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Minnesota Fishing Reports
News : Explore Minnesota Fishing Report
Posted by LSF on Jun 10, 2010 (1421 reads) News by the same author

Northeast Minnesota

International Falls -Rainy Lake & the Rainy River
Early summer walleye fishing continues to be good on Rainy Lake, with a jig and minnow combination working well when still-fishing - when trolling, use a spinner rig and minnow. Popular areas have been around the islands between Jackfish Bay and Big American Island, and all around Dryweed Island and down to Cranberry Bay. The east end of the lake has also been good, however, there are fewer reports available for this area. Smallmouth bass continue to be pulled from the rocky shorelines along the south side of Rainy Lake. For the most fish, look for areas with a mixture of gravel bottom, large rocks and weeds. Rainy River walleye are hitting below the Ranier Rapids, below the dam at International Falls, and around the mouth of the Littlefork River. To learn more, dial 1-800-325-5766, or visit

Last weekend's mix of weather created inconsistent fishing patterns. Minnows, leeches and crawlers on a variety of presentations, fished at different depths at all times of day produced walleye! The best approach was a slip bobber or light jig tipped with live bait tossed into 4-10 feet of water, and retrieved back. During mid-day hours, anglers had good results using a slip sinker rig with a leech or crawler in 20-28 feet of water. Keep the bait near the bottom using a short snell. Colored hooks seem to give the angler an edge. Spinners remain optional, but should come into play as the season progresses. The mayfly hatch is taking place in the soft bottom bays, and this is the reason for using short snells in the shallows - this will likely be the case for the next couple of weeks. Walleye anglers should check out any windblown shorelines that have soft bottoms, such as Tom Cod, Ek Bay, Sucker Creek, Mud and Daily bays. Similar structure on Lake Namakan have also been good. Walleye anglers report quite a few northern pike, and pike anglers report good action near the weed beds when using jerk baits, x-raps, suicks and large spinner bait rigs. Smallmouth bass are off their spawning beds and beginning to chase crankbaits at the rip-rap and gravel shorelines. Smallmouth anglers should stick to the basics, such as small spinners, plastics, crayfish baits, and x-raps tossed up on shorelines and rock formations. Water temperatures dip into the high 60's at night and bounce back into the 70's during the day. Water levels are coming up nicely, and levels are now just slightly inconvenient. For more information on Lakes Kabetogama and Namakan, dial 1-800-524-9085, or check out

The key to success is to keep it simple. A traditional slip bobber approach has been best, with most walleye anglers pulling fish from waters less than ten feet deep. Hang a leech, crawler or minnow under a slip bobber, and hold on! In addition to lots of eating-size fish, anglers report quite a few fish measuring up to 28-inches. Shagawa Lake has been best, with Birch Lake running a very close second. Northern pike are coming from the shallows off the flats on a simple sucker under a bobber. The crappie spawn is tapering off, and the slabs are sinking down deeper into depths of 12-15 feet. Jigs weighing 1/16th or 1/32nd of an ounce, tipped with small minnows or curly tails, are working well on Fall, East Twin and Birch lakes. Some of the larger fish are hitting Beetle spins also. For more information, dial 1-800-777-7281, or visit

Cook/Tower - Lake Vermilion
On Lake Vermilion, the last two weeks have offered the best walleye action so far this season, and decent weather has created comfortable conditions for the anglers. Leeches have become the bait of choice, followed by crawlers, and then minnows. Lindy rigs fished without spinners in 12-16 feet of water during lowlight conditions have worked very well. Once again, anglers have found it difficult to find walleye less than 17-inches in length on the west end of the lake. Crappies are in post-spawn mode, and are hanging out in the deep weeds. Pesky sunfish are making it hard to keep the bait on long enough to get it into "the zone." This year's jumbo perch class is a big one - most fish are worm-free, and run about a foot long. To learn more, dial 1-800-648-5897, or visit

Cook County: Lutsen-Tofte, Grand Marais, Gunflint Trail, and Grand Portage
Walleye fishing in the central BWCAW, such as on Crescent and Sawbill lakes, has steadily improved. For the most fish, use leeches in 6-8 feet of water. Very large smallmouth bass are an easy catch in the nesting areas, with anglers carefully returning these fish to spawn after enjoying quite a fight. Lake trout are biting in the interior wilderness lakes at approximately 35 feet of water. Northern pike action has slowed, but the small fish remain an easy catch in the shallows. In the Grand Marais vicinity, lake trout fishing has been excellent in Saganaga, Gunflint, Clearwater, and Greenwood lakes. For the most fish, work the reefs at 30 feet using spoons and jigs tipped with a minnow, or a shallow-diving lure. Walleye action has slowed. On Hungry Jack Lake, try a jig tipped with a chub in 6-10 feet of water in the weed beds and at the main rock reef. Some nice walleye are being taken by trolling rapalas on North Lake, however low water levels have caused entrance to the lake to be difficult. On Lake Saganaga, walleye are deep, and hitting jigs and chubs in 45-55 feet of water. Northern pike are coming from the shallows near the weed beds on trolled rapalas, cast spoons, jigs tipped with chubs, and sucker minnows. Lakes producing fish include Hungry Jack, Loon, and Northern Light. Most area lakes are giving up numbers of smallmouth bass. Rainbow trout are being taken by anglers using crawlers or fly fishing techniques on Trout and Esther lakes. On Gunflint Lake, anglers are taking good numbers of walleye, smallmouth bass, and lake trout! And on Lake Superior, guides report good lake trout action, along with a couple of salmon just this week.. To learn more, check out

Grand Rapids
The walleye are starting to move into their summer patterns, and anglers will need to try a variety of techniques to find the right approach this week. The cooler, overcast weather has been excellent for avid walleye anglers. Water temperatures on the larger and mid-sized lakes are hovering around 65-degrees. Fish can be found on windy days in the shallower waters, sometimes in depths of 4-8 feet. The deep shoreline points are holding fish in 16-24 feet of water. While a jig and minnow continues to work, some guides are finding that a nightcrawler with a spinner, or a slip-bobber with a leech is working better on certain days. Perch action has been spotty, but it can be good when you located a school. Look for perch and crappies near the cabbage weeds. The crappies have finished spawning, and while they are more dispersed they can still be found congregating near structure such as weeds, rock piles, and fallen trees. To find out more, dial 1-800-355-9740, or check out

Northwest Minnesota

Baudette -Lake of the Woods & the Rainy River
On Lake of the Woods, summer fishing has been excellent. The same technique continues to produce lots of walleye - hit depths of 28-30 feet around Pine Island, the Lighthouse Gap, Zippel Bay, Long Point and Graceton Beach using a brightly colored jig or gold spinner tipped with a minnow. On the Rainy River, anglers report an excellent run of smallmouth bass at Clementson Bay and the Rapid River. At the Northwest Angle and Oak Island areas, fishing has been spectacular in both 8-12 and 18-22 feet of water. For the most fish, use a gold or red jig tipped with a minnow. Northern pike are aggressive at the weedy beds. To learn more, dial 1-800-382-FISH, or visit

To find out what's biting and where, dial 1-800-458-2223, or check out

Walker - Leech Lake
Last weekend, Leech Lake hosted its second annual non-profit walleye tournament. All the walleye that were caught were released. Many anglers said it was better walleye fishing than in Canada, and many were amazed by the size of the walleye. A lot of 18- to 26-inch slot walleye were caught and released, and many of these fish will grow out of the slot size by next year - anglers are eager to return to Leech Lake next year and catch some of these fish! With one hundred fifty-five boats covering so many areas of Leech Lake during the tournament it is hard to pinpoint any one area as the hot spot. Anglers fishing Second Duck Point in Sucker Bay did take many nice eating-size fish on jigs tipped with a shiner minnow, and on lindy rigs tipped with a shiner minnow. Anglers pulling bottom bouncers with spinners and crawlers were catching some large fish in the Goose Island and Hardwood areas. The southeast end of Leech Lake is starting to give up fish to anglers using spinners tipped with a crawler on the rock reefs - leeches on a lindy rig were also effective. Some other areas to check out include Big Rock and Northland reefs. Many of the large walleye that were caught during the tournament were pulled from Kabekona Bay. For more information, dial 1-800-833-1118, or visit

Cass Lake/ Deer River - Winnibigoshish & Cutfoot Sioux lakes
The fish started moving towards deeper water this week. On Lake Winnibigoshish, some fish remain in the shallows around Stoney, the river channel, and all along the north shore. There are also fish out on the humps, and this area should only get better as the season progresses. When fishing the shallows use a 1/8- or 1/16-ounce jig - in deeper waters, use a 1/4- or 3/8-ounce jig. On Bowstring Lake, fishing was decent, with fish coming from depths of 16-20 feet on 1/8-ounce gumballs tipped with a shiner. Some anglers did well using a leech and lindy rig. To find out more, dial 1-800-356-8615, or visit

Park Rapids
For information on what's biting, and where to fish, dial 1-800-247-0054, or check out

Detroit Lakes
To learn what techniques are working best, dial 1-800-542-3992, or go to

Central Region

Otter Tail Lakes Area
For information on what's biting, dial 1-800-423-4571, or check out

As of last week, walleye were 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. To find out more, dial 1-877-833-2350, or visit

Isle/Onamia -Lake Mille Lacs
On Lake Mille Lacs, lots of boats are venturing out, and excellent numbers of fish are being reported. The daytime bite in the deep gravel and mud areas has been great. Fishing the shallow to mid-depth rocks in the evening has been incredible. Bobber fishing or lindy rigging with leeches and crawlers have been best. Anglers trolling shad raps on the rocks are also starting to take some good numbers. The smallmouth bass bite has been hot. For the most fish, pitch soft plastics around the docks, rocks and sand, with fish still on their beds. Muskie anglers report a few follows when using bucktails and plastics. Mille Lacs Lake anglers are enjoying some amazing fishing action! To find out more, dial 1-888-350-2692, or check out

To learn where the fish are biting, dial 1-800-845-8747, or visit

Twin Cities Greater Metropolitan vicinity

Northeast Metro/Chisago Lakes Area
Fishing has been very good on most area lakes. On Chisago Lake, walleye anglers are taking fish on the west side along the weed line. Walleye are biting during early morning and evening hours on Big Green off of Lindberg’s Point in 17-18 feet of water. All area lakes have been great for catching sunfish, especially for anglers using panfish leeches. For good numbers of bass, hit the weedlines of Chisago Lake using jig worms or Texas-rigging. Large northern pike are still biting on Sunrise Lake. Please note that the boat landing on South Center Lake is not good for launching large boats. The DNR will be working on this - for now, it is best to launch out of Whispering Bay. To find out more, dial 651/257-1177, or visit

White Bear Lake Area Lakes
To learn where and when the fish are biting, dial 651/653-5122, or check out

Muskie seemed to respond to bucktails and bulldawgs during last weekend's muskie opener. If conditions are right, consider a topwater lure. While no specific "hot spots” have been identified, some bass anglers have seen fish up shallow so don’t be afraid to try various depths. Check 7 feet of water or less, and try suspending in depths of 20 feet of water. Stick to the basic weed points, turns in the weeds, drop-offs, and shoreline breaks. Switch things up and try different baits, techniques, and depths. Walleye have been very active, with anglers taking fish on jig and minnow combinations. Check 14-18 foot depths in areas such as Kegs, Center, and North reefs. A slip bobber and a leech can also be effective, especially during low light periods. Bass anglers are enjoying lots of action, with fish found at a variety of depths. Hit the shallows in and around the reeds and docks, and also check the shoreline breaks and reefs, working in and around the weeds. It seems the larger bass have been coming off of the reefs in the deeper water. Plastic worms and spinnerbaits have been working the best. For more information, dial 952/442-5812, or check out

Southern Minnesota

Lake City -Lake Pepin
The walleye/sauger bite on Lake Pepin remains in full swing, with lots of nice fish being caught. Last week, the fish were practically jumping into the boats. While the fish aren't cooperating quite as much this week, anglers that are willing to look for active fish in both the shallow and deep waters are still enjoying a great bite. For the most fish, pull crankbaits with leadcore rigs, or use live bait rigs with crawlers or leeches. The catfish have been very active down in the river, with many fish in the 3- to 10-pound range being caught. To find out more, dial 1-877-525-3248, or check out

As of Monday, June 7, water conditions were mostly low and clear. Forestville State Park reports many mayflies, caddis and stone fly species hatching. Black Quills, an almost all black mayfly with two tails longer than the third center tail, have been seen hatching throughout southeast Minnesota. Hydropsyche and Cheumatopsyche spp. caddisflies have also been seen in streamside vegetation. The Hydropsyche sp. are relatively large (#14), with a yellow body and brown wings. The Cheumatopsyche sp. are a bit smaller(#16), with an olive body and brown wings. March Browns have been seen here and there with some Lt. Cahills on warmer trout streams and smallmouth bass streams. Numerous small tan/pale olive craneflies have been seen in streamside vegetation. To learn more, dial 1-800-944-2670, or visit

Albert Lea
Nighttime has been the best time for fishing this week. On Albert Lea and Fountain lakes, walleye action has been great for anglers using fathead minnows. There are reports of lots of catfish and an occasional crappie as well. For more information, dial 1-800-345-8414, or check out

Ortonville -Big Stone Lake
Fishing action remains strong on Big Stone Lake. Over the past week, there have been several limits of nice-sized walleye reported, with fish averaging 16- to 18-inches. Anglers are also taking some walleye measuring over 20-inches. The key is to fish the weeds. The weed lines are starting to appear along the shorelines and around the islands. Anglers having the most success are pulling bottom bouncer/crawler harnesses on planer boards and fishing right above the weeds. The planer boards are going down like bobbers. The highest concentration of anglers has been south from Manhattan Island to the Ortonville boat ramp, with both sides of the lake producing fish. Anglers are also taking white bass, northern pike, and an occasional large perch. Shoreline fishing remains good, with the best bite occurring 1/2-hour before sunset to 1/2-hour after sunset. And some anglers are still doing well jigging the shorelines, and slip bobber fishing the rock piles. To find out more, dial 1-800-568-5722, or visit

Report courtesy of

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