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Thursday, February 2nd, 2023

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Minnesota Outdoor News Fishing Report – July 12, 2022

Report from the Dock

There was a definite improvement in muskie activity in most areas during the past week and they should only continue to get more active as water temperatures continue to climb. Small bucktails or topwaters seem to be go-to baits, especially early and late each day, around points and shallow to mid-depth vegetation. Walleye activity is hanging in there and hasn’t been bad now that we’re moving well into July. Low-light periods remain the best target windows with leeches, crawlers, crankbaits, and Jiggin’ Raps all turning fish along weedlines, shoreline breaks, and main-lake structure. Crawlers have been especially strong with mayfly hatches still happening on many lakes. Weedlines remain primary targets for panfish and largemouth bass, although shallow slop and reeds are kicking out bass on topwater baits early and late in the day. Deep rock and rock points are now producing smallmouth bass in most parts of the state.  

Great Eight

LAKE MILLE LACS        

Plastics or crankbaits continue to produce smallmouth bass on the rock points and reefs in 8 to 18 feet. Trolling crankbaits along the weed edges or around points is turning pike and the rocks more than weeds are places to look at for muskies. With the walleyes season reopening on July 16, the mud flats should be holding plenty of fish.

Johnson’s Portside (320) 676-3811

Terry’s Boat Harbor (320) 692-4430

LAKE OF THE WOODS

Spinners and crawlers are producing numbers of eating-size walleyes in 10 to 15 feet just off Pine Island and other areas on the south shore. Another good bite is happening on the mud in 28 to 31 feet with jigs and a fathead or frozen emerald shiner or a spinner and crawler. Overall, walleye fishing has been good on many of the reefs in Big Traverse Bay. Some days they are on top, other days on the edge or just off the edge over mud. Trolling crankbaits and covering water continues to be effective and there’s been saugers, jumbo perch pike, smallmouth bass and even an occasional muskie, crappie or sturgeon mixed in. Anglers fishing the Rainy River report good walleye and smallmouth bass fishing on current breaks and in bays. Sturgeon are being caught with a sturgeon rig loaded up with crawlers or crawlers and frozen emerald shiners combined with a no roll sinker. Some big pike are still being taken in back bays and feeder rivers. At the Northwest Angle, jigging, pulling spinners and trolling crankbaits are all producing walleyes on deep structure.

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

LAKE MINNETONKA AREA    

Sunfish are being found in the 6- to 10-foot weeds on Lake Minnetonka, Lake Sarah and Medicine Lake. Minnetonka is also giving up a few walleyes on leeches along deep weedlines and crappies in the 12- to 14-foot weeds. Bass and pike remain weedline-related on most lakes, while small bucktails are raising muskies on Lake Independence and Minnetonka in 12 to 15 feet. 

Wayzata Bait (952) 473-2227

LAKE VERMILION

Leeches or crawlers continue to produce walleyes around the islands and reefs on the east end in 22 to 28 feet. Smallmouth bass remain active on the rock points and reefs in less than 12 feet and muskie action has picked up a bit with small bucktails on the points and shoreline breaks during low-light periods. Walleyes also are going on the west end, hitting crawlers and leeches in 15 to 20 feet. Work the thickest weed beds you can find for muskies on the west end and plastics are turning smallmouth bass on the rocks in less than 10 feet.

Pike Bay Lodge (218) 753-2430

Vermilion Dam Lodge (218) 666-5418

LAKE WINNIBIGOSHISH

Walleye action has become a bit more spotty, especially during the day, but live-bait rigs or spinner rigs tipped with leeches and crawlers are turning fish on the main lake bars in 25 to 30 feet. The main lake humps are giving up walleyes early and late and some fish are being taken by trolling crankbaits during the evening hours along shoreline breaks. Spoons or crankbaits are producing pike along established weed edges and anglers continue to sort through perch, finding bigger fish on main lake structure in 15 feet or more.  

Lake Winnie Resort Association                   

LEECH LAKE

Mayfly hatches continue, so nightcrawlers seem to be turning the majority of walleyes on shoreline breaks or rocks in 12 to 20 feet during the day – cover a lot of water in Walker Bay, Sucker Bay, and Portage Bay. A slip bobber and leech continues to produce walleyes off the points and rocks during low-light periods in  less than 15 feet. Look for bass and panfish on the emerging cabbage beds in most bays, while muskies remain active chasing bucktails or rubber baits on the points and weed edges.  

Reed’s Sporting Goods (218) 547-1505

Shriver’s Bait Company

(218) 547-2250

RAINY LAKE     

 The walleye bite remains strong with some fish still in shallow water and some moving to shoreline breaks. Jigs tipped with minnows or plastics and suspending stick baits have been producing. Smallmouth bass have been devouring topwater baits on wind-blown shorelines. Larger pike seem to be transitioning out with the walleyes and suspending over slightly deeper water. Crappies are beginning to group up over deep mud basins and being caught with a jig and plastic. 

RainyDaze Guide Service

(218) 290-6102

RED LAKE

Good walleye fishing continues, but some days have been more productive than others. A jig tipped with a leech or spinner rigs with crawlers and leeches remain the best option in less than 8 feet of water throughout the lake. Covering water with crankbaits has started to produce walleyes in 4 to 6 feet early and late each day as well. 

West Wind Resort (218) 647-8998

Twin Cities Metro

NORTHEAST METRO

Bigger minnows or spoons are producing pike along the weeds on Powers Lake, White Bear Lake, and Demontreville Lake. The 18- to 24-foot breaks on the St. Croix River are giving up walleyes, while shallower current breaks on the river are  producing smallmouth bass. Crappies, largemouth bass, and sunfish are now weedline-related on most lakes. Muskie reports have been limited this week.

Blue Ribbon Bait & Tackle

(651) 777-2421

WEST METRO

Hydes Lake continues to provide good panfish action in less than 10 feet, while bass fishing remains strong with plastics during the day or topwater baits early and late on the weedlines of most lakes. Crankbaits or larger minnows are turning pike in 8 to 10 feet on Lake Zumbra and Pierson Lake.  

Cabin Fever Sports (952) 443-2022

LAKE WACONIA

Most main lake reefs, the island, and Wagener’s Bay are producing sunfish in 8 to 12 feet and some crappies during the evening hours in 16 to 18 feet. Slip bobber rigs with leeches or fatheads are producing a few walleyes during low-light periods in 12 to 15 feet on North Reef, Kegg’s Reef, and Anderson’s Reef. Bucktails or topwater baits are triggering muskies on Cemetery Reef and the swimming beach area, while solid bass fishing continues around shallow and deep vegetation.  

Mases In Towne Marina

(952) 442-2096

Statewide

ALEXANDRIA AREA

Plastics are producing bass on the weedlines or flats throughout the Le Homme Dieu Chain and Lake Miltona. A spinner and crawler is turning walleyes during low-light periods in 20 feet or more on Lake Mary and Miltona or in 15 to 18 feet on Reno Lake. Look for sunfish in the 10- to 15-foot weeds and crappies on top of deeper weeds at Lake Geneva, Lake Carlos, Le Homme Dieu, and Reno. 

Christopherson’s Bait and Tackle

(320) 763-3255

ANNANDALE AREA

Walleye action has been limited to low-light periods of the day with leeches on Clearwater Lake, Lake Sylvia, and Buffalo Lake in 15 to 22 feet. Work the 8- to 14-foot weedlines for panfish on Lake John, Maple Lake, Sylvia, Clearwater, and Pleasant Lake. Bass and pike fishing remains strong on the weedlines of most lakes, although many bass are being taken with topwater baits in the slop and reeds early in the day.    

Little Jim’s Bait (320) 274-5297

BATTLE LAKE AREA

Look for crappies and bluegills along the 15- to 20-foot weeds at Silver Lake, Rush Lake, Clitherall Lake, Fish Lake, and West Battle Lake. Cover water with crankbaits or crawlers for walleyes on Rush and Otter Tail Lake in 15 to 18 feet during the day or 7 to 10 feet at night. Bass remain an easy catch in the shallow and deep vegetation on most lakes, while trolling large minnows or spoons continues to produce pike on the deep weedlines throughout Donald Lake and Otter Tail. 

Ben’s Bait Shop (218) 864-5596

BEMIDJI AREA

 This area has dealt with some stormy weather over the past week, but overall fishing has remained pretty good. Look for walleyes tucked up in deep cabbage or on the sharp breaks throughout Lake Bemidji and Lake Plantagenet. Live-bait rigs with leeches or crawlers with a 5- to 6-foot snell and  a slow death hook have been productive. Bass and panfish reports remain strong along the deep weed edges of most lakes and pike action remains good with bigger pike coming from deep water.

Dick Beardsley Guide Service

(218) 556-7172

BLACKDUCK AREA

Leeches and crawlers are producing walleyes in 15 to 20 feet during the day or along the 12- foot weeds early and late on Island Lake, Blackduck Lake, and Round Lake. Bass and pike remain active on the weedlines of most lakes. Crappies and bluegills are being found along weedlines from 8- to 15 feet on Gull Lake, Pimushe Lake, Rabideau Lake, Blackduck, and Gilstead Lake.  

Timberline Sports and Tackle

(218) 835-4636

BRAINERD/NISSWA AREA 

Leeches under bobbers or on live-bait rigs are producing walleyes along weed edges from 9 to 22 feet at Whitefish Lake, Pelican Lake, North Long Lake, and Gull Lake. Look for a mixed bag of panfish off the 12- to 22-foot weeds at Gull, Nisswa Lake, Lake Edwards, and Pelican. Bass continue to be caught in shallow and deep vegetation on area lakes, while Whitefish, Gull, and North Long are producing pike on minnows along deep weedlines. 

S & W Bait & Guide Service/

Nisswa Guide League  (218) 829-7010

CASS LAKE AREA

Walleyes are being caught during the day with Jiggin’ Raps or a spinner and crawler in 22 to 26 feet and at night in shallower water by trolliing crankbaits on the bars throughout Cass Lake and Pike Bay Lake. Look for panfish along the 8- to 12-foot weeds on Kitchi Lake, Lower Sucker Lake, Midge Lake, Grace Lake and in Allen’s Bay or Buck Lake on Cass. Bigger perch continue to be found in less than 12 feet on Cass and Pike Bay, while bucktails are triggering muskies on the bars and points throughout Cass. 

Sunset Cove Resort (800) 279-4831              

CHISAGO AREA   

Work the 10- to 14-foot weedlines for panfish at North and South Center lakes, Chisago Lake, and North Lindstrom Lake. Leeches or fathead minnows are producing a few walleyes during low-light periods in 12 to 16 feet on South Center and Green Lake. The 10- to 12-foot weeds on most lakes are giving up pike and bass.

Frankie’s Bait (651) 257-6334

CROSBY AREA

The 10- to 15-foot weedlines on Big Mahnomen Lake, Nokay Lake, Rabbit Lake, and Black Hoof Lake are holding panfish. Leeches or Jiggin’ Raps are producing a few walleyes on the 18- to 25-foot rocks or weeds on Serpent Lake, Pelican Lake, and West Rabbit Lake. Huntington Pit and Manuel Pit remain the area’s two best options for trout. The deep rocks on Serpent and Clearwater Lake are producing smallmouth bass, while the weedlines on most lakes are safe bets for largemouths.  

Oars ‘n Mine Bait and Tackle

(218) 546-6912

DETROIT LAKES AREA   

Walleye action has been best early or late each day with leeches and crawlers in 16 to 20 feet at Big Detroit Lake, Pelican Lake, and Lake Melissa. The 15- to 20-foot weeds on Floyd Lake, Height of Land Lake, Lake Sallie, Big Detroit, and Melissa are holding panfish.  

Quality Bait & Tackle (218) 844-2248

ELY AREA

Leeches or crawlers continue to produce walleyes during the day in 15 to 22 feet or 6 to 10 feet early and late on Horse Lake, Snowbank Lake, and White Iron Lake. Look for a mixed bag of panfish from the 6- to 10-foot weeds on Birch Lake, Low Lake, Grassy Lake, and Bass Lake. Troll crankbaits over deep water for stream trout on Miner’s Lake and Tofte Lake or pull lead core with spoons and crankbaits over deep water for lake trout at Snowbank, Knife Lake, and Burntside Lake.   

Arrowhead Outdoors (218) 365-5358

EMILY AREA 

Ruth Lake continues to produce largemouth bass and Roosevelt Lake is giving up smallmouth bass in less than 10 feet. Hit Lawrence Lake for sunfish in 8 to 10 feet or Kego Lake and Eagle Lake for pike in 10 feet. A few walleyes continue to come off Thunder Lake in 12 to 15 feet during low-light periods. 

Redding Sports and Spirits      

(218) 763-2191

FAIRMONT AREA

Budd Lake, George Lake, and Lake Sisseton are giving up bluegills and yellow bass in 4 to 6 feet. Anglers fishing from shore during low-light periods are catching catfish with crawlers at Hall Lake and Budd. Tuttle Lake continues to give up a few walleyes on crankbaits in less than 6 feet, while bass fishing remains strong on most lakes.

Sommer Outdoors (507) 235-5225

GRAND RAPIDS/DEER RIVER AREA 

A spinner and crawler is producing walleyes in 20 to 22 feet on Lake Pokegama and in 12 to 15 feet at Round Lake. Work the 10- to 15-foot weeds for panfish on Bass Lake, Little Ball Club Lake, and Sugar Lake. Leeches and crawlers are turning smallmouth bass and a few walleyes on Island Lake in 15 to 20 feet. Throw bucktails or topwater baits for muskies along the 8- to 12-foot weeds on Moose Lake and North star Lake.

Fred’s Live Bait (218) 246-8710

GREY EAGLE AREA

Hit Big Birch Lake in 15 to 18 feet or Moose Lake in 12 to 15 feet for sunfish. Leeches are producing a few walleyes on Cedar Lake in 20 to 25 feet and Big Birch in 18 to 22 feet. The 15- foot weedline on Big Swan Lake is giving up pike, and panfish.

Nancy’s Bait & Tackle (320) 285-2405

HACKENSACK AREA 

Bluegills are being found on the emerging weedlines throughout Birch Lake, Girl Lake, Pleasant Lake, and Stony Lake. Look for crappies along 8- to 14-foot cabbage on Birch, Webb Lake, Ten Mile Lake, and Stony. Crawlers or leeches continue to work best for walleyes in 20 to 23 feet on Pleasant and Woman Lake or 20 to 25 feet on Ten Mile. Largemouth bass are being pulled off the weedlines or slop on most lakes, while Ten Mile and Stony have been best for smallmouths. 

Swanson’s Bait and Tackle

(218) 675-6176

LAKE KABETOGAMA

There’s been two noticeable factors playing out this week on Lake Kabetogama: Mayfly hatches have increased and reef fishing for walleyes has improved. A Lindy Rig and leech is working best on the reefs in 24 to 30 feet. If there’s a wind or cloudy conditions, a spinner and crawler will produce in 8 to 12 feet as well. Walleye reports have improved on Namakan Lake in 20 to 25 feet as well.

Gateway Store (218) 875-212

MORA AREA

Sunfish are being caught in 3 to 6 feet at Knife Lake, Ann Lake, and Fish Lake. Northern pike and bass are weedline-related and active on many lakes, while the Ann and Snake rivers continue to kick out channel catfish.

Jerry’s Sport & Bait Shop 

(320) 679-2151

ORTONVILLE AREA

The 11- to 13-foot weeds throughout Big Stone Lake are giving up perch and bluegills. Largemouth bass are being pulled from the thick weeds and a few walleyes can be had on Big Stone from 12 feet with leeches or crankbaits – work the weeds for them as well.

Artie’s Bait (320) 839-2480

PARK RAPIDS AREA

Low-light periods have been best for walleyes with leeches or crawlers in 14 to 20 feet on Long Lake, while Potato Lake is giving up walleyes and smallmouth bass in 12 to 18 feet. Look for a mixed bag of panfish in the 6- to 14-foot weeds on Fish Hook Lake, the Crow Wing Chain, and Lake Belle Taine. Largemouth bass are being found in slop early in the day and along weedlines during the day on most lakes. Muskie reports have been limited to a few fish being seen on Big Mantrap Lake.  

Delaney’s (218) 732-4281

Smokey Hills Outdoors 

(218) 237-5099

PERHAM AREA

Work the 10- to 14-foot weedlines for panfish on Star Lake, Rush Lake, Dead Lake, and Big Pine Lake. Bass and pike are an easy catch with spinnerbaits or live bait along the weedlines of most lakes. Walleyes are hitting leeches or crawlers in 15 to 24 feet on Big Pine and Lake Ida. 

Gene’s Sport Shop (218) 346-3355

RICHMOND/ST. CLOUD AREA

The 6- to 12-foot weeds are producing panfish on Horseshoe Lake, Cedar Island Lake, Long Lake, Pearl Lake, Big Lake, and Rice Lake. Grand Lake and Pearl have kicked out quality largemouth bass, while Lake Koronis is a safe bet for smallmouths. Walleye activity has slowed a bit, but Koronis, Rice, and the Horseshoe Chain of Lakes are giving up some fish on live bait or crankbaits in 10 to 22 feet.

Channel Marine and Sports

(320) 597-5975

SAUK CENTRE AREA

Crawlers and leeches or larger minnows are turning some walleyes on the weedlines throughout Sauk Lake and Lake Osakis. Northern pike also can be had on the weedlines with minnows on Osakis. Sunfish and crappies are being plucked off the weedlines of Sauk, Osakis, Long Bridge Lake, Maple Lake, and Fairy Lake.

Fletcher’s Bait Shop (320) 352-2155

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