Lake Zumbro Multispieces Late October ’08

Water Body

My youngest son Nate and I spent late afternoon/early evening getting in some multispieces fishing on Lake Zumbro even though the low water level due to the draw down is making it hard to get on the lake. Here is how we were able to do it.

Every year in October the lake level is drawn down to what they call winter pool level. You have to remember that Lake Zumbro is really a reservor with a dam. This body of water is part of the Zumbro River. Earlier in the month I could launch my 17.6 Alumacraft at the Ponderosa boat ramp but that has now changed. The water is much lower at the ramp and even though there is a washout hole made by power loading boats [driving the boats up onto the trailers] there is only a few inches of water just past that washout hole when going out further. No way is a big boat going to get on the lake at this ramp. So with that being said and you add in a couple guys who need a fishin fix we chose to use the jon boat to get on the lake. After launching the jon boat I walked along the sand next to the opening to the ramp and pulled the boat across the area that only had a very few inches of water. Once I got past that area I then could climb into the boat and it was off to fishing. My Dad use to always say where theres a will theres a way and a way was found. [thumbs up]. A small boat can accomplish alot of things that a larger boat can’t do and this is one situation where we sure appreciated the jon boat. We did see one other small boat on the lake along with one bass boat so I an guessing that they both put in at the Fishermans Inn boat ramp. I have not heard anything on how the water level is at that ramp. But I do know from past history learned the hard way years ago that the ramp there goes out only so far and then it ends with a sharp drop off which trailers got hung up on when trying to pull out. I would check there first before launching there to be on the safe side.

The first pic is a very nice crappie Nate caught. The majority of the fish caught were gills. This lake is known for some very nice bullgills in the fall of the year and the second fish pic is of one of those nice wide bullgills.

The technique used to catch the fish today was jigging a Mini-Mite jig from Hooked On Fishing in Rochester with a waxie added to sweeten the offering. A splitshot was added about a foot to a foot and a half above the jig. This is basicly known as tightlining the jig to get it down to the depth that the fish were found at and held at the depth. The fish were both close to the bottom and also suspended in the water column. The water temps were, at the surface, ranging from 49-51 degrees. The weather was sunny, warm [close to 60 I’m guessing], and calm winds which sure made for a great day to be on the water. Please remember to practice catch & release selective/harvest with the bigger fish as they have the genes to continue having big bullgills in the lake. Now if I could just catch as many as Nate did I’d have it made. lol. See you on the water.

Thanks, Bill


  1. Nate earned the title of ”sheephead king” for the day by catching 5 sheephead to my none. Gee….I’m heartbroken. They did give him a nice fight and they aren’t exactly what you would catch alot of on Lake Zumbro but he beat me fair and square.

  2. Keep trying ole man some day I’ll let you know my secrets.
    any time you want to be shown how to catch them gills and crappies you just hollor
    and the next lesson can begin
    thanks dad last night was a much needed break, and man what a peaceful night on the water alot of fish good conversation and was a blast fishing out of the jon boat talk about going back to the basics of fishing gotta love it.

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