Report from the Dock
Anglers were dealt several warm and windy days over the past week, but fishing continues to be pretty good when they get out. Walleyes are still being taken with minnows in many areas, but most are being presented on spinners or live-bait rigs instead of jigs. Crawlers and leeches continue to gain momentum as well, with many walleyes now relating to weedlines or main lake structure areas. There’s also been many reports of late evening/night walleye bites with crankbaits or slip bobbers starting, most in less than 12 feet. Crappies are mostly relating to weedlines now and tend to be most active during the evening hours, while bluegills are being found shallow and weedline-related – it just depends where you’re at and where they’re at with the spawn. The same is true with largemouth bass, some shallow and some deep, but look for bigger fish off the shorelines and in the weeds. Smallmouth bass are still hanging on the shallow rocks and shoreline areas, while muskie anglers are experiencing more follows than hook ups to start the season.
LAKE MILLE LACS
East – Walleyes remain active with fish being caught along shallow structure early and late each day, along with plenty of walleyes off the deeper mud flats and gravel areas throughout the day. Jig and live bait, spinners or live-bait rigs with leeches, minnows, and crawlers, or Jiggin’ Raps and plastics are all producing fish. Some smallmouth remain on the shallow rocks, but many have pulled off to the deeper rock points and mid-depth rock reefs and sand.
Johnson’s Portside (320) 676-3811
West – While some walleyes are still being caught on the shorelines and points, the mud flats or other deep areas in 22 feet or more have garnered more attention among anglers this week. Leeches, crawlers, and minnows are working, but so are crankbaits and plastics in some areas. Look for smallmouth bass on the rocks to hit plastics or live bait and the emerging weedlines in St. Alban’s Bay or Wigwam Bay for northern pike.
Terry’s Boat Harbor (320) 692-4430
LAKE OF THE WOODS
Walleyes are being taken in 13 to 28 feet by anchoring and vertical jigging on structure, drifting or trolling crawler harnesses on the flats or basin areas, and with spinners to cover water when they are spread out. Good-size northern pike and jumbo perch are mixed in. Jigs, spinners, and crankbaits are producing some walleyes in 12 to 24 feet on the Rainy River and you’ll find smallmouth bass in typical areas with rock and current breaks. At the Northwest Angle, walleyes are still being caught on the 5- to 7-foot flats with spinners and crankbait or by jigging rock points in 10 to 20 feet.
Lake of the Woods Tourism Bureau (800) 382-FISH
LAKE MINNETONKA AREA
The 4- to 8- foot weeds on Lake Minnetonka, Medicine Lake, and Lake Sarah continue to produce numbers of sunfish and largemouth bass. Northern pike are hitting on top of the weedbeds throughout Minnetonka and Sarah, while the 10- to 14-foot weeds are producing crappies on MIinetonka. Walleye action has been best during low-light periods with leeches on the 12- to 18-foot weedlines at Lake Independence and Minnetonka.
Wayzata Bait (952) 473-2227
Walleyes are being taken with crawlers or leeches on the 25- to 30-foot mud flats and reef breaks. Smallmouth bass action remains strong along the shallow rock and sand areas with plastics. Hit Rice Bay, Stuntz Bay or Everett Bay with spoons or crankbaits for northern pike in 3 to 5 feet. There’s been a few muskies coming off the rock points in 15 feet and crappie reports have been limited.
Pike Bay Lodge (218) 753-2430
If it’s cloudy or wind-driven, the points and shoreline breaks are still worth hitting for walleyes in less than 12 feet with a jig and minnow or spinner rig and leech. The main lake bars and flats are seeing better walleye activity this week with a variety of live bait presentations in 15 to 20 feet. You’ll find some bigger perch on the bars and northern pike continue to hit in most areas.
Crawlers and leeches seem to be producing the most walleyes on the main basin areas such as West Bar, Red Rock, Diamond Point, Claybanks, and the Annex in 14 to 20 feet. Some fish are being caught at night with crankbaits or leeches and slip bobbers off the points in less than 10 feet. Muskie anglers are raising fish on the rocks around Bear Island and Miller’s Bay, while crappies are being found in 5 to 10 feet in Boy Bay and Sucker Bay.
Reed’s Sporting Goods (218) 547-1505
Shriver’s Bait Company (218) 547-2250
Walleyes are being caught with jigs and plastics on the 2- to 6-foot wind-blown rocks and emerging cabbage areas or with hammered-gold spinners and minnows in 6 to 10 feet. Northern pike tend to be mixed with the walleyes, while crappies are spread out on the 3- to 10-foot mud locations. This is the week to fish smallmouth bass with big numbers of good-size fish set up on the shallow rock and shoreline areas.
RainyDaze Guide Service (218) 290-6102
On those days that the wind doesn’t keep anglers off the lake, walleye action continues to be very good along most shorelines. Crankbaits, a jig and minnow, or spinners with live bait are producing good numbers of fish in 3 to 5 feet or 7 to 9 feet. You’ll pick off quite a few drum in some areas as well and northern pike have become more active in 4 to 7 feet.
Mort’s On Upper Red (218) 647-8128
Twin Cities Metro
Demontreville Lake is producing largemouth bass in shallow water on plastics and crappies along the 8- to 12-foot weedlines. Look to Lake Jane for northern pike, bass, and crappies in 8 to 10 feet, while the fishing pier on Silver Lake is kicking out walleyes with crawlers or leeches. There’s been a few muskies boated on White Bear Lake in 8 to 14 feet and the St. Croix River, from Hudson to Stillwater, is producing walleyes and sauger. The Hastings area of the Mississippi River is giving up white bass on jigs and plastics.
Blue Ribbon Bait & Tackle
Largemouth bass are being found along the shorelines out to the 8- to 12-foot weedlines at Lake Bavaria, Wasserman Lake, and Lake Auburn. Look for sunfish and crappies around the emerging weedbeds and weedlines of Lake Parley, Lake Minnewashta, Lake Riley, and Pierson Lake. Sucker minnows continue to turn northern pike off the piers on Steiger Lake and Ann Lake.
Cabin Fever Sports (952) 443-2022
Expect a strong sunfish and bass bite along the shorelines or deeper weed edges as the spawn is coming to an end. Crappies are now weedline-related on the north and south end down from the cemetery, north side of Coney Island, Keg’s Reef, North Reef, and Pillsbury Reef. Walleyes are hitting fatheads and leeches off the deeper weedlines and drops around Keg’s, North, Red’s and Anderson’s reefs during low-light periods.
Mases In Towne Marina (952) 442-2096
Leeches and nightcrawlers are turning walleyes along the 14- to 16-foot weedlines on Lake Le Homme Dieu, Lake Ida, Reno Lake, and Mary Lake. Panfish also are now weedline-related on Lake Carlos, Lake Geneva, Mary, and Le Homme Dieu. Most lakes are producing bass and pike from the first shoreline break out to the emerging weedlines.
Christopherson’s Bait and Tackle (320) 763-3255
Look for crappies during the evening hours and sunfish during the day on the 8- to 12-foot weedlines of Maple Lake, Sugar Lake, Lake Sylvia, Clearwater Lake, Granite Lake, and Indian Lake. The bigger bass and northern pike also have moved to the mid-depth weedlines, but remain active on Cedar Lake, Pleasant Lake, Clearwater, and Sylvia. Walleyes are hitting leeches or minnows early and late each day in 15 to 20 feet at Clearwater and Buffalo Lake.
Little Jim’s Bait (320) 274-5297
BATTLE LAKE AREA
Leeches or nightcrawlers are producing walleyes in 9 to 15 feet at Rush Lake, Silver Lake, and Otter Tail Lake. Largemouth bass are being found around the docks or shallow structure on East Battle Lake, Donald Lake, and Silver. Although some are still shallow and spawning, most sunfish and crappies are now set up in the 10- to 15-foot weeds on Sewell Lake, Clitherall Lake, and Blanche Lake. Look for northern pike in 15 to 20 feet, hitting sucker minnows, at Donald or West Battle Lake and a few muskies are being taken in shallow water on West Battle as well.
Ben’s Bait Shop (218) 864-5596
Walleye fishing has remained good with jigs and minnows or live-bait rigs tipped with minnows, leeches, or crawlers. Work the deep weed edges and mid-lake structure in 12 to 16 feet on Lake Bemidji, Lake Plantagenet, and Big Turtle Lake. Bluegills are on the beds and you’ll still find crappies off the edge of the reeds and emerging cabbage. Bass fishing remains strong throwing plastics up in the shallows. The muskie season started with anglers seeing more fish than they caught on Bemidji and Plantagenet.
Dick Beardsley Guide Service (218) 556-7172
The shallow reeds or shorelines on Gull Lake, Pimushe Lake, and Gilstead Lake continue to produce crappies and bluegills. Walleyes remain active at Gull, Round Lake, Island Lake, and Blackduck Lake hitting a slip bobber and leech, jig and minnow, or live-bait rigs and leeches in 10 to 14 feet. Northern pike and bass are an easy catch on most lakes in less than 10 feet.
Timberline Sports and Tackle (218) 835-4636
Jigs or spinner rigs with leeches are turning walleyes on Gull Lake, Round Lake, and Lake Edward in 12 to 22 feet. Look for crappies over 7 to 18 feet on North Long Lake, Edward, the north end of Gull, and Nisswa Lake. Largemouth bass are hitting plastics from the shorelines out to the mid-depth weedlines on Hubert Lake, Gull, North Long, and Cullen Lake.
S & W Bait & Guide Service/Nisswa Guide League (218) 829-7010
CASS LAKE AREA
A slow-trolled live-bait rig with leeches or crawlers is producing walleyes during the day on Cass Lake, Pike Bay Lake, and Lake Andrusia in 15 feet. Trolling crankbaits on top of the bars in 6 to 8 feet has turned walleyes each evening on these lakes as well. The reeds or docks are giving up largemouth bass on Andrusia, Cass, Kitchi Lake, and Wolf Lake. Muskie anglers are raising a few fish from the shallow weeds on Cass, while panfish are hitting in 3 to 6 feet on most lakes.
Sunset Cove Resort (800) 279-4831
Although some panfish remain shoreline-related, most crappies and sunfish are now being found along the 8- to 12-foot weedlines on area lakes. A jig and minnow or leech and Lindy Rig is turning walleyes in 10 to 14 feet on Green Lake, North Center Lake, and Chisago Lake. Look for bass around docks out to the first weedline on most lakes and northern pike are hitting minnows in 10 to 12 feet at Chisago, North Lindstrom Lake, and Green.
Frankie’s Bait (651) 257-6334
DETROIT LAKES AREA
Minnows and leeches are producing walleyes in 8 to 11 feet at Pelican Lake, Big Toad Lake, Big Cormorant Lake, and Big Detroit Lake. Look for crappies and bluegills in or around the weedbeds on Toad Lake, Floyd Lake, Tamarack Lake, Lake Sallie, Lake Melissa, and Leaf Lake. Spinnerbaits or live bait are turning bass and northern pike on area lakes in 8 to 12 feet.
Quality Bait and Tackle (218) 844-2248
Leeches or nightcrawlers are turning walleyes in 12 feet on Fish Lake, Rice Lake in 5 feet, and Boulder Lake in 10 feet. Bigger northern pike have started hitting sucker minnows on Island Lake and Boulder in 10 feet. A few muskies have been caught on Island, while crappies are going on Rice and Island in less than 10 feet. On Lake Superior, the top 25 feet of the water column continues to hold lake trout and coho salmon out of Duluth – pink stickbaits are working best.
Chalstrom’s Bait (218) 726-0094
EAST CENTRAL MN
Crappies and bluegills have moved to the weedlines on Blue Lake, Lori Lake, and Louis Lake. Bass are hitting topwater baits at Little Elk Lake, Ann Lake, and Eagle Lake. Hit the deeper holes or current breaks on the Mississippi River and Rum River for smallmouth bass and channel catfish are being taken with crawlers on the Mississippi.
Tales and Trails Sport Shop (763) 856-3985
Walleyes are hitting leeches under a slip bobber during the evening hours on Shagawa Lake, Basswood Lake, and White Iron Lake on the 5- to 15-foot rocks. Smallmouth and largemouth bass are an easy catch in the bays on Snowbank Lake, Armstrong Lake, and Burntside Lake. Sunfish and crappies are being found in less than 6 feet at Birch Lake, Low Lake, and Stub Lake. Moose Lake, Snowbank, and Basswood are kicking out northern pike on sucker minnows or spoons in less than 10 feet.
Arrowhead Outdoors (218) 365-5358
Mitchell Lake started giving up crappies in 12 to 14 feet during the evening hours. Hit Thunder lake with crankbaits for walleyes in 8 to 10 feet or West Fox Lake for sunfish in 8 feet. On Lake Emily, sucker minnows under a bobber are turning northern pike in 10 feet.
Redding Sports and Spirits (218) 763-2191
Look for bluegills in 6 to 8 feet on Sisseton Lake or George Lake and crappies in 5 to 6 feet at George, Sisseton, and Budd Lake. Yellow bass remain active in 4 to 6 feet at Hall Lake, Budd, and Sisseton, while largemouth bass continue to hit plastics on Budd, Hall, and Big Twin Lake.
Sommer Outdoors (507) 235-5225
Look for sunfish and crappies in the 6- to 10-foot weeds on Hunts Lake, Shields Lake, Roberds Lake, and Cedar Lake. A few walleyes are being pulled off the weedlines on Roberds with leeches and northern pike are hitting minnows or plastics on the Cannon River and Lake Mazaska.
John’s Bait & Tackle (507) 332-6787
FERGUS FALLS AREA
Plastics are turning smallmouth bass in 6 to 10 feet at Pickeral Lake, Ten Mile Lake, Dayton Hollow Reservoir, and Orwell Reservoir. Walleyes are hitting leeches on the 12- to 20-foot weedlines of Orwell and Ten Mile. You’ll find a mixed bag of panfish in 6 to 8 feet on Anna Lake, Norway Lake, Pleasant Lake, and Fish Lake. Crankbaits or minnows are producing pike in 8 to 12 feet on Fish Lake, Bass Lake, and North Turtle Lake.
Little Chief Outpost (218) 998-5050
GRAND MARAIS AREA
Walleyes are being taken with chubs and leeches on Elbow Lake in 6 feet or Flower Lake and Alder Lake in 10 to 18 feet. Wet flys or streamers are turning rainbow trout near the surafce, down to 15 feet on Mink Lake, Kimball Lake, and Trout Lake. Northern pike action has been slow, but smallmouth bass should be active along the shorelines of most lakes.
Buck’s Hardware (218) 387-2280
GRAND RAPIDS/DEER RIVER AREA
A jig and minnow or spinner and minnow is turning walleyes in 12 to 14 feet on Round Lake and Bowstring Lake or 10 to 12 feet at Deer Lake during the evening hours. Work the emerging cabbage beds on Little Cutfoot Sioux Lake, Bass Lake, and Ball Club Lake for bluegills and crappies. Largemouth bass remain shallow and active on most lakes and smallmouth are hitting on the shoreline of Sand Lake. Moose Lake has been the best option for muskies at this point.
Fred’s Live Bait (218) 246-8710
GREY EAGLE AREA
Hit Swan Lake with shiner minnows or leeches for walleyes during the evening hours in 12 to 18 feet. Big Birch and Little Birch lakes are producing walleyes at night on minnows over 20 to 25 feet. Sunfish are going on Swan, Cedar Lake by St. Rose, Pine Lake, Mound Lake, and Thunder Lake by Browerville in 8 to 12 feet. Look for crappies in 12 to 14 feet at Big Birch, Mound, and Swan.
Nancy’s Bait & Tackle (320) 285-2405
Leeches and crawlers are turning walleyes in 10 to 15 feet at Pine Mountain Lake and Baby Lake. Ten Mile Lake is giving up crappies and smallmouth bass in less than 8 feet. Stoney Lake, Mule Lake, Portage Lake, and Baby are giving up smallmouth bass in 4 to 12 feet as well. Look for sunfish and largemouth bass in 3 to 6 feet on most lakes.
Swanson’s Bait and Tackle (218) 675-6176
Bluegills are being found in 5 to 8 feet at Boy Lake, Lake Inguadona, and the bays on Woman Lake. Leeches are producing scattered walleyes from 6 to 20 feet on Woman or Little Boy lake in 15 to 20 feet. Smallmouth bass are an easy catch in less than 5 feet on Blackwater Lake and Woman. A few muskies have been caught with spinnerbaits in shallow water on Inguadona, Little Boy, and Wabedo Lake.
The One Stop (218) 363-2252
MADISON LAKE AREA
Live-bait rigs and leeches are turning walleyes on the 8- to 12-foot weedlines of Madison Lake and Lake Washington during low-light periods. Spoons or minnows are producing northern pike in 10 to 14 feet at Madison, Washington, and Big Jefferson Lake. You’ll find suspended crappies over 16 feet off Miller’s Point and Church Bar on Madison.
Corner Bait (507) 243-4464
The shorelines continue to hold sunfish on Knife Lake and Ann Lake. Largemouth bass are shallow and active on Knife, while northern pike are hitting sucker minnows on Knife and Quamba Lake in 4 to 6 feet. A few walleyes are coming out of Knife on slip bobbers and leeches in less than 6 feet.
Jerry’s Sport & Bait Shop (320) 679-2151
Crankbaits or a spinner and crawler are turning walleyes on the rocks or mid-lake basin area of Big Stone Lake in 11 to 13 feet. The docks throughout Big Stone and 11- to 13-foot basin areas are kicking out bluegills and perch as well.
Artie’s Bait (320) 839-2480
PARK RAPIDS AREA
Walleyes are hitting a jig and minnow or leeches on spinners in 12 to 18 feet at Long Lake, Fish Hook Lake, and Potato Lake. Look for crappies and sunfish in less than 8 feet on the Crow Wing Chain of Lakes, Fish Hook, Toad Lake, and Boulder Lake. Largemouth and smallmouth bass remain active and shallow on most lakes.
Delaney’s (218) 732-4281
Smokey Hills Outdoors (218) 237-5099
Walleyes are being caught with a jig and shiner in 6 to 10 feet or on leeches and Lindy Rigs in 12 to 25 feet at Big Pine Lake. Look for bluegills and crappies in the bulrushes or 12- to 16-foot weedlines of Big Pine, Star Lake, Dead Lake, Rush Lake, and Little McDonald Lake. Pelican Lake is giving up a few muskies and spinnerbaits are turning bass and pike on most lakes in 8 to 12 feet.
Gene’s Sport Shop (218) 346-3355
RED WING AREA
Crankbaits continue to produce walleyes in the Lake City and Maiden Rock areas of Lake Pepin in 14 to 18 feet. The rock shorelines on Pepin are kicking out a mixed bag of panfish, while largemouth and smallmouth bass are hitting throughout Pepin as well. Hit the deeper holes on the Mississippi River for channel and flathead catfish.
Four Seasons Sports (651) 388-4334
RICHMOND/ST. CLOUD AREA
You’ll find crappies and bluegills along the 6- to 12-foot weedlines on Rice Lake, Horseshoe Lake, Cedar Island Lake, Long Lake, and Pearl Lake. Walleye reports have been limited, although Lake Koronis is producing a few northern pike and walleyes in 8 to 15 feet. Largemouth bass remain active on most lakes from the shorelines out to the 12- foot weeds on most lakes.
Channel Marine and Sports (320) 597-5975
SAUK CENTRE AREA
Walleyes are scattered from 8 to 21 feet on Sauk Lake, but they continue to be caught with leeches and crawlers. Lake Osakis is producing walleyes on the 24- to 40-foot structure areas – work the tops early and late and off the edges during the day. Little Sauk Lake started giving up walleyes in 12 to 14 feet during the morning and evening hours. Sunfish are going on most lakes either along shorelines or in 8 to 10 feet – depends on the spawn. Look for crappies on Long Bridge Lake, Guernsey Lake, Osakis, Fairy Lake, and Lilly Lake in the 8- to 12-foot weeds. Sucker minnows are turning northern pike at Sauk, Osakis, and Smith Lake in the 8- foot weeds.
Fletcher’s Bait Shop (320) 352-2155
STAPLES/LITTLE FALLS AREA
Catfish and smallmouth bass remain active below the Blanchard Dam on the Mississippi River. The weedlines on Fish Trap Lake are giving up northern pike and a few reports of panfish are coming off Green Prairie Lake and Pine Island Lake in 6 to 10 feet.
Da Fishin’ Hole (320) 631-0056
Lake Minnewaska is kicking out walleyes with crankbaits early and late each day in 8 to 12 feet, while largemouth bass are hitting in the bulrushes. Channel catfish remain active on Lake Emily and Long Lake is producing walleyes in 12 to 14 feet on spinners and shiner minnows. Look to Barrett Lake and Gilchrist Lake with live bait for walleyes in 12 to 16 feet.
Minnewaska Bait and Tackle (320) 239-2239
Crawlers are producing walleyes at Lake Elizabeth and Big Kandi Lake along the 10- to 14-foot weedlines. On Diamond Lake, anglers are catching walleyes in 8 to 14 feet and panfish in the reeds. Look to Long Lake for walleyes in 14 feet during the day or along the shorelines at night. The weedlines on Foot Lake are holding crappies and sunfish remain active on the weedbeds of Henderson Lake and Lake Florida.
J&J Hwy. 71 Bait and Tackle (320) 235-4097
Nightcrawlers or crankbaits are producing walleyes along the shorelines during low-light periods or in 6 to 9 feet during the day. Lakes such as Benton, Shetek, Sarah, Yankton, Dead Coon, Goose, and East Twin are all giving up walleyes. The Minnesota River and Redwood River continue to give up catfish, pike, and a few walleyes. Shetek also is kicking out crappies and perch in 6 to 8 feet, while the shallow weedlines on Sarah, Island Lake, and West Twin Lake are producing perch.
Borch’s Sporting Goods (507) 532-4880