Minnesota Outdoor News Fishing Report – Feb. 23, 2018

Great Eight


East – Look for walleyes over 25 to 32 feet during the day or in 12 to 14 feet during low-light periods. Perch action has been best off the mud flats and deep basin areas in 28 feet or more – tullibees also are being caught in these locations. Traveling off the plowed roads has become a bit more difficult with the additional snow this week, so call ahead for travel conditions heading into this weekend.

Johnson’s Portside (320) 676-3811

West – The rock points are producing walleyes at night in 10 to 15 feet, while midday hours are best spent off the mud flats in 25 to 30 feet. The deep mud or basin areas between mud flats have been best for tullibees and jumbo perch in 28 to 34 feet. The roads have been plowed open after this week’s snow and you should be able to get around off the roads with four-wheel drive.

Terry’s Boat Harbor (320) 692-4430


Anglers are working fish hard and putting fish in the pail, but electronics are playing a huge role with some walleyes suspended as far as 10 feet below the ice. Anglers in 31 feet are catching walleyes with more saugers on the even deeper mud. The reefs to the west also productive with a few perch being pulled in as well. Rattle and flutter action spoons are doing well in gold, pink, and other glow colors. Northern pike are already active in shallow water. The Rainy River is kicking out some bigger walleyes in the morning/evening hours with an occasional sturgeon. At the Northwest Angle, walleyes and saugers are hitting in 20 to 24 feet early and late or 26 to 30 feet during day.  In Ontario waters, crappies remain in deeper holes around 28 to 32 feet.

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

Sunfish and crappies continue to provide the best action in 15 to 18 feet on Lake Minnetonka – look to Carson’s Bay, Phelp’s Bay, and the North Arm. There’s an evening crappie bite on Lake Independence over 30 feet or more, while walleye and northern pike action has been slow.

Wayzata Bait (952) 473-2227


About 16 inches of snow fell since last week so getting around the lake has become more difficult. Snowmobiles and portable shelters are now needed off the plowed roads at this point. The north side of Pine Island started giving up crappies in 22 feet, but walleye reports have slowed. Fish House Reef in Big Bay is giving up a few walleyes in 30 feet or more early and late each day. Northern pike continue to be taken in shallow water throughout Stuntz Bay.

Pike Bay Lodge (218) 753-2430


With 12 inches of new snow on the lake, off-road travel is pretty much done, so check with resorts for access availability. Auger extensions also have come into play with the thick ice depths. It’s been a spotty stretch for perch this week with the best reports coming off the main lake bars in 20 to 25 feet, but consistently catching fish has been difficult.

Lake Winnie Resort Association


You now have to stay on the plowed roads or use a snowmobile to get around after 12 to 17 inches of snow hit the area this week. Look for perch in 15 to 20 feet in Walker Bay or on Variety Reef and Olson Reef out from Trapper’s Landing. These areas also will produce a few walleyes during the evening hours in 15 to 25 feet. Tullibees continue to be caught in the deep hole off Stoney Point, and eelpout action is picking up over the deep water in Walker Bay.

Reed’s Sporting Goods (218) 547-1505

Shriver’s Bait Company (218) 547-2250


With an additional 8 to 10 inches of snow this week, the snowmobile trails on and off the lake are in fine shape. The structure areas throughout Sand Bay continue to be the best options for walleyes in 30 to 35 feet. The Rainy Lake City area, Black Bay, and Cranberry Bay have been some of the more noteworthy walleye spots again this week in 20 to 25 feet.

International Falls CVB (800) 325-5766


The walleye bite has been best on the 13- to 14-foot mud flats and 8- to 12-foot rock and gravel bars along most shorelines. Dead sticks are out-performing spoons most days, with low-light periods being best. There’s been a few bonus crappies, keeping-size perch, and various sizes of pike in the mix.

Mort’s Dock (218) 647-8128

Twin Cities Metro


The St. Croix River is producing crappies and a few walleyes in 30 to 35 feet. Look to Lake Jane for sunfish and northern pike in 10 to 15 feet, while White Bear Lake, Beaver Lake, and Lake Owasso continue to produce northern pike in 12 to 18 feet. You’ll find suspended crappies over 25 feet or more on Big Carnelian Lake.

Blue Ribbon Bait & Tackle (651) 777-2421


Hit Lake Susan for sunfish in 12 feet and Whaletail Lake at night for crappies in 12 to 18 feet. Anglers fishing straight out from the access on Rietz Lake are catching panfish in 12 to 14 feet, while northern pike can be had on Lake Zumbra in 10 to 14 feet.

Cabin Fever Sports (952) 443-2022


Crappies continue to be caught in 12 to 15 feet on Pillsbury Reef and Center Reef. Hit Waconia Bay for sunfish and northern pike during the day in 12 to 15 feet or crappies each evening in 12 to 15 feet. The weedlines off Center Reef and Pillsbury Reef are giving up northern  pike. An occasional walleye can still be had at night in 16 to 18 feet on North Reef – get away from the crowds.

Mases In Towne Marina (952) 442-2096



Lake Darling is putting out crappies during the evening hours in 9 to 12 feet, as are Lake Geneva and Lake Le Homme Dieu over 20 feet. The bays on Lake Ida are giving up a mixed bag of panfish, while most small lakes are starting to give up more sunfish in 10 to 14 feet. A few walleyes are being caught during the evening hours on Reno Lake in 20 feet and on Ida or Lake Milton in 25 to 30 feet.

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


Look for sunfish in 12 to 15 feet and crappies in slightly deeper water at Lake John, Clearwater Lake, Little Maple Lake, Indian Lake, and Granite Lake. Walleye action has really slowed, but northern pike remain active on the mid-depth weedlines of Sugar Lake, Cedar Lake, John, Clearwater, and Pleasant Lake.

Little Jim’s Bait (320) 274-5297


Some walleyes continue to be caught with shiners or fatheads on West Battle Lake in 35 to 40 feet and Otter Tail Lake in 18 to 22 feet. Sunfish are hitting on Fish Lake, East Lost Lake, and Elbow Lake in 8 to 12 feet, while crappies are being found suspended over 18 to 20 feet at Rush Lake and West Battle. Look to Clitherall Lake, Otter Tail, and West Battle for pike in 18 to 24 feet.

Ben’s Bait Shop (218) 864-5596


This area received 12 to 15 inches of snow Sunday and another 6 to 8 inches Tuesday, so travel on most lakes has become nearly impossible without a snowmobile. Some main ice roads on Lake Bemidji were plowed after the Sunday storm, but getting off those is not recommended. Before all the snow, the walleye and perch bites had picked up a bit in 18 to 32 feet on Bemidji. Jigging spoons and minnow heads have been the best combination.

Dick Beardsley Guide Service (218) 556-7172


Look for perch on the 20- to 22-foot mud and walleyes in 10 to 14 feet on Blackduck Lake. Island Lake is giving up perch and walleyes in 20 to 24 feet. Pimushe Lake and Gull Lake continue to produce bluegills and a few crappies in 20 feet. This area received more than 15 inches of snow on Sunday and Monday so traveling on area lakes has become more difficult.

Timberline Sports and Tackle (218) 835-4636


Crappies are being found suspended  over 23 feet on Hubert Lake, Gull Lake, Nisswa Lake, and North Long Lake. Walleyes are hitting shiner minnows in 15 to 32 feet at Gull, North Long, and Pelican Lake. Look for northern pike in 7 to 15 feet on the south end of Gull and the north end of Gull is producing eelpout in 30 to 40 feet. Sunfish are hitting in 8 to 12 feet in the Highway 371 Bay on North Long, Nisswa, and Cullen Lake.

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


Perch action has picked up on the sand/weed areas, on top of the bars, in 6 to 8 feet on Cass Lake and Pike Bay Lake. Some walleyes continue to be caught in 20 to 30 feet on Cass, primarily on Deadman’s Bar and North Cedar Bar. Look to Kitchi Lake, Wolf Lake, Lake Andrusia, Grace Lake, and Allen’s Bay on Cass for suspended crappies over 30 feet. This area received an additional 15 inches of snow this week, so snowmobiles are now the best option for travel.

Sunset Cove Resort (800) 279-4831


The A-Frame area on Chisago Lake is producing panfish and northern pike in 8 to 14 feet. Hit the channel area on Little Green Lake for crappies and sunfish or the Girl Scout Camp area on Green Lake for pike and sunfish. You’ll find suspended crappies over 20 feet on North Lindstrom Lake and panfish near the islands on North Center Lake in 10 to 14 feet.

Frankie’s Bait (651) 257-6334


Rainbows and an occasional brown trout continue to be caught on Huntington Pit and Section Six Pit in 5 to 25 feet – look for suspended fish. A few walleyes are being caught at night on the Crosby end of Serpent Lake in 25 to 30 feet or the 12- to 16-foot rocks. Look to the north end of Clearwater Lake for suspended crappies over deep water or to Milford Lake for a mixed bag of panfish in 22 to 26 feet. The additional snow early this week has caused some drifting on most lakes so you need to watch for those.

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


You’ll find sunfish and crappies in 10 to 12 feet on Little Detroit Lake, Lake Melissa, and Eunice Lake. Northern pike are being caught on Lake Sallie in 12 to 14 feet and a few walleyes continue to be caught during low-light periods on Big Detroit Lake in 18 to 24 feet. With the recent snow, four-wheel drive is now needed on most lakes, especially off the main roads.

Quality Bait and Tackle (218) 844-2248


More than a foot of snow hit the area this week so travel has become compromised on most lakes. Once everything settles down a bit and some roads are developed, look to Fish Lake for crappies in 16 to 18 feet and a few walleyes in 12 feet. Boulder Lake was giving up walleyes in 12 feet and crappies in 15 to 17 feet. Northern pike remain a safe option on Rice Lake in 6 feet.

Chalstrom’s Bait (218) 726-0094


Fishing reports have been light, but that’s mainly due to about 15 inches of additional snow falling in this area. The snow has limited travel on most lakes. Some lake trout are being caught on Snowbank Lake over 60 feet and Burntside Lake over 40 feet, but there are some marginal roads plowed on these lakes.

The Great Outdoors (218) 365-4744


Reports have been about the same as last week, it’s just a bit slower. Look to Hall Lake, Lake Sissiton, and Budd Lake for crappies and yellow bass in 15 to 18 feet. Sissiton also is producing bluegills in 15 feet, while anglers are sorting through perch for their keepers on Big Twin Lake in 12 to 20 feet.

Sommer Outdoors (507) 235-5225


Look for suspended crappies on French Lake over 30 feet, while Cedar Lake is giving up crappies and sunfish in 12 feet. Union Lake is producing northern pike in 8 feet. Look to Circle Lake for perch in 10 feet, and Lake Mazaska is giving up sunfish and crappies over 25 to 30 feet. The bar on Shields Lake is producing panfish in 12 feet as well.

Nagel’s Live Bait (507) 334-8341


A few walleyes continue to be caught on Saganaga and Seagull lakes in 25 to 30 feet or South Fowl Lake in 6 feet. Lake trout are hitting smelt, chubs, or large suckers on Saganaga in 20 to 25 feet, Greenwood Lake in 30 to 40 feet, and Trout Lake in 40 feet. Rainbow trout continue to be pulled from Kimball Lake in 15 to 18 feet, Leo Lake in 12 to 15 feet, and Mink Lake in 15 feet – waxworms are working best. More than 12 inches of snow fell this week, but travel on area lakes is excellent for snowmobiles.

Buck’s Hardware (218) 387-2280


Kings Lake started producing crappies over 20 feet, as is Twin Lake in 15 to 18 feet. Look to the north end of Big Swan Lake for crappies in 22 feet and sunfish in 15 feet. Some walleyes continue to be caught on Cedar Lake in 20 to 30 feet during low-light periods.

Nancy’s Bait & Tackle (320) 285-2405


Look for bluegills in 15 to 20 feet on Mule Lake, Birch Lake, or Pleasant Lake, and crappies on the north side of Webb Lake in 18 to 25 feet. A few walleyes continue to be taken in 18 to 24 feet early and late each day on Pine Mountain Lake, Ten Mile Lake, and Baby Lake. This area received 6 to 8 inches of snow, so with the exception of some drifts, travel remains favorable on most lakes.

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


An additional 16 inches of snow fell here early this week and that’s brought fishing options on most lakes to a halt. Reports have been slow, snowmobiles are probably the best travel option heading into this weekend throughout the area.

Lucky 7 General Store (218) 254-7168


You’ll find suspended crappies over 40 feet on Widow Lake and bluegills on the 12-hump of Lindsay Lake. Crappies also can be had on Lake Wabedo over 35 to 40 feet, and the 8-foot green weeds on Girl Lake are holding a mixed bag of panfish. The Hunter’s Bay area on Woman Lake is producing perch in 8 feet or 35 feet. With the additional snow this week, four-wheel drive is now a necessity on all lakes.

The One Stop (218) 363-2252


Hit Little Jefferson Lake for panfish and northern pike in 15 feet and for a few walleyes after dark in 10 to 15 feet. The Carpenter’s Point area on Lake Francis is producing panfish and pike, while crappies are being found suspended over the 25-foot hole here. On Madison Lake, crappies remain active in the narrows over 28 to 30 feet, East Bay is producing sunfish, and a few walleyes can be had near Miller’s Point in 20 feet.

Corner Bait (507) 243-4464


Additional snowfall now means that four-wheel drive vehicles or snowmobiles are needed to move around area lakes. Northern pike continue to hit in 7 to 9 feet on Quamba Lake and Lake Eleven. Crappies and sunfish are hitting early and late each day on Ann Lake and Knife Lake in 9 to 12 feet. Some rainbow trout continue to come off Grindstone Lake in less than 8 feet.

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


Perch action continues to be tough on Big Stone Lake with a few pods of fish being found in 12 feet around the islands up to Rocky Ledge. Find the dirtier water on Big Stone and you’ll catch a few walleyes in 6 to 8 feet, while the main basin area is giving up more crappies after dark.

Artie’s Bait (320) 839-2480


Crappies continue to hit on Big Mantrap Lake over 25 to 30 feet, while Portage Lake and Pickerel Lake are giving up northern pike in 8 to 12 feet. An occasional walleye comes off Potato lake in 26 to 32 feet during low-light periods and look to Height of Land Lake or Sixth Crow Wing Lake for bluegills in 10 to 12 feet. This area received 8 to 10 inches of snow so traveling off main roads is a bit more challenging on some lakes.

Delaney’s (218) 732-4281

Smokey Hills Outdoors (218) 237-5099


Crappies and sunfish are hitting in 8 to 12 feet on Star Lake, Dead Lake, Little McDonald Lake, and Rush Lake. Big Pine Lake and Little Pine Lake are kicking out a few walleyes in 22 to 30 feet during low-light periods, both in the mornings and evenings. Look to Little Pine, Loon Lake, and Long Lake for suspended tullibees over deep water.

Gene’s Sport Shop (218) 346-3355


Channel catfish have been found on the 5- to 7-foot shelves or suspended over deep water on Cedar Island Lake and Horseshoe Lake. Sunfish reports have been limited, but a few crappies are being caught on Eden Lake and Rice Lake in 20 to 24 feet of water, for those willing to put in a little bit of effort.

Channel Marine and Sports (320) 597-5975


Sunfish and crappie action has improved on the north end of Lake Osakis in 16 to 20 feet. Look to Maple Lake for sunfish, northern pike, and a few crappies in 12 to 14 feet, while Sauk Lake is giving up walleyes overnight in 24 to 45 feet.

Fletcher’s Bait Shop (320) 352-2155


Look to Lake Alexander for suspended crappies over 25 feet and Beauty Lake is kicking out sunfish and crappies in 12 to 15 feet. Nokasippi Lake continues to give up sunfish in 15 to 20 feet and Fish Trap Lake is producing crappies over 25 feet during low-light periods.

Da Fishin’ Hole (320) 631-0056


Look to Willmar/Foot Lake for crappies and sunfish in 18 to 22 feet. Big Kandi Lake and Lake Lillian are giving up perch and a few walleyes in 6 to 8 feet. Northern pike and panfish can be had on Lake Andrew or Florida Lake in 14 to 20 feet.

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


Walleyes are being caught during the evening hours, into the night, on Lake Sarah and Lake Shetek in 8 to 9 feet. Dead Coon Lake also is producing walleyes in 5 to 7 feet, and West Twin Lake is giving up perch in 6 to 8 feet. Look to East Twin Lake for walleyes and perch in 9 to 11 feet.

Borch’s Sporting Goods (507) 532-4880

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