Shallow Water Trout In The Apostle Islands

Water Body

A friend of mine, Aron, who guides over in the Apostle Islands started shooting me texts this past week with pictures of some big bad brown trout and the simple message… Get out here!


Now if you’ve never hooked up with one of these drag pulling machines in shallow water on the short rods before you might think planning out a 4 hr 1 way trip on just a couple days notice is crazy, but once you’ve experienced the rush of fighting one of these water wolves you’d think it was crazy not to find a way to make it work.


Which gets me to why I love being a part of this website so much… Meeting others who are just as addicted to fishing as myself so when my friends back home weren’t crazy enough to take Friday off and join me on short notice just a few quick messages and phone calls exchanged with friends I’ve met through IDO and I was meeting Jakob Hals to hit the road at 3:30 AM Friday morning.

We met Aron at 7:30 and hit the water but were greeted with a mini cold front as the weather gods were messing with us again and warm temps predicted earlier in the week had turned into single digits with wind and snow… And the fish noticed too as big mark after big mark came scooting off the bottom only to hold up below our baits slowly sink back down.  A few location changes and plenty of holes later we had coaxed several Splake and whitefish into taking our offering but our VMC Rattle Spoons and Rapala Rippin’ Raps that had been getting crushed earlier in the week had largely been ignored.


Greeted with much warmer weather on Saturday Jakob and I made a plan while sipping gas station coffee on the way to the lake to stay even mobile and no matter how many fish were were seeing if they didn’t bite we would keep moving… And it finally paid off on our 5th spot as we finally found some active fish willing to commit.  It was still a grind but the excitement of just a few nice trout made the last minute trip all worthwhile.  We never did catch any of the giants that Aron was into earlier in the week but even just the scenery makes this one of the more special places that I’ve had the opportunity to fish.


A big thanks to Aron Kastern for giving us the invite and to Jakob for being crazy enough to drop everything and join me on a last minute adventure!



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Will Roseberg

Having grown up in the small town of Malmo, Minn, fishing Minnesota’s famed Lake Mille Lacs, Will comes from a small group of anglers in-the-know on north-central Minnesota lakes. He developed his skills fishing the big lake and its surrounding Full Bio ›


  1. I have known Aron for several years and he is a class act and I am looking forward to having him get me out into the deep water for one of those 40# lakers!!! He helped me many years ago, locate a prime spot in the Cheq. Bay by giving me the coords. We tried to get there, but it didn’t quite happen… Then with the advent of the Ice fishing team at school, I asked and again he came through!!! We didn’t hit on the spot, but both he and John Marksman who reported here quite a bit some time ago, without knowing pointed me the same direction… We got one brown, we were looking for northerns, but with the fishing team members being younger and our mobility not being what I would have liked it to be, we didn’t get it dialed in. To be sure if you want to hire a guide to tango with trout in that area, Aron, John are both peeps I would recommend highly!!!


  2. Way cool pics guys, and let’s hear it for Jakob! Now that’s a fishin’ buddy. Great to see you guys tied into some nice fish. Jakob – hope you kept that smelly-shiny-scale for some great deadbait for big pike!


  3. That’s very cool Mark. I actually met Aron at the St Paul Ice show a few years ago and from just a quick conversation quickly realized he’s a heck of a guy. He was gracious enough to help us out with a few spots as well and I’ve kept in touch ever since. From the first day I set foot on the ice in the Apostles I knew how much I loved it there and now I can’t wait until I can bring my dad and son out there one day to experience the awesomeness of trout fishing and beauty of the islands. If anyone is interested in giving this trip a try I would recommend looking Aron up at Unlimited Trophy Outfitters.

  4. Great message board guys.
    Fifteen years ago I lived in Duluth,Mn and never made it over to the Apostle islands to fish. . Ever since, I have regretted it. The only problem now is that I live 700 miles away and trying to find the time is another issue. I love fishing for all species of fish that are around the islands. Can anybody give me any advice on the time of year to spend one week on the water up there? Any advice would be great.

  5. Dan:

    I guess that depends on whether you want to fish open water or on ice… Open water, I would say for ease of catching, just after ice out or just before ice on when the fish come shallow… If you looking to ice fish and in particular look for hawg lakers, I would say late Jan and into March depending on the ice holds up… This time of year is when the ice starts to firm up all the way out to the islands where some 40″ plus specimens will occasionally show up… Its more than dangerous though and something I wouldn’t recommend doing without the services of an experienced guide!!! Hope that helps to some degree, if you have more specific questions, ask away, we might be able to help or we can put in touch with some of the best ice guides in that area.

  6. MBenson
    Thanks for the information. Are you talking about fishing the bay after ice out in the shallow water? Do know of any nice places to stay near the bay? I’m not talking 5 star, just a clean nice place that won’t break the bank?

  7. Dan:

    Because I am living SE of the Ashland about an 1.75 hours away, we (maybe me as I would rather fish than drive) typically like to fish Saxon better than driving the extra hour. We are looking at playing on the Bay more this year. My trolling buddy has a friend that lives in Washburn, so we have done that side as well. As for hotels, there seem to be plenty in the $40/$80 range… There is a little thing parked right next to the Hotel Chequamegon that we stayed at years ago for $25/night and let us have our dog with. Last time I was there it had changed hands and was $45/ night and it looked like it might have changed hands again two weeks ago when we were up there for the H.S. Tourney “Battle on the Bay”. Check the AmericInn on the East side and River Rock on the west side. I will check with my buddy who has stayed there and I will try find out what the name of the place is that we used to stay at.


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