Douglas Pirila

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

Posts about Walleye

Hunting for fish in November.

Posted by: Douglas Pirila Updated: November 8, 2009 - 9:36 PM

Late fall, the first weekend of firearms deer hunting and we are still fishing and catching fish. 

Saturday we were off for walleyes.  It was a nice November day with temps in the mid 50's, with some wind and cloudy.  We went to check out a deep hole in a river below a dam.  At this time of year walleyes and other fish like to be near and in the deepest holes especially the first one below a dam.  Lots of food being washed in and a good spot to ride out the winter. 
We worked jigs and minnows, just like in spring time.  It was a slow day but we caught a limit of good eater walleyes and many northern pike upto 5 pounds.  Not bad for a few hours in early November from shore. 
One thing to keep in mind is all the hunters are out, so if going in the woods, be sure to wear orange and dress warm. 
Sunday's fishing mission:  Muskies.  We worked deep water and quick breaks for muskies.  My favorite method has to be trolling big stickbaits over the deep water beside the quickest breaks from shore with lots of bait fish.  We found lots of fish on the sonar in 18 to 30 feet of water along a quick break on a rubble shoreline and started trolling along it.  We varied our trolling speeds and eventually connected on a nice 36+ muskie.  No monster but still what we were hunting for. 
Another good day fishing in late, late fall in Northern Minnesota. 
If you can get out fishing, the fish are still there.  Over two days of fishing, we caught walleyes, crappies, pike and even a muskie.  That's a good weekend. 
If you're deer hunting or still hunting for fish.  GOOD LUCK and Keep warm and safe.
Minnesota Fishing Guide

Halloween Fishing - Fall Walleyes

Posted by: Douglas Pirila Updated: November 1, 2009 - 2:27 PM
Well, another Halloween day of fishing.  I believe this is year 3 that my buddy Steve and I went fishing on Halloween and caught fish.  Today it was 32 degrees, snow in the air, 15-25 mph winds WSW, and the water temps were 39.4 degrees.  It rained steady over night and was 53 degrees yesterday.  
Today we hit a bigger lake near Duluth, and worked the deep breaks.  It was slow, the cold front that went through over night, dropped the temps 20 degrees.  The fish definitely didn't like it.  But if you were paying attention to the fishing and started close to the right stuff, you could get into the fish. 
The walleyes were at the bottom of the deepest breaks and points.  Just drag a jig and minnow, the fish would just grab it, pulling the skin off the minnow.  A lindy rig worked alright, but adding a stinger hook to a jig worked best.  We experimented with both and how long to give them with the bait before they committed.  After adding the stingers, we started converting more hits into fish on the line.  
We were using 3 inch chubs for the minnow today, the minnow had to be bigger than a crappie minnow, but we just got the sucker minnows back chewed up.  A big minnow is normally the ticket.  Another adjustment to what was needed to connect with the fish. 
Before adding the stingers we had a couple walleyes and pike for about 12 hits, then we added the stinger hooks to our jigs and caught as many fish as we missed, but they were still able to hit the jig and stinger without hooking up, amazing.  That's a tough bite but we handled it.  
Normally the fish are more agressive and feeding up for winter at this time of year, but this weather made it challenging.  Should have been there yesterday when they were feeding hard.  Maybe next week.
Minnesota Fishing Guide .com

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..

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.  


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