Despite the weather and rising water, fishing has been good for all species, with walleyes and jumbo perch showing up on reefs, and points in the Canadian islands. Don’t be afraid to go deep and fish on the mud around structure if the fish are not on top. Musky fishermen have been doing well in sand bays and boulder areas. Weeds are still somewhat hard to find yet, but any isolated stands will hold fish. We have had some good luck on big northern pike in some of the back bays still, but most of them have moved to deeper water by now. The smallmouth fishing has been exceptional along the boulder shorelines. The mayfly hatch hasn’t hit yet, but many of the fish we are catching seem to be full of the larva.
In Minnesota waters, anglers have been working the Flag I. flats area, as well as Brush I. and Little Oak I. areas.
The fishing has been great at the Angle! In Canadian waters, we have been turning up pike, muskies, and large walleye while casting spoons, swimbaits, and spinnerbaits over emerging weeds. Points, windy shorelines and offshore structures have all been turning out good numbers of eater walleye with some big females mixed in. The smallmouth bass have begun to arrive on the boulder shorelines and points and there are some big pike being caught there as well. Lake trout fishing has continued to be solid.
In Minnesota waters, Little Oak I, Oak I, Brush I, and the Fourblocks area are good places to start. We expect the mayfly hatch to be on soon, we have seen a lot of walleyes that are already eating mayfly larva.
The fishing has been surprisingly good in most sections of the lake, considering that the ice has only been off for about two weeks time. Water temps are in the 60s in most areas. In Canadian waters, walleyes seem to be popping up all over, from shallow shorelines and rockpiles to deep rock points and dropoffs. Keep moving until you hit active fish. Some nice post-spawn females are being caught along with the eater fish. Smallmouth bass have been holding deep off the shorelines, but will move shallow to begin spawning any day now. Expect to find plenty of pike in the shallow back bays. Lake trout anglers have been doing well lately as well.
In Minnesota waters, walleye fishermen have been doing well around Oak Island trolling spinners and crankbaits.
It’s been a good winter season, and now it’s time to watch the ice melt at the Angle! We hit the ice a couple of times in April with the snowmobiles and had a great time icing the crappies and walleye. Both the size and numbers were of fish caught were exceptional, which is why we love fishing late ice! As far as the ice melt goes, the areas with current are opening up, but most of the lake is still encased in a deep layer of ice. It will be with us for a while, definitely past the Minnesota opener!
At the Northwest Angle and Oak Island, auger extensions are required. There is a lot of ice and snow and the end of ice fishing this season is nowhere near. As the fronts move through, the day bite has been variable, some days catching fish all day, and on the high pressure post-frontal days slowing the mid-day bite considerably. The afternoon and evening has been more than making up for it, with limits or near limits of sauger and walleye coming between 3-6pm. The after-dark bite has deteriorated. Good depths have been 16-22 feet with the 28-30 deeper depths not being as consistent. Both jigging and bobber presentations are working well.
In the Northwest Angle and Islands, the February bite has continued to be strong. The 27-30 foot range on the mud and adjoining structure is best for the all day bite for walleye and sauger, while the 18-22 foot waters are good morning and evening for mostly walleye and perch. Both areas are producing limits. A lively minnow under a bobber is even producing walleye at night, between 11pm and 4am on rattle reels. In Ontario waters, crappies and walleye are coming out of 30-36 feet. Trout have been more active with some nice size lakers coming in.
Action at the Northwest Angle is varying by day depending on the weather system moving through. The post-frontal high-pressure days have been slower. On the flip side, the days leading into the fronts have seen very good action. Walleye size continues to be good. Both slot fish and nice eater size walleye are dominating the catch with additional sauger being mixed in. 20-30 feet of water has been productive. Gold jig-a-bit and minnow under a bobber has been a go-to, while pink glow and a minnow head is working for jigging presentations.
Action is good in the Little Traverse area near Oak and Little Oak Island. Walleye and sauger have been working the 18-25 feet of water range. Bites have been happening very early at 7 am, from 3 pm onward and scattered throughout the morning and midday. There is a night bite materializing, with walleyes coming in as late as 7-10 pm. Eelpout are on the increase as well, showing up in both the daytime and throughout the overnight. Northern pike are still biting. In Ontario, walleye and crappie continue to be active.
At the Northwest Angle in the Minnesota waters, the walleye and sauger are hitting in 20 feet of water. Both active jigging and bobbers are producing with glow in the dark presentations working well. Fish are hitting through the day as well as morning and evening bites. Although down from the pace set earlier this winter, numbers of slot walleye, nice-sized sauger, and eater walleye are coming in. Northern pike are showing up and are generally between 30 and 40 inches. In Ontario, lake trout have been slower but crappies have been active.