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Docsheepshead

Coming from Wisconsin for the first time. Home water is Lake Winnebago. Picking up some friends/kids in Minneapolis and heading up mid-June. Couple of the guys have fished there before but I will have the boat and am trying to familiarize myself with the lake. Looking at map trying to locate fishing holes, structure, danger spots, etc.

Walleyes will be the first target.

I guess we will likely be putting the boat in at The Landing Resort/Restaurant/Bar. Looking for any advice help on avoiding pitfalls and having a rewarding trip.

What are the preferred techniques? Do people anchor and jig, drift, or troll? If trolling, I am assuming the off-shore boards will work fine. Are people trolling crankbaits, crawler harnesses/spinner rigs, or something else? What is the preferred live bait this time of the year? What are the best bait shops in the area? Who makes the best map of the lake?

Any help or even other places I can learn about the lake would be helpful. Trying to organize my rods, tackle, and boat to determine what I need to bring. Any places to avoid so I do not tear up the boat.

Please feel free to share anything that might make our trip more enjoyable including places to eat, visit, etc.

Thanks

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Johnny_Namakan

Where do I begin? smile.gif Vermilion is one of the best marked lakes I've been on. If there isn't a hazard bouy or channel markers you should be OK. With a little common sense of course. wink.gif The main channel from one end of the lake to the other is marked well with channel markers and there are even flashing lights on the points of the main channel to help with evening navigation. Most reefs and shallow areas are marked well. Even so, at my parents resort we always get a shredded prop or mangled skag coming back to us each week. Some people just can't grasp the concept that land doesn't stop right where it touches the water. As far as tackle, bait, etc. keeping it quick and simple, worms and leeches will be your main two baits later in the year, and minnows may still be affective. Jigs, spinner baits, and floating lindy's are my top three choices combined with a trolling presentation. As far as the off-shore boards I've never used them and not many do around here. I see them being used on Mille Lacs and Winnie but not so much here. Not sure why, I would guess just because you aren't trolling over such vast areas in search of the eyes. Very rocky conditions in areas and tight trolling patterns (fish schooled up in a smaller hole) may make the boards more of a nuisance than a help. That's just me though. If you're out in Big Bay trying to cover some area then I bet they'd work well. Have fun when you get here and let us know how you did. smile.gif

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  • Your Responses - Share & Have Fun :)

    • Borch
      It usually pays off finding your own fish.   Nice report.
    • Borch
      Welcome to the forum.  Lots of good options already given.  Have some fun!
    • ozzie
      The fish are out there and they go hot and cold on the bite but they are catchable!  Anytime you can get the kids out fishing is worth it in my opinion!  Take them up and wet a line is about the only way you will find out if they can catch anything or not.  The main thing to look for before going to Red is the week leading up to the date you plan on fishing is to watch the wind speed and direction.  If blowing from the west for a few days the water stirs up and gets hard to fish. 
    • ANYFISH2
      Welcome TheEyesofanAngler! A ton of good bass lakes around the area.  For numbers of 2 to 4 lb bass, the eastern Todd County lakes near Burtrum and NW Morrison county are hard to beat as well.
    • Wanderer
      Good job guys!
    • YellowFinRed
      Have only been out a couple of times now but did get a 5.5 lb walleye my first 10 minutes out in 16 feet of water. Lots of fish in the 16-20 feet range. No jumping in the boat but catching fish on the mid lake areas. I'll be darned if I'll sit under a bridge with other boats when you can catch fish out on the lake without others boaters around.
    • Gillraker
      Any reports from Buffalo?  I would imagine that they are doing OK right out in front of the marina/beach.  Anybody?
    • DonkeyHodey
      agree with gimruis.  look to the river. Your chances of catching a 3# bass or better are exponentially better on the river.  (There's a reason SC/mississippi was chosen for the Gov's opener last year--the Mississippi around here is really a world class smallmouth fishery.)  (most river rats will tell you that you can essentially catch smallies any time of year and often as by-catch while targeting other species.)  Below the SC dam is pretty much catch and release only (all 12-20 inchers must be released) but it's quite loaded with big smallies! (and lots of good shore areas on public land)  Just be prepared to lose a few lures on snags... Frankly, If you want to stick to lakes, I think you can pretty much pick a lake in a 30 mile radius...--most produce bass in good quantity, it's just years may vary in terms of sizes.  Clearwater is good.  Consider Bass lake adjacent to it.  (...it's not just a clever name.)
    • Wanderer
      Haha!  Based on our conversation at the truck I’m going to edit that comment a teeny bit!  Cuz I know both of us had a workout.  I was still sore yesterday but it was a good sore. 😎
    • gimruis
      I like Clearwater too.  I haven't fished in in a couple years now but I used to and we caught a lot of fish out there.  The one negative was all the competition - there seemed to be a tournament almost every weekend. Another overlooked place to target smallmouth: RIVERS.  The Sauk River and the Mississippi between St Cloud and Elk River is plum full of bass and receives minimal fishing pressure (its just my opinion but rivers in general are very under fished here in MN).