SNF Walleye Fishing Report – Sept 2013

Great weather, good company, and lots of fun – Our trip to Superior National Forest has come to a close.  Every year my uncles, cousins, dad, and I head north to the arrow head region for 5 days of camping and fishing.  It’s a good opportunity to fish, relax, and solve the world’s problems all while being surrounded by great scenery and tranquility of the north woods.  This year we picked a small 500acre lake near Tofte, MN that according to the DNR website, offered good fishing.

Stained water with most of the lake under 20FOW – it was much different than the lakes we’ve previously stayed on.  Due to the stained water, clarity was only around 4ft which was exciting to me – lower water clarity = better day time fishing.

We primarily focused on two presentations – pulling cranks and pitching jigs.  Simple enough, but there were a few key refinements that helped put more fish in the boat.

  • Trolling – Cycling through crank baits we narrowed it down to one bait catching 90% of the fish – Rapala #7 Helsinki Shad Rap.  Something about that natural minnow color seemed to trigger fish, even though the main forage base was perch.
  • Pitching – If we didn’t mark fish, we didn’t pitch the spot.  Marking 3+ fish in a group, throwing a buoy-marker, using our iPilot to Spotlock up wind from that spot, and tossing a 1/8oz jig with a fathead minnow proved deadly.  Similar to crank bait selection, a fathead minnow was key as we had next to no action on crawlers or leeches.

As luck would have it, we conveniently ran out of minnow’s right as we zeroed in on that bite.  With the fish showing no love for our other offerings, we needed to improvise and mimic that minnow presentation.  Fortunately we had some natural colored Trigger X soft plastic baits that worked great!  After trimming the Trigger X down to ‘fathead’ size – fish had no problem whacking the bait as if we were fishing with the real deal.  The quality of fish we were catching was excellent with walleyes ranging from 12-22inch and some beautiful perch pushing 13+inches.

Overall it was another great trip with good fishing that went by far too quick.  It’s always fun to completely switch gears and try a new lake with no expectations other than hoping to learn something new.  Truth be told, had we not caught a fish, I would still have considered this trip a success as we arrived safe and everyone was able to relax. There’s something truly special about northern Minnesota and all the outdoor recreation it has to offer – absolute serenity.

Good Fishin’

-Pete

 

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