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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 - 9-30-15
Rainy Lake Fishing Report - Update Weekly
Lake Mille Lacs Fishing Report - 9-18-15
Kabetogama-Ash River Fishing Report - 9-30-15
Devils Lake, North Dakota Fishing Report from Woodland Resort

Minnesota Statewide Fishing Reports
INFO AS OF 10-2-15

Northeast Minnesota

International Falls - Rainy Lake & the Rainy River

Rainy Lake anglers are finding some good-sized northern pike in 15-20 feet of water around the popular bays west of Brule Narrows. Smallmouth bass are hitting in 20 feet of water at the points and humps where anglers are trying to locate walleye. The bait fish are reported to be moving off the humps, with the walleye right behind. Crappie fishing remains best in Black Bay and up into the Rat Root River. Rainy River walleye are still being caught in the swifter waters around the Ranier Rapids and below the dam at International Falls. Smallmouth bass can also be pulled from these areas. 800-325-5766; www.rainylake.org


Earlier this week, Lake Kabetogama water temperatures were still in the 60s, and the trees were turning beautiful fall colors. The walleye remained scattered, and had not begun to school near the reefs -- the feeding frenzy had yet to begin. The sauger, northern pike and perch, however, were active at most depths. Some anglers did well with the crappies when searching for walleye. As the days turn cooler and shorter, the fish should begin their voracious fall bite! 800-524-9085; www.kabetogama.com


Panfish action has been heating up as water temperatures begin to fall. The shallows are the first to cool, and this has stimulated the panfish bite. Many area lakes are producing nice quantities of quality sunnies, along with a few crappies just before nightfall. Northern pike are turning more active as water temperatures cool, and anglers are reporting lots of nice fish when using spinner baits and spoons – a twister tail trailer is sometimes good to increase the bait’s profile. Large shallow-diving crank baits are effective early and late in the day; use buzz baits and surface poppers during midday hours. Walleye fishing has been hit or miss lately. Some anglers are catching a few walleye when dragging spinner rigs tipped with a crawler, and casting or trolling shad raps in water less than ten feet deep. It pays to be flexible, especially when fish are in a transition period and on the move. 800-777-7281; www.ely.org

Duluth - Lake Superior and inland waters

Anglers are still catching lake trout on Lake Superior, but the action has slowed a bit. The majority of action is at the shallow shoreline waters near the rivers--try casting from shore or trolling long lines with spoons. The St. Louis River is also giving up fewer fish, but walleye action should pick up shortly. Crappies are starting to school next to the structure, with jig and minnow combinations producing the most for river crappies. Anglers fishing the inland lakes are having the most success. The smallmouth bass are very active, and anglers are also catching northern pike, a few bluegills, and an occasional walleye. Look for crappie fishing to pick up once the waters begin to turn over. Jigging techniques along with live bait or soft plastics are the best bet. 800-438-5884; www.visitduluth.com

Grand Rapids

The fall colors are spectacular and the feeling of fall is finally here. Water temperatures are starting to cool, and walleye fishing continues to improve. The windswept shallows where baitfish are gathering are great locations to search for late season walleye--jig and minnow combinations will be the key to success in the coming weeks. A good trick is to watch for the loons and other birds to let you know where forage is present. Northern pike fishing has been good, and the pike will also turn more active in the weeks to come. The late season green cabbage weeds are prime locations to find active pike. Crappies have transitioned to their fall locations in many area lakes, with most now found in depths of 20-30 feet of water at the soft bottom bays and points. www.visitgrandrapids.com

Northwest Minnesota

Baudette - Lake of the Woods & the Rainy River

Lake of the Woods walleye action has been consistent the last couple of weeks with fish moving towards the South Shore and the Rainy River. Spinners and crawler harnesses are working well, with some anglers adding a minnow for the more aggressive bites. Other anglers are doing well when trolling with red and white lures, or anchoring and jigging with minnows in 26-32 feet of water at Knight and Bridges islands. Hammered gold and pink are the best colors. South Shore anglers are having success at Pine Island, a few miles north of Pine Island, at the Lighthouse Gap, Graceton Beach, Long Point, and Twelve Mile, with depths of 22-24 or 28-31 giving up the most fish. On the Rainy River, shiners continue their run up the river and the walleye are following right behind. Evening fishing has been best in 17-19 feet of water, especially when jigging with a ½- or 3/8-ounch pink, gold, or orange jig. Sturgeon are active in the deep pockets. To catch one of these monsters, anchor up in a deep hole and drop a circle hook with a bunch of crawlers and maybe a shiner or two. Some of the better locations include Vidas to Frontier Landing, and Timbermill Park towards Birchdale. Up at the Northwest Angle, water temperatures have dropped a bit, down to 64-degrees. Walleye can be found in the deep holes, gaps, and off the deep points in roughly 32 feet of water. They are starting to move into Johnson's Pass which is a fall migration area. Most of the fish are being pulled from the Lake Trails at the south end of Oak Island, and the deep hole off of Big Island. The largest walleye recently taken measured 30-inches long! Crappies are responding best to 2-inch rapalas with a 3-way swivel and drop sinker trolled at .5 mph. Muskie anglers are encouraged to switch over to trolling for the rest of the season. 800-382-FISH; www.lakeofthewoodsmn.com


As of late last week, walleye in most lakes were still split between shallow and deep water. Most walleye could be found between the deep weed edge and the bottom edge of the drop-off. Walleye were also found on hard-bottomed breaklines with direct access to deep water. Crappies and sunnies were beginning to move off the weed edges and resume more of a fall pattern. Fishing was heating up as the lakes slowly cooled into the mid-60s. The mild late-summer weather was expected to extend the peak fall fishing season, as well as the peak for fall colors into October this year. 800-458-2223; www.visitbemidji.com

Detroit Lakes Area Lakes

Water temperatures have dropped to the mid-60s for most Detroit Lakes area lakes. The walleye bite has been inconsistent, fluctuating with the weather. Some fish can be found on the edges in the 15-22 feet of water, and some are out on the deep humps and sharp breaks in 25-35 foot depths. Strong winds and cloud cover will bring them up on the flats. The best presentations have been a jig and minnow combination, or a rig with a minnow or crawler. The crawler bite should subside once water temperatures drop below 60 degrees. The muskie anglers are out on Big Detroit and Pelican lakes. Most anglers are doing well when casting lures, but once water temperatures drop further they switch over to large sucker minnows. Smallmouth bass are active at the rocks and hard sand bottom areas just outside the weedlines on Island, White Earth, Cormorant and Lida lakes. Bass anglers have been catching quality fish when casting plastics into the shallows of Floyd, Cotton and Melissa lakes. 800-542-3992; www.visitdetroitlakes.com

Central Region

Otter Tail Lakes Area

Fishing is picking up now that cooler and more seasonable temperatures have settled in. Anglers are finding walleye in 25-35 foot depths near the shoreline breaks. Anglers are having success using jigs with crawlers or minnows, although crawlers will produce fewer fish if temperatures remain cool. Anglers should look for northern pike in the 15-20 foot weeds, and bass in the 8-15 foot weeds. The fish are on the move to their fall locations. 800-423-4571; www.ottertailcountry.com

Brainerd Lakes Area

Most fish species remain scattered as fall patterns begin to take hold. Crawler harnesses with a blue #4 blade are producing a few smaller walleye on the weed edges, with larger fish hitting long-lined light northern sucker minnows. On Gull Lake, most walleye are positioned at an ambush point at the base of the weedlines. Live bait rigs with minnows or crawlers are working best. Areas to check out include the weedlines in Steamboat, Wilson, and the Whitehouse Bar, as well as a few of the mid-lake humps. On North Long Lake, live bait rigs with redtails, golden shiners, rainbows and crawlers pumped with air best when worked at the deeper structure in 14-28 feet of water. The larger fish responded best to redtails, and the key was to hook the bait through the back. For the most action, use a 2.5- to 4.5-inch minnow and a #2 red octopus hook. As the day progressed, shallower windblown weedlines were more productive for anglers using 1/16-ounce jigs with large golden shiner in depths of 7-11 feet. Expect to take a mixed bag, including walleye, northern pike, and tons of bass. 800-450-2838; www.explorebrainerdlakes.com

Isle/Onamia - Lake Mille Lacs

On Lake Mille Lacs, the smallmouth bite remains good. For the most action, use a drop shot with plastics in 10-plus feet of water. Some anglers are reporting success when using sucker minnows as well. Work the north end of the lake and bays for numbers of northern pike. Expect muskie activity to increase as the water temps drop. The surface water temperature has dropped to the lower 60s, and the hazard buoys have been removed. 888-350-2692; www.millelacs.com


Anglers pulling lead core and crank baits on Green and Diamond lakes are having success with the sunfish, walleye and crappies. Anglers are looking forward to the weekend since this week’s cool down should kick-off the fall bite we’ve all been waiting for! When things heat up, be sure to use fathead minnows or crawlers while pulling shad raps or crankbaits. 800-845-8747; www.willmarlakesarea.com

Southern Minnesota

Winona – Mississippi River/Lake Pepin

As of late last week, sunfish are hitting red worms and nightcrawlers on the Mississippi River. Crappies were being taken on minnows and crappie jigs. Most fish are coming from areas with good cover where predatory fish are less likely to find them. 507-452-0735; www.visitwinona.com

Lanesboro -Southeast Bluff Country Trout Streams

As of Sept. 26, most area streams and rivers monitored by fisheries staff were in excellent condition, with normal water flows. Please remember that the catch-and-release season runs through Oct. 15. 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. Anglers are encouraged to stop by a DNR Fisheries office in southeast Minnesota to pick up a copy of the new 2015 Trout Angling Opportunities in Southern and Central Minnesota booklet. Check the DNR Fisheries web page for locations. 800-944-2670; www.lanesboro.com

Rochester -Southeast Minnesota Lakes and Rivers

Recent trips on the Zumbro River have produced lots of nice fish. Anglers having the most success are using mid-water baits such as rapalas and slightly-weighted plastic minnow, frog and grasshopper imitations. Smallmouth bass, muskies, and a couple of eating-size walleye are all being taken. Fly anglers are doing well using woolly buggers and some colorful streamers fished slowly enough for the lures to settle deep into the holes. Water clarity is crystal clear. Fish are expected to turn even more active following the recent cold snap. 800-634-8277; www.rochestercvb.org

Ortonville - Big Stone Lake

The perch bite remains strong on Big Stone Lake. Anglers having the most success are setting their bait on the bottom in depths of roughly 12 feet at their favorite perch hot spot. The anglers that have switched over to minnows are reporting an increase in larger perch. All of the traditional hots spots are giving up fish including Manhattan Reef, the GrapeVine, Bay View, Windmill Reef, Cramer's Resort, and on north up to SoDak and the Gray Barn. The walleye bite should take off shortly. When it does, look for anglers lined up along the shorelines, casting or pitching jigs. 800-568-5722; www.bigstonelake.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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