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Minnesota Fishing Reports
News : Explore Minnesota Fishing Report 5/19
Posted by LSF on May 19, 2011 (1732 reads) News by the same author

Northeast Minnesota

International Falls -Rainy Lake & the Rainy River
While it was a bit windy on opening day, anglers did well on Rainy Lake. Most concentrated on the more sheltered areas, and found walleye in very shallow waters, however some did come from depths of 40 feet. On Sunday, the walleye were hanging in deeper water, and this week's fair weather should result in another change in patterns. Large and aggressive northern pike were also caught last weekend, with fish found lurking in the weedy edges of Jackfish, Black and Cranberry bays. Crappies are expected to start moving into the bays in search of warmer waters. 1-800-325-5766;

Last weekend, the weather was not ideal, with gusty winds and intermittent showers. Hearty anglers, however, were not deterred, and lots of walleye limits were taken in just a matter of hours from many area lakes. The best reports came from Fall, Shagawa, and White Iron lakes. The most successful anglers used jigs tipped with minnows, and occasionally leeches. Most of the fish were holding near moving water or windswept shorelines in 5-8 foot depths. 1-800-777-7281;

Cook County: Lutsen-Tofte, Grand Marais, Gunflint Trail, and Grand Portage
Anglers had success fishing for lake trout, walleye, bass, and northern pike last weekend. On Clearwater Lake, half-way up the Gunflint Trail, three anglers reported success with the walleye when jigging lindy splash brites, with one fish measuring just over 21-inches long. Birch Lake's shallow bays gave up lots of hungry northern pike on standard red and silver lures. On Gunflint Lake, nice-size lake trout, in the 3- to 5-pound range, were pulled from the shallows, with smallmouth bass action being reported. Sawbill Lake, located just north of Tofte, gave up lots of aggressive perch on small, shiny lures. Shoreline anglers fishing many of Cook County's smaller lakes had success with northern pike and a few walleye when using fathead and rainbow minnows late in the afternoon.

Northwest Minnesota

Baudette -Lake of the Woods & the Rainy River
On Lake Of The Woods, the Lighthouse Gap, the Rainy River, and Morris Point washout are the current hot spots, with anglers taking excellent numbers of fish on gold, orange or pink jigs tipped with a minnow. Lots of nice, eating-size 14-18 inch walleye, along with quite a few large 24-29 inch walleye were reported. Even a few fish over 30 inches were caught, but then released for future fishing action. At Oak and Flag islands, the afternoon and evening bite was best just off the shorelines. Some did well in 12-15 feet of water, and others had success in depths of 20 feet. The best walleye presentation was a gold jig tipped with a minnow. 1-800-382-FISH;

The lakes are warming up fast, and the walleye are getting more active. Spotail shiner minnows have been moving into the shallows getting ready to spawn, so walleye and other gamefish species are moving into these areas. Jigs tipped with minnows have been the bait of choice, with leeches a good option for anglers who prefer to fish using live bait rigs. Most of the walleye have been in 6-12 feet of water, depending on the conditions and time of day. Anglers are finding crappies in the shallow back bays and old reed beds with direct access to deep water. Bobber rigs with a jig and minnow have been the most productive, although some anglers are also having success with hair jigs, or jigs and plastics. The best lakes for walleye early in the season are typically Winnibigoshish and Upper Red, where anglers can find walleye along the shoreline breaks in 5-8 feet of water. Walleye fishing in the deeper lakes, such as Bemidji, Cass and Pike's Bay should pick up in the near future. Many lakes have a good number of walleye that spawn in the lakes instead of the rivers, so these fish are behind in the recovery process. Most of the walleye being caught are males, which is typical early in the season. Once the female walleye have recovered from the spawn, they will move into the shallows very hungry and ready to feed. 1-800-458-2223;

Cass Lake
Walleye anglers had success on Andrusia, Cass and Wolf lakes in 6-15 feet of water. The fish were large and aggressive, but had a light bite. Shiner minnows on a light colored jig presented slowly produced the majority of fish. Some perch were also taken on shiners. Overall, opening weekend was quite good! On Leech Lake, fishing was great on Saturday, with 1/8-ounce fireball and gumball jigs tipped with a shiner or chub turning lots of fish. Lake Winnibigoshish was also a hot spot. Anglers pulled good numbers of fish from 8-10 feet of water when using 1/8-ounce gumballs and fireballs.

Walker - Leech Lake
On Leech Lake, despite terrible weather on opening day, Leech Lake anglers took lots of walleye. The Pine Point and Grand Vu Flat areas on the west side of the lake gave up lots of walleye, including a few jumbo perch. Stony Point and Portage Bay also produced some good catches, and most boats stayed in place due to high winds. Many anglers took their limit of four walleye, and were done before lunch! On Sunday, the weather turned beautiful, and the fish were still biting - just about every public access on the lake was full of empty boat trailers. The only bad news was that by noon on Sunday all local bait dealers were out of shiners, and the jig and shiner minnow presentation had been the most productive. For this next weekend, expect stable, warmer weather and well-stocked bait shops! 1-800-833-1118;

Park Rapids
Walleye fishing was good for some, but tough for others last weekend. Those having success used either a 1/8-ounce northland fireball jig tipped with a shiner minnow, or a roach rig tipped with a crawler or leech. Depending on the lake, the best depth ranged from 6-18 feet of water, with most fish coming from 8-10 feet. Northern pike action was very good, and many walleye anglers using minnows in 8-18 foot depths ended up with a pike. Those specifically chasing northerns did well with flashy spinnerbaits and spoons over weed growth. Panfish anglers reported lots of large crappies and very nice bluegills across the area. The top producers were a small jig and minnow beneath a float, and a mimic minnow dragged just above the weed tops. Please be aware that the crappies are now settling in, preparing to spawn - please release the large females to keep the population healthy. 1-800-247-0054;

Central Region

Otter Tail Lakes Area
On Otter Tail Lake, most boats headed toward the more settled waters on opening weekend due to high winds. Many anglers concentrated at the river inlet, where they had lots of success early in the morning in the shallows. As the day progressed, folks moved to the Otter Tail Lake breaklines where they continued to find fish. The best approach was a shiner on a lindy rig for most anglers due to cool water temperatures in the low 50's. By Sunday, the skies had turned sunny, and fish were coming from depths of 15-25 feet. Shiners began running early this week, so a greater supply of them should soon be available. 1-800-423-4571;

Pine River Area Lakes
Last weekend's opener started out wet and cold. Water temperatures hovered in the high 40s, and that seemed to slow things down. The best action was in the shallows, where the wind was pounding into the shoreline. Walleye anglers took fish from depths of 4-12 feet on jig and minnow combinations, with a simple slip sinker/minnow rig also producing some fish. Crappie anglers found fish in the very shallow bays and backwater areas. Whitefish, Woman, Pine Mountain and most of the other smaller area lakes produced good numbers of panfish. Fishing is expected to improve for all species as water temperatures warm. This weekend, look for walleye near their traditional spawning areas - northern pike will probably be cruising the shallow edges of the weedlines found in 12-15 feet of water. And by Memorial Day weekend, expect fishing to be outstanding! 1-800-728-6926;

Brainerd Lakes Area
Fishing has been good throughout the Brainerd Lakes area. On the Gull Lake Chain, anglers are taking the majority of walleye on lindy rigs and shiners. During low light hours, crankbaits trolled through the shallows are also working well. The shallows have been good for northern pike, black crappies and sunfish as well. 1-800-450-2838;

On Farm Island Lake, the cold wind and rain kept many anglers off the lake last Saturday. Those that did venture out took a few walleye on jigs and shiners worked in 8-12 feet of water. Crappie action was great, especially in depths of 4-8 feet at the emerging weeds and wood cover. The crappie bite remains strong this week on most Aitkin area lakes. At the north and northeast sides of Lake Mille Lacs, a windy, rainy opening day made it more difficult to fish the rocks, but the north sand flats were very productive. Walleye anglers reported the most success when letting out a lot of line and drifting with a leech on a red hook with a blue bead and a long leader. One of the walleye taken on Saturday measured 27.5 inches - this fish was pulled from depths of 16 feet on an orange-colored glow hook. Anglers that were able to fish the rocks found lots of nice 15-16.5 inch walleye when using slip bobbers in 11-12 feet of water. Sunday's weather was much better, but actually slower. Even so, limits were taken by drifting the north end sand. Some anglers took fish by pulling crankbaits during evening hours and at dusk. 1-800-526-8342;

Isle/Onamia -Lake Mille Lacs
On Lake Mille Lacs, foul weather and high winds kept many off the lake last Saturday. Those who endured these conditions, found most of the walleye activity concentrated toward the north end of the lake, scattered from Garrison to Malmo. Try slowly-trolling or lindy rigging in 14-18 feet of water with a leech or shiner during the day; at dusk, move up into depths of 12 feet or less over the rocks. If the fish aren't biting, slow down even more, anchor, and bobber fish with leeches. Look for the south end activity to continually improve as the water temperatures get warmer. Please remember that the night ban is on which means that no one may fish for any species on Lake Mille Lacs from 10:00 p.m. until 6:00 a.m. 1-888-350-2692;

This week's warmer weather has increased the bite, with fish biting on Solomon, South Long, Florida and Ringo lakes. There has also been some action on Big Kandiyohi and Elizabeth lakes, where fish are being pulled from 10 feet or less on spottail shiners and leeches under bobbers. 1-800-845-8747;

Twin Cities Greater Metropolitan vicinity

Northeast Metro/Chisago Lakes Area
Last weekend’s fishing opener was tough for most anglers due to inclement weather. Conditions have changed considerably, and the fishing has heated up on most area lakes. Anglers are taking walleye from the bar area of Rose Hill Resort on South Lindstrom Lake. Good walleye fishing is also being reported on Chisago Lake off the island on the sand in 16 feet of water during the day. Check Needle Point on South Center Lake from 4:30-5:00 p.m. until dark as well. Northern, sunnies and crappies are biting on all area lakes, with small leeches and waxworms working best for the panfish. 651/257-1177;

White Bear Lake Area Lakes
Last weekend was tough for angling success on White Bear and Bald Eagle lakes. A few anglers did catch walleye, but most of these fish were small. Those that were taken came from 12-18 feet of water on minnows. The crappies helped to keep things exciting, with many pulled from 8 - 12 feet on minnows. 651/653-5122;

On Saturday, early on opening day, anglers were reporting success on Lake Waconia. Nice keeper-sized walleye in the 17-20 inch range, and a few whoppers as large as 30-inches were reported. Most anglers that headed out concentrated on shallows. The best approach was a fathead, shiner or leech worked in less than 10 feet of water. Artificial bait, such as a small profile rapala, also produced some fish. The sunfish and crappie bite should continue to improve daily this week with the forecasted warmer temperatures. 952/442-5812;

Southern Minnesota

Lanesboro -Southeast Bluff Country trout streams
As of Sunday, May 15, most area rivers and streams were reported to be clear and normal, and expected to remain so as of the writing of this report. Reports were similar for the Whitewater River system, and watersheds were considered wet. 1-800-944-2670;

Albert Lea
While lots of walleye were spotted on Albert Lea and Fountain lakes, it was hard to get them to bite last Saturday. The perch, however, were very active, with lots of fish pulled from areas with turbulent waters and around pillars. On Sunday, a local guide pulled a nice 30-plus inch northern from under a dock on Fountain Lake. The crappie and perch bite was strong, and the largemouth bass were starting to chase everything off their beds. Fountain Lake is outstanding for catching good numbers of a variety of fish. Local anglers also reported quite a few catfish and panfish coming from the shorelines. And walleye anglers had success trolling crankbaits along on the edgewater side. 1-800-345-8414;

Fairmont Area Lakes
Fishing is starting to heat up with the warmer temperatures! On Hall and Budd lakes, crappies are biting in 6-10 feet of water. Sisseton Lake is giving up crappies and a few bluegills. Crappie anglers report a lot of action in 10-15 feet of water on Fox Lake. And on North Silver Lake, perch anglers report lots of success in depths of 3-6 feet. 1-800-657-3280;

Ortonville -Big Stone Lake
Once again, the weather was not kind to anglers fishing Big Stone Lake last weekend. Cold temperatures, high winds and rain kept all but the hardiest off the water. The water temperatures dropped down into the low 50s, and the fish acted as if they had headaches after keeping their noses in the rocks. One group of anglers did manage to take three walleye on Friday afternoon by dragging nightcrawlers on the bottom. Another group took their limits by pulling spinners with crawlers, with most of the walleye measuring 17-19 inches. They reported that there was just too much wind to do any jigging or casting. 1-800-568-5722;

Report courtesy of Explore Minnesota Tourism

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