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Local Fish Report

Walleye image courtesy of Wikimedia Commons

There are lots fish in Cook County lakes – the trick is to know where they are and how to catch them. WTIP wants to help fill out your stringer by posting a weekly report on what’s biting and where. 

Tune in to DayBreak every Friday morning from 7 to 8 a.m. for the latest report.

What's On:

Local Fish Report: August 24

Friday Fish Report_082412.mp32.68 MB

 The Old Fisherman left us a note this morning saying that in the midst of the early morning lightning flashes, he decided he’s had enough of the existential angst issue. So, he’s on his way to his favorite fishing spot and probably is out on the water right now since the storms have ended. His note said he’ll be back next Friday morning. He did leave us the local fish report compiled by John Muhich (MEW itch) at Buck’s Hardware in Grand Marais.
It looks as if we’re moving into the stretch run of August...the humidity is waning a bit and nights are good for sleeping.
Over at Homer Lake, the walleyes were hitting in the 14- to 19-foot range off the boulders. Worms and leeches on jigs and rigs seemed to work pretty well. Off the weed edge, the smallies were active on spinners. Some were “plugging” when they found calm water. Fly rods CAN be fun.
Muskies in Lichen Lake sound like an interesting afternoon. The walleyes in Lichen also would be worth the trip if they’re hitting. Some of the fish are hitting in eight to 14 feet of water on trolled Rapalas and live rigs with leeches and crawlers.
Cascade Lake is good in the evenings and mornings. Minnows and leeches with jigs in 10 to 14 feet or so are working well. The slip bobbers were coming out in the evening for a number of folks.
And, how about trout. Rainbows in Trout Lake were hitting in 20 feet or so on minnows and crawlers. Lakers also were hitting down deep. Try jigging spoons and jigs.
Leo Lake Rainbows were hitting in 16 to 23 feet using crawlers and jigs. Walleyes were also hitting in the morning and evening in eight to 12 feet with minnows and crawlers.
Well, there’s the Friday Fish Report. The Old Fisherman is back out in his element and no doubt having a great time. He’ll be back in with us next Friday morning. 
Until then, keep your Plano organized, your maribou fluffed and your Stren stretched!



Friday Fish Report, August 17

Friday Fish Report_081712.mp34.82 MB

The Old Fisherman is still working on his existential angst and hasn’t set butt in boat for more than a week now. He says he’s having problem getting his walleye-centered brain around the concept that existence precedes essence. He believes that he is a fisherman, existing independently and responsibly. However, he also is defined by the society of WTIP listeners as a fisherman as well (essence). This leads him to wonder whether in his case existence equals essence.  He did send along the Friday Fish Report which he got from his fishin’ buddy Jon Muhich at Buck’s Hardware.
Another week has passed and fisher-people are wondering “where are all the fish?” Jon reports there are some really nice perch and some walleyes out there waiting to be caught.
Most of the walleye action has been in the early mornings or late evenings. Devil Track continues to produce some nice walleyes. Drifting or slow-trolling with crawler harnesses or the ever dependable Rapala has shown success.  Some folks are also having success with leeches and slip bobbers.
The smallies have been hitting as well, so be ready for them.
Ball Club Lake is producing some walleyes in 12 to 20 feet of water on crawlers and leeches. Troll with live rigs or use slip bobbers to get these guys. Also, keep your head up for some decent perch at Ball Club. At least that’s what some very truthful-sounding fishermen are reporting.
Lake Superior fishing is still being productive. Salmon are being caught in 80 to 120 feet of water. Fish are suspended and many are simply long-lining it. Lake trout can be found at those depths too, but some fisher-people are heading deeper for trout.
The old fisherman hopes to have his angst sorted out by next Friday. He says that he may just switch gear a bit and go with Rene Descartes  and “I fish, therefore I am.”
In the meantime, keep your Plano organized, your maribou flufffed and your Stren stretched!


Rainbow trout

Friday Fish Report, August 10

Friday Fish Report_081012.mp34.86 MB

Well, the old fisherman is taking some time off. He says he’s got this whole existential angst thing going around what’s the meaning of life. And, what does fishing really mean? So, he’s off to do some study of Jean Paul Sarte  and Soren Kierkegaard. He’s also looking into the amorality of the world as contrasted with a karmic approach to see if a new world-view can help his fill his boat’s fishing well. He always has been somewhat of an absurdist…
And now for the Friday Fish Report. Jon Muhich at Buck’s Hardware wants to know…just where are the fish anyway? He says, try the water first and that’ll be a good start.
As far as walleyes go, it’s kinda sluggish. It seems to be the ol’ evening and early morning bits. Leeches and crawlers seem to be popular, but some of the dedicated minnow-baiters are making a comeback. Perhaps, some of the lakes are starting to cool a bit.
Devilfish Lake is good in 12 to 15 or 22 to 30 feet of water. The bass are also on a roll so bring your bassin’ gear in the daytime in case the going gets slow.
Two Island Lake has reports of some walleye action in 10 to 15 feet. Elbow also has a few biting. Keep your eyes out for Northerns here as some decent hammer-handle action is also reported.
Lake Superior is still giving up Salmon and Lake Trout around 120 feet. You might try experimenting with the depths, though. Smallies are hitting on everything so have some fun, maybe with an ultra-lite fly rod.
So that’s it for this week. The old fisherman will be back when he has his world-view sorted out.
Remember to keep your Plano organized, your marabou fluffed and your Stren stretched!

(The audio edition of The Friday Fish Report is presented by Sherrie Lindskog.)


Chinook salmon

Local fish report for Friday, August 3

According to our fishing expert Jon Muhich of Buck’s Hardware, It’s still the big lake where the action is.

On Lake Superior, cohos remain active in less than 100 feet and lake trout are hitting in 100 to 150 feet – spoons are working on both. Lake trout also are hitting spoons and ciscoes over 55 to 80 feet on Lake Saganaga.

There’s some evening walleye action with leeches and crawlers at Seagull in 20 to 25 feet, Homer Lake in 17 to 25 feet, Devil Track in 20 to 22 feet, and at Cascade Lake in 12 to 17 feet.

Nightcrawlers are turning smallmouth bass in six to 12 feet at Poplar Lake, East Twin, and Devil Track. Sucker minnows are triggering northern pike on Northern Lights Lake and Elbow Lake, while crawlers are producing brook trout on Lost Lake in 17 feet and at Carrot Lake in 12 to 17 feet.

Fly fishing during the evening hours at Esther Lake has produced rainbows and splake.


Lake trout

Local fish report for Friday, July 27

According to our fishing expert Jon Muhich of Buck’s Hardware, It’s still slow fishing.

There’s walleye action on Devil Track from 18 to 25 feet. Try trolling some Rapalas down deep. Some are using slip bobbers once they locate the fish.  Elbow Lake reported both walleyes and northerns being caught with leeches and minnows.

Some rainbows can be found on Leo and Kimball lakes down deep. However the most chatter is still about Lake Superior as people are getting salmon and lake trout. Salmon are still generally shallow, trolling in less than 100 feet. Angers are even casting off shore for a few fish.

Lakers are in the same range, though some are going deeper for them as well.


LakeTrout_Image from dfo-mpo.gc_.ca_.jpg

Local Fish Report for Friday, July 20

Friday Fish Report_Week of 071612.mp33.99 MB

The Ol’ Fisherman got snagged by an offer of free airline tickets to Las Vegas on his Smartphone so he took off yesterday for “Sin City” for the weekend. He said his luck on the lakes has been pretty poor lately so he figures he may as well try to change it at the craps tables.

Jon Muhich from Buck’s isn’t in Vegas this week and his fishing report is as follows:

Lake Superior is still the hottest fish story as Salmon and Lake Trout are being caught in front of the harbor. Oh, of course there also has been success from Hovland to Tofte, it’s simply interesting to me when the boats are cruising back and forth out front as if they were in some sort of shooting gallery. Most are fishing shallower than 100
feet while some are a little deeper looking for the Lakers.

Smallmouth would be your next best bet. Smallies are hitting in Hungry Jack in 8 to 16 feet of water. Crawlers and spinners are doing pretty well. Devil Track Lake is also throwing some fun bass into the mix. Try anywhere from 6 to 18 feet. Crawlers, minnows, Rapalas, and spinners will work. Heck, John says, toss a Cheeto into the water and you’ll end up with a bass.

Elbow Lake and Northern Light Lake reported a little action on
the walleye side of life. Try trolling with live rigs nice and slow. Leeches and minnows were the bait of choice.

That’s about it for this week. The Ol’ Fisherman will be back next Friday to present the report in his own style. Maybe he’ll have some advice as well on how to handle the craps and blackjack tables.


Chinook salmon

Local fish report for Friday, July 13

According to our fishing expert Jon Muhich of Buck’s Hardware, It’s been hot outside and walleye fishing has slowed quite a bit.

For walleyes, people are generally fishing in the 12 to 15 or 18 foot range in the evening. Leeches are the bait of choice while nightcrawlers are definitely picking up. Some are still jigging or using live baits trolling slowly. Others have settled in with slip bobbers.

Lakes worth mentioning include Two Island, Pike, Brule, and Hungry Jack. But don’t forget to check out Lichen, Cascade, or Homer lakes either.

Smallmouth bass keep on hittin’ during the day. Devil Track, Poplar, Hungry Jack, and even Gunflint Lake. Most are using crawlers and minnows in 10 to 16 feet of water. Crankbaits and spinners are doing a number on the bass too.

Lake trout are being had on Saganaga in 60 to 80 feet suspended in 40 to 60 feet of water. Anglers are jigging as well as slow trolling with spoons. Mayhew was also giving up a couple in 40 to 50 feet suspended at 30 to 40 feet. Ciscoes seemed to be the bait of choice.

The biggest story of the week is Lake Superior as many people are hitting the lake for salmon and lakers. Depths reported have been 80 to 110 feet and also some were in forty feet of water trolling in 20 to 25 feet for salmon.
Lake Trout reports are deeper, in the 150 to 200 foot range off the bottom.

All this is taking place near Grand Marais from Lutsen to Five-Mile rock.



Local fish report for Friday, July 6

According to our fishing expert Jon Muhich of Buck’s Hardware, It’s time to start working a little harder if you’re looking for walleyes.

Fewer fish seemed to be the norm but some anglers were successful. They were fishing in the evening for the most part.

Over in East Twin Lake the walleyes were in 10 to 15 feet with people using leeches on live rigs and bobber fishing as well. They were snagging some nice eaters.

Elbow Lake fishing was active in the evening -- 4 to 8 feet of water using minnows and leeches on live rigs and floating jigs. In Hungry Jack they fished in 12 to 25 feet depending on time of day mostly -- minnows and leeches. Lichen Lake gave a few up as well in 9 to 15 feet using leeches and nightcrawlers on jigs and live rigs.

Smallmouth bass are hitting well everywhere. Hungry Jack, Poplar, Devil Track, and Homer lakes are all reporting good smallie action.
Rainbows are good in Trout, Leo, and Kimball trolling with crawler harnesses in 12 to 22 feet of water.

Word on Lake Superior is the salmon are coming out to play. Reports of salmon in 70 to 100 feet of water. Lake trout were reporting a little deeper in the 120 to 180 foot range.   


Northern pike

Friday Fish Report for June 1

According to our fishing expert Jon Muhich of Buck’s Hardware, we needed the rain, and in spite of it, the fishing has been pretty good.

McFarland Lake was decent this week if you avoided the rain. Try jigging with minnows or leeches in 6 to 12 feet of water. A slow drift with a live rig also seemed to work.

East Bearskin did pretty well but the fish were a little deeper -- 15 to 20 feet was the depth where people were trolling their Rapalas. Others were jigging away in 8 to 15 feet or so. Check the water temps…it matters.

Binigami was looking good jigging fairly shallow with leeches. Some were in 4 feet of water.

Northern Light Lake also started giving up a few walleyes. Plenty of water to travel the river so now might be a good time to get out there. Jig in 3 to 6 feet with minnows.

Hungry Jack’s northerns are a good place to start with a sucker minnow dropped down about 8 or ten feet. Don’t forget about the walleyes either, jigging or live rigging with leeches in 6 to 15 feet of water. The smallmouths are going crazy there as well.

Rainbows in the standard local trout lakes such as Kimball -- Esther and Trout have been producing as well. Most are sticking with crawlers from 8 to 15 feet. And don’t forget the lake trout trolling with Rapalas and spoons.


Vintage lures

Friday Fish Report for May 25

According to our fishing expert Jon Muhich of Buck’s Hardware, trout, trout, trout was the word heard the most this past week.

Walleyes are starting to pick up a little but the best action was trout. For this upcoming holiday weekend it could be wet, but who knows?

Leeches seem to have taken over the top spot as bait, but still take along some minnows to balance everything out.

Two Island Lake showed some promise this week using leeches on a live rig drifting from 4 to 12 feet of water. Trolling also produced some Northerns using spoons and/or Rapalas.

Homer Lake, though it was slow had some nice eaters to be had. Jigging in 8 to 15 feet or even a slip bobber rigged with leeches or minnows was the method some were using. Loon Lake was producing nice Lake trout. Slow trolling in 20 feet or less as they’re still up and gettable. Trout Lake’s rainbows and lakers were on this week with crawlers and minnows in 15 to 25 feet.

If you want to shoot on over to Musquash Lake the splake were doing well in 12 to 18 feet using slip bobber and a crawler. Also some were casting spinners and Swedish Pimples. For some splake or brookies, head up to Shoe Lake and put in a canoe. Troll around and see what pops up. Besides, it’s a nice paddle.