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Pelican Lake Fishing Report & Guide


Pelican Lake in Orr MN is very fertile and productive with a variety of structure to fish. With 54 islands and just under 12,000 acres of navigable water, Pelican Lake is large enough to always find new spots, but small enough to feel safe and not lost or overwhelmed. Sand, gravel, rock reefs, and many weed beds are home to northern pike, walleye, crappie, bluegill, largemouth and smallmouth bass. 

 

Crappie & Bluegill
Crappies are the first active pan fish, and will begin spawning mid spring typically just before Memorial weekend. They are easiest to find on the rock piles where they spawn, and best known to feed on crappie minnows. Road runners, beetle spins and rubber minnows are the best artificial baits. Once done spawning, and through-out the summer, the crappies move into the thicker cabbage weeds and can be found through-out Pelican Lakes huge expanse of weed beds. Black crappies are found in large schools and Pelican Lake is well known for being a fantastic habitat for them. They are easiest caught during this time on moving artificial baits like beetle spins and road runners. During the fall, sometimes as early as August 1st, the crappies will school up further into the deeper parts of the lake where they lay suspended through the winter. It is easiest to catch them in early fall by jigging just off the bottom around 25′ with a crappie minnow on a Swedish Pimple. Average depth 9′  Average size 10″ Possession limit 10.
Try the rock pile North of Midway Island in early season with a beetle spin or North of Bald Island in late summer/fall where you can jig.

Found to start spawning in early to mid June, bluegills will bite best on small live bait such as wax worms, leeches, and small pieces of night crawler. Bluegills create huge spawning beds during mid June on the shallower sandy shorelines around the lake. Once you’ve found a spawning bed,  get ready for non-stop action. As fast as you can take them off and get your bait back in, is as fast as you will catch them. The bluegills do slow down towards mid season, but typically stay easy to catch in the shallower waters. Average depth 6′ Average size 8″ Possession limit 10
Try State Rock Point in Susan Bay early/mid summer. Fish the point and the rock pile. Use live bait with a bobber, or a road runner. Late summer/fall fish Johnson Point on the South Shore with the same baits. 6′ water in both locations.

Northern Pike
Northern Pike fishing begins early also. Again, being a predominately weedy lake, Pelican provides fantastic habitat for Pike and typically if your catching nothing else, you will still have your limit of them. They tend to be found just about anywhere in the lake, but are easiest to catch trolling with a big spoon, or casting with a spinner bait around one of the many rock reefs or weed lines. Northern fishing trends typically do not change through-out the season. Average depth 8′ Average size 24″ Possession limit 3. There is a slot limit on Northern Pike from 24-36″. You are allowed to keep one over 36″.
Try casting with a spinner bait around any of the rock marker buoys in early season. Mid to late season, try trolling the weed line south of Strand Island with a spoon or Rapala.

 

Walleye
Walleye fishing, although a bit more involved, can be extremely productive on Pelican Lake in Orr, MN.  Located mainly in the deeper parts of the lake, they can be jigged for off the sides of many of the points and reefs, and trolled or drifted for early in the season across several of the flats near the middle of the lake. With no slot limit on Walleyes, Pelican is an amazing lake to take advantage of this pretty well kept secret. Average size 22″ Average depth 12′ Possession limit 6.
Try trolling the west side of Bald Island all season. Use a 1oz bottom bouncer with a 3′ spinning Lindy rig. Adding a float to the Lindy rig will help keep weeds off. 15′ is a good depth. Leeches work best. Either drift, or troll around 1mph. 

Bass
Bass fishing on Pelican Lake in Orr, MN can be exhausting. With a slot limit on the larger breeders from 14-20″, both the largemouth and smallmouth average around 3.5lbs. They are also commonly found on shallower weedy shorelines where the water warms early in the season. Mornings are excellent for top water around many logs, pencil reeds and lily pads through out the season! Pelican Lake bass can be caught on live bait, leeches and crawlers bobber fishing, or casting with spinners, top water baits, and most recently popular the Senko rubber worms. The bass hit hard, and fight like crazy. It can be hard to predict also whether it will be a large mouth or small mouth as the population of both tend to stay very even. Average depth 6′ Average size 16″ Possession Limit 6. There is a slot on Bass on Pelican Lake. 14″-20″ You may keep one over 20″
Try the South side of Big Bailey Island in early to mid summer. Spinner baits, top water lures, and live baits work the best along the shorelines and rock piles. During mid-late summer fish the stumps on the west end with top water or Senko rubber worms.

DNR Fishing License Info

DNR Lake Management Plan

Fish Cleaning House
Fishhouse     Fishhouse interior

Pelican Lake Map