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Jarrid Houston's fishing report

Open Water Season Casts Off

Shallower waters continue to be best areas to target and it is important to utilize electronics, especially side scan.

By: Jarrid Houston | May 15, 2019

Fishing season is off to a slower start for many, but on the flip side, some anglers are having a great beginning to the open water season. It would be certainly nice to get some warmer temperatures and sunny days, but we must deal with what Mother Nature brings us. Currently we are over halfway done with the Spring Equinox. Before you know it, it will be summer and a change of fishing tactics. Water temps in the region continue to fluctuate between 50-60 degrees depending on where you are. Walleyes are, for the most part, in post-spawn mode, but we are catching a few males that are still emitting milt. Pan-fish continue to stage near the shallows and bass are casually picking up eating habits. One fish that is always very active is pike and they continue to roam areas of schools of prey. Shallower waters continue to be best areas to target and it is important to utilize electronics, especially side scan.


Lake Superior is putting out some nice Lakers and Salmon. The occasional steelhead is being caught as well. Most are still finding success trolling surface or mid-range diving baits in a variety of colors and patterns. Some spoons are taking a few fish as well. Most fish are eating well with smelt being so vulnerable this time of year. Speaking of smelt, some are still showing up on select areas of the North Shore, but it won't be long until that ends. Stream anglers are reporting a "hit n miss." Now that other fishing opportunities are present, good stream spots are opening up.


St. Louis River Estuary has been the most popular spot since last weekend. It, too, has been "hit n miss," but those that spend more time on the water are turning some nice fish topside. Fish are dispersing and dropping back down into lower sections, so there is not a "one spot that is better" type deal. Jigging off channel edges with live jig/minnow combos has been a good tactic as well as covering water trolling meat-rigs (spinner baits tipped with a shiner or night crawler). Shad raps are also taking some nice fish. Crappies, pike, catfish and perch continue to be an added bonus as well.

Inland waters are giving up some nice catches of fish. Walleyes continue to roam near spawning grounds of 1-10 feet of water over rocky, sandy and creek/stream areas. Slip bobbers and fatheads or jig/minnow combos continue to be a 1-2 punch. Trolling is also taking a few fish. Pan-fishing is heating up in the shallow soft substrate vegetation areas. Look for fresh of the year weed growth and you will find fish nearby. Pike are being caught with lot of different options, but best to cast shorelines with small cranks and reel in slowly. This will also turn some other fish species.

*Just one last reminder, that this time of year many fish can be very vulnerable. Make sure we make the right choices on deciding what to harvest. Even with the state limits on fish, it is important to be conservation-minded and release bigger fish and harvest more plentiful smaller fish. By doing this, we all win! 

Tight Lines & GoOd FiShN,

Capt. Jarrid


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