Report from the Dock
Bluegill action has been strong through most of the summer, but something flipped since last week. Many reports indicated that bluegills have suddenly become more difficult to find. The weeds are starting to fade away on many lakes, so that could be part of it, but there seems to be a bump in the road for bluegills this week. Crappies seem to still be transitioning with some fish still hanging in the weeds that remain and others now suspending over deep water – spots they’ll be through the fall fishing season. Walleye action has been up and down, although some consistent bites exist, especially on the state’s larger, more noted walleye lakes. Minnows, crawlers, and crankbaits are now the preferred baits as most leech supplies have dried up. Muskie activity sounded better this week and there certainly has been more people chasing them. Rocks appear to be producing more fish with bucktails or topwater being the baits of choice.
LAKE MILLE LACS
Live bait, crankbaits, and plastics are turning smallmouth bass on the 13- to 18-foot rocks during the day. Some fish are being caught with topwater baits on shallower rock and points during the evening hours. The main lake flats or deep gravel remain the best options for walleyes. Spinners and crawlers are working best during the day in 25 to 32 feet, while a slip bobber and leech is producing during low-light periods in 20 to 24 feet.
Johnson’s Portside (320) 676-3811
Terry’s Boat Harbor (320) 692-4430
LAKE OF THE WOODS
A spinner and crawler, jigs tipped with minnows, and crankbaits are all producing walleyes and sauger in 15 to 20 feet or out in deeper basin areas over 30 to 36 feet along the south shore. Walleye anglers are reporting some nice fish from the Rainy River, and there’s been some big sturgeon caught this week in deep holes. At the Northwest Angle, jigging and pulling spinners with crawlers are producing walleyes on both sides of the border. On the Minnesota side, areas around Garden Island and Little Traverse Bay have been productive. Muskies are being caught in the bays and on rocky points, while smallmouth bass are scattered along rock shorelines.
Lake of the Woods Tourism Bureau
LAKE MINNETONKA AREA
Sunfish action remains strong in the 8- to 10-foot weeds on Lake Minnetonka and Medicine Lake. Minnetonka is kicking out numbers of bass along most inside and outside weed edges and a few walleyes on spinners and crawlers in 18 to 22 feet. Bucktails or big spinnerbaits are triggering muskies in less than 15 feet on Lake Independence and Minnetonka.
Wayzata Bait (952) 473-2227
Walleyes are being found on the main lake reefs or just off them in 25 to 35 feet. Live-bait rigs and crawlers, minnows, and crankbaits are all producing fish. Bigger muskies continue to be found suspended over 20 feet or more and Stuntz Bay is giving up pike. Smallmouth bass are going on deep, shoreline rocks or the tops of most reefs.
Pike Bay Lodge (218) 753-2430
Vermilion Dam Lodge (218) 666-5418
Walleyes continue to be taken in 6 to 12 feet around weeds and shoreline breaks with crankbaits, minnows, and a spinner and crawler. Catching bigger perch involves sorting though small fish with some success coming off the main lake humps and weeds in less than 10 feet. Trolling spoons or crankbaits continues to work for pike in 8 to 10 feet.
Cover water with a spinner and crawler or crankbait for walleyes throughout the main lake in 10 to 14 feet. Some anglers are driving around and finding pods of suspended walleyes on their electronics in Walker Bay and pitching a slip bobber and leech in 14 to 18 feet. If it’s windy or cloudy, a jig and minnow has produced fish on the points and weed beds that remain in less than 8 feet. Muskie activity continues to be best on the mid-depth rocks and most bays are giving up largemouth bass and a few panfish.
Reed’s Sporting Goods (218) 547-1505
Shriver’s Bait Company
Schools of walleyes are being found on the 20- to 32-foot rocks and being caught with crankbaits, crawlers, minnows, and glide baits. Plastics and crankbaits are producing plenty of smallmouth bass on the 12- to 20-foot rocks. A few crappies are being found suspended over 20 feet or more, while pike are active and usually mixed in with walleyes.
RainyDaze Guide Service
Walleye fishing remains “above average” for this time of year with limits continuing to be caught. Crankbaits or a spinner and crawler are turning fish up and down the east shore in 4 to 7 feet.
West Wind Resort (218) 647-8998
Twin Cities Metro
Work the weeds on Tanner’s Lake, Lake Jane, and Beaver Lake for sunfish. The deep weedlines on Bald Eagle Lake, White Bear Lake, and Forest Lake are producing pike on minnows. There’s some early morning walleye action on the St. Croix River with minnows in 25 to 35 feet. Minnows are turning bass and pike on the fishing pier at Powers Lake.
Blue Ribbon Bait & Tackle
Anglers fishing from shore on Ann Lake and Steiger Lake are catching bass and pike with sucker minnows. Lake Wasserman and Lake Zumbra continue to produce largemouth bass on swim baits. Channel catfish are being pulled from the deep holes and creek mouths on the Minnesota River near Chaska and Carver with minnows.
Cabin Fever Sports (952) 443-2022
Largemouth bass are hitting topwater baits early and late or plastics during midday hours at Lake O’Dowd, Prior Lake, and Spring Lake. A few crappies are being found suspended over 20 feet on Cedar Lake and Prior is giving up sunfish in 12 to 18 feet. The Minnesota River continues to give up a few walleyes on minnows in 6 to 10 feet and catfish around log jams or deep holes.
Prior Lake Bait & Tackle
Bass and sunfish are being caught in 10 to 15 feet on Red’s Reef, Kegg’s Reef, and north side of Coney Island. Minnows are producing a few walleyes during the evening hours on Cemetery Reef in 15 to 20 feet. Troll crankbaits in 10 to 12 feet for pike on Center Reef and look for muskies to hit bucktails in less than 12 feet in the swimming beach area.
Sunfish and crappies are being found suspended over the deep basin areas on Lake Le Homme Dieu, Lake Geneva, and Lake Carlos. Bass fishing remains strong on the deep weed edges or slop on most lakes, while walleyes have been tough to find. Some fish are being taken with crankbaits along the flats or breaks on Reno Lake and on Mary Lake over 25 to 30 feet. Muskie anglers are seeing fish and hooking a few on Lobster Lake and Lake Miltona.
Christopherson’s Bait and Tackle
A few walleyes are being taken with minnows or crawlers along the weedlines on Clearwater Lake and on Sugar Lake in 16 to 24 feet. You’ll find sunfish in and around the 8- to 12-foot weeds on Clearwater, Lake Sylvia, Lake Marie, and Cedar Lake. Bass and pike are weedline-related and active on most lakes.
Little Jim’s Bait (320) 274-5297
BATTLE LAKE AREA
Crawlers or minnows are producing walleyes during the day in 22 to 32 feet at West Battle Lake and Otter Tail Lake. The crankbait bite at night continues in less than 10 feet on these lakes as well. Crappies and bluegills are hitting in 12 to 20 feet on West Battle, Stalker Lake, Clitherall Lake, Blanche Lake, and Stalker Lake. Bucktails remain the best option for muskies on West Battle in 18 to 20 feet, while spoons and crankbaits are triggering pike on Donald Lake and West Battle in 15 to 20 feet.
Ben’s Bait Shop (218) 864-5596
There hasn’t been much change since last week and water temperatures are holding in the upper 60 to low 70 degree range. A few walleyes are coming off Lake Bemidji, Lake Plantagenet, and the Turtle River Chain of Lakes in 12 to 20 feet. Jigs and minnows are working best. Bass fishing remains very good with plastics off the deep weed edges and you’ll pick up some bluegills and crappies in those same areas on most lakes.
Dick Beardsley Guide Service
Walleyes are being taken with crawlers in the 10- to 15-foot weeds on Blackduck Lake. The 9- to 12-foot cabbage on Gull Lake is producing bluegills and the deep weeds on Gilstead Lake are holding crappies – look for suspended fish. Bass and pike remain weed-related and active on most lakes.
Timberline Sports and Tackle
A few walleyes are being taken with redtails or crawlers in 16 to 24 feet on Whitefish Lake, Gull Lake, and Pelican Lake. Bass fishing remains strong in the 8- to 16-foot weeds on Gull, North Long Lake, and Lake Edwards. Look for bigger pike to hit sucker minnows in 18 to 32 feet on Whitefish and Gull. Crappies are being pulled from the 8- to 14-foot weeds on North Long, Cullen Lake, Upper Gull Lake, and Nisswa Lake, while sunfish remain active in the shallow weeds on most lakes.
S & W Bait & Guide Service/
Nisswa Guide League (218) 829-7010
CASS LAKE AREA
Walleyes are scattered from 8 to 30 feet and hitting minnows, leeches, or crankbaits during the day on Cass Lake. Troll crankbaits at night on the bars of Lake Andrusia, Cass, and Pike Bay Lake for walleyes as well. Perch, bluegills, and crappies remain active in the 5- to 10-foot weeds on most lakes and muskie activity has picked up with bucktails on the rocks and bars throughout Cass.
Sunset Cove Resort (800) 279-4831
The 8- to 12-foot weedlines are giving up crappies and sunfish on North Center Lake, Chisago Lake, South Center Lake, and North Lindstrom Lake. Bass continue to hit plastics or topwater baits along the weedlines of most lakes, while spinnerbaits are producing pike on the weedlines of Green Lake and Chisago. An occasional walleye is caught during low-light periods with minnows or crawlers along the 12- to 16-foot weed edge on Green.
Frankie’s Bait (651) 257-6334
The Mississippi River is producing a mixed bag of fish with most backwater areas giving up sunfish and crappies, while current breaks or deep holes on the main river are giving up catfish, walleyes, and smallmouth bass. Serpent Lake continues to produce smallmouth bass on the rocks and largemouths along the weedlines. The Crooked Lake Chain and Clearwater Lake are giving up bass as well. Trout fishing has picked up with lead core and small crankbaits on Pennington Pit and anglers fishing from shore on Huntington Pit and Section Six Pit are catching trout as well.
Oars ‘n Mine Bait and Tackle
DETROIT LAKES AREA
Walleye action has picked up with bigger minnows in 21 to 27 feet at Pelican Lake, Big Detroit Lake, and Lake Sallie. Look for sunfish in 18 to 20 feet on Floyd Lake, Lake Melissa, and Big Detroit, while crappie activity has been limited. Muskie anglers are reporting better activity with glide baits along the deep weeds on Big Detroit.
Quality Bait & Tackle (218) 844-2248
Minnows or crawlers are turning walleyes in 10 to 15 feet on Boulder Lake and the St. Louis River or 15 to 20 feet on Island Lake. Island continues to give up smallmouth bass and Rice Lake is best for largemouths in less than 6 feet. On Lake Superior, spoons are producing lake trout and a few coho salmon about 60 to 75 feet down north of Two Harbors.
Chalstrom’s Bait (218) 726-0094
EAST CENTRAL MN
Minnows are producing pike on the 7- to 14-foot weedlines throughout Elk Lake, Fremont Lake, and Blue Lake. Green Lake and Blue are giving up sunfish in 12 to 18 feet, while smallmouth bass remain active on the Rum and Mississippi rivers.
Tales and Trails Sport Shop
Basswood Lake, White Iron Lake, and Birch Lake are producing walleyes in 6 to 12 feet on spinner rigs with crawlers or leeches. Smallmouth bass are hitting minnows on the main lake reefs in 20 to 30 feet on Snowbank Lake, Burntside Lake, and Shagawa Lake. Look for crappies around the sunken trees or weedlines on Birch, One Pine Lake, and Johnson Lake. Rainbow trout are being found suspended about 15 to 20 feet down over deep water on Miner’s Lake and Tofte Lake. Sucker minnows or spoons are turning pike in the bays and weedlines on Armstrong Lake, Farm Lake, and Fall Lake.
Arrowhead Outdoors (218) 365-5358
Northern pike are hitting crankbaits on Upper Dean Lake in 10 to 12 feet. Walleyes are being found suspended and hitting crankbaits on Thunder Lake at night over 30 to 35 feet. The lily pads on West Fox Lake are producing largemouth bass and Lawrence Lake is kicking out crappies in 10 feet.
Redding Sports and Spirits
Hit Budd Lake and Lake Sisseton for bluegills in 4 to 8 feet. Sisseton, Budd, and Hall Lake continue to kick out yellow bass on minnows or crawlers in 8 to 15 feet. Look for bass along the shorelines of Lura Lake and Budd.
Sommer Outdoors (507) 235-5225
GRAND RAPIDS/DEER RIVER AREA
The 12- to 15-foot weed edges on Lake Pokegama are kicking out crappies, perch, and bluegills. Sugar Lake started giving up crappies and bluegills in 12 feet, while Moose Lake and Spider Lake are producing shorter muskies on small bucktails thrown over the weed tops. Smallmouth bass continue to hit plastics on Pokegama and Deer Lake.
Fred’s Live Bait (218) 246-8710
Throw crankbaits on Baby Lake for walleyes and smallmouth bass in 15 to 20 feet. Crappies remain active and suspended over the 9- to 15-foot cabbage and breaks on Portage Lake, Moccasin Lake, Mule Lake, and Birch Lake. The lily pads on Birch are producing bluegills and smallmouth bass are hitting topwater baits on the 6- to 12-foot rocks throughout Ten Mile Lake and Portage.
Swanson’s Bait and Tackle
A jig and plastic or crankbaits are producing walleyes on Collinwood Lake in less than 8 feet. Anglers fishing from shore with sucker minnows are catching pike on Ripley Lake, while walleyes and pike also are being caught by shore anglers on Round Lake. You’ll find suspended crappies on Big Swan Lake over 15 to 20 feet and the weeds on Lake Jennie continue to produce largemouth bass.
The Outpost Inc. (320) 587-8177
This area received heavy rains last weekend, but most rivers and streams should be in fine fishing condition by this weekend. Terrestrial patterns are still in play for trout, especially grasshopper patterns during the afternoon hours. Trico hatches continue during the morning hours on the South Fork of the Root River and Winnebago Stream. Size 20 midge nymphs are producing larger brown trout on most streams.
Root River Rod Company
MADISON LAKE AREA
Crappie action has picked up on Lake Elysian in 5 to 7 feet and Madison Lake in 16 to 18 feet. Crankbaits are producing walleyes in 15 to 18 feet on Madison and the points on Elysian in 5 to 7 feet. Hit Madison and Lake Washington for bluegills in 3 to 6 feet.
Corner Bait (507) 243-4464
The 11- to 13-foot rocks on the south end of Big Stone Lake continue to produce bluegills. Perch reports off Big Stone have been best in 12 feet around the Schmidt’s Landing area. A few walleyes are being taken during low-light periods in 12 feet on Big Stone as well.
Artie’s Bait (320) 839-2480
PARK RAPIDS AREA
Minnows or a spinner and crawler are producing some walleyes in 18 to 24 feet on Fish Hook Lake, Long Lake, and Eleventh Crow Wing Lake. Topwater baits or bucktails are triggering muskies in 8 to 12 feet at Big Mantrap Lake and Many Point Lake. You’ll find a mixed bag of panfish along the 12- to 18-foot weeds on Big Mantrap, Lake Belle Taine, Toad Lake, and the Crow Wing Chain.
Delaney’s (218) 732-4281
Smokey Hills Outdoors
Cover water with a crankbait during the evening hours for walleyes on Big Pine Lake, Rush Lake, and Little Pine Lake in 8 to 10 feet. The 8- to 12-foot weeds continue to produce crappies and bluegills on Star Lake, Dead Lake, Rush, Big Pine, and Little Pine. Northern pike and bass are being found along the 8- to 15-foot weeds on most lakes.
Gene’s Sport Shop (218) 346-3355
RED WING AREA
Walleye activity has been light with a few being caught, along with some white bass, on crankbaits around the 10- to 15-foot rocks on Lake Pepin. Crawlers are producing channel catfish along the current seams below the dam on the Mississippi River. Hit the creek mouths for pike and overhanging trees for bluegills on Pepin.
Four Seasons Sports (651) 388-4334
RICHMOND/ST. CLOUD AREA
Sunfish remain active, being found along the shorelines out to 20 feet on Horseshoe Lake, Cedar Island Lake, Rice Lake, and Big Lake. Walleye reports have been poor this week, but bass and pike fishing remains strong on most lakes in or along weeds from 6 to 15 feet.
Channel Marine and Sports
SAUK CENTRE AREA
Look for walleyes to hit minnows or crawlers on Sauk Lake in 16 feet during the day or 6 feet at night. Big Birch Lake is giving up walleyes in 16 to 21 feet early and late each day, as is Lake Osakis in 12 feet during the evening hours. You’ll find sunfish in 16 to 18 feet on Little Birch Lake, Maple Lake in 8 to 15 feet, and the north or west end of Osakis in 12 to 16 feet. Little Birch continues to give up numbers of largemouth and smallmouth bass.
Fletcher’s Bait Shop (320) 352-2155
STAPLES/LITTLE FALLS AREA
Lake Pepin started giving up crappies and sunfish in 18 to 20 feet, as is Beauty Lake in 6 to 12 feet – crappie activity has been best during the evening hours. Smallmouth bass and a few walleyes are being caught above the Little Falls dam on the Mississippi River with plastics, crawlers, and minnows.
Da Fishin’ Hole (320) 631-0056
The remaining weeds on Lake Minnewaska and Maple Lake continue to produce sunfish. Bass fishing remains strong throughout the area with spinnerbaits or topwater presentations, but walleye activity continues to be light.
Last Cast Bait and Tackle
Walleyes are being caught by long-lining crankbaits throughout Lake Shetek. Troll crankbaits during low-light periods along the shorelines of Lake Sarah for walleyes as well. Crawlers continue to produce channel catfish in the deep holes on the Minnesota River.
Borch’s Sporting Goods