Big walleyes on the hook

by Nick Wognum

The weather has been a mystery for fishermen, from bright and sunny one day to cold and cloudy the next. But we’re seeing some nice entries come in, despite the changing conditions.<BR><BR>Burntside Lake is known more for its lake trout fishing, but when you’re able to tear into the walleyes, you better get ready to set the hook.<BR><BR>Teresa Wagner of Washburn, WI found the right spot and using a leech caught a 9 lb. 12 oz. walleye on Burntside, entering the contest at Skube’s. <BR><BR>William Nelson of Elbow Lake, MN was right behind with a 9 lb. 8 oz. walleye caught in Burntside on a leech and checked in at Skube’s. <BR><BR>Fishing Birch Lake, Elyite Bill Deyak landed the biggest walleye of the week. Caught on a Rapala, the fish was 10 lb. 4 oz. and checked in at The Great Outdoors.<BR><BR> Eagles Nest One was the spot to send out a Rapala and reel in an 8 lb. 11 oz. walleye for Sarah Sawyer of Kansas City, MO. She registered at Voyageur North Outfitters.<BR><BR>Unless his ruler wasn’t accurate, Randall Anderson of Ladoga, IN caught one skinny walleye. He registered a 33-inch walleye that tipped the scales at 7 lb. 11 oz., caught in Sucker Lake on a nightcrawler. Skube’s took down the entry. <BR><BR>In the Catch and Release division, Phil Kwilose of Evergreen Park, IL nabbed a monster walleye. This one went 32 inches on the ruler with a 18.5-inch girth and a weight right around 12 lbs. The fish grabbed an Old Timer spinner rig tipped with a nightcrawler. Using 6 lb. test and light spinner gear reportedly meant a great battle for this angler. Skube’s took down the release information.<BR><BR>The big pike are back in the North Country Angler contest as well.<BR><BR>Rick Smith of Dassel, MN made the trip into Stub Lake off the Fernberg and reeled in a 14 lb. northern pike, caught on a spinner. He registered the fish at Spirit of the Wilderness.<BR><BR>Zig Stelmachers of Lost Girl Island, Ely entered a 13.5 lb. northern pike caught on a minnow in Burntside Lake. The entry came into Skube’s. <BR><BR>Jeff Pederson of Dekalb, IL used a Mepps bucktail to catch a 10 lb. northern in Bear Island Lake, registering the fish at Timber Wolf Lodge. <BR><BR>Two nice crappies came in as well, both weighing 1 lb. 8 oz. Ryan Forbes of Chatfield, MN fished White Iron and checked his in at Silver Rapids Lodge while Austin Leachman of Des Moines, IA was fishing Bear Island and entered the contest at Spirit of the Wilderness.<BR><BR>There was a slew of smallmouth entered this past week, although none were over the magical 4 lb. mark.<BR><BR>Top smallie was a 3 lb. 8 oz. 20-incher caught by Tom Finniln of Tujunga, CA using a buzz bait in Fall Lake. The fish was registered at Voyageur North Outfitters.<BR><BR>A 3 lb. 8 oz., 19.5-incher caught in Bass Lake on a spinner by Cindy Williams of St. Louis Park, MN was also entered at Voyageur North Outfitters. <BR><BR>Joe Fernandez of Fort Campbell, KY caught a 3 lb. 8 oz. largemouth bass in Miners Lake while fishing with leeches. Voyageur North was the check-in station.<BR><BR>A 24.5 inch walleye was released by Juris Terands of Eden Prairie, MN, caught in Eagles Nest and entered at Skube’s.<BR><BR>A 23.5 inch Big Lake walleye was caught and released by Dave Lash of Iowa City, IA and entered at Spirit of the Wilderness.<BR><BR>Sarah Hopkin of Loveland, OH caught a 32-inch northern pike using a bare hook with a leech on the end while fishing in Burntside Lake. The fish was released and the feat was entered at Spirit of the Wilderness.<BR><BR>A 20.25 inch smallmouth caught in Lac La Croix was released by Rick Garrett of McGregor, MN and entered at the Great Outdoors.<BR><BR>Fishing action is starting to heat up again and don’t be afraid to try different bait this time of the year. Minnows might be your first choice but throw some leeches and crawlers in the boat as well. Better to have them with you than to be wishing you had them along. Good luck!