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QJohnson
member (12)member
 
06/01/2018 08:06AM
We just returned from our trip yesterday so I wanted to put a fishing report together for our time on Crooked. We went up on the Horse River in to Lower Basswood Falls and stayed there night 1 (5-27). We fished just below the falls using the current to push us around while we vertical jigged. We caught 4 eaters (14-15") the first night using a black/chartruese jig tipped with a minnow. I also caught 1 on the same setup with a leech.

We got up early the 2nd morning (5-28) and went back to fish the same spot and caught 8 more eater walleye (14-15") and 1 walleye that was 25". Day 2 we paddled up to 3rd Current and camped there. That evening we used the same method using the current to push us and vertical jigged making sure that out jigs we're making contact with bottom. We were able to catch 9 more walleye that 2nd night and they all had a little better size (16-17") than the ones caught at the falls.

We got up early day 3 (5-29) and hit the same spot with the same result catching around 6-7 more walleye before packing up camp. We lost our minnows overnight between day 2 and 3 so we made the switch to plastics. I used a pearl colored twister tail and my fishing partners used minnow looking plastics. After packing up camp we headed north toward Friday Bay. On our way through Big Current we decided to toss a line in as we floated through. We used our vertical jigging method and in one pass we pulled out 4 walleye (16-17"). This was our last attempt at fishing Crooked. We headed south out of Friday and got washed out by rain the last 2 nights (Chippewa and Fourtown). We are extremely happy with our trip and our success.

A few things of note for anyone heading up that way:

-Lots of snags, when you feel bottom pull your rod tip up to get it over the rocks. If you get a snag just paddle back upstream from your line and reel it in, if it is still tight just pop your rod tip a few times to free it. I bet I got snagged 100 times and only lost 5 jigs total.

-Walleye Witching Hour is a real thing. Our evening walleye bite didn't start until about 10 minutes before sunset and stayed hot and heavy until you could no longer see your line in the water. Don't burn yourself out too early.

-Live bait is a great option (we even caught fish with the dead minnows) but we had equal success with our plastics. For us, live bait really just ended up being a waste of time and effort. There is no doubt in my mind that we would have been just fine the entire trip with our plastics.

Hope this helps anyone headed up that way.

 
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justinrlees
member (9)member
 
06/01/2018 01:09PM
Awesome trip report, and huge success! I've been through that area before and have been skunked, but glad to hear that you were slayin' them.

Any thoughts on how deep of water you were fishing?
Also, did you catch any other species or target any others?

QJohnson
member (12)member
 
06/01/2018 02:32PM
We caught a few Northern, most of them small and skinny. The biggest being about 30". That was caught up on 3rd Current. We also landed a handful of bass. One of our guys pulled out a nice 4 lb smallie off of 3rd Current as well. We got a few bass at Lower Basswood as well, but nothing of real size. We definitely targeted walleye the entire trip and all of our success was in areas with good current and about 8-12 ft of water. We never had our jigs higher than a foot off bottom.
WhiteWolf
distinguished member(5136)distinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished memberpower member
 
06/01/2018 07:23PM
QJohnson:



-Lots of snags, when you feel bottom pull your rod tip up to get it over the rocks. If you get a snag just paddle back upstream from your line and reel it in, if it is still tight just pop your rod tip a few times to free it. I bet I got snagged 100 times and only lost 5 jigs total.



"


Very true. Another thing that can be done if using mono is to let the "stretch" of the line work for you. If you are hung up-- tighten your line and point your rod at the snag and then quickly open your bail -- many times the snag will pop out from the stretch of the line.
halvorsonchristopher
distinguished member(1115)distinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished member
 
06/02/2018 12:03AM
Jealous of your trip. Haven't been up there in 2 years.
Next time... Skip the first 2 locations and head north immediately.
Everything you are taking about is spot on. Just surprised you didn't find bigger fish!!

Air1dwe
member (7)member
 
06/02/2018 12:18AM
Headed into Crooked 6/6-6/12. Targeting smallies for fun and walleye for dinner
06/02/2018 02:27PM
Thanks for the report. How were the water levels?

My group has lost so many jigs in those areas you could mine lead there. That was then, now we use an anchor and the jig losses have dropped down to almost nil. Try that sometime if ur still losing gear. Btw, which current are you calling 3rd? The one by the long grassy point (campsite 1858)? Heading up in a few weeks.
Abbey
senior member (91)senior membersenior member
 
06/03/2018 12:46AM
We are headed to the same loop tomorrow (today!). Thank you for the report. Planning to fish current with an anchor as mentioned. Will be interesting to see if the rain today changes the current bite. Will be out next weekend.
QJohnson
member (12)member
 
06/03/2018 09:55AM
Water levels were low but manageable on the Horse River. We camped at site 1856 and the current we had good luck at was about 100 yds north of that site. I'm not sure if that is actually called 3rd or not, but that's what we were told it was.
GearJunkie
distinguished member (153)distinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished member
 
06/03/2018 12:59PM
Thanks for the report! You did the exact trip we will be doing in July.
Jape
 
06/03/2018 09:06PM
Just returned from Crooked(5/24-5/31). Best Walleye year ever.
Tried to fish Iron 6/2 an 6/3. Couldn't get out dueto weather.
Jape
 
06/03/2018 09:10PM
sorry...error..6/1 and 6/2
doubledown
senior member (74)senior membersenior member
 
06/04/2018 09:01PM
Just got back from a 7 nighter through Wednesday bay and lower basswood area. We slayed the walleye and smallies. Walleye spawn was over but smallmouth spawn was in full swing. I caught 24 smallies in 3 hours at LBF using Quetico Mike’s rig and a 3 inch firetiger Powerbait grub on blue and black jig head (1/8 and 1/16 oz). Tube jigs continued to be a reliable go-to for smallies and my buddy hooked into (and lost before we could see) a donkey of a pike on a tube jig. 2 x 4 lb and my first 5 lb smallie caught using QM’s rig and jig and grub. Walleye and pike were hitting on jig head and grub as well. Among other pike, i caught a 39” and 40” pike on 1/8 oz jig and plastic grub.

We got bad blowdown on Wednesday bay on Tuesday night and lost our leech locker...hopefully someone finds it. We were having luck using the TGO method right from shore until that point. Being forced to switch to plastic greatly improved our numbers and size.

Based on my experience last week, my recommendation is the KISS method...keep it simple stupid.

Best of luck!
Abbey
senior member (91)senior membersenior member
 
06/09/2018 09:44AM
June 3-8 trip, two nights at LBF and three nights between Thursday/Friday bays. Didn’t do as well at LBF, maybe the rain last weekend changed the bite? Day tripped back to the Horse and caught a lot of SMB. Walleyes at the current north of the Pictos with the small island in the center, at Big Current, and another light current area we found near camp after catching several travel trolling. Largest Walter 25.5” with five over 20”, and we were sticking a lot of eaters on 1/8 oz jig head and leech. We day tripped to Saturday bay, but had big wind that day and didn’t find SMB in the areas protected enough to fish. Lots of incidental 4-5# pike, but nothing big. Great trip!
MackinawTrout
senior member (70)senior membersenior member
 
06/11/2018 09:37AM
I had similar results last week on Crooked as the OP, as we caught limits in daylight. No 30’s were caught and we didn’t get any Northerns over 40 :(. It looks like Argo “ain’t “ what it once was as all the trout were in the 20-22” range.
Crooked is a great fertile fishery that reminds me of Basswood with less pressure.
ynneb9
senior member (66)senior membersenior member
 
06/11/2018 02:13PM
I just got out of Crooked Lake on Sunday (June 6 to June 10). Fishing was consistent but not excellent. Biggest Walleye was 26" and biggest Smallie was 19". Caught all fish on leeches and a few on rapalas. Overall the weather was excellent, little rain on Saturday but all in all, another great trip.
ynneb9
senior member (66)senior membersenior member
 
06/11/2018 02:13PM
I just got out of Crooked Lake on Sunday (June 6 to June 10). Fishing was consistent but not excellent. Biggest Walleye was 26" and biggest Smallie was 19". Caught all fish on leeches and a few on rapalas. Overall the weather was excellent, little rain on Saturday but all in all, another great trip.
 
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