Isle/Onamia - Lake Mille Lacs

As of late last week, muskie anglers were hitting more frequently due to the drop in water temperature - the surface temperature was running in the mid-50s. While it remains too warm for the tullibees to begin their spawn (temperatures in the mid-40s are best), there were reports of good numbers and large fish. Anglers having the most success were using double buck tails, Bulldawgs and huge live suckers. Fewer smallmouth anglers were heading out, but those who did either had lots of success or only took a few. This bite will taper off as the water temperature continues to drop. The docks were still in at the public accesses. 888-350-2692; www.millelacs.com

Updated Oct, 20, 2017


Isle/Onamia - Lake Mille Lacs

Lots of large smallmouth bass are being pulled from the shallows of Lake Mille Lacs, but by this weekend, most should be in the deeper waters. For now, use crayfish-style baits, or tube and grub type jigs. It’s been an excellent year for bass fishing, and all of the attention from the Bassmaster Tournament is drawing people from throughout the country! 888-350-2692; www.millelacs.com

Updated Oct, 13, 2017


Walker - Leech Lake

Walleye fishing has been erratic lately but the cooler temperatures and stable weather conditions should push the water temperatures down into the upper 50s which is usually when fall fishing takes off. A 1/8-ounce jig tipped with a golden shiner or rainbow is a great presentation. Cadence and colors can change from day to day, so pay attention to the details. Look to the shorelines and points that have wind blowing into them for some of the best action. When the wind is strong, fish depths of 5 to 8 feet; on lighter blow days, move out into depths of 10 to 12 feet. The popular spots should hold fish such as Pine Point, Stoney, Little Stony, Ottertail, Two Points, Sandy Beach, and the flats around Goose Island. Since the flats can be intimidating for fish, cover ground and work a large area until you connect with fish, then work over that area. 800-833-1118; www.leech-lake.com

Isle/Onamia - Lake Mille Lacs

On Thursday, Oct. 5, the harvest moon rose. While there’s not a lot of scientific evidence about the effects of a full moon on fishing, many anglers experience an increase in the bite. The Farmer’s Almanac states that some of the “best fishing days in 2017” would be from Sept. 20 through Oct. 5. It also declared that “fish tend to feed more at sunrise and sunset, and also during a full moon (when tides are higher than average).” It should be good out there this weekend, with a great bass, northern pike and muskie bite. 888-350-2692; www.millelacs.com

Updated Oct, 6, 2017


Isle/Onamia - Lake Mille Lacs

The edge of the cabbage weeds or any good broadleaf weed has been excellent for smallmouth bass. These weeds often hold their color late into the winter, providing habitat for gamefish and baitfish. For the next few weeks, expect to find a multitude of species amongst the aquatic foliage, specifically smallmouth bass and northern pike. Plastic jigs are producing the most fish – they would produce even better if tipped with live bait but live bait isn’t allowed on Mille Lacs at this time. The bass haven’t started to school since the water temperatures remain a bit high, but soon they will gather and fishing should only improve. Currently, anglers are taking roughly 20 smallies a day. Look in 6 feet of water in the morning, and 25 feet of water during midday hours. 888-350-2692; www.millelacs.com

Updated Sep, 29, 2017


Brainerd Lakes Area

Last weekend, the walleye had started to drop into deeper waters on most lakes. The edges of the large flats which dropped quickly into the lake basin in 26 to 32 feet of water were the most common location. Jigging and rigging accounted for the majority of the fish, and minnows were out-producing all other baits. Some of the bass had moved shallow while others had dropped deep. Crappies had started to move the sharp breaks which dropped quickly to deeper water. 800-450-7247; www.visitbrainerd.com

Isle/Onamia - Lake Mille Lacs

Bass anglers did very well during the Toyota Bassmaster Angler of the Year Championship last weekend. Twenty anglers presented bags weighing over 20 pounds! The northern pike and muskie action has heated up, and bite will only improve as fall takes hold. Anglers are having success using large suckers floated, drifted and trolled along the deep edges of the weedlines. Some anglers are also doing well with X-raps and bulldawgs worked in 10 to 15 feet of water. 888-350-2692; www.millelacs.com

Updated Sep, 22, 2017


Isle/Onamia - Lake Mille Lacs

The Toyota Bassmaster Angler of the Year Championship will take place Sept. 14-17 on Lake Mille Lacs, with the top 50 Elite Series anglers fighting for the coveted Angler of the Year title and qualification to the 2018 GEICO Bassmaster Classic. Each morning, anglers will head out from Eddy’s Resort at 6:40. Weigh-ins and a Community Expo will be held at Grand Casino Mille Lacs on Saturday, Sept. 16. Please note that the walleye season is currently closed on Lake Mille Lacs. Anglers may not target walleye until December 1. Only artificial bait and lures are allowed in an angler's possession until 11:59 p.m. on November 30. Anglers may target northern pike and muskie using sucker minnows greater than 8 inches in length. Another exception is that anglers fishing for species other than walleye may use live bait during daylight hours as long as they are fishing from shore, dock or pier. Learn more. 888-350-2692; www.millelacs.com

Updated Sep, 15, 2017


Walker - Leech Lake

Despite the fluctuations in weather, Leech Lake anglers continue to do well with the walleye. Water temps have dropped to the mid-60s caused some changes in fishing patterns. The deeper waters have been best, with anglers pulling walleye 18 to 30 feet of water over the deeper structure on lindy rigs with crawlers or red tails. The crankbait bite is on the decline, but there fish can be found using this method. 800-833-1118; www.leech-lake.com

Isle/Onamia - Lake Mille Lacs

The walleye season is currently closed on Lake Mille Lacs. Anglers may not target walleye until December 1. Only artificial bait and lures are allowed in an angler's possession until 11:59 p.m. on November 30. Anglers may, however, target northern pike and muskie using sucker minnows greater than 8 inches in length. Another exception is that anglers fishing for species other than walleye may use live bait during daylight hours as long as they are fishing from shore, dock or pier. Learn more. 888-350-2692; www.millelacs.com

Updated Sep, 8, 2017


Isle/Onamia - Lake Mille Lacs

As of late last week, walleye were coming from 23 feet of water and deeper. Crawlers and spinners were best during the day, while leeches under a slip bobber turned lots of fish in the evening. The smallmouth bite was challenging. Anglers that did take "smallies" used a drop shot rig very slowly at the largest rocks in 10 to 20 feet of water. Some of the hot spots were Sherman's Point, Hennepin Island and Three Mile. 888-350-2692; www.millelacs.com

Updated Sep, 1, 2017


Brainerd Lakes Area

Walleye are being pulled from the deeper weed edges in 18 to 24 feet of water on most main lake structures of North Long and Gull lakes, and the Whitefish Chain of lakes. Minnows have been best. Bass activity has slowed with the cooler water temperatures. The larger northern pike have started to move into the shallows near the cabbage weeds. 800-450-7247; www.visitbrainerd.com

Updated Aug, 25, 2017


Walker - Leech Lake

The walleye bite has been inconsistent on Leech Lake, but the more stable weather conditions are improving the bite. Some walleye are hitting jigs with leeches during early morning and late evening hours. Rigging nightcrawlers a bit deeper has also worked some days. The bite can be strong on cloudy days with a little wind. In fact, anglers reported 20 to 30 fish mornings ahead of last week’s cold front. Trolling crankbaits through 14 to 15 feet of water has been effective for some nice 17 to 19 inch fish during midday hours. Chrome-patterned #6 shad raps and #10 husky jerks have been effective. Muskie are hitting 8 to 10 inch jerk baits worked erratically over the rocks or weeds. Bucktail spinners have been turning some fish later in the day once the water has warmed a bit. Please remember to handle these fish carefully and release them quickly, especially late in the summer. August is the best time to target largemouth bass on Leech Lake. For the most action, hit the wild rice, bullrushes, coontails and lily pads in 2 to 5 feet of water. Boy, Sucker and Steamboat bays are great places to start. Smallmouth bass are sliding out a bit deeper, and more people are targeting these feisty fish. For the most action, use tube jigs, jerk baits or deep-diving crankbaits. 800-833-1118; www.leech-lake.com

Isle/Onamia - Lake Mille Lacs

Anglers are excited for the temporary re-opening of the catch-and-release walleye season and the temporary lifting of the "live bait ban" scheduled for 6 a.m. Friday, Aug. 11, and running through September 4. Beginning Sept. 5, both the "walleye ban" and the "live bait ban" are scheduled to resume through the end of November. The smallmouth bass bite has slowed a bit. While 12 to 15 smallmouth per trip seems pretty good, expectations have been high following all of the publicity the lake has received for bass fishing. For the most action, use a drop shot rig, with jerk baits and tubes running a close second and third. Eight to 12 feet of water has been during low light periods; when the sun is higher in the sky, hit depths of 12 to 20 feet. The northern pike bite has improved, with nice fish coming in on large suckers worked in 9 to 14 feet of water. 888-350-2692; www.millelacs.com

Updated Aug, 11, 2017


Isle/Onamia - Lake Mille Lacs

Northern pike action on Lake Mille Lacs is decent for this time of year, with a few great days mixed in. Most of these fish can be found along the weed edges in 10 to 14 feet of water. Live suckers measuring more than 8 inches in length, spinner baits and rattle baits are turning the most fish – some of the larger fish are coming in on live suckers, however. Smallmouth bass action has improved, with fish coming from 6 to 20 feet of water on the rocky points and reefs. Bass anglers report the best action when using tubes, grubs, finesse baits and drop shot rigs. Browns and greens are the top colors. Some of the better smallmouth spots include 3-mile Reef, Myr-Mar Reef and Hennepin Island. 888-350-2692; www.millelacs.com

Updated Aug, 4, 2017


Walker - Leech Lake

Morning and evening hours have been best on Leech Lake. Try slip bobber fishing in the weeds in 6-14 feet of water with a small leech or lindy rigging with a crawler or minnow on the breaklines in 18-28 feet of water depending on the day. In Walker Bay, the shoreline breaks, underwater points and bars remain best. Some of the humps are starting to show fish, but they are not eager to bite. This bite should increase in August. On the main lake, pulling crankbaits such as #5 or #7 shad raps or flicker shads has been best – long-lining, pulling lead core or using planer boards in 12 to 17 feet of water will enhance the bite. Area lakes are also giving up great multi species action. Smallmouth and largemouth bass fishing has been excellent. For the most smallmouth action, hit the rocks and gravel in 12 to 15 feet of water; largemouth bass can be found holding on the weed edges in 10-15 feet of water. Tubes, jig worms, and drop shot have all been good. For panfish, hit the weed edges using a jig and a tube during evening hours, and fan cast until you find them. Many of these lakes still offer good walleye fishing, with fish relating to the weedlines in 18 to 25 feet of water. For the most action, pull lindy rigs with crawlers or minnows. 800-833-1118; www.leech-lake.com

Isle/Onamia - Lake Mille Lacs

The northern pike bite on Lake Mille Lacs has taken off, with a good mix of big and small fish pulled from the upper 1/3 of the lake. About half of the fish are coming on live suckers under bobbers, with the other half taken by casting and trolling. Depths of 10 to 14 feet along the weedlines are best. Smallmouth bass action has tapered off a bit, likely due to the young-of-the-year hatch becoming "food-size." This is generally the case with walleye as well. After a certain amount of the hatch is consumed, the bite usually improves. Currently, most of the fish are coming from 12 to 20 feet of water on drop-shot rigs and senko-type plastics. The morning bite has been best. A great way to locate fish in the middle of summer on Lake Mille Lacs is to find the crayfish since just about every species forage for crayfish, especially young crayfish. 888-350-2692; www.millelacs.com

Updated Jul, 28, 2017


Brainerd Lakes Area

As of late last week, mid-summer patterns had taken hold. The smallmouth bass were on the mid-lake structure surrounded by deeper waters. It didn’t matter if the structure was weedy, rocky or sandy, as long as the break topped out at 9 to 16 feet. A slip bobber with a white jig tipped with a leech worked well just 3 feet off the bottom. Along with the smallmouth and largemouth bass a few northern pike and two walleye. The key was to locate the schools using a locator, then drop a buoy marker, anchor off the edge within casting distance, and fish around the buoy. Hubert Lake was giving up walleye just off the weed edges in 14 to 22 feet of water during the day. By evening, the fish had moved up the drop-off where they could be found in 10 feet of water. Crawler harnesses with a #4 purple and gold blades produced well at 1.0 to 1.3 mph. Northern pike were aggressive. On Gull Lake, bluegills were staging on the tips of the points and on the inside corners. The key was finding good cabbage. 800-450-7247; www.visitbrainerd.com

Updated Jul, 21, 2017


Isle/Onamia - Lake Mille Lacs

Surface water temperatures are finally holding around the 70 degree mark on Lake Mille Lacs. The weed growth is a little behind normal, but not too far. A decent northern pike bite is being reported in several of the bays along the weed edges in 10 to 13 feet of water. Anglers are having success using live suckers, with bucktails also turning fish. Please note that anglers may only use live suckers if they measure more than 8 inches during the walleye closure. Lake Mille Lacs' smallmouth bass remain very active in depths of 8 to 14 feet on the rock piles. Tube baits, dingers and dream shots are producing the most fish. Some anglers report a nice topwater bite at dawn and dusk. Lake Mille Lacs has been ranked the best bass lake in the country by Bassmaster! Find out for yourself why bass anglers love this lake! 888-350-2692; www.millelacs.com

Updated Jul, 14, 2017


Isle/Onamia - Lake Mille Lacs

As of late last week, the walleye bite on Lake Mille Lacs remained strong. Fish were pulled from a variety of depths ranging from 8-35 feet, with the best concentrations in 23-32 feet of water. While the mud flats gave up better numbers of fish, the deep gravel was best for large fish. Leeches on a simple rig worked well, as did crawlers and spinners. Smallmouth bass action was great for anglers using jerkbaits and small tubes or grubs in 10-14 feet of water. Few anglers were chasing northern pike and muskie, but those that did reported an improvement in the bite, especially in 8-12 feet of water. Lake Mille Lacs has been ranked the best bass lake in the country by Bassmaster! Find out for yourself why bass anglers love this lake! 888-350-2692; www.millelacs.com

Updated Jul, 7, 2017


Walker - Leech Lake

The Leech Lake walleye bite remains very good, however, the recent mayfly hatches have made walleyes somewhat selective in some areas. Small leeches or a half of night crawler has been best either on a light jig in the shallows, or on a lindy rig in waters a bit deeper. Some anglers are taking large fish when trolling crankbaits through 20-25 feet of water. The typical hot spots are being pounded. Anglers looking for nice numbers of fish are encouraged to get away from the crowds and check out 5-15 feet of water at the reeds, cabbage weeds, sand patches and boring looking flats and shorelines. Bass and sunfish have moved into the Leech Lake shallows to spawn. This is a great time to sight fish for a good-sized bucket mouth, with just about any bass presentation working well. Please practice catch and release when fishing for these spawning fish. 800-833-1118; www.leech-lake.com

Isle/Onamia - Lake Mille Lacs

If you haven't been to Mille Lacs yet this season, come now. Walleye action continues to make headlines all over the place - locally, regionally and even well outside of the traditional markets. The walleye are shallow and deep, on the rocks, gravel and mud, and in the weeds. Leeches are the top bait, followed closely by crawlers. Some of the better spots include Indian Point, 4-mile gravel, Garrison Reef and Sherman's Flat. The post-spawn smallmouth bass bite are active at their summer haunts in 9-14 feet of water on the rock piles. Three-inch tubes and grubs in browns and greens have been best, especially when using a "slow" approach. Northern pike are not as active as they will be in another week or so. For the most pike action, use live suckers in 7-12 feet of water. 888-350-2692; www.millelacs.com

Updated Jun, 30, 2017


Isle/Onamia - Lake Mille Lacs

As of late last week, Lake Mille Lacs walleye anglers were doing well at the mudflats, but the flats still held the largest concentration of walleye. Leeches, crawlers, minnows, crankbaits and even some plastics were all producing fish. Walleye could be found on numerous structure with varying bottoms, and in depths of 6-35 feet. A few smallmouth bass remained on their beds, but most fish had relocated to 10-14 feet of water on the edges of the rocky shorelines and reefs. Tube baits were best, but fish were also responding jigs tipped with minnows, and other presentations. Northern pike and muskie action was spotty at best, with most of the fish coming from the bays along the south end of Mille Lacs. Live suckers were key in these locations. 888-350-2692; www.millelacs.com

Updated Jun, 23, 2017


Walker - Leech Lake

The fishing on Leech Lake remains very good. Some days can be slower than others but if you put in the time you will find fish. An early summer pattern has developed. When the wind blows, the rock bite has been best -- look to the reefs such as Submarine Island and the Annex. Walleye are also holding on some of the smaller structures just off shore. In moderate winds, work the sand in Traders and Sucker bays. While you can still catch fish on a jig and shiner, lindys with leeches or crawlers will also put fish in the boat. Muskie action should heat up in a few weeks. 800-833-1118; www.leech-lake.com

Updated Jun, 16, 2017


Walker - Leech Lake

Leech Lake continues to give up lots of fish, with a variety of presentations working well. Most fish seems to be transitioning from a spring to early summer pattern. The windy shorelines in Portage and Sucker bays are producing lots of fish, but the ratio of walleye to northern pike is starting to favor the pike. For the most action, use a jig and minnow. Some of the main lake rock reefs are starting to heat up, especially when it’s windy -- try a lindy rig with a leech or crawler, or a jig and shiner, especially at Big Rock Reef and The Annex. In calmer conditions, head to the deeper rock reefs. If you don’t find the fish on top of these reefs, check the edges in 20-25 feet of water. 800-833-1118; www.leech-lake.com

Updated Jun, 14, 2017


Walker - Leech Lake

The fishing on Leech Lake remained hot over the weekend, despite inclement weather. Lots of fish were pulled from Sucker and Portage Bays. The best presentation for a mixed bag of walleye, large perch, and medium-size northern pike was jig tipped with a shiner worked in 7-10 feet of water on the windy sides of the bays. The rock pile bite is starting to heat up. The crappie and sunfish bite is in full swing, especially in the bulrushes in the northern bays. 800-833-1118; www.leech-lake.com

Isle/Onamia - Lake Mille Lacs

Lake Mille Lacs gave up amazing numbers of walleye last week, despite inclement weather. Anglers have been surprised about the bite and lack of traffic at the “hot spots” on the lake. The north end and most rock reefs around the perimeter of the lake continued to offer a great daytime bite. Even the mud flats were already producing well. Shiners and leeches were best, with crawlers turning some fish as well. Smallmouth action was decent, but a little behind where it was last year at this time. The cool water kept many of these fish in 8-12 feet of water. The bass were expected to soon move into the shallows. Small tubes or jerkbaits were key to nice bass. The northern pike was sporadic, but some anglers had success using small suckers in Cove and Wahkon bays. The surface temperature were in the mid-50s. 888-350-2692; www.millelacs.com

Updated Jun, 2, 2017


Brainerd Lakes Area

The late evening trolling bite on Gull Lake remains strong for walleye anglers. North Long Lake is giving up a few walleye during the day in depths of 16-18 feet. The windblown structure on the main lake has given up the most fish to anglers using red tails and shiner minnows. The majority of crappies have finished spawning and have moved back to deeper waters. Key locations are in 8-11 feet of water near outer edge of the cabbage weeds. Slip bobbers tipped with a small jig and minnow have been the most effective. The sunfish are spawning in depths of 4-6 feet on many area lakes. The Minnesota bass season officially opens this Saturday, May 27. For the most fish, use jigs tipped with worms in depths of 6-9 feet of water at the pencil reeds. Expect fishing action to continually improve as the water temperatures warm. 800-450-7247; www.visitbrainerd.com

Walker - Leech Lake

While last weekend’s cold front put a damper on the bite, Leech Lake continued to produce lots of fish. A jig tipped with a shiner worked well at the windblown points, especially Pine, Two, Ottertail, and Grassy points. This week’s calmer waters and milder conditions have increased the bite, with many larger walleye and lots of northern pike coming from the Annex. The rock structures on the south end of Leech Lake are just starting to produce fish – remain mobile for the most fish. In Walker Bay, baitfish and walleye have slid out into 15-20 feet of water where the water is the warmest. For the deeper fish, use lindy rigs tipped with leeches or crawlers near the secondary shoreline breaks. By this weekend, check the shallows as well. This weekend, expect to find quite a few perch in the weeds. And northern pike are biting like crazy just about everywhere! 800-833-1118; www.leech-lake.com

Isle/Onamia - Lake Mille Lacs

Fishing has been great on Lake Mille Lacs, with numerous walleye in the 16- to 22-inch class reported. There are even reports of 15-20 fish being caught in an hour! Key locations have been sandy areas in 8-12 feet of water. The best presentation has been a jig and shiner minnow. The largemouth and smallmouth bass season opens this Saturday, May 27. Many consider Lake Mille Lacs to be the best smallmouth bass fishery in the state, and USA Today recently listed Mille Lacs as one of “America’s best bass fishing lakes and ponds.” In fact, bass weighing 4-pounds or more are common! On Lake Mille Lacs, the combined possession limit for largemouth bass and smallmouth bass is three, with only one bass over 21-inches allowed. All bass measuring 17- to 21-inches must be immediately released. 888-350-2692; www.millelacs.com

Updated May, 26, 2017


Walker - Leech Lake

Fishing was relatively good on the west end of Leech Lake last weekend depending on the time of day and weather conditions. Saturday’s bright skies and calm wind made it tough for some walleye anglers. The best locations were the green cabbage weeds in 5-7 feet of water where walleye responded to jigs tipped with a plastic or a minnow. Areas around Goose Island such as the West Goose Flats, Hardwoods, Meadows, Star Point, and Grand Vu Flats all produced fish throughout the weekend in 4-11feet of water. Locating schools of bait fish was the real key to success. The wind on Sunday greatly improved the bite in these areas. Shiners, rainbows or plastics on 1/8-ounce jigs were the best presentations. Fishing on the south and east sides of Leech Lake was great the entire weekend. The majority of fish were pulled from the Pelican Island, Annex Reef, and south shore next to Trappers Landing. A jig with a spottail minnow was the best approach, especially in depths of 6-10 feet. Keeping the presentation away from the boat was also helpful. While many fish were in the protected slot, there were lots of nice keepers. 800-833-1118; www.leech-lake.com

Isle/Onamia - Lake Mille Lacs

The weather was perfect for the 2017 Lake Mille Lacs opener, and the bite was great! Lake traffic was down somewhat compared to historical "opening day levels," but anglers reported a remarkable walleye bite. Also noted was the overall size of the fish with many measuring over 22 inches. Walleye were pulled from 6-30 feet of water, but the best walleye bite was in depths of 12-18 feet. The largest concentration of fish is typically along the north end of the lake, but this year the entire perimeter of the lake produced well. It was even called "easy" by many! Leeches and shiners were the top baits, but some fish also came in on crawlers and crankbaits. Some of the best areas included the north-end sand, Big Point, Sherman's Point, Hawkbill, and Mile-and-a-quarter Reef. The hot walleye bite is expected to continue until at least the beginning of July. Smallmouth bass fishing was a little behind the usual for this time of year since many of these fish haven't moved into the super-shallow (docks, boat lifts) areas yet. Even a number of the smallmouth anglers caught walleye while they were casting for bass. There weren't too many anglers chasing northern pike, and those who did found it average at best. Small suckers in 6-10 feet of water produced the majority of these fish. Surface water temperatures remain in the low to mid-50s. Please remember that angling for walleye is catch-and-release only, and all walleye must be immediately returned to the water. There is a ban on night fishing until June 2. Beginning June 3, muskellunge and northern pike may be targeted nightly from 10 p.m. to 6 a.m. with artificial lures or sucker minnows longer than 8 inches. Prior to May 27, 2017, all largemouth and smallmouth bass that are caught must be immediately released. Learn more about Lake Mille Lacs fishing regulations. 888-350-2692; www.millelacs.com

Updated May, 19, 2017


Walker - Leech Lake

We are counting down to the most anticipated day of the season for walleye anglers, fishing opener 2017! Here are some basic tips to help you keep your rods bent, and your landing-net wet this coming weekend on Leech Lake. Use a light 1/8-ounce jig with a shiner minnow during the day on opening day. A heavier jig and plastic combo can be fished a little more aggressively to search-out the active walleye. At night, try trolling with shallow-diving minnow baits since this presentation can result in large numbers of walleye, along with some trophy-sized fish. Concentrate on main-lake shoreline flats or points. Most walleye generally come from 6-15 feet of water early in the season. 800-833-1118; www.leech-lake.com

Isle/Onamia - Lake Mille Lacs

The reef markers and docks are in on Lake Mille Lacs. The surface water temperatures are currently in the low to mid-50s. For the most walleye action, drop a leech under a slip bobber or try rigging with leeches. During morning and evening hours, hit the shallower reefs; during daylight hours, hit the deeper waters. Anglers expect a great walleye bite so plastic baits may also work well. Bass anglers will want to use plastics at the shallow water rocks. If the bass aren’t biting, move to the edges of the rocks in slightly deeper water. Northern pike should be very active, slamming sucker minnows and trolled spinnerbaits in the bays. 888-350-2692; www.millelacs.com

Updated May, 12, 2017


Walker - Leech Lake

The erratic weather has led to a “hit-or-miss” panfish bite. Fishing for perch, sunfish and crappies has been productive in the shallows during periods of warm temperatures, but when the temperatures turn cold the fish retreat to deeper water where their metabolism slows. Much warmer weather is in the forecast for the next week or so, and this should help kick things into high gear this weekend and through the May 13 fishing opener! The water temperatures on Leech Lake have been hovering around 40-50 degrees for about a week, and these are the preferred water temperatures for the walleye spawn. Accidental catches of walleye by perch anglers have shown that most female walleye have already spawned, which is right on schedule. Once the spawn is complete, expect these fish to be very hungry – just in time for the opener! 800-833-1118; www.leech-lake.com

Isle/Onamia - Lake Mille Lacs

USA Today recently listed Lake Mille Lacs as one of America’s best bass fishing lakes and ponds. According to Shaw Grigsby, “At Mille Lacs, a 3-pound (smallmouth) is a small bass.” Anglers are looking forward to the Minnesota Fishing Opener on May 13 to take advantage of amazing bass population on Lake Mille Lacs! 888-350-2692; www.millelacs.com

Updated May, 5, 2017


Isle/Onamia - Lake Mille Lacs

While the weather was spectacular last weekend, temperatures in the 30s arrived Wednesday with snow flurries on Thursday. Water temperatures on Lake Mille Lacs have dipped back down to the upper 40s. 888-350-2692; www.millelacs.com

Updated Apr, 28, 2017


Walker - Leech Lake

A few anglers are starting to trickle out in hopes of finding fast panfish action on Leech Lake. Last weekend, weather conditions made it tough to connect with the crappies and sunnies. The perch were cooperating, with active pre-spawn fish found in depths of 4-6 feet in a few areas. The surface water temperatures were already in the high 40s, and even hit 50 in a few places. These early warm water temperatures should make the May 13 opener a great one! 800-833-1118; www.leech-lake.com

Updated Apr, 21, 2017


Isle/Onamia - Lake Mille Lacs

Anglers should note that walleye fishing on Lake Mille Lacs will be closed from July 7-27 to reduce hooking mortality, and the 2017/2018 walleye season will be catch-and-release only. Lake Mille Lacs does have a very strong population of bass, northern pike and muskie so there are many great fishing options on the lake. 888-350-2692; www.millelacs.com

Updated Mar, 31, 2017


Isle/Onamia - Lake Mille Lacs

DNR officials have decided to shut down walleye fishing on Lake Mille Lacs from July 7-27 to reduce "hooking mortality,” and have declared that the 2017/2018 walleye season be catch-and-release only on Mille Lacs. Anglers should remember that Mille Lacs has a very strong population of bass, northern pike and muskie so there are many great fishing options on the lake. 888-350-2692; www.millelacs.com

Updated Mar, 24, 2017


Isle/Onamia - Lake Mille Lacs

No report is currently available, however, a number of Lake Mille Lacs resort accesses can be viewed at www.MNLakeCams.com. As always, it is critical that anglers obtain the most current ice conditions before heading out. As of late last week, a decent northern pike bite was reported by anglers using suckers in 10-14 feet of water near the weed edges. A few walleye were being taken at first and last light, as well as periodically throughout the night. Perch and tullibee were also being taken, but the bite was tough. Anglers having the most success were using a hawger spoon tipped with a waxworm or spike in 28-32 feet of water over a soft bottom. This technique was working for both the perch and tullibee. 888-350-2692; www.millelacs.com

Updated Mar, 4, 2017


Isle/Onamia - Lake Mille Lacs

Conditions on Lake Mille Lacs are changing daily, and many of the accesses are no longer accessible. It is imperative that anyone planning to venture out first check with a bait ship or resort for the most current conditions for the area you plan to fish. A number of Lake Mille Lacs resort accesses can be viewed at www.MNLakeCams.com. The 34th Annual Perch Extravaganza will still be held at Nitti’s Hunters Point Resort. If you plan on taking part in the tournament, please call ahead to learn the most current status. Again, it is critical that anglers obtain the most current ice conditions before heading out. In terms of angling, a decent northern pike bite is being reported by anglers using suckers in 10-14 feet of water near the weed edges. A few walleye can be found at first and last light, as well as periodically throughout the night. Perch and tullibee are also being taken, but the bite can be tough. For the most action, use a hawger spoon tipped with a waxworm or spike in 28-32 feet of water over a soft bottom. This technique should work for both species. 888-350-2692; www.millelacs.com

Updated Feb, 24, 2017


Walker - Leech Lake

Fishing has heated up on Leech Lake! The walleye bite was strong over the weekend on the main lake during evening hours and overnight. The Goose Island area, Stoney Point and the Pelican Island area offered anglers consistent action for both keepers and large fish, with most of the larger fish taken overnight. Buckshot rattle spoons in glow colors tipped with a full minnow produced the most fish. A set line on a rattle reel with a plain hook and rainbow was a close second in producing fish of all sizes. Walker Bay continues to kick out smaller fish, with the bite moving back to the shoreline areas. First Point, Cedar Point and Breezy Point all produced fish over the week. As anglers start to move into position on sharp shoreline breaks to catch the infamous eelpout, they have been greeted with a few active walleye as well. The perch bite is picking up, with most active fish coming from depths of 12-16 feet on the main lake around Goose Island. Eelpout activity is starting to increase as they approach their spawn. For the most action, use glow spoons tipped with 2-3 minnows. The Eelpout Festival is just around the corner. While the ice is rough, ice conditions remain very good throughout Walker Bay and all parts of the main lake. 800-833-1118; www.leech-lake.com

Isle/Onamia - Lake Mille Lacs

As of Friday, Feb. 10, a good "night bite" was being reported by Lake Mille Lacs anglers. It usually started a little before sunset and continued through the night until an hour or so after sunrise. Most of the fish came in on rattle reels with a whole minnow on a lightweight glow jig. During the day, anglers had the most success using a slender spoon, tingler or hawger spoon tipped with a piece of minnow. The daytime fish were more active on the mud flats than on the gravel. The best location was a turn or edge that hadn't been heavily fished. Northern pike was decent for those using larger suckers under a tip-up in 10-14 feet of water. The ice was expected to “flex” due to warm temperatures. Anglers were urged to cross any cracks or heaves on a bridge. 888-350-2692; www.millelacs.com

Updated Feb, 17, 2017


Walker - Leech Lake

Walleye fishing has been sporadic throughout Leech Lake. Anglers are encouraged to avoid the crowds and find locations. Untouched ice can be easy to locate, especially if you have a snowmobile or ATV. Those with trucks will need to avoid all heaves and cracks. Walker Bay has been good for a decent walleye bite. For the most fish, hit the deeper humps in 25-35 feet of water. Anglers have also had success along the shoreline breaks near Cedar, and in depths of 15-20 feet. The Sand Point area is kicking out some walleye and perch in 12-16 feet of water. Perch anglers have also done well in 5-7 feet of water in some of the shallower bays. 800-833-1118; www.leech-lake.com

Updated Feb, 10, 2017


Walker - Leech Lake

The walleye bite has been sporadic on Leech Lake, especially when there is a change in weather patterns but the bite seems to pick back up when weather patterns turn more stable. On the main lake, anglers using jigging spoons such as flutter type baits or rattle baits with a minnow head in areas that have been untouched are taking the most fish. Key areas include pinch points, inside turns along breaklines, underwater points and edges on the main lake reefs. Depths of 18-25 feet are a good place to start, but don't be afraid to go deeper depending on the conditions. When the bite gets tough, try a dead stick. In Walker Bay, focus on the deeper humps in 25-30 feet of water. It seems that the steeper edges of these humps are often better than the gradual sides. The shallow bite near Cedar has been sporadic, but can be good this time of year if you are able to get set up by the time the fish move through. The perch bite has been improving, but anglers are having to do a lot of sorting. Begin in 5-12 feet of water at the sand/weed transitions or any remaining greed weeds, then drop a 1/8-ounce jigging spoon with a minnow or a bunch of euro larvae. Drill lots of holes and keep moving until you connect with fish. West Goose Flats, the Hardwoods, Duck Points, and Agency Bay are all good starting locations. 800-833-1118; www.leech-lake.com

Isle/Onamia - Lake Mille Lacs

As of late last week, the walleye bite had slowed a bit, but fish were still being taken. The mud flats were giving up the most fish, especially for those fishing during daylight hours. Most of the walleye were relating to the structure such as the flats and gravel. The gravel and deep rocks were also turning some fish. Nice perch were mixed in with walleye, but the numbers weren’t high. Northern pike action was decent. 888-350-2692; www.millelacs.com

Updated Feb, 3, 2017


Isle/Onamia - Lake Mille Lacs

Lake Mille Lacs anglers report some of the best fishing so far this season, with some saying it’s the best it’s been in a very long time! Last weekend’s warm temperatures melted almost all of the snow on the ice. The wet conditions, however, caused some resorts to discontinue travel out onto the ice to protect their ice roads. The current seasonable temperatures are solidifying the wet and slushy areas. Before you head out on the ice, please call ahead for the most current conditions. 888-350-2692; www.millelacs.com

Updated Jan, 27, 2017


Walker - Leech Lake

Ice conditions on Leech Lake are very good, with trucks everywhere on the ice. Anglers should still call ahead for the most current ice conditions and up-to-date reports on cracks and ice heaves. The peak feeding periods for walleye are currently dawn and dusk. On the main lake, set up during these times on the tops, edges, or points in 15-18 feet of water. Consider Huddles Reef, the structure off of Diamond Point, and Variety Reef. During the day, slide out deeper to depths of 22-30 feet and work the transition areas. Rattle spoons, jigging raps, and set lines have been best. Switching sizes can be the key to catching more fish. The perch bite has been decent, but not a lot of anglers are chasing them. Try 8-12 feet of water, and remain mobile on the flats around Goose Island, Agency Bay, and near Walker Narrows. Upsize your presentation to keep the smaller perch off your line, with a whole minnow working well at times. 800-833-1118; www.leech-lake.com

Isle/Onamia - Lake Mille Lacs

As of late last week, the ice ranged from 17-22 inches thick in most areas of Lake Mille Lacs. There were some pressure breaks, so anglers are advised to call ahead to learn if there is a road or bridge to your favorite structure. The walleye bite has been good in depths ranging from 10-35 feet, with the best range being 22-26 feet. Jigging spoons tipped with a piece of a minnow were productive, but many anglers reported a better reaction to glow jigs tipped with a live shiner or small sucker. Northern pike activity had improved, with fish pulled from 9-14 feet of water on sucker minnows. 888-350-2692; www.millelacs.com

Updated Jan, 20, 2017


Walker - Leech Lake

On Leech Lake, Trappers Landing covered in 16-22 inches of ice in most areas. The ice road is open to vehicles and houses to Variety Reef, and to the west all the way to Rogers Point. Heaves are keeping the road from being extended any further west. The best walleye fishing has been in 17-20 feet of water off of Diamond Point, Rogers Point, and Variety Reef. A small buckshot rattle spoon or set line with a plain hook and rainbow minnow have turned the most fish. Walker Bay ice conditions are improving with vehicle traffic in all areas. Some of the deeper humps in the middle of the bay are kicking out smaller walleye, while the first shoreline breaks on Cedar, Sand and First Point are giving up quality fish in less than 15 feet of water. Shiners on set lines are the top producers here. 800-833-1118; www.leech-lake.com

Isle/Onamia - Lake Mille Lacs

As of late last week, much of the ice on Lake Mille Lacs measured 14-17 inches, with some areas even thicker. There were some flaws, cracks, breaks and heaves -- anglers were advised to cross these at a bridge. About 3 inches of snow covered much of the lake. The walleye bite was very good. Fish could be found on almost any legitimate piece of structure from rock to mud flats to gravel bars. The key was to be "on" the structure, rather than somewhere "near" the structure. Walleye were scattered from 6-30 plus feet of water, but the best range was 18-23 feet. Some of the better spots included the Resort Flat, Sloppy Joes, the Graveyard, and Three-Mile. Fatheads on a jigging spoon worked well. There was also a good rattle reel/tip-up/deadstick bite for anglers using glow demons tipped with a shiner. Northern pike fishing and spearing was a bit slower, but anglers continued to take fish on a large sucker set in 10-13 feet of water. Perch action varied, with a lot of little ones mixed in with a handful of keepers. Waxworms and euros on a pink doodle bug worked best. The Lake Mille Lacs walleye season reopened Dec. 1. Anglers are allowed to keep one walleye between 19- and 21-inches, or one longer than 28-inches. The winter walleye season runs through Sunday, Feb. 26, 2017. 888-350-2692; www.millelacs.com

Updated Jan, 13, 2017


Walker - Leech Lake

On Leech Lake, the main lake rock reefs and bars are producing lots of walleye early in the morning, and even more so during evening hours and into the night. For the most action, focus on 12-18 feet of water using a jigging spoon tipped with a minnow head, and a dead stick with a glow jig or hook. Spoons or swimbaits, such as jigging raps should attract fish and provoke a reaction bite. When hole-hopping, be sure to use a tip-up or deadstick with a rod. During the day, move to deeper waters over the mud, sand or gravel in 20-28 feet of water. Walker Bay has been productive, especially during evening hours on the humps in 25-30 feet of water. Perch fishing has been best in depths of 5-10 feet where green cabbage remains. Look to the weedier bays such as Steamboat, Portage, and Sucker for good action -- drill a lot of holes and be aggressive, upsizing to deter the pesky smaller perch. Panfishing on local lakes has also been very good. Look for suspended fish in 13-17 feet of water on the edges of the holes or basins. Tungsten jigs with plastics or small jigging spoons have been best. The main lake ice measures 12-15 inches, with measurements of 8-12 inches in Walker Bay. 800-833-1118; www.leech-lake.com

Isle/Onamia - Lake Mille Lacs

Much of the ice on Lake Mille Lacs runs 14-17 inches thick, with some ice even thicker. And, it continues to grow! Most resorts with ice road access should be allowing their guests access by this weekend. There are some cracks, breaks and heaves so it is highly recommended that you always cross at a bridge when these are present. About 3 inches of snow covers much of the lake. The walleye bite is very good, with fish found on most types of structure including rock, mud flats and gravel bars. It has been important to be "on" the structure, rather than "somewhere near" the structure. The walleye are scattered from 6-30 feet of water, but the majority are in 18-23 feet of water. Some of the better spots this week include the Resort Flat, Sloppy Joes, The Graveyard and Three Mile. Fatheads on a jigging spoon have worked well. A good rattle reel/tip-up/deadstick bite is also being reported when used with a glow demon and shiner minnow. Northern pike fishing and spearing is a bit slower than last week. For the most action, hit 10-13 feet of water using a large sucker. Perch action varies, with a lot of little ones mixed in with a handful of keepers. Waxies or euros on a pink doodle bug have worked best. On the north side of Lake Mille Lacs, the best walleye reports have been early and late in the day at the first break in roughly 12-17 feet of water. Walleye anglers are taking the majority of fish on jigging spoons, jigging raps, and set lines. Consistent daytime reports are coming from anglers working 27-30 feet of water on the Weimer, Bombeck and Resort Flats. Some perch, tullibee and eelpout are being pulled from the deeper waters off of these flats. The Lake Mille Lacs walleye season reopened Dec. 1. Anglers are allowed to keep one walleye between 19- and 21-inches, or one longer than 28-inches. The winter walleye season runs through Sunday, Feb. 26, 2017. 888-350-2692; www.millelacs.com

Updated Jan, 6, 2017


Walker - Leech Lake

A crazy winter with lots of fluctuations in temperature (below-zero to the low 30s) has caused ice to grow more slowly, and to shift and move. Anglers should contact a bait shop, resort or guide to get the most current ice conditions before heading out. As of Dec. 28, the ice ranged from 4-8 inches thick throughout Walker Bay. One area had opened up and developed a crack running to 1st Point. On most of the main lake, the ice measured 10-14 inches. The varying thickness related to the amount of snow cover (less) and bare ice (more). Walleye anglers have had the most success off of the rock piles, reefs and breaklines in 12-18 feet of water. An aggressive approach with a jigging spoon and minnow head was key. A dead stick or tip up as a second line helped put more fish on the ice. Switching between shiners, rainbows and fatheads also made a difference. During the day, anglers did best when moving out further and fishing depths of 20-28 feet of water at the mud to sand transitions. 800-833-1118; www.leech-lake.com

Isle/Onamia - Lake Mille Lacs

The ice thickness started out well on Lake Mille Lacs, but early ice seldom freezes at a consistent thickness, and this year is no different. As of Dec. 22, the ice ranged from 7-13 inches thick. Out on the deep gravel and mud flats, much of the ice measured 9-10 inches. A few cracks had developed, and most anglers were using ATVs and snowmobiles to get around. The walleye bite was very good in 18-24 foot depths, however, lots of fish were also coming from shallower and deeper waters. In fact, a lot of the northern pike spearers were seeing walleye in their spear houses, generally set over 8-12 feet of water. Jigging raps and darters tipped with a piece of minnow accounted for a lot of the fish, with rattle spoons also turning fish. Anglers reported multiple year-classes from 6-inch fish to whoppers. Northern pike action was fair, with a variety of sizes reported. The best approach was a 5-8 inch sucker minnow under a tip-up in 9-12 feet of water near the weeds. Cove and Wahkon bays were the hot spots. The Lake Mille Lacs walleye season re-opened Dec. 1. Anglers are allowed to keep one walleye between 19- and 21-inches, or one longer than 28-inches. The winter walleye season runs through Sunday, Feb. 26, 2017. 888-350-2692; www.millelacs.com

Updated Dec, 30, 2016


Isle/Onamia - Lake Mille Lacs

As of Dec. 16, a satellite picture of Lake Mille Lacs showed ice covering the entire lake! Most of the anglers have been concentrating on Cove, Wahkon, Isle and Mac's bays where ice measures 6-9 inches on average. Please note that ice thickness is not very consistent so anglers must check ice depth as they travel out. More 4-wheelers have been seen on the lake each day. Some walleye have been in waters as shallow as 6 feet, but most are coming from 12-15 feet of water. Anglers are finding northern pike in less than 10 feet of water along the weeds. Some of the spearers have remarked that the water is somewhat murky, but it is expected to clear up soon. Perch action has been pretty light so far. The Lake Mille Lacs walleye season re-opened Dec. 1, and anglers are allowed to keep one walleye between 19- and 21-inches, or one longer than 28-inches. The winter walleye season runs through Sunday, Feb. 26, 2017. 888-350-2692; www.millelacs.com

Updated Dec, 23, 2016


Isle/Onamia - Lake Mille Lacs

As of Thursday, Dec. 8, a small amount of ice had developed on the south bays of Lake Mille Lacs. Strong winds had whipped up whitecaps since Sunday, and continued to blow into the bays on the south end. Despite uncertain conditions, as many as four could be seen standing a short distance from shore! Please wait until there is 4 inches of ice to head out. The Lake Mille Lacs walleye season has re-opened and anglers are allowed to keep one walleye between 19- and 21-inches, or one longer than 28-inches. The winter walleye season runs through Sunday, Feb. 26, 2017. 888-350-2692; www.millelacs.com

Updated Dec, 9, 2016


Isle/Onamia - Lake Mille Lacs

The Lake Mille Lacs walleye season re-opens Thursday, Dec. 1, 2016! Anglers are allowed to keep one walleye between 19- and 21-inches, or one longer than 28-inches. The winter walleye season runs through Sunday, Feb. 26, 2017. If you haven't winterized your boat yet, you can still hit the water this weekend. 888-350-2692; www.millelacs.com

Updated Dec, 2, 2016


Isle/Onamia - Lake Mille Lacs

Lake Mille Lacs is in the national spotlight with its amazing smallmouth bass population, and bass anglers continue to head out and take advantage of this fall’s warm temperatures. One angler recently took a few bass in a short amount of time when casting swim baits in15-20 feet of water. One of the bass measured 19-inches long. Another angler took a 55-inch muskie. Please note that there will be a walleye season this winter! Anglers will be able to keep one walleye measuring 19- to 21-inches or one over 28-inches. 888-350-2692; www.millelacs.com

Updated Nov, 11, 2016


Isle/Onamia - Lake Mille Lacs

On Thursday, Nov. 3, the DNR announced that they had achieved the goal of conserving the 2013 year-class of young walleye. This, and other factors, made it possible to allow walleye fishing on Lake Mille Lacs beginning Dec. 1. During the winter season, anglers will be able to keep one walleye between 19- and 21-inches long or one longer than 28-inches. As of late last week, the surface temperature on Lake Mille Lacs was roughly 50-degrees - colder than some years, warmer than others. Smallmouth bass anglers continued to trickle through the accesses. While the smallmouth bite had tapered off a bit, some of the die-hards continued to log some remarkable days and some large fish. Muskie fishing was improving, and a few anglers reported multiple-fish days! While much of the effort has been concentrated across the north end of the lake, some of the reef anglers were doing well around the entire perimeter of the lake. Docks were still in the water at the Mille Lacs public accesses. They had already been removed on many of the smaller lakes nearby. This will be the last update on Lake Mille Lacs fishing until a sheet of ice forms. 888-350-2692; www.millelacs.com

Updated Nov, 4, 2016


Isle/Onamia - Lake Mille Lacs

Last week’s mild temperatures caused fishing pressure to increase on Lake Mille Lacs. Anglers found that the smallmouth bass bite remained great, and the muskie bite was on the rise. Some trout and rogue bluegill were pulled from the pits, and some keeper crappies were taken up near Garrison. Surface water temperatures were in the low- to mid-50s as of late last week. The docks were still in at the accesses, and it was not uncommon to see the parking lots about half-full with late-season anglers! 888-350-2692; www.millelacs.com

Updated Oct, 29, 2016


Isle/Onamia - Lake Mille Lacs

888-350-2692; www.millelacs.com

Updated Oct, 10, 2016


Isle/Onamia - Lake Mille Lacs

The smallmouth bass bite has been excellent on Lake Mille Lacs, just as it was during the Bassmaster Angler of the Year tournament two weeks ago. Successful anglers are using drop shots, as well as some tubes, swimbaits, wackies and jigging raps. Natural colors are best, with most fish pulled from 10-18 feet of water. Some anglers are having success with nice-sized northern pike when using large sucker minnows on the edge of the weeds in 9-12 feet of water. This bite is expected to continually improve as water temperatures continue to drop. 888-350-2692; www.millelacs.com

Updated Sep, 30, 2016


Isle/Onamia - Lake Mille Lacs

Lake Mille Lacs is giving up lots of nice-size smallmouth bass. Anglers fishing the 2016 Toyota Bassmaster Angler of the Year Championship were surprised at the abundance and size of the smallmouth bass population! In addition to bass, muskie and northern pike are being taken, although fewer anglers are out chasing them. Smallmouth bass can be found in depths ranging from 4-24 feet, but most of the bass are coming from 8-18 feet of water. Anglers having the most success are using tubes, however, some are doing well with crawdads and swimbaits. The best color patterns include pumpkin, melon and red. The northwest quadrant of the lake is providing much of the action, although the southeast quadrant is giving up nearly as many fish. 888-350-2692; www.millelacs.com

Updated Sep, 23, 2016


Brainerd Lakes Area

Fall is in the air with trees changing color, water temperatures falling, and fishing action heating up nicely. Walleye, muskie, and crappies are the main focus currently. Muskie are attacking large baits presented with a slower retrieve, especially during morning and evening hours. Walleye action is increasing, with jigs and lindy rigs tipped with minnows being best. This is the best time of year to catch a trophy walleye or musky. For crappies, check the basins off of the breaklines. 800-450-7247; www.visitbrainerd.com

Updated Sep, 16, 2016


Brainerd Lakes Area

On a recent fishing trip on an area lake, the deep water points were holding schools of fish. A large number of largemouth bass were taken in half an hour on minnows, crawlers, and artificials under bobbers, with fish measuring up to 19 inches in length. Large bluegill were also active, hitting crawlers on a plain 1/32-ounce jig head with a slip bobber suspended about 2 feet off the bottom. The action was fast and consistent. On another outing, 25 nice eating sized bluegills were taken using the same presentation. Crappies were staging in 12-14 feet of water right on the bottom nearing the deepest basin of the lake, hitting golden shiners on 1/32-ounce jigs dragged at 0.4 mph. They fish were tightly schooled so casting was not an option. 800-450-7247; www.visitbrainerd.com
Isle/Onamia - Lake Mille Lacs

Walker - Leech Lake

Late summer and early fall patterns are starting to take form on Leech Lake. Good numbers of walleye and perch are falling for jig and minnow presentations. Look for this pattern to become more consistent further into September as fish start to school. For the most action, try drifting a jig and minnow over the expansive flats such as Grand Vu, West Goose Flats, and the Snake Pit. When the wind blows, also check the points such as Ottertail, Duck and Stoney. Walker Bay is still kicking out lots of walleye and perch around Cedar Point in the mornings and evenings. The Mounds area in Steamboat Bay is producing as well. Muskie action has been very good with multiple fish days being reported. Anglers are doing well at the unoccupied shallow main lake rock piles early in the mornings and at twilight when using large bucktails and topwaters. Some of the main lake reed beds have provided good action as well. 800-833-1118; www.leech-lake.com
Detroit Lakes

Updated Sep, 9, 2016


Isle/Onamia - Lake Mille Lacs

As of late last week, the walleye bite remained extremely good on Lake Mille Lacs, far better than most mid-August bites. The majority of daytime walleye were coming from the mud flats. Productive presentations included spinners with crawlers, leeches on live-bait rigs or under slip bobbers, and sometimes trolled lead core. Smallmouth bass action was good in 7-15 feet of water at the largest rocks. Anglers having the most success fished 3-Mile, Indian Point and Sherman's Point using tubes or drop shot rigs. Northern pike action had improved a bit, with fish hitting large suckers drifted along the weed edges in 10-12 feet of water. 888-350-2692; www.millelacs.com

Updated Aug, 29, 2016


Brainerd Lakes Area

A guided fishing trip last week on a small area lake produced 24 fish for two anglers. The catch consisted of walleye, several northern pike, bass, bluegills and a crappie. The first walleye came in on a gold #4 crawler harness worked in 8 feet of water. There were seven walleye pulled from 5-12 feet of water. These fish ranged from 14- to 21-inches in length. Water temperatures on the lake were roughly 84 degrees, yet despite these temperatures, all the fish were shallow. The key was to use half a crawler on a crawler harness, moving as close to 1 mph as possible. A slight sloping break was best since it offered good shade and gave the walleye a chance to bury in the weeds to stay cool and in position to feed on whatever goes by. 800-450-7247; www.visitbrainerd.com

Walker - Leech Lake

Fishing is heating back up again on Leech Lake, especially during morning and evening hours. Fishing shallow continues to produce the most fish early in the day. Try slip bobbers, lindy rigs with crawlers, jigs, and even ripping raps or small crankbaits in 8-15 feet of water. During the day, hit the windblown shoreline breaks in 18-25 feet of water while pulling crawlers or chubs on a lindy rig. Some anglers are also doing well when using reaction-style baits such as jigging rapalas. A number of large schools of walleye have been reported this week, with quite a few large northern pike and walleye mixed in. For the most action, check the shoreline breaks, or the bars and humps in 20-30 feet of water. Walker Bay has been pretty good overall, with the Main Lake still producing fish. The crankbait bite remains best on the Main Lake. Muskie continue to slam small bucktails, top water lures, and jerkbaits. 800-833-1118; www.leech-lake.com

Updated Aug, 19, 2016


Brainerd Lakes Area

Fishing in the Brainerd Lakes area is a multi-species affair! On the Whitefish Chain, one angler took numerous whitefish at 5 p.m. while using a gold crawler harnesses with an in-line weight over the deep basin of the lake. Depths of 40-50 feet in water 80-120 feet deep was best. At 7 p.m., nice numbers of crappies were pulled from the edge of a main lake point after locating a school of fish. The fish were suspended in roughly 25 feet of water. The key was a long cast with a 1/16-ounce jig head and a white or chartreuse tube jig. As the evening progressed, the fish moved on top of the weed point where 1/32-ounce jigs worked better. At the end of the trip, roughly 20 crappies were boated. All were returned, except for a couple for dinner. On another trip, lots of walleye were holding at the main lake flat in 18-33 feet of water. The key was to slow down and use a live bait rake with a long 8-inch snell and either a leech or crawler. Largemouth bass are active on the smaller Ironton area lakes. A drop shot with a #4 rainbow-colored wacky worm seemed to work best. Most of the bass were on the straight sand edges with no weeds where 22 largemouth bass including a 19 ¼-inch bass were taken. 800-450-7247; www.visitbrainerd.com

Walker - Leech Lake

Fishing is starting to heat up again on Leech Lake. On the Main Lake, walleye anglers are having success pulling spinners through 13-16 feet of water at the transition areas. Fish are also being taken by anglers pulling crankbaits on the tops and edges of the major reefs such as Huddles, Variety, and Hogers -- try using #5, #7, or even upsizing to #9 size crankbaits, and travel at 2.2- to 2.8-mph to determine the best trolling pattern. To the west, Grand View Flats, the Snake Pits, and West Goose have each offered sporadic bites to anglers either trolling crank baits or pulling lindy rigs in 9-14 feet of water. In Walker Bay, the breaklines in 15-28 feet of water are giving up walleye. Lindy rigs with chubs or crawlers have been best. Some of the humps and bars within close proximity to shoreline breaks are also producing fish. The muskie bite has been fairly good at the Main Lake Rocks. For the most action, use a small bucktail or topwater lure. 800-833-1118; www.leech-lake.com

Isle/Onamia - Lake Mille Lacs

As of late last week, the walleye bite on Lake Mille Lacs remained hot. On the north end of the lake, most of the walleye were found off the break in 22-26 feet of water, or off the deep side of the flats. Bass were biting in 8-16 feet of water. The northern pike and muskie action was heating up as the water temperatures began to drop. As of this week, walleye and smallmouth bass remain active on the south side of the lake. Walleye anglers are finding fish at the mud flats when using nightcrawlers and spinners during the day, and slip bobbers and leeches in the evening. Most of the smallmouth are coming from 8-14 feet of water on the rock reefs. Drop shot rigs with 4 inch "minnow-style" plastic have been good, along with downsized tube baits and crawfish. There appears to be a lot of live crawfish ranging from the shoreline areas all the way out to 20-plus feet of water. 888-350-2692; www.millelacs.com

Updated Aug, 12, 2016


Brainerd Lakes Area

Water temperatures are running 76-83 degrees on most Brainerd area lakes. In the last week, the majority of walleye, northern pike, bass, bluegills and crappies are coming from water less than 9 feet deep! Once a thermocline sets in, the coolest and most productive waters will be under the dense weeds. During these conditions, use long-line jigs, crawler harnesses, and lipless rattling crankbaits. One area guide recently headed out on a small area lake and took 76 fish by the end of the afternoon! Lots of large bluegills, and nice-sized crappies, largemouth bass and walleye were taken on a crawler harness with a #4 hammered- gold blade and a 1/16-ounce bullet weight run through 9 feet of water at 1.0 mph. The key was get the weight of the harness caught on a weed, then snap it off. The change of speed and the vibration of the blade caused the fish to react. Nearly every fish caught was shortly after the snap. No stretch line was a must. 800-450-7247; www.visitbrainerd.com

Walker - Leech Lake

Morning and evening bites have been best on Leech Lake, especially at the main lake rocks such as Annex Reef, Pelican Island and Red Rocks. Anglers pulling spinners with nightcrawlers during low light hours are having the most success. The crankbait bite remains productive during evening hours in the same shallow water areas. In Walker Bay, the best action has been around Cedar Point in 19-24 foot depths. Pull crawlers or large minnows slowly across the edges of the weedlines for the most fish. Muskie reports have increased, with multiple fish taken last week on bucktails worked in the larger weed patches of Sucker and Portage bays. Bass and panfish remain active in Steamboat Bay. A few crappies are being pulled from Waboose Bay, as well as along the edges of weed beds. 800-833-1118; www.leech-lake.com

Updated Aug, 8, 2016


Brainerd Lakes Area

Largemouth bass are very active on most area lakes. The bass are coming from a wide range of depths. Some can be found in 2 feet of water under a dock, and others are coming from waters 30 feet deep on the rock bars. One local guide took 43 bass measuring up to 19 inches in length, along with many small pike in 2 1/2 hours of fishing! These fish offer lots of action, tons of fun, and are a great fish to teach new anglers about the joys of fishing. Please note that the water in the Brainerd Lakes Area is extremely high. If you can keep your wake to a minimum when within 100 yards of shore it will reduce the damage to lakeshore property. 800-450-7247; www.visitbrainerd.com

Walker - Leech Lake

Early morning and evening hours remain best on Leech Lake. During low light hours, fish depths of 5-10 feet using slip bobbers, jigs, or long-lined crawlers. The cabbage and other weed beds are holding lots of bait fish which means the predators are nearby. If you do not find them shallow, check depths of 12-18 feet by trolling lindy rigs or crankbaits. During the day, work the deeper structure and cover a lot of water by trolling crank baits and spinners. The Walker Bay humps are consistently giving up a mix of both keeper- and slot-size walleye, as well as some larger northern pike. Pull lindy rigs with crawlers or minnows through 18-28 feet of water for the most action. The main lake is producing more fish on the deeper humps and steep edges. The majority of reports are coming from the south end of the main lake near Pelican Island, especially in depths of 12-18 feet and 22-28 feet. 800-833-1118; www.leech-lake.com

Isle/Onamia - Lake Mille Lacs

Most of the walleye action on Lake Mille Lacs is on the mud flats. For the most action, use leeches or crawlers. Smallmouth bass are holding in 5-12 feet of water on the rock piles. Anglers having the most success are using tubes, wackys, drop-shot rigs and jerk baits. Northern pike are responding to spoons and live suckers. Nearly all these fish are weed-oriented, and can be found in 7-12 feet of water. 888-350-2692; www.millelacs.com

Updated Jul, 30, 2016


Walker - Leech Lake

Typical summer patterns are beginning to take hold on Leech Lake. Walleye are hitting rigs with crawlers at the Grand Vu Flats, in the Snake Pit area by Goose Island, and at the breaklines in 10-14 feet of water in Traders Bay. Walker Bay's Breezy Point, Templar Point and Sand Point are producing walleye during morning and evening hours. Anglers having the most success are using a lindy rig with a crawler, leech or minnow -- depending on the day, fish will respond to at least one of these baits. For panfish, check the deeper weeds adjacent to the shorelines using a slip bobber rig or small jig tipped with a leech. Muskie action is heating up with fish being reported daily at Portage Bay. Anglers having the most action are using small bucktails trolled or tossed over the shallow water cabbage. 800-833-1118; www.leech-lake.com

Isle/Onamia - Lake Mille Lacs

Roughly 8 inches of rain fell from Sunday night through Tuesday morning last week, and the north end of the lake was hammered with even more rain! The water level rose noticeably, and the first one-half mile or so of shoreline water was dirty. The best bite was on the mud flats. Numerous techniques produced fish including leeches on a very plain rig, a crawler/spinner combination, and daytime deep-water bobber fishing. Some anglers pounded the fish using bobbers on the deep water mud, rocks and gravel. The smallmouth bass action was in the deeper waters, as well as in depths of 7-14 feet. 888-350-2692; www.millelacs.com

Updated Jul, 22, 2016


Brainerd Lakes Area

Walleye action has been steady, with fish starting to move to deeper water. Anglers are taking fish using a wide array of methods including crawler harnesses, blades with leeches, and long-lined jigs and live bait rigs tipped with leeches, minnows or crawlers -- the walleye are eager to bite. Panfish are very active and have moved out to the cabbage in depths of 8-16 feet of water. The bass action has also been fantastic. Most of the largemouth bass are hanging around the shoreline structure such as the weeds, lily pads, bull rushes, and docks. Plastics have been best, but some topwater grogs have worked early and late in the day in 2-7 feet of water. Large northern pike and muskie are hanging on the weed lines and off the edges of the deep flats. For the most action, use shad raps, white spinner baits, and a variety of other presentations. 800-450-7247; www.visitbrainerd.com

Walker - Leech Lake

Walleye fishing slowed a bit on Leech Lake last week due to storms and high winds. When anglers were able to get out, they found active fish during morning and evening hours. The best locations were Cedar Point, Breezy Point in depths of 15-20 feet, and the Grand Vu Flats in depths of 11-13 feet. Spinners and crawlers, and lindys with leeches or crawlers were the preferred presentations. Anglers also reported an evening crank bait bite picking up at Sand Point in Walker Bay. Muskie reports are starting to trickle in, with a couple fish taken each week now that water temperatures have risen into the mid-70s. There have been numerous reports of bass and panfish cooperating in the wild rice and cabbage in Steamboat Bay. 800-833-1118; www.leech-lake.com

Isle/Onamia - Lake Mille Lacs

On Lake Mille Lacs, the recent storms may have actually improved fishing during the day due to the cloudy water conditions. Walleye can still be found in deeper waters, but some fish should also come from depths of roughly 18 feet since the water is stained. In fact, it’s possible the walleye will move even shallower. For smallmouth bass action, search slightly deeper waters using a slow presentation. 888-350-2692; www.millelacs.com

Updated Jul, 18, 2016


Walker - Leech Lake

On Leech Lake’s main lake, the bug hatch has tapered off. While fish still have lots of bait options, aggressive presentations will produce walleye. For the most fish, try trolling spinners through 12-18 feet of water at 1.2- to 1.5-mph. Trolling crank baits at 2- to 2.2-mph should also work well. The reefs, secondary breaklines, and windblown shorelines are all great places to start. On the west end of the Lake, the flats around Goose Island continue to produce fish. Anglers having the most success using spinners, crankbaits, and lindy rigs in 9-14ft of water. Another productive method is to throw a jig tipped with a leech or minnow, or a slip bobber and leech at the patches of green cabbage in 5-7 feet of water. In Walker Bay, anglers are taking walleye when pulling lindy rigs with crawlers, leeches, and sometimes chubs through either 13-16 feet of water or 20-25 feet of water on the shoreline breaks and points. 800-833-1118; www.leech-lake.com

Isle/Onamia - Lake Mille Lacs

As of late last week, fishing remained great on Lake Mille Lacs. Walleye fishing was strong in the deep water on the mud flats, with decent numbers pulled from the gravel bars toward the south end of the lake. Leeches on a live bait rig or under a slip bobber produced the most fish. Crawlers and spinners were a close runner-up. Some of the better locations included Sloppy Joes, 8-Mile, and Myr-Mar Flat. The smallmouth bass bite was exceptional in 5-12 feet of water over the largest rocks. A variety of presentations worked well, including tubes, wackys, jerkbaits, grubs, and drop shots. Northern pike action was as good as it had this season. The best approach was a live sucker worked at the weed lines in 9-12 feet of water. 888-350-2692; www.millelacs.com

Updated Jul, 8, 2016


Walker - Leech Lake

Leech Lake’s main lake continues to give up fish on the reefs such as Huddles, Variety, North Bar, Fletchers, and Big Rock Reef. Anglers should also check the endless amounts of secondary reefs and bars. Depths of 14-20 feet have been best when pulling bottom bouncers and spinners tipped with leeches or crawlers. Trolling crankbaits such as #7 shad raps is also effective. When the wind blows, move towards the tops of the reefs and don't be afraid to fish fast. On the west end of the lake and in Walker Bay, the windblown points have been best. Anglers are finding lots of fish in 6-10 feet of water at Pine, Duck, and Little Stoney points. The Goose Island flats are also giving up fish to anglers pulling lindy rigs and 4- to 6-foot snells with crawlers or leeches through 9-14 feet of water. Speeds of .4- to .8-mph have been best. In Walker Bay, anglers are having the most success in 9-15 feet and 20-25 feet of water at the shoreline breaks when using crawlers or minnows. Some of the humps or points have also produced fish. With the large amount bait in the system, often the best bet is to fish fast and force a reaction bite. The walleye have shorter feeding windows so you may have to provoke them into biting. Other area lakes to check out for walleye, smallmouth and largemouth bass action include Cass, Ten Mile and Woman. 800-833-1118; www.leech-lake.com

Isle/Onamia - Lake Mille Lacs

As of late last week, the walleye and smallmouth bass bites on Lake Mille Lacs were very strong, and the northern pike bite was beginning to heat up. Most of the walleye action was on the mud flats, with anglers taking fish on leeches and crawlers. The smallies were holding in depths of 5-12 feet at the rock piles. Tubes, wackys, drop-shot rigs and jerk baits were all working well. Northern pike were coming in on spoons and live suckers worked at the weeds in 7-12 feet of water. 888-350-2692; www.millelacs.com

Updated Jul, 1, 2016


Brainerd Lakes Area

Anglers are having a blast with all of the northern pike action on the Gull Lake Chain. A variety of presentations are turning fish, including live bait-rigging with spot tails, long-lining 1/16-ounce jigs with suckers, pulling crank baits, and dragging crawler harnesses. Unfortunately, all of this action can cause aggravation for walleye anglers. Crappies are responding to minnows under bobbers without a weight. Walleye can be found using crawler harnesses. Nightcrawlers on a blue, smooth gold or hammered bronze a #5 blade with a 1/16-ounce weight above the swivel of the harness worked best, especially when pulled at 1.1-mph. When fishing a crawler harness at a weed edge, try to barely clip the tops of the weeds with the weight and blade. When you feel a snag, quickly snap the rod and the harness should come free. Many times, this is when a walleye will strike! The nearby Crosby/Ironton mine pit lakes are teaming with trout. The ideal presentation has been a very small crank bait run at 1.2- to 1.6-mph – place a 1/8-ounce weight about 4 feet above the crank bait to help pull the lure deeper. The best colors have been gold/black and fire tiger. The depth doesn't seem to matter, with fish pulled from 25 feet to 210 feet of water. Crappies were found suspended using a red/chartruese tube jig body on a 1/32-ounce jig head. 800-450-2838; www.visitbrainerd.com

Walker - Leech Lake

Fishing on Leech Lake has been somewhat inconsistent due to large bug hatches and other bait in the system. The most successful anglers are those willing to try different presentations. In the main lake, the edges of the reefs and humps are producing fish to anglers trolling spinners through 15-20 feet of water. On windy days, anglers are having success when using a lindy rig with a crawler or leech at the high spots in 8-10 feet of water. Mokey, Variety, Huddles, Campbell’s, and Clay Banks are great starting spots. As always, use the wind as your guide and work the windswept areas. Also consider trolling shad raps through these areas to first locate schools of fish. On the west end of the lake, the areas around West and East Goose are giving up fish to anglers pulling shad raps, lindy rigs with crawlers and leeches, and spinners through 8-13 feet of water. Work these areas by making long drifts to cover lots of ground. Traders’ Bay has had quite a few bug hatches so fish are holding at the sand to mud transitions. Walker Bay is producing fish in 9-15 feet of water. Anglers having the most success are using jigs with minnows, or lindy rigs with crawlers or leeches at the windblown shoreline breaks. 800-833-1118; www.leech-lake.com

Isle/Onamia - Lake Mille Lacs

Fishing has been spectacular on the north end of Lake Mille Lacs, with nice numbers of walleye, smallmouth bass, and northern pike being reported. The water temperature is ranges from 65-70 degrees so fishing has been good in the shallows and on the flats. Late last week, a hot spot for walleye was the mud flats in the northwest quadrant, with fish moving up and down the edges of the flats in 23-32 feet of water during the day. Leeches on a spinner rig turned the most fish, followed closely by nightcrawlers. Smallmouth bass were very active at the rock piles and other hiding spots, with fish reacting to tubes, senkos, shadow raps, and leeches. 888-350-2692; www.millelacs.com

Updated Jun, 24, 2016


Brainerd Lakes Area

Walleye action has been steady with fish starting to move to deeper water. The majority of fish are being taken on chubs and leeches on lindy rigs and slip bobbers worked in 9-22 feet of water. Bass, panfish, and northern pike are also active, with some large fish being reported. For the most action, work a jig and ripple shad, or a slip bobber and leech at the inside pockets and points of the green cabbage weeds. When searching out these weed beds, always fish the windy sides of the lake first. If you prefer panfish, try a variety of depths at the same cabbage weeds until you locate fish. Some area lakes to check out this week and weekend are Round, North, Edwards, Hubert, and Gull lakes-- these lakes have been good for multiple species. 800-450-2838; www.visitbrainerd.com

Walker - Leech Lake

The fishing on Leech Lake remains very good. Anglers are seeing a shift in locations, with fish moving from the shallows to deeper waters where they typically reside in the summer. Although a jig and minnow will still produce fish, leeches and crawlers have been more productive when pulled behind lindy rigs or spinners--come prepared and bring a variety of presentations. Some of the main lake reefs are starting to kick-out fish in 12-15 feet of water, especially at Submarine Reef, Annex Reef, Pelican Island, and Pipe Island. On the west side of the lake, look to the Grand Vu Flats area and Traders Bay for the most walleye action. There has also been a decent crankbait bite in the evenings in these areas. Try trolling a #5 or #7 shad rap through these areas and you should get a bite! 800-833-1118; www.leech-lake.com

Isle/Onamia - Lake Mille Lacs

The bite on Lake Mille Lacs has been spectacular. Most of the walleye have moved deep, but some can still be found in the shallows. Good locations include 7-Mile, Sherman's and Myr-Mar Flat. Leeches are turning the majority of fish, but crawlers and spinners will also produce. Once the lake bugs hatch, the crawler bite will take off. Smallmouth bass, northern pike and muskie continue to come from depths of 12 feet or less. Tubes and “wackys” have been best for smallmouth bass action, especially during morning hours in waters 6 feet deep or less. 888-350-2692; www.millelacs.com

Updated Jun, 17, 2016


Walker - Leech Lake

Recent windy weather caused walleye to switch gears and bite sporadically. Some days the walleye are biting in the shallows (4-7 feet of water), and other days they’re biting in deeper depths (10-17 feet of water). While a jig and shiner combination continues to produce, overall, leeches and crawlers on lindy rigs, jigs, and even spinners are producing greater numbers. Speed has been key, and anglers need to try various speeds until they learn what is best. With the strong northwest winds, the south end of the main lake, the eastern points and the shorelines are giving up fish. Walker Bay offers a spotty bite on the shoreline breaks in 12-20 feet of water. Anglers should seek out areas with little fishing pressure, and try a variety of baits and presentations. 800-833-1118; www.leech-lake.com

Isle/Onamia - Lake Mille Lacs

Fishing has been exceptional on Lake Mille Lacs! Anglers report large numbers of nice-size walleye. It seems most areas of the lake are producing, especially on cloudy days. Late last week, a 6-8 foot snell and colored hook or single bead above a hook seemed to turn the most walleye. Green and yellow were the hot colors. In the evening, fish were on the shallow reefs, mid-depth reefs, deep gravel, mud flats and off the structures in 30-plus feet of water. With the fish so scattered, it was best to locate a pocket of fish before dropping anchor. Leeches under a slip bobber produced the majority of fish. The smallmouth bass are also biting, and many have been quite large, generally running over 4-pounds. Most of the smallies are in 6 feet of water or less - some still on beds, others beginning to explore. Tubes and "wackys" have been best this week. You can catch smallmouth bass throughout the day, but the best bite is usually in the morning. 888-350-2692; www.millelacs.com

Updated Jun, 13, 2016


Brainerd Lakes Area

Fishing remains great in the Brainerd Lakes Area with strong reports coming from northern pike, walleye, bass, and panfish anglers. The key is to remain versatile and come prepared, trying jig and minnow combinations, crawler rigs, and lindy rigs with minnows until you figure out what works best. Some of the best reports have been coming from Gull and North Long lakes. Bass anglers report fast action in the shallows when tossing out a wacky worm. 800-450-2838; www.visitbrainerd.com

Walker - Leech Lake

In the last week, Leech Lake water temperatures have risen into the mid-60s. The walleye bite is starting to change, with anglers taking good numbers of fish when being versatile and willing to try a variety of methods. When targeting walleyes this past week, anglers had success in depths ranging from 5-20 feet depending on weather conditions. On the cloudy, windy days, most fish were pulled from 5-9 feet of water, with some fish also found in depths of 10-15 feet. The key was to look for schools of bait fish on your electronics. A jig and shiner combination and a lindy rig with a crawler, leech or shiner were all good presentations. Some anglers even had success trolling spinners and crankbaits on the flats and edges of the rock reefs. On calm, sunny days, speeding up your presentation and working the breaklines in 10-16 feet of water was effective when pulling leeches and crawlers. The southern part of the main lake offered some very good fishing. The Red and White Rocks, and the area around Pelican Island were great locations, especially pitching a 1/8-ounce jig with a spot tail shiner. Pipe Island, Diamond and Rogers points, as well as the Clay Banks also saw some good fishing. On the western side of the lake, depending on the wind direction, the major points such as 1st and 2nd Duck, Big Hardwoods, Ottertail, Stoney, and West Goose Flats were all productive. Pulling leeches and crawlers was very effective in these areas. The crappie and bluegill bite in the pencil reeds was excellent this past week in Boy, Headquarters, and Steamboat bays. The best approach was a 1/32-ounce jig tipped with a plastic. Please remember to use selective harvest when fishing for panfish -- they are fun to catch and you can catch a lot in a short period of time. 800-833-1118; www.leech-lake.com

Updated Jun, 3, 2016


Brainerd Lakes Area

The fishing remains very good for multiple species. North Long and Round lakes are giving up nice numbers of walleye on jigs and live bait rigs tipped with shiners. On both lakes, the majority of walleye have been found on the big flats with green weeds holding minnows. The most productive times are morning and evening hours. While the bass season remains catch and release until May 28, lots of largemouth and smallmouth bass are being caught using some sort of jig and pig combination that imitates crayfish. 800-450-2838; www.visitbrainerd.com

Walker - Leech Lake

Despite some crazy weather, Leech Lake walleye still cooperated last weekend. The key was to locate the shiners and other bait fish since the walleye were right nearby. Unfortunately, the depth varied from spot to spot with walleye pulled from depths ranging from 5- to 15-feet. Once the baitfish were located, aggressively snap jigging above the sand grass worked well. Some anglers had success when pulling lindy rigs with shiners, leeches or crawlers through 13-15 feet of water. This approach often nabbed the walleye looking for something different. The west end of the lake was very productive, especially at the West Goose Flats, the Hardwoods, 1st and 2nd Duck, and Star Point. Walleye were also pulled from Ottertail, Annex and Sub, but these areas and the schools of fish were hit hard by anglers. Other areas that produced fish were Pelican, Two Points, and Sandy Beach. Water temperatures ranged from 62- to 65-degrees throughout the lake, which is warm for this time of year. 800-833-1118; www.leech-lake.com

Updated May, 31, 2016


Walker - Leech Lake

Leech Lake once again displayed how bountiful and sustainable its walleye population is, with anglers finding walleye scattered throughout the lake at various depths. Some of the best action took place in 6-7 feet of water, but many fish, especially the males, were pulled from depths of 10-12 feet of water. Lots of perch and northern pike were mixed in with the walleye. A couple of techniques and locations worked well. Areas with green cabbage seemed to hold hungry walleye, as did the sand flats and sand grass edges. The traditional windblown points such as Pine, Stoney, Duck, Ottertail, Oak, and Star also produced fish despite the heavy boat traffic. On the west side of Leech Lake, West Goose Flats, The Hardwoods, and Mounds points produced solid results. On the east and south sides of the lake, Five Mile, Portage Bay, Battle Point, Partridge Point, Diamond, and Rogers gave up quality fishing. Try different speeds and jig cadence to learn what the walleye prefer – consider switching jig colors, jig profiles, jigging styles and changing speed. At times, walleye preferred ¼-ounce or 1/8-ounce jigs dragged through the sand; at other times, snap-jigging and moving faster meant more fish in the net. Leech Lake is off to a great season, and the warmer temperatures should increase the bite in the upcoming weekends. 800-833-1118; www.leech-lake.com

Isle/Onamia - Lake Mille Lacs

Fishing was spectacular on Lake Mille Lacs last weekend. Everything from northern pike to bass to muskies were reported on opening weekend and in the days that followed. The water temperatures continue to warm and the bite should continue to improve for all species of fish. During evening hours, anchor in waters from 5-13 feet deep, and toss out a bobber and a leech. Trolling should also be productive on the shallow reefs when using #5 or #7 shad raps. Early in the day, use speckled purple #7 or UV-colored husky jerks; before sunrise, dark blue tackle should turn the most fish. Launches on the north end of the lake also experienced a great bite, especially in the evenings when bobber fishing. Northern pike anglers are having success when trolling the bays, with a few accidental muskies being taken. 888-350-2692; www.millelacs.com

Updated May, 23, 2016


Brainerd Lakes Area

Good numbers of crappies and a few largemouth bass are coming from the mud and weeds in roughly 3-4 feet of water. Action has been best during afternoon hours when the water is warmest -- water temperatures are currently in the low to mid-50s. Yellow/orange puddle jumpers tipped with a crappie minnow have worked well, especially with a slight jig of the rig. Search the bays for schools of fish. If action is slow, try wax worms and/or plastics to see if they prefer one over the other. 800-450-7247; www.visitbrainerd.com

Isle/Onamia - Lake Mille Lacs

Previously announced fishing regulations for Lake Mille Lacs have changed. While the 2016 open water season on Lake Mille Lacs will remain catch-and-release only, live bait will now be allowed. 888-350-2692; www.millelacs.com

Updated Apr, 22, 2016


Brainerd Lakes Area

Most of the smaller lakes are ice-free. The larger lakes such as Gull, Pelican, and North Long should be ice-free in a few more days. Yesterday’s rainfall and strong wind should help deplete the remaining ice. www.visitbrainerd.com

Updated Apr, 2, 2016


Brainerd Lakes Area

The sucker/redhorse run should be fabulous this year due to the early ice out. There are several area rivers that offer great runs and fun fishing action. Both species are excellent when smoked and pickled. www.visitbrainerd.com

Updated Mar, 28, 2016


Brainerd Lakes Area

The ice fishing season is officially over in the Brainerd Lakes Area. Open water fishing is right around the corner! www.visitbrainerd.com

Updated Mar, 22, 2016


Isle/Onamia - Lake Mille Lacs

On Lake Mille Lacs, anglers continue to venture out to get in the last few trips before the accesses give way. As the frost comes out of the ground, some of the runoff finds its way to the boat ramps and access points, causing them to erode faster. The best mode of travel is now an ATV or by foot. There is no snow left on the ice. Expect the warmer temperatures, wind and rain to deteriorate the ice sooner than in a "normal" season. Some northern pike action is being reported in Wahkon and Garrison bays. Anglers are taking the most fish from 10-12 feet of water when using sucker minnows. The best concentration of perch seems to be on the northeastern part of the lake. The tullibee bite is good, especially at the deep edges of the mudflats and in Tullibee Hole. Morning hours have been best. 888-350-2692; www.millelacs.com

Updated Mar, 11, 2016


Isle/Onamia - Lake Mille Lacs

There has been very little angling activity since last weekend. While there is roughly 22 inches of ice out on the main part of the lake, there are areas such as pressure breaks and reef tops where the ice can turn unsafe quickly. As of late last week, fatheads and waxworms were producing good numbers of perch on Lake Mille Lacs. Please remember that Lake Mille Lacs remains open to northern pike angling until March 27. 888-350-2692; www.millelacs.com

Updated Mar, 4, 2016


Brainerd Lakes Area

Lots of nice fish continue to be pulled from Brainerd area lakes. Crappies and sunnies are coming from a variety of depths ranging from 10-30 feet deep. Drilling holes and hole hopping until you located active fish is key. Anglers having the most success are using jigging spoons and plastic shrimp. Bass and northern pike can be found in same areas feeding on the smaller fish. 800-450-7247; www.visitbrainerd.com

Isle/Onamia - Lake Mille Lacs

On the north end of Lake Mille Lacs, walleye, perch and tullibee are showing up in good numbers. Large northern pike are also being reported, with a 42-inch northern pulled from 6 feet of water the middle of this week. Colder temperatures have caused the slush to re-freeze so travel is much easier. Roughly 24 inches of ice was reported on the south end of Lake Mille Lacs earlier this week. The walleye and perch are biting. The northern pike seem to have moved back into the bays. As of late last week, the walleye bite was solid on the mud flats with good numbers of 14 inch walleye coming from the bottom edge of the flats during the day, and from the top edge at sunrise and sunset. Flutter-style spoons tipped with a piece of a minnow worked best. Some of the better flats included Blue Jug, 8-mile and Sherman's. 888-350-2692; www.millelacs.com

Updated Feb, 26, 2016


Walker - Leech Lake

As of late last week, anglers were having success at the main lake rock reefs, humps, and shoreline breaks in 18-25 feet of water. In Walker Bay, many anglers were taking lots of keeper-sized fish during low light hours and just after dark. Depths of 18-26 feet at the shoreline breaks gave up the most fish. Downsized baits with fatheads or smaller profile minnows on a glow jig or small jigging spoon were best. A great number of jumbo perch were being seen, and expected to move into the shallows in large schools very soon. Don’t miss the International Eelpout Festival held Feb. 18-21 at Walker Bay on Leech Lake. In addition to the fishing tournament, enjoy opening ceremonies and celebrations, the Coors Keg Castle, flag ceremony & torch lighting, DJ dance party & karaoke contest, Pre-Pout Party, live music at various venues, a beverage and food tent featuring eelpout nuggets, and eelpout curling! 800-833-1118; www.leech-lake.com

Isle/Onamia - Lake Mille Lacs

On Lake Mille Lacs, walleye remain active which is unusual this late in the season. The deeper water seems to hold the larger walleye, while good numbers of 11- to 16-inch walleyes showing up throughout the lake. Large perch are also hitting, with some fish measuring 14-inches. There are plenty of smaller perch to sort through, but the largest are coming out of the deeper water along with the walleye. These fish are chunky and they be foraging on bloodworms in the mud. 888-350-2692; www.millelacs.com

Updated Feb, 19, 2016


Walker - Leech Lake

The recent warm-up has created a better bite on Leech Lake. Main Lake action has slowed a bit, with many fish moving off of the reefs. While some fish are still being caught on the tops and edges of the reefs, most are coming from the gravel to sand transitions, and the sand to mud transitions. Fish are relating to the transition lines that can be found off of the reefs or shoreline breaks in 15-20 feet of water. In Walker Bay, moving around on the humps while fishing 28-35 foot depths has been best. Action can be fast at dawn and dusk, as well as after dark. There have been some reports of large fish being taken on rattle reels after dark. Shoreline breaks have also produced fish in 18-25 feet of water in Walker Bay. Jigging spoons, glow jigs, and dead sticks are all producing fish -- be sure to bring a variety, as well as different kinds of bait. Please note that there are a lot of ice heaves off of Pelican and the points so check with resorts about the best routes. Ice is averaging 17-19 inches on much of the main lake. In Walker Bay, ice varies from 11-16 inches. An area near Leaning Tree on the Cedar Shoreline has some very thin ice. The rule of thumb all season is to stay where the roads have been plowed. If you want to venture off the roads, get out of your car or truck and drill holes and check the ice constantly. Most anglers are using 4-wheelers, small trucks and sleds to get around Walker Bay. 800-833-1118; www.leech-lake.com

Updated Feb, 5, 2016


Walker - Leech Lake

Leech Lake ice depths are starting to be more consistent. Walker Bay still has some large variations in ice thickness, but much of the bay is covered in 11-16 inches of ice. Despite thicker ice, anglers need to continue to use caution and drill holes to check ice thickness often. Please note that there is a heave that runs from 1st Point to Cedar Shoreline in Walker Bay. On the main lake, the ice ranges from 15-18 inches thick. There are a few pressure ridges and heaves coming off the points and running various directions – anglers should get the latest report from area resorts on which paths are the safest on the main lake. Anglers have found the fishing has slowed, but those that are willing to move from spot to spot are catching the most walleye, especially when fishing 12-18 feet of water. Anglers should also consider the reefs, secondary reefs or humps, points, and some shoreline breaks. There have been reports of a good night bite so if you have a fish house and enjoy fishing well into the night, this is worth a try. Walker Bay has been good for some fast action, with anglers catching nice numbers of keeper-sized fish measuring 13- to 15-inches. As with the main lake, moving around and checking new spots is often productive. For the most fish, hit 20-30 feet of water during the day. The shallows can also be productive during evening hours, especially when using tip ups in 6-10 feet of water. Other area lakes are producing lots of panfish in 22-30 foot depths. The deeper basins are giving up the most crappies and bluegills, with the bluegills also relating to the deeper weedlines. Tungsten jigs and plastics, and small jigging spoons that flutter have been best for the crappies. 800-833-1118; www.leech-lake.com

Isle/Onamia - Lake Mille Lacs

As of late last week, the ice thickness on Lake Mille Lacs measured around 15 inches and many areas, allowing most of the resorts to pull out fish houses and plow roads. The walleye bite was good on the mud flats and some areas of the deep gravel. The best approach when jigging was a frostee or slender spoon tipped with a piece of a minnow. For tip-ups and rattle reels, a shiner on a glow teardrop or Gem-n-Eye was best. Some of the better areas include Sloppy Joes, Sherman's and the Myr-Mar Flat. Anglers also fond quite a few perch scattered throughout these areas. Crappie minnows or waxworms have been best for perch. Northern pike were most active in 12 feet of water or less, hitting suckers or large shiner minnows. Please note that anglers planning to use their own fish houses should call an area resort to learn where to access the lake and how far they are allowed to drive out. 888-350-2692; www.millelacs.com

Updated Jan, 29, 2016


Brainerd Lakes Area

The Brainerd Jaycees $150,000 Ice Fishing Extravaganza is right around the corner, taking place Jan. 22 & 23 on Gull Lake's Hole in the Day Bay! As of late last week, ice measured 10-13 inches in the area of the fishing contest. Anglers have been finding active walleye and northern pike using untipped jigging spoons. It is important to check ice frequently since it can vary greatly. Please note that vehicle travel was discouraged since ice conditions were variable. 800-450-2838; www.visitbrainerd.com

Walker - Leech Lake

The cold front last weekend and early this week created some challenges for Leech Lake anglers, but fish were still pulled through the ice. On the main lake, depths of 12-16 feet of water are currently producing the most fish. The shoreline breaks, secondary humps and reefs, and the points have been the best producers. Anglers are finding 12-16 inches of ice in most areas, with anglers traveling by ATV and sled to most locations. Some large pressure ridges are forming so please anglers need to use caution in these areas. A large heave runs from Pelican Island to Uran Bay, and another from Ottertail to Pelican. In Walker Bay, 20-30 feet of water has been the best producer. Fishing the humps, points, and shoreline breaks have all been effective in Walker Bay. Ice varies from 10-15 inches thick, and there is a heave that runs from First Point all the way over to Cedar Shoreline. Overall, anglers having the most success are using live minnow presentations with dead sticks. Don't be afraid to mix it up and use an aggressive jigging presentation such as a jigging rap, chubby darter, or larger spoon to provoke fish into a reaction bite. And remember that downsizing to a 1/8- or 1/16-ounce jigging spoon with a minnow head can sometimes pay off as well. 800-833-1118; www.leech-lake.com

Isle/Onamia - Lake Mille Lacs

As of late last week, ice thickness was on the rise. While 11-14 inches of ice was measured over much of the main lake, even more was found in most of the bays. Many of the resorts were allowing some lightweight vehicle traffic. Please note that most of these resorts do set conditions on where you may travel and how for out you can go. The overall bite was very good last week. Northern pike action was great in the south bays and in the Garrison area. Live suckers and shiners were turning lots of fish in 8-12 feet of water. Walleye anglers were pleased with the numbers of walleye coming through the ice, with lots of the "2013 year class" fish and a fair number of large walleye in the mix. The best bet for walleye was in 22-28 feet of water at Buster's Flat, Garrison Reef and the Hennepin Gravel, although vehicle travel was not yet allowed. Perch action was better than it had been in years, and a great way to keep busy in between the walleye bites. 888-350-2692; www.millelacs.com

Updated Jan, 22, 2016


Brainerd Lakes Area

The Brainerd Jaycees $150,000 Ice Fishing Extravaganza is right around the corner, taking place Jan. 22 & 23 on Gull Lake's Hole in the Day Bay! Ice currently measures 10-13 inches in this area. On North Long Lake, one ice measurement showed 12-13 inches of ice about 50 yards from shore. Further out, at roughly 21 feet of water, ice thickness dropped to 10 inches. Anglers fishing this area were finding active walleye and northern pike, with untipped jigging spoons working best. One group of anglers fishing the contest area on Gull Lake found that the ice varied from 13 inches thick where there was no snow cover down to 10 inches thick where there was snow cover. It is important to check the ice frequently since it can vary greatly. The walleye, panfish and northern pike bite remain good. The best bet is to remain mobile until you locate fish. Jigging spoons and plastics are turning the most fish. Please note that vehicle travel is discouraged since ice conditions can vary greatly. 800-450-2838; www.explorebrainerdlakes.com

Walker - Leech Lake

Fishing slowed a bit on Leech Lake during the recent cold snap. Anglers have had to hone in on the best times to fish and remain mobile to stay on top of the walleye. Most fish are coming from 12-16 feet of water throughout the main lake. Many anglers are doing well when using the south end access and heading out to the reefs and breaklines around Pipe and Pelican Islands. Traders Bay, Stony Point and Pine Point on the west end of the lake are also producing fish. Walker Bay has a decent walleye bite, with good numbers of eating-size fish being reported by anglers working 18-28 feet of water on the humps that are near shore, as well as the shoreline breaks and points. The ice in Walker Bay varies greatly so use extra caution and check ice thickness often. Measurements show some areas with 4-6 inches of ice, with 11-12 inches reported in other areas. Perch fishing has been good, with the largest fish coming from the main lake rock-to-sand transitions, as well as the depressions in the shallow sand/weed flats. Site fishing for perch can also be fun, especially on the weed flats. With the abundance of small perch, try upsizing your presentation to attract the real jumbos. Crappies and bluegills are abundant in the typical mid-winter areas such as basin edges and mid-depth soft bottom flats. For the most action, use tungsten jigs with plastics or euro larvae, or even a small jigging spoon. 800-833-1118; www.leech-lake.com

Isle/Onamia - Lake Mille Lacs

As of Jan. 7, the ice on Lake Mille Lacs ranged from 3-9 inches. Some smaller houses had been pulled out, and several of the resorts had set-up their rental houses. Northern pike remained very active. Large shiners were turning the most fish, especially in 7-11 feet of water in Cove and Wahkon bays. Walleye action was best early in the morning around sunrise and again around sunset. Anglers reported that this was the "early ice bite" they’d been waiting for! Jigging rapalas and darters tipped with a piece of a fathead worked well when the fish were aggressive, but a small shiner on a glow hook worked best when the fish turned finicky. Much of the bite was in 12-18 feet of water, although some of the fish come from depths of up to 28 feet. Perch action was heating up, and some true "jumbos" were taken from the Wahkon/Isle area. Crappie minnows, waxworms and euro larvae on a small rocker-type spoon was very effective. 888-350-2692; www.millelacs.com

Updated Jan, 15, 2016


Walker - Leech Lake

The south end of Leech Lake has 9-11 inches of ice around Olson’s Reef, Pipe Island, and the area around Huddles Reef. There is an ATV plowed road out of Trappers Landing leading north about two miles. Fishing has been good during evening hours and past dusk. Many larger walleye are being taken on set lines and jigging presentations such as rattle or flutter style spoons with a minnow head. Huddles and Olson's reefs, and some of the smaller rock piles or reefs around Pipe Island are producing a mix of nice eating-size and larger walleye. During the peak feeding periods, work depths of 14-16 feet of water, then slide deeper into 18-25 feet of water during midday hours. Tip ups away from your shelter spread out on the structure are proving to be a great way to cover the water column and find active fish throughout the day. Fishing is decent on the western part of the main lake in Traders Bay, off Pine Point, and the at Grand View flats. Anglers are having the most success using jigging spoons or a set line with glow jigs and a shiner or rainbow in 12-14 feet of water. The bite window is short some days so it is very important to be set up and ready for when they start to feed. At Walker Bay, the ice measures 6-9 inches along the south end shoreline breaks. Please note that ice thickness varies greatly so extreme caution is necessary. Also, there is less ice further into the bay, where the ice measures roughly 4-6 inches thick. Many of the smaller lakes in the area still offer a solid panfish bite throughout the day. The best bet for suspended crappies is a small jig and minnow worked in 15-22 feet of water. A jigging spoon and tungsten jig tipped with a plastic or euro larvae is also producing fish. Bluegills are coming from depths of 10-15 feet of water on small tungsten jigs tipped with euros or plastics. This weekend’s cold temperatures should help build ice quickly. 800-833-1118; www.leech-lake.com

Isle/Onamia - Lake Mille Lacs

As of late last week, most anglers were chasing northern pike on Lake Mille Lacs and many were reporting lots of success. Spearing, jigging and tip-up techniques were all being used. Stick to 5-12 feet of water when using suckers or large shiner minnows. Remember that Mille Lacs has a "relaxed" northern pike limit of 5 fish. The first 2 must be under 30 inches, and 1 of the remaining 3 may be over 30 inches. Cove Bay has been the top producer, followed closely by Isle Bay. Mac's and Wahkon have kicked out some fish as well. Most of the ice in these areas ran 4-8 inches thick. Foot traffic was the mode of travel, with some anglers just beginning to use ATVs on areas with the thickest ice. Much of the "main lake ice" on the south end was rough - navigable, but rough. Very little traffic was seen on the main part of Mille Lacs along the south end where ice measured 3- 8 inches thick. The walleye bite had been decent in 12-15 feet of water where shiners on a set-line and fatheads on a jigging spoon were producing the majority of fish. 888-350-2692; www.millelacs.com

Updated Jan, 8, 2016


Isle/Onamia - Lake Mille Lacs

More anglers are heading out onto Lake Mille Lacs each day. Most are chasing northern pike using spearing, jigging and tip-up techniques. The pike bite has been good in 5-12 feet of water, especially when using suckers or large shiners. Lots of anglers are taking their limits. Please remember that Mille Lacs has a "relaxed" limit with five northern pike allowed per angler. Cove Bay has been the top spot followed closely by Isle Bay. Mac's and Wahkon bays have kicked out some fish as well. Most of the ice in these areas runs 4-8 inches thick. Foot traffic is most common but some anglers are now using ATVs on the thicker ice. Much of the "main lake ice" on the south end is navigable, but rough, with ice running 3-8 inches thick. This area will soon be a hot spot for walleye anglers. So far the walleye bite has been decent in 12-15 feet of water. Anglers having the most success are using shiners on a set-line and fatheads on a jigging spoon. Perch activity has also been good but anglers are having to weed through lots of smaller fish to get to the larger ones. Anglers must check the ice often when venturing out onto the main part of the lake. Before heading out anywhere on the lake, please check with resorts and bait shops in the area you plan to fish. 888-350-2692; www.millelacs.com

Updated Jan, 4, 2016


Isle/Onamia - Lake Mille Lacs

A potential world-record muskie was pulled from Lake Mille Lacs last week. What makes this such an amazing story is that this 57-inch muskie was caught on a fly fishing rod! Check out the video. Lots of muskie anglers continue to head out onto Lake Mille Lacs. The key to a monster fish is to cast the reefs and work the structure. 888-350-2692; www.millelacs.com

Updated Nov, 21, 2015


Brainerd Lakes Area

The walleye remain very aggressive. Anglers pulling live bait rigs with golden shiners and an 8-foot snell through 14-20 feet of water have had lots of success in the smaller lakes. The catches have consisted of walleye up to 25-inches in length, and countless bass measuring up to 19-inches. Anglers fishing another lake recently caught 20 walleye measuring up to 25.75-inches, with limits of 17- to 19-inch eating-size fish. The best depth has been 17-31 feet, especially where there are sparse boulders off the points. Redtails turned the most fish. North Long Lake has been good for large walleye measuring more than 25-inches, as well as nice-sized pike. Anglers have had the most action in 14-35 feet of water near Merrifield. Pulling deep-diving salmon hornets in green and chartreuse also produced fish. 218-825-0410; www.visitbrainerd.com

Isle/Onamia - Lake Mille Lacs

A potential world-record muskie was pulled from Lake Mille Lacs this week! What makes this such an amazing story is that it was caught by an angler using a fly fishing rod. Lots of muskie anglers continue to head out onto Lake Mille Lacs. The key to a monster fish is to cast the reefs and work the structure. 888-350-2692; www.millelacs.com

Updated Nov, 13, 2015


Brainerd Lakes Area

Most fish species remain scattered as fall patterns begin to take hold. Crawler harnesses with a blue #4 blade are producing a few smaller walleye on the weed edges, with larger fish hitting long-lined light northern sucker minnows. On Gull Lake, most walleye are positioned at an ambush point at the base of the weedlines. Live bait rigs with minnows or crawlers are working best. Areas to check out include the weedlines in Steamboat, Wilson, and the Whitehouse Bar, as well as a few of the mid-lake humps. On North Long Lake, live bait rigs with redtails, golden shiners, rainbows and crawlers pumped with air best when worked at the deeper structure in 14-28 feet of water. The larger fish responded best to redtails, and the key was to hook the bait through the back. For the most action, use a 2.5- to 4.5-inch minnow and a #2 red octopus hook. As the day progressed, shallower windblown weedlines were more productive for anglers using 1/16-ounce jigs with large golden shiner in depths of 7-11 feet. Expect to take a mixed bag, including walleye, northern pike, and tons of bass. 800-450-2838; www.explorebrainerdlakes.com

Isle/Onamia - Lake Mille Lacs

On Lake Mille Lacs, the smallmouth bite remains good. For the most action, use a drop shot with plastics in 10-plus feet of water. Some anglers are reporting success when using sucker minnows as well. Work the north end of the lake and bays for numbers of northern pike. Expect muskie activity to increase as the water temps drop. The surface water temperature has dropped to the lower 60s, and the hazard buoys have been removed. 888-350-2692; www.millelacs.com

Updated Oct, 5, 2015


Isle/Onamia - Lake Mille Lacs

Smallmouth bass anglers are experiencing fast action in 8-15 feet of water, especially on the south end of the lake. Look for fish off the reef edges and in areas where deeper boulders are present. Downsized plastics on drop-shot rigs have been the preferred method. While the northern pike bite has slowed a bit, anglers can still find some hungry fish in the bays. Trolling or casting spinner baits and buck tails has produced some nice fish on the deeper weedlines. Anglers have also had good luck using spoons and sucker minnows under a bobber. The best reports are coming from the weed pockets and weedlines in Isle and Wahkon bays. The fall muskie bite isn’t in full swing yet but anglers are anticipating a great fall season once again. Cooler temperatures are forecasted for next week, and the action should heat up quickly. This bite generally remains strong well into November. 888-350-2692; www.millelacs.com

Updated Sep, 25, 2015


Brainerd Lakes Area

Walleye are being pulled from the humps and steep breaklines off of the weeds and large flats; the best depths are 13-33 feet depending on lake conditions. Gull and Whitefish lakes seem to be giving up the majority of fish. Anglers taking the most fish are slip weight-rigging creek chubs and red tails with a 2.5- to 6-foot snell, although ripping jigging raps is also working well. Use your electronics and stay on the move until you locate fish. 800-450-2838; www.explorebrainerdlakes.com

Walker - Leech Lake

Fish are in a state of transition with some of the old tricks from earlier this summer starting to turn fish, and some of the late summer tactics producing as well. Be willing to adapt since this time of year the weather patterns can change quickly and dramatically. On the West End of Leech Lake, trolling crank baits such as #5 and #7 shad raps through 8-14 feet of water has produced a mix of keeper walleye and slot fish, especially around Goose Island, Ottertail, Duck, and Stony Point. Color is important and anglers should take water clarity into account. Crayfish, firetiger, purple, and UV colors are best during high winds that stir up the bottom, and more natural colors such as blue, silver and perch patterns are best when the water is clear. Sunlight is another factor to consider. Walker Bay and Agency Bay are giving up walleye to anglers rigging chubs or sucker minnows on The Humps in 25-35 feet of water. Some perch are starting to show up around Sand Point, and this bite will continually improve into the fall season. A jig and golden shiner worked in 9-12 foot depths will also produce some walleye. For the most action, focus on those areas that have been windswept for a couple of days. On the main lake, trolling leadcore or long-lining crank baits are still best for numbers. The major rock reefs and steep breaklines around Pipe Island and Rogers Point are good places to start. Muskie fishing has been inconsistent, but anglers are seeing fish. The main lake rock reefs and some weed beds are still producing some muskie. Bucktails, top waters, and twitch baits should all be good presentations, especially at Portage Bay and the South End of the Main Lake points and rock reefs. 800-833-1118; www.leech-lake.com

Updated Sep, 9, 2015


Brainerd Lakes Area

North Long and Whitefish lakes have recently been best for consistent numbers of fish. Both are giving up walleye in depths of 8–18 feet of water depending on the day and conditions. Anglers are having the most success using a jig and minnow combination, a leech under a float, and a spinner rig. When conditions are calm, pull a spinner rig to cover more water; once you find fish, fish the area more slowly using a jig or rig. The key is to cover enough water to locate fish using a spinner or your electronics. The bass bite has been good on nearly all area lakes. A jig worm set-up is usually best over the weed beds and on the outside edge of the weeds. Mid-lake structure containing weeds is a good to begin. 800-450-2838; www.explorebrainerdlakes.com

Isle/Onamia - Lake Mille Lacs

The smallmouth bass bite remains good, although it is down slightly from last month when anglers couldn’t keep fish off the hook! While most fish are coming from 10-18 feet of water, some continue to come from shallower waters as well. A wide variety of techniques are producing fish: leech and a slip bobber, crawler and spinner, jig and minnow, drop-shot, tube jig, wacky and jerk baits. Some of the best areas include Indian Point, Brown's Point, Garrison Reef and Hennepin Island. Northern pike fishing has been inconsistent. Most of the fish are hitting 7- to 8-inch suckers at the edges of the weeds, especially at Wahkon, Vineland and Isle bays. 888-350-2692; www.millelacs.com

Updated Aug, 14, 2015


Walker - Leech Lake

Leech Lake walleye anglers are finding it difficult to stay on top of hungry fish since a wide variety of food is abundant, including the young-of-the-year hatch. Depending on the weather, fish can be as shallow as eight feet of water on a windy day, and down 30 feet at the Walker Bay humps on a calm day. Trolling or drifting with a spinner rig and extra-long lindy rig is best to cover a lot of water while searching to find scattered walleye. Pulling crank baits along sand flats, rocky structure and on the edges of weed beds early in the morning and late in the evening is very good tactic this time of year. On the east end of Leech Lake, the rocks continue to produce fish for anglers by pulling crank baits or bottom bouncers with a spinner rig. On the west side, trolling or drifting the middle of Sucker Bay, Grand Vu Flats and the Goose Island Flats has been successful. The walleye are scattered so covering a lot of water will help put fish in the boat. 800-833-1118; www.leech-lake.com

Isle/Onamia - Lake Mille Lacs

As of late last week, the walleye bite on Lake Mille Lacs remained good, and some days it was very good! While most fish were on the smaller side, the numbers were impressive. Surface water temperatures were in the mid-70s. Depths of 23-33 feet of water have been good for most fish over the past few weeks, especially at the mud flats. Anglers are also taking some fish from the deep gravel and a few of the deep water rock humps, but these areas run a distant second to the mud flats. Leeches are the top bait. For the most fish, run them on a long line rig or under a slip bobber. Crawlers run behind a blue or pink spinner should also produce fish if run at a high enough speed to turn the blade efficiently. Over the last few years, more and more anglers have been using leadcore line and crank baits in these areas, at the "basin" between the gravel bars, and between the mud flats. This is an effective technique on Lake Mille Lacs, and with a minimal investment and a few hours of practice anyone can learn to troll leadcore and crank baits in the deep water. In addition to impressive walleye action, northern pike and bass action has been excellent, and recent surveys show that the number of muskies measuring over 50 inches is greater than expected. 888-350-2692; www.millelacs.com

Updated Jul, 27, 2015


Isle/Onamia - Lake Mille Lacs

As of late last week, Lake Mille Lacs anglers reported fishing to be the best it’s been all season! Walleye action was good on the mud flats, with increasing numbers on the deep gravel. Many of these fish measured under 14-inches long, making the next several years look promising. Leeches, either on a live bait rig or under a slip bobber were best, while crawlers on a spinner rig were a decent back-up plan. Top colors were green, blue, and gold. The smallmouth bass action remained good in 8-14 feet of water, especially at Three Mile, Brown's Point, and Sherman's Point. Brown or green tubes, wackys and x-raps were the most productive. Northern pike action remained solid in Garrison and Wahkon bays for anglers using large suckers under a bobber. 888-350-2692; www.millelacs.com

Updated Jul, 20, 2015


Brainerd Lakes Area

The walleye bite has picked up and it is the best it’s been so far this year. Anglers are finding fish in 8-13 feet of water with weeds and rocks nearby, and along the inside edge of the weedlines. Leeches have been best, but crawlers are turning fish as well. Bass are active in the cabbage—check both the inside and outside edge of the weeds. Mid-lake humps are also holding fish, with rubber power worms working best. Some large bluegills are coming from the tops of the cabbage, with large bulls taken this week. 800-450-2838; www.explorebrainerdlakes.com

Walker - Leech Lake

Walleye anglers are having to work a bit harder due to abundant forage from the mayfly hatch and large schools of minnows. Those that stay on the move and remain versatile are having success. On hot, calm days, try pulling a crawler harness or a spinner rig on the sand flats. At the rocks, use a bottom-bouncer rig set-up. A lindy rig with a long leader, colored hook, light weight and leech or crawler has been a great combination. Bobber fishing with a leech on the weedlines or sand flats is starting to turn fish as well. Morning and evening hours have been best. In the main lake, fish depths of 16-20 feet on calm days, and depths of 10-14 feet on windy days – the windswept points should also produce fish. On the east side of Leech Lake, look to the rocks at Submarine Island, Mokey, Pelican Reef and North Bar. On the west side of the lake, hit the Grand Vu Flats, the Hardwoods and Sucker Bay. Walleye anglers are also having success at the Walker Bay humps in 15-30 feet of water during the day. During evening hours, check Sand and Cedar points. Trolling crankbaits in the evening is starting to produce more fish throughout Leech Lake. 800-833-1118; www.leech-lake.com

Isle/Onamia - Lake Mille Lacs

As of late last week, the Lake Mille Lacs walleye bite was best on the mud flats. Leeches were the top bait. For the most fish, use a leech and a long, 6-10 foot snell, or use a leech under a slip bobber. Some of the largest walleye, however, came in on crawlers and spinners. Check the bottom, as well as the top and bottom edges of the flats. Smallmouth bass action was great around the big rock piles in 8-12 feet of water, with fish hitting tubes, wackys and leeches. Northern pike action was good near Garrison, and at the weedlines across the north end. Most of the pike responded to large sucker minnows drifted under a bobber. 888-350-2692; www.millelacs.com

Updated Jul, 11, 2015


Brainerd Lakes Area

Walleye continue their move to traditional summer locations. Fish are coming from the saddles, points, and fingers that extend from shoreline structure out to the main lake structure. Depending on the lake, fish the very edge of the weeds and work your way out, typically starting in 17-18 feet of water and moving out to 24-25 foot depths. During low light, windy, or overcast conditions, fish the shallower sides of this range; the outer edge of this range will be best during calm or high sun conditions. Graph fish first so you don’t waste time fishing for something that isn’t there. Once located, pull a lindy rig tipped with a leech or night crawler through the school. Ripping a #7 jigging rapala in front of them is also a great tactic, as is a basic slip-bobber and leech. Use a 1/8- or 1/4-ounce sliding bell sinker above a barrel swivel to get your bait down in front of the fish faster than using a regular weight. Pelican and North Long lakes continue to give up lots of fish, with Gull and Round lakes heating up as well. 800-450-2838; www.explorebrainerdlakes.com

Walker - Leech Lake

Leech Lake walleye are feasting on mayflies, along with crayfish and small perch. Anglers will need to remain versatile and put in a bit more time for a consistent walleye bite. A brightly-colored lindy rig or crawler rig should work well, especially with a colored bead and colored hook. A bright crawler spinner harness is also a good option. Using a light weight will help to feel the bottom since sometimes it’s hard to tell the difference between a crayfish bite and a walleye bite--less weight is a huge advantage. A slow drift or troll is also very important with this type of setup. Bobber fishing with a leech at the edge of a weed line during the day, or at the sand flats during evening hours is starting to produce fish. Pulling shad raps early and late in the day is also beginning to work well. Evening fishing has been good in Walker Bay off of Sand Point and Cedar Point. During the day, Grand Vu Flats, Star Point, and the Goose Island Flats in the main lake have produced fish. Also consider the breaklines between Pine Point and Goose Island, Sucker Bay, and the rock reefs around Pelican Island and North Bar. These are great places to bottom bounce with a crawler spinner rig. 800-833-1118; www.leech-lake.com

Isle/Onamia - Lake Mille Lacs

On Lake Mille Lacs, walleye action has been best during early morning and evening hours in the shallow to mid-depth waters. Bobber fishing or trolling crank baits have worked best. During the day, stay in deeper water unless it’s windy. Good methods are leeches and crawlers worked on the flats and at the gravel; spinners are good to cover more ground on the gravel. Be sure to handle your release fish with care and keep them in the water or return them as quickly as possible. Smallmouth bass action is excellent, and a great way to introduce kids to fishing. Look for buoys marking rocky areas since this is where bass live. Toss out a bobber and leech rig, or cast small crank baits and rubber baits in 3-12 depths in these areas, then hold on tight! Northern pike are biting fast and furious. A sucker minnow under a bobber, or a shiny spinnerbait worked near the weed lines in 6-12 feet of water should get a bite. Some very large fish are being reported, and anglers shouldn’t be surprised to pull in a muskie. Lots of perch, along with many jumbo perch have been mixed with the walleye, especially on the launch outings. 888-350-2692; www.millelacs.com

Updated Jul, 3, 2015


Brainerd Lakes Area

The bite remains great in the Brainerd Lakes area. Largemouth bass are starting to school in the typical mid-summer areas such as sharp drops, the tips of weed points, and inside turns. During the high light hours, a 3/32-ounce jig with a 6-inch rubber worm has worked wonders. The best colors are red shad and June bug. These fish are truly acrobats! As the evening progresses, bass start moving shallower. This is the time to throw rattling lipless crank baits in a purple shad color. A wacky worm in red shad or chartreuse and white will generally turn fish when they surface. One local guide recently took roughly 50 largemouth bass weighing up to 3 ½-pounds in 3 hours! Hubert Lake is a great place for fast action. Bass are responding well to dock skipping. A fast retrieve has been best, with largemouth bass and northern pike being taken. Crawler harnesses worked along the weed edges are turning walleye, and dragging sucker minnows on a live bait rig on a rod with a bait runner reel should also turn fish. 800-450-2838; www.explorebrainerdlakes.com

Walker - Leech Lake

The Leech Lake walleye bite remains very strong and fish continue to be taken throughout the lake. Lots of eating-size fish, as well as many large walleye are being reported. Leeches have become the top live bait, with crawlers taking second place. Add a slip-sinker rig for a good combination. A 3-foot leader with a green or red bead on the line is a great attractor, along with a leech- or crawler-colored hook. Anglers drifting or slowly trolling with this technique have been very successful. Fishing patterns have changed to a summer pattern, with anglers now working the main lake structure, weedlines, and deeper water. The Grand Vu Flats on the west end of the big lake has a lot of structure from as deep as a 14-foot drop-off around the edges to a sandy 8-foot center bar. Depths of 14-20 feet at Ottertail Point, and the weedlines and weeds in Deadhead Bay have also been good. Other areas to consider include First and Second Duck, and the rock reefs on the east side of the main lake such as Mokey Reef and North Bar. Remember that Leech Lake is a wind-driven lake so when there is a good walleye chop, hit the points where the wind is blowing in. 800-833-1118; www.leech-lake.com

Isle/Onamia - Lake Mille Lacs

On Lake Mille Lacs, the walleye bite remains best on the flats such as Curly's, 7-Mile, and Needle, with leeches turning the most fish; crawlers and spinners are second best. Most walleye are coming from waters deeper than 12 feet, even when the wind is blowing. Smallmouth bass have moved out into depths of 6-12 feet where they are hitting dark-colored tubes and wacky worms. 888-350-2692; www.millelacs.com

Updated Jun, 28, 2015


Brainerd Lakes Area

Fishing remains great in the Brainerd area lakes. The walleye have moved into their summer patterns. When the fish move to a weed edge, it’s best to cover more water by using crawler/leech harnesses with #5 or larger blades while trolling at 1.0- to 1.3-mph; long-lining jigs while trolling at 0.8- to 1.0-mph should also work well, especially when a weather front rolls through. The bluegills have moved onto their spawning areas and are easy to catch. This is a great time to provide kids with a wonderful fishing outing, but it’s also a great time to give a lesson in conservation; take a couple then move on since it’s easy to wipe out a lake in a short time. The Whitefish Chain has been spectacular for largemouth bass. Most bass at the docks have been surprisingly shallow (1 to 3 feet), and on sugar sand so dock skipping has been best. Wacky worms are easy to skip and the fish can’t resist the slow fall. Use a rubber O-ring that barely fits the worm, then place the hook under the O-ring. The key is getting the bait as far under the dock as possible and let the lure sink to the bottom. This presentation has worked well on a variety of lakes. Nice eater-sized walleye can be found using crawler harnesses with a #6 perch blade and a 1/16th oz. bullet weight in 9-12 feet of water. 800-450-2838; www.explorebrainerdlakes.com

Walker - Leech Lake

Most Leech Lake walleye are in a state of transition, and responding to a number of techniques. The most successful anglers have been versatile since fish are coming from throughout the water column. The weed flats, sand flats, and rocks are all producing fish. Leeches and crawlers are now the bait of choice, but if you can find shiner minnows, they are still effective. Slip sinker and lindy rig set-ups have been best. A bottom-bouncer spinner/crawler rig trolled at 1.0 mph or a bit faster will help you cover a lot of water. Don’t give up on jigs, however, since leeches and crawlers also work well when slowly-trolled or drifted. On the west side of Leech Lake, the Grand Vu Flats, Deadhead Bay in Sucker Bay, and the First and Second Duck points are giving up fish. On the east side, rocks such as Pelican Island, Submarine Island, the Annex, and Mokey Reef are also great places for walleye. In Walker Bay, Cedar and Sand points are starting to produce fish during evening hours. 800-833-1118; www.leech-lake.com

Isle/Onamia - Lake Mille Lacs

Smallmouth bass action has been great on Lake Mille Lacs. Dark colors remain best, with tubes, worms, flukes, and shallow crank baits producing large fish. Most fish are still fairly shallow, holding in 4-10 feet of water on the edges or tops of the rock piles. Walleye can still be found shallow on the reefs, especially on windy days. Anglers are finding deeper fish on the gravel and mud flats; start in roughly 23 feet of water and work down to 26-28 feet until you find fish. Rigging with a leech has been successful in the deeper water. Bobber fishing on the reefs has been productive during evening hours. Move shallower to the tops of the reefs as the evening progresses. Muskie and northern pike action has been hot in the bays. For the most action, target the reed growth and weed lines, downsize your presentation using smaller spinners and buck tails, and use colors such as black and orange or firetiger. Depths of 6-7 feet of water, sometimes even less, are still holding good numbers of these fish. 888-350-2692; www.millelacs.com

Updated Jun, 19, 2015


Brainerd Lakes Area

Fishing remains good in the Brainerd Lakes area, especially on the smaller lakes. The largemouth bass have been very active under and around the docks with deep water nearby. The best presentation has been a senko-style worm wacky-rigged with no weight and a 2/0 wide gap hook. Use a rubber O-ring that barely fits the worm, then place the hook under the O-ring -- instead of catching one or two fish per worm, you can generally catch 5-20 fish! This setup is very easy to skip docks, even for a beginner. The key is getting the bait as far under the dock as possible and let the lure sink to the bottom. Most of the time, the fish will hit the lure in the first 10 seconds. If a fish doesn’t hit, slowly jig the lure back 6 inches then allow it to fall back to the bottom. Most docks seem to have fish lurking under them. Expect to also run into groups of bluegills. Some walleye are coming from 10-14 feet of water on long-lined jigs. This helps you snap off weeds and detect the difference between a weed and a fish. Use full crawlers on plain, uncolored 1/16-ounce jigs; neutral colors are less likely to attract northern pike. Move fast enough to just tick the tops of the weeds -- .8 miles per hour is a good starting point. It is important to jig and let the lure fall while moving, with most hits coming as the lure drops in the water column. 800-450-2838; www.explorebrainerdlakes.com

Walker - Leech Lake

Overall, Leech Lake walleye are in a transition period with fish found throughout the water column. Pitching jigs and minnows in holes within larger sand and weed flats has been very productive – start in 5-9 feet of water at the emergent weeds, especially for numbers of keeper-size fish. The main lake rocks, such as Submarine Island, Pelican Island, Annex, North Bar, and Mokey Reef have all started to produce fish. Trolling spinners with a bottom bouncer at .8- to 1.3-mph has worked well. Leeches, crawlers, and even minnows have been productive, and this bite should only get better. Lindy rigging, as well as slip bobber fishing on windy days or during low light hours should also produce fish at the rock structure in 10-19 feet of water. Some bug hatches are starting to pop up on the lake, so pay close attention since the fish will be close by -- this can be some of the best fishing all year. Musky reports have been mixed with a few fish being caught. The weedy bays are a great place to start -- try throwing small bucktails or twitch baits, especially at the emerging cabbage beds in Uran, Miller, and Steamboat bays. Muskie fishing will continually improve as the summer progresses, so get the big rods ready to cast! 800-833-1118; www.leech-lake.com

Isle/Onamia - Lake Mille Lacs

Walleye are in a wide range of depths. Some are hanging around the shallows in 8 feet of water or less during early morning and evening hours, and some holding in 8-18 feet of water, especially when there is a stiff wind. The best bite, however, has been in 23-plus feet of water on the mud flats such as Sherman's, 7-Mile and Greg's flats. This is typically a midday bite. Fish the deep gravel when along the south end, and use leeches on a live bait rig; crawlers and spinners are a good second choice. Muskie action is best in water less than 8 feet deep. Bucktails are getting the most attention, however, there have been few "takers" recently. Smallmouth bass are still transitioning from their beds to their mid-summer haunts. A fair number of these fish still have eggs in them. Tubes, senkos, shadow raps, and leeches are all producing fish. Surface water temperatures are in the mid-60s. 888-350-2692; www.millelacs.com

Updated Jun, 12, 2015


Brainerd Lakes Area

The walleye bite has been a little inconsistent due to the changing weather conditions. Gull, Pelican, and North Long lakes are giving up some nice fish, with several fish measuring around 25 inches taken this week. They were as shallow as 8-12 feet and as deep as 30-33 feet depending on the day and lake. Use you electronics to cover water and search them out. If you can’t seem to locate them on the graphs when in water deeper than 15 feet check the shallows while pitching a jig and shiner. If you spot them in the deeper waters, use a slip weight rig and shiner or a jigging rapala. The bass bite has been outstanding on nearly every lake in the area. For the most action, pitch a jig worm set-up into water less than 6 feet deep, preferably around the docks, however, the shorelines will also produce. Seven-inch power worms have been ideal. The crappies continue to bite, and this can be fast action as well. The males are up guarding the beds and are easy to locate. Look for them in the shallows around the pencil reeds or cover, then toss your favorite plastic under a float in front of them. 800-450-2838; www.explorebrainerdlakes.com

Walker - Leech Lake

Last weekend’s Leech Lake Walleye Tournament was a huge success. While nearly 1300 fish were brought to the scales, there was a 98% live release rate! Fish are now being caught by anglers using a variety of techniques in many different locations. During the tournament, anglers had success lindy-rigging with a jig and minnow, and pulling spinners. Since fish are transitioning into their summer patterns and haunts, consider aggressively snap-jigging along the sand flats and breaklines in 8-12 feet of water, or try pitching jigs into the cabbage. Changing up the color depending on cloud-cover has often been the key to success. Many anglers have done well when rigging leeches and crawlers along the shoreline breaks and transition lines of rock/gravel or sand and gravel. A long snell in the 6-plus inch range with a smaller hook and glow bead has been very effective. Spinner fishing is also starting to pick up -- check depths of 12-16 feet at the rock edges on the main lake reefs or at the shoreline breaks around Sand Beach and Two Points for nice numbers of fish. Depending on weather conditions, travel between 1- and 1.5 m.p.h. 800-833-1118; www.leech-lake.com

Isle/Onamia - Lake Mille Lacs

Lake Mille Lacs launches are reporting excellent numbers of walleye, with fish found shallow and on the deeper gravel. Evening anglers can find fish on the rock reefs, with fish moving from the edges to the reef tops as the evening progresses. Most anglers are choosing to fish a leech under a cork, but rigging and crank baits have also produced fish on the deep gravel. Walleye of all sizes are being taken, including lots of keepers. Many more year classes seem to be present than was previously suggested. The fish are fat and healthy, and the small yearlings are abundant. Smallmouth bass anglers are hitting the lake in droves, and smashing huge fish now that they are post-spawn. These fish are hitting everything from plastics to crank baits in the shallow waters. The northern pike are hitting spinner baits on the weedlines and at the reeds on the bay edges. And many anglers have taken a muskie or two when casting for pike. Don't miss out on the great fishing action and many wonderful memories Lake Mille Lacs has to offer! 888-350-2692; www.millelacs.com

Updated Jun, 5, 2015


Walker - Leech Lake

The weather greatly impacted angling on Leech Lake this past week and weekend. Water temperatures have fluctuated due to cooler than normal weather, rain and wind, and as a result, walleye fishing was sporadic. Anglers needed to switch from early season walleye fishing locations to the weeds in areas such as Mounds Point and Deadhead Bay. Searching the windswept shorelines for pockets of feeding fish has been best. The Meadows and Big Hardwood produced lots of fish when the wind was blowing into shore. The Grand Vu and Goose Islands flats attracted lots of walleye anglers as well. It seemed like many walleye moved to deeper, to 10-12 foot depths, when the wind stopped blowing. Currently, the best rig is still a jig tipped with a minnow or leech. A lindy rig is also a good setup when used with a red hook while pulling a minnow or leech. When the wind dies down, pulling a crawler should also be very effective. During early evening hours, artificial plugs are also starting to be effective. 800-833-1118; www.leech-lake.com

Isle/Onamia - Lake Mille Lacs

Walleye fishing has picked up on the southern half of Lake Mille Lacs where the smallmouth bass and northern pike remained strong. The walleye bite should continually improve as water temperature rise. On the north end of the lake, most walleye have relocated to the flats. Overall, the walleye bite is pretty average compared to a year with "normal" water temperatures. Leeches have taken over as the top bait of choice, with crawlers and shiners being about equal for second place. For the most action, try a "plain" rig such as a plain hook, colored hook, hook & bead, or even a small floater. The spinner bite should be good very soon. Both the smallmouth bass and northern pike remain very active in Cove, Wahkon and Isle. A slow presentation has been key for the smallies, while a bobber ad sucker combination has been best for the northern pike. Surface water temperatures are hovering around 60 degrees. 888-350-2692; www.millelacs.com

Updated May, 29, 2015


Brainerd Lakes Area

Northern pike have been extremely active on the Gull Lake Chain of Lakes. Many presentations have produced fish, including live bait rigging with spot tails, long-lining 1/16th-ounce jigs with suckers, pulling crankbaits, and dragging crawler harnesses. Crappies can be found in their usual spawning grounds which consist of lily pad roots, downed trees and the inside edges of cabbage beds. Most crappies are staying close to their beds, but fish are responding to a minnow hooked through the eyes with no weight and a small bobber. Last weekend, crawler harnesses were the ticket for walleye. The best set-up was a #5 blade (blue, smooth gold or hammered bronze), half a nightcrawler and a 1/16-ounce weight above the swivel of the harness. The best pulling speed was 1.1 mph. When fishing a crawler harness on the weed edge, the secret is for the weight and blade to just clip the tops of the weeds. Use no stretch line so when you do connect with a weed a quick snap of the rod should release the harness. This is often when you’ll get a walleye to strike. After the mid-day rain last Saturday, some anglers switched species and headed over to the Crosby mine pits for some trout action. Fish came from 25-210 feet of water on the smallest crankbaits pulled at 1.2- to 1.6-mph. The secret was a 1/8-ounce weight about 4 feet above the crank bait to keep the lure deeper. The best colors were gold/black and firetiger. The mine pit lakes in the Crosby/Ironton area are teaming with fish! Crappies are also abundant, with fish found suspended off the edge of a beaver lodge last weekend. Red/ chartreuse tube jig bodies on a 1/32-ounce jig head were the key to success. 800-450-2838; www.explorebrainerdlakes.com

Walker - Leech Lake

Last weekend, the water temperatures on Leech Lake had dropped 3-6 degrees due to the cold weather and rain. This forced anglers to adjust their presentations and try something other than the “traditional” early season walleye tactics. Walleye fishing was sporadic, but those willing to change up their routine were rewarded. The main lake flats around Goose Island such as West Goose and Grand View continued to produce fish, but the fish had moved deeper, especially when there was a lack of wind to push bait fish up into the shallows. The best fishing was in 9-13 feet of water, with jig and minnow combinations and lindy rigs with a shiner or leech producing the most fish. The windblown shoreline breaks and breaklines that dropped into 10-16 feet of water throughout the main lake were also good. Leech is a wind-driven lake, so using this to your advantage by making controlled drifts or using your bow mount to work the breaklines can be extremely productive. When it was calm, snap-jigging was best; traveling 1- to 1.5 mph or long-lining a leech and crawler was extremely effective and should only get better. Other tactics to consider this time of year include a slip bobber at the isolated weed pockets or rock piles, as well as casting crankbaits at windblown shorelines after dark. Crappies have started to transition to deeper waters. Boy, Headquarters and Shingobee bays are producing fish in 6-12 feet of water along the weedlines and flats with isolated pockets of cabbage. A jig and plastic or a crappie minnow under a float are great presentations. Perch continue to be caught, and there were reports of isolated schools of jumbos caught this weekend on just a jig and minnow. Lots of perch have been mixed in with the walleye. Large numbers of bass have moved into the shallows and this is the perfect time of year to catch a monster bass! 800-833-1118; www.leech-lake.com

Isle/Onamia - Lake Mille Lacs

The turnout was pretty light on Mille Lacs this week. Anglers that put in the time caught some nice fish, with more "big" fish than small. The north end still has the best daytime bite. Some nice daytime fish were also found on the mud flats, as well as on the shoreline reefs towards dark. Shiners and leeches have been best, with crawlers coming in third. The spinner bite will take off in the near future, when water temperatures rise into the 60s. Anglers are enjoying the relaxing surroundings, and this should be the case again this weekend since the water is too cool for most tubers and skiers! 888-350-2692; www.millelacs.com

Updated May, 22, 2015


Brainerd Lakes Area

The walleye bite has been fantastic on many area lakes and it should only improve! A common mistake that many people make this time of year is to fish too deep. Last weekend, the best bite seemed to be in the 6-9 foot range along the inside weed edge. Shallow running crankbaits and lightweight 1/16- or 1/8-ounce jig and minnow combinations produced numerous fish. If the fish aren’t there, begin slowly working your way out towards the weed edge in 10-14 feet of water depending on that particular body of water. Gull, Round, and North Long were the top producers. The panfish bite has been hit or miss. Surface water temperatures have been fluctuating daily, and most lakes seem to be hovering around the 55 degree mark. Unstable weather can easily push these fish out from the shallows and back out to the first nearby break/drop-off. This week, use look for old reed beds in 3-5 feet of water if the sun is shining. Lakes such as the Upper Gull Chain, Margaret, North Long, Round and the Mission Chain have been kicking out some nice fish. Minnesota’s new “catch-and-release” bass season started off with a bang! This season runs from May 9 until the official bass opener, May 23. Largemouth bass have been stacked up in shallow water bays in 2-6 foot depths at the green weeds. Shallow-running crank baits or chatterbaits that have a wide wobble are outstanding for covering water and enticing active bass this time of year. If fish seem finicky and sluggish, slow down your presentation and throw a traditional jig and pig or wacky worm rig. As with the panfish, work your way out towards the weedline in search of active biters if you aren’t seeing much activity in the back bays. 800-450-2838; www.explorebrainerdlakes.com

Walker - Leech Lake

The fishing opener drew large numbers of anglers to Leech Lake, with anglers concentrating on the traditional early walleye hot spots. Anglers who hit the lake early faced icy-cold conditions and a dark, cloudy morning with a good walleye chop. These early anglers reported that the walleye were hungry and aggressive, with nice walleye limits taken along with a few jumbo perch and northern pike. Lots of eating-size fish were also caught. The protected slot limit for walleye on Leech Lake is 20-26 inches, giving anglers a chance to catch some larger fish. Many pictures of nice catch-and-release fish and happy anglers were also taken. Saturday morning, the sun came out, the wind died down, and the bite cooled off a bit. Sunday morning’s weather was similar except that anglers were facing a strong northeast wind, along with a pouring rain by late afternoon. Overall, a jig and shiner minnow combination seemed to work best, especially in depths of less than 10 feet. Expect the larger walleye to turn more aggressive as weather conditions stabilize later this week. A jig and a minnow should still be the rig of choice, and last weekend’s hot spots should still hold fish. The Stoney Point area, along with Little Stoney and Northland Reef, Grand Vu Flats, and Pine, Star and Oak points are great places to start. 800-833-1118; www.leech-lake.com

Isle/Onamia - Lake Mille Lacs

Lake Mille Lacs was a little quieter than normal over the opener - a little quieter on the walleye bite and a little quieter in angler hours. That's not to say that there weren't any anglers or they didn't catch any fish. In fact, most anglers reported some fish (seven on average), including some "keepers!" The action was best on the north end of the lake in 18-22 feet of water during the day, and in 7-12 feet of water in the evenings. Leeches and shiners were the top producers. Smallmouth bass action was good, with nearly all of the fish coming from less than 5 feet of water. Small tube jigs and grub tails worked the best. 888-350-2692; www.millelacs.com

Updated May, 15, 2015


Walker - Leech Lake

The Leech Lake walleye spawn should be complete by opening weekend, and the walleye are expected to be hungry. If the weather cooperates, the opener should be excellent! When fishing, look to the shorelines and points that the wind is blowing into and start shallow; consider spot-tailed shiners, rainbows or fatheads in 5-10 feet of water in the sandy and gravel areas. Jig fishing is also great this time of year. The best jig colors are chartreuse, dark green and multicolored due to the clear water in Leech Lake. When fishing shallower waters, stick with an 8-ounce jig or weight on your lindy rig. Drifting is a preferred way to fish Leech Lake, but if there is not enough wind, trolling works well also. If it’s very windy, a drift bag can make a huge difference in your ability to stay on fish. A few spots to check out include the Mounds Point area in Steamboat Bay, Oak Point, Joe’s Landing, Star Point, the Little and Big Hardwoods, and Pine Point. Each of these has produced good walleye catches during the early part of season. Other traditional opening weekend hot spots include Ottertail, Sand Beach, Stoney Point, and Little Stoney. 800-833-1118; www.leech-lake.com

Isle/Onamia - Lake Mille Lacs

Lake Mille Lacs water temperatures should be just right for north end sand action, and some of the deeper rocky areas should hold lots of active fish as well. Fishing is expected to be very good this year on Lake Mille Lacs, especially since forage levels have resulted in fish being more eager to bite. The smaller walleye will have the feed bags on so use extra caution if you are bobber fishing in the evenings. Please use extreme care when unhooking these future keepers; barbless hooks will help in the process. There will be a ton of 10- to 15- inch walleye that will frustrate some anglers yet make it a great day on the lake for others. Local anglers report a large number of 19- to 21-inch walleye so a meal of fish is very promising. This season, try your hand at the smallmouth bass that are abundant at the reefs--these fish can be huge! If you want the kids to have some exciting “rip-the-rod-out-of-your-hands action,” hit the rocks and start pitching rubber baits or crankbaits! 888-350-2692; www.millelacs.com

Updated May, 7, 2015


Brainerd Lakes Area

Spring fishing has been great, and the warm up into this weekend should cause action to pick up even more. Expect to find crappies and sunnies just off their spawning grounds. Anglers that braved recent cold temperatures and high winds reported that the fish were still biting. Staying mobile was key. The best approach was to search the waters until a school was located. Slip bobbers and plastics seemed to produce the most fish. Anglers fishing off the docks also did well with the crappies and sunfish, especially at Bar Harbor. 800-450-2838; www.explorebrainerdlakes.com

Updated Apr, 24, 2015


Isle/Onamia - Lake Mille Lacs

Recent melting has left much of Lake Mille Lacs covered with water. Expect wet and slushy conditions. As of today, the ice measured more than 30 inches in many areas. Conditions can change rapidly, even during the course of a day so be sure to check with a bait shop or resort for the most current ice conditions before venturing out. The northern pike season on Lake Mille Lacs remains open through March 29, 2015, with 10 northern pike allowed in possession; only one of these ten can measure over 30 inches. To learn more, check out the DNR’s Lake Mille Lacs Regulations page. 888 -350-2692; www.millelacs.com

Updated Mar, 13, 2015


Walker - Leech Lake

This has been one of the best weeks of the season on area lakes, with lots of large fish and limits being reported. On Leech Lake, the shore breaks are giving up good numbers of fish, as well as the highly desirable 17-inch eating-size fish in Walker Bay. Anglers are still traveling 4-plus miles out of Trappers Landing on the south end of the big lake were they are finding nice jumbo perch on top of the reefs, and walleye off the edges of the reefs. Green remains the color of choice, with red hooks working best on the set lines. The ice is roughly 34 inches thick and continues to grow. Still, please remember that it is not safe to cross ice heaves! Bring your ice cleats as it is very slippery due to little snow on area lakes. 800-833-1118; www.leech-lake.com

Isle/Onamia - Lake Mille Lacs

Walleye action has been great on Lake Mille Lacs, especially at first and last light. Expect a mix of sizes, with most walleye running 10-12 inches long. During mid-day hours, fish for perch in 23-30 feet of water on the mud flats. For the most fish, use a small rattle spoon tipped with a fathead or Eurolarva. Northern pike action has slowed somewhat for the spearers, but the tip-up anglers are still turning some nice fish. 888 -350-2692; www.millelacs.com

Updated Feb, 13, 2015


Walker - Leech Lake

Nice walleye, perch and northern pike are coming from many areas of Leech Lake. Walker Bay anglers are having success with perch, northern pike, tullibees and walleye. Anglers taking the most walleye have been working Walker Bay, Stony Point, and the south end of the main lake reefs near Trappers Landing. In Walker Bay, walleye anglers will want to work the shoreline breaks for quality fish, with the humps occasionally giving up greater numbers. Depths of 15-25 feet of water, and areas with inside turns or flats for ambush locations have been best, especially during low light hours; glowing jigging spoons and jigs are out-producing other presentations. For larger slot fish, as well as some keepers, hit depths of 17-25 feet at the south end of the main lake. While dependent on conditions, the edges of the reefs seem to produce better than the tops during the day, with larger profile lures and minnows working best. Mixed reports are coming from anglers working the points on the east end of the lake such as Battle and Diamond. The perch bite has also picked up. Areas to check out include depths of 10-15 feet at the sand, gravel and weed lines, and at the deeper mud basins on the main lake. Some Leech Lake jumbos measuring up to 13 inches were taken last weekend, and these fish often come through in large schools. Northern pike are active, especially on the main lake in Uran and Millers bays, as well as on the reefs. Tip-ups with sucker minnows are a great way to target these fish, and to get the kids hooked on fishing! 800-833-1118; www.leech-lake.com

Isle/Onamia - Lake Mille Lacs

Most of the fish being pulled from Lake Mille Lacs are coming from the mud flats in 23-32 feet of water. The prime time periods are around daybreak and at dark. For the most fish, work the flats using a small rattle spoon such as a buckshot, rattling flyer or rattlesnake tipped with a piece of a fathead minnow. You'll likely find a few decent perch and some tullibees mixed in to round out the day. Some of the better areas this week include Greg's Flat, Backer Flat and the deep gravel. There has been a bit of a perch bite on the flats in the deeper water. Small silver, green or yellow pimples tipped with Euro larva have been best. Northern pike action picked up a little this week in Cove Bay. For pike, hit 10-12 feet of water toward the mouth of the bay using a sucker minnow. 888 -350-2692; www.millelacs.com

Updated Feb, 9, 2015


Walker - Leech Lake

What an awesome week of weather for fishing, and this week has been just as good, if not better! The walleye bite is on the upswing, and the jumbo perch are starting to hit as well. The main part of Leech Lake is producing well all the way down to the south end at Trappers Landing Lodge. The walleye are biting best on the breaklines in the sand, and anglers are taking a few off the rocks along with some nice perch and large eelpout “slimers.” The ice measures 26-32 inches but caution must still be used due to a number of large ice heaves. A few trucks recently fell through the ice when driving next to or over heaves that weren’t strong enough to support a vehicle. Travel is easy across the lake due to the lack of snow, although there are inverted ice heaves that look harmless but are dangerous. When traveling on the ice, please stay on the roads and ask the guides, resorts and bait shops if there are areas to avoid. 800-833-1118; www.leech-lake.com

Isle/Onamia - Lake Mille Lacs

Lake Mille Lacs ice measures well over 20 inches in most areas of the lake. Anglers should still access the lake through a resort in order to get the most current conditions. Very little snow covers the ice on the lake and travel is good. Be sure to cross any cracks or heaves at a bridge, and bring your cleats! While most walleye are measuring 10-11 inches, there's a mix of oversized fish along with a handful of keepers too. Some of the better baits include kastmasters, gem-n-eyes and tinglers. The top colors include gold, copper and firetiger. Stick to 25 feet or deeper for the walleye and perch. Check depths of 30-plus feet for tullibees, and work depths of 12 feet or less for the northerns. No preference towards mud, rocks or gravel has been noticed this week. Take part in KJ's Ice Jam Fishing Contest in Onamia this Saturday, Jan. 31. In addition to the ice fishing contest, enjoy three great rock bands, lots of food & refreshments, free shuttle bus rides, raffles and door prizes. 888 -350-2692; www.millelacs.com

Updated Jan, 30, 2015


Isle/Onamia - Lake Mille Lacs

Anglers are having the best luck with the perch and walleye in 20-28 feet of water on Lake Mille Lacs. Check the mud closer to the deeper reefs for the most perch. The weather forecasted over the weekend and into next week should be spectacular, making it an excellent time to get out and enjoy a day on the ice. 888 -350-2692; www.millelacs.com

Updated Jan, 23, 2015


Walker - Leech Lake

Leech Lake has been busy producing fish! While ice conditions on the lake still vary, they are becoming much more consistent. On the main lake and out of Trappers, anglers are finding anywhere from 20-24 inches of good ice. Travel is very easy as long as you keep an eye out for cracks and pressure ridges. In Walker Bay, there is an average of 16 inches of good ice in most places. Fishing has been good with lots of large fish being taken throughout the lake, especially in the shallower waters. The shoreline breaks are producing well, with active walleye found during early morning and evening hours; look for inside turns and weedlines in 10-16 feet of water. Try to get set up with all of your holes pre-drilled before the prime feeding times arrive. Tip ups are another great way to fish for these fish when using a larger minnow. Reefs on the main lake continue to produce good amounts of fish, with some nice keepers mixed in. Huddles, areas off of Pelican Island, and Olson’s Reef are some of the better locations. Check for areas that have already been fished. Fish the on and off the edges during daylight hours, but drill holes on top and fish these during the evening and morning bites. In Walker Bay, fish are still coming from the humps, especially those topping out at 25-30 feet of water. Other area lakes have been great for crappie and bluegill action. The best location has been on the edges of the basins and in the weeds in depths of 12-30 feet of water. Tungsten jigs with a plastic or tipped with some red spikes have been best. These areas are generally full of panfish in the winter, and you may find you have the whole lake to yourself! 800-833-1118; www.leech-lake.com

Updated Jan, 19, 2015


Walker - Leech Lake

While the cold front did not bring much snow, it did create lots of ice on Leech Lake. As of last weekend, Walker Bay ice measured 16-19 inches on average, with ice up to 21 inches thick on the main lake out from Trappers Landing Lodge. Many anglers are reporting “sleepless nights” due to lots of late night runs. Good numbers of fish are coming from the 34-45 foot humps, but the shoreline breaks seem to give up the nicest fish and the most variety of species. And lots of a trophy-sized fish are coming from the south end of Leech Lake. 800-833-1118; www.leech-lake.com

Isle/Onamia - Lake Mille Lacs

The walleye bite has been pretty good on Lake Mille Lacs. There’s a strong year-class of 10-12 inch walleye and they seem to be very hungry! Mixed in have been an assortment of 24+ inch throw backs and a few bonus "keepers." For the most fish, start in 22-28 feet of water over bottoms with hard rocks or gravel and jig a spoon in red and orange tones tipped with a minnow. Perch action has been sporadic. Northern pike has been great on the south end. While spearers are still taking fish, most agree that they aren't seeing as many fish now that people are driving throughout the bays. 888 -350-2692; www.millelacs.com

Updated Jan, 9, 2015


Walker - Leech Lake

Fishing has been a bit quieter this week, but the big fish enthusiasts are taking lots of 27-28 inch walleye. Despite slightly warmer temperatures, the ice conditions have remained consistent, holding at roughly 11-13 inches thick on Walker Bay, and about 16 inches on the big lake in front of Trapper's Landing Lodge where the ice road remains in good condition. As always, please use caution when venturing out onto new ice. When exploring new fishing locations, test ice thickness often by chiseling or drilling test holes to ensure there is enough ice to safely proceed. 800-833-1118; www.leech-lake.com

Isle/Onamia - Lake Mille Lacs

On the south edge of Lake Mille Lacs, there is 8-13 inches of ice in most areas. The upcoming cold spell should help ice to build rapidly. For now, do NOT use automobiles on the ice. 888 -350-2692; www.millelacs.com

Updated Dec, 24, 2014


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.