The weather and fish are hot hot HOT
Water temperatures throughout the state have risen to roughly 70-degrees, and many anglers are switching to a faster presentation. Other effects of warmer waters is an increase in algae growth, and subsequent decrease in visibility. This reduction in visibility is usually good for muskie anglers since these fish are more apt to confuse a lure for actual forage.
Minnesota fishing opener dates for the 2012/2013 fishing season for most inland waters are as follows: walleye, sauger, northern pike and lake trout, May 12; largemouth and smallmouth bass, May 26; muskie, June 2. The fishing season for crappies, sunnies, perch and catfish is continuous. Please note that seasons and regulations vary for certain boundary waters and some individual lakes and rivers.
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Walleye anglers are finding fish along the shallow windswept shorelines, as well as on the submerged structure in the deeper waters. Jigging with a minnow over the reefs and trolling with a spinner rig closer to the shorelines have been working well. Some of the best producers include Sand Bay, near Ranier, and Birch Point. Other popular areas have been Dryweed, Cranberry and Fox islands. Black Bay and Cranberry Bay are giving up lots of large northern pike. There have been few reports of good crappie or smallmouth bass action. Rainy River fishing has been good for a mile or so on either side of the dam, and near the mouth of the Little Fork River. Other popular spots are near the Manitou and Long Sault rapids. 800-325-5766
Lakes Kabetogama & Namakan anglers have had success in the shallows the last few weeks as mayflies emerged from the lake bottoms. By late last week, most fish were being pulled from deeper waters; check 22-28 feet of water using rigs, or try a jig and minnow combination in deeper waters near or on the reefs. When fishing with slip sinker rigs, try leeches and nightcrawlers to see what works best. Small spinners are working well with the rigs, especially at speeds of .5 to 1.0 mph--adjust your snell length according to depth finder readings. Areas to check out include Kabetogama's Center Reef and islands with good structure or rock piles such as Jug, Potato, and Chase. Walleye and sauger are now being pulled from similar depths. Northern pike are active throughout the lake near the weed edges, with spinner baits and suicks turning the most fish. Smallmouth bass remain elusive, however some fish can be found at the weed edges and shoreline areas. 800-524-9085
Walleye weighing up to 11-pounds have recently been registered, with action expected to remain good. Leeches and crawlers have been the best producers, with slowly-trolled crankbaits a close second. Most walleye are coming from the reefs and rock outcroppings in 8-12 feet of water. Crappies and sunnies are completing their spawn and aggressively hitting baits presented in 3-10 feet of water. Small spinnerbaits, such as beetle spins are very effective since they can quickly cover more water, ruling out non-productive areas. Once schools of fish are located, switch over to live bait or small soft baits on a jig beneath a slip bobber. Anglers searching for northern pike should use spinnerbaits and spoons at the emergent weed edges and drop-offs around islands and lake shore points. 800-777-7281
Fish have been very active since last week's rain. The area received from 3- to 4-inches of rainfall, with only minor flooding when compared to areas further southwest. Please note that all area roads are open. The recent increase in temperatures have brought most fish to the surface. On Brule Lake, located within the Boundary Waters, walleye are practically jumping into canoes. Most fish are coming from 10-15 feet of water on regular jigs and floating jigs. Another Boundary Waters lake where anglers report incredible action is Crocodile Lake, located near East Bearskin Lake on the Gunflint Trail. The recommended technique for this body of water is a crawler or leech, especially during evening hours. On Cascade Lake, walleye and smallmouth bass are actively hitting spinners and crawlers worked in 8-15 feet of water. Try a few beetle spins as well. Northern pike anglers are having lots of success using sucker minnows in depths of 4-8 feet, as well as slowly-trolled spoons. Leo Lake on the Gunflint Trail is producing lots of rainbow trout in 12-15 feet of water on nightcrawlers. For Lake Trout, hit Kemo Lake on the Gunflint Trail, with some 4- to 5-pound fish coming from depths of 35-45 feet on spoons tipped with ciscoes. Brook trout are active in area streams. For some nice fish, hit the Onion River, located between Tofte and Lutsen, with a few 2- to 3-pounders being reported.
Fishing has been inconsistent due to recent storm systems, making it difficult to predict patterns. Area lakes, however, continue to produce walleye, northern pike, bass and panfish. Walleye are scattered in deeper waters, with schools of fish being harder to find. The best approach is to be persistent, pulling bottom bouncers and blades through the deeper waters. Smallmouth bass and northern pike remain easier targets, with both being pulled from within and near the thicker shoreline vegetation. Professional anglers had lots of success using jigs with impulse jigging leeches and nightcrawlers. Lakes such as Pokegama and Winnibigoshish are giving up good numbers of walleye to dedicated anglers. Smaller area lakes are giving up lots of bass and panfish. Sand Lake, located 40 miles north of Grand Rapids, is producing lots of walleye at the main lake structure. Anglers using northland rock runner bottom bouncers on gold or fire tiger rainbow spinners with nightcrawlers are having the most success, especially when moving at .9 mph. Walleye are averaging between 13- and 15-inches. Lots of northern pike, measuring 18- to 22-inches, are also being reported. Perch are running smaller this year, averaging 8- to 9-inches. On Ball Club Lake, perch are biting at the edges of the bars and humps in 24-29 feet of water. The best bait system is a northland fireball jig or northland thumper jig tipped with a fathead minnow; the most productive colors are parakeet and sunrise. For walleye, try rock runner bottom bouncers on a rainbow spinner with a nightcrawler in 12-18 feet at the weeds. Round Lake slot walleye are active on the weedlines, with most measuring 18- to 22-inches in length; some keepers are coming from Center Bar. Perch action is heating up for anglers using mimic minnows and spinners on firetiger with a piece of nightcrawler or small minnow trolled or casted at Center Bar. Another good bait system is a rainbow spinner and a bullet weight or split shot and a fathead. Start planning your next fishing trip with a Professional Grand Rapids Area Fishing Guide. 800-355-9740
On the south end of Lake of the Woods, anglers are taking nice walleye from 9-30 feet of water in front of the gaps when anchored and jigging. To the west, at Zippel Bay, Long Point and Rocky Point, the rock piles are heating up. Jigging and pulling spinners has been key. Some anglers are starting to have success using jigs tipped with leeches. As the water warms, crankbaits will be more and more effective. Anglers are having success south of Garden Island, with lots of 17- to 19-inchers reported. Again, jigs, spinners and crankbaits have worked well. At the Northwest Angle & Islands area, fishing has been amazing. The reefs of Little Traverse, the 4 Blocks (islands south of Oak Island), and the deep water bays have been full of walleye. Anglers pulling spinners or jigging have taken the majority of fish. Smallmouth bass have moved off their beds and can be found at the deep rock points and on some reefs. An occasional muskie is being reported, and northern pike have been active at the weedlines and rocky reefs. Please note that there are numerous Lake of the Woods walleye tournaments just around the corner, and the public is encouraged to participate: North Star Walleye Classic, June 30; MN Tournament Trail, July 6 & July 7; and AIM Pro Walleye, August 16, 17 & 18. 800-382-FISH
Surface water temperatures have risen above 70-degrees in most area lakes. Changes will now begin to occur in the lakes, including an increase in the rate of algae growth, resulting in reduced visibility. Mayfly hatches have been heavy this week, however adult mayflies only live a few days. Once the mayfly hatches are done, the amount of food in deep water area will be reduced, eventually pushing many fish back towards the shallows. To avoid the negative effects of the current mayfly hatches, concentrate on weed fish feeding in shallow waters. Anglers are starting to use faster presentations for the walleye and other species, with bottom bouncers, spinners and trolled crankbaits two presentations that usually work best when surface water temperatures rise above 70-degrees. Muskie anglers should find that the muskies are becoming more active. The rise in algae will actually benefit muskie anglers since the reduced visibility will increase the chance that lures are mistaken for the real thing. Bass are another species that are not usually affected by the mayfly hatches, with most bass spending the summer months in the shallows while most of the insect hatches occur in the deeper waters. 800-458-2223
Walleye are starting to hit leeches worked in 18-20 foot depths on Cass Lake. Rapalas are also working well at dusk. Jumbo perch have moved into the shallows. Northern pike are hitting sucker minnows in Allen's Bay. Panfish are moving along the weed edges in 10-12 feet of water. Muskie anglers are catching more fish when using bucktails. 800-356-8615
One local guide recently worked the humps on the north side of Lake Winnibigoshish, marking lots of fish in 21-23 feet of water. Between 2:00 pm & 4:00 pm, the final tally was 25 walleye taken on a 3/8-ounce jig tip with golden shiners and a rig tipped with a leech. The jig, however, out-fished the rig 2-to-1. The following day, three anglers headed out to roughly the same area and by 2:00 pm each one had their limit of walleye, tossing back just as many slot fish. While the jig and minnow combination worked best, leeches became more effective as the day progressed. 218/665-2268
This week's more stable weather patterns should improve fishing on Leech Lake. The walleye bite has been best on the big lake during the day, and in Walker Bay during evening hours. For walleye, check out locations on the west end, working 9-15 feet of water around the Goose Island flats and The Hardwoods. The Duck Points and areas in-between are giving up some nice fish to anglers pulling bottom bouncers and spinner rigs. Many anglers have done well in the cabbage weeds in Steamboat Bay using a floating jig and a leech. Walker Bay's Sand Point is a great early evening spot for anglers pulling a lindy crawler rig or leech. Jig anglers are having success using rainbows and golden shiners. The Pelican Island, West Bar and Diamond Point areas on the east end of Leech Lake are also producing some nice fish. Pulling crankbaits through 9-12 feet of water after dark has worked extremely well in nearly all areas of Leech Lake. Anglers fishing for muskies should check out the weeds in Portage Bay. 800-833-1118
Consistent weather patterns are improving fishing on area lakes. Sunfish and crappie anglers are doing very well when using ripping jigs where mayflies are abundant. Pulling crankbaits should also produce some fish. 800-279-6932
As of late last week, water temperatures had risen back into the high 60s. The walleye bite was best when using crawlers and leeches on live bait rigs or spinners in 16-24 feet of water. Bass were very active on the weed edges and off the boat docks, with jigs & plastics, spinners, and small crankbaits all producing well. Smallmouth bass seemed to be most active on Cormorant, White Earth and Island lakes, with the greatest numbers coming in on tube jigs pitched to the rock piles. Northern pike action was extremely good, however, most of the biters were on the smaller side. For the larger fish, check Sallie and McDonald lakes; please be aware of slot requirements. Muskie anglers are having an excellent time on Pelican and Big Detroit lakes when "chunking" cabbage weed beds. Anglers fishing Beers Lake near Maplewood State Park report good numbers and lots of follows. And sunfish action has been great in the weeds for anglers using small leeches; crappies have been a bit more difficult to find. 800-542-3992
Fishing remains good on Otter Tail Lake. Anglers are taking nice numbers of walleye when using crawlers, leeches and spinners in 15-25 feet of water. Panfish anglers are doing well in 15-20 foot depths at the weed edges on most area lakes. The bass bite has been excellent for anglers using buzz baits and Sally jigs. For muskie, check out West Battle Lake where anglers report a lot of follows. 800-423-4571
Water levels are high for the Whitefish Chain of Lakes, and anglers will need to use a bit more patience to take their limits. Anglers fishing for walleye during the day should work the points and weedlines down to 25 feet of water using lindy rigs with leeches, crawlers or minnows. At night, use slip bobber rigs over the humps and in the shallows; trolling rapalas over and around the humps and along the shorelines should also produce fish. Small northern pike remain shallow, hitting almost anything. For the larger pike, try large minnows on jugs or rigs in the deeper waters. Panfish are hammering small minnows, leeches and worms on slip bobber rigs worked in 10-12 feet in the weeds. Bass are active at the docks, weedflats and points, with spinnerbaits and Carolina-style (sinker above the swivel) plastic rigs working best.
Gull Lake walleye can be found shallow and on mid-summer structure. The shallow fish are relating to the tall cabbage weeds found in 8-12 feet of water. To catch these fish, pitch a jig tipped with a minnow or some gulp. Mid-summer structure fish can be found when live bait-rigging with redtails or shiners in 20-25 feet of water. Bass can be found throughout the lake on the outside edges of the weedlines and on the backside of weed flats. For the most bass, pitch a jig and plastic, cast a small crankbait, or merely toss in a slip bobber and panfish leech. Panfish have moved off their shoreline beds and relocated to approximately 9-12 feet of water. Look for them to start moving out to midlake structure in the near future. For now, have a blast catching lots of fish using a 1/32-ounce jig tipped with a panfish leech under a float. And nearby, on the north end of Lake Mille Lacs, walleye are coming from the edges of the flats in 25-28 feet of water. Some of the preferred flats are Myr Mar, Mattons, 7 Mile and 8 Mile, but be sure to also check out some of the smaller, less-pressured flats. Lindy rigs and leeches remain the bait of choice, however, minnows and crawlers on a spinner are also working well. The bobber bite remains a great producer on the reefs and mud during evening hours. Smallmouth bass are active on the rocks, with tubes jigs and senkos being the most productive. 800-450-2838
On Lake Mille Lacs, walleye anglers are doing well at Myr Mar, Fletchers and 8 Mile in 23-28 feet of water during morning hours, and in 29-34 foot depths during evening hours. The best approach has been an orange, gold or chartreuse spinners tipped with a rainbow or fathead minnow. A leech under a bobber on the rocks is usually productive in the evenings as well. Don't be afraid to get away from "the crowds" since fishing is likely to improve once you locate an unpressured school of fish. Smallmouth bass action has been exceptional; for the most fish, try a jig tipped with a minnow or leech at the rocks or points in roughly 5-8 feet of water. Anglers are also doing well when using traditional crankbaits such as rapalas, flickers, and salmos, with crayfish and shad colors being best. 888-350-2692
Fishing remains great in Willmar Area Lakes! A lot of panfish and northern pike are being pulled from Andrew, Florida, Games, Eagle and Green lakes. Walleye remain active on Green, Eagle and Diamond lakes. Sunnies and crappies are active on Willmar, Foot and Ringo lakes. Weather should stay favorable through the end of the week, making this a perfect time to fish the Willmar Lakes Area! 800-845-8747
Due to the large amounts of rain in the northern part of the state, the river has been extremely high and fishing has been limited for some anglers. Walleye anglers are having some success, however, using live bait and rapalas in 10-20 feet of water. The water continues to recede, and the river should be in great shape for the upcoming 4th of July holiday.715/483-3580
Bass fishing has been excellent on Chisago and South Lindstrom lakes along the weedlines; please note, however, that bass are catch-and-release only. The best fishing has been in the shallows, under the docks and on top of the water, during early morning and evening hours. For the most fish, use jigs tipped with worms, spinnerbaits or crankbaits along the weedlines. Walleye can be found in deeper waters when using leeches and fatheads, especially on South Center Lake. Northern pike are pursuing sucker minnows in front of the old Bluhm Farm on Chisago Lake. Panfish are being pulled from most area lakes on panfish leeches, crappie jigs and flu flu jigs. For the largest crappies, hit Chisago Lake.651/257-1177
Sunfish are extremely active on Bald Eagle and White Bear lakes, with good numbers coming from 5-10 feet of water on leeches and worms. The crappies on White Bear Lake have moved to the weedlines in depths of 15-18 feet of water. Anglers are catching the majority of fish when using tube jigs and crappie minnows. Northern pike and muskies are active on both lakes, with large spinnerbaits and blade baits turning the most fish. During early morning hours, try top water lures as well. Walleye continue to be pulled from Bald Eagle Lake on jigs and lindy rigs tipped with leeches or fathead minnows worked in 12-15 feet of water. White Bear Lake walleye are biting mostly during late evening hours and at night. Anglers are having the most success using leeches and fatheads in depths of 20-25 feet. Bass are very active on both lakes, with fish coming from both shallow and deep waters on crankbaits, shallow-running lures, and live bait rigs with leeches or nightcrawlers. Anglers may also want to try weedless rigs and plastic worms on White Bear. 651/653-5122
As of late last week, bass angling was excellent at the inlets and culverts when using jerkbaits, jigs and tube jigs near flowing waters; these techniques were also working in the reed beds and off the docks. Bluegills were active in the reed beds along the north shore, as well as inside the weed edges. Wax worms and small leeches produced excellent numbers! 952/442-5812
As of Thursday, June 28, conditions were mostly clear and low for Canfield Creek, Forestville Creek, Duschee Creek, Gribben Creek, Wisel Creek, the South Branch Root River at Lanesboro, and the South Branch Root River at Forestville State Park. Trout have been active. At the time of this report, several species of caddis were noticed outside on the office walls. Vegetation was getting thick and many anglers are fishing terrestrials with a nymph as a dropper when possible. Smallmouth bass action has also been good, with quite a few smallmouth taken on crawfish patterns and tan buggers just last week. 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 don't forget the sheephead which 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
Last week was another great week of fishing on Big Stone Lake, despite strong winds and heavy rains. The favorite technique for walleye has been a bottom bouncer/spinner/crawler presentation worked over the tops of the weed growth or along the weedlines. Some anglers have also had success using leeches instead, or switching over to crankbaits. The south end of the lake near Rocky Ledge, up to Shady Beach and along the shoreline to Hartford Beach has been best. Fish are also being reported on the north end. Due to the abundance of weeds, anglers are having to work depths of 9-11 feet. Perch action has been amazing, with anglers catching lots of smaller perch off their docks and larger perch from their boats. It has been wonderful to witness such an aggressive bite so early in the season. Children are especially enjoying all of the action. Some perch are being picked-up while fishing for walleye, with crankbaits even turning a few fish. When fishing from boat, hit 12-14 foot depths in the Lagoona Beach area, the Grapevine, BayView or Rocky Ledge.800-568-5722