Minnesota Outdoor News Fishing Report – December 9th, 2016

Great Eight


East – The entire lake, including the bays were ice-free early this week. Some wind-protected harbors and river mouths had skim ice, but with cold air in the forecast, the lake should cap quickly if the wind doesn’t blow.

Johnson’s Portside (320) 676-3811

Terry’s Boat Harbor (320) 692-4430


Open water fishing continued on a limited basis early this week and the walleye bite remained strong for those still venturing out. The stage is set for some excellent ice fishing along the south shore, although as of early this week, just some back bays had a couple inches of ice. At the Northwest Angle, ice has started to form across this stretch between islands and bays.

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


No ice to report at all and fishing pressure has been non-existent. A few nights of cold, calm weather should allow ice to form fast. Look to the bays and small, shallow lakes first.

Wayzata Bait (952) 473-2227


The main lake is wide open, but some small, shallower bays have remained ice-covered. Look for these areas to offer walkable ice first, while main lake opportunities won’t be far behind if it gets as cold as expected.

Pike Bay Lodge (218) 753-2430


Some ice had formed along the shorelines lakewide and river mouth on the west side, but that ice no longer exists. The entire lake was ice-free early this week.

Lake Winnie Resort Association


A few anglers were still trolling crankbaits at night last week and catching walleyes. That’s likely come to an end this week with the cold air arriving and ice expected to develop rapidly.

Reed’s Sporting Goods (218) 547-1505

Shriver’s Bait Company (218) 547-2250


Fishing and hunting reports continue to be light as outdoor enthusiasts have pretty much put the guns away and are waiting for ice to form, which can’t happen soon enough. Some wind-protected areas close to shore have skim ice, but the main lake remains open.

International Falls CVB (800) 325-5766


Any shoreline ice that did exist took a beating with Tuesday’s wind. But once that calms down and the expected cold air arrives, there might be some limited ice fishing opportunities within the next week.

Mort’s Dock (218) 647-8128

Twin Cities Metro


With no ice early this week, open water fishing opportunities remained an option. With the exception of a few people fishing the rivers, reports have been limited and most anglers are hoping for ice to develop soon.

Blue Ribbon Bait & Tackle (651) 777-2421


Despite that fact that lakes remained open, there hasn’t been enough people fishing to provide any reports. Most anglers have indicated that their boats are put away and they’re patiently waiting for ice.

Cabin Fever Sports (952) 443-2022



Very few people have been on the lakes even though they were ice-free this past week. Look for ice fishing options to develop quick on the small, shallow lakes once the expected cold air arrives.

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


Any ice that had started to form in the bays and along shorelines was gone after Tuesday’s wind. Look for it to return fast once the cold air arrives and winds calm down.

Little Jim’s Bait (320) 274-5297


With cold weather soon to arrive, ice fishing could be an option within the next week. Look to those traditional early ice spots to be the first to support foot travel – think bays and shallow lakes that are wind-protected and tend to develop ice faster.

Ben’s Bait Shop (218) 864-5596


There was no ice to report early this week, but it is expected to come quickly given the forecast. If the winds are calm and it gets as cold as forecasted, there might be a few small lakes that present walkable ice by the weekend or early next week.

Timberline Sports and Tackle (218) 835-4636


There was nothing but open water as of Tuesday morning, but fishing pressure has been non-existent. Anglers in this area have finally put the boats away and are waiting for walkable ice to take hold.

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


The entire area was ice-free as of this report and even where some skim ice had formed (bays and harbors), it was busted open with the strong winds. With a promising weather forecast, ice is expected to develop fast so there could be some walking options on a few small lakes or bays within the next week.

Sunset Cove Resort (800) 279-4831


With the exception of some limited pond ice, open water remained throughout the area. The small, shallow lakes could support foot travel soon if it gets as cold as anticipated, but call for daily updates heading into the weekend.

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


Fishing reports have been non-existent since the muskie season closed. Some skim ice had started to form, but was mostly gone with strong winds early this week.

Quality Bait and Tackle (218) 844-2248


Anglers are waiting for the cold air to arrive and walkable ice to form. Most expect that to happen soon given some lakes already had skim ice on them and it hadn’t been very cold. The key to ice making over the next week, as it is in most areas, will be calm winds.

Chalstrom’s Bait (218) 726-0094


The only fishing reports worth noting, and they’ve been very limited, are coming off the local rivers. A few anglers continue to fish for smallmouth bass and walleyes, while most are content waiting for ice to take hold.

Tales and Trails Sport Shop (763) 856-3985


Ice continued to be non-existent, but so has any fishing activity. While a few people were fishing from shore last week, it seems most of them also put away the long rods and are content waiting for ice.

Sommer Outdoors (507) 235-5225


Lake conditions are expected to change quickly once the cold air arrives and the wind calms down. Up to this point, it just hasn’t been cold enough for any ice to develop.

Buck’s Hardware (218) 387-2280


Most anglers feel that it’s only going to take one or two nights of cold, calm weather for walkable ice to form on the area’s small, shallow lakes. Call ahead, but with the right weather conditions, you might find a few spots with walkable ice within the next week.

Ben’s Bait and Tackle (218) 326-8281


Some ponds have a thin layer of ice, but that’s about it in this area. If the wind calms down and the weather forecast is correct, that will change over the next week. Look to those shallow lakes tucked back in the woods to be the first to provide favorable ice for walking.

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


Although limited ice existed along the shorelines and in some bays a couple weeks ago, everything was wide open as of this writing. Anglers are optimistic that ice will form fast given the cold weather that’s expected to arrive this week.

Lucky 7 General Store (218) 254-7168


The few people fishing open water last week dropped even more. Although there was no ice to report, anglers seem content to wait for it to develop.

Corner Bait (507) 243-4464


Big Stone Lake was wide open on Tuesday, but it had skimmed with ice a few times prior to this week. Given that and the fact that it is expected to get cold, it shouldn’t take long for anglers to be on walkable ice. Wind speed will likely be the biggest factor in determining when that happens.

Artie’s Bait (320) 839-2480


There wasn’t any ice worth noting early in the week, but once the wind calms down, it should get cold enough for ice to form. Look to the small, shallow lakes to be the first with walkable ice.

Delaney’s (218) 732-4281

Smokey Hills Outdoors (218) 237-5099


Water levels rose 3 to 4 feet on the Mississippi River since last week and that has slowed the bite a bit. Anglers continue to catch fish, more walleyes than saugers, but not as consistently as they were. Continue to work from town to the dam with a jig and minnow or plastics.

Four Seasons Sports (651) 388-4334


Some skim ice was floating around a few lakes, but it was eliminated with the strong winds early this week. With colder weather expected to arrive, expect ice to form quickly on the small, shallow or wind-protected lakes first.

Channel Marine and Sports (320) 597-5975


The lakes remained open, although there hasn’t been anyone on them. There won’t be much to report until walkable ice forms.

Minnewaska Bait and Tackle (320) 239-2239


With the exception of a few more pheasant hunters in the area, reports have been light. Most groups continue to see birds with some limits of roosters taken in the area’s that offer the best habitat – the birds are starting to bunch up. Lakes and ponds remained ice-free this week.

Borch’s Sporting Goods (507) 532-4880

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