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On the south end...  A fun week of walleye fishing as the water temps cool to the low 60's and fall colors have started.  The walleye are transitioning to fall locations.  Three different methods used to catch walleyes this week.  Drifting spinners, trolling crankbaits and anchored up and jigging with a minnow, which is becoming more effective each week. 

Walleyes setting up across the south shore and with more shiners running, this trend will continue.  Jigging with a frozen shiner or live fathead has really started to be effective.  Give it 30-40 minutes and set up in a different spot if there is no action. 

Congrats to all MN Tournament Trail tournament anglers this past week.  The winning team had a 7.52 lb avg per walleye for 10 fish.  There are a lot of big walleyes in Lake of the Woods right now.

Daily limit is a combined limit of six walleyes and saugers (with up to 4 being walleyes).   Don't forget the slot, 19.5" - 28" must be returned with one allowed over 28" per day. 

Fall is an excellent time to fish walleyes.  If you like the jig bite, anchor up and jig over the side of the boat for a very enjoyable and typically memorable day.

Pike are active and most are caught but unsuspecting walleye anglers.  The feedbag is definitely on. 

On the Rainy River...   Emerald shiners continue to run in the Rainy River.  Some good runs so far, good angler reports and nice walleyes being caught.  Fall on the river is nice as a small boat will work just fine.

Most walleye anglers on the river are anchoring up along an edge or in a hole with a jig and minnow.  There are 42 miles of navigable Rainy River from Wheeler's Point through Baudette to Birchdale with lots of boat ramps. 

Sturgeon activity has picked up as well with good fall reports.

Up at the NW Angle... 

Excellent fishing continues on both sides of the border.  In U.S. waters, deep mud of Little Traverse Bay continues producing walleyes in 24 - 31 feet.  Gold, white and orange spinners with a crawler or a minnow continue to be effective.  As water cools, minnows on some days are outfising crawlers. 

Areas with structure continue to hold fish.  18 - 27 feet are good starting points.  Jig and a minnow is the goto on structure and neck down areas.

Pike and muskie anglers are locating fish on weedy points using double blade spinners and topwater.  A lot of fish are caught on figure eight.

Travel to and from the Angle via vehicle through the 40 miles of Canada is open.  Boating into Canadian waters is now open.  Please note, no live, frozen or dead bait allowed into Canada from the U.S.  The various plastics on a jig are working well.  Contact a NW Angle resort for details.

Charter boat transport and float planes are still available through the LOW Passenger Service and Lake Country Air. 

A complete list of lodging and fishing packages around LOW, the NW Angle, Baudette and the Rainy River at www.LakeoftheWoodsMN.com/Lodging


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The Pierre area is having one of the busiest and best fishing years that we have had for many years. The fishing on Sharpe around Pierre is limits for just about everybody every day and real nice fish. An 18 inch average walleye is not uncommon along with numerous over 20 to 28 inch fish being caught. Oahe is even better for those fishermen that know the lake and far less crowded. I have been fishing both lakes and have had limits of fish by noon every day for all my customers on both lakes. The bite on Sharpe around Pierre is mostly 10 fow or less and I have been using propeller blades bouncer/  nightcrawlers. I have found one I like better than all of them. It is a propeller blade called Loves and it i sold by Bill Love(Wyoming) available in Pierre at Dakota Mart. This blade turns better in slow speeds than any I have used. Lots of presentations are working on Sharpe from bouncer minnows and plug pulling all putting limits in the boat. Things get harder if weather muddies up the water though so watch for that . Oahe fish are coming up into shallower water in many areas making fishing just excellent on the big lake also. Knowledge of the lake however is more important as not all areas are easy to get limits. I have fished the big lake more lately and mixed bags(Northern smallmouth Catfish White bass) are more common so if you want to see less boats and catch different species it can be a very good choice. On Oahe I am using spinner crawler/bouncer rigs fishing in around 20 fow but here many presentations are working just like on Sharpe. Be prepared to see plenty of other boats/fishermen especially on Sharpe around Pierre. The Canada border closing, Covid escape, an affluent baby boomer generation have all contributed to Oahe and Sharpe being a busy place. Busy boat ramps; busy motel resorts; and very busy community spots are normal especially on weekends. I have always tried to fish my customers away from crowed areas and still do but it is becoming harder to do with the amount of traffic around now. Fortunately we have a great fishery so lots of fish and lots of water for everyone. Once again I would like to thank all of my both repeat and new customer for your business and the great times we all had.  In closing I would like to mention the availability of lots of really good guides and resorts/motels in the Pierre area. Many of the guide boats we see this time of the year are from Chamberlin . Lots of good guides there two but you can avoid a 180 mile round trip drive  every day just to catch a walleye by trying the Pierre area. It can get you a couple of hours extra sleep daily an also you have Oahe available to fish. We have the fish here so why not just come here It makes for a lot easier trip and the State Capitol area would love to have you. Lots of other family things are available here also.



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A shot too far



By Mike Raykovicz


I spoke to a good friend who has never hunted with a bow and arrow until he bought a crossbow two years ago. We discussed how the season played out and he told me he shot a beautiful ten point a few days before the archery season ended. I was happy for him because of his fine trophy, but my elation soon turned to concern after he told me the details of the hunt.

“I was hunting a friend’s farm and saw this buck step out of the woods and he began feeding in the picked corn field,” my friend informed me.  He went on to explain how he put the crosshairs behind the buck’s shoulder and squeezed the trigger.  “It was a great shot and he didn’t go far,” my friend said.  What concerned me though was the distance he said he shot the deer. “85 yards,” he said with a big smile.

Being a gun hunter for almost fifty years my friend thought nothing of taking an 85-yard shot even if it was with a crossbow. I felt I had to say something.

“Deer are quick, agile and nervous creatures who you know are constantly alert to danger. An arrow is not a bullet, and in the amount of time it takes an arrow to reach a seemingly calm deer, the animal can react to the sound of the shot and it could lead to a totally unwanted result,” I explained.

I went on to tell him that most experienced bowhunters have had deer duck the string at the sound of the shot and the results are almost never good. I went on to explain that in addition to taking a shot this long the arrow is at the mercy of the wind and even a slight gust or perhaps an unseen twig could affect its flight resulting in a wounded animal.

No one wants to gut shoot a deer or to lose one so, at the risk of sounding like I was envious of his success and that I was preaching to an experienced hunter, I risked voicing my opinion further about taking a shot that long and calmly enumerated the things that could have gone wrong.  Thankfully, my friend wasn’t offended and hopefully what I said sunk in.

I can’t blame him or anyone else for that matter for taking long shots at deer because several manufacturers of crossbows tout their accuracy out to a hundred yards. It was last season when one crossbow manufacturer placed ads in several outdoor magazines that said, “Meet your new rifle.”

Another manufacturer boasted minute of angle accuracy from their top-of-the-line crossbow model. Personally, I was taken aback by these ads because in my opinion they were sending the wrong message to newly minted bowhunters. Before the letters come pouring in about this being an anti-crossbow piece, it is not. It makes no difference to me as to what device a person uses to hunt deer because these decisions are personal.

My concern is that taking too long a shot or taking a questionable shot can possibly result in a positive outcome such as in my friend’s case, or it can make us regret our decision. To some, killing a deer and then assuming “bragging rights” is all that matters, but personal ethics will enable us to sleep better at night knowing the long shot we passed up means the hunt can continue and that a fine animal won’t be wasted.


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