Minnesota Fishing Report – Last week’s heat turned the sunfish bite on at the Le Homme Dieu Chain of Lakes. Most lakes within the Chain are providing numbers of sunfish along the six- to 12-foot weedbeds. The deep breaks on Lake Ida and Lake Carlos are holding suspended crappies. Most area lakes are kicking out largemouth bass in 12 to 16 feet of water during the day, but work the shallow weeds during lowlight periods of the day. Lakes such as Miltona, Le Homme Dieu, and Mary are producing the areas biggest fish. Spinner rigs and crawlers can be counted on to produce a few walleyes on the deep breaklines of Miltona, Ida, and Carlos.
Sunfish action remains strong on Clearwater Lake, Lake Sylvia, Sugar Lake, and Lake Augusta in 12 to 14 feet of water. Sucker minnows are turning northern pike along the weed edges of Pleasant Lake and Lake John. Bass are an easy catch on the established weed edges of most lakes and you will hit an occasional flurry of walleye activity on Clearwater Lake along the 12- to 16-foot weed edges.
Small leeches have been the ticket for nice sunfish on Star Lake and Blanche Lake in 10 to 12 feet of water. Look for suspended crappies over 14 feet of water on Clitherall Lake, South Turtle Lake, and West Battle Lake. Topwater presentations are providing steady bass action on top of the thick weeds on most lakes. Northern pike are hitting sucker minnows on many lakes and Shad Raps are turning a few walleyes, after dark, on the flats of West Battle Lake. Muskie reports continue to improve along the shallow weedlines of West Battle.
The 14- to 20-foot bars and weedlines of Blackduck Lake are still worth noting for walleyes. Live bait has worked best during lowlight periods of the day. Crappies and bluegills are biting well in 10 to 12 feet of water on North and South Twin Lake. Several northern pike over 40 inches were caught this week from the shallow reeds and breaks of Upper Red Lake.
White or chartreuse spinnerbaits are producing bass along the weed edges of most lakes. Sucker minnows in the same locations will turn numbers of northern pike as well. The best walleye reports are coming from 20 to 25 feet of water on Gull Lake and North Long Lake. Pink or white jigs tipped with small leeches have provided the best sunfish action on most lakes in 10 to 12 feet of water.
During the day, walleyes are being caught on Lindy Rigs with leeches and crawlers or a small jig and minnow in 18 to 30 feet of water on Cass Lake. Shad Raps are the ticket during the evening hours off North Cedar Bar. Northern pike are hitting spinnerbaits or Suicks off Boomerang Bar in Allen’s Bay on Cass. Muskie action has been sporadic with the early morning hours providing the majority of the activity. Look for perch in less than 10 feet of water, and you should be able to find some good-sized bluegills along the 10- to 14-foot weedlines in Allen’s Bay.
The largemouth bass bite has been excellent in shallow and deep cover on most lakes. Kroon Lake and Sunrise Lake continue to produce sunfish in 10 to 12 feet of water. Sunrise Lake is producing numbers of northern pike on large sucker minnows. Walleye reports have been minimal since the heat arrived, but you’ll find schools of crappies suspended over 20 feet of water on Chisago Lake and North Center Lake.
Walleye anglers are finding fish along the 18- to 20-foot weedlines on Lindy Rigs tipped with leeches and crawlers or spinner rigs with six- to eight-foot snells. Bigger minnows and spinners are picking off northern pike along the weed edges of most lakes and bass are hitting just about anything thrown along the weeds. Crappies and sunfish are being found suspended over 24 to 28 feet of water.
Jigs tipped with minnows or leeches have turned a few more walleyes this week. Concentrate your efforts on the midlake humps in 18 to 30 feet of water, generally looking shallower during lowlight periods of the day. Lakes such as Big Cormorant, Lizzie, White Earth, Strawberry, Lida, Island, Round, Many Point, and Big Detroit are worth noting. Look for crappies and bluegills on the deep cabbage, while plastics continue to be the ticket for bass on the deep weeds and flats of most lakes. Trolling sucker minnows and spinners has turned northern pike on the deep weeds, while lakes such as Pelican and Beers remain safe bets for muskies.
Crawlers or crankbaits have produced walleyes in the deep holes of the Rum River. Small leeches are turning sunfish in 12 feet of water on Blue Lake and Green Lake. Northern pike and largemouth bass continue to hit artificial and live bait presentations on Elk Lake, Fremont Lake, and Blue.
Bluegills continue to be caught from less than 10 feet of water with worms on Lake Mazaska and Shields Lake. The docks on Cedar Lake are providing bass anglers with steady action throughout the day. On Cannon Lake, shallow-running Shad Raps in the channels have produced a few walleyes during the evening hours. The evening hours also are producing a walleye or two on French Lake in 18 to 22 feet of water. Leeches and nightcrawlers have worked better here.
There’s some decent walleye action taking place during lowlight periods of the day on Lake Pokegama. Most fish are hitting Shad Raps on bars and weed edges. Crankbaits are producing smallmouth bass on Pokegama, Trout Lake, Spider Lake, and Deer Lake. Largemouth bass are biting on most lakes, and you should have no problem finding northern pike on the deep weed edges of Trout Lake and Spider Lake. During the day, crappies are suspended over 20 to 25 feet of water on Spider and Pokegama. Bowstring Lake and the Bowstring River are best bets for bluegills.
Walleyes are scattered between six and 30 feet of water on Ten Mile Lake, Birch Lake, and Woman Lake. Look to live bait during the day, while Shad Raps have worked better during the evening hours in shallower water. Muskie anglers have raised fish this week on Baby Lake. Look to Birch Lake for bass and Pleasant Lake for sunfish in 12 to 14 feet of water.
The majority of walleyes have now moved out to the 18- to 28-foot reefs, where a live bait rig and leech or crawler has worked best. Surface lures or shallow-running crankbaits are producing smallmouth bass on the weed edges. Northern pike action remains spotty with some activity in the bays that offer deep weeds. An occasional sauger has been caught on a jig and minnow in 35 to 40 feet of water.
LAKE MILLE LACS
East – The best daytime reports for walleyes are coming from 28 feet of water off the edges of the rock reefs. You’ll also find some fish off the deep sides of the mud during midday hours. At night, the majority of keeping-sized fish are coming from 12 feet of water with slip bobbers and leeches. Muskie action has picked up on the shallow rocks and established weed edges. Look for smallmouth bass on the rocks.
West – Spinner rigs and live bait are producing walleyes on the top edge of most mud flats during the day. The evening bite has been more inconsistent, but slip bobbers and leeches are your best bet in 30 to 36 feet of water off the mud flat edges. Work the tops of the weed edges for muskies with bucktails and topwaters. The tops of the mud flats started giving up quite a few perch this week, and you’ll find northern pike along the weed edges in most bays.
Look for sunfish in six feet of water or less in most bays. Largemouth bass are hitting bigger baits such as jigs and spinnerbaits on the inside and outside weed edges. Northern pike continue to be caught on sucker minnows and bobbers along the weed edges. Walleye and muskie reports have been limited.
LAKE OF THE WOODS
The rock reefs and rubble piles off Pine Island are kicking out walleyes along the south shore. Most of these fish continue to be caught on live bait presentations in 24 to 28 feet of water. At the Northwest Angle, limits of fish can be had off the sand points along the west and east sides of Garden Island. There’s also quite a bit of downrigging taking place in 30 feet of water around Knight Island and Bridges Island. Most tributaries of the Rainy River continue to produce smallmouth bass and northern pike.
Nightcrawlers have worked best for walleyes during lowlight periods in soft-bottom areas over 16 to 22 feet of water. There is a shallow bite worth noting if the wind blows, typically in eight to 14 feet of water. Muskie action has improved on the east end of the lake where bucktails and topwater baits are turning fish on the rocks. Bass, northern pike, and panfish continue to be caught in traditional summer locations.
Largemouth bass continue to bite very well throughout the day on Anderson’s Reef, North Reef, and Cemetery Reef. Topwater, spinnerbaits, and plastics are all safe bets. Muskies are inhaling bucktails on Center Reef and the swimming beach area with the morning and evening hours providing the most activity. Look for sunfish on the 12-foot weed edges of North Reef, Reinke’s Reef, and Nelsons Flat. Walleye and crappie action has been slow shallow-running crankbaits after dark.
The walleye bite has held up pretty well despite extreme heat. Look for bigger concentrations of fish on the main lake bars such as Bena, Big Muskie, and Moses in 15 to 22 feet of water. The north end humps continue to produce fish in 24 to 32 feet of water as well. Look for perch in 10 to 12 feet of water near the weeds or on the deep humps on the north end of the lake. Northern pike also can be had in the 10- to 12-foot weed areas.
Leeches and slip bobbers or Lindy Rigs and crawlers are turning walleyes during the evening hours off Sand Point. During the day, work the deep humps of Walker Bay with live bait rigs. The weed edges in Shingobee Bay are worth noting for sunfish during the day and crappies during the evening hours. Look for northern pike and muskies on the weed edges, while the shallow rice beds continue to provide steady largemouth bass action.
Large sucker minnows started producing catfish on the Minnesota River. There’s a late night walleye bite with spinner rigs on Lake Washington in 16 to 18 feet of water. The narrows on Madison Lake are worth checking out for crappies in 14 feet of water and there is some nice sunfish coming off Washington in 12 to 16 feet near the grass island. Spinnerbaits and plastics have turned numbers of largemouth bass on Big Jefferson Lake this week.
Northern pike and largemouth bass are biting along the weed edges of Lake Minnewawa. Look to Round Lake for sunfish in eight to 12 feet of water with small leeches or worms. Walleye action has picked up during the evening hours on Big Sandy Lake in 10 to 15 feet of water with crawlers or leeches producing the most fish.
Sunfish action has been good in six to eight feet of water on Little Eagle Lake, Lake Ida, and Indian Lake. Big Lake and Sugar Lake are safe bets for pike in eight to 12 feet of water, while Lake Constance is the area’s best bet for crappies. Smallmouth bass are biting well on the Mississippi River, while an occasional walleye is pulled from lakes such as Julia, Briggs, or Elk.
A jig and leech or slip bobber and leech is the best bet for walleyes on Big Stone Lake. The weed edges from Schmidt’s Landing to Hartford Beach have produced the majority of fish. The weed edges near the islands on the south end of Big Stone started giving up sunfish and a few good-sized perch. The Highway 75 channel of the Minnesota River is providing steady catfish action.
Look for suspended crappies on Big Mantrap Lake over 30 feet of water. A few walleyes continue to be caught on Big Sand Lake in 18 to 32 feet with leeches and you’ll find northern pike along the 14-foot weed edges of Big Mantrap. Hit the Crow Wing Chain in 12 feet of water for bluegills.
The most consistent walleye reports are coming from moving water locations such as the Kettle Falls area. The Reinier area also is giving up fish in 18 to 20 feet of water with leeches and crawlers. Look for northern pike suspended off the deep reefs scattered throughout the main lake. The rock reefs and shorelines on the Canadian side are giving up numbers of big smallmouth bass. Reports from the Rainy River indicate consistent sturgeon and walleye action.
Beetle Spins are producing crappies in seven to 11 feet of water on Big Sauk Lake. Long Bridge Lake and Guerney Lake are providing steady crappie action as well. Look for sunfish on Sauk, East Long Lake, Big Swan Lake, Grove Lake, and Big Birch Lake along the 10- to 12-foot weed edges. Large sucker minnows continue to provide numbers of northern pike on Long Bridge Lake and Sauk in 12 to 14 feet of water.
Look for suspended crappies at the mouth of the Starbuck Marina on Lake Minnewaska in 12 to 14 feet of water, and in the south end of the lake over 12 feet of water. These same areas are worth noting for sunfish in 12 to 20 feet of water. Look for bigger bass on the 16-foot weed edges to hit plastics. The east side of Lake Reno has produced an occasional walleye in 16 feet of water with live bait rigs and crawlers working best during the evening hours. Channel catfish continue to be caught in the Benson area of the Chippewa River.
NORTHEAST METRO – Sucker minnows or spoons are producing northern pike on the weed edges of Lake Elmo, Beaver Lake, Battle Creek Lake, and Big Marine Lake. Topwater baits have produced some big bass on Lake Jane, Demonterville Lake, and Big Carnelian Lake early and late in the day. Look for sunfish on Lake Peltier and Little Lake in eight to 10 feet of water. The St. Croix River is kicking out walleyes and sauger along the shoreline breaks. Clear Lake and Forest Lake are worth noting for walleyes in 15 to 20 feet of water during the evening hours. Lake Elmo and Bald Eagle Lake have produced a few muskies on topwater baits.
SOUTHWEST METRO – The Bevens Creek and Sand Creek areas of the Minnesota River are producing walleyes on jigs and leeches. Look to Pierson Lake for northern pike with deep-diving crankbaits or spoon plugs in 15 to 18 feet of water. Spoon plugs also have turned pike on the north end of Lake Riley. Bass continue to bite on area lakes with topwater presentations working best early and late, while the midday bite remains best around deeper docks. Look for sunfish off the fishing pier on Stieger Lake, the south end of Lake Minnewashta, and the sunken island on Lake Parley.
By Outdoor News
The Associated Press