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MN Fishing Report

Most walleye have moved deeper, with anglers taking good numbers of fish during low light hours. Leeches and crawlers remain the most effective bait.

For the most current list of lodging availability, check with the individual visitors' bureaus listed below.

Anglers may obtain fishing licenses 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, by dialing 1-888-665-4236, or accessing DNR License Sales .

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Northeast Minnesota

International Falls -Rainy Lake & the Rainy River

Rainy Lake anglers are finding walleye in 30-40 feet of water on the most popular submerged reefs. Reefs on either side of Brule Narrows have been producing fish, and the preferred presentation has been a jig head tipped with a leech or crawler. Walleye are also being caught near the windblown points in roughly 20 feet of water. Crappies continue to hit in Black Bay. Northern pike have not yet shifted to a deeper pattern and can still be found in the rocky and weedy edges of the bays. Some pike, however, are showing up on the reefs where anglers are fishing for walleye. Sand Bay also offers a good walleye bite. On the Rainy River, the areas above the dam at International Falls and below the Ranier Rapids are giving up walleye and smallmouth bass. The same is true below the dam, and for several miles downstream. Shiner minnows seem to be the key for the river. Sturgeon fishing has been good near the mouth of the Littlefork River and below Manitou Rapids; anglers are encouraged to first consult their rules and regulations guide before pursuing sturgeon. To learn more, dial 1-800-325-5766, or visit


Anglers are having an easier time locating and catching walleye on lakes Kabetogama and Namakan. The best depth is roughly 30 feet, with fish coming in on jig and minnow combinations, slip sinker rigs, and artificials. The reef edges and shoreline structure adjacent to deep water have been the most productive. The eastern half of Kabetogama has been best for walleye anglers, especially around the Martin Islands, and Cuculus on down to Green and Larkin islands where the water is a bit cooler. The west end water temperatures are mostly in the high 70's during mid-day hours. Northern pike continue to be pulled from the weed edges and over the weed tops. The more productive areas include Lost, Nebraska and Blind Ash bays. Smallmouth bass are chasing artificials at the shorelines, with spinnerbaits, crayfish, plastics, and sub-surface presentations all working well. For more information on Lakes Kabetogama and Namakan, dial 1-800-524-9085, or check out


With the arrival of August has come hot temperatures and some hot fishing action. Walleye are falling prey to trolled rapalas, as well as lindy rigs tipped with crawlers. The fish seem to have scattered throughout the water column, so it is best to troll or drift at varying depths; once fish have been located, switch to a slip bobber or try casting to pick up the stragglers. Burntside Lake has been giving up some very large walleye. Snowbank Lake has also been kind to both walleye and lake trout anglers. Bass are active on most area lakes at the rocky shorelines, down to twenty feet on the drop-offs. Crankbaits in crayfish patterns are working well. Large northern pike are attacking sucker minnows at the weedlines and rocky points. Also try spinnerbaits for some great sub-surface strikes. To find out more, dial 1-800-777-7281, or visit

Cook/Tower - Lake Vermilion

The rise in temperatures has resulted in an increase in fishing action on Lake Vermilion. The most successful anglers are using their electronics to locate fish at the weedlines. Once fish are found, a trolled crankbait should get them to bite. Another good approach has been to work lead-core crankbaits or deep-diving crankbaits in the deeper waters. A few fish are coming from the weedlines on lindy rigs and crawlers when there is some cloud cover and a breeze. Anglers are also taking a few fish on bottom bouncer and spinner/crawler combinations worked at the reefs and breaks. To learn more, dial 1-800-648-5897, or visit

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

The Gunflint area lakes continue to produce walleye, smallmouth bass, and northern pike. Lake trout anglers are taking fish by jigging in 30-plus feet of water. Walleye are hitting jigs tipped with leeches in depths of 10-14 feet. The smallmouth bass can be found in the rocky outcroppings along the shore. While walleye action has slowed in the Grand Marais area lakes, some anglers are catching a few fish using leeches and crawlers; try 12-18 feet of water around the rock piles, as well as depths as deep 40 feet. Lakes to check out include Poplar, Devil Track, Elbow, Pike, and Two Island. Lake trout are hitting ciscoes and spoons worked in depths of 45-60 feet, with good reports coming from Saganaga, Greenwood, Gunflint, Daniels, and Duncan lakes. Rainbow trout remain active, and are hitting crawlers set at the bottom in 18-25 feet of water. For the most fish, try Leo, Trout, Esther and Mink lakes. On Lake Superior, water temperatures have been fluctuating between 40- and 60-degrees, and fishing has been great once you locate the right temperature range. Salmon are being pulled from depths of 80 feet or less, with downrigging being effective. The lake trout are coming from 120-plus feet of water. Fishing has slowed somewhat in the Sawbill area of the BWCA. Bass fishing remains good, with numbers of fish taken at all times of the day. The larger bass are coming from 10-14 feet of water. Walleye are being taken at dawn and dusk, with nightcrawlers starting to out-produce leeches for the bass and walleye. Lake trout are coming from depths of 75-85 feet, and can be found when using a flashy spoon or rapala. Brook trout fishing in streams south of the BWCA has been excellent, with nice-size fish coming from the deep pools and undercut banks. These streams are currently low and warm, providing comfortable wading conditions, and concentrating the fish in the colder, deeper waters. To find out more, check out

Grand Rapids

For information on what's biting and where, check out

Northwest Minnesota

Baudette -Lake of the Woods & the Rainy River

The month of August generally brings with it some amazing trophy walleye on Lake of the Woods. Fishing is best in depths of 31-34 feet when down-rigging or drifting with spinners. Worms, minnows, and leeches have all been productive recently. The Northwest Angle and Islands area has also provided excellent fishing action. Anglers have been the most successful in depths of 12-20 feet when using a brightly-colored jig or a hammered gold spinner tipped with a minnow. To learn more, dial 1-800-382-FISH, or visit


Surface water temperatures have risen into the mid-70s on most area lakes. Algae blooms have reduced visibility to only a couple of feet on many lakes. The warm water raises the metabolism rate in fish, making them even more likely to strike. Walleye can be found in many area lakes on top of the mid-lake structure, shoreline points and large flats where they are feeding on crayfish, small perch and other minnows. On some lakes, the water is becoming too warm, and the walleye are moving off the sides of structure to cooler waters. Anglers are using spinners to add flash and vibration to their live bait rigs. Crankbaits and stickbaits can also be effective when set at the proper depth alongside the fish. Most of the deep lakes have developed a thermocline at 35-40 feet, creating a barrier that most fish don't cross due to low oxygen levels below the thermocline. Muskie anglers are catching fish, with good reports coming from most of the larger lakes, such as Bemidji, Cass, and Plantagenet. Anglers may also want to try some of the smaller lakes connected to the more well-known muskie lakes. Bass and panfish action remains good on most of the smaller lakes, and in the shallow bays of the larger lakes. For bass, hit the heavy, shallow cover using plastic frogs, other plastic baits, or weedless baits. Sunfish prefer cabbage and coontail weed beds where they can find shelter and feed on small insects. The most successful panfish anglers are using a bobber rig with a small leech, or a piece of a nightcrawler on a small jig. Crappies can be found feeding at the structure during low light hours; during the day, look for them tucked under the weeds or suspended over deeper water. For the most fish, use small minnows or plastics on jigs. Perch are feeding on crayfish and minnows on the shallow flats, and on top of humps and points. A jig tipped with a minnow or piece of crawler usually works well. To find out more, dial 1-800-458-2223, or check out

Walker - Leech Lake

Most reports coming from Leech Lake this week have been about the excellent muskie bite, and the large, 56-inch fish recently caught and released. Some of the best action has been at Sucker Bay, Portage Bay, and the Grand Vu Flats in the cabbage weeds. The walleye action remains somewhat slow, but anglers are having success during low-light hours in the weeds and at the weedlines when pulling crankbaits or spinners with crawlers. In the main lake, fish are coming from the Annex and Submarine Island areas. Pine and Sand points are giving up fish to anglers using a leech under a bobber during evening hours. The jumbo perch bite is improving, and some nice fish are coming in on jig and minnow combinations worked in the Walker Narrows. For further information, dial 1-800-833-1118, or visit

Cass Lake/ Deer River - Winnibigoshish & Cutfoot Sioux lakes

To find where to locate fish, dial 1-800-356-8615, or visit

Park Rapids

For information on which techniques are working best, dial 1-800-247-0054, or check out

Detroit Lakes

Water temperatures are hovering near 80-degrees in the Detroit Lakes area. Stormy weather led to an inconsistent bite, but fishing patterns have become more stable in the last few days. For walleyes, check the long points extending into the main lake. Cormorant, Island and Otter Tail lakes are producing walleye on crankbaits worked in the shallows at night. During the day, check Pelican, Lida, Otter Tail, and Big and Little Pine lakes. The bass bite has been excellent, with fish coming from 21-26 feet of water at the breaks off the mid-lake structure. Long, Toad, Floyd and Cotton lakes have been best for largemouth bass, and Island, Lida and Cormorant lakes are giving up the majority of smallmouth bass. Muskie anglers should check out Big Detroit and Pelican lakes. For large northern pike, hit the McDonald Lakes and Lake Melissa. To learn more, dial 1-800-542-3992, or go to

Central Region

Otter Tail Lakes Area

While day action has slowed, fishing remains good during morning and evening hours. For walleye, use crawlers, spinners and bottom bouncers in 25-30 feet of water. Crankbaits are also working well from dusk to dawn in depths of 8-10 feet; try speeds of roughly 2-mph for the most fish. Panfish action has been good in 8-14 foot depths on East and West Lost, Elbow, South Turtle and Dead lakes. For more information, dial 1-800-423-4571, or check out


To find out where the fish are biting, dial 1-877-833-2350, or visit

Whitefish Chain of Lakes Area

To learn what's biting, visit

Brainerd Lakes Area

For more information on what's biting and where, dial 1-800-450-2838, or visit

Isle/Onamia -Lake Mille Lacs

On Lake Mille Lacs, walleye fishing has slowed somewhat when compared to the excellent walleye action of the last couple of months. Still, anglers continue to catch some good numbers of fish. On windy days, troll the shallow rocks using perch- or hot steel-colored crankbaits. Fish on or just off the mud flats during the day using spinners tipped with rainbow minnows or crawlers. Many anglers are also having success trolling with lead core at the deep gravel, and bobber-fishing with leeches during evening hours. Smallmouth bass action remains strong, with fish coming from 18-24 feet of water at the deep rocks. For the most fish, use tube jigs or a bobber-fishing approach. Quite a few bass are being caught while trolling the rocks for walleye. Bass have also been aggressively hitting tube jigs at the south end shallow rocks. To learn more, dial 1-888-350-2692, or check out


While the larger walleye and bass seem to have lost their appetites, lots of smaller fish continue to be taken. And, Andrew, Games, Point and Solomon lakes are giving up good numbers of bull crappies, sunfish and bluegills. The weekend may start out rainy, but end with perfect conditions for fishing by Sunday. To find out more, dial 1-800-845-8747, or visit

Twin Cities Greater Metropolitan vicinity

Northeast Metro/Chisago Lakes Area

Chisago and South Lindstrom lakes have been great for panfish. Anglers are having the most success using crawlers and panfish leeches. Northern pike are being pulled from Green and South Center lakes, with the majority of fish coming in on sucker minnows. Bass have been active throughout area lakes, hitting crankbaits and plastics. To find out more, dial 651/257-1177, or visit

White Bear Lake Area Lakes

As of late last week, fishing was excellent for bass, sunfish, northern pike, and muskies. For bass, use leeches; use the smaller leeches for sunfish. Northern pike and muskies seem to be attacking everything! A few walleye continue to be pulled from very deep waters on nightcrawlers and leeches. The best times to catch fish on White Bear Lake have been 5:00 a.m. to 10:00 a.m., and 4:00 p.m. to 10:00 p.m. To learn more, dial 651/653-5122, or check out


On Lake Waconia, water temperatures rose into the low 90s on Monday, August 9, apparently the warmest water temperatures in the last 30 years! Action has definitely slowed, however anglers are still catching fish. The most active species at this time are bass and sunfish. Look to the slop for some nice bass during the mid-day heat, with scum frogs, moss mice and un-weighted bass assassins working best. Check the deeper waters as well, using Texas-rigged worms at the weed edges in 10-15 feet of water. During last week's local fishing event, large numbers of bass were pulled from the shallow slop and thick weeds. While quite a few were small, there were also lots of 1- to 3-pound fish. The sunfish are hanging out on the reefs in depths of 6-15 feet. The most productive reefs have been Keg's and North. A slip bobber, small jig and waxworm have been working best. If you do not get a bite right away, change depths until you locate fish. While walleye have become more sluggish, fish can still be found in the deeper waters during low light periods; the best approach has been a lindy or spinner rigged with a leech or crawler worked at roughly 20 feet, especially at Keg's and Red's reefs. Please continue to refrain from muskie fishing since these high water temperatures make it difficult for these fish to recover; it is very important for Lake Waconia to maintain this population. For more information, dial 952/442-5812, or check out

Southern Minnesota

Lake City -Lake Pepin/Pool #4 Mississippi River

To find out what's biting and where, dial 1-877-525-3248, or check out


As of Tuesday, August 10, stream and river conditions were clear with normal water levels on the East Beaver Creek at Beaver Creek Valley State Park, Gribben Creek, the North Branch of the Root River, and Trout Run. Water clarity was off on Duschee Creek, Forestville Creek, and the Root River's South Branch at Forestville State Park and Lanesboro. As of Thursday, August 12, conditions were clear and normal for the South, Middle and North sections of the Whitewater River. To learn more, dial 1-800-944-2670, or visit

Albert Lea

Fountain Lake is producing crappies during morning hours near the Hatch Bridge. Anglers are taking the most fish on white jigs. Good numbers of sunnies and crappies are being pulled from Edgewater Pier. Catfish are also biting near Edgewater. Walleye anglers are taking fish late at night from the Channel. For more information, dial 1-800-345-8414, or check out

Fairmont Area Lakes

Bluegills and crappies are coming from the channels in town. For bass, work the shallows of Budd, Sisseton, and George lakes using plastics. Catfish are active on Amber and Hall lakes. Walleye anglers are taking a few fish on leeches and crankbaits. To learn more, dial 1-800-657-3280, or visit

Ortonville -Big Stone Lake

Perch and white bass anglers are taking fish from Big Stone Lake by pulling spinners and bottom bouncers with crawlers, shad raps, and wally divers. Those having the most success are pulling their lures or bottom bouncers along the South Dakota side of the lake from the Grapevine south to Pancake Island, and on north along the Minnesota side of Manhattan Reef back up to the Grapevine. Lots of quality, 10- to 12-inch perch are being taken. The fish have been scattered, so stay mobile. Perch anglers using the traditional anchoring and jigging approach have had limited success. The white bass have also kept anglers busy, along with the sheephead, a.k.a. freshwater drum. Few walleye, northern pike, and largemouth bass have been reported recently. To find out more, dial 1-800-568-5722, or check out

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