Warm weather improves shallow panfish action

BIG SIX

LAKE MILLE LACS

The ice went out last weekend and there’s some crappie activity
being reported. Look to Isle Bay and Wahkon Bay in less than eight
feet. Many of the channels and boat harbors are holding crappies,
as well. Small jigs and minnows are triggering the majority of the
fish.

Johnson’s Portside (320) 676-3811

www.johnsonsportside.com

Terry’s Boat Harbor (320) 692-4430

LAKE OF THE WOODS

Some ice remains on the main lake, but it’s expected to be
completely off by the weekend or early next week. The only fishing
to report is some steady northern pike action in the bays where the
ice has been out for a while.

Lake of the Woods Tourism Bureau

(800) 382-FISH

LEECH LAKE AREA

The entire lake was free of ice as of late last week. Some perch
are being found in 12 feet of water at the narrows between Walker
Bay and the main lake. Crappie and bluegill action has yet to
begin. Look to Shingobee Bay or the channels and harbors to be the
first spots holding panfish.

Reed’s Sporting Goods (218) 547-1505

LAKE MINNETONKA AREA

The best crappie reports from Lake Minnetonka are coming from
the weed edges, outside the big bays in 10 to 15 feet of water.
Slip bobbers and minnows are working best on these suspended fish.
Most bays throughout Minnetonka are giving up sunfish in less than
six feet. Crappies also are being caught in good numbers in six to
eight feet of water at Lake Sarah and Medicine Lake.

Wayzata Bait (952) 473-2227

RAINY LAKE

There isn’t much ice left, and what’s on the main lake continues
to float and deteriorate quickly. Sturgeon are keeping anglers busy
on the Rainy River, and the northern pike bite has been good in the
shallow bays. No crappie action from any of the bays has been
reported.

Loon’s Nest (218) 286-5850

LAKE WINNIBIGOSHISH

The ice completely went off the lake last week. Fishing reports
have been nonexistent due to the lack of anglers, but look for the
bays and shallow structure to produce perch and crappies soon.

Pines Resort and Campground (218) 246-8546

Nodak Lodge (218) 665-2226

TWIN CITIES METRO

NORTHEAST METRO

Crappies remain active in shallow water and are being caught
with minnows and small jigs. Lakes such as Big Marine, Jane, Big
Carnelian, and Bald Eagle are all producing fish. The docks along
the St. Croix River are holding crappies as well. For the most
part, waxworms also will produce sunfish on these lakes.

Blue Ribbon Bait & Tackle (651) 777-2421

WEST METRO

Small jigs and minnows are triggering plenty of crappie activity
in shallow water. Look to lakes such as Whaletail, Hydes, and
Bavaria in less than eight feet. Sunfish action has been a bit
slower, with some fish being pulled from the shorelines and bays of
Lake Zumbra and Stieger Lake with waxworms.

Cabin Fever Sports (952) 443-2022

LAKE WACONIA

Crappies and sunfish continue to be found in three to five feet
throughout Waconia Bay. Some panfish have been caught in eight to
10 feet during the morning hours. Crappie action also has picked up
in Wagener’s Bay and the Peterson Creek area in less than six feet
of water.

Mases In Towne Marina (952) 442-2096

STATEWIDE

ALEXANDRIA AREA

Crappie action has picked up in the shallows, but the bigger
females have yet to show up. Catching numbers of fish with minnows
is not a problem on Lake Le Homme Dieu, Darling Lake, Lake Geneva,
and Pocket Lake. Expect sunfish to be mixed with the crappies in
less than five feet of water.

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

ANNANDALE AREA

Crappies and sunfish continue to move in and out of the channels
and bays on most lakes. The bigger fish are being found in eight to
10 feet at the mouths of these areas. Lakes such as John,
Clearwater, Pleasant, Cedar, Sugar, Augusta, Sylvia, and Granite
are worth noting. The bigger sunfish are being taken on small jigs,
while minnows continue to work best for crappies.

Little Jim’s Bait (320) 274-5297

BATTLE LAKE

Pink jigs and minnows are producing crappies in four to eight
feet of water at Bass Lake, Elbow Lake, and Battle Lake. Look for
sunfish on Stalker Lake, as well as the aforementioned
fisheries.

Ben’s Bait Shop (218) 864-5596

BEMIDJI AREA

With the ice just going out late last week, panfish anglers have
just begun checking their traditional panfish spots. Lakes such as
Pimushe, Midge, and Rabideau usually are the first to provide
crappie and sunfish action in shallow water.

Bluewater Bait and Sports

(218) 444-BAIT (2248)

Kobilka’s Sporting Goods (218) 751-6000

BLACKDUCK AREA

The entire area is now ice-free and there is some crappie action
occurring in shallow water. Gilstead Lake and Rabideau Lake have
been producing the most fish in one to five feet via small jigs and
minnows. These lakes also will produce bluegills, as will Big
Lake.

Timberline Sports and Tackle

(218) 835-4636

BRAINERD/NISSWA AREA

Crappies and sunfish are being caught with consistency from the
bays of North Long Lake, Pelican Lake, Round Lake, and Nisswa Lake.
The best crappie reports are coming from the Bar Harbor area and
ditch off Squaw Point on Gull Lake.

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

Home of Walleye Dan’s Guide Service

CASS LAKE AREA

The entire area is ice-free and there are some perch hitting in
the shallow weeds of Cass Lake. Crappie and bluegill reports have
been limited. A few more days of warm weather should move the fish
shallow on most lakes.

Sunset Cove Resort (800) 279-4831

CHISAGO AREA

The afternoon and evening hours continue to produce sunfish and
crappies. Work the docks, channels, and bays of Chisago Lake, North
Center Lake, South Center Lake, and South Lindstrom Lake for bigger
fish. Plastics, waxworms, and minnows are all triggering
panfish.

Frankie’s Bait (651) 257-6334

CROSBY AREA

Minnows and plastics have been the ticket for crappies in
shallow water. Milford Lake, Turner Lake, Bay Lake, Mahnomen Lake,
and Serpent Lake are safe bets. Sunfish can be had with small
leeches or waxworms in less than six feet of water on Mahnomen,
Perry Lake, and Little Rabbit Lake.

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

DETROIT LAKES

Crappie and sunfish action has picked up in the shallow bays of
most lakes. The majority of fish being caught are males, which
means the larger females should be in the shallows within the next
week – if it remains warm. Lakes such as Little Detroit, Big
Detroit, Cotton, Floyd, Big Pine, and Little Pine currently are
providing the best action.

Quality Bait and Tackle (218) 844-2248

DULUTH AREA

The ice is completely gone and some crappies have been caught in
the shallows of Boulder Lake. The eight- to 10-foot weed areas of
Fish Lake have given up bluegills. The smelt run has been poor, but
trolling small stickbaits has produced cohos at the river mouths of
Lake Superior. Look to the Lester River and Sucker River for
Kamloops; use spawn sacs.

Chalstrom’s Bait (218) 726-0094

EAST-CENTRAL MINN

Dark-colored jigs are producing good numbers of crappies on the
north end of Blue Lake. Green Lake continues to produce crappies in
shallow water during the evening hours. Look to the shallow bays
and shorelines of Elk Lake for sunfish and crappies.

Tales and Trails Sport Shop (763) 856-3985

FAIRMONT AREA

The filtration plant on Budd Lake is holding crappies, most of
which are hitting minnows. The channel between Amber Lake and Hall
Lake is worth noting for crappies in four feet of water. Look for
some good-sized perch and crappies under the bridge at Tuttle Lake.
Sunfish action remains slow.

Master Sport and Bait (507) 235-5225

GRAND MARAIS AREA

There is limited ice on the big bodies of water, but most small
lakes are open. The Cascade River and Brule River have produced
steelhead and Kamloops. Spawn sacs have provided the best action in
recent days.

Buck’s Hardware (218) 387-2280

GRAND RAPIDS AREA

There’s some consistent crappie action during the evening hours
in the shallow bays of Lake Pokegama, Spider Lake, and Lake Wabana.
The bays and warm water discharge area of the Mississippi River are
providing the area’s best sunfish action. The sucker run is on,
which has provided a lot of fun for shoreline anglers and spearers
in most creeks.

Ben’s Bait and Tackle (218) 326-8281

HACKENSACK AREA

The north end bays of Birch Lake are worth noting for bluegills
and crappies. Consistent panfish action also is being reported from
the bays of Ten Mile Lake, Five Point Lake, and Child Lake. The
bigger fish tend to be more active during the afternoon and evening
hours.

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

LAKE KABETOGAMA

The ice is expected to be out by this weekend. Crappies continue
to be ‘hung up’ in deep water, but will move to the shallows soon
if ice-out continues to move forward. The walleyes are moving into
their spawning areas already and should be done well before opening
day.

Gateway Store (218) 875-2121

www.gatewaygeneral.com

LAKE OSAKIS AREA

The creek on the north end of Lake Osakis started producing
sunfish and crappies. Anglers also have found some crappies
suspended over 12 to 14 feet this week on Osakis. Lakes such as
Maple, Smith, and Victoria started giving up panfish in shallow
water as well.

Fisherman’s Corner (320) 859-2181

LAKE VERMILION

Vermilion was ice-free on April 27. Lake levels remain low,
despite rising about six inches since ice-out. Crappies have
started to show up in Black Bay. Small jigs tipped with minnows are
the ticket. Look to the narrows and Wolf Bay for crappies during
the next couple of weeks, as well. The sucker run really kicked
into high gear this week. They’re in creeks, rivers, and lake
inlets.

Lake Vermilion Trading Company

(218) 666-6052

lakevermiliontradingco.com

MANKATO AREA

You’ll find suspended crappies over 14 to 20 feet of water on
Madison Lake. The west side of Lake Francis is a safe bet for
sunfish in five to seven feet. Mud Bay, Baker’s Bay, and the Grassy
Island area of Lake Washington continue to provide steady panfish
action in eight to 14 feet. The shallows of Jefferson Lake are
kicking out a mixed bag of panfish via small jigs.

The Bobber Shop (507) 625-8228

McGREGOR AREA

The channel on the north shore of Lake Minnewawa is giving up
crappies in six feet. Look to Big Sandy Lake for a few crappies in
shallow water as well. Sunfish reports have been limited, but look
to Aitkin Lake to start producing fish within the next week.

Willey’s Sport Shop (218) 426-3382

MONTICELLO AREA

Sunfish action has been limited, although a few fish have been
caught in shallow water on Pelican Lake. The crappie bite remains
strong in seven to 12 feet on lakes such as Maple, Big, Mitchell,
and Constance. Sucker minnows and nightcrawlers are producing
channel catfish on the Mississippi River.

River’s Edge Outfitters (763) 295-3222

www.riveredgeoutfitter.com

ORTONVILLE AREA

There’s an excellent evening walleye bite on Big Stone Lake. The
shorelines have produced a lot of fish via slip bobbers and
leeches. The daytime action also has improved in eight to 10 feet
for anglers fishing with live bait rigs and spinner rigs. Good
reports of midday walleye action are coming from the islands,
Lagunna Beach, Hartford Beach, Cameron Cove, and the Meadowbrook
area. The dam area on the north end of Lake Traverse continues to
produce walleyes as well.

Bud’s Bait (320) 839-2480

PARK RAPIDS AREA

A jig and minnow combination is the ticket for crappies in
shallow water. Most lakes are now producing fish, but Big Mantrap,
Fish Hook, Long, and the Crow Wing Chain have produced the most
numbers. Bluegill action continues to be slow in the shallows.
Nightcrawlers and plain hooks have produced quite a few brown trout
on the Straight River.

Delaney’s (218) 732-4281

RED LAKE

Most of the ice is off the main lake. The little that does
remain is floating and is diminishing rapidly. There’s not much
crappie action to report, but a few more days of warm weather
should drive them toward the shorelines, bays, and channel
areas.

Dr. Tackle Sports (218) 647-8657

RED WING AREA

Trolling crankbaits has started to trigger walleyes and sauger
on the Mississippi River. The majority of fish are coming from 12
to 14 feet at the Head of the Lakes area and ‘high bridge’ area.
Ike’s hair jigs tipped with minnows continue to turn some walleyes
and sauger near the dam in 18 to 25 feet. Panfish action has picked
up in the backwaters of the river as well.

Ike’s Bait and Tackle (651) 388-2111

ST. CLOUD/EDEN VALLEY AREA

Sunfish continue to be caught in the shallows of Horseshoe Lake,
Cedar Island Lake, Pearl Lake, Eden Lake, and Lake Koronis. The
shallow crappie bite has been limited. Most of the crappies being
caught are coming from 10 to 12 feet of water, adjacent to the bays
and channels. Long Lake is providing the best crappie bite right
now.

Mike’s Bait and Tackle (320) 453-2248

SAUK CENTRE AREA

Look to Hennington’s Bay on Fairy Lake for sunfish and crappies
in less than six feet of water. A few sunfish are starting to be
pulled from Hunter’s Bay on Birch Lake, but not with any
consistency. There are some crappies coming off the lower end of
Sauk Lake during the evening hours in shallow water. The shallow
bays of Swan Lake also produced a few crappies this week.

Fletcher’s Bait (320) 352-2155

STARBUCK AREA

Crappies and sunfish continue to hit at a good pace on Lake
Minnewaska during the afternoon and evening hours. Fish Hatchery
Bay and the Starbuck Marina are both safe bets for panfish in less
than six feet of water. Jigs and minnows also are producing
crappies on the northeast corner of Reno Lake.

Minnewaska Bait and Tackle (320) 239-2239

STILLWATER AREA

Jig and minnow combinations are providing steady walleye action
on the St. Croix River. The docks that are scattered up and down
the St. Croix are holding crappies as well. Most lakes are now
producing panfish in shallow water. Waxworms, plastics, and minnows
are working best.

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

WATERVILLE AREA

Plastics continue to produce numbers of striped bass on the
Cannon River. Look to the swimming beach area of Lake Tetonka for
sunfish and crappies in four to six feet. Panfish and some striped
bass can be had at the Morris Town Dam as well.

Axel’s Tackle Box (507) 362-4444

WILLMAR AREA

Crappie action continues to be consistent in shallow water.
Lakes such as Diamond, Andrew, Elkhorn, North Long, Norway,
Florida, and Nest are safe bets for numbers of fish. A few more
bigger sunfish have started showing up in the shallows of these
lakes as well.

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

Categories: Archive

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *