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Does anyone have any advice on how to best catch pike in early June in the Ely area. I'll be around the Crab Lake area, and consider myself a bit of a novice to BWAC fishing.

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Matt,
I'm back with some more advice. First, make sure to use a leader. Pike are notorious for breaking off line. Second, remember that most Pike will be found around weeds, not rocks--if you find a point that has good weed cover, it will hold large numbers of Pike. In the BWCA that eliminates a ton of water that you don't need to fish if specifically looking for Pike. Although a lot of BWCA fisherman tend to hook pike while fishing for smallies and walleye and in-turn lose countless lures I rarely run into this problem because I fish specific areas for specific fish. If you stay near and on top of rocks and bolders, you will rarely hook a pike, unless it's a small male that doesn't know any better. For the most part, Pike love to be submerged in vegatation and ambush their prey. Because they don't eat crayfish they don't need the rocks and feel more comfortable in weeds. The only time that you may catch all species of fish in one area is in rivers or rapid type flows into lakes.

That said, Pike love fast moving baits during this of the year. The water is cold, just the way they like it. Try using daredevil spoons, large hair spinners, and large topwater baits. Because the water is still cold, you can find Pike extremely shallow, you can even sometimes see the back of Pike sticking out of the water in 12 inches of water. One deadly way to catch pike is to fish with sucker minnows in front of your campsite on a slip bobber at night. I've caught monsters using this technique. Of all the fish in the BWCA, Pike are the most aggresive and will hit almost any lure. Just look for weedy areas near deep water access and start throwing fast moving baits. To cover a lot of water you can also troll spoons and crankbaits. Good luck.

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Thanks for the reply again, Dixon. You're a wealth of information. I wish I could make it up there more often, but I'm looking into some job possibilities in the Minneapolis area (Cargill Inc, Bio-vascular Inc) so maybe that will change. I just graduated from grad school with an MBA and my undergrad was biology/chemistry, so if you know of any openings for someone like that, let me know! (since that's not fishing related, my email is [email protected]) Back to fishing, I haven't heard much about the Walleye fishing in that area, just that it's slow. Anyone have any other Wallye info for the Crab Lake area?

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  • Your Responses - Share & Have Fun :)

    • Rick G
      St Cloud has a good access at Wilson park,  Sartell has a nice access off NE River Rd,  another access above Blanchard dam on East side off Hilton Rd  and at Lindbergh state park...Little Falls  has a access right above the dam.   Water is pretty high and dirty.  Crayfish colors have been good again this week.  Smallies have been using anything available that breaks the current so finding them most days has been pretty easy
    • Brianf.
      Interesting...   You're doing better than most.  The biggest bass weighed-in during the recent MN Bass Federation tourney was only 4.33lbs.   The winning bag was less then 20lbs.  To have several over 5lbs during your trip is pretty special.   Congrats!  
    • Jetsky
      Question.  I have guests coming who may want to fish for muskies.  I've cast for them in August along shorelines and at rock piles.   Do I fish for them that way in June?   Should I troll shorelines or drop offs for them?  Thanks.
    • partyonpine
      Yeah was up for a week.   As other alluded to the weather was brutal.  Did catch some larger walleyes on slip bobbers on windy points in under 5 feet of water.  As for minnows they were at Lucky seven in Virginia and Grubens has some nice minnows as well.  Smallmouth fishing was terrific given the circumstances.  
    • partyonpine
      Brian   That is funny and shows how things are anecdotal.  Just got back from a week we caught as many fish as we wanted, however our average size was 16.5-17 inches.  While no 6 pounders we did score several 5 pounders.  We did not catch any or very few fish under 14  inches all week.  I was just commenting that the average size has increased substantially.  We were throwing larger artificial and live bait but again did not really catch any small smallmouth.  Fished smallies for 5-6 hours each day and walleyes at night.  Overall was slow but the weather was horrendous.  Did go home with enough walleye to satisfy me.  
    • Brianf.
      I haven't been up to fish smallmouth  in a couple weeks.  My partner and I caught about 300 over the  course of those two days.  That sounds great - and it is if you like numbers. However, few of those fish were over 3 pounds and even fewer were over 4 pounds.  Most of our catch comprised fish between one and a half to 2 1/2 pounds.   I've been fishing the lake for 20+ years and feel that the size structure of the smallmouth in the lake has changed quite a bit during that time.  When I first started targeting smallmouth 20 years ago, half our bag seemed to be comprised of four pounders - and five pounders were in the mix with an occasional six pounder here and there. I haven't caught a 5 pound smallmouth bass in five years on Lake Vermilion!   They are a daily occurrence on places like Mille Lacs and in Door Co.   What has changed on Lake Vermilion?     I have some theories about why the size structure has changed, though curious what others are seeing.  Anyone have thoughts about the state of the smallmouth fishery on Lake V? 
    • SkunkedAgain
      Don't forget about the times that they unwittingly fly into your fishing line.   Normally I would say that ebbs and flows in food source would be a good sign. However, even with this bountiful mosquito population available there just really aren't enough bats around for the natural cycle to capitalize on it to any noticeable degree. The DNR says that roughly 90% of the bat population in the Soudan mine has died off. If that 90% is representative of the entire area, even a mosquito all-you-can-eat-buffet will not bring the bats back for many years.   Hopefully the little guys can make a comeback.
    • Dash 1
      Made it back to the chain today. Sunfish are spawning but finding them in the thick weeds is nearly impossible. My main reason to get out was to test my minnkota after rewiring it. It definitely made the difference. Never shut down once and I ran it for several hours.  Now I just need to relearn how to catch fish.😂
    • LakeofthewoodsMN
      On the south end...   A good week of walleye fishing with some big fish caught along with good eaters.  All of that despite some fronts that came through and lots of wind.  Being in a charter boat a few days this week was an advantage for sure.     Wherever you fish, there are days the wind will blow.  Here are some good options for anglers when the wind blows on LOW.   -Fish on a big charter boat -Fish the 42 miles of navigable Rainy River -Bays such as Four Mile, Bostic and Zippel Bay -Slide behind one of the thousands of islands that being up at the NW Angle -Trailer your boat to a leeward boat ramp and fish that shoreline A jig and frozen emerald shiner was the go to presentation for walleyes.  Most boats are anchored up and vertically jigging.  Some are starting to use spinners and minnows or crawlers with success.  This pattern will pick up steam as the walleyes are starting to transition with warming waters. Walleyes have been caught this week in various depths.  As a rule, 21 - 32 feet of water was still the range.  Again, various areas across the lake are holding fish.   Various rock reefs have been good.  Fish are transitioning to mud as the season progresses. On the Rainy River...  The river is flowing strong right now as water is being released from the dam which controls its flow.  With the heavier current, fish are being found in areas with a current break.  Even a slight break that still has current is a fish attractor when the water is moving.   Jigging with a minnow, pulling spinners and trolling crankbaits along shoreline breaks against the current in 6 - 12' of water is producing a mixed bag of walleyes, saugers, pike, smallmouth bass and an occasional crappie.   Casting to shoreline structure and even docks is also an effective method.   For those who like fishing for dinosaurs, the sturgeon season opens July 1st. Up at the NW Angle...  A great week of fishing amongst the island area of Lake of the Woods.  Guides fishing the Canada side of LOW reported big numbers of walleyes along with a mixed bag.   Minnesota waters also produced good fish.  Many of the walleyes are being found in deeper than normal water for this time of year, in that 22 - 28 feet.  As hatches begin and shiners begin to spawn, there will be some shallow water opportunities as well. The goto presentation continues to be a jig and minnow.  Pulling spinners with shiners or crawlers and trolling crankbaits also putting walleyes in the fry pan.     As is common in these parts, a mixed bag of walleyes, saugers, pike, jumbo perch, crappies, pike and smallmouth bass being caught.   Muskie anglers, the season opens on both sides of the lake Saturday, June 15th.  A glorious day for those who target the almighty predators!  
    • leech~~
      Over the years the only sure time I have been able to see bats or know their around.  Is sitting by a fire or down by a dock at sun down when there's just a bit of light left when looking up, and seeing them diving in and out.  
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