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.
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.
The Park Service will have the ice road from Lake Kabetogama Visitor Center to the Ash River Visitor Center again this winter, approximately 9 miles. This has really opened up some new areas for ice fishing. We fished around Chase Island one day last winter and had great walleye action. The Ash River opening has been great in the past for walleye and crappie;try from 40-42′ of water. I noticed a couple of permanent houses up their last year. The east end of Cuculus Island and south of Headlight have also been pretty good in previous winters.
CO Darrin Kittelson (Int?l Falls) reports lots of people out enjoying the holiday weekend with the weather finally cooperating. Boating and fishing enforcement activities on Rainy Lake were monitored with enforcement action taken for no angling license in possession, insufficient number of PFDs, operating watercraft after sunset without required lighting, and overlimit of walleye. Instruction of emergency vehicle operation and driving training for fellow officers was conducted at Camp Ripley.
CO Troy Fondie (Orr) reports a quiet 4th of July weekend. Area lakes were monitored for fishing and boating activities. Activity levels appear down from previous years. Time was spent at public access sites, monitoring area forest roads and following up on a report of a beached blue whale. Turns out it was the Hildabeast eating puppies on the beach.
CO John Velsvaag (Cook) checked anglers this past week on Lake Vermilion. Angling was slow. CO Velsvaag also worked the lake over part of the holiday weekend and observed lots of boating activity, with multiple complaints on jet skis operating too fast near shore and other boaters.
Last updated: 2016-06-13
CO Darrin Kittelson (Int?l Falls) reports fairly busy weekend with lots of people enjoying the nicer weather. Fishing, boat and water safety, invasive species enforcement activities took up most of the week. Enforcement action was taken for over limits of and northern pike, illegal length walleye, transport/ possession of unmeasurable walleye while on the water, and possess fish that were unlawfully taken in Canada. Wolf depredation cases were also investigated during the week. Read more »
Welcome to Lake Kabetogama.org, a place to share information on the Lake Kabetogama area.
Lake Kabetogama is one of four vast, interconnected lakes in Voyageurs National Park. Lake Kabetogama, Rainy Lake, Namakan Lake, and Sand Point Lake are part of the 14,900-square-mile Rainy Lake basin. Lake Kabetogama is about 25000 acres in size with about 200 islands and has a maximum depth of about 90 feet.
Lake Kabetogama has hundreds of island campsites
maintained by the Park with docks, tent pads, campfire rings and primitive toilets. Most also have lockable bear boxes for your food. Some of my favorites are Windigo Bay, great views, Cutover Island on the south side, Grassy Island site, another one with great views, but it does have bears at times, and my favorite, Blue Fin Bay, which has great crappie fishing, views and lots of wildlife.
The following is from the Voyageurs National Park web site-
Sleep under the stars in one of over 200 designated campsites in Voyageurs National Park. Be serenaded by loons, and listen for the chance to hear the howl of a wolf. Read more »
For a successful ice fishing trip, an ice fisherman needs the location of a good lake for ice fishing. Usually a lake that produces lots of fish in the summer fishing season will also produce numerous fish in the winter. Lake Kabetogama is a lake that fits the bill.
Many factors in a lake in winter affect fish life, changing their reactions, their feeding habits, and even their survival rate. For instance a heavy layer of snow over the ice will cut down on the amount of light that filters into the water, reducing weed growth and oxygen production. This will result in the fish becoming lethargic, interested in only conserving their energy to survive rather than wasting energy to feed and move around.
When fishing Lake Kabetogama in the winter, try some of your favorite summer spots. Center reef can be outstanding in the winter, as is the mouth of the Ash River. For the crappie fisherman try running up into Lost Bay Read more »
As summer comes to an end, the thought of cooler temperatures and crisp mornings start occurring in the minds of most anglers and outdoor enthusiasts. This is the time of year when most people start cleaning their guns and get ready for the opening day of deer archery, small game and duck season. What most people do not realize is this is the time to score BIG on fall crappie.
Fall crappie fishing can be some of the most exciting and predictable fishing there is! As the water temperatures start to drop, crappie start feeding in preparation for winter. They start gorging themselves minnows. What is so unique about this behavior is the fish prefer areas that have easy access to deep water but yet have the choice of shallow water for feeding purposes. One of my favorite areas for September/October crappies is Sullivan Bay and the mouth of the Ash River on Lake Kabetogama. The crappies have started and they are big. We got some last week that went over 15”. The recent cool weather seems to have turned them on early.