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Minnesota Fish Tales Fishing Report
The Most In-Depth Statewide Fishing Report in Minnesota!

Fish Tales Archive

© 2017 OutdoorsWeekly.com - Copyright Info

BATTLE LAKE
- Ben's Bait & Tackle
Bennet or Craig Stich, Junction of Hwy 78 and 210 (218-864-5596)

For walleyes, fish 12-15 feet around weed edges using leeches or crawlers on jigs or snells. Best lakes have been Ottertail, West Battle and Silver. Panfish are in the 10-15 foot weeds on West Battle, Round and Silver. For sunfish use leeches, crawlers or waxworms and for crappies, try crappie minnows on little jigs (flu-flu, moon glows). The docks and weed beds are producing bass with spinnerbaits, jigs and plastic or jigs/minnows. Lakes to try are Silver, Fiske, Donald, South Turtle. Northern pike are in the 15-20 foot weedlines hitting spinners and sucker minnows or spoons. Try Donald, Fiske, Silver or Round. The muskies are in shallow areas by docks, weeds and rocks. Use bucktails or jakes on West Battle.

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LAKE BENTON
- Veire's Mini-Mart - Visit our Facebook Page
Dave, 117 E Benton St, corner of Hwy 75 and 14 (507-368-4204)

Anglers on the west side of Lake Benton found little action, with relatively little wind. Even the bullheads weren’t biting, and only a few walleyes were pulled out. Action was a little steadier on the east end of the lake, with several nice fishing caught using minnows. Most of the walleyes were smaller males, and many of the females may still be in a pre-spawn pattern.
Rock Lake was also fairly slow, with only a few walleyes coming out, although one group of anglers hooked a channel catfish.
The action on Lake Shetek was also pretty slow, as anglers crowded the banks searching for the year’s first walleyes. Even using a variety of methods, from a bare hook and worm, to Lindy rigs tipped with a minnow, to casting crankbaits, anglers only found a few walleyes worthy of a trip to the frying pan.
Lac Qui Parle had a pretty steady bite a couple of spots on the lake, with the best action coming right at sunrise. Walleyes here seemed to be firmly in a pre-spawn pattern, as most walleyes were caught off shore, vertical jigging from the boat. Small jigs pitched over rocky areas and retrieved slowly caught some heavy pre-spawn females. Fishing should continue to pick up as walleyes cycle through the spawning areas and start to feed heavily post-spawn.

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BLACKDUCK AREA
- Timberline Sport & Tackle
Carl Adams, Junction of Hwy 71 and Blackduck Lake Rd. (218-835-4636)

Walleyes are biting on Island, Blackduck and Round Lake on leeches or nightcrawlers in 15-20 feet. Panfish are at the weedlines on Pimushe, Gilstead and Gull.

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BRAINERD AREA
- Leisure Outdoor Adventures - www.leisureoutdooradventures.com
Jason Freed, Toby Kvalevog, Jeff Andersen (1-855-LOA-HOOK or 1-855-562-4665)

Here is your Leech Lake, Brainerd, Cass Lake and Mille Lacs Fishing Guide Report for the week of June 26th.  Our Fishing Guide team has been busy chasing walleyes all over Central Minnesota and with great success.  With this time of year comes changing weather patterns, bug hatches, and a transition period for walleyes throughout the region.  Lets see what was happening this week.

Leech Lake

With the big winds this week we were not able to venture out as far, so not a whole lot to report from the Main Lake.  When it isn’t blowing too hard, the main lake rock reefs were kicking out nice Leech Lake walleyes in 14-18 feet of water.  Pulling lindy rigs with crawlers or leeches as well as slow death at .5-.8 mph was the best.  Speed is the key when dialing in these fish.  Our Leech Lake fishing guides found a nice mix of eaters and bigger fish.   Still many of the same places as last week were producing in North Bar, Fletchers, Ivans, Submarine, etc, but don’t forget to look for secondary reefs and humps that are nearby or if the fish are not on the edges of those reefs look to the mud basins where the bug hatches are taking place and drive until you graph fish.

On the west end of the lake in Walker Bay and Agency Bays, shoreline breaks that had wind blowing in were the best.  14-20ft of water is where we keyed in on.  Pulling lindy rigs with chubs, leeches, or crawlers all worked to put a nice mix of walleyes and even some nice pike in the boat.  Other areas to key in on would be under water points and bars that run out into the bays and have deep water right next to them the bigger fish like to suspend and then come in and feed during these times.  

Mille Lacs

Well all you can say about Mille Lacs Walleye Fishing right now is WOW.  This lake seems incredibly healthy and the fish are on the chow!  We spent a few days last week fishing and guiding with awesome results.  Our best luck was on the mud flats.  We focused on the North end of the lake and found great success on the top edges in 25-27 feet of water and at the base of the mud flats in 30-33 feet of water pulling spinners with crawler and lindy rigging with crawlers or leeches.  Also have heard reports of guys pulling leadcore for those suspended fish.  Honestly if you use your electronics, play the wind, and drive until you mark fish you will catch walleyes out there and many that are big ones!  .8-1.1 MPH was the best speed when trolling spinners and often times covering ground until you found pods of fish.  If they didn’t go on the spinners then slowing it down and working over top of them was able to produce bites.  Don’t forget other tactics such as power corking or looking to the rock reefs such as Myr Mar or Garrison to target these fish.  

Smallmouth fishing was alright.  The best reports came off of the rock reefs in 6-12 feet of water depending on the day and conditions.  Brown and Blue tubes, jerk baits, and top waters on calm days were all good tactics.  Best thing to do is avoid the crowds and try to find those isolated boulder piles or areas and the action can be fast and furious.  

Cass Lake
Under water points have been holding fish on Cass Lake of late. 12-15 feet in the early morning hours or cloudy days and 17-22 feet during the day. One key has been to find schools of baitfish and the Walleyes have been close by. Spinners or slow death rigs with a crawler have been dynamite. Clear days, the need to slow down and let the bait coax the Walleyes into biting means means Lindy rigs with leeches, crawlers or redtails. The key on Cass is to fish fish; drive structure using your Lowrance sonar until you mark fish. Don't simply fish a spot, trust your electronics and fish fish!

Brainerd Lakes
Fishing has been pretty darn good around the Brainerd Lakes Area!  Walleyes have been biting on Gull, North Long, and Whitefish.  Keeping an open mind on what technique to use has been important because some days the walleyes will be in the weeds, and other days they are off the weed edge.  When the walleyes are in the weeds, pitching a jig/minnow or a jig/plastic into the cabbage weeds is best.  If that does not produce walleyes, then switch to a slip bobber and leech.  Cast the bobber into the weed pockets and let it sit for a few minutes, and if it does not get bit, re-cast the bobber and tr a new spot.  If you can graph fish out on the weed edge, use a Lindy Rig with a redtail minnow, creek chub, leech, or night crawler.  The best depths for the weed walleyes is 5-12 feet and the deeper fish normally will be located from 10-30 feet of ater.  Be sure to fish the windy weed beds first as this will drive the bait fish into those areas.  

Until next week
Leisure Outdoor Adventures Guide Team

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CHISAGO CITY
- Frankie's Live Bait and Marine - www.frankies.net
Brad, Corner of Hwy 8 and CR 77 (651-257-6334)

Walleyes hitting jigs and minnows on South Center, Chisago, and Green. Try the channels and bays such at North Center, South Center, Chisago, and Green for panfish and bass action.

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DULUTH
- Marine General - www.marinegeneral.com
1501 London Road, on the edge of Lake Superior (218-724-8833)

Fish Lake is producing walleyes on a jig/minnow in 10 feet of water. Island Lake also producing some walleyes in 15 feet of water. Good walleye reports from the St Louis River also! For crappies, try Fish and Island in 10 feet of water.

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ELY
- 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)

Full coolers and big smiles were the theme this week as walleye fishing remains hot. Spinners with crawlers or minnows are putting lots of fish in the boat in 16-30 ft. Gold, glow and bright colors continue to be solid choices.  Pike active, perch and smallmouth bite in many areas of the lake. Mayfly hatch on parts of the lake.   

Anglers in the Rainy River finding some walleyes with morning/evening.  Trolling cranks or pulling spinners producing the best. Smallmouth bass in good numbers along shorelines, bridge embankments and feeder streams. Sturgeon fishing is on fire with good numbers being caught.

Up at the NW Angle, fishing remains lights out. The areas by Crowduck and Garden Island all holding big schools of walleyes. Spinners with crawlers in 20-24 feet. Crankbaits also producing good numbers. On the Canadian side, jigging and pulling spinners on reefs is filling coolers.   Muskie fishing good with the a few 50's caught while casting bucktails over wed/rock transitions. Algae Bloom minimal, visibility still good . Lodging, charters and guides are available at www.LakeoftheWoodsMN.com/Lodging.

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GLENWOOD
- Fish On Bait & Sport www.habitatnow.com
Kyle, 201 S Franklin St, 2 blocks south of stoplights in Glenwood (320-634-3667)

Visit the Habitat Outlet on line at www.HabitatNOW.com for all your habitat needs.  Fish On!

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HACKENSACK
Swanson's Bait & Tackle - www.swansonsbait.com
Caleb Garoutte, Hwy 371 on the north end of Hackensack (218-675-6176)

The walleye have been getting very tight-jawed the last week, and it has been hard to find active fish - most coming out of deeper water over 20'. We're seeing more activity late in the evening and after dark. If you're struggling to find fish during the day, try trolling crankbaits along shallower structure at last light and after dark. We've also heard reports of lighted bobbers on mid lake humps after dark with sucker minnows or leeches. We are also hearing more and more guys pulling fish trolling the middle on Ten Mile after dark so the walleye are starting to key in on that suspended forage.

Largemouth bass continue to be way deep in the shoreline slop. Bounce your frogs or plastics off the banks right up against shore to find those fish. Anywhere there are deeper pockets up against the shoreline is perfect. Most days you'll hear the fish taking frogs and feeding up shallow which gives you a great lock on how far back the fish are hanging. Early morning and late evening are finding fish more on the deeper edge of the weeds.

Crappie have been turning on great in the late evenings over the tall weed flats. Troll or cast light jigs over the weedbeds to pull fish up. During the day you will need to slow down and slowly pull over the weed tops, or drop a slip bobber over them and let a crappie minnow swim around. 8-14' of water has been best, but you can find them shallower if you find some good stick piles.

We're seeing a lot more muskie action on Wabedo and Leech. It still hasn't heated up too much yet, but guys are picking fish up on bucktails and jerkbaits. Things should just keep getting better here!

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KABETOGAMA-NAMAKAN
- 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)

Bite remains strong despite an inconsistent weather pattern

After two and a half days of rain and strong easterly winds the weather has cleared and vacationers are once again out on the lake.  Just before the weather hit the reports were good and it has picked up right where it left off.  Water temps have been hovering around 70 degree mark. 
The rule of thumb these days are if its windy go shallow, say 7’-10’ and if not, hit the reefs.  The mid lake reefs and island areas are now consistently producing walleye and perch in various depths.  The key to a successful day is locating active fish.  Once found, a lindy rig tipped with a crawler or leech is doing well.  Using a 2’-3’ snell will help keep your bait near the bottom and increase your odds of being in the zone.  When fishing shallow, use the same approach or even try pitching a small a small jig tipped with a minnow.  No day is the same so try changing up your presentation and your bait until you find something that works.  Try areas around Big Martin, Cuculus and Chase islands.
Larger northern pike have moved off to cooler water but good fishing is still being had casting rocky shorelines and weedy bays.  Many reports of fish in the 3-7lb range.  Casting just about anything will work but larger spoons and crankbaits are doing well.  Sucker minnows under a bobber can also be productive and a fun way to spend the day and take in the sights.
Small mouth bass reports are scattered.  As usual, casting rocky shorelines with smaller Rapalas and Mepps spinners will work.
For those wanting to do some sighting, visit any one of the Voyageurs National Park visitor centers and plan a trip.  They have plenty of options including informational tours, canoeing and trips to Kettle Falls.  Plan ahead as this is a popular way to see the park!
There have been numerous sightings of a couple large buck deer up around the Zollner to Cemetery island area.  I am certain they are the same deer we have been seeing for a couple years now.  They are in full velvet and quite a sight.
Blueberries are ripening and ready for picking.  There is plenty to go around If you can beat the bear and other blueberry loving critters to the patch!  Don’t forget your bug spray.
BINGO is still in full swing at the Kabetogama “Town” Hall on Tuesdays and Thursdays at 8:00pm. It’s a great way to meet new people and have fun!

See you on the water!        
Jason & Robyn Cooper

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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 limits this week as the bite remains excellent.  Jig/minnow or jig/leech and bouncers with spinners with crawlers or minnows remaining a great tactic to land fish. Gold, glow and bright colors doing the best.  Walleyes and saugers in 14-20' with others a little deeper to 29-30'.  Anglers just starting to troll cranks.  Lots of areas producing all around the lake.  Pike, perch, and a great smallmouth bite mixed in as well. Lots of mayflies around right now but fishing remains good.

Anglers in the Rainy River finding some walleyes with morning/evening the best.  Trolling cranks or pulling spinners a good idea to cover more water. Smallmouth bass in good numbers along shorelines and feeder streams. Sturgeon fishing opened July 1st and initial reports are very good for sturgeon anglers with some monsters boated.

Up at the NW Angle, fishing remains great. The areas by Little Oak, Crowduck, and Garden Island all holding good populations of fish. Crawlers on a hammered gold and/or orange/chartreuse spinner are producing fish out of 18 - 28 feet. On days with no wind, troll 1.0 - 1.25 mph with spinners.  Crankbaits starting to boat fish more consistently. On the Canadian side, bottom bouncers and spinners have been sending anglers home with limits as have the traditional jig and minnow.  Muskie fishing going good with numbers of 30-45" inch fish and a few 50 inchers. Lodging, charters and guides are available at www.LakeoftheWoodsMN.com/Lodging.

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LEECH LAKE
- Anderson's Resorts - www.andersonsleech-lake.com
Tim, (1-800-516-0077) spirit@arvig.net (e-mail) 

It's a great year to be on Leech Lake! The walleye bite this spring was off the charts with lots and lots of big walleyes being caught! Lots of slot fish (20-26 inches) as well which are still a blast to catch, but plenty of keeper size fish (14-19 inches) as well! The mayflies have hatched and the bite has slowed up for some but pulling spinners with crawlers or a leech has been very productive in 9-12 feet and on some of the deeper humps in 15-25 feet. Slip bobbers with a leech has been hot, or pulling crankbaits on the weedlines or on top of rock piles in the evenings in 7-12 feet has been effective. Prime areas right now have been around Pelican Island, Huddles Reef, and north end of Walker Bay have been kicking out some nice fish! Panfish bite has been limited but perch have been hitting in the shallow weeds. Muskie season has gotten off to a solid start with a few mid 40 inch fish being caught! With the warm temperatures in sight they should be in full swing! If you haven't made vacation plans yet we still have openings! Give us a call and come enjoy beautiful Leech Lake with us!

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MILLE LACS
- Chris Kuduk's Guide Service - www.kuduksguideservice.com
(320-630-1761)
For up to the minute reports, call Chris at 320-630-1761!

Mille Lacs Lake fishing is on fire! Anglers are bobber fishing in the evenings or rigging in the mud with great results! Pike and muskies are also being caught and smallmouth bite is going great guns! Try 3 Mile, Big Point, Garrison Reef or any reef with crankbaits or tube jigs. Platte, Sullivan, Shakoppe, Ann and Knife are produing a great panfish bite! Call Chris for up-to-the-minute reports or to book a launch trip or a small boat trip! Listen to Chris at 5 pm on Outdoor Adventures on www.twincitiesnewstalk.com (iheart Radio)!

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LAKE MINNETONKA
- Wayzata Bait & Tackle
Tim or Bob, half mile west off I-494 on Hwy 12 (952-473-2227)

Minnetonka evening walleye bite best with shiner minnows and bobbers on the inside weedlines in 6-10 feet. Try Lake Independence for shallow water walleyes and bass.

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MISSISSIPPI - ST. CROIX
- Turk Gierke, Croixsippi Guide Service
www.croixsippi.com
(651-208-2811)

July 14, 2017 St Croix Summer Time fishing

Chris with a solid smallmouth bass from the St. Croix - all my bass are released
Chris with a solid smallmouth bass from the St. Croix – all my bass are released

Summer is in full swing on the St. Croix and the weather has been hot and humid and then cool and dry. The bite has been all over the board just like the weather.

Smallies earn their reputation deservedly as fighters. Chris got this one on a tube bait.
Smallies earn their reputation deservedly as fighters. Chris got this one on a tube bait.

Huge schools of minnows can be seen basically in any depth and on structure and off of structure.  Fish hone in on the massive bait balls to gorge and chew they will often ignore your bait when the schools are so large.

Walleyes are harder to catch as of late but you can get enough for a fish fry still. Stefen landed this on on livebait.
Walleyes are harder to catch as of late but you can get enough for a fish fry still – it depends on the day. Stefen landed this one on livebait.

Josh with a 22' walleye - caught and released. Good fighter on six pound line!
Josh with a 22″ walleye – caught and released. Good fighter on six pound line!Josh with another walleye - this one a eater. I voluntarily release walleye 20' . I wouldn't mind it as a rule btw.. Here is a good eater, the two had a good fish fry that night!
Josh with another walleye – this one a eater. I voluntarily release walleye 20″ . Here is a good eater, the two had a good fish fry that night!

Summer time is family fishing time.

Jen surrounded by Joe and Henry. Long time Ryan brought out his 'Fam' for some fun on the water.
Jen surrounded by Joe and Henry. Long time client Ryan brought out his “Fam” for some fun on the water. Good times – Joe normally entertains with his songs but this time he must have forgot the lyrics!

From my last report, the river is about a foot lower and is at 676.1 feet above sea level  as measured in Stillwater, MN. The water temperature is 77 (up 7 degrees).

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PARK RAPIDS
- Smokey Hills Outdoor Store, Josh Severtson, www.smokeyhills.com
Park Rapids, Minnesota (218-237-5099)

Walleye- Search for 5'-14' of water in the thick vegetation. Look for the first sharp breaks and drop offs in the lake. Tie up a Lindy "Walleye Drift Rig" paired with either a redtail or leech.

Bass- Choosing between two methods in 1'-4' of water. Casting towards shore from a distance so you don't scare the fish up in the shallow water. Cast in or around the pencil reeds and lily pads to find the big mamas hiding. Tie on a Lunkerhunt "Pocket frog" for those fun explosions on top of the water! For the slower approach tie on a VMC "Wacky weedless" hook paired with a YUM "Dinger" for best results! 

Crappie/Sunfish- In a variety of depths from 2'-8' depending on the average depth of the lake. Look for a lot of spawning structure such as timber, lily pads, and docks. Tie up a slip bobber a Custom jigs and spins "Flu-Flu" feather jig tipped with a crappie minnow or small leech to keep the kids busy! 

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/

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LAKE TRAVERSE
- Wheaton Service & Bait    www.wheatonservice.com
Neighbor Steve, 912 Broadway, Wheaton, MN (320-563-1400)

Walleye bite has been picking up! Some very large catfish being caught, 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!

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WACONIA
Mase's In Towne Marine - www.intownemarina.com
Cindy, corner of Lake and Elm (952-442-2096)

Sunfish are currently in shallow water on their spawning beds and are actively biting.  There has been plenty of crappie action as well, with 9 to 10 inch keepers being common, with anglers fishing in 9 to 12 feet of water.  Walleyes have been bucking normal lake trends on certain days.  Yesterday (6/6/17), there were reports of late-afternoon walleyes biting in the same areas as the crappies.  That’s usually uncommon, but this season has we’ve seen plenty of things we normally don’t see.  Most common walleye areas continue to be around Cemetery, Kegs and North Reefs in 12 to 17 feet of water. Bass continue to bite in most depths as well.  All in all, it has been a VERY good week of fishing for those out wetting a line.

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WINNIBIGOSHISH
- Walleye Visions - www.mnfishingconnections.com
Tom Neustrom, 21622 Airport Rd, Grand Rapids, tom@mnfishingconnections.com, (218-327-2312)

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.

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