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


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© 2017 OutdoorsWeekly.com - Copyright Info

 

Read Wisconsin Fishing Reports here

Bait Corner

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

Sunfish: Anglers are fishing in the 8-15 foot weedlines using worms and waxworms on small hair jigs. Lakes to try are Battle Lake, Clitherall, Rush, Silver. Crappie: fish in the15-20 foot weeds using small jigs. Try West Battle, Clitherall, Rush, Fish. Northerns: Troll with daredevils or minnows with jigs in 15-20 feet water. Lakes to try are Fiske, Clitherall, Ottertail, Donald. Walleyes: Use jigs and minnows in 10-25 feet or troll Rapalas towards dark in 4-7 feet. Try Ottertail, West Battle Lake, Rush, Pickeral. Muskies: Cast Jake's or double cow girls in 20 feet of water.

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

Please call Dave for a fishing report!

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

Blackduck and Island Lake walleyes are biting on jigs and minnows in 10-14 feet. Panfish are hitting on Pimushe, Gilstead, Rabideau and Gull. Stop in for details!

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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)

Well we are getting to the tale end of things this fall, but there is still alot of open water fishing left.  Here is quick report from Leisure Outdoor Adventures.

Walleye fishing has been really up and down of late.  The cooler temps and stable weather should push the water temps down into the upper 50s and that is usually when fall fishing takes off.  A jig and minnow is often the ticket.  An 1/8th oz jig tipped with a golden shiner or rainbow is a great presentation on Leech Lake.  Cadence and colors often times change day to day, so pay close attention to details.  Look to wind blown shorelines and points that have had wind blowing into them for a couple days to produce.  If it is a strong wind look in 5-8feet of water and on lighter blow days move out into 10-12 feet of water.  The obvious areas should hold fish such as Pine Point, Stoney, Little Stony, Ottertail, Two Points, Sandy Beach, and the Flats around Goose Island.  When working the flats pay close attention to where you are seeing bait and also subtle contour lines.  Flats can be intimidating to fish, so the best thing to do is cover ground and work a large area until you connect with fish and then work that area over.  

Have a Great Fall!

Leisure Outdoor Adventures

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

Fishing Report 10-17-17
Wow what a gorgeous week to be on the lake! Leaves are colorful and falling quickly and so are  the water temperatures around the area.  Look for water temps to be in the lower to upper 50’s.  This is the sweet spot folks for fantastic fall fishing for everything from pan fish to muskies.  Look for the big perch cruising the shallows along with some of the biggest pike in the lake.  Troll 12”-18” suckers on a quick strike rig in the local lakes and catch big pike or muskies! Work the weed edges (10-15ft deep) on drop offs near deep water—45 f.t +.  Look for the big perch in the 5-12 ft range cruising the flats near deep water.  Look for walleyes in the deep holes and the dying deep weed line.  With this warm weather, the weed lines will see a spark of activity.  A rainbow chub about 2-3” long on a jig will do the job.  Save your money, skip the red tails and use a “river mix”.  The Mississippi river walleye bite is in full force as well!  The largemouth bass are gorging on the deep weed lines.  Use a Stanley jig tipped with a small Berkley Gulp grub.  Stick to black and brown for colors.  A standard Texas rigged black plastic or a jig worm comb will also work.  Smallmouth bass are schooled heavily on steep breaks that have rocks and some weeds.  Look for the fish suspended on your electronics. If the wind is blowing into a rocky/gravel shoreline –you better fish it. They can’t resist a sucker minnow on alive bait rig—it’s almost cheating!  Good luck, Lotsa Fish!  Lotsa Fun! 

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

On Chisago, crappies and sunfish are biting in 10-15 feet at the weedlines. North and South Lindstrom also report a good panfish bite. Green and North Center are best for walleyes in 12-14 feet.

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

Walleyes are biting on Fish Lake in 10 feet of water. Crappies also reported there. For muskies, try Island Lake using sucker minnows in 10 feet of water. Walleyes are biting in 15 feet of water on Island as well.

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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)

Fishing report 9/25/17
Just when you think you have the walleyes figured out, they change things up. Some anglers were reporting that the walleyes had gone deep, as that's where they were catching them. Lately though, they have been getting caught all throughout the water depths. Some in thirty feet of water, some in seven feet. Go figure. The best advice right now is to keep watching your sonar till you mark some fish and then go after them. Most are still using crawler harnesses, but a good number of fish are being caught using crank baits fished just above the bottom. Jig and minnow combos should start to produce once again as they had done in the Spring.
Crappie anglers are beginning to converge on Birch Lake as the action there is beginning to heat up. We still don't have the big schools bunching up, as the water temps are still a bit high at sixty four or five degrees, but this is soon to change as evening temperatures begin to fall. Crappie minnows are still the bait of choice, but safety pin spinners with a jig and soft tail make a good search tool as you slow troll to find the concentrations of fish. Watch for marks that are suspended mid-way in the water column, as this quite often represents the presence of crappies.
Many folks are chasing pike too at this time of year. The biggest fish of the season seem to get active at the onset of cooler weather. Big suckers fished right on the bottom will fool them time and again, but this can also be the time to dig out your biggest crank baits and work over the deeper weed edges and rockpiles to bring some giants to the net. This action should continue right up till ice begins to form.

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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)
Facebook page

9-27-Water temps are still fairly high despite the cooler weather we have been getting. Walleye fishing has remained in that late summer/early fall pattern where crawlers are still working and minnows are starting to; lake to lake you will see the pattern change. Guys are primarily finding fish in 20-24 feet of water. Covering ground over larger flats has been good, but guys are starting to find fish off long edges and breaks. We should start to see fish stacking up on structure as the water cools, and the bite should switch over to more minnows as well.

Smallmouth bass on many of the area lakes have been going very well. Stony, Portage, Baby, and Ten Mile have all been producing great smallmouth action. Get the swim baits out or suspending/sinking stick baits to target them on the first break on rocky structure. They seem to be really putting the feed bags on right now, and an aggressive approach has been most successful so far. If you get on a tough bite, let the suspending action on the stick baits do the work near the bottom - drop shot rigs can work very well in this situation, but be sure to find where the fish are holding before switching over.

Leaves have really been falling hard with the rain we've been getting this last week so the woods are starting to open up for the grouse/deer hunters. It has been much easier seeing flushed birds now, and the deer are starting to focus on more obvious food sources instead of just hammering acorns. After the first week of season the grouse hunters are having trouble finding good numbers, but that could likely be due to the poor visibility and abundance of food. We should start seeing birds focus on good cover and food. 

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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)

As angler numbers dwindle fishing still remains consistent, grouse hunters finding better success
As we pass peak fall colors, cooler temps have water temperatures down in the 50’s.  Fishing has been consistent and grouse hunters are finding better success as leaves continue to fall which is providing better hunting conditions.  Some local and migrating ducks are flocking up and can be seen going to and from feeding areas around the lake.  Bear have been sighted with more frequency, just another sure sign fall is here.
Walleye fishing has been consistent throughout Kabetogama.  With limited fishing pressure and a wide variety of depths producing, reports are few and far.  Anglers are still catching walleye and sauger using a jig and minnow but better success has been had trolling crankbaits to cover more water.  Trolling weed lines and using lead core over deeper water has been producing fish.
Smallmouth bass are still being found on the reefs with regularity.  A jig and minnow is the way to go.  Start on top of and then work your way along reef edges to find active fish.  When found, they can be in big numbers.  It’s a great time to practice catch, photo and release with these strong fighters as many trophy fish can be caught in a single trip.
Perch fishing has been picking up over deeper water using a jig and minnow.  Look for depths in the 30’ range off island points.
Waterfowl hunting has been fair at best.  With the lack of migrating birds in the area, scouting is the key.  Most success has been had scouting the beaver ponds off the main lakes with hunters taking mallards, teal, wood ducks and ring neck ducks.  A few redhead and pintail have also been reported.
The park service is in the process of pulling rock and channel markers.  Having a GPS and map in hand is recommended when venturing out.  With the continued mild weather forecast for the foreseeable future, you can’t beat a day on the lake right now.  With bugs at a minimum and leaves opening the woods up, take the opportunity to hike one of the park trails as well.  Not only will you most likely have the trail to yourself, you never what you are going to see this time of year as animals are preparing for the long cold months ahead.

As always, we all hope to see you soon…..
Jason and Robyn

Cooper’s Gateway General Store

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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)

The walleye bite remains strong!  Report is very similar to last weeks. Walleyes are staged in front of Pine Island, Graceton Beach and Zippel Bay in 18-30'.  Anglers sorting through a few small fish for every keeper.  Most anchored up with jig and shiner.  Pink, pink/white and gold have been the best colors. Reefs holding fish as well.

Rainy River anglers finding success up and down the river.  Schools of shiners coming into river randomly right now.  When they do, the walleyes are close behind.  Some days excellent, some days catching fish but not a slam dunk based on whether shiners are moving through.  Vertical jigging tipped with a shiner while anchored is the go to method. Some anglers trolling crankbaits with success as well.  Smallmouth bass, pike and crappies showing up. 

Up at the Northwest Angle, in MN waters walleyes are crushing jig and shiners. Orange and chartreuse were the hot colors this week. Big pike being caught trolling minnow baits.  In Ontario waters, minnow/shiner have been effective off of points at depth of 18-26' while anchored or trolling.  In addition to walleyes, crappies on fire and jumbo perch active!  Some muskies being caught trolling.  Lodging, charters and guides are available at www.LakeoftheWoodsMN.com/Lodging.

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LEECH LAKE
- Anderson's Resorts - www.andersonsleech-lake.com
Tim, (1-800-516-0077) (1-800-516-0077)

Fall on Leech lake is a wonderful place to be! Beautiful colors warm days and cool nights and the fish seem to feel the need to feed. Muskie action has been great, hitting almost anything but if you're looking for MR. BIG, then a 12 to 16 sucker minnow might be the right combo! I have friends who put one out and the others cast lures it's amazing how they will attract the fish and then they will bite the live minnow! Walleye action is getting better with the cooler water temp, all the points will be great! Perch action is also going strong, shallow bays and lots of minnows are the key! Grouse numbers are up! Come sneak a fall trip in! Winter will be here shortly! Come enjoy all that the Leech Lake area has to offer!

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MILLE LACS
- Chris Kuduk's Guide Service - (320-630-1761)

Bassmaster tourney was a success on Mille Lacs. Smallie bite is doing well while pitching jigs/tubes. Reports of muskies and pike biting on Mille Lacs. Walleye season is closed. Panfish are biting on smaller area lakes such as Sullivan, Anne, Shakopee, Knife. Work the weedlines, as pike and walleyes are also mixed in. Aitkin Lake has been producing some big crappies and walleyes. Deer are being registered in the area and we are looking forward to a great pheasant season with many birds in the area.Call Chris for up-to-the-minute fishing reports or to book a launch trip or a small boat trip! We are still going out on fall guided trips! Listen to Chris and Stan live from 5-6 pm Saturdays on Outdoor Adventures on www.twincitiesnewstalk.com (iheart Radio)! Or listen to the 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)

Minnetonka walleyes are biting on nightcrawlers at the weedlines and in the bays. Try crankbaits or minnows after dark in the channels. Independence has also been producing walleyes in 18-20 feet. Crappies are biting on Independence, Minnetonka and Medicine as well.

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MISSISSIPPI - ST. CROIX
- Turk Gierke, Croixsippi Guide Service
www.croixsippi.com

(651-208-2811)

Good times on the river this last week with great weather and some decent catches!

Javier with a nice walleye - catch and release. Caught on a night crawler in 16 feet of water.
Javier with a nice walleye – catch and release. Caught on a night crawler in 16 feet of water. Catch N Release!
Here is Jeff with a very nice walleye! He was out with friends Patrick and Marty it was a nice trip with a good group of guys.

Here is Jeff with a very nice walleye! He was out with friends Patrick and Marty it was a nice trip with a good group of guys.  Catch N Release.

The bite has improved as of late, we are seeing many different species like big cats shown below.

Patrick with a big flathead catfish. The flathead is a meat eater and prays on live fish. This beast gave patrick a good battle!
Patrick with a big flathead catfish. The flathead cat is a meat eater and prays on live fish. This beast gave Patrick a good battle! Released.

In the last report here, I commented on how it was difficult to repeat catches, that is changing, as the fish are not moving through as fast. Though they are still on the move chasing baitfish.

Eating sized walleye are coming in better as of late.  Lots of sheepshead too, plus some white bass.

Ryan with an eater, not lots of giants in the St. Croix but nice walleye for sure. Catch and release.
Ryan with an eater, not lots of giants in the St. Croix but nice walleye for sure. Catch n release.

Caught fish from 14 to 30 feet deep using crankbaits, crawlers, and jigging as well.  The plastic bite is not here yet. Minnows will be a good bait as well anytime now.

Baitfish are still widely abundant and the water temps are dropping. In my opinion the best time to be on the water is when you need a sweatshirt to stay warm.  Cooler temps coming and Fall colors too.

Since my last report…The river is down 1.5′ and is at 675.5 feet above sea level as measured in Stillwater, MN.  The river is projected to level.

Since my last report…The water temperature is 66 (1 degree colder).

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PARK RAPIDS
- Smokey Hills Outdoor Store, Josh Severtson, www.smokeyhills.com
19143 US HWY 71 N, Park Rapids, MN (218-237-5099)

Park Rapids area fishing report 8/31/2017

Bass-  Most of the fish and size has been up shallow around a lot of standing structure. Mostly looking for very shady areas on these hot, calm, sunny days! Like Lilly pads, docks and cabbage weeds! A surface bait has proven to outshine any other lures. Tie on either a Scum frog “Trophy Series” or Terminator “Walking Frog” for your best chances on catching that 5lb pig!

Walleye- Found out schooling deeper waters between 20’ and 28’. Pulling Crawler harness spinner rigs paired with crawlers or redtails at a slow speed have been out fishing most other baits. And sometimes stripping the rigs of their beads and blades for more of a plain appearance also proving positive as well!.

Crappie/Sunfish- Sunfish have been between 6’-12’ around the tall standing vegetation and structure. Crappies swimming between 15’-20’ suspended or around deeper growing weeds. Either casting/jigging a small Rapala “Ultra Lite rippin rap” or tying on a VMC “Hot Skirt” jig tipped with either a crappie minnow or worm for best luck!  

Smokey Hills

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LAKE TRAVERSE
- Steve's Bait    www.wheatonservice.com
Neighbor Steve, 912 Broadway, Wheaton, MN (320-563-1400, 320-563-1400)

The Fishing on Lake Traverse has been HOT!! From walleye to catfish, They are all hungry. As we move further into September, the bite will only get better, right up to freeze up!! Our Wheaton Service bait shop will be relocating to Hwy 75 here in Wheaton, and will operate under the name STEVE'S BAIT! As always, Steve's Bait will offer 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!

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

We are changing our hours starting Tuesday, 9/5/17. Monday thru Friday, we will be open from 11:30 am to Sunset.  Saturday and Sunday we will be open 8 am to Sunset. We close for the Summer Season after Saturday, September 30th.

The month of August, while cooler than normal for the pleasure-boaters was a good one for fishermen.  Water temps stayed much cooler than normal (hovering around 70 degrees lately), which made fishing better. We had one of the best months of Northern Pike fishing in years, and that has continued into September. They were actively biting in many different depth ranges and on many varieties of lures and baits.  Typical areas to target included Anderson’s Reef, Cemetery Reef, and Center Reef among others. If using live bait, sucker minnows were a popular choice.

Sunfish, Crappies, and Bass continued to be active as well.  Fishing the weedlines in 11 to 13 feet of water was common for success.  Some days crappies were found deeper off reefs such as Kegs and North Reefs in 15 to 18 feet of water.  Sunfish could be found in 6 to 8 feet of water as well.  Waxies or crawlers were used to catch some nice ones.  The bass, while bigger off the deeper weed edges were also good in the shallow water reeds, the Rock Dock or near the Carp Trap (Peterson’s Creek on the NW side of the lake).

Walleyes should get nothing but better as we get into the Fall.  This summer’s walleye bite was good, but as the season progressed, it was important to target them during the early morning or late evening hours for best success.  Kegs Reef, Reds Reef, and Cemetery Reefs were all areas that produced some nice walleyes.  Fathead minnows were commonly the best bait.

Muskie action picked up in August as well and should continue well into September and October. Bucktails and big topwater baits worked well for some.  Areas like North Reef, Kegs Reef and Center Reef have all been muskie territory.  However, it never hurts to target weedlines like those in Waconia Bay and out from the south shoreline from Lola’s toward the beach.


Our Fishing Boat and Pontoon Rental season is coming to a close shortly.  This time of year, we highly recommend calling for reservations. We for sure will be renting thru next weekend (the 9th and 10th).  After that, we will likely be prepping them for winter storage.  However, if you call us and we still have a boat or pontoon available, we will be happy to rent!

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

Look for walleyes to hang shallow before heading off shore. All the points from Sugar, Ravens, Mallard, to Stony Point are great spots to try. Depths of 6-12 best. VMC mooneye jigs and a shiner have been productive or with a slip sinker rig with a shiner.

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VEKTOR FISH & GAME ACTIVITY TABLES TM
Computerized 2017 by Vektor TM

Tables indicate peak fish and game feeding and migration times. Major periods can bracket the peak by an hour before-hour after. Minor peaks- 1/2 hour before and after.Adjusted for daylight savings time.

OCT 2017
1 03:37 10:22 11:07 05:07
2 04:22 10:52 11:37 05:37
3 05:07 11:37 12:07 05:52
4 - - 05:52 12:07 12:37
5 - - 06:37 12:37 06:37
6 07:22 01:07 01:22 07:07
7 08:22 01:37 01:52 07:37
8 09:07 02:22 02:37 07:52
9 10:22 03:07 03:22 08:22
10 11:37 04:07 04:22 09:07
11 - - 05:07 10:07 01:37
12 - - 06:37 12:37 03:07
13 - - 08:07 09:52 03:52
14 02:37 09:22 10:22 04:22
15 03:52 10:07 10:52 04:52
16 04:52 10:52 05:22 11:22
17 05:37 11:37 05:37 11:52
18 - - 06:22 12:07 12:22
19 - - 06:52 12:37 06:22
20 07:37 12:52 01:07 06:37
21 08:07 01:22 01:37 07:07
22 08:52 01:52 02:07 07:22
23 09:37 02:22 02:37 07:37
24 10:37 03:07 03:07 07:52
25 - - 03:37 12:07 08:07
26 - - 04:37 - - 01:52
27 - - 05:52 - - 02:52
28 - - 07:22 09:52 03:22
29 01:52 08:37 10:07 03:52
30 03:22 09:22 10:37 04:07
31 04:22 10:22 04:37 11:07

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