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)
6-22- Walleyes: Try Ottertail, Blanche, Silver with leeches or shiner minnows in 15-20 feet of water. Bluegills: Work the shallow bays and weedlines on Clitherall, Blanche, Rush and West Battle. Crappies: Anglers report crappies biting at the weedlines in about 12-15 feet of water. Northern pike: Best lakes have been Fiske and Donald lakes at the weedlines also in about 12-15 feet. Pike are hitting sucker minnows.
- Veire's Mini-Mart
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)
6-22- Blackduck is producing walleyes in 12-14 feet of water. Try using a live bait rig and a leech for best results now. Gull and Gilstead are both producing panfish in 6-12 feet of water.
- Leisure Outdoor Adventures - www.leisureoutdooradventures.com
Jason Freed, Toby Kvalevog, Jeff Andersen (1-855-LOA-HOOK or 1-855-562-4665)
Our Team of fishing guides has been hard at it the last week on lakes in the Brainerd Lakes area, Mille Lacs, and also Leech Lake. Let's see what they have to say.
It was a great week on Leech Lake this past week with many days of anglers pulling in keeper fish to take home and also some big ones too boot. The lake has transitioned greatly since late May and it is showing with the walleyes being on the move. Throughout the lake you can find walleyes being caught along breaklines in 12-20 feet of water. It is important to look for transition areas, weed edges, or key features along the breaklines to hold these fish and if you are seeing bait fish are in the area. Pulling crawlers and leeches on lindy rigs is still working best, but the spinner bite will start to turn on with the bug hatch starting on the lake along with crankbaits. There are still some walleyes being caught on Jigs and minnows and leeches especially on windy days in 6-10 feet of water.
Look to the main lake rock reefs and points that have wind blowing on them right now to produce the best fish. Annex, Submarine, North Bar, Big Rock Reef, etc will all be good places to start your search. There are still fish being caught on the West end of the lake on the flats around Goose Island as well in 10-13 feet of water. Walker Bay, Agency Bay, and Kabekona Bay have also been producing fish at times, but it really depends on the day it seems.
Walleye fishing in the Brainerd Lakes Areas has been pretty good. Lakes are seeing water temperatures rise into the mid-high 60’s. For the most part, walleyes continue to be pretty shallow. Look for the cabbage weeds or rock piles in 6-15 feet of water. Slip bobbers, casting plastic paddle tails, and jig/minnows all have been good. Be sure to keep an eye on your electronics, because some walleyes will begin to move out into the 12-20 feet of water as the water warms. For the deeper fish, using a Lindy Rig with a creek chub or red tail minnow is very effective.
Bass, northern pike, crappies, and sunfish can be found in the weedy bays of most lakes. The best areas to target are close to the spawning locations, typically in 3-10 feet of water. Also, look for the cabbage weeds, and you will find all types of fish!
Walleye fishing has been outstanding this past week on Mille Lacs. Although anglers must catch and release all walleyes, if you want to go bend the rod and have a great opportunity to catch big walleyes, Mille Lacs should be on your list!
The best fishing has been out on the mud flats in 24-30 feet of water. A Lindy Rig and leech has been the best for us, but you can literally catch them on all presentations right now. Some options include spinner rigs, slip bobber, and trolling crankbaits. If the wind is blowing or at times when the sun is low, slip bobbers and leeches on the rock reefs in 5-12 feet of water will provide some awesome action.
Smallmouth bass are also biting like crazy! Rock/sand transition have been really good, and depending on the weather, the fish will be in 2-15 feet of water. Casting tubes, twitch baits, Texas Rigs, and other methods will but fish in the boat.
- Minnesota Fishing Guide Service
www.minnesotaguideservice.com - www.minnesotaicefishhouserental.com
Captain Josh Hagemeister (218-732-9919, 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!
- Frankie's Live Bait and Marine - www.frankies.net
Brad, Corner of Hwy 8 and CR 77 (651-257-6334)
6-22- Walleyes are biting on leeches on Green, North and South Center in about 10-15 feet of water. Chisago, North and South Center are producing sunnies and crappies in 15-20 feet at the weedlines. Bass and pike are also biting on most area lakes at the weedlines.
- Marine General - www.marinegeneral.com
1501 London Road, on the edge of Lake Superior (218-724-8833)
6-22- Island and Fish lakes are kicking out walleyes in 15-20 feet of water using leeches. Island is also prodcing a nice crappie bite in shallow water. Lake Superior anglers report coho salmon biting on spoons and stickbaits. Stop in or call for more 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)
6/18 - Anglers in the area are still managing some impressive catches these days. Many of the walleyes being caught are still coming from relatively shallow water and this trend may continue for some time. Minnows have taken a back seat to leeches and crawlers, in the realm of live bait preferences, but some anglers are doing well with plastic offerings too. Whether it be crank baits slow trolled, or soft plastics jigged down a rocky point, the results remain the same. There still are a few fish out there willing to be caught.
Another fish of choice right now are smallmouth bass. With the warmer water temps, the fish are responding to most presentations, but the fan favorites are top water baits. When a smallmouth explodes on a surface bait, it really kicks in your adrenaline, and when you feel the drag scream with a five or six pound fish, it's just an awesome feeling. That's why we do it.
Crappie fishermen are having some success right now, but the action seems to be just building. As weed cover becomes more prevalent, schools should begin to congregate, making for hotter action. Some anglers are trolling safety pin type spinners with a jig and soft plastic tail or small crank baits to locate the pods of crappies. You can then work them over till the school moves on.
Lake trout trollers have been scoring as well on Burntside Lake. Some times it's even worth the hassle of the congestion at the landing at Van Vac. Lakers up to ten pounds or better are nailing spoons and crank baits. The lake hasn't heated up yet, so many of the fish are patrolling water in the thirty foot range. Downriggers are nice, but you really aren't out of the game without one. There are many rigging techniques to get you down "in the zone" such as in-line weights, or Dipsy and Jet divers.
Swanson's Bait & Tackle - www.swansonsbait.com
Caleb Garoutte, Hwy 371 on the north end of Hackensack (218-675-6176)
6-18-We had a lot of rain fall that last week and the endless fronts and pressure changes have made for some inconsistent fishing. Fish are definitely biting, but you need be ready to adjust your tactics while your out there. This week is looking a little bit more stable for weather, so we should see a little more consistency moving forward.
Walleye fishing, though good, has been a little tricky to get dialed in on. Some days they're crushing minnows on a jig, and the next they're lightly picking a crawler on a long lined rig. Leech Lake has been getting into a summer pattern where leeches and crawlers have been holding most of the action. Most anglers are rigging now, but we're not seeing that scattered spinner bite yet. As water temps warm more and more anglers will be switching over to bouncers/spinners.
Largemouth are starting to get hungry and have been moving in on the frogs against shore. Weed beds are developing nicely and it's time to get the heavy sticks out to go deep in the weeds. Smallmouth have been in a strong post spawn feeding pattern. Aggressive fish off the edges are pounding cranks and topwater. They'll start settling into a more mild summer pattern soon, but for now the bite is on!
Crappie are settled into the summer pattern hanging on those nice weedbeds. Finesse them out of the weeds during the day, and you can move around and be more aggressive before dark. Focus on that 6-12' water. Bluegill have been spawning and are very aggressive up shallow. Anything small is getting the job done.
Musky fishing hasn't been half bad. Smaller lures seem to be working better, mostly bucktails and big v-spinners around the weeds. Topwater at dusk has also been stirring up a few fish. All these fronts going through have produced some interesting feeding windows where the muskie light it up for a bit, you just have to be out there to take advantage!
- 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)
6-17- Rain finally subsides and after leaving a weather filled week we are looking ahead to great one! Walleye fishing continues to be good, but we are seeing some changes as we have moved into a more summer like pattern with fish more frequently being found on reefs. That being said, jigs and minnows are still turning fish, but split shot rigs tipped with a leech or half crawler is starting to be more productive off the edges of the mid lake reefs. Soft bottom areas are still your go to when looking for active fish as the first mayfly hatch of the season seems to be upon us. It isn’t your sweep the steps off kind of hatch, but many fish are coming in with mayfly larvae in their bellies. If you can find these areas that are windblown, you are almost certain to find actively feeding fish. As water temps start to creep up into the 70’s, the reefs should continue to improve.
As usual northern pike are being caught with regularity casting shorelines with just about anything.
Smallmouth bass are extremely active right now. Casting shorelines with Mepps spinners or using a split shot rig tipped with a leech or shiner along weed lines has been very productive. Finally, the bonus jumbo perch are beginning to show up while fishing for walleyes. It had been slow, but they have been more active recently possibly due to the recent bug hatch.
All species of wildlife are with young right now so keep your eye out along shorelines and in the trees as you are certain to see little ones keeping close to their mothers. Unfortunately for blackbirds, this is not a good time of year. If you notice a large flock of crows (loud and obnoxious) being harassed by a large flock of blackbirds it is usually the crow looking for a meal. Blackbird babies have recently hatched, and they are a favorite of a crow’s diet. Crows will systematically draw the blackbirds away from their nest while other crows attack the nest and carry off the unsuspecting little ones. It can be a somewhat cruel reminder of how the food chain is established.
This week the bite was relatively decent. I am a jig and minnow guy, but leeches and crawlers are working as well. Early mornings and later afternoon to evening bites seem to be the best. Midafternoon you'll find them in 32 to 28 feet. Early mornings late afternoon to evening's you'll find them in 25 to 6 feet of water. Bright color jigs on bright days dark colors on dark days and remember to fish the wind.
Good week of fishing...windy days help blow walleyes and the food source shallow this week for me. Our toughest day was Tuesday with high, hot sun, and although we managed to find a few walleyes that day, my groups of fishermen really did well all other days. We found most of our fish off windblown points in 6-12 feet of water. We had success with leeches mainly, but many of our biggest fish came of minnows. Plain hook live bait rigs were the ticket for us if you wanted good numbers of walleyes! Wind was KEY, and fishing shorelines and windblown points held fish on corners or in bays all week! We did use a jig and minnow presentation on the main body of Kabetogama's reef structures several times as fish seem to be moving and starting to get into better schools out on these reefs in 17-30 feet of water. I honestly think in the next week or two we will be fishing reef structures a lot more...
Smallmouth bass- we found bass on our leech presentation and for more action try casting a 1/4 oz jig tipped with plastic. We had a blast fighting several big bass on shallow sand bars with adjacent rocks. Key is to look for "basketball" rocks or shorelines with these rocks mixed in sand...you will find success this week. Many have eggs still so release them if they are not going in the fry pan.
Pike- small to medium pike (under our new 30-40" protected slot) seem to be abundant! Mepps spinners, Husky Jerks lures, and that spinner baits worked like magic for us...no big pike for us this week
Walleye- fun to spot fish some of the bigger walleyes this week on sand...pitching plastics, casting perch colored "flicker Shad" lures or even pitching live bait was our key to pulling in a good number of large walleyes this week if live bait isn't your thing. You may not catch quantity of walleyes with this presentation, but we had lot of good healthy fat walleyes. Key for me- pause your lure or bait during the retrieve several times, many of my strikes came 1/2 way back to the boat just after a 10-15 second pause...
Good luck, hope to see you on the water!
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)
6-19- Walleyes and saugers being caught around the entire lake with the mayfly hatch 2 weeks early this year. Some areas holding keepers (under 19.5") with some slots mixed in (19.5" - 28") and some mainly holding slot fish with the occasional trophy being caught (over 28"). Typically after the mayfly hatch, the spinner bite really turns on. Jig and a minnow was the main tactic used this week while some pulled spinners when the wind was right. Some shallow walleyes on spinners in 5-10 feet near pine island primarily when some breeze.
Rainy River smallmouth bass being caught up and down the river on shorelines, inlets, various structure and docks. Sturgeon fishing "keep season" opens again July 1 - Sep 30. Most walleye fishing taking place on the lake with the local walleyes always an option.
Up at the NW Angle... In Minnesota, spinners catching walleyes and saugers of all sizes in multiple depths. Walleyes and saugers spitting up lots of mayflys. Some good muskies being caught in back bays and over rock points. Both MN and Ontario muskie seasons on LOW are open. Smallmouth bass continue to pound plastic baits. Fishing on both sides of the border has been excellent. A complete list of lodging, packages, guides and fishing info available at www.LakeoftheWoodsMN.com
LAKE OF THE WOODS
- Sportsman's Lodges, Lake of the Woods, Rainy River - www.sportsmanslodges.com (1-800-862-8602)
Great Weather and a Good Bite
Drifting with hammered gold spinners and worms, leeches or a minnow and some anchored jigging with gold, orange and white jigs tipped with a minnow have been popular tactics this week for walleyes and saugers. Shallow and deep depths have both been working well 11’-16’ and 26’-32’ outside Pine Island, Zippel Bay and northern spots of Big Traverse. We had mayfly hatch about a week ago. The spinner bite is getting to be more and more favorable. Mix of sizes for the walleye and saugers. Some beautiful 25”+ walleyes as well as nice sizes for a fish fry. Water temperature is currently 71 degrees.
100% Walleye Guarantee
It’s back! 9th year in a row. Fish for two full days on one of our charter boats and we guarantee you will leave with your limit of walleyes or we will pay you $10 per walleye short of your limit. *Fish eaten during your stay count towards your limit.
4th of July Celebration is just around the corner!
Join in on the fun! The Baudette Chamber of Commerce and local businesses is doing it again! One of the biggest celebrations of the year will be held in Baudette, on July 4. Lots of fun for the whole family! Click here to check out all of the events and activities they have planned.
LAKE OF THE WOODS
- Sportsman's Oak Island Lodge, NW Angle/Oak Island, MN - www.oakislandlodge.com (800-772-8411)
Pike and bass fishing have been good in the nearby bays just 4-5 miles away from the lodge. Casting for pike and bass with spoons that have a shine to them seem to be doing best. A few muskies have been found but the bite should really to start to snap in a week or two.
Beautiful summer week. Anglers have found an active walleye bite this week. Captain Evan and his crew reeled in over 70 fish yesterday. Anglers have been finding a nice size mix of walleye and saugers. Jigging with a gold, white, pink or green jig tipped with a minnow along shorelines and structure has been working good. Some have had good luck spinner fishing with a gold spinner and a leech or crawler in 23’-28’in the sand. We had a mayfly hatch last week and water temperature continues to warm up, currently hovering around the 70 degree mark. Flag Island flats have been a hot spot.
Spend the 4th of July with us!
We still have a few openings for the week of the 4th of July. Jerry will be firing up the smoker and cooking up some of his famous brisket on Saturday, July 7. You won’t want to miss that! Give us a call 800-772-8411 these openings won’t last long.
- Anderson's Resorts - www.andersonsleech-lake.com/spirit/
6-19- As long as you're finding walleyes, leeches and crawlers are working. Deep edges of the reefs and points are great spots to start! We had a guide that moved around until he found a good number of fish on the depth finder and then spot locked on them with his trolling motor and slip bobbered them with leeches. Nice limits out of 15 to 17 feet of water! Muskie and pike action has picked up with the water temp. Spoons (red eye wobbler) has been great in almost any bay, and with the limit up to 10 pike there's lots of fun to be had! Like always, we would love to see you up here on Leech Lake! Call for more details... or when you stop for bait, ask for any hot spots or colors!
- Chris Kuduk's Guide Service - (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!
- Wayzata Bait & Tackle
Tim or Bob, half mile west off I-494 on Hwy 12 (952-473-2227)
6-22 - Walleyes are biting on Lake Minnetonka on the outside weed edges in about 20 feet of water. Try crankbaits for leeches during the low-light periods. Bass are biting in 10-20 feet of water on Minnetonka as well. Look for crappies to bite in about 15 feet of water. Lake Independence is also producing some walleye action in about 15-20 feet of water. For sunfish, try Medicine Lake in 10-12 feet of water.
MISSISSIPPI - ST. CROIX
- Turk Gierke, Croixsippi Guide Service
June 10, 2018
Summer patterns are emerging on the St.Croix River – as such the fish are spreading out in the search for young of the year baitfish.
Gavin with his first walleye! His brother a few years older netted the fish. I had the opportunity to meet Gavin last Saturday at: Take The Neighborhood Fishing Tournament. Many kind hearted fishing experts got the kids on the water and helped out in this event to take kids fishing!The event will be held again next year the first Saturday in June. http://www.taketheneighborhoodfishing.org
The “bite” has been very good though as of the last couple outings it appears to be getting tougher.
Here is Paul with a keeper walleye. He was out with two friends, shown is Duane, he caught fish left and right. We boated two limits of walleye and sauger – most were walleye. Livebait crawlers and leeches have been best. Great summer day!
The constant bite of freshwater drum has ended for about two weeks they were nuts and bit like crazy. Thats over in fact the last two trips we caught only 2! Smallmouth are biting pretty good. Limited catfish and white bass activity.
Matt holds two keepers he caught in two short drifts to start the day off in a hurry. Matt gave his buddies some grief in good fun beucase he was putting on a clinic in the morning. For Matt’s trip we boated 16 keepers including big ones over 20″ thrown back.
Also on the trip was Slade and he started getting some good ones. Here with a 19″ white tip.
Here’s Slade with a 21.5″ throw back walleye. Good fighter! Livebait has been best. Nice summer day.
Smallmouth make the river such a great place to fish and big smallies are always memorable.
Cory with his son EJ. This bass put up a fight, dug deep jumped and splashed! Walleyes slowed down on this constant rotation of east wind to north wind back to east wind day. Cory brought home seven keepers.
The fish are spread out..Crawlers and leeches in 7 to 30 feet of water. On a river set depths were fish sit are hard to list as every spot is different. The fish are moving. Now the wind will move fish because the young of the year baitfish relate to wind blown structure or shorelines.
Water temperature hit 76 degrees last week with the 99 degree Memorial Day weekend! Temps are now normal.
St. Croix water level is 680.00 and steady, water temp was 70 degrees.
Have fun and enjoy the river!
Signed, Charlie “Turk” Gierke
- Smokey Hills Outdoor Store, Josh Severtson, www.smokeyhills.com
19143 US HWY 71 N, Park Rapids, MN (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!
- 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)
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!
- Walleye Visions - www.mnfishingconnections.com
Tom Neustrom, 21622 Airport Rd, Grand Rapids, email@example.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.