Report from the Dock
Walleye reports have become more consistent over the past week as water temperatures continue to warm. Most really good bites in the northern half of the state are still coming from shallow water, less than 12 feet, while slightly deeper depths have been productive across much of the southern part of Minnesota. Minnows continue to dominate the action (spottail shiner minnows were running early this week in northern Minnesota, while leeches, crankbaits, and even crawlers were turning fish in other areas. Crappies are spawning, done spawning or just starting to move into their spawning locations – it just depends where you are fishing. Several reports of post-spawn crappies were reported from the Twin Cities and areas south of it, while bulrushes and reeds are holding fish across the north. There should be some excellent opportunities to catch walleyes, crappies, and bluegills this weekend statewide. Bass are now shallow in most areas, while northern pike have started relating to emerging weedlines.
LAKE MILLE LACS
East – Walleyes remain very active throughout the lake with numbers of fish being caught on the sand, points, shoreline breaks, and rocks. You’ll find fish at a variety of depths and hitting minnows, leeches, Jiggin’ Raps, and crankbaits. Some pre-spawn smallmouth bass are hitting plastics or live bait on the shallow rock reefs and rock points and this bite should only get better as water temperatures warm.
Johnson’s Portside (320) 676-3811
West – Minnows, leeches, and crankbaits are producing walleyes from 10 to 18 feet on Garrison Reef, the rock points, St. Alban’s Bay, north end sand, and in deeper water on the mud flats. A few pike are being caught on the weedlines in most bays and smallie reports have been OK but should improve as water temperatures warm.
Terry’s Boat Harbor (320) 692-4430
LAKE OF THE WOODS
A strong walleye bite continues in 20 to 30 feet along the south shore. Anchor up and present a vertical jig and minnow or frozen emerald shiner. There’s been a nice mix of walleyes as well as some big northern pike caught. On the Rainy River, walleyes are being caught in 12 to 24 feet with jigs and minnows and some fish still being caught in Four Mile Bay and Bostic Bay areas.
Lake of the Woods Tourism Bureau (800) 382-FISH
LAKE MINNETONKA AREA
Crappies are being found in 6 to 8 feet, as are sunfish in 4 to 8 feet throughout Lake Minnetonka. Minnetonka also is producing walleyes in 15 to 18 feet during the day or in the channels at night on live-bait rigs with minnows or leeches. Look for bass along the shorelines and northern pike in 12 to 15 feet and hitting anything with some flash and movement.
Wayzata Bait (952) 473-2227
The majority of walleyes on the main lake are coming from the 20- to 30-foot rock reefs or mud flats on live-bait rigs and minnows. Pike Bay is giving up walleyes on shallow-running crankbaits in 7 to 9 feet. A few crappies are being caught at the river inlet in Pike Bay or Black Bay in 12 to 15 feet.
Pike Bay Lodge (218) 753-2430
A jig and minnow continues to produce walleyes and perch in 10 to 14 feet along most shoreline breaks and points. Anglers are fishing through numbers of small and large walleyes to get their fish within the keeper slot. Northern pike are mixed in with the walleyes as well.
Shiner minnows have been the ticket for walleyes along the wind-driven points and shorelines. Most fish are coming from 4 to 10 feet, although some fish are being found in slightly deeper water on the Goose Island Flats, Annex area, and other rock locations. The 8- to 10-foot weed areas are holding northern pike, while panfish reports continue to be limited.
Reed’s Sporting Goods (218) 547-1505
Shriver’s Bait Company (218) 547-2250
A jig and minnow is turning walleyes on the rock points and rock shorelines in less than 15 feet. Some fish have started to show up on slightly deeper structure as well. There hasn’t been much for crappie reports, but they should move shallow and start being found as water temperatures continue to climb.
International Falls CVB (800) 325-5766
Fishing pressure has been high, but the walleye bite doesn’t seem to be slowing much. Good numbers of fish are hitting along most shorelines in 2 to 8 feet. A jig and minnow, live-bait rig and minnow, slip bobber rigs, and even crankbaits are all producing plenty of fish.
Roger’s on Red (218) 647-8262
Twin Cities Metro
Minnows and leeches are producing walleyes in 10 to 15 feet on Bald Eagle Lake and White Bear Lake. Jigs tipped with plastics or minnows are turning walleyes and a few bass along the current breaks on the St. Croix River. Northern pike remain active, hitting minnows or crankbaits in less than 12 feet on Demontreville Lake and White Bear, while sunfish and crappies seem to be biting on most lakes in less than 5 feet.
Blue Ribbon Bait & Tackle (651) 777-2421
A jig tipped with minnows or plastics is turning walleyes around the creek mouths on the Minnesota River. Look for crappies in 10 to 14 feet on the west side of Lake Minnewashta and sunfish are going here in 4 to 6 feet. Northern pike are hitting minnows in 10 to 12 feet on Pierson Lake and largemouth bass are hitting plastics on most lakes in less than 6 feet.
Cabin Fever Sports (952) 443-2022
Crappies and some sunfish are now showing up around the docks or shorelines in less than 5 feet or throughout Waconia Bay in 6 to 8 feet. Walleyes are hitting minnows best during low-light periods in 6 to 12 feet around Harm’s Point, the Rock Dock, Peterson Creek, and the Claybanks. The reefs and island area are worth noting for northern pike in 6 to 10 feet and bass are shoreline-related.
Mases In Towne Marina (952) 442-2096
Minnows are turning walleyes in 8 to 12 feet on Mary Lake, Lake Ida, and Reno Lake. Bass are starting to move shallow on most lakes hitting plastics or chatter baits in less than 6 feet. You’ll find crappies and some sunfish in 4 to 7 feet on the north side of Geneva Lake, Lake Louise, Lake Darling, and Reno.
Christopherson’s Bait and Tackle (320) 763-3255
Crappies and sunfish are being found in some bays, while others have started to move into the reeds or along shorelines at Cedar Lake, Clearwater Lake, Lake Sylvia, Maple Lake, Lake Francis, and Pleasant Lake. Minnows and some leeches are producing walleyes in 12 to 17 feet on Clearwater, Big Swan Lake, and Buffalo Lake. Look for bass up shallow and pike along the emerging weedlines on most lakes.
Little Jim’s Bait (320) 274-5297
BATTLE LAKE AREA
Crappies are being found in 2 to 5 feet in the bays or pencil reeds on Clitherall Lake, Stalker Lake, and Silver Lake and sunfish are hitting in 6 to 10 feet at Star Lake, Mollie Stark Lake, and West Battle Lake. The inlet or outlet areas on Otter Tail Lake and Rush Lake are giving up walleyes on a jig and minnow, while Bass/Elbow Lake and West Battle are producing largemouth bass in shallow water.
Ben’s Bait Shop (218) 864-5596
Water temperatures are still in the low 50-degree range on the large lakes and mid to upper 50’s on the small lakes. Most walleyes are coming from 12 to 18 feet off weed edges and the edges of flats. Jigs and minnows or live-bait rigs and minnows are turning fish on Lake Bemidji, Lake Irving, and Lake Plantagenet. Northern pike are on the bite and bass fishing has been good up in the shallows of most lakes. Crappies and bluegills have moved back into the shallows on area lakes as well.
Dick Beardsley Guide Service (218) 556-7172
A jig and minnow is producing walleyes on Island Lake in 10 to 15 feet or Round Lake and Blackduck Lake in 5 to 10 feet. Northern pike are hitting on most lakes in less than 10 feet, but panfish action has been slower than expected. With water temperatures on the rise, look for crappies to start moving into the reeds and other shallow areas on local lakes.
Timberline Sports and Tackle (218) 835-4636
Walleyes are being taken over 18 to 22 feet with a jig and minnow on Gull Lake, the big part of North Long Lake, and Round Lake. Crappies and sunfish are again up shallow with lakes such as Nisswa, Upper Gull, Cullen, and North Long producing fish. Bass and northern pike action has been limited.
S & W Bait & Guide Service/Nisswa Guide League (218) 829-7010
CASS LAKE AREA
Long-lining a shiner minnow in 6 to 12 feet is turning walleyes at Cass Lake, Pike Bay Lake, and Lake Andrusia. The 15- to 20-foot gravel bars on Kitchi Lake are producing walleyes, as is the river outlet on Wolf Lake. Northern pike and perch action has picked up in most areas producing walleyes. The shorelines and reeds on Big Lake, Midge Lake, Grace Lake, and Kitchi are worth hitting for crappies and bluegills.
Sunset Cove Resort (800) 279-4831
Minnows and leeches are producing walleyes in 12 to 16 feet at South Center Lake, Green Lake, and Chisago Lake. Look for panfish in the bays or along shorelines over 3 to 8 feet on North and South Lindstrom lakes, Chisago, and North Center Lake. Bass are moving up to the shorelines and northern pike are cruising the emerging weedbeds on area lakes.
Frankie’s Bait (651) 257-6334
A jig and minnow have been producing walleyes in 5 to 10 feet of water early and late each day on Serpent Lake, Rabbit Lake, Clearwater Lake, and the Mississippi River. Northern pike and bass are going in less than 10 feet of water on Bay Lake, Nokay Lake, Serpent, and Black Hoof Lake. Crappie reports have been light, but start looking to the reed beds on area lakes as water temperatures continue to climb. Trout action remains strong on the Pennington Chain and Huntington Pit with small crankbaits or slip bobber rigs and waxworms.
Oars ‘n Mine Bait and Tackle (218) 546-6912
DETROIT LAKES AREA
Minnows are turning walleyes in 5 to 10 feet on Lake Sallie, Big Detroit Lake, Lake Melissa, and Pelican Lake. Crappies and a few bluegills are being pulled from shallow water on Little Floyd Lake, Little Detroit Lake, and Melissa. Northern pike and bass seem to be mixed in with the walleyes and panfish on most lakes.
Quality Bait and Tackle (218) 844-2248
EAST CENTRAL MN
Walleyes are hitting minnows on Briggs Lake and Lake Julia in 6 to 8 feet. Look for northern pike along the emerging weedlines of Little Elk Lake, Ann Lake, and Eagle Lake. The Rum River and Mississippi River are producing smallmouth bass and walleyes on minnows, while panfish are hitting in 3 to 8 feet on most lakes.
Tales and Trails Sport Shop (763) 856-3985
Walleyes are hitting a jig and minnow on Shagawa Lake in 5 to 7 feet and White Iron Lake in 10 to 12 feet. Large sucker minnows under a bobber are producing northern pike in the shallow bays of White Iron, Farm Lake, and South Farm Lake. Smallmouth bass are moving shallow and hitting plastics on Basswood Lake, Low Lake, and Shagawa. Look for crappies on Basswood and South Farm in less than 10 feet early and late or 10 to 15 feet during the day. Rainbow trout are hitting small spoons on Miner’s Lake and brown trout are being taken on crankbaits at Dry Lake close to shore. Lake trout have started going in Bailey’s Bay on Basswood Lake and Burntside Lake over 15 to 35 feet, close to shore.
Arrowhead Outdoors (218) 365-5358
Thunder Lake started giving up walleyes in 5 feet on crankbaits during the evening hours. Northern pike are hitting sucker minnows on Lake Emily in 8 feet and sunfish are biting on Eagle Lake in 6 to 8 feet. Look for bass in less than 6 feet on Roosevelt Lake and crappie reports have been light.
Redding Sports and Spirits (218) 763-2191
Yellow bass and bluegills are hitting along the shorelines of Sisseton Lake, Budd Lake, and George Lake. Leeches or minnows are producing a few walleyes on Tuttle Lake in less than 6 feet and Hall Lake in 12 to 17 feet. Largemouth bass continue to hit plastics along the shorelines of Big Twin Lake and Budd, while crappies are being found in 12 to 14 feet on Hall, Budd, and Sisseton.
Sommer Outdoors (507) 235-5225
FERGUS FALLS AREA
Walleyes continue to be taken with minnows or plastics on Walker Lake in 4 to 6 feet and Ten Mile Lake in 20 to 25 feet during the day or 6 to 10 feet at night. Bass and northern pike are an easy catch in less than 8 feet on most lakes. Look for crappies in the shallow weeds or bulrush areas on Fish Lake, Anna Lake, and North Turtle Lake.
Little Chief Outpost (218) 998-5050
GRAND RAPIDS/DEER RIVER AREA
A jig and shiner minnow is producing walleyes on Sugar Lake and Bowstring Lake in 6 to 10 feet. Crappies are starting to show up in the reeds on Sugar and Little Cutfoot Sioux Lake with the best activity taking place during the evening hours. Bluegill reports have been light, but bass are hitting in less than 8 feet on area lakes.
Fred’s Live Bait (218) 246-8710
GREY EAGLE AREA
Spottail shiner minnows are working best for walleyes on Big Birch Lake and Swan Lake in 15 to 20 feet. Crappies and some sunfish are again being found in less than 8 feet at Mound Lake, Pine Lake, King’s Lake, and Swan.
Nancy’s Bait & Tackle (320) 285-2405
Crappies and a few sunfish are being caught in 3 to 6 feet on Pleasant Lake, Ten Mile Lake, Birch Lake, and Stoney Lake. A jig and minnow or Jiggin’ Raps continue to produce walleyes on Ten Mile and Woman Lake in 12 to 18 feet. Smallmouth and largemouth bass reports have improved in 2 to 6 feet on area lakes.
Swanson’s Bait and Tackle (218) 675-6176
Despite some rain since last week, the small- to medium-size streams are running clear and continue to produce good trout action. Anglers with spinning gear are catching trout on spinners or small Rapalas, while streamers are working best on fly fishing rigs.
Root River Rod Company (507) 467-2101
Walleye action has improved in 8 to 14 feet with minnows on Big Boy Lake, Little Boy Lake, and Lake Inguadona. Crappies and bluegills are starting to be found near their spawning areas in 4 to 6 feet on Girl Lake and Blackwater Lake. Bass and northern pike are hitting well in less than 8 feet on most lakes.
The One Stop (218) 363-2252
MADISON LAKE AREA
Walleyes continue to hit minnows on Madison Lake in 8 to 12 feet during the evening hours or 14 to 18 feet during the day in the narrows. The Miller’s Point are is giving up walleyes in 18 to 20 feet. Some crappies have started to be found suspended over 16 feet on Madison. At Lake Washington, a spinner and leech is turning walleyes in 24 to 30 feet between Third Point and Grassy Island.
Corner Bait (507) 243-4464
Look for sunfish and crappies in 6 to 8 feet at Knife Lake, Ann Lake, and Fish Lake. Sucker minnows are producing northern pike on Knife in 3 to 5 feet, but walleye action has been slow.
Jerry’s Sport & Bait Shop (320) 679-2151
Good-size perch are being caught around the docks on Big Stone Lake. Look for walleyes in the 8- to 10-foot weeds on the south end or in 10 to 13 feet in the middle of Big Stone – crankbaits or spinners and leeches are working best. The islands on the south end of Big Stone continue to produce white bass and panfish in less than 5 feet.
Artie’s Bait (320) 839-2480
PARK RAPIDS AREA
Minnows continue to produce walleyes on Big Sand Lake and the Crow Wing Chain in 6 to 10 feet. A few walleyes also can be had in slightly deeper water with minnows on Long Lake and Potato Lake. Fish Hook Lake and Big Mantrap Lake are producing northern pike and with water temperatures rising, look for panfish to start moving shallow on area lakes.
Delaney’s (218) 732-4281
Smokey Hills Outdoors (218) 237-5099
Big Pine Lake, Rush Lake, and Little Pine Lake are producing walleyes in 4 to 10 feet on jigs and minnows. Look for crappies and sunfish in less than 6 feet at Star Lake, Rush, and Big Pine. Bass and northern pike continue to hit in shallow water on most lakes as well.
Gene’s Sport Shop (218) 346-3355
RED WING AREA
Leadcore and crankbaits or live-bait rigs and crawlers are producing walleyes at the Lake City and Maiden Rock Flat areas on Lake Pepin in 12 to 15 feet. The main channel on the Mississippi River is giving up channel catfish and small flatheads on cut sucker minnows or stinkbaits. The marinas on Pepin continue to hold panfish.
Four Seasons Sports (651) 388-4334
RICHMOND/ST. CLOUD AREA
Anglers are still pulling some walleyes around the bridges and channels between lakes on the Horseshoe Chain during the evening hours with crankbaits. Walleyes also are being caught with minnows in 8 to 14 feet on Horseshoe Lake, Lake Koronis in 6 to 12 feet, and Rice Lake in 9 to 14 feet. The bays, shorelines, and docks are now producing sunfish and crappies on Rice, Koronis, Horseshoe, Long Lake, Becker Lake, Cedar Island Lake, and Big Lake. Bass reports have been strong in 4 to 8 feet on Grand Lake and Pearl Lake with plastics.
Channel Marine and Sports (320) 597-5975
SAUK CENTRE AREA
Sauk Lake continues to kick out numbers of walleyes on shiner minnows in 4 to 8 feet or 20 to 22 feet – you’ll have to sort through quite a few small fish. Walleye action also has picked up with minnows on Long Bridge Lake in 8 to 14 feet and on Lake Osakis during the evening hours in 8 to 12 feet. Bluegill and crappie reports continue to be limited, but water temperatures should be ideal by this weekend to get them going in shallow water.
Fletcher’s Bait Shop (320) 352-2155
Long Lake near Morris started giving up walleyes on crankbaits in 12 feet and Lake Emily is producing walleyes and northern pike on minnows in 5 feet. On Lake Minnewaska, shiner minnows and hammered-gold spinner rigs are turning walleyes in 22 to 24 feet. Ann Lake is giving up walleyes in 10 to 12 feet on shiner minnow and spinners as well. The Starbuck Marina is producing bass and sunfish and Fish Hatchery Bay is kicking out crappies in 6 to 8 feet on Minnewaska.
Minnewaska Bait and Tackle (320) 239-2239
Walleyes are being taken on crawlers or crankbaits at Long Lake in 5 to 14 feet and with a jig and minnow on Big Kandi Lake in 5 to 10 feet. Look for crappies in less than 5 feet and some walleyes close to shore on Foot Lake. Eagle Lake started giving up crappies shallow water and walleyes in 10 feet, while Lake Elizabeth is producing walleyes in 5 to 7 feet on live-bait rigs with crawlers.
J&J Hwy. 71 Bait and Tackle (320) 235-4097
Anglers continue to work the shorelines with minnows and crankbaits for walleyes on Lake Shetek, Lake Sarah, Dead Coon Lake, Lady Slipper Lake, Goose Lake, and Lake Benton. Some crappies are being caught in shallow water on Shetek, Sarah, and Lake Lac qui Parle. Look to Island Lake or East and West Twin lakes for perch.
Borch’s Sporting Goods (507) 532-4880