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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 - 7-17-17
Rainy Lake Fishing Report - Update Weekly
Lake Mille Lacs Fishing Report - 7-21-17
Kabetogama-Ash River Fishing Report - 7-17-17
Devils Lake, North Dakota Fishing Report from Woodland Resort

Minnesota Statewide Fishing Reports
INFO AS OF 7-21-17

Northeast Minnesota


Last weekend, water temperatures were hovering around the 70-degree mark. When it was windy, it was best to hit 7 to 10 feet of water on the reefs. The mid-lake reefs and island areas consistently produced walleye and perch in various depths. Once fish were located, a lindy rig tipped with a crawler or leech produced the most fish, especially when a 2 to 3 inch snell was added to keep the bait near the bottom and in the strike zone. The same approach worked in the shallows, as did pitching a small a small jig tipped with a minnow. Areas around Big Martin, Cuculus and Chase islands were very productive. Most of the larger northern pike had moved to cooler waters but some anglers continued to take nice fish while casting the rocky shorelines and weedy bays. Most presentations worked, but larger spoons and crankbaits turned the most fish. Sucker minnows under a bobber were also productive. Smallmouth bass anglers had success casting the rocky shorelines with smaller rapalas and mepps spinners. 800-524-9085; www.kabetogama.com


Walleye anglers are having success, in spite of the mayfly hatch. Leeches and crawlers with spinner rigs have been best, especially in 10 to 20 feet of water. Some anglers are having success when using crank baits on the island drop-offs and sunken reefs. Evening anglers are scoring as well when using slip bobbers and leeches, with some of the best action occurring right at dark -- a good lighted bobber is recommended. Crappie action is heating up. Some crappie anglers report having to leave after filling their limits even though the fish are still biting. Northern pike are coming in on spinner baits and topwater lures fished on the weed edges and rocky points. Lake trout are readily taking spoons and large crank baits trolled through depths of roughly 50 feet. The smallmouth and largemouth bass have been smashing surface-running lures, early and late in the day. During the heat of the day, anglers are taking fish on jigs or weighted hooks tipped with soft plastics. Some fine catches have been made by shore anglers bobber fishing with a leech or crawler. 800-777-7281; www.ely.org

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

Daytime water temperatures are now above 70 degrees on most area waters, and continuing to climb. Despite some waters nearing 80 degrees last weekend, anglers found fish which were probably responding to bug hatches -- bugs hatch, small forage fish eat bugs, and predator fish eat forage fish! On Lake Superior, angling remains for lake trout. Reports of king salmon along with a few coho salmon have been common. Pulling spoons or plugs in bright colors over 50 to 100 feet of water has been best. On overcast days, also try surface depths. The south shore walleye bite was beginning to pick up until stormy weather created muddy conditions. It will take a little time until the water clears and the fishing improves. Fishing has been good on the St. Louis River, with walleye anglers taking fish when trolling. All sections are holding fish, but the fish are continuously on the move. Once located on electronics, work them using planer boards, shallow crank baits, and trolling speeds of 1.8 to 2.2 mph. Jigging is productive at the transition areas such as the holes, weeds and other structure. Stream fishing continues to be productive for "trouser trout" using spinner hardware or artificial worm plastics. Fishing is good on the reservoirs north of Duluth. Anglers casting 3-inch crank baits along the shorelines are taking bass, northern pike and a few walleye. 800-438-5884; www.visitduluth.com

Grand Rapids

Fishing remains great in the Grand Rapids area. Largemouth and smallmouth bass fishing has been excellent on area lakes such as Turtle, Wabana, Spider, Trout, and Pokegama. Drop shot rigs, swim baits, and jigs and plastics have all been working well along the weedlines and at the deeper rock and weed combinations. The walleye fishing is going well for anglers using shallow spinner & minnow presentations trolled at 1.25 mph through depths of 8-14 feet of water. Crawlers on slip rigs and half of a crawler on a spinner have also turned fish. Northern pike anglers are having a blast using jig and minnow combinations. Panfishing for crappies and bluegills has been decent at the weedlines seem to be the best locations. A chunk of worm is turning nice-sized bluegills, with small leeches work well for the crappies. www.visitgrandrapids.com

Northwest Minnesota

Baudette - Lake of the Woods & the Rainy River

Walleye fishing remains hot on Lake of the Woods. Spinners with crawlers or minnows are putting lots of fish in the boat when worked in 16 to 30 feet of water. The best colors are bright, gold or glow. Northern pike are very active, with a good perch and smallmouth bass bite reported throughout the lake. Anglers fishing the Rainy River are finding some walleye during morning and evening hours. Anglers having the most success are trolling crank baits or pulling spinners. Good numbers of smallmouth bass are being pulled from the shorelines, bridge embankments and feeder streams. Sturgeon fishing is on fire with large fish being reported. At the Northwest Angle & Islands Area, walleye are hitting gold/pink spinners with crawlers or minnows worked in 16 to 25 feet of water around the reefs. Deep- and shallow-diving crank baits are triggering fish in the same areas, as well as on the reef tops early in the day and just before sunset. Muskie are responding to traditional presentations such as bucktails worked over the weed/rock transition areas. Spinnerbaits in the weeds will also produce fish. Water temperatures ranged from 68 to 70 degrees on the main lake and 71 to 76 degrees in the back bays last weekend. 800-382-FISH; www.lakeofthewoodsmn.com


Fishing has held up well despite the stormy weather this past week. Anglers are having to work a bit harder for the walleye since they are spread out at various depths. Hit the deep weed edges using live bait rigs with crawlers or leeches and you should boat some fish. Early and late in the day, pull spinners and crawlers over the top of the cabbage. A jig and minnow continues to work, especially off the sharp breaks and mid-lake structure. In the deeper waters, try a jigging rap. Bass fishing remains excellent on most area lakes. The best approach is a jig and plastic worm or Texas-rigged creature bait worked at the deep weed edges. Look for crappies up in the shallow cabbage early and late in the day; during midday hours, fish the deeper cabbage using small jigs with fatheads or plastics. Northern pike remain active along the deep weedlines. For the most action, use a jig and minnow or a live bait rig with a medium-size sucker minnow. Muskie fishing continues to improve, especially for anglers using a bucktail spinner over the cabbage. 800-458-2223; www.visitbemidji.com

Bena - Lake Winnibigoshish

On Lake Winnibigoshish, walleye action has been best during morning and evening hours. Anglers taking the most fish are trolling crankbaits in 22 to 26 feet of water on the bars, or pulling spinners and crawlers through 12 to 18 feet of water on the flats. The largest jumbo perch are coming from 25 to 30 foot depths at Snaghole Bar, the humps off Raven’s Point, and on the north end. Northern pike are hitting spoons trolled through 9 to 11 feet of water. www.lakewinnie.net

Park Rapids

Despite the inconsistent weather patterns, fishing has steadily improved throughout the Park Rapids area. Northern pike, panfish and walleye seem to be feeding heavily. The largest sunfish are coming from 15 to 20 foot depths where walleye can also be found. For the most action with both species, use a medium-sized leech. Long-line trolling crank baits will produce northern pike in the shallow weed beds. Some of the largest walleye can be also be found in the weed beds in 8 to 12 feet of water -- try a 1/8-ounce jig tip with a 3-inch twister trail. A white grub is very productive. Look for crappies just off the steep breaks near the shallow weed flats. 800-247-0054; www.parkrapids.com

Detroit Lakes

Water temperatures in the Detroit Lakes area are hovering in the low- to mid-70 degree range. Walleye are coming from the hard, sandy bottom areas in 22 to 30 feet of water. Rigging leeches, crawlers or minnows, pulling spinners and crawlers, jigging rapalas, and trolling crank baits are all producing fish. There are reports of muskie measuring 44 to 52 inches coming from Big Detroit and Pelican lakes. Sallie, Many Point and Beers lakes are also producing some muskie, and these lakes have less fishing pressure. Largemouth bass are on the weedy points and at the edges of the flats, and shallow shore structure such as lay downs and docks. For the most action, cast swim baits, spinners and crankbaits. Smallmouth bass are on the rocks and gravel, with some relating to the hard sand/mud transition areas off the sharp breaks on Cormorant, Lida, White Earth, Island and Lida lakes. Northern pike are hitting large minnows or casted/trolled baits at the deep weed edges on the shoreline breaks and mid-lake humps. Crappies can be found on the flats during high winds, and at the 13 to 18 foot breaks along the weeds when conditions are calm. For the most fish, cast or troll small white, pink or chartreuse jigs with plastics. Sunfish are active in the weeds and also out in deeper water out to 24 feet deep. The deeper fish are some of the largest sunfish. 800-542-3992; www.visitdetroitlakes.com

Central Region

Brainerd Lakes Area

As of late last week, mid-summer patterns had taken hold. The smallmouth bass were on the mid-lake structure surrounded by deeper waters. It didn’t matter if the structure was weedy, rocky or sandy, as long as the break topped out at 9 to 16 feet. A slip bobber with a white jig tipped with a leech worked well just 3 feet off the bottom. Along with the smallmouth and largemouth bass a few northern pike and two walleye. The key was to locate the schools using a locator, then drop a buoy marker, anchor off the edge within casting distance, and fish around the buoy. Hubert Lake was giving up walleye just off the weed edges in 14 to 22 feet of water during the day. By evening, the fish had moved up the drop-off where they could be found in 10 feet of water. Crawler harnesses with a #4 purple and gold blades produced well at 1.0 to 1.3 mph. Northern pike were aggressive. On Gull Lake, bluegills were staging on the tips of the points and on the inside corners. The key was finding good cabbage. 800-450-7247; www.visitbrainerd.com

Willmar Area Lakes

There have been more recreational boats than fishing boats out on the lakes recently. Anglers that do head out report good panfish action on most area lakes. Good catches of sunfish and bass are coming from Diamond, Eagle, Games, Andrew and Florida lakes. Fish continue to move deeper to stay cool. For walleye, hit depths of 35 to 40 feet of water on Green Lake. 800-845-8747; www.willmarlakesarea.com

Minneapolis-St. Paul Area

White Bear Area Lakes

Another great week of fishing! Nice numbers of walleye are being pulled from 20 feet of water on the St. Croix River by anglers using leeches. White Bear Lake is giving up a variety of fish. Bass are coming from the shallows under the docks where plastics and sucker minnows are working best. Northern pike are responding to spinners and crank baits worked over the weeds in 8 to 12 feet of water. Panfish can be found in 8 feet of water on most area lakes when using waxworms and crappie minnows. Muskie are being taken from Ordway Bar and Manitou Island on larger bucktail lures worked in roughly 12 feet of water. 651-653-5122; www.explorewhitebear.org

Southern Minnesota

Winona - Mississippi River/Lake Pepin

Fishing has really heated up on the Mississippi River, with plenty of walleye being taken. Sunfish are active around the rocky structure and wing dams. Bass action has been good throughout the river. Northern pike are aggressively hitting frog lures. To monitor current water flows, check the DNR’s Real Time Stream Flow Map. 507-452-0735; www.visitwinona.com

Lanesboro - Southeast Bluff Country trout streams

As of Thursday, July 20, conditions on area streams and rivers were mostly clear, with a normal water flow. On July 19, tricos were reported at Forestville State Park. Anglers should be aware that there is a habitat improvement project taking place in Preston on the South Branch Root River. Water clarity conditions downstream will change as work is completed. As of July 13, anglers were having success using midges and small dry flies. Foam hoppers and beetles were also working well. Excellent smallmouth bass fishing was also being reported. 800-944-2670; www.lanesboro.com

Ortonville - Big Stone Lake

There has been a drop in angling activity on Big Stone Lake due to intermittent thunderstorms and the “dog days” of summer. Walleye anglers that are persistent are taking walleye when pulling crankbaits down the center of the lake and along the weedlines. On windy days, crankbaits cast up onto the points has been productive. Perch anglers report the best bite, with lots of 6 to 9 inch perch coming from the Rocky Ledge area. Spikes are turning the most fish, but crawlers and minnows on a plain hook are producing the larger perch measuring 10 inches and more. Keep the presentation simple to boat the most perch. This bite will only improve as the summer progresses and the fish school in more locations. 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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