Sounds like a good time of year to go. At that time of year, you shouldn't need your ice fishing gear, but you may need some serious winter clothes. If the ice is on the lake, it will be thin at best. Unless we get some sort of weird winter, you won't see iced lakes.
What will you be fishing for? One of the good things about that area is that there is a lot to fish for, and there are still plenty of them. My choice would be to go for walleye or pike, but if you are going thru an outfitter you may be going for muskie, don't know. My favorite rig for walleye is what I call a "walleye rig". It is two hooks, one about 4" from the other, with a spinner on the top. On this, I string a nightcrawler. Drifting or slow trolling, off a point, while bouncing this off the bottom works well. Walleyes also fall for grubs on a jighead. Look for one about 1/4 ounce or less, with a chartreuse grub. Berkley powerbaits work well. Bounce these off the bottom - the walleye hit them on the way down.
Going for pike, I like live bait, especially in the cold. A greenback or shiner on a 3' leader weighted down could work well. Just drift with it. Or, the same rig that will work for a walleye will catch pike.
i am guessing walleye as well here is what we used to have good luck with in canada
for trolling we used lot of wally divers in the bright oragne
troll rock points and humps with alot of line out
then when the winds came up we would always get on the back sided of islands and use worms on these little spinners fishing slow along the bottom like oranges bright yellows and greens.
heres a pic of the worm thing we made our own but you can buy them cheap this one has floaters on it we didn't use any floaters it is basically a leader with beads and a spinner. we attached a bell sinker at the same place as the leader then it lets the spiner and trailer work off the bottom a little
That pick that hfff posted is exactly the "walleye rig" that I was talking about. I like using ones with a silver spinner and pink or chartreuse floats and balls. A lot of that depends on the visibility. Walleye have great vision, pike can see pretty well too. If the water is really murky use something a little brighter. The advice about working the points and humps slowly while trolling is right on the money. I like to boat past a point, then drift back if the current is right, if not troll real slow. Then come around and do it again.
I've caught pretty big walleye and pike on 8 lb line, and I wouldn't go heavier than that, especially considering the superior vision of walleye and pike. Spend the $$ to get the most invisible line possible.
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