Report from the Dock
There was a little bump in the road this week with the return of warm weather again forcing water temperatures to climb. This up-and-down fluctuation in lake temperatures seems to have walleyes not knowing what to do. It cools down and they bite decent, it warms up and everything slows down. There’s no question that low-light periods of the day remain the best option for walleyes and likely will until it cools down and the feed bags really come on for the fall bite. Crankbaits and Jiggin’ Raps have been the hot baits this week, but crawlers are still producing, and minnows are starting to produce more walleyes as well. Muskie fishing pressure dropped a bit, likely because it was hot, but anglers on lakes such Leech and Vermilion continue to see plenty of fish on rocks more than weeds. Continue to look for bigger panfish in and around deep weeds, green weeds if you can find it as vegetation starts to diminish in many areas. Some of the best crappie reports involve suspended fish off deep weed edges and during the evening hours.
LAKE MILLE LACS
Smallmouth bass continue to hit live bait presentations better than artificial baits on the reefs and rock points in 10 to 20 feet. Hit the mud flats with a spinner and crawler or troll the deepest basin areas with crankbaits for walleyes. There hasn’t been much pike or muskie activity this week.
Johnson’s Portside (320) 676-3811
Terry’s Boat Harbor (320) 692-4430
LAKE OF THE WOODS
Anglers are finding different schools of fish along the south shore in 14 to 36 feet of water. Two strong patterns continue – pulling crawler harnesses and trolling crankbaits, covering water and moving is important. Some pods are active, some inactive with different feeding windows throughout the day. On the Rainy River, walleyes are scattered on flats and breaks. Trolling crankbaits or crawler harnesses is effective. Target sturgeon in deep holes with sturgeon rigs and crawlers or frozen emerald shiners. Smallmouth bass and pike are active around current breaks, rocky areas, and in bays. At the Northwest Angle, until the US/Canada border opens, guests can travel across the lake staying and fishing in state waters. There are shuttle/passenger services available to the Angle via boat. Walleyes are hitting around Four Blocks and Little Oak Island, while other fish being found over mud in “no man’s land” north and east of Little Oak Island. When targeting pike and muskies, casting bays or trolling rocky point areas will produce and smallmouth bass are being found on the 5- to 15-foot rocks.
Lake of the Woods Tourism Bureau (800) 382-FISH
LAKE MINNETONKA AREA
There’s been a few more walleyes caught with spinners and fathead minnows along the weedlines from 12 to 28 feet on Lake Minnetonka. Bass are being found under docks, along weedlines, and on structure as deep as 30 feet on area lakes. The channels on Minnetonka are giving up crappies early and late each day, while the 8- to 12-foot weeds on Medicine Lake, Lake Sarah, Lake Independence, and Minnetonka are turning sunfish.
Wayzata Bait (952) 473-2227
Smallmouth bass continue to hit plastics or minnows on the 8- to 12-foot, main lake rock piles and shoreline breaks. Walleye action has been up and down, but when they bite, live-bait rigs and crawlers are working best in 18 to 27 feet on the main lake reefs. Lead-core and crankbaits also are turning walleyes in Daisy Bay over 18 to 25 feet. Anglers are seeing plenty of muskies on the wind-swept rock points, but having a tough time getting them to commit. Northern pike continue to hit sucker minnows in the shallow bays.
Pike Bay Lodge (218) 753-2430
Walleyes are hitting a jig and minnow, spinner and crawler, or crankbaits on the 6- to 10-foot shoreline breaks. Some big walleyes are in deeper water on the main lake bars. Crankbaits are turning northern pike throughout the lake in 12 to 15 feet and perch are hitting jigs and minnows along the 8-foot weedlines.
Walleyes are being taken with slip bobber rigs on the 6- to 10-foot weed patches in Headquarter’s Bay, Boy Bay, Miller’s Bay, and Uram Bay. Lead-core and crankbaits are producing walleyes over 20 to 25 feet on the main lake rock areas during the day, as is long-lining crankbaits at night around Goose Island and Sand Point in 9 to 12 feet. Muskies remain active on the shallow rock bars and smallmouth bass action has picked up in Miller Bay and the Diamond Point area. Perch are taking a jig and minnow in 6 to 9 feet in Miller’s Bay, the Walker Bay Narrows, and Agency Bay Narrows.
Reed’s Sporting Goods (218) 547-1505
Shriver’s Bait Company
Minnows and nightcrawlers continue to trigger walleyes in 30 to 35 feet, although some fish are being caught shallower if the wind blows. Look for bigger pods of crappies to be suspended over mud-bottom locations and smallmouth bass are being pulled off the deep rocks.
RainyDaze Guide Service
Spinners and crawlers or crankbaits continue to produce walleyes, but there’s been a few more fish taken with minnows this week. Most fish remain on Center Bar and Rock Pile areas in 8 to 14 feet. During low-light periods, the 5- to 7-foot shoreline breaks will produce walleyes as well.
West Wind Resort (218) 647-8998
Twin Cities Metro
Sucker minnows are turning bass at Demontreville Lake, St. Croix River, and White Bear Lake. Look for sunfish on the weedlines of Silver Lake, Powers Lake, and Big Marine Lake. Muskies are hitting bucktails on the St. Croix and Bald Eagle Lake, while walleyes are being caught with a jig and minnow on the points of the St. Croix in 20 to 25 feet.
Blue Ribbon Bait & Tackle
Find pockets of deep water on the Crow River and you’ll catch walleyes, smallmouth bass, and northern pike. Lake Minnewashta is giving up sunfish and crappies during the evening hours around docks or in 8 to 10 feet. Rubber frogs or chatter baits are turning bass on Wasserman Lake and Lake Bavaria. Sucker minnows are producing largemouth bass on the fishing piers at Steiger Lake and Ann Lake.
Cabin Fever Sports (952) 443-2022
A few walleyes have started being caught with minnows on Spring Lake in 10 to 12 feet and 16 feet in the Wagon Wheel Bridge area of Upper Prior Lake. You’ll catch a mixed bag of panfish in 5 to 8 feet and northern pike on the west shore of Lower Prior Lake.
Prior Lake Bait & Tackle
Work the 12- to 16-foot weeds on North Reef, Cemetery Reef, and Anderson’s Reef for largemouth bass. Sunfish and some crappies are biting on the north side of the island, North Reef, and Center Reef in 10 to 15 feet. Minnows are turning walleyes in 20 to 25 feet on Red’s Reef and muskies are hitting bucktails along the 12- to 18-foot weedlines on North Reef, Swimming Beach area, and Anderson’s Reef.
Look for sunfish in the 8- to 10-foot weeds and suspended crappies over 15 to 18 feet on Lake Darling, Lake Geneva, and Lake Ida. Walleyes are hitting crawlers, minnows, or crankbaits on Lake Mary and Lake Miltona in 20 to 25 feet. Lobster Lake continues to provide decent muskie action with bucktails, while bass action is best along the weedlines of most lakes early and late each day.
Christopherson’s Bait and Tackle
Largemouth bass are active on the deep weedlines of most lakes during the day and in the shallow slop during low-light periods. Clearwater Lake and Lake Sylvia are producing a few walleyes on minnows or crawlers in 14 to 20 feet. The 12- to 18-foot weed edges on Maple Lake, Lake John, Indian Lake, Clearwater, and Sylvia are giving up a mixed bag of panfish.
Little Jim’s Bait (320) 274-5297
BATTLE LAKE AREA
Crawlers are turning walleyes in 15 to 20 feet during the day, as are crankbaits in 5 to 7 feet each evening at Otter Tail Lake and West Battle Lake. Bass are hitting spinnerbaits in the 10- to 12-foot weeds of Long Lake, Otter Tail, and West Battle. The 15- to 20-foot weedlines are giving up pike on sucker minnows or spoons at Clitherall Lake, West Battle, and Otter Tail. Look for sunfish in the 8- to 12-foot weeds on Long, West Battle, and Fish Lake, while a few muskies are being caught with Bucher Tails in 15 to 20 feet on West Battle.
Ben’s Bait Shop (218) 864-5596
The walleye bite continues to slowly improve. Jigs and minnows, live-bait rigs, and Jiggin’ Raps are all turning some fish in 12 to 18 feet on Lake Bemidji, Gull Lake, and Lake Plantagenet. Larger pike are being caught along the weedlines with jigs or live-bait rigs and bigger minnows. Bass fishing remains excellent on just about any plastic presentation and you’ll still find crappies and bluegills in, and along the edge, of the deeper green cabbage on area lakes.
Dick Beardsley Guide Service
Blackduck Lake, Island Lake, Round Lake, and Gull Lake are giving up walleyes on a jig and minnow, spinner and crawler or crankbaits in 10 to 15 feet. Look for crappies and bluegills just outside the weedlines in 15 to 20 feet on Pimushe Lake, Turtle River Lake, and Gilstead Lake. Northern pike and bass are hitting on the weedlines of most lakes as well.
Timberline Sports and Tackle
Live-bait rigs and jigs tipped with minnows or nightcrawlers are turning some walleyes at Pelican Lake, Gull Lake, and North Long Lake in 16 to 22 feet. Look for sunfish and crappies in 6 to 10 feet on Nisswa Lake, Round Lake, North Long and the south end of Gull. Largemouth bass are active and weed-related on area lakes, while North Long and Lake Edward are producing pike in 10 to 18 feet on minnows.
S & W Bait & Guide Service/
Nisswa Guide League (218) 829-7010
CASS LAKE AREA
Trolling crankbaits during the evening hours is still the best option for walleyes on the main lake bars of Cass Lake and Pike Bay Lake. During the day, a few walleyes are being caught with Jiggin Raps or jigs and minnows in 30 to 35 feet of water on Cass. Look for perch in 8 feet of water in areas with some weeds on Cass, Pike Bay, and Lake Andrusia. Muskies are most active at sunset or just after dark, chasing bucktails on the main lake weeds and mid-depth breaks of Cass.
Sunset Cove Resort (800) 279-4831
You’ll find sunfish in 8 to 12 feet and suspended crappies over 16 to 20 feet on Chisago Lake, North Lindstrom Lake, South Lindstrom Lake, or North and South Center lakes. Nightcrawlers continue to work best for walleyes on the deep rocks of Green Lake, North Center, and South Center lakes. Bass and northern pike are hitting live bait and artificial presentations on the weedlines of most lakes.
Frankie’s Bait (651) 257-6334
Crappies are hitting during the evening hours in 10 to 12 feet of water at Black Hoof Lake and 9 to 15 feet of water on Clearwater Lake. Look for sunfish in the reeds or backwater bays on the Mississippi River in less than 8 feet of water and on Little Rabbit Lake in 10 to 18 feet of water. Northern pike fishing remains strong on most lakes, while plastics are producing bass in 15 to 25 feet of water on Serpent Lake and in the slop on the south end of Clearwater, Crooked Lake Chain, and Bay Lake.
Oars ‘n Mine Bait and Tackle
DETROIT LAKES AREA
Muskie action has picked up with bucktails or rubber baits in less than 10 feet on Big Detroit Lake, Lake Sallie, and Pelican Lake. Crankbaits or crawlers are turning walleyes in 15 feet on Cotton Lake and Big Toad Lake. Look for crappies and sunfish along the weed edges of Sallie, Lake Melissa, and Big Floyd Lake.
Quality Bait and Tackle
Hit Island Lake with chubs for walleyes in 18 to 20 feet or smallmouth bass on the 10-foot structure. Fish Lake started giving up walleyes on crawlers in 15 feet and smallmouth bass continue to bite on the Cloquet River. Lake Superior reports have been better close to town, with Chinook salmon being taken on spoons in the top 50 feet of the water column over 100 to 120 feet. Walleyes, lake trout, and salmon are hitting stickbaits along the south shore over 75 feet.
Chalstrom’s Bait (218) 726-0094
EAST CENTRAL MN
The holes or current breaks on the Rum and Mississippi rivers are giving up numbers of channel catfish and smallmouth bass. Work the weedlines on Little Elk Lake for largemouth bass and pike, and Green Lake or Spectacle Lake for crappies over 20 feet.
Tales and Trails Sport Shop
Walleyes are hitting Jiggin’ Raps, spinners and crawlers or crankbaits on Lake Isabella, Newton Lake, and Disappointment Lake in 20 to 30 feet. Work the 12- to 15-foot weedlines on Robinson Lake, Bass Lake, and Parent Lake for northern pike or Sucker Lake, Little Long Lake, and Alice Lake for smallmouth bass. Knife Lake, Thomas Lake, and Ima Lake are kicking out lake trout on heavy bucktails worked near the bottom. Crawlers or small spoons are the tickets for brook trout and splake at Norway Lake, Skull Lake, and Louis Lake. Hit the weedlines on One Pine Lake, Johnson Lake, and Mitchell Lake for crappies and bluegills.
Arrowhead Outdoors (218) 365-5358
Bluegills and yellow bass are being plucked from 6 to 10 feet on Hall Lake, Budd Lake, and Sisseton Lake. The deep holes on the Blue Earth River are giving up a few walleyes on jigs and plastics. Topwater baits are producing largemouth bass near the shoreline structure on Big Twin Lake, Hall, and Lura Lake.
Sommer Outdoors (507) 235-5225
GRAND RAPIDS/DEER RIVER AREA
Crappies remain active during the early morning and evening hours in 12 to 15 feet on Bowstring Lake and McCavity Bay on Big Cutfoot Sioux Lake. Walleyes are hitting minnows during the day and crankbaits in the evenings at Bowstring in 8 feet and Deer Lake in 18 to 20 feet. The humps on Lake Pokegama continue to give up walleyes and smallmouth bass. Moose Lake has been best for muskies, while the weed edges on Little Cutfoot Sioux Lake and Little Ball Club Lake are holding bluegills.
Fred’s Live Bait (218) 246-8710
GREY EAGLE AREA
Moose Lake and King’s Lake are producing sunfish in 15 to 18 feet and crappies over 18 to 20 feet. Look for walleyes in 25 to 30 feet on Big Swan Lake and Big Birch Lake – crankbaits or minnows are working best. Bass fishing remains strong on the weedlines of most lakes and there has been some larger northern pike coming off the weed edges of Big Birch and Big Swan.
Nancy’s Bait & Tackle (320) 285-2405
Look for crappies in the 10- to 14-foot cabbage beds during the morning and evening hours on Moccasin Lake, Stoney Lake, Webb Lake, and Birch Lake. Bass fishing remains strong with largemouth being found along the shorelines or slop on most lakes and smallmouth are hitting topwater baits on Ten Mile Lake, Baby, and Stoney. A few walleyes are being taken with crawlers or Jiggin’ Raps on Baby Lake and Ten Mile in 18 to 22 feet.
Swanson’s Bait and Tackle
Look for walleyes on the mid-lake reefs in 18 to 25 feet – working transition areas off the deep edges is key. Two presentations are working, a traditional Lindy Rig and leech and crankbaits. If you are set up with lead-core or down riggers, working around the deep edges in 28 to 35 feet with crankbaits also can be very productive. If the wind is blowing, walleyes also can be had on the weedlines with small jigs tipped with a leech or crawler. Crappie action has picked up on the north end of the lake with anglers finding fish in the Etling/Camel Back/School Teacher areas.
Gateway Store (218) 875-2121
For dry fly fishing, grasshoppers, beetles, and ant patterns are working best during the day, while caddis flies are more productive in the evenings. Smallmouth bass action remains strong with topwater or live bait on the North Branch and Lower Root River stretch.
Root River Rod Company
Bigger minnows are producing walleyes on Woman Lake in 22 to 25 feet or along the 12- to 16-foot weed edges on Big Boy Lake and Little Boy Lake. Work the 15-foot weeds for crappies on Wabedo Lake and Lake Inguadona or the 18-foot rocks and clam beds for bluegills on Woman. Look to Little Boy and Woman for smallmouth bass in 18 to 24 feet, but muskie action has been slow.
The One Stop (218) 363-2252
Work the 6- to 8-foot weeds for sunfish on Ann Lake, Knife Lake, and Fish Lake. Sucker minnows are producing pike in less than 6 feet on Knife and Quamba Lake. Hit Knife and Ann with spinnerbaits or plastics for bass.
Jerry’s Sport & Bait Shop
Big Stone Lake continues to kick out numbers of bluegills and perch around the islands on the south end or Hartford Beach area, up to the Bonanza area farther north in 12 feet. Northern pike also have become active on Big Stone, but walleye reports have been limited.
Artie’s Bait (320) 839-2480
PARK RAPIDS AREA
Walleye reports have picked up with redtails or a spinner and crawler on Potato Lake, Long Lake, and Fish Hook Lake in 16 to 22 feet. Look for crappies and sunfish in the 8- to 12-foot cabbage on Boulder Lake, Toad Lake, and the Crow Wing Chain. A few muskies continue to be taken from the main lake structure on Big Mantrap with bucktails.
Delaney’s (218) 732-4281
Smokey Hills Outdoors
The 8- to 12-foot weeds on Star Lake, Big Toad Lake, Rush Lake, and Big Pine Lake are safe bets for a mixed bag of panfish. Walleyes and pike continue to hit nightcrawlers or minnows along the 12- to 15-foot weedlines on Big Pine, Rush, and Little Pine Lake.
Gene’s Sport Shop (218) 346-3355
RED WING AREA
Crankbaits or live-bait rigs and crawlers are turning walleyes and sauger in 18 to 20 feet just south of Lake City on Lake Pepin. Work the rip/rap areas on the Wisconsin side of Pepin for sunfish and crappies. Channel catfish and sturgeon continue to be caught below the dam on the Mississippi River with cut suckers or nightcrawlers.
Four Seasons Sports (651) 388-4334
RICHMOND/ST. CLOUD AREA
Crappies and sunfish are being caught off the 8- to 12-foot weeds on Horseshoe Lake, Cedar Island Lake, Schneider Lake, Rice Lake, and Becker Lake. Spinners and crawlers or crankbaits are turning walleyes in 8 to 10 feet on Lake Koronis, Horseshoe, and East Lake. Channel catfish remain active in shallow and deep water throughout the Sauk River Chain.
Channel Marine and Sports
SAUK CENTRE AREA
Sunfish continue to be caught throughout Lake Osakis in 6 to 18 feet. The weeds on Fairy Lake, Lilly Lake, Long Lake, and Little Birch Lake also are producing sunfish, while Long is kicking out crappies along its 12-foot weedline as well. A slow-presented minnow is producing walleyes in 14 feet on Sauk Lake and Long Bridge Lake is giving up crappies along the 8- to 14-foot weedlines. Northern pike and bass are being caught along the weedlines of most lakes.
Fletcher’s Bait Shop (320) 352-2155
Plastics are turning largemouth bass throughout Lake Minnewaska – look shallow early and late or in 10 to 15 feet during the day. The weed pockets off Priest Point are giving up a few sunfish in 8 to 10 feet and crankbaits are producing pike in less than 12 feet on Minnewaska. With the exception of a few fish being caught well after dark with crankbaits, walleye action has slowed on Minnewaska.
Minnewaska Bait and Tackle
Hit Henderson Lake in 8 to 10 feet, Diamond Lake in 12 to 14 feet, and the 12-foot weedlines on Nest Lake for panfish. Minnows, spoons, and crankbaits are producing northern pike in 15 to 17 feet on Eagle Lake or 12 feet on Games Lake. Work Green Lake in 25 to 28 feet with minnows or crawlers for walleyes.
J&J Hwy. 71 Bait and Tackle