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Isle/Onamia - Lake Mille Lacs

Overall ice thickness on Lake Mille Lacs remains largely unchanged despite the warm temperatures last weekend. Other than the pressure breaks flexing (which is common when there are extreme temperature changes), much of the main lake ice still measures a foot or more, with 15-plus inches of ice in the bays. Areas you must avoid are the emergent weeds, areas near an inlet where run-off water spills into the lake, pressure breaks, and areas where current runs near islands, shallow reefs and structure. For northern pike, stick to the traditional early season areas such as Cove, Wahkon, Isle, Vineland, Wigwam, and the north-end break in 7-12 feet of water. Live sucker decoys have out-produced artificials. Much of the walleye action has been in depths of 22-28 feet over the deep rock and also on the mud flats. Jigging spoons and jigging rapalas tipped with a piece of a minnow will work best on your jig line, while a shiner on a glow teardrop is best under a bobber or tip-up. More private houses and rentals are being pulled out each day. 888 -350-2692; www.millelacs.com

Updated Dec, 19, 2014


Walker - Leech Lake

A variety of species, including some nice walleyes, are being pulled from Leech Lake. Walker Bay has offered a good bite during evening hours, especially from 4-6 p.m. The ice has formed nicely. The Trappers Landing area now has 12–14.5 inches of ice. Walker Bay ice measure 7-9 inches, and the Tenth Crow Wing Lake has from 10-11 inches of ice. A road out of Trappers Landing is open to big wheel houses and smaller vehicles, but anglers must check ice often when heading out. When exploring new fishing locations, test ice thickness by chiseling or drilling test holes. Follow the guidelines provided in the MN DNR “Recommended Minimum Ice Thickness” brochure. 800-833-1118; www.leech-lake.com

Updated Dec, 12, 2014


Brainerd Lakes Area

Ice has been forming rapidly on lakes throughout the area, but ice thickness varies greatly, ranging from 5-12 inches. Please remember that early ice can change hourly so always use extra caution, travel with a buddy, and check ice often on the way out and back. Walleyes have been biting at the steeper breaks with deep water access, with the most active feeding times taking place during early morning hours and towards sunset. Crappies and sunnies have been hanging on the deeper weed flats next to main lake basins. Most of the crappies are being taken during low light hours and at night. Drill lots of holes, and move often until you find a school of fish. 800-450-2838; www.explorebrainerdlakes.com

Isle/Onamia - Lake Mille Lacs

Lake Mille Lacs has ice as far as the eye can see! Even satellite views show ice all the way across the lake. Spear houses have landed in Wahkon, Isle and Cove Bays with many beginning to dot the perimeter of the lake. So far the activity has been concentrated within the first half-mile or so. For the first time in 30 years, Mille Lacs is open to dark house spearing. The bite is always better before trucks and plows hit the ice. Walleye activity has been limited mainly by access to "good walleye waters." As the ice thickens, more anglers will be chasing walleye. Depths of 15-18 feet should be best. Perch anglers are having success along the south end of the lake in 8-10 feet of water. Please be sure to check ice thickness often, especially on new ice! 888-350-2692; www.millelacs.com

Updated Dec, 5, 2014


Brainerd Lakes Area

Walleyes have been easy to locate on many area lakes. To get them to bite, hit 22 feet of water during morning hours. Bass have started to move into the shallows on many lakes. The larger northern pike have dropped deep. Crappies are starting to relate to steeper breaks in the deeper waters. 800-450-2838; www.explorebrainerdlakes.com

Updated Sep, 19, 2014


Isle/Onamia - Lake Mille Lacs

The full moon didn't seem to help or hurt fishing earlier this week. The bite stayed and continues to stay similar to what it's been over the past several weeks -- a decent walleye bite at first and last light, with a few muskie and northern pike being picked off during the day. Stick to leeches and slip bobbers for the most walleye action. 888 -350-2692; www.millelacs.com

Updated Sep, 12, 2014


Isle/Onamia - Lake Mille Lacs

As of late last week, anglers were taking walleye on leeches under slip bobbers during evening hours. The deeper waters were producing a bit better than the shallows. Some walleye were being taken during midday hours, but they were scattered. For the most daytime action, try trolling smaller hard baits on a 3-way rig or on lead core. The top colors have been perch and shiner minnow. Northern action pike has been best for anglers using sucker rigs in 8-12 feet of water along the weedlines. Wahkon and Vineland have each kicked out some very nice fish. 888 -350-2692; www.millelacs.com
Willmar Lakes Area

Updated Sep, 8, 2014


Isle/Onamia - Lake Mille Lacs

As of late last week, the bite on Mille Lacs was typical of mid-August, and very scattered. A few fish were being taken during the day on slip bobber and leech combinations. The rock reefs (3-mile, Hawkbill, 1 1/4 mile) were producing fish on windy days in 12-18 feet of water. The edges of the flats also produced a few fish. First and last light have been best for numbers. The smallmouth bass bite slowed a bit. Anglers having the most success were using dark-colored and slow-falling tubes or flukes in 7-14 feet of water adjacent to very large rocks. 888 -350-2692; www.millelacs.com
Willmar Lakes Area

Updated Aug, 29, 2014


Brainerd Lakes Area

Gull Lake is giving up the majority of walleyes this week, and the last few days have been fantastic for both size and numbers. The best locations are just outside of the weeds in depths of 13-14 feet. Anglers having the most success are using a creek chub on a lindy rig; the best snell length is two feet long with a #2 hook. The Whitefish Chain is still producing a few walleyes, but the bite has slowed considerably. The bass bite has been good on most area lakes, especially at the deep water weed edges. Use crankbaits in areas where the cabbage weeds meet the sand grass. Sunnies are coming from 14-16 feet of water. 800-450-2838; www.explorebrainerdlakes.com

Walker - Leech Lake

The last couple of weeks have been good to Leech Lake walleye anglers! While fish have been deeper, they are still relating to shoreline structure such as underwater points and bars. Depending on wind and cloud cover, the best depths range from 14-30 feet. If possible, mark a school, make a pass through, pick off the aggressive ones and then move on to the next school. Additionally, these schools of fish will slide around on individual pieces of structure as you are working them so stay mobile. The best presentation is now a jigging rapala, clearly out-fishing live bait, and it is worth the effort. Experiment with size and color; despite this being a reaction bite, the pattern seems to make a difference. As fall approaches, the bite will continue to improve, and the jig and minnow bite will resurrect itself very soon! 800-833-1118; www.leech-lake.com

Updated Aug, 22, 2014


Brainerd Lakes Area

The best walleye bite has been on Round, North Long, and Whitefish lakes. Anglers report lots of smaller walleyes some days, and some nice-sized fish on other days. The majority of quality walleyes are coming from 15-21 feet of water on fireball jigs and fathead minnows worked close to the weed edges. The mid-lake humps and islands are holding fish, along with some shoreline points, turns, and breaklines. Use the wind when you can, especially when it's consistently blowing. Fish have been mixed together, with bass, northern pike, walleyes, sunfish and crappies often in the same weed beds. Look for the most bass, pike and walleyes at the deep weedlines, and the crappies and sunnies on top of the weeds. Panfish are responding best to light bobber setups. 800-450-2838; www.explorebrainerdlakes.com

Isle/Onamia - Lake Mille Lacs

Most of the anglers fishing Lake Mille Lacs this week are either pursuing muskies and northern pike, or bobber fishing for walleyes during evening hours. The bite remains sporadic, with a fair number of smaller walleyes being taken. For the most walleyes, stick to leeches under a bobber, or deep-water trolling using crayfish and perch-colored patterns. Smallmouth bass action remains good in 8-15 feet of water. For the most action, use a leech and slip bobber, or a mid-sized plastic such as a fluke or tube. 888 -350-2692; www.millelacs.com

Updated Aug, 15, 2014


Brainerd Lakes Area

Overall, fishing remains very good. Gull, Round, and the Whitefish Chain of Lakes continue to put out nice walleyes at mid-lake locations, as well as along the windblown weedlines and out on the reefs and humps. While 15-21 foot depths have been the most consistent, some fish can be found even deeper. For the most action, use a 1/8-ounce fireball jig tipped with a fathead minnow, or a lindy rig and redtail. Stay on the move until you locate fish, and remember to fish the wind. There has been an exceptional number of large walleyes this year, with many measuring over 29-inches. There has been an increase in northern pike activity, and the bass bite remains great on most area lakes. For the bass, use rubber worms over the deep weed edges. 800-450-2838; www.explorebrainerdlakes.com

Isle/Onamia - Lake Mille Lacs

Walleye activity has been best from first light until around 10 a.m. Smallmouth bass are being pulled from depths down to 25 feet. A few keeper-sized perch are also being taken. Leeches are the top producers, followed by crawlers and fatheads. The northern pike bite has been best in depths of 9-12 feet in the weeds, For the most action, use sucker minnows; rattle crankbaits have also turned some fish. 888 -350-2692; www.millelacs.com

Updated Jul, 31, 2014


Brainerd Lakes Area

The water temperatures have finally hit the magical 75-degree mark on Gull Lake, and most of the other larger area lakes are not far behind. The next two weeks should be some of the best walleye fishing of the summer, and this usually occurs in mid-June! The walleye bite has been good, with both numbers and size consistency reported. The largest walleye caught last week was a 32.25-inch fish which was released on the Whitefish Chain. Key locations have been the deep water humps which top out at 18 feet of water. The best presentation for these trophy-size fish has been a lindy rig and large redtail chub. Large northern pike have started to show up at the deeper weed edges, and this action should only improve in the weeks to come. For the most action, use large pike minnows. Bass fishing has been fair, with anglers not seeing the numbers normally seen this time of year. Hopefully the warmer water temperatures will jumpstart the bite. The best sunfish action has been in 12 feet of water. 800-450-2838; www.explorebrainerdlakes.com

Isle/Onamia - Lake Mille Lacs

Night fishing on Lake Mille Lacs Lake re-opened Monday, July 21 at 10 p.m., and launches have resumed nighttime operation! Walleye anglers should try trolling lead core and small hard baits through deep water adjacent to the gravel bars and in between the mudflats! This season is very different from anything seen in recent history. 888 -350-2692; www.millelacs.com

Updated Jul, 24, 2014


Brainerd Lakes Area

The walleye bite remains good in the Brainerd Lakes area, with nice numbers coming from Gull, Whitefish and North Long lakes. The weed edges in 14-19 feet of water have been giving up the most fish, especially during morning and evening hours. A jig and fathead combination seems to produce more fish, but expect to do some sorting to get to the keepers. A rig with a leech or redtail is also working well. Walleye anglers will do best by staying on the move until graphing fish. Bass are hitting rubber worms along the deep weed edges. Northern pike have become very aggressive at the weed edges, with several pike attacking hooked walleyes on their way to the boat! 800-450-2838; www.explorebrainerdlakes.com

Walker - Leech Lake

Conditions were tough last week, but Leech Lake anglers had success when working many locations on the main lake, as well as the humps in Walker Bay. The key was changing strategies and trying different types of rigging presentations. Walker Bay had the most action, with many anglers fishing the humps and points. The Meadows and the Hardwoods on the west side of the lake, along with areas around Pelican Island on the east side were also producing nice fish. While the evening bite has slowed a bit, trolling with rigs and crankbaits still produced some fish. The best tackle combination was a lindy rig with an 8-foot leader baited with a leech or crawler. Many anglers had success by covering a lot of lake using a bottom bouncer spinner rig with a crawler. Leech Lake had its first AIM PRO Walleye Tournament last weekend. These are “no kill” tournaments where anglers catch, measure, take a picture and then release the fish to their original habitat. Almost 60 professional anglers fished Leech Lake each day. With a cool start this week and average temperatures by mid-week, fishing should pick up nicely. Remember, that the Leech Lake area will be busy with this weekend’s Moondance Jam-- make reservations today. 800-833-1118; www.leech-lake.com

Isle/Onamia - Lake Mille Lacs

Night fishing on Lake Mille Lacs Lake re-opens Monday, July 21 at 10 p.m., according to the Minnesota Department of Natural Resources. Evening and nighttime launches will be able to resume nighttime operation. In addition to nighttime walleye fishing, anglers will also be able to bow fish at night. As of late last week, anglers found that there wasn't a clear "best approach," although there were reports of a decent evening bobber bite. This may be time to try all techniques in order to find what works best. One option to consider is trolling lead core and small hard baits through deep water adjacent to the gravel bars and in between the mudflats—this might just do the trick! This season is very different from anything seen in recent history. 888 -350-2692; www.millelacs.com

Updated Jul, 18, 2014


Walker - Leech Lake

The bite on Leech Lake has been sporadic now that the bug hatch is in high gear from the west to the east end of the lake. Water temperatures have risen into the low 70s, and the fish are spread out. On the main lake, the bite has been tough during the day, with fish generally found early in the morning and during evening hours. Nice fish are being taken near Pelican and Pipe islands by anglers using crankbaits or trolling spinners with crawlers. Decent numbers of smaller fish are coming in on slip bobbers worked on the major points and reefs such as Rogers, Huddles, Olson, and Diamond. The fishing has slowed in Walker Bay, but some fish continue to be pulled from 15-25 feet of water by anglers pulling lindy rigs with leeches or crawlers. The windblown shoreline breaks and humps located near shoreline breaks are all producing fish. The best advice is to cover lots of water and check a number of locations. If you catch a few fish and everything comes to a halt, reel up and move on. 800-833-1118; www.leech-lake.com

Updated Jul, 11, 2014


Brainerd Lakes Area

Walleyes are heading into their typical summer patterns. Anglers wanting to target only walleyes should use a spinner rig tipped with a nightcrawler. The best depth has been 6-18 feet of water, depending on the sunlight and wind. This time of year, the best way to catch a variety of fish is to use a jig tipped with a shiner minnow. Cast the jig at a weedline, and fish it back slowly to keep it at the right depth. If you are catching weeds, speed up your retrieve, and eventually you will find what works. The best part is that once you set the hook it could be anything at the end of the line! 800-450-2838; www.explorebrainerdlakes.com

Walker - Leech Lake

Fishing has been difficult at times on Leech Lake, mostly due to fluctuating weather conditions. While the wind and cloud cover has sometimes been an advantage, the weather has kept many anglers off the water. On the west shoreline and on the east side of the Main Lake rocks, anglers have been finding active walleyes. On the west shoreline, anglers have had success on Little Hardwood, the Meadows, and Big Hardwood in 14-16 feet of water. The trench off Stoney Point has also been productive in 30-40 foot depths. Anglers have found fish on Mokey Reef in 10-20 feet of water. Look for the Annex and Submarine Island to produce some large walleyes toward dusk. During the day and during evening hours, Walker Bay has been the best bet for walleyes. Fisher’s Point, Templar Point, both Cedar Points and Sand Point have been great early in the evening. Lindy rigs and bottom bouncers with spinner rigs and jigs all seem to be turning fish during the day; in the evening, anglers have done well using live bait such as leeches, crawlers and fathead minnows. During early and late evening hours, try trolling with crankbaits for some good action. Leech Lake fishing and all of the activities and events make this the ideal time to visit Walker, MN. 800-833-1118; www.leech-lake.com

Isle/Onamia - Lake Mille Lacs

This may be the weekend we've all been waiting for! Aside from the Independence Day celebration, the weather appears to be the mildest seen so far this season, and the fish are expected to cooperate. All indicators point to a great weekend. The walleye bite was good for the handful of anglers who braved the recent heavy winds. It made boat control tougher than normal, but most were rewarded with some fish. One area to consider this weekend is the mudflats, with decent numbers recently taken on live bait rigs, slip bobbers, spinners and even trolled lead core. Look to Sherman's, Seguchie and Greg's flats to start. The gravel would be the second best choice. Smallmouth bass continue to bite in 5-12 feet of water around the largest rocks that can be found. A leech and slip bobber is tough to beat. Plastics and crankbaits have turned their share of fish as well. Now that the weed edges are more defined, the northern bite has picked up. With the new "relaxed" Mille Lacs-only limit, more anglers will be chasing them this weekend. A sucker under a bobber is the best bet. 888 -350-2692; www.millelacs.com

Updated Jul, 7, 2014


Brainerd Lakes Area

The walleye bite is taking shape nicely, and fish are coming from several area lakes including Gull, North Long, and Pelican. Depths of 12-22 feet have been best depending on weather conditions and time of day. A variety of presentations have been productive, such as jigging a fathead, rigging a redtail, rigging a leech, and pulling a crawler. Fish are transitioning to their summer locations now that the water temperatures are warming and the weeds are growing. If you're not marking fish in the deeper waters, check the weed beds. Bass continue to bite in the weeds and under the docks. If it's calm and sunny, try the docks as they will be tucked under them looking for shade. If the wind is blowing or if there is some cloud cover, check the weed edges and tops of the weeds. A rubber worms fishing on a jig or "wacky style" have been best. 800-450-2838; www.explorebrainerdlakes.com

Walker - Leech Lake

Leech Lake anglers report a summer bite starting to take hold, and lots of fish being taken. The bugs are starting to hatch at the rocks, and walleyes are showing up on the main lake rocks at Mokey Reef, Annex, Sub, and areas around Pelican Island. Fish these areas using a lindy rig or bottom bouncer and crawler or leech in 11-16 feet of water. Also try pulling spinners to cover more territory. Pay attention to where bug hatches are occurring, and look for transition areas where gravel or sand turn to mud. Windblown shoreline breaks on the south end, along with the major points such as Rogers and Diamond, are also producing fish on days when the wind is blowing in the right direction. Lindy rigs, slip bobbers, and trolled crankbaits such as a #5 shad pap are all producing fish. As the water temperatures reach the low 70s, expect the fish on the south end to start migrating to off-shore humps and structure. The walleye bite has also been good in Walker Bay. Shoreline breaks and humps near the shoreline breaks are giving up fish in 12-20 feet of water. Lindy rigs with a leech or crawler have produced the majority of the fish this past week, but pitching a jig and shiner up onto the windblown shoreline is a great back-up plan. 800-833-1118; www.leech-lake.com

Isle/Onamia - Lake Mille Lacs

On Lake Mille Lacs, the "deep" fish are mostly in 30-plus feet of water, respond best to a pink or silver spinner rigs. Speed is critical, with 1.0 MPH being best. Use enough weight to get the presentation down far enough; a 1 3/4-ounce weight generally does the trick. On the other end of the spectrum, a slip bobber and leech will work will in 8 feet of water or less when worked over the largest rocks you can find. These tend to be larger walleye. Evening hours are best in the shallows, but days with a good wind should also produce shallow fish. Be sure to get your line away from the boat and keep your noise to a minimum. Anglers and charter fishing guides also report a mudflat bite in roughly 24 feet of water. While the flats can be inconsistent, take the time to toss a slip bobber and leech at these areas if you find a decent concentration of fish. If not, spinner-up and start your search. The Boot, Sherman's and Seguchie are all good starting points. Bass remain active in 10 feet of water or less. Northern pike action is picking up, with some nice fish taken on suckers under a bobber. 888 -350-2692; www.millelacs.com

Updated Jun, 27, 2014


Brainerd Lakes Area

Most walleyes have moved out of the shallows and relocated to the second breakline on North Long Lake, however, the deeper water bite remains good. Pelican, Edwards and Whitefish lakes have been giving up a few fish, but not numbers typical of this time of year. The best walleye bait continues to be on shiner minnows, although this will change shortly. Bass action has been good, and this should continue to improve with rising water temperatures. Morning trips are leading to 30-40 fish in half a day, and afternoon trips have been slightly better. The best baits remain a jig and worm combination worked slowly in depths of 10 feet or less. Northern pike action has been fair, with the majority of the pike caught accidentally while fishing for walleyes. 800-450-2838; www.explorebrainerdlakes.com

Walker - Leech Lake

The walleye bite remains strong on Leech Lake despite fluctuating water levels and temperatures. Anglers have needed to adjust their presentations, however, due to pesky midge flies and rainstorms. It seems like the fish have moved to a summer-like pattern. Many anglers continue to catch walleye using jigs tipped with a minnow. Use a 1/8-ounce green or chartreuse jig, and if windy, switch to a 1/4-ounce jig. Lindy rigs with a red hook are producing more fish, especially when paired with a leech or crawler. During the day, also try a slip bobber in the weeds; during evening hours, hit the sand flats using leeches. Daytime fishing has improved on Leech Lake at the wind-blown shorelines, points, rocks and sand flats. The key is to keep moving. Another productive method has been pulling shad raps or rapalas during early evening and late evening hours. The West Goose Island Flats on to the Grand Vu Flats have been great. Depending on the wind, check the Hardwoods, Duck Point, Ottertail Point, and the Submarine Island Annex area. Evening fishing has been getting better at Walker Bay’s Cedar Point and Sand Point. 800-833-1118; www.leech-lake.com

Isle/Onamia - Lake Mille Lacs

The walleye have been scattered at various depths in Lake Mille Lacs, with fish found in water ranging from 4-34 feet! The "deep" fish have been mostly in 30+ foot depths, responding best to a pink or silver spinner rig. Speed has been critical, with 1.0 MPH being best. Add some serious weight to get the spinner rig down to where it needs to be. On the other end of the spectrum, a slip bobber and leech has been best in depths of 8 feet or less over the largest rocks. These walleyes tend to be the largest. Evening hours, and days with a good walleye chop have been best when fishing the shallow waters. Be sure to get the line away from the boat and keep the noise to a minimum. Somewhere in the middle of these depths is the mudflat bite which took place in roughly 24 feet of water. While the flats have been inconsistent, try a slip bobber and leech if you find a decent concentration of fish. If not, spinner-up and start your search. The Boot, Sherman's and Seguchie are good starting points. Bass remain active in 10 feet of water or less. Northern pike action is picking up, with suckers under bobbers turning the most fish. Surface water temperatures are in the mid-60s. Please remember that navigational lights must be turning on before sunset. Sunset for Friday, June 20, is 9:03 p.m. 888 -350-2692; www.millelacs.com

Updated Jun, 20, 2014


Brainerd Lakes Area

The walleye bite picked up last week, and remains strong this week in Brainerd area lakes. Anglers are having the most success when fishing 10-16 feet of water. The best approach has been either a jig and fathead worked at the weedlines, or a lindy rig with a crawler or minnow. Fish are transitioning to their early summer haunts now that the water temperatures are between 65- and 72-degrees. The bass bite has been great, with fish hitting rubber worms flipped over the weeds and worked back slowly. Ten feet of water and less has been best. Northern pike are active in the shallow weed beds, and anglers are taking fish when casting spinnerbaits, dare devils, and even live bait. 800-450-2838; www.explorebrainerdlakes.com

Walker - Leech Lake

Fishing has been very good on Leech Lake, with a variety of presentations working well. Pitching jigs toward the windblown shorelines and points continues to work well, and it is also a great search method when fan-casting on expansive flats. Shiners remain the best bait, especially when attached to a green or gold jig. Pulling lindy rigs with crawlers or leeches is beginning to turn fish. Depending on the day, walleyes may respond better crawlers or leeches. Speed has been key to both presentations, with .6 to .8 mph generally being best. Areas to check out include the Windblown shorelines, points, and rocks, along with the expansive flats which can be intimidating to anglers. When working these areas, be sure to move around, sometimes in circles, and mark the fish when detected. Eventually, you will be able to pinpoint areas holding fish. West Goose Flats, Duck Point, Ottertail, Hardwoods, Sucker Bay, and up into Portage Bay have all been solid producers when working depths of 9-14 feet. As the water warms, the fishing will continually improve during the month of June. 800-833-1118; www.leech-lake.com

Isle/Onamia - Lake Mille Lacs

Walleye fishing has picked up on the Lake Mille Lacs flats! Anglers are having success using rigs with large and jumbo leeches or nightcrawlers. Spinners are also beginning to work well. Night fishing has been good on the rocks. Smallmouth bass anglers are pulling lots of aggressive fish from the rocks, weeds and sand edges. During the day, hit 2-8 foot depths using tubes, leeches, crawlers or plastics. 888 -350-2692; www.millelacs.com

Updated Jun, 13, 2014


Brainerd Lakes Area

Panfish have been very active in the shallows, hitting small jigs tipped with either a plastic or a small minnow. Look for schools of fish in 2-10 feet of water, and once you find them, anchor. Walleye anglers are finding fish also near their spawning grounds, in 2-20 feet of water. For the most walleyes, use jigs tipped with shiners. When the wind is calm, try casting your jig and work it back to the boat. 800-450-2838; www.explorebrainerdlakes.com

Walker - Leech Lake

Reports from anglers that fished the Leech Lake Walleye Tournament last weekend have been spectacular. Not only was the fishing excellent, the customer service and hospitality were as well! Good numbers of walleye are coming from the area around Goose Island, on over to Five Mile, and all the way down by Pelican Island. The usual jig and shiner combination is still the way to go. Anglers have found that “popping” it off the bottom and letting it fall will produce fish, but there are times when finesse is required and you will need to retrieve it more slowly back to the boat. Either way, when you feel that “tick,” pause a second, then set the hook! Another presentation that is becoming effective is rigging with crawlers and leeches. The spinner bite will also heat up in the weeks to come. When fishing the south end, check the Red Rocks and Pelican Island. If you are fishing the Federal Dam area, try The Gap and Five Mile Point. On the north end, try West Goose Flats, The Meadows, and the shorelines in Walker Bay. Depending on cloud cover and wind, 6-12 feet of water is typically best. 800-833-1118; www.leech-lake.com

Isle/Onamia - Lake Mille Lacs

As of late last week, the walleye bite was improving on Lake Mille Lacs. Anglers were finding some scattered fish throughout the water column at depths of 5-30 feet. Depths of 14-18 feet were best during the day, with 7-12 foot depths giving up the most fish during evening hours. Minnows and leeches produced similar numbers of fish, with crawlers lagging behind. Smallmouth bass anglers reported lots of action in the shallows along the south end of the lake. Tubes, grubs and leeches remained the best bet. 888 -350-2692; www.millelacs.com

Updated Jun, 6, 2014


Isle/Onamia - Lake Mille Lacs

Lake Mille Lacs remains cold, with surface water temperatures just beginning to creep into the low 50's. A few more sunny days will bring water temperatures into a more normal range. Fishing has been inconsistent, with some anglers reporting excellent action, and others struggling to catch even a few fish. Much of the bite remains along the north end of the lake in 14-18 feet of water, although some fish have come from the bottom of the breaks too. If the north end isn't an option, check out Sherman's Point, Vineland or Big Point where anglers have had some good success. Minnows are still the best bait, with leeches and crawlers are beginning to turn more fish. Chartreuse/orange and firetiger have been the top colors/patterns colors, but hold using spinners just a bit longer until the water warms a few more degrees. The evening slip bobber and leech bite is short, but worth the time. Be sure not to "oversize" your leeches this time of year. Northern pike action has been good for anglers using suckers in the south end bays in less than 10 feet of water. Bass action has been hit-or-miss too as not all of the bass have moved shallow yet. The best depths have ranged from 2-10 feet. Keep the bait small and the tackle simple, and present it slowly until the water warms a bit more. 888 -350-2692; www.millelacs.com

Updated May, 29, 2014


Walker - Leech Lake

It was a great week and weekend on Leech Lake, with the weather and the fish cooperating. The best fishing has been in 8-12 feet of water; on days with a strong wind, fish could be found in depths of 4-6 feet. A jig and shiner or a jig with a rainbow was the key to putting fish in the boat. The best colors have varied, but gold and green tend to always shine in Leech Lake. Consider lindy rigging with a crawler or leech since sometimes this slower and more methodical presentation gets the weary walleyes to bite! Getting away from the crowd is also a good idea. Some of the most productive areas have been Traders Bay, Pine Point, Stony Point, Ottertail, and Grandview Flats. Some of the largest fish, however, have been pulled from Bear Island, and in and around Trappers Landing and Miller Bay on the south end of lake. 800-833-1118; www.leech-lake.com

Isle/Onamia - Lake Mille Lacs

On Lake Mille Lacs, the water temperatures are finally moving in the right direction, with most areas at 46–52 degrees, and slightly higher in some bays. While the weather looks great through the Memorial Day weekend, the fish are roughly 2 to 3 weeks behind their normal schedule. Walleye fishing will continually improve for anglers using traditional presentations such as a rig with a leech or minnow. The sand bite has been best in 14-18 foot depths, and fish may move a bit deeper as the week progresses. Also check out the deeper rock/sand transitions which normally produce in early spring. Trolling the shorelines and rocks with shad raps and rapalas has been productive, as has bobber fishing. 888 -350-2692; www.millelacs.com

Updated May, 22, 2014


Walker - Leech Lake

The Walleye Opener was a great one on Leech Lake. Anglers that put in the time and switched up their presentation as needed were rewarded with lots of eaters and some large fish. Great reports came from areas around Star Point, the Hardwoods, Duck Point, Pine Point, Cedar Point, and Stoney Point. Wind, as usual, was a huge factor, with the fish turning more active as the wind blew. When the winds turned calm, anglers struggled due to heavy boat traffic and high, sunny skies. Anglers reported the most action when using a slow, methodical presentation in 4-9 feet of water. The best presentation was a 1/8- or 1/16-ounce jig tipped with a shiner or rainbow. Good reports also came from nighttime anglers trolling shad raps and husky jerks in and around the flats around Goose Island. The crappie bite should heat up once water temperatures hit the lower 50s. The best is yet to come! 800-833-1118; www.leech-lake.com

Isle/Onamia - Lake Mille Lacs

Water temperatures remain cold on Lake Mille Lacs, but the bite is expected to pick up as the water temperatures warm and the walleye complete their spawn. Anglers that had the most success used jig and minnow combinations in depths less than 16 feet deep, however, medium-sized leeches are generally the "bait-of-choice" early in the season on Mille Lacs. Quite a few slot fish large walleyes were reported. Expect to see more of the smaller fish when the water warms further. 888 -350-2692; www.millelacs.com

Updated May, 16, 2014


Brainerd Lakes Area

All the lakes in the Brainerd Lakes Area are ice free. The last ice left Gull Lake the very end of April. The rivers and creeks were full of walleyes last weekend, and the spawn was still going strong on a few of the rivers as of Tuesday. Expect the majority of the walleyes to be relating to current areas. Key locations will be the rivers and creeks which connect one major lake to another. Prime locations include the bridge on the northern end of Gull Lake near Zorba's Restaurant. There is a fishing bridge located on the southern side of the bridge which is open to the public. While the south side of the bridge is good, the northern side is even better. For the most fish, use a jig tipped with a spot tail shiner. The best crappie action is just around the corner. The 67th Annual Minnesota Governor’s Fishing Opener will be hosted in the Brainerd Lakes Area this week and weekend, with the headquarters at Grand View Lodge. The Minnesota Fishing Opener is Saturday, May 10, with events planned for guests and participants in the governor’s opener from Thursday, May 8, through Sunday, May 11. The public is invited to a free Community Picnic on Friday, May 9, in downtown Nisswa. 800-450-2838; www.explorebrainerdlakes.com

Walker - Leech Lake

Earlier this week, anglers were wondering whether Leech Lake’s Walker Bay would be free of ice for this weekend’s opener, but the forecasted warmer temperatures and rain made the outlook promising. Walleye numbers on Leech Lake are strong throughout the lake following several excellent year classes, and this should be a great walleye opener and season. Because of the late ice off, the majority of walleyes will probably be located along the long shallow shoreline breaks and points where the wind blows inward. Try a jig and minnow or a Lindy type rig set up for the most fish. Jigs should be light, with 1/8 to 1/4 ounce jigs in dark green or lime green being best, especially when tipped with a spot-tail shiner or fathead minnows. Areas to check out include Walker Bay, Cedar Point, and Steamboat Bay at Mounds Point. In the big lake, use the wind to determine the best locations, and consider the big lake side of the Narrows from Oak Point to Star Point. Pine Point from Grand Vu Lodge into Traders Bay will also draw many anglers. Again, depending on wind direction, check out Big Hardwood, first and second Duck Points, Stoney Point and Ottertail Point. 800-833-1118; www.leech-lake.com

Isle/Onamia - Lake Mille Lacs

Ice went off the lake on May 7, just in time for the opener. There has been a big push today to get the docks and reef markers out prior to the opener. There is an excellent population of keeper-size walleyes so anglers are very hopeful. Look to the shallower waters that warm first. Some of the warmest water is typically found on the north end in the sand around Big Point and Vineland Bay. Keep your presentation slow, small and shallow. Shiners and medium-sized leeches should work best. 888 -350-2692; www.millelacs.com

Updated May, 8, 2014


Brainerd Lakes Area

Don't miss out on the great late ice fishing action! Panfish, tullibees and perch are all feeding actively. Look for sunnies and crappies in deeper waters located next to spring spawning areas. Some days they are in 20-30 feet of water, and other days they can be found right next to the weeds. A small jig and plastic seem to be best. Area lakes still had more than 3 feet of ice earlier this week. And while it may seem strange, come prepared and bring the sunscreen. 800-450-2838; www.explorebrainerdlakes.com

Updated Mar, 21, 2014


Brainerd Lakes Area

As of late last week, some anglers did really well with the sunnies and crappies when fishing 18 feet of water near a weedy point. Actively jigging with wax worms or plastics was the key to success, but it was also helpful to keep a setline close by. It is very important to remain mobile until you locate active fish. Drilling two holes and waiting for the fish to come will hurt your chances of catching fish. This time of year, it is best to drill a bunch of holes in depths ranging from 8-30 feet. Fish each hole for 5-10 minutes, and move on until you find an active school of fish. 800-450-2838; www.explorebrainerdlakes.com

Isle/Onamia - Lake Mille Lacs

The houses have been removed from Mille Lacs and some resorts have already abandoned their roads. If heading out, be sure to call your resort first to see if they are maintaining a road. Travel without a road is best by snowmobile. The perch and tullibee bite was tough last week, but anglers expected the upcoming warmer temperatures to cause the bite to improve. 888-350-2692; www.millelacs.com

Updated Mar, 17, 2014


Brainerd Lakes Area

Nice numbers of eating-size are being pulled from Gull Lake. The best sunfish action has been in 14-30 feet of water, normally at the main lake basins surrounded by shallow weed beds. You will increase your catch rate by staying mobile. Drill holes in depths ranging from 14-30 feet and work these hard until you locate active fish. Crappies can be found suspended in the same areas, but they tend to bite most during low light hours. Jigging and setlines have both been productive. 800-450-2838; www.explorebrainerdlakes.com

Isle/Onamia - Lake Mille Lacs

Most fish houses have been removed and some of the resorts have stopped maintaining their ice roads now that the walleye and northern pike hard water season has come to an end on Lake Mille Lacs. If you plan to head out from a resort, please call ahead to assure that travel is still possible. Travel without a road is best with a snowmobile. Anglers that have ventured out have reported some nice perch catches. 888-350-2692; www.millelacs.com

Updated Feb, 28, 2014


Brainerd Lakes Area

A few walleyes are coming from 20-25 feet of water on Gull Lake. Set lines have been best, especially when paired with smaller minnows and smaller jigs. For the most walleyes, fish during low light hours. Crappies and sunnies are being taken by anglers using a jigging approach at the deeper basins of area lakes. These fish are suspended, so a vexilar is very helpful. 800-450-2838; www.explorebrainerdlakes.com

Isle/Onamia - Lake Mille Lacs

Resorts are plowing out roads on Lake Mille Lacs today in preparation for this weekend's three fishing contests and the end of the 2013/2014 walleyes/northern pike season. Not many anglers ventured out this week, but those that did were typically chasing northerns. In addition to northern pike catches, anglers reported some decent perch numbers and occasional walleyes. 888-350-2692; www.millelacs.com

Updated Feb, 25, 2014


Brainerd Lakes Area

Walleyes are in their typical mid-winter pattern. The bite is best at sunset and sunrise, with fish turning sluggish during the day. On Gull Lake, one group of anglers caught quite a few walleyes and perch when fishing 20-22 feet of water. Crappies and sunnies can be found in the deeper basins of most area lakes. Driving conditions on the lakes have improved significantly over the last week. Ice depth averages 25-32 inches, so bring an auger extension just in case it's needed. 800-450-2838; www.explorebrainerdlakes.com

Updated Feb, 14, 2014


Brainerd Lakes Area

Darkhouse spearing has offered the most action, with lots of nice fish being taken. For walleyes, try shiner minnows and fatheads in 20-35 feet of water. Glow jigs are often the key to success. Crappie action remains fair. Look for these fish 2-15 feet off the bottom in the deeper waters. 800-450-2838; www.explorebrainerdlakes.com

Isle/Onamia - Lake Mille Lacs

On Lake Mille Lacs, the unstable weather and abundant forage has made the bite a bit tougher. While groups of anglers tell of great fishing outings, these anglers are fishing away from the crowds, most are fishing over deep water on the gravel or various mud flats, and most are traveling by snowmobile. Otherwise, the bite has been primarily 1st and 2nd year perch, with an occasional large perch mixed in. Scattered walleyes, northern pike, tullibee and even eelpout are also being taken. Fishing should greatly improve as the weather turns more stable and the prey fish eat more of the abundant forage. Road conditions are good, and if anglers stay on the established roads and in the designated areas all should be fine. 888-350-2692; www.millelacs.com

Whitefish - Whitefish Chain of Lakes Region

Ice conditions have really improved on area lakes. Ice thickness ranges from 8-24 inches. Walleye anglers are taking fish from 30-40 feet of water on sucker minnows, especially early and late in the day. Evening fishing has really improved as the fish are schooling. More crappie action is being reported, and sunnies have been active in 8-12 foot depths. Remember to use caution venturing out on the ice. www.whitefish.org

Updated Jan, 30, 2014


Brainerd Lakes Area

As of late last week, anglers reported good driving conditions, with the slush finally starting to solidify and most area lakes covered in 14-22 inches of ice. Walleye action on most area lakes had slowed, which is somewhat typical for this time in the season. The best advice for fishing walleyes this time of year is to move a bit deeper, jigging or using setlines with shiners or fatheads. Another tactic is to switch gears and fish for crappies and sunnies instead. Most panfish have been holding in 16-40 feet of water, so anglers have had the most success when using a minnow/bobber combination and a small jig tipped with waxworms, as well as sonar equipment. And don't miss the Brainerd Jaycees $150,000 Ice Fishing Extravaganza held this Saturday, Jan. 25, when more than 10,000 anglers and spectators from around the world gather for this fun and exciting ice fishing extravaganza! 800-450-2838; www.explorebrainerdlakes.com

Isle/Onamia - Lake Mille Lacs

On Lake Mille Lacs, the unstable weather and abundance of forage has made the bite a bit tougher. While groups of anglers tell of great fishing outings, these anglers are fishing away from the crowds, most are fishing over deep water on the gravel or various mud flats, and most are traveling by snowmobile. Otherwise, the bite has been primarily 1st and 2nd year perch, with an occasional large perch mixed in. Scattered walleyes, northern pike, tullibee and even eelpout are also being taken. Fishing should greatly improve as the weather turns more stable and the prey fish eat more of the abundant forage. Road conditions are good, and if anglers stay on the established roads and in the designated areas all should be fine. 888-350-2692; www.millelacs.com

Whitefish - Whitefish Chain of Lakes Region

Ice conditions really improved on area lakes following the recent cold temperatures which caused the slush and snow pack to firm up nicely. In some areas, the heavy snow pack sunk, allowing good ice to form. Still, a few areas remain iffy so use caution. Ice thickness ranges from 8-24 inches. Walleye anglers are taking fish from 24-36 feet of water on sucker minnows, especially early and late in the day. Evening fishing has really improved as the fish are schooling. More crappie action is being reported, and sunnies have been active in 8-12 foot depths. Remember to use caution venturing out on the ice. www.whitefish.org

Updated Jan, 25, 2014


Brainerd Lakes Area

Walleyes have been difficult to predict, with a flurry of activity around sunset on one day, and then very little action the next. Don’t be afraid to move deeper this time of year, using set lines and jigging spoons. Crappies and sunnies have been hanging in 16-40 feet of water. The best way to locate schools of fish is to find the last remaining green vegetation; the deeper holes surrounded by weeds have been the most productive. A vexilar has been the key to success since panfish suspend themselves at a variety of depths throughout the day. 800-450-2838; www.explorebrainerdlakes.com

Isle/Onamia - Lake Mille Lacs

Most of the resorts that normally plow roads on Lake Mille Lacs have now done so, and they will continue to clean-up the roads and plow to new areas as they are able. There are still some slushy areas that anglers need to watch out for. Vehicle travel should only be on the plowed roads. If you choose to go "off-road," a snowmobile is your best choice. The walleye bite on Mille Lacs is best around first and last light. A few are being taken during overnight as well. During the day, expect a mix of smaller perch, northern pike, and an occasional tullibee. The best bet is to use a slender spoon or rattle spoon tipped with a piece of minnow on your jig line, and then a shiner or rainbow on a demon or moonglow on your set line. Depths of 23-28 feet seem to be best. 888-350-2692; www.millelacs.com

Whitefish - Whitefish Chain of Lakes Region

Ice conditions really improved on area lakes as a result of recent extreme cold temperatures penetrating the snowcover and building more ice. Still, some areas do remain unstable, and anglers must check ice depth often when venturing out. As of late last week, ice thickness ranged from 8-24 inches. Walleyes were being pulled from 24-36 feet of water on suckers, especially early and late in the day. Evening fishing had improved since the fish were schooling. Lots of crappie and panfish action was being reported in 8-12 foot depths. www.whitefish.org

Updated Jan, 16, 2014


Brainerd Lakes Area

Walleyes have been more difficult to predict. On most days, there has been a flurry of activity around sunset, but then the fish turn sluggish. Don’t be afraid to move deeper this time of year, using set lines and jigging spoons. Crappies and sunnies have been hanging in 16-40 feet of water. The best way to locate schools of fish is to find the last remaining green vegetation; the deeper holes surrounded by weeds have been the most productive. A vexilar has been the key to success since panfish suspend themselves at a variety of depths throughout the day. 800-450-2838; www.explorebrainerdlakes.com

Isle/Onamia - Lake Mille Lacs

Most of Lake Mille Lacs has more than a foot of ice, with ice in some areas measuring up to 18 inches. Anglers need to remember, however, that there are some areas that have as little as 9 inches of ice. Becasue of this variation, all vehicle traffic should be restricted to the plowed ice roads until ice thickness becomes more uniform. Most of the resorts have plowed their roads, with houses out two- to three-miles. The walleye bite has been best in the evening and on past dusk. Hang a shiner or small sucker on a glow jig in 18-25 feet of water for the most fish. During daytime hours, the walleye bite is a bit slower so concentrate on the northern pike and perch. Expect to do some sorting through the perch, as most of them are fingerlings. This should be a very busy weekend on Lake Mille Lacs! 888-350-2692; www.millelacs.com

Whitefish - Whitefish Chain of Lakes Region

Ice conditions have greatly improved due to cold temperatures penetrating the snow pack and firming up the ice. In some areas, the heavy snow pack sunk, allowing good ice to form. Please note that some areas remain unstable. Ice thickness ranges from 6-24 inches on area lakes. Anglers fishing good ice are finding lots of walleye in 24-36 feet of water. Suckers are turning the most fish, especially during morning and evening hours, with fish schooling later in the day. Crappies and sunnies turned more active this week. For the most sunfish, hit depths of 8-12 feet. www.whitefish.org

Updated Jan, 10, 2014


Brainerd Lakes Area

While trips out onto the ice have been extremely cold, ice thickness has improved and ice conditions are relatively good on Brainerd area lakes. Still, one recent measurement revealed 15.5 inches of ice on Gull Lake, along with some slushy spots. The walleye bite has slowed a bit and become somewhat sporadic. The best action has been in 20-35 feet of water when using jigging spoons and set-lines. Crappies have been biting in the same locations, but in deeper holes surrounded by vegetation. Those willing to brave the elements should do well after sunset. Sunfish are generally more aggressive during the day, hitting small jigs tipped with minnows or wax worms. 1-800-450-2838; www.explorebrainerdlakes.com

Isle/Onamia - Lake Mille Lacs

Several Lake Mille Lacs resorts have plowed roads out a mile or more onto the lake. The roads are mostly narrow in width, but in pretty good shape. Please remember that each resort has a slightly different set of rules for using their roads so it is important to check ahead of time to see if they can accommodate your group. Fishing has slowed a bit with the recent cold snap. The best time to fish has been during evening hours and past dark. Use a shiner on a gem-n-eye, demon or other bright glow jig for the most action. During the day, a few anglers are having success when jigging. When jigging during the day, use a jigging rap or a darter. Anglers are seeing large numbers of smaller perch which is good indication that the fishery is healthy; this food base has been lacking over the past few years. While large perch have been taken, most have been small. Northern pike action remains better than expected. 888-350-2692; www.millelacs.com

Whitefish - Whitefish Chain of Lakes Region

Ice conditions vary widely on area lakes but the recent cold temperatures have penetrated the snow pack to help firm up the ice. Please note that some areas remain unstable. Ice thickness ranges from 6-17 inches. Anglers fishing good ice are finding lots of walleye action in 18-30 feet of water. Suckers are turning the most fish, especially during evening hours since this is when fish are schooling. More and more fish houses are going out and the additional anglers should lead to additional fishing information. www.whitefish.org

Updated Jan, 3, 2014


Walker - Leech Lake

The ice continues to improve, especially on Leech Lake's Walker Bay. Ice thickness ranges from 9-14 inches in Walker Bay. Please note that the ice profile is primarily white instead of clear blue, and not nearly as strong. On a smaller area lake, one angler found several layers of ice with approximately 3-5 inches of water in-between the two layers. When pulling out a sleeper fish house he busted through the first layer numerous times before deciding to give up until next week when the slushy layer should have frozen. Some sleeper fish houses have been placed on Walker Bay and on several other area lakes. Anglers continue to spear limits of northern pike, with lots of panfish also being taken. Please continue to exercise caution while exploring new fishing locations this winter. Ice conditions will continue to be marginal in some areas due to the heavy snow that covers many area lakes. Slush conditions may prevail for weeks to come. 1-800-833-1118; www.leech-lake.com

Whitefish - Whitefish Chain of Lakes Region

Ice conditions vary greatly on area lakes, and ice thickness ranges from 4-14 inches. The recent cold temperatures are penetrating the snow pack and helping to firm up areas with slush and thin ice. Anglers have pulled out portable shelters in areas with good ice, with a decent walleye bite being reported. Anglers are having the most success using suckers in 18-30 feet of water. The first permanent fish houses are starting to appear on area lakes. Please remember to use extreme caution when venturing out onto the ice. www.whitefish.org

Updated Dec, 26, 2013


Brainerd Lakes Area

As of last weekend, most area lakes had 4-9 inches of solid ice covered by a "white honey comb." Depending on the time and day, slush created some problems. Snowmobiles were out without too many issues, and Gull, Round and North Long lakes all had small shacks on them. Jigging spoons and tip-ups have been the way to go, especially when drilling a bunch of holes and fishing different depths. The best depths have been 15-35 feet. 1-800-450-2838; www.explorebrainerdlakes.com

Walker - Leech Lake

Mother Nature is healing the lake surfaces. One angler tested ice thickness on four area lakes last weekend and found that the snow had settled, the slush had solidified and the ice had grown thicker with the recent frigid temperatures. While a snowmobile was used to travel miles across numerous lakes, please note that there is still slush on area lakes and anglers will need to watch for these. Slush pockets will appear slightly darker and have a different texture. The ice now ranges from 8-11 inches on many of the smaller area lakes. Last weekend, several anglers fishing Walker Bay of Leech Lake reported 4-6 inches of good ice in the area where they fished. Anglers have been doing well, with northern pike spearing limits being reported, along with lots of bluegills, some crappies and an occasional largemouth bass taken by anglers. 1-800-833-1118; www.leech-lake.com

Updated Dec, 20, 2013


Brainerd Lakes Area

As of Monday, Dec. 9, ice was forming fast on area lakes. Gull Lake now has a few inches of ice, and North Long and Round lakes have roughly 5-9 inches. Last week's snowstorm left heavy snow on top of the ice which has and will continue to cause problems with ice formation since the snow has an insulating effect. In addition, the weight of the snow is pushing down on the ice so flooding occurs when holes are cut into the ice. Some reports had come in from anglers fishing Round Lake where active walleyes were being pulled from 12-21 feet of water on jigging spoons with fatheads or shiners. Anyone planning to head out was encouraged to use extreme caution, carry ice picks and check ice thickness often. Anglers were also asked to call ahead to a local bait shop for the most current ice conditions. 1-800-450-2838; www.explorebrainerdlakes.com

Walker - Leech Lake

As of Sunday, Dec. 8, most area lakes had a foot to foot and a half of snow covering 3-8 inches of ice, causing flooding on all area lakes. Luckily, the extreme cold temperatures are helping to rebuild ice. Good ice was marginal on many of the smaller area lakes as of Dec. 8, with lots of slush freezing from the top to the bottom. Kabekona Lake and Walker Bay of Leech Lake had just frozen over prior to the snow storm, and the heavy snow created new areas of open water and/or excessive flooding which caused the lake surface to turn a very dark color, showing complete saturation of all of the new snow on top of the ice. These areas will freeze solid, but other areas will continue to have slush pockets throughout most of this winter. Anglers will need to use extra caution over the next several weeks since the excessive weight of the snow on very thin ice could lead to unsafe ice. A few people have already fallen through the slush and ice on snowmobiles and ATV's, finding themselves stuck and unable to move. Despite challenging conditions, anglers speared lots of fish in the spear houses each day last week. The panfish activity was consistent. 1-800-833-1118; www.leech-lake.com

Updated Dec, 13, 2013


Walker - Leech Lake

As of Dec. 1, spear houses were out on area lakes, with ice building nicely. Over the weekend, ice thickness ranged from 5- to 8-inches on the smaller area lakes and on many of the bays of the larger lakes. Fishing this past week has been excellent, with local anglers reporting lots of fish, including one walleye measuring 29-inches in length. One angler reported an average of one northern pike every 30 minutes, with lots of panfish in between. As always, please use caution when you venture out onto new ice. Test ice thickness often by chiseling or drilling test holes to ensure that you have enough ice to safely move around. 1-800-833-1118; www.leech-lake.com

Updated Dec, 6, 2013


Brainerd Lakes Area

Area guides report that the walleyes have been active in 30-40 feet of water. Most methods have been producing fish, with jig and rainbow combinations and lindy rigs with large minnows working well. Focus on Round, North Long and Whitefish lakes for the most fish. Crappies have been active in depths of 20-40 feet. Use your electronics to locate schools of fish, then troll over them with beetle spins or puddle jumpers. Speed is important, so try different speeds until they respond. 800-450-2838; www.explorebrainerdlakes.com

Isle/Onamia - Lake Mille Lacs

Mille Lacs Lake action has been split evenly between the trollers and the bobber anglers, with most of the boats reporting at least a few fish. Last week, much of the bite was in less than 10 feet of water, peaking around 10:30 p.m. Light angling pressure made it easy to move around the reefs and concentrate on the "hot spots," but the abundance of bait fish made for a pretty tough bite. Anglers have been having the most success with the late season walleyes when staying within the first half mile from shore. The north end also kicked out a few fish. Leeches and rainbows have worked well, but most live bait has produced fish. Anglers should shift over to hard baits for evening trolling either now or in the near future. 888 -350-2692; www.millelacs.com

Updated Nov, 1, 2013


Brainerd Lakes Area

The cold fall air has arrived, and snow covered the ground earlier this week. Fishing, however, remains very good. Area guides report that the walleyes have been active in 30-40 feet of water. Most methods have been producing fish, with jig and rainbow combinations and lindy rigs with large minnows working well. Focus on Round, North Long and Whitefish lakes for the most fish. Crappies have been active in depths of 20-40 feet. Use your electronics to locate schools of fish, then troll over them with beetle spins or puddle jumpers. Speed is important, so try different speeds until they respond. 800-450-2838; www.explorebrainerdlakes.com

Isle/Onamia - Lake Mille Lacs

The October full moon came and went with mixed success for Mille Lacs Lake anglers. The action was split evenly between the trollers and the bobber folks, with most of the boats reporting at least a few fish. Much of the bite was in less than 10 feet of water, peaking around 10:30 p.m. Light angling pressure made it easy to move around the reefs and concentrate on the "hot spots." Unfortunately, the abundance of bait fish made for a pretty tough bite. St. Alban's Bay has had a little action this week. Anglers having the most success with the late season walleyes are staying within the first 1/2 mile from shore. The north end also kicked out a few fish. Leeches and rainbows worked well, but most live bait is producing fish right now. Anglers will soon shift over to hard baits for evening trolling. The surface temperature has dropped dramatically and it is now in the low 40s, nearly 10 degrees less than last weekend! 888 -350-2692; www.millelacs.com

Updated Oct, 31, 2013


Brainerd Lakes Area

Walleye fishing has been good, and the fall bite is in full swing! Walleye anglers are pulling fish from Gull, Round, and Whitefish lakes on jigs tipped with fatheads or rainbow chubs; for those lucky enough to find redtails or creek chubs, tip these on a lindy rig and hold on! Use your electronics to locate fish since the walleyes have been coming from depths of 13 feet all the way down to 40 feet. Crappies have started moving deeper and can be found near the deeper holes. The best approach to locate schools of crappies is to troll small jigs tipped with puddle jumps. Vary the depth until a pattern can be established, and add a split shot before the jig if needed to reach the proper depth. 800-450-2838; www.explorebrainerdlakes.com

Walker - Leech Lake

The results of recent fall test netting on Leech Lake show, "...above-average numbers of all sizes of walleye," according to Doug Schultz, DNR area fisheries supervisor in Walker. He also said, "Fishing reports have been excellent all season, and this survey confirms that good walleye fishing is expected to continue through the winter and into the next year." Confirming this, anglers have reported a strong walleye and perch bite this week. A jig tipped with a rainbow minnow has been great for the walleyes, while a mixture of golden shiners has worked better for the larger perch. The wind-blown points such as Pine Point, Star Point and Big Hardwood have been walleye hot spots on days with a strong wind. Anglers fishing Mounds Point, Sand Point and Erickson Landing have taken limits of jumbo perch. In addition to great fish, anglers have enjoyed the amazing fall colors. 800-833-1118; www.leech-lake.com

Isle/Onamia - Lake Mille Lacs

Fall fishing and lower water temperatures have arrived. Walleyes are starting to move in shallow. Look to 12-20 feet of water during daylight hours, and in 6-12 foot depths during early morning and evening hours. Live bait is still working well, including shiners, rainbows, crawlers and leeches. Expect shallow water trolling to pick up very soon. When it does, use #5 shad raps in firetiger or chrome blue; rogues and husky jerks are also very popular. Trolling at 1.8 to 2.8 mph is a good speed, but don't be afraid to slow down or speed up from time to time. Please note that marker buoys have been removed; be cautious as you go. 888 -350-2692; www.millelacs.com

Updated Oct, 17, 2013


Brainerd Lakes Area

Walleye fishing has been good, and the fall bite is in full swing! Walleye anglers are pulling fish from Gull, Round, and Whitefish lakes on jigs tipped with fatheads or rainbow chubs; for those lucky enough to find redtails or creek chubs, tip these on a lindy rig and hold on! Use your electronics to locate fish since the walleyes have been coming from depths of 13 feet all the way down to 40 feet. Crappies have started moving deeper and can be found near the deeper holes. The best approach to locate schools of crappies is to troll small jigs tipped with puddle jumps. Vary the depth until a pattern can be established, and add a split shot before the jig if needed to reach the proper depth. 800-450-2838; www.explorebrainerdlakes.com

Walker - Leech Lake

The results of recent fall test netting on Leech Lake show, "...above-average numbers of all sizes of walleye," according to Doug Schultz, DNR area fisheries supervisor in Walker. He also said, "Fishing reports have been excellent all season, and this survey confirms that good walleye fishing is expected to continue through the winter and into the next year." Confirming this, anglers have reported a strong walleye and perch bite this week. A jig tipped with a rainbow minnow has been great for the walleyes, while a mixture of golden shiners has worked better for the larger perch. The wind-blown points such as Pine Point, Star Point and Big Hardwood have been walleye hot spots on days with a strong wind. Anglers fishing Mounds Point, Sand Point and Erickson Landing have taken limits of jumbo perch. In addition to great fish, anglers have enjoyed the amazing fall colors. 800-833-1118; www.leech-lake.com

Isle/Onamia - Lake Mille Lacs

Lake Mille Lacs remain warm for this time of year. Surface water temperatures continue to top-out around 60-degrees, roughly 8-egrees warmer than seen in a "typical" year. Cooler temperatures should arrive sometime this weekend, just in time for the full moon next Friday, Oct. 18, creating optimal fall fishing conditions. Fish have been scattered throughout the water column, but the trend is leaning shallower each week. Look to 12-20 feet during the day, and in 6-12 foot depths during evening hours. Live bait is still out-producing hardbaits, with anglers having success using shiners, rainbows, crawlers and leeches this week. Anglers wanting to try their hand at trolling hardbaits should consider a large body style such as a rogue, husky jerk or a floating rapala. 888 -350-2692; www.millelacs.com

Updated Oct, 14, 2013


Walker - Leech Lake

The jumbo perch bite has turned hot on Leech Lake. Depths of 9-10 feet at Sucker Bay's 3rd Duck Point and the Oak Point area have been good for both jumbo perch and some walleyes. A chartreuse or multi-colored jig tipped with a golden shiner has been the winning combination. Walleyes are starting to school, with nice numbers taken from 1st Duck to Ottertail, Stony Point and the Goose Island Flats on days with a good walleye chop. While anglers continue to take walleyes using a spinner and crawler combination, a jig and minnow combination is quickly taking over. Muskie fishing has slowed a bit and the fish seem to be scattered in the rocks and weeds. 800-833-1118; www.leech-lake.com

Isle/Onamia - Lake Mille Lacs

The surface water temperature on Lake Mille Lacs is nearing the 60-degree mark, a sign that the fall bite is about to take off. Fish are scattered throughout the water column in 5-35 feet of water. As the temperature continues to drop, expect the shallow bite to improve and the deep bite to fade. Currently, there are more fish in the deeper waters. The minnow bite improved a bit this week. Shiners and rainbows on a jig or plain live bait rig are now producing as many fish as leeches and crawlers, although most of the larger fish are coming in on leeches. Please note that most of the marker buoys have been removed so use caution. The docks are still in place at all Mille Lacs public accesses. 888 -350-2692; www.millelacs.com

Updated Oct, 4, 2013


Brainerd Lakes Area

Fall is in the air, and the fishing is good! Walleyes have been active on Gull and Round lakes. Anglers are taking the most fish on lindy rigs tipped with medium to large minnows worked in 13-18 feet of water early in the morning. As the sun rises throughout the day, slide deeper. A good second option has been a jig tipped with a fathead or rainbow minnow. If it's windy, fish the windiest spot for lots of active fish. Crappies have been showing up on the deeper weedlines. Both crappies and sunfish are responding to small jigs and white/pearl tubes under a slip bobber. Set the bobber stops around 8-16 feet and cast the bobber back to the fish. 800-450-2838; www.explorebrainerdlakes.com

Walker - Leech Lake

The jumbo perch bite has turned hot on Leech Lake. Depths of 9-10 feet at Sucker Bay's 3rd Duck Point and the Oak Point area have been good for both jumbo perch and some walleyes. A chartreuse or multi-colored jig tipped with a golden shiner has been the winning combination. Walleyes are starting to school, with nice numbers taken from 1st Duck to Ottertail, Stony Point and the Goose Island Flats on days with a good walleye chop. While anglers continue to take walleyes using a spinner and crawler combination, a jig and minnow combination is quickly taking over. Muskie fishing has slowed a bit and the fish seem to be scattered in the rocks and weeds. 800-833-1118; www.leech-lake.com

Isle/Onamia - Lake Mille Lacs

A few more people ventured out onto Lake Mille Lacs last weekend. Some fished during the day, and others after dark. Still, the bite remained somewhat tough. The evening slip-bobber and leech anglers seemed to have the most success. There has been a better bite in depths of 28 feet of water than on the shallow reefs. Areas to check out include the gravel west of Spirit Island, at Sloppy Joe's, Indian Point and Erickson's Flat. Smallmouth bass can be found 8-12 feet of water during the day. Please remember that the smallmouth bass season is now "catch-and-release" only. 888 -350-2692; www.millelacs.com

Updated Sep, 26, 2013


Walker - Leech Lake

Cool temperatures are expected to heat up the fishing action on Leech Lake this weekend. During the hot spell, some anglers still found walleyes during the day on the humps in Walker Bay and in the main lake at the Snake Pit Flats area. During evening hours, fish were found when trolling shad raps on the Walker Bay and main lake breaks. The best presentations for active fish were pulling a crawler rig or jigging a minnow. The jumbo perch bite has been limited, with a variety of sizes being reported. Many muskies were being caught and released by anglers throwing bucktails at the Portage Bay cabbage weed beds and in the rocky areas around Mokey Reef. 800-833-1118; www.leech-lake.com

Whitefish - Whitefish Chain of Lakes Region

Walleye anglers should come prepared with two baits: either leeches and minnows or crawlers and minnows. Lindy rigs and jigs are both working well. Northern pike are hitting light northern pike minnows. For the larger pike, jig in 20-plus feet of water; the smaller fish are scattered at a variety of depths. Bass anglers fishing from the docks are to be doing better using plastics or spinnerbaits. When fishing the outside edge of the weedbeds use a jumbo leech or minnow for the larger bass. Crappies and panfish are responding to lindy rigs with leeches or crawlers worked in roughly 20-22 feet of water. www.whitefish.org

Updated Sep, 13, 2013


Walker - Leech Lake

Normal September temperatures are expected to heat up action on Leech Lake this week. During the hot spell, some anglers still found walleyes during the day on the humps in Walker Bay and in the main lake at the Snake Pit Flats area. During evening hours, fish were found when trolling shad raps on the Walker Bay and main lake breaks. The best presentations for active fish were pulling a crawler rig or jigging a minnow. The jumbo perch bite has been limited, with a variety of sizes being reported. Many muskies were being caught and released by anglers throwing bucktails at the Portage Bay cabbage weed beds and in the rocky areas around Mokey Reef. 800-833-1118; www.leech-lake.com

Isle/Onamia - Lake Mille Lacs

Many anglers report a tougher bite on Lake Mille Lacs compared to the past few weeks, however, this is pretty typical for the end of August/beginning of September timeframe. Anglers having the most success are using leeches and slip bobbers during evening hours. A few fish are also being taken by anglers using crankbaits during the same time of day. Be sure to concentrate on the deep water adjacent to the mud flats and on the deep rock piles around the south end. During the midday, hit the deeper waters between the gravel bars and also in-between the mud flats since these areas generally hold nice numbers of fish. The best presentation has been to troll small crankbaits through 27-34 foot depths well off the bars, although leeches and crawlers will work in these areas as well as long as you slow down a bit. Muskie action remains best on the north end of Mille Lacs. Surface water temperatures are holding in the low 70's. Please remember that the smallmouth bass season is "catch-and-release" statewide beginning September 9th and running through February 23, 2014. 888 -350-2692; www.millelacs.com

Whitefish - Whitefish Chain of Lakes Region

Water temperatures have cooled a bit, so fishing should pick up yet this week. Walleye anglers continue to take fish on lindy rigs with leeches or crawlers. Redtail and shiners are starting to produce some fish. Early morning hours and around sundown are the best times to fish. Northern pike anglers are having success using jigs tipped with a large minnow in 20-plus feet of water. Also consider trolling deep divers or a spinnerbait for some large fish. Lots of smaller bass are coming from the shallows on a plastic or spinner; the larger bass are holding in deeper waters. For the largest fish, work the outside edge of the weedbeds using jumbo leeches or minnows. Crappies and sunnies can be found using lindy rigs with leeches or crawlers in 20-22 feet of water. www.whitefish.org

Updated Sep, 6, 2013


Walker - Leech Lake

The hot temperatures seem to have led to a hot muskie bite! The bite has been good from Portage Bay and Pelican Island to the Grand Vu cabbage weed beds and rocks, but Leech Lake offers many great muskie fishing spots and these can change day to day. Walleye and perch anglers continue to catch fish, and walleye anglers are doing especially well when trolling or drifting lindy rigs and crawlers. Fish are also being caught by anglers using a bobber and leech, or vertically jigging with a minnow at the cabbage weeds in the Walker Bay Narrows. When there is a good drifting wind, hit the two Duck Point areas for limits of walleyes. 800-833-1118; www.leech-lake.com

Isle/Onamia - Lake Mille Lacs

Lake Mille Lacs has not had as much fishing pressure lately, and the accesses have been nearly empty. One guide that has ventured out reports catching just as many fish in depths less than 15 feet as in depths of 27 feet and deeper; the deeper waters, however, looked a bit more promising since good numbers of fish and lots of bait fish were marked. Trolling with active lures is recommended. The best bet for some walleye action is to head out around dark with a slip bobber and a leech in 27-plus feet of water. 888 -350-2692; www.millelacs.com

Whitefish - Whitefish Chain of Lakes Region

Reports indicate that the walleye bite has actually picked up at bit. Anglers are taking fish on lindy rigs tipped with a leech or crawler during low light hours. Start out in 14-20 foot depths, and at sundown, try a redtail in shallower waters. The northern pike are responding best to very large minnows. Try jigging or bobber rigging on the edge of the weedlines and breaks. Another option is to troll deep divers and spinner baits. Bass anglers are taking large fish from roughly 20 feet of water, with live bait working best. Plastics around the docks are producing lots of smaller bass. Crappies and sunnies are being pulled from depths of 20 feet on small leeches and crappie minnows. The best approach has been a lindy rig tipped with a large leech. www.whitefish.org

Updated Aug, 30, 2013


Brainerd Lakes Area

Bass, northern pike, panfish and walleyes are being pulled from area lakes. Casting is working well on most area lakes. A leech under a slip bobber will also produce bass, northern and an occasional walleye when worked at the deep weedlines. The key is to suspend the bait roughly 8-14 feet down in depths of 10-20 feet. The best walleye bite has been during early morning and late evening hours. Walleye anglers are taking the most fish when using redtails and creek chubs on a lindy rig in depths down to 28 feet. 800-450-2838; www.explorebrainerdlakes.com

Walker - Leech Lake

The walleye bite has been decent, despite fluctuating air and water temperatures. During the day, Leech Lake anglers have had to work hard to stay on top of the walleyes. Some have had success bobber fishing in the cabbage weeds in the Walker Bay Narrows. Other anglers are putting fish in the boat by trolling bottom bouncers with spinner crawler rigs, or by trolling or drifting with lindy crawler rigs. Pulling crankbaits through 5-15 feet of water after dusk has been successful, especially between Sand Point and Cedar Point in Walker Bay. In the main lake, walleyes are still coming from Goose Island to the Meadows, and between the Duck Points in 10-15 feet of water. The jumbo perch bite came to halt quickly when temperatures turned hot. Muskie anglers are taking fish from the cabbage weeds in Portage Bay, and from the rocks around Little Pelican Island; for the most fish, throw or troll topwater baits such as bucktails. A good crappie bite is being reported by anglers fishing some of the smaller backwoods lakes. Anglers having the most success are using slip floats with crappie minnows tight to the structure. 800-833-1118; www.leech-lake.com

Isle/Onamia - Lake Mille Lacs

Deep water lead lines are getting walleyes in the boat during the day. Many types of crankbaits are working including shad raps and tail dancers. Shallow evening crankbait trolling continues to work well, and this bite will increase as water temperatures begin to drop. Smallmouth bass are a nice alternative when the walleye turn finicky. For the most action, hit the shallow reefs using crankbaits or rubber baits; work the boulders or fan cast the reef. The muskie action should heat up once again as fall approaches. 888 -350-2692; www.millelacs.com

Whitefish - Whitefish Chain of Lakes Region

On the Whitefish Chain of Lakes, a few walleyes were coming from depths of 20 feet during lowlight hours just late last week, with fish pulled from deeper depths during the middle of the day. For the most fish, try a jig and minnow combination or a lindy rig with a leech or crawler. Northern pike anglers have been taking large fish when using large bait; try a jig with a pike minnow, or bobber fish with any large minnow. Small northern pike have been hitting almost anything. If in doubt, try trolling a spinnerbait or a rattle trap and see what happens. Large bass seem to be responding best to live bait such as large leeches or pike minnows worked at the weedlines in roughly 20 feet of water. Large numbers of smaller fish have been hitting plastics around the docks. For crappies and sunnies, try crappie minnows or small leeches fished in or at the weedlines. The largest sunfish have been hitting large leeches on lindy rigs in roughly 20 feet of water. www.whitefish.org

Updated Aug, 22, 2013


Brainerd Lakes Area

Bass, northern pike, panfish and walleyes are being pulled from area lakes. Casting is working well on most area lakes. A leech under a slip bobber will also produce bass, northern and an occasional walleye when worked at the deep weedlines. The key is to suspend the bait roughly 8-14 feet down in depths of 10-20 feet. The best walleye bite has been during early morning and late evening hours. Walleye anglers are taking the most fish when using redtails and creek chubs on a lindy rig in depths down to 28 feet. 800-450-2838; www.explorebrainerdlakes.com

Walker - Leech Lake

Recent cooler than normal air temperatures have caused water temperatures to drop and the walleyes to become more active. When the wind blows, anglers have really had the advantage. Anglers continue to use bottom bouncers and lindy rigs, trolling or drifting with a crawler or leech. A jig with a leech or crawler will also produce fish. Cooler temperatures have also led to an increase in the jumbo perch bite, but anglers will want to stay mobile until they locate active fish. Areas to check out for both walleyes and perch include Sand Point and Little Cedar. In the main lake, Star Point and the Two Duck Points have been producing walleyes. Some muskie activity has been reported by anglers throwing spinnerbaits into the cabbage weed beds of Portage Bay, and in the rocks around Pelican Island. 800-833-1118; www.leech-lake.com

Isle/Onamia - Lake Mille Lacs

Lake Mille Lacs anglers continue to report lots of active fish in 27-35 feet of water adjacent to the mud flats and deep gravel. While trolling the deeper waters can be very effective, remember that some fish will respond better to a spinner with a crawler or rainbow worked slowly; even a really slow leech rig may out-perform the other presentations. The preferred colors this week are purple, blue and clown. Northern pike and muskie action picked up last weekend and remains good. While much of the effort has concentrated along the north end, a fair number of fish have been pulled from Wahkon and Isle bays as well. For the most fish, use large sucker minnows. 888 -350-2692; www.millelacs.com

Whitefish - Whitefish Chain of Lakes Region

On the Whitefish Chain of Lakes, a few walleyes are coming from depths of 20 feet during lowlight hours, and from deeper depths during the middle of the day. For the most fish, use a jig and minnow combination or a lindy rig with a leech or crawler. Northern pike anglers are taking large fish when using large bait; try a jig with a pike minnow, or bobber fish with any large minnow. Small northern pike will hit almost anything. If in doubt, try trolling a spinnerbait or a rattle trap and see what happens. Large bass remain in the deeper water, responding best to live bait such as large leeches or pike minnows worked at the weedlines in roughly 20 feet deep. For lots of smaller fish, use plastics around the docks. For crappies and sunnies, use crappie minnows or small leeches, fished in or at the weedlines. The largest sunfish are hitting large leeches on lindy rigs in roughly 20 feet of water. www.whitefish.org

Updated Aug, 17, 2013


Whitefish - Whitefish Chain of Lakes Region

As of late last week, the walleye bite had slowed on area lakes. Anglers that had success used lindy rigs tipped with leeches or crawlers, as well as a jig and minnow combination. Early in the morning and near sundown or later were the most productive times. Midday anglers needed to fish deeper. Northern pike anglers were doing well when using larger minnows for the larger pike. For trophy-sized fish, deeper trolling rapalas, spinners and spoons were best at the outside weedlines. Bass remained very active, with the larger fish found in deeper waters and outside of the weed beds in roughly 18 feet of water. Live bait, spinnerbaits and plastics all worked well. Some very large sunfish were pulled from 18-20 foot depths on lindy rigs with a large leech. Minnows were also producing fish.www.whitefish.org

Walker - Leech Lake

The cooler than normal temperatures the last couple of weeks has caused the Leech Lake water temperatures to drop as much as 10- to 15-degrees. These cooler temperatures have also led to better fishing. Anglers report more active fish throughout the lake. Productive techniques include trolling with spinnerbaits, and working lindy rigs with crawlers in the main lake. In Walker Bay, fish during early evening hours. Some anglers are starting to use jigs tipped with a large minnow along the shoreline breaks. Muskie action has started to improve for anglers throwing small bucktails and cowgirls around Big Rock Reef and in the Pelican Island area. The weather is forecasted to remain cool and refreshing. With the fish turning more active, hit the water for a relaxing trip before all of the fall sports season practices begin! 800-833-1118; www.leech-lake.com

Isle/Onamia - Lake Mille Lacs

Lake Mille Lacs fishing has been more challenging. As the weather begins to stabilize, fishing should to return to "normal" August levels; not great, but decent. After a front, it is wise to downsize your presentation and use a slower approach. Leeches under bobbers are still yielding fish, while anglers trolling with lead core or using crawlers with spinners are having a tougher time. Action has been best during the first and last light of the day. Most of the structure still holds fish, although some of the walleyes have moved off into slightly deeper waters. 888 -350-2692; www.millelacs.com

Updated Aug, 8, 2013


Walker - Leech Lake

Fluctuating weather conditions put a damper on fishing on Leech Lake last week, but this week's mild and stable conditions have caused the fishing to heat back up again. Crawlers and leeches remain the best bait for catching walleyes, especially when used with a green spinner and bottom bouncer. Many anglers are also having success with a lindy or roach rig, colored bead and colored hook trolled very slowly on the sand flats. Anglers fishing during early evening hours and after dark are having success when trolling shad raps on the edges of the rock reefs and wind-driven points. Walker Bay's Sand Point is often filled with anglers bobber fishing with leeches early in the evening. During the day, anglers fishing the big lake are finding some walleyes when drifting at The Meadows, and between First and Second Duck. When the wind blows, hit the rocky reefs, such as Mokey and Big Rock. Muskie reports continue to improve, with fish coming from the shallow rocks and cabbage weed beds on all types of lures, especially cowgirls and bucktails. Bass anglers are finding fish on the shorelines and deep weed edges. 800-833-1118; www.leech-lake.com

Isle/Onamia - Lake Mille Lacs

Last weekend's cool temperatures made the bite more challenging on Lake Mille Lacs. The weather has stabilized and the bite is improving quickly. Walleye anglers will want to downsize their offering and use a slower presentation. A leech under a bobber may work better than a trolled crawler and spinner. Most of the fish are being taken at the structure during low light hours. 888 -350-2692; www.millelacs.com

Updated Aug, 3, 2013


Walker - Leech Lake

Fishing on Leech Lake has been best on the deeper sand flats and at the edges of the weed beds. Anglers covering lots of water using bottom bouncers with crawlers or leeches are taking fish. Another productive method has been trolling with shad raps from early in the evening to after dark. The Goose Island Flats on to The Meadows and The Snake Pit Flats are great sandy flat areas to check out. Trolling bottom bouncers or crankbaits along the rock piles on the east side of the big lake has also produced some walleyes. The humps in Walker Bay are starting to give up some walleye during midday hours. 800-833-1118; www.leech-lake.com

Isle/Onamia - Lake Mille Lacs

The fish continue to bite on Lake Mille Lacs, and fishing is much better than it usually is at the end of July. Leeches, crawlers, minnows and hardbaits are all producing fish. Preferred colors are purple, blue and silver. Most walleyes are coming from 27-plus feet of water at the mud and gravel areas. Some of the better locations include the 4-Mile Gravel, Sloppy Joes, Greg's Flat and Seguchie Flat. A few perch are also being taken. Please note that the current warm water temperatures make it imperative to play and release fish quickly. 888 -350-2692; www.millelacs.com

Updated Jul, 26, 2013


Walker - Leech Lake

Crawlers, leeches and crankbaits are producing the majority of Leech Lake walleyes! It looks like the mayfly hatch has finally ended, so the walleye bite is expected to improve considerably. Perch should also become more active. Crawlers and leeches have been best during the day and early evening hours. The key is to cover a lot of water while trolling with a bottom bouncer spinner rig, going slow enough that the bouncer is skimming along the bottom; 1/2- to 1-ounce weights and a speed of roughly 1.5 mph is usually best. On many of the sand flats, slowly trolling a 1/16- to 1/8-ounce weight with a crawler or leech rig, 3-foot leader, red bead and red hook has been very effective for daytime and early evening walleye. At dusk, try trolling a #5 silver or gold crankbait through roughly 10 feet of water has been very effective in many parts of Leech Lake, and especially at The Saucer in Walker Bay. The rocky bottom areas on Leech Lake's east side are also giving up lots of keeper size walleyes; for the most fish, check depths of 15-20 feet in such areas as Mokey Reef to Big Rock Reef and in Sucker Bay between the Duck Points. Muskie fishing has improved, with larger jerk baits working best. Largemouth bass fishing remains good in the Walker Narrows and in Steamboat Bay. In addition to great fishing, enjoy the very popular Moondance Jam this weekend! 800-833-1118; www.leech-lake.com

Isle/Onamia - Lake Mille Lacs

Late last week, the north end of Lake Mille Lacs hosted a large mayfly hatch. The walleye bite remains good, with lots of keepers being taken. Work the top edge of the mud flats first, but don't overlook the deeper waters. Crawlers and spinners are producing about the same amount of fish as leeches and slip bobbers. Green and blue are the most productive colors. Please remember to release your fish quickly and carefully, especially when temperatures are hot. Most anglers have plenty of pictures of "24-inch fish" already so forgo the picture and return these fish to the water as quickly as possible. And please note that local bait shops still have a modest supply of larger leeches but these may not last long, which is typical of leech supplies this time of year. 888 -350-2692; www.millelacs.com

Updated Jul, 19, 2013


Brainerd Lakes Area

Walleyes seem to be switching gears every day. Most of the walleyes are hitting live bait rigs tipped with a medium-sized minnow. Night crawlers have also worked well, but the smaller fish will nibble generally tear them to pieces before the walleye can get to them! The most productive lakes have been North Long, Round, and Whitefish. When the walleyes biting, the pike and bass are! Nearly every presentation worked in 8-20 feet of water on a weedy breakline will result in an exciting day of fishing. The weedy points and inside turns should offer the best action. 800-450-2838; www.explorebrainerdlakes.com

Walker - Leech Lake

With warm, sunny weather and water temperatures in the 70s, most species of fish are exhibiting full summer patterns. Leech Lake walleye are responding best to crawlers and jumbo leeches, as well as crankbaits at dusk. A long leader trolled slowly with a red bead and red hook has been very effective. A jig with a leech or a half crawler is working well in Walker Bay's Sand Point and Cedar Point areas during evening hours. The east side of the lake from the trench off Stoney Point to the rocks at Grassy Point has produced some large walleyes for anglers pulling bottom bouncers with crawlers or leeches. On the west end of the big lake, anglers continue to find some walleyes when pulling a bottom bouncer on the Goose Island Flats on to the Meadows and Sucker Bay between the two Duck Points. Largemouth bass anglers are doing well when throwing spinnerbaits into the weed beds. Muskie fishing is expected improve rapidly now that the water temperatures have turned warm. For the most fish, throw bucktails or jerkbaits. Panfish fishing has been good from the docks and at the deeper edges of the weed beds. 800-833-1118; www.leech-lake.com

Isle/Onamia - Lake Mille Lacs

Walleye fishing remains very good, with reports indicating good action throughout Lake Mille Lacs. During the day, launch captains and guides are finding most walleyes in depths of 27-31 feet of water. On the south end of the lake and at the edges of the main lake flats such as 7 mile, 3 mile, Myr Mar and Resort flats check the gravel bars and deep rock reefs for the majority of fish, with Garrison Reef also producing lots of fish. Most anglers are having success using lindy rigs, with or without bobbers, tipped with leeches or crawlers. If lindy rigging doesn't work, bobber fish but remain mobile; once a school of fish is located, toss out a slip bobber. Smallmouth bass are active in the shallows, with the nicest fish coming from Cove Bay, the rock north of Wahkon Bay, and around Doe and Grass islands. While various plastics will get their attention, a slower and more calculated presentation will produce the most fish. Muskies are in transition from their post spawn areas to their summer haunts. Work areas with good, thick cabbage for the most action. 888 -350-2692; www.millelacs.com

Updated Jul, 12, 2013


Brainerd Lakes Area

As of late last week, anglers were taking lots of walleyes, northern pike, and bass from area lakes! North Long and Round lakes gave up the most walleyes, especially during early morning and evening hours. On windy days, a jig and shiner cast towards the weedlines in 5-15 feet of water was the most effective. A live bait rig tipped with a redtail or a nightcrawler was also a good option. The best advice is to look for fish on the edge of the weeds, and keep the boat moving. Bass and pike have been snapping up spinnerbaits, crankbaits, and jig worms. The most active fish remained in the shallows late last week; a slow retrieve through 3-12 feet of water was working best. 800-450-2838; www.explorebrainerdlakes.com

Walker - Leech Lake

Fishing remains very good on Leech Lake. The water temps have settled in at a summer level and the fish are taking on summer patterns. Leeches and crawlers seem to be best when pulling or drifting lindy rigs. A jig with a fathead or rainbow minnow is still effective, but crawlers and leeches are also working well on a jig. Most fish are in 10-14 foot depths. On days with a good walleye chop, hit the Hardwoods, Duck Point and Two Points areas. When the wind is mild, try covering a lot of water using a bottom bouncer crawler rig or pulling a leech rig, especially at the Goose Island Flats or the Meadows. Walker Bay has started to kick out fish, with good reports coming out of Templar Point, Breezy Point; for the most fish, try jigging with sucker minnows at the deeper breaks in 12-25 feet of water. Evening fishing is productive when pulling crankbaits in Walker Bay and around Pine Point. So far, the mayfly hatch has been minimal and has not affected the bite. The weather forecast for the Fourth of July week and weekend calls for wonderfully warm and sunny days, with average temperatures. It should be an awesome Fourth! 800-833-1118; www.leech-lake.com

Isle/Onamia - Lake Mille Lacs

Lake Mille Lacs guides continue to reporting great fishing, with 30-50 fish on good days and 10-20 fish on bad days --very impressive! The best action seems to be occurring at the 26-32 foot gravel edges and mud flats. For the most fish, try spinners; if fish are not responding, return to the same spots and rig with 5-8 foot snells and leeches. Slot fish are showing up regularly. Northern pike are active, especially in the smaller bays. For lots of action, use a large minnow under a bobber in 3-6 feet of water. 888-350-2692; www.millelacs.com

Updated Jul, 3, 2013


Brainerd Lakes Area

Anglers are having fun fishing the Brainerd Lakes Area lakes. Walleyes, northern pike and bass have been very aggressive. North Long and Round lakes have been best for numbers of walleyes, especially during early morning and evening hours. On windy days, cast a jig and shiner towards the weedlines in 5-15 feet of water. A live bait rig tipped with a redtail or a nightcrawler has also been a good option. Look for fish on the edge of the weeds and keep the boat moving. Bass and pike have been snapping up spinnerbaits, crankbaits, and jig worms. The most active fish remain in the shallows; a slow retrieve through 3-12 feet of water has been best. 800-450-2838; www.explorebrainerdlakes.com

Walker - Leech Lake

On Leech Lake, fishing remains very good. A mayfly hatch has started, but it doesn't seem to have affected the bite. Crawlers and leeches on rigs are still producing fish in 10-14 feet in areas such as Goose Island, the Big & Little Hardwoods, Duck Points, and Walker Bay. Walleyes are slowly migrating to the mid-lake structure in Walker Bay, with fish holding in 18-25 foot depths on top of the rock structure. Anglers using crankbaits during evening hours on the sand on the north side of Walker Bay are also doing well; the best approach is a #5 shad raps trolled at speeds of 2- to 2.5-mph. 800-833-1118; www.leech-lake.com

Isle/Onamia - Lake Mille Lacs

The bite is hot on Lake Mille Lacs, with reports of 30-50 fish days coming in from area launch captains and local guides. Surface water temperatures are averaging roughly 73-degrees, and continue to climb toward more conventional late-June levels. Some fish are beginning to make the transition to deeper waters (26-plus feet), while some remain in the shallow rocks (less than 12 feet of water). The shallow water has been best during evening hours, but some fish can even be found in the shallows during the day. Leeches under slip bobbers are the ticket here. In the deeper waters, minnows, crawlers and spinners, leeches on a simple live-bait rig, and even some hard baits are producing fish. The deep water bite is taking place at the mud flats, with some action also occurring at the deeper gravel. If the water temperatures continue to warm slowly, expect this fabulous bite to continue well into July. 888-350-2692; www.millelacs.com

Updated Jun, 28, 2013


Brainerd Lakes Area

Fishing in the Brainerd Lakes Area has been improving. Walleyes have been biting in 8-16 feet of water on the Whitefish Chain and on North Long Lake. The best choice of bait has been a jig and shiner minnow, however a live bait rig tipped with a redtail has also been producing fish. The walleyes have been transitioning to early summer spots, with some still found in spring locations. Due to a crazy spring, try different areas using various presentations until a pattern is established. Bass and crappies have active in the shallow, warm bays. For crappies, all you need is a small jig and a casting bubble. The bass have been hitting almost anything tossed toward the inside weed edge, typically 2-10 feet of water. 800-450-2838; www.explorebrainerdlakes.com

Walker - Leech Lake

Fishing remains excellent on Leech Lake. While the panfish are still up shallow, the walleye are starting to move into their summer patterns and dispersing. For the most fish, use jigs and shiners during low light hours. Leeches and crawlers have been best during late morning and afternoon hours. Recent hot spots include Goose Island, the Duck Points, and the Hardwoods. Water temperatures average 67-degrees in the main lake, and 65-degrees in Walker Bay. On other area lakes, fish have started to move deeper, with anglers pulling the majority of fish from 15-22 foot depths. Similarly to Leech, most area lakes are giving up the most fish on leeches and crawlers, although a shiner or redtail will generally produce as well. Panfish are still hitting hard in the shallows, especially on lakes that take longer to warm. Large crappies are coming in on plastics which allow anglers to cover more ground. Bobbers and minnows have been working well in areas with enough structure to hold a school of fish. Smallmouth bass action has been excellent on all area lakes holding good numbers of smallies, such as Woman, Ten Mile, Stony, and Baby lakes. These fish are moving shallow to spawn, and should be moving back into deeper waters throughout the next week or two. If you're looking to catch a 5-plus pound smallmouth bass, now is the time! 800-833-1118; www.leech-lake.com

Isle/Onamia - Lake Mille Lacs

On Lake Mille Lacs, while weekend reports were mixed, most anglers took fish and guides are still reporting 30-50 fish days. Specific patterns are hard to pinpoint since most areas and presentations are producing fish. Anglers are having success from the shallow rocks in the bright sun to the deep edges of the mud. The mud flats have turned on, especially 7-Mile, Garrison Reef, Myr Mar Flat and Resort Flat. There has also been a scattered bite along the shallow, 6-10 foot shorelines and near-shore reefs; use a jig and minnow combination or a slip bobber with a minnow or leech for the most fish. Anglers wanting to introduce kids to fishing (and have some fast action at the same time) should hit the Mille Lacs reefs for lots of smallmouth and largemouth bass. What a thrill to hear that reel, and the kids, scream! Small tubes and grubs are working best. Also exciting is all of the muskie action in the bay areas. 888-350-2692; www.millelacs.com

Updated Jun, 20, 2013


Brainerd Lakes Area

Walleye fishing really picked up in the Brainerd Lakes area last week. Walleyes have moved to the weed edges where they have been actively feeding. Round and North Long lakes have produced lots of walleyes during morning and evening hours in 8-15 feet of water. A jig and shiner minnow is really all that is needed, however, live bait rigs are producing more and more fish. Crappies and sunnies have remained in the shallows, with the majority of fish taken during afternoon hours. The best approach has been to cast a small jig with a white puddle jumper. If you find that the fish have turned a bit finicky, switch to a minnow. 800-450-2838; www.explorebrainerdlakes.com

Walker - Leech Lake

There is one benefit to a never-ending spring and that is that good fishing sticks around. Walleye fishing on Leech Lake has been phenomenal, and fish are starting to move to areas off the structure and at the edges of the deeper water. Anglers, however, continue to take fish from the big flats on the main lake. Grand View Flats, Goose Island, Duck Points, and Big & Little Hardwoods are just a few of the prime locations, with good numbers also coming from the north end of Walker Bay. Anglers are starting to make the switch to leeches and nightcrawlers, but shiner minnows continue to offer lots of success. Minnow action has been great in Walker Bay, with good-sized perch mixed in with the walleyes. Local anglers expect the rock reefs on the main lake to heat up this week. The panfish have been very active in the shallows of most area lakes. Depths of less than 3 feet of water have been best, but in the earlier parts of the day, check slightly deeper waters. The bass fishing has been sporadic. Most of these fish are still spawning, but as the water temperatures warm they will turn more aggressive. For now, check the smaller lakes and shallow bays for the most action. Anglers report that it seems more like fishing in May due to almost no emergent vegetation to key in on. 800-833-1118; www.leech-lake.com

Isle/Onamia - Lake Mille Lacs

Anglers will want to cast a line soon on Lake Mille Lacs since the fishing has been exceptional. Twenty to fifty-fish days are not uncommon, with slot keepers being taken. During the day, fish the edges. At night, stay close to the rock piles using slip bobbers with a leech or minnow in 10-15 feet of water; leeches are now producing walleyes. When the water is calm, try casting a jig and whole fathead away from boat. Smallmouth bass are also very active; for an exciting outing, hit the shallow reefs. Panfish anglers are taking good numbers of fish, especially from area lakes such as Smith, Borden and Farm Island. Panfish leeches and flu flu's or a cubby mini mite are working best. The larger crappies are active in and out of the shallows for most of the day. Water temperatures are holding in the mid- to upper 50's. Anglers should note that fishing is now allowed past 10:00 p.m. 888-350-2692; www.millelacs.com

Updated Jun, 12, 2013


Brainerd Lakes Area

Walleye fishing is really picking up in the Brainerd Lakes area. Despite more rainy days, fishing has still been pretty good. Walleyes are moving on to the weed edges where they are actively feeding. Round and North Long lakes have been producing walleyes during morning and evening hours in 8-15 feet of water. While live bait rigs are producing more and more fish, a jig and shiner minnow is really all that is needed; the versatility of the jig is beneficial since it can be vertically jigged or cast into the shallows. Crappies and sunnies are still are fairly shallow. The action has been good once the water warms a bit, so the majority of fish are being taken in the afternoons. Try a casting bubble and a small jig with a white puddle jumper for some fast-paced action. If you find that the fish are a little finicky, switch to a minnow. 800-450-2838; www.explorebrainerdlakes.com

Walker - Leech Lake

Anglers looking for a strong walleye bite should head out on Leech Lake. This past week, Leech Lake offered an amazing walleye bite, with limits taken and many more thrown back. Lots of 18-26 inch slot fish provided some great photo opportunities. Despite lousy weather, more than 540 walleyes were weighed in on the first day of last weekend's Leech Lake Walleye Tournament. Even with a cold front and bright sunny skies on Sunday, a grand total of 800-plus walleye were weighed in over two days. Winners of last weekend's Leech Lake Walleye Tournament said they had the most success using nightcrawlers and some leeches. The second place winners used the more standard spring presentation, a jig and minnow combination. Both sets of winners stated that staying mobile was the key to success, especially in depths of 8-20 feet. Overall, most anglers found success using a jig and minnow combination in 5-15 feet of water on the wind-driven points and shorelines. Leeches and crawlers are starting to produce fish as water temperatures warm. While the bite has been good all over the big lake, a few hot spots for walleyes that need to be mentioned are Pine Point, Joe's Landing, Star Point, the Meadows, Little and Big Harwood, Stoney Point, Two Points and Ottertail. 800-833-1118; www.leech-lake.com

Isle/Onamia - Lake Mille Lacs

On Lake Mille Lacs, much of the bite remains on the north end in 12-16 feet of water, although some fish have been taken at the bottom of the break too. Anglers should also check out Sherman's Point, The Vineland or Big Point where lots of big fish are also being taken. Minnows are still the best, with leeches and crawlers close behind. The top patterns have been chartreuse/orange and chartreuse/green. Those using spinners will need to slow down until the water warms a bit. The evening slip bobber and leech bite has been short, but well worth the time. Be sure you do not "oversize" your leeches this early in the season. Northern pike action has been good on suckers. Please note that the Night Ban remains in effect and no one may fish for any species or possess fishing gear on the lake from 10:00 p.m. through 6:00 a.m. through 12:01 a.m. on Monday, June 10. This includes fishing from shore or docks as well. 888-350-2692; www.millelacs.com

Updated Jun, 10, 2013


Walker - Leech Lake

Leech Lake anglers have been challenged by different weather fronts and a gusty southeast wind for much of the past week. Despite the changes in weather, fishing remained good. Walleyes have been coming from depths of 4-10 feet. A stand-up jig with a red hook and shiner or rainbow minnow has been a good choice, and a lindy rig with a red hook has also worked well. On windy days, pulling a sea anchor was the best way to fish. On calm days, anglers also had success when slowly trolling. Although walleyes have been active nearly all day, some early evening fishing has been fast and furious, especially around Pine Point. Pine Point offers a good drifting wind which worked well this past week, with all sizes of walleyes being taken. The west shoreline, starting at Joe's Landing, Star Point and the Hardwoods, has also produced some good walleye catches and some nice jumbo perch. Other spots where anglers are having success are Grassy Point, Stoney Point and Ottertail Point. In addition to walleyes, Leech Lake is well-known for its largemouth and smallmouth bass population, and the bass season is now open. Leech Lake surface water temperatures have been warming up into the upper 40s in Walker Bay and the middle 50s in big lake. Anglers need to use extra caution while water temperatures remain cool. 800-833-1118; www.leech-lake.com

Isle/Onamia - Lake Mille Lacs

As of last Friday, the best walleye bite was in the warmest waters of Lake Mille Lacs. Surface water temperatures were hovering around 50-degrees. The most consistent action was taking place on the north end sand in the Vineland and Big Point areas. Minnows and small- to medium-sized leeches will do the trick. Please note that no one may fish for any species or possess fishing gear on the lake from 10:00 p.m. through 6:00 a.m. through 12:01 a.m. on Monday, June 10. 888-350-2692; www.millelacs.com

Updated Jun, 4, 2013

This report is brought to you in part by: www.upnorthoutdoors.com and other noted sources.

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