MN: There should be plenty of ice-fishing options by this weekend Issue: 49

Big Six

LAKE MILLE LACS

Ice has taken hold in the bays and a short distance around the
shoreline of the main lake. Just how soon people start to fish will
likely depend on the wind this week. Look to the bays first because
it will take a few more days of cold weather before most of the
main lake is ready to go.

Johnson’s Portside (320) 676-3811

www.johnsonsportside.com

Terry’s Boat Harbor (320) 692-4430

www.terrysboatharbor.com

LAKE OF THE WOODS

There was six to eight inches of ice covering Four Mile Bay on
Tuesday morning and about four inches on the main lake out to 20
feet of water from Pine Island. The forecast sounded favorable for
adding ice quickly this week so fishing with portables is likely by
the weekend.

Lake of the Woods Tourism Bureau

(800) 382-FISH

LEECH LAKE AREA

Anglers have started fishing on some of the smaller lakes in the
area, where four to six inches of ice has taken hold. On the big
lake, Walker Bay, as well as the rest of the lake, capped with ice
Monday night and there has been a few walleyes caught on Kabekona
Bay where four inches of ice was reported.

Reed’s Sporting Goods (218) 547-1505

LAKE MINNETONKA AREA

The big lakes remained open as of Tuesday morning, but the small
lakes and bays skimmed with ice Monday night. If it stays cold and
the wind doesn’t blow during the week, there’s a chance anglers
could start walking on the small bodies of water this
weekend.

Wayzata Bait (952) 473-2227

RAINY LAKE

Much of the main part of the lake is covered with ice but there
isn’t enough to walk on. Areas such as Sand Bay, Black Bay, and the
Rainy Lake City area do have four to six inches of ice and a few
spear houses have started showing up. Temperatures were favorable
for making ice this week so if the wind doesn’t blow, there should
be plenty of fishing options for anglers by this weekend.

Loon’s Nest (218) 286-5850

LAKE WINNIBIGOSHISH

The entire lake capped last weekend so there should be some fishing
taking place by this weekend given the cold weather throughout the
week. There has been some spear houses getting set in the Third
River area, but it’s worth making a call if you plan on fishing the
main lake this weekend.

Nodak Lodge (218) 665-2226

Twin Cities Metro

NORTHEAST METRO

Most lakes are covered with ice, but there wasn’t enough to walk on
early this week. Given the cold weather there should be a few lakes
thick enough to walk on very soon, but caution is advised when
venturing out.

Blue Ribbon Bait & Tackle (651) 777-2421

WEST METRO

The small lakes have been ice-covered since last weekend and most
big lakes capped on Monday night. There wasn’t any fishing to
report as of Tuesday morning, although with the lack of snow and
cold temperatures that could change by the weekend, but check the
ice as you go.

Cabin Fever Sports (952) 443-2022

Statewide

ANNANDALE AREA

The big lakes capped with ice early this week, while the small
lakes have been covered since last weekend. There has been a few
people fishing those small lakes where three to five inches of ice
had taken hold, but there hasn’t been any fishing reports coming
in. Look for that to change next week as more lakes become
accessible.

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

BATTLE LAKE

Anglers are starting to fish the small lakes where four to six
inches of ice is reported, but the big lakes such as West Battle
and Otter Tail skimmed with ice early this week. The only fishing
action as of Tuesday morning was coming off North Turtle Lake, East
Lost Lake, and West Lost Lake, where a few panfish had been
caught.

Ben’s Bait Shop (218) 864-5596

BEMIDJI AREA

You’ll find three to seven inches of ice on most small lakes or
those without flowage and less on the bigger lakes, most of which
froze Monday night. The lakes that capped earlier will be the
safest fishing options this weekend. Little Turtle Lake is
producing crappies in 20 to 22 feet and Grant Lake is giving up
bluegills and crappies over 20 to 25 feet. There’s been some good
spearing and angling reports off Lake Irving as well.

Bluewater Outdoors

(218) 444-BAIT (2248)

BRAINERD/NISSWA AREA

You’ll find as much as six inches of ice on the small lakes, while
the main part of Gull Lake remained open Tuesday morning. Northern
pike have been hitting sucker minnows under tip-ups in the Highway
371 Bay on North Long Lake. There’s also been some decent panfish
reports coming off Upper Gull Lake in six to 10 feet.

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

CROSBY AREA

Ice depths range from three to five inches on most small lakes and
with this week’s weather you can expect more by the weekend. Early
fishing reports indicate that crappies and pike have attracted the
most attention, although no detailed information was coming in.
Look for plenty of fishing to take place this weekend with reports
to follow.

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

DULUTH AREA

Most lakes had four to six inches of ice early this week and
anglers were starting to head out in good numbers. Crappies have
started hitting at the narrows on Fish Lake in 10 feet and at
Boulder Lake a few walleyes have been caught in eight to 10 feet,
where jigging and setlines have both turned fish.

Chalstrom’s Bait (218) 726-0094

GRAND RAPIDS AREA

The big lakes skimmed over Monday night and there is enough ice on
many small lakes to utilize ATVs. There’s an evening crappie bite
at Splithand Lake over 20 feet and Sylvan Bay on the Mississippi
River is kicking out a mixed bag of panfish in 13 to 40 feet. Jay
Gould Lake is giving up perch and northern pike in shallow water
and the south end of Bass Lake is a safe bet for bluegills in 13 to
20 feet.

Ben’s Bait and Tackle (218) 326-8281

PARK RAPIDS AREA

Anglers have started fishing the small lakes where four to six
inches of ice is common and the open pockets of water on the big
lakes capped Monday night. There hasn’t been any specifics as far
as fishing reports, but there should be a lot of options for people
to get out this weekend.

Delaney’s (218) 732-4281

PINE CITY AREA

Three to five inches of ice was common early this week on area
lakes with very little snow on top of it. Foot or ATV travel are
the safest options and there has been some walleyes already being
caught. Look to the Indian Mounds area of Knife Lake with Forage
Minnow spoons and a minnow head in 11 feet. There’s been a few a
panfish taken in this area as well.

Red’s Bait & Tackle (320) 629-1154

RED LAKE

Most of the lake has six to eight inches of ice, but the wind last
week did open a few spots and those areas aren’t quite as thick.
Travel by foot or ATV is an option out to about 10 feet and the
walleyes have been hitting early and late in the day. The best
reports are coming off the east and south shores with a jig and
minnow in six to nine feet.

Dr. Tackle Sports (218) 647-8657

Mort’s Dock (218) 647-8128

ST. CLOUD/EDEN VALLEY AREA

Most lakes capped Monday night and some were ice-covered about five
days prior to that. Look to the area’s small lakes to start seeing
some fishing pressure by this weekend if the wind doesn’t blow
throughout the week.

Mike’s Bait and Tackle (320) 453-2248

STARBUCK AREA

You’ll find up to six inches of ice on the northeast end of Reno
Lake, where a few walleyes are being caught. Most small lakes have
enough ice to walk on and by this weekend, foot travel should be an
option on most lakes. Call first, but ice depths have improved a
lot this week.

Minnewaska Bait and Tackle (320) 239-2239

WILLMAR AREA

The big lakes skimmed with ice early this week, but four to six
inches of ice was common on the shallow, prairie lakes where
anglers have started catching walleyes in six to 10 feet. Look to
lakes such as Solomon, Ringo, Big Kandi, Long, and Wagonda to
provide some walleyes and the best ice conditions.

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

 

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