Douglas Pirila

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

Posts about 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.  

Duluth Area fishing report - May 17, 2009

Posted by: Douglas Pirila Updated: May 18, 2009 - 2:12 AM
Another great day fishing.  I was out with my buddy Jeff and we caught a lot of crappies and 8 walleyes.  We were on a Lake near Duluth and slip bobbers and jigs were the game. 
The crappies are going all over the lake.  Shallows every where, keep your eyes open and pitching jigs with minnows were great for searching out the hot crappies.  After finding them, stop and work a jig and minnow under a bobber.  Fun fishing.
The walleyes were an evening bite and vertical jigging works, but many are using slip bobbers on the wind swept rocky areas.  Tonight it was in 8-10 feet of water and the walleyes were there as the sun started to set.  The walleyes were 12-18 inches long, great eaters. 
Pike are hitting most anything spinners, spoons, walleye gear, anything moving.  Trolling is easy now. 
Well one prop totalled already, but I have covered a lot of the lake and learned a lot, I know there is more to learn, but that's what keeps fishing fun and challenging. 
Good fishing and see ya on the water.
Minnesota Fishing Guide

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

Duluth area fishing report

Posted by: Douglas Pirila Updated: May 13, 2009 - 12:01 AM

Monday, May 11, 2009 Duluth area fishing report.  Well fishing is going great.  Lots of crappies and bluegills moving into the shallows.  Bass near spawn and heavy, but taking baits offerred in the correct spots.  Walleyes are hitting regularly on the St. Louis River, with lots of big eyes being taken. 
For the crappies look for the warmest water, start in shallow bays with lots of protection and sunlight.  They will be near structure, namely wood or reeds, at this time and very shallow.  You'll most likely see them high in the water column catching some sun to warm up.  Try small jigs, and use the lightest you can.  I like to start with 1/32nd ounce crappie jigs and pitch them and walk them over and through the wood and weeds, to search for crappies.  When you find them you can switch to light bobbers with hooks or tiny jigs tipped with minnows to stay on them. 
For bluegills do the same as crappies but tip with a piece of worm.  It's the same with all panfish and you'll find them all together or near one another at this time of year, just warming up and looking for the first bugs and minnows for food.  Food and shelter, that's what brings them to the shallows and wood. 
Now not all wood is equal, look for the aged wood, that will have the most food in it.  Some new trees are fine, but some will turn to slime and no fish likes that. 
Pike are easy with slow baits, or even trolled with spinnerbaits.  They are cold blooded and very aggressive, most anything works now, but they are also in the shallows 3-10 feet looking for food. 
The bass are getting going.  My bass fishing buddy, is a wiz with reading bass water and has already boated several over 5 pounds.  We've already boated over 100 bass, most over 14 inches.  They vary from lake to lake and spawning is coming soon.  You'll need to work to find them, but they are there and they are eating anything within their sight for long enough.  Slow baits are working best, but there are times you need to trigger and provoke a bite. 
Walleyes have been caught with jigs and minnows, spinners and bouncers, rapalas, and many other typical spring walleye patterns.  I have heard for fishing buddies of many over 8 pound walleyes already.  That's a great start and means that they are still running and spawning, meaning the big walleyes can be caught without going onto the big Lake Superior.  That's awesome and hasn't been the case for years.  That also means that we have a couple of great weeks of fishing before the majority of them leave the river system. 
That's it for today.  
Minnesota Fishing 


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