Minnesota Statewide Fishing Reports
INFO AS OF 11-1-19
Few reports are available as anglers put away their boats for the season. Anglers that continue to venture out, however, are being rewarded for their efforts.
The walleye are still responding to jig and minnow combinations, along with minnow imitation baits slowly retrieved. Crappie action has also been good, with fish hitting jigs tipped with smaller minnows.
Surface water temperatures are in the 40s on most Minnesota waters. Please remember that it is extremely important to wear a life jacket when out on the water due to the risk of hypothermia. Learn more.
For rules, regulations and other helpful information on fishing in Minnesota, consult the DNR's Fish Minnesota web page.
International Falls - Rainy Lake & the Rainy River
Anglers report very active walleye in the Rainy River. Heavy rainfall during the end of summer and throughout the fall have increased the current and water levels, creating a feeding frenzy in the walleye. Anglers are not only taking their limits, they are pulling in some very big walleye. The preferred approach has been jigging a brightly color jig tipped with a live minnow just downstream from any of the smaller feeder creeks. The theory is that the walleye are holding in these locations since the excess water carries minnows into the river from the beaver ponds and shallow waters.
The situation is likely the same on Rainy Lake, but it will probably take more time and travel to find such ideal feeder spots. One area to consider is Black Bay because it is easy to reach and is often an excellent choice in the fall due to concentrations of crappies in the bay, particularly at the west end where the Rat Root River empties into Rainy Lake. 800-325-5766; www.rainylake.org
Duluth - Lake Superior, St. Louis River and inland waters
Most anglers are putting their boats away as temperatures continue to fall. Surface temperatures are now in the 40s for most waters near Lake Superior. Ice building is already building on some of the smaller ponds. Fishing continues to be a challenge, but mostly due to the recent cold and windy days. One area guide expects anglers to be ice fishing by Thanksgiving.
Most marinas have pulled their boats off the North Shore of Lake Superior, but stream angling continues. Many anglers report success with the brown trout, steelhead trout and salmon when using float indicators and hardware.
While the St. Louis River remains somewhat murky and difficult to fish, a fresh influx of Lake Superior walleye are expected to move into the river shortly. Anglers fishing the river will want to use live bait rigs and minnows over the channel edges.
The inland waters offer the best fishing, currently. The crappies are hitting crappie minnows under floats over the deeper, transitional holes, with an occasional walleye or pike also being taken. When fishing specifically for these predatory fish, use larger chubs or sucker minnows.
Anglers that continue to venture out should dress warmly and always wear a life jacket. Also, anyone with a boat will want to drain all water from the motor before putting it away for the season. 800-438-5884; www.visitduluth.com
The 2019 open water fishing season is winding down but there are still opportunities for some great fishing. The Mississippi River is giving up lots of nice walleye to anglers fishing from boat, and from shore below the dams that stretch north and east of Grand Rapids. Watch for gulls picking off baitfish below the dams and concentrate on these areas. Hungry walleye are responding well to a jig tipped with a plastic tail, jig and minnow, or shad rap and other minnow imitation baits cast and slowly retrieved. Early and late in the day seem to be the most productive, especially when the sun comes on colder days. Bring a couple rods with different presentations, and switch from one to the other occasionally.
Consider wearing your life jacket when fishing from shore this time of year since the current remains strong and the water temperatures are in the low 40s. www.visitgrandrapids.com
Baudette - Lake of the Woods & the Rainy River
On the south end of Lake of the Woods, die hard anglers continue to take nice mix of walleye and sauger from 12 to 24 foot depths. Anchoring up with a jig and frozen shiner is the go-to method.
On the Rainy River, good numbers of walleye, along with trophy-size fish are being reported. Concentrate on the current breaks at the mouth of the river from Wheeler's Point to Birchdale. Please note that there continues to be a strong current. The fish are congregating in areas with current breaks, often closer to shore, behind points or holes in the river. Depths of 7 to 16 feet are a good place to start.
Up at the Northwest Angle, lots of walleye are being pulled from the neck-down areas, points and mouths of the bays. A jig tipped with a minnow is still the best tactic. Anglers also report a great crappie, jumbo perch and muskie bite. 800-382-FISH; www.lakeofthewoodsmn.com
Water temperatures in the Detroit Lakes area are in the mid- to low 40s. This weather this fall has been a challenge for anglers, with some severe cold fronts and high winds that have kept boats off the water. Anglers that continue to venture out are finding walleye deep off the sharp breaks to the basin areas, as well as small schools relating to the shallow weed edges.
Some muskie reports are coming in from anglers casting, trolling, and fishing huge suckers under bobbers. Look for fish to continue to move shallow as the tullibee move up for their spawn in the next week or so.
Crappies are being pulled from the water column over the deep holes and soft bottom areas. They are already set up over some of the favorite first ice locations. Many ponds are covered in a sheet of ice, and some of the smaller, shallower lakes could be iced over in the next 10 days or so. 800-542-3992; www.visitdetroitlakes.com
Isle/Onamia - Lake Mille Lacs
Ice is forming in some of the marinas on Lake Mille Lacs. Most anglers have put away their boats, and are anxiously awaiting the ice fishing season. 888-350-2692; www.millelacs.com
Minneapolis-St. Paul Area
The 3rd Annual Twin Cities Trout Unlimited Adult Holiday Fly Fishing Weekend will take place at Whitewater State Park, Nov. 22-24. Participants will enjoy 2 nights of lodging at Whitewater State Park’s modern group center, four meals, loads of fun, learning and camaraderie. Any equipment you might need will be supplied, including a fishing license. Get away, meet new people and have fun learning all about trout fishing and growing your skills. Reserve your spot through Eventbrite.
Lanesboro/Preston - Southeast Bluff Country Rivers and Streams
The Stream Trout Catch and Release Season remains open in specific state parks and city boundaries. Learn more.
Maps of these areas are available under the “Area Highlights” tab on the Lanesboro Fisheries web page.
The National Trout Center in Preston offers the following fishing tips for fall trout.
Sleep in and fish midday. The night temperatures are hovering around freezing, and waters have cooled considerably. Both the aquatic insect and the trout activity pick up after the sun hits the water. Best fishing times are 10 a.m. to 4 p.m.
Wear camo, conceal yourself and keep a low profile. Once the water clears, the trout are wary of unusual movement in and around the streams. Keep quiet, stay inconspicuous in camo outerwear and move slowly.
Fly anglers should use terrestrials and streamers, and spin angers should use fast-moving aggressive lures. The trout are still feeding on grasshoppers, winged ants, and all kinds of big bugs falling into the water. The trout are getting territorial and aggressive as spawning begins.
Make your flies and lures move. With lots of leaves and debris in the water, the trout are becoming aggressive toward rivals and egg predators. Aggressive movement of bait-size things in the water attracts the trout’s attention.
Bring your camera. This is a catch and release season so plan to take pictures. The trout are very colorful in their breeding colors and the fall colors create memorable pictures in the Driftless Region.
Before you go, check out the DNR’s Stream Flow Report for the most current conditions, as well as the "Area Highlights" section of the Lanesboro Area Fisheries web page for stream maps. 800-944-2670; www.lanesboro.com
Be sure to visit the Explore Minnesota Fishing & Hunting page for information to help you plan your next Minnesota fishing trip!
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