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Minnesota Fishing Reports
News : Explore Minnesota Fishing Report
Posted by LSF on Jun 16, 2010 (5214 reads) News by the same author

Northeast Minnesota

International Falls -Rainy Lake & the Rainy River
The walleye bite on Rainy Lake has been best earlier in the day, especially in depths of 15-25 feet of water. The best approach has been to troll with a spinner rig and minnow, however, still fishing with a jig and minnow is also working well. Smallmouth bass are hitting topwater lures at the rocky and weedy shorelines. Crappie action has been sporadic - for some slab crappies, hit Black Bay. Large northern pike are coming from the mouths of the bays from Jackfish Bay to the Brule Narrows. On the Rainy River, water levels continue to fluctuate due to recent rainfall, which is making it more difficult to find the right spot and depth. Most anglers are sticking to the area between the dam at International Falls and the Ranier Rapids, where the levels fluctuate less. Bass fishing further downstream has been good around the weedy edges of the slow bends in the river. To learn more, dial 1-800-325-5766, or visit

Wet and more seasonable weather has hit the area, providing the rainfall needed to raise water levels. Lake Kabetogama and Namakan are now just below normal for this time of year. Water temperatures should move into the mid-70s this week. The walleye bite remains at the shallow shorelines and soft bottom areas. The continued mayfly hatch has kept the walleye shallow. Leeches are working best, especially on a jig head or slip sinker rig. Minnows and crawlers are both good back-up choices. Crankbaits are working for some walleye anglers when run at a 15-17 foot level at the soft bottom structure. Northern pike are hitting nearly everything, with numbers of fish coming from bays with current and abundant baitfish. Smallmouth bass action has slowed, but should increase now that the cold front has passed. For the most fish, hit the gravel shorelines and rock faces using crankbaits, plastics and spinners. At West Kabetogama, a strong bite is still being reported in Tom Cod Bay and nearby areas. Mid-lake areas around Sugarbush and the Martin Islands have also been popular spots. On Lake Namakan, try Old Dutch and Hoist bays - to the north, check out Tar Point and Cemetery Island. For more information on Lakes Kabetogama and Namakan, dial 1-800-524-9085, or check out

The walleye bite remains on the shallow side, with anglers taking the most fish on leeches and crawlers. Try slowly trolling a lindy style rig - once you connect, switch to either a slip bobber set-up or a jig and work the area more thoroughly. The crappie spawn in nearly complete, and fish have sunk down a bit deeper in the water column. Most of the active fish are in the 12-15 foot range, and are responding to a well-placed jig and minnow combination. Northern pike are lurking on the shallow flats, and hitting live suckers, spinnerbaits and spoons worked near the surface. And some early morning lunkers are attacking large surface plugs. For more information, dial 1-800-777-7281, or visit

Cook/Tower - Lake Vermilion
More typical early summer weather has resulted in a mixed bag of fishing reports. Walleye are active along the shallow windswept shorelines during the day, hitting lindy rigs tipped with live bait. Crankbaits are also producing some fish in these areas. Mayflies continue to hatch so it is imperative that you place your bait well off the bottom. Most importantly, do not head for shore at 8:30 p.m., since this is when the evening bite really takes off. Muskie fishing has been fair, with nothing spectacular yet to report. The shallow water weedlines and points currently hold the most fish. Northern pike are hanging out in the weeds and chasing white spinnerbaits, spoons, #4 and #5 Mepps, and sucker minnows under bobbers. Sunfish are also in the weeds, where they are frantically hitting anything small. Bass are tucked under the vertical structure guarding this year's hatch. Bass anglers using wacky senkos in these areas report incredible action. The lake levels are starting to improve. Water clarity is high, and the water temperature is hovering around 70-degrees. To learn more, dial 1-800-648-5897, or visit

Cook County: Lutsen-Tofte, Grand Marais, Gunflint Trail, and Grand Portage
Overall, anglers report great fishing. On Lake Superior, an 8-pound king salmon was caught this week. On Sawbill Lake, a 45-inch, roughly 33-pound northern pike was caught and released last week. Smallmouth bass fishing continues to improve as the water warms. Walleye are active during early morning and late evening hours, with several anglers catching walleye just as the sun dropped below the horizon. A few anglers are taking lake trout on lures worked at 40-50 feet of water. Walleye, lake trout, and bass are biting on Gunflint Lake. Closer to Grand Marais, fishing for lake trout has been excellent in all the area trout lakes so far this spring. Walleye fishing is slowly on the increase, with some decent action occurring on the smaller lakes in the shallows near the weed beds in 10 feet of water. Hungry Jack Lake is producing walleye on jigs tipped with a chub in depths of 6-10 feet near the weed beds and the main rock reef. North Lake anglers are doing well by trolling rapalas, however low water levels continue to make access to the lake difficult. On Saganaga, schools of smaller walleye can be found in 45-55 feet of water. For the most fish, use a jig and chub. Rainbow trout anglers are having a great time this spring. Crawlers and fly fishing have both been productive. On Trout Lake, fishing has been great for those using crawlers off the bottom at various depths, with fly fishing working here as well. And on Esther Lake, the rainbows and some splake are being pulled from 10-12 feet of water by anglers bobber fishing with a nightcrawler. During evening hours, try slowly trolling a spoon at the same depth, or cast off shore with a Swedish Pimple. 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
The bite remains strong in 28-32 feet of water just outside of Pine Island and the Lighthouse Gap on Lake of the Woods. Some anglers have started using leeches and worms, but the standard method of anchoring and jigging with a pink, orange or gold jig tipped with a shiner has been working best. Plenty of nice 13- to 18-inch walleye are being netted, providing for a wonderful shore lunch. Fishing at the Northwest Angle has been excellent. Anglers casting along the weedy bays are taking some nice northern pike. Numbers of good-size bass and crappies are coming from depths of 6-10 feet. The best time to catch a trophy walleye or muskie is July and August on Lake of the Woods, so anglers still have time to book the trip of a lifetime! To learn more, dial 1-800-382-FISH, or visit

Walleye fishing has been good in the cabbage weeds in 6-8 feet of water in Winnibigoshish, Leech, Bemidji and Plantagenet lakes. Most anglers are having success using jigs tipped with shiner minnows during morning and evening hours and under cloudy skies. Perch have been mixed in with the walleye in most of the larger lakes. There has also been a good walleye bite on the mid-lake bars in most of the larger lakes. Anglers have been using live bait rigs with leeches or night crawlers in 18-35 feet of water, depending on the conditions. Surface water temperatures are in the mid-60s on most lakes. Fishing should pick up for all species of fish once the weather stabilizes and the wind direction stays the same for more than one day at a time. Muskie anglers are catching a few fish, and seeing even more. The weed beds are nearing the surface in most lakes, and muskie anglers are doing best when working bucktail spinners and surface baits over the tops of the weeds. Bass fishing has been good, with anglers finding bass in heavy cover. The wild rice beds are starting to lie down, so anglers have been using weedless spoons or other weedless surface baits on top of the mats of weeds. Anglers can also use spinner baits to work through the reeds, or plastics and weedless jigs to cast into the pockets in the reeds. Perch fishing has been good on the inside edge of the cabbage weeds in 5-7 feet of water, with fathead minnows the prefered bait - save the shiner minnows for the walleye. For sunfish, hit the outside edge of the cabbage or coontail weeds, or check out the tops of the humps covered with weeds. Cast a few feet from the weed edges for the most success. Crappies can be found suspended off the sides of the structure. They often bury themselves under the weeds during the day, and rise up to feed at dusk and dawn. To find out more, dial 1-800-458-2223, or check out

Walker - Leech Lake
Recent weather patterns have posed a challenge for anglers. Those that have braved the wind and rain have been rewarded with limits of eating-size walleye, along with a few large slot fish for great pictures. Anglers may need to be more flexible, trying different baits and rigs until the one approach is determined to be best - if out fishing with other anglers, try a different technique on each line. Anglers have reported a good bite this week in Sucker Bay, between first and second Duck Points, with some large walleye pulled from The Meadows. The main reefs on the east side, and flats such as Annex, Pelican Reef, Huddles Reef, and Northland Reef were also producing fish. Walleye were also being pulled from Walker Bay off Sand Point and Cedar Point. The best bait still seems to be a jig with a shiner or rainbow minnow, however lindy type rigs are most effective with leeches and crawlers. Steamboat Bay, along with the Walker Narrows and Boy Bay in the main lake have been good for largemouth bass. Muskie reports have been limited, but one angler told of many follows. The weather looks like it will turn warmer and possibly more stable, which should result in even better fishing action. Besides great fishing, Leech Lake will also be the site of the very popular Moondance Jammin' Country Fest this weekend - two great reasons to plan a trip to Leech Lake! For more information, dial 1-800-833-1118, or visit

Cass Lake/ Deer River - Winnibigoshish & Cutfoot Sioux lakes
To find out what's biting and where, dial 1-800-356-8615, or visit

Park Rapids
Fishing in the Park Rapids Area this past week has been good overall, but the constantly changing weather patterns have caused success to vary from day to day. The walleye bite continues to improve, with some larger fish beginning to show up. This week's highlight was a 29-inch walleye pulled from Long Lake, with many other walleye measuring in the mid-twenties caught and released. Leeches and nightcrawlers are still the best approach, however fathead minnows on a gold Vegas jig have also been productive, especially when worked in 10-18 feet of water. Bass action has been outstanding, with largemouth and smallmouth bass in post-spawn mode and keeping anglers very busy. Medial depth cabbage weeds are holding the largest and greatest numbers of bass. Tie on a slurpy dip-stick worm for good results. Northern pike and muskie action has progressively improved with the rising water temperatures. Hit the cabbage weed beds in 6-14 feet of water using smaller-sized Boobie Trap in-line spinners for both species. The panfish bite has been exceptional now that the bluegills are at the end of their spawn. They're easy to find in the shallow waters near the lilypads and pencil reeds. Crappies are beginning to move out into main basin regions near the weedlines in 8-15 feet of water. For more information, dial 1-800-247-0054, or check out

Detroit Lakes
While the walleye have moved deeper on most area lakes, they can still be found in the weeds on Big Detroit Lake. On other area lakes, check depths of 17-21 feet at the outside edge of weedlines. Fish have also moved to mid-lake structure. Crappies are still active in the weeds at 11-13 feet, with jigging producing more fish than bobbering. Toad, Cotton, Sallie and Mellisa lakes are giving up crappies and bass. Smallmouth bass are biting on Cormorant and Lida lakes. Muskie anglers are having success using the "chunking" technique on the edges of the large flats on Big Detroit and Pelican lakes. The bite will be challenging at times this week since the lakes are cycling through the mayfly hatch. If your favorite lake is hit hard by the hatch, don't be afraid to check out another lake. It's hard to compete with Mother Nature. To learn more, dial 1-800-542-3992, or go to

Central Region

Otter Tail Lakes Area
Fishing throughout the area remains good. The bass bite has been exceptional for anglers using artificial baits such as Sally jigs or spinner baits. Sunfish are turning more aggressive, and hitting skeeter bugs tipped with a waxworm or piece of a nightcrawler. Walleye are being taken on crawlers, leeches, redtails and suckers. Spinner rigs are working best with crawlers or leeches and a bottom bouncer. Redtails and suckers are best on a jig or lindy rig. The best depths range from 8-25 feet, depending on weather conditions. During evening hours and up until around midnight, hit the flats of Otter Tail Lake, working rapalas in 8-10 feet of water. For more information, dial 1-800-423-4571, or check out

Fishing seemed to be improving at the end of last week. Most of the walleye being caught were over 20-inches in length, with fish under 20-inches being difficult to find. Most fish were coming from depths of 12-14 feet, however some were found deeper in 17-20 feet of water. The best bait has been a leech or a nightcrawler. Muskie action has been fair, with a few fish being caught. The crappies remain very active in the cabbage beds, and hitting twister tails in depths of 12-15 feet. To find out more, dial 1-877-833-2350, or visit

Brainerd Lakes Area
As of late last week, the walleye fishing had really picked up. While the night bite had been best, the daytime bite had turned strong on Gull, Pelican and North Long lakes when days were slightly breezy and overcast. For the most fish, try a live bait rig tipped with a redtail on the outside weed edge of shoreline structure. The bass bite has been great in the shallows. The best approach has been a jig and plastic pitched up onto a shallow rock reef, sand bar, or bullrush bed. Northern pike action has slowed somewhat, with a few nice fish being reported when "rigging" for walleye. For more information, dial 1-800-450-2838, or visit

Isle/Onamia -Lake Mille Lacs
On Lake Mille Lacs, walleye action has been very good at night. For the most fish, head to the shallow rocks or breaklines in 9-15 feet of water. Rigging with a leech and slip bobber fishing have been best. During the day, use a lindy rig or pull spinners on the deeper gravel and mud flats. On cloudy, breezy days, try trolling the shallows with shad raps. Smallmouth bass anglers are doing well with tube jigs, x-raps, and similar lures pitched around the shallow rocks throughout the lake. There have been a few reports of muskies being seen and caught on the west side of the lake. To learn 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 throughout the area. Crappies can be found suspended 7-8 feet down in 16-18 feet of water on Chisago Lake. A good bass bite is being reported on Sunrise Lake, with spinner baits and topwater frogs producing lots of fish. Please remember that these are catch-and-release only. Walleye have been difficult to locate, however some anglers are finding them during early morning and evening hours at the weedlines in depths of 12-16 feet. During the day, hit 18-20 foot depths. The boat landing on South Center Lake is not a good site for launching larger boats. 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

On Lake Waconia, the bass bite remains strong, with most of the larger fish coming off the deeper weed edges. Try fishing North Reef, Cemetery Reef, Anderson's Reef, and the south shoreline break using a Texas rig with a plastic worm or a bass jig for the most fish - try pitching your jig into the weed pockets and along the weed edges. Lots of smaller bass remain shallow, and anglers are having a blast working the inside weed edges, docks, and pencil reeds with spinnerbaits and plastic worms. The panfish bite has been sporadic due to recent changes in weather. The sunnies have been moving in and out of the shallows getting ready to spawn. The water temperature has dropped roughly 6-degrees since last week, and it was hovering around 67-degrees as of Monday, June 14. For the most fish, try fishing with a slip bobber and worm along the south shoreline, the north west side of the lake, and in Reinkes Bay. Walleye fishing has been decent, with fish coming off of Kegs, North, and Center reefs. Hit the outer weed edges in and around depths of 14-20 feet. The key is to fish during low light hours, around sunrise and sunset. A jig and fathead minnow combination seem to be working best. Bobber fishing with a leech is another good alternative. Muskie anglers continue to see lots of fish, more catches are being reported. Most of the muskie are coming off the reefs on bucktails, bulldawgs, and even trolled crankbaits. The best depth has been inconsistent, with some fish tucked in and around the weed edges on the reefs, and some found suspended off of the reefs in 20-30 feet of water. For more information, dial 952/442-5812, or check out

Southern Minnesota

Lake City -Lake Pepin/Pool #4 Mississippi River
As of late last week, the walleye/sauger bite on Lake Pepin remained in full swing, with lots of nice fish being taken. Anglers that were willing to look for active fish in both the shallow and deep waters enjoyed a great bite. The best approach was to pull a crankbait with a leadcore rig, or use a live bait rig with a crawler or leech. The catfish were very active down in the river, with many fish in the 3- to 10-pound range reported. To find out more, dial 1-877-525-3248, or check out

The recent heavy rainfall left many southeast Minnesota streams muddy and high, but only for a brief period of time. All streams are dropping and clearing. As of Wednesday, June 16, the East Beaver Creek at Beaver Creek Valley State Park, Duschee Creek, and the Whitewater River system were clear and normal. Forestville Creek, the South Branch Root River at Lanesboro, the South Branch Root River at Forestville State Park, the South Fork Root River, and Wisel Creek were muddy and high. Trout Run is slightly off and normal. To learn more, dial 1-800-944-2670, or visit

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

Ortonville -Big Stone Lake
Fishing on Big Stone Lake was excellent last week. Many anglers took nice limits of walleye, including one over 20-inches in length. Several 6- to 8-pound walleye were caught, photographed, and released. Anglers had the most success working the weeds on the south end of the lake from Skeleton Island to Ortonville, and then from Ortonville up to the Peninsula. For the most fish, use a bottom bouncer, with a spinner and crawler. If you have a planer board, use it to keep your gear away from the boat. Anglers also reported plenty of white bass, largemouth bass, and northern pike. Fishing slowed with the cool front that moved in late Friday and lasted through the weekend. It wasn't that the fish weren't hungry and ready to bite, but the fishing pressure was down since anglers were not as eager to sit in the rain. More stable weather conditions this week should lead to more anglers venturing out, and of course, more catches. To find out more, dial 1-800-568-5722, or visit

Report courtesy of

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