Park Rapids Area Fishing Report
Courtesy of Smokey Hills Outdoor Store
Anglers of the Park Rapids area reported a high rate of catch in the past week; we are having a year with a very active bite. Recent fishing tournaments in the area have coincided with this by posting above average fish weighed at the scales. Now that water temps are only slowly rising, we have fallen into our regular summer patterns. Peak fishing hours will be from light to 9:30am and from 7:30pm to dark. Gas up the boat; it’s going to be another great week of fishing on the Park Rapids area waters!
Weeds and walleyes are not always paired with anglers thinking of their habitat, but weeds often hold the feed that walleyes need to survive. If you are fishing one of the area’s clean, & clear lakes, weeds are not as prevalent on the sandy bottom. Sunfish, crappies, minnows and crayfish are attracted to weedy areas as it provides cover for them to hide, eat and in the case of many different types of minnows, spawn. This, in turn, attracts hungry walleyes to the weeds early morning and late afternoon/evening when they can use their superior low light vision to their advantage. Find a stash of deep growing weeds near a hard bottom and make long casts with a KenKatch™ jig paired with a leech or golden shiner. If conditions are right, you will put fish in the frying pan!
Modern fish locators will strip your local lake of its secrets and send you in the right direction to land a trophy pike. Lakes such as Long Lake (east), Long Lake (north), Potato Lake and Big Sand Lake are all home to schooling tulibee, also known as the northern pike’s favorite snack. Tulibee are essentially an overgrown shiner minnow packed with oils and protein that make pike huge. Use your locator to find the schooling tulibees, often found on deep running points. Trophy sized pike follow these schools like sharks follow seals. A heavy 1/2oz or more jig paired with a sucker minnow will put your bait in front of the pike’s nose when they are feeding at depths up to 30 feet.
The largemouth bass are taking advantage of the feed that is now dispersed throughout the lake. The “deep bite” is finally starting to take off as the cabbage weed and coontail weed is growing thicker and taller by the day. Docks, lilly pads and pencil reeds will still be home to many bass but you can often find a concentration of large bass in the deep weed stands. Keep your eyes glued to your electronics to find the thickest and tallest deep weed growths, mark the spots and then drop down a Big Bite Bait™ “Trick Stick” or a Northland™ “Jungle Jig” and shake it until they open their jaws.
The crappie will be found in deeper water near the cabbage weed stands. You will find them eating next to the deep water bass in many locations. Tie on a Johnson’s™ “Beetle Spin” and let it sink below the surface 4 to 5 feet and then begin your retrieve. This will help you locate the fish, once you hook into them; switch over to a Flu Flu™ jig paired with a crappie minnow. The bluegills are fat, tasty and easy to catch as they are mid-spawn on most area lakes. Again this week, polarized sunglasses are a near must to help aid you in finding the popcorn bowl sized craters on the lake bottom. Cast a bobber, KenKatch™ panfish jig and angle worm over the beds and the fish will respond to the invasion.
Smokey Hills Outdoor Store was the top selling Ice Castle dealer worldwide last month according to the Ice Castle Manufacturing staff. Our lot is stacked with all kinds of new models from big to small, come and check them out! We remain humbled by our success and thank you for helping us set sales records month after month. Our shelves are stocked and we are ready to give up our fishing hot spots and techniques. Stop in and see us soon!
|Local fisherman Donnie Manz pictured with his recent 42.5″ caught and released musky. (Photo courtesy of Smokey Hills Outdoor Store)