With the Labor Day weekend over, we can now look forward to great fall fishing.
I can’t remember a hotter Labor Day weekend than the one we just had with temperatures in the 90’s and very little wind. It looked like the Fourth of July holiday! Despite the heat and blue skies, the fishing last week was very good.
Jigging Raps or Northland Puppet Minnows have been doing well with walleye, especially for depth fish. The Grayeyes that my clients and I have caught have ranged in size from 12ft to 30ft. Jigs and minnows also act as if they have a slip.
In some lakes, crappie and bluegill move over deeper basins and are suspended while others are still further away from the deep coil. Fishing stays made of plastic are good for catching fish off the edges of deep weeds.
Last week, the trees really started to change colors, and with cooler temperatures coming in this week, it’s a great time to get out in the water.
Bemidji area: Not much has changed since last week, which means walleyes are common along the first beach breaks at depths of 12 to 18 to 30 feet. Jigs, Minnows, Live Bait Gear, and Jiggin’ Raps all produce walleye on Lake Bemidji, Turtle Lake, and Grace Lake.
Crappie and gills still hang in the deep coil, as do the big perch in many lakes. Bass fishing is still strong in the region’s lakes, with larger fish being found in the deep weeds.
Cass Lake area: Good sized perch continue to be caught by reptiles on the 6- to 8-foot sand all over Cass Lake. Walleyes are captured using creepers or leeches at a distance of 6 to 15 feet during the day on the eastern side of Star Island and the edges of the main lagoon bars at Cass.
At night, crankbaits produce walleyes above bars less than 8 feet high. Muskie did best on rocks and gravel 6 to 10 feet around Deadman’s Bar and North Cedar Bar in Cass or LeRoy’s Bar on Pike Bay Lake. Bluegill is caught in the shallow grass of Back Lake and Dick’s Bay in Cass and at a distance of 6 to 8 feet in Kitchee Lake.
Black Duck District: Walleyes scurry about, or minnows, along the edges of 10- to 14-foot-tall grasses on Blackduck Lake, Island Lake, and Round Lake. You’ll still find bluegill and crappie around the shallow vegetation, but more and more bluegill and crappie are starting to be pulled from 15 to 20 feet in Beamushi Lake, Gilstead Lake, Gull Lake, and Rapido Lake.
Upper Red Lake: Fishing pressure was very light across the lake. The few anglers going out would haul crankbaits across the top of the Center Bar 8 to 10 feet or along shores 6 to 8 feet for walleye. Cover and turn on the water during low light periods of the day.
Lake Winnipegovich: Walleyes have been found in several locations striking spinners with small fish and reptiles or elbowbaits. There are fish caught at depths of 20 to 22 feet, main lake flats at 10 to 15 feet, and along shoreline breaks or structures at depths from 8 to 16 feet. I catch northern pike with spoons from 8 to 13 feet while assembling a decent group of perch remains challenging.
Please remember to practice selective harvesting, by doing so we will continue to get great catches for years to come.
Dick Beardsley is the owner and operator of Dick Beardsley Hunting Guide Service in Bemidji. It can be accessed at
For more information visit
Dick Beardsley is the owner and operator of Dick Beardsley Hunting Guide Service in Bemidji, Minnesota, and writes a weekly catch report.