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Minnesota Fish Tales Fishing Report
The Most In-Depth Statewide Fishing Report in Minnesota!

Fish Tales Archive

© 2017 OutdoorsWeekly.com - Copyright Info

- Ben's Bait & Tackle
Bennet or Craig Stich, Junction of Hwy 78 and 210 (218-864-5596)

For walleyes, fish 12-15 feet around weed edges using leeches or crawlers on jigs or snells. Best lakes have been Ottertail, West Battle and Silver. Panfish are in the 10-15 foot weeds on West Battle, Round and Silver. For sunfish use leeches, crawlers or waxworms and for crappies, try crappie minnows on little jigs (flu-flu, moon glows). The docks and weed beds are producing bass with spinnerbaits, jigs and plastic or jigs/minnows. Lakes to try are Silver, Fiske, Donald, South Turtle. Northern pike are in the 15-20 foot weedlines hitting spinners and sucker minnows or spoons. Try Donald, Fiske, Silver or Round. The muskies are in shallow areas by docks, weeds and rocks. Use bucktails or jakes on West Battle.

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- 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.

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- Timberline Sport & Tackle
Carl Adams, Junction of Hwy 71 and Blackduck Lake Rd. (218-835-4636)

Pimushe, Gilstead, North Twin and South Twin are producing crappies and bluegills in the 10-14 foot weedlines. Pike and bass are also biting at the weedlines on minnows. Gull, Island, Blackduck and Round are good bets for some walleye action in about 14-20 feet of water. Try using leeches or nightcrawlers.

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- Leisure Outdoor Adventures - www.leisureoutdooradventures.com
Jason Freed, Toby Kvalevog, Jeff Andersen (1-855-LOA-HOOK or 1-855-562-4665)


Leech Lake

Fishing on Leech Lake has been up and down this week.  Constant pressure and wind changes have created an up and down bite all week.  Water temps have dropped from the high 70’s to the high 60’s and has made for some tougher fishing as of late.  There has still been a decent shallow water weed bite with slip bobbers or Lindy rigs and crawlers early in the morning and late in the evenings. On cloudy days, this bite has proven productive even through the late morning hours.  For those fishing middle of the day, try fishing a bit deeper with a big minnow of any kind in depths of 20-30ft in on the breaklines.  Use your electronics to spot fish first, then swing back and fish them as slow and finesse as possible.  This bite has produced a few big fish this week, along with some bonus big pike, but not many keepers.  Warmer stable weather should make things better as we move into late August.

Brainerd Area Lakes

Fishing in the Brainerd area still remains good for a variety of fish.  Fishing wind blow weedlines, off-shore humps, or under water points has been the best for walleyes, pike, and bass.  16-28 feet of water has been best with redtail chubs, jigging raps, or slip bobbers and leeches.  North Long, Gull, and Whitefish are still the best best to get it on the multi species action.  

Hackensack and Longville Area

We also have been spending quite a bit of time in July and August fishing lakes in the Hackensack and Longville areas.  There are tons of lakes within 30 minutes that yield great large and smallmouth bass fishing as well as crappies, pike, and nice walleyes.  For smallmouth, rocky under water points or bars have been best in 14-20 feet of water with drop shot rigs, tubes or wacky rigging.  Laremouth are being found in 14-18 feet of water along weed edges.  Underwater points and shelfs seem to be best for catching them.  When lindy rigging on these lakes you just don’t know what you are going to catch, so try red tail minnows, crawlers, and leeches and you will catch all kinds of species that make for a great day of rod bending action.

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- Frankie's Live Bait and Marine - www.frankies.net
Brad, Corner of Hwy 8 and CR 77 (651-257-6334)

Panfish are biting on North Lindstrom, South Lindstrom, Chisago, North Center and South Center. Work the weedlines for bluegills and move to the deeper water and bays and channels for crappie action.

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- Marine General - www.marinegeneral.com
1501 London Road, on the edge of Lake Superior (218-724-8833)

Walleyes biting on Island in 20 feet on leeches. Fish Lake is kicking out bluegills in the 10-foot weeds. Muskies are hitting bucktails on the St. Louis River. Salmon are biting on Lake Superior from Two Harbors to Silver Bay in 50-70 feet of water.

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- 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)

Sept 11 - As the water begins to cool, most fish species have left the shallower waters and begun to haunt the deepest parts of the lakes. Walleyes in particular are being caught down as deep as thirty-five feet on lakes such as Vermillion and Snowbank. Minnows have finally made their comeback as the preferred bait for fishing deep. Jig heads up to 3/4 ounce gets your bait down in the target zone. Crawler harnesses are still working too though as most anglers are trolling spinner rigs on bottom bouncers to fill their stringers. Big pike too have gone deeper, with some large ones have been taken from twenty-five to thirty feet of water. Crappies have begun to bunch up a bit, look for the schools to be holding in twelve to fifteen feet. Small safety pin type spinners such as Beetle Spins make a great search tool as do small crank baits in the number three to five size. A few lake trout have been taken with spoons and cranks on Burntside. Most are smaller fish in the three to five pound range with an occassional eight thrown in. With the water cooling, the fish there have been in depths of thirty-five to fifty feet. White and white/green spoon colors working best.

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- Fish On Bait & Sport www.habitatnow.com
Kyle, 201 S Franklin St, 2 blocks south of stoplights in Glenwood (320-634-3667)

Visit the Habitat Outlet on line at www.HabitatNOW.com for all your habitat needs.  Fish On!

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Swanson's Bait & Tackle - www.swansonsbait.com
Caleb Garoutte, Hwy 371 on the north end of Hackensack (218-675-6176)

The full on summer struggle for boating some walleye is still on! The fisherman have been having a tough time with the walleye as expected this time of year, but those that have gone into summer mode with bottom bouncers and crawlers have been finding fish. The name of the game is covering ground. Woman and Leech have both been a crawler bite with a few fish still coming on redtails. Ten Mile has been producing fish over the deep water with crankbaits at dusk and after dark. Time to get out the trolling rigs!

What the walleye bite has lacked, the Largemouth bite has - get out the heavy sticks with the 30lb braid and get in the slop! Most lakes have a majority of their fish sitting up against shore waiting for frogs to prey on. Get way back in the weeds to find the largemouth. Weedless bass spoons and frogs have been the best way to get back in there after them. Mule, Portage, and Moccasin have all been great, and they have been finding some big fish on Birch as well.

For panfish focus on the evening bite primarily. The bluegill and crappie have been moving up in the water column to feed in the late evening and it can be a pretty furious bite if you're over a good weedbed. Throwing a bobber with a crappie minnow or worm works, but pitching a light weight jig with a light rod can be a great way to pull them fast. Mini-Mite jigs are always a Swanson's favorite, but any light crappie jig will work well.

The muskie bite has definitely heated up in the last week. We've been hearing more reports of fish being boated, and much more consistent action. Bucktails are king right now from what we have heard, but don't be afraid to pull a jerk bait over the prime structure. Little Boy/Wabedo have been good as well as Leech. Reports have been coming in off the rocks and the weeds both!

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- 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 inconsistent as summer slips away to fall
Changes this past week give indications summer is giving way to fall like conditions.  Hummingbirds and Pelicans have slowly made their way out of the area and morning temps are crisp and cool.  Fall like fishing presentations are also taking hold. Walleyes are scattered with shoreline structure and mid lake reefs being most productive in the 24’-28’ depths.  The most notable change is that anglers are starting to catch fish with a lindy or jig tipped with a minnow which is out producing crawlers and leeches.  There have also been reports of good catch rates using lead core with flicker shads and Rapalas and trolling fast, say 2-2 ½ mph in the same depth range.  With fish being scattered, this is a good way cover lots of water.  Nice perch are always a bonus catch. As usual smallmouth bass and northern are still active casting shorelines with just about anything. The Kabetogama visitor center is still doing cruises to Kettle Falls through September.  Make sure to call ahead for dates, times and to reserve your spot! This past weekend’s fishing contest finale, community garage sale and Grand Opening at Gateway General were a big success.  It was nice to see everyone come out and participate.  Check gateway Generals website for contest and drawing winners! Fall can be the one of the nicest times of the year to enjoy the Kabetogama and Voyageurs National Park.  Hope to see you soon!
As always, we’ll see you there!
Jason and Robyn

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- Lake of the Woods Area Tourism Bureau - www.lakeofthewoodsmn.com
near Junction of Hwy 11 and Hwy 172 in Baudette, (1-800-382-FISH)

As the water temperature continue to drop the walleyes have in turn put the feed bags on. Lots of shiners have made there way closer to shore and lighthouse gap for the spawn. Walleyes caught have full stomachs! Crankbaits still producing but spinners with crawlers or shiners and jigging with a shiner doing well. Big Traverse Bay continues to hold a good portion of the walleyes but reefs holding hungry fish and shorelines get better and better everyday.

Anglers in the Rainy River finding some walleyes with morning/evening still the best. The river walleye fall bite hasn't quite hit yet but it could turn hot any day. Trolling cranks or pulling spinners producing the best. Smallmouth bass in good numbers along shoreline rock, bridge embankments and feeder streams. Many sturgeon over 50" and 60" being boated at all times of the day and night.

Up at the Northwest Angle, in Minnesota waters, bottom bouncing, jigging, or trolling with cranks producing big numbers of walleyes. Current areas between the islands have been hot! The best depths are deeper early and mid day, sliding up to 10’ or less in the evening. Canada has been giving up more and more crappies everyday, some at 16” plus. Jigging with the lightest set up possible has been the most effective method, A few have even been caught on crankbaits, which continue to yield the nicest walleyes of the week with a few occasional muskie.  Jigging is also very productive for walleyes on 17-22’ shelves, on break lines with access to deeper water. Our walleyes are feeding on schooled up shiners and fishing is phenomenal! Lodging, charters and guides are available at www.LakeoftheWoodsMN.com/Lodging.

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- Anderson's Resorts - www.andersonsleech-lake.com
Tim, (1-800-516-0077) spirit@arvig.net (e-mail) 

Leech Lake is the place to be this summer! Walleye action is still strong! Big fish hitting on the main lake using shad raps on break lines or running lead core on the deep breaks. We have had some really big fish reported in the last couple weeks. Eating size walleyes hitting on weedlines and points mostly at twilight hours. Pike and muskie is hot this time of the year - they love the warmer water and it seems like they are angry at the top water stuff! Sand bars and rocky points are great spots to start! There again it seems like they are having more luck before and after the pleasure/ jet skiers are off the water!  We had one of the biggest smallmouth bass come in to the resort recently pushing 6 pounds, it hit a topwater bait! We are also seeing sunfish and rock bass coming in with good numbers. So as you can see there are fish for everyone! We still have openings in August /September. Aome great late season specials also! So if you can slip away, it will be worth your time!

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- Chris Kuduk's Guide Service - www.kuduksguideservice.com
For up to the minute reports, call Chris at 320-630-1761!

Bass are on fire! Try throwing anything in crayfish color, either tube jigs or throwing crankbaits at the breaks/transitions. Garrison, Myr Mar Reef and 3-mile are hot spots to try. Muskies have also been biting on Mille Lacs. Pike are hitting sucker minnows during evenings in the bays. Panfish, pike and walleyes are biting on smaller area lakes such as Platte, Sullivan, Shakopee, Ann and Knife. Fish the weedlines.Call Chris for up-to-the-minute reports or to book a launch trip or a small boat trip! Listen to Chris live from 5-6 pm Fridays & Saturdays on Outdoor Adventures on www.twincitiesnewstalk.com (iheart Radio)! Or listen to the replay Sundays from 6-7.

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- Wayzata Bait & Tackle
Tim or Bob, half mile west off I-494 on Hwy 12 (952-473-2227)

Bass and sunfish are biting on Minnetonka, Independence, Medicine, and Sarah. Northern pike are bitting sucker minnows at the weedline of most area lakes. Crappies are suspeneded on the deep weedline on Minnetonka. Walleyes are biting in the bigger bays on Minnetonka after dark.

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- Turk Gierke, Croixsippi Guide Service

The weather plays a large factor in the location and overall bite activity of the fish.  Walleye, smallmouth, and muskie are much more willing to bite on the windy overcast days as opposed to the hot clear and calm days.  So determining what specie to angler for either the walleye, skis, bass or cats is really weather dependent.

Bass will be shallower based on the overcast, and wind, plus bait pods move them shallow.  Once found you do well for bass on soft plastics (Prescott Bait Co. plastics are very good and unique enough that the next angler is not using them).  On the clear days the bass have been found deep rigging for walleyes and caught on bait – try 20 to 25+ fow.

Walleyes and sauger become tricky to catch livebait and trolling Rapala Shad Raps are effective in August. If you can find keeper saugers you’ll have a good day as nice walleyes are also nearby as they swim together this time of year.  

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- Smokey Hills Outdoor Store, Josh Severtson, www.smokeyhills.com
Park Rapids, Minnesota (218-237-5099)

Walleye/Northern- With the water temps hovering around the high 60's on the majority of the area lakes the main group of walleyes have been marked and caught between 10'-16' of water. The bite switching from minnows to leeches and crawlers. Tie up a Lindy "Walleye Spinner" with a 1/2 oz walking sinker for the perfect weight. 

Bass- starting to spread out between 1'-8' in the thickest weed beds, lily pad patches, and timber piles. Rig up a VMC "Wacky Weedless" hook and team it with a Yum "Dinger" in a variety of colors from light to dark depending on the lake's clarity and food source. 

Sunfish/Crappie- Still staged around the shallows from 6'-12' looking for either sandy bottoms, pencil reeds, or cabbage for cover. Tie on a slip bobber paired with a VMC "Hot Skirt" or Northland "Fire Fly" jig tipped with a crappie minnow or small leech for best luck at filling the bucket! 

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- Wheaton Service & Bait    www.wheatonservice.com
Neighbor Steve, 912 Broadway, Wheaton, MN (320-563-1400)

Lake Traverse, on the MN/SD border, is on fire! The walleye bite has been great, as well as the other species of fish we catch on our quest for walleye:) Water temps are relatively cool for this time of the year. Wheaton Service bait shop is relocating to Hwy 75 in Wheaton. Way better location, You will be able to drive right into our new lot pulling a boat, no hassles like our old location. Like always, Wheaton Service will have the "Best Bait in Town" and we always have up to date info on the bite that is going on on Lake Traverse. Our website will remain the same until our new shop is up and running. Wheaton Service will once again be building lite weight fish houses this fall. Our houses brand is Fishin' Hole Lodges. Lite weight skid houses, all aluminum, We use the same 3m tape that Yetti uses on their houses, less screws, makes for a great finished look! Available in most any color. The average 6x8 is $3,795.00 and weights about 360 lbs.Check us out at wheatonservice.com... 320 563-1400 Ask for Steve! Take a Kid Fishin!

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Mase's In Towne Marine - www.intownemarina.com
Cindy, corner of Lake and Elm (952-442-2096)

Sunfish are currently in shallow water on their spawning beds and are actively biting.  There has been plenty of crappie action as well, with 9 to 10 inch keepers being common, with anglers fishing in 9 to 12 feet of water.  Walleyes have been bucking normal lake trends on certain days.  Yesterday (6/6/17), there were reports of late-afternoon walleyes biting in the same areas as the crappies.  That’s usually uncommon, but this season has we’ve seen plenty of things we normally don’t see.  Most common walleye areas continue to be around Cemetery, Kegs and North Reefs in 12 to 17 feet of water. Bass continue to bite in most depths as well.  All in all, it has been a VERY good week of fishing for those out wetting a line.

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- Walleye Visions - www.mnfishingconnections.com
Tom Neustrom, 21622 Airport Rd, Grand Rapids, tom@mnfishingconnections.com, (218-327-2312)

The shiners are running and the walleyes will be actively chasing bait. With the cooler weather of late look for walleyes to hang shallow before heading off shore. All the points from sugar, Ravens, mallard, to stony point should be great spots to try. Depths of 6-12 feet will be best. Vmc mooneye jigs and a shiner will be very productive or with a slip sinker rig with a shiner. Have a great opener and be safe.

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