Minnesota fishing report

Minnesota ice fishing is here in the northern part of the state. Check out the winter luxury homes with private hot tubs located on Blackduck Lake near Bemidji MN. For lodging deals go to www.whitebirchresort.net.

 

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Explore Minnesota Weekly Fishing Update – Nov. 10, 2017
Open water fishing on the Rainy River; photo courtesy of www.rainylake.org

 

While small ponds and bays are beginning to freeze over, the ice is not solid or thick enough to support foot travel. Anglers are encouraged to brush up on their knowledge of ice safety through the DNR’s Ice Safety Guidelines web page.Few updates are available at this time as anglers put away their boats and begin to prepare for the ice fishing season.

If you’re dreaming of ice fishing, attend the Hard Water Fishing Expo at the National Sports Center in Blaine, Nov. 17-19, and discover the latest ice fishing gear including rods, reels, tackle, shelters, wheelhouses, sleds and more.

For rules, regulations and other helpful information on fishing in Minnesota, consult the DNR’s Fish Minnesotaweb page.

Northeast Minnesota

Kabetogama

Snow and wind over the weekend kept anglers off the water. With more lakes becoming inaccessible due to forming ice and cold temperatures, angler activity is virtually non-existent. 800-524-9085www.kabetogama.com

Duluth – Lake Superior, St. Louis River and inland waters

Anglers are eager to begin ice fishing but they encouraged to hold off until the ice becomes more stable. Please remember that ice is never 100 percent safe and no fish is worth risking your life for. There are some good open water options still available. Island Lake north of Duluth is getting some action, and this is the best time to get a trophy muskie since they are at their largest weight. The best bet is to slowly drift a large sucker minnow with quick strike rigs. Some anglers are having mixed success chucking large baits to the shorelines. A few anglers continue to venture out on the St. Louis River with some having success with the walleye and crappies. A jig and minnow combination has been best, and there are lots of shore fishing opportunities for those who have put away their boats.  The inland lakes are giving up some nice walleye off the deeper transitional waters. Again, a jig and minnow has been the most effective. Use your electronics when searching out fish – the best depths have been roughly 15 feet of water. A few crappies are still showing up with the majority pulled from the structure and common wintering holes. Stream fishing has been on the quiet side but there have been reports of anglers catching a few steel head, coho and browns. The best tactics have been swinging flies with “X” patterns, tossing hardware into the fast current, and using float indicators over yarn in the deeper holes. 800-438-5884www.visitduluth.com

Northwest Minnesota

Baudette – Lake of the Woods & the Rainy River

Some nice walleye continue to be pulled from Lake of the Woods. Ice has formed in the back bays but not on the main lake. Anglers are finding walleye staged in 7 to 30 feet of water across the south shore of the lake. Most are having success when anchored with a pink, pink/white or gold jig and shiner. The Rainy River is giving up walleye of all sizes with some large fish measuring over 28 inches being taken. Evening hours have been best. On the morning of Nov. 6, the water temperature at Wheeler’s Point public access at the mouth of the Rainy River was 36.8 degrees so it won’t be long until ice forms. Up at the Northwest Angle, some of the harbors are inaccessible due to ice. 800-382-FISH; www.lakeofthewoodsmn.com

Park Rapids

The small shallow lakes are freezing over so anglers are concentrating on the larger lakes. Anglers fishing from boats will want to concentrate on early ice locations and presentations. Fish the weedlines for walleye and suspended panfish. Panfish anglers are having success using slip bobbers with wax worms or crappie minnows. Walleye anglers are taking fish when trolling shallow-running crank baits at night. For northern pike, hit the weed flats using live bait rigs with chubs. Anglers looking with trophy pike and muskie will want to troll tullibee-colored baits. 800-247-0054www.parkrapids.com

Central Region

Otter Tail Area Lakes

Ice is forming on some of the lakes, but some anglers continue to head out in boats. Anglers waiting until ice is stable and thick enough for foot travel will want to consider winterizing their boats. Everyone is enjoying the impressive and unmistakable presence of the trumpeter swans that are passing through Otter Tail Lake Country in vast numbers. If you’re heading outdoors, please remember to wear blaze orange. 800-423-4571www.ottertailcountry.com

Isle/Onamia – Lake Mille Lacs

On Nov. 3, the DNR announced that walleye fishing on Lake Mille Lacs will open on Friday, Dec. 1, with no bait restrictions. Anglers may keep 1 walleye measuring 20 to 22 inches, or one longer than 28 inches. For more information on Lake Mille Lacs regulations, check out the DNR web page at mndnr.gov/millelacslake888-350-2692www.millelacs.com

Southern Minnesota

Lanesboro – Southeast Bluff Country trout streams

As of Thursday, Nov. 2, fisheries staff reported that most area streams and rivers were clear with a normal water flow. The streams were in great condition and the trout were colorful and spawning. On Oct. 31, midges were hatching. Maps of all the designated trout streams that are open from Oct. 16 to Dec. 31 can be found under “Area Highlights” on the Lanesboro area fisheries webpage800-944-2670www.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.

Minnesota fishing resport

MN walleye

Blackduck Lake has a lot of walleye schooling up and are biting even though the wind has been roaring for the last week. White Birch resort has some great pre-winter deals for that last open water fishing trip. Check out www.whitebirchresort.net

[Northeast] [Northwest] [Twin Cities] [Central] [Southern]

Northeast Minnesota

International Falls – Rainy Lake & the Rainy River

The return of warm and sunny weather brought more anglers out on the Rainy River. The walleye fishing has been excellent around the Ron Hall access at International Falls. The walleye are near the rocky structure below the dam with anglers also taking some smallmouth bass. 800-325-5766; www.rainylake.org

Duluth – Lake Superior, St. Louis River and inland waters

Stream fishing is going well with anglers working the at most bends in the rivers. Steelhead action has been good for anglers using float indicators with an X pattern, with some anglers still having success casting small spinners. Flat fish are also being taken occasionally. The St. Louis River is giving up a few nice walleye and crappies. A jig and minnow has been good when targeting areas near structure or channel turns. Pitching the shorelines with heavy vegetation is also working. Muskie anglers report lots of follows – expect action to improve as water temperatures drop. The inland lakes are producing good numbers of various species, especially largemouth bass. Wacky worm rigs and other plastics are working well when pitched to the weed cover and docks. Lots of homeowners have already removed their summer docks so resident fish that use the docks for cover have relocated. Panfish can be found in 10 to 15 feet of water when using 1/16 ounce jigs, ice jigs or slip bobber rigs. Some anglers report great crappie catches as well. 800-438-5884; www.visitduluth.com

Grand Rapids

Walleye fishing has been very good for anglers using jigs and minnows. The crappies and bluegill are beginning to set up in areas where they will remain until early winter. After your last trip out this fall, make sure that your batteries and engines are prepped for the winter. www.visitgrandrapids.com

Northwest Minnesota

Baudette – Lake of the Woods & the Rainy River

The walleye bite remains strong. Walleye are staged in front of Pine Island, Graceton Beach and Zippel Bay in 18 to 30 feet of water. Most anglers are having success when anchored and jigging with a shiner. Hot colors include pink, pink/white and gold. The reefs are holding fish as well. Rainy River anglers are doing well up and down the river when schools of shiners enter into river. When they do, the walleye are close behind. For the most action, try vertical jigging with a shiner. Some anglers are also having success when trolling crankbaits. Anglers are also reporting good smallmouth bass, northern pike and crappie action. Up at the Northwest Angle, fishing has been exceptional. Walleye anglers are taking good numbers when using an orange or chartreuse jig with a minnow. Large northern pike are coming in on the same presentation. Water temperatures are slowly falling, with surface temps in the high 40s early in the day, rising to the low 50s in the afternoon. With water temperatures falling and the new moon looming, expect to see a greater number of large predator fish this week! 800-382-FISH; www.lakeofthewoodsmn.com

Bemidji

Water temperatures continue to slowly fall and surface water temperatures in some area lakes are now in the upper 40s. The walleye bite continues to be good for anglers using jigs and minnows, jigs and plastics, and jigging raps. The 12 to 14 foot weedlines, mid-lake humps and bars are producing the most fish. Northern pike are hitting just about anything thrown at them including jigs and minnows, spinner baits, crank baits, and live bait rigs. Hit the deep weed edges for plenty of action. Bass fishing remains good for anglers using plastics and throwing rattle traps in 3 to 12 feet of water at the green cabbage. Crappies continue to be caught along the green cabbage in 8 to 12 feet, but most of the crappies are now coming out of the deep holes on jigs and minnows. Crappies found deep are generally suspended so using your electronics to locate them is key. Enjoy the remaining few weeks of open water fishing and please remember to practice selective harvesting — by doing so we will continue to have great fishing for years to come! 800-458-2223; www.visitbemidji.com

Park Rapids

What a gorgeous week to be in the northwoods! The water temperatures have dropped into the upper 40s to mid-50s. These temperatures are considered to be best for fantastic fall fishing for everything from panfish to muskies. Look for the large perch to be cruising the shallows along with some of the largest northern pike. For the most action, troll 12 to 18 inch suckers on a quick strike rig for huge pike or muskie. Work the weed edges in 10 to 15 feet of water at the drop-offs near deep water (45 feet or more). Walleye can be found in the deep holes and at the dying deep weedlines. With the current warm temperatures, the weedlines should see a spark of activity. A rainbow chub roughly 3 inches long on a jig will do the job. The largemouth bass are gorging along the deep weedlines. For the most action, use a Stanley jig tipped with a small Berkley gulp grub — black and brown are the best colors. A standard Texas-rigged black plastic or a jig worm combination will also work. Smallmouth bass are schooled heavily on the steep breaks that have rocks and some weeds. Most fish are suspended. If the wind is blowing into a rocky/gravel shoreline, toss out a sucker minnow on a live bait rig for incredible action! 800-247-0054; www.parkrapids.com

Detroit Lakes

Water temperatures in the Detroit Lakes area continue to hover in the mid-50 degree range. The current high winds should result in lake turnover on some lakes. The bite can be a challenge on lakes that have turned over, so shop lakes to make sure you aren’t trying to fish in these conditions. Shallow basin lakes of less than 25 feet generally do not turn over, only the deeper lakes such as Detroit, Cormorant, Pelican, Lida, the Pines and Ottertail lakes. Walleye have been deep on most area lakes, but remain shallow on some, especially during high winds. If you are not graphing them on the edges or deep shoreline breaks and extended points, move shallow. Bass have been aggressively slamming jigs pitched to the shallow weeds in the 5 to 12 feet of water. Muskie anglers are doing well when casting baits or trolling large suckers on Big Detroit and Pelican lakes, with many large fish measuring 48 to 52 inches being reported. 800-542-3992; www.visitdetroitlakes.com

Central Region

Brainerd Area Lakes

Area lakes continue to produce good numbers of large and eating sized walleye. Last weekend, the water temperature on Gull Lake was 59 degrees, and the fish were scattered at depths from 13 to 35 feet depending on the weedlines. It was clear, however, that the fish were starting to stage near the tullibee spawning areas. Use your electronics at the steep breaks and look for groups of suspended fish which are likely tullibee. Once located, work this area for good numbers of fish. Smallmouth bass were extremely active on Lake Alexander. Many fish, some measuring roughly 21 inches, were pulled from the rocks in 25 to 32 feet of water. Rigs with a 4 inch minnow worked well. Northern pike were active on Lake Edwards, hitting long-lined 1/4 ounce jigs tipped with a sucker minnow. The pike were at the weeds in 10 to 17 feet of water. Crappies were pulled from the basin holes, with bluegills at their early ice locations. 800-450-7247; www.visitbrainerd.com

Isle/Onamia – Lake Mille Lacs

As of late last week, muskie anglers were hitting more frequently due to the drop in water temperature – the surface temperature was running in the mid-50s. While it remains too warm for the tullibees to begin their spawn (temperatures in the mid-40s are best), there were reports of good numbers and large fish. Anglers having the most success were using double buck tails, Bulldawgs and huge live suckers. Fewer smallmouth anglers were heading out, but those who did either had lots of success or only took a few. This bite will taper off as the water temperature continues to drop. The docks were still in at the public accesses. 888-350-2692; www.millelacs.com

Minneapolis-St. Paul Area

White Bear Area Lakes

White Bear Lake is giving up lots of northern pike, with pike also coming from Lake Jane. Walleye anglers are having the most success on the St. Croix River. For panfish, hit Silver and Powers lakes. Bass anglers are doing well on Powers and Demontreville lakes. 651-653-5122; www.explorewhitebear.org

Southern Minnesota

Lanesboro – Southeast Bluff Country trout streams

As of Oct. 19, fisheries staff report that all branches of the Whitewater Stream are clear with a normal water flow. No current information is available on other area streams and rivers. New signs are posted for the Town and State Parks Catch-and-Release season running from Oct. 16 to Dec. 31, 2017. 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.

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