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North Central Minnesota Fishing Report – September 14th, 2012

LAKE MILLE LACS

East – The shallow rocks, six to 12 feet, continue to provide the majority of keeping-sized fish. Slip bobbers and leeches or crankbaits are working best during low-light periods. Walleye action during the day has been best in 30 feet or more with leadcore and crankbaits or spinners and crawlers – expect the majority of these fish to be big. Muskie and northern pike action has been limited, but smallmouth bass can be had off the rocks with crankbaits.
Johnson’s Portside (320) 676-3811

West – During the day, spinner rigs tipped with rainbow minnows or crawlers are producing walleyes on the tops and edges of the mud flats. Slip bobbers and leeches are working best at night off the flats in 28 feet or deeper. Smallmouth continue to hit tubes or leeches on the rocks during the morning hours and there hasn’t been enough guys fishing muskies to get a good report. Northern pike continue to hit crankbaits or minnows on the weedlines in most bays.
Terry’s Boat Harbor (320) 692-4430

LAKE OF THE WOODS

Walleyes continue to be caught from Stony Point down to Long Point, all the way over to Lighthouse Gap. The deep mud and rock reefs in 25 to 35 feet are both holding fish with crankbaits, spinner rigs, and jigs working best. At the Northwest Angle, jigs and Berkley Gulp minnows are turning walleyes on the steep drop-offs, sharp turns, and current break areas. Muskie action has really improved this week with bucktails turning fish on shallow spots adjacent to areas that offer steep shoreline breaks.
Lake of the Woods Tourism Bureau (800) 382-FISH

LEECH LAKE

The best walleye action is taking place with #5 or #7 Shad Raps or Glass Shad Raps  in 10 to 15 feet during the late afternoon and evening hours. Crawlers also are producing walleyes on the wind-driven points and bays in six to eight feet. The humps in Walker Bay are giving up a few walleyes via redtails in 27 to 30 feet. Perch are schooled up on the flats around Pine Point, Sand Point, and around Goose Island in nine to 12 feet. Muskie action has been excellent on the two- to eight-foot rocks or remaining weedbeds in Portage Bay and Sucker Bay.
Reed’s Sporting Goods (218) 547-1505

RAINY LAKE

Walleye action has been best at the dam on the Rainy River with a jig and minnow. Wind has limited fishing pressure on the main lake, although a few walleyes were coming off the east end in 25 to 30 feet and in Sand Bay in 22 to 25 feet. Northern pike reports remain limited and you’ll find smallmouth bass on the shallow to mid-depth rocks.
Loon’s Nest (218) 286-5850

LAKE WINNIBIGOSHISH

Walleyes are being found shallow, three to six feet, and hitting leeches or a jig and minnow from the Duck Pass to High Banks area. Look for perch on the west-side points and breaks in 12 to 15 feet. Pike are hitting spoons, minnows, and crankbaits on the 10- to 12-foot weedlines.
Nodak Lodge (218) 665-2226

BEMIDJI AREA

Walleyes are scattered between 20 to 35 feet and hitting minnows on Lake Bemidji, Cass Lake, and Pike Bay Lake. Look for panfish in 10 to 12 feet at Grace Lake, Lake Hattie, and Clearwater Lake. Muskie anglers are finding active fish in six to 10 feet on Cass and Lake Plantagenet, most of which are chasing jerkbaits. Goose hunting has been tough and there just doesn’t seem to be as many birds in the area as last year. Bear hunting was good the first week, but has slowed since.
Bluewater Outdoors (218) 444-BAIT (2248)

BRAINERD/NISSWA AREA

Walleyes are hitting redtails and nightcrawlers in 14 to 22 feet on Gull Lake, Pelican Lake, and North Long Lake. Sucker minnows or crankbaits are producing northern pike on the 12- to 14-foot weedlines of North Long, Gull, and Lake Edwards. Look for panfish and bass in 12 to 18 feet on Gull, Upper Gull Lake, Nisswa Lake, and North Long.
S & W Bait & Guide Service/Nisswa Guide League      (218) 829-7010

CROSBY AREA

Walleyes and smallmouth bass continue to hit crankbaits on the Mississippi River around Highway 6, while Pelican Lake is producing walleyes in 24 to 32 feet on jigs and minnows during the evening hours. Bass and northern pike are hitting in 12 to 20 feet at Serpent Lake and Rabbit Lake, while other bass-fishing options include the weeds of Bay Lake and Horseshoe Lake. Panfish action has slowed, although some crappies are being found suspended over 20 feet on area lakes. Trout are being found suspended 30 to 40 feet down on Manuel Pit and Section Six Pit.
Oars ‘n Mine Bait and Tackle                     (218) 546-6912

EAST CENTRAL MN

Sunfish action has picked up at Blue Lake in seven to 10 feet with leeches. Green Lake is giving up crappies on minnows over 14 feet. Hit the deep holes on the Rum River with crawlers or fatheads for walleyes, while bass and northern pike are hitting on the weedlines of most lakes. Goose hunters are doing best on the water due to the lack of fields being harvested.
Tales and Trails Sport Shop
(763) 856-3985

GRAND RAPIDS AREA

Walleyes continue to hit crawlers and spinners in 12 to 22 at lakes Pokegama, Trout, Deer, and Wabana. Muskie anglers are turning fish by trolling over deep water during the day or throwing bucktails on the shallow weed tops during low-light periods at Deer, Moose Lake, and North Star Lake. Look for suspended crappies over 16 to 25 feet at Big Cutfoot, Little Cutfoot, Bowstring Lake, and Pokegama. Trolling crankbaits on the weedlines of Pokegama, Trout, and Big Splithand Lake has produced pike.
Ben’s Bait and Tackle (218) 326-8281

HACKENSACK AREA

Walleyes are being taken on crawlers and minnows at Woman Lake on the 12- to 16-foot breaks. Birch Lake is kicking out sunfish on the 12-foot weed edges, while smallmouth and largemouth bass remain active on most lakes. A dozen bears have been registered, which is up from last year and overall bear-hunting reports have been good.
Swanson’s Bait and Tackle                     (218) 675-6176

McGREGOR AREA

Minnows under bobbers are producing walleyes and crappies on Big Sandy Lake in 16 to 22 feet. Smallmouth bass fishing has been strong at Round Lake with crankbaits or minnows and Lake Minnewawa is giving up crappies and walleyes in 12 to 16 feet. Bear hunters have had better success this year and most continue to see activity at their baits. Early goose-hunting reports also have been favorable.
Willey’s Sport Shop & Spirits             (218) 426-3382

ST. CLOUD/EDEN VALLEY AREA

Sunfish continue to be caught in four to eight feet on lakes Koronis, Rice, Horseshoe, Cedar Island, Long, and Browns. Walleye reports have been limited to a few fish being taken with crawlers in 12 to 16 feet of water at Rice and Koronis. Northern pike are hitting minnows or spinnerbaits in 12 to 16 feet on Koronis, Rice, and Horseshoe. Grand Lake is giving up numbers of bass, while Pearl Lake is kicking out crappies in 10 to 14 feet. Youth waterfowl hunters did well with mallards, wood ducks, geese, and teal in most of their bags.
Mike’s Bait and Tackle (320) 453-2248

SAUK CENTRE AREA

Sunfish action has picked up on the north end of Lake Osakis in 12 feet, but you do have to do some sorting. Big Birch Lake is kicking out sunfish in 12 to 14 feet, while Long Bridge Lake and Big Birch are producing crappies in seven to 12 feet. On Big Swan Lake, crappies are suspended over 18 to 20 feet of water. Look for walleyes on Big Sauk Lake to hit a spinner and minnow in four to seven feet during low-light periods. Spot-tailed shiners and jigs are turning walleyes on Big Birch in 16 to 28 feet. Goose-hunting reports have been limited, but youth waterfowl hunters did well shooting wood ducks, teal, and mallards.
Fletcher’s Bait (320) 352-2155

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