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Jarrid Houston's fishing report

Excitement Builds with Openers Around the Corner

For our team, this is certainly our favorite time of year and considered a "holiday" in our books.

By: Jarrid Houston | May 1, 2019

Excitement fills the air with what the next several weeks bring. We made it to another start to the general fishing opener season. For our team this is certainly our favorite time of year and considered a "holiday" in our books. Let me be the first one to say to you, "good luck anglers and be safe." For Minnesota, we are entering the home stretch of the off-season. For the Wisconsinites, we are already into legal fishing. General opener includes legal angling for walleyes, pike and in select areas, bass. By the time this column finds its way to you, I will be trying my luck in the Hayward area for walleyes and getting ready for Minnesota to open its gates to their respective fishing season. Last reminder to get your "ducks in a row" for organization, boat preparation, license and registrations reinstatements, etc. Another great practice is to study up on state fishing pamphlets to refresh on what is right vs. wrong. Hope you all have a great season. Without further "ado," here is our report:

Lake Superior has had lots of action this last week with smelt starting to show up in several locations. From Ashland to the North Shore, smelters are finding some good success. The only challenge has been cold weather and windy nights. For the anglers getting out on the boat and trolling, we are hearing lots of reports of good catches of Salmon near shore. Best tactic continues to be trolling stick baits. Best to start out with a mix of colors and as you start to pick up action, match up what is working.

Stream anglers continue to report success for some good catches of steelhead, a few salmon and the occasional brown trout. Some are locking up with a few suckers as well. Patience is key. Anglers need to remember that these are migratory fish and eventually one will swim by. Best practice continues to be drifting spawn under float indicators.

St. Louis River is starting to see some ti- toeing into the estuary. Docks are going in and the days leading up to May 11th, expect to see anglers running their boats and maybe trying some luck at some pan-fish. The MN and WI DNR recently had some work surveying spawning walleyes up river. Let's just say, we like what we saw.


Inland lakes of both states have some diverse bites happening. Most popular has been shallow-water pan-fishing. It is amazing how fast water warms up after recent ice outs. We have found water temps all the way up to 52 degrees. Shallow bays with decaying plants giving life to new of the year vegetation and bug larvae are attracting fish. Best recipe is a small jig in thirty second size tipped with a wax worm or soft plastic under a bobber. A few crappies are also being caught in the shallows with crappie minnows. 

*Just a reminder, that this time of year lots of 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! Again, "good luck anglers and be safe!"


Tight Lines & GoOd FiShN,

Capt. Jarrid

Houston's Guide Service
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