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Minnesota Fish Tales Fishing Report
The Most In-Depth Statewide Fishing Report in Minnesota!

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Speedy Worm

- Ben's Bait & Tackle
Bennet or Craig Stich, Junction of Hwy 78 and 210 (218-864-5596)

4-27-Sunfish and some crappies have are biting on Elbow Lake and Mollie Stark Lake. Clitherall Lake has also been producing in deeper water. We are looking forward to an excellent opener. Stop in or call for the hot spots!

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- Veire's Mini-Mart - Visit our Facebook Page
Dave, 117 E Benton St, corner of Hwy 75 and 14 (507-368-4204)

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- Timberline Sport & Tackle
Carl Adams, Junction of Hwy 71 and Blackduck Lake Rd. (218-835-4636)

Give us a call for current updates!

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- Leisure Outdoor Adventures - www.leisureoutdooradventures.com
Toby Kvalevog and Jeff Andersen (1-855-LOA-HOOK or 1-855-562-4665)

4-26 - We are ice free and ready to go for open water on Leech Lake.  Water temps vary right now anywhere from 44-54 degrees depending on the location.  The shallower bays such as Steamboat, Boy, and Headquarters all have warmer temps in the low 50s where as other parts of the lake such as Walker Bay, Kabekona, and Agency have colder temps with the deeper water.

In terms of the bite, things are overall fairly slow.  When the weather cooperates for a few days in a row the perch bite starts to pick up in 4-7ft of water with a 1/16oz jig and a fathead or rainbow.  Dragging the jig is sometimes the key and other times a short hop or under a slip bobber.  Crappies are showing up at times in the harbors, but be aware some of them are private.  The panfish bite will definitely pick up as the water temps start to maintain themselves in the low to mid 50s.  A 1/16ox or 1/32oz jig with a crappie tube or puddle jumper under a float is a great place to start.  

Stay tuned for some great Walleye Opener tips in the next week or so! 

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- Frankie's Live Bait and Marine - www.frankies.net
Brad, Corner of Hwy 8 and CR 77 (651-257-6334)

3-22-Please call us for updates on early panfish action!

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- Marine General - www.marinegeneral.com
1501 London Road, on the edge of Lake Superior (218-724-8833)

3-22-Ice fishing has come to a close and we are awaiting for open water fishing. Please call us for updates as conditions change daily this time of season.

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- Babe's Bait and Tackle - BabesBaitEly.com
500 Kawishiwi Trail, Ely, MN, first business on the left as you are entering town of Ely from the west on Hwy 169 (218-365-6930)

Check back soon for an opener outlook!

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- Fish On Bait & Sport www.habitatnow.com
Kyle, 201 S Franklin St, 2 blocks south of stoplights in Glenwood (320-634-3667)

We have the "Habitat Outlet Store" well stocked with some of the most diverse and high quality food plot and native prairie seeds for habitat development.  Many people planting "spring food plots" and habitat options right now.  Also visit the Habitat Outlet on line at www.HabitatNOW.com for all your spring and fall habitat needs.  Fish On!  Kyle

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Swanson's Bait & Tackle - www.swansonsbait.com
Jim Tuller, Hwy 371 on the north end of Hackensack (218-675-6176)

4-27-With the weather forecasters reporting sunshine and stable weather for the next few days the crappies should start moving their way into the shallows. A few fisherman have already reported some panfish up shallow but not in large quantities. Look for smaller lakes that will warm up quicker. North bays typically warm first but make sure to stay versatile. We have plenty of crappie minnows and fatheads in the tanks so stop by for your one stop fishing destination!

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- Gateway Store kabfishingreport.com - gatewaygeneral.com
Phil & Ellen Hart, US Hwy 53 & Co Rd 122, 30 miles south of Int'l Falls-Canadian border (218-875-2121)

4-27- Good ice out date (April 25-26) for the Mid-May Opener. Looking Good for Fishing Forecast. Water levels look excellent for this time of year, so if nature behaves itself, things are shaping up for a fantastic opener. Should be some time between now and opener, May 14th to try your luck at crappies, or big pike on Namakan as the ice clears. So folks lots to be excited about as we look ahead to the Big Opener!

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- Lake of the Woods Area Tourism Bureau - www.lakeofthewoodsmn.com
near Junction of Hwy 11 and Hwy 172 in Baudette, (1-800-382-FISH)

4-25- Anglers had to deal with lots of rain and colder weather this weekend up on Lake of the Woods. Pike fishing was decent with some reports of big fish in the bays.  Big pike over 40" are traditional in Four Mile Bay, Bostic Bay and Zippel Bay which have open water.  Using a large bobber with a frozen cisco just off or on bottom worked best as the fish are somewhat lethargic still. Most of  the lake is still ice covered.

On the Rainy River, sturgeon fishing dropped off slightly from the previous week due to rain and cold but anglers still pulled a pile of dinosaurs from the depths.  The most popular sturgeon rig is a 3-5 ounce no roll sinker, 18" lead and 5/0 circle hook loaded with crawlers, frozen shiners, or frozen ciscos.  Find a deeper hole in the river and still fish on the bottom.  Good numbers of sturgeon being boated up and down the river.  Please take good care of these prehistoric fish by not grabbing gills and supporting weight horizontally vs vertically.  For the spring, the keep season is April 24 - May 7.  Catch and release again May 8-15. 

Up at the NW angle, resorts and guides are gearing up for open water season.  Areas of open water exists amongst lots of dark ice.  LOW lodging, sturgeon guides, area attractions and more at www.LakeoftheWoodsMN.com.

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- Anderson's Resorts - www.andersonsleech-lake.com
Tim, (1-800-516-0077) (1-800-516-0077)

3-21-Leech Lake is on the edge of being ice free as I write this report less than 1 foot in most areas. We cannot wait for open water! If you are lucky enough to have a day or two to come up after the ice is gone and before opener! Leech Lake is a treasure chest. Perch and crappie are very easy to locate and catch. Shallow/warmer water is the key, they are looking for spawning areas with food! Walleye opener is right around the corner! You should keep Leech Lake on your go to list! We have a 20 to 26 inch protected slot, limit 4. So you can keep all fish under 20 inches and even 1 over 26 for the wall! We still have openings for OPENER! Check out our website at www.andersonsleech-lake.com.

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- Chris Kuduk's Guide Service - (320-630-1761)

4-27-Mille Lacs should be a great opener, with walleyes plentiful. Catch and release. Try the shallow rocks with bobbers and leeches. Crappies are biting in the bays. Also panfish hitting on smaller area lakes like Platte, Sullivan, Shakopee, Knife and Ann. Try working the shorelines. Some anglers report Osakis producing crappies on the north end. If you are looking for a guide or launch trip out of Dickie's on Mille Lacs give Chris a call. Chris will be looking for walleye and panfish at the Governer's Opener on Big Sandy!

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- Jeff Hanson's Guide Service
www.hansonsguideservice.com (763-477-8553)

Check back for an opener outlook!

3-21- With the warm spring, we are anticipating one of the earliest ice-outs in the last few years. Water temps should be higher than normal for the first couple weekends of the season. Fish will be done with the spawn and transitioning to deeper water areas all over the lake. The year class of 12"-14" fish is one of the biggest ever in recent years. spring. These fish will be hungry and active, providing lot's of action!  Techniques that should be producing will be jigs/minnows on shoreline breaks and rock reefs. Live bait rigs/leeches on the sand breaks and weedlines and also slip bobbers on rock reefs will be working. The spring shallow crappie bite should crank up on the smaller area lakes as soon as water temps come up a little bit. 

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- Wayzata Bait & Tackle
Tim or Bob, half mile west off I-494 on Hwy 12 (952-473-2227)

4-27-Crappies and sunnies being caught on area lakes at the shoreline. Minnetonka, Independence, Sarah and Medicine have had good reports. We are looking forward to a great opener!

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- Turk Gierke, Croixsippi Guide Service


4-27-St. Croix River opens on April 30th for walleye and sauger. At the time of opener the river is going to be five feet high. This is a change from previous years when the water has been nearly ten feet higher!!! The St. Croix produces year after year good quality walleye in the 15 to 19 inch range. These walleyes are rarely skinny so they always weigh well. Bigger fish are caught of course but the 17” to 18” fish are really the staple food on the St. Croix shelf. Also near opener with the normal spring and water temperatures around 52 degrees, I expect less male walleyes to be near spawning grounds such as river narrows or feeder streams. Walleye are caught in May using fatheads, leeches (mid May), crankbaits, and crawlers. Best depths from Stillwater, Minnesota on south to Prescott, Wisconsin is normally 10 to 22 feet deep in May. White bass bite well in the first three weeks of May and are often found mixed in with walleye. White bass are also known as “silvers” and are good eating. I always remove the “mudline” which is the lateral line of the fish – it also helps to bleed the fish out. Smallmouth bass opens May 28th. Smallies will readily hit tubes, wacky worms, jerk plastics, worms, and lizards. They are found shallow in May. They are very slow growing fish please release. One fun fact about the St. Croix – Minnesota anglers can legally use two lines.

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- Smokey Hills Outdoor Store, Nathan, Josh, www.smokeyhills.com
19143 US HWY 71 N, Park Rapids, MN (218-237-5099)

3-1- With the Minnesota Walleye, Northern, and Bass season closed again until (May 9th, 2016), anglers are either heading up to Lake of the Woods for their extended Northern and Walleye season that lasts until April 14th. Or staying around the area and switching gears over to their crappie and sunfish rods. Also any fish houses south of highway 34 must be off of the lakes by March 7th and any houses north of highway 34 must be off the lakes by March 21st. Sunfish- 10-15 Feet of water around the taller standing structure starting to aggressively feed for the spring bite. Tie on a Smokey Hills pan fish pounder tungsten ice jig tipped with either a waxworm or small Northland Impulse plastic for those tough bites. Crappie- Sitting suspended off the bottom in about 20-30 feet of water over deep flats. Looking for The VMC “Flashchamp or Tingler” spoon tipped with either a crappie minnow or waxworm for best chances on filling the bucket.

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- Wheaton Service & Bait    www.wheatonservice.com
Neighbor Steve, 912 Broadway, Wheaton, MN (320-563-1400)

Check back for an opener outlook!

3-21-Ice out on Lake Traverse was March 14th, earliest on record. The ice fishing season was very short, but may have been the best ever, due to the over stocking of walleye the last few years. With Mille Lacs Lake having a catch and release rule this year, coupled with the highest walleye count in the state, Lake Traverse is sure to be a hot fishing destination. We currently have 2 guide boats and lodging at our Fishin Hole Lodge.  A Canadian shore lunch is provided with every full day guided outing. Stay and fish packages start at 2day/2night and goes up from there. Wheaton Service is a full service bait and bottle shop. "Best Bait in Town"....Take a Kid Fishin....320-563-1400

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Mase's In Towne Marine - www.intownemarina.com
Cindy, corner of Lake and Elm (952-442-2096)

4-27-The crappie bite is improving on Lake Waconia! With the warmer weather last week, water temps have climbed into the upper 40’s, which helped get the crappies active. While we need temps to reach the mid-50’s for the bite to get really good, we started hearing anglers getting a few more catches of 10 to 12 inchers mixed in with the numerous 6 to 9 inch crappies. One 15 incher was reported over the weekend as well! Most fishermen have been working the weeds of Waconia Bay fishing in depths ranging from 9 to 14 feet. The smaller crappies seem to be lingering closer to the surface, so fish several feet down for a better chance at the bigger ones. Our bait shop is now OPEN every day (weather dependent) Monday thru Friday from 9:30 am to 6 pm, and Saturday/Sunday from 8 am to 6 pm. Hours will lengthen as we get closer to the Fishing Opener. Speaking of the Opener, we are open ALL NIGHT on Friday, May 13th for your fishing needs to celebrate the Fishing Opener! Daily weekday launch rates are $5 after tax, while rates for Saturday and Sunday are $12 after tax. Don’t forget, we offer a Summer Season Launch Pass for $160 after tax, which allows you to launch before and after business hours, as well as extra parking privileges (although parking is never guaranteed in our lot). Stop in to pick up your season pass today! Pontoon and Boat Rental will be starting up in the next few weeks! We’ll keep you posted when we’re ready! In the meantime, call to make your future reservations at (952) 442-2096. We’ll see you at the lake!

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- Walleye Visions - www.mnfishingconnections.com
Tom Neustrom, 21622 Airport Rd, Grand Rapids, tom@mnfishingconnections.com, (218-327-2312)

Check back for an opener outlook!

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© 2016 OutdoorsWeekly.com







Farming For Wildlife

Leech Lake

Outdoor Calendar

State Record Fish

Minnesota Fish Tales Archive

Computerized 2016 by Vektor TM

Tables indicate peak fish and game feeding and migration times. Major periods can bracket the peak by an hour before-hour after. Minor peaks- 1/2 hour before and after.Adjusted for daylight savings time.

MAY 2016

1 09:37 03:22 03:07 09:07
2 10:07 03:52 04:07 10:07
3 04:22 10:52 11:07 05:07
4 04:52 11:37 11:52 06:07
5 - - 05:37 06:52 12:07
6 - - 06:07 07:52 12:52
7 01:22 06:37 08:37 01:37
8 01:52 07:07 09:37 02:22
9 02:37 07:52 10:37 03:07
10 03:22 08:22 11:37 03:52
11 04:37 08:52 - - 04:52
12 09:52 12:52 - - 05:52
13 11:52 02:07 - - 07:07
14 09:37 02:52 02:22 08:07
15 10:07 03:22 03:52 09:07
16 03:37 10:37 04:52 09:52
17 04:07 11:07 10:37 05:37
18 04:37 11:22 11:22 06:07
19 04:52 11:52 11:52 06:52
20 - - 05:22 07:22 12:22
21 - - 05:37 08:07 12:52
22 01:07 06:07 08:37 01:22
23 01:37 06:37 09:22 01:52
24 02:22 07:07 10:07 02:22
25 03:07 07:37 10:52 03:07
26 04:07 08:22 11:37 03:52
27 05:22 09:22 12:37 04:37
28 06:52 10:52 - - 05:52
29 08:07 01:22 01:07 07:07
30 08:52 02:07 02:52 08:37
31 02:52 09:52 09:37 04:07

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