Minnesota Fish Tales Fishing Report
The Most In-Depth Statewide Fishing Report in Minnesota!
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- Ben's Bait & Tackle
Bennet or Craig Stich, Junction of Hwy 78 and 210 (218-864-5596)
Sunfish are biting on West Battle, South Turtle and Clitherall. Try waxworms in 8-12 feet of water. For crappies, hit up West Battle, Buchanan or Rush in 10-15 feet. Good luck on opener!
- Veire's Mini-Mart
Dave, 117 E Benton St, corner of Hwy 75 and 14 (507-368-4204)
Please call us or check back for updates! Looking forward to opener!
- Timberline Sport & Tackle
Carl Adams, Junction of Hwy 71 and Blackduck Lake Rd. (218-835-4636)
Panfish action has picked up some. Look for perch around the shallow reeds on Blackduck and Island. Crappies are biting on Beltrami. Stop in for all you opening weekend needs!
- Leisure Outdoor Adventures - www.leisureoutdooradventures.com
Jason Freed, Toby Kvalevog, Jeff Andersen (1-855-LOA-HOOK or 1-855-562-4665)
Crappies and gills are starting to pick up on many of the local lakes. Gull Lake, Hubert, Margaret, White Sand, Edward, and many more are starting to kick out decent fish. The majority of the fish are not super shallow yet, and that won't come until those water temps rise. For now, focus on those shallow bays that have a dark or mucky bottom where on warm days they will warm up and fish will pull to feed on bugs and small minnows, these places you will spend most time fishing in 4-7 feet of water. Otherwise looking to areas where the crappies will be staging such as the breaklines that are near shallow weedy flats will best produce in 8-12 feet of water. Right now slow and methodical seems to catch the most fish. Fishing under a slip float with a 1/32-oz jig and tube or jig and minnow will produce best. Fan casting around until you find a school and then anchoring up on them.
- Frankie's Live Bait and Marine - www.frankies.net
Brad, Corner of Hwy 8 and CR 77 (651-257-6334)
Panfish are biting on North Lindstrom, South Lindstrom, Chisago, North Center and South Center. Work the weedlines for bluegills and move to the deeper water and bays and channels for crappie action. Stop in or call us for opening season walleye tips!
- Marine General - www.marinegeneral.com
1501 London Road, on the edge of Lake Superior (218-724-8833)
Lake trout and coho salmon are biting at Park Point on Lake Superior. Try trolling stickbaits in the top 20 feet of water. Smelt run is good. Looking foward to a great fishing opener this month!
- Babe's Bait and Tackle - BabesBaitEly.com
500 Kawishiwi Trail, Ely, MN, first business on the left as you are entering town of Ely from the west on Hwy 169 (218-365-6930)
We regret that we will be closing for the season to take a short break and to change over the shop from winter to summer stock. Our plans are to reopen on May 1st. See you for spring opener!
Swanson's Bait & Tackle - www.swansonsbait.com
Caleb Garoutte, Hwy 371 on the north end of Hackensack (218-675-6176)
Please check our website or Facebook page for new fishing reports! We will update them here as they come in!
- Gateway Store kabfishingreport.com - gatewaygeneral.com
Phil & Ellen Hart, US Hwy 53 & Co Rd 122, 30 miles south of Int'l Falls-Canadian border (218-875-2121)
Our soft water season is closing in on us. I’m getting excited. VNP has placed all the rock markers in plenty of time. The lamplighters should be placing navigational marker buoys within the next week, well ahead of the opener. Water levels about normal for this time of year, but we need rain badly to get the levels up to normal for opener. We should have a report this week on the netting results from last year, as well as a forecast as to what kind of season to expect. The lake association meeting for all the resorts on Kab will be this Thursday and the specialist from the DNR is one of the guest speakers. Not much fishing action this past week. Northern pike season remains open all year on Namakan which is a great opportunity for anglers that want an early start. Crappie fishing slow at best right now, but will improve when the waters warm up. It is shaping up to be a good looking season so get your reservations in and enjoy natures masterpiece.
LAKE OF THE WOODS
- Lake of the Woods Area Tourism Bureau - www.lakeofthewoodsmn.com
near Junction of Hwy 11 and Hwy 172 in Baudette, (1-800-382-FISH)
Many big sturgeon boated this past week again. Has been a great year for sturgeon so far up and down the river. Fish different holes until you find fish. Use a 3 ounce no roll sinker, a 1-1.5 foot leader, and a circle hook loaded (called a sturgeon rig) with frozen shiners and crawlers for best results. Anchor boat up stream of a deeper hole and pitch sturgeon rig into the hole. Heavy equipment is preferred. Pike fishing is going good right now in shallow bays and on the Rainy River. Best methods so far are using buzz baits or lying a frozen cisco on bottom with a hook and weight(similar to a sturgeon rig but with less weight).
Pike are active in bays. The lake and bays and water starting to warm up and pike are being caught. Pike are open all year up on LOW.
Up at the NW Angle, the ice is gone and it's open water. Remember, walleyes open May 13th, pike and crappies open all year for LOW MN and sturgeon fishing through May 15th and then again July 1st. www.LakeoftheWoodsMN.com.
- Anderson's Resorts - www.andersonsleech-lake.com
Tim, (1-800-516-0077) (1-800-516-0077)
Fishing opener is going to be wonderful on Leech Lake this year! Early ice-off and plenty of fish to be caught and 4 can be kept! Leech Lake is a very easy lake to fish on opener! Grab your jig box and a medium/light rod! I love green jigs but blue and white are also very popular on Leech Lake. We always start shallow and use the wind blown shores to start. Due to early ice-off the early spots might not be the go-to spots this year! It is sure nice to hear the waves on the shore again! Northern pike are also going to wish you had leaders on at times, they enjoy a fat shiner on a jig as well as the walleyes! If you are after pike only you should go into the shallow bays and work the new weedlines with spoons, it can be a lot of fun! We have openings for Opener and Memorial Day, so if you are a late planner don't worry - Leech Lake will take care of you! P.S. Take Mom Fishing this opener - it is Mother's day weekend so you can make it a win-win! Looking forward to a great open water season!
- Chris Kuduk's Guide Service - (320-630-1761)
Tullibie and perch are biting on Mille Lacs! Keep moving to find the fish. For up to the minute ice conditions call Chris anytime or stop by your local bait store. Panfish have been biting on smaller area lakes such as Platte, Sullivan, Shakopee, Knife and Ann. Work the edge of the weedlines for best results. For fishing reports and current conditions listen to Chris and Stan on Outdoor Adventures on iHeart Radio.
- Wayzata Bait & Tackle
Tim or Bob, half mile west off I-494 on Hwy 12 (952-473-2227)
Crappies are biting in the milfoil in 5-10 feet on Lake Minnetonka. Lake Independence is also producing some crappies. For both crappies and sunfish, try Medicine in 5 feet. Good luck to all on walleye opener!
MISSISSIPPI - ST. CROIX
- Turk Gierke, Croixsippi Guide Service
St. Croix River opens on April 29th for walleye and sauger. At the time of opener the river is going to be five feet higher than normal pool elevation. This is a change from previous years when the water was at normal levels. Anglers enjoy the river for the fishing and the scenery. The water is a unique - clear but colored a light bronze from tannins from the northern watershed. In fact the St. Croix is so special it is designated as a National Wild and Scenic Waterway. The St. Croix produces year after year good quality walleye in the 15 to 19 inch range. These walleyes are rarely skinny so they always weigh well. Bigger fish are caught of course but the 17” to 18” fish are common. Minimum size to keep walleyes is 15". Near opener with expect male walleyes to be near spawning grounds such as river narrows or feeder streams. Walleye are caught in May using fatheads, leeches (mid May), crankbaits, and crawlers. Best depths from Stillwater, Minnesota on south to Prescott, Wisconsin is normally 10 to 22 feet deep in May. White bass bite well in the first three weeks of May and are often found mixed in with walleye. White bass are also known as “silvers” and are good eating. I always remove the “mudline” which is the lateral line of the fish – it also helps to bleed the fish out. Smallmouth bass opens May 27th. Smallies will readily hit tubes, wacky worms, jerk plastics, worms, and lizards. They are found shallow in May. They are very slow growing fish please release. One fun fact about the St. Croix – Anglers from any state can legally use two lines.
- Smokey Hills Outdoor Store, Josh Severtson, www.smokeyhills.com
19143 US HWY 71 N, Park Rapids, MN (218-237-5099)
The 2017 Minnesota fishing opener is upon us and Park Rapids, MN is the place to make your maiden voyage. The walleye fishing is always strong early season on many of the different area lakes such as Long Lake (East), Upper & Lower Bottle Lakes, Big Sand Lake, and Fish Hook Lake to name a few. Expect this year to be much of the same. The female walleyes will be post spawn and ready to eat. The days immediately after the spawn can be tough as the fish are often tired out, that will not be the case this year as we had an exceptionally warm spring. The ‘eyes will have had sufficient time to recover and will be active. It is common for the big walleyes to feed on baits typically reserved for catching large pike or muskies in this early period. Six to eight inch swimbaits will be effective and offer results in 12 to 25 feet of water. Casting up on to shallow points next to deep water and working the bait back to the boat will bring success. The Park Rapids area lakes are often missed by those anglers driving all the way up to Red Lake or Lake of the Woods looking for lunker walleyes, stop by and speak with Josh in the fishing department of Smokey Hills Outdoor Store and he can point you in the right direction with up to date information on where and how to put an obese walleye on your wall! https://www.facebook.com/SmokeyHills/
- Wheaton Service & Bait www.wheatonservice.com
Neighbor Steve, 912 Broadway, Wheaton, MN (320-563-1400)
The walleye opener on Lake Traverse was April 22! And the weather was a 10! The walleye bite was a 5. A lot of male walleyes boated, but few reports of females caught, due to how close to spawning they are. In fact the spawn may be happening as I type:) The fishing on Lake Traverse only gets better as the water warms! Some very large catfish were caught over the weekend, the largest reported to us was 30 lbs. Nice fish! I believe Lake Traverse to be among the best the U.S. has to offer. Looking for a place to stay while fishing Lake Traverse? Wheaton Service now offers lodging a The Fishin' Hole Lodge. The Lodge offers a private parking lot, beds, kitchen area, pool table room with a wet bar, big screen TV's. Only you and your group stays at the lodge at a time. If you normally stay at the motel, Give us a try! You'll be glad you did:) Walleye Guides and Catfish Guides are also available. All full day guide packages come with a real SHORE LUNCH cooked over the open fire! Give us a call, we'd love to have you! 320-563-1400 and ask for Steve or Wheaton Service on FB, or Fishin' Hole Lodge on FB. Thanks a million and Take a Kid Fishin!
Mase's In Towne Marine - www.intownemarina.com
Cindy, corner of Lake and Elm (952-442-2096)
Our bait shop and access will remain temporarily closed while we continue to install our marina docks. We look forward to seeing you when we open for the season on Friday, April 21st! Early season hours will be Monday thru Friday from 9:30 am to 6 pm and on Saturday & Sunday from 8 am to 6 pm. The start of Fishing Boat and Pontoon Rentals will be announced at a later time. Thank you for your patience!
- Walleye Visions - www.mnfishingconnections.com
Tom Neustrom, 21622 Airport Rd, Grand Rapids, email@example.com, (218-327-2312)
The ice has been off big Winnie for weeks and the anticipation for a great opener has everyone excited. The shiners are running and the walleyes will be actively chasing bait. With the cooler weather of late look for walleyes to hang shallow before heading off shore. All the points from sugar, Ravens, mallard, to stony point should be great spots to try. Depths of 6-12 feet will be best. Vmc mooneye jigs and a shiner will be very productive or with a slip sinker rig with a shiner. Have a great opener and be safe.