Fishing Tips from Craig
What to Bring
Fishing Rods: You should have 2 to 3 rods. One rod should be a light action with 6 to 8 lb. test line to use for jigging walleye. The second rod should be a medium to medium light action with 10 to 12 lb. test line to use as a casting rod and as a spare jigging rod. The third rod should be medium to medium heavy action with 10 to 14 lb. test line. This rod would act as a trolling rod and a spare casting rod.
Tackle for Walleye: You will do the best with jigs -- jigging the structure on the bottom. You will want a variety of sizes—1/8 to ½ oz. jigs are good. With the jigs you can use a Mr. Twister or bait. Night crawlers, leeches and minnows are very good bait. IN THE NORTH CAMPS, LIVE MINNOWS ARE NOT ALLOWED. Frozen minnows are allowed. NO SMELT ARE ALLOWED
Tackle for Northern: You may want to use some crank baits like Rapalas, Not-N-Tots, Rebels, or Shad Rapsand. Some weedless spoons will be useful too. Brand name lures are better as they have a better action and do not twist your line as much, resulting in more trouble free hours of fishing.
Tackle for Lake Trout: You may want spoons like Dardevils, Doctor Spoon, Johnson Silve Minnows. In your tackle box, you will want some swivels, small leaders and sinkers.
Walleye Fishing:In the spring walleyes are shallow and as the season progresses the walleye get a little deeper. Therefore you want different weights of jigs. Crank baits like Rapalas, Hot-N-Tots, Rebels, Shad Raps, etc. are excellent for when you want to troll around exploring locations.
Northern Fishing: When you fish for northern, you may want to use some of the crank baits as well as spoons. It is good to have some weedless spoons as well. In the spring, northern are found in shallows around spawning areas. Later in the year, they are found in weed beds and under fallen tree and bushes. They are also found with the walleyes. Do not be surprised while fishing for walleyes to hook into a nice northern. Later in the year the northern often end up on the rock piles.
Lake Trout Fishing: If you plan to fish for lake trout, we find trolling a silver spoon or rapala at the appropriate depth works, as does jigging. Lake Trout are shallow in the spring and deep during the summer. In the fall they come up shallow again. In your tackle box you will want to have some swivels and small leaders. You need to have some sinkers to get the bait down to the correct depth.
Brand name lures are better as they have a better action and do not twist your line as much, resulting in more trouble free hours of fishing. If your line does get twisted, remove the hook, and any swivel so that you have just the bare line. With the boat traveling at a higher rate of speed, let the line out behind the boat and drag for about 3 or 4 minutes. Let out a little more line than you would normally use. DO NOT LET OUT ALL YOUR LINE AS IT MAY BREAK OFF THE SPOOL. With the boat still traveling fast, wind your line back into the reel. If you are having trouble reeling the line in, slow the boat down a little. This action will tighten the line on your spool, as well as straighten out your line.
Craig fishes right up until the snow flies! Here he is fishing with friends on McInnes Lake in September.
Pay attention to the Lake
Has there been a may fly hatch? When you clean your fish for lunch, check what they have been eating. When you have a good day, take note of the wind and weather. Did I catch the fish on the windy shore or in the quiet bay? A successful trip requires a good imagination. Don't be afraid to try something different, you might be pleased.