Minnesota Twin Cities Fishing Reports

Metro Area Minnesota Fishing Report - April 18th, 2014


There were limited ice-fishing options last weekend, but it’s done now. The shorelines and current areas are open, but there’s still too much ice to fish water. The next stretch of warm weather should open some channels and bays allowing panfish anglers to hit traditional spring spots.

Wayzata Bait (952) 473-2227


There’s still a lot of ice on all lakes, but the shorelines are opening and the ice that remains looks black. Jigs and minnows continue to produce walleyes near the Ford Dam and Hidden Falls area on the Mississippi River. Anglers also are plucking around some of the harbors that have opened on the St. Croix River and finding a few crappies.

Blue Ribbon Bait & Tackle                    (651) 777-2421


It would take a big jump to reach the ice on any lake at this point. Some of the small lakes and ponds are ice-free and the shorelines are open on all bigger bodies of water. The ice is expected to be gone in the next seven to 10 days in this area.

Cabin Fever Sports (952) 443-2022

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North West Minnesota Fishing Reports

Northwest Minnesota Fishing Report - April 18th, 2014


There’s plenty of ice on the main portions of most lakes, but the shorelines are open. Fishermen were using planks to get on the ice at Maple Lake, Lake Geneva, Lake Darling, and Betsy Ross Bay on Lake Ida and finding panfish in less than 10 feet of water. Ida also was producing tullibees over deep water this week, but call for changing ice conditions by this weekend.

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


Early this week, a few anglers were using creative ways to access the ice with most shorelines now pulled away too far to get on. People were walking on Dead Lake, Star Lake, and West Battle Lake and finding crappies and sunfish in 15 feet. Walking also was an option this week at Clitherall Lake and Mollie Stark Lake, where tullibees were suspended and biting over 30 feet. Ice conditions are changing fast so call ahead going into this weekend.

Ben’s Bait Shop (218) 864-5596


Fishermen were still walking on some lakes early this week, but many shorelines now have pulled far enough away to prevent people from going. The main-lake ice is also black and some lakes have small holes of open water, so fishing is no longer advised.

Quality Bait and Tackle (218) 844-2248


The shorelines are preventing people from getting on area lakes, so ice-fishing options have ended. A few brown trout are being taken with crawlers on the Straight River, although the bite has been inconsistent during the first week of the season.

Delaney’s (218) 732-4281

Smokey Hills Outdoors (218) 237-8128

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North East Minnesota Fishing Reports

Northeast Minnesota Fishing Report - April 18th, 2014


Crappies continue to hit at Whiteface Lake in 10 feet or Island Lake and Caribou Lake in 12 to 14 feet. Bluegills are hitting in eight feet at Fish Lake and Rice Lake in four to six feet. The mouth of the French River and the shorelines near it are giving up Kamloops. Crawlers or spawn bags are producing most fish and you have to watch for floating ice with the wind changes.

Chalstrom’s Bait (218) 726-0094

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North Central Minnesota Fishing Reports

North Central Minnesota Fishing Report - April 18th, 2014


Most shorelines and access spots are showing signs of a spring thaw, ending most ice-fishing options. There were some reports of garbage can-sized holes opening in some bays so if you do venture out one last time, watch for those areas.

Johnson’s Portside (320) 676-3811

Terry’s Boat Harbor (320) 692-4430


Pike are ready to run shallow with bigger fish being taken on sucker minnows in Zippel Bay and Four Mile Bay in eight to 10 feet. On the Rainy River, the Birchdale and Frontier accesses are open for any size boat and open water extends just west of Clementson. The walleye season is closed, but the catch and release sturgeon action has been good on the river. 

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


Despite some cooler weather this week, many access points and shorelines have deteriorated beyond the point of allowing people to get on the lake. As a result, fishing pressure has been minimal since last weekend and if you plan on going this weekend, check with resorts to see if they are still letting people on the ice.

Reed’s Sporting Goods (218) 547-1505

Shriver’s Bait Company (218) 547-2250


The catch and release sturgeon season started on the Rainy River. The majority of fish have been small and taken on nightcrawlers. The pike season is open as well, with a few fishermen working the Rainy Lake City area with tip-ups and suckers in seven to 10 feet, but most of these fish have also been small.

Loon’s Nest (218) 286-5850


Some accesses are getting beat up, but ATVs were being used early this week and some of the best perch spots are being walked to. Look for perch in less than 10 feet along the south shore and out from the West Winnie Campground access.

Lake Winnie Resort Association


Although the main-lake ice is still strong, the accesses are getting beaten up and the number of people fishing has been limited. It seems as though most people have put away the ice-fishing gear  for the season and are content waiting for open water.

Taber’s Bait (218) 751-5781 


ATVs should be an option on area lakes through this weekend. Perch continue to be caught in six to 25 feet at Island Lake and Round Lake. Crappies are hitting during the evening hours over 20 feet of water on Blackduck Lake. Look to Gull Lake and Pimushe Lake for bluegills in 10 to 20 feet.

Timberline Sports and Tackle

(218) 835-4636


Anglers continued to use ATVs on most lakes this week, but watch the channels and accesses by this weekend. North Long Lake, Hubert Lake, Cullen Lake, Clark Lake, and Nisswa Lake remained safe bets for crappies and sunfish in six to 10 feet. 

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


The six- to eight-foot sand/weed flats of Pike Bay Lake and Cass Lake continue to produce perch. Bluegills and a few crappies are being found over 18 feet of water at Lower Sucker, Middle Sucker, and Upper Sucker lakes. Be careful on the ice at this point as the shorelines and current areas are starting to open. Anything with moving water has started to open in pockets.

Sunset Cove Resort (800) 279-4831


Ice-fishing options have ended. The shorelines are pulled away and the few people fishing last weekend reported poor main-lake ice as well. The ice left looks black and soft so open water isn’t too far away.

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


The shorelines are no longer allowing people to get on the ice and what’s left looks black and could be gone with the next warm stretch of weather. A few people have been fishing the Mississippi River for rough fish and catfish with marginal success.

Tales and Trails Sport Shop (763) 856-3985


Shorelines remain in good shape and ATVs are being used throughout the area. Look to Bass Lake for bluegills in six to 11 feet and Jay Gould Lake is producing perch in 10 feet. Tioga Bay and Poole’s Bay on Lake Pokegama are giving up crappies and sunfish in seven feet, while Big Cutfoot Sioux Lake is kicking out crappies and tullibees over 25 to 30 feet. Hit Bowstring Lake for crappies in 20 feet and perch in 16 to 18 feet. Big Splithand and Little Splithand lakes are producing a mixed bag of panfish in 17 to 20 feet.

Ben’s Bait and Tackle (218) 326-8281


The tail end of the ice-fishing season has arrived. People were still going early this week but the shorelines have started to pull away, so with some caution you could probably still find a place to fish this weekend. Crappies continue to be found in 10 to 15 feet at Pleasant Lake, Stoney Lake, Webb Lake, and Birch Lake. Whitefish were being found suspended high in the water column over deep water at Ten Mile Lake.

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


The shorelines are starting to bust up and pull away, but anglers were still getting on the ice early this week. Most were walking out so if that’s an option this weekend, Lake Minnewawa and Big Sandy Lake are worth hitting for panfish in less than 12 feet.

Willey’s Sport Shop & Spirits (218) 426-3382


There’s too much ice left to fish open water and not enough shorelines available to get on the lakes in the area. Looking at the ice that remained early this week, it should be gone quickly with the next warm spell.

Mike’s Bait and Tackle (320) 453-2248

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South Central Minnesota Fishing Reports

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South East Minnesota Fishing Reports

Southeast Minnesota Fishing Report - April 18th, 2014


The ice is gone on most lakes, and what’s left is floating and expected to be gone over the weekend. There hasn’t been any open-water panfish action reported, but start looking at those traditional, shallow spots to hold crappies with the next warm stretch of weather.

Nagel’s Live Bait (507) 334-8341


Water levels have come up a bit on the Mississippi River, increasing the current flow, but vertically-presented jigs tipped with minnows or plastics and blade baits continue to produce walleyes and sauger. Many of the best walleye reports are coming from the stretch starting at Everett’s Resort towards the dam, but not right up to it due to the current. There seems to be more saugers being caught in the slack water areas below the dam if you can find those spots. Water temperatures have been jumping up and down with the weather, with many reports over the weekend indicating it was between 45 and 47 degrees.

Four Seasons Sports (651) 388-4334


The water has come up a bit on the Mississippi River, forcing anglers to fish walleyes in the current breaks – most are being taken on jigs tipped with plastics or minnows. Suckers under floats are producing a few northern pike in the backwater areas of the river as well. Stream trout fishing reports have been spotty during the first few days of the season. A few rainbows, brookies, and browns have been caught on area streams but the cold, wind, and rain last weekend made for difficult fishing conditions.

West End Bait (507) 452-6241


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South West Minnesota Fishing Reports

Southwest Minnesota Fishing Report - April 18th, 2014


The ice is completely gone and has been since last weekend, about 10 days later than average. Panfish reports have been limited with few guys fishing, mainly due to the cooler weather this week. There has been some decent walleye action on the Iowa side of the Des Moines River with jigs and minnows.

Sommer Outdoors (507) 235-5225


The ice went out last weekend on all lakes in this area, much quicker than most anticipated. The cool weather early this week has prevented open-water anglers from looking for crappies in the shallows, but with the next warm stretch of weather they should start showing up.

The Bobber Shop (507) 625-8228


The north half of Big Stone Lake was ice-free as of Tuesday morning. The ice that remained on the south end was black and moving. There should be plenty of open water to fish during this weekend’s border-water walleye opener. Look shallow along the points and shorelines for bigger numbers of fish.

Artie’s Bait (320) 839-2480 


The ice-fishing season came to an end last weekend. Although main-lake ice was still quite evident, the shorelines have pulled far enough away to prevent anglers from getting onto any lakes in the area.

Minnewaska Bait and Tackle               (320) 239-2239


The area was ice-free as of Monday. Prior to the cold snap early this week, a few crappies were being caught from shore in the lagoons and bays of Lake Tetonka. Look for that to improve quickly as the weather warms again.

Axel’s Tackle Box (507) 362-4444


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