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North Central Minnesota Fishing Report – November 9th, 2012

LAKE MILLE LACS

With deer hunting taking priority this week, there weren’t a lot of people fishing. Deer hunting reports were mixed with some groups doing well and others not seeing the number of deer they expected. The anglers who continue to hit the lake are doing best at night on the shallow rocks, reefs, and shoreline breaks in eight to 14 feet with crankbaits.
Johnson’s Portside (320) 676-3811
Terry’s Boat Harbor (320) 692-4430

LAKE OF THE WOODS

The open-water season is winding down although the Clementson and Frontier areas on the Rainy River are giving up fish. There was some good walleye action reported in front of Pine Island in 25 feet as well. At the Northwest Angle, walleyes are being caught in 30 to 40 feet off the points. Duck numbers have increased on the main lake with successful reports of northern ducks being shot in Four Mile Bay and at the Angle.
Lake of the Woods Tourism Bureau (800) 382-FISH

LEECH LAKE

The deer season started on a good note for many groups with most reporting that they saw plenty of deer. The one constant was that big buck sightings were minimal and that hunters shot quite a few basket-rack bucks. Although hunting pressure is limited, there are northern ducks to be had on the main lake. On the fishing side, the south end of Walker Bay continues to kick out walleyes on minnows and jigs in 35 feet.
Reed’s Sporting Goods (218) 547-1505

RAINY LAKE

Deer hunters are seeing quite a few does and fawns, but with antlerless tags at a minimum, few were shot. Most hunters are reporting limited activity of big bucks with many hunters taking bucks with smaller racks. There hasn’t been anything to report on the fishing front since the deer season started.
Loon’s Nest (218) 286-5850

LAKE WINNIBIGOSHISH

With the deer season in full swing, fishing pressure has been nonexistent. Fishing reports likely will remain limited until ice forms and anglers begin to find enough ice to walk or drive an ATV upon.
Nodak Lodge (218) 665-2226

BEMIDJI AREA

Hunters are seeing good numbers of deer and many reported that bucks are actively chasing does. Overall, most reports indicate an increase in buck harvest from opening weekend last year with better numbers of big bucks shot. Duck numbers increased last weekend with more divers in the mix and fishing pressure has been limited to Lake Bemidji and Lake Plantagenet where sucker minnows continue to trigger muskies.
Bluewater Outdoors
(218) 444-BAIT (2248)

BLACKDUCK AREA

Deer hunting reports have been decent with about 200 animals registered as of Tuesday morning. There has been a good number of big bucks brought in and most hunters are seeing plenty of deer, although many of them believe this weekend will be better with the rut moving forward. The few guys sticking with duck hunting have done well shooting divers and northern mallards.
Timberline Sports and Tackle
(218) 835-4636

CROSBY AREA

Walleye and muskie fishing is about all that’s taking place right now with the Mississippi River and Cedar Lake producing both, while Pelican Lake, Serpent Lake, and Rabbit Lake are giving up a few walleyes. A jig and minnow has been best for walleyes in 24 to 40 feet and muskie anglers are hooking fish on BullDawgs or big sucker minnows. Duck numbers have increased with goldeneyes, bluebills, redheads, and some northern mallards being shot. Deer hunting reports varied from one group to the next, and it appears the rut is not in full swing.
Oars ‘n Mine Bait and Tackle (218) 546-6912

EAST CENTRAL MN

The deer season started on a good note with a lot of antlerless deer, small bucks, and a few big bucks taken. The general theme was that the rut wasn’t at its peak based on buck activity and rutting sign in the woods. Waterfowl hunters are shooting more geese than ducks and there doesn’t seem to be many divers in the area. Crappie action remains strong on Lori Lake and Blue Lake in 14 feet and northern pike are hitting shiner minnows on most lakes.
Tales and Trails Sport Shop (763) 856-3985

EMILY AREA

Deer hunters are seeing plenty of fawns and does, but with the lottery status in this area there hasn’t been many antlerless deer taken. Most hunters settled for small bucks with a handful of bigger bucks in the mix. Although hunting pressure is minimal there are ducks to be had with good numbers of divers in the area this week. There hasn’t been anything to report on the fishing front since the deer season started.
Redding Sports and Spirits (218) 763-2191

GRAND MARAIS AREA

Deer hunters are finding success and reporting that they’re seeing plenty of deer. Bucks are on the move with several big deer shot including three that have been registered that weighed 227 pounds, 229 pounds, and 232 pounds. There’s also been a lot of antlerless deer shot during the first few days of the season. One wolf has been registered, but there has been more reports of them being shot and registered in other locations.
Buck’s Hardware (218) 387-2280

HACKENSACK AREA

With the deer season in full swing, fishing pressure has been nonexistent. Deer hunters are reporting limited success and that it’s been quiet in the woods with limited shooting. Buck activity also doesn’t seem to be at a maximum so hunters in this area expect a better second weekend. The biggest buck registered was a 235-pound, eight-pointer, but most bucks brought in were basket-rack animals.
Swanson’s Bait and Tackle (218) 675-6176

McGREGOR AREA

About 150 deer have been registered with a lot of smaller bucks in the mix, and many hunters have reported that they haven’t seen much for big buck activity or rutting sign in the woods. Based on hunter accounts, Sunday and Monday were more productive than opening day.
Willey’s Sport Shop & Spirits (218) 426-3382

RED LAKE

Fishing pressure has been very low with everyone shifting into full hunting mode. Deer hunters are seeing quite a few does and fawns and the bigger bucks just started to move earlier this week. Wolf sightings have been limited and grouse are still available for guys working the backwoods trails. 
Mort’s Dock (218) 647-8128

ST. CLOUD/EDEN VALLEY AREA

Hunters are seeing good numbers of deer although big bucks have been scarce. The majority of deer registered have been four, six, and eight-pointers or antlerless deer. The few hunters that continue to pursue ducks are shooting some divers on the lakes. Fishing pressure has been limited, but crankbaits are producing walleyes in shallow water at night on Rice Lake and Lake Koronis.
Mike’s Bait and Tackle (320) 453-2248

SAUK CENTRE AREA

The deer opener was average by most accounts with several nice bucks reported and many hunters stated that they saw a lot of antlerless deer. There has been some ringnecks and other divers moving through the area, but hunting pressure has been minimal. There have been no fishing reports this past week.
Fletcher’s Bait (320) 352-2155

ALEXANDRIA AREA

Deer registrations appear down and hunters are stating that they aren’t seeing as many deer as expected. There are ducks to be had in the area although hunting pressure has been minimal. A handful of anglers continue to catch walleyes on Lake Miltona and Lake Ida in 20 to 35 feet, while muskie anglers continue to hook muskies on large sucker minnows at Lobster Lake and Miltona.
Christopherson’s Bait and Tackle (320) 763-3255

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