The 2014 season ended abruptly a few weeks ago. It was a bitter end with temps in the single digits and wind chills below 0.
The summer was a great bite with many big fish in the boat. Most the fish came during the day. I attribute this to the colder than usual water temps. Warmest part of the day was the most productive time for us. Guys fishing the after work or early morning bite didn't do so well during the summer.

We hit our typical big fish numbers but our overall numbers were down from previous years.

We did receive an extraordinary amount of rain this summer. This raised the water levels approximately 15-20 inches. This also contributed to the lower water temps. I found sand grass in areas that I have never seen it before. Some lakes were so weed choked that you had to give up fishing confidence spots. The water levels eventually receded which created huge floating masses of dead/dying weeds.

The fall was off to an exceptional start until the bitter cold took a relentless grip and forced many of us to stop. The smaller fish were moving off of the tulibee spawning areas and the big fish just started to show up. There were fish houses on the south end this morning. The average ice on date is December 2 for Lake Bemidji.

Trolling in the spring definitely put us on the boards with big fish. We trolled on and off until the 2 week of July. We started casting during this time and remained doing so until November.

Casting mid day was the reason we were able to put fish in the boat. You could have pulled the plug an hour every day before sunrise. The morning bit didn't really start until about an hour after sunrise. When the water temps warmed .5 of a degree then we had our action.

Topwater baits only produced a handful of fish this year. We managed a few in September but none before that. By far 2014 was the worst year in my career for topwater fish. I assume colder water temps and the lack of fish presence in shallow water are partly to blame.

We caught the majority of fish on blades this year during the summer months. Windowmakers and DCGs/Supermodels stood out from the rest.

Plastics took a backseat until late October and into November.