Lake Kabetogama-Ash River Fishing Report
Fall Creeping in
Temps have finally become more Fall like with highs in the 60’s and lows in the 40’s. That trend looks to continue through the week. As temps begin cooler fishing will change as well.
Walleye has been a challenge this past week. Fish are still being caught but not with the consistency as a couple weeks ago. The high winds last week kept most off the water or left fishing areas that weren’t generally productive. As most switched to a jig and minnow because it’s that time of year, some have kept to a more summerlike approach and are doing much better. As water temps are still in the high 60’s, leeches and crawlers behind a spinner moving around .8-1.2 mph is working well. Long line trolling with lead core is also producing. Anglers that were using leeches and crawlers and bottom bouncers with spinners, were catching fish consistently. They were able to cover more area to pick up on the active fish. As the weather pattern turns cooler fish will start moving and the jig and minnow bite will improve but if you want to be more productive, try sticking with your late summer approach. Most recently, areas around Ash River, Lost Bay and then west around Picnic, Echo and Ram islands have been productive.
Smallmouth bass will also become more active and easier to find as the water temps drop. Kabetogama is known for its walleyes, but if you don’t give bass a try you could be missing out on some world class fishing. As the water gets cooler smallmouth with move onto to the reefs to feed and it can be phenomenal fishing to say the least. Seek out any of the numerous reefs and using your sonar, look for schools of fish. You will eventually find them. It may take a try or two but once you get into an active school it’s game on! A jig and minnow are a good starting point but if they are active you can drop just about anything down there and catch nice bass one after another. It’s not uncommon to have 50 fish (or more) days with many in that 3-5 lb range. Don’t forget to take a picture and release those big ones. It’s an exciting way to spend a day on the lake while you take in the breathtaking scenery we have in the Fall here on Kab.
Finding northern pike will also be easier as the water cools. What are you looking for? Weed beds. Spend a little time cruising the deep edges of weed flats. As weed beds start to die off, pike will be looking for green patches of weeds to feed in. Obviously, this will congregate fish and multiple catches in an area will be common. Spinnerbaits, jerk baits and shallow running crankbaits can be extremely effective.
Hunting seasons have just begun with archery deer, grouse and small game opener this past weekend. Bear season began on Sept 1st but most have pulled baits as bear are on the move looking for more protein in the acorns. Small game hunters tend to spook bear as well so even though the season runs into October, most have switched gears to grouse and deer up here in bear country. The bear season ended well with a good number of bears being harvested. The largest registered at Gateway General was a whopping 352 lb.’s! An average Minnesota black bear weighs approximately 150 lb.’s so that gives you a good idea how big the previous mentioned is! Grouse hunting is tough with no reports to speak of. With fall foliage just turning and starting to drop it will be a couple weeks before grouse hunting is more productive. Also, your best bet is to get off the trails where the ATV hunters are as they will push birds further into the woods. No archery deer reports to date.
Voyageurs National Park is a great place to visit in the fall. The changing colors, cooler temps and the great fishing are just a few highlights to mention. The Park Service will end its tours on Sunday the 23rd but that doesn’t mean you can’t enjoy what we have to offer, you just might have to do some exploring on your own! Hiking any one of the numerous trails can be a little easier without the heat and bugs to deal with. Buck deer are shedding their velvet and are a common sight in the woods and surrounding area. As the days shorten you also have a good chance to see the northern lights a little earlier than during the summer months and still get a good night’s sleep. Try visiting us this fall, you won’t be disappointed!
Finally, if there is ANYTHING you may need or have forgotten, stop in at Gateway General as we have just about everything. Believe it or not we expect to have leeches until the end of the month!