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 best on Otter Tail and Fish Lake in 5 feet. Crappies and sunfish biting on Elbow and Clitherall. Try Elbow Lake for northern pike in the shallow weeds.
- 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 are biting in 10-14 feet on Blackduck, Gull and Island lakes. For crappies and bluegills try Rabideau, Gilstead and Blackduck.
- Leisure Outdoor Adventures - www.leisureoutdooradventures.com
Toby Kvalevog and Jeff Andersen (1-855-LOA-HOOK or 1-855-562-4665)
Versatility is the name of the game right now on Leech Lake. This past week the lake has been met with many bug hatches and changing conditions from day to day so being versatile is the name of the game. By this I mean, having the different kinds of bait such has minnows, crawlers, and leeches in the boat, and the different presentations set up and ready to go in your rod locker.
Walleyes throughout the lake are gobbling up mayflies, molting crayfish, and little perch which means the feed bags are one. Don't let these things deter you because it can be really good fishing.
On the west side of the lake, fish are being caught on Grand Vu Flats, Big and Little Hardwoods, and within Traders Bay on the breaklines in 11-16ft of water. Dragging lindy rigs with crawlers or leeches is by far the best presentation. Spinners with crawlers or minnows has been working on flat calm days when you need to cover ground. Walker Bay has been on the slow side. Fish are being caught with many being slot fish, but some keepers are showing up on the Cedar Shoreline and within Agency Narrows in 18-22ft of water.
On the main lake, the rock reefs such as Submarine Island, Annex, North Bar, Red Rocks, and the areas off of Pelican Island are also producing fish in 10-18ft of water. The bigger walleyes are showing up more on the tops and edges of the reefs, where as the keeper fish are being caught in the mud as they are feeding on bugs. Look for scattered boulders in these areas and try trolling spinners with crawlers or leeches at 1.1-1.4mph. Colors that are good are orange, gold, green, and sometimes even throwing on something that is out of the ordinary to change things up. If spinners aren't working, slow down and rig them with crawlers or leeches or try pulling slow death set ups at .8 to 1mph. Slip bobber fishing the edges of the reefs during the evening hours is also a good way to put some fish in the boat.
Lots of great fishing is yet to go this summer. Things may slow down a little bit after all of the hatches take place, which is normal, but the challenge is there are walleyes always biting somewhere. Gotta love the CHASE of it all.
Some crappies are being caught off the weed edges in the early morning and evening in Shingobee and Miller Bay with panfish also being caught in the cabbage in Steamboat Bay.
- Frankie's Live Bait and Marine - www.frankies.net
Brad, Corner of Hwy 8 and CR 77 (651-257-6334)
Try Chisago, Green, North Center and South Center lakes for bass and crappies. Walleyes biting in 12-18 feet on Green and Chisago.
- Marine General - www.marinegeneral.com
1501 London Road, on the edge of Lake Superior (218-724-8833)
Crappies biting in 12-14 feet of water on Fish Lake.
- 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)
The walleye bite has been steadily improving and some anglers are taking full advantage of it. Fish are beginning to relate to structure more these days, so it pays to work near reefs and sunken structure in depths from nine to eighteen feet. The best way to locate fish is to stay on the move trolling spinners until you trigger a bite, then work that area over diligently.
Small mouth bass have been very active as well, and are readily taking soft baits and cranks worked near the drop offs at the mouths of shallow bays. Some anglers have begun using top water baits such as Jitterbugs and Hula Poppers and are enjoying the explosive strikes right on the surface. Floater/diver crank baits work well, and strikes can occur as you pause the retrieve and let the bait float back to the surface.
Pike are hitting spinner baits and spoons, casted or trolled anywhere from three to fifteen feet of water. Vary your speed when hauling these lures back as some fish tend to be more active then others. At times ripping the bait across the surface layer can be irresistible for these toothy denizens.
Crappies are schooling up and will readily hit a minnow or soft plastic bait. Watch your fish locator to detect the position of the fish in the water column and adjust your presentation accordingly.
- Fish On Bait & Sport www.habitatnow.com
Kyle, 201 S Franklin St, 2 blocks south of stoplights in Glenwood (320-634-3667)
Sunfish and crappie bite has been good with good sizes…but the bite has been challenging at times. A lot of fish down there, just have to try different techniques to get them to bite. Freshwater shrimp have been working the best. We have all the favorite bait on hand as well as a full line of tackle...along with advice and destinations to try. 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" now and ideas for habitat projects to improve their property. Also visit the Habitat Outlet on line at www.HabitatNOW.com for all your spring and fall habitat needs.
Swanson's Bait & Tackle - www.swansonsbait.com
Jim Tuller, Hwy 371 on the north end of Hackensack (218-675-6176)
With the rishing water temps fish can be caught on a number of different techniques. Walleyes catches have been reported anywhere from 5 feet to 35 feet so versatility is the name of the game! Fish wind blown points for best results. The leech and crawler bite has started with large minnows producing the best big fish bite. The panfish and crappie bite has continued to hold strong as the locals are finding the best areas being edges of fresh green weed growth. Slip bobbers with crappie minnows and a jig seem to produce the best bite! Bass can be found on any edge with new aquatic growth. Reeds, Lilypads, cabbage etc... With the water warming quickly, some bass will move out to the new weedline so make sure to keep that in mind. Look for muskies to be on the inside and outside edges of cabbage beds.
- 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)
Typical June weather, warm days -cool nights, nice all purpose weather, but it does lend itself to unpredictable fishing.
Mayfly hatch has been on again and off again, due to temperature fluctuations and species of mayfly.
Good thing is you know walleyes are feeding on soft bottom structures where the hatch takes place.
Now find ‘em and trigger a bite, fast action presentations, spinners, lures and depth changes on and over soft structure regardless of depth.
Shallow water generally produces big fish, but we have a few good reports of limits coming out of 5-10’.
Most anglers are getting a pretty consistent bite moving along the 22-28’ range using slip sinker rigs or trolling artificial lures.
Favored bait seems to be leeches and night crawlers or slip bobber with minnows.
Fish are scattered throughout our chain of lakes, water temperatures on the surface are low to mid 70s throughout, therefore not favoring any particular section of water.
I want to remind folks that we now have high definition maps of Kabetogama, Namakan, Crane and Sandpoint Lakes available.
The Hot Spots maps have included structure not seen on previous maps before, and the back side has a wealth of information contributed by guides and anglers. The information on the maps backside will accurately help you pin point locations that have been proven to hold fish various times of the year.
Maps available at Gateway General and many resorts. If heading to our lakes, we can mail them out from our store for you to study before you get here.
BINGO is now started at the New Community Hall on Tuesday and Thursday night at 8pm.
Hope to see you soon,
Crabby Phil and 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)
An incredible week of fishing. On the big water of Big Traverse Bay, walleyes being caught along Pine Island in 8-15'. Some nice fish caught in 30' in front of the Lighthouse Gap. Lems, Archie's and Arnesen's reefs heating up out west. Reefs near Knight, Bridges and Garden Island still holding fish. Most anglers pulling crawler harnesses. Jigging in deeper water on reefs and in mud with frozen shiners and live leeches still effective. Hot colors, hammered gold, pink and glow colors.
Up at the NW Angle strong fishing continues. On the MN side, good numbers of fish west of Little Oak Island and Crow Duck. Lots of charters with daily limits. Most drifting with crawler harnesses. On the Ontario side, jig and minnow is the go to. Big numbers of walleyes coming in. 24-26 feet of water has been the hot depth. Smallmouth bass on fire in the shallows. Pike seem to be everywhere. Musky fishing strong with small to medium sized bucktails around rocks and weeds. One group boated and released over 60 muskies over the weekend. Info on resorts and guides at www.LakeoftheWoodsMN.com/Lodging.
On the Rainy River, anglers finding fish in 18-20 feet jigging. Areas like Lighthouse Gap and east of Timbermill park best. Pink and gold the hot colors. Smallmouth bass very active. Sturgeon season reopens July 1.
Lake of the Woods Resorts
- Anderson's Resorts - www.andersonsleech-lake.com
Tim, (1-800-516-0077) (1-800-516-0077)
Leech lake is hot right now. We have had a great spring, walleyes have been biting good. We are seeing them switch to leeches and crawlers and moving out from the points to the deeper edges and mid lake reefs. Lindy type rigs or slip bobbers working very well. Some days a plain hook is all you need, others a spinner or a phelps float are the key. Pike and muskie action has been slow so far but as the water temp rises so will they. Bass have been active we have heard mostly about smallmouth that people are catching when fishing for walleyes. Go to the shallows and wild rice/weed and you can find good numbers of ;argemouth as well. Perch and other panfish are doing ok as well if you have the younger ones itching to pull something in the boat. Head for any of the many bays here on Leech Lake. Small chunk of crawler or plastic bait and you're set. There is still time and openings up here. Come enjoy the lake and area with us this summer! Fall will be here before you know it!
- Chris Kuduk's Guide Service - www.kuduksguideservice.com (320-630-1761)
Smaller area lakes such as Platte, Sullivan, Shakopee, Ann, Knife have been producing panfish. On Mille Lacs perch and tullibee have been biting. Call Chris for a daily walleye report.
MILLE LACS, AITKIN, BRAINERD LAKES
- Jeff Hanson's Guide Service
Don't listen to all the bad publicity, Mille Lacs is still producing fish! Roach rigs/leeches have been the best presentation on the mud flats. Use your electronics to find schools of fish along the edges of the flats. Some days they will be on the top edge in 25-27', other days they'll be in the 30-34' range. Many fish in the 24-27" range each day and just in the last week lot's of smaller 10-14" fish are also showing up on the mid lake flats. Pike action has been hot in the bays over the upcoming weed beds in the 11-14' range. You can use sucker minnows and bobbers, troll Husky Jerks, or pitch jigs and Impulse plastics. Smallmouth action has been good on the rock reefs in the 6-12' range on both Rapala Rattlin' Raps and X-Raps. The Brainerd lakes like Gull, North Long are producing lots of action for walleyes, bass and pike on the weedlines in 14'17'. Walleye action has been best in the mornings. Roach rigs with minnow and leeches are working. Also pitching jigs into the weeds has been crushing the pike and bass. As always, call for up to the date reports or to inquire on available days. 4, 6 and 8 hour trips available.
- Wayzata Bait & Tackle
Tim or Bob, half mile west off I-494 on Hwy 12 (952-473-2227)
Please call us anytime for a fishing report!
MISSISSIPPI - ST. CROIX
- Turk Gierke, Croixsippi Guide Service
In June when you start to keep the AC unit on thats about the time crankbaits and spinners work well. Trolling on days with light wind is normally in 15 to 25 fow. High winds drive fish shallower. I will troll spinners in the 12 to 22 foot range – similar to depths i like to rig. Leeches are hard to beat in June. They tend to roll and be ineffective when trolled or drifted too fast – hook them on a jig and you tame them, read “Turk’s Column” for much more details on “rigging jigs.” The heat of the summer will get the eyes more active, there are still days though that you need to present the baits slow and feed the walleyes line.
- Smokey Hills Outdoor Store, Nathan, www.smokyhillsoutdoorstore.com
19143 US HWY 71 N, Park Rapids, MN (218-237-5099)
Summer is here, the days are longer and the sun is hotter. The long, beautiful summer days will gradually warm the water which pushes most fish deeper and deeper.
Walleye- Look along most weed lines, weed beds, tall standing cabbage weeds or sharp breaks in 10-16 ft. of water. Rig up a VMC "Spindrift" paired with a leech or crawler for best chances on hooking a wall hanger.
Northern Pike- Find the Thickest weed beds, lilly pad coverage, or fallen timber in anywhere from 6-12 feet. Those Northern will be sitting in the thick coverage patiently waiting on that certain prey to swim by. Tie on any #9 Rapala "Shad Rap" or throw out a Gamakatsu circle hook paired with a sucker minnow for the best luck!
Bass- Hanging in that 3-9 feet of water looking for that easy craw fish or worm to slurp up. Tie on a Terminator "Pro Jig" paired with a Yum 3.25 "Chunk" Plastic Trailer. Tie on a VMC "Wacky Weedless" hook paired with a Big Bite 5 inch "Trick Stick" set up for wacky wormin’!
Sunfish/Crappies- Schooling in thick cabbage weeds, coontail weeds, and deep growing lilly pads in 6-10 feet of water. Tie on a VMC "Nymph" while casting and retrieving to find the fish. Once located tie on a "Slip Lock" slip bobber to slow the appearance down and target the school of fish.
Good luck fishing! Remember to always be safe and to pay attention to others on the lake. You’re not the only one out there so be respectful and keep an eye out!
Smokey Hills Outdoor Store
- Wheaton Service & Bait www.wheatonservice.com
Neighbor Steve, 912 Broadway, Wheaton, MN (320-563-1400)
Fishing packages start at 2 nights/1 day of fishing, up to 4 nights/3 days fishing! Call for pricing. Coming mid-summer: Fish'in Hole Lodge Skid Houses. Check us out on Facebook!
Mase's In Towne Marine - www.intownemarina.com
Cindy, corner of Lake and Elm (952-442-2096)
The bite continues to be strong on Lake Waconia. Fishing around Coney Island has been really good for a lot of species this week. Sunfish are in prime spawning mode. Expect plenty of bites, especially on waxies and crawlers in 4 to 10 feet of water. Crappies and bass continue to be mixed in as well, with some good size too! Crappies are biting well on crappie minnows and flu flus or small jigs. Bass haven't been too picky, as a lot of different things have worked. Walleyes continue to bite well during the low-light periods early morning or at night. We recommend fatheads or shiners right now, as they will give you the best shot to keep the active sunnies from tugging on your line. We've started to see the northern pike bite pick up this week too, which has been a pleasant surprise. Spinnerbaits have worked well for both bass and northerns. With the Muskie season opening this Saturday the 6th, we expect a lot of big baits flying. Waconia has recently been one of the best lakes to target them. Don't forget, Muskies must now be 54 inches to keep statewide.
- Walleye Visions - www.mnfishingconnections.com
Tom Neustrom, 21622 Airport Rd, Grand Rapids, email@example.com, (218-327-2312)
Give Tom a call for a report!