Crappies and sunfish continue to move in and out of the shallows, biting best during bright, warm days. Hit the bays on Lake Homme Dieu, Pocket Lake, Rachael Lake and Oscar Lake for crappies. Crappies also are being found in Christopherson’s Bay and Schwab’s Bay on Lake Ida. Reno Lake also is giving up good-sized crappies in 4 to 8 feet.
Christopherson’s Bait and Tackle (320) 763-3255
Crappie and sunfish action hasn’t been stellar, but fish are being caught in some small bays or harbor areas on Clearwater Lake, Lake Sylvia, Pleasant Lake, Cedar Lake, Sugar Lake and Granite Lake. The bite should only improve this week as water temperatures climb. Turkey hunting success was a bit slower during the third season, despite the fact that birds seemed to be more responsive to calling.
Little Jim’s Bait (320) 274-5297
Crappies have just started moving shallow on Mollie Stark Lake, Clitherall Lake and Rush Lake – expect more lakes to start kicking out fish in 2 to 5 feet as the water continues to warm. Look to Star Lake, Dead Lake and Stalker Lake for sunfish in 6 to 8 feet; these fish should make a push shallower as well.
Ben’s Bait Shop (218) 864-5596
Crappies have started hitting in the channels between Lake Irving and Lake Bemidji or at the mouth of Irving in shallow water. Crappies also are being found in 2 to 6 feet at Lake Beltrami during the late afternoon hours, while bluegill action remains slow.
Taber’s Bait (218) 751-5781
Most small lakes in the area have started producing a few crappies, but the bite should really start to kick in now that the water has started to warm. A couple of the area’s better reports for crappies and bluegills have come off Lake Rabideau and Beltrami Lake; these fish were still being found in deep water, but they should slide shallower as well.
Timberline Sports and Tackle
The channels on Upper Gull Lake continue to kick out crappies and sunfish. Crappie action has been strong in 2 to 6 feet on Nisswa Lake, the bays on Whitefish Lake, and the Highway 371 Bay on North Long Lake. Small jigs tipped with plastics, minnows or Eurolarvae are working best.
S & W Bait & Guide Service/Nisswa Guide League (218) 829-7010
CASS LAKE AREA
Crappies are being found suspended along the 10- to 12-foot weed patches in Allen’s Bay on Cass Lake, the west side of Wolf Lake, Kitchi Lake and Anderson Lake. You’ll also catch sunfish on these lakes in 6 to 8 feet, but look for the majority of panfish to start heading into the bays and harbor areas as the water warms. The shallow rocks off Stony Point on Cass and the north side of Pike Bay Lake are worth hitting for perch.
Sunset Cove Resort (800) 279-4831
Early this week, water temperatures were in the mid 50-degree range and sunfish were being caught in 4 to 6 feet, as were crappies in 8 to 12 feet; look for the crappies to start moving even shallower as the water warms this week. Shore fishing and boat fishing are both options at Green Lake, Chisago Lake, North Center Lake and South Center Lake.
Frankie’s Bait (651) 257-6334
Hunter’s Bay, the Whitehawk area on the northeast side, and south end of Bay Lake are all producing crappies in shallow water. Serpent Lake and the north end of Clearwater Lake are giving up crappies in 6 to 8 feet. Hit Iverson Creek and the backwaters of Milford Lake for crappies and sunfish in 2 to 4 feet. There’s also a good sucker run taking place in most small creeks and rivers.
Oars ‘n Mine Bait and Tackle (218) 546-6912
Early this week, most sunfish and crappies were being found in 10 to 12 feet, but this could change to shallower water by this weekend with the warmer weather. Lakes such as Sallie, Big Detroit, Melissa, Severson, Little Pelican and Upper Cormorant are all giving up panfish again this week.
Quality Bait and Tackle (218) 844-2248
Look for crappies and bluegills at Fish Lake in 8 to 10 feet, although some fish are starting to move into shallower water. On Island Lake, crappies are being found on the 10- foot rock piles. Trolling stickbaits around the points and shorelines on Lake Superior has produced coho salmon, king salmon and some lake trout. The majority of fish are coming from 20 to 25 feet and not far off shore. The rivers are low, but the deep pockets on the Sucker River are holding steelhead and Kamloops and the smelt run kicked into high gear last Sunday.
Chalstrom’s Bait (218) 726-0094
EAST CENTRAL MN
The north end of Blue Lake and Baxter Lake are giving up crappies in shallow water. The backwaters on Elk Lake are producing crappies and sunfish, while the Mississippi River is giving up catfish via nightcrawlers.
Tales and Trails Sport Shop
The good news is that the ice is now completely off all lakes. The bad news is that the crappies have not moved into the shallows. Last week was mostly cold and windy so water temperatures continue to be too cold to drive panfish into these shallow areas.
The Great Outdoors (218) 365-4744
The bay on Ruth Lake started giving up sunfish in 10 to 12 feet and the east side of Lake Emily is giving up crappies in 7 to 9 feet. With the warm weather this week, teh shallower bays on most lakes should start holding better numbers of panfish.
Redding Sports and Spirits (218) 763-2191
Crappies are hitting in shallow water during the evening hours and in 10 to 12 feet during the day at Hall Lake, Amber Lake, Lake Sissiton, Budd Lake and George Lake. Shore anglers on Tuttle Lake are catching walleyes on crankbaits during the evening.
Sommer Outdoors (507) 235-5225
Few have been fishing because of wind and cool weather. Fishing reports have been non-existent since last weekend.
Nagel’s Live Bait (507) 334-8341
GRAND MARAIS AREA
There’s still plenty of ice on most lakes, although many small lakes are expected to open this weekend. The ice that remains on the bigger lakes also is expected to be out by the fishing opener with warm weather forecasted over the next week. Steelhead have started running and reports have been best on the Cascade, Brule and Devil Track rivers.
Buck’s Hardware (218) 387-2280
GRAND RAPIDS AREA
The evening hours have been best for crappies in the bays or harbors on Lake Pokegama, Big Splithand Lake, Little Cutfoot Sioux Lake, Big Cutfoot Sioux Lake and Bowstring Lake. Look for the bite to pick up during midday as water temperatures continue to climb. Most creeks and rivers are holding good numbers of suckers.
Ben’s Bait and Tackle (218) 326-8281
GREY EAGLE AREA
The shallow channels and bay on Mound Lake continue to produce crappies, while Hunter’s Bay on Big Birch Lake is giving up panfish. Generally, most shallow bays on area lakes are now holding panfish or should soon with the water warming.
Nancy’s Bait & Tackle (320) 285-2405
Water temperatures have remained cool so it continues to be difficult to find crappies in shallow water on area lakes. With nice weather in the forecast, that could change by this weekend. Look to the bays on Woman Lake, Ten Mile Lake, Pleasant Lake and Birch Lake among others to start producing.
Swanson’s Bait and Tackle (218) 675-6176
People have just started looking for crappies in shallow water with little or no success. Most anglers think these fish will head to those traditional spring locations once the water warms up a little bit.
Lucky 7 General Store (218) 254-7168
There hasn’t been any crappie action reported, but enthusiasm is high for the upcoming fishing opener. With the ice going out as early as it did, walleyes should be shallow and active on opening day.
Gateway Store (218) 875-2121
With improved weather and warmer water, crappies have bit better this week. Look to the shallow bays on Lake Washington, German Lake, and Big Jefferson Lake for crappies. The Buckmaster Bridge area on Madison Lake continues to produce crappies as well.
The Bobber Shop (507) 625-8228
The bays, channels, or bridge areas on Big Sandy Lake, Lake Minnewawa, Rat Lake and Round Lake have all given up a few panfish. The bite hasn’t been outstanding, but seems to be improving daily.
Willey’s Sport Shop & Spirits (218) 426-3382
Little Pulaski Lake is kicking out crappies throughout the day in less than 6 feet. On Little Maple Lake, sunfish are hitting during the day, as are crappies in the evening in 2 to 6 feet. Start looking to the shallow bays and shorelines on additional lakes to hold panfish with the water starting to warm.
Monticello Bait & Tackle (763) 295-1187
Small jigs tipped with minnows or plastics continue to produce crappies in less than 5 feet on Knife Lake. Suckers and catfish are being caught with nightcrawlers on the Snake River, while the Ann River bridge is giving up sunfish and crappies when the sun is out.
Jerry’s Sport & Bait Shop (320) 679-2151
During the day, Big Stone Lake is producing walleyes in 6 to 10 feet on crankbaits, jigs and minnows, or slip bobbers and leeches. After sunset, these fish are sliding shallower, along the shorelines and being taken on slip bobber rigs. Work the north end of the lake from Rocky Ledge to Sodak for better numbers of walleyes, but the islands on the south end are producing bigger fish. Walleye reports off Lake Traverse have been favorable in 6 to 12 feet during the day and shallower at night night.
Artie’s Bait (320) 839-2480
PARK RAPIDS AREA
Anglers fishing from shore on the north end of Long Lake are catching panfish. Start looking to the bays on most of the area’s small lakes with the water starting to warm. Some fish are being found just about everywhere, not huge numbers, but that should improve this week.
Delaney’s (218) 732-4281
Smokey Hills Outdoors (218) 237-5099
Crappies and some sunfish are hitting in 3 to 5 feet in the bays of Big Pine Lake, Little McDonald Lake, Rush Lake, Big McDonald Lake, Little Pine Lake, Toad Lake and Buchanan Lake. Small jigs tipped with plastics, leeches or minnows are working best.
Gene’s Sport Shop (218) 346-3355
RED WING AREA
The best walleye reports early this week are coming from the Head of the Lakes area or Lake Pepin. Leadcore and crankbaits are producing the majority of fish in 18 to 22 feet. Catfish, panfish, and white bass reports have been slower this week.
Four Seasons Sports (651) 388-4334
Crappies continue to be caught on Lake Zumbro in 8 to 10 feet and Willow Creek Reservoir in 5 to 8 feet. Shore anglers are catching rainbow trout on minnows or Power Bait at Foster Arend Pond. Turkey hunters are finding success, although poorer weather last week slowed the harvest.
Hooked on Fishing (507) 282-4982
ST. CLOUD/EDEN VALLEY AREA
Look for sunfish in 2 to 4 feet in the bays on Lake Koronis, Rice Lake, Long Lake, and Cedar Island Lake. A few crappies are being caught during the afternoon and evening hours at the Highway 55 bridge on Koronis and near most culverts on area lakes. Turkey hunters continue to find success in the area.
Mike’s Bait and Tackle (320) 453-2248
SAUK CENTRE AREA
The outlet area on Long Bridge Lake is producing crappies and sunfish, as are the bays on the north and west ends of Lake Osakis. Baily’s Bay on the north end of Sauk Lake continues to produce crappies as well.
Fletcher’s Bait Shop (320) 352-2155
STAPLES/LITTLE FALLS AREA
The 8- to 10- foot weedbeds throughout Thoroughfare Bay on Lake Alexander are holding crappies. Pierz Lake is giving up sunfish and a few crappies in 3 to 6 feet, as are the shallow bays and shorelines of Beauty Lake and Green Prairie Lake.
Da Fishin’ Hole (320) 631-0056
Anglers fishing from shore in the Starbuck Marina or from boats in Fish Hatchery Bay on Lake Minnewaska are catching crappies and some sunfish in 3 to 6 feet. Shore fishing along the shallow shorelines of Pelican Lake has produced crappies.
Minnewaska Bait and Tackle (320) 239-2239
There hasn’t been enough people fishing to get any panfish reports, but the weather last week has allowed few fishing opportunities. Look to the small, shallow lakes to be the first to start producing crappies.
Lucky Seven General Store (218) 741-3617
The lagoons on Lake Tetonka and the Warsaw Bridge area on Cannon Lake are producing crappies and sunfish in 2 to 5 feet. Jigs are producing striped bass near the inlets and outlets of the Cannon River.
Axel’s Tackle Box (507) 362-4444
The bays and shorelines have started giving up more crappies and sunfish this week and the bite should improve as the water warms. Look to the north end of Eagle Lake, northwest corner of Lake Andrew, Elkhorn Lake, Nest Lake, Henderson Lake, and Norway Lake. Turkey hunters have reported a fair success this week.
Brad’s 71 Bait and Sports (320) 235-4097
Anglers fishing from shore at night with slip bobbers and leeches on Lake Hendricks are catching a few walleyes. Crappie reports continue to be slow, but spinners or crawlers are producing rainbow trout on the Redwood River in Camden State Park. Turkey hunters are reporting active birds and good success throughout the past week.
Borch’s Sporting Goods (507) 532-4880
Look for crappies in the sloughs and sunfish on shallow sand off the main river channels where calm water exists. Walleyes are being found in the river cuts and channels or below the dams. A jig tipped with fathead minnows, plastics, or leeches are working best. Trout fishing has been good with streams remaining low and clear.
West End Bait (507) 452-6241