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thegildedgopher
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12/26/2023 10:34AM  
We have typically made our fishing trip on the Gunflint side every year in early-mid June. The latest we have ever gone was entering June 16. This year we have some scheduling conflicts and the earliest I can get up is July 8. I think a lot depends on weather — and we’ve had 90s and 50s in our usual timeframe—- but I’m just curious if folks have noticed a marked change in fishing from June to July in general. I know trout will be deeper but I do have the gear to go deep.
 
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12/26/2023 03:55PM  
I avoid fishing lake trout when they're deep, unless i'm just catching a few for a meal. The mortality rate of catch and release lakers from deep water is way too high.

My late June, July and August trips, I move over to the Ely side, chase eyes, smallies, northern or whatever else is biting.
 
thegildedgopher
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12/26/2023 04:48PM  
I’ll be picking my kid up from Menogyn at the end of my trip, so I’m locked in to the Gunflint side.

Good thing lake trout can burp and worst case, have delicious flesh ;) I’m always going for a grand slam so I don’t typically just sit and fish one species all day. Once I get my trout on the stringer for dinner I would typically move on to target the next species anyway.
 
lundojam
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12/26/2023 06:47PM  
I think you won't find too much difference. I've had June-style fishing in July in that neck of the woods before.
 
12/27/2023 07:58AM  
lundojam: "I think you won't find too much difference. I've had June-style fishing in July in that neck of the woods before."


In that part of the state, agree…for Lakers patterns/depth won’t be much different. of course a severe change in weather can happen…speaking of in general.

A lot of those lakes are very cold year round and don’t warm up much. I was on Earl one year in early August, very hot and Lakers were busting the surface. Thought they were smallys until I caught one. Had others follow my lure to the boat same time of year and bust the surface. Catch plenty of Lakers in July/August while jigging walleyes on 15-20’ reefs as well.

No matter the time of year, you will find some Lakers very deep and you will find some very shallow. I don’t think I’ve ever needed to sink a lure deeper than 25’ for a laker, no matter what time of year.

T
 
12/28/2023 08:14AM  
I would say there is a big difference between June and July fishing, unless you are fishing bass and northerns. You will generally find July fish in different areas compared to June fish.

Walleyes tend to move off-shore toward mid-lake reefs with cooler surrounding water. Live bait continues to work well, but Wally Divers and other plugs start to work well too as feeding fish are looking for larger meals and are willing to chase moving targets. Post-spawn walleyes (early June) are tired and slow and looking for leeches and other meals in warming mud flats.

Lakers move deeper as the water warms. Instead of trolling shorelines (June) you will want to target deep water drop-offs and get your bait much deeper. Large lake trout don't migrate much and are almost always in deep water.
 
lundojam
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12/28/2023 10:41AM  
I agree with Bobber number 3 in general. That's the conventional wisdom. What I'm saying is that water temp and other conditions are more important than what month it is. Certainly there are seasonal movements, but they aren't tied to "June" or "July."
The fish are always going to be right where they are. Find 'em, then catch 'em.
 
12/28/2023 11:42AM  
lundojam: "...The fish are always going to be right where they are. Find 'em, then catch 'em."


So true!

Here is a favorite June Quetico honey-hole for walleyes. We have consistently caught lots of nice fish in this spot for about 10 years. Not this year!! But boy, were they all over somewhere else.

 
12/28/2023 10:53PM  
Here is my favorite May, June, July, August Laker honey hole. Fish are in deep water but only 25 feet max depth.















T
 
thegildedgopher
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12/29/2023 12:33PM  
Thanks everyone for the feedback. About what I was thinking but good to have that confirmed for the most part. This year’s trip will be a lot different for me. It will be the longest stretch of solo time I’ve had in many years and I’m really looking forward to the change of pace. I won’t be banking on eating fish every day but hope for one good walleye/pike fry and one nice laker to cook over the fire.
 
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