Weather and walleyes cooperate on opening weekend – Northcentral Report
LAKE MILLE LACS
East – Walleye reports have been consistently good with big fish coming out of deep water and better numbers of keeping-sized fish biting in shallow water. A Lindy Rig and leech is producing fish on the 20-foot sand and shoreline breaks and there are some pods of walleyes being found on top of the mud flats. The evening bite on the shallow rock reefs has been excellent with slip bobbers and leeches or trolling Shad Raps – most of these fish are in 12 feet or less.
Johnson’s Portside (320) 676-3811
West – Walleyes are hitting a slip bobber and leech off the rock points in eight to 17 feet during the evening hours. A spinner and rainbow minnow is turning walleyes on top of Seguchie Flat and Sherman’s Flat during the day, or you can anchor and pitch slip bobbers here during the evenings. Minnows and spinners also have produced walleyes throughout St. Alban’s Bay in 18 to 26 feet, while a jig and minnow has been best on the weedlines of Garrison Bay.
Terry’s Boat Harbor (320) 692-4430
LAKE OF THE WOODS
Limits of keeping-sized walleyes and plenty of big fish are being caught with minnows and bright-colored jigs on the south end in 20 to 30 feet. Reports from the Northwest Angle mimic the south-end bite, with walleye limits being taken on shiner minnows and jigs.
Lake of the Woods Tourism Bureau
The walleye bite has been inconsistent with spurts of action on the wind-driven areas in six to 12 feet. The Federal Dam area, Pelican Island area, First Duck Point, and Little Stoney Point have been best with a jig and shiner if the wind is crashing in. Bluegills are being found in the boat harbors, but the few crappies being caught are now coming from the reeds and weedlines in eight to 12 feet.
Reed’s Sporting Goods (218) 547-1505
A jig and minnow is turning walleyes on the east end near Kettle Falls in 12 to 15 feet. With the exception of a few walleyes coming out of Sand Bay, main-lake walleye action has been limited. Northern pike continue to hit minnows in Jackfish Bay, mainly along the docks and shoreline breaks while crappies have been tough to find.
Loon’s Nest (218) 286-5850
Walleyes are hitting a jig and shiner minnow in six feet when the wind blows or in 12 to 14 feet when it calms down. The east side of Highbanks, Little Stoney Point, the bird houses area, and the points along the west shore are all holding fish. Look for northern pike in 12 feet and anglers are putting together nice bunches of perch while fishing walleyes.
Nodak Lodge (218) 665-2226
There’s a morning walleye bite with jigs and shiners at Big Lake in 10 to 15 feet. On Lake Bemidji and Big Wolf Lake, the river mouth areas are producing walleyes via shiner minnows. Trolling Shad Raps at night along the four- to seven-foot shorelines of Lake Plantagenet has turned walleyes and during the day, walleyes are being caught on the south shore with shiners in 10 to 15 feet. Crappies are being found in the weedbeds at Grace Lake and Grant Lake, while bluegills continue to be found in the shallow bays of most lakes.
Bluewater Outdoors (218) 444-BAIT (2248)
A jig and shiner minnow is producing consistent walleye action at Blackduck Lake in seven to 12 feet. Bluegill and crappie activity remains strong in less than six feet at Lake Pimushe and Gilstead Lake. Northern pike are an easy catch with minnows in six to 10 feet on most lakes.
Timberline Sports and Tackle (218) 835-4636
Walleyes are being caught on shiner minnows in 17 to 22 feet at Round Lake and in 17 to 32 feet at North Long Lake. Anglers fishing from shore with sucker minnows in the channels of Gull Lake are catching big northern pike. Crappies and bluegills continue to be found in the bays and channels of most lakes, with the Highway 371 bay on North Long being one of the best spots.
S & W Bait & Guide Service/Nisswa Guide League (218) 829-7010
Jigs and shiner minnows are turning walleyes in eight to 14 feet at Rabbit Lake, Serpent Lake, and Clearwater Lake – slip bobbers and leeches also have produced fish on these lakes after dark on the shallow rocks. Sucker minnows or spinnerbaits worked on the shallow weedlines and shoreline breaks are triggering northern pike at Rabbit, Upper and Lower Mission lakes, Horseshoe Lake, and Nokay Lake. Look for panfish in six to 12 feet at lakes Mahnomen, Greer, and Black Hoof.
Oars ‘n Mine Bait and Tackle (218) 546-6912
GRAND RAPIDS AREA
The walleye season has started somewhat slower than expected. It seems like a few walleyes were caught on most lakes, but no big numbers anywhere. The best bite took place with a jig and minnow at Bowstring Lake in 20 to 26 feet. Bluegills continue to be found shallow on the area’s small lakes and some of the crappies are starting to show up in the reeds.
Ben’s Bait and Tackle (218) 326-8281
The majority of walleyes are coming from eight to 16 feet on shiner minnows at Woman Lake, while the bite on most small lakes has been limited. Northern pike are hitting spoons and spinnerbaits in less than 10 feet at Birch Lake and Pleasant Lake. Crappies continue to be found along the shallow structure and shorelines of Webb Lake.
Swanson’s Bait and Tackle (218) 675-6176
There’s been no problem catching northern pike with minnows on the weedlines of Big Sandy Lake and Lake Minnewawa. Walleye reports have been limited and the fish being caught have been small on area lakes. Crappie action continues to be consistent in three to five feet at Minnewawa, Big Sandy, and Round Lake.
Willey’s Sport Shop & Spirits (218) 426-3382
Walleyes are hitting spinner rigs or jigs tipped with minnows in five to seven feet. Wind speed has dictated where people can fish, but if it’s manageable the north, southeast, and south shorelines are all holding fish. The Tamarac River also is giving up walleyes and crappies remain tough to find.
Mort’s Dock (218) 647-8128
ST. CLOUD/EDEN VALLEY AREA
Walleyes are hitting minnows and leeches in the river channels and bridge areas of the Horseshoe Chain of Lakes. Long Lake is giving up walleyes in 10 to 12 feet, as is Lake Koronis in 16 to 32 feet. On Clear Lake, walleyes are being found in 12 to 14 feet and crappies in less than six feet. Rice Lake and the Horseshoe Chain are kicking out panfish in shallow water.
Mike’s Bait and Tackle (320) 453-2248
SAUK CENTRE AREA
Walleyes are being caught with spot-tailed shiners on the flats of Big Sauk Lake in eight to 12 feet, Little Birch Lake in 12 to 15 feet, Long Bridge Lake in five to 15 feet, Big Swan Lake in 12 to 14 feet, and at the inlet on Guerney Lake. The bays on Sauk, Long Bridge, and Guerney also are producing crappies, Long Lake is a safe bet for northern pike, and the south bay on East Long Lake is kicking out sunfish.
Fletcher’s Bait (320) 352-2155
CASS LAKE AREA
The south end of Lake Andrusia is producing walleyes in six to 12 feet via minnows. Leeches have worked best in slightly deeper water at Pike Bay Lake, while Allen’s Bay, Turtle River, Deadman’s Bar, Buck’s Bar, and north-end gravel of Cass Lake are giving up walleyes on minnows. The shallow reeds and sand on Cass are holding jumbo perch and northern pike are “going nuts” in Dick’s Bay.
Sunset Cove Resort (800) 279-4831