This can be a frustrating time of year on the walleye front, butfishing remains consistent on mid lake reefs and island points in the 22’-32’ range.  Leeches and crawlers are the preferred bait on slip sinker rigs or a spinner behind a bottom bouncer but there is still has been a jig and minnow bite so you might want to have all options at your disposal.  When the wind blows, as always, the rule of thumb is to fish the windblown weed lines.  Not much new there as that has been a common theme throughout the fishing season.

Perch are being found more regularly especially on the tops and edges of reefs and along deep weed lines.  If you locate a school, try to stay on top of them until they become inactive.  A crawler is the way to go moving slowly with live bait rig or anchoring and using a slip bobber.

Some big northern pike have been caught recently.  Casting large baits like Rapalas, spoons and Suiks are turning the bigger fish.  Looking for cooler water is key as that is where the bigger pike like to hang out when the water temps rise.  If that isn’t working, try trolling over deeper water and get your baits down to the thermocline and just above it.  The water below the thermocline is devoid of oxygen and the water above it is too warm for big pike.  If you can get your baits just above it, you will increase your chances substantially.  Remember that big pike use a lot of energy in the fight.  A quick catch, picture and release is extremely important to keep your trophy from going belly up after you release.

This time of year, if you can’t find the bass in the shallows they are most likely relating to where the baitfish are in the water column.  You may even see boils of smallmouth feeding aggressively in the evening on baitfish they have pushed to the surface.  If you are lucky enough to spot this activity, keep your distance and throw baits right into the middle of the action.  This can sometimes produce exceptional fishing that usually only lasts minutes, but It can be fast and furious.  Keep at it until they move on.

Unfortunately, the blueberries are pretty much done now but its still a great time to take a walk in the woods on any one of the hiking trails Voyageurs National Park has to offer.  A trip up to Kettle Falls is also another great way to spend the day.  It is one of the only places you can stand in the USA and look south into Canada.  Check in at any of the Park visitors’ centers for all the information you will need.

See you soon!