North Central Minnesota Fishing Report – December 7th, 2012


Ice is very limited in the bays and shoreline areas with the warm weather early this week not improving ice conditions any. The wind also has kept the main lake from covering with ice so an extended cold snap is needed before ice fishing is an option.
Johnson’s Portside (320) 676-3811
Terry’s Boat Harbor (320) 692-4430


There was as much as seven inches of ice reported in Four Mile Bay but less ice anywhere with snow cover. That snow melted with warmer temperatures and rain on Monday, and strong winds Monday night left some uncertainty about the main-lake ice early Tuesday morning, which resort owners were going to check Tuesday afternoon, after this report was filed. If you plan on heading here this weekend, call ahead for the latest ice reports.
Lake of the Woods Tourism Bureau (800) 382-FISH


The wind blew open the ice that had started to form on Walker Bay and the main part of the lake, although some ice remained on the smaller bays and wind-protected shorelines. There wasn’t anything ready for anglers to walk on early this week, but with cold weather predicted after Tuesday night, that could change by the weekend.
Reed’s Sporting Goods (218) 547-1505


Ice conditions are the same as a week ago with nothing more than shoreline ice forming. Some bays developed skim ice, but strong winds eliminated most of it.
Loon’s Nest (218) 286-5850


The lake is now ice-covered with three inches or so reported in many areas early this week. The Third River area has a bit more ice with some limited spearing and angling taking place. Look for more activity on the main lake this weekend.
Lake Winnie Resort Association


With the exception of some open spots on several big lakes, the ice held up pretty well through the warm weather, with two to six inches reported. Anglers are just starting to walk out on many lakes and with a forecast calling for cold weather to return this week, there should be plenty of fishing options by this weekend.
Taber’s Bait (218) 751-5781


People are just starting to get on area lakes and the best news is that the snow has completely melted off the ice so ice depths should continue to improve. By this weekend, foot travel and even ATVs could be options with cold weather again taking  hold over the area.
Timberline Sports and Tackle (218) 835-4636


From an ice-making standpoint, this area is starting over due to the wind and warm weather early this week. It chewed up some ice and left standing water where ice remained, most of which froze Monday night. Look to the bays and small lakes to likely allow foot traffic by this weekend if it stays cold throughout the week.
S & W Bait & Guide Service/Nisswa Guide League (218) 829-7010


A few fishermen were on the ice last week, but recent high temperatures left standing water on existing ice and in some cases reopened frozen water. Ice conditions were five inches at best early this week, with much less ice on the majority of lakes in the area.
Oars ‘n Mine Bait and Tackle (218) 546-6912


The big lakes remained ice-free early this week, but the small lakes that capped early stayed ice covered and anglers are reporting four to seven inches of ice on them. There was water on top of the ice but it froze Monday night so there should be plenty of walking and some ATV traffic on select lakes this weekend. Currently, Splithand Lake is producing crappies in 20 feet and Sylvan Bay on the Mississippi River is kicking out bluegills and crappies.
Ben’s Bait and Tackle (218) 326-8281


There was some limited ice fishing options last week, although warm weather and wind early this week put an end to it. The big lakes that had ice re-opened and the small lakes that people were walking on became unsafe. With a few days of cold air there could again be some walkable ice on the smaller lakes by this weekend.
Swanson’s Bait and Tackle (218) 675-6176


Limits of walleyes have been common in seven to 10 feet along most shorelines. Jigs with a minnow head or plain hooks and minnows have both worked. Most of the lake had six to eight inches of ice early this week so ATVs have been an option, while some anglers are walking out a half mile or so and catching fish.
Mort’s Dock (218) 647-8128

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