Crappies moving in and out of the shallows with weather changes – North Central report
LAKE MILLE LACS
Although the ice is gone, there hasn’t been much fishing to report. Start looking to the traditional bays such as Cove, Isle, and Wahkon to be the first spots to produce crappies along the shorelines. Many of the channels and boat harbors should start holding crappies as well.
Johnson’s Portside (320) 676-3811
Terry’s Boat Harbor (320) 692-4430
LAKE OF THE WOODS
Bright-colored jigs and minnows are producing walleyes in the Rainy River and in Four Mile Bay in 14 to 18 feet. The Lighthouse Gap also has provided numbers of walleyes in 16 to 22 feet. Nightcrawlers are producing plenty of sturgeon in these spots as well. The river continued to be very fishable, with manageable current and clear water early this week. Look for northern pike to be active in the bays off the river, Bostic Creek, and Zippel Bay areas.
Lake of the Woods Tourism Bureau
The ice is gone, but there isn’t much to report for perch or panfish action. This could change quickly with a few days of warm weather, which should drive crappies into the shallow bays, channels, and boat harbor areas.
Reed’s Sporting Goods (218) 547-1505
There’s still quite a bit of ice on the main lake, but many of the bays have started to open. The majority of anglers in this area have been heading to the Rainy River and catching walleyes and sturgeon.
Loon’s Nest (218) 286-5850
The ice went completely out last Sunday. A few perch are being found in Tamarack Bay and along the west-side shoreline in six to 12 feet. This bite will get better with a jig and minnow once the water warms a few more degrees.
Nodak Lodge (218) 665-2226
A few people have started looking for crappies with the ice being gone, but water temperatures remain too cold to push these fish into the shallow-water areas. Little Turtle Lake and Wolf Lake are traditionally good starting spots once the weather and water warms.
(218) 444-BAIT (2248)
Sunfish have started hitting in three to six feet on Cullen Lake and Nisswa Lake. Look for crappies and a few sunfish in the Highway 371 bay on North Long Lake and around the docks in Bar Harbor on Gull Lake.
S & W Bait & Guide Service/Nisswa Guide League (218) 829-7010
Crappies and sunfish have moved into the backwaters of Milford Lake, White Hawk Bay and Hanson’s Bay on Bay Lake, the east bay on Serpent Lake, and the north end of Clearwater Lake. Small Flu Flus tipped with minnows or waxies are turning fish in two to four feet.
Oars ‘n Mine Bait and Tackle (218) 546-6912
Anglers have started looking to those shallow, small lakes that traditionally produce crappies shortly after ice-out. At this point, the bite has been slow and it will take a string of warm, sun-filled days to push these fish in from deeper depths.
Redding Sports and Spirits (218) 763-2191
GRAND RAPIDS AREA
Crappies and sunfish are being caught in 10 to 25 feet on Lake Pokegama. There’s a decent sunfish bite at Big Splithand Lake in eight to 10 feet. On Bowstring Lake, you’ll find crappies and sunfish in 16 to 20 feet – look for the crappies to be suspended.
Ben’s Bait and Tackle (218) 326-8281
A few people have started looking for crappies in the shallow bays and along shoreline areas that traditionally give up panfish in the spring, but they haven’t found much. The water has to warm a bit more to really drive these fish from main-lake or staging areas and into those shallow locations.
Swanson’s Bait and Tackle (218) 675-6176
ST. CLOUD/EDEN VALLEY AREA
The bays and shorelines of Lake Koronis, Rice Lake, Cedar Island Lake, Long Lake, Clear Lake, and Horseshoe Lake are giving up crappies in two to six feet. Small jigs tipped with minnows, waxworms, or plastics are producing fish. You’ll find a few sunfish mixed in with the crappies as well.
Mike’s Bait and Tackle (320) 453-2248
SAUK CENTRE AREA
Hennington Bay on Fairy Lake is kicking out sunfish and crappies during the evening hours. The outlet channel on Long Bridge Lake is producing crappies via minnows and small jigs. The channel on the north end of Lake Osakis is producing a mixed bag of sunfish and Bailey’s Bay on Big Sauk Lake is kicking out crappies during the afternoon hours in less than four feet. Look to Hunter’s Bay on Big Birch Lake for sunfish as well.
Fletcher’s Bait (320) 352-2155