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North Central Minnesota Fishing Report – October 12th, 2012

LAKE MILLE LACS

East – Anglers trolling crankbaits along the shallow, shoreline breaks and shallow rock reefs are catching walleyes at night in less than nine feet. Minnows are turning some ‘eyes during the day in 16 to 24 feet in areas adjacent to deep structure. Muskie action has been slow, but you will find northern pike hitting minnows or crankbaits in the bays.
Johnson’s Portside (320) 676-3811

West – Slip bobbers and leeches continue to produce walleyes at night on the mud flats in 28 to 30 feet. The nighttime crankbait bite continues to be productive for walleyes as well in four to seven feet of water. A jig and minnow combination will turn midday walleyes on the weedlines and shoreline breaks in Garrison Bay, near MyrMar, and St. Alban’s Bay. Muskie action has been limited, but northern pike and smallmouth bass are being caught with relative ease.
Terry’s Boat Harbor (320) 692-4430

LAKE OF THE WOODS

With the shiners starting to run, walleye action is improving on the Rainy River in 10 to 25 feet. Most have been of the eating-sized variety so look for those bigger fish to start showing up soon. On the main lake, a jig and frozen shiner minnow is turning walleyes in 20 to 30 feet in front of Pine Island, Morris Point Gap, Zippel Bay, and Long Point area. Heavier jigs work best in the current areas and you will find crappies and jumbo perch in the mix. Muskies and northern pike have started to get more active with jerkbaits or large crankbaits turning fish on rocky areas adjacent to deep water.
Lake of the Woods Tourism Bureau
(800) 382-FISH www.lakeofthewoodsmn.com

LEECH LAKE

A jig and minnow is providing consistent walleye action on the wind-driven points, shoreline breaks, and flats in six to nine feet. The humps in Walker Bay are kicking out walleyes during the day in 20 feet or more and there are plenty of walleyes hitting crankbaits at night in less than 10 feet. Perch action also has been strong with fish coming out of four to nine feet from Sand Point to Cedar Point, Portage Bay, and GrandVu Flats. Muskie anglers are catching fish, but not a lot of big muskies this week. Duck hunters continue to shoot local birds with a few ringnecks and redheads in the mix and grouse hunting has been best north and east of the immediate area.
Reed’s Sporting Goods (218) 547-1505

RAINY LAKE

The wind has limited fishing pressure on the main lake, but the dam area of the Rainy River is producing walleyes, close to shore, with a jig and minnow. Grouse hunting continues to be very good, there seems to be a few more northern ducks in the area, and goose numbers remain strong on the river.
Loon’s Nest (218) 286-5850

LAKE WINNIBIGOSHISH

Walleye action hasn’t been fast and furious with fish being found scattered on the bars in 16 to 18 feet of water or on the shoreline breaks and points in six to nine feet. A minnow and jig or live-bait rig continues to produce most of them. The points and six- to 10-foot breaks on the west side are the best perch options and you’ll find northern pike mixed with the walleyes and perch.
Nodak Lodge (218) 665-2226

BEMIDJI AREA

Jigs and minnows are producing walleyes in 16 to 20 feet at Lake Bemidji and 10 to 12 feet at Lake Plantagenet. Muskie reports have been limited and look for crappies to be most active during low-light periods at Big Lake in 10 to 14 feet. Grouse hunters continue to find more birds than expected, duck-hunting pressure has dropped, and although bow hunters are seeing deer, there hasn’t been many taken.
Bluewater Outdoors (218) 444-BAIT (2248)

BLACKDUCK AREA

Crappies are being found suspended and bluegills are tight to the bottom over 20 feet at Pimushe Lake, Gull Lake, Rabideau Lake, and Gilstead Lake. Walleyes are hitting minnows in 16 to 20 feet at Island Lake and nine feet on Blackduck Lake. The cover is now gone so grouse hunting has improved and duck hunters are shooting more divers, with mallards and teal in the mix as well.
Timberline Sports and Tackle
(218) 835-4636

BRAINERD/NISSWA AREA

Walleyes are hitting jigs tipped with shiner or rainbow minnows in 14 to 40 feet on Gull Lake, North Long Lake, and Pelican Lake. Spinnerbaits or minnows and Lindy rigs are turning bass on Gull and North Long, while crappies are moving deeper and suspending on Lake Margaret, Cullen Lake, and the south end of Gull. Minnows under floats or spinners and minnows are triggering northern pike in shallow water on the south end of Gull and big part of North Long.
S & W Bait & Guide Service/Nisswa Guide League      (218) 829-7010

EMILY AREA

Crappies are hitting minnows in eight to 10 feet at the river mouth on Mitchell Lake. Hit Lawrence Lake with Rapalas for northern pike in 12 feet and sunfish are hitting in six feet on Fox Lake. Duck hunters are doing well shooting mallards, teal, and some geese, while grouse hunting reports really improved this week with the leaves coming down.
Redding Sports and Spirits                     (218) 763-2191

GRAND RAPIDS AREA

Crappies are being found suspended over 20 to 24 feet of water on Big Splithand Lake, Little Cutfoot, and Big Cutfoot Sioux lakes. Walleyes are hitting minnows during the day in 15 to 25 feet at Lake Pokegama, Deer Lake, and Lake Wabana. There’s also some evening crankbait action on these lakes in shallower water. Muskie anglers continue to find big sucker minnows triggering most of their fish in shallow water on North Star Lake. A few divers have moved in, but puddle ducks are being found in most bags. Grouse hunters are finding more birds than anticipated now that leaves and brush is mainly gone.
Ben’s Bait and Tackle (218) 326-8281

HACKENSACK AREA

Look to Woman Lake with minnows for walleyes in 18 to 22 feet and crappie action has picked up at Ten Mile Lake, Webb Lake, and Pleasant Lake over 20 feet. Smallmouth and largemouth bass continue to hit in deep water on most lakes and a few muskies are being caught on Little Boy Lake with slow-rolled bucktails or large rubber baits. Duck hunters are finding fewer local ducks, but goose numbers remain high. Grouse and woodcock hunting reports continue to be very good now that the foliage is mostly down.
Swanson’s Bait and Tackle                     (218) 675-6176

McGREGOR AREA

Walleyes are hitting a jig and minnow in 14 to 20 feet on Big Sandy Lake and Lake Minnewawa. Sucker minnows worked along the 12- to 16-foot breaks of Round Lake, Minnewawa, and Big Sandy have produced northern pike. Round started giving up panfish as well in 10 to 14 feet. Hunting reports have been limited as grouse and duck hunters struggle to find birds.
Willey’s Sport Shop & Spirits             (218) 426-3382

RED LAKE

Wind and low-water conditions have kept boat traffic to a minimum so there hasn’t been much for walleye or northern pike reports. Grouse hunters are finding good numbers of birds now that the cover is eliminated, while waterfowl hunters are shooting geese and what remains of the local duck population.
Mort’s Dock (218) 647-8128

ST. CLOUD/EDEN VALLEY AREA

The wind has limited fishing activity, but Lake Koronis is giving up a few walleyes in 20 to 25 feet on minnows. Panfish action also has slowed on area lakes, again due to strong winds and the inability to get out.  Duck hunting has been very good, with most lakes and bigger sloughs producing teal, wood ducks, mallards, and a few divers.
Mike’s Bait and Tackle (320) 453-2248

SAUK CENTRE AREA

A jig and minnow is producing walleyes on the north end of Sauk Lake in six to 12 feet and on Lake Osakis and Big Birch Lake in 30 to 50 feet. The north end of Osakis is worth noting for panfish in 12 feet as well. There seems to be a lot of ducks in the area, but not a lot of people chasing them.
Fletcher’s Bait (320) 352-2155

CASS LAKE AREA

Redtails and creek chubs are turning walleyes along the eight-foot cabbage on the southwest end of Cass Lake. The northeast side of Star Island on Cass is giving up walleyes in 18 to 20 feet, as is Boomerang Bar in 10 to 12 feet. Perch continue to hit along the reed edges in four to six feet and muskies are hitting slow-trolled sucker minnows over deep water on Cass and Wolf Lake. Look for suspended crappies over 30 to 32 feet on the north arm of Kitchi Lake and Wolf. There’s been some northern ducks moving into the area and grouse hunting continues to be very good.
Sunset Cove Resort (800) 279-4831

EAST CENTRAL MN

If you can find a deeper hole on the Mississippi River or Rum River they’ll be holding smallmouth bass and walleyes. Blue Lake continues to produce sunfish in seven to 10 feet and Green Lake is giving up crappies in 12 to 14 feet. Northern pike and bass can be had on most lakes with minnows or spinnerbaits in 10 to 14 feet. Waterfowl hunters aren’t shooting many ducks, but they have found numbers of geese in the area.
Tales and Trails Sport Shop
(763) 856-3985

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