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 Ottertail, West Battle Lake, Clitherall. Try West Battle Lake and Clitherall early morning or evening using leeches on snell hooks in 20-30 feet. On Ottertail try 10-20 feet using leeches on plain hook snells (no spinners). Panfish and crappie lakes to try are West Battle, East Battle, Clitherall, Silver. Use nightcrawlers or waxworms for the panfish and crappie minnows for the crappies. For bass action, pitch jigs and minnows in the weeds or throw spinner baits, plastic frogs etc. Try are Donald Lake, West Battle, Silver Lake, Johnson Lake,Stalker Lake. Northern pike are in the 15-20 foot weedlines hitting sucker minnows on snells or try using spoons. Best pike lakes are Donald, Ottertail, West Battle.
- Veire's Mini-Mart - Visit our Facebook Page
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)
Island Lake and Blackduck Lake have been producing walleyes in 15-20 feet of water using leeches. Other lakes that have been producing walleyes and panfish are Gull and Pimushe along the weed edges using leeches and crawlers.
- Leisure Outdoor Adventures - www.leisureoutdooradventures.com
Jason Freed, Toby Kvalevog, Jeff Andersen (1-855-LOA-HOOK or 1-855-562-4665)
9-26- Fall Fishing is finally starting to arrive, which can sometimes be on the best times to be on Leech Lake. Walleye are schooling up on windblown structure and actively feeding for the upcoming winter months. For those anglers who love to jig and minnow fish, now is the time. The best bite has been by far an 1/8th oz jig with a golden shiner or rainbow. Some of our favorites are the KenKatch long shank and KenKatch 3D eye jigs. Colors are endless, but start with your confidence color and go from there. Pay attention to sunlight and water clarity when choosing colors. More important your cadence is everything. Fish the wind blown structure such as points and shorelines. Pine, Big Hardwoods, Ottertail have all been good.
Perch fishing is great right now, but you will have to do some sorting. Walker Narrows, Agency Bay and Cedar Point have all had fish on them. Fish them the same way you would for walleyes but shallower in 4-7 feet.
Get out and enjoy the lake and fall weather! Still time to get out on a guided fishing trip whether it is walleye, perch, or musky.
- Frankie's Live Bait and Marine - www.frankies.net
Brad, Corner of Hwy 8 and CR 77 (651-257-6334)
Walleyes biting in 15 to 20 feet on South Lindstrom using bobbers/leeches or some shiner minnows. North Center is proucing a mixed bag of panfish, bass and pike. Call us for more details!
- Marine General - www.marinegeneral.com
1501 London Road, on the edge of Lake Superior (218-724-8833)
Lake Superior action is best at Two Harbors and Silver Bay. Spoons producing lake trout in 100 feet. Coho salmon being caught in the top 40 feet. Island Lake is producing walleyes and smallies. Use minnows or leeches for the walleyes or buzzbaits along the shorelines for smallmouth. Walleyes and bluegills are biting in 10-15 feet 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)
10-12- Walleye succes recently has been a hit or miss opportunity on many of the local lakes. Some anglers are reporting good catches of "eyes" in deeper sections of water as the temps begin to fall, in some cases such as on Snowbank Lake down to fifty-five feet. Anglers fishing the same lake have been relegated to just a few keepers in the fourteen to sixteen inch range fish while plying relatively shallow waters. Action on the Prairie Portage end of Basswood Lake has been slow, while those fishing the Pipestone end are having much more success. Pike and smallmouth bass action on the other hand has been very good on most lakes as the leaves begin to fall. Live bait such as suckers fished either under a float or slow-trolled in five to fifteen feet of water has been the way to go for some, but just as many anglers have been whacking some really nice fish trolling or casting spinner baits and larger crank baits. Crappie action remains good with some reaching the sixteen inch mark. Birch Lake leads the pack in giving up some hefty stringers, but some of the smaller lakes like Johnson, East Twin and One pine are still producing good numbers of keepers too.
Swanson's Bait & Tackle - www.swansonsbait.com
Jim Tuller, Hwy 371 on the north end of Hackensack (218-675-6176)
Walleyes can be found in or around the cabbage or coontail weeds. The deep humps and weedline bite has also been producing walleyes at a good clip. Redtail chubs or nightcrawlers have been the ticket. Bass and Pike can be found on the shallow weed flats or suspended off the deep weedline. Carolina rigs and jigs for the deep bite and crankbaits and spinnerbaits for the shallow flat bite. Panfish are either working the bullrush edges or inside and outside weedline edges. Be patient and you'll get rewarded with time and persistence. Muskies have been on the move with multiple fish days reported. Try fast moving baits like bucktails, spinnerbaits or prop baits. Find the weed / rock areas for high success areas. Good luck to all and enjoy what's left of summer 2016!
- 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)
10-17-Mild fall so far as we enjoy Indian summer. Water temp still hanging around 50 degrees. Anglers finding walleye bite sporadic, but walleye are hitting the bait a little harder. This past week walleyes were showing up in 29-32’ of water, and outside the weed edges at 12-15’. Minnows, the preferred bait, but the weed edge bite finds crawlers working. Many big pike being caught, spoons, spinners or sucker minnows. Sauger and perch still being caught with walleyes and a very slow crappie bite. Bird hunting a bit better with the loss of foliage making bird sighting easier. Beautiful sunrises and sunsets still showing off in Voyageurs National Park. For folks that remember Garrett & Carol Rasmussen, Garrett owned Rocky Point Resort (1984-1992) and most recently entertained at many businesses, weddings and parties in the area as The Garrett & Carol Karaoke Show (2004-Present). Garrett passed away August 14, 2016 after a 12 month battle with cancer. On Saturday, October 22 there is a Memorial Service for Garrett at the Kabetogama Methodist Church at 10am. A Celebration of Life and Benefit will follow at Ash Ka Nam Resort with a Spaghetti Dinner, games, raffles, entertainment and fun from 1:00pm - ….whenever the party ends(in true Garrett Party Style). Hope to see you all yet this fall, 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)
Excellent fall fishing continues! Walleye in 15-25 feet of water with a jig and a minnow all along south shore, Pine Island, Long Point, Zippel Bay and up north near Garden, Knight Bridges Islands and NW Point. Both gaps, Morris Point and Lighthouse producing walleyes. Bright colors or gold tipped with a frozen or live shiner. Good numbers of jumbo perch along south shore mixed in with walleye and saugers. Big pike active in bays.
The Rainy River walleye fishing is going well. Definitely good numbers of walleyes in the River. Some big fish also. Anywhere from Four Mile Bay all the way up to Birchdale eyes are being caught in good numbers. These fish are transient, but once you find them, game on. Jig and a shiner doing best. Pink, gold and glow. 15-25' of water. Mornings / evenings are best. Sturgeon bite has been strong.
Up at the Northwest Angle, walleyes in 12 to 30 feet. Jigging the preferred method. Gold, pink and green tipped with minnows have been hot. Areas to check out are the gap between Oak and Flag Islands, Soldier Point, South side of Oak and Hay Islands. On the Ontario side, crappie action continues with quite a few nice slabs! Look for deep points off Islands 30 feet or more and places where sunken trees and timber are present. Use electronics to locate schools of fish, then use a jig and minnow or plastic combo to put slabs in the boat. Walleye fishing continues to be lights out! Depths of 15 to 30 feet have been best with a jig and minnow combo being the best producer. Points and bays best. Musky anglers trolling large crankbaits with success, lots of big fish. Red is hot color. Resorts and guides are available at LakeoftheWoodsMN.com/Lodging.
- Anderson's Resorts - www.andersonsleech-lake.com
Tim, (1-800-516-0077) (1-800-516-0077)
9-29-Cooler weather has been the ticket! Water temp is in the low 60's and the jig and minnow is the ticket for walleyes! Reefs and points come back into play... don't forget to try shallow also. We have caught them up into 4 feet of water! Muskie fishermen should be fishing right now they are biting! Perch are also biting. The trick is finding big ones! Bass are going strong, work the rice and forage in the bays for some great action! So if you still have your boat out it's time to hook it up and make tracks to Leech Lake! Bonus if you bring your shotgun! The underbrush is losing their leaves, so grouse hunting is an option!
- Chris Kuduk's Guide Service - (320-630-1761)
The smallie bite is on fire on Mille Lacs! Anglers are having luck at the south end, Cove Bay, Big Point, Wigwam Bay. Gull Island on the east side has been hot as well. Try pitching tubes, crayfish jigs, plastics, crankbaits, mostly anything is working. Muskie starting to strike and some pike too. Panfish are biting on smaller area lakes like Platte, Sullvan, Ann, Knife and Shakopee in deeper waters. Call for small boat trips and launch trips! Listen to Outdoor Adventures on iHeart Radio for fishing reports or call Chris anytime!
MILLE LACS, AITKIN, BRAINERD LAKES
- Jeff Hanson's Guide Service
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)
Muskies are hitting the 6-10 foot shorelines on 6 to 10 Minnetonka and Independence. Topwater baits working best. Walleyes are in deeper waters on Minnetonka. Sarah and Independence are producing crappies and sunnies in 5-10 feet.
MISSISSIPPI - ST. CROIX
- Turk Gierke, Croixsippi Guide Service
9-29-The leaves are taking on a red, yellow, and orange tint and about two weeks away from peak color. The St. Croix River Valley sure looks nice. Last two trips have been windy and difficult to fish, but weather will be followed by low wind and blue skies for a few days.
Fishing has been over all good. We are seeing the big bonus of autumn – big walleye!
Here is Susan holding a very fine St. Croix River walleye. This fish hit a crawler on a lindy rig 15 feet deep. Hooking big walleye in this shallow water is a great battle. Susan landed this big one very well. Catch and release.
The fall season is when big fish either come back onto the structure from being off shore or just bite better… Either way we see bigger fish every autumn. Now until mid November is one of the best chances to get a strike from a big eye.
Here is Rhonda with a nice walleye. I had a fun trip with her crew. C & R.
All the big eyes are not trophy of course but the size in general goes up.
Here is Jeff with a “big” eater. A good example of the fish that swim in the river.
You can troll or rig or soon jig walleye up this time of year. the fish will drop deeper as the water cools. The trick this season is that the water is rising and has been high since early July. This will keep fish shallower.
Mark is happy with his rigged up eye. His buddies Jeff and Dan bought him a trip to Croixsippi guide service as a retirement present. Nice friends! we had a great time and caught fish. Mark landed this on a crawler and small bladed spinner rig.
Numbers (aka eaters) late last week Bret and Brent got a nice two man limit of eaters.
Fish fry time! Brent (right) and Bret. All fish were rigged up on live bait. Nicely done guys!
Now back to the “you never know what you’ll catch category.”
Walleyes and saugers 12 to 26 feet deep, we have been getting fish on Raps and crawlers.
- Smokey Hills Outdoor Store, Josh Severtson, www.smokeyhills.com
19143 US HWY 71 N, Park Rapids, MN (218-237-5099)
Walleye – With most of the nights falling below 60 degrees now, the water temp on the surface is starting to cool down, triggering most fish to start packing on the pounds for the long frigid northern Minnesota winters. Still hanging around the weed lines in about 16’-22’ of water. On the hunt for a VMC “Neon Moon Eye” either rigged under a slip bobber or dropped to the bottom and jigged. Both methods paired with a redtail or crawler works well.
Northern Pike – Hunkered down in the thickest weed growth in anywhere from 8’-16’. Looking for an easy perch or shiner to swim by. Find a lure that resembles a perch or shiner or tie on a Rapala “Rippin Rap” to imitate the bait fish and to fish any various depth.
Bass – Similar to last week, the majority of the bigger bass will be out in 12’-16’ of water. For deeper swimming bass tie on a VMC “Heavy duty wide gap” hook paired with a YUM “Christie Craw” to get down to their depths. For the shallower fish up in the pads, cabbage, and around docks tie on a Lunkerhunt “Pocket Frog” or “Combat Frog” that will make bass jump out of the water!
Sunfish/Crappie – Scattered through 5’-15’ in the thicker cabbage beds, coontails, and deep growing bulrushes. Mostly on the hunt for a Lindy “Little Nipper” either underneath a slip bobber or even cast and retrieve. Tip the little nipper with a crappie minnow, worm, or waxy for best luck at filling the bucket.
Josh Severtson w/Smokey Hills Outdoor Store
Need advice or help on how to do it? Come see Josh in the fishing department!
- Wheaton Service & Bait www.wheatonservice.com
Neighbor Steve, 912 Broadway, Wheaton, MN (320-563-1400)
9-29- The fall bite has started on Lake Traverse!!!! The walleyes are cranking up!! My favorite time of the year!! Looking for a place for your fishing group to stay this fall when you're here fishing this fall? Take a look at Wheaton Service's Fishin Hole Lodge, our lodge is rented by the group. Fishin Hole Lodge also offers stay and fish/speer packages for ice fishing. 2 day/2 nite packages start at $169.99 per person. Wheaton Service is also the home of Fishin Hole Lodge fish houses. Lite wieght, all aluminum skid houses bilt right here at Wheaton Service. Many colors to choose from! When you stop in to get bait, check out our line of fish shacks! Give us a call and book a date for a Minnesota ice fishing experience! Take a Kid Fishin!
Mase's In Towne Marine - www.intownemarina.com
Cindy, corner of Lake and Elm (952-442-2096)
As we shift towards fall, we have new hours! We will be open the rest of the season thru Saturday, October 1st. Hours are Monday thru Friday 11:30 am to Sunset, and Saturday & Sunday from 8 am to Sunset. See you at the lake!
- Walleye Visions - www.mnfishingconnections.com
Tom Neustrom, 21622 Airport Rd, Grand Rapids, email@example.com, (218-327-2312)
Weather has been a big dictator on the walleye bite for Big Winnie. Besides all that the fishing has been good. Many of the humps and bars are turning out catches of big fish and eaters as well. Crawlers and leeches on rigs have been best for the deeper bite. The shallows in and around weed beds all over the lake have also been excellent choices. We have been pulling spinners with a half crawler, leech or a minnow at speeds of 1.0 to 1.5 mph and doing quite well. Stony Point, Tamarac, Musky Bay, and the Bird Houses are great places to try spinner presentations. Covering water trolling crank baits has also been good with bonus northern pike in the mix. A new bait from Rapala the Shad Dancer is a bait to try. Great action and dives from 8-11 feet. Panfish have been okay and expect that to get better in the upcoming weeks. Weed edges with small baits and spinners have been taking crappies in Big Cutfoot lake. Perch fishing on the north rocks has been good. Sorting through the smaller ones to keep nicer perch has provided plenty of action. Summer is winding down so get out and enjoy Big Winnie and all it has to offer.