Tuesday, February 13, 2018

Good Hope Bay

During “normal” winters, February is a time to locate stripers, walleyes and crappies in the backs of deep, narrow canyons with “stair step” depths that abruptly rise from 100-plus feet to 80, 70, 50, and finally to around 30 feet of crystal clear water. Finding such canyons is always dependent on a good fish finder and a better understanding of the current elevation of the reservoir.
Then, in a canyon that meets the requirements, shad will pile up on one of several stair steps and the game fish will surround the schools, trapping them in the narrow channels or “managing” them by cutting off their escape routes. Then, a 1/2–ounce white spoon dropped vertically to the suspended game fish results in a live well full of great-tasting fish.
 favorite canyons just shy of Good Hope Bay only to discover that no striper schools were anywhere around the stair steps heading toward the back of the canyons. In fact, we didn’t catch a single striper in the areas that “normally” hold both shad and stripers in abundance.

Sunday, February 11, 2018

large perch

Most light sensitive species often suspend over deeper water during the day. Some of the fish will get active and begin to move around once the conditions are more favorable for them to feed.
Perch, sunfish, northern pike and bass are all more likely to feed during the day than walleyes and crappies. This gives anglers some options to do multi-species trips and target one species during the day and another species early and late in the day.
Generally speaking, the numbers of large perch are still down in most lakes in the Bemidji area. The easy pickings anglers had in past years have disappeared, with less large perch at the top of the perch populations in most lakes.

Thursday, February 08, 2018

Lake of the Woods

Lake of the Woods Tourism said in its weekly report. Resorts along the south shore have their rental houses set up in depths ranging from 24 feet to 35 feet of water, with most in 30 to 33 feet, Lake of the Woods Tourism said. For best results, use a lure that rattles on the jigging line and a plain hook tipped with a minnow on the "dead stick" line. Gold, pink and glow colors have been the most productive of late, and anglers fishing on their own will need an extension to get through the ice.

Thursday, February 01, 2018

Houghton Lake

Houghton Lake: Anglers should be aware of a pressure crack in the East Bay and at the entrance to the North Bay. The lake had about an inch of snow on top but anglers may still want to bring cleats for easier travel. Anglers are getting lots of pike. The bass became active and the bluegill bite was decent in the morning. For walleye, the better bite was between 4pm and sundown. Anglers are using jigging spoons and rapalas tipped with blues. Orange and glow were the hot colors. Some were also using shiners or sucker minnows on tip-ups.

Wednesday, January 31, 2018

Lake Norfork

Crappie fishing remains good with live minnows, chrome-head jigs or the Charlie Brewer bee (a small type of spin bait). Look for crappie around standing timber or brush piles in about 15 to 18 feet of water. For bank fishermen, live minnows seem to be working the best.
The walleye spring migration is not far away and could start any time. Jerkbaits and live bait work well, especially on Lake Norfork.

Lake Erie creel census

Lake Erie was literally at the top of its game again in 2017 after setting a new all-time mark in 2014. And with the way things are going in this Great Lake, don’t be surprised if it happens again this year. It’s scary … scary good.
Based on the Lake Erie creel census where thousands of anglers were surveyed between May 1 and Oct. 31, walleye fishermen experienced the highest catch per unit effort that the lake has ever seen in the 30 years of the census. In 2017, the catch rate was .52 fish per hour, nearly three times the 30-year average. While that might not seem like anything special, let’s put it into a better perspective.
“Our previous best-ever catch rate for walleye on Lake Erie was .32 fish per hour,” says Jason Robinson, fisheries biologist for the state’s Department of Environmental Conservation’s Lake Erie Unit. “That came in 2014 and that was a great fishing year. In fact it was our last record year. It was that much better last year.”
So let’s talk actual numbers. Over 70,000 walleye were harvested last year – caught and kept for the frying pan. It doesn’t get much better than fresh walleye in the hot oil (or no matter how it’s cooked). However, the Catch Per Effort (CPE) is based on the total catch and that was nearly 120,000 walleye last year.

Friday, January 26, 2018

Lake Erie

DEC has conducted an angler survey on Lake Erie to estimate fishing quality and fish harvest annually since 1988. In recent years, walleye fishing quality has been generally increasing. Survey results for 2017 revealed record-high walleye catch rates that are nearly three times greater than the 30-year average. DEC estimates anglers harvested more than 70,000 walleyes in 2017, a level not achieved since 1989. 
This exceptional fishing was due in large part to contributions of strong walleye reproductive success in 2010, 2012, 2014 and 2015. Recent evidence also suggests walleye reproduction was strong again in 2016. 
Walleye are one of the most popular gamefish in New York, as they put up an exciting fight during the catch and make for tasty meal on the table. Walleye are aptly named because of their unique eyes that have a reflective layer of pigment called the tapetum lucidum, which allows them to see very well at night and during other low-light periods. This layer also gives walleye their "glassy-eyed" or "wall-eyed" appearance.
Lake Erie is continually ranked among the world's top walleye fishing destinations by angler publications, with an abundance of trophy-size walleye ranging from 8-10 pounds, and local tournament winners often scoring fish exceeding 11 pounds.

Saturday, January 13, 2018


 The secret of fishing a river or stream is to find a bay, inlet or other deep cut in the bank with little current or fish a large, slow eddy. The weaker the current, the better the chances of success since fish metabolisms slow way down in the icy waters and fish seek out the quietest spots to lie.    
Where to fish is very similar to summer fishing: find structure. Points, drop offs, rocky humps, deeper bowls, river edges, old roads, weed edges and other fish habitat hold fish in the winter just as they did in the summer. Many fish will be deep, but immediately after ice over there will be numbers of fish in shallow waters, mainly in areas with rock, wood and green weeds. However, once the weeds are dead they begin to decay absorbing oxygen from the surrounding water. Areas outside stream mouths are also affected as leaves and other organic material washed into the lake breaks down robbing oxygen from the waters and driving the fish away.
Tip-Ups are the most widely used method of ice fishing. Tip-Ups consist of a base, strike indicator flag and line spool held underwater preventing it freezing. The base is set on the ice, the hook baited and lowered to a foot or 2 of the bottom and the flag bent over and lightly placed in a notch. When a fish takes and pulls out line the spools rotates and releases the wire flag which springs upright; pretty exciting when it happens.