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Sunday, February 5th, 2023

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Minnesota Outdoor News Fishing Report – May 25, 2021

Report from the Dock

Walleye action has definetly been better this week than last in most parts of the state. They seem to have settled in, starting feeding more consistently and for longer periods of the day. Most are still coming out of shallow water, mainly wind-blown points and shorelines, with minnows, leeches, and nightcrawlers all producing fish this week. It sounds as if everything picked up with the clouds and wind last weekend and many areas reported a better walleye bite this week than during opening weekend. Crappies are in various stages of their spawn – just starting in some areas, in the process in others, and wrapping things up in other locations – it all depends on water temperatures. Look to the reeds, bulrushes, submerged wood or docks for crappies and bluegills are making their way along the shorelines to start spawning as well. Bass fishing has been excellent with largemouth and smallmouth both very active in shallow water. With some good weather, Memorial Day weekend should provide some incredible multi-species fishing opportunities.

Great Eight

LAKE MILLE LACS        

East – Good walleye fishing continues throughout the lake. There’s been more activity on the mud flats during daytime hours and plenty of walleyes are being caught on a wide range of live bait presentations in 22 to 25 feet. The north end sand, mid-depth points, and shoreline breaks also are producing walleyes. Work the rocks and points during the day for smallmouth bass and each evening with crankbaits or slip bobbers and leeches for walleyes.

Johnson’s Portside (320) 676-3811

West – Walleyes continue to hit a jig and shiner minnow along the shoreline breaks and points in 21 to 24 feet. During the evening hours, a slip bobber and leech are turning walleyes on the 10- to 15-foot rocks. A spinner with rainbow minnows or crawlers also are producing walleyes on the mud in 22 to 25 feet. Smallmouth bass are being found in less than 6 feet on the points, shorelines and rocks – leeches and nightcrawlers are both working.

Terry’s Boat Harbor (320) 692-4430

LAKE OF THE WOODS

Vertically jigging a frozen shiner minnow in 14 to 25 feet has been the ticket for walleyes on the south shore. Some anglers are locating fish shallow, especially in current areas or on a wind-blown shoreline, while others are anchored up in deep water and catching walleyes. Gold, orange, glow, pink, chartreuse or a mix of these jig colors are all producing. There’s also been some good reports by trolling crankbaits where walleyes are roaming. On the Rainy River, there is always a resident population of walleyes that live in the river even after the annual spawning run is over. Some nice walleyes are being caught up and down the river by jigging a minnow along current breaks or holes. At the Northwest Angle, excellent walleye fishing is reported from 5 to 25 feet of water in neck-down areas with a bit of current, points and deep edges of bays.

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

LAKE MINNETONKA AREA    

Crappies and sunfish are hitting in 6 feet along most shorelines at Lake Minnetonka, Medicine Lake, Lake Sarah, and Lake Independence. Walleye action has been best during the evening hours with minnows in the channels of Minnetonka or with leeches in 12 feet on Independence. Northern pike are hitting sucker minnows in 10 to 12 feet and bass are scattered from the shorelines out to 15 feet on local lakes.

Wayzata Bait (952) 473-2227

LAKE VERMILION

Walleyes are active in many areas of the lake, especially in Pike Bay with shallow-running crankbaits or a jig and minnow in 7 to 10 feet. Fish House Reef, Birch Island, and Cherry Island just outside Big Bay are kicking out walleyes with minnows in 18 to 25 feet. Smallmouth bass are biting well on the shallow shorelines and rocks throughout the lake.

Pike Bay Lodge (218) 753-2430

LAKE WINNIBIGOSHISH

The shoreline breaks, flats, and points along the east and west side sides of the lake have been productive for walleyes, but some fish are starting to be found deeper, especially if it’s calm and bright. Early and late each day, a jig and minnow or leeches are turning fish in 9 to 12 feet. Northern pike activity has picked up in most of the same areas holding walleyes and the best perch action is happening in 12 to 15 feet on the west and north ends of the lake.

Lake Winnie Resort Association                   

LEECH LAKE

It’s been a much better week of walleye fishing with strong reports coming off most wind-driven points and shorelines in 8 to 13 feet with minnows or leeches. Depending on wind direction, Two Points, Mokie Reef, Pine Point, Hardwoods, Star/Oak, and the Goose Island Flats are worth hitting. Perch continue to be mixed with walleyes, while Agency Bay and Boy Bay are producing crappies in 2 to 5 feet.

Reed’s Sporting Goods (218) 547-1505

Shriver’s Bait Company

(218) 547-2250

RAINY LAKE     

Walleyes have been aggressively hitting light jigs with plastics or minnows on wind-blown shoreline breaks. Crappies continue to be caught on shallow rock piles and smallmouth bass are being found very close to spawning areas and feeding aggressively. Northern pike are being caught in shallow bays with emerging vegetation.

RainyDaze Guide Service

(218) 290-6102

RED LAKE

There’s been a definite improvement with the walleye bite since last week. Fish are being caught more consistently, especially early and late each day, in 5 to 7 feet with shiner minnows, crankbaits, and live bait rigs with crawlers or leeches. There’s been a few crappies and northern pike in the mix this week as well.

West Wind Resort (218) 647-8998

Twin Cities Metro

NORTHEAST METRO

The points and breaks from Prescott up to Afton on the St. Croix River are producing walleyes on a jig and minnow in 15 to 20 feet. Walleyes also can be had early and late each day on White Bear Lake in 15 to 25 feet. Demontreville Lake is producing bass and pike on sucker minnows in 8 to 14 feet and look for sunfish to be shallow on most lakes.

Blue Ribbon Bait & Tackle

(651) 777-2421

WEST METRO

Work the creek mouths on the Minnesota River with a jig and minnow for walleyes. Lake Parley is kicking out crappies, as is the east side of Wasserman Lake in less than 4 feet. Trolling sucker minnows on Pierson Lake and Lake Susan has produced northern pike in 8 to 10 feet. Sunfish and bass are starting to move along the shorelines of most lakes.

Cabin Fever Sports (952) 443-2022

SOUTH METRO

Cedar Lake is giving up numbers of small crappies in 4 to 8 feet and an occasional walleye on leeches in 10 to 15 feet. Prior Lake is worth noting for sunfish in 6 to 9 feet and bass fishing is strong on most lakes around docks and shorelines. Carls Lake is producing sunfish and crappies in 8 to 10 feet throughout the day.

Prior Lake Bait & Tackle

(952) 447-6096

LAKE WACONIA

Crappies, sunfish, and largemouth bass are being caught in 3 to 8 feet throughout Wagener’s Bay, the Rock Dock area, Waconia Bay, and the pencil reeds on the northwest side of the lake. A slip bobber with minnows or leeches is turning walleyes at night in the Claybanks and Harm’s Point areas in 8 to 10 feet. 

Mases In Towne Marina

(952) 442-2096

Statewide

ALEXANDRIA AREA

Crappies are being found in 3 to 6 feet on Reno Lake, Mary Lake, Lake Le Homme Dieu, Carlos Lake, Lake Geneva, and Lake Ida – look for sunfish and bass to follow suit on these lakes soon. Walleyes are being caught early and late each day with minnows or leeches on Reno and Mary in 12 to 15 feet.

Christopherson’s Bait and Tackle

(320) 763-3255

ANNANDALE AREA

A few walleyes are being taken with minnows or leeches on the 12-foot weed edges at Clearwater Lake, Buffalo Lake, and Big Swan Lake. Crappies and sunfish remain active in the shallow weeds and shorelines on Lake Sylvia, Lake John, Indian Lake, and Maple Lake. Look to Sylvia, Clearwater, and Sugar Lake for bass in less than 6 feet, while northern pike are hitting minnows or crankbaits on Clearwater, Bass Lake, and Cedar in 10 to 14 feet.

Little Jim’s Bait (320) 274-5297

BATTLE LAKE AREA

Walleyes are hitting a jig and minnow in 6 to 10 feet or live bait rigs with crawlers or leeches in 10 to 15 feet on Otter Tail Lake, Rush Lake, and Walker Lake. Crappies and sunfish are being found in 6 to 10 feet at Clitherall Lake, Stalker Lake, and Rush. Bass are being found shallow, around docks and shorelines, on Donald Lake, Stalker, and Clitherall. Trolling sucker minnows along the 10- to 15-foot weeds has produced pike at Donald, West Battle Lake, and Clitherall. 

Ben’s Bait Shop (218) 864-5596

BEMIDJI AREA

Jigs and shiners and live bait rigs or slip bobbers with leeches are all producing walleyes in 5 to 8 feet or the 12- to 14-foot breaks on Lake Bemidji and Lake Plantagenet. Bluegills are up shallow and you’ll still find some crappies shallow, but many are starting to move out to the deeper cabbage on area lakes. Pike are hitting just about anything thrown at them in 8 to 12 feet.

Dick Beardsley Guide Service

(218) 556-7172

BLACKDUCK AREA

Blackduck Lake is producing walleyes early and late on slip bobbers and leeches or a jig and minnow in 8 to 12 feet. On Island Lake and Round Lake, a jig and minnow is turning walleyes in 8 to 12 feet. Northern pike are an easy catch and look for bass in shallow water on most lakes. Crappies are moving into the reeds and sunfish seem to be just outside these areas on Gilstead Lake, Pimushe Lake, and Gull Lake. 

Timberline Sports and Tackle

(218) 835-4636

BRAINERD/NISSWA AREA 

Shiner minnows or leeches are producing walleyes and northern pike in 8 to 15 feet on Gull Lake, Pelican Lake, and North Long Lake. Crappies and sunfish are scattered, some have started to spawn in shallow water and others are being found just outside these areas in 8 to 14 feet on Gull, North Long, Lake Edwards, and Nisswa Lake. Largemouth bass are active along the shorelines of most lakes.

S & W Bait & Guide Service/

Nisswa Guide League  (218) 829-7010

CASS LAKE AREA

Walleyes are hitting a jig and minnow or live bait rig and leech during the day, but they are scattered from 3 to 25 feet, on Cass Lake, Pike Bay Lake, Kitchi Lake, Lake Andrusia, and Wolf Lake. You’ll catch nice perch in 8 to 12 feet on Cass and Pike Bay or along the bulrushes on Andrusia. Crappies are being found in less than 6 feet, as are bluegills in 6 to 12 feet on Buck Lake, Kitchi, Allen’s Bay on Cass, Big Lake, and Midge Lake.

Sunset Cove Resort (800) 279-4831              

sunsetcove-resort.com

CHISAGO AREA   

The points and bars on Green Lake are producing walleyes on minnows, leeches, and crawlers in 12 to 16 feet. The 12- to 15-foot weedlines on South Center Lake, North Center Lake, and Chisago Lake also are giving up walleyes on live bait. Hit the channels and bays for crappies and bluegills, docks and shorelines for bass, and the 10- to 12-foot weedlines for pike on all lakes. 

Frankie’s Bait (651) 257-6334

CROSBY AREA

A few walleyes are coming off Serpent Lake with crankbaits or slip bobbers during the evening hours in 4 to 10 feet. Hit Nokay Lake in 14 to 18 feet with live bait rigs and leeches for walleyes. On the Mississippi River, crawlers are producing catfish, smallmouth bass, and a few walleyes. Rainbow trout fishing remains consistent by trolling crankbaits or spinner rigs on Pennington Pit and Portsmouth Pit early in the day. Crappies are being found in the bulrushes on Bay Lake, Little Rabbit Lake, and Big Mahnomen Lake. Look for sunfish and bass to be shoreline-related on most lakes, while pike action has been best on Farm Island Lake and Bay in less than 10 feet. 

Oars ‘n Mine Bait and Tackle

(218) 546-6912

DETROIT LAKES AREA

Hit Big Detroit Lake in 15 feet and Big Pelican Lake in 12 to 16 feet with shiner minnows for walleyes. Crappies, sunfish, and bass are all being found in less than 6 feet of water on most lakes, while northern pike are weedline-related and active throughout the area.

Quality Bait and Tackle

(218) 844-2248

DULUTH AREA   

Minnows or leeches are turning walleyes on Fish Lake in 8 to 10 feet, Rice Lake in 5 feet, and Boulder Lake in 10 feet. Look for crappies in shallow water on Island Lake or Fish, while consistent east winds have limited most fishing opportunities on this end of Lake Superior. 

Chalstrom’s Bait (218) 726-0094

EAST CENTRAL MN

Crappies and sunfish are being taken in 7 feet on Eagle Lake, Blue Lake, and Green Lake. The Briggs/Julia Lake Chain has been best for walleyes in 7 to 14 feet with minnows early and late each day, while pike are active on the weedlines of most lakes. Channel catfish are being caught in the deep holes of the Rum and Mississippi rivers.

Tales and Trails Sport Shop 

(763) 856-3985

ELY AREA

Leeches have started producing more walleyes during the evening hours in 10 feet or less at Shagawa Lake, Snowbank Lake, and Birch Lake. Northern pike are hitting sucker minnows or spinnerbaits on Basswood Lake, Newfound Lake, and Ensign Lake in 7 to 10 feet. Smallmouth bass action has picked up along the shorelines of Basswood, Moose Lake, and Snowbank. Trolling spoons about 20 to 30 feet down over deep water has been the ticket for lake trout at Basswood and Burntside Lake.  Look for crappies and sunfish in 2 to 5 feet on Johnson Lake, Low Lake, and One Pine Lake.

Arrowhead Outdoors (218) 365-5358

EMILY AREA 

The north end of Lake Washburn is giving up walleyes on shiner minnows and Lindy Rigs in 12 to 14 feet. Lake Emily started producing crappies and bluegills in less than 5 feet and Ruth Lake is kicking out northern pike on spoons in 8 to 12 feet. 

Redding Sports and Spirits      

(218) 763-2191

FAIRMONT AREA

Leeches or minnows are turning walleyes in 8 to 12 feet on Amber Lake and Hall Lake. Yellow bass, bluegills, and crappies have moved into 4 to 6 feet of water on Lake Sisseton, Budd Lake, and George Lake. Largemouth bass continue to hit in 2 to 6 feet on Lura Lake and George.

Sommer Outdoors (507) 235-5225

FARIBAULT/SHIELDSVILLE AREA

Sunfish are being caught in 2 to 5 feet at Cedar Lake, Lake Mazaska, and Shields Lake. Northern pike are hitting minnows or spoons below the dams on the Cannon River system. Bass action is strong on most lakes in 2 to 5 feet and a few walleyes are being taken with leeches or crankbaits on Mazaska in 12 to 15 feet.

John’s Bait & Tackle (507) 332-6787

Lake Country Convenience & Bait

(507) 334-9711

FERGUS FALLS AREA

Lindy Rigs or jigs with minnows are turning walleyes in 6 to 15 feet at Pickeral Lake, Deer Lake, and Fish Lake. Crappies and bluegills are being found shallow on most lakes, while smallmouth bass are hitting on Orwell Reservoir and Ten Mile Lake, while John Lake has been excellent for largemouth bass in less than 6 feet.

Little Chief Outpost

(218) 998-5050

GRAND RAPIDS/DEER RIVER AREA 

Minnows and leeches are turning walleyes on Round Lake, Bowstring Lake, and Six Mile Lake in 10 to 15 feet. Crappies are in spawn mode with fish being found shallow on Little Ball Club Lake, Bowstring, Big Splithand Lake, or Little and Big Cutfoot Sioux lakes. Largemouth bass fishing is going strong on area lakes in less than 6 feet and bluegills are just starting to move shallow on some lakes as well.

Fred’s Live Bait (218) 246-8710

GREY EAGLE AREA

Crappies and sunfish continue to be found on most lakes in 4 to 6 feet including Mound Lake, Kings Lake, Swan Lake, and Pine Lake. On the north end of Big Birch Lake, crappies are being caught in less than 8 feet and sunfish are just starting to move shallow. Walleye activity remains slow on area lakes, but northern pike are hitting minnows on Big Swan Lake and Mound in 10 to 12 feet.

Nancy’s Bait & Tackle (320) 285-2405

HACKENSACK AREA 

Little Boy Lake is giving up a few walleyes on minnows or leeches in 12 to 18 feet, as is Baby Lake in 12 to 16 feet. Crappie action is going strong on the old cabbage beds or reeds at Ten Mile Lake, Webb Lake, Pleasant Lake, and Stoney Lake. Bluegills, smallmouth bass, and largemouth bass are starting to show up in shallow water on most lakes as well. 

Swanson’s Bait and Tackle

(218) 675-6176

LANESBORO AREA 

Water levels have come up a bit with some recent rainfall, but streams continue to be in excellent fishing condition. Light hendricks and brown drakes are hatching this week and anglers are finding success with floating Rapalas and in-line spinners.

Root River Rod Company

(507) 467-2101

LONGVILLE AREA

Minnows and leeches are turning walleyes on Woman Lake and Big Boy Lake in 8 to 15 feet. Crappies are being found in the reeds or emerging cabbage beds on Lake Inguadona, Wabedo Lake, and Girl Lake. Look for bluegills and bass to be shallow on most lakes this weekend as well.

The One Stop (218) 363-2252

MADISON LAKE AREA

Walleye action remained slow early this week, but crappies and sunfish are being caught in less than 6 feet on West Jefferson Lake, Madison Lake, Baker’s Bay on Lake Washington, and Big Jefferson Lake. Northern pike seem to have become more active on the emerging weedlines of Washington and Big Jefferson.

Corner Bait (507) 243-4464

MORA AREA

You’ll find sunfish and a few crappies in 4 to 6 feet at Knife Lake, Ann Lake, Quamba Lake, and Fish Lake. A jig and minnow continues to produce walleyes early and late each day at Fish, Knife, and Ann in 4 to 6 feet.

Jerry’s Sport & Bait Shop 

(320) 679-2151

ORTONVILLE AREA

Walleyes are being plucked from the weeds on Big Stone Lake with a jig and minnow or crankbaits during the evening hours. Bluegill action has picked up along the shorelines on the south end of Big Stone and a few perch can be had off Rocky Ledge, Windmill Reef, and Rustlin’ Elms areas on Big Stone in less than 8 feet.

Artie’s Bait (320) 839-2480

PARK RAPIDS AREA

Crappies, bluegills, and bass are being found in 3 to 6 feet on Long Lake, Fish Hook Lake, Boulder Lake, and the Crow Wing Chain. Walleye action has picked up in 12 to 18 feet with shiner minnows at Long, Fish Hook, and Big Sand Lake. Northern pike are an easy catch on most lakes with minnows in 8 to 12 feet.

Delaney’s (218) 732-4281

Smokey Hills Outdoors 

(218) 237-5099

PERHAM AREA

Shiner minnows, leeches, and crawlers are producing walleyes on Big Pine Lake, Little Pine Lake, Rush Lake, and Star Lake in 8 to 12 feet with a few being plucked from slightly deeper water during the day. Crappies and bluegills are being caught in less than 6 feet of water at Big Pine, Star, Dead Lake, Big McDonald Lake, and Rush.

Gene’s Sport Shop (218) 346-3355

RED WING AREA

Crankbaits or live-bait rigs with leeches and crawlers are turning walleyes in 10 to 15 feet at the Head of the Lakes and Lake Pepin. Panfish are going in the bays and back channel areas, while channel catfish are being taken with crawlers or cut bait below the dam on the Mississippi River in 22 to 26 feet.

Four Seasons Sports (651) 388-4334

RICHMOND/ST. CLOUD AREA

Walleye action has picked up on Lake Koronis and Rice Lake in 12 to 15 feet with a variety of live bait options. You’ll also pluck a few walleyes off Horseshoe Lake in 10 to 14 feet with minnows. Crappies and sunfish are being found along the shorelines or shallow vegetation of Clear Lake, Grand Lake, Pearl Lake, Rice, Koronis, Long Lake, and Horseshoe. Bass reports have been excellent in shallow water on most lakes.

Channel Marine and Sports

(320) 597-5975

SAUK CENTRE AREA

Sauk Lake continues to produce walleyes on a jig and brassy shiner minnow in 6 to 12 feet. The main lake bars and humps on Lake Osakis are giving up walleyes in 18 to 30 feet, while Half Mile Bar on Osakis is producing walleyes and crappies in 12 to 15 feet. Bass and northern pike action is strong on most lakes in shallow water, but panfish reports have been limited.

Fletcher’s Bait Shop (320) 352-2155

STAPLES/LITTLE FALLS AREA

Both sides of the Blanchard Dam on the Mississippi River are giving up walleyes, crappies, and catfish. Hit Lake Alexander with minnows for walleyes in 18 feet and the Thoroughfare for crappies and sunfish in shallow water. Crappies also are being caught at Thunder Lake, Coal Lake, and Lake Beauty in shallow water.

Da Fishin’ Hole (320) 631-0056

WILLMAR AREA

Slip bobbers and leeches are producing walleyes on Long Lake in 14 feet and the 15- foot weed edge on George Lake. Shiner minnows and leeches are working for walleyes at Lake Florida in 10 to 15 feet and Green Lake in 18 to 20 feet. Hit the west bay on Elkhorn Lake or the bulrushes on Diamond Lake for a mixed bag of panfish, Willmar/Foot Lake for crappies and walleyes in 8 to 10 feet, and bass fishing is very good in 2 to 6 feet on most lakes.

J&J Hwy. 71 Bait and Tackle 

(320) 235-4097

WINDOM/MARSHALL AREA

Crankbaits and leeches worked on the points and shorelines are turning walleyes in 6 to 8 feet on Lake Sarah, Lake Shetek, Lake Benton, Lake Lac qui Parle, Wood Lake, Rock Lake, and Dead Coon Lake. Crappies remain active in 4 to 6 feet at Shetek, Wood, and Bloody Lake, while some perch continue to be caught on the shorelines of Benton and Sarah.

Borch’s Sporting Goods 

(507) 532-4880

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