Minnesota Fish Tales Fishing Report
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- Ben's Bait & Tackle
Bennet or Craig Stich, Junction of Hwy 78 and 210 (218-864-5596)
5-23- Walleye- Fish in shallow weedlines using jigs and shiners mostly. A few reports on leeches and crawlers. Lakes that are best are Ottertail, Silver, Rush
Northern- Troll in the 10-15 foot weeds using spinners and suckers or just a daredevil. Lakes that are best are Donald, Clitherall, Ottertail.
Bass- Fish around the docks, shallow weeds, pitching topwaters or spinnerbaits. Lakes that are best are Fiske, Donald, Donald Silver.
Panfish and crappies - Fish in the back bays or shallow bullrushes using flu flus or small jigs. Lakes to try are Fish , West Battle , Blanche, Elbow.
- Veire's Mini-Mart
Dave, 117 E Benton St, corner of Hwy 75 and 14 (507-368-4204)
- Timberline Sport & Tackle
Carl Adams, Junction of Hwy 71 and Blackduck Lake Rd. (218-835-4636)
5-22- Walleye action has picked up on Blackduck Lake. Give us a call or stop in for details! Panfish are biting on Blackduck, Gull, Pimushe, Gilstead and Rabideau. Work the shorelines and shallow bays in about 6-10 feet of water.
- Leisure Outdoor Adventures - www.leisureoutdooradventures.com
Jason Freed, Toby Kvalevog, Jeff Andersen (1-855-LOA-HOOK or 1-855-562-4665)
Leech Lake - Once again our team of Leech Lake Fishing Guides found themselves primarily on Leech Lake this past week chasing down Leech Lake walleyes. What we found was some good days and some days that were a grind. With the weather patterns of late being up and down, it is not surprising that can throw fishing for a loop at times and other times make it gang busters. On Leech Lake, the best bet was still looking in 5-13 feet of water. This time of year that is a pretty big difference, but some days depending on wind the fish were shallow and others with little wind they moved deeper. Alot of that has to deal with the wind pushing the bait and where the bait goes so do hungry Leech Lake walleyes. We found wind blown shorelines, points, and sand flats to be by far the best producers. Transition areas seem to be key so if you can find those areas that transition between rocks to sand or weed edges that is what seems to hold the bait and the walleyes. In terms of techniques, jig and minnow was still the #1 producer. 1/8th oz jigs tipped with a spot tail shiner, rainbow, or fathead is your best bet. Fan casting these or long lining them is your best bet. If you want to fish the weeds, downsizing to a 1/16th oz jig and a smaller minnow. Lind rigs with leeches, shiners, and even crawlers also produced some fish this past week along with a decent slip bobber bite in the evenings with a leech or minnow under it. Crappies are still being found in some of the harbors, but also they are moving into the pencil reed areas or the flats that are adjacent to them. Slip bobbers with a plastic tube underneath them is the best bet. With warmer temps, some really good crappie fishing is still to be had, so if the walleyes aren’t cooperating try fishing for crappies.
Mille Lacs - The water temperatures are continuing to warm, and so is the fishing. Walleyes have been eating like crazy in 3-12 feet of water. Use either an 1/8th ounce jig/shiner or a heavy jig/plastic combo to fancast rocks, sand, and weeds. If the wind is blowing, the fish are typically shallower and if it is flat calm, the fish will usually be hanging a little deeper. One important key is the keep the boat away from the fish holding areas because the water is extremely clear. Keeping the boat away from the structure and casting into the fish will yield much better results. The harbors have been kicking out some crappie and sunfish action, however, some days the will move in and others days they are holding out deeper.
Brainerd - Fish has been getting better with the water temperatures slowly creeping up. The smaller lakes have been much more consistent for walleyes, pike and panfish. The bigger lakes such as Gull and Whitefish have been getting better. Some people have been trolling at night with success in the 5-10 ft of water range. During the day on all the lakes, the mid morning to afternoon time has been the most productive due to the water warming up. A 1/8th ounce jig/shiner pitched into the rock/emerging weed areas has been the best combination. It is extremely important to keep the boat away for the fish holding area and cast to the fish, because they are very spooky. Keep the boat moving between .5-1 mph and this will help you locate active fish. As the water continues to warm, walleyes will begin to move towards the break lines, where a heaving jig or lindy rig will be effective. Panfish have been moving into the shallows, or at least hanging around the shallows and they have been biting good. Look for dark bottom areas or pencil reeds for crappies and sunfish.
- Minnesota Fishing Guide Service
www.minnesotaguideservice.com - www.minnesotaicefishhouserental.com
Captain Josh Hagemeister (218-732-9919, 320-291-0708)
5-21 - It’s that time of year when fishing patterns are all over the board! The bluegills/crappies are all basically shallow—7’ of water or less. Small tube jigs, bobber minnow/waxie combos, or even tiny crankbaits will land a bunch of crappies or bluegills this time of year. The walleyes are leaning towards any new weed growth—on the shallow flats or on the shore line drop offs. Jigs or live bait rigs tipped with a minnow is all that is needed trolled slowly along the bottom. Try 4” plastic swim baits on a weedy flat for something fun…and deadly. Of course, if you wanna catch pike, then rig up some shallow diving crankbaits or spinner baits and work the shallow weeds in the 5-10ft range. A good multi-purpose combo is a spinner rig tipped with a minnow and worked at a medium troll. This has the potential for both walleye and pike. Lotsa Fish! Lotsa Fun!
- Frankie's Live Bait and Marine - www.frankies.net
Brad, Corner of Hwy 8 and CR 77 (651-257-6334)
5-23- Sunnies, crappies and bass are biting in the bays and channels on area lakes. Walleyes are biting on Chisago, and North and South lakes. Try working the weedline with jig and a minnow or a leech.
- Marine General - www.marinegeneral.com
1501 London Road, on the edge of Lake Superior (218-724-8833)
5-23-Rice Lake and Island Lake are both producing walleye in shallow water. They are biting on leeches. On Lake Superior, a variety of lake trout, coho salmon and brown trout are being caught. Call us for more details!
- 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)
5-21- The walleye spawn is nearly over and fishing results are showing that feeding activity levels are increasing. Many walleyes are still being caught in relatively shallow water, and this should continue until lake water temperatures rise. Minnows have been the go-to bait, but leeches are taking their toll on some fish as well currently. Most activity has been around moving water such as where creeks and rivers merge with lakes. Some anglers are finding their success with slow trolled crank baits in the drop offs leading to the shallower flats late in the day. Bait fish are moving into the warmer waters near shore, and the hungry predators are there to welcome them.
Some big pike are being caught on live sucker minnows fished under a slip bobber or dead ones fished right on the bottom. Folks have discovered that frozen baits such as smelt will take the bigger fish that don't have to expend much energy chasing bait. This scenario is playing out in shallow water close to shore as opposed to deeper water later in the season.
Some crappies are being caught, but they seem to be a by-catch of walleye anglers fishing deeper waters. If you are going to target them, look for schools to be bunched up adjacent to shallow flats, where they will be spawning in the weeks to come.
Some decent lake trout have been actively hitting in twenty to thirty feet of water on Burntside Lake. Trolled crank baits and spoons have resulted in several fish in the ten pound plus range being taken there.
Swanson's Bait & Tackle - www.swansonsbait.com
Caleb Garoutte, Hwy 371 on the north end of Hackensack (218-675-6176)
5-21-Fishing has been very good this last week and weekend. We are seeing increasing activity on the walleye front on many of the later starting area lakes like Pine Mountain, Woman, Baby, and Pleasant. Still a little cool on the water temps, but fish are showing up in 15-22 during the day, and shallower at dusk and after dark. During the day slow pull minnows like big fatheads or shiners on a jig or rig, and come evening move up onto the shelves and pitch jigs or throw crankbaits and run them off the breaks. Leech has been great, just get up in the shallower water 6 - 14' and move slow and get out away from the boat - if there is a good chop you can try vertical jigging, but it has been best to get out and away from the boat.
Crappies have been getting more aggressive now. They had been kind of slow despite being up shallow. Now they're starting to bite a little better and you should be able to find them in the usual spring spots. It's hard to beat a slip bobber and crappie minnow up by the beaver piles, timber, and groups of docks, but if you throw on some crappie plastics and cruise you should be able to find pockets of active fish.
Bass fishing (large and smallmouth) has also heated up this week. Fish are getting more aggressive and are more willing to take faster presentations. They've been hitting some topwater, and shallow cranks have been pretty effective with the lack of vegetation as usual in the early part of the season. Bouncing plastics across the bottom while moving them along at a good clip can produce some great fishing - if you pause it on the bottom, allow a few seconds to let chasing fish pick it off the bottom.
We should continue to see good fishing this week as water temps continue to warm. There will be some fronts coming throughout the week which could throw patterns, but there could also be some great feeding periods triggered by front activity if you're on the water!
- Cooper's Gateway Store kabfishingreport.com - gatewaygeneral.com
Jason and Robyn Cooper, US Hwy 53 & Co Rd 122, 30 miles south of Int'l Falls-Canadian border (218-875-2121)
5-20- SKIPPING SPRING
Fishing is still fantastic as we have seemed to skip spring and jumped into summer! Just a few weeks ago we were all skeptical that the ice would be gone. Now just one week into the fishing season, open water is a reality and the fishing has been great. More pelicans have shown up and local mallards are staking their claim to nesting areas. Bald eagles are actively attending to their nests which is keeping a few campsites in the park shut down for a short time. Most trees are fully leaved which seemed to happen overnight. Temperatures forecast to be in the mid 70's and sunny skies all indicate we may have an early and hopefully long summer.
Water temps have also taken a jump into the mid 50's. Larger walleyes are still being consistently caught in shallow while the eater variety out deeper, say 20-30 ft. While dock fishing has slowed a bit, it is more than likely due to the multiple weather fronts we have had move through recently which has pushed them a little deeper. Shoreline and island points are producing more frequently now. Island areas like Martin, Cuculus and Three Sisters have been good as well as entrances to Peterson and Slatinsky Bay. Windswept areas will produce more fish.
Northern Pike are an easy catch as usual and small mouth bass are becoming more frequent. The occasional jumbo perch is showing up in the live well more by accident than being targeted.
All in all it has been a great opening week on Kab.
Here is a guide report followed by Crabby Phil's tip of the week!
Tim Watson: As the week went along, many of the bigger spawners started to move out into deeper water. I had good success with jigs and minnows working the deeper breaks off of several sand bars. Flat sunny days a little deeper 22-25 ft. And wind and overcast 15-18 ft. These held eater walleyes including many 15- 16 1/2 inch fish, some slot fish as well as jumbo perch and some saugers.
Crabby Phils Tip of the Week: Last week found keeper walleye deep and big fish shallow. Now that the water has warmed up almost 10 degrees, try this. Using a jig head or slip sinker rig, stay inside 30' finding a windswept shoreline. Slowly traverse the depths between 30' and 10' and see what depth fish respond. Concentrate at the productive depth. Last week was a soft bite so use light tackle if possible.
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)
5-21- Great fishing continues with good numbers of walleyes and saugers being caught from Rocky Point, Long Point, Zippel Bay, Pine Island, Knight Island and in the basin! A jig and a frozen shiner is the ticket while anchored up in 15-23 feet during the day. Some fish are sliding up into 10-13 feet for a evening bite. Lots of big girls over 28" being caught. Water on the lake and river is still low, rain last week is helping to raise water levels.
Rainy River was pretty quiet this week with only a morning bite. Some big females making their way out to lake but a good population stays in the River year round. Jig and a frozen shiner being bounced off bottom. Sturgeon fishing closed May 16- June 30. Sturgeon keep season opens again July 1 - Sep 30.
Up at the NW Angle... Good numbers of walleyes are being found in the shallows from 5-10 feet and slightly deeper in 17-23 feet. Walleyes were spawning on the lake this past week as water is colder than river. A complete list of lodging, fishing packages, how to's, and info for spring fishing are available at www.LakeoftheWoodsMN.com
LAKE OF THE WOODS
- Sportsman's Lodges, Lake of the Woods, Rainy River - www.sportsmanslodges.com (1-800-862-8602)
5-15-What a fun opening weekend! I think we had some of the best weather we have ever had for opener and great fishing! Check out some of the highlights of the weekend. Captain Wes and Darryl were hot on the walleyes and sturgeon this weekend.
Walleyes and saugers hugged in close in the river, bays and shallows this weekend. A jig and chub or shiner minnow worked well. A variety of sizes were reeled in, good eaters, babies and some big girls too. Slow jigging gold, pink and orange were hot choices in 12’-20’ water. Gumballs, RZ Jigs and fire balls were popular. Some anglers not only enjoyed fishing for walleyes but also had some great luck sturgeon fishing the last weekend of the spring season. Several 50+ inch sturgeon were caught during the last weekend of the spring season. Some of the best sturgeon fishing was in the river and bays using a gob of worms on a 4/0 or 5/0 hook and a few ounces no roll sinker. Sturgeon season re-opens July 1.
The water temperature has been rising, current temperature is 56 degrees. The water level is a few feet low. Chance of some rain later this week should start bringing that up. Temps are forecasted in the 60’s and 70’s for the week. Let’s go fishing; the guides are ready to take you out!
LAKE OF THE WOODS
- Sportsman's Oak Island Lodge, NW Angle/Oak Island, MN - www.oakislandlodge.com (800-772-8411)
5-15 - Great Weather & Walleyes - What a great opener, excellent weather and hungry walleyes. Anglers had no problem catching some nice walleyes this weekend. Shallow points were hot using a gold or pink jig tipped with a minnow. We are looking forward to a fun summer of fishing.
Pike anglers had great success too using smelt lying on bottom in bays and creeks. Minnesota opener was this past weekend for walleye and this Saturday, May 19 is Ontario’s opener weekend just a hop, skip and a jump from the lodge. Most of the ice is gone now.
Gregg took his first run across the lake yesterday. He said it was mostly clear with just a few ice chunks floating around. Water temperature is hovering around 50-53 degrees and the water level is currently low.
Come see us this summer!
Head to the islands for some great fishing and relaxation. We are your multi species mecca. Lodging and fishing packages available. Click here to learn more.
- Anderson's Resorts - www.andersonsleech-lake.com
5-22-Leech Lake is open for fishing! The walleyes are biting! Jig and a minnow (shiner) has been the go-to bait and heading to shallow reef and points working best. Leech Lake is a wind-driven bite during the day, so look for wind-blown shorelines. But soon the whole tackle box will be opened up with warmer water! Leeches and crawlers on rigs will also start working well! The new pike regs are getting a work-out as well. People are learning that 22 to 26 go back in our area! Plenty of keepers in the lake as well! Most people are catching them looking for walleyes right now, but green weeds are a key factor to finding early pike and weed walleyes. This spring has been a good one for the people that like to chase crappies and big sunfish as well. Heading up into most bays you can find some big ones! 2018 is looking to be a great fishing season! We sill have a few openings here if you can get away for a few days or a few weeks. This would be a great year to come explore Leech Lake with us!
We are having a great walleye, pike and bass season on Mille Lacs Lake! Platte, Sullivan, Shakopee, Knife and Anne are great early season crappie spots to try! Chris has some openings for guide trips on Mille Lacs. Please call Chris anytime for up-to-the-minute fishing reports. Listen to Chris and Stan live for a weekly fishing report from 5-6 pm Saturdays on Outdoor Adventures on www.twincitiesnewstalk.com (iheart Radio)! Or listen to the podcast!
- Chris Kuduk's Guide Service - (320-630-1761)
- Wayzata Bait & Tackle
Tim or Bob, half mile west off I-494 on Hwy 12 (952-473-2227)
5-23- Minnetonka has a good crappie bite going. Also try Sarah or Independence for some crappies and bass. Walleyes are best in the channels on Minnetonka. Try minnows or crankbaits for the best results.
MISSISSIPPI - ST. CROIX
- Turk Gierke, Croixsippi Guide Service
St. Croix River fishing report June 2018 - Walleyes start to locate deeper in depths from 15 to 25 feet on most days. Windy conditions will drive fish shallow. Nice size walleyes are caught on livebait spinners, rigs, and trolling Shad Raps. Fire tiger, purple, and silver colors work well on spinner blades and cranks. Saugers will locate in their summer spots and bite aggressively in the same depths and even deeper. Saugers will make up half an anglers basket many days. Saugers have no minimum size range to keep walleye are a 15” minimum.
Patti with a lunker walleye from the River. Patti is an excellent angler and does a great job teaching her younger relatives how to catch them. This big walleye hit a nightcrawler. Catch and Release
Most years June is a lower water month and with lower water fish relate to the wind when it blows, just like a lake scenario. Many days a walleye chop is good when the water is low. June is also a month where you will catch a lot of fish on livebait, both numbers and species. Catfish start to show up on angler’s hooks. As well as white bass. Often angler catch so many drum on bait that they switch to cranks to not catch drum…which is funny because a big sheephead will crush a Shad Rap trolled right past their snout! Sheephead (freshwater drum ) are related to the salt water sport fish the Redfish. They are related to the redfish like a walleye is to a sauger. So if you have some guts look up a redfish recipe and try a sheephead. Ya I catch grief for this but its all true! Smallmouth hit in the morning on jigs and top water lures in the shallows on the rock.
- Smokey Hills Outdoor Store, Josh Severtson, www.smokeyhills.com
19143 US HWY 71 N, Park Rapids, MN (218-237-5099)
A lot of your favorite walleye lakes are in the Park Rapids area, so plan your trip and get ready! Smokey Hills is your one stop shop when you want to get to the lake or cabin! We have updated fishing reports in the store every week and have all the new rods and reels, lures, line, bait, licenses, ice, propane and of course soda and jerky! Walleye - will be looking for a jig and a minnow or plastic paddle tale up in the shallows. Redtails or shiners would work best between 5-15 feet around or in river inlets or outlets, or the early growing weed beds. Good luck everyone!
- Steve's Bait www.wheatonservice.com
Neighbor Steve, 912 Broadway, Wheaton, MN (320-563-1400, 320-563-1400)
Steve's Bait offers everything you need to be successful on Lake Traverse!! From the hot jig or plug, to the Best LIVE BAIT to be had within 75 miles!!! Pop, water and snacks will also be available! Lodging is also available at our Fishin' Hole Lodge, along with ice fishin packages. Good luck on the water!! Take a Kid Fishin! You can also check us out on Facebook!
Mase's In Towne Marine - www.intownemarina.com
Cindy, corner of Lake and Elm (952-442-2096)
5-10-Because of our continued marina dock work, we will have shortened hours for the near future. Those interim hours after Opener are Monday through Friday 2 pm to 6:30 pm and Saturday/Sunday from 8 am to 6:30 pm.
We thank you for your continued patience while we assemble our marina later than usual because of the record spring late ice-out. Parking will be limited until we have all of our equipment in the water. Our Boat and Motor, Pontoon Rentals and Gas Dock Service are not available at this time. We will update when we get closer renting and gas becomes available.
Water temps are in the low 50’s and we expect good shallow water action overnight and into the early morning. Places like Harm’s Point, the Rock Dock, the Carp Trap (Peterson’s Creek area), or any shallow emerging weedline should be good starting points. We should have all the bait on hand that you’ll need to get those Lake Waconia walleyes. For those fishing for crappies, we have been seeing plenty of activity in Waconia Bay. Anglers are fishing in 10 to 14 feet of water as of now. The open-water season is just getting going, so we hope to report some great catches soon!
- Walleye Visions - www.mnfishingconnections.com
Tom Neustrom, 21622 Airport Rd, Grand Rapids, email@example.com, (218-327-2312)
5-23-With the warmer weather of late, the bite on Big Winnie for walleyes has improved everyday. There have been good reports especially from the West side of Winnie have been very good. Mallard, Stony and Raven’s Points have been especially good with a Mooneye Jig and shiner producing lots of walleyes in 7-12 feet. Windier days seem to be the best and making sure you don’t move too quickly when you are drifting is critical. One eighth ounce jigs is preferred, but don’t be afraid to switch to a quarter ounce if the wind blows or depths of 12 to 16 feet are locations of walleyes especially after a cold front. Northern Pike fishing has been good in and around new emerging weed beds. Jig and minnows and small crankbaits have been boating several nice pike this last week. Additional areas to try for walleyes are Duck Pass, Highbanks, and the wood duck houses on the south west side. Memorial weekend is coming you and a great time to get out and wet a line. Be safe and have very enjoyable weeks ahead.