Northern Minnesota Walleyes

June 21, 2012 by  

by Bob Jensen

Kabetogama Lake in northern Minnesota is one of my all-time favorite walleye lakes in the world.  Lots of walleyes, eater-size and bigger, are abundant on Kab.  The lake has about one hundred fifty miles of shoreline, but only nine miles of the shoreline is developed, and that’s with resorts that fit the natural surroundings beautifully.  The rest of the shoreline is natural: Pine trees, rock outcroppings, deer, beaver, otter, ducks, loons, and the occasional black bear or moose are what you’ll see if you spend a day on the water at Kab.  It’s a wonderful place to visit and I enjoy all the scenery and wildlife, but what I really enjoy, and the reason I return to Kabetogama Lake as often as possible, is the fishing.  Kab is truly a special place for anglers or anyone who enjoys natural settings.  Here’s how my most recent trip to Kab went.

Northern Minnesota Walleyes

One of many northern Minnesota walleyes.

My fishing partner for the day was Travis Carlson.  Travis grew up in Iowa, then his family bought a resort on Kab.  Travis works at the resort and guides for walleyes.

We were using Roach Rigs tipped with leeches and fishing reefs in twenty five to thirty feet of water.  We slowly cruised over and around the reefs with a close eye on the depth finder.  We didn’t drop a line until we saw a concentration of fish.  Once we spotted fish, we marked their location with a buoy and started fishing.  We popped a couple on the first spot, but action wasn’t fast.  We would sit on a spot maybe ten minutes:  If nothing happened, we moved.

On the second reef, we marked lots of fish, but no biters.  We moved to another reef:  Jackpot!!

On the third reef we caught good numbers of eater-size walleyes, fifteen to sixteen inchers.  We also caught good numbers of twenty two to twenty four inchers that had to be returned to the water.  Fun stuff!

There are a lot of variables you can employ with Roach Rigs.  You can use leeches, minnows, or crawlers.  Leeches were best for us.

You can also use colored hooks or plain hooks.  Bronze was our best color.

You can add a bead ahead of the hook for a spot of color.  We tried that, but no bead was best.

You can tie long or short snells.  A three to four foot snell was most productive.

Colored sinkers are another option.  The spot of color sometimes acts as an attractor and will help you catch more fish.  On this day on Kab, an unpainted sinker was best.

Kab has a slot limit on walleyes.  Walleyes between seventeen and twenty eight inches must be released right away: You can keep one over twenty eight inches.  Since I started going to Kab walleye fishing has continued to improve.  Just like anywhere else where a slot limit has been implemented, walleye fishing on Kab is better because of this progressive regulation.

Roach Rigs will continue to catch walleyes throughout the summer wherever you fish.  Give them a try.  And check out Kabetogama Lake at  Roach Rigs and Kabetogama Lake are both winners when it come to walleyes.

To see all the newest episodes of Fishing the Midwest television, visit Join us at


Tell us what you're thinking...
and oh, if you want a pic to show with your comment, go get a gravatar!

Human Verification: In order to verify that you are a human and not a spam bot, please enter the answer into the following box below based on the instructions contained in the graphic.