What’s biting right now

This past Labour Day weekend was probably the best weather and fishing wise that I’ve ever seen.
Over the past week, I have been pounding the water hard for a variety of species and enjoying some real summer weather. Better late than never, right?
Now is the time to get on the water and take advantage of some hot late summer fishing.
The walleye fishing on Lake of the Woods was incredible over the last week. I had some friends up from Minnesota and we put in many hours walleye fishing.
We caught a lot of big fish up to 31 inches and some smaller eating size fish that we cooked up for a shore lunch one day.
Most of the fish were located on offshore structure like humps and main lake points. We caught them on every technique imaginable, without using live bait.
The best rig for numbers was a ¼ oz. Northland Thumper Jig tipped with a three or four inch jerkshad. White was the best colour.
If we saw fish on our sonar, we would drop this rig on top of them and snap jig, with sharp one foot snaps.
For bigger fish, we trolled Rapala Shad Raps and X-Raps over wind blown humps and points. Most of the fish were not deep either, with plenty being taken in 10-20 feet.
My friend John Peterson, the President of Northland Fishing Tackle, has developed some new musky spinners called the Boobie Trap that he sent up for us to try on muskies.
They are essentially a bucktail but instead of bucktail hair on the back end, it is loaded with lots of tinsel, that really undulates and looks really good in the water.
We spent a few mornings musky fishing and had a number of fish follow right to the boat, but we couldn’t hook any up.
Dave Bennett, probably one of the best musky anglers on Lake of the Woods figured the weather was too nice. We needed a change or a storm to roll in to make them bite.
He marked all the spots where we saw fish on his GPS and is headed back to try them again next week.
We found the muskies on shallow reefs in three to ten feet of water.
The pike on the other hand were biting really well. We actually filmed a TV segment for a show in the U.S. on Sunset Country pike and we caught some big ones.
We were trolling giant X-Rap Mag 30 crankbaits at three to five miles per hour over deep main lake humps that topped off at 20–40 feet and the action was unreal.
Big pike have left the bays and they are out on main lake structure eating smelt and ciscos.
All the fish we caught had bulging stomachs and you could actually feel some large baitfish inside if you gently rubbed their bellies. They are eating machines right now.
Coming up this weekend is the “Bassin’ For Bucks” tournament in Sioux Narrows so the last few days I’ve switched gears and am back to looking for big bass on Lake of the Woods.
Both largemouths and smallmouths love warm weather and the bass action has been pretty good. My prediction is there are going to be some really smokin’ weights this weekend in the Sioux.
Smallmouths are all over the place, some fish are still shallow in the weeds and some have moved out to deeper, main lake structure where they are chasing schools of bait. These are the biggest fish, but they are constantly on the move so they can be hard to peg during tournament competition.
Largemouths are still shallow in the weeds, the key is to find the greenest weeds you can. These weeds are loaded with bait fish like shiners and perch that the bass are eating.
“Bassin’ For Bucks” is sold out with 120 teams competing and you can follow the action at www.bassinforbucks.com

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