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fishhawk1750

northern light-last year reports?

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fishhawk1750

Trying to decide if we are going back this year. Walleye fishing has been very poor for our group the last couple of years. Anybody have similar reports or was there any groups that really found them. I know they are in there and I want to be there when they go, but how long do you wait until you find a "new lake"

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Northlander

Well after the past 2 years of poor fishing I decided not to go last year. I will be hitting a different lake this year for our anual trip.

If you want smallies go to Northern Lights. If you want walleyes go to Rainy lake or some other lake that is "Hot" right now.

I loved N.L. but wont be back until the walleyes pick back up. Plus that dirt road sucks on the boat paint. frown.gif

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tyeeme

I heard It was better the end of last year. But my buddy told me that and he sold his boat so I think he might be trying to trick me into wasting gas on bass. I hope its better It couldnt get much worse.

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Northlander

I talked to a few guides and "Locals" and they all say its the worst they ever seen it.

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threeball

I'm new to the area. I love smallie fishing, though I'm not a walleye basher like some bass fisherman. Where is Northern Lites?

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tunrevir

Up the Gunflint trail don't cha knooow? Good for the smallies, bad for the walleyes but never know what else may bite there. Gunflint can help you out or look to the cook county area of your atlas and follow the Gunflint trail up while scanning for various lakes. You'll find it. Good luck, I hope you catch and eat those darn things. They are great fighters and I've been told don't tast too bad either, course I love to eat eelpout too so who am I to judge, right? Hope this helps!

Tunrevir~

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Northlander

Well guys I think we have confusion. Im talking about Northern Lights Lake in Canada, the one connected to Big Sag. There is another Northern Lights up the Gunflint. I havent fished it yet.

Sorry for the confusion and I guess when we talk about a Northern Lights we need to specify wich one.

From what I have heard both lakes have had a smallmouth boom and it has really effected the walleye bite.

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gonorthanychance

My last open water trip to Northern Light was early September last year. The walleye we caught were generally on the sand flats in 30 to 35' of water. All were very nice meaty fish, and it took everything in our arsenal to get them interested. Early in June last year, numerous fish over 28", but again in deep water, and the ocassional meaty eating size 17 incher.

I've been going to Northern Light since the mid 90's. Have had a cabin there for the past four years, and usually fish open water at least five weeks a year, and a week on the ice during trout season. Walleye fishing was slow for a couple of years back in the mid 90's. The blow-down in 99 put a lot of timber in the lake and seems to have increased the bass population.

What we've seen the past three years is a massive increase in the baitfish out in the deep water. Bait balls from the surface to 80'+ are common. The walleyes that we do catch are very healthy and heavy fish for their length Some of the old-timers that I talk to say the lake cycles for walleye, down periods of three years or so. Well, last year was the end of the third year so hopefully it will be getting better. We did notice better fishing overall last year, than the year before.

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gunflint

gonorth,

Welcome to FM. Great first post and I hope that you're right. I don't know how much the blowdown effected the bass population as most of the blowdown was on the ridge tops and not by the lakes, on the other hand I'll listen anything about the current difficulty in catching eating size walleyes on Sag or Northern Light.

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gonorthanychance

gunflint:

what we've found to work the best for eyes the past few years is concentrating on the deep flats close to deeper water and getting the bait down on the bottom, whether it trolling crankbaits or sitting over them with live bait.

they just haven't been active on the reefs or points as much as in the past.

they have an easy meal out in the open deep water where the massive amounts of bait seems to be thriving.

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  • Your Responses - Share & Have Fun :)

    • Wakemup
      Thanks Cliff for the update, and thanks Brett for the info too!
    • FishinCT
      You can fish a little meat out of the ones with really big claws. Tails are easy once you get the hang of it. Meat pops right out then just pull the intestine(?) and you're good to go.  I'd rather people use fish guts as crawfish bait rather than throwing them in the woods for my dog to find 
    • Nix769
      You can also get the ArcGIS app to access the county files on your mobile or download the .kmz files on the county site to use in Google Earth. Either way very useful.
    • Cliff Wagenbach
      Well most people use a fish head or two in the trap as bait.  Any type of raw  meat will probably work well. No need to purge them as they are coming out of clean water. Just boil the whole crawdad in salt water or better yet in a Cajun mix! The tails are about the only part worth messing with. Cliff
    • Walleyehunter82
      I live on Little Cormorant Lake, I believe sometime next week that it will be open.  The lakes out there are changing fast!
    • meerkat
      we got a lot snow down in the twin cities than up north and temps are a lot higher than it was in 2013.   I think we will have enough open water to fish the opener.   No one needs to cancel!  I HOPE any way
    • meerkat
      what do you use for bait?  I heard you can't use left over fish guts.   do you have to soak them?  sorry not sure what that process is called.
    • Cliff Wagenbach
      meerkat, Many people eat the rusties. Very tasty but like walleye wings it takes a lot for a meal! Cliff
    • Cliff Wagenbach
      I just got an e-mail from Brent Flatten in the Tower Fisheries Office stating that they hope to get the Dock in by Monday if the river clears of ice. Will set the trap nets on Tuesday and the first net lift will be on Wednesday. They may even collect eggs Wednesday if there are enough ripe females. Very good news! Thanks for your update Brent! Cliff
    • AlwaysFishing23
      I would imagine the man made pepin connected to the sippi is open not the actual lake pepin?