Minnesota Statewide Fishing Reports
INFO AS OF 11-9-18
Few reports are available since most fishing report sources have temporarily discontinued their reports due to safety considerations now that ice is beginning to form on many bodies of water. Anglers that do continue to venture out, however, report an amazing bite, as well as lots of large fish. Jig and minnow combinations remain the best bet for catching a variety of species.
Please remember that water temperatures are very cold so it is extremely important to wear a life jacket out on the water due to the risk of hypothermia. Learn more.
For rules, regulations and other helpful information on fishing in Minnesota, consult the DNR's Fish Minnesota web page.
Duluth - Lake Superior and inland waters
The inland lakes continue to give up some nice walleye off the deeper transitional waters. Jig and minnow combinations have been best in roughly 15 feet of water. While the panfish bite has slowed a bit, crappies are still being pulled from common wintering holes and areas with structure. This is a good time of year to stake out and test early ice strategies. Stream fishing has been quieter this week, likely due to inclement weather. Anglers that did head out caught a few steel head, coho and browns. Swinging flies using an “X” pattern paid off. Some anglers are still having success using hardware in areas with fast current. Float indicators over yarn in the deeper holes has been productive as well. There are still plenty of open water fishing opportunities, and this is the best time to target muskie. Anglers report nice muskie coming from a variety of waters, including the St. Louis River and Island Lake north of Duluth. The best tactic continues to be slowly drifting large sucker minnows with quick strike rigs. Some anglers are having success chucking large baits at the shorelines. Muskie are generally at their largest weight this time of year. Please remember that the hunting season is in full force please wear blaze orange outerwear. 800-438-5884; www.visitduluth.com
Baudette - Lake of the Woods & the Rainy River
Anglers report a strong bite at the main basin of Lake of the Woods. Mixed schools of fish are coming from 10-25 feet of water along the south shore. The most successful anglers are anchoring and jigging with a frozen shiner. Gold, pink and chartreuse colors are best for jigs. On the Rainy River, large numbers of walleye have entered the river. Anglers are having success up and down the river when using gold, orange or yellow jigs tipped with minnows (shiners and rainbows). When jigging, anchor in 8 to 15 feet of water. The current is strong in the main channel so 1 ounce jigs may be best. When fishing the edge of the current or in the eddy areas, use a 3/8 ounce jig instead. Many trophy walleye are coming in with the eating-size fish. Up at the Northwest Angle, fishing is excellent with limits of walleye coming from depths of 12 to 25 feet. Jigging is best, especially in areas with current in neck-down locations and outside of the bays. The fall crappie bite is also strong. Muskie anglers are releasing some huge fish. 800-382-FISH; www.lakeofthewoodsmn.com
Alexandria Area Lakes
Limits of nice crappies are being taken by anglers in a relatively short time. Most of the crappies have been suspended over deep waters, roughly 10 to 30 feet down. Setting your bait inches above them usually yields a hit in seconds. Small jigging raps or a small jig and minnow have worked well. Limits of nice walleye are still being caught, but not as consistently. 800-235-9441; www.explorealex.com
Isle/Onamia - Lake Mille Lacs
According to the Department of Natural Resources, surveys show that the walleye population is increasing, but some year classes remain below normal. Winter anglers on Lake Mille Lacs will enjoy a walleye harvest this winter for the third season in a row. Similar to last season, anglers will be allowed to keep walleye on Mille Lacs starting Saturday, Dec. 1, with no bait restrictions and a limit of one walleye between 21-23 inches, or one fish over 28 inches. 888-350-2692; www.millelacs.com
Minneapolis-St. Paul Area
Fly anglers will want to consider Twin Cities Trout Unlimited’s 2nd Annual Holiday Fly Fishing Camp at Whitewater State Park, Dec. 14-16. Lodging will be at Whitewater’s modern group center which features heated camper cabins and a central lodge for meals, presentations and evening gatherings around the fireplace. All meals are provided from Friday evening through Sunday morning, as well as casting lessons, fly tying and other learning opportunities. Best of all, the camp is right on the banks of the Whitewater River! Space is limited, so register early by contacting Rob Noirjean at email@example.com
Stillwater - St. Croix River
The St. Croix River continues to give up lots of walleye and sauger, along with quite a few white bass. Some of the best presentations have been minnows, rapala crankbaits, jigging raps, blade baits and plastics. The water temperature was 43 degrees on Nov. 7. 651-351-1717; www.discoverstillwater.com
Lanesboro/Preston - Southeast Bluff Country trout streams
As of Tuesday, Oct. 30, fisheries staff reported that most streams and rivers were slightly off in color, with normal to slightly high water flow. Good hatches of baetis were observed on the South Branch Root River in Preston. Fishing midge patterns and baetis soft hackles were the most productive techniques. A number of streams and sections of rivers are closed for the season. Please note that there will be a deer firearms season in Forestville and Beaver Creek Valley state parks Nov. 3-4. All anglers are advised to wear blaze orange this weekend and throughout the fall season. Check the Minnesota Stream Flow Report before heading out. Detailed Trout Angling Maps are available through the DNR. 800-944-2670; www.lanesboro.com
Anglers may obtain fishing licenses 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, by dialing 1-888-665-4236, or accessing DNR License Sales.
The information in this report is provided courtesy of Explore Minnesota Tourism.