Panfish anglers struggle to find fish in shallows due to weather - Northcentral Report
LAKE MILLE LACS
Crappie action has slightly improved in the channels, bays, and boat harbors. The afternoon and evening bite has been best when the sun is out. Look to the south-end bays such as Cove, Isle, and Wahkon for the most numbers of bigger crappies.
Johnson’s Portside (320) 676-3811
Terry’s Boat Harbor (320) 692-4430
LAKE OF THE WOODS
Sturgeon action has slowed over the past week, but continues to be best at the mouth of the Rainy River, Four Mile Bay, or the deep holes within the river. Nightcrawlers remain the bait of choice and there were several 60- to 70-inch fish caught this week. The sturgeon harvest season continues through May 7.
Lake of the Woods Tourism Bureau
Crappies are moving in and out of the harbors on the far end of Steamboat Bay. A few crappies also are coming from shallow water in Shingobee Bay and Sucker Bay, but the bite has been inconsistent throughout the lake. Perch reports also have been limited, with a few pods of decent perch being found in the narrows in less the six feet.
Reed’s Sporting Goods (218) 547-1505
Sucker minnows have produced a few pike along the shoreline of Jackfish Bay. Panfish anglers have started looking for crappies in Black Bay, but the fish have been tough to locate. Most people are heading to the Rainy River for sturgeon, which continues to provide pretty consistent action.
Loon’s Nest (218) 286-5850
There hasn’t been anyone chasing perch over the past week and fishing reports will be light until the walleye season begins. The best bet for perch is to look shallow, four to eight feet, on the points and shoreline breaks.
Nodak Lodge (218) 665-2226
Look for crappies on Turtle River Lake, Lake Beltrami, and Lake Paposke in 10 to 15 feet – they move shallower when the sun is out. A few sunfish are being caught along the shorelines at Grace Lake in five to eight feet. Sucker fishing is good at the power dam on the Mississippi River with nightcrawlers.
(218) 444-BAIT (2248)
Crappies have started to be caught in shallow water at Gilstead Lake with minnows or waxworms under floats, but panfish action on other lakes is slow. There are some perch hitting minnows at Island Lake and Blackduck Lake in less than 10 feet.
Timberline Sports and Tackle
Crappie and sunfish action is pretty slow in the shallows due to cool water and inconsistent weather. The best activity is during the evening in the bays, channels, ditches, and harbors at North Long Lake, Gull Lake, and Pelican Lake, but it’s not an everyday bite.
S & W Bait & Guide Service/Nisswa Guide League (218) 829-7010
You’ll hit crappies with a jig and minnow in four to six feet at Milford Lake, Bay Lake, and in Peterson Bay on Serpent Lake. Sunfish reports have been less consistent with a few fish caught in the Mississippi River backwaters on small leeches or waxworms.
Oars ‘n Mine Bait and Tackle (218) 546-6912
The weather last weekend and much of this week was windy and rain-filled so there hasn’t been a lot of people fishing. The only panfish action worth noting is at Ruth Lake where sunfish are being found in the eight-foot bulrushes. Mitchell Lake is giving up mostly small crappies in 12 to 15 feet.
Redding Sports and Spirits (218) 763-2191
Small jigs and minnows or waxworms are turning a few crappies in the shallow, dark-bottomed bays and shorelines. Crappie action has been best on sunny days or when the wind isn’t blowing. Look to Birch Lake, Pleasant Lake, and Woman Lake in five to 10 feet when weather conditions are favorable.
Swanson’s Bait and Tackle (218) 675-6176
Crappie reports have been limited as they are just starting to move into the shallows – when the weather is nice. Lake Minnewawa has been the only fishery worth noting in three to seven feet with minnows and small plastic or hair-tied jigs.
Willey’s Sport Shop & Spirits
There hasn’t been much fishing pressure in the area and likely won’t be until the walleye season begins. The water is relatively cool and that’s kept crappies out of the shallows. Most people are fishing the creeks and small rivers for suckers with some decent success.
Mort’s Dock (218) 647-8128
ST. CLOUD/EDEN VALLEY AREA
Sunfish are hitting waxies or small leeches in two to four feet throughout the bays of Lake Koronis, Rice Lake, Cedar Island Lake, and Horseshoe Lake. Look for a few crappies to be mixed in with the sunfish on the aforementioned lakes, but finding numbers of them has been difficult.
Mike’s Bait and Tackle (320) 453-2248