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Mille Lacs Lake Fishing Reports by Great Day on the Water Guide Service


Troy Smutka

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6/29/15     Fished the big pond three days this weekend. Guided for smallies on Thursday, prefished walleyes on Friday, and then fished the Full Throttle Walleye Tournament on Saturday. Smallies were touchy on Thursday, staring at topwater baits, following crankbaits, and picking up and spitting out tubes. Jerkbaits, especially the Shadow Rap, triggered and hooked the most fish. At least our fish were big ones. Found walleyes in good numbers in two spots on Friday, and dialed in the right technique after trying several. Power corked on Saturday with leeches under the slip float. Light winds allowed us to use the Terrova to cover an expanse of 34 foot deep basin several hundred yards from a mud flat. One eye on the float, and one on the Humminbird. If we saw fish on the sonar or got bit, we hit the spot lock on the Terrova remote and sat on the fish and let the leeches do their thing to trigger negative to neutral fish with high skies, flat calm, and a high and still rising barometer. Much like ice fishing--caught several fish by moving the bait right below the transducers to a fish visible, and then watched the fish come up off the bottom and the float go down. Our biggest five weighed 24.39 pounds (Catch-Measure-Photo-Release tournament) which was good for 4th place. We caught fish from 9 to 27.5 inches, and a lot of them. Two good year classes of 9-11 inchers and 12-14 inchers are present, so the future looks bright on Mille Lacs. Good luck, and I will see you out there somewhere.

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  • 2 weeks later...

7/12/15     Hit the big pond this weekend--no guiding or tournament, just some time out with Dad. We struggled out in the basin by the mud flats. Couldn't keep 10 to 14 inchers off our lines long enough to catch bigger ones. Caught small eyes on crankbaits on leadcore and on leeches. One jumbo perch also. Moved shallower day two and caught lots of walleyes from 16.5 to 18.75 inches on 12 to 14 foot rocks. Leeches under a slip bobber (power corking a couple reefs) caught the eyes including a 27 incher and some big bonus smallies. Walleyes of all sizes in the lake, but three strong year classes of walleyes between 9 and 18.5 inches have announced their presence so far this season. The future looks bright for walleyes as well as trophy smallies. Good luck, and I will see you out there somewhere.

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  • 2 weeks later...

I have heard multiple reports of lots of small fish coming up in the lake, but all you hear or read in the paper is that the lake is a mess and there is no walleyes left!!

What gives???

Does the DNR really know what is going on??

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I think the problem is with the way the reporting occurs today.  We live in a world where scare tactics and worst case scenario headlines are what drives the content of the 6 o'clock news and the local fish wrapper.

So, when the DNR reports that they are shutting down walleye fishing because the quota has been met, the reporters all flock to the loudest pissed off resort owner and get their interview. 

Never mind that the quota was set with helping the lake recover and that fishing has been better than expected this year.  Those facts don't make their stories interesting.

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bringanextension

your about as cluless as GOV.DATON and our Worthless DNR Commishner T.L. that need to be OUSTED!!! We need someone for the people and resource not paid off by the indians and the casino(rights) money we gave them for what happenend over 100+ years ago!!!

our abundance of 11-15" walleyes now is due promenitely due to 2 years of late ice out and no netting in the spawning period !!!!!

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2013 and 2014

i've been fishn Mille Lacs for 40 years mostly on the north end out of Barnacles. In our resort tournament last year 20 plus teams and zero walleyes weighed in, this year they tried different format you could have 2 of each - eyes,muskies,northerns,bass, and jumbos. only 3 teams signed up there for cancelled! IT"S SADD !!!

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Walleyepro, which 2 years had late ice out and no netting?  2014 and 2015?  

 

2013 and 2014

 

Late ice outs only delayed the nets, lessened the amount of them, and their success rates, but never prevented them.

Great report Smuts!

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Sorry smuts for helping  derail your thread I am done after this.

11-15" inch walleyes are 3-5 years old.  So, they were hatched/produced between 2010 and 2012. So I see no correlation in your thought.  I hope the past few years have produced good year classes, we may not know all that much for anot her year or two.

WE can destroy a population in short order but we can not bring it back as fast.

If the DNR listened exclusively  to locals and business owners this lake would be worse off now than it is.  They have never been in favor of anything that might cut into their bottom line, they still would want to have a six fish limit.  That would help right?

ThE treaty rights may have brought forth the slots that may have led to this, but is not the only reason for the status of the lake.  Take it away, lake still struggles in current state.  Keep it and the lake will still recover.

Edited by ANYFISH2
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I posted a similar response to a similar post in the outdoor Mn Talk forum and it is fitting here as well.

 

From a 2013 survey, a 3 year old ML walleye is 13-15" long, shorter than your suggestion. A 4 year old ML walleye is generally 15-16" long. I know I'm not catching or hearing of people catching an abundance of 15-16" fish. There are 10-13" fish everywhere that I have fished this year.  Boated a couple fat 13" fish trolling yesterday in 12 FOW.

http://files.dnr.state.mn.us/areas/fisheries/aitkin/mille-lacs-creel.pdf Page 26.

I would accept that the abundance of 12-14" walleyes in ML are less than 3 years old, maybe 2-3 yrs. Most likely not 4 years old.

At 1 year they between 9-10 inches. I am seening a lot of 10-13" eyes. Those could be in the wheelhouse of 1.5 years old and from the suggested year class of the original post.

And for history sake, I said (on this forum, formally HSO) they should have shut it down last spring.  If they had, we would almost be back to fishing normally today.  Instead they are stretching out the pain over a number of years and they still have no clue what they are doing.

Edited by Kyhl
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The whole crash of Mille Lacs was predicted by MR Sternberg.  HE stood by his conclusions the DNR didn't or wouldn't listen so He took an early retirement and got out of the DNR. The slot limits created to keep the harvest a x amount of lbs a number which was arbitrarily decided upon only  lowered the lbs of fish harvested. They in no way shape or form were there to create a balanced fishery. If you do your research like the Canadians did on slots. They found out the fish at least in their waters that had the highest spawning success were the 18 to 21 inch females. So they protected them. As they are the prime breeders. Do bigger females have more eggs  yes do more of them hatch and grow to maturity in the wild no. At DNR hatcheries yes the big girls eggs hatch but that is a controlled environment so they target big fish for milking the eggs. Think of it this way  Do women of 18 to 35 years old have more children than the 60 plus crowd. Now if at Mille lacs Sternberg said if you do this you are killing the prime breeders exclusively and completely protecting the big fish. Now the avg fisherman thinks protecting the big one is the right thing to do lets put slots everywhere. Well pretty soon you have a lake of giant walleye and while we are at it lets protect the pike and put a whole bunch of muskie in as well. Now years later Gee where are the perch? I don't know. you get the picture. The lake has become so heavily weighted towards large walleye that they have eaten up the prey and resorted to cannibalism to live. Other documented studies have all shown this is what walleyes do. This is what Sternberg predicted excepted it is worse than his predictions. It's not smallies eating walleye every study shows they don't eat walleye their own studies show it. Pike do eat some. Muskies we don't know because they are sacred and they will not discuss it. In any case the problem is  according to them we have walleyes hatch and they all disappear before the 2nd to 3rd year. When they are the perfect small perch size that walleyes eat. SURPRISING. They need to thin the bigger fish and come to a better agreement with the Bands. Or we can just walk away from this as the biggest case of fisheries mismanagement of all times. Also we need to reevaluate slots look to Winni leech and Vermillion walleye size increasing perch disappearing. Sound like the same blackhole.  IMHO

MWal

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Your absolutely right Smuts!  I am sure we all could sit down and find we are more alike than different.  We all love the lake and want to see it recover sooner than later.

Has the the shallow wind blown rock bite started?  I know now most early August has been great to us up shallow in years past.

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Anyfish2,

     Heading up later this week and then will post a report on what we find. Last time up our best fishing for anything bigger than 14 inches was rocks in the 8 to 12 foot range (see post a ways above). We did see crayfish on the rocks shallow enough to see in the clear water. Will start on the shallow to mid-depth rocks and see if the bite is on--usually happens in late July to mid August depending on water temps.

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Thanks for the info Smuts.  I will probably return to trolling that 12-15' range again on Friday.  What is funny is that Sunday I started with a perch color rap after removing a red crayfish rattle rap that was on the line.  I think the crayfish rattle rap will be tied on again Friday.

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Smuts -

Sorry that my post contributed to hijacking your thread.  Keep the fishing reports coming!

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smuts, 

Thanks for the info. I was wondering what you could tell about the crayfish molt. Any idea how long it lasts and how it varies around the lake? How many times a year?  We'll be up Mon. - Wed. to fish smallies  and spend lots of $$ on food ,gas and lodging.

Thanks again,    

rascal

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rascal23,

     Just got back from Mille Lacs. Crayfish are all over the shallow and mid-depth rocks. Usually starts the end of July or beginning of August depending on water temps, and can last a few weeks. Check out the following post for a detailed report from this weekend, and good luck with the smallies.

8/2/15     Hit the shallow and mid-depth rocks on the big pond this weekend with the crayfish bite on. Battled strong NW winds Saturday, and strong winds from a few directions around showers Sunday morning. Best action was on leeches under slip floats (power corking) on a rock reef in about 11-14 feet of water, with the bait about 2 feet up. Caught walleyes from 16 to 20.75 inches, including a couple of slots. Also caught some nice smallies and some jumbo perch. Many of the fish were spitting up crayfish pieces in the water and in the boat, and I had to clean pieces out of the livewell from the two slots we kept and ate Saturday night. Often we catch fish casting crankbaits, jerkbaits, and Rippin' Raps or trolling #5 Shad Raps and Jointed Shad Raps in six to nine foot rocks during this time, but I think the weather had the fish just a little deeper and less active, thus the bobber bite. Even if walleyes close, the shallow to mid-depth rocks will have jumbo perch, pike, and smallies on them the next couple weeks so take advantage of the opportunity. Good luck, and I will see you out there somewhere.

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Back from Mille lacs and honestly it was tough. Fished all day Tues. out of Garrison off pike point, mostly  6-11 fow and got a 16" on a green tube. That was it for a long time. Tried the reeds to the south then moved the next point south and back to Pike point fishing everything from cranks to drop shot, tubes, pitbosses, beaver-tail plastics and straight tail worms on jigs and t-rigged. Nothing. Mid afternoon we moved out to Garrison reef and after trying a number of spots, finally found some biters on a small hump that broke sharp from 6ft to 9ft where my buddy hooked up on 8 - 10 fish, biggest being 20" but most small all on a 5" green pumpkin trick worm on 1/16 oz jig.

   Wed. we fished Isle to Big point, fishing all the usual spots. Finally I hooked up on couple on a deep hump off doe island - 13 fow on a jig/craw. Fished a bunch more spots - nothing. Towards evening I got a couple next to doe island on a 4" dinger . One was a 19 +".  Tough couple of days, but no better place in MN to catch your best smallie, and i'll take that over numbers.   In hindsight, we maybe should have spent more time deeper, but we thought the nice weather would have brought them shallow.

  Something of note -  No fish had sores on there heads, and I caught a crawdad on a plastic and it was bright red-orange, if that means anything.

   Also, Lots of people on the lake, fishing, tubeing, cruising around and launches were running all day. Get out there and fish. I'll be back.

  rascal

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Nice report rascal.  Contrary to popular belief, the smallies don't jump in the boat some days, you really have to work for them.

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No doubt.  I'ld like to fish with all the guy's who say they're so easy to catch so they can show me what I'm doing wrong.

  A couple other things I noticed on this trip was how incredibly FAT all the fish were - some of the 14-16" fish were obese.   Another thing was how low the clarity was. Maybe it was our timing around an algea bloom, but I've never seen it less clear. I thought the mussels were supposed to really clear the water.

 

    rascal

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If it was really windy, that stirs up the bottom and cuts down on clarity a lot.  

I think the crayfish molted recently so the smallies have probably been gorging on them. 

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8/17/15     On Mille Lacs this weekend for the first time since the walleye closure. A little light on boats, but saw several launches out that were full--that was good to see. We targeted rocks from 8 to 12 feet deep again, and caught smallies, walleyes, perch, and pike. Nothing big, but good numbers. Smallies ranged mostly from 15 to 17 inches, with a couple bigger and a couple smaller. Walleyes ranged from 12 to 20 inches. Pike went from 19 to 26 inches, and most of the perch were under nine inches, unfortunately. We usually catch larger perch on the shallow rocks this time of year, but not many this weekend. Caught most fish casting and trolling crankbaits, and casting Rippin' Raps in 8 to 10 feet. Tried 12-13 feet with leeches under bobbers for a while looking for some larger smallies or perch, but still just caught mid-sized smallies and eyes, so switched back to artificials. Don't give up on the lake--smallies are biting on the rocks and there are some walleyes, pike, and perch there for bonus fish. If you catch any eyes, please be careful and get them right back in the water--avoid netting them if you can and don't take time with photos. Launches are doing trips on the shallow rocks. Good luck, and I will see you out there somewhere.

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  • 3 weeks later...

9/2/15     Got up to the big pond for the last time this open water season this past weekend. Caught a lot of smallmouth in the 14-17 inch range and several walleyes in the same size range on rocks in 8-12 feet of water on the SE corner. Rippin' Raps and Shad Raps were the most consistent baits, though we tried a little of everything. Nothing big, but lots of action. No pics--wanted to get everything back in the water as quick as possible. My boat heads down the road with its new owner on Saturday, so this will be my last open water fishing report of 2015. Football and hunting will take up my time in the fall. Check the waterfowl hunting reports this fall for our hunting reports, and I will be back on this forum as well as Hutchinson and the Metro with ice fishing reports once the water firms up. Pick up a new boat in the spring and will be back with open water fishing reports then. Good luck this fall, and I will see you out there somewhere.

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  • 8 months later...

5/22/16     First time on the big pond fishing blind in the MTT tournament this Saturday. My brother and I caught fish, but none very big so finished near the middle of the pack. Figures, got my Dad out on Sunday for a couple hours before heading south for a graduation party and in two hours we boated a 28.5 and two 23.5 inchers! One of the same spots as the day before, but a little more wind made the difference. Caught our fish both days power bobbin' with leeches on rocks from ten to fifteen feet deep. Tried shallower--no go--not enough wind. Saw plenty of fish on the mud, but also an insect hatch and perch and tulibees all over the sonar so the deep mud bite was tough. Back up in two weeks for another MTT tournament. Good luck, and I will see you out there somewhere.

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I can second the hatch, there were a lot of dead bugs on the surface and a lot of mayflies I noticed flying around.  Surface temp was 63, ran out to the flats and the fish where there just didn't want to bite.  Tried everything I could!  Next week should be great, I thought it was awesome the amount of people out walleye fishing!  I only saw three fish boated all by a kid about 6 years old, how it should be!  I did see some football sized smallies just off shore

 

Kettle

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  • 3 weeks later...

6/7/16     Fished the MTT again on Saturday, this time with my Dad filling in for my brother, and then fun fished a couple hours Sunday morning before heading to Motley for the Lund Boats catalog photo shoot. My Dad and I had a five fish weight (Catch, Measure, Photo, Release) of 24.05 pounds for the tournament. Respectable, but the winners averaged 7.5 pounds per fish with 37.55 pounds. Fish from 13 to 29 inches were caught, and lots of them. My Dad and I boated about 30 during the tournament. The lakes walleye fishery seems to be a bit stronger than is being advertised. Sunday morning my Dad and I, recreational fishing, boated eight and missed three in about three hours. They went from 15 to 27 inches. We were power bobbin with leeches on rocks in 10 to 14 feet of water both days (either foggy, raining, windy, or a combination much of the time both days had fish active shallow). Good luck, and I will see you out there somewhere.

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Coming up Saturday for smallies - best bet for locations - north/south, east/west? Initial plan is southwest....

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      On the Rainy River...   Emerald shiners continue to run in the Rainy River and overall the walleye fishing has been good.  
      Most walleye anglers on the river are anchoring up along a current seam or on the edge of a hole with a jig and minnow.  Try different areas.  There are 42 miles of navigable river and lots of boat ramps.  In some cases, it is helpful to find your own spots and get away from other boats.  
      Sturgeon activity has picked up as well with good fall reports.  A gob of crawlers and/or frozen shiners on a sturgeon rig (18 inch leader made of 60lb test with a 2-3 ounce no roll sinker) is the ticket.  The keep season ends September 30, 2021.  The catch and release season continues through April 23, 2022.
      Up at the NW Angle...  
      Excellent fishing this week.  In U.S. waters, deep mud of Little Traverse Bay continues producing walleyes in 24 - 31 feet.  Spinners with crawlers or minnows still producing.
      Areas with structure and sandy areas in neck down areas continue to hold fish.  14 - 19 feet are good starting points.  Jig and a minnow is the goto on structure and neck down areas.
      Big crappies being caught on jigs and minnows in 25-32' around structure.
      Muskie anglers report good fish being boated trolling and casting shiny crankbaits.   
      Travel to and from the Angle via vehicle through the 40 miles of Canada is open.  Boating into Canadian waters is now open.  Please note, no live, frozen or dead bait allowed into Canada from the U.S.  The various plastics on a jig are working well.  Contact a NW Angle resort for details.
      Charter boat transport and float planes are still available through the LOW Passenger Service and Lake Country Air.  
       
       


    • papadarv
      By papadarv
      Spent the weekend at Vacationland, Otttertail. Lake level down almost 3 feet so only one landing with enough water to launch a boat. With 20 to 30 MPH winds and 3 to 4 ft. waves we chose to fish surrounding smaller lakes. Had great time Catch & Release Bass fishing. My prise money fish was a sunfish.

       
      My giant "Ottertail Money Sunfish" he looks sorta small cause I have very large hands and I held him a long way from the camera. He did put up a good fight. He is still swimming.

    • LakeofthewoodsMN
      By LakeofthewoodsMN
      On the south end...  A fun week of walleye fishing as the water temps cool to the low 60's and fall colors have started.  The walleye are transitioning to fall locations.  Three different methods used to catch walleyes this week.  Drifting spinners, trolling crankbaits and anchored up and jigging with a minnow, which is becoming more effective each week.  
      Walleyes setting up across the south shore and with more shiners running, this trend will continue.  Jigging with a frozen shiner or live fathead has really started to be effective.  Give it 30-40 minutes and set up in a different spot if there is no action.  
      Congrats to all MN Tournament Trail tournament anglers this past week.  The winning team had a 7.52 lb avg per walleye for 10 fish.  There are a lot of big walleyes in Lake of the Woods right now.
      Daily limit is a combined limit of six walleyes and saugers (with up to 4 being walleyes).   Don't forget the slot, 19.5" - 28" must be returned with one allowed over 28" per day.  
      Fall is an excellent time to fish walleyes.  If you like the jig bite, anchor up and jig over the side of the boat for a very enjoyable and typically memorable day.
      Pike are active and most are caught but unsuspecting walleye anglers.  The feedbag is definitely on.  
      On the Rainy River...   Emerald shiners continue to run in the Rainy River.  Some good runs so far, good angler reports and nice walleyes being caught.  Fall on the river is nice as a small boat will work just fine.
      Most walleye anglers on the river are anchoring up along an edge or in a hole with a jig and minnow.  There are 42 miles of navigable Rainy River from Wheeler's Point through Baudette to Birchdale with lots of boat ramps.  
      Sturgeon activity has picked up as well with good fall reports.
      Up at the NW Angle...  
      Excellent fishing continues on both sides of the border.  In U.S. waters, deep mud of Little Traverse Bay continues producing walleyes in 24 - 31 feet.  Gold, white and orange spinners with a crawler or a minnow continue to be effective.  As water cools, minnows on some days are outfising crawlers.  
      Areas with structure continue to hold fish.  18 - 27 feet are good starting points.  Jig and a minnow is the goto on structure and neck down areas.
      Pike and muskie anglers are locating fish on weedy points using double blade spinners and topwater.  A lot of fish are caught on figure eight.
      Travel to and from the Angle via vehicle through the 40 miles of Canada is open.  Boating into Canadian waters is now open.  Please note, no live, frozen or dead bait allowed into Canada from the U.S.  The various plastics on a jig are working well.  Contact a NW Angle resort for details.
      Charter boat transport and float planes are still available through the LOW Passenger Service and Lake Country Air.  
       


    • LakeofthewoodsMN
      By LakeofthewoodsMN
      On the south end...  Great walleye action this week with numerous pike mixed in.  Walleyes are starting to gravitate to fall patterns.  Walleyes being caught in various depths 13 - 34 feet of water.  Most anglers are still drifting with spinners or trolling crankbaits, but the jig bite is picking up steam. 
      Water temps in the upper 50's and low 60's.  Walleyes setting up across the south shore and with more shiners running, this trend will continue.  
      Reef fishing is starting to pick up.  Jigging with a frozen shiner on or near reefs is a fall goto and things are just starting.
      September and October are excellent months to fish walleyes.  If you like the jig bite, anchored up with a jig and minnow, this is a fun time of year.
      On the Rainy River...   Emerald shiners are continuing to run in the Rainy River.  Some good runs so far and walleyes are showing up.  Anglers are catching fish in the river.  Fall is here.
      Most walleye anglers on the river will anchor up along an edge or in a hole with a jig and minnow.  Fishing is taking place from Wheeler's Point to Baudette to Birchdale.
      Fall is a great time to fish sturgeon, bass and pike on the river, although the vast majority of anglers are after walleyes.
      Up at the NW Angle...  
      Excellent fishing continues on both sides of the border.  In U.S. waters, deep mud of Little Traverse Bay continues producing walleyes in 24 - 31 feet.  Gold, white and orange spinners with a crawler or a minnow is effective.  Minnows on some days are starting to be preferred by the walleyes.  Try both.  
      Areas with structure continue to hold fish.  18 - 27 feet are good starting points.  Jig and a minnow is the goto.
      Pike and muskie anglers are locating fish on weedy points using double blade spinners and topwater.  Some nice fish boated this week.
      Travel to and from the Angle via vehicle through the 40 miles of Canada is open.  Boating into Canadian waters is now open.  Please note, no live, frozen or dead bait allowed into Canada from the U.S.  The various plastics on a jig are working well.  Contact a NW Angle resort for details.
      Charter boat transport and float planes are still available through the LOW Passenger Service and Lake Country Air.  
       


    • AnglerJake
      By AnglerJake
      Heading up to Garden Lake Resort Sep 16 - 24. Any reports or tips from up there? Thanks!
    • LakeofthewoodsMN
      By LakeofthewoodsMN
      On the south end...  Another really strong week of walleye fishing.  
      One of the main areas to fish is still deep mud.  Basically 28 - 34 feet of water.  Various schools of walleyes move around the basin relating to different kinds of forage.  
      Big walleyes eat a lot of everything but really key in on tullibees (ciscos) who live primarily in the basin.  Other forage can be perch, perch minnows, emerald shiners, blood worms, crayfish, and the list goes on.  
      Various schools holding shallower, over rocks or sand, based on bait options in that area.  Reefs are still holding fish, normally on the sides and base where rock meets the mud.   
      Drifting or trolling spinners with crawlers and trolling crankbaits are still very effective for catching walleyes this week.
      As we approach mid to late September and October, the jig bite will fire back up!
      On the Rainy River...   Walleyes hanging out in some of the deeper holes throughout the river.  Moving up and down the river, hitting numerous spots until you find which areas have walleyes is a good method for success.
      Some anglers trolling crankbaits to cover water.  Oftentimes, walleyes won't show up on electronics if they are laying in a depression in the river bottom.  Only way to know is to fish the area.
      Bass and pike are plentiful on structure, docks and weed edges.  Hitting various "goto" spots up and down the river is a fun and normally productive day.    
      The sturgeon "keep" season continues through Sep. 30.  Catch and release Oct 1 - April 23, 2022.
      Up at the NW Angle...  
      Great fishing continues on both sides of the border.  In U.S. waters, deep mud of Little Traverse Bay continues producing walleyes in 28 - 33 feet.  Gold, white and orange spinners with a crawler is effective.
      Underwater points, sunken islands and neck down areas with a bit of current in 18 - 27 feet holding fish.  These areas are good areas to jig.
      Pike and muskie anglers are still finding good fish on weedy points using jerkbaits and topwater. 
      Travel via vehicle through Canada to the Angle is open.  Boating into Canadian waters is now open.  Contact a NW Angle resort for details.
      Charter boat transport and float planes are still available through the LOW Passenger Service and Lake Country Air.  
      A complete list of lodging and fishing packages around LOW, the NW Angle, Baudette and the Rainy River at www.fishingminnesota.com/Lodging.  


  • Your Responses - Share & Have Fun :)

    • JBMasterAngler
      Made it to Riverdale Flowage today. Pretty silted in, structure less reservoir. Still has some potential. Seen a few bass swimming around, and caught 2 pike early on back to back casts, but didn’t see another fish after that. Floating leaves EVERYWHERE made whopper ploppers a difficult presentation. Jig and craw about the only thing I could use to keep that stuff off.
    • LakeofthewoodsMN
      On the south end...  An excellent week of fall walleye fishing.  Bring lots of bait as the fish are active.  There are lots of small fish in the system that bodes well for the future.  You will catch your eaters and other larger fish, but will usually have to sort through small fish along the way. Anchored up and jigging with a fathead or emerald shiner is the go to method.  Most fish are usually adjacent to the bottom.  Live shiners are available and effective.  Some anglers still using spinners with a minnow or trolling crankbaits. The best reports are coming from 17-27 feet of water across the south shore in areas such as Pine Island, Morris Point, Zippel Bay, Graceton Beach, Long Point and Rocky Point.  Various schools within these depths.  In addition to walleyes and saugers, pike, jumbo perch, sturgeon and even a few crappies are in the mix for walleye anglers.  On the Rainy River...   Emerald shiners continue to run in the Rainy River, consequently, there are walleyes around.  Jigging with a frozen or live shiner, is the go to method.  Emerald shiners are tough to beat.   Trolling crankbaits is an extremely effective technique in the river.  Also great in locating walleyes or when fish are scattered.    Sturgeon activity continues good.  A gob of crawlers and/or frozen shiners on a sturgeon rig (18 inch leader made of 60lb test, circle hook and a 2-3 ounce no roll sinker) is the ticket.  The catch and release season continues through April 23, 2022. Up at the NW Angle...  Fall fishing up at the Angle continues to be excellent.  Most anglers are using a jig and minnow or jig and plastic for walleyes.  In some areas, walleyes are stacked and active with big numbers of fish being caught.   Gold, pink and/or glow colored jigs and spinners are doing well.  Reminder, no live, frozen or dead bait being able to be transported over the border from the U.S. into Canada, consequently anglers boating into Ontario waters reporting various plastics on their jigs and spinners working great. Various areas of structure such as points, reefs and sandy areas in neck down areas continue to hold good fish.  12 - 26 feet is the range depending upon the spot.   Big crappies are active in their fall spots and being caught on jigs and minnows in 24-30' around various structure. Muskie action was hot this week.  Jigging large baits has boated good numbers of fish as well as casting and trolling.  Travel to and from the Angle via vehicle through the 40 miles of Canada is open.  Boating into Canadian waters is now open.   Want to avoid crossing the border?  Charter transport via water and ice and flights over the lake are available through the LOW Passenger Service and Lake Country Air both this fall and into the winter months via ice.    
    • gimruis
      I did pretty good bass fishing on Saturday from 8am - 1pm.  It was frigid when we started at 8am but by 10 the sun was fully up and it was more comfortable.  A friend and I caught 7 bass and 5 pike.  I caught the biggest bass I've caught in a month, a 19.5 incher.  The water temp was 58 degrees.  I might try going one more time and then hang it up for the season as long as the water temp stays above 50.  I think turnover has just occurred because the water temp dropped about 10-12 degrees in less than a week.
    • Wanderer
      Yep, western MN and Lake of the Woods diver reports were good from the weekend.  That Arrowhead head area is fickle for ducks and hitting the migration.     We had a fantastic week up there about 8-9 years ago and have been chasing that memory almost every year since.  We just don’t spend as much time doing it anymore.  Still love being there in October and that chase.   We went from a 30 decoy spread in small clusters to a 6 decoy spread set up in a 4/2 grouping.  That’s the one they liked.  No pass shots, wings cupped and feet down or they were left to carry on.   I gave up the fully flocked mallards in exchange for the early season mallards.  I don’t know if that change worked as well as I think it did but like I said, they came to em.  Even the geese.
    • Rick
      A weekly list of news briefs about fish, wildlife, and habitat management.Discuss below - to view set the hook here.
    • Rick
      One of Minnesota DNR’s largest habitat restoration projects is complete. The three-year, $18 million construction project in the St. Louis River estuary near Duluth has restored 230 acres of coastal wetland habitat at Kingsbury Bay and Grassy Point.Discuss below - to view set the hook here.
    • Rick
      Nearly half a million firearms deer hunters are preparing for the firearms deer season that opens Saturday, Nov. 6, and offers opportunity to spend time outdoors with friends and family, find adventure outdoors and put venison in the freezer.Discuss below - to view set the hook here.
    • Rick
      One of Minnesota DNR’s largest habitat restoration projects is complete. The three-year, $18 million construction project in the St. Louis River estuary near Duluth has restored 230 acres of coastal wetland habitat at Kingsbury Bay and Grassy Point.Discuss below - to view set the hook here.
    • Rick
      Nearly half a million firearms deer hunters are preparing for the firearms deer season that opens Saturday, Nov. 6, and offers opportunity to spend time outdoors with friends and family, find adventure outdoors and put venison in the freezer.Discuss below - to view set the hook here.
    • Rick
      A weekly list of news briefs about fish, wildlife, and habitat management.Discuss below - to view set the hook here.
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