Walleyes are starting to transition to the rocky reefs, especially in the early morning and evening, according to Lake Vermilion Trading Company. Slip bobbers and leeches are working well. Nightcrawlers still are working great in soft bottom areas in 12-16 feet. Muskie action is picking up on both weeds and rocks. Use brighter colors as the water continues to warm up. Smallies are guarding nests along rocky shores and hitting on tube jigs and Senkos -- weighted soft plastic worms.
Grand Rapids area
Ben's Bait says there's walleye action on the north shore of Bowstring Lake, trolling Lindy Rigs with leeches and nightcrawlers or a half-ounce to quarter-ounce jig head and shiner in 10-20 feet. Walleyes also are biting on Pokegama and Winnibigoshish trolling Lindy Rigs with leeches and nightcrawlers on the flats and the humps. Muskies are being caught on Moose and Deer lakes on bionic bucktails casting in the cabbage weeds and trolling top walkers or top raiders. Sunnies are hitting in Fool's and King's bays in Pokegama on worms with a crappie jig.
Lake Mille Lacs
The walleye bite still is very good, reports Johnson's Portside at Isle. Limits of fish outside the slot and also in the 20- to 28-inch slot are being caught on the rocks in 20-plus feet and 5-feet shallower in the evening. The best baits are leeches and slip bobbers at night and crankbaits on the mud flats during the day in 25-30 feet. Smallmouth bass are moving out of the sandy bays and hitting on Rapalas.
Walleye action has been OK in North Long and Pelican Lakes, according to Koep's Pro Shop. Use leeches and Lindy Rigs in 20-25 feet during the day and crankbaits in 10-15 feet in the evening. Largemouth bass are biting bigtime on area bass lakes on Texas-rigged jigs and plastic worms in 8-12 feet during the day and topwater baits in the evening. Smaller area lakes are producing sunnies on slip bobber rigs with small leeches or wax worms in 6-12 feet.
It's time for the muskie bite to turn on in Lake Bemidji, says Kobilka's Sporting Goods. Look for fish on the cabbage weed edges with spinner baits and topwater baits. Walleyes are hitting in Julia Lake in 14 feet on Lindy Rigs and nightcrawlers and in Lake Bemidji trolling crankbaits outside the weedlines. Panfish are hitting in Grant Lake on small leeches in the weeds.
Alexandria Outfitters reports hot walleye action in lakes Miltona and Ida, especially at night in the shallows using slip bobbers. Other lakes producing walleyes in 18 to 24 feet just off the weedlines using leeches or nightcrawlers and trolling crankbaits in the evenings and low-light mornings on mid-lake flats or shoals. Panfish are in the shallows or in the weeds and hitting nightcrawler bits, wax worms, small leeches or small plastics.
If you've got short, stubby fingers and wear reading glasses, any relaxation you would normally derive from fly fishing is completely eliminated when you try to tie on a fly. ~ Jack Ohman, Fear of Fly Fishing, 1988