Minnesota Outdoor News Fishing Report – Dec. 29, 2017

Great Eight

LAKE MILLE LACS        

The recent cold front improved ice thickness even more in the bays and shoreline areas and allowed access to more of the main lake as well. Work through a resort as more of the main lake becomes accessible. The rock points, reefs, and in-shore mud flats are now providing decent walleye action. The majority of fish are being caught in 18 to 23 feet, with spurts of better activity early and late each day. Northern pike are being caught in many bays over 9 to 12 feet or along the 12- to 14-foot weedlines.

Johnson’s Portside (320) 676-3811

Terry’s Boat Harbor (320) 692-4430

LAKE OF THE WOODS

Ice conditions have improved, but you’ll still want to work through a resort and not venture far off the marked ice roads. Walleyes and sauger are being caught in 17 to 25 feet along the south shore, and you’ll have to sort through some small fish to get your keepers. Ice depths also have improved on the Rainy River, but fishing reports have been light from it. At the Northwest Angle, walleye reports have improved in 20 to 24 feet as ice conditions improve, allowing anglers to venture to more areas.

Lake of the Woods Tourism Bureau (800) 382-FISH

LAKE MINNETONKA AREA    

Look for walleyes in 20 to 25 feet during low-light periods on Lake Minnetonka and Medicine Lake. Tip-ups and sucker minnows are producing northern pike on the 12- to 15-foot weedlines of Medicine and Minnetonka as well. Crappie anglers are starting to find suspended fish over 20 to 30 feet on Lake Independence and the bigger bays of Minnetonka. Ice conditions have improved, but you still need to use caution on some main-lake areas of the lake.

Wayzata Bait (952) 473-2227

LAKE VERMILION

Walleyes continue to be caught on the reefs and island areas in 20 to 25 feet. Jigging spoons and deadsticks with shiner minnows are both working. Angling and spearing have both been productive for northern pike in less than 12 feet throughout Stuntz Bay, Everett’s Bay, and Larson Bay. Snowmobiles, ATVs , and some light vehicles are now being used where people are fishing.

Pike Bay Lodge (218) 753-2430

LAKE WINNIBIGOSHISH

Perch and northern pike continue to be caught in 7 to 12 feet on the west side. You’ll have to sort through some small perch for your keepers. The first break off Snaghole Bar also is giving up perch in 17 to 20 feet, and a few walleyes can be had early and late each day off the main-lake bars and humps in 17 to 22 feet. Most of the lake now has about 12 inches of ice, but there are a few cracks that you’ll need to look out for, so talk with a resorter.

Lake Winnie Resort Association

LEECH LAKE

Walker Bay continues to give up a few walleyes during low-light periods in 20 to 25 feet. The main-lake rocks and reefs are producing walleyes in 15 to 20 feet. Trader’s Bay and the Goose Island breaks also are producing fish in 12 to 14 feet. Ice conditions have improved, with the recent cold front shoring up many of the areas that had marginal ice, but you still need to watch where you’re going on some main-lake areas. Extended cold could take care of that.

Reed’s Sporting Goods (218) 547-1505

Shriver’s Bait Company (218) 547-2250

RAINY LAKE     

Ice anglers are getting out with portable gear around Birch Point and in Black Bay. Anglers are pulling in some walleyes by jigging with a minnow in about 20 feet of water. While the frigid weather generated more ice, put safety first and continue to check ice thickness regularly. Snowmobilers are venturing on the trails, and grooming should start soon.

International Falls CVB (800) 325-5766

RED LAKE

Ice continues to thicken, with an average of 15 to 17 inches in many areas. Roads are staked and plowed out to the 14-foot mud flats. The walleye bite continues to be a little spotty  – from slow to real good. Dead sticks are working good, but jigging spoons also produce fish at times. Trucks and tandem-axle fish houses are now being allowed on many parts of the lake.

Mort’s Dock (218) 647-8128

Twin Cities Metro

NORTHEAST METRO

Anglers are reporting 6 to 8 inches of ice and a bit more on most small lakes and bays. Sunfish and northern pike are being caught in 6 to 10 feet on Silver Lake and Demontreville Lake. The 10- to 12-foot weeds on White Bear Lake and Bald Eagle Lake are producing pike as well. Look for some evening crappie action on White Bear in 15 to 18 feet and Lake Jane in 12 feet.

Blue Ribbon Bait & Tackle

(651) 777-2421

WEST METRO

Look for a few crappies during the evening hours in 12 to 14 feet at Lake Parley and Pierson Lake or in 20 to 22 feet on Wasserman Lake. Northern pike action has picked up with tip-ups and sucker minnows on most lakes in 12 to 14 feet. Walleye and sunfish reports have been limited, while ice conditions have improved, with 6 to 8 inches reported on most lakes.

Cabin Fever Sports (952) 443-2022

SOUTH METRO

The south end of Prior Lake continues to produce walleyes in 22 to 25 feet, while crappies remain active in Paradise Bay over 14 feet. Northern pike are being caught on tip-ups and sucker minnows along the 6- to 10-foot weeds of Lake Marion, Lake O’Dowd, Spring Lake, and Prior. Ice depths have improved, with 6 to 8 inches or more being found on most lakes.

Prior Lake Bait & Tackle (952) 447-6096

Statewide

ALEXANDRIA AREA

With the exception of the big lakes, 8 to 12 inches of ice is being reported throughout the area. Lake Irene and Reno Lake are giving up a few walleyes in 12 to 16 feet. Panfish reports have been best in 7 to 12 feet on Maple Lake, Christopherson’s Bay on Lake Ida, and Little Mary Lake or over 18 to 22 feet on Lake Le Homme Dieu. Northern pike action has picked up in 12 to 14 feet on most lakes.

Christopherson’s Bait and Tackle (320) 763-3255

ANNANDALE AREA

Hit the north end of Little Maple Lake for crappies and sunfish in 10 to 18 feet. Some crappies are being caught in 18 to 22 feet on Clearwater Lake, Lake John, and Pleasant Lake as well. Walleyes are being caught during low-light periods on the west side of Clearwater Lake in 16 to 20 and Cedar Lake in 18 to 24 feet. Most lakes or the areas being fished now have 6 to 10 inches of ice, and some ATVs have started to be used.

Little Jim’s Bait (320) 274-5297

BATTLE LAKE AREA

The north end of Otter Tail Lake and West Battle Lake continue to produce walleyes in 17 to 20 feet. Look for suspended crappies over 18 to 22 feet on West Battle and Clitherall Lake, while sunfish are being caught in 10 to 15 feet at South Turtle Lake and West Lost Lake. Northern pike are hitting sucker minnows in 16 to 18 feet on West Battle and Otter Tail. Anglers are reporting more than 12 inches of ice on most small lakes and 8 to 10 inches on the bigger bodies of water.

Ben’s Bait Shop (218) 864-5596

BLACKDUCK AREA

Walleyes and perch are being caught in 12 to 18 feet, and crappies are being found suspended over 20 to 25 feet on Blackduck Lake. Island Lake continues to produce perch and a few walleyes in 10 to 20 feet and some bluegills have started hitting in 20 to 22 feet on Pimushe Lake and Gilstead Lake. Ice conditions have improved enough for vehicle traffic on most lakes.

Timberline Sports and Tackle (218) 835-4636

BRAINERD/NISSWA AREA 

Walleyes continue to be caught on shiner minnows in 17 to 24 feet on Gull Lake, North Long Lake, and Round Lake. Crappies remain suspended over 17 to 25 feet on North Long and Round, while sunfish are biting in 8 to 12 feet on Cullen Lake, Nisswa Lake, and Roy Lake. Northern pike are hitting sucker minnows in 14 to 18 feet on Gull Lake, North Long, and Cullen. Most areas being fished now have 8 to 12 inches of ice – a bit more in some spots and a bit less in others.

S & W Bait & Guide Service/Nisswa Guide League (218) 829-7010

CROSBY AREA

Most lakes have 10 to 12 inches of ice, but thinner spots still exist on some bigger lakes. Crappies are being caught on Nokay Lake in 21 to 30 feet during the evening hours, or Upper Dean Lake and Hay Lake in 17 to 22 feet. Walleyes are hitting on Rabbit Lake and Serpent Lake in 15 to 20 feet during low-light periods. The backwaters on the Mississippi River are producing sunfish, while northern pike are hitting sucker minnows on Serpent, Black Bear Lake, and Black Hoof Lake in 8 to 12 feet.

Oars ‘n Mine Bait and Tackle (218) 546-6912

DETROIT LAKES AREA

Walleyes are hitting in 15 to 20 feet on Lake Sallie and Island Lake, in 15 to 20 feet on Deadshot Bay, and on Cotton Lake in 20 to 25 feet. Look to Little Detroit Lake in 5 to 15 feet and Height of Land Lake in 15 to 20 feet for panfish. Northern pike action has picked up on most lakes in 12 to 15 feet. Most lakes now have 10 to 14 inches of ice, and some vehicles are being used on some lakes.

Quality Bait and Tackle (218) 844-2248

Chalstrom’s Bait (218) 726-0094

FAIRMONT AREA

Ice depths have improved quite a bit, with 6 to 8 inches or more being found on most lakes. Crappies and sunfish have started hitting in 15 to 20 feet on Hall Lake, Budd Lake, and Lake Sissiton. Look to Big Twin Lake for a few keeper perch.

Sommer Outdoors (507) 235-5225

FARIBAULT AREA

Most lakes now have 6 to 10 inches of ice, with ATVs being used on many. Walleyes and perch are hitting on Union Lake in 6 to 8 feet, while Roberds Lake is giving up crappies and walleyes in 15 feet. Look to Cedar Lake for crappies and pike.

Nagel’s Live Bait (507) 334-8341

GRAND MARAIS AREA

You’ll find 10 to 12 inches of ice on most small lakes and a bit less on the bigger bodies of water. Elbow Lake is a safe bet for walleyes and perch in 5 feet. Look to Devil Track Lake in 8 to 15 feet and South Fowl Lake in 6 feet for walleyes as well.

Buck’s Hardware (218) 387-2280

GRAND RAPIDS AREA 

Crappies and bluegills continue to be caught in 18 to 22 feet on Big and Little Splithand lakes, Tioga Bay and Poole’s Bay on Lake Pokegama in 20 to 25 feet, and Little Cutfoot Sioux Lake in 21 feet. Northern pike action has picked up in 8 to 15 feet on most lakes, and you’ll find suspended crappies over 20 to 24 feet on Big Cutfoot Sioux Lake, 20 to 30 feet on Bowstring Lake, and 18 to 35 feet in Sylvan Bay on the Mississippi River. A few walleyes are being caught during low-light periods in 20 to 40 feet on Pokegama and 16 to 30 feet on Lake Wabana. Most small lakes now have more than 12 inches of ice, with a bit less than that on the bigger lakes.

Ben’s Bait and Tackle (218) 326-8281

HACKENSACK AREA 

Most lakes now have 8 to 14 inches of ice. Portage Lake, Birch Lake, Mule Lake, Brockway Lake, and Moccasin Lake are producing sunfish in 14 to 22 feet, and crappies during low-light periods in 20 to 24 feet. Some walleyes are being caught on rainbow or small sucker minnows on Baby Lake and Woman Lake in 18 to 22 feet during the morning and evening hours. Northern pike action remains strong in 10 to 14 feet on most lakes, with sucker minnows being the bait of choice.

Swanson’s Bait and Tackle (218) 675-6176

MORA AREA

Anglers are reporting 10 to 14 inches of ice on area lakes. Crappies and sunfish continue to be caught on Quamba Lake in 7 feet, Lake Eleven in 12 feet, Knife Lake in 10 to 12 feet, and Fish Lake in 6 feet. Look to Ann Lake for sunfish in 9 to 11 feet and northern pike are hitting sucker minnows on most lakes in less than 10 feet.

Jerry’s Sport & Bait Shop (320) 679-2151

ORTONVILLE AREA

Many areas on Big Stone Lake now has 10 to 12 inches of ice, but there may still be caution areas with less ice due to it freezing ununiformed. There has been several limits of perch reported and a few walleyes and bluegills as well. Look for these bites to only improve as more of the lake becomes accessible. There are permanent houses and ATVs being used on the lake.

Artie’s Bait (320) 839-2480

PARK RAPIDS AREA

Walleyes are being caught during low-light periods on Long Lake in 18 to 21 feet, Fish Hook Lake in 14 to 16 feet, and Potato Lake in 16 to 20 feet. The Crow Wing Chain remains a safe bet for sunfish in 12 to 20 feet and crappies in 18 to 25 feet. Northern pike are hitting in 10 to 12 feet on Fish Hook, Potato, and the south side of Long. Most lakes now have 10 to 12 inches of ice with thicker ice on the small lakes or those that froze earliest.

Delaney’s (218) 732-4281

Smokey Hills Outdoors (218) 237-5099

PERHAM AREA

Walleyes are hitting in 8 to 14 feet during low-light periods and as deep as 20 to 25 feet during the day on Big Pine Lake and Little Pine Lake. Look to Rush Lake and Big Pine for suspended crappies over 20 to 30 feet, while Star Lake and Dead Lake have started producing a mixed bag of panfish in 12 to 20 feet. Anglers are reporting 10 to 14 inches of ice on most lakes.

Gene’s Sport Shop (218) 346-3355

RICHMOND/ST. CLOUD AREA

Walleyes are hitting jigging spoons or setlines with shiner minnows in 10 to 22 feet on Horseshoe Lake, Cedar Island Lake, and Schneider Lake. Look to Lake Koronis for walleyes in 15 to 25 feet, and some crappies have started being found in 18 to 22 feet on Rice Lake. Grand Lake and Pearl Lake are giving up northern pike in 8 to 12 feet and a few walleyes in 15 to 18 feet during low-light periods. Most lakes, or at least the areas being fished, now have 10 to 12 inches of ice. You’ll still have to watch for thinner ice over some deep spots and current areas.

Channel Marine and Sports (320) 597-5975

SAUK CENTRE AREA

Crappies and a few walleyes are being caught on the north end of Lake Osakis in 22 to 24 feet. Look to the southwest corner of Maple Lake in 24 to 28 feet for crappies, while crappies and walleyes continue to be caught on the north end of Sauk Lake in 20 to 40 feet. Look to Westport Lake for northern pike in 7 feet and Smith Lake for sunfish in 10 to 12 feet. Anglers are reporting 10 to 12 inches of ice on most lakes.

Fletcher’s Bait Shop (320) 352-2155

WILLMAR AREA

Walleyes and some keeping-size perch are being caught in less than 10 feet on lakes Wagonda, Lillian, Big Kandi, and Minnetoga. The northwest corner of Green Lake started giving up a few walleyes in 22 to 30 feet, while Ringo Lake is producing some walleyes and crappies in 8 to 10 feet. Panfish reports have improved on Eagle Lake in 15 feet and Diamond Lake in 15 to 20 feet. Northern pike are being caught with tip ups and sucker minnows in 10 to 14 feet on most lakes. The recent cold snap has helped ice conditions with 8 to 14 inches being found throughout the area.

Brad’s 71 Bait and Sports (320) 235-4097

WINDOM/MARSHALL AREA

Most lakes now have 8 to 10 inches of ice. Hit Lake Lac qui Parle for walleyes in 6 to 8 feet, while Lake Shetek is giving up crappies and walleyes in 8 feet. Look to Lake Sarah for perch and a few walleyes in less than 8 feet while lakes such as Dead Coon, Rock, Lady Slipper, and School Grove are producing walleyes in 5 to 7 feet.

Borch’s Sporting Goods (507) 532-4880

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