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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

- 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.

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- 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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- 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.

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

June 12th
Here is your Leech Lake and Mille Lacs Fishing Guide Report for the week of June 12th.  Things have been busy for our team of fishing guides on Leech Lake and Mille Lacs, with guide trips and tournaments in the past couple of weeks.  With that being said, fishing has been great and there are plenty of opportunities to put some walleyes in the boat on both lakes.  Here are the quick reports for this week.  

Leech Lake
Leech Lake has been busy of late with the LLWT and this past weekend the AIM Weekend Walleye Series tournaments.  Many big fish were caught this weekend with weights over 30lbs for the CRR format, which makes it super competitive.  The best fishing has been on the Main Lake, especially rocky bars and humps in 12-18 feet of water.  Leech Lake walleyes can be fickle on bright and sunny days, but as we progress in the coming week we are going to see more bug hatches which means the bite should really take off.  

On the Main Lake, look to the SE Corner of the lake around Campbells Bar, Bungy Bay, Pelican island, Red Rocks, Annex, North Bar, and Mokey Reefs.  As you work these areas over pay close attention to your electronics looking not only for Leech Lake walleyes, but also bait fish or bugs.  Pulling spinners .8-1.3mph or lindy rigging with Leeches and crawlers.  If you get a flat calm day, you may need to bump out into 18-25 feet of water to find those active Leech Lake Walleyes.

In Walker Bay, the bite has been kind of slow.  Shoreline breaks or humps that are close to shore are producing the best in 18-28 feet of water pulling chubs and leeches on lindy rigs.  

Mille Lacs
Mille Lacs has been nothing short of sensational of late.  While jig and shiners will still produce, it has been tough to beat a Lindy Rig and Leech.  Depths will vary depending on wind, clouds and sun.  Early in the morning 7-10 FOW on top of Garrison Reef or Myr Mar Reef have been very good. As the sun gets higher in the sky, fish have slid out as deep as 22 feet to the wind blown side base of reefs.  Fish are starting to show up on the flats as well with Matton and 3 Mile holding schools of active fish.  One thing to try on a calm day is to lengthen the size of your snell on your Lindy Rig.  Instead of a 3-4 foot snell, 6-7 feet on sunny days definitely produced more bites.   

Should be some great fishing still this month on both Mille Lacs and Leech Lake.  With the summer transition period taking place you need to have all the different presentations and types of bait ready to go.  Until next week.

Leisure Outdoor Adventures Fishing Guide Service


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- 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.

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- 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.

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- 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)

Fishing report 6/12/17
While the walleye fishing has been less than ideal, many anglers are managing to find some nice eating size fish. Most of the fish being reported have come from less than ten feet of water. This is and important bit of info as most folks feel that when the water gets as warm as it is, (around 74 degrees), they fish much deeper. This may be a bit unusual for most people to grasp, but the majority of the bait fish are near shore. Leeches and crawlers seem to be the mainstay of live bait, however, those trolling or casting crank baits are having equally good success.
Smallmouth bass and crappies are on the beds in many lakes, so they can be targeted in relatively skinny waters of three feet or less. Keep in mind that when the fish are this shallow, stealth is of utmost importance. Try to stay casting distance away from them as they do get spooky in shallow water. With the smallmouth, watch your line for the slightest twitch as they are not aggressively feeding, but they do try to move the offering away from their nesting site. Soft plastics shine under these conditions whether in the form of swim baits, crawfish or jig and tube combos.
Pike on the other hand have reached peak aggression and will readily take spoons, spinner baits, and just about any top water plug cast in their vicinity. Some folks will also use live suckers or large creek chubs with great success.
Lake trout are responding to either trolled crank baits or spoons run in water from forty to fifty-five feet.

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

Ice conditions vary by lake but most lakes are between 12" to 22". Leech Lake is seeing 16" to 22" on the main lake with vehicle traffic on most the lake. The bite has slowed due to colder temps but has still been consistent! Most walleyes are being caught in the 18' to 20' range. Dead sticking a shiner has been producing as well as rattling spoons such as the Buckshot or BB Ratttler. Walker bay has been producing off the shoreline breaks as well as the deeper humps.  The pike bite has been strong with most anglers going with a sucker minnow on a tip-up. The panfish bite has been strong with good numbers being reported! Small jigs such as the Bro Bug tipped with a wax worm or maggie seem to be the ticket! Stay warm and be safe!

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- 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)

6/11/17 Kabetogama-Namakan-Ash River Fishing Report

Shallow water and soft bottom structure prevails when targeting sauger and pike.  Still a bit deeper for walleyes.

Warm sunny weather has brought water temps into the high 60's, low 70's in some areas.  In return, spawning minnows are shallow which have fish in shallow as well.  Small jigs or slip sinker rig tipped with a minnow or leech are producing a great sauger bite in water under 12ft and less than 5 ft along emerging weed lines.  Look to Tom Cod and mouths of wind blown bays such as Mud and Daley.  Wind direction is important.  Funnel areas always a go to when the wind is blowing through.  Soft bottom working best as the first mayfly larvae of the season are starting to emerge.  Pulling bottom bouncers and spinners has been successful as well triggering fish.  Walleyes a bit deeper still, 24-28ft with leeches and crawlers, but leeches doing best.  A few better reports coming from Namakan for walleyes.

2-3 lb pike are common as usual just about anywhere.  Small mouth bass as well.  Daley and Tom Cod have been on fire for pike.  Just about any gradual sloping rocky shorelines for bass casting crawdad colored Rapalas as they are the food of choice.

With our constantly changing weather pattern giving anglers the fits adjusting day by day is important as fish are always on the move.  Keep moving to locate active fish and you will be successful.

Starting to see water skiers and tubes on the water which is a sure sign summer is here!  All of the Voyageurs National Park visitors centers are open so plan accordingly to book your trip to see the park.  Kettle Falls Hotel is also in full swing and a must go to if you have the time.  It is also a great time to take a hike on one of the many trails the park has to offer as you never know what you will see around the bend.

​One last note.  The long awaited strawberry moon was a bust as we had cloud cover move in 5 minutes after it broke the horizon.  We did get to see it for just a few minutes though!  Oh well, maybe next year.

Hope you are making your plans for a visit and we will see you soon,

Crabby Phil & Ellen Hart
(Thank you Jason Cooper for a Great Report)

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- Lake of the Woods Area Tourism Bureau - www.lakeofthewoodsmn.com
near Junction of Hwy 11 and Hwy 172 in Baudette, (1-800-382-FISH)

Strong numbers of walleyes and saugers all over the lake being caught with many different tactics.  Key depths between 18-30' of water. Jig and a frozen shiner or leech and pulling spinners effective.  As typical in June, a nice crankbait bite right now pulling crankbaits in 5-11 feet along shorelines. Some of this is set up as shiners spawn in sand and other bait shallow.  Both reefs and mud holding fish.  Jumbo perch and pike mixed in with walleyes all over the lake.

Walleyes in the Rainy River with a good morning bite.  Some anglers trolling cranks and covering water to find fish.  Multi-species bag often the result.  Smallmouth bass in the river continue to be active.  Bays, feeder streams, rock and weed edges good starts.  Sturgeon fishing opens again July 1st.

Up at the NW Angle, walleye fishing excellent. Little Oak, Oak, Flag Island flats, Four Blocks on the MN side good bets.  Walleyes and saugers being caught in a variety of spots. 18-26' a consistent depth with some shallow fish in the mix as well.  Harnesses with a bottom bouncers turning on with a jig and minnow still a staple for many.  Colors should include gold, pink, glow colors and bright colors. Smallmouth bass continue to be active.  Many monster pike caught this past week over 45" by walleye anglers.  Muskie season opens Saturday June 17!  Lodging, charters and guides are available at www.LakeoftheWoodsMN.com/Lodging.

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

Early ice-off and plenty of fish to be caught and 4 can be kept! 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 Memorial Day! Leech Lake will take care of you! Looking forward to a great open water season!

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

Mille Lacs walleyes are on fire! One of the better openers in years! Strong smallmouth bite. We are looking to a banner year on Mille Lacs. Crappies biting on Mille Lacs in the south end channels and bays. Ann, Knife, Shakopee, Platte, Sullivan are producing a great panfish bite, also some walleyes and pike. The launches are ready, give Chris a call for a small or large boat trip! Listen to Outdoor Adventures on www.twincitiesnewstalk.com (iheart Radio) for reports from Chris! Call anytime for up-to-the-minute reports!

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- 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.

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- Turk Gierke, Croixsippi Guide Service

The very good bite continues. Recent rains and high water have not bothered the bite as far as I can see. It is hard to beat livebait, crawlers and leeches – on a standard walleye “rig”. So the river is on a “slow no wake” for the whole river right now from Taylor falls, MN to Prescott, WI. The river will be locked down to closed throttle speeds for about five days I am guessing. I did some trolling on a brief outing to stay on top of the bite and did well trolling. So the livebait success is not the only thing. As truly there never is ONE way to do it. I have caught fish from 8 to 25 feet deep this last week. The river is not like a lake where there is a “set” depth to be in. The water has not dirtied as much as you would expect. Seems like the earth is sponging up the rain versus running off.

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

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/

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- 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!

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

Good early season walleye spots are Rock Dock, Carp Trap (Peterson’s Creek on the NW side of the lake) and Harm’s Point. It might be a good idea to head to the breaks off reefs such as North, Kegs, Red’s or Anderson’s. Slip bobber fishing is a great approach, but if you don’t have the patience for that, jigging with a fathead or leech is smart. When the weather has been reasonable, anglers have been pulling out crappies in the 10 to 11 inch range with some bigger. Most of the spring, fishing out in Waconia Bay has been best in 12 to 15 feet of water. With water temps rising, we expect the shallow bite to pick up, with crappies likely to be found around the reeds on the NW side of the lake, Pillsbury Reef/Old Camp Manakiki area, shallow weeds on the north end and around the marinas.

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- 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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