Saturday, February 4th, 2023
Saturday, February 4th, 2023

Breaking News for

Sportsmen Since 1967

MN: Teal and wood ducks provide ample targets on opening weekend Issue: 39

Big Six


East – Crankbaits or slip bobbers and leeches are providing steady walleye action at night on the shoreline breaks and mid-depth rocks. Bigger fish continue to be taken on crankbaits or leeches during the day on deep, main-lake structure. The rock piles and bays are starting to give up bigger perch and smallmouth bass are an easy catch on the rocks.

Johnson's Portside (320) 676-3811

West – The slip bobber and leech bite for walleyes continues to be very good at night in 28 feet off Brown's Point, Seguchie Flat, and Curley's Flat. During the day, spinner rigs and rainbow minnows or a small jig and minnow is turning walleyes and jumbo perch on the 23- to 26-foot rocks. The crankbait bite at night is getting better, though it is not real consistent yet. But there seems to be more activity each week.

Terry's Boat Harbor (320) 692-4430


Walleyes are hitting crankbaits or a jig and minnow in 25 to 28 feet. Better areas this week have been outside the Lighthouse Gap, Graceton Beach, and Long Point. Water temperatures are starting to drop so look for the majority of good walleye action to start taking place closer to shore and in the Rainy River. Hunting reports have been favorable for grouse, which should improve as the foliage drops. Duck hunting has been decent with mixed reports coming from hunters – some have done well and others struggled.

Lake of the Woods Tourism Bureau

(800) 382-FISH


You have to do some sorting, but perch action has picked up in five to nine feet near Sand Point, Sucker Bay, and in the Narrows. The jig and minnow walleye bite also is improving in shallow water, but it's still difficult to put numbers of them in the boat. Crankbait fishing at night has been slow and the cabbage in most bays is holding muskies. The duck opener provided decent shooting with teal and wood ducks most noticeable. Grouse hunters are dealing with thick cover, but flushing birds.

Reed's Sporting Goods (218) 547-1505


Fishing reports have been pretty scarce with just a few sunfish and bass being caught on the eight- to 10-foot weeds. An occasional walleye or two is caught with minnows during low-light periods in 18 to 25 feet, while muskie, northern pike, and crappie action has been limited. Duck hunters shot mainly wood ducks and mallards on opening day and have struggled since.

Wayzata Bait (952) 473-2227


Look for walleyes at the mouth of the Little Fork on the Rainy River. The American Narrows and Blueberry Island also are kicking out walleyes in 20 to 32 feet via jigs and minnows. Black Bay is producing crappies in eight feet, while the weedlines in Lost Bay and the reefs around Cranberry Island are safe bets for northern pike. The duck season started slow, but grouse hunting has improved over the past week as more leaves have dropped.

Loon's Nest (218) 286-5850


Walleyes are hitting a jig and minnow or Lindy Rig and leech on the east-side shoreline breaks or weedbeds and the west side points and breaks in six to 10 feet. Perch continue to be found on the 10- to 12-foot rocks off Raven's Point and in shallower water at the mouth of the Mississippi River. Northern pike remain an easy catch on most weedbeds.

Nodak Lodge (218) 665-2226

Twin Cities Metro


The St. Croix River is giving up walleyes at night close to shore and in 20 feet during the day on crankbaits or minnows. Muskie fishing remains strong on Lake Elmo, Lake Jarvis, and White Bear Lake with bucktails early and late in the day. Look to the north end of Big Marine Lake for crappies in 20 feet and Lake Peltier is giving up bluegills. Hunting reports have been limited.

Blue Ribbon Bait & Tackle (651) 777-2421


Look to Lake Auburn and Whaletail Lake for consistent bass action in eight to 10 feet. The 10- to 12-foot weed edges of Lake Zumbra are holding northern pike and panfish reports have been limited. The duck opener was the best in several years with wood ducks, teal, mallards, and ringnecks in most bags.

Cabin Fever Sports (952) 443-2022


Muskies and northern pike are active during the evening hours along the shallow shorelines with reed cover and near the swimming beach on the southeast side. Walleye action has been slow, bass continue to be found on the weedlines and reefs with crankbaits or spinnerbaits, and sunfish are hitting on the edges of the bulrushes. The marina will be closing on Oct. 8 until walkable ice forms.

Mases In Towne Marina (952) 442-2096



A jig and minnow is turning walleyes on the weedlines of Lake Darling, Lake Carlos, Lake Le Homme Dieu, and Lake Geneva. On Lake Miltona, you'll find walleyes on the weedlines out to 30 feet and Reno Lake started giving up walleyes at night in shallow water via crankbaits. Panfish reports have slowed and Miltona continues to produce muskies. Duck hunters are shooting some teal and wood ducks, but not a lot of numbers.

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


Look to Clearwater Lake with minnows in 16 to 24 feet for walleyes. Northern pike also are hitting minnows in 12 feet of water at lakes John, French, and Clearwater. Muskie anglers on Sugar Lake continue to see fish with bucktails and sunfish are hitting in 10 to 14 feet of water at John, Clearwater, Indian Lake, and Cedar Lake. Most waterfowl hunters reported seeing more birds than a year ago with mallards, geese, and wood ducks in most bags.

Little Jim's Bait (320) 274-5297


Crawlers are producing walleyes on the 17-foot weedlines of Eagle Lake and Silver Lake. On Otter Tail Lake and West Battle Lake, a jig and minnow combination is turning walleyes in 10 to 12 feet or 25 feet of water or more during the day. At night, Rapalas trolled on the shallow flats have been productive. Look for northern pike on the weedlines of West Battle, Otter Tail, Clitherall Lake, and South Turtle Lake. You'll find sunfish in 10 to 15 feet at West Battle, Clitherall, and Stalker Lake and crappies suspended over 17 to 20 feet of water at Clitherall and West Battle. Duck reports have been spotty, with wood ducks providing the most opportunities for hunters.

Ben's Bait Shop (218) 864-5596


Walleyes are hitting crankbaits during the evening hours in 10 to 12 feet or minnows on Diamond Bar during the day at Lake Bemidji. Rainbow minnows and jigs are producing walleyes at Lake Plantagenet in 15 feet. Muskie reports are favorable with bucktails and topwater baits turning fish on the cabbage of Cass Lake, Pike Bay Lake, Bemidji, and Plantagenet. Look for perch on the north end of Bemidji in 20 feet and panfish action has been best at Grant Lake, Midge Lake, and Grace Lake. It seemed everyone shot a few ducks during opening weekend, but not many limits, with teal and wood ducks in most bags.

Bluewater Outdoors

(218) 444-BAIT (2248)


Redtails, rainbows, or shiner minnows have produced the most walleyes this week on Gull Lake, North Long Lake, and Pelican Lake in 18 to 30 feet. Gull and North Long continue to produce northern pike via sucker minnows in 10 to 20 feet. Look to most small lakes in the area for panfish. Generally speaking the sunfish remain in 10 to 12 feet, while crappies have started to suspend over deeper water.

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


A jig and redtail minnow is producing walleyes in 24 to 30 feet at Pelican Lake and Rabbit Lake. You'll also find walleyes and smallmouth bass in the pools of the Mississippi River downstream from the Highway 6 bridge. Slow-rolled spinnerbaits tipped with sucker minnows are catching loads of northern pike on East Rabbit Lake and Upper Mission Lake. Look to Lake Adney and Crooked Lake for daytime crappie action.

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


Shiner minnows are producing walleyes at Boulder Lake in 10 feet and small sucker minnows are turning walleyes at Island Lake in 15 feet. Look to Whiteface Lake with chubs for walleyes in 12 to 14 feet. The Highbanks area of Fish Lake is kicking out crappies over 20 feet and the St. Louis River continues to give up muskies on large sucker minnows. The big salmon run in the rivers hasn't started, but is expected to any day. The duck season started slow, archery hunters are shooting a lot of antlerless deer, and grouse hunting remains tough.

Chalstrom's Bait (218) 726-0094


Walleyes are deep and taking minnows in 30 to 40 feet at Basswood Lake and 40 to 50 feet on Snowbank Lake. Newfound Lake is giving up a few walleyes in 16 to 29 feet on minnows as well. Smallmouth bass remain active on most lakes and you'll find northern pike in six to 20 feet throughout the area. Grouse numbers are decent with good hunting reports coming in, but duck numbers appear scarce.

The Great Outdoors (218) 365-4744


Look to the northeast side of Ruth Lake with tube jigs and minnows for crappies in 10 to 12 feet. Northern pike are hitting spoons on the north end of Kego Lake and largemouth bass continue to hit on th southwest side of Lake Washburn. Grouse hunting is improving as the leaves drop and waterfowl hunters have done well shooting teal and wood ducks.

Redding Sports and Spirits (218) 763-2191


Perch are hitting minnows in eight to 10 feet at Lake Sissiton and Hall Lake. Bluegills and crappies are being found in 10 feet at Hall, Sissiton, and Budd Lake. Walleye action remains slow and catfish are hitting crawlers on Hall and Budd during the evening hours close to shore. Duck hunting reports have been mixed, but there doesn't seem to be big groups of birds in the area.

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


A few walleyes are being taken with a jig and minnow at Gunflint Lake in 28 to 32 feet, Seagull Lake in 30 to 35 feet, Lake Saganaga in 25 to 30 feet, and at Two Islands Lake in 20 feet. Crawlers or spinners are producing rainbow trout in 16 to 22 feet at Mink Lake, 25 feet at Trout Lake, 20 to 25 feet at Kimball Lake, 15 feet at Leo Lake, and 18 to 25 feet at Esther Lake. Grouse hunters have started seeing more birds this past week and most reports have been encouraging.

Buck's Hardware (218) 387-2280


You'll hook a few walleyes with minnows along the weed edges out to 25 feet at Woman Lake, Birch Lake, and Pleasant Lake. Smallmouth and largemouth bass continue to hit live-bait or artificial presentations consistently on most lakes. Look to Webb Lake and Pleasant for crappies in eight to 12 feet. Duck hunters shot mainly wood ducks and a few teal and grouse hunting remains difficult due to cover.

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


Walleyes are now being found in many of their traditional fall locations. A small sucker minnow and live-bait rig has worked best in 10 to 36 feet. You can expect some good-sized perch mixed in with the walleyes.

Lake Vermilion Guides League


Big Stone Lake is producing perch in the Bonanza and Sodak areas with minnows in 12 feet and bluegills around the islands in eight feet. The Marsh Lake dam is giving up walleyes via jigs and minnows and duck hunting has been good. Teal, wood ducks, and mallards made up most bags during the first weekend.

Bud's Bait (320) 839-2480


Walleyes are hitting minnows on Big Sand Lake in 30 feet or more and on Potato Lake and Fish Hook Lake in 18 to 23 feet. Northern pike are taking minnows in 12 feet on the Crow Wing Chain and Lake Itasca is kicking out bluegills in 12 feet. Look to Big Mantrap Lake for suspended crappies over 20 feet. Duck hunters offered mixed reports, but there have been more positive reports than last year for teal and wood ducks. Grouse hunting is improving and there seems to be good numbers of birds around.

Delaney's (218) 732-4281


Jigs tipped with minnows are triggering walleyes in 18 to 28 feet at Big Pine Lake and Little Pine Lake. Crankbaits also are producing fish in shallow water at night on these lakes. Muskies are hitting big-bladed baits on the shallow to mid-depth breaks of Big Detroit Lake. Look for crappies to be suspended over 20 feet or more at Rush Lake, Big Pine, and Little Pine. Duck hunters have done well with good reports of teal, mallards, and wood ducks in the area.

Gene's Sport Shop (218) 346-3355


Walleyes continue bite along most shorelines in five to eight feet. Limits have been taken on the southeast shore with spinners and minnows or crankbaits. Grouse hunters are still struggling with dense cover and duck hunters have done well with local populations of mallards and wood ducks.

Dr. Tackle Sports (218) 647-8657

Mort's Dock (218) 647-8128


Walleye action has picked up on Lake Koronis, Rice Lake, and Horseshoe Lake from the shoreline breaks out to 25 feet. Look for sunfish at Koronis, Rice, Cedar Island Lake, and Brown's Lake in four to eight feet. Crappies are set up in 16 feet or more on most lakes, while Pearl Lake is giving up crappies in eight feet. The duck opener went well with good numbers of teal and wood ducks along with mallards being shot.

Mike's Bait and Tackle (320) 453-2248


You'll find sunfish in 12 feet at Long Lake and Lilly Lake, in 16 to 18 feet on Big Birch Lake, and in 12 to 16 feet on the north end of Lake Osakis. Crappies continue to be found suspended over 15 to 18 feet on Long Bridge Lake, Guernsey Lake, and in slightly shallow water on Big Sauk Lake. Red Barn Bay on Sauk started producing walleyes, as is Big Birch, and Little Birch Lake – mainly with spot-tailed shiners. Waterfowl hunters started the season on a high note with good numbers of local ducks to be had.

Fletcher's Bait (320) 352-2155


Crankbaits trolled around the six- to eight-foot bulrush edges will produce northern pike and a few walleyes on Lake Minnewaska. Smallmouth and largemouth bass are an easy catch with spinnerbaits on Minnewaska in shallow water. The duck season started better than last year with wood ducks, teal, and a few mallards being taken.

Minnewaska Bait and Tackle (320) 239-2239


Crankbaits are producing walleyes on the shorelines of Willmar/Foot Lake. On Green Lake, crawlers and minnows are turning walleyes in 30 to 40 feet during the day. Minnows also are turning a few walleyes in 10 to 20 feet on lakes Norway, Nest, Andrew, and Florida. Panfish action remains consistent in six to 10 feet on most lakes. The duck season started better than last year with teal, wood ducks, geese, and a few mallards taken.

Brad's 71 Bait and Sports

(320) 235-4097


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