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)
9-14- Walleyes: Try Ottertail, Rush and West Battle in 25-30 feet of water. Panfish: Anglers report panfish are biting in 15-20 feet of water on Clitherall, Elbow and West Battle lakes. Muskies: Try bucktails in West Battle in 20-25 feet of water. Northern pike: Anglers report Donald and West Battle are producing pike on sucker minnows in 20 feet of water.
- Timberline Sport & Tackle
Carl Adams, Junction of Hwy 71 and Blackduck Lake Rd. (218-835-4636)
9-14- Blackduck, Island and Gull are producing walleyes on a jig and a minnow in about 15-20 feet of water. Gull is also kicking out some crappies in 14-16 feet of water. Stop in or call us for a fishing report and bait!
- Leisure Outdoor Adventures - www.leisureoutdooradventures.com
Jason Freed, Toby Kvalevog, Jeff Andersen (1-855-LOA-HOOK or 1-855-562-4665)
Well, our Leech Lake Fishing Guides have been busy this past week and through Labor Day and I think we are getting closer and closer to our favorite time of year, which is FALL. The fishing has been up and down the past week for walleyes, but as they are transitioning and waiting for those cooler water temps and fall days to arrive on a more consistent basis the best bet is to still think mainly summer patterns. Right now walleyes on Leech Lake are being found in 18-28 feet of water along steeper breaklines that have wind and bait blowing into them. Focus on these breaklines as well as underwater points, bars, and humps that top out in 24-30 feet of water to find active schools of walleyes. Same tactics as last week are still working with rigging crawlers, leeches, and minnows as well as using jigging raps.
Musky fishing has been hit or miss lately on Leech Lake. We have had multiple fish days and days where we barely see a fish. All the classic musky locations are holding fish this time of year. Sand, Rocks, Weeds, Pencil Reeds in depths from 2 - 40 ft of water. The good news is you can truly fish them the way you want. The bad news is that they seem to be very moody and somewhat shy when fishing pressure is high. Try to look for cooler water temp areas for the best success and fish around the peak feeding window times or when changes in wind or weather occurs.
A bonus this past weekend was some jumbo perch were starting to show up in shallow areas, which is an added bonus when walleye fishing. Try using an 1/8th or 1/16th oz jig tipped with a minnow to target these jumbos. Late fall can be a great time to fish for them on Leech. As you look ahead to the fall whether it is jumbos or walleyes be sure to think about how things will change. Walleyes will go back to congregating on many of the classic main lake structures that have wind blowing into them. Depending on the day though you need to have different kinds of bait with. September can be a tricky month with some warm days and others cool. So having leeches, crawlers, and minnows are all a necessity. In some instances it is a day to day thing and others it can be something that changes throughout the day. As we get farther into late September and Oct the bite typically transitions to a jig and minnow bite on the flats and points.
Area lakes are still kicking out great bass fishing. Fish are still relating to deeper weedlines an points have good weed growth and for the smallmouth rocks and rubble nearby is also a good thing. Drop shotting, pitching jig worms, as well as reactive style baits are all a go to right now to catch active largemouth and smallmouth. Some really good bass fishing is to be had as we move into the fall because these fish start to school up more and put the feed bag on.
Until next week
Leisure Outdoor Adventures Guide Team
- Minnesota Fishing Guide Service
www.minnesotaguideservice.com - www.minnesotaicefishhouserental.com
Captain Josh Hagemeister (218-732-9919, 320-291-0708)
Walleyes are being caught roaming deep lake basins, sunken islands and of course the best walleye spot ever—weed beds! Plastic swim baits or small jigging Rapalas worked aggressively will do the trick in the 8-12 foot range. The monster bluegills are being caught and released off of deep weedlines and rock piles in the 15-20 foot range. Bottom bouncer JB lures crawler combos have been the best. Piles of largemouth bass can be caught fishing cabbage beds in deep 8-12 foot depth range with rattle baits like the Bill Lewis rattle trap. Schools of bass are being found on deep weedy humps or weedlines in the 15-20 foot range using Texas rigged power worms. Lotsa Fish! Lotsa Fun!
- Frankie's Live Bait and Marine - www.frankies.net
Brad, Corner of Hwy 8 and CR 77 (651-257-6334)
9-14-Pike and bass are biting at the weedlines on most area lakes using spinnerbaits. For walleye action, try Green, North Center, South Center while trolling crankbaits in about 10-15 feet of water. Panfish are biting on Green, Chisago and North Lindstrom in about 15-20 feet of water. Work the weedlines for action.
- Marine General - www.marinegeneral.com
1501 London Road, on the edge of Lake Superior (218-724-8833)
9-14- Island and Fish lakes are producing walleye action. Try using minnows and crawlers in 15-20 feet of water. Fish Lake is also producing some panfish mixed in with the walleyes. Lake trout and salmon are hitting on Superior. Give us a call or stop in for the details!
- 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)
9-10 - Walleye fishing has improved somewhat with the advent of cooler temperatures. Most anglers are still relying on crawler harnesses to do the job, and it's paying off. While many of the fish are still relating to structure such as reef tops and island points, some are finding the fish staging at the mouths of bays in relatively shallow water. This is where crankbait fishermen are garnering some decent catches as well. Try working the drop-offs in ten to eighteen feet during the day and gradually moving shallower as evening progresses. Fishermen at dusk and into the evening hours are beginning to score on minnows fished under a slip bobber, changing over to lighted bobbers after dark, as fish move as shallow as six feet in some cases.
Northern pike anglers are scoring some good numbers while casting spinner baits and spoons throughout the day, but the most exciting bites have occurred early and late in the day by fishing top water offerings. Large plugs such as Zara Spooks, Baker's NST-S poppers and Suick floating lures are scoring big. Remember to use adequate wire leaders as some of the fish are stiking the lures head first, or totally engulfing the baits.
Trout fishermen are taking advantage of the resources available in the area. Good numbers of rainbows are sucking up crawlers fished under a bobber, while others are catching their limits trolling small spinners and tiny crankbaits fished from ten to fifteen feet down in the water column. Best lakes recently have been Miner's Pit and Tofte Lake. For some larger trout, try trolling spoons and large crank baits on Burntside or Snowbank for lake trout. Although no huge lakers have been taken of late, folks have been more than happy with the trout in the three to eight pound range.
Crappies have begun to school up again, with some in the twelve to fouteen inch range being caught. Most fishermen are keeping close mouthed about their "honey holes", but if you put in the time searching, you can locate the fish suspended from eight to twelve feet down during the day and moving into the shallows right at dusk.
Swanson's Bait & Tackle - www.swansonsbait.com
Caleb Garoutte, Hwy 371 on the north end of Hackensack (218-675-6176)
9-14-Fishing has been pretty consistent the last couple weeks. Walleye are in a typical summer pattern, with some thicker pockets of fish you can capitalize on here and there with different techniques. Some good evening and night bites going on some of the smaller area lakes. As the water cools, we should see things continue to get better and better.
Smallmouth fishing is really ramping up and guys are doing very well with swim baits, jigs, and cranks during the day. Be sure to get your lures well up onto the shallow flats and work it down off the break. Most fish are on the edges, but they're cruising the shallows too. Drop shot is effective, but you don't cover a lot of water to take advantage of the aggressive smallmouth right now. If you find a pocket of fish the drop shot will work well, but covering water is the best tactic right now.
Not too many people chasing panfish the last couple weeks. A few guys after crappies have done well. Ten Mile, Stony, and portage have all produced. They'll be hanging on the thick/tall weedbeds just pitch or troll throw them and you'll find fish!
Muskie fishing has been hot and it has been not hot, but it has never been bad in the last couple weeks. If you aren't seeing fish, switch it up because there are definitely fish going when the right bait goes by. We have seen a surprising amount of action on topwater the last couple weeks. It seems like the slow days in one boat are great days in others. All depends on what you're throwing and where, but it always seems like someone is dialed in.
- Cooper's 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)
9-17-Fall Creeping in. Temps have finally become more Fall like with highs in the 60’s and lows in the 40’s. That trend looks to continue through the week. As temps begin cooler fishing will change as well. Walleye has been a challenge this past week. Fish are still being caught but not with the consistency as a couple weeks ago. The high winds last week kept most off the water or left fishing areas that weren’t generally productive. As most switched to a jig and minnow because it’s that time of year, some have kept to a more summerlike approach and are doing much better. As water temps are still in the high 60’s, leeches and crawlers behind a spinner moving around .8-1.2 mph is working well. Long line trolling with lead core is also producing. Anglers that were using leeches and crawlers and bottom bouncers with spinners, were catching fish consistently. They were able to cover more area to pick up on the active fish. As the weather pattern turns cooler fish will start moving and the jig and minnow bite will improve but if you want to be more productive, try sticking with your late summer approach. Most recently, areas around Ash River, Lost Bay and then west around Picnic, Echo and Ram islands have been productive.
Smallmouth bass will also become more active and easier to find as the water temps drop. Kabetogama is known for its walleyes, but if you don’t give bass a try you could be missing out on some world class fishing. As the water gets cooler smallmouth with move onto to the reefs to feed and it can be phenomenal fishing to say the least. Seek out any of the numerous reefs and using your sonar, look for schools of fish. You will eventually find them. It may take a try or two but once you get into an active school it’s game on! A jig and minnow are a good starting point but if they are active you can drop just about anything down there and catch nice bass one after another. It’s not uncommon to have 50 fish (or more) days with many in that 3-5 lb range. Don’t forget to take a picture and release those big ones. It’s an exciting way to spend a day on the lake while you take in the breathtaking scenery we have in the Fall here on Kab.
Finding northern pike will also be easier as the water cools. What are you looking for? Weed beds. Spend a little time cruising the deep edges of weed flats. As weed beds start to die off, pike will be looking for green patches of weeds to feed in. Obviously, this will congregate fish and multiple catches in an area will be common. Spinnerbaits, jerk baits and shallow running crankbaits can be extremely effective.
Hunting seasons have just begun with archery deer, grouse and small game opener this past weekend. Bear season began on Sept 1st but most have pulled baits as bear are on the move looking for more protein in the acorns. Small game hunters tend to spook bear as well so even though the season runs into October, most have switched gears to grouse and deer up here in bear country. The bear season ended well with a good number of bears being harvested. The largest registered at Gateway General was a whopping 352 lb.’s! An average Minnesota black bear weighs approximately 150 lb.’s so that gives you a good idea how big the previous mentioned is! Grouse hunting is tough with no reports to speak of. With fall foliage just turning and starting to drop it will be a couple weeks before grouse hunting is more productive. Also, your best bet is to get off the trails where the ATV hunters are as they will push birds further into the woods. No archery deer reports to date.
Voyageurs National Park is a great place to visit in the fall. The changing colors, cooler temps and the great fishing are just a few highlights to mention. The Park Service will end its tours on Sunday the 23rd but that doesn’t mean you can’t enjoy what we have to offer, you just might have to do some exploring on your own! Hiking any one of the numerous trails can be a little easier without the heat and bugs to deal with. Buck deer are shedding their velvet and are a common sight in the woods and surrounding area. As the days shorten you also have a good chance to see the northern lights a little earlier than during the summer months and still get a good night’s sleep. Try visiting us this fall, you won’t be disappointed!
Finally, if there is ANYTHING you may need or have forgotten, stop in at Gateway General as we have just about everything. Believe it or not we expect to have leeches until the end of the month!
Hope to see you soon!
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)
9-17-On the main basin... Very strong walleye fishing continues with the jig bite picking up. Charters finding limits of eater walleyes with big fish mixed in. Crankbaits, spinners / crawlers and jigs with frozen shiners in main basin successful. 15-31 feet of water producing good numbers of walleyes across south shore with very good numbers in front of gap. Shiners showing up at mouth of Rainy River as well as up the Rainy River.
On the Rainy River... With shiners entering the river, eater walleyes showing up as well. Anglers reporting success both jigging and pulling crankbaits. Walleye activity will be increasing as shiner run continues.
Up at the NW Angle... Strong numbers of walleyes being caught on mud flats and around Garden Island. 15 - 25' is a good start. Spinners, crankbaits and jigging all producing. Some nice jumbo perch mixed with walleyes. Muskie activity picking up as water is cooling. Next full moon, Sep 24. Crappie anglers are producing big black slabs. A complete list of lodging, packages, guides and fishing info available at www.LakeoftheWoodsMN.com/Lodging
LAKE OF THE WOODS
- Sportsman's Lodges, Lake of the Woods, Rainy River - www.sportsmanslodges.com (1-800-862-8602)
Leaves are Changing and Walleyes are Biting. It has been a great bite this week. If you have never experienced fall fishing on Lake of the Woods and the Rainy River it is a must do! There is lot of action, great scenery and endless fishing spots to explore. The bite this week has been the best in the main basin of Big Traverse in 30'-34' using crankbaits and drifting with spinners and a crawler. Current water temp is 66 degrees. The shiners are showing up in the river though so you can definitely tell we are at the start of transitioning into fall patterns. It won't be long and the walleyes will start to move in shallower making shorelines, bays and the river a hot bed for a good jig and a minnow bite.
Great Fall Fishing Deals
Lodging and Charter Fishing packages up to 20% off now through October 31 & Lodging starting at only $43* per person per night through Nov 30!
Click here now to start planning your trip.
*Plus tax and based on double occupancy.
Sturgeon, Pike, Smallmouth Bass
Fall is a great time to reel in not only walleyes but multi-species as well. The sturgeon fishing in the river is incredible. We see so many 50"+ get caught it is crazy. To gear up for sturgeon a 4/0 or 5/0 hook, 1-3 oz. no roll sinker and a gob of minnows is a good approach. Anchored in or near a hole in the river bed or channel is a good spot to find them. To lure in the bass and pike, throwing out top water baits in weedy bays with some rock structure is good approach. There are hundreds of spots along the Rainy River and bays along the south shore to fish these fish. Not sure how to do it or don't have the equipment? No problem! We have guided trips available via our 18' and 20' boats, great for groups up to 4 plus the guide. For more information about guided trips click here.
Cabela's National Walleye Tour Championship Wrap Up
Thank you Cabela's, anglers, sponsors and guests for visiting us on Lake of the Wood's for the 2018 Championship Tournament this week. What a blast! We certainly enjoyed having you and look forward to having you visit again soon. Congratulations Max Wilson 2018 Pro Champion, Scott Matthson 2018 2018 Co Champion, Brett King 2018 Pro Angler of the Year and Terry Hora 2018 Co Angler of the Year! Lots of great fishing went on during this 3 day tournament. The winning 3 day bag total was 45.83lbs. Over $280,000 was given away in cash and prizes. To learn more about the tournament and results click here.
LAKE OF THE WOODS
- Sportsman's Oak Island Lodge, NW Angle/Oak Island, MN - www.oakislandlodge.com (800-772-8411)
Set the hook!
Muskies, Pike, Bass
Nice keeper walleyes and a few larger are biting at the line this week. Anglers are finding the best walleye bite in 25'-30' pulling gold spinners with a minnow or worm as well as a jig and a minnow along the edges of points or on top of reefs. Water temperature is currently 65 degrees. Come get into the fall action!
These fish are starting to move to the rocks but you can still find them in the weeds. So be sure to check out both of these spots right now. Throwing top water baits has been the ticket.
Fall is one of the best times of the year to reel in these sweet flavored fish on Lake of the Woods. Anglers are starting to reel in some nice crappies and once the water starts to dip in the next few weeks, the bite should only get more aggressive. Using a 1/4 ounce jig or smaller tipped with a minnow works well in areas with structure.
Jumbo perch are on the reefs. Grab some minnows and a 1/8 ounce jig and jig away.
Not sure where to go?
Take a guide! Sit back relax and reel in the fish. With nearly 1 million acres to explore, Lake of the Woods can be overwhelming, leave the guess work out of a fun fishing trip and take a guide. For more information about our guided trips click here.
- Anderson's Resorts - www.andersonsleech-lake.com/spirit/
Leech Lake is the place to be! Muskie action is unbelievable! Many people seeing 5 to 10 follows a day and even hooking up on some of them! Biggest I have heard of recently was a fat 51-1/2 caught off of Stony Point! Top water is still working well! Walleyes are starting to pick up as well. Mostly artificial bait shad raps on the breaklines, perch/silver #5 or #7! Perch and panfish are also feeling the need to put the feed bag on! We have already lost 10 degrees of surface temp, so things are only going to get better! Great fishing, fall colors, no jet skis and fall discounts will all make your fall vacation up here on Leech lake one to remember! See you soon!
- Chris Kuduk's Guide Service - (320-630-1761)
9-14- Fall patterns are starting. Mille Lacs walleyes are biting in the shallow rock reefs. Anglers are using bobbers and leeches or crawlers. Bass are also in shallow water, under docks, at the weedlines. Anne, Knife, Shakopee, Platte, Sullivan are producing panfish action in the weedlines. Lauches are still going out. Give Chris a call to book a fall launch! Call Chris to book a guided trip, a launch trip or for up-to-the-minute fishing reports. Listen to Chris and Stan live for a weekly fishing report from 5-6 pm Saturdays on Outdoor Adventures on www.twincitiesnewstalk.com (iheart Radio)! Or listen to their podcast!
- Wayzata Bait & Tackle
Tim or Bob, half mile west off I-494 on Hwy 12 (952-473-2227)
9-14- Work the weedlines on Minnetonka, Independence and Medicine for a mixed bag of fish. Anglers are catching walleyes, bass and pike on area lakes. For panfish, try fishing the 12-15 foot weedlines on Lake Minnetonka. Evening hours are producing the best bite.
MISSISSIPPI - ST. CROIX
- Turk Gierke, Croixsippi Guide Service
Sauger and walleye action is picking up on the lower St. Croix River.
Bryan with a 27″ walleye catch and release from the St. Croix caught during the afternoon of a very busy Saturday. This fish nearly snapped the line and fought wild.
After guiding clients for 20 years, one thing I have recognized is the river is one of those places you fish where a person both doesn’t know what you’ve got on the line while you’re fighting a fish and also when a good fish can be caught. Take for instance the fish pictured above. This fish went absolutely nuts! I thought it was about a 8 to 10 pound channel catfish they way it fought. Sure walleyes fight good but this fish was nuts! (if you think walleyes don’t fight good you’ve never caught a nice one from the river…) Fun and exciting for sure. Also the interesting part was it was caught at 1:45 pm on an incredibly busy boat traffic Saturday. There were boats everywhere out enjoying the weather and the river. So trust me when I say – you certainly can’t rule out catching fish on popular bodies of water just because of boat traffic. It’s odd, but the fish get used to the commotion.
So here is Van with a nice eater from the St. Croix River. Caught using livebait. Soft bites lately make every keeper a worthy catch! Good job Van.
So my opening sentence from this report spoke of a better bite for saug dogs and walters. I am seeing saugers mainly and some eyes too. We have been getting a one person limit of six fish lately, so not gang busters but when you mix in other keeper freshwater fish its a nice bag if you want to keep fish.
Smallmouth, crappies, cats, and sunfish are the other fish providing action.
Javier with a good battler! The bronze back bass. Released. Smallies are slow growing please release. Nice fish Javier! This bass is likely 8 years old.
Crappies are a fish that can be hard to find. One place I can find them are slower waters that eddy and are often deep. They suspend off the bottom too. They hit minnows and if they are there they will bite. Their nickname is paper mouth, often believed called that because of their tenderness of their mouth, but I like to believe its because the bite is as light as a piece of paper. Either way its a slow take a light light pull.
Adam with a St. Croix Crappie!
St. Croix water level is 675.6 and steady, water temp is down to was 73 degrees.
Have fun and enjoy the river!
- Smokey Hills Outdoor Store, Josh Severtson, www.smokeyhills.com
19143 US HWY 71 N, Park Rapids, MN (218-237-5099)
9-5- Walleye- looking mainly for Crawlers on a Lindy harness but starting to switch to redtails and shiners. 18'-24' through the day, moving up to 12'-18' evening/night bite.
Bass- Around the deep weed structure 12'-16' looking for a weighted weedless Texas rigged worm or a bass jig with plastic craw trailer.
Sunfish/crappie- moving up into the weeds, looking for a small feather jig tipped with a crappie minnow or minnow like plastic! Try small leech, or piece of worm as well!
Report- Josh Severtson
- Steve's Bait www.wheatonservice.com
Neighbor Steve, 912 Broadway, Wheaton, MN (320-563-1400, 320-563-1400)
Steve's Bait offers everything you need to be successful on Lake Traverse!! From the hot jig or plug, to the Best LIVE BAIT to be had within 75 miles!!! Pop, water and snacks will also be available! Lodging is also available at our Fishin' Hole Lodge, along with ice fishin packages. Good luck on the water!! Take a Kid Fishin! You can also check us out on Facebook!
Mase's In Towne Marine - www.intownemarina.com
Cindy, corner of Lake and Elm (952-442-2096)
9-3-Our pontoon and fishing boat rental season is closed for the season. Give us a call for reports!
- Walleye Visions - www.mnfishingconnections.com
Tom Neustrom, 21622 Airport Rd, Grand Rapids, email@example.com, (218-327-2312)
Winnie walleyes are giving anglers a chance at catching larger fish and keepers as well. Leeches and rigs seem to be the best choice with a big population of small perch on many of the off shore structures. Crawlers have also been working good as well, but leeches seem to be the better choice of late. Bottom bouncers and spinners have also been good for walleyes with leeches and crawlers. The humps off shore of Highbanks have been good places to start. Keep moving until you find active fish. Northern pike have been active as well and the south shore cabbage beds and the weeds north of Raven;s Point to Mallard have also been giving up nice pike. Perch fishing has been a bit slower and sorting will give you a nice mess of fish to have in your cooler. Fish the rock piles and deeper weeds for nicer fish.
WEST CENTRAL MN
- Fishin' With Frisch Pro Guide Service - www.fishingthemidwest.com
Mike Frisch (218-731-8141)
9-14-The walleye bite in the Alexandria area remains steady with fish being caught along the weeedlines on Lakes Miltona, Minnewaska, Mary and Ida. The "plain rig" - bottom bouncer & plain snell tipped with a nightcrawler - continues to produce.
Largemouth bass are also active on the Le Homme Deiu chain and several smaller lakes along the deep weedline too. Throwing a crankbait to quickly cover water is a great way to locate bass. Once a school is found, the "jig-worm" combination is a good way to catch a bunch. The 4-inch KVD Ocho fished on a light jig produces very good numbers, though the 5-incher is a dynamite big fish bait!