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Minnesota Fishing Reports
News : Explore Minnesota Fishing Report
Posted by LSF on Oct 20, 2010 (2110 reads) News by the same author

Northeast Minnesota

International Falls -Rainy Lake & the Rainy River
While the number of anglers heading out has dropped, those that do are taking excellent numbers of fish. This is especially true on the Rainy River, where the shiner minnows are reported to have started their annual run upriver, and the walleyes are following right behind. For the most fish, troll a spinner rig and shiner minnow. Anglers fishing Rainy Lake are finding walleyes in 35 feet of water. Large northern pike are coming from depths of roughly 15 feet near the weed beds in the bays. To learn more, dial 1-800-325-5766, or visit

On Lakes Kabetogama and Namakan, look for schools of walleyes off the shoreline structure on the reefs in roughly 35 feet of water. For the most fish, use a jig and minnow combination, or try jigging a rapala or heddon sonar. Northern pike are searching for baitfish at the windblown shorelines on sunny days, and in the deeper waters on overcast, cooler days. Sauger and perch are typically found in slightly deeper waters than the walleyes. To find out more about Lakes Kabetogama and Namakan, dial 1-800-524-9085, or check out

Crappie fishing has improved considerably, with good numbers coming from Back Bay on Basswood Lake, and from East Twin, Fall and Garden lakes. Most of the fish have been suspended as much as ten feet from the bottom in 20-26 feet of water. The best approach has been either a jig and small minnow, or a soft bait. Walleyes are starting to co-operate, with a few fish recently pulled from 20 feet of water on spinner rigs and trolled rapalas. Shagawa and Birch lakes are producing the most fish at this time. And large northern pike are attacking large suckers worked near the weed edges and rocky points. For more information, dial 1-800-777-7281, or visit

Northwest Minnesota

Baudette -Lake of the Woods & the Rainy River
For some great fishing action, check out Lake of the Woods. While the saugers were hitting nearly everything last week, the walleyes have taken over this week, hitting most jigs dropped their way. Gold jigs are best, especially when tipped with a frozen shiner. Water temperatures are currently around 50-degrees and the water clarity is very good. For the most fish, hit depths of 30-33 feet of water from the Lighthouse Gap, along Pine Island, and on to the Morris Point and Zippel Bay areas. Anglers report that shiners have been seen in the river, from the mouth of the river at Wheeler's Point eastward to the airport area near Baudette. Further east, Clementson Resort reports limits of smaller walleyes being taken. The best presentation has been a 3/4- to 1-ounce jig due to the swift current. The average walleye is running 16- to 18-inches, with fish over 20-inches not uncommon. To learn more, dial 1-800-382-FISH, or visit

The October weather has been nearly perfect for anglers, and fishing has been very good for most species. Walleye anglers have been catching fish in 18-35 feet of water when using jig and minnow combinations or live bait rigs tipped with large minnows or nightcrawlers. Key areas have hard bottoms and direct access to deep water. Muskie fishing is generally very good in the fall, with large northern pike found in many of the same areas as the muskies. Anglers often like to cast wood jerkbaits or large plastic swimbaits since they can be fished more slowly. Trolling larger crankbaits along the edges of structure can also be effective. Crappie anglers are finding fish schooled in deep water off the sides of structure, and these are often the same areas crappies will be using early in the winter. Perch have been active in the larger lakes, such as Cass and Winnibigoshish. For the most fish, hit the edges of the large flats or the tops of the structure in 8-12 feet of water, with stand-up jigs and minnows working best. Bass and bluegill anglers are finding fish schooling on the deep edges of the last remaining green cabbage and coontail weed beds. Anglers may struggle to get bites for long stretches, but then catch several fish on consecutive casts once a school of fish is located. To find out more, dial 1-800-458-2223, or check out

Walker - Leech Lake
Fishing has been very good. Anglers are taking large numbers of fish using jig and minnow combinations, with rainbows and redtails popular bait choices. Leech Lake walleyes seem to prefer days with some wind, with anglers reporting lots of action at the windblown shorelines in 4-9 feet of water. Gold, chartreuse, and blue have been good color choices for jigs. Anglers are also having success with the perch. For the most fish, use a jig and fathead just outside the weed edges. The key is to remain mobile until you locate the larger perch. For more information, dial 1-800-833-1118, or visit

Park Rapids
Fishing has been outstanding, and anglers are enjoying a strong, fall bite. Walleye action is nearing its peak, with water temperatures sinking into the mid- to low 50s. Large redtails or pearl dace on a 1/4-ounce stand-up fireball jig or roach rig have been best for these large fall walleyes. Eighteen to twenty-two feet has been the magic depth. Northern pike have been equally voracious, with anglers encountering these fish while fishing for walleyes. The same depths and techniques have been working well. Muskie action has been good, especially on Mantrap Lake which contains a nice population of large muskies. Both trolling and casting have produced fish. Anglers are having more success using minnow-style baits, as opposed to the traditional spinner and topwater lure approach. Largemouth bass action has been very good at the pencil reeds, and black jungle jigs with a black or blue trailer has consistently put large bass in the boat. Crappie anglers are taking lots of fish on small minnows and plain jigs. Look for the largest bluegills to be suspended in the deeper waters. For more information, dial 1-800-247-0054, or check out

Detroit Lakes
As of late last week, walleye anglers were finding good numbers of fish in 16-17 feet of water on most area lakes. Minnows were working best for most species of fish. Smallmouth bass were being pulled from Island, Cormorant, and White Earth lakes. Largemouth bass action has been good on Big Detroit, Cotton, Floyd and Big Toad lakes. Reports of crappies were coming from The Pines, Little Detroit, Rock, and Buffalo lakes. Water temperatures were hovering in the mid-50s late last week. The lake turn-over is now a couple of weeks away. To learn more, dial 1-800-542-3992, or go to

Central Region

Otter Tail Lakes Area
As of late last week, lake water temperatures were in the 66-69 degree range, very rare for October - fall fishing remained both comfortable and exciting. The best walleye presentation was a lindy rig with a 4-inch snell and minnow. Anglers were having the most success on Otter Tail Lake when working depths of 15-30 feet along the sharp breaks off the sunken islands and shoreline breaks. Jigs worked in the shallows were also a great option. Minnows, such as redtails, rainbows, suckers and fatheads, were all working well. For panfish, try a 1/32-ounce jig tipped with a wax worm under a slip bobber. Most species of fish will move into the deeper waters as water temperatures cool further. Please remember that fish pulled from deep water will often not survive when thrown back - please expect to keep what you catch when fishing the deeper waters. For more information, dial 1-800-423-4571, or check out

Whitefish Chain of Lakes Area
On the Whitefish Chain of Lakes, walleyes are coming from 18-28 feet of water on redtails and rainbow minnows either jigged or lindy-rigged. Northern pike and bass are hitting spinners and jigs worked along the outside weedline of most lakes. Smallmouth bass are becoming more active on many area rivers. Crappies can be found suspended in depths of 14-18 feet on water, hitting minnows and worms. To learn more, visit

Isle/Onamia -Lake Mille Lacs
On Lake Mille Lacs, anglers are looking forward to the full moon this weekend, and preparing to head out to do some trolling. For the most fish, work the shallows in 8-10 feet of water using shad raps towards dark. During daylight hours, slow down your presentation - rigging with rainbow minnows is a good choice. The south end bays are giving up lots of perch during the day, however, be prepared to sort. The marker buoys have been removed, so please proceed with caution. To learn more, dial 1-888-350-2692, or check out

As of late last week, fishing was great on nearly every lake in the county. Panfish anglers were doing exceptionally well on Lakes Solomon and Andrew. Good numbers of walleyes and perch were being pulled from Eagle and Big Kandiyohi lakes. Anglers were also having success with the large northern pike and walleyes on Ringo, Willmar, and Foot lakes. To find out more, dial 1-800-845-8747, or visit

Twin Cities Greater Metropolitan vicinity

Northeast Metro/Chisago Lakes Area
Bass are in the shallows, with good numbers coming from the shallows of South Lindstrom and Chisago lakes. For the most fish, locate green weeds and toss in a crankbait or spinnerbait. Please note that all bass measuring 12-inches of more must be immediately returned to the water if caught on South Lindstrom or Chisago lakes. Walleyes are also shallow, with most coming from Big Green, Little Green, and South Lindstrom lakes. Anglers having the most success are using rapalas and redtail minnows. Sunnies and crappies are biting on all area lakes. Large northern pike are being pulled from Sunrise Lake. To find out more, dial 651/257-1177, or visit

White Bear Lake Area Lakes
Just last week, the bass were hitting almost anything thrown their way on White Bear Lake. The sunfish were also extremely active. The majority of fish were coming in on crawlers and waxworms. Bald Eagle Lake was producing sunnies and walleyes, with a few crappies also being taken. To learn more, dial 651/653-5122, or check out

Southern Minnesota

Faribault Area Lakes
Cannon Lake continues to produce quite a few walleyes and perch. Anglers are having the most success using fatheads and shiners from shore near the narrows on the north side of the lake. Lake Mazaska remains great for lots of sunfish, with waxworms working well in depths of 8-12 feet of water. The most productive area seems to be the south shore between the Highway 21 public access and Hirdler Park. Kelly Dudley Lake has been excellent for families with children, with large numbers of smaller sunfish attacking small jigs and waxworms at the weed edges. While fishing information is not available, a pair of loons was reported on Rice County's Cedar Lake on October 12. To learn more, dial 1-800-658-2354, or visit

Albert Lea
Fountain Lake is giving up good numbers of perch, sunfish and crappies! For crappies, hit the shallows at the channel by the Catholic cemetery and Hatch Bridge, fishing 1-2 feet down. Walleyes have been biting in the channel below the dam at dusk. For more information, dial 1-800-345-8414, or check out

Fairmont Area Lakes
Fox Lake is producing some very nice crappies and perch, with minnows working best. Hall, Budd, and Sisseton lakes are giving up lots of bluegills on crawlers and waxworms. The perch and crappies are responding best to minnows. A few good-size walleyes have also been taken. Perch and walleye anglers are doing very well using minnows or jigs tipped with twister tails. To find out where and when the fish are biting, dial 1-800-657-3280, or visit

Ortonville -Big Stone Lake
While fewer anglers are heading out onto Big Stone Lake, the fish remain active. Those that have ventured out report good numbers of perch coming from depths of 9-10 feet at the Bay View, and at the end of the Grape Vine Reef. Some anglers are taking lots of fish from the docks as well. For more information, dial 1-800-568-5722, or check out

Reports courtesy of Explore Minnesota Tourism

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