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Jarrid Houston's fishing report

That's a Wrap For the General Inland Fishing Season

Now is a good time to reacquaint yourself with a refresher of rules and regulations.

By: Jarrid Houston | March 4, 2020

That's a wrap for the regular general inland fishing season for both MN and WI waters. For those that don't know what that means, it is the closure of game fish such as: Walleye, Northern Pike and Bass. So until the opener (early May) the only way to get at said game fish is to travel to destinations. Fun trips can include but not be limited to: Lake of the Woods, Rainy, Fox River or areas of Lake Superior and/or Lake Michigan. The inland lakes still have open season on panfish and rough fish, but make sure to update your fishing license as they expired (MN) or expire soon (March 29; WI). Also, now is a good time to reacquaint yourself with a refresher of rules and regulations. Both states have some revisions to old rules and we encourage everyone to check the new fish regulations pamphlets that came out last week for both states. Here is our weekly fishing report:

Lake Superior has been putting out some nice catches on the North Shore for both shorelanders and boaters. The fish are not to far off-shore this time of year, so a boat is not needed to find some success. Best bet for shoremen is to chuck flashy spoons as far as you can and retrieve. Move up and down the shore line in hopes of crossing paths with a fish or two. Salmon can be schooled up, so be ready and in a hurry to get your line back out there if you lock up a fish. Boaters are accessing areas near Two Harbors and finding some good mix catches of Steelhead, Loopers, Lakers and Salmon, including the occasional King. Most are pulling surface plugs over 25-150 feet of water, but again, near shore breaks has been the ticket. Lake Superior ice conditions near the Apostle Islands has taken a hit this last week on account of the warm weather. Some anglers were reaching some Lake Trout waters, but unfortunately those spots are very risky now. Best chance at ice fishing Lake Superior safely is near the areas of Ashland, WI. With the recent warm weather and extended forecast, I predict we will have an early ice out. 

St. Louis River closed last weekend for game fish, and the only angling that has been happening has been in the back bays. Anglers are reporting very slow bite(s) for panfish. 

Inland waters have about the best ice conditions of the year happening right now, but they will not last much longer. Most ice around the area is still 2-3 feet thick and some lakes are still taking on vehicle traffic. However, with each day, boat launches are going to deteriorate. Best to travel light on foot, or if you have to, bring an ATV or sled. Although sleds are going by the way side as the snow is melting fast. Good news is the bite can be awesome right now with fresh bug hatches showing up in select areas. Best panfishing we have been on has been this last week. Best tactic has been tungsten jigs tipped with soft plastics dropped in waters from 8-18 feet over vegetation and soft substrate bottoms. Fish are schooled up pretty good, so if you find the fish, best to stay on them. Don't be surprised to tangle with a rogue Pike or Bass as they are also chasing schools of panfish. Also, as usual it's best to avoid noise pollution and target the peak hours of the day. My favorite is the later afternoon bite. Furthermore, this time of year, panfish can become pretty vulnerable, so make wise decisions on what to harvest. We are almost to spring, so get out and enjoy these last ice opportunities.        


Tight Lines & GoOd FiShN,

Capt. Jarrid


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