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Jarrid Houston's fishing report

Signs of Spring, Ice Fishing Done

This last week, we saw several signs of spring including the return of robins and, of course, the annual WI inland trout opener on the Bois Brule River.

By: Jarrid Houston | April 1, 2020

As we continue into spring, things are finally starting to take shape. Some for the better and some for the worst (hm, hm..Corona). This last week, we saw several signs of spring including the return of robins and, of course, the annual WI inland trout opener on the Bois Brule River. Those were a couple of positives. We also have got word that the great MN Governor opener that was scheduled for Ottertail County has been postponed until 2021. Also, throw in both state DNR's encouragement to not fish outside your community, cancellation of a few fishing tournaments and Grandma's Marathon. Those are some negatives. Not to mention what will happen in the coming weeks with Smelting, Lake Superior Trout/Salmon Boat launches, etc. Again, I confidently speak for the angling community when I say, what a nightmare. That's enough of that for now. Let's talk this week's fishing report:
Lake Superior and St. Louis River ice fishing is now done. The last safe ice we visited was in the Ashland, WI area. That ice is now breaking away from the shorelines and is not suitable for hardwater angling. The St. Louis River is gaining more and more open water daily. As of this report, the whole lower sections is now ice free. It should all be gone in the coming week, especially with the forthcoming forecast. The open water of the Gitch is seeing a good amount of boat traffic now. Most anglers continue taking to the North Shore and trolling for some catches of Trout and Salmon. Rumor is bright oranges and pinks in 7-11" stick baits are doing best. As usual, if you run into a fish, might want to whip around and see if you can pick up another in the same area. Also, keep track on what bait is producing better. Shore angling continues to draw a few, as well. The bite has been hit n' miss, but most are happy to get out and enjoy the fresh air. 
This last weekend the Brule River opened up for legal fishing above highway 2. Fishing was on the slower side with the usual spring run-off, but some were finding some success. Best bet was to stick out a hole until a cruising fish came by. Drifting bright colored flies under a egg and strike indicator seemed to be best. Opening morning started out nice for weather, but things changed in the afternoon hours as storms moved in. Unfortunately the storms brought a lot of snow/rain and now the river is moving at flood stages. It will take weeks for things to settle back to normal, and by that time, most Steelhead will probably be back to Lake Superior. However, there is always the opportunity to catch something, so don't give up hope. 
Inland waters are on there way to becoming dangerous as well. If you do go out, pick your waters carefully. For the record, we have already put away all of our ice gear and are now into open water mode. This of course includes, preparation, organization and getting the boat ready among other things. To be clear, we do not encourage anymore ice fishing this season. I forecast we will have some shorelanding opportunities for pan-fish in the very near future.    
Be safe out there and stay healthy. Catch ya next week..
Tight Lines & GoOd FiShN,
Capt. Jarrid
Houston's Guide Service
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