Saturday, February 4th, 2023
Saturday, February 4th, 2023

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Minnesota Fishing Report – May 12, 2020

Report from the Dock

In most parts of the state, weather conditions, (including snow in some areas), were less than ideal on the fishing opener. The cool, windy weather continued early this week and that seems to be keeping walleyes in a lot of lakes somewhat sluggish to start the season.  Most of the good walleye reports are coming from shallow water with minnows or crankbaits producing the majority of fish. With improved weather expected going into this weekend, many of those slow walleye bites should pick up – it’s likely that walleye fishing will be much better this weekend than it was on opening day. Even panfish have been affected by the return of cold weather late last week and through the weekend. While there has been fewer people chasing them since the walleye season opened, the cold air dropped water temperatures enough to again push them out of the shallows. The majority of crappies being found were staging outside of the bays or other shallow locations. They should move back in very rapidly, if air temperatures get as warm as forecasted.

Great Eight

LAKE MILLE LACS        

East – Walleyes are being caught throughout the lake – rock, sand, points, and even some deeper structure is all holding active fish. Some smallmouth bass are being found on the shallow rock areas as well, but bass anglers are catching more walleyes than bass at this point.

Johnson’s Portside (320) 676-3811

West – Walleyes are being taken with crankbaits, jig and minnows, live-bait rigs or slip bobbers and leeches in 6 to 14 feet early and late or 18 to 22 feet during the day. St. Alban’s Bay, Garrison Reef, the rock points, and sand are all producing fish, as are most areas of the lake. There’s been a few bass and northern pike mixed in as well in the shallower water.

Terry’s Boat Harbor (320) 692-4430

 

LAKE OF THE WOODS

Walleyes and sauger are being caught along the south shore in a variety of depths from 6 to 23 feet. Anchoring up and vertically presenting a jig and minnow is working best. Good numbers of northern pike are still being caught in bays. On the Rainy River, a jig and minnow is producing walleyes in Four Mile Bay, Bostic Bay, and the river itself. The sturgeon bite continues strong with numbers of good-size fish being caught. 

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

LAKE MINNETONKA AREA    

A few walleyes are being caught in 15 to 20 feet with minnows during the day or on crankbaits at night in the channels 4 to 6 feet on Lake Minnetonka. Largemouth bass and northern pike are active in 6 to 12 feet throughout Minnetonka, Lake Independence, and Medicine Lake. Sunfish are going on the 8-foot weeds at Minnetonka, but the local crappie bite has slowed.

Wayzata Bait (952) 473-2227

 

LAKE VERMILION

Walleyes are being caught from 5 to  30 feet throughout Pike Bay on crankbaits in shallow water or with live-bait rigs and minnows deeper. Look to the mouth of the Pike River for walleyes, northern pike, and some crappies. Whiskey Island, Duffy Island, and most points are giving up walleyes in 25 to 30 feet as well. Frazier Bay is kicking out walleyes on minnows in 30 feet or so during the day and Black Bay is kicking out crappies.

Pike Bay Lodge (218) 753-2430

 

LAKE WINNIBIGOSHISH

A jig and minnow is producing walleyes along Mallard Point, Raven’s Point, and Sugar Point on the west shore in 10 to 14 feet and you’ll find perch in 15 to 20 feet off these same areas. The High Banks area is giving up walleyes in 15 to 18 feet and some bigger perch are coming off the north side humps in 25 to 30 feet.

Lake Winnie Resort Association       

           

LEECH LAKE

Walleye action has been spotty with the most consistent reports coming out of 5 to 10 feet with a jig and minnow. The wind-driven shorelines and points have been the best options so far and anglers have been sorting through quite a few small walleyes. Northern pike have beeen active anywhere there’s some weeds in 6 to 12 feet, while bass and panfish reports have been limited.

Reed’s Sporting Goods (218) 547-1505

Shriver’s Bait Company (218) 547-2250

 

RAINY LAKE     

Walleye reports have varied with some fish being taken along the shoreliens or current areas with minnows in 6 to 18 feet. Other pods of walleyes are being found on deeper structure, 20 to 25 feet. Some fish also are being caught off docks at night with bobbers and minnows. 

International Falls CVB (800) 325-5766

 

RED LAKE

Shiner minnows on a jig, live-bait rig or under a float are turning numbers of walleyes along the shorelines in less than 6 feet of water. Anglers have been catching and releasing a lot of bigger walleyes as well, in order to get their limit of keeping-size fish.

Roger’s On Red (218) 647-8262

Twin Cities Metro

NORTHEAST METRO

Work the current breaks with a jig and minnow or plastics for walleyes on the St. Croix River and Mississippi River. Bald Eagle Lake and White Bear Lake are producing a few walleyes on minnows in 10 to 14 feet. Crappies and sunfish continue to be found in less than 6 feet on Silver Lake, Demontreville Lake, Lake Jane, and White Bear. Northern pike are hitting minnows or jerk baits on Demontreville, Jane, and White Bear in 8 to 12 feet.

Blue Ribbon Bait & Tackle (651) 777-2421

 

SOUTH METRO

Crappies have moved deeper, 8 to 12 feet, on Spring Lake and Prior Lake. Look to Candy Cove on Prior for good numbers of sunfish as well. Bass and northern pike fishing is strong in shallow water on most lakes and walleye reports have been limited.

Prior Lake Bait & Tackle (952) 447-6096

 

LAKE WACONIA

Low-light periods have been best for walleyes in 4 to 10 feet with minnows or crankbaits at Harm’s Point, Peterson Creek area, the Claybanks, and Rock Dock area. Northern pike are hitting minnows during the day in 6 to 10 feet around the island and Pillsbury and Center reefs. Look for bass along the shorelines and crappies in Waconia Bay or near the Rock Dock in 6 to 10 feet.

Mases In Towne Marina (952) 442-2096

Statewide

ALEXANDRIA AREA

Lake Le Homme Dieu, Reno Lake, and Mary Lake are giving up a few walleyes on minnows in 8 to 12 feet. Once water temperatures climb back up, look for crappies in shallow water at Reno, Lake Carlos, Lake Darling, Lake Louise, and Mary.

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

 

ANNANDALE AREA

Minnows are producing walleyes on Clearwater Lake, Big Swan Lake, and Buffalo Lake in 12 to 17 feet. Largemouth bass are being found in less than 5 feet on most lakes, while crappies and sunfish are being caught in the bays on Clearwater, Cedar Lake, Pleasant Lake, Lake Sylvia, Maple Lake, and Lake Francis. 

Little Jim’s Bait (320) 274-5297

 

BATTLE LAKE AREA

A jig and minnow is turning walleyes in front of the river mouths or shoreline breaks in less than 11 feet. Otter Tail Lake, Rush Lake, and Walker Lake have given up fish most consistently. Crappie and sunfish action has slowed, but they likely moved back to deeper water with the cooler weather. Bass and northern pike are active in shallow water on most lakes. 

Ben’s Bait Shop (218) 864-5596

 

BEMIDJI AREA

Lake Bemidji and Lake Plantagenet  are kicking out a few walleyes on jigs and minnows in 8 to 12 feet. Bass fishing has been excellent along the shorelines of most lakes with swimbaits or jig and plastics. Crappies and bluegills have moved back out to deeper water, but with warmer weather in the forecast for the weekend, look for them to start moving back into the shallows. 

Dick Beardsley Guide Service (218) 556-7172

 

BLACKDUCK AREA

Island Lake is giving up walleyes on a jig and minnow in 10 to 14 feet, while a slip bobber and minnow is producing a few walleyes on Blackduck Lake in 6 to 10 feet. Northern pike seem to be active, but panfish action has slowed.

Timberline Sports and Tackle (218) 835-4636

 

BRAINERD/NISSWA AREA 

Walleyes have been tough to find, especially during the day. Some are being caught early in the morning with a jig and rainbow minnow in 4 to 6 feet at Gull Lake, North Long Lake, and Round Lake. Panfish, bass, and pike reports also have been limited, although there hasn’t been many people fishing them through the cold weather early this week.

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

 

CASS LAKE AREA

There’s a solid evening walleye bite in the current areas throughout the Cass Lake Chain with jigs and minnows or plastics. The gravel areas on Kitchi Lake, Lake Andrusia, and Wolf Lake are producing walleyes as well on a jig and minnow. Look to the shallow bulrushes in Allen’s Bay on Cass, Kitchi, and Wolf for crappies and bluegills.

Sunset Cove Resort (800) 279-4831              

 

CHISAGO AREA   

A few walleyes are being caught on the 8- to 12-foot weedlines with minnows at Green Lake and Chisago Lake, but overall, the bite has been tough. Spinnerbaits or minnows are turning bass in 2 to 6 feet on most lakes, while panfish have been moving in and out of the shallows on area lakes with the changing water temperatures.

Frankie’s Bait (651) 257-6334

 

CROSBY AREA

Serpent Lake and Rabbit Lake are giving up walleyes in 8 to 14 feet with a jig and minnow during the day or crankbaits during low-light periods. Northern pike and bass are active in most lakes in 8 to 12 feet. Limits of trout are being taken on the local mine pits, with the Pennington Chain, Manuel Pit, and Huntington Pit standing out. Trolling with spoons or small crankbaits is working for anglers in boats, while anglers from shore are casting small spoons. Panfish action has been slow since last week. 

Oars ‘n Mine Bait and Tackle (218) 546-6912

 

DETROIT LAKES AREA

You’ll find crappies and sunfish on Big Floyd Lake, Little Floyd Lake, Lake Melissa, and Little Detroit Lake in 4 to 8 feet. Minnows are produing some walleyes on the outside weed edges in 10 to 15 feet on Lake Sallie, Big Detroit Lake, and Pelican Lake. Northern pike and bass are hitting on most lakes in less than 8 feet.

Quality Bait and Tackle (218) 844-2248

 

DULUTH AREA   

The upper portion of the St. Louis River has been the best walleye spot for anglers to start the season with spinners and chubs or crawlers producing fish. Anglers fishing near the bridge on Island Lake with minnows are catching walleyes, crappies, and northern pike. Trolling stickbaits over 50 to 70 feet out from Park Point on Lake Superior is turning coho salmon, lake trout, and the occasional brown trout.

Chalstrom’s Bait (218) 726-0094

 

EAST CENTRAL MN

It’s been a tough start to the walleye season, but few fish are being taken with minnows on Briggs Lake and Lake Julia in 3 to 7 feet. Look for crappies at  Lori Lake and Green Lake in less than 6 feet, while Blue Lake and Little Elk Lake are producing bass and northern pike in 7 to 14 feet.

Tales and Trails Sport Shop (763) 856-3985

 

ELY AREA

The 12- to 15-foot current areas are producing a lot of male walleyes, while the larger females are being found in 22 to 25 feet in Pipestone Bay on Basswood Lake, Garden Lake, and Farm Lake – minnows have worked best. Northern pike are hitting sucker minnows under a float in less than 10 feet in the bays on Farm, Basswood, and Shagawa Lake. A few crappies are being found at the mouth of the bays on South Farm Lake and White Iron Lake over 15 feet.

Arrowhead Outdoors (218) 365-5358

 

EMILY AREA 

Lake Emily is giving up a few walleyes on a jig and shiner minnow in 10 to 12 feet. Hit Eagle Lake for crappies with a jig and minnow under a float over 15 feet, while sucker minnows are producing northern pike along the 8- to 10-foot weedlines of Ruth Lake.

Redding Sports and Spirits (218) 763-2191

 

FAIRMONT AREA

A few walleyes are being taken with minnows and leeches at Tuttle Lake in 4 to 6 feet or Hall Lake in 12 to 17 feet. Bluegills and yellow bass remain active along the shorelines on Budd Lake, Sisseton Lake, and George Lake. Look for crappies on Hall, Budd, and Sisseton in 12 to 17 feet. Jigs and plastics worked on the shorelines of Budd, Sisseton, and Big Twin Lake are turing largemouth bass.

Sommer Outdoors (507) 235-5225

 

FERGUS FALLS AREA

A jig and minnow is producing walleyes in less than 8 feet during low-light periods on Orwell Reservoir, Walker Lake, and Ten Mile Lake. Look to the shorelines of Anna Lake for largemouth bass or Swan Lake and North Turtle Lake for pike in 8 to 12 feet. Crappies and sunfish can be had in 3 to 5 feet on Wall, North Turtle, and Anna.

Little Chief Outpost (218) 998-5050

 

GREY EAGLE AREA

A few walleyes are coming off Big Birch Lake and Swan Lake with minnows in 15 to 20 feet, but the bite has mostly been slow. The crappie bite remains good on Mound Lake, Big Birch, Swan, King’s Lake, and Pine Lake just outside of the shallow areas they’ve been sitting in. These fish will move into the shallow bays and shorelines as water temperatures climb again. 

Nancy’s Bait & Tackle (320) 285-2405

 

HACKENSACK AREA 

Walleyes are hitting a jig and minnow in 14 to 20 feet on Woman Lake and Pine Mountain Lake. Crappies continue to hit on Birch Lake, Girl Lake, and Ten Mile Lake in 4 to 8 feet – you’ll find a few bluegills mixed in. There are bass being caught, but most remain off the edges in 12 to 16 feet, although these fish will move shallower as soon as the water warms.

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

 

LAKE KABETOGAMA

Walleyes are being caught off the docks, but rising water temperatures will only improve that bite in the days ahead. A jig and minnow is producing big walleyes in shallow water, but 25 to 32 feet has produced more eating-size fish. Shiners, rainbows and chubs are all working at this point and northern pike are extremely active inless than 15 feet.

Gateway Store (218) 875-2121

 

LANESBORO AREA 

The streams are running low and clear, so it’s important to walk the shorelines quietly in order to not spook fish. The trout bite continues to be good with spinners, nymphs, streamers, and Rapalas all producing fish.

Root River Rod Company (507) 467-2101

 

LONGVILLE AREA

Little Boy Lake is kicking out walleyes during low-light periods in 6 to 10 feet on a jig and minnow. Panfish action has been slow, mostly weather-related, but these fish will quickly move back into the shallows throughout this week as water temperatures climb again. 

The One Stop (218) 363-2252

 

MADISON LAKE AREA

Minnows are producing walleyes on Madision Lake in 8 to 12 feet during the evening hours or 14 to 18 feet during the day in the narrows, as well as off Miller’s Point in 18 to 20 feet. On Lake Washington, walleyes are hitting a spinner and leech in 24 to 30 feet between Third Point and Grassy Island or a jig and minnow over 20 to 24 feet in Baker’s Bay. 

Corner Bait (507) 243-4464

 

MORA AREA

The walleye bite has been slow, but a a few fish are coming off Fish Lake with minnows in 5 to 7 feet or with crankbaits on Knife Lake in less than 8 feet. Some sunfish and crappies continue to hang in the shallow bays on Knife, Ann Lake, and Fish.

Jerry’s Sport & Bait Shop (320) 679-2151

 

ORTONVILLE AREA

Walleye action has been strong on Big Stone Lake with spinners and crawlers or leeches. Work from the islands to Hartford Beach in 10 to 13 feet. There’s also some good evening walleye activity with bobbers and leeches on the rock piles. Crappies and white bass are biting well around the south end islands on Big Stone in 3 to 5 feet.

Artie’s Bait (320) 839-2480

 

PARK RAPIDS AREA

Jigs tipped with minnows are producing walleyes in 4 to 8 feet on Big Sand Lake, Upper and Lower Bottle lakes, and the Crow Wing Chain of Lakes. Look for crappies in 8 to 12 feet  on Long Lake, Height of Land Lake, and Boulder Lake. Bass are starting to move shallow on area lakes and northern pike are being taken with minnows in less than 10 feet on Fish Hook Lake, Big Mantrap Lake, and the Crow Wing Chain.

Delaney’s (218) 732-4281

Smokey Hills Outdoors (218) 237-5099

 

PERHAM AREA

The shorelines or river mouths on Rush Lake, Big Pine Lake, and Little Pine Lake are producing a few walleyes on a jig and minnow or crankbaits. Crappies continue to be found along the shorelines or in the bays of Little McDonald Lake, Loon Lake, Big Pine and, Rush.

Gene’s Sport Shop (218) 346-3355

 

RED WING AREA

Live-bait rigs with leeches or crankbaits are producing walleyes in 10 to 12 feet at the Head of the Lakes and Bay City Flats areas on Lake Pepin. The timber areas in most bays and the marinas are giving up good numbers of crappies.

Four Seasons Sports (651) 388-4334

 

RICHMOND/ST. CLOUD AREA

A jig and minnow or crankbaits are producing walleyes on Lake Koronis in 4 to 10 feet and Rice Lake in 6 to 12 feet. The channels and current areas between the lakes on the Horseshoe Chain also are giving up walleyes on minnows or crankbaits in less than 6 feet. The bays on Cedar Island Lake, Horseshoe Lake, Long Lake, Rice, and Koronis continue to produce a few sunfish and crappies.

Channel Marine and Sports (320) 597-5975

 

SAUK CENTRE AREA

Walleye action has been tough with the exception of Sauk Lake. Shiner minnows are producing good numbers of fish in 4 to 6 feet or 20 to 22 feet around Narrows Bridge, Diamond Point, and the Hooper’s Hill area. Panfish, bass, and northern pike reports have been limited, but should pick up as water temperatures climb again.

Fletcher’s Bait Shop (320) 352-2155

 

STAPLES/LITTLE FALLS AREA

Lake Alexander is giving up walleyes at night in 12 feet with slip bobbers and minnows. The Blanchard Dam area on the Mississippi River is producing walleyes and smallmouth bass on jigs tipped with minnows or plastics. Crappies are being found in 6 to 10 at Green Prairie Lake, Fish Trap Lake, and Beauty Lake.

Da Fishin’ Hole (320) 631-0056

 

STARBUCK AREA

Walleyes have been tough to find, but anglers fishing from shore on Lake Emily are catching northern pike with spoons. The Starbuck Marina on Lake Minnewaska is giving up sunfish and numbers of largemouth bass. A few crappies continue to come out of Fish Hatchery Bay on Minnewaska in 6 to 8 feet.

Minnewaska Bait and Tackle (320) 239-2239

 

WILLMAR AREA

A jig and minnow is producing a few walleyes on Elkhorn Lake and Nest Lake in 8 to 15 feet. On Lake Florida, walleyes and crappies are being caught with minnows in 6 to 12 feet, while Lake Elizabeth is kicking out walleyes in 6 to 8 feet. Anglers fishing from shore on Foot Lake are catching walleyes and Big Kandi Lake is giving up walleyes in less than 6 feet. Northern pike and bass action has been slow.

J&J Hwy. 71 Bait and Tackle (320) 235-4097

 

WINDOM/MARSHALL AREA

Minnows or crankbaits have been the ticket for walleyes along the shorelines of Dead Coon Lake, Lake Shetek, Lake Benton, Lake Sarah, East Twin Lake, Wood Lake, and Goose Lake. The bite has been best during the afternoon and evening hours, while panfish action has slowed up since last week.

Borch’s Sporting Goods (507) 532-4880

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