Minnesota Outdoor News Fishing Report – Oct. 12, 2018

Great Eight


Muskie anglers are trolling the north-end sand breaks and casting bucktails on the east-side rocks with some success. Jigs and plastics are producing smallmouth bass and walleyes on the 5- to 18-foot rocks. Walleyes also are hitting crankbaits early and late each day on the 6- to 12-foot rocks.

Johnson’s Portside (320) 676-3811

Terry’s Boat Harbor (320) 692-4430


The water was a bit stirred up along the south shore this week due to strong winds, but it has started to settle. Walleyes and shiner minnows are staging in 20 to 29 feet in various spots along the south shore. Jigs and frozen shiners are working best. On the Rainy River, walleye activity is strong, with some big fish showing up. Anglers are reporting success jigging with a 3⁄8- or 1⁄2-ounce jig and frozen shiner. Four Mile Bay has good bite, and sturgeon have the feed bags on. At the Northwest Angle, limits of walleyes are being caught in rocky bays and adjacent reefs over 17 to 25 feet. Look to pinch points,  areas of current, and outside of bays. Crappies are being found suspended over mud-bottom areas in 24 to 28 feet. Muskie trolling is off to a great start and should only get better as water temperatures reach 40 degrees.

Lake of the Woods Tourism Bureau (800) 382-FISH


Muskies have started hitting sucker minnows on top of the 8- to 12-foot weeds on Lake Minnetonka and Lake Independence. Minnows are producing walleyes in 18 to 25 feet on Minnetonka and Independence. Spinners and minnows are turning northern pike in 10 feet, and bass are going in 6 to 10 feet on most lakes.

Wayzata Bait (952) 473-2227


Walleyes continue to be caught with minnows on the rocks and reefs in 28 to 35 feet during the day. Some fish are being caught on crankbaits during low-light periods on top of the reefs. The shallow reefs remain the best option for muskies, most of which are being raised with bucktails. Look for suspended crappies over 30 feet or more in most bays or around islands.

Pike Bay Lodge (218) 753-2430


Walleyes and perch are being taken with a jig and minnow on the shoreline breaks in 14 to 18 feet or off the points in 9 to 12 feet. Look for better numbers of active fish on the wind-driven shorelines. Northern pike can be had with minnows or artificial baits along the remaining weed edges in 12 to 15 feet. 

Lake Winnie Resort Association                   


Wet and windy weather over the past week has limited fishing opportunities. The few anglers venturing out are finding the occasional walleye on the wind-driven points or shoreline breaks in 6 to 10 feet. The deep humps in Walker Bay also are worth hitting for walleyes with Jiggin’ Raps or minnows. Perch action has slowed a bit and a few muskies continue to be caught off the shallow rocks with bucktails or rubber baits. Steady winds have helped knock some of the leaves down so grouse hunting should pick up, but there wasn’t a big push of new ducks into the area since last week.

Reed’s Sporting Goods (218) 547-1505

Shriver’s Bait Company (218) 547-2250


A vertically presented jig and minnow is turning walleyes on the main lake humps and reefs in 25 to 32 feet. Anglers trolling crankbaits on the shoreline breaks also are finding walleyes early and late each day. Northern pike remain active on the remaining weedlines in 15 to 20 feet, while most rocky shorelines and points continue to hold smallmouth bass. With the foliage starting to thin out, there have been more grouse hunters out, with moderate success reported.

International Falls CVB (800) 325-5766


There has been very little boat traffic with the poor weather conditions during the past week. Once the weather improves, look for walleyes on the 5- to 8-foot gravel bars. Duck and goose hunters are having pretty decent success with a good supply of local birds still in the area. Grouse hunters are finding some birds along forest trails as the cover is starting to thin out.

Mort’s Dock (218) 647-8128

Twin Cities Metro


Minnows or plastics are producing walleyes and smallmouth bass in 10 to 16 feet or 20 to 25 feet on the St. Croix River. The majority of muskie anglers have started using sucker minnows with success being reported off White Bear Lake in 12 to 18 feet. Look for crappies and sunfish in 10 to 12 feet on White Bear, Lake Jane, and Big Marine Lake. Sucker minnows are turning northern pike off the fishing piers at Tanners Lake and Powers Lake.

Blue Ribbon Bait & Tackle (651) 777-2421


The 8- to 12-foot weedlines on Lake Parley and Lake Waconia are giving up sunfish and a few crappies. Work the deep weedlines with sucker minnows for northern pike on Wasserman Lake and Steiger Lake. The reefs on Waconia are producing a few walleyes during the late afternoon hours, and muskies remain active in the swimming beach area of Waconia.

Cabin Fever Sports (952) 443-2022



You’ll find suspended crappies over 18 to 22 feet on Lake Darling, Lake Le Homme Dieu, and Lake Geneva. Walleyes continue to be taken with minnows during the day in 14 to 17 feet on Reno Lake or 20 to 25 feet on Lake Miltona and Lake Ida. Muskie reports have been best off Miltona, but anglers are seeing more fish than they’re hooking. Waterfowl hunters are shooting more geese than ducks and most reports indicate that there hasn’t been much for new ducks moving in.

Christopherson’s Bait and Tackle (320) 763-3255


Walleyes are hitting minnows on Clearwater Lake in 9 to 15 feet or 20 to 28 feet. You’ll also hook a few walleyes on Lake Sylvia in 20 to 22 feet. Crappies continue to be found suspended over 22 to 30 feet on Clearwater, Cedar Lake, Granite Lake, and Sugar Lake. Sugar also produced a few muskies last weekend on sucker minnows in 12 to 15 feet. Work the deep weedlines on most lakes with minnows or crankbaits for bass and northern pike. There hasn’t been much for new ducks moving in, but goose numbers remain good.

Little Jim’s Bait (320) 274-5297


Walleyes are being taken with a jig and minnow in 14 to 20 feet during the day or with crankbaits at night in less than 10 feet on Otter Tail Lake and West Battle Lake. Large sucker minnows are turning muskies on top of the 16- to 20-foot weeds of West Battle. Look for suspended crappies over 15 to 20 feet and sunfish in 10 to 12 feet on Elbow Lake, Clitherall Lake, West Battle, and Bass Lake. Northern pike continue to be caught with minnows in 15 to 18 feet on Donald Lake, Silver Lake, and West Battle. Waterfowl hunters are seeing a few more divers, along with mallards and geese.

Ben’s Bait Shop (218) 864-5596


A jig and minnow is producing walleyes on Blackduck Lake and Island Lake in 10 to 14 feet. Bluegill and crappie reports have been limited, but the weather has likely kept most panfish anglers off the lakes. Grouse hunting has improved with the leaves starting to drop, but there hasn’t been a big push of new ducks into the area.

Timberline Sports and Tackle (218) 835-4636


Live-bait rigs or jigs tipped with minnows are turning walleyes in 20 to 35 feet on North Long Lake, Gull Lake, and Pelican Lake. Minnows also are producing northern pike on the deep weedlines of Whitefish Lake, Lake Edwards, and south end of Gull. Look for sunfish and bass in 6 to 12 feet on Nisswa Lake, Cullen Lake, and North Long. Crappie reports have been limited but they should start showing up suspended over 20 feet or so on most lakes.

S & W Bait & Guide Service/Nisswa Guide League (218) 829-7010


Sunfish, crappies, northern pike, and largemouth bass are being pulled off the 12- to 14-foot weed edges of Green Lake, Chisago Lake, South Center Lake, and North Lindstrom Lake. North Center Lake and Green continue to produce a few walleyes in 16 to 24 feet on minnows. Duck hunters aren’t seeing many birds, but there continues to be good numbers of geese in the area. 

Frankie’s Bait (651) 257-6334


Large sucker minnows are producing muskies on Big Detroit Lake, West Battle Lake, and Lake Sallie right below the surface over 10 to 15 feet. Walleyes are hitting minnows on Big Cormorant Lake, Big Detroit, and Lake Melissa in 15 to 18 feet. Look to Little Floyd Lake and Tamarack Lake for bluegills and crappies in 10 to 12 feet. 

Quality Bait and Tackle (218) 844-2248


Muskies are hitting sucker minnows at Island Lake in 10 to 15 feet and the St. Louis River in 8 to 10 feet. The Highbanks area on Fish Lake is kicking out crappies over 15 feet. Grouse hunters are shooting some birds, but there’s still quite a bit of cover in the woods.

Chalstrom’s Bait (218) 726-0094


Crappies have started hitting on Lake Emily in 11 to 13 feet, while trolling crankbaits on Lawrence Lake in 8 to 10 feet has produced northern pike. Grouse hunting has been tough, but waterfowl hunters continue to find good numbers of puddle ducks.

Redding Sports and Spirits (218) 763-2191


Walleyes are being caught in the channels between Hall Lake, Budd Lake, Lake Sisseton, and Lake George on crankbaits or minnows. Tuttle Lake also is giving up walleyes on jigs and minnows in less than 6 feet. Look to Budd and Sisseton for panfish in 6 to 12 feet, and catfish are hitting on Amber Lake, Budd, and Hall. 

Sommer Outdoors (507) 235-5225


The outlets and current areas on Hooten Wright Lake and Ten Mile Lake are producing walleyes on minnows. Minnows also are turning walleyes in 10 to 12 feet on Pelican Lake and Fish Lake. Look for crappies on the edges of most weed flats at Wall Lake, North Turtle Lake, and Fish. Northern pike and muskies are hitting sucker minnows on Pelican in 10 to 16 feet. Hunters are still finding local ducks along with some redheads and ringbills.

Little Chief Outpost (218) 998-5050


Minnows are producing walleyes on Cascade Lake in 8 to 12 feet of water, Crescent Lake in 8 to 15 feet of water, and McFarland Lake in 6 to 10 feet of water. Sucker minnows are the ticket for northern pike at Poplar Lake in 6 to 10 feet of water and Hungry Jack Lake in 8 to 10 feet of water, as are crankbaits on Devil Track Lake in 12 feet of water. Hunting pressure has been light, mainly due to poor weather conditions.

Buck’s Hardware (218) 387-2280


Minnows are producing a few walleyes on Big Birch Lake in 26 to 34 feet. Look for sunfish in 12 to 15 feet on St. Anna Lake. Crappies are starting to show up suspended over 18 to 25 feet on Big Birch and Big Swan Lake.

Nancy’s Bait & Tackle (320) 285-2405


Walleyes continue to hit large minnows and Jiggin’ Raps in 18 to 25 feet on Woman Lake and Pine Mountain Lake. You’ll find crappies on the weedlines or deep, basin areas of Birch Lake, Portage Lake, and Stoney Lake. Sucker minnows or BullDawgs are turning muskies in 6 to 14 feet on Little Boy Lake and Baby Lake. Smallmouth bass are being caught in 14 to 16 feet on Stoney, Ten Mile, and Baby. There’s still some wood ducks in the area, goose numbers have increased, but there isn’t many new ducks moving in.

Swanson’s Bait and Tackle (218) 675-6176


Walleye fishing has been good off most reefs and points in the 30- to 32-foot hard-bottom areas. Trolling crankbaits with leadcore, bottom bouncers with minnows, or a jig and minnow are all producing fish. Smallmouth bass fishing is fair at best with most anglers having to work to find them off the reef edges in 20 feet or more. Northern pike and crappie reports are basically non-existent, but some nice pike are being caught while trolling for walleyes. Grouse hunting is improving with the leaves coming down, but duck hunters are in a lull as most local birds are gone and northern ducks haven’t shown up.

Gateway Store (218) 875-2121


Most streams will be closed for fishing starting on October 15, but streams within the city limits and state parks will remain open for trout fishing. Streamer fishing continues to produce and Blue-Winged Olives (BWO) are still hatching on most streams. It’s worth noting that this area received a lot of rain over the past week, so many streams are not in the best fishing condition.

Root River Rod Company (507) 467-2101


Perch continue to be caught with minnows throughout Big Stone Lake in 11 to 13 feet. The shoreline breaks on Big Stone are giving up walleyes early and late each day on minnows or crankbaits. There’s been a few northern ducks moving in, but hunters continue to shoot mostly local ducks and geese.

Artie’s Bait (320) 839-2480


Sucker minnows are producing muskies on Big Mantrap Lake and northern pike at Long Lake and Big Sand Lake. Walleyes are hitting minnows or Jiggin’ Raps in 24 to 30 feet on Fish Hook Lake, Long, and Big Sand. Panfish reports have been limited, but likely due to fewer anglers chasing them with the poor weather of late. Goose numbers remain good, but there hasn’t been much for new ducks moving in. 

Delaney’s (218) 732-4281

Smokey Hills Outdoors (218) 237-5099


Walleyes are being caught with minnows and Jiggin’ Raps in 22 to 30 feet on Rush Lake and Big Pine Lake. Bigger schools of crappies are being found suspended over 20 feet or more on Star Lake, Lake Marion, Dead Lake, Big Pine, and Rush. Hunters are reporting a few more northern ducks in the area this week, but not big numbers.

Gene’s Sport Shop (218) 346-3355


With another week of steady rain, the Mississippi River is muddy and running high, making it very difficult to fish. The few walleyes being caught are coming off Lake Pepin with crankbaits in 15 feet, mainly from Lake City to the south. Some panfish are being caught in the marinas as well.

Four Seasons Sports (651) 388-4334


Crappies are being found off the shorelines in 10 to 12 feet or suspended over 18 to 22 feet on Rice Lake, Horseshoe Lake, Cedar Island Lake, and Long Lake. Sunfish reports also remain favorable in less than 10 feet on Schneider Lake, Bolfing Lake, Becker Lake, and Cedar Island. Walleye action has been sporadic with a few fish being taken on minnows at Rice, Horseshoe, and Lake Koronis in 12 to 16 feet. Hunting reports have been limited to a few ducks and geese being shot.

Channel Marine and Sports (320) 597-5975


Rainbow minnows are producing walleyes on the north half of Sauk Lake in 6 to 12 feet. Hit the north end of Lake Osakis for suspended crappies over 26 feet and sunfish in the 8- to 12-foot weeds. Work the shallow weeds on Maple Lake for sunfish as well. Wood ducks, mallards, and geese continue to provide waterfowl hunters with plenty of opportunities.

Fletcher’s Bait Shop (320) 352-2155


Work the current breaks on the Mississippi River with a jig and minnow for walleyes and smallmouth bass. Drifting large sucker minnows over the weed tops on Lake Alexander has produced muskies. The area’s small lakes have been best for sunfish in 8 to 12 feet of water, and crappies are being found suspended on Fish Trap Lake over 18 to 22 feet of water. Hunting action remains limited.

Da Fishin’ Hole (320) 631-0056


Hit the 14- to 16-foot points throughout Lake Minnewaska with a jig and minnow during the day for walleyes. At night, trolling crankbaits has produced fish along the shallow bulrush edges. Sunfish remain active on Minnewaska in 12 to 14 feet.

Minnewaska Bait and Tackle (320) 239-2239


Fishing reports have been limited due to poor weather. Some anglers have been fishing from shore on lakes Minnetoga, Big Kandi, and Lillian for walleyes and perch. A few walleyes also are being caught by shore anglers on Willmar/Foot Lake. Look to Green Lake in 30 to 50 feet or Diamond Lake and Eagle Lake in 10 to 15 feet for an occasional walleye as well. Duck and goose reports continue to be light.

Brad’s 71 Bait and Sports (320) 235-4097


Minnows are producing walleyes, perch, and crappies in 3 to 5 feet on the south end of Rock Lake or the north end in 5 to 7 feet. Jigs tipped with plastics or minnows are turning walleyes at Current Lake in 4 to 7 feet, and Wood Lake or Goose Lake in 6 to 8 feet. The sunken islands and Milan Bridge area on Lake Lac qui Parle are producing walleyes, crappies, and northern pike. Crankbaits are turning walleyes on the shorelines out to 10 feet on Lake Shetek and Lake Sarah.

Borch’s Sporting Goods (507) 532-4880

Categories: MInnesota Fishing Reports, News

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