Park Rapids Area Fishing Report
Submitted by Smokey Hills Outdoor Store
As we enter the last two weeks of August, the lakes are full of prey for our local fish to eat. This means that fish can be selective on what they choose to ingest. Luckily, our weather forecast is making it easy and enjoyable to be on the water. The weatherman promises mostly sunny skies with temps in the low to mid 80’s over the course of the next seven days. Don’t put away your swimsuits and sun block just yet, summer fishing and water recreation is in full swing!
As to be expected for mid-August, the walleyes have not been cooperative for many anglers. Our local successful fishermen have leaked their secrets and two methods are bringing success. The first working technique is to pull a light-weight “Lindy” style rig paired with a leech or crawler in 4 to 9 feet of water along the edge of the pencil reeds. A Mustad™ “Slow Death” hook on your walleye rig will increase your rate of catch. White or lime green have been the best producing colors. The other effective method to get walleyes top-side is to head for the deep running points or sunken islands. Trolling Rapala™, Cotton Cordell™ or Berkley™ deep diving, shad-style crankbaits will do the trick. We have a moon at 83% and waning, but the night bite will remain effective through the rest of this week.
The area northern pike are worth fishing for. As they are a cold water loving fish, you will find the bigger ones at the bottom of the thermocline in 15 to 20 feet of water. Look for thick cabbage weed stands that grow at depths up to 20 feet below the surface. They hang on the edges of the weed-line waiting to snack on unsuspecting bluegill, crappie and perch. Deep diving 8 to 10 inch Jake™ crankbaits will entice the strike. Reel fast until your lure get to the desired depth and then slow the action as to make it appear an easy meal. Windel’s™ steel, titanium or fluorocarbon leaders are necessary implements on the big pike hunt. Their teeth are razor sharp and 8 or 10 pound test strength mono line is no match, come prepared with the proper set-up.
As summer progresses, food becomes more and more available often making some species more difficult to locate. Largemouth bass can fall into this category as they are a short, fat fish built to make tight turns and feed amongst any habitat. Late summer often disperses large bass throughout the water column. Fishing “the bank” (shorelines) will almost always put fish in the boat, but other methods may be more effective. Avid Northern Minnesota bass anglers know that schools of large bass will move to deep weed stands late summer to feed on the sunfish, crawfish, crappie and minnows that call those areas home. Deep diving crankbaits such as a Rapala™ DT-16 or DT-20 will help to locate the deep fish. Once found, changing to a more persistent and slower moving approach will continue to put “hog” bass in the tournament bag. Big Bite Bait’s™ 5 inch “Trick Stick” or a Terminator™ “Pro Jig” 1/2oz bass jig are both deadly deep water lures and should be part of your deep water fishing arsenal.
The story on the panfish is still much the same as previous weeks with the lion’s share of the fish being caught in and around deep growing cabbage weed stands. Any variety of FluFlu™ style jigs tipped with a worm or crappie minnow will result in small, tasty fillets sizzling and popping in your frying pan by nightfall.
Smokey Hills Outdoor Store has a full lot of Ice Castle Fish Houses/RVs with the largest selection in Northern Minnesota. Buy your next Ice Castle from us, you get the small town honesty with the big city selection right here in Park Rapids. All of us at Smokey Hills Outdoor Store thank you for helping us grow as fast as we have and we will continue to get better and work harder to make your next experience with us a good one. We hope to see you very soon, thanks again!
|8 year old Tyler Gades with his first walleye, a massive 31 ½” fish
caught recently on a local Park Rapids Area Lake
(Photo courtesy of Smokey Hills Outdoor Store)