: Minaki coming soon
Just 3 weeks from this Friday. Will try ChuckE recommendations on smallmouth with chatterbaits some. Mainly a tube and curly tail grub fisherman.
We found some 13 inch crappie last year and am looking forward to catching some more.
The water is coming up on Lake of the Woods and more is being released downstream. Love the current.
May take a walk in to Adamson Lake to try smallmouth. Never have fished it.
Lake of the Woods ice on the Best Western web cam in Kenora looks to be almost out.
Looking forward to another great year and all the Minaki fishing posts,
05-07-2008, 07:34 AM
Remote adventure at Minaki:
I highly suggest the walk to Adamson. The smallie movement begins about 2 to 3 weeks earlier than on the river or Minaki lakes, and there are plenty of big girls in there. However, bank fishing on Adamson can be a challenge and hard to get to the water in many places -- so don't how much you can do especially if the water is up. If you have a canoe or inflatable, that would be better, since you can just start at the path and work your way around the entire lake. It takes a good day to go a decent job from a small boat, especially if the smallie bite is on.
If you want to pull your boat out of the river, you can go over to Catastrophe. It has some decent smallies that also come on ealier than on the river, but watch out for the reef that runs down the center of it's length. It's about 1-3' under the water, but can be worked for smallies and big northern, just don't motor across it! Most don't fish the reef, instead they avoid it because of the hazzard.
Of course, if you have a canoe or inflatable, the North Channel is always interesting. That's all I'll say!
If you have an aluminum boat, you can always go down to the Black Sturgeon River, crank-portage around the rapids, and fish that section of the river. We've been in there several times long ago, and the banks were loaded with smallies. I noticed more of the guides have been going up there over the past several years.
We'll be there in 6 weeks. We can't wait.
05-07-2008, 07:41 AM
Could you explain "crank portage" at the black sturgeon river. We are in that neck of the woods the last week of this month and have never gone to the Black Sturgeon,,,,,Talked about making the trip this year when we go around to fish the Mcfarland.Any additional info or tips would be greatly appreciated
05-07-2008, 08:09 AM
When you get down to the Black Sturgeon, on the left side of the rapids is a small channel that leads to a dock/portage. (Say hi to the guy from Nebraska for good luck, he's always working around his cabin as you go toward the portage.) You run your aluminum boat up on the portage carriage and secure/tie the front hook of the boat off on it. You crank the carriage/boat up the portage ramp and then down the ramp to the other side (I'd estimate ~40' or so). Once on the other side you let the boat into the water, climb in and push it off the carriage. I suggest 2 people to make it easier.
There is about shallow bay above the rapids that will hold smallies on the right hand side (when facing upstream). Work the slop in this area with spinnerbaits and frogs, the smallies will often get under the slop! You can work the entire right hand bank for a good mile or so, concentrating on the rock points and shallower cuts in the shoreline, for smallies -- tubes, chatterbaits and mepps are good in this area (depending on weed growth). If you keep going you'll eventually cross under a highway bridge, I don't remember what highway that is, but it's quite a ways up there, and you'll see cabins on the other side. We don't bother going up any further than the bridge, but work our way back on the other side of the river. If there are reeds on this side of the river, you'll sometimes find smallies on the edges, and topwater can be quite good.
Don't be suprised to pick up an infrequent largemouth, especially in the slop. The northern generally run small, but we've caught a few 38-40"ers in there. Down by the bridge there are rockpiles on the south side that sometimes holds a decent number of walleye (shad raps seem to work as good as anything, since they are typically sitting at the deeper base of the rocks), it's nice to get some eaters there for back at the cabin, that way you don't need to stop on the way back.
The big bay where the Black Sturgeon dumps into the Winnepeg is usually good for smallies -- we've had a couple years where we didn't even make it into the Black Sturgeon, and just kept going around and around the bay all day! We've caught several nice musky there as well! The small island in the middle of the channel can also be worked for walleye with shad raps, especially concentrate on the two tips of the island (east and west ends). If the smallies are active, also check out the two small bays to the north of the island!
05-07-2008, 08:17 AM
Sorry Don, I forgot to comment on the chatterbait. We've found that the trailer they typically come with is ok, just not great. If you use a 3" or 4" yellow twister tail instead, the 'chatter' action seems to be more aggressive, the bait moves slower, and the profile provides a bigger target. The smallies and northern seem to like this better than the trailers that are provided. My partner and I go through at least a package of tails a day, when the bite is on.
Chatter frogs work well, especially if the slop isn't too heavy. You can run them close to the surface, and they don't do too bad coming through lighter reeds. Unfortunately, the northern also like them, and you won't have the legs very long!
Chatterbait also makes smaller sized versions (1/8 oz), and you can use a 2" or 3" bright tail with them. [I use them around here for catching crappie, but I've found the crappie around here are more aggressive than those at Minaki, so don't know if they will chase-down one or not.] I'm going to try them this year at some of my crappie spots.
05-07-2008, 08:24 AM
Thanks........We are always looking for new adventures. We won't hurt your fishing spots as we always put everything back in the river.:)
Smallmouth question for you, I fish LOTW(1st week of June) and have heard about the early jerkbait bite but have not had any luck with it?? Any Thoughts?
05-07-2008, 09:19 AM
My dad has been up there since this past Saturday (5/3) so I'm guessing there was enough ice off to get to our Island on Big Sand. Knowing him he probably broke ice to get there.
05-07-2008, 09:23 AM
Chuck, I'm planning on doing the whole north channel chain (all the way from Rough Rock to the road off of white dog) this year. I'll let you know how that goes.
05-07-2008, 09:37 AM
I spend a lot of time with jerkbaits fishing for smallies. But have found for that hard jerkbaits/slashbaits seem to work better for me on the Canadian waters (vs soft jerkbaits), in early summer. The northern don't tear them up, you can use the hard jerkbaits with a small titanium leader without screwing up the action, don't have to glue the front to the hook, and the trebel hooks provide higher hook-ups. (In winter around here and down south, I'll often use a soft jerkbait fished very very slowly and allowed to sink at a ridiculously slow rate -- the fish usually aren't quite as aggressive at these times.) But early summer Canadian smallmouth are very aggressive, and will chase a jerkbait/slash bait down without much hesitation -- no need to fish painstakingly slow with a plastic jerk.
A wacky rigged 4" worm on a 1/16 to 1/4 oz long shank jig head works better for me when I want to quickly work through an area that has too much cover for a hard jerk/slash bait. Depending on the weight of the jig, you can work it shallow or deep, and even get a slow fall if you use a larger profile worm. You can rig it weedless and move it fairly quickly for the more aggressive Canadian early summer fish. Or you can use a jig head that has a weed guard. Light leaders don't screw them up much at all, but you'll sometimes loose the back end to a northern that short strikes.
I use the smaller hard jerkbait/slash bait sizes; husky jerks, and some of the knockoffs from Cabelas and Bass Pro work about the same, especially if they suspend. Shallow and deep Rapala X-Raps and floating minnows also work well, especially in baby bass, fire tiger or perch colors.
When I do fish with soft plastic jerkbaits, I use Case Sinking Shads, Case Salty Sinking Shads, Bass Assassin's and Flukes. It's tough to use a leader with them, without affecting their sink rate or fall.
...just what works for me. LOTW has some nice smallies!
05-07-2008, 09:40 AM
Sounds good, we haven't been in there in a few years. Do you use an inflatable or individual float tubes?
05-07-2008, 09:59 AM
4" worms rigged shaky head also work well for a search bait or when fish are just starting toward the beds (I forgot to mention that). I usually use them when I'm searching an area for bass holding in cover. Once I find a pattern for the day, I'll often switch to wacky rigged to finnesse them in similar areas, structure, cover, etc. (I don't fish for bedded bass, and will move out of an area if I find that.)
When you say smaller are you talking about 3". I had a person tell me the 1st year to use the one made by bps and the size is 4 1/2 and I think it is too large. I also agree with the colors you mentioned. Also, does it seem to matter if the baits have rattle or not? Maybe that is part of my problem is the baits I bought do not suspend?
I also may try a shakey head/drop shot as we have never tried either of those techniques but don't know if that is an early season technique?
05-07-2008, 10:29 AM
Good to hear that you and your crew are headed for Minaki again this year. Even though you go early in the season I always watch for your return trip info to help map out our trip. We head for Paradise Park in late August. Lots of good response info to your posting too. Our area map is now full of yellow highlighter spots. Wish there was a good map WEB site that showed the area. The "maps" that are many of the lodge web sites are pretty poor.
Randy @ ORD
05-07-2008, 10:36 AM
05-07-2008, 10:39 AM
05-07-2008, 11:21 AM
I pull a small boat and 6hp motor over from our place on Big Sand. That last lake that hits the road has some Hogs in it.
05-07-2008, 11:36 AM
You know, I don't really select my hardbaits/slashbaits for rattles in Canada because the water is so clear, and I use 3" to 4-3/8':
- Husky jerks are usually 3-1/8"(1/4oz) or 4"(3/8oz) in early summer, and 4-3/8"(1/2oz) in late summer/fall.
- My X-Raps are always an XR-8 3-1/8"(1/4oz) in early summer, and XR10 4"(7/16oz) in the fall.
- I use 3-1/2" or 4"(3/16oz) Cabelas floating minnows, that I use like a jerkbait once cranked down to the depth I want.
- I only have 4" (1/2oz)BPS XPS Extreme Suspending Nitro Minnows.
I only drop shot in Canada in mid-summer to late fall, when the bass have generally moved to deeper water, more toward the bottom of the water column. Unforutunately, I hait drop shotting in Canada, because the bottom weight gets hung up much too often on whatever structure they are relating to. (Rock everywhere!!!) I find it much easier to jig them vertically with a minnow soft plastics at these times. Now down south it's a diffferent story, but still can be frustrating.
Shaky head can be good in early spring to mid-summer, especially in clear water like in Canada, when you are searching for fish in an area (e.g. to help identify a pattern). You just cast them out to a specific target and allow them to fall on a semi-taut line, occassionally giving them a subtle twitch if needed. The hit can occur anytime during the fall, but if you use a heavier jig head, you can even hop it on the bottom. If you use a lighter jig, you can swim it or pump it like a tube -- just slower and more enticing. (That's what I was thinking of when you said you were going in early June. So, I think it's faster than a soft plastic jerkbait, yet not as aggressive as a tube.) I typically don't use anything longer than ~4" and mostly use the Zoom C'Tail or Dead Ringer worm, or Yum Dinger or Houdini. Any of the Green Pumpkin's and Cotton Candy are my usual colors.
05-07-2008, 11:39 AM
Thanks, how about the Gulp Minnows?
How about a really important question....comparing the smallmouth fishing at Minaki vs LOTW?? How is the size(general) 7 quality around Minaki and do they get much pressure. LOTW is mostly walleye/muskie fishermen.
05-07-2008, 02:14 PM
When we first started going to Minaki, no one fished for them, and the resort owner and locals thought we were crazy! Although most anglers go there for walleye and Musky, pressure on the smallies has increased throughout the years... But with the increase in the price of gas, decline of the dollar, lower water levels, etc., I'd say pressure has dropped over the past 3 years.
05-08-2008, 07:09 AM
Max, if you hit the timing right fishing on that system is just as good or better than LOTW. Two years ago my brother-in-law and I caught 30 smallmouth in one evening over 18 inches. My personal best is 23 1/4 inches. I fish mostly up on Big Sand but there is really good fishing to be had South of Minaki as well. Good luck.
>Max, if you hit the timing right fishing on that system is
>just as good or better than LOTW. Two years ago my
>brother-in-law and I caught 30 smallmouth in one evening over
>18 inches. My personal best is 23 1/4 inches. I fish mostly
>up on Big Sand but there is really good fishing to be had
>South of Minaki as well. Good luck.
The only I can say for sure is in our experience on LOTW we typically fish morning and evening and mix in other fishing at the same time but on average we catch 15-25 each morning and evening and a half dozen are an honest 16-18" each day(we have never measured one). We typically figure out a pattern and could likely catch more smaller fish but rather than doinf that we try and catch fewer,but nicer bass.
We have caught as many as 100(guessing) in a day.
23 1/4" is a huge bass!!! How is fishing for other species besides the bass, like crappies or big perch? We mostly catch our limit of walleyes then quit fishing for them.
Thanks, also does the "IN" stand for Indiana and if so,where?
05-08-2008, 09:34 AM
IN= Greenwood Indiana.
I pretty much just fish for bass when I'm up there, let everyone else catch some walleye to munch on. There are some killer portage lakes that hold big bass as well. It varies from year to year but 100 fish days aren't unusual, weather permitting, if you know what I mean. I use mostly tubes, senkos and torpedos. Fishing can be tough on that system at times but for the most part is pretty good especially in June.
05-08-2008, 10:31 AM
Aaron's right, 100 fish days are pretty common. We always judge our fishing after the first week, by how bloody and torn-up are thumbs are, from pulling smallies off the hook -- then we get ready for the next week!
Just like LOTW and Rainy, Minaki can intimidate even an experienced smallie angler at first, just due to it's sheer size. Given ~50 miles of wide river, 5 large lakes, 2 smaller lakes, and 2 rivers that are all attached to the system; and several other smaller lakes you can walk into; there is a lot of shoreline, rockpiles, bays, islands, etc. to work. It takes a while to zero-in on the more productive areas, identify higher percentage presentations, adjust to different water levels and seasonal patterns, and familiarize yourself with potential hazards. I've been going their for 26+ years (usually at least 2 weeks+ a year), and I'm still finding new spots and re-discovering old ones. GPS has been a benefit for navigation and marking good spots from year to year!!!
Crappie can be elusive, but they are there, we just don't fish for them much anymore because we've developed an insatiable appitite for catching smallies. Big perch is no problem, we don't deliberately fish for them, just catch them while fishing for smallies. Walleye has never really been a problem for us, but there were a couple years when it seemed 4 out of 5 were were too large for the slot -- lately we don't even fish for them and just keep a few eaters we pickup while beating the banks. White fish are better in the late fall, but we occassionally get some in June. We've even got a few lake trout in early June. Musky was really good last year, the first week our group got 13 big ones, and the second week we got 14 more -- but usually we'll average 6 a week (we only catch them while fishing for smallies). Northern is good as well, generally a little larger and more in number, when compared to LOTW and Rainy. (I also went to LOTW and Rainy for 14 weeks, in addition to regular Minaki weeks.)
>IN= Greenwood Indiana.
>I pretty much just fish for bass when I'm up there, let
>everyone else catch some walleye to munch on. There are some
>killer portage lakes that hold big bass as well. It varies
>from year to year but 100 fish days aren't unusual, weather
>permitting, if you know what I mean. I use mostly tubes,
>senkos and torpedos. Fishing can be tough on that system at
>times but for the most part is pretty good especially in June.
Greenwood=Terry McWilliams(and Aaron,lol)
Same here(live between Lafayette/Kokomo), we are basicaly smallmouth fishermen in Canada. We throw mostly crankbaits torpedos spinnerbaits rattletraps and not much plastics, it seems like the tubes are really hard to keep from the rocks.
Sounds like fishing is better a little further north. How about the size of the bass? LOTW 1/2 is under 14". How big is sand lake?
>Aaron's right, 100 fish days are pretty common. We always
>judge our fishing after the first week, by how bloody and
>torn-up are thumbs are, from pulling smallies off the hook --
>then we get ready for the next week!
>Just like LOTW and Rainy, Minaki can intimidate even an
>experienced smallie angler at first, just due to it's sheer
>size. Given ~50 miles of wide river, 5 large lakes, 2 smaller
>lakes, and 2 rivers that are all attached to the system; and
>several other smaller lakes you can walk into; there is a lot
>of shoreline, rockpiles, bays, islands, etc. to work. It
>takes a while to zero-in on the more productive areas,
>identify higher percentage presentations, adjust to different
>water levels and seasonal patterns, and familiarize yourself
>with potential hazards. I've been going their for 26+ years
>(usually at least 2 weeks+ a year), and I'm still finding new
>spots and re-discovering old ones. GPS has been a benefit for
>navigation and marking good spots from year to year!!!
>Crappie can be elusive, but they are there, we just don't fish
>for them much anymore because we've developed an insatiable
>appitite for catching smallies. Big perch is no problem, we
>don't deliberately fish for them, just catch them while
>fishing for smallies. Walleye has never really been a problem
>for us, but there were a couple years when it seemed 4 out of
>5 were were too large for the slot -- lately we don't even
>fish for them and just keep a few eaters we pickup while
>beating the banks. White fish are better in the late fall,
>but we occassionally get some in June. We've even got a few
>lake trout in early June. Musky was really good last year,
>the first week our group got 13 big ones, and the second week
>we got 14 more -- but usually we'll average 6 a week (we only
>catch them while fishing for smallies). Northern is good as
>well, generally a little larger and more in number, when
>compared to LOTW and Rainy. (I also went to LOTW and Rainy
>for 14 weeks, in addition to regular Minaki weeks.)
I can appreciate the size comment. We use a handheld GPS for the same reasons and one of our downfalls is that it takes time to find good structure. Generally in early June we look for broken rock and it takes time to find and then fish this so that limits new areas. Another thing we do is take at last 1day and trailer to another lake(like Crow(Kakagi)to fish for smallmouth. That lake is 300' deep and crystal clear so a completely different set of tactics. We have only been going for 4yrs(this is our 5th), 1 week each year. My father(68) likes to crappie fish so we spend some time trying that too and perch we catch by accident but we like to eat the crappie/perch. Same thing with the muskies, we catch them by accident while bass fishing with the biggest being 49" caught on an 18" bass and the muskie never had a hook in her.
Wow, you get to spend a lot of time chasing the smallmouths,lucky you.
So, of the 3(minaki,LOTW & Rainy), Minaki is still the best?
BTW, it is nice being able to talk to you/Aaron about bass as it seems most don't care to catch them.
That is an incredible fish and fishing. The best I have caught on the Winnipeg River is a 19.5 inch, and 100 smallmouth in a day. I fish mainly south of Minaki of late and haven't fish Little Sand much, and Big Sand very little. Perhaps I need to hit Big Sand more. No sure where though.
A 6.75 pound smallmouth caught in the Ottawa River was aged by the Natural Resources by a its scale at 26 years old. Your fish was likely as old. A 23 1/4 inch smallmouth would depending on girth be 7-8 pounds.
The largest smallmouth I have ever caught was 6.5 pounds here in TN. I fish occasionally with the world record 6 pound line class holder for smallmouth here in TN, but your northern fish would rival his achievement.
Perhaps I should be fishing with you instead.
You and ChuckE, not to mention others are great resources and enjoyable to share posts with.
Thanks for sharing your feat and your fishing, and good luck to everyone this year,
05-08-2008, 11:35 AM
I'm going to estimate that Big Sand is >25 square miles, but it's hard to get accurate because of it's shape. We've marked 345' of water at the deepest point, and it takes more than a week to methodically work the entire shoreline, without hitting any of the islands or rock piles. I will also say that Big Sand can turn really nasty if the wind picks up, just like the Big Stretch down south of Minaki!!! (Of course you've seen the same on LOTW.) That's when you don't want to be in a small boat....
Crappie fishing will be tough, just because the locals don't tell, you never see anyone else fishing for them, and the big fish tend to spread them out a lot when they are shallower (same problem with a good walleye honey hole). The best time to catch them is in early June on certain shorelines, because they frequently will suspend after that. Some of the cabins have trees near thier docks, so if you stumble on them while working along a shoreline, drop a jig or two down to check it out (especially if on the river south of Minaki). In mid-summer they frequently suspend off the bottom in deeper water, and you can jig them this way, using live bait or small minnow imitating baits drifted at the right depth on a slip bobber.
Just like LOTW and Rainy, you'll run into pockets where the smallies run smaller, but that frequently depends on the forage, seasonal pattern, or shoreline itself. I'd say 1/2 are over 15", in a typical year. But don't be suprised when you get into an area where they all run bigger (>15"), and that's when you slow way down and thoroughly work it over with various presentations. We frequently see that while using tubes in deeper water, and will swith to various colors, or even deeper cranks or different plastics to work it hard. There are days when everything is just right, and all we do is fish topwater pop-r's and torpedoes! There are days where we'll switch to an entirely different area, to see if we can zero in on more larger fish. I've consistently caught bigger smallies on Lake Erie, just not in large numbers.
55" is the biggest musky and 48" is the biggest northern I've caught at Minaki. Both on #3 mepps.... We tied the boat up to a dock we saw, so we could eat a sandwhich and cool off. After dangling our feet in the water, dozing off for ~20 minutes, etc. we got got back in the boat and I made the first cast to the dock where we were sitting. Hooked the 55" musky -- needless to say we don't put any body parts in the water up there anymore!
05-08-2008, 12:00 PM
As far as average size, it really just depends on the bite. Two years ago I hardly caught any under 14 inches, last year was a different story. On average, if I had to guess I would say around 14. I have not fished LOTW or Rainey in several years but I doubt the smally fishing is better but probably just as good. I wouldn't know what to do without using a tube jig, go a bit lighter to keep em out of the rocks. Senkos are the ticket on the calmer days. And I'm not afraid to tell you where to go to catch crappie, head up to Hidden lake (I've always called it Lost lake but the map says "Hidden", it's a boat in portage off the SE side of Big Sand. Head to the very northeast end of the lake and fish the sandy bottom, they should be going good the first few weeks of June. Ice just went off yesterday on Big Sand so things are a couple weeks behind this year.
05-08-2008, 12:03 PM
I have never caught a large mouth that big yet, no idea what it weighed as I never weigh, just measure my fish. I think I have actually caught some 18-19 fish that weighed more than that one. I have always caught a little bit bigger fish up on the big lake. Bad part is that if you stay in Minaki it can be a pretty good haul up to Big Sand, especially the north shore which is where I do most of my smally fishing up there.
>As far as average size, it really just depends on the bite.
>Two years ago I hardly caught any under 14 inches, last year
>was a different story. On average, if I had to guess I would
>say around 14. I have not fished LOTW or Rainey in several
>years but I doubt the smally fishing is better but probably
>just as good. I wouldn't know what to do without using a tube
>jig, go a bit lighter to keep em out of the rocks. Senkos are
>the ticket on the calmer days. And I'm not afraid to tell you
>where to go to catch crappie, head up to Hidden lake (I've
>always called it Lost lake but the map says "Hidden", it's a
>boat in portage off the SE side of Big Sand. Head to the very
>northeast end of the lake and fish the sandy bottom, they
>should be going good the first few weeks of June. Ice just
>went off yesterday on Big Sand so things are a couple weeks
>behind this year.
We need to try tubes more(probably have thrown them less than 1hr in my life). We are going to try Caliper lake near Nestor Falls, heard it has nice crappies too but we have never fished it.
One thing we may have done too much is fish through an area(s) too fast with moving(crank,traps,spinnerbaits)baits and not slowed down as we would likely find a little better quality. Can you tell me what type of hook you use so I can look it up in BPS? That might help with the rocks too. Funnny you mention "lost" lake as there is one around NF that has a lot of crappie in it but is on the reservation.
What time of year do you go to Minaki?
05-08-2008, 12:17 PM
That's funny, we've noticed that some call Hidden Lake, "Lost Lake"; and vice versa. The last time we fished for crappie we got them in Lost Lake (the map calls it Lost Lake), in the north end where the bigger rocks drop straight off (just to the east of where water would flow into Milners Bay). It was in early June, and we used shad colored 1-1/2" tubes under a slip bobber.
We've also caught crappie in early June, in the far south-east corner of Rough Rock, off the beach were the float plane pulls in. They were between the reeds and the sand-rock shoreline, in about 2' of water. We also found some in an opening in the same weeds just off the beach, in about 4' of water.
About 10 years ago we found them in the creek opening that runs from Blueberry Lake (way north on Rough Rock). They were in the new reeds that were beginning to grow on the sand point on the north side. It was the first week of June, and the water coming from Blueberry was considerably warmer than in the bay.
05-08-2008, 12:24 PM
Dang...if your going to Caliper you might as well do the 8 hour portage to Kish, via Pinus, Wigwam lakes. Kish is probably one of the best Smally and Muskie lakes in NW Ontario...I'm not kidding.
05-08-2008, 12:27 PM
Sorry, I call it "Kish" but I think is known as Kishkutena. I will be up on Big Sand starting June 13th this year. Looks like we might be hitting the spawn this year.
Yesterday fishing the Big Sandy on KY Lake here in TN my partner was suprised when I started to catch a decent number of crappie with a small chatterbait.
05-08-2008, 01:01 PM
I use a 3/16 oz. Tapered Tube Jig Head 4/0 Barbarian Hook for 4" strike king green pumpkin tubes; or a 3/16 oz. Tapered Tube Jig Head 3/0 Barbarian Hook for 3-1/2" strike king green pumpkin tubes. I usually use a 5" or 6" 20# titanium leader. Look for an ebay seller with the name of brandybass57 (I'm in no way affliated with them).
When you put them the jig head in the tube, put it about 3/16-1/4" from the end so there is small bubble in the tip (e.g. don't put the head all the way in the tube). The tube will glide a bit on the fall that way. You can cast it out and swim it back, but I usually cast it out and let it lightly make contact with the bottom and quickly hop/pump it up, and so on, back to the boat.
For deeper water (12-20'), like along drop offs or rock ledges, I'll often go to a 1/4 oz head with the same barbarian hooks. You'd be suprised at the number of bass that sometimes sit at the bottom of the rock ledge in deeper water, that are reluctant to come up very far for a lure. There have been times where we'll pick-up a dozen this way, when we would have otherwise skipped over the area.
We'll be there at the same time this year. I'll have to look for you on the water during my 1st week!
05-08-2008, 01:03 PM
Yep, they do work, even in stained water! I've been using them around here for the past 2 weeks.
You asked someone else, but I will also respond about tubes. I use the BPS 3.5 inch tender tubes usually with the 1/4 tender tube jighead internally weighted, with about an 1/8 inch of space left in the tip. 1/8 tender tube jigheads are OK.
Colors are TN Shad, Rootbeer, Green Pumpkin with orange flake, and whatever catches your fancy. I tie on a 12 inch, 15 pound fluorocarbon leader on my 8 pound gold hi/vis stren with a barrel swivel to minimize twist. The leader is to cut down on pike bite-offs.
The tube should walk the dog under the water if tuned correctly each time you twitch it. If the tube goes in circles, readjust the skirt around the hook. If that does not work, then start plucking skirt till it runs without circling.
I work it usually on the bottom and "twitch the slack" of the line to generate more action. The twitch can be slight or violent depending on how the fish are hitting. Sometimes I "shake the slack" to generate hits. In current I gently twitch the tube as it floats with the current.
05-08-2008, 01:18 PM
Not sure what boat I will be in this year.....we decided to fly into Winnipeg this year so I will be using a different boat than usual. Good luck to you!
05-08-2008, 01:50 PM
Hello all, getting ready to Minaki for the tenth year. Leaving columbus ohio at 630 am sat 31st may. Sounds like the ice is finally off but season probably 2 weeks behind. You never know, it's such a good fishery even I can catch fish! Quick question for anyone, we're staying (or hoping to) on an island in little sand at sand lake outpost. new cabin i guess, anybody been there? Im a little nervous as i havent heard from the owners since i sent my deposit a month and a half ago. Probably working on the new cabin but any news would be appreciated. Good luck to all fishing this year.
05-08-2008, 05:20 PM
I don't know much about it but I do know where it is. Good location for sure to go north or south on that system.
I have heard about Kish but have not been back there yet. I also agree that from the way spring has been so far that it looks like I will be catching pre-spawners, I am fine with that.
Thanks for the rigging tips!! Like I said, I have probably spent only a few hours in my life with a tube so I will try that for sure. We only have a couple of colors of the tender tubes but will pick up some in Canada if we need any.
Spent some time on Ky Lake myself but usually a little further North. We haven't been there in a couple years, sounds like we need to give it a try.
Also, sorry to hi-jack your thread!!
Glad to share what knowledge I have. ChuckE, Aaron, Wolverine Fan, Randy, Camp Chef and many others have contributed to the fishing lore and knowledge, now and in the past, especially as it relates to Minaki and the Winnipeg River.
I stumbled on to this area after a man I met mentioned that he fished the Winnipeg River back in the 70's. I then did an internet search.
First year in 1998 we stayed at Big North, but since then have stayed at Birch Island, which is very nice.
Before that we fished the French River 4-5 hours north of Toronto, the Lower and Upper French. The smallmouth fishing on the French is good, but the overall fishing at Minaki is hard to beat for a drive in that is 3 hours from a major airport. The lodge changed hands on the Upper French, so we decided to find another place with better fishing. Us brothers still go back to the French on occasion since my Dad first took my older brothers there in 1956. Fishing was very good back then and in the 60's.
The past 3-4 years the number of fisherman has declined everywhere noticably. If the lodge owners can survive, I look forward to continued improved fishing.
Good luck trying tubes,