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CaptJohnWI

Rainy Lake Fishing Reports by Capt John

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Grindstone29

Coming back, 7/19-7/21 to shake off that 4th of July slump.  Looks like she'll be a hot one!  The Bimini top helps with the heat as well.  

 

Hopefully the bugs are slowing down by then. 

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fins_n'_feathers

Been fishing quite a bit the last week when the weather allows. Earlier in the week the flies were still pretty bad but it seems like they are wrapping up now. There has been good days and days we really had to work for them this week. The common theme seems to be find a reef that’s loaded one day and they are gone the next day, or even hour to hour. Several times we checked spots on the way out that had zero fish on them and decided for the heck of it, check them on the way back and there’s fish all over them. It’s been an odd year for us. We are pretty much using strictly crawlers and spinners to move along quick and pick off the biters in the pods of fish and it seems like this year those pods of fish have been in really really tight groups, we’ve learned to never rule out a spot until it’s been very thoroughly checked because it’s easy to miss a group of fish when they are all piled in a 20 foot circle.yesterday was one of the tougher days where we really had to work for fish but the flat calm and blazing sun was probably to blame for that. This morning we went out and found a spot that had a ton of fish in a little group on the shallowest spot of the reef. We did our spinner routine but it was a pain because it was hard to turn around fast enough to get back over them so we anchored up on the side of them and threw jigs with a half crawler at them and absolutely crushed them! One of those bites that’s so good all you can do is laugh, for the last 45 minutes or so we started trying all the odd ball plastics I’ve accumulated over the years and they hit those even harder than the crawlers. It was a blast but like I said before, I’m sure they will be gone tomorrow. Good luck out there everyone and let’s hear some more reports! Have to go home tomorrow but will be back up first thing Wednesday.

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Rick

@fins_n'_feathers I love it when they group tight like that and you can toss a jig at em. Don't be afraid to use plastics on that jig.

 

Nothing like feeling a walleye smack a tossed jig.

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dnovak
Posted (edited)

Sorry for the late report, but better late than ever.  We fished the East side of the lake 7/8-7/12 and got pretty beat up from the wind, rain, and of course the skeeters.  Hats off to the wife and daughters battling the elements!! We did find fish on main lake reefs and actually quite a few active ones too.  Most were on the tops of shallower reefs actually in that 12-16' range and they seemed hungry.  We would just scan reefs until we found ones w/ fish on them and fish the highest concentration of fish.  Pluck a few out of that school and try to find the next hungry school.  We rigged w/ leeches and crawlers and they seemed to each shine at different times.  If we found a decent pod of fish in those rollers we just spot locked and pitched slip bobbers over the side of the boat.  Tons of fun for the kids!  We kept plenty of fish to eat even though the smaller ones were pretty hard to find.  Most fish were right at that 20" mark or so.  We never made it out super early and never stayed out real late but i am guessing it could've been great. This is our family trip and its quite a bit more relaxed than w/ the boys  (even though they put in about 6 hours in a steady rain the one day)  Another great trip and we'll do 'er again next year!  🍻

Edited by dnovak
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bfisherman11

Thanks for the report. Rainy is always fun, been going up for probably 30 years. Last year we had the wind and rain. My wife said she would not go up again in my 1987 Smokercraft Big Fisherman Deluxe anymore so I bought a bigger/ nicer boat. My boat was in great shape so I sold it to a friend. It was tough to part with it because I bought it new and customized it to me.

 

Looking forward to now having a double counsel and convertible top canvas with side curtains for the rough days. 

 

I am heading up Saturday. I bought my MN and Ontario license online and although we typically just fished the MN side, this year I may venture into CA. With the bag limits what they are in CA, I probably won't keep any fish. Still will be nice to explore a bit, maybe get away from the crowd. 

 

Thanks,

Bill

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Grindstone29

Fished three hours Friday 7/19 evening and 3 hours Saturday morning between Grindstone and Fox Islands.  Friday evening was slower but managed three keepers between 15-17 and 1 pike.  25-35 feet of water jig and crawler.  Crawler was definitely better than a leech and part of me was wondering if a minnow might start taking hold. 

 

Saturday morning I was solo and used the graph for the first hour on all my favorite haunts until I saw worthwhile pods of fish.  Winds were very high, spot lock was key and even with the motor coming out of the water every 5th roller, it held me there and was able to get a 1 man US limit and three slots (biggest 22) in the first two hours on that first spot.  I love to pitch jigs, but every single bite came almost directly under the boat vertical jigging them. 

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fins_n'_feathers

Nice work Grindstone! That’s what I’m talking about! Spot on the spot and they crush the jigs! So much fun! We ran up to the Canadian side today and weren’t disappointed. Same routine, checked a few reefs and found one that was loaded up and got after them. It amazes me how much the size of fish jumps as soon as you cross that line. So nice not having to put on the miles to get em. We did get checked today by the MNR so anyone going up make sure you have everything in order. CaptJohn I think we were fishing just south of you at the end of the day. 

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CaptJohnWis

Started marking lots of fish on reefs yesterday. Mostly small walleyes that were very fussy. Big pike were on the prowl though and I tied into a dozen or so. Mostly in 20 FOW. Spoons, jigs, caranbaits - they liked them all.

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Muskies

Out for an hour....10 to 11 on Wednesday...2- 17”, 2 16” and put back a 20 and 22”

A45D0D39-F643-4624-8579-B07A414AE1AF.jpeg

761A5E65-B481-432D-8DD7-997A03F0A05E.jpeg

C7E8CEAC-6D56-4747-83E8-4CA9EAD0D200.jpeg

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Grindstone29

Love it!  Release to the grease.  Looks like the $25 special at Tavern on Grand here in St. Paul.  

 

Not Rainy related, but an interesting.  Trolling for Muskies this weekend on Cedar Lake in Aitkin.  Deep basin, 70-90 feet with a few humps up to 30.  You can see the Cisco breaking water all over the place and the graph is just full of huge hooks down in 40-60 feet.  Got smacked at dusk and pulled up a 28 inch Walleye.  He'd been telling me for years that guys catch bit Walleye on that pattern (he'd never seen it).  You can see when they start coming up to feed, and they hit these lures in 8 feet.  Wild stuff. 

 

Not back on Rainy until mid September.  These posts keep me going.  I can't wait until everyday is a Saturday... 

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bfisherman11

We had a really good week of fishing. My wife and I went up the north arm one day and hooked into some good sized pike (28, 30, 32 and 33in) all out of one bay. Caught one small enough to keep. Next day we fished the reefs and caught our limit of walleye, one I let go was 20".  A couple days it was too windy for me to keep fishing the reefs so I went east and caught a good stringer of pike we kept. Oh, also caught a 16.5" Sauger, I really think Sauger are cool looking fish.

 

Weather was good, rain didn't mess us up too much.

 

Had a blast!

Bill

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CaptJohnWis

Fishing started off great this year with 104 bass for Mike and I on our first trip in my boat. But it has been a slow year for me in general. Got a few yesterday and marked a ton of deep bait.

 

 

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CaptJohnWis

Went yesterday. For the first (and last!) time ever, I made the run from Northeast Bay to Redgut via Frog Portage. I am so glad I did not meet another boat. Ticked at least five rocks on the 15-20 minute passage. Caught nothing in Porters or Redgut but was only there a short time.

 

 Thought I lost my Storm Big Mac yesterday. I was just starting a trolling run over 40 feet of water. Had let out about ten feet of line. Lure was just starting to wiggle and could not have been down more than a couple feet. Got an awesome hit and line snapped – I probably had my thumb on the spool as I was letting out line so drag had no chance to work. But the fish (I suspect musky) got rid of the lure and it and my titanium leader popped to surface where I retrieved them.

 

Fishing was very slow with only a dozen fish landed.

 

 

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bfisherman11

Thanks for the video John. I have been home only a few weeks and I want to come back so bad. Your videos help with my withdrawals, ha.

 

Bill

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CaptJohnWis

Went this afternoon. Wind was predicted with a high of 5 MPH. NOAA said the gusts only reached 18.  I hate to tell them, but it was much higher on the water. My trolling motor was sucking air quite often. Coming back in even my 150 was sucking air a few times. Fishing lousy. Just a few pike and dink walleyes.

 

 

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bfisherman11

Gee John, that's funny. I have never known Rainy to get windy/rough. Ha

 

We had a windy week when I was there but a few calm days so I could fish the reefs. Boat control on the reef's is tough when the wind is too much. Like many I assume, I catch a lot more fish when I can actually control my boat. On the windier days I just gave up and went pike fishing. I found a few new spots for us this year and had a blast.

 

Even on a windy day I would rather be out there than stuck here at work. I am retiring next spring/summer so work won't get in my way then.

 

Bill

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Muskies

You are right there Bill, any day on the lake is better than being at work. When it’s too windy I still drop my anchor to stay on top of the fish and it’s a lot easier on me. Was out today for a few hours 9:30 to noon on the north arm. Saw a lot of fish on many reefs but only found one where the fish were cooperating. Picked up 3 in the slot, a 20 and 19” along with six 13”. Supper on! 

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Bigfatbert

Agreed that just dropping the anchor when the wind kicks up to stay on fish is great to do , BUT with that being said some if not most of these Rainy lake reefs are boulders or jagged ledge rock and dropping anchor on this type of structure can become a bad situation very quickly when the anchor gets wedged in between the rocks and will not come free no matter what you try to do to free it up leaving you no alternative but to cut your rope , leaving you no anchor and a lot less rope . You may get away with getting it free sometimes , but if you do it enough your time will come .been there ,done that !!

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bfisherman11

I did try my anchor one day, its a fluke style, maybe 13-14#. My boat is 16', I sure thought when I bought it I was OK but it held for a bit and then let go. I had a lot of line out as well, just too many big swells I guess. Ha, my plan was good but I guess my equipment or execution was off.

 

Bill 

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Muskies

I use a Danforth with 30” of chain on 150’ of line for the last 30 plus years. The chain helps lay the anchor down so it grabs without it getting wedged in. You should use 3 times the line for the depth your dropping your anchor and you’ll have no problems staying on top of the fish. Something I was shown while fishing Saganaw bay on the east end as a young fellow.

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Grindstone29

Fishing in Canada/Rainy Lake related questions.  Fishing 9-11 through 9-15 and want to make my first North Arm run around Woodchuck/Rebecca, and surrounding area.

 

- Can I get Ontario fishing license at Rainy Lake One Stop?  Do I need one if I have MN license? 

- I can't fish with live bait except crawlers in bedding? 

- I should not have beer in the boat? 

- Can someone point me in the direction of slot limits... I understand it's 1 walleye per man. 

- How long is the run from Thunderbird? 

 

Thanks much for any insight/guidance here.

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Wanderer

You need an Ontario license to fish their side of the border.  You can purchase one easily on line but will need your Outdoors Card as well.  There’s a regular license option and a Conservation license option that costs less but has reduced limits also.

 

Regs are available on line also and I think you’d be in Region 5 but you’ll want to check that closely.  Definitely read those bait regulations.  I can’t tell ya cuz I don’t use any live bait when I’m there.

 

Can’t answer anything more for ya, not even the beer question.  We have 1 or 2 with dinner after fishing and usually bring half our allowance back home.

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Grindstone29

Thanks Wanderer --- I'll continue digging online appreciate the feedback.  I know Captain John always says... "We don't need no stinking minnows!"  

 

 

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PRO-V

No alcohol allowed period! Fine is quite steep.

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Grindstone29

Thanks Pro-V.  This is what I thought.  

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