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This year on the lake has been unusual to say the least. With the ice not being good early on and another thing I noticed that was different this year than years before. Them shiner minnows. They seemed to be everywhere. Rattlesnake, the barn hump, and the highbanks. What's up with them things? Aint there enough predator fish?

Another thing I have been pondering. Why don't the perch get big? As in jumbo big. All the years I have fished Lake Zumbro the perch never seem to get big.

And lastley, have you guys noticed that there was more of a bluegill bite than previous years?

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Stop and consider the past three or four summer. No rain, high heat that drives water temps to extremes. Then too the late, warm fall seasons. All of these things make it primetime for the junkers out there.

What worries me most is this bloom of white bass. For two years now the fall and winter fishing has been burdened with these suckers. They directly compete with crappies for food and the white bass will often kill for the sake of killing....are they doing this to the schools of young-of-the-year crappies too?

The perch get put-upon out there. I have caught crappies that have spit up six or seven small partially digested perch. I have seen crappies spit up perch in the winter for that matter!

Another troublesome issue is the weeds. What with the lake's water being cleaner through the summer months than it has ever been, sunlight penetration is allowing for and encouraging weed growth in water where weeds never grew. Many of the bays where one would normally find prime crappie structure and fishability from early pre-spawn until early post-spawn are now choked with weeds and fishing has gone downhill.

We need to remember that this is a reservoir and it is driven , in no small way, by the weather. The seasons are changing a bit as have some of the weather patterns.

Personally I'd welcome about three years of high dirty water that is cold throughout the whole summer. Vy high water, I am saying five, six, maybe even seven feet high. Sustained. Anything I fish for out there would benefit from such an occurance while some of the more "tender" fish would get croaked off or their numbers brough back in check.

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  • Your Responses - Share & Have Fun :)

    • redlabguy
      Mark, Glad your crew had another great outing. It’s always good to read your reports. Just wish there were more of them like the old days. Sorry you hit the storm. One of the worst in our 14 years. We’ll be dealing with dock issues for a long time but nothing like the good folks in Cook have.  The fishing has come around a little since the storm. Definitely nightcrawler now. I don’t get far out of Frazer but the reefs are where the action is. Looking forward to hearing from you in September.  My best to you and Linda, RLG p.s. Our good old red lab, Ole, cashed it in last summer, but we have a 6 month old lab now who is learning the ropes up here (and teaching us we’re older than we think we are!)
    • Mike89
    • leech~~
      No can see?  
    • smurfy
      yeppers......nuttin more aggravating the boat motor issues!!!!!!!   what was the problem the first time???????
    • Hookmaster
      Nice fish Kettle. Hope it's really "fixed" next time.
    • Rivergroup
      Our group will be returning in September as well. Wish we were able to be there now to lend a hand.
    • smurfy
      dang...tough to hear..........hope the good people up there recover soon!!!!!!!!!
    • MarkB
      We just returned this afternoon from 6 days on Vermilion. We arrived Saturday and enjoyed 3 fantastic days of walleye fishing. My cousin, our friend Greg, and myself fished several of our spring spots and found fish on all of them. Water temperatures were pretty much 65-67 degrees everywhere we fished. The wind was variable and made boat control a challenge at times. Bait was not an issue and we had success on crawlers(Tim), leeches(Greg), and minnows(me). If I had to pick one of those as catching the most fish, it would be crawlers. Our best day totalled 48 walleyes, 4 smallmouth, and 2 big JUMBOS. We ended up with over a hundred walleyes, 12 jumbos 11"-13", and 10 smallmouth to 18". Our biggest walleye was 24.5" and the balance went from 13"-22". There are lots of 14"-16" walleyes this year which are perfect eaters. The mayfly hatch was in full bloom in some areas but we found very few mayflies in the water column over rock reefs. We caught our fish in depths ranging from 10' to 32'. I didn't fish in any area where I could see mayflies top to bottom in the water column. Slow trolling in the .3mph to .6mph worked and we caught nothing using slip bobbers. Terminal tackle was a 3'-4' 10# flurocarbon leader, 2 lime colored beads, and a plain #6 Gamakatsu walleye hook . Snags are always an issue when fishing in and around the rocks and when the fish are biting they are acceptable. NOW, for the bad news.......Tuesday was a day I won't soon forget. The area suffered devastating torrential rainfall. Lightning was non-stop for several hours and when things settled down, flood damage was everywhere. We checked our rain guage on the side of the cabin and we got 7 3/4 " in a little over 4 hours! Breezy Point road washed out, Mud Creek road washed out as did several others in the area. Cooke business area was completely covered with flood water. I would consider it a disaster area and should be declared as such. We couldn't find a dock anywhere that wasn't covered with water. People were stranded behind flood covered and washed out roads. Dock decking, limbs and such were floating everywhere in the big water. My group sends our prayers to the people of that beautiful country that lost their businesses, homes, and suffered damage to their lake properties. The people of that north country are resilient and we have confidence that they will recover. We stayed our final 3 days but didn't fish at all Tuesday. Our last 2 days showed the effects of the storm. Water temps dropped to 64 degrees and our premo fishing became 10 walleye days. We did manage to catch a dozen really nice jumbos. We plan on returning in September and we pray the area will have returned to normal by then. I haven't figured out how to transfer photos from my phone to my computer yet so no pictures at this time. Good Fishing and God be with you. MarkB
    • SkunkedAgain
      Word is that the river has peaked and therefore the town can start the process of recovering sooner.
    • smurfy
      Heard that too. Also heard 38 was closed for a but north of rapids due to flooding.    I know the water really came up when I was up last week compared to when I was there in April. 
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