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)
Walleyes right now are coming from shallow water after dark pulling shad raps in 3-5 feet of water or during the day in 12-25 feet (depending on what lake) using bottom bouncers and nightcrawlers. Lakes to try are Ottertail, Fish, Rush and West Battle. Sunnies & crappies are being caught in the 10-15 foot weeds beds using angle worms, leeches and crappie minnows for the crappies. Lakes to try are West Battle, Rush, Fish and Clitherall. Bass are being caught around docks, shallow weedslines using spinner baits, top water plastics. Lake to try are Donald, Fiske, Stalker and West Battle. For Northern try trolling with spinners and sucker minnows in the 15-20 foot weeds. Lakes to try are Donald, Fiske, Rush, Ottertail and West Battle. Musky are in the 15-20 foot weeds, try casting Jake's or double cow girls on West Battle Lake.
- 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!
- Timberline Sport & Tackle
Carl Adams, Junction of Hwy 71 and Blackduck Lake Rd. (218-835-4636)
Panfish are biting in 18 to 20 feet on Pimushe and Gull lakes. Walleyes are bitting at the weedlines on many area lakes such as Blackduck, Island, and Round. Bass and pike are also at the weedlines on most area lakes. Stop in for more details!
- Leisure Outdoor Adventures - www.leisureoutdooradventures.com
Jason Freed, Toby Kvalevog, Jeff Andersen (1-855-LOA-HOOK or 1-855-562-4665)
Walleye fishing on leech lake is changing. Fish are starting to transition into their fall patterns which means its jig and a minnow time! Water temps are currently in the low 60’s and look to continue to fall all week. Look for walleyes to be active throughout the day on windblown points and shorelines throughout the lake. As things start to set up look to the traditional wind blown points such as Pine, Ottertail, Stony, Hardwoods, and the Ducks to all hold fish on certain days. Otherwise expansive sand flats and current areas will also be good. Go back to your spring patterns and realize with the fall comes changing weather patterns and water temps, and this means that changing up your cadence and presentation is key to putting fish in the boat. Also don’t forget weeds can also hold fish this time of year, especially a mix of walleyes and jumbo perch. There is still a decent minnow bite going on in Walker Bay on some of the deeper structure as well.
Musky fishing still remains solid and should be good throughout the fall. On days when the wind isn’t blowing too much, the main lake rods and secondary pieces of structure will hold fish. Also don’t forget about wind blown shorelines or shelves that have had a good wind blowing into them for a couple days. As we get into Oct the tullibees will move up shallow and this is when some of the best musky fishing is to be had. Bucktails such as the Big Tooth Juice Series are still producing and moving fish, but as the water cools down look to big plastics to be a bait to throw. The McRubber series from Svartzonker Tackle offers some dynamite baits as well as the Bulldawgs.
Brainerd Lakes Fishing Report
Welcome to fall 2017! At Leisure Outdoor Adventures we love this time of year as it brings amazing fishing, hunting, football, and amazing fishing:) In the Brainerd Lakes Area, the walleye action has been heating up as the water temps start to fall. Look to Gull, Whitefish, and North Long for a good bite, that should only get better.
The walleyes are starting to move out from the weeds and seem to be settling into the 20-30 foot range. However, using your electronics is important because these fish will change depths throughout the day. Redtail minnows on live bait rigs were the best over the weekend, but Rapala Jigging Raps or rainbows on a short-shank jig are always a good bet also. Fishing the wind on sharper shoreline breaks, mid-lake humps, long under water points and other “fall” locations will produce walleyes. Just make sure to be patient and drive around the entire structure to find the school. Don’t forget to be a good steward of the lake! Let the big girls go and keep only what you need for a meal. Also remember that Minnesota only allows ONE walleye over 20 inches per license.
The crappies have also been starting to bite again as the water hovers right around the 70 degree mark. They have been located off deep cabbage weeds that are located around the deepest basins of the main lake, big bays, or under water points. Casting/trolling small plastics on light jigheads will help you locate happy fish.
- Frankie's Live Bait and Marine - www.frankies.net
Brad, Corner of Hwy 8 and CR 77 (651-257-6334)
A strong bass bite is reported on Green, Chisago, North and South Center lakes. Pike are biting on minnows at the weedlines on Chisago and Green lakes. If you are looking for panfish, try the south end of Chisago in 10-15 feet of water.
- Marine General - www.marinegeneral.com
1501 London Road, on the edge of Lake Superior (218-724-8833)
Island and Fish lakes are a good bet for walleye action in 20-25 feet of water. Muskies are also mixed in on Island Lake and some reported caught on bucktails on the St. Louis River as of late. Lake trout are biting on Lake Superior. Call us 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)
The cooling water has pushed some of the walleyes down deep. Try working crawler harnesses along the drops in the deepest part of the lakes. Some folks are reverting back to a jig and minnow combo with success as well. Color of jig or spinner blades are not as important as location. If you're not marking fish, move on. Some walleyes are still roaming some shallower water late in the day as water temps begin to rise in the evening. Slip bobbering a minnow late in the day in ten to fifteen feet of water can be very effective. Crappies are beginning to bunch up. Search for them to be suspended around mid way in the water column. Trolling a small safety pin spinner and jig like the Beetle Spin or tiny crank baits can lead you to the schools. Once located, you can readily catch them either on a live minnow suspended under a slip bobber or use one of the many small plastic baits on a jig, such as the one inch Berkley Gulp minnow. Pike are starting to put on the feed bag too as winter approaches. Large crank baits, spoons, and spinner baits are working well. One can also use larger sucker minnows either suspended under a bobber, or just take a dead or frozen one and lay it on the bottom. Really big pike seem to prefer to take this easy meal as opposed to chasing at times. Lake trout are beginning to move up a bit in the water column as lakes cool. Try trolling spoons or cranks in forty to fifty-five feet of water.
Swanson's Bait & Tackle - www.swansonsbait.com
Caleb Garoutte, Hwy 371 on the north end of Hackensack (218-675-6176)
It's safe to say that we are on the upswing for the walleye bite! This week we have been getting many more reports of walleye getting picked up more consistently. Leech Lake has been producing more fish along with Woman, Birch, Baby, and Pine Mountain. Most fish are still coming from crawlers, but more and more fishermen are starting to use minnows with success. We should continue to see an increase in walleye activity moving forward.
Less fishermen are getting out after the largemouth now, but they are still piled up in the weed beds. Get into the pads for the best action. Frogs and other weedless rigs have been the ticket. Smallmouth have also started to heat up with the little dip in water temps. We're seeing more fish cruising the shallower rock structure, 3-8 feet. Topwater like poppers and spooks have produced well, otherwise swim baits have been good also if you want to go sub-surface.
Muskie just keep on snapping. We're starting to hear of more and more bigger fish on the move. Lots of mid 40s moving and some larger. Bigger baits are starting to produce. Burning bucktails has worked and jerkbaits are hard to go wrong with. Some topwater has produced in the early mornings and later evenings, and that should heat up as the water cools some.
- 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 the transition to fall continues, more fall like activities are taking place.
Walleye fishing continues to be strong for those willing to tackle the cool mornings and a somewhat persistent windy weather pattern. As usual, fishing the wind blown weedlines will produce the most fish right now. A lindy or jig tipped with a minnow is dominating the bite.
Crappie are starting to show up in anglers live wells with regularity using the same technique but in deeper water. Look to areas around Lost bay, Old Dutch and Ash River outlet.
Smallmouth have now started to show up on the reefs but not in great numbers just yet. It won’t be long and we will have some of the best bass fishing anywhere in the Midwest.
Pike are still active just about anywhere and some larger fish are being caught as they are on a feeding frenzy as water temps start to drop.
Speaking of water temps, they have dropped into the low 60’s with the recent cool weather.
Bear hunting is still going strong with a good success rate in this area. Grouse and bow deer season opened this past weekend with limited success as there is still a lot of foliage on the trees making it hard to see the birds when they flush. Walking open areas and logging trails is your best bet until the woods clear out a little. As for deer, we only had a few registered this past weekend at Gateway General.
Waterfowl season begins on Saturday the 23rd. On my most recent scouting missions I observed plenty of birds around. Most notably is the teal and wood ducks are still here which a great sign. Usually the cooler mid September weather pushes them to the south before we get a crack. The beaver ponds I scouted were loaded.
Even though the unpredictable weather forecast is causing most outdoorsmen and women the fits lately, if you like fall weather now is the time to be out and about. Don’t forget your rain jacket and still bring the bug spray as we haven’t had a killing frost to get rid of those pesky mosquitoes!
As the trees continue to change color there isn’t a better time to visit the Kabetogama area and Voyageurs National Park!
As always, we all hope to see you soon…..
Jason and Robyn
Cooper’s Gateway General Store
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)
Lighthouse Gap and along the south shore continues to gain steam and numbers of walleyes. As the shiners push shallow and into the Rainy River the walleyes are hot on their heels. Charter boats are still fishing all parts of the lake such as the main basin of Big Traverse Bay and making the trek to the north part of the lake. Just two miles out in 28-30 feet doing the best. Morris Point Gap doing well in 27 - 30' feet. Anchor up with a jig with a shiner minnow the best tactic. Schools moving around finding bait. Pink and gold have been the hot colors. Still huge schools roaming the main basin of Big Traverse Bay in 31-34' where trolling crankbaits effective. Big walleyes being caught all over.
Rainy River anglers finding gallons of shiners and the walleyes are in the river with morning/evening still the best. Trolling cranks or vertical jigging tipped with a shiner doing good. Smallmouth bass and crappies showing up as well. Many sturgeon of all sizes being caught with some over 50" and 60" being boated at all times of the day and night in the deep holes.
Up at the Northwest Angle, in MN waters, bottom bouncing or trolling with cranks to cover a larger area then changing over to jigging with pink, white or gold producing fat walleyes who are chasing bait fish and have the feed bags on. Current areas between the islands producing and holding fish in 10-24 ft. When you find the bait the walleyes will be near by. Canada crappie fishing is on fire in deeper holes off of protruding points. Muskies being caught on jerk baits and blade baits. Traditional shallow, wind-blown rocks with access to deep water nearby have been the most productive spots while the water temperature continues to drop. Lodging, charters and guides are available at www.LakeoftheWoodsMN.com/Lodging.
- Anderson's Resorts - www.andersonsleech-lake.com
Tim, (1-800-516-0077) (1-800-516-0077)
Wow the summer just flew by! Leech Lake is on fire right now if you are a Muskie Hunter! Surface lures and shallow rocks and sand bars are the ticket right now. With the water cooling down the action is just going to continue to increase. Pike action in the weed edges are going strong. Walleye action is also going to be picking up by the time you are reading this post! Live bait rigs and jig minnows in 8 to 12 feet! Wind is always a key on Leech Lake! If you have wind for a couple days head to the shore that its blowing in on! As always contact us or bait shop for more details. September is always a fun month with football, fishing and hunting all going on at the same time! So if you have not planned a trip up to Leech Lake yet there is still time and openings. If you can come up in late September/early October bring your shotguns. Grouse numbers seem high this fall and there are lots of duck hanging around! Come enjoy Leech Lake with us this fall!
- Chris Kuduk's Guide Service - (320-630-1761)
Mille Lacs: Walleyes are biting in the deep mud. Big muskies have been caught and should pick up more as we head into fall. Pike are also biting in the bays. Smallie bite is very strong. Try pitching jigs/tubes. Panfish are biting on smaller area lakes such as Sullivan, Anne, Shakopee, Knife. Work the weedlines, as pike and walleyes are mixed in. The fall bite is picking up! Call Chris for up-to-the-minute reports or to book a launch trip or a small boat trip! 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 online.
- Wayzata Bait & Tackle
Tim or Bob, half mile west off I-494 on Hwy 12 (952-473-2227)
Bass and pike are hitting at the weedlines of Minnetonka and Sarah. Crappies are biting on minnows on Minnetonka and Independence. Muskies are picking up on Minnetonka, try bucktails or topwater baits for the best bites.
MISSISSIPPI - ST. CROIX
- Turk Gierke, Croixsippi Guide Service
September on the St. Croix River is a transition month as the water temperature slowly cools and the baitfish population becomes depleted. The baitfish will actually die off and become consumed by fish, this is how they are depleted. Before baitfish die off they are weakened and an easy target, this is why fish in early September are hard to catch.
Once these variables run its course the bite improves.
Anglers can catch fish on live bait rigs, jigs when the fish are 27 + feet deep, and trolling crankbaits. Nightcrawlers can catch fish all the way till mid October believe it or not. Minnows though can be a better bet.
Look for the sauger bite to improve in September and peak in October and early November. Depth can be all over the board based on current flow, however fish do stage deeper in the fall.
- 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!
- 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!
Mase's In Towne Marine - www.intownemarina.com
Cindy, corner of Lake and Elm (952-442-2096)
Reports of late-afternoon walleyes biting in the same areas as the crappies. 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.
- Walleye Visions - www.mnfishingconnections.com
Tom Neustrom, 21622 Airport Rd, Grand Rapids, email@example.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.