Fall Fishing Reports
November 14, 2016
I don't think anyone can say that they anticipated temperatures like this in mid November. There have been years we've had a significant amount of ice by now, but there are still boat lifts and docks out. Usually deer hunting week there are very few, if any boats out on the water. This year there were some accesses that were nearly full. Even though it looks like we will get a shot of winter later this week, there will still be anglers out for quite some time.
The walleye fishing is usually past its peak by now and the only anglers out are after that true trophy. This year the water is still so warm it's leaving anglers wondering if we will ever get the typical fall walleye feeding binge? Sure we've had good days here and there but it's been far from the fantastic fishing we are used to.
Typically in the Alexandria area the walleye bite gets hot in early October. The shallower lakes start first and by mid to late October the bite is hot in the deeper lakes. This year the deep lake bite has never really become consistent. I can't complain though, the past few years the spring and summer walleye bites have produced record numbers of walleye. With the consistently warmer temps I have to wonder if this is our new normal?
The majority of the walleye that are being caught right now still seem to be coming from the shallower/smaller lakes. My best luck has been with a simple 1/4-3/8oz jig and a minnow in 14-22 feet of water. I've had decent luck on quite a few bodies of water but very few outings that I would call excellent.
One thing to note is the past few years when the fall bite was less than I had hoped the winter bite was much better than expected. So lets hope for a quick transition from boat fishing to ice fishing. Enjoy the nice weather while it's here and get the ice augers ready!
October 21, 2016
Well we finished off the smallmouth season this past week and it was one of the best seasons that I've had since I started guiding trophy smallmouth. We boated a staggering number of large smallmouth with over 50 fish reaching trophy status, 20" plus! The smallmouth are still biting but they are moving much slower. Their bellies are round and look like they couldn't eat another bite but it's still hard for them to turn away an easy meal. As fun smallmouth are I'm excited to see the water temps dropping into the low 50's and high 40's.
With the lower temps the walleye bite has been getting better by the day. We've had a decent bite going on some of the shallow lakes, but nothing consistent day to day. With the cooler temps we should see the deeper lakes coming alive for the typical fall jig bite that many anglers look forward to. This past weekend we had a full moon and the evening trolling reports were very good! Anglers reported double digit numbers of walleye with some nice picture fish in the mix. Most of the walleye were caught on crank baits in 3-10 feet of water. Generally the week after a full moon and cool temps the jig bite is hot, so I have high hopes for the next couple weeks. I will be spending most of my time in the 15'-30' of water with a 3/8oz jig and a minnow. Look for points and steep breaks close to deep water (40' plus) for the best concentration of walleye. Good luck and enjoy the beautiful fall weather!
October 5, 2016
Amazing! Is probably the best way to describe the smallmouth fishing right now. We have been boating 100's of big smallmouth 17"-20" with dozens of them going 20"-22"! Anything over 20" is a true beast of a fish, so this year has truly been something special. In all of the years I have been guiding I have never boated more trophy caliber fish. To top it off smallmouth are the hardest fighting fish pound for pound you will find in fresh water. I truly can't think of a more exciting way to spend a fall day in MN than chasing this beautifully aggressive fish.
I'm still finding the majority of my fish in 4-10 feet of water near large rock or sharp breaks. Really anywhere these fish can sit and surprise their prey is a good place to look. My best techniques have always been subsurface, but this year especially top water lures haven't worked well for me at all. I'd recommend the following, drop shot rigs, Mepps Spinners, crank baits and also live bait rigs. All of these will catch fish this time of year.
The walleye reports are starting to pick up, but they're still sporadic. Most fish are being caught on a 1/4oz jig and a minnow in 12'-30' of water. I will be putting my concentration back on walleye in a couple of weeks but for now I'll stick with super hungry trophy smallmouth! Until next time, good luck!
September 19, 2016
The next few weekly reports are going to look very similar, because the big bass are on fire and there's no end in site. I have said this for years, but the smallmouth fishing we have in Central MN is world class and this past weekend proves it. The BASS Master Classic was on Mille Lacs last week and the bags that were brought in were unbelievable. In fact, many of the anglers had fished all over MN the past couple of weeks and they're saying we have the best smallmouth fishery in the world. Including the tournament winner and MN native, Seth Feider. He had an unprecedented weight of more than 75 pounds for his three day 5 fish limit. That's an average of over 5 lbs per fish!
Now that you know we have world class fishing at our fingertips, let me tell you where to get them. Anytime that I'm researching new water i look to the MN DNR Lake Finder. This resource will tell you the best lakes to fish for any species you're after, including giant smallmouth. The state is littered with smallmouth lakes and rivers and Alexandria is no exception. We have dozens of lakes and rivers within an hours drive where catching a trophy bass is a true possibility every time out. The trophies pictured were caught just this week, so now is tht time to get out and catch yours! I'd recommend fishing shallow rock structure in 1-10 feet of water. These fish are hungry, so don't shy away from large baits. Check back next week for more information and awesome pictures! Good Luck!
September 9, 2016
The fall small mouth season for me is officially underway. The fish are aggressive as ever and are willing to hit most lures. As we continue through the next 6 weeks these fish will go from their fit looking figures to an almost football shaped body. Like most species, small mouth are programmed to feed heavily before winter and that time is now.
Currently I'm finding the majority of the small mouth in shallow water 1-5 flow. Pitching plastics, crank baits, top water baits and live bait have all caught fish over the past week. The water is fairly warm (upper 60s) so moving a smaller bait at a faster pace has been working great. As the water temps drop I will increase my bait size and slow down my presentation. The fish will also move to deeper and deeper water. Being able to change presentations and follow these fish as they migrate to their winter locations is key to catching these very large hard fitting bass all fall long. Good luck and go catch some small mouth! They're hungry and waiting for ya!