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)
West Battle and Otter Tail Lake producing walleyes in 25-30 feet. Sunfish biting in 10-15 feet on Stalker, Clitherall and West Battle. Northern pike are hitting spoons or sucker minnows at the weedlines of Fiske and West Battle. Muskies are striking on West Battle in about 20 feet.
- 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)
Crankbaits are producing walleyes in 12-15 feet on Blackduck, Gull Lake, Island lakes. Anglers are also fishing Red for fall walleyes. Stop in for the details!
- Leisure Outdoor Adventures - www.leisureoutdooradventures.com
Toby Kvalevog and Jeff Andersen (1-855-LOA-HOOK or 1-855-562-4665)
Even though we are in the midst of whats considered the dog days of summer, Walleyes continue to feed on Leech Lake. There has been a strong crankbait bite all over the lake right now in 8-14ft of water. Rock piles, mid lake flats, weed/sand transition areas....you name it, the fish are there and willing to cooperate. The best areas have been in and around the Sand Point area, Goose Island, Grand Vu Flats and the eastern rock reefs. Look for the fish to slide from 8-11 ft during the morning to 11-14 during the afternoon. Rapala #7 Shad Raps, Berkley Flicker Minnows and Flicker Shads have been the most productive in Crayfish, Silver or Purpledescent patterns.
Muskies have picked up over the course of the last couple weeks and we are seeing and hearing of more fish moving or caught each day. As water temps rise into the upper 70's, with a chance to touch 80 degrees, these fish will becbme even more active. Remember to be VERY responsible with these warm water fish. Have the camera and net ready to make a quick scoop and snap a couple pictures so that the fish can be returned to the water as quick as possible. Many fish that are mishandled or kept out of the water for too long during these warm stretches are not able to recover. Juice bucktails, Phantom Jerkbaits and an occasional topwater has been most productive thrown over the rocks during prime times of the day.
Bass and panfish are also going strong in the Leech Lake area. There are so many lakes in the area that offer whatever kind of fishing or fish you are looking for. Stop in at Reeds and have them mark a map and send you in the right direction. Take advantage of these last few weeks of summer as we hang on by a thread before the fall season begins! Good Luck!
- 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)
Fish and Island lakes producing crankbait walleyes in 12-15 feet. Muskies hitting Island Lake and the St. Louis River. Lake trout are being caught on Lake Superior in 150 feet.
- 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 of late has really affected the number of folks out on the water. High winds and colder temps have slowed the action considerably, but those who braved the elements have been doing a good job of taking a fair number of fish. Walleyes have been hitting crawlers on a spinner rig quite well in lieu of the dwindling leech resource. Leeches tend to run on the small size right now and for many areas have become non-existent, so crawlers will be the main bait to use. Some folks are still trying minnows with limited success, but the minnow bite doesn't usually resume till water cools around September.
Pike have begun to show up in good numbers as the temp begins to dip and should remain active right up to ice on. Casting spinner baits and spoons have been the ticket lately, and several have come boatside in the 40+ inch range. Ciscoes and suckers fished right on the bottom will surely remain a good tactic to use for more leisurely fishing.
Panfish action has been steady. Simple to do, just set up a line with a small jig or plain hook tipped with a bit of worm or wax worm under a bobber and the bite comes almost immediately. If you haven't had a bite right away, just move down the bank a bit, these fish are not shy. Crappies sometimes require a bit more finesse. Small minnows suspended in and amongst the schooling slabs are surely the best way to trigger a bite. More anglers are now seeing the benefit of the latest Gulp baits such as the 1" minnow and other soft baits on a 1/16th or 1/32 jig head fished below a bobber. This rig will allow you to slowly retrieve thereby covering more water and putting your presentation in front of more fish.
- 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)
The old saying of " the dog days of summer" is in full effect. Walleyes are tough to pattern and as an angler you need to be flexible to ensure success. Techniques to try this time of the year include pitching light jigs tipped with a leech or Gulp minnow into the holes of weedbeds, slip bobbering in the holes or edges of weedbeds, lindy rigging the breaklines or weedlines or pulling cranks or spinners along or on top of structure.
Small curly tail or paddl tail minnows are working best for panfish. Target inside or outside weedlines for the bigger and best tasting panfish in the lake!
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 on the move and now is the time to get out there and cast those big plugs! Fish have been active on the rock structures so get out there and bang those cranks or bucktails against the big boulders.
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)
Fishing hasn’t changed much since last week. No one is complaining about not catching fish, the quantity is there, but the quality is lacking.
Lots of pike on the small side, walleyes and sauger on the small side with of course an exception being walleyes over 17”
Water temperatures now in the low sixties, and the bite is noticeably far more aggressive than in the past few weeks.
Fish bite on Kab varies greatly,+9 mornings favor shallow and reef edges mid-day usually deeper, say, 20-28’ and evenings is a toss up.
Leeches and minnows seem to be the most popular bait, but it is great crawler time especially with a more aggressive bite.
This time of year is a good time to use artificial lures, deep runners-say, 15-25 or leadline is common now too.
From experience I can tell you, perch, sauger, bass, walleye and pike all chase and attack lures this fall time of year.
Popular right now throughout the fall the jig and minnow method is probably what Kab is known for. Walleye bite should turn on soon on Kab especially off the reef structures down to 35’ or more.
Suggestions: troll lures nearly anywhere or cast shorelines, live bait rigs, structures near deep water, center reef, Sugarbush, Martin Islands for a few spots.
Jigs to well off Chase Island, Martins, Nashota Point, Harris and Ram Islands plus Blind Ash Bay.
Won’t be long for fall colors as are daylight lessens each day.
Good time of year for trophy fish…
Come and Enjoy the Great North Country!
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)
Limits of walleye and sauger filled boats this week with plenty of trophy walleyes in the mix. Drifting with spinners or trolling/down rigging has been the favored method. Drifting has been productive in areas near Morris Point, Graceton, Zippel Bay, or Long Point 5-15' or 23-27' with gold or orange best tipped with minnows or crawlers. Trolling with Rapala Shad Raps and Reef Runner crankbaits has been good in 31-34' out from Lighthouse Gap, Garden Island, near Long Point and at various spots in the Big Traverse basin. Wide variety of colors working.
On the Rainy River, sturgeon still active. Best areas are east towards Clementson and Birchdale anchoring over pockets with a 3 ounce no roll sinker, a 5/0 circle hook and gob of minnows or crawlers. Some walleye and bass action 17-19 feet near shorelines and weeded areas.
Up at the NW Angle, fall patterns starting as island points and neck down areas with current turning on. jigging and drifting with spinners the go to. Try 24-30' off Crow Duck, Four Blocks, and Little Oak Islands using gold or glow spinners. North Island and Falcon Island in Ontario waters having walleyes as well as strong crappie bite. Muskie and pike active close to shorelines casting with big crankbaits. For lodging and guides, go to www.LakeoftheWoodsMN.com/Lodging
- Anderson's Resorts - www.andersonsleech-lake.com
Tim, (1-800-516-0077) (1-800-516-0077)
Leech Lake is a magical place in September. Water temp is on the way down and the fish have had all summer to grow and now they want to put their food bags on before winter sets in. It's my favorite time of the year - fall colors and I get to break out my jig box again for walleyes! Green and white are the best fall colors. Shad rap type lures are great for locating fall fish. They will start moving into the shallows and points. Limit up here on Leech Lake is still 4 with slot 20 to 26. For my fishing brothers and sisters that chase bass and pike/muskies, there is great news for you also. Muskie action has been great, show girls have been outdoing the double cowgirls, but with cooler water temps topwater lures are a good choice. For large bass, head to the rice and weeds they are hitting almost anything, purple worms and lizards are hot right now. For smallmouth bass hit the rock piles with jigs or raps. Perch are also a great fall fishing trip, there are fewer jumbos this year but a lot of up and comers to keep you busy. September is also a great month to bring the shotgun up and try your luck on some of the many grouse roads that surround Leech Lake.
- Chris Kuduk's Guide Service - www.kuduksguideservice.com (320-630-1761)
On Mille Lacs the bass, muskie and pike are biting. Call Chris for an up to the minute report! Smaller area lakes are producing a mixed bag - walleyes, pike, panfish, bass. Try Platte, Sullivan, Knife and Anne lakes.
MILLE LACS, AITKIN, BRAINERD LAKES
- Jeff Hanson's Guide Service
The fall smallmouth bite has already started and should just keep getting better all fall as water temps drop. This bite is phenomenal for both numbers and big fish. We are getting them on the rock shoreline areas in 9-12'. September and October is the best walleye bite of the year on the Aitkin and Brainerd area lakes. We are live bait rigging minnows in the 16-20' range on mid-lake bars and shoreline breaks. Looking for fish with electronics before stopping is the key to staying on fish. Feel free to call or text with questions, 763-477-8553.
- Wayzata Bait & Tackle
Tim or Bob, half mile west off I-494 on Hwy 12 (952-473-2227)
Muskies hitting bucktails and topwater baits on Independence and Minnetonka. Bass and pike taking spinnerbaits on in 12-15 feet on Minnetonka, Medicine, Sarah. Panfish are also biting, call us for details!
MISSISSIPPI - ST. CROIX
- Turk Gierke, Croixsippi Guide Service
St. Croix River Mixed bag fishing
Right now we are getting lots of action but the size is hard to come by for walleye and smallies. Starting to get a fair among of saugers. Of course sheepshead too! I need to get a bald eagle picture they are all over and the river, the have learned that released fish sometimes float to the top, because it is common to see them watch the anglers and come SWOOPING in for the fish.
Lana with a very nice keeper from the end of July. Lana was out with her dad Richard on a nice father and daughter outing. We had a good time and they brought home six keepers total.
My boat has been livebait fishing all season, we have trolled very little. Crawlers are good and always have leeches on hand.
Lana with another keeper! We seemed to have a better bite a few days prior to this last full “blue” moon. Richard caught some nice ones as well.
Very little channel cat activity to report, not sure what the situation is but I used to get good numbers this time of summer while angling for walleye. White bass, Hmmmm…. we did catch ONE in the last three weeks, unfortunatley they are very down in numbers.
Mia, “the birthday girl” told her parents she wanted to go fishing for her birthday! Got to love that! The freshman did a great job catching fish. It was a nice trip Mom and Dad battled to catch the most… I think Dad won!
Smallies are located deep and relating to the bait pods just like the walleye are. We did see a single Muskie follow today, nice to see a some of them on the move.
To keep with the summer theme – we have another family trip. This time with three generations of Flumbaum’s from Maryland over here visiting relatives. David (Dad ) shows off a 18 ” smallie” while Siidney hams it up! It was great to meet Dave (grand-dad).
Well its August and the nights are already nice and cool… Summers here and then gone.
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)
With the days of summer winding down, and the water temps dropping, the fall bite is starting to pick up more and more. Fishermen are putting the leeches and crawlers away and grabbing the minnow bucket.
Walleye- Slowly moving into the shallower flats at night, looking for the easy prey to come swimming by, after dark float up into about 12-16 feet around weed lines and beds. During the day head to 16-20 feet of water along sandy flats and Tie on a VMC “Spindrift” paired with a rainbow minnow or small sucker.
Northern Pike- Hovering around the thicker weed beds, weed lines, fallen timber and just structure in general. Cast for 8-12 feet of water with either a Rapala “Shad rap” size nine or a live bait rig with a Gamakatsu “Circle Hook” Paired with a slip bobber and quarter ounce weight or so for best luck!
Bass- The bass will be spread out across from 1-18 feet of water. For the shallow pigs look for 1-4 feet in the lily pads, pencil reeds, docks, and fallen timber. Finding these locations and cover will go great together with the Lunkerhunt “Combat Frog”. For the deeper approach tie on a VMC “Wacky Jig” either 1/8th or 1/16th ounce head teamed with a YUM “Dinger” for your best chance on snagging a wall hanger!
Sunfish/Crappie- Hanging around 10-16 feet. Search for the taller growing cabbage weeds, coontail, and any deep growing weeds. Use a cast and retrieve method to locate the fish. Tie on a VMC “Boot tail” to locate the fish. Once located toss on a slip bobber with a Northland “Fire-Fly Jig” paired with either a small crappie minnow or a piece of either leech, crawler, or wax worm!
Make sure to visit Smokey Hills Outdoor Store in Park Rapids when visiting the area, our staff know the area and would be happy to offer advice on fishing and equipment.
- 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 an enjoyable summer on Lake Waconia so far, not only for the fishermen, but all boaters! Lake levels are high for this time of year, water temps are still hovering around 80, and the lake has had minimal algae blooms affecting it, making it all-around comfortable for any water-sports activity.
While the numbers of fishermen using the lake have been lower this month due to the heat and humidity, those who have gone fishin' continued to find fish! Largemouth Bass have been a lot of fun this summer. We are getting good reports for big ones around reefs like Cemetery, North, Center and Pillsbury. You'll still catch them shallow too up in the reeds or by the Carp Trap or Rock Dock as well. Spinnerbaits, Jigs and Plastic Worms have worked well for those using artificials. Crawlers, Fatheads and Sucker Minnows are producing fish for those using live bait!
Walleyes are still running deeper off the weeds on Keg's, Red's and North Reefs or off the corners of the island. Jigging with a fathead still has been the method of choice. Some are drifting with crawlers and having success as well.
Those wanting to get their kids some action can still rely on Lake Waconia to come through. Sunfish and Crappies have been biting well around the weeds by the island and some of the reefs in 8 to 14 feet of water most of the summer and you can continue to find them there, but we're also getting some nice reports a tad deeper as well. Don't be afraid to go off the weeds from 15 to 20 or more feet of water. The usual spots like Center, Keg's, North and Anderson's have worked well for fishing in the weeds or outside of them in deeper water. Wax worm and crawlers are still the go-to Sunfish bait. Crappie minnows continue to work for the Crappies.
Our rental season is winding down soon. There's about 4 weeks left to rent a pontoon or fishing boat and motor! It's still a great time to get on the lake, as the lake generally isn't as busy this time of year. We suggest making a reservation as our hours will be changing, so call (952) 442-2096 and we'll set you up for a fun day on the water! As of now, our hours are Monday through Friday from 7:30 am to Sunset, and Saturday/Sunday from 6:30 am to Sunset. After Labor Day, our hours will shorten.
This past Saturday, we had a party to honor our slip and buoy members at the marina. We had a free lunch and gave away hundreds of dollars in value of drawing prizes! We also had a free, short, informal fishing contest that was enjoyed by many. The winners were Mike Pittelkow, who caught a 1# 2 oz Crappie that was caught within the first 15 minutes, and Marcy Russell, who caught a 14-inch Bass! Overall, it was a hot, beautiful day to enjoy at the lake! Thanks again to all of the wonderful families who share their summers with us by keeping their boats at our marina!
- Walleye Visions - www.mnfishingconnections.com
Tom Neustrom, 21622 Airport Rd, Grand Rapids, firstname.lastname@example.org, (218-327-2312)
The bite has definitely picked up for walleyes and it seems the shallow weed bite and close to shore humps are providing most of the best action. Anglers pulling spinners, crawlers and 2 inch minnows are having the best results. The 6-8 foot mark near the Birches, Re-Claim Rocks, Musky Bay, Ravens Rocks and Farley Creek areas seem to be doing the best. Early and late in the day is the best time, but with a little breeze and cloudy days, walleyes can be taken. The northern pike have been hitting Shad Raps and spoons trolled at about 2-2.5 mph on shallow bars and weed edges. The crappies have just started to show up in Little Cutfoot and another week or so they should be providing good action. Be safe on the water and always be respectful of other anglers.