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
There is a good slip bobber bite going on right now in the sand of North Walker Bay, jigs tipped with minnows or leeches have been taking fish. Mounds point and and Little Hardwoods also have fish starting to show up. Evening trollers are having success pulling cranks in 5-7 feet of water near Pine Point and the West Goose Flats area. Lindy rigging creek minnows and redtails continue to produce fish in Walker bay and Agency Bay. Fish are setting up near the steeper edges of structure anywhere from 25-40 feet of water. This past week, wind was a key component as well, when the wind blew, fish definitely bit better. When it was calm, the fishing slowed down considerably.
- 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)
Not much walleye action of late, so folks have turned their attention to panfish and pike. Some decent limits of crappies have been turning up from some of the smaller lakes. One Pine, Johnson, Armstrong and East Twin have been producing for those dipping minnows in water from twelve to fifteen feet. Small minnows and tube jig combos have been working well early and late in the day.
Pike have still been actively hitting spoons, spinners and live suckers in water from five to twelve feet. some of the largest reported have been out of Basswood Lake but most local lakes have been doing fairly well.
A few lake trout are still being caught on Burntside Lake with most anglers pulling spoons down around forty to fifty feet. Lake trout season closes Sept. 30th, so now is the time to get out there and do some good before season closes.
Just a reminder, bass season closed on Sept. 8th, so now it's only a catch and release fishery.
With forecast lows in the thirties, it may be time to start tuning up the gear for ice fishing.
- 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)
Leech Lake has been tough over the last couple weeks as it usually is during the hot months of August. Fishermen are still finding some fish on crawlers in deeper water 15'-20' on most parts of the lake. Morning and evening are definitely best, but if you work for them, fish should be catchable during the day. We're also still getting reports of a decent night bite up there too.
Muskie fishing is still great, though it seemed to slow some since last week. We're hearing mostly rock areas still, but more reports are coming from Walker Bay this week than the previous. Jerkbaits are still showing the most fish, but bucktails have been catching the most. If you're running two or more people in the boat, be sure to run different style baits at the same time to improve your chances.
Panfish have been hitting still on many area lakes as they have all year it seems. Big gills and crappie coming out of many lakes including Birch, Woman, and Ten Mile. They have tightened up on some of the smaller spots rather than being so spread out. Slip bobbers could work well once you find the edges they're holding to.
We're still seeing a bunch of smallmouth action on Stony, Woman, and Baby. Topwater have worked very well off the edges over deeper water. Working plastics across the bottom has worked also. The deeper rock piles have been where most fish are hanging though. Don't rule out the shallow stuff though, especially during early morning and late evening.
- 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)
We survived our first hard frost, now we enjoy Indian Summer as we move calendar-wise closer to fall.
Anglers are finding walleye and pike as well to be scattered with an intermittent bite.
Jig & minnow for walleyes is favored with some action on crawlers. Cold front has sent fish a little deeper, walleyes from 25-35’ is now the norm.
Big pike hitting sucker minnows and artificial, shorelines and weed edges 12’ – 18’ seems to produce.
An occasional crappie showing up, indicating a bite might not be far off.
Grouse hunters are few, the cover is so thick most folks waiting it out for a week or two. Last week’s frost should get fall colors in motion.
The only thing missing here is you…hope to see you soon!
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)
Walleye action was hot this week. Good bite on West Bar on west side of Garden Island in 14-18'. Pulling crankbaits and spinners with crawlers effective. Fish starting to stage in front of Pine Island in 24-27'. Jigging with frozen shiners most effective. Also good school of walleyes in 25' - 30' in front of the fields by Zippel Bay. Walleyes also showing up in river, 4 Mile Bay and Zippel Bay chasing shiners which are just starting to run a bit.
On the Rainy River, scattered fish being caught from Frontier to Wheeler's Point. Not hot and heavy, but definitely fish to be had. Pulling cranks in 15-19', crawler harnesses in 7-15' and jigging "spot on a spot" effective. Sturgeon keep season through September, catch and release from October to mid April.
Up at the NW Angle, Little Oak and Crow Duck still holding fish. Anglers fishing the Ontario side are targeting fall spots, which are current areas and neck down areas. Muskies still active for anglers throwing the big baits, it's been a great month. More info at www.LakeoftheWoodsMN.com.
Lake of the Woods Resorts
- Anderson's Resorts - www.andersonsleech-lake.com
Tim, (1-800-516-0077) (1-800-516-0077)
Fish can be found in a variety of areas on Leech lake right. Crawlers, minnows and artificials can be used to take fish. Main lake fish are slowly beginning to migrate to shallower sand in the Goose island area; pulling cranks or lindy rigging minnows and crawlers in 10-14 feet of water. Walker Bay continues to kick out good numbers of fish also. Rigging minnows and using jigging raps have been the most effective producers. Shoreline bars and points are still holding the most fish in 20-30 feet of water, with the entire Cedar point shoreline still being the most reliable option. As water temps drop, look for jumbo perch to show themselves again and Mounds point can be a perch magnet! Good luck and good fishing!!
Leech Lake fishing is wonderful right now and we are looking for the weeks to come. Muskie fishing has been out of this world! We had a guest Bob, from CA, caught 2 in a week, one with a local guide Monday morning and then his second Friday 4 pm , he said 48 plus but due to fishing hooks that found their way into his hand when he was handling the muskie, he did not get the measurement. Since then I have heard of 8 others caught and released in the last week, Pipe Island and Pelican Island are both very active. Walleye action has mostly been trolling deep running raps. Grandview flats and Mokey Reef, 2-15 ft have been hot. But live bait rigging is just around the corner with the days getting shorter and water temp dropping the jig and minnow bite will be on soon. Perch have had the summer to grow and fall is a great time to fill your freezer with some jumbo perch. Most bays will have them feed good in September, and if all else fails you can go join the traffic jam known as the Narrows. Bass and other panfish are often over looked but this is a great time to chase them also. Fall colors, great fishing and fall discounts at almost all the resorts will help make your vacation one to remember!
- 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
Fall has come quickly! The weather has gone from dog days to autumn quickly, water temps have been going down steadily in the last 10 days and dipped into the 60 degree range over the weekend. Now if the mosquitoes would just go away too!
The fall patterns have already started. The smallmouth bass fall bite has been very good. This is the same pattern we had last year in the fall and I previewed in the last couple reports. We've been using Live bait rigs/minnows in the 10-14' range off the shoreline points and ledges. The fish have been averaging a very nice size with a few giants mixed in there.
The walleye bite in Mille Lacs has remained slow although we are seeing a ton of small 8-10" walleyes which is very good for the next couple years. I have been hearing some good Pike reports although I have not been able to fish for them lately. They usually bite well all fall.
The walleye bite on the smaller lakes in the area has been steady, it seems that the nicer the day, the better they bite. The typical fall bite, which is usually very good, has not started quite yet on these lakes but should very soon. As the deeper weeds die back due to reduced sunlight, that bite will get better and better. Usually we are using live-bait rigging big minnows like suckers and redtails on the shoreline breaks and points, usually in the 14-22' range.
As always, feel free to call or text anytime with specific questions.
- 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
September on the Lower St. Croix River is traditionally a story of famine to feast! As the colder autumn weather arrives the water cools and the shad that have been roaming the open basin start to locate on the bottom instead of suspended over 50 feet of water. The shad then locate on structure again and the walleye and saugers follow, then ol’ marble eyes and the saugers are caught with fatheads and spinners, Rapala Shad Raps, nightcrawlers rigged, and large minnows rigged. Jig and minnow is better in late October when they drop deeper. Best depths are from 20 to 30 feet and the wind still will drive fish shallow on a given day.
Presently the walleye bite is slow, rigging right now with crawlers, and trolling cranks are putting fish in the boat, but most are short under legal size. As mentioned above the walleye bite heats up soon…
Bass are biting pretty well on wacky worms, plastic jerk baits, and tubes.
Extremely large bait balls have been seen near the surface, the river does have a slight algae bloom that should disappear with the cooling weather this week. Water temperature is 75 degrees and the river is steady at the Corps of Engineers maintained water level of 675.5 feet above sea level.
Looking forward to Fall.
- Smokey Hills Outdoor Store, Nathan, www.smokyhillsoutdoorstore.com
19143 US HWY 71 N, Park Rapids, MN (218-237-5099)
Some of the leaves in the Park Rapids area have already given up on summer and have begun to change colors in preparation for fall. Overnight temperatures have recently dipped into the lower 50’s and soon the water temperatures will follow suit. The fish will be on notice and their internal clocks will tell them to feed before the brutal Minnesota winter arrives. Some of the year’s best fishing arrives on the next page of the calendar and it’s almost time to turn the page!
Most of our local lakes store their stash of large walleyes in the deep abyss for the duration of August. As the water cools, they will be dispersed along the weed edges in 8 to 20 feet of water. The majority of the “eater-size” ‘eyes are already feeding on the weed bearing shelves; look for the trophy fish to migrate to the same territory very soon. Late August/early September submergent vegetation provides excellent habitat for some of the walleye’s favorite snacks. The best time to fish these areas is early morning as the sun first peeks over the trees or in the evening as the sun is sinking below the horizon. They will use their exceptional low light vision to relieve the lake of its bluegill and crappie population during these hours. Once again, Bemidji Minnesota made KenKatch Tackle’s™ long shank jig tipped with a minnow or crawler will put the most walleye fillets in your bucket.
Now is a great time to rig up your heavy equipment and go musky hunting. Some giants have been recently landed on Mantrap Lake, Elk Lake and Twin Lake. Musky Mania’s™ “Double Trouble” bucktail inline spinner is a good lure choice. Mid-day, topwater lures such as Suick’s™ “Nitewalker” will get their attention. Scan the lake for large expanses of cabbage weed beds, this is a good location to start your hunt. The area northern pike are also worth fishing for as they are fat from a long summer of feeding. The pike is a cold water loving fish and will be found on the deep edge of the submergent vegetation. A Live Target™ 8” perch crankbait will get down to the strike zone. Make sure that you have a heavy action rod, we have some monster pike in the area.
The largemouth bass are getting close to hitting their peak weights for the year. The water has cooled a few degrees and deep diving crankbaits have been bringing more success. Rapala DT-10 to DT-20 cranks will do the trick. As with nearly every other predatory fish right now, the key is to find deep growing cabbage weed and run your crank parallel with the deep weedline. The shallower running cranks will produce results by casting over the top of the weed beds. Use a slow retrieve with an intermittent pause to make them open their wide jaws.
Bring a 1/8oz FluFlu™ jig and tip it with a wax worm to prevent your livewell from being lonely. Crappies are active in and around the coon tail weed stands. Optimal depth range is 6 to 14 feet and the latter part of day will put more in the livewell. Crappies feed heaviest the 30 minutes before dark and will continue to feed through the night if prey is readily available.
Stop by Smokey Hills Outdoor Store for lake specific hot tips and hot spots. Our shelves are stocked with the new products for the fall hunting season. Our staff is here to answer any questions that you may have about the outdoors in Minnesota. We are also one of the world’s largest Ice Castle dealers and we are taking orders for custom 2015 models. We thank you for your continued patronage and look forward to seeing you soon!
- Wheaton Service & Bait www.wheatonservice.com
Neighbor Steve, 912 Broadway, Wheaton, MN (320-563-1400)
September is upon us, and the best time of the year to fish Lake Traverse is now. A cool August has the water temp dropping and the fish turning on early! If Labor day weekend was any indication of how the fall bite is going to be, then we are in for a treat! Give lake Traverse a try! Wheaton Service has everything you need top be successful on Lake Traverse. Wheaton Service is Western Minnesota's Aluma Lite fish house dealer. Wheaton Service will be offering fish house rentals on both Lake Traverse for walleyes and Big Stone lake for perch! give us a call for pricing! 320-563-1400 - wheatonservice.com or check us out on Facebook!
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.