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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 - 9-18-17
Rainy Lake Fishing Report - Update Weekly
Lake Mille Lacs Fishing Report - 9-15-17
Kabetogama-Ash River Fishing Report - 8-21-17
Devils Lake, North Dakota Fishing Report from Woodland Resort

Minnesota Statewide Fishing Reports
INFO AS OF 9-15-17

Northeast Minnesota

Ely Area Waters

The water is cooling down and most fish species have left the shallower waters for the deepest parts of the lakes. Walleye, in particular, are being caught as deep as 35 feet. Minnows have finally made their comeback as the preferred bait for fishing deeper waters. Jig heads up to ¾-ounce in weight will get the bait down to the target zone. Anglers are also having success using crawler harnesses and trolling spinner rigs on bottom bouncers. Large northern pike have also relocated to deeper waters, with some large pike coming from 25 to 35 feet of water. Crappies have begun to bunch up -- look for schools of crappies at 12 to 15 feet. Small safety pin-type spinners such as beetle spins are a great tool to locate schools of fish. Size 3 to number 5 crank baits should also do the trick. A few lake trout are being taken on spoons and crank baits worked on area lake trout lakes. Most of the trout have been in the 3 to 5 pound range, with an occasional 8 pound fish also mixed in. For the most action, use white or white/green spoons in depths of 35 to 50 feet. 800-777-7281; www.ely.org

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

Lake Superior has been good to anglers concentrating on the deeper waters near Duluth on up to Two Harbors. Lakers are being taken by anglers trolling through 120 feet of water, with a few kings and cohos also coming in. Use down-riggers and flashers for the most action. Stream fishing is picking up. Anglers using topwater baits are having success with the brown trout and steel head during early morning and evening hours. Brook trout continue to be caught by anglers slowly retrieving small spinners. On the St. Louis River, walleye are have been mostly on the deeper transition corridors starting to migrate. Best tactic is to troll the steep breaks in the morning or during late afternoon hours. Some crappies are showing up on channel edges as well. Muskie fishing is picking up and will continue to do so as we move into fall. The inland waters have been best for consistent action. Most fish are holding in the deeper, cooler waters adjacent to vegetation. Bluegill action has been good for anglers using small leeches under slip floats -- several area waters are showing good signs of late season leech hatches. Fish are schooling in 10 to 13 foot depths. Walleye continue to be caught in deeper waters, responding to deep-diving crank baits trolled over the reefs. Northern pike and bass continue to roam the weed edges, with spinner baits and double-jointed crank baits working well for both species. 800-438-5884; www.visitduluth.com

Grand Rapids

Daylight is getting shorter, and the fishing just gets better! Crappies and walleye are cooperating with anglers. The walleye have been aggressive, chasing spinner rigs with crawlers, as well as jig and minnow combinations. Work your presentations in 17 to 25 feet of water at 1.5 mph for the most action. Crappies have been much easier to catch. Anglers are having the most success when vertical fishing in 15 to 25 feet of water – use your electronics to get right on top of schools of fish. Most schools have been right on the bottom or suspended 2 to 10 feet off the bottom. Jigging rapalas and jig heads tipped with a minnow or plastic have been the top producers for suspended crappies. www.visitgrandrapids.com

Northwest Minnesota

Baudette - Lake of the Woods & the Rainy River

As the water temperature continues to drop, the walleye are turning more aggressive. Lots of shiners have made their way closer to shore and to the Lighthouse Gap preparing to spawn. Walleye caught in these areas are full of shiners! Crankbaits are still producing fish, but spinners with crawlers and jigs with shiners are also turning walleye. Big Traverse Bay continues to give up a good portion of the walleye, but the reefs are also holding hungry fish and the shorelines produce greater quantities each day. Anglers fishing the Rainy River are finding some walleye, especially during morning and evening hours. While the fall walleye bite hasn't hit high gear, it could heat up any day now. Trolling crank baits or pulling spinners is currently producing the most fish. Nice numbers of smallmouth bass are coming from the shoreline rocks, bridge embankments and feeder streams. Many sturgeon measuring 50 to 60 inches in length are being reported. At the Northwest Angle & Islands Area, lots of walleye are coming in on jigs, bottom bouncers and trolled crank baits. The current areas between the islands have been especially good! From morning until midday, hit the deeper waters; in the evening, check depths of 10 feet or less. Most fish have been full of shiner minnows. Water temperatures are currently in the low 60s. 800-382-FISH; www.lakeofthewoodsmn.com


The water temperatures are fluctuating – they were dropping, now they’re rising once again! Most area lakes have bounced back up into the upper 60s. The walleye bite has been fairly consistent for anglers using jigs and minnows. On windy days, look for fish off the windblown points and weedlines in 8 to 12 feet of water. On calm days, work the deep, sharp breaks and mid-lake humps and bars in depths of 17 to 27 feet. After dark, troll crankbaits over the shallow water flats. Northern pike remain active off the weed edges and mid-lake structure. Anglers having the most success are using jigs and live bait rigs with minnows. Bass fishing remains excellent! Good numbers of fish are being pulled from the weeds on windy, with shaky head jigs and plastics working best. On calmer days, look for fish on the outside edge of the deep weedlines. Most of the crappie and bluegills are still off the green cabbage in 6 to 12 feet of water. Small jigs tipped with plastics, minnows or wax worms are working well. 800-458-2223; www.visitbemidji.com

Park Rapids

Fall crappie fishing has begun in lakes throughout the Park Rapids area. Concentrate on areas with a muddy bottom in 19 to 25 feet of water. Drop a 1/8-ounce jig tipped with a crappie minnow and keep a close eye on the electronics to know how high off the bottom to keep the jig. Northern pike can be found near the crappies. For the most action, use large sucker minnow on a live bait rig in the vicinity of the schooled crappies. Walleye will soon start to school on steep drop-offs with shallow weeds near deep water. Once they do, a number of presentations will work well, especially jigging rapalas. 800-247-0054; www.parkrapids.com

Detroit Lakes

Water temperatures in the Detroit Lakes area have rebounded and range from 66-70 degrees due to the unseasonably warm temperatures this week. Muskie are coming from Pelican, Detroit and Sallie lakes, with some measuring over 50 inches. Many Point Lake has also produced some fish measuring in the upper 40s. Walleye continue to hit leeches (if you can get them), crawlers and minnows, and the jig and minnow bite is improving. Most fish are coming from 17 to 24 feet of water. Some nighttime trollers are taking fish from 7 to 9 feet of water. Bass are active at the shallow structure. Sunnies and crappies are either relating to the weedlines or holding in depths of 8 to 15 feet depending on the weather. 800-542-3992; www.visitdetroitlakes.com

Central Region

Otter Tail Area Lakes

Anglers are enjoying great fishing and spectacular fall colors from the boat. Walleye continue to hit worms, but minnows are also a strong bet. Try red tails and suckers on lindy rig style set-up, or a fathead on a jig. If you’re not getting a bite on a minnow and you know you’re above walleye, then your minnow is probably either dead or has been nabbed by a fish — this is how well minnows work water temperatures are in the mid-60s. Northern pike remain active, with more fish hanging in areas near schools of sunnies, and often with schools of walleye and perch. Crappies are the easiest to find on shallow lakes where they can’t escape into deep waters. Check out the edges of the weed clumps, stumps and debris for the most fish. If these areas don’t produce then scan the mid-lake holes and depressions. Keep an eye on your graph for clusters of suspended fish since those will almost certainly be crappies! Sunfish will find refuge with crappies in the deeper holes and at the base of the drops on some lakes; on other lakes, they will hold tight to the weeds and weedy flats. 800-423-4571; www.ottertailcountry.com

Isle/Onamia - Lake Mille Lacs

The Toyota Bassmaster Angler of the Year Championship will take place Sept. 14-17 on Lake Mille Lacs, with the top 50 Elite Series anglers fighting for the coveted Angler of the Year title and qualification to the 2018 GEICO Bassmaster Classic. Each morning, anglers will head out from Eddy’s Resort at 6:40. Weigh-ins and a Community Expo will be held at Grand Casino Mille Lacs on Saturday, Sept. 16. Please note that the walleye season is currently closed on Lake Mille Lacs. Anglers may not target walleye until December 1. Only artificial bait and lures are allowed in an angler's possession until 11:59 p.m. on November 30. Anglers may target northern pike and muskie using sucker minnows greater than 8 inches in length. Another exception is that anglers fishing for species other than walleye may use live bait during daylight hours as long as they are fishing from shore, dock or pier. Learn more. 888-350-2692; www.millelacs.com

Southern Minnesota

Winona - Mississippi River/Lake Pepin

Anglers report that the sunfish and crappie action is spectacular on the Mississippi River. The walleye bite is heating up and should soon be excellent as well. The bass and northern pike bite remains decent. 507-452-0735; www.visitwinona.com

Lanesboro - Southeast Bluff Country trout streams

As of Friday, September 8, conditions on most area streams and rivers were clear, with a low water flow.
Anglers and fisheries staff reported that the streams and the fish were in the best condition of the year. Beetles, hoppers and some caddis activity was noted. 800-944-2670; www.lanesboro.com

Ortonville - Big Stone Lake

Big Stone Lake fish have been very cooperative since Labor Day weekend. The cooler water temperatures have triggered a very aggressive perch bite, as well as an increase in walleye action. The perch numbers continue to amaze with anglers bringing in some great catches. Spikes on a shuck lure have been a favorite, but some are doing better with minnows. The size of the perch has also been impressive, with many fish now topping 10 inches, and some even measuring 11 inches. Keep the presentation simple, and fish just off the bottom. Some anglers are putting together limits of bluegill. These sunnies are often in the 10 inch range. Nice-sized walleye are coming in on crank baits pulled down the center of the lake. 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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