Fishing field report

1. Rainy River — Walleyes are biting on night crawlers and leeches on a jig in 20 feet of water off of Pine Island. The south shore of Lake of the Woods is producing fish. The Lake of the Woods Tourism Bureau recommends fishing near the reefs and in deeper water near the sand bars on the south end.

2. Lake Winnibigoshish — Don Wendt at Rapids Tackle said the walleye bite is starting to pick up, but anglers have to work for fish. They are in 18-20 feet of water above the humps in the middle of the lake. The fish are biting on leeches and night crawlers on a live bait rig with a 6-foot snell. Northerns and muskies are active on the north end near Third River. Anglers are having success casting and trolling crankbaits and spinners near the weed beds. Topwater lures have been working in areas where there is a submerged weed bed. Bass fishing has been good near Marcell (north of Grand Rapids). They are biting on plastic worms and if the weather is nice they are going after topwater lures. Crappies and bluegills are biting on a jig and a minnow on Spider and Ball Club lakes.

3. Lake Mille Lacs — Walleye fishing has been better at night. At night a leech under a bobber in 22-30 feet of water over the mudflats or rock piles works best. During the day walleyes are scattered around the lake, but anglers are having luck on the mudflats with spinner rigs tipped with night crawlers. Muskie fishing has been nothing short of awesome, said Mike Wolff of Eddy’s Launch Service. The muskies are chasing bucktails and jerkbaits in 8 to 14 feet of water in the weed beds in the bays. Wolff said they have seen fish in the high 40- to 50-inch range. Northerns also are being caught on the same lures as muskies.

4. Sauk Centre — Walleyes are biting on redtails, leeches and night crawlers on Little Birch Lake in 16-21 feet of water. Smallmouth bass are in the same areas as the walleyes and biting on the same live baits. On Big Sauk Lake, anglers are catching northerns speed trolling with crankbaits outside the weedlines. Dennis Fletcher of Fletcher’s Bait said anglers are using Bill Norman Little N’s in 8-12 feet of water. Fletcher said Big Sauk has a tremendous crappie bite going on right now. They are going after jigs and spinner rigs tipped with a crappie minnow in 8-10 feet of water. Bluegills can be found in 7-11 feet of water with Flu-Flu jigs tipped with small leeches and waxworms.

5. Forest Lake — Bass fishing is good all over, said Clay Zimmerman of Forest Lake Sports and Tackle. Fish are biting on live bait rigs with leeches, fathead minnows and green night crawlers and artificial lures as well. They are in the weed beds in 12 feet of water or less. Zimmerman said the hungrier fish, no matter what species, are going to be in shallow. Walleyes are in 4 feet of water and are biting on night crawlers and leeches on a Lindy Rig. Northerns and muskies are going after suckers and spinnerbaits, the bigger the better. Crappies and bluegills are still being caught but most people are having fun going after the bigger fish.

6. Mississippi River (Pool 2) — During the day, catfish are biting on anything from shrimp and liver to stink bait and cheese. At night, sucker minnows (live, wounded or dead) work best, said Katie Anderson at Minnehaha Bait and Tackle. Catfish can be found near the eddies above sandy and rocky bottoms. Walleyes are biting on a jig tipped with a fathead minnow. Quarter-ounce green jigs are popular. Walleyes also are going after silver and blue and clown-colored crankbaits. Northerns can be found at the mouth of Minnehaha Creek, and anglers are having better luck from shore than on a boat. Muskies also are being caught near Hidden Falls. White bass are also being caught.

7. Minnesota River — Flathead catfish are biting at night on big live sucker minnows, said Butch Notermann at River Valley Sports Center in Shakopee. The average flathead is 15 pounds, with some in the 30-to-40-pound range. The catfish are being caught above the holes in the river. During the day, channel catfish are going after cutbaits and night crawlers. Walleyes are biting on leeches and night crawlers, when the river goes down a jig and a minnow combination works best. Some anglers are trolling crankbaits near the rocks. Northerns are going after sucker minnows in the cricks that feed into the river. Sheepshead and striped bass are also being caught.

8. Spooner, Wis. — Shell Lake has been a good spot for walleyes in the area. They are on the cribs in 13 to 20 feet of water. Jim Mommsen of Spooner Sports said smallmouth fishing has been excellent on Shell and Long lakes. Smallmouth are biting on Berkley Power Craws and crankbaits in the same areas as walleyes. The bass also can be found near the rock and gravel bars and they are feeding on crayfish. Muskie fishing has been slow, with some being caught, but not any big ones. They are going after topwater baits at night and jerkbaits during the day on the outside edges of weed beds. Northerns are going after spinnerbaits in the same area. Bluegills are biting on panfish leeches in 10-13 feet of water.

9. St. Croix River — Catfish are going after live sucker minnows from the Stillwater Bridge down to Afton, said Missy Vaillancourt at Beanie’s in Lakeland. Medium and large sucker minnows work best. Catfish Bluff and Catfish Bar are two popular areas for catfish anglers. The walleye bite has slowed, but fishermen are still going out. They are having the best luck near the Wisconsin shoreline. Walleyes are biting on fathead minnows, night crawlers and jumbo leeches. Sauger also are being caught.

10. River Falls, Wis. — Trout fishing on the Kinnickinnic has been average, said Dave Jensen at Lund’s Hardware. The river is high and still a little colored as a result of heavy rains two weeks ago. Brook trout are going after small bead head nymphs, such as pheasant tail and prince patterns. Size 16 and 18 caddis flys are also working. Jensen said the trout are starting to show interest in grasshopper flys and they should work better in the next couple weeks. The Rush River is low and clear and small grasshopper flys (size 18 and 20) with midge patterns work best. Fishing on the Rush River has been good low and clear. Brook, brown and rainbow trout are all biting in the Rush River. The best times of day are from first light until 8 a.m. and dusk.

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