Report from the Dock
Overall, the 2022 walleye season started well across most of the state. Due to the late ice out and high water levels in many areas, walleyes were shallow and/or in current areas. Inlets, outlets, river mouths, channels, and creek mouths all held good numbers of active walleyes – it seemed as though anything with moving water kicked out walleyes. Shoreline points and wind-swept shorelines also produced plenty of walleyes. Most of the really good reports came from less than 10 feet of water, with strong action in as shallow as 2 to 5 feet in some areas as well. Minnows on jigs have been the most productive presentation, but crawlers and even leeches caught fish in some locations. Panfish have moved shallow and are now being caught throughout dark-bottomed bays and along shorelines – spots where they should have been about two weeks ago during a normal spring. It’s also worth noting that lake and river levels are high in some areas and no-wake zones have been issued.
LAKE MILLE LACS
East – Walleye and smallmouth bass action has been hit and miss with certain boats doing better than others. Those willing to stay on the move and find pockets of bigger fish numbers did well in 14 feet or less with a jig and minnow or slip bobber and leech. Better reports came from the rocks and sand, especially during the evening hours. Crappies are still being caught in the boat harbors and channels with plastics or minnows.
Johnson’s Portside (320) 676-3811
West – The evening walleye bite has been better than midday hours. Most fish are coming off the sand or rocks in 10 to 20 feet – trolling crankbaits or slip bobbers and leeches have worked best. The few fish being caught during the day are coming off jigs and spot-tail shiner minnows on the 12- to 20-foot rocks and sand. There’s been a few smallmouth mixed in with the walleyes on the rocks.
Terry’s Boat Harbor (320) 692-4430
LAKE OF THE WOODS
There’s been a lot of big walleyes caught with plenty of eaters mixed in. Most anglers are vertically jigging in 6 to 20 feet – just anchor up and jig over the side of the boat. The water is a bit dirty on the east portion of the south shore due to runoff from the rivers, so a bright jig and minnow is the most productive. Reports are also strong from the west portion of the south shore and the water is a bit cleaner there. There’s been a lot of walleyes caught in the Rainy River, but the current is ripping and the water is a bit dirty. Find slack water areas in 6 to 15 feet and pitch a bright jig and minnow. At the Northwest Angle, a jig and minnow is producing walleyes in 6 to 20 feet adjacent to shoreline structure, neckdown areas, and on some shallow flats.
Lake of the Woods Tourism Bureau
LAKE MINNETONKA AREA
Walleyes are hitting fatheads or shiner minnows in 8 to 12 feet throughout Lake Minnetonka. Crappie action also is strong in 6 to 8 feet on Minnetonka, while bass are hitting on most lakes in less than 8 feet of water. Hit Minnetonka in 12 to 15 feet with sucker minnows for northern pike.
Wayzata Bait (952) 473-2227
The east end is kicking out numbers of walleyes and a wide range of sizes out from Pike Bay Lodge in 7 feet and in Big Bay from 15 to 20 feet. Live-bait rigs or jigs tipped with minnows and leeches both turned fish. Pre-spawn smallmouth bass are mixed with the walleyes in shallow water and a few crappies are coming out of 12 feet at the river mouth in Pike Bay.
Pike Bay Lodge (218) 753-2430
Vermilion Dam Lodge (218) 666-5418
Walleyes are hitting well during the day, primarily taken with a jig and minnow in less than 14 feet on the northeast corner rocks heading towards Cutfoot Sioux. Walleyes also are going on Little Stoney Point in 12 to 15 feet, and the points along the entire west shore in 10 to 14 feet. You’ll find fish shallower during low-light periods as well. Expect northern pike and quite a few nice perch mixed in.
A jig and minnow is producing walleyes in 6 to 9 feet out of the narrows towards Joe’s Landing down to Star Point, in front of GrandVu Resort up to Pine Point, Duck Point, Little Stoney Point, and the mouth of the river in Federal Dam. Key on wind-driven points and shorelines throughout the day and there has been some nice perch mixed in. Crappie reports have been limited to a fish out of the harbors and from Boy Bay.
Reed’s Sporting Goods (218) 547-1505
Shriver’s Bait Company
Rainy Lake is currently experiencing very high water and this is pushing fish into areas you normally don’t even have water. Fishing for northern pike has been strong in shallow water with stickbaits. Walleyes are just recovering from a late spawn and starting to get active as well. Light jigs and plastics have been key, while smallmouth bass and crappies are waiting for some warmer water before showing up on shallow water spots. Anglers should be aware that the high water has a lot of debris in the water, so exercise extreme caution. The local sheriff’s department has issued a no-wake zone within 300 feet of any shoreline.
RainyDaze Guide Service
The Tamarack River produced a lot of walleyes for anglers in boats and from shore on opening weekend. Early this week, walleyes also were being found in large numbers along the north and east shorelines. Most fish are being taken in 3 to 5 feet with jigs and fatheads or shiner minnows.
West Wind Resort (218) 647-8998
Twin Cities Metro
The St. Croix River continues to produce walleyes and sauger in 18 to 25 feet on jigs and minnows. White Bear Lake is producing walleyes on minnows in 12 to 15 feet early and late each day. You’ll find crappies and sunfish in the bays or shorelines on Beaver Lake, Silver Lake, Big Marine Lake, and White Bear.
Blue Ribbon Bait & Tackle
Lake Waconia is producing walleyes on Harm’s Point with crankbaits or the edge of Anderson’s Reef with minnows. Crappies and sunfish are being caught on Wasserman Lake and Hydes Lake in 6 feet. The fishing piers on Steiger Lake and Lake Ann are producing northern pike on sucker minnows. Beetle spins or chatter baits are turning bass on Wasserman, Lake Auburn, and Lake Minnewashta.
Cabin Fever Sports (952) 443-2022
Walleye reports have been limited with just a few fish reported off local lakes and river systems. Crappies and sunfish are keeping anglers busy with good reports from less than 6 feet of water on most lakes. Prior Lake and Cedar Lake continue to stand out for panfish.
Prior Lake Bait & Tackle
A few walleyes are being taken with a jig and minnow on Lake Miltona, Reno Lake, and Lake Mary in 6 to 12 feet. Crappies are starting to be found in the bays and along shorelines at Lake Le Homme Dieu, Little Mary Lake, north side of Reno, and Lake Ida.
Christopherson’s Bait and Tackle
BATTLE LAKE AREA
Pitch a jig and minnow for walleyes in the inlets and outlets on Otter Tail Lake and Walker Lake, especially early and late each day. Crappies and sunfish haven’t quite moved into the shallow bays, but they are being caught just outside these areas on Clitherall Lake, Silver Lake, and Blanche Lake.
Ben’s Bait Shop (218) 864-5596
Opening weekend was windy, but the walleye bite was pretty good, especially if you were on any lake in the area with the Mississippi River running through it. Lake Bemidji and other lakes with current area are giving up a lot of fish in 4 to 6 feet on jigs and minnows. On most other lakes, the walleye bite was slower, but pike were very active in shallow water. Crappies and bluegills have started to bite in some of the traditional early season spots on small jigs and minnows or plastics.
Dick Beardsley Guide Service
Walleyes are hitting a jig and minnow on the north and south sides of Blackduck Lake in 8 to 12 feet, throughout Round Lake in 7 to 10 feet, and on most rivers. Crappies were also being found in 8 to 10 feet on Blackduck, Island, Beltrami Lake, and Rabideau Lake, but look for these fish to start sliding shallower as the water warms.
Timberline Sports and Tackle
Walleye action has been a bit slow to start, but a few are being taken with shiner or rainbow minnows on Lake Edwards, Pelican Lake, or Gull Lake and they are scattered from 6 to 24 feet. Crappie action has been much more consistent in shallow water – bays and shorelines – at North Long Lake, Nisswa Lake, Gull, and Edwards.
S & W Bait & Guide Service/
Nisswa Guide League (218) 829-7010
CASS LAKE AREA
A jig and shiner minnow is turning limits of walleyes in the river channels between lakes on the Cass Chain, Lake Andrusia, Wolf Lake, Allen’s Bay on Cass Lake, Kitchi Lake, and Pike Bay Lake in 5 to 8 feet. Andrusia is kicking out perch in less than 8 feet, while panfish are being caught in the harbors and bays on most lakes. Dick’s Bay on Cass and Kitchi have been especially productive for crappies and bluegills in shallow water.
Sunset Cove Resort (800) 279-4831
Minnows or crawlers are turning walleyes on the bars, rocks, and points in 10 to 12 feet at South Center Lake and Chisago Lake. Crappies and sunfish are being found in most bays when the sun is out or out in 10 feet when it cools down. The channel between South Lindstrom Lake and North Lindstrom Lake, Nelson’s Island on North Center, and the bays on Chisago are worth noting.
Frankie’s Bait (651) 257-6334
There’s been a few walleyes taken with a slow-presented jig and minnow in 6 to 10 feet at Serpent Lake, Rabbit Lake, and Nokay Lake. The upper portion of the Mississippi River is giving up a few walleyes and numbers of channel catfish. Look for crappies in the flooded timber on the Pennington Pit Chain or sunfish and crappies in the bays on the north end of Bay Lake, Milford Lake Channel, and backwaters on the Mississippi. Trout are being found high in the water column, hitting spoons or crankbaits, on Portsmouth Pit and the Pennington Chain.
Oars ‘n Mine Bait and Tackle
DETROIT LAKES AREA
The majority of walleyes being caught are hitting at night in 5 feet of water on area lakes. Anglers fishing from shore in current areas are doing best with minnows or crankbaits. Lake Sallie is producing walleyes and crappies in less than 5 feet close to shore as well. Northern pike are active in 5 to 8 feet on most lakes during the day.
Quality Bait and Tackle
Hit Island Lake in 8 to 10 feet and the St. Louis River in 8 feet for walleyes – minnows are working best. Fish Lake started producing crappies over 14 feet, but look for them to start pushing shallow as the water warms. Strong winds have limited fishing on Lake Suiperior most days, while local rivers are running high and fast and the majority of steelhead have now moved back to the lake.
Chalstrom’s Bait (218) 726-0094
EAST CENTRAL MN
Walleyes are being taken in 7 to 14 feet with a jig and minnow on Blue Lake, Green Lake, and Little Elk Lake. Crappies and bluegills are being found in less than 7 feet on Eagle Lake, Mitchell Lake, and Blue. Bass are being found in shallow water on most lakes, while Fremont Lake is kicking out a few pike on spinnerbaits or sucker minnows in 7 feet.
Tales and Trails Sport Shop
A jig and minnow is turning numbers of walleyes on Fall Lake, Pipestone Lake, and Birch Lake. Work 10 to 15 feet during the day or 10 feet and shallower each evening. Northern pike are hitting sucker minnows in the shallow, muddy bays on White Iron Lake, South Farm Lake, and Farm Lake. Anglers fishing from shore with nightcrawlers are catching trout on Miner’s Lake and Tofte Lake.
Arrowhead Outdoors (218) 365-5358
The walleye season started slow, but Lake Emily and the west side of Eagle Lake are producing crappies in 8 to 10 feet. Anglers fishing from shore at Allen Lake are catching trout on crawlers in less than 12 feet of water.
Redding Sports and Spirits
Walleyes are hitting a jig and minnow during the day in 8 to 14 feet on Big Twin Lake, Hall Lake, and Budd Lake. After dark, work the shorelines and docks with minnows for walleyes on the aforementioned lakes. Tuttle Lake, along the Minnesota/Iowa border, continues to produce walleyes in 4 feet on plastics or crankbaits. Bluegills and yellow bass remain active at Hall, Budd, Lake Sisseton, and George Lake in 4 to 8 feet.
Sommer Outdoors (507) 235-5225
Sunfish are hitting in 2 to 4 feet, as are crappies in 4 to 8 feet on Shields Lake, Cedar Lake, and Lake Mazaska. Walleye reports have been limited, but spinnerbaits are triggering northern pike on Cedar and Mazaska in less than 10 feet of water.
Lake Country Convenience & Bait
FERGUS FALLS AREA
A jig and minnow is producing walleyes on Ten Mile Lake in 6 to 8 feet and Orwell Reservoir in 10 to 12 feet. Anglers fishing from shore on the Orwell River are catching plenty of walleyes as well. Look for crappies in the shallow bays on most lakes and northern pike seem to be active in less than 10 feet on most lakes as well.
Little Chief Outpost
GRAND RAPIDS/DEER RIVER AREA
A jig and minnow is triggering walleyes on Bowstring Lake in 2 to 7 feet, Round Lake in 6 to 10 feet, and Big Cutfoot Sioux Lake in 7 to 12 feet. The few crappies being caught are still being found deep. Panfish action has been slow to develop, but they should start pushing shallow as water temperatures continue warming.
Fred’s Live Bait (218) 246-8710
GREY EAGLE AREA
A jig and spot-tail shiner minnow is the ticket for walleyes at the creek mouths of Big Birch Lake and Little Birch Lake. Crappie and sunfish reports have been light, only due to the fact that walleye fishing has been stellar and most people are fishing for them. Look to the shallow bays on Mosse Lake, Higgins/Long Lake, Big Swan Lake, and Big Birch for a mixed bag of panfish.
Nancy’s Bait & Tackle (320) 285-2405
It’s been somewhat of a slow start locally for walleyes, but Baby Lake is giving up a few fish on minnows or leeches during the evening hours in 12 to 16 feet. Crappies are being found in the bays or along bulrushes on Birch Lake, Little Webb Lake, and Girl Lake. Bass fishing has been decent with plastics in 8 to 15 feet on area lakes, but look for them to push shallow as water temperatures continue to warm.
Swanson’s Bait and Tackle
Shiner minnows are turning walleyes on Lake Marion in 5 feet, along the shorelines on Big Swan Lake, and Belle Lake in 8 to 12 feet. Panfish reports have been limited, but they should be set up in shallow water, bays or shorelines, at this point on most lakes.
The Outpost Inc. (320) 587-8177
Shoreline fishing is extremely productive for walleyes with a jig and minnow or a slip bobber. Water temperatures are still in the low 40-degree, but walleyes are biting throughout the day. High water conditions have altered the landscape considerably throughout Kab and boat activity has been considerably lower as a result. Islands and shorelines look much different and there is a no-wake zone that has been established. There’s also have a lot of floating debris, which can do damage to a boat and cause accidents, so keep it slow and stay off the lake at night.
Gateway Store (218) 875-2121
Stream conditions are excellent, clear and flowing fine for fishing. The trout bite has been strong with size 16 and 18 gray or olive caddis dry flies. Nymph patterns are a fine secondary option on all streams this week. While most streams and rivers are kicking out trout, the South Branch of the Root River has been especially good.
Root River Rod Company
Walleye fishing has been a bit slow to start the season, likely due to cold water and the fact that the spawn just wrapped up. The few fish that are being caught remain scattered from 5 to 24 feet – a good sign that the spawn just completed. Look for bigger bunches of walleyes to get tight and start feeding heavily over the next week. Crappies and bluegills should start hitting in the shallow bays and shoreline areas on many lakes. Look to Blackwater Lake, Boy Lake, and Lake Inguadona as good starting spots.
The One Stop (218) 363-2252
MADISON LAKE AREA
Plastics and minnows are producing crappies on Madison Lake in 3 to 6 feet, less than 7 feet on West Jefferson Lake, and in the lagoons on Lake Tetonka. Walleyes are hitting spinners with crawlers or leeches during the day on Madison in 16 to 20 feet and in 6 to 10 feet during low-light periods.
Corner Bait (507) 243-4464
A jig and minnow or small crankbaits are turning walleyes in 3 to 6 feet on Knife Lake, Quamba Lake, Ann Lake, and the Ann River. Crappies and sunfish are also being found in bays and along shorelines on most lakes, but bass and pike reports have been limited.
Jerry’s Sport & Bait Shop
Pitch a jig and minnow for walleyes when it’s cloudy or during low-light periods in 2 to 4 feet or in 12 feet if it’s bright out on Big Stone Lake. Better reports continue to come off the southern third of the lake. Largemouth bass remain shallow and active, bluegills have moved into the shorelines, and crappies are going in 5 feet on Big Stone as well.
Artie’s Bait (320) 839-2480
PARK RAPIDS AREA
Crappies are being found the near the access on the north end of Long Lake or in shallow water bays and along shorelines at Portage Lake, Boulder Lake, and Fish Hook Lake. Walleyes are being found in 4 to 8 feet and hitting minnows on Big Sand Lake, Upper and Lower Bottle lakes, Fish Hook, and Potato Lake.
Delaney’s (218) 732-4281
Smokey Hills Outdoors
Big Pine Lake and Rush Lake are giving up walleyes on a jig and shiner minnow in 4 to 10 feet – some fish are hitting in less than 6 feet at night as well. You’ll find crappies and some sunfish in the bays or along shorelines on Rush, Lida Lake, Big Pine, and Star Lake.
Gene’s Sport Shop (218) 346-3355
RED WING AREA
Water levels are extremely high on the Mississippi River, so there hasn’t been much fishing pressure on it. The only bite worth noting is happening at the Head of Lake Pepin, where pulling crankbaits has produced some walleyes in 15 to 20 feet.
Four Seasons Sports (651) 388-4334
RICHMOND/ST. CLOUD AREA
Heavy rains on the two day’s before Saturday’s opener put a damper to the start of the walleye season. Accesses are under water, docks are flooded, there’s debris floating, and some bridges are unable to get under. Water levels on the Horseshoe Chain of Lakes early this week were as high as most folks have ever seen them. This has resulted in very limited boat traffic or fishing options on most lakes. Many lakes throughout the area are under a no-wake situation as well.
Channel Marine and Sports
SAUK CENTRE AREA
A jig and brassy shiner minnow is turning walleyes at the Narrows Bridge, as well as the inlet and outlet on Sauk Lake. Crappies and sunfish are being found in the shallow bays of most lakes in 1 to 3 feet. Fairy Lake, south end of Sauk, and the channels on the north end of Lake Osakis are a few among many lakes worth looking at.
Fletcher’s Bait Shop (320) 352-2155
STAPLES/LITTLE FALLS AREA
The current breaks and bridges on the Mississippi River and Little Elk River are producing walleyes on jigs tipped with minnows or plastics. Crappies continue to be caught in Thoroughfare Bay on Lake Alexander, the culvert area on Green Prairie Lake, and the bays on Fish Trap Lake. Alexander is also producing a few walleyes on minnows in 8 to 12 feet.
Da Fishin’ Hole (320) 631-0056
The water on most lakes is extremely dirty due to strong winds and heavy rain and that’s made for tough walleye fishing to start the season. A few walleyes are coming off Lake Emily with minnows in less than 6 feet and with shallow-running crankbaits on Lake Minnewaska. Look to Starbuck Marina and the DNR access area on Minnewaska for crappies and sunfish, while anglers fishing from shore on Rachel Lake to the north are catching crappies with minnows.
Last Cast Bait and Tackle
Leeches are producing walleyes on Lake Sarah in less than 8 feet, as are crankbaits at night on Lake Benton in 6 to 10 feet. You’ll find crappies at the inlet between Bloody Lake and Lake Shetek or at the bridge on the south end of Lake Lac qui Parle.
Borch’s Sporting Goods