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Minnesota Fishing Reports
News : Explore Minnesota Fishing Report
Posted by LSF on Jul 29, 2010 (1898 reads) News by the same author

Northeast Minnesota

International Falls -Rainy Lake & the Rainy River
Rainy Lake walleyes have moved to the mid-lake reefs and humps. On days with light wind and a little chop, use crawlers and leeches with spinners; on the calmer days, try jig and minnow combinations. Smallmouth bass are hitting lures resembling crayfish. Northern pike are hitting flashy lures at the weedy edges of the bays. Anglers report that the east and west side of the Brule Narrows has been better than average. On the Rainy River, fishing has improved as the water levels have increased. Smallmouth bass are coming from the slower bends of the river, and the walleye bite is good in the waters below Ranier Rapids, the Dam at the Falls, and near the mouth of the Littlefork River. To learn more, dial 1-800-325-5766, or visit

Water temperatures are 80-degrees in the sun on lakes Kabetogama and Namakan. The walleye bite remains fair to good, and occasionally great. Anglers are having the most success using minnows, leeches and crawlers; the walleye population is high, however their desire to eat has not been consistent. This past week, depths on either side of 30 feet seem to be the only constant denominator for successful anglers. Live bait anglers slowly working slip sinker rigs or jig heads kept near the bottom are doing best. During early evening hours, try your artificials, and use deep-runners or bottom-bouncers to get your lure near the bottom. One recommendation for walleye anglers is to study your lake map, and look for 30-40 foot structure near rock reefs or sandbars that hold baitfish. Sugarbush Island is a good place to start on Kabetogama, as is the Martin Islands, Chase Island, and the Ash River area at Green and Larkin Islands. Northern pike activity has increased, with live bait and jerk baits producing fish along the deep weed edges in Lost, Nebraska and Blind Ash bays. Smallmouth bass action is heating up, especially at the shorelines and rock piles. For more information on Lakes Kabetogama and Namakan, dial 1-800-524-9085, or check out

The walleye bite remains good in the shallows, with most fish coming from less than 10 feet of water. Some bass anglers are catching walleyes when casting spinnerbaits, especially on Fall and Birch lakes. Some fish can also be found in the deeper waters. Northern pike, weighing up to twenty pounds, are consistently being reported. Sucker minnows and ciscoes worked on Shagawa and Birch lakes and the Kawishiwi River have produced most of the larger fish. Crappies are being pulled from 9-12 feet of water, as well as from just under the lily pads. For the most fish, try a bare or small, feathered jig tipped with a minnow on Twin, Garden and Low lakes. And a few nice lake trout are being pulled from Burntside Lake by anglers trolling deep-running spoons. To find out more, dial 1-800-777-7281, or visit

Cook/Tower - Lake Vermilion
Low light conditions remain best when fishing for walleyes and muskie on Lake Vermilion. Walleyes are moving up onto the reefs at dusk, and anglers are hooking them using leeches under a lighted slip bobber. Muskie anglers report good to excellent action when using hair baits and top water lures, with one angler taking a 55-inch monster. Smallmouth bass are seeking shade; try pitching a senko towards a dock or boathouse and hold on! To learn where and when the fish are biting, dial 1-800-648-5897, or visit

Cook County: Lutsen-Tofte, Grand Marais, Gunflint Trail, and Grand Portage
Fishing in the BWCAW remains good. Bass are biting throughout the day, with lots of walleyes taken on leeches and nightcrawlers at dawn and dusk. Lake trout can be found in 65-75 feet of water. Gunflint Lake is giving up lots of lake trout on jigs worked at 30-plus feet of water. Smallmouth bass are responding to rapalas cast along the shoreline. Walleyes are hitting jigs and leeches worked in depths of 10-14 feet. On Lake Superior, guides continue to report good fishing, and are returning with limits of salmon and lake trout. The salmon and lake trout are roughly 80 feet down, right outside the Grand Marais harbor. A few can even be taken by casting from shore with an orange spoon. At Grand Marais, walleye action has been best during evening hours, especially on Gunflint, Hungry Jack, Seagull, East Twin, and Elbow lakes. The best depths vary, so fish locaters are key to finding fish. Leeches, fathead chubs and nightcrawlers have been best at the typical hot spots with weed beds, rock piles and flats. Rainbow trout are coming in on crawlers drifted through depths of 15-22 feet on a live bait rig; jigging and trolling small spoons have also been good. Rainbow lakes include Leo, Trestle, Pine, Kimball, Esther and Mink. And don't miss Buck's Fishing Contest running July 31 through August 7 during Fishermen's Picnic week in Grand Marias, with prizes for the 1st, 2nd and 3rd place smallmouth bass, northern pike, walleyes, lake trout, salmon, and brook trout. To find out more, check out

Grand Rapids
Area guides are report that fishing has been inconsistent now that fish are fully into their summer patterns. Muskie sport fishing is heating up on Moose, Deer, and Cutfoot Sioux lakes. Walleyes can be found by staying mobile until you locate structure such as rock piles and bars. The best approach has been a live bait rig worked in the deeper water; leeches seem to be the bait of choice, however crawlers should be kept as back-up. On windy days, try the shallower rocks for walleyes and some bonus perch. The recent full moon provided some excellent night fishing on Pokegama Lake. Sunfish and crappies continue to be most active during evening hours; look for sunfish at the weedlines, with crappies found deeper in the weeds. For more information, check out

Northwest Minnesota

Baudette -Lake of the Woods & the Rainy River
A Lake of the Woods resort owner recently stated that this has been the best summer in years for large fish! Most presentations are producing limits of walleyes. One angler, fishing far out into the lake at Sisters Reefs, took a limit of walleyes on spinners tipped with crawlers, leeches and minnows. Most walleyes are averaging 15- to 16-inches. Closer to the South Shore, walleyes are being taken by anglers using downriggers in depths of 30-32 feet. Successful presentations include a 3/8-ounce gold, orange or pink jig tipped with a minnow or leech, a hammered gold spinner and sinker tipped with a minnow or leech, a crawler harness tipped with a worm, and heavy, shiny shad raps trolled near the bottom. Some report that trolling has been best for the large fish. The most productive areas have been outside of the Lighthouse Gap, Morris Point, Long Point, and areas around Garden Island. Oak Island is also giving up excellent walleye numbers. Areas to check out include Johnston Passage, Skeet and Little Oak Islands in depths ranging 10-33 feet. Sturgeon are breaching and biting in the Rainy River, with two 49-inch sturgeons taken this past week. To learn more, dial 1-800-382-FISH, or visit

Walker - Leech Lake
Nice-sized panfish have been an easy catch on Leech Lake this past week. Good action was reported at Steamboat and Shingobee bays, and in the main lake at Uram and Miller bays. The largemouth bass bite has been great in Steamboat and Uram bays, as well as in the Walker Narrows. Muskie follows have increased, with fish hitting top water plugs. During the day, walleye action has been somewhat slow, however some anglers are taking fish during daytime hours from depths of 5-9 feet in the Duck Point area, and at the weedlines in Portage Bay. Walker Bay continues to produce good numbers of walleyes around sunset at Sand and Cedar points; for the most fish, pull shad raps or use a lindy rig with a crawler. Bobber fishing at Sand Point has also been productive. For further information, dial 1-800-833-1118, or visit

Detroit Lakes
As of late last week, walleyes remained active in lakes throughout the area. Water temperatures were in the upper-70s. Spinners and crawlers worked in depths of 24-32 feet were producing good numbers, along with rigging and jigging at the deep edge of the weedlines in 19-24 feet of water. Hot spots included Pelican, White Earth, Cotton, Lida and Island lakes. Nighttime anglers did very well on Cormorant Lake when pulling crankbaits through 6-12 foot depths. Northern pike action has been good on Mellissa and Sallie lakes, with lots of large fish taken from Little McDonald Lake. Largemouth bass have been biting on Melissa, Sallie, Floyd, Big Detroit and both Long lakes. Sunfish are relating to the weeds on the flats that extend out furthest into the lakes and have the deepest drops. Muskie action has been good on Big Detroit, Pelican and Battle lakes, with fish measuring in the upper 40's and some in the 50-plus inch range taken from Battle Lake just last week . Smallmouth bass are active on the rocks of Cormorant and Island lakes, with jigs and plastics working best. Rainbow trout anglers are doing well on Bad Medicine Lake; for the most fish, try trolling or split shot rigging with a gulp. To learn more, dial 1-800-542-3992, or go to

Central Region

On Lake Miltona, water temperatures have risen to almost 80-degrees, and large panfish are showing up more often. Many of the largest sunnies can be caught this time of the year. The best approach has been a slip bobber and small jig tipped with either a leech or nightcrawler in depths of 12-17 feet. Walleyes remain active during early morning and late evening hours, with fish hitting lindy rig and leech combinations or spinners worked in 17-22 foot depths. There has been an increase in the number of anglers catching walleyes on spinner rigs. Bass are hitting jig and worm combinations and crankbaits at the weedlines. During early morning hours, try the shallows using a spinnerbait through the pencil reeds. Muskie action has slowed as a reaction to the full moon. Fish are very spread out in the shallow and deep waters. To find out more, dial 1-877-833-2350, or visit

Whitefish Chain of Lakes Area
Walleye fishing remains good on area lakes, with fish taken on long lindy rigs pulled through 20-26 feet of water. Try leeches, nightcrawlers, and redtail minnows for the most fish. Northern pike are biting along the weedlines. Anglers are taking the most fish by trolling spinner rigs with large sucker minnows, and by throwing spinnerbaits or spoons. The sunny days have pushed the bass into the weeds where they are hitting plastic worm rigs. Crappies and sunnies are hitting minnows and worms on small jigs and under bobbers, especially in depths of 12-16 feet of water; stay next to the weedline for the most action. To learn more, visit

Isle/Onamia -Lake Mille Lacs
On Lake Mille Lacs, while the walleye bite remains decent, you will need to spend a bit more time on the water in search of these fish. During the day, work the mudflats; during evening hours, try the areas with structure. Spinners tipped with minnow or crawler have worked well during the day. Leeches under bobbers is always a good bet towards dusk. And some anglers are having success using deep-running crankbaits on bright, sunny days; move to the shallows when the sun starts to set or when conditions turn windy. Smallmouth bass anglers are at the shallow rock areas on the North and South ends in 3-12 feet of water. Traditional soft plastics seem to be best, however some topwater action is being reported. Muskie anglers have become a more common sight. While reports have been mixed, action should heat up as the season progresses. Smaller baits seem to be producing the most fish at this time. To learn more, dial 1-888-350-2692, or check out

Twin Cities Greater Metropolitan vicinity

The fishing has been pretty good, with bass and sunfish anglers staying very busy. Bass action has been excellent at the deeper weed edges. Find a weed edge on any reef or shoreline and you are almost certain to catch a fish. The best approach has been a plastic worm with a bullet weight or bass jig, especially in 10-16 feet of water directly in or on the weed edge. While sunfish anglers will have to do some sorting, the action has been amazing. Kegs Reef has been the top producer, with most fish coming from depths of 9-15 feet on top of the reef. Fish with a slip bobber or just toss out a flu-flu with a waxworm. Center Reef is giving up fish in similar depths. Walleye fishing has slowed, however anglers continue to venture out and find these fish in deeper waters after the sun sets. The best approach has been a lindy rig with a crawler or large leech. The more productive areas are the south side of Kegs' Reef in 20 feet or more of water, and Red's Reef in similar depths. Muskie anglers are encouraging each other to put down their muskie rods for a little bit longer while the water temperatures are in the 80's. Extreme heat is especially hard on muskies. They have a difficult time recovering from a fight during "hot" water conditions. It shouldn't be long until the water temperatures return to the 70's. For more information, dial 952/442-5812, or check out

Southern Minnesota

Lake City -Lake Pepin/Pool #4 Mississippi River
The walleye/sauger bite on Lake Pepin has slowed over the past couple of weeks. While fish continue to be taken, more time is required to locate them. The panfish bite has really heated up, with anglers taking good numbers of crappie, large bluegills and jumbo perch. The channel cat bite remains strong, and anglers are taking lots of fish weighing 2- to 10-pounds. To find out more, dial 1-877-525-3248, or check out

Albert Lea
The fish are biting once again! On Fountain Lake, crappies are active near Blackmer and Hatch bridges; use jigs for the most fish. Catfish are extremely active, with lots of fish coming in on crawlers. Some walleyes are also being taken. Perch are being pulled from the Shell Rock Channel. For more information, dial 1-800-345-8414, or check out

Fairmont Area Lakes
Tuttle Lake is producing a few panfish, with northern pike hitting live bait cast from shore. Hall, Budd, and Sisseton lakes have been good for walleyes. Crankbaits and live bait have produced fish. Panfish are coming in on waxworms and worms. On Fox Lake, panfish anglers are doing well fishing from shore. Muskie anglers are still venturing out. Please note that a lot of rain has recently fallen, resulting in some fast-moving water. Fishing has likely improved as a result of these storms. Please use caution at the docks since they are nearly underwater. To learn more, dial 1-800-657-3280, or visit

Ortonville -Big Stone Lake
As of late last week, anglers were still hitting the water in droves, resulting in a greater number of walleye, perch, white bass, largemouth bass and northern pike reports. Perch anglers were taking the majority of fish, with a variety of techniques working well, including crankbaits, anchoring and slip-bobbering, and even vertically-jigging traditional ice fishing tackle. In addition to lots of 10-inch fish, quite a few larger fish were also reported. While perch do not normally bite this aggressively until late August or early September, anglers weren't complaining! Hot spots included the 10-11 foot flat from Big Stone Lake State Park to Lou's Point, the Goose Isle area, and Manhattan Reef. A few more came in from the Mallard Point area, and some anglers were even pulling fish from the docks. Walleye anglers continued to catch some fish by trolling bottom bouncers, spinners and crawlers, but numbers are not at the level during the May/June bite. The white bass were providing almost as much excitement as the perch; when you locate a school of these fish, hold on tight! To find out more, dial 1-800-568-5722, or check out

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