Wednesday, February 1st, 2023
Wednesday, February 1st, 2023

Breaking News for

Sportsmen Since 1967

Panfish bite is hit or miss and weather dependent

BIG SIX

LAKE MILLE LACS

The bays and harbors are open, allowing for some limited crappie
action close to shore. Small jigs and minnows are working best in
Isle Bay, Cove Bay, and some of the east side channels.

Johnson’s Portside (320) 676-3811

www.johnsonsportside.com

Terry’s Boat Harbor (320) 692-4430

LAKE OF THE WOODS

It’s transition time. Ice is still very noticeable throughout
the main lake, but the bays and shorelines have begun to open.
Sturgeon fishing has been consistent on the Rainy River with
nightcrawlers and cut baits. Ice-out pike action should pick up
soon.

Lake of the Woods Tourism Bureau

(800) 382-FISH

LEECH LAKE AREA

A few anglers have begun looking for crappies in the bays and
channels of most small lakes in the area. Some of the bays on Leech
are open, but have yet to produce panfish.

Reed’s Sporting Goods (218) 547-1505

LAKE MINNETONKA

Expect a strong crappie and sunfish bite in six to eight to feet
of water throughout Lake Minnetonka. Maxwell Bay and Wayzata Bay
are good starting points, but most shallow bays and channels are
producing fish. Lakes such as Sarah and Medicine also have provided
steady panfish action.

Wayzata Bait (952) 473-2227

RAINY LAKE

Although the main lake is still covered with ice the shorelines
and current areas are open. Most anglers now are pursuing sturgeon
and suckers in the Rainy River. Nightcrawlers and plain hooks are
working best in the deeper holes.

Loon’s Nest (218) 286-5850

LAKE WINNIBIGOSHISH

The ice is deteriorating fast. The ice that remains is being
pushed by the wind and is expected to be out by this weekend. Look
for some shallow perch and crappie action to begin throughout the
area.

Pines Resort and Campground (218) 246-8546

Nodak Lodge (218) 665-2226

TWIN CITIES METRO

NORTHEAST METRO

Small jigs and minnows are producing crappies along the shallow
shorelines of White Bear Lake, Lake Jane, Big Carnelian Lake, and
Demonterville Lake. Lake Peltier is providing the best sunfish bite
in less than six feet of water. Look for crappies and sunfish in
the bays of Rush Lake.

Blue Ribbon Bait & Tackle (651) 777-2421

WEST METRO

Sunfish action has picked up in the shallows of lakes Zumbra,
Stieger, and Minnewashta. The local crappie bite is picking up,
although most of the fish are coming from 10 to 12 feet on Hydes
Lake and Lake Bavaria. Look for these fish to start moving
shallow.

Cabin Fever Sports (952) 443-2022

LAKE WACONIA

Waxworms and minnows are triggering crappies in the shallows of
Waconia Bay. The bigger fish have been caught during the afternoon
and evening hours. Wagener’s Bay and the Peterson Creek area have
started giving up crappies as well.

Mases In Towne Marina (952) 442-2096

STATEWIDE

ALEXANDRIA AREA

Most small lakes now are producing panfish in shallow water.
Waxworms, minnows, and small plastics all have produced sunfish and
crappies in less than six feet of water. Look to Pocket Lake, Lake
Le Homme Dieu, and Lake Geneva for the most consistent action.

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

ANNANDALE AREA

When the sun is out, you’ll find crappies in the bays and
channels of Clearwater Lake, Sugar Lake, Lake Sylvia, and Cedar
Lake. When it’s cloudy, look in 10 to 13 feet, just outside these
areas. Waxworms or plastics are providing anglers with a few
good-sized sunfish in the shallows as well.

Little Jim’s Bait (320) 274-5297

BATTLE LAKE

The ice is gone and the shallow crappie bite is just beginning.
Early this week, minnows and small jigs were producing good-sized
crappies in the bays of Elbow Lake. Lakes such as Stalker, Battle,
and Star also should start giving up fish in less than six
feet.

Ben’s Bait Shop (218) 864-5596

BRAINERD/NISSWA AREA

The Bar Harbor area and ditch by Squaw Point on Gull Lake have
started giving up crappies. Work the shallow bays of North Long
Lake, Pelican Lake, and Round Lake with minnows and you should find
crappies as well. Sunfish reports have been limited on these
lakes.

S & W Bait & Tackle (218) 829-7010

CHISAGO AREA

Sunfish and crappies can be had between two and six feet of
water on North Center and South Center Lake. The shallow bays and
shorelines of Chisago Lake and South Lindstrom Lake also have
provided a mixture of panfish. The bay on Little Green Lake is
kicking out panfish in four feet. Plastics continue to work well,
but minnows and waxworms also are safe bets.

Frankie’s Bait (651) 257-6334

CROSBY AREA

Most traditional spring panfish spots are kicking out crappies
and bluegills. Anglers are finding the most consistent action in
the shallows of Milford Lake, Bay Lake, Little Black Hoof Lake, and
Turner Creek. The backwaters of the Mississippi River are kicking
out crappies and some jumbo perch as well.

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

DULUTH AREA

There’s still some ice on the inland lakes, but river fishermen
have been out in good numbers. Kamloops are being caught on spawn
bags and crawlers at the mouth of the French River. The Lester
River and Sucker River are worth checking out as well.

Chalstrom’s Bait (218) 726-0094

EAST-CENTRAL MINN

Crappies continue to be caught in the shallows of Elk Lake,
Green Lake, and Blue Lake. Dark-colored jigs tipped with minnows or
plastics have worked best in less than five feet of water. A few
more sunfish have been taken in the shallows as well.

Tales and Trails Sport Shop (763) 856-3985

FAIRMONT AREA

Minnows are producing crappies and some perch in three feet of
water at the bridge on Tuttle Lake. Crappies also continue to be
had in the channel between Amber Lake and Hall Lake in less than
four feet.

Master Sport and Bait (507) 235-5225

MANKATO AREA

You’ll find sunfish in 10 feet of water and crappies in 12 to 16
feet on Lake Washington. Better areas this week have been Baker’s
Bay, Second Point, and Grassy Island. Anglers fishing from shore on
the west side of Lake Francis are catching sunfish and crappies.
There’s some evening crappie activity off the public fishing dock
on Crystal Lake and the sawmill area of Jefferson Lake continues to
produce a mixed bag of panfish and bullheads.

The Bobber Shop (507) 625-8228

McGREGOR AREA

The ice went out last weekend so panfish anglers are just
getting out. Look to the shallow bays and shorelines of Big Sandy
Lake and Lake Minnewawa to start producing crappies. Sucker action
has been very good in most creeks and small rivers.

Willey’s Sport Shop (218) 426-3382

MONTICELLO AREA

Little Pulaski Lake started giving up crappies in two to four
feet. You’ll find a mixture of crappies and sunfish in shallow
water on lakes such as Buffalo, Constance, and Big Eagle. Flu Flus
tipped with minnows and waxworms have worked best.

River’s Edge Outfitters (763) 295-3222

www.riveredgeoutfitter.com

ORTONVILLE AREA

By most accounts, the walleye opener on Big Stone Lake was not
as good as anticipated. The bite has picked up steadily each day
since the opener. The best reports are coming from the north end of
the lake in shallow water. Jigs and minnows or slip bobber rigs are
working best from the Meadowbrook area and points north. Lake
Traverse is producing some walleyes via jigs at the dam on the
north end of the lake.

Bud’s Bait (320) 839-2480

PARK RAPIDS AREA

The ice is gone and a few crappies have started showing up in
shallow water. Small jigs and minnows have triggered some fish in
less than five feet on Long Lake and the Crow Wing Chain. Sunfish
action has been limited.

Delaney’s (218) 732-4281

RED WING AREA

Consistent walleye and sauger reports are coming in from the
Mississippi River. Ike’s hair jigs and fatheads, primarily bright
colors, are producing the most fish from the dam down to the high
bridge. Work the rip/rap areas in 10 to 15 feet. Panfish action has
been slow.

Ike’s Bait and Tackle (651) 388-2111

ST. CLOUD/EDEN VALLEY AREA

Sunfish are being caught at the culverts and moving water areas
of Long Lake, Cedar Island Lake, and Rice Lake. A few crappies have
been part of the mix, but good-sized fish have been scarce.

Mike’s Bait and Tackle (320) 453-2248

SAUK CENTRE AREA

The panfish bite has been ‘on again/off again’ at most lakes.
Fairy Lake is kicking out crappies, tight to the rushes, in less
than a foot. Shore anglers on Cedar Lake are hooking bluegills. The
west side of Maple Lake is producing sunfish as well. Look for
Hunter’s Bay on Big Birch Lake to start producing panfish soon.

Fletcher’s Bait (320) 352-2155

STARBUCK AREA

Lake Minnewaska is producing crappies and sunfish in Fish
Hatchery Bay and the Starbuck Marina. Afternoon and evening produce
bigger fish. Rachel Lake is giving up crappies in two to five feet,
and they’re hitting small jigs and minnows on the northeast corner
of Reno Lake.

Minnewaska Bait and Tackle

(320) 239-2239

STILLWATER AREA

Minnows are producing crappies between three and eight feet of
water on Big Marine Lake. You’ll hit some sunfish with waxworms on
Big Marine as well. The docks on this stretch of the St. Croix
River continue to provide steady crappie action during the
afternoon and evening hours.

Jimmy’s Bait and Tackle (651) 430-2554

WATERVILLE AREA

Minnows are triggering crappies in 15 to 17 feet on Madison
Lake. Look to the Cannon River for crappies and some striped bass.
White plastic grubs and jigs have worked best for the bass. The
swimming beach area of Lake Tetonka continues to produce sunfish
and crappies in less than six feet.

Axel’s Tackle Box (507) 362-4444

WILLMAR AREA

Shore fishermen are catching crappies on Elkhorn Lake, Nest
Lake, Lake Florida, and the channel of West Norway Lake. Dogfish
Bay on Diamond Lake and the northwest corner of Lake Andrew also
have provided steady crappie action. Look to North Long Lake and
the culverts of the Crow River for sunfish.

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

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