Minnesota fishing reports for Minnesota brought to you by White Birch Resort on Blackduck Lake.
Weekly Fishing Update – Nov. 3, 2017
The open water fishing season is coming to an end now that ice is starting to form on some of the ponds and swamps. If you’re eager for the ice fishing season to begin, 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. Also enjoy seminars from your favorite Clam Ice Team pros.
Few updates will be available during the transition from soft water to hard water fishing. Please remember that no ice is ever completely safe. It is extremely important to wear a life jacket when out on the water due to the risk of hypothermia. Learn more.
For rules, regulations and other helpful information on fishing in Minnesota, consult the DNR’s Fish Minnesota web page.
[Northeast] [Northwest] [Twin Cities] [Central] [Southern]
Duluth – Lake Superior, St. Louis River and inland waters
It’s starting to feel like winter! Some area water temperatures are now hovering around the 40 degree mark, with a skim of ice forming on waters in the far north. Please remember that no ice is ever completely safe. Few anglers are heading out onto Lake Superior. Stream fishing remains strong, but anglers must head out early due to fishing pressure. The best tactic has been to swing a fly or cast hardware into faster waters. Some anglers are also having success using bags. The fishing has slowed a bit due to rising rivers rising and slightly dirty waters due to recent precipitation, but a few chrome (steelhead) continue to be taken. Both North Shore and South Shore streams are seeing plenty of action. The St. Louis River has slowed a bit, yet plenty of fish can still be found with a bit of searching — this is a good time of year to scope out winter ice fishing sites. Walleye are currently being pulled from 10 feet of water by anglers slowly trolling crank baits and pitching 3/8 inch jigs with aggressive retrieves. While live bait has been best for numbers, the larger fish prefer an oversized plastic. A medium-light 6 foot 10 inch custom rod has been very effective. Muskie angling has been good for anglers slowly drifting oversized sucker minnows on quick set rigs. The inland lakes continue to give up fish, especially at the “typical” wintering holes for panfish. Some anglers are having success using ice rods with ice tackle. 800-438-5884; www.visitduluth.com
Baudette – Lake of the Woods & the Rainy River
The walleye bite continues to be strong on Lake of the Woods, and hearty fall anglers are taking nice fish. The walleye have been holding in front of Pine Island, Graceton Beach, Zippel Bay, Long Point, and near the gaps in 7 to 30 feet of water. Anglers having the most success are using a pink, pink/white or gold jig tipped with a shiner. The Rainy River is giving up walleye of all sizes. Look for walleye and shiners at Frontier, Clementson and a few miles upriver from Wheeler’s Point. Schools of shiners are coming into the river at various times, with walleye following right behind. For the most action, vertically jig a shiner while anchored. Some anglers are also doing well when trolling crankbaits east of Baudette. Smallmouth bass, northern pike, sturgeon and crappies are being caught on a daily basis. Up at the Northwest Angle, walleye are active in 10 to 30 foot depths. Crappies are biting in the deeper holes, especially 27 feet deep and greater, with a quite a few perch mixed in. 800-382-FISH; www.lakeofthewoodsmn.com
The open water fishing season is coming to an end. Some of the small ponds and swamps are now frozen over and anglers have had to break through a bit of ice at some of the accesses over the past few days. It won’t be long until ice fishing begins! The walleye bite remains good for anglers using jigs tipped with minnows in depths 12 to 24 feet of water. The smallmouth bass action has been outstanding for those using jigs with minnows or plastics on the rocks in depths of 14 to 16 feet. Crappies continue to be found suspended out in the deep basins. This will be the final report until enough ice develops for safe travel by foot. 800-458-2223; www.visitbemidji.com
Fishing remains good if you can handle the weather. Anglers are catching some huge bluegills and crappies in the 15 to 20 feet of water when using jigs with plastics or minnows. The panfish are once again schooled along the old weed lines where they will remain through the ice fishing season. 800-247-0054; www.parkrapids.com
Otter Tail Area Lakes
The end of the open-water fishing season is drawing near, especially with overnight lows in the 20s for the next week or so. For late-season walleye, locate current either at a river mouth or inlet and fish from the bank in waders. Cast light jigs with twisters or minnows, or lipped diving baits (crank baits) since there are plenty of walleye in the shallows and current areas to provide plenty of action. Panfish can be found in the deep holes and suspending over lake basins. 800-423-4571; www.ottertailcountry.com
Isle/Onamia – Lake Mille Lacs
As of Oct. 27, most of the docks were still in the water at the public accesses on Lake Mille Lacs. The surface water temperatures remained in the 50s, but they were expected to drop rapidly due to high winds. With gust up to 40 mph, the top several feet of the water column would cool down quickly. Most anglers agree that Mille Lacs does not have a thermocline, and is not subject to a “fall turnover” like most lakes. 888-350-2692; www.millelacs.com
Minneapolis-St. Paul Area
White Bear Area Lakes
As of last weekend, White Bear Lake was giving muskies to anglers using sucker minnows and artificial lures. Areas near the edges of the weeds and the base of the main breakline were producing best. The walleye bite was decent, with most fish being caught on jigs with minnows. On Bald Eagle Lake, muskie anglers were doing well with suckers and artificial lures, especially in 12 feet of water or less. The walleye bite was improving for anglers using jigs. On Big Marine Lake, crappies were being taken on jigs and slip bobber rigs with minnows. St. Croix River anglers reported nice walleye coming in on jig and minnow combinations worked in 15 to 25 feet of water. Muskies were occasionally hitting artificials. 651-653-5122; www.explorewhitebear.org
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 webpage. 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.
Minnesota fishing reports.
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