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Minnesota Fishing Reports
News : Explore Minnesota Fishing Report
Posted by LSF on Apr 16, 2010 (1685 reads) News by the same author

Northeast Minnesota

International Falls
Rainy River fishing has been excellent. The Big Fork and Littlefork rivers have dropped - the current has slowed and water clarity is increasing. Walleye are hitting minnows on jigs and spinner rigs, especially near Nelson Park in Birchdale, above and below the Manitou Rapids,and downstream from Kuttes Landing at Pelland Junction. The sturgeon have been fairly active, with some very large fish recently reported. The sturgeon season is catch-and-release only until April 24, and then one can be kept with a proper tag. The northern pike season is continuous. Launches on Rainy Lake are open, and the ice is gone on a large portion of the west end. Other recent signs of spring include early emerging plants, sprouting trees, the return of various migratory birds, and the drumming of ruffed grouse. To learn more, dial 1-800-325-5766, or visit

Overall, the look and feel of Lake Kabetogama and the surrounding area is more like mid-May then mid-April! A few fortunate anglers headed out onto Lake Namakan last weekend, with quite a few large and eating-size walleye being taken, along with some nice pike. Unfortunately, the walleye season closed April 14 on this Canadian border lake. Water levels remain low, and water temperatures are in the low to mid-forties. The crappie action should really heat up once the water warms another 10 degrees or so. Lake Namakan northern pike action is expected to pick up very soon since most fish should now have spawned. Anglers are also looking forward to the 62nd Annual Minnesota Governor's Fishing Opener held opening weekend, May 14-16, on Lake Kabetogama. This event includes various community activities, a picnic, raffles, and a silent auction. For more information on Lakes Kabetogama and Namakan, dial 1-800-524-9085, or check out

To learn where and when the fish are biting, dial 1-800-777-7281, or visit
Duluth/Lake Superior's North Shore
Three creel clerks interview anglers and monitor the spring creel for rainbow trout on the North Shore of Lake Superior between early-April and late-May. Between April 9-11, Lower Shore waters including the Lester, McQuade Harbor, French, Sucker, and Knife rivers, water temperatures range from 40- to 44-degrees in the morning, and interviewed anglers caught 29 Steelhead, 34 Kamloops, and 12 Coho. For the Middle Shore, including the Stewart, Silver, Gooseberry, Split Rock, Beaver, and Baptism rivers, water temperatures were 38- to 41-degrees, and anglers caught 13 Steelhead. The Upper Shore, including the Cross, Temperance, Poplar, Cascade, Devil Track, Kadunce, and Brule rivers, averaged 37-degrees, with 13 Steelhead, 1 Kamloop, and 5 Brook Trout taken. Most fish were caught in the section of the shore from the Lester to the Stewart. Water levels and clarity are fairly low and clear for the entire shore. The smelt run will most likely begin when water temperatures exceed 45-degrees overnight for several days in a row, which may occur as early as this weekend. To find out more, dial 1-800-4-duluth, or check out

Northwest Minnesota

Baudette/Lake of the Woods & the Rainy River
Fishing on the Rainy River has been outstanding, with large quantities and sizes of fish being reported. While the season closed April 14 for this Canadian border water, it will re-open shortly. The exciting action so far this April is a good indicator that anglers will have continued success when the season re-opens in early May! To learn more, dial 1-800-382-FISH, or visit

To find out what techniques are working best, dial 1-800-458-2223, or check out
Walker/Leech Lake
While it has been a windy start to the open water season on Lake Bemidji, it was the wind that took the ice off of the lakes so early. The water temperatures of the smaller lakes are roughly 50-degrees, and the larger lakes are in the mid-40s. There are reports of a few crappies being taken on small minnows either on a jig or under a bobber. Very few have moved into the shallows, with most still roaming the deeper water - for the most fish, start at the breaklines in 12-14 feet of water. If you don't get a bite, then move to waters that are either shallower or deeper, depending on the water temperatures. The DNR has begun stripping the walleye on Woman Lake. It's fun to watch, and the size of some of the female walleye is often amazing. The best time to watch this process is from 8:00 to 9:00 a.m. For more information, dial 1-800-833-1118, or visit

Central Region

The warm temperatures last weekend caused a rise in water temperature, and many of the crappies and sunnies moved into the back bays. For the most fish, hit depths of 4-6 feet, depending on the weather. Use a black or chartreuse crappie tube under a bobber, tipped with a minnow or waxworm. The fishing should improve even more this weekend. Please make an effort to release the larger fish in order to maintain the health of the fishery for many years to come. To find out more, dial 1-877-833-2350, or visit

Pine River Area Lakes
Anglers have begun to search for early season sunfish and crappies in the shallow bays and backwater areas. Water temperatures are hovering in the forties. Active, spawning crappies seem to prefer a range of 50- to 55-degrees before they become active eaters. The continued warm temperatures should cause the panfish action to improve. The best approach is a small 1/16 ounce jig, tipped with a small crappie minnow, and fished below a bobber. To learn more, dial 1-800-728-6926, or check out

Willmar Area Lakes
Fishing action has been excellent, and the warm temperatures have made it even more enjoyable. With the rise in water temperature, the panfish have become active on nearly every area lake. Some of the most productive lakes include Norway, Florida, Nest, Diamond, Green, Elizabeth, and Foot. The best approach has been to work the shallows during the day when the water is warmest. To learn more, dial 1-800-845-8747, or visit

Isle/Onamia/Lake Mille Lacs
The ice is entirely off Lake Mille Lacs, and the netting is complete. Anglers that have already ventured out are pulling perch from the bays, and crappies from the rivers and marina areas. This weekend looks like it will also offer excellent angling opportunities! For more information, dial 1-888-350-2692, or check out

Twin Cities Greater Metropolitan vicinity

Northeast Metro/Chisago Lakes Area
Fishing has been great on many area lakes. The crappies are being pulled from the shallow, muddy bays holding the warmest waters. For the most fish, use a waxworm or crappie minnow in depths of 4-10 feet during the day. Even morning hours have been productive on days when nighttime temperature have not dipped below freezing. Everything is lining up for a great walleye opener - expect fish to be either on the sand or at the weedlines in roughly 10-12 feet of water. To find out more, dial 651/257-1177, or visit

White Bear Lake
White Bear, Bald Eagle, Centerville and Peltier lakes are giving up lots of crappies and sunnies. Most of these fish are coming from 10 feet of water on leeches, crappie minnows and waxworms. Angling conditions should be excellent again this weekend. To learn more, dial 651/653-5122, or check out

Southern Minnesota

Lake City
The walleye/sauger spawn is rapidly winding down on the Mississippi River, with the majority of fish having already spawned. There are still a few saugers being caught at the Red Wing dam, but the better fishing will now move downstream to the head of Lake Pepin and the Bay City flats area. With the early warmer water and air temperatures, things are progressing as if it were early to mid-May. The post spawn bite is just beginning, and it will be in full swing shortly. To find more, dial 1-877-525-3248, or check out

While rain fell earlier this week, the streams continue to look very good. For the most part, they are clear and the water levels are normal. Houston County received more rain, and Winnebago, Crooked and Bee creeks may be slightly off-colored. Dark Hendricksons have been showing up all over southeast Minnesota, and there may be times when anglers experience two or three species of aquatic insects hatching at once. There are record numbers of brown trout measuring 1 foot on all of the streams assessed so far this spring. Several fish have measured nearly 20 inches! Anglers should expect some of the best trout angling in years! To learn more, dial 1-800-944-2670, or visit

On Big Stone Lake, conditions are starting to take shape for an incredible border water fishing opener on April 24! The water level is near normal, and the water temperature is hovering around 45-degrees. Expect some cloudy water conditions due to spring run off and very windy days. The forecast calls for continued warm temperatures, with a limited chance of precipitation, which will provide anglers with another wonderful weekend of fishing. Historically, clear spring water has been a challenge since the fish can be spooked easily - if the water remains stained, there should be an even better chance of catching walleye and northern pike. Predictions are that the spawn will be nearly complete in two weeks, just in time for the opener. The males will be aggressive and ready to bite. The females will be slightly slower as they recover from the spawn. For more information, dial 1-800-568-5722, or check out

Report courtesy of Explore Minnesota Tourism.

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