Little girl holding up a fish on a hook

Click Bait: Minnesota’s Summer Fishing Report

Hot spots and cool gear for anglers

Looking to explore a few of the great fishing lakes around Minnesota this summer? Here is a highlight of some of the best, including notes on what’s biting from the Minnesota Outdoor News. Just for fun, I’ve tossed in a few of the hottest fishing gadgets you’ll want to have along when you hit the water.

Mille Lacs
Located near Garrison in central Minnesota, Mille Lacs is a draw for walleye anglers who see great action every season.

East – Walleye action remains strong during the day in 18 feet or more, while the shallow, evening rock bite remains hot, too. Minnows, leeches, and crankbaits are producing walleyes. There’s been plenty of good-size smallmouth bass mixed in the lake and they are hitting artificial or live bait presentations as well.

Local resource: Johnson’s Portside (320) 676-3811

West – Walleyes are being caught off Pike Point during the day in 17 to 19 feet with a jig and shiner minnow. In St. Alban’s Bay, Lindy Rigs with minnows or leeches are producing walleyes in 16 feet, as is Seguchie Point in 22 feet. Garrison Reef and the mud flats are kicking out walleyes. Smallies are being caught along with the walleyes on most spots, while jigs and shiners are producing pike in 15 to 18 feet in St. Alban’s Bay.

Local resource: Terry’s Boat Harbor (320) 692-4430

Gadget Alert: Deep Pro+ Portable Fish Finder
Need a little insight while shore fishing this summer? Now you can take a quality fish finder with you wherever you go. Fish are marked on sonar and displayed beautifully on your phone. The round fish finder can be cast from shore, includes GPS for mapping and displays water temperatures. Come winter, take the Deep Pro+ Portable Fish Finder to the fish house. $209 on Amazon.

Lake Vermilion
Nearby Lake Vermillion is a smaller lake, but it produces big walleye strikes thanks to an annual stocking of several thousand fingerling.

Minnows or crankbaits continue to produce walleyes at the mouth of Pike Bay in 6 to 8 feet, the shorelines in Big Bay, and the south shore around Pine Island in 12 to 20 feet. You’ll hook northern pike in Stuntz Bay with crankbaits or small bucktails on the 3- to 7-foot weedbeds, and a few accidental crappies are being caught by walleye anglers in shallow water.

Local resource: Pike Bay Lodge (218) 753-2430

Gadget Alert: BONX Grip Bluetooth Sports Earbud
This is a hands-free walkie-talkie that features an unlimited range anywhere you have cell phone service. Talk to a fishing buddy miles downstream. Just load the BONX app on your phone, and the device connects allowing you to instantly communicate with anyone in the “chat-room”. The earbud can be voice activated or push to talk. Keep your phone safely in your pocket and have both hands free for fishing. Get a pair for $260 and start your Bonx network.

Grandpa fishing with grandchild

Lake Waconia
Lake Waconia is in the western metro area of Minneapolis and provides diverse fishing opportunities.

Crappies continue to be caught in 8 to 12 feet on the north end, Waconia Bay, and Claybanks area. Bass are active on the shorelines or docks, and northern pike are hitting crankbaits on the northeast end in 10 to 12 feet. A few walleyes can be had during the evening hours with a jig and minnow or leech and slip bobber off Harm’s Point in 4 to 8 feet.

Local resources: Mases In Towne Marina (952) 442-2096

Gadget Alert: UV Glue
Have you heard about UV glue? It’s now the most valuable resource in my tackle box. Super strong and waterproof, UV glue can fix myriad issues from a leaky wader to a broken rod tip. It can also be used to smooth line knots. Just add a bit of the glue and then shine the included mini UV light onto the site for instant curing. At $28 it makes a great gift idea too.

Leech Lake
Near Walker, the 102,000-acre Leech Lake is famous for its strong walleye fishery.

Walleye action continues to be strong along most wind-driven points and shorelines in 6 to 10 feet. Depending on wind direction, spots such as the Hardwoods, Pine Point, GrandVu Flats, Meadows, Duck Points, Star/Oak, and the Mounds are worth hitting. You’ll find nice perch mixed in, and despite cool water, bluegills and crappies are being found in the shallow water of most bays.

Local resources: Reed’s Sporting Goods (218) 547-1505 or Shriver’s Bait Co. (218) 547-2250

Gadget Alert: Rod Clip
Smith Creek Wearable Fishing Rod Holder
This fishing gadget is amazing in its simplicity. The rod clip gives you a place to secure your fishing pole, letting you unhook fish, tie knots or grab your favorite beverage. The clip attaches to your fishing vest or waist pack, where you just press your rod into the foam notch. Reel in the holder on Amazon for $28.

Lake of the Woods
Lake of the Woods borders along Ontario, Canada, and offers world-class fishing opportunities for smallmouth bass, walleye and muskies.

Big schools of walleyes are being found in 15 to 30 feet from Lighthouse Gap to Rocky Point and up to the islands. Most people are anchored and jigging with minnows and frozen shiners. On the Rainy River, some walleyes are being caught along with smallmouth bass, pike, and sturgeon. At the Northwest Angle, reports of walleyes are coming from island and shoreline structure such as points and areas with current on minnows and jigs.

Local resource: Lake of the Woods Tourism Bureau (800) 382-FISH

There’s a reason Minnesota is a top fishing destination. If you are lucky enough to live here, get out and explore a lake you haven’t tried. It’s a good excuse to pick up some new gear.

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