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The Northern Minnesota Fall Toss Up…Hunting or Fishing?

posted on 11/10/2009
Good morning to all!

Welcome to another edition of the Wigwam Fisherman’s Blog. This past weekend was all about fishing, and yesterday was all about hunting, at least for me. For a combined 4 days last week I was fishing Rainy River and Lake of the Woods, but the only place we really got into the big Walleyes was the lake, Knights Reef in particular. Yesterday I had the opportunity to go deer hunting, which was an enjoyable experience, even though I didn’t get a deer (I saw 1 doe and threw up a hail marry, but it was to far away).

Last week and weekend I had the pleasure of fishing with Steve Fuchs (repeat guest) and his guests, Brian Lingle of Worthington, MN, Tom Lang of Clarks Grove, MN and Mark Werner of Northfield, MN. Fishing was a little tough because of the high windy conditions that didn’t allow us to get on the big body of water (Lake of the Woods), where all the fish are at, in my personal opinion. So, with less than desirable conditions we had to bide our time on Rainy River while the wind blew, and when the time came to get out on the lake, we did. For two days we were able to brave the conditions and we were able to finally get on some bigger Walleyes out by Knights Reef, which is about an 18 mile boat ride from the Wigwam…we found it worth the boat ride. I wish we could have spent all four days there…we were reading some nice fish and catching a few more. The biggest Walleye of all the trips was 26 ½ inches, but there were many caught that were just shy of that mark.

When we were stuck on the river for two days though, Tom Lang was able to latch into a nice Sturgeon, which put up a good 30 minute fight. Mark Werner latched into another nice Sturgeon, but we were unable to get it more than 5 feet off the bottom without it diving right back down and taking all the line back that Mark had gotten during the fight. This happened time and time again…Mark fought this fish for over 2 hours, but we were unable to see it before it got away. I think a lot of it had to do with the fact that we were trying to lift a 60 plus pound fish, off the bottom of the river with 6 pound test line and a walleye fishing rod and reel. You need something a little bigger to get those big buggers off the bottom, but it was fun to watch.

I will bring this up every day until we are there, but just a reminder to all of you that want to stay with us this up coming winter during ice fishing season…we are starting to fill up. If you want your places reserved at the Wigwam Resort, book now, or forever hold your peace. We are looking forward to a record breaking ice fishing season, for the amount of fish that will be caught on Lake of the Woods, don’t miss out on all the fun. Remember, every night during the winter is like a Saturday night. Be apart of all the excitement, only at the World Famous Wigwam Resort on Lake of the Woods!

Announcements…Every Vikings game this season, we will have a “Kill the Keg” special, specials on our bar dining menu, and prizes to give away. This will make for some pretty crazy Sunday afternoon/nights and Monday nights…LETS GO VIKINGS!!!!

Daily Fishing Report: Today we will have plentiful sunshine, high around 55F with winds S at 10 to 15 mph. Tonight should be partly cloudy skies during the evening giving way to a few showers after midnight; low near 40F with winds S at 15 to 25 mph…there will be a 30% chance of rain. Tomorrow we should see showers in the morning, and then partly cloudy in the afternoon, high 51F with winds SSW at 10 to 20 mph…there will be a 50% chance of rain. Tomorrow night we should have cloudy skies early with showers later at night, low 42F with winds SSE at 10 to 15 mph…there will be a 40% chance of rain. Thursday we should have showers possible, highs in the upper 40s and lows in the mid 30s. Friday we should have occasional showers possible, highs in the low 40s and lows in the upper 20s. Saturday we should have mix of sun and clouds, highs in the low 40s and lows in the low 30s. Today’s fishing report will come from Tom Briggs and me…the fish are still hanging out in the same places and they are gulping down all the shiners making their way into the Rainy River, which is plumping them up very nicely. The Walleyes are slowly moving there way into the Rainy River, but there are a few other places producing some great looking fish and those are as follows: Knights Reef is producing some great looking Walleyes right now. I had an opportunity to get up to Knights on two separate occasions last week and weekend and Knights was very impressive. We found a majority of bigger fish hanging out around the reefs in 18 to 24 feet of water. The jig of choice was a 3/8 oz. Chartreuse jig. If you don’t feel like going that far, or can’t drive the boat 20 miles to Knights, you will still do great on the south west side of Pine Island and Morris Gap. Because of the high winds we had last week the lake is a little dirty, but you can anchor up in clean water by the Morris Gap washout in 12 to 14 feet and get into the Walleyes. I was just there the past few days and it produced some nice fish. We were using Chartreuse jigs with frozen shiners as bait. The frozen shiners are out fishing live bait 3 to 1…that is my experience. The best method of catching those big buggers right now is jigging. When jigging, you will want to be using 3/8 or ½ oz. jigs. The Shiners are still being caught in the river, but the majority of success has still been on the lake right outside the gaps (Morris and Lighthouse). The Shiner run will last till throughout November, so if you don’t want to travel far and you want to catch some big fish, book today at the Wigwam Resort and experience some of the “BEST FISHING IN THE WORLD”! Don’t miss out on this great fishing that we’re having on Lake of the Woods…come visit us today at the Wigwam Resort on Lake of the Woods!

My shout out will go to Steve Fuchs and the group of customers he brought up last week and weekend, which consisted of Brian Lingle, Tom Lang and Mark Werner. I just wanted to thank all of you for braving the cold and windy conditions to stay, fish, eat and drink with us at the Wigwam Resort on Lake of the Woods this November. It was a great pleasure for me to meet all of you, and I look forward to seeing you all back again in the very near future. Thanks again for giving the Wigwam Resort the opportunity to cater to you during your stay. I enjoyed all the stories and general conversation, it was most definitely my pleasure to fish with you all...thanks again for everything.

Happy Fishing to all, and to all a good day!

Wigwam Fisherman aka Jean-Paul Tessier
Wigwam Resort

Wigwam Fisherman


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