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Minnesota Great Eight Fishing Reports

Minnesota Great Eight Lakes Fishing Report - April 24th, 2015

LAKE MILLE LACS 

East - Fishing reports have been pretty limited, but some people have started looking for perch, crappies, and sunfish in the bays and harbor areas. This action will get better as the weather improves and the water warms.
Johnson’s Portside (320) 676-3811

West - Although the ice is off the lake, there hasn’t been much fishing activity on this end of the lake. Once the water temperature rises, the panfish should start moving into some of the harbor or dock areas.
Terry’s Boat Harbor (320) 692-4430

LAKE OF THE WOODS

The Rainy River continues to produce good numbers of sturgeon, with the most fish coming from Four Mile Bay, Wheeler’s Point, International Bridge, and Clementson Rapids. A 4/0 or 5/0 hook with a gob of nightcrawlers has worked best with a 1- to 3-ounce weight on the edges of the deep holes. Reports of 40-plus inch northern pike are coming out of Zippel Bay, Bostic Bay, and Four Mile Bay. A treble hook with a spinner and dead cisco has worked best under a float.
Lake of the Woods Tourism Bureau (800) 382-FISH

LAKE MINNETONKA AREA

The crappie bite was pretty good in 4 to 6 feet of water throughout Lake Minnetonka before the cold weather arrived. Since last Sunday, the bite has really slowed and the wind has kept many anglers off the lake. These fish will return to shallow water as soon as the weather improves and water temperatures rise once again.
Wayzata Bait (952) 473-2227

LAKE VERMILION

The ice officially went out last weekend, so there’s no worries about ice for opening weekend in two weeks. There has been a handful of anglers trying for crappies at the mouth of Big Bay, but there doesn’t appear to be any big numbers of fish showing up quite yet.
Pike Bay Lodge (218) 753-2430

LAKE WINNIBIGOSHISH

There isn’t anything to report as far as fishing and likely won’t be until the walleye season opens in a couple weeks. As the weather warms, many of the smaller lakes in the area should be safe bets for panfish in 2 to 6 feet of water.
Lake Winnie Resort Association

LEECH LAKE

With the ice just recently going out and cold weather reappearing this week, panfish reports have been limited. Once the water warms a bit more and the sun comes back out, look to the harbors and marinas or small lakes in the area to start holding panfish.  
Reed’s Sporting Goods (218) 547-1505
Shriver’s Bait Company (218) 547-2250

RAINY LAKE

There isn’t much ice left on the main lake and it could be totally gone by the weekend with this week’s wind busting it up. The return of cold weather and wind have put a damper on fishing options this week.
Loon’s Nest (218) 286-5850

RED LAKE

The ice went completely out on Monday afternoon with the strong winds. No fishing to report early this week, but crappies should start showing up in the shallows soon.
Mort’s Dock (218) 647-8128

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Minnesota Twin Cities Fishing Reports

Metro Area Fishing Report - April 24th, 2015

NORTHEAST METRO

Crappies continue to be caught in less than 6 feet on most area lakes with small jigs and minnows or plastics turning fish at White Bear, Bald Eagle, Silver, Jane, Demontreville, and the marinas along the St. Croix River. Sunfish reports have been limited and turkey activity is fair. 
Blue Ribbon Bait & Tackle (651) 777-2421

WEST METRO

Crappies seem to be moving in and out of the shallows with the changing weather. On Lake Parley, Lake Bavaria, and Rietz Lake crappies are hitting in less than 5 feet when the water warms, but as deep as 10 feet under cool, cloudy conditions. Turkey hunters are saying that birds haven’t been super-responsive to calling, but hunters are shooting some toms.
Cabin Fever Sports (952) 443-2022

LAKE WACONIA

You’ll find bigger crappies in 8 to 12 feet and smaller fish around the docks in Waconia Bay. As the water warms, look for the majority of these fish to move shallow, along the docks. A jig and minnow or small plastics are working best.
Mases In Towne Marina (952) 442-2096

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Statewide Minnesota Fishing Reports

Statewide Minnesota Fishing Report - April 24th, 2015

ALBERT LEA AREA

Crappies and sunfish are being caught on plastics, waxworms, and minnows on Fountain Lake. Better spots this week have been the cemetery area and Blackmer Bridge in shallow water. Anglers are catching good-sized bullheads as well. 
Albert Lea Convention & Visitors Bureau       (800) 345-8414

ALEXANDRIA AREA

Crappies and sunfish were biting in shallow water last weekend, but strong winds and cold weather limited anglers from getting out early this week. Once the weather improves, look to the bays and lagoons of Lake Darling, Lake Le Homme Dieu, Reno Lake, Lake Ida, Lake Carlos, and Lake Geneva, among others, to again produce panfish.  
Christopherson’s Bait and Tackle       (320) 763-3255

ANNANDALE AREA

The return of cold, windy weather has slowed the shallow-water panfish bite this week, which had been pretty good. Once the weather improves, look to the bays and shorelines on lakes such as Clearwater, Sylvia, Sugar, Cedar, Pleasant, and Granite to produce crappies and sunfish. Turkey-hunting success has been limited, but people are reporting that they’re seeing birds.  
Little Jim’s Bait (320) 274-5297

BATTLE LAKE

Look to the bays or culvert areas on Blanche Lake, Stalker Lake, Clitherall Lake, Ten Mile Lake, Mollie Stark Lake, and Wall Lake for crappies and sunfish. These fish were biting pretty well until the cool, windy weather arrived early in the week, so look for them to start biting again with the return of nice weather.  
Ben’s Bait Shop (218) 864-5596

BEMIDJI AREA

The ice that remained went completely out in one day last week, but the shallow crappie bite has been slow. The few being caught continue to be found suspended over 12 to 16 feet on Lake Irving or even deeper on other lakes. These fish will start to move shallow with warmer water. 
Taber’s Bait (218) 751-5781 

BLACKDUCK AREA

The ice is mostly gone, as the remaining lakes with ice opened completely last weekend. There hasn’t been any crappie reports being heard, but that will change quickly as soon as the weather improves and the water warms. 
Timberline Sports and Tackle
(218) 835-4636

BRAINERD/NISSWA AREA

Crappies were hitting last weekend in the channel by Bar Harbor on Gull Lake, the small bay on Pelican Lake, and the Highway 371 Bay on North Long Lake. Those bites have slowed with the cold, windy weather early this week, but should pick up again as soon as the weather improves.
S & W Bait & Guide Service/Nisswa Guide League      (218) 829-7010

CASS LAKE AREA

The ice is now completely off the lake, but it’s going to take a few more days of warm weather to drive crappies and sunfish into the shallows. Most anglers are just starting to fish the bays and other traditional spring spots for crappies.
Sunset Cove Resort (800) 279-4831

CHISAGO AREA

Before the cold weather came back early in the week, crappies were being caught in the channel of Chisago Lake and the bay on South Lindstrom Lake. Generally, most shallow bays were producing panfish before the weather changed, so they should start being productive once again as the weather improves. Most turkey hunters have reported seeing plenty of birds with a handful being registered during the first season. 
Frankie’s Bait (651) 257-6334

CROSBY AREA

Crappie fishing was pretty good until the cold weather reappeared last Sunday. The bay on Serpent Lake was producing crappies and the backwaters on Milford Lake were giving up sunfish and crappies in 2 to 4 feet. Look for fish in the shallow bays of most lakes as soon as some warm weather arrives again. The first turkey season went well. Hunters were seeing plenty of birds and youth hunters did especially well. 
Oars ‘n Mine Bait and Tackle                     (218) 546-6912

DETROIT LAKES

Crappies and sunfish are being caught, but the cool water has kept the majority of them in 10 to 12 feet. Lakes such as Melissa, Severson, Sallie, Big Detroit, Upper Cormorant, and Little Pelican have all produced panfish. Look for them to continue moving shallower as the water warms.
Quality Bait and Tackle (218) 844-2248

DULUTH AREA

The lakes are completely ice-free and a few crappies and sunfish were being caught on Fish Lake in shallow water. Look for most shallow bays to start producing panfish as the water continues to warm. This area received rain over the past week, adding some water to the rivers and allowing anglers to fish them. Yarn flies and spawn sacs were producing Kamloops on the Sucker River and steelhead on the Knife River. Trolling small stickbaits close to shore on Lake Superior has produced coho salmon. There was a slight smelt run last weekend, but the arrival of cold weather seems to have shut it down. 
Chalstrom’s Bait (218) 726-0094

EAST CENTRAL MN

Crappies are being caught in shallow water on the north end of Blue Lake. On Lake Orono, crappies are hitting below the dam and at the fishing pier, while catfish have started being taken with nightcrawlers on the Mississippi River. Turkey-hunting success was strong during the first season, but slowed during the early stages of the second season.
Tales and Trails Sport Shop 
(763) 856-3985

ELY AREA

The ice is off all area lakes, although some floating ice remained on Snowbank Lake early this week, but it was expected to be gone within a few days. No fishing yet, but the cool, windy weather this week hasn’t allowed anglers to get out. 
The Great Outdoors (218) 365-4744

EMILY AREA

The cool, windy weather has limited fishing opportunities. A few anglers were hitting some of the traditional spring crappie spots with no success, but that should improve as the water warms.
Redding Sports and Spirits                     (218) 763-2191

FAIRMONT AREA

Prior to the arrival of wind and cold weather, crappies were being found in shallow water on Amber Lake, George Lake, Hall Lake, Budd Lake, and Lake Sissiton. The walleye bite on Tuttle Lake has cooled off a bit, but jigs tipped with plastics or minnows continue to produce a few fish in 5 feet.  
Sommer Outdoors (507) 235-5225

FARIBAULT AREA

Crappies and sunfish started biting last weekend when the weather was nice, but have since stopped and moved out of the shallows on area lakes. They will return as soon as the weather improves. The shorelines of Lake Mazaska would be a good place to start looking for panfish. 
Nagel’s Live Bait (507) 334-8341

GRAND MARAIS AREA

There’s still ice on the majority of lakes, but the shorelines are open and the main-lake ice is thinning out and getting rotten. There shouldn’t be any issues with ice on opening day given the way the lakes looked this week. 
Buck’s Hardware (218) 387-2280

GRAND RAPIDS AREA

Even though the lakes have been ice-free for about one week, crappies and sunfish have yet to show up in shallow water. Those traditional spring spots should start producing fish with the next stretch of warm weather. There are plenty of suckers being caught in the creeks and rivers with nightcrawlers.  
Ben’s Bait and Tackle (218) 326-8281

GREY EAGLE AREA

Anglers just started finding a few crappies in shallow water last weekend, but the cold, windy weather has limited fishing opportunities since then. Look to Mound Lake or Hunter’s Bay on Big Birch Lake in 2 to 5 feet for panfish once the weather improves. 
Nancy’s Bait & Tackle (320) 285-2405

HACKENSACK AREA

There hasn’t been much to report for panfish even though the ice has been out for more than one week. It’s just been too cold and windy to drive any numbers of crappies into the shallows on area lakes, but with an improvement with the weather, it will start soon. 
Swanson’s Bait and Tackle                     (218) 675-6176

HIBBING/CHISHOLM AREA

The lakes are wide open and a few guys have been out looking for crappies with little or no success. This area received a dusting of snow on Tuesday, so it’s going to take an extended stretch of warm weather to push the panfish into shallow water. 
Lucky 7 General Store (218) 254-7168

LAKE KABETOGAMA

The ice is now off the lake, which is about two weeks earlier than last year. A few people have started looking for crappies, but they’ve been tough to find up to this point. Most anglers feel the water needs to warm several more degrees to get these fish going.
Gateway Store (218) 875-2121

MANKATO AREA

Not much has changed from a week ago, other than a return to cold weather has slowed panfish action. Once the weather improves, Baker’s Bay on Lake Washington, German Lake, Big Jefferson Lake, and the Buck Master Bridge area on Madison Lake will again produce crappies in shallow water. 
The Bobber Shop (507) 625-8228

McGREGOR AREA

Crappies had started to show up in shallow water, but have moved out again with the return of cold weather. Once the water warms, look to the bays, channels, or bridge areas of Round Lake, Big Sandy Lake, Rat Lake, and Horseshoe Lake for panfish. 
Willey’s Sport Shop & Spirits             (218) 426-3382

MORA AREA

Knife Lake continues to produce crappies in 1 to 4 feet when the weather allows people to get out fishing. The Ann River bridge area is producing a mixed bag of panfish when the sun is out and water temperatures rise. Anglers on the Snake River are catching suckers and catfish on nightcrawlers.
Jerry’s Sport & Bait Shop 
(320) 679-2151

ORTONVILLE AREA

Walleye action has been consistently good on Big Stone Lake with jigs and minnows producing fish in 1 to 5 feet along most shorelines. The middle of the lake, from Hartford Beach to Rocky Ledge, has been especially good, but fish are being caught on the south end and farther north towards Hiawatha as well. Turkey-hunting reports have been mostly favorable throughout the area.  
Artie’s Bait (320) 839-2480 

PARK RAPIDS AREA

When the sun comes out and it warms up, shore anglers are catching crappies and sunfish on the north end of Long Lake. Start looking for the shallow bays on most lakes to start producing panfish as well. Crawlers produced some brown trout on the Straight River, but angling pressure was pretty limited during the weekend. Turkey hunters are finding good success during the early stages of the season. 
Delaney’s (218) 732-4281
Smokey Hills Outdoors (218) 237-5099

PERHAM AREA

Anglers were just starting to find a few crappies with the nice weather last Friday and Saturday, but it’s been slow since then thanks to the cold and wind. As soon as it warms again, lakes such as Big Pine, Rush, and Little McDonald will again be good starting points for panfish in shallow water.
Gene’s Sport Shop (218) 346-3355

RED WING AREA

Now that the spawn is wrapped up, the majority of walleyes are moving back down the Mississippi River. Three-way rigs and crankbaits are working best on the channel edges in 18 to 20 feet. White bass are spawning and are an easy catch with small crankbaits or plastics below the dam and channel catfish are being taken on nightcrawlers or cut suckers in the deeper pockets of the river. Turkey hunting has been good with a handful of birds registered each day.
Four Seasons Sports (651) 388-4334

ST. CLOUD/EDEN VALLEY AREA

Crappies and sunfish were being caught in the shallow-water channels, culverts, bays, or bridges on Lake Koronis, Cedar Island Lake, Long Lake, and Horseshoe Lake before the cold front. The bite has slowed, but should pick up again with a few days of nice weather. Turkey reports have been mixed, but there seems to be a fair number of birds in the area.
Mike’s Bait and Tackle (320) 453-2248

SAUK CENTRE AREA

Before the weather cooled down this week, the shallows on Sauk Lake, Fairy Lake, and Lake Osakis were producing panfish. These fish will return to shallow water as soon as the weather again improves. Most creeks are now holding suckers, which are being caught with nightcrawlers. Turkey reports have been limited, but there doesn’t seem to be as many people hunting the early seasons as past years. 
Fletcher’s Bait Shop (320) 352-2155

STAPLES/LITTLE FALLS AREA

Nightcrawlers are producing suckers in the Platte River, Swan River, and Mississippi River. Crappies and sunfish are being found in 3 to 6 feet when the sun is out and the water warms and in slightly deeper water when it cools down. Look to Lake Alexander, Pierz Lake, and Beauty Lake with small jigs tipped with minnows, waxworms, or plastics. 
Da Fishin’ Hole (320) 631-0056

STARBUCK AREA

Anglers fishing from shore in the Starbuck Marina on Lake Minnewaska are catching crappies on small jigs and minnows. Anglers in boats also are finding crappies in 4 to 6 feet throughout Fish Hatchery Bay on Minnewaska. The Starbuck Marina has kicked out some sunfish as well and the north end of Pocket Lake is worth hitting for crappies in less than 6 feet. 
Minnewaska Bait and Tackle               (320) 239-2239

VIRGINIA AREA

The ice is now off all lakes, but the cold and wind this week have limited fishing opportunities. A few anglers have found crappies in shallow water on the small lakes, but this bite will only improve as the water continues to warm.
Lucky Seven General Store                 (218) 741-3617

WATERVILLE AREA

The lagoons on Lake Tetonka and the Warsaw Bridge area on Cannon Lake are giving up sunfish and crappies in less than 6 feet. German Lake also is producing crappies in shallow water and the bite has been best with warm, bright conditions when water temperatures rise.
Axel’s Tackle Box (507) 362-4444

WILLMAR AREA

The panfish bite was consistently good late last week, but has slowed with the arrival of wind and cold weather this week. Lakes that were producing crappies and sunfish and should again as soon as it warms include: Andrew, Elkhorn Bay, West Norway, the north end of Eagle, Diamond, and Nest.  
Brad’s 71 Bait and Sports 
(320) 235-4097

WINDOM/MARSHALL AREA

A few walleyes are being caught in shallow water with minnows and jigs on Lake Hendricks along the Minnesota/South Dakota border. Crappie action has been slow, but nightcrawlers or Mepps spinners are producing 12- to 16-inch rainbow trout in the Redwood River at Camden State Park. Turkey hunters are off to a good start with most guys seeing birds and reporting plenty of activity.
Borch’s Sporting Goods (507) 532-4880

WINONA AREA

Overall, fishing reports have slowed with the return of cold weather. Many of the walleyes being caught on the Mississippi River have been “short” this week, but main river channels seem to be holding the most fish. When the sun comes out, you’ll find crappies and sunfish in the side sloughs off the main river and although there has been quite a few trout fishermen out, reports have been limited. Turkey hunters are offering good reports during the first two seasons and although only a few birds have been registered at the shop, hunter success seems to be high. 
West End Bait (507) 452-6241

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