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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)

11-1- Walleyes: Anglers are fishing 10-15 feet of water in the weeds, jigging with minnows. Lakes to try are West Battle Lake, Ottertail and Rush.
Sunfish and crappies: Fish in 8-10 feet weeds using waxworms or crappie minnows on a flu flu. Lakes to try are Clitherall, Rush, Donald, Fish.
Northern:. Troll in the 15-20' weeds with either spoons or spinners with sucker minnows. Best lakes are Ottertail, Clitherall, Donald.
Bass: Throw spinnerbaits or jigs tipped with minnows into the 10' weed beds. Lakes to try are Fish, Donald, West Battle, Clitherall.
Musky:. Use large decoy minnows in 18-25 feet or throw double cowgirls. Best lake is West Battle.
Good luck to all the deer hunters and happy fishing!

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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)

11-1-Fishing reports have slowed down with colder weather. Good luck deer hunters! Stop in for reports!

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

Oct/Nov - 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.  

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

10-24 - Walleyes are going strong on rainbow chubs and even night crawlers. 3/8 oz glow in the dark jigs tipped with a minnow is working just about everywhere.  Concentrate on the 13-15 ft depths along the shorelines and or out in front of any current area like a river or creek coming in.  Large schools of walleyes are also still being located and caught in the deep mid-lake holes down to 60 ft with the best range in about 40-50ft.  Big pike can be caught trolling “grandmas” muskie baits in the black/gold combo colors just along the drop offs over about 15ft of water.  Also do not be afraid to try out over deeper water for the suspended fish.  Lotsa Fish! Lotsa Fun!

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

11-1-The bars on North and South Center lakes producing walleyes on cranks. Walleyes and crappies are also biting on Chisago in 20 feet.

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

11-1-Island Lake and the St. Louis River are producing muskies on sucker minnows. Hunters are seeing increased buck activity. Good luck deer hunters!

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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)

9/18/17
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.

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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)

11-1-Few fishermen braved the cold fishing conditions, and most opted instead to sit in the deer stand this last weekend. Those that did fish found some walleye and muskie, but we should see most lakes begin to freeze up in the next week with the chilly forecast! We actually had some reports from a handful of crazy people punching holes into some small ponds - ice on any water body around here should be considered unsafe and very dangerous at this point! Stay tuned for ice updated as lakes begin freezing up.

Deer season was good as expected this year! The weather conditions really got them up and running around. Some real nice bucks shot, as well as many antlerless deer with the additional permits offered in area 259. If you haven't tagged a deer yet, stick to it as it should continue to be great with the cooler weather and snow cover!

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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)

11-7 - Early winter weather keeps anglers off the water.  Deer hunters struggle. Early snow here for good?  With temps bottoming out at 2 degrees this morning, mother nature might be giving us hint! Snow and wind over the weekend not only kept anglers off the water but also kept deer movement at a minimum.  With more lakes becoming inaccessible due to ice and cold weather, angler activity is non-existent.

Deer hunters woke up to a windy, snowy morning which made hunting difficult for most of opening day.  Deer harvest was about average though with the rut in full swing which kept at least some deer moving throughout the weekend.

Shallow bays and harbors are covered with skim ice and the only boats on the water recently are whitefish netters.  Water temps have hit the right mark and success is improving.

Most waterfowl hunters have put their gear away but hunting remains consistent with lakes to the north freezing over.  A steady stream of northern birds are making their way south making for decent late season hunting.  Bluebills, goldeneyes, buffleheads and mallards are keeping the remaining waterfowlers busy.

Our annual hunter’s supper was a great success this past Saturday.  Even though the weather kept attendance down, banter and good food was had with all having a great time!  A big thanks to everyone who volunteered their time to make it all happen.

As much as some want to resist, winter activities look to be right around the corner!  We will keep you updated as it is shaping up to be a great winter season.

As always, we hope to see you soon…..
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)

11-14- The wait for ice fishing has begun. The lake has ice stretching as far as the eye can see from the south shore. The Rainy River has a skim of ice across it with only a few open areas left. All back bays are frozen over. A slight warm up is coming this week and weekend but colder nights will help create ice. Water temperature is 33.4 degrees Fahrenheit. Spearing for monster northern pike will begin Nov. 15th on Bostic Bay with 6" of ice where they will be spearing. On an average year, resort fish houses get out on the main lake around Dec 10th and stay on the ice through March 31st. ATV's and collapsible fish houses will get out a bit earlier based on when resorts who maintain ice roads feel it is safe. Use marked trails when ice roads open and don't deviate. Walleyes and saugers are staged up nicely along south shore including Pine Island, Zippel Bay, Long Point and Rocky Point. Early ice fishing is looking to be very good and it is coming soon. NW Angle is frozen in many areas and still some open water in neck down areas with current. Some locals who know the area well using snowmobiles for transportation to and from islands. Expectations are high as big schools of walleyes inhabited the area all the way up to freeze up. Resorts have equipment ready and are staging fish houses which could come early this year! Lodging, ice fishing packages and sleeper houses 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) spirit@arvig.net (e-mail) 

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 - www.kuduksguideservice.com
(320-630-1761)
For up to the minute reports, call Chris at 320-630-1761!

11-1 - Smallmouth and muskies are biting on Mille Lacs. Not as many anglers out due to colder weather and people anticipating ice fishing season. Smaller lakes have been great for panfish. Try Platte, Sullivan, Shakopee, Ann lakes. The crappie bite has been hot on Knife Lake and on Lake Osakis. Call Chris for up-to-the-minute fishing reports. Good luck to deer hunters this season! We will be at the Governor's Deer Opener broadcasting live. Also, 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)

11-1-Lake Minnetonka and Lake Independence muskies are hitting on sucker minnows in the weeds at 10-15 feet. Minnetonka walleyes are biting during the evening hours in the channels or during the day at the deeper weedlines.

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

November 2017, As most of the upper Midwest awaits ice to form on area lakes so they can ice fish for there favorite panfish, pike or walleye, another group of anglers in the Northwest Wisconsin and Minnesota’s Twin Cities area are fishing the rivers both the Mississippi and the St. Croix.  Fishing on these rivers is good every year in this time frame and fine catches of sauger and walleye are not uncommon.  Most of the fishing takes place when the weather spikes into the upper thirties or 40’s.  The best technique to take fish is jigging with minnows or soft plastics., plus jig n raps, blade baits, and trolling original Rapala Minnows.  Anglers enjoy jigging as the subtle hits are fun to detect and subsequent hook sets quite satisfying, especially when the fish is a nice two-pound walleye. Dress for the conditions and have a good time in the great outdoors. The extended forecast shows 40s well into the month meaning ice will not arrive until at least earlier December.

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

Walleye/Northern- With the water temps hovering around the high 60's on the majority of the area lakes the main group of walleyes have been marked and caught between 10'-16' of water. The bite switching from minnows to leeches and crawlers. Tie up a Lindy "Walleye Spinner" with a 1/2 oz walking sinker for the perfect weight. 

Bass- starting to spread out between 1'-8' in the thickest weed beds, lily pad patches, and timber piles. Rig up a VMC "Wacky Weedless" hook and team it with a Yum "Dinger" in a variety of colors from light to dark depending on the lake's clarity and food source. 

Sunfish/Crappie- Still staged around the shallows from 6'-12' looking for either sandy bottoms, pencil reeds, or cabbage for cover. Tie on a slip bobber paired with a VMC "Hot Skirt" or Northland "Fire Fly" jig tipped with a crappie minnow or small leech for best luck at filling the bucket! 

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

Lake Traverse, on the MN/SD border, is on fire! The walleye bite has been great, as well as the other species of fish we catch on our quest for walleye:) Water temps are relatively cool for this time of the year. Wheaton Service bait shop is relocating to Hwy 75 in Wheaton. Way better location, You will be able to drive right into our new lot pulling a boat, no hassles like our old location. Like always, Wheaton Service will have the "Best Bait in Town" and we always have up to date info on the bite that is going on on Lake Traverse. Our website will remain the same until our new shop is up and running. Wheaton Service will once again be building lite weight fish houses this fall. Our houses brand is Fishin' Hole Lodges. Lite weight skid houses, all aluminum, We use the same 3m tape that Yetti uses on their houses, less screws, makes for a great finished look! Available in most any color. The average 6x8 is $3,795.00 and weights about 360 lbs.Check us out at wheatonservice.com... 320 563-1400 Ask for Steve! Take a Kid Fishin!

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

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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