Turtle Chain of Lakes Lake Report
Beltrami County Minnesota
The weekend of September 26th, I made my annual trip up to the Turtle chain of lakes in Beltrami. The accessible lakes include; Turtle, Little Turtle, and Movil Lake. I arrived at the launch on "Big Turtle" on Friday the 25th around 1am and quickly buzzed over to my friends cabin on Movil where I spent the night. At the cabin it was me, my father (Steve) and my friends Chris, Mark and Rob. The day got off to a bit of a later start than I wanted but after a late night, sleeping in a bit wasn't so bad. We got up around 7 and hit the water by 8 where we were pleasantly greeted with 60 degree air temperature, overcast, 10 mph wind and 67 degree water temperature. Compared to most other years this was excellent weather. My dad hopped in my boat and the other three guys went with Mark in his. My dad and I discussed what we were going to do a little bit prior to getting up there but not knowing the water temp until I launched, I wasn't exactly sure. While we were idling out I decided to make the long run from Movil, through Big Turtle all the way into Little Turtle. Knowing that we were going to meet for lunch back at the cabin around noon, this was a bit of a risk but I had a good feeling about Little turtle which I had never been in before. I recently ordered some contour maps from Lakemaps (1-800-999-8204) and found that Little Turtle had some great looking areas on the map and I wanted to go give it a shot.
As soon as I got into Little Turtle and dropped the Trolling motor, I started Flipping a Reactions Innovations Sweet Beaver green pumpkin. The first two fish we got were a small pike and about a pound and half rock bass. We were not to impressed to say the least so we buzzed over to another reed spot in Little Turtle. I got bit on my fourth cast in these deep reeds, reared back, set the hook and the fish immediately wrapped around a reed and threw the hook. I learned my lesson and switched to a higher speed Shimano Curado 7:3:1 casting reel. We didn't get bit on this stretch of reeds again for 50 yards. My second good bite I was able to connect and I boated about a 2 and a half again on the sweet beaver. I decided to stick with the pattern and I kept moving down looking for reeds in 5ft with good vegetation in front and around them. I came up an area of reeds that were being blown parallel with the wind. I caught my second fish again on the sweet beaver out of a particularly good looking patch of reeds. Fish number two measured 19 inches and was just shy of four lbs. I flipped back to that same spot and wham got nailed by another 18incher. We spent about 2 more hours in Little Turtle and slammed 18+ inch large mouth about every 10min or so. This was by far the best fishing I have had on this chain of lakes. My father was somehow able to convince me into returning to the cabin on lake movil to have lunch where we met mark and the other guys. Mark gave a report on his success and said that between the three of them the got 35 fish. While my dad and I didn't get as many fish, those that we did catch were definitely of better quality. Mark said the biggest fish they got was 17.5 inches but he said all of their fish came out of deep water on a Jig Worm. I was torn between numbers and big fish but I decided to try the deep structure that Mark was fishing in effort to slam a boat load of LMB's. I got out to one of my deep spots that I usually fish on Movil and was able to catch a few fish on a Zoom finesse worm pumpkinseed color on an 1/8th oz Spot Remover shaky head jigworm.
To conclude, this was a fantastic day of fun fishing. We went around and tried some new things that proved to be an excellent method to catch them and I learned a lot about fishing shallow and what to look for. I can't wait to get back up to these lakes with an entirely different game plan in mind and hopefully have as much or more success.