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 Otter Tail and Fish Lake in 5 feet. Crappies and sunfish biting on Elbow and Clitherall. Try Elbow Lake for northern pike in the shallow weeds.
- 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 are biting in 10-14 feet on Blackduck, Gull and Island lakes. For crappies and bluegills try Rabideau, Gilstead and Blackduck.
- Leisure Outdoor Adventures - www.leisureoutdooradventures.com
Toby Kvalevog and Jeff Andersen (1-855-LOA-HOOK or 1-855-562-4665)
Kind of a slower week this last week. One might call it the dog days of summer. Right now the key to success on the lake is to take advantage of those key feeding times. The early morning bite, evening bite, and those certain feeding periods during the day are what are producing the best fishing. Pay attention to the solunar calendar major and minor feeding times, although not 100% accurate is does more often than not prove to be correct. Also when the wind picks up, changes direction, cloud cover rolls in, or any weather change are other things to key in on to catch active fish. Right now with all of the bait in the lake, the fish don't have to work too hard if they won't want to.
On the South End of the Main Lake, trolling crankbaits and spinners has been the most productive. Secondary Rock Reefs found off of well known pieces of structure, in 18-25feet are all producing fish. Diamond Point, Rogers Point, Huddles and Variety Reef, and the reefs off of Big Rock Reef have all had bites from day to day. The crank bait bite is best trolling off of long steep breaks or large basins such as the ones found in Portage Bay or Paris Trench. Leadcore, long lining, or planer boards are all effective ways to fish crank baits for walleyes.
Musky fishing is starting to pick up and with the warm temperatures we will be facing this week, they should really start to move. Weed bays or long stretches of isolated cabbage such as the ones found in Portage Bay are a good place to start casting bucktails or twitch baits. Also the main lake rocks are heating up and more fish are being seen near Mokey, Submarine Island, and Pelican Island. The best is yet to come here.
On the West End, Walker Bay continues to be the most consistent. Fishing the Humps in 18-35ft of water with a leech, crawler, or chub has produced the most fish, with many being slots. Keepers are still relating mainly to the shoreline breaks in 18-30ft of water on windy days. Aggressive tactics such as throwing swim baits or rippin raps in 6-10ft of water early in the day or in the evening has also produced keepers to put in the livewell.
The other local lakes are producing great smallmouth and largemouth fishing as well as some great bluegill and crappie fishing. Look to the weed edges in the more and evenings for the crappies with deep water adjacent. Both smallies and largemouth are relating to weedlines or small mouth to transitions between rocks and gravel. A jig/worm or small jig tipped with a leech are both productive and ways to fish them.
Until next week
- Frankie's Live Bait and Marine - www.frankies.net
Brad, Corner of Hwy 8 and CR 77 (651-257-6334)
Try Chisago, Green, North Center and South Center lakes for bass and crappies. Walleyes biting in 12-18 feet on Green and Chisago.
- Marine General - www.marinegeneral.com
1501 London Road, on the edge of Lake Superior (218-724-8833)
Crappies biting in 12-14 feet of water 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)
The weather has been very hot recently, and that has determined how most anglers have been approaching the fish. During the mid-day heat, those willing to endure the sun and temperatures have been doing fairly well trolling over the deeper holes for walleye, then reverting back to shoreline structure as evening approaches. Nighttime fishing has become commonplace. Shoreline and dock anglers are dotting the lakes with lighted slip bobbers, targeting the walleyes as they chase bait into the shallows.
Good numbers of small mouth bass and pike are being taken in water less than eight feet, but the larger of the species have been holding from five to fifteen feet down.
Lake trout have been responding well to spoons trolled in thirty to fifty feet of water. Keep an eye on your locator for bait fish schools as the lakers seem to be trailing them. Some minor depth adjustments to your rig can make the difference in whether you hook up or not. Crappie and sunny fishermen have been pulling good numbers throughout the day, but the hottest bite for crappies seems to be the last hour of daylight.
- Fish On Bait & Sport www.habitatnow.com
Kyle, 201 S Franklin St, 2 blocks south of stoplights in Glenwood (320-634-3667)
Sunfish and crappie bite has been good with good sizes…but the bite has been challenging at times. A lot of fish down there, just have to try different techniques to get them to bite. Freshwater shrimp have been working the best. We have all the favorite bait on hand as well as a full line of tackle...along with advice and destinations to try. 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" now and ideas for habitat projects to improve their property. Also visit the Habitat Outlet on line at www.HabitatNOW.com for all your spring and fall habitat needs.
Swanson's Bait & Tackle - www.swansonsbait.com
Jim Tuller, Hwy 371 on the north end of Hackensack (218-675-6176)
Walleyes can be found along most weedlines and transitions. Pulling spinners with crawlers or leeches seems to be a good option as well as pitching light jigs in the cabbage! This is also the time of year to get the crankbaits out and troll weed edges, flats and edges of struture. Fishing on Leech has been excellent with fish being caught in as shallow as 8' on windy days and out in 20' to 30' in Walker Bay on calm days.
It sounds as though most schools of panfish are being caught on weedlines, cabbage beds, or under pads. A Slip bobber and a small minnow is the fastest way to get a limit in the boat but can be caught on a variety of small jigs and plastics!
Bass can be found deep, shallow and anywhere in between. Try jigs and deep running crankbaits for the fish in the depths - spinnerbaits, lipless cranks and jigs for the middle level bass and frogs, jigs and buzzbaits for those shallow water bass. Be versatile and don't spend too much time on one technique if the bites are sparse!
Muskies are still holding on the outside edge of weedbeds and cabbage beds and the bite should only get better over the next week!
Remember to enter your fishing pictures on our facebook page this month to be entered to win a No. 8 Tackle Hellbent Panfish Rod!
Good luck this week and be safe!
- 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)
A very warm week left water sports enthusiasts happy and anglers disappointed. Yes, fishing was tough during the heat of the day, with best success early morning and late afternoon into evening. Water temp on the surface is steadily in the high 70’s to low 80’s with the water levels just right for accurate map to actual depth representation. Water level right now is near perfect for dock use. Walleyes are schooling up in deeper water, not always active till they move shallower to feed. This time of year in these conditions look to deep structure that offers a shallow shelf or ledge where the waters cooler and changing structure holds bait fish. On Kab a few spots like this are Sugarbush Island, both sides of the channel, Martin Islands, West side of Chase Island, Blind Ash and entering Lost Bay at Yoder Island. Surprisingly we have reports of lots of big walleye and pike coming out of waters less than 10’. Namakan has been kicking out a few limits of fish if you’re willing to travel, lots and lots of deep to shallow structure. Depths of over 80’ quite common in that body of water. This time of year hone in on your slip sinker skills, a Lindy Rig or egg sinker with swivel and snell using leeches or crawlers is your best choice for walleyes. Slip bobber rigs on shorelines in the evenings is an enjoyable way to fish and can be productive. If you are not prepared, biting flies can pester you, either lather up or troll artificial lures moving faster, you then get relief from hot sun and flies along with a nice choice of fish. Prepare yourself with beverages, sun lotion and repellent and enjoy the beautiful summer, the land of sky blue waters. BINGO continues on Tuesday and Thursday Nights at the Kabetogama Community Center at 8:00 pm. Hope to See you Soon, 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)
Bite continues to be good. Walleyes, saugers and some jumbo perch are being caught anchored up jigging with frozen shiners, drifting with spinners/crawlers and trolling crankbaits. Try Long Point area and around reefs in 28-33'. Lots of walleyes still being caught around and north of Garden Island pulling spinners. On Big Traverse, trust your electronics. Find fish on graph and fish them. If calm, jig or pull cranks. If a breeze, drift with spinners.
On the Rainy River, sturgeon are being caught! Try upriver east of Frontier. Deep Pockets still best, anchoring shallow and presenting bait in deeper hole. Use a 5/0 circle hook with a gob of crawlers and 3-4 oz no roll sinker in 20 feet. Walleye fishing best during afternoon and evening hours in 16-19 feet with a jig and minnow. Try around the airport, International Bridge and Hattie's Hole.
Up at the NW Angle, muskie fishing is in its heyday! Groups are getting 2-3 muskies per day. "They are seeing a lot of fish everyday, throughout the entire day. Crankbaits and spinnerbaits during the day and bucktails and topwaters in the morning and evenings. Most fish have moved to the rock reefs with a few fish still back in the weedy bays."
Water temperature is at 74 degrees which is the warmest it will get. With the warm, steady weather fishing is great! Walleye fishing is still going strong. 2 out of the 5 reefs we fished this weekend had fish on them. On reefs, jig or pull spinners. In mud, troll. On the Minnesota side, Four Blocks at 20-30 feet and Little Oak. On the Ontario side, reefs to the north are still doing good. Little Traverse is loading up with fish. Info on resorts and guides at www.LakeoftheWoodsMN.com/Lodging
Lake of the Woods Resorts
- Anderson's Resorts - www.andersonsleech-lake.com
Tim, (1-800-516-0077) (1-800-516-0077)
Muskie and pike action is hot right now and is even going to get better in the next month! Bring your bucktails and any surface lures. Weeds, rock or sand it doesn't seem to matter, they are there and are aggressive! The bass have also been putting on their food bags. Rock humps and shoreline for the smallmouth and weeds/rice for the largemouth. Walleyes and summer are a lot different, you have to put the jig box away for a month and try the Lindy type rigs if you want to use live bait. It's hard to beat a slow death hook and crawler. Shad rapping is a good way to cover some area to find the fish. There are some people bobber fishing them at night off the points. Sand is the most popular but most will hold fish coming in at night to feed. Plenty of panfish are available also. The best part of summer is coming and there are still openings in the area, come up to Leech Lake and find out what you have been missing! Walleye limit is 4 (slot 20-26) so yes you can have a fish fry. Leech Lake does stay clean all summer so your kids can go swimming all day! Hope to see you this summer!
- Chris Kuduk's Guide Service - www.kuduksguideservice.com (320-630-1761)
Anglers are talking about the possible close of walleye season on Mille Lacs. Call Chris or check our website for daily updates! Walleyes are biting on the mud rigging crawlers and leeches. Also try bobber fishing the rocks during the evenings. Smallies are biting and anglers are throwing for muskies with luck. Platte, Sullivan, Anne, Knife lakes are all producing fish. Call Chris for updates!
MILLE LACS, AITKIN, BRAINERD LAKES
- Jeff Hanson's Guide Service
Don't listen to all the bad publicity, 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)
Please call us anytime for a fishing report!
MISSISSIPPI - ST. CROIX
- Turk Gierke, Croixsippi Guide Service
We are starting to see the summer time mixed bag of fish coming to the nets. Walleye, cats, and bass. It is getting far more difficult to get “numbers” of keepers though.
Matt with a tough tough fighter – the Channel Cat. Far from a critter that purrs quietly – the channel cat is THE best fighter in freshwater. Matt had a banner day out with his dad Darrell.
Walleyes are there, they are in the river and I am convinced I see them on the graphs , but it is getting harder to bring them up.
Matt Salmi with the first keeper walter of the day. This fish was caught on a crawler from 22 feet deep. Matt had the touch on this day!
Father and son, what’s not to like about these trips. Dad doesn’t really even mind when the boy gets most of the fish – right Darrell? Nice job Matt!!
The drum have been biting well, We have had some big ones lately.
We also landed an enormous sturgeon that took 40 minutes to bring up. It was a good 35 pounds…I felt in the hot water that keeping the fish out of the water for a picture would kill it, so I skipped the photo. BIG FISH – it was a ball! My client Bob said “what do I do now?” after the fight just started and he felt the power of that Sturg, I said “Keep up what your doing , this will be a while , and I’m getting a sandwich.”
Mike up from Northern Illinois with a good fighting cat. The eyes were slow and I wanted to put his crew on some nice fighters, so we picked cats for a couple hours of targeting. The cats were slow too this morning, but we got this nice one at least…
You need to be well versed in species to get the most out of a day in the height of summer. Bass, crappies, sunfish, perch, white bass, saugers, drum. These fish can and will entertain if found. Of course nothing is a guarantee but switching gears as in switching species can make the day.
Mike with a dandy walleye this fish measured 24″ and was released back into the river to populate her kind. The bite is tricky we had four other short little walleyes and this good one.. Mike got all the good ones this day!! Caught on a crawler.
Here is a nice walleye from the Croix. Kept for the frying pan. Caught on a crawler or a leech.. I do believe crawler. Good point, leeches are taking fish still too.
The river is 677.5 , two feet high, and might stay this way for a while. Warm water, great for swimming.
Summer is here.
Charlie “Turk” Gierke
Croixsippi Guide Service
- Smokey Hills Outdoor Store, Nathan, www.smokyhillsoutdoorstore.com
19143 US HWY 71 N, Park Rapids, MN (218-237-5099)
Walleye- Starting to coast to deeper waters due to the water warming up. Finding most in 12-18 in the thick weed beds or right on the weed line. Tie on a Lindy " Lil' Guy" or Quick Change Spinner rig paired with either a minnow or Leech.
Northern- Staying in the thickest of the weed beds or coverage looking to ambush easy prey swimming by in 6-12 feet of water. For the live bait approach rig up a slip bobber and a Gamakatsu "Octopus Circle Hook" teamed with a sucker minnow. And for that lure approach tie on a Rapala "Deep Shadow Rap" for your best chance of snagging that wall hanger!
Bass- Starting to slowly leave the shallows varying from lake to lake. Finding most adults in 3-9 feet of water in the thick cabbage, coon tail, pencil reeds, or fallen timber. For targeting the schools of fish tie on a Rapala number 5 or 7 "Shad Rap". Once located pair A VMC "Wacky Jig" (weighted or not) with a Big Bites 5 inch "Trick Stick" by simply hooking the worm right through the middle for best luck on hooking that pig!
Crappies/ Sunfish- Hanging in or around the weed beds from 8-16 feet of water. If you don't like keeping live bait around pick up a pack of VMC "Neon Moon Eye" jigs and pair it with anyone of the Northlands "Impulse" plastics. Would rather use live bait? Tie on a VMC "Fastgrip Octopus" live bait hook that has a set of triple barbs at the end of the hook to make losing live bait even that much tougher.
- Wheaton Service & Bait www.wheatonservice.com
Neighbor Steve, 912 Broadway, Wheaton, MN (320-563-1400)
Fishing packages start at 2 nights/1 day of fishing, up to 4 nights/3 days fishing! Call for pricing. Check out our Fish'in Hole Lodge Skid Houses on Facebook!
Mase's In Towne Marine - www.intownemarina.com
Cindy, corner of Lake and Elm (952-442-2096)
It's been a hot and humid July on Lake Waconia. Water temps have been in the high 70's to low 80's for several weeks now, making it enjoyable for those who want to swim, tube, ski, wakeboard or just cruise the lake. While most summers we experience the mid-summer fishing doldrums, this year has been different! Lake Waconia has continued to produce plenty of action for anglers!
We've had lot's of big bass reported between 3 to 6 pounds on numerous locations, examples being Pillsbury, Center, North and Cemetery Reefs in the weeds or on the edge. They haven't been picky, biting on most live bait options, especially leeches and crawlers. Those using diving crankbaits, bass jigs and plastic worms have been successful too! Plastic jerk baits and topwater lures have worked in the shallows early in the morning.
If you're still looking to get into some panfish action, you're in luck! The sunfish and crappie bite is still quite good. While sorting must be done to get some keepers, anglers have had success with wax worms or crawlers for sunfish, as well as crappie minnows for the crappies. A wide variety of locations continue to produce. The north side of Coney Island is always a safe bet to find action. Also fishing the weeds on reefs like North, Center, Kegs and Anderson's Reefs are worth trying as well.
The walleye bite has moved deep. Fishermen have been working the deep drops off the east end of the island, Kegs and North Reef, as well as the rocks around Reds Reef. Fatheads are still the bait of choice, although a Jumbo or Large Leech are a good bet too! Jigging has proven to be the most consistent method of attack, although some have done well dragging spinner rigs too.
Don't forget, we are THE place to rent Pontoons and Fishing Boats on Lake Waconia! Get on the water while it's still Summer! For a limited time, SAVE 10% off Pontoon Rentals, Monday thru Friday from August 3rd until August 14th (1-Day Advance Reservation Required).
- Walleye Visions - www.mnfishingconnections.com
Tom Neustrom, 21622 Airport Rd, Grand Rapids, firstname.lastname@example.org, (218-327-2312)
Give Tom a call for a report!