Thursday, July 18, 2013

Mid July Fishing Report

With the mid July temps soaring, and water temps rising, fish have begun to transition to their typical mid summer patterns.  It seemed like we would never get to this point only a couple months ago, but like it or not its here.  This blog is going to concentrate on one specific tactic we have been using to put keeper fish in the boat during these dog days of summer, the Slip Bobber approach.

Basically, we like to keep it simple. The key is to find fresh, green cabbage in shallow water where bait fish are holding and water temps are cooler.  Many times this is a spot you would figure these areas look like something that would be a good location to throw a bucktail for a Muskie, or even see a Muskie hanging out. Areas within the area to key on would be any transition, depth change, or school of bait fish.  Many times the fish will not be IN the cabbage, but holding just outside on a transition area, waiting to ambush. Most places that have held fish are larger and longer stretches of cabbage. These seem to hold more bait fish, and in return hold more walleyes.

Tackle consists of a simple Wing-It slip bobber, plain hook with a split shot, or small jig head.  Either of these tipped with a leech of medium size works well.  The nice thing about weed fish, is you don't need the super duper ultra jumbo leeches in order to coax a walleye into biting.  A simple medium leech will do the trick, and also allow for the fish to take the bait much quicker.  On calm days I prefer a plain hook, which allows the leech to swim around and give the bait some action that normally a wave would provide for you.

Often times seeking out these places is a lot of trial and error, but finding your new honey hole in the middle of nowhere can be pretty rewarding. If you don't find fish in the first five to ten minutes, move 50 yds and try a new area within the spot. Spot lock on our Minn Kota I pilot's have been a huge bonus for this tactic, allowing us to stay mobile while staying put. Using the anchor feature pointed in towards the wind, it will hold the boat in one spot, then allowing with a push of the button to move small distances at a time. This eliminates the need to drop an anchor, or two and save time while actively fishing.

Slip Bobber fishing has stood the test of time.  There is nothing quite like watching a bobber sink below the surface on a early summer morning.  This is a great approach for introducing young kids to walleye fishing.  Who knows, it may just be your next best approach to tricking those sometimes finicky "summertime" walleyes into your livewell!

Monday, July 1, 2013

Leech Lake Fishing Guide Report

David Badger with a Giant!
I am happy to report that the bite is OUTSTANDING this year with no signs of slowing any time soon. Leech Lake continues to amaze my every day with its diversity of sized walleye. Ever year class from 12-30 inches have been caught with plenty in the 13-18 range that are keepers with the 18-26 inch slot. If we had to go with a single technique right now, it would be Spinners at .8-1mph. The fish are really keying on crayfish in the rocks and sand right now. 12-18ft of water on most wind blown points are holding fish of ALL SIZES. Crayfish and perch color blades work well, if you haven't check out Jolly Roger Tackle's line of spinners, they are tough, durable, and simply catch fish. When pulling these blades, having longer rods can really pay off when you have calm conditions and want to get your bait out away from the boat.  We typically like to use theJason Mitchell Pro Walleye Series 8'6" telescopic rod or the 10'6" Pro Walleye Series rods to do this.  If not pulling blades, pulling a lindy rig with a slow death hook and crawler would be our second choice to catch these fish.   The speed at which you present these presentation is key, so pay close attention to how fast you were going when you are catching fish
Guides Freed and Ernster were out doing some scouting and found back to back 29" and 28" walleyes in 5 minutes.

Although not known for Smallmouth, Leech has yielded 6 smallmouth this past week on various rock piles. Being we don't target bass alot on Leech, our team of guides is confident that with some time, a angler could dial in on them pretty well. 12-18 fish were caught while trolling for walleye on the 10-12 ft rock ledges.

Northern Pike are loaded in the cabbage beds in Sucker and Portage bays. Lots of 30-34 inch fish caught with spinner baits and trolling spoons over the tops of the weeds.

There have been good reports of largemouth bass and panfish being caught in Boy, Steamboat, and Headquarters Bays as well.

If you are wanting to hit the water with us give us a call at 1-855-LOA-HOOK and be sure to check us out on Facebook.  We are ready to roll this July.  We hope to see you on the water!

Check out some more pics from the last week of fishing
Shame Imsland with a 25" Leech Lake Walleye

Toby with another Leech Lake Monster!

Linelle and Elex McAndrews with their morning catch

Mark Kirschner with a Brute!

Jack Davis with his 1st Walleye Ever