Wednesday, February 1st, 2023
Wednesday, February 1st, 2023

Breaking News for

Sportsmen Since 1967

MN: Good ice reported north; some problem areas in the south Issue: 51

Big Six


East – The bays have 10 to 12 inches of ice, but there is some
trouble spots on the main lake so caution is still advised. Look to
Cove Bay, Isle Bay, and Wahkon Bay, or just outside of them, for
perch and a few walleyes in 10 to 12 feet. The first significant
shoreline breaks also are giving up a few walleyes as anglers start
to venture farther out. Pike reports have been good from the bays
with tip-ups and sucker minnows producing the majority of fish. Ice
conditions on the west side are less favorable, but improving. It’s
probably best to call or stop at a resort or bait shop as the
weekend approaches.

Johnson’s Portside (320) 676-3811

Terry’s Boat Harbor (320) 692-4430


Walleye and sauger action has been spectacular this week with many
groups reporting 50 to 100 fish days. The morning and evening hours
have been best with jigging spoons and setlines both producing fish
in 22 to 24 feet. Northern pike action also has been strong with
spearers and anglers doing well in Baudette Bay, Zippel Bay, and
Bostic Creek. Ice conditions are good, but you need to stay on or
near the marked roads. The farther out on the lake you go, ice
conditions do vary.

Lake of the Woods Tourism Bureau

(800) 382-FISH


Ice conditions depend on the area you want to fish. There’s as much
as 10 inches on some spots, but plenty of thin ice and cracks
around the points and in the bigger bays, so caution is advised.
Pine Point has favorable ice so anglers are working this area and
catching a few walleyes and perch in 12 to 15 feet. The south end
of Goose Island is giving up some walleyes during the evening in 19
feet, and the first significant shoreline break in Walker Bay is
good for “one or two walleyes” each night.

Reed’s Sporting Goods (218) 547-1505


You’ll find four to five inches of ice on some lakes and bays, but
watch the main parts of the bigger lakes – they just capped about a
week ago. Grays Bay on Lake Minnetonka and Medicine Lake are giving
up pike on the 14- to 16-foot weedlines. Walleye reports have been
poor, but sunfish are being caught with waxworms tight to the
bottom on Minnetonka, Medicine, and Lake Sarah.

Wayzata Bait (952) 473-2227


Walleyes are hitting spoons and minnow heads or setlines and
shiners during the evenings in eight to 10 feet in Rainy Lake City.
Birch Point is kicking out walleyes over 28 to 32 feet and the
Birchdale area of the Rainy River is giving up walleyes during
low-light periods. Northern pike remain active and hitting ciscoes
in eight feet throughout Black Bay, but there hasn’t been many big
fish caught. Ice depths vary with up to 11 inches in some areas and
less in others.

Loon’s Nest (218) 286-5850


There hasn’t been much fishing activity. There’s about nine inches
of ice on the lake, but rough ice, pressure ridges, and cracks are
limiting travel options. The best option at this point is likely on
the west side of the lake where a few perch are being caught and
some spearing is taking place in shallow water.

Nodak Lodge (218) 665-2226

Twin Cities Metro


Most people are finding and walking on four inches of ice on area
lakes. Crappie action has been decent during the evening with glow
jigs and minnows at White Bear Lake and Big Marine Lake in 15 feet.
Walleye and sunfish reports have been limited, but pike can be had
with sucker minnows on the 10- to 12-foot weedlines of Lake Jane
and Demonterville Lake.

Blue Ribbon Bait & Tackle (651) 777-2421


Four to seven inches of ice is common on area lakes and people are
just starting to fish. Pike are cruising the shallows at Lake
Zumbra, which has allowed for some good spearing opportunities.
Anglers are catching a mixed bag of panfish at Lake Parley and Lake
Mary in eight to 10 feet throughout the day. Walleye action has
been slow.

Cabin Fever Sports (952) 443-2022


Crappies are being caught during the evening hours throughout
Waconia Bay in nine to 12 feet and on Pillsbury Reef in 13 feet. A
few walleyes have come off Cemetery Reef in 12 to 18 feet with
jigging spoons or shiner minnows during low-light periods. Northern
pike have bit best on shiner or sucker minnows on Pillsbury Reef in
10 to 13 feet. Seven inches of ice is pretty common on the lake but
you still have to watch those traditional problem areas. Walking or
ATV travel are the best options heading into the weekend.

Mases In Towne Marina (952) 442-2096



Walleyes are hitting glow jigs and shiners or jigging spoons in 16
to 18 feet during low-light periods at lakes Ida, Miltona, Carlos,
Geneva, Darling, and Le Homme Dieu. There hasn’t been a lot of
limits reported but everyone seems to catch a few fish each night.
The weedlines on these same lakes will produce bluegills and pike
during the day. There’s also some evening crappie action with glow
jigs and minnows over 15 to 20 feet at Le Homme Dieu, Darling,
Carlos, and Lake Mary. Six to 10 inches of ice is common on most
lakes, with a few thinner spots on the big lakes.

Christopherson’s Bait and Tackle

(320) 763-3255


Lake Marie, Lake John, and Pleasant Lake are giving up sunfish and
crappies in 13 to 15 feet. Little Maple Lake is a safe bet for
sunfish in 20 feet and pike in 12 feet. On Clearwater Lake,
walleyes are hitting shiner minnows in 14 to 20 feet and you’ll
find sunfish in 10 to 18 feet along the west-end bulrushes. A few
of the big lakes still have spots with open water, but six to eight
inches of ice is being found on most areas people are

Little Jim’s Bait (320) 274-5297


Ice conditions vary greatly, with some thin ice, some ice heaves,
and as much as nine inches on select lakes. Walleyes are hitting
spoons or shiner minnows in the narrows at Pelican Lake near Ashby,
Otter Tail Lake, and Silver Lake. You’ll find sunfish in 12 feet at
South Turtle Lake, East and West Lost lakes, Blanche Lake, and
Pelican in 12 feet. Crappie reports have been limited, but northern
pike are being taken in the weeds at North Turtle Lake and South
Turtle with sucker minnows.

Ben’s Bait Shop (218) 864-5596


Ice conditions are improving daily with eight to 10 inches on most
lakes. Rainbow minnows are producing walleyes and good-sized perch
on Lake Plantagenet in 16 to 20 feet. You’ll hit walleyes straight
out from the access on Lake Irving in 16 feet and spearing has been
best on the east side of Lake Bemidji in less than eight feet.
There’s an evening crappie bite with minnows in 20 to 22 feet at
Little Turtle Lake and Grace Lake continues to give up a mixed bag
of panfish in 16 to 24 feet.

Bluewater Outdoors

(218) 444-BAIT (2248)


You’ll find more than one foot of ice on area lakes and there is
some vehicle traffic starting. Blackduck Lake is giving up a few
walleyes in 18 to 20 feet during the evening hours and numbers of
perch in less than 10 feet during the day. Look for a mixed bag of
panfish off lakes Rabideau, Pimushe, and Gull in 18 to 20 feet.
Northern pike are being taken with tip-ups and shiners on Blackduck
in 10 to 12 feet.

Timberline Sports and Tackle

(218) 835-4636


Four wheelers are being used on most lakes with eight to 11 inches
of ice reported. Setlines and shiners or jigging spoons continue to
produce walleyes in 20 to 32 feet at Gull Lake, Pelican Lake, and
the Merrifield end of North Long Lake. Sucker minnows are
triggering pike in eight to 14 feet on the south end of Gull and
Lake Edwards. Sunfish action is consistent on most small lakes in
12 to 14 feet. Look slightly deeper for crappies.

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


Four to six inches of ice has taken hold on most lakes so walking
is still the best option. The channel between Chisago Lake and
South Lindstrom Lake is giving up pike and sunfish during the day
and walleyes during the evening hours. The Dinner Bell area on
South Lindstrom is kicking out walleyes in 14 feet during the
evening hours. Little Green Lake is kicking out crappies in eight
to 10 feet and the A-Frame area on Chisago is giving up sunfish.
The north end of North Center Lake is worth noting for walleyes and
crappies during low-light periods in 14 to 20 feet.

Frankie’s Bait (651) 257-6334


Permanent houses have started being pulled on many lakes with eight
inches or more of ice being found. There’s some evening walleye
action coming off Rabbit Lake and Pelican Lake in 18 to 24 feet.
Walleyes also are being caught in 16 to 20 feet at Serpent Lake,
Nokay Lake, and Farm Island Lake – setlines and shiners or
rainbows, or jigging spoons are all working. Look for crappies over
28 to 32 feet on most lakes with Nokay and Cedar providing the most
consistent action. Northern pike are a safe bet with tip-ups and
sucker minnows on the weedlines of Serpent, Lake Adney, and Lower
Mission Lake. There’s an all-day sunfish bite at Milford Lake in 15
to 22 feet.

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


With the exception of the big, deep lakes you’ll find 10 to 12
inches of ice so ATVs are being used. Walleyes are hitting shiner
minnows in 20 to 24 feet at Lake Melissa, Cotton Lake, Big Detroit
Lake, and Deadshot Bay or in 12 feet at Little Detroit Lake.
Bluegills are being found in 10 to 14 feet at lakes Melissa,
Cotton, and Severson. Crappies are suspended over 28 feet at Little
Floyd Lake and over 18 feet at Cotton and Little Detroit.

Quality Bait and Tackle (218) 844-2248


Ice conditions are excellent with one foot or more reported on most
lakes. Boulder Lake is giving up walleyes, crappies and pike in 10
feet during the evening. On Rice Lake, pike are being caught with
tip-ups and chubs in six feet and Fish Lake is kicking out crappies
during the evening hours in 15 to 17 feet in the Highbanks area.
Anglers are walking on the Duluth Harbor and catching walleyes and
the occasional sturgeon in six to 10 feet.

Chalstrom’s Bait (218) 726-0094


You’ll find 10 to 12 inches of ice on the small lakes, but much
less on the big, deep lakes. There hasn’t been a lot of people
fishing this week, but it’s been windy most days. The only report
worth noting is coming off Shagawa Lake where rattle spoons and
minnows are turning a few walleyes in 17 feet.

The Great Outdoors (218) 365-4744


You’ll find 10 to 12 inches of ice on most small lakes, but watch
the big lakes – those just capped. There hasn’t been much fishing
taking place despite good ice conditions. Lawrence Lake is giving
up crappies on glow jigs and minnows in 15 feet during low-light
periods. On Eagle Lake, you’ll find crappies in 14 to 16 feet
during the evening, while walleye and northern pike action is

Redding Sports and Spirits (218) 763-2191


Three to five inches of ice was reported on area lakes early this
week and there hasn’t been a lot of people fishing. Circle Lake is
giving up crappies and perch in eight to 10 feet early and late in
the day. The other report worth noting is from Kelley Dudley Lake
where a few sunfish are hitting in 12 feet.

Nagel’s Live Bait (507) 334-8341


Walleyes, perch, and pike have started hitting minnows at Elbow
Lake in less than six feet. Binigami Lake is kicking out walleyes
in 12 feet and South Fowl Lake is producing walleyes in five to 10
feet. On Hungry Jack Lake, walleyes are hitting spoons in 15 feet
and pike are an easy catch with chubs in six feet. There hasn’t
been much fishing pressure on the big lakes due to thin ice, but
you’ll find 10 to 12 inches on the small lakes.

Buck’s Hardware (218) 387-2280


Watch ice depths on certain locations of the big lakes, but 10
inches of ice is common on the majority of small lakes. Shiners or
jigging spoons are turning walleyes during the evening in 15 to 25
feet on lakes Pokegama, Trout, Sugar, Deer, and Moose. Crappie
action has been sporadic with a few fish coming off Ball Club, Big
Cutfoot, Big Splithand, and Little Splithand at night in 20 to 25
feet. Poole’s Bay and Tioga Bay on Pokegama, Bass Lake, and Graves
Lake are giving up sunfish and pike action has been excellent for
spearers and anglers.

Ben’s Bait and Tackle (218) 326-8281


You’ll find eight to 11 inches of ice on most small lakes, but
watch some areas on the big lakes. Sunfish and crappie action has
been strong on Birch Lake in seven to 12 feet. Walleyes are hitting
emerald shiners at Stoney Lake and Pleasant Lake during low-light
periods in 15 to 18 feet. On Woman Lake, panfish are hitting in 10
feet and look to Long Bay on Ten Mile Lake for sunfish in 12

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


Pike are cooperating for spearers and anglers in shallow water of
most bays. Walleyes are hitting shiners and fatheads in 26 to 30
feet on structure areas of the main lake. There are a few ice
ridges and heaves to deal with, but snowmobiles and ATVs are being
utilized on eight to 10 inches of ice.

Gateway Store (218) 875-2121


Three to six inches of ice is reported on area lakes so watch where
you travel. Mud Bay, Baker’s Bay, and Squirrel’s Nest Point on Lake
Washington are producing panfish in six to nine feet. The DNR
access area on Madison Lake is giving up crappies and sunfish in 10
to 20 feet and the north side of Lake Elysian is producing walleyes
during low-light periods. A few walleyes also have been pulled from
Lake Hanska in six to 10 feet.

The Bobber Shop (507) 625-8228


Ice depths vary from open spots on some lakes to seven inches on
others. Minnows or waxies are producing perch on the first five
miles (south end) of Big Stone Lake in 10 to 12 feet. Walleyes are
hitting jigging spoons from Meadowbrook to Twin Silos on Big Stone
during the evening in 12 to 14 feet. Peterson Slough is kicking out
perch and crappies in 10 feet. On Lake Lac qui Parle, walleyes are
hitting from the middle to south end in 10 feet.

Bud’s Bait (320) 839-2480


Look for walleyes during the evening on Fish Hook Lake in 25 feet
and at Potato Lake in 18 feet – spoons or setlines are both
working. Lake Belle Taine and Big Mantrap Lake are producing
crappies over 20 feet and the Crow Wing Chain is giving up
bluegills in 12 feet. Northern pike are active in eight to 12 feet
at Fish Hook and Big Mantrap. Nine to 12 inches of ice is common on
most lakes.

Delaney’s (218) 732-4281


There’s eight to 10 inches of ice on most lakes so ATVs are being
used. You’ll find walleyes on Rush Lake, Big Pine Lake, and Little
Pine Lake in 20 feet, most of which are hitting rattle spoons and
minnow heads or setlines and shiner minnows during low-light
periods. Rush Lake also is producing sunfish and crappies in eight
to 10 feet and there’s been quite a few big pike taken via spearing
and angling on area lakes in less than 10 feet.

Gene’s Sport Shop (218) 346-3355


Walleye action is solid in eight to 10 feet along the south and
east shorelines throughout the day. A spoon or jig and minnow
combination are both turning numbers of fish. Many access points
are now allowing vehicle traffic out to 10 feet where 13 inches of
ice is reported and with ATVs allowed farther out.

Mort’s Dock (218) 647-8128


Ice conditions are improving with four to eight inches reported on
area lakes. Look to Rice Lake, Horseshoe Lake, and Cedar Island
Lake in 20 to 25 feet for crappies during the evening. A few
walleyes can be had at night on these lakes in 18 to 20 feet with
glow jigs and minnows. Spearing has been best on Lake Koronis and
Rice in less than eight feet.

Mike’s Bait and Tackle (320) 453-2248


Jigs and setlines are producing walleyes on the north end of Lake
Osakis in 23 feet. The bars on Big Birch Lake are giving up
walleyes in 16 to 25 feet, as is the Hooper’s Hills area in 22 to
24 feet and Red Barn Bay in 15 to 18 feet on Big Sauk Lake.
Crappies are hitting in Big Sauk in 20 to 30 feet and on the
traditional crappie spots of Big Birch. Hunter’s Bay on Big Birch
and the north end of Osakis are safe bets for sunfish, while Smith
Lake is kicking out sunfish and crappies in 20 to 24 feet. Six to
10 inches of ice is common on most lakes.

Fletcher’s Bait (320) 352-2155


Walleyes are hitting shiners or jigging spoons late in the day on
Lake Minnewaska in 14 to 16 feet and on the northeast side of Reno
Lake in 14 feet. Lake Emily is giving up walleyes, but it’s been
more hit and miss here in five feet with small sucker minnows.
Bottle Bay on the Glenwood end of Minnewaska is producing sunfish
and crappies in 12 to 14 feet. Ice depths vary from eight to 11
inches so four wheelers are the best travel option.

Minnewaska Bait and Tackle

(320) 239-2239


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