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North Central Minnesota Fishing Report – January 23rd, 2015

LAKE MILLE LACS 

East – The early morning and evening hours have been best for walleyes on the mud flats, gravel, and deep rocks in 20 to 26 feet. The 25- to 32-foot mud areas have been kicking out perch and tullibees as well. Look for northern pike in 10 to 14 feet throughout Isle, Cove, and Wahkon bays. 

Johnson’s Portside (320) 676-3811

West – Work the mud flats for walleyes during the day in 28 to 32 feet of water or during low-light periods of the day in 22 to 26 feet of water. The 26- to 28-foot rocks are producing walleyes as well. You’ll find perch on the mud flats in 28 to 30 feet and suspended tullibees over 30 feet of water or more on the Seven Mile, Eight Mile, and Seguchie flats. 

Terry’s Boat Harbor (320) 692-4430

LAKE OF THE WOODS

Anglers are finding clearer water 15 miles out from Pine Island on the south shore and they are catching a few more walleyes and sauger as a result. Some fish are being caught on structure at Knight, Bridges, or Garden islands. From Morris Point to Zippel Bay, 17 to 28 of water feet has been most productive, while the reefs at Arnesen’s and Long Point are worth hitting as well. At the Northwest Angle, the structure in 25 to 28 feet of water has been most consistent for walleyes, a few saugers, and jumbo perch. Crappies continue to hit on the Canadian side of the lake.

Lake of the Woods Tourism Bureau (800) 382-FISH

LAKE VERMILION

Walleye reports have been limited to a few fish coming off the mud in 32 to 40 feet or rock reefs in 22 to 30 feet of water. Crappie action has been slow, but northern pike remain active and biting in shallow water throughout Stuntz Bay and Larson Bay.

Pike Bay Lodge (218) 753-2430

LAKE WINNIBIGOSHISH

Perch continue to hit during different times of the day on the first shoreline break from the Snaghole to Sugar Point in 16 to 18 feet. There is some midday action in 22 to 24 feet of water in these same areas. A few walleyes can be had during the late afternoon hours in 22 to 25 feet on the main-lake bars and humps, while the bigger northern pike are being caught in 18 to 22 feet of water. Watch for a few pressure ridges and cracks on the west side.

Lake Winnie Resort Association

LEECH LAKE

You have to stay on the move, but walleyes and northern pike are being caught on the flats and shoreline breaks on the main lake and in Walker Bay over 10 to 14 feet. Look for perch to be mixed in, but you have to sort through quite a few small fish. 

Reed’s Sporting Goods (218) 547-1505

Shriver’s Bait Company (218) 547-2250

RAINY LAKE

Walleyes continue to hit shiner minnows in the Birch Point area of Sand Bay in 30 to 35 feet during the early evening hours. The Cranberry and Dry Weed areas are giving up a few walleyes in slightly shallower water. There’s a midday northern pike bite in the Rainy Lake City area over 10 to 15 feet with ciscoes or sucker minnows.  

Loon’s Nest (218) 286-5850

RED LAKE

Walleyes continue to be caught at a good pace for the middle of January. Look to the mud flats in 13 to 15 feet of water or the 8- to 12-foot gravel bars. Walleyes also can be had overnight on rattle reels and fathead minnows in these same areas. An occasional crappie is caught and northern pike are mixed in with the walleyes as well.

Mort’s Dock (218) 647-8128

BEMIDJI AREA

The northeast side of Lake Plantagenet is giving up perch in 15 to 18 feet and Gull Lake is worth hitting for bluegills in 14 feet. On Lake Bemidji, you’ll catch walleyes on the north end in 18 to 40 feet or perch on the south end in 25 to 32 feet. The area’s best crappie reports are coming off Middle Sucker Lake in 20 to 22 feet.

Taber’s Bait (218) 751-5781 

BLACKDUCK AREA

On Blackduck Lake, walleyes are hitting during the evening hours in 10 to 15 feet, as are perch in 6 to 10 feet and crappies over deep water during the day. Round Lake is kicking out crappies, perch, and a few walleyes in 14 to 20 feet, while bluegill action remains strong in 16 to 20 feet on Gull Lake and Pimushe Lake. Anglers are finding rainbow trout suspended just under the ice on Benjamin Lake.

Timberline Sports and Tackle (218) 835-4636

BRAINERD/NISSWA AREA

Look for walleyes on Gull Lake in 22 to 32 feet or Round Lake in 18 to 24 feet; jigging spoons continue to work best on both lakes. The Highway 371 Bay on North Long Lake and Round are producing crappies over 8 to 14 feet. Hit Nisswa Lake and Cullen Lake in 6 to 10 feet for sunfish, while the south end of Gull is a safe bet for pike in less than 10 feet.

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

CASS LAKE AREA

Walleye action has slowed, but crappies continue to be found suspended over 20 feet or more on Wolf Lake, Kitchi Lake, Lake Andrusia, Lower Sucker Lake, and in Allen’s Bay on Cass Lake. Northern pike action remains strong in Allen’s Bay and Pike Bay Lake is producing perch in 6 to 8 feet.

Sunset Cove Resort (800) 279-4831

CROSBY AREA

Small spoons tipped with waxworms or plastics are producing rainbow trout from 3 to 100 feet on Manuel Pit. You’ll find brown trout and rainbows on Huntington Pit at similar depths and look for suspended fish the deeper you work. Spearing for pike has been strong in the flooded timber of Portsmouth Pit and Sagamore Pit. Crappies and sunfish remain active in 17 to 20 feet on Milford Lake, Perry Lake, and Bay Lake.

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

EAST CENTRAL MN

Hit Blue Lake for crappies and sunfish in 17 to 21 feet and a few walleyes in 15 feet. Perch and northern pike are coming off South Stanchfield Lake in 14 feet and Green Lake is kicking out crappies in 22 feet. On Little Elk Lake, northern pike and panfish remain active in 10 feet.

Tales and Trails Sport Shop (763) 856-3985

EMILY AREA

Walleyes are being caught on the west side of West Fox Lake in 18 feet with shiner minnows and the north end of Kego Lake is producing northern pike on sucker minnows in 12 to 16 feet. Look to Lawrence Lake for crappies over 20 feet, while the northeast side of Lake Esquagamah is producing sunfish and crappies in 18 to 20 feet. 

Redding Sports and Spirits                     (218) 763-2191

GRAND RAPIDS AREA

Anglers had a successful start to the trout season with lakes such as Kraemer, Taylor, and Moonshine producing a mixed bag of stream trout in 7 to 30 feet of water. Crappie action remains strong in 20 to 30 feet of water on Big Cutfoot, Round, Little Cutfoot, and Bowstring lakes. Tioga Bay on Lake Pokegama is producing crappies and sunfish in 13 to 30 feet, as are Big Splithand and Little Splithand lakes in 18 to 22 feet. A few walleyes can be had from the weedlines out to 25 feet on Trout Lake, Lake Wabana, and Pokegama.

Ben’s Bait and Tackle (218) 326-8281

HACKENSACK AREA

Rainbow minnows have been turning walleyes in 17 to 22 feet on Pleasant Lake and Birch Lake. Sunfish action has been best in 12 to 16 feet on Pleasant, Birch, and in Broadwater Bay on Woman Lake. Look for suspended crappies over 20 to 25 feet on Webb Lake, Portage Lake, and Birch. Trout anglers are catching rainbows at Diamond Lake, Teepee Lake, and Hazel Lake.  

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

McGREGOR AREA

There’s been some bigger northern pike caught on sucker minnows at Big Sandy Lake in less than 10 feet of water. On Round Lake, panfish and bass are being caught in 10 to 14 feet, while crappies have bit best at night on Lake Minnewawa in 18 to 22 feet.

Willey’s Sport Shop & Spirits             (218) 426-3382

PARK RAPIDS AREA

Long Lake remains the best bet for walleyes in 28 to 30 feet with shiner minnows. Northern pike are hitting on Fish Hook Lake in 12 feet, while the Crow Wing Chain of Lakes continues to produce bluegills in 10 to 13 feet. Look to Big Mantrap Lake for suspended crappies over 30 to 40 feet and anglers are sight-fishing rainbow trout at Long Lake North.

Delaney’s (218) 732-4281

Smokey Hills Outdoors (218) 237-5099

ST. CLOUD/EDEN VALLEY AREA

Look to Lake Koronis for walleyes in 20 to 25 feet and Rice Lake is giving up a few crappies over 30 to 35 feet. Crappies are hitting during low-light periods on Horseshoe Lake in 15 to 21 feet and Becker Lake is producing sunfish in 12 to 14 feet. Crappies also remain active on Pearl Lake in 10 feet, while Mud Lake and Big Watab Lake are giving up rainbow trout, sight-fishing has worked best. 

Mike’s Bait and Tackle (320) 453-2248

SAUK CENTRE AREA

Fishing pressure remains high and lake conditions are great, but the bite has slowed down. A few crappies continue to be caught on lakes such as Sauk, Guerney, Long Bridge, and Osakis in deep water, but the bite has been inconsistent. The same is true for sunfish and walleyes on most lakes; you really have to put in your time if you want to catch a few fish.  

Fletcher’s Bait Shop (320) 352-2155

STAPLES/LITTLE FALLS AREA

There continues to be a lot of people fishing, but the fish have not been cooperating. Limits have been the exception for all species and the anglers doing best are putting in their time and drilling a lot of holes. Look to Green Prairie Lake for sunfish, crappies, and northern pike in 14 to 24 feet. The east end of Lake Alexander is producing a few walleyes during low-light periods.

Da Fishin’ Hole (320) 631-0056

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