Fishing sure to get better

It’s hard to believe back in January that we actually get nice, warm weather here in Sunset Country.
Well, it’s finally here and by the looks of the long-range forecast, we’re in the clear with nice weather for the next while.
I love this time of year—and you couldn’t pay me to live anywhere else during the summer. I get to travel quite a bit and have been to many places, but nothing compares to the beauty of our lakes, our summer weather, and all of our top-notch fishing opportunities.
I have been busy over the past couple of weeks, fishing nearly every day. I’m doing quite a bit of guiding right now to fund my bass tournament habit starting in July.
We’ve been chasing several species over the past week, with pretty good results.
If any species has been a little bit tougher to pinpoint lately, it’s been walleyes. I think they might be in that moving stage, leaving some of the shallow stuff and making their way to main lake humps where they’ll spend the majority of the summer.
We’ve been catching fish, but not huge numbers. We’ll get one or two on a stop, then move on to the next spot and get a couple more.
I’m guessing that with the nice weather finally starting to settle in, fishing will get really good in the coming week.
My good friend, Alex Keszler, and I filmed a TV segment for my show, “Fishing with Gussy,” late last week on Lake of the Woods, catching walleyes on jigs tipped with plastic minnow baits. We were using Northland Impulse and Trigger-X minnows, and we got some really good fish.
Again, not huge numbers but the quality was good and we had some nice eating-size fish mixed in.
You’ll have to watch for it this fall when the new season starts.
Across the region, the bass spawn is pretty much in full swing, which is a good thing. The young of the year are going to be born early so they will have plenty of time to grow up over the summer and beef up before next winter.
This is important because baby bass need to reach a certain size by the fall to survive the winter.
Last year, the late spring caused fish to spawn much later in the season than they normally do and likely will result in a poor year class. We could see it during the summer tournaments, as well.
There still were bass protecting nests in July during the Shoal Lake and Fort Frances bass tournaments. We even saw a few smallmouths on nests during the SKBI in August, which is not normal.
I’ve had a lot of people asking about crappies over the past couple of weeks and I think they finally are up shallow and eager to bite now. The cold weather that we had in late May seemed to push some of the fish back to deep water since my friends and I could not find any fish up shallow.
Over the past few days, however, we’ve seen them swimming around in the reeds. A small marabou jig or tube jig fished about 12-18 inches below a slip bobber is the number-one way to catch these fish.
They’ll stick around in the shallows for about two weeks.
The other species we’ve been chasing recently has been lake trout. Although plenty of fish are down in deep water now, there still were a few shallow over the past weekend.
While I was out with Keszler, we were fishing a spot for walleyes and had a fish jump about a cast from the boat, near shore. I just happened to have my line out of the water, so I immediately cast to the splash, thinking it likely was a bass or a northern.
Almost instantly I had a strike and set the hook. When I fought the fish up to the boat and we saw that it was a nine- or 10-pound lake trout, we couldn’t believe it.
We did have success jigging in 50-70 feet of water, as well.
Now is the time to get out there and enjoy the awesome place that we call home while the weather is nice!
The fishing is only going to get better!

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