Minnesota Outdoor News Fishing Report — April 28, 2017

Great Eight

LAKE MILLE LACS        

A few anglers have been hitting some of the bays and harbors, but panfish continue to be difficult to find. With cooler weather expected throughout the week, the slow bite likely will continue.

Johnson’s Portside (320) 676-3811

Terry’s Boat Harbor (320) 692-4430

LAKE OF THE WOODS

The big sturgeon continue to bite up and down the Rainy River. Work the deep holes with a 3 ounce no-roll sinker, 1- to 11⁄2-foot leader, and a circle hook (sturgeon rig) loaded with frozen shiners and nightcrawlers. Buzz baits or a frozen cisco lying on the bottom are turning northern pike in the shallow bays and Rainy River.

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

LAKE MINNETONKA AREA    

The panfish bite has been off and on depending on the weather. If you can find some standing green milfoil in 4 to 10 feet on Lake Minnetonka, you’ll find crappies. Lake Independence is giving up crappies in shallow and deep water. On Medicine Lake, crappies and sunfish are biting in less than 6 feet.

Wayzata Bait (952) 473-2227

LAKE VERMILION

A few crappies are being caught at the mouth of Pike Bay in 6 to 10 feet. You’ll also find crappies suspended over 20 feet or more around Raspberry Island and the north side of Ely Island.

Pike Bay Lodge (218) 753-2430

LAKE WINNIBIGOSHISH

There hasn’t been anything to report as far as fishing goes. Look for reports to continue as soon as the walleye season opens.

Lake Winnie Resort Association

LEECH LAKE

A few crappies have shown up in the boat harbors and shallow bays, but no big numbers. These fish are moving in and out with the constant weather changes and the water needs to warm up in order to keep them shallow.

Reed’s Sporting Goods (218) 547-1505

Shriver’s Bait Company (218) 547-2250

RAINY LAKE     

The ice is completely off the main lake, but there hasn’t been any crappie action reported. Northern pike are starting to bite in the bays and the Rainy River continues to provide steady sturgeon action.

International Falls CVB (800) 325-5766

RED LAKE

Fishing action has been light throughout the lake. Water temperatures remain too cold for crappies to move into the shallow harbors and shoreline areas.

Mort’s Dock (218) 647-8128

Twin Cities Metro

NORTHEAST METRO

Jigs tipped with minnows or plastics continue to trigger walleyes and sauger in the various pools throughout the Mississippi River. Crappie action has remained about the same with White Bear Lake and Lake Jane still producing fish in shallow water when it warms up. Sunfish action continues to be slow, although anglers are finding a few mixed with the crappies on Jane.

Blue Ribbon Bait & Tackle (651) 777-2421

WEST METRO

The panfish bite has slowed a bit since last week, likely due to poor weather conditions. A few sunfish are biting on Pierson Lake in 12 to 16 feet and Lake Auburn in 10 to 14 feet. Whaletail Lake is giving up crappies in 4 to 16 feet, as is Lake Bavaria in 4 to 8 feet. The docks in Waconia Bay on Lake Waconia are giving up crappies when the sun shines.

Cabin Fever Sports (952) 443-2022

SOUTH METRO

Prior Lake and Lake O’Dowd are producing crappies in less than 6 feet. A few crappies also are being caught at Cedar Lake in 4 to 6 feet and the north end bays on Prior are worth noting for sunfish.

Prior Lake Bait & Tackle (952) 447-6096

Statewide

ALEXANDRIA AREA

If it’s nice out, crappies are in shallow water, but they do move out when the weather changes. The afternoon hours have been best on Oscar Lake, Lake Carlos, Mill Lake, Darling Lake, the bays on Lake Le Homme Dieu, and Christopherson’s Bay on Lake Ida.

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

ANNANDALE AREA

People are finding sunfish and crappies when the weather warms and the afternoon hours have been best. Look in the bays, channels, and harbors in 2 to 5 feet at Clearwater Lake, Sugar Lake, Maple Lake, Cedar Lake, Lake Sylvia, and Lake John.

Little Jim’s Bait (320) 274-5297

BATTLE LAKE AREA

Crappies are being found in 10 to 15 feet at West Battle Lake, Buchanan Lake, and Rush Lake. Sunfish are hitting wax worms in 8 to 12 feet on West Battle, South Turtle Lake, and Clitherall Lake.

Ben’s Bait Shop (218) 864-5596

BEMIDJI AREA

Panfish action has been slow, but there hasn’t been many people fishing. It’s been cold and windy, preventing most anglers from getting out. The few that have gone are reporting cold water and no panfish in shallow water.

Taber’s Bait (218) 751-5781

BLACKDUCK AREA

Panfish action continues to be relatively slow, but poor weather conditions haven’t allowed anglers to get out very much. Some perch are being caught around the shallow reeds on Blackduck Lake and Island Lake, while the bays on Beltrami Lake are kicking out a few crappies.

Timberline Sports and Tackle (218) 835-4636

BRAINERD/NISSWA AREA 

Crappies and sunfish are being found in the shallow bays and 4- to 8- foot weed patches on Upper Gull Lake, Lake Margaret, Nisswa Lake, Roy Lake, Cullen Lake, and North Long Lake. Nightcrawlers are producing channel catfish on the Mississippi River.

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

CASS LAKE AREA

Fishing pressure has been light due to wet, windy conditions throughout the week. Water temperatures just aren’t climbing, but once they do, lakes such as Andrusia, Midge, Kitchi, Grace, and Wolf should start producing crappies.

Sunset Cove Resort (800) 279-4831

CHISAGO AREA   

Look for bluegills in the 6- to 8- foot weeds and crappies in slightly deeper water in the bays and channels of most lakes. Panfish reports have been good with lakes such as North Lindstrom, South Lindstrom, Chisago, North Center, and South Center Lake leading the way.

Frankie’s Bait (651) 257-6334

CROSBY AREA

Anglers fishing from shore are catching crappies in the channels of Milford Lake and the west shore of Black Hoof Lake. Guys in boats are finding crappies on the north and south ends of Bay Lake in 4 to 8 feet. Lower Mission Lake is producing sunfish in shallow water, while crappies and sunfish are biting in 6 to 10 feet at Greer Lake.

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

DULUTH AREA   

Crappie reports continue to be slow, but water temperatures are slow to rise. Trolling stickbaits in the top 20 feet of the water column has triggered lake trout and coho salmon in the Park Point area of Lake Superior. The smelt ran good last weekend and there’s still some steelhead hanging in the rivers. This might be the last weekend for both.

Chalstrom’s Bait (218) 726-0094

EAST CENTRAL MN

Blue Lake is giving up sunfish in 5 feet and a few crappies in slightly deeper water. Crappies have started biting in the shallows of Spectacle Lake, while Green Lake is kicking out a mixed bag of panfish in 5 to 7 feet.

Tales and Trails Sport Shop (763) 856-3985

EMILY AREA 

The shallows on Lake Emily are producing crappies and sunfish are going in the bay on Ruth Lake in less than 4 feet. Anglers fishing from shore at Kego Lake are catching crappies on plastics or minnows.

Redding Sports and Spirits (218) 763-2191

FAIRMONT AREA

Hall Lake, Budd Lake, and Lake Sissiton are giving up crappies in 12 feet early and in 4 to 6 feet late in the day. A few perch are being taken on Perch Lake and North Silver Lake in less than 6 feet. Tuttle Lake and the West Des Moine River are producing walleyes on minnows or plastics.

Sommer Outdoors (507) 235-5225

FARIBAULT AREA

Panfish action continues to be slow, and poor weather conditions have limited people from getting out. The docks on Cedar Lake are holding a few crappies and Shields Lake is giving up a few crappies in less than 6 feet.

Nagel’s Live Bait (507) 334-8341

GRAND RAPIDS AREA 

Crappies are moving in and out of the shallow bays with the changing weather. When the sun shines, they’re in and biting and if it’s not, they move out. Lakes such as Sand, Wabana, Pokegama, Cutfoot, and Bowstring are the best bets for crappies on those nice days. Look to the backwaters (Hot Pond) on the Mississippi River for sunfish.

Ben’s Bait and Tackle (218) 326-8281

GREY EAGLE AREA

The rice beds on the west side of Pine Lake started producing crappies, as are the reeds on the north arm of Big Birch Lake. Crappies also can be had between the reed patches on Big Swan Lake.

Nancy’s Bait & Tackle (320) 285-2405

HACKENSACK AREA 

Prior to the cold front moving through, crappies had started biting in shallow water. That’s slowed quite a bit since last weekend, but look for it to pick up as soon as water temperatures climb again. Lakes along the Woodtick Trail, Little Birch, and Pleasant were producing fish last weekend.

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

LONGVILLE AREA

The afternoon and evening hours, when water temperatures are warmest, have been best for crappies. Mule Lake and Little Boy Lake are giving up good numbers of fish when the sun shines. Otter Bay, Lantern Bay, and Broadwater Bay on Woman Lake are giving up crappies as well.

The One Stop (218) 363-2252

MORA AREA

Panfish reports have improved, but the bite is better when the sun is out. Look for crappies and sunfish in shallow water off the fishing pier on Knife Lake, the park off Highway 65, Quamba Lake, and the Ann River bridge.

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

ORTONVILLE AREA

Big Stone Lake provided a slow walleye bite during the day on the Minnesota/South Dakota border opener, but the night bite was pretty good. A slip bobber rig or jig with minnows are working best along the shorelines on the south end up to the Bonanza area. Bluegills, crappies, and perch are being caught off docks and around the islands on the south end of Big Stone.

Artie’s Bait (320) 839-2480

PARK RAPIDS AREA

Crappies are hitting in 2 to 6 feet on the north end of Long Lake and in the shallow bays throughout the Crow Wing Chain of Lakes. Generally, most small lakes are now giving up some crappies, but sunfish reports remain quiet.

Delaney’s (218) 732-4281

Smokey Hills Outdoors (218) 237-5099

RED WING AREA

The spawn is over, so more walleyes are being found towards Lake Pepin than in the Mississippi River. The back channel and Head of the Lakes areas have been best in 12 to 16 feet with live-bait rigs tipped with crawlers or creek chubs. Panfish have started showing up in the marinas and bays as well.

Four Seasons Sports (651) 388-4334

RICHMOND/ST. CLOUD AREA

The backwaters and bays on Cedar Island Lake, Mud Lake, Long Lake, Horseshoe Lake, Rice Lake, Upper Spunk Lake, and Clear Lake are all giving up sunfish and crappies. The bite tends to be best early and late each day or if the sun is out. Catfish action is very good at the public accesses, along shorelines, and off docks throughout the Horseshoe Chain.

Channel Marine and Sports (320) 597-5975

SAUK CENTRE AREA

If the sun is out you’ll find panfish in shallow water on most lakes in the area. But when it’s cloudy or cool, those fish are gone. Hit those nice days for crappies and sunfish and you’ll catch fish. Nightcrawlers are producing suckers on most creeks and rivers as well.

Fletcher’s Bait Shop (320) 352-2155

STAPLES/LITTLE FALLS AREA

Look to Lake Alexander, Fish Trap Lake, and Shamineau Lake for crappies over 10 to 20 feet. Pierz Lake is giving up crappies in 10 feet and suckers are being caught with nightcrawlers on the Mississippi River.

Da Fishin’ Hole (320) 631-0056

STARBUCK AREA

The Starbuck Marina on Lake Minnewaska is kicking out sunfish and a few more crappies this week. The Glenwood end of Minnewaska also is giving up crappies in 6 to 8 feet from Fish Hatchery Bay to the Lakeside Ballroom. You’ll also catch crappies from shore on the south end of Long Lake near Morris.

Minnewaska Bait and Tackle (320) 239-2239

WILLMAR AREA

Crappie and sunfish action has improved, but the bite is best when the sun is out. If the weather is good, panfish are being caught on the north ends of Green Lake and Eagle Lake. Dogfish Bay on Diamond Lake, the culverts on Willmar/Foot Lake, Norway Lake, George Lake, Henderson Lake, and Elkhorn Lake are all giving up a mixed bag of panfish.

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

WINDOM/MARSHALL AREA

Crappies have started biting in less than 6 feet of water at Lake Sarah and Lake Shetek and on the slough side of Yankton Lake. Sarah has also been giving up perch in shallow water, and trout remained active on the Redwood River in Camden State Park. Lake Hendricks on the Minnesota/South Dakota border was producing a few walleyes on minnows and jigs.

Borch’s Sporting Goods (507) 532-4880

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