here's what to expect on the waters this weekend
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Walleye anglers continue to find fish in roughly 15 feet of water, however, lots of walleye are now moving to deeper haunts. This weekend, walleye anglers should check the submerged reefs or hit the windswept sides of islands where bait fish are driven; fishing reports have been good on both the east and west ends of Rainy Lake. Northern pike are also moving deeper. Smallmouth bass continue to hang in the shallower bays on their nests. Few reports are available from crappie anglers. 800-325-5766
It's starting to feel like a normal summer, with weather reflecting the calendar for a change. Water temperatures are roughly 70 degrees on lakes Kabetogama and Namakan, and fish are now establishing summer patterns. The strong shallow water bite is switching to a deep water bite in areas with a soft bottom, with sauger and walleye taken from these areas. Anglers slowly working slip bobbers and slip sinker rigs over depths of 12-25 feet are taking fish. During mid-day hours, work depths of 22-26 feet using leeches or crawlers on a rig. Jig and minnow combinations are turning some fish, but these are best used in deeper waters on the reef edges, especially when the water temperatures are consistently in the 70s. Try trolling artificial baits at the windward shorelines, with walleye and northern pike hitting artificials right near the bottom. Smallmouth bass action has been decent; as waters warm further, toss a crankbait along the shorelines where crayfish and minnows can be found and hold on tight! 800-524-9085
The walleye bite continues to please anglers on many area lakes. White Iron, Shagawa, Fall, and Birch lakes have been steady producers of keeper walleye in the 14- to 20-inch range, as well as a few whoppers measuring up to 30-inches long. The best approach has been a leech or crawler slowly-trolled on a lindy rig or set under a slip bobber on a jig. The smallmouth bass bite has been very good in the shallows as the spawn concludes. Top water baits such as jitterbugs, torpedoes, and skitter pops have been best, with bass up to six-pounds hammering these surface and sub-surface baits. Northern pike, measuring up to forty-six inches, are cooperating with anglers casting spoons and large crankbaits. Crappies are still in the shallows, completing their spawn. Small Gitzit baits, beetle spins, and slurpies have been working well, and live bait such as crappie minnows and worms are also drawing them to the hook. 800-777-7281
The walleye bite has been exceptional on Lake Vermilion! A local professional guide is taking good numbers of fish from depths of 27-42 feet when using bait rigs with minnows or crawlers and an orange or green glow bead. Fish are also coming from 12-16 foot depths, with many nice-sized walleye reported near the rocks holding crayfish; the same presentations are turning fish, however a leech or half a crawler are best. Lots of tiny baitfish hatches can now be seen on the surface water. 800-648-5897
According to old lore, when the daisies are knee-high the walleye start moving to reefs and rocks. Anglers are having success using leeches and crawlers in 4-12 feet of water. On blustery days, try light jigs tipped with crawlers; jigs should be less than 1/4-ounce. On Northern Light Lake, half way up the Gunflint Trail, anglers are catching walleye and northern pike at the reefs in roughly 15 feet of water. At the end of the trail, on Saganaga Lake, walleye are moving out of the bays in search of food, with most presentations turning fish--this may prove to be some of the year's best fishing! On Tait Lake, out of Lutsen, walleye action has been consistent. For the most fish, use a slip bobber or float rig with a leech, especially during evening hours. The inland lakes are giving up lots of nice trout. Anglers are taking quite a few rainbow trout from Mink and Kimball lakes. Brooke trout are very active in area streams. And on Lake Superior, lake trout and coho salmon are beginning to bite, with fish holding in the deep waters.
Professional fishing guides report that the strong walleye bite on Bowstring Lake continues. Most walleye are being pulled from 17-21 feet of water. Techniques that seem to work best are a bottom bouncer and rainbow spinner with a night crawler, and a roach rig with a nightcrawler or leech. On windy days, try a shiner on a 1/4-ounce fireball or slurp jig; productive colors have been sunrise and parakeet. Fishing guides are also seeing lots of jumbo perch on the humps scattered throughout the basin and shoreline areas connected to the bars and points. Another lake that continues to produce nice numbers of fish is Sand Lake. For the most fish, try a bottom bouncer, rainbow spinner, nickel or fire-tiger blade, and a nightcrawler or leech. Depending on wind speed, try traveling at .9 mph in 11-17 feet of water. Another bait system that is working well is a parakeet- or bubblegum-colored fireball jig head tipped with a shiner minnow. Walleye action is picking up on Lake Winnibigoshish. Good numbers of active fish can be found on the mid-lake humps. Fishing professionals advise pulling nightcrawlers on spinners through 16-22 feet of water. Another productive presentation is a jig or other live bait rig tipped with a minnow. The Grand Rapids, Minnesota area is known to have the largest concentration of lakes in the entire state of Minnesota; start planning your next fishing trip with a Professional Grand Rapids Area Fishing Guide. 800-355-9740
Another great week of fishing. Walleye are coming from depths of 28-32 feet on jigs worked on the south end mud, as well as from the reefs near Long Point and up towards Garden Island. Fish can also be found in the shallows when jigging, drifting with spinners, or trolling crankbaits through depths of 14-20 feet; gold has been the color of choice. The Lighthouse Gap and Morris Point Gap are giving up the majority of fish, with numerous trophies measuring over 30-inches being reported. Up at the Northwest Angle, walleye anglers are doing well in areas with some current, such as Cyclone Channel and the Big Narrows. Lots of big fish are being reported. Smallmouth bass anglers are finding good numbers on their beds. Numerous muskie have been netted, and anglers expect the bite to continually improve as water temperatures rise. Northern pike action has been great, with large trophy-sized fish coming from deeper waters. 800-382-FISH
Anglers have had a difficult time recently due to frequent storms, strong winds and cool temperatures. This weekend's more stable and pleasant conditions should coincide with an increase in action. Surface water temperatures remain in the mid-60s in most area lakes, keeping algae growth to a minimum. Summer fishing patterns have not fully taken effect. Anglers continue to catch walleye in the weeds of many lakes, with fish also being pulled from the edges of structure in deeper water. Jigs and shiner minnows are still working well for walleye in the shallows; when fishing deeper waters, use live bait rigs with nightcrawlers, leeches or larger minnows. Muskie anglers are seeing quite a few muskie resting near the surface in the shallows. Expect these fish to become more active once temperatures rise further. Bass, crappies and sunfish are done spawning, and in their post-spawn/early summer patterns. Bass will continue to use heavy cover, generally spending the summer months in 8 feet of water or less. Sunfish often gravitate toward the deep edge of cabbage or coontail weed beds, while crappies prefer isolated open water during the day, moving to the structure or weeds to feed during lowlight hours.800-458-2223
Walleye are coming in on jig and minnow combinations worked in 15-25 feet of water. The key is to stay on the move until you locate a school of fish. Lots of nice-sized perch are also being taken. Many largemouth bass, measuring 17- to 20-inches, have been reported. A few nice walleye and crappies were taken along with the bass. Remember that the walleye are in the midst of their transition, and can be found deep on the mid-lake structure, as well as roaming the shallows. 800-356-8615
The weather has made it difficult for Leech Lake anglers to find a steady. Adding to the downturn in action is the large mayfly hatch in the big lake. During unsettled weather patterns, remain very mobile since fish generally move around to new feeding locations. Walleye anglers that have had success have used bottom-bouncers, or pulled a spinner rig with a crawler or leech. Bottom-bouncing anglers should have success at the west side of the big lake around Goose Island, between the Duck Points in 9-12 feet of water, and on the east side of the lake around Pelican Island's West Bar. Mokey Reef and the trench off Stony Point are also good choices since they have deeper waters. Diamond Point and Ivan's Bay have also produced some nice fish. The evening walleye bite is heating up in Walker Bay and in the Sand Point area. Anglers are using a lindy/crawler rig or a leech rig with a one-eighth ounce weight. Many successful anglers have also anchored and bobber fished with a leech. The after-dark bite for walleye is starting to pick up, with anglers having success using a #5 or #7 shad rap in 8-12 feet of water. The muskie bite is picking up at the shallow weed edges in the bays. 800-833-1118
The walleye bite has taken off, with some great reports coming from Leech, Winnibigoshish, Woman, Baby, and Birch lakes. Anglers are having success when slowly pulling live bait rigs tipped with crawlers or leeches. Floaters are also working well since they keep the bait visible. On the windy days, expect success. When the water is calm, it can be more difficult, although anglers usually scrape together a few fish. And if a system is moving through, expect angling to heat up before the change in weather; once the weather changes, you may need to wait a day or so for the bite to improve. Crappies are hanging in depths of 8-14 feet, and are very catchable during low light hours when pulling a crappie minnow across the tops of the weeds. Large bass are being reported. For the large sow bass, work the deep side of the weed edges using the same techniques as for walleye. For lots of largemouth bass action, hit the surface weeds using weedless baits--these fish are just waiting for something to come skipping across the tops of the pads. Please note that it is very important to be aware of and to follow all aquatic invasive species laws. 800-279-6932
Fishing in the Park Rapids area has been very good over the past several days. Walleye activity is at a peak and anglers are reporting nice numbers and size. The depth varies from lake to lake, but in general 14-22 feet has been best. Minnows, specifically redtails, have been the ticket this week. While a jig and minnow will work, a redtail delicately hooked on a roach rig remains the best option. Minnows must be alive to produce; if you see more belly than back when the minnow is in the water, it's time to replace it. Both largemouth and smallmouth bass have completed their spawn, with anglers reporting nice bass while fishing for walleye, however those targeting the more traditional bass areas are getting better numbers. Largemouth bass have been active in 1-10 feet of water where there is a good supply of insects such as dragonflies. Emergent weeds like lilypads and pencil reeds are a good place to start. Use heavy line (17- to 20-pound test), with a northland jawbreaker spoon to effectively fish areas with thick vegetation; keep the spoon moving so you don't get hung up. Smallmouth bass have moved to primary drop-offs in the 10-20 foot range, with some still shallow as they scavenge for scuttling crayfish. Jerkbaits, topwater lures and soft plastic tube baits are all great choices for smallies. Panfish action has been solid, with some of the sunfish having abandoned their nests due to volatile weather systems. Crappies and bluegill can be found on the weedlines in 4-12 feet of water. A 1/16-ounce jig such as the lifelike mimic minnow fry will turn both species. Northern pike and muskie reports have also been good, with some nice muskie recently caught and released. Use baits similar in size to those used for bass to get the larger muskie to hit; you'll likely grab some nice northerns in the process. Northern pike are biting just about everywhere. 800-247-0054
The walleye bite remains strong on Otter Tail Lake. Fish are coming in on spinners with crawlers or leeches worked in 12-30 foot of depths along the weed edges. The panfish bite has heated back up, with fish coming from depths of 6-14 feet. Winners of the Scott's Tournament held on Otter Tail Lake, June 15 & 16, brought in 12 fish with a total weight of 37-pounds. 800-423-4571
Fishing has been exceptional since the beginning of June! Walleye are being pulled from Lakes Minnewaska, Reno and Mary on live bait. Emily Lake walleye action has slowed somewhat. Bass action has been tremendous on Minnewaska, with most methods producing limits. Northern pike are hitting crankbaits worked in 4-6 feet of water on Minnewaska. Sunnies have moved into the bullrushes found in depths of 8-10 feet. These fish are an easy catch when using live bait. 320/634-3636
Fishing activity has been great throughout the area, even after recent rain storms. For walleye, work the points and weedlines out to 24 feet using lindy rigs tipped with leeches or shiners. When the wind blows, use bottom bouncers. Small northern pike remain shallow, hitting just about anything. Try large minnows on jugs or rigs in the deeper water for the larger fish. Sunfish are attacking slip bobber rigs worked in 10-12 feet in the weeds; for the most fish, use small minnows, leeches or worms. Bass anglers are having success off the docks, and at the weedflats and points when using Carolina-style (sinker above the swivel) spinnerbaits or plastic rigs.
Summer fishing patterns have begun, and anglers are switching tactics. Walleye have settled into their summer depths of 15-25 feet of water, moving shallower during evening and early morning hours. Walleye are now responding best to nightcrawlers and leeches, however some will still hit jig and minnow combinations and minnows on a slip-sinker rig. Anglers trolling "wobble" plugs through 5-12 feet of water after dark are reporting good success on lakes such as Whitefish, Pine Mountain, Woman and Leech. The mayfly hatch has been scattered, with some lakes experiencing a large hatch while others have had none. The hatch usually signals slower walleye action, but this is not always the case! Northern pike and bass are very active at the lower edge of the weedlines. The panfish bite remains "hot," with good numbers of fish being pulled from nearly all area lakes! 800-728-6926
On Gull Lake, walleye can be found both shallow and on mid-summer structure. When fishing the shallows, check the tall cabbage in 8-12 feet of water using a jig tipped with a minnow or gulp. At the mid-summer structure, try live bait rigging redtails or shiners in 20-25 feet of water. On the north end of Lake Mille Lacs, walleye are coming from the edges of the flats in 25-28 feet of water. Lindy rigs and leeches are still producing, but the spinner bite is picking up. Also try bobber fishing at the reefs or on the mud during evening hours. Smallmouth bass are active on the rocks, hitting tube jigs and senkos. 800-450-2838
Fishing pressure has down a bit on Lake Mille Lacs due to high winds and rain. The bite, however, remains very good for those who venture out. The mud flats are holding lots of fish, with anglers also doing well at the deep gravel and some of the deeper rock humps. Leeches on a plain rig worked slowly over these areas have been very productive; the slower your presentation, the better. Anglers using spinners and crawlers are reporting good numbers when increasing the speed to roughly 1 mph. Silver, pink and copper have been the preferred spinner colors. Evenings are excellent times to cast a line. With surface water temperatures approaching the 70s, please be sure to play your fish carefully. If you plan to shoot a picture, have your camera out and ready to go so the fish can be returned to the water as quickly as possible. And don't be afraid to get away from "the crowd," since anglers often do better working a smaller batch of fish that haven't been pressured. 888-350-2692
Last week's abundant rainfall is moving through the creeks and culverts into the lakes, and it seems to be waking up the fish! Willmar, Foot, Green, Eagle and Ringo lakes are giving up good numbers of large crappies and sunnies near the inlets. Green, Eagle and Diamond lakes have also been good for nice-sized walleye. The weather this weekend should be mostly sunny and warm; a perfect time to head out fishing in the Willmar Lakes Area! 800-845-8747
Fishing is good throughout the Chisago Lakes area. Walleye are coming from the deeper waters on leeches and fatheads. Some of the best lakes have been South Center and Green, especially during early morning and evening hours. Large northern pike and bass are being pulled out of Sunrise Lake. Panfish are hitting all day long on area lakes. 651/257-1177
Walleye are biting on White Bear Lake, with anglers taking nice numbers on fathead minnows and leeches worked in 20-30 feet of water. On Bald Eagle Lake, anglers are pulling walleye from depths of 12-15 feet when using fathead minnows and leeches. Panfish are active on both lakes; sunfish can be found shallow, and the crappies are at the weedlines. For the most fish, use minnows and leeches. Bass are hitting spinnerbaits and live bait on both lakes. Northern pike and muskie action is heating up, with anglers taking fish on spoon baits and sucker minnows. 651/653-5122
The bite on Lake Waconia remains strong for panfish. Anglers continue to have success fishing the pencil reeds in Reinke's Bay and all along the northwest shoreline. Other anglers are having success working 8-10 foot depths with ground cover weeds. The most productive methods have been a beetle spin tipped with a waxworm, and bobber fishing with waxworms, crawlers or panfish leeches. Crappie anglers should do well fishing the outside weedlines in 10-12 feet. Bass action remains consistent, with reports of nice-sized fish weighing 1 1/2- to 3-pounds. Some anglers are having success in the shallows when using crawlers, leeches, or Texas-rigged worms, especially at the Carp Trap and pencil reeds. Other anglers are doing well when throwing spinnerbaits along the weedlines, with some nice northern pike also being taken. Try this approach at the weeds out from the north shoreline, or off the reefs such as Cemetery Reef, Pillsbury Reef and North Reef. Those pursuing the elusive walleye will want to check the breaks off Keg's Reef, North Reef, and Anderson's Reef. While slip-bobber fishing is always a good approach, some anglers have also done well jigging a leech or fathead. Muskie action should continue to heat up! Please note that this is "construction season;" please see the Waconia Maps/Directions pagefor the easiest way to maneuver the construction. 952/442-5812
As of Thursday, June 21, conditions are clear and low for Duschee Creek. The South Branch Root River at Lanesboro is considered off in color, with a normal water flow. Trout Run and most of the Whitewater River system are reported to be muddy, with a high water flow. The water coming down the "real" Middle Branch Whitewater upstream from Crow Springs was contributing to the very muddy conditions in Middle Branch in the State Park. And on Wednesday, June 20, Yellow Sallies were hatching on Forestville Creek. For detailed fishing maps showing defined property lines and easements, check out Trout Angling: Southern Minnesota. 800-944-2670
Fish in southeastern Minnesota rivers are taking on a summer pattern. The bite seems to be dependent on the time of day, with fish turning active at various times. Smallmouth bass have been the most likely to hit, with an occasional muskie, northern pike and walleye mixed in. Fish are not yet responding to topwater baits, and the weeds are starting to get in the way of dropping baits; hopefully the topwater action will begin shortly! Water temperatures are approaching the mid-70's. The smallmouth are now post-spawn and moving to their summer haunts. 800-634-8277
Walleye are hitting leeches and willow cat minnows early in the morning and at dusk; check the wing dams and current breaks on the Mississippi River for the most fish. Sunfish were very active until the river levels rose, and action should pick up once levels drop back to a more normal level. The best approach is a worm or artificial lure. Crappies are in the structure, such as old tree trunks and limbs where there is current. A minnow on a gold Aberdeen hook s is a good choice. Catfish are active, and hitting stinkbaits. Use a three-way river rig with enough weight to keep it on the bottom. Northern pike have responded best to sucker minnows. Silver bass action has been good around the current breaks near the Lock Dams, as well as on the downside of the wing dams. For the most fish, use fat head minnows, or streamers with Colorado or Willow blades. And the sheephead are always fun to catch. 800-657-4972
Fountain Lake is giving up lots of northern pike on artificial jigs worked on the east side of the lake at Fountain Street. Bass are hitting rapalas in Edgewater Bay. For sunnies and bluegills, use a leech in 4 feet of water on Fountain Lake near Park Avenue. Walleye are coming from the Channel Bridge on Fountain Lake during lowlight hours, with rapalas again working best. Albert Lea Lake is giving up some walleye near the channel. For the most fish, use rapalas. 800-345-8414
Big Stone Lake once again gave up excellent numbers last week, with reports of nice walleye limits continually coming in. Anglers report limits of perch as well! The south end of the lake from Knight Island to Ortonville seems to be the hot spot, with the second best site being the north end of the lake. There have also been reports of some nice fish coming from Manhattan Reef and around the Rocky Ledge area. Most anglers continue to use bottom bouncers and spinners tipped with a crawler or leech. Some are doing well pulling crankbaits. The only constant is the depth, with 7-9 feet generally being best. Perch anglers are taking a greater number of limits. Some anglers are taking their limits when trolling for their walleye. There have also been reports of anglers fishing from docks taking lots of perch and bluegill. 800-568-5722