Happenings in the fishing world

?For those us across Sunset Country who love to fish, we have plenty of good stuff to keep us going throughout the year.
There’s always a season open for something—and usually there’s always a hot bite somewhere on any given day of the year.
Ice-fishing season has been okay so far according to the reports I’ve heard. I spoke with a couple of friends down in Fort Frances recently and they said that crappie fishing has been good on several lakes in that area.
The walleye bite has been pretty good on Rainy Lake, too.
I had my friend, Andrew Rogozinski, helping me rig up a new Lund boat last week and he mentioned the walleye fishing was hot on Rainy. He didn’t reveal where he was fishing, so don’t venture out there without knowing where you’re going because there are some bad ice areas on that lake.
Walleye reports on Lake of the Woods, meanwhile, seem to be getting better than they were the first couple of weeks of the season.
Down in Florida, a couple of area anglers just fished an FLW Everstart tournament on Lake Okeechobee. Bryan Gustafson from Fort Frances finished in 71st place in a field of 175 anglers, just three spots and three ounces out of the money—a pretty good finish in his first pro-level tournament.
Mike Salvador from Sioux Narrows fished this event, as well, and came away with a 94th-place finish.
I left this week on my own trip to Florida and Lake Okeechobee for an FLW Tour bass tournament in a couple of weeks. I’m spending a few days in Minneapolis this week getting my boat all finished up and ready for battle, and should be in Florida by this coming weekend.
The two-week break I’m taking from the cold weather at home will be welcomed. So will the opportunity to catch a giant bass.
Bryan caught some fish up to about nine pounds while he was there. I spoke with both Mike and Bryan, and they said they had a blast down there and had some great days while they were pre-fishing.
I’ll be sure to send in a report on my adventures in Florida next week.
Finally, the next couple of weeks should be prime time for chasing lake trout. These deep, clear lakes always are the last to freeze but they all should have good ice on them after the cold snap we received last week.
I’ve done a bunch of guiding on the ice over the past few years and for whatever reason, the last part of January and early part of February has been the timeframe when we’ve had the best lake trout catches—both on the small lakes for numbers and the big lakes for big fish.
One style of bait that really has dropped in popularity for lake trout over the past few years, at least amongst my friends, has been spoons. Probably the original artificial lure for ice anglers to use for lake trout, spoons have iced thousands of trout across our region.
But there are so many new, life-like versions out there now that get the attention of our favourite fish to catch under the ice. My buddies and I had good luck last year on some of the Northland Live-Forage models, as well as some of the Blue Fox Flash spoons.
Sometimes tipping these spoons with meat will help catch more fish, but you have to understand that if you put a minnow or a piece of sucker meat on the spoon, you lose some of the seductive action of these baits.
Let the fish tell you what they want.

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