North Central Minnesota Fishing Report – March 15th, 2013
LAKE MILLE LACS
Fishing pressure has been minimal and snowmobiles are the only way to travel due to deep snow, lack of plowed roads, and pressure ridges that have developed in certain areas of the lake. If you do hit the lake look for perch and tullibees off the mud flats in 30 feet or more. And be sure that you stay on the move, as you will catch better numbers of tullibees and bigger perch by doing so.
Johnson’s Portside (320) 676-3811
Terry’s Boat Harbor (320) 692-4430
LAKE OF THE WOODS
Saugers, walleyes, tullibees, northern pike, and some jumbo perch are all in the mix this week. Fishing has improved on the south-end mud as well as the reefs on the north and west ends in 26 to 31 feet. The afternoon hours have been especially strong with jigs and deadsticks both producing fish. The bigger northern pike have started biting around the lake in four to 12 feet near adjacent spawning areas.
Lake of the Woods Tourism Bureau (800) 382-FISH
Another eight to 10 inches of snow hit the area last weekend, making travel and fishing options even more difficult. The added snow also has caused slush to become more evident and that, too, is limiting fishing options. Plowed roads are minimal and getting off them isn’t an option so it’s best to call a resort or bait shop in the area to see if lake conditions have improved heading into this weekend.
Reed’s Sporting Goods (218) 547-1505
Shriver’s Bait Company (218) 547-2250
The Rainy Lake City area is giving up northern pike in 14 to 18 feet on ciscoes – the bigger fish seem to be more active when the sun is out. You’ll also find a few walleyes and perch in this area over slightly deeper water. The Birch Point area of Sand Bay is giving up some eating-sized walleyes in 30 to 35 feet during the morning and evening hours.
Loon’s Nest (218) 286-5850
An additional 10 inches of snow hit this area last weekend, making travel even more difficult. With that snow, and the slush developing because of it, it is impossible to get off the main roads. The best option heading into this weekend is to call the resort you’re staying at for lake conditions and listen to them when they tell you where to go. The most consistent perch action has taken place in 12 to 16 feet or 18 to 20 of water feet with jigging spoons and minnow heads.
Lake Winnie Resort Association
You’ll find crappies over 20 to 25 feet of water and sunfish in eight to 12 feet on lakes such as Louise, Darling, Lobster, Maple, and Carlos. The problem is getting to them since roads stopped being plowed once fish houses had to be removed. This area received additional snow last weekend, along with some rain, so lake travel is difficult throughout the area.
Christopherson’s Bait and Tackle (320) 763-3255
Seven more inches of snow fell over the weekend, so moving around on many lakes continues to be difficult. Anglers are getting on the north end of Lake Bemidji and catching perch in 30 to 50 feet of water. The 40-foot hole on the east side of Turtle River Lake is producing crappies during the evening hours. You’ll also find crappies in 28 to 32 feet, south of the access, on Buzzle Lake.
Taber’s Bait (218) 751-5781
Deep snow and slush is limiting fishing options throughout the area. The only spots people are getting on is Gull Lake where crappies and sunfish are being caught in 20 feet during the day and in 12 to 15 feet during low-light periods. Gilstead Lake also has some anglers on it and they are finding suspended crappies over 30 to 34 feet.
Timberline Sports and Tackle
It’s a bit more difficult to get around on most lakes, but anglers continue to use four-wheel drive to do so. Crappies are hitting rosy red minnows or Eurolarvae in both bays on North Long Lake and at Round Lake in 10 to 25 feet. Look for sunfish in eight to 16 feet on North Long, Nisswa Lake, Roy Lake, and Cullen Lake. Perch have started hitting in 18 to 25 feet on the south end and Hole in the Day Bay on Gull Lake. Tullibee action has picked up over 20 to 24 feet on Gull and Whitefish Lake.
S & W Bait & Guide Service/Nisswa Guide League (218) 829-7010
EAST CENTRAL MN
Crappies are hitting during low-light periods on Stanchfield Lake in 11 to 14 feet and at Blue Lake and Green Lake over 14 to 17 feet. Get away from the crowds and look for suspended fish. Travel on the aforementioned lakes remains favorable with minimal slush and manageable snow depth reported.
Tales and Trails Sport Shop
GRAND RAPIDS AREA
Bass Lake continues to produce bluegills in nine to 14 feet and anglers fishing open water at the power plant on the Mississippi River are catching good numbers of crappies and bluegills in boats and from shore. Lower Sucker Lake is providing a mixed bag of panfish in 20 to 24 feet, while Pit Lake and Caribou Lake are giving up lake trout over deep water. It’s worth noting that travel on most lakes remains difficult and with additional snow last weekend, you might want to call ahead before just heading to a given lake to check on travel options.
Ben’s Bait and Tackle (218) 326-8281
Fishing reports have been non-existent mainly because anglers can’t get on most lakes due to deep snow and slush. After last weekend’s additional snowfall, slush has become an even bigger issue on many lakes. Call ahead before hitting a lake in this region to find out if any roads have been opened heading into this weekend.
Swanson’s Bait and Tackle (218) 675-6176
ST. CLOUD/EDEN VALLEY AREA
There hasn’t been many people fishing, mainly due to tough travel conditions, which now includes quite a bit of slush on some lakes. The only reports worth noting are from Rice Lake and Lake Koronis for crappies in 20 to 30 feet. A few crappies also have come off Horseshoe Lake and Long Lake in 20 feet. Sunfish action remains slow.
Mike’s Bait and Tackle (320) 453-2248
SAUK CENTRE AREA
Fairy Lake is producing sunfish in eight to 11 feet and the north end of Lake Osakis is kicking out a mixed bag of panfish in 15 to 20 feet. Smith Lake is giving up sunfish in eight to 10 feet, as is the east shore of Lake Miltona in six to eight feet. Keep in mind that where roads are plowed travel is not an issue, but on any lake that hasn’t got an open road, it’s very difficult to move around.
Fletcher’s Bait (320) 352-2155
CASS LAKE AREA
There is slush on the roads that are plowed and slush under the snow so it’s tough with a vehicle to move around. A snowmobile is the best mode of travel on all area lakes. Look for suspended crappies over 25 to 35 feet on Wolf Lake, Kitchi Lake, Welch Lake, and Allen’s Bay on Cass Lake. The six- to eight-foot sand and weed flats on Pike Bay Lake and south end of Cass are producing perch.
Sunset Cove Resort (800) 279-4831
This area received six inches of wet, heavy snow over the weekend, but anglers are getting around with four-wheel drive vehicles on many lakes. Sunfish action has picked up on Big Sandy Lake in 12 to 18 feet during the morning and evening. On Lake Minnewawa, crappies are hitting during low-light periods in slightly deeper water. Tullibee action has been slow to develop.
Willey’s Sport Shop & Spirits (218) 426-3382