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Minnesota Outdoor News Fishing Report – September 23rd, 2016

Great Eight

LAKE MILLE LACS        

With the big tourney last week, most fishing talk has revolved around smallies and the big weights during the event. Smallies are being found on shallow reefs and rocks, along shorelines and on deep structure. Spinnerbaits, crankbaits, and plastics are all turning fish. Muskie and pike reports are limited, but the north end and weeds in most bays are worth checking out.

Johnson’s Portside (320) 676-3811

www.johnsonsportside.com

Terry’s Boat Harbor (320) 692-4430

www.terrysboatharbor.com

LAKE OF THE WOODS

Big schools of walleyes and sauger are roaming the middle section of Big Traverse Bay from west to east. Crankbaits or jigs and frozen shiners are working best. Rainy River and Four Mile Bay are becoming better options as shiner minnows start to move towards the river. At the Northwest Angle, jigs are producing walleyes in 15 to 24 feet on Norman Rocks, Little Oak, Hay Island, and the Northwest Point. Muskies also are being caught here with bucktails and topwater baits.

Lake of the Woods Tourism Bureau
(800) 382-FISH
www.lakeofthewoodsmn.com

LAKE MINNETONKA AREA    

Walleyes are hitting minnows in the channels of Lake Minnetonka at night and just outside the channels in 15 to 20 feet during the day. Bass are scattered, but the bigger fish are coming from 15 to 20 feet, spinners and suckers are producing northern pike on the 15-foot weedlines, and muskies are chasing topwater baits near the surface on Minnetonka. Lake Sarah and Long Lake are safe bets for panfish in 5 to 8 feet of water.

Wayzata Bait (952) 473-2227

LAKE VERMILION

Walleyes are spread out, but continue to be caught with minnows or crawlers on the breaks, points, and rock piles in 18 to 22 feet. Smallmouth bass continue to be caught on the rock points and reefs in 12 feet, and crappies are being found suspended at 18 to 20 feet over deep water in the bays and around islands. Muskie action has been best on the rock points and around Ely Island, while Stuntz Bay and Everett’s Bay are producing northern pike.

Pike Bay Lodge (218) 753-2430

LAKE WINNIBIGOSHISH

Walleyes are being caught with ‘crawlers on Big Muskie Bar to Eelpout Bar in 15 to 17 feet. The 9- to 12-foot weeds, shoreline breaks, and points are producing as well. Perch continue to be caught with minnows in the West Winnie Campground area over 9 feet and northern pike are hitting spoons in most weeded areas in less than 12 feet.

Lake Winnie Resort Association                    www.lakewinnie.net

LEECH LAKE

Muskie reports are favorable on the main lake shallow rocks and bulrushes in most bays. There’s been improvement with the perch bite, although anglers continue to sort through these fish. Look to the Walker Narrows, Sand Point, shallow weed flats and bulrushes to hold numbers. Walleye action has been slow, but a few have taken minnows in the weeds, on flats, and wind-driven shorelines or points.

Reed’s Sporting Goods
(218) 547-1505

Shriver’s Bait Company

(218) 547-2250

RAINY LAKE     

Smallies are biting on topwaters on shorelines and shallow rock reefs or on crankbaits and plastics worked deep. Walleyes are hitting minnows along rocky shorelines, humps, and islands in 18 to 25 feet. Grouse hunters have struggled with thick cover.

International Falls CVB

(800) 325-5766

www.rainylake.org

RED LAKE

As water temperatures slowly cool, walleye action has picked up. It’s not as consistent as it will be in upcoming weeks, but shorelines and breaks are producing fish in less than 9 feet. A good bear season is tapering off. Grouse hunters are flushing birds, which will improve as cover dwindles.

Mort’s Dock (218) 647-8128

Twin Cities Metro

NORTHEAST METRO

The Prescott and Hudson areas of the St. Croix River are producing a mixed bag of fish including walleyes, sauger, smallmouth bass, and flathead catfish – work the narrows areas. Lake Jane and Demontreville Lake continue to kick out bass and a few northern pike on live bait, and there is some crappie action coming from the backwaters of the Mississippi River.

Blue Ribbon Bait & Tackle

(651) 777-2421

WEST METRO

Largemouth bass continue to be caught with plastics on the weedlines of Lake Auburn, Lake Minnewashta, and Lake Zumbra. Jigs and minnows are producing a few walleyes in the deeper holes and slack water areas of the Minnesota and Crow rivers. The weedlines on Pierson Lake and Lake Parley are worth noting for northern pike.

Cabin Fever Sports (952) 443-2022

Statewide

BATTLE LAKE AREA

Walleyes are hitting minnows and jigs in 11 to 15 feet or 20 to 25 feet at Otter Tail Lake, Rush Lake, and West Battle Lake. Look for crappies on Clitherall Lake over the 17-foot weeds and sunfish are hitting in the 10- to 15- foot weeds on West Battle, Clitherall, Bass Lake, and Donald Lake. Jigs and plastics are turning bass in 10 to 18 feet on Donald, Fiske Lake, and East Battle Lake. Jakes are triggering muskies in 20 feet on West Battle. Northern pike are hitting minnows along the 20-foot weeds on Donald, Otter Tail, and Fiske.

Ben’s Bait Shop (218) 864-5596

BEMIDJI AREA

Lake Plantagenet is giving up walleyes on minnows in 18 to 24 feet, as is Lake Bemidji in 12 to 18 feet. Muskie action has picked up with bucktails and topwater baits in the weeds of Bemidji. The weeds on the north end of Turtle Lake are producing largemouth bass. Balm Lake is kicking out sunfish. Wolf Lake is a safe bet for crappies. Bear and grouse hunting reports have been limited.

Taber’s Bait (218) 751-5781

BLACKDUCK AREA

The weeds on Gilstead Lake and Gull Lake are producing panfish throughout the day. Look to Island Lake with minnows in 16 to 20 feet for walleyes, and a few walleyes can be had on Blackduck Lake in shallower water. Hunting reports have been limited to a few people chasing grouse, but thick cover has led to limited success.

Timberline Sports and Tackle

(218) 835-4636

BRAINERD/NISSWA AREA 

Gull Lake started giving up walleyes on redtails in 28 to 35 feet, while North Long Lake and Whitefish Lake are giving up walleyes in 25 to 32 feet. Northern pike are being found on the 8- to 15-foot weedlines on Gull, North Long, and Lake Edwards. Look for bass in 15 to 30 feet on Gull, Whitefish, and Pelican Lake. Panfish are showing up on the weedlines of Round Lake, Nisswa Lake, and Edwards.

S & W Bait & Guide Service/

Nisswa Guide League
(218) 829-7010

CASS LAKE AREA

Walleyes are being caught with minnows in Allen’s Bay on Cass Lake and Pike Bay Lake in 25 to 30 or with Jigging Rapalas on the main lake bars of Cass. Lake Andrusia started giving up walleyes in 12 to 15 feet on minnows and northern pike are an easy catch on Grace Lake and Midge Lake along the 10- to 12-foot weedlines. Big Lake is kicking out crappies, and muskie reports have been limited.

Sunset Cove Resort (800) 279-4831

sunsetcove-resort.com

CHISAGO AREA   

You’ll find crappies and sunfish in the 3- to 8-foot weeds on North and South Center lakes, Chisago Lake, and North or South Lindstrom lakes. Minnows and leeches are turning walleyes on Green Lake and North Center in 8 to 14 feet, and plastics are turning bass on most lakes in 3 to 14 feet. Sucker minnows are the ticket for northern pike on the 8- to 10-foot weedlines of North Center and Chisago.

Frankie’s Bait (651) 257-6334

CROSBY AREA

Pike continue to hit bucktails and spinnerbaits in the flooded timber on the Pennington Pit Chain. Walleye action remains strong with a jig and minnow on the Mississippi River in 10 to 20 feet, Rabbit Lake in 25 to 30 feet, and Clearwater Lake in 12 feet. A few crappies are showing up on the weedlines of Serpent Lake, Black Hoof Lake, and Mahnomen Lake. Hunting reports have been limited to a few archery deer and a bear or two shot in the area.

Oars ‘n Mine Bait and Tackle

(218) 546-6912

DETROIT LAKES AREA

Northern pike are hitting sucker minnows on Big Cormorant Lake, Little Detroit Lake, and Lake Ida in 10 to 15 feet. Walleyes are being caught with  minnows or crawlers on Big Detroit Lake, Pelican Lake, Lake Melissa, and Height of Land Lake in 18 to 20 feet. Crappies and sunfish are being found on the weedlines of Little Detroit, Height of Land, and Deadshot Bay. Muskie reports are improving with large sucker minnows or bucktails on Big Detroit and Pelican.

Quality Bait and Tackle

(218) 844-2248

EAST CENTRAL MN

Green Lake and Blue Lake continue to produce sunfish and crappies in 12 to 14 feet. Green Lake gives up the occasional walleye on minnows in 17 to 20 feet, and northern pike are hitting sucker minnows on the weedlines of Green, Blue, and Little Elk Lake. Smallmouth bass reports have improved on the Mississippi River as water levels recede.

Tales and Trails Sport Shop

(763) 856-3985

ELY AREA

The mud flats on Snowbank Lake are producing northern pike and smallmouth bass. Nightcrawlers are turning walleyes and smallmouth bass in 8 to 10 feet on Shagawa Lake and vertically-jigging minnows over 25 to 35 feet has turned walleyes on Burntside Lake. The grouse season started slow, but bear hunting continues to be good.

The Great Outdoors (218) 365-4744

FARIBAULT AREA

Lake Mazaska is giving up crappies and sunfish in 4 to 6 feet, while Circle Lake is producing sunfish, northern pike, and perch in 8 to 10 feet. Look to Cedar Lake for bass and sunfish in 10 to 12 feet, and the shorelines on Cannon Lake are holding perch.

Nagel’s Live Bait (507) 334-8341

GRAND MARAIS AREA

A jig and minnow is producing walleyes in 17 to 22 feet at Pike Lake, Devil Track Lake, Cascade Lake, Two Island Lake, and Crescent Lake. Splake have started hitting crawlers on Esther Lake in 12 feet, Brule Lake in 15 feet, and Musquash Lake in 8 to 15 feet. Smallmouth bass reports are very good with live bait on Hungry Jack Lake and Devil Track in 8 to 15 feet or Poplar Lake in 6 to 10 feet. Grouse hunting has been OK despite thick cover, and bear registrations have tapered off.

Buck’s Hardware (218) 387-2280

GRAND RAPIDS AREA 

Walleyes and smallmouth bass are being taken with a jig and minnow on the Mississippi River. Minnows also are producing walleyes in 13 to 17 feet on lakes Jesse, Bowstring, or Wabana and Trout Lake in 16 to 22 feet. You’ll find crappies over 20 to 25 feet on Lake Pokegama, Big Cut Foot Sioux Lake, and Little Cut Foot Sioux Lake, 40 to 45 feet on Sand Lake, or 13 to 16 feet on Bowstring and Big Splithand Lake. Work the 8- to 14-foot weeds on Bass Lake, Little Splithand Lake, and Pokegama for bluegills.

Ben’s Bait and Tackle (218) 326-8281

GREY EAGLE AREA

Jigs and minnows are producing walleyes and smallmouth bass at Big Birch and Little Birch lakes on the 20- to 30-foot humps. The sunken island on Moose Lake is giving up walleyes and sunfish. Look to Cedar Lake for sunfish, on the weed bar out from the public access in 10 to 12 feet.

Nancy’s Bait & Tackle (320) 285-2405

HACKENSACK AREA 

Look to the 14- to 20-foot humps on Woman Lake with minnows for walleyes. Smallie fishing continues to be very good on Ten Mile Lake and Woman in 12 to 18 feet with live bait or crankbaits.

Swanson’s Bait and Tackle

(218) 675-6176

HIBBING/CHISHOLM AREA

Crappies are hitting minnows and jigs on Dewey Lake and Shoepack Lake in 12 to 15 feet. Bear hunting is winding down, but a couple were registered within the last week. Grouse hunting has been tough due to thick foliage.

Lucky 7 General Store (218) 254-7168

MORA AREA

Crappies and sunfish are biting in 4 to 8 feet on Quamba Lake, Knife Lake, Ann Lake, and Fish Lake. A few walleyes are being caught with minnows at Knife in 6 feet during low-light periods. Bear hunting reports have slowed, but the season has gone much better than last year in this area.

Jerry’s Sport & Bait Shop

(320) 679-2151

ORTONVILLE AREA

Perch action has improved on Big Stone Lake with spikes or minnows in the Rocky Ledge and Mallard Point areas in 12 to 13 feet of water. Walleyes have been tough to find on Big Stone, but there is some decent crappie and sunfish action worth noting on the rock piles and weed edges.

Artie’s Bait (320) 839-2480

PARK RAPIDS AREA

Look to Fish Hook Lake, Island Lake, Potato Lake, and Long Lake for walleyes in 18 feet — minnows are working best. Northern pike and muskies continue to hit suckers and bucktails on Big Mantrap Lake in 12 feet of water. Grouse hunters are reporting quite a few young birds despite a thick understory, archery hunters are being selective, and bear reports continue to be good.

Delaney’s (218) 732-4281

Smokey Hills Outdoors

(218) 237-5099

RED WING AREA

Walleyes are being taken with jigs and minnows or leadcore and crankbaits from the Head of the Lakes to the dam in 8 to 14 feet of water. A few archery deer have been registered, but the majority have been antlerless.

Four Seasons Sports (651) 388-4334

RICHMOND/ST. CLOUD AREA

Sunfish continue to hit on most lakes throughout the Horseshoe Chain in 10 to 14 feet of water. Rice Lake is kicking out sunfish as well and start looking for crappies to be suspended over deep water on most lakes. Crankbaits are turning some walleyes in 7 to 12 feet of water on Horseshoe Lake, and bass fishing has really improved on the remaining weedlines of most lakes.

Channel Marine and Sports

(320) 597-5975

SAUK CENTRE AREA

Walleyes are being caught during low-light periods with slip bobbers and shiners at McCormick Lake in 12 to 14 feet, mainly on the southeast corner of the lake. A few walleyes are coming off Sauk Lake with a jig and minnow from 5 to 8 feet, while Little Sauk is giving up crappies in 7 to 11 feet. The Battle Point area and Town Bay on Lake Osakis are giving up crappies in 16 to 24 feet and look to East Long Lake in 15 to 18 feet for sunfish.

Fletcher’s Bait Shop (320) 352-2155

STARBUCK AREA

A jig and minnow is producing walleyes on the points of Lake Minnewaska in 14 to 16 feet during low-light periods or during the day in 20 to 24 feet with crawlers and spinners.

Minnewaska Bait and Tackle

(320) 239-2239

VIRGINIA AREA

Crappies are starting to be found suspended over 8 to 15 feet on most lakes, but start looking for them to be suspended over deeper water as it cools. A few bears continue to be shot in the area, but grouse hunters have had limited success due to the heavy cover.

Lucky Seven General Store

(218) 741-1629

WILLMAR AREA

A few walleyes and perch are coming off Big Kandi Lake in 6 to 8 feet, while the 15-foot weedline on Eagle Lake is producing some panfish and walleyes. Look to Diamond Lake in 15 to 20 feet for sunfish, bass and the occasional walleye. The culvert areas on Willmar/Foot Lake are giving up crappies.

Brad’s 71 Bait and Sports

(320) 235-4097

WINDOM/MARSHALL AREA

Walleyes have started hitting on Lake Lac qui Parle, Lake Sarah and Lake Shakotan in 6 to 8 feet. Crankbaits or slip bobbers and minnows are both working, it just depends on the lake and whether or not you’re fishing weed pockets.

Borch’s Sporting Goods

(507) 532-4880

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