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Wednesday, February 1st, 2023

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Minnesota Outdoor News Fishing Report – July 20, 2021

Report from the Dock

The hot weather continues to persist and that’s kept a lot of anglers off the water. There’s been plenty of recreational activity in most areas, but it’s been so warm, that fishing seems to have taken a backseat. Panfish and bass continue to provide consistent action along the weedlines in most locations with bigger fish often being found in and around deep vegetation, 15 feet or more even early and late each day. Walleye anglers are grinding out bites during midday hours with better activity taking place each evening and after dark. Leeches and crawlers, crankbaits or reactionary baits such as Jiggin’ Raps or Hyper Glides seem to be working best. There hasn’t been much for muskie activity reported mainly due to the heat and warm water temperatures, which many anglers avoid so they don’t stress these fish. Many areas also reported water levels that continue to recede and with very little rain expected again this week, accesses are getting pretty skinny. There have been issues with getting boats in or out on some lakes.

Great Eight

LAKE MILLE LACS        

East – Pitch hair jigs or drop shot rigs on deep boulders during the day and shallower rocks each evening for smallmouth bass. Live-bait rigs and leeches, slip bobbers and leeches or Jiggin’ Raps are turning walleyes on the mud flats and deep reefs. A few muskies are being raised on the north end sand with bucktails in 10 to 15 feet. 

Johnson’s Portside (320) 676-3811

West – Walleye action has been somewhat slow during the day, but cover water on the mud flats with live-bait rigs in 25 to 30 feet and you’ll hook fish. The evening bite has been much more consistent with slip bobbers and leeches on the flats in 22 to 24 feet. There’s also been smallmouth coming off the mud flats, but the rock points have been best for smallies and live bait has worked better than artificial presentations. 

Terry’s Boat Harbor (320) 692-4430

LAKE OF THE WOODS

Most anglers are targeting walleyes over the 30- to 34-foot mud, but the scattered reefs are holding fish as well.  Spinners and crawlers have been very effective – hammered gold, orange and red / white spinners are doing well. Trolling crankbaits has also been producing walleyes and better colors for them have been pink UV fire tiger, chrome/blue, and shiny gold. The Rainy River is producing a mixed bag of walleyes, sauger, smallmouth bass, pike, and sturgeon. Work deep holes, current breaks, rock piles and weed edges with spinners or crankbaits. At the Northwest Angle, walleyes are being caught on the mud, around structure, and shallow rocks. Anchor with jigs and minnows or leeches, drift spinners and crawlers or pull crankbaits. Northern pike are active in weedy bays hitting crankbaits and bucktails.

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

LAKE MINNETONKA AREA    

Sunfish and largemouth bass remain active on the weedlines of Lake Sarah, Medicine Lake, Long Lake, and Lake Minnetonka. An occasional walleye is caught with live-bait rigs and leeches in the North Arm and West Arm of Minnetonka in 10 to 12 feet or the deep structure in 28 to 32 feet. Muskie reports have been light, but northern pike are hitting spinners and sucker minnows on the deep weedlines of Minnetonka.

Wayzata Bait (952) 473-2227

LAKE VERMILION

Walleye activity has picked up, but the fish continue to be spread out. Sit on the 16- to 20-foot rocks with slip bobbers and leeches or a piece of nightcrawler. Smallmouth bass remain active on the shorelines in 3 to 5 feet, hitting topwater baits or plastics. The weedy bays continue to produce northern pike in less than 8 feet and muskie reports have improved over the 10- to 15-foot rocks with bucktails.

Pike Bay Lodge (218) 753-2430

Vermilion Dam Lodge (218) 666-5418

LAKE WINNIBIGOSHISH

Crankbaits are turning walleyes during the evening hours on the bars such as Horseshoe, Moses, and the Rock Fence in 12 to 18 feet. This pattern is also producing walleyes on the west side points and shoreline breaks in 10 to 12 feet. Look for walleyes during the day to hit live bait on the bars in 18 to 25 feet. Some bigger perch are being caught in the 12- to 20-foot weeds on the west side points and mouth of Third River. Northern pike are an easy catch on the 12- to 14-foot shoreline breaks.

Lake Winnie Resort Association                   

LEECH LAKE

Walleyes remain scattered, so cover water with crankbaits or spinner rigs and crawlers or leeches on the main lake structure in 15 to 20 feet. The Bear Island area started giving up a few more walleyes in 15 to 20 feet and some fish can be had on deep weed edges as well. Muskies are being raised more consistently on the rocks than weeds, especially in Sucker Bay. 

Reed’s Sporting Goods (218) 547-1505

Shriver’s Bait Company

(218) 547-2250

RAINY LAKE     

Walleyes are being caught on live-bait rigs or jigs tipped with leeches on the reefs in 23 to 28 feet. Smallmouth bass are hitting topwater presentations on shallow rock piles and northern pike are being found over deep water and outside edges of reefs. Crappies remain rather scattered and tough to find. 

RainyDaze Guide Service

(218) 290-6102

RED LAKE

Cover water with a spinner and crawler or leech in 7 to 13 feet for walleyes. There’s been some fish coming from the center of the lake in 11 feet or deeper as well. Key on the morning and evening hours for better numbers of fish.

West Wind Resort (218) 647-8998

Twin Cities Metro

NORTHEAST METRO

A jig and minnow or crawler rigs are producing a few walleyes on Bald Eagle Lake and the St. Croix River in 15 to 25 feet. Demontreville Lake and Lake Jane are kicking out largemouth bass on sucker minnows. Sucker minnows are also producing pike on the weedlines of Powers Lake, Lake Jarvis, Lake Phalen, and Lake Owasso. Look to Beaver Lake and Powers for sunfish, while there’s some evening muskie action with bucktails on White Bear Lake, Jarvis, and St. Croix River.

Blue Ribbon Bait & Tackle

(651) 777-2421

WEST METRO

Largemouth action remains strong on Steiger Lake, east side of Lake Minnewashta, and Lake Auburn with minnows, swim baits or drop shot rigs. Hit the 15- to 17-foot weedlines on Lake Wasserman, Pierson Lake, and Auburn for pike. Leeches are producing sunfish on the south end of Minnewashta in 18 to 20 feet. 

Cabin Fever Sports (952) 443-2022

LAKE WACONIA

Muskie reports have improved a bit with bucktails on Center Reef and the swimming beach area. A slip bobber and leech or jig and minnow is turning a few walleyes during low-light periods in 12 to 15 feet on North Reef and Keg’s Reef. Look for sunfish and crappies in 10 to 15 feet behind the island, North Reef, Anderson’s Reef, and Waconia Bay. Northern pike and bass continue to be weed-related and active along the weedlines on most reefs.

Mases In Towne Marina

(952) 442-2096

Statewide

ALEXANDRIA AREA

Lake Carlos is producing walleyes in 18 to 25 feet on live-bait rigs with crawlers or leeches. Look for sunfish on Lake Ida in 14 to 17 feet or Lake Mary in 12 to 15 feet. Muskie reports have been limited, but bass fishing continues to be excellent with topwater baits along the shorelines or plastics on the deep cabbage of Lake Le Homme Dieu, Lake Miltona, Lake Geneva, and Carlos.

Christopherson’s Bait and Tackle

(320) 763-3255

ANNANDALE AREA

Bass and northern pike are hitting minnows or crankbaits on the 12- to 15-foot weedlines at Clearwater Lake, Sugar Lake, Lake Sylvia, Maple Lake, and French Lake. Look for sunfish on Pleasant Lake, Clearwater, Sylvia, and Sugar in 15 to 20 feet. A few walleyes are being caught on Clearwater and Sugar in 15 to 18 feet and Lake Augusta in 12 to 15 feet – jigs and minnows or spinners and leeches are best.

Little Jim’s Bait (320) 274-5297

BATTLE LAKE AREA

Walleyes are hitting crankbaits at night in 5 to 7 feet on Otter Tail Lake, West Battle Lake, and Rush Lake. Some fish can be had during the day with live bait if the wind blows in 15 to 35 feet as well. You’ll find sunfish and crappies suspended over the deep weeds at Heidelberger Lake, West Battle, and Ten Mile Lake. Bass and pike are hitting spinnerbaits in the 12- to 18-foot weeds on Stalker Lake, Pebble Lake, Donald Lake, West Battle, and Clitherall Lake. Muskie anglers are seeing fish over deep water on West Battle, but they aren’t real aggressive.

Ben’s Bait Shop (218) 864-5596

BEMIDJI AREA

The Bemidji area received some rain Monday, but lakes levels are way down because of the drought and launching a boat on some lakes is difficult. Walleye fishing has remained decent on Lake Bemidji, Lake Plantagenet, and Lake Andrusia in 16 to 22 feet. Pulling spinners and crawlers or live-bait rigs with crawlers and leeches has turned some fish, but jigs and minnows continue to work as well. Look to the deep weed edges on most lakes for pike, crappies, bluegills, and largemouth bass.

Dick Beardsley Guide Service

(218) 556-7172

BLACKDUCK AREA

Bluegills and some crappies remain active throughout the day on the 10- to 15-foot weedlines of Gull Lake, Pimushe Lake, Gilstead Lake, and Rabideau Lake. Northern pike are an easy catch on most lakes in 10 to 14 feet. Walleyes and bluegills are being taken with leeches on Big Lake in 12 to 14 feet or the 8- to 10-foot cabbage on Blackduck Lake. Leeches also are turning walleyes on Island Lake and Round Lake in 15 to 20 feet.

Timberline Sports and Tackle

(218) 835-4636

BRAINERD/NISSWA AREA 

You’ll catch walleyes in the 12- to 18-foot weeds with slip bobbers and leeches or live-bait rigs and chubs at Gull Lake, Pelican Lake, and Round Lake. Northern pike are being caught in 18 to 26 feet with sucker minnows on Cullen Lake, Gull Lake, Whitefish Lake, and Lake Edwards. Look for bass in the 8- to 12-foot weeds and sunfish in 6 to 8 feet on most lakes.

S & W Bait & Guide Service/

Nisswa Guide League  (218) 829-7010

CASS LAKE AREA

During the day, walleyes are being caught with a jig and minnow or slip bobbers and leeches in 6 to 8 feet or 30 to 35 feet off the main structure of Cass Lake. Trolling crankbaits on the bars during the evening hours in 6 to 8 on Cass has produced walleyes as well. Look for perch in 8 to 10 feet on Cass and there’s no problem catching bass and pike on the 8- to 12-foot weedlines of most lakes. A few bluegills are hitting in 12 feet throughout Allen’s Bay on Cass and Buck Lake, while muskie action is slow.

Sunset Cove Resort (800) 279-4831              

sunsetcove-resort.com

CHISAGO AREA   

Leeches or crawlers are turning some walleyes on the 12- to 16-foot weed edges on Chisago Lake, Green Lake, North Center Lake, and South Center Lake. The 12- to 15-foot weedlines on most lakes are producing panfish as well. Look for bass in or just outside the deep weeds on North and South Center and Chisago. Northern pike are hitting spoons or minnows on the outside weed edges of North and South Lindstrom lakes, North and South Center lakes or Chisago.

Frankie’s Bait (651) 257-6334

CROSBY AREA

There’s some evening crappie action with plastics or minnows on Clearwater Lake and Bay Lake over 12 to 15 feet. Largemouth and a few smallmouth bass are coming off Clearwater and Serpent Lake throughout the day – work deep docks and deep weeds with plastics. Channel catfish and a few walleyes are being pulled from the deep holes on the Mississippi River, while trout continue to be caught on the Pennington Pit Chain, with Powerbait, just off the bottom over 50 to 80 feet. Look for sunfish in 18 to 22 feet on Rabbit Lake. 

Oars ‘n Mine Bait and Tackle

(218) 546-6912

DETROIT LAKES AREA

Island Lake and Big Cormorant Lake are producing walleyes along the 12- to 18-foot weeds. Big Cormorant is a safe bet for smallmouth bass with topwater baits, while the 10- to 12-foot weeds on Lake Sallie, Lake Melissa, Island, and Cotton Lake are holding panfish. Northern pike and largemouth bass are being caught along the deep weedlines on most lakes.

Quality Bait and Tackle

(218) 844-2248

DULUTH AREA   

Leeches are turning walleyes in 20 to 25 feet at Island Lake, Boulder Lake in 15 feet, and Whiteface Lake in 20 feet. Smallmouth bass remain active along the shorelines of Island and the Two Harbors area on Lake Superior is producing lake trout about 75 feet down over 150 to 200 feet with spoons. 

Chalstrom’s Bait (218) 726-0094

EAST CENTRAL MN

Crappie action has picked up on  Green Lake over 10 feet. Northern pike and largemouth bass are hitting spinnerbaits on the weedlines of Freemont Lake, Mitchell Lake, and Eagle Lake. Walleye and sunfish action has been slow.

Tales and Trails Sport Shop 

(763) 856-3985

ELY AREA

Walleyes are hitting Jiggin’ Raps in less than 10 feet on Birch Lake and White Iron Lake or the humps on the Baily Bay end on Basswood Lake. Smallmouth bass are an easy catch on the rocks in Cedar Lake, Low Lake, and Shagawa Lake early and late in the day with topwater baits. Crappies and bluegills are being found in the cabbage beds on Low, Armstrong Lake, and Birch. Troll crankbaits about 5 to 10 feet down over deep water for rainbow trout on Miner’s Lake and Tofte Lake.

Arrowhead Outdoors (218) 365-5358

EMILY AREA 

Kego Lake started giving up sunfish in 6 to 8 feet and Upper Dean Lake remains a safe bet for northern pike in 10 feet with minnows. Hit West Fox Lake for crappies in 12 to 14 feet during the evening hours, while Lake Washburn is producing largemouth bass on topwater baits early and late each day. 

Redding Sports and Spirits      

(218) 763-2191

FAIRMONT AREA

Channel catfish continue to hit crawlers during the evening hours and after dark along the shorelines at Hall Lake and Budd Lake. Look for yellow bass and a few panfish on Lake Sisseton and Budd Lake in 4 to 6 feet.

Sommer Outdoors (507) 235-5225

GRAND RAPIDS/DEER RIVER AREA 

The weedlines on Little Cutfoot Sioux Lake and Little Ball Club Lake are producing bluegills. Topwater baits are the ticket for bass on Pughole Lake, Johnson Lake, and Lake Pokegama. A few muskies are being caught at night with bucktails on Moose Lake and Deer Lake, while the weedlines on Bowstring Lake, Six Mile Lake, and Pokegama are kicking out walleyes during low-light periods.

Fred’s Live Bait (218) 246-8710

GREY EAGLE AREA

Sunfish continue to hit on Kings Lake in 6 to 9 feet, while Big Swan Lake, Big Birch Lake, Lady Lake, and Long Lake are giving up sunfish in the weeds over 12 to 15 feet. Big Birch is producing walleyes in 15 to 20 feet on crankbaits. Fish the deep weedlines on area lakes and you’ll have no problem catching largemouth bass and pike.

Nancy’s Bait & Tackle (320) 285-2405

HACKENSACK AREA 

Walleyes are being caught with live-bait rigs and leeches during the day in 20 to 25 feet on Ten Mile Lake or by trolling crankbaits at night over deeper water – look for suspended fish near the surface at night. Crappies are going on the 10- to 12-foot cabbage edges during the evening hours at Birch Lake, Stoney Lake, Ten Mile, and Webb Lake. Look for bluegills around the lily pads or deep weedlines of Birch and Ten Mile. Largemouth bass are hitting topwater baits on most lakes, while smallmouth are active early and late each day on Baby Lake and Stoney.

Swanson’s Bait and Tackle

(218) 675-6176

LAKE KABETOGAMA

Leeches, minnows, and crawlers are turning walleyes on the main lake, 20- to 24-foot structure during the day or the 4- to 8-foot weeds early and late. Smallmouth bass are being taken on plastics or leeches on the rock and gravel areas, while northern pike remain active throughout most weeded areas of the lake.

Gateway Store (218) 875-2121

LANESBORO AREA 

Stream conditions remain excellent, but most of the better trout reports are coming from small streams since they tend to have cooler water. Key on the morning and evening hours with trico, caddis or attractor fly patterns such as grasshoppers, beetles, and ants.

Root River Rod Company

(507) 467-2101

LONGVILLE AREA

Nightcrawlers and spinners are turning walleyes in 12 to 18 feet on Woman Lake and Big Boy Lake. Look for crappies and bluegills in the 8- to 12-foot  cabbage on Lake Inguadona, Girl Lake, and Big Boy. Muskie action has been hit and miss with some fish being raised on the mid-depth cabbage of Lake Wabedo and Little Boy Lake.

The One Stop (218) 363-2252

MADISON LAKE AREA

Work the 13- to 15-foot weedlines on Madison Lake for pike, bass, and sunfish. You’ll also find crappies in front of Church Bar on Madison over 18 to 20 feet. Cast crankbaits in the Squirrel’s Nest area on Lake Francis for walleyes in 6 to 15 feet. Lindy Rigs and leeches are producing walleyes from Second Point to Third Point in 18 to 20 feet on Lake Washington. The “hole” in Baker’s Bay on Washington is giving up crappies and sunfish.

Corner Bait (507) 243-4464

ORTONVILLE AREA

Perch reports remain strong from Rocky Ledge, Mallard Point and farther north from those spots on Big Stone Lake in 10 to 12 feet. Bluegills are being caught in the 8- to 11-foot coontail throughout Big Stone. Trolling crankbaits along the weed edges is turning a few walleyes on Big Stone as well.

Artie’s Bait (320) 839-2480

PARK RAPIDS AREA

Bucktails are raising muskies on the deep weed humps early and late each day on Big Mantrap Lake. Work the 8- to 12-foot cabbage for a mixed bag of panfish at Toad Lake, Boulder Lake, Crow Wing Chain of Lakes, and Height of Land Lake. Spinners and crawlers are producing a few walleyes each evening on Potato Lake and Long Lake in 18 to 24 feet, largemouth bass and pike are active on the weedlines of most lakes, and smallies continue to be taken with plastics on the rocks at Big Sand Lake, Potato, and Lake Belle Taine.

Delaney’s (218) 732-4281

Smokey Hills Outdoors 

(218) 237-5099

PERHAM AREA

The 10- to 15-foot cabbage on Big Pine Lake, Star Lake, Dead Lake, Rush Lake, and Lake Marion continue to produce panfish.Walleye reports have been best during low-light periods with crankbaits or spinner rigs along the 10- to 15-foot weedlines at Rush, Star, and Big Pine. Largemouth bass and pike continue to be caught with spinnerbaits or live bait along the 12- to 15-foot weeds on most lakes. 

Gene’s Sport Shop (218) 346-3355

RED WING AREA

Lead core and crankbaits are turning walleyes and sauger on Lake Pepin in 18 to 20 feet. You’ll find crappies and sunfish throughout Pepin and the Mississippi River anywhere you can find some submerged wood. Channel and flathead catfish activity has picked up along the main river channel with crawlers or cut bait.

Four Seasons Sports (651) 388-4334

RICHMOND/ST. CLOUD AREA

The 16- to 25-foot weed edges on Rice Lake are holding crappies and walleyes, while sunfish are biting in 8 to 12 feet. Sunfish reports have also been strong in 6 to 10 feet on Horseshoe Lake, Grand Lake, Pearl Lake, Cedar Island Lake, Clear Lake, and Long Lake. Walleyes are being taken with crankbaits or crawlers in 10 to 15 feet on Horseshoe and around the islands on Lake Koronis in 12 to 20 feet. Largemouth bass are weed-related and active on most lakes and channel catfish are biting throughout the Horseshoe Chain of Lakes.

Channel Marine and Sports

(320) 597-5975

SAUK CENTRE AREA

Sunfish action remains strong at Little Birch Lake in 3 to 11 feet, Lake Levin in 15 feet, Maple Lake in 12 feet, and Fairy Lake in 7 to 11 feet – work the weed edges. On Lake Osakis, sunfish are being caught on the Two Mile Bar in 12 feet and walleyes continue to be taken with chubs or leeches on the mid-lake humps in 24 to 26 feet. Sauk Lake continues to kick out walleyes during the evening hours on crankbaits and most live bait options in less than 10 feet.

Fletcher’s Bait Shop (320) 352-2155

STAPLES/LITTLE FALLS AREA

The deep holes that remain on the Mississippi River continue to hold channel catfish and smallmouth bass. Crappies continue to bite, but they’ve moved out to 20 feet or so on Fish Trap Lake and Lake Alexander. Look for sunfish in 5 to 8 feet on Green Prairie Lake and Beauty Lake.

Da Fishin’ Hole (320) 631-0056

WILLMAR AREA

Sunfish are being found in and around the 12- to 15- foot weeds on Diamond Lake, Eagle Lake, Point Lake, and Games Lake. Walleye action has slowed, but some fish are being caught on live bait during low-light periods at Diamond in 15 to 18 feet, Ringo Lake in 10 to 15 feet, and Big Kandi Lake in 12 to 14 feet. Find an established weedline on any lake and you should find good numbers of bass and pike.

J&J Hwy. 71 Bait and Tackle 

(320) 235-4097

WINDOM/MARSHALL AREA

Walleye action has slowed, but there hasn’t been many people fishing them lately. The few reports being heard are coming off Lake Shetek, Lake Sarah, and Lake Benton in less than 10 feet with live bait during the evening hours. East Twin Lake continues to kick out smallmouth bass and channel catfish remain active in the deeper holes throughout the Redwood River.

Borch’s Sporting Goods 

(507) 532-4880

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