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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 - 5-23-16
Rainy Lake Fishing Report - Update Weekly
Lake Mille Lacs Fishing Report - 5-20-16
Kabetogama-Ash River Fishing Report - 5-23-16
Devils Lake, North Dakota Fishing Report from Woodland Resort

Minnesota Statewide Fishing Reports
INFO AS OF 5-23-16

Northeast Minnesota


Opening weekend brought snow, sleet and strong winds. The brave and dedicated anglers that did head out were mostly disappointed until late Saturday when the winds let up. Anglers that caught walleye had to toss back a lot of little northern pike. Luckily, the walleye bite increased considerably on Sunday, and anglers that fished off shore and off the docks took quite a few fish. The best approach was a minnow with a jig head and/or slip sinker rigs worked in 8-12 foot depths in the sand or soft bottom bays. 800-524-9085; www.kabetogama.com


The hearty souls that ventured out over the opener were rewarded with some decent catches, including walleye, northern pike and smallmouth bass. Jig and minnow combinations were very effective in coaxing the shallow walleye to bite, however, the largest walleye fell for crankbaits slowly-trolled along deeper water adjacent to the flats. Most northern pike were caught on sucker minnows worked in water less than fifteen feet deep, with a few taken on spinner baits and larger crank baits. Crappie anglers had a decent amount of success in water as shallow as three feet. Wise conscientious anglers released the larger females, keeping only a few for the frying pan. As the weather continually improves and stabilizes, the bite should improve as well. 800-777-7281; www.ely.org

Grand Rapids

Cooler than normal temperatures put a damper on fishing last weekend, but this week’s warmer temperatures have increased walleye action on a daily basis. A jig and shiner combination has worked well for limits of walleye. Depths of 6-12 feet have been best, especially when moving at a snail’s pace. Some of the most productive lakes have been Bowstring, Jesse, Round, and Winnibigoshish. The shoreline breaks remain the best bet on all area lakes. This week’s warm-up should result in even greater limits of fish. www.visitgrandrapids.com

Northwest Minnesota

Baudette - Lake of the Woods & the Rainy River

The cold temperatures and high winds made fishing a challenge during last weekend’s Minnesota fishing opener. Most anglers that braved the nasty weather headed out to Four Mile Bay and the Rainy River to avoid the worst conditions. Anglers found walleye on the main basin in various depths down to 28 feet deep. Jigs tipped with minnows worked best; the most productive colors were gold, orange, pink, and chartreuse. On the Rainy River, walleye were caught from Four Mile Bay all the way to Birchdale, roughly 40 miles upstream. The majority of walleye came from 5-15 feet of water on jig and minnow combinations presented slowly. Up at the Northwest Angle, limits of 14- to 17-inch eating-size walleye, along with some nice picture-size fish were common. The points in 20-27 feet of water produced the most fish, especially when worked with a gold and pink ¼-ounce jig tipped with a minnow. 800-382-FISH; www.lakeofthewoodsmn.com


Despite cold and windy conditions during last weekend’s Minnesota fishing opener, literally thousands of anglers braved the elements to fish Bemidji area waters. Surface water temperatures were as high as 62 degrees on some lakes before the opener, but a series of cold fronts lowered the surface water temperatures as low as 47 degrees on some lakes. Most anglers still caught good numbers of fish which is a testament to the quality of the Bemidji area fisheries. Surface water temperatures are on the rise again this week due to much warmer temperatures and winds shifting to the south. The walleye bite should improve as the weather stabilizes and the water temperatures return to the mid-50s and higher. Jigs and minnows were the presentation of choice for most anglers, and most of the walleye were at the shoreline structure, either in the emerging cabbage weeds or on the rocks. Crappies, sunnies and bass were just moving into the shallows to prepare to spawn when the strong cold fronts hit the Bemidji area. These fronts pushed the fish out of the shallows and the process will have to repeat itself as the water temperatures reach the low- to mid-60s again. Muskies are also late to spawn so they probably retreated to the deeper waters as well. 800-458-2223; www.visitbemidji.com

Walker - Leech Lake

Leech Lake once again displayed how bountiful and sustainable its walleye population is, with anglers finding walleye scattered throughout the lake at various depths. Some of the best action took place in 6-7 feet of water, but many fish, especially the males, were pulled from depths of 10-12 feet of water. Lots of perch and northern pike were mixed in with the walleye. A couple of techniques and locations worked well. Areas with green cabbage seemed to hold hungry walleye, as did the sand flats and sand grass edges. The traditional windblown points such as Pine, Stoney, Duck, Ottertail, Oak, and Star also produced fish despite the heavy boat traffic. On the west side of Leech Lake, West Goose Flats, The Hardwoods, and Mounds points produced solid results. On the east and south sides of the lake, Five Mile, Portage Bay, Battle Point, Partridge Point, Diamond, and Rogers gave up quality fishing. Try different speeds and jig cadence to learn what the walleye prefer – consider switching jig colors, jig profiles, jigging styles and changing speed. At times, walleye preferred ¼-ounce or 1/8-ounce jigs dragged through the sand; at other times, snap-jigging and moving faster meant more fish in the net. Leech Lake is off to a great season, and the warmer temperatures should increase the bite in the upcoming weekends. 800-833-1118; www.leech-lake.com

Detroit Lakes

The strong cold front that created mixed results for the opener has moved on. Water temperatures in the Detroit Lakes area have started to recover and should be back into the low- to mid-60 degree range by the weekend. With the warm-up, the baitfish have become more active and so have the fish. Look for walleye to follow the shiners back into the shallows. The best place to search for these fish is in 6-15 feet of water on the main lake flats and edges. Crappies are still on their beds in 2-5 feet of water, tight to the emergent weeds. Bass are shallow and preparing to spawn – please remember that all bass must be released until the season opens on May 28. Northern pike are very active and eager to bite. 800-542-3992; www.visitdetroitlakes.com

Central Region

Otter Tail Lakes Area

Walleye are biting on lakes and rivers throughout the county, especially during the early morning, late afternoon and evening hours. Look for fish from the shorelines all the way out to the deep base of the weed lines, however, most fish will be in the shallows this week. Last weekend’s cool temperatures put a halt to the crappie spawn. As the water continues to warm, expect crappies and sunnies to move to the shallow shorelines. Northern pike anglers will enjoy lots of action when dragging shiners along the weed lines -- bright jigs and live bait rigs should both work well. 800-423-4571; www.ottertailcountry.com

Sauk Centre - Sauk Lake

Big Sauk and Little Sauk Lakes are producing large numbers of walleye and panfish now that the water has warmed up a bit. Anglers report 30- to 40-fish caught each outing when using spot tail shiners. The shiners are currently spawning in the shallows so the game fish are right alongside them and will remain in the shallows for the next two weeks or so. On Big Sauk Lake, check the Narrows Bridge and the rock pile at Diamond Point in 6-14 feet of water for the most fish. Nearby, Little Birch Lake has been great for northern pike, walleye and smallmouth bass. West Port Lake is giving up lots of pike, and the Fairy Lake Chain is also producing lots of fish. The timing of the spawn and other factors indicate that fishing should be outstanding over Memorial Day weekend! 855-444-SAUK; www.visitsaukcentre.com

Pine River Area Lakes

The 2016 Minnesota Fishing Opener was cold and windy, limiting the number of places where anglers could comfortably fish on the larger lakes. Most anglers stuck to sheltered areas and bays which are not always the most favorable places to fish on opening weekend. Anglers that had success used small, slow presentations. The best reports came from those who trolled the shallows with minnow stick baits either very early in the morning or just past dark. Northern pike were most active on the smaller, more sheltered lakes. Panfish pulled out of the shallows and headed for deeper water during the midst of the cold front, with most fish found in 10-15 foot depths. Now that the temperatures have turned warm, fishing should be ideal by the weekend, and Memorial Day weekend should be exceptional. Expect the walleye to be hovering near their spawning areas, hungry and eager to bite. 800-728-6926; www.pinerivermn.com

Isle/Onamia - Lake Mille Lacs

Fishing was spectacular on Lake Mille Lacs last weekend. Everything from northern pike to bass to muskies were reported on opening weekend and in the days that followed. The water temperatures continue to warm and the bite should continue to improve for all species of fish. During evening hours, anchor in waters from 5-13 feet deep, and toss out a bobber and a leech. Trolling should also be productive on the shallow reefs when using #5 or #7 shad raps. Early in the day, use speckled purple #7 or UV-colored husky jerks; before sunrise, dark blue tackle should turn the most fish. Launches on the north end of the lake also experienced a great bite, especially in the evenings when bobber fishing. Northern pike anglers are having success when trolling the bays, with a few accidental muskies being taken. 888-350-2692; www.millelacs.com

Minneapolis-St. Paul Area


Last weekend’s cold temperatures and high winds made it difficult to get out, but by Sunday the conditions had improved, and so had the bite. In fact, some nice walleye reports continue to come in this week. During early morning and late evening hours, anglers are having success in waters less than 8 feet deep. There have been a surprising number of walleye pulled from 14 to 18 feet of water during late afternoon and early evening hours. Jigs with fatheads or leeches have been working well, and slip bobbers with leeches have also been productive. Areas such as Kegs Reef, North Reef and Harms Point are giving up nice numbers of fish. Anglers should also consider fishing the points of Coney Island. Just some of the walleye reported this week include a couple of 3-pound fish, a 5-pound fish, and a 28-inch fish. Numerous 17- to 18-inch walleye were also reported. The crappie bite is also on the rise, with Waconia Bay and the Pillsbury Reef area kicking out lots of keepers for anglers using crappie minnows. The north side of Coney Island should also be a good spot to check. 952/442-5812; www.destinationwaconia.org

Three Rivers Park District Lakes & Rivers

The Three Rivers Park District offers many great fishing opportunities for people in the Twin Cities. Consider one of their 34 lakes or three rivers this week or weekend. Learn more at the Three Rivers Park District Fishing Page.

Southern Minnesota

Lanesboro - Southeast Bluff Country trout streams

As of Thursday, May 12, southeastern Minnesota streams and rivers were very clear, with a mostly normal water flow. The Middle Branch of the Whitewater, however, was slightly off in color. Many tan crane flies were hatching, and some Baetis were seen. Dress for cool and wet weather this weekend. Trout stream maps can be found at National Trout Center in Preston, or print your own Southern MN trout angling maps. 800-944-2670; www.lanesboro.com

Rochester -Southeastern Minnesota lakes and rivers

The smallmouth bass and white bass have been very active in the Zumbro River watershed, especially in some of the shallower, wading level sections. The bass have spawned in the Zumbro River and they are very hungry, however, it is questionable whether they have been able to spawn in the Root River due to much cooler water temperatures. 800-634-8277; www.rochestercvb.org

Ortonville - Big Stone Lake

Unseasonably cold temperatures and lots of wind kept most anglers off Big Stone Lake last weekend. Those that ventured out did catch some walleye, bluegills, northern pike, and largemouth bass. The warmer and more stable weather this week should cause things to heat up nicely by the weekend! 800-568-5722; www.bigstonelake.com

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

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