Minnesota Fish Tales Fishing Report
The Most In-Depth Statewide Fishing Report in Minnesota!
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- Ben's Bait & Tackle
Bennet or Craig Stich, Junction of Hwy 78 and 210 (218-864-5596)
Walleyes are in 7-15 feet hitting jigs and minnows or plain hook snells with leeches or minnows. Lakes to try are Ottertail, West Battle and Rush. Pike are at the 10-15 foot weedline taking sucker minnows. Fiske, Ottertail and West Battle are the best pike options. Bass are at the weedlines around docks in shallow water. Try East Battle, South Turtle and Clitheral. Sunnies and crappies are shallow, 3-5 feet of water, biting on crappie minnows or waxworms. Best panfish lakes have been Molly Stark, East Battle and Clitheral. West Battle is a great lake to hunt for muskies.
- Veire's Mini-Mart - Visit our Facebook Page
Dave, 117 E Benton St, corner of Hwy 75 and 14 (507-368-4204)
Anglers on the west side of Lake Benton found little action, with relatively little wind. Even the bullheads weren’t biting, and only a few walleyes were pulled out. Action was a little steadier on the east end of the lake, with several nice fishing caught using minnows. Most of the walleyes were smaller males, and many of the females may still be in a pre-spawn pattern.
Rock Lake was also fairly slow, with only a few walleyes coming out, although one group of anglers hooked a channel catfish.
The action on Lake Shetek was also pretty slow, as anglers crowded the banks searching for the year’s first walleyes. Even using a variety of methods, from a bare hook and worm, to Lindy rigs tipped with a minnow, to casting crankbaits, anglers only found a few walleyes worthy of a trip to the frying pan.
Lac Qui Parle had a pretty steady bite a couple of spots on the lake, with the best action coming right at sunrise. Walleyes here seemed to be firmly in a pre-spawn pattern, as most walleyes were caught off shore, vertical jigging from the boat. Small jigs pitched over rocky areas and retrieved slowly caught some heavy pre-spawn females. Fishing should continue to pick up as walleyes cycle through the spawning areas and start to feed heavily post-spawn.
- Timberline Sport & Tackle
Carl Adams, Junction of Hwy 71 and Blackduck Lake Rd. (218-835-4636)
Walleyes biting on Blackduck, call or stop in for details! We have your hunting supplies! Stop in!
- Leisure Outdoor Adventures - www.leisureoutdooradventures.com
Toby Kvalevog and Jeff Andersen, 1-855-LOA-HOOK or 1-855-562-4665
The traditional fall jig and minnow bite is in full swing on Leech Lake. Look to wind driven points such as Pine, Hardwoods and Ottertail to put keeper fish in the boat. For bigger fish, try checking the humps and shoreline breaks in Walker Bay in 25-35 feet with bigger minnows. Perch are starting to show themselves as well. The Walker Narrows, Sand Point and Grand View Flats are all kicking out perch as well as a few walleyes throughout the day.
Muskies are putting on their fall feed bags! As water temps drop muskies have begun to transition. You can find them just off breaklines or in the shallow water as well. Other areas target can any remaining green weeds, shallow rock and sand areas and reeds. Conditions will dictate the baits but try soft plastics, crank baits or even topwaters. This is also a great time for live bait rigging suckers, this technique can bring some of the most exciting times while Muskie fishing.
- Frankie's Live Bait and Marine - www.frankies.net
Brad, Corner of Hwy 8 and CR 77 (651-257-6334)
Panfish and bass are hot on area lakes in 5 feet of water and under. Try fishing on South Lindstrom and the channel going into Chisago. North and South Center have also been great for bass and panfish in the same depths. There's a decent walleye bite in the channel between South Lindstrom and Chisago in 10-14 feet two hours before dark. Green is also kicking out some walleye on Lindberg.
- Marine General - www.marinegeneral.com
1501 London Road, on the edge of Lake Superior (218-724-8833)
Lake Superior is producing lake trout and coho, a few muskies also. Smelt are a little deeper, but the water is warming and they are coming in close to shore now. Downriggers in deeper water will work best in a few weeks. Fish and Island lakes have been producing some northern pike and crappies.
- 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)
Mother nature is giving anglers a helping hand by dropping water temperatures. The walleye bite has picked up in recent days due to the falling water temps, and fishermen and women are taking full advantage of it. The "eyes" are beginning their Fall feeding patterns and have become increasingly active in water depths from 11-20'. Jig and minnow or spinner combinations are racking up good numbers in the 15-20" range. Some folks too are using deep running crank baits with the same amount of success.
Crappies too are feeling the chill and are bunching up in deeper drop-offs and can't resist a lively chub fished near the bottom or suspended just above it. Watch your fish finder to see just where the fish are holding and get ready for some good action.
Pike are putting on the feed bag as well and can be caught using larger crank baits and spoons in a bit deeper water than normal, probably preying on other species holding there.
It's time to get in on the action and get out on the lakes one last time or so before winter freeze up. Caution is required though as water temps drop and winds pick up. Remember to always wear a life jacket during this cold weather period as hypothermia is a real possibility if you should find yourself in the water
Crappie action has dominated the fishing scene lately. Numerous reports are coming in from several of the area lakes of crappies up to 14" being caught, but overall nice eating size crappies in the 10-11' range are the norm. Watching your fish finder for suspended fish from 5-10' off the bottom indicates where to put your baits. Offerings are mostly minnows under a slip bobber, but many more anglers are using small soft plastics and tiny crank baits. Those fishing East Twin, Johnson, Fall, and One Pine Lakes are seeing the most action.
Walleye action has slowed to a crawl even into the Boundary Waters on Basswood Lake. Those who have been connecting have been using large minnows such as pike suckers and bigger rainbows or crawlers on a Lindy style spinner fished right on the bottom in 12-20' feet of water with a few coming from deeper drop-offs down to 30'.
Pike action remains good with a lot of pike in the five to seven pound range with a few bruisers up to eighteen pounds pulling down large suckers or spoons and spinner baits fished near weed edges and points adjacent to deep water.
Lake trout enthusiasts are struggling as most fish have been on the small side but still hovering around 40-55' feet of water. Trolled spoons and mid-size crank baits are still producing lakers in the 3-7 pound size.
- Fish On Bait & Sport www.habitatnow.com
Kyle, 201 S Franklin St, 2 blocks south of stoplights in Glenwood (320-634-3667)
MINNEWASKA LAKE CONDITIONS EXCELLENT!! Sunfish and crappie bite has been excellent with really good sizes...we have panfish leaches, worms and crawlers as the most popular baits. Pike and bass have also been very active as usual. Walleye bite has been good and there are good sized perch being caught in various spots. Really hard not to catch fish on Minnewaska!! We will have all the favorite bait on hand as well as a full line of tackle...along with advice and destinations to try...guided fishing is available also. We also 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 looking at "spring food plots" still and also fall plots. Also visit the Habitat Outlet on line at www.HabitatNOW.com for all your spring and fall habitat needs. Fish On! Kyle
Swanson's Bait & Tackle - www.swansonsbait.com
Jim Tuller, Hwy 371 on the north end of Hackensack (218-675-6176)
Fishing ramped up this last week and those that went did very well for both walleye and perch. Leech and local lakes were very hot on the minnow bite. We've heard 12'-18' on some lakes and 16'-24' on other lakes. Morning and evening have been great, but overcast days are producing fish around the clock.
Bass fishing has been very hot on many lakes. Now is the time to catch monster small and largemouth bass. Just about any tactic will work as long as you can get it in front of the fish. Smallmouth fishing has been VERY good.
Muskies are still going strong. The bigger the lure the better. Expect to put in your time, but fishing is great. We've been hearing shallow rocks have been great, but some of the remaining tall weeds are producing good fish too.
Hunting is heating up all across the board. Duck hunting is great, grouse hunting is really good, and archery hunters are reporting more and more buck movement. The next few weeks should be great for spending time in the woods.
- 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)
A week of fall, windy weather till the weekend and WOW, a great Indian Summer has arrived. Temperatures in the sixties moderate winds and sunshine pleases everybody. Fall fishing is in full swing, and anglers are quite satisfied with the bite. Walleyes hitting pretty steady on reef structures and some shorelines at 28-32’. A pleasant bonus for walleye anglers, jumbo perch, fat saugers and an occasional out of pocket crappie. Huge pike have not lit up yet, pike being caught at a good pace, but the big fish still evasive. Live bait about the only choice now, jig and minnow tip choice, slip bobber with sucker minnows or a slip sinker rig also performs. Areas around mid-Kab down towards Namakan presently the best walleye waters, for pike, weed lines and windswept bays at 10-18’. Bird hunting improving as the leaves drop, looks like a full week of Indian Summer ahead. Come on Up and Enjoy!! Phil & Ellen Hart
LAKE OF THE WOODS
- Lake of the Woods Area Tourism Bureau - www.lakeofthewoodsmn.com
near Junction of Hwy 11 and Hwy 172 in Baudette, (1-800-382-FISH)
Winds have kept anglers close to the South Shore, but still filling limits the norm. Jigging with a frozen shiner has been the most popular. 18-28 feet in front of Zippel Bay and Pine Island or 25 feet outside Lighthouse Gap. Some reports of pulling spinners near Garden Island 15-25 tipped with crawlers.
Shiner run continues in the Rainy River and walleyes are in the river. Fish are moving at little deeper 17-20 feet. Use a 3/8 oz pink/gold jig with live minnow from the International Bridge moving towards the Gap. Trolling crankbaits also effective.
Up at the NW Angle, Little Oak and Oak Islands the hot spots jigging with frozen shiners. Gold the best color in 18-24 feet. Anglers fishing Ontario pulling big numbers of walleyes. Crappie bite has started as well. Mixed bags. Muskie bite still active with good reports. Walleye anglers catching muskies on jig/minnows as they are feeding on walleyes. Rock points and reefs. Trollers also catching muskies. The bite is on! Lodging info at www.LakeoftheWoodsMN.com/lodging
Lake of the Woods Resorts
- Anderson's Resorts - www.andersonsleech-lake.com
Tim, (1-800-516-0077) (1-800-516-0077)
Anglers who have been fishing the Main Lake during the day have been able to find scattered pods of walleye. On the east side of the lake, pulling spinners over the reefs around Submarine Island and the Annex, Mokey Reef and Huddles Reef, has also produced a walleye bite. Muskie activity is also picking up around the Pelican Island area. On the west end, the Goose Island Flats — both the east and west side — and the Meadows have found to be where the most active walleye bite has been while trolling with bottom bouncer spinner rigs or Lindy rig. Fishing is hot on leech with the dropping water temp. the fall walleye bite is on. The fall bite for perch has been good in the narrows and miller bay.
- Chris Kuduk's Guide Service - www.kuduksguideservice.com (320-630-1761)
Bass are on fire! Smallies are being caught on the reefs. Walleye action is best while trolling on the rocks. Panfish are hitting on Platte, Sullivan, Knife.
- Jeff Hanson's Guide Service
The smallmouth bite has been very good action with most fish averaging around 18". The walleye bite has been slow on Mille Lacs but very good on some of the smaller lakes in the area. The fall colors are peaking right now and the weather has been great (with the exception of this past weekend). Lots of good weather and lots of time left to get in on the fantastic fall bite opportunities!!
- Wayzata Bait & Tackle
Tim or Bob, half mile west off I-494 on Hwy 12 (952-473-2227)
Call us for a current report!
MISSISSIPPI - ST. CROIX
- Turk Gierke, Croixsippi Guide Service
Usually in the fall when the bite turns from good to great many spots turn on up and down the entire river. Right now the bite is good, but you are either on active fish catching well or not much is happening, finding the right spot is huge as it is either feast or famine. That can change very quickly as the cool weather is approaching where many spots produce.
I continue to rig with minnows and that is working as well. I’ll vertical jig soon as well but the light livebait rig bite is fun for customers. Jigging with vertical jigging ¼ ounce to 3/8 ounce jigs with fathead minnows. Trolling with shad raps and at the end of the month with Rapala stickbaits will be the way to go. Best depths are from 12 to 28 feet in the day. I add such a wide range because the last few trips 12 to 14 feet have been the best depths. Soon the deeper water holding locations are much better.
Minnows are still very important; unfortunately the shad are staying still for long.
The sturgeon bite is good, and anglers continue to enjoy multiple memorable battles on their outings. Numerous reports of 45 to 52 inch fish are common. For sturgeon best baits are minnows, crawlers, cut bait (suckers). A common depth to find sturgeon is 35 feet deep.
The weather is sweet; guys are wearing sweatshirts and jackets over them, long john time is still a ways away… The autumn fog will hover over the water till 8:30 in the morning, then the blue sky and sun burns it away. Keep Catchin’
- Smokey Hills Outdoor Store, Nathan, www.smokyhillsoutdoorstore.com
19143 US HWY 71 N, Park Rapids, MN (218-237-5099)
Park Rapids is home to excellent fall fishing and now is the time to be on the water. As many sportsmen are busy hunting or building deer stands; the lakes are clear of traffic and you will often have the whole lake to yourself. The water temps are now in the low 50's and many species of fish are found in large schools. Walleyes are currently at widely varying depths from 8 feet to 40 feet on the hard bottom points. The tulibee will start spawning soon which will attract the large pike to the shallows to feed. Tulibee spawn on shallow reefs surrounded by very deep water. Use a double bladed bucktail or an 8 to 10" Jake™ crankbait to entice them to strike. Your electronics will help you to locate the schooling crappies. Find them in 15 to 20 feet near the waning cabbage weed stands. Stop by the store for the most up to date and lake specific tips and hotspots. We look forward to seeing you soon!
- Wheaton Service & Bait www.wheatonservice.com
Neighbor Steve, 912 Broadway, Wheaton, MN (320-563-1400)
Fall fishing on Lake Traverse is very good for walleye! With the water cooling, the bite will only get better as we move deeper into October. Live bait is working the best. If traveling to Lake Traverse, stop in at Wheaton Service for all your bait and tackle needs. We fish everyday in order to give the customer the best reports! Wheaton Service is western MN's Aluma Lite fish house dealer. Wheaton Service will have fish house rentals on both Big Stone Lake and Lake Traverse. Call for details. We also offer our GUIDE SERVICE on Lake Traverse 320 563-1400 wheatonservice.com Neighbor steve, owner , Wheaton Service
Mase's In Towne Marine - www.intownemarina.com
Cindy, corner of Lake and Elm (952-442-2096)
The bite has been good during this stretch of summer. Bass have been active with multiple depths and styles of fishing working. With the August algae bloom, it's always a great idea to throw topwater baits, like Scumfrogs in the shallows, especially early in the morning. Some of the most fun is watching a lunker largemouth slam your bait at the surface! If you're not into fishing the shallows, anglers using live bait such as leeches have had success in the weeds or on weed edges in 10 to 15 feet of water in areas like North, Center, Pillsbury and Cemetery Reefs. If you're into artificial lures, some good options are Texas-rigged worms, jigs and spinnerbaits.
Sunfish and Crappie action has been surprisingly steady this summer. There has been no shortage of panfish caught, although sorting has to be done to get keepers. Working the weeds around Coney Island has been a good bet all year and continues to produce between 8 to 14 feet of water. Fishing any of the reefs with good weeds is also productive. Chunks of night crawler or wax worms have been the bait of choice for sunnies, along with crappie minnows for the crappies.
Walleye and northern pike have been more active this summer compared to previous years. The walleyes have been best during low-light times, with action coming from Kegs, Anderson's and North Reef, and between the marinas. The weed theme continues, as we're hearing of more fish coming from the weedlines than the deep water. Expect to do a lot of catch and releasing for the walleyes, as a majority of the catches have been under the 16 inch Lake Waconia size limit as of late, although we've seen our fair share of keepers this summer too. As for the pike, we've been seeing anglers bobber fishing with sucker minnows, as well as using artificials like spinnerbaits and trolling with cranks or spoons.
We hope to see you at the lake!
- Walleye Visions - www.mnfishingconnections.com
Tom Neustrom, 21622 Airport Rd, Grand Rapids, email@example.com, (218-327-2312)
There has been good walleye fishing of late and there have been nice walleyes being caught in several areas of Big Winnie and connecting Big Cutfoot. Night Crawlers and leeches fished on slip sinker rigs have worked best on deeper structures and shoreline breaks. Jigging Raps fished in similar spots have also produced nice catches. Northern pike have been taken trolling the north shore and around Mallard Point trolling Shad Raps and Husky Jerks. Perch fishing has been fair fished with a small jig and minnow combination especially around rock piles near and around the north shore of Winnie. The last days of summer are coming. Come join us in the Big Winnie area and enjoy some great late summer fishing.