MN: Ice conditions hold well, but warm weather was a concern Issue: 50

Big Six

LAKE MILLE LACS

East – You’ll find eight to 10 inches of ice in the bays, five to
seven inches close to shore on the lake and much less ice on the
main lake. The only reports being heard are coming out of Isle Bay,
where perch and a few walleyes have been caught.

Johnson’s Portside (320) 676-3811

www.johnsonsportside.com

West – A few people have started fishing St. Alban’s Bay, where
four inches of ice has taken hold and reports are limited. There
hasn’t been anyone on the main part of the lake and it will take a
few nights of cold weather before that’s an option.

Terry’s Boat Harbor (320) 692-4430

www.terrysboatharbor.com

LAKE OF THE WOODS

There’s 10 inches of ice although some areas have thinner ice on
the main lake so caution is advised and it’s always best to ask a
resort owner before venturing out – use the staked roads. Walleyes
have bit best along the south shore during the morning and evening
hours in 18 to 23 feet. Red glow or gold jigging spoons have
produced the most fish. Midday hours are best spent in 20 feet or
more in search of saugers, which have been running
good-sized.

Lake of the Woods Tourism Bureau

(800) 382-FISH

LEECH LAKE

Ice depths vary with Walker Bay and much of the main lake holding
six to eight inches, but there are spots with much less ice. The
best walleye reports are coming off Pine Point in 10 to 12 feet or
the humps of Walker Bay in 25 to 30 feet during the evening hours
with jigging spoons. A few bluegill reports are coming off
Shingobee Bay in 15 to 20 feet.

Reed’s Sporting Goods (218) 547-1505

LAKE MINNETONKA AREA

There’s some open water on the big lakes and two to four inches of
ice reported in the bays and channels. The only ice-fishing report
heard is coming off Medicine Lake where pike are being caught with
tip-ups and sucker minnows on the 17-foot weedlines.

Wayzata Bait (952) 473-2227

RAINY LAKE

The bays have eight to 10 inches of ice with less reported on the
main lake. Pike are being speared and angled in Black Bay and
Tilson Bay in decent numbers, but not many big fish have been
taken. Walleye reports are limited to a few fish coming off Sand
Bay in 28 to 32 feet. Walleyes also have been caught below the
Manitou Rapids and Sioux Rapids on the Rainy River with jigging
spoons.

Loon’s Nest (218) 286-5850

LAKE WINNIBIGOSHISH

Ice depths averaged six to eight inches this week with about six
inches of ice reported about two miles out from shore. Spear
fishermen have been busy in the Third River and West Winnie
Campground areas in shallow water. There has been good numbers of
perch caught along the west shore as well in seven to nine
feet.

Nodak Lodge (218) 665-2226

Twin Cities Metro

NORTHEAST METRO

The season is just getting started with four inches of ice reported
on some lakes. Crappies are being found on White Bear Lake in 10 to
15 feet. Hit Demonterville Lake in five to 10 feet for crappies and
northern pike. Shiner minnows are turning northern pike on the 12-
to 15-foot weeds of Lake Jane.

Blue Ribbon Bait & Tackle (651) 777-2421

WEST METRO

The backside of the sunken island on Lake Parley is giving up
panfish in 13 feet and small crappies have been caught in eight
feet on Pelican Lake near Monticello. Other than that, there hasn’t
been much fishing reported with open water on some lakes and up to
six inches on others.

Cabin Fever Sports (952) 443-2022

LAKE WACONIA

Ice depths average about six inches so anglers have just started
fishing. Sunfish and crappies are being caught in Waconia Bay in
eight to 12 feet during the afternoon hours, while shiner minnows
and setlines have turned a few walleyes on the south end of
Cemetery Reef inn 20 to 24 feet.

Mases In Towne Marina (952) 442-2096

www.intownemarina.com

Statewide

ALEXANDRIA AREA

Look for crappies and sunfish in eight to 12 feet at Little Mary
Lake and over 20 to 30 feet at Smith Lake. Anglers are finding a
few walleyes during the evening hours on area lakes, but it’s been
difficult to find a consistent bite. Most lakes now have four to
eight inches of ice with less reported on the bigger lakes.

Christopherson’s Bait and Tackle

(320) 763-3255

ANNANDALE AREA

Six inches of ice was common on most lakes early this week. The
west end of Clearwater Lake is giving up a few walleyes on shiner
minnows in 14 to 20 feet. Look to Lake Marie for panfish in 15 to
20 feet, while Lake John and Pleasant Lake are giving up sunfish
and northern pike in 10 to 17 feet.

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

BATTLE LAKE

The small lakes have five to 10 inches of ice and the big lakes
have three to six. Walleye action is just starting with limited
reports coming off Pelican Lake by Ashby, Silver Lake, and Otter
Tail Lake. A mixed bag of panfish is coming off lakes Blanche, East
Lost, and West Lost in 12 to 18 feet. Look for northern pike in the
shallows and mid-depth weeds of North Turtle and South Turtle
lakes.

Ben’s Bait Shop (218) 864-5596

BEMIDJI AREA

Six to eight inches of ice has taken hold on most small lakes with
a bit less on bigger bodies of water. Pike have been providing
steady action in shallow water at Lake Irving for anglers and spear
fishermen. Look to Grant Lake and Grace Lake for panfish in 15 to
25 feet and Garfield Lake continues to produce walleyes via jigging
spoons in 16 to 22 feet.

Bluewater Outdoors

(218) 444-BAIT (2248)

BLACKDUCK AREA

Eight to 12 inches of ice is common in this area. Walleyes and
perch are being caught on jigging spoons during the afternoon and
evening hours in six to 10 feet or 16 to 20 feet at Blackduck Lake.
Panfish action is just starting at Gilstead Lake in 16 to 20 feet
and Rabideau Lake in 12 to 14 feet.

Timberline Sports and Tackle

(218) 835-4636

BRAINERD/NISSWA AREA

Ice conditions are favorable on most small lakes, although you’ll
still want to use caution on the bigger lakes. Early walleye
reports indicate a decent bite with jigging spoons or minnows at
Gull Lake, Pelican Lake, and the Merrifield end of North Long Lake
in 18 to 32 feet. Northern pike are hitting sucker minnows in
shallow water at Lake Edwards, the south end of Gull, and the
Highway 371 Bay on North Long. Glow jigs tipped with Eurolarvae or
minnows are producing panfish on most small lakes in 14 feet.

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

CASS LAKE AREA

Ice conditions are favorable for fishing throughout the area.
Walleye and perch action has been best at Cass Lake and Pike Bay
Lake in 18 to 23 feet. Panfish are roaming the deep weed edges on
the area’s smaller lakes. Northern pike spearers have done well in
Allen’s Bay on Cass.

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

CHISAGO AREA

Most bays and channels in the area have five inches of ice and some
ice fishing has started. You’ll find crappies and sunfish during
the day and walleyes at night in 14 to 16 feet below the Dinner
Bell on South Lindstrom Lake. The channel between Chisago Lake and
South Lindstrom is producing sunfish and northern pike during the
day and a few walleyes at night in nine feet. Walleyes are hitting
shiner minnows in front of the hospital on South Lindstrom as well
in 18 to 24 feet.

Frankie’s Bait (651) 257-6334

DETROIT LAKES

Jigging spoons and minnow heads or setlines and shiner minnows are
triggering walleyes during the evening hours in 10 to 12 feet at
Little Detroit Lake, or in 22 to 24 feet at lakes Melissa, Cotton,
Big Detroit, and Deadshot Bay. You’ll find crappies suspended over
17 feet and sunfish in 10 to 14 feet at lakes Melissa, Cotton,
Little Detroit, Big Detroit, and Severson. Spearing and angling for
northern pike has been excellent at Big Detroit, Melissa, Lake
Sallie, and Meadow Lake. Anglers are reporting eight to 12 inches
of ice on area lakes.

Quality Bait and Tackle (218) 844-2248

DULUTH AREA

Walleyes are hitting chubs on setlines or Swedish Pimples at
Boulder Lake in six to eight feet and at Rice Lake in seven feet.
In the Duluth Harbor on the St. Louis River, walleyes and crappies
are being pulled from eight feet. There’s an evening crappie bite
with minnows in the Highbanks area of Fish Lake in 14 feet. Eight
inches of ice is reported on all lakes producing fish.

Chalstrom’s Bait (218) 726-0094

ELY AREA

Ice conditions are shaping up nicely with eight to 10 inches on
most small lakes. There’s an evening walleye bite with small
minnows at Shagawa Lake in 18 to 20 feet. At Birch Lake, crappies
and walleyes are hitting minnows or small spoons in 27 feet. The
bays on Birch also are giving up northern pike mainly on ciscoes
and tip-ups.

The Great Outdoors (218) 365-4744

EMILY AREA

You’ll find four to six inches of ice on the small lakes and less
on the bigger bodies of water. With the exception of some spearing
on these small lakes and an evening crappie bite at Lawrence Lake
in 12 to 14 feet of water, there hasn’t been much fishing activity
to report.

Redding Sports and Spirits (218) 763-2191

FAIRMONT AREA

Small spoons and minnows are producing perch and crappies on the
north side of Hall Lake in 15 to 18 feet. Near Bandshell Point on
Lake Sissiton, crappies, sunfish, and perch are hitting waxworms in
15 feet. Look to North Silver Lake with minnows for perch in five
feet. Anglers are reporting four to six inches of ice on area
lakes.

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

FARIBAULT AREA

Ice depths vary from three to five inches on area lakes. A few
walleyes have been caught on jigging spoons at Roberds Lake in 18
to 20 feet and northern pike can be had on the 12-foot break on
Cedar Lake. On Shields Lake, you’ll find sunfish and crappies in 12
to 18 feet.

Nagel’s Live Bait (507) 334-8341

GRAND RAPIDS AREA

Eight to 10 inches of ice has taken hold on most lakes. Walleyes
are hitting spoons and minnow heads on deep humps during the day
and in 17 to 20 feet during the evening hours at lakes Pokegama,
Trout, Deer, and Moose. Hit Big Cutfoot Sioux Lake for crappies in
20 to 35 feet, while Jay Gould Lake and Pokegama are producing
perch and bluegills in eight to 13 feet. Angling and spearing for
northern pike has been consistent at Pokegama, Big Splithand Lake,
and Sylvan Bay on the Mississippi River.

Ben’s Bait and Tackle (218) 326-8281

HACKENSACK AREA

There’s still pockets of open water on some big lakes and up to 11
inches of ice on the small lakes. There has been some panfish
action reported on the very small lakes in the area, but not a lot
of details to go along with those reports. Most people are just
getting their winter season under way as ice depths improve.

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

LAKE KABETOGAMA

Most bays have six to eight inches of ice, which has allowed some
spearing and angling to begin in the bays. Reports have been
limited at this point for pike and walleye fishing has not quite
started.

Gateway Store (218) 875-2121

www.gatewaygeneral.com

LAKE VERMILION

Walleyes have been hitting consistently in 10 to 32 feet all over
the east end of the lake. The bite has been best during the morning
and evening, but midday hours have been productive as well.
Setlines with small sucker minnows or jigging baits tipped with
rainbows have triggered fish. Ice depths range from nine to 11
inches in most areas, but pressure ridges have popped up so know
where you’re going.

Lake Vermilion Guides League

www.lakevermilionguidesleague.com

MANKATO AREA

Mud Bay on Lake Washington is giving up bluegills in six to eight
feet. Jigging spoons are producing walleyes after dark at Henry
Lake in six feet. You’ll also hook a few walleyes on spoons in
front of the park on the southeast end of Lake Hanska. Caution is
advised on area lakes with three to six inches of ice
reported.

The Bobber Shop (507) 625-8228

McGREGOR AREA

Ice conditions are favorable for fishing with eight to 10 inches
reported. Tip-ups and shiner or sucker minnows are producing
northern pike in 12 to 15 feet of water at Rat Lake, Lake
Minnewaska, and Big Sandy Lake. Walleye action is slow, but there
is an evening crappie bite on the west side of Minnewawa, where
anglers are finding suspended fish.

Willey’s Sport Shop & Spirits

(218) 426-3382

ORTONVILLE AREA

You’ll find perch hitting waxworms and minnows from Ortonville up
to three miles north at Big Stone Lake in 10 to 12 feet of water. A
few walleyes have been caught on Big Stone farther up the lake in
10 feet. Lake Lac qui Parle is giving up walleyes and crappies
during the evening hours and perch can be had on Peterson Slough
and Nelson Slough in 10 to 12 feet. Seven inches of ice is common
on all areas people have been fishing.

Bud’s Bait (320) 839-2480

PARK RAPIDS AREA

Most small lakes have six to nine inches of ice with Fish Hook Lake
producing walleyes in 21 to 25 feet during the evening hours and
northern pike hitting during the day in eight to 10 feet. Bluegills
are being caught in 10 to 14 feet at Fish Hook and Portage Lake and
in eight feet at Upper Twin Lake. Look for active crappies during
the evening hours over 15 feet at Lake Belle Taine and the Crow
Wing Chain of Lakes.

Delaney’s (218) 732-4281

PINE CITY AREA

Larvae and minnows are turning crappies and sunfish at Cross Lake
in 20 to 22 feet. Tip-ups and sucker minnows will produce northern
pike at Cross in eight feet. Look to the Indian’s Mound Park area
of Knife Lake in 11 feet and East Rush Lake in 17 feet for
walleyes. West Rush Lake is giving up panfish over 16 to 30 feet,
while Lake Pokegama is producing crappies in 17 to 20 feet and
northern pike in eight to 10 feet. Most reports indicated six
inches of ice on area lakes early this week.

Red’s Bait & Tackle (320) 629-1154

RED LAKE

Limits of walleyes have been common in six to nine feet along the
east and south shores. Setline or jigging spoons tipped with
minnows have both worked. Travel options include foot or ATV as of
early this week with 10 to 12 inches of ice reported.

Dr. Tackle Sports (218) 647-8657

Mort’s Dock (218) 647-8128

RED WING AREA

Anglers are finding three inches of ice in Mississippi River boat
harbors and catching panfish. From boats, they’re catching saugers
and walleyes in 18 to 24 feet on 5/16-ounce hair jigs and minnows
or jigs and plastics.

Four Seasons Sports (651) 388-4334

ST. CLOUD/EDEN VALLEY AREA

Ice depths vary from three to five inches but with this week’s warm
weather that could change. Crappies are hitting minnows at night on
Rice Lake in 20 to 22 feet. Look to Horseshoe Lake with shiners for
walleyes in 12 to 14 feet. Spearing for pike has been decent on
lakes like Rice, Horseshoe, Grand, and the northwest bay on Lake
Koronis.

Mike’s Bait and Tackle (320) 453-2248

SAUK CENTRE AREA

Red Barn Bay on Sauk Lake is producing crappies late in the day
over 25 to 35 feet, as is Lake Villard in shallower water. Sunfish
can be had at Lilly Lake in 18 to 28 feet, the north end of Lake
Osakis in 18 feet, and in Hunter’s Bay on Big Birch Lake in six to
eight feet. There’s some steady walleye action taking place with
setlines and shiners or jigging spoons in 16 feet at Red Barn Bay
and Hooper’s Hill on Big Sauk, the 16- to 30-foot structure of
Osakis and Big Birch, and in 16 to 22 feet at Big Swan Lake. Five
to eight inches of ice is common on most lakes.

Fletcher’s Bait (320) 352-2155

STARBUCK AREA

Jigging spoons are turning walleyes in 16 to 18 feet or 20 to 24
feet on Lake Minnewaska during the afternoon hours. Bottle Bay on
the Glenwood end of Minnewaska started giving up panfish in 12 to
14 feet. There’s an evening walleye bite on the northwest corner of
Lake Andrew, in five feet at Lake Pomme de Terre, and in six feet
at Lake Emily with jigging spoons. Five to eight inches of ice is
common on these lakes.

Minnewaska Bait and Tackle

(320) 239-2239

WATERVILLE AREA

There was enough ice to walk and set spear houses last week with as
much as four to seven inches reported. But the warm weather and
rain this week has eliminated most of it so ice fishing has been
put on hold.

Axel’s Tackle Box (507) 362-4444

www.axelstacklebox.blogspot.com

WILLMAR AREA

The shallow lakes had eight inches of ice and the bigger lakes had
three to six inches early this week. The warm weather could change
that so use caution. Walleyes and perch are being caught on spoons
at Lake Wagonda in six feet, while shiner minnows are working best
on the north and south ends of Green Lake in 20 feet. Fathead
minnows are turning walleyes on the 10- to 15-foot weedlines of
lakes Andrew, Eagle, Nest, Florida, Norway, and Willmar/Foot during
the evening hours.

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

 

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