Minnesota Statewide Fishing Reports
INFO AS OF 10-18-19
Most walleye anglers continue to have success using a jig and minnow presentation. Other species, such as crappies, are also responding to jigs tipped with minnows.
Muskie action has been good, with active fish found at the rocks and remaining green weeds. A slow and large presentation is often the key to success.
Water temperatures have dropped into the upper 40s in some areas of the state. Please remember that water temperatures are very cold so it is extremely important to dress in layers and wear a life jacket 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.
Water temperatures have dropped as low as the high 40s. Crappies have been cooperating and providing anglers with consistent action. Most fish have settled into their late fall/early winter locations where they should remain for the rest of the season. Big and Little Splithand, Big Cutfoot, Little Moose, Loon and Pokegama lakes have been producing nice crappies. A 1/16 or 1/8 ounce mooneye jig tipped with a minnow has been the best approach. When the bite gets tough, try one half of a minnow.
The walleye are now most active during the last 2 hours of daylight. Like other species, a jig and minnow is the best presentation. The windswept shorelines and funnel down areas along the shorelines seem to be prime locations for walleye this time of year. The remaining green cabbage weeds along the deep breaks and scattered rocks will often produce these late season walleye consistently. Trolling crankbaits like a #7 or #8 shad rap at night can also produce good numbers and trophy-size walleye. Depths of 6 to 20 feet of water are best when trolling in the evening. Please remember to always wear a life jacket when fishing, especially this time of year. www.visitgrandrapids.com
Baudette - Lake of the Woods & the Rainy River
On the south end of Lake of the Woods, the fall walleye fishing remains very good. Walleye are staged in front of the Lighthouse Gap (mouth of the Rainy River), Morris Point Gap, Zippel Bay and Long Point in 16 to 24 feet of water. The best method is to anchor up and jig with frozen shiners. Gold, pink, glow, orange or a combination of these colors are working well. Limits of eating-size walleye and saugers are common, with small, slot and trophy-size walleye mixed in. Jumbo perch are also being taken walleye anglers.
On the Rainy River, nice walleye and sauger are being pulled from 12 to 16 feet of water in Four Mile Bay. Fish are congregating in areas with current breaks upriver from Wheeler's Point. Depths of 7 to 16 feet have been best. When fishing the current, use big jigs, ranging from 3/4 to 1.5 ounces, in the main channel. Sturgeon anglers are also reporting success.
Up at the Northwest Angle, walleye have been extremely active. Jigging in the neck-down areas, points and mouths of the bays continues to be the most productive technique. Crappie anglers are being rewarded with nice-sized slabs, and muskie fishing remains strong. 800-382-FISH; www.lakeofthewoodsmn.com
Water temperatures in Detroit Lakes area lakes have dropped to the mid-to upper 40s. Still, anglers are taking some nice trophy-sized fish including walleyes measuring 28 to 30 inches and muskie measuring 50 to 54 inches. Some walleye are coming off the sharp breaks to deep water in the 24 to 32 foot depths on the bars and points. Other walleye can be found on the outside weed edges on the shoreline breaks in 11 to 16 feet of water.
Muskie anglers are taking fish by casting action baits over the weeds, trolling the outside weedlines, and slowly trolling large suckers under bobbers along the weed edges.
The crappies are holding over deeper basin areas. The bass and northern pike are active in the shallows near green weedlines. 800-542-3992; www.visitdetroitlakes.com
Brainerd Area Lakes
Most recently, the concept to follow is the bigger the bait, the bigger the fish. Walleye are coming off the windswept sharp-dropping edges. Once you locate a school of fish, try to stay on them all day, following them from deeper waters to the shallows. Light pike suckers on live bait rigs have been very productive. Jigging raps are the best way to get lots of eating-size fish.
The crappies have moved into the deep basin holes. Target them using jigs and minnows, tube jigs and chubby darters. The bluegill bite has slowed a bit but the larger gills can still be found in the green weeds in 8 to 14 feet of water. 218-825-0410; www.visitbrainerd.com
Minneapolis-St. Paul Area
Encourage kids to take an interest in fishing by bringing them to Fort Snelling State Park on Saturday, Oct. 26, for Go-n-Seine. The MN DNR uses special nets, seine nets, to study fish populations. This seining program will demonstrate how these nets are used and how habitat and water quality affect different fish species. Dress for the weather and meet at Shelter A on Picnic Island. Signs will be posted. No registration required.
Stillwater - St. Croix River
As of Oct. 6, the St. Croix River was giving up lots of walleye, sauger, white bass and other species, keeping it interesting on each outing. Jigs, plastics, rapala shad raps, jigging raps, bottom fishing, casting rigs and some other techniques were all catching fish. Minnows also turned a lot of fish, especially in 10 to 20 feet of water. The water temperature was roughly 54 degrees, and the river was running high. 651-351-1717; www.discoverstillwater.com
Lanesboro/Preston - Southeast Bluff Country Rivers and Streams
As of Friday, October 11, rain, sleet and snow fell throughout the area. Blue-winged olives were the day before on the Middle Branch Whitewater. The cedar waxwings were feeding on caddis. The grasshoppers became active when the sun came up and warmed the grass.
Anglers are reminded that most area streams and rivers are closed to trout fishing. Anglers are allowed to fish for trout in limited waters in three state parks (Whitewater, Forestville and Beaver) and in the city limits of five towns (Preston, Chatfield, Lanesboro, Spring Valley and Rushford). To learn more, visit Stream Trout Catch and Release.
The National Trout Center in Preston offers the following fishing tips for fall trout.
Sleep in and fish midday: The nights temps are in the 40’s, and waters have cooled. Both the aquatic insect and the trout activity pick up after the sun hits the water. Best fishing times are 10AM-4PM.
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 sized things in the water attracts the trout’s attention.
Bring your camera. This is a catch and release season so plan to take pics. The trout are super-colorful with their breeding colors and the fall colors all make for memorable pictures in the Driftless.
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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