LAKE MILLE LACS
With water temperatures slightly dropping, the nighttime crankbait bite is slowly improving for walleyes. Most anglers believe another five-degree drop in water temps would kick it in along the shorelines and rock areas. Minnows are the best option for walleyes during the day on the shoreline breaks in 11 to 18 feet or on the edges of the gravel in 18 to 22 feet. Muskie reports have been poor, there are pike hitting on the weedlines of most bays, and smallmouth bass can be had in the weeds and rock areas.
Johnson’s Portside (320) 676-3811
Terry’s Boat Harbor (320) 692-4430
LAKE OF THE WOODS
Anchored and jigging continues to produce walleyes in 23 to 28 feet in front of Morris Gap, Lighthouse Gap, Zippel Bay, and Four Mile Bay. Move shallower, eight to 16 feet, in the late afternoon and evening hours. On the Rainy River, walleyes can be had in 20 feet along the six-mile stretch from Timbermill Park to Clementson Bay. At the Northwest Angle, eating-sized walleyes have been active west of Falcon Island, Deep Water Bay, Soldier Point, and the south end of Oak Island. Crappies are suspended over 33 to 35 feet, while muskies and pike are hitting in eight to 11 feet.
Lake of the Woods Tourism Bureau (800) 382-FISH
A jig and minnow is producing walleyes in six to 10 feet along the wind-driven points and shorelines such as the Meadows, Big Hardwood, and the shoreline in Walker Bay. Perch reports have varied, but the Narrows seem to be most productive in less than six feet. Muskies also are shoreline-related in Walker Bay, but more active on the main-lake rock reefs such as the Pelican Island area. Duck hunters are finding a few more redheads and ringnecks, but no huge numbers of divers at this point.
Reed’s Sporting Goods (218) 547-1505
Shriver’s Bait Company (218) 547-2250
Between weather fronts, walleyes are being caught with a jig and minnow in Sand Bay over 20 to 25 feet. Look for northern pike to be mixed with the walleyes. Grouse hunting reports have been limited, but there seems to more ducks moving through, including some divers.
Loon’s Nest (218) 286-5850
Perch are hitting minnows off Sugar Point, Mallard Point, Raven’s Point and the river mouth in six feet. Northern pike also can be had with minnows in eight to 12 feet along the entire west side.Walleye action has been best off the points such as Raven’s and Mallard in less than 12 feet with a jig and minnow. Duck hunting continues to be good, but there hasn’t been many divers moving through and grouse numbers appear favorable.
Lake Winnie Resort Association
Walleyes are hitting minnows and jigs in eight to 12 feet on Blackduck Lake and 16 to 20 feet at Island Lake. Panfish are mixed together over 20 feet or more on most lakes with Pimushe, Rabideau, Gilstead, and Turtle River standing out. The lakes with rice are providing good duck shoots including a few divers and grouse hunters are finding pockets of birds with better than expected reports being heard.
Timberline Sports and Tackle
Crappie action has picked up over 25 to 32 feet in Wilson Bay and the Love Lake area of Gull Lake. Jigs tipped with minnows continue to produce walleyes in 22 to 40 feet at North Long Lake, 22 to 38 feet at Whitefish Lake, and 16 to 28 feet on Gull. Look for northern pike in 17 to 22 feet on Cullen Lake and North Long.
S & W Bait & Guide Service/Nisswa Guide League (218) 829-7010
CASS LAKE AREA
Walleyes are hitting live-bait rigs and minnows on the 18- to 20-foot bars and breaks or over 30 to 35 feet on Cass Lake. Sucker minnows are turning pike on Cass, Pike Bay Lake, and Lake Andrusia in 25 feet, while perch are biting along the reeds in six feet at Cass. Look for panfish in the 12-foot cabbage of Kitchi Lake, Allen’s Bay on Cass, and Andrusia. Waterfowl hunters have done well with mallards, geese, and a few divers in most bags. Grouse hunting reports have been variable.
Sunset Cove Resort (800) 279-4831
The Mississippi River is giving up crappies, walleyes, and smallmouth bass in 12 to 15 feet. Minnows are producing walleyes in 26 to 30 feet at Rabbit Lake and Serpent Lake, while Little Rabbit Lake is kicking out sunfish in eight to 10 feet. Trolling crankbaits has produced trout on the Pennington Pit and muskies are hitting sucker minnows on the Mississippi and Cedar Lake.
Oars ‘n Mine Bait and Tackle (218) 546-6912
Spinnerbaits tossed along the weedlines are producing northern pike on West Fox Lake. Hit Lawrence Lake with small jigs and minnows for crappies over 15 feet. Duck hunting has improved with more mallards in the mix and with the leaves coming down, grouse hunters have done much better.
Redding Sports and Spirits (218) 763-2191
Trolling crankbaits at night along the shoreline breaks of Ten Mile Lake has produced walleyes. On Woman Lake, walleyes and northern pike are hitting jigs and minnows in 12 to 28 feet during the day. Crappies have started to suspend on the deeper breaks and weed edges of Birch Lake and Webb Lake. Duck reports seem to be best just north of the area with a few divers showing up in bags.
Swanson’s Bait and Tackle (218) 675-6176
When the weather cooperates, walleyes have been hitting a jig or spinner rig with minnows in four to seven feet. Grouse hunters have started seeing more birds along the forest trails, especially those with dogs. Duck hunters are shooting mostly local birds at this point.
Mort’s Dock (218) 647-8128
ST. CLOUD/EDEN VALLEY AREA
Lake Koronis and Rice Lake are giving up a few walleyes on minnows in eight to 25 feet and sunfish in eight to 10 feet. Sunfish also can be had in less than eight feet on Becker Lake, Schneider Lake, and Horseshoe Lake. Duck and goose hunting has been better on the bigger lakes, but pheasant reports have been poor.
Mike’s Bait and Tackle (320) 453-2248
SAUK CENTRE AREA
Jig or live-bait rigs tipped with minnows are producing walleyes in 16 to 18 feet on Lake Osakis and 30 to 45 feet on Big Birch Lake. On Sauk Lake, walleyes can be had with minnows in 12 to 22 feet during the day and in less than 12 feet during low-light periods. Crappies continue to be an easy catch on the north ends of Osakis and Sauk, while Osakis remains a safe bet for sunfish in eight to 12 feet.
Fletcher’s Bait (320) 352-2155
EAST CENTRAL MN
Look for crappies and sunfish in seven to 14 feet on Blue Lake and Little Elk Lake. Pitching sucker minnows on the weedlines of Blue and Green Lake has triggered largemouth bass and hit the Rum River with a jig and minnow for walleyes. A few decent pheasant reports have been heard and waterfowl hunters are doing best in fields for mallards and geese.
Tales and Trails Sport Shop (763) 856-3985