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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

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

Sunfish and crappies are biting on Stalker, Blanche and Walker in 15 feet of water. Tullibee action has picked on Star and Ida lakes. Call us for updated reports!

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

Perch and walleyes are being caught Blackduck in 15 feet. Crappies and bluegills are biting in 15-20 feet on Pimushe and Gull. Gilstead is producing crappies in 20-25 feet. Give us a call for current ice conditions.

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

May 1st Here is your fishing report from you Leech Lake and Brainerd Lakes area fishing guides from Leisure Outdoor Adventures.  The recent changes in weather have definitely changed the bite, but that is typical for spring time in Minnesota.

Brainerd Fishing Report
Crappie fishing in the Brainerd Lakes Area has been hit or miss, with the weather, but when you find them it can be bast and furious.  Fish are still being found on weed flats in 6-8 feet of water.  Much like any kind of fishing, playing the wind is the key.  This past weekend we found active crappies feeding along a weed edge that had some emergent weed growth.  Between bugs and minnows the fish were actively feeding.  A 1/32oz jig with a tube under a slip bobber was the ticket.  Constantly changing the depths at which you have the bobber set as well as the colors of the tubes.  Pink/white, pearl, black, and purple were all good colors.  An important thing is to make sure your bobber is always sitting vertical and you aren’t using too big of one and you are changing your retrieve as crappies will respond differently throughout the day.  

Leech Lake
Perch fishing still remains strong in 4-6ft of water with a 1/16th oz jig and minnow.  Working areas over in Agency and Walker Narrows, Steamboat Bay, Mounds, Boy Bay, and Sucker Bay.  Concentrating on any weed growth or sand/weed transitions is often your best bet.  Once you find a school anchoring up on them can produce some fast and furious action.

Crappie and panfishing has overall been slow.  Some fish are showing up in the harbors at times, but as the weather warms this week you will start to see fish migrating back into those black bottom bays on the Northern parts of the lake.  A slip float with a 1/32oz jig and crappie minnow or plastic is the best bet to putting this fish in the boat.  Leech Lake can have some absolutely fantastic crappie fishing in the month of May, so don’t forget about it.  Boy Bay, Steamboat, Kabekona, Millers, Shingobee, are just a few places to keep on your radar.  Throw in tons of smaller lakes in the area that are full of great panfishing, and a guy can have a ton of fun with the family. 

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

Sunfish, crappies and pike are hitting on the south end in 10-12 feet and west end in 15 feet on Chisago Lake. North and South Center lakes are producing a few walleyes. Give us a call for current ice conditions.

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

St. Louis River is giving up walleyes and crappies in 12 feet. Crappies biting 15-20 feet on Fish and Whiteface. Island Anglers fishing near shore on the north shore of Lake Superior are catching Kamloops and cohos in the French River area with spawn bags, nightcrawlers, or wax worms.

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- 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 5/15/17
While many anglers failed to fill their stringers, there were others who had no problem bringing in a good batch of eating size walleyes. Very few fish of any size have been caught. Most folks were finding the fish in relatively shallow water. Tossing jig and minnow combos along shorelines were the biggest producers, as the walleyes were chasing baits in three to six feet of water. Small crank baits were just as effective with number nine Shad Raps and Salmo Hornets taking their toll on the fish populations. Some shore bound anglers had as much success during these conditions as those in boats. A few big northerns have been reported as fishermen used suckers to lure these toothy critters from their shallow water haunts. Crappies have begun their spawning ritual as some anglers are finding them right up in the emergent weeds in as little as two feet of water.

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- 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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Swanson's Bait & Tackle - www.swansonsbait.com
Caleb Garoutte, Hwy 371 on the north end of Hackensack (218-675-6176)

Ice conditions vary by lake but most lakes are between 12" to 22". Leech Lake is seeing 16" to 22" on the main lake with vehicle traffic on most the lake. The bite has slowed due to colder temps but has still been consistent! Most walleyes are being caught in the 18' to 20' range. Dead sticking a shiner has been producing as well as rattling spoons such as the Buckshot or BB Ratttler. Walker bay has been producing off the shoreline breaks as well as the deeper humps.  The pike bite has been strong with most anglers going with a sucker minnow on a tip-up. The panfish bite has been strong with good numbers being reported! Small jigs such as the Bro Bug tipped with a wax worm or maggie seem to be the ticket! Stay warm and be safe!

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- 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 5-14-17

It’s here, it HAPPENED- Fishing Opener and Mothers Day – a Grand Slam Weekend. To begin with – weather was very cooperative, cool morning giving way to a nice afternoon and overall pleasant, dry weekend. Success was limited when it came to limits of walleyes, but good action when you figure in Sauger, Northern and Smallies. Shore/dock anglers were treated with a variety of species, most notable big, colorful saugers. The more consistent bite was shallow water, depths under 12’: Fixed bobber and slip bobber with a colored hook and minnow. Jig and slip sinker rigs with minnow were the best presentation for deeper water, 24’-32’. Both shallow water and deeper depths gave up higher numbers of small walleye and over 17” walleyes. Most anglers were happy with the action, most bags had a variety of walleye, sauger, perch and in a few cases nice crappies. It is expected that the shallow bite will continue over the next couple weeks as the water warms slowly due to cool evenings. Loads of baitfish in shallow, as the water warms, attracting predators.: Sauger and Perch will be spawning as the water steadily reaches 55 degrees plus. If you find the shallow depth fish to be over the slot, move out to the closest deeper water adjacent to the shallows. Keep your presentation slow and if in shallow, move slowly and avoid loud noises. Crappies will head shallow anytime and be the most catchable this time of year. Keep your presentation simple, nothing flashy, remember to release the big fish immediately to reduce mortality. Best locations, weed tops, week edges, soft sandy, gravel bottoms especially wind blown shorelines. Good Luck, Happy Mothers Day and Enjoy the Best Scenery, Sunrises and Sunsets in the Country. See You Soon, Crabby Phil & Ellen Hart

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- 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 MN fishing opener was this past weekend was excellent. Some boats caught over 100 fish in a day. Fish ranged in size from small all the way to trophy walleyes. Weeding through small fish to find good keeper walleyes and saugers was the norm, which speaks nicely to the overall health of the walleye population. Key depth was around 20' of water. Good fishing all across south shore. Jig and a minnow was the best presentation with pink or gold jigs standing out.  Some anglers pulled spinners in 6-12 feet.  Others hit reefs in 25-30', also good. Jumbo perch and pike mixed in.  

Walleyes are still in the Rainy River.  Many anglers fished the river and Four Mile Bay.  Some walleyes have headed back to the lake while others remain in the river. Same as the lake, a jig and a minnow have been best tactic for boating walleyes.  Sturgeon fishing closes Monday, May 15 and reopens July 1st.

Up at the NW Angle, anglers also had a great opener.  Many had limits in a couple of hours.  Fish were all over islands, neck down areas, points and reefs. Jig and a minnow up at the angle is the go to method. Colors should include chartreuse, pink, glow colors and some gold. Key depths ranged from 6' to 20' of water. The walleye population is in great shape and we expect fishing to remain strong as the water warms up.  Good luck!  Lodging, charters and guides are available at www.LakeoftheWoodsMN.com/Lodging.

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

Early ice-off and plenty of fish to be caught and 4 can be kept! Leech Lake is a very easy lake to fish on opener! Grab your jig box and a medium/light rod! I love green jigs but blue and white are also very popular on Leech Lake. We always start shallow and use the wind blown shores to start. Due to early ice-off the early spots might not be the go-to spots this year! It is sure nice to hear the waves on the shore again! Northern pike are also going to wish you had leaders on at times, they enjoy a fat shiner on a jig as well as the walleyes! If you are after pike only you should go into the shallow bays and work the new weedlines with spoons, it can be a lot of fun! We have openings for Memorial Day, so if you are a late planner don't worry - Leech Lake will take care of you! Looking forward to a great open water season!

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- Chris Kuduk's Guide Service - www.kuduksguideservice.com
For up to the minute reports, call Chris at 320-630-1761!

Mille Lacs walleye bite has been great on the mud, fish the edges. Reefs also good. Lot of big fish and slot fish. Try jigging spoons. Tullibie starting to bite. Platte, Sullivan, Shakopee, Anne lakes doing great on panfish. Dickies has a special for Vets during the week, ask about it! Roads are good, but check with resort owners or Bill at Lundeen's Bait Store. Dickie's has roads out to 3 mile and east side. Agate Bay has roads, anglers catching perch. Liberty Beach is reopened for food and plowed roads! Osakis north end doing well for panfish and walleye. Listen to Chris and Stan on Outdoors Adventures iHeart radio for fishing reports! Call Chris for a guided ice fishing trip or a report anytime!

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- Wayzata Bait & Tackle
Tim or Bob, half mile west off I-494 on Hwy 12 (952-473-2227)

We have open water. Look for crappies in 10-15 feet of water. Try working the channels and bays. Give us a call for reports!

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- Turk Gierke, Croixsippi Guide Service

St. Croix River opens on April 29th for walleye and sauger. At the time of opener the river is going to be five feet higher than normal pool elevation. This is a change from previous years when the water was at normal levels. Anglers enjoy the river for the fishing and the scenery. The water is a unique - clear but colored a light bronze from tannins from the northern watershed. In fact the St. Croix is so special it is designated as a National Wild and Scenic Waterway. The St. Croix produces year after year good quality walleye in the 15 to 19 inch range. These walleyes are rarely skinny so they always weigh well. Bigger fish are caught of course but the 17” to 18” fish are common. Minimum size to keep walleyes is 15". Near opener with expect male walleyes to be near spawning grounds such as river narrows or feeder streams. Walleye are caught in May using fatheads, leeches (mid May), crankbaits, and crawlers. Best depths from Stillwater, Minnesota on south to Prescott, Wisconsin is normally 10 to 22 feet deep in May. White bass bite well in the first three weeks of May and are often found mixed in with walleye. White bass are also known as “silvers” and are good eating. I always remove the “mudline” which is the lateral line of the fish – it also helps to bleed the fish out. Smallmouth bass opens May 27th. Smallies will readily hit tubes, wacky worms, jerk plastics, worms, and lizards. They are found shallow in May. They are very slow growing fish please release. One fun fact about the St. Croix – Anglers from any state can legally use two lines.

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

With the weekly averages hovering around 50 degrees the ice conditions on some lakes are very unstable so be careful and constantly check ice thicknesses on any lake this time of year. Both Sunfish and Crappies up around 8'-20' of water slowly moving into the shallows looking for the thick weed growth. Tie on a VMC "Tungsten Tubby" tipped either with a crappie minnow or waxy for best luck at filling the bucket!


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

Well, the ice season here on Lake Traverse has come to an end early, the good news is that Lake Traverse opens for walleye on April 22! Wheaton Service and The Fishin Hole Lodge offer Lodging and guiding packages for Walleye, Catfish, or just fish in general! All full day guided packages come with a SHORE LUNCH cooked over an open fire! It doesn't get any better! Lake Traverse has the highest net count on walleye in the state of Mn. The Catfish fishing on Lake Traverse may be World Class, average cats we boated last year were 10 pounds! Check us out at wheatonservice.com or Wheaton Service, or The Fishin Hole Lodge on FB, or give us a call at 320 563-1400 and set up a guided fishing outing today! Take a Kid Fishin!

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

We’ve had a good several weeks of crappie fishing on Waconia so far.  As with most spring fishing, the weather dictates the bite.  When the weather has been reasonable, anglers have been pulling out keepers in the 10 to 11 inch range with some bigger.  Most of the spring, fishing out in Waconia Bay has been best in 12 to 15 feet of water.  With water temps rising, we expect the shallow bite to pick up, with crappies likely to be found around the reeds on the NW side of the lake, Pillsbury Reef/Old Camp Manakiki area, shallow weeds on the north end and around the marinas.  The sunfish bite has been better than usual so far, and expect it to pick up even more, as they get closer to their spawning pattern.

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

If you want ice, we’ve got it. This will be a good season for ice fishing opportunities on Big Winnie. With good ice conditions anglers are starting to be seen on several areas of the big lake. Northern Pike spearers have been doing well in the Third River Area and the weed beds along the south near the mouth of the Mississippi River. Thickness of ice varies, but most conditions are favorable for ATV and snowmobile travel. Six to eight inches of ice are common and safety should always be a priority. As in years past if you are chasing walleyes the humps and bars will be your best bets especially early and late in the day. Depths of 18-23 feet are prime locations and outside edges should be critical spots to fish. Spoons with a minnow head like the VMC Tumbler and Tinglers are usually my first choices fished close to the bottom and paying close attention to my electronics for a walleye to come sniffing into the bait. Perch fishing will be good on the shallower rocks on the north side and look for the crappie bite to be good on Big and Little Cutfoot. Small VMC Tubby jigs with wax worms or plastics will be good for crappies and bluegills. Keep moving until you find active fish.

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