Report from the Dock
The biggest story-line this week has been the weather. While air temperatures have remained relatively comfortable, strong winds in most areas have limited when people can get out and fish. Generally, walleye action has been pretty strong with minnows or Jiggin’ Raps during the day and crankbaits at night along shorelines and other shallow water locations. With a significant cold spell expected to arrive this week, water temperatures should continue to cool down and that should provide even better fall walleye activity. Muskie reports were about as good this week as they’ve been all season. The big fish have started feeding, chasing tullibees and large pods of other forage into relatively shallow water. Sucker minnows continue to produce the majority of fish, followed by bucktails, and some trolling patterns. Opening weekend of the pheasant season was one of the better in recent years with good numbers of birds being seen, although it didn’t hurt that the state’s corn harvest is ahead of schedule, too.
LAKE MILLE LACS
Minnows or crankbaits are producing walleyes early and late each day along the shorelines and rock piles in less than 12 feet. Minnows are working better than artificial baits for smallmouth bass on the rock points and rock shorelines in 4 to 15 feet. As water temperatures continue to drop, look for better muskie activity on the shallow to mid-depth rocks.
Johnson’s Portside (320) 676-3811
Terry’s Boat Harbor (320) 692-4430
LAKE OF THE WOODS
Walleyes are active with most anglers anchored and jigging with a minnow. Walleyes are relating to migrating minnows in 9 to 27 feet around the lake. Structure and current areas are holding good numbers of fish. Walleyes also are hitting in Four Mile Bay in 10 to 15 feet, pike continue to be active in bays or along shorelines and trolling crankbaits will produce a mixed bag of fish. On the Rainy River, a strong run of emerald shiners this past week brought more walleyes into the river, which is is low and moving slow. Anglers reporting groups of fish from Wheeler’s Point to Birchdale being taken by jigging with live or frozen shiners. Trolling crankbaits over flats where fish are spread out also is effective, while sturgeon anglers are focusing on deeper holes with current.
Lake of the Woods Tourism Bureau (800) 382-FISH
LAKE MINNETONKA AREA
Walleyes are hitting minnows or crankbaits along the deep weeds during the day and in the channels at night on Lake Minnetonka. Spinners and sucker minnows are turning pike in 14 to 18 feet on Lake Independence and Minnetonka. Bass are hitting spinnerbaits in 8 to 10 feet on Minnnetonka, Medicine Lake, and Lake Sarah. Sucker minnows or sub-surface baits are triggering muskies in 14 to 18 feet on Minnetonka and Independence.
Wayzata Bait (952) 473-2227
Walleyes are being taken with minnows in 18 to 25 feet near Catos Point Reef, Indian Point and Birch Island in Big Bay, and the mouth of Everett Bay. Crappie action remains strong over 25 to 30 feet, while muskies are being raised with bucktails on the rock points or shallow, submerged reefs. You’ll catch smallmouth bass along with walleyes or on the 8- to 15-foot rock piles. Grouse hunting continues to go well for most groups with a high number of birds being flushed.
Pike Bay Lodge (218) 753-2430
Walleyes continue to be taken with a jig and minnow on the points, shorelines and gap areas in 6 to 10 feet. Look for perch in these same areas, while northern pike are hitting minnows or spoons in 10 to 12 feet throughout the lake.
Walleye action is strong with minnows on the shallow rocks along the east side, shoreline structure and points in Sucker Bay, and the Bear Island area. Rubber baits or sucker minnows are working best for muskies on the mid-depth rocks and reed edges. There’s been a few more ringbills being shot, but not a big push of new ducks into the area.
Reed’s Sporting Goods (218) 547-1505
Shriver’s Bait Company
Smallmouth bass, northern pike, and large walleyes can all be found chasing pods of tullibees right now. A live-bait rig or jig with a bigger minnow is producing a fine mixed bag of fish on the 23- to 25-foot rock shoals.
RainyDaze Guide Service
If the wind isn’t blowing and anglers have the opportunity to get on the lake, walleye action has been pretty good. Most fish are being taken with a jig and minnow along the shorelines in 4 to 7 feet.
West Wind Resort (218) 647-8998
Twin Cities Metro
A jig and minnow is the ticket for walleyes in the Hudson area of the St. Croix River in 23 to 28 feet. Minnows also are turning walleyes during the evening hours on White Bear Lake and Bald Eagle Lake in 10 to 15 feet. Hit White Bear or Lake Owasso with sucker minnows for northern pike. Hunting reports have been light.
Blue Ribbon Bait & Tackle
Muskies are hitting sucker minnows on North Reef and the swimming beach area of Lake Waconia. Ann Lake and Steiger Lake are giving up bigger bass, while crappies are being found over 10 feet on Wasserman Lake and Auburn Lake. Jigs with minnows or plastics are producing walleyes in the deep holes of the Crow River. Pheasant hunting reports have been positive and most people seem to be seeing plenty of birds.
Cabin Fever Sports (952) 443-2022
Look for suspended crappies over 25 to 30 feet on Reno Lake or along the remaining weedlines of Lake Le Homme Dieu and Lake Geneva. A jig and minnow or Jiggin’ Raps are turning walleyes in 30 to 35 feet on Lake Ida or Mary Lake in 20 to 25 feet. Sucker minnows are working best for muskies on Lobster Lake and Lake Miltona in 15 to 18 feet, while bigger bass are being found in 15 to 20 feet throughout the Le Homme Dieu Chain. Duck and goose numbers have dropped off, pheasant reports have been OK and hunters are seeing quite a few young birds.
Christopherson’s Bait and Tackle
Walleyes are hitting minnows on Cedar Lake, Clearwater Lake, and Sugar Lake from 15 to 30 feet. Look for suspended crappies over 15 to 20 feet on Clearwater, while bass and pike action remains strong in less than 12 feet on most lakes. Despite quite a bit of crop still standing, pheasant hunters are seeing and shooting some birds so that should improve as the harvest moves along. There’s still some wood ducks to be had, but not much for migrant ducks moving into the area.
Little Jim’s Bait (320) 274-5297
BATTLE LAKE AREA
Look for walleyes to hit minnows in 15 to 20 feet on Otter Tail Lake and West Battle Lake during the day or crankbaits at night in 5 to 8 feet. Sucker minnows are producing northern pike in 15 feet at Donald Lake and Otter Tail. Crappies are being found suspended over 20 feet on Clitherall Lake and West Battle, while large sucker minnows are turning muskies in 20 feet on West Battle. Opening weekend pheasant hunting reports were good with limits being taken by many groups, but duck and goose numbers have dropped off.
Ben’s Bait Shop (218) 864-5596
Water temperatures were holding in the low to mid 50-degree range last weekend, but by the end of this week they should take a big dive with colder weather expected. Walleyes continue to hit jigs and minnows and are scattered from 8 to 30 feet on area lakes. The key is to keep on the move and try various depths on Lake Bemidji and Lake Plantagenet. Crappie fishing has been good and most have moved out to the deeper basin areas, although some are being found in 8 to 12 feet around cabbage. Bass fishing remains excellent with jigs and plastics along the deep weed edges. The leaves are now off and grouse hunting has been good and with colder weather moving in, some northern ducks should be pushed into the area.
Dick Beardsley Guide Service
A jig and minnow is producing walleyes on Blackduck Lake, Island Lake, and Round Lake in 10 to 14 feet. Look to Pimushe Lake or Gull Lake for crappies and sunfish over 20 to 30 feet. Grouse hunting reports have been very good, there’s been several bigger bucks shot this week, but there hasn’t been much for new ducks moving into the area.
Timberline Sports and Tackle
A jig and rainbow minnow has been best for walleyes on North Long Lake, Gull Lake, Round Lake, and Pelican Lake in 12 to 32 feet. Crappies continue to be found suspended over 12 to 28 feet at North Long, south end of Gull, Nisswa Lake, and Round. Bigger bass and pike seem to be preferring bigger baits in deeper water on most lakes.
S & W Bait & Guide Service/Nisswa Guide League (218) 829-7010
CASS LAKE AREA
Muskies are hitting sucker minnows during the afternoon hours around Cedar Island and North Ceder Bar on Cass Lake. A jig and minnow is turning walleyes in the current areas between Cass, Lake Andrusia, and Wolf Lake each morning. During the day, redtails are producing walleyes on Cass in 30 to 50 feet or Andrusia in 40 to 42 feet. Look for bluegills and crappies in 8 to 12 feet on Kitchi Lake, Allen’s Bay on Cass, Wolf, Midge Lake, and Grace Lake. With cold weather forecasted, there should be some new ducks moving into the area this week and grouse hunting reports have been mostly positive.
Sunset Cove Resort (800) 279-4831
You’ll find a mixed bag of panfish and bass on the remaining green weedbeds and lily pads of North and South Center lakes and Chisago Lake in 8 to 12 feet. Pitch a jig and minnow on the 12- to 18-foot rocks or bars of Green Lake, Chisago, or North and South Center for walleyes. Northern pike remain active on most lakes in 12 feet. There are some wood ducks and mallards in the area, but more geese than ducks.
Frankie’s Bait (651) 257-6334
The deeper holes on the Mississippi River are producing smallmouth bass, walleyes, crappies, and channel catfish. Hit Rabbit Lake, Serpent Lake, Clearwater Lake, and Nokay Lake for walleyes and suspended crappies over over 30 to 35 feet. Local ducks have dwindled and there hasn’t been a push of new birds into the area. This week’s wind eliminated a lot of cover, so grouse reports have improved.
Oars ‘n Mine Bait and Tackle
DETROIT LAKES AREA
Muskie action has picked up with sucker minnows or crankbaits on Big Detroit Lake, Lake Sallie, and Pelican Lake in 12 to 15 feet. Minows are producing walleyes on Big Toad Lake, Big Detroit, and Pelican in 15 to 20 feet. Work the mid-depth weedbeds on Melissa, Height of Land Lake, and Big Floyd Lake for a mixed bag of panfish.
Quality Bait and Tackle
Boulder Lake is kicking out walleyes on chubs in 12 feet of water and crappies are going in the Highbanks area on Fish Lake in 12 to 15 feet. Hit Island or the St. Louis River with large sucker minnows for muskies in 10 to 15 feet. Archery hunters continue to shoot a lot of antlerless deer along with a few more bucks this week. The woods have thinned out, so grouse hunting success has been better, especially just north of the immediate area.
Chalstrom’s Bait (218) 726-0094
EAST CENTRAL MN
A jig tipped with minnows or plastics is producing smallmouth bass and walleyes in the deep holes of the Rum River. You’ll find a mixed bag of panfish in 7 to 10 feet on Green Lake and Blue Lake. Duck hunters continue to find decent numbers of puddle ducks, along with geese in the area.
Tales and Trails Sport Shop
Fall Lake, Basswood Lake, and Little Long Lake are kicking out walleyes on a jig and minnow in 20 to 30 feet. Northern pike are hitting sucker minnows or spoons on the rock flats of Birch Lake, Disappointment Lake, and Ojibwe Lake. Rainbow trout are being taken with small spoons or crankbaits in the top 10 feet of the water column on Tofte Lake, Glacier Pond One, and Miner’s Lake. Whitefish netting has started slow, but will improve quickly with the falling water temperatures this week.Grouse hunting remains pretty good and more woodcock are in the mix as well.
Arrowhead Outdoors (218) 365-5358
Waxworms or crawlers are producing yellow bass on Hall Lake, Budd Lake, and Sisseton Lake in 6 to 8 feet. Look for bluegills in 4 to 6 feet on Sisseton or crappies in 10 to 15 feet on Hall and Budd. Walleye action has been best on the Blue Earth and Watonwan rivers. Pheasant hunting reports have been light, but the corn is being harvested quickly.
Sommer Outdoors (507) 235-5225
FERGUS FALLS AREA
Minnows or crankbaits are turning walleyes in 5 to 10 feet at Ten Mile Lake during the evening hours. Look for crappies on Orwell Reservoir in 12 to 14 feet and northern pike are hitting minnows on Swan Lake and Ten Mile in less than 12 feet. A few diver ducks moved into the area early this week and pheasant hunting action has been strong with most groups pleasantly surprised with the birds they’ve been seeing.
Little Chief Outpost
GRAND RAPIDS/DEER RIVER AREA
Hit the Gap on Big Cutfoot Sioux Lake with minnows for walleyes in 8 to 12 feet or McCavity Bay for suspended crappies ovver 25 to 30 feet. A jig and minnow is turning walleyes on Jessie Lake in 7 to 12 feet and Sand Lake is producing bluegills in 25 to 35 feet. Large sucker minnows continue to work best for muskies on Moose Lake aand North Star Lake. The woods have thinned out, so grouse hunting has been going well, but there hasn’t been much for new ducks moving in.
Fred’s Live Bait (218) 246-8710
Walleyes are hitting jigs and minnows in 20 to 25 feet on Pine Mountain Lake, Ten Mile Lake, Baby Lake, and Little Boy Lake. Panfish reports have been light, but rubbber baits or sucker minnows are turning muskies on the points and shallow weed edges of Wabedo Lake and Little Boy. Waterfowl hunters are seeing better numbers of migrant ducks and geese in the area, there seems to be more woodcock being shot, and the woods have thinned out so grouse hunting success has improved.
Swanson’s Bait and Tackle
Walleyes are being taken with minnows and jigs or live-bait rigs and redtails on Woman Lake in 8 to 14 feet or 20 to 28 feet. You’ll find bluegills in 8 to 10 feet on Boy Lake and Lake Inguadona, while crappies are being found on the remaining weed edges or deep, basin areas on Woman. Duck hunting has been poor, but grouse hunting has been going well. There needs to be a push of new ducks into the area.
The One Stop (218) 363-2252
Knife Lake is producing walleyes on minnows or crawlers in 4 feet early and late each day. Look for crappies in 8 feet and sunfish closer to shore in 4 to 5 feet at Ann Lake, Fish Lake, and Knife. Hunting reports have been limited.
Jerry’s Sport & Bait Shop
PARK RAPIDS AREA
Potato Lake and Fish Hook Lake are kicking out walleyes in 18 to 30 feet – large minnows or leadcore and crankbaits are working best. Look for suspended crappies over the deep basin areas throughout the Crow Wing Chain and Boulder Lake. Muskies are hitting sucker minnows on Big Mantrap Lake and Many Point Lake in 12 to 14 feet. Grouse hunting has been better compared to last year at this point and there seems to be more geese than ducks in the area.
Delaney’s (218) 732-4281
Smokey Hills Outdoors
Walleyes are hitting crankbaits at night in 8 to 10 feet or minnows during the day in 14 to 22 feet on Big Pine Lake, Rush Lake, and Little Pine Lake. Crappies are being found suspended over 20 to 25 feet on Marion Lake, Star Lake, Dead Lake, and Big Pine. These lakes will likely produce sunfish in shallower water, but not many people have been chasing them. This week’s wind and cooler weather should push some new ducks into the area.
Gene’s Sport Shop (218) 346-3355
RED WING AREA
Walleyes seem to be transitioning from the head of Lake Pepin into the river. Fish are being taken with crankbaits in 10 to 15 feet at the Head of the Lake area and with jigs and minnows up to the dam and below it in 15 to 20 feet. Smallmouth bass remain active on the rock areas of Pepin and crappies continue to be caught off the submerged timber throughout the river.
Four Seasons Sports (651) 388-4334
RICHMOND/ST. CLOUD AREA
A jig and minnow is producing walleyes during the day in 10 to 18 feet, as are crankbaits at night along the shorelines of Lake Koronis. Look to Horseshoe Lake for walleyes in 14 to 18 feet or Rice Lake in 18 to 22 feet. There hasn’t been much sunfish activity, but crappies are being found suspended over 18 to 24 feet on Rice, Long Lake, Horseshoe, and Cedar Island Lake. There seems to be a few more pheasants this year than last just west of the area and duck numbers have thinned out.
Channel Marine and Sports
SAUK CENTRE AREA
Walleyes continue to be caught with minnows on Sauk Lake in 6 to 8 feet and Lake Amelia in 10 to 15 feet – look even shallower on both lakes early and late each day. The north end of Lake Osakis is producing sunfish and a few crappies in 6 to 10 feet. Waterfowl hunters are seeing and shooting more geese than ducks and pheasant reports from opening weekend were limited.
Fletcher’s Bait Shop (320) 352-2155
STAPLES/LITTLE FALLS AREA
Walleyes and smallmouth bass are being caught on jigs and minnows above the dams and trestle area on the Mississippi River. There’s also been some walleyes taken on Lake Alexander with shiner minnows in 16 feet. Panfish and hunting reports have been light.
Da Fishin’ Hole (320) 631-0056
Walleyes, bass, and pike are being caught during the day along Schoolhouse Bar and Priest Point in 18 to 20 feet on Lake Minnewaska. At night, craankbaits are producing ‘eyes along the 8- to 10-foot bulrush edges of Minnewaska. Anglers fishing from shore on the west side of Lake Emily continue to catch walleyes and channel catfish during the evening hours. Pheasant hunting reports have been better than expected, but the corn harvest seems to be well ahead of schedule as well, so that’s helped.
Minnewaska Bait and Tackle
The Farm Bar or northwest end of Eagle Lake are giving up walleyes on minnows in 16 to 18 feet. Look to Green Lake for walleyes in 20 to 28 feet or Norway Lake in 12 to 15 feet. Anglers fishing from shore on Foot Lake started catching crappies and Lake Minnetoga is giving up walleyes in less than 8 feet. Pheasant hunters are having some success and most groups report seeing more birds than last year.
J&J Hwy. 71 Bait and Tackle
The Milan Bridge area on Lake Lac qui Parle is producing numbers of walleyes and northern pike on minnows. Minnows also are turning walleyes along the shorlines of Dead Coon Lake, Lake Sarah, Rock Lake, Lake Shetek, and Lake Benton. The pheasant opener went well with most groups seeing plenty of birds, so this area should be really good once more corn is harvested.
Borch’s Sporting Goods