Guest Blogger, Andy Walls, Thousand Lakes Sporting Goods, and avid Bass fisherman, shares why Grand Rapids is great for Bass fishing, and also some tips to help you catch both small and largemouth Bass.
Grand Rapids, Minnesota offers some of the best fishing opportunities in this state. With countless lake and river options around every corner, there is always a fish biting somewhere! For many anglers, the waters of Itasca County are often looked at as prized panfish and walleye country, but we also have some of the state’s best smallmouth and largemouth bass fishing! Early spring and summer happen to be some of the best opportunities to target and catch bass.
Largemouth Bass: The shallow bays and protected areas with warmer water temperatures typically will have the highest concentrations of active fish. I usually will look at a map and decide which protected areas and bays look like they might have some good weed cover. Usually a simple one-two punch of a top water or spinnerbait to cover some water quickly followed up by something moving a little bit slower and closer to the bottom like a Texas rigged worm. With these two presentations you can quickly figure out if the fish are relating to the bottom cover, or if they are suspended up farther in the water column. Finding the best cover will often help you find the largest concentrations of fish. Water temperatures from 50-65 degrees seems to be the sweet spot for prime largemouth bass fishing.
Smallmouth Bass: Usually found on expansive rock and sand flats early in the year. They use these areas for both feeding and spawning, so they usually hang around the same areas most all of June. We usually approach smallmouth a little differently than largemouth because they don’t seem to seek the warmer water as much. Usually the fish will school outside of a spawning and wait for the water temperature to be right before they move up on the structure. So instead of looking for good cover in the right water temperature, we look for good cover and wait for the water temperature to get right. 55-65 degree water temperatures are what I am looking for when chasing smallmouth bass. When water temperatures are on the lower end of the 55-65 degrees I will usually always start with a jerkabit like a Rapala Shaddow rap because it can trigger strikes from active and inactive fish, and I can cover a lot of water fast.
Some lakes to consider for catching Bass in the Grand Rapids, Minnesota area are Wabana, Pokegama, Trout, Turtle, Rice, Loon, Bass lakes and the Mississippi River.