Minnesota Outdoor News Fishing Report – Oct. 27, 2017

Great Eight

LAKE MILLE LACS        

Fishing pressure continues to be light for all species, but those going out are catching smallmouth bass with crankbaits on the shallow and deep rocks. There still hasn’t been a big push of tullibees onto the shallow rocks, but that should happen soon with the cooler weather. Once it does, look for muskie action to really pick up in these locations.

Johnson’s Portside (320) 676-3811

Terry’s Boat Harbor (320) 692-4430

LAKE OF THE WOODS

Walleyes are staged in front of Pine Island, Zippel Bay, Long Point, Graceton Beach, and the Gap in 18 to 30 feet. Most reefs also are holding piles of walleyes, and a jig and minnow is working best. Rainy River anglers are finding walleye success up and down the river. Vertical jigging with a shiner while anchored is the go-to method but there are reports of anglers trolling crankbaits with good success east of Baudette. Smallmouth bass, pike and crappies are being caught as well. At the Northwest Angle, walleyes are biting anywhere from 14 to 30 feet, crappies are continuing to bite around sunken trees and deep holes, and anglers have had success trolling for large pike and muskies.

Lake of the Woods Tourism Bureau (800) 382-FISH

LAKE MINNETONKA AREA    

Some lakes have turned over and others are in the process of doing so, so fishing reports have been mixed. Sucker minnows are producing some muskies in the sparse, 10- to 15-foot weeds on Lake Minnetonka. The channels on Minnetonka also are giving up walleyes at night and crappies during the day. A few sunfish are being caught in 6 to 8 feet on Lake Sarah and Medicine Lake, while northern pike continue to hit minnows in 15 to 20 feet on Lake Independence, Minnetonka, and Sarah.

Wayzata Bait (952) 473-2227

LAKE VERMILION

Work the 20-foot rock piles and reefs with minnows for walleyes during the day. The evenings have been best with crankbaits on the 7- to 10-foot flats and shoreline breaks. Muskie action has been slow, but some anglers targeting them have hooked large northern pike in Stuntz Bay. Smallmouth bass continue to be pulled off the rocks, and crappies are being found suspended over 18 to 22 feet around most points and island areas.

Pike Bay Lodge (218) 753-2430

LAKE WINNIBIGOSHISH

There just hasn’t been many anglers on the lake so fishing reports have been almost non-existent. Some walleyes are being taken with minnows or crankbaits off the points and bars in 14 to 18 feet. Look for perch and northern pike on the green weeds that remain, mainly in 12 to 14 feet.

Lake Winnie Resort Association

LEECH LAKE

A jig and minnow is finally producing decent walleye numbers on the wind-driven points and shorelines. Some walleyes also are coming from the deep breaks in Walker Bay. Muskie action is limited, but perch are being caught in 8 to 12 feet off Sand Point, Mounds Point, and the Meadows. Hunters are shooting a mixed bag of ducks including more ringnecks and mallards, while grouse hunting action has been noticeably better over the past week.

Reed’s Sporting Goods (218) 547-1505

Shriver’s Bait Company (218) 547-2250

RAINY LAKE     

Walleyes continue to be a big attraction on the Rainy River with fish being caught on rocky structure below the dam in International Falls. This area will provide steady smallmouth bass action as well. Grouse hunting reports have only got better with more birds being flushed and shot with less cover in the woods.

International Falls CVB (800) 325-5766

RED LAKE

Angling pressure has been minimal, but those going out when weather conditions allow are catching walleyes along the reeds and 8- to 14-foot rock humps. Duck hunters aren’t seeing much for northern birds, but grouse hunters are reporting more birds along the forest trails now that the cover is down.

Mort’s Dock (218) 647-8128

Twin Cities Metro

NORTHEAST METRO

A jig and minnow or Jiggin’ Rap is turning walleyes in 10 to 20 feet on the St. Croix River. Work the shallow weeds on Silver Lake and Powers Lake for panfish, while the weedlines on White Bear Lake and Lake Jane are giving up northern pike. Sucker minnows are producing largemouth on Powers or Demontreville Lake and muskies in less than 15 feet at Lake Calhoun, Bald Eagle Lake, Forest Lake, and White Bear.

Blue Ribbon Bait & Tackle (651) 777-2421

WEST METRO

Sucker minnows or crankbaits are producing northern pike in 12 to 16 feet at Pierson Lake and Hydes Lake. Work the reefs on Lake Waconia in 12 to 14 feet with sucker minnows for muskies. Panfish reports have been minimal again this week, but bass continue to hit on most lakes. A few new ducks and geese have moved into the area, deer activity is on the increase, but pheasant reports have been limited.

Cabin Fever Sports (952) 443-2022

SOUTH METRO

Walleyes are hitting a jig and minnow in 7 to 14 feet on Spring Lake, Prior Lake, and Lake O’Dowd. The fishing pier on O’Dowd is worth hitting with sucker minnows for northern pike, while bass action remains strong on O’Dowd and Prior. You’ll find sunfish and crappies in 8 to 12 feet on Spring or in 20 to 25 feet on Prior.

Prior Lake Bait & Tackle (952) 447-6096

Statewide

ALEXANDRIA AREA

A jig and minnow is turning walleyes on Lake Miltona during the evening hours in 18 to 20 feet and much deeper during the day. Minnows also are producing walleyes on Reno Lake in 18 to 20 and along the deep weedlines of lakes Geneva, Le Homme Dieu, and Darling. A few muskies are being caught with sucker minnows on the weed edges of Miltona as well. Hunters are shooting some geese, but they aren’t seeing many pheasants.

Christopherson’s Bait and Tackle (320) 763-3255

ANNANDALE AREA

Crappies are being found suspended over 18 to 24 feet on Clearwater Lake, Lake Sylvia, Pleasant Lake, and Sugar Lake. Minnows are producing some walleyes at Clearwater in 12 to 15 feet and Cedar Lake in 15 to 20 feet. Bass and northern pike continue to be caught with spinnerbaits on Cedar, Clearwater, Sylvia, and Lake John. There has been a few ringnecks pushing through the area, while mallards and wood ducks continue to be shot on small ponds and flooded farm fields.

Little Jim’s Bait (320) 274-5297

BATTLE LAKE AREA

Crappies are being found suspended over 20 to 22 feet and sunfish are tight to the bottom over 12 to 15 feet at Rush Lake, South Turtle Lake, and Fish Lake. Minnows and Jiggin’ Raps continue to produce walleyes in 10 to 15 feet on Otter Tail Lake, Rush, and West Battle Lake. Muskies are hitting sucker minnows in 15 to 20 feet on West Battle, and northern pike remain active in 15 to 20 feet at Fiske Lake, Donald Lake, and Otter Tail. Hunting reports have been minimal from the immediate area, but there seems to be more ducks around this week.

Ben’s Bait Shop (218) 864-5596

BEMIDJI AREA

Fishing pressure has dropped way off, even when the weather is nice. Those going are pitching jigs and minnows along the 12- to 14-foot weedlines for walleyes with some success at Lake Bemidji, Big Lake, Lake Plantagenet, and Wolf Lake. Crappies are being found suspended over deep water at Turtle Lake, Turtle River Lake, Grant Lake, and Wolf. Rattle Traps are turning bass on most lakes in less than 8 feet. There’s been a push of new ducks into the area and deer have really started to move.

Dick Beardsley Guide Service (218) 556-7172

BLACKDUCK AREA

A jig and minnow is producing walleyes and some keeper-sized perch on Island and Blackduck lakes in 10 to 15 feet. Crappies and bluegills are being found in 20 to 22 feet on many lakes, highlighted by some good reports off Turtle River Lake, Blackduck, Gull Lake, and Gilstead Lake. Grouse hunting has been better now that the leaves have dropped, deer are really on the move, and other than a few ringnecks, duck numbers have not improved much.

Timberline Sports and Tackle (218) 835-4636

BRAINERD/NISSWA AREA 

Walleyes are hitting jigs and minnows in 20 to 25 feet on Whitefish Lake and 20 to 45 feet on Gull Lake. The remaining weedlines on Whitefish, Gull, and Lake Edwards are holding bass and northern pike. Sunfish reports have dropped off, but crappies are being found suspended over 20 feet or more on North Long Lake and Gull.

S & W Bait & Guide Service/Nisswa Guide League (218) 829-7010

CHISAGO AREA   

Minnows continue to produce walleyes on the 8- to 12-foot rocks and sand areas of Green Lake, North Center Lake, and Chisago Lake. Crappies are hitting in 8 to 12 feet at Chisago, Green, North Center, South Center Lake, and North Lindstrom Lake. Archery hunters are seeing better numbers of active bucks and a few newer ducks have moved into the area, although waterfowl hunters are shooting more geese than ducks.

Frankie’s Bait (651) 257-6334

DETROIT LAKES AREA

Big Detroit Lake continues to produce walleyes on minnows in 20 to 25 feet. Sucker minnows are turning muskies on Pelican Lake and Big Detroit in 10 to 15 feet. Look to Lake Melissa for suspended crappies over 15 to 20 feet. Hunting reports have been limited.

Quality Bait and Tackle (218) 844-2248

DULUTH AREA   

Walleyes are hitting minnows in 6 feet at Boulder Lake and Island Lake. Work the Highbanks area on Fish Lake for crappies in 12 feet, while large sucker minnows are producing muskies at Island and the St. Louis River in 5 to 10 feet. Grouse hunting reports have improved quite a bit over the past week now that the leaves are down.

Chalstrom’s Bait (218) 726-0094

EAST CENTRAL MN

You’ll find crappies in 14 to 17 feet at Blue Lake and Green Lake or in 11 feet on Little Elk Lake. A jig and minnow is producing walleyes on the current breaks of the Rum River. Deer activity has increased, standing corn is limiting pheasant hunting success, and duck numbers have not improved much.

Tales and Trails Sport Shop (763) 856-3985

FAIRMONT AREA

Crappies continue to be caught on plastics or minnows in 6 to 10 feet on Budd Lake and Lake Sissiton. Anglers fishing from shore with minnows on Tuttle Lake and Big Twin Lake are catching walleyes early and late each day. There hasn’t been a push of new ducks into the area and pheasant hunting has been tough due to standing crops.

Sommer Outdoors (507) 235-5225

FARIBAULT AREA

Minnows are producing crappies, northern pike, and the occasional walleye at Lake Mazaska in 10 to 15 feet. Hit Cannon Lake for perch in 4 to 6 feet and Cedar Lake for crappies or pike in 10 to 12 feet. Circle Lake is giving up crappies, sunfish, perch, and walleyes in 8 to 10 feet.

Nagel’s Live Bait (507) 334-8341

GRAND MARAIS AREA

Minnows are producing a few walleyes in 20 to 25 feet on Saganaga Lake and Sea Gull Lake, 20 to 30 feet on Gunflint Lake, and 15 feet on Devil Track Lake. Smallmouth bass also remain active on the rock piles and reefs of most lakes. Deer have definitely become more active, and grouse hunting remains good, actually improved now that the cover is knocked down.

Buck’s Hardware (218) 387-2280

GREY EAGLE AREA

Fishing reports have been about the same, just a bit slower than last week. Shiner minnows are turning walleyes during the evening hours on Big Birch Lake in 20 to 30 feet and in 18 to 25 feet at Cedar Lake. The sunken island on the main portion of Big Swan Lake is worth hitting for crappies. Hunting reports have been minimal.

Nancy’s Bait & Tackle (320) 285-2405

HACKENSACK AREA 

If the wind is blowing, minnows are producing walleyes on the 3- to 9-foot reefs, and if it’s calm, Jiggin’ Raps are working best in 25 to 35 feet on Woman Lake. Minnows are the ticket for walleyes on the shallow breaks of Ten Mile Lake during the evening hours. Smallmouth bass are hitting plastics on the 3- to 9-foot rocks of Woman, Ten Mile, and Portage Lake. Muskie reports have been best off the bulrush edges of Lake Wabedo. Hunters are seeing more grouse, not big numbers, but it’s been pretty good. Some ringnecks have moved into the area, while wood ducks, mallards, and even some teal are still being shot.

Swanson’s Bait and Tackle (218) 675-6176

LAKE KABETOGAMA

Walleyes are being taken with consistency off island points and bay entrances in 22 to 35 feet on a jig and minnow. The Ash River also is giving up fish. Smallmouth bass have continued to hit off the reef edges – a jig tipped with a minnow or plastic has been working well. Grouse hunting has improved with most foliage off the trees, and duck hunting has slowed with most local birds heading south and/or educated and hard to decoy.

Gateway Store (218) 875-2121

MORA AREA

A few walleyes continue to be taken with minnows on Knife Lake, Fish Lake, and Ann Lake in 4 to 7 feet. Sunfish and a few crappies can be had on these lakes in less than 6 feet as well. Hunting reports have been light, but there doesn’t seem to be many people chasing ducks or upland birds.

Jerry’s Sport & Bait Shop (320) 679-2151

ORTONVILLE AREA

Big Stone Lake has been giving up some perch, crappies, and bluegills in 12 to 14 feet. Better areas have been from Rocky Ledge to Mallard Point, while walleye action remains slow for most anglers. The crops are slowly coming out, but pheasant hunting reports have not improved much – there are birds being shot, but not big numbers of roosters. There was another push of northern mallards and divers into the area this week so duck hunters are having success.

Artie’s Bait (320) 839-2480

PARK RAPIDS AREA

Drifting large sucker minnows on the 15- to 18-foot weedlines of Many Point Lake and Big Mantrap Lake has been producing muskies. Minnows are turning walleyes in 20 to 25 feet on Long Lake and Fish Hook Lake, while bass and northern pike continue to hit on the remaining weed edges of most lakes. Grouse and duck hunting action has been slow, but archery hunters are seeing more rutting activity and deer movement in the woods.

Delaney’s (218) 732-4281

Smokey Hills Outdoors (218) 237-5099

RED WING AREA

A jig and minnow is producing walleyes and sauger from the Head of the Lakes to the dam on the Mississippi River – work the current seams in 4 to 18 feet. Duck hunting has improved and there has been some canvasback and ringnecks moving through the area.

Four Seasons Sports (651) 388-4334

RICHMOND/ST. CLOUD AREA

A jig and minnow is turning walleyes in 20 to 25 feet of water on Horseshoe Lake and 30 to 35 feet of water on Lake Koronis. Crappies and walleyes have begun to hit decently for those putting in the effort in 18 to 25 feet of water at Rice Lake or in 15 to 20 feet of water on Bolfing Lake and Schneider Lake. Lindy Rigs and small sucker minnows have produced walleyes on Grand Lake in 18 to 22 feet of water. A few ringnecks and geese have moved into the area, but there just hasn’t been many waterfowl hunters out.

Channel Marine and Sports (320) 597-5975

SAUK CENTRE AREA

Shiner minnows continue to turn walleyes on Big Sauk Lake in 6 to 10 feet and Lake Osakis in 10 to 18 feet. You’ll also hit crappies on Osakis, most of which are suspended over 18 to 42 feet, from Buck Point to Holiday Resort. Duck hunters shooting over fields are having better success with mallards this week.

Fletcher’s Bait Shop (320) 352-2155

STAPLES/LITTLE FALLS AREA

The Mississippi River is giving up smallmouth bass on sucker minnows and walleyes on jigs tipped with plastics or minnows. Muskie reports have been light with a few small fish being caught on large sucker minnows at Lake Alexander. Duck and pheasant reports have been poor, but deer activity has picked up.

Da Fishin’ Hole (320) 631-0056

STARBUCK AREA

Walleyes can be had during the day in 16 to 18 feet with a jig and minnow or in 7 to 9 feet at night with crankbaits on Lake Minnewaska. Anglers fishing on the west shore of Lake Emily are catching walleyes and channel catfish at night with sucker minnows and bobbers, while a jig and minnow is working best around the weeds during the day. On Long Lake, walleyes are being taken with a spinner and minnow in 12 to 14 feet. Standing crops are limiting pheasant hunting success, but mallard, teal, and wood ducks were still around early this week.

Minnewaska Bait and Tackle (320) 239-2239

WILLMAR AREA

Fishing pressure continues to be limited as many boats have been put away for the season. Minnows are producing a few walleyes in less than 8 feet on Big Kandi Lake, Lake Wagonda, and Lake Lillian. Waterfowl hunters are shooting more geese than ducks and a few more pheasants are being seen, but there’s still a lot of crops to come out.

Brad’s 71 Bait and Sports (320) 235-4097

WINDOM/MARSHALL AREA

Minnows are turning walleyes in 5 to 7 feet on Yankton Lake, Lake Benton, Lake Lac qui Parle, and Lake Shetek. Look to Lake Sarah for perch and walleyes in less than 8 feet, while Bloody Lake continues to give up crappies in 6 to 8 feet. The crops are coming out so pheasant hunting should be much better this weekend than last. There are more ducks in the area, including decent numbers of divers.

Borch’s Sporting Goods (507) 532-4880

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