Cutfoot Sioux and Little Cutfoot Sioux Lakes are connected to Lake Winnibigoshish and are an integral part of the “Winnie Walleye Factory”. Walleye eggs taken each spring at the Cutfoot Sioux Stripping Station and hatched at the Grand Rapids Hatchery account for improved walleye fishing in a host of Minnesota fishing lakes. The Cutfoot chain of lakes offers one of the areas most diverse fisheries, offering everything from panfish to muskies. It is rare to find a day when the fish aren't biting in both Cutfoot and Little Cutfoot. Although Cutfoot is famous for its walleye angling, quality size bluegill, crappie, perch, musky and northern pike are also available. Protected waters, gorgeous scenery and fantastic viewing of bald eagles make Cutfoot a joy to visit, and is often a sanctuary in rough weather.
Cool water period: For its size, Big Cutfoot offers more good fishing spots per acre than practically any other lake in the area. In spring and fall, walleyes use the lake's many shoreline points and weedbeds to navigate from one good feeding spot to another. Typically, best walleye fishing technique during cool water periods are jig and minnow combinations. Fish in depths of 8 to 12 feet and pay particular attention to weed beds, gravel and rocks. Cutfoot walleyes like current, so you will likely have better results fishing on breezy spots.
Warm Water Period: During summer, walleye use the deeper points and main lake structures as resting areas, but will frequently move into shallow water for the morning and evening periods. Warm water is a great time to fish with night crawlers and leeches on Cutfoot. Use live bait rigs, such as a Lindy rig, with a four to five foot leader, bullet sinker and a number 4 hook. Start at the weedline and gradually work out to deep water. During mid-summer, target walleyes in the weeds. One great approach is to use a small jig in the 1/16 oz range tipped with a night crawler. The light jigs can be cast into the heavier weeds and fished while minimizing the risk of snagging.
Panfish are present in all areas of Cutfoot and Little Cutfoot. The size of the bluegill and crappie population is fantastic and anglers who find them can be rewarded with catches of well above average panfish. During summer, panfish use the heavy weed cover and locating them is a matter of dabbling in and around the weed,s or at the base of heavy emergent vegetation like bulrushes and cattails. Bluegills are more likely to be active during the day, while crappies tend to be active during early morning and late evening.
While Cutfoot Sioux lakes can produce excellent catches of perch, Lake Winnie is better known for its jumbo perch fishing. These scrappy fish will find sand and gravel areas adjacent to the bulrush patches. Perch can be caught on a variety of baits like jig and minnow combinations, live bait rigs tipped with medium-size minnows and even plain hooks fished below a bobber rig.
As the water begins to cool in fall, panfish will move toward deeper water. They first appear in the steeper breakline near shore and eventually migrate out into open water in main lake areas. Slowly moving along these deeper drops with an eye on your electronics will reveal suspended fish. Small jigs, minnows and worms can get you into some fast and furious action.
Muskies roam Cutfoot too, and the average size is formidable. Fifty-inch fish are common and every summer, fish up to the mid-fifties are caught. Most often, anglers cast the larger weed beds, points and bars with bucktails or top water baits. Trolling over deep water with diving crank baits is another good approach.
Largemouth bass of exceptional quality are commonly caught in the Cutfoot chain of lakes. Casting toward the weeds on shallow flats with access to deeper water is the key to locating these wonderful fighting fish. Spinnerbaits, weedless frogs and soft plastics are excellent options to trigger some fine bass action.