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Flakehead

Lets talk about the bait fish.

16 posts in this topic

In your opinions, are the walleyes following the bait fish to their summer hangouts, or are the walleyes going there to escape light, heat, or summer traffic?

In Gull lake what bait fish are present? I know perch and other game fish fry are Eye food but at what times are the minnows spawning and moving about the lake?

Thanks!

James

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Walleyes are all about the food. Different wealleyes will target different baitfish. Common food tatgeted will be perch, shiners, panfish, ciscos, bullheads with others targeted at times as well. This means some eyes will be on breaks, some weeds and some suspending over open water.

You'll find all these patterns on gull.

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I agree, they will relate to the food. Inactive (not feeding) walleyes may move off, ie. slide down the break, sit in the weeds, sit on the bottom, etc. ---- but they will be in the close vicinity of the food.

Minnows are done spawning now and are in deeper cover. There is a ton of baitfish of all kinds out there at this time of year.

I don't fish Gull so I can't get any more specific than that, other than that I've heard there is a good weedline walleye bite in that lake.

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There is usually a good weedline bite on Gull this time of the year. Dragging leeches here is kind of hard because of the panfish. Trolling shad raps works ok also.

Use redtails.

Fish also the 20-35 ft areas also. Just outside of Sandy Point is good, and the "bra" area also produces Eyes this time of the year.

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My daughter and I were out last night and boated to a friend's house to [PoorWordUsage] for a bit before we started trolling Salmo Hornets. There were tons of small perch minnows around his dock. After out [PoorWordUsage] session, we motored out to the 10-12 foot range and proceeded to put 6 'eyes in the boat in 2 hours. We didn't even hit our good spot, because we were catching fish in this spot and then bumped the prop on a rock and had to call it a night. All of them were coughing up those perch minnows. We also caught a couple nice smallies too. Not all bait fish are deep, especially with the cool spring/summer we've had so far.

Brian

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Great information, guys! I can't thank you enough. I hope to get my kids tied into some decent fish next week. I see the wind conditions are suppose to be variable next week. Do the fish respond totally different when the winds move drastically?

James

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I'd start on those weedlines or rock structures that have been getting hit with the wind. Even if the wind lays down or switches those areas can be good for a while after the switch if it's been blowing there for a while. If it's too rough there are always fish on the lee side as well. I don't fish gull a lot but have had good success when I have. It's a great fishery but gets busy with rec traffic especially on the weekend. Don't be afraid to hit it after dark pulling cranks if your schedule allows. Some really nice flats and bars that kick out fish regularly after dark.

Good Luck!

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I actually plan to hit it after dark a couple nights. I'm not extreemly worried about doing that alone but if anyone reading this would be interested in tagging along I'm sure I will be solo on these after dark trips. Two people would be better for many reasons. Is there a way to PM on the forums?

I have a couple lighted slip bobbers also that I would like to try, I've never done that before.

James

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Did a little surfing last night to findout what I could about the bait fish in Gull. The DNR recognizes Pearch and Cisco (Tulibee) as the primary forage fish. I don't know that I've ever seen a cisco but the pictures sure resembled a long minnow bait like the original floating raps in the shad color. Also resembled some of the Huskey jerk-baits with the green and bluish colors. I found out they spawn in the fall when waters are below 40 degrees in 3'-10' of water. It prefers cool water and usually hangs out just below the thermocline in lakes where a thermocline is pronounced and travel in large pods. Seems like it would be pretty tough to target them in open water for big fish but if you found a group it may be worth searching for preditor fish around them. Food for thought!

James

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The open water bite can be tough but very rewarding when it comes together. Key is that you need to find the bait first or else you're just wasting time and burning fuel. A good graph and gps will be helpful tools to locate and stay on these school of bait and fish. Planer boards can be a nice tool as well.

I know that there are a few guys who target this bite on Gull or at least used to.

Good Luck and have a great vacation.

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I do most of my fishing on Gull in the fall but have fished with my friend on the lake during the summer and one of his little tricks was to use colored hooks and sinkers. His favorite was yellow and he liked a red bead in front of the yellow hook. In the fall we liked to use redtail or creek chubs and the bigger the better. This time of the year we would mostly use leechs.

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I can definitely attest to MANY cisco (tullibee) in Gull... almost every winter, while walleye fishing they'll come screaming in half way from the bottom, right above the walleyes. Raise your bait and WHAM! There are some big ones too! Fun fight! Every once in awhile we'll catch one in the fall... when water temps are in the mid-40's. The last two years we've caught quite a few. Last January (around new years) we caught 2 walleye, then all the sudden the tullibee came in and within a matter of minutes we caught about a dozen (tullibee). They we're all 13-20 inches (seriously). If I had a smoker I would have kept a couple, but I don't frown

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I'm probably not going to try and use this as a source of tactics, especailly since I don't live there. However, I would try it if I could make the trip significantly quicker than 7 hrs. I'll probably try the weed edges with a few presentations and some of the flats off main lake points. I have to be carful and not burn the kids out so I'm hoping the weed edges will produce multiple species.

Thanks again for everyones help, I'll try to put it to good use, good luck to all! If I don't post again until I get back I'll have something to report, good or bad.

James

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Have a great trip! Awsome panfish potential there on Gull as well. Weedline should provide with action.

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Well, unfortunatly I'm back in Iowa. Our trip to the Brainerd area was wonderful! It is with great regret to tell you I did not come home with our limit of walleye's frown I was able to put four in the boat though, 3 from Gull Lake and 1 from Round Lake. As some people reported the bite on those lakes was slow at best. I did my bait business at S&K Bait they informed me it had been slow all season thus far. Regretably I did not make it on up to Sportland to introduce myself and spread my business. I did go by on Thur Morning and did not realize how close I was from the shop, I promise to stop by next trip!

My friend set me up with Dan Eigen (Walleye Dan). I can report that Dan treated my family and me with great respect and we all came away with a great experience, thanks, Dan! He guided us to three spots and we boated 3 walleyes and lost the biggest at the boat due to my setting the hook on the bite instead of letting the fish take it for a few seconds. They came from 14' to 18' of water and were taken on Redtail chubs. The flourocarbon leadewr was about 6' long while using a #2 hook and 1/4oz slip sinker.

I asked about the bait fish and Dan pointed out to me what looked like interference on the sonar. I was absolutly amazed at the amount of bait and I then understood why the bait had to be presented right on the nose of the fish. According to the sonar the eyes were almost on the bottom in the areas we tried.

The only other walleye came on Wed from Round lake off the north end of the big rock pile. I marked a bunch of fish off the drop off in about 19 to 26 feet of water but wind conditions made it extreamly difficult to control the boat. Our elec troller was not working and I believe the big motor eventually ran them off the spot. We did pisk up several LMB and Rock Bass along with a few nice BG the kids got on leaches.

Weather was tough all day Thur. and it made for a no fish day which was still better than working.

Good luck and tight lines!

James

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Thanks for the after-vacation report, it's nice to hear how it turned out even though the walleyes didn't cooperate like you wanted.

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