Minnesota Outdoor News Fishing Report – Sept. 28, 2018
LAKE MILLE LACS
Boat traffic has dipped, but the fishing remains good. Walleyes and smallmouth bass are being caught on live bait or Jiggin’ Raps during the day on the 10- to 18-foot rocks. During the last couple hours of daylight, slip bobbers and leeches are producing walleyes off the mud flats in 26 feet, as are crankbaits on the shallow rocks. Muskie reports have been limited, but they should start biting on the shallow rocks as soon as water temps drop a bit more.
Johnson’s Portside (320) 676-3811
Terry’s Boat Harbor (320) 692-4430
LAKE OF THE WOODS
On the main basin, jigs and frozen shiners are producing walleyes in 28 to 32 feet. Fish are starting to stack in front of Pine Island and other south shore locations, and some days fish are sliding shallow. Shiners are running up the Rainy River and walleyes are just starting to follow. Anglers reporting success via jigging and pulling crankbaits. At the Northwest Angle, strong numbers of walleyes are being caught on mud flats and adjacent to islands in 15 to 25 feet.
Lake of the Woods Tourism Bureau (800) 382-FISH
LAKE MINNETONKA AREA
Muskie action improved quite a bit since last week with bucktails or BullDawgs in 10 to 15 feet at Lake Minnetonka and Lake Independence. Spinners and sucker minnows are producing northern pike in 18 feet on Medicine Lake, Minnetonka, and Independence. Look for active crappies in the channels of Minnetonka early and late each day or walleyes to hit minnows just outside the channels in 20 to 25 feet. Duck reports have been light with a few wood ducks and mallards being shot.
Wayzata Bait (952) 473-2227
Walleyes are being taken with a jig and minnow in 12 to 20 feet or 20 to 25 feet off Indian Point, Raspberry Island, throughout Big Bay, and the mouths of Everett and Stuntz bays. Muskie anglers are experiencing good action on the rocks with perch-colored Bull Dawgs. Look for northern pike in the shallow weeds of Rice Bay, Mud Creek Bay, and Armstrong Bay. Crappies are being caught on the east side of Pine Island or Wolf Bay in 20 to 22 feet, while smallmouth bass remain active on the shoreline rocks.
Pike Bay Lodge (218) 753-2430
Walleyes continue to hit a jig and minnow spinner and crawler on the bars in 24 to 30 feet or the flats in 14 to 17 feet. Perch anglers are sorting through fish to get their keepers on the 10- to 15-foot shoreline breaks and points. Northern pike remain an easy catch with spoons in the 12- to 16-foot weeds.
A jig and minnow is producing walleyes early and late each day in less than 12 feet, as are Jiggin’ Raps in 15 feet during the day. Better areas have been Cedar Point, Agency Narrows, Goose Island, and the Snake Pit. Trolling crankbaits around Pine Point, Cedar Point, and Sand Point in 9 to 12 feet has turned walleyes at night. Muskie action remains very good with bucktails on the rocks and rock-covered points. The duck season started on a good note, especially for those hunting areas with rice beds.
Reed’s Sporting Goods (218) 547-1505
Shriver’s Bait Company (218) 547-2250
Walleyes continue to be found on the mid-lake humps, breaklines, and mud flats. Utilizing electronics is key to finding and staying on these fish with minnows. Smallmouth bass have made a transition to deeper water, 16 to 25 feet, but still prefer plastics or minnows. Crappies continue to be caught on deep water cribs, breaklines, and main lake humps with small jigs. The shallow water crappie bite appears to be improving in the reeds and river channels. Look for northern pike on the main lake points and weeds.
International Falls CVB (800) 325-5766
Fishing pressure has been extremely light over the past week. The walleyes being caught by the few anglers going are coming off the shorelines or deep water humps on minnows or crankbaits. Grouse hunting has been better than most expected during the early part of the season and local duck numbers were good for the opener.
Mort’s Dock (218) 647-8128
Twin Cities Metro
The slack water areas on the St. Croix River are producing walleyes, smallmouth bass, and catfish in 16 to 20 feet. Anglers fishing with sucker minnows off the piers on Tanners Lake and Powers Lake are catching pike. Crappies and sunfish are going in the 10- to 12-foot weeds of Lake Jane, Carver Lake, and Big Marine Lake. Hit the shallow weed edges on Lake Elmo and White Bear Lake for muskies. Hunting reports have been light.
Blue Ribbon Bait & Tackle (651) 777-2421
The swimming beach area, Carp Trap, and reefs on Lake Waconia are producing some muskies. Crappies and sunfish are biting on Lake Parley in 10 feet or along the weedlines throughout Waconia. The duck season started on a high note with a lot of limits and many hunters stating that it was the best opening weekend in recent memory.
Cabin Fever Sports (952) 443-2022
Anglers are finding crappies on the 10- to 15-foot weedlines or suspended over 20 feet or more on Lake Darling, Lake Geneva, and Lake Le Homme Dieu. Bass are hitting spinnerbaits in the shallow weeds throughout the Le Homme Dieu Chain of Lakes. Muskie action is slow, but a jig and minnow will turn walleyes in 10 to 15 feet on Reno Lake, 19 to 21 feet on Lake Ida, Lake Miltona in 40 to 50 feet, and on the 15-foot weedlines of Geneva. There seems to be ducks around with small potholes producing more wood ducks and teal.
Christopherson’s Bait and Tackle (320) 763-3255
Crappies and sunfish are being caught in 10 to 15 feet at Sugar Lake, Lake Sylvia, and Granite Lake. A few walleyes are being taken with minnows in 16 to 24 feet on Clearwater Lake and Sugar. Bass and northern pike remain active on the weedlines of most lakes. Waterfowl hunters are shooting good numbers of wood ducks with some mallards and teal mixed in.
Little Jim’s Bait (320) 274-5297
BATTLE LAKE AREA
You’ll find crappies suspended over 15 to 20 feet and bluegills in 10 to 15 feet on Elbow Lake, Fish Lake, West Battle Lake, and Clitherall Lake. Walleyes are hitting minnows in 15 to 20 feet on Otter Tail Lake, Fish, and Rush Lake. Toss spinnerbaits in the 10-foot weeds for bass at Stalker Lake, Donald Lake, Bass Lake by Underwood, and West Battle. The 15- to 20-foot weedlines on Fiske Lake, Donald, Otter Tail, and West Battle are giving up northern pike, while muskie action has improved with bright-colored Jakes or BullDawgs in 10 to 15 feet on West Battle. The best duck hunting reports are coming just west of the area, but there has been more geese moving in.
Ben’s Bait Shop (218) 864-5596
Water temperatures have now dropped into the low 60s and the fall bite is kicking in. Walleye action is heating up with jigs and minnows or live-bait rigs and redtails. Some fish are coming off the cabbage in 12 to 14 feet or off the sharp breaks in 18 to 22 feet on Lake Bemidji, Lake Andrusia, Wolf Lake, and Lake Plantagenet. You’ll find pike in those same areas. Bass fishing remains very good with plastics in the grass and deeper edges. Crappies continue to move out to the deeper basins and suspend on most lakes.
Dick Beardsley Guide Service (218) 556-7172
Walleyes are hitting a jig and minnow in 10 to 12 feet at Blackduck Lake or 10 to 15 feet on Island, Round, and Gull lakes. Look for suspended crappies over 14 to 20 feet on Gilstead Lake, Pimushe Lake, and Turtle River Lake. Thick cover continues to limit grouse hunting success, but duck hunters are doing well. Wood ducks, teal, mallards, and a few ringnecks are being shot.
Timberline Sports and Tackle (218) 835-4636
Minnows are now the best option for walleyes on Whitefish Lake in 20 to 35 feet and the south end of Gull Lake in 15 to 32 feet. Look for sunfish and largemouth bass on the 6- to 12-foot weedlines of Nisswa Lake, North Long Lake, Lake Edwards, and Gull. Crappies are starting to suspend over 18 to 25 feet on most lakes, and northern pike are hitting bigger minnows on the deep weedlines of Gull and Whitefish.
S & W Bait & Guide Service/Nisswa Guide League (218) 829-7010
CASS LAKE AREA
Walleye action is strong during the day with minnows or crawlers in 18 to 20 feet. Work Allen’s Bay, North Cedar Bar, or Buck’s Bar on Cass and LeRoy’s Bar on Pike Bay Lake. Bucktails are triggering muskies on the rocks and reed edges of Cass, while bluegills are being found in the 12- to 14-foot cabbage on most lakes. Perch remain active in 8 feet along the east shore, Cedar Island area, and Allen’s Bay on Cass. Duck hunters are encountering good numbers of mallards and some wood ducks.
Sunset Cove Resort (800) 279-4831
Sunfish and crappies continue to be found in the 12- to 15-foot weeds of South Center Lake, Chisago Lake, and North Lindstrom Lake. Walleyes are hitting crawlers on the 18- to 22-foot breaks or a jig and minnow on the points in 12 to 15 feet on Green Lake, Chisago, and North and South Center lakes. Bass are hitting plastics or crankbaits in the shallow weeds of most lakes. The duck season started on a decent note with wood ducks, geese, and a few mallards being taken.
Frankie’s Bait (651) 257-6334
Walleyes are being taken with a jig and minnow on Clearwater Lake and Serpent Lake in 25 to 30 feet. The north end of Bay Lake, north half of Clearwater, Black Hoof Lake, and Little Rabbit Lake are producing crappies in 16 to 19 feet, but some fish are being found suspended over deep water as well. Work the Pennington Pit Chain with large bucktails for big northern pike. Waterfowl reports have been mixed, but there was plenty of wood ducks shot. Finding other duck species was difficult.
Oars ‘n Mine Bait and Tackle (218) 546-6912
DETROIT LAKES AREA
Muskie action is picking up with sucker minnows in 10 to 12 feet at Big Detroit Lake, Pelican Lake, and Lake Sallie. Minnows also are turning walleyes in 15 to 20 feet on Big Cormorant Lake, Big Detroit, and Pelican. Look for suspended crappies over 15 to 22 feet on Floyd Lake and Lake Melissa. Duck reports have been limited.
Quality Bait and Tackle (218) 844-2248
The narrows on Fish Lake started producing crappies during the late afternoon hours. Hit Island Lake in 10 feet with large sucker minnows for muskies or 15 feet with crankbaits or minnows for walleyes. Consistently strong winds have limited fishing action on Lake Superior over the past week. Grouse hunting reports remain light, but archery hunters are seeing and shooting more deer with the cooler weather.
Chalstrom’s Bait (218) 726-0094
EAST CENTRAL MN
Walleyes are just starting to slide shallower on Green Lake and Blue Lake – minnows and crankbaits should both work. Largemouth bass have moved deeper on most lakes, while Little Elk Lake, Knife Lake, and Lori Lake are safe bets for panfish in 14 to 17 feet. Waterfowl hunters report a successful opening weekend with an abundance of geese and puddle ducks in the area.
Tales and Trails Sport Shop (763) 856-3985
Largemouth bass started hitting plastics on Kego Lake in 5 to 8 feet, and northern pike action has picked up with spoons in 8 to 10 feet at Eagle Lake. Hit Mitchell Lake for crappies in 10 to 12 feet, while long-lining crankbaits over deep water on Roosevelt Lake has produced walleyes at night. Duck hunters had a strong opening weekend with geese and puddle ducks providing good shoots.
Redding Sports and Spirits (218) 763-2191
Severe storms with strong winds and heavy rain limited fishing opportunities last week – most people were in clean-up mode. Hunters did pull off a good start to the duck season, even though the added rain created some temporary ponds that spread the ducks out. Flooded corn fields were the spots to be and those that had them encountered good numbers of gadwall, mallards, and redheads.
Sommer Outdoors (507) 235-5225
FERGUS FALLS AREA
Walleyes are being taking with a jig and minnow or Jiggin’ Raps in less than 10 feet on Ten Mile Lake and Fish Lake. Muskies have started hitting sucker minnows in the bays of Beers Lake and Pelican Lake. Look for crappies on the shallow weed edges of Lake Anna and North Turtle Lake. Duck hunters are shooting good numbers of puddle ducks, highlighted by an abundance of teal.
Little Chief Outpost (218) 998-5050
GRAND MARAIS AREA
A jig and minnow is turning walleyes on Elbow Lake in 5 feet, Lichen Lake in 8 to 12 feet, and Crescent Lake in 10 to 15 feet. A few lake trout are being taken with smelt of sucker minnows in 18 to 25 feet on Greenwood Lake, Trout Lake in 30 feet, and Sea Gull Lake in 25 to 35 feet. Rainbow trout are hitting crawlers at Leo Lake in 12 to 16 feet and Mink Lake in 15 to 18 feet. Grouse hunters are shooting a few birds and they seem to be flushing a decent number of birds, but thick cover is limiting success.
Buck’s Hardware (218) 387-2280
A jig and minnow is producing walleyes at Woman Lake and Pine Mountain Lake in 17 to 21 feet. Smallmouth bass are hitting jigs and plastics on the 6- to 12-foot breaks of Ten Mile Lake and Stoney Lake. You’ll find crappies on the weed edges or suspended over 20 to 22 feet on Ten Mile, Pleasant Lake, and Birch Lake. Jerk baits are raising muskies in and around the reeds on Baby Lake and Little Boy Lake. Duck reports have been mixed, but the opener sounded like it was better than last year with mallards, wood ducks, and geese being shot.
Swanson’s Bait and Tackle (218) 675-6176
Heavy rains dirtied streams for anglers last weekend, but most have cleared up at this point – even the South Branch of the Root River should be fine by this weekend. Blue-Winged Olive hatches (BWOs) have been good on most streams and Streamer fishing has been good for pre-spawn brown trout. Nymphing with Scud patterns are most effective for fly fishing and dry flies remain an option as well.
Root River Rod Company (507) 467-2101
Look for sunfish and crappies on Knife Lake, Ann Lake, and Mud Lake in 6 to 8 feet. Largemouth bass also are being pulled from the shallow weeds of Knife and Ann. Duck hunters saw quite a few birds on opening weekend based on the number of shots heard and hunter reports.
Jerry’s Sport & Bait Shop (320) 679-2151
Perch and bluegills continue to be caught from Schmidt’s Landing to the Gray Barn on Big Stone Lake in 12 to 13 feet. A few walleyes are being caught along the north end shorelines of Big Stone during the evening hours with crankbaits or jigs and plastics. The duck opener went well with good numbers of teal, wood ducks, and some local mallards in the area.
Artie’s Bait (320) 839-2480
PARK RAPIDS AREA
Minnows are turning walleyes in 18 to 24 feet on Fish Hook Lake, Long Lake, and Big Sand Lake. You’ll find crappies on Boulder Lake, the Crow Wing Chain, and Fish Hook in 12 to 18 feet. Largemouth and smallmouth bass reports continue to be favorable on most lakes, while muskie action has picked up on the weedlines and rocks of Big Mantrap Lake with bucktails. Wood ducks, teal, and geese provided a normal opening weekend of the waterfowl season, but grouse reports remain slow.
Delaney’s (218) 732-4281
Smokey Hills Outdoors (218) 237-5099
RED WING AREA
Water levels on the Mississippi River have come up and water clarity has been poor after recent rains and that’s slowed the walleye action. Once it settles down, look for walleyes and sauger below the dam to Red Wing. The duck opener was average. It seems most groups shot some birds, but no big numbers.
Four Seasons Sports (651) 388-4334
RICHMOND/ST. CLOUD AREA
Sunfish continue bite in 8 to 14 feet at Cedar Island Lake, Schneider Lake, Horseshoe Lake, and Eden Lake. Look for suspended crappies over 22 to 24 feet on Eden and Horseshoe as well. Walleye action has been limited to a few fish being caught with minnows during the evening hours on Rice Lake in 15 to 20 feet. Hunters found pockets of ducks on the opener consisting mainly of wood ducks, teal, and a few mallards.
Channel Marine and Sports (320) 597-5975
SAUK CENTRE AREA
Walleyes have started hitting minnows on Sauk Lake, west of Diamond Point and the Narrows Bridge area, in 8 to 12 feet. Look for crappies on Long Bridge Lake in 12 to 18 feet and suspended over deep water on Lake Osakis, just east of Coon Point. The north end of Osakis is producing sunfish as well. Opening weekend duck reports were mixed, with wood ducks, teal, geese, and a few mallards shot.
Fletcher’s Bait Shop (320) 352-2155
STAPLES/LITTLE FALLS AREA
Minnows are producing smallmouth bass above the Little Falls Dam on the Mississippi River. Small jigs and plastics are turning crappies on the 12- to 14-foot weedlines of Fish Trap Lake, while the weedlines on Beauty Lake are giving up a mixed bag of panfish. It was a “fair” duck opener with decent numbers of puddle ducks shot in the area.
Da Fishin’ Hole (320) 631-0056
There hasn’t been many people fishing, but minnows are producing some walleyes on Big Kandi Lake and Lake Minnetoga in 6 to 8 feet. A spinner and crawler is turning a few walleyes on Green Lake in 25 to 35 feet, and anglers fishing from shore on Willmar/Foot Lake are catching panfish. The duck opener was spotty with a few wood ducks, teal, and geese shot in the area.
Brad’s 71 Bait and Sports (320) 235-4097
Walleyes are hitting minnows or crankbaits at Lake Sarah and Rock Lake in less than 10 feet. Look to Lake Lac qui Parle for crappies and walleyes, while spoons continue to turn northern pike on Dead Coon Lake in 5 to 8 feet. Waterfowl hunters had a very productive opener with mallards, teal, gadwall, and wood ducks in most bags. Goose numbers also have improved throughout the area.
Borch’s Sporting Goods (507) 532-4880
Water levels have jumped on the Mississippi River after last week’s heavy rains, but it is fishable. Crappies and sunfish are being caught on the snags and slow-current areas. Jigs and plastics are producing smallmouth bass in the deeper holes, while walleye action has been limited. Duck hunters are finding mostly wood ducks with a few mallards and teal mixed in.
Hogline Bait and Tackle (507) 474-9999