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Where to Go Fishing in Minnesota This Week

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Fishing at sunset / Brady Laudon and VisitBemidji.com

Weekly Fishing Update - August 4, 2022

Bass action remains excellent throughout the state, and many anglers continue to take walleye.

Water temperatures have cooled slightly so watch for changes over the next few weeks. For now, stay on the move until you locate fish. Anglers have found that they are more successful when using an aggressive approach.

Before You Head Out

Before dropping a line, be sure to learn and abide by Minnesota's rules, regulations and other helpful information for fishing.

Due to the current COVID-19 situation, please visit Explore Minnesota's COVID-19 Information page before traveling.

Quick links

Northeast  |  Northwest  |  Central  |  Minneapolis-St. Paul  |  Southern

River fly fishing near Grand Marais

River fly fishing near Grand Marais / Davin Brandt 

Fishing Conditions in Northeast Minnesota

International Falls, Rainy Lake and the Rainy River

According to Voyageurs National Park Staff,  water levels had receded enough to lift the No-Wake restriction on Rainy Lake within the park on Friday, July 29. As a precaution and courtesy, park staff encouraged all boaters to reduce their wake when traveling near any docks or infrastructure to minimize further challenges related to flood recovery. Areas of Rainy Lake outside of the park, within Koochiching County, continued to have No-Wake restrictions effective through August 5. With lower water levels, the placement of all hazard markers throughout the Rainy Lake basin of the park had been completed.  

Contact the International Falls, Rainy and Ranier Visitors Bureau for more information.

Ely Area Lakes and Rivers

Walleye are scattered but anglers covering water are taking fish when trolling deep-diving shad raps and tail dancers along the weedlines, large flats, and over deep water during evening hours. Some anglers continue to have success pulling spinner rigs tipped with leeches or crawlers in and around scattered cabbage beds in 6-9 feet of water. Gold, pink and silver have been popular colors.

Smallmouth bass are very active with good numbers of 20-plus inch fish reported. Whopper ploppers are very effective early in the morning and on cloudy days with enough wind to create a chop on the water. Shorelines with large flats, downed trees and scattered boulders have been areas to target. Spinnerbaits and soft plastics will produce fish when the topwater bite isn’t strong. 

The peak crappie bite is just about here with good crappie reports coming from anglers working the weedlines with beetle spins and twisters. The most productive times are in the evening, but anglers have been reporting fish throughout the day. 

Contact the Ely Chamber of Commerce for more information.

Duluth - Lake Superior, St. Louis River and Inland Waters

Lake Superior anglers are catching lake trout and a few king salmon when long-lining lead or using riggers. Bright colors continue to be best and it pays to load up lures with meat for scent. The Walleye action is picking up. Trolling stickbaits behind off-shore planer boards is best, but boards are not always needed.  

The St. Louis River has been quiet as many anglers wait for the late summer/fall walleye fishing to heat up. Some walleye are being caught by those concentrating on wind-driven areas over 8-10 foot flats. Trolling stickbaits remains best, especially early and late in the day. Catfish action has been strong. Smallmouth bass are active in the upper sections of the river, responding to fan-casted spinner baits and boot-tail plastics.  

The inland waters are giving up multiple species to anglers using live bait. Minnows are turning some fish, but leeches and worms have been better, especially during early morning and late evening hours. The best bites are occurring at the 16-22 foot transitions and mid-lake reefs. On really hot days, also try the wind-driven shorelines. Bass anglers have been doing well when casting thick-bodied crankbaits at the structure near shore. Anything causing shade is a good spot to target. Rock bass, sunfish, and a few perch and crappies have been active at the 10-foot vegetation. Live bait under a float and plastics on 1/16-ounce jigs are hard to beat.  

Contact Visit Duluth for more information. 

Grand Rapids

Fishing has been good for multiple species on area lakes and this bite should continue into the fall. Water temperatures have cooled slightly so watch for changes over the next few weeks. Bluegills and sunfish have been very active at the edges of the weeds, especially in the smaller lakes and in the bays of larger lakes. Small jigs with a piece of crawler, a waxworm or small leech will trigger bites. Some of the best panfish lakes in the Grand Rapids area are Big Rice, Little Splithand and Little Turtle, as well as Big Bass Lake in Cohasset, Ranier Lake in Marcell, and Myers Bay on Pokegama Lake.   

The Grand Rapids area offers some of the best largemouth and smallmouth bass fishing in the state, witnessed by the many national bass tournaments held here. For largemouth bass, use chatter baits, topwater lures, crankbaits or jigs with plastics. Ned rigs work wonders for smallmouth and largemouth bass! Some of the most noteworthy largemouth lakes are Pokegama, Big Rice, Loon, Reilly, Long, Wabana and Spider, as well as Trout Lake in Coleraine. There are numerous small lakes right in the city of Grand Rapids that offer exceptional bass fishing for kayak anglers.  

Contact Visit Grand Rapids for more information.

Nice catfish caught by a boy fishing the Red River / Brad Durick-Fargo Moorhead CVB

Nice catfish caught by a boy fishing the Red River / Brad Durick-Fargo Moorhead CVB

Fishing Conditions in Northwest Minnesota

Baudette/Warroad - Lake of the Woods & the Rainy River

Summer walleye fishing remains excellent with limits of walleye and sauger being taken from Lake of the Woods. Nice pods of eating-size walleye can be found in 12-20 feet of water in front of Pine Island, and near the Lighthouse and Morris Point gaps. Successful anglers are using spinnerbaits or crankbaits. The deep mud in 28-34 feet of water is also holding good numbers of walleye. For the most action at the mud, jig a frozen shiner or fathead minnow, drift a spinner and crawler, or troll a crankbait.   

Sturgeon anglers are reporting good numbers of fish on the Rainy River. A 4-ounce weight combined with a sturgeon rig loaded with crawlers has been the best presentation. Large northern pike are feeding in the bays and feeder rivers. Smallmouth bass are active at the rocks, current breaks, bays and bridges.

Walleye fishing has been great at the Northwest Angle, especially at the reefs, points and neck-down areas with moving water. Jigging and pulling spinners have worked best. Good numbers of walleye can also be found on the mud flats. Muskie anglers continue to have success when casting at the shoreline structure. 

Plan ahead for the 31st Annual North American Sturgeon Championship held at Nelson’s Park in Birchdale on Saturday, Aug. 20! Be sure to bring the kids along for the 8th Annual North American Youth Sturgeon Championship.

Contact Lake of the Woods Tourism Bureau for more information. 

Moorhead - Red River

All ramps on the Red River are now open and usable. Fishing has shifted to a full-on summer pattern as catfish spread out. Most catfish are coming from the holes; weather and other conditions will determine if the fish are in holes near fast or slow waters. The best baits can change a couple times each day. Frogs have been productive during morning hours with cut suckers most effective during afternoon hours most recently. Goldeyes will also produce some days. Remember that most spots will only produce a fish or two so don’t spend too much time in one location, especially if you have caught a couple of fish.

Contact the Fargo-Moorhead Convention & Visitors Bureau for more information. 

Bemidji Area Lakes

The bass bite has been phenomenal in Bemidji area lakes! Slinging plastic frogs into the lily pads and shallow weeds offers lots of fast action; during the day, plastic worms, tube jigs, and jig worms have been best. Walleye anglers continue to take some fish when using live bait rigs or spinner rigs with leeches or crawlers. Look to Bemidji, Blackduck, and the Cass Lake chain for the most fish. Crappies and bluegills continue to bite at the deep weed edges. The best presentations are small jigs and plastics, and crappie minnows or small leeches under a slip bobber.

Learn more at the Bemidji Area Lakes fishing video!

Contact Visit Bemidji for more information.

Park Rapids Area Lakes

Water temperatures are declining slightly, with current water temperatures at roughly 73-degrees. Walleye action has been good but anglers will want to move a bit faster to catch fish. Try trolling crankbaits and spinner rigs in depths of 22-28 feet for the most action. The jig and rap bite has also been good. Crappie anglers are having success at the deeper weedlines in 15-23 feet of water. Sunfish are also biting well at the weed edges in depths of 12-25 feet. Bass anglers using topwater lures report a great smallmouth bass bite. Muskie and northern pike anglers are taking some very nice fish when trolling crankbaits over deep drop-offs.

Contact the Park Rapids Lakes Area for more information.

Detroit Lakes Area Lakes

Water temperatures in the Detroit Lakes area remain in the mid to high 70s. Young of the year perch and sunfish are moving shallow, and many of the predator fish are following right behind. For walleye, continue to work the deeper weed edges in depths of 18-30 feet, but also check the weeds in 9-16 feet of water where most of the young fish are holding. Minnows, leeches and crawlers are all turning fish. Pulling spinners and crankbaits are helpful to cover water and locate scattered fish. Largemouth bass are relating to the weed beds and shallow targets such as docks. Smallmouth bass are active at the transition areas from rock or gravel to hard sand bottom. Some crappies can be found at the cabbage beds or suspended over deep water. Sunfish are very active at the weeds. Northern pike are aggressive, chasing baits along the deeper weed edges.

Contact the Detroit Lakes Regional Chamber of Commerce for more information.

Kayak fishing on the Mississippi River near St. Cloud

Kayak fishing on the Mississippi River / St. Cloud CW Outfitters

Fishing Conditions in Central Minnesota

Otter Tail Lake Country Area Lakes

Bass are active at the shallow cover and deep weedlines. Anglers are having the most success using jigs, spinnerbaits and crankbaits. Walleye are responding to crankbaits, jigs and bottom bouncers. Stay on the move until you locate fish. Crappie anglers are pulling fish from the weed beds small jigs and plastics. Muskie are being caught but anglers are asked to leave them alone since they are very vulnerable when temperatures are above 75 degrees.

Contact Otter Tail Lakes Country Association for more information.

Alexandria Area Lakes

Many walleye anglers continue to pull fish from the edges of the underwater humps and sunken islands in deeper water.  At dusk, anglers can find fish on the shallower tops of the humps and islands. Glide baits and live bait rigs with heavier sinkers work well. Anglers fishing the shallower cabbage and coontail weeds along the edge of the flats are taking fish when using jigs with plastics and slip bobber rigs with leeches. 

Crappies, bluegills and bass are roaming the weedlines so it is best to cover water to locate schools of active fish. Bass anglers are doing well when tossing crankbaits to locate fish then switching to ned rigs to catch them. Panfish continue to be caught when using jigs and small plastics along the weedlines.

Contact Explore Alexandria Tourism for more information.

Brainerd Area Lakes

Anglers are taking walleye at the weeds on sandy flats, steep weedlines, and the tops or edges of the mid-lake humps. Slip bobbers with leeches and jigs with minnows have been the most productive. At the hard or sandy bottom areas, try rigs with live or plastic nightcrawlers, jigging raps or shiver minnows to trigger bites. During the day, depths of 26-30 feet of water are best; during low light, windy and overcast periods, work depths of 18-24 feet. Some anglers are taking fish after dark when long-lining or trolling shallow-running crankbaits through 5-12 feet of water.

Panfish continue to roam the shallows, with most coming from weed flats and weedlines. Multiple species are reacting to spinner rigs with soft plastics and jigs with soft plastics, leeches, minnows or worms worked in 6-15 feet of water. Casting and jigging small jigs tipped with the tail half of a mister twister have turned crappies and rainbow trout. Largemouth bass have been active at the weedy flats and weedlines in 6-15 feet of water, and at the deep weeds in 16-plus feet of water. For the most action, use ned rigs, drop-shots and top topwater frogs at the thick weeds. Rainbow trout and tullibees have been active in the mine pit lakes near Crosby and Ironton. Successful anglers are trolling depths of 20-40 feet during the day, and working depths of 10-15 feet on overcast days. The most effective presentations have been slip bobbers and crawlers, tungsten jigs and soft plastics, and jigged rap-style lures.

Contact Visit Brainerd for more information.

Isle/Onamia - Lake Mille Lacs

On Lake Mille Lacs, anglers are doing well when targeting fish at the transition areas where hard bottom and soft bottom meet in 22-28 feet of water. The edges of the mud flats are also producing walleye.  A slip bobber and leech will turn the most walleye.  For smallmouth bass, slide on top of the rock reefs in 8-16 feet of water or work the edges in 16-22 feet of water. 

The Lake Mille Lacs Take a Vet Fishing Weekend is Saturday and Sunday, August 13-14. If you own a fishing boat and would like to take a veteran fishing, visit takeavetfishing.org/events and sign up as a guide!

The DNR reminds Lake Mille Lacs anglers that the walleye season is catch-and-release through the end of summer. The one-fish walleye limit is scheduled to resume Thursday, Sept. 1, running through Wednesday, Nov. 30. 

Contact the Mille Lacs Area Tourism Council for more information.

Willmar Area Lakes

Green Lake is giving up walleye in 20-35 feet of water during early morning and evening hours, with sunfish active throughout the day in depths of 4-10 feet. Depths of 6-15 feet of water on Eagle and Diamond lakes have been good for walleye and bass. Walleye anglers are finding the most fish when using spinner rigs and live bait rigs with leeches or crawlers, although a few are coming in on jigs and minnows. Jigs and plastics are working well for crappies. For the most fish, hit the weedlines in 6-15 feet of water, especially on Florida and Calhoun lakes. Northern pike anglers are doing well when using crankbaits on Long, Florida, Eagle and Big Kandiyohi lakes.

Contact the Willmar Lakes Area Convention & Visitors Bureau for more information.

Family fishing at William OBrien State Park Marine on St. Croix_MN DNR.jpg

Family fishing at William O'Brien State Park in Marine on St. Croix / MN DNR 

Fishing Conditions in the Minneapolis-St. Paul Area

Stillwater - St. Croix & Mississippi rivers

Water levels on the St. Croix River are now at a normal range. Other than a minor algae bloom, the river is mostly clean of debris. The golden root beer color offers about 4 feet of clarity with water temperatures at roughly 75 degrees. Sheepshead, walleye, channel cats and crappies are providing anglers with lots of fun fishing action. 

Contact Discover Stillwater for more information. 

Twin Cities Trout Unlimited

The Twin Cities Chapter of Minnesota Trout Unlimited (TCTU) will offer a Learn to Fly Cast Session on Saturday, Aug. 13 from 9-10:30 a.m. The lesson is for beginners and teaches the fundamentals of fly casting. All equipment is supplied by Twin Cities Trout Unlimited. Held on the Grace Church grounds in Eden Prairie. Register soon as the class is limited to 10 students and will quickly.  

To register for August 13th, click here

For further information contact Gary Wittrock at [email protected].

Contact TCTU for more information. 

Three Rivers Park District

Some Three Rivers Park District parks offer watercraft rental for those that want to be on the water but not in the water! There are a variety of watercraft rentals available. Reservations are available online up to seven days in advance. Find out more & make a reservation.   

Contact the Three Rivers Park District for more information.

Minnesota DNR 

Experience the fun of casting into the water and the excitement of a tug on the line! The DNR offers hands-on programs to teach all of the basics, from fish identification to casting allowing you and your family to begin a lifetime of memories on Minnesota’s lakes and streams. Learn more at I Can Fish!  

Anglers that want to fish but don't have a boat should check out a great instructional video by the DNR on how to catch fish from shore.

Contact the Minnesota DNR for more information. 

Fly fishing in a southeast Minnesota stream

Fly fishing in a southeast Minnesota stream / Wayne Bartz

Fishing Conditions in Southern Minnesota

Lake City - Mississippi River & Lake Pepin

The bite at Pool #4 on the Mississippi River remains strong. Walleye and sauger are active in 7-20 feet of water on the rocky points. Successful anglers are using bladed harnesses tipped with crawlers, minnows or leeches. Smallmouth bass are aggressive at the wing dams, and largemouth bass are coming from the weedy areas. For good numbers of crappies and bluegills, work live and artificial baits at the structure in depths of 5-10 feet. The perch bite has been good for those using crawlers in the backwaters between Wabasha and Alma.  

Contact the Lake City Chamber of Commerce for more information.  

Preston/Lanesboro - Southeast Minnesota trout streams

As of Aug. 1, the Stream Flow Report showed high water levels and flows for many southeastern Minnesota streams and rivers. The remainder of streams and rivers had normal flows. 

Anglers fishing area streams should check out the 9-Hole Fishing Course in Preston. Learn more

Trout anglers will want to pick up the Trout Angling Opportunities booklet at Whitewater State Park, Forestville State Park and Beaver Creek Valley State Park. Also, the DNR offers a  StreamFinder Tool to help anglers locate nearby streams and rivers. Additional information is available at Trout Fishing in Minnesota.

Contact the City of Preston for more information. 

Ortonville - Big Stone Lake

As of July 15, a good multi-species bite continued on Big Stone Lake. Trolling with spinners, deep-diving crankbaits and crawlers turned northern pike, walleye, perch and bluegills. The perch responded especially well to jigging spikes and minnows in 12-14 feet of water.  Walleye anglers had the most success trolling in the middle of the lake and at some of the rock piles in 6-9 feet of water.

Contact Big Stone Lake Area Chamber for more information.

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