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For variety, try Pelican Lake near Orr

A body of water that I always look forward to visiting is Pelican Lake in northeast Minnesota. Pelican Lake is near the town of Orr. When you enter Orr you'll see a statue proclaiming Pelican Lake to be the "Bluegill Capital of the World". While Pelican Lake provides lots of outstanding opportunities to catch big 'gills, the reason I always enjoy my trips to this island-studded lake is the variety. You can and will catch lots of different species of fish using a variety of different techniques.

The other reason I like to visit Pelican Lake is that it's close enough so you don't need to put lots of gas in the truck, but it's still far enough away that you feel as if you're in a wilderness location. Here's how you can take advantage of all the fishing opportunities Pelican Lake offers.

Pelican Lake is full of smallmouth bass, and the average size is very good. You'll often find the biggest concentrations of the larger smallmouth on mid-lake rockpiles. You might have to fish a few rockpiles to find them, but when you locate the fish, they'll almost always eat a bait.

One of the most productive ways to catch smallies is by throwing a four inch Power Grub on a Mimic Minnow jighead. Some rockpiles will be eight feet below the surface; some will be fifteen feet below the surface. And, there are a couple that are about a foot below the surface. Later in the summer the deeper ones will usually be best. Cast your jig/soft bait combo all around the structure working it from two to six feet off the bottom. Slowly swim it back to the boat. Do this enough and you will get bit.

Pelican Lake also has a strong population of largemouth bass. I've done best catching them on crankbaits and jig/worm combos along the weedline. Early in the year throw a spinnerbait in shallow areas that have vegetation.

Whenever you throw a spinnerbait near vegetation in Pelican Lake, the odds are good that a northern pike will eat it. This body of water has a tremendous pike population, and we're not talking snake-type pike. The average size is good due to a slot limit, and the fish are filled out and healthy. Anywhere there's cabbage weed you'll find pike, from late May or early June to late in the fall. A Pro-Model Reed-Runner tipped with a four inch Power Minnow is great for catching these aggressive pike. At times you can buzz the spinnerbait just under the surface, at other times a slow rolled spinnerbait in the deeper cabbage will be better. If you're an angler who likes to cast baits, this is a great way to get lots of action from hard fighting fish.

Now, what about those bluegills. My best luck came in the middle of summer and early fall. We fished them in deep water(twenty feet) with tiny Fire-fly jigs tipped with Gulp! Maggots. We caught both bluegills and crappies as fast as we could get the bait to the bottom. Everyone will enjoy this action.

If you would like to learn more about Pelican Lake and all the fishing opportunities it offers, visit on the internet. Then consider visiting Pelican Lake in person. I'll bet you enjoy the personal trip more than the cyberspace trip.

(For more fish-catching information, visit