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Lake of the Week: Sylvan

An 803-acre lake located near Pillager in southern Cass County, Sylvan has two distinct basins that are connected by a long channel. The lake has beautiful clear waters and panfish abound. If you want to get your family away from the crowds, catch fish and enjoy a peaceful setting, Sylvan is the place. A public access is located on the east side of the north basin.  

Starting on the south end of the lake, weed flats hold bass and panfish. A weedless surface bait is a great lure to cast over the top of the weeds to catch bass and a small jig tipped with a worm or a small leech under a bobber will work well to search out the sunfish on the weed edges.  

Moving north, there is a navigable channel that will hold warmer water in the early spring. As this water warms, sunfish and crappies move into to spawn. A light jig and a minnow or a jig and a plastic either casted or under a float are all you need. As the water warms a bit, use a Beetle Spin along the shoreline and through the emerging weeds to find crappies or bass during much of the open-water season throughout the channel.  

The northern portion of the lake has a couple of sunken islands that top out at 5 to 10 feet and will hold quality bass.  To entice the bass, start by casting a 1/8-ounce or 1/4-ounce jig tipped with a plastic worm, hooked wacky style, up onto the top of the islands and work it back down the sides. Casting or trolling a crankbait around these islands can also produce some good multi-species results.

There are bonus walleyes in Sylvan, along with northerns, but to keep the kids entertained and the rods bending, stick to a multi-species approach. Doing this will get you the bonus fish and keep everyone happy for a full day of fine fishing.

But remember, Sylvan is a specially regulated lake, with a limit of five sunfish and five crappies.