Minnesota Outdoor News Fishing Report – July 20, 2018

Great Eight

LAKE MILLE LACS        

Mud flats continue to produce the majority of walleyes, with spinners and crawlers, slow-death rigs, or slip bobbers with leeches doing the heavy lifting. Work the tops and edges early and late or off the flats during midday hours. Bass are scattered in 6 to 22 feet, mainly on the rocks. The weedlines in Vineland Bay, Garrison Bay, Wigwam Bay, and St. Alban’s Bay are worth hitting for pike and muskies. Anglers are seeing more fish than they’re hooking.

Johnson’s Portside (320) 676-3811

Terry’s Boat Harbor (320) 692-4430

LAKE OF THE WOODS

Drifting or trolling spinners and crawlers or trolling crankbaits has produced walleyes in the basin over 26 to 34 feet. Some fish are being found on structure, while others are on mud. On the Rainy River, heavy rains have dirtied the water, making it tough to catch fish. At the Northwest Angle, walleyes are being found around Crow Duck, Four Blocks, and Little Oak Islands. Hammered gold, orange, and chartreuse are still hot colors in 8 to 24 feet. On the Ontario side, crawler harnesses are turning walleyes on the reefs. 

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

LAKE MINNETONKA AREA    

A few walleyes are being taken with crawlers or fathead minnows off the deep weedlines of Lake Minnetonka and Lake Independence. Sunfish and largemouth bass continue to hit on the deep and shallow weedlines of Minnetonka and Medicine Lake. Lake Sarah is kicking out a mixed bag of panfish in 12 to 14 feet, northern pike are hitting on the 15-foot weeds of Minnetonka, and muskie reports have been limited to a few fish during low-light periods on the shallow weed flats of Minnetonka.

Wayzata Bait (952) 473-2227

LAKE VERMILION

Walleyes remain active, hitting live-bait rigs with crawlers or leeches, along the 20- to 25-foot rock reefs and island areas during the day. Walleyes also are being caught in 12 to 15 feet during the evening hours on slip bobbers and leeches. A few more crappies have been caught on the north side of Pine Island over 18 to 20 feet of water. Muskie reports have been strong on the rock points and shallow rock reefs with black and silver bucktails. The weedbeds in most bays are producing northern pike, and Senko’s continue to produce smallmouth bass on the shorelines.

Pike Bay Lodge (218) 753-2430

LAKE WINNIBIGOSHISH

Look for walleyes on the main lake humps and bars in 20 to 25 feet – the northwest humps have been better this week. Longer spinner rigs and live-bait rigs with leeches are working best. Perch are hitting off Raven’s Point and Sugar Point in 16 to 20 feet – find a cloud of minnows and you’ll find bigger perch behind them. Trolling spoons and crankbaits along the 9- to 15-foot weeds has been best for northern pike.

Lake Winnie Resort Association                   

LEECH LAKE

Walleye anglers are grinding out bites during the day with live bait or Jiggin’ Raps on the humps and shoreline breaks in Walker Bay or the main lake rock and weed flats. Trolling crankbaits at night in 9 to 12 feet has produced some walleyes from Sand to Cedar Point and the GrandVu Flats to Pine Point area. Hit Portage Bay and Sucker Bay for muskies, the rice in Steamboat Bay for largemouth bass, and the shallow weeds in Shingobee Bay for panfish.

Reed’s Sporting Goods (218) 547-1505

Shriver’s Bait Company (218) 547-2250

RAINY LAKE     

Walleyes continue to be caught on the  main lake reef from 15 to 20 feet using jigs, Lindy Rigs, and slip bobbers with minnows and leeches. The weed edges in the 5- to 8-foot range are still a productive option if there’s wind blowing into them. Look for crappies on the shoreline breaks and sunken brush piles in 18 to 28 feet. Smallmouth Bass are hitting plastics on most rock areas and northern pike are crushing spinnerbaits on the 15- to 20-foot weed edges.

International Falls CVB (800) 325-5766

RED LAKE

Live-bait rigs, spinners, and crankbaits continue to trigger walleyes on the rocks and 8- to 14-foot humps during the day. There is some walleye action on the shallow, shoreline breaks during low-light periods as well.

Mort’s Dock (218) 647-8128

Twin Cities Metro

NORTHEAST METRO

Northern pike continue to hit sucker minnows on Tanners Lake and White Bear Lake in 10 to 15 feet. Sunfish and a few crappies can be had on the 10- to 14-foot weedlines of Beaver Lake, Powers Lake, and Big Marine Lake. Low-light periods have been best for walleyes with leeches or crawlers on Big Marine, and muskie action has been best with bucktails on Jarvis Lake and White Bear.

Blue Ribbon Bait & Tackle (651) 777-2421

SOUTH METRO

Troll crankbaits in 10 to 12 feet or leeches and nightcrawlers in 15 to 20 feet for walleyes on Prior Lake. Largemouth bass are hitting plastics or topwater baits on most lakes with Prior, Spring Lake, and Lake O’Dowd producing bigger fish. The deep weedlines on Prior are holding panfish and northern pike.

Prior Lake Bait & Tackle (952) 447-6096

LAKE WACONIA

Bass fishing is going strong on the 12- to 15-foot weeds of North Reef, Anderson’s Reef, and Center Reef. Sunfish remain active on the weedlines throughout the lake, and crappies are being found on the northeast corner of the island in 16 to 18 feet or Anderson’s Reef in 16 to 20 feet. Muskie reports have been limited, although a few fish are being seen on the reefs or swimming beach area. Hit Kegg’s Reef in 18 to 20 feet for some walleyes during low-light periods. 

Mases In Towne Marina (952) 442-2096

Statewide

ALEXANDRIA AREA

Walleyes have bit best on live bait during low-light periods on Lake Miltona and Reno Lake in 14 to 18 feet or Lake Ida in 18 to 22 feet. The weedlines and deep points on Miltona and Lobster Lake are worth hitting with bucktails for muskies. Crappies remain active during the evening hours, suspending on the weedlines of Lake Geneva, Lake Carlos, Lake Le Homme Dieu, and Lake Darling. Look for sunfish in 10 to 14 feet on Lake Amelia and Lake Mary.

Christopherson’s Bait and Tackle (320) 763-3255

BATTLE LAKE AREA

Leeches and nightcrawlers are producing walleyes during the day in 20 to 28 feet, as are crankbaits during low-light periods in less than 12 feet on West Battle Lake, Otter Tail Lake, and Rush Lake. The 12- to 16-foot weeds on West Battle, Rush, Fish Lake, and Blanche Lake are producing panfish. Muskie action is slow, but bass and northern pike continue to hit in the 10- to 15-foot weeds on most lakes.

Ben’s Bait Shop (218) 864-5596

BEMIDJI AREA

Walleye fishing remains quite good on area lakes, especially Lake Bemidji. Wolf Lake and Lake Plantagenet also are turning out some walleyes. Trolling crankbaits, pulling live-bait rigs, spinners, or jigs are all working in 8 to 28 feet, depending on the wind and cloud cover. Bass fishing remains excellent with fish being caught on the inside and outside weed edges. Crappies and bluegills are active in and around the cabbage using small jigs and plastics. Northern pike have been on a rampage and muskie action is starting to pickup throwing bucktails and large swimbaits over the top of weedbeds. 

Dick Beardsley Guide Service (218) 556-7172

BLACKDUCK AREA

The 12- to 15-foot weedlines are kicking out crappies and bluegills on Pimushe Lake, Rabideau Lake, Gull Lake, and Gilstead Lake. On Blackduck Lake, walleyes, perch, and some crappies are coming off the 10- to 14-foot weedlines. Lakes such as Gull and Island continue to produce walleyes in 12 to 15 feet on live bait.

Timberline Sports and Tackle (218) 835-4636

BRAINERD/NISSWA AREA 

Walleyes are hitting leeches on the 16- to 18-foot weedlines of Whitefish Lake and North Long Lake. Northern pike are hitting minnows on the 12- to 14-foot weedlines on Gull Lake, Lake Edwards, and North Long. The shallow and deep weeds of most lakes are producing largemouth bass. Look for suspended crappies on the 15- to 17-foot weedlines of Upper Gull Lake and North Long, while the 6- to 8-foot weeds on most lakes are producing sunfish.

S & W Bait & Guide Service/Nisswa Guide League (218) 829-7010

CASS LAKE AREA

Walleyes are being caught early and late each day with Lindy Rigs and live bait or crankbaits in 8 to 12 feet on Cass Lake – work the main lake bars. Trolling crankbaits on Lake Andrusia, Kitchi Lake, and Wolf Lake has produced walleyes along the 15- to 18-foot weed edges during the day. Bluegill action has picked up in the 6- to 8-foot cabbage on most lakes, while muskie anglers are throwing bucktails with some success on the cabbage beds of Cass.

Sunset Cove Resort (800) 279-4831              

CHISAGO AREA   

Look for suspended crappies on the weed edge and sunfish tight to the weeds on Chisago Lake, North Lindstrom Lake, Green Lake, North Center Lake, and South Center Lake. The 10- to 15-foot weedlines and rocks are giving up walleyes during low-light periods on Green, Chisago, and South Center. Bass are being found shallow early and late each day or on the deep weedlines during midday hours.

Frankie’s Bait (651) 257-6334

CROSBY AREA

Hit the inside and outside weed edges with plastics or spinnerbaits on Serpent Lake, Mission Lake, and Horseshoe Lake for largemouth bass. Walleye action is limited to a few fish each evening on Serpent and Clearwater in 24 to 30 feet. There’s also some evening crappie action on the weedlines of Crooked Lake, Serpent, and Little Rabbit Lake. The deep weedlines on Bay Lake, Crooked, and Serpent have been best for sunfish. Trout have moved deeper on the pits and remain suspended on Portsmouth Pit and Huntington Pit.

Oars ‘n Mine Bait and Tackle (218) 546-6912

DULUTH AREA

Walleyes are hitting small sucker minnows on Island Lake in 18 to 20 feet. Island also is kicking out smallmouth bass around the docks and shallow structure. Look to Fish Lake in 15 feet with crawlers or leeches for walleyes. Reports off Lake Superior have been best from Two Harbors to the north for cohos and lake trout with spoons in the top 50 feet of the water column.

Chalstrom’s Bait (218) 726-0094

ELY AREA

White Iron Lake is kicking out walleyes in 16 to 20 feet, as is Fall Lake in 20 feet – leeches and crawlers are working best. Crooked Lake, Lake Isabella, and Birch Lake are giving up walleyes on the 20-foot reefs during the day or 10 to 12 feet in the evenings. Bluegills have started hitting in the back bay on Basswood Lake, while spoons are producing lake trout on Burntside Lake and Snowbank Lake at 45 to 50 feet over 80 feet of water.

The Great Outdoors (218) 365-4744

EMILY AREA 

Crappies have started hitting on Lake Emily in 10 to 12 feet, while Kego Lake is producing sunfish in 10 to 15 feet. Look to Greer Lake with spoons for northern pike in 8 to 10 feet. Ruth Lake is producing largemouth bass on topwater baits in the shallow pads and slop. Spinners and leeches are turning walleyes on Round Lake in 15 to 20 feet.

Redding Sports and Spirits (218) 763-2191

FAIRMONT AREA

Crappies are hitting in 4 to 6 feet or 15 to 17 feet on Budd Lake and Lake Sisseton. Look to Budd, Sisseton, and Hall Lake in less than 6 feet for panfish and yellow bass. Trolling crawlers or crankbaits in 5 to 7 feet on Tuttle Lake has produced walleyes.

Sommer Outdoors (507) 235-5225

FARIBAULT AREA

Sunfish, crappies and bass are hitting on Cedar Lake along the 12- to 14-foot weed edges. Hit the bridge on Cannon Lake for white bass and a few walleyes and the Cannon River for catfish. Crappies are biting on Lake Mazaska and French Lake in 15 to 18 feet. The 8- to 10-foot weedline on Hunt Lake is a safe bet for sunfish.

Nagel’s Live Bait (507) 334-8341

FERGUS FALLS AREA

Look for suspended walleyes to hit crankbaits on Pickeral Lake over 20 to 28 feet. Leeches are producing walleyes on the 14- to 18-foot weedline on Clear Lake. Eagle Lake is kicking out bluegills in 20 feet, as is Long Lake (South) in 6 to 20 feet. Northern pike have been hitting throughout the area with Swan Lake providing the most numbers. Hit the Orwell Reservoir with plastics for smallmouth bass.

Little Chief Outpost (218) 998-5050

GRAND MARAIS AREA

Smallmouth bass are being taken with crankbaits or topwater baits on Hungry Jack Lake, Devil Fish Lake, and Devil Track Lake in 4 to 10 feet. Nightcrawlers or leeches are turning walleyes at Cascade Lake in 8 to 12 feet, Caribou Lake in 12 to 15 feet, and McFarland Lake in 8 to 15 feet. Lake trout are being found suspended on Greenwood Lake and Sea Gull Lake at 25 to 30 feet, or Daniels Lake at 25 feet. The coho salmon bite on Lake Superior has picked up with spoons over 60 to 80 feet. Look to Mink Lake for rainbow trout in 20 feet, Leo Lake in 10 to 12 feet, and Trout Lake in 12 to 18 feet.

Buck’s Hardware (218) 387-2280

GRAND RAPIDS AREA 

Live bait and spinners continue to produce walleyes in less than 10 feet on Big Splithand Lake and Bowstring Lake, 12 to 20 feet on Lake Wabana and Deer Lake, or Lake Pokegama in 13 to 18 feet. Trout are hitting nightcrawlers on Moonshine Lake, Tioga Pit, and Taylor Lake, Look for crappies and bluegills on the 10- to 14-foot weedlines of Big Splithand, Wabana, Bass Lake, and Little Splithand Lake.

Ben’s Bait and Tackle (218) 326-8281

HACKENSACK AREA 

Cover water with a live-bait rig and crawler for walleyes on the 16- to 22-foot flats on Woman Lake, Ten Mile Lake, and Little Boy Lake. Crappies are hitting early and late each day on the weedlines of Moccasin Lake, Portage Lake, Mule Lake, and north side of Webb Lake. Look to Birch Lake, Pleasant Lake, and Pine Mountain Lake for bluegills in 16 to 22 feet or on the lily pad edges. Bucktails have been the ticket for muskies on the cabbage beds of Little Boy and Lake Wabedo. Topwater baits are turning largemouth bass in the slop of most lakes.

Swanson’s Bait and Tackle (218) 675-6176

HIBBING/CHISHOLM AREA

Look for suspended crappies on Side Lake over 16 to 18 feet and leeches are turning walleyes here in 20 to 30 feet. On Echo Lake, walleyes are being taken with leeches on the 10-foot rock areas. Crappies also can be had in 12 to 14 feet at Shoepack Lake or Stingy Lake in 16 to 20 feet.

Lucky 7 General Store (218) 254-7168

LANESBORO AREA 

Most rivers and streams are now perfect for fishing with clear water and normal current flows. Brown and rainbow trout are being taken with grasshopper, ant, and terrestrial dry flies or standard nymphs such as pink squirrel.

Root River Rod Company (507) 467-2101

PARK RAPIDS AREA

Look for crappies and sunfish on the weedlines throughout the Crow Wing Chain, Potato Lake, and Boulder Lake. The deep weedlines on Long Lake and Fish Hook Lake are giving up a few walleyes during low-light periods. Largemouth bass are being plucked from lily pads or deep weedlines on most lakes, while smallmouth are hitting on the shallow flats of Bad Medicine Lake and Big Sand Lake. 

Delaney’s (218) 732-4281

Smokey Hills Outdoors (218) 237-5099

PERHAM AREA

Crankbaits in 8 to 10 feet or slow-death rigs and crawlers in 18 to 22 feet have produced walleyes on Big Pine Lake and Little Pine Lake. Look to Star Lake for crappies and sunfish on the 8- to 14-foot cabbage beds. Northern pike and largemouth bass are active and weed-related on most lakes.

Gene’s Sport Shop (218) 346-3355

RED WING AREA

Crawlers and leeches are turning walleyes in 12 to 16 feet at the Lake City, Maiden Rock, and Rush River areas of Lake Pepin. The rock shorelines of Pepin and the Mississippi River are holding crappies and sunfish. The rocks throughout Pepin are producing smallmouth bass as well.

Four Seasons Sports (651) 388-4334

SAUK CENTRE AREA

Look for sunfish on the 12- to 16-foot weedlines of Lilly Lake. Look to Maple Lake for crappies and sunfish in 12 feet. Lake Osakis is producing a few walleyes in the weeds and crappies just off the deeper weed edges.

Fletcher’s Bait Shop (320) 352-2155

STARBUCK AREA

Sunfish continue to hit throughout Lake Minnewaska in 12 feet and the Glenwood end of Minnewaska is giving up crappies in 15 feet – look for suspended fish at about 12 feet. A few walleyes are coming off Minnewaska with crawlers and spinners over 22 to 24 feet. Hit Pelican Lake for pike and crappies in 12 to 15 feet, while the west side of Lake Emily is kicking out channel catfish. 

Minnewaska Bait and Tackle (320) 239-2239

WATERVILLE AREA

You’ll find sunfish in 11 to 13 feet on Lake Tetonka, Lake Francis, and German Lake. On Lake Sakatah, sucker minnows are producing northern pike in less than 10 feet. The weeds on Cedar Lake continue to produce numbers of largemouth bass.

Axel’s Tackle Box (507) 213-1873

WILLMAR AREA

The 25- to 30-foot structure on Green Lake is producing walleyes during the day with live bait, as are crankbaits during low-light periods in 10 to 14 feet along the east shore. A few walleyes also can be had during low-light periods with leeches or crawlers in 15 to 20 feet on Nest Lake, Diamond Lake, Eagle Lake, and Norway/Games Lake. Sunfish action has picked up on Diamond in 10 to 15 feet, while northern pike, largemouth bass, and sunfish have started hitting on the weedlines of most lakes.

Brad’s 71 Bait and Sports (320) 235-4097

WINDOM/MARSHALL AREA

Walleye reports have been on the upswing with crawlers or crankbaits producing fish on Lake Shetek and Lake Sarah. The Minnesota and Redwood rivers have started kicking out catfish, while the Currie Dam is giving up walleyes as well.

Borch’s Sporting Goods (507) 532-4880

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