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!
- Leisure Outdoor Adventures - www.leisureoutdooradventures.com
Toby Kvalevog and Jeff Andersen, 1-855-LOA-HOOK or 1-855-562-4665
Well fishing has been up and down much like Mother Nature of late. I think the bug hatches are finally coming to a close so in a few days hopefully the walleyes will have less food in the water because of that. We had the AIM tournament last week, and there were many big fish caught, recorded and released. The bite was not fast and furious for the tournament anglers but many fish were caught between 26-29" over the course of the two days.
The fishing report has been mixed with some days being good and others not so much. We have found Walker and Agency Bays to have the most consistent bite. Humps, points, and shoreline breaks have been the best in 18-28ft of water pulling a lindy rig and leech or lindy rig and chub. Also have had some success pulling spinners with leeches or crawlers to cover ground. A go to presentation this time of year is slip bobber fishing weeds, rock humps, points, and saddles throughout the day. Pretty simple, but yet very effective, either have a hook and a couple split shots or a 1/16th oz jig and put a lively leech on and you are ready to go. Great way to get the kids involved as well.
Pike are being caught off the weedlines in 14-18ft of water and many anglers are out chasing largemouth bass pitching a jig/pig, throwing topwater, or a variety of other methods. Best places to start are Steamboat, Shingobee, Headquarters, or Boy Bay.
- 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)
Fishing is picking up, anglers are getting out on the big lake. Getting boats ready. 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)
While walleye fishing has slowed somewhat, anglers are still able to harvest other species like pike and crappies with some success. The pike have been active in five to fifteen feet of water especially along weed edges. Spinner baits and big crank baits are a must for this style of fishing and the payoff has been big for some folks with fish to eighteen pounds coming to the boat. Many others in the three to five pound range are common and will fill the bill for a good lakeside dinner. White Iron Lake has been providing some decent crappie limits. Small minnows fished under a slip bobber have been working well, but many anglers are relying on soft baits on a jig to turn the fish on. Try working the reef tops in twelve to twenty feet of water. A few lake trout have been landed this week and were responding well to trolled spoons in forty to fifty feet of water. Green and green/chrome have been the best colors to lure some of these fish to twelve pounds up from the depths.
- 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 conditions have been tough with the changing weather and strong winds, but fishing has remained great. Winds have been blowing out of the south for a few days now and fish are starting to stack up in the shallows on south facing shorelines and structure. Most fish are coming out of less than 10' of water, but deeper 18'-22' structure has produced fish also. Fishing over the next couple days should be great on the shallow wind-blown structure of Leech Lake. Pitching jigs with minnows is the way to approach these fish, but don't be afraid to pull out the plastics! Paddle tails, swim baits, and minnow imitations are a great way to target these shallow fish. Berkley Gulp Minnow Grubs and Northland Mimic Minnows perfect for this situation; pitch them tight to shore and swim them down the edges back to the boat. Because the plastics are so much more durable than live bait, you can get way more aggressive in the retrieve than you can with live bait. Little Boy, Woman, and Webb are still some of the better lakes in the area. Nightcrawlers are still the hot bait on most lakes, and we've heard anything from bottom bouncers off planing boards to long snells with slow deaths. Leeches and Minnows have been catching too, but the crawler bite has been solid. More and more guys have been dragging crankbaits like Shad Raps, Flicker Shad, and Storm crankbaits when rigging shallow water to target aggressive fish. If you're a big fish hunter, drop a nice redtail off the deeper humps; fishermen have been finding some hog walleye in the depths. Largemouth bass fishing has been hot this week. Slop weeds are where the fish are hiding, the thicker and nastier the better. The only way to get into the true slop is pulling scum frogs like the Live Target. Be sure to rig with heavy line to get the fish out of the trash. Superlines like Sufix 832 and PowerPro is a must to get the fish out fast. Sunfish are still going strong on many lakes up shallow. Crawlers/waxworms and a bobber are a tough method to beat. Pitch up next to the lily pads or pencil reeds. Though small backwater lakes have been best, Leech has been producing some big-time gills out of Sucker and Boy Bay. Muskie fishing hasn't heated up too much yet. Leech has been a tougher bite than the smaller lakes. Baby, Little Boy, and Wabedo have been showing the most fish. Smaller baits have still been doing the best, but we had good success on topwater in the mornings.
- 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)
Mixed bag of weather this week kept anglers guessing. Low temps in the high 30’s and close out the week with mid 80’s. Strong winds from the Northwest, dead calm and brisk south winds ending the week. Anglers had success, although limited, at mid depth rages for walleyes. 12’ on the shallow end down to 30’ on the deep end of the spectrum. Your choice of presentation, slip sinker rigs or bottom bouncers using leech or crawler, or jig and minnow in the same depth range. This past week short snells with or without spinners, keeping your bait just off bottom improved your harvest chances. Anglers jigging said the bite was close to the bottom. Dark jigs, multi colored, plain green or blue got some attention. Water temperatures nearing the mid 70’s sped up the mayfly hatch which appears to be ending. Beware now of the flies, primarily the ankle biters. Northern pike action picking up, weed edges working good. Cast your favorite baits to them or troll near the weed edges for promising action. Smallmouth hitting artificials on shorelines and rock ledges. Top water baits fun to use in open weed areas. Sauger and perch bite has slowed down as they head to deeper waters. Mid-Kabetogama and Namakan getting a better catch rate then the west end of Kab. This time of year the kids will love tubing or skiing mid-day when fishing action slows down. B-I-N-G-O Tuesday and Thursday Evenings 8:00pm at the New Community Hall. Come One Come All!!
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)
Great reports this week as anglers experience quick fills of limits with numbers of trophy walleye in the mix. Drifting with spinners the most common method. Try Stony Point, West Bar of Garden Island and Starren Shoal in 26-28'. Lighthouse Gap and Pine Island doing well in 8-16 feet. Reports of jigging 10-14. Mayflies have hatched, some reports of down rigging starting. hammered gold the hot color still tipped with crawlers, leeches, or minnows. Northern pike in 6-8 feet along South Shore. Trolling with cranks most popular, good numbers on little river rockers and shad raps.
Up at the NW Angle, fish the rocks on the MN side. Crow Duck. Four Blocks and Little Oak area still holding good fish. On the Canadian side, fish deeper current areas, 25' and deeper. Good reports at Little Traverse Jig and minnow has been to go to method. Bass fishing has continued to be productive along the boulder shorelines. Try using a topwater bait if the bass are breaking the surface for mayflies. 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)
Leech Lake is the place to be this summer!!! We had the best turnout ever for June fishing tournament. Most walleyes ever recorded, with most teams reporting best fishing they have ever seen. Now it's July so put your jigs back in the box and break out the lindy rigs and slip bobbers, leeches and crawlers, and move out to the mid lake reefs .When you come up call me or ask a local bait dealer where the hot bite is going. This is also shad rap time, #7 perch and cover some ground. once you find the school and active fishing, then you can switch to live bait. Muskie and pike action has picked up and has many people counting the days till they can get back on the water. Many follows with the muskies. I have heard about all the ones that they get to see and close calls. Weeds are finally showing up and is the key to fishing the bays. Water temp is hovering around 70. Panfish and bass action has also picked up so grab a friend or your whole family and come enjoy Leech Lake with us!!! Tim
- Chris Kuduk's Guide Service - www.kuduksguideservice.com (320-630-1761)
South end of Mille Lacs going great, in deep gravel, 25-31 feet, on bobbers, or lead core in deeper water. North end sand on the breakline also great! Bobber fishing on the rock reefs in the evenings going well. Unbelievable bass action. Give Chris a call for up the to minute reports!
- Jeff Hanson's Guide Service - www.hansonsguideservice.com (763-477-8553)
The fishing has been good on the mid-lake mud flats and gravel bars in during the daytime in the 27'-31' range. The best method to catch them has continued to be live-bait rigging with leeches. Most of the fish have been running in the 23"-26" range with occasional slot fish mixed in. The evening bite on the shoreline rocks has been very good during the last hour of legal fishing time. The smallmouth bass action has been very good in the 9'-14' range using a variety of plastics including tubes, senkos, grubs and crawfish imitators. The fishing should continue to peak for the next couple weeks with the best bite of the year still ahead of us!
- 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 www.croixsippi.com
July fishing on the St. Croix River normally marks the start of trolling season with crankbaits or spinners and cralwers. Anglers also troll spinners with silver blades with fathead minnows on bright days and gold blades and crawlers on over cast days. Bait can be interchanged. Best depths are 18 to 28fow. Trolling cranks like from small husky jerks to wide wobbling jointed cranks all work depending on the weather systems. After cold fronts smaller less aggressive baits out produce baits like the jointed. Larger baits will catch large fish, but some days you will get far less, so think small and move up when you contact fish. Rigging slow also works if the spot is very small and fish are known or found.
The river this year is as I write 12’ high and it is a river wide no wake. This has been the case all open water season. The above trolling report is a traditional go to method, but if the water is high all year, I will continue to slowly rig in the high current areas. Much like any day on the river any year is different.
To date large quality sized smallmouth have been hard to find as they have been buried way up in the flooded shorelines. Tubes, jerk plastics, and senkos take fish.
This is also a very productive time for Muskies on top water, I do feel in the high water though that this flooded river is not a Muskie destination until the river drops, walleye though for the most part has been fair to good all open water season for eaters.
- Smokey Hills Outdoor Store, Nathan, www.smokyhillsoutdoorstore.com
19143 US HWY 71 N, Park Rapids, MN (218-237-5099)
The recent “heat wave” has left us re-ordering sun block, ice and soda. The majority of the fish have left the shallow water as mid-day surface temps are on the rise. Fast moving baits will prove successful in the coming week as fish are active in the warm lakes. Set your alarm, they will bite best before the morning fog gets obliterated by the searing sun.
The ten day forecast calls for steady weather in the upper 70’s to low 80’s; making this week’s walleye fishing advice much the same as last week’s. Cotton Cordell’s™ 2 ¾ inch “Wally Diver” trolled along the deep edge of reefs or near deep sunken islands will put fish “topside”. When water temperatures warm up to their current levels, walleyes spend more time near steep drop-offs. Study your lake map or utilize your gps system to find what areas of the lake have cliff-like drop offs near deep water. You will need to get out at the break of dawn and their feeding time is limited; so have a “game plan” to make the best of your morning.
The area walleye fishermen have been complaining about catching “pesky bass” while on the hunt for walleye dinner. This is a good indicator that many big bass have left the shallows to feed on the deep weed edge. It takes a separate set of skills to be able to fish for bass in deep water; most fishermen classify largemouth as a shallow water loving fish. Just like any other fish in nature, they move to where the most abundant source of food exists. As summer progresses and weed growth continues at a steady pace, the deep weeds attract minnows, crawfish and panfish of which largemouth bass eat all three. A modern electronic graph is vital in finding the fish and will afford results if you know what to look for. The deeper, taller and thicker the weeds grow, the more attractive they are to lunker size bass. Terminator’s™ “Pro Series Jig” black or brown in color tipped with a Papa’s™ “Chunk” will give your rod the thump of a big bass strike.
Hot surface water temperatures makes for an active musky bite and the Park Rapids area is home to a few of the state’s greatest musky lakes. The east bay of Mantrap lake has been producing some nice fish recently and Suick’s™ topwater “Nightwalker” bait will call in the big ‘skis. Cabbage weed beds hold much of the muskies favorite foods, namely crappies and bluegills. Finding and fishing the weed beds will give you the best chances of landing a monster.
The very same weed beds in 10 to 20 feet of water that are holding the large bass will also hold fat bluegill and crappie. A locally made Dream Away™ hand tied 1/32oz or 1/16 jig tipped with a wax worm, crappie minnow or angle worm will activate their jaws. Cast around the various weed beds until you find one that holds fish. Panfish school together and once you find them you can add a bobber to your combination to make for easier fishing. Slip Lock™ tackle company makes a slip bobber that can be easily taken on or off without cutting your line.
Smokey Hills Outdoor Store is Northern Minnesota’s largest Ice Castle dealer and we have new units arriving daily. We are grateful for your continued support and we look forward to being your one stop shop for everything outdoors. See you soon!
- Wheaton Service & Bait www.wheatonservice.com
Neighbor Steve, 912 Broadway, Wheaton, MN (320-563-1400)
Water levels on Lake Traverse are at spring time flood levels, making fishing very difficult on Traverse right now. There is still a lot of water to drain into the lake, don't expect conditions to change any time soon:( Blue Gills have left the shallows and should turn on soon. If your going to fish traverse now, please use extreme caution. when the wind starts to blow, the waves get really dangerous. Steve Nelson , owner of Wheaton Service, Western Mn's Aluma Lite fish house dealer. Now taking orders for this falls new houses!Wheaton service has all the Bait and tackle you need to be successful on Lake Traverse! Good luck and Take a Kid Fishin!
Mase's In Towne Marine - www.intownemarina.com
Cindy, corner of Lake and Elm (952-442-2096)
Due to the extreme rainfall and high water, Lake Waconia has been placed under a No Wake restriction on the entire lake by the Carver County Sheriff until further notice. We will update as soon as we find out that the restriction has been lifted.
- Walleye Visions - www.mnfishingconnections.com
Tom Neustrom, 21622 Airport Rd, Grand Rapids, firstname.lastname@example.org, (218-327-2312)
The walleye fishing on Big Winnie has been tough this last week with high water and high winds have made for tough conditions. The fish are scattered in many places with one day the bite is deep and the next day the shallow walleyes are a better choice. Look for the spinner bite to increase as water temperatures begin to rise and weed growth hits its maximum. Anglers pulling #7 Shallow Running Rapalas have been catching nice northern pike and some walleyes on the north shore and along the weed lines outside the duck houses south. Bluegills and crappies have been okay along the weedlines in Big and Little Cutfoot. Enjoy the up coming 4th of July celebration and be safe.