North Central Minnesota Fishing Report – December 21st, 2012


East – The bays such as Isle, Wahkon, and Cove now have six to eight inches of ice, but the main lake needs a few more days of cold before travel is an option. The only fishing going on is taking place in the bays where a few walleyes, northern pike, and perch are being caught.
Johnson’s Portside (320) 676-3811

West – Ice has now taken hold on the entire lake, with a few reports of anglers fishing the north and south ends. There hadn’t been anyone hitting the west side of the lake as of Tuesday morning.
Terry’s Boat Harbor (320) 692-4430


Walleyes and sauger are being caught in 14 to 18 feet early and late in the day and  in 20 to 26 feet during midday hours – 40-plus fish per house has been common. Gold or red glow spoons and deadsticks are both producing fish. Four Mile Bay has seven to 11 inches of ice, there’s eight to 13 inches in Zippel Bay, and 11 inches on the lake where resorts have houses. However, there are still spots with five inches of ice so talk with a resort before venturing out. At the Northwest Angle, there is 12 to 14 inches of ice, but current areas with thinner ice, so again, use a resort. Walleye action also has been very good here.
Lake of the Woods Tourism Bureau (800) 382-FISH


The entire lake is now ice-capped although Walker Bay only has four to five inches on the edges and less ice further out. The smaller bays have seven to 10 inches of ice, as do many of the points being fished. Perch action has been limited, but walleyes are active during low-light periods off Pine Point and Stoney Point in seven to 10 feet or 16 to 18 feet.
Reed’s Sporting Goods (218) 547-1505


Snowmobiles and ATVs have started being used on certain areas of the lake, but you still have to watch ice conditions on most main-lake areas. The best walleye reports this week are coming off Birch Point in Sand Bay, where jigging spoons or shiner minnows are producing fish in 20 to 30 feet.
Loon’s Nest (218) 286-5850


This area received rain and then about six inches of snow last weekend. The cracks that were an issue last week mostly healed and much of the lake now has nine inches of ice. But if the snow continues to pile up, ATV travel could get difficult. Spearing and angling for northern pike has been “so-so” in shallow water and there hasn’t been much traffic to main-lake structure for walleyes and perch. The best perch reports are coming off the west side in eight to 10 feet near the points and shoreline breaks.
Lake Winnie Resort Association


The shallow lakes now have up to 11 inches of ice, while ice depths vary from four to 10 inches on the big, deep lakes. Walleyes are being caught on jigging spoons or setlines in 14 feet on Lake Plantagenet or in eight to 18 feet on Big Turtle Lake. Grace Lake is producing panfish and northern pike on the eight- to 12-foot weedlines, while Lake Bemidji is giving up perch in 23 feet and a few walleyes in 14 to 19 feet.
Taber’s Bait (218) 751-5781


The ice is in good shape here with ATVs being utilized on all lakes. Jigging small spoons and minnow heads has produced walleyes and perch on Blackduck Lake from eight to 20 feet and at Island Lake in 10 to 20 feet. Look for suspended crappies over 30 to 40 feet during low-light periods on Gilstead Lake and Sandy Lake.
Timberline Sports and Tackle (218) 835-4636


The big lakes still have spots with thin ice, but anglers are finding up to five inches of ice in the areas they are fishing. Spoons have been most productive for walleyes in 28 feet at North Long Lake, 20 to 28 feet at Round Lake, and on Squaw Point at Gull Lake in 20 feet. Northern pike are hitting sucker minnows in shallow water on most lakes and you’ll find crappies suspended over 20 to 29 feet and sunfish in six to 10 feet on Round, North Long, and Nisswa Lake.
S & W Bait & Guide Service/Nisswa Guide League (218) 829-7010


Snow over the weekend slowed the ice-making process, but it has packed so with some cold ice depths should continue building. Anglers are still getting out, they just are dealing with slush and really watching where they go. Stick to the small lakes at this point and call ahead for ice conditions heading into this weekend.
Oars ‘n Mine Bait and Tackle (218) 546-6912


Last weekend’s rain kept most anglers off the lakes, but it did help eliminate much of the snow sitting on top of the ice. People were walking out and checking ice conditions early this week, although there hasn’t been much fishing taking place.
Redding Sports and Spirits (218) 763-2191


Look for bluegills and crappies in 13 to 22 feet in the bays of Lake Pokegama and Big Splithand Lake. Angling and spearing action for northern pike has been good in shallow water on Pokegama, Big Rice Lake, Lake Wabana, and Little Splithand Lake. Walleye activity has been slow. Four to five inches of ice is common on the big lakes and you’ll find thicker ice on the small, shallow lakes.
Ben’s Bait and Tackle (218) 326-8281


Ice depths vary from three to six inches with the small lakes providing better ice depths and some fishing activity. Glow jigs and minnows are producing walleyes on Pine Mountain Lake in 11 to 14 feet during low-light periods. Ox Yoke Lake, Five Point Lake, Birch Lake, and the south end of Pleasant Lake are worth hitting for panfish in eight to 14 feet.
Swanson’s Bait and Tackle (218) 675-6176


Limits of walleyes continue to be caught on most shorelines in eight to 12 feet. Jigging spoons or plain hooks and minnows are both working during the morning and evening hours with spurts of midday activity as well. The ice is now 12 to 14 inches thick so vehicle travel has started from most access locations.
Mort’s Dock (218) 647-8128


Anglers are finding three to seven inches of ice on most lakes so they’ve started walking out. Crappies and a few walleyes are being caught at Clear Lake and Horseshoe Lake in 12 to 14 feet of water. Work Rice Lake between the two points for crappies in 14 feet. Spearing has improved on Rice and Horseshoe in less than eight feet.
Mike’s Bait and Tackle (320) 453-2248


Last weekend’s rain took care of the snow on area lakes and five to seven inches of ice is common. Panfish are biting in 18 to 24 feet on Lilly Lake and the north end of Lake Osakis. Hunter’s Bay on Big Birch Lake is giving up panfish as well. Shiner minnows and tip-ups are producing walleyes on the north end of Osakis in 21 to 25 feet, on the 18- to 24-foot structure of Big Birch, and on Big Sauk Lake between eight and 20 feet. Angling and spearing for northern pike has been strong in shallow water at Big Birch, Osakis, and Big Sauk.
Fletcher’s Bait (320) 352-2155


Six to 10 inches of ice seems to be the norm on most lakes, although there are spots with less ice and some cracks to deal with. Walleye action has improved during low-light periods with setlines and fatheads or jigging spoons on Cass Lake. Look to Allen’s Bay in 18 feet or Wishbone Bar and Windigo Bar in eight to 12 feet. Spearing for northern pike has picked up in Allen’s Bay and Wolf Lake is kicking out crappies in 25 feet.
Sunset Cove Resort (800) 279-4831


Most lakes had three to four inches of ice as of Tuesday morning. There hasn’t been much fishing activity, but anglers have started checking ice depths and many plan on hitting area lakes for the first time this weekend. Look to those small, shallow lakes to provide the first options for foot travel.
Tales and Trails Sport Shop (763) 856-3985

Categories: MInnesota Fishing Reports, North (Central)

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