Douglas Pirila

Doug Pirila is a local tournament angler and fishing expert near Duluth.

Posts about Bass

Fall fishing is going strong.

Posted by: Douglas Pirila Updated: October 19, 2009 - 9:33 AM
I have had a few calls from people asking if you can still catch fish now.  Absolutely, and it can be the best fishing of the year for quality fish.  We have fished several bass tournaments lately and there are still more planned.  We can connect you to that if you want.  But if you are going fishing then here are a few things to try.
If you are after bass, start looking for the last weeds and the general rule for all fall fishing is to be near the deep water.  Try a jig and pig, rattle baits and cranks have a couple of awesome weeks on all waters.  And bulk up the baits, the fish are feeding up for the winter.  Experiment with what baits you are comfortable and confident with and keep moving until you find the fish.  You can't put together a pattern without first catching some.  
The walleyes are also moving deeper and you can catch them with a jig and minnow, cold water like spring and fall, gets the walleyes back on minnows.  But you can go with a bigger minnow now.  Rattle baits can be a great way to find them and get some nice ones.  
Pike love cold water so don't forget them.  They like the big baits as well and will probably take any bait that they see.  
It's a beautiful time of year to be outside and watch the seasons change.  Or turn on the radio and listen to a Vikings game while trolling for the big muskie of the year.  
If you aren't much into winter and want to make it go faster and have some fun, consider ice fishing and an ice fishing league or club.  It's fun, you talk fishing and meet new friends.  Just plan to keep warm and safe. 
Go Vikes..

June 20 Duluth Area fishing report

Posted by: Douglas Pirila Updated: June 20, 2009 - 10:40 PM

Well the weather is heating up and so is the fishing.  We had a great week.  My fishing team won the multispecies event.  Crappies were hitting and we did well on them, our bass and bluegills.
The crappies were in 4-6 feet of water and not overly agressive.  You had to slip bobber them, with plain hooks and crappie minnows.  We were missing fish when hooking the minnows thru the lips, but a good trick to use, that worked for us again, is to hook them thru the dorsal fin or tail.  Crappies love em and if they are not staying on the hook, it's up to you to figure out how to improve the odds.  We did and connected with solid hooksets after that little adjustment. 
The bluegills are spawning and using the bass beds when they can get them.  The bass are done spawning and putting the feed bags on.  Bass can be caught most any place now and are interested in biting most anything too.  Try plastics on docks, weed edges, mostly shallow, but they are moving to the mid depths already. 

The bluegills and warmouths are spawning in the shallow, 1-2 feet of water on sand and will bite anything near them.  You can get some nice ones right now.  But we released everything to keep the fishing at good levels.
Pike have been slower than expected on and off.  But they are still taking spoons and spinners trolled and pitched to good weeds, so don't forget them, that's some awesome fishing. 
Good fishing and hope to see ya on the water.
Minnesota Fishing

Island Lake Reservoir fishing report and tournament results.

Posted by: Douglas Pirila Updated: May 27, 2009 - 1:07 AM
Well second multispecies event out of the way and we won this one. It was a tough night, but the key was to fish the wind blown sides of the lake. We had a limit of pike, a limit of perch, a couple walleye and a couple smallmouth bass.

The trick seemed to be fish for bass, catch the bass, but whenever you had a tap tap on the line, pitch in a tiny jig with a piece of worm on it and work it back to the boat. We caught the perch, jumbos this way.

We caught the pike on spinnerbaits, pretty normal for this time of year and most of the year. Trolling or pitching spinnerbaits are awesome for pike and something they just can't ignore. Look for the wind blown weeds and work the windy section.

The smallmouth were on rocky points and docks, but biting slow.

Walleyes are biting on slip bobbers and leeches. They need a 10 count after the bobber is down to make sure they have it good. Quite a few were caught today. Good job.

See ya on the water, or call me and we can get out fishing.

Minnesota Fishing

Duluth Area Fishing Report - May 24

Posted by: Douglas Pirila Updated: May 25, 2009 - 12:12 AM

Another day fishing, Sunday, May 24 and this time on a big Duluth area lake.  We were scouting out new areas while pitching spinnerbaits to shallow weeds and found small pike and had a big muskie follow right to the boat.  Water temps were in the 57-65 degree range, depending on what bay you were in.  Big shallow bays were warmer and reeds held pike. 
Some smallies were caught and biting, but it's not a fast bite and they were in their normal locations for spring on shallow wood and rocks.  Pitching right into stumps, trees and rocks was the ticket and you needed to use plastic worms to get them.   
The weeds are just starting to grow.  Many people were on their docks and even out fishing walleyes off points and sunken humps.  Jigs and minnows were the number one lures for walleyes.  
Yesterday, Saturday, May 23rd, I was out fishing with some great folks yesterday on another area lake.  
We found that the crappies had moved into 5-6 feet of water and on spawn in 62 degree water.  The males are very black now, so the spawn's on.  You could pitch or pull jigs and minnows behind the boat with the trolling motor and catch crappies, but over night the wind turned around completely, from out of the SE to out of the North at about 10mph. 
We had cloud cover early that turned into a clear sunny day.  A few walleyes were coming out of 10 feet of water with jigs and minnows or leeches, early and late in the day.  The crappies were slow today, except one here and there on wood.  We saw lots of bluegills, crappies, pike and bass moving in the shallows, along with the painted and snapping turtles. 
We pulled many bass including one 4 plus pounds.  So a jig and pig was a great goto bait. 
Pike were easily taken with spinnerbaits trolled at 2.5 mph, this bite will just get better. 
The bluegills are in full spawn and another boat beat me to the hot corner with loads of them in it, for a second day in a row.  Hey guys, my turn next time?  
Remember to get kids out fishing and I'll see you on the water.  

Why join a fishing league and enter tournaments?

Posted by: Douglas Pirila Updated: May 16, 2009 - 12:50 AM

The other night there was a bass fishing tournament on Fish Lake, Duluth, Thursday May 14 for the Duluth Area Bass League.  My bass fishing partner, Al and I decided to show and fish, since we have fished DABL for a few years and are the defending champions from 2008.  We figured this would be a tough event with the cold front and the water had dropped over 3 degrees, making the fishing tough for everyone. 
We started out fishing some locations that hold early season bass, but were not getting any bites.  We moved to a little deeper shore, to work the negative fish.  We pulled a couple fish, including one bass over 4 pounds.  We then decided to try yet another spot and kept moving all night.  With the fishing tough we worked deep, shallow, and worked several techniques, including a combination of jigs, spinnerbaits, cranks and swimbaits.  In the end we had caught and released over 40 bass.  Click to see the results.
At the end of the event we weighted in with 5 bass weighing 16.75 pounds, for first place.  It was a tough bite and second place had 4 bass and 6.45 pounds.  I'll say my bass partner really has the pulse of the bass and can find them anytime.  We have a blast out fishing and are always tuning and learning. 
I hope everyone interested in becoming a better angler joins a fishing league or fishes a tournament, event or contest.  This is what pushes some of us to learn more techniques and meet others that share our interests and sport.  I know that I love to fish with others that have some techniques or fish species figured out more than I do.  That's how I learn the quickest and I am sure it will work for many of you.  Read, study, but most of all, get out there fishing with people that love it too.
Well off to sleep, another day on the water this morning. 
Minnesota Fishing Guide


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