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Minnesota Fishing Reports
News : Explore Minnesota Fishing Report
Posted by LSF on Jun 03, 2010 (1856 reads) News by the same author

Northeast Minnesota

International Falls -Rainy Lake & the Rainy River
Recent rainfall is helping to raise Rainy Lake water levels, and will likely change some of the fishing patterns. Walleye are currently being taken on a jig and minnow combination worked in roughly 25 feet of water near many of the islands from Black Bay to Brule Narrows. Walleye tend to be a bit shallower early in the day. Smallmouth bass have been hitting at the rocky shallows, especially where there is some gravel and weed beds. Topwater lures have been very effective. Large northern pike are also lurking in the weedy edges of the bays, such as Jackfish, Black and Cranberry. Rainy River fishing has been good in the stretch of river from the dam to the end of Shorewood Drive in International Falls, and in the stretch below the Ranier Rapids. To learn more, dial 1-800-325-5766, or visit

Last weekend, the temperatures remained unseasonably hot, and mayflies were already hatching. The early hatch have drawn the walleye into the shallows in search of larvae. Anglers report taking quite a few walleye from 5-15 feet of water, including many keepers. The best approach has been a light jig tipped with minnow or leech tossed near shore and retrieved back to the boat. Slip bobber fishing is also working well. Many anglers choosing deeper water are doing well with a ball head jig or lindy rig system in depths of 28-35 feet. Leeches are now producing as many fish as minnows, with nightcrawlers expected to be productive very soon. Anglers using a slip sinker or lindy rig should use a short snell less than 2 feet in length so the bait stays near the bottom where walleye are feeding on larvae. While there are no hot spots, areas giving up fish have soft bottoms, such as Center Reef, and Cuculus and Chase Islands on Kabetogama. Smallmouth bass action is coming on strong - for the most fish, use crankbaits or plastics at the rocky and gravel shorelines. Northern pike are hitting sucker minnows under fixed bobbers and slip bobbers. On Lake Namakan, walleye anglers should check out Tar Point, the Twin Alligators, and drop-offs near Fox Island on the U.S. side. Northern pike anglers should try stick baits or live bait at the weed edges in bays such as Lost, Nebraska, Mud and Daily. For more information on Lakes Kabetogama and Namakan, dial 1-800-524-9085, or check out

Last weekend, the vast majority of walleye anglers were pulling fish from 5-7 feet of water on most area lakes. It didn't seem to matter whether you were using minnows or leeches. There were anglers, however, that did have success in depths of 15-20 feet. Crappies were also in the shallows, with some fish measuring 15- to 16-inches. The best technique has been a small minnow under a slip bobber. Some crappie anglers took some nice numbers on slurpies and other jig and tail presentations. Northern pike are responding well to large crankbaits and spoons fished in the weedy areas and lake points. For more information, dial 1-800-777-7281, or visit

Cook/Tower - Lake Vermilion
To learn what's biting, dial 1-800-648-5897, or visit

Cook County: Lutsen-Tofte, Grand Marais, Gunflint Trail, and Grand Portage
In the Crescent Lake Area, walleye have been hitting jigs tipped with minnows or leeches in 6-10 feet of water around the weeds and rock piles. On Gunflint Lake, walleye, smallmouth bass and lake trout have been active, with a 28-inch trophy walleye recently taken. Walleye fishing is picking up in Saganaga Lake at the weed beds and shallow reefs in 9-12 feet of water. For the most fish, use a jig and fathead combination, or try trolling a rapala. For lake trout, use a jig tipped with a minnow, or a shad rap in roughly 40 feet of water. Rainbow trout are hitting crawlers and spinners worked at the bottom on Leo, Mink, Kimball, and Trout lakes in depths of roughly 15 feet. Northern pike action is very good on Saganaga, Hungry Jack, Seagull, and Northern Light lakes, especially when using jigs tipped with minnows, rapalas, or spoons in the shallow weed beds. And, guides are reporting great lake trout catches on Lake Superior. To learn more, check out

Grand Rapids
To find out where the fish are biting, dial 1-800-355-9740, or check out

Northwest Minnesota

Baudette -Lake of the Woods & the Rainy River
On Lake of the Woods, water temperatures are in the 60s, and fish continue to be pulled from the deeper waters. Anglers are taking fish off Pine Island, the Lighthouse Gap and the Graceton Beach areas in 28-31 feet of water. Most are having success when anchoring and jigging using gold, chartreuse, or orange 3/8-ounce jigs tipped with either a frozen or live minnow. Morning and evening hours have been best. Most walleye measure 18-20 inches, but many slot fish are also being caught and released. Some anglers are doing well in depths of 6-8 feet in Four Mile Bay. On the Rainy River, Clementson Bay and the Rapid River have had an excellent smallmouth bass run. At the Northwest Angle and Oak Island, anglers report excellent fishing near Soldier's Point, Massacre Island, and Falcon Island. Anglers are taking fish from 21-23 feet of water when using a 3/8-ounce brightly colored jig tipped with a minnow. And, a 37-inch northern was recently caught and released here. To learn more, dial 1-800-382-FISH, or visit

The muskie season opens this Saturday, June 5, therefore anglers will be able to fish for the species of their choice this weekend. Many lakes already have cabbage weeds nearing the surface of the lakes, so anglers may have warmer water and more developed weed beds than they are used to over the muskie opener. Surface water temperatures in most area lakes are in the mid to upper 60s. Most species of fish are done spawning. While there are still some spawning shiners in the shallows, the mayfly hatch has begun and fish are now heading for the mid-lake structure. Walleye fishing has started to slow down on most area lakes - for the most fish, hit the water during morning and evening hours, or when clouds and wind break-up some of the sunlight entering the water. Jig and minnow combinations continue to produce fish, but many anglers are switching to live bait rigs tipped with leeches, nightcrawlers or larger minnows and having even greater success. Bass fishing was good on the opener, and should continue to improve as the water continues to warm. Bass usually inhabit the shallowest portion of the lakes, especially along the edges between weed types or complex areas offering several different types of cover. Perch anglers are pulling fish from the cabbage weeds and areas with chara- or rock-covered bottoms. Soon, many perch will move into deeper water to feed on mayfly larvae emerging from the mud basin. Crappies and sunnies are now moving to the deep weed edge to feed. To find more, dial 1-800-458-2223, or check out

Walker - Leech Lake
On Leech Lake, anglers continue to catch lots of walleye, despite inconsistent weather patterns. When the wind blows, the fish are on the shoreline in depths of 5-10 feet of water. On recent guide trips, many walleye were taken on jigs tipped with a minnow or leech. A few anglers also did well using a lindy rig and crawler. Surface water temperatures remain in the high sixties. Evening fishing has heated up this past week. On calm nights, walleye were found along the points in the big lake, with even more fish pulled from Traders Bay along the sandy shorelines. On the southeast end of Leech Lake, many anglers found a good walleye bite at Northland Reef, Spirit Bar and Grassy Point. On the west end of Leech, the Meadows Area was the hot spot on calm days - the hot spot changed when the wind began to blow into Pine Point. Sucker Bay also produced lots of nice fish between the Two Duck Points. Leech Lake is also famous for its largemouth bass population. And, don't forget the 2nd Annual Walleye Tournament on Leech Lake this Saturday and Sunday, June 5 & 6, with many activities open to the public at Walker City Park. 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
To learn what's biting, and where to fish, dial 1-800-247-0054, or check out

Detroit Lakes
Mayfly hatches are taking place on area lakes, and it appears that the hatches are starting and stopping with the sunshine. Not all lakes have hatches at the same time so be ready to switch lakes if necessary. One local guide reports catching walleye on several area lakes in 9-11 feet of water rip by jigging shiners on a 1/16- or 1/8-ounce jig. For a mix of bass and northern pike, try rip jigging. Shiner minnows are being used less frequently, and anglers are switching their bait of choice to other minnows, leeches and crawlers. Fish will soon transition from the flats to the edges, as well as to the outside weedlines to the mid-lake structure. Large northern pike are being pulled from Sallie, Mellissa, and Little McDonald lakes. Please be aware of the slot limits on these lakes. Bass are active on Cotton, Floyd, Sallie, and Big and Little Detroit lakes. Walleye fishing has been good on Island, Cotton, Detroit, Pelican, Pines and Otter Tail lakes. Muskie fishing opens this weekend, and Pelican Lake, and Big and Little Detroit lakes, are always a great place to start, not just for the Detroit Lake area, but for the state as a whole. Please keep in mind that there will be boats races on Little Detroit Lake, and fishing tournaments on Pelican and Pine lakes this weekend. To learn more, dial 1-800-542-3992, or go to

Central Region

Otter Tail Lakes Area
Many anglers enjoyed an excellent bass opener this past weekend! The bass have been extremely active, and there are many great bass lakes throughout the area. Anglers did best using a jig tipped with a minnow, crawler or leech, worked in depths of 10-25 feet. There has been a crankbait bite in the evenings in only 8 feet of water at the flats on Otter Tail Lake. Yellow perch, purple descent, and blue colors have been working best. Panfish remain active, and are hitting wax worms, smaller crawlers and crappie minnows on pink or white tackle. Please remember to practice catch and release so future generations can enjoy angling on area lakes as much as you do! For more information, dial 1-800-423-4571, or check out

Fishing remained decent, if not better, with the recent unseasonably warm temperatures. Some walleye are moving to the flats after dark. Overall, fishing during low light periods has been best. For the most fish, use a jig and minnow combination, or try lindy rigging with a minnow, crawler, or leech in 9-18 feet of water on the points and at the inside corners. The crappies have moved into the cabbage and can be taken on twister tails with small crappie minnows. The best colors have been white and pink. Water temperatures range from 64- to 67-degrees depending on the side of the lake. Rising water temperatures and stable weather should improve the muskie bite this weekend. To find out more, dial 1-877-833-2350, or visit

Isle/Onamia -Lake Mille Lacs
Fishing has been excellent on Lake Mille Lacs. Lowlight hours have been best, especially at the shallow to mid-depth rocks during evening hours. Day anglers should check out the deep mud and gravel. Large fish seem to outnumber the eating-size fish at the mud flats. For a few more keepers, hit the gravel during evening hours at Matton Flat, Backer Flat, Lakeside, and the Graveyard. Leeches have been the bait of choice, with crawlers starting to produce more fish. When fishing with leeches, use a simple set-up, such as a colored hook, with or without a red or yellow bead, with a 6-8 foot leader. Crawlers can be used on a similar rig, but spinners are probably more effective. And, crappie action has also been strong. To find out more, dial 1-888-350-2692, or check out

Water temperatures on lakes in the Willmar vicinity were on the rise late last week. Anglers also reported an increase in action, especially on Ringo, Elizabeth, and East Solomon lakes. To learn more, dial 1-800-845-8747, or visit

Twin Cities Greater Metropolitan vicinity

Northeast Metro/Chisago Lakes Area
Little Green, Green, Chisago, North and South Lindstrom, and North and South Center lakes all produced good numbers of fish last weekend. This week, Chisago, South Lindstrom and Sunrise are the best bets. Chisago and South Lindstrom lakes are giving up lots of sunnies and crappies to anglers using panfish leeches, waxies and small jigs. Fish the edge of the weedlines at 6 feet of water, and in depths of 8-10 feet of water. On Sunrise Lake, northern pike and panfish are very active, however, anglers should release all northerns measuring 12-18 inches. Walleye anglers are having the most success during early morning hours, and just before sunset. To find out more, dial 651/257-1177, or visit

White Bear Lake Area Lakes
Last week, walleye anglers were having the most success using shiners and leeches, especially between 4:00 a.m. and 7:00 a.m., and from 7:00 p.m. until 11:00 p.m. Sunnies and crappies were hitting waxworms and crappie minnows, respectively. The best action was on Bald Eagle Lake since it was not as clear as White Bear Lake, with anglers reporting good numbers of walleye, sunfish and crappies. Lots of sunnies and crappies were also coming from Centerville Lake. To learn more, dial 651/653-5122, or check out

On Lake Waconia, last weekend's bass opener was excellent. The water temperatures were hovering around 75-degrees, which pushed most the bass off of their spawning beds, with the larger 2.5-plus pound fish remaining in the shallows. Most anglers had success deep in the pencil grass and weed beds on the north side of the lake. The best techniques were soft plastic stick baits and non-weighted flukes. The bass are moving into their summer patterns, gravitating towards the weedlines and weed beds in 8-14 feet of water. Leeches, crawlers and suckers are generally best during the summer months, especially at Cemetery, Center, and Anderson's reefs. Walleye continue to bite, with many reports of 16- to 20-inch fish. The best approach has been a jig and fathead combination worked in 8-22 feet of water, with slip bobbers and leeches also working well. Harm's Point, Kegs and Cemetery reefs have been the best producers. These fish will move deeper during daylight hours - during low light conditions, look for them feeding in shallower waters on the flats. For lots of panfish, use waxworms, crawlers, and panfish leeches at a group of beds found in depths less than 10 feet throughout the lake. Some areas to check out are behind the weed beds on the north side of the lake, on the south side of the island, and at Wagner's Bay. This coming weekend, specifically June 5, is the start of muskie season, and it is shaping up to be excellent due to unseasonably warm water temperatures. Whenever possible, practice CPR(catch/photo/release), and be sure to bring along a good set of pliers, a large net or cradle, a jaw spreader, and a good set of hook cutters! For information on Lake Waconia, dial 952/442-5812, or check out

Southern Minnesota

Lake City -Lake Pepin
The walleye and sauger bite on the Mississippi River at Lake Pepin remains strong, with lots of fish being taken at nearly all of the popular hot spots. There have been lots of boats on the water, and nearly everyone is catching limits of eating-size fish, along with a few good-size Catch-Photo-Release fish. Live bait rigs, crankbaits trolled with boards, and lead core are all working well. As one area guide recently put it, "it doesn't get much better than this!" To find out more, dial 1-877-525-3248, or check out

As of Tuesday, June 1, most streams were still running clear and normal, if not slightly low, for this time of year. Streams monitored included East Beaver Creek running through Beaver Creek Valley State Park, Duschee Creek, Forestville Creek, Gribben Creek, Bee Creek, the South Branch Root River at Lanesboro, the South Branch Root River running through Forestville State Park, the South Fork Root River, Trout Run, Wisel Creek, and the Whitewater River system. Several Black Quill adult may flies were seen late last week on Rush Creek. Also, a very nice Yellow Drake adult may fly post-hatch fall was witnessed on Deer Creek, the tributary to Middle Branch Root River, on Sunday morning. Midge hatches continue. Many trout anglers have stated to area fisheries staff that they have never seen so many 12- to 18-inch trout as they have this year! To learn more, dial 1-800-944-2670, or visit

Albert Lea
For information on what's biting, dial 1-800-345-8414, or check out

Ortonville -Big Stone Lake
Fishing on Big Stone Lake has definitely improved over the past few days. Last weekend was very busy and more reports were received, mostly from anglers very pleased with their catches. There were many reports of limits of fish, along with walleye measuring over 20 inches. A 27-inch walleye, and two 25-inch walleye were taken at one camp alone. Anglers opted to return many of the larger walleye, keeping the smaller, eating-size fish to assure an abundant supply next year. The water remains very clear, so the most successful anglers worked the south end weedlines and the weeds surrounding the islands. For the most fish, pull crankbaits, or spinners and crawlers on planer boards, through these areas. Mud lines started to appear with the wind on Saturday and Sunday, and anglers working these with crankbaits also netted some nice walleye. Shoreline anglers and those working the rock piles with slip bobbers and leeches also did well. Slip bobbers were productive when the water was calm, when anglers could anchor and wait for the fish to bite. In addition to walleye, there continue to be reports of bullhead, northern pike, largemouth and white bass. June is here, and the best walleye fishing is just ahead. The surface water temperature is roughly 70 degrees. The carp are spawning along the shore lines. Expect fishing to really take off in the next few weeks. To find out more, dial 1-800-568-5722, or visit

Report courtesy of Explore Minnesota Tourism

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