Bowen Lodge, Lake Winnie Fishing Report September 15, 2016

Lake Winnie and Cutfoot Sioux, in transition between summer and fall patterns may have a few surprises in store for Walleye anglers this weekend. Tried and true late summer Walleye spots have appeared to go dead and so have the fishing patterns that produced fish reliable during the warm water period.
Now that surface temperatures have dropped, feeding preferences are shifting and Jig and minnow combinations have begun turning the heads of some nice Walleye this week.
“It’s been a game of hide and go seek”, but if you can locate ‘em, you can get ‘em to bite” said Jeff Sundin, local fishing guide. For Sundin, deep weed patterns have given way to fishing over shallow weeds and across windswept rocks or gravel. “The areas where I’ve seen the most fish recently are more traditional, old standard spots that anglers probably remember from years ago. I can’t say that the bite is automatic, but when conditions are right, Walleye do cooperate and the fish we’ve caught this week have been very nice.”
The trick for Walleye fishermen is to understand is that Mother Nature is going to dish out a few zingers to keep us all humble. A turbulent weekend scattered fish both far and wide, and on Monday night, a cold snap gave Tuesday’s fish a case of lock jaw. We’ve compared notes with guides and pros who were fishing on other lakes though and Tuesday was a tough day everywhere, not only here on the big lake.
Sundin added, “It happens every year; we get an early wave of great action like we did a few weeks ago. Then, just when you think the fall bite is on, there’s a lull in the action that makes you feel like the Walleye have disappeared. That’s because they’re making a move, away from summertime haunts and toward fall feeding areas. They will swim across flats, along the sandy breaklines and over the deep mud to get back to shoreline points, weed edges and rocks; but it takes time for the transition to occur.”
One of our favorite guides, Dale Anderson agrees. “I’ve found fish on the lakes main bars and had great fishing at times. But the Walleye move in waves and an area that produces on Thursday may not be productive again on Friday.”
The takeaway for Walleye fishermen on Winnie this week is to keep snooping around and don’t be afraid to try fishing in new territory. Avoid most of the large crowds because many of them are fishing in areas that were good weeks ago and haven’t broken the habit of going back to what were formerly their hot spots.
When the wind blows onto shallow structure, fish it. There have been days when 6 to 8 feet of water produced the best action, if it’s calm, fishing main lake bars in water depths of 14 to 22 feet are going to produce better results.
Crappies have been heavily pursued this week and although fishing for them is good, there are no guarantees that you will find “fresh” schools of fish. Be prepared to share the water with folks who are hoping to bag some Crappies doing the same thing that you are.
Perch are presenting anglers with a more optimistic outlook this week. There are reports about good schools of fish, providing lots of action on the north and west sides of the big lake. It’s true, the Perch are hitting and some of them are very nice size fish. Be prepared to sort through some small ones to capture the jumbos though; the catch rate is much higher than the keep rate, especially if you’re shooting for 10 inch plus size fish. Still, it is reasonable to expect that if you spend a day working at it, you will definitely bag your fish; it’s just a matter of putting in the time.
Fall colors are just beginning to show, and we expect the next 10 to 15 days to be filled with glorious colors, especially along the banks of Cutfoot Sioux. If you’re on the lake, you’ll see for yourself why we love it here so much, especially during the fall!

image of keith eberhardt with big walleye
On Winnie and Cutfoot this week, keep snooping around and don’t be afraid to try new territory like Keith Eberhardt did, scoring this 25 inch beauty!

image of joyce damon with limit of Crappies
The VA Nurses were back in town and Joyce Damon (top), along with her friends "The Luscious Sisters" Lonnie and Lori (bottom) matched witts with plenty of Crappie, Walleye and Pike.

image of the luscious siters with nice walleyes

Bill Heig, Bowen Lodge; Target Weed Flats Using Ultra Light Gear For Jumbo Perch

"When gearing up for for fishing jumbo perch on Lake Winnie, I like to fish using ultra-light reels spooled with 4 pound test. Paired with an ultra light rod, use 1/16 ounce jigs tippeed with fathead minnows. I look for sandy flats with a little bit of cabbage mixed in. Then I cast and retrieve my lure, that way I can cover a lot of ground."

 

Bowen Lodge, Lake Winnie Fishing Report September 7, 2016

Surface water temperatures on Lake Winnie were holding steady at 66.5 degrees this Tuesday. Cutfoot Sioux, a bit warmer, was ranging between 67 and 69 degrees. Water clarity is “improving” if we can use that term to describe it.

Clearing water conditions and cooler water temperatures have been great news for our guests who love to catch Panfish during autumn. Walleye anglers are finding that fishing under optimal conditions has become a prerequisite for success; again.

Until the water temperatures dip more, fall migrations and heavier feeding runs, Walleye anglers are well advised to fish early morning, late evening and under cloudy skies. Once fall migrations begin in earnest, opportunity to catch Walleye during mid-day will improve, until then though, Panfish action will tide you over nicely.

Crappies are in the early stages of moving into deep, open water, but there are still fish embedded in the weeds too. Sunfish are even more likely to be found in the weeds, but they are showing early signs of interest in open water.
Crappies will be where you find them, over the past few days; reports about location and depth have varied widely. In fact a few days ago, Mark Wilson reported catching fish deep, in water depths approaching 30 feet. At the same time, our guests Mike and Atcha Nolan were catching a mix of Crappie and Bluegill in water depths of 8 to 10 feet.

Exploration, persistence and good electronics will lead you to good schools of Panfish, and when you find fresh schools of fish, the action will be very good.

There’s been some chatter about the “best” fishing lures to use, but words are words and action is action. The best catches of fish that we’ve seen with our own eyes have been bagged by using 1/16 to 1/8 ounce jigs tipped with a medium size fathead minnow or a cut piece of night crawler. On Friday, Bill was on the water and caught plenty of Crappie using an 1/8 ounce Live Bait Jig; Rand and Kendra Olson repeated the performance on Tuesday using the same lures.

Northern Pike, especially larger fish have moved away from shoreline weeds and now roam open water where Tulibee, Suckers and other large baitfish provide easy meals. Small to medium size “eater” fish can still be caught by trolling the weeds.

Area fishing guide, Jeff Sundin referred recently to a stretch of days spent pursuing Pike for the table and we endorse that philosophy. Lake Winnie has an abundance of fish in the 22 to 25 inch range and these fish are scrappy fighters, easily cleanable and delicious to eat. We will be happy to assist you with advice about cleaning, cooking and catching Pike; there’s no excuse for going hungry on Winnie!

A couple of back-to-back Labor Day thunder storms turned Tuesday into a head scratcher. Painful in the short term, these weather shake-ups are the catalyst for triggering fish migrations.

We’ll be keeping a sharp eye on changing conditions and keep you abreast of fall Walleye action as it unfolds. By the way, if you’re in the area, we’d love to have you stop by for a chat about fishing or to launch at our excellent boat ramp. There’s fresh bait, ice and snacks available at the lodge too.

image of Mike Nolan with big bluegill
Sunfish are most likely found in the weeds, but are showing early signs of interest in open water.

ikmage of Bill Heig with big crappie
The best Crappie catches we’ve seen have been bagged by using 1/16 to 1/8 ounce jigs tipped with a medium size fathead minnow.

image of Bell kissing big crappie
Once fall migrations begin in earnest, Walleye action during mid-day will improve, until then, Panfish action will tide you over nicely.

image of Atcha Nolan with Big Bluegill
Exploration, persistence and good electronics will lead you to good schools of Panfish, and when you find fresh schools of fish, the action will be very good.


image of Atcha Nolan with big Crappie
Panfish, particularly Crappies are showing up in early fall locations. We have seen several reasonably good catches of Crappie come into the cleaning shack and sometimes, we see Sunfish in the mixture too.

image of Mike Nolan with big Pumkinseed Sunfish
The Nolans, Mike (Below) and Atcha (above) captured good numbers of Crappie and Sunfish on Monday using 1/16 ounce Lindy Jigs tipp with cut peices of night crawler.

Bowen Lodge, Lake Winnie Fishing Report August 31, 2016

Questions about catching Walleyes on Lake Winnie have changed a lot season.
The awesome action that we’ve enjoyed this summer has served to remind folks that there are plenty of fish in the lake to catch. Now days the primary questions are where they biting and what are we catching them on.
For the past 6 weeks, maybe more, the answers have been easy, fish in the weeds and use Little Joe Spinners tipped with night crawlers or minnows. Apparently though, many of those popular weed spots are losing their pizazz, Walleyes have “made a move”.
It’s not that the weed flats have been completely evacuated, there are still some fish remaining, but a combination of fishing pressure, weather changes and natural seasonal migrations mean that our guests will be adding some new tricks to their arsenals this week.
As these fish transition from summer to fall patterns, sprawling flats become an important component of the location puzzle. Not only because these flats provide miles of feeding opportunity for fish on the move, but also because the Oxygen rich water, ranging in depth from 12 to 16 feet, provide fish with plenty of air and just enough depth to protect their eyes from harsh sunshine on bluebird days.
Despite cooling surface temperatures during this period, fish typically continue to prefer faster moving presentations like spinners, crankbaits and “rip-jigging”. That’s good for fisherman because there will be a lot of ground to cover while searching for fish on the flats.
Deciding which presentation to use depends a lot on how you’re equipped and you should make your decisions about lures based on that. If you have heavy gear and line counting reels, then using bottom bouncers with spinners would be a good choice.
For guests with less fishing equipment, we often suggest using jigs weighing ¼ to 3/8 ounce tipped with a minnow and fished fast, 1.1 to 1.5 MPH, with a super aggressive ripping style jigging. It looks funny when you see somebody using this presentation, but don’t laugh the aggressive rip-jigging works and when you have miles of flats to cover; the fast speed allows you to find fish faster.
For another idea, we listened to pro fishing guide Jeff Sundin who suggested; “Don’t forget about trolling with crankbaits, especially if you’re a fan of multi-species fishing. I’ve using Wally Demons to troll flats and weed edges and we’re turning up mixed bags of Pike, Walleye, Perch and Crappie.
It doesn’t require specialized gear; most fishermen have rods and reels that are well suited to trolling with crankbaits and the 3-1/2 Walleye Demons running at 10 to 12 feet, put you right into the strike zone.”
For guest who’d rather stay on Cutfoot, there’s good news too. Panfish, particularly Crappies are showing up in early fall locations. We have seen several reasonably good catches of Crappie come into the cleaning shack and sometimes, we see Sunfish in the mixture too.
Panfish are not in deep water yet, key depths are 10 to 18 feet and locations with deep water running close to the shoreline, but near large weed flats are best.

For now, presentation is simple; a 1/16 to 1/8 ounce jig head tipped with a cut piece of night crawler is the best bet. You may think that minnows would be best, but think about it. Early fall Crappies will hit the night crawler, but Sunfish rarely, almost never hit a minnow. So if you’re looking to tag a mixture of Crappie and Bluegill, then the worm makes a lot of sense. Later this fall, Crappies will lose their inclination to strike the worms, and then we need to make some adjustments. But for now, go with the jig and worm combo and you will catch both species, often located only a few yards away from each other.

Bowen Lodge, Lake Winnie Fishing Report August 24, 2016

It's been a very good week for guests at Bowen Lodge. Weather has stabilized, late summer fishing patterns are established and predictable plus as a bonus, fishing presentations are become more flexible by the day.
For weeks now, we’ve reported that fishing with Little Joe Spinners over the weed tops has been the “go to” presentation and for many of our guests, it still is. But over the past few days, that’s been changing because surface water temperatures have fallen.
That’s right, last weekend the first wisp of cold, fall air blew onto Lake Winnie and brought surface temperatures down. On Sunday, Jeff Sundin reported an overnight temperature drop of 6 degrees. Now that warmer air temps have returned, the lake’s surface water is back up above 70 degrees, but not for long.
Shorter days, cooler nights and dipping water temperatures have sent the signal; fish are beginning to respond by feeding more heavily, for longer periods of time and they are more tolerant of variety in fishing presentations.
On Tuesday, the wind blew and the shallow water jig and minnow bite was on. We’re happy about that because jig and minnow combinations provide fishermen with a lot more flexibility. Fishing the jig and minnow allows anglers to cover the territory more thoroughly too and when a school of fish is discovered, we can zero in for maximum efficiency. So it was a blast to discover that fishing on the inside edge of the weeds in 6 to 7 feet of water was the best presentation for Walleye yesterday.
Some fishermen are using shallow running crankbaits right now too and they are working well. The bag is a mix of Pike and Walleye on the big lake, but fishing with crankbaits in Cutfoot Sioux may also yield some Crappies.
Perch fishermen are beginning to sound optimistic now too. Although there are still lots of small Perch picking away at the baits of Walleye fishermen, we’re seeing some larger specimens showing up in the mix. This is typical during late summer when these fish start migrating toward the shoreline to feed before winter. So far, it’s too early to declare a hot Perch bite, but we do see an increasing number of 9 to 11 inch fish throughout an average fishing day.
If you’re trolling for Walleye and stumble into a school of perch that seem to be above average, then we suggest slowing down and fishing with jig and minnow combinations. In fact, here’s a short video that might help you zero in on some good, late summer Perch fishing. View Video >> Target Weed Flats Using Ultra Light Gear For Jumbo Perch.
Panfish in Cutfoot and Little Cutfoot are still primarily weed bed related fish. There are very small numbers of fish moving toward deeper water, but we’re still awaiting signs of early fall migrations.
Spending most of their time deep within the weeds, Crappies do travel along the outer edges during low light periods. The best action occurs before breakfast and after dinner. Cast small jigs tipped with action tails toward the weeds, retrieve them slowly, allowing time to drop into pockets and open spots.
Sunfish inhabit the weeds too, but they tend not to move around as much as the Crappies. On Big Cutfoot, most of the best Sunfish action is discovered by Walleye fishermen trolling along the weed edges with spinner and night crawler combinations. Sometimes larger Sunfish will be persistent and continue to strike fast moving spinners. But we suggest dropping a marker, stopping the boat and fishing vertically with jigs tipped with a cut piece of night crawler.
A 1/8 ounce Live Bait Jig equipped with a short shank hook is deadly! Tipped with a worm and held still at about 6 inches over the bottom, be prepared to set the hook at the slightest tick.
In Little Cutfoot, Sunfish tend to be found closer to shore, along weed beds and around the lakes numerous floating logs known as deadheads. One of the better ways to cash in on late summer Sunfish in Little Cutfoot is to rig up the same small jig, except suspend it under a premium slip float. Using a bobber allows you to get your bait into tight places, like under those logs and hold it there for longer periods of time.
Pike and Musky action remains good too, but we’ve seen very little “serious” effort put in to catching lunker fish. For most anglers, the 24 to 26 inch fish that strike their spinners are good enough to satisfy them. But there are a handful of devoted Pike fishermen who are enjoying very good fishing for very large fish. Over the past week, we know about several fish boated that were in the high 30 inch range, along with a couple of Pike over 40 inches.
Lunker hunters know that the best presentations are casting vs trolling. Using large baits like Suicks, Musky size Bucktails and even giant spoons will turn the heads of larger fish. Finding good weed beds is fairly easy, but be sure to focus your attention on Cabbage. When you find a good cabbage patch, it will almost certainly hold some good fish. If you find a cabbage patch that lays close to rocks, that will be even better and remember, when you’re you fish Winnie for Pike, you’re automatically entered in the Musky game too.

image of steve wilson with big walleye
Trolling Little Joe Spinners over the weed tops has been the “go to” presentation for many of our guests. For Steve Wilson, it paid off!

image of john wilson with Cutfoot Crappie
Panfish in Cutfoot and Little Cutfoot are still primarily weed bed related fish, like this one. We’re still awaiting signs of the early fall migrations.

image of Sam wilson with Winnie Walleye
Sam says, not so fast grandpa, I can do that too!

We’re certain that there will be a few ups and downs in the fishing action before the real “fall feeding runs” begin. But day in and day out, our guests are enjoying some very good fishing right now. We hope that you’ll stop in an see us when you’re in the area, let us show you around and chat about your next trip to Walleye Alley.

Bowen Lodge, Lake Winnie Fishing Report August 17, 2016

image of full moon

"For as long as I can remember, the full moon of august has been a catalyst for producing above average fishing. In fact on most of the lake that I am familiar with, the action can range anywhere between above average and fantastic depending on the weather that goes along with it.
Anglers this season are catching a lucky break because the weather has remained fairly stable and that encourages fish activity too. The combination of good weather, full moon and a strong population of perfect eating size Walleye could mean that Winnie Walleye anglers are in for couple more days of really good fishing.  
A couple more days, that’s all? Well not exactly, but the pattern is predictable and has played out many times over the years. The full moon produces a peak of action, followed by a relative slow down. If the weather remains stable, the action will remain fairly good, albeit probably not as good as it is now.
Early September will bring another spurt of good action followed by one more relatively slow period. After that, by mid-September, cooling water temperatures and shorter days will trigger the fall bite and for Walleye fishermen, Cutfoot Sioux and Lake Winnibigoshish will be paradise; I believe that we are in for a great fall season.
That means that we’re less than 30 days away from the “real deal”, but in the meantime, there are gonna be some really good days to tide us over while we wait for the colors to change.
Surface temperatures on Lake Winnie ranged between 71 and 74 degrees on Tuesday. Key depths ranged between 9 and 11 feet and the presence of weeds was crucial. There are reliable stretches of weed growth on the East, West and North sides of Winnie, the weed edges in Cutfoot will produce fish too, but for now, Cutfoot appears to be producing better numbers of Panfish and Pike than it is Walleye.
If you’re lucky enough to be heading for the lake today, then you may see us out there. We’ll be fishing in the weeds, probably trolling with #3 Gold Little Joe Spinners tipped with ½ night crawlers. With any luck at all, we will be proving that the theory about the full moon is true, but if I can’t, we’ll be smiling either way." - Jeff Sundin, for Bowen Lodge August 17, 2016

Bowen Lodge, Lake Winnie Fishing Report August 10, 2016

Watching the season progress reminds us that fall is on the way. Hardwood trees are beginning to show the first signs of color and warm days now give way to cool nights.
Surface water temperatures on Lake Winnie and Cutfoot Sioux are signaling a change of season too. Now slipping cooler, they are ranging between 71 and 75 degrees depending on where you fish and on the time of day. These moderately cooler temps may not be enough change to trigger massive changes in fish behavior, but soon, we will notice more signs of fish migrations as they move toward early fall haunts.
Walleyes, still inhabiting weed flats in 9 to 14 feet of water are “ON” one day and “Off” the next. Even though there are still good numbers of fish, knowing where they are vs. knowing when to be there are two different things. We’ve been talking about focusing on low light periods to improve your odds of catching Walleye and is still the best way to predict when to pursue them.
A “Walleye Chop” on a day that features overcast skies will produce good daytime action. A word of caution though, a chop without overcast skies, or vice versa, may produce disappointing results. Our good friend Jeff “Cubby” Skelly said; “The fish are there, I think that they are fat and happy, feeding at will. Watching the forecast and fishing whenever the key elements are in alignment is the best way to tip the odds in your favor.”
On Winnie, Walleye location centers around 3 main territories; Highbanks-Tamarack, Stony Point and Ravens-Sugar Point areas. All 3 of these areas are providing consist action and although there are still fish on deep water, most anglers have chosen to focus on shallow weeds, rocks and shoreline breaks.
Most of the guides we know are trolling with spinners, but many visitors to the lake are trolling with crankbaits now. It’s a matter of personal preference, both are providing good results and according to Jeff Sundin; “Trolling with crankbaits will help cut down on pesky attacks by small Perch.” Sundin likes the Wally Shad, but your favorite shallow running crankbaits will probably produce results too.

image orf Phil Goettl with big Pike
Large Pike move into the weedline to feed on baitfish, but can be found trolling on sprawling flats too. Phil Goettl shows off one of his better efforts.
Panfish, primarily located along the weed edges are becoming more reliable too and for anyone who likes mixed bag action, we suggest an early morning trip on Cutfoot Sioux.
Crappies can be caught using a variety of methods, casting small jigs tipped with twirl tails, shad bodies or 1-1/2 inch tubes will produce results. Following the weedline and casting into pockets will produce results; expect pleasant surprises like an occasional Walleye too.
Sunfish prefer meat on the hook and are gathered in smaller, more tightly concentrated schools. If you locate them, it’s a good idea to anchor and fish with small jigs tipped with cut pieces of night crawler or small leeches.
Northern Pike are out there and small to medium size fish are easy to find. Larger fish do come into the weed edges, but with cool surface temperatures and good Oxygen levels in deep water; many larger fish remain free to roam over deep water or across sprawling flats.
Trolling the weedline, casting to the weeds, fishing with slip bobbers and trolling crankbaits on the sand flats will all produce good results.
The forecast for the week looks cooler, more cloudy and is likely to produce further declines in surface water temperatures. As temperatures fall, expect evidence of migrations to occur. We will do our best to stay on top of the reports, please don’t be bashful, stop in at the lodge and let us know about your trip. We’ve got plenty of room for a photo too, so snap away and enjoy!
By the way, if you’ve never visited Bowen Lodge, stop in while you’re in the area and let us introduce ourselves. We would love to be your next fishing destination, so we’d like to show you around the resort. Once you pay us a visit, we're sure that you'll understand why we say; "At Bowen Lodge, You Are Part Of Our Family!" See the resort >> Bowen Lodge or click here for >> The Bowen Lodge Story

Bowen Lodge, Lake Winnie Fishing Report July 28, 2016

With the arrival of more stable weather, fishing has definitely improved this week on both Lake Winnie and Cutfoot Sioux.
Surface water has reached the 77 to 79 degree range and that’s encouraging an Algae bloom that helps offset the clear water conditions that we’ve talked about for most of the summer. Thanks to the added “color” in the water, mid-day fishing is somewhat easier during periods of bright sunshine than it was last month.
“It’s not an automatic, hot Walleye bite” according to fishing guide Jeff Sundin, who’s been fishing the lake this week with some of our guests. “Walleye still want the security of low light conditions, but now the fish are responding better, even when the odds are modestly tipped in our favor. Walleyes were semi-active on Wednesday, even with only a light chop and broken, partly sunny sky. Walleye fishing was definitely easier than I expected, especially considering the storms that rumbled during the early morning.”
Ahead of those storms, Walleye fishing had been even better for Sundin and his crews, Conditions were ideal on Tuesday. “That allowed me and my crew of 4, to return to the dock with 20 good size “keepers” and a half dozen nice Pike, Sundin said”. We know that’s not a full limit, but for late July, it was darn good fishing by anybody’s standards and the average size of the fish was very nice, ranging from 15 to 17 inches.
The fishing pattern has been targeting weed flats in water depths of 10 to 14 feet and trolling spinners tipped with live bait. We’ve mentioned before that the old reliable #3 Gold Little Joe spinner will produce plenty of fish. Recently though, Sundin has noticed a trend, the fish have been responsive to Lindy’s “Tulibee Pattern” spinner. If you mix up your colors, you will find one that you like, so don’t be afraid to experiment.

image of James Blood with Winnie Walleye
James Blood with an excellent Winnie Walleye caught in the weeds using a Little Joe spinner tipped with a fathead.
Trolling speed has been important; 1.1 to 1.3 MPH has been the best window for Walleye. Faster speeds are okay, but there are a lot of Northern Pike inhabiting the same weeds and faster speeds encourage more Pike action. That’s great for folks who want Pike, not so great for the Walleye purist in the crowd.
Panfish are getting more attention this week too, and Cutfoot Sioux has begun to kick out modest, but improving catches of Crappie. The fish are using the edges of deep weeds, particularly Cabbage Weeds in water depths of 10 to 12 feet. So far, the action has been “spotty”, but we’re watching the trend and will surely have more news for next week’s report.

Bowen Lodge, Lake Winnie Fishing Report July 18, 2016

Coming up with encouraging words for fishing guests was trickier than usual last week. Stormy, windy weather and constantly changing conditions made dialing in reliable patterns difficult, even for the seasoned pros who fish the lake.
Fortunately, a more stable weather pattern has emerged and guests are finding their way back to better fishing.
Walleyes on Lake Winnie are settling into deep weed patches, and mid-summer trolling patterns are producing fish. The ultra-reliable Little Joe spinner tipped with either a fathead minnow or ½ piece of night crawler produced very well for fishermen on the lake this Sunday.
Covering water fast, most anglers use the spinners to help reveal the location of the best schools of fish. Once they know where there are good numbers, they can tighten the circle, making shorter and shorter trolling passes.
Key speeds are 1.0 to 1.4 MPH bullet using sinker weights of 1/8, 3/16 or ¼ ounce. The best depths vary, but typically, the best weeds, Cabbage, grow anywhere from 8 to 12 feet of water; that’s the target range. Walleye will hold over Coontail, Eelgrass and other weeds too, so don’t be afraid to check out any patch of vegetation that your electronics reveal.
Along with Walleyes and an occasional Pike, small Perch are going to keep you on your toes. That’s just part of the game right now; folks have to be willing to put up with the distraction in order to hit pay dirt.
Northern Pike of quality size have begun to show up on structure too. Deep weeds are good, but don’t overlook patches of gravel and rock, especially when you can find weeds and rocks mixed together.
For a chance at the best size fish, casting larger “Musky baits” is the best way to go. Inline spinners, large spoons and Bucktails are all capable of producing fish, but Pike are fickle in the summertime and we believe that once you know what they like, it’s best to stick with that presentation. As soon as you have identified a reliable presentation, you can focus solely on location with confidence that fish will strike when you find them.
Crappies are showing up in creels and can now be located along the weed lines in Cutfoot Sioux. If you’re serious about finding them, set your alarm and get out there early. Crappies don’t play fair during the summertime and they won’t wait for you to have coffee and read the paper. Have you noticed those guys who you see heading back to the dock as you’re heading out; those are the successful Crappie fishermen.
With a more palatable weather pattern in the forecast, we’re looking forward to some great reports this week and as always, we will keep you up to speed.

image of nice pike
Northern Pike of quality size have begun to show up on structure. Deep weeds are good, but don’t overlook patches of gravel and rock, especially when you can find weeds and rocks mixed together.

image links to resort map
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Bowen Lodge, Lake Winnie Fishing Report June 27, 2016

Early summer peak fishing patterns are emerging on Lake Winnie. Although, there are still some great shoreline bites going on is shallow water, these are weather dependent, when the wind blows, fish are being caught.
Typical of summer patterns though, calm conditions call for different strategies, requiring a shift to deep water structures.
Surface water temperatures have reached into the high 60's now, minnows are moving away from shall water and toward deep weeds and mid-lake marl, where insect hatches occur. There has not been a major bug hatch, but small hatches of midge, fish flies and othe small bugs have surfaced. Mayflies have been few and far between, at least so far.
Over the past week, mid-lake bars and humps have produced both numbers and size, providing our guests with opportunity to eat some fish and get good photos at the same time. Like the fish that Julie Jones, Dallas Texas caught back to back. The Walleye and Pike both came off of a deep water hump while she was fishing with guide, Dale Anderson.
With the migration to deeper water, the leech and crawler season begins in eanest. Lindy Rigs set up with 1/2 ounce sinkers and 6 foot leaders are the preferred presentaion of most anglers. Slip floats, bottom bouncers and jig fishing still produces fish, so don't be afraid to experiment.
The lake's large weed flats are becoming greener and more lush. There are fish being caught in the weeds by some of the guides, but the actiuon has been spotty. Soon, fishing with spinners will overtake Lindy Rigging in popularity, but for the moment, live bait rigs in deep water have the distinct advantage.
Panfish are active in Cutfoot Sioux, but like the Walleye, low light conditions are much better than during mid-day sunshine. Crappies continue to stage an evening rally, moving along the weed edges for an hour or so just before sunset. Using slip floats, small jigs and minnow works best during the evening flight.
So even if it does sound like a broken record, remember that bright, sunny days without wind might be somewhat discouraging, but when the wind blows and there is an overcast sky, make sure you have you landing nets ready to go to work.

image of Julie Jones with big walleyeJulie Jones, Dallas Texas caught these two trophy fish a few minutes apart.

image of julie jones with big pike
Fishing with guide Dale Anderson, their action was found on Lake Winnie's deep humps using Lindy Rigs.

Bowen Lodge, Lake Winnie Fishing Report June 23, 2016

On Winnibigoshish, Walleye, Perch and Northern Pike are establishing summer residency in the deep weeds, while the vegetation in Cutfoot Sioux holds good numbers of Crappie with bonus Walleye and Pike in the mix.
On the surface, weather conditions may remind us of springtime, but below the water, summertime fishing patterns are emerging. Although the surface water temperatures remain cool, locked in at around 65 degrees, the lake's submerged vegetation is growing deep and green.
Walleye fishermen continue to find fish hanging around, shallow water where early summer patterns remain effective. Jigging the shallow weedline, rock piles and shoreline breaks still works, especially on windy days. Lindy Rigging on the mid-lake bars and humps is working too, but frustrated by windy conditions, many of our guests have stayed away from fishing mid-lake structure this week.
Among our guests, spinning over the weed tops has become very popular over the past few summers. Single hook spinners like the Little Joe, tipped with either a night crawler or fathead minnow can produce excellent mixed bag fishing for Perch, Pike, Walleye and Panfish.
Usually, warm water temperatures are what give us the idea to start the spinning season, but apparently the fish depend less on the water temperature than they do the calendar. Despite cool surface temps, Walleye and Pike are concentrating in the weeds and the mid-summer spinning patterns are becoming more effective each day.
The rig is simple, a supply of 1/8, 3/16 and ¼ ounce bullet sinkers will cover most fishing depths ranging between 10 and 16 feet. Select the weight according to the depth you choose to fish. You want to keep your blades running in the weeds, but not on the bottom. Most of the fish will hold two or 3 feet above the bottom, some even over the weed tops. Ideally, your sinker will suspend the bait just above the fish’s eye level.
A single hook spinner with a #3 Gold Indiana blade is the most popular rig on the lake, but you can experiment with your favorite colors too. Tipping the single hook with a half night crawler is common, so is tipping the hook with a fathead. At times, active fish will also strike artificial crawlers in lieu of live bait, use your judgement about when to try them.
Trolling speeds of 1.1 to 1.5 MPH are the most common and usually the best for all around conditions. Occasionally, fish may prefer a slower presentation and when they do, try a Lil’ Guy crawler harness, tipped with a whole night crawler. The 2 hook crawler rig acts just like a spinner, but can be run slower; effective at speeds of .7 to 1.2 MPH, they will add a dimension to your arsenal that can’t be covered with a typical spinner rig.

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A single hook spinner with a #3 Gold Indiana blade is the most popular rig on the lake, but you can experiment with your favorite colors too. Tipping the single hook with a half night crawler is common, so is tipping the hook with a fathead.

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There are several well-known areas where weedline fishing has been popular, but as the lake water in Winnie becomes clearer, weed growth has not only become deeper; weeds now inhabit a much wider territory on the lake.
With new weed patches emerging every season, it’s important to keep your eyes focused on your electronics. If you do, then you are going to discover new territory every time you explore the lake and many of these fresh weed patches will hold fish.
Early risers can get into a mixed bag of Crappie and Walleye by fishing on Cutfoot Sioux right now too. The fish are most active between 5:00 and 8:00 AM and can be caught by casting small jigs tipped with action tails like a twister or 2 inch shad bodies will work, so will safety pin style spinners.
Hold your boat within casting distance of the weeds and make short casts in the edges and pockets. Allow your lure to drop into the weeds on a tight line and pay attention for the telltale “Tick” of a fish strike. Most of the time, you can set the hook immediately because fish inhabiting the weeds are feeding aggressively.
Sunfish are trickier to find right now. Some of them are on spawning beds, some of them have moved into deeper weed cover and others have not moved into spawning territory at all. For the moment, fishing for Panfish is a mission best suited for folks with lots of patience to poke around on the weed edges, searching for small schools of fish.
Looking ahead, we see a forecast that includes more summery weather and with that, the emergence of summertime Perch patterns. By this time next week, we should begin to hear about Perch moving into summer haunts, we’ll do our best to get some updates throughout the week.

Bowen Lodge, Lake Winnie Fishing Report June 16, 2016

The weather has dished out some challenges for our fishing guests this week. But despite the turmoil caused by rapidly changing conditions, fishing continues to be good.
Water temperatures on the lake remain cool, maintaining a narrow range between 61 and 64 degrees. This is especially interesting for our guests because it presents them with a wide variety of locations and fishing presentations that will them to their evening fish fries.
For the moment, you can count on YOUR favorite presentation to produce some Walleyes both for the table and for your photo albums.
Following the lead of some of our favorite fishing guides, we’re mixing it up and working the lake this week in both deep and shallow water.
Jeff Sundin has been on the lake working the deep edges of the lake’s largest structure, the Bena Bar. Sundin reported that there are small schools of fish located at random intervals along the bar’s edge. Key water depths are 18 to 26 feet and prime locations have been inside corners, spots where the contour of the breakline bends inward, creating a pocket where baitfish can be trapped.
“It’s not a good idea to pull into your favorite area and start fishing”, Sundin says. Instead, he’s been traveling along the edges of the bar, searching for one the small schools of fish, stopping to fish only after there’s a clear sighting on his Humminbird.
Once the fish are located, using Lindy Rigs and night crawlers are the best, overall. Leeches are producing some action too and if you prefer them, there’s no reason not to fish with them.
For anglers who want to mix it up and bag some Northern Pike and Perch too, jig and minnow presentations, while not as effective for the deeper water Walleye, will still help you bag some. At the same time you’re pursuing Walleye, you’ll catch bonus Pike and Perch. This is especially good for folks fishing with their children. Kids love to see their pole bending and the variety method would likely win a popularity poll among youngsters.
Jeff Skelly has been on the lake this week too and continues to report catching Walleyes in shallow water. Jig and minnow presentations are producing fish, but so are spinners. Tipped with minnows or ½ night crawlers, the spinners are also equal opportunity baits and they will produce Walleye, Perch and Pike all at the same time.
Working the weed edges in water depths of 8 to 12 feet will produce consistent action. Be mindful of Winnies ever deepening weed lines though, they are beginning to thicken and you may also discover untapped weed beds in depths of 14 to 16 feet. As the summer progresses, these deeper weeds will become increasingly important.
Perch of quality size are being caught along the deeper shoreline breaks. Target areas where the breakline has a soft taper instead of a sharp drop off. Perch like the contour, but they prefer a somewhat flatter terrain, especially when there’s a hole nearby.
Jig and minnow, spinners and Lindy Rigs tipped with medium size minnows will all produce fish. Experiment with each of these 3 presentations because Perch can be fickle, showing a strong preference for one of them today, but another one tomorrow.
There are both Sunfish and Bass in shallow cover right now, some are bedding and some are not. We’re not hearing a lot about Panfish, but if you like to experiment, we believe that you will find some.

Bowen Lodge, Lake Winnie Fishing Report June 9, 2016

Most of the Walleye anglers at the resort are continuing to pursue fish in shallow water and as long as the weather cooperates, fishing remains good.
We’ve learned to expect slower Walleye action during periods of calm, sunny weather and recently, we’ve written a lot about fishing on breezy days. Don’t forget though, Walleyes are active at twilight and during the early morning hours too, even on calm days.
Earlier this week, Scott Gerling Caught a nice limit of keeper size Walleye, and landed a 26" trophy while he was at it. It was a beautiful evening, the fishing was great and it ended with a spectacular sunset as a bonus.
The fish were aggressive, hitting jigs tipped with Shiners; unfortunately, from our last delivery of Spottails for the season. The end of the Shiners is not the end of the world though; most of the better guides are now using Fatheads or Rainbow Chubs as an effective replacement.
Leeches, crawlers and golden shiners will be the choices for bait and if it's like previous years, each day will find Walleyes showing a preference for a different menu.
There have been some guests catching Jumbo Perch on the north shore. They’ve been using jigs tipped with crawlers, fishing in the weeds. Around the lake, there are also Perch being taken in water depths of 15 to 20 by fishermen using jig and minnow combinations.
Jeff Skelly, a veteran guide on Winnie has been catching a mixed bag, including Perch, by fishing with spinners tipped with minnows. According to Skelly, the action was fast and for guests who like to eat fish, it’s a fast way to gather some Pike, Walleye and Perch fillets for the table.
Although surface water temperatures remain cool at 62 to 64 degrees, most if not all Crappie spawning has run its course for the season. For now, pursuing Crappies will require a visit to the lake during twilight or early morning.
Casting small jigs tipped with action tails into the weeds and retrieving them will produce the best results. Some folks like to use slip floats, small jigs and live minnows too and these can be equally effective.
Key depths for Crappie are shallower than most folks realize; 6 to 8 feet is a common depth on Cutfoot Sioux, 4 to 6 feet is more common on Lake Winnie. From now until early fall, most of the Crappie action will be found along these weed edges. Cabbage weeds, when you find them are the #1 choice for Crappie, Walleye too for that matter. But Coontail, Eelgrass and Northern Milfoil will also hold Crappies.
Sunfish and Bass now inhabit shallow water and can be found fanning beds in certain areas of the lake. We recommend allowing the Bluegills some time to wrap up their spawning process before pursuing them. Instead of fishing beds, fish for roaming Sunfish in shallow Bulrush or other weedy shoreline cover. The fish you catch may be a bit smaller, but allowing the larger “Bull” Sunfish to protect their spawning beds is essential to providing good Panfish action in the future.
We've uncovered a good article that covers the importance of responsible fishing for Sunfish during the spring spawning runs. We think it's worth your time to read it and we hope that you'll agree; providing great Panfish action into the future is worth learning about. Learn More >> Having Your Sunfish and Eating Them Too
Musky fishing season opens this weekend and with the full moon about to shine on Father's Day, we're predicting it's anly a couple of weeks before we hear tales about fishing for lunkers. Most folks don't think of it, but the full moon of June is prime time for Musky fishing!

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Scott Gerling Caught his limit of keeper size Walleye, and landed this 26" trophy while he was at it. It was a beautiful evening, the fishing was great and it ended with a spectacular sunset as a bonus.

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Photo courtesy Jeff Sundin: Jim Miller showing off another fantastic Winnie Walleye!

Bowen Lodge Fishing June 3, 2016 Lake Winnie Walleye Report

Despite challenging high winds and isolated bursts of heavy rain the Bowen Lodge fishermen did well. Several boats that trailered over to the third River landing and bravely made their way out to Mallard were rewarded with limits of walleyes.
The fish were aggressive hitting jigs with spot tail shiners. We are definitely nearing the end of our shiner runs and will need to switch to Golden shiner, rainbows, or fat heads. The mid lake structures have already produced fish and will continually improve each day. Leeches and rigs will be the preferred presentation as water temperatures rise.

Bowen Lodge Fishing May 31, 2016 Lake Winnie Walleye Report

Walleye fishing over the Memorial Day weekend remained good, especially for folks who explored fresh territory.
Typical of most holidays, crowds gathered in areas where the apparent “hot bites” were happening. For many, the strategy worked well enough; for most of our guests, there were plenty of fish to go around.
Memorial Day weekend is typically a pivotal time on Winnie though; fish begin mass migrations toward fresh feeding territory as water temperatures warm. Over the weekend, anglers who got a step ahead of the crowds really found some awesome fishing. One group of five reported catching a full, five man limit of keeper size Walleye on Sunday alone.
For the moment, most of the action is taking place in shallow water. During the daytime, weather conditions dictate the amount of action we can expect. We often talk about the benefits of breezy conditions that give us the Walleye chop, and we agree, having wind is nice. But we’re discovering that fishing under overcast skies may be even more important. Of course, having both of them at that same time really generates good action.
There are a small group of anglers who bypass the daytime schedule entirely. They’ve been fishing the big lake at night, trolling crankbaits and doing very well. This tactic is especially useful at the end of a bright, calm day when Walleyes have spent the daytime hours resting. Once the sun falls below the tree line, they go on the prowl for food; moving into shallow water for an intense period of feeding.
Many Crappies have already moved out of shallow water spawning territory and have established a post spawn feeding style. While there are still some stragglers remaining in the shallows, our recommendation is to fish during early morning and late evening along weed edges.
It’s not unusual to wait until 7:45, 8:00 or even 8:15 PM before the movement begins. Once Crappies begin to feed though, the action is intense; many anglers catch limits in a very short time.
Slip bobbers, small jigs and crappie minnows are the best presentation. Don’t overlook casting small jigs tipped with artificial baits either, these are very effective, especially as water temperatures warm up.
Surface temperatures on Lake Winnie are now in the 62 to 63 degree range. In Cutfoot and Little Cutfoot they are warmer, ranging between 62 and 66 degrees depending on where we travel.
We haven’t seen any massive insect hatches yet, but we’re on the edge of seats in anticipation, they will begin to emerge at almost any time. Once they do, expect to find more fish in the middle of the lake, using deep structure adjacent to soft bottom where insects hatch.
Jig and minnow presentations are still the primary method for catching Walleye. As a precaution though, we think it’s a good time to start carrying a better-rounded assortment of baits. It’s better to have a few of everything than it is to have a lot of one thing.
The gold standard for mid-lake structure on Winnie is the Lindy Rig, they are simple to set up and simple to use. One of our favorite guides, Jeff Skelly shows how to set up the Lindy Rig in this short video >> Lindy Rigs For Winnie Walleyes

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Josie Saufferer and Katie Guentzel, showing how it gets done!!

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Amanda Goblirsch, hadn't been fishing since she was a child, staying at Bowen Lodge. She's now the girlfriend of one of our longtime guests and she hadn't lost her touch, or her love for Bowens!

Bowen Lodge Fishing May 22, 2016 Migration to Mid-Lake?

With two weeks of the walleye fishing season behind us, it’s safe to say that most of our guests have been going home really happy.
Walleye action has been very good this spring; there are lots of Northern Pike too. Perch have been more evasive, but when we find them, the average size has been good.  
Last year we talked a lot about clear water conditions and rules of thumb for anglers to follow if they wanted to pursue Walleyes. Many of our guests have made adjustments to their fishing styles and we’ve really seen it paying off.
Urging folks to fish for Walleyes during “Low Light” periods has been common advice for decades. The catch was that in the past, Winnie’s fertile water provided low light conditions almost all the time; she was known as a great lake for a “daytime bite”.
So far this season, Mother Nature has been lending a hand, the lakes water is still clearer than it was historically, but there’s a little more algae bloom this year and that’s helped make fish more active during the daytime. Numerous breezy days have helped too and so have the overcast skies that accompany them.
Add to that the spring shiner runs that began in earnest this week, and it’s easy to understand why many guests have been coming in with limits of nice size, “eater Walleyes”.
The shiners, inhabiting the shoreline sand flats have attracted hungry Walleyes and Pike onto the breaklines. Water depths vary depending on the breeze, but focusing on depths of 7 to 12 feet will keep you in range most of the time.

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Overcast, breezy conditions play into the hands of Walleye fishermen on Lake Winnie.

Traditional jig and minnow presentations continue to be the most popular, but we have some guests who use leeches very effectively too. In fact on calmer, sunnier days, we think that Lindy Rigs and slip floats with leeches may be the better presentation.
On the surface, water temperatures now range between 60 and 64° depending on which portion of Winnie or its connected waters you're traveling through. These warmer temperatures are already triggering some changes and the calendar will trigger more changes too.
Historically, Memorial Day weekend marks the beginning of a transition from shallow to deeper water. Shiners will begin to pull away from the shoreline and insect hatches will soon be emerging. That’s going to encourage Walleyes to move away from the shoreline, toward mid-depth flats, deeper shoreline points and bars that lay adjacent to flats that contain marl.
At first, areas of flat water, in depths of 12 to 16 feet will be prime habitat for Walleyes migrating toward the main lake. Soon after that, mid-lake structures will begin filling up with fish. In fact, we have already had some reports of some fish coming in from deep water too.
Some of the most productive early mid-lake areas for walleye include humps that are adjacent to, or lay nearest the shoreline. Deep points that connect to shore will be productive too and so will weedy flats in water depths of 14 to 16 feet.
The traditional presentation in Winnie’s deep water is Lindy Rigging with live bait. But don’t overlook jig and minnow combinations. There’s a window of time when Walleyes ‘remember” feeding on minnows in the shallow water and they continue to strike jigs tipped with minnows. Once their taste for insect larvae intensifies, live bait presentations become increasingly important.
Crappies, encouraged by warmer water temperatures have moved into spawning territory. Agreeably, they have filled more than a few live wells this week and we’re expecting the action to continue throughout the weekend.
Sunfish have been testing the shallow water too, but so far, we don’t believe that they have begun to spawn. If they have, it is not yet widespread.
Perch, mysterious and evasive during spring are sometimes found on midrange flats by Walleye fisherman. But for somebody who really wants to target Perch, we suggest targeting shallow weedy cover.
Stands of bulrush in water depths of 2 to 5 feet are home to roaming packs of Perch. They do not inhabit them permanently; they are nomadic right now so it’s going to involve some searching. But if you cover some ground, you will find them. Newly emerging weed patches like Coontail, Cabbage and Northern Milfoil.
From our point of view, it looks like Lake Winnie is shaping up to be a great destination for the 2016 fishing season. The Walleye population is good and the dominate 2013 year class will provide a lot of keeper size fish this summer.
We would love to see you, show you around and have a chat. So if you’re in the area, drop by and pay us a visit and if you’re heading onto the lake this weekend, Good Luck!!

Bowen Lodge Fishing May 22, 2016 Migration to Mid-Lake?

With water temperatures just beginning to cross over the 60 degree mark, it's probably a little bit early to write off shallow water fishing on Lake Winnie. That's especially true until after the Shiner spawning runs are finished. But, there are some fish beginning to show up on mid-lake structure as well.
Some of our guests have been exploring the depths and turning the heads of both Walleye and Pike. During periods of flat calm, it could be well worth your effort to check out mid-lake structures.
During the early migrations, jig and minnow combinations will continue to produce fish, as water warms, expect Lindy Rigs tipped with Leeches and Crawlers to produce consistent action too. Key depths are 24 to 28 feet.

image of Kathy Bounds with nice pike
Kathy Bounds fished mid lake structure at 27 feet of water using a jig and minnow to drum up this nice Pike.

Bowen Lodge Fishing Report For May 18, 2016 We're Off To A Strong Start!

Our fishing opener at Bowen Lodge may have started off cold, but it was anything but dreary.
The fishing was very good, the majority of our guests discovered that Winnie’ population of eating size walleyes remains strong. Most groups that headed onto the big lake caught fish and many of our fishing groups filled their bag limits.
In addition to catching lots of eaters, there were numerous catch and release Walleyes in protected slot size too.
Knowing that the Walleye spawning runs had occurred a bit early, we expected to find fish on weedy flats, where they would be feeding on shiner minnows and that are just what happened.
The best Walleye action occurred on the east side of the lake in Tamarack bay, in the northwest corner near Stony Point, and all along the western shore.
As usual, the walleye action is best when the wind blows or when the skies are overcast. Sunshine and calm seas slowed the action on Tuesday, but even then, many of our anglers were able to manage bagging a few fish.
There were a couple of interesting observations about fishing on Winnie this weekend by our good friend Jeff “Cubby” Skelly, seasoned veteran fishing guide on the lake.
Skelly noted that in addition to strong Walleye action, there are some very nice jumbo perch along with good numbers of especially nice northern pike mixed in with walleyes. As long as there’s a lot of bait on these larger weed flats, the mixed bag action is likely to continue.
For folks who are interested in gathering fish for a meal, that's fantastic news because nothing beats a mixed bag sure lunch of Pike, Perch and Walleye.
It won't be a surprise that the key presentation on the lake is a jig and minnow, typically 1/8 ounce jigs tipped with a shiner, rainbow, or nice size fat head.
There are some folks fishing with Lindy rigs too, tipped with leeches and they are reporting good success using this approach.  We don’t mean to discourage leeches, we know that they've caught plenty of fish, however the jig and minnow presentation is simple, effective and readily available at all of bait and tackle shops in the area including ours at lodge.

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Walleye fishing was good , but there were nice Perch and Pike on the flats too. Audrey Gaalaas showing off her Lake Winnie Jumbo Perch.

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So far key depths have ranged between 10 to 14 feet, weed and as we said, weedy flats are the key. That's where most of the lakes baitfish, including pre-spawn shiner populations are holding right now. Eventually the shiner minnows will run into extremely shallow water and fish will follow.
Once the spawning runs intensify, look for Walleyes in shallower water, particularly during low light periods.
So far Walleye fishing has overshadowed all other activity on the lake, but there are a handful of folks fishing for Crappie’s and reports are starting to come in about good Crappie action during the evening hours.
With water temperatures set in the low 50s they haven’t begun spawning yet, but we're expecting to see some movement soon, towards the end of this week or early next week.  It depends on how fast our water warms up and if conditions remain stable once it does.
The weather forecast looks good and it's very promising that will have another fantastic week of fishing before the Memorial Day weekend, so standby for more updates as they become available.

Bowen Lodge Fishing Report For May 11, 2016

Walleye anglers heading for Lake Winnie and Cutfoot Sioux for the fishing opener can save themselves an extra stop this Saturday.
 “Our supply of Spottail Shiners is locked in for delivery and we’ll have plenty of them on hand for anglers who plan to the opener this weekend” Said Bill Heig at Bowen Lodge.
Heig adds; “There’s more good news this season too, water levels at the marina are great and we’ve got plenty of space to park your rig. That means you can stop by, pick up your bait and launch your boat right here at the lodge. We’ll be on hand at the ramp to help make getting your boat on the lake easy. “
The outlook for Walleye fishing this season is very good. The strong 2013 year class of Walleye has reached optimal “eating size”, most measuring in at around 15 inches. The overall population of Walleyes is good, with test numbers remaining at above historic averages. The availability of eater fish, along with ample numbers of larger fish in the protected slot will provide early season anglers with a healthy balance of fish ranging in size between 14 and 24 inches.  
Walleye spawning runs are largely finished, many of the spawned out female fish have migrated back out toward the big lake. The weather cooled midway through the spawning runs this spring, so there were some late arrivals. The fish that have spawned more recently, remain closer to home in Cutfoot Sioux.
The strong 2013 year class of Walleye has not yet reached sexual maturity, so these fish aren’t encumbered by the instinct to migrate toward spawning territory. Instead, they have been focused on food throughout the entire spring. That’s good for anglers who are adept at following the familiar rule of thumb; find the bait, find the fish.
Locating schools of baitfish on your electronics should be simplified by the cold water temperatures. Spawning runs of Spottail Shiners have been delayed by the cold conditions. That means that they’ll be holding over weed flats in water depths of 8 to 12 feet where they stage prior to their movements onto the shallow sand flats.
Walleye location will be determined largely by weather this weekend too. Clear water, combined with cool water temperatures are liable to force fish deeper, holding tight along shoreline breaks in the 12 to 14 foot range.
Typical opening day tactics for Walleye include jig and minnow combinations. We like 1/8 ounce jigs as a starting size, but a supply of both 1/16 and ¼ ounce should be in your tackle box as well.  
We’ve been hard at work making sure that we’re ready to handle lots of traffic and we are ramped up and for the Walleye opener. We’d love to see you at the marina this weekend; in fact as morning reports come in, we might even have a few hot tips about where to find ‘em. 
So if you’re headed for Cutfoot Sioux and Lake Winnie, stop in and let us lend a hand to make your opener the best one ever!”

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Optimistic about the fishing opener? We are! >> View Video

By the way, if you’ve never visited Bowen Lodge, stop in while you’re in the area and let us introduce ourselves. We would love to be your next fishing destination, so we’d like to show you around the resort. Once you pay us a visit, we're sure that you'll understand why we say; "At Bowen Lodge, You Are Part Of Our Family!" See the resort >> Bowen Lodge or click here for >> The Bowen Lodge Story

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