perch, stick around and watch the walleyes and northerns come in to feed smile.gif Island has a high population of perch, bluegill sunfish, as well as tulibees which the northerns just love! Also had some folks who were able to pull some pound crappies out of there..but nothing like the frenzy of Upper Red during spawn!

I had talked to DNR the other day as they were suppose to survey the lake again this year, but they couldn't find the report so weren't sure if it had already been done yet or not. They said the walleye and northern and panfish population is still going strong and the size is real good...a little over 2 weeks and we'll find out!

Let us know how you do when you get out there
------------------
Drake Motel
drakemotel.com
(888)253-8501
[email protected]

[This message has been edited by Drake (edited 04-25-2002).]

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Thanks to both of you guys. I haven't tried the public access area or the very south end. Two new spots to try. I have worked the humps south of the island and have had good luck there. Others have talked about a honey hole south and east of the island. Not sure if they're talking about the far east shoreline, there's a nice little inside turn I see on the map. I'll be searching it out this year. I'll be sure to report back. Thanks for the input. Cabin 2H at Wolf Point is our hold up if you're in the area. Dan Taylor's the name, plenty of cold ones in the fridge.
Thanks again!

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Kupcho, I'm not familiar with the rock pile NE of the island. I know the rocks are pretty thick toward the north shore around that bull rush. Is that the area you're talking about? My e-mail is [email protected]
I'd be curious to hear how the other lakes in the area are producing.

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Yeah there is a hump of rocks off the north east side of the island. This has been a good early year spot too. There is some vegitation submerged there.

------------------
Kupcho's Guide Service
Upper Red, Winnie, Blackduck Area
http://fishingminnesota.com/blackduck/
Phone:(651) 426-1545
E-mail: [email protected]

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Hey Crappieslapper...thanks for the invite, will keep that in mind if we end up fishing there on opener weekend, we'll look you up grin.gif

We will probably be hitting Blackduck Lake pretty hard on opener weekend for the walleye fishing...fishing is great there in May for walleye and we have already pulled the jumbo perch out of the lake. So if you decide to make a side trip to Blackduck Lake give us a buzz or stop in!

------------------
Drake Motel
drakemotel.com
(888)253-8501
[email protected]

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That spot by the Island is a good one too. Also North east of the Island on the rock pile is a good one too. You might want to swing in there. There are a lot of honey holes in Island. A lot of humps and bumps. Fish hold pretty good to those spots. Crappie slapper what is your email? I'm not sure if I am going to be on Island or not on opener. Depends how fishing is on the other lakes.

------------------
Kupcho's Guide Service
Upper Red, Winnie, Blackduck Area
http://fishingminnesota.com/blackduck/
Phone:(651) 426-1545
E-mail: [email protected]

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Drake and Crappieslayer- I grew up in Northome and have had lots of success with Island lake. My father usually does pretty will on Island. He fishes stony point, North and South side of the Island and the Rock pile between Stony and the Island. When you find the walleyes change to a slip bobber. We caught our share last year using this technique.

WOodman

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Hey Woodsman thanks for the tip..will give it a try smile.gif Are you going to be on Island at opener? If so, let us know how you do. I think we are going for Blackduck on opener, but hope to hit Island during the following week. So many lakes, so little time grin.gif

------------------
Drake Motel
drakemotel.com
(888)253-8501
[email protected]

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Drake- We may be up there fishing on Sunday for MOthers day. I would say we will venture out for the evening bite. Good luck.

WOodman

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Hey Crappieslapper, Have you been hiding? JK. I might head out to Island on sunday, depending how the wind is cooperating. I like to give Blackduck a little break cause it will probably be hit pretty hard this weekend. Walleyes shouldn't be hard to come by. smile.gif
Maybe I'll get to meet you and the woodman sunday.
See you all later.

------------------
Kupcho's Guide Service
Upper Red, Winnie, Blackduck Area
http://fishingminnesota.com/blackduck/
Phone:(651) 426-1545
E-mail: [email protected]

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Hey Kupcho,
No, not hiding, got my nose buried in the weather reports. Can't believe this spring rollercoaster. Don't really know what to expect, so I'm bringing all the winter wear. We're heading up to Northome tonight, hope he's got the driveway plowed and the ice chipped away from the launch. Hope everyone's taking care of those that take care of us before they leave town. We'll look for you on Sunday. We'll be fishing at least part of the day before heading back. I'll be in the 16'Alumnicraft working over those hot spots and a few brews. We'll look for you, what will you be fishing in? If not, good luck where ever you go.
P.S. Last minute tips still being accepted.
Take care!

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Best of luck for the 2002 opener on Island Lake. Wish I could be there with you. My turn will not come until June 7.

I have been vacationing on Island Lake each summer for 25 years. A week in June and again in August. Great walleye, perch, crappie fishing. In recent years we have started catching some really large blue gill and an occassional small / large mouth bass. Looking forward to this year.

I enjoy reading the areas reports on the forum. Makes it seem like I'm almost there.

I'd be happy to share tactics if anyone is interested.

Leave a few for us!

Regards,

Indiana Mike

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Just got back from Island Lake. Only three northerns and two nice perch. Released them all back to lake. I only saw two walleys that were caught by us. Tried by access trolling south and North side of Island with bobbers. Water temp is still tooooo cold. Talked to friends in Northome and not much luch this opener.

Good Luck this week.

Woodman

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Spent the weekend on Island and all we had to show for Sat. was a foul hooked 1/2# northern (released). Sunday started off slow but finally went deep and found action in 24-25'. Caught 6-7 small northerns and 3 nice 17-20" eyes. Made the drive home a little bit better. I was in a 18' red Pro-V and spend a bit a time on Island as we are building a cabin on the SE side. It is a fun lake to fish. Sunday was the first day I took fish home, usually just catch enough to eat while we're there but now I'll have to fry up some fish for the wife tonight.

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Indiana Mike and Fivebucks welcome to the Blackduck forum! Mike where in Indiana are you from (I am originally from Indiana~and the other half of the Drake team is from Minnesota).

We're hoping to get out to Island Lake tomorrow and give it a whirl since the weather is suppose to be perfect. We drove over there yesterday to take a look at the lake after we got off Blackduck and talked to a couple of folks who were coming off the lake in the middle of the afternoon. They said the water temps were still pretty cool, but they managed to latch on to a couple of nice ones.

Mike, if you have a spot you would like for us to check out for you just let us know ([email protected]) so that way it really will feel like you're here grin.gif Fishing tactics are always welcome, this is a great place to learn something new about fishing!

Fivebucks~~are you at Island working on the place mostly on weekends or are you there during the week? We'll have to look for you when we're fishing there. (We have a 16' tan/brown Sea Nymph)

Woodman...sounds like fishing for most of the lakes was a little slower with the water temps still being down there, you'll just have to go fishing again this weekend!

------------------
Drake Motel
drakemotel.com
(888)253-8501
[email protected]

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Fivebucks- I was in an old green 16' boat with my wife. We sat on the north end of the Island in 10' and moved a couple of times. I had on a yellow coat and my wife had on a black sweatshirt. I saw a couple of lund pro v's so I may have seen ya. How do you like your boat. I plan on purchasing one when my suburban is paid for. Where are you building at?

Woodman

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Woodman, I love the Pro-V. I searched around a few years ago and picked up a used one the has been good for me. I really like the floor space as it's a tiller. Our cabin is on the SE side of the lake by Spook Island. We have the point right there. My dock always glares in the afternoon sun so I'm planning on putting a board on it to knock the glare down.

Drake, I'm mostly there on weekends but since it's a 4 1/2 hour drive from the cities we usually do 3-4 day weekends or more if possible. I'll look for you on Memerial Day weekend if you're on the lake then.
Good luck on the water.

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Drake,

Crown Point is our home of 20 years but I was born and raised in Hammond.

I would say my best results on Island are with 1/8 / 1/16 oz. jigs and 2 - 3 in. twisters tails (white or yellow). I will either jig the jig or cast a jig on a spinner rig. If action is slow I'll tip the jig with a minnow or leech, depending on the time of year. I almost always jig down the windward side of a rock bar (there are many good choices south of the island). A steady wind seems to really turn the walleye on in June.

That same 1/16 oz. jig with a 2" yellow twister tail is my favorite choice for perch. Just let it drop to the bottom and bounce it slowly or do a very slow troll keeping the jig close to the bottom. No live bait is necessary.

My second choice for walleye is a slip bobber rigged with a couple of split shot and a #6 or #8 hook. I'll tip with a minnow, leech or crawler. If it's windy I let the bobber drift toward the drop off, usually in 12 to 18 feet of water. Sometimes its necessary to let the bobber get right next to the reeds. Best time is usually an hour before dark or on an overcast day and by a reed drop off adjacent to deep water.

Well those are my usual methods. I'd like to hear some others.

Best regards,

Indiana Mike

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Hey Indiana Mike....I am either going to that area after Memorial Day or the next week in June....depends on the weather. I am a gill fisherman...is their enough action to warrant trying for gills. What size do they run???

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Drake/Kupcho,
How was the opener for you guys? We had a good time even though the fishing was a little tough. Kept one limit between the four of us. The water was a bit cold, we heard 44 degrees. Most people we talked to only caught 1 or 2. Some catches in 2-4 feet of water. We finally caught a couple 8:45 Saturday night, then one more Sunday morning about 6:00am. Plenty of northerns, but walleyes were hard to come by. Kupcho, found your spot, marked some fish, but couldn't get them bite there. We picked them up south of the island, and the other boat in our group caught 3 on the north side of the island while trying to warm up out of the wind (lucky $%#$%'s). You never know this time of year. I've found that Memorial weekend and into the beginning of June is much more productive on Island. I will say the walleyes are growing up nice. I remember catching lots of 12'-13' fish a few years ago, and this year they were 17'-18'er's. We'll be back up for sure. That's my report. A good time was had by all.
DT

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Bankdick,

Over the last three years we have been catching more and larger gills on Island. Last year we did our best ever on large gills, catching about a dozen, many weighing 1 lb. or more. These would be trophy size here in Indiana. Gills were caught fishing the edge or just inside shore connected reed beds in 8 feet of water or less. Low light conditions improved the fishing. You should also catch some nice sized perch and crappie while fishing these areas.

I have to be honest with you though. Gills are not the bread and butter panfish on Island. We catch many more perch and rock bass than we do blue gill. The crappie, when you find them, are of good size. There may be better lakes in the area for consistent blue gill fishing.

Have you fished Island in the past? I'd be happy to hear your experiences.

I'll be fishing Island June 8 - 14. Look for a guy in a long brimmed white hat with a sun flap on the back. Undoubtedly, that will be me.

Regards,

Indiana Mike

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hey Crappieslapper, Opener was very tough around here. I couldn't catch any fish in the tradional spring locations. But I did manage to get a couple limits in different locations.
Too bad you couldn't get anything to bite on the north side. Oh well. Memorial day should be better with water temps warming up.
At least you got a few. I talked to a lot of people who could even catch one fish all weekend.
Talk to you later.

------------------
Kupcho's Guide Service
Upper Red, Winnie, Blackduck Area
http://fishingminnesota.com/blackduck/
Phone:(651) 426-1545
E-mail: [email protected]

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What do you guys think Island will be like this weekend?

Do you think it pays to come up and try to catch a couple walleyes.

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What do you guys think the fishing will be like this weekend?

Do you think it will be worth it to drive up and fish the weekend

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Heading up to Island this morning, Will give a report tonight.

Happy Fishing!!

WOodman

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Just arrived home from Island lake. Started fishing around 11:00 and came off the lake at 5. We had a really good bite going around noon at stony point trolling in about 12-15 ft of water. Caught a nice 2.5 lb walleye to start the day off. Wife lost a couple on the way up and I broke my line once. Chartruse jig head with a yellow twister tipped with a fathead seemed to be the trick. If that is what you would call one walleye caught!!??

Woodman

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