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Greetings all. Being my first post, I thought I would share my "opener" results from this past weekend. In the past, I have traditionally gone to Leech, Winnie, Bowstring and/or Jessie Lakes during opening weekend. For various reasons (crowds and poor fishing), I made the decision to be different and go somewhere I have never fished before. My son and I opted to start on Deer Lake, north of Deer River, for this years opener. The lake and it's structure looked very interesting.

The public access had only two vehicles Sat. morning, so I was feeling somewhat concerned we would have a "long" day. While we all know the weather Sat. was unruly, the walleye fishing was exceptional. We had a hard time putting some fish in the live well, since I have a rule in my boat that 20" or larger go back. By mid-afternoon, we released 7 fish and kept 5. Funny thing, every one of the fish caught were males. The inside of my boat was streaked with white milt everywhere. The only major problem encountered was trying to re-tie or tie on new jigs with frozen hands that worked liked clubs.

Since the weather on Sunday had a forecast of more clouds and wind, we went back to Deer and started to fish the deep water break areas, 24-27', and found the females. Caught a total of 14 eyes Sunday. Released all but five fish, with the larger ones being 29" (a real piggy), 28", 26", 25". Photos coming soon.

No crowds and had the mid-lake area to ourselves all weekend. Sometimes being versatile and experimental has it's rewards.

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Geez! That's a heck of a day on the water. I've fished Deer for smallies but never done anything on the eyes. How'd you catch them?

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Well that's just wonderful. I, too, was on Deer Sunday (N.F.W. on Saturday!) but I believe I got there a bit too late. I arrived on Deer @ 3 pm (after spending 3 hours on Caribou w/zilch) and spent about 4 hours searching. Not a bite. Fished all the spots (13'-30') we normally fish early in the year and never got a bite ... I was surprised and disappointed. So I'm a bit jealous that you found them ... but also glad to hear they were there afterall. I did get a bit of calm and sunshine while I was there ... that was my excuse for not nailing them. And I'm stickin' to it.

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My initial expectations were kinda low.....new, unknown lake for me, gin clear water and unstable weather. The wind and cloud cover certainly helped overcome the clear water issue. I guess we were in the right places at the right times.

We spent all of our fishing time around the various sunken islands west of Battleship Island. Most of the males seemed to be right at a transition area where weeds started to grow (around 17-19'). If you weren't catching some weeds on our jigs, you weren't catching the fish. Of course, the females were much deeper.

We used lipstick jigs tipped with shiners both days. We didn't stray very far from this presentation since it produced fish (3-4 fish per hour). Had some fatheads with, but didn't even use them. I guess when you spend good money on shiners, you might as well use em. Jig color was also a huge key (my lips are sealed).

The other major factor, in my opinion, was boat control. We worked the breaks very slowly by back trolling. The fish were just picking up the jigs, not smacking them at all.

We were off the lake by 5:30 on Sat. and 4:00 on Sunday.

Also caught alot of large perch through out the day, but only in certain areas. The perch seemed to be schooled up tight.

Anyway, I plan on coming back up to the cabin this weekend and see if a repeat performance is in order. I am thrilled to see that Deer has a great heathly base of walleyes.

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I believe I know those hump you were fishing. My wife and I sat on one of those humps a couple years ago and had a hay-day using slip bobbers and leeches. Most were dandy keeper size, but one went 30". It was kinda skinny so it went back in after posing for a pic or two. We went back the next evening - same weather, no changes - and struck out. Deer can be a tough one to fish, but the rewards are usually better than on other area lakes. And there are so many different pieces of structure to fish, you can stay busy looking until you find em.

Last Sunday I was fishing well west of where you were, although I did stop at the humps on the way to back to the landing ... didn't mark anything so just pulled the plug and went home.

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  • 3 months later...

Sorry about the "dated" post, but wanted to share some pics of our success on Deer this past May. August has been slow, so I figure why not digress to May. This is the first time posting photos, I'm hopping this works.


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  • Your Responses - Share & Have Fun :)

    • Wanderer
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    • mdogdaddy
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    • herm
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    • SkunkedAgain
      I don't know about either of them, but welcome to the forum.
    • SkunkedAgain
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    • LakeofthewoodsMN
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    • herm
      Greetings all! Our group (two boats/five guys) is looking at fishing/camping trip based at Hinsdale Island Campground or Wake 'Em Up Bay Campground in about 3 weeks.  Can anyone advise about Hinsdale, especially the shoreline for landing boats? (Is it sandy or rocky? Mostly protected?) We're also wondering how busy both campgrounds are? We've stayed at Wake Em Up,  but that was 6-8 years ago and it was mostly empty...just the host and 2-3 others. Nowadays, do either or both fill up on June weekends? (We'd probably arrive on a Saturday, stay most of the week.) Of course, we also welcome suggestions for walleye techniques, depths, etc. We tend to fish smallies during the day and chase eyes in the evening.  Thanks in advance for your help! 
    • ReefWhooligan
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    • MikeG3Boat
      I didn’t have any luck, but I heard others and saw people catch fish. 
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