Report from the Dock
While it was warm enough to fish over the past week, there wasn’t many people taking advantage of it. Most anglers have put away their open-water gear for the season and those who have gone out don’t seem to be catching much. Basically, there’s been a handful of diehard muskie and walleye anglers still heading out in a few areas, but experiencing limited success. If the weather allows, river fishing would be the best option to put catch a few late season walleyes.
LAKE MILLE LACS
With the deer season underway and strong winds last weekend, there really hasn’t been much to report on the fishing side of things. Most hunting groups reported a decent start to the deer season, kind of a normal opener, with a few big bucks shot in the area. Most anticipate better success with the cold weather moving in.
Johnson’s Portside (320) 676-3811
Terry’s Boat Harbor (320) 692-4430
LAKE OF THE WOODS
Once the lake cleared up a bit, (the water was dirtied up from strong winds), good walleye action was reported in many areas. A jig and minnow continues to work best in 7 to 16 feet – walleyes are setting up in early ice locations. There’s also been some big pike and jumbo perch in the mix with the walleyes. On the Rainy River, Four Mile Bay, Wheeler’s Point and up river to Vidas has been productive for walleyes. Anglers still fishing sturgeon are catching nice fish tas well.
Lake of the Woods Tourism Bureau (800) 382-FISH
LAKE MINNETONKA AREA
Even with last weekend’s warm weather, there really hasn’t been anyone fishing. With the deer season underway, most people have been busy in the woods and not on area lakes.
Wayzata Bait (952) 473-2227
With the deer season going, fishing pressure has dropped even more. You can expect ice to start forming in many bays and shoreline areas with cold weather moving across the state this week. It’s likely the open water fishing season has come to an end.
Pike Bay Lodge (218) 753-2430
There really isn’t anything to report due to a lack of anglers. With the deer season underway and boats put away for the year, there hasn’t been anyone on the lake.
While there was a few people on the lake last weekend, there isn’t much to report on the fishing front. With cold weather again moving into the state this week and the deer season underway, the open water season is likely done. Deer hunting reports have been mixed and the warm weather on opening weekend likely limited success.
Reed’s Sporting Goods (218) 547-1505
Shriver’s Bait Company
Boats have been put in storage and most people have taken to the woods for the deer season. Expect ice to continue forming along the shorelines or bays with cold weather moving into the state this week.
RainyDaze Guide Service
There’s nothing to report as far as fishing goes, other than people are waiting for ice to form. Water temperatures are down there, but it’s going to take an extended stretch of cold, calm weather for ice to take hold and stay in place close to shore.
West Wind Resort (218) 647-8998
Twin Cities Metro
A handful of muskie anglers were out last weekend on the St. Croix River and Forest Lake. There was also some limited walleye activity on the Mississippi River, but that has all diminished since cold weather moved back in. Depending on the weather this week, those river fishing options could still exist heading into this weekend.
Blue Ribbon Bait & Tackle
Fishing pressure has been minimal since the firearms deer season started. Depending on weather conditions this week, the Crow River and Minnesota River could be options this weekend.
Cabin Fever Sports (952) 443-2022
The majority of deer hunters report a decent start to the season. The warm, windy weather seemed to have limited the amount of time many people spent in the woods last weekend. Even so, there were quite a few deer seen and shot.
Christopherson’s Bait and Tackle
The deer season has gone pretty well with a fine mixture of bucks and antlerless deer being shot. Most groups seem to be pretty happy with the number of deer they’ve been seeing. Fishing activity has been minimal, but waterfowl hunters continue to shoot divers on big water and plenty of geese over fields.
Little Jim’s Bait (320) 274-5297
BATTLE LAKE AREA
A jig and sucker minnow is producing walleyes in 15 feet on Otter Tail Lake. Deer hunters have done well and the majority of hunting parties report seeing a lot of deer. Many people reported bucks were very aggressive and there were several big bucks taken along with plenty of smaller bucks and antlerless deer.
Ben’s Bait Shop (218) 864-5596
With the warm weather last week there were a few anglers out and the walleye bite was good on lakes such as Bemidji, Andrusia, Grace, and Plantagenet. Now that the colder weather is back, most folks are done with open water fishing and are waiting for the ice to form. Opening weekend of the rifle deer season yielded some nice bucks in the area.
Dick Beardsley Guide Service
The first weekend of deer season was relatively slow, likely due to the warm weather, but deer movement definetely increased early this week. There were several very large bucks shot in the area on Monday night and Tuesday morning and most hunters have commented that bucks really started moving as soon as the weather cooled down.
Timberline Sports and Tackle
There’s been a few anglers heading to Gull Lake for walleyes and they have been catching walleyes in 40 to 46 feet with large minnows and jigs. Overall, fishing activity has been limited. Deer hunting reports have been mixed, but many people indicated it was a slow start to the season.
S & W Bait & Guide Service/
Nisswa Guide League (218) 829-7010
CASS LAKE AREA
There’s been a few muskie anglers on Cass Lake, mainly in Allen’s Bay or the north end of the lake, and they are hooking fish via trolling around the points. The first couple days of the deer season were quiet, but hunter’s did report seeing increased deer movement as soon as the cool weather moved in on Monday.
Sunset Cove Resort (800) 279-4831
Overall, it’s been a pretty good start to the deer season. Hunters report seeing plenty of antlerless deer and are filling management tags, while others are seeing deer but waiting for a bigger buck. Anecdotal reports indicate a better than average season so far.
Frankie’s Bait (651) 257-6334
There isn’t anything to report on the fishing side, but it was a busy weekend with the deer season starting. Overall, it was a decent start to the season. Most groups saw and shot some deer and buck activity is expected to pick up with the cooler weather arriving this week.
Oars ‘n Mine Bait and Tackle
Hunter numbers were strong and there were a lot of deer shot during opening weekend. That included a handful of very large bucks with nice racks along with big numbers of smaller bucks and antlerless deer. Most hunting parties were happy with the number of deer they encountered and expect this weekend to be even better with the cooler weather.
Chalstrom’s Bait (218) 726-0094
EAST CENTRAL MN
The wind and warm weather on opening day of the deer season seemed to limit deer movement and hunter success. Reports improved early this week as the cooler weather appeared to get deer more active. There’s been a handful of anglers fishing the Rum and Mississippi rivers for walleyes.
Tales and Trails Sport Shop
With the exception of some whitefish netting, area lakes have been quiet. Opening weekend of the deer season was somewhat slow, but the warm weather likely limited deer movement. Most hunters expect a much more productive second weekend with cold weather returning. There continues to be some excellent grouse hunting reports from those still chasing them.
Arrowhead Outdoors (218) 365-5358
Anecdotal reports indicated that the deer opener was better than last year and about average overall. Some groups did well and others struggled, although the arrival of cooler weather should provide better hunting conditions and increased deer movement.
Sommer Outdoors (507) 235-5225
GRAND RAPIDS/DEER RIVER AREA
Considering how warm it was on opening weekend, the deer season started strong. Hunter participation was high and most groups seemed satisfied with the deer they saw or shot. There’s only been a handful of anglers out so fishing reports have been light, but the few people still hunting ducks continue to see birds.
Fred’s Live Bait (218) 246-8710
The wind and warm weather during opening weekend likely limited deer hunter success. There were several big bucks shot in the area, but many people reported limited deer movement. Most expect a better second weekend with cooler weather returning.
Swanson’s Bait and Tackle
The catch and release trout season continues to go well within the state parks and city limit areas that are open to fishing. Nymphing with egg patterns or beads have been productive, as are size 18 Frenchie and Pink Squirrel fly patterns.
Root River Rod Company
Hunter reports indicated an average start to the deer season. There were a lot of people out, with some groups doing well and seeing quite a few deer, while others reported limited deer movement. Saturday was better than Sunday and there seemed to be an uptick in deer movement on Monday as the cooler weather moved in.
Jerry’s Sport & Bait Shop
Despite the warm weather on opening weekend, deer hunting reports have been strong. Hunters have reported seeing plenty of deer and most groups have done well with a good mix of bucks and does being shot. Duck and goose numbers have thinned out, but pockets of birds exist, while pheasant hunting action continues to be pretty good.
Artie’s Bait (320) 839-2480
Deer hunting reports have been mixed, with some groups doing well and others not seeing as many deer as expected. Most people expect a strong second weekend and better buck activity with the colder weather.
Gene’s Sport Shop (218) 346-3355
RED WING AREA
Walleyes and sauger continue to be caught from Everett’s Resort to the dam on the Mississippi River in 16 to 20 feet. Blade baits or bright-colored jig and plastics are working best and saugers seem to be more numerous than walleyes, but the walleyes being caught are running big. Opening weeked deer hunting reports were favorable despite the warm weather. Most people encountered more deer than expected in the less than ideal hunting conditions.
Four Seasons Sports (651) 388-4334
RICHMOND/ST. CLOUD AREA
With the exception of a few walleye anglers on the Horseshoe Chain of Lakes last weekend, fishing reports have been nonexistent. Most people have taken to the woods with the deer season underway and reports have been favorable. Many hunters have stated that this week and weekend could be even better with the cold weather moving in.
Channel Marine and Sports
SAUK CENTRE AREA
Hunter reports indicated an above average firearms deer opener. Most groups did well, filling an abundance of management tags along with shooting plenty of bucks. Fishing pressure has been almost nonexistent over the past week.
Fletcher’s Bait Shop (320) 352-2155
Deer hunting reports have been OK, although the wind and warm weather appeared to limit the amount of time people spent in the woods. Most groups filled management tags with limited buck movement being reported.
Minnewaska Bait and Tackle
The wind and warm weather likely limited hunter success on opening weekend of the deer season. Many people commented that they didn’t want to shoot a deer because it was so warm and didn’t have anywhere to take it. With cooler weather arriving early this week, a more productive second weekend is expected. Pheasant hunting reports continue to favorable, but some corn still hasn’t been harvested.
Borch’s Sporting Goods