Minnesota Outdoor News Fishing Report – Nov. 10, 2017

Great Eight

LAKE MILLE LACS        

The bays and lake were ice-free as of Tuesday morning. Muskie anglers continue to fish and find success on the shallow rock reefs. Deer hunting reports have been mostly good and most comments from hunters made it sound like it was an OK start to the season.

Johnson’s Portside (320) 676-3811

Terry’s Boat Harbor (320) 692-4430

LAKE OF THE WOODS

Ice is forming on the back bays, but not on the lake as of Monday afternoon – it won’t be long. For the few anglers out, walleyes are staged in 7 to 30 feet across the south shore. Walleyes and sauger are setting up nicely for first ice anglers. The Rainy River is holding walleyes of all sizes. The late shiner run didn’t happen this year – late September and early October were better. Evenings have been best. Water temperature at Wheeler’s Point public access at the mouth of the Rainy River was 36.8 degrees Monday morning. At the Northwest Angle, ice has formed in many areas, some harbors are now locked up with ice.

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

LAKE MINNETONKA AREA    

Fishing reports have been almost non-existent with continued cold weather. Some limited ice had started to form on the ponds and along shorelines, but lakes remained open early this week.

Wayzata Bait (952) 473-2227

LAKE VERMILION

A few muskie anglers continued to hook an occasional fish on the shallow rock reefs last week, but fishing pressure has been very limited due to the cold and snow. Access is difficult with shore ice starting to form, and some bays are capped with a thin layer of ice.

Pike Bay Lodge (218) 753-2430

LAKE WINNIBIGOSHISH

With the exception of some ice in the small bays and along shorelines, the main lake remained wide open early this week.

Lake Winnie Resort Association

LEECH LAKE

Deer and duck hunting reports have been good. There were good numbers of deer shot and most were happy. A push of new ducks into the area also has provided success for waterfowl hunters. Ice is limited, but most lakes were open this week.

Reed’s Sporting Goods (218) 547-1505

Shriver’s Bait Company (218) 547-2250

RAINY LAKE     

The main portion of the lake is ice-free, but some ice has started to form in the bays and it could extend to parts of the lake if it stays cold this week.

International Falls CVB (800) 325-5766

RED LAKE

On Tuesday morning, it looked like most of the lake was ice covered and if the wind stays down ice conditions could improve quickly. Wet, heavy snow throughout opening day of deer hunting likely limited success. Many hunters reported limited deer movement opening day with better success on Sunday.

Mort’s Dock (218) 647-8128

Twin Cities Metro

NORTHEAST METRO

Anglers continue to hit the St. Croix River for walleyes in 10 to 18 feet when the weather allows. The same can be said for muskie anglers on Bald Eagle Lake where a few diehards continue to find fish in less than 15 feet.

Blue Ribbon Bait & Tackle (651) 777-2421

WEST METRO

A few anglers continue to fish muskies on Lake Waconia, but most open water fishing has come to an end. Some wind-protected bays and small ponds have a thin layer of ice, while the majority of lakes were still ice-free early this week. Reports from the deer season have been mixed and some hunters believe standing corn is limiting success.

Cabin Fever Sports (952) 443-2022

SOUTH METRO

There was so ice to speak of early this week, but the cold weather is keeping people off the lakes. It could go either way at this point – ice could form quickly if it stays cold or if it warms up there will be opportunities to fish open water.

Prior Lake Bait & Tackle (952) 447-6096

Statewide

ALEXANDRIA AREA

Although all lakes remain open, fishing pressure has been limited to a few anglers fishing from shore for walleyes at night on area lakes. Most deer hunting reports have been favorable with a high success rate and a lot of bucks being shot.

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

ANNANDALE AREA

Ice has covered most ponds, but with the exception of some shoreline ice, the lakes were wide open as of Tuesday morning. A handful of people were still heading to Clearwater Lake for walleyes. Deer hunting reports have been pretty good with most groups shooting a few deer opening weekend. Most seem satisfied with the number of deer they’ve been seeing.

Little Jim’s Bait (320) 274-5297

BATTLE LAKE AREA

Reports from the deer opener were mixed based on anecdotal reports. Some groups did well and others didn’t see as many deer as expected. A few anglers continue to fish walleyes on Otter Tail Lake in 10 to 15 feet, and muskie anglers continue to work large sucker minnows on the 12- to 15-foot weedlines of West Battle Lake. The small ponds and some bays had skim ice on them early this week, but area lakes were ice-free.

Ben’s Bait Shop (218) 864-5596

BEMIDJI AREA

Open water fishing is pretty much done as many small lakes are iced in at the access and the lakes are starting to become ice covered. Even Lake Bemidji is starting to make ice around the shoreline. There were a lot of deer hunters in the area and reports indicate that opening weekend was quite good.

Dick Beardsley Guide Service (218) 556-7172

BLACKDUCK AREA

Most small lakes and bays are ice covered and several bigger bodies of water capped Monday night. Some groups did well on the deer opener, while others were surprised with the lack of deer movement they encountered. With snow on the ground and a full moon, there was a lot of comments about deer moving more at night.

Timberline Sports and Tackle (218) 835-4636

BRAINERD/NISSWA AREA 

Walleyes continue to bite on Gull Lake in 12 to 15 feet of water early and late and in over 28 to 32 feet of water during midday hours. There hasn’t been a lot of people going, but those that are have done well. Some small bays and ponds are covered with ice, while ice has been forming on bigger bays overnight but melting during the day.

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

CASS LAKE AREA

All the bays ice capped on Monday night, but the big water was still open. Deer hunting reports have been very good with a lot of shooting and reports  from hunters indicating that they were seeing and shooting quite a few deer. Diver duck numbers have really built up on the larger, open bodies of water.

Sunset Cove Resort (800) 279-4831

DETROIT LAKES AREA

The bays and some small lakes were ice covered on Tuesday morning, while the bigger bodies of water remain open. Deer hunting reports from opening weekend were mostly good and it appears that the local harvest was strong.

Quality Bait and Tackle (218) 844-2248

DULUTH AREA   

Deer hunting reports have been favorable and based on hunter accounts, the harvest is likely at, or slightly above, last year’s opening weekend. Ice took hold on most small lakes and bays Monday night, with snow on the ground and cold weather expected to continue, ice depths could improve quickly in the coming weeks.

Chalstrom’s Bait (218) 726-0094

EAST CENTRAL MN

Hunter success has varied during the early stages of the gun season, but many people commented that they didn’t see as many deer as they had expected nor did they hear as much shooting as usual. Some ice has formed on the ponds, bays, and shorelines, while the main portions of all big lakes were open as of Tuesday morning.

Tales and Trails Sport Shop (763) 856-3985

FAIRMONT AREA

Deer hunting reports have been average at best. There was still a lot of corn standing during opening weekend and that likely played a role in the lack of hunter success. There was an influx of ducks and geese into the area last weekend, while ice has started to form on some shallow lakes and shorelines.

Sommer Outdoors (507) 235-5225

FARIBAULT AREA

A handful of anglers continue to catch a few walleyes from shore on Cannon Lake. With the exception of some limited shoreline ice, all lakes were ice-free as of early this week. Deer hunting reports have been mixed, some did well, others struggled, and acres of standing corn didn’t help.

Nagel’s Live Bait (507) 334-8341

GRAND MARAIS AREA

The deer season was a bit less successful than last year, but wet, heavy snow throughout opening day made hunting conditions difficult. Many hunters didn’t stick it out as long as normal due to the conditions. Ice has taken hold on some small lakes, but open water was still quite evident early this week on the bigger bodies of water.

Buck’s Hardware (218) 387-2280

HACKENSACK AREA 

Deer hunters did well opening weekend with most groups reporting good deer movement and some success. The big lakes were still wide open early this week, but a sheet of ice has taken hold on some bays and small, shallow lakes.

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

LAKE KABETOGAMA

Snow and wind over the weekend not only kept anglers off the water but also kept deer movement at a minimum. With more lakes becoming inaccessible due to ice and cold weather, angler activity has been non-existent. Deer hunters woke up to a windy, snowy opening morning, which made hunting difficult for most, even if the snow made it easy to track deer. Deer harvest was about average though with the rut in full swing, which kept at least some deer moving throughout the weekend.

Gateway Store (218) 875-2121

MORA AREA

The deer season was pretty succesful for most and the majority of people saw enough deer. Ice just started to form early this week along the shorelines of most lakes and bays.

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

ORTONVILLE AREA

Overall, the deer harvest appears to be down a bit from last year, but still pretty good based on hunter accounts from opening weekend. Field hunting for mallards and geese has been good with more birds moving through the area. The ponds and sloughs are ice capped, but no ice has formed on bigger bodies of water.

Artie’s Bait (320) 839-2480

PARK RAPIDS AREA

Deer hunting reports have been good, hunters are seeing plenty of deer, and the harvest appears strong. A few small lakes and bays capped with ice Monday night, but the big lakes were still open.

Delaney’s (218) 732-4281

Smokey Hills Outdoors (218) 237-5099

RED WING AREA

The deer opener went well with good numbers of deer and quite a few big bucks shot in the area. Waterfowl hunters continue to shoot good numbers of divers and mallards. Walleye and sauger action continues to be good with a jig and minnow on the Mississippi River – work the current edges in 12 to 16 feet.

Four Seasons Sports (651) 388-4334

RICHMOND/ST. CLOUD AREA

Although lakes were still ice-free early this week, ice started to form on many access areas and bays, so getting a boat in has become difficult. Hunting reports from opening weekend of the deer season weren’t as good as expected. It sounds like it was an average, or slightly below average, opening weekend with standing corn hurting the effort.

Channel Marine and Sports (320) 597-5975

SAUK CENTRE AREA

The small lakes are ice-covered and even the bigger bodies of water have a layer of shoreline ice. The deer opener was more quiet than expected; most groups are commenting that there’s plenty of deer, but standing corn may have limited success.

Fletcher’s Bait Shop (320) 352-2155

STAPLES/LITTLE FALLS AREA

The deer opener offered mixed results – it was better where the corn had been harvested, but many groups struggled where corn was still standing. The lakes were all open, but some sloughs capped with ice on Monday night. A few anglers continue to fish the Mississippi River for walleyes and smallmouth bass.

Da Fishin’ Hole (320) 631-0056

STARBUCK AREA

It was an average deer opener based on hunter reports and acres of standing corn likely limited success. Ice has taken hold on the marinas, small lakes, and ponds. There’s limited ice along the shorelines of the bigger lakes and still a lot of open water.

Minnewaska Bait and Tackle (320) 239-2239

WILLMAR AREA

For the most part, it was a pretty succesful deer opener. Reports from the majority of hunters indicated good numbers of deer and a strong harvest. The big lakes are still open, but has started to form on some shallow bays, ponds, and shoreline areas.

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

WINDOM/MARSHALL AREA

The deer opener went well, but could have been even better if more corn had been harvested. Waterfowl hunters are doing well with good numbers of ducks and geese, including more divers moving into the area. Skim ice has formed on some small water, but it tends to melt away during the day.

Borch’s Sporting Goods (507) 532-4880

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