I spent just about every waking moment this past weekend on the water in search for a number of different species. My main target species were walleye, largemouth and smallmouth bass. I was able to sneak out for a few hours Friday night so I chose to hit Lake Bemidji quick. The walleyes were stacked up in 10-14 FOW on most wind blown structures and were hungry! My bait of choice for there this time of year is definitely live bait rigging with crawlers or leeches. I was able to get a quick limit of fish using this method with a few nice ones to boot!
Saturday I started out on Leech Lake searching for Smallmouth bass and with no surprise, the majority of the fish that I caught were nice walleyes! I didn’t have any live bait in the boat, but man were they hammering 4″ Trigger X Tubes! My first fish of the morning was a 29″ walleye – let’s just say it was one of the only times I was disappointed to see a giant eye on the end of my line. All these fish were in 6-12 FOW on gravel and rocky areas. I would imagine they were mistaking the pumpkin colored tubes for crawfish.
From there we headed into Boy Bay after largemouths. The fish definitely weren’t going crazy, but we caught some pretty decent largies. Texas rigging Trigger X Goo Bugs was the ticket as well as Terminator Jigs with Twin Tale Grub trailers were doing alright as well. I didn’t notice a lot of fish in the rice, but pads and cut banks had a lot of mediocre fish with a few nice ones mixed in.
I fished a few smaller bodies of water for smallmouth bass and it definitely wasn’t as good as it was a few weeks ago. A lot of the fish are out of the shallows now and have moved deeper making it a little harder to target them. Tubes, drop shots with Probe Worms, and X Rap Props caught a number of fish on deeper rock flats and humps. These smaller lakes were already in the 70 degree range, but you might find a larger population of smallies up shallow on bigger lakes with cooler water temps.
Overall it was a great weekend to be on the water with friends chasing a variety of different species. With the warm weather and the rain subsiding up north, I would expect the muskies to start getting a little more fired up. Walleyes should push deeper to mid lake structure as well as the smallmouths. I always look forward to this time of year as deeper fish give anglers a chance to explore some fun techniques!