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Minnesota Fishing Reports
News : Explore Minnesota Fishing Report
Posted by LSF on May 13, 2010 (1827 reads) News by the same author

Northeast Minnesota

Anglers should plan on using late May, early June fishing techniques due to early ice out and warm spring temperatures on lakes Kabetogama and Namakan. In addition to a jig and minnow combination, you may want to try a slip sinker rig with a minnow or leech. The weed edges at the soft bottom bays may be holding baitfish, which will be a magnet for the walleye. Popular late spring hot spots on Kabetogama include areas such as Tom Cod Bay, Peterson Bay, and the mouths of Mud and Daily bays. On Namakan, check out Old Dutch, Tar Point and Cemetery Island. The Kabetogama, Ash River area will host the Governor and his guests this weekend during the 62nd Annual Minnesota Governor's Fishing Opener, held opening weekend, May 14-16 on Lake Kabetogama. A Community Picnic, open to the public, will be offered Friday afternoon. And don't forget the silent auction and Raffle Bonanza at the Kabetogama Community Club. For more information on Lakes Kabetogama and Namakan, dial 1-800-524-9085, or check out

Cook/Tower - Lake Vermilion
Recent cold and rainy conditions have slowed the crappie bite over the past several days. A couple of weeks ago, crappie anglers reported quite a few walleye in the mix when fishing shallow - most of these fish were "empty" and were already a few weeks post spawn. This weekend, anglers should plan on fishing for walleye the same way they would during a normal Memorial weekend due to early ice out and warmer lake temperatures. For the most fish, work 18-26 feet of water along the breaks near shore during the day. Later in the day, move to depths of 8-14 feet. Minnows and leeches should work well. If the wind picks up, try a crankbait along the windswept shorelines. The walleye are expected to be hungry. Crappies have yet to spawn, and therefore will be a good mid-day pursuit if the walleye action slows down, or, if you already have your limit in the live well! To find out more, dial 1-800-648-5897, or visit

Anglers are very excited about the upcoming opener. Tips for an enjoyable, hassle-free, outing include replacing old line, checking life jackets to make sure they aren't torn or have broken fasteners, topping off the gas tanks with premium grade fuel and gas treatment, charging the batteries, checking the electronics, and testing the wheel bearings and tire pressure on the trailer. The forecast calls for excellent weather this weekend, and by assuring that all of your equipment is in good working order you can almost guarantee a great time out on the water! For information on what's biting and where to find them, dial 1-800-777-7281, or visit

Grand Rapids
To learn which presentations are working best on area lakes, dial 1-800-355-9740, or check out

Northwest Minnesota

Baudette/Lake of the Woods & the Rainy River
Northern pike fishing has been great, with anglers taking good numbers of fish on red and white or shiny silver spoons worked in 8-15 feet of water at the weedy areas. Sturgeon fishing is catch-and-release through May 15, with even larger sturgeon coming out of the Rainy River in various locations. The weather forecast indicates a beautiful weekend ahead, perfect to kick-off the walleye season! For those headed out, anchor and jig for the most fish. Pink and gold are always great choices - chartreuse is also a good option. To learn more, dial 1-800-382-FISH, or visit

Conditions for Lake Bemidji and other area lakes will be more advanced on the opener, including the weed bed growth. Many lakes set records for early ice-out dates this spring, with most lakes in the Bemidji area ice-free for more than a month when the season opens this Saturday. Walleye, northern pike, perch, crappies and sunnies should all be active, so anglers will have the option of switching species and enjoying a multi-species opener. The typical opening weekend scenario is for the shallow lakes to out-produce the deep lakes, with most of the netted walleye being smaller males. The best approach is usually a jig and shiner combination, worked in 6-8 feet of water. This year, while anglers may find some walleye in the shallows, most of the fish may have relocated to deeper waters. Keep in mind that the walleye have had plenty of time to recover from the spawn, so both male and female walleye should be active and hungry. The deep lakes might have better bites than shallow lakes this year. Small lakes that are part of a chain of lakes may not be as good as the larger lakes, with many walleye reported to have already moved back into their home lakes. While a jig and shiner minnow will probably still work well, anglers may catch more and even larger walleye using leeches or nightcrawlers. Most of the larger lakes in the Bemidji area will be very busy on opening weekend, especially if the weather is as nice as expected. Anglers should remember that patience and a sense of humor can do wonders, and both will probably be needed at the public accesses. To find more, dial 1-800-458-2223, or check out

Walker/Leech Lake
There is a fantastic walleye fishing outlook for Leech Lake this year, and with the forecast calling for warm, sunny weather, this weekend should be perfect. The wind direction, always a factor on Leech Lake, will be an unknown until the weekend arrives. Earlier this week, the surface water temperature was 50-degrees in Walker Bay and throughout much of Leech Lake. While some anglers are planning on using fishing techniques normally used around Memorial Day and expecting to find fish in the deeper water, it is recommended that you try the traditional opener hot spots first. A jig tipped with a shiner or fathead minnow should be the best presentation, but bring along crawlers and leeches just in case they are needed. Adjust your approach based on wind and clouds. Check out the Mounds Point area of Steamboat Bay using a stand-up jig at the weeds. Hit the area from Oak Point to Star Point using a dark green northland jig tipped with a shiner. On the west end of the lake, when the winds are blowing in the right direction, check out Pine Point, and Little and Big Hardwoods. Sucker Bay in the Duck Points area, Ottertail Point, Ivan's Bay and Stony Point should also be good. On the east side of the lake, head to Northland Reef, Huddles Reef, Chippewa Bar, and the area from Five Mile Point to Sugar Point. For more information, dial 1-800-833-1118, or visit

Cass Lake & Deer River/ Winnibigoshish & Cutfoot Sioux lakes
To find out where and when to fish, dial 1-800-356-8615, or visit

Park Rapids
Angling in the Park Rapids area has remained stable, despite the dramatic drop in surface water temperature due to cooler air temperatures, rain and some snowfall. Crappies are beginning to transition from some of the very shallow bays to deeper waters - look for these fish at the weedy flats and emerging lilypads just outside of the auxiliary bays and arms. For the most fish, use small crappie minnows beneath a bobber, or try an artificial jig in depths of 3-8 feet of water. The bluegills have been very active in these areas as well, with waxworms and angle worms producing the majority of fish. Anglers are looking forward to the fishing opener this Saturday and expect to take good numbers of walleye and northern pike. For walleye, a roach rig tipped with a crawler or leech has been very productive this time of year. Fireball jigs tipped with a fathead or shiner minnow are also a good choice. Work both at the shallow, sandy flats in depths of 4-10 feet of water. To learn more, dial 1-800-247-0054, or check out

Detroit Lakes
Everyone is excited for the opener this weekend. Local experts recommend looking for walleye in the shallow waters on either side of the weed lines. Also fish the edges of large flats that extend out into the main lake and drop quickly into deep water. If the lake you are fishing has an opening with flowing water, check for fish at the current. There was a significant slowdown in crappie and sunfish action this past week due to cold fronts that resulted in an 8- to 10-degree drop in water temperatures. The gradual increase in air temperatures this weekend and into next week should greatly improve the bite. Northern pike anglers should search the shallows, with fish likely to be aggressive after the recent cold spell. The shiner bite should be good for walleye and northerns. Shallow lakes in the Detroit Lakes area such as Height of Land, Shell and Rock warm quickly and should produce nice numbers of fish. Other popular lakes on opening weekend include Big and Little Detroit, Sallie, Melissa, Pelican, White Earth and Cormorant. To learn more, dial 1-800-542-3992, or go to

Central Region

Otter Tail Country/Battle Lake/Pelican Rapids
Otter Tail Country lakes will offer ideal conditions for the fishing opener. Shiners have moved out to deeper waters, where they have become harder to find. Since shiners are a natural forage for walleye, anglers are encouraged to use a shiner, slip sinker and lindy rig presentation on opening weekend. On Otter Tail Lake, look for walleye in 6-20 feet of water. With water temperatures hovering around 50-degrees there may be a few presentations that cause walleye to bite - don't be afraid to try leeches or crawlers as well. Fish will be scattered throughout the lake, however the sunken islands and flats in the middle of Otter Tail Lake are likely to be hot spots. The forecast calls for mild temperatures and calm conditions, which should make opening weekend all the more enjoyable. For more information, dial 1-800-423-4571, or check out

This year's fishing opener will be different from the last few years. The water temperature is either at or near 50-degrees, depending on location. Most walleye will either be in 3-9 feet of water, or holding in depths of 15-19 feet. Concentrate on windblown points and inside corners, especially with good weed growth. For the most fish, use a jig and minnow combination, or try lindy rigging. The best times to fish will be low light periods during morning and evening hours. To find out more, dial 1-877-833-2350, or visit

Pine River Area Lakes
To learn which types of fish are being taken, dial 1-800-728-6926, or check out

Brainerd Lakes Area
For information on what's biting and where the hot spots are, dial 1-800-450-2838, or visit

Willmar Area Lakes
Fishing has been challenging due to the shift in weather conditions and temperatures. Anglers that are venturing out and having success are catching fish on Solomon, Long, Willmar, Foot, Ringo and Norway lakes. Temperatures will turn warmer at the end of this week, when the bite should really take off. To learn more, dial 1-800-845-8747, or visit

Isle/Onamia/Lake Mille Lacs
The launches and resorts are ready for a fun and exciting time out on Lake Mille Lacs this weekend. Since water temperatures are warmer than normal, walleye angers are encouraged to fish a bit deeper. To find out more, dial 1-888-350-2692, or check out

Twin Cities Greater Metropolitan vicinity

Northeast Metro/Chisago Lakes Area
To find out which area lakes are producing fish, dial 651/257-1177, or visit

White Bear Lake
White Bear and Bald Eagle lakes are producing lots of crappies and sunnies. Try 6 1/2 -12 feet of water using a white feather jig tipped with a crappie minnow or waxworm for the most fish. A few walleye have also been taken by accident, which indicates that they turning more active. The opener should be a good one, especially with pleasant weather in the forecast, along with hungry fish. Try leeches and minnows for walleye this weekend. Local anglers predict a great fishing opener, with the female walleye in post spawn mode and very hungry. To learn more, dial 651/653-5122, or check out

For information on Lake Waconia, dial 952/442-5812, or check out

Southern Minnesota

Lake City
To find where anglers are taking fish, dial 1-877-525-3248, or check out

As of May 13, the weekly rainfall total was already at approximately 3 inches. More rain had fallen in Houston County. Most area streams were muddy and high, including Camp Creek, Duschee Creek, and the South Branch of the Root River at Lanesboro. Ferndale and Diamond creeks were also reported to be muddy and high. To learn more, dial 1-800-944-2670, or visit

Albert Lea
Southern Minnesota DNR staff picked Albert Lea Lake as one of the top ten lakes in the nine county area. Albert Lea Lake was stocked with 5.2 million walleye fry following a 2004 winterkill. Post-winterkill walleye were very abundant during the 2006 net survey, with most of the fish measuring 14- to 18-inches. Yellow perch were also very abundant, many being over 8-inches long. Public water accesses can be found at the city of Albert Lea, at Myre-Big Island State Park, and on the south side of the lake. Much of the angling activity takes place along the channel connecting to Fountain Lake. On Fountain Lake, perch anglers are reporting lots of fish coming from the Front Street Bridge. The crappies and catfish have kept anglers busy by the Catholic cemetery. For more information, dial 1-800-345-8414, or check out
The weather remains wet and windy on Big Stone Lake, and the bite remains much the same as well. Some very nice walleye are being taken, with 7-pound and 9.8-pound walleye recently reported. The average catch, however, remains at just 1 or 2 fish per boat. Fishing techniques have varied, with anglers using a jigging approach at the rock piles, some pulling crankbaits through the north end shallows in the Fish Creek and Hiawatha areas, and some are even slip bobber fishing at the shallow rock piles near the islands. Still, outcomes remain much the same, with scattered fish and no patterns to report. An occasional northern pike, white bass and a perch or two are being reported by the walleye anglers. The warm and sunny weather predicted for this weekend may result in an improved bite. To find out more, dial 1-800-568-5722, or visit

Report courtesy of Explore MN Tourism

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