Wednesday, February 8th, 2023
Wednesday, February 8th, 2023

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Minnesota Outdoor News Fishing Report – August 31, 2021

Report from the Dock

Some cooler weather, especially at night, has started to cool water temperatures and that should mean improved walleye fishing opportunities heading into the weekend. Don’t discount the fact that the days are getting shorter as well, which also helps kick in the fall walleye bite. Many fish are still weedline-related or relating to main lake structure, but there was a definite improvement with minnows or crankbaits in shallower water as well – the bite should only keep getting better. Bluegills and crappies continue to provide the state’s most consistent angling options with most areas reporting plenty of panfish action, although crappies tend to be more active during the evening hours. That will transition quickly to deeper basin fish that will be found suspended in coming weeks. There’s plenty of excellent bass and pike fishing to be had, as they remain relatively easy to catch in most areas on artificial or live bait presentations. There’s more people fishing muskies this week, but the dinner bell hasn’t seem to rung quite yet for them.

Great Eight

LAKE MILLE LACS        

East – The mid-depth rocks, 12 to 18 feet, are producing walleyes and smallmouth bass. Artificial presentations or nightcrawlers are working best. Leadcore and crankbaits are turning walleyes in the deep basin areas as well. Muskie and pike reports continue to be limited.

Johnson’s Portside (320) 676-3811

West – Walleyes are hitting leeches or nightcrawlers early and late each day on the 13- to 20-foot rocks. Rigging crawlers on the mud flats in 25 to 30 feet has turned walleyes and a few perch during the day. Smallmouth bass are scattred, but active, on the 7- to 20-foot rock points and reefs. There’s been some muskie anglers around, but success has been limited.

Terry’s Boat Harbor (320) 692-4430

LAKE OF THE WOODS

The deep mud, 28 to 34 feet continues to give up walleyes on spinners and crawlers or crankbaits. Other pods of fish are holding shallower, over rocks or sand, and reefs on the south end. Some walleyes are being found in the deep holes throughout the Rainy River. Anglers are trolling crankbaits to cover water. Bass and pike are plentiful on structure, docks and weed edges up and down the river. The sturgeon “keep” season continues through Sep. 30. At the Northwest Angle, great walleye fishing continues on both sides of the border. In U.S. waters, work the deep mud of Little Traverse Bay in 28 to 33 feet with spinners and a crawler. Underwater points, sunken islands and neck down areas with a bit of current also are producing in 18 to 27 feet. Pike and muskie anglers are still finding fish on weedy points using jerkbaits and topwater presentations. 

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

LAKE MINNETONKA AREA    

Walleyes are being taken with minnows in and around the channels on Lake Minnetonka early and late each day. You’ll find crappies tight to the milfoil edges in 10 to 20 feet on Minnetonka, while sunfish are going in 10 to 14 feet on Medicine Lake, Lake Sarah, and Minnetonka. Muskie reports have been light, but excellent bass fishing continues in the shallow and deep weeds on most lakes.

Wayzata Bait (952) 473-2227

LAKE VERMILION

Smallmouth bass are hitting plastics and live bait on shallow rock and sand areas. Leadcore and crankbaits are turning walleyes on the mud and rock in 25 feet or deeper, while other fish are being taken with minnows or crawlers on the reefs in sllightly shallower water. The rock points seem to be best for muskies early and late each day with bucktails or rubber baits.

Pike Bay Lodge (218) 753-2430

Vermilion Dam Lodge (218) 666-5418

LAKE WINNIBIGOSHISH

Walleyes are hitting spinners and crawlers along the 8- to 10-foot shoreline drops – fish the windy shoreline. Trolling crankbaits in 12 to 15 feet on top of the bars or shoreline breaks has produced walleyes as well. Perch are scattered with bigger fish coming off the west side from the river mouth up to Raven’s Point in 4 to 12 feet. Look for pike in 10 to 12 feet throughout the lake. 

Lake Winnie Resort Association                   

LEECH LAKE

The shoreline breaks and points in Walker Bay are giving up a few walleyes early and late each day in 12 to 15 feet – cover water with a spinner and crawler or crankbaits. On the main lake, the flats and rocks are also worth noting for walleyes in 10 to 15 feet. The bite varies from one night to the next, but trolling crankbaits after sunset in 9 to 12 feet continues to produce walleyes as well. On the muskie front, bucktails or topwater baits have been most productive on the rocks and point. Perch are being caught in the shallow weeds, but anglers are sorting through numbers of small fish.

Reed’s Sporting Goods (218) 547-1505

Shriver’s Bait Company

(218) 547-2250

RAINY LAKE     

Walleyes are schooling over deep mud and reef edges. Glide baits and reactionary baits are turning big fish. Crappies continue to bunch up over the 10- to 20-foot soft-bottom structure. Smallmouth bass have pushed onto deep rock piles and are being caught on a variety of plastics, while northern pike are being found around deep water breaks.

RainyDaze Guide Service

(218) 290-6102

RED LAKE

Fishing pressure continues to be pretty light, mainly due to the wind and rain this area received over the past week. Crankbaits continue to work best for walleyes in 10 to 12 feet on the main lake and away from the shorelines. With water temperatures starting to cool, a jig and minnow should become more productive along the shorelines in less than 8 feet.

West Wind Resort (218) 647-8998

Twin Cities Metro

NORTHEAST METRO

Bucktails continue to raise muskies on Forest Lake and the St. Croix River, especially early and late each day. Work the weedlines on Demontreville Lake, Beaver Lake, and White Bear Lake for pike. Walleyes have been tough to come by, but the pier on Silver Lake is worth hitting for sunfish.

Blue Ribbon Bait & Tackle

(651) 777-2421

WEST METRO

Look to Lake Minnewashta for sunfish in 10 to 14 feet or the fishing pier on Steiger Lake for largemouth bass. Water levels on the Minnesota River have come up a bit so look to its deeper holes for a mixed bag of fish. Sucker minnows are producing northern pike  along the 12- to 14-foot weedlines on Pierson Lake and Lake Auburn.

Cabin Fever Sports (952) 443-2022

SOUTH METRO

Fishing pressure has been limited, but bass continue to hit plastics or spinnerbaits around the docks and weedlines on Prior Lake and Lake O’Dowd. Cedar Lake and Carls Lake are giving up sunfish in 8 to 10 feet and walleye action remains slow.

Prior Lake Bait & Tackle

(952) 447-6096

LAKE WACONIA

Bass remain active around docks and deeper weedbeds, hitting plastics or spinnerbaits early and late each day. Expect bigger sunfish and crappies out of the deep weeds behind the island and on Center Reef. Muskies and some bigger pike are chasing bucktails near the swimming beach, reefs, and in Waconia Bay.

Mases In Towne Marina

(952) 442-2096

Statewide

ALEXANDRIA AREA

Trolling crankbaits at night on Reno Lake has produced walleyes in 10 to 12 feet, while minnows and crawlers are turning walleyes on Lake Ida in 14 to 18 feet. The flats on Lake Miltona and weedlines on most lakes are giving up largemouth bass. There’s been a few more muskie anglers working Lobster Lake and Miltona, but success has been limited. Look for sunfish and and a few crappies off the 12- to 14-foot weed edges at Lake Le Homme Dieu, Lake Carlos, Lake Darling, and Lake Irene.

Christopherson’s Bait and Tackle

(320) 763-3255

ANNANDALE AREA

A jig and minnow or spinner and crawler is producing a few walleyes in 10 to 15 feet on Clearwater Lake, Lake Augusta, and Lake Sylvia. You’ll find sunfish during the day and a few crappies each evening along the 10- to 12-foot weedlines on Clearwater, Sylvia, Sugar Lake, Maple Lake, Indian Lake, and Pleasant Lake. Look for bass and pike along the deep weedlines on most lakes as well.

Little Jim’s Bait (320) 274-5297

BATTLE LAKE AREA

Troll crankbaits in less than 10 feet at night or drift minnows and crawlers during the day in 15 to 20 feet for walleyes on Otter Tail Lake and West Battle Lake. You’ll find a mixed bag of panfish in the 10- to 15-foot weeds on West Battle, Rush Lake, and Stalker Lake. Anglers are reporting some muskie activity on West Battle in 15 to 20 feet, while bass and pike remain an easy catch along the weedlines of most lakes.

Ben’s Bait Shop (218) 864-5596

BEMIDJI AREA

Live-bait rigs or jigs with larger minnows are producing a few walleyes on Lake Bemidji and Gull Lake in 12 to 18 feet. Water temperatures are starting to dip, so the consistent fall bite should kick in soon. Bass fishing remains excellent with plastics off the deep weed edges, while bluegills and crappies are still being caught in the 8- to 12-foot cabbage of most lakes.

Dick Beardsley Guide Service

(218) 556-7172

BLACKDUCK AREA

Walleyes continue to hit a jig and minnow or spinner and crawler in 10 to 12 feet or 15 to 20 feet at Island Lake, Blackduck Lake, and Gull Lake. Bluegills and crappies remain active in the 12- to 16-foot weeds on Gull, Pimushe Lake, Gilstead Lake, and Blackduck.

Timberline Sports and Tackle

(218) 835-4636

BRAINERD/NISSWA AREA 

Minnows and crawlers continue to turn walleyes in 12 to 25 feet on Whitefish Lake and Gull Lake. Look for sunfish during the day in 6 to 10 feet or crappies each evening along the 10- to 15-foot weeds on Whitefish, Gull, Pelican Lake, Nisswa Lake, and Cullen Lake. Bass and pike are active on most lakes, but look for bigger fish relating to deep weedlines.

S & W Bait & Guide Service/

Nisswa Guide League  (218) 829-7010

CASS LAKE AREA

Walleyes are hitting a jig and minnow or spinners and crawlers on Cass Lake, Pike Bay Lake, Wolf Lake, and Lake Andrusia in 25 to 30 feet. During the evening hours, crankbaits are producing walleyes on the bars of Cass and Pike Bay in 6 to 10 feet. Look to Kitchi Lake, Midge Lake, Grace Lake, and Big Lake for crappies and bluegills along the 8- to 12-foot weeds. Muskie reports have been favorable on the rocks and sand throughout Cass, while perch are going in the 6- to 8-foot sand on Cass.

Sunset Cove Resort (800) 279-4831              

CHISAGO AREA   

You’ll find sunfish in 8 to 10 feet and crappies along the 10- to 15-foot weed edges on North Center Lake, South Center Lake, and Chisago Lake. Minnows and crawlers are turning a few walleyes early or late each day in 12 to 15 feet at Green Lake, Chisago, and South Lindstrom Lake. Largemouth bass and pike continue to hit along the weedlines of most lakes.

Frankie’s Bait (651) 257-6334

CROSBY AREA

Look for sunfish and a few crappies on East Rabbit Lake, June Lake, and Big Mahnomen Lake in 15 to 20 feet. Largemouth bass fishing is going strong with crankbaits in 15 to 20 feet on Bay Lake and Serpent Lake. Look for trout to be 50 to 70 feet down over deeper water on Huntington Pit, while northern pike are weed-related and active on Nokay Lake or Greer Lake. 

Oars ‘n Mine Bait and Tackle

(218) 546-6912

DETROIT LAKES AREA

Walleyes are being taken in 18 to 22 feet with minnows or crawlers on Big Cormorant Lake, Lake Melissa, and Big Detroit Lake – crankbaits are working in shallower water at night. Sunfish and crappies are being found along the 10- to 15-foot weedlines of Cotton Lake, Floyd Lake, and Tamarack Lake.

Quality Bait and Tackle

(218) 844-2248

DULUTH AREA   

Island Lake is giving up walleyes in 18 to 20 feet, as is Fish Lake in 12 to 15 feet on chubs. Lake trout are being caught from Two Harbors to the north on Lake Superior about 75 to 100 feet down – a few salmon are coming from the top 50 feet of the water column – spoons are working best for both. Smallmouth bass remain active on Island, hitting topwater baits over 10 feet.

Chalstrom’s Bait (218) 726-0094

EAST CENTRAL MN

Sunfish continue to be found in 10 to 14 feet at Green Lake and Blue Lake. Minnows or spinnerbaits are producing bass and pike along the 7- to 12-foot weeds on Eagle Lake, Fremont Lake, and Mitchell Lake. 

Tales and Trails Sport Shop 

(763) 856-3985

ELY AREA

White Iron Lake, Birch Lake, and Snowbank Lake are giving up walleyes with a jig and minnow or Jiggin’ Rap in 25 to 30 feet. Look for crappies in the 6- to 10-foot weeds on White Iron, Birch, and Johnson Lake. Smallmouth bass can be had with a jig and minnow on the rocky shorelines of Burntside, Miner’s Lake, and Snowbank. Lake trout reports have been best off Snowbank, Burntside, and Ojibwe Lake about 35 to 50 feet down over 40 to 90 feet of water with spoons.

Arrowhead Outdoors (218) 365-5358

EMILY AREA 

Largemouth bass are hitting spinnerbaits around the 8-foot lily pads on Ruth Lake. Kego Lake is producing sunfish in 8 to 10 feet and northern pike are hitting spoons on Greer Lake in 10 to 12 feet. Trolling crankbaits at night over deep water on Roosevelt Lake is the ticket for walleyes – look for suspended fish.

Redding Sports and Spirits      

(218) 763-2191

FAIRMONT AREA

The shorelines on Budd Laake and Hall Lake are producing catfish at night and crappies early and late each day in 8 to 12 feet. Bluegills and yellow bass continue to be caught by anglers fishing from shore at Budd and Sisseton Lake.

Sommer Outdoors (507) 235-5225

FERGUS FALLS AREA

Fish Lake, Clitherall Lake, and Walker Lake are producing walleyes with minnows or crawlers in 18 to 22 feet during the day or 8 to 12 feet during low-light periods. Crappies and bluegills are hitting in 10 to 18 feet at Norway Lake, Bass Lake, Heidelberger Lake, and Long Lake. Look for largemouth bass in the shallow weeds at Swan Lake, Dead Lake, North Turtle Lake, and Ten Mile Lake. 

Little Chief Outpost

(218) 998-5050

GRAND RAPIDS/DEER RIVER AREA 

Crappie action has picked up on Little Cutfoot and Big Cutfoot Sioux lakes in 12 to 15 feet. Walleyes are hitting a jig and minnow or spinner and crawler in the Gap on Big Cutfoot Sioux over 8 to 12 feet. Bluegill action is strong along the weed edges of Bello Lake, Bass Lake, and Little Island Lake. The mid-lake humps on Moose Lake gave up a few muskies this week and anglers were seeing fish on Deer Lake and Moose Lake, but most have been chasing rather than biting.

Fred’s Live Bait (218) 246-8710

GREY EAGLE AREA

A few walleyes are being caught with deep-diving crankbaits or spinners and crawlers in 20 to 25 feet on Big Birch Lake. Hit Kings Lake, Mounds Lake, and Swan Lake for a mixed bag of panfish in 12 to 16 feet. Swan, Big Birch, and Cedar Lake continue to produce northern pike on sucker minnows in 10 to 15 feet.

Nancy’s Bait & Tackle (320) 285-2405

HACKENSACK AREA 

Look for walleyes in 15 to 20 feet on Ten Mile Lake, Woman Lake, Baby Lake, and Little Boy Lake, most are being taken with minnows or Jiggin’ Raps. Smallmouth bass action has picked up with solid reports coming from less than 10 feet on plastics at Stoney Lake, Woman, Ten Mile, and Baby. Look for bigger largemouth bass and pike to hit on the deep weedlines of Portage Lake, Mule Lake, and Moccasin Lake. The 4- to 10-foot cabbage beds on Pleasant Lake, Stoney, and Webb Lake are giving up crappies during the evening hours, while sunfish are pretty active on the cabbage edges of most lakes as well.

Swanson’s Bait and Tackle

(218) 675-6176

LANESBORO AREA 

Last weekend’s rain brought water levels up on area streams, but the small- to medium-size streams are running clear and fishing well. Grasshopper patterns have worked best for trout on most streams. If it clears up, the North Branch of the Root River would be a safe bet for smallmouth bass with in-line spinners.

Root River Rod Company

(507) 467-2101

ORTONVILLE AREA

There’s been a few more walleyes caught with crankbaits during the evening hours on Big Stone Lake. The main focus for most anglers continues to be the perch and bluegill action on Big Stone. Most are coming out of 10 to 12 feet from Rocky Ledge to Mallard Point.

Artie’s Bait (320) 839-2480

PARK RAPIDS AREA

Crappies and bluegills are being caught in 10 to 15 feet on Fish Hook Lake, Toad Lake, Height of Land Lake, and the Crow Wing Chain. Walleyes are hitting a jig and minnow or spinner and crawler in 12 to 15 feet on Boulder Lake and Potato Lake or 18 to 22 feet on Long Lake. The rocks on Potato continue to produce smallmouth bass, largemouth bass remain active around docks and weedlines on most lakes, and Big Mantrap Lake remains the area’s best bet for muskies.

Delaney’s (218) 732-4281

Smokey Hills Outdoors 

(218) 237-5099

PERHAM AREA

There’s some evening crappie action along the 10- to 12-foot weeds on Star Lake, Rush Lake, Big Pine Lake, and Dead Lake, while sunfish, bass, and pike remain active on most lakes in 10 to 12 feet. Crankbaits, minnows, or Jiggin’ Raps are turning walleyes in 8 to 12 feet on Big Pine, Rush, Star, and Little Pine Lake. 

Gene’s Sport Shop (218) 346-3355

RED WING AREA

Sturgeon and catfish action has picked up on the deep, current seam areas of the Mississippi River from Red Wing up to the dam – use cut suckers for catfish or crawlers and shad for sturgeon. Walleye action has been slow, but the shoreline rocks and wood on Lake Pepin are producing bluegills, crappies, and perch.

Four Seasons Sports (651) 388-4334

RICHMOND/ST. CLOUD AREA

A jig and minnow or Jiggin’ Rap are turning walleyes on Lake Koronis in 20 feet or more. Hit Horseshoe Lake for walleyes around the 10- to 12-foot weeds or 15- to 20-foot shoreline breaks. Sunfish and a few crappies are being plucked off the weedlines or flats at Rice Lake, Pearl Lake, Grand Lake, Cedar Island Lake, Long Lake, and Horseshoe.  There’s plenty of catfish action to be had throughout the Horseshoe Chain of Lakes in shallow and deep water.

Channel Marine and Sports

(320) 597-5975

SAUK CENTRE AREA

Jigs tipped with minnows or a piece of nightcrawler are producing walleyes on Sauk Lake in 6 feet early and late or 18 to 21 feet during the day. Lake Amelia started kicking out walleyes on chubs in 18 to 22 feet and Lake Osakis continues to give up walleyes with minnows in 24 to 35 feet. Sunfish are hitting along the weedlines of most lakes, while largemouth and smallmouth bass are going on Big Birch and Little Birch lakes in 15 to 20 feet. 

Fletcher’s Bait Shop (320) 352-2155

STARBUCK AREA

Anglers are sorting through their sunfish on Lake Minnewaska and putting together enough keeping-size fish along the thick weed edges. Walleyes are coming off the weed edges with spinners and crawlers or in 22 to 25 feet with leadcore and crankbaits on Minnewaska. Bass and northern pike continue to be caught off the weedlines of most lakes.

Last Cast Bait and Tackle

(320) 239-2239

WINDOM/MARSHALL AREA

Crankbaits are producing walleyes early and late each day in 5 to 8 feet on Lake Sarah and Lake Shetek. Catfish remain active on the Redwood and Minnesota rivers, while Lake Benton, East Twin Lake, and West Twin Lake are safe bets for perch. Some crappies have started coming off Shetek and Sarah in less than 8 feet.

Borch’s Sporting Goods 

(507) 532-4880

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