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It was a pretty slow fishing weekend on Island over Memorial weekend. I picked up a few here and there and lost the biggest one. She felt good but I didn't get a good enough hook set. I guess I was surprised to get the bite. We managed to eat 2 meals of fish between eyes and perch. I had my best action off my dock with bobber and leech. The weather was great (not for eyes) and we got some good work done on the cabin so I only fished about 4 hours a day. We'll be up again soon and then they will bite good. Anyone else up on Island over the past weekend and how did you do?

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Fivebucks,
Memorial was tough for us too on Bowstring. Managed only 3 keeper walleyes, but did do well on the crappies.
I'll be on Island June 14th - 16th. Hope the bite turns on by then, usually does. Actually Memorial is usually great. Maybe it's the water level. Was it low when you were there?
Anyway, I'll look for you sitting on the dock with that bobber rig out.
Dan

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Crappieslapper,
The water level is way down. Big boats will have a problem at the landing. I have a 18' pro-v that I can get on and off OK but 4wd is definately helpful pulling it out as you have to back off the concrete pad. We'll be up the the week from June 7th and leaving the 14th or 15th. We may hit Red or Lake of the Woods later in the week so we may or may not be there on the 14th. The bite should pick up by then I would think. Maybe we'll see you there.

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I'm the new guy on the northwest end of the lake. Tan house/blue roof. Could be I just don't kow what I'm doing, but fishing has been real slowwwww. I've tried everything I know and can only pick up a few stray walleye. Even perch and northerns are slow. But I'm happy. It's a hell of a view!

Craig

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I've been fishing Island for 19 yrs.
Was up on the opener with very few fish.
Wife and I was up for memorial weekend too.
Caught one 24" and two 18" walleyes.
Caught many northerns from 30" to 36"in 20' of water.(released)
It seems to me that the walleye population on island has considerably declined in the last couple years.
I can only hope it gets better .

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"It seems to me that the walleye population on island has considerably declined in the last couple years."

Oh no. It'll get better. Just off to a slow start tis year. Give it a couple weeks.

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I'm not glad that others are having problems finding the eyes there so far but it least I don't have to question my tactics as much. I just read in the Northome paper that they stocked a bunch so that should help in the future. I've heard that Island started to really get pounded after they closed Red Lake to walleye fishing. Can't wait until Sat. to get on the water again.

Indiana Mike,
Aren't you going to be up there next week? If so, make sure you swing over.

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Indiana Mike,
It looks like my deer hunting partners are all going to be at our deer land by Lake of the Woods so I'll probably spend Sat. there and head back down to Island on Sunday. So we shall see you sometime Sunday or during the week.
Fivebucks
PS Have a good and safe drive over here.
( or as a friend says "Drive fast and take chances")

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Fivebucks,

Yes! I am leaving in the morning about 5AM, Should arrive in Grand Rapids around 3PM and at Island Lake around 9AM on Saturday morning. I'll make it a priority to stop by. Seems like all the walleye are just off your dock anyway. wink.gif

Haven't wet a line since last August. Can't wait.

See you soon.

Indiana Mike

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Hey guys,
Preparations are well under way, and the caravan leaves this Saturday @ 4:00am. Should be on the water by 10:00am. I don't like what I'm hearing about the lake being fished out. Is it possible when the DNR stocks it every other year? I checked it out and they stocked 2.9 million fry in 1999 along with 3400 fingerlings and again in 2001 they stocked another 2.9 million fry. What do you guys know about growth. etc on these stocked fish? I would think the lakes population of walleye would be in pretty good shape, but I'm just guessing. What do you guys know? Keep the info coming.
Fivebucks & Indiana, I'll be looking for youz guys this weekend. Good fishing to all!
Dan

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This is the first year I've fished Island, but I don't buy the fished out theory. The lake is chock full of perch minnows and others. I think it's just hard to compete. I'm getting about a fish an evening and some are too big for the pan. I've never seen a lake with so many leeches in it! Crawlers seem to be my ticket - even though I don't usually fish crawlers until July. I think they are just something different than the abundant minnows and leeches. Everybody likes a different meal now and again!

Craig

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Craig,
I agree with you that it's the competition. I know there's lots of perch, but didn't realize the lake is full of leeches. Do you see them in the water? I've never used crawlers on Island, but I will be bringing some with now.
I've been coming up a couple times a year for about 5 years and love the lake. I was just inquiring about some lots for sale on the lake. Sounds like you enjoy your new place. Apparently the lots are where 46 & 71 intersect. Do you of the place? I'm trying to get more info, so if you know anything that you can pass on, I'd appreciate it. I'll be stopping in to look they're posted off the highway (46).
Look for a couple of Alumacrafts (16') and an 18' Crestliner this weekend. Hopefully we'll be pulling in some eyes.
Dan

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They're kind of sneaky, but the kids catch great big giant leeches by grabbing them out of the water!

As for lots, the only one I know of is on the west side north of Dockside a ways. It's pretty nice, cedar and a bank, with access road in. Likely ridiculously spendy! Since I paid way too much much for mine, I haven't paid attention.

Craig

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The wife and I just returned home from a week on Island Lake. The walleye bite had not kicked in as of 6/13. AS few were caught by other guests after 9 PM on leeches, slip bobbering on the drop offs adjacent to reed beds. Although few in number, they were quality fish averaging 2.5 to 4 pounds. I am sad to say we only caught one small walleye, which we released, for the entire week. On the plus side the perch bite was strong and the fish were running on the large side. We had no difficulty bringing in our limit. We used lite jigs with small yellow twister tails. Sometimes we added a leech for good measure. We also had good luck on Northern and Smallmouth Bass. I caught a 28" Northern which I released due to the new 24 -36" slot. We kept 4 Northern around 22" We didn't find the crappie or bull blue gills this trip.

The water is down a good 1.5 - 2'. It was also very clear. The bottom of the lake seemed to be covered in green algae. The weather was unsettled all week. We had winds out of the NE-E-SE most of the week. We had rain five of the seven days we were on the lake. I think any kind of a period of sustained settled weather and a little warmth will greatly improve the fishing.

For you Dora Lake fans we visited the bridge mid-week and only caught 3 perch and a bull head. It seems like there is only about 3' of water under the bridge. Most of the docks are short of the waters edge. Some locals were catching medium sized carppie in the grass near the bridge. Action was very slow.

Finally, we met Fivebucks and his charming wife at their new cabin in the woods. We had a really nice visit. They are great people and have a terrific location on the lake that will only get better as time allows. Thanks for the tour and best of luck with your homestead. I'll take you up on that offer to fish together on a future trip. Thanks for your hospitality. You really made us feel welcome.

That's all for now. I'll be in monitoring mode until my next trip north at the end of August.

Regards to all.

Indiana Mike

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Indiana Mike pretty well summed up the last week of fishing for me as well. It was very nice to meet you and your wife. We enjoyed your visit to our cabin in the woods. Fishing was slow for me also. I fished on ave. 3 hours a day and picked up 2 nice eyes (18"), couple 16" smallies, and a 25" and slightly bigger northern. Also caught some nice perch to round out the meals. Fished mostly jig and minnow or leech but did a little bit of trolling with spinners and leech. Most of the perch has cray fish in the bellys also. It was a fun week.

Craig, I think I know which place is yours. Welcome to the lake. I've been on the SE side for almost 5 years and we love it there. Have you ever caught any thing on those big leeches? I've heard that they are actually blood suckers and fish somehow know the difference and won't eat the blood suckers but will eat leeches.

Well, we'll be up there over the 4th of July and probably one of the 2 weekends before that.

Crappieslapper,
Did you make it up there? I talked to someone from Shoreview Sat. eve. in front of my place that hit the road early Sat. morning in a Alumacraft. That would be on the southeast end by the little island. Also, there are some lots for sale in that back bay but the guy wants way too much for them and he split them up a little too much for my taste.

Good fishing to all.

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I fished Island once two years ago, probably never again. With so many good lakes around, why even bother with this lake? Am I missing something? Is the scenery so beautiful that it replaces good fishing? A man posts a limit of fish, but not on Island, it made his trip. WHAT AM I MISSING? I've been monitoring this Forum for quite some time and have yet to see any good fish catches from this lake, nothing but disappointment and thin hopes, but yet they keep comeing back. My one trip was an ice fishing trip, managed 4 decent walleye and hundreds of 4-8" walleye, along with many, many small northen. Untill I see something positive I will never go back to this lake. With so many quality lakes around like Red,Winni,Cass,Bemidji,LOW,Blackduck,Leech,etc,etc,etc, why would a person in his right mind go there? Please tell me WHAT AM I MISSING? P.S. Hows the fishing been on Blackduck? Spending the 21-28 of this month there, never fished this one, but I know one of the lakes in the area should produce, this is Minnesota for Christ's sake, land of 10,000 lakes. can it be luck?

[This message has been edited by can it be luck? (edited 06-17-2003).]

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Fivebucks,
We did make it up this past weekend. Tried just about everything and only managed two walleyes. Both were 3 plus pounds, very nice. I know the lake holds a ton of them and we marked fish everywhere we went, but not much luck. We went over to Little Jesse Monday morning before we left for home, and did manage a limit. Made the weekend for myself and my partner. I looked around your place, but it seemed pretty quiet. The weekend was so warm, we spent alot of time in the screen tent, to avoid the flies, and in the shade. Didn't seem like anyone was pulling in more than a couple of fish. Hopefully this cycle will pass soon and the lake will get back to normal with walleyes actively biting.
We'll be back again.

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Crappieslapper,
We pulled out Sun. AM and Sat. was pretty much a hang out day. I'll be up there again Fri-Sun. getting the porch screened in. Maybe this weekend we'll get the eyes to bite.

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I happen to have a cabin on Island so that's where I usually go. It's been on the down side the past 2 years (just like any lake will do) but I've had some fantastic fishing on that lake over the last 5 years. I've had 100 fish weekends before with alot of nice eaters and a handful of quality fish. It's a fun lake to fish with all the structure and scenary. It won't hurt my feelings though if more people didn't fish it - leaves more room for me.

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The reason I fish Island is b/c its close to where I stay.
The other reason I fish Island is b/c of the opportunity you have to get into a slew of Walleyes. Couple years ago you used to catch a lot of fish. Now resently it just been down or going threw a cycle. It maybe 1 to 3 years before it gets back on track. When it does get back the fishing will probably be great and better than any other lake around.

------------------
Fish ON!

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Island is a very beautiful lake. By fishing it once, it would not be fair to say it's a "bad" lake. The few fish I did catch were "nice", with many future fish. I happen to see negetive/hopeful reports, which is bad/good. Stick with it guys, when no one else is catching fish, I know you guys will! Good Luck Fishing. Mark Hoffmann/can it be luck?

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It is on the down cycle, but even if you're staying at a resort on Island you can hit so many other lakes if it isn't producing. Like you mentioned Can it be luck?, red, winnie, blackduck, low, bemidgi, etc..are all close. So we move around. I'm with Fivebucks, the lake has had years where I've easily boated limits. Those days will return to Island. But again, nobody feels bad about fewer boats out there.

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The reason I fished Island was that I had reports of good fishing in the past. Lakes can go through cycles, which Island may be experiencing. Hopefully things are on the upswing. All of this maybe a blessing in disguise. When all abandon this lake, you will be left with a lake with increasingly better fishing and PRIVACY, something you dont always find. Please don't think I'm knocking Island, was just curious to know what the attraction was. Good Luck fishing. Mark Hoffmann/can it be luck?

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Can it be luck,
I didn't get the feeling you were bashing the lake so no problem. Hit the lake when it cycles back up and you'll be hooked. Plus Red, Winnie etc. are all within 1/2 hour. It's a great spot in the state.
Good Fishin!

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  • 4 weeks later...

Any news on Island lately. I am heading up there this next weekend for 5 days. Any other lake info would help if it is slow.

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I wish I had some good recent news for you. The last time I was up there was over the 4th. I was busy on cabin projects so I didn't fish too much. I caught 2 18" eyes, one on a jig and leech and the other on a bobber and leech off the dock at dusk. When I was on the water it was slow and that contributed to getting more cabin projects done. Good luck up there and let us know how you did.

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