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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 - 9-17-18
Rainy Lake Fishing Report - Update Weekly
Lake Mille Lacs Fishing Report - 7-6-18
Kabetogama-Ash River Fishing Report - 9-17-18
Devils Lake, North Dakota Fishing Report from Woodland Resort

Minnesota Statewide Fishing Reports
INFO AS OF 8-24-18

Northeast Minnesota

International Falls - Rainy Lake & the Rainy River

Walleye remain deep on most of Rainy Lake’s reefs and mid-lake humps. Electronics are extremely helpful to mark schools of fish. The best depths seem to range daily from 20 to 36 feet of water. A ¼ ounce jig tipped with a minnow is working well, with lindy rigs tipped with a minnow or leech working best when fish turn finicky. Crappies remain in deeper waters along the breaklines and submerged brush, with most fish coming from depths of 18 to 30 feet. Jigs and minnows have been productive. ​Some bass are being pulled from depths of 12 to 25 feet on weighted plastics, crank baits and lipless baits. Other bass remain shallow along the rocky shorelines and points, responding to twitch baits and spinner baits. Northern pike anglers are doing well when casting or trolling spinner baits, buzz baits, spoons, and larger jerk and twitch baits in 15 to 40 feet of water. Anglers are also taking some shallow northern pike from the windblown points and weed beds. Check out the Bass Championship held Aug. 23-25 on Rainy Lake and the Rainy River when anglers will compete for more than $30,000 in prize money! Other highlights include a boat parade, craft show, car show, kids' fishing tournament, live music, night games, tractor rides, beer gardens, and more - bring the whole family! 800-325-5766; www.rainylake.org


Fishing remains excellent on Lake Kabetogama. In fact, the walleye action has never really slowed down this summer. And while the jig and minnow bite usually lags for a couple weeks during the heat of the summer, this presentation continues to work well. Leeches, however, are the ideal bait but can be difficult to find. Crawlers are also turning some fish. While no specific depth has been identified, lots nice fish are coming from 22 to 30 feet of water. The water temperatures haven’t varied for quite a while, keeping northern pike and smallmouth bass in roughly the same locations. Trolling over the main lake basin is producing some nice pike since they continue to relate to the thermocline. Once the water temperature begins to drop, the smallmouth bass will head to the reefs where they will begin to feed heavily. 800-524-9085; www.kabetogama.com

Ely Area Lakes & Streams

Anglers continue to find cooperative walleye on many area lakes. Most of the fish are coming in on spinner rigs and crawlers, but some anglers are doing well when trolling crank baits along the drop-offs at the mouths of the shallow flats during low light hours. The bite has been somewhat deeper during midday hours. Some anglers are having success late in the evening when using minnows under lighted bobbers in the shallows. Trout anglers have been doing well on Tofte Lake and Miners Pit when trolling small crank baits and spoons. Set your depth at 10 to 15 feet down during the day, and run your lures along the surface early and late in the day. A crawler under a bobber will also produce trout. Smallmouth bass will readily attack a surface lure worked around the weed edges and on the mid-lake rock piles on calm mornings. As the sun rises higher in the sky, switch to sub-surface crank baits, soft baits and spinner baits, and don’t be surprised if you catch a northern pike as well. For lots of northern pike action, try trolling larger profile crank baits near the weed edges and rocky points. Spinner baits and spoons are working well for those willing to keep casting. While some impressive numbers are being reported, most of the pike are in the 3 to 5 pound range (the ideal size for eating!). Some anglers are also reporting 10 to 15 pound fish. 800-777-7281; www.ely.org

Cook County: Lutsen-Tofte, Grand Marais, Gunflint Trail and Grand Portage area lakes

Inland lakes throughout Cook County continue to produce walleye, smallmouth bass, northern pike, rainbow trout and lake trout. Smallmouth bass action on Hungry Jack and Devilfish lakes has been good for anglers using crankbaits in the shallows. Walleye are hitting minnows and crawlers worked in 10 to 30 feet of water on Two Island, Devil’s Track, Seagull, Saganaga, Hungry Jack, Ball Club and Devil Fish lakes. Lake trout are responding to spoons, smelt and suckers in 30 to 40 feet of water on Loon and Daniels lakes. Rainbow trout are taking nightcrawlers from 12 to 20 feet of water on Kimball, Trout and Leo lakes. Strong lake trout action is being reported on Lake Superior. Anglers having the most success are using downriggers or dipsy divers with spoons from 70 feet to the surface, roughly ¼ mile off shore. Coho salmon action is tapering off as summer wanes, but a few continue to be caught near shore by anglers using dipsy divers and flies in depths 90 feet down to the surface. 218-387-2524; www.visitcookcounty.com

Duluth - Lake Superior and inland waters

The inland lakes continue to produce good quantities of fish. Anglers casting lures toward the shorelines are hooking lots of northern pike and bass. Muskie action is heating up and should only get better. Walleye are coming from the deeper humps in mid-lake areas. Anglers having the most success are starting with larger baits and downsizing until they determine the most productive size. Panfish anglers are doing well in the deeper weed areas when using live bait or casting small beetle spins. Anglers are doing well in most areas of the St. Louis River. Walleye are coming in on small crank baits and spinner baits with worms worked over the flats. Crappies are being pulled from the shoreline cover near deep drop-offs. Smallmouth bass anglers are having a blast up river, especially above the dams – the upper St. Louis and Cloquet rivers provide excellent smallmouth opportunities this time of year. Lake Superior is giving up lots of salmon and trout. The best tactic remains pulling flasher fly combinations and meat rigs under down-riggers. Some anglers are also reporting a jig bite in 50 to 90 feet of water. The South Shore and North Shore streams continue to produce some brook trout. While a number of tactics are working, it is important to fish the back-side of rocks off of turbulent waters. The Bois Brule River is giving up a few native brown trout. 800-438-5884; www.visitduluth.com

Grand Rapids

Walleye fishing has been good on most area lakes. The shallower lakes have slightly lower oxygen levels and little or no thermocline which makes the shallow weeds and shoreline areas better locations to find walleye. Darker water areas are also good when fishing shallower depths. For the most walleye, pull spinners at speeds of 1.2 to 1.6 mph. A medium size chub or shiner, and sometimes just half of a crawler will work best. Shallow-running crank baits may also trigger a bite when other methods fail, and this can be extremely effective during evening hours and low light conditions. Some productive lakes include Bowstring, Big Sand, Big Winnie and Round. Bass species are starting to move to the deeper weeds and outside edges of shoreline structure. Jig worms, drop shot and chatter baits have worked well in these areas. Some of the best bass lakes include Pokegama, Rice, Loon, Trout and Big Balsam. Expect bass fishing to be good for several weeks. www.visitgrandrapids.com

Northwest Minnesota

Baudette - Lake of the Woods & the Rainy River

The AIM Minnesota Fishing Championship was held on Lake of the Woods last weekend with the two-day winning bag of ten fish weighing over 91 pounds. The top 10 teams each had ten fish weights of over 80 pounds. Most of the larger walleye were responding to large, brightly-colored crank baits trolled through the basin of Big Traverse Bay. Downrigging, leadcore and bouncers with crank baits or trolled spinners were very effective in 32 to 34 feet of water. On the Rainy River, the weed and river edges are holding a variety of fish including walleye, smallmouth bass, sturgeon, northern pike, crappies and perch. Up at the Northwest Angle & Islands area, walleye action remains excellent for anglers using bottom bouncers with nightcrawlers. Most of the success has been at the mud located off structure in depths of 21 to 23 feet and 26 to 30 feet of water. Many large fish are coming in on crank baits worked in the area just south of Garden Island. Water temperatures are lingering in the low to mid-70s -- fall trophy action is just around the corner! 800-382-FISH; www.lakeofthewoodsmn.com

Bena - Lake Winnibigoshish

Anglers fishing Lake Winnibigoshish are taking walleye on crank baits and live bait rigs with crawlers worked in 12 to 14 feet of water on the south end flats, weed beds and main lake bars. On days with a breeze, look for walleye off the edges of the bars in 25 to 35 feet of water. Good perch reports are coming from anglers fishing the 10 to 14 foot shoreline breaks on the south end of the lake, as well as at Rich’s Townsite, the Bird Houses and Raven’s Point. For northern pike, troll spoons or crankbaits at the 12 to 14 foot weedlines. www.lakewinnie.net


The walleye bite is picking up again now that the water temperatures are falling. Jigs with minnows fished along the mid-lake humps, bars and deep weed edges are producing fish in 12 to 24 feet of water. Bemidji, Wolf, Andrusia and Julia lakes are all kicking out some nice fish. Breezy, cloudy days are usually best. The bass bite remains excellent on area lakes, with plastics worked along the deep weedlines turning the most fish. Larger northern pike are being pulled from the deep weeds on live bait rigs with suckers. Crappies and bluegills are spread out along the deeper cabbage. 877-250-5959; www.visitbemidji.com

Walker - Leech Lake

The walleye and jumbo perch bite began to heat up on Leech Lake last week. Rigged crawlers worked along the breaklines and underwater humps and points were effective, as was slip bobber fishing at nice patches of cabbage -- this was especially productive on calm, sunny days. Fishing was best in Walker Bay, as well as other bays on the west side of the lake. Since there had been a lot of pressure in these areas, anglers did better when seeking out less populated areas. The key was to stay on the move until bait fish were found using electronics. Once their depth was determined, it was best to work this depth in areas with structure. When pulling crawlers, speeds of .8 to 1.1 mph kept small perch off the line. Many other area lakes were also producing nice numbers of fish. Walleye and bass responded well to spinners pulled along the deep weed edges in 18 to 24 feet of water. Rigged chubs was been another great tactic for catching large smallmouth bass, northern pike and some large walleye. The best means to catching large bass was drop-shotting, jigging with senkos wacky-style, and running topwater lures. Panfish were relating to the weeds in 8 to 14 feet of water. Anglers having the most success used a 1/32 ounce jig tipped with a small minnow or tube. 800-833-1118; www.leech-lake.com

Detroit Lakes

Water temperatures in the Detroit Lakes area have dropped to the mid- to low 70s. With the shorter days and cooler nights, water temperatures should to continue to fall. Walleye anglers are taking fish from the mid-lake structure and long extending points that are close to deep water access, with most fish coming from 22 to 30 feet of water. On the stained water and shallow basin lakes, walleye are holding tight to the outside edge of the weedlines in 12 to 15 foot depths. Spinners, jigging raps, and live bait rigs tipped with minnows, leeches or crawlers continue to produce fish. Larger minnows are starting to become the preferred bait. Where fish are tight to weeds, use jigs with minnows or plastics. Northern pike are hitting trolled crank baits, casted spinner baits and rigged minnows at the deep weedlines. Bass are shallow and tight to the weed cover. Some nice catches are also coming off the docks with deep water close by. Smallmouth bass are being taken by walleye anglers pulling live bait rigs or spinners through deep water on Cormorant, Lida and Island lakes. The panfish are relating to the weeds -- keep moving until you contact with fish. Since the panfish are schooled, you should catch multiple fish. Small jigs with a minnow, plastic or piece of crawler will work well either casted or under a bobber. 800-542-3992; www.visitdetroitlakes.com

Central Region

Otter Tail Area Lakes

It seems that some of the fish are transitioning from summer to fall patterns. Areas that were void of fish last week are suddenly crowded with fish. There’s a good chance that you will need to test different presentations and techniques such as the weight, size and color of your lures, length of your leaders and snells, and trolling speed. In particular, start experimenting with larger lures and baits. Many fish species gravitate to larger baits in the fall since their food source (minnows) have grown larger during the summer months. The lakes around Otter Tail County are beginning to cool, and this is another cue for fish to feed more intensely. These are exciting times on area lakes and rivers! 800-423-4571; www.ottertailcountry.com

Brainerd Lakes Area

As of last week, nice size walleye were coming right from the weed edges on the larger area lakes. Anglers trolling hornets or pulling crawler harnesses were having the most success. Some walleye were taken from the mid-lake humps by anglers ripping minnow baits, live bait rigging crawlers and bottom bouncing harnesses. The smaller area lakes also gave up good numbers of walleye. The largemouth bass action was exceptional, with fish found under the docks, off the deep points, and in the thick coon tails and reeds. Jigs with a 6 inch worm worked off the deep weeds was the best tactic. Smallmouth bass action was also incredible. An excellent bite was reported when using jigs and plastics, jerk baits and deep-diving crank baits. The fish were schooled so once you found one fish, you were likely to take a bunch. A leech set about 3 feet above the bottom offered plenty of action. 800-450-7247; www.visitbrainerd.com

Minneapolis-St. Paul Area

White Bear Area Lakes

Anglers are reporting lots of good action on White Bear this week, with impressive numbers of nice-size panfish being taken from the western bays. Reports of pumpkinseeds weighing more than one-half pound are coming from bass anglers fishing the heavy weeds in 10 feet of water or less. The larger pumpkinseeds are taking 5 inch plastic worms, indicating an aggressive bite. During low light hours, white or pink plastics have been best, whereas dark green plastics with a chartreuse tip have been the most productive during afternoon hours. Walleye seem to be concentrated on the weedlines near the sharpest drop-offs. Anglers having the most success are using slip bobbers and leeches fished a few feet off the bottom at dusk. Muskie sightings have been more common than catches. High water temperatures have kept most of crappies suspended in deeper waters. 651/653-5122; www.explorewhitebear.org

Southern Minnesota

Lanesboro/Preston - Southeast Bluff Country trout streams

As of Wednesday, Aug. 22, fisheries staff reported that most area streams and rivers were running slightly low and mostly clear despite recent rainfall. There were reports of great hopper fishing. Caddis were seen on the water but the species was unknown. Check the Minnesota Stream Flow Report before heading out. Detailed Trout Angling Maps are available through the DNR. And consider attending one of the Fly Tying Fridays at the National Trout Center in Preston. 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.

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