Tuesday, January 31st, 2023
Tuesday, January 31st, 2023

Breaking News for

Sportsmen Since 1967

Wind and cool air limit angler numbers and panfish bite

Big Six

LAKE_MILLE LACS

Crappie and perch action has been limited due to the cool
weather and strong winds this week. The few anglers that have
chased panfish report that the shallow bays and harbors have cooled
down and the fish likely moved out.

Johnson’s Portside (320) 676-3811

www.johnsonsportside.com

Terry’s Boat Harbor (320) 692-4430

www.terrysboatharbor.com

LAKE OF THE WOODS

The sturgeon bite continues to be very good on the Rainy River.
Work the deep holes with crawlers and 3-ounce weights from the Gap
to Birchdale and you’ll catch numbers of 40- to 62-inch sturgeon.
Many anglers are stating that this bite has been the best they’ve
ever seen.

Lake of the Woods Tourism Bureau

(800) 382-FISH

LEECH LAKE AREA

It’s been a miserable week of weather, which prevented a lot of
people from getting on the lakes. Strong winds and cold shut down
what had been a pretty good crappie bite in Shingobee Bay. Perch
action also was strong in the narrows, flats, and off the shallower
points so look for both bites to improve as the weather does.

Reed’s Sporting Goods (218) 547-1505

LAKE MINNETONKA AREA

The few crappies being caught are being found suspended over 15
feet, on the weeds, in the big bays of Lake Minnetonka. The same
pattern is holding true on Lake Independence and Lake Sarah.
Sunfish continue to be found on the shallow sand, docks, and
shorelines of the aforementioned lakes.

Wayzata Bait (952) 473-2227

RAINY LAKE

Sturgeon remain active at the mouth of the Little Fork River and
most are being caught on crawlers. A few northern pike can be had
in Jackfish Bay and Cranberry Bay on large minnows in 10 to 14
feet. Crappie action remains slow in the bays with no numbers being
caught.

Loon’s Nest (218) 286-5850

LAKE WINNIBIGOSHISH

There hasn’t been many people on the lake, but the few that have
gone out are catching some perch on the points in six to eight
feet. A jig and fathead minnow is the best option on the west side
and near Little Stoney Point.

Nodak Lodge (218) 665-2226

Twin Cities Metro

NORTHEAST METRO

The Hudson area and south of the I-94 bridge on the St. Croix
River is a safe bet for walleyes and sauger in 20 to 25 feet via
jigs and minnows or crawlers and spinners. White Bear Lake and
Demonterville Lake are producing crappies in eight to 12 feet. On
Lake Peltier, sunfish continue to be found in the shallow bays.
Turkey registrations were down a bit this week, and the wind made
for tough hunting.

Blue Ribbon Bait & Tackle (651) 777-2421

WEST METRO

You’ll find sunfish in two to four feet and crappies in six to
nine feet on most lakes. Leading the way this week is Dutch Lake,
Lake Bavaria, Lake Minnewashta, Pelican Lake, Eagle Lake, and Lake
Auburn. Small jigs tipped with minnows or waxies are working best.
Turkey registrations have not slowed and most hunters continue to
report plenty of active toms.

Cabin Fever Sports (952) 443-2022

LAKE WACONIA

The entire south side of the lake is producing sunfish via small
leeches and waxworms in five to 11 feet. Crappie action has slowed
a bit, but minnows continue to turn fish on the south side,
including Waconia Bay, in 10 to 12 feet.

Mases In Towne Marina (952) 442-2096

Statewide

ALEXANDRIA AREA

Between the wind and rain, crappies and sunfish are being
caught. Look shallow if the sun is out or during midday hours or
slightly deeper on those cloudy days. Lakes such as Miltona,
Lobster, Le Homme Dieu, Carlos, Geneva, Oscar, and Ida are all
worth hitting. Turkey registrations have slowed since the third
season ended, with hunters registering just a handful of birds this
week.

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

ANNANDALE AREA

Sunfish can still be found in the shallow bays and along the
shorelines, while the best crappie reports are coming from seven to
12 feet near the weeds and/or bulrushes. Lakes such as Clearwater,
Pleasant, Sugar, Cedar, John, Sylvia, and Marie are all worth
noting again this week. Turkey hunters continue to bring in a fair
number of toms.

Little Jim’s Bait (320) 274-5297

BATTLE LAKE

Look for crappies in the weeds over seven to 10 feet at West
Battle Lake, Wall Lake, Clitherall Lake, Elbow Lake, Fish Lake, and
Ten Mile Lake. The majority of sunfish being caught at Deer Lake,
South Turtle Lake, and Dead Lake remain in the shallow bays in less
than six feet.

Ben’s Bait Shop (218) 864-5596

BEMIDJI AREA

Crappies remain active in four to six feet on most lakes with
Lake Beltrami, Kitchi Lake, Big Turtle Lake, Midge Lake, and Grant
Lake standing out again this week. Sunfish reports continue to be
limited and the recent cold front and winds have made for a
difficult perch bite on most lakes.

Bluewater Outdoors

(218) 444-BAIT (2248)

BLACKDUCK AREA

Crappies and sunfish continue to be found in two to 10 feet on
most lakes. Some of the bigger panfish are currently coming off
Gull Lake, Blackduck Lake, Lake Beltrami, Turtle River Lake,
Rabideau Lake, and Gilstead Lake. Minnows and small leeches on jigs
are both working.

Timberline Sports and Tackle

(218) 835-4636

BRAINERD/NISSWA AREA

Small jigs tipped with crappie minnows or rosy red minnows are
turning crappies in four to 11 feet on Gull Lake, North Long Lake,
Pelican Lake, and throughout the Whitefish Chain. Sunfish are in
the shallow bays and near docks of Gull, Pelican, and Round Lake.
Try FluFlus or Puddle Jumpers with waxworms or angle worms.

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

CASS LAKE AREA

The wind has really limited panfish action and the ability of
anglers to get out. Look for crappies in shallow water throughout
Allen’s Bay on Cass Lake and Big Wolf Lake. You’ll find bluegills
in Allen’s Bay and Big Lake over 12 to 15 feet and Stony Point and
Windigo Bar on Cass are safe bets for perch in six to eight
feet.

Sunset Cove Resort (800) 279-4831

CHISAGO AREA

Chisago Lake, North Center Lake, South Lindstrom Lake, Kroon
Lake, South Center Lake, and North Lindstrom Lake are all producing
panfish. Generally speaking, the sunfish remain shallow and the
crappies have moved slightly deeper. The panfish bite has been best
when the sun is out and the wind calms down. Turkey hunters
continue to be consistent with a handful of birds coming in each
day.

Frankie’s Bait (651) 257-6334

CROSBY AREA

The wind and cooler weather has slowed fishing activity, but the
bite continues to be strong. You’ll find sunfish and crappies in
five to seven feet on Black Hoof Lake, Bay Lake, Serpent Lake, and
Clearwater Lake. On Little Rabbit Lake, crappies, bluegills, and
some keeping-sized perch have started hitting in five feet. A few
more turkeys were registered since last week, with hunters bringing
in a bird or two each season.

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

CUSHING AREA

Six to nine feet continues to be key for sunfish and crappies in
the bays of most lakes. Small jigs tipped with minnows, waxworms,
or small leeches are most productive on Lake Alexander, Fish Trap
Lake, and Lake Shamineau. Turkey registrations are climbing
slightly.

Hilltop Sports (320) 749-2055

DETROIT LAKES

If the wind isn’t blowing, crappies and sunfish cooperate in the
shallows of most lakes. The majority of fish are being caught in
less than seven feet during midday and evening hours at Floyd Lake,
Little Detroit Lake, Lake Melissa, Deadshot Bay, Big Detroit Lake,
Lake Franklin, Big Cormorant Lake, and Little Cormorant Lake among
others.

Quality Bait and Tackle (218) 844-2248

DULUTH AREA

Minnows are the ticket for crappies on the shallow structure in
the Highbanks area of Fish Lake. Kimball Bay on the St. Louis River
continues to produce crappies in eight feet. The bridge on Island
Lake is kicking out a few crappies as well. On Lake Superior,
trolling crankbaits near the surface has produced cohos and look
for brook trout in the rivers.

Chalstrom’s Bait (218) 726-0094

EAST-CENTRAL MINN

Not much has changed in this area other than the weather has
mostly limited fishing activity. Panfish continue to be found in
the bays and along shorelines at Green Lake, Knife Lake, Blue Lake,
and Elk Lake. A few more anglers have been hitting the rivers for
catfish with limited success. Turkey hunters are doing well
bringing in a few birds each day.

Tales and Trails Sport Shop (763) 856-3985

ELY AREA

The rain, wind, and cool weather hasn’t allowed much time for
anglers to fish this week. Panfish action has been slow and water
temperatures plummeted since last week driving most crappies out of
the shallows on area lakes.

The Great Outdoors (218) 365-4744

EMILY AREA

Crappies continue to hit minnows on the east side of Lake Emily
in six feet. Look to the south end of Moulton Lake with waxworms
for sunfish in six to eight feet. On Goodrich Lake, you’ll find
crappies in six feet during the evening hours.

Redding Sports and Spirits (218) 763-2191

FAIRMONT AREA

Crappies have moved to deeper water on Budd Lake and Hall Lake,
mainly in six to 10 feet during the evening hours. Lake Sissiton
continues to produce sunfish in four to six feet. Look to Tuttle
Lake and Iowa Lake along the border for shoreline walleye action
with minnows. Turkey registrations continue to slightly climb with
a few birds trickling in each week.

Hall Lake Cabins Bait & Tackle (507) 235-5225

FARIBAULT AREA

Minnows are turning a few crappies at Cedar Lake with some being
found shallow and some deep. On French Lake, crappies continue to
be found suspended over 25 to 30 feet. Look to Lake Mazaska for
crappies on the edges of the bars in 10 to 12 feet near the
weedlines.

Nagel’s Live Bait (507) 334-8341

GRAND MARAIS AREA

It’s been a slow week for fishing reports. The rivers are low
and there isn’t much in the way of panfish activity. Until the
walleye season gets under way, there probably won’t be much to
report.

Buck’s Hardware (218) 387-2280

GRAND RAPIDS AREA

The shallow bays continue to produce a mixed bag of bluegills
and crappies. Look to Lake Wabana, Spider Lake, Lake Pokegema, Big
Jay Gould Lake, Little Jay Gould Lake, Big Splithand Lake, Big
Cutfoot Sioux Lake, and Trout Lake. The bays on the Mississippi
River also are giving up bluegills and a few crappies.

Ben’s Bait and Tackle (218) 326-8281

HACKENSACK AREA

Pleasant Lake, Ten Mile Lake, and several other small lakes in
the area had started to give up crappies in shallow water. But last
weekend’s rain, wind, and cold air moved the fish or simply made
them stop eating. Look for the panfish action to again improve once
the weather warms.

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

LAKE KABETOGAMA

Crappies continue to be finicky with just an occasional report
coming from the shallows of a few bays on Lake Kabetogama. There
has been a decent northern pike bite on Namakan Lake with
crankbaits in 12 to 16 feet. Most anglers are concentrating on the
shorelines during midday hours.

Gateway Store (218) 875-2121

www.gatewaygeneral.com

LAKE VERMILION

Crappie activity has improved in the bays of many lakes, but
most feel the best panfish action is just around the corner.
Dark-colored jigs and minnows have been the ticket this week in
less than six feet. Before the recent cold snap, water temperatures
in some bays were approaching 60 degrees.

Lake Vermilion Trading Company

(218) 666-6052

lakevermiliontradingco.com

MANKATO AREA

Baker’s Bay on Lake Washington is kicking out crappies during
the afternoon. Work the narrows and Buckmaster’s Bridge area of
Madison_Lake for sunfish and crappies. Catfish action has picked up
in shallow water on the Minnesota River. Crawlers and sucker
minnows are best and channel cats have been more active than
flatheads.

The Bobber Shop (507) 625-8228

McGREGOR AREA

The crappie bite and angler participation dropped this week,
mainly due to the wind and cooler temperatures. The lakes cooled
down and the panfish action slowed. Once it warms again and the
winds calm, look to the shallows of Big Sandy Lake and Lake
Minnewawa for sunfish and crappies.

Willey’s Sport Shop (218) 426-3382

ORTONVILLE AREA

Trolling Shad Raps in eight to 10 feet on the north end of Big
Stone Lake near Yankee Town has produced walleyes during the day.
There’s also a midday walleye bite near the islands with crankbaits
in six feet or less on Big Stone. During the evening hours slip
bobbers and leeches are working best near Meadowbrook and Mallard
Point in four to six feet. On Lake Traverse, walleye action remains
strong on the north end with jigs or crankbaits along the
shorelines.

Bud’s Bait (320) 839-2480

PARK RAPIDS AREA

Minnows started producing crappies at Island Lake in six to
eight feet. On the Crow Wing Chain, you’ll find sunfish and
crappies in six to eight feet. Fish Hook_Lake and Long Lake are
giving up panfish again this week, but they have moved off the
shorelines and out of the bays.

Delaney’s (218) 732-4281

RED WING AREA

Crankbaits are producing walleyes in 10 to 15 feet at the Head
of the Lakes and Bay City Flats of Lake Pepin. Look to the
backwaters and bays off the Mississippi River for panfish. The back
channel and dam area of the river continue to produce catfish.
Turkey registrations remain strong with each season being
consistently better than last year.

Ike’s Bait and Tackle (651) 388-2111

Four Seasons Sports (651) 388-4334

ST. CLOUD/EDEN VALLEY AREA

Panfish action has slowed, but the wind has made for tough
fishing. Look to the bays on the Horseshoe Chain of Lakes and Long
Lake for crappies and sunfish. The “Boot” on Rice Lake and the
Adam’s Landing area of Lake Koronis are kicking out sunfish and
crappies in four to seven feet of water. Turkey registrations
continue to be strong, with several big birds taken in the area
again this week.

Mike’s Bait and Tackle (320) 453-2248

SAUK CENTRE AREA

The panfish bite has slowed on many lakes, but Bailey’s Bay on
Sauk Lake is kicking out sunfish. The channel on the north end of
Lake Osakis is kicking out sunfish as well. With the cool weather,
look for a lot of the panfish to now be outside the shallow bays in
six to eight feet until it warms again.

Fletcher’s Bait (320) 352-2155

STARBUCK AREA

The Starbuck Marina on Lake Minnewaska continues to produce
sunfish via waxworms and small leeches. The crappie bite has been a
bit more inconsistent this week on Minnewaska, although Fish
Hatchery Bay is worth noting during the afternoon and evening hours
in six to eight feet. Turkey hunters are registering a few birds
each week, but overall, the take has been limited.

Minnewaska Bait and Tackle (320) 239-2239

WATERVILLE AREA

The lagoons and docks of Lake Tetonka remain safe bets for
sunfish and crappies in three to seven feet. The bridge area of
Lake Sakatah is kicking out a mixed bag of panfish as well. On Lake
Francis and Duck Lake, you’ll find fair numbers of crappies in the
shallows. Turkey registrations have slowed since the third season
ended.

Axel’s Tackle Box (507) 362-4444

www.axelstacklebox.blogspot.com

WILLMAR AREA

The wind and cooler air has put an end to the panfish action
this week. Before the cold arrived, the shallows were producing
panfish at a good pace. Look to lakes such as North Long Lake, Nest
Lake, Lake Andrew, Games Lake, and Diamond Lake once the weather
improves.

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

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