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

Fish Tales Archive

© 2017 OutdoorsWeekly.com - Copyright Info

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

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

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

Anglers on the west side of Lake Benton found little action, with relatively little wind. Even the bullheads weren’t biting, and only a few walleyes were pulled out. Action was a little steadier on the east end of the lake, with several nice fishing caught using minnows. Most of the walleyes were smaller males, and many of the females may still be in a pre-spawn pattern.
Rock Lake was also fairly slow, with only a few walleyes coming out, although one group of anglers hooked a channel catfish.
The action on Lake Shetek was also pretty slow, as anglers crowded the banks searching for the year’s first walleyes. Even using a variety of methods, from a bare hook and worm, to Lindy rigs tipped with a minnow, to casting crankbaits, anglers only found a few walleyes worthy of a trip to the frying pan.
Lac Qui Parle had a pretty steady bite a couple of spots on the lake, with the best action coming right at sunrise. Walleyes here seemed to be firmly in a pre-spawn pattern, as most walleyes were caught off shore, vertical jigging from the boat. Small jigs pitched over rocky areas and retrieved slowly caught some heavy pre-spawn females. Fishing should continue to pick up as walleyes cycle through the spawning areas and start to feed heavily post-spawn.

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

Walleyes are biting on Island, Blackduck and Round Lake on leeches or nightcrawlers in 15-20 feet. Panfish are at the weedlines on Pimushe, Gilstead and Gull.

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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)

7/24/2017 - Another crazy busy week for the fishing guides from Leisure Outdoor Adventures.  We found ourselves on Leech Lake, Cass Lake, Mille Lacs, Brainerd Lakes, and smaller lakes in the Hackensack area in search of walleyes, bass, pike, etc.  Lets see what the team has to report out for this week

Leech Lake

The bite has been up and down with the morning and evening bites being best.  Try slip bobber fishing in the weeds in 6-14 feet of water with a small leech or lindy rigging with a crawler or minnow on the breaklines in 18-28 feet of water depending on the day.  In Walker Bay, the shoreline breaks, under water points, and bars have still been best.  Some of the humps are starting to show fish, but not always ones that want to bite.  As we progress farther into August the bite should pick up.  

On the big part of the lake, pulling crankbaits has been the best presentation by far.  #5 or #7 Shad Raps or Flicker Shads are the best best.  Try either long linging them, pulling leadcore, or using planer boards.  12-17 feet of water has been best.   You will go for a while without catching one, but keep covering ground and you will come across schools.  It seems as if the bright and calm days are best for this bite, with reason for that being the water is more clear and the fish can see the baits better.  Colors will vary from day to day and with sun light and water clarity so be sure to change things up.  If you aren’t trolling breaklines along flats, look to the edges of the reefs or mud areas on the lake as there are suspended fish you can target as well.

Muskie fishing is starting to heat up.  More fish are being seen on the Main Lake Rocks piles and reefs.  Try casting bucktails or top waters and pay attention to your speed.  As the water nears 80 degrees these fish will get more active and want to chase baits.  

Otherwise many of the lakes in the area are also kicking out great multi species action.  Both smallmouth and largemouth bass fishing has been great.  Working rocks and gravel in 12-15 feet of water has been best for smallmouth and largemouth are still holding on weed edges in 10-15 feet of water.  Tubes, jigworms, drop shot have all been good. Many of these lakes will also hold great panfish, so focus on those weededges in the evenings with a jig and a tube and fan cast until you find them.  Typically they will either come out of the weeds or be suspended off of them in deeper water.  Also don’t forget many of these lakes have some good walleye fishing if you find the right one, with many relating to the weedlines in 18-25 feet of water.  Pulling lindy rigs with crawlers or minnows your best bet.  

Cass Lake

Cass Lake has been overall a good bite right now.  Look to find keeper sized walleyes in 18-22 feet of water.  Shoreline breaks have been best along with under water points.  Pulling spinners with crawlers, lindy rigs with crawlers, or slip bobbers with leeches have all produced fish.  Allens Bay was good this past week as well as the main lake.  Biggest thing when fishing Cass is to pay close attention to your electronics and locate the schools of walleyes versus perch.  Walleyes like to related to the weeds and sand edges so can for these areas.  One tip if you are you are live bait fishing, trying going faster to keep the perch off if you are start getting into them.  

Brainerd Lakes

Fishing in the Brainerd Lakes area is great for multi species right now. Walleye fishing continues to be a day to day deal.  Sometimes you will find good fishing on the weed edges or weed pockets.  Try slip bobber fishing with leeches and working these areas over, trolling spinners, or lindy rigging with redtails or creek chubs.  

Bass are still relating to the weed lines, with Gull, Round, North Long, Hubert, and other lakes all pumping out great action.  A Jig and plastic worm is a go to presentation when fishing these lakes.  Pay attention to color, because that often times can make a huge difference.  Our favorites are motor oil and blue fleck!  

Mille Lacs

Smallmouth fishing on Mille Lacs has been overall still very good.  Depending on the day you may have slower fishing, but on average numbers are still very good along with some really nice fish mixed in.  Try drop shotting them in 10-14 feet of water using a your favorite plastic, one important thing to note when you start catching fish is the shape, color, and profile of your plastic.  There have been days this has been the key to putting alot of fish in the boat.  Minnow looking plastics like a twitch tail minnow, senko, imitation leech are some of our favorites.  Pay attention to your lake map, identify the reefs and high spots and then work those areas where the rocks transition to either mud or gravel and those isolated rock piles seems to be the ticket.  If you aren’t drop shotting, on calm days top waters are still good, pitching tubes or crayfish imitation plastics, or even deeper diving DT crankbaits will put smallmouth in the boat.  

That is it for this week!  The boats are fueled up and the guides are covering a huge area again this week in search of fish!  Until next week tight lines!

LOA Guide Team

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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)

Walleyes hitting jigs and minnows on South Center, Chisago, and Green. Try the channels and bays such at North Center, South Center, Chisago, and Green for panfish and bass action.

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

Fish Lake is producing walleyes on a jig/minnow in 10 feet of water. Island Lake also producing some walleyes in 15 feet of water. Good walleye reports from the St Louis River also! For crappies, try Fish and Island in 10 feet of water.

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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 8/7/17
Most successful anglers are rediscovering the merits of going "old school" by using crawlers on a spinner rig to get in on the walleye action. Good numbers of fish are being taken while trolling these rigs over and around sunken reefs and deep island points throughout the area. Some are also having success with larger size crank baits such as Flicker Minnows and Shad Raps in the number eleven size. This makes sense as this time of year most of the minnow hatch size have grown to these proportions.
Crappie action too has picked up some steam and chub minnows that are slightly larger than the standard crappie minnows have been accounting for fish up to fourteen inches. Most of these fish have been holding suspended over deeper water.
Some nice lake trout have been caught on Burntside Lake by anglers trolling spoons and large crank baits in water down to fifty-five feet. Trolling speed anywhere from two to three mph has rewarded these folks with fish up to ten pounds. White, silver, and orange seems to be the best colors for spoons, and silver shad and glass minnow colored Rapala Husky Jerks are the best choice in cranks.
Some huge smallmouth bass are also falling for crank baits for some, while others can't resist the explosive action of the bass smashing top water baits worked early and late in the day. Try surface poppers or the old reliable Arbogast Jitterbugs for some awesome visual action.

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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)

The walleye have been getting very tight-jawed the last week, and it has been hard to find active fish - most coming out of deeper water over 20'. We're seeing more activity late in the evening and after dark. If you're struggling to find fish during the day, try trolling crankbaits along shallower structure at last light and after dark. We've also heard reports of lighted bobbers on mid lake humps after dark with sucker minnows or leeches. We are also hearing more and more guys pulling fish trolling the middle on Ten Mile after dark so the walleye are starting to key in on that suspended forage.

Largemouth bass continue to be way deep in the shoreline slop. Bounce your frogs or plastics off the banks right up against shore to find those fish. Anywhere there are deeper pockets up against the shoreline is perfect. Most days you'll hear the fish taking frogs and feeding up shallow which gives you a great lock on how far back the fish are hanging. Early morning and late evening are finding fish more on the deeper edge of the weeds.

Crappie have been turning on great in the late evenings over the tall weed flats. Troll or cast light jigs over the weedbeds to pull fish up. During the day you will need to slow down and slowly pull over the weed tops, or drop a slip bobber over them and let a crappie minnow swim around. 8-14' of water has been best, but you can find them shallower if you find some good stick piles.

We're seeing a lot more muskie action on Wabedo and Leech. It still hasn't heated up too much yet, but guys are picking fish up on bucktails and jerkbaits. Things should just keep getting better here!

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KABETOGAMA-NAMAKAN
- Gateway Store kabfishingreport.com - gatewaygeneral.com
Phil & Ellen Hart, US Hwy 53 & Co Rd 122, 30 miles south of Int'l Falls-Canadian border (218-875-2121)

Kabetogama-Namakan-Ash River Fishing Report 8-7-17

Great weather and great fishing to start August

Fairly consistent weather has kept the bite strong to begin August.  Normally one would expect anglers struggling to find fish this time of year but it is just the opposite in recent days.
Walleye are being found with consistency along weed lines and depths of 18-24 ft off shoreline and island rocky points.  Lindys tipped with a leech or crawler is still the way go using a 4-6ft snell in deeper water and a jig and minnow bite is doing well casting the weedlines.  There seems to be an emerging mayfly hatch which has some doing well dragging bottom bouncers with spinners near soft bottom areas.
Small mouth bass have become extremely active along most shorelines and larger northern pike have also become aggressive chasing larger Rapalas and Suicks.
With bonus perch mixed in it is making for a great bite right now!
Water temps are in the 80’s which has the recreational boaters enjoying the great weather and beautiful scenery.
Blueberries are still being found but are starting to dry up.  Bring your bug spray and sunscreen!
Bingo is still going strong on Tuesday and Thursday nights.  The parking lot fills fast so get there early and have some fun!
We have an upcoming community garage sale on August 25th and 26th.
Last but not least, don’t let the summer slip away without enjoying what Kabetogama and Voyageurs National Park has to offer….it is unforgettable!

Until next time!
Jason and Robyn Cooper
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)

If you like big walleyes, the bite is on.  Spinners with crawlers and trolling crankbaits in 28-31 ft pulling numbers of fish and big fish. Deep mud (no man's land) and deep reefs producing.  The winning team for the David A. Andersen Warrior Boats tournament had almost 45 lbs for 5 fish, a 9 pound average!  Gold, glow and bright colors continue to be solid choices.  Pike active, perch and smallmouth bite in many areas of the lake. 

Anglers in the Rainy River finding some walleyes with morning/evening.  Trolling cranks or pulling spinners producing the best. Smallmouth bass in good numbers along shoreline bridge embankments and feeder streams. Sturgeon fishing is on fire with a first time group boating 20 sturgeon in two days.  Top three sturgeon were 53, 57 and 61 inches.

Up at the NW Angle, excellent fishing continues.  In Minnesota, the bite has been on fire with trolling.  Blue, chrome, clown or UV pink has worked great in 26-30’. White, orange or chrome spinners have been doing very well from Four Blocks to Garden Island.  Up in Canada, jigging walleyes early morning and late afternoon has been the best, with orange, gold and yellow being the most productive, as has pulling spinners in 20-28’ using orange along the reefs.  Muskies have been very active with any fish being seen after bucktails and hard baits. Our guests boated 49" and 51.5" muskies this past week!!!  Lodging, charters and guides are available at www.LakeoftheWoodsMN.com/Lodging.

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

It's a great year to be on Leech Lake! The walleye bite this spring was off the charts with lots and lots of big walleyes being caught! Lots of slot fish (20-26 inches) as well which are still a blast to catch, but plenty of keeper size fish (14-19 inches) as well! The mayflies have hatched and the bite has slowed up for some but pulling spinners with crawlers or a leech has been very productive in 9-12 feet and on some of the deeper humps in 15-25 feet. Slip bobbers with a leech has been hot, or pulling crankbaits on the weedlines or on top of rock piles in the evenings in 7-12 feet has been effective. Prime areas right now have been around Pelican Island, Huddles Reef, and north end of Walker Bay have been kicking out some nice fish! Panfish bite has been limited but perch have been hitting in the shallow weeds. Muskie season has gotten off to a solid start with a few mid 40 inch fish being caught! With the warm temperatures in sight they should be in full swing! If you haven't made vacation plans yet we still have openings! Give us a call and come enjoy beautiful Leech Lake 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 Lake fishing is on fire! Anglers are bobber fishing in the evenings or rigging in the mud with great results! Pike and muskies are also being caught and smallmouth bite is going great guns! Try 3 Mile, Big Point, Garrison Reef or any reef with crankbaits or tube jigs. Platte, Sullivan, Shakoppe, Ann and Knife are produing a great panfish bite! Call Chris for up-to-the-minute reports or to book a launch trip or a small boat trip! Listen to Chris at 5 pm on Outdoor Adventures on www.twincitiesnewstalk.com (iheart Radio)!

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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 evening walleye bite best with shiner minnows and bobbers on the inside weedlines in 6-10 feet. Try Lake Independence for shallow water walleyes and bass.

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

July 14, 2017 St Croix Summer Time fishing

Chris with a solid smallmouth bass from the St. Croix - all my bass are released
Chris with a solid smallmouth bass from the St. Croix – all my bass are released

Summer is in full swing on the St. Croix and the weather has been hot and humid and then cool and dry. The bite has been all over the board just like the weather.

Smallies earn their reputation deservedly as fighters. Chris got this one on a tube bait.
Smallies earn their reputation deservedly as fighters. Chris got this one on a tube bait.

Huge schools of minnows can be seen basically in any depth and on structure and off of structure.  Fish hone in on the massive bait balls to gorge and chew they will often ignore your bait when the schools are so large.

Walleyes are harder to catch as of late but you can get enough for a fish fry still. Stefen landed this on on livebait.
Walleyes are harder to catch as of late but you can get enough for a fish fry still – it depends on the day. Stefen landed this one on livebait.

Josh with a 22' walleye - caught and released. Good fighter on six pound line!
Josh with a 22″ walleye – caught and released. Good fighter on six pound line!Josh with another walleye - this one a eater. I voluntarily release walleye 20' . I wouldn't mind it as a rule btw.. Here is a good eater, the two had a good fish fry that night!
Josh with another walleye – this one a eater. I voluntarily release walleye 20″ . Here is a good eater, the two had a good fish fry that night!

Summer time is family fishing time.

Jen surrounded by Joe and Henry. Long time Ryan brought out his 'Fam' for some fun on the water.
Jen surrounded by Joe and Henry. Long time client Ryan brought out his “Fam” for some fun on the water. Good times – Joe normally entertains with his songs but this time he must have forgot the lyrics!

From my last report, the river is about a foot lower and is at 676.1 feet above sea level  as measured in Stillwater, MN. The water temperature is 77 (up 7 degrees).

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

Walleye- Search for 5'-14' of water in the thick vegetation. Look for the first sharp breaks and drop offs in the lake. Tie up a Lindy "Walleye Drift Rig" paired with either a redtail or leech.

Bass- Choosing between two methods in 1'-4' of water. Casting towards shore from a distance so you don't scare the fish up in the shallow water. Cast in or around the pencil reeds and lily pads to find the big mamas hiding. Tie on a Lunkerhunt "Pocket frog" for those fun explosions on top of the water! For the slower approach tie on a VMC "Wacky weedless" hook paired with a YUM "Dinger" for best results! 

Crappie/Sunfish- In a variety of depths from 2'-8' depending on the average depth of the lake. Look for a lot of spawning structure such as timber, lily pads, and docks. Tie up a slip bobber a Custom jigs and spins "Flu-Flu" feather jig tipped with a crappie minnow or small leech to keep the kids busy! 

The Park Rapids area lakes are often missed by those anglers driving all the way up to Red Lake or Lake of the Woods looking for lunker walleyes, stop by and speak with Josh in the fishing department of Smokey Hills Outdoor Store and he can point you in the right direction with up to date information on where and how to put an obese walleye on your wall! https://www.facebook.com/SmokeyHills/

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

Walleye bite has been picking up! Some very large catfish being caught, the largest reported to us was 30 lbs. Nice fish! I believe Lake Traverse to be among the best the U.S. has to offer. Looking for a place to stay while fishing Lake Traverse? Wheaton Service now offers lodging a The Fishin' Hole Lodge. The Lodge offers a private parking lot, beds, kitchen area, pool table room with a wet bar, big screen TV's. Only you and your group stays at the lodge at a time. If you normally stay at the motel, Give us a try! You'll be glad you did:) Walleye Guides and Catfish Guides are also available. All full day guide packages come with a real SHORE LUNCH cooked over the open fire! Give us a call, we'd love to have you! 320-563-1400 and ask for Steve or Wheaton Service on FB, or Fishin' Hole Lodge on FB. Thanks a million and 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)

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

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

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

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