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Current Fishing Reports on Up North Outdoors.
MINNESOTA - LAND OF 10,000 Lakes - Get out on the Water!
Lake of the Woods Fishing Report - 9-8-14
Rainy Lake Fishing Report - 9-11-14
Lake Mille Lacs Fishing Report -9-11-14
Kabetogama-Ash River Fishing Report - 9-16-14
Devils Lake, North Dakota Fishing Report from Woodland Resort

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Minnesota Statewide Fishing Reports
INFO AS OF 9-12-14

Northeast Minnesota
International Falls - Rainy Lake & the Rainy River

Fish have become more aggressive with the cooler temperatures. Walleye anglers are having success in 25-30 feet of water on the submerged structure and along the windswept shorelines. Jigging with a minnow, leech or worm when it's calm, and trolling a spinner rig and minnow when it's windy have been best. Smallmouth bass have been hitting at the shorelines from roughly Dove Bay to Cranberry Bay. Black Bay and Cranberry Bay are the hot spots for northern pike as well. Rainy River anglers have been seeing more walleye action when using emerald shiner minnows in 15-20 feet of water. The stretch of river from the dam at International Falls downstream to about Browns Corner has been best. Downstream, areas between the Little Fork and Big Fork Rivers have turned more fish. 800-325-5766; www.rainylake.org


Anglers continue to head out in good numbers, enjoying the beautiful late summer weather. The bite has been varied, with an early morning shallow bite in 10-18 feet of water, to the afternoon and evening bite in depths of roughly 25 feet. Crawlers are working well in the shallows, while leeches and minnows have been best in the deeper waters. Crappies are often being taken along with the walleyes. Northern pike and other species are chasing down artificial lures when pulled through 12-20 feet of water; if using a bottom bouncer or lead line, work depths of 28-30 feet. Walleye anglers report a definite jig and minnow pattern that will continue through fall. Anglers pursuing northern pike are encouraged to bobber fish with sucker minnows. 800-524-9085; www.kabetogama.com

Ely Area Lakes

Anglers seem to have turned their attention to panfish and northern pike. Some decent limits of crappies have also been reported by anglers fishing the smaller area lakes. The best approach has been minnow or tube jig combo dropped in 12-15 feet of water, especially early and late in the day. Northern pike are actively hitting spoons, spinners and live sucker minnows in depths of 5-12 feet, with most local lakes giving up nice numbers of fish. A few lake trout are still being taken by anglers pulling spoons through depths of 40-50 feet. Please note that the lake trout season closes Sept. 30th, so now is the time to head out if you want to catch some nice lakers. 800-777-7281; www.ely.org

Duluth/Grand Marais - Lake Superior

The Sept. 4 Summer Creel Survey at sites along Lake Superior’s lower shore from Duluth to Two Harbors revealed an increase in angling pressure. A moderate amount of traffic was reported at the Charter Docks and the McQuade access. Anglers in larger boats that could handle the wind fared very well, averaging a lake trout or two per angler each trip. Anglers were the most successful when they targeted deeply suspended or bottom-oriented lakers, especially when using flies with flashers and preserved herring or smelt. The fish were largest between the Lester River and McQuade, coming from 80-150 feet of water; fish were smaller near Two Harbors. The largest catch was a 37-inch laker weighing nearly 19-pounds. Anglers also picked up a few walleyes, including a 32-inch fish off Stoney Point. Along the upper shore from Twin Points to Hovland, angling pressure remained high at Silver Bay and Grand Marais, and moderate elsewhere. Again, windy weather made it difficult at times, but those who got out caught good numbers of lake trout in the 4- to 15-pound range, with a few weighing roughly 20-pounds. Action was especially good at Silver Bay and around Taconite Harbor. The larger fish were caught closer to shore and across a wider range of depths than in previous weeks. Across all stations, anglers only occasionally caught chinook salmon, with most fish running 2- to 5-pounds, and a few in the 5- to 8-pound range. Anglers caught the chinooks near shore when trolling lures 70-100 feet below the surface. Only a few steelhead were recorded. www.dnr.state.mn.us/areas/fisheries/lakesuperior

Grand Rapids

As we slide into mid-September, fishing heats up, especially for panfish. As the water cools, crappies can be found on the shoreline weed edges when using almost anything flashy. Cover lots of water and when you find a school, stop and work it well. Once the crappies have made the dash deep, look for the deeper pools and bays where your sonar shows Christmas tree-like masses or layers, then try a variety of a 1/16th or 1/8th ounce jig with a leech, minnow or bits of crawler or plastic. Hover over the pods of fish using your electric motor, raising and lowering your presentation a foot or two off the bottom, and you'll be pleasantly surprised. Anchoring might work, but the big splash and thud when it hits the bottom tends to spook crappies. Besides, crappies tend to move and you will need to follow them. For walleyes, hit the shallow shoreline structure and then slide off the edges into deeper water. A live rig set-up with a creek chub, crawler or leech will catch the attention of feeding walleyes. Even a slip bobber set at the right depth will work wonders. When working the shoreline weedlines, pull spinners by trolling or even drifting if the wind is right. Try different hammered copper or gold spinners; use a light bullet sinker when shallow, and a heavier bullet sinker when deeper. If spinners aren’t producing, switch to crankbaits. Don't rule out a trophy pike or walleye this time of year since fall is the time large fish feed most heavily. Currently, some of the best reports are coming from Pokegama, Winnibighosh, Wabana and Trout lakes. www.visitgrandrapids.com

Northwest Minnesota
Baudette - Lake of the Woods & the Rainy River

Most Lake of the Woods fish are being pulled from the deeper water. Most methods are turning fish. Down-rigging with wally divers and shad raps in 30-35 feet of water has been successful up near Garden Island and Archie's Reef. Crawler and leech harnesses are turning fish in 15-20 near the reefs and island points, six miles north of the Lighthouse Gap, six miles out from Zippel Bay Gap, and just off Pine Island; use hammered gold spinners for the most fish. On the Rainy River, jigging a frozen shiner in 14-20 feet of water during evening hours has been best. Gold, glow and pink colors are recommended. If drifting, stay in depths of 16-18 feet. Sturgeon anglers are doing well when heading east towards Birchdale, with some reports also coming from the mouth of the river near Lighthouse Gap. Anglers may keep one sturgeon through September 30. Up at the Northwest Angle, a mixed bag of walleyes, perch, crappies and bass are coming from 25-30 feet of water at Four Blocks and Little Oak; spinners and jigs have been the most effective. Garden, Bridges, and Knight are giving up limits of walleyes to anglers using shad raps and walleye divers in depths of 30-35 feet of water in the muddy areas. Hammered gold spinners tipped with a leech or a crawler have also been effective in depths of 15-25 feet of water among the rocks and at the shallow corners of the reefs. Muskie action has been picking up during evening hours near the weed beds. Anglers reporting the most success are using smaller lures and a slow presentation. Please note that image above was taken during a late August wheelchair accessible charter fishing trip on Lake of the Woods! 800-382-FISH; www.lakeofthewoodsmn.com


Water temperatures continue to drop in the lakes around Bemidji, with most lakes now in the mid-60s or cooler. Fishing pressure on the lakes also continues to drop, with fewer anglers out on the water. Fishing has been good for most species and should continue to be good through the fall. Stable weather patterns are often the key to good fishing, with cold fronts and wind shifts temporarily disrupting fishing patterns. Walleyes continue to bite in a range of depths depending on the lake. Anglers are finding walleyes on the sides of structure-- electronics have been extremely helpful. Jigs and minnows or live bait rigs with leeches, night crawlers or larger minnows have all been catching fish. There are also lots of smaller eating-size walleyes being pulled from the shallows of most of the larger area lakes. Walleye anglers have found lots of perch mixed in when fishing 5-8 foot depths either on the rocks or on the chara-covered sand flats. Crappies and sunnies have been moving off the dying weed beds, beginning to school in deeper waters. Anglers can find schools of panfish when using their electronics. Once found, hover over the fish to get smaller baits down to the same level as the fish. Muskie anglers are finding active fish in many of the same areas as the perch and walleyes. Muskies act like shepherds, keeping an eye on their prey until they get hungry and decide to feed. Northern pike have also been active in many of these areas. Northern pike can be located anywhere there is enough food to keep their interest, regardless of depth or type of structure. Bass have been moving out of the heavy cover in the shallows, beginning to gather in groups at the outside edge of the weeds, often preferring areas with steeper breaks and deep water access. 877-250-5959; www.visitbemidji.com

Detroit Lakes Area Lakes

A warm up is expected this weekend, with a week or so of stable weather to follow which should cause area fishing should improve. Walleyes are exhibiting two patterns at this time. Some fish have moved to the shallower waters where they are schooling on the weed edges. Other fish are on the mid-lake structure in deeper waters. The late morning bite has been great once water temperatures warm following a cool night and the baitfish turn active. Jigs or rigs with minnows have been best and should remain so in the coming weeks. Crappies are schooled on the sharp breaks in 12-20 feet of water. Jigs with minnows or plastics are producing the most fish. Water temperatures will drop in the coming weeks, with anglers transitioning from topwater baits and crankbaits to large sucker minnows for the most muskies. Smallmouth bass have become more active in the shallows with hard sand bottoms, and at the rocks close to weed areas with sharp drops to deep water. 800-542-3992; www.visitdetroitlakes.com

Central Region
Otter Tail Lakes Country

Walleyes are among the species of fish that respond well in the fall. For the most action, troll a minnow or a crawler. Most walleyes do not show up on electronics so rely on your fishing instincts and hit areas that have produced fish in the past or appear promising. For sunnies and crappies, think deep and suspended. While weeds may hold some smaller panfish, the deep drops will be best for the larger fish. Also search for suspended fish over the muddy basins adjacent to weed lines. Bass are still lurking around the vegetation but the deep weedlines should also hold fish. Bass action has recently been strong in 25 feet of water. Most species have gathered into large groups on most area lakes so if you find a couple there’s a good chance you’ve found a school of active fish. 800-423-4571; www.ottertailcountry.com

Sauk Centre - Sauk Lake

Crappie action has been good in 6-12 feet of water on Sauk Lake. Anglers using a tube jig tipped with a crappie minnow are having the most success. Walleye anglers are doing well in 8-20 feet of water depending on the water temperature, with jigs and lindy rigs tipped with a shiner minnow or red tail chub working best. As water temperatures cool further, expect the walleye and crappie bite on Sauk Lake to be great. The DNR has an aggressive walleye stocking program on Big Sauk Lake, and there is an abundance of crappies. Reports indicate an excellent bite last spring which is expected to be repeated this fall! 855-444-SAUK; www.visitsaukcentre.com

Isle/Onamia - Lake Mille Lacs

The full moon didn't seem to help or hurt fishing earlier this week. The bite stayed and continues to stay similar to what it's been over the past several weeks -- a decent walleye bite at first and last light, with a few muskie and northern pike being picked off during the day. Stick to leeches and slip bobbers for the most walleye action. 888 -350-2692; www.millelacs.com

Willmar Lakes Area

Water temperatures continue to fall, and the fish are starting to feed more aggressively. Walleye anglers continue to take fish during the day when using jigs tipped with minnows, and bottom bouncers with night crawlers worked in 15-25 foot depths. Great crappie action is taking place on Willmar and Foot lakes near the culverts. The bass tournament on Green Lake went well last weekend with anglers catching bass weighing 10- to 18-pounds. 800-845-8747; www.willmarlakesarea.com

Twin Cities Greater Metropolitan vicinity

As of late August, nice bass continued to be taken, with anglers having the most success fishing the weeds on Center, Pillsbury and North reefs. Sucker minnows were turning fish, along with spinnerbaits, and Texas-rigged worms and jigs. Some anglers continued to do well using topwater baits in the shallows. Also, after a rainfall, bass anglers found nice numbers at the Carp Trap at Peterson's Creek on the northwest side of the lake. 952/442-5812; www.destinationwaconia.org

Southern Minnesota
Lanesboro -Southeast Bluff Country Trout Streams

As of Friday, Sept. 5, some streams were fairly clear with normal water flow. Fisheries staff monitoring the South Branch Root River upstream in Forestville State Park noted trico spinners from 10:30-11 a.m., cranefly (#12) mating swarms around noon, and hoppers and crickets by noon. And as of Thursday, Aug. 28, most area streams and rivers ranged from clear to slightly off, with normal water levels. Rain was expected to fall. On Tuesday, Aug. 26, staff monitoring the South Branch Whitewater reported a small Trico spinner fall, as well as several dozen caddis (two species), craneflies, hoppers, crickets and beetles all on the water. As further updates on stream conditions become available, they are posted on the Southeast Minnesota Stream Conditions web page. You are also welcome to call the office for updates at 507-467-2442. Before traveling, please check out the new detailed fishing easement maps. 800-944-2670; www.lanesboro.com

Ortonville -Big Stone Lake

Another week of great fishing on Big Stone Lake! The perch bite remains strong, and some bluegills, an occasional crappie and even a few walleyes are also being taken. Spots kicking out fish include Manhattan Reef, Goose Isle, Grape Vine, Bay View and the Windmill Reef areas. Some perch anglers are taking their limit in an hour. The best bait remains spikes, followed by pieces of nightcrawler, and then minnows on a simple presentation such as a hook and split shot just off the bottom. Walleyes are being taken by anglers casting and trolling. The weeds are starting to turn brown and are now disappearing, making it easier to troll and cast. Expect fish to school even more in the coming weeks. 800-568-5722; www.bigstonelake.com

The information in this report is provided courtesy of Explore Minnesota Tourism.

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