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Minnesota Fishing Reports
News : Explore Minnesota Fishing Report
Posted by LSF on Jul 01, 2010 (1155 reads) News by the same author

Northeast Minnesota

International Falls -Rainy Lake & the Rainy River
Rainy Lake walleye are beginning to congregate on the reefs and mid-lake humps, with some still being caught near the islands and shorelines. Popular areas have been around Dryweed Island and Cranberry Bay, with northern pike anglers having success a bit to the east in Lost Bay. Anglers traveling through the Brule Narrows have an opportunity to fish the humps around Saginaw Bay. Walleye anglers report the most success in the mid-lake areas when using jigs tipped with minnows; anglers fishing closer to the shoreline are doing well trolling spinner rigs with a minnow, leech or crawler. Mayfly hatches appear to be over, and fishing should only improve. Smallmouth bass have been fairly aggressive, with numbers coming from typical bass hot spots on the south shore of Rainy Lake from Rainy Lake City all the way to the Brule Narrows. Walleye fishing has been good both above and below the Ranier Rapids, and below the dam at International Falls. Smallmouth bass are being pulled from the weedy edges on bends in the river. To learn more, dial 1-800-325-5766, or visit

The mayfly hatch appears to be nearing its end, and the fish may become even more aggressive. Minnows, crawlers, and leeches are all working well. Walleye tend to school up near the reefs around this time of year, moving into comfortable depths at 20-28 feet. Try a slip sinker rig with a leech or crawler set just off the lake bottom in these areas. Walleye anglers should also check out the sharp shoreline drop-offs. Walleye anglers may have more success moving from the warm bays on the west end to the mid-lake structure on Kabetogama and Namakan. Northern pike are chasing artificials and crankbaits tossed up to the weed edges at depths of 6-15 feet. Buzz baits and spinners should begin producing fish in early July. Pike enthusiasts may want to check out the weeds using practically anything in black or firetiger. Smallmouth bass are beginning to show up on rock faces and rock piles looking for crayfish. To elicit a reaction, use plastics, crayfish lures, X-raps and Mepps spinners. For more information on Lakes Kabetogama and Namakan, dial 1-800-524-9085, or check out

Walleye continue to feed at the shallow flats throughout the day, falling for leeches worked slowly on lindy rigs under slip bobbers. Shagawa, Birch and Fall lakes have been the best producers. Some lake trout are being pulled from Burntside and Snowbank lakes. Spoons have been best when slowly trolled with downriggers, and dipsey divers are also working well. Panfish action is heating up at the weed edges of Low and Garden lakes as the crappies and sunnies fall for small leeches and minnows, respectively. For more information, dial 1-800-777-7281, or visit

Cook/Tower - Lake Vermilion
It appears that the mayfly hatch is winding down, and this should greatly improve the walleye bite once they have fully digested all of the bugs in their bellies. The reef bite should now be best, with anglers fishing the humps and rock piles late in the day and after dark. The day bite is starting to get tough, especially with the recent bright, sunny days. Consider chasing bass, pike or sunnies during the day. Northern pike are in the weeds, and getting more aggressive as lake temperatures move into the low 70's. Muskie action seems to also be on the increase. While more fish can be seen in the weeds, the rock bite should soon pick up as well. The year classes of the 50-plus inch fish are amazing, with some huge lunkers seen lying in the cabbage and chasing baits to the boat. To learn more, dial 1-800-648-5897, or visit

Cook County: Lutsen-Tofte, Grand Marais, Gunflint Trail, and Grand Portage
Fishing has been excellent this week on Crescent and Sawbill lakes. Nearly all walleye have moved to their traditional summer locations, and they are hungry! For the most fish, use leeches and crawlers. Smallmouth bass are biting as well, hitting worms and crankbaits. Northern pike are biting, especially on sunny afternoons. Lake trout have moved to deep waters. Streams in the Superior National Forest are producing small, but feisty, brook trout. On Gunflint Lake and other area lakes, fishing has been good. Lake trout are hitting jigs worked at 30-plus feet of water. Walleye are hitting jigs tipped with leeches at depths of 10-14 feet, and smallmouth bass are responding to rapalas cast along the shore. On Lake Superior, guides report good Chinook and Coho salmon fishing. Lake trout limits are being taken, with nice 3- to 5-pounders and a 19-pound laker recently reported. Salmon are hitting trolled spoons worked in roughly 80 feet of water near the Grand Marais harbor. Near Grand Marais, walleye are hitting leeches in depths of 8-12 feet near the rock piles and weed beds. Leeches have also been successful in Seagull, Saganaga, Homer, Crescent, Deer Yard, Hungry Jack, and Poplar lakes. Northern pike anglers are taking fish on sucker minnows worked in 10-15 feet of water on Northern Light, Loon, Hungry Jack, Gunflint and Elbow lakes. Smallmouth bass are everywhere, attacking minnows, nightcrawlers, Mepps spinners, rapalas and small spoons, especially on Devil Track, Seagull, Poplar, and Saganaga lakes. Lake trout action remains incredible. For the most fish, try slowly trolling in 30 feet of water, or use a jig and minnow on Saganaga, Seagull, Gunflint, and Duncan lakes. Stream trout, such as rainbows & brookies, are being caught on nightcrawlers worked in roughly 15 feet on Leo, Trout, Moss, Esther, & Mink lakes. To learn more, check out

Grand Rapids
Walleye action has been up and down due to lakes filled with small fry and insects. Walleye anglers may need to move frequently to stay on active fish. For the most fish, check areas near the weeds and mid-lake humps. The larger perch have been finicky, but can still be found using a jig and minnow in depths of 6-8 feet in the weeds. Lake Pokegama is producing some nice-size crappies and bluegills during the last two hours of the day. For Pokegama walleye, fish at night using fast-action spinners. On Lake Winnibigoshish, anglers continue to have success using leeches and a 6-foot snell with a red hook. Look for schools of these fish in 18-26 feet of water near the points or corners of the structure. To find out more, check out

Northwest Minnesota

Baudette -Lake of the Woods & the Rainy River
On Lake of the Woods, walleye anglers continue to report great success. Boats are traveling to 32-33 foot depths found 6- to 7-miles straight out from the Lighthouse Gap. Lots of fish are also coming from the mud flats from the Gap to Zippel Bay. The most successful anglers are anchoring and jigging with frozen shiners, or drifting with spinner rigs. Guests at one resort took eight fish in a row measuring over 25-inches, and one boat had three fish over 30-inches in length. In addition to large numbers of these large fish, most anglers took their limits as well! The Northwest Angle and Islands are giving up fish in depths of 8-14 feet, as well as in 24-27 feet of water. The methods remain the same; anchor and jig with brightly colored jigs tipped with a shiner minnow or leech. To learn more, dial 1-800-382-FISH, or visit

Surface water temperatures are starting to rise, and most lakes are averaging more than 70-degrees. The algae will soon begin to bloom in area lakes, which will lead to summer fishing patterns. Anglers are starting to catch walleye on bottom bouncers and spinner rigs tipped with nightcrawlers or leeches. Speed is usually an important factor when using bottom bouncers for walleye, so vary speeds and pay attention to how fast you are traveling when you get a bite. When using bottom bouncers, it is usually better to hang on and set the hook immediately instead of feeding line. Two or three hook rigs often work best when fishing with nightcrawlers, while leeches and minnows work better with a single hook set-up. Anglers having trouble with short hits may want to try snipping the tail of the nightcrawler just behind the back hook. Anglers can also try putting their bottom bouncer rods in a rod holder and let the fish set the hook themselves. While action has slowed somewhat, most of the larger lakes continue to produce decent numbers of fish. Stable weather should improve fishing for all species. Muskie anglers have been seeing more fish, with some starting to bite. The peak of the summer muskie fishing is usually the first week or two after the lakes "green-up," resulting in a sudden loss of visibility that causes muskies to make more mistakes until they adjust to lower visibility. Anglers wanting to concentrate on active fish can pursue walleye, crappies or muskies during morning and evening hours, and then fish for northern pike, bass, perch or sunfish during the remainder of the day. To find out more, dial 1-800-458-2223, or check out

Walker - Leech Lake
While this past week's unstable weather and strong mayfly hatch caused a slowdown in walleye action, some anglers have had some success. A 30-inch walleye was caught and released at Kabekona Bay. Anglers fishing Walker Bay at Sand and Cedar points during evening hours have taken some very nice fish when using a lindy rig and crawler, and a leech under a bobber. The main lake has been more of a challenge due to varying wind patterns, resulting in scattered fish. The best approach has been a jig tipped with a leech or crawler on the more windy days; when the wind calms down, try a lindy rig and crawler, or try pulling spinners with a crawler or leech. Quite a few anglers that fished the recent Leech Lake Fishing Tournament commented that the Leech Lake walleye were larger and more abundant than seen in Canada. This coming weekend is one of the most eventful weekends in the Leech Lake area, with a huge fireworks display over Walker Bay which you can enjoy from the city park or watch from your boat. A wide variety of activities at Walker City Park will also be offered. 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
For information on which techniques are working best, dial 1-800-247-0054, or check out

Detroit Lakes
To learn where and when the fish are biting, dial 1-800-542-3992, or go to

Central Region

Otter Tail Lakes Area
Fishing is beginning to really heat up throughout the Otter Tail Lake area! On the big lake, crawlers and spinners are working best when presented at the mid-lake humps in 20-30 feet of water. Anglers report lots of nice eating-size walleye, measuring 14- to 16-inches. At night, try pulling rapalas through depths of 8-10 feet after 8:00 p.m. Sunfish are active in 12-14 feet of water on Dead Lake. Crappie action has slowed somewhat, however, fish can be found in 18 feet of water. Bass action has been good on most area lakes, with buzz baits working best. For more information, dial 1-800-423-4571, or check out

As of late last week, walleye fishing remained steady on Lake Miltona. The best bite has been on the breaklines in 18-22 feet of water when using leeches and crawlers. Some anglers are having success pulling crankbaits and spinners on the flats after dark. For crappies, hit the deeper cabbage beds using twistertails and a crappie minnow. Muskie anglers are seeing a fair number of fish, but few have been caught; try big game crankbaits or cowgirls to get them to bite. To find out more, dial 1-877-833-2350, or visit

Whitefish Chain of Lakes Area
The Whitefish Chain of Lakes, in the northern part of the Brainerd Lakes area, is teeming with fish ready to bite. Northern pike are actively hitting crankbaits, spinnerbaits, and live bait rigs tipped with sucker minnows worked along the deep weedlines. Bass are active and hitting topwater lures worked along the outer weedlines. For the most action, try spinnerbaits or popper-style crankbaits at their typical summer locations. Walleye action remains somewhat slow. The best bet has been trolling crankbaits over deep water. Anglers report schools of minnows moving around resulting in which is making walleye angling tough. Panfish and crappies are active in 12-14 feet of water. The larger bluegills can be found using worms and minnows. To learn more, visit

Brainerd Lakes Area
For information on what lakes are producing fish. dial 1-800-450-2838, or visit

Isle/Onamia -Lake Mille Lacs
The walleye bite remains good in most areas of the lake. Anglers are having the most success using leeches and a slip bobber after sunset off the edges of the mud flats, deep gravel and shallow rock piles. On windy, overcast days, try trolling crankbaits at the shallow rocks. On sunny, calmer days, work the deeper waters of the gravel and mud. Be prepared to try all techniques: bobber-fishing, crankbaits, spinners or lindy rigging since the best approach seems to change each day. Take the time to experiment and you will be rewarded. The muskie bite remains on the slow side, but this bite will improve shortly as the water temperatures increase. Smallmouth bass have moved off their beds to deeper waters, with quite a few taken by anglers trolling the rock reefs for walleye. To learn more, dial 1-888-350-2692, or check out

Look for walleye in Green Lake at roughly 25-30 feet of water. Panfish are being pulled from Games Lake where it meets Swan Lake. Northern pike are biting on Norway Lake. This week's sunny, stable weather brought the anglers out in droves, with many reporting excellent action on lakes throughout the Willmar area. To find out more, dial 1-800-845-8747, or visit

Twin Cities Greater Metropolitan vicinity

Northeast Metro/Chisago Lakes Area
To find out where to locate fish, dial 651/257-1177, or visit

White Bear Lake Area Lakes
To learn what's biting and when, dial 651/653-5122, or check out

The fish are starting to settle into typical summer patterns, despite recent unsettled weather conditions. Many bass anglers have reported fish coming from slightly shallower depths, with some good numbers being taken. The majority of the larger fish, however, are coming off of the deeper cabbage beds. For these fish, try pitching bass jigs and working Texas-rigged worms. Some of the recent hot spots have been Pillsbury Reef and the mouth of Waconia Bay. Walleye anglers continue to take fish. Spinners, jigs and lindy rigs are producing walleye in 16-22 feet of water on Center, Kegs and North reefs. This weekend will be busy out on the water so fish will likely "lay low" during the daytime hours; nighttime will be best for catching walleye. The muskies continue to be seen often, with some large 50-inch fish being taken. Many anglers report that the number of fish being seen has increased. To get them to bite, try a double-bladed bucktail, a soft plastic, or a dive-and-rise jerkbait. Another good approach has been to troll crankbaits next to deeper waters for the suspended fish. Anywhere there is good weed growth near deep water is a hot spot for muskies; check 14-18 feet of water at Kegs, Center and Anderson's reefs. Most sunfish have completed their spawn, and the larger ones are starting to gravitate towards the weedlines in 10-18 feet of water. For the most fish, try slip bobber fishing or lindy-rigging at these depths using small crawlers or regular-size leeches. Please be aware that the boat ramps will be busy. Have patience, and enjoy your time out on the water! For more information, dial 952/442-5812, or check out

Southern Minnesota

Lake City -Lake Pepin/Pool #4 Mississippi River
To find out where the fish are biting, dial 1-877-525-3248, or check out

As of Thursday, July 1, most streams were reported to be in good condition. Winnebago Creek, however, received another heavy downpour with subsequent runoff that caused damage to Camp Winnebago and areas downstream. Flash flooding in that valley has now occurred the past 3 to 4-years! The trout populations have been excellent this spring, and many anglers were seen fishing Winnebago just a few days ago. Trout Run is giving up good numbers of fish. The Blue-winged Olives, roughly #22 in size, were seen on the South Branch Whitewater yesterday. Very small caddis flies, roughly #18 in size, were also seen swarming in mating flights. To learn more, dial 1-800-944-2670, or visit

Albert Lea
For information on what's biting and where, dial 1-800-345-8414, or check out
Ortonville -Big Stone Lake
Fishing on Big Stone Lake has remained fairly consistent this past week, with even a few surprise perch taken over the weekend. The weeds have come to the surface on the south end of the lake so anglers are having to work the edges of the weeds or troll the deeper water in the main part of the lake. The preferred location has been from the Twin Silos south to Manhattan Island, and over to the Minnesota side from the public access on the northern edge of Big Stone State Park toward Lou's Point. The best approach has been to troll bottom bouncer, spinner & crawler combinations, with lots of smaller fish and some nice 20-plus inch walleye being taken. Anglers pulling crankbaits have taken some nice perch as well. On Saturday, several anglers took 10- to 12-inch perch when pulling crankbaits. Yes, crankbaits. The favorite was a black and silver shad rap. The forecast calls for fairly stable weather conditions so action should remain good. To find out more, dial 1-800-568-5722, or visit

Report courtesy of Explore Minnesota Tourism

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