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

Fish Tales Archive

© 2018 OutdoorsWeekly.com - Copyright Info

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

7-6- Walleyes are biting on Rush, West Battle and Ottertail. Try working live bait in 20-15 feet of water or using cranks at night in shallower water. Muskies have been hitting on West Battle, as well as some northern pike. For panfish, best lakes are Silver, West Battle and Clitherall. Stop in for tips, friendly reports and live bait!

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LAKE BENTON
- Veire's Mini-Mart - Visit our Facebook Page
Dave, 117 E Benton St, corner of Hwy 75 and 14 (507-368-4204)

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

7-6-Blackduck is producing walleyes in 10-14 feet of water. Island has also had a great walleye bite going. For panfish, try the weedlines at Gull, Pimishe and Rabideau. Stop in or give us a call for daily fishing reports!

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

6-25- Leech Lake this past week had its ups and downs.  We have water temps right around 70 degrees and the mayfly hatch is happening all over the lake.  The walleyes definitely have feeding windows and are being found in the transition areas and anywhere where you can find mud it seems.  The fish are still relating to shoreline breaks where there is and and rock as well.  But look to those sand to mud or sand to gravel or rock transitions to find walleyes in 16-25 feet of water.  The fish towards the end of the week were definitely setting up in their summer areas and this will continue.  

Try using lindy rigs with crawlers or leeches, and jig and crawler or leech, or trolling spinners or crankbaits to cover ground. Walker Bay is producing best along the shoreline breaks and points such as 2nd Point, Moores, and Cedar.  The Main Lake the best fishing is on the main lake breaklines and some of the rock reefs on the sound end of the lake such as Huddles, Variety, Pelican, etc.  The wind like always will dictate the fishing on Leech Lake.  

Bemidji’s 
Walleyes are biting leeches and nightcrawlers on Lindy Rigs in 15-18 feet off of shoreline breaks just outside major cabbage beds. Spinners and crawler are producing fish as well. Perch are located in 5-7 feet in the pencil reeds and moss bed locations. Try a jig and minnow for the bigger perch. Pike are still holding in most cabbage flats with some bigger fish are holding on deep structures like Grassy Island the Rock Pile.

Cass Lake
Walleyes and pike are relating to shoreline breaks and weed flats in 12-18 feet of water. Long lining nightcrawlers or pulling spinners, or anchoring with slip bobbers will produce fish during daylight hours. In the evening, pull shad raps over sand flats in 6-8 feet of water around 2 mph.

Mille Lacs
Fishing on Mille Lacs is great right right now pulling spinners and lindy rigs along mud flats in 25-33 feet of water during the morning and afternoon hours.  In the evenings, look to move up to the top edges of these or the rock reefs and throw slip bobbers on them.  

LOA Guide Team

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CENTRAL MINNESOTA
- Minnesota Fishing Guide Service
www.minnesotaguideservice.com - www.minnesotaicefishhouserental.com
Capt Josh Hagemeister (320-291-0708)

It’s that time of year when fishing patterns are all over the board!  The bluegills/crappies are all basically shallow—7’ of water or less.  Small tube jigs, bobber minnow/waxie combos, or even tiny crankbaits will land a bunch of crappies or bluegills this time of year.  The walleyes are leaning towards any new weed growth—on the shallow flats or on the shore line drop offs.  Jigs or live bait rigs tipped with a minnow is all that is needed trolled slowly along the bottom.  Try 4” plastic swim baits on a weedy flat for something fun…and deadly.  Of course, if you wanna catch pike, then rig up some shallow diving crankbaits or spinner baits and work the shallow weeds in the 5-10ft range.  A good multi-purpose combo is a spinner rig tipped with a minnow and worked at a medium troll.  This has the potential for both walleye and pike.  Lotsa Fish! Lotsa Fun! 

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

7-6- Walleyes are biting on leeches on North Center and Green in about 10-15 feet of water. Green Lake as a great bass and pike bite going in the weeds. For panfish, try the 10-15 foot weedlines on Chisago, North Lindstrom, North/South Center and Green. Stop in or call us anytime for updates!

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

7-6-Fish and Island lakes are producing walleyes on leeches. The St. Louis River is also picking up for walleye action. Lake Superior action has picked up as well. Lake trout and coho are hitting spoons and stickbaits. Island Lake has had a hot bass bite and crappies also hitting there. Stop in or call us anytime for a daily report!

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ELY
- 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)

7-9-The smallmouth bass action has been dominating the fishing scene in the Ely area for the past couple of weeks. Anglers are battling these hard fighting and aerobatic fish on most any lake in the North Country. Whether you fish them on sub-surface baits such as soft plastic tubes, crawfish and crank baits, or on the surface with poppers, buzz baits, or plugs, the outcome remains the same, explosive action. Some of the bass are truly awesome, stretching out in over 21" of fury, weighing in at over six pounds.

Walleyes have been fairly co-operative, with many folks filling their stringers with nice keeper size fish. Although there haven't been near as many true bragging size fish, most anglers are happy just to take some home for the pan.

Northern pike in the forty inch range are being caught on a regular basis. Many folks are using large crank baits or spinner baits to locate and land these toothy critters. Some are still relying on the tried and true method of just hanging a sucker minnow under a bobber to catch what could be a fish of a lifetime.

The crappie bite never really took off after the spawn, but some have been taken on minnows or soft plastics on a jig in ten to twenty feet of water. around rock piles or other structure.

Rainbow trout have been falling for trolled spinners and diminutive crank baits fished anywhere from just below the surface, down to twenty feet, while others are just kicking back in the boat or on the shore with crawlers suspended under a bobber. Some rainbows that have been caught recently have exceeded twenty inches.

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

7-2- Moving into this holiday week we are seeing typical fishing patterns for this time of year. Walleye on most area lakes including Woman, Leech, Ten Mile and Pine Mountain are primarily scattered over the deeper flats 17-22'. Anglers have been having good success with bouncers and spinners using crawlers. Slow Death rigs and crankbaits have also been working. Also, we've been hearing more people having success doing the deep water trolling on Ten Mile after dark. Some lakes with strong cabbage beds are producing walleye with light jigs and leeches up shallow as well.

Bass fishing has been very good across the area. Smallmouth are actively feeding on topwater and swim baits in the mornings and evenings. During the day sight fishing the shallow flats can produce good fishing as well as working plastics off the edges. This time of year the smallmouth are just cruising looking for a meal that suits their fancy. Largemouth are in their typical summer pattern eating frogs and bluegills up shallow. Get after them in the thick slop and timber especially on the sunny days. Clouds can bring them out beyond the weed edges and they can be targeted well with spinnerbaits and swim baits. 

Bluegill can be found right up under the pads right now. Pitch lightweight plastics up along the edge or the tried and true bobber right next to the weedbed. It doesn't get much better than taking the kids out on the edge of some pads and relaxing with some bobbers and hauling in those bluegills!

Muskie fishing has been slow since opener. Guys are still catching fish, but you have to put in your time. Work the cabbage beds primarily, and try to focus on prime fishing times during early morning and late evening. Jerkbaits and topwater can be good ways to get a muskie excited. We should start seeing an uptick in the musky activity during this month.  

It looks like it is going to be a great week to be on the water so whether you're fishing or playing, have a Happy and safe 4th of July!

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KABETOGAMA-NAMAKAN
- 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)

7-1- HAPPY 4TH OF JULY! Fishing remains strong going into the holiday week despite the persistent mayfly hatch.  Finally, some relief from the hot muggy weather.

Since opening day the fishing report seems to be like a broken record.  Usually by the 4th of July we are talking reefs and deep water.  Despite the persistent mayfly hatch we are experiencing right now the bite still remains strong along island and shoreline points and when the wind is blowing, shallow along weed lines.  The biggest change we have seen is that leeches and crawlers are out producing minnows.  Live bait rigs tipped with either bait has been the way to go.  If you are having problems, try using a half crawler.  On windy days, focus on wind swept shorelines, say 6’-15’.

Otherwise move out into deeper water and move slow along transition areas where rock meets sand/mud.  It can be hard focusing on shallow water this time of year, but great reports are coming in fishing these areas when the wind is blowing.  Us walleye fisherman are creatures of habit but thinking out of the box can be rewarding if you can train your brain to do so!

Northern pike and small mouth bass are still there along shorelines and weed beds.  Casting almost anything is turning fish.  Keep trying something different until you get some action.

Water skiers and tubers are a more common sight on the lake these days.  With the Independence Day holiday this week it is sure to more active so be aware of other boaters.  This is usually the busiest week of the year so have a great time and stay safe!  Kabetogama has some great fireworks to see on the 4th.  The best viewing is by boat.  You can see them on the west end toward Sandy Point and then down towards Northern Lights as well.  As long as the weather holds you can’t beat an evening boat ride enjoying the show!

Don’t forget to stop in to Gateway General for some hand scooped ice cream and to check out our expanded gift and clothing selection.  Gateways freshly made subs and wraps have also been a huge hit.  You may want to call ahead and have them waiting for you when you stop in.  We also have an expanded beer and wine selection with many specialty beers available. Have a great 4th of July!

Guide Reports
Travis Carlson
This week was a great week of walleye fishing on Kabetogama!  Fishing mostly in 9-15’ of water with live bait rigs and leeches or half a crawler.  Fishing windswept shorelines and weed edges were a constant producer.
Trent Snyder
The bite slowed some the end of the week primarily because of the mayfly hatch. But if you can get out early morning like 5:30 or so you will find success. Wind swept shores in the 20 ft range with leech and minnows have both been productive.

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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)

7-9- Walleye fishing on fire for eaters and slot fish with some big girls being caught as well.  Drifting and trolling spinners and crawlers has been the go to method. Trolling cranks in the basin in 26-30 ft producing limits also. Charter boats and personal boats catching fish all over the lake.  Congrats to all MTT anglers, top bag, 5 fish over 36 lbs.  Welcome to all MWC tournament walleye anglers this week.

On the Rainy River, sturgeon fishing "keep season" is now open until Sept 30. Anglers can keep one sturgeon per year in the 45-50 inch range or over 75 inches. MN catch and release records continue to be broken, bring measuring tape and camera.  Smallmouth bass anglers finding big smallies in typical go to areas, rock, bridges, current breaks, etc.  Welcome NABC tournament bass anglers to the Rainy River for Sunday tournament.  

Up at the NW Angle... Walleye, sauger, perch, northern, smallmouth, and of course muskie fishing are all hot on both sides of border.  Walleyes being found in some shallow areas still but most trying off off shore structure. Area north of Garden Island to Four Blocks has been good.  Orange and chartreuse are good colors to start with.  A complete list of lodging, packages, guides and fishing info available at www.LakeoftheWoodsMN.com

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LAKE OF THE WOODS
- Sportsman's Lodges, Lake of the Woods, Rainy River - www.sportsmanslodges.com (1-800-862-8602)

7-3 - Walleyes and a few surprises - What a fun week! It was a good walleye and sauger bite. Walleyes continued to hit on spinners tipped with a leech or a crawler harness and worms in the sand in 24-29 feet of water while drifting or trolling. A few notable colors were gold, pink and white. Bright or shiny colors are always good go to colors for the stained waters of Lake of the Woods. Water temperature has bounced up to 73 degrees.

Nice mixes of walleyes and saugers have been reeled in as well as a few surprises. Captain Brent's crew was targeting walleyes when a feisty 41 inch northern pike grabbed a hold. This fighter gave Jody quite the fight! Check out the monster in the pictures of the week video. Another crew was out fishing for walleyes and reeled in a 50 ½ monster muskie! WOW were they surprised! Check out that monster as well as some of the other catches of the week!

Sturgeon Season opened back up July 1. Now until Sept 30, anglers can keep 1 per calendar year. After September the season will go to catch and release until late April. During the keep season, fish must be 45"-50" inclusive or over 75". Immediately upon reducing a fish to possession, you must validate and attach your sturgeon tag. Sturgeon tags can be purchased online or by phone 24/7 by calling 1-888-MN-LICEN (665-4236) from the Minnesota DNR. Like in the spring these bottom feeders can be found swimming the bottom holes of the river and bays. A gob of minnows, a few shiners or something for smell hooked onto a 4/0 hook and a no roll sinker is all you need. Anchor up, enjoy the scenery and get ready for a heck of a fight when one takes a chomp. Several 40"-70"+ are caught in the area quite often.

Lodging & Charter Fishing packages starting at just $251 per person for 2 nights and 1 day. Come have some fun this summer! Click here. *plus tax and based on double occupancy

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LAKE OF THE WOODS
- Sportsman's Oak Island Lodge, NW Angle/Oak Island, MN - www.oakislandlodge.com (800-772-8411)

7-3-Jigs & Spinners
Jigging with a minnow along rocky points and reefs in 25'-30' and drifting sandy areas using a hammered gold spinner and leech in 23'-28' has been working well. Lots of nice 15"+ walleyes nibbling at the line. Water temperature is about 74 degrees. The guides are ready to take you out.

Bass & Pike
Smallmouth bass and northern pike are hitting around rocky shorelines casting with spinner baits. We have an incredible trophy size pike population right now.

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

6-25-Leech Lake has been going great! We just had the AIM walleye tournament here on Leech Lake (catch, photo, release). Top weight was 45-3/4 pounds for 5 fish! They were using mostly live bait rigs. Leeches seemed to outproduce crawlers, but this will soon switch. Fishing the deep edges of mid lake reefs seem to be the best spots to start! Muskie action has also picked up, topwater lures like jackpots are working very well. Pike action in the bays has been good also! Try spoons, a red eye wobbler if you have one! Panfishing has picked up also, so come enjoy lake living with us!

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

Mille Lacs walleye bite is on fire! Anglers are catching fish all over, the north end, south end, west side, east side. Big walleyes are biting as well as all class walleyes. Bobber fishing is great, work the breaklines with leeches/crawlers. Dickies and Terry's are having great launch success. Big perch, sunnies and crappies are biting on Platte, Sullivan, Shakopee. Call Chris to book 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!

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

7-6- Minnetonka is producing sunfish and crappies at the weedlines. Bass are also biting mixed in with the panfish and walleyes seem to bite best at night. Muskie have started to bite on Minnetonka as well, with some pike hitting too. Most fish are biting at the weedlines. Other lakes to try for panfish are Medicine and Sarah. Stop in or give us a call for updates!

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MISSISSIPPI - ST. CROIX
- Turk Gierke, Croixsippi Guide Service
www.croixsippi.com
(651-208-2811)

6-26 - Walleyes on the St. Croix are hitting various baits from crankbaits, crawlers, leeches, and minnows in depths from 8 to 28 feet.  Some good-sized walleyes are being caught and these fish are in the 21 to 24 inch range.  Saugers hit well in July and found deeper than walleyes many of these delicious fish are perfect eating size in the 14 to 17 inch range.  Good colors for walleye are white/silver, blues, and chartreuse, as well as firetiger.  Spinner blades in silver are productive as well.

Smallmouth are hitting lures presented in depths from 2 to 8 feet are holding these hard fighting fish (in fact they fight stronger as the water warms).  Smallmouth are caught on jigs, leeches, plastic worms and crankbaits.  Catfish activity traditionally picks up in July as do the Muskie.  River water is high and for the start of the month will be a river wide no wake.

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

Walleyes - Most fishermen are finding fish around 8-15 feet in and around the weeds. Rig up a Quick Change Spinner rig paired with a leech or minnow for best luck.

Crappie/sunfish - Some smaller warmer lakes will have the crappies and sunfish leaving the waters shallower then 5 feet. Others that are a little deeper have a lot of fish on beds up shallow. Rig up a slip bobber and a Northland "Gypsi Jig" tipped with a minnow to fill the bucket for the fish fry! 

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

6-8-Our Pontoon and Fishing Boat Rental Season is now in full swing! We have 3 pontoons that hold up to 9 adults each and 1 that holds 12 adults. We rent 2 fishing boats with 15 hp motors that hold up to 4 people each and 1 fishing boat with a 9.9 hp motor that holds 3 people. For more information, click on this link… http://intownemarina.com/Pontoon&BoatRental.htm

If you are interested in reserving a pontoon or fishing boat, please call (952) 442-2096.

We will be extending our shop and access hours. Hours will be Saturday and Sunday from 6:30 am to 8:30 pm, and on Monday thru Friday from 7:30 am to 8:30 pm.

The bite is still on for many species in Lake Waconia! Water temps have been hovering in the low-to-mid 70’s. The sunfish spawn has continued in the shallows. Expect a strong sunfish bite on waxies and crawlers. Crappies have moved a little deeper. Fish them in the weeds in 8 to 16 feet of water with crappie minnows for good action in places like Keg’s, North and Center Reefs or on the north end of Coney Island. Walleye anglers have been catching some nice crappies occasionally on fatheads as well. As for the walleyes, with the transition into more of a summer pattern, we suggest fishing with fatheads and leeches off the deeper weed lines and drops such as Keg’s, North, Red’s and Anderson’s Reef as well as the east end of Coney Island. Muskie season began last week and we had some reports of catches in the low-to-mid 40 inch range. Big Spinners have been a common choice in 12 to 16 feet of water. Bass action has still been very good. We’ve had a wide range of sizes being caught both shallow and deeper. Different angling styles have worked. Soft plastics have been good in less than 8 feet of water, while spinnerbaits and jigs have produced some nice ones in the weeds on the reefs. We continue to have some decent reports of northern pike being caught. Many times they are caught while fishing bass or walleye.

We look forward to seeing you! Good luck fishing!

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

With the warmer weather of late, the bite on Big Winnie for walleyes has improved everyday. There have been good reports especially from the West side of Winnie have been very good. Mallard, Stony and Raven’s Points have been especially good with a Mooneye Jig and shiner producing lots of walleyes in 7-12 feet. Windier days seem to be the best and making sure you don’t move too quickly when you are drifting is critical. One eighth ounce jigs is preferred, but don’t be afraid to switch to a quarter ounce if the wind blows or depths of 12 to 16 feet are locations of walleyes especially after a cold front. Northern Pike fishing has been good in and around new emerging weed beds. Jig and minnows and small crankbaits have been boating several nice pike this last week. Additional areas to try for walleyes are Duck Pass, Highbanks, and the wood duck houses on the south west side. Memorial weekend is coming you and a great time to get out and wet a line. Be safe and have very enjoyable weeks ahead.

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WEST CENTRAL MN
- Fishin' With Frisch Pro Guide Service - www.fishingthemidwest.com
Mike Frisch
(218-731-8141)

7-8-The walleye bite remains steady, particularly the morning bite, on several lakes in the Alexandria area including Reno and Osakis.   Various live bait snells and spinners tipped with leeches and crawlers in 16-23 feet of water are taking fish.  In the afternoon, anglers are advised to go bass fishing as the deep weedline bite for largemouth is heating up!  Casting a crankbait on the weedline is a great way to find bass, and then slowing up with a jig-worm combination is a great way to catch a bunch more!

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