LAKE MILLE LACS
East – Some resorts are reporting up to 10 inches of ice close to shore and in the bays with much less ice and slush further out. No travel of any kind is recommended on the main lake and check with a resort before venturing onto the ice, even close to shore.
Johnson’s Portside (320) 676-3811
West – Ice fishing has been limited and the few anglers venturing out are walking. Ice depths on the main lake vary due to the snow, which has prevented anyone from going out to get an accurate ice depth measurement. A handful of people have been walking onto Garrison Bay and catching northern pike along the weedlines.
Terry’s Boat Harbor (320) 692-4430
LAKE OF THE WOODS
Limits of walleyes and sauger are being caught from Morris Point to Pine Island in 17 to 19 feet or in 22 to 24 feet straight out from Zippel Bay to Long Point. The bays have 10 to 12 inches of ice and nine to 12 inches is common on the lake. Roads are staked for snowmobile and ATV travel and rental houses have been pulled out.
Lake of the Woods Tourism Bureau
There’s some limited fishing options in the Pine Point area, but anglers have only been walking out due to deep snow and slush underneath it. Tough lake conditions have prevented anglers from getting to any other spots; ice depths vary and slush is an issue.
Reed’s Sporting Goods (218) 547-1505
Shriver’s Bait Company (218) 547-2250
Deep snow, marginal ice, and slush has prevented anyone from getting on the lake. Even with the recent cold snap, ice depths have not improved with more than 14 inches of snow sitting on the lake.
Loon’s Nest (218) 286-5850
Most of the water under the snow has frozen and ATVs are being used throughout the lake on eight inches of ice. Pike have been active in the shallows and providing good spearing action. Perch reports also have been favorable on the west side in six to nine feet.
Lake Winnie Resort Association
There’s three to eight inches of ice on most lakes, but it really varies from spot to spot, and there’s a lot of slush to deal with. Travel of any kind has been difficult on all lakes. A few spear houses have been setting up on a couple lakes and success had been limited. Anglers also are getting on Lake Irving and catching walleyes in 14 to 22 feet, while parts of Lake Bemidji are accessible and giving up a few walleyes in 16 to 22 feet.
Taber’s Bait (218) 751-5781
Chains are needed on ATVs and snowmobiles are a better mode of transportation on area lakes due to the snow and slush. Fishing reports have been non-existent due to the cold, but you can get around on the lakes in this area, so once it warms anglers should be able to start fishing again on the seven to 10 inches of ice that’s formed.
Timberline Sports and Tackle
Anglers are reporting an average of 10 inches of ice throughout the area. Lory Lake and Lewis Lake are giving up bass and bluegills in shallow water. Tip ups and sucker minnows are producing northern pike on Mud Lake near Quamba and there’s a decent walleye and crappie bite during the evening hours at Knife Lake. Good-sized bluegills are being caught at Fish Lake just off Highway 65.
65 Bait and Tackle (320) 396-9904
The majority of lakes have seven inches of ice, but thinner ice is being found on the main parts of most big lakes. Walleyes and crappies are hitting in 20 to 24 feet on Round Lake. Look to Steamboat Bay and Wilson Bay on Gull Lake for crappies and walleyes over 20 feet. Crappies also can be had with glow jigs and minnows in 20 to 24 feet on Upper Gull Lake and the Highway 371 Bay on North Long Lake.
S & W Bait & Guide Service/Nisswa Guide League (218) 829-7010
You’ll find seven to 10 inches of ice on area lakes, the snow has settled and although there is some slush, walking, snowmobiles, and ATVs are travel options. Setlines and shiners or jigging spoons are producing walleyes in the evenings at Rabbit Lake, Serpent Lake, and Farm Island Lake in 15 to 20 feet. Spearing has been good on most lakes, while Bay Lake is a safe bet to give up crappies on glow jigs and minnows over 30 feet or more. Look to Milford Lake for sunfish and a few crappies in 22 to 26 feet.
Oars ‘n Mine Bait and Tackle (218) 546-6912
You’ll find six to eight inches of ice on most lakes with a couple inches of slush on top of it. Getting around on many lakes is difficult unless you walk or use a snowmobile. That, combined with the cold weather, has limited fishing reports. A few anglers have been walking on Ruth Lake and setting tip ups for northern pike with some success.
Redding Sports and Spirits (218) 763-2191
GRAND RAPIDS AREA
Most lakes have five to seven inches of ice. There is slush under the snow, but it is manageable with a snowmobile or ATV. The main portion of Lake Pokegama is producing walleyes in the evenings over 19 to 25 feet. Tioga Bay on Pokegama is kicking out bluegills and crappies in 13 to 27 feet. Hit Lake Wabana for walleyes in 17 to 25 feet, while Big Splithand and Little Splithand lakes are giving up panfish in 20 feet. Spearing has been good on the majority of lakes.
Ben’s Bait and Tackle (218) 326-8281
On average, six to eight inches of ice is being found with slush under the snow. But anglers have started getting around and the general theme is that most lakes are manageable. Look to Woman Lake for suspended crappies over 16 to 20 feet and sunfish in 14 to 16 feet. A few panfish reports also are coming off Pleasant Lake from 12 to 15 feet. Walleye action is slow, but angling and spearing for northern pike has been good on most lakes in shallow water.
Swanson’s Bait and Tackle (218) 675-6176
Anglers are finding eight to 10 inches of ice, but there’s so much snow and slush that it’s been difficult to get around on most lakes. The tough lake conditions and continued cold weather have resulted in very little fishing pressure.
Willey’s Sport Shop & Spirits
The walleye bite remains strong with a jig and minnow along most shorelines in seven to 10 feet during the afternoon and evening hours. Ice depths average 10 to 12 inches and the snow has started to settle so ATV and snowmobile travel is good with light truck travel a possibility soon.
Mort’s Dock (218) 647-8128
ST. CLOUD/EDEN VALLEY AREA
You’ll find 10 to 12 inches of ice on most lakes with no slush to limit travel. Rice Lake is giving up walleyes and crappies in 18 to 22 feet and you’ll hook a few walleyes at Horseshoe Lake in 20 to 24 feet. Look for suspended crappies on Cedar Island Lake over 20 to 25 feet or at Pearl Lake over 14 feet. Northern pike action has been decent in eight to 12 feet on most lakes with sucker minnows.
Mike’s Bait and Tackle (320) 453-2248
SAUK CENTRE AREA
Walleye reports have been favorable with fish being caught on the north and south ends of Sauk Lake in 18 to 28 feet, Lake Osakis in 23 to 25 feet, Big Birch Lake in 18 to 40 feet, and along the 18-foot weedline on Fairy Lake. Hit the north end of Sauk in 28 to 34 feet or the north end of Osakis in 20 to 28 feet for crappies. Lilly Lake also started giving up crappies in 18 to 20 feet. Ice conditions are good with six to 12 inches reported on most lakes.
Fletcher’s Bait (320) 352-2155