The fishing scene continues to be busy in the Northland. Most boat launches have been crowded and the best part is that many anglers are finding success.
We are now into some new fishing patterns that will continue to change every so often as water temperatures continue to rise. It is hard to argue that June is one of the best months of the year to get out and find some fish.
Water temperatures in and around the area are showing a range of 60 degrees to low 70s and the warmer water is spurring some weed growth and bug hatches. We are also starting to see more dominant bite windows take shape at certain times throughout the day. As weather continues to trend towards summer conditions, fishing will only get better.
Here is our report:
Lake Superior anglers are showing up in big numbers. It is most definitely the busiest boat traffic we’ve ever seen in the Twin Ports. Hundreds of boats combing large spreads of water and some are finding some good catches. Best to get to the boat launch early if you want to find a good parking spot.
Moreover, Great Lakes fish seem to bite best at first light in my opinion. As usual, lake trout are dominating the catch rates, but some anglers continue to pick up occasional bonus browns or salmon.
In late May, we saw an influx of king salmon being caught but not so much this past week. Most boats are fishing about 5 miles out from the entries and trolling surface baits. I would say the Wisconsin side dominated the catch this last week. However, the North Shore is putting out some good bites as well.
Although bright colored surface baits and spoons are putting together nice bites, some anglers are starting to find consistent hook-ups on riggers and dipseys. Meanwhile the local stream anglers continue to plug away still finding some good catches of steelhead, brown and brook trout. Flies are starting to take over as the best presentation on account of bug hatches.
The lower St. Louis River continues to put out some good catches of walleyes, pike, perch, crappies and catfish. Trolling has been the dominating trend over shallow flats picking up good multi-species bites. This last week we have seen some very big female crappies coming boat side for a quick photo and release.
Walleyes have mostly been hot for crawler rigs, but we have found some good bites with jig and minnows as well. The fun part about using live bait is that it opens the door to multi-species catches. If you find areas that are producing some good perch bites you are sure to find yourself picking up other species of fish. Best depths continue to be 2-6 feet of water, but don't look past the channel edges and deeper holes.
Inland lakes are seeing the best sign of fresh vegetation blooms. Fishing fresh vegetation is often very good. Bug larvae embedded in soft substrate will stick to fresh weeds as they come up. Small baitfish love to eat these, and guess what loves to eat baitfish?
We have found great bites of walleyes, pike and bass in and around new of the year vegetation. Another good bite for walleyes is mid-lake shallow reefs and humps. In true post spawn nature, we are now seeing many walleyes transition into mid-lake areas. Best bet this last week was slip bobbers and a leech. However, we did get a few to take a jig and worm or jig and minnow. I like to work the areas around the shallow mid lake hump.
In the shallows of local lakes we continue to see the recruitment of spawning panfish. As mentioned last week, these are very vulnerable and to take a fish off of its bed before the full spawn cycle is over is not helping future fish populations. Let’s all continue to be stewards of our beloved resources. All the best to you anglers and we will see you on the water.
Jarrid Houston of South Range is a fishing guide (houstonsguideservice.com) on Minnesota and Wisconsin inland waters, the St. Louis River and, in winter, on Lake Superior.