Lake Kabetogama-Ash River Fishing Report
Significant weather change and first mayfly hatch of the year
Last week we saw hot, humid and windless days affecting the bite. You needed to be on the water as the sun came up and the last hour before dark. This made fishing tough as you also needed to know where to be during those key hours or you would miss out on the bite. Soft bottom shallow areas produced well as the first significant mayfly hatch was in the making. We did have a less noticeable hatch a few weeks ago but most didn’t even notice. As weekend approached we had significant rain and then much cooler temps and now an east wind turning the bite back on again during the day. Stick to soft bottom areas and wind-swept shorelines using live bait rigs and you should find fish. Leeches and crawlers seem to be producing best but there is still a jig and minnow bite. A good map is your best friend. Chase the wind to areas that are pushing baitfish in to feast on the current mayfly hatch and you will find fish.
Larger northern pike have started to move to cooler waters as the hot weather brought water temps up quite a bit. You will still find smaller pike mixed in with small mouth bass along most shorelines casting just about anything.
Speaking of mayflies, even though they can be a nuisance they are an indication of good water quality and a healthy ecosystem. There are many species of mayflies and they all hatch at different times and unfortunately for them, die within a couple days or even hours. Try collecting a couple from each hatch and you will notice the difference. Almost everything makes a meal from them. Fish, ducks, birds, you name it and they probably enjoy a good mayfly hatch. Of course, for us, it can cause problems. Stinky beaches, mayfly covered boats and sometimes negatively affecting the bite, unless you know where to look. Take some time to learn about mayflies and you will have better success on your fishing adventure. Where mayflies hatch, the baitfish are sure to be there and right behind them, walleyes and other species of fish. Fishing these areas can be extremely productive. Try triggering a bite using a flashier approach to draw their attention. Spinners are a great option.
Summer is in full swing with July 4th holiday next week already! Oh, how time flies! It won’t be long after and the wild berries will be ready to pick. If you are coming up this way keep an eye out in the ditches along the roads as we have an incredible Lady Slipper bloom going on right now. Residents from the area say it’s the best in years! Stay safe, have a wonderful week and don’t forget to stop into Gateway General for an ice cream and to say hi! Guide reports below.
Last week fishing started off good with clouds and a little wind. Walleyes were shallow and live bait rigs with leeches or half a crawler produced very well. Many fish were caught in 10’ or less water. As the week went on and the weather got warmer, sunny, and calm fishing slowed. Early morning and late evening still produced fish shallow but fishing in 20-30’ during much of the day was the ticket. In deep water we again fished live bait rigs and leeches, but the bite slowed. Lots of fish still in the shallows and today (Sunday) with a good east wind saw much better fishing again. Fish wind swept shore lines and weed edges if there is a chop on the water and be prepared to fish in the 20-30’ range on sunny calm days.
It was a good week of fishing. This week the bite was strong evening and early morning. Most of the fish I caught were in that 16 to 21-foot range, it was a sunny calm week which made the bite challenging during the hot afternoon's. Bright colored jigs on bright colored days’ work the best make sure you fish the wind. Make your afternoons pay off by casting cranks along the shoreline for some small mouth bass. Good luck. Trent
Fishing this week has been some of the toughest we have seen so far this year. The hot temps, sun and no wind made the good shallow water bite slow way down. Only times you could catch these fish was early in the day or not at all. We found a few fish in 20’-30’ but even these fish didn’t seem to cooperate. We did end up catching fish but had to really work hard for them. Toward the middle of the week I did some fishing on Namakan and found fish in the 23’-23’ range on jig and minnow or Lindy minnow.
CRABBY PHIL’S TIP OF THE WEEK
Well it's mayfly time of year as one of the first batches is taking place.
A mayfly hatch doesn't have to spoil your fishing.
Mayflies hatch as the soft lake bottom warms up, walleyes love the larvae.
There, you know where the walleyes are, soft bottom structure.
Put various baits in front of them, with and without spinners, if your presentation impresses them you'll catch those eyes.