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Ron Burgess, took the time to show his kids that the old adage “big baits, catch big fish.” Ron’s family caught these beauties on Lite Northern, fished under a bobber. Photo via Arrowhead Outdoors.
Babe’s Fishing Report
by Captain Russ of Babe’s Bait
Walleye fishermen are experiencing some of the best angling opportunities in recent years. The fish are in the post-spawn mode and have been staging at the moving waters near spawning areas as they begin their spring feeding forays.
While live bait aficionados are scoring good numbers while jig fishing minnows and leeches, many are beginning to manipulate crank baits to capture the largest specimens in the tail waters of spawning streams and rivers. Slow trolling diving cranks such as Shad Raps, Flicker Shad and Tail Dancers in water from ten to 20 foot depths were accounting for some larger walleyes up to seven or eight pounds.
The largest number of “eyes” have been coming from shallower depths as the waters are warming faster there, although these fish tend to run on the smaller eating size from 12 to 18 inches. Crawler harnesses are beginning to make their debut as one of the most productive bait presentations in these staging areas.
As these waters begin to warm further, more folks will turn to bottom bouncer and spinner rigs tipped with either crawlers or minnows.
Many northern pike have been landed recently as they begin to feed more aggressively. Large crank baits and sucker minnows are the preferred baits as of this writing. The pike are cruising the shallow flats feeding on the minnows and smaller game fish that are cruising these inshore waters before they begin to move deeper in the water column.
Burntside anglers trolling for walleyes have been pleasantly surprised by catching some lake trout up to 30 inches while trolling in waters from 15 to 25 feet over mud flats. The walleyes have been running in lengths in excess of 25 inches and are readily engulfing larger crank baits fished near the bottom. The lakers will continue to roam the shallows up until water temperatures begin to rise. Currently surface water temps are hovering around the 50 degree mark.
Crappie fishing has remained slow in these cooler temps but they should begin to be more active as the temps rise. Currently some larger crappies are being landed by fishermen targeting walleyes in 15 to 25 feet

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