Report from the Dock
It’s been hot and that means water temperatures have spiked quite a bit since last week. The rapidly warming water has also meant summer patterns have started to develop for most species. With a few exceptions, walleyes have pulled off the shorelines and started to move onto main lake structure, generally in deeper water. Leeches and crawlers are producing fish, but minnows continue to produce some as well, especially if you find a pod of fish in shallow water. Weedlines are developing fast and with the spawn wrapping up for panfish and bass, start looking for them to be weedline-related. Generally, a well-defined weed edge or weed flat should provide a mixed bag of fish at this point, including walleyes. The recent heat seems to have fired northern pike up in most areas, with big numbers of fish being caught by accident or intentionally with sucker minnows or spoons along weed edges. The first week of muskie season hasn’t been bad with anglers reporting plenty of follows, seeing some big fish, and hooking a few.
LAKE MILLE LACS
East – Walleyes continue to be found on the shallow to mid-depth structure, and there has been a few good reports from the deeper mud flats, although you don’t have to go that far to catch fish. Leeches and crawlers, along with crankbaits and plastics are turning walleyes. Smallmouth bass remain active as well on the reefs or rock points and there was another run of very big smallmouth bass caught this week. Muskie activity has been light, but several were boated over the past week off the rocks.
Johnson’s Portside (320) 676-3811
West – During the day, crawlers or leeches continue to produce good numbers of walleyes on the mud flats in 20 feet or more. During the evening hours, a slip bobber and leech is working best on the 15- to 20-foot rock points. Live bait is working better than plastics for smallmouth bass on the reefs and rock points. Look for pike on the weedlines in most bays and muskie reports have been limited.
Terry’s Boat Harbor (320) 692-4430
LAKE OF THE WOODS
Vertically jigging a fathead minnow or frozen shiner or drifting spinners with a minnow or crawler is producing walleyes in 15 to 29 feet along the south shore. Trolling crankbaits is gaining steam with very good results as well. On the Rainy River, walleyes are still be caught in deeper pockets with a jig and minnow and smallmouth bass are in rock or slack water areas. At the Northwest Angle, walleye action remains excellent in 14 to 25 feet of water with crankbaits or a jig and minnow.
Lake of the Woods Tourism Bureau
LAKE MINNETONKA AREA
Walleyes remain active on the deep weedlines throughout Lake Minnetonka and in 18 to 20 feet on Lake Independence – a live-bait rig and leech is working best. Slow-trolling spinners and minnows over the standing weeds on Minnetonka has produced crappies and spinnerbaits are turning bass in the weeds on most lakes. A few muskies have been taken with small swim baits on Minnetonka, while sunfish are going in 6 feet on Lake Sarah, Medicine Lake, and Minnetonka.
Wayzata Bait (952) 473-2227
On the eastern basin, walleye action has slowed a bit and the fish are scattered. Slip bobbers and leeches are producing fish on the reefs in 12 to 20 feet, while others are coming off shallower structure during the evening hours. Smallmouth bass remain active on the shallow rocks and sandy shorelines, but muskie reports are light. On the west end, walleyes are being taken on slip bobbers and leeches along the wind-driven points and humps. Northern pike remain shallow and active and while crappies were still be found around docks in the bays, they’ll be moving out with the rising warmer temperatures. Muskies seem to be over main lake basin areas and smallmouth are hitting topwater baits along the shorelines and shallow rocks.
Pike Bay Lodge (218) 753-2430
Vermilion Dam Lodge (800) 325-5780
Walleye action has become a bit more spotty, especially on those calm days, but fish continue to be caught. The early morning and evening bite has been best in 12 to 20 feet on the main lake bars and flats with a jig and fathead or spinners and leeches. Look for bigger perch on the edges of the bars in 18 to 20 feet and northern pike remain active throughout the lake.
Nightcrawlers are producing walleyes on the north and south sides of Pelican Island and the Annex in 14 to 18 feet. The main lake points will still kick out walleyes if the wind is hitting them and the points in Walker Bay are giving up bigger walleyes in 15 to 20 feet. Muskie and perch action has been limited, but look for panfish in the bulrushes or cabbage of most bays.
Reed’s Sporting Goods (218) 547-1505
Shriver’s Bait Company
Walleyes are beginning to transition into deeper water. Some walleyes are remaining shallow, while others are being found on break-lines. Jigs and minnows or jigs and plastics are working well. Larger pike are being found in the shallow bays and smallmouth bass are biting well over shallow, wind-blown rock piles. Crappies are scattered as water temperatures are warming quickly.
RainyDaze Guide Service
Limits of walleyes have become quite regular in 6 to 7 feet of water along the east and south shores. Drifting with a jig and minnow, slowly pulling spinner rigs and a leech or even anchoring near a little structure is proving to be very good. Northern pike remain active in the same areas that are producing walleyes.
West Wind Resort (218) 647-8998
Twin Cities Metro
Walleyes are biting, but most have been small, on the St. Croix River near Prescott and north of Stillwater. Panfish action has been limited, but bass and northern pike remain active on the weed edges of Demontreville Lake and White Bear Lake.
Blue Ribbon Bait & Tackle
Sunfish and crappies are being found in the 6- to 10-foot weeds on Lake Minnewashta and Lake Parley. Sucker minnows are producing pike on the fishing piers at Steiger Lake and Ann Lake, while largemouth bass are being caught on the shorelines or the 8- to 12-foot weeds on most lakes with spinnerbaits or topwater.
Cabin Fever Sports (952) 443-2022
Crankbaits are producing walleyes on the weedlines of Upper Prior Lake during the evening hours. Spinnerbaits or minnows are the ticket for northern pike at Carls Lake in 8 to 12 feet and bass fishing remains strong with topwater presentations on most lakes.
Prior Lake Bait & Tackle
Crappies are being found in the 10- to 17-foot weeds on the backside of Coney Island. Look for bass and sunfish on the shorelines or along the developing weedlines on most reefs. Muskie anglers report seeing fish and hooking a few small muskies and a few walleyes can be had during the evening hours on Keg’s Reef and North Reef 15 to 18 feet.
A few walleyes are being taken with leeches at Mary Lake and Reno Lake in 18 to 24 feet. Crappies are being found on the weed beds and sunfish are going in less than 5 feet on Reno, Mary, Lake Geneva, and Lake Le Homme Dieu. Muskie anglers are seeing a few fish on Lobster Lake and Lake Miltona, but getting them to bite has been difficult and largemouth bass action is strong on most lakes around docks or emerging weedlines.
Christopherson’s Bait and Tackle
Leeches seem to be working best for walleyes during low-light periods in 12 to 20 feet on Clearwater Lake and Big Swan Lake. You’ll still find some sunfish along the shorelines, but most panfish have moved out to the 10- to 14-foot weeds on Indian Lake, Lake Sylvia, Sugar Lake, Maple Lake, Lake John, and Clearwater. Bass are hitting topwater baits in the slop or plastics on the emerging weedlines of most lakes and northern pike have become very active along the weedlines since the warm weather moved in.
Little Jim’s Bait (320) 274-5297
BATTLE LAKE AREA
Walleyes are hitting best during the evening hours and after dark in 18 to 20 feet on Otter Tail Lake and Rush Lake. West Battle Lake is giving up a few walleyes during the day on leeches in 30 to 35 feet. Bass action remains strong with topwater baits along the shorelines of South Turtle Lake, Donald Lake, and Stalker Lake. Sucker minnows or spoons are turning pike on the 15- to 20-foot weedlines of West Battle, Donald, and Rush. Crappies and sunfish are scattered from the shorelines and reeds out to the 10- to 15-foot weeds at Rush, Clitherall Lake, and West Battle. Muskie anglers are reporting a few follows in the weeds on West Battle.
Ben’s Bait Shop (218) 864-5596
The extreme heat has kept many folks off the lakes during midday hours, but the walleye bite has been good. There is a mayfly hatch going on now on many area lakes and water temperatures are in the low to mid 70 degree range. Lake Bemidji and Lake Plantagenet continue to kick out walleyes in 7 to 12 feet on jigs and minnows or live-bait rigs and leeches/crawlers. Bluegills are up shallow and most crappies are now being found off the deeper weed edges. Bass fishing is good using plastics up shallow and on the deep weedlines.
Dick Beardsley Guide Service
Crappies and bluegills are being caught in shallow water reeds, shorelines, and weeds at Gilstead Lake, Gull Lake, Pimushe Lake, and Blackduck Lake. Walleyes are being taken with crawlers and leeches on the main lake structure of Blackduck, Big Lake, and Island Lake in 10 to 15 feet. Northern pike remain an easy catch on most lakes in 10 to 15 feet as well.
Timberline Sports and Tackle
Sunfish are active and shallow on most lakes including Nisswa, North Long, Pelican, and Round. Look for walleyes to hit leeches in 8 to 18 feet on Gull Lake, Pelican, and North Long. Northern pike are hitting sucker minnows 8 to 12 feet along the south end of Gull, Round, and North Long, while bass fishing is going strong on all lakes from the docks out to emerging weedlines.
S & W Bait & Guide Service/
Nisswa Guide League (218) 829-7010
CASS LAKE AREA
Daytime walleye action is tough, but fish are being caught very early and late each day in 4 to 12 feet by long-lining live bait rigs on Cass Lake, Pike Bay Lake, Lake Andrusia, and Wolf Lake – crankbaits also are working during the evening hours after dark. Look for perch along the outside of the bulrushes in 6 to 8 feet on Cass and Pike Bay. There’s been nice crappies coming out of the bulrushes on Grace Lake and Big Lake, while some muskies have been boated on Cass with bucktails in less than 8 feet.
Sunset Cove Resort (800) 279-4831
You’ll still find a few sunfish along the shorelines, but most crappies and sunnies are now set up in the 6- to 10-foot weeds on Chisago Lake, North Center Lake, South Center Lake, North Lindstrom Lake, Green Lake, and South Lindstrom Lake. Walleyes are hitting best during low-light periods on Green, Chisago, and North Lindstrom in 10 to 12 feet. Look for the area’s bigger bass and pike to now be weedline-related.
Frankie’s Bait (651) 257-6334
The Highway 6 stretch of the Mississippi River is kicking out walleyes, channel catfish, and smallmouth bass on a jig and minnow. You’ll pluck a few walleyes off Serpent Lake during the evening hours with slip bobbers and leeches in 15 to 18 feet. The points and weed edges are producing northern pike on Serpent, Ross Lake, and June Lake. Largemouth bass are hitting plastics along the emerging weedbeds on Bay Lake and you’ll find some bigger sunfish in less than 6 feet on East Rabbit Lake. Trout action has slowed a bit, but a few rainbows are being caught about 25 to 35 feet down on Pennington Pit.
Oars ‘n Mine Bait and Tackle
DETROIT LAKES AREA
Small sucker minnows or leeches are producing walleyes in 18 to 21 feet on Big Pelican Lake, Little Pelican Lake, Lake Melissa, and Big Detroit Lake. Look for crappies on the weedlines and sunfish in 3 to 6 feet on Lake Sallie, Floyd Lake, Cotton Lake, Height of Land Lake, Lake Sallie, and Melissa. Bass and pike are active along the 8- to 12-foot weedlines of most lakes.
Quality Bait and Tackle
Minnows and leeches are producing walleyes in 10 to 15 feet on Boulder Lake and Island Lake. The south shore of Lake Superior is kicking out walleyes, close to shore, in the top 25 feet of the water column and some lake trout and coho salmon in the top 50 feet – stickbaits are working best. Crappies are being found in less than 6 feet on Rice Lake, Boulder, and Island. Look for smallmouth to hit plastics on the sandy shorelines and points of Island.
Chalstrom’s Bait (218) 726-0094
EAST CENTRAL MN
The deeper pockets on the Rum and Mississippi rivers are producing smallmouth bass, catfish, and a few walleyes. Northern pike are hitting Mepps spinners in 7 feet on Fremont Lake and Little Elk Lake. Look for sunfish and a few crappies in 7 to 14 feet on Eagle Lake, Blue Lake, and Green Lake.
Tales and Trails Sport Shop
A few walleyes are being caught during the evening hours with a slip bobber and leech on the shallow, rocky flats of Horse Lake, Lake Isabella, and Ensign Lake. Smallmouth bass are being caught with plastics or topwater along the shorelines of Big Moose Lake, Miner’s Lake, and Sucker Lake. Northern pike are being taken at Lake One, Greenstone Lake, and Pickeral Lake with buzz baits or sucker minnows in 10 feet. Brook trout are going on Peanut Lake, Norberg Lake, and the Isabella River with crawlers and spinners, while bucktails are turning lake trout at Oyster Lake and Little Knife Lake over 30 feet of water or more. Crappies and bluegills are shallow and active on Birch Lake, Clear Lake, and Miner’s.
Arrowhead Outdoors (218) 365-5358
Northern pike are hitting sucker minnows under a bobber near the island on Ruth Lake in 8 to 10 feet, while Wood’s Bay on Roosevelt Lake is kicking out crappies in 6 to 8 feet. The south end of Roosevelt is a safe bet for smallmouth bass in 12 feet with plastics. Work the 6- to 8-foot weedlines on the north end of Lake Washburn for sunfish.
Redding Sports and Spirits
Bluegills and crappies are being caught around the sunken trees or in 6 to 8 feet at Budd Lake, George Lake, and Lake Sisseton. Northern pike and walleye reports have been poor, but bass are hitting plastics or topwater on Lura Lake, George, and Sisseton.
Sommer Outdoors (507) 235-5225
Largemouth bass and northern pike are being caught with spinnerbaits on the deep weedlines of Roberds Lake and Cedar Lake. The panfish spawn has wrapped up, so look for sunfish and a few crappies on the emerging weedlines of Lake Mazaska or Circle Lake.
John’s Bait & Tackle (507) 332-6787
Lake Country Convenience & Bait
GRAND RAPIDS/DEER RIVER AREA
Look for crappies on the weeds and bluegills in shallow, spawning areas at Pughole Lake, Bass Lake, Bello Lake, and Little Cutfoot Sioux Lake. Smallies are shoreline-related and taking live bait on Big Turtle Lake and Deer Lake. Live-bait rigs with leeches or crawlers are turning walleyes in 15 to 20 feet on Lake Pokegama, Deer Lake, Round Lake, and Island Lake.
Fred’s Live Bait (218) 246-8710
GREY EAGLE AREA
Sunfish and crappies are hitting on Swan Lake, Pine Lake, Big Birch Lake, Rooney Lake, and Little Birch Lake in 6 to 8 feet. Work the 6- to 8-foot weeds on Two Rivers Lake for crappies or 18 to 20 feet with leeches for walleyes. The weed edges on Big and Little Birch lakes are giving up walleyes on leeches and slip bobbers at night – during the day work 30 feet or more. Pike and bass are an easy catch along the weedlines.
Nancy’s Bait & Tackle (320) 285-2405
Live-bait rigs with crawlers or leeches are turning walleyes on Woman Lake and Ten Mile Lake in 16 to 22 feet – cover water early and late in the day. Crappies are being found on the cabbage in 6 to 10 feet at Birch Lake, Stoney Lake, and Webb Lake. Smallies are shallow and active on Baby Lake, Ten Mile, and Stoney, while largemouths are shallow or on emerging weeds. Look for bluegills in the shallow, shaded areas of Mule Lake and Pleasant Lake. Muskie anglers are seeing a few fish on Baby Lake.
Swanson’s Bait and Tackle
You’ll pluck a few walleyes with jigs and crawlers or leeches and rigs on the 12- to 15-foot humps on Little Boy Lake, Big Boy Lake, and Woman Lake. Look for bluegills in the pencil reeds and crappies on the 10- to 15-foot weedbeds on Woman, Girl Lake, and Lake Inguadona. Largemouth bass are weedline-related on most lakes and smallmouth bass are just starting to pull off their spawning beds. Anglers are seeing muskies on Little Boy and Wabedo Lake, but getting them to hit has been difficult.
The One Stop (218) 363-2252
MADISON LAKE AREA
Leeches and crawlers continue to produce a few walleyes between Second and Third points on Lake Washington in 15 to 20 feet and on the south end of German Lake. Panfish, bass, and northern pike seem to be active along the weedlines of most lakes, especially Baker’s Bay on Washington, German, and Big Jefferson Lake.
Corner Bait (507) 243-4464
Bass fishing has picked up on the weedlines and docks on Knife Lake, Ann Lake, and Fish Lake. Crappie action has slowed, but you’ll find sunfish in 3 to 6 feet at Knife, Ann, Fish, and Quamba Lake.
Jerry’s Sport & Bait Shop
Walleye reports continue to be best during the evening hours on Big Stone Lake around the islands and north of Schmidt’s Landing in 6 to 10 feet with nightcrawlers. Bluegills, largemouth bass, and a few perch are being taken throughout Big Stone in less than 7 feet.
Artie’s Bait (320) 839-2480
PARK RAPIDS AREA
Largemouth and smallmouth bass are shallow and active throughout the area. Walleyes are hitting crawlers or leeches along the 8- to 14-foot weedlines and structure of Long Lake, Fish Hook Lake, and Potato Lake. Look for crappies on the weedlines and sunfish in less than 5 feet at Toad Lake, Boulder Lake, and the Crow Wing Chain. Big Mantrap Lake gave up a couple of big muskies during last weekend’s opener.
Delaney’s (218) 732-4281
Smokey Hills Outdoors
Crawlers and leeches are turning walleyes on Big Pine Lake and Little Pine Lake in 12 to 20 feet early and late each day. Crappies and bluegills remain shallow and active on most lakes, highlighted by some bigger fish off Star Lake and Rush Lake. Bass and pike are weed-related and active throughout the day on most lakes.
Gene’s Sport Shop (218) 346-3355
RED WING AREA
Walleyes and sauger are being caught on the Bay City Flats or Head of the Lakes areas on Lake Pepin with a jig and leech or crankbaits in 2 to 6 feet. Bluegills are going around the docks in most bays and flathead catfish are hitting sucker minnows or cut bait in the deep pockets of the Mississippi River, while channel catfish are going below the dam on crawlers.
Four Seasons Sports (651) 388-4334
RICHMOND/ST. CLOUD AREA
Rice Lake is producing a few walleyes in 16 to 21 feet and sunfish on the 6- to 10-foot weeds. Look to Horseshoe Lake for walleyes in 5 to 15 feet to hit crankbaits or crawlers. Northern pike action has really picked up along the 10- to 12-foot weedlines of Rice, Grand Lake, Pearl Lake, Horseshoe, Cedar Island, and Long Lake. Sunfish and a few crappies are hitting on the 6- to 10-foot weeds of Horseshoe, Grand, Becker Lake, Cedar Island Lake, and Pearl.
Channel Marine and Sports
SAUK CENTRE AREA
Sunfish are being caught in the shallow to the mid-depth weeds on most lakes and crappies are going on Long Bridge Lake, Long Lake (above Lily Lake), and the north bay on Sauk Lake in 8 feet. Some walleyes continue to be taken with minnows or leeches on Sauk in 12 to 21 feet and Lake Osakis in 21 to 24 feet. The outside weed edges on Little Birch Lake are kicking out northern pike, smallmouth bass, and largemouth bass on minnows, leeches, and artificial baits.
Fletcher’s Bait Shop (320) 352-2155
STAPLES/LITTLE FALLS AREA
Anglers fishing on the east side of both dams on the Mississippi River are catching smallmouth bass and channel catfish. The rock piles on Lake Alexander are giving up a few walleyes during the evening hours, while the 8- to 12-foot weedbeds on Beauty Lake are producing crappies and sunfish.
Da Fishin’ Hole (320) 631-0056
Walleye action has slowed a bit since the heat moved in, but a few walleyes continue to be caught during low-light periods on Lake Minnewaska in 20 to 24 feet with spinners and leeches. The 12- to 14-foot weedbeds on the Glenwood end of Minnewaska are worth hitting for panfish. Sucker minnows are turning northern pike at Mountain Lake in Glacial State Park, while spinnerbaits or topwater presentations are producing bass on Minnewaska.
Minnewaska Bait and Tackle
It’s been a slower week of fishing since the heat moved in, but Green Lake is kicking out a few walleyes on leeches or crawlers in 15 to 20 feet. The northwest shore of Eagle Lake is giving up crappies and sunfish in 4 to 6 feet and largemouth bass are going on Green, Big Kandi Lake, and Nest Lake along the 6- to 8-foot weeds.
J&J Hwy. 71 Bait and Tackle
Lake Benton is producing walleyes from the shorelines out to 9 feet on crankbaits or leeches. You’ll also catch walleyes with leeches, crawlers or crankbaits at Lake Sarah, Wood Lake, Dead Coon Lake, East Twin Lake, and Goose Lake in 4 to 9 feet. Walleyes and crappies are going on Lake Shetek in 5 to 9 feet, while Cottonwood Lake, Sarah, and West Twin Lake are safe bets for perch. Look to Lake Lac Qui Parle, Island Lake, West Twin Lake, and Dead Coon for pike in 4 to 6 feet.
Borch’s Sporting Goods