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)
5-25-Walleyes are biting in 8-12 feet on minnows and leeches on Otter Tail and West Battle lakes. Sunfish and crappies are also biting at the weedline on West Battle and Fish lakes. Look for pike to bite on sucker minnows on Clitherall Lake.
- 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)
5-25-Blackduck Lake has been producing walleyes in 10-14 feet of water. Gull and Island lakes are also good bets for some walleye action. Evening hours have been best. Gilstead, Pimushe and Gull lakes are producing crappies and bluegills in shallow water. Stop in for bait and info!
- Leisure Outdoor Adventures - www.leisureoutdooradventures.com
Toby Kvalevog and Jeff Andersen (1-855-LOA-HOOK or 1-855-562-4665)
5-23- Well Leech Lake was her typical self this past week. The weather and wind played tricks on folks at times, but if you were willing to adjust and try different things the walleyes would cooperate. The name of the game was locating the shiners and balls of bait and the walleyes were near by. Unfortunately this wasn't a certain depth and it varied from spot to spot. We caught walleyes this weekend anywhere from 5-15ft of water, so paying close attention to the Lowrance was a key in finding walleyes.
Once you found the bait, and 1/8th oz KenKatch 3D Eye or Long Shank Shiner Jig was the ticket. Aggressively snap jigging seemed to produce more hook sets than the drag and pop cadence. When aggressive jigging you are able to stay above the sand grass giving you far less "salad" to keep off your hook. We also had some success pulling lindy rigs with shiners, leeches or crawlers in 13-15ft of water. This can be a nice change up when fishing highly pressured areas as the walleyes are sometimes looking at a array of jigs dragging and popping past them.
The West End of the Lake had good fishing in the West Goose Flats, Hardwoods, 1st and 2nd Duck, as well as Star Point. Fish were also still being caught on Ottertail as well as Annex and Sub, but those places have gotten hit hard with boats of late and the schools of fish have taken a beating. Other areas were Pelican, Two Points, and Sandy Beach.
Water temps were anywhere from 62-65 degrees throughout the lake, which is warm for this time of year, but with cold fronts and rain that could all change.
Looks to be another great week on Leech!
Tight Lines and Wet Nets
Leisure Outdoor Adventures
- Frankie's Live Bait and Marine - www.frankies.net
Brad, Corner of Hwy 8 and CR 77 (651-257-6334)
5-25-North Lindstrom and the channel on Chisago are producing crappies and sunfish in shallow water. Walleyes are biting on Chisago and Green lakes in 15-17 feet of water. If you are looking for pike and bass, try the shallow weeds of area lakes. Give us a call for more details!
- Marine General - www.marinegeneral.com
1501 London Road, on the edge of Lake Superior (218-724-8833)
5-25-Walleyes have been biting on minnows on Island Lake and on the St Louis River. Fish and Rice lakes have been producing walleyes using leeches. Start at about 10-12 feet of water for the walleyes. Coho salmon and lake trout are on fire on Lake Superior. Try spoons and stickbaits.
- 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)
5-24-Walleye fishing has been a roller coaster ride since the season opened. As the fishing season started, anglers did well in spite of the less than desirable weather. Since then, it seems as though the bite has been on and off from day to day. Forunately, we're back on the upswing of action. Larger walleyes have taken up residence in the shallow waters that has attracted the bait fish as it warms more rapidly. Crank baits, with their larger profile seem to be the way to go as the larger females of the species are looking to bulk up after the spawn. Smaller males have already descended to deeper water and are showing up in water depths of fifteen to twenty-five feet.
Pike too are cruising the flats in search of the bait fish too. Many are falling for the simple presentation of a sucker or shiner fished in water less than ten feet. Spinner baits, cranks and spoons are accounting for a good number of pike up to forty inches or better if you prefer the artificial bait route. Crappies are now in the skinny water too as they begin to spawn. A few anglers have been reporting catching them in water of less than three feet. Minnows work well at this time, but more and more anglers are discovering the benefits of using small soft baits. These baits allow you to stay in the strike zone and rapidly cover more ground in the process.
Some hefty smallmouth bass are striking baits as they are invading their bedding areas. This can be a great time to fish soft baits such as twister tails and imitation craws worked slowly across the bottom. Sight fishing is easy as the beds really stand out as patches of lighter colored bottom.
- Fish On Bait & Sport www.habitatnow.com
Kyle, 201 S Franklin St, 2 blocks south of stoplights in Glenwood (320-634-3667)
Call Kyle for a report.
Swanson's Bait & Tackle - www.swansonsbait.com
Jim Tuller, Hwy 371 on the north end of Hackensack (218-675-6176)
5-25-Woman and Ten Mile lakes are your best bets for walleye action in 10-15 feet of water. Crappies are biting on Birch and Webb lakes in shallow water. Big northern pike and bass are biting on the weedlines of most area lakes. Check our website for updates!
- 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)
5-22- Winter to summer in less than 5 days, yup this is Minnesota. Now, as for Kabetogama, water temp on the surface varies from 61 to 68 degrees depending on water depth. Water levels holding well, with rain expected this week, which will keep us in the rule curve. Last week fishing action was extremely slow till the warm weather settled in Thursday. Various techniques put fish in the boat. Bright sun afternoons, the best bite was in the 30’ plus range using jig and minnow. Low sun conditions, ie: morning and evenings two methods proving effective. Shallow water, under 7’ where the bays are warming quickly, and 16’-24’ shoreline or island structure. Slip sinker rigs working very effectively, some folks using floater with a minnow or leech keeping the bait up off the bottom a bit to 18”. A slow presentation has been necessary for best success. West end of Kab offers many of the best spots for shallow bays, favoring most wind directions. Nearly all the West end islands of Kab have nice gradual shoreline structure for zig zagging various depths effectively. It’s a great time to fish shallow off shore or docks for sauger and perch which are currently spawning. Northerns appear to be attacking anything that moves, most are a nuisance size with an occasional pike in the 30” range. Wildlife is abundant and the Park enhances that experience, enjoy the long awaited summer. Make your plans now and we will see you soon, Crabby Phil and 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)
5-23-With temperatures doubled from the previous weekend, anglers found walleyes very cooperative. Fish are biting, finding the active schools is key. Guides are scattered all over the lake finding fish. Anglers fishing multiple depths up to 28' on the main basin to find walleyes. Jigs and minnow working best. Colors: Lake of the Woods signature gold, along with brighter colors such as orange, pink, and chartreuse. Anchoring and vertical jigging producing numerous limits. Some pulled spinners if the wind was right. On the Rainy River, walleyes are being caught from 4 mile bay all the way up to Franz Jevne, about 40 miles upstream. Most walleyes caught in 5-15 feet of water. Slowly working a 1/2 ounce gold or bright colored jig and minnow worked best. Some anglers are catching fish from shore as well. Up at the NW Angle, resorts and guides continue to find good fish. 20-27 feet of water is producing walleyes of all sizes in both MN and Ontario. 1/4 ounce jigs in pink and gold while tipped with a minnow has been the ticket. Lodging, guides, charters, area attractions and more from around the lake at www.LakeoftheWoodsMN.com.
- Anderson's Resorts - www.andersonsleech-lake.com
Tim, (1-800-516-0077) (1-800-516-0077)
5-24- Leech has been great so far! Warm weather has the walleyes very active on the main lake humps. Annex has been on fire with the walleyes chasing shiner minnows, we counted 84 boats there on Saturday! One guest commented that he never in his life thought fishing could be so good! His boat landed 48 walleyes and he finally found enough small fish for a fish fry. Jig and a shiner was all you needed. Other people are switching over to lindy and leeches also. The great thing is that there is still fish on the regular spots also. Stony Point, Pine Point, Little and Big Hard Woods, Marshal and Rodgers Point are all holding good numbers! Muskies are very active as well even though no one told them the season isn't open, bitting on jigs and shiners. Most people are after walleyes early on but the northern pike are also putting on a great bite. The plants are just starting to come up in the bays, look for inside corners and start throwing! Overall Leech seems to have a lot of protective size fish, great year class of 22 to 24 inch fish great fighters. I personally sat out last night with lighted bobber jig and shiner and caught and released a 27-incher right off the New Harbor here at Spirit of the North Resort. So there you have it, even a resort owner can catch them! It's time to make plans to fish Leech Lake this year or get the guys together for next opener/May. It's worth it to make the trip!
- Chris Kuduk's Guide Service - (320-630-1761)
5-25-Mille Lacs walleye and smallie bite is going great guns! Evening bite has been good in 6-10 feet with leeches and bobbers. The mud also producing fish pulling rigs with leeches and nightcrawlers. Crappies biting in the bays and channels, try Isle Bay and Cove Bay. Area lakes such as Ann, Knife, Platte, Sullivan, Shakopee lakes producing nice crappies, walleyes and many pike. Very nice crappies have been biting on Osakis. Dickie's has launches ready on Mille Lacs for large groups! Call Chris for guided trips and up-to-the-minute reports. Listen to Chris on Outdoor Adventures Radio for more fishing info and reports!
MILLE LACS, AITKIN, BRAINERD LAKES
- Jeff Hanson's Guide Service
5-23-Mille Lacs is 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)
5-25-Lake Minnetonka has been producing weedline walleyes. Anglers are using crankbaits and minnows with the best luck. On Minnetonka pike, crappies and sunfish have also been biting in 8-10 feet of water. Minnows are also working well for walleyes on Independence. Most area lakes are producing sunfish. Call us for daily updates!
MISSISSIPPI - ST. CROIX
- Turk Gierke, Croixsippi Guide Service
5-24- St. Croix River fishing finds walleyes the main quarry of anglers and they are biting though not wide spread in locations. Crankbaits and livebait are the top choices. Livebait rigging is still a good bet, with nightcrawlers and leeches. Bright colored hooks help in the presentation especially when the water is rising and darkening. Rapala Shad Raps in Firetiger color are a can’t go wrong color choice – Experiment from that starting point. Smallmouth bass opens on Memorial Day Saturday and they will be on the chew - hitting plastics, top waters, crankbaits, and jigs tipped with livebait. Channel cats will be more active as the water is in the low 70’s. Sheepshead spawn in early June and cannot be avoided, small kids like to catch them. White bass are a little scare. Not much flathead talk though that should get rolling soon. The water levels are at this point in time normal and not high. Best walleye depth 17 to 22'. Best smallmouth depth 2 to 6' especially early in the day.
- Smokey Hills Outdoor Store, Nathan, Josh, www.smokeyhills.com
19143 US HWY 71 N, Park Rapids, MN (218-237-5099)
5-24- The lakes are finally starting to warm up, with temperatures over 60 on most lakes. Finding warmer water has had been a big part of what our customers are looking for.
Walleye- Looking for the warmest waters to spawn in anywhere from 6-16 ft of water in or on the weedline and drop-offs. Searching for a VMC “Spindrift” Paired with either a redtail minnow or leech to limit out!
Northern- Searching for structure like cabbage, timber, or Lilly pads to ambush easy prey. Tie on a Northland “SpinnerBait” or Gamakatsu “Octopus Circle hook” paired with a sucker minnow or shiner for best luck.
Bass- Up Shallow in 1-6 also looking for the most cover and structure for the spawn. Looking for a VMC " Wacky Jig" paired with a YUM "Dinger"
Panfish and Crappie- 1-6 ft of water looking for the most structure to spawn around. Tie on a VMC “Moon Eye Jig” Paired with a Lil Hustler crappie tube, or Customs Jigs and Spins “Flu-Flu” either paired with a crappie minnow, leech, or waxy for best luck to fill the bucket!
Stop in the store 7 Days a week 8am to 6pm for all the Hot fishing info!
- Wheaton Service & Bait www.wheatonservice.com
Neighbor Steve, 912 Broadway, Wheaton, MN (320-563-1400)
5-24-Memorial Day weekend has arrived and so have the fish! Lake Traverse has turned on and all the fish are hungry! Walleye, Pike Monster Catfish, White Bass. You name it, it's eatin! Stop on in to Wheaton Service for all your Lake Traverse bait and tackle needs. Wheaton Service also offers guided fishing packages for Walleye, Catfish, or maybe you just want to go catch fish in general. Or guides WILL put you on the fish! All full day guiding outings come with a shore lunch! Give us a call 320-563-1400 or check out Wheaton Service on facebook. Neighbor Steve, owner Wheaton Service and Service Liquor. Take a Kid Fishing!
Mase's In Towne Marine - www.intownemarina.com
Cindy, corner of Lake and Elm (952-442-2096)
Another Fishing Opener has gone by with the weather stealing the headlines. Cold temps and high winds made it difficult for the few anglers that braved it on Saturday. Water temps dipped to just 50 degrees by mid-Saturday. But, as conditions slowly improved, the bite did as well. We have had some good walleye reports for the few days since the opening day. While those out in the late evenings or early mornings have had success fishing in less than 8 feet of water, there have been a surprising number of reports of walleyes being caught late afternoon into the early evening between 14 to 18 feet of water. Jigs with fatheads or leeches have been working, and not surprisingly, slip bobber fishing with a leech has been productive. Areas like Kegs Reef, North Reef and Harms Point are a few locations to have success. Don’t hesitate to fish the points of Coney Island as well, as they are worth hitting up. So far we’ve had a couple of 3 pounders, a 5 pounder, and a 28 incher reported, along with several in the 17 to 18 inch range. Not a bad start considering how difficult Saturday was!
As for the crappie bite, just like the walleyes, it was tougher over the weekend. However, as water temps have climbed into the upper 50’s to low 60’s again, we are seeing more action happening! Waconia Bay and the Pillsbury Reef area continue to pump out decent keepers on crappie minnows. The north side of Coney Island has been great the previous few years, and would be a good option as well. Along with the crappies are mixed in sunfish. While the sunnies aren’t quite spawning yet, if the water temps stabilize in the mid-60’s, we’ll see an influx of beds appearing in the shallows. Wax worms or a chunk of night crawler or angle worm would be a great choice to pair with your jig/hook and bobber rig, or small spinner.
Bass have been very productive since the warm-up, as they usually are in the spring. If you’re trying for any of the above mentioned species, you will likely have a bass bite or several. The favorite bait for bass generally is leeches, but they aren’t too picky at the moment. Keep in mind, as of now, it’s still catch-and-release only for largemouths. The bass season opens on May 27th.
Our shop hours have extended since the Opener. We are now open Monday thru Friday from 8 am to 8 pm, and on Saturday and Sunday from 6:30 am to 8 pm. We will further extend our hours starting Memorial Day Weekend!
Our fishing boat and pontoon rental season has started! We have anxiously waited for some consistently nice spring weather, and we now have it. Call (952) 442-2096 to reserve and get on beautiful Lake Waconia for some good fishing or relaxation!
- Walleye Visions - www.mnfishingconnections.com
Tom Neustrom, 21622 Airport Rd, Grand Rapids, firstname.lastname@example.org, (218-327-2312)
5-25-The weather has been excellent and the fishing has been good. With the shiners starting to hit the shorelines to spawn on Big Winnie, look for the walleyes to move shallow during the day. A jig and shiner has been producing along Mallard, Sugar, and Raven’s Points. When there is no wind hit the deeper breaks along Highbanks and the north shore. Leeches and rigs have also been good choices and as the water warms it may be time to bring all three (shiners, leeches, and crawlers). Other areas of the lake that have been producing are Little Stony and the Bird houses on the South end. After hours anglers trolling Shad Raps along shoreline as well. See you on the water.