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Jarrid Houston's fishing report

Still Plenty of Opportunities to Fish

The general fishing season is winding down, so now is the time to chase those last opportune game fish.

By: Jarrid Houston | February 12, 2020

Time certainly flies when you're having fun. It's crazy to think that it is already "boat show" season. All the thoughts of nice summer days and open water are upon us. I anticipate we will have an early spring thaw, but time will tell. The general fishing season is winding down, so now is the time to chase those last opportune game fish. Minnesota season closes February 23 and Wisconsin season closes March 1. There, of course, will still be plenty of opportunities to fish, but make sure to check your respected state regulations to learn more. I am looking forward to late ice panfish chases, North Shore casting, smelting, stream fishing and destination spring walleye trips. Here is our weekly fishing report:

Lake Superior is seeing some action in the form of open water fishing. Every week, more and more anglers are taking to a less popular winter time fish outing on the big lake. Some boats are taking to the Gitch and finding some cool success. I mentioned this last week, but again, if you plan to fish from a kayak, canoe or boat, take all the necessary safety precautions and be very careful. Most that are ambitious enough to fish the North Shore open water are finding some success. This time of year, fish can be in shallower, near shore areas. Some are chucking spoons and getting a fish or two to go. Another tactic, of course, is casting weighted bobbers over live bait. North Shore angling will get more and more attention as we move further into March. 

For the Lake Superior ice anglers, Chequamegon Bay is still a go-to, although some of the ice in the extended areas near Bayfield is inconsistent. Best ice is in and around Ashland/Washburn. Best tactics continue to be jigging shallower water away from people and in areas that look like they have not had much pressure. Don't forget to set up some set lines as they can certainly turn some success. I like to scrape my minnow scales so they flake off and create more of a flashy attraction. Also, important to vary the depth of your presentations as you never know where they are running in the water column.        

St. Louis River is still kicking out some smaller walleyes off the shallower flats. Fish can be caught is many different sections of the river, so if you are struggling in one area, maybe a move might be worth the effort. Still waiting on the fresh influx of returning walleyes from the big lake. Every year is different, so it will be interesting to see when/if this happens during the remaining open season. Back bay pan fishing is gaining a little more attention lately as well. Like anywhere else, spreading out is important. 


Inland waters are giving up nice catches of panfish roaming around in numbers. Basin fishing has been getting better as soft substrate mud bottoms are having more and more bug larvae growths. Here, again, spreading out is important. It can be a magical bite when you set yourself up in an area to intercept roaming schools of crappies. I like to concentrate my efforts on perimeters of the deeper basins. Best depth for me is usually around 25+ feet of water. Walleye bite inland has been on the slower side lately, but best chance at tangling with one is the low light periods. I find the later afternoons to be better.  

Hopefully everyone gets a chance to stop down at the DECC for the annual Duluth Boat, Sport, Travel & RV Show. We are hosting a booth for HGS as well as conducting seminars throughout the week/weekend. It is also a great opportunity to start researching new fishing related product for 2020. Show runs through Sunday. Stop down and say hello and let's chat all things fishing!

Tight Lines & GoOd FiShN,

Capt. Jarrid


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