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)
For walleyes, fish 12-15 feet around weed edges using leeches or crawlers on jigs or snells. Best lakes have been Ottertail, West Battle and Silver. Panfish are in the 10-15 foot weeds on West Battle, Round and Silver. For sunfish use leeches, crawlers or waxworms and for crappies, try crappie minnows on little jigs (flu-flu, moon glows). The docks and weed beds are producing bass with spinnerbaits, jigs and plastic or jigs/minnows. Lakes to try are Silver, Fiske, Donald, South Turtle. Northern pike are in the 15-20 foot weedlines hitting spinners and sucker minnows or spoons. Try Donald, Fiske, Silver or Round. The muskies are in shallow areas by docks, weeds and rocks. Use bucktails or jakes on West Battle.
- 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)
Walleyes are biting on Island, Blackduck and Round Lake on leeches or nightcrawlers in 15-20 feet. Panfish are at the weedlines on Pimushe, Gilstead and Gull.
- Leisure Outdoor Adventures - www.leisureoutdooradventures.com
Jason Freed, Toby Kvalevog, Jeff Andersen (1-855-LOA-HOOK or 1-855-562-4665)
Here is your Leech Lake, Brainerd, Cass Lake and Mille Lacs Fishing Guide Report for the week of June 26th. Our Fishing Guide team has been busy chasing walleyes all over Central Minnesota and with great success. With this time of year comes changing weather patterns, bug hatches, and a transition period for walleyes throughout the region. Lets see what was happening this week.
With the big winds this week we were not able to venture out as far, so not a whole lot to report from the Main Lake. When it isn’t blowing too hard, the main lake rock reefs were kicking out nice Leech Lake walleyes in 14-18 feet of water. Pulling lindy rigs with crawlers or leeches as well as slow death at .5-.8 mph was the best. Speed is the key when dialing in these fish. Our Leech Lake fishing guides found a nice mix of eaters and bigger fish. Still many of the same places as last week were producing in North Bar, Fletchers, Ivans, Submarine, etc, but don’t forget to look for secondary reefs and humps that are nearby or if the fish are not on the edges of those reefs look to the mud basins where the bug hatches are taking place and drive until you graph fish.
On the west end of the lake in Walker Bay and Agency Bays, shoreline breaks that had wind blowing in were the best. 14-20ft of water is where we keyed in on. Pulling lindy rigs with chubs, leeches, or crawlers all worked to put a nice mix of walleyes and even some nice pike in the boat. Other areas to key in on would be under water points and bars that run out into the bays and have deep water right next to them the bigger fish like to suspend and then come in and feed during these times.
Well all you can say about Mille Lacs Walleye Fishing right now is WOW. This lake seems incredibly healthy and the fish are on the chow! We spent a few days last week fishing and guiding with awesome results. Our best luck was on the mud flats. We focused on the North end of the lake and found great success on the top edges in 25-27 feet of water and at the base of the mud flats in 30-33 feet of water pulling spinners with crawler and lindy rigging with crawlers or leeches. Also have heard reports of guys pulling leadcore for those suspended fish. Honestly if you use your electronics, play the wind, and drive until you mark fish you will catch walleyes out there and many that are big ones! .8-1.1 MPH was the best speed when trolling spinners and often times covering ground until you found pods of fish. If they didn’t go on the spinners then slowing it down and working over top of them was able to produce bites. Don’t forget other tactics such as power corking or looking to the rock reefs such as Myr Mar or Garrison to target these fish.
Smallmouth fishing was alright. The best reports came off of the rock reefs in 6-12 feet of water depending on the day and conditions. Brown and Blue tubes, jerk baits, and top waters on calm days were all good tactics. Best thing to do is avoid the crowds and try to find those isolated boulder piles or areas and the action can be fast and furious.
Under water points have been holding fish on Cass Lake of late. 12-15 feet in the early morning hours or cloudy days and 17-22 feet during the day. One key has been to find schools of baitfish and the Walleyes have been close by. Spinners or slow death rigs with a crawler have been dynamite. Clear days, the need to slow down and let the bait coax the Walleyes into biting means means Lindy rigs with leeches, crawlers or redtails. The key on Cass is to fish fish; drive structure using your Lowrance sonar until you mark fish. Don't simply fish a spot, trust your electronics and fish fish!
Fishing has been pretty darn good around the Brainerd Lakes Area! Walleyes have been biting on Gull, North Long, and Whitefish. Keeping an open mind on what technique to use has been important because some days the walleyes will be in the weeds, and other days they are off the weed edge. When the walleyes are in the weeds, pitching a jig/minnow or a jig/plastic into the cabbage weeds is best. If that does not produce walleyes, then switch to a slip bobber and leech. Cast the bobber into the weed pockets and let it sit for a few minutes, and if it does not get bit, re-cast the bobber and tr a new spot. If you can graph fish out on the weed edge, use a Lindy Rig with a redtail minnow, creek chub, leech, or night crawler. The best depths for the weed walleyes is 5-12 feet and the deeper fish normally will be located from 10-30 feet of ater. Be sure to fish the windy weed beds first as this will drive the bait fish into those areas.
Until next week
Leisure Outdoor Adventures Guide Team
- 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 7/10/17
It's been a good week to be fishing in the Ely area. The weather has finally given us a reprieve from the rain showers, and the mayfly hatch is finally winding down. Fishing pressure was light, as normally is the case folowing a holiday weekend, so there was little competition for prime fishing spots. Crawlers and leeches led the way for live bait presentations for walleyes. Minnows become harder to keep for many anglers that are reluctant to keep their bait cool and aerated with the warmer temps outside, and crawlers and leeches can be kept in the cooler alongside your favorite beverage. Spinner rigs have been a preferred offering, but some anglers are finding success working deep diving crank baits in mid-range structures such as sunken reefs and islands. Smallmouth bass anglers are being rewarded with some great top water action early and late in the day. Mid-day action seems to favor soft baits such as crawfish imitations, and swim baits worked in rubble, weed edges and sunken timber. A good way to get the kids in on some action is to suspend a leech under a bobber. It usually doesn't take long for a hungry bass to find it. Northern pike are smashing top water baits as well, as bass fishermen are finding out, but spinner baits a large crank baits are scoring too.
Swanson's Bait & Tackle - www.swansonsbait.com
Caleb Garoutte, Hwy 371 on the north end of Hackensack (218-675-6176)
We're definitely moving into a summer pattern with the walleye in the area. Fish tend to be deep over 15' and are starting to spread out on larger flats. Rigging with a nightcrawler has been the go-to way to find them. Take advantage of the windy/cloudy days as these have produced consistently on most lakes, especially Leech Lake.
Woman lake has been very good the last couple of weeks, but it has been coming down to normal. There are still good numbers being caught out there, but it is performing more in line with the other local lakes like Little Boy, Baby, Birch, and Ten Mile. The crawler bite has definitely taken hold on many of these lakes now that we're coming out of the bug hatches.
The bass have been bellying up to the banks waiting for frogs. Get into the weeds deep with jigs and frogs, especially during the warmer parts of the day. Early morning and evening are finding fish on the outside edges more and deeper water.
If you're looking to fill a pan full of crappie, suspend a crappie minnow under a bobber in 6-14' in the evenings and early mornings. Find the growing cabbage and/or deep stick piles near beaver lodges. If you don't want to watch a bobber, long line your favorite crappie jig over the weed flats and troll around - this can be a great way to find pockets of fish you can jig or bobber fish.
Muskie action has been hit and miss as usual this time of year. Mix it up with different jerkbaits and plastics to produce when bucktails aren't performing. Don't be afraid to snap on a topwater over the cabbage flats in the evenings or after dark either!
- 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)
Bite remains strong despite an inconsistent weather pattern
After two and a half days of rain and strong easterly winds the weather has cleared and vacationers are once again out on the lake. Just before the weather hit the reports were good and it has picked up right where it left off. Water temps have been hovering around 70 degree mark.
The rule of thumb these days are if its windy go shallow, say 7’-10’ and if not, hit the reefs. The mid lake reefs and island areas are now consistently producing walleye and perch in various depths. The key to a successful day is locating active fish. Once found, a lindy rig tipped with a crawler or leech is doing well. Using a 2’-3’ snell will help keep your bait near the bottom and increase your odds of being in the zone. When fishing shallow, use the same approach or even try pitching a small a small jig tipped with a minnow. No day is the same so try changing up your presentation and your bait until you find something that works. Try areas around Big Martin, Cuculus and Chase islands.
Larger northern pike have moved off to cooler water but good fishing is still being had casting rocky shorelines and weedy bays. Many reports of fish in the 3-7lb range. Casting just about anything will work but larger spoons and crankbaits are doing well. Sucker minnows under a bobber can also be productive and a fun way to spend the day and take in the sights.
Small mouth bass reports are scattered. As usual, casting rocky shorelines with smaller Rapalas and Mepps spinners will work.
For those wanting to do some sighting, visit any one of the Voyageurs National Park visitor centers and plan a trip. They have plenty of options including informational tours, canoeing and trips to Kettle Falls. Plan ahead as this is a popular way to see the park!
There have been numerous sightings of a couple large buck deer up around the Zollner to Cemetery island area. I am certain they are the same deer we have been seeing for a couple years now. They are in full velvet and quite a sight.
Blueberries are ripening and ready for picking. There is plenty to go around If you can beat the bear and other blueberry loving critters to the patch! Don’t forget your bug spray.
BINGO is still in full swing at the Kabetogama “Town” Hall on Tuesdays and Thursdays at 8:00pm. It’s a great way to meet new people and have fun!
See you on the water!
Jason & Robyn Cooper
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)
Full coolers and big smiles were the theme this week as walleye fishing remains hot. Spinners with crawlers or minnows are putting lots of fish in the boat in 16-30 ft. Gold, glow and bright colors continue to be solid choices. Pike active, perch and smallmouth bite in many areas of the lake. Mayfly hatch on parts of the lake.
Anglers in the Rainy River finding some walleyes with morning/evening. Trolling cranks or pulling spinners producing the best. Smallmouth bass in good numbers along shorelines, bridge embankments and feeder streams. Sturgeon fishing is on fire with good numbers being caught.
Up at the NW Angle, fishing remains lights out. The areas by Crowduck and Garden Island all holding big schools of walleyes. Spinners with crawlers in 20-24 feet. Crankbaits also producing good numbers. On the Canadian side, jigging and pulling spinners on reefs is filling coolers. Muskie fishing good with the a few 50's caught while casting bucktails over wed/rock transitions. Algae Bloom minimal, visibility still good . 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)
It's a great year to be on Leech Lake! The walleye bite this spring was off the charts with lots and lots of big walleyes being caught! Lots of slot fish (20-26 inches) as well which are still a blast to catch, but plenty of keeper size fish (14-19 inches) as well! The mayflies have hatched and the bite has slowed up for some but pulling spinners with crawlers or a leech has been very productive in 9-12 feet and on some of the deeper humps in 15-25 feet. Slip bobbers with a leech has been hot, or pulling crankbaits on the weedlines or on top of rock piles in the evenings in 7-12 feet has been effective. Prime areas right now have been around Pelican Island, Huddles Reef, and north end of Walker Bay have been kicking out some nice fish! Panfish bite has been limited but perch have been hitting in the shallow weeds. Muskie season has gotten off to a solid start with a few mid 40 inch fish being caught! With the warm temperatures in sight they should be in full swing! If you haven't made vacation plans yet we still have openings! Give us a call and come enjoy beautiful Leech Lake with us!
- Chris Kuduk's Guide Service - (320-630-1761)
Mille Lacs Lake fishing is on fire! Anglers are bobber fishing in the evenings or rigging in the mud with great results! Pike and muskies are also being caught and smallmouth bite is going great guns! Try 3 Mile, Big Point, Garrison Reef or any reef with crankbaits or tube jigs. Platte, Sullivan, Shakoppe, Ann and Knife are produing a great panfish bite! Call Chris for up-to-the-minute reports or to book a launch trip or a small boat trip! Listen to Chris at 5 pm on Outdoor Adventures on www.twincitiesnewstalk.com (iheart Radio)!
- 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
Walleyes on the St. Croix are hitting various baits from crankbaits, crawlers, leeches, and minnows in depths from 18 to 28 feet. Some good-sized walleyes are being caught and these fish are in the 21 to 24 inch range. Saugers hit well in July and found deeper than walleyes many of these delicious fish are perfect eating size in the 14 to 17 inch range. Good colors for walleye are white/silver, blues, and chartreuse, as well as firetiger. Spinner blades in silver are productive as well.
Smallmouth are hitting lures presented deeper than previous weeks and depths from 8 to 18 feet are holding these hard fighting fish (in fact they fight stronger as the water warms). Smallmouth are caught on jigs, leeches, plastic worms and crankbaits. White bass are not schooling up on the surface, hopefully that changes - but we have not seen the massive schools surface feeding for at least six years. Catfish activity traditionally picks up in July as do the Muskie. River water is clear and the elevation above sea level is 677 feet.
- Smokey Hills Outdoor Store, Josh Severtson, www.smokeyhills.com
19143 US HWY 71 N, Park Rapids, MN (218-237-5099)
Walleye/Northern- With the water temps hovering around the high 60's on the majority of the area lakes the main group of walleyes have been marked and caught between 10'-16' of water. The bite switching from minnows to leeches and crawlers. Tie up a Lindy "Walleye Spinner" with a 1/2 oz walking sinker for the perfect weight.
Bass- starting to spread out between 1'-8' in the thickest weed beds, lily pad patches, and timber piles. Rig up a VMC "Wacky Weedless" hook and team it with a Yum "Dinger" in a variety of colors from light to dark depending on the lake's clarity and food source.
Sunfish/Crappie- Still staged around the shallows from 6'-12' looking for either sandy bottoms, pencil reeds, or cabbage for cover. Tie on a slip bobber paired with a VMC "Hot Skirt" or Northland "Fire Fly" jig tipped with a crappie minnow or small leech for best luck at filling the bucket!
- Wheaton Service & Bait www.wheatonservice.com
Neighbor Steve, 912 Broadway, Wheaton, MN (320-563-1400)
Walleye bite has been picking up! Some very large catfish being caught, 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)
Reports of late-afternoon walleyes biting in the same areas as the crappies. Most common walleye areas continue to be around Cemetery, Kegs and North Reefs in 12 to 17 feet of water. Bass continue to bite in most depths as well.
- Walleye Visions - www.mnfishingconnections.com
Tom Neustrom, 21622 Airport Rd, Grand Rapids, firstname.lastname@example.org, (218-327-2312)
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.