Lake Kabetogama in Voyageur’s National Park Fishing Report

12/21/2016  Spearing has been good now that the ice is good.  Tom Cod has seen numerous 15 pd+ northern taken.  Walleye have been biting around Ram and Harris Island in about 18-22′ with jig and minnow.  With the cold weather, the ice is solid for travel about anywhere on Kabetogama.

12/14/2016  According to local legend Greg House, we now have 6-7″ of ice and spearing is about to happen.  I’ve heard rumors of a couple of ATV’s going through the ice, so if you must go out maybe walk.  Walleye and perch can be had around Ram Island when the ice gets good, which should be any day thanks to bitterly cold temps.

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12/07/2016  Still no ice so fishing is slow.

8/20/2016 Looks like the walleye and sauger have returned from vacation as the fishing has really picked up in the last couple of days. Limits are being caught in the area around School Teacher Island to Etling Island, Cutover Island and the Three Sisters area. Crappies are hanging around the docks. We have been catching them at night off the end of Northern Lights Resort dock. Try after dark with a white jig and small minnow about 3′ below a bobber.
Walleyes are hitting crawlers on a Lindy Rig or try trolling a Shad Rap if you want some big boys.

7/19/2016  Pike are hitting!fishbra-pike

7/10/2016  We headed up to Namakan for a little fishing and found some nice walleyes in Junction Bay.  Lindy rig and leech was working along with bottom bouncer, spinner rig and crawler when the fishing got slower.  Namakan Island, Cemetery Island and Squaw Narrows (may now be called “Voyageur Narrows” on the politically correct maps).  If you are up that way, the reef on the west end of Mica Island is always good fishing also.  On Lake Kabetogama the walleye have been in about 25-28 feet and leechs and crawlers have both been getting them.  Northern pike fishing has been excellent with the larger fish being caught on BIG cranks.  Bass are almost becoming a nuisance as they seem to be hammering anything you throw out (EAT THE DAMN THINGS).  Easy to catch 50-100 in an afternoon if you want.


6/28/2016- Fishing continues to be great with walleyes from 12″ to 29″ caught today. Minnows seem to be the best, although some people are getting them on leechs and crawlers. These are some of the fattest walleye I have seen in years. Tom Cod Bay, Zoellner Island and Harris are all hot. Three Sisters always has boats there so I am guessing the walleyes are still biting in that spot. Crappies are biting in the shallow water in Moose Bay and Blue Fin Bay with a white jig and small minnow working the best. Namakan Island and Junction Bay are great spots on Namakan if you are going that direction. I like the bay in front of the North Junction Bay houseboat site.

June 6, 2016 Walleye fishing still is poor at best.  Woodenfrog turd project with all the blasting and drilling has the fish on edge.  Drifting or slip bobber fishing seems to work the best as any motor noise is shutting them down. Northern and bass have been biting like crazy, with large crankbaits working best for big northern and any thing will catch smallmouth as they are extremely active. School Teacher Island, Cutover and Sugarbush have all been great for Smallmouth.  EAT MORE SMALLMOUTH or THEY WILL EAT THE WALLEYE!  For BIG northern, try Mud Bay or Daley Bay.

09/16/2015- Fall fishing feels more like summer, with temps reaching 82 yesterday.  We’ve been getting fish around Cutover Island, with some coming off the point on the southwest end and lots of sauger and walleye in the bay by the Rock Garden.  Crappie can still be found up in Lost Bay with the best fishing being just at the area where Ek’s Bay starts dropping off to deep water.  Just watch your locator.  1/8-1/16 oz jigs with a white twister tail have been working great.

Fish are still biting between rainstorms.  Jig and a minnow still are the best baits, with an occasion fish caught on a leech.  Ram Island, Yewbush, Harris and Camelback have all been pretty good fishing.  Crappie have been caught in Moose and Bald Rock bays with a small white twister tail and minnow catching most fish.  We’ve picked up some nice perch just north of the Woodenfrog boat landing, off the point in about 20′ water.


I’ve been so busy fishing, I haven’t been keeping up on the fishing reports.  I can sum up 2015 from opener to today (June 12, 2015) as the best fishing I’ve seen in 30 years.  Walleye large and small are being caught by everyone.  I watched a family in a pontoon catch what had to be a limit one evening out in Tom Cod Bay.  Crappie have been about jumping in the boat and large pike and bass are slamming the artificial’s.   These are the “Good Old Days!”Walleye

01/13/2015 The ice road fro Kabetogama Visitor Center to Ash River landing is open, which means lots of easy access to some great ice fishing spots. Walleye and sauger are being caught using jig and minnow at 25-30’.
Northern pike are being taken using tip-ups and by spearing in shallower water, especially in bays like Tom Cod and out in the Grassy’s. Plenty of snow for the sled’s, so the whole lake can be fished.

12/16/2014  Got out fishing in the Grassy Island Group over the weekend.  We found some hungry walleye right in our favorite summer spot.  I dropped the AquaVu Underwater Camera and saw lots of fish laying on the bottom just waiting for our minnow.  I’ll be back out again next Saturday.

12/1/2014   Ice fishing has begun!  Really cold “Global Warming/Climate Change” weather has made some good ice.  Spearing houses are out and lots of pop-up ice shelters on the lake.  I tried out by Bittersweet one evening and picked up a few crappie using a small 1/16 oz jig with a white twister tail and minnow.  Saw lots of fish on the camera and Vexilar, but they were biting kind of light.  Deep water off the north side of Bittersweet was good for walleye.


10/27/2014    Very nice weather in the Kabetogama area and the fishing was just as nice.  Walleye were biting on jig and minnow in about 15 ft.  We had our best luck on the west end of Cutover Island, around Camelback and over by School Teacher Island.  Some nice northern were caught up in Mud Bay casting LARGE lures, musky baits will get you the biggest fish!  Crappie can still be found around the point at Woodenfrog and in the Bittersweet Island area.  Just keep looking, they’ll bite.

10/21/2014   Got back up for some grouse hunting and fishing.  Walleye are still biting on a jig and minnow in about 12-14 ft.  We did real good around Wolf Island, drifting from a small unnamed island on the SE end of Wolf back to the east end of Wolf.  We got 3-5 fish with every drift, some BIG boys, but enough eaters also for a fish fry.  The grouse were everywhere and from what we saw, the deer hunting should be great.

9/17/2014  Crappie have been hot along the shore of Echo Bay. We have been fishing around the docks and pulling up some nice fish. The dock just south of Moosehorn Resort has been hot with lots of big crappie taken using a small white jig and minnow fished about 3 feet below the bobber. Walleye have been biting around Three Sisters and Ram Islands with minnows working best.


8/27/2014 Hot weather and not so hot fishing! You really need air conditioning in the boat these past few days, as temps have topped 90. Early morning has been best for big northern, with some nice ones coming out of Moose Bay and Mud Bay. Walleye and sauger have been hitting jig and minnow in 28-32 feet around School Teacher Island, Center Reef and buoy # 38 on the east side of Sugarbush. The best jig color is the German flag. We made a run to Kettle Falls this week for lunch and stopped and fished at Squirrel Narrows and Squaw Narrows (Voyageur Narrows for the “Politically Correct” dorks) and came up with one walleye short of a limit in just a couple of hours. All were 15-16″, perfect eaters.

June 23, 2014  We have had our best fishing along the east, ne side of Sugarbush Island in anywhere from 10 to 31′, depending on the wind.  Shiner minnows are out fishing everything else right now, although Shad Raps cast up shallow have been good.  The smallmouth bass have been hitting the Raps around Sugarbush.  Big northern pike are starting to hit large lures or if you want to relax with a beverage and enjoy a day in the sun, try a sucker minnow under a bobber.  We stumbled into a school of nice crappie the other evening and nearly had a limit for two guys using fatheads and a white twister tail on a white 1/16 oz jig.  I like to keep my crappie spots to myself, but if you are looking I would try around Cutover.

June 11, 2014  Seems like the leech and crawler bite is taking over from minnows.  We have caught walleye anywhere from 6 feet to 26 feet depending on the time of day.  Early morning or in the evening the fish have been shallow and during the day a little deeper.  The northern continue to hit, with some larger ones now being caught.  Sucker minnows in the Grassy Island Group has been great.  For crappie, we have found a fairly good bite back behind Cutover by Nagurski Point and back in the bay.

June 7,2014  Fishing continues to be good, with leeches and crawlers catching more fish than minnows.  We found lots of fish around Zollner, Three Sisters and Tom Cod Bay.  12-18 feet seems to be the depth.  We have been using a yellow spinner with a float and hang on as they are getting very aggressive.  Saugers have been larger than we have seen in past years.  Lots and lots of smaller northern with a 7 pounder our biggest.  Biggest walleye this week was 27″ fish.

May 28, 2014   Fishing has never been better than right now.  Big walleye, lots of keepers and hungry crappie are all out there for the taking.  Minnow and a jig, slip bobber with a red hook and slip bobber with small jig and minnow have all been working great.  We got walleyes around the west side of Bittersweet, between Cemetery and Woodenfrog Islands and over by Etling Island.  Crappies can be caught in the evening along the weeds on the south side of the Grassy Island Group on small crappie minnows, a bobber and white jig with a white twister tail.  Keep the fillet knife sharp cause you’ll need it.

May 18, 2014 – Unbelievably great  fishing continues, with lots of big 21-26″ walleye being caught, fat perch, sauger and northern.  Jig and a minnow, slip bobber with a red hook and minnow or Shad Raps have all been great, the fish are hungry.  Five of us had a limit of keepers yesterday from 12:00 noon to 3:00 PM, then went back to the dock and drank beer and bobber fished and caught about 60 walleye and perch through the evening.

5/20/2012- We got out between storms yesterday and had a great bite in 7-10′ of water at Bittersweet Island.  The wind was blowing hard and at times it was a downpour but the fish were biting best when the weather was at it’s worse.  I’m glad we stayed out.  Chubs and a jig are by far the best bait right now.  We tried leech’s but had nothing with them.  Ram Island has been good when the wind isn’t blowing 20 MPH.  I talked to some guys who have been fishing Harris Island in 30-32′ and getting fish, lots of keepers deep and big fish shallower.

5/1/2012  Fishing opener is is 12 days and the lake levels are higher than I can remember in years for this time of the year.  Fishing should be awesome on opening weekend.  Some spots to try would be Tom Cod Bay where the walleyes move into to feed on spawning shiners, the flats between Cemetery Island and Three Sisters and Etling Island area.  For someone without a boat, walleyes can be caught from the point at Woodenfrog Campground using a slip bobber and minnow.

6-30-11  Center Reef has been hot the last couple of days.  We picked up limits of keepers along with lots of big fish on Lindy rigs and leeches.   28-30 feet were the best depths.

June 23- The rain and wind finally went away and fishing was great.  2 of us picked up 7 walleye, all 15-16″ using leeches and a Lindy Rig in 25′ of water.  Harris Island and the NE side of Sugarbush were the spots.  We threw back about 15 that were to big, with the largest being 24″.  1 of the group fished after dark in Eks Bay and hammered the crappies.  White jig and a minnow fished under a bobber about 2′ did the job.  Friday looks like another beautiful day to be on the water.


June 20- Walleye bite was great using leeches and crawlers.  Channel marker 38 area in 20′, west side of Rottenwood, Etling Island and the area around Bluefin Bay were all great.  Crappies have started to bite near shore on Bittersweet Island in the evening and in Ek Bay at night using white Uncle Buck Crappie Killers with a small minnow.  Lots of bear activity in the last week.  We’ve been seeing them everywhere, particularly on Sugarbush and Martin Islands.

June 15- What a difference a day makes. Wednesday, June 15 it was like someone flipped a switch, you couldn’t keep the walleyes off your line. They were biting on everything, minnows, leeches and crawlers all caught fish. 18-20′ seemed to be the best depth, but I heard of some people getting them as shallow as 6′. Three Sisters, Bittersweet and Cemetery were all great spots. I sure hope this keeps up for awhile.

June 14-Walleye fishing has been terrible all week. None of the usual spots are doing anything. One guide fished all morning on Kab with about 5-6 fish total caught, then headed to Rainy by way of Kettle Falls portage and caught nothing, not 1 fish! Listening to the scanner it sounds as though everyone is experiencing the same thing. I’m headed up to Lost Bay this morning to see if there is anything happening up that way.


  • Nicole

    I am looking for information on finding crappies in Kab. Are you fishing shorelines? How far off shore? I’ll be at Kab in a few weeks, and would like to try and find them. I’m not asking for your fishing holes, just a good basis on what/where to start to look. Are you aware of any artificial bait that crappies favor? Are you aware of any early maps of what the lake would have looked like before the construction of Kettle Falls dam? Any information would be appreciated. Thanks so much

  • admin

    Most of the crappies we have caught lately have been in the weeds close to shore fishing with a bobber and white jig and minnow. As far as early lake map, you might try the Kabetogama Historical site. I have a link on the right side of this page.