Minnesota Outdoor News Fishing Report – Oct. 20, 2017

Great Eight

LAKE MILLE LACS

Smallmouth bass are being taken with crankbaits or plastics on the mid-depth to deep rock points and reefs. Trolling for muskies on the weed edges along the north end continues to be productive as water temperatures have not dipped enough to move these fish to the shallow reefs. Some big northern pike are coming off the weedlines on the north end and in most bays.

Johnson’s Portside (320) 676-3811

Terry’s Boat Harbor (320) 692-4430

LAKE OF THE WOODS

A jig and minnow is producing walleyes on most reefs or in front of Pine Island, Graceton Beach, and Zippel Bay in 18 to 30 feet. The Rainy River continues to give up walleyes, smallmouth bass, northern pike, and crappies on minnows. At the Northwest Angle, walleyes are being caught on a jig and minnow, and pike are hitting crankbaits. On the Ontario side, walleyes are hitting in 18 to 26 feet, crappie action is hot over deep water, and some muskies are being caught via trolling.

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

LAKE MINNETONKA AREA    

Minnows remain the top choice for walleyes in the channels of Lake Minnetonka after dark or during the day in 20 to 25 feet on Lake Independence and Minnetonka. Spinnerbaits tipped with sucker minnows are producing northern pike on the 16 – to 20-foot weedlines of Minnetonka, Independence, Lake Sarah, and Medicine Lake. Look to Sarah and Medicine for sunfish in 6 to 8 feet, and some crappies are coming from the channels on Minnetonka. A few muskies have been hooked with sucker minnows on Minnetonka and Independence in 10 to 15 feet.

Wayzata Bait (952) 473-2227

LAKE VERMILION

Walleyes and smallmouth bass can be had with minnows or crankbaits on the 12- to 20-foot rock piles, reefs, and rock points. Trolling crankbaits at the mouth of Pike Bay in 8 feet also has produced walleyes. You’ll find suspended crappies over 12 to 15 feet off Pine Island or over 18 to 20 feet off Indian Point and in Cable Bay. Muskie fishing pressure has been high with the rock points producing the most fish in 8 to 12 feet. The leaves are gone so grouse and woodcock reports have improved a lot.

Pike Bay Lodge (218) 753-2430

LAKE WINNIBIGOSHISH

Fishing pressure has dropped way off, but perch remain active on the 8- to 12-foot weedlines throughout the lake. Walleyes can be had with minnows during the day in 14 to 18 feet or off the west side points with crankbaits during low-light periods. Northern pike also remain active in 12 to 14 feet along any remaining weed edge.

Lake Winnie Resort Association

LEECH LAKE

The deep rocks and 16- to 22-foot breaks on the main lake have been giving up walleyes during the day. If the wind is blowing, you will find active fish along the wind-driven shorelines and points in less than 12 feet during the day as well. Some anglers are trolling crankbaits in 12 to 14 feet during the day or in shallower depths at night in Walker Bay and also hooking some walleyes. Muskie aaction continues to be best on the rocks, but fishing pressure for them has been light. Look for nice perch in deep water, but more numbers in less than 12 feet. There hasn’t been a push of new ducks into the area and grouse hunting reports have been pretty good since the leaves have come down.

Reed’s Sporting Goods (218) 547-1505

Shriver’s Bait Company (218) 547-2250

RAINY LAKE

Crappies continue to bite in Black Bay and the Rat Root River in less than 15 feet. The few anglers fishing the main lake are catching some walleyes in Sand Bay over 20 to 25 feet, but most are fishing the Rainy River where walleye action remains good with minnows. The area was alive with grouse hunters over the past week and most reports were better now that the foliage is gone.

International Falls CVB (800) 325-5766

RED LAKE

Fishing pressure has been minimal and strong winds seem to have stirred the lake up, according to reports from the few anglers venturing out. Walleye action has been slow and there hasn’t been much for new ducks moving into the area.

Mort’s Dock (218) 647-8128

Twin Cities Metro

NORTHEAST METRO

Muskies are being taken with large sucker minnows or bucktails on the 12- to 15-foot weedlines of Forest Lake and White Bear Lake. Beaver Lake, Silver Lake, and Big Marine Lake are giving up crappies and a few sunfish in 10 to 15 feet. Look to Lake Jane and Demontreville Lake with sucker minnows for bass and northern pike.

Blue Ribbon Bait & Tackle (651) 777-2421

WEST METRO

Largemouth bass remain active on the weed edges of Lake Waconia, and crankbaits are producing northern pike in 12 to 18 feet at Pierson Lake and Hydes Lake. Large sucker minnows continue to work best for muskies on Waconia in 12 to 14 feet. Pheasant and duck hunting reports have been poor, but there are geese being shot.

Cabin Fever Sports (952) 443-2022

Statewide

ALEXANDRIA AREA

Walleyes continue to be caught deep, 30 feet or more, with minnows on Lake Ida and Lake Miltona. Reno Lake, Lake Homme Dieu, Lake Mary, and Lake Geneva are producing walleyes in 15 to 18 feet. Panfish reports have been limited, but bass are hitting on the flats throughout the Le Homme Dieu Chain and Miltona. The few muskies being caught are hitting large suckers on the remaining weedlines in Miltona. The pheasant opener was pretty uneventful, duck numbers have not improved, but there are geese to be shot.

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

ANNANDALE AREA

Minnows are producing walleyes on Clearwater Lake in 8 to 12 feet or 16 to 22 feet. Bass and northern pike are hitting spinnerbaits and crankbaits on the remaining weedlines of Lake Sylvia, Cedar Lake, Sugar Lake, Lake John, and Clearwater. Start looking for suspended crappies over the deep holes on most lakes. There’s been some decent shoots for puddle ducks in the flooded bean and cornfields, while the first weekend of pheasant hunting didn’t produce many birds.

Little Jim’s Bait (320) 274-5297

BATTLE LAKE AREA

Walleye action has picked up in 10 to 15 feet with minnows or Jiggin’ Raps at Otter Tail Lake, West Battle Lake, and Rush Lake. Look for suspended crappies over 20 feet and sunfish in 12 to 15 feet at Fish Lake, South Turtle Lake, and Rush. Donald Lake and Fiske Lake are producing largemouth bass along the 10-foot wedlines. The 15- to 20-foot weedlines on Fiske Lake, Donald, and Otter Tail are safe bets for northern pike, while muskie action has picked up with large sucker minnows in 17 to 20 feet on West Battle. Pheasant and duck hunting reports have been best west of the immediate area.

Ben’s Bait Shop (218) 864-5596

BEMIDJI AREA

A jig and rainbow minnow is turning walleyes and northern pike on the remaining 12- to 14-foot weedlines or deep humps of Lake Bemidji, Wolf Lake, Big Lake, and Lake Planatagenet. You’ll find suspended crappies over deep water on Wolf, Moose Lake, Turtle River Lake, and Big Turtle Lake. Largemouth and smallmouth bass are hitting on the deep weed edges and shallow rocks of Grace Lake, Stump Lake, Deer Lake, and Turtle River.

Dick Beardsley Guide Service (218) 556-7172

BLACKDUCK AREA

Walleyes and perch can be had with a jig and minnow on Blackduck Lake and Island Lake in 10 to 15 feet. Look for bluegills tight to the bottom and crappies suspended over 22 to 28 feet on Blackduck, Gilstead Lake, and Turtle River Lake. Duck hunting reports have not improved and some cold weather is needed to push some new birds into the area. More grouse and woodcock are being seen now that the cover has been knocked down.

Timberline Sports and Tackle (218) 835-4636

BRAINERD/NISSWA AREA 

A jig and minow is turning walleyes in 15 to 45 feet on Gull Lake. Crappies are being found suspended over 20 to 30 feet on Gull, Cullen Lake, and North Long Lake, while sunfish are biting in 10 to 12 feet at Nisswa Lake, Cullen, and North Long. Look for bass and northern pike on the weedlines of Gull, Lake Edwards, and Whitefish Lake.

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

CHISAGO AREA   

Crappies are being caught in 7 to 12 feet on lakes Chisago, Green, North Center, South Center, North Lindstrom, and South Lindstrom. Look for bass and pike on the weed edges of Green, Chisago, and North Center, while the channel on Chisago is giving up bluegills in 6 to 8 feet. Walleyes are hitting a jig and minnow during the evening hours on the sand bars or rocks on Chisago, Green, North Center, and South Center. The pheasant opener was slow, but wood ducks, mallards, and geese continue to be shot in decent numbers.

Frankie’s Bait (651) 257-6334

CROSBY AREA

Walleyes are hitting a jig and minnow in 25 to 35 feet at Serpent Lake, Rabbit Lake, and Clearwater Lake. Northern pike are being caught in the sunken trees with bucktails or trolling over deep water for suspended fish at Portsmouth and Sagamore pits. Look for suspended crappies over 30 feet or more on Clearwater and Nokay Lake. Duck numbers have dropped, but there’s still geese around and even with most of the foliage gone, hunters aren’t seeing many grouse.

Oars ‘n Mine Bait and Tackle (218) 546-6912

DETROIT LAKES AREA

Walleyes are hitting minnows on Island Lake and Round Lake in 20 to 25 feet. Muskies continue to hit sucker minnows on Big Detroit Lake and Pelican Lake in 5 to 15 feet. Look for suspended crappies over 20 to 25 feet on Lake Melissa and Lake Sallie, while sunfish are biting on Floyd Lake and Little Detroit Lake in 10 to 15 feet. Waterfowl hunting has been poor with no new ducks moving in, but archery hunters are seeing and shooting quite a few deer.

Quality Bait and Tackle (218) 844-2248

DULUTH AREA   

Walleyes are hitting minnows in 15 feet and muskies are being taken with large suckers on the 10-foot structure of Island Lake. Look to Fish Lake for crappies in 18 feet and to the St. Louis River for walleyes and muskies in 10 feet. There’s grouse to be had, but any low spot in the woods is holding water and that’s made it difficult to hunt them in some areas.

Chalstrom’s Bait (218) 726-0094

EAST CENTRAL MN

Bigger minnows are turning walleyes in 14 feet on Green Lake and Blue Lake. Look for crappies in 10 feet on Little Elk Lake or in 17 feet on Blue and Green. There’s quite a bit of water in the low spots in most farm fields and those areas have been holding ducks. The pheasant opener saw quite a few people hunting, but not much success.

Tales and Trails Sport Shop (763) 856-3985s

FAIRMONT AREA

Anglers fishing from shore with a jig and minnow are catching walleyes on Tuttle Lake and Big Twin Lake is giving up walleyes in 6 to 8 feet. Crappies remain active on Budd Lake and Lake Sissiton in 6 to 10 feet. Duck hunting has been tough and despite good numbers of pheasant hunters, opening weekend didn’t produce many birds.

Sommer Outdoors (507) 235-5225

FARIBAULT AREA

Look to Cannon Lake with minnows for perch, walleyes, and crappies in 8 to 10 feet. The 8- to 12-foot weedline on Shields Lake is producing northern pike, while the 10-foot weeds on Cedar Lake are producing panfish and bass. The 10- to 12-foot rocks on Lake Mazaska continue to give up crappies, and hunting reports have been light.

Nagel’s Live Bait (507) 334-8341

GRAND MARAIS AREA

Minnows are producing walleyes in 4 to 6 feet at South Fowl Lake and Elbow Lake or in 12 feet at Crescent Lake. Nightcrawlers continue to turn rainbow trout at Mink Lake and Kimball Lake in 12 to 15 feet or Trout Lake in 15 to 20 feet. Grouse hunting pressure has been high with some groups doing well and others struggling to find birds.

Buck’s Hardware (218) 387-2280

GRAND RAPIDS AREA 

Most lakes continue to give up crappies, highlighted by some good reports  of fish being found suspended over deep water at Big and Little Cutfoot Sioux lakes, Big Splithand Lake, Jessie Lake, Sand Lake, Bowstring Lake, Lake Pokegama, and Spider Lake. A jig and minnow is turning some walleyes in 15 to 22 feet on Sugar Lake, Trout Lake, Lake Wabana, and in shallower water on the Mississippi River. Deer have started to show more rutting activity, and grouse reports have been better with less cover in the woods.

Ben’s Bait and Tackle (218) 326-8281

GREY EAGLE AREA

Golden shiner minnows have been the ticket for walleyes on Big Birch Lake in 20 to 30 feet. On Cedar Lake, fatheads or rainbow minnows are producing walleyes during the afternoon hours in 18 to 25 feet. Work the sunken island on the main portion of Big Swan Lake for crappies and the east side of Long Lake (by the Hub Supper Club) for sunfish in 18 to 20 feet.

Nancy’s Bait & Tackle (320) 285-2405

HACKENSACK AREA 

Slow-presented baits are working best for muskies along the bulrushes and rocks on Lake Wabedo and Little Boy Lake. Anglers aren’t catching as many fish, but they have been some of the biggest muskies of the year. Walleyes are hitting minnows in 20 to 30 feet on Woman Lake, Ten Mile Lake, and Pine Mountain Lake. Work the weed edges on Webb Lake for crappies and throw plastics on the 2- to 6-foot rocks of Woman, Ten Mile, Stoney Lake, and Baby Lake for smallmouth bass. Grouse seem to be more spread out and hunter’s are having success, duck hunting has been poor, and archery hunters are seeing more rubs and scrapes this week.

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

LAKE KABETOGAMA

Walleyes and sauger are being taken with minnows on the weedlines or with leadcore and crankbaits over deep water. A jig and minnow will turn smallmouth bass on the tops and edges of most reefs and some nice perch have started biting in 30 feet or more off the island points. There hasn’t been much for new ducks moving in, but the small ponds are holding some puddle ducks, and grouse hunting is improving now that the leaves are down.

Gateway Store (218) 875-2121

MORA AREA

Minnows are producing walleyes and crappies in 4 to 7 feet on Fish Lake, Knife Lake, and Ann Lake. All three lakes are giving up sunfish as well. Archery hunters are seeing more scrapes and rubs in the woods, but waterfowl hunting reports have been limited.

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

ORTONVILLE AREA

Perch, crappies, and bluegills are still being caught from Rocky Ledge to Mallard Point on Big Stone Lake in 12 to 14 feet. Walleye reports have been limited to a few fish being caught off docks after dark with minnows on Big Stone. The pheasant opener was hampered by standing corn, but some roosters were shot early and late as they came out to feed. Duck numbers have improved with more divers and mallards being seen.

Artie’s Bait (320) 839-2480

PARK RAPIDS AREA

A jig and minnow continues to produce walleyes on Fish Hook Lake and Long Lake in 20 to 25 feet. Large sucker minnows are turning muskies on the 14- to 18-foot weedlines of Big Mantrap Lake and Many Point Lake. Sucker minnows also are the ticket for pike on the 10- to 15-foot cabbage of Eighth and Tenth Crow Wing Lakes, and Big Mantrap. Duck hunting reports have been stagnant, grouse hunting has improved, and deer seem to really have increased their activity.

Delaney’s (218) 732-4281

Smokey Hills Outdoors (218) 237-5099

RICHMOND/ST. CLOUD AREA

Crappies are suspended and active over 14 to 22 feet, and sunfish continue to be found in 6 to 12 feet on Cedar Island Lake, Horseshoe Lake, Long Lake, and Rice Lake. Look for walleyes near the bridges and current areas throughout the Horseshoe Chain of Lakes. Some walleyes also can be had on Horseshoe Lake with minnows in 12 to 18 feet and on Lake Koronis at night in less than 12 feet with crankbaits. The pheasant opener was hindered by standing corn and rain, but it should improve as the crops come out. A few ringnecks have shown up, but geese and wood ducks are more noticeable.

Channel Marine and Sports (320) 597-5975

SAUK CENTRE AREA

Walleyes continue to be caught on minnows throughout Big Sauk Lake in 6 to 10 feet. You’ll find suspended crappies over 20 to 40 feet and sunfish or walleyes along the 12-foot weedlines on the north end of Lake Osakis. Duck and pheasant hunting has been poor.

Fletcher’s Bait Shop (320) 352-2155

STAPLES/LITTLE FALLS AREA

Minnows are turning walleyes below the Blanchard Dam and smallmouth bass above the Highway 27 Dam on the Mississippi River. Large sucker minnows have started producing more muskies in 6 to 15 feet at Lake Alexander and Lake Shamineau. Wood ducks, mallards, and geese continue to be found in good numbers, and deer activity has really picked up, even during daylight hours.

Da Fishin’ Hole (320) 631-0056

WILLMAR AREA

A few walleyes are being caught with minnows in 5 to 8 feet on Big Kandi Lake, Lake Lillian, Lake Wagonda, and Lake Minnetoga. Anglers fishing from shore are catching walleyes and crappies at the culvert on Willmar/Foot Lake, walleyes and crappies on Ringo Lake, and walleyes and northern pike at South Long Lake. Minnows also are producing some walleyes on Green Lake in 25 to 30 feet or at Eagle Lake and Diamond Lake in 15 to 20 feet. There were a few pheasants shot opening weekend, but standing corn likely limited success.

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

WINDOM/MARSHALL AREA

Minnows are consistently producing walleyes in less than 7 feet on Wood Lake, Rock Lake, Lake Lac qui Parle, Dead Coon Lake, Yankton Lake, Benton Lake, and Lake Sarah. Look for crappies in 6 to 8 feet on Bloody Lake. Duck hunting has been good with more wood ducks, teal, and mallards moving into the area. The pheasant opener was slow with rain and a sea of standing crops greeting hunters, but some birds were shot.

Borch’s Sporting Goods (507) 532-4880

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