Lost Bay Crappie

Right now the crappie are scattered out all over Lost Bay.  What we found is that were stacked on the sharp drop offs.  We found an occasional fish in the deeper water but caught most of our fish in 15-20 feet of water using white jigs and crappie minnows.  Best fishing was from about an hour before sunset to an hour after sunset.  Park service should be stacking trails and grooming trails pretty soon.  I’d follow tracks if going by snowmobile as there is still some spots that aren’t real good ice.  We found anywhere from 6 – 10 inches of ice.

 

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Kabetogama Woman Hurt in Snowmobile Crash

A Lake Kabetogama woman was seriously injured when her snowmobile struck a tree in northern St. Louis County on Monday.

The St. Louis County Sheriff’s Office said Vivian Kec, 57, was one of eight people operating snowmobiles on the Arrowhead Snowmobile Trail about 10 miles north of Cook just after noon when she failed to negotiate a curve and the snowmobile hit a tree.

Kec was taken to Essentia Health-St. Mary’s Medical Center in Duluth by a Life Link III helicopter and was listed in serious condition on Monday evening. She was wearing a helmet when the accident occurred, and alcohol was not a factor, according to the Sheriff’s Office.

The St. Louis County Volunteer Rescue Squad, Cook Fire and Ambulance and Virginia Ambulance also responded to the accident.

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Crappie Fishing Strategies For Kabetogama and Namakan

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Crappies are one of the most sought after species of fish in Minnesota. There are a couple of reasons for this. One is because they are always so eager to take the bait and then they put up a nice struggle for their size. This makes fishing for them fun, entertaining and perfect for anglers of all ages and skill levels. The other reason they are so popular is because the sweet-tasting fillets of the crappie are simply delicious.

The state record for the black crappie in Minnesota weighed five pounds and the white crappie
was a little less than four pounds. These catches were very impressive for this species of fish because crappies normally don’t grow much larger than two or three pounds. A little less than two pounds is the average weight for a crappie.

 

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Fishing Opener On Lake Kabetogama……………

Fishing season has begun and it is a great one, weather is absolutely beautiful and the walleyes are hungry.  We started out at the east end of Three Sisters Islands and were catching walleye in 15-18 ‘ using a gold jig and a minnow.  We kept 3 in the 15-16″ range and release at least another 12-15 that were over 17″.  We also tried along the south side of the Grassy Islands with some success and also fished in the bay by the Woodenfrog landing just to get out of the wind and found lots of fish their.  We had 2 limits of keepers before 10:00 AM and we didn’t get out until 7:30 AM.  Best opener I can remember in years.

Sunday was real windy and fishing was a little tougher.  We went back behind some islands for protection and caught a few walleye, but mostly it was a northern day.  Fished some off the dock Sunday evening, but that was also nothing but northern.

Monday was a perfect day with no wind and temps in the high 70’s.  We went up into Tom Cod Bay for a few hours and did OK on walleye, although they were pretty small, 10-12″ fish that we threw back.  We fished the north side of the lake later in the afternoon and caught a few more fish.  After supper we went out to Harris, anchored in 8’ of water and fished with slip bobbers.  Big fish were in shallow and the keepers were out deeper.  We caught 11 walleye total (most over 17″ and released) in about 3 hrs. of fishing.  Spottail shiners worked the best.  Looks like the eagles are sitting on eggs in the nest on the west end of Harris.

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2014 Minnesota Fishing Opener

The 2014 Minnesota Fishing Opener is Saturday, May 10, 2014. With the way this winter is going, we might be ice fishing. If you are coming up to Kab and need some spots to try, here are a few. The west end will be the best. Try Tom Cod Bay up in the weeds in 5-6 feet with a 1/8th ounce jig and minnow. Three Sisters Island is one of the top early season spots, just look for the boats. Bald Rock Bay in 15-18 feet is a good spot. Harris Island is always a good opener spot. Fish shallow for the trophies and move deeper for the keepers. Bittersweet Island with a jig and minnow on the north side out to the channel marker is sometimes real hot. The southwest corner of the island can be good for Crappie in the evening.

May 1, 2014- Ice is real thin, with more and more open water every day.  We should be ice free or close to it by the 10th.

 

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Opening Day Walleyes On Kabetogama

Fishing opener is fast approaching so I’ll share some ideas for catching Kab walleyes and sauger. The early season walleyes are in shallow water like you find in Tom Cod Bay, Moose Bay and a smaller overlooked bay, Bald Rock. Kabetogama walleyes can also be found relating to shallow water structure, includes rocks, weeds, timber, as well as sand flats and breaks, depending on what’s available. The area between Cemetery Island and 3 Sisters is always good along with the east end of 3 Sisters(you’ll always see lots of boats on this spot). Trolling from the opening into Gold Portage to Windigo Bay campsite is also good early in the season.

One of the keys to early season success on Lake Kabetogama is finding the areas that hold the largest, and most active schools of fish. A lot depends on ice out, the earlier the ice out the faster the water warms before opener. Some of the best fishing opener spots can be right off the docks at some of the resorts. Park Point sits right on the end a Peninsula and can be good, I’ve fished from the dock at Driftwood on opener and had great success and I know some people from the Twin Cities who go to Grandview just for the dock fishing. They always get a bunch of nice fish. Use a slip bobber and a minnow just off the bottom.

Everything being equal, look for areas that may be warmer than the rest, even if it’s only a degree or two. That would suggest northern and western most shorelines like Tom Cod and Bald Rock, as they receive the largest benefit of a warming sun.

 

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Small game hunter survey results released

Fewer small game hunters took to the field in 2016 as compared to the previous season. By species, grouse hunters were up slightly, but duck, goose and pheasant hunters were down slightly, according to the Minnesota Department of Natural Resources’ annual small game survey. 

There were 67,301 duck hunters in 2016, fewer than the previous year, which led to a decline in the duck harvest from 663,811 in 2015 to 606,458 but the take per active hunter was up slightly in 2016 (9.0 ducks per hunter compared to 8.7 ducks per hunter in 2015).

Canada goose harvest edged up slightly to an estimated 204,825 geese harvested despite the decline in hunters from 45,938 in 2015 to 40,950 in 2016. Estimated take per hunter increased from 5.7 to 7.1 geese per successful hunters.

An estimated 59,965 pheasant hunters went afield in 2016, down slightly from 2015. Estimated ring-necked pheasant harvest declined from 243,176 roosters to 196,141, similar to 2011 levels.  A wet fall and standing corn throughout much of the pheasant range likely contributed to some of the reduced harvest.

In 2016, the number of grouse hunters was 82,348, representing an increase of 4 percent from 2015. Ruffed grouse harvest increased slightly from 267,997 grouse in 2015 to 308,955 in 2016.

The DNR annually surveys small game hunters to make estimates of both hunter numbers and harvest trends. For the 2016 season, 7,000 small game license buyers were surveyed of which 3,371 surveys were returned and usable.

The complete report is on the DNR website on the wildlife publications page.

Source: Mn DNR

Applications open for prairie chicken hunt lottery

Hunters can apply through Friday, Aug. 18, to be chosen for one of 125 permits for the 2017 Minnesota prairie chicken hunting season. 

The nine-day prairie chicken season begins Saturday, Sept. 30, and is open only to Minnesota residents.

“Prairie chicken populations are tied to habitat, and their numbers rise and fall depending on the amount of grasslands and prairie on the ground,” said Steve Merchant, wildlife populations and regulations manager with the Minnesota Department of Natural Resources.

Hunters will be charged a $4 application fee and may apply individually or in groups up to four. Prairie chicken licenses cost $23. Apply at any DNR license agent; the DNR License Center, 500 Lafayette Road, St. Paul; online at mndnr.gov/buyalicense or by telephone at 888-665-4236. An additional fee is charged for orders placed online or by phone.

The hunt takes place in 11 prairie chicken quota areas in west-central Minnesota between St. Hilaire in the north and Breckenridge in the south. Up to 20 percent of the permits in each area will be issued to landowners or tenants of 40 acres or more of prairie or grassland property within the permit area for which they applied. The season bag limit is two prairie chickens per hunter. According to spring surveys, prairie chicken numbers this year are similar to the last several year. Last year, 111 hunters harvested 102 prairie chickens.

Licensed prairie chicken hunters will be allowed to take sharp-tailed grouse while legally hunting prairie chickens, but prairie chicken hunters who want to take sharptails must meet all regulations and licensing requirements for taking sharp-tailed grouse. Sharptails and prairie chickens look similar and sharp-tailed grouse hunting is normally closed in this area of the state to protect prairie chickens that might be taken accidentally.

Applications are available wherever Minnesota hunting and fishing licenses are sold and application procedures and a permit area map are available on the prairie chicken page.

Source: Mn DNR

Spring Crappie On Kabetogama

2015 has been the best crappie fishing year I’ve seen ever on Kabetogama.  We have been getting them in Lost Bay, Blue Fin Bay and lately, Moose Bay.  Big fish and large numbers of them. June 12, 2015.

You may have heard that spring crappie fishing is one of the easiest types of fishing you can ever do. However, in reality it can be rather frustrating if you don’t know a few good techniques that can help you continue catching crappie after the initial spawning days are over. The first thing that you need to do is understand that this is a busy time for crappie and so they are moving around a lot. Therefore, you have to be willing to move around as well.

The fish will be in the deeper water at the start of this season and they will slowly begin to work their way to the more shallow water as spring begins to set in and the water starts to warm up. They are in search of places to spawn. When summer starts they will be headed back out to the deeper water. Knowing this information will help you figure out where the best places to fish for crappie will be. In Kabetogama, Lost Bay, Lost Lake, Sullivan Bay in the Ash River and Blue Fin Bay are some good spots to start. The deep water east of Martin Island can be hot at times.

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Smallmouth Bass Fishing On Lake Kabetogama

When fishing Lake Kabetogama, or in the connected lakes such as Namakan, smallmouths are sometimes caught shallow, but they are seldom more than 10-20 yards away from deep water.

Everywhere we go, we see the majority of bass anglers beating the shoreline, and as this may work for largemouth bass most of the time, if you are after big smallmouth bass, turn around and cast to the open water rather than beat the shore.
Unlike largemouth, smallmouth often group together by size. We found that if we were catching smaller fish, in the eleven to fourteen inch range, we rarely caught a big one in the same area.

On the other hand, when we caught a smallmouth that was
about four or five pounds, many times there were several that size and even larger swimming right along with them. Big largemouth bass are loners, usually found by them on the best piece of structure, while larger smallmouth bass will often school together. There are several things that tell you that smallmouth bass are much better suited for strong current than largemouth. For one, their pointed noses and the sharp angle of their fins are indicators that they are more suited to current. They often get behind a rock or stump and rush out to feed.
In Kabetogama, try fishing the Shipwreck Islands, the east end of Cutover Island and Sugarbush Island. In Namakan, Squaw Narrows, Mica Island and the points up in Mica Bay can be great. Namakan Island has more good spots for the fisherman to try. When fishing Namakan, a good GPS is useful to always know where the US-Canada border is.

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