Minnesota Outdoor News Fishing Report – Sept. 8, 2017
LAKE MILLE LACS
Smallmouth bass are hitting plastics or crankbaits on the 14- to 24-foot rocks. Some of the biggest muskies being caught are coming off the mud flats with leadcore and crankbaits or via trolling on the north end sand. Work the bays and mud flats for northern pike as well.
Johnson’s Portside (320) 676-3811
Terry’s Boat Harbor (320) 692-4430
LAKE OF THE WOODS
Walleyes are being found in front of the Lighthouse Gap, in the “no man’s land” area of Big Traverse Bay, and on most reefs. Crankbaits or gold, glow, perch, and crayfish-colored spinners with live bait are working best. Anglers in the Rainy River are catching some walleyes on crankbaits or pulling spinners, while smallmouth bass have been caught in good numbers along shoreline rock, bridge embankments, and feeder streams. Lake sturgeon have remained active on the river as well. At the Northwest Angle, walleyes and some yellow perch were being found in many areas; shallow in 14 to 18 feet of water and deeper in 25 to 28 feet of water. In Canadian waters, crankbaits have been producing larger walleyes, while bottom bouncing and jigging the deep water between reefs has been yielding fish as well. Crappie season is in full swing with fish in more than 30-feet of water and muskie anglers experiencing multiple fish days and seeing big fish move on a variety of baits such as blades, topwaters or minnow baits.
Lake of the Woods Tourism Bureau (800) 382-FISH
LAKE MINNETONKA AREA
Walleyes are hitting Lindy Rigs and crawlers in 24 to 30 feet on the main portion of Lake Minnetonka, or on the 15- to 18-foot weedlines in the western bays. Hit Maxwell Bay or the North Arm on Minnetonka for crappies in 10 to 12 feet. Muskies are hitting bucktails on the points, and pike are being taken with spinnerbaits in 12 feet on Minnetonka. Walleyes and muskies are most active in 15 to 18 feet during the evening at Lake Independence, while Medicine Lake is producing pike along the 15-foot weeds. Goose hunting has been OK locally, but reports have been better north and west of the area.
Wayzata Bait (952) 473-2227
Walleyes are on the rock piles and flats in 18 to 25 feet – a jig and minnow has started producing more fish. Leadcore and crankbaits are turning walleyes over 18 to 20 feet in Daisy Bay. Muskie reports were good with the rock points, reefs and islands giving up fish in 8 to 12 feet. Look for suspended crappies over 18 to 20 feet near the buoys off Indian Point. Smallies remain active on the shorelines in Stuntz Bay, north side of Ely Island, and Raspberry Island.
Pike Bay Lodge (218) 753-2430
A few walleyes were taken with crankbaits during the evening hours in 8 to 10 feet or with spinners and crawlers through the weeds in 10 to 12 feet during the day. Perch are being caught in 11 to 13 feet at Rich’s Townsite, Snaghole, and Bird House areas. Trolling spoons along the 7- to 12-foot weeds is producing pike.
A spinner and crawler, crankbaits, or Jigging Raps are producing walleyes during the day in 12 to 16 feet, as are crankbaits at night in 6 to 12 feet. Better areas this week include Sucker Bay, Cedar Point, Sand Point, and Templar Point. A jig and minnow is producing a few walleyes off Stoney Point. Muskies are hitting bucktails on the main lake rocks or topwater baits on the shallow weeds in Portage Bay, Kabekona Bay, and Sucker Bay. The rock piles are holding smallmouth bass, and the rice beds in most bays are giving up largemouth bass.
Reed’s Sporting Goods (218) 547-1505
Shriver’s Bait Company (218) 547-2250
Walleyes are hitting minnows or crawlers on the main lake reefs in 25 feet. Work the rock structure over 15 feet for smallies. Pike remain active near the weedbeds and south shore of Cranberry Bay and Lost Bay.
International Falls CVB (800) 325-5766
Fishing pressure has dropped considerably and windy conditions limited fishing opportunities even more early this week. A jig and minnow or crankbait remain the best walleye options on the shoreline breaks in 4 to 9 feet or the 9- to 14-foot rock humps. Bear and goose hunters are finding some decent success based on anecdotal reports.
Mort’s Dock (218) 647-8128
Twin Cities Metro
Hydes Lake and Whaletail Lake continue to give up crappies, many of which are suspended over 15 to 18 feet. Spinnerbaits or sucker minnows are producing northern pike on the 10- to 12-foot weedlines of Pierson Lake and Lake Zumbra. Sunfish action is limited, but bass remain active in the slop or on weedlines of most lakes. Goose hunters are finding birds, but success depends on being in the right field.
Cabin Fever Sports (952) 443-2022
The fishing pier on Lake O’Dowd is giving up bass and northern pike. Look for crappies on Thole Lake in less than 4 feet or a mixed bag of panfish in 5 to 10 feet on the south end of Prior Lake. Minnows are turning walleyes and pike on Prior in 10 to 15 feet as well. Goose hunting has been good with many limits being shot.
Prior Lake Bait & Tackle (952) 447-6096
Low-light periods remain best for walleyes in 15 to 18 feet on Kegg’s Reef and North Reef – minnows are working best. Muskies are chasing bucktails on Anderson’s Reef and North Reef, while panfish reports remain best in 14 to 16 feet on the back side of Coney Island and Center Reef. Most weedlines or weeded areas on the reefs are producing bass and northern pike.
Mase’s In Towne Marina (952) 442-2096
Crawlers or minnows are producing walleyes on the shallow weedlines or 15 to 22 feet on Clearwater Lake, Cedar Lake, and Sugar Lake. Work the 15-foot weedlines for sunfish and crappies on Clearwater, Maple Lake, Lake Sylvia, Pleasant Lake, and Lake John. Sugar also has kicked out a few muskies this week, while bass and pike action is strong on most lakes in less than 12 feet. Goose hunting reports were mixed with some groups doing well and others shooting few birds.
Little Jim’s Bait (320) 274-5297
BATTLE LAKE AREA
Walleyes are hitting minnows in 10 to 15 feet during the day or crankbaits in 3 to 5 feet at night on West Battle Lake, Otter Tail Lake, and Fish Lake. Bass fishing remains strong in the 10- to 15-foot weeds at East Battle Lake, Donald Lake, Fiske Lake, Silver Lake, and West Battle. Look to Clitherall Lake, Otter Tail, and Donald for northern pike in 12 to 15 feet. Look for crappies over 17 to 25 feet and sunfish in 10 to 15 feet on Clitherall, Fish, West Battle, Donald, and Bass Lake. Jakes or Double CowGirls are producing muskies in the 15- to 20-foot weeds of West Battle. It seems like most hunting groups shot a few geese, but not big numbers.
Ben’s Bait Shop (218) 864-5596
Perch action picked up in the weeds on the north end of Lake Bemidji in 8 to 16 feet. Crawlers are producing walleyes in 12 to 18 feet on Lake Plantagenet or 6 to 30 feet on Bemidji. Lindgren Lake started giving up crappies over 22 feet, while topwater baits have started producing muskies on Plantagenet and Bemidji in 12 to 14 feet. A few bear have been shot, but a big acorn drop has started to limit activity at baits.
Taber’s Bait (218) 751-5781
Walleyes are being taken with minnows or crawlers on Blackduck Lake in 10 to 13 feet, Round Lake in 10 to 20 feet, and Island Lake in 8 to 18 feet. Crappies and bluegills are hitting in 16 to 20 feet on Pimushe Lake, Gull Lake, and Turtle River Lake. Bear hunting success has been very good and overall activity at baits has been strong. Goose hunting reports have been more mixed, with some groups doing well and others struggling to find birds.
Timberline Sports and Tackle (218) 835-4636
Gull Lake and North Long Lake are producing walleyes in 18 to 28 feet on crawlers and minnows. Northern pike are hitting minnows in 15 to 18 feet at North Long, Cullen Lake, and Gull. Sunfish are being found around the docks on Nisswa Lake, Cullen, or North Long, and bass fishing remains strong on the weedlines of most lakes.
S & W Bait & Guide Service/Nisswa Guide League (218) 829-7010
CASS LAKE AREA
Trolling crankbaits on the bars of Cass Lake has produced walleyes during the evening hours in 6 to 8 feet. Work the 10- to 12-foot bars on the north side of Star Island on Cass or the bars on Pike Bay Lake for perch. Kitchi Lake started giving up bluegills in 8 feet, and muskies remain active in the cabbage and bullrush edges on Cass.
Sunset Cove Resort (800) 279-4831
You’ll find bluegills in 20 feet and suspended crappies over 20 to 25 feet on North Center Lake. Work the 15- foot weedlines with minnows for walleyes on Chisago Lake, Green Lake, and North or South Center lakes. The south end of Chaisago is producing panfish in 10 to 15 feet, and bass action remains strong on all lakes. Most goose hunting reports have been favorable, and bird numbers appear high.
Frankie’s Bait (651) 257-6334
The inside weed edge or 18- to 20-foot weedlines on Serpent Lake and Bay Lake are holding largemouth bass – Serpent is kicking out a few smallmouth bass as well. Work the current seams or deep holes on the Mississippi River for smallmouth and a few walleyes. Bigger northern pike are being caught with spinnerbaits on the weedlines of East Rabbit Lake and Lower Mission Lake. The north end of Clearwater Lake is producing crappies during the evening hours over 12 to 14 feet. The start of bear season went well with a lot of activity at baits and good success, while goose reports weren’t as strong, especially after opening day.
Oars ‘n Mine Bait and Tackle (218) 546-6912
DETROIT LAKES AREA
Walleyes are hitting minnows and crawlers on Lake Melissa and Big Cormorant Lake in 20 to 25 feet. You’ll find bluegills and crappies in the shallow weeds of Melissa and Franklin Lake. Muskies are chasing topwater baits in the morning and BullDawgs during the day in 15 feet off the points of Lake Sallie and Big Detroit Lake. Goose hunting reports have been light.
Quality Bait and Tackle (218) 844-2248
Chubs and nightcrawlers are producing walleyes on Island Lake in 20 feet and Fish Lake in 15 feet. A few muskies continue to be taken with bucktails on Island and the St. Louis River. Look to the rocks on the Cloquet River and Island for smallmouth bass. The bear season is off to a strong start with a bunch of average-size bears being taken.
Chalstrom’s Bait (218) 726-0094
EAST CENTRAL MN
Walleyes are hitting crankbaits or minnows on Blue Lake and Green Lake in 14 feet. Look for sunfish near the lilly pads on Blue and Little Elk Lake, while crappies are hitting over 14 feet on Blue. Smallmouth bass and walleyes are being taken with crawlers on the Mississippi River and Rum River. A few bears were shot in the area’s no-quota zones, and goose hunting has been very good for most parties.
Tales and Trails Sport Shop (763) 856-3985
Walleyes are hitting minnows in 5 to 7 feet on Shagawa Lake, 22 to 30 feet on Lake Lac La Croix, and 30 feet on Snowbank Lake. Lake trout are being taken with spoons about 40 feet down over 100 feet on Burntside Lake, while smallmouth bass remain active on the rock points and shorelines of most lakes. Sunfish reports have improved off Johnson Lake, Farm Lake, and Garden Lake.
The Great Outdoors (218) 365-4744
Lake Esquagamah is giving up crappies in 10 to 12 feet, and Ruth Lake is producing northern pike around the island in 8 to 10 feet. Look to Mitchell Lake with crawlers for walleyes in 12 to 14 feet, and the weedlines on Roosevelt Lake are producing largemouth bass on topwater baits. Bear hunter success has been very good, and many people commented that they have had multiple bears at their bait.
Redding Sports and Spirits (218) 763-2191
A jig tipped with minnows or plastics is turning walleyes on the Blue Earth and Watonwan rivers. Look for crappies and bluegills in 6 to 12 feet on Budd Lake, Hall Lake, and Lake Sissiton. Goose hunting reports have mostly been favorable.
Sommer Outdoors (507) 235-5225
Look for sunfish and crappies in 4 to 6 feet at Cedar Lake, while trolling crankbaits in 10 to 12 feet has produced northern pike at Shields Lake. You’ll find crappies suspended over 12 to 15 feet on Lake Mazaska, and Fox Lake is giving up a few crappies in 15 feet. Goose hunting reports have been light with minimal bird numbers in the area.
Nagel’s Live Bait (507) 334-8341
GRAND MARAIS AREA
Walleyes are being taken with minnows in 18 to 25 feet at Gunflint Lake and Loon Lake, in 15 to 20 feet at Sea Gull Lake, and in 12 to 15 feet at Cascade Lake. Look for lake trout to hit spoons in 30 to 35 feet on Greenwood Lake and minnows on Loon Lake in 40 feet. Northern pike have started hitting minnows on Devil Track Lake in 12 feet and Two Island Lake in 8 feet. Hit Kimball Lake and Mink Lake in 10 to 15 feet with crawlers for rainbow trout. Bear hunting has been OK with an average number of bears registered during the first few days of the season.
Buck’s Hardware (218) 387-2280
GREY EAGLE AREA
Walleyes are hitting minnows on the deep weedlines of Big Birch Lake and Cedar Lake. You’ll find sunfish on Big Birch, Little Birch Lake, and Big Swan Lake in 15 to 18 feet, while crappies are being found suspended on Big Birch, Big Swan, Pine Lake, and Mound Lake. Topwater baits are turning largemouth bass on most lakes, and Little Birch is producing smallmouth bass. There’s some geese in the area and hunters that had the right field did well.
Nancy’s Bait & Tackle (320) 285-2405
Minnows are producing walleyes in 18 to 22 feet on Ten Mile Lake, Woman Lake, and Little Boy Lake. Smallmouth bass action has been strong in shallow water early and late each day with topwater baits on Baby Lake, Stoney Lake, and Ten Mile. Muskie reports continue to improve on Little Boy Lake and Lake Wabedo. Most bear hunters are reporting active baits and decent success, but goose hunting reports have been light.
Swanson’s Bait and Tackle (218) 675-6176
Crappies are hitting minnows on Dewey Lake and Shoepack Lake in 10 to 12 feet. Look to Big Sturgeon Lake with sucker minnows for northern pike along the shoreline weeds. Hunting reports have been limited.
Lucky 7 General Store (218) 254-7168
MADISON LAKE AREA
Walleyes have started hitting crankbaits in less than 8 feet on Madison Lake during the evening hours. Duck Lake continues to produce crappies and sunfish in 8 to 10 feet, while the south end of Big Jefferfson Lake is producing crappies in 8 to 10 feet. Goose hunting reports have been mostly favorable with good numbers of birds in the area.
Corner Bait (507) 243-4464
Bluegills are being caught around the docks on Big Stone Lake. You’ll find perch on Big Stone in 12 to 14 feet from Rocky Ledge to the Bonanza, but walleye action is slow. Goose reports have been spotty with some groups doing well, while others not encountering many birds.
Artie’s Bait (320) 839-2480
PARK RAPIDS AREA
Walleye action has picked up on Big Sand Lake and Long Lake with minnows in 18 to 25 feet. Muskies are being taken with bucktails at Many Point Lake and Big Mantrap Lake, while northern pike remain active in the cabbage beds of Big Mantrap, Lower Twin Lake, and Upper Twin Lake. The Crow Chain and Fish Hook Lake are giving up panfish in the mid-depth weeds. Bear reports have been limited, but there’s been a lot of geese shot in the area.
Delaney’s (218) 732-4281
Smokey Hills Outdoors (218) 237-5099
A jig and minnow is producing walleyes during the day on Big Pine Lake in 17 to 25 feet, as are crankbaits in shallower water at night. The weedlines on lakes such as Star, Dead, and Marion continue to provide consistent panfish action. Hunting groups that sat on newly harvested wheat fields shot more geese than those on other fields.
Gene’s Sport Shop (218) 346-3355
RED WING AREA
Panfish continue to be pulled from the bays on Lake Pepin, and the south end of Pepin is producing crappies in less than 10 feet. Walleyes are being taken with crankbaits or nightcrawlers in 10 to 15 feet in the Head of the Lakes area. Work the wing dams below the dam on the Mississippi River for catfish. There are plenty of geese in the area and that’s meant good success for most groups.
Four Seasons Sports (651) 388-4334
SAUK CENTRE AREA
The 12- to 18-foot structure on the north end of Sauk Lake started giving up walleyes on minnows and crawlers. On Lake Osakis, walleyes are hitting best during the day in 22 to 35 feet of water or low-light periods in 8 to 12 feet. The north end of Osakis also is giving up sunfish in 12 to 14 feet of water, while crappies are being found suspended over 16 feet of water on Sauk or 20 to 30 feet of water on Osakis. Goose numbers are strong in this area with many limits shot over opening weekend.
Fletcher’s Bait Shop (320) 352-2155
STAPLES/LITTLE FALLS AREA
The current breaks throughout the Mississippi River continue to provide consistent smallmouth bass action. Lake Alexander started giving up walleyes at night on crankbaits in 12 to 16 feet. Hit the 8- to 12-foot weedlines on Fish Trap Lake for crappies and sunfish. Look to Pine Island Lake for crappies in 6 to 12 feet, while goose and bear hunting reports have been limited.
Da Fishin’ Hole (320) 631-0056
Sunfish action remains strong in 10 to 12 feet, and largemouth and smallmouth bass are biting on Lake Minnewaska. Minnewaska also is giving up walleyes in 20 to 24 feet during the day on crawlers or in less than 10 feet at night on crankbaits. Work the west side of Lake Emily for walleyes with minnows after dark. Goose hunter participation was low so reports have been limited.
Minnewaska Bait and Tackle (320) 239-2239
You’ll find sunfish in 6 to 10 feet on Eagle Lake, Florida Lake, Lake Andrew, and George Lake. Bass and northern pike remain active on the weedlines of most lakes, and crawlers are producing a few walleyes on Green Lake in 30 to 40 feet. Goose and dove hunting went well if you happened to be in the right field.
Brad’s 71 Bait and Sports (320) 235-4097
Catfish action remains consistently good on the Redwood and Minnesota rivers. A few walleyes are being taken with minnows on Lake Shetek in 8 feet and Lake Sarah in 10 to 12 feet. Hunter reports indicate a lot of success for goose and dove hunters during opening weekend.
Borch’s Sporting Goods (507) 532-4880