It's hard to believe we're staring down at the opening of the season here in just a few short days!
After a winter that never seemed like it was going to end, here we are getting all prepped and ready for one of the most exciting weekends for us Minnesotan fisher-folks!
We're already loaded up on leeches of all sizes, and we're remaining optimistic about the spottail shiner supply for this weekend. We'll know more over the next few days. The extended cold stretch has not been helpful for shiner movement & trapping so far this spring.
As of right now, I'd expect to see a fairly normal opening pattern for the eyes. Yes, we've had some cold weeks leading up to now, but with a little bit of a warming trend this week and a decent forecast so far for the weekend, it should be game on!
If it's going to be a little more bluebird weather be sure to get out early or stay out a little later for the fish. Hit your typical shallow water haunts this opener for the walleyes. River mouths, bars, adjacent shallower flats or edges of old reed beds with a bit of an extended feeding flat out in front. The smaller eater males should be hitting these areas.
Long shank shiner jigs tipped with a spottail is always a very popular presentation opening weekend. Be sure to check out the new Northland Tackle long shank jigs this year. Some anglers prefer a shorter shank jig & go with the ever popular Northland fireball jig & add a stinger hook for those short biters. As always, we'll have a great selection of everything you need here in the store. Kenkatch shiner jigs, Mission Tackle shiner jigs, the new Clam Tungsten long shanks, the new Northland long shanks, Google Eye long shanks, fireballs, and much more!
Don't hesitate to try some other presentations. I know some anglers that always do well rigging leeches out a little deeper right away opening weekend & catch some very nice fish. If you find an aggressive pod of fish, trolling cranks over them can be a good tactic. Others have done well pitching plastics. The B-Fish-N plastic line did well for some anglers willing to switch from live bait last year.
Whatever tactic you start off the season with, just know that we'll be working hard here to keep you supplied with all the best bait & gear to make your time on the water as successful as possible!
Tight lines everyone!
Happy Labor Day everyone!
We hope you've all been able to get out and enjoy the weather out on the water over the holiday weekend and put some fish in the boat.
This weekend marks the "unofficial" end to summer, and many cabins begin the seasonal shut down and some docks already start to get pulled in. I know it's hard to imagine ice season is only a few months away as water temps in our area are still in the 60-70 degree range and many fish are still in their late summer patterns.
It's inevitable with the shorter days & cooler nights that the water temps will begin to drop as we head towards fall.
In the meantime, it's time to enjoy some great fishing with arguably some of the best days ahead for some species.
Walleye action remains consistent on Bemidji for those willing to stay versatile to find out what's working. Fish are being pulled out of 6-8 feet on cranks, and live bait offerings. Rigs & spinners are still producing with crawlers and leeches (which are getting very difficult to find). 10-15' has shown the most consistent daytime depths. Watch your electronics to see what depth the fish are staging in throughout the day.
The jig bite is starting to pick back up again. Stop in for a scoop of Mr Rogers Mix (river run) or a dozen chubs or redtails. We're stocked up on all the premium bait you need for your walleye pursuit.
Jigging raps/puppet minnows also continue to produce in 20-35' over the deeper schools of fish.
Perch fishermen are having success targeting the weeds and humps. Fishing in the shallower weeds has been providing plenty of action with some sorting needed to weed out the smaller fish. When you can find a school out on grassy or one of the mid-depth humps, they tend to be a better size average. Crappie & fathead minnows, or panfish leeches have all been working.
The bass fishing on area lakes and Stump has still been a great option with fishing holding in the weeds. Throw a frog over the shallow vegetation and wait for that bass to pounce on it.
Bluegill action with waxies and panfish size Gulp or leeches on the weed edges has been good. Dock fishing on some of the smaller lakes in the area can provide a fun few hours for the kids with the panfish action.
Some crappies have been caught targeting the deep edges of cabbage beds.
Muskie action has been best on Cass Lake, but we're hearing of more showing up on Bemidji. With the Frank Schneider tournament coming up this weekend, there will be more muskie anglers targeting the area lakes, and I'm sure some big fish will be boated.
The best time on the water is whenever you can go! Get out and enjoy the time on the water. Stop on by if there's anything we can help you out with. Bait & Tackle... It's what we do!
Tight lines everyone! ><//////>
It's been far too long since our last fishing report.. That can only mean that we've been busy scooping bait!
Fishing really seems to be heating up in the Bemidji area. And the water temps right along with it. The shiner bite continues to be great, but spottails are becoming harder to find. Many anglers will either switch to golden shiners or transition to leeches & crawlers. Redtails & creek chubs are also a sought after bait this time of year - especially for tournament anglers.
Lake Bemidji has really been putting out some fish lately. And just in time for the Knights of Columbus Walleye Classic this weekend. Expect to see some nice bags from the anglers!
We're hearing that shiners, leeches, crawlers & cranks are all producing. Many fish are still being caught shallow from 4-10'. Look for fresh growth cabbage as walleyes are being caught jigging along the edge of the cabbage beds.
Look for some nice perch starting to show up in the weeds as well. We've heard some great reports using fatheads under a slip bobber.
Cass Lake walleyes have been more aggressive early mornings and evenings. With the clear water they can be spooky during the day. Hit the shoreline breaks 12-20' and work slow with a shiner or leech. Slide out deeper and watch your locator to see if they slid out a little deeper on the breaks. During the daytime, 16-18' seems to be where the fish are being caught. The walleyes will move up shallower toward evening and you can get them in 6-8'. Crankbaits after dark have also been producing.
This last weekend was muskie opener, and with the inclement weather, some anglers staid off the lakes. We did hear of several muskies caught both casting & trolling this week.
Get out, enjoy the weather, and put a bend on that rod. The fish are waiting!!
When was the last time we had weather like that for opening weekend?? Perhaps the weather was a little too nice as the daytime bite proved to be a grind on many of the area lakes. But for those anglers that were able to get out early and stay out late, they were rewarded with some great fishing.
Here's some of the reports from around the area:
Bemidji - shoreline breaks from 8-10' and around the base of the cabbage beds were producing fish. Keeping it light was the key. 1/8oz jigs with either a shiner or fathead produced some fish. There was a good leech bite reported as well for those rigging.
Irving - anglers were able to get some fish in the livewell using some of the same tactics as on Bemidji. But we also heard there was a decent crank bait bite. The shore fishermen staying out and fishing the river after dark did well over the weekend, and we heard rumors of some large fish caught up to 27" in the river!
Andrusia - appears to be the winner in our area with great success and lots of fish reported. Hit the river mouths, adjacent breaks, and outside of the reed beds for walleye action. 6-12' produced fish on jigs with shiners or fatheads. Keep it light when fishing shallow to keep a lot of the decayed vegetation off your jig. 1/8oz or 1/4oz jigs both worked, as well as slip bobber fishing and anchoring up when you find a school.
Cass Lake - A deeper bite was reported with the clear water and high sun. 14-17' off the breaks. Rigging was a better option with the spooky fish using jumbo leeches, shiners or rainbows.
Red Lake - It sounds like if you had bait, you were able to catch fish! We heard of some 50 fish days over the weekend. The shallow channel has been dug out, so there is no problem accessing the lake out of the public accesses.
Leech Lake - some very nice fish caught this weekend. 10-16' produced. Jigs with shiners as well as live bait rigging.
Get out and enjoy this awesome weather & don't forget the sunscreen!
The time has finally arrived to get the boat ready if you haven't done so already! The lakes are opening fast!!
Irving opened up, as well as many smaller lakes in the area: Big & Little Bass, Beltrami, Movil, Long and others. Soon the crappies will be headed for their spring time haunts if they aren't there already. Bemidji looks to be a few more days away, with many guessing we'll see ice off early next week.
Many anglers have been taking advantage of the nice weather and have been busy soaking crawlers on the Rainy River for sturgeon. We have heard of some absolute tankers being caught in that 70" range. Some have had great success with 15+ fish days, while others have struggled to get a fish in the boat. Don't hesitate to move around & try different holes, depths, current seams, or areas. For those of you still dinosaur hunting, we're still fully stocked with flats & half flats of crawlers for this weekend.
We want to wish everyone the best of luck that are headed up to fish the Sportsman's Lodge Sturgeon Tourney! Stop on by & we'll get you all geared up.
As our thoughts turn to perch & panfish for the next week here close to home before the walleye opener, we're fully stocked & prepared with crappie minnows, fatheads, waxies & crawlers.
Thank you all again from everyone here at Northwoods Bait & Tackle for joining us on Saturday for our Grand Opening event. We were blown away by the awesome support from all of you and the fishing community!
Until next time - tight lines everyone!
What a difference a week makes!
Birds are chirping, the robins are back, and pairs of geese are patiently waiting on frozen lakes for them to thaw. Is spring finally here to stay??
The snow really took a hit over the last few days, and it looks like the accesses did too. Plenty of people still out perch fishing on Bemidji, and we've been hearing that anglers are catching fish anywhere from 8' to 50'. Yep - how's that for a range of depth? So the perch are finally transitioning out of the depths they've been ganging out in over the last few weeks. Fathead minnow heads are still the chosen bait.
As your mom probably told you - "Make good decisions!". The ice conditions and accesses will be changing rapidly with this weather. Use caution as you head out this weekend.
Panfish anglers are still going strong with bluegill & crappie action on the area lakes. We're still stocked on crappie minnows & waxies to help you out in your pursuit this weekend.
Several anglers have stopped in and geared up for some trout fishing this week as well. Yet another great fishing option in our area at the current time. We to have flies, Mepps spinners, & jars of trout eggs & nuggets in stock.
Pike fishermen continue to hit Lake of The Woods, and the pictures and reports we've been seeing & hearing are impressive. Grab your friends, a bucket of tip ups, a case of.....pop. And head north! You may need some sunscreen this weekend too! We just received another shipment of Big Tooth quick strike rigs, and we're fully stocked on Light Northern size suckers (approx. 5-6").
Last but not least, it's time for STURGEON!!! Lots of dinosaur fishermen are headed to the Rainy this weekend. The current is still slow, the water is still good, and the fish are ready to be caught! We've been hearing that the anglers targeting them have been catching, but just not in big numbers yet. I expect that to change this weekend as more boats specifically target them. We have flats & half flats of crawlers ready to go, as well as all the gear you need for landing one of those prehistoric beasts!
Don't forget that next Saturday is our big Grand Opening celebration! Lots of drawings, prizes, in store specials, food, and events happening that day. Also, check out our Facebook page for additional contests for guide trip giveaways & more!
Good luck & stay safe out there this weekend whether you're in a boat or on the ice. Enjoy the great weather & put some fish topside!
It's hard to believe we're still staring at frozen lakes with 3' +/- of ice on April 13th!! And still driving on them!!
Mother Nature does what she does & all we can do is roll with the punches..
It certainly presents a unique situation for fishermen right now and offers a lot of opportunity for various species for those wanting to get out. We've have both boats and fish houses in the lot at the same time!
Most popular right now is the Rainy River with the walleye season ending this weekend. The reports have been all over the board - from boats squeaking out their limits to reports of 100 fish days! With the absence of rainbows & hard to get shiners, many anglers are using the larger fatheads and doing just fine. Those willing to upsize and use the light pike minnows are putting fish in the net as well. Of course the plastic bite continues to produce and helps keep your hands dry & warm from dipping into the minnow bucket. Stop by on your way north - we're re-stocked on B fish N plastics, and have both fatheads & pike minnows in the tanks, as well as a few bags of the preserved emerald shiners left.
Multiple groups stopped in and picked up flats of crawlers for the dinosaur hunt this weekend. Sturgeon are being caught - and some nice ones at that! We'll have more reports after the weekend. We have flats & half flats, no rolls and everything else you may need for soaking those crawlers. Give us a shout at 218-444-BAIT and get a flat reserved!
LOTW pike fishing has been nothing short of fantastic from the reports we've received in the store. Fill up your Engel cooler with some Light Northern minnows, and get ready to watch the flags fly!
The opposite end of LOTW offers some good laker fishing right now too up in Whitefish Bay. We received some photos from a group up last weekend, and it sounds like they had plenty of action on the lake trout.
Bemidji perch fishing continues on the north end. Some guys are squeaking out enough for a meal, and others are limited out in a few hours. The trend is still deep (30'+), but we should start to see some shallower activity. Watch the accesses though - they are getting pretty chopped up with the couple warmer days we had.
We've also had a run on waxies this week. Many anglers are still out chasing panfish around on the area lakes. We're fully stocked up on tubs & containers for the weekend hunt!
Plenty of options for the area anglers yet. Get out there, enjoy your time on the ice or in the boat & put some fish topside!
Well, it sounds like the switch was flipped on the Rainy River yesterday as there were many good reports of catch rates including some nice sized walleyes boated. Both plastics and minnows worked. The B Fish N plastics continue to be great producers. Various colors are working - silver, pink, & white seem the be the hot colors right now. Current remains rather slow, so folks are using as light as 1/4oz jigs. We're fully stocked on jigs, plastics and fatheads here in the store - so stop on in and get loaded up for the rest of the week!
There have been several folks targeting sturgeon, and we had a report from one boat that caught 7 up to 63" this weekend. And yep, we have crawlers by the flat or half flat for those dinosaur hunters among us.
The Lake Bemidji perch bite continues to impress with many nice perch being caught. On the North end of the lake, they are still deep in the mud. Look for 35-45' and watch your locator. You should have fish coming up to meet your bait on the way down if you're on the schools. Jigging spoons with fathead minnows - whole or head are working.
We've gone through plenty of waxies here the last few days, so folks are continuing to target crappies & gills on the area lakes with success.
Both the Northwoods & Cameron Park accesses seem to be holding up to vehicle traffic, but are getting close to their last few days before access by wheeler or sled will be necessary.
Get out and enjoy these warmer days and put some fish topside. Good luck out there!
Nortwoods bait & tackle
Keep up with the latest information and reports from Bemidji and the surrounding areas.