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Best artificals for Rainy Lake?

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I am interested in what work best for you when fishing Rainy Lake for smallmouth, walleyes, and northerns?

Specific colors and sizes would be helpful for me when trying to purchase. I have been looking over the archives but many times I see rapala, etc. without being more detailed.

I can only visit every other year as we live in North Carolina but would like to build up my crankbaits in my tackle box.

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I'm a personal fan of the Rapala deep diving shad rap and have had lots of success trolling them in 10-20' of water around islands. Be prepared to lose a few of them to the rocks, but walleye, northerns, and smallmouth will all take that lure. Adjust the size to the species/depth. I typically run #7's but a #5 will run shallower and decrease snags on the rocks. Black/silver has always produced, but on my most recent trip 'perch' color did well. When you get snagged, and you will, let the line go limp ASAP and if it doesn't float up on its' own, you can usually pull it out if you get directly behind the snag point. Don't try to muscle it or pull from the side.

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Firetiger colored Storm deep runners are my personal favorite. Was up last weekend and caught a 30", 29" two 26" and one 25" walleyes all on this bait. I also like the deep diving reef runners same color. Next would be down deep husky jerks. Black/Gold Red/silver also do well for me. We're in the north arm so the water is clear. Not sure what part of the lake you're on. I also believe the bigger the bait the bigger the fish. If you want eaters, downsize the baits. Good luck.

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Here is a post I replied to for Brownfish, don't know if you have already read it, but see the info about baits/colors below.

Also, I am in Indiana visiting my Dad who has lung cancer, so will see if I can find any of his maps to get the numbers for the north side maps. Will check tomorrow (SAT) and advise


Hey BF, we had just the opposite results (kind of) it was hot (about 87 most days and sunny with no significant wind) so we kind of were lazy and didn't usually start fishing until about 9 a.m. We had best luck using glass shad rap rs, those seem to get down deeper where we had a bunch of 13 to 16 inchers. over the 7 days, we released over 250 fish. Robin caught 2 17+ a couple of 16+ and lots of others in the 14-15 inch range. late in the day (we usually quite from about 1-2 until about 6) we had a lot of luck using rattlin raps in about 6ft (best colors all week seemed to be orange(dark) blue and green, bright colors didn't seem to produce much. we picked up a bunch of nice sm on the first point of the west side of the ash narrows going south from steam boat rock. and several eaters off of the rock on the east side of ash narrow (across from the point above) I also picked up a 17+ in the first cut between ash narrows and ash bay (gets to about 2 ft all the way across and that seemed where we picked up several) and I lost an "upper lipper" right at the net that might have gone 18+ (should still be there)

Also picked up a bunch of 13-15 inchers on the 2 bays at the south east end of ash bay (just to the right of the cut i mentioned above)

We also did real well on the 4 islands/rocks just south of Palmer Island (south east island of the 4 has a table I made from 2 rocks on the east side for shore lunches) and a u shaped bay on the south of the table if that helps and just west of the north end of sears bay. look at the good map and you will see the u shaped bay.

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Hey trout,

Just got back from Rainy, and WOW! We got some fish on leeches as well, but most of it was crankbaits. Here's what worked well for us:

In water 12-18 feet, we ran #7 Deep Running Shad raps. Several colors got them, but best seemed to be the silver-blue with an orange bottom, blue with white bottom and firetiger. We also had excellent luck using the big deep diving tail dancers in 25-30 fow. Similar colors for these as well. We caught a ton of fish in the slot...up to 7 lbs. using these baits. As a bonus, we also had a ball with the pike bite on crankbaits. Best to put the rod in a rod holder, because when a 8-10 lb. pike hits it, you have a tough time holding on grin.gif

Also...speed was key. Got a few fish running less than 2.5 mph (gps), but faster definetely triggered the fish. Best speeds seemed to be right around 3.0 and even up to 3.5 on some days.

Hope this helps...have fun!

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If you're after Smallmouth, we pound the shorelines with hairless #2 silver Mepps spinners. The SM can't stay away from them! I like the #5 or #7 silver deep diving Shad Rap for shallow reef casting or trolling. The new silver/black X-Rap worked really well for us this year too. All of these lures will catch Smallmouth, Walleye, and Pike. I also use a thin wire leader made by Berkeley, I believe. No matter the species, the leader doesn't spook them because it's dark and thin. If I didn't use one, the Northerns would take $25 a day in lures from me...

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Do not come to Rainy without some top water baits. There is nothing in life better than watching a smallie explode on a top water. Bone color Pop R and silver/black Skitter Walk are my favorites. Keep a white tube jig handy. If the fish misses the top water, throw in the tube and let it slowly spiral down. You will catch your share of Pike on these lures as well.



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