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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 - 8-13-18
Rainy Lake Fishing Report - Update Weekly
Lake Mille Lacs Fishing Report - 7-6-18
Kabetogama-Ash River Fishing Report - 8-8-18
Devils Lake, North Dakota Fishing Report from Woodland Resort

Minnesota Statewide Fishing Reports
INFO AS OF 8-10-18

Northeast Minnesota

International Falls - Rainy Lake & the Rainy River

Deep water fishing on Rainy Lake continues to be the key to success, with anglers taking the most fish from the mid-lake humps on the reefs. A ¼ ounce jig tipped with a chub or shiner minnow has been best, however, a lindy rig with a leech has also been a strong producer. When fish turn finicky, try a lindy rig with a minnow hooked through the tail. Depths of 20 to 40 feet are giving up the most fish. Crappies are coming from depths of 15 to 30 feet on minnows either on a jig or under a slip bobber. Electronics are key to finding the slabs. Smallmouth bass are pounding topwater baits, spinner baits, twitch baits and plastics worked in 3 to 10 feet of water at the rocky structure and weeds. The shallow humps and breaklines have produced a few fish in depths of 10 to 25 feet. Northern pike anglers are doing well with the larger fish when trolling large crank baits on and around the deeper structure, but patience is necessary. The windblown points and deeper weed structure are holding nice numbers of pike. For the most action, try casting spinner baits, larger jerk baits or twitch baits. Sign up for the Bass Championship held Aug. 23-25 on Rainy Lake and the Rainy River, and reel in more than $30,000 in prize money! The entire family will enjoy the boat parade, craft show, car show, kids' fishing tournament and more! 800-325-5766; www.rainylake.org


While this can be a frustrating time of year for walleye anglers, fishing remains good in 22 to 32 feet of water on the mid-lake reefs and island points. Leeches and crawlers are the preferred bait, especially when paired with a slip sinker rig or a spinner behind a bottom bouncer.  A jig tipped with a minnow is also giving up a few fish. When the wind blows, be sure to fish the windblown weedlines. Perch are hitting more regularly, especially on the tops and edges of the reefs and along deep weedlines. Once you locate a school of perch, try to stay on top of them until they turn finicky. Move slowly with a crawler on a live bait rig or under a slip bobber while anchored. Some large northern pike have been recently reported. For the largest pike, cast large baits in areas with the coolest water. If that doesn’t work, try trolling over deeper water, getting your presentation down to the thermocline. Since the water below the thermocline lacks oxygen and the water above it is too warm for large pike, try to fish just above it to increase your chances. Please remember that large northern pike use a lot of energy when caught so a quick catch, picture and release is extremely important when returning fish to the water.  Most bass can be found either shallow or near the baitfish in the water column. You may even see boils of smallmouth bass in the evening, feeding aggressively on baitfish they have “pushed” to the surface. If you happen to view this behavior, keep your distance and throw baits right into the middle of the action until the fish move on. 800-524-9085; www.kabetogama.com

Ely Area Lakes & Streams

Some nice walleye continue to be pulled from area lakes on crawler harnesses with crawlers. Many anglers have had to switch to crawlers due to the low supply of leeches, but crawlers are much easier to keep alive when temperatures are hovering around 80 degrees. Another productive presentation is to troll larger profile crank baits. When fishing clear lakes, use neutral colors like silver, gold and those that mimic natural bait; brighter colors such as orange and fire tiger are best in stained water. Schools of crappies can be found suspended when trolling tiny crank baits and lures. These fish usually hover 8 to 10 feet down in up to 30 feet of water. On the shallower lakes, look for fish on the edge of the weed beds both early and late in the day. Smallmouth bass anglers report the most consistent action, with topwater baits producing fish throughout the day. Some bragging-size largemouth bass are being taken when using the same tactics. If it is windy and there is a heavy chop on the water, run your presentations a bit deeper, using sub-surface crank baits or spinner baits. Northern pike continue to attack sucker minnows, both live (under a bobber) and dead (laid right on the bottom). Depths of 3 to 10 feet of water have been best. Larger profile crank baits, spinner baits and spoons are producing some giant northern pike, especially at the weed beds and rocky island points. 800-777-7281; www.ely.org

Cook County: Lutsen-Tofte, Grand Marais, Gunflint Trail and Grand Portage area lakes

Inland lakes in Cook County near Grand Marais continue to produce walleye, smallmouth bass and lake trout, with action picking up for rainbow trout and northern pike. Smallmouth bass action on Devil’s Track, Pike and Poplar lakes has been good in the shallows. Walleye are hitting leeches and crawlers in 15 to 25 feet of water on Two Island, Devil’s Track, Seagull, Saganaga, Hungry Jack, Ball Club and Devil Fish lakes. Guide Joe Carlson of Joe’s Inland Fishing is taking walleye from Devil’s Track Lake when jigging inches off the bottom in 20 feet of water. Look for structure. Rainbow trout are responding to nightcrawlers in 10 to 20 feet of water on Kimball, Trout and Leo lakes. Monster northern pike are coming in on spoons and crank baits worked in 20 to 40 feet of water on Saganaga and Seagull lakes. Fishing guide Kelly Shepard of Grand Marais-based North Shore Outdoors reports that warming water temperatures (56 degrees on Aug. 8) on Lake Superior has resulted in an increase in coho salmon and lake trout action. The salmon are hitting green and orange flies with dipsy divers 1/4 mile offshore in depths ranging from 90 feet to the surface. Lake trout action has been best for anglers using downriggers with spoons and stick baits in depths of 160 feet up to the surface. 218-387-2524; www.visitcookcounty.com

Northwest Minnesota

Baudette - Lake of the Woods & the Rainy River

Large walleye continue to bite on Lake of the Woods, especially in the areas east of Long Point and north of Zippel Bay. Anglers are doing well when pulling spinners and jigging during morning hours. During the day, try trolling crank baits in the deep mud areas, with good numbers and some trophy-size fish coming from 24 to 32 feet of water. Chartreuse, pink and UV colors are recommended, but when the day is cloudy, switch to purple. On the Rainy River, northern pike and smallmouth bass are being pulled from areas where the tributaries running into the river. Wabanica, Baudette Bay and Clementson are good locations to try. The Rainy River weed edges are holding a variety of fish. Up at the Northwest Angle, walleye remain scattered throughout the main lake basin. The best tactic is to make drifts and passes parallel to, but somewhat off the structure including islands and reef breaklines using a nightcrawler on a spinner in 24 to 30 feet of water. The best color options have been gold/pink, gold/orange, and hammered gold. Deep-running crank baits are another good option, often producing larger walleye and large northern pike. Consider attending the 5th Annual "Pay It Forward" Veteran's Event held Aug. 20-22 on Lake of the Woods. 800-382-FISH; www.lakeofthewoodsmn.com

Bena - Lake Winnibigoshish

On Lake Winnibigoshish, walleye continue to be taken on nightcrawlers and leeches worked on the main-lake bars and humps in 22 to 34 feet of water. Anglers are also doing well using a crawler and spinner bite at the 12 to 14 foot weeds and flats. Large perch are being pulled from depths of 20 to 22 feet of water off the western points. Northern pike have been an easy catch on most mid-depth weedlines. www.lakewinnie.net


Bass and northern pike are providing lots of action this week. Look for both species off the deep weed edges and mid-lake humps using plastic baits. The crappies and bluegills are relating to the outside edges of the cabbage weeds, responding to small jigs with plastics or minnows. The walleye bite has been a bit tougher, but with some patience you should boat a few. Once the water cools, and more of the baitfish population is consumed, the walleye action will heat back up. When pulling crank baits after dark, fish the flats and weed tops, especially on Lake Bemidji. 877-250-5959; www.visitbemidji.com

Detroit Lakes

Water temperatures in the Detroit Lakes area have rebounded, with surface water temperatures now nearly 80 degrees. Walleye have been scattered on the sharp breaks, long extending points and edges of the mid-lake humps. Anglers are having some success using spinners, slow-death tactics with crawlers, rigged minnows, crawlers and leeches, and jigging raps in 18 to 28 feet of water. Largemouth bass are relating to the weed edges and shallow structure such as docks. For the most action, try casting jigs with plastics, spinners, or ripping raps. Smallmouth bass are coming from deeper waters on Cormorant, Island and Lida lakes. Northern pike are hitting large minnows and plugs trolled along the deep weedlines. Sunfish remain very aggressive in the weeds. The best approach is a jig or hook tipped with pieces of crawler or plastic tails. 800-542-3992; www.visitdetroitlakes.com

Central Region

Otter Tail Area Lakes

Most species continue to be taken, but anglers are needing to put in a little extra effort.  Try to keep your bait moving until you get a strike and hook a fish, then work the area. Trolling shallow-diving crank baits is a great way to locate crappies, sunfish, walleye, bass and northern pike. Troll these over the weed tops on the drops and shallow flats. If you get tired of trolling crank baits, toss put a spinner and night crawler, and hold on. 800-423-4571; www.ottertailcountry.com
Alexandria Area Lakes

As of late last week, the Alexandria area lakes continued to produce walleye, as well as good numbers of crappie, sunfish and bass. The walleye bite was best in the evenings, but some fish were found during the day. The rest of the species were active at all hours of the day. Locating fish was the key to a successful day -- using a locator while trolling a small “search type” bait such as a small jig and plastic or a crank bait at 1 to 2 mph was best. Once fish were located, making runs back through the area with leeches or #5 crankbaits at a slower speed was key.  Anglers using leeches had the most success in 18 to 24 feet of water. Crankbaits were the most productive when trolled over deep water during the day, or through depths of 3 to 6 feet at night. The sunnies and crappies were actively hitting small jigs pulled slowly over the weeds. The responded best to jigs tipped with a leech or worm; crappies preferred small minnows. 800-235-9441; www.alexandriamn.org


Anglers report that fish remain in their summer locations, exhibiting summer patterns. Walleye are being pulled from the deeper areas of Eagle and Diamond lakes, as well as in 25 to 35 foot depths on Green Lake. Sunfish have been very active on Andrew, Florida, Eagle, Diamond, Nest and Green lakes. Anglers having the most success are using crawlers, leeches and wax worms. 800-845-8747; www.willmarlakesarea.com

Minneapolis-St. Paul Area

White Bear Area Lakes

White Bear Lake has a good population of quality fish, and anglers report good results when putting in a little extra time. Nice-size bass and a few walleye are coming from 16 to 22 feet of water at the deepest weedlines. Anglers having the most success are using drop shot rigs tipped with scented worms, minnow imitations or live crawlers. Large sunfish are being pulled from areas near the heavy weeds. For the most fish, use small leeches under a slip bobber in depths of less than 12 feet. Nice-sized crappies can be found schooled in depths of 15 feet near the drop-offs during evening hours. The most effective presentation is a twister tail and white or pink jig. Muskie seem to be transitioning toward shallow waters, especially during low light conditions. 651/653-5122; www.explorewhitebear.org

Southern Minnesota

Winona - Mississippi River & Lake Winona

Anglers are taking lots of sunnies and crappies from the Mississippi River. Walleye anglers are doing well when using nightcrawlers, leeches and willow cats. Bass and northern pike are hitting river spinners and frogs. Some anglers are reporting crappie action on Lake Winona. 507-452-0735; www.visitwinona.com

Lanesboro/Preston - Southeast Bluff Country trout streams

As of Thursday, August 9, area stream conditions were very good. Mill Creek at the County Road 2 bridge in Chatfield was at 65 centimeters of visibility, and fishable in all forms of trout fishing. Trout Run at Bucksnort Park had over a meter of visibility as was very clean. The South Branch of the Root River at the County Road 17 bridge was at 75 centimeters of visibility. The water flow was back to its normal water level, but just a bit cloudy. As of Monday, August 6, all area streams and rivers were reported to be clear with a normal water flow. Fishing was very good, especially for anglers using hoppers and beetles. Some excellent streamer activity was also noted. Check the Minnesota Stream Flow Report before heading out. Detailed Trout Angling Maps are available through the DNR. And consider attending one of the Fly Tying Fridays at the National Trout Center in Preston. 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.

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

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