Large sucker minnows are producing muskies during the day on Lake Miltona and Lobster Lake. Minnows also have been the ticket for walleyes on Miltona in 30 to 50 feet. Deer registrations are comparable to last season, but there seems to be more bucks being harvested. Duck-hunting and pheasant-hunting reports have been limited.
A few walleyes are coming off Clearwater Lake and Lake Sylvia in 15 to 20 feet. Minnows are working best, with some fish being taken on crankbaits in shallow water. Deer registrations here are about the same as last year for the first weekend at about 100 deer.
Walleyes are being caught on minnows in 21 to 26 feet on Otter Tail Lake, West Battle Lake, and Eagle Lake during the day. Northern pike remain active in 14 to 20 feet on West Battle, Otter Tail, and Clitherall Lake. Sunfish are on the bite in eight to 15 feet on lakes such as Eagle, Elbow, Blanche, Bass, and Stalker. Large sucker minnows under bobbers are turning muskies in 22 feet on West Battle. Deer registrations through the first weekend were comparable to last year.
Fishing reports have been nearly nonexistent since the deer season opened. A few anglers have been on Lake Bemidji and Lake Plantagenet for walleyes and experienced little to no success. Opening weekend of the deer season was "average," based on hunter reports and registrations, which were down slightly from last year.
Opening weekend deer registrations were down from last year, but there were quite a few big bucks taken. Reports from hunters indicated fewer deer in the woods. Duck and grouse hunters seem to be doing well, but fishing action has been limited.
Walleyes are hitting redtails on Gull Lake and North Long Lake in 14 to 40 feet. These fish are scattered along the sharp breaks. Crappies are being found over 12 to 16 feet on Lake Margaret. You'll find northern pike mixed in with the walleyes on North Long.
Walleyes are hitting Rapalas or minnows in two to eight feet in the channels of Green Lake and Chisago Lake. Bass action has been excellent on most lakes, with the majority of fish coming off the shorelines. Deer registrations were at about 250 from opening day, which is the same as last year. Duck hunters are doing well, with good reports coming off Sunrise Lake for mallards and divers.
Deer hunting has been the main priority this week. As of early this week, 67 bucks and 37 does had been registered. Duck hunters are noticing more birds in the area, but there haven't been many anglers fishing.
Muskie anglers continue to catch fish on big minnows in shallow water on Lake Shamineau and Lake Alexander. Duck and grouse hunting reports have been limited, and the deer opener went well for some groups and poorly for others.
Deer-hunting reports are favorable, as most groups saw and harvested a fair number of deer. By most accounts, opening weekend was just as good as last season. Walleyes remain active in 20 to 30 feet on Big Detroit Lake, Big Cormorant Lake, and Pelican Lake. CowGirls and large minnows are producing muskies on Big Detroit and Pelican.
Anglers continue to use sucker minnows for muskies on Island Lake and the St. Louis River. Walleyes remain active at Fish Lake in less than 10 feet. More than 500 deer have been registered here since opening day of the gun season, which was up from last year.
The only fishing reports worth noting are coming off the Rum River where walleyes and smallmouth bass remain active. Duck and pheasant hunting has been poor, and deer registrations are down from last year. Most hunters blame the corn, which is just starting to be harvested.
Deer registrations were down slightly from last year's opening weekend. In all, 243 have been brought here. Grouse and duck hunting reports have been limited. Fishing action has been nonexistent.
Anglers fishing from shore on Big Tuttle Lake are catching walleyes on minnows or Twister Tails and jigs. On South Silver Lake, panfish continue to bite, and the crappie bite remains decent on Lake Sissiton and Budd Lake. The deer opener went well despite a lot of corn. Over 100 deer were registered, which is about the same compared to past years. Duck numbers are low.
Look to the shorelines of Cannon Lake with minnows for perch. Minnows also are working best on Lake Mazaska in 25 feet for crappies and northern pike. There have been some decent deer-hunting reports, but standing corn is limiting hunter success.
Grand Marais area
The deer season has gone well, with more than 160 deer registered by gun hunters as of Tuesday morning. Overall, hunter reports have been encouraging despite the warm weather. A lot of deer over 200 pounds have been brought in, highlighted by a 231-pound buck. Although there aren't many anglers out, those fishing are catching walleyes and perch on Pike Lake in 30 feet and walleyes on Seagull Lake in 25 to 30 feet.
There are still quite a few people fishing, but the walleye bite has been slow. More than 450 deer were registered from opening weekend, but that was down by about 200 deer from last year's opener. Part of that can be attributed to fewer antlerless permits.
A jig and minnow worked on the reef edges in 30 to 38 feet has produced walleyes. Trolling crankbaits along the shorelines has produced walleyes and northern pike in 18 to 22 feet. Better spots this week have been Pine Island, Chase Island, Lost Bay, and Ash River. This week provided one of the best in recent memory for grouse hunters. The deer season has gone well.
Lake Mille Lacs
East - A few anglers continue to fish walleyes, but the bite has been slow. Approximately 170 deer have been registered, which is about the same as last year, with 70 percent of them being bucks.
West - There isn't a lot to report from anglers. A handful of people are pulling crankbaits along the shorelines and points for walleyes, but the bite has been limited. Muskie and northern pike action also is slow.
Lake Minnetonka area
Angling pressure has been minimal with a few "diehards" still using minnows for walleyes in the channels of Lake Minnetonka. A few bass anglers also continue to work the shoreline breaks for bass. Deer-hunting reports have been mixed, but most hunters are seeing fewer deer than recent seasons.
Fishing reports have been nonexistent due to the lack of anglers. It will remain that way until after the deer season or walkable ice forms on the lake. Duck and grouse hunting reports also have been minimal, mainly because most people are chasing deer.
Lake of the Woods
Walleye action is good in 15 feet with jigs and minnows near Pine Island, Morris Point, and the Lighthouse Gap. A few more walleyes are being taken in the Rainy River, but no huge numbers have been reported. The deer season is going well, but many hunters are not seeing the number of deer as past years.
Most reports indicated a pretty decent start to the firearms deer season, and several big bucks were taken in the area. The rut seemed to be in high gear. Grouse hunters continue to experience one of their best seasons in recent memory. On the lake, walleyes remain deep and active, with minnows producing the most fish.
Walleye and muskie reports have been poor, but perch continue to hit in the Hardwoods area in six to 10 feet. Duck numbers have increased on the main lake, and grouse hunting remains excellent. Opening weekend of the firearms gun season went well. Many hunters said they were pleasantly surprised by the number of deer they saw.
The Blue Earth and Minnesota rivers continue to produce walleyes on minnows. Minnows and jigs also have triggered walleyes on Lake Elysian in less than six feet. Look to Lake Washington with jigging spoons for walleyes in 10 to 14 feet. Deer hunting reports were encouraging, but there's no doubt it could have been better if not for standing corn.
Northeast - Walleyes and sauger are hitting minnows on the St. Croix River in 30 to 35 feet. Muskies remain active, hitting minnows or BullDawgs on White Bear Lake and Forest Lake. The deer season started slowly with about 50 deer registered at Blue Ribbon during opening weekend, which was down from last year.
West - Walleyes are hitting minnows and jigs in 20 feet during the day and up shallow at night on Lake Waconia. Overall, deer registrations are down, but the number of quality bucks appeared up from last year. Pheasant hunting has improved in recent days as the corn is starting to be removed.
The deer season started decently, but registrations are down slightly from last year at about 90 deer. There seems to be a lot of deer moving early and late in the day. Goose numbers remain high, ducks are limited, and pheasant hunting hasn't improved - but the corn is coming out. The Highway 75 dam and the dam in Ortonville on the Minnesota River are kicking out walleyes. The Ortonville end of Big Stone Lake is kicking out perch in five feet.
Park Rapids area
Look to Long Lake and Fish Hook Lake with minnows for walleyes in 16 to 28 feet. Big Mantrap Lake continues to produce a few muskies on crankbaits or large minnows. Deer hunters offered some good reports and some that weren't so good. As of Tuesday morning, registrations were at 60 deer, which is down slightly from last year.
Walleyes continue to be found in Sand Bay and the American Narrows over 20 to 35 feet, but angling pressure has been minimal. Deer-hunting reports have varied, with some groups doing well and others seeing fewer deer than expected. Grouse hunting also remains an option, as good numbers of birds are being found.
Red Wing area
Deer hunting has been very good, registrations are up from last season, and the number of big bucks harvested has been impressive. Fishing also is going well with good sauger and walleye action reported below the dam on the Mississippi River in 16 to 20 feet. Panfish anglers are doing very well in the backwaters, as well.
St. Cloud/Eden Valley area
Deer registrations are slightly up from last year, and the number of bucks is definitely up from last season, including several big bucks. Look for walleyes in 20 to 25 feet during the day on Lake Koronis and Rice Lake; most are hitting minnows. At night, crankbaits are working best in shallower water on these lakes.
Sauk Centre area
There have been a lot of people fishing, given the nice weather, but reports have been minimal. Walleyes remain the most targeted species, and minnows are the preferred bait on area lakes. Hunters registered between 50 and 60 deer during opening weekend, which was down quite a bit from last year.
Fishing action has been minimal with just a few anglers trying their luck on Lake Minnewaska for walleyes. Most reports have not been encouraging. The deer opener went OK considering all the corn that remains in the fields. There were a surprising number of deer taken, especially on opening day.
A few walleyes and perch are being taken on minnows on Lake Tetonka in 10 to 15 feet. Panfish and bass reports have been minimal. Deer registrations are ahead of last year. Many hunters commented that they saw a lot of deer, despite acres of standing corn.
The deer season started well with registrations about the same as last year for opening weekend. Saturday was especially good, with Sunday and Monday producing fewer deer, but many hunters did comment that the rut was on. Fishing reports have been limited, but Green Lake, Ringo Lake, and Eagle Lake are kicking out a few walleyes. Shore anglers on Willmar/Foot Lake are catching panfish.
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