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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 - 5-22-17
Rainy Lake Fishing Report - Update Weekly
Lake Mille Lacs Fishing Report - 5-26-17
Kabetogama-Ash River Fishing Report - 5-22-17
Devils Lake, North Dakota Fishing Report from Woodland Resort

Minnesota Statewide Fishing Reports
INFO AS OF 5-26-17

Northeast Minnesota


It has been a great start to the season, with anglers pulling lots of large fish from lakes Kabetogama and Namakan. Walleye up to 8-pounds and many northern pike pushing the 15-pound mark have been reported. Even the smallmouth bass have been aggressive which is unusual this early in the season. The only downside is that the keeper-size walleye have been tough to find, but the 14-17 inch sauger are prevalent. Most of the fish are coming from either the shallow shoreline points or depths of 30-40 feet. Use a minnow on the smallest jig possible or even a plain hook with a small split shot 12 inches above and place these close to the bottom. The key has been to use a very slow presentation from an anchored boat. Just a small “tick” on your line might indicate a fish has taken the bait. Still, allow some time before setting the hook. Anglers fishing from shore or off the dock are doing well using a simple slip bobber rig set in depths of 6-12 feet. Again, stay as close to the bottom as possible. Water temperatures are hovering around 50-degrees. The water levels are good, and this provides nice current in the bays and between island openings which tend to hold baitfish. 800-524-9085; www.kabetogama.com


In spite of the drop in temperatures and scattered showers, many anglers are having lots of success on Ely area lakes. Plenty of walleye are being caught, with stringers of eating-size walleye measuring 14- 20 inches being reported. Anglers having the most success are using jig and minnow combinations, however crankbaits trolled through the shallows near shore are also producing fish. The best story is the number of huge northern pike coming in on live suckers and frozen smelt. Many of the pike are in the 40-inch range with a few nearing 50-inches. Most of these fish are coming from the shallows where the pike are feeding heavily following their spawn. Lake trout are also cooperating, slamming trolled spoons and crankbaits in depths of 25-40 feet. These fish have become more aggressive as water temperatures slowly rise. The crappie bite has stalled due to the drop in water temperatures just as they were beginning to stage for spawning. Some anglers, however, are reporting crappie catches while working the shorelines for walleye. 800-777-7281; www.ely.org

Duluth - Lake Superior and inland waters

High, fast, muddy and cold have been the common theme this week. There has been a halt to rising water temperatures in all bodies of water in the area, and this has affected fish activity. Before the rainstorms, conditions were ideal for spawning in the shallow bays of most lakes and in the St. Louis River. Since then, we have noticed fish retreating back to deeper transitions. The nesting will pick up again with the current warmer temperatures. On the inland lakes, fishing has been tough and few anglers have ventured out. The water temperatures are hovering in the high 50s and low 60s. The best species to target during these conditions are northern pike and walleye. The best approach is a live minnow on a jig or under a float. Sometimes, it can help to jig two minnows hooked at the lips since there is more scent and another minnow if one is lost! On the St. Louis River, the largest fish are coming from the lower sections of the river. For consistent numbers of fish, hit the upper river. Live minnows and heavier jigs (due to the strength of the current) have been ideal. Fishing from shore is also producing fish when slowly trolling crankbaits. In the muddy areas, using a presentation that has ample vibration and a high profile is imperative since it triggers a reaction bite. Lake Superior has also been quiet due to strong northeast winds and small craft advisories. The larger boats that are able to handle these conditions have had some success with the lake trout and coho salmon. Stick baits continue to be the best presentations. Stream fishing has been almost nonexistent. Please note that cutting down bushes and other vegetation in and near the streams is both illegal and harmful to the fish and natural habitat. Some fishing hot spots that have been altered have now disappeared. 800-438-5884; www.visitduluth.com

Grand Rapids

Opening weekend was exceptional, and fishing remained great until the weather turned cold and wet. The current upswing in temperatures and return of sunny skies should cause the bite to heat up once again. A jig and minnow remains the preferred presentation but as water temperatures begin to warm, consider leeches and crawlers as well. Water temperatures in the mid- to upper 50s have kept the walleye and some other species in the deeper waters. A move back into the shallows should occur very soon. Crappies will relocate to their spawning beds once water temperatures reach the low 60s. Walleye anglers are currently taking fish from Bowstring, Big Splithand, and Big Winnibigoshish lakes. For crappies, hit Spider, Bowstring, Third River, and Big Balsam lakes. www.visitgrandrapids.com

Northwest Minnesota

Baudette - Lake of the Woods & the Rainy River

Fishing has been consistent on Lake of the Woods despite the ever-changing weather. Some groups continue to boat over 100 fish a day, weeding through the smaller fish to find keeper-size walleye and sauger. Fishing has been good all along the south shore. A pink or gold jig tipped with a minnow has been best, especially in depths of 17-24 feet of water. Some anglers are also taking fish when pulling spinners, and others are doing well at the reefs in 25-30 feet of water. Expect some jumbo perch and northern pike to be in the mix. Walleye can still be found in the Rainy River but the best fishing is now during morning hours. Most of the walleye have headed back to the lake. Again, a jig and minnow combination has been best for boating walleye. Please note that sturgeon fishing is closed until July 1. Up at the Northwest Angle, many anglers are taking their limits before lunch! For the most action, use a chartreuse or pink jig and minnow, especially at Oak Island and Little Oak islands. Trolling crankbaits or pulling spinners through the shallows will also produce fish. Depths of 16-26 feet of water are best. Northern pike are coming from areas with current areas. Many smallmouth bass are mixed in with the walleye. 800-382-FISH; www.lakeofthewoodsmn.com


Walleye fishing remains good in Bemidji area waters despite the recent cold, wet weather which caused water temperatures to drop a few degrees into the low to mid-50s. Jigs and live bait rigs tipped with minnows have been working well at the shoreline breaks and emerging weedlines in 10-14 feet of water. Northern pike are biting in the same areas with the walleye, and they are very aggressive. The panfish bite slowed a bit in the shallows but the bite should improve quickly with the current warm air temperatures and sunshine. Largemouth bass fishing has been good in the shallow and deeper waters along the emerging weed lines. 800-458-2223; www.visitbemidji.com

Bena - Lake Winnibigoshish

On Lake Winnibigoshish, a jig and minnow combination, and a spinner with a crawler are working best for walleye. The best depth has been 9-12 feet of water, especially at the Bird Houses, Bena Bar, Raven’s Point, and Mallard Point. Northern pike are active in 8-10 foot depths. For perch, hit the 10 foot depths just south of Third River, or 15-20 foot depths off Snaghole Bar. www.lakewinnie.net

Walker - Leech Lake

While last weekend’s cold front put a damper on the bite, Leech Lake continued to produce lots of fish. A jig tipped with a shiner worked well at the windblown points, especially Pine, Two, Ottertail, and Grassy points. This week’s calmer waters and milder conditions have increased the bite, with many larger walleye and lots of northern pike coming from the Annex. The rock structures on the south end of Leech Lake are just starting to produce fish – remain mobile for the most fish. In Walker Bay, baitfish and walleye have slid out into 15-20 feet of water where the water is the warmest. For the deeper fish, use lindy rigs tipped with leeches or crawlers near the secondary shoreline breaks. By this weekend, check the shallows as well. This weekend, expect to find quite a few perch in the weeds. And northern pike are biting like crazy just about everywhere! 800-833-1118; www.leech-lake.com

Park Rapids

Recent heavy rainfall has increased the water levels and water flows in lakes that are part of river systems/flowages, and the result is a surge in activity. Try to key in on areas with current, such as river and creek inlets and outlets, and the narrows between two larger parts of a lake. Walleye can be found feeding in these areas throughout the day in depths of 3-5 feet of water. Fish these areas and the visual current breaks as if you were fishing in a river. On some lakes the shiners have spawned and the walleye are moving out to their early summer haunts in deeper water. Continue using a jig and minnow combination in 12-18 feet of water for another couple of weeks. You may want to try a leech or crawler as well. 800-247-0054; www.parkrapids.com

Detroit Lakes

A dramatic warm-up is in the forecast through the weekend, and fishing should be excellent! Walleye continued to bite during the cold, wet and windy conditions earlier this week. Water temperatures have dropped from near 60-degrees to the low-50s, but are climbing once again. During the cold snap, walleye moved from 4-11 feet of water to the edges in 9-14 feet of water. As shiners move back into the shallows, expect the walleye to follow, with fish found on the flats in 4-10 feet of water near the weed growth. Saturday marks the opening of the bass season. Both largemouth and smallmouth bass are in the shallows, taking advantage of the minnow and bug hatches. Crappies also remain shallow and tight to newly emergent weeds. For lots of bass and panfish action, use small jigs tipped with plastics. Crappies should respond best to small minnows on hooks or jigs under slip bobbers. Northern pike are aggressively feeding in the weeds. Fishing should continually improve as water temperatures warm. 800-542-3992; www.visitdetroitlakes.com

Central Region

Otter Tail Lakes Area

The water cooled considerably last week, and most lakes saw a 10 degree drop in water temperature! Most fish reversed gears, and would only respond to minnows. Conditions are changing, and fishing should heat up by the weekend. Crappies should finally be able to complete their spawn, and the sunfish should begin to spawn. Walleye and northern pike will be entering their pre-summer patterns, so be prepared with spring and summer bait and presentations. 800-423-4571; www.ottertailcountry.com

Brainerd Lakes Area

The late evening trolling bite on Gull Lake remains strong for walleye anglers. North Long Lake is giving up a few walleye during the day in depths of 16-18 feet. The windblown structure on the main lake has given up the most fish to anglers using red tails and shiner minnows. The majority of crappies have finished spawning and have moved back to deeper waters. Key locations are in 8-11 feet of water near outer edge of the cabbage weeds. Slip bobbers tipped with a small jig and minnow have been the most effective. The sunfish are spawning in depths of 4-6 feet on many area lakes. The Minnesota bass season officially opens this Saturday, May 27. For the most fish, use jigs tipped with worms in depths of 6-9 feet of water at the pencil reeds. Expect fishing action to continually improve as the water temperatures warm. 800-450-7247; www.visitbrainerd.com

Isle/Onamia - Lake Mille Lacs

Fishing has been great on Lake Mille Lacs, with numerous walleye in the 16- to 22-inch class reported. There are even reports of 15-20 fish being caught in an hour! Key locations have been sandy areas in 8-12 feet of water. The best presentation has been a jig and shiner minnow. The largemouth and smallmouth bass season opens this Saturday, May 27. Many consider Lake Mille Lacs to be the best smallmouth bass fishery in the state, and USA Today recently listed Mille Lacs as one of “America’s best bass fishing lakes and ponds.” In fact, bass weighing 4-pounds or more are common! On Lake Mille Lacs, the combined possession limit for largemouth bass and smallmouth bass is three, with only one bass over 21-inches allowed. All bass measuring 17- to 21-inches must be immediately released. 888-350-2692; www.millelacs.com

Minneapolis-St. Paul Area

White Bear Area Lakes

White Bear Lake is giving up lots of walleye and crappies. Most of the walleye are coming from depths of 15-26 feet on worms and leeches. Crappies are still active water as shallow as 2 feet. On Bald Eagle Lake, bass are active in depths of 2feet, hitting crash baits and soft plastics. 651/653-5122; www.explorewhitebear.org

Southern Minnesota

Winona - Mississippi River/Lake Pepin

The Mississippi River is running very fast and high, and the U.S. Fish and Wildlife office has closed boat landings for the section running from Wabasha south to Winona. For the time-being, anglers are encouraged to fish the inland waters. For crappies, bass, and northern pike, hit Lake Winona. 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 Tuesday, May 23, conditions on area streams and rivers varied widely, with some muddy and high, and others clear with a normal water flow. Check out the most recent Minnesota Stream Flow Report. 800-944-2670; www.lanesboro.com

Ortonville - Big Stone Lake

Like most areas of Minnesota, last weekend was cold, wet and windy. The result was a decline in the number of anglers fishing Big Stone Lake. Those that did head out, actually did well. The dock anglers are took nice numbers of walleye, white bass, bluegill, crappie and even an occasional perch when pitching jigs and minnows, using a slip bobber with a small leech, or casting a crankbait. The best time to fish was in late in the afternoon into evening hours. The water remains very clear so low light is key catching fish when the sun is shining. Temperatures are slowly warming which should greatly improve the bite over the Memorial Day weekend. 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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