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Fishing Reports

Current Fishing Report 9-3-15

The walleye fishing on Lake Bemidji has still been the best in the area. During low light periods of the day the best tactic to catch fish is to troll crank baits in 6’ to 10’. While during the day the best way is to pull crawlers on slow death rigs and spinner rigs in 15’ to 20’. Casting Snap Raps on breaks and humps and working them from deep water to shallow has also been producing a lot of fish as well.

The hottest lake in the area for panfish right now would be Turtle River Lake. Using a crawler on a plain hook with a slip bobber has been working well for crappies. Using beetle spins with a fat head minnow has also been working really well for crappies. As far as for sunfish small leeches with a small jig have been working the best. Casting up shallow with the jig and working it back towards the boat.

Taber's Bait

Previous Fishing Reports

Fishing Report 8-19-15


Lake Bemidji and Plantagenet are the best lakes in the area right now for walleye fishing. Trolling crank baits and other loud quick moving lures are working the best. Most fish are being caught in the 8-14’ range. Casting jigging raps and ripping raps are also producing nice fish once you find a good school of walleyes, but most are scattered and feeding hard.

Three Island Lake has been good for panfish. Look for sunfish right up in the weeds and along the weed edges. Look for crappies suspended off deep weed edges and out in deeper basins. Casting a small jig with a leech has been working really well and using a small hook on a slip bobber tipped with a panfish leech has also been working the best.

Taber's Bait

Fishing Report 8-13-2015


Lake Bemidji is still producing walleyes. As we are approaching the dog days of summer the fishing is starting to slow up a little compared to what is has been in previous weeks. That being said people are still doing well pulling crawlers around in 15’-19’ during the day. The best way to find active, feeding fish is to pull crankbaits around. Troll in 15’ during the day and once dusk starts approaching start using shallow running crankbaits and work 8’-12’ on shoreline breaks and mid lake humps. Once you locate a school of fish you can use a jigging rap to vertical jig for them and that has been producing nice walleyes and entice them to bite.

Muskies are becoming more and more active as the season rolls on. People have been having luck using top-water baits and cowgirls. Under low light situations bright colored supermodels have been working well and producing some nice fish.

Moose Lake has been producing some nice crappies out in 12’-16’ off weed edges. While the sunfish are right up tight to the weed edge or right up in the weeds. People have been using small jigs tipped with a small panfish leech and casting it out and working it back to the boat.

Taber's Bait

Fishing Report 8-5-2015

It is still pretty easy to catch walleyes on Lake Bemidji right now. Pulling jigs with spinners on them with a minnow or a twister tail on top of big flats and humps is working really well. The bottom bouncer bite is really hot right now. Use a gold spinner rig with a night crawler on shoreline breaks and humps.

The crappie bite on Buck Lake is really hot right now in 14’. If you are looking for sunfish Gull Lake has been producing nice Sunfish using a slip bobber and a small leech in the reeds.

Big Bass Lake has been hot for bass action lately using plastic worms and top-water baits.

Taber's Bait

Fishing Report 7-23-15

We are experiencing an algae bloom on Lake Bemidji right now so the walleyes are starting to work their way back up shallow. The daytime bite has also improved due to the low light levels in the water. Crawlers have been the go to bait on a bottom bouncer and spinner. Crankbaits are also working really well on the edges of the weeds in 12-14’. The hot colors have been Helsinki shad and Regal Shad. The hot spots on Lake Bemidji have been the windblown sides of diamond bar and the rock pile.

Panfish are still very aggressive. You can find them on deep weed edges using a bobber and a plain hook with a night crawler. Lake Beltrami has been producing some nice fish back in the back bay.

Muskie fisherman are having really good luck boating some nice big muskies. This time of the year is really good for finding active, feeding muskies with the warmer water temperatures.

Taber's Bait

Fishing Report 7-16-15

The walleye bite of Lake Bemidji is still hot. Most people are still rigging crawlers and leeches on spinner rigs and doing well in 12-15’. Rigging Redtails and Creek Chubs are still producing the bigger walleyes on the bottom of the breaks. Mid-lake structure is starting to turn on. It isn’t hot yet, but you can still find fish off the edges of the humps. Trolling scatter raps at dark and after dark along the weed lines is the best way to cover water and catch some walleyes.

The perch fishing on Lake Bemidji is on fire right now. You can find some nice jumbos on the west side of the lake up in the weeds. The best way to catch them is just a jig and a fathead minnow and cast right into the weeds and finesse it through or with a fast retrieve and keep your jig right at the top of the weeds.

Gull Lake is a good lake to go and catch some sunfish. A slip bobber and a hook tipped with a small panfish leech has been the go to presentation in 6 to 9’.

Taber's Bait

Fishing Report 7-8-2015

The walleye bite on Lake Bemidji is one of the better ones in the area right now. Rigging leeches and crawlers on spinner rigs in 9-14’ has been producing nice eater-size walleyes. Rigging creek chubs and red tails has been producing bigger fish in the 15-20’ range. The west side of the lake around the cabbage beds has been holding the hot spots.

Turtle River Lake has been producing some nice crappies and sunfish in 6-9’ using a small hook tipped with a chunk of crawler or wax worm, and a slip bobber.

Muskies are being caught on the edges of the new cabbage growth on Lake Bemidji and Plantagenet using small to medium sized bucktails and spinnerbaits. Hot colors have been black, orange and purple.

Current shop hours are Mon-Thur 6-7:30, Fri-Sat 5-8, and Sun 6-5. Current minnow menu includes crappies, fatheads, suckers (all sizes), rainbows, red tails, creek chubs, riverrun, gold shiners, silver shiners. Also night crawlers, wax worm tubs or small containers, small red worms for panfish, all sizes for leeches (dozens or lbs).

Taber's Bait

Fishing Report 2-11-2015

Big Winni perch are going well. Many areas to go also. West side is going from snag hole around the horn to river bar. Look to 16 to 28 feet for best action. Main lake bars Bena thru Long bar. Center bar is also going. 16 to 25 feet has been the best.Humps are on and off as the fish move. Pike action still hot. Bigger minnows suckers or shiners working toward the tops of the structures 1 to 4 feet off the bottom. Another pattern that is going on the deeper areas is 2 to 6 feet down from the surface. These pike are eating perch that have been put back but wont go back down, they are flipping around just under the ice sheet. Also the tulibee are cruising high off the bottom any where from 5 to ten feet under the ice sheet. Walleye action still spotty with the best time to be just before dark til about 8 pm. Sunfish heating up in big and little cutfoot. Crappie action just starting to go also in the same areas but deeper. Afternoons till dark the best. Snow is about 3 to 4 inches on the lake travel still good. See you on the lake Pat.

Pat Rooney

Fishing Report 2-6-2015

Big Winni perch are on. Several areas are producing well. Tamarac Bay from 12 foot out toward the river channel is good. Several main lake structures are going. Bena bar north from The Big Bend out along the backside of Long Bar. Center bar and Horshoe bar are all producing. Look to the 16 to 23foot mark to start. Fair weather look shallower and cold fronts look a bit deeper. West side spots are the raven Rock area out east and a bit north through the humps in that araea. Pike are very active as they have been all season. Look to the top portions of the same area you are perch fishing. Walleye lately have been spotty. A ver short evening bite window between 3:30 and 6 pm for about 30 minutes is all you get. Pike and perch action more than make up for that. Ice travel is good with 30 inches of ice the norm. We do still have a couple of heaves so check into the resort you entering the lake for ice roads. See you on the lake.

Pat Rooney

Fishing Report 1-21-2015

Kinsley Olson

Future Walleye Legend Kinsley Olson proudly displaying her catch - a Lake Bemidji beauty! Way to go Kinsley!!

Jesse Takkinen

Jesse Takkinen with a 29" Upper Red Lake walleye! Awesome fish!! Congrats!

Aaron Rocheleau

Aaron Rocheleau with a 14-1/2" Upper Red Lake crappie. Nice fish!!

Lake Winnie Report:

Hello from Big Winni. Ice conditions are very good at this time. 25 to 28 inches and very little snow. Vehicle traffic good everywhere. Fish are cooperating also. Pike are on a rampage. Numbers of fish from 22 to 30 inches on tip ups and sucker minnows or jig with large jigging spoons and a minnow head. Walleye on and off depending on the first or second day of a front coming through. Then bite gets good again. Look to the top sections of the main lake bars and humps. Long and center bar, and snag hole shore drop. 15 down to 22 feet of water. Plain hook minnows next to an attractor of some sort whether a spoon and minnow head or a jigging rap to bring them in. Perch are setting up in two areas now. Shallow minnow eaters, from the first shore drops. Look to 4 to 11 feet of water for these fish. Drill plenty of holes and sight fish them. The deeper fish are eating bugs. Look to the main lake bar drops for these fish. 25 to 35 feet of water is where these fish are located. smaller minnows on glow jigs or if the sun ever pops out use gold.

We do have a couple of areas to stay away from, heaves on the west side and north of tamarac point to toward the gap. Just check into the resort you are going out from for the areas to stay away from.
Pat Rooney

General Fishing Report

An extra early start, excellent ice conditions, and a hot bite on area lakes have combined to create an ice fishing extravaganza this winter! All lakes now driveable with 20-28" inches of good, hard, clear ice, and have a light dusting of snow for banking houses. (Always be cautious of currents and pressure ridges.) With milder temps in the forecast - it just doesn't get much better! Prime Lake Bemidji perch bite has been from 3-5:30 p.m., although there is steady action all day long. Anglers report best success fishing 18-30' on set lines using smaller spoons tipped with minnow heads or wax worms. The walleye bite on Bemidji has been consistent with anglers picking up a few fish near sunrise and sunset, fishing 20-33'. Walleyes will continue to bite throughout the night for those in sleeper houses. Anglers are jigging with medium-size glow spoons tipped with minnows, and for set lines, many report best results using plain hooks or smaller glow jigs. Tip-up fishing for northern has been popular using light northern suckers in 8-14'. Pout just starting to show up, and anxious anglers have been trying their luck after dark on the Rock Pile, DNR Bar, and Diamond Bar using heavy spoons with multiple minnows per treble. Big Wolf Lake producing good numbers of crappies suspended over 25-40'. Hot jumbo perch bite going right now on both Big Winni and Pike Bay. Anglers continue to make the trek north to Upper Red Lake for some extreme walleye action this winter - and things don't seem to be letting up as of yet. Fishing out away from the crowds is helpful, if possible. Anglers report red and firetiger jigging spoons and glow jigs to be the current magic tickets. As always, be safe out there everyone, and keep a tight line!

Fishing Report 7-29-2014

2013 Walleye League Champions

"Congrats to Chaz Dobias & Brittany Batcho – Taber's 2013 Walleye League Champions!! This 8.34 lb hog was the winning ticket! Way to go Chaz & Brit - congrats!!"

Lake Bemidji is still going good.  Raps are starting to work well after dark. Leeches or crawlers and bigger minnows are best on a lindy rig with a spinner blade or a snell. Work the mid-lake structure. Fish are starting to behave like its mid-summer.

Anglers on Plantagenet are having some success around the 9 foot area but wouldn’t call the bite at all strong. Rig a redtail or creek chub or pull a crawler on a snell along the outside edge of weedlines.

Red Lake is probably the easiest lake to fish right now. Large leeches or Scatter Raps are working well. Orange/silver, blue/silver, and perch are good colors.  It’s been very easy to get your limit.

       ~Keep a tight line~

Hello from Big Winnie. Fishing on the big pond is a bit challenging for Walleye. There is plenty of food for the fish. Mayfly larvae has gone back down to the bottom. Perch fry abound. Fish can be caught with some work though. Look to the main lake bar drops from 20 to 40 foot of water. Pull spinners and crawlers or leeches till you find a pod of fish then stop and rig them. Seems as the fish are being caught deeper then usual. Hump fishing can be good but the fish are not hanging around long. Bottom of the hump is better than the top. Weed fish and shallower rock fish will go only in the wind and rain. Water temps are in the low 70 degree range. With the food available to these fish expect short bite windows. Several will occur a day but are brief. Perch fishing on the other hand is very good right now. Numbers of 10 to 11 inchers are being caught. Look to the first shore drops . Snag hole area through the bird houses, Mosey hole, bena bar, Several humps north of third river bar are all producing well. Look to 18 to 30 foot of water. Drift along till the right size fish is caught  then you can sit on the school for a bit. Slowing down move a long again till the next pod is found. Jigs and fat head minnows the best option. Pike fishing is starting to pick up for numbers and size. Lots of 20 to 24 inchers out there. Take some, they make for fine table fare. Trolling spoons or larger crank baits are the best way to put them in the boat. Look to the deeper weed edges in the 10 to 14 foot range. Sunfish and Crappie are active early and late in the day. Look to Cutfoot big and Little. Little Ball club, Lower Sucker and Portage lakes. The shore drops with Coon tail beds going down to 5 or 6 feet have been the best. 1 /16th or 1/32nd oz jigs with two inch twister tails in yellow or white have been the best. Move along without a cork with the 16th jig when you hit a fish stop and throw out the 32nd oz with a cork and take a few from the same area. Most are done spawning now.  See you on the lake Pat.

Report 7-11-2014
The walleye bite on Lake Bemidji is above average.  The cooler night time temperatures have definitely made a difference with the bite but good numbers are still being caught.  The jig and minnow bite has slowed down but rigging red tails or creek chubs or leeches and crawlers on a spinner rig is producing in depths from 6-14 feet.  Mid-lake structures are not quite there yet.  Fish the wind driven side of the lake in the shoreline cabbage.

Plantagenet is still very productive.  Fish aggressive on the wind driven side with crankbaits or use leeches and crawlers  on spinners.  Look for the deeper weeds around 12-14 feet and pull over them.  Don’t be afraid to go shallower at sunset.  Shallow morning and evening bites  seem to be the best .

Fishing the mid lake bars and flats of Cass Lake is starting to produce. Dragging leeches and crankbaits is most productive in 12 feet of water. 

The Hottest Lakes in the area are by far Bemidji and Leech-hands down!

Keep a tight line.

Hello from Big Winnie. The Walleye bite has gotten challenging. The higher water levels and faster run off has cleared the lake up more than normal..Also has kept water temps down in the upper sixty degree range . Fish have been caught deeper than in most years. Look to the basin areas in 25 to 40 foot of water. Mayflys are going well now with our 4rth hatch. Rigs and crawlers or leeches are working best at this time. When a plain rig does not turn a fish go to a spinner and half crawler with a bit more speed.  Summer bait patterns are in full swing . Bite windows are short and several times a day. Perch bite is good from the 12 foot line out . but with jigs and fat head minnows. Hunt around till you get the right size then sit on them . Seems just on the edge of the deeper weeds is the ticket. Plenty of pike to be had numbers in the 20 to 26 inch range. Trolled or bait fished . Most of them can be caught on the edges of weed lines from 8 foot out to 12 foot. Sunfish and Crappie are active at twilight periods. Most lakes around us including Big Cutfoot Little Cutfoot , Little Ball club Portage and Sucker lakes all are producing well now. Mornings till ten and evening from 7 till10 pm. Time to go fishing see you on the Lake. Pat.

Report 6-26-2014
Lake Bemidji continues to produce numerous amounts of Walleyes in depths ranging from 5-8 feet. The East side of the lake from the Pines to the State Park working the cabbage seems to be most anglers choice spot.  A wide variety of techniques are being productive from a jig and minnow to rigging a crawler, leech or redtail. A crankbait bite is not that common yet.

On Andrusia the bite has picked up tremendously in anywhere from 4-15 feet. Anchoring in 15 feet and pitching a jig with a minnow or tipped with a leech towards the shallows and working the cabbage on the wind driven side of the lake is resulting in some nice fish.
Plantagenet has and excellent bite going on leeches and crawlers. A few anglers are pulling redtails with great success in depths of 5-12 feet. The crappies on Big Turtle are being caught in 4-6 feet with a light jig underneath a bobber towards evening.

Keep a tight line. 

Hello from Big Winnie. We are in a bit of a summer pattern walleye now. Several short bite windows lasting only 15 to 30 minutes. As the water warms the fish feed more often but not as long. The best bite has moved off shore as well.  Bar and Hump fishing is going well now. Bena bar  out to Long bar is ok. Moses and Snag hole west. Moxey’s east side and out to the humps. north and west of Third river bar. Weed lines have very few fish in them unless it is raining or windy Perch action is ok in the mid depth range from 12 feet out to 25 feet of water. Jigs and fathead minnows. Look to Tamarac Bay for perch and Walleye in the river channel also.12 to 20 feet. Crappie and Sunfish are going well in Cutfoot and Little Cutfoot. Some other area lakes to check are Portage, Six Mile or Little Ball club.

See you on the lake. Pat

Pat Rooney

Report 6-18-2014
Lake Bemidji is an unbelievably awesome bite still shallow.  Finesse jigging is a plus.  Work any shoreline structure North, South, East, or West.  Where there’s cabbage you’ll find Walleyes.  Fishing mid lake structure is not as productive.  A jig and shiner through the cabbage is the anglers choice but the leech and crawler bite are also starting to be quite productive with a slow presentation.

Cass Lake walleyes still tight lipped. Bait of choice is rigging crawlers  in 11-22 feet.

Lake Plantagenet is producing nice eaters in.  Fish the cabbage on the wind driven sides of the lake with a slow presentation rigging a crawler or leech on a Snell in 6 ½-7 ½ feet. Some anglers are also finding success finesse jigging a shiner through the cabbage in 12-15 feet.

Keep a tight line!

Report 6-13-2014
Lake Bemidji still a phenomenal bite. Finesse jig a spot tail on a jig through the cabbage in front of the state park and by diamond bar.  Working well at depths of 6 to 9 feet. The crawler bite isn’t quite up to par yet but rigging a large or jumbo leech in the same areas is productive.

Plantagenet, the bite is on! Fishing depths as deep as 18 feet with a jig and shiner or rig and leech is most productive during daylight hours. A good night bite is going on dead sticking a shiner with a bobber. A lot of nice eating size fish are being caught.

Another lake that’s taking off and an awesome night bite is Blackduck.

Cass Lake the ‘eyes are being a little tight lipped if you don’t know the lake.  Anglers that are being successful over there are using jumbo leeches and creek chubs in depths of 8 to 28 feet.

Keep a tight line

Ron-Taber’s Bait

Hello from big Winnie. Walleye are active several times a day. Play the weather. Cloudy rainy weather is good for a shallow water in the weeds. Sunny days the main lake bars and humps are producing . Baits you need to bring out all variety's . Seems lately sunny days crawlers out fish anything. Cloudy days shiners or leeches work better. Play the wind and fish the structure with the wind blowing along it or slightly into it. Weed beds are getting set up around the lake in 5 to 6 and 8 to 10 feet. They have fish in them. Perch action has been better in the deep water of the main lake drops as they are also done with the spawn. Look to 15 to 23 feet. Same with the north humps. Pike are active all around the lake . Ready to bite. Cranks are working well for pike trolled in 7 to 12 feet of water in between weed beds.  Crappie are in spawn and can be caught shallow in the reeds look to 3 to 5 feet of water. Sugar lake, third river and in Cut-foot to name a few. Sunnies are ahead of spawn but can be caught early and late in the day in the same areas. See you on the lake. 

Pat Rooney

Anglers, were close to a month behind on all area lakes on the way they’ve been fished in the past.  Yes the spawn is over but the water temps are still far below normal to where the bait fish have not even started to run.  So on your most favorite fishing lake use a jig and minnow from 4-9 feet along shoreline structure and fish with a slow presentation.  Hottest lakes in the area are of course Upper Red Lake, Bemidji, Winnie and Leech is not far behind.

Keep a tight line!

Report 5-23-2014
Anglers, were close to a month behind on all area lakes on the way they’ve been fished in the past.  Yes the spawn is over but the water temps are still far below normal to where the bait fish have not even started to run.  So on your most favorite fishing lake use a jig and minnow from 4-9 feet along shoreline structure and fish with a slow presentation.  Hottest lakes in the area are of course Upper Red Lake, Bemidji, Winnie and Leech is not far behind.

Keep a tight line!

Report 5-14-2014
Some lakes had a crusher of an opener! Hottest lake in the area is Lake Irving. Set up in 5-7 feet with Kenkatch blue/white long shank jig and a shiner. People were quite successful on Lake Andrusia with a jig and shiner in 5-12 feet by any inlet. Lake Bemidji has definitely turned on. Fish the shoreline no deeper than 9 feet preferably where the pencil reeds would be with white or blue/white Kenkatch 3-D eyes. Limits can be caught in some shoreline areas from 5-15 feet with a jig and minnow on Lake Plantagenet but you need to grind it out to get your limit. Cass Lake by Pug Hole people are doing well with jig and shiner and a few pitching Rapalas. Leeches haven’t really been the ticket because the water temps are just too cold. Most area lakes are in the mid to upper 40’s, a few in the lower 50’s. Anglers, it seems like a jig and minnow in shallow water is your best bet and fishing non-aggressive is the most productive in our area lakes. Good luck and keep a tight line.


Hello from Big Winnie. Walleye opens with some of the nicest weather in years. Walleye finishing up the spawn as many females were caught dripping eggs. The Gap out to the river channel was good from 8 to 14 feet. Fish were caught on Ravens and Mallard point. 8 feet to 12 feet. Big stoney was good also. Same depths. Some fish are showing up at High Banks in the rocks out to 15 feet. Perch are very active as they are setting up to spawn. Look to 5 to 9 feet of water off Ravens, Mallard, Stoney points. Minnows have been the bait of choice. Light jigs or a slow drifted rig works well. Water temps in the mid to upper forty degree range now. See you on the lake. Pat

Pat Rooney