Kabetogama area fishing report, snowmobile trail and ice conditions.  12/31/2019

Snow and more snow!  Fishing inconsistent as ice conditions deteriorate and snowmobiling coming on strong.

As we move into the new year, the northland is looking a lot more like winter.  Over the last week we have had two snowfallevents and now have a good 20 inches or more on the groundproducing slushy conditions making travel difficult on the lake.  Snowmobilers are a more common sight, but some caution needs to be taken when hitting the trails.  As of today, the only open, groomed trail is the Green Trail from Rainy Lake to Ash River and Sullivan Bay.  Kevin Grossheim, from the National Park Service, reports large areas of slush have appeared on the lake and Namakan ice is too thin to begin staking at this time.  He recommends wide track snowmobiles only, especially when venturing off the groomed trail.  No roads have been plowed.  You can get daily updates here: https://www.nps.gov/voya/planyourvisit/winter-ice-and-trail-conditions.htm.  Off the lake, trails are looking good and are getting packed with the increased activity.  A full grooming schedule should begin any day now.  If you are looking for some fresh snow and fun in a true wilderness setting, come visitKabetogama and Voyageurs National Park!

Fishing remains inconsistent throughout Kab.  Some days good, some days slower.  With weather systems moving through every few days, the bite has been unpredictable.  With the added snow on the lake, moving around is now restricted to snowmobiles and track machines.  If you are heading out, focus on transition areas in 25-35 ft of water.  Keep your presentation options open as each day can be different.  If possible, move around until active fish are found.  Generally, a mixed catch of walleye, sauger and perch are common with the occasional pike and tullibee mixed in.

Those after whitefish are focusing on deep water with small tungsten jigs tipped with plastics.  You are looking for deep water over soft bottom.  Using your sonar, locate suspended fish as they are usually whitefish.  Tullibee are commonly caught while fishing this deep water and do great in the smoker.  If you haven’t tried going after whitefish, it is worth the adventure.  They are hard fighting and catches over 10 pounds are common.  They make great table fare as well, baked or fried!

If you are looking for winter lodging or information in the Kabetogama area, you can check out the Kabetogama Lake Association here at https://kabetogama.com/.  There you will find all the information you need to make your winter getaway an enjoyable one!

As always, make sure to stop in at Gateway General while visiting.  Whether you are heading out to the fish shack, hitting the snowmobile trails or taking a hike in the woods we can point you in the right direction.

Be safe, have fun and take advantage of our gem of the northland!

Have a Happy New Year!

Gateway