Minnesota Outdoor News Fishing Report – September 30th, 2016
LAKE MILLE LACS
Fishing pressure continues to be light since the walleye season closed. The few anglers going out are catching smallmouth bass on the rock reefs and points with crankbaits or northern pike on rattle baits or minnows in the bays.
Johnson’s Portside (320) 676-3811
Terry’s Boat Harbor (320) 692-4430
LAKE OF THE WOODS
Walleyes and sauger continue to move to the south shore with good fishing reported in 23 feet outside the Lighthouse Gap and along most of the south shore. Duck and goose numbers appear strong, although most continue to be local birds. Fishing on the Rainy River is improving daily for walleyes and sturgeon. At the Northwest Angle, walleyes and sauger are biting over 18 to 30 feet between Oak and Flag islands or off the points in 8 to 18 feet. On the Ontario side, walleyes are biting in 18 to 28 feet, crappies are stacked on the sharp breaks or flooded timber in 30 feet, and trolling has produced muskies in 10 to 18 feet.
Lake of the Woods Tourism Bureau
LAKE MINNETONKA AREA
Minnows are producing walleyes and northern pike along the 24- to 28-foot weeds on Lake Minnetonka. Plastics are turning bass on the 15-foot weeds of Minnetonka, while Medicine Lake and Lake Sarah are giving up a mixed bag of panfish in 12 to 15 feet. Duck hunting reports have been light and hunter numbers appear to be down.
Wayzata Bait (952) 473-2227
Look for walleyes in 14 to 22 feet, mainly on the reefs and rock piles; jigs and minnows are working best. Walleyes also are being taken with crankbaits in Daisy Bay and Big Bay in 18 to 27 feet. Muskie reports have been light, but some fish are being seen on the rock reefs and points. The mouth of Everett’s Bay, Rice Bay, and Stuntz Bay continue to produce northern pike. Grouse hunters are seeing good numbers of birds, but cover remains thick so hunter success should improve as the season wears on.
Pike Bay Lodge (218) 753-2430
You’ll still find walleyes on the bars with nightcrawlers or minnows in 15 to 18 feet, but with water temperatures dropping, the shorelines and points are starting to produce more numbers of fish in 8 to 12 feet. The west side of the lake remains the best option for perch in 8 to 10 feet and you will have to do some sorting. Duck reports have varied, but the local supply of puddle ducks has kept most people busy.
Lake Winnie Resort Association www.lakewinnie.net
Between strong wind events, perch are being caught in the Narrows, Sand Point, Meadows, and Grand Vu areas in 6 to 8 feet. A few walleyes are being caught on the wind-driven points and shorelines in less than 10 feet – water temperatures have dipped below 60 degrees. Muskie action remains strong on the main lake rocks and south end structure. Most hunting parties shot ducks, but not a lot of limits were taken – wood ducks and teal were most abundant.
Reed’s Sporting Goods
Shriver’s Bait Company
Walleyes are being taken on jigs and minnows on the shallow points and reefs in less than 16 feet or on most deep structure areas in 20 feet or more. A few more crappies are being found suspended in Black Bay and smallmouth continue to hit plastics on the shallow to mid-depth rocks. Grouse reports are slowly improving as the foliage starts to disappear.
International Falls CVB
With a few days of good weather (wind and rain has limited fishing), walleyes are being caught on minnows or crankbaits around the rock piles and 5- to 8-foot breaks. Some anglers are targeting northern pike and finding success trolling the reed lines on the east and northeast ends of the lake. Goose numbers appear to be better than ducks at this point and thick cover has limited grouse hunting success.
Mort’s Dock (218) 647-8128
Twin Cities Metro
Trolling spinnerbaits or spoons on the weedlines of Pierson Lake has produced northern pike, and a few sunfish are being caught in 10 to 12 feet on Lake Auburn and Lake Susan. Hunters are taking mainly wood ducks and some geese, and the best shooting is taking place in flooded areas off the Crow River.
Cabin Fever Sports (952) 443-2022
Fishing pressure has been light, mainly due to poor weather conditions. With that stated, anglers going out are catching walleyes with jigs and minnows on Lake Ida and Lake Miltona over 40 to 55 feet. The deep points on Miltona and Lobster Lake are kicking out a few muskies on sucker minnows or bucktails. Jigs or crankbaits are producing largemouth bass on the weedlines throughout the Le Homme Dieu Chain and Ida. Opening weekend duck hunting reports were slightly better than last year with wood ducks showing up in most bags.
Christopherson’s Bait and Tackle
A few walleyes are being taken with minnows on Clearwater Lake, Sugar Lake, and Cedar Lake in 12 to 20 feet. Panfish action has been slow, but northern pike and bass are being caught on the weedlines of Lake John and Lake Sylvia. Waterfowl hunters that set up in small ponds and flooded fields did well opening weekend with mallards, teal, wood ducks, and a few pintails in bags.
Little Jim’s Bait (320) 274-5297
BATTLE LAKE AREA
Crankbaits continue to produce walleyes at night in 5 feet, as are jigs and minnows in 12 to 15 feet during the day on Otter Tail Lake and West Battle Lake. Sunfish and crappies are being plucked from the 12- to 15-foot weeds at Rush Lake, Stalker Lake, and Bass Lake. Look for spinnerbaits to produce bass on the weedbeds of Clitherall Lake, Donald Lake, and Fiske Lake. Northern pike are hitting sucker minnows on the 10- to 15-foot weedlines of Donald, West Battle, and Fiske, while a few muskies are being taken in 15 to 20 feet on West Battle. Duck hunting reports have been better to the south with wood ducks most prevalent.
Ben’s Bait Shop (218) 864-5596
Redtails or creek chubs are producing walleyes in 14 to 24 feet on Lake Plantagenet. Plantagenet also is giving up muskies on topwater baits or bucktails in 6 to 8 feet. You’ll find largemouth and smallmouth bass from the outlet of Lake Bemidji to Stump Lake. Duck hunting reports have been good with teal, mallards, and wood ducks providing plenty of shooting opportunities.
Taber’s Bait (218) 751-5781
Look to Island Lake and Gull Lake for walleyes in 12 to 15 feet – minnows are working best. Gilstead Lake, Rabideau Lake, and Pimushe Lake are giving up bluegills and crappies in 15 to 25 feet. The duck season started on a slow note with a few teal and wood ducks shot and grouse hunting reports have been light, but weather conditions have been poor for hunting them.
Timberline Sports and Tackle
Minnows and jigs are producing walleyes on Pelican Lake, Gull Lake, and North Long Lake in 28 to 35 feet – northern pike can be had on these lakes in slightly shallower water as well. Crappies are being found suspended over deep water on North Long, Gull, and Cullen Lake, while waxworms are turning sunfish in 8 to 10 feet on most lakes.
S & W Bait & Guide Service/
Nisswa Guide League (218) 829-7010
CASS LAKE AREA
A jig and minnow is producing walleyes in over 30 to 35 feet in Allen’s Bay on Cass Lake during the day or on the bars in 8 to 10 feet during low-light periods. Perch reports continue to improve off the bars on Cass, while Big Lake is giving up panfish. Work the weedlines on Grace Lake and Midge Lake for northern pike. Muskie and waterfowl reports have been limited.
Sunset Cove Resort (800) 279-4831
Walleyes continue to hit minnows on Green Lake and North Center Lake in 8 to 14 feet. Look for panfish in the 5- to 8-foot weeds of Chisago Lake, North Center Lake, South Center Lake, or North and South Lindstrom lakes. Sucker minnows are turning northern pike in less than 10 feet on North Center and Chisago, while bass fishing remains good on the weedlines of most lakes. The duck opener provided mixed reports with some groups struggling and others find good numbers of wood ducks.
Frankie’s Bait (651) 257-6334
The deep holes on the Mississippi River are giving up walleyes, channel catfish, and smallmouth bass. Walleyes are moving deeper, 25 to 30 feet on Serpent Lake and 22 to 35 feet on Rabbit Lake – most are hitting jigs and minnows. The local pits are producing good-sized northern pike on bucktails in deep, flooded timber areas. Look for suspended crappies over 20 feet or more on Little Rabbit Lake, Black Hoof Lake, and Nokay Lake. The duck season started on a slow note in the immediate area, although better numbers of birds, mainly mallards and teal, are being shot just to the south. Grouse hunting is slowly improving as the leaves come down.
Oars ‘n Mine Bait and Tackle
DETROIT LAKES AREA
Muskie action has improved on Big Detroit Lake and Pelican Lake with large sucker minnows or bucktails. Look for walleyes to hit minnows in 14 to 18 feet at Big Detroit, Big Cormorant Lake, and Lake Sallie. Panfish are being found on the weedlines of Floyd Lake, Long Lake, and Deadshot Bay. Duck hunting reports have been limited, as have most hunting reports so far.
Quality Bait and Tackle
Crappies have started hitting over 15 feet in the Highbanks area of Fish Lake, and some walleyes continue to be caught here with minnows in 10 feet. Bear continue to be brought in and although it’s still tough to shoot due to cover, grouse hunters are flushing quite a few birds.
Chalstrom’s Bait (218) 726-0094
EAST CENTRAL MN
Northern pike are hitting sucker minnows on Green Lake and Blue Lake in 7 to 14 feet. Look to Little Elk Lake, Spectacle Lake, and Green for a mixed bag of panfish in 14 to 20 feet. Waterfowl hunters are finding good numbers of wood ducks and geese.
Tales and Trails Sport Shop
Shagawa Lake is giving up northern pike in 6 feet and a few walleyes in 20 feet. On Snowbank Lake, walleyes and smallmouth bass are being caught in 30 feet or more, while Burntside Lake is producing bass and walleyes in 30 to 40 feet. Hunting activity has been very limited.
The Great Outdoors (218) 365-4744
Crappies and bluegills are being caught on Hall Lake, Budd Lake, and Lake Sissiton in 4 to 6 feet. Plastics are turning largemouth bass on the shorelines of Budd and Sissiton. Budd and Amber Lake are kicking out catfish on chubs for shore anglers during the evening hours. Duck reports varied, but there was quite a few teal shot on opening weekend and most groups managed to put together a decent bag of birds.
Sommer Outdoors (507) 235-5225
GRAND MARAIS AREA
Minnows are producing walleyes on Hungry Jack Lake in 15 to 20 feet, Crescent Lake in 9 to 15 feet, and Devil Track Lake or McFarland Lake in 12 to 15 feet. Grouse hunting reports indicate a fair number of birds, but still too much cover with the leaves, and a couple more bears were registered including one over 470 pounds.
Buck’s Hardware (218) 387-2280
GRAND RAPIDS AREA
Walleyes started hitting minnows on Bowstring Lake in 4 to 8 feet, and you’ll find crappies in 13 to 20 feet here. Sand Lake is producing crappies over 30 to 50 feet, as is Big Cutfoot Sioux Lake in 20 to 30 feet, and Little Cutfoot is giving up gills in 20 feet. The Mississippi River is a safe bet for walleyes, and the deep structure on Trout Lake, Lake Pokegama, Sugar Lake, and Lake Wabana also are kicking out walleyes on redtails. Duck hunters are finding success with a mixed bag of birds including a good number of ringbills.
Ben’s Bait and Tackle (218) 326-8281
Minnows continue to produce crappies in 12 to 15 feet on Dewey Lake and Shoepack Lake, but walleye action is slow. Grouse hunters aren’t finding much success, but thick cover could be to blame. Hunter participation seemed high for the duck opener, but reports of success have been limited.
Lucky 7 General Store (218) 254-7168
Minnows and crawlers are producing walleyes on Woman Lake in 14 to 24 feet and Lake Wabedo in 18 to 24 feet. The rock and sand areas on Woman are kicking out smallmouth bass and panfish reports continue to be consistently good on most area lakes. Duck hunting reports have been mixed, but there seems to be more birds just north of the immediate area.
The One Stop (218) 363-2252
Sunfish and crappies continue to be caught in 4 to 8 feet at Ann Lake, Knife Lake, Fish Lake, and Quamba Lake. Most reports indicated a poor start to the duck season, and the local birds seem to be spread out due to an abundance of seasonal wetlands caused by heavy rains.
Jerry’s Sport & Bait Shop
If the wind isn’t blowing, perch are being caught on Big Stone Lake with minnows in the Rocky Ledge and Mallard Point areas over 12 feet, but walleyes continue to be tough to find. The waterfowl season started on a good note for most groups with a strong number of local puddle ducks providing ample shooting opportunities.
Artie’s Bait (320) 839-2480
PARK RAPIDS AREA
Jigs and minnows are turning walleyes in 18 to 21 feet on Fish Hook Lake and Potato Lake. Panfish reports have been limited, but Big Mantrap Lake is kicking out a few muskies and northern pike in 12 feet on sucker minnows. Waterfowl hunters are finding local ducks, mainly wood ducks, and grouse hunters are flushing quite a few birds.
Delaney’s (218) 732-4281
Smokey Hills Outdoors
Big Pine Lake and Little Pine Lake are kicking out walleyes on minnows or Jigging Rapalas in 25 to 30 feet. Look to Dead Lake, Lake Marion, and Star Lake for suspended crappies over 20 feet or more. The duck season started on a good note with good numbers of wood ducks, teal, and a few mallards being shot.
Gene’s Sport Shop (218) 346-3355
RED WING AREA
The Mississippi River is running high and that’s limited the number of people fishing it. Those that are have been working the current seams that exist and finding a few walleyes. Most backwater areas also have risen, but that’s actually helped the crappie bite in them. The majority of waterfowl reports from opening weekend were favorable with wood ducks and teal in most bags.
Four Seasons Sports (651) 388-4334
SAUK CENTRE AREA
Sauk Lake started producing walleyes on minnows, from the Narrows to the golf course in 4 to 9 feet. Look to McCormick Lake early and late each day with slip bobbers and minnows in 12 to 14 feet for walleyes, while the outlet on Guerney Lake and the north point on Long Bridge Lake are giving up walleyes in 4 to 8 feet. Crappies are being found on the northern third of Lake Osakis in 12 feet, and the duck opener was poor by most accounts.
Fletcher’s Bait Shop (320) 352-2155
Windy conditions have really limited fishing opportunities, but some walleyes are being taken with crankbaits in the evenings over 7 feet throughout Lake Minnewaska. Minnows and jigs are producing walleyes on the 14-foot, hard-bottom areas on Minnewaska during the day – look to the Glenwood Beach, Starbuck Beach, and the points. Anglers fishing from shore on the west side of Lake Emily are catching a few walleyes as well. Duck and goose numbers are minimal so hunting reports have been poor.
Minnewaska Bait and Tackle
Heavy rains and strong winds have limited fishing options over the past week. Big Kandi Lake is producing a few perch and small walleyes in less than 8 feet, while the west side of Willmar/Foot Lake is giving up a few panfish. Mallards, geese, and a few wood ducks were shot opening weekend on the shallow, prairie lakes.
Brad’s 71 Bait and Sports
Walleyes are being caught with crankbaits, minnows, or Twister Tails at Lake Shetek, Lake Sarah, Lake Shaokotan, and Lake Benton in 6 feet. Lac qui Parle Lake is producing a mixed bag of walleyes, northern pike, and rough fish in less than 8 feet. Work the north end of East Twin Lake with minnows or crawlers for perch. Although participation seemed down, duck hunters found some success on opening weekend with wood ducks and teal being most abundant.
Borch’s Sporting Goods