Finicky Finicky Finicky! Finding fish has not been the problem! Turning sniffers into biters now that is a different story. My best advice to any panfish anglers is to be prepared for anything. Actively jigging live bait, dead sticking live bait, dead sticking plastics, it just doesn’t seem to matter. Not one presentation is really outshining another! The only thing we have noticed is that switching up is producing more bites than keeping with the same thing. Popular access points for late ice fishing are holding up. Be prepared to deal with crowds in the community spots. For more information or to book your late ice guide trip please contact 218-259-8893 ! Northern Drift works with a number of high quality guides in the Grand Rapids Area! We will make sure your last ice fishing trip of the year is one to remember.
Lake ice conditions in the northern part of the state have improved immensely! Great fishing opportunities are available. The panfish bite on numerous lakes is hot right now and we have started to see a majority of the crappies moving towards the break lines where they will eventually push up and spawn later this spring. However, finding the fish the last couple of days hasn’t been the hard part. Detecting some of the lightest bites has proven to be the most effective strategy and icing some of the crappies we have been chasing. It was apparent in a community spot over the weekend! Anglers who were using to stiff of rods and still running a bobber approach were struggling! Small tungstens and a plastic was the key! When the fish would move up on the bait I believe everyone was expecting that indicator to set the hook. The indicator was not even noticeable on 75% off the fish we caught. Expecting the fish to be breathing in the bait and reeling down to load that tip up proved to be very effective. Also using plastics kept a lot of the other species of fish away, like the rock bass that seemed to be joining forces with the crappies schools.The die hard panfish anglers are going to be at it for a few weeks yet. Wheelers with chains and track machines were being used on all the more popular spring fishing spots. We will be updating with weekly fishing reports from the Grand Rapids Area for the remaining ice season and into our open water year! Tight lines everyone and enjoy that sunshine.
Fall Fishing Report
The Northern Minnesota fishing report for the last few weeks of October remains good for a lot of species. It has certainly slowed down since the incredible action earlier in the month, but that doesn't mean the fish aren't eating. Spending full days on the water is helping to find those active fish. It seems there are windows throughout the day it gets hot and then some times it is a bit slower. It's not hot and heavy, but putting large walleyes in the boat on a lake like Winni guarantees a good time. The crappie fishing has also stayed solid with a lot of those fish being found vertically in or close to their wintering holes. We have also noticed some sizable pike in the flats of big bays in some popular spearing locations. Makes sense for sure... Hoping to tag one of those on the fly this weekend. All for now!
With the cold temperatures fast approaching walleyes amongst other game species are trying to put on the weight. They are seeking forage that has moved out of the thick weed cover. Sparse patches of green cabbage are holding an abundance of baitfish and predators. The time though is now, with water temperatures plummeting daily this incredible bite might not last long... We are hoping for another round this weekend of amazing fishing, but know the reality is it may drop below 50 degrees. If so, there's a good chance this run is over. If it stays though, I'm dragging Collin out to try to get a few on the fly! It's that good!
One thing that's making the local bite so much fun right now is that prime jigging depth of 12-15 feet. If you are seeing bait on the graph, know you are in the juice. Drop it down!
The bite has been just too good to describe lately. Walleyes and crappies are eating aggressively. Friday through Sunday the boat watched clients land over 50-70 fish each day while only fishing 4 hours. The kinds of days that I really don't even have a chance to wet my line between netting fish and rigging rods. One interesting tidbit from the weekend is the fall pattern and difference between crappies and other game species. While the crappies are sliding deeper and deeper daily, the walleyes and pike are sliding shallower and shallower chasing that last remaining weed line.
It was a great summer full of solid fish for both Johns and I. It looks like our redesign on the reports here is going to lose all of our old data, but it will be for the best long term. As far as smallie fishing went this summer we certainly found numbers of big solid fish. The topwater fishing was second to none with fish coming on poppers and deer hair frogs whenever we hit the lower section of river. As always, those top water eaters were certainly bigger fish, which is always nice. As the fall rolls on things slow down a bit for us as full time teachers, but we certainly still find time on the water. Check back for updates and we will make sure to post things on social media as well!
Below is a sweet early July hopper eater!
Minnesota Fishing Report. Minnesota Fly fishing report. Northern Minnesota Fishing.