Walleye and crappie bite keeping most ice anglers busy
LAKE MILLE LACS
East – There have been some very good perch reports coming off
the mud and gravel in 22 feet of water. Walleye action slows during
the day, but the morning and evening hours have been very good on
the Boot, Nine Mile Flat, and Sliver Flat in 28 to 32 feet of
water. There are some good perch reports coming off the north end
of the lake in 30-plus feet as well.
Johnson’s Portside (320) 676-3811 www.johnsonsportside.com
West – Center Bar, Seguchie’s Flat, Seven Mile Flat, and
Sherman’s Flat continue to produce walleyes in 28 to 34 feet of
water throughout the day. Some days are better than others, with
the biggest key being to get away from the crowds. A green jigging
spoon and minnow head is working better than setlines. You’ll find
some good-sized perch mixed in with the walleyes on certain flats,
while other mud areas seem to be completely void of perch.
Terry’s Boat Harbor (320) 692-4430
Tutt’s Bait & Tackle (320) 692-4341
LAKE OF THE WOODS
Walleye and sauger reports have improved as the water clears,
but the bite is still expected to get much better. The best reports
this week are coming from the Pine Island area, about 2.5 miles out
in 23 to 25 feet of water. Reports from the Northwest Angle have
been much better with limits of walleyes and saugers being pulled
with consistency from 25 feet of water.
Lake of the Woods Tourism Bureau (800) 382-FISH
LEECH LAKE AREA
Perch continue to be caught at a consistent pace throughout
Leech Lake. Sand Point, the Narrows, and Pine Point are good
starting spots in 10 to 12 feet of water. The breaks and humps in
Walker Bay remain safe bets for walleyes from 20 to 34 feet of
water. The crappie bite has slowed in Shingobee Bay, but you will
find some active fish, suspended, during the evening hours in 22 to
30 feet of water.
Walker Bait Company (218) 547-2248
LAKE MINNETONKA AREA
Look for suspended crappies and sunfish on Lake Sarah over 15 to
20 feet of water. Lake Independence and Lake Minnetonka are
producing a few walleyes during the evening hours in 20 to 25 feet
of water. Northern pike are biting on Minnetonka over the 12-foot
Wayzata Bait (952) 473-2227
Sand Bay continues to be the best bet for walleyes during the
afternoon and evening hours in 34 to 38 feet of water. A decent
secondary location is the Rainy Lake City area in 25 feet of water
during lowlight periods of the day. The edges of the main lake
reefs also might be worth noting for walleyes. A few bigger
northern pike also have come from the Rainy Lake City area in 20
feet of water.
Loon’s Nest (218) 286-5850
The best perch reports are coming off the main lake bars. Look
on top in 15 to 18 feet or off the bars in 30-plus feet of water.
Horseshoe Bar, Moses Bar, and Moxxes Hole have been best this week.
There’s some shallow perch action north of the Mississippi River in
eight to 12 feet of water. A few walleyes have bit during the
evening hours in 16 to 18 feet of water, just off the edges of the
bars. Northern pike seem to be active on most bars as well.
Pines Resort and Campground (218) 246-8546
Nodak Lodge (218) 665-2226
Twin Cities Metro
Sunfish action has been very good on Lake Jane, Lake Peltier,
and Little Lake in 12 to 15 feet of water. Lake Phalen and Forest
Lake are kicking out walleyes in 15 to 20 feet of water early and
late in the day. Northern pike anglers are doing well with sucker
minnows on Beaver Lake, Forest Lake, and Battle Creek Lake.
Blue Ribbon Bait & Tackle (651) 777-2421
Sucker minnows are producing northern pike on the north end of
Lake Minnewashta in 10 to 12 feet of water and on Lake Auburn in
eight to 12 feet of water. Sunfish and crappies continue to hit on
Eagle Lake in 12 to 14 feet and on Hydes Lake in 16 feet of water.
On Prior Lake, you’ll find sunfish, tight to the bottom, in 22 feet
of water. Walleye action has been slow.
Cabin Fever Sports (952) 443-2022
Center Reef continues to produce a few walleyes during the
evening hours in 12 to 16 feet of water. The weed edges of Waconia
Bay are kicking out sunfish, crappies, and some walleyes in 10 to
16 feet of water. You’ll have to sort through the panfish, but a
decent bunch of keeping-sized fish is a possibility. Sucker minnows
under bobbers or tip-ups have proven to be the best option for
northern pike on the reefs.
Mases In Towne Marina (952) 442-2096
There is a “walleye or two” caught from Lake Carlos, Lake Le
Homme Dieu, and Lake Ida each evening in 17 to 23 feet of water.
Look to Lake Mary for crappies and bluegills between 11 and 18 feet
of water. There are some crappies coming off Le Homme Dieu and Lake
Geneva in 21 to 38 feet of water, primarily during the evening
Christopherson’s Bait and Tackle (320) 763-3255
Sunfish and crappies continue to bite on Clearwater Lake, Lake
John, and Sugar Lake in 16 to 20 feet of water. Clearwater, Lake
Sylvia, and Sugar have given up walleyes during the evening hours
in 18 feet of water. Northern pike action has picked up on most
lakes, although Clearwater and Pleasant seem to be kicking out
bigger fish in 12 to 15 feet of water.
Little Jim’s Bait (320) 274-5297
You’ll find walleyes in 30 to 40 feet of water on Otter Tail
Lake and West Battle Lake. Crappie action has picked up on Battle,
West Lost Lake, and South Turtle Lake in 17 feet of water. Some
bigger northern pike have come off the 12- to 15-foot weedbeds of
Otter Tail Lake this week. The deeper flats on Otter Tail are
producing good-sized perch. Bluegill reports have been
Ben’s Bait Shop (218) 864-5596
There’s a good perch bite on Blackduck Lake from seven to 22
feet of water and most depths in between. Look for a few walleyes
off Blackduck in 18 to 22 feet during the evening hours with
jigging Rapalas. The panfish bite has slowed, although lakes such
as Rabideau, Pimushe, and Gilstead remain the best bets in 12 to 16
feet of water. Tip-ups and sucker minnows continue to produce
northern pike on Blackduck in 12 to 18 feet of water.
Timberline Sports and Tackle (218) 835-4636
Golden shiners or rainbow minnows are turning walleyes in 17 to
30 feet of water on Gull Lake, North Long Lake, Round Lake, and
Pelican Lake. There’s been some consistent northern pike action in
seven to 15 feet of water on Gull, North Long, and Lake Edwards. A
glow jig tipped with a rosy red minnow is turning crappies on
Round, Nisswa Lake, and Lake Hubert. Sunfish also can be had on
these lakes with Eurolarvae or waxworms.
S & W Bait & Tackle (218) 829-7010
The A-Frame area on Chisago Lake is kicking out a few crappies
between eight and 13 feet of water. You will find sunfish and
crappies on North Center Lake in 10 to 16 feet and consistent
crappie activity during the evening hours on Kroon Lake in 21 feet
of water. Walleyes continue to be caught below the Dinner Bell on
South Lindstrom Lake in 16 feet of water during the evening hours.
Look to Sunrise Lake for both northern pike and panfish in eight to
12 feet of water.
Frankie’s Bait (651) 257-6334
There’s a morning and evening walleye bite taking place on
Serpent Lake with shiner minnows in 26 to 28 feet of water.
Good-sized northern pike have been tough to find, but panfish have
bit well on lakes such as Perry, Little Blackhoof, Mahnomen, and
Little Mahnomen. The best crappie action has taken place in 18 to
20 feet of water, while sunfish are being found as shallow as eight
Oars ‘n Mine Bait and Tackle (218) 546-6912
The late afternoon and evening hours are providing steady
walleye action on Big Cormorant Lake, Pelican Lake, Lizzie Lake,
Big Pine Lake, Detroit Lake, Lake Lida, and Cotton Lake. There’s
been some perch caught on Little Cormorant Lake and Height of Land
Lake. The best lakes for sunfish and crappies remain Little
Detroit, Big Toad, Prairie, Lizzie, Floyd, Cotton, and Round.
Northern pike are hitting sucker minnows under tip-ups on all the
Dick Beardsley’s Guide Service www.fishingscene.com
Green Lake is kicking out walleyes and crappies in 12 to 17 feet
of water during the evening hours. Northern pike are active on most
lakes, while Elk Lake started producing crappies in 12 feet of
Tails and Trails Sport Shop (763) 856-3985
Hall Lake and Lake Sissiton are kicking out crappies in 16 to 20
feet of water during the morning hours. On Lake Temperance, you’ll
find perch in two feet of water. Minnows have worked the best,
though you will have to sort through quite a few smaller fish. The
only bluegill bite of note in the area is taking place on Lake
Sissiton in 18 feet of water.
Master Sport and Bait (507) 235-5225
There are walleyes and a few big crappies coming off Roberds
Lake in 17 to 24 feet of water. There is a short window of evening
walleye activity on French Lake in 22 to 24 feet of water. Look to
Lake Mazaska for crappies in 30 to 40 feet of water. Black Ratsos
and Eurolarvae have worked best. Kelley Dudley Lake remains the
area’s best option for northern pike in 12 to 14 feet of
Lake’s Bait and Tackle (507) 334-2768
GRAND RAPIDS AREA
Small minnows are producing crappies on most lakes in 22 to 27
feet of water. Some of the better reports are coming off Sugar
Lake, Bowstring Lake, Little Moose Lake, and Big Cutfoot Sioux
Lake. Hit the weedlines of Bass Lake, Lake Wabana, and Lake
Pokegama for bluegills. Trout Lake and Sugar Lake are kicking out
walleyes during the evening hours in 20 feet of water. Northern
pike are cruising the shallows on Swan Lake, Big Splithand Lake,
Ben’s Bait and Tackle (218) 326-8281
Rapids Tackle (218) 326-9838
A sucker minnow and plain hook is producing northern pike in
most weedy, soft-bottomed bays. Some limited walleye action is
taking place with glow jigs and minnows at the mouth of the Ash
River in 30 to 35 feet of water. Crappie reports continue to be
Gateway Store (218) 875-2121 www.gatewaygeneral.com
Tip-ups and medium-sized minnows have been the ticket for
walleyes in 20 to 28 feet of water during lowlight periods of the
day. Perch also can be had in these areas during midday hours.
Numbers of northern pike and sunfish continue to be pulled from the
back bays where weeds are still prevalent.
Lake Vermilion Trading Company (218) 666-6052
There are sunfish being caught off First Point and in Baker’s
Bay on Lake Washington in 12 feet of water. On Eagle Lake, look for
walleyes during the evening hours in six feet of water with small
shiner minnows or fatheads. Walleyes continue to come off the north
landing area of Lake Hanska in six feet of water. A few walleyes
are caught on Madison Lake each morning in front of Bray Park in 22
to 24 feet of water.
The Bobber Shop (507) 625-8228
Bellhorn Bay on Big Sandy Lake is producing crappies in 16 feet
of water. The narrows on Big Sandy are giving up northern pike in
14 to 16 feet via tip-ups and shiner minnows. Rat Lake started
producing crappies and sunfish in 14 feet of water. Northern pike
are cruising the shallows of Aitkin Lake and Lake Minnewawa. An
occasional walleye is pulled from open water below the dam on Big
Willey’s Sport Shop (218) 426-3382
PARK RAPIDS AREA
Walleyes have continued to bite well under lowlight conditions
on Fish Hook Lake in 25 feet of water. Northern pike are hitting
sucker minnows off the weeds in 15 feet of water at Big Mantrap
Lake. Look for bluegills on the Crow Wing Chain in 14 feet of
water. The best crappie reports are coming off Eagle Lake, where
suspended fish are most active during the evening hours in 30 feet
Delaney’s (218) 732-4281
A “few” crappie limits show up each day, but not with any
consistency or defined patterns. It seems as if you’re in the right
place at the right time and find some fish, they’ll bite. Big
northern pike have bit well on minnows and walleyes continue to
bite, but they must all be released.
Rogers Campground (218) 647-8262
RED WING AREA
There’s a consistent walleye and sauger bite taking place on the
Mississippi River with hair jigs and fathead minnows. You have to
launch at Everett’s Resort, but navigation hasn’t been a problem
with the warm weather. There’s some ice fishing taking place for
crappies and northern pike in the Bay Point area.
Ike’s Bait and Tackle (651) 388-2111
ST. CLOUD AREA
Northern pike continue to run in shallow water on Grand Lake,
Horseshoe Lake, and Pleasant Lake. Look for small sunfish in eight
to 12 feet of water on Grand Lake, Pearl Lake, and Goodner Lake.
These same lakes also have produced crappies in deeper water, but
you will again have to sort through some small fish. Walleye
reports have been limited to an occasional fish caught during the
evening hours on Horseshoe, Grand, Rice Lake, and Lake Koronis.
Look for suspended catfish in the 40- to 50-foot hole on Horseshoe
Corky’s Gas & Bait (320) 251-1567
Look to Eagle Lake for perch, walleyes, and northern pike in 10
to 15 feet of water. Long Lake and Big Kandi Lake started giving up
a few walleyes in less than 10 feet of water. Lake Florida, Norway
Lake, and Games Lake are giving up panfish at a variety of
Brad’s 71 Bait and Sports (320) 235-4097