Saturday, January 28th, 2023
Saturday, January 28th, 2023

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Minnesota Outdoor News Fishing Report – October 19, 2021

Report from the Dock

The one constant theme this week is that the number of people fishing has noticebaly dropped off. Those who still have their boats out are doing quite well for walleyes, panfish, pike, and bass, especially with water temperatures finally starting to go down. A jig and minnow is the go-to presentation for walleyes, but with this week’s full moon, many anglers have been trolling crankbaits with success, especially during low-light periods. Crappie and bluegill action remains strong, with most crappies now being found suspended over 15 feet or more, while sunfish continue to be found in any shallow, green weeds that remain. Northern pike and bass are biting, but muskie anglers continue to struggle a bit, they’re seeing fish, but getting them to hit has been difficult.

Great Eight

LAKE MILLE LACS        

Smallmouth bass remain active, hitting small sucker minnows or plastics on the rock reefs and points in 12 to 16 feet. Walleye action remains somewhat slow with some fish being caught on the mud flats and others on the reefs with minnows or crawlers. The trolling bite with crankbaits along the points and shoreline breaks is slowly starting to improve. Muskie anglers are seeing quite a few fish, but getting them to commit to a bait has been difficult.

Johnson’s Portside (320) 676-3811

Terry’s Boat Harbor (320) 692-4430

LAKE OF THE WOODS

Anglers are catching their keepers and some big walleyes, but having to sort through small fish along the way. Anchor up and jig with a fathead or emerald shiner in 17 to 27 feet across the south shore in areas such as Pine Island, Morris Point, Zippel Bay, Graceton Beach, Long Point, and Rocky Point.  In addition to walleyes and saugers, pike, jumbo perch, sturgeon, and even a few crappies are in the mix for walleye anglers. Emerald shiners continue to run in the Rainy River, consequently, there are walleyes around. Jigging with a frozen or live shiner is the go to method. Trolling crankbaits is an effective technique in the river as well, especially for locating walleyes or when fish are scattered. Sturgeon activity continues to be good. At the Northwest Angle, a jig and minnow or jig and plastic are producing walleyes on the points, reefs, and sand in 12 to 26 feet. Remember that no live, frozen or dead bait being able to be transported over the border from the U.S. into Canada. Big crappies are active in their fall spots and being caught on jigs and minnows in 24 to 30 feet and muskie action was hot this week via casting and trolling. 

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

LAKE MINNETONKA AREA    

Walleyes are hitting early and late each day along the 16- to 18-foot weedlines throughout Lake Minnetonka. Crappies are suspended over 18 feet during the day, but they slide up into the channels during the evening hours on Minnetonka. There’s been muskies taken in 14 feet with spinnerbaits or sucker minnows on Lake Independence and Minnetonka. Northern pike and bass are an easy catch in 12 to 14 feet on most lakes and the channels on Minnetonka are producing sunfish.

Wayzata Bait (952) 473-2227

LAKE VERMILION

Minnows are turning walleyes on the reefs and rock humps on the east basin in 16 to 22 feet. Smallmouth bass and muskies also remain active on the 10- to 14-foot rocks, while some crappies are being found suspended over 20 feet or more. On the west end, walleyes and smallmouth bass are being taken with minnows in 12 to 15 feet – some walleyes have been caught even shallower as well. Northern pike remain active and the bigger muskies continue to be found suspended over deep water or along shallow weed edges that remain. Grouse hunting reports have been strong and the cover has thinned out.

Pike Bay Lodge (218) 753-2430

Vermilion Dam Lodge (218) 666-5418

LAKE WINNIBIGOSHISH

A jig and minnow is producing walleyes in less than 10 feet of water along the points and shoreline breaks. The majority of pike and bigger perch are being taken in these areas as well. Waterfowl hunters are starting to see some new ducks move in, including more ringbills and other divers.

Lake Winnie Resort Association

LEECH LAKE

Perch are being caught with minnows in the Sand Point area in 4 to 6 feet. Walleye action remains spotty, but a jig and minnow is producing some fish in 6 to 8 feet off Star/Oak, Sand Point, Mounds Point, and the Hardwoods if the wind is hitting them. Portage Bay, Bear Island, and the main lake flats are giving up some fish in 9 to 11 feet. Muskie reports have been slow, with a few being seen on the rocks. A few ringbills have shown up, but duck numbers remain light and grouse hunters continue to find good numbers of birds.

Reed’s Sporting Goods (218) 547-1505

Shriver’s Bait Company

(218) 547-2250

RAINY LAKE     

Walleyes continue to be found over deep mud flats or sunken reefs and being caught with minnows. Northern pike are active in some shallow bays or on the tops of rock piles, while smallmouth bass are set up on deep rock structure. Crappies are showing up suspended over deep mud flats.

RainyDaze Guide Service

(218) 290-6102

RED LAKE

On those days when the wind isn’t blowing and anglers can get on the lake, walleyes are being taken with a jig and minnow along most shorelines in less than 8 feet. Waterfowl hunters are shooting good numbers of geese and a few northern ducks have started to trickle in. Grouse hunting reports also remain favorable.

West Wind Resort (218) 647-8998

Twin Cities Metro

NORTHEAST METRO

Work the 10- to 12-foot weed edges with minnows for walleyes on Forest Lake. Powers Lake and Jarvis Lake continue to produce pike on sucker minnows, while crappies are suspended over 18 feet or more on Big Marine Lake. Sunfish are being taken in 5 to 8 feet at Tanners Lake, Beaver Lake, Lake Jane, and Powers. Forest and White Bear Lake are giving up a few muskies on sucker minnows in less than 12 feet.

Blue Ribbon Bait & Tackle

(651) 777-2421

WEST METRO

Muskie activity has picked up with large sucker minnows on Lake Waconia. Most fish are coming off the northwest corner of Coney Island, Red’s Reef, or between the swimming beach and restartaunt. Waconia is also producing walleyes on minnows along the north side of Kegg’s Reef and Anderson’s Reef in 15 feet. Look for crappies on Steiger Lake and Wasserman Lake in 8 to 10 feet. The pheasant season started on a good note with most groups pleasantly surprised with the number of birds they flushed. 

Cabin Fever Sports (952) 443-2022

Statewide

ALEXANDRIA AREA

Walleyes are being taken on Jigging Rapalas or a jig and minnow on Lake Mary in 16 feet or 30 to 50 on Lake Miltona and Lake Le Homme Dieu. Crappies are being found suspended just off the weed edges on Lake Geneva, while bass and pike are active on the flats of most lakes in 5 to 8 feet. Muskie anglers are moving fish with bucktails on Miltona and Lobster Lake, although  most fish being caught are hitting sucker minnows. There’s been some new ducks and geese moving in and pheasant reports have been best south and west of the immediate area.

Christopherson’s Bait and Tackle

(320) 763-3255

ANNANDALE AREA

A jig or live-bait rig with minnows is turning walleyes in 12 to 18 feet on Clearwater Lake, Big Swan Lake, and Cokato Lake. Look for crappies just off the weed edges or suspended over 20 feet or more on Lake Marie, Indian Lake, Lake Sylvia, and Clearwater. Clearwater, Sylvia, and Sugar Lake are giving up a few sunfish in 8 to 10 feet as well. The pheasant opener went well with several groups reporting they flushed more birds than expected. There still hasn’t been much for new ducks moving in, but goose numbers remain strong.

Little Jim’s Bait (320) 274-5297

BATTLE LAKE AREA

Troll crankbaits at night for walleyes in 5 to 10 feet on Otter Tail Lake and Rush Lake. You’ll find suspended crappies over 20 to 24 feet on West Battle Lake and Rush and sunfish are going in 10 to 15 feet at Eagle Lake and Blanche Lake. Muskie anglers are using large sucker minnows in 20 feet and hooking some fish on West Battle. There’s some geese around, but duck numbers remain light. The pheasant season has started strong with most groups shooting a few roosters.

Ben’s Bait Shop (218) 864-5596

BEMIDJI AREA

Water temps have now dropped into the low to mid 50-degree range on area lakes and the walleye bite has picked up. Most fish are being caught shallow off weed edges or breaks in 10 to 12 feet. Jigs and minnows are working well on Lake Bemidji, Lake Plantagenet, and Wolf Lake. Pike are on the bite in those same areasand bass fishing remains good with plastics on most lakes. Crappies are being caught suspended over deep water on area lakes as well. Grouse reports have been very good and the woods have really thinned out over the past week. 

Dick Beardsley Guide Service

(218) 556-7172

BLACKDUCK AREA

A jig and minnow is producing walleyes along the 8- to 12-foot weed edges on Blackduck Lake and Island Lake. Look for crappies and bluegills in 16 to 20 feet on Turtle River Lake, Gilstead Lake, and Pimushe Lake. There’s been a few more mallards and ringbills moving in and with the leaves coming down, grouse hunting success continues to improve.

Timberline Sports and Tackle

(218) 835-4636

BRAINERD/NISSWA AREA 

Walleye action has picked up with a jig or Lindy Rig and minnow in 20 to 36 feet on Gull Lake, Whitefish Lake, and Pelican Lake. Look for suspened crappies over 25 feet or more on the south end of Gull, Merrifield Bay on North Long Lake, and Whitefish. The docks and shallow weeds on Gull, North Long, Lake Edwards, and Nisswa Lake are producing sunfish and bass.

S & W Bait & Guide Service/

Nisswa Guide League  (218) 829-7010

CASS LAKE AREA

Muskie action has picked with small bucktails on the shallow rock and weeds throughout Cass Lake, Kitchi Lake, and Lake Andrusia. Minnows are turning perch and walleyes in 6 feet on the main lake bars or east shore on Cass, although Cass is giving up some walleyes in 30 to 35 feet – vertical jig a minnow. Bluegills remain active in the 6-foot weeds throughout Allen’s Bay on Cass, Andrusia, and Wolf Lake. Duck hunters continue to do well with ringbills and mallards being shot.

Sunset Cove Resort (800) 279-4831              

CROSBY AREA

Minnows are turning walleyes in 16 to 40 feet on Serpent Lake, Rabbit Lake, and Pelican Lake or the 10- to 20-foot holes on the Mississippi River. Crappies are being found suspended over the deep holes on Clearwater Lake, Ross Lake, Black Hoof Lake, Bay Lake, and Nokay Lake. You’ll find brook trout along the shorelines of Snowshoe Pit and Huntington Pit, hitting jigs and a piece of a crawler or waxworm. There’s been a few ducks moving in with gadwall, ringbills, and a few pintails now showing up in bags.

Oars ‘n Mine Bait and Tackle

(218) 546-6912

DETROIT LAKES AREA

Muskie action has really picked up with large sucker minnows on most of the area’s muskie lakes in less than 12 feet. Walleyes are hitting minnows along shallow weedlines early in the day, out to 15 to 20 feet during midday hours on Pelican Lake, Big Detroit Lake, and Lake Melissa. Look for crappies to be deep and suspended on Little Floyd Lake.

Quality Bait and Tackle

(218) 844-2248

DULUTH AREA   

A jig and chub is turning numbers of walleyes on Boulder Lake, Island Lake, and Fish Lake in 8 to 10 feet. The Highbanks area on Fish continues to kick out crappies, most of which are suspended over 20 feet. The cover has thinned a lot in the woods and grouse hunting continues to be very good, while archery hunters remain busy filling antlerless tags and seeing increased buck movement.

Chalstrom’s Bait (218) 726-0094

EAST CENTRAL MN

Fishing activity has been limited with a few smallmouth bass reports coming off the Mississippi River and some panfish off Blue Lake and Eagle Lake in 12 to 14 feet. Pheasant hunters report seeing quite a few birds with the ahead-of-schedule crop harvest likely helping success.

Tales and Trails Sport Shop 

(763) 856-3985

ELY AREA

Walleyes are hitting a jig and minnow in 20 to 35 feet on Shagawa Lake, Snowbank Lake, and Birch Lake. The bigger pike have started hitting on Basswood Lake, White Iron Lake, and Birch – fish the mouths of bays or rivers with large sucker minnows. Rainbow trout are being caught on Miner’s Lake and Tofte Lake with small crankbaits or slip bobbers and crawlers in 10 to 15 feet close to shore. Grouse hunting remains good and there’s some resident woodcock being shot as well.

Arrowhead Outdoors (218) 365-5358

EMILY AREA 

Fishing pressure has dropped way off, but a few anglers are catching panfish on Lawrence Lake and Mitchell Lake in 12 to 14 feet. There’s been some favorable grouse hunting reports now that the foliage has thinned out and a few new ducks are showing up – mainly ringbills along with plenty of geese.

Redding Sports and Spirits      

(218) 763-2191

FAIRMONT AREA

Shore fishing remains consistent for bluegills and yellow bass on Budd Lake, Hall Lake, and Lake Sisseton. Look for suspended crappies over 8 to 10 feet on Hall, Budd, and Sisseton as well. Crankbaits or minnows are producing a few walleyes in 8 to 12 feet on Hall. Duck numbers remain light, there’s some geese to be had, and the pheasant opener went well. There weren’t limits shot by everyone, but most groups saw roosters.

Sommer Outdoors (507) 235-5225

FARIBAULT/SHIELDSVILLE AREA

Crappies and sunfish continue to be caught on Cedar Lake and Lake Mazaska in in 10 to 12 feet. Jigs and plastics are turning largemouth bass in 5 to 10 feet at Shields Lake, Mazaka, and Cedar. Waterfowl hunters haven’t seen many new ducks moving through, but they continue to shoot geese and local mallards and wood ducks.

John’s Bait & Tackle (507) 332-6787

Lake Country Convenience & Bait

(507) 334-9711

GRAND RAPIDS/DEER RIVER AREA 

Minnows continue to produce walleyes and northern pike on Big Cutfoot Sioux Lake in 12 feet – larger minnows are turning bigger fish. Duck numbers have improved and hunters are starting to shoot more divers along with some local mallards and geese. Grouse hunting continues to be excellent, even improving with the leaves coming down.

Fred’s Live Bait (218) 246-8710

GREY EAGLE AREA

Big Birch Lake is giving up walleyes on minnows in 15 to 18 feet or 35 to 40 feet. Crappies also can be had on Big Birch, but they are constantly moving, in 20 to 22 feet. On Little Birch Lake, crappies are suspended and active over 25 to 28 feet and some walleyes in slightly shallower water. Moose Lake started giving up crappies and sunfish, while the north end of Long Lake (by the Hub Supper Club) is producing  sunfish in 10 to 12 feet. 

Nancy’s Bait & Tackle (320) 285-2405

HACKENSACK AREA 

Ten Mile Lake, Baby Lake, and Woman Lake are giving up walleyes on minnows in 16 to 20 feet. Crappies are being found just off the 10- to 15-foot weeds or suspended over slightly deeper water on Birch Lake and Stoney Lake. Hair jigs or swim baits are turning smallmouth bass in 5 to 10 feet at Stoney, Baby, and Ten Mile. Throw rubber baits or drift large sucker minnows for muskies on the humps or weed edges on Little Boy Lake and Wabedo Lake. Duck numbers seem to have increased a bit with a few ringbills showing up, there’s still some wood ducks being shot, along with plenty of geese. Grouse numbers are good and hunters are flushing quite a few birds.

Swanson’s Bait and Tackle

(218) 675-6176

HUTCHINSON AREA 

Fishing activity has dropped way off, but minnows, crawlers, and crankbaits continue to turn walleyes on Belle Lake. There seems to be pheasants in the area with hunters finding some success on opening weekend. Waterfowl hunters continue to shoot more ducks than geese.

The Outpost Inc. (320) 587-8177

MORA AREA

Crappies and sunfish are being caught on Ann Lake and Knife Lake in less than 6 feet. Northern pike and an odd walleye are being taken with minnows along the shorelines of Knife and Ann as well. Archery hunters are doing well, but there hasn’t been much for new ducks moving into the area.

Jerry’s Sport & Bait Shop 

(320) 679-2151

ORTONVILLE AREA

Perch, sunfish, and crappies are being caught in 8 to 14 feet from Rocky Ledge to Mallard Point on Big Stone Lake. These areas, along with some slightly deeper water adjacent to them, are giving up walleyes on Big Stone as well. Pheasant hunting reports have been light, but seems to be good numbers of birds in the area. Duck numbers increased a bit since last week and there’s still plenty of geese to be had. 

Artie’s Bait (320) 839-2480

PARK RAPIDS AREA

Walleyes are being caught on a jig and minnow in 18 to 22 feet or 25 to 32 feet on Lake Belle Taine, Long Lake, Fish Hook Lake, and Potato Lake. The shallow rocks on Big Mantrap Lake are worth hitting with large sucker minnows for muskies and a few crappie anglers continue to find fish on the Crow Wing Chain and Boulder Lake over 14 to 18 feet. Duck reports have been mixed with some folks shooting limits and others not finding many birds. Grouse hunting remains strong with good success reported now that the leaves are down.

Delaney’s (218) 732-4281

Smokey Hills Outdoors 

(218) 237-5099

PERHAM AREA

Big Pine Lake, Rush Lake, and Little Pine Lake continue to produce walleyes on minnows or Jigging Rapalas in 8 to 15 feet. Sunfish remain active in the 8- to 12-foot weeds and crappies are suspended off of them in deeper water at Star Lake, Dead Lake, Rush, Big Pine, and Little Pine. There’s still plenty of geese in the area and some new ducks have moved in, but waterfowl hunting pressure has been somewhat light.

Gene’s Sport Shop (218) 346-3355

RED WING AREA

Good numbers of sauger and some walleyes are being caught from the head of Lake Pepin up to the dam on the Mississippi River. Crankbaits or jigs and minnows are working best in 12 to 16 feet along most current breaks. Crappies and bluegills continue to be caught in the back channels or submerged wood on the river, while sturgeon and catfish remain active below the dam. Waterfowl hunters continue to shoot plenty of geese and there has been some new ducks moving in.

Four Seasons Sports (651) 388-4334

RICHMOND/ST. CLOUD AREA

Walleyes are being taken with minnows or crankbaits in 8 to 10 feet or 12 to 18 feet on Lake Koronis, Horseshoe Lake, Rice Lake, and Long Lake. Look for suspended crappies over 15 to 20 feet and sunfish in 5 to 8 feet on Cedar Island Lake, Schneider Lake, Rice Lake, Horseshoe Lake, Grand Lake, and Becker Lake. Hunters are seeing a fair number of pheasants in this area, especially just to the west and a few bufflehead have started showing up, but overall duck numbers have not improved much.

Channel Marine and Sports

(320) 597-5975

SAUK CENTRE AREA

Crappies and sunfish are hitting on Little Sauk Lake in 14 feet and the north end of Lake Osakis in 15 to 18 feet. Minnows are producing walleyes on Big Sauk Lake in 9 to 18 feet, Osakis in 24 to 28 feet, and Lake Emily in 18 to 24 feet. The pheasant season started somewhat slow and waterfowl hunters are shooting quite a few geese, but not much for ducks.

Fletcher’s Bait Shop (320) 352-2155

STAPLES/LITTLE FALLS AREA

Walleyes and smallmouth bass continue to be taken on minnows or plastics above the Little Falls dam on the Mississippi River. Muskie anglers are seeing fish throughout the mid-depth weeds on Lake Alexander, but gettring them to hit has been tough. Hunting reports have been light.

Da Fishin’ Hole (320) 631-0056

WINDOM/MARSHALL AREA

Minnows are producing walleyes and perch along the shorelines of East Twin Lake, Lake Sarah, and Lake Benton. The shorelines on Cottonwood Lake and West Twin Lake are kicking out perch, Lake Shetek is giving up walleyes along its shorelines as well. Walleyes, pike, crappies, catfish, and perch are being caught throughout Lake Lac qui Parle. The pheasant season started well with most groups shooting a few birds, others got limits, but most saw some birds. 

Borch’s Sporting Goods 

(507) 532-4880

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