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)
Otter Tail and West Battle are kicking out walleyes in 5-10 on shiner minnows. Crappies and bluegills are biting on Stalker, West Battle and Fish. Northern pike biting on Otter Tail, Donald, South Turtle Lake and West Battle in 10-15 feet.
- Veire's Mini-Mart
Dave, 117 E Benton St, corner of Hwy 75 and 14 (507-368-4204)
Please call us or check back for updates!
- Timberline Sport & Tackle
Carl Adams, Junction of Hwy 71 and Blackduck Lake Rd. (218-835-4636)
Blackduck, Round and Island walleyes biting on a jig/minnow in 8-10 feet. Panfish biting on Blackduck, Round, and Gilstead.
- Leisure Outdoor Adventures - www.leisureoutdooradventures.com
Jason Freed, Toby Kvalevog, Jeff Andersen (1-855-LOA-HOOK or 1-855-562-4665)
Here is your Leisure Outdoor Adventures fishing guide report for Leech Lake, Brainerd Lakes, and Mille Lacs. Crazy how much difference a week can make in the state of Minnesota. We went from 75 and sunny on Opener to 45 degrees, cold, wind, and rain this past weekend. The walleyes on Leech Lake, Mille Lacs, and the Brainerd Lakes area still were actively biting with a little work. Let's see what the LOA guides had to say in this week’s fishing guide report!
Walleyes on Leech Lake found themselves spread out but actively feeding on shiners. A Jig and shiner or a plastic and lindy rigs with shiners and leeches were the go to presentations during the course of the week. Somedays walleyes were wanting it dragged along which is where lindy rigs worked well and other days snapping or twitching a jig and minnow was the ticket. So being diverse in your presentations, changing up colors and cadences, and getting away from the crowds is the ticket.
West End - Fish were found on West Goose Flats, Star Point, Grand Vu Flats, Duck Point, Pine Point, Stoney, and on some of the breaklines in Traders Bay. Depending on the day depths changed, but it seemed the best bite was in 8-14 feet of water. Find the shiners and you found walleyes closeby!
East End/Main Lake - Main Lake Rocks are still producing a large quantity of fish in the 20-26” protected slot, with some keepers mixed in. Annex, Submarine, Five Mile, Pelican Island, and Rogers Point all had decent bites. Fish were typically found in that 8-12ft range on this part of the lake and finding areas with sand and boulders was the key. Portage Bay also reported a good bite up near Federal Dam. Look for emergent cabbage in Portage, especially on those bright and sunny days where those walleyes will look to find cover. Pitching a jig and minnow or jig and plastic for these Leech Lake Walleyes in the cabbage is fun way to catch them.
Jumbo Perch are also showing up with the walleyes, but often times will be shallower. Found some of our best perch bites in 6-10ft of water, with some really nice jumbos mixed in.
The weather sure felt like “normal” opener weather this week. However, that did not stop the fish from biting! The walleyes and smallmouth are still chomping at all times of the day. The water temps dipped a little over the weekend, I was reading 52-53 degrees due to the rain and strong winds.
Walleyes can be found in the sand, rocks, and weeds at various depths throughout the day. The most consistent depth seems to be 7-16 feet, and jig/minnow or a live bait rig/shiner will get the job done. When the bite seems to slow down, move the boat either shallower or deeper on the same structure. The fish seem to be moving around, so if you stop getting bites, they are still probably in the area. A great way to catch every species is a ⅛-¼ ounce jig with a Svartzonker McRubber 4 in. Tail. Cast this around as a search bait and don’t be afraid to try different retrieve. We will see what the water temperatures do this week, but normally I start heading to the mud over memorial weekend!
The smallmouth have been biting really well, however I did not catch as many this weekend, and I’m blaming the drop in water temperatures...or it was just me. Anyways, the bass are hanging out around the rocky shorelines and near shore rock piles. They can be caught using all sorts of techniques, but a tube or flippin jig has been a great way to catch them. Casting Rapala X-Raps and Berkley Flicker Shads has also been a great multi-species option, as there are many walleyes that are swimming in the same areas.
Panfish are still hanging in the shallow bays, harbors, and reed beds. They are on the move with the water temperatures changing, so be ready to adapt for that day. If you are looking for food and the panfish are hiding, you can easily go catch northern pike. They are in the weeds, on the rocks, on the breaklines, anywhere you can find walleyes or bass, there will be pike. If you want to target them specifically, use bigger pike suckers on a beefed (20+ lb leader) up lindy rig and move the boat along 1-1.5 mph.
- Frankie's Live Bait and Marine - www.frankies.net
Brad, Corner of Hwy 8 and CR 77 (651-257-6334)
Walleyes hitting jigs and minnows on South Center, Chisago, and Green. Try the channels and bays such at North Center, South Center, Chisago, and Green for panfish and bass action.
- Marine General - www.marinegeneral.com
1501 London Road, on the edge of Lake Superior (218-724-8833)
Fish Lake is producing walleyes on a jig/minnow in 10 feet of water. Island Lake also producing some walleyes in 15 feet of water. Good walleye reports from the St Louis River also! For crappies, try Fish and Island in 10 feet of water.
- 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)
Fishing report 5/22/17
In spite of the drop in temperatures and the scattered showers, many anglers were having some great success on various lakes surrounding the Ely area. Plenty of walleyes were being caught. although no true giants, many respectable stringers were noted with good eating size walleyes in the fourteen to twenty inch range. Jig and minnow combinations have been the winning combo for most, while others had some good luck trolling crank baits in relatively shallow waters near shore.
The bigger success stories have been coming from folks fishing either live suckers or frozen smelt and alewives targeting huge pike. Many pike have been in the forty inch range with a few nearing the fifty inch mark. Most activity seems to be in shallow water as the pike are on a feeding binge after their spawn.
Lake trout too have been cooperating and slamming either trolled spoons or crank baits in water from twenty-five to forty feet. They appear to be more aggressive as the water temps are rising ever so slowly.
The crappie bite has been put on hold temporarily as the water temps dropped just as they were beginning to stage for their spawning rituals, although a few have been captured incindentally by walleye fishermen working near shore waters.
Swanson's Bait & Tackle - www.swansonsbait.com
Caleb Garoutte, Hwy 371 on the north end of Hackensack (218-675-6176)
Please check our website or Facebook page for new fishing reports! We will update them here as they come in!
- 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)
Kabetogama – Namakan – Ash River Fishing Report 5-21-17
What a great way to start the season! Lots of big fish being caught. Walleyes up to 8 lbs and many northern pike pushing the 15 lb mark with a ton of perfect eater sized fish mixed in. Even the small mouth bass have been on a tear which is not generally typical this early in the season. The only downside is that keeper walleyes have been tough to find, but on the flip side the 14-17’ sauger are making up for it. It has been a great opening week to say the least. As far as depth and presentation goes, it is somewhat of a mixed bag. Shallow shoreline points and then deep water (30-40’ and sometimes deeper) seems to be the ticket.
Can’t stress enough that a VERY SLOW presentation is working best with anchoring boats producing most fish. The smallest jig possible or even just a plain hook with a small split shot 12 inches up and tipped with a minnow is producing. Staying close to the bottom is key and the bite is light. Just a small “tick” on your line might indicate a fish has taken the bait. Give some time before setting the hook. As for shorelines and dock fishing a simple slip bobber rig is the way to go. Again, staying close the bottom is key. No more than 6-12” off. Water temps still hovering around 50 degrees. Water levels are good, this provides good currents in many bays and between island openings which tend to hold baitfish.
Looks like we have a good forecast for this coming Memorial weekend, temps will be in the mid-to-high 60’s. Great week to enjoy the abundant wildlife and beautiful sunrises and sunsets. You really need to savor the moment.
Many thanks to Jason Cooper, who wrote the fishing report, furnishing you with great tips and information to help put fish in your boat. Happy Fishing, Crabby 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)
Another great week to start off the open water fishing season! Fishing has been consistent even with the ever changing weather last week. Some boats still catching over 100 fish in a day, weeding through small fish to find good keeper walleyes and saugers. Key depths around 17-24' of water. Good fishing all across south shore. Fish are responsive to most kinds of bait right now but jig and a minnow is the best presentation with pink and gold jigs standing out. Some anglers pulling spinners. Others hit reefs in 25-30', also good. Jumbo perch and pike mixed in all over the lake.
Walleyes are still in the Rainy River but fishing has slowed besides a good morning bite. Most walleyes have headed back to the lake but some remain in the river. Same as the lake, a jig and a minnow have been best tactic for boating walleyes. Sturgeon fishing is closed until July 1st.
Up at the NW Angle, anglers are hammering fish. Many have limits before lunch during. Fish are all over islands such as Oak Island and Little Oak. Jig and a minnow up at the angle is the go to method. Gaining steam is trolling with cranks in the shallows or pulling spinners to keep baits moving. Colors should include chartreuse, pink, glow colors and some gold. Key depths ranged from 16-26' of water. Crappies can be found in Canada in 20' of water with sandy bays. Pike being found in current areas. Many smallmouth bass found with walleyes. Lodging, charters and guides are available at www.LakeoftheWoodsMN.com/Lodging
- Anderson's Resorts - www.andersonsleech-lake.com
Tim, (1-800-516-0077) (1-800-516-0077)
Leech Lake is going strong! We had a great opener and if it wasn't for the weather I think we would be having a banner year of catching! Our guests have been catching lots of walleyes in the 20- to 25-inch class on the main lake, lots of fun! They are nice and fat and are putting on a great fight. Jig/shiner is the best ticket, followed by Lindy rig with shiner, followed up by Lindy rig with leeches. Nine to 11 feet of water seem to be the best but don't be surprised if they are shallower! The main points Like Stoney, Rogers, Diamond,Otter tail, Pine all have been good! Pike action has also been great they have been hitting the shiner as well, and also almost anything shiny in the bays! We have had people catch and release smallmouth bass (Huddles reef area is on fire) and muskies fishing for walleyes! Crappie and panfish action was really good on opening weekend but with the rain and cooler weather has really slowed down. Fishing is only going to get better as the water temps continues to climb. If you have not already made vacation plans for June or the rest of the summer, do not worry there are still openings up here on Leech Lake! Our walleye limit is 4, protected slot 20-26. Come enjoy Leech Lake with us!
- Chris Kuduk's Guide Service - (320-630-1761)
Mille Lacs walleyes are on fire! One of the better openers in years! Strong smallmouth bite. We are looking to a banner year on Mille Lacs. Crappies biting on Mille Lacs in the south end channels and bays. Ann, Knife, Shakopee, Platte, Sullivan are producing a great panfish bite, also some walleyes and pike. The launches are ready, give Chris a call for a small or large boat trip! Listen to Outdoor Adventures on twincitiesnewstalk.com (iheart Radio) for reports from Chris! Call anytime for up-to-the-minute reports!
- Wayzata Bait & Tackle
Tim or Bob, half mile west off I-494 on Hwy 12 (952-473-2227)
Minnetonka evening walleye bite best with shiner minnows and bobbers on the inside weedlines in 6-10 feet. Try Lake Independence for shallow water walleyes and bass.
MISSISSIPPI - ST. CROIX
- Turk Gierke, Croixsippi Guide Service
The very good bite continues. Recent rains and high water have not bothered the bite as far as I can see. It is hard to beat livebait, crawlers and leeches – on a standard walleye “rig”. So the river is on a “slow no wake” for the whole river right now from Taylor falls, MN to Prescott, WI. The river will be locked down to closed throttle speeds for about five days I am guessing. I did some trolling on a brief outing to stay on top of the bite and did well trolling. So the livebait success is not the only thing. As truly there never is ONE way to do it. I have caught fish from 8 to 25 feet deep this last week. The river is not like a lake where there is a “set” depth to be in. The water has not dirtied as much as you would expect. Seems like the earth is sponging up the rain versus running off.
- Smokey Hills Outdoor Store, Josh Severtson, www.smokeyhills.com
19143 US HWY 71 N, Park Rapids, MN (218-237-5099)
Walleye- Search for 5'-14' of water in the thick vegetation. Look for the first sharp breaks and drop offs in the lake. Tie up a Lindy "Walleye Drift Rig" paired with either a redtail or leech.
Bass- Choosing between two methods in 1'-4' of water. Casting towards shore from a distance so you don't scare the fish up in the shallow water. Cast in or around the pencil reeds and lily pads to find the big mamas hiding. Tie on a Lunkerhunt "Pocket frog" for those fun explosions on top of the water! For the slower approach tie on a VMC "Wacky weedless" hook paired with a YUM "Dinger" for best results!
Crappie/Sunfish- In a variety of depths from 2'-8' depending on the average depth of the lake. Look for a lot of spawning structure such as timber, lily pads, and docks. Tie up a slip bobber a Custom jigs and spins "Flu-Flu" feather jig tipped with a crappie minnow or small leech to keep the kids busy!
The Park Rapids area lakes are often missed by those anglers driving all the way up to Red Lake or Lake of the Woods looking for lunker walleyes, stop by and speak with Josh in the fishing department of Smokey Hills Outdoor Store and he can point you in the right direction with up to date information on where and how to put an obese walleye on your wall! https://www.facebook.com/SmokeyHills/
- Wheaton Service & Bait www.wheatonservice.com
Neighbor Steve, 912 Broadway, Wheaton, MN (320-563-1400)
The walleye opener on Lake Traverse was April 22! And the weather was a 10! The walleye bite was a 5. A lot of male walleyes boated, but few reports of females caught, due to how close to spawning they are. In fact the spawn may be happening as I type:) The fishing on Lake Traverse only gets better as the water warms! Some very large catfish were caught over the weekend, the largest reported to us was 30 lbs. Nice fish! I believe Lake Traverse to be among the best the U.S. has to offer. Looking for a place to stay while fishing Lake Traverse? Wheaton Service now offers lodging a The Fishin' Hole Lodge. The Lodge offers a private parking lot, beds, kitchen area, pool table room with a wet bar, big screen TV's. Only you and your group stays at the lodge at a time. If you normally stay at the motel, Give us a try! You'll be glad you did:) Walleye Guides and Catfish Guides are also available. All full day guide packages come with a real SHORE LUNCH cooked over the open fire! Give us a call, we'd love to have you! 320-563-1400 and ask for Steve or Wheaton Service on FB, or Fishin' Hole Lodge on FB. Thanks a million and Take a Kid Fishin!
Mase's In Towne Marine - www.intownemarina.com
Cindy, corner of Lake and Elm (952-442-2096)
Good early season walleye spots are Rock Dock, Carp Trap (Peterson’s Creek on the NW side of the lake) and Harm’s Point. It might be a good idea to head to the breaks off reefs such as North, Kegs, Red’s or Anderson’s. Slip bobber fishing is a great approach, but if you don’t have the patience for that, jigging with a fathead or leech is smart. When the weather has been reasonable, anglers have been pulling out crappies in the 10 to 11 inch range with some bigger. Most of the spring, fishing out in Waconia Bay has been best in 12 to 15 feet of water. With water temps rising, we expect the shallow bite to pick up, with crappies likely to be found around the reeds on the NW side of the lake, Pillsbury Reef/Old Camp Manakiki area, shallow weeds on the north end and around the marinas.
- Walleye Visions - www.mnfishingconnections.com
Tom Neustrom, 21622 Airport Rd, Grand Rapids, email@example.com, (218-327-2312)
With the cooler weather of late look for walleyes to hang shallow before heading off shore. All the points from Sugar, Ravens, Mallard, to Stony Point are great spots to try. Depths of 6-12 best. VMC mooneye jigs and a shiner have been productive or with a slip sinker rig with a shiner.