Report from the Dock
A stretch of excessive heat slowed fishing activity in many areas last weekend and early this week. There’s been more people playing on the water than fishing it over the past week, but that will happen when it gets that hot. It might be a bit early to refer to current fishing success as the “dog days” already, but there’s no question most bites have slowed down. Walleyes have become tougher to catch with water temperatures still on the rise and putting a few in the boat involves more work. Persistant walleye anglers are covering water and having some success with live-bait rigs and crankbaits, primarily early and late each day. This week’s reports also were quite repetitive, meaning not much has changed from a week ago other than it’s been slower across the board. That also means weedlines continue to produce a mixed bag of fish, and at this point, they probably remain your best fishing option. It certainly feels like we’re already at that point of the summer where you take what a given lake is willing to give up.
LAKE MILLE LACS
Walleye season remains closed through July 15 and live bait is not allowed unless it’s a minnow longer than 8 inches. Plastics seem to be the way to go for smllamouth bass on the rock piles and rock points in 12 to 20 feet. There has been a few more muskies caught over the past week, mainly with bucktails or large crankbaits on the north end sand in less than 15 feet.
Johnson’s Portside (320) 676-3811
Terry’s Boat Harbor (320) 692-4430
LAKE OF THE WOODS
Walleyes are being found in a variety of areas, but most anglers are focusing on deep mud in 30 to 34 feet of water. Walleyes can be scattered across big mud basins or hanging out in small schools, so cover water by drifting snelled spinners with a crawler and leech or troll crankbaits. The Rainy River is producing a mixed bag of fish – walleye, sauger, smallmouth, pike, and sturgeon are all biting. Water levels are low so use caution in shallow areas. At the Northwest Angle, walleyes are being caught over the mud, around structure, and a few in shallow rocks. Anchor up with jigs and minnows on structure, drift spinners and crawlers over deep mud areas, and trolling crankbaits has also been effective. There’s been good pike fishing for those who like targeting them, muskie anglers are boating some 50 plus inch, and smallmouth are hanging around deep rocky areas.
Lake of the Woods Tourism Bureau
LAKE MINNETONKA AREA
Most fish are weed-related on area lakes, so find an established weedbed or weedline and you should find a mixed bag of fish. On Lake Minnetonka, walleyes are hitting leeches or crawlers on the 15- to 25- foot weed edges and you’ll find sunfish, bass, and larger pike along the 15- to 20-foot weeds. Hit the 12- to 18-foot weeds on Lake Sarah and Medicine Lake for sunfish and bass.
Wayzata Bait (952) 473-2227
Slip bobbers and leeches or live-bait rigs and crawlers are working best on the west basin for walleyes in 15 to 20 feet. Live bait or plastics are producing smallmouth bass on the 14- to 18- foot rock piles and reefs. A few muskies are now showing up on the rocks, but the bigger fish, along with bigger pike, are still suspending over deep water on the main lake. On the east end, walleye action has been best on the reefs in 20 to 25 feet with leeches or crawlers. Northern pike continue to be caught in most bays, and bucktails are triggering muskies on the rock points during low-light periods.
Pike Bay Lodge (218) 753-2430
Vermilion Dam Lodge (218) 666-5418
Walleye activity is still a bit slow, but there was some better evening action early this week in 12 to 18 feet with crankbaits or a spinner and leech. Work the tops of the bars and key on the wind-driven structure. The few fish being caught during the day have been off the main lake structure in deeper water. Northern pike are biting, but the bigger fish haven’t cranked up and perch reports have been limited.
You need to cover water and work the wind-driven structure and shorelines for walleyes. Spinners and crawlers are working best during the day on the rock edges and flats in 14 to 18 feet. The mid-depth humps and breaks in Walker Bay started producing some fish as well. Hit the 12- to 15-foot breaks off Sand Point and Goose Island during the evening hours with slip bobbers and leeches for walleyes. Muskie action has been best early and late in the day with some better reports coming off the cabbage in Sucker Bay. Largemouth bass and bluegills are being found in the cabbage and reeds in most bays.
Reed’s Sporting Goods (218) 547-1505
Shriver’s Bait Company
Live-bait rigs with crawlers or leeches are turning walleyes on main lake structure in 20 to 30 feet. Hit the shallow to mid-depth rocks with plastics during the day and topwater presentations early and late for smallmouth bass. Look for pike in the bays, although some bigger fish have started showing up suspended over 25 feet or so.
RainyDaze Guide Service
Spinners and crawlers or crankbaits continue to produce walleyes along the shorelines in 5 to 8 feet or 9 to 11 feet. Crawlers and leeches have turned some fish on the mid-lake rock pile in 10 to 12 feet. The key in any area is to cover water until you locate a pod of fish and then slow down and work them.
West Wind Resort (218) 647-8998
Twin Cities Metro
Sucker minnows and spoons are turning northern pike on the 10- to 14-foot weedlines of Lake Owasso, Lake Jane, and Gervais Lake. Look for sunfish in the 10- to 12-foot weeds at Silver Lake, Beaver Lake, Powers Lake, and Carver Lake. Bucktails or topwater baits are raising muskies on Bald Eagle Lake and Forest Lake, while largemouth bass are hitting plastics on the 8- to 10-foot weeds on Jane and Demontreville Lake.
Blue Ribbon Bait & Tackle
A few crappies and sunfish have started being caught in 12 to 16 feet on Lake Parley or the sunken island on Lake Minnewashta. Plastics or topwater baits are turning bass along the weeds at Wasserman Lake and Pierson Lake, while the fishing pier on Steiger Lake continues to kick out bass and pike on sucker minnows.
Cabin Fever Sports (952) 443-2022
Work the 10- to 14-foot weedlines on Keg’s Reef, North Reef, Anderson’s Reef, and Coney Islaand for crappies and sunfish. The deep weeds on most reefs or shorelines docks are producing bigger bass. There has been some muskie activity with bucktails out from the swimming beach area and northwest corner of the lake. You’ll pluck a few walleyes during low-light periods off North Reef and Keg’s Reef in 15 to 20 feet.
Largemouth bass, sunfish, and some crappies are being found on the 10- to 15-foot weed edges at Lake Mary, Lake Le Homme Dieu, Lake Ida, Lake Geneva, and Lake Victoria. Spinner rigs with leeches or crawlers are producing a few walleyes early and late each day on Reno Lake and Lake Mary in 18 to 22 feet. Muskie anglers are reporting a few follows off Lobster Lake in 12 to 15 feet.
Christopherson’s Bait and Tackle
Look for sunfish during the day and a few crappies each evening off the 10- to 15-foot weedlines of Clearwater Lake, Maple Lake, Lake John, Sugar Lake, Lake Marie, Indian Lake, and Lake Sylvia. Largemouth bass and pike are active and weedline-related on most lakes, but walleye activity has been limited to a few fish during low-light periods on Clearwater and Big Swan Lake in 16 to 22 feet.
Little Jim’s Bait (320) 274-5297
BATTLE LAKE AREA
Crappies and sunfish are hitting on the 10- to 15-foot weedlines on West Battle Lake, Long Lake, and Clitherall Lake. Leeches or nightcrawlers are the best options for walleyes during low-light periods on Otter Tail Lake in 20 to 25 feet or West Battle in 30 to 32 feet. The 15- to 20-foot weeds on West Battle have been best for muskies, while bass and northern pike have been active on the 14- to 20-foot weedlines of most lakes.
Ben’s Bait Shop (218) 864-5596
You’ve got to work for the walleyes a bit on Bemidji area lakes. Spinners and crawlers, live-bait rigs and crawlers/leeches or jigs and minnows are all producing some fish. Look to the sharp breaks and deep weed edges on area lakes. Pike fishing has been excellent with jigs and minnows turning some quality fish. Bass fishing remains good using plastics on the deep weedlines and you’ll also find them up in the thick grass. Bluegills and crappies are off the deep cabbage edges.
Dick Beardsley Guide Service
Crappies and bluegills are being found along the 15- to 20- foot weeds on Pimushe Lake, Rabideau Lake, Gilstead Lake, and Gull Lake. Round Lake, Island Lake, and Gull are giving up a few walleyes on spinners and crawlers in 15 to 20 feet as well. Northern pike and bass fishing remains stronng throughout the area.
Timberline Sports and Tackle
Walleyes are hitting leeches during the day in 15 to 24 feet or 12 to 14 feet each evening on Gull Lake, Whitefish Lake, and Pelican Lake. Look for sunfish in the 8- to 10-foot weeds on North Long Lake, Nisswa Lake, and Cullen Lake. Largemouth bass are hitting plastics on deeper weedlines, while sucker minnows or minnows continue to produce pike in the 10- to 14-foot weeds at Gull, Whitefish, and Lake Edward.
S & W Bait & Guide Service/
Nisswa Guide League (218) 829-7010
CASS LAKE AREA
Low-light periods of the day remain best for walleyes with larger minnows or crankbaits in 8 to 10 feet on Cass Lake and Pike Bay Lake. Muskies are chasing bucktails on the mid-depth cabbage in Allen’s Bay on Cass, while the weedlines on Midge Lake, Kitchi Lake, and Grace Lake are kicking out panfish. Look for bigger perch in less than 8 feet on the bars in Pike Bay and Cass.
Sunset Cove Resort (800) 279-4831
Sunfish, bass, and some crappies are being found in the 10- to 15-foot weeds on Chisago Lake, North Lindstrom Lake, South Lindstrom Lake, and North Center Lake. A slip bobber and leech continues to work best for walleyes in the 12- to 16-foot weed pockets and weed edges on Green Lake, Chisago, and North Center. Sucker minnows are the ticket for northern pike on the 12- to 16-foot weed edges of most lakes.
Frankie’s Bait (651) 257-6334
Walleye action has been tough during the day, but some fish are being caught with leeches or Jiggin’ Raps during the evening hours on Clearwater Lake and Serpent Lake in 20 to 24 feet. The deep weeds are giving up sunfish during the day and some crappies during low-light periods on Serpent, Rabbit, and Bay Lake. Small spoons and downriggers are working best for trout on the Pennington Pit about 50 feet down over 75 feet of water or more.
Oars ‘n Mine Bait and Tackle
DETROIT LAKES AREA
Live-bait rigs with nightcrawlers or leeches are producing walleyes in 15 to 22 feet on Big Detroit Lake, Big Cormorant Lake, and Lake Sallie. Sunfish and crappies are mixed together on the 15- to 18-foot weedlines of Tamarack Lake, Height of Land Lake, Floyd Lake, and Cotton Lake. Bass and pike seem to be active on the weed edges of most lakes, while a few muskies are being caught with bucktails in 12 to 15 feet on Pelican Lake.
Quality Bait and Tackle
Walleyes are hitting leeches in 15 to 20 feet on Fish Lake, Island Lake, and Boulder Lake. Lake trout and some coho salmon are being taken 70 to 100 feet down with spoons about 10 miles out of Duluth on Lake Superior. You’ll find smallmouth bass on the points and suspended crappies over 20 to 25 feet on Island.
Chalstrom’s Bait (218) 726-0094
EAST CENTRAL MN
Sunfish and crappies are being caught in 10 to 12 feet on Little Elk Lake, Green Lake, and Blue Lake. Spinnerbaits or minnows are turning northern pike and largemouth bass along the 8- to 12-foot weedlines on Green, Little Elk, and Mitchell Lake. Smallmouth bass are being caught on the current breaks or deep holes that remain on the Mississippi River.
Tales and Trails Sport Shop
Walleyes are going early in the morning at Birch Lake, White Iron Lake, and Big Lake on the 7- to 12-foot boulders – jigs tipped with a leech or crawler are producing. The rocks and weedbeds on Ella Hall Lake and Wood Lake are holding largemouth and smallmouth bass, which are taking plastics or topwater baits. Northern pike are hitting spinnerbaits along the weedbeds or river mouths at Armstrong Lake, Snowbank Lake, and Lake Two. The shallow rocks and weeds on One Pine Lake, Bass Lake, and Grassy Lake are giving up bluegills.
Arrowhead Outdoors (218) 365-5358
West Fox Lake started producing crappies in 8 to 10 feet and you’ll find sunfish on Ruth Lake around the 6-foot lily pads. Largemouth bass are hitting topwater baits at Washburn Lake and Kego Lake started giving up pike in 12 feet with crankbaits.
Redding Sports and Spirits
Yellow bass remain active along the shorelines out to 15 feet on Budd Lake and Lake Sisseton. You’ll find sunfish in 5 to 10 feet on Hall Lake, George Lake, and Sisseton or crappies in 8 to 12 feet on Budd and Sisseton.
Sommer Outdoors (507) 235-5225
FERGUS FALLS AREA
Crankbaits are producing walleyes at night in 8 to 10 feet, as are leeches or crawlers during the day in 15 to 22 feet on Ten Mile Lake, Eagle Lake, and Jewett Lake. Bucktails are raising a few muskies on the 8- to 10-foot weedlines at Pelican Lake. Continue to work the rock on Orwell Reservoir or Ten Mile for smallmouth bass and you’ll find sunfish in 6 to 10 feet on Norway Lake, Lake Anna, and Bass Lake.
Little Chief Outpost
GRAND RAPIDS/DEER RIVER AREA
Look for bluegills in the cabbage on Little Ball Club Lake and Graves Lake. Northern pike are active along the 12- to 14-foot weedlines on Big Ball Club and on Lake Pokegama in 18 to 20 feet The bars and humps on Round Lake and Bowstring Lake are giving up a few walleyes on Lindy Rigs and crawlers. Muskie anglers are seeing fish on Moose Lake and Deer Lake with bucktails, but it’s been tough getting them to commit.
Fred’s Live Bait (218) 246-8710
Bottom bouncers and crawlers are producing a few walleyes in 20 to 30 feet on Ten Mile Lake during the day and some anglers have started pulling crankbaits at night down the middle of Ten Mile over deep water with some success for suspended fish. Smallmouth bass remain active on the 10- to 14-rock on Ten Mile and Stoney Lake, while the slop and cabbage on Moccasin Lake is holding largemouths. Minnows are working best for crappies on the 10- to 15-foot weedlines at Birch Lake and Webb Lake, while sunfish are going in the weeds on Mule Lake, Pleasant Lake, and Birch.
Swanson’s Bait and Tackle
MADISON LAKE AREA
On Madison Lake, anglers are hooking a mixed bag of panfish along the 12- to 14-foot weedlines off Church Bar and nightcrawlers are working best for walleyes off Miller’s Point in 15 to 20 feet. Look for suspended crappies over 18 to 20 feet near Grassy Island on Lake Washington. Spinners and crawlers are producing walleyes in 15 to 20 feet off Second and Third points on Washington as well.
Corner Bait (507) 243-4464
Covering water with crankbaits or a spinner and crawler combination is producing a few walleyes on the north end of Big Stone Lake in 11 to 14 feet. Bluegills, perch and a few walleyes continue to be plucked from 9 to 11 feet around Mallard Point on Big Stone as well.
Artie’s Bait (320) 839-2480
PARK RAPIDS AREA
Live-bait rigs with chubs or nightcrawlers are turning walleyes along the 15- to 18-foot weedlines on Fish Hook Lake, Long Lake, and Potato Lake – some fish are being caught deeper during midday hours. Look for crappies, bass, and bluegills on the 15- to 20-foot weedlines throughout the Crow Wing Chain of Lakes and Fish Hook, while bucktails or topwater baits are triggering muskies on the cabbage areas of Big Mantrap Lake and Many Point Lake.
Delaney’s (218) 732-4281
Smokey Hills Outdoors
Crappies and bluegills remain active in the 10- to 14-foot weeds on Rush Lake, Star Lake, Big McDonald Lake, Big Pine Lake, and Marion Lake. Spinners and crawlers, live-bait rigs and leeches or Jiggin’ Raps are producing walleyes during the day in 20 to 25 feet during the day, as are crankbaits during low-light periods in 10 to 14 feet on Rush, Little Pine Lake, and Big Pine.
Gene’s Sport Shop (218) 346-3355
RED WING AREA
Low water levels on the river and high recreationnal boat traffic on Lake Pepin has again limited fishing activity over the past week. Crankbaits are producing a few walleyes and sauger in 16 to 20 feet in the Maiden Rock and Lake City areas of Pepin.
Four Seasons Sports (651) 388-4334
RICHMOND/ST. CLOUD AREA
Sunfish are hitting in 8 to 12 feet on Horseshoe Lake, Long Lake, Rice Lake, Lake Koronis, Cedar Island Lake, and Pearl Lake. Bass fishing has been best on the deep weedlines of Koronis, Pearl, Horseshoe, and Grand Lake. A few walleyes are being taken during low-light periods with crankbaits along the 10- to 12-foot weeds on Koronis, 12- to 15-foot weedlines on Rice, or along the 8- to 14-foot shoreline breaks throughout Horseshoe.
Channel Marine and Sports
SAUK CENTRE AREA
Sunfish action has picked up along the Half Mile Bar on Lake Osakis in 11 feet, while chubs or leeches are turning walleyes on the south end of Osakis in 24 feet or more. Long-lining leeches or chubs on Sauk Lake during low-light periods has turned walleyes in 12 to 18 feet. Look for crappies on Long Bridge Lake in 9 to 14 feet and the 12- to 18-foot weed edge on Little Birch Lake for pike, bass, sunfish, and a few walleyes.
Fletcher’s Bait Shop (320) 352-2155
STAPLES/LITTLE FALLS AREA
The deeper holes and current breaks that remain on the Mississippi River continue to produce channel catfish and smallmouth bass. Muskie anglers are raising a few fish with bucktails on the deeper weedlines of Fish Trap Lake and there’s been some evening crappie action in these areas as well. Pine Lake, Coal Lake, Beauty Lake, and Thunder Lake are worth looking at for panfish in 8 to 12 feet.
Da Fishin’ Hole (320) 631-0056
Sunfish and bass remain active along the 8- to 12-foot weedlines on Foot Lake, Florida Lake, and Norway Lake.Nightcrawlers or leeches are producing a few walleyes in 8 to 15 feet on Diamond Lake, Green Lake in 18 to 22 feet, 15 feet on Eagle Lake, and 10 to 15 feet on Big Kandi Lake. Crappie and northern pike reports have been limited.
J&J Hwy. 71 Bait and Tackle
Crankbaits or Jiggin’ Raps continue to work best for walleyes in 8 to 12 feet on Lake Shetek, Lake Benton, Dead Coon Lake, Lake Sarah, and Wood Lake. Nightcrawlers are producing catfish on the Redwood and Minnesota rivers, while East and West Twin lakes are worth hitting for largemouth bass.
Borch’s Sporting Goods
Da Fishin’ Hole (320) 631-0056