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Fishing in Duluth Blog

Jarrid Houston's fishing report

Ice Making on the Up and Up

We are continuing to see good vehicle travel on most local waters.

By: Jarrid Houston | February 7, 2018

The weather this last week has definitely been cold. We are fishing in shelters as necessary, but at the same time, setting up setlines outside the shacks. Thermal hole covers are crucial, as well as checking the set lines periodically - if nothing else, to get the minnow back to being active. We are certainly looking forward to the warmer days that are in front of us. Ice making is still on the up and up and we are continuing to see good vehicle travel on most local waters. 


The best bite has been on the inland lakes, chasing crappies and gills, alike. Seems that if you can find an active day time honey hole for gills, you can sit it out until dusk and find some crappies. Light tackle, such as small tungsten jigs and soft plastics, seem to be the best presentation. We are also seeing fish come on wax worms and spikes. We have been having a tough time getting crappies to bite crappie minnows off of dead sticks, but that happens sometimes. Pike, bass and the occasional walleye are still being taken on tip-ups with live bait rigs. Targeting transitional areas such as weed lines, or mud to rock/gravel have been the best locations.

The St. Louis River has been slow lately, and we have been working extra hard to put few fish topside. We have been seeing walleyes on the electronics but having a hard time getting them to bite. Spoon baits tipped with minnow heads or jigging stick baits, seem to be bringing in the most lookers and the occasional taker. Walleye fishing should get better as we climb closer to the end of the official season and fish from the big lake begin to stage. Always remember the importance of selective harvest on the bigger females. Some of these fish can lay hundreds of thousands of eggs. Sturgeon seem to be active, and if one chooses to target them, success can happen. Using a dead stick with a clump of dead minnows on the bottom will turn fish. If and when hooking up with these fish, don't plan to see anything else after a while considering the fight you will endure will spook off a lot of other fish. 


The rare Lake Superior ice in the Twin Ports has shown back up, but is very dangerous. Let’s again cross our fingers for cold temps and calm winds and maybe we will have a chance. As of this report, Lake Superior is at 48% ice coverage. There have a been a few anglers in the confines of the McQuade Safe Harbor targeting the seldom looper, but not with a lot of success. Some anglers have been taking to the breakwall in Two Harbors, as well, casting long rods for open water salmon or loopers. The best bet for ice fishing the Gitch continues to be the Chequamegon Bay areas. Fish are being caught near shore at depths of 10-30 feet. The best success has been off of tip-ups rigged with lake shiners set halfway down the water column. The whitefish and splake have all came on jigging spoons or jigging raps tipped with minnow heads.  If you get a bogie on the radar, reel up fast and play keep away. That is the best chance you will get a fish to bite. Otherwise, if you let it look at your lure, it’s gone


Tight Lines,

Capt. Jarrid


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