Panfish and muskie reports improve with cool weather
LAKE MILLE LACS
East - During the day, deep-diving crankbaits or spinner rigs are producing a lot of walleyes on top of the mud flats. Slip bobbers and leeches continue to work best during the evening hours in 22 to 30 feet of water. The Blue Jug Flat and Sliver Flat have been most productive this week. A few more muskies over 45 inches were caught this week off the weedbeds on topwater baits. Smallmouth bass reports have dwindled, but there are some nice perch coming from Isle Bay in 15 feet of water.
Johnson's Portside (320) 676-3811
West - The walleye action continues to be "the best August bite in years" by most accounts. Minnows and spinners are producing limits of walleyes during the day in 18 to 24 feet of water on Curley's Flat, Sherman's Flat, and Seguchie's Flat. These same areas continue to produce fish at night on slip bobbers and leeches. Some of the best muskie reports are coming from extremely shallow water, close to shore off the rock points and weedlines with topwater presentations. An occasional good-sized perch is caught with the walleyes and smallmouth bass remain active on the shallow rock piles and points.
Terry's Boat Harbor (320) 692-4430
Twin Pines Resort (320) 692-4682
LAKE OF THE WOODS
Reports along the south shore indicate a good spinner/leech bite in 20 to 25 feet of water. A jig and minnow combination also is producing walleyes on the reefs near Graceton Beach and Long Point. Muskie activity has really increased at the Northwest Angle, and the Young's Bay area continues to provide limits of walleyes in 12 to 22 feet of water. The Silver Creek area of the Rainy River is a safe bet for walleyes. Northern pike and sturgeon action is going strong in the river as well.
Lake of the Woods Tourism Bureau
Shad Raps or a live bait rig and leech are the best bets for walleyes. Most of the consistent action continues to take place during the evening hours in 12 to 18 feet of water in Agency Bay, Agency Narrows, and off Sand Point. Largemouth bass are hitting topwater and spinnerbaits in the shallow rice beds during the morning hours. Look for topwaters to be the best bet for muskies on the flats and shallow rocks. Consistent panfish reports are coming from Shingobee Bay in 10 to 15 feet of water.
Walker Bait Company (218) 547-2248
Jigs and plastics have been working best along the deep weedlines. Blue and black have been the hot colors, especially early and late in the day. Sunfish are biting at a good pace along the inside and outside weed edges. Work the mid-depth flats for muskies during the morning hours with black bucktails or stickbaits. If water temperatures continue to drop, look for northern pike and walleye activity to improve on the deep weedlines with minnows.
Wayzata Bait (952) 473-2227
Community Reef, Olson Reef, and Erickson Reef continue to produce walleyes in 20 to 30 feet of water. Leeches and nightcrawlers remain the best presentations, but minnows are starting to turn fish on the deeper sides of these reefs. Deep-diving crankbaits or large minnows have been the ticket for northern pike. Look for bigger fish on the reefs in 20 to 25 feet of water. The North Arm and rock-covered shorelines are the best bet for smallmouth bass with crankbaits.
Loon's Nest (218) 286-5850
The main lake bars such as Bena, Big Muskie, and Little Muskie continue to produce walleyes. On the west side of the lake look to Moses Bar and Sugar Bar if the wind is blowing in. Leeches and crawlers remain the best baits in 15 to 20 feet of water. Raven's Point and the shoreline breaks that offer scattered rock are holding good-sized perch in 10 to 12 feet of water. Look for northern pike on the outside weedbeds in six to eight feet of water.
Pines Resort and Campground (218) 246-8546
Nodak Lodge (218) 665-2226
TWIN CITIES METRO
Sunfish are hitting small leeches and worms in 10 to 12 feet of water on Little Lake, Lake Peltier, and White Bear Lake. Sucker minnows are the best bet for numbers of northern pike along the 10-foot weedlines of Beaver Lake, Battle Creek Lake, and Bald Eagle Lake. Jarvis Lake and White Bear are worth looking at for muskies during lowlight periods of the day with topwater baits. Walleye action is slow with an occasional flurry of action on the St. Croix River in 12 to 22 feet of water.
Blue Ribbon Bait & Tackle (651) 777-2421
The bigger catfish have started hitting sucker minnows on the Minnesota River. Although water levels are down, anglers are finding pods of fish in the deep holes, keying on spots with overhanging trees or sharp bends. There's a few walleyes coming from these areas of the river as well. Carolina Rigs seem to be the best option for largemouth bass along the weedlines of Lake Bavaria and Lake Zumbra. Northern pike continue to be scarce, but there are sunfish to be had on lakes such as Parley, Minnewashta, and Bavaria in 12 feet of water.
Cabin Fever Sports (952) 443-2022
Muskie anglers continue to do well with bucktails and topwater presentations near the swimming beach and west side of the island. Look for sunfish to be hitting small leeches and worms along the six to 10-foot weed edges. The docks and reeds continue to provide steady bass action during the early morning and evening hours. Midday hours are best spent on the reefs with plastics and jigs.
Mases In Towne Marina (952) 442-2096
Panfish continue to be caught in 12 to 16 feet of water on Lake Le Homme Dieu, Lake Ida, Lake Geneva, and Lake Darling. Bass have bit consistently during the morning hours on most lakes. Work deep structure or grass flats with crankbaits or a jig worm. Walleye activity has improved along the deep weedlines of lakes such as Miltona and Ida. Lowlight periods of the day are best spent on the flats with shallow running crankbaits.
Christopherson's Bait and Tackle (320) 763-3255
The 12- to 16-foot weedlines of Clearwater Lake started producing more walleyes on a jig and minnow. Leeches and crawlers on a live bait rig also have worked well. Topwater baits and bucktails remain the best bet's for muskies on Sugar Lake during the evening hours. The local sunfish bite is going strong with lakes such as Clearwater, Cedar, John, Augusta, and Sylvia producing fish in 10 to 16 feet of water. Bass are an easy catch along the weedlines of most lakes, while northern pike are inhaling minnows, spoons, and crankbaits on Granite Lake and Lake Sylvia.
Little Jim's Bait (320) 274-5297
Northern pike are hitting sucker minnows on Otter Tail Lake and Battle Lake in 12 to 15 feet of water. Battle Lake also has produced quite a few muskies this week. Look in eight to 12 feet of water on Otter Tail for walleyes with minnows during the day. Shad Raps are working better after dark. Sunfish action is going strong on Clitherall Lake, Battle Lake, Blanche Lake, and North Turtle Lake in 10 to 12 feet of water with small leeches. Largemouth bass are hitting throughout the area with Fisk Lake and Stalker Lake producing a few bigger fish.
Ben's Bait Shop (218) 864-5596
Bluegills continue to provide the best bite with lakes such as Pimushe, Gilstead, Rabideau, and North Twin providing numbers of fish from 10 to 12 feet of water. A few walleyes have started biting during the evening hours on Blackduck Lake, although Pimushe is still the best bet in 12 to 14 feet of water. Find a weedline on an area lake and you should hit numbers of largemouth bass and northern pike. Crankbaits, minnows, and spinnerbaits all have been productive.
Timberline Sports and Tackle
The cooler weather has improved walleye activity on Gull Lake. A redtail minnow and Lindy Rig has worked best in 17 to 26 feet of water. Work similar depths and presentations on North Long Lake and Whitefish Lake for walleyes as well. Bass fishing still is going strong with spinnerbaits along the six- to 12-foot weed edges. Northern pike are hitting along the 12- to 18-foot weedlines on most lakes, but North Long has kicked out bigger fish.
S & W Bait & Tackle (218) 829-7010
CASS LAKE AREA
The defined weed edges, points, and reed edges are holding muskies on Cass Lake. The active fish are hitting bucktails during lowlight periods of the day. Shad Raps remain the ticket for walleyes during the evening hours. Work the bars and shallow points in 10 to 14 feet of water. A few good-sized perch can be had on Cass and Pike Bay Lake in six to 10 feet of water with small minnows.
Sunset Cove Resort (800) 279-4831
Sucker minnows continue to provide plenty of northern pike action along the weed edges of North Center Lake and Sunrise Lake. Look for sunfish on Chisago Lake and South Center Lake in six to 10 feet of water. Small leeches or a piece of nightcrawler on a small jig have worked best. Most area lakes are producing largemouth bass on plastics near docks and shallow weed edges. Walleye reports have been limited with an occasional fish caught during the evening hours on North Center Lake in 15 to 25 feet of water.
Frankie's Bait (651) 257-6334
CROSS LAKE AREA
Spinner rigs and live bait rigs tipped with leeches are producing walleyes in 30 to 34 feet of water. Bass and northern pike are roaming the outside weed edges and hitting spinnerbaits or sucker minnows. Crappies are being found suspended in 12 to 14 feet of water off the submerged islands and points.
Crosslake Holiday Sports (218) 692-2708
A jig and minnow is now the best bet for walleyes as are cloud-covered and windy days. Work the mid-lake humps and sharp breaks on lakes such as White Earth, Big Toad, Shell, Elbow, Strawberry, Pelican, and Cotton. Bluegills and crappies continue to be caught on area lakes with jigs and plastic tails. Largemouth bass action continues to be excellent with plastics on the deep weed edges of most lakes. Northern pike activity is limited, but bucktail spinners are producing muskies on Pelican and Detroit Lake.
Dick Beardsley's Guide Service www.fishingscene.com
Crappie action has improved on Lake Mazaska in 15 feet of water. Look for some bluegills on Mazaska as well in nine to 12 feet of water. The channel areas of Cannon Lake are producing walleyes and jumbo perch for anglers fishing off shore during the evening hours. The area muskie bite is going strong with small bucktails and the weedlines of Roberds Lake remain the area's best option for northern pike.
Lake's Bait and Tackle (507) 334-2768
GRAND RAPIDS AREA
Lake Pokegama still is kicking out numbers of smallmouth bass on the rocks and sand with live bait. Muskie action continues to be impressive with Moose Lake and North Star Lake providing the best action on crankbaits and topwater. Largemouth bass are hitting plastics and spinnerbaits on Spider Lake and Balsam Lake. Look for crappies on the north end of Bowstring Lake in 17 feet of water near the shoreline breaks. The humps on the north end of Bowstring are producing an occasional walleye in 17 to 20 feet of water.
Ben's Bait and Tackle (218) 326-8281
Rapids Tackle (218) 326-9838
Woman Lake started giving up walleyes on redtails and fatheads in 18 to 22 feet of water. Trolling crankbaits after dark on Ten Mile Lake also has produced walleyes in shallow and deep water. There's some crappies biting during the evening hours on Birch Lake. Small jigs and minnows are working best. Look to Pleasant Lake for largemouth bass and Portage Lake for numbers of smallmouth bass. Crankbaits or plastics have worked for both fisheries.
Swanson's Bait and Tackle (218) 675-6176
Look to Lake Stella for walleyes in nine to 16 feet of water and on Lake Minnie Belle in 26 feet of water. Crawlers and spinners are working best during the evening hours. There's also some evening walleye action taking place on Lake Jennie in 12 to 15 feet of water with crankbaits. Largemouth bass continue to hit on Lake Jennie and Lake Washington, while smallmouth action remains strong on Lake Stella.
The Outpost (320) 587-8177
Frequent cold fronts have kept anglers guessing and their livewells empty. Slip sinker rigs with leeches or crawlers produced a few fish on the 20- to 28-foot reef edges. Look for a jig and minnow to start turning the majority of the fish. A few have started being taken with this method in 30 to 45 feet of water on Namakan Lake and the eastern portion of Lake Kabetogama. Northern pike are active, hitting spinnerbaits outside the weedy bays in eight to 15 feet of water. Smallmouth bass are hitting crayfish-colored baits on the rocks.
Gateway Store (218) 875-2121
Walleye reports have been mixed this week. Some anglers were doing well fishing deeper basins with leadcore line and crankbaits, while others found fish hanging off the edges of rocky breaks in 16 to 24 feet of water. The shallow fish seem to prefer live bait rigs and crawlers or leeches. Muskie action continues to be fair with some nice fish being taken off the deep sides of bigger rock piles. Smallmouth bass are an easy score with Senkos pitched on vertical structure.
Lake Vermilion Trading Company
Bellhorn Bay on Big Sandy Lake is producing crappies in eight to 12 feet of water. Lake Minnewawa is the best option for sunfish in 12 feet of water. Round Lake started kicking out walleyes on crawlers in 10 to 14 feet of water. This bite has been best if it's cloudy, or during lowlight periods of the day. Look to Round Lake for largemouth bass as well. The bigger fish continue to be taken on plastics and spinnerbaits.
Willey's Sport Shop (218) 426-3382
ST. CLOUD AREA
Shad Raps are producing walleyes in 10 to 12 feet of water during the evening hours on Horseshoe Lake and Lake Koronis. Look for sunfish in six to 10 feet of water on Grand Lake, Pearl Lake, and Horseshoe. A few crappies have been pulled from the weed edges of Cedar Island Lake and Schneider Lake on Flu Flu's and minnows. Largemouth bass are biting on all lakes, while Koronis still is kicking out numbers of smallmouth bass near the islands. The Sauk River is always a safe bet for channel catfish.
Corky's Gas & Bait (320) 251-1567
SAUK CENTRE AREA
The sunfish bite is going well on Fairy Lake in 12 feet of water, Jurgeons Lake in six to 10 feet, and on Long Bridge Lake in four to eight feet of water. Crappies have been very active early and late in the day on Maple Lake. Look to Sauk Lake for northern pike with slip bobbers and sucker minnows in 10 to 16 feet of water. Fairy Lake is the best bet for largemouth bass in the area. Plastics, spinnerbaits, and crankbaits all have turned numbers of fish in the two-pound class.
Fletcher's Bait (320) 352-2155
Sunfish and a few crappies are coming off lakes such as Florida, Nest, Norway/Games, and Andrew along the 10- to 15-foot weedlines. An occasional walleye is caught on live bait from Green Lake in 30 feet of water. The weedlines of Lake Andrew also are worth checking for walleyes during the evening hours. Largemouth bass and northern pike activity has been hit and miss, but look to Green Lake for smallmouth bass.
Brad's 71 Bait and Sports (320) 235-4097