Report from the Dock
Mid-day walleyes have become increasingly hard to consistently catch in most areas. Anglers doing best are covering water with a spinner and crawler on mid-lake structure and picking off a few active fish as they go. The early morning and evening hours have been more consistent, especially on big flats or thick weedlines. For the most part, many areas reported excellent fishing for a variety of species along established weed edges or weed flats. This is even more true for bigger panfish, bass, and pike, and walleyes – they are tucked in the weeds so fish tight to them. If the wind blows, you’ll still find active walleyes on some shorelines and points that are being hit. In these conditions, slip bobbers and leeches seem to be most productive this week. Smallmouth bass continue to be caught in many areas, but most have pulled off the shorelines and now being found on deep rock or sand. Muskie reports continue to be light, although there are plenty of fish being seen, getting them to commit to a bait has been tough.
LAKE MILLE LACS
East – Midday walleye action remains best off the edges of the mud flats in 25 feet or more with spinner or live bait rigs. During the evening hours, slip bobbers and leeches are producing walleyes on top of the flats in 16 to 22 feet or off the rock points in 15 to 18 feet. Smallmouth bass are scattered throughout the deep rock points or edges of the reefs and can be had with plastics or live bait. The weedlines in Cove Bay are giving up a few pike and muskie reports remain limited.
Johnson’s Portside (320) 676-3811
West – Slip bobbers and live-bait rigs with leeches or slow-death rigs and crawlers are turning walleyes on the mud flats throughout the day and evening hours. Smallmouth bass action has slowed a bit and the fish have scattered from 8 to 25 feet on the points and reefs, but some fish are being found on deep structure as well. Muskie anglers are seeing fish on the weeds and the weedlines in Garrison Bay, Vineland Bay, or the Wealthwood end are giving up pike.
Terry’s Boat Harbor (320) 692-4430
LAKE OF THE WOODS
Walleyes are being caught jigging, drifting spinners and trolling crankbaits in 25 to 33 feet. Fish are starting to be scattered across big mud basins, so if you find a good school, anchor up and work a jig and frozen shiner. Otherwise, cover water with crankbaits or spinner rigs and get your presentation down to the fish with lead-core line, downriggers or a four-ounce bottom bouncer and a 6-foot leader with a shallow diving crankbait. On the Rainy River, a mixed bag of fish is being caught along current breaks and deep holes. At the Northwest Angle, walleye fishing continues to be strong on rocks, over mud and in neck down areas between islands with spinners and crawlers. You’ll also find pike hanging out in weedy bays and smallmouth bass on rocky points and reefs.
Lake of the Woods Tourism Bureau
LAKE MINNETONKA AREA
Largemouth bass are being plucked from the deep weedlines of most lakes with spinnerbaits, as are crappies over 20 to 25 feet of water – look for suspended fish. You’ll find some sunfish shallow and others on the deep weedlines of Lake Minnetonka, Lake Sarah, and Medicine Lake. Topwater baits are triggering muskies on top of the weeds at Weaver Lake, Minnetonka, and Lake Independence.
Wayzata Bait (952) 473-2227
On the west basin, a mayfly hatch continues to keep walleyes scattered at a variety of depths, but crawlers are turning fish. Northern pike action is strong and muskie anglers are finding suspended fish over open water areas rather than shallow structure. Bluegills are being caught in the reeds on the north end of Niles Bay and smallmouth bass remain active on the 10- to 14-foot rocks. On the east end, walleye action has picked up with slip bobbers and leeches on the rock reefs in 15 to 25 feet of water. Smallmouth bass are hitting topwater baits on the shorelines and shallow rock piles, while bucktails are producing northern pike and muskellunge on the main lake weed flats or weedlines in the bays such as Stuntz, Rice, Everett, and Armstrong.
Pike Bay Lodge (218) 753-2430
Vermilion Dam Lodge (218) 666-5418
The cold front early this week slowed walleye activity a bit, but look for it to pick up again by this weekend. Most fish continue to be taken on live bait rigs tipped with leeches and crawlers or a jig and minnow on the main lake bars in 15 to 22 feet. Pods of bigger perch have been tough to find, but you’ll find some mixed with the walleyes. Northern pike are an easy catch on the bars or weed edges, but most have run on the small side.
The key to catching walleyes most days is to cover water with a spinner and crawler or live-bait rig and leech on main lake structure in 16 to 22 feet. The shoreline breaks in Walker Bay also are producing some daytime walleyes in 14 to 20 feet. With a good wind, a slip bobber and leech will turn walleyes on the points and weed beds in 9 to 12 feet and there’s a night bite with leeches and bobbers off Sand Point in 10 to 15 feet. Muskies are more rock than weed-related, look for smallmouth bass on the 6- to 10-foot rocks off Diamond Point, and largemouth bass in the cabbage areas of most bays.
Reed’s Sporting Goods (218) 547-1505
Shriver’s Bait Company
Walleyes are moving to main lake break lines and some mid-lake structure in 18 to 28 feet. Northern pike are being found chasing perch in shallow water and crappies remain scattered. Smallmouth bass are hitting topwater baits over shallow rocks throughout the lake. Mayflies have been hatching for two weeks now so they should just about be done.
RainyDaze Guide Service
Between wind events when anglers can get out, walleyes are being caught, but most are coming from deeper water rather than the shorelines. Work 10 to 12 feet around the Four Mile Rock Pile or any other main lake structure in more than 10 feet with live-bait rigs, spinner rigs, and crankbaits. Cover water and you’ll find active walleyes.
West Wind Resort (218) 647-8998
Twin Cities Metro
Work the deep holes on the St. Croix River and rock piles or wing dams at Pool 2 on the Mississippi River with live bait for walleyes. Northern pike are hitting sucker minnows on Tanners Lake, Lake Jane, and Jarvis Lake, while muskies are chasing swim baits or bucktails on the St. Croix River, Forest Lake, and Bald Eagle Lake early and late each day. Hit Silver Lake, Carver Lake, and Beaver Lake for sunfish in 8 to 10 feet, or Demontreville Lake and Jane with sucker minnows for pike.
Blue Ribbon Bait & Tackle
You’ll find sunfish in the 8- to 10-foot weed pockets on Lake Minnewashta or 10- to 15-foot weeds on Lake Susan. Pierson Lake, Wasserman Lake, and Lotus Lake are kicking out largemouth bass on plastics or shallow-running crankbaits. The deeper holes on the Minnesota River are producing a few walleyes on Lindy Rigs and leeches, while the fishing dock on Steiger Lake is giving up bass and pike with sucker minnows.
Cabin Fever Sports (952) 443-2022
A few walleyes are being caught out from the access on Upper Prior Lake with crawlers or Shad Raps in 10 to 14 feet. Cedar Lake started giving up crappies in 7 feet and plastics have been the ticket for largemouth bass in the weeds on Prior Lake, Crystal Lake, and Lake O’Dowd.
Prior Lake Bait & Tackle
Sunfish and crappies continue to be caught around the island in 10 to 15 feet. Walleye action has picked up with slip bobbers and leeches or a jig and leech on Keg’s Reef and Red’s Reef in 15 to 18 feet. Look for bigger bass along the deep weedlines on most reefs, while muskie and pike action has picked up in the swimming beach over 10 to 15 feet.
Sunfish and crappies are being caught in the 8- to 12-foot weedlines on Lake Mary, Lake Ida, Lake Le Homme Dieu, Lake Geneva, and Lake Carlos. Look for bigger bass and pike on the deep weedlines of Ida and Lake Miltona. Walleye and muskie action continues to be slow.
Christopherson’s Bait and Tackle
You’ll find northern pike, sunfish, and some crappies along the 8- to 15-foot weedlines at Lake John, Maple Lake, Clearwater Lake, Lake Marie, Indian Lake, Lake Sylvia, and Sugar Lake. Walleyes also have become weed-related and hitting leeches or fatheads in 12 to 20 feet on Clearwater, Swan Lake, and Buffalo Lake. You’ll still find some bass in the slop, but most bigger fish are now coming off the deep weedlines of area lakes.
Little Jim’s Bait (320) 274-5297
BATTLE LAKE AREA
Work leeches and crawlers during the day in 20 to 25 feet or jigs and minnows in shallower water at night on Otter Tail Lake, Rush Lake, and West Battle Lake for walleyes. Bass have moved out to the weed beds and hitting spinnerbaits at South Turtle Lake, Donald Lake, and Stalker Lake. Look for crappies and sunfish in the 15- to 20-foot weed flats on South Turtle, Rush, West Battle, and Clitherall Lake. Troll spoons or minnows in 15 to 20 feet for pike on Donald Lake, Otter Tail, and West Battle and muskies are being seen, but have been tough to get to commit on West Battle.
Ben’s Bait Shop (218) 864-5596
The weather has been a bit up and down recently and along with another mayfly hatch on some lakes, the walleye bite has been affected. You’ll still find fish along the sharp breaks and weed edges in 12 to 16 feet of water or off the deeper humps and bars in 18 to 24 feet of water. Jigs and rainbow minnows or leeches have been turning fish, along with live bait rigs and crawlers or leeches on Lake Bemidji, Lake Plantagenet, and Gull Lakes. Northern pike are still going strong along the weed edges and bass continue to be caught on the inside and outside weed lines using plastics. Most crappies have set up on deep cabbage areas and bluegills are transitioning to those same spots.
Dick Beardsley Guide Service
Look for walleyes to hit crawlers or leeches on Blackduck Lake, Island Lake, and Round Lake in 12 to 20 feet, although a few fish have started coming from deeper water. The 7- to 12-foot cabbage on Gilstead Lake, Pimushe Lake, Blackduck, or North and South Twin lakes are producing panfish and a few walleyes. Bass and pike remain active in the weeds of most lakes as well.
Timberline Sports and Tackle
A slip bobber and leech is working best for walleyes in 8 to 28 feet on Round Lake, Pelican Lake, North Long Lake, and Gull Lake. The 12- to 15-foot weedlines on North Long, north end of Gull, Cullen Lake, and Lake Edwards are producing sunfish, bass, and a few crappies. Work spinnerbaits or sucker minnows in 8 to 20 feet for northern pike on Gull, North Long, and Edwards.
S & W Bait & Guide Service/
Nisswa Guide League (218) 829-7010
CASS LAKE AREA
The outside of the bulrushes on Cass Lake, Lake Andrusia, and Wolf Lake continue to produce perch in 5 to 7 feet. Hit Kitchi Lake, Grace Lake, and Midge Lake for bluegills in 4 to 6 feet, mainly along shorelines. Walleye action has been best early and late each day on the main lake bars and sand areas of Cass – casting a jig and minnow is best since these fish are shallow and easily spooked. The shallow reeds, shorelines or weed-covered bars on Cass are worth hitting for muskies, although most anglers are seeing more fish than they’re hooking.
Sunset Cove Resort (800) 279-4831
Most sunfish and crappies are now being caught off the 10- to 12-foot weedlines at Chisago Lake, Green Lake, North Center Lake, South Center Lake, and North Lindstrom Lake. Low-light periods have been best for walleyes with leeches in 10 to 14 feet at Green, North Lindstrom, and Chisago. Bass and pike are mainly weed line-related on most lakes as well.
Frankie’s Bait (651) 257-6334
Largemouth bass are being caught along the established weedlines on Bay Lake and Serpent Lake, while smallmouth bass are hitting on the shallow rocks during the evening hours at Clearwater Lake and Serpent. Sucker minnows or jerk baits are turning pike on the 10- foot weedlines on Upper Dean Lake and Ross Lake. Trout fishing has slowed, but downriggers and spoons are producing some fish in deep water on Huntington Pit and Pennington Pit. Look to Rabbit Lake in 16 to 20 feet or the 10- to 12-foot weedlines on Black Hoof Lake and Big Mahnomen Lake for sunfish.
Oars ‘n Mine Bait and Tackle
DETROIT LAKES AREA
Work the 15- to 20-foot weeds with crawlers or leeches for walleyes on Big Detroit Lake and Lake Melissa. Most crappies and bluegills also have moved out to the 10- to 15-foot weedlines on Lake Sallie, Cotton Lake, and Floyd Lake. Bass and pike are an easy catch in or along the weedlines of most lakes.
Quality Bait and Tackle
Leeches or chubs are producing walleyes early and late each day on Island Lake and Boulder Lake in 10 to 15 feet. Chubs continue to produce pike on Rice Lake in 5 feet and smallmouth bass remain active on the shallow and mid-depth rocks of Island. Trolling stickbaits in the top 35 to 50 feet of the water column on Lake Superior has been best for lake trout and a few coho salmon.
Chalstrom’s Bait (218) 726-0094
EAST CENTRAL MN
Water levels are low, but work the deep pockets that exist on the Rum River and Mississippi River for smallmouth bass – crawlers and plastics are both working. Bass and pike are now relating to the deeper weedlines on area lakes, while Blue Lake and Green Lake continue to produce some sunfish in the 10- to 14-foot weeds.
Tales and Trails Sport Shop
The 12- to 18-foot humps on Basswood Lake are producing walleyes on Lindy Rigs with leeches or crawlers. A few walleyes can be had on Birch Lake, Shagawa Lake, and White Iron Lake in 12 to 18 feet as well. The smallmouth bass bite has been excellent with topwater baits at Trout Lake, Snowbank Lake, and Basswood in shallow water. Armstrong Lake, Disappointment Lake, and Parent Lake are giving up pike on spoons, while sunfish are hitting at Low Lake, Bass Lake, and Grassy Lake in the 5- to 10-foot weeds. Troll heavy spoons over 30 feet of water for lake trout at Knife Lake and Snowbank.
Arrowhead Outdoors (218) 365-5358
Smallmouth bass are hitting plastics on Thunder Lake around lily pads in 6 to 8 feet. Trolling crankbaits on Kego Lake has triggered pike in 10 feet during the evening hours, while Washburn Lake started producing sunfish in 8 to 10 feet. Mitchell Lake started giving up crappies during the morning hours over 15 feet and Ruth Lake continues to kick out largemouth bass on spinnerbaits in the 8- to 10-foot weeds.
Redding Sports and Spirits
You’ll find crappies in 8 to 12 feet on Budd Lake and Lake Sisseton and sunfish in 4 to 8 feet at George Lake, Hall Lake, and Sisseton. Trolling crankbaits in 3 feet of water has produced walleyes on Tuttle Lake and yellow bass can be had on the shorelines out to 15 feet on Budd and Sisseton.
Sommer Outdoors (507) 235-5225
You’ll find sunfish on the shoreline and walleyes hitting spinners and leeches along the weedlines of Lake Mazaska. Plastics are producing largemouth bass on the shorelines or over-hanging trees on Cedar Lake. Spinner rigs with leeches or crawlers are turning a few walleyes on the weedlines of Cedar as well.
John’s Bait & Tackle (507) 332-6787
Lake Country Convenience & Bait
FERGUS FALLS AREA
Crappies and sunfish are being found on the 8- to 10-foot weeds at Fish Lake, Bass Lake, and Pleasant Lake. A few walleyes continue to be taken with crawlers or leeches during low-light periods on Eagle Lake and Walker Lake in 15 to 25 feet. Largemouth bass and pike have moved to the weedlines on most lakes and continue to be taken on spinnerbaits or crankbaits.
Little Chief Outpost
GRAND RAPIDS/DEER RIVER AREA
Bowstring Lake is producing walleyes in 12 to 15 feet, as is Deer Lake in 20 to 25 feet – crawlers and leeches are both working during the evening hours. Hit the weedlines on Little Ball Club Lake and Little Cutfoot Sioux Lake for sunfish and crappies. The 12- to 15-foot weeds on Big Ball Club Lake are kicking out crappies and walleyes, while smallmouth bass continue to be caught on Deer and Big Island Lake.
Fred’s Live Bait (218) 246-8710
GREY EAGLE AREA
Look for sunfish and walleyes to hit crawlers along the 15-foot weed edge on Little Birch Lake. On Big Birch Lake, sunfish are going in 15 to 18 feet during the day and walleyes are hitting leeches along the 18- to 20-foot weedlines at night. Northern pike and sunfish remain active in 12 to 15 feet at Big Swan Lake, while the weeds on Kings Lake are kicking out a mixed bag of panfish. Hit the docks or swimming rafts on Mound Lake for bass, crappies, and sunfish early and late each day. The weedlines on Cedar Lake are giving up bass and pike as well.
Nancy’s Bait & Tackle (320) 285-2405
Spinners with leeches or crawlers are turning walleyes in 15 to 20 feet on Ten Mile Lake, Baby Lake, and Woman Lake. Crappie action has been strong along the 10- to 15-foot weed edges at Birch Lake, Pleasant Lake, and Mule Lake, while bluegills are being found in the 12- to 15-foot weeds on most small lakes. Largemouth are hitting topwater baits in the bays on Woman and Moccasin Lake, while plastics are producing smallmouth bass in 5 to 12 feet on Stoney Lake and Ten Mile. Slow-moving jerk baits are triggering a few muskies on Wabedo Lake and Little Boy Lake in 5 to 10 feet.
Swanson’s Bait and Tackle
Trout have become more active with the cooler weather and water levels on most streams and rivers are starting to return to normal levels so fishing has been good. The best reports are coming off small, cooler streams with caddis dry flies or size 20 Adam’s mayfly patterns. Smallmouth bass are being caught with stickbaits on the north branch of the Root River.
Root River Rod Company
MADISON LAKE AREA
Leeches or crawlers are producing walleyes in 12 to 15 feet on Lake Washington and off Miller’s Point on Madison Lake. The weedlines on Lake Francis, Duck Lake, Madison, and in Baker’s Bay on Washington are giving up sunfish and crappies. Northern pike remain very active, hitting minnows or crankbaits on the 15- to 20-foot weedlines of Madison, German Lake, and Big Jefferson Lake.
Corner Bait (507) 243-4464
Crappies and sunfish are being found on the 8- to 10-foot weedlines at Knife Lake, Ann Lake, and Lake Eleven. The deep holes on the Snake River are producing a few walleyes and channel catfish on nightcrawlers. You’ll find a few walleyes tight to the weedlines on Knife and Ann during the evening hours.
Jerry’s Sport & Bait Shop
Sunfish and perch are being caught in the open pockets in the weeds over 9 to 11 feet around Mallard Point and Rocky Ledge on Big Stone Lake. Walleyes also are being plucked from the weed pockets on Big Stone with slip bobbers and leeches.
Artie’s Bait (320) 839-2480
PARK RAPIDS AREA
Walleyes are being taken with crawlers or leeches along the 12- to 18-foot weedlines or structure at Potato Lake, Long Lake, and Island Lake (west). Crappies and sunfish are biting on the 10- to 14-foot cabbage throughout the Crow Wing Chain and Boulder Lake. You’ll find bigger bass on the deep weeds or shallow lily pads on Toad Lake and Lake Belle Taine.
Delaney’s (218) 732-4281
Smokey Hills Outdoors
Spinner rigs or slow-death rigs with crawlers continue to turn walleyes in 20 to 25 feet on Star Lake, Dead Lake, and Big Pine Lake. Throw a spinnerbait along the 10- to 12-foot weedlines on any lake for bass and pike. Bluegills and some crappies are coming off the 10- to 12-foot weeds of Little Pine Lake, Star, Dead, Lida Lake, Franklin Lake, and Big McDonald Lake.
Gene’s Sport Shop (218) 346-3355
RED WING AREA
Walleyes and sauger are being taken with crankbaits or live-bait rigs and crawlers in the Lake City area of Lake Pepin in 15 to 20 feet. There’s been some big pike caught in the feeder creeks, while sturgeon and catfish are hitting in the main river channel – work areas with significant current.
Four Seasons Sports (651) 388-4334
RICHMOND/ST. CLOUD AREA
Lake Koronis continues to produce walleyes and pike along its weedlines out to 25 feet on crawlers or minnows. Work the weedlines on Rice Lake for walleyes, pike, and crappies, while the lakes throughout the Horseshoe Chain are kicking out walleyes in 8 to 15 feet mainly on live bait or crankbaits. Crappies, bass, and sunfish can be had on the 8- to 14-foot weedlines at Pearl Lake, Grand Lake, Cedar Island Lake, Horseshoe Lake, Long Lake, and East Lake. Channel catfish remain active on the Horseshoe Chain in 5 to 15 feet.
Channel Marine and Sports
SAUK CENTRE AREA
Sauk Lake continues to produce walleyes on leeches or crawlers in 8 to 12 feet, as is Lake Osakis in 18 to 24 feet early and late each day. Look for sunfish and crappies in or along the cabbage of most lakes in less than 12 feet of water. Bass and northern pike are weed line-related and active on most lakes as well.
Fletcher’s Bait Shop (320) 352-2155
STAPLES/LITTLE FALLS AREA
The Mississippi River is low, but channel catfish and smallmouth bass continue to be caught in the deep holes above and below the dams. The 18- to 20-foot rock piles on Lake Alexander are giving up a few walleyes during the evening hours and the weedlines on Coal Lake are producing sunfish.
Da Fishin’ Hole (320) 631-0056
Work the 10- to 14-foot weedlines with leeches or crawlers on Long Lake for walleyes. Hit the Farm Bar on Eagle Lake for walleyes and crappies during the evening hours or Henderson Lake in 15 feet for walleyes. George Lake started giving up a few walleyes, and Nest Lake is producing sunfish.
J&J Hwy. 71 Bait and Tackle
Walleyes are hitting spinners and crawlers or crankbaits in 6 to 10 feet on Lake Benton, Lake Sarah, Lake Shetek, Lady Slipper Lake, and Dead Coon Lake. Crankbaits or leeches are producing walleyes and smallmouth bass along the shorelines out to 20 feet on East Twin Lake. Cottonwood Lake continues to give up perch and walleyes in less than 10 feet, while crawlers or stink baits are producing catfish on the Redwood and Minnesota rivers.
Borch’s Sporting Goods