Friday, January 27th, 2023
Friday, January 27th, 2023

Breaking News for

Sportsmen Since 1967

MN: Crappie bite improves in shallows as water temperatures rise Issue: 19

Big Six

LAKE MILLE LACS

There hasn’t been much fishing to report but anglers should expect
a good opener. With the cool water you’ll want to work slow and
down-size your presentations. Look to the shallow breaks, shallow
reefs, and north-end sand to be holding the most active fish.

Johnson’s Portside (320) 676-3811

www.johnsonsportside.com

Terry’s Boat Harbor (320) 692-4430

www.terrysboatharbor.com

LAKE OF THE WOODS

Water temperatures remain relatively cool. Expect the best walleye
action this weekend to take place in shallow water on the main-lake
shorelines, river, and gap areas in less than 12 feet. A jig and
minnow should be the best presentation in the aforementioned
areas.

Lake of the Woods Tourism Bureau

(800) 382-FISH

LEECH LAKE AREA

A few crappies have been caught on the smaller lakes, but the bays
on Leech haven’t been that productive. With some warm weather
during this week that should change and those traditional, spring
panfish locations could be loading up with panfish.

Reed’s Sporting Goods (218) 547-1505

LAKE MINNETONKA AREA

Slip bobbers and minnows are turning crappies in six feet
throughout the dark-bottomed bays of Lake Minnetonka, Medicine
Lake, and Lake Independence. Waxworms have started to produce
sunfish in these same spots as well.

Wayzata Bait (952) 473-2227

RAINY LAKE

A few northern pike are being taken in Black Bay and Jackfish Bay
on crankbaits. Crappie action remains slow and the Rainy River is
kicking out suckers and there’s been quite a few accidental
sturgeon catches reported from the river.

Loon’s Nest (218) 286-5850

LAKE WINNIBIGOSHISH

Fishing reports have been non-existent, but the opener is expected
to be good. Concentrate on the shallow drops, points, and
wind-driven shorelines with a jig and minnow in six to 10 feet for
walleyes, northern pike, and perch.

Nodak Lodge (218) 665-2226

Twin Cities Metro

NORTHEAST METRO

Minnows are producing crappies in six feet or less at White Bear
Lake and Bald Eagle Lake. The north end of Big Marine Lake and the
south side of Silver Lake also are kicking out crappies in shallow
water. A jig and minnow continues to be best for walleyes in the
Prescott area of the St. Croix River in 20 feet.

Blue Ribbon Bait & Tackle (651) 777-2421

WEST METRO

The shoreline on the west side of Lake Bavaria is a safe bet for
crappies in three to six feet. Sunfish action has improved on Lake
Zumbra with waxworms in six feet. Look to the northeast side of
Lake Parley for crappies in seven feet.

Cabin Fever Sports (952) 443-2022

LAKE WACONIA

Work the shorelines in two to seven feet for crappies and sunfish.
Waconia Bay continues to provide steady action, but the panfish
bite seems to be improving daily throughout most traditional spring
spots in shallow water.

Mases In Towne Marina (952) 442-2096

www.intownemarina.com

Statewide

ALEXANDRIA AREA

Crappies and sunfish have been moving in and out of the bays and
lagoons with the changing weather. When the sun comes out look for
consistent action in two to five feet at Lake Ida, Reno Lake,
Lobster Lake, Lake Carlos, Lake Darling, and Lake Le Homme
Dieu.

Christopherson’s Bait and Tackle

(320) 763-3255

ANNANDALE AREA

Sunfish continue to be tough to find, but crappies have moved into
the shallow bays and boat harbors on area lakes. Look to lakes
Pulaski, Cedar, Clearwater, Sylvia, and Sugar for the biggest
concentrations of fish in three to six feet.

Little Jim’s Bait (320) 274-5297 www.littlejimssports.com

BATTLE LAKE

Sunfish action is slow, but most shallow bays are holding crappies.
A pink jig tipped with a minnow is working best during the
afternoon and evening hours at Clitherall Lake, Elbow Lake, Phelp’s
Mill, Leon Lake, the channel at Wall Lake, and the Ten Mile Lake
culvert.

Ben’s Bait Shop (218) 864-5596

BEMIDJI AREA

Minnows are turning good-sized perch in three to six feet at Big
Lake and Lake Irving. Midge Lake and Wolf Lake are giving up a few
crappies via minnows in six to 12 feet. On Grant Lake, bluegills
and crappies have started hitting in eight to 10 feet.

Bluewater Outdoors

(218) 444-BAIT (2248)

BLACKDUCK AREA

Crappie and bluegill action continues to be slow in the shallow
water of most lakes. A few crappies have been taken with minnows at
Gilstead Lake and Pimushe Lake in eight to 10 feet. Look for other
area lakes to start kicking out panfish in shallower water within
the next few days.

Timberline Sports and Tackle

(218) 835-4636

BRAINERD/NISSWA AREA

Crappies and sunfish have become more plentiful in the bays,
channels, and around docks in three to five feet. Minnows and
waxworms are working best on Lake Margaret, Upper Gull Lake, Roy
Lake, Pelican Lake, and Green Lake.

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

CASS LAKE AREA

Crappies and sunfish continue to be found over 18 to 20 feet in
areas adjacent to the traditional spring shallow locations. Allen’s
Bay, Dick’s Bay, and the Pike Hole on Cass Lake, the northwest end
of Kitchi Lake, north end of Lake Andrusia, and the southwest
corner of Pike Bay Lake are worth noting.

Sunset Cove Resort (800) 279-4831 sunsetcove-resort.com

CHISAGO AREA

Crappies and sunfish continue to be found in good numbers in the
bays, channels, and along most shorelines in three to seven feet.
Small jigs tipped with minnows or waxworms are working best at
North Center Lake, Chisago Lake, South Lindstrom Lake, Little Green
Lake, and South Center Lake.

Frankie’s Bait (651) 257-6334

CROSBY AREA

Panfish action remains slow and it appears as of early this week
that the sunfish and crappies still haven’t moved shallow. The only
reports worth noting are coming off Milford Lake and Black Hoof
Lake where a few panfish have been taken in three to six
feet.

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

DETROIT LAKES

Sunfish and crappies remain active in three to seven feet on many
lakes. Small jigs tipped with waxies or minnows are turning fish
most consistently at Big Cormorant Lake, Floyd Lake, Lake Sallie,
Pelican Lake, Little Detroit Lake, Lake Melissa, Deadshot Bay, and
Little Cormorant Lake.

Quality Bait and Tackle (218) 844-2248

DULUTH AREA

The bridge on Fish Lake is kicking out crappies in 10 feet as is
the bridge area of Island Lake over 20 feet. Look to Comstock Lake
with tubes or minnows in four to six feet for crappies. On Lake
Superior, cohos and small king salmon are being caught on
stickbaits near the surface around Park Point and along the south
shore.

Chalstrom’s Bait (218) 726-0094

EAST-CENTRAL MINN

Sunfish action is limited, but crappies are hitting minnows in
shallow water at Blue Lake and Elk Lake. There hasn’t been much
crappie activity reported from other lakes.

Tales and Trails Sport Shop (763) 856-3985

ELY AREA

Panfish reports have been non-existent, but there hasn’t been many
anglers out. Most people seem to be waiting for opening day, which
is expected to be good along the shorelines of most lakes. The
water is cool so jig and minnow worked slowly could be the best
option.

The Great Outdoors (218) 365-4744

EMILY AREA

Minnows are producing crappies in four feet at Lake Emily. The east
side of Emily also is giving up sunfish in two to four feet. The
southwest bay on Ruth Lake started kicking out crappies in less
than five feet.

Redding Sports and Spirits (218) 763-2191

FAIRMONT AREA

Crappies are being taken on minnows in 10 to 15 feet at Hall Lake,
Budd Lake, Lake Sissiton, and Fox Lake. Expect these fish to keep
moving shallower in the next few days. On the Minnesota/Iowa
border, a few walleyes are being taken at Tuttle Lake in three to
six feet on jigs and plastics or spinners and nightcrawlers.

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

FARIBAULT AREA

The bay on Cedar Lake continues to produce crappies via minnows.
The creek mouths at Shields Lake also have provided decent crappie
action. Crappie and sunfish reports from other lakes are
limited.

Nagel’s Live Bait (507) 334-8341

GRAND MARAIS AREA

Many of the small lakes still had ice on them early this week. The
bigger lakes such as Saganaga, Seagull, Gunflint, and Loon were
wide open and should be the best opening day walleye options.
Steelhead were hitting spawn sacs and yarn-tied hooks on the
Cascade River, Brule River, and Kadunce Creek.

Buck’s Hardware (218) 387-2280

GRAND RAPIDS AREA

Sunfish reports have been limited, but there’s been a definite
improvement in the crappie bite. The shallow bays of Lake Pokegama,
Lake Wabana, Bowstring Lake, Big Cutfoot Sioux Lake, and Little
Cutfoot Sioux Lake have all kicked out crappies. On Jay Gould Lake,
you’ll find sunfish and crappies in shallow water.

Ben’s Bait and Tackle (218) 326-8281

HACKENSACK AREA

Crappies have just started hitting minnows in shallow water in the
bays of Woman Lake and Birch Lake. With some warmer weather this
week, look for other lakes to start kicking out panfish in shallow
water as well.

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

LAKE KABETOGAMA

Given the late ice-out and cool water temperatures, expect a
shallow walleye bite on opening day. Small jigs tipped with minnows
should work best if presented slow along the shorelines, bays,
islands, and current areas.

Gateway Store (218) 875-2121

www.gatewaygeneral.com

MANKATO AREA

Mud Bay and Baker’s Bay on Lake Washington continue to produce
crappies and sunfish in three to six feet. Minnows are turning
crappies at the culvert on the east end of Madison Lake. The
Buckmaster’s bridge area of Madison is worth noting for crappies as
well in slightly deeper water.

The Bobber Shop (507) 625-8228

McGREGOR AREA

Minnows and waxworms are producing a mixed bag of perch, crappies,
and sunfish in shallow water at Big Sandy Lake. The shallow bays on
other area lakes should start producing panfish within the next
week with the rising water temperatures.

Willey’s Sport Shop & Spirits

(218) 426-3382

ORTONVILLE AREA

Walleyes are being caught on jigs and minnows along the shoreline
of Big Stone Lake in two to six feet. The most consistent areas
this week have been Meadowbrook, Hartford Beach, Mallard Point, and
Fish Creek. Crappie action has improved in shallow water at
Artichoke Lake with minnows.

Bud’s Bait (320) 839-2480

PARK RAPIDS AREA

Shallow bays on Fish Hook Lake and the Crow Wing Chain are
producing crappies and sunfish in less than six feet. The shoreline
of Long Lake also is providing panfish action in shallow water.
Brown trout are hitting spinners or crawlers on the Straight
River.

Delaney’s (218) 732-4281

PERHAM AREA

Crappie and sunfish action really improved this week. Both can be
found in the shallow bays of most lakes in three to six feet. Lakes
such as Loon, Star, Little McDonald, Dead, Big Pine, and Little
Pine are all kicking out good panfish numbers.

Gene’s Sport Shop (218) 346-3355

PINE CITY AREA

Bays on Cross Lake, Lake Pokegama, and Knife Lake are kicking out
crappies and sunfish. Crappies also have moved into the channels of
East Rush and West Rush lakes. Look to the bays and channels on the
Goose Lake Chain for crappies and sunfish.

Red’s Bait & Tackle (320) 629-1154

RED LAKE

A few slab crappies are being caught in the shallows along the
northeast and south shores and sucker fishing is decent in ditches
and creeks. Lake levels are up so access should be good for this
weekend’s opener.

Dr. Tackle Sports (218) 647-8657

Mort’s Dock (218) 647-8128

RED WING AREA

Walleyes and sauger are hitting hair jigs and minnows or blade
baits in six to eight feet below the dam on the Mississippi River.
Similar presentations are turning fish at the mouth of Hay Creek
and the mouth of Baypoint Park in 12 to 14 feet.

Ike’s Bait and Tackle (651) 388-2111

Four Seasons Sports (651) 388-4334

ST. CLOUD/EDEN VALLEY AREA

Sunfish and crappie action has improved in the shallow bays and
channels of most lakes. Leading the way this week is Lake Koronis,
Rice Lake, Cedar Island Lake, Long Lake, and Horseshoe Lake. The
majority of fish is showing up in less than six feet and hitting
minnows or waxworms.

Mike’s Bait and Tackle (320) 453-2248

SAUK CENTRE AREA

The north bays on Sauk Lake started producing crappies in shallow
water. Crappies also have started hitting on Pennington Bay at
Fairy Lake and in Hunter’s Bay on Big Birch Lake. The north bay of
Lake Osakis is kicking out sunfish and crappies in three to six
feet.

Fletcher’s Bait (320) 352-2155

STARBUCK AREA

Look to the Starbuck Marina on Lake Minnewaska for crappies and
sunfish. You’ll need a boat on the Glenwood end of Minnewaska, but
you’ll find crappies in Fish Hatchery Bay over six to eight
feet.

Minnewaska Bait and Tackle

(320) 239-2239

WATERVILLE AREA

The lagoons on Lake Tetonka continue to produce crappies, sunfish,
and keeping-sized perch. You’ll also find a mixed bag of panfish in
the channel between Tetonka and Lake Sakatah.

Axel’s Tackle Box (507) 362-4444

www.axelstacklebox.blogspot.com

WILLMAR AREA

Crappie and sunfish activity has improved in the shallow bays and
along the shorelines of most lakes. Decent panfish action was
reported in three to six feet at Willmar/Foot Lake, Diamond Lake,
Lake Solomon, Nest Lake, Lake Florida, and Elkhorn Lake.

Brad’s 71 Bait and Sports

(320) 235-4097

 

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