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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 - 7-22-14
Rainy Lake Fishing Report - 7-16-14
Lake Mille Lacs Fishing Report - 7-25-14
Kabetogama-Ash River Fishing Report - 7-22-14
Devils Lake, North Dakota Fishing Report from Woodland Resort


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Minnesota Statewide Fishing Reports
INFO AS OF 7-24-14

Northeast Minnesota

International Falls - Rainy Lake & the Rainy River

Last week, anglers reported that the walleyes were moving to the reefs in deeper water; this week, they aren’t so sure. While walleyes are coming from the reefs, they are also being pulled from shallower waters near shore. High water levels are probably part of the reason. Fishing in 15-20 feet of water along the rocky windward shorelines has been best on windy days; on calmer days, try jigging with a minnow in 30-35 feet of water on the reefs. Crappies continue to hit smaller minnows on jigs and spinner rigs in Black Bay. Northern pike are coming from the mouths of bays along the south shore from Grindstone Island to Cranberry Island, as well as and also in Jackfish Bay. The Rainy River continues to give up lots of nice walleyes to anglers using spinner rigs and emerald shiners. Smallmouth bass are hitting on lures in the swift and deeper waters such as below the dam at International Falls and below the rapids in Ranier. 800-325-5766; www.rainylake.org

Kabetogama

The erratic weather last week resulted in limited angling success on lakes Kabetogama and Namakan. Walleye anglers having the most success worked depths ranging from 12-30 feet. A variety of presentations turned fish, including slip sinker rigs, bottom bouncers with leeches or crawlers, and jig and minnow combinations. Catch rates seemed to improve for those using short snells, with or without spinners, kept just off the bottom. Anglers using jigs said the bite was close to the bottom; dark, multi colored, green or blue jigs were best. Water temperatures rose to the mid-70s, speeding up the final phase of the mayfly hatch. Northern pike action was picking up, with anglers taking lots of fish when casting toward or trolling along the weed edges. Smallmouth bass are hitting artificial baits at the shorelines and rock ledges. Topwater baits providing anglers with lots of fun and fast action in the open weed areas. The sauger and perch bite has slowed a bit as these fish head to deeper waters. Overall, reports indicate that mid-Kabetogama and Namakan have offered a better catch rate then the west end of Kabetogama. 800-524-9085; www.kabetogama.com

Tower -Lake Vermilion

The walleye, bass and muskie bite has improved on Lake Vermilion! Now that the mayfly hatch has ended, walleyes are feasting on this year’s perch population and molting, rusty crayfish. Guides recommend crawlers on rigs and jigs for the most fish. Other productive presentations include trolling crankbaits with lead core line, and downrigging in 20-30 feet of water. Anglers pitching plastics, and “jig & pigs” into the rocks and docks have had a blast with the smallmouth bass. Use the same presentations at the heavy weed cover for the largemouth bass. Muskie anglers are taking fish when trolling crankbaits through the open water basin or working the weeds and rock piles. 800-648-5897; www.lakevermilionresorts.com

Ely Area Lakes

While the walleye bite has slowed somewhat, anglers are enjoying great northern pike and crappie action. The pike have been active in 5-15 feet of water, especially along the weed edges. Spinnerbaits and large crankbaits are a necessity for this style of fishing. The payoff has been big, with anglers taking fish weighing up to 18-pounds. Lots of 3- to 5- pound fish have been common. Some anglers have reported decent crappie limits. The best approach has been to work the reef tops in 12-20 feet of water using small minnows fished under a slip bobber; soft baits on jigs are also turning fish. A few lake trout have been taken by anglers trolling spoons through 40-50 feet of water. Green and green/chrome have been the best colors, with fish weighing up to 12-pounds being reported. 800-777-7281; www.ely.org

Grand Rapids

Fishing is heating up for multiple species, with Pokegama, Trout, Wabana, Bowstring and Sand lakes producing the majority of fish. For a mixed bag of walleye, northern pike, bass, crappies and bluegills, pull spinner rigs tipped with a minnow or nightcrawler through at the edges of the weedlines. If fishing tapers off in the shallows, move out to the secondary breaklines, drop-offs and mid-lake bumps, humps and bars. A live bait rig set-up tipped with a leech or nightcrawler will work best in these deeper water locations. A jig and minnow combination or slip bobber set-up should also turn fish in both the shallow and deep waters. Anglers wanting to cover more water should troll crankbaits. 800-335-9740; www.visitgrandrapids.com

Northwest Minnesota

Baudette - Lake of the Woods & the Rainy River

Great reports continue to come in from Lake of the Woods anglers. Most reports indicate that limits are coming together quickIy and easily, with quite a few trophy-size walleyes in the mix. Drifting with spinners is the method most often mentioned. Areas to check out include Stony Point, the West Bar of Garden Island, and Starren Shoal in 26-28 feet of water. The Lighthouse Gap and Pine Island are giving up fish in depths of 8-16 feet. Some anglers are also doing well when jigging in 10-14 feet of water. Hammered gold is the best color to use, with crawlers, leeches and minnows turning fish. Some anglers are starting to use down-riggers. Northern pike have been active in 6-8 feet of water along the South Shore. Trolling with crankbaits has been best, with good numbers coming in on little river rockers and shad raps. Up at the Northwest Angle, fish the rocks on the Minnesota side of the lake. Crow Duck. The Four Blocks and Little Oak areas are still holding good numbers of fish. There have also been good reports from anglers fishing Little Traverse. For the most fish, use a jig and minnow. Bass fishing remains fast and furious for anglers using topwater lures along the boulder shorelines. 800-382-FISH; www.lakeofthewoodsmn.com

Bemidji

Surface water temperatures in Bemidji area lakes are above 70 degrees once again. Anglers have been finding walleyes in moderate depths on the sides of structure in most lakes. If the warm temperatures continue, more fish will be moving towards shallow water, with the algae blooms reducing the water clarity and allowing light sensitive species like walleyes to feed more comfortably during the day. Walleye anglers have been making the switch from jigs and live bait rigs to bottom bouncers and spinners, with most anglers using either 1 ½- or 2-ounce bottom bouncers with a night crawler harness. Anglers can also use a single hook rig for a spinner and leech behind a bottom bouncer. Upper Red Lake continues to be the hottest walleye lake in the area, but Bemidji and Cass lakes have also been good for walleyes. Lake Winnibigoshish remains tough for “keeper-size” walleyes due to a huge population of young perch providing too much competition for anglers’ presentations. Anglers typically fish from 1- to 2-miles per hour when fishing bottom bouncers. A line counter reel can be helpful to help get everyone in the boat at the proper depth. It is a good idea to vary speeds and watch how fast the boat is going when someone gets a bite, so they can match the speed and depth to get more bites. Northern pike have been active on the deep edge of the cabbage weeds, with anglers having success using artificial lures or bobber rigs with live minnows. Bass fishing remains good in many of the smaller area lakes, with the bass usually in the heaviest patches of weeds or on the edges between weed types. Panfish action continues to be good with perch biting on the shallow flats of most of the larger lakes. Anglers have also been catching crappies and sunnies along the deep weed edges in many of the smaller lakes. 877-250-5959; www.visitbemidji.com

Cass Lake

Walleye anglers are having the most success on Cass Lake when using shad raps and rapalas during evening hours. Nice numbers of northern pike, largemouth bass, crappies, bluegills and perch are also being taken. 800-356-8615; www.casslake.com

Hackensack Area Lakes

Summer patterns have definitely taken hold on area lakes, with bottom bouncers and spinners becoming the best method for walleye. The fish have scattered, and it is often necessary to check a number of areas in order to put together a stringer of fish. For lots of eating-size fish, stick with crawlers and leeches; for trophy-sized fish, use large minnows in the deeper pockets. Also try crankbaits after dark. Little Boy, Ten Mile, and Pine Mountain lakes have been good for walleyes. The panfish have been very active on many area lakes, including Birch, Woman, and Webb. Woman Lake is producing nice-sized bluegills in the deeper waters around the weed edges. Crappies are active on Birch and Webb lakes. The best approach has been to drag jigs over the tall weed beds during evening hours. Slip bobbers have been working as well, but covering seems to be key to putting together a nice stringer of fish. Anglers are seeing signs of life in the muskie, with the smaller area lakes giving up the most fish. Bucktails and jerkbaits have been the most effective, especially at the first drop-off from the weed flats, or just pulled over deep water. 800-279-6932; www.hackensackchamber.com

Detroit Lakes Area Lakes

Despite continued crazy weather, fish are rewarding anglers putting in a little extra time out on the water. Walleyes are responding best to leeches and crawlers worked in 16-18 feet of water, especially on Big Detroit, Sallie, Melissa, Cotton and Pelican lakes. On The Pines and Lida lakes, walleyes can be found in shallower waters. Northern pike continue to be active on the weed edges, but some of the larger fish have come from 15-22 foot depths at the first and seconds breaks. Some anglers are also taking fish when casting spoons and crankbaits, using jigs with minnows or plastics, and trolling larger-sized baits. Sallie, Melissa, and McDonald lakes are producing quite a few 30- to 36-inch fish. Muskie anglers are taking fish from Big Detroit and Pelican lakes when casting baits over the weeds or trolling quickly along the weedlines. Water temperatures have risen to roughly 75 degrees, so quick catch and release is recommended for the fish to survive. For quality largemouth bass, hit Floyd, Cotton, Toad, and both Long lakes. And the sunfish seem to be biting everywhere as long as you offer them crawlers or small leeches! 800-542-3992; www.visitdetroitlakes.com

Central Region

Otter Tail Lakes Country

Anglers are finding some nice walleyes in 10-20 feet of water when using jigs, minnows, snells, leeches, and crawlers. For some fun northern pike action, use sucker minnows and snells in 15-20 feet of water along the weedlines. Bass are being caught off the docks and in depths of 8 feet at the weeds by anglers using spinnerbaits and senkos or jigs with minnows. Crappies and sunnies have been active in depths of 7-15 feet along the weedlines. Use crappie minnows, wax worms, nightcrawlers or leeches for these fish. Please remember that Otter Tail and Becker county lakes have no-wake zones from shore out 100 yards in order to preserve the shorelines and keep the lakes looking as beautiful as ever. 800-423-4571; www.ottertailcountry.com

Brainerd Lakes Area

The water temperatures have finally hit the magical 75-degree mark on Gull Lake, and most of the other larger area lakes are not far behind. The next two weeks should be some of the best walleye fishing of the summer, and this usually occurs in mid-June! The walleye bite has been good, with both numbers and size consistency reported. The largest walleye caught last week was a 32.25-inch fish which was released on the Whitefish Chain. Key locations have been the deep water humps which top out at 18 feet of water. The best presentation for these trophy-size fish has been a lindy rig and large redtail chub. Large northern pike have started to show up at the deeper weed edges, and this action should only improve in the weeks to come. For the most action, use large pike minnows. Bass fishing has been fair, with anglers not seeing the numbers normally seen this time of year. Hopefully the warmer water temperatures will jumpstart the bite. The best sunfish action has been in 12 feet of water. 800-450-2838; www.explorebrainerdlakes.com

Isle/Onamia - Lake Mille Lacs

Night fishing on Lake Mille Lacs Lake re-opened Monday, July 21 at 10 p.m., and launches have resumed nighttime operation! Walleye anglers should try trolling lead core and small hard baits through deep water adjacent to the gravel bars and in between the mudflats! This season is very different from anything seen in recent history. 888 -350-2692; www.millelacs.com

Twin Cities Greater Metropolitan vicinity

White Bear Area Lakes

With the abundant rain and recent cool air temperatures, the water temperatures have stayed relatively low, keeping the fish active. Anglers report that fishing on White Bear Lake is at its “summer peak!” 651/653-5122; www.ExploreWhiteBear.org

Waconia -Lake Waconia

While the no wake restriction was lifted July 17 on most of Lake Waconia, a no-wake restriction remains in place up to 300 feet from shore. Walleye action has been good for this time of the year. Anglers have been taking decent numbers from 10-15 feet of water on jigs tipped with minnows or leeches. The solid weed edges on the reefs have been best, especially during low light hours and on overcast days at Keggs, North, Cemetery and Center reefs. Crappies and sunnies were being pulled from the weed edges in 8-12 feet of water along the shorelines and out on the reefs. Waxworms and leeches were best for the sunnies, and crappie minnows were turning the majority of crappies. Bass were active at the north side reeds and bulrushes, and along the shoreline weeds. 952/442-5812; www.destinationwaconia.org

Southern Minnesota

Lanesboro -Southeast Bluff Country Trout Streams

As of Thurs., July 23, most southeastern Minnesota streams and rivers were clear, and had a normal water flow. Fisheries staff reported that the streams were in great shape! The gnats seemed to be tapering off. Anglers were reporting nice catches when using hoppers and beetles. Smallmouth bass were also biting. As of Mon., July 21, some caddis and stoneflies were reported at Forestville State Park near Preston. As 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

Fairmont Area Lakes

As of late last week, Hall, Budd, and Sisseton lakes were giving up good numbers of bluegills to anglers using flu flu and cubby jigs tipped with crawlers in 2-6 feet of water. Crappies were being taken by anglers using minnows. Walleye anglers were pulling fish out of Hall and Budd lakes when trolling leeches, crawlers and crankbaits through 8-12 feet of water. Bass and catfish were active on all area lakes. 800-657-3280; www.visitfairmontmn.com

Ortonville -Big Stone Lake

The perch have been the main target on Big Stone Lake, with anglers catching a variety of sizes. While the best presentation is hard to pinpoint, the best location has been clear and consistent! The Windmill Reef/Cramer's Resort, Bay View, Grape Vine and Goose Isle areas are giving up nice numbers of fish to anglers lightly jigging minnows, pieces of nightcrawlers or spikes. The best bite is now during morning hours, with late afternoon and early evening hours also working for the dock anglers. Other species currently being taken include an occasional walleye, plenty of white bass, some largemouth bass, and variety of panfish including rock bass, crappies and bluegills. 800-568-5722; www.bigstonelake.com

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


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