Northern Minnesota Report

Water Body ,

I spent just about every waking moment this past weekend on the water in search for a number of different species.  My main target species were walleye, largemouth and smallmouth bass.  I was able to sneak out for a few hours Friday night so I chose to hit Lake Bemidji quick.  The walleyes were stacked up in 10-14 FOW on most wind blown structures and were hungry!  My bait of choice for there this time of year is definitely live bait rigging with crawlers or leeches.  I was able to get a quick limit of fish using this method with a few nice ones to boot!

Jamie Walleye

Nice shallow water walleye

Saturday I started out on Leech Lake searching for Smallmouth bass and with no surprise, the majority of the fish that I caught were nice walleyes!  I didn’t have any live bait in the boat, but man were they hammering 4″ Trigger X Tubes!  My first fish of the morning was a 29″ walleye – let’s just say it was one of the only times I was disappointed to see a giant eye on the end of my line.  All these fish were in 6-12 FOW on gravel and rocky areas.  I would imagine they were mistaking the pumpkin colored tubes for crawfish.


Steve Bass

Steve Nosbisch with a nice largemouth that couldn’t resist the Goo Bug

From there we headed into Boy Bay after largemouths.  The fish definitely weren’t going crazy, but we caught some pretty decent largies.  Texas rigging Trigger X Goo Bugs was the ticket as well as Terminator Jigs with Twin Tale Grub trailers were doing alright as well.  I didn’t notice a lot of fish in the rice, but pads and cut banks had a lot of mediocre fish with a few nice ones mixed in.

I fished a few smaller bodies of water for smallmouth bass and it definitely wasn’t as good as it was a few weeks ago.  A lot of the fish are out of the shallows now and have moved deeper making it a little harder to target them.  Tubes, drop shots with Probe Worms, and X Rap Props caught a number of fish on deeper rock flats and humps. These smaller lakes were already in the 70 degree range, but you might find a larger population of smallies up shallow on bigger lakes with cooler water temps.

Overall it was a great weekend to be on the water with friends chasing a variety of different species. With the warm weather and the rain subsiding up north, I would expect the muskies to start getting a little more fired up. Walleyes should push deeper to mid lake structure as well as the smallmouths. I always look forward to this time of year as deeper fish give anglers a chance to explore some fun techniques!

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Pat McSharry

Growing up in the mecca of Walleye and Muskie fishing, Pat has been able to grow up with a rod in one hand, and a big fish in the other. Specializing in toothy critters, Pat has accumulated an immense repertoire Full Bio ›


  1. Pat, nice work. I know what you mean about catching a non target species. I think this really breaks it down for people that at times location is key. In Dakota come late July into August we have some super thick weeds anywhere from 3-9 fow. I have caught big walleys in 82 degree water in 4 fow sitting under slop weeds with 1/2 swimjigs and trigger X bass plastics. I think perhaps the walleyes like to lay in the shade and the water is cooler or that is perhaps just where the food is. Either way nice report and fish – QB

  2. Thanks Quintin! I am often guilty of having the idea grained in my head that walleyes prefer deeper water especially mid summer. I believe there are always a fishable population of them in the weeds or shallow rock year round.

  3. Boy, I’m glad I read your report. Heading to Rainy Lake on Monday and planned on fishing mid lake humps and island points, first time trying bottom bouncers with crawlers. After reading this I guess I will need to also check shore area weed beds. Thanks for your up to date report.

  4. Great job on those fish Pat !!!
    I’m up on LOTW and yesterday we found a pile of eyes stacked on sharp breaks that were wind blown as well !!

  5. I’ve been catching sauger on Lake WI on a pumpkinseed Powertube too pitching rocks for smallies. Maybe it’s time for someone to market Walleye tubes! Anybody wanting to fly with the idea I’ll volunteer for the testing committee.

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