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Jarrid Houston's fishing report

Anglers Ready for MN Opener this Weekend

What is equally as exciting as the "Fishing Opener Holiday," is the fact that it is only the middle of May, which means we have a ton of open water season in front of us.

By: Jarrid Houston | May 8, 2019

And we are off... Like the green flag start to the Daytona, we are now over 100 mph. It is hard to argue that May is not the best month of fishing all year. Despite the cooler temps and unpredictable rain/fog we have been dealing with, anglers are ecstatic to be back on the water. Last weekend it was Wisconsin's opener, this weekend it is Minnesota's turn. Currently, fish are being caught using several different tactics. However, most would agree, slowing down and downsizing presentations has, and will continue to be, key. Until we see a drastic spike in water temperatures, this will continue to be a recipe for success. What is equally as exciting as the "Fishing Opener Holiday," is the fact that it is only the middle of May, which means we have a ton of open water season in front of us. 

Lake Superior continues to host many anglers in search of spring Coho Salmon. Things are slowing down a tad this last week, but fish are still showing up for the fishermen putting in effort. Near shore trolling with stick baits still seems to be the best. Once you find a few bites, it is important to mark a waypoint and continue to key in on the area. The best news recently has been coming from the areas of Chequamegon Bay and the Apostle Islands. More on this next week. 

Smelt are still on the move making their way toward the Twin Ports. At the time of this writing, things are wrapping up in the Ashland, WI areas. Which means things should be heating up on the South Shores from Brule to Superior and into the North Shore of Duluth. In other news, stream anglers are still having their way with some good catches of Steelhead. Even a few Kamloops are showing up on the North Shore streams. Best tactic continues to be drifting spawn. Don't be afraid to throw hardware though now that we are moving into mid-May.

St. Louis River has all the docks installed and the boat launches have been hosting a good amount of traffic. Now that we are into the start of the Walleye season, most will be out trying their luck for ole' marble eyes. Slow retrieves of casting cranks in shallower areas is my favorite tactic for bigger fish. Otherwise, simple spinners and bottom bouncer rigs or jig and minnow combos work as well. This is also a great time of year to tangle with big slab crappies. Seek out the warmest water and you will find a few fish. Another great option is targeting rough fish (which have been on fire this last week). Suckers, Cats and Drum have been hanging around shallower waters taking crawlers and oversized chubs.


Inland waters are seeing surface temps of anywhere from 45-55 degrees and the bite is just starting. Pan-fish continue to congregate near shallow old decaying vegetation. Simple bobber, split-shot and small hook/live bait combos are doing extremely well on select lakes. Look to stream/creek mouths and shallow gravel shoals for walleyes and pike. Trolling can take some fish, but this is a great time of year to cast, jig, or drift for active fish. Tight lines and be safe out there. See you on the water.

*Just another reminder, that this time of year 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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