Monday, January 30th, 2023
Monday, January 30th, 2023

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Minnesota Fishing Report – November 3, 2020

Report from the Dock

While it sounds as if most anglers have already put their boats in storage, those that kept them out should have a pretty good week of walleye and muskie fishing. The weather looks nice and with the exception of a few spots in far northern Minnesota, any ice that had already formed has melted away. If you can find them, large sucker minnows again are the primary bait for msukies and most are being caught in less than 12 feet of water. Walleyes are being found shallow and deep – it just depends on the lake and time of day. If you’re not heading to the deer stand this weekend for the firearms opener, it should be an excellent weekend of late fall, open water fishing opportunities.

Great Eight

LAKE MILLE LACS        

There hasn’t been much fishing activity at all, mainly due to the cooler weather and some shoreline ice forming last week. With the above normal temperatures this week, any ice that had formed will likely be gone by this weekend. With water temperatures now in the low 40-degree range, tullibees will be on the shallow rocks to spawn, so look for muskies and walleyes to be up chasing them as well.

Johnson’s Portside (320) 676-3811

Terry’s Boat Harbor (320) 692-4430

 

LAKE OF THE WOODS

Anglers report sorting through walleyes in a variety of sizes to catch eaters and big fish on the south shore. A jig  and minnow is most productive in 7 to 26 feet at the Lighthouse Gap, Morris Point Gap, Zippel Bay, Long Point and Knight and Bridges islands. Northern pike are being caught by walleye anglers, but they’re also active in bays and along shallow shorelines. It’s been an interesting fall on the Rainy River with a good shiner run but low current. Some anglers report slow fishing compared to past falls, while others report excellent fishing, but you have to work for them. Move around to different spots or even trailer to different sections of the river until you find fish. Best depths have been 7 to 24 feet with shiners on current breaks or in deep holes. A sturgeon rig with crawlers and shiners in deep holes is still catching sturgeon. Parts of the Northwest Angle are icing up. For those still fishing open water, a jig and a minnow is turning walleyes along points and areas with current in 13 to 26 feet.

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

 

LAKE MINNETONKA AREA    

There’s been a handful of muskie and walleye anglers on area lakes, but success has been limited for both. Look to those spots normally fished at first ice to be holding more fish than those traditional fall spots because water temperatures have dropped so rapidly.

Wayzata Bait (952) 473-2227

 

LAKE VERMILION

Some bays still had ice on them early this week, but boats are being put in at Big Bay. Fishing pressure has been lighter, with some muskie activity on the rocks in 12 to 20 feet. Look for walleyes to hit a minnow and jig on the reefs in 20 to 25 feeet.

Pike Bay Lodge (218) 753-2430

 

LAKE WINNIBIGOSHISH

There should be no problem getting a boat in this weekend with the warmer weather eliminating much of the shoreline ice that had started to form. Fishing activity has been limited, but the points and shoreline breaks are worth looking at for walleyes in less than 12 feet.

Lake Winnie Resort Association                   

 

LEECH LAKE

The anglers going out are catching walleyes with a jig and minnow on the wind-driven, main lake areas in 2 to 6 feet. Spots such as Stoney Point, Hardwoods, Roger’s Point, and Pelican Island are all worth working if the wind is hitting them. Duck numbers are up and down as they move in and out of the area. Those still hunting are shooting ringbills, mallards, and a mixed bag of other divers.

Reed’s Sporting Goods (218) 547-1505

Shriver’s Bait Company

(218) 547-2250

 

RAINY LAKE     

There really isn’t anything to report due to the lack of anglers. Last week’s stretch of cold weather put an end to most people’s open water season with boats put in storage and some ice starting to take hold.

RainyDaze Guide Service

(218) 290-6102

 

RED LAKE

Open water fishing has been nonexistent and any limited ice that had formed, likely has been eliminated. Water temperatures are down there, but it needs to get cold for an extended stretch for ice to take hold.

West Wind Resort (218) 647-8998

Twin Cities Metro

NORTHEAST METRO

A jig and minnow is producing walleyes at Pool #2 on the Mississippi River in 5 to 10 feet. The St. Croix River also is giving up walleyes in 8 to 12 feet or 30 to 35 feet from Prescott to the Kinnickinnic. Crawlers are producing sturgeon in the deep holes of the St. Croix and sucker minnows are the ticket for muskies on Forest Lake or the St. Croix. 

Blue Ribbon Bait & Tackle

(651) 777-2421

 

WEST METRO

There’s been a few muskie anglers on Lake Waconia and catching some fish on large sucker minnows. The deeper holes on the Minnesota and Crow rivers continue to produce walleyes on a jig and minnow. Duck hunting reports have been light, but pheasant hunters are seeing good numbers of birds.

Cabin Fever Sports (952) 443-2022

Statewide

ALEXANDRIA AREA

The nice weather had a few more people fishing than last week, but reports remain limited. Look for walleyes on Reno Lake in 12 to 15 feet or 20 to 25 feet on Lake Ida. Ducks seem to be moving in and out of the area with some divers, mallards, and geese being shot. Pheasant hunters continue to report seeing a fair number of roosters.

Christopherson’s Bait and Tackle

(320) 763-3255

 

ANNANDALE AREA

Look to Clearwater Lake in 12 to 18 feet or Lake Sylvia in 15 to 20 feet with a jig and minnow for walleyes. Any ice that had started to take hold will likely be gone this weekend. A few ringbills and other divers remain, but mallards and geese are most abundant. 

Little Jim’s Bait (320) 274-5297

 

BATTLE LAKE AREA

A few anglers continue to venture out and catch walleyes in 10 to 15 feet with a jig and sucker minnow on Otter Tail Lake, West Battle Lake, and Rush Lake. If you can find large sucker minnows, muskies have been hitting them in 15 feet on West Battle. There should be no problem getting a boat on area lakes through this weekend.

Ben’s Bait Shop (218) 864-5596

 

BEMIDJI AREA

Even with the warmer weather this week and open shorelines on many lakes, fishing pressure remains light. It sounds as if most boats were put away during the extended stretch of cold the previous two weeks.

Dick Beardsley Guide Service

(218) 556-7172

 

BLACKDUCK AREA

Most accesses and shorelines had thick enough ice to prevent boats from being launched early this week. Depending on how warm it gets this week, some of those areas could reopen, but most anglers have put their boats away for the season and have turned their focus to this weekend’s deer opener.

Timberline Sports and Tackle

(218) 835-4636

 

BRAINERD/NISSWA AREA 

Hit Gull Lake for walleyes with a jig and larger minnow in 38 to 46 feet or for suspended crappies over 40 feet. Although there is no issue getting a boat on any lake, the few anglers still going out have stuck to Gull.

S & W Bait & Guide Service/

Nisswa Guide League  (218) 829-7010

 

CASS LAKE AREA

There was just enough ice around the edges of most lakes to prevent people from getting boats in over the last week. With the warmer weather this week, most of that ice will be gone and there should be plenty of options through the weekend. Look for walleyes in 30 feet or more on Cass Lake or Pike Bay Lake and muskies should be chasing tullibees throughout Cass. Duck numbers also remain strong with divers and large flocks of mallards utilizing the ice-free, larger ponds and lakes.

Sunset Cove Resort (800) 279-4831              

 

CHISAGO AREA   

Minnows are producing some walleyes on the bars and points of Green Lake and Chisago Lake in 12 to 15 feet. Panfish, bass, and pike reports have been nonexistant. Geese, mallards, and a few ringbills or bufflehead continue to be shot by waterfowl hunters.

Frankie’s Bait (651) 257-6334

 

CROSBY AREA

The deeper holes on the Mississippi River remain a safe bet for walleyes and a few anglers continue to fish for walleyes on Serpent Lake and Clearwater Lake in 25 feet or deeper with minnows. Some mallards and divers moved into the area last week and they seem to be sticking around with the warm weather.

Oars ‘n Mine Bait and Tackle

(218) 546-6912

 

DETROIT LAKES AREA

A handful of walleye anglers continue to catch fish with a jig and minnow in 15 to 20 feet during the day or with crankbaits in less than 10 feet early and late on Big Detroit Lake and Big Cormorant Lake. Sucker minnows remain the best option for muskies in 12 to 15 feet on Pelican Lake and Big Detroit. 

Quality Bait and Tackle

(218) 844-2248

 

DULUTH AREA   

Despite the warm weather, ice has remained intact on most small lakes lakes or along shorelines. As a result, fishing pressure continues to be nonexistent. Grouse reports remain strong and archery hunters are seeing and shooting a lot of deer again this week. The rut appears to be on.

Chalstrom’s Bait (218) 726-0094

 

EAST CENTRAL MN

The lakes have been quiet, but a few anglers continue to fish the Mississippi and Rum rivers for walleyes and smallmouth bass. Waterfowl hunters are seeing more geese than ducks, but there are some divers on the lakes and bigger ponds.

Tales and Trails Sport Shop 

(763) 856-3985

 

ELY AREA

Even with warmer weather this week, most lakes have too much ice on them to think about getting a boat in. There was a few people walking on a couple of small lakes and fishing through the ice last weekend, but that ice has likely deteriorated. There seems to be an uptick in deer movement this past week and grouse hunting reports remain favorable.

Arrowhead Outdoors (218) 365-5358

 

FAIRMONT AREA

Anglers fishing from shore continue to catch yellow bass on Budd Lake and Sisseton Lake. Look for crappies in 10 to 15 feet on Hall and Budd. The ducks and geese in the area seem to be sticking around, but there hasn’t been a big push of birds into the area.

Sommer Outdoors (507) 235-5225

 

FERGUS FALLS AREA

Walleyes are hitting a jig and minnow during the day in 12 to 15 feet or crankbaits in 5 feet at night on Fish Lake and Ten Mile Lake. Deer seem to have really become active and waterfowl hunters are shooting mallards, some divers, and good numbers of geese.

Little Chief Outpost

(218) 998-5050

 

GRAND RAPIDS/DEER RIVER AREA 

Even with warmer weather, most accesses on area lakes remained locked with ice early this week, so fishing pressure has been light. Most people seem to have ended their open water fishing season and have been busy grouse hunting or preparing for the firearms deer opener.

Fred’s Live Bait (218) 246-8710

 

HACKENSACK AREA 

There should be no problem putting a boat in on any lake this weekend, but fishing pressure has been light. There has been some activity on Woman Lake and it is producing walleyes in 20 to 22 feet with a jig and bigger minnow. Waterfowl hunters are seeing bigger rafts of divers on larger bodies of water.

Swanson’s Bait and Tackle

(218) 675-6176

 

LANESBORO AREA 

The warm weather this week has provided some good midge hatches, so your favorite midge pattern should produce trout. It’s catch and release and fish are biting on the open trout water within the city limits of Preston, Rushford, Lanesboro, and Chatfield and within the Beaver Creek, Forestville, and Whitewater state parks.

Root River Rod Company

(507) 467-2101

 

MORA AREA

Some minimal ice remains on a few ponds, but much of the ice that started to form has diminished since last week. Despite open water options, there hasn’t been enough people fishing to garner any reports. Hunting pressure also has been minimal, although deer are becoming more visible and active.

Jerry’s Sport & Bait Shop 

(320) 679-2151

 

ORTONVILLE AREA

Fishing activity remains light even with the nice weather and Big Stone Lake being ice-free. There is more interest in the upcoming deer season, pheasant reports remain favorable from most groups, and waterfowl hunters are shooting a mixed bag of mallards, geese, and divers.

Artie’s Bait (320) 839-2480

 

PARK RAPIDS AREA

Fishing pressure has been minimal, but with the nicer weather, lakes such as Long and Fish Hook are worth looking at for walleyes in 16 to 20 feet. Big Mantrap Lake remains a good bet for muskies in 12 to 15 feet as well. Hunters are reporting plenty of deer activity, even during the day. There’s a mixture of divers, mallards, and geese on the rivers and bigger bodies of water.

Delaney’s (218) 732-4281

Smokey Hills Outdoors 

(218) 237-5099

 

PERHAM AREA

Crankbaits or a jig and minnow are turning walleyes in 10 to 20 feet on Big Pine Lake, Rush Lake, and Little Pine Lake. While some northern ducks have moved out, it seems as though others are moving in with ringbills, bufflehead, mallards, and geese in the mix. There’s been several nice bucks shot by archery hunters since last week and overall deer movement is picking up.

Gene’s Sport Shop (218) 346-3355

 

RED WING AREA

The Mississippi River has been busy with boats and the walleyes and sauger continue to cooperate. A jig tipped with minnows or blade baits are turning fish in 16 to 20 feet below the dam or deeper current breaks leading up to it. There has been a small push of mallards into the area and some divers continue to be seen on larger bodies of water.

Four Seasons Sports (651) 388-4334

 

RICHMOND/ST. CLOUD AREA

Any ice that did take hold on the ponds, bays, and shorelines will likely be gone by this weekend or sooner. Horseshoe Lake and the Sauk River are kicking out some walleyes in less than 12 feet on minnows. Waterfowl hunters are seeing a few divers, but definetely more mallards and geese this week than last.

Channel Marine and Sports

(320) 597-5975

 

SAUK CENTRE AREA

Brassy shiners or rainbow minnows are producing walleyes on Sauk Lake in 4 to 8 feet early and late each day. Walleyes also are hitting minnows in the Battle Point and Four Mile Bar areas of Lake Osakis in 12 to 18 feet. Big Birch Lake is kicking out walleyes on minnows in 35 to 45 feet.

Fletcher’s Bait Shop (320) 352-2155

 

STAPLES/LITTLE FALLS AREA

The nicer weather has allowed anglers to again hit the Mississippi River where walleyes and some smallmouth bass are being caught above and below the dams with minnows. The rut is on, at least based on reports from archery hunters, who have seen increased buck activity.

Da Fishin’ Hole (320) 631-0056

 

STARBUCK AREA

The few people still fishing are catching walleyes with a jig and minnow off the points of Lake Minnewaska in 18 to 22 feet. The number of people waterfowl hunting has dropped, but pheasant hunting reports have been good and most are seeing plenty of roosters.

Minnewaska Bait and Tackle

(320) 239-2239

 

WINDOM/MARSHALL AREA

Despite nothing but open water, fishing pressure has been very light. Lakes such as Rock, Sarah, Dead Coon, Shetek, and Lac qui Parle among others are worth looking at for walleyes from boats or from shore. Pheasant hunting is going strong with most groups finding success and plenty of birds.

Borch’s Sporting Goods 

(507) 532-4880

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