ALEXANDRIA LAKES AREA
New for 2016!
Weekly fishing reports for the Alexandria Lakes Area provided by local fishing guide Joe Scegura. Check back every week to find out what’s biting and the best techniques to use!
September 9, 2016
The fall smallmouth 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, smallmouth are programmed to feed heavily before winter and that time is now.
Currently I’m finding the majority of the smallmouth in shallow water 1-5 fow. Pitching plastics, crank baits, top water baits and live bait have all caught fish over the past week. The water is fairly warm (upper 60’s) 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 smallmouth! They’re hungry and waiting for ya!
August 29, 2016
Fall Fishing is on its way!
Summer is quickly passing us by, but some of the best fishing is on its way! Through the month of September most fish will be transitioning into their fall patterns. The walleye are already moving and changing habits daily. One day you can catch a pile of walleye on leeches, the next day they want minnows and the day after that they've moved locations all together. For these reasons the month of September is my least favorite time to fish walleye.
Lucky for me the month of September is when the Smallmouth bass start their heavy fall feeding patterns. This can make for some of the best fishing of the year. Smallmouth are extremely aggressive and schooled up during this time period. Over the next 6 weeks my boat will see 100’s upon 100’s of smallmouth and many of them will be close to trophy caliber. If you like big hard fighting fish don’t miss out on this ridiculously fun time to fish. I'll be posting pictures along with my favorite techniques each week. Feel free to contact me with any questions. Good Luck!
August 19, 2016
The great fishing we’ve had this summer just continues. Granted the walleye fishing isn’t as easy as it was in June and July but there are still reports of some very nice catches. The majority of the walleye are being caught at dusk and dawn in 18-24’ with live bait. The best techniques are still Lindy rigs and spinner rigs, but with quality leeches becoming less available crank baits trolled shallow and deep have been a nice alternative.
Panfish have also been biting very well. There are quite a few lakes right now putting out very nice sunfish and crappie. The best techniques seem to be the one you have the most confidence in. I’ve heard everything from small crank baits to just a plain hook and worm. My go to technique for sunfish is a 1/32 oz jig and a leech under a bobber. I use the same setup for crappie only I switch out the leech for a small twister tail plastic and fish it just above the weeds. It depends on the lake but I've been catching crappie and sunfish in 3- 16 feet of water. The main thing I look for is standing green weeds. The fish have been very aggressive so just keep moving until you find some nice sized fish. Good Luck!
August 5, 2016
The daytime walleye bite has finally slowed around the Alexandria area. We are still getting good action in the low light time periods as well as the days that are breezier. In general though the bite is much slower than we’ve been experiencing most of the summer thus far.
Most of the fish are coming from the outside weed line in 18-24’ feet of water. The preferred techniques have still been Lindy rigs and spinner rigs tipped with leeches or crawlers. Look for fish to be holding to normal structure like points and inside turns. When I’m searching an area for fish I like to look for a thick weed edge, rocks or some type of physical structure for the fish to hold too. I refer to these spots as the spots with in a spot. Keep in mind that location is everything and close isn’t generally good enough. Keep moving until you find fish then concentrate on catching them.
I see all too often, people trying really hard to catch fish when there are no fish under them. It sounds obvious but if you keep on the fish your catch rate will only improve. Good luck!
July 22, 2016
Not much has changed this week. There has still been excellent catches reported. Limits of nice eater walleye 15”-20” with the biggest walleye caught and released being just over 9lbs! Nice fish! The majority of the walleye are still on the outside weed edge (18’-22’) but lately the shallower fish (10’-16’) have been cooperating better than the deeper ones. Leeches and crawlers on a Lindy rig, spinner or bobber have all been producing some very nice fish. Just move until you mark some fish on your locator and then sit on them until they bite. Good Luck!
July 15, 2016
Well we had to dodge the rain again this week but fishing was good for those that got out. I’ve been able to find walleye in about every depth from shallow to deep, but the most fish seem to be in 18’-22’. Live bait has still been my go to. Leeches or crawlers on a lindy rig, spinner or bobber are still putting fish in the boat. As evening approaches don’t be afraid to troll small crank baits in 3’-10’. My go to crank bait is #5 Lindy Shadling in a perch pattern. Troll it at around 2mph and hold on. This is a great technique to put a true trophy in the boat as well as eater sized walleye. Good luck!
July 8, 2016
After the beautiful weather over the holiday weekend we knew it had to come to an end, and come to an end it did. This past week has been a mix of storms and calm weather with blue bird skies. As many walleye anglers know, when you have unpredictable weather you will have an unpredictable walleye bite as well. There were reports all over the board this week from very good to very poor. So if you ended up somewhere in the middle consider yourself lucky. As the weather stabilizes over the coming days so will the walleye bite.
We’ve been doing well on spinners, lindy rigs and bobbers tipped with leeches or night crawlers in 18’-24’ of water. There have also been good reports on #5 and #7 crank baits in shallower water. With surface water temps over 75 deg, we are finally to the time of year where nothing would surprise me. Walleye are scattered and hungry, so nearly any technique can work at some point. Find the fish and then try the technique that best suits the location and mood of the fish. As always if you have a specific question feel free to shoot me an email. Good luck!
June 28, 2016
The walleye fishing the past week was still pretty good, but it is showing signs of slowing down. Instead of easy limits everywhere-everyday now they are more sporadic. Limits are still being had across the area but there are definitely days where you have to work for everyone you catch. It appears most of the walleye have migrated out to deeper water and are schooled up on the outside weed edges in 16’-24’ feet of water. For me a simple Lindy rig and a leech or crawler has been working the best. Some anglers are using spinners and cranks already too with decent success. A bobber and a leech on these deeper breaks are also producing some walleye in the low light hours. Good luck!
June 19, 2016 Father's Day Report
The fishing is still extremely good around the Alexandria area. We’ve been catching most of our walleye in 16’-22’ of water on leeches. A week ago the weeds were full of hungry walleye and as each day passed you could see more and more fish migrate to the outside weed edge. There are still fish in the weeds but nowhere near as many as there was. I’d recommend fishing the outside weed edges with a leech or night crawler on a lindy rig. With water temps in the 70’s I wouldn’t be afraid to try faster presentations like trolling spinners and crank baits.
Sunfish and crappie have also been biting well. I’ve noticed the fish will be up in 2-3 feet of water on one lake and out in 9-12’ on the next, so it’s hard to pin point exactly where they’ll be. The good thing is they’re quite aggressive, so finding them hasn’t been all that difficult. Good luck!
June 10, 2016
Fishing remains good to excellent for walleye around the Alexandria lakes area. There are numerous lakes kicking out good numbers of walleye 14”-20” walleye with even a few big fish to throw back. The best depth has been 15’-20’ of water. Minnows are still working, but the preference is definitely leeches and night crawlers on most lakes. I’d still recommend using slower techniques. The water is in the mid 60’s but spinners and crank baits aren’t going to work quite as well as they will in a few weeks. Stick with Lindy rigs, jigs and bobbers for now and you should have plenty of success.
As for panfish I’d recommend fishing over the weeds. Concentrate on 9-14 feet of water for crappie and shallower for the sunfish. Use a small jig and plastic twister tail. Slowly swim it above the weeds with short pulls. This will usually trigger bites from the most finicky fish. Good Luck!
June 1, 2016
The fishing over the holiday weekend was very productive and continues to be excellent! Most people are reporting good numbers of walleye 14”-19” with some lakes even kicking out a few larger fish to through back.
Water temps are rising fast, so you will start see the walleye transition away from minnows and show a preference toward leeches and night crawlers. Most lakes are well into the 60’s and I’ve seen shallow areas in the high 70’s. I have been using jigs, lindy rigs and bobbers for my walleye recently. 12’-18’ feet of water has been best. As always for walleye look for structure…weeds, rocks, under water points are all great places to start. Good Luck!
May 23, 2016
Well we have one week of walleye fishing in the books and it’s starting off great! There are numerous lakes around the Alexandria area kicking out walleye. Opening day was cool and windy, but those that braved the weather were more than rewarded. There were reports of high catch rates of walleye in all sizes. Our group did exceptional well too. We caught and released a large number of walleye ranging from 20”-28” as well as a bunch of eater fish 15”-20”. We did keep enough for a nice meal though! Lindy rigs and 1/4oz jigs tipped with minnows, trolled slow produced most of our fish. We caught fish in 5’-30’ feet of water, but 12’-20’ has been best. Check back next week for the latest report.
May 1, 2016
Well, it’s the first of May and it actually feels like it! We’ve had rather inconsistent weather up until this point and it really hasn’t warmed up for any length of time. That has made crappie fishing the past month much more difficult than it should be. If it was nice and warm for a day or two the crappie would move into the shallows and bite quite well. Then, the next day it would cool down and the fish would move right back out to deeper water. At least now the 10 day forecast appears to be nothing but sun so that should make for perfect crappie catching conditions.
If you’re headed out for crappie, look for shallow areas that have a black bottom to them. These areas warm up the fastest and will draw in the bait these fish are after. I prefer to use a small blade/jig combo as shown in the picture below. This helps me cover water quickly and locate active panfish. This lure is normally not the best at catching numbers of fish but once I locate them I switch over to a more subtle presentation like a small jig and a crappie minnow under a float.
With excellent weather being forecasted and the large number of panfish we currently have in the area I predict the fishing will be excellent over the next month! It’s going to be a great time to get the family out on the water to catch some fish. Keep in mind if you don’t have a boat it’s not a problem this time of year. Crappie will be very accessible in many areas right from shore and once walleye fishing opens there is ample opportunity to catch them from shore as well.
In my opinion, walleye opener is going to be one of the best ones we’ve seen for a while. In the past couple years the water has been extremely cold, so fishing was very sporadic and downright slow for most anglers. This year the water is warming up nicely which will make the walleye much more aggressive. I was able to head an hour west of Alexandria this past week to fish for walleye with a good friend on our state’s boarder water. The walleye over there are already biting quite well, so that means the walleye in the Alexandria area should be ready and willing to bite come opener. I will post again shortly after opener to let you know if my predictions were right and what type of areas and techniques produced the most walleye for me. Good luck, and as always if you have any questions feel free to shoot me an email, text or call.
Fishing Tip: Light and Crispy Fried Fish
There are many ways to prepare your catch, but deep frying or panfrying are arguably the most popular methods. These methods are rather easy, but the results can vary greatly. We’ve all had the light, crisp yet perfectly moist fillets that make you yearn for more, as well as the heavy saturated fillets that leave much to be desired. Here are a few tips to ensure your next fish fry is a great one.
The most important thing in my opinion is to make sure that your oil is hot enough prior to dropping in your battered fish. You can do this by using a thermometer, but I find my desired temperature varies depending on the amount of oil I’m using, so I prefer to use a test fillet. Once you place your fillet in the oil it should start browning in 10-15 seconds and should be fully cooked in just a few minutes. If you drop in the fillet and it barely bubbles then the oil is too cold and if it turns dark in less than a minutes it’s too hot.
By having the heat at this optimal temperature your fish will seal itself almost instantly creating a shell that will keep the oil out and the moisture in. After the fillet is cooked I remove it from the oil and lay it on a paper towel to soak up any oil left on the outside of the fish. After the fish has cooled a minute the fillet will be dry on the outside and naturally moist on the inside. Try this the next time you’re frying fish and you’ll be able to taste the difference!
Fishing Tip: Picking the Right Jig for the Job.. Walleye!
When fishing a jig and minnow for walleye there are a few things I like to consider when selecting the correct jig. The first thing is picking the correct weight. Generally, you like a jig that is as light as possible yet still make contact with the bottom. The second is color, this is a bit more of trial and error but I prefer more subtle colors in clear water and brighter colors in dirtier water. The last thing I like to consider is hook gap. I feel this is the most important of the three. Your hook gap needs to match your minnow size. As you can see in the picture below, if you use a larger minnow like a shiner you need to use a jig with a wider hook gap. If the hook gap is too small you will miss a lot of bites. If you plan to use a smaller minnow like a fathead then a standard jig will be just fine. Now that you’ve picked the right jig get it out there! Move it slow and keep it low is my rule of thumb. Good Luck!
March 31, 2016 Fishing Report
Well it’s hard to believe only a few weeks ago there were ¾ ton pickups and 20 foot fish houses all over the lakes. Then, a week later we were down to ATV travel only. Now there’s no evidence the ice even existed. It was one of the fasted ice outs I can remember.
The ice fishing season around the Alexandria area was a short one, but in my opinion it was a very productive one. We had some outstanding walleye fishing during February, and once that closed the crappie action took the spot light. The first couple weeks of March yielded some of the best crappie action I’ve seen. We were able to catch literally hundreds of crappie that were 12-13 inches, as well as a number of them that measured 14-15 inches!
When targeting big crappie like this you can use much more aggressive techniques as they will hit almost anything. The hardest part is finding them and then staying on them. These larger fish roam quickly in schools, ambushing bait as they go. Being most of the lakes in the area are quite clear, these fish also get spooked easily. This makes them even tougher to catch consistently.
I’ve found the two biggest things that help me catch these fish on a regular basis is using a heavy lure that can get down to the fish quickly like a Tungsten jig or a small spoon. The second this is having a lot of holes drilled in the area. Usually you can only pull 2-3 crappie from a hole before they get spooked out of the area. With a large number of holes predrilled you can follow these fish as they move. We had a number of days where the fish would circle in a 100 yard area and if you continued to follow them throughout the day they would end up back where they started.
Even though our ice season was cut short, I look forward to chasing these big crappie out of a boat over the next month. These fish will be congregating in the shallow black bottom bays as these areas warm the fastest. The past couple years we had ice nearly up to walleye opener, so for me I had very little time to target crappie on open water. This year will be much different in a lot of ways. Not only will we have more time to fish crappie before walleye opener, we should also expect the walleye bite on opener to be much better than previous years. The water will be much warmer on opener which will ensure the walleye are done spawning and ready to start eating!
Let me know if you have any questions regarding the upcoming crappie bite or walleye opener. Based on the short but productive winter we had I expect this summer to be one of our best! Good luck!
Fishing Reports provided by Lindy Pro Guide Joe Scegura.
Fishing Tip #2
When fishing in the winter I see many anglers that let their fish freeze after they catch them. In my opinion this causes a few issues. The first nuisance is obviously you have to wait for the fish to thaw before you can clean them. The second issue is I’ve noticed that my fresh fillets will have a slight “fishy taste” and overall just test less fresh. The last issue is the one that bothers me the most. When fish are frozen and then thawed the fish will secrete a large amount of slime. This slime will coat the entire fish and cover your entire cleaning surface. If you simply place your fish in a pail of water after you catch them you can avoid all of the above issues.
February 26, 2016 Fishing Report
We are fast approaching the end of the walleye ice fishing season, and the deadline to leave houses unattended overnight. Normally during this time of year the walleye bite is hit and miss at best, and most anglers usually move on to crappie or sunfish. This year, on the other hand, we have been experiencing a very strong bite to end the season. I have talked to a number of anglers on a few different lakes that are also noticing this.
I have had my best luck as usual in the low light time periods. For me, the midnight and midday bites have been nearly nonexistent. We have caught almost all of our fish in the prime hour at sunset and sunrise. Our best luck has come from 18-35 feet of water. Keep in mind that with the slow start to the ice fishing season, many of the traditional walleye “hot spots” have had very little pressure, so fishing those areas have been yielding some very good fish recently. Both 1/8” jigging spoons and set lines tipped with minnows have been producing fish. Most of the walleye have been eater size (15”-18”) but we have had a number of big picture fish as well.
The sunfish and crappie have also been cooperating, and by the sounds of it there has been some extremely good sized fish coming in. I’ve seen pictures of 13”-14” crappie and some sunfish pushing 10”. Those are great fish no matter where you live! Most of the panfish have been coming from weed flats in 10-20 feet of water on Euro larva or wax worms.
The ice is still in great condition around the Alexandria area. We have around 24 inches of ice with little to no snow. Last week we had a very warm Friday and Saturday that melted most of our snow, but then that water refroze on Sunday. It looks like we are going to have some very nice temps again this weekend, so get out and enjoy the lakes whether you’re after panfish or walleye!
Always use caution when going out on the lake. With the tempature changing make sure you are thinking safety first.
January 27, 2016 Fishing Report
Current Ice and Travel Conditions
With the cool temps we are making some good ice. Along with that we only have about 6”-8” of snow cover, so travel on the lakes has been quite easy.
SMALL LAKES AND BAYS: Have 18”-24” of ice.
MEDIUM LAKES: Have around 14”-16” of ice
LARGE LAKES: Have about 10-12” everywhere I have checked.
The best bite around the area has been the consistent crappie action. Anglers have been catching large numbers of crappie suspended over deep water. Look to the edge of these deep holes. The schools of crappie seem to follows these breaks like highways, making them much easier to locate than most people think. The crappie have been feeding heavily right at dusk and dawn on small jigs (size #10-#12 jigs) and crappie minnows. During the day these same fish can be caught but instead of a minnow use a small plastic tail, wax worm or Euro larva.
The walleye action has also been good for some but very slow for others. For this time of year that is quite typical. One night will be great and the next nothing. The anglers that are putting in their time have iced some nice sized walleye though. Plenty of eater sized walleye 15”-18”, as well as numerous trophy fish 28”-32”. Concentrate on 15’-25’ of water with jigs and minnows.
Line thickness is a very important part of catching fish, especially during the day. You always want to pick the lightest line possible for the species you are targeting. For sunfish and crappie I’d recommend 2-3 pound test monofilament line and for walleye I’d recommend 6-8 pound test monofilament. Note: You may lose a fish here or there by downsizing your line but the increase in action will be so great you’ll never go back to your heavy line.
January 8, 2016 Fishing Report
New Year’s Ice Update and Fishing Report as of 1/8/16
Here are the current ice conditions for the Alexandria area. I’ll break this ice report into three categories… small, medium and large lakes.
SMALL LAKES AND BAYS
Many of the small lakes around the area have 10”-12”+ of ice. There are plenty of permanent houses on these lakes and we are starting to see some small trucks and cars venture out onto the ice as well.
I’ve found the medium sized lakes to have around 8”-10” of ice on them. There are fewer permanent shacks on these lakes but more are showing up every day. Snowmobiles and ATV’s are still the preferred choice of transportation.
When I say large lakes I also mean deep. These lakes for the most part have safe walkable ice and even safe ATV ice (5-6”). But, keep in mind that the ice over the deeper water in these lakes is still quite thin, possibly 2-4”. Even though there is safe ice on these lakes, be cautious of venturing out across these deep areas even on foot.
As for the fishing the results are pretty typical for this time of year. The sunfish and crappie are biting very well in 10-20 feet of water all day long. My preferred jig is a size 12 Lindy Toad and plastic tail or wax worm. The walleye on the other hand have been hit and miss. Some anglers are reporting great numbers and size, while others are only getting a couple fish an outing. Fishing during the low light time periods has been producing most of the walleye. Concentrate on areas that have a steep drop off or standing weeds in 10-20 feet of water.
December 22, 2015 Fishing Report
We have ice again! After the mild temps last week we are back to winter. This past weekend with lows in the single digits most of the medium to large lakes froze over. There’s only a couple inches of ice on those lakes but many shallow lakes and bays have 4-6” on them.
Anglers that have been getting out on the ice are reporting a decent bite for sunfish, crappie and walleye. I’ve been making good use of the boat until this past weekend, but with most lakes frozen over I’ve officially put the boat away. This was definitely the latest I have ever fished a lake in MN out of a boat.
As I said earlier the ice is quite good on the shallow lakes and bays, so I hit the ice for the first time this past weekend. I checked the ice on a few lakes and some were good and others needed more cold weather before I’d fish them. For me I like to have a consistent 4” of ice or more to feel comfortable. Once I have checked a lake and I know the ice conditions, only then will I take my family or clients out on the ice to fish.
My son is only two years old, but he was very excited to finally get out ice fishing. He was able to land his first walleye of the ice season as well as some nice crappie. His smiles are priceless! I’m pretty sure if you asked him he thinks he can out fish Dad already. Most of the fish that we caught were quite aggressive; in fact we used mostly plastics. For the walleye we used an 1/8oz Frostee jigging spoon tipped with a fathead and for the crappie we used a small #12 Lindy toad tipped with a plastic tail. This fast action was a perfect way to start off the ice fishing season.
If you decide to go ice fishing over the holidays, make sure you target the lakes that are 15’ or less. These shallower lakes froze earlier than the deeper ones and they have the best ice on them. Merry Christmas, stay safe and good luck fishing!
December 4, 2015 Fishing Report
Well I wish I had a report of fishable ice for you, but Mother Nature just won’t make up her mind. Our small to mid-sized lakes have frozen over and blown open a couple times now. The smaller bodies of water that have kept their ice received around 4” of wet snow this week, so that ice is now in very poor condition as well.
The past couple days have had very cool low temps, so we’ve been seeing many of the lakes freezing over again. With the good news also comes the bad, we are supposed to see high winds and temps in the coming days, so the ice we’ve made may get busted up once again.
Despite the delay in our ice fishing season, there are still opportunities to wet a line in the Alexandria area. Most of the larger lakes are still accessible by boat and the reports are pretty decent for crappie, walleye and muskie. So, if you have the desire the fish have been willing and ready.
The other option is to use extreme caution and find some of the smaller lakes that stayed frozen through this up and down weather pattern. I’ve heard reports of 3-4”of ice in areas with an inch or two of slush on top. The people that have been venturing out are reporting some very good catches of both walleye and crappie.
Hopefully winter sets in for good soon so we can get on with our ice fishing season. As for now, let’s just enjoy the nice weather and spend some time outdoors. I know personally I can’t wait to get out in the boat a couple more times. Remember to check back for ice updates. I’ll post again soon as we work our way slowly into the ice fishing season. Stay safe and good luck fishing!
November 5, 2015 Fishing Report
The beautiful mild weather has made this fall one of the nicest I can remember here in Alexandria. With consistent highs in the 50’s and 60’s, I’ve noticed a record number of anglers still out on the water enjoying the fishing. Instead of just a couple adult diehard anglers in a few boats, I’ve been seeing numerous boats with whole families out together. It’s great to see everyone enjoying this gorgeous weather. I even got my two year old son out for a few walleye, which he can’t seem to get enough of.
The fishing overall has been excellent. We’ve been experiencing one of the best smallmouth and crappie bites I have ever seen, for both size and numbers. I think we were close to 1000 smallmouth this year, and I lost count on the number of trophy smallmouth we caught. It was truly amazing. They start biting well in early September and with the mild temps they really didn’t slow down much. We fished shallow rock and steep sand breaks with minnow and frog baits. With the water temps still hovering around 50 degrees, I think you could still do quite well in 6-10 feet of water.
The crappie are also still biting like crazy! I’ve fished 4 different lakes for crappie in the past two weeks and I was able to catch big ones on all of them. The number of crappie in the 11-12” range and bigger right now in Alexandria is staggering. About 7-8 years ago we had the perfect crappie spawning conditions and many lakes just exploded with small crappie. Fast forward to today and our lakes have an incredible number of quality crappie. The best technique is a jig and a minnow fished right above the fish. They love to feed up, so it’s hard to resist a bait dangling just out of reach. I like to drive around until I read a nice school of crappie and then fish them until they move. Then, I start up the motor to find another school and repeat. A low quality graph is all you really need to fish this way.
Now for the downside to this beautiful mild weather, the water seems to just be too warm to get a quality walleye bite going. If history has taught me anything, it’s when we experience a big cold snap in early to mid-October it really gets the walleye eating, and this year that really never happened. Sure, we had excellent days of walleye fishing, but never a consistent fall bite that most anglers are used to. It’s hard to say at this point if we will get a strong walleye bite before ice up or not? One thing is for sure, I’ll be out there trying!
If I do get into the walleye here late season I’ll let you know on either my audio report or a quick written report. I’ll also update you on the ice conditions frequently as we get into the ice fishing season. Good luck!
October 12, 2015 Fishing Report
What's better than catching hundreds and hundreds of huge small mouth bass...? If I think of something I'll let you know! The past few weeks has been as good as it gets for fishing in general. Beautiful weather, endless hard fighting action and the size of the fish has been outstanding. We've already caught numerous trophy sized fish and I hope to catch many more!
In my opinion Sept/Oct is the best time to fish small mouth. These fish school up and hunt in large schools or packs as I like to call them. They almost resemble a pack of wolves in their eating habits, so the term "pack" seems to fit them better. They will herd their prey (minnows and other smaller fish) to the surface or against shore and then attack. It's amazing to see nature at work. These fish will never eat more than they do at this time of year. You can actually see them get rounder and rounder as the days go by.
We've been catching most of our fish in 1'-10' feet of water. The best areas are mostly hard bottom with some type of structure. For example, my favorite areas are shallow rocks with deep water nearby. My preferred baits are anything that resembles it's natural forage, minnows and frogs. Minnows are obviously present year round and are the number one baits to use, but don't forget about frogs. They make a huge push back to the water this time of year, so this makes an imitation frog lure popping along the shoreline very effective! Over the next few weeks the water temp will continue to drop and so will the small mouths' appetite. You still have a couple weeks to get in on the hot bite, but after that you'll have to wait for next year. You can still catch small mouth but they won't be eating as much or as often as they are right now.
Speaking of the water temps dropping... one of the best times to catch walleye is fast approaching! Generally once the small mouth slow down the walleye will start their own feeding binge. I've already heard of numerous reports of good walleye action starting. The walleye bite is still sporadic, but it will only get stronger with each passing day. Especially if we get some cooler temps soon. That always seems to seal the deal and the walleye start feeding heavily. I'd recommend using an 1/8oz - 1/2oz jig and minnow for the walleye. This is by far the most versatile and productive technique to put walleye in your boat this fall.
Like always if you have any questions don't hesitate to email me at,
September 8, 2015 Fishing Report
The fishing this past month was officially the best August walleye fishing I’ve ever had. We consistently had good numbers of quality fish and very few days where the bite was slow. Normally the month of August is a hit and miss month for walleye, so it was nice to put anglers on such a good bite.
The majority of the walleye are still holding on the outside weed edge in 17’-25’. Lindy rigs with leeches or night crawlers have been catching most of the fish. Don’t rule out a jig and minnow though. We have already had success on minnows and it will only get better as we get into October.
The month of September is typically when walleye transition into their fall habits. They begin moving to points or steep breaks near deep water and start to show a preference to minnow type baits. During this time it can be difficult to stay on active walleye, so it works out great that the smallmouth love eating this time of year.
Smallmouth need to fatten up for the winter, so they go on a fall feeding binge that lasts well into October. These hard fighting fish are some of the most aggressive eaters and fall victim to numerous presentations. You can use everything from top water lures to giant live bait depending on the mood of the fish. If you ever wanted to get someone hooked on fishing, this is the type of fishing for them. Every year we boat hundreds of beautiful picture-worthy smallmouth, as well as numerous trophy sized ones.
If you ever have any questions feel free to shoot me an email and I’ll respond as soon as I can. Good luck fishing!
August 5, 2015 Fishing Report
Late Summer Fishing Report and Tactics
The walleye fishing in the Alexandria area continues to be some of the best I've seen in years. Other than the occasional cold front which slows the bite for a day or two, the fishing has been very consistent.
We've been able to catch a decent number of walleye nearly every time we hit the water.
The majority of the fish I've been catching have been in 17-22 feet of water near the outside weed edge. This time of year just about every technique you can think of will work at some point. The trick to consistently catching walleye is in deciding when to use each technique.
For example, I prefer to use fast presentations like spinners and crank baits when I'm looking for fish or the fish are spread out over a particular area. I like to tip the spinners with a leech or night crawler. You can fish these techniques easily in areas with short weeds or scattered weed clumps. I will trolls these baits picking up a walleye here or there all day long.
That is unless I see a concentrated school of fish. This is where I pull out my "slow tactics". I prefer to use Lindy rigs and slip bobber rigs with leeches or night crawlers in these situations. The slower presentations allow me to spend more time sitting directly over the fish instead of going over them fast and then turning around to do it again. If the school of fish I was seeing split apart I will quickly go back to my fast presentations and look for the next big school!
This program will work like clockwork the next few weeks at least.
Then, as the walleye bite dies down I'll switch my efforts over to catching huge smallmouth. In September the smallmouth go on a fall feeding binge that no angler will want to miss. I'll discuss the smallmouth bite more in my next report. Good luck and feel free to email me with questions.
July 13, 2015 Fishing Report
The fishing over the Holiday weekend was excellent! The weather was great and the fish were hungry. The past couple weeks has been some of the best fishing of the year for me. I’ve heard reports of all species being very aggressive. Even on my evening trips it’s common to get numerous species.
The majority of the walleye have moved to the outside weed edges in 18-22’. If you have good electronics I would drive until you read fish. I might drive around at 3-5mph for two hours before I ever drop a line on a new body of water. Or I’ll pull around #5-#7 crank baits while I’m looking for fish on my locator. If I see 4-5 nice marks on my locator I’ll stop and fish that area with Lindy rigs tipped with leeches or night crawlers.
If you don’t have much for electronics I’d concentrate my efforts on the outside weed edge of points and sand bar breaks. If you don’t catch anything after a pass or two keep moving. Pull Lindy rigs at .1-.5mph, spinners at .9-1.2mph, or crank baits at 2-2.5mph. I could go on for hours but each one of these presentations has their time and place based off what my locator tells me.
Right at sunset and sunrise will be your prime fishing times. Good luck and check back soon for more info!
June 22, 2015 Fishing Report
Summer is officially here, and that means we will get more daylight than any other time of the year to enjoy the things we love. The long days also mean warmer water temps and that makes nearly every activity more enjoyable, including fishing of course! With water temps near 70 degrees, many lakes are putting out a good variety of fish right now.
I’ve been catching the majority of my walleye in 10’-16’ fow. Lindy rigs tipped with either leeches or night crawlers have been working best. I’m still moving quite slow at .1-.5mph. The walleye are holding in and near the new weed growth. I will pull Lindy rigs where I can and I use slip bobbers in areas that are too weedy or rocky. These techniques will be my prime focus until we see a drastic summer warm up.
As we head into July and the water temps spike more and more walleye will move deeper. It will be common to fish the outside weed edge in 16’-24’ fow with a faster presentation like a spinner or crank bait. I like to pull these baits at 1-3mph to cover as much water as possible. During the summer months there is an abundance of food, so just because you find walleye doesn’t mean they will be hungry. That’s where moving fast will help you find the hungry fish as well as trigger some reaction bites where the fish just hit your bait out of instinct.
I concentrate my time mostly on walleye so that’s what I generally write about, but I can’t forget to mention all of the great panfish opportunities that are coming up. Over the next month I will catch more big sunfish and big crappie unintentionally while I’m fishing walleye than any other time of the year. There are many times where I just put away the walleye rods and enjoy the day catching crappie over the weeds in 10 fow with a small twister tail jig or put on a small hair jig and fish the pencil reeds for big bluegill. The options are endless and the panfish are flat out hungry, so it’s a great time to bring out the kids!