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On the south end...  Walleyes and saugers sliding into a bit deeper water with 26-30 feet being where most are fishingl  Good numbers of fish continue to be caught with a lot of sorting the future small fish in the system and choosing just the right ones for a fish fry.  Make some noise!  Jigging with lures with a rattle or vibration has been effective in both catching and attracting fish.  Use your second line, use as a deadstick, a jig or plain hook with a live minnow under a bobber set at 6 inches to a foot off of the bottom.  Electronics are helpful to show fish, how they are reacting to your presentation and when they are suspended.  Popular lure colors... gold, glow red, glow white, pink and green.  Nice numbers of walleyes over 28 inches caught this week. Walleyes, saugers, jumbo perch, big pike, tullibees, eelpout and even an occasional crappie or sturgeon being caught on Big Traverse Bay.

On the Rainy River...   Ice fishing on areas of the river continues to produce some walleyes mornings and evenings. As ice conditions vary greatly on the river as there is moving water, we encourage guests who don't know the river to work through a resort for safety.  The snowmobile trail on the river from Baudette to Wheeler's Point to the NW Angle is open.

Up at the NW Angle...  With the border closure, there are four ways to travel to the NW Angle without crossing the border.  1.  NW Angle Guest Ice Road is open!  2.  Snowmobile trails across the lake are open.  3.  Lake of the Woods Passenger Service (bombardier).  4.  Lake Country Air.

Walleyes, saugers and jumbo perch with an occasional pike, eelpout, or tullibee in the mix up at the NW Angle.  22-27' has been the goto depth for most anglers.  No surprise, pink and gold have been hot colors, a LOW favorite with the stained waters.  Communicate with your favorite NW Angle resort for specifics.  A complete list of lodging and ice fishing packages available at



Cookie's Red Lake Fishing Report


The winds did play a little havoc but all in all not bad.. Jonny boy pulled hillmans drag for 5 hours at least† letting the winds take the snow off the main road. Our off shoot road had some drifting but with the red baron re routing was easier then moving all the snow in certain spots.
†We said good bye to glen. He makes it up a couple times a year. He is right up there with being a better fisherpeople then most and is right up there with greek. He never sets he rod down. He is constantly jigging a purple northland† buckshot, totally focused on the vexlar. I'm happy to report he went home with his 3 and his gals 3.
†Matt and Casey† spent one night. They only managed 2 keepers but said they want to bring the kids next year,
†Domminick and his buddy also had a grand time on a grand lake. They left old minnesota in really nice shape which is much apricated . They also had some action just not sure how many they took home. They did eat a couple.
†The rest of the day was spent plowing new trails, cleaning, moving, blocking, banking, augering..
†Yesterday Jonny boy and I headed out to button up the houses, getting them ready for our guest.
†Every thing went well un tell our last guest were on the lake. When the red baron sputtered then quit running. Hitting the key there was nothing there. I had to jump in friday morning?† After checking in Jim and Grace Jonny boy towed me home. It seems one of the 2 batteries took a crap . We got her running† by jumping† the good batterie. I have a new batterie to throw in this morning so hopefully that cure the issue.
† We were also able to accommodate a few wheel houses down by us, plowing them there own little fishy areas.
†Time to tackle that battery as we† say good bye to mike and mark in north dakota. Then plow and pick a new fishy spot for† Randy and his crew, On a Grand Lake that Owes Us Nothing.


Smoking salmon again

by Tom Pink

At my wedding reception in 1987, I heard several people Ė some who had traveled far Ė say they almost didnít make it to the church on time.

It wasnít because they were stuck in traffic or left home late. It was because they were having so much fun catching pink salmon off the downtown docks that they didnít want to quit.

Who could blame them? In the mid- to late-1980s and early 1990s, the St. Maryís River pink salmon fishery was phenomenal. It still is fantastic, but the shore fishing isnít quite as easy as it was back then. These days, fishing from a boat, or wading in the St. Maryís rapids or Lake Huron and Lake Superior tributaries, produces better results.

Days before the wedding, I told my dad that the anglers who were doing best were using pink-colored flashy spoons that they jigged through the schools of fish, rather than just casting and retrieving. With that intel, Dad tied some lures using Lake-St.-Clair-meets-Lake-Superior technology. He took jig heads that he normally would use for walleye, painted them with pink nail polish, and instead of threading soft-body tails onto the jigs, he tied tufts of Christmas tree tinsel on them.

The combination may sound crazy, but the flashy results spoke for themselves, so much so that after Dad caught his limit, he was kept busy building his custom jigs for fellow fishermen right there on the dock and he sold them as quickly as he could tie them, for a buck apiece. We all had a lot of fun and Dad and his buddies went home with coolers full of pink salmon that had been smoked by a local resident for Ė wait for it Ė a buck apiece.

More than 30 years later, we got into pink salmon again, but this time, we fished with a guide with a ton of experience and a knack for tying flies that proved to be irresistible not only to pink salmon, but Atlantic salmon, too. Jason Carstens of True North Guide Service really knows his stuff and I was amazed at how he matched the nymphs with what the fish were eating.

For a little while, Dad tried his olí tinsel-tail jig for old timeís sake, but he quickly switched over to one of Jasonís secret weapons. A few hours later, we went home with a dozen pink salmon Ė having released several Ė as well as a beautiful rainbow trout and two Atlantic salmon, both caught by Dad Ė his first and second.

The excursion left an impression on me in so many ways. First, it never ceases to amaze me that you can pull a hard-fighting, acrobatic fish into the boat using just a tiny No. 12 to 14 hook. Also, there is no substitution for fishing with someone who has put the time in and gained a lot of knowledge about the fishery. Iíve been relying on fishermen smarter than I am since I settled in Sault Ste. Marie 40 years ago.

Jasonís enthusiasm and joy for being outside is contagious. Iíve never been into sports, but I know a good coach when I see one. Iíve known Jason since he was a college student, and he has always been generous with his time, knowledge and equipment. Dad and I were really grateful to be able to spend time on his boat.

I havenít run a smoker since I gave mine away to another student several years ago, but I borrowed one from a buddy for this batch of pinks. We filleted the Atlantics and used Jasonís brine recipe to prepare them for the grill later in the week. All of the fish were delicious. Outstanding. I ate the last of the smoked stuff on scrambled eggs the other day.

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