Big Traverse Lake of the Woods. Nice weather, but slow fishing. It is mostly a sauger bite with the occasional walleye thrown in. Generally fishing on the mud in the Gull Rock area in 26 -28 feet of water. Saugers ran in size up to 14.5 inches and walleyes up to 18 inches. Some fish were aggressive and fell to the Salmo Zipper while other fish opted for the basic jig-a-bit and minnow on a bobber.
Northwest Angle, Lake of the Woods. Lots of snow on the lake after last week’s storm making for slower cross country travel, however, even with all the snow, slush is not too bad on the lake yet. Venturing into Ontario waters is producing crappies, but they are requiring some enticing. Crappies will do a lot of looking lately and need to be worked a little to be converted to a caught fish. While numbers were down, size makes up for it with crappies running into the 15 inch range. Glow has worked best with Salmo zippers and Northland buckshots, and some shinier spoons have pulled in some walleye and sauger caught incidental to the crappie. 25-28 feet of water was best with fishing right on the bottom while watching for the occasional suspended crappie.
The fishing in the Northwest Angle area has remained productive in Canadian waters. The deeper reefs in the Skeet I. area continue to hold good numbers of walleye, while the bite on points and dropoff areas nearer to the Angle has continued to improve. Jigging along these areas has been resulting in nice mixed bag catches of walleye, perch, and crappie. Expect to land some big walleye mixed in with the eaters.
Muskie fisherman are still reporting good action, although the algae bloom has reduced visibility in areas. Northern pike and some dandy smallmouth bass have been active along shoreline weedbeds. Slow roll a spinnerbait over the cabbage and hold on!
Few anglers in the Angle hit the Minnesota side this weekend due to the windy conditions, but the typical bite this time of year involves trolling crankbaits over shallow rocks or dragging spinners around the deep edge of structure. Areas like Garden I. and Little Oak I. will allow you to fish both options.
In Canadian waters, the reefs in the Skeet I. area have continued to produce good numbers of walleye, while shorelines, points, and dropoffs closer to the Angle have continued to produce larger fish, mixed in with perch and crappies. A jig and minnow has been the lure of choice.
Muskie action has remained steady, with fewer muskie anglers working the lake now. Look for areas where the algae has been cleared away by the wind, or hasn’t bloomed yet to find water where you can spot your follows and casting targets. Northern pike have been active along shoreline weedbed areas and near schools of walleye in deep water. Casting to shoreline weeds has been producing some exceptional sized smallmouth bass lately. This is not a big numbers bite, but the fish you get will be worth the effort.
Few anglers worked the Minnesota side at the Angle this last weekend due to the wind. Pulling bottom bouncers along the deep edge of structure will be the most consistent presentation at this time of year, but trolling crankbaits and spinners on top of shallow rocks during periods of hot, calm weather can be surprisingly good as well. Try areas like Starren Shoals and the east side of Little Oak for structure with deep and shallow options.
Fishing action continues to be excellent in Canadian waters. The reefs in the deep basin areas north of Skeet Island are giving up numbers of walleye, while points, dropoffs, and shorelines within the shallower basin areas closer to the Angle are producing larger fish but fewer numbers. Expect to find some nice sized perch and crappie mixed in with the walleye. As usual, a jig tipped with a minnow or soft plastic is the standard presentation.
Angling for muskie has remained consistent. The algae bloom has filled in some areas, making it difficult to spot follows and cast to specific rocks. Look for areas where the wind has cleared the algae away, or run farther north to find clear water. Northern pike and muskie have been a common catch for the walleye anglers working shoreline areas, especially any areas with weeds. Try using a large swimbait retrieved close to the bottom along shorelines to tap into this bite. Most smallmouth bass are still right along the rocky shorelines and points, but expect to find some nice bass on deeper off-shore structure as well.
In Minnesota waters, the most consistent bite has been along the deep edge of structure pulling bottom bouncers and spinners. Speed trolling shallow rock flats with crankbaits will also put plenty of fish in the boat. Areas like Little Oak I., the Crowduck I. flats, and Starren Shoals have been productive.
In Canadian waters, the reefs in the Skeet I. area have continued to be very productive for walleye. You can expect to catch numbers of eaters, and the occasional 20”+ fish. Anglers working this area in depths of 30’ or more should be careful to SLOWLY reel in fish they intend to release, to avoid overexpanding their swim bladders.
Anglers looking for bigger walleye and bonus perch and crappie can fish points and dropoffs in the shallower basins closer to the Angle and Islands. This bite will continue to get better each week going into the fall. As usual, jigs tipped with minnows or soft plastic have been the standard presentation.
Muskie fishing has continued to be productive. Fishing evenings and ahead of storm fronts with topwaters and double bucktails has put a lot of nice fish in the boat for a lot of anglers. Look in offbeat areas like the Little Traverse to find less educated muskies that are willing to bite instead of follow. Pike anglers will find both large and small fish along the deeper weed edges. Spoons, spinnerbaits, and swimbaits have been working well. Bouldery shorelines and points have been the best areas for smallmouth bass; using tube jigs and crayfish pattern crankbaits. Areas away from main travel routes will be a better bet now after the Kenora Bass Invitational tournament.
In Minnesota waters, pulling spinners just off structure on the mud has been putting limits in the boat. Try using pink or red and white tipped with a crawler or leech in the Lunatic I., Four Blocks, and Little Oak areas.
On the Canadian side, the reefs in Skeet I area have been very good, with boat catches of over 100 fish per day. The overall average size will be smaller than other areas of the lake, but you can still expect to throw back a lot of nice keeper walleyes in a day. Rockpiles topping out from 20 to 35 feet have held the most fish. Tip your jig with a minnow, crawler or soft plastic and hold on!
In most other areas of Ontario waters, the rock reef bite has slowed considerably, and will likely remain that way, barring any extended spell of high temperatures. The fish in these areas have begun the “transition” period, where the fish leave the reefs, and return to shorelines and points. In these areas, fishing shallow shoreline rock and weedlines or deeper along points and dropoffs will the best bet, and will produce some bonus catches of perch and crappie as well.
With several fronts and windy days this past week, there are few reports coming out of the Minnesota side, but anglers dragging spinners along the deeper structure, or longlining crankbaits on shallower rock flats will be able to keep in contact with scattered fish schools. Try points and reefs near Oak I. and Little Oak I., and shallow boulder areas like Crowduck I., Hay I., Little Massacre I., and Garden I.
In Canadian waters, the reefs and points in Skeet I area has been producing numbers of fish, while the Little Traverse reefs have been giving up fewer fish, but with much better average size. Many fish in the 20” range and up being caught, along with 28” – 30” trophies. Jigs tipped with minnows, crawlers, or plastics have been the best presentation.
Muskie anglers continue to report good success. Evenings and weather changes have produced some of the best catches. Topwaters and large bucktails have been productive presentations. Pike anglers looking for large fish would do well fishing windy rock points with muskie gear. Lately the bass fishing has been excellent, with both good numbers and size being caught. Crankbaits and soft plastics in crayfish colors have been the presentation to use.
In Minnesota waters, walleye anglers have been doing well on the reefs and points S of Oak I., the E side of Little Oak, and the reefs near Hay I. The reefs at Knight I and Bridges I have been good as well, but expect to sort through a lot of “slot” and trophy fish in order to keep a limit. Spinner rigs and jigs have been working well for the anglers presenting live bait.
The fishing continues to be great out of the Northwest Angle area. In Ontario waters, walleye anglers are still finding walleyes on the reefs in most areas. The Little Traverse area continues to produce numbers of above average size walleye and a good shot at a trophy. Productive presentations are jigging or trolling spinners using minnows or crawlers.
Muskie anglers have been seeing a lot of fish and landing quite a few as well. Many of the followers have been sluggish, and catch rates have been better during evening hours on the hot days, or during periods of cooler weather. Topwaters and the Double Cowgirl-type bucktails have been working well. Bass and pike angling has taken a back seat to muskie fishing on Lake of the Woods this week, but anglers pusuing them will do well casting to shorelines and points affected by current or wind, which will mix the warm surface layer with the cooler water below.
In MN waters, the reefs around McDonell I., the flats W of Crowduck I., and structure in the Hay I., Four Blocks, and Little Oak I. areas have been getting the most attention lately. Anglers willing to run a bit farther have been landing trophy size walleye at the Bridges reefs. Use jigs, crankbaits, or spinners depending on the structure and depth the fish are holding at.
In Ontario, the walleye bite continues to be strong on the reefs in the Little Traverse area. Both spinner and jigging presentations are working well, and lots of fish over 25” are being caught. Expect this bite to last for a few more weeks.
Muskie anglers have been seeing lots of fish, many over 50”, but the recent hot weather has made them more likely to follow than bite. Fishing evenings and days with cooler temps will help with that problem. Lately active areas for muskie have been Bishops Bay, Falcon Island, and the Little Traverse area. Few anglers are pursuing bass and northern pike at this time, but casting to rocky points and shorelines with lures able to fish below the 80 degree surface layer will produce fish.
Anglers fishing Minnesota waters have had good luck around Lunatic I., Crowduck I., and the reefs south of Oak I. Little Oak I. has been productive as well. Jigs, crankbaits, and spinners are all productive presentations.